What We Could Learn From Akio Toyoda’s Toyota Debacle

Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda smil

Things couldn’t are better for Toyota because it heads into its annual shareholders meeting on Friday. It is back on top because the world’s best-selling carmaker. Profits are returning. New models, like the redone Camry and expanded Prius family, are flying from showrooms.

But inside the company, the debacle that shook the company 36 months ago still resounds. Memories of the beating Toyota took from countless recalls, slumping sales and billion-dollar losses are still fresh. Despite his enthusiasm for all those things on wheels, CEO Akio Toyoda is never likely to forget the need to sit before Congress in 2010 and apologize to investors, dealers and customers.

With Toyoda set to lead his third annual meeting since becoming CEO, here are three hard lessons he learned from Toyota’s experience.

You can’t be global and keep all power in Japan. Toyota gave a lot of lip service through the years to the concept that it was delegating authority to individuals in various parts of the world. Nevertheless the crisis revealed just the opposite. The power seemed to coagulate in Nagoya and Toyota City, as Toyota got bigger. Although Toyota had a mantra of “genchi genbutsu,” or go and see, the truth was just the alternative. “If half your production is outside Japan, you can’t sit in Nagoya and play genchi genbutsu,” says Ulrike Schaede, professor of Japanese business at the University of California at San Diego, Ca. Toyoda, trained and educated in the United states, has taken steps to allot more power across the company’s global regions.

You can have millions of customers and no one in your corner. At the height of the recall crisis, Toyoda saw for himself a very uncomfortable truth. Despite all of its years of donating millions of dollars to local communities, hiring workers, cultivating individuals Congress and repeating that effort worldwide, when the safety of its cars was in question, it was equally as much a foreign carmaker as it was when it began to export cars from Japan. Of course, he was called to Washington in the wake of the bankruptcies at General Motors and Chrysler, there was more than a little protectionist sentiment at play. It also taught him who Toyota’s friends were.

You have to earn your reputation every minute. Run every one of the ads you would like, point to all the quality statistics you can, and insist that you have loyal buyers. But the evidence of whether a vehicle company is successful comes in two fundamental ways: is it getting people to buy its cars, and is it making money accomplishing this? Since the recalls and financial disaster, Toyoda finds out why his company has no choice but to keep improving. The past may create your reputation, but you also have to live up to the promise you make by using it. When you hope to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown in your way, more than that, you must exceed it.

It’s unlikely Toyoda is ever going to look as grim as he did with the 2010 shareholders meeting, his first after being named CEO. Back then, he bowed deeply, saying, “I apologize for the concerns we have caused. We believe our most important task is to regain consumers’ trust.”

But Schaede says Toyoda could have taught his very own company a lesson: have someone at the top who loves what it really makes. Toyoda is well known for his passion for racing and also for spending time each and every month at the company test track. “If he could, he’d drive from morning until evening,” Schaede says. “The previous CEOs, I didn’t have the impression that they liked to get – or that they could drive by any means.”

Santa Paula Chevrolet

Great Ideas For a First Date

Dating in Los Angeles is enigmatic to the point of nonsensical and baffling. All the men here know this already. In that I’m a man, I have got some advice that might help you make sensation of this dating world that could also be called Narnia, though the women have their particular opinions. Women in Los Angeles have a standing of being gold diggers or only seeking to date someone that can help their careers. Now, certainly that’s true for several women, but that’s also true with a few men. It’s not fair or accurate or appropriate to make such generalizations. If viewed using a cynical lens could be interpreted that way, there might be some female behaviors, that. It’s crucially important to remember, that when a female is looking for a mate or a date, she’s looking for somebody that is a go getter and someone who takes pride in their work, his looks with his fantastic ability to navigate a complicated world. That being said, if a woman asks you what you do for a living, she’s almost certainly just testing to see if you might have goals and therefore are reaching for them. Therefore, when you require a lady over a first date, it’s fundamental to exude just that type of confidence.


