Hype Video: How Different Is The FIAT 124 Spider From Its Mazda Cousin?

Posted on 12.01.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


At the LA Auto Show FIAT debuted the first roadster they’ve produced in 50 years, the 124 Spider.  This is a car that many “in the know” were anticipating for quite some time.  It was years ago when we learned that Mazda and FIAT were working on a joint project together where Mazda’s side of the project would be the new MX-5 while FIAT would get their own roadster.  Now we finally know what FIAT baked up in Italy.  While the 124 Spider and MX-5 do share a chassis there are significant differences such as the obvious sheet metal design but there are also a few key differences under the hood as well.  I get into all of that in the video below as well as a quick tour of the interior.  Check it out!

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Hype: 2016 Ford Focus RS Will AWD Launch Its Way Into Your Heart At $36k. Top Speed Is 165MPH Because America

Posted on 09.16.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Ever since it was announced, the 2016 Ford Focus RS has easily been one of the most anticipated hatchbacks in the world next to the upcoming Civic Type R.  Although, when it was first revealed not much was said about it in the way of price, performance numbers, etc.  All we knew is that it would be turbo charged and all wheel drive, which frankly was enough for us.  However, today Ford not only announced its price but they included a few other numbers as well.

First off, the 2016 Ford Focus RS will start at $36,605 in North America.  That puts it approximately $2k above the starting prices of the 2016 Subaru WRX STi and the 2015 Mitsubishi Evo X GSR.  The counter to the higher price though is the fact that the Ford Focus RS will make 350hp from its 2.3 liter “ecoboost” engine while the ’16 STi and ’15 Evo X only make 268hp and 291hp respectively.  The Ford Focus RS also makes 350lbs-ft of torque as well, making it a pretty angry beastie on paper.  This power and torque combo will get the Focus RS from 0-62 in 4.7 seconds and to a top speed of 165mph.

Its pretty easy to see that Ford is looking to steal Subaru and Mitsubishi’s lunch money with the Focus RS but both of its aforementioned Japanese rivals have huge and passionate fan-bases.  Will some extra horses and torque be enough to make the Focus RS the new tuner king of the hill?  Its too early to tell but I think we’ll have more of an idea once the Focus RS hits dealerships in spring of 2016.

What do you think about the Ford Focus RS MSRP?  Do you think its too damn high?  Less than what you expected?  How do you think it will do against the WRX STi and the Evo X?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.  For more info check out the press release below.

Press Release:

Ford’s All-New Focus RS Sprints to 62 MPH in 4.7 Seconds and Hits 165 MPH

  • All-new 2016 Ford Focus RS sprints from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 165 mph
  • Fastest-ever Ford RS model will start at $36,605 featuring Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive and a projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque from its 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine
  • Innovative Focus RS offers drive modes – including industry-first drift mode – along with launch control; customer deliveries of high-performance hatchback start in North America in spring 2016

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 16, 2015 – Ford Motor Company’s all-new Focus RS will sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds – making the high-performance hatchback the fastest-accelerating RS model yet.

Focus RS – powered by a specially engineered version of Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing projected 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – will reach a top speed of 165 mph.

For North America, Focus RS pricing will start at $36,605.

The all-new 2016 Focus RS optimizes acceleration by introducing launch control technology to a Ford RS model for the first time. Focus RS also debuts new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring – for outstanding traction and grip with dynamic agility and cornering speed.

“The all-new Focus RS will bring the legendary nameplate to a new generation of global customers for the first time,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. “Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both enthusiast consumers and premium automakers look twice.”

Focus RS launch control configures the car’s chassis and powertrain systems to deliver the fastest possible acceleration – in various track conditions. The driver selects launch control from the cluster menu, engages first gear, applies full throttle and releases the clutch. The system then delivers optimum drive – including distributing torque through the all-wheel-drive system, maintaining maximum torque using the turbo overboost function, managing traction control and setting the dampers.

To achieve maximum acceleration through the gears, a performance shift light in the instrument cluster alerts the driver when approaching the optimum upshift point of 5,900 rpm, and flashes if the engine hits the 6,800-rpm limit.

Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive uses twin electronically controlled clutch packs to manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and can control side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the torque vectoring capability that produces a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The all-wheel-drive system monitors inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced electronic stability control, in particular, its brake-based Torque Vectoring Control that works in parallel with torque vectoring all-wheel drive.

