GTA IV: The Lost And Damned Release Party
Too geeky to ride a bike or scared to shoot a gun? Well, now you can play the role of the wild biker gangster that your ladyfriend wishes you were. And you don't even have to leave that crummy apartment you call home. Ride with Johnny Klebitz through Liberty City as he and his biker gang, The Lost, as they try to control a city torn by violence and corruption. We were invited to the release party to try out this latest version of GTA where Rockstar Games also gave us a limited edition GTAIV Xbox 360 of our own to toy with. But don't think you've been left out of the loop - go to our website where you can find out how to win a Xbox and a copy of the game for your very own! Keep in mind this game is only available for Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE.
Nitto 1320 Legends: NOS Powershot 24-Hour Endurance Challenge
Don't have your car ready for the dragstrip? Or just bored at work? Nitto 1320 Legends is the free online drag racing competition that allows users to build their own virtual drag cars, and race them amongst the others online. NOS Energy Drink recently held an online 24-hour endurance drag racing competition. The grand prize being a NOS customized Scion tC and being named the fastest car in Nitto 1320 Legends history. Beating out over 430,000 registered users, "7racer" of Jamaica, won the bracket taking home the first-ever title of NOS Powershot Champion, and the fastest Nitto 1320 ride ever created.Source: www.nittolegends.com
Scion announced today that the limited-production tC RS 5.0 for 2009, will have a TRD theme and be available at dealers in March. The car will feature gloss black exterior paint, matte black 18" TRD wheels, TRD sway bars, TRD muffler, TRD badge, optional rear lip, optional rear spoiler, and TRD lowering springs, for that low-squat stance. Inside, the black leather TRD steering wheel matches the black seats and floor mats with its red accent. Individually numbered and badged makes this year's tC rare and possibly a future collector's item. Only 2,000 units of the tC Release Series 5.0 will be built.Source: www.scion.com/rstc
The Big Weinner
Kelly Bremer of Woodburn, Indiana has just won our Konig Fantasy Photo Challenge. The contest was simple enough that everyone could have and should have entered. With his savvy computer skills, Kelly enhanced an image of his Civic and added Konig Toxxin wheels better than anyone else that entered the contest. Konig will be rewarding his creative efforts handsomely. Here are his photos of his Civic, before and after his Konig rendition. Check out Konig's website to see other entries, and how you placed.Source: www.konigwheels.com/fantasy-photo-challenge/
Refreshing The 350Z
NOS Energy Drink and Chris Forsberg Racing are teaming up again for the 2009 season of Formula Drift. The NOS Energy Drink 350Z will get new Nismo bumpers, Seibon carbon body panels and a whole new paint scheme. The new body will be stronger and shed about 100 pounds. Reconfiguration of the motor is expected to increase power output to at least 500 horsepower. Losing chassis weight and increasing power will yield faster entry speeds hopefully for a competitive 2009 season.
I love the Internet. From shopping, to information, to my car hobby, the Internet has affected everything in my life. My previous job as a tech support monkey has taught me how to endure hours-upon-hours of surfing. Now if I don't get my daily fix and go through my routine websites, I get withdrawals. Here's a list of automotive sites that you might enjoy.
Check out next month when I give you the top 5 automotive sites that I currently visit.
Top 5 most influential import car websites of all time, in my opinion of course. (In no particular order.)
1. FF-SquadTuning Hondas since the early '90s. They didn't invent JDM, but before they went online, no one knew what JDM was. Version two of the site never really took off as well as the late '90s version.www.ff-squad.com
2. Slide Squad
Friends of the FF-Squad that ditched their FFs for FRs long before any Formula D event. The site's always changing content and URLs since its birth in late '90s.www.oldbeagle.com/davescholz/
3. Pink Godzira
With a pink dinosaur the crew brought that silly JDM style to real life drifting. If you own a 240SX, you've heard of them. www.geocities.com/pink_godzira/
4. J Tuned
Started by guys like you who just love tuning cars. With their fresh clean styles, Photoshop skills, and super clean cars, they became the hottest website for online featured cars.www.jtuned.com
5. Club 4AG
Whether you have a Corolla or not, whether you have a Toyota with a 4AG or not, this is a great place for old school car content. I can't remember how many times I looked at the old school wheel pictorial page.www.club4ag.com
Money Back Is Good
Advanced FLOW engineering (aFe) is giving you $25 back with each purchase of a Stage 2 intake system, Mach Force XP, Large Bore HD exhaust system, Bladerunner Intake manifold, or Bladerunner Intercooler purchased from 2-1-09 through 4-30-09. All you have to do is send in the rebate form with a copy of your purchase receipt and aFe will send you a cash card worth $25. Set your car up with an exhaust and an intake and earn $50 in cash cards from aFe. Source: www.afepower.com
Word On The Street
Straight Outta J-Pan. Engrish From Our Man In Japan. Read If You Dare.
