AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Top 10 Track Specials Under $60,000
Driving is a mundane task for some people, but for others it’s a sport, and there’s no better proving ground than a track.
Automakers see that opportunity as well, and love to offer up cars that are designed specifically with track use in mind. Take a look at the latest offering from Subaru and Scion, the BRZ/FR-S twins. Both cars were designed with a priority on light-weight, and achieves an impressive weight balance. In true sporting fashion, it’s rear-wheel drive and can be had with a slick-shifting six-speed manual, or quick automatic with race-inspired paddle-shifters.
The FR-S isn’t the only car out there with racing in its veins. Here’s a list of factory-customized machines designed for time at the track.
Some cars handle better than others in snow and as high-performance beasts go, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII is certainly among the best.
The Evo, as it is commonly called by enthusiasts, is a lot like the Subaru WRX STi. They’re both beefed up rally versions of their manufacturer’s humdrum sedans. Stiff suspension, power-a-plenty and a rigorous all-wheel drive systems make these the go-to for off road racers.
That really doesn’t mean anything, though, if you’re caught in a snowy pile up on the highway like the driver in the video below was. Thankfully for him and his car, he understood that driving on an embankment and dinging up his ride was better than stomping on the brakes and sliding out of control. According to the West Virginia Metro News, about 30 vehicles were involved in the crash.
Unfortunately for so many others around him, winter defensive driving is an easily forgotten skill that can save you money and your life. Just remember that front- rear- or all-wheel drive cars cant do diddly without a driver’s due diligence. Stay calm, dress warm and keep a kit in your car in case you get stuck.
That said, there’s a reason our review of the 2011 Evo MR features us hooning around in the snow: it’s damn fun. You don’t buy this car for comfort, you buy it because road gripping, lane churning performance and precision are an enthusiast’s bread and butter.
You can watch the video below, and as always— drive safe. Warning: there is a lot of swearing in the video.
Reports of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo’s death have been greatly exaggerated. After the unsurprisingly angry backlash the company received from its fanbase, Mitsubishi has apparently reversed its decision to kill its flagship rally fighter.
Mitsubishi now must find a way to balance the ferocious performance and cult-status image of the Evolution with the new eco-friendly image it’s developing around the world. The Evo X will still be available, but the next generation will “evolve” into a different direction—something that may surprise the Evo’s thousands of fans.
In a press release, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Global Chief Executive, Osamu Masuko indicates that perhaps the Evo never was axed and that the automaker has plans for the next generation of the vehicle. Masuko comments that in response to new market demands the automaker, “is considering not advancing the Lancer Evolution concept in the same way as before, but to find a different direction for the Lancer Evolution model to evolve.”
With previous rumors that the car could include hybrid or electric technology, this seems all the more likely by additional remarks that the car’s future direction and the “technologies involved” in it, will be revealed at a later date.
So rest assured Evo faithful, the STi-killer isn’t dead, but it may never be the same.
A Landisville, Pennsylvania area car salesman turned himself in to police after a customer test drive of a Mitsubishi Lancer ended with a passenger’s death.
According to Lancaster Online, Michael D. Hershey was charged with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment and driving at an unsafe speed in the death of Jon Christian “Chris” Jensen. Jensen had taken his son Tyler to look for cars, and the two were on a test drive with Hershey when the salesman instructed Tyler to pull over and let him drive. Tyler Jensen said that Hershey was driving recklessly at speeds of up to 90 mph, when he swerved to avoid hitting an oncoming truck and hit an embankment. Hershey and Chris Jensen were ejected from the car, with Jensen suffering horrific injures that mortally wounded him.
It later emerged that Hershey was intoxicated at the time of the crash and had previous convictions for vehicular offenses.
The Mitsubishi Evo series will not continue into its eleventh model, says Gayu Eusegi, global product director. He may as well have kidnapped Santa, in the minds of rally fans everywhere.
“There is still a demand,” says Eusegi, “but we must stop.” Why? Because, he says, Mitsubishi will concentrate on smaller and more environmentally-friendly cars such as the Global Small Concept, the supermini that will compete against the Toyota Aygo. In addition, Mitsubishi is going all out on EV technology by introducing eight full electric or hybrid cars by 2015.
By cutting out their motorsport heritage, Eusegi said that customers would find it “easier to understand” what Mitsubishi was about. The company pulled out of the World Rally Championship in 2005, anyway, and there’s no room for big-winged dirt heroes in their continuous quest for lowering CO2. And yes, that means no diesel Evo, either.
So prepare yourselves for the end of an era: no more Tommi Mäkinen editions, no FQ400 models with turbochargers the size of cantaloupes, and no more need for Ralliart other than a nifty tire and wheel package. At least Subaru fans will rejoice that they’ve “won” this battle with the STI, though they’ll come around to the realization that fevered competition is better than no competition at all.
Toronto Motorsports Park, a former airfield that was converted into a 2 mile road course featuring 14 turns, is a great track for novices to dabble in motorsports. The speeds aren’t high enough to obliterate you in a crash, and the 14 turns will challenge a beginner, despite the lack of elevation changes.
TMP’s biggest downfall is the fact that they will rent the track to anyone, and many car clubs take advantage of their affordable rates to host their own lapping sessions. From the looks of it, the incident in the video above took place at one of the uber-cheap afternoon sessions, and was likely hosted by a club with an appalling disregard for professionalism and safety standards.
