Performance PASMAG is your #1 source for aftermarket tuning & automotive mobile electronics. Mon, 22 Oct 2018 04:00:17 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Rubber Made: Sailun Atrezzo ZS+ Tire Review

Rubber Made: Sailun Atrezzo ZS+ Tire Review

Not every car that I have access to is fixed up. Being near my mid 30s, I know a lot of people who have stock cars just because they are more practical. But practical and stock don’t have to equal boring. Like this Mitsubishi Evolution X (yes, another one) that I snagged from Moe Durand in the Mitsubishi PR department. Guys like Moe, who are way older than me, don’t want to deal with the headaches of angling out of driveways or parking four feet away from the curb to avoid scratching their rims. No bulky body kit or fat-lipped wheels to keep him from rolling in the drive thru of his favorite taco joint, his Evo X is about as stock as it gets, although that car is a beast from the factory. One of the few upgrades I could convince him to do was to swap out the tires because it wouldn’t affect the daily drivability of the car. Whether it’s wet or dry out, the Evo can hold its own when it comes to handling, but sometimes slapping on a new set of summer tires will result in a performance increase that you didn’t expect. And since Moe is picky with his car, we had to choose a tire that would not only has long life, but handles well on the street and the track. Usually, you’d have to sacrifice one of those characteristics. Living in Los Angeles, weRubber Made: Sailun Atrezzo ZS+ Tire Review are willing to sacrifice a bit of wet handling if need be just because it never seems to rain. Fortunately, with our tire choice we didn’t have to compromise at all.

Our test tires come from my Chinese people at Sailun, who offered up the company’s Atrezzo ZS+. Prior to this story, I had never heard of Sailun before, but that isn’t a bad thing. There are so many tire brands around the world that make excellent products, and it takes people like us to spread the word for them. The ZS+ tire that we went with is part of their Ultra High Performance line and is ideal for summertime driving. We went with sizing of 255/35R18 because Moe’s Evo X is still on the stock Enkei wheels, but old man Moe swears that he’s an aggressive driver and therefore needs something a little stickier. Also, he lets a lot of people borrow his car so he wanted something that could provide a stiffer bite when it comes to braking because not all magazine editors are good drivers. Sailun uses an advanced synthetic tire rubber that ends up saving you money by lasting longer and reducing weight, which improves gas mileage. We didn’t get a chance to test the actual lifespan of the tires, but did notice a slight improvement on how far we could drive on a full tank of gas. It’s generally hard to tell if the grip level has improved an all-wheel drive car, but we could definitely feel the extra bite that the ZS+ provided on the few windy mountain roads we have access to. We also noticed that it significantly reduced road noise, which might not be good if you have a nagging spouse riding in the car with you on a regular Rubber Made: Sailun Atrezzo ZS+ Tire Reviewbasis.

Tire Name: Atrezzo ZS+

Category: Extreme Performance, Passenger Car

Available Sizes: 16-, 17-, 18- and 20-inch rim diameters. Widths range from 205 to 255mm with 55 down to 35-series profiles

Speed Rating: W (168-mph maximum)

Load Rating: 1,102 lbs. to 1,764 lbs.

UTQG Rating: 380 AA A



. Solid Center Rib

. High angle v-shaped tread grooves

. Grooved tread block walls

. Taper tread edges

. Shoulder tie bars

. Angled micro-sipes to improve all weather traction

. Unique shoulder profile

. Rim Protector

]]> (Ricky “RikDaddy” Chu) Reviews Thu, 24 Nov 2011 20:24:52 +0000
Rubber Made: Toyo Tires Proxes R1R Review Rubber Mae: Toyo Tires Proxes R1R Review

It seems like I have an arsenal of all-wheel drive sport compact cars at my disposal as of late. Don’t be jealous- none of them really belong to me. This 2009 Mitsubishi Evolution X MR has been the DC Sports demo car for the past couple of years and I somehow convinced Will Law to trust me with it for a couple of weeks to test out some new tires. The second car I managed to get a hold of was also an Evo X, but owed by Moe Durand from Mitsubishi Motors.

