Just Car Blog
|Matt Farah Drives An Unlikely Supercar: Video||
In Corbin Goodwin’s view, hot rods are all about rebellion. By that definition alone, his highly-modded RX-7 rat rod certainly qualifies; if the rusted paint and bodywork-by-sawzall-and-home-depot aren’t enough to offend you, chances are the “Free Candy,” Pedo-bear or “My other ride is your mom” stickers will do the trick.
Even if you don’t see the car, hearing the barely-muffled roar of its 400-horsepower, 5.0-liter Ford V-8 is enough to shatter the calm silence of a sunny Malibu afternoon. Love it or hate it, you certainly aren’t going to ignore Goodwin’s in-your-face ride.
Wanting something he could run up and down the canyons, “something that would try to kill me at any opportunity,” in his own words, Goodwin’s ride began its transformation as a $350 Mazda RX-7. Performance-wise, the car rocks the aforementioned 5.0-liter V-8, rides on a coilover suspension and wears DOT-legal race tires that don’t deliver much traction when cold. Or wet.
Yes, that’s an oil cooler levitating off the front bumper, and yes, that is the car’s speedometer hot-glued to the hood. In the interest of safety, luminescent paint is used to mark speeds for night driving, and the car does come equipped with a fire suppression system. Improvisation is key; when the stock fuel gauge stopped functioning, Goodwin simply replaced it with an ohmmeter from Harbor Freight; the next step, of course, was learning how many ohms meant a full tank versus an empty tank.
Like the cars that began the hot rod craze in the 1940s and 1950s, Goodwin’s car is equal parts high-performance and single-digit salute. It may not be our taste in rides, but we can certainly appreciate it for what it is, and recognize the genius behind it. The car may be Goodwin’s first build, but we suspect it won’t be his last.
|Matt Farah Drives The New Audi S8: Video||
At the end of the month, we’re off to New York to drive the new Audi S6, S7 and S8. Frankly, we can’t wait since we’re already big fans of the four-ring brand, especially its cars that start with RS and S. We’re fans of Matt Farah, too, and find that our opinions on new cars tend to be strikingly similar; thus, until we can give you our driving impressions of the S6, S7 and S8, we’re offering up Matt’s take on the S8.
While the current version of the Audi A8 was first shown in 2009, the S8 model joins the product line for the first time in the D4 generation. The previous S8, which went out of production in 2009, got its power from a Lamborghini-derived V-10, which produced some 444 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. That was good enough to get Audi’s full-size sport sedan from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just over five seconds.
The new Audi S8 relies on a lighter and more compact twin-turbo V-8 for its power, producing some 513 horsepower (or 520 metric horsepower) and 479 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough grunt to get the car from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in a mere 4.2 seconds.
Like all Audi products, we expect the S-Line cars will deliver class-leading interiors and truly impressive handling, too. Look for our full report in a few weeks.
|Matt Farah Pilots Turner Motorsport’s BMW M3 Race Car & 535HP Frozen Gray M3: Video||
Sometimes horsepower isn’t everything, which Turner Motorsports is known for demonstrating in many vehicles that they build for the racetrack and for customers. Matt Farah, once again gets to pilot some rare nicely modified vehicles – this time its Turner Motorsport’s 535 horsepower Frozen Gray BMW M3 (Will Turner’s personal car) and the 2011 Continental Tire Series Championship-winning E92 M3 Race Car driven by Bill Auberlin and Paul Dalla Lana.
The BMW M3 is already a well-balanced contender among big-power sports cars and even exotics. Turner Motorsports is known for many years of race-proven experience to take the E92 M3 to new levels extracting additional performance with carefully selected modifications, including the recently released KW DDC (Dynamic Damper Control) Coilovers. Check out the exclusive DRIVE network TUNED video with Matt Farah behind the wheel of both Turner Motorsports BMW M3s.
