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Mazda Speed3

VEHICLE: 4-dr., 5-pass. Hatchback, FWD

ENGINE: 2.3.OL I4 DOHC Turbo HP (@ RPM): 263@5500

TORQUE @ RPM: 280@3000 TRANS 6M

FUEL CONSUMPTION (L/100 km): CITY: 11.8 HWY: 7.6 FUEL GRADE: Prem TANK (L) 55

TIRES: 215/45R18

SPECIFICATIONS (mm): WB: 2639 L: 4491 W: 1765 H: 1466 CURB WEIGHT (kg): 1439

Ah, power. It corrupts absolutely, right? Well, not in the case of this car. Usually in front-wheel-drive cars, more than 260 horsepower is too much to handle. Check this out . Not here. And really, who doesn’t like driving a sleeper “wagon” that will do 240 km/h without breaking a sweat?

Mercedes-Benz SLK

The SLK is famous for its roof – the automatic retractable hardtop transforms it from coupe to roadster in 30 seconds. While the SLK is a two-seat open-air automobile, it’s not a performance or handling maniac like some of its roadster competitors. But SLK moves in that direction for 1999 with the new availability of five-speed manual transmission and optional AMG-designed Sport Package.

In addition to cosmetic enhancements (side sills, and new front and rear facias), the Sport Package adds handling muscle via a bigger version of its staggered wheel and tire set up (225/45ZR17 front, 245/40ZR17 rear). Motivation remains the duty of supercharged 2.3-litre “four” which cranks out 185 hp, and 200 lb. ft. of torque anywhere between 2,500 and 4,800 rpm. Also carried over is the driver-adaptive 5-speed automatic.

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Lamborghini Diablo

For many people, the Diablo (the word is Italian for “devil”) is still the archetypal over-the-top Italian “hero car.” And in Canada, especially, it is quite possible the last word in automotive exclusivity.

The two models sold in Canada are the rear-wheel drive SV coupe and the all-wheel drive VT roadster. . Both are more than effectively propelled by a mid-mounted 5.7-litre V12 rated at an intoxicating 492 horsepower. This surfeit of horsepush is sufficient to rank the Diablo among the tiny handful of cars capable of topping out on the naughty side of 200 mph (322 km/h).

Big changes are probably in store now that Lamborghini is owned by Audi. But for now, the existing Diablo – which, hard to believe, has just celebrated its ninth birthday and still looks sensational – continues as is in 1998 guise.

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AMC Eagle 1980-85

Interesting 4-wheel-drive passenger car based on familiar, well-tried American Motors bodyshells and running gear . Introduced for the 1980 model year as a spinoff of the 108-inch wheelbase Hornet/Concord platform in three body styles, 2- and 4-door sedans and 5-door wagon. Joined the following year by short-wheelbase SX/4 coupe and Kammback sedan derivatives of the Gremlin/Spirit design, both 2-doors. All models in Waverley Auto Mall Dealers ride 3 inches higher that their 2WD counterparts for off-road obstruction clearance, though not intended for heavy-duty boulder bashing. As with Concord, AMC‘s trusty 258-cid six is what you’re most likely to find in a used model.

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Differentials

The differential is a gear system that transfers power from the drive shaft to the driving axles, Fig. 46-4.

wpg3 300x208 Differentials

wpg4 300x245 Differentials

     It also permits one driving wheel to turn faster than the other to prevent skidding and scuffing of tires on turns, Fig. 46-5.

     In tracing the drive train to this point, power is relayed:

  1. From drive shaft to pinion gear.
  2. From pinion gear to ring gear.
  3. From ring gear to attached differential case, pinion gears and side gears.
  4. From side gears to driving axles.

 

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The V-8 Powered M56 and M37

During back-to-back stints on the same roads with both cars, it quickly became apparent that the M37 is the weapon of choice for carving up back roads where the M56 felt more ponderous in the twisty sections. Open up the throttle, however, and the V8 delivers a steady power surge that is constant but not explosive. You know that 420 ponies are at work because the scenery goes by quicker but you don’t quite feel the rush.

There are also noticeable differences in the driving dynamics of the M cars equipped with the Sport package, which feel even sharper on corner entry with a more immediate response to steering inputs owing in part to their 20-inch alloys and high-performance tires. Sadly, the Sport package is offered only on the rear-wheel-drive M37 and M56, and not on the volume-leading all-wheel-drive models.

Amazingly enough, fuel consumption figures for all variants of the M cars have improved substantially partly because the automatic gearbox is now a seven-speed unit.

In keeping with the recent trend adopted by the Japanese luxury carmaker, the new M is chock full of electronic driving aids offered in various option packages and identified by three-letter acronyms. The list is long and most of these have been designed to reduce the stress of driving, according to Infiniti. Among them are the BSW (Blind Spot Warning) already featured on many cars, but there is also an industry-first BSI (Blind Spot Intervention) system that will actually prevent you from driving into a vehicle that is in your blind spot by alerting you from driving into a vehicle that is in your blind spot by alerting you with lights, then beeping before finally applying the brakes on the opposite side of the car to help return your vehicle to its lane.

