September 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
It was just last year that Honda tuner Mugen gave U.K hot hatch fans a limited run of the Honda Civic Type R. It was an exclusive machine with only 20 units produced and just 16 were sold to customers. Sales were low due to its hefty price tag of around NZ$77,000. Only hardcore fans could pay this much for a Civic.
For 2012, Mugen is back with a whole new engine for the Type R Civic and with the new model not due till next year, the tuner is going big on this final edition. The new motor is bored from 2.0 litres to 2.2 litres, with horsepower boosted 30% to 195kW and torque raised to 240Nm. Mugen views this special Civic as a tribute to Honda’s naturally-aspirated K20 engine, which has been at the heart of the company’s tuning efforts for years.
“Environmental pressures mean naturally aspirated engines are rapidly being superseded by other engine architectures and technologies,” Mugen Euro president Hiro Toyota said. “We may never see the like of the K20 in a mainstream production car again, so felt it only fitting we mark the occasion with this special 2.2 version of the Honda Civic Type R.” Continue reading “Euro-market Honda Civic Type R Mugen gets 2.2-litre motor” »
July 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Audi’s Q7 isn’t exactly a new kid on the block, the full-size SUV has been around for six years already and is due for replacement soon. Despite this fact tuning companies are still having fun with the old girl with the latest bespoke Q7 coming from British firm Project Kahn.
Project Kahn is becoming an Audi specialist with TT and A5 packages already available, so it was only a matter of time before the tuning firm would get busy on the Q7.
The philosophy of Afzal Kahn, the firm’s founder, has been to combine mechanical perfection and exterior beauty but in a distinctly British way.
The reworked Q7 has received a wide-bodykit consisting of new wheel guards, custom bumpers and plenty of chrome detailing. Under the bonnet the Project Kahn Q7 has been fitted with a high-flow sports exhaust system, a stiffer suspension setup and wider tyres for more grip. Continue reading “Project Kahn remixes Audi Q7” »
July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Fiat 500 gets most of the attention directed at the marque’s current model range but its not the only hot hatch in the family. Fiat’s tuning division Abarth is set to change that with a new take on the Punto Evo.
The Punto Evo began life as the Grande Punto back in 2005, but was updated in 2009 as the Punto Evo. Abarth has been tuning the Punto for a while as an option for those that find the 500 too small or just too much of a ‘chick’s car’. Now Abarth has upped the ante with an even more powerful version of the Italian performance hatch called the EsseEsse.
The turbo four-cylinder engine has been upgraded to 135kW (from 123kW), through revised ECU programming and bigger turbocharger. Other mechanical parts like the braked, springs and dampers have all been upgraded and there’s a new wheel/tyre package as well. In terms of performance the Punto Evo EsseEsse will sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds and will reach a 215 kph top speed. Continue reading “Abarth upgrades Fiat Punto Evo to 135kW” »
July 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The new M5 has officially been unveiled and while it’s undoubtedly more modern and progressive than its predecessor, many enthusiasts are going to miss the V10 charm of the older model.
German tuners Edo Competition are celebrating the outgoing M5 with one final hurrah and have created a special M5 Touring for the occasion. Called the M5 Dark Edition, this wagon is modified with a specially tuned version of the 5.0-liter V10. It’s been upgraded with a recalibrated ECU, high-flow air filters and catalytic converters and a new high-performance exhaust system.
Total output has been boosted from 373kW and 521 Nm to a beastly 413kW and 560 Nm. The sinister M5 Dark Edition can sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds (0.5 seconds faster than the standard model) and the 100km/h -200km/h acceleration in under 10 seconds. The pesky limiter has been removed so this M5 Touring can reach a terrifying top speed of 305km/h.
Cosmetically there’s a new aero kit including a front lip with additional lights, a rear diffuser to house the bespoke exhaust tips and a roof wing. Packing out the guards are 20-inch alloy wheels painted in black with a sliver rim and wrapped in thin Dunlop tyres. Continue reading “Edo Competition tunes BMW M5 Touring ‘Dark Edition’” »
June 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The styling of Porsche’s high-riding Cayenne has never appealed to all tastes and this has made it suitable fodder for every aftermarket tuner who wants a crack. The latest attack on the model’s bulky lines comes from Germany’s Lumma Design who is an old hand at reworking German performance sedans but is new to the Cayenne.
