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Feb 072010
 

The Nissan R35 GT-R, one of our all time favorite performance platforms, is an awesome package right out of the box. But as any die-hard gearhead can attest, there’s never enough power to go around. In that spirit, HKS USA recently introduced a new front mount intercooler system for the Japanese supercar.

Featuring two lightweight, large capacity intercooler cores, polished aluminum piping and a size-matched carbon fiber air duct, this setup will improve overall intercooler air volume capacity and cooling efficiency. In addition, the design of the core has been revamped, leading to minimum pressure loss under high boost levels – who doesn’t want high boost levels?! – and should reduce weight.

Suggest retail price is $4,795.00 and is available through Authorized HKS USA Dealers. And also make sure to check out other GT-R performance parts from HKS and other topline manufacturers.

Sourcebox

HKS USA
13401 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061
(310) 491-3300

Nov 242009
 

With SEMA a few weeks behind us and plenty of time to digest the show, a few deep thoughts remain:

  • Where will the Japanese manufacturers be in 2010 in making a serious bid for enthusiasts’ dollars as aftermarket support in this segment wanes? Some of the biggest names in the marketplace was absent from the show, challenged by dwindling sales and the weakness of the US dollar.
  • Can domestic aftermarket manufacturers answer the call? From what we saw, the answer is yes. As mentioned in a previous editorial, the Chevy Camaro seems to have singlehandedly revived the aftermarket industry. Even names that have been traditionally aligned with sport compact performance making positive inroads into supporting the domestic car market, the future looks bright for those who have had the foresight.
  • Will hybrids and electric cars damage the aftermarket? From our perspective, yes for the time being. People who purchase cars in this segment aren’t looking for excitement. In many respects, we feel these buyers are completely abandoning the notion of any behind-the-wheel fun. Gas mileage is what they are after, not vehicle dynamics. Nor acceleration. Nor braking. Nor handling. But companies like Tesla are making inroads in offering a package that still keeps in mind that driving should be fun. We keep our fingers crossed.
  • Fractured aftermarket presence in local communities will present a challenge for those car owners who deem that “stock” just isn’t good enough. Even in the car mecca that is Southern California, many “speed shops” have closed their doors due to a declining demand for services. And forget parts sales. Anything that can be purchased in the brick-and-mortar world can be purchased online. Specialized niche services, an excellent reputation and competitive pricing are the bare minimum a retail operation must offers its customers just to survive.
  • OE makes stand to gain from this downturn in the economy by offering those services and parts that a customer just can’t acquire from their local shop. Although this advantage in scale can tilt things in the dealer’s favor, they will have to work hard to change the opinions of car owners who deem them as “stealerships.”

Let us hope that 2010 will be a turnaround year for the OE and automotive industry.

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Nov 242009
 

Aside from the almost ubiquitous presence of the Chevy Camaro and supporting aftermarket companies at SEMA, it was hard to pinpoint any particular trend or direction the aftermarket is taking. We did notice a dearth of aftermarket body kit companies (thank goodness), but this alone doesn’t say much about where the industry is nor where it is headed. We hold our breath, hoping for some innovation in 2010. With that being said, there still was plenty of cool cars to admire from afar. Here’s our best pic(k)s of SEMA 2009.

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Sep 182009
 

feature_by_johnchoi

GTR_trip01

A couple of weeks ago, we took a 2010 Nissan GT-R on a quick blast to the Indy race at Sonoma to see how the vehicle performs not on a track, but as a supercar driven on freeways, with bags in the trunk and fighting traffic during rush hour. We have lots of feedback and information we’ll post in a review in the near future, but keep yourself busy by checking out all the aftermarket has to offer. Yes, parts for the GT-R are rather expensive, but we wouldn’t expect anything less.

Some of the parts listed below have been introduced / launched in Japan, but not in the States. Please verify compatibility and availability with each brand’s respective distributor in the US.

**Brake pads listed below are designated for the standard Brembo brake system**

Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Street

  • Endless NS97 / Part #RCP117 NS97 (F) – RCP118 NS97(R) / $440 (F) – $305 (R)
  • Endless SS-M / Part #RCP117 SS-M (F) – RCP118 SS-M (R) / $440 (F) – $305 (R)
  • Project Mu B Force / Part #PBF261 (F) – PBR261 (R) / $345 (F) – $235 (R)
  • Project Mu HC+ / Part #PHF261 (F) -PHR261 (R) / $425 (F) – /$305 (R)

Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Street & Track

  • Endless MX72 / Part #RCP117 MX72 (F) – RCP118 MX72 (R) / $440 (F) – $305 (R)
  • Project Mu Max 900i / Part #PL9F261 (F) – PL9R261 (R) / $520 (F) – $400 (R)

Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Track

Brake Kits

Engine – Blow Off Valve

Engine – Intercooler

Engine – ECU Tuning

Engine – Exhaust

Engine – Ignition

Engine – Intercooler

Engine – Intake

Miscellaneous

Power Upgrade Package

Suspension / Chassis

Wheels – wheels listed are direct replacements for the OE wheels

Sourcebox

Endless / Zeal USA
18376 Gothard St.
Huntington Beach, CA. 92648
(714) 847-0694

HKS USA
13401 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061
(310) 491-3300

Mackin Industries (ARC / MXP / Project µ / Volk Racing / AVS / Advan)
9921 Jordan Circle
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(562) 946-6820

Tein USA (Tein / Fujitsubo)
9798 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241
(562) 861-9161

Tomax America / Mine’s Liaison Office
2750 Oregon Court, Unit M-1
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 320-0570

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Aug 182009
 

In what we can only describe as the final nail in the coffin known as the “import scene,” what is seemingly the final Import Showoff of our lifetime made its appearance during the Nisei Week festival in downtown Los Angeles. This is the car show that started it all and it is the show that will end it all. With participants showing what could be considered the “cream of the crop” of Southern California, they gathered under sunny August skies to mark the occasion. Here’s to you, Ken Miyoshi, for pioneering something that took over the entire country and, to a certain extent, the rest of the world.

