Hype: Brembo Producing CCM-R Carbon Ceramic Brake Dics And Pads For Nissan GT-R

Posted on 01.30.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


When it comes to brakes, its hard to get better than Brembo.  The Italian company has produced top notch stoppers for decades and can be found on everything from purpose built race cars to high performance road cars.   They also produce some of the best carbon ceramic brakes in the world and have provided said brakes for motorsport applications such as Formula 1 and Indy Car.  Their line of CCM and CCM-R carbon ceramic brakes have been the staple of road and race cars for a while and now the Brembo CCM-R carbon ceramic brake discs and pads will be available as original equipment for the Nissan GT-R.  The brake discs (pictured above) will save 25lbs on the GT-R’s front axle and 31lbs in the rear.  Granted, they likely won’t be a cheap option but for this kind of stopping power and over 50lbs of saved weight its probably well worth the extra coin.

brembo_nissan-gt-r_ccm-r_comp RIT

[Source: Brembo]

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12 Days Of Hype: A GoPro Makes A Perfect Accessory For The Track Day Junkie

Posted on 12.22.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


What is cooler than punishing tires all day at the local track or autocross event?  Having video documentation of it!  Although back in the day such a thing was tricky.  Recording footage at the track required really expensive mounts and head-scratching trying to find a place to put said mount.  However, in the age of the GoPro those problems are in the past.  A GoPro can be mounted just about anywhere and are relatively inexpensive compared to the options of the past.  If you have a regular track day visitor in your life and he/she does not already have a GoPro camera then I would highly recommend getting them one as a gift!  While the newest HERO4 Black model is pictured, GoPro actually has several models available that range in price from as little as $120 all the way up to $500 (for the aforementioned HERO4 black model).  Just pick the model that best suits your budget and its intended purpose.  Don’t forget to pick up some of the motorsports related accessories as well like the suction cup mount ($39.99) and the roll bar mount ($29.99).

As a bonus GoPros aren’t just for motorsports stuff there are mounts that will allow for filming of just about any kind of sports activity or other things depending on how creative the user is.  Its really hard to go wrong with this as a gift!  I wish I had one!  For more info hit the source link below.

[Source: GoPro.com]

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12 Days Of Hype: Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set Is A DIY Mechanic’s Dream

Posted on 12.20.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


When I can I like to do my own wrenching and I am sure there are plenty of men and women out there who do the same.  However, one of my biggest frustrations is being in the middle of a job and then realizing I don’t have the tool I need to finish the job.  Then I have to stop what I am doing and head out to the local shop to go get it.  It sucks!  Although, with this 263 piece mechanics tool set, the possibility of that happening again is very slim!  If you have a DIY mechanic in your life they would definitely love this set from Craftsman.  It has almost everything that is most commonly needed in your average mechanic job.  It comes with 150 sockets, a spark plug socket, 10 inch ignition wrenches, a magnetic holder, 12 of those cool “ratcheting wrenches”, and a ton of other stuff.  It can be had for about $180 bucks at Sears right now.  To order just hit the source link at the bottom.

[Source: Sears.com]

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Hype: Cosworth To Start Creating “Power Packages” With FA-20 AKA GT86/BRZ/FR-S Platform Coming First

Posted on 05.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


When modding a car for performance careful consideration has to be paid to the type of parts used and how well they will work together on a particular platform.  Depending on the kind of person you are this process can be part of the fun or it can be incredibly stressful.  One way that makes things a bit easier is when tuning shops/outlets offer “packages” that combine a group of commonly related parts together.  However, sometimes these packages are designed more with a “lets get rid of old stock” mindset rather than putting something together that is best for your car.  That’s why when checking out packages its a good idea to check out the reputation of those who are putting them together.

Having said that I think its a safe bet that any package put together by Cosworth is likely a safe bet!  Cosworth have been building race cars for decades and have made a significant mark on the street car market as well and they recently announced that they will be creating “power packages” to make things a little easier for builders.  They have also announced that the first application for their new power packages will be the FA-20 AKA the engine found in the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.  This is a pretty good place to start considering the popularity of the program combined with most owners hungry for a quality performance solution to their mysterious FA20 engines.