Much like everything else on your car, picking out tires can get to be a real headache. There isn’t an all around tire that can do everything you need, although there are some that come very close. If you live in a drier climate like I do in Southern California, things get a bit simpler because you don’t have to worry about traction in heavy rain or snow. Well, except for the 10 days a year that it actually rains here. You could go with a very solid street tire that also Rubber Mae: Toyo Tires Proxes R1R Reviewprovides good grip for the track. For the most part, these would stay on your car all year because of the lack of seasons here. Now once you get into the colder, damper, and icier areas of the world, then you might have to splurge for two sets of tires. One set for the summer and one set for the winter snow. To be honest, I don’t even know how people drive fixed up cars in the snow anyway. Body kits getting broken off, chipped paint and rust damage…it’s a sad sight to see. Fortunately for this Evo X, I can stick to some high performance tires and not have to be bothered with the logistics of bad weather conditions.

The first tire option for the DC Sports Evo X was the Toyo Proxes R1R. After talking to the people at Toyo and explaining the car to them, the R1R was their top recommendation. Considering that the Evo X is probably one of the few perfect street and track car combos, the R1R is designed for both. Categorized as an Extreme Summer Tire, you pretty much know what to expect with R1Rs. Autocross inspired, this tire is a very grippy one that provides optimum traction for all types of driving. Yeah, the Evo is AWD, but every little bit of bite helps out on the track or around a freeway bank. The unidirectional tread pattern helps push water out of the way in the rare occasions that we have a storm, although that much water is more likely to be caused by some idiot running into a fire hydrant or a water main. For sizing, we went with a 265/35R18 all the way around for our Volk Racing wheels and then drove through the streets and highways of Los Angeles. Without a doubt, it brings the traction that every enthusiast wants and expects from a high performance tire. However, what people tend to overlook when street driving are the bumpy roads and potholes. Usually low profile tires will allow you to feel every bit of the road, and that’s not a good thing. The R1Rs did a great job absorbing the shock from all the road flaws that California officials are too cheap to fix. You get a smooth, quiet drive while still being able to hammer on the throttle with confidence, not that I recommend it.

Rubber Mae: Toyo Tires Proxes R1R Review

Tire Name: Proxes® R1R™

Category: Extreme Performance, Passenger Car

Available Sizes: 15-, 16-, 17-, and 18-inch rim diameters. Widths range from 195 to 275mm with 55 down to 35-series profiles

Speed Rating: V (149-mph maximum) and W (168-mph maximum)

Load Rating: 82 (1,047 lbs.) to 98 (1,653 lbs.)

UTQG Rating: 140 AA A



. Silica-Reinforced, High-Grip Tread Compound

. Unidirectional Arrowhead Tread Design

. Tapered Center Block Edge

. Multi-Width EVAC Channels

. Stability Control Slits

. Advanced Autocross-Inspired Casing with Modified Radial Construction


DC Sports •

Evasive Motorsports •

Toyo Tires® •

Mackin Industries •


Reviews Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:26:56 +0000
Toyo PROXES T1 Sport


Toyo Tires are well known for their Ultra High Performance offerings in a wide range of products. Because they have a reputation for constantly improving their products, we knew the introduction of any new tire would raise the bar for performance. Their legacy products are so good that anything similar to their existing technology might not be considered an improvement at all, so the pressure was on to step it up.

Enter the Proxes T1 Sport, a new flagship tire that will be released in Spring 2011 which has already met with some great reviews in the European market having been introduced there last year. We were eager to check out this new tread pattern and see how it stacked up against previous Toyo legends like the Proxes T1R and R1R. The tread design isn’t nearly as radical as its predecessors, however we quickly found out that there’s a purpose to the new pattern and it means business. In order to meet the performance and practical needs of today’s sport sedans and sports cars, the T1 Sport must be capable in different weather and road conditions.



According to Toyo Tires, this radical change in tread design from the T1R was to improve dry road performance yet maintain the wet weather capabilities expected from Toyo’s flagship products.

Having heard this, PASMAG wanted to put these dry grip claims to a real test. We installed them on a set of forged TSW Nurburgring wheels on our Project S2000. This fiery roadster has an upgraded BC Racing coilover suspension and can generate a load of G’s in every direction. The Proxes T1 Sport selected was the 225/40R18 OEM size in the front, but we added some contact patch in the rear by going with a slightly wider 265/35R18. The T1 Sport is a Y-speed rated tire that will be stable up to 186mph or 300km/h, speeds our S2000 isn’t going to reach anytime soon. But the 2,700lb roadster tears up the corners and asks a lot from whatever tire it is rolling on.

