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Hot Import Nights, Super Lap Battle and More - Four One One

Dec 1, 2008

Hinpomona California"Why in the world would HIN put on a show in Pomona," I thought to myself, gridlocked in rush hour traffic on my way to the event, "especially just months after the LA show only a few miles away? Is anyone even going to bother going?" Just then the phone rang. It was a friend whom I knew was already at the show. "You here yet? No? Well, you might want to turn around. This looks kinda beat." Great. Despite the warning, I drudgingly pressed on. Maybe everyone else was stuck in traffic. Maybe it wouldn't be that bad by the time I got there.

Upon arriving, and parking in the closest space available -- behind seven filled football field-sized rows of parking away from the action -- my walk to the gates reaffirmed just how dim this friend of mine can be; this HIN was hoppin! Boost Mobile's big rig, over which freestyle motocrossers were backflipping lengthwise, greeted me on my right, while an out-stretched arm of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man seemed to welcome me inside. And although I had to pass through a fleet of modified domestics (WTF?), when I finally did make it to the epicenter, the full HIN experience officially sank in: beats filled the air, mixed with the sounds of over-revving 13Bs and SR20s battling each other on the Gymkhana course, as did sweet-smelling tire smoke and burnt racing fuel. Tuned RX-7s, GT-Rs, and Evos mingled with widebody 350Zs and JDM Hondas as far as the eye could see.

...And the models! There were more of them than I remember seeing at any HIN before, and all very, very friendly! Even the legendary Mr. Cartoon and crew brought the heat, with some of the cleanest classic and contemporary rides, and uh... ice cream trucks found anywhere. You gotta have respect for that!

As the sun set, I caught up with that fair-weather friend of mine, who, with a full can of NOS in one hand, and model-turned-friend latched onto the other, managed to redeem himself for the bad advice he'd given me earlier, and sum up the entire event in the same, characteristically blunt sentence, "Dude... this is the best HIN ever!!" Full coverage available at importtuner.com. www.hotimportnights.com

Uti Meet"Hot Rod U" (Universal Technical Institute) recently invited the Source Interlink extended family to their Los Angeles campus, located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., for their 2008 Car Show - an annual meet showcasing their facility, students' project cars, alumni successes, and more. Far more modified domestics were in attendance than anything import, but with a curriculum including Nissan-, Toyota-, and BMW-certified programs, and a top notch facility larger than many four-year university campuses, if you've ever wondered how to get started in the world of tuning cars... here's one way: www.uti.edu

Super Lap Battle HotlantaRoad Atlanta set the scene for the first round of our East Coast Super Lap Battle qualifying time-attack events, and pulling off the overall win was none other than drag racing superstar Chris Rado in the World Racing Scion tC, with a 1:30.757 - almost 6 seconds faster then his 2nd place finishing time last year, and good enough to edge out last year's winning Porsche 996 Twin Turbo by two seconds.

Limited and Street classes boiled down to a battle of AWD machines; James Elterman took the Limited Class win in his Subaru STI, beating an R35 GT-R, among others, and Street Class belonged to well-known motocrosser Ryan Gates and his Mitsubishi Evo X. Keep an eye out for this one - he's got his sights set not only on the Super Lap Battle Finals, but also 2NR's own Evo vs STI Shootout, presented by Continental Tires, this November at Buttonwillow, Calif.

With the time-attack bar having been significantly raised over the past few months of Super Lap Battle qualifying, look forward to the Finals in Buttonwillow to give the absolute last word in the world of U.S. time attack. At least until next year. Want to compete? For qualifying and registration details for all our events, visit: www.importtuner.com

Mitsubishi Ownersday Back for its third year is Mitsubishi's MOD event. Held at the company's Cypress, CA headquarters, over 500 cars and 30-plus aftermarket vendors were in attendance, not to mention Road Race Motorsports' mobile dyno, and cool raffle prizes. Tons of heavily modded Eclipses, 3000GTs, Galants, and EVOs lined the parking lot, as well as Colts, Starions, and other prized rides of yesteryear. But the hands-down stealer of the show was Mitsu's own '71 Colt F2000 Formula Car, making its first appearance outside Japan, rocking a naturally aspirated 290hp 2.0L powerplant and deep-dish SSRs to kill for! Click on importtuner.com for more. www.mitsubishimotors.com

2NR10YR PartyFor the first time, in a damn-long time, Import Tuner is getting ready to party. Not just at any run-of-the-mill shindig either, but at a small string of 10th anniversary parties starting off on October 16, 2008 in Hollywood, CA with longtime partner-in-crime, Legend Entertainment and crew (DJ Icy Ice, Runnerz, Crowd Creators, and Caged Monkeys). Held at the Arena Nightclub, expect cameos from import models-including our top ten hotties-drivers, tuners, staffers, and other minor-celebrities from our scene. While the "minorlebrities" may not be a draw for some, at the very least, hang out for the local vendors that come out past midnight, peddling the tasty, bacon-wrapped "Hollywood dogs". Yummyness and IBS sold separately.

Log onto our website, www.importtuner.com and www.legendentertainment.com for more up-to-date info.

RootsCool Roll of the 1991 Honda BeatRear-wheel drive. Lightweight, two-door, two-seat convertible. Fifty-fifty weight distribution. 100 horsepower-per-liter. 8,000+ rpm redline. Are you thinking "S2000"? If so, you're way off. This month's Roots car, the Honda Beat, actually embodied all the aforementioned specs in stock form, and did it all about 10 years before the S2K even hit showrooms. And it came with ITBs, to boot.