A woman’s first impression of you can be defined before you even escape the car to select her up. If she sees a dirty old car, she’ll start to develop assumptions. Whether or not her assumptions are correct, she’ll still make them, so your goal here is to steer her assumptions in your favor. If you ring her doorbell and then walk her for your brand new hybrid Nissan Altima, she’ll make another set of assumptions. She’ll believe that you’re a smart and practical man who values style and the environment. She’ll assume that you are a professional when at the job, and somebody that values excellent fun and handling when you’re not. Believe me, a smart woman will make numerous assumptions of you on her way from the doorstep to your car, so this is your time and effort to shine! If you’re interested in obtaining the perfect vehicle to guide your first date’s impressions, go online to either Alhambra Nissan or www.downtownnissan.com and find an ideal one for you!


It’s also important to choose something that straddles the line between original and never too original at the same time. Dinner and a movie is not impressive. An amazing dinner at an exciting dinner in addition to a museum however, is ideal. When you show a lady that you don’t need tips on what to do, you’re showing her that you are a frontrunner, not a follower. There’s nothing more attractive to some woman searching for the right man than confidence and independence, hence the right first date location will definitely factor into her decision to simply accept a second date proposal or otherwise not.


Saving Tips With Diesel Cars and Trucks


Diesel vehicles get remarkable fuel economy, but it’s sometimes not enough to make them a better value overall than their gas counterparts.

The main reason is the higher pricetag: on average a diesel is $5,045 more than a gas-powered version of the same model, according to Vincentric LLC, a research firm in Bingham Farms, Mich.

Beyond the purchase amount, diesels also end up costing a little bit more to own and maintain. Which gets injected into the exhaust and neutralizes some of the pollutants, that’s partly because some new diesel vehicles are required to have a reservoir of urea.

With this so-called “clean-diesel” technology, emissions are actually cleaner than what comes from many gasoline vehicles-and that is a major role reversal. But there is added maintenance involved in replenishing the reservoirs and ensuring the more complex diesel engine is running properly.

“We found that diesels typically have slightly higher insurance, repair and maintenance costs,” says David Wurster, president of Vincentric, which specializes in calculating total cost of ownership and chose diesels for its latest alternative fuel analysis.

“An additional noteworthy point is that on a percentage basis, diesels have lower depreciation, but because they cost more to purchase, their total dollars of depreciation are higher,” Wurster says. (Some might argue that diesel is not technically an alternative fuel, but it’s not quite mainstream in the United States either, provided that only a small fraction of vehicles use it.)

Diesel vs. gas

In a detailed analysis comparing diesel and gas versions of the same models, Vincentric calculated the price of ownership over five years, assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually. The company discovered that, in many cases, particularly with trucks and vans, the gas-powered model would wind up costing owners less in the end, despite using more fuel.

But you will find enough exceptions to keep anyone who wants to purchase a diesel happy.

Vincentric included 23 diesel vehicles within its alternative fuel analysis-which is pretty much every consumer and commercial diesel currently discounted in the United States. Once all the expenses are tallied, the analysis shows, nine diesels are cost-effective. Eight of those are consumer models.

In Pictures: Diesel Cars And Trucks That Could Save You Money

Mercedes-Benz has the most vehicles on the list. The company has five of the eight slots, including the top two.

The diesel that delivers the most significant savings over its gas equivalent is a pricey luxury crossover- the 2012 Mercedes GL350 Bluetec 4Matic. (The “Bluetec” label is Mercedes-speak for diesel, and “4Matic” is its all-wheel drive system.)

Owners will spend $10,128 less over five-years on the GL350 than a gas-powered GL450 4Matic, by Vincentric’s calculations. Nearly half of the savings-$4,750-is the consequence of the GL350 using less fuel, and therefore costing less overall in the pump during those 5 years.