FREE Trial Issue

Driving Impressions

First off, the T1 Sport is an extremely quiet tire. Since many tuners or race enthusiasts run DOT race tires on the street, we forgot how silent some tires really are. The T1 Sport definitely has a comfortable ride even with its firm, yet forgiving sidewall construction. Toyo claims to have invested a lot into the sidewall technology of the T1 Sport to improve rigidity.However through compounding techniques and advanced tread design, the tire feels more comfortable during everyday driving. We found out that it sure is ready when you want to turn it up! When it came to dry grip the T1 Sport shined.

  • 240-AA-A
  • Made in Japan
  • Y-Speed Rated (186mph or 300km/h)
  • Tested 225/40R18 & 265/35R18 on Honda S2000


This tire comes with a 240 UTQG wear rating so we were expecting solid grip. This rating also adds to the expected life of the tire over some of others rated at 200 or lower. The T1 Sport delivered lap after lap of sure-footed grip. Since the S2000 doesn’t have a load of torque to cause an oversteer condition when applying throttle out of a corner, it simply squatted and rocketed out of the turn while sticking to the track. In a couple of fast turns we were able to get the car loose, but we simply backed off on the throttle slightly for the T1 Sport to easily hook-up again and maintain momentum.

We liked the audible warnings the T1 Sport gave us when getting close to the limit, as this is a tire that talks back to you. Considering this isn’t a track tire, it held its ground at over 64°C (147°F) which is more heat than you will ever generate on the street! With that said, you can take your car to the track with the T1 Sport for a casual lapping day and have the confidence the tire will hold up to the stress and the heat but still maintain adhesion. Under braking, the grip was exceptional because the tire remained more composed than our brakes did, which faded early on this 32°C (98°F) day.




Around town the tire was quiet and dealt with all of the nuances of city driving. In the rain, the T1 Sport was composed and didn’t disappoint. In standing water with its wide circumferential grooves and numerous sipes to channel out the water, the T1 Sport held its ground. You really had to hammer the brakes or gas to get the T1 Sport to lose traction and we all know no one should be driving like that in poor conditions in the first place. If you need to stop fast or make a quick turn, you had enough traction in the wet to do it.

Overall, this is another serious contender in the Ultra High Performance market. There are many tires vying for the business from those performance drivers that want a premium ride all the time. The Proxes T1 Sport is a good all around performer, so don’t be fooled by its change in tread pattern, this tire can hang with the best of them, wet and dry. The T1 Sport is one tire we would definitely consider for a daily driven sport sedan or hot coupe.



  • Legendary Toyo all-round performance
  • Great dry grip
  • Solid and predictable wet performance

*The Proxes T1 Sport is now available in Canada and is due out in the US in May 2011*



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]]> (Dave Pankew // Photos: Patrick "GS-R" Dinglasan) Reviews Mon, 14 Mar 2011 15:51:42 +0000
Innovate Motorsports OT-2 OBDII Code Reader Review  

The Open Tune 2 (OT-2) is an ALL-IN-1 Performance Meter and OBD-II Code Reader is a new product from performance electronics company, Innovate Motorsports.

Have you ever wanted to turn your iPhone or smartphone into a wireless gauge display, performance meter and OBII card reader? Well, this technology is available for your car today and Innovate Motorsports has given you yet another reason to use your smartphone or iPhone for more performance reasons!


The Dyno Mode measures performance such as 0-60mph. ¼-mile, horsepower and g-forces using OBDII info and the iPhone g-meter. This ALL-IN-1 Performance Meter and OBD-II Code Reader is a new product from performance electronics company, Innovate Motorsports. Innovate is the company that brought you a huge line of gauges, advanced wideband sensors, handheld devices and accessories for your ride.


New from Innovate Motorsports is this cutting edge device that does all that for less than you might think … all with no absolutely no wires. It’s called the OT-2, a simple to install and easy to use module that gathers all of the data from your engine vitals. It can then use that data to display in a gauge format on your phone screen and even data-log for referencing. It also doubles as a Performance Meter to measure the acceleration of your car and even an estimated dyno figure.


