Here Are Some Awesomely Modified Indian Cars

The thing about cars from the recent past is that before attaining their classic status, they go through a phase of being abused and ignored. The ones which survive this transitional phase could go on to become classics in future, but there’s another route that a lot of owners and enthusiasts take, and that is modifying the said cars. More often than not, this is a low cost affair, hence there are quite a few examples of such cars. Let us have a look

Maruti Zen

SpeedSport's Maruti Zen Carbon 1

A tuner favourite, the Maruti Zen has come a long way from just being a premium alternative to the 800. It’s low slung, drives well, and if you don’t find the 1-litre unit powerful enough, can accomodate a 1.3 or a 1.6-litre engine in its engine bay. Modifications go beyond that, of course, but are mostly mechanical. Largely because the jelly bean shape was a classic right from the day it was out, so to make the Zen look better, all you need is a pair of good looking alloys. Other modifications include two-door conversions (if not working on a Zen Carbon or Steel), use of wide fenders, removal of excess weight, etc.

Because Seven Would Be Too Few: Ford Showing Eight Modified Mustangs at SEMA  

SEMA Mustangs Whatever you do, don’t say “SEMA Stangs” five times fast. By the second attempt, well, it gets inappropriate. Nearly as inappropriate? The number of modified Mustangs Ford plans to display at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. After all, couldn’t there just be one modded version of each basic Mustang that’s offered, say, a V-6, an EcoBoost, and a V-8 GT, plus perhaps a Shelby GT350? Nope. Ford is showing eight—count ’em, eight—Mustangs.  SEMA Ford Mustang Bisimoto Bisimoto Mustang EcoBoost In stock form, the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine in the Ford Mustang is respectable enough. It musters 310 horsepower. It’s fairly quiet. It’s unobtrusively boring. Clearly, the potential for greatness is there—just look to the 2016 Ford Focus RS, which uses the same basic engine but produces 350(!) horsepower. Tuner Bisimoto agrees, and so it went and gave the EcoBoost Mustang 590 more horsepower. And the outfit named its creation the “BisiBoost” Mustang. See? It’s already better. To get to 900 horsepower, Bisimoto overhauled the ECU, fitted a boost controller, replaced nearly every internal engine component with lighter and stronger pieces, piped a custom exhaust, and threw on a Turbonetics turbo with a “Godzilla” blow-off valve. The various braking, suspension, and styling components Bisimoto also changed are nearly meaningless. We’d drive this Stang even if it were rolling on four space-saver spares. SEMA Ford Mustang Motoroso Motoroso Mustang GT Coming down slightly from our BisiMustang high, may we present this Motoroso-fettled Mustang GT? It has but 727 horsepower, thanks to a Roush supercharger and a Gibson exhaust bolted to its 5.0-liter V-8. Lowered over Eibach springs, the pony car looks pretty mean, but the red wheels are a bit much. Wilwood brakes help slow this Mustang from a gallop, while a host of subtle body addenda are just noticeable enough to slow curious passersby. SEMA Ford Mustang TS Designs TS Designs Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible As Ford’s press release for the TS Designs Mustang convertible rightly points out, the car has “some rockin’ hips with three extra inches to love.” Indeed, those hips don’t lie—they only make slipping into parking spaces slightly more claustrophobic. Custom wide-body styling aside, this Ford has only mild mechanical upgrades, including an intercooler, a cat-back exhaust, a Steeda Stage 3 handling kit, and 21-inch front and 22-inch rear Forgiato wheels. SEMA Ford Mustang Mad Industries Mad Industries Mustang GT Convertible If you’re partial to the colors of a particularly nasty bruise, then this searingly blue-and-black Mad Industries Mustang GT convertible will punch you in the eyes. The grille, wheels, door mirrors, and the entire interior is “Brilliant Blue,” and it contrasts violently with the Pure Black main paint color. And the Mustang should punch its occupants in the gut with 725 horsepower, again the result of supercharging the 5.0-liter V-8 and slapping on a new exhaust. Wilwood brakes and Eibach suspension upgrades are present, too. SEMA Ford Mustang Ice Nine Group Ice Nine Mustang EcoBoost Eye-assaulting blue paint must be a theme at SEMA this year, because here it is again. Luckily, on Ice Nine’s EcoBoost Mustang the blue is limited to the wheels, and those are easy enough to swap away. Otherwise, this is one incredible-looking EcoBoost. For starters, it wears a body kit emulating the Mustang Shelby GT350R‘s aero bits but adds bolt-on fender flares. An Air Lift suspension kit lowers the Mustang, while a Garrett turbo, an Ice Nine downpipe, and a Cobb Tuning ECU programmer bring output to 475 horsepower. SEMA Ford Mustang Dragg Dragg Mustang EcoBoost Cop Car Lucky for us, Dragg’s cop-car Mustang EcoBoost is neither a real patrol car nor is it mechanically modded much. A Vortech intercooler, AIRAID intake, Borla exhaust, and an ECU tune are the only performance-enhancing upgrades outside of Wilwood brakes. There is of course a light bar, flashing red and blue lights, and a sinister black paint job fitted over a carbon-fiber body kit and huge 20-inch Velgen wheels.

