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.
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.
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.
While we are evaluating the 2009 Nissan 370Z with Sport Package…
The 350Z was hugely popular with the aftermarket crowd and we foresee the same level of popularity and aftermarket support for the 370Z. It is a new platform so it will take a bit of time for manufacturers to develop parts for the car. We will update this list as often as necessary to provide you with as comprehensive a list as possible.
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 optional sport brake package (4-piston front / 2-piston rear) ONLY**
Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Street
Endless SS-Y Sport / Part #EP461 front / EP462 rear (universal for all Endless pads for 370Z)/ $155 front or rear
So what to do if a stock Evolution X isn’t enough to thrill the sense? Well, here’s our parts guide for the CZ4A! Please keep in mind that some parts are compatible ONLY with the Evo X GSR, such as the clutch systems.
We’re not going to list every part under the sun; rather, we recommend parts that we would and DO use ourselves!
If you feel your company’s products belong on this and / or future aftermarket parts guides, email us!
Constructed of a cast-iron bellmouth mated to 75mm SUS304 stainless steel piping, this new HKS downpipe is a direct bolt-on replacement for the restrictive factory downpipe (read: choking point inhibiting power). A newly designed exhaust flange adapter allows the downpipe to bolt up to the factory center pipe, HKS center pipe, or the soon-to-come HKS 75mm full cat-back exhaust system, eliminating all exhaust restrictions.
This new downpipe is designated as OFF-ROAD USE only, meaning it won’t pass emissions restrictions in your local state. So keep it on the track only.
HKS USA 13401 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90061 (310) 491 3300