Inside the box we find all the essentials: the OT-2 module and all of the proper connections including a serial cable and a USB to interface with a laptop. Of course there are the quick and concise instructions to get started as well. The first step is to load the software onto a PC or MAC and download the free Logworks app to your iPhone or smartphone.


To install the module itself, all you have to do is plug it into the OBDII port in your car which is typically beneath your dash. Then it can be mounted permanently, since there are two pilot holes for screws in a hidden location near the firewall or on a kick panel. From there, simply find the Wi-Fi signal that the unit found on your phone and link up to the network and the software is ready to use.


There are four major modes of functionality: Gauges, Dyno, Efficiency, OBDII code reader, all of which can be data-logged. The Gauge Mode displays everything the OBD computer reads like boost, voltage, temperatures, RPM, speed and more all on your phone. There are over 20 OBDII parameters to choose from and you can display up to eight at a time. The Dyno Mode measures performance such as 0-60mph. ¼-mile, horsepower and g-forces using OBDII info and the iPhone g-meter. Next up is the Efficiency meter, this lets you know how green your driving style is. You can set the meter up to measure you fuel costs and see how different conditions and driving styles affect your mileage.


The Gauge Mode displays everything the OBD computer reads like boost, voltage, temperatures, RPM, speed and more all on your phone. There are over 20 OBDII parameters to choose from and you can display up to eight at a time. Next up is the Efficiency meter, this lets you know how green your driving style is. You can set the meter up to measure you fuel costs and see how different conditions and driving styles affect your mileage. Many of you out there who like to mod cars, have check engine lights galore and now you can unlock the mystery behind them with the OT-2!


The OBDII code reader is certainly nothing new but grabbing the signals wirelessly definitely are! Many of you out there who like to mod cars, have check engine lights galore and now you can unlock the mystery behind them. Well, it’s nice to know whether or not those codes are something serious or some sort of non-existent problem generated by your last modification.



Datalogging can be very important when checking the state of tune in your car. Analyze the info for yourself, email to friends or share it with your tuner to find the source of problems under the hood.


All this functionality on your phone inside and outside your car will only set you back $179 and will provide valuable data and functionality though a convenient Wi-Fi link!



Innovate Motorsports
OT-2 OBDII Code Reader & Performance Meter






]]> (Dave Pankew /// Photos By: Manufacturer) Reviews Fri, 24 Sep 2010 15:15:38 +0000
Ultra High Performance Tire Test 2010 - PART II Presented by TSW Wheels -


As a follow-up to our successful Part I of the PAS Ultra High Performance Tire Test 2010 we now have results. On the second track day we tested four tires on two cars but two are still yet to be released to market! Until they are ready here are the reviews from the Kumho Zetum ZU37 on the TSW Strip wheels and the Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires mounted on the TSW Willow wheels. We packed up out Toyota FJ Cruiser courtesy of Toyota Canada and headed out to Toronto Motorsports



Kumho Zetum ZU37

  • 340-AA-A
  • Made in Korea
  • 225/45R18
  • Y-Speed Rated (186mph or 300km/h)
  • Tested on Mazda RX-8


In recent years, Korean tire manufacturers have really stormed onto the scene with affordable tires that actually performed well. They have some solid aftermarket options and have even made inroads in getting their products fitted as OEM equipment (and not just KDM cars). Kumho has brought a great variety of products to market and have also had some unusual firsts, such as red-tire smoke and even a lavender scented tire. However, we only care about their well-rounded performance line-up from all season to semi-slick and everything in between. The Ecsta line has really brought a lot of praise Kumho’s way and the new Zetum replaces the legendary Supra with the ZU37 and the 712 designs. This tire is billed as a solid choice from racers all the way to spirited street drivers and we got this first look to test it out on performance car.


