BFGoodrich Advantage T/A
We understand that not all of our readers drive souped-up sports cars and might be interested in reading about something other the high-dollar ultra-high-performance rubber. So when BFGoodrich contacted us about testing a set of Advantage T/A all-season tires, our interest was piqued. The problem was finding a vehicle that could accommodate one of the available sizes. The answer came to me the following day while visiting my stepmom, Christine. I noticed her 1989 Mercedes 560SL was in need of new rubber, and as in a story about a little girl and three bears, it turned like out these tires would fit her car just right. I normally don't like to experiment on cars owned by family members, because if something goes wrong, you never hear the end of it. But, I figured what could go wrong with a set of tires?
So after a bit of reassurance, she agreed to let me try some Advantage T/As on her precious SL. I had them mounted and wasted no time in taking the little Benz for a spin. Since I was a long way from my normal test route (PCH and the like), I was forced to take a few winding and unfamiliar roads. Having only driven this car a few times in the past 20 years she had owned it, I was nevertheless impressed with the fun factor of this V8 Benz. Normally I don't expect much from a 65-series tire because of the amount of flexibility retained in the massive sidewall. So as I hit the first few corners, I was bit concerned that the car's 3,800 pounds and super-lux suspension were going to require a quick pair of hands. And I was surprised when this was not the case. The Advantage T/A all-seasons remained staunch in the corners, holding their ground without a peep or squeal. As with any tire, they can lose their edge if you overdrive them, but what surprised me most about the BFGs was how far I was able to push them before they did break loose.
BFGoodrich promotes the Advantage T/A as "the everyday tire with performance that's anything but." After evaluating the tire in those same everyday situations on everyday roads (and some canyon routes which aren't so everyday) I can say that the tag-line is an accurate assessment. Unfortunately, my only experience with wet surfaces was a little bit of sprinkler run-off, which isn't much to gauge a tire's wet-handling capabilities, but with all the features built in to the tire, it's doubtful a little water would be an issue during normal driving.
• Equal Tension Containment (ETEC) System helps the tire maintain its shape at high speeds for increased stability
• g-Wedge sidewall inserts during cornering help resist deflection, resulting in greater stability
• g-Grip incorporates interlock sipe designed to increase grip in all types of weather
• All-season tread compound developed to provide a balance of wet and dry traction
• Ridged shoulder blocks for increased lateral control for increased steering response
• Non-directional tread incorporates four deep and wide circumferential grooves to channel water away from the tread, increasing wet traction and reducing the risk of hydroplaning
• 60,000-Mile Manufacturer's Limited Tread Life Warranty
Racing Sport Concepts' CS600 tuning package for the Lambo Gallardo is designed to allow current owners to update their car's looks and performance to LP560 levels-at a fraction of the cost of a new car. The styling package is spearheaded by a high-pressure formed polyurethane front bumper styled after the 560's updated front end, and continued rearward with carbon accents that include side skits, mirror housings and rear diffuser. All body pieces are designed to accommodate factory mounting points for easy installation. The CS600 package also improves engine output by a claimed 39 hp with the addition of high-flow air filters, ECU tuning, and a titanium exhaust that weighs nearly 50 pounds less than the OEM system. RSC can also include an E-gear transmission upgrade for suitably equipped vehicles for reduced shift times and smoother operation. Optional extras include LED front running lights, as well as RSC's signature Taglio wheels available in a 20-inch diameter with customizable colors and finishes. From $19,995
Racing Sport Concepts
For anyone who drives a turbocharged car, an oil catch can will not only be an eye-catching underhood accessory that adds to your overall visual presentation. It can help preserve your engine. Over time, oil residue can build inside your vehicle's intake manifold, intercooler, plumbing, or the turbo itself and literally gum up performance. The oil catch can is designed to contain this excess blow-by and prevent that from happening. And crafted from sleek carbon and polished aluminum, it's designed to look great while protecting your forced induction setup. $125
StopTech Street Performance brake pads are designed for daily driving while providing performance benefits for track-driven vehicles. These pads utilize para-aramid composites to deliver optimum stopping performance over a wide temperatue range and are formulated to deliver linear response in both cold and hot conditions. All StopTech brake pads are 100 percent positive molded and include OEM-style shims to eliminate noise associated with brake pad vibration. In addition, each pad is scorched to remove impurities in the friction material to provide improved stopping power right out of the box.
VW and Audi factory airbox/intake assemblies are generally good at muffling operating noise and enhancing low-rpm engine performance, but become very restrictive when the engine is operating in a higher rev range. Neuspeed's famed P-Flo intake is currently available for the latest generation of 2.0-liter TFSI engines. Designed as a simple bolt-on, it is engineered to improve both mid-range and top-end power. The P-Flo leaves the MAF and original intake tract unaltered, and It'll also give you a throaty, more aggressive induction roar when you stomp on the gas. Available for carswith and without the O.E. air pump provision. Like all Neuspeed products, the P-Flow is CARB approved. From $299.95
Champion Motorsport's Werks One division, specializing in carbon composite performance upgrades, has released a pair of new products for the current-gen Porsche 911. First is the merge collector (Y) pipe for the 997 Turbo, formed using a computer-controlled curing process that allow it to withstand high operating pressures and temperatures, and engineered using Computational Fluid Dynamics for sizeable gains in airflow and power potential. It also weighs just half a pound, saving a full two pounds over factory equipment.
Werks One also offers a carbon underbody diffuser for the updated 997.2 direct-injection Carrera. Designed to reduce airflow turbulence at the vehicle's rear, it is constructed entirely of the highest quality composites. The diffuser includes a layer of insulation good for 2,000 degrees to ensure high durability, while the opposite (exposed) side is treated with a high-grade clearcoat finish for protection against the elements. $1,200 and $3,000 respectively