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Reviews

Boosted Rottweiler

8th April 2017 — by Dan Fegent

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The Mr2 Turbo, a 90s mid engined turbo powered 2 seater. On paper the Toyota MR2 was a winner but as always living among a successful family it often remained in the shadows of its bigger brother the Supra. It may not have had the same global success as its muscle bound bro but it holds its own as a credible sports car.


So with that back story done & out of the way, we think Mr2s rock! A few of us here have owned & loved them & we think the underdog spirit of the 3SGTE engine with its kick back in the seats violent performance is adorable, much like a cute Rottweiler puppy.  This one in particular has been around on the scene for a long time, back for a second wind after a sabbatical its not as it once was. Its swapped its fresh off the boat from Japan white paint for a WW2 US Army issue olive drab wrap by the Ruislip based guys at Prestige wraps.

Its heart is strong & unmolested with its near on standard 280bhp, slightly increased thanks to the usual bolt on modifications as well as uprated boost & all being kept cool by a JDModified fitted chargecooler. Yeah this car has not just laid down dead like many of its 90s brethren in the wake of high performance modern hot hatches, its now back for more on the streets. Owners form a bond with cars like this, it may not be the most powerful car & certainly not the most performance pushing MR2 but the relationship here is far stronger… now we’re not talking screwing your car here kind of relationship, we just mean you learn to love it in its own way & this one has been around since the dawn of time for its owner & its not saying sayonara yet.

Lets recap to the start of this feature shoot, the pre photo prep, think of it as the application of make up if you will. Being renowned for being a hair dressers car I think its alright to give the old 2 some time to beautify itself. Providing this beauty session and achieving the results seen here is largely thanks to a tonne of help from Shining Monkey. It wasn’t long before the car was soaking in a bath of their very own wash & wax monkey serum & ready to be blasted clean. Elbow grease fuelled applications of 360 detailing wax finished off the wrapped bodywork whilst safe in the knowledge that no damage was being done to the matte finish.

The wheels were in a sad state with several years of brake dust caked to them, AMDetails wheel cleaner came to the rescue & got in on the action alongside its Iron Fall Out Remover formula transforming the brake dust covered matte Lenso wheels back to their former glory. Dried down with towels that I would happily keep in the bathroom & it was ready for its photo to be taken.

While snapping it for this feature it was easy to see why Mr2s still have a following, the lines work & we feel its stronger now than its ever been. Like a rebellious punk rock fuelled teen its still punching above its weight as a solid performer & will most definitely not bow down & blend in among the blocky modern cars of today.

Reviews

JDM Royalty

5th April 2017 — by Dan Fegent

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Nissan Skylines are Royalty among the JDM scene, every single one throughout its thoroughbred history has always been instantly recognisable. A car that demands as much respect standing still as it does driving the streets or tyre slaying on tracks.


Anyone in to cars will have some level of respect for what Nissan built, especially those crafted during the horsepower races of the 90s. With the R32, R33 & R34 generations of this creation all helping to make the RB25Det & RB26Det engines renowned among the automotive scenes worldwide.

Something else that has helped its rise in popularity is that you can pretty much spot a Skyline from miles away, in particular thanks to the fact that day or night those rear lights stand out like two red hot cooking hobs. There is also no denying that the Fast & Furious film franchise  has boosted this particular cars fame, the result is that to many, out of the entire range none have more presence than the now iconic R34 that you see here.


The Skylines in the 1990s were most commonly released in two flavours, the monstrous beast that is the GTR & the RWD only RB25det powered GTT designated machine that you see here. Don’t be fooled though, the GTT is no slouch, with its Neo 2.5litre engine punching out near on 280bhp in standard form & pushing that solely through the rear wheels, its a plenty to play with out of the box.

However with engine tolerances allowing easy tuning & upgrading, its ideal for those seeking to build a street fighting weapon. The limit as we’ve seen from internet experience is really done to you on how far to take your build. So power isn’t an issue & looks wise well we think that even today this shape sits comfortably on the road, still just as imposing as it once was & it certainly doesn’t look out of place, its a true JDM legend that has aged well.

When a car looks this good, & has the whole package under the hood, we can totally understand why.

Reviews

BUT ITS JUST A VAUXHALL?

1st April 2017 — by Dan Fegent

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Car manufacturers are well rehearsed in taking a base model from their range & giving it a dose of radness. The ideal candidate being something mundane & common that fills forecourts nationwide. The idea then is to attempt to inject more appeal into it.  With the overall goal to create something special from the normality, leaving it more thanable to stand apart from the masses it came from & achieve that desirability.

