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We cannot say that no one has boosted a Subaru BRZ up until now, as we really don’t know if someone may have already done it and just not plastered it all over the Interwebz yet. That said, we can at least now say that there is officially a turbocharged BRZ running the streets. Its builder is Toledo, Ohio-based Accelerated Performance.

These guys and gals fitted a custom-built turbo onto the intake of the 200-horsepower (161 wheel horsepower) 2.0-liter 4-banger and netted some decent results. After running it on a dyno, they found that the boost netted the BRZ a cool 54.5 horsepower.

Many of you are probably wondering why in the world only 54.5 horsepower, as a turbo is typically good for 100, or more, ponies. Well, the BRZ boasts a 12.5-to-1 compression ratio and Accelerated Performance calculated that with such high compression, they could only run about 4 psi of boost – roughly 5 psi less than most aftermarket turbo cars push out.

Soon enough someone will tune the ECU a little more and throw in a much-needed set of low compression rings on the FA20 engine. Get that compression ratio down to about 8.5-to-1 and you can safely run 9 to 12 psi of boost through the engine without issue. That would get the BRZ near the 250- to 300-wheel-horsepower mark.

Maybe once people really start throwing turbos on the BRZ and have relative success with it, Subaru will finally add a BRZ Turbo to the mix. There have been rumors of a factory-turbocharged BRZ in the works, but nothing confirmed yet. For now, we just have to rely on savvy modifiers.

UPDATE 09/08/2012: Accelerated Performance have taken their new Subaru BRZ Turbo Kit out for some testing, managing a world record quarter mile time of 11.3 seconds at a speed of 127.4 mph! Hit the jump for the video!

Hit the jump for a video of the Subaru BRZ by Accelerated Performance.

Lexus LF-A

Earlier this week, we brought forward reports that Aston Martin is considering downsizing its lineup of engines, which almost exclusively include V-8s and V-12s. This consideration is an obvious attempt to squeeze a few more mpg out of its lineup without depleting horsepower, which will allow the boutique automaker to achieve the fuel economy numbers required by the ongoing CAFE standards.

According to De Telegraf, Aston Martin may be considering Toyota as a partner in this downsizing attempt. In particular, Aston is eyeballing the V-10 engine used in the Lexus LF-A and the 8-pot used in several other Lexus models.

If you are wondering how Aston plans to milk these engines out of Toyota , keep in mind that Aston and Toyota already have a working agreement for Aston Martin to use the Toyota iQ to create its own Cygnet . So, for Aston Martin executives to get into conversation with Toyota brass about this possibility wouldn’t take too much.

The only issue that Toyota may have is the fact that this sharing of engines may result in added competition for the LFA and other Lexus models. Then again, with Aston Martin being such an exclusive brand without a long production list, Toyota Toyota may not see this as a threat, but rather a way to get its name on the tip of premium sports car buyers’ tongues. This could result in the ultimate word-of-mouth advertising for Lexus’ sports cars, which will soon include a car that may rival Aston Martins, the LF-LC.

We’ll keep you up to date on this developing situation and let you know as soon as more details become available.

Source: De Telegraf
Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin is not exactly your poster child for fuel economy, as every model, sans a re-badged Toyota iQ , boast either a V-8 or V-12 engine. That about puts them near the bottom of the list in average fuel economy. With new CAFE and emission standards coming about each and every year, Aston Martin needs to get up to speed with creating slightly more efficient cars.

According to a report from Autocar, Aston Martin boss, Ulrich Bez, said that Aston is “open to the concept” of using small-displacement engines under the stipulation that they do not hamper the boutique automaker’s desirability. This ultimately translates out to “as long as it is still fast.”

This need for speed means that the likely replacements for the powerful V-8s and V-12s that Aston Martin uses would be 6-cylinders with some serious boost. A supercharger certainly would not give a 6-cylinder the kind of pop that Aston Martin would require, so a turbo or pair of turbos would definitely be the only route to take.

We have already seen BMW making use of forced air to pump up its in-line 6-bangers. Take the 2012 BMW 335i xDrive Coupe for example; it has a 3.0-liter engine that pumps out a healthy 300 horsepower. Of course, BMW also de-tuned it a little to avoid it conflicting with M3 sales. At full tilt, we would anticipate a boosted 3.0 to crank out upward of 400 horsepower.