|Matt Farah Revisits Switzer for a Drive in 1,100 HP Nissan GT-R||
Matt gets to strap behind the wheel of another Switzer Nissan GT-R but this time it uses pump gas and makes an astonishing 1,100 horsepower when using race gas. As Matt explains in this latest DRIVE network video, Switzer does the complete package deal with the GT-R replacing internals and strengthening the drivetrain to lay down over 900 horsepower to the wheels. The vehicle that Matt drives this time is good for 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, 9.4 seconds at 150 mph in the quarter mile and hits 208 mph in a standing mile. That is just plain FAST. Enjoy the video below!
|Matt Farah Drives An Electric Delorean: Video||
If you’re a fan of the Drive Channel’s “Tuned,” starring Matt Farah, you know this: the Delorean is the great white whale to Matt’s Captain Ahab. Try though he might, Matt has never been able to drive what he considers a “satisfying” Delorean. That’s all the more frustrating since he blames the original Delorean for sparking his lifelong car jones.
Deloreans were good to look at, but not much to drive. Their Volvo-sourced engines only produced around 130 horsepower in U.S trim, which didn’t provide a lot of thrust for the 2,700 pound car. Had production lasted longer than two years, it’s entirely possible that more performance-oriented cars would have been offered. Sadly, by the end of 1982, the Delorean factory in Dunmurry, Ireland was shuttered.
Enter Stephen Wynn, who purchased the leftover Delorean parts from the bankrupt company and started DMC in 1995. Originally a parts supplier for Delorean owners, DMC began producing updated versions of the Delorean for sale in 2008. Its latest endeavor is an all-electric version of the Delorean, which it hopes to bring to market in 2013.
The production version of the electric Delorean will come with a 260 horsepower AC electric motor and enough lithium-ion phosphate battery power to give it (up to) a 200 mile range. The motor will also be good for 360 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to yield a 0-60 time of under five seconds. Top speed is said to be over 100 mph, but we suppose that’s limited by the car’s lack of gearing.
Matt seemed to like the prototype driven, although it was clear that A/C is a requirement for filming in Houston in the summer. We would have liked a bit more video on how the car handled, but it’s important to keep in mind that one-of-a-kind prototypes aren’t meant to be pushed to the limit.
Look for a starting price in the $95,000 range when the electric Delorean hits the market. Want more info? You’ll find it on the DMC website.
|Video: Matt Farah Test Drives World’s Fastest Tuned Car – Hennessey Venom GT||
“It thrills me, and it scares me… a little bit”. Those are the words of the mastermind behind the new Hennessey Venom GT, John Hennessey, when he drives his monstrous 1200 horsepower and theoretical 272 mph top speed concoction.
Matt Farah, as a kick off to the latest season of Tuned on the DRIVE network, gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to strap behind the wheel of John Hennessey’s latest creation, the fastest car he has ever driven, the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder. Hit up the jump to view the exclusive test drive video below.
|Matt Farah Drives The World’s Fastest Street-Legal Lotus Exige: Video||
Frank Profera, by most people’s definition of the word, isn’t normal. The former New York City cabbie has a need for speed that can’t be satisfied with conventional means. He’s tried, and has owned Ford GT40s, tricked-out Lamborghinis and even a 900-horsepower Ford RS200 Evolution that clocked off a 0-60 run in under two seconds. They were nice, but they weren’t fast enough to keep him amused.
Enter the Lotus Exige, a car that most of us would be happy driving in stock form. Frank wasn’t, so he began working with Stafford Performance in Lancaster, California to make the Lotus faster. An oversized turbo helped on top end, but created too much lag for Frank’s taste. A supercharger was added to help at low end, and the eventual result (after much additional tuning) was a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces some 680 horsepower at the wheels. Since Frank’s Exige weighs in at just 2,150 pounds, that gives the car a better power-to-weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron; in fact, it gives the car better power-to-weight than the 1978 Lotus F1 car campaigned by Mario Andretti.
Matt Farah sums up the quality of the build in a most excellent manner, saying, “I’m surprised at how little the car wants to kill me.” In fact, Farah proclaims the highly-modded Lotus to be the fastest car he’s ever driven, which is no minor compliment. The story behind the car is reason enough to watch the video below, but its acceleration needs to be see to be believed.
|Video: Matt Farah Gets His Hands on STILLEN 500HP Supercharged Nissan 370Z||
To be honest, I have become a bit jealous of Matt Farah lately due to some of the vehicles he has got his hands on in the past couple months. One of the latest cars Matt gets some seat-time in is a STILLEN 370Z with 500 horsepower. Not only does this car have ‘more’ horsepower, but it has several other tuner upgrades making it a well-rounded package.