In accordance with the U.S, though filling up with diesel is more expensive-in recent weeks, about 25 cents more per gallon than regular gas. Energy Information Administration-diesel vehicles much like the GL350 acquire more mileage for that buck.

The GL350’s 19 miles per gallon overall is 27 percent a lot better than the 15 miles per gallon overall that the GL450 gets using gas. So, on a percentage basis, diesels have lower depreciation, but because they will cost more to purchase, their total dollars of depreciation are higher,” Wurster says,. That’s the fuel costs for the diesel workout to less per mile.“An additional noteworthy point. It’s not exactly mainstream in the United States either, given that merely a small fraction of vehicles use it., although (Some might argue that diesel is not technically an alternative fuel)

Diesel vs. gas

In a detailed analysis comparing gas and diesel versions of the same models, Vincentric calculated the cost of ownership over five-years, assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually. The organization found that, most of the time, particularly with vans and trucks, the gas-powered model would end up costing owners less in the long run, despite using more fuel.

But there are enough exceptions to hold anyone who wishes to buy a diesel happy.

Vincentric included 23 diesel vehicles in its alternative fuel analysis-which can be just about every consumer and commercial diesel currently on sale in america. Once each of the expenses are tallied, the analysis shows, nine diesels are cost-effective. Eight of people are consumer models.

In Pictures: Diesel Cars And Trucks That Will Save You Money

Mercedes-Benz provides the most vehicles on the list. The organization has five of the eight slots, like the top two.

The diesel that delivers the most important savings over its gas equivalent can be a pricey luxury crossover- the 2012 Mercedes GL350 Bluetec 4Matic. (The “Bluetec” label is Mercedes-speak for diesel, and “4Matic” is its all-wheel drive system.)

Owners will spend $10,128 less over five years about the GL350 compared to a gas-powered GL450 4Matic, by Vincentric’s calculations. Nearly 50 % of the savings-$4,750-is the result of the GL350 using less fuel, and thus costing less overall at the pump during those five years.

According to the U.S, though filling up with diesel is a lot more expensive-in recent weeks, about 25 cents more per gallon than regular gas. Energy Information Administration-diesel vehicles like the GL350 get more mileage for the buck.

The GL350’s 19 miles per gallon overall is 27 percent better than the 15 mpg overall that this GL450 gets using gas. So, the fuel costs for the diesel work out to less per mile.

Ranking second in the Vincentric list of cost-effective diesels is a Mercedes luxury sedan. The 2012 Mercedes S350 Bluetec 4Matic will save owners $6,015 compared to a S550, which has a twin-turbo V8 that runs on gasoline, Vincentric says. The savings is mostly on fuel-$4,003.

The S550 is simply available with rear-wheel drive, whereas the diesel S350 is simply offered with all of-wheel drive. This may cause the S350’s better fuel economy more remarkable, as driving two wheels as an alternative to four is inherently more potent. The S350 gets a complete 25 miles per gallon on diesel, an improvement of around 32 percent from the S550’s overall 19 miles per gallon of gas.

Also earning a spot in the rankings are the diesel versions from the Audi A3, the BMW X5, the Ford F-350, and the Volkswagen Touareg. Another Mercedes diesels on the list would be the E-Class, the M-Class along with the R-Class. According to the level of savings., (Click here to go to the slideshow to see the full set of diesels that will save you money, ranked)

Ford Tough

The sole commercial vehicle to make the cut will be the Ford F-350. The heavy-duty, full-size pickup truck can be a popular selection for contractors among others who need its hauling and towing brawn.

Of the trucks in Ford’s F-Series, the F-350 will be the second most effective, and its capability makes it costly. Going through the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the F-350 starts at $30,165, and the diesel engine is really a $7,960 option.

But with any vehicle, the retail price is generally just a guideline for negotiations. So Vincentric also factors other data into its equation, like dealer invoice pricing and consumer rebates. Its intent is to find out what buyers are in reality paying.

McLaren 650S makes pricing and performance figures available


Official performance figures have been released for the new McLaren 650S.