Focus RS drivers can select from four different drive modes that configure the all-wheel-drive system, damper controls, electronic stability control, steering and engine responses, and exhaust sound to deliver optimum performance in road or circuit driving conditions. Normal, sport or track settings are available, along with a special drift mode to help the driver achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track.

The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminum four-cylinder EcoBoost in the all-new Ford Mustang. The engine is significantly upgraded to improve power by more than 10 percent. It features a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor, enhanced air intake design, and a large-bore high-performance exhaust.

Developed by a team of Ford Performance engineers in Europe and the United States, the all-new Focus RS is the third-generation Focus RS – following models launched in 2002 and 2009.

Ford Performance serves as an innovation laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. The group’s work in aerodynamics, light-weighting, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency can be applied more broadly across Ford’s product portfolio.

The 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, Focus RS will be built in Saarlouis, Germany, and is one of 12 new performance vehicles Ford will bring to customers globally through 2020 as part of a new era of Ford performance. Ford expects delivery to North American customers in spring 2016.

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Hype Interview: We Get To Talk To Henry Freakin’ Ford III About The New Ford GT!

Posted on 06.17.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Relatively speaking, I haven’t been an automotive journalist for that long.  Despite that fact I have had a chance to do some amazing things and meet some incredible people.  Although I couldn’t say that I sat down with a direct descendant of a actual automotive legend, until now!  During the Forza Motorsport 6 preview event the team at Turn 10 not only wanted to celebrate the debut of the game but also highlight their partnership with Ford as the new Ford GT will be the official Forza 6 cover car.

I was told before the event that a “representative from Ford” would be on hand to answer any questions about the partnership or the Ford GT (which was also there).  What I wasn’t told is that the Ford rep they were speaking off was actually Henry Ford III.  Yes that Henry Ford!  Crazy right?!  After I let the automotive history nerd in me settle down I actually got to sit down with Henry and have a quick discussion about the Ford GT.  He takes on questions such as how the Forza team partnership with the Ford GT began, where they see the Ford GT fitting in the market, and a few other questions about engineering and design choices.  Check it out below!

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Concept Hype: @Audi A3 Sedan Concept

Posted on 03.01.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

This week at the Geneva Auto Show Audi debuted their new A3 concept and here it is in all its glory.  Despite it being a concept there was a lot to read about the A3 concept but the parts that stood out to me the most were the turbo charged 5 cylinder engine that will make 408HP, 7 speed dual clutch transmission, and the wheels made completely from carbon fiber!   Below is a 6 minute video of pure awesome.  There is no music but trust me when I say you don’t need any here..



Press Release:

Concentrated technical expertise – all in the Audi A3 concept technical study

Audi is set to unveil an attractive technical study – the A3 concept – at the Geneva Motor Show. The four-seat notchback sedan integrates the full breadth of the brand’s technological expertise – from the improved MMI operating system, to the high-tech infotainment system, to the drivetrain. A five-cylinder turbo developing 300 kW (408 hp), a seven-speed S tronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive ensure thrilling dynamics along with high fuel efficiency.

Design and body
The Audi A3 concept is a four-seat notchback sedan. It measures 4.44 meters (14.57 ft) long and 1.84 meters (6.04 ft) wide, but just 1.39 meters (4.56 ft) high – proportions that underscore its dynamic character.

The design represents the typical Audi language of sporty elegance. The single-frame grille is integrated into the front end, giving it a sculptured look. Its frame is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), and the transversely mounted, three-dimensional aluminum louvers create a visual effect that emphasizes the showcar’s width. The headlights merge with the beveled upper corners of the single-frame, forming a transition that marks the starting point of the prominently accentuated lines of the engine hood.

The headlights represent a new stage of evolution in LED technology, a groundbreaking innovation from Audi. They become broader as they extend outward, and a line underneath them makes them seem to float on air. Above the front spoiler is a full-length air intake, also made of CFRP, framed by a metal clasp. The spoiler features a splitter that raises the downforce on the front wheels.

When viewed from the side, too, the A3 concept is recognizable at first sight as an Audi. Harmonious proportions, taut, muscular surfaces and a low roof dome with fluid lines flowing into a flat, coupé-like C-pillar. The shoulder area transitions elegantly into the tailgate. Characteristic of Audi design, the greenhouse accounts for one-third of the height, while the sheet metal makes up the remaining two-thirds.

