Don't Try This At Home
Just days before what was planned to be a live television broadcast of two record-breaking back-to-back stunts, the tuner community received word that one of their own was fighting for his life. As part of ESPN's New Year, No Limits telecast, Rhys Millen was scheduled to throw down a back flip in a modified Pro-Lite CORR truck-something no one has ever attempted, probably for good reason. After completing numerous full rotations in practice, landing wheels-down into a large "crashvat" made of used cardboard boxes, Rhys' final attempt landed him in the ICU. He failed to rotate completely after exiting the launch ramp with excess speed and overshot his landing zone, slamming more than 20-feet to the pavement-roof first-fracturing and compressing five vertebrae in his neck and back. In true stunt-man form, Rhys appears to have gotten extremely lucky-not only did his injuries prove to be non-lethal, but he is expected to make a full recovery in due time. He promises to be back behind the wheel as soon as his doctors will let him. www.rhysmillen.com
Origin Of The Subaru Boxer Engine
More than any other attribute, sport compact car manufacturers are defined to enthusiasts by the engines in their most popular cars. In the same way, Honda is known for their B18C or K20A-and Toyota and Nissan, for their 2JZ and RB26, respectively-Subaru is undoubtedly known for it's "boxer". While the company wasn't the first to use a horizontally opposed engine, its inclusion of one in every production year of its most coveted model, the Impreza, has made the Subaru name synonymous with the flat-four design.
Germany's Karl Benz is credited with having invented the first horizontally opposed internal combustion engine in 1896, before BMW's Max Fritz "borrowed" the design for use in his company's motorcycles. Volkswagen used air-cooled flat-fours in some of their better-known early models, including the OG Beetle and Bus. Alfa Romeo, Citroen and even a European Chevy jumped on the bandwagon before Subaru adopted the technology with the introduction of the 55hp, 1.0L EA52 flat-four in the '66 Subaru 1000. EA-series engines powered Subarus until 1994, ending with the 1.8L turbo EA82T of the Leone, but it was the EJ series of flat-fours introduced with the '89 Legacy that really brought the boxer into the limelight. The following year, Subaru campaigned its EJ-powered Legacy in the WRC, and by 1994 was achieving regular podium finishes with the car, before switching to similarly powered Imprezas the year after and subsequently decimating the competition from then on.
By its design, the flat four-cylinder boxer engine is naturally balanced. It tends to run cooler than in-line or V-arranged alternatives and brings a lower center of gravity to the vehicles it powers. With one rare exception, Subaru has used a flat design in every four- and six-cylinder engine it has put into production, and it doesn't seem to be headed away from that arrangement. Last year Subaru announced plans to continue pushing the boxer engine and even offer a diesel version in the Legacy and Outback this year. www.subaru.com
|FF-1 Star||WRX STi|
|THEN VS. NOW||PRODUCTION||1970-1973||1992 – PRESENT|
|CONFIGURATION||2, 4- OR 5-DOOR||5-DOOR|
|BODY TYPE||FRONT ENGINE, FWD||FRONT ENGINE, AWD|
|ENGINE||1.1L, EA61||2.5L, EJ25|
|TRANSMISSION||4-SPEED MANUAL||6-SPEED MANUAL|
|COMPRESSION RATIO||9.0:1, N/A||8.2:1, TURBOCHARGED 1994|
|FUEL DELIVERY||2-BARREL CARBURETED||ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTED|
|POWER||61 @ 5,600RPM||305 @ 6,000RPM|
|CURB WEIGHT||1,420 POUNDS||3,395 POUNDS|
|0-60MPH||STILL COUNTING...||4.8 SECONDS|
|1/4 MILE TIME||STILL WAITING...||13.3@102|
Castrol Top Shop Challenge
The proverbial question every gearhead wants to know: Which engine is the best?
Is it high compression, high-revving, naturally aspirated four-bangers? Or how about twin-turbocharged sixes putting out tarmac ripping horsepower? Or is it the no-replacement-for-displacement V-8 domestics putting out metal twisting low-end torque? Like arguing over who the greatest boxer is of all time, the age-old debate will never end. Until now.
Thanks to Castrol and our sister publications ( Super Street, Lowrider, eurotuner, Sport Compact Car, Modified and Turbo) we are finally going to put the dispute to rest. Each of the magazines, including yours truly, will select a motor and a tuning shop to build, tune and dyno, to see how much power they can make.
To level the playing field for motor size and number of cylinders, the competition will measure the horsepower per liter-a little division for the math-weary. Fuel is allowed at a boost-friendly 100 octane, but to hedge for a forced-induction advantage, will result in a penalization of doubling its motor size (for example 2.0L turbo would count as a 4.0L N/A).
Given those restraints, we decided to stick with the forced induction route and go with the proven SR20DET motor found in a Japanese-spec 240SX. The mill makes power upwards in the 600s relatively easy, but with careful tuning, we're shooting for the 800 mark. With Castrol SYNTEC oil and the Nissan gurus over at G-Dimension as our shop of choice, we have a good chance.