The new 650S, which will make its debut at Geneva the following month, will be priced from £195,250 and might accelerate from -62mph in just 3. seconds.

Furthermore, it can keep accelerating until 124mph within 8.4 seconds, complete the standing quarter mile in 10.5 seconds, and keep going until it hits its 207mph top speed.

This level of performance makes it faster even than McLaren’s F1, achieving 124mph a full second quicker, and storming the quarter mile .6 sec faster.

It’s also half a second quicker to 124mph than the McLaren 12C, which itself is no slouch.

Fuel economy, if that’s your personal style, is officially recorded as 24.2mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 275 g/km not surprisingly placing it in VED Band M with a £1,065 road tax bill for the first year and £490 thereafter. Not that that will bother most buyers.

The McLaren 650S is powered by way of a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that develops 650PS (hence the name) and 678Nm of torque.

Prices start at £195,250 for the 650S Coupe, the 650S Spider coming in at £215,250.


Drivetrain Layout Longitudinal Mid-Engine, RWD Track, F/R (mm) 1656 / 1583

Engine Configuration V8 Twin Turbo / 3799cc Length (mm) 4512

EnginePS / rpm 650 / 7250 Width (mm) 2093

Torque Nm / rpm 678 / 6000 Height (mm) 1199

Transmission 7 Speed SSG Dry Weight (kg / lbs) 1330 / 2932

Body Structure Carbon Fibre MonoCell withAluminium Front and Rear Frames Active Aerodynamics McLaren Airbrake

Wheelbase (mm) 2670 Suspension ProActive Chassis Control

Brakes Carbon Ceramic Discs with Forged Aluminium Hubs (F 394mm/R 380mm) ProActive Chassis Control modes Normal / Sport / Track

Tyres (F/R) Pirelli P Zero Corsa 235/35 R19 /Pirelli P Zero Corsa 305/30 R20 Powertrain Modes Winter / Normal / Sport / Track

Wheel Sizes (F/R) 19” x 8.5”J / 20” x 11” J


Efficiency CO2 275 g/km

Fuel consumption (combined) 24.2 mpg

Capacity to weight (with lightweight options) 500 PS (493 bhp) /tonne

CO2/power .42 g/km per PS

Speed Maximum speed (650S Spider) 333 km/h (207 mph)

Acceleration -100 kph (62 mph) 3. s

-200 kph (124 mph) 8.4 s

-300 kph (186 mph) 25.4 s

-400 m / ¼ mile 10.5 @ 224 km/h (139 mph)

Braking Braking 100- km/h 30.5 m (100 ft)

200- km/h 123 m (404 ft)

300- km/h 271 m (889 ft)

Smart Used Cars for Young Drivers

By considering a pre-owned vehicle, start. Used cars certainly are a financially savvy option for new drivers who happen to be still becoming accustomed to the roadways and might be on a tight budget. We’ve scoured dealerships for our favorite used car models so that you don’t have to. Continue reading to check out our top pre-owned choices for new drivers.

2009 Scion tC


Standard features, and high reliability rating, the 2009 Scion tC was one of our favorite options for new drivers simply because of its great price. With its standard six-speaker Pioneer stereo system and USB port, drivers can plug in their iPods and enjoy great sound quality while cruising around. The rear row is comfortable and spacious with higher headroom than most coupes, and a great deal of cargo space make it an incredibly functional choice. Standard driver’s knee airbags and anti-lock breaks offer extra safety, for the peace of mind of parents and inexperienced drivers alike. For under10 and , the Scion tC is a hip, budget friendly option to get you on your way without going broke.

2009 Toyota Prius


This hatchback managed to get onto our list simply because of its fuel and versatility economy. The Prius’ design features a large interior cabin and spacious cargo area, making it a common option for families. Deciding on a car that the whole family can utilize might be your best bet if you’re not willing or able to purchase a car just for the latest driver in your daily life. This hybrid model gets outstanding fuel consumption, with about 45 miles to the gallon. Add to that its superior reliability rating, and you’ve got a car that might be as loved by young drivers as it is with dad and mom.