The test car was a 2011 Mazda RX-8 Special Edition with sticky rubber to begin with. The car is equipped with 19s but we wanted to review a more common size, which happen to be 18s. We chose a modest OEM width for the RX-8 a 225/45R18 wrapped around a set of TSW Strip alloy wheels. With deep treaded grooves the Zetum is excellent at evacuating water when we encountered it. On the road, the tire is quiet and taught with minimal squeal under spirited street driving. The tire provided sharp turn in with adequate grip for the modest size we selected. The wide shoulder block provided more grip while the tire was under load around long sweepers.


At the track we mounted the tire to our RX-8 tester and hit the twisties. After we got a bit of heat into the tire, we opened it up to see how it would handle overall. The turn-in was precise and the sidewall had decent stiffness. With the traction control disabled we were able to get a bit looser with the RX-8 to see where the tire would yield. While cornering, the tire squealed but it occurred well before it lost grip. The tendency for most OEM cars is to understeer, and we corrected any plowing with more throttle and a bit less steering angle. After several laps you could feel the Kumho starting to be out of its ideal heat range where any more pushing it would require an R-Comp.


In the end, we liked the Zetum and found it to be a formidable competition much like the Supra. With a 340 wear rating you will get solid dry grip out of this tire but decent life at the same time. Sometimes you can’t always have both, but with the new Zetum the rating is in the realm of providing just that. With a wide range of sizes, modest pricing and high performance, this is an option you should consider for your next purchase.



Michelin Pilot Sport PS2

  • 220-AA-A
  • Made in Germany
  • 225/45R18 & 255/40R18
  • Y-Speed Rated (186mph or 300km/h)
  • Tested on Mazda RX-8


One of the most well respected tires on the market has been the Michelin Pilot Sport series. With Michelin’s efforts in Formula One in past years, the company continually pushed the boundaries of performance. The technology filtered down to their Pilot Sport line which has grown to several different designs. The Pilot Sport Line includes: The Pilot Sport, Pilot Sport PS2, Pilot Sport 3, the Pilot Sport A/S Plus and the halo product the Pilot Sport Cup.


For our purposes, we thought the Pilot Sport PS2 would be ideal for our market with its performance traits. The PS2 is also very livable on the street with excellent road characteristics. Having driven on the previous Pilot Sports for many years, we can attest to their longevity and performance on different road conditions. We wanted to take a look at how they stacked up to out great impressions of the last generation. With that we mounted them on a set of TSW Willow alloys and bolted them up to our test RX-8.


The fairly modest tread pattern should fool you into thinking this is an everyday tire. The 220-AA-A rating means this tire grips hard and will wear slightly faster than your average tire. Performance drivers might opt for something lower than 200, but this PS2 is a very capable tire that will yield more life than some of those fancy DOT race tires. During spirited driving, the Michelin PS2 bit hard into the corners and you could almost hear the aggressive compound clawing at the pavement. It didn’t squeal or protest like you might expect from a street tire, either. After days of tearing it up, the tire performed well over everyday surfaces and loads of rain one weekend.


On track, the tire was a pleasure to drive. It bit hard on initial turn in and you could get on the throttle harder and earlier. After several hot laps, the heat made the PS2 performance taper off, but it occurred later than one might expect. We heated the tire up to over 60°C (130°F) after the hot laps and it was still maintaining some grip and the tread was not destroyed or chunked. As expected, the PS2 can handle a beating at the track and drive you home safely like few other tires. The PS2 is a solid 3-season performer that speaks volumes about getting what you pay for.


You can’t go wrong with a Michelin product if you can afford it. They may not have the name in the tuner side of motorsports but at the top level they are legendary. For Sport sedans, luxury cars and exotics the Michelin Pilot line is all about performance and practicality. Just ask any Murcielago or Viper ACR owner who got them as standard equipment!

IMG_0216_th IMG_0250_th IMG_0280_th
IMG_0283_th IMG_0329_th IMG_0330_th
IMG_0331_th IMG_0332_th GOPR0318_th



Kumho Tire
Zetum ZU37 Tires

Toyota Canada
FJ Cruiser Support Vehicle

Michelin Tire
Pilot Sport PS2 Tires

TSW Wheels
Strip & Willow Alloys

Toronto Motorsports Park
Road Course & Drag Strip

Second Time Around Tire
Installation & Balancing


Stance Factory
Installation & Balancing


Alignment and Corner Balancing


SPC Performance
S2000 Camber Ball Joints

V-Box Performance Meter


]]> (Dave Pankew // Photos By Patrick Dinglasan GS-R) Reviews Tue, 07 Sep 2010 18:10:45 +0000
Whiteline Sway Bar Theory whiteline


