Tag Archives | SEMA

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: JR Rocha’s Infiniti G37

JR Rocha Infiniti G37

JR Rocha’s 2008 Infiniti G37 recently won the SEMA “Best of Show” award, and as a result, will be featured in the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 video game!

Mods include a full widebody kit, dual Nismo GT-R turbos, a V-Mount dual-intercooler setup, three additional oil coolers, custom everything, and a partridge in a pair tree.

[Via: Motor Trend]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer GLK?

RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer

Every year, SEMA serves as the debut for some of the most outrageous cars and stunning concepts from tuners around the world, and this year, Mercedes-Benz decided to get in on the action with the debut of their new GLK.

One of those GLKs that stormed the SEMA show is this Pikes Peak Rally Racer from RENNtech, and with its inspiration coming from the winged, unlimited-class rally cars of the famed Pikes Peak Hill Climb, it’s no surprise that the styling needed to be kicked up a few notches.

However, beneath the menacing exterior lies a powertrain that might surprise a few people: a hybrid, designed to make the GLK a formidable performer while at work and at play.

By combining an electric motor in parallel with the 3.5 liter V6 petrol engine, RENNtech has been able to capture the impressive torque that characterizes electric motor drives, adding 54 Nm to enhance the GLK’s performance off-the-line and out of corners.

In addition, internal combustion engines can start to wheeze as the ambient air thins at the higher altitudes that a hill climb takes place in, but with a hybrid drive, thrust is maintained at any altitude with help from the electric motor, allowing the GLK to remain strong during every part of the race.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine that comes stock in the GLK received a special intake manifold, cams and cylinder heads directly from MB, and then RENNtech added their own long-tube headers, composite air intake, and RENNtech ECU software to make the engine put out approximately 350 horsepower on gas power alone.

RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer Detail

To help with speed, RENNtech cut weight by removing most of the sound insulation and replacing the Mercedes-Benz seats with lightweight carbon-fiber buckets. With the addition of a full roll cage and the movement of several components towards the rear of the GLK, weight distribution almost reached the perfect 50/50, which helps handling on tight, demanding rally stages.

Custom coil-over suspension was created by KW for RENNtech, allowing for adjustments in height, rake, damping rate, camber and toe-in, and 412mm, 2-piece rotors with 8-piston callipers from RENNtech handle stopping power in the front, while 4-pot callipers grab 356mm discs in the rear.

Not so subtle exterior modifications include a front splitter, rear diffuser, and lower side skirts all designed to help direct airflow underneath the GLK to reduce drag and produce added downforce, while improving high speed stability at the rear. The rear wing elements also serve an important aerodynamic purpose, and flared wheel arches and other bodyshell modifications “create a powerful side line that highlights the dynamic thrust of the Rally Racer”.

It’s definitely not the subtlest Mercedes-Benz on the road, but if you want cutting edge, rally ready technology that’s designed to get you where you want to go at a very high rate of speed, then look no further than the RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer.

[RENNtech]

[Via: Serious Wheels]

…It’s Things Thursday: Valentine One?

Alex Roy

When Alex Roy drives, Alex Roy drives fast.

The veteran of numerous rallies, races, and records, he recently drove from New York to Santa Monica in 31 hours and 4 minutes, beating the previous transcontinental record by over an hour. To give you an idea of the kind of speed it takes to break a record like that, think about this: Roy needed a sustained speed of almost 90 miles per hour.

For 31 hours!

So what kind of technology does it take to pilot a four-wheel rocket through 31,000 highly trained highway patrol?

  • Tasco 8 x 40 binoculars with a Kenyon KS-2 gyro stabilizer
  • Military spec Steiner 7 x 50 binoculars
  • Bumper-mounted L-3 Raytheon NightDriver thermal camera
  • Flush, bumper-mounted Blinder M40 laser jammers
  • Redundant Garmin StreetPilot 2650 GPS units
  • Preprogrammed Uniden police radio scanners
  • Ceiling-mounted Uniden CB radio with high-gain whip antenna
  • And last but not least, a Valentine One radar/laser detector

Valentine One

Since 1992, Valentine has been making a radar detector that refuses to loose. It’s a company that only makes radar detectors, only make ones model of radar detector (constantly upgraded with the latest technology), and only makes the best radar detector, so you know that they mean business.

On my recent trip to Las Vegas for the SEMA show, I had a chance to check out the capabilities of my newly purchased V1, and I must say, I was beyond impressed. Not only did it constantly keep me aware of what was going on around me (the patented arrows tell you with amazing accuracy if the radar is in front of, beside, or behind you), but it also saved me from at least one sure-fire ticket.