Built exclusively for Japan's performance-minded kei car buyers, the Beat's classification as such meant its small 656cc three-cylinder E07A engine was limited to 64 hp in total output. But the car's tiny, 129.7 x 54.9-inch frame and 1,700-pound curb weight, along with the fact that Honda put its engine directly over the rear wheels, did much to separate the Beat from the hoards of utilitarian JDM kei commuters of the day. Honda's MTREC (Multi-throttle responsive engine control) system of individual runner intake throttles, developed for the Beat, improved response and power delivery so much that - along with its four-wheel disc brakes, independent suspension, and 5-speed manual transmission with optional limited slip differential - the car was actually fun to drive and mildly tune-able.

The Beat's sporty, Del Sol-esque interior was suited to match. An optional leather-wrapped MOMO steering wheel and shift knob, elevated center console, and dashboard-mounted speakers were uncharacteristically un-kei car, as were the standard staggered wheels, optional alloys, rear wing, and stainless steel exhaust available outside. A product of Italian auto design firm Pininfarina, whose repertoire includes the Enzo, and other Ferrari styling, the Beat's design was a hit with Soichiro Honda himself; it was the last Honda car he personally approved before his death in 1991.

Ultimately, the rising appeal of the Beat's sister car, the Today, gradually lead Honda to re-think its stance on producing a 'performance kei car', and kill the project in its sixth production year. If the Beat's JDM allure -- and 50+mpg fuel efficiency -- piques your interest, know this: certain legal loop holes permit kei cars to be imported to the U.S. under the guise of "recreational vehicles", due to their small size and displacement. But then again, you'll have a $10K starting price and hefty importing fees to contend with; only 33,600 Beats were produced during the car's run, and all are in high demand back home.

  1991 BEAT {{{2001 S2000}}}
THENVSNOW CONFIGURATION 2-DOOR, 2 SEAT 2-DOOR, 2-SEAT
PRODUCTION 1991-1996 1999-PRESENT
BODY TYPE TRANSVERSELY MOUNTED MID ENGINE, RWD LONGITUDINALLY MOUNTED FRONT ENGINE, RWD
ENGINE 12-VALVE, SOHC, INLINE 3-CYLINDER 16-VALVE DOHC INLINE 4-CYLINDER
TRANSMISSION 5-SPEED MANUAL, OPTIONAL LSD 6-SPEED MANUAL, REAR MOUNTED TORSEN LSD
DISPLACEMENT 656CC 2157CC
FUEL DELIVERY PGM-FI EFI
REDLINE 8,{{{100}}} RPM 8,000 RPM
COMPRESSION 10.0:1 11.1:1
POWER 64PS @ 8,100 237HP @ 7,800 RPM
0-60 MPH 9.9 SECONDS 6.5 SECONDS
SUSPENSION FOUR-WHEEL INDEPENDENT, WITH FRONT ANTI-ROLL BAR FOUR-WHEEL INDEPENDENT, WITH FRONT AND REAR ANTI-ROLL BARS
BRAKES POWER-ASSISTED, FOUR-WHEEL DISC, W/ABS POWER-ASSISTED, FOUR-WHEEL DISC, W/ABS
CURB WEIGHT 1,676 LBS 2855 LBS

UpdateOur SR20DET Is Alive, And Making Record Power!In keeping with our personal resolutions to maintain complete honesty with you, our readers, we have a confession to make: we disobeyed direct orders of our higher-ups this month. They wanted us to dedicate this column to "talking trash" on the competition - you know, to discuss all the reasons why the other mags are screwing up and won't win this engine building competition... but after hearing our SR roar to life inside a G-Dimension drift car test-bed, and its GT42R spool up to kick out some surprising numbers on G-Dimension's Dynojet, none of that matters anymore. We'll be heading off to battle in the next few weeks, armed with one of the most potent four cylinders ever built to burn 100-octane gasoline, with its sights set not only on the competition's laughable "best efforts", but a few long-standing records, as well.

Peep next issue for pictures of the other guys' engines going up in flames, a champagne-soaked 2NR staff, and full disclosure of the SR20DET that won it all. Until then, check out the guide we've compiled below, of the tuning industry's most knowledgeable manufacturers, builders, and tuners, whose expertise played heavily into the build of this monster SR. And don't forget to log onto www.syntectopshop.com to enter for your chance to win this SR when we're done with it! There's still time, and believe us - your chances of winning are good.

The SoldiersSuperior Nissanwww.superiornissan.net

Darton Sleeveswww.dartonsleeves.com

CP Pistonswww.cppistons.com

AEMwww.aempower.com

Garrettwww.turbobygarrett.com

RC Engineeringwww.rceng.com

Supertechwww.supertechperformance.com

Garrettwww.g-dimension.com

Full Racewww.full-race.com

Battle Versionwww.battleversion.com

Erick's Performance Partshttp://stores.ebay.com/erics-performance-parts.com

Phase 2 Motortrendwww.phase2motortrend.com

G&J Aircraft & Competitionwww.gandjaircraft.net

G-Dimensionwww.g-dimension.com

Headgames Motorworkswww.headgamesmotorworks.net

Mazworxwww.mazworx.com

Speed-O-Motivewww.speedomotive.com

Ross Machine Racingwww.rosssmachineracing.com

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