]]> (Whiteline) Reviews Tue, 24 Aug 2010 19:48:05 +0000
Ultra High Performance Tire Test 2010 Presented by TSW Wheels -


After a load of great response to our second annual tire test, it was once again time to round up the latest rubber and see how they stack up on a race track and in real world conditions. We selected some of the latest designs out there to get a glimpse at what is the most popular tire category for tuners, Ultra High Performance. Now before you go on thinking this is a shootout and one tire will be crowned king, this is a report of each tires abilities, merits, features and highlights – not a head-to head comparisin. A scientific approach is needed to compare tires against each other and in this case, we selected three tires for three separate cars with very different designs.


As you may know, if you want high performance out of your tire that is only one aspect that may sacrifice others in order to achieve it. Tires are seasonal and an ultra high performance tire or maximum performance tire is only capable in warmer temperatures. And less tread may give you better dry grip but the traction will be worse the rain. Plus, the softer rubber compounds are perfect for dry grip but they wear much quicker than the rest during your daily commute.


We loaded up our Toyota FJ Cruiser support vehicle courtesy of Toyota Canada headed out 10-deep to Toronto Motorsports Park. What the 3.0km road course lacks in elevation changes, it more than makes up for in features and speed. With a wide front straight, into a wide 90-degree right, it is possible to top 200km/h (125mph) in a quick car. The tight chicane and hairpin make for some exciting moments while navigating the course. With near-perfect conditions, it was time to head out and lay a beat-down on these tires while recording all the data using a V-Box Performance Meter and a trusty laser thermometer.

The Weapons:

Honda S2000


Since its debut, the Honda S2000 platform has been highly debated on the forums. With a polarized view of the car, for everything it may lack, it most certainly makes up for on a race track. You hear complaints of no power and no torque, yet when driven at the limits this car has the instant-on acceleration and the throttle steer you want. Truth be told, until it was clipped from the lineup last year, the S2000 probably was the best bang-for-the-buck roadster next to the MazdaSpeed Miata. With the only suspension mods on this one being a set of BC Racing ER Series coilovers and adjustable SPC ball joints, it was clear the S2000 needed more rubber underneath it. The OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE050s were both tired and undersized, so the hunt was on for more contact patch from a tire with a similar UTQG rating and well-rounded performance for track and street.

Nissan 350Z Turbo


The mighty Z received a bump in horsepower resulting from a new tune on the STS Turbo earlier this year. With the ability to light up the tires and a need to keep this heavyweight under control, we wanted to find something comparable to the current rubber. The Z rolls on a couple sets of wheels, one for track and these massive 20-inch wheels on the street. Since the Z isn’t seeing as much of the track as it used to, we wanted an ultra high performance tire that would deal with the street and see what it could do on the track. People think we are nuts for tracking 20-inch tires…and they would be correct.

Nissan Skyline GT-R


Currently putting down 450whp on pump gas at only 18psi, the Garrett-powered Skyline is definitely not for beginners. The car is light, AWD and generates some serious g-Forces in every direction. The GT-R has rolled on some serious tires in the past like Toyo R888s, Nitto NT01s and even full slicks but it was time for some landing gear that was more street-able. Since the car is still plated it sees light street duty including conditions like: rain, potholes and loose surfaces the DOT race tires aren’t always up to the task.




Falken RT-615K

  • 200-AA-A
  • Made in Japan
  • 225/40R18 & 265/35R18
  • Y-Speed Rated (186 mph or 300 km/h)

PROS: Excellent dry grip with resistance to high temperature performance drop. Proven in competition.

CONS: Could be better in the rain

VERDICT: An exceptionally well-rounded DOT race tire that you can drive on the street with its 200 wear rating. The tire is capable and predictable whether it is the first lap or the last.

Today’s sports cars, sport sedans are extremely versatile and Falken designed a tire that could keep up with the demand. Although Falken is well known for their exploits in the drifting world, they have been equipping touring cars and Time Attack cars IMG_0308_thwith the AZENIS for years. The latest version is the AZENIS RT-615K, a tire name you recognize but the ‘K’ portion is all new for this year to distinguish the many upgrades on the tire over the previous RT-615.