The driver of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution seen in this mercifully short clip should never have been let on the track to begin with. The driver has no helmet and is wearing shorts, a t-shirt and sandals. But hey, he is wearing a Cosworth flatbill and super-dope driving gloves, so that’s got to count for something.
Common courtesy at TMP dictates that on the front straight, drivers passing slower traffic should give a wide berth and then come back to the racing line as they set up for Turn 1. Instead, the EVO driver came within a pubic hair’s distance from the driver of a Mark II Golf, cut back in, and proceeded to barrel down the straight away and into turn 1, a long, sweeping 120 degree right-hander. Drivers can easily hit 120 mph on the straight away, requiring a ton of speed to be scrubbed off before Turn 1.
Instead, our hero keeps his foot buried to the carpet and only starts braking mere feet before the apex – while steering the car with one hand! The results are predictable, and the EVO makes a glorious exit onto the grass, all while the cameras are rolling.
The Youtube description of the video claims that the brake fluid had “boiled”, causing him to lock the brakes and crash, but we don’t buy that at all. The EVO pilot should have spent money upgrading the driver – and safety equipment – rather than his car.
[Source: Bang Shift]
We regret to inform you that the subject matter behind the enticing title won’t live up to whatever thoughts are circulating in your head. Rather, Forbes’ list of “Americas Dirtiest Vehicles” has to do with pollution and gas mileage, and is mostly comprised of cars we ourselves would want to own.
Forbes used a variety of factors to determine what qualified for the list, with both carbon emissions and fuel consumption factoring in to the economy. “Heavy Duty” trucks were left off the list, as well performance cars that only get driven on special occasions, like the Ferrari 599 GTO (and, apparently, Mercedes’ AMG lineup).
Hit the jump to see the list for yourself
Mitsubishi‘s Lancer Evolution is the major bright spot in a pretty dowdy lineup, and for 2011, the company is making it an even more enticing package.
Mitsubishi’s new FUSE system, featuring voice activation, a Bluetooth integration for cellphones and a way to connect your music player. The navigation will also get real time traffic information, but we’re not sure that Evo buyers are all too interested in these sorts of improvements.
Of more importance to the Evo’s demographic is a re-tuned exhaust for 2011 that will give a more aggressive sound, as well as new front and rear spoilers.
Gallery: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Hit the jump to see the official press release
BFGoodrich Tires, a company well known for its innovative and action-packed TV commercials, has drawn inspiration from the animal kingdom for its latest “Bolt On” ad campaign. As you’ll see in the video (after the jump), in the first installment it’s the grip of a tree frog that’s used to illustrate BFG’s point about bolting on grip by installing a set of their high-performance street tires, while the Behind The Scenes video (also after the jump) gives us a taste of some of the other animals we’ll see in future “Bolt On” ads.
Although the animal kingdom analogies will be at the heart of this campaign, the ads also feature two stars in the automotive world and members of the TeamBFG program. Two-time Formula Drift champion Samuel Hübinette did the stunt driving for the spots and Rally pro Lars Wolfe provided technical and special counsel. The vehicle featured in the broadcast ad is a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X with BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S tires.
The new campaign features a media plan that includes a variety of television, print and Internet advertising mediums. Kudos to BFGoodrich for thinking outside the box on this campaign and injecting some humor and style into their “Bolt On” ads. We look forward to seeing what animal makes a cameo in the next one.
[Source: BFGoodrich Tires]
Will future Mitsubishi and Hyundai powertrain development be affected?
In a brief statement, Chrysler has announced that the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) is now entirely owned by the U.S. automaker, with both former partners, Mitsubishi and Hyundai, having sold their parts of the company.
This may sound like a dull bit of business news, but it could most certainly have a big impact on some of the coolest engines on the planet. Sure, the engines that originated from GEMA have found there way into less exciting vehicles like the Chrysler Sebring, but the same engines have also been the backbone of cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (pictured above) and Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.oT. The high-powered Caliber SRT4 also used a version of a GEMA engine.
Three basic engines have come out of GEMA with displacements of 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4-liters, many of which were fitted with turbochargers and superchargers to make as much as 300hp.
There is no word if the end of the GEMA partnership could affect future Hyundai and Mitsubishi powertrain developments, but you can be sure the decision had a lot to do with Chrysler’s new Fiat ownership.
Official release after the jump:
The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is launching a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driving experience. Participants will be able to get behind the wheel of Mitsu’s amazing new EVO X on one of America’s best race tracks, Infineon.
Along with a classroom component, drivers will be able to pilot the track-ready EVO while they develop their racing technique, car control skills and get some serious speed out on the track.
“Deciding to work with Mitsubishi Motors for The Lancer Evolution program was an easy choice,” said Chip Pankow, president of Jim Russell Racing Drivers School. “We have been using the 4G63 engines in our Lola-built school cars and found them to be exceptionally reliable. The launch of The Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience strengthens our position as the leader in delivering new concepts and deliverables for automotive manufacturers seeking to broaden their customer base.”
Mitsubishi will officially announce the new school program on July 11 at the annual Mitsubishi Owners Day (M.O.D.), held at the Japanese automaker’s Cypress, Ca offices. There will even be a draw for the first seat in the Jim Russell Lancer Evolution Experience. Jim Russell puts the value at $1,000, but thrashing an EVO X at Infineon is practically priceless.
Official release after the jump: