Fuel your drive with Corsa Lusso
Your car isn't the only one that needs some fueling up before a drive. If you love fine cars and fine coffee, then Corsa Lusso, a new company out of California, has just the right beans to get you going. Shown here is the Mulholland Blend, named for the legendary mountain road in L.A. A blend of Central American, Ethiopian, and Indonesian beans provides notes of caramel and apples with sweet aromatics. If you aren't a coffee drinker, Corsa Lusso will make a great gift for your friends; if you have any—because c'mon, what kind of person doesn't like coffee? The company is just getting started and will have multiple coffees with different themes and tasting profiles on a regular basis. There is also a Launch Blend that may or may not still be available by the time you read this; it is limited to 1,000 individually numbered bags.
Big wheels for mini cars
NM Engineering, which is how you pronounce Neuspeed with an English accent, has just introduced its RSe11 race wheels for F-chassis Minis. It is a little bit heavier than NM's other flow-formed wheels, weighing in at 20.5 pounds for a 18x7.5-inch et45 fitment. The extra mass gives the wheel greater strength and rigidity for a long life and faster lap times. The RSe11 is a bolt-in fit, using the factory bolts and without requiring hub-centric rings. It is available in gloss silver, gloss black, or satin gunmetal. The wheel was designed to accommodate the John Cooper Works big brake kit, but you will need to verify fitment with aftermarket kits. These should be shipping by the time you read this.
Retail: $299 ea.
Go Rallying for the price of a tire
A large percentage of us car enthusiasts cut our teeth on radio control cars long before we ever had our license. Back in the 1900s, everything was sold separately and you had to spend hours building your car from a kit—I might argue that was half the fun. Today, it's easy to find hobby quality cars pre-built and everything you need all in one box. Traxxas has just released this awesome-looking Ford Fiesta ST Rally Car, which is less than $300 and ready to run within minutes of purchase. Unlike its previous rally cars, this one is 1/10 scale, meaning it's 21 inches long and 11 inches wide. It features a central prop-shaft for the all-wheel-drive system, sealed gear differentials at each end, and oil-filled dampers. The controller is even set up so you can add optional plug-in telemetry modules and get real-time driving data on your iPhone, just like real race cars. The in-car electronics are waterproof and when you've gotten your driving skills back, you can upgrade to a brushless motor and lithium batteries with Traxxas' Power-Up trade-in discount program. This would make a perfect holiday gift for the school-age car enthusiast on your list all the way up to say, I dunno, the editor of a car magazine. Just sayin'.
Never look back, unless we're looking at brakes
When we talk about big brake kits, we are almost always talking about upgrading the front axle—especially on Golf Rs and Audi S3s. If you want to improve the braking at the back of one of those cars, your options are limited. The factory already equipped the R and S3 with 310mm rotors, which a few years ago would have been big for a front fitment. If you must do something, Vagbremtechnic has just released a kit that allows you to fit 356 (14-inch) rotors on the rear of your car, while still using the factory caliper by utilizing a new mounting bracket. The kits start affordably enough at roughly $350 for a kit with plain rotors and go all the way to $1,025 for a kit with the "wavy rotors" found on the Audi RS7. The new caliper brackets are machined from steel, and the kit includes all the hardware you need for installation; just add your favorite brake pads. Your factory 310mm rotors are reportedly 15 pounds per side, and the Audi Wavy Rotors are just 16.3 pounds, so unsprung weight is minimal, but moment of inertia will increase considerably. No word on if this kit is direct fit for MK7 GTI Performance Package cars.
Classical musical instruments
Sadly, building a MK2 Golf has basically become a full car restoration. Everyone's favorite hot-hatch is now 25 years old—depressed yet? There have been fewer and fewer high-quality exhaust options for these cars over the years, but now Milltek is releasing a full front-to-back system for the 1.8 eight-valve that helped make the car famous. The system is built from 304 stainless steel, with all mandrel bends, and uses a center resonator and two mufflers to eliminate drone but still provides an appropriately aggressive sound. The header and cat-back kits are available separately if desired, but we can't imagine why you wouldn't want both.
I was just reading a suspension buyer's guide in one of our sister publications and for every threaded body coilover kit, it listed "ride height adjustability" as a feature. That's implicit, isn't it? Anyway, we thought Gaz Shocks had an application for every car on the road, but apparently the company missed the Porsche 928 at some point. Each shock offers 42 levels of adjustment with a single knob controlling compression and rebound at the same time. The standard spring and damping rates are intended for fast road or track day use with semi-slick tires. Gaz offers a free service to customize shaft length, shock valving, and spring rate changes at time of purchase. Oh, yeah, the zinc-plated acme course threaded bodies allow you to change the ride height of your car as well.
Filling in the holes
On the latest 911s, Porsche has begun using magnetorhelogical engine mounts that can be either soft, to attenuate vibration and noise at idle, or quite firm during spirited driving to eliminate secondary movements and vague shifting. Now the owners of first-generation 997 cars can have half of that improvement thanks to Powerflex. The performance bushing manufacturer has designed two different bushing inserts for the transmission mount of manually equipped 997 911s, excluding Turbo, GT2, and GT3 cars. The Black Series insert 95 Shore A is 25 percent stiffer than the purple 80 Shore A insert. Both pieces slide into the factory bushing, filling the voids that allow the transmission to move around in normal use. These will improve everything from handling to power delivery to shifting, but we have to imagine there will also be some amount of additional NVH transmitted into the car. However, at less than 50 bucks, it might be easier to swallow than having to upgrade to a later car equipped with active engine mounts.