VIDEO> Formula Drift 800hp RWD Scion tC

Scion Racing tC AEM Electronics Infinity Fredric Aasbo Stephan Papadakis Formula Drift

Formula Drift has some pretty insane competition cars, with high level builds all over the place. After watching the Formula D New Jersey event, I was pretty shocked when I saw Scion Racing driver Fredric Aasbo win top honors, standing atop the podium with a First Place trophy. I saw Aasbo driving at Formulla D Long Beach but, My first impression had me saying “He drives a Scion tC. Isn’t a tC supposed to be a front wheel drive car?! That thing wasn’t even designed with drifting in mind! How the hell did he manage to compete in Formula D against other top drivers with six figure drift car builds… and he was driving a Scion tC?!”
I guess it all boils down to the strength of the engineering team behind the build. As a new member of the MotorMavens Crew, there were many people in the Formula Drift paddocks that I had seen before, but never officially met. When I was first introduced to Stephan Papadakis, the builder of the RWD Scion tC in question, I found myself amongst a legend, with a long history in autosports.  This dude has been featured in magazines since I was a kid. As the myth of Vin Diesels character in the Fast N Furious being based of Stephan lingered in my head we started shooting. From Street Racing to full blown Racing Engineer, not to mention record breaking drag times, Papa is the epitome of a Motor Maven.

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DRIVER SEAT> 40 Years of Volkswagen Golf GTI

This year, Volkswagen is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular VW Golf - the best selling European car of all time! More than 30 million Golf models have been sold since the Golf Mk1 went on sale in May 1974 in Europe (the car made its debut in the United States as the Volkswagen Rabbit in December of the same year). Seven generations later, the successful formula remains the same: compact, yet elegant styling; space-efficient interior design; small displacement yet powerful engines; and responsive front-wheel-drive handling.

While on a short trip to San Francisco, I had the unique opportunity to test drive both the all new 2015 Volkswagen Golf Mark 7 and a 1984 Golf GTI Mark1. What an awesome experience that was!   Read more...
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GEAR DRIVEN> Brian Crower Toyota 4AG Stroker Kit

NICE! I just got my hands on a brand new Brian Crower STROKER KIT for the 4AG engine! I can't wait to put my engine together with this beauuuuuutiful forged crankshaft and lightweight connecting rods!

Before I elaborate on the details of my engine build, check out this new video from our friends at Brian Crower, highlighting some of their sponsored racers. I'm honored that my own AE86 is going to have a heart transplant that includes engine internals from the same manufacturer that's responsible for the success of these pro drivers!   Read more...

VIDEO> Subaru WRX World Debut at LA Auto Show

Subaru WRX World Debut Video LA Auto Show MotorMavens

Check out the 2015 Subaru WRX from its official world debut at this year’s LA Auto Show. The new WRX is a more powerful and better handling version of Subaru’s iconic high-performance Impreza WRXmodel.Powered by a new 268-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine, the 2015 WRX debuts the model’s first six-speed manual transmission and a new, optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic with two manual modes.

With its bold new wide-body sedan design and expanded performance envelope, the 2015 WRX marks a major evolutionary step for the rally-bred performance car that has become a global automotive legend. For 2015, the Subaru WRX employs a new torque-vectoring system that supplements the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Torque vectoring allows for improved cornering speeds and handling. The new and stiffer chassis, larger brakes, performance-tuned suspension and a driver-focused interior remain integral to the WRX performance character. The new powertrain also yields higher fuel efficiency than the previous model. (more…)

VIDEO> GReddy 2JZ Powered Rocket Bunny V.2 FRS

Rocket Bunny Version 2 V2 GReddy Racing 2JZGTE Scion FR-S FRS Ken Gushi Formula Drift

Last night, we attended the Scion Racing Pre-SEMA Media Invitational event that promised a sneak peek at the cars entered in the annual Scion Tuner Challenge. Although we enjoyed checking out the three 2014 Scion tCs in the contest, there was clearly one car that stole the show – The GReddy Racing 2JZGTE powered Scion FR-S that was built for Formula Drift star Ken Gushi. (more…)

COVERAGE> Japanese Classic Car Show in LBC

Every year, one of my favorite events to attend in Southern California is the annual Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach. JCCS is like a big reunion of old school friends, surrounded by the finest pre-1990s vehicles made in Japan. The water surrounding the iconic Queen Mary cruise ship and the Downtown Long Beach skyline is a perfect backdrop for Skylines, 510s, Zs, Celicas, Corollas, Starlets, Land Cruisers, RX7s, RX3s, Civics and all sorts of other interesting Japanese old school cars!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Stay Classy With a Vintage Fiat 500

While we were in San Diego checking out the Socal Euro Gathering with our friends from the Purist Group, we stumbled upon this shiny red Fiat 500 with Abarth badges on it. The car was parked alongside several newer Fiat 500 models on display from Kearny Mesa Fiat. I just couldn't resist the classic styling of the original Cinquecento that made Fiat famous all over Europe, so I had to take a closer look!   Read more...

RANDOM DOPE> 2014 Toyota Corolla Commercial

COOL!!! Has anyone else noticed all the classic Toyotas used in the television commercial for the 2014 Toyota Corolla??? I got to see a sneak preview of this TV commercial a couple weeks ago when I was in San Diego for the 2014 Corolla’s Official Media Preview and Test Drive, and I’ve been excited to share it ever since! I’m sneaky, so I even shot a few undercover “on the downlow” videos of Toyota’s new TV commercial with my iPad Mini when they weren’t looking – just so I could show my friends! (more…)