That would give Aston the chance to just about match their V-8-powered cars’ current output rating while helping save a few mpg. It would obviously be a win-win situation, with the exception of the likely price hike for the increased technology.

We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you as more information becomes available.

Source: Autocar

When SRT unveiled the new generation Viper , we were a little disappointed to see that the classic racing stripes that made the previous generation Viper so famous were gone. Don’t get us wrong, the cherry red was nothing short of spectacular, but the car was still missing a little something. Turns out, SRT read our minds and have revealed the first image featuring the new Viper with its famous stripes. In fact, this is the first time we’ve seen the new supercar wearing anything else other than a solid exterior paint finish. The photo also comes with the following announcement: "the new Viper just passed its dry-track stability control testing with flying colors."

As a reminder, the new Viper is powered by an 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine that delivers a total of 640 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque. The new engine will be mated to an improved Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. it is rumored that the car will be priced somewhere in the $110K area.

Ford F-150

There are very few things in this world that include the word “Eco” in its name and still remain fun. Ford somehow managed to find a way to have its cake and eat it too – what a weird saying – with the EcoBoost engines. Not only are they more economical than the engines they replaced, but they, for the most part, are drastically more powerful.

For example, let’s look at the F-150 . In 2011, Ford dropped the 5.4-liter V-8 and 4.6-liter V-8 from the F-150’s options list and replaced them with the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine. The 2011 EcoBoost engine pumped out 55 more horsepower than the 2010 5.4-liter and 73 to 117 horsepower more than the 4.6-liter V-8. Add in the fact that the 6-pot boosted engine also got 2 mpg city and 2 mpg highway better than the 5.4-liter, and 1 mpg and 2 mpg better than the 4.6-liter V-8, and you have a winner.

Well, this all added up to some impressive sales, even more impressive that Ford could have imagined. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford anticipates selling about 1.6 million EcoBoost engines in 2013, according to its current pace, which is 100,000 more units that its initial target was. Ford is seemingly always adding a new EcoBoost engine, with the 2.0-liter and 1.0-liter variant coming out this year and a 2.3-liter variant looking like a sure thing for 2015, so we see this number going nowhere but up in the coming years.

Ford definitely bet the farm on the EcoBoost engine in the F-150 to start with and much like it did in 1996 when it drastically restyled the F-150, it won back the farm and took the neighbor’s farm along with it. Our hats have to go off to Ford and its ability to think outside of the box and constantly give the customer what he wants. It’s no wonder Ford was one of the few Detroit automakers to survive without a government bailout.

Maserati GranSport

The rumor mill has been churning out tidbits about Maserati ’s new mid-engined sports car for a little while now. Propositioned as the GranSport , this new Maserati is expected to go on sale in 2015 and is rumored to cost about £90,000, or about $140,000 at the current exchange rates. So what’s all the fuss about?

Well, AutoExpress is saying that the new Porsche 911 competitor will be dropping the current V8 engine (yeah, Maserati and everyone else) in favor of an all-new V6 engine developed by Ferrari. Despite its lower capacity, the new engine will be both more powerful and more fuel efficient than the current 4.7-liter V8 engine. The new V6 engine will be equipped with twin turbos and will eclipse the current 450 HP output from the GranTurismo . As a result, the next GranSport will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 190 mph.

The future Maserati Gransport will be built on a modified version of the 4C’s carbon-fiber chassis and thanks to the intensive use of composite materials, it will be extremely agile.

Source: AutoExpress
Toyota GT 86

Toyota must be starting to love collaborative projects. Coming out of a tight relationship with Subaru where they developed the GT 86 (pictured above) and the BRZ , the Japanese company has now established a working relationship with BMW . In fact, the two companies first announced plans to join forces back in December 2011 when they announced a partnership for sharing hybrid systems and diesel engines. Then, in March 2012, they signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.

Today, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW BMW AG met again and talked about a new agreement that could lead to developing a new sports car. The two leaders talked about joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification, and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.

BMW will supply highly-efficient 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014 and, in return, Toyota will share their knowledge on environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. The relationship makes sense due to the fact that one of BMW’s strengths is their production of engines and Toyota was the first to push out their electric vehicle - the Toyota Prius - with much success.

Hit the jump to read the statements from the two CEO’s.