Having logged many miles on and off track, we can honestly say that the RT-615 is one of the more memorable DOT race tires of all time. It looks great, wears well and when equipped on our lightweight BMW in last years test, the tire provided lap-after-lap of serious grip. The tire never protested or squealed and showed little signs of wear after substantial use. We were eager to see how Falken could improve upon such a solid design because it almost appears as if they didn’t change the tread pattern at all.

The improvements are in the compound of the tire itself. The compound is a Motorsports-grade cap that maintains grip as the temperatures rise on track. The molded 8/32-inch tread design reduces tread squirm and therefore decreases the wear over time. The new RT-615K also features a solid center rib to minimize wheel slip under acceleration, especially on the straights. The tread depth and the tusk positioning to channel away water are said by Falken to improve wet weather performance and reduce hydroplaning making it an improvement over the previous design. Best of all, the new proprietary casing design, bead apex and turn-up technology means that less heavy steel belting was needed to achieve improved stiffness. The end result is an 8-percent reduction in rotating mass!

While driving, the tire is more noisy than the OEM tire that the S2000 was equipped with but in a minimalist open-air roadster, you hear and feel everything. The wet grip was fairly sure-footed but we wouldn’t recommend charging into any standing water with guardrails nearby either.




Yokohama S-Drive
  • 300-AA-A
  • Made in Japan
  • 265/35R18 all around
  • Y-Speed Rated (186 mph or 300 km/h)

PROS: Excellent dry grip, wet grip, low noise and a capable performer for a 300 wear rating

CONS: None

VERDICT: When it comes to high performance street, Yokohama has the market covered with several UHP tires and sizing for nearly everything. While they may be lacking in the DOT race tire department, they more than make up for with their huge range to accommodate, sports cars, tuner cars and sport sedans.


Since I have owned many Yokohama products over years, they always get top marks for a variety of uses. As other Japanese (and Korean) manufacturers brought more affordable Ultra High Performance tires to market, Yokohama has fought hard to remain competitive. While staples like the A048 tire held Yokohama’s reputation, they continued to release many great products and even a Luxury & Exotic line called Advan but the S.Drive is clearly the best of all worlds. The tread pattern looks highly aggressive and it has an attractive sidewall from any angle.


The S.Drive (or Sport Drive) is Yokohama's Ultra High Performance summer tire developed for the drivers of sports cars and high performance sedans. IMG_0160_thWhile its dry grip is said to be fantastic, Yokohama's technological advancements have resulted in extraordinary handling on wet roads. Like all summer tires, the S.Drive radial is not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures. The S.Drive features Yokohama's proprietary silica-based compound that maximizes contact between the tire and the road to enhance grip in both wet and dry conditions.


The seductive directional tread design features independent shoulder blocks, notched intermediate ribs and a continuous center rib for a constant connection to the road. The wide circumferential grooves with angled walls optimize cornering traction in dry and evacuate water to resist hydroplaning. The S.Drive’s internal structure includes twin steel belts reinforced by joint-less nylon cap plies and belt edge strips for ride stiffness and a minimal approach to reduce weight.


Although this is a long-life 300-AA-A tire, you certainly wouldn’t know it considering the unreal dry grip the tire has. Typically the slower the wear, the harder the compound and less grip but not the case with the S.Drive. The turn-in was sharp and  the tire gave minimal audible warning when it was about to let go, it just was ready for more. The Skyline GT-R requires a lot of tire underneath it since it is so fast and corners so hard but the S.Drive definitely proved to be an ideal street tire for this platform.





Hankook V12 Evo K110

  • 280-AA-A
  • Made in Korea
  • 245/35R20 & 285/30R20
  • Y-Speed Rated (186 mph or 300 km/h)

In recent history, Hankook has been making huge progress with performance and competition tires. When it comes to price-to-performance ratio, Hankook has ranked high in recent years and this newer version of the Ventus V12 Evo K110, boasts not only the industry’s longest name but solid performance for 3-season use as well. The distinct design of the V12 Evo offers optimal handling and braking performance and even features the company logo embossed in the IMG_0294_thcenter rib. The wide circumferential tread grooves allow this directional tire to channel water away from the tread and keep your car connected when water piles up on the road.

