Alfa Romeo is building on the excitement of the award-winning 4C sports car and the all-new Giulia sedan with the introduction of their all-new luxury SUV, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Based off of the Giulia (a heck of a platform to begin with), the 2018 Stelvio epitomizes Alfa Romeo’s spirit, delivering race-inspired performance, real-world driving confidence, state-of-the-art technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size SUV segment.
“The all-new Stelvio, named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps – sets a new benchmark for the segment,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo. “Stelvio is uniquely engineered to challenge two-door sports cars on the track, without sacrificing any of the characteristics you would expect from a premium SUV, resulting in the perfect mix of high performance, capability and Italian design.”
Speaking of performance, Alfa comes with guns blazing, giving their top-of-the-line Stelvio Quadrifoglio the same 505-horsepower twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 found in the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan, with a standard Q4 all-wheel-drive system delivering power to all four wheels. The Quadrifoglio races from 0-60 in a blistering 3.9 seconds, on it’s way to a top speed of 177mph.
The company believes that it will be the fastest SUV ever to traverse Germany’s famed Nürburgring, but they haven’t yet made the journey to Nürburg for an on-track record attempt.
And for those people who don’t need to get their kids to soccer practice quite that fast, the base model with it’s 280-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder should still pack plenty of punch for you.
There’s no question that the Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s most important car yet, as they’re hoping to cash in on that booming (and lucrative) SUV market. If they’re successful, that could mean even more great cars from the Italian automaker in the future.
What do you think of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio?
7 Ways To Improve Your Car’s Perfomance
When I drove a 1996 Mustang GT, I thought it was the fastest thing on the road, with a 4.6L V8 that put out 215HP, and a 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds. But by today’s standard, that’s considered rather slow, with many family sedans (like the 2018 Camry V6) packing 250-300 horsepower, and sports cars putting out 400+ HP. Pretty crazy stuff, right?
So what can you do if you own an older sports car and you want to give it a little performance boost? Or go all out and turn it into a race car? From the laws of speed and motion, here are 7 surefire methods you can use to improve your car’s performance:
1) Aerodynamics and Weight:
Aerodynamics deal with how bodies move through the air. Physicist Sir Isaac Newton proved that the force executed by any car depends on its mass and acceleration. The higher the mass, the higher the force. This eventually increases the drag. Something like an aero kit can help your car slip through the air faster.
You can cut a car’s weight by removing heavy mechanical components. The components may include your air conditioning, heater, speakers, or even your backseats. You can also remake the interior using lighter materials, like replacing your glass windows with polycarbonates, which are strong, tough and lightweight.
2) Bushing Replacements
Most cars leave the factory with rubber bushings in their suspension. They are cheap, absorb shocks and vibrations, let the suspension turn freely, and won’t bind easily. The downside is that they compromise your car’s handling somewhat. But if you are willing to give up a little civility in the name of better handling, replacing your bushings with polyurethane ones will give you more responsive handling and acceleration.
Upgraded bushings are a quick and easy way to breathe some new life into your old ride.
3) Check Your Air Filter
Your car’s air filter is it’s first line of defense against contaminants. But it can get dirty over time, and many people neglect to replace them when they should. This can negatively affect your car’s performance, as it struggles to pull in air. So if your a mechanic recommends that you replace the car’s air filter, change it.
There are a number of aftermarket air filters (like K&N) that reportedly deliver improved air flow, which in turn leads to more power. These require more maintenance (periodically oiling your filter, making sure not to foul your MAF sensor), but it’s just another way to squeeze a few more horsepower out of your ride.
4) Use High Quality Components
You know that saying “You get what you pay for”? Well it’s true. When you’re working on your car, you want to use high-quality components from reputable sources, not some random part from eBay that you bought because it was cheap. Stick with an established brand that has a long history in the business for that piece of mind.
The same holds true for aftermarket parts. If you’re upgrading your older Porsche, you want to stick with a name like Fabspeed, who offer Porsche 996 performance upgrades that will make your car feel stronger than ever, along with a warranty on their parts.
