The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach plays host to several motorsport events over the course of one weekend. In fact there is so much going on that sometimes once one event is over they have to get out of the way to make room for another event. One such example is the Mother’s Car Show. You see, the ALMS main race takes place on Saturday but the Mother’s Car show takes place on the same real estate used by ALMS for their paddock. So, by Saturday night all the big rigs, equipment, trailers, and teams from ALMS are gone to make way for the car show. By Sunday morning what once was a hub for all things LeMans becomes a sea of gleaming super cars.
Traditionally it is one of the first things I shoot Sunday morning, and this year was no different. There were a slew of top notch automotive art on hand and armed with my trusty camera I snapped all the cars I thought were worth snapping. There are some preview thumbnails below and you can hit the red text for the full gallery on our Facebook page.
Today is an epic day for Camaro fanboys as Chevrolet has officially announced the return of the legendary Z/28 to the 2014 model line up. Honestly though, we all knew this was coming but I don’t think anyone expected the new Z/28 to be as bad-ass as this! This thing looks like a track beast and Chevrolet is touting it as such, calling it the “most track-capable Camaro ever.” A significant statement considering what they did with the ZL1.
Although the Z/28 is not meant to replace the ZL1 by any means. Instead it fits in the space between the new SS and the ZL1. The Z/28 borrows elements from its upstairs and downstairs neighbors but still sits in an area of its own. Chevy started off by making the new Z/28 light. As in 300lbs lighter than the ZL1. This was accomplished by ditching the on-board inflation system (except in states where its required by law), using thinner rear-window glass, utilizing a smaller battery, removing sound deadening from the interior, removing the carpet from the trunk, ditching the HID headlights, and finally making air conditioning a stand alone option.
Quite a diet no? After they shed the fat it was time to build the muscle so Chevrolet dropped in the same 7.0 liter LS7 V8 first used in the Corvette Z06. For the new Z/28 Camaro the engine has been tuned to an (estimated) 500HP and 470 ft-lbs of torque. To help bring all that power to a stop, a Brembo-produced carbon ceramic brake system is implemented.
To keep the Pirelli PZero tires stuck to the asphalt a full aerodynamic package is fitted to the new Z/28 which features an evil looking front lip spoiler, rear deck-lid spoiler and functional diffuser pieces on the rear bumper.
It all equates to something pretty damn awesome. I can’t wait to see the first road tests for this beast! For now click the thumbnails below for official pics. Below that is the press release including a full spec sheet.
NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced the restyled 2014 Camaro line at the New York Auto Show, including the return of the Z/28, the most iconic model in Camaro history.
The 2014 Camaro models feature a revised exterior design that integrates high-performance aerodynamics for more efficient cooling and stability at high speeds. The new Camaro Z/28 also features a full aerodynamics package that creates downforce at speed, which helps make it the most track-capable offering in Camaro’s history.
“As the ultimate track-capable Camaro, this car restores the mission of the original Z/28, and serves as a testament to the expertise of Chevrolet as the best-selling brand of performance cars,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “The build sheet is the wish list of any racer: lightweight, high-revving, dry-sump LS7 engine; carbon-ceramic brakes; integrated coolers for track use; true aerodynamic downforce, and a significant reduction in curb weight. This car could only come from Chevrolet, and could only be called the Z/28.”
The first Camaro Z/28 was introduced in 1967, created to compete in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class. It featured a smaller, lighter, 302-cubic-inch V-8 for improved weight balance, as well as quick-ratio steering and a heavy-duty suspension for track use. In keeping with its road-racing focus, the 1967 Camaro Z/28 was not available with an automatic transmission or air conditioning.
While the new Camaro Z/28 is not intended to compete in a specific race series, it is solely focused on track capability. In initial testing, the Camaro Z/28 is three seconds faster per lap than the Camaro ZL1. That extra speed comes from three areas:
Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.05 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions
Increased stopping power: the Z/28 features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel, lap after lap
Reduced curb weight: The naturally aspirated Z/28 weighs 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass
Like the original, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is offered only with a manual transmission. In a nod to modern convenience, air-conditioning is available, but only as an option.
“We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “While the Camaro ZL1 offers exceptional performance on the street, the drag strip, and the track, the Z/28 is entirely focused on the track performance. The Z/28 will be too track-focused for most drivers, but offers road-racers one of the most capable track cars ever offered from an automaker.”
