Monthly Archives: November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from AutoAnything!


Happy Thanksgiving from AutoAnything

We are letting the Turkey do the driving today, too bad we don’t have seat belts!

HappyThanksgiving from AutoAnything!

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Have a Seat in the Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider 16M


Ferrari F430 Scuderia Spider 16M - Red

This is the Scuderia Spider 16M. It is Ferrari’s latest and greatest version of their F430, a track-ready convertible which was created to celebrate the 16 titles they won this year as a manufacturer. Why you would ever need a convertible track car is beyond me, but sure, why not?

The Scuderia version of the F430 Spider is 80 kilos lighter and packing 27 extra ponies to give you a little extra kick in pants. Combine that 510HP 4.3-liter V8 engine and sub-3,000 lb curb weight with improved aerodynamics and you get blistering fast acceleration; 0-62 in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 196 miles per hour. You can check out the full gallery of Scuderia pictures below, or you can find out what it’s like to sit in one by taking a 3D Tour. :)

Pagani Zonda F Roadster on the Top Gear Test Track


As a follow up to yesterday’s Bugatti Veyron post, here’s a clip of the Zonda F Roadster blitzing around Top Gear’s test track. Think it’ll be faster than the Veyron?

Top Gear Puts the Bugatti Veyron Around the Test Track


Some pretty fast cars have raced around the Lotus-designed Top Gear Test Track. Being at the top of the Power Lap board is almost as prestigious as have a sub-7:30.0 lap time on the Nurburgring. Last nights episode was a big one with the Pagani Zonda F Roadster managing to shave 6-tenths of a second off of the Zonda F’s lap time! To save you from Google’ing it, here’s an updated list of the top 5 fastest cars to have gone around the TG test track:

  1. 1:17.1 – Gumpert
  2. 1:17.3 – Ascari A10
  3. 1:17.6 – Koeniggsegg CCX (with the Top Gear Wing)
  4. 1:17.8 – Pagani Zonda F Roadster
  5. 1:18.4 – Pagani Zonda F

But the Zonda wasn’t the only car the Stig got to drive on last nights episode of Top Gear. He also got to put his foot down in the Bugatti Veyron. Where do you think the Veyron will finish? It’s a pretty heavy car, will it even be in the top 5 or can the 1,000 horsepower on tap overcome it’s handling limitations to let it claim it’s thrown at the top of the Power Board? Make a guess before you watch the video!

GT-R Eye Candy – SEMA Show 2008


Here’s the last set of SEMA photos that our sharp shooters were able to get from the show this year. Perrin, Seibon, H&R, BBS, Toyo and more all put in parts, time and effort to make these GT-R’s look so good, so give it up to them for all their hard work!

Hot Paint Jobs at the 2008 SEMA Show


There were lots of wild paint jobs at the SEMA show this year. From brilliant colors to detailed airbrushing, these are the most wild paint jobs we came across. There are a few vehicles I couldn’t identify, any help would be greatly appreciated.

My particular favorite is the one that has people break dancing on the passenger side door. What about you, what’s your favorite?

New Winter Driving Products – AutoAnything Weekly Product Review


Turkey day is right around the corner, which means that fall is now behind us and we are on the cusp of the winter season. Much like that childhood story of the Squirrel and the Grasshopper, we’ve been working hard in preparation for the cold winter months ahead of us. We’ve got three new seat covers from Cal Trend to help keep your buns warm and your style fresh. Available in three styles;

In our Driving Accessories department, you can find our new line of Thule snow chains. We’ve got five chain-linked styles to help you get through whatever the winter weather throws at you.

  • Thule CB-12 tire chains are a standard, economical tire chain that will safely get you from point A to point B without breaking your piggy bank in the process.
  • Thule CS-10 tire chains are easy to slip on any tire and feature a self-tightening system to keep them hugging your wheels. When you’re ready to take them off, just hit the quick release button and prepare to stow.
  • Thule K-Summit tire chains are the creme de la creme of tire chains. Using a special lug nut mounted ratcheting system, these chains require no rear wheel clearance and feature tightening springs that eliminate wheel-slap and maximize grip.
  • Thule XB-16 tire chains are made from heavy duty chain links to claw through even the thickest road ice. Color coded assembly points make for easy installation in bleak weather conditions.
  • Thule XG-12 tire chains are specially made for heavier vehicles, constructed of hardened steel and designed to give extra grip when you need it most.