5) Install A Supercharger
By compressing air supplied to a car’s engine, superchargers give room for more oxygen to enter the engine. In reality, a car can have a lot of fuel. But without enough oxygen, the car will hardly accelerate.
Installing a supercharger will give you an immediate boost to your vehicle’s performance, with more horsepower both off-the-line and during acceleration. It’s a great way to take your car’s performance to the next level, though it’s a costly (and complicated) upgrade.
6) Enhance Performance Using Computers
Unlike classic cars, which you could tune with a basic set of tools, today’s cars are increasingly complicated, relying on computers for things like fuel delivery, spark, and more. What’s more, cars are tuned from the factory rather conservatively, and the car’s ECU can be reprogrammed to give you better performance.
There are plenty of resources where you can learn to program your car’s engine management program. Or you can go to a professional tuner, who can put your car on a dyno and give you a custom tune. These prove especially beneficial if you’ve got a turbocharged car.
7) Install Quality Tires
What connects your car to the road? Tires. Most mechanics would agree that tires are in fact the most important part of your car. If you’re looking for faster acceleration, better braking, and overall stability, you should invest in a quality set of Ultra High Performance tires, which will dramatically change the demeanor of your car.
You should always make sure that the tires are properly inflated as well, as too much or too little air pressure can dramatically affect a car’s performance.
As you can see, speed isn’t the only factor that defines a high-performance car. Hopefully these tips will help you turn your tired ride into a high-performance car that’s able to hang with the competition on the streets.
9 Important Tips To Winterize Your Car
It’s hard to believe it, but winter will be here before you know it. With the dramatic change in the weather that winter promises to bring, it’s important to keep in mind what this means for your vehicle. Depending on the climate where you live, the winters can be brutal on a car that isn’t prepared for the drastic change in temperature—not to mention dealing with the snow.
We’ve got some important tips to get your vehicle ready for the winter season:
1) Check Your Tire Pressure
Your tires are among the most important things to pay attention to when preparing your car for the winter. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, you should put on a set of winter tires. Otherwise, just make sure that you’ve got ample tread life on your existing tires. While you’re at it, make sure the tire pressure (psi) is at the level directed by the manufacturer, as these tend to drop when the weather gets colder outside.
2) Check Your Windshield Wipers and Fluid
You don’t want to get caught in the freezing rain or a blizzard without adequately functioning windshield wipers. Worn out windshield wipers can be extremely dangerous in low-visibility situations. If your wipers need replacing, do it now before it’s too late. In addition, make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid to contend with those winter storms. The grime that accumulates during the winter will require ample freeze-resistant windshield washer fluid.
3) Check The Battery
Cold weather can be extremely taxing on a car battery. The low temperatures are debilitating to the chemical reactions required to charge and power the battery. A car battery can be reduced to half its power at temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The car’s motor also requires more energy from the battery in cold weather.
4) Change Your Oil
Getting an oil change is before the winter time will assure that the oil viscosity is right for the weather. Changing the oil and filter will ensure that your vehicle is functioning at its optimum for the winter. The frequency at which a car’s oil should be change obviously varies based on the car but ranges from 3,000 to 10,000 miles between changes.
5) Check Your Exhaust
Ice, slush, and especially salt can have a corrosive effect on your exhaust system. You exhaust system keeps your car from expelling toxic fumes into the environment. Aside from this vital function, the exhaust system also muffles the sound that the engine creates—thus the name muffler. If you are unsure if your car’s exhaust is in need of replacement, a qualified mechanic can check to see if everything is in order.
6) Inspect Hoses, Belts, and Fluids
There are a host of hoses under your hood that may be in need of replacement before old man winter arrives. Your mechanic can check to make sure everything is in working order for the winter, and replace any hoses that look brittle or prone to failure. Aside from changing the oil, your mechanic should also top the rest of your car’s fluids.
