Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

I have a 1996 WRX Hatch, which is my baby. As a standard non-STI model, she still goes like a cat sprayed with a hose. I read on the net that they run about 220hp standard, but I would ideally like to be running at about 350hp. I have managed to source an STI inlet manifold, STI pistons, and was looking at a new set of cams. Am I on the right track? What else could I do to achieve my goal without going to a bigger turbo at this stage? Also what sort of boost can these things safely run?
Cheers — KILAREX

For a start you don’t need to change cams for that sort of power. As for the turbo, you’ll need to run a VF22 or TDO5H and about 16-20psi, which should give you that power level. The pistons aren’t a must, but a step in the right direction. The reason I say this, is that it all depends on the ECU tune and setup. I would change the fuel pump and injectors and add the STI ECU, and you should be turn-key without a custom program. The pistons you have now will do the job, but be conservative in the boost levels you run and check the a/f ratio as you go. You’re basically aiming for 220kW at the wheels, which is on the upper side of a VF22’s capabilities.
Cheers, SM

This article is from Performance Car Issue #112. Check it out here.

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

I have a Trueno GT-Z with the 4A-GZE engine. It’s pretty much stock, except for a filter, exhaust and boost pulley. It’s still got the top-mounted interheater (cooler) and I was wondering if it would be worthwhile going to a front mount? I know people say that having longer intercooler piping makes turbo engines more laggy, but what about a supercharger? Because the power is instant, I guess the length of the pipe doesn’t really matter?
Cheers, Ryan — H-Town

The length of piping can change boost response, but diameter is more of a problem. A two-inch pipe will flow enough air to support 500hp, so why use three-inch? To give you an idea, the problem is when you change to three-inch piping over two-inch and can’t understand why it still runs 12psi, but has no punch to it. Why? Because you need more cfm to fill the pipes to get the air speed up to give the punch back, which again is based on the hp needed — so why do you need bigger when your only after 300hp? A rule I go by is keeping the piping size to what’s needed and as short as possible and you won’t go wrong.

Performance Car Issue #111

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

Hi guys and gals. Love your work! (Just resubscribed). Anyway, I’m currently looking at buying a pimpin’ Euro ride. The two cars I’m interested in are a ’94 BMW 320i sacked on 19-inch late model M3 mags, intake, stereo, paintwork, clear lights, angel eyes, etc. Or secondly, a ’97 Mercedes CLK 230 Sport Kompressor rolling on CLK rims. You see these are both very phat looking rides, but as I currently drive a manual (of course) ’96 Integra SiR, which I’ll unfortunately be selling to buy one of these rides, I’m used to a car with a bit of performance.

I’m wondering what’s the best way to get a bit of performance from these rides. I tend to steer towards the Beamer, as it looks better and is more in my price range. But both cars are auto (which I hate), so I want to know if it’s possible to ditch the slosh box and fit a manual transmission into either and what gearbox would fit (do I have to get genuine BMW or Merc)? A six-speed would be nice, but I’m not too fussy. I’m not sure if I’d run into problems with the computer, or if I should do a complete engine and gearbox swap. If I got the Beamer, I’d finish things off by putting on a decent free flow exhaust, headers and possibly look at supercharging it. With the Merc, I’d only look at both intake and exhaust. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Cheers Dr J-Christchurch

You don’t want much do ya! Just kidding. I would go with the BMW also, based on it being cheaper and easier for body kits and engine upgrades. Your best bet would be changing to the 325i engine, header and intake. As far as the manual box goes, you’ll need to look for a wrecked 3 Series and rob the box, pedal box and flywheel, etc, for the conversion. The engine ECU is separate form the trans, so there shouldn’t be a problem. Try a place called Bavarian Motors 09 444 5312 on the North Shore in Auckland, as they know their BMW stuff inside and out.