With these snow chains, you’ll be prepared to go out in any conditions, whether you’re going to the grocery store or hitting the slopes. Now that you’ve got the ability to drive in snowy weather, you should also be able to bring all your gear along too, which is why we added another ski rack, bike rack and a cargo roof bag line that will keep your necessities dry in rain, sleet or snow.

  • The Thule SnowCat ski and snowboard rack can latch onto your factory roof rails and then secure up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards for your mogul/shredding pleasure.
  • The Yakima Beddy Jo truck bed bike rack secures two bikes safely in the bed of your truck, keeping them from getting scratched up, dinged or stolen.
  • The Yakima GetOut roof cargo bag offers up to 13 cubic feet of additional cargo space and provides some weatherproofing, perfect for traveling through mild weather conditions.
  • The Yakima GetOut Pro roof cargo bag has all the same great features as the original GetOut, but has durable weatherproof seams and a bug-splatter-friendly finish.
  • The Yakima FarOut roof cargo bag is a campers dream. This triple-duty cargo bag can be strapped to your roof, used as a backpack or a hanging closest for maximum versatility. Offering 7 cubic feet of storage space, the FarOut cargo bag gives you the most functionality and portability for the buck.

If you’re rolling around in the snow, you should do it with some style. We added some more chrome accessories and another grille guard too:

And if you’re looking for more power, we got you covered there too. Remember last week when we added BBK? Well we got two more kick ass BBK performance products and a few from DiabloSport too.

  • BBK cold air intake systems net you an additional 7 to 21 horsepower by feeding your engine cooler air in bigger quantities than your stock air intake would allow.
  • A BBK intake manifold will let your engine produce up to 24 more horses by flowing even more air directly into your cylinders. Made from premium aluminum, this intake manifold saves weight, adds power and looks great.
  • The DiabloSport Mafia Mass Air Flow tuner will let you maximize horsepower gains from the modifications you make to your intake system, netting you maximum bang for the buck.
  • The DiabloSport PC Interface USB cable lets you hookup your DiabloSport Predator tuner to your PC so you can get the latest tunes and the most power from your engine.

Custom Audio Systems – SEMA 2008


You will never find such an amazing collection of custom audio systems like you will at the SEMA show.  Every one is built from custom-made fiberglass enclosures and finished off in fine cloths or paint matched gel coatings.  Huge subs, multiple amps and acoustically constructive designs are standard implementations to these wild rides.

Detroit’s Treo Fly to D.C. in Private Jets to ask for a $25 Billion Loan


Detroit CEO's in Washington DC

There’s no denying that the American auto industry is in trouble. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are all saying they could run out of operating cash by as soon as the first half of 2009. If they go down, an estimated 3-6 million Americans would lose their jobs over the next several years. These jobs are made up of the 355,000 people directly employed by the big three and also the companies that rely on domestic auto makers for business; dealerships, OEM manufacturers and financing companies would all go down the drain.

There is no doubt that it would be bad for our economy if Ford, Chrysler and General Motors all go bankrupt. The CEO’s of Detroit are in Washington D.C. today asking for another $25 billion dollar loan that they can use to invest in green technologies and to also pay their monthly bills. Although that seems like a sizable amount of money, it would be split evenly between all three companies. Considering that GM’s monthly operating cost is $13 billion, this loan would only keep GM alive for another three weeks!

I’m all for supporting our American economy, it really is in trouble. But did the CEO’s really have to fly in their private company jets to Washington DC ? Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group estimates the roundtrip cost at $20,000 for each jet. A first-class roundtrip ticket bought this morning would have cost less than $1,000.