2009 Ford Taurus


Fords are known to be reliable, well made cars using a high resale value. However, when test driving used cars, we were particularly fond of the 2009 Taurus we saw at Ontario Ford. One of several top cars in its class, the Taurus is easy to get, has excellent safety scores, and above average fuel economy. The folks at fairviewford.com told us it really has been a popular option for families and young drivers alike. With spacious interiors, a 3.5-liter V6 engine, and comfortable handling, the 2009 Ford Taurus may help new drivers to feel safe on the road.

2010 Honda Fit


The 2010 Honda Fit is one of the best affordable small cars we found in our search. The interior cabin is loaded with lots of space and seating, in addition to the Fit’s innovative Magic Seat design, which flips to help you to store larger cargo items. Its excellent safety scores along some of the highest reliability ratings in their class transform it into a practical selection for discerning drivers.

BMW M4 Gets On Sale From September, starts to £60,730


The new BMW M4 Convertible goes on sale this September, with prices starting from £60,730.

The M4 Convertible features a wider body and a longer wheel-base than its M3 Convertible predecessor.

Its three-part folding metal roof is both quieter and warmer in winter, and may be folded away completely in 20 seconds, a surgical procedure that can be performed at speeds of up 8 mph.

A six-second ‘loading’ mode offers greater access, although the boot offers 370 litres of space, falling to 220 litres with the roof folded.

Power comes from the identical 3.-litre in-line six-cylinder twin-turbo engine as the M3 M4 and Saloon Coupe.

This unusually high-revving unit has a 7,600rpm red-line and develops 550Nm and 431hp of torque, enough to get the -62mph sprint in 4.4 seconds when mated on the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, or 4.6 seconds having a conventional manual ‘box. Top speed is electronically confined to 155mph.

This level of power necessitated the application of additional water, engine oil and transmission oil coolers, plus an electric coolant pump to help cool the turbocharger bearings when the car goes to a stop.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, even though the M DCT unit is really a £2,645 option that enables gear-shifting either via the gear lever or steering wheel-mounted paddles, and boasts a launch control feature.

BMW say the usage of aluminium for the bonnet, front wings along with other components, plus the selection of a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic propeller shaft and strut brace, have led to a 60kg weight reduction compared to the old M3 Convertible.

This weight reduction, plus the use of aerodynamic measures including the smooth underbody and special airflow channels at the front, are said to be key contributors for the M4’s economy figure of 32.5 mpg and CO2 emissions of 203 g/km (31 mpg and 213 g/km for manual models).

Obviously, the M4 Convertible’s focus is around the driving experience rather than its eco-credentials, and also the M4 uses a double-joint sprint strut suspension at the front and an aluminium five-link axle at the rear.

An Energetic M Differential helps keep all things in check, especially when accelerating hard out of corners, and can provide a variable degree of lock approximately 100% when required.

All UK models will be fitted with Adaptive M suspension as standard, and this offers a choice of Sport, Comfort and Sport modes that also change the settings for that electro-mechanical steering rack.

UK standard specific will also include 19-inch light alloy wheels, BMW Professional infotainment system, front and rear parking sensors, folding door mirrors and heated leather seats.

Check Out These 10 Best Mods For Trailblazer SS


When the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS first got to market it absolutely was praised to be a complete package – a sports utility vehicle that can haul more than just the kids. Pair a 395hp version of the Corvette’s 6.0L LS2 with heavier duty suspension and brakes, then have the looks to match, and you will have an incredibly practical truck with all the performance hot rodders love. Of course you are able to only keep hot rodders happy for so long. The first year TBSS (2006) is currently nearly several years old, and if you want to ensure that it stays on the road and inject a similar level of excitement you had when you initially purchased it – you should get to modding. Plus, let’s face it, for some of us it is just now becoming affordable in the secondary (used) market.