Cosworth has not announced when these packages will be available or what they will consist of but they do promise “guaranteed levels of power and reliability.”  I would be at least a little skeptical of any other company making that kind of claim, but from Cosworth I am inclined to believe they will deliver on their promise.

[Source: Cosworth]

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Hype: Kraftwerks Releases New Supercharger Kit For NC Mazda MX-5

Posted on 03.25.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Mazda MX-5’s easily rank among the most fun cars to drive.  Their short wheelbase, suspension set up, and modest power all make up a perfect storm of driving pleasure.  Granted not everyone is won over by its cutesy looks but few can deny the mighty Miata is a formidable road car.  So, naturally people like us want to screw with that and make it faster and crazy.  This is where power adders come in.  Before it was popular to turbocharge Miatas, this was mostly because turbo kits were pretty damn cheap.  The only problem is that the kits were typically meant for the older model MX-5s.  Fortunately, Kraftwerks (a division of Skunk2) has released a new supercharger kit for the ’06-’13 MX-5 (“NC” chassis code).

The Kraftwerks supercharger kit will set you back about $5k but for good reason.  This kit provides more power than the old turbo kits did (will add 110hp to the wheels on 91 octane) and is safer for the engine than going the turbocharged route.  The engineers at Kraftwerks also took care to make sure that the kit bolts on as efficiently as possible.  Which means they made sure to take advantage of existing space so that there are no clearance issues and that the kit will not get in the way of any vital systems.  It also comes with everything you need to make it work at its best: fuel pump, bigger injectors, optional ECU tuning, and an intercooler with all the necessary piping.

There were 30 pre-orders available but it looks like those have sold out so if you want one of these kits you will probably have to wait a while but I think it would be well worth it!

[Source: Kraftwerks ]

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Hype Video: N.O.B. Taniguchi Tackles Togue In HKS Supercharged S2000 Built By Arvou

Posted on 12.11.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Its been a long time since I’ve watched a good togue video.  I remember back when I used to live off those things!  If you’re like me and enjoy a good togue flick then I invite you to scroll down and watch Nobuteru “N.O.B.” Taniguchi flog the Arvou-built Honda S2000 on the Gunsai togue course.  I also highly recommend turning up the volume while watching this video because Arvou’s S2000 is equipped with HKS’ new GT Supercharger kit and it sounds amazing!

The supercharger set up makes a significant amount of power (310hp at the wheels and 212ft-lbs of torque at 10 psi) and was designed to be reliable and safe for daily driving as well as track days.  If you have an S2000 (AP1 or AP2) and want some boost in your life, this is a great way to go.  You can get the kit now for about $4,500 not counting a few extras you may need (ECU tune, compact battery, etc.).  Out the door with all additional bits (assuming you don’t have them already) the price goes up to a little over $5,700 if you have an AP2.  AP1’s should expect to pay over $6,000.  While it does sound pricy, you do get a lot and if the video below is any indication, it seems to be well worth it!

[Source: Evasive Motorsports]

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Suspension Hype: APEXi N1 ExV Dampers For Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ

Posted on 08.28.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Back in the day if someone was rocking an APEXi suspension they were officially the “cool kid”.  Today one can still earn “cool kid” status while vastly improving their car’s handling capabilities.  Right now the current hotness is the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ and APEXi has recently released their N1 ExV “dampers” for the new coupe cousins.  The N1 ExV’s are 32-way adjustable, have a “quick adjuster”, and has a pillow upper mount with camber adjustments.  Users will get all those features and functions for about $1350 which is a pretty decent price for a full set of coilovers.  Not to mention they come in the cool signature APEXi red!  If you want a set hit up your local APEXi dealer.

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Hype Video: Brembo Shows How They Stop LaFerrari With New Extrema Calipers

Posted on 03.12.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Just seven days ago the world was introduced to what could possibly be the fastest prancing horse ever built AKA “LaFerrari”.  With a car that is so powerful and so light, superhuman brakes are would be needed to stop it.  Naturally, Ferrari turned to Brembo to come up with such a solution; the result of which are the new “Extrema” calipers.