The new 2014 Camaro line will arrive at Chevrolet dealers later in 2013. The Camaro Z/28 is expected to be appearing at track events across the United States in spring 2014.
High-performance aerodynamics highlight changes for 2014 Camaro
The 2014 Camaro represents the most significant redesign since the introduction of the fifth-generation Camaro as a concept car in 2006.
“The 2014 Camaro is our opportunity to apply what we have learned listening to our customers, and our continuing development of high-performance models,” said Tom Peters, Camaro exterior design director. “We look for solutions that are both functional and beautiful so that the result is genuine Chevrolet – simple, powerful, honest, and more than expected.”
Compared to the previous model, the design represents a strong visual change front and rear, resulting in a wider, lower, more contemporary appearance. The front fascia features a wider lower opening, and a narrower upper opening that also updates the appearance of the iconic “halo ring” HID headlamps on the Camaro RS package. The functional hood vent on the Camaro SS helps reduce heat and aerodynamic lift. Moving to the rear, the sculptural decklid, horizontal lamps and diffuser complete the powerful statement.
The Camaro Z/28 also features a full aerodynamic package designed to produce downforce at track speeds. At the front, the Z/28 features a large splitter, connected to an underbody panel that further reduces lift. In profile, the Z/28 features fender flares over the front and rear wheels, as well as extended rocker panels that contribute to aerodynamic stability. An aggressive rear spoiler and functional diffuser complete the aerodynamic package.
On the interior, the Camaro Z/28 features trim in a distinctive, matte-metallic finish named Octane, the ZL1 flat-bottomed steering wheel, and standard Recaro seats with microfiber suede inserts. The new seats (also available on the coupe versions of the SS and ZL1 models), feature aggressive bolsters for high-performance driving, as well as seat cutouts inspired by the five-point harnesses found on racing seats. To save weight, both front seats incorporate manual adjustment.
The rear seats of the Z/28 have also been modified for weight reduction. A total of nine pounds (four kilograms) was saved by eliminating the seat-back pass through, as well as using high-density foam in place of the rigid structure of the seat back and steel mesh of the seat bottom.
“Unlike the Ford Mustang Boss 302, we felt it was important to keep the 2+2 configuration of the Camaro Z/28 as Chevrolet already has a world-class two-seat sports car in the Corvette,” said Oppenheiser. “By modifying the construction of the rear seat, we were able to reduce the overall weight of the Z/28 while still preserving the flexibility of 2+2 seating.”
7.0L, LS7 the heart of the Camaro Z/28’s track-capable performance
Like the original, the new Camaro Z/28 forgoes ultimate horsepower and torque for improved weight balance and track performance.
In 1967, the most-powerful engine available in a factory Camaro was a 396 cid V-8 with 375 horsepower. To prepare the Camaro Z/28 for road racing, engineers specified a lighter, 302 cid V-8, officially rated at 290 horsepower. While the 302 was not the choice for drag racers, it proved ideal for sports-car racing.
Today, the most-powerful engine offered is the Camaro ZL1’s supercharged 6.2L LSA, which delivers 580 horsepower. The heart of the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the lighter, naturally aspirated 7.0L LS7 first introduced in the Corvette Z06.
“The LS7 is ideal for road racing because it delivers amazing performance in a compact, lightweight package,” said Jordan Lee, Small Block chief engineer and program manager. “The broad torque curve and high redline of the LS7 mean fewer shifts are required for each lap, while the lightweight design improves the front-to-rear weight balance for better handling.”
Co-developed with Corvette Racing, the hand-assembled 7.0L (427 cid) V-8 uses a number of high-performance components, including:
Titanium intake valves and connecting rods, and sodium-filled exhaust valves
CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads
Forged-steel crankshaft and main bearing caps
Hydroformed exhaust headers
11.0:1 compression ratio, and a 7,000 rpm redline.
10.5-quart, dry-sump oiling system
For the Camaro Z/28, the LS7 features unique induction and exhaust systems, and delivers at least 500 horsepower (373 kW) and 470 lb-ft of torque (637 Nm).
The racing-style, cold-air induction system and large K&N air filter provide maximum air flow.
The standard dual mode exhaust system and larger-diameter pipes enable improved air flow. By bypassing the mufflers during acceleration, the system increases both the torque and sound generated by the LS7 engine.