Last year at Tokyo Auto Salon, some tuning shops displayed Nissan R35 GT-R but most of R35 GT-R demo cars looked like stock. All of tuning shops staff said "we developed tuning parts for R35 GT-R" but many people and magazines said it is impossible for tuning R35 GT-R. There were many negative words for R35 GT-R last year but the negative words had gone this year. In 2009, many tuning shops/companies displayed tuned R35 GT-R.
I noticed two R35 GT-R at Tokyo Auto Salon. One is from Blitz. Blitz R35 GT-R has Blitz NUR-SPEC exhaust, ORC clutch, and Blitz Dumper ZRR. I think that nobody is surprise Blitz GT-R had only three parts. Stock R35 GT-R had two pedals (gas and brake), because R35 has paddle shift transmission. But Blitz R35 GT-R has three pedals (gas, brake and clutch). Blitz put Hollinger sequential transmission and customized FR layout (stock R35 GT-R is AWD). Blitz doesn't finish the developing and testing yet. What is the purpose of Blitz for making FR R35 GT-R? D1? Blitz staff said drifting is one of their plan of Blitz R35 GT-R. I think we will see Blitz R35 GT-R in D1 this year.
This year of D1, some drivers bring new cars. Nobushige Kumakubo drives new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Takahiro Ueno drives BMW (E92) which has Toyota's 2JZ motor and Hollinger sequential transmission. Daigo Saito drives super charged Mustung GT. Another driver will bring Nissan 370Z. We will see some new cars at D1 Grand Prix this year.
I noticed another R35 GT-R at TAS was Power Enterprise R35 GT-R. Power Enterprise R35 GT-R looks like stock but I surprised when I saw the engine room. There is supercharger. I thought they took turbo away and put supercharger but that was wrong. Power Enterprise GT-R had turbo and supercharger (see photo). Power Enterprise is testing the twin charger GT-R now and they will make around 700ps. Their plan is Power Enterprise will sell twin charger tuning kit for R35 GT-R around spring time. Power Enterprise has the office in California.
Both of tuning parts companies are still testing parts for R35 GT-R.It is very difficult to tune up R35 GT-R because stock ECU of R35 GT-R is checking everything. If you took away speed meter from R35 GT-R, ECU of R35 GT-R judge the car has trouble and ECU save power or engine doesn't work. You need real parts for tuning R35 GT-R. If you put fake parts on R35 GT-R it will lose power. I think only real tuning shops can customize R35 GT-R.
After Tokyo Auto Salon, I went to Nissan showroom in Tokyo and saw R35 GT-R SpecV. Engine is same as regular R35 GT-R but SpecV has many carbon-fiber parts. Exhaust is titanium. Price tag says 15,750,000 yen (about $175,000 USD). SpecV is faster than regular GT-R of course. Brake pads and brake rotor are carbon-fiber. Porsche and Ferrari have carbon-fiber brake system. It sounds like very expensive but it is right. Front brake pad for SpecV is 2,000,000 yen. (about $22,000 USD) and brake rotor for SpecV is 3,000,000 yen (about $33,000 USD). Wow! I can just say "Wow". But I want to drive it!
SpoCom Strikes Back
Even though the industry and the economy is taking a dive, and other big-named shows are being cancelled, SpoCom comes back again this year. Better than any other show, this show doesn't only mix cars and girls, this is a mix of both consumers and industry people. With over 300 showcars in the competition and over 75 venders with booths, this is like HIN meets SEMA - but not really: it's Spocom! Don't miss one of the biggest events of the year. Just like last year, this will be at the Long Beach Convention Center, in the LBC, June 14th.
Log On And Check Us Out!