Powerfully flared fenders hint at the power of the engine. Two prominently elaborated lines accentuate the flank: the undercut tornado line beneath the window edge and the dynamic line above the sills. The outside mirrors, made of aluminum and CFRP, are perched on the top shoulder, just like on a sports car. The door handles with their brushed-aluminum clasps are recessed flush with the door. When the driver touches them, they power-extend.

The intelligent interplay between surfaces and lines also defines the tail end of the A3 concept. The broad, flat tail lights are sculptured and culminate in a point on the inside, and the tailgate bears an elegant spoiler edge. The rear apron includes a diffuser insert of CFRP and metal, which in turn surrounds the two large tailpipes for the exhaust system.

Ultra-modern components, design methods and joining techniques keep the body weight low. One example of this are the custom tailored blanks (panels of various thicknesses) in the floor area. The doors, engine hood and tailgate are made of aluminum. The extra stiff body provides the basis for the sedan’s precise handling, excellent vibrational comfort and low weight – the Audi A3 concept tips the scales at just 1,540 kilograms (3,395.12 lb).

The interior of the showcar is generously proportioned. The long wheelbase measuring 2.63 meters (8.63 ft) – a best-in-class figure in the premium compact segment – gives rear passengers on the two individual seats a pleasing amount of knee room. The front sport seats with prominent side bolsters are slim and elegant.

The cockpit also gives an impression of lightness and airiness. The horizontal lines emphasize its design. The instrument panel draws the driver in – typical of Audi. Defined in three dimensions, the large trim strip is made of solid aluminum and includes control functions. The high-quality sound system in the doors and on the rear shelf has aluminum trim panels. When the audio system is turned on, they extend a few millimeters, thus orchestrating a visual accompaniment to the system’s excellent sound.

On the center console four large, round air vents echoing a jet’s design catch the eye. The air flow is adjusted by pulling and pushing on the center axis of the vents. The control knobs for the automatic air conditioning system are located in the lower section of the center console on a boldly protruding dedicated control panel. Visually, they are reminiscent of airplane turbines.

Located behind the compact, flat-bottomed, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel are two analog dial instruments with black dials and red needles, complemented by additional kidney-shaped displays. Engraved rims made of brushed aluminum underscore their classy look. In between the two large round dials is the large, eight-inch display for the driver information system. The display is user-programmable – the driver can select the content to be displayed from an extensive menu.

The control panel for the MMI multimedia system is located on the center tunnel console. The surface of its large rotary pushbutton includes the touch pad, MMI touch. This new solution, which makes the already exemplary operation even more intuitive, will soon be introduced in series production at Audi. The ultra-thin MMI monitor power-extends out of the instrument panel, another feature taken from the full-size car class.

In terms of infotainment, the Audi A3 concept shows why the brand is leading the competition. A UMTS model provides full access to the Internet, allowing the car to retrieve convenient services from Google. Thanks to the WLAN hotspot, passengers can surf and send e-mail to their hearts’ content. Holders for iPads are installed on the back of the front seat backrests.

A classic notchback sedan, the Audi A3 concept boasts a large luggage compartment with a volume of 410 liters (14.48 cubic ft) and a low loading lip.

The A3 concept has a five-cylinder engine under the hood that combines the Audi technologies of turbocharging and FSI gasoline direction injection. It develops a hefty 300 kW (408 hp) from a displacement of 2.5 liters. Its peak torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) is available over a broad rev range between 1,600 and 5,300 rpm.

The five-cylinder powerplant unleashes a rousing soundscape – its typical sound pattern calls to mind the Audi sound of the 1980s and the huge motorsport successes of that period. Its performance is a complete homage to tradition: The A3 concept catapults from a dead stop to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.1 seconds, and its electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is merely the official figure.

In terms of fuel consumption, the four-seater requires just 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (25.85 US mpg) and emits 212 grams CO2 per km (341.18 g/mile). A regulated oil pump, the intelligent Audi thermo-management system and a energy recovery system – technologies from the brand’s modular efficiency platform – all contribute to this high efficiency.