Mazda may end Wenkel engine

When the RX-7 hit near supercar status in the 1990s, the Rotary engine was a thing of beauty and Mazda had all but perfected it. The only remaining downfall was the fuel required to keep the rotors inside the engine spinning. This fuel consumption, plus a restructuring of Mazda’s U.S. market, led to the deletion of the RX-7 and its perfected rotary following the 1995 model year.

When the rotary engine made its way into the sexy, yet fairly flabby, RX-8 in 2004, the rotary enthusiast clamored over its 238 horsepower without any turbo. However, hiding in deep within the engine was its biggest sore spot, a puny 159 pound-feet of torque that sucked up a gallon of gas after only about a dozen miles. Through the RX-8’s life, Mazda refused to turbocharge the 1.3-liter rotary and the new Renesis rotary engine was effectively to blame for the RX-8’s disappearance following the 2011 model year.

This all brings us to today, as Mazda finally closes the chapter on the RX-8 by rolling the final rotary engine off of its production line and into a special edition Mazda Spirit R, which is only available in Japan. This closes one chapter in the life of the rotary engine, as Mazda has no plans to develop a replacement for the failed RX-8, despite rumors of an RX-9.

Even if the rotary is to make a comeback in the future, it will likely not come back as a gasoline engine. We would likely see it used in a gasoline/hydrogen hybrid system, as Bloomberg is reporting that Mazda is currently testing out how this Wankel works on hydrogen.

As much as we once loved the rotary engine, we think it is time to put this old dog down and let us remember the good old days of the 255-horsepower, 217 pound-feet of torque twin-boosted 1.3-liter rotary. The only way we could agree with bringing the rotary back is in a turbocharged sports car platform, like this engine is intended.


One of the few thorns in the side of the EV market place is the battery charging systems. The vast majority of them require upwards of six to eight hours to reach 100 percent capacity and at the quickest, most can reach 80 percent in about three to four hours. Well, Tesla has been at the forefront of EV engineering, especially with its 300-mile-range Model S, which screams to 60 mph in about 4 seconds.

The Model S , as delivered, is no different than any other EV when it comes to charging, as its 85kWh battery requires eight hours to charge, using its standard 240-volt charging system. Tesla plans to separate itself from the competition once again by releasing a 440-volt fast-charger, which Tesla has cheekily dubbed the “Supercharger” (obligatory rim shot).

Anywho, this new “Supercharger” will be able to get the Tesla S from full discharge to 100 percent in just about an hour. The catch is that this fast charger is not designed for everyday use, it is only for those emergency fill-ups on the road. Tesla is planning to have these stations installed in high-traffic areas for on-the-spot fill ups in just about a year.

Once Tesla releases this new charger for use in the States, it will firmly place itself in the driver’s seat in the EV market, leaving everyone else looking up at it wondering how this small company managed to pull off these stunts. We think the time for the other car companies to start investing more money in EV models is now, before Tesla runs away with it all.

Posted on by Alexander + 6

According to the FBI, we’re coming up to a couple of the hottest months of the year, and we’re not talking about the weather. Turns out, July and August are the top two months for vehicle theft, and LoJack and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) are doing their part by holding their 6th annual National Vehicle Theft Protection Month. For this year, they have come up with an infographic that provides a few details and stats about car theft, as well as some helpful hints to ensure you are not a victim.

First, the facts. In 2010, there were 737,000 vehicle thefts and only 56% of those vehicles were ever recovered. The average loss per vehicle was $6,152. Not exactly a small number by anyone’s standards. What’s worse is that, if you own a Honda Accord , Honda Civic , and Toyota Camry, you are more likely to be a victim because these were the top three vehicles stolen in 2010. The Ford Mustang made up a total of 9,116 instances of car theft in 2010, so we can only imagine how many of the top three vehicles were stolen during that time.

Where you live is also a factor. Nine out of 10 areas in numbers of stolen cars are in California and Washington State, with seven of the areas belonging to The Golden State.

Being the trusting - or rushed - souls that we are, 68% of people have left their car running when they aren’t in it or have left their car unlocked, while 64% of people have their home address programmed into their GPS system and 32% have left an electronic device or personal documents in plain view.

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our vehicles from theft? The number one protection aid is to use COMMON SENSE. Hey, they said it, we only repeated it. The second and third are to use theft protection products and a tracking and recovery system.

Check out the rest of the infographic after the jump to get more helpful information and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.


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