Performance Car Issue #111

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

Hi guys, love the magazine! I’ve just got a couple of questions to do with fuel. Firstly, I know what AVGAS is, but is C16 fuel pretty much the same, or is it something altogether different? Which one is best? Secondly, I see a lot of the Pro Import drag guys changing their engines to run on methanol fuel. I know that shit can sting your eyes and it burns clear or something, so is real dangerous to use, but what’s the reason these guys are using it? Does it give you more power or something?
Thanks, David

Both AVGAS and 100 octane are petroleum-based fuels and C16 is the same except for the higher octane rating. At over $8 a litre C16 isn’t for every day use even if you could do so. It also generates a lot of rust due to the high lead content. Methanol is good stuff and, at $1-2 a litre, is a lot cheaper to use and has a higher octane again, allowing for higher compression and boost levels. Its downfall is you need about two and a half times more of it than petrol, which means a lot bigger fuel tank. It also attracts moisture, is difficult to see when burning, needs most fuel fittings and pumps to be stainless steel, as it has no lubrication and it runs very dry.

On methanol, you don’t need to run a lot of ignition timing, but it can be harder to keep heads on the block due to the volume you need to feed it. You can also run it up to 30 per cent rich and you won’t lose power, whereas problems start with petrol at around 5-10 per cent. With petrol, you can be too lean and get detonation, the same as running it too rich. Methanol is also water based, which is why you can mix it this way for water/meth injection.

Performance Car Issue #111

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

I read in the magazine last month that some testing was being done to develop an exhaust noise level and I was happy. Finally, it looked like something sensible and objective was going to happen to fix the issue once and for all. Next I’m hearing on the TV and reading in the papers that from Jan 16 a new law came in that means you’d get a $250 instant fine and score 10 demerit points if you get caught with a noisy exhaust! Of course, what constituted 'noisy’ was totally subjective. So what’s the deal? It sounds like the government is going around in circles than progressing forward — not that it really surprises me! Keep up the good work. Cheers, Mike — Napier.

I think what the government has done regarding the new January 16 law change is to put another sticking plaster on the cut, while they work toward resolving the long-term solution. There hasn’t been any change to the noise law as far as actual noise output goes, but they’ve added demerit points and upped the fine you’ll have to pay if you get booked for excessive exhaust noise. But, as you say, it’s still 'subjective’ rather than 'objective’, so what is 'excessive’ comes down to the opinion of the person on the day. That’s not an ideal situation, but at least the government recognises that and is working toward fixing the problem once and for all with a proper measurable noise test. LVVTA has been working with the Ministry of Transport and Land Transport NZ as they’ve been going through the process of assessing sound measurement equipment and testing procedures, and while it’s too early to tell just what the end result will be, there’s a number of reasonable options open to the Ministry of Transport and Land Transport NZ. These include the LVVTA’s (draft) Low Volume Vehicle Standard for Noise Emissions, which has been developed specifically for modified vehicles. Hope that helps. Cheers, TJ.

Performance Car Issue #111

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

Hey, just want to say thanks heaps for bringing us boy racers and others a great mag, you guys are doing a great job. I’ve wanted to write in for a while, but didn’t have the will until now because I have a slight problem with my ride. My brother and I own a ’94 Pulsar GTi-R and a while ago we blew the turbo and the gearbox due to heavy over boosting and high rpm launches.

We reconditioned both the turbo and the gearbox, put in a custom front-mount intercooler, got a three-inch exhaust installed and chucked in an adjustable boost controller. Even though we haven’t timed the car yet, we have clues that it’ll get mid 12s running at 15psi, as we were beating 12-second cars. We are also planning on putting in a Link computer, a wastegate and other little mods, hoping for high 11s.

Here’s the problem: a couple of weeks after putting in the reconditioned box, second gear bailed. Not having the cash to get a new one, we stuck to the motorways… then first gear broke. Now the car is sitting in the garage gathering dust while we try to find the perfect solution to the gearbox problem. I know that GTi-R boxes are really weak and I’ve heard about a process called cryogenic treatment where somehow the gears are strengthened. Do you think this is a good way to go and would it handle the power produced? Or should we just start saving $10k for a dog box?

