Though my wall calendar actually says it's mid October, and my production schedule says this issue won't be on sale until late November, the cover says it's January 2007, so let me be the first to say to you all-Happy New Year! Can you believe it's already 2007?
I can't. Even without the crazy time-shifting we do in this business, I find this rapid passage of time particularly hard to believe. It seems like only yesterday that I took over the editor's chair, but in reality it's been nearly a year (if you go by the cover date). I joined up in February 2006 and since then it's been one crazy ride.
But now that my behind is finally starting to make an imprint on the seat, it's time to shake things up a bit and make a few changes to the look and feel of Sport Compact Car.
Let me put it to you this way-I am trying to put together a magazine that is at least as fascinating as the cars you dream about. My hope is that every time you see SCC on the newsstand or at your buddy's house you will do what you did the first time you saw an NSX, Skyline, or Evo in the flesh: approach for a better look. But unlike those daunting machines, I really hope you'll pick us up and take us for a spin.
When you do, I want SCC to leap off the line and take you on a wild ride, which is why we've put a new photo section called Autofocus at the beginning of the magazine. The idea is to get your juices flowing from the moment you peel back the cover. And there is no better way to do that than showcase the most dramatic happenings in our world, big and bold and right up front.
To keep up this pace, we've trimmed down Spin Out by pulling all the new car reviews and compiling them into their very own section called Just Driven. To kick it off, we've assembled an international cross-section of sport compacts for this issue. Our man in the UK, Alistair Weaver, scores a first drive of the Audi S3 hot hatch, while Takezo Okiyama gets the goods on a special JDM-only TRD-edition Toyota Vitz. But this section isn't just for cars-Jay reviews a racing school this month. And in the future you'll see everything from new R-compound tires to video games being reviewed.
It's not all new formats and new cars, either. I've also decided to move some of the existing furniture around, like The Street. You'll notice we've broken it up and spread it throughout the magazine. Reader's Ride and Burnout of the Month are still near the front, as is Dear Dave, but the letters section has been moved to the back and its name is now Inbox, reflecting the fact that 99 percent of our reader feedback now comes via e-mail.
Since we are the last word in tuning magazines, this is exactly what I've put at the end. Replacing our much-cpied Of the Month is a new section we call The Last Word. It's a knowledge piece devoted to giving you something to wrap your brain around until the next SCC arrives in the mailbox. We start this month by profiling the lowest-powered car we've ever dyno-tested, so you know it can only go up from here.
And there are tons of other minor changes that I don't have time to go into. They may not be glamorous or sexy, but, like regular tune-ups and tinkering are necessary to make your car perform better, this kind of routine maintenance is essential to keep us moving forward at our blistering rate.
The changes I've outlined aren't the only ones we'll be making-they are just what we've been able to make thus far. As with our Project Cars, we are constantly seeking ways to improve. If you have any suggestions how to make Sport Compact Car more engaging and entertaining, I'd love to hear them. My e-mail address is above, so please send me your thoughts. Thanks. Please enjoy this new issue and the New Year.Edward LohEditor