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Jun 192009
 


pioneer_leadin1

Pioneer Electronics, purveyors of fine mobile and home electronics, invited the RevdCars.com gang down to Long Beach to check out their annual Road Show event. A special once-a-year event, the Road Show is a Pioneer dealer- and media-only event showcasing new products and technologies soon coming to a Pioneer Electronics dealer near you. This year’s Road Show focused on 4 new double-DIN in-dash navigation and multimedia headunits, ranging from $600 to $1,600 MSRP.

Pioneer AVIC-U310BT

Affordably priced at $600 MSRP, the AVIC-U310BT should be a hot seller. With a long list of features for the driver wanting a step up from the typical stock car stereo, this navigation headunit should perform quite well:

  • Full-color 4.3-inch WQVGA touch screen display
  • 2GB on-board memory
  • AVIC-FEEDS for customized POI lists
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling
  • iPod / iPhone control
  • 2 RCA pre-outs
  • XM / Sirius / HD Radio compatible
  • Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR)

Pioneer AVIC-X710BT

The AVIC-X710BT ($900 MSRP) and the AVIC-X910BT ($1,100 MSRP) is the next evolutionary step from the U series. With a bigger screen and a host of other features, these two models should fit well the needs of most mobile electronics enthusiasts:

  • Full-color 5.8-inch high-resolution WVGA touch screen display
  • AVIC-FEEDS for customized POI lists
  • Voice control for iPod / iPhone and compatible mobile phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling
  • iPod / iPhone control
  • 3 RCA pre-outs
  • XM / Sirius / HD Radio compatible
  • Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR)
  • Built-in MSN Direct tuner (AVIC-X910BT)
  • DVD playback (AVIC-X910BT)

Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT

As Pioneer’s flagship in-dash navigation product, the AVIC-Z110BT ($1,600 MSRP) elevates the game even further over its Z-series predecessors:

  • Full-color 7-inch high-resolution touch screen display
  • Customized touch screen interface
  • Highway Signboard Guidance
  • Voice input for navigation
  • 4GB on-board memory
  • Built-in MSN Direct tuner
  • DVD playback
  • AVIC-FEEDS for customized POI lists
  • Voice control for iPod / iPhone and compatible mobile phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling
  • iPod / iPhone control
  • 3 RCA pre-outs
  • XM / Sirius / HD Radio compatible
  • Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR)

Last but not least, a select group of Pioneer dealers were tasked with building SQ (sound quality) oriented sound systems in demo vehicles utilizing various Pioneer mobile electronics products. In keeping with the sign / mood of the times, builds were kept someone on the low key side, including budgets. Regardless, the builds reflected a very high level of creativity, quality, and, of course, clean delivery of music. Congrats to these Pioneer dealers for putting together an awesome presentation.

Sourcebox

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
Long Beach, CA
www.pioneerelectronics.com

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Apr 162009
 
denso_ikh22_iridium_spark_plug

Denso Iridium Spark Plug After 15,000 Miles

With this feature, we launch a new category of editorial on RevdCars.com: “Cheap Thrills.” These aren’t the kind of thrills that will likely get you arrested and thrown in the slammer. Rather, these are small, affordable upgrades you can perform on your car to achieve better performance, realiability and / or driving experience.

Reportedly invented by Edmond Berger in 1839, spark plugs are the often-overlooked component of an engine. Most people don’t give a second thought to replacing them, relegating this rather simple maintenance item to their dealer or local mechanic during a “tune up” (newer vehicles really don’t need “tune ups” per se). But checking and replacing your vehicle’s spark plugs at regular intervals can pay dividends.

Our in-house Mitsubishi Evolution IX MR came equipped with NGK Iridium spark plugs from the factory. Compared to spark plugs with a conventional copper center electrode, iridium spark plugs – due to the high temperature nature of iridium – allow the use of a smaller center electrode, which will not melt or corrode away. When you combine this increased level of durability and the more efficient spark afforded by iridium, these spark plugs will provide more efficient combustion translating into performance and economy gains. Indeed, the advantages iridium spark plugs permit are ideal for high performance applications like the turbocharged 4G63 engine in the Evo IX.

At 15,000 miles on the odometer, the NGK’s were swapped for Denso Iridium spark plugs. Although the Mitsubishi service manual advises a longer change interval, we were pleased by the results. Immediately, idle smoothed out and engine response was improved. Now with 30,000 miles on the odometer, we checked out the Denso Iridium plugs previously installed. The plugs looked almost new, the center electrode showing no signs of any corrosion or melting. And idle and engine response is still excellent.

While we can certainly continue to use the plugs, we figured as long as they were out, we’d install a fresh set. Sure, iridium plugs do cost more than standard copper or platinum plugs, but the performance and efficiency advantages they offer more than justify the extra cost in our opinion. Even if your pocketbook does not permit spending upward of $25 per plug, regularly checking and replacing your vehicle’s spark plugs will enhance the vehicle ownership and driving experience.

Sourcebox

Denso Sales California, Inc.
3900 Via Oro Avenue
Long Beach CA 90815
(888) 96-DENSO

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