I think we do need to figure out a way to save the American auto industry, but Rick Wagoner (GM), Alan Mulally (Ford) and Bob Nardelli (Chrysler) are not inspiring any confidence with their not-so-thrifty decisions. Congress seems to agree; “There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses,” said the Democratic Representative Gary Ackerman of New York.

Is scary to realize that Detroit’s treo hasn’t yet figured out that saving jobs should come before the preservation of their company perks.

Source: ABC News via AutoBlog – Photo by Mark Wilson

Hot Babes at the 2008 SEMA Show


With hot cars come hot girls, and at the SEMA show there is no shortage of either. Enjoy!

Here are some of the top accessories that we saw at SEMA in 2008

Air Filters, Air Intake Systems, Bed Caps & Bed Rails, Brakes and Brake Pads, Car Bras, Car Covers, Cargo & Trunk Liners, Chrome Accessories, Cooling Performance, Dash Kits, Deflectors, Driving Accessories, Exhaust, Mufflers & Tips, Floor Mats & Liners, License Plate Frames, Lights & Lighting, Oil Filters, Performance Chips, Seat Covers, Suspension Systems

Sick Custom Rims – SEMA 2008


Showcasing custom built vehicles is what draws in the huge crowds to the SEMA show and nearly every show car is sitting on a unique set of wheels. From matt-black to chrome to custom painted, these wheels are the hottest of the hot from the 2008 SEMA show.

Cool Products from the SEMA Show – SEMA 2008


SEMA is a great place to check out the hottest rides, but there is a lot more to the show than just crazy customs.  The SEMA show is also a great forum for aftermarket manufacturers to display their latest and greatest products.  Here’s a few pics of some cool products that we spotted.

Performance, Style and Safety – AutoAnything Weekly Product Review


It’s a killer trio; performance products that make you go, style products that make people say “whoa” and safety products that make sure you don’t go “doh!” Let’s cut right to the chase, we’ve got a lot of new additions this week.

BBK Performance

BBK is the King of bolt-on performance. For over 20 years they’ve engineered, fabricated and manufactured performance auto parts that have as much show as they have go. Here’s a breakdown of the parts we just picked up.

  • BBK Throttle Body kits are CNC machined for a precision fit and stunning looks. Available in 52-80mm sizes, the Power-Plus throttle body series does exactly what the name implies; it gives your engine more air to improve combustion efficiency and maximize horsepower & torque. Installation takes about 30 minutes due to the sleek bolt-on design.
  • BBK Headers will net you up to 25 more horsepower due to the smoother, laminar flow of the exhaust tubing. Available in both full-length and short-tuned header lengths, each piece is pressure tested to ensure a leak free exhaust system. You even get your choice of finish: stainless steel, chrome or silver-ceramic coatings.
  • BBK Underdrive Pulleys improve the efficiency of your engine by reducing both the weight and diameter of the pulleys that drive your auxiliary systems. This reduces the total load on your engine, thereby improving throttle response and freeing up an additional 8-15 horsepower. Depending on your vehicle, these pulleys are machined from either black powder coated steel or hand polished aluminum. You can find BBK’s pulleys in our new Underdrive Pulley department.
  • BBK X Pipe and H Pipes minimize exhaust gas back pressure and improve flow dynamics, bolstering up to 20 extra horsepower that your butt-dyno can confirm. O2 sensor bungs are in the factory locations and the dye stamped flanges mean you’ll have a hassle free, bolt-on installation. Choose your application: street-legal or off-road race approved.
  • BBK Fuel Pump kits deliver up to 255 liters per hour to make sure to never run too lean due to a wimpy fuel pump. These pumps are a must if you’re running high levels of boost or bottle feeding your engine.
  • The BBK Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator gives you complete control over your fuel delivery system. CNC machined from billet aluminum and adjustable up to 65psi, this fuel pressure regulator lets you fine tune your vehicle to get the most from your engine. You can find BBK’s adjustable fuel pressure regulator in our new Fuel Pump category.
  • BBK Lowering Springs drop your ride by 1-1/2″ for aggressive looks while the progressive coils provide excellent, predictable handling during spirited driving maneuvers. Some lowering spring kits even have optional camber and caster adjustment tools to improve grip in the corners.