Cheers, Ahmed

Like any drag car, you should drive it like you stole it, but unfortunately this will always end up in tears. The simple answer comes down to the amount of money you’ve got against what you’re trying to do. There are other ways of overcoming this on the cheap — well, not that cheap, but some custom gears and cryo are at the low end of the budget and worth looking at.

A dog box would be the go, but you’ll need a better clutch. I can’t tell you which way to go, as that’s up to your wallet and based on what you’re doing. A well-built box with custom gears is still going to set you back $5K and even then you can still break it. The faster you go the more it costs. SM

From Performance Car Issue 111

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC


Full carbon: nice

January 10-12 at Makuhari-Messe was the annual Tokyo Auto Salon, attracting tens of thousands of car nuts to Japan’s premier custom and tuner show.  The Auto Salon, known very well for its fast cars and fast women, was once upon a time considered to be the outlaw event for the tuning industry within Japan, however nowadays it attracts all the major marques and tuning companies.

Undoubtedly the car everyone was dying to see was Nissan’s new GT-R.  Despite being released in December 2007, all the big names had managed to secure one and tune and modify it despite the GT-R being in such short supply.

There were also the usual cars there ranging from the Japan Grand Touring cars, to the Japan D1 drifting machines, and some very well done Europeans too.

RE-Amemiya was unveiling a full carbon body FD3S as well as a range of new bodykits for the FD3S which resembled more of a Porsche than a RX7, but were nonetheless stunning works of art earning them a ‘best in show’ award.  All the traditional favourites were there, Panspeed with their RX7, Top Secret with the Supra and a range of Nissan 350 Zs, Weds Sport showcasing a Lexus, and many, many more.

As you make your way around the Auto Salon you are seemingly tripping over an inordinate number of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.  The new Ohlins Evo X for the Super Taikyu endurance, Rally Japan’s 2007 course car and other circuit versions were standout examples.

The Tokyo auto salon always has it’s fair share of the wacky, unreal and super sleek cars thus making it a must see for any auto enthusiast.

Jan 18, 2008 | NZPC

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart 2009 fq

The new Lancer Ralliart reinforces the sporty identity of the Lancer lineup (Lancer, Lancer Ralliart and Lancer Evolution) with aggressive styling and driving performance that creates a unique product between the Lancer GTS 2.4 and the Lancer Evolution models. The Lancer Ralliart makes effective use of the Lancer’s rigid unibody and four-wheel independent suspension by mating this capable chassis to a turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive.


Lancer Ralliart is powered by the new 4B11 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC intercooled and turbocharged engine (also used in the Lancer Evolution) that develops an estimated 235 horsepower. The engine is mated to Mitsubishi’s efficient Twin Clutch-SST gearbox that helps enhance the sporty nature of the vehicle by allowing the driver to execute lightning-quick, silky-smooth, paddle-actuated shifts. The TC-SST transmission also operates in fully automatic modes for Normal and Sport driving conditions.

The Lancer Ralliart’s full-time 4WD driveline features Mitsubishi’s Active Center Differential (ACD). The ACD unit employs an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch center differential, vectoring drive torque to the front and rear according to different driving conditions to realize the best balance between steering response and traction characteristics on Tarmac, Gravel, or Snow surfaces. Lancer Ralliart is also equipped with front helical limited slip differential and a rear differential mechanical limited slip differential.


Elaborating on the basic sporty design and proportions of the Lancer, the Lancer Ralliart exterior is distinguished by its more aggressively styled front bumper design, rear bumper cover, dual outlet muffler and a lightweight aluminum, ducted hood that delivers cooling air to the turbocharger.

The interior design places greater emphasis on function and vehicle control. Lancer Ralliart is equipped with FAST key, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone interface, the same Twin Clutch-SST shifter used on Lancer Evolution, and easily accessible steering column mounted paddle shifters.

Available equipment and options to include: Recaro seats, HID headlights, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system, Sirius satellite radio, power sunroof, and a 30-gigabyte hard drive navigation system with digital music server.

Availability and specs for New Zealand haven’t been confirmed yet.

Source: Mitsubishi