Coming down a hill with a clear lane and a tailwind, my car was more than happy to break the posted speed limit, and trusting in the powers of the V1, I was more than happy to oblige.

Suddenly, the V1 flashed Ka band, and maxed out the signal strength indicator, showing sure signs of a cop ahead. Heading the warning, I quickly brought the car down to posted speeds, and peered ahead for the awaiting cruiser. After about a mile of driving, I came upon the hidden cruiser, tucked neatly under an overpass with his radar gun pointed directly down the road that I had just traveled. Just past him though, there were three other cruisers parked and waiting to pick up what the radar gun picked off. It was a speed trap, and thanks to the V1, I had easily avoided it.

Chock one up in the V1 win column.

Though you can’t exactly call the Valentine One cheap, it’s a definite case of you get what you pay for. (And it’s also probably cheaper than getting a ticket.) Plus, if Alex Roy trusts it to drive across the country, shouldn’t you trust it to drive the kids to soccer? (Quickly.)

Also, having tested out a few other radar detectors over the years, I can confirm Valentine’s claims that the V1 is the easiest to use, most reliable, and gave the best warning time out of the bunch.

Your driving record will thank you.

(For more information about Alex Roy’s record run, check out his book, The Driver, and his documentary, 32 Hours 7 Minutes.)

[Valentine One]

[32 Hours 7 Minutes]

[Wired Magazine – The Pedal-to-the-Metal, Totally Illegal, Cross-Country Sprint for Glory]

[Team Polizei 144]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: SEMA?

Twin Mill

SEMA was, as expected, amazing.

If you’ve never been (given the chance, I think everyone should go), then picture this: More automotive eye candy than you can imagine, and I walked around for two full days and still didn’t see everything. It’s that big.

Though the name of the game is new and improved, and everyone is trying to one-up the next to grab that photographer’s eye, there were a couple trends that I noticed:

  • Orange is the new black. Orange was definitely the go-to color scheme for any car that was trying to show off, and even cars that were painted other colors seemed to have some sort of orange accent.
  • Bigger is better. To grab your attention, rims have now crossed the 30” barrier, and the more gaudy, the better. There were rims with TVs in them, rims with solid gold bars in them, rims with jewels in them, and rims that were painted just about any color you can imagine. If you can dream it, someone else can put it on a rim.
  • Heat-treated is the new chrome. To add to the wheel spectrum, many manufactures are now offering a “heat-treat” option, which takes your shiny new wheel and adds some color to it with a heat-treating process. I like the look, so I hope to see more of it.
  • Horsepower numbers need four digits to impress. With everyone pumping 300 horsepower out of their Civic, it takes something special to show off now, which is why many of the tuners were demoing cars that easily passed through the thousand mark in the horsepower column.
  • Conversions are big. Four door cars became two door, two door cars became four door, convertibles became single seat roadsters, and some cars just lost all hope of being original and simply transformed into something new entirely. There are definitely some automotive Dr. Frankensteins out there, and for the right funds, they can build you just about anything that you can think of.

Tractorri Engine

Though there were many cars that impressed, my favorite car of the show was easily the Tractorri; a half Mustang, half Lamborghini concoction that looked like it just stepped off the showroom floor. The execution was flawless, and it was hard to believe that this car started out as two entirely different machines. Though I couldn’t decide if it should be called a Forghini Musardo, or a Lambord Gallardang, it was easy to decide that John Haugh (the owner of the Tractorri) is one lucky man.

Tractorri Rear End

Starting with a 2007 body in white Ford Mustang, the Tractorri soon began to take shape. The 5.0-liter, 520 hp Lamborghini V10 was midmounted behind the front seats, and then mated to the Gallardo’s four-wheel drive, paddle-shifted E-gear transmission, and Aluminum double wishbone suspension.

Tractorri Interior

Other amenities include 8 piston front and 4 piston rear brakes, custom wheels, Lamborghini interior, PPG paint, and Gallardo taillights (to remind fellow drivers that there is a reason you’ll only ever see the back of this car).

If heaven has cars, then they all look like this, because the Tractorri was simply stunning.

Click through for more pics of the best of the best.
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…DYH is going to Vegas?

From now until Sunday, I’m heading to Vegas to cover the 2007 SEMA show. There will be a few posts going live while I’m gone, but look for the full goodness to return on Monday.

Vegas Baby!

[SEMA]