7) Invest In A Car Cover
A great way to avoid having to scrape snow and ice off of your car’s windows is to invest in a car cover. Car covers allow you to avoid the time it takes to clean snow that has accumulated on your car overnight. The last thing you want to do on an early winter morning is to hover over your vehicle with a brush/scraper.
8) Maintain Sufficient Gas Level
If you live in an area that is prone to temperatures that are near freezing, you will need to pay attention to how much fuel is in left in your tank. Maintaining an insufficient fuel level will leave your car vulnerable to gas-line freeze. If moisture forms in your gas lines, your fuel lines can freeze. Keeping your fuel level above a half tank will assure that you don’t run the risk of having your fuel lines freeze up.
9) Stock Your Car With Emergency Supplies
There’s always a possibility that you may get stranded. The reason to winterizing your vehicle is to be forward-thinking and prepared just in case. An emergency survival kit will equip you with the things you need in case of an emergency. Some things that may be in your survival kit are water, non-perishable food, road flares, can of Fix-a-Flat, flashlight, jumper cables, phone charger, and first aid supplies.
The worst thing you can do is put off the winterization of your car. Once winter sets in, it may be too late to save yourself from an inconvenient repair due to the winter weather. Don’t let procrastination have you stranded in the cold. If you pay attention to the things mention here, your car should be ready for the winter.
The 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Stole The Show At SEMA
When Ford invited us out to attend the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas with them, I was pretty excited, as it’s one of my favorite car shows, packed with some of the wildest builds you’ve ever seen.
Naturally, I was curious about what Ford would be revealing here. Modified Rangers? Tricked out Mustangs? Custom F-150s? Sure, the massive Ford booth had all of these and more. But what was the deal with that lone car under wraps, roped off from everything else?
I can’t tell you how many people came up to me asking about this mystery car, figuring that I must know since my SEMA badge said I was with Ford, and I was standing right there next to it. But honestly, I was as much in the dark as they were. I figured that it was a Ford GT, given the low stance and silhouette. But beyond that, it was anyone’s guess.
About midway through the Ford press conference, the cover was finally pulled back, revealing the 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series, the lightest version of Ford’s performance supercar yet. At first glance, you might think that the Carbon Series is just another “special edition” with some fancy colors and trim accents. But there’s a lot more going on here.
The new limited-edition model drops nearly 40 pounds with a host of lightweight innovations such as carbon fiber wheels, a titanium exhaust, titanium lug nuts and a polycarbonate rear hatch with additional venting. But unlike the Ford GT Competition model, which ditched the radio and A/C in order to save weight, this GT still retains those creature comforts, so you can drive to and from the track in relative comfort.
This third Ford GT special edition features more visible carbon fiber than any previous model, along with optional accent colors, to stand out from the lineup and communicate its chicane cravings. The exterior boasts two exposed carbon fiber stripes with matching A-pillars, lower body panels and gloss carbon fiber wheels, while the interior features matte carbon fiber sills, air register pods and center console.
Customers can choose between four optional accent colors (silver, orange, red or blue) for the mirror caps, center stripe and calipers. The Carbon Series also features a unique seat pattern with silver stitching that is repeated on the steering wheel, as well as clear anodized paddle shifters and a unique badge for the instrument panel.
“This is just another example of how we listen to our customers at Ford,” says Lance Mosley, marketing manager, Ford Performance. “While the Ford GT Competition model appeals to hardcore racing enthusiasts, we found more customers asking for more exposed carbon fiber with the air conditioning and radio still intact. So we developed the Carbon Series to satisfy that need, while providing a distinct look.”
A distinct look indeed! You might not be able to tell from these pictures, but the dual exposed stripes and other carbon fiber treatment takes the Ford GT’s looks to the next level (as if that were even possible). Kudos to Ford for continuing to raise the bar on the Ford GT, and thanks for bringing us out to SEMA to get a look at this beauty in person.
Ford will re-open the application window for the Ford GT to prospective customers starting on November 8th, at which time you’ll be able to submit your application at FordGT.com. And if you’re lucky enough to make the cut, make sure you go for the Carbon Series.
Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!