We know that you come to Super Street for your monthly dose of hot imports, pure performance and the hottest girls that turn our heads, but we also have some exclusive content online, including outtakes from most of our photoshoots and stories/videos you won't see anywhere else except on www.superstreetonline.com. We also have a re-vamped forum for you to stay in touch with like-minded enthusiasts and of course, check out our staff blogs for the weird and random things only the Internet can provide.
Classic Super Street
Ten years ago, before the whole JDM hype took over, we featured anything foreign and compact. May of 1999, we had three dubs, a Jetta, a Beetle and a Golf. Not leaving Japan out, a MKIV Supra and a FD RX-7 were also featured. Unique features included a Mugen Honda CR-V by King Motorsports, and a Subaru Impreza 22B. And you thought no one knew how dope GC chassis was back then.
Word On The Street
D1 Back In Full Effect
D1 Grand Prix USA has just announced a partial list of drivers as well as judges, (as of presstime), listed below. To make the judging less subjective and more level than any other drift competition, they are introducing the D1GP USA Pro 1 "Driftbox". This computer will calculate the driver's speed, g-force, angle, as well as interpret what the driver is doing from inside the car. Information given back, along with what the judges score, will help determine the winner.
2009 D1GP Drivers
Daigo Saito - Ranked #1 and winner of 2008 D1 Japan.
Yoichi Imamura - Ranked #2 in 2008 D1 Japan season and winner of 2008 D1 Tokyo Drift. Also has the most D1GP wins.
Ken Nomura - Ranked #4 in 2008 D1 Japan season. There will be a monkey in the madness.
Takahiro Ueno - Ranked #8 in 2008 D1 Japan season. As owner of Vertex he's gonna be pissed when he see's your knock-off kit.
2009 D1GP Judges
Keiichi Tsuchiya - The "Drift King" himself.
Daijiro Inada - The founder of Option Magazine and Tokyo Auto Salon
Manabu Suzuki - One of the original three judges from the D1 series.
Two American Judges - TBA
Last Of The S2K
Originally envisioned as a limited-edition tribute to Honda's 50th anniversary, the S2000 production was stretched extra long due to high consumer demand. But now Honda has decided that the nine-year stretch was long enough. 2009 will be your last chance to buy a brand new S2000, not to mention the limited edition CR model. This car will indefinitely go down in history as a classic. From the streets to the Tsukuba Time Attack, S2000s have dominated all over. Over 65,000 S2000s have been sold alone in the US. Source: www.honda.com
Lexus' F-Sport product line currently only supports the IS 250 and IS 350. Very soon this year, F-Sport will expand to include the current Lexus GS and the upcoming IS C (convertible). Products include brake upgrades, forged alloy wheels, lowering springs, lowering struts, under chassis bracing, sway bars, exhaust systems, intake systems, carbon engine covers, floor mats, shift knobs, short shifters and even high performance clutches. Source: www.f-sport.com
What's it like working at such a sweet job? What challenges and obstacles did you have to overcome to be a part of the best tuning mag? Also, what advice can you give to someone interested in working in the tuning/import journalism industry? Have you met Tetsu? What do you think of his tuning knowledge? I think he is funny, but it seems to me he should have a bigger role at SS. Maybe once he can do some prank calling.
Thanks for you help,
Chris, sorry I had to cut some (actually most) of your letter out, unfortunately I'm not a big enough deal around here to get that much room. But I will answer your questions in order - As for the job - it's really amazing, I honestly can't believe I get paid to do this job. Prior to working at the magazine I did all sorts of other jobs, ranging from full-service mechanic to photographer for online skateshop to tech support for a shipping company - but I think in one way or another, each opportunity I had gave me important lessons to build on and ultimately got me the job I have today. As far as advice to others, I get asked this one a lot and my basic answer is - if you love what you do, people will take notice. I know a lot of times in the industry it's more who you know than anything, but as with my case I was not a SoCal local, nor was I barking up every magazine's editor asking for a job - I was just some kid from Arizona that Jonny seemed to think had something to bring to the magazine. As for Tetsu, yes I met him in Japan (as you will see documented in this issue) and he's a real badass. I DEFINITELY think he should have more of a role in our magazine. For example, did you know he's a certified racecar driver!? Anyway I wish you the best of luck and hope you continue to follow the build on my EK (as mentioned in a deleted portion of the letter).Sincerely,Jesus