Check out the exclusive video below from the DRIVE network on YouTube of Matt taking one of the latest cars that Steve Millen and his team injects with some added horsepower and tuning that does not suck.
|Can Classic Muscle Car’s Handle, Too? Matt Farah Finds Out: Video||
It’s human nature to look at the past with rose-colored glasses, and remember (incorrectly) how good things “used to be.” Take muscle cars, for example: most of us remember them as being stupid fast and punishing to drive, while today’s equivalents somehow seem more docile and user-friendly. In reality, however, today’s muscle cars and pony cars can (generally) kick the crap out of the stuff built four decades ago.
That said, even classic muscle cars can be made to handle, which is the premise behind pro touring. It isn’t an easy or inexpensive build, since nearly every suspension and brake component has to be upgraded to gain even reasonable handling by modern standards. Still, if you’re willing to throw enough time and money at the build, even big cars (like the 1970 Dodge Challenger used by Hotchkiss suspension as a rolling showcase) can be made to handle reasonably well.
It may not be an ideal track car, but Matt Farah seems to enjoy driving it at Willow Springs anyway. Get his take on how well the car works in the video below.
|Matt Farah Tests The Top Speed Of The Corvette ZR1: Video||
The Corvette ZR1 is the fastest car that GM has ever produced, and it’s the closest thing to a supercar that’s still being built by a major American manufacturer. Stuffed full of 6.2-liter, supercharged LS9 V-8, the uber Corvette makes some 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Given enough room (and the right conditions), Chevy says the car is capable of a 205 mile per hour top speed.
The ZR1’s top speed is exactly what Matt Farah and The Smoking Tire set out to test at the Mojave Mile in the high California desert. Using a press fleet ZR1 Corvette (which we’ll never see here in the Southeast), Matt set a goal of 180 miles per hour in the standing mile, but failed to take a few things into consideration. The track’s altitude of 2,700 feet, for example, reduced the ZR1’s output from 638 horsepower to roughly 577 horsepower.
Did he make it? You’ll have to watch the video to find out, but let’s be clear about one thing: Matt either has huevos mas grande or a clear lack of sanity for pushing the double-ton in a press fleet car. Those of us who drive them (occasionally on the race track) know they aren’t exactly maintained the same way we’d look after a top-speed-run-car. Having a tire plug let go at 150 miles per hour, for example, would be an, um, unpleasant experience.
|Matt Farah Takes Cadillac CTS-V Wagon for Top Speed Run||
Not the old Vista Cruiser and certainly nothing like Clark Griswold’s family Truckster, the all-new Cadillac CTS-V is “The American Hot Rod Wagon”. Matt Farah of TheSmokingTire.com takes us, and OnStar, for a top speed run in the new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V wagon across the El Mirage dry lake bed in the video below.
For some reason my mind fails me to find any other car or wagon that you can pack full of 58 cubic feet of whatever, spend under $70 grand and still put the smack-down on most sports cars you see on the road today. The Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is a monster just like the sedan and coupe versions only the wagon has a bigger ass and it isn’t afraid to literally ‘drop it like it’s hot’. Check out Matt in his latest TheSmokingTire.com video below!
|Video: The Smoking Tire Reviews 2011 BMW M3 Competition Package||
The Smoking Tire’s host Matt Farah returns to the site where his old show, Garage419, left off on the Pacific Coast Highway. This time he returns to one of the most beautiful roads in America behind the wheel of the all-new performance oriented 2011 BMW M3 Competition Package.
The new 2011 BMW M3 Competition Package embodies the best that the current E92-body BMW M3 has to offer featuring competition package specific suspension, wider wheels and body accents. Basically, the competition package turns this naturally-aspirated V8 monster into the baddest M3 you can get in America. Matt takes us on a journey in the new BMW M3 Competition Package reiterating how the M3 still is the benchmark for all sport coupe vehicles. Enjoy!
[source: The Smoking Tire]