Fortunately, the M features a single button on the steering wheel that deactivates all of these electronic nannies, and another below the dash on the left side to disable the various warning systems for those who can actually look where they are goin when driving .

Infiniti has had a lot of success in challenging the German brands in the lower spectrum of luxury cars with its G models, but the M competes in a higher league where the brand’s image is more of a factor in the buying decision.

It’s clear that the new M can hold its ground in driving dynamics and that it enjoys a significant price point advantage vis-a-vis its direct rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but making the transition from figuring on a buyer’s list to becoming that buyer’s car of choice is a different matter and the final decision is not always a rational one.

The M cars were to arrive in Canadian dealerships, with different price ranges.

 

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The Infiniti

There may be five different nameplates in Infiniti’s current lineup but, for all intents and purposes, Infiniti is a three-vehicle brand, as the EX and FX crossovers as well as the different variants of the G provide the bulk of Nissan’s luxury division’s sales. With the new and completely redesigned 2011 model year M luxury sedan, Infiniti is once again hoping to compete with the established segment leaders and to steal some of Germany’s thunder, a feat it never managed with the previous-generation M as well as the now very much forgotten larger Q sedan.

While the previous-generation M was an able performer performer from a driving dynamics standpoint, it suffered from bland and uninspired styling, a core issue that the new model confronts head-on. Borrowing cues from the softer-edged G, the new M is all about styling that is almost organic in nature with flowing and curved lines that allow the new car to stand out and be noticed.

Getting behind the wheel for an initial test drive, I found the same story applies inside the cabin. Whereas the previous-generation car was outfitted with a largely black plastic interior that did not accurately reflect the brand’s luxury credentials, the new one offers tasteful genuine ash as well as aluminum trim on its dashboard and console. While BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have developed single-controller setups (iDrive, MMI, Comand) to access their car’s various systems, Infiniti has gone old school by way of a myriad of single buttons as an interface. Getting aquainted with the location of the various controls was relatively straightforward with the exception of a most puzzling feature, which is called the Forest Air climate control system and its breeze mode, designed to emulate a natural breeze by randomly varying the air flow through the cabin – it proved to be more annoying than refreshing.

The new M comes as the 37 or M56, depending on the choice of engines, and the all-wheel-drive system is available on both models. While the 5.6-litre, V8 delivers major power in the form of 420 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque, the 3.7L V6 proves to be more than adequate with its 330 h.p. and 270 lb-ft of torque. Indeed, the car of choice for most buyers will be the V6 engine matched with the all-wheel-drive system.

 

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Tires..and Other Common Misconceptions

Twenty-five years ago, monster-engine Mopars, Fords and Chevys were riding on narrow, high-profile blackwalls that, presently, we wouldn’t trust on a three-speed bicycle. “Remember, the tread on the 427 Corvette is only 4 1/2 inches wide,” says John Kelsey, president of Kelsey Tire, which 10 years ago, acquired the rights to the old Goodyear molds.

Today, tires are an integral part of a car’s handling, safety and ride quality. “There is more of a hand-in-glove relationship now between car makers and tire makers,” says Kelsey.

Anyone who’s ever been behind the wheel of a 427 with original tires, or any similarly high-power car, knows “that feeling”: The feeling of pushing it hard into a turn and having it break loose, knowing that there’s no way you’re going to bring it back – not with these tires – and the only thing left to do is start the introductions.

 

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All New ‘Jeep’ Wagoneer

“Sure as you’re alive! I’ve got 4-wheel Drivepower”-the easiest working, quietest running 4-wheel drive system ever, more usable cargo area than other any other wagon in my class, and America’s only automotive overhead cam engine, the high torque Tornado-OHC. Plus I got optional independent front suspension, power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission and a real passenger car ride. I also got-”

 

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Smooth Luxury Chevrolet

NEVER BEEN SO LUXURIOUS BEFORE! More luxurious outside with that new look. And much more luxurious inside. The new Impala Super Sport Series, has a new kind of ultra-soft vinyl upholstery and door-to-door deep-twist carpeting that you would be proud to put in your home. And even the lowest priced Biscayne models are now fully carpeted and have arm rests and foam-cushioned seats both front and rear. Then these new Chevrolets have a Jet-smooth luxurious way of going. Quiet. Soft. Transmissions operate more smoothly and quietly. That sturdy Body by Fisher and generous coil spring at each wheel cushion you against every kind of road shock. Actually, the whole idea for ’64 was to see how much luxury and comfort we could add to the car – but still keep it reasonably priced. And everything worked out just beautifully. Wait until you see it.

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