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Showing posts from September, 2014

Motor Trend Best Driver's Car 2014 - Laguna Seca Hot Laps & Lap Times

Well, it's this time of the year again for Motor Trend's Best Driver's Car feature. The full feature and the drag race is not available yet but quick reviews have been posted for the contenders as well as lap times (everyone loves lap times, right?).

I will post a rundown of the cars that surprised and disappointed me the most when the full reviews are available but for now, enjoy the above car introductions and specs as well as hot laps and lap times around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I have posted the most recent video, which is of the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo. From there, you can go back through videos by clicking on the video insert next to "PREVIOUS VIDEO" or "NEXT  VIDEO" between the 2:30 mark and the 2:40 mark depending on the car's lap time. This year's entrants are the following:

2015 VW Golf GTI - 1:50.11
2015 BMW M4 - 1:39.69
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S - 1:35.62
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C (Launch Edition) - 1:43.78
2015 Subaru WRX STI (Launch Edi…

Cadillac Flagship Named - Cadillac CT6

It's official, Cadillac will finally have a large, luxury, flagship sedan. It's going to be called the CT6. Why the departure from the now-familiar three letter nomenclature? According to Cadillac, the name indicates a coming shift to a simplified naming convention for future Cadillac models. Under this strategy, familiar lettering like “CT” would be used for car models, with the number indicating the relative size and position of the cars in the hierarchy of Cadillac models. Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer, said: “As we expand the portfolio, we can assist consumers in placing the cars within a structure, as they compare cars both within our showroom and across the market generally.”

BMW and Audi use numeric digits to indicate the hierarchy of their lineups and that's probably what Cadillac is after. While I am a much bigger fan of actual names for car models, I think this strategy will work well for Cadillac going forward. Cadillac plans on using advance…

2012 Mustang Boss 302 - Last Lapping Day of 2014

I went back to the track yesterday, Sept 20, and was hoping to at least get into 1:21.x and 1:20.x if I'm lucky. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. There was plenty of traffic and I could only get a few clean laps in. My recorded best of the day was 1:23.2 with plenty of 1:23.x laps throughout the day. This is 1.2 seconds slower than my last track day best of 1:22.0 (Post: Track Progress & Goals) but on my best lap, I had to get on the brakes on the front straight due to traffic so I know I would have been in the 1:22's.

I also had a friend with me in the car during most of the sessions and I had a best time of 1:23.4 while he was in the car. I don't know how to adjust for additional weight on our track (or any other track for that matter) but if we use the rule of thumb for 1/4 mile drag racing, 0.1 sec/100 lb, that would be 0.64 sec/100 lb for our 1.6 mile track. My friend is around 200 lb. so that should be worth approximately 1.3 second which would mean the 1:…

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Review

I recently replaced my worn out Continental ExtremeContact DW with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. I don't know how they are at high speed (say +120 mph) because our local track doesn't have long straights but traction out of corners is phenomenal compared to the stock Pirellis and Contis. They take the heat better too, more stable over the length of a lapping session.

The car is a 2012 Mustang Boss 302. Sizes are 265/35/18 fronts and 285/35/18 rears on TSW Nurburgring 18" x 9.5" wheels at all for corners. All wheels are downsized in diameter from the stock 19" and the front wheels are wider compared to the stock 9" fronts. Front tires are also wider, compared to the stock size which is 255/40/19.
If you're considering pulling the trigger on a set of Michelin PSS's to use on the street/track, I highly recommend it.

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Track Progress & Goals

I haven't been back to a time attack event since June of last summer (Post: What is the best mod to cut down lap times?) so I haven't been able to keep track of my laps and see if I'm moving in the right direction. That is, until a few weeks ago. I finally found a good track app for lap times, Track Addict, so I was able to start recording. It's free, has great recording features and even includes our local, humble track, Atlantic Motorsport Park. The app stores up to three sessions at a time. A session is defined by when you start recording to when you stop recording or come to a stop, not a single lap so it's great. There is a pro version which removes the three-session limit and I imagine it brings additional features but it obviously isn't free. I have been very satisfied with the free version so I haven't upgraded yet.

Now let's get to the times. My previous best-time (last year) at our local track was 1:25.2 which was done on this setup:

TracKeyOE…

2015 Ford Mustang GT First Test - A Closer Look

The test everyone has been waiting for - the all new 2015 Mustang GT. Let's get straight to the numbers and compare them to the now-last-generation Mustang GT:

                                              2014 Mustang GT                     2015 Mustang GT

0-60 mph                    :                    4.4 s                                           4.4 s
1/4 mile                      :         12.8 s @ 112.2 mph                 12.7 s @ 111.7 mph
60-0 mph braking       :                   107 ft                                        110 ft
Average lateral g        :                   0.96 g                                       0.96 g
Motor Trend figure-8  :            24.7 s @ 0.85 g                          25.0 s @ 0.77

Since the two cars were tested on different days, comparing the exact differences aren't relevant but the conclusion that can be drawn is that the new Mustang GT is not a leap in terms of acceleration. I doubt that the change from the solid axle to an …

The Power Wars Recap - 707 hp Challenger, Mid engine Corvette, AWD 300 hp Focus RS and more

Well, I have unfortunately found myself too busy to write once again for the last few weeks. Typically, whenever I don't write for a while (regardless of length) I overlook the period that I missed. Not this time though. Some announcements that were made in the last few weeks are so significant that it would be wrong for a driver's blog to exclude them so here's a quick rundown of what I think are the biggest announcements, starting with the obvious one..




Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: It blew expectations on many levels. Dodge allowed it to make more hp than the Viper which many said it wouldn't. It allowed it to crest the 700 hp mark, 707 hp on tap to be exact. It comes with a full warranty, looks absolutely menacing and MSRP is just under $60,000, much lower than anyone expected. It's a HEMI. It's supercharged. It makes more than 700 hp and it has a warranty. The rest are just details. Yes, it's not particularly happy at the track but whoever expected it …