The Camaro Z/28 is exclusively offered with a Tremec TR6060 manual transmission. The six-speed features close-ratio gearing and 3.91:1 final drive ratio, both optimized for the power characteristics of the LS7.
Power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs. The new design enables the driver to apply more power and get through corners faster, by continuously adjusting the torque bias to maximize available traction.
The differential works in unison with Chevrolet’s proprietary Performance Traction Management system, which allows drivers to adjust the level of throttle and brake intervention to match their capability and driving environment.
Unlike some competitors’ “track package” offerings, the Camaro Z/28 makes standard all the cooling systems required for track use. This includes the dry-sump oiling system for the LS7, which is connected to an integral liquid-to-liquid cooling system for engine oil.
A second liquid-to-liquid system provides cooling for the transmission and differential. This system pumps overcooled transmission fluid to a heat exchanger in the rear differential before traveling to the transmission. This reduces differential temperatures as much as 100 degrees F.
Camaro Z/28 chassis delivers 1.05 g in cornering grip
The singular focus of the Camaro Z/28 is most evident in the chassis, where the most has been made of every component for track use, from the ultra-high performance tires to race-proven dampers.
“We used the very best components in the industry to deliver uncompromised performance, lap after lap,” said Mark Stielow, Camaro Z/28 engineering manager. “We made nearly 200 changes to improve the track performance, which cumulatively make the Z/28 capable of 1.05 g in cornering. For perspective, with all other things, equal increasing maximum grip from 1 to 1.05 g can cut up to four seconds per lap.”
The Camaro Z/28 is the one of the first production cars fitted with race-proven, spool-valve dampers. Compared to a conventional damper that offers only two-way tuning for bump and rebound, a spool-valve damper allows four-way adjustment to precisely tune both bump and rebound settings for high-speed and low-speed wheel motions. The wider tuning range allowed engineers to dramatically increase the damper stiffness on the Camaro Z/28 without a significant change in ride quality. Additional chassis changes include stiffer string rates and suspension bushings for improved cornering response.
The Camaro Z/28 features 19-inch diameter wheels and tires, which reduce unsprung weight by 42 pounds (19 kilograms) per car compared to the 20-inch wheels standard on Camaro SS and ZL1. In addition, the smaller diameter wheels lower the center of gravity by 33 millimeters, further improving handling.
At all four corners, the lightweight, forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in massive 305/30ZR19 tires. This is the first production application of ultra-high performance Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, and believed to be the widest front tire on any production car.
To fully exploit the grip of the Pirelli tires, the Camaro Z/28 also features Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix™ rotors and fixed, monoblock calipers. The large 394 x 36 mm front rotors are paired with six-piston calipers, while the 390 x 32 mm rear rotors are paired four-piston calipers. Compared to similar-size, two-piece steel rotors, the lightweight carbon discs save 28 pounds (12.5 kilograms) per car.
The combination of tire grip and braking power enable the Camaro Z/28 to achieve up to 1.5 g in deceleration. With standard front brake cooling ducts, the Z/28 is also capable of continuous track use unmatched brake feel, lap after lap.
“What makes the Z/28 so addictive is it inspires confidence through every section on the track,” said Stielow. “The incredible, balanced performance helps you carry much more speed through every corner: the brakes are so good you can adjust your braking points later and later; the grip and suspension damping allows you to carry more speed through the apex; and then the limited slip allows you to make the most of the LS7 as you power out of the corner.”
Extensive lightweighting saved 300 pounds over the Camaro ZL1
To optimize the track performance of the Camaro Z/28, the engineering team subjected it to an intensive lightweighting program, saving 100 pounds (45 kilograms) compared to the naturally aspirated Camaro SS and 300 pounds (136 kilograms) to the supercharged Camaro ZL1.
“We looked at every subsystem for opportunities to save weight,” said Oppenheiser. “Our goal was to get rid of everything that didn’t make the car faster, and keep only what was required by law. For example, we wanted to eliminate the audio system completely, but we had to keep a single speaker for the seat-belt chime to meet safety requirements.”
Other examples of weight savings include:
Eliminated the tire-inflator kit, except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where it is required by law
Removed interior sound deadener, and carpeting from the trunk
Replaced the standard LN4 battery with a smaller, lightweight, LN3 battery
Specified thinner, 3.2-mm glass for the rear window, compared to 3.5-mm glass on the standard Camaro
HID headlamps and foglights are not available
Air conditioning is only available as a stand-alone option
“The team was so fanatical about saving weight, we even stripped the unused wiring out of the harness when we eliminated the fog lights, speakers, and air conditioning,” said Oppenheiser. “Every ounce saved contributed to making this the most track-capable Camaro we have ever built, and a worthy successor to the Z/28 name.”