With a UTQG rating of 280-AA-A, it is in the same category as many ultra high performance tires with decent wear characteristics. Aimed directly at sport sedans and sports cars, the V12 Evo will provide decent wear characteristics for those that would like to get some life out of their tire. The extended life is usually at the expense of performance, yet Hankook is still able to maintain the ‘AA’ traction rating for plenty of grip in different conditions. If you need top end speed, Hankook has that covered with a Y-speed rating of 300km/h or 186mph, more than most cars will even reach. The V12 Evo is available in 17-inch to 20-inch sizes and even comes in supercar sizing up to 305/25R20!


We weren’t really sure what kind of performance we would expect out of the Z with the 20-inch Hankook V12 Evo tires underneath it. We can say that it did hang quite nicely with our S2000 that was in the neighborhood of 100whp less. The S2000 definitely had to be driven at the limits to keep the Z at a distance. As the laps went on, it was clear that the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo is not a track tire but very capable street tire that will more than handle spirited driving on public roads and with its 280 wear rating, for many miles to come.






Falken Tire
RT-615K Tires

Toyota Canada
FJ Cruiser Support Vehicle

Hankook Canada
Ventus V12 EVO Tires

Yokohama Canada
S.Drive Tires

TSW Wheels
Strip & Willow Alloys

Toronto Motorsports Park
Road Course & Drag Strip

Second Time Around Tire
Installation & Balancing


Stance Factory
Installation & Balancing


Alignment and Corner Balancing


SPC Performance
S2000 Camber Ball Joints

V-Box Performance Meter
]]> (Dave Pankew // Photos By: Dave Pankew and Derek Bartolo ) Reviews Mon, 26 Jul 2010 18:23:43 +0000
Clutch Masters: FX400 Clutch Install out there says you have to go big, just in case you make extra horsepower. That practice will cause pre-mature wear and give your left leg a real work out.


We turned to the experts at Clutch Masters who have been a technical partner of PASMAG for a while now to walk us through a street/strip install. The donor car was a Chevy Cobalt SS (turbocharged, of course) that was daily driven but also ripped up the 1320 on occasion. A car like this has to have a livable clutch that is light, chatter free and can deal with extreme temperatures and everyday nuisances like heavy traffic.


We asked Clutch Masters technical guru, Travis Booher what he would recommend for this Cobalt SS from his lineup. “Considering this car has a HAHN Racing turbo upgrade it will require a clutch with increased clamping force. Since it is a FWD car you can have a fairly grabby clutch since the front wheels will have some slip on the drag strip. We opted for the FX400 clutch with the sprung hub its forgiving qualities in the less aggressive 6-puck configuration, which is more aggressive than a full-face clutch. As for the flywheel, the stock unit is heavy and prone to cracking over time, so we selected a Clutch Masters 13-pound aluminum racing flywheel,” he said.


The FX400 System uses their Power Plus pressure plate with an extremely durable ceramic disc, which is sprung. The FX400 is billed as the ultimate extreme duty street clutch that can handle the occasional drag strip visit or tear on a road course. The clutch is available in a 4-puck or 6-puck configuration to suit every driver’s needs. The FX400 with the 4-wing is certainly the more aggressive setup with a more on/off type of feel to it. However, the sprung hub design allows for moderate dampening in high-torque applications making it far more street-able than solid hubs.product1_th Looking at the friction material itself, we can see that is a solely a ceramic compound and has no marcel, the sprung steel fins found on full face friction discs that soften the engagement. As a result, the clutch will grab slightly harder and may chatter ever so slightly in 1st gear and reverse, but high performance guys are ready for that. The disc is designed for extended life, outstanding holding capacity and a high rate of heat dissipation, which can kill a clutch.


Clutch Masters also ditched the OEM flywheel in favor of an Aluminum Racing unit. The Clutch Masters flywheel is 50-percent lighter and stronger than stock to free-up torque because it requires less to spin it up. The upgraded flywheel is also resistant to hairline cracks and in the worst case scenarios, exploding! Yes, we have