A compact seven-speed S tronic serves as the transmission. It comprises two transmission structures, which are operated by two clutches. Gears are alternately shifted by the two clutches – at lightning speed, comfortably, and without any perceptible interruption of traction.

The driver can operate the seven-speed S tronic in one automatic mode and one manual mode, using the paddles on the steering wheel to shift gears manually. Elegant touch control buttons on the center tunnel console are used to select drive positions R, N and D. These are backlit in red when it gets dark. Drive position P is automatically engaged when the electric parking brake is applied. The launch control system manages the sprint from a dead stop, furnishing explosive turbo power with minimal tire slip.

Power is effortlessly transmitted to the road via quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its centerpiece is an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch at the end of the propeller shaft. When slip occurs at one of the axles, the clutch redirects the majority of the torque input to the wheels with the better grip.

Derived from the current RS 3 Sportback, the chassis of the Audi A3 concept is fully capable of handling the power from the drive system at all times. The four-seater masters any type of curve with speed, stability and composure, turning spontaneously into corners going in and providing superior traction going out. Its self-steering response remains essentially neutral all the way up to the lofty handling limits.

The front suspension – a McPherson construction with a separate axle support – has a track measuring a full 1,572 millimeters (61.89 in). To a large extent, its components are made of aluminum. The rack-and-pinion steering is extremely efficient because its electromechanical drive system requires no energy when driving straight ahead.

The four-link rear suspension with its 1,542-millimeter (60.71-in) track is likewise fixed to a subframe. Its control arms made of high-strength steel enable the suspension to absorb longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The shock absorbers and coil springs are mounted separately from each other.

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system gives the driver five modes from which to select the engine characteristics, power steering and the seven-speed S tronic. The modes are comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and efficiency, the last of which is designed for maximum economy.

The imposing light-alloy rims measure 20 inches in diameter. In five twin-spoke design, they are made of CFRP and aluminum. The slender, recessed rims optimize ventilation. The tire format is 245/30 at the front and rear. The front brake disks are gripped by four-piston calipers. The ESP stabilization system has a Sport mode and can be completely deactivated. The parking brake is actuated electromechanically.

The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.

Ingolstadt, 2011-03-01

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@GReddy_Power 33F Intercooler Kit For Mitsubishi Evo X

Posted on 01.05.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you have a turbocharged car one of the best ways to pick up a few extra horses and make things easier on your turbo is to upgrade your intercooler.  GReddy has a pretty good history with intercooler upgrades so if you’re rocking an Evo X I’d reccomend their 33F intercooler kit.  It’s wider than stock and has bigger inlet and outlet end tanks (70mm).  Besides the added performance it just looks fresh behind the front bumper!


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Borg Warner EFR Turbos Boost CR-Z & Honda 2011 LMP2 LeMans Engine

Posted on 01.04.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Late last year automotive component conglomerate Borg Warner announced that they are working with Honda Performance Development (HPD) to provide their new EFR turbo to the HPD 2011 LMP2 LeMans engine program as well as a race team that will be ran a Honda CR-Z hybrid race car in the 24 hours of Thunderhill (they came 2nd place in their class by the way).  In the LMP2 car the team will run a twin turbo V6.  We aren’t sure what horsepower numbers they’re aiming for but either way I’m sure they will be tough to beat.  Perhaps if the Audi R18 comes stateside they may give them a run for their money but I don’t see that happening.  We’ll give you more on this story as it develops.

Press Release:

BorgWarner Collaborates with HPD on New Turbo Development

Dec. 1, 2010 (PR Newswire) —

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — In collaboration for U.S. performance applications, BorgWarner will supply Honda Performance Development, Inc.(HPD) with its new EFR turbochargers for two racing platforms: the 2011 ALMS LMP2 engine and HPD CR-Z Racer as well as the CR-Z hybrid R Concept car. Designed for powerful performance, BorgWarner’s new “Engineered For Racing” or EFR Series turbochargers offer an unprecedented package of advanced technologies, including Gamma TiAl (titanium aluminide) turbine wheels, ceramic ball bearings, stainless steel turbine housings and internal wastegates activated by BorgWarner’s compact brushless actuator.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101201/DE07191 )

“BorgWarner’s EFR turbocharging technology delivers increased thrust capacity, quicker boost response, greater efficiency and improved durability—everything professional race car drivers desire,” said Roger Wood, Executive Vice President, BorgWarner. “BorgWarner is pleased to collaborate with Honda Performance Development to put our advanced technologies to the test in the one of the most challenging environments: on the race track.”