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Preliminary Specifications
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Body styles / driveline:
Four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive coupe
Unitized body frame, one- and two-sided galvanized steel
One of the biggest shake ups of the Formula Drift off-season was that Vaughn Gittin Jr. would be leaving Falken Tire (the only pro-team he had ever known prior) to join Forces with Nitto Tire for the 2013 Formula Drift season. The “why” and “what for” are kind of irrelevant at this point but the one thing that everyone clung onto in this news was what his new Falken-less livery would look like. Today we got our answer with a slew of pics from Vaughn and a press release detailing his new 2013 program.
The biggest news in the release is that now Vaughn is officially driving for himself! Yes, Mr. Gittin is running the show with Nitto acting as a major sponsor and tire backer rather than team owner and ASD acting as the official build and support team for Vaughn’s RTR Ford Mustang drift car. As you can see in the picture Monster Energy remains on board for 2013 as well.
To keep his sponsors visible Vaughn Gittin Jr. is taking on a monster (no pun inten-oh what the hell sure lets pun it up!) schedule which, beyond the full 2013 Formula Drift season, includes several events in China, and even drift demos on military bases! With all the traveling, competition, and Vaughn taking on both driver and team owner duties, 2013 is going to be a busy year!
For all the pics of the new livery click the thumbnails below. You can also see the new car in action in the official reveal video and check out Vaughn’s 2013 schedule and the detailed specs of the Monster Energy/Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR
BALTIMORE, Md. (March 26, 2013) – Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is excited to announce the formation of the RTR Drift Team, their tentative 2013 worldwide schedule, and the reveal of his Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR livery. This year marks the beginning of a new era for Vaughn coming into his tenth season of professional drifting with the formation of the RTR Drift Team. He is focused on his duties as RTR Team owner and driver, and is also taking full advantage of the freedoms that come along with being a team owner – as portrayed by his unique new livery. Check out the official VIDEO revealing the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR.
“I’m really pumped on this years’ livery and overall aesthetics surrounding our efforts,” says Vaughn. “For the first time in my career, I have been able to start from a clean slate and get a bit crazy with the look of my car that I will be using for battle. Being that the Mustang is my weapon of choice out there on the track, the base of the livery was inspired from old battle ships that were covered with ‘dazzle camo’. From there, we added my XX5 (#25) logo and flag elements, along with some of my favorite colors and a little rock n’ roll to get a livery that I feel really portrays me. I look forward to giving it some real battle scars!”
Vaughn will be piloting a brand new 2014 Ford Mustang RTR built by Autosport Dynamics and will make its first competition debut at Formula Drift Round 1 in Long Beach, California April 12-13. Having worked side by side with Vaughn since 2007, ASD will supply their valued support yet again for the 2013 season. Combining the superior knowledge and car building skills of the ASD crew, with the proven driving ability and aggressiveness behind the wheel of 2010 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., there is no doubt that the RTR Drift Team will be a serious force on the track. Check out the DETAILED SPECS of the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR.
“I couldn’t be happier to continue working with the team at ASD,” says Vaughn. “We have had great success over the past 5 years together and the word ‘team’ as I know it has been redefined around our new focused effort. ”
While Vaughn’s number one priority is to chase down the Formula Drift Championship, he will also be taking his global efforts to the next level in 2013. Vaughn will once again head to China to compete in the World Drift Series, as well as participate in select competition and demonstration events in Europe. Just as years past, Vaughn will continue to perform at select demo and experiential events in the USA. Thanks to Monster Energy and Ford Motor Company, this year he will be heading to select military bases surrounding the Formula Drift Championship on Sundays after competition, to provide demos and ride-alongs for some of America’s finest men and women. See the 2013 TENTATIVE SCHEDULE.
“It is really crazy for me to look at my schedule for this year and realize all of the awesome that is about to go down all over the world behind the wheel of some badass Ford Mustangs,” adds Vaughn. “While I am pumped on all of the events we have chosen to participate in this year, I am especially excited about the opportunity to go visit some military bases and put smiles on the men and women’s faces that make me living my dream possible!”