So will we be able to build an 800hp turbocharged four-cylinder? More importantly, will that effort be good enough for the win? With seven titles representing the import, sport compact, domestic and euro markets fighting for ultimate bragging rights, only time will tell. Until then, keep reading 2NR and check out www.SyntecTopShop.com.
1,050by TH3 Number5The maximum amount of wheel horsepower extracted from a 4 G 6 3 by EVO tuners A M S Performance
Die(Sel) Hard Honda
Honda recently announced its plans to enter the stateside diesel market (finally), with the promise to introduce the i-DTEC turbo-four in 2009. The i-DTEC is said to reduce noxious exhaust emissions inherent in diesel engines, while boosting power and strengthening fuel efficiency. There is no offi cial word as to which car will be offered with the diesel alternative to date but bets are on Acura's TSX or RDX as the most likely candidates. There is speculation that any future USDM introductions of Honda six-cylinder diesel powerplants would most likely find homes in a future Acura TL. www.honda.com
Also in Mitsubishi news are details of a new clean diesel sports coupe. Yes, we know, it's a bit strange seeing those four words next to each other in the same sentence, but read on. The Concept-RA two-seater boasts an aluminum frame body, intuitive S-AWC/AWD suspension and drivetrain, standard 21-inch wheels and DOHC 2.2L turbo-diesel mill churning out over 200 whp and 420Nm of torque. No final word on production possibilities, but as other OEs are ramping up preparations to launch diesel platforms into the U.S. market, we're sure we'll see something along the lines of this might-be Mitsu in production soon. www.mitsubishimotors.com
Mitsubishi recently announced the upcoming release of yet another addition to their '08 Lancer lineup: The Lancer Ralliart. If the EVO is an iron-pumping Lancer on 'roids, think of the Ralliart as a Lancer that works out everyday but settles for GNC-esque 'performance enhancing supplements'; it has all the potential, but may take a little more time to get there. Like the EVO, the Lancer Ralliart is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L, retains the AWD drivetrain, and is equipped with a Twin Clutch SST automated manual transmission (though we hear a five- or six-speed may be on the way). The Ralliart also features an exclusive front bumper design, rear air dam, dual exhaust, intake and a lightweight aluminum hood. From what we can tell, the interior is a little different from the EVO's but in a good way-Mitsu simply tossed what wasn't absolutely needed. Hey-less weight, right? Some of the EVO's exclusive aluminum suspension bits won't make it onto the Ralliart, but those are just minor details. The big news? It'll cost less than the EVO and offers huge tunability! www.mitsubishimotors.com
CR-Shouldn't Have Gotten My Hopes Up
It seems the car that many were hoping would be a second coming of the CR-X has turned out to be more of a continuation of the Insight, as Honda announced some final details of the all-new CR-Z. While rumors of its lightweight and "sports car" styling cues proved true, the new gas-electric hybrid definitely does not seem to be going in the direction we all hoped. Our first realization hit when Honda began to describe the car by its "Hi-tech and sporty" interior design, "jaunty fin-shaped sub-lights" and "oversized grille with a high-performance look." Kind of like when your buddy's girlfriend tries to set you up on a blind date with her friend who "has a great personality." We all know what comes next...Alas, we can only take solace in the hope that eventually somewhere, some gearhead will make a mount kit for the car that allows for a K20 swap. www.honda.com
In an apparent attempt to steal some of Nissan's recent thunder, Toyota announced plans for a new variation of the infamous LF-A concept car. For those not familiar: The LF-A is Toyota's theoretical carbon-fiber and aluminum bodied, front/mid and rear-mounted 500whp V-10 supercar that some are expecting will carry-on the lineage of the late Supra, and give the GT-R a run for its money. At least one realworld test car has already been built-and has been track-tested to speeds of 200 mph, the company claims. Newest details of this almost-car are that it's planned to be offered as a roadster, as well as the coupe model we've all seen renderings of. Aside from a removable hardtop, the roadster has been given a speed-adaptive rear wing, flashy "F" emblems on each front fender, and exclusive taillights surrounding improved rear grilles that ensure heat from its rear-mounted radiators doesn't get caught up in its wake. What really matters here is that attention ($$) is still being devoted to this "concept" by company engineers and execs. Is the car inching toward its final phases of conception? Will we be hearing sales projections and MSRPs anytime soon? Will Toyota finally get their facts together and start producing the car the U.S. market has been begging them to produce to compete with the GT-R? At this point, we hope so. www.toyota.com
Nissan Lets The Box Out Of The BagAn outspoken Nissan representative recently announced the company's plans to export the Cube to U.S. shores, to compete directly with Scion's xB. This is a rumor that has been floating around for over four years, but now it actually seems to have some merit. "The Cube is coming to the U.S. market," announced Nissan Global Design Director Shiro Nakamura. "It will be a unique vehicle for Nissan (in America). Some people will find it kind of strange." Frankly, we're surprised the rumor hasn't come true years ago, considering the success of the xB-and the numerous spy shots of the Cube traveling U.S. roads that have been circulating message boards with the fever of a celebrity sex tape. No further details yet, but we'll keep our proverbial ear to the ground. www.nissanusa.com