The accompanying bass beat to Sir Mix-A-Lot's classic "Baby Got Back" was bumpin' hard from the Mazdaspeed Proteg's wicked stock 450-watt stereo. With the volume dialed in to 29, the rearview mirror, rear glass and trunk were thumping to the beat. Heck, the loose change in the cup holder was jumping to the beat.
We were on the Trek 2 Sonoma and our caravan of buzzing imports had just made the turn from Interstate 10 onto Pacific Coast Highway, and the view from the car changed from freeway to sand and sea. I soon came upon a trio of high-dollar Land Rover SUVs, each with a stereotypical soccer mom at the wheel. And as the Proteg swept by, slalom-style turbo spooling and with Sir Mix rhyming, I got dirty stares from all three. It was one of those ironic moments that make the great American road trip the thing of beauty it is.
Another benefit of the trip is the solitude of the open road. Sitting behind the wheel is a great place to think about cars and, for me, to generate themes and story ideas. The 2004 run of issues is out of the gate and I would like to let you know a little about what is in store for 2004. (I can't get too specific because competitors really like to bite our editorial.) The next mag out of the gate will be our fifth annual Supra Stars issue, with a full pallet of 2JZ-inspired madness. We started showcasing Supras and the 2JZ-GTE on a regular basis in 1999 and this car/engine combo has since moved to the forefront of the tuning scene.
Our Turbo Tech issue will be back in 2004 and we're looking to do more engine swaps and plenty of WRX and EVO VIII tech and features. Racecar features will be more prominent and we plan to go well beyond sheet metal and politics and break down the technology that produces the remarkable timeslips.
It's a good time to be Turbo magazine, with the wave of factory turbo cars that are hitting the market. The last couple of years have brought the WRX, Mazdaspeed Proteg, Neon SRT-4 and the EVO; the latter two come with front-mount intercoolers no less. We're planning to do more of everything in 2004: more dyno testing of products; more real-world feature cars; more saying "yes" to function and "no" to poseurs-and we'll do it all with more pages.
Turbo has delivered a solid 12 to 15 feature articles per issue but in mid-2004 we're kicking the ad/edit ratio to the curb and you should see a big jump in the number of stories per issue. Sure, we have to work harder but it's all for you, our loyal readership. So strap in and hang on. We're spooling up in anticipation of some serious boost for '04.