The Extrema calipers are possibly the lightest, most efficient calipers Brembo has ever produced for a production car.  They are monoblock aluminum and feature several channels and vents for the best airflow possible to control temperatures.  The Extrema are also the first Brembo calipers to have an electronic parking brake integrated into the unit.

Besides the increased performance, Brembo also wanted to make sure their new calipers looked good when they are bringing hypercars to a halt so in addition to blessing them with a very pleasing shape, they will offer Extrema calipers in 9 different colors!

If you want to see how all the tech and style come together, watch the video from Brembo below featuring a 3D wireframe of LaFerrari as well as a few pictures.


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Suspension Hype: KW Releases Clubsport Coilovers For Scion FR-S & Subaru BRZ

Posted on 02.27.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The suspension wizards at KW Automotive have used their magical staff to bless the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ with a brand new “Clubsport” coilover system.  The cool thing about “clubsport” setups is that they are made especially for those who daily their car during the week and hit the track on the weekends.

The Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ Clubsport coilovers allow for a 20mm-50mm drop (or .7 in to 1.9 in) in the front and the rear as well as having adjustability for rebound and compression dampening.  KW claims that no matter how you adjust your ride height you will still have enough suspension travel to handle maximum loads and dynamic loads while driving.  In other words you won’t have to worry about bottoming out with these bad boys.

The MSRP on these coilovers is set at $3759.99 which is defnitely pricy but you pay for quality!  Hit up KWAutomotive.com or your local race shop if you want to order a set.


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Official Hype: TRD Supercharger Coming For Scion FR-S

Posted on 02.22.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

It has been rumored since before the FR-S’ release but it was recently made official that TRD is in fact working on a Supercharger for the Scion FR-S, thus continuing its tradition of boosting Scion coupes that started with the tC.  Right now the FR-S supercharger is in the test phase as the first and only prototype unit has been sent to Ken Stout Racing.  The racing outfit will bolt the supercharger on to their Scion FR-S race car which will compete in the full 2013 season of the Pirelli World Challenge series in the GTS class.

TRD will gather data from the season to make nessasary tweaks and adjustments when producing the final product which I imagine will be sold through Scion and Toyota dealerships. 

This is great news but it also begs a few questions.  The first is: “What is with the supercharging?”  Almost all the FR-S SEMA cars featured a supercharger rather than a turbocharger.  Why is this?  The FR-S does feature a Subaru developed boxer engine and we all know how much those engines love turbochargers.  So, why is the aftermarket favoring a belt driven solution for the FR-S?  I don’t know the true answer but if I had to make a guess I would say perhaps it is easier to make a supercharger street legal than a turbocharger?  SMOG compliance is a big deal these days (especially in California) and its hard to enjoy a power adder if you are constantly worrying about the cops.

The other question is that with so many companies opting for the supercharger route, will anyone develop a turbo charger system? Greddy I am looking at you for an answer to this!

Finally, will Subaru go the same way?  Many are anticipating that an STi version of the BRZ will come soon.  Will Subaru abandon their tried and true turbo system for a supercharger? Or will they stick with what they know and bolt a turbo snail onto the BRZ?

Right now the FR-S has a significant lead over the BRZ when it comes to sales but if there is a factory turbo’d BRZ on the horizon then I predict the tide changing very soon.

For more on Ken Stout Racing’s TRD Supercharger test check out the press release below.

Press Release:

TRD Supercharger Built for Ken Stout Racing’s Scion FR-S

Brownsburg, IN (February 21, 2013). Ken Stout Racing Inc. (KSR) today announced receipt of the highly anticipated, newly developed TRD supercharger for their Scion FR-S racecar. While most of us last week were receiving chocolates and cards for Valentine’s Day, KSR received the best gift ever in the form of the first-ever TRD supercharger built specifically for the FR-S. KSR will race the FR-S in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class in 2013 with Robert Stout, the 2010 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Champion, behind the wheel.

At the SEMA Show and the unveiling of their FR-S, KSR teased the industry with news that a supercharger was going to be developed for the car – the go ahead to develop the supercharger was given at the SEMA Show. The TRD team, in collaboration with their business partner Magnuson Products LLC, developed and built the supercharger for the car in an impressive 15 weeks. CAD data was quickly developed after SEMA and a focused group of the best engineers in the world went to work delivering the completed supercharger to KSR on February 14th.

“The concept for this unit was just a thought in somebody’s mind at the SEMA show,” said KSR Team Principal Ken Stout. “It went from a thought, to CAD data, to the real thing in about 15 weeks! They also delivered it three days before their predicted deadline, very impressive indeed. We are honored to be the flagship team for TRD in the development of their supercharger.”

“This has been a collaboration of great minds with years of experience using the most sophisticated tooling in the industry,” added Stout. “Thank you to Brent Craig of TRD for allowing this project to take place and Steve Hatanaka of Scion for his instrumental part of the equation as well.”

The development of the FR-S platform is a massive project to say the least and KSR has received significant support from over 25 companies to date.

“This has been a wonderful experience to see everybody pull together,” said Stout. “World-class companies are developing race quality parts for every aspect of this car that we will put to the test and racers from around the world will use. What an exciting time for all of us! The guys are already working on the next one, but as of now this is the only TRD supercharger built for the Scion FR-S in the world. To watch the complexity of this project take place so quickly is extraordinary. Now it’s time to put it to work!”

“New product development is always exciting,” said Ted Moncure, P.E. TRD, F-Sport and Functional Accessory Design Engineering Manager.

Toyota Motor Sales USA Ken Nunn, Technical Director for Magnuson Products along with Ted Moncure also added “Coupling the latest Eaton TVS rotor technology with a dual intercooler system significantly increases boost while keeping inlet air temperatures low, improving both power and efficiency throughout the rev range. We are all very excited to see this project develop and are eager to see the results of our efforts.”

KSR’s FR-S will feature the FA-20 boxer power plant paired with the newly developed TRD supercharger to boost horsepower to competitive levels for the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class. KSR with their TRD Supercharged Scion FR-S will compete against Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs, Acura TSXs and Porsche Cayman in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class.

Organized under the leadership of Ken Stout, award -winning motorsports commentator and automotive enthusiast, KSR has competed for seven years in various levels of motorsports and will make its sports car racing pro level debut in 2013 in Pirelli World Challenge. Since 2011, Robert Stout has been competing in GT, GS and ST classes in Grand Am. During his first year in Grand Am, Stout led numerous races and qualified as high as 2nd while earning five top 10’s and one top five in 10 GS races.

In 2013, Stout will return to Pirelli World Challenge where he had a stellar 2010 season piloting a Scion tC in Touring Car. Stout took home the Drivers’ Championship, Rookie of the Year and Sunoco Hard Charger Awards in his rookie season in Pirelli World Challenge on the strength of five wins, nine podium finishes, 11 top five results in 12 starts and one pole. Stout’s performance also led Scion to their first ever Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship beating out Honda, Mazda and VW for the title. Stout became the youngest winner and Champion in World Challenge history at 18 years old, as well as winning the most prestigious street race in the US, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

About Ken Stout Racing (KSR) Inc.: Ken Stout Racing, based out of Brownsburg, IN, is a factory-supported partnership with Scion/TRD. Led by Ken Stout, award-winning motorsports commentator and automotive enthusiast, the team will debut the Scion FR-S in sports car racing in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class in 2013. Former 2010 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Drivers’ Champion Robert Stout will pilot the car.

Ken Stout Racing acknowledges its tremendous partners:
About Scion: Scion, from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., was developed with a new generation of youthful buyers in mind. Scion’s mission is to provide distinctive products, the opportunity to personalize, and an innovative, consumer-driven process at the retail level. The brand features five groundbreaking models with a wide array of standard features: the xD urban subcompact five-door, the iconic xB urban utility vehicle, the tC sports coupe, the premium micro-subcompact iQ and the FR-S rear-wheel drive sports car. The Scion brand often applies new practices in all aspects of its business and pushes the creativity envelope with non-traditional advertising and marketing to engage young consumers. Scion also supports originality through its programs in the artistic community. For more information, visit RobertStoutRacing.com and Scion.com

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