TBSS Front Mount Trans Cooler Kit

1) Transmission Cooler

The 4L70E is a great transmission…for a much lighter vehicle. The ’70 needs all the help it can get, especially if you are considering racing or towing along with it. And for those that only have a heavy foot, this applies to you as well. We’ve spliced in B&M and TCI transmission coolers in the past with great results, but this kit from PCM of NC is completely plug and play for the TBSS. Nosplicing and cutting, or even worm gear clamps. Three varieties of lines are offered including: stock-looking rubber rated to 300psi (Pushlock hose and fittings), Fragola black braided line and black AN fittings, and Fragola braided lines with red/blue fittings. Using among two different mounting locations PCM of NC says it will knock off 30-degrees of fluid temp and installs in about 1 hour for about $220.

2) Oil Pump Pickup Tube

The rod bearings are another notorious Achilles heal of the TBSS, which can be caused by an inherent oiling issue with the oil pan and pickup. The stock pickup tube grabs oil from the front, shallow part, of the pan. You step on the loud pedal, the oil sloshes to the back of the pan and starvation occurs. PCM of NC’s mandrel bent tube relocates the pickup to the midst of the pan where it can be deepest. Problem solved just for under $260.

) Electric Fans

Yes, believe it or not, your TBSS has mechanical fans. What is this 1957? These are sucking horsepower and just plain ugly. PCM of NC has two great solutions, which are both computer-controlled and require no cutting or splicing. The budget version uses ‘98-02 Camaro/Firebird fans that you can acquire in a junkyard or purchase for $155. The 3-relay version is recommended for variable fan speed, and runs just below $342. Meanwhile a custom Spal fan kit is also available, complete for about $554. This kit is designed for more modified trucks, and is a little louder.

4) Air Intake

While there isn’t as much selection on the TBSS as with a Camaro for instance, there are a number of intakes available on the market. Cold Air Volant and Inductions use a traditional sealed air box to stop the engine bay heat from entering the intake tract. Meanwhile K&N, Airaid, and Spectre Performance offer slick designs with smooth bends as well as a high-flow air filter that seals to the hood. PCM of NC offers a fendwell kit that may be sort of the most effective of both worlds. Each style and model does have its advantages and disadvantages, but all should install in around 30 minutes with ease as well as increase power and fuel mileage. Combine this using the e-fans and tuning, and you could be considering 1-2mpg more. Each will run about $200-300.

5) Tuning

Performance gains from ECM tuning are substantial on any GM truck, as well as the TBSS is no exception. Whether you choose a handheld tuner, mail order tune, or custom dyno tuning you could expect at least 10hp and much crisper shifting. 50-rwhp might be had when also adding an intake, fans, and 160-degree thermostat, although pCM of NC says 10-20hp gains are typical having its mail order tune. Fast Motorsports is yet another solid supplier of mail order tunes; prices are typically $200-300. SCT and Diablosport are a few examples of handheld tuners, which are incredibly convenient all-in-one packages that start around $300. A custom tune is preferred because it will yield the best results, and can be done with HP Tuners or EFI Live software. However, if you don’t have a reputable tuner tickling the keys, this could be expensive and problematic. It is very important note that the ’06 as well as the ’07-08 use different ECMs.

6) Headers/Exhaust

The factory manifolds are really restrictive, as well as the single exhaust pipe is definitely an oversight in design. At least on the GTO’s second coming, GM fixed this for the 2005 model year. The Trailblazer SS wasn’t so lucky. Kooks, American Racing Headers, Stainless Works, OBX, and Pacesetter all make headers that are great for – some better than others. Prices start around $700 with all the crossover pipe and increase to $1,500. Dual exhaust is available from SLP and Stainless Works for those daring enough to slice the bumper. In fact, SLP provides a complete replacement piece, which requires paint. Many offer the single pipe setup including Magnaflow, Gibson, JBA and Corsa and Borla. Expect to pay $500 to $1,000.