Wellstar Auto Accessories

Wellstar is maker of all things bling. If you want to add some chrome bits to your ride, check out our new selection of Wellstar chrome accessories:

  • Wellstar Chrome Door Handles – These chrome handle covers fit directly over your factory door handles to add a nice touch to your exterior.
  • Wellstar Chrome Light Trim – Whether you want them for your headlights, tail lights or fog lights, these chrome light bezels will add that extra sparkle you’ve been searching for.
  • Wellstar Chrome Trunk Trim – Slap some bling on your trunk with Wellstar’s custom molded chrome trunk trim.
  • Wellstar Chrome Mirror Covers – 3M adhesive tape securely mounts the Wellstar mirror covers in place while the chrome plating reflects your desire for style.

Plasmaglow Neon Lights

Light up your ride at night with Plasmaglow, their LED lights will accent your vehicle in ways you never thought possible.

  • Plasmaglow Flexible LED Underbody Kit – These four flexible LED tubes can attach to virtually any vehicle and come in nine different colors so you can perfectly match it to your vehicles color scheme.
  • Plasmaglow LED Wheel Well Kit – Four brilliantly lit 3-foot long LED tubes will illuminate your wheel wells and highlight your rims like only Plasmaglow can.
  • Plasmaglow HotLinez LED Tailgate Bar – Available in 7 colors and 2 different lengths, this LED tailgate light bar activates when you hit your brakes, turn signals, running lights or hazards.
  • Plasmaglow Fire & Ice LED Tailgate Bar – Even more advanced than the HotLinez, the Fire & Ice features red and white LED’s that actively show if your braking, turning or reversing. They also light up if your turn on your running lights or hazards.
  • Plasmaglow Firestorm LED Tailgate Bar – Amber, red and white LED’s light up your tailgate whenever you use your turn signals, hit the brakes or throw it in reverse. Use the optional trailer plug adapter to make installation a breeze.

Rain X

Every Rain X wiper blade is made with premium rubber for excellent squeegee action. We’ve got two types of Rain X wiper blades and both come with a FREE glass treatment wipe, glass cleaner wipe and windshield washer additive to help give you the absolute best optical clarity.

  • Rain X Weatherbeater wiper blades are a straight blade that features friction-reducers for a streak-free wipe.
  • Rain X Latitude wiper blades are curved to better conform to your windshield, thereby minimizing friction spots and clearing away every last drop of rain. They also feature a spoiler to reduce chatter at highway speeds.

Sports Cars and Super Cars from SEMA 2008


Now that SEMA is officially over, our AutoAnything crew has returned home to the nest.  But they didn’t come back empty handed.  Our photography buffs were able to get some great shots at SEMA this year.  This first post includes photos of both super cars and sports cars alike, from the Subaru STi to the Ferrari California, from an old school Pontiac GTO to the new school Audi R8.  There’s more photos on the way, so stay tuned!

Incredible Drifting and Death Defying Stunts in a Subaru Rally Car


Ken Brock Does Donuts Around a Segway

You may or may not know the name Ken Block. If you haven’t heard his name before, he is a Subaru rally driver and co-founder of DC Shoes. He’s also the man who made a 171-foot jump in a Subaru Rally car. He is two things. First: an incredible driver. Second: utterly insane.

Here is an absolutely ridiculous video of Ken driving his 530WHP Subaru STi around the El Toro airfield in his Gymkhana car. Not only does he push his Impreza STi the very limits, but he does donuts around a guy who is riding a segway. Enjoy.

Source: 0-60 Mag

Nissan GT-R Spec V Pricing and Details


Nissan GTR Cut in Half - Front View

The long awaited GT-R Spec V is now set to hit the production line in January 2009 with cars hitting the Japanese showroom floors in February. Only 10 Spec V’s per month will be produced, making this an extremely exclusive vehicle. The MSRP has gone up a little too, now at 15,000,000 yen which is about $154,000. Considering a standard GT-R goes for $76,000 in the US, Nissan had better work on that asking price if they expect to market it in the US where you can get a ZR1 for $103,000.