Monster Energy/Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Specs:
MONSTER ENERGY NITTO TIRE 2014 FORD MUSTANG RTR
Roush Yates Racing Engines/Ford Racing Aluminum V8 (845HP)
Weight – 2900 LBS
4 Speed Dog Box Transmission
MoTeC M84 Engine Management and Dash Display/Logger (CDL-3)
When I went to Cars & Coffee last weekend I feasted my eyes on a wonderful mix of high end exotic cars and pristine classics. There was also a mix of tuner cars and a healthy helping of modern muscle. Just when I felt like I had seen everything and began to make my way out, I was stopped in my tracks by a machine that was more unique than any other car there (counting the Bugatti Veyron).
The first thing I noticed was a huge turbo charger adorned in a belt of bullets wrapped around its rusted turbine housing. Further inspection found a vintage beer can used as a radiator overflow tank and my personal favorite: a hand made of bolts flipping the bird as the hood ornament!
The cab seems to be from a Diamond T, a classic heavy duty truck built back in the early 50′s but the engine upfront is a modern Dodge turbo-diesel. The back featured a truck bed made up of what looked to be gothic style wrought iron gating. The only item taking up any space in the back being a large race style fuel tank.
Taking a close look at the exhaust stack I found another awesome detail: a spark plug headed creature made up of bike chains and screws. It was awesome! Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to talk with the owner to learn the story behind this creation. But! You can bet that if I see this truck again I will get the scoop on it! For now, click on the thumbnails for pics I shot before the awesome monster took off.
St. Patricks day weekend was cause for celebration for many people all over the country but it was also a big weekend for motorsport freaks like us. In addition to Sebring the past weekend also saw the return of Formula One. I decided to kick the weekend off by paying a visit to one of my favorite meets: Cars & Coffee in Irvine.
It was the first time I had been to the meet since the start of the year so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see an even more eclectic mix of cars than I was used to. There was everything from million-dollar exotics to a few rare classics. I even saw a crazy turbo-diesel zombie apocalypse truck! (more on that in a later post).
However, I would have to say the meet’s biggest attention getter was a genuine Bugatti Veyron brought by Symbolic Motor Cars of San Diego. As jaded as I am these days even I am still impressed with a Veyron sighting. I have only been in the presence of Bugatti’s hyper-car four times and only two of which (counting the weekend) were “wild” sightings.
All in all it was a great trip. If you haven’t been to Cars & Coffee I would highly recommend checking it out. If you’re saying to yourself: “Hey jerk, I don’t live in Southern California!” I would say “don’t interrupt me while I’m talking!” See, the cool thing about Cars & Coffee is that it is something of an organization now so there are meets in several places all across America; even in Europe! Just head to CarsAndCoffeeOnline.com to find the closest meet to you.
Super Bowl ads cost a lot of money. That is part of the reason why everyone makes such a big deal about them. Its no secret that it cost millions of dollars for each 30 seconds of commercial air time. Not to mention the cost of actually producing the commercial in the first place. Yet, despite all the planning and all the money spent, some brands still find ways to blow it big time! Here are the three worse car commercials of this year’s Hype Bowl.
Bad: “Phoenix” By Lincoln (47,491 YouTube views)
As of late, Lincoln has been working really hard to change their image. They have been trying really hard to shake the “grandpa car” stigma that has followed them like the odor of dime store ointment for the last few years. When it comes to their products they are actually succeeding in that respect. Their new cars are much sportier and look cooler than models of years past. However when it comes to their brand message and execution, they are still having some trouble. In their “Phoenix” Super Bowl spot they were trying to be cool and mysterious but just ended up with something that was weird and boring. Kind of like a bad episode of Twin Peaks. The fact that this ad has less than 50,000 views on YouTube despite being released before the Super Bowl confirms that most of you out there not only agree with me but did not even think ad was worth a second online view after seeing it on TV.
Worse: “Wolf” by Cars.com (63,259 YouTube views)
Have you ever had a really drunk person try to tell you a joke but they tell it all wrong? Ok, well imagine that but with a joke that wouldn’t be funny even if it was told the right away and you pretty much have what happened here with Cars.com They were trying to go for a laugh but the humor was a little too deliberate and they just didn’t stick the landing either. I would give them an A for effort but, well what difference would it make? I would throw in Football pun about losing here but like this ad, I am just too lazy to do it the right way.