7) Camshaft

The stock LS2 cam measures a scant 204/211-duration with .525-inch lift. Even LS6 cam is bigger. Considering that the truck is really heavy, you don’t would like to go too crazy and placed a large duration cam developed for top end power. Thankfully there are plenty of cams out there built for trucks, and in many cases some particularly for the TBSS. Comp Cams and Crane Cams have bumpsticks within their catalogue for trucks. However, if you want something TBSS specific you will have to head to places like Vengeance Racing, Fast Motorsports, Tick Performance, Futral Motorsports, PCM of NC, Speed Inc, Brian Tooley Racing, etc which have developed proprietary grinds. With the stock torque converter, cam specs should (roughly) be 212-220 on the intake side and 225-232 around the exhaust. The LSA and lift are also critical to developing a cam that idles nicely, has an appropriate powerband, doesn’t beat the valvetrain, and doesn’t cause any P-to-V clearance issues. Make sure you do your research and speak to a professional. gaskets, lifters and valvesprings timing set, etc, we omitted price on this one because opening the motor up means you will in all probability incur additional fees besides just the cam – valvesprings.

8) Lowered Suspension

If you want a lowered stance in your TBSS you’ll need to start with a lowering spring right in front, adjust the factory rear air bags, and then swap out the rear shocks. You should also consider replacing the top shocks to higher accommodate the lowered ride height. Other choices include swapping to a rear spring set (ditching air bags), front lowering control arms, and coilovers in any way four corners. These options will bring the truck even lower, and can necessitate an adjustable Panhard front and bar upper A-arms to dial the geometry back. Fast Motorsports carries most of these products, as well as the basic kit is just under $272.

9) Turbo Kit

Most of the time Roots superchargers are the hot ticket with these trucks, although the factory exhaust system makes for a unique mid-mounted turbo setup with comparatively minimal effort and nearly unlimited power potential. A 72-76mm turbo is going to be plenty for the stock LS2. Deals can be had on eBay for turbos and intercoolers if you are within a strict budget. Just remember to purchase a quality wastegate and fuel system upgrades to keep the engine safe. But a quality wastegate will run $250-450 new, we won’t venture a cost estimate here since it will vary heavily. Turbos are normally in the four-digit range, as well as the intercooler will be somewhere in-between. If you opt to use a custom kit built with the likes of Vengeance Racing, Fastlane, Speed Inc, Redline Motorsports, or Kentucky Turbo (to name a few) it will be pricey but worth it.

10) Transmission Rebuild

It’s just a matter of time for that 4L70E, so keep your builder of choice on speed dial. RPM Transmissions is on a short list of quality shops that build these right, and you’ll pay quite a penny for this. The Level VI ($2,895) is typically what is recommended for heads, cam, and nitrous or supercharged stock engine combinations. RPM’s 3-4 clutch pack, upgraded forward sprag, and 300M output shaft are the main features that allow it to hold up to 700hp. However, according to your driving style or combination, the Level VII or X is usually necessary. Unlike the Camaro, RPM says a 4L80E is not exactly easy to swap and should be reserved for all-out race trucks. The crossmember and wiring are just the tip of the iceberg, seeing as there are also some fitment issues. Sonnax Performance, Performabuilt, CK Performance, and Century Transmission are a couple of more reputable builders.

Buying Your First New Car


If you’ve gone through a number of pre-owned cars and you’ve finally decided that it’s time to buy something brand new, it probably feels like a huge decision. New cars can be significantly more expensive than ones that are pre-owned but there are many affordable vehicles on the market today and there are plenty of benefits of buying a new car as opposed to a used one.