Twin EFR turbochargers will boost the HPD 2.8-liter V6 LMP2 engine for customers participating in the 2011 American Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Intercontinental Cup competitions. A Honda Performance Development (HPD) exclusive for racing applications, the internal wastegate of the EFR turbochargers will be activated by BorgWarner’s compact brushless actuator, which delivers high operating torque, quick response in as little as 150 milliseconds, and performance in temperatures up to 284 degrees F (140 degrees C). Engine production is scheduled to begin in November 2010.

A race version of the CR-Z, the 1.5-liter 2011 HPD CR-Z Racer will demonstrate a fuel efficient way to add performance. BorgWarner’s EFR turbocharger efficiently increases the engine’s horsepower by 50% (not including hybrid assist).  The HPD CR-Z Racer will make its racing debut at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, December 3rd – 5th.

BorgWarner Turbo Systems is a leading global supplier of turbochargers for diesel- and gasoline-powered passenger cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles. A pioneer in turbocharging technology, BorgWarner Turbo Systems continues to lead advancements in the industry with innovations designed to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and optimize vehicle performance.

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide. The company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 60 locations in 18 countries. Customers include VW/Audi, Ford, Toyota, Renault/Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai/Kia, Daimler, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Honda, Deere & Company, PSA, and MAN. The Internet address for BorgWarner is: http://www.borgwarner.com.  

BorgWarner will supply new “Engineered For Racing” or EFR Series turbochargers for two racing platforms from Honda Performance Development (HPD): the 2011 American Le Mans Series LMP2 engine and CR-Z Hybrid race car.

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2010 LA Auto Show: Rolls Royce Exhibit (With Video)

Posted on 11.30.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The Rolls Royce exhibit is always one of my favorite places to visit during the LA Auto Show press days. Since they let you open the doors and sit in the cars visiting their exhibit is the closest I’ll ever come to owning one! The other thing I love about Rolls Royce is that they keep their exhibit minimal but classy.  They tend not to have more than three cars on display at once and they don’t put a lot of stage dressing around the cars.  They also stayed away from the “iPad as an info sheet” trend that was catching on this year.

Right in the middle of the exhibit was the new Rolls Royce Ghost AKA “the baby Rolls”.  The Ghost is slightly smaller than the full sized Phantom but still has more presence than other luxury sedans like a Mercedes Benz S Class or BMW 7 Series.  The Rolls Royce Ghost is definitely the Rolls that you drive even though it is still very extravagant on the inside.  Yet despite its luxury it is over $100k less than a Phantom or a Drophead Coupe.  After spending some quality time sitting in the driver’s seat of the Rolls Royce Ghost I decided to get all the critical info on smaller, yet equally luxurious British sedan.  Check that out below.





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Hype Video: 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Commercial

Posted on 05.14.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

This will be the best minute of your day I guarantee it.  Yes, I am thinking of all the possible awesome things that could happen to you within a minute and yes I am still standing by my previous statement.  Now scroll down and enjoy..

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Heffner Performance Audi R8 Twin Turbo Kit (Video)

Posted on 01.14.10 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

When the Audi R8 was released it was love at first sight for many affluent enthusiasts and it was no time before they were all spoken for.  Then Audi went and released a V10 version of the R8 with more power and the same balance.  So what were V8 variant owners to do?  Heffner Performance says “boost it.”  The Florida based exotic tuner just reached completion on their twin-turbo kit for the Audi R8 8-cylinder variant.  On 93 octane and 6psi of boost you can expect an approximate 180WHP gain over stock bringing the total into the 530HP range.  Not bad for only 6 pounds of boost!  Now, if you weren’t an early adopter and waited for the V10 have no worries because Heffner is already in the R&D process for the V10.


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Greddy Twin 20G Nissan GT-R Ready To Rock

Posted on 08.13.09 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Twitter is awesome, you get to see all kinds of cool stuff.  Since I follow Greddy I found this pic of their completed twin 20G turbo kit for the Nissan GT-R nice and cozy inside its new home.  I heard the Japanese counterpart to this car is making 800HP!  Lets see what Greddy USA can do.

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