So what do you get for all that extra cash? 100 more horses thanks to the reworked exhaust system, more turbo boost and an aggressive ECU tune. You can also expect loads of carbon fiber aero bits and body panels, shedding an estimated 200 pounds off the GT-R.  Lighter wheels, a revised suspension system and brake upgrades will also be included on the Spec V model.  The GTR V Spec’s debut is expected to happen at the Nismo festival at the end of this month.

Source: GTRblog.com

Even Now, Truck Accessories Are Tops – SEMA 2008


Extang Tonneau Cover on 2009 F150 Platinum Edition - SEMA 2008

Think trucks and truck accessories are dead? The 2008 SEMA Show proved quite the opposite. Two new full-size trucks, the 2009 Dodge Ram and the 2009 Ford F-150, are driving hundreds of new parts to the aftermarket arena.

Sure, accessories for green vehicles like the Smart Fortwo and Prius were given plenty of press ahead of the show. But there was little depth behind all of the high talk, as 2009 Ford F-150 accessories and 2009 Dodge Ram accessories outpaced parts for fuel misers by a cavernous margin.

Clearly, SEMA’s sharpest parts producers still want and need to be in the truck business. The big economic and environmental guns at their collective temples demand that a few highly publicized bones be thrown in trendy directions. Still, virtually no manufacturer suggests that green car accessories can replace the green lost when truck sales are sagging.

That’s probably why SEMA 2008 pushed a massive lot of 2009 F-150 accessories, but did so with little fanfare. Performance exhaust systems, suspension lift kits, lowering kits, style bits like billet grilles and body kits, and the usual utility suspects like tonneau covers and side steps all made their debut.

The wave continued on the Mopar side. 2009 Dodge Ram accessories sharpened the horns of the latest 1500 from Auburn Hills. Lifts, slams, truck bed accessories and bold bull bars premiered at SEMA 2008, allaying some fears that this Ram is more Caravan than Power Wagon.

Ford itself bolstered the 2009 F-150’s excitement with eye-attracting show concepts like the much-anticipated Raptor concept and a loaded jobsite dreamboat courtesy of DeWalt. While Chrysler’s Mopar booth focused on Challenger muscle, 2009 Dodge Rams roamed throughout the show floor as the showcase truck for dozens of brands.

The hot story of SEMA 2008 may be about trying to make traditional accessories and performance parts for non-traditional vehicles. Behind this public face, though, truck accessories are alive and well – especially if you’re sizing up a great deal on a 2009 Ford F-150 or Dodge Ram. Expect no shortage of add-ons for the latest editions of these mainstay half-tons.

Image caption: Extang’s latest tonneau cover on a showy 2009 F-150 Platinum Edition.

Mind Your Jugular, Toyota: The Ford Raptor’s Got Claws – SEMA 2008


Ford F150 Raptor - Side View - SEMA 2008

Apparently, the design crew over at Ford’s Dearborn think tank remembers the spectacle that was the Jurassic McPark Summer of ’93. For 2 solid months, no one could venture out into public without being pounced on by prehistoric marketing, from reptilian underwear to dino-themed Scottish burgers so big that even Jeff Goldblum couldn’t, uh uh, wrap his, uh uh uh, enormous mouth around.

15 years later, Ford is reviving the memory of the film’s window-fogging villains by re-badging an F150 and dressing it up for intense off-roading. As I was circling around this impressive truck, complete with faux dust to simulate a weekend romp at Glamis, it became glaringly obvious that the Raptor is a real contender to swipe some of PreRunner market share

And it’s about time. Detroit’s oldest dinosaur has yet to put up a contender who can fight against the popularity of Nisson’s 4X4. The underwhelming yet similarly sized (Tremor, Edge or otherwise) has never proved to generate the same kind of cult following in mud-bogging circles as the Tacoma. However, the Ford Raptor may just kick start the company’s image in the minds of desert rats. This model at SEMA was decked out with deluxe upgrades, and I could see the reps from different suspension and tubular steel companies smacking their lips envisioning the accessories they could pump out for this killer

And, for the shameless self-promotion segment of this story, you can count on AutoAnything to be fully stocked with all the sharp gear that comes out for Ford’s latest best.