SEMA Ford Mustang Bojix Bojix Design Mustang EcoBoost Is that a triple stripe we see running from bumper to bumper on Bojix Design’s Mustang EcoBoost? Why, yes, it is. We really dig the yellow, gray, and darker-gray flashes of color over the Lamborghini Bianca Isis white-and-silver paint, and the yellow spokes on the wheels are a neat detail we’ve seen on Bojix creations before. The Bojix Mustang isn’t just a pretty face—it also has an intercooler, downpipe, and intake from Full-Race Motorsports, as well as an upgraded turbo. Cortex coil-overs and anti-roll bars work in concert with Ford Performance bushings, rear differential bearings, and 3.73:1 rear end; Eibach springs; and Brembo brakes to improve the EcoBoost’s handling and braking. SEMA Ford Mustang CGS CGS Ford Mustang Convertible Described as “a relative sleeper” among the “wild concepts” peppering the rest of the SEMA show, the CGS-tuned Mustang convertible nonetheless appears handsome with its classic red-and-white color scheme and limited exterior addenda. Underneath its restrained body there is a supercharger, a CGS cat-back exhaust, a CGS cold-air intake, a KW coil-over suspension, Steeda sway bars, and Brembo brakes.

Congressmen Work to Block EPA Proposal on Race-Modified Street Cars

​Five members of Congress have introduced a bill to exempt full-time race cars from the EPA’s street car regulations.

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Five members of Congress have introduced a bill to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating former street cars that have been modified for full-time racing duty. The bill comes in response to a move by the EPA to clarify its authority over modified racing vehicles that was brought to light early in February.

Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced H.R. 4715, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016, in Congress this week. “Recently, the EPA has issued a proposed rule that would make it illegal for this practice to continue via the Clean Air Act,” the release says. “However, Congress never intended for race cars to be subject to the Clean Air Act. The RPM Act would simply confirm that race cars are exempt from EPA regulation via the Clean Air Act.” The RPM Act is co-sponsored by representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Posey (R-FL), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

The act responds to a piece of EPA language submitted as part of a giant, 629-page proposal drafted in July 2015, but brought to light by a press release published by the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association last month. As an EPA spokesperson explained to R&T last month, “people may use EPA-certified motor vehicles for competition, but to protect public health from air pollution, the Clean Air Act has – since its inception – specifically prohibited tampering with or defeating the emission control systems on those vehicles.”

The EPA characterized the new proposal as a clarification of existing law; the agency maintains that tampering with or defeating emissions control systems on vehicles sold for public road use has always been illegal, and that the wording change only sought to clarify that. “In the course of selecting cases for enforcement, the EPA has and will continue to consider whether the tampered vehicle is used exclusively for competition,” a spokesperson told R&T. “The EPA remains primarily concerned with cases where the tampered vehicle is used on public roads, and more specifically with aftermarket manufacturers who sell devices that defeat emission control systems on vehicles used on public roads.”

Still, a bill expressly confirming race-only vehicles, which will never be operated on public roads, as exempt from street vehicle regulations, is a necessary aspect of maintaining legal and law-abiding participation in the many forms of amateur and semi-professional motorsports we all enjoy. We applaud the members of Congress sponsoring this bill for standing up for the rights of American racers.

Is a Modified Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen the Ultimate Secret Performance Car?

The Jetta TDI Sportwagen gets good fuel economy, offers lots of practicality, and can actually be tuned to be a fun little car.

We now know the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen’s fuel economy numbers were too good to be true, but people didn’t just buy the Jetta TDI for its fuel economy. It also offered a torquey engine and a well-tuned chassis that was much more fun to drive than most of its competition.

There was also the potential to extract a lot more performance for not a whole lot of money. So what’s a tuned Jetta TDI Sportwagen like to drive?

Austin, the owner of this particular tuned Sportwagen, added a short-shifter, AST struts up front, Bilstein out back, 2.5 degrees of camber on the front wheels, a Malone stage two tune to bring it up to about 170 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, and a set of BFGoodrich Sport COMP-2 tires to his. Obviously he’s more concerned with handling than outright power, but not every tuned car needs to be a hot rod.

This is how it handles.