Dear God Why?!: “Perfect Match” AKA “#TheKiss” by GoDaddy.com (24,943 YouTube views)
Ok if you did not see this yesterday you need to watch it now! That is how bad this is! It is so bad that I actually need you to watch it to truly know its failure! The only word I can really think to describe this is “Awkwaaaaaaaard!”
There you have it. Three whack commercials. For you college kids out there, if you are an advertising or marketing major please look at these ads and take notes! This is what NOT to do! You’re welcome kids! Remember: “Knowing is half the battle!”
It is once again time for our annual tradition of over analyzing the automotive ads that are aired during the unofficial American holiday known as “Super Bowl Sunday”. Again I will give you my top 3 picks as well as my bottom three and you can choose to agree or disagree with me in the comments below. You may note one small modification from last year. I have officially changed the name from the “Ad Bowl” to the “Hype Bowl” just to make it a little more personal and also to avoid any confusion as “Ad Bowl” is actually used quite often! I have also decided to go with regular numerical rankings so its more clear which ad I liked the best. Anyhow, lets get into it shall we? Below are my picks for the best three car ads from this year’s Super Bowl.
#3 “Prom” AKA “#BraveryWins” by Audi (7,321,366 YouTube views)
Last year Audi took a shot at the Twi-heads with their “Vampires” commercial. This year they went a different route and instead of lampooning a sect of teen culture they celebrated a huge part of it by making “Prom”. In this spot a young guy is pretty bummed out that he will be heading to his prom solo. To help lift his spirits, his father lets his son take is brand new Audi S6 to the high school shindig. His confidence is boosted so much by the German hot rod that the lad feels the courage to go after what he wants. Watch the commercial to see what I mean. I like this spot because in a way it brings to life the confidence we all wish we had back in our high school days. The commercial’s heavy inspiration from John Hughes (“Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles”) combined with a lack of cheesiness puts this spot solidly in the third place spot.
Audi’s commercial showed the audience what prom may have been like with a bit more confidence. In Hyundai’s “Team” commercial the audience is taken even further back in their early years to imagine what could have been if we had some of the toughest friends on the planet to help us deal with bullies. In this spot a young kid has his football taken away from him by a group of bullies at the park. When he demands his ball back one of the hooligans challenges him to come back when he “has a team”. The wronged boy immediately gets to work assembling a team of middle school friends who probably have more bad-assery than the Avengers and the Justice League combined!
#1 “Farmers” By RAM Trucks (329,250 YouTube views)
Once again the Chrysler group has taken the number one spot in the Hype Bowl. Last year they pulled it off with Clint Eastwood in the “Halftime in America” bit in which they put together a message to help up lift not only Detroit but all of America. This year to help give some strong identity to the RAM brand the group produced this spot simply called “Farmers”. In this commercial we hear a recording of Paul Harvey’s “Farmers” poem over a slide show of, well farmers, as well as their “offices” which happen to be the heartlands of America. Despite its simplicity, this commercial was so eloquently done that even though I was in a room full of raucous football fans everyone, and I mean everyone fell silent while the spot ran. This commercial makes an attempt to remind the American public about the proud yet humble people who helped to build this country and also continue to keep it going through hard, honest, and necessary work. The people at RAM were also very careful to not step on their own feet with an overdose of branding. In fact you only see an image of an actual RAM truck twice in the entire spot. Despite having the fewest amount of views and being the longest commercial (just over two minutes) out of the top three, RAM’s “Farmers” ad is clearly the winner in my book. Congrats to Chrysler and RAM for earning the top spot and reminding all of us of the people out there who help to make our country great!
Honorable Mention: Fast And Furious 6 trailer (1,377,109 YouTube views)
I will be the first to admit that I winced along with the rest of the purists when I found out that yet another Fast and Furious movie would be making its way to theaters. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the last film but I felt like they could not really top themselves after that and anything else would just be a step down. Then, I saw this trailer! There are awesome cars everywhere and everything explodes! Not in the cheesy way either but in the freakin’ awesome way! Also, instead of the usual “against the law” storyline, this time “Dom” and his crew are asked to aid law enforcement to help them nab a group of “precision driving” outlaws that might be worse than them. Sounds interesting right? If not, who cares!? EVERYTHING BLOWS UP IN MUSHROOM CLOUDS OF AWESOMENESS! I am definitely getting a ticket to this flick.
Well, there you have it! Three great car ads and one awesome car-related-ish ad. If you have a pick that you think should have been in the top three then speak up! Let me know in the comments and let the debate commence!