The result is called the CLR 558 GT, and sees the Porsche receive a full body kit including a new front end with spoiler, larger air intakes and integrated LED running lights, a rear diffuser, flared wheel guards and side skirting. The stock bonnet has been scrapped and replaced with a ventilated carbon-fibre job and the exhaust is now a triple-tipped stainless system system. New wheels are required with any tuning job and Lumma Design has opted for huge 22-inch modulars with colour-coded surrounds.
The interior hasn’t escaped unscathed either with some special touches like rubber and aluminum pedals, custom door sills, leather-trimmed floor and cargo area mats. Continue reading “Lumma Design gives Porsche Cayenne major makeover” »
May 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Aftermarket styling specialists Vorsteiner has just dropped some images of its latest aerodynamics package for the 2011 F10 BMW 5 Series. Along with the images comes claims that the VMS Conversion can elevate your BMW 5-Series to a higher level of style, sophistication and performance. Details on how exactly the body kit and new rims does that hasn’t been stated but the images look cool – if you’re into doing that sort of thing to a premium luxury cruiser.
Upgrades include a new bumper with large air vents and a carbon fiber front spoiler lip. There’s also deeper side skirts and a set of light alloy wheels, with a white finish and a 10-spoke design. Rear styling is even more dramatically changed with a replacement diffuser and a large boot lid lip, both pieces are made from carbon fibre. The exhaust system has also been replaced with twin, large rectangular tail pipes showing intent. Continue reading “Vorsteiner gives BMW’s 5-Series a makeover special” »
April 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Ford Focus RS is a brutally uncompromising hot hatch that has unfortunately proved rare and illusive here in NZ. Sure there have been a few private imports but with Ford NZ’s decision not to sell the RS into our market we’ve missed out on another fast Ford.
That’s not the case over in Europe where the RS, now in its twilight years in current form, has proved popular for fans and tuners alike.
Horsepower merchants Anderson Germany is the latest tuner to go to work on the Focus RS and has built a machine to tempt those waiting anxiously for the next-generation Focus RS to be released. This reworked model is called the Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition.
The Düsseldorf-based tuner takes a standard unit from the current generation Focus RS series and makes it look sinister and sexy. It comes in a matte black exterior finish with contrasting red highlights.
Modifications aren’t limited to the cosmetic and Anderson offers performance tuning on the RS, taking output up to a sketchy 309 kW, far higher than the standard 224 kW output on the turbocharged 2.5 liter 5-cylinder unit. That’s a fair whack of power going exclusively to the front treads. Continue reading “Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition unleashed on Europe” »
February 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Brabus has become infamous for taking Mercedes-Benz vehicles and upping the power output to make them monsters. But Brabus’ latest achievement is something slightly different as the tuning-house has just announced the world’s first performance tuned vehicle that meets the new Euro VI exhaust emission standard which goes into effect 2014.
The upgrade to the standard Mercedes vehicles is a plug-and-play control unit, named the Brabus Eco PowerXtra D6S module. The high-tech piece of kit achieves an increase in power output of 40.5 kW to 230 kW while peak torque goes from 620 Nm to 690 Nm when installed in a Mercedes-Benz S 350 BlueTEC. That’s a fair chunk of power for a unit that simply plugs in while staying under the all-important Euro VI limits by 30 percent.
The Brabus ECO PowerXtra D6S kit also comes with a clever feature allowing it to be turned on and off. Through the Mercedes 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission the performance output can remain unchanged at 190 kW when the ‘Eco’ mode is engaged. However, when the ‘Manual’ or ‘Sport’ mode is selected maximum power output increases to 230 kW at 3,600 rpm. With the power turned up the tuned S 350 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 6.5 seconds, that’s half a second faster than the standard production car. Top speed remains electronically limited to 250 km/h. Continue reading “Brabus builds world’s first tuned car to meet new emissions standard” »