The Hot Hatch Is Back! – SEMA 2008


When it comes to the automotive aftermarket, SEMA has a finger on the pulse of the industry; in fact, SEMA is the pulse of the industry. And, it only takes a few minutes of aisle perusing to see what’s hot and what’s not.

In 2005, full-size pickup trucks—the bigger the better—were the declared kings of SEMA. In ’06, it was Toyota’s FJ Cruiser garnering the top spot. And last year, the 4-door Jeep Wrangler was the industry’s wunderkind. But now, with $100/barrel crude and a struggling global economy, things have changed and the industry is getting smarter.

This year, SEMA’s little darling is the Daimler AG Smart Car. And it makes sense. This thing weighs 700 pounds less than a Mini Cooper, is shorter than most surfboards, gets triple the MPGs of a Silverado and you can park 3 of them in the same spot as one H2.

And, judging by the number of Smart Cars gracing the booths this year, this diminutive little ride is making a big impact. It seems that no matter what folks are driving or why, one things remains the same—the need to customize.

Nearly everyone had something for the Smart Car. The tubular pros at Aries have a complete lineup of stuff, from bumpers and sports bars to rear storage baskets and roll bars. They even make a set of nerf bars with a super-cool muzzle cap that were the best looking accessory at the show

There were several vendors crafting tons of bling, too. Stuff like chrome fuel doors, billet side vents and jazzed-up logos were everywhere. There were even big wheel and tire kits so you could add a little donk action to your Smart Car

And, it’s not just dress-up accessories. The airflow gurus at Volant reported getting several requests per month for a cold air intake kit for the little 3-banger. Even a couple of performance exhaust manufacturers said their R&D guys were busy developing some high-flow tubes for the Smart. Keep your eyes peeled, there’ll soon be a slew of tuner mods to come.

So, a big thanks goes out to Daimler for resurrecting and redefining the hatchback. All you old Scirocco and GTI fans rejoice, and import tuners take heart, the German hot hatch is back and hotter smarter than ever!

The Cheap Trick Dream Police Tactical Vehicle – SEMA 2008


The Cheap Trick Dream Police Tactical Vehicle

Hello there ladies and gentlemen. Are you ready to rock? Are you ready or not? SEMA has been a lot of fun this year, from the show floor to the late night action that is Vegas. But for this diehard rock music fan, the standout was RWC’s Cheap Trick Dream Police Tactical Vehicle.

According to Bjorn Cannon at the RWC booth, the Dream Police Tactical Vehicle was created to commemorate the upcoming 30th anniversary of Cheap Trick’s 1979, platinum selling album Dream Police. RWC had built out true police tactical vehicles in the past, but none that could transport you all the way back to the Budokan.

The folks at RWC nailed this project like a Bun E. Carlos drum fill. From its custom-built tele headstock-shaped side view mirrors and detailed Cheap Trick graphics to the Rick Nielsen signature Hamer guitar holding down the shotgun position in the front seats, the Dream Police Tactical Vehicle keeps perfect time with the concept.

But, they didn’t quit there. The bed of the Dream Police ride has been transformed into the ultimate arena rock experience complete with strobe and laser lights, fog machine and a 32” LCD monitor for playing ROCKBAND 2. What’s more, there are enough tweeters, woofers and subs to rock even the largest venue.

Of course I was at the show on AutoAnything official business, so my interest went beyond the vehicle’s rock ‘n’ roll styling.  They started with a stock Chevy Avalanche and packed it full with all of the aforementioned goodies as well as bevy of fun aftermarket accessories. You’ll find a Corsa exhaust system, a Grant Products steering wheel, KC HiLites, an RBP billet grille, Superlift suspension and so much more on this crazy ride. With all of the performance upgrades, even Robin Zander could escape from the frenzied groupies and rock chicks that chase him around after the show.