Tyler McQuarrie is not just a Formula Drift driver, he is also the owner of his team. When you own a motorsport team you pretty much get to do whatever the heck you want. In this case Tyler decided he wanted to let his friend Indy Car driver (and fellow GoPro athelete) J.R. Hildebrand take a few laps in his snarling beast of a Camaro. How does J.R. do? Could this be a new career path for the young open wheel driver? Probably not. But the driver does know how to go sideways. You can watch it all for yourself in the video below. Fun fact: all the footage you will see was shot with GoPro HERO3′s
Even though the Detroit Autoshow officially starts today, things really kicked off yesterday night when General Motors finally debuted the 2014 Corvette to the world. Chances are, you are reading this because you don’t want to read a long article by one of my colleagues so in the interest of your time I present to you a quick list bullet pointing all the awesome aspects of the new ‘Vette. I have also embedded the official debut video below the bullet points. The video is almost 20 minutes long so if there is anything I missed it will most certainly be in the flick. If you just want eye candy then scroll to the bottom for glorious pictures! Now, without further adieu, here are the 2014 Corvette’s bad-ass bullet points:
-The 2014 base Corvette will be known as the “Stingray”
-The 2014 Corvette will have a small block 6.2 liter LT1 V8 engine that makes 450HP and 450 ft-lbs of torque.
-There will be a “Z51″ performance package that will include: an electronic differential, dry-sump oil system, cooling for the brakes, transmission, and differential, aero package, and magnetic ride control.
-The Stingray will have 18 x 8.5 inch wheels in the front and 19 x 10 inch wheels in the back. The Z51 package will have 19 x 8.5 inch wheels in the front and 20 x 10 inch wheels in the back. Both the Stingray and Z51 trims will come with Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat tires.
-The C7 Corvette will go from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds.
-A carbon fiber hood and removable hood will be standard. The doors, fenders, and quarter panels will be composite.
-The interior will finally feature real carbon fiber and aluminum!
-There will be a full “info-tainment” suite featuring Chevrolet “MyLink”, OnStar, and 3D navigation all on an 8 inch LCD display. There will also be a 10 speaker premium audio system available with bass box and two subwoofers. Media can be expanded via USB port or SD card slot. There is also an audio jack for pluging in external audio devices (MP3 player, smart phone, etc).
-There are two seat choices, both seats will feature magnesium frames.
-A seven-speed manual transmission will be available and will include “Active Rev Matching” which will anticipate gear selection and will match engine speed automatically.
-Its new aluminum frame is 99lbs lighter than the C6 frame.
-There will be five ”Driver Modes” available (Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Track). Modes can be accessed via the “Driver Mode Selector” in the cockpit and each driver mode features its own unique information cluster which will display in the 8 inch digital gauge cluster screen.
-The 2014 Corvette Stingray will be available at dealers in the “third quarter of 2013″
Ahh, ok I think that about covers all the major stuff. Anything that I have missed will be in the video below or you can read all about it on the official 2014 Corvette Stingray website. Before you ask, I realize there is no bullet point on the MSRP. The reason for that is because no MSRP has been announced yet. However, considering what GM is prepared to give you and what the current C6 goes for now, I would expect the MSRP to start around the $45-55k region.
Needless to say, no matter what the cost I am sure there are plenty of people out there who are already bothering their local dealers trying to figure out how they can throw down their cash for a spot on the reserve list. I can only hope I will some how get the opportunity to get in on a media drive! In the meantime check out the official debut video below as well as a few pictures!
Welcome to the first big news bit of the year! What was just a “rumor” a little more than a month ago is confirmed news today. Vaughn Gittin Jr. has officially parted ways with Falken Tire and will run Nitto Tires this season and he is bringing ASD and Monster Energy with him. This is pretty big news for the drift set. Vaughn Gittin Jr. is hands down the most marketable driver in all of drifting and has had the most marketing success. Gittin made regular appearances representing both Ford and Falken Tire all over the world, was featured in national Ford advertising campaigns that included network tv advertising, movie theater advertising, and an elaborate online campaigns.
His partnership with Ford even allowed him to create his own branded Mustang dealer performance kit called the “RTR” (Ready To Rock) which has been selling well and is looking to expand even more in the future.