The formula is pretty simple and standard across manufacturers. You start off by squeezing an oversized power plant in to the car of choice to make sure there are more than enough horses to pull said wagon. After some subtle yet worthy additions to the overall look inside & out, the car is ready… simples. This Vauxhall Astra GSi is one of those exact by the book cars. Astra’s like this remind me of the Nova’s of old. I’m not saying the Astra is the same as the legendary Nova, don’t bite my head off yet, hear me out…


Its the similarity in the fact that you used to see Novas everywhere, as I reckon many of you will remember they were massively popular in the cruise scene. I can’t recall not seeing one when I first started witnessing fwd doughnuts on MaccyD trays. The Astra has gone that way too, nope not the way of the FWD skids but their price point has made them possible to own by many & provide plenty of performance. Plenty of bang for your buck.

Just to clarify, I’m not slagging this car off or taking anything away from it, I’m actually a fan of this build & it certainly packs plenty of punch thanks to its 200bhp+ Z20LET power plant providing enough power to keep up with modern machines. Even by todays standards with horsepower figures going through the roof, it can still hold its own. Cars such as this have a huge following, especially when they hit that sweet spot of combining performance with practicality and therefore making it the right choice for many real world petrol heads that can’t sacrifice all for that dream two seater fuel guzzling monster or full race mode machine.

I’m a fan of this example & feel that its had all the right mods both to the engine & the styling to keep it standing out among its peers. On Fueltopia we usually lean towards favouring the Japanese creations of the automotive world, but hey we’re open minded & this is one outsider we fully approve.

Reviews

DO A SKID

28th March 2017 — by Dan Fegent

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The drift scene has taken over the car world, we get it, its rad & we’re huge fans of it, most of us here at Fueltopia are somehow heavily involved with it. However its caused some issues on a wider scale, for example you’ll be at a perfectly uncivilised car meet/cruise/show/Maccy Ds car park & something modified & RWD will turn up. Then you hear the cries… “Do a skid!” Its the sad reality people.

One car conjures up mad drift skills to those that see it and those that drive it none more so than the 200sx. Its become a symbol of drift culture here in the UK especially, & a popular body among those with enough pennies to go Pro at the sport. However, they don’t have to be all that way, the 200sx was popular across the ocean in the States long before drifting took a hold of us all. They went for the whole low & slow stanced look which is ever popular with Euro cars.

A lot of the reason behind that being the lack of availability of SR20DET engines in their 200sx models or even anything remotely performance driven. No matter the reasons though, the style was clearly different & not driven by an obsession of drifting. This one you see here is an example of modifying that has followed that older US trend, its not been built to drift, its been built to grip, to drive, to use on a daily basis. BORING all the Initial D fans shout, but different strokes for different folks.

 

With a plethora of performance & styling mods, 200sx owners have plenty of choice. This one has a small selection of enhancements mainly revolving around a Stage 2 custom map & all the other breathing mods that are needed to make that work. All whilst sitting pretty on its Japan Racing JR12 rims thanks to HSD coilovers. It performs awesome & looks good without ever being sideways on the edge of control. Featuring this example is because we want to give a shout out to the car, not what it represents now in our ever evolving car culture but what it is and always has been, a fun RWD boosted machine that can be styled however you want, not just for shits & skids.

Reviews

MODERN DAY CLASSIC

24th March 2017 — by Dan Fegent

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We’re all huge fans of the old school JDM elite, even the modern age 90s classics suchas the Mk4 Supra, the FD Rx7 & the R32 Skyline all still turn heads. If you’ve got something older from the JDM Royalty bloodline then your car will pretty much be as popular as the 2nd coming of Jeebus at a show. However, age is a factor that catches up with us all & these cars are not immune to it. What about the fresh blood coming through the ranks to grab our attention, the new school cars? Are they ready to tear us away from the retro awesomeness?

We believe they are. Quite a statement to make so we’ll give it a go backing it up. By comparison to many of the JDM pack this stunning electric blue 370z is fresh off the production line, its sleek & poised styling giving it the aggressive look we crave whether its hard parked at Tescos or out having its V6 engine thrashed on track. No denying the 370z was a hit on release with the masses, a step up in every way from the 350z & now prices are dropping its picking up in popularity ever more as road & as competition cars.

With its modern day rivals the Subaru BRZ & Toyota GT86s all now becoming solid choices in the tuning world & even now starting to show up as Drift specced machines. If we stay focused on the street appeal though then as road cars go I’m sure many of us reading this would love to step in to one of these.

The 370z is a stunning looking car, even as standard it grabs your attention much as the old school machines did & still do, a modern future classic of Japanese design & performance. Will cars like this be as popular as the Datsuns & Toyotas of old? Well only time will tell but if they continue to make them looking this good then there is definitely hope for the New School.