When you invest in a new car, you’re certain to get something that it is from the absolute best shape possible. It’s never been used; nobody has put thousands of miles on it and you’ll never have to worry that you’re inheriting issues a previous owner had together with the car. On the off chance that you did get a car with some kind of mechanical or systems issue, it would be paid by a warranty and either replaced or repaired right away, free of charge to you. A guarantee is one of the top reasons to buy new as an alternative to used. Additionally, with many new cars, you can buy a maintenance plan which could cover anything from roadside help to oil changes and basic upkeep. And who doesn’t love that new car smell? You can never get that within a pre-owned vehicle.

Today, there are numerous financing choices for new cars. Most places, like Nissan Los Angeles dealerships, will offer specials throughout the year to assist you afford a new car and in many cases you can pay a similar total if you were buying one that was preowned. Because many people are surprised to find out they actually do qualify for special financing on a new car even if you think you can’t afford a new car, you can visit metronissanredlands.com to see what types of deals are available.

Driving The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4


You can get them dotting old used-car lots or drowning the ‘P’ area of the local Craigslist, and you can find them cheap. Countless 911 Targas seem to have been driven daily, callously treated like Volkswagens, and sold for less. The 2014 Targa may change that.

Stiffer-softer and bodied-sprung than the 991 Cabrio and aimed at a driver more inclined to cruise than cane, the Targa is a comfortable way to cover ground. The 350-hp Targa 400 and 4-hp Targa 4S both have all-wheel drive and the accompanying Porsche widebody. Both of Porsche’s seven-speed transmissions are available; the manual adds a measure of fun over the quickness of the PDK automatic. Either is lovely. However the best feature is standard equipment: the curbside theater.

VIEW: The assembly of the 2015 Ford Mustang about the Empire State Building

Chris Cantle

No heavy lifting is required; the press of the mouse sets in motion something similar to mechanical performance art. The back window, an enormous thing created from layered, lightweight, laminated glass, lifts on spindly steel legs and it is moved thus far back and out of the way the 911’s rear parking sensors had to be recalibrated. It’s thus far that the brake lights are almost entirely covered-among several factors why Porsche decided to limit top operation to when the car’s at a standstill.

The lifted top looks like a robot jellyfish, getting around so delicately that it appears weightless. Then a Targa bar, available only in brushed aluminum, unfolds a pair of ear-like panels to enable access to get more robot arms to lift the cloth-covered magnesium roof out of the way. It folds itself so that it appears like a robot octopus and after that disappears inside of the robot jellyfish, and just like that, you’re roofless. It’s robot magic.

READ: The 7 things we learned about the 2015 Honda Fit

Chris Cantle

It took watching the amazing procedure up close once or twice or 40 times to quit being annoyed at Porsche for making such a damn complicated thing as opposed to, say, a modern 912. And don’t look at the inevitable service costs, nor the poor mechanic that has to align one of these roofs during crash repair. Because you know what? I like it.

This 911’s interior is quiet enough on an elevated conversation at highway speed, although targas were once a buffeting cacophony. An eyebrow spoiler atop the windshield frame can be raised to further control wind thrum. The only real trouble seems to come from the roof’s rear seal, which constantly mumbles the sound of two balloons touching each other if the roof is installed. Porsche knows it’s a problem and it is fiddling with it.

LEARN WHY: The Dinan S3-R is brutally perfect

Chris Cantle

Porsche claims that scavenging some engineering from the 911 Cabriolet helps make the Targa slightly cheaper than that car: $102,595 for the Targa 4 and $117,195 for the 4S. The key stuff-comfort, daily drivability-is all improved over the Cabrio. And the Targa looks more elegant, too. The Targa has spent 50 years because the least-desirable an affiliate the 911 family. Appears like no more.

Pagani Zonda F beats rev limiter


The Pagani workshop is where fairy tales are born-carbon autoclaves firing away while F1-style pushrod dampers are being assembled. Bespectacled Horatio bustles around like Geppetto, handcrafting little steampunk-ish interior bits yourself. And from time to time, a perfect specimen like this Zonda F rolls out, sending one lucky owner off into the 62-mph sunset in 3.6 seconds.