So why would Falken Tire allow someone with so much market potential to walk away? Well, that is pretty much impossible to answer unless you are Vaughn Gittin Jr himself or on the inside of Falken Tire. Although, some have speculated that it may have something to do with the fact that ASD (Autosports Dynamics) the shop that has built pretty much all of Vaughn’s highly competitive cars, announced they were parting ways with Falken towards the end of last season. It is possible that Vaughn didn’t want to deal with the growing pains of a new mechanic crew who would likely be unfamiliar with the Mustang platform. Again, this is just speculation on my part.
Whatever the case, this move has a lot of possible implications for both Falken and Nitto. Without Gittin on the payroll will Falken use the extra dollars to back a fresh face? Or, on the other side of that coin, with Ford and Monster Energy moving their money away from Falken, will that mean they will have to cut corners for their remaining drivers? Then there is the question of what Nitto Tire will do. Will they pull backing from smaller teams like Matt Powers and Burgenholtz racing to help fund an all-in effort for Vaughn Gittin?
Time will tell! For the official word from Vaughn check out his press release below.
BALTIMORE, Md. (January 8, 2013) – Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is excited to announce that he has joined forces with Nitto Tire. Fueled by passion and innovation, Nitto Tire is a perfect match for Vaughn and his always forward-thinking team. Vaughn, who is undeniably one of drifting’s most iconic drivers, will represent Nitto Tire and showcase their max-performance tire’s superior performance and capability through competing in the Formula Drift Championship and China’s WDS Series. He will also be performing exhibitions and experiential events all over the world, where many will have the opportunity to ride shotgun in his Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR.
From Vaughn: “I am pumped to be working with Nitto Tire! As I enter this new chapter of my career, it feels great to be aligned with a brand that is committed to winning and progression, just as I am. I have always been focused on working just as hard off the track as I do on it, and Nitto’s innovative marketing efforts and awesome tires will compliment that well. It is very clear that our overall passion and future goals align perfectly, and I could not be happier with what the future has to offer surrounding this partnership.”
In 2013 Vaughn will continue to be supported by the Autosport Dynamics (ASD) crew – the team behind his 2007 World Championship, 2010 Formula Drift Championship, and 2011 WDS Championship. During the off-season, Vaughn and ASD have thoroughly tested the Nitto NT05 max-performance tire and they are very confident in the competitive edge they will have entering the 2013 season.
Harry Kong, Marketing & Social Media Strategist for Nitto Tire: “Vaughn has proven himself to be an incredible driver and Champion, and Nitto Tire is looking forward to partnering with him for the upcoming 2013 drifting season. The Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR running NT05 tires should be an exciting combination.”
“Through testing, we found the Nitto NT05 offers a high level of consistent grip through all temperature ranges, and that the high quality construction of the tire allows it to handle excessive abuse – both qualities of which are crucial for drifting,” said Vaughn.
Vaughn’s first public event drifting on Nitto’s NT05’s will be January 24-27 at the St. Louis Auto Show where he will be performing demos and hanging out with his fans. Find out how you can win a ride-along by visiting Saintlouisautoshow.com
Stay tuned for more details about the 2013 season, as well as the upcoming release of the fresh look of Vaughn’s brand new Monster Energy Nitto Tire Mustang RTR! For more information, please visit VaughnGittin.com or Facebook.com/OfficialVaughnGittinJr
ABOUT VAUGHN GITTIN JR.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. has become one of drifting’s most iconic figures and his machine, the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Tire Ford Racing Mustang, one of the sport’s most identifiable cars. Vaughn is known best by his aggressive, foot to the floor, big smoke driving style. Being such a fierce competitor, Vaughn is known as the only American to win a D1 Grand Prix event, not once – but twice. In 2005 Vaughn stunned the world when he won the D1GP USA vs. Japan. In 2007, he brought America the gold once more by winning the D1GP World Championship.
In 2010, Vaughn earned his first Formula Drift Championship, becoming the second-ever Champion with a strictly-drifting background. In 2011, Vaughn competed in China’s premier drift series, WDS, and took home the Championship. In 2012, Vaughn was shy just one spot of the Championship, taking second place overall. He has achieved five wins and multiple podiums throughout his Formula Drift career.
ABOUT NITTO TIRE:
Nitto Tire develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in both Japan and the United States – Nitto provides innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding automotive enthusiasts. For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company’s web site or contact the company directly. Nitto is a registered trademark of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., located at 5665 Plaza Drive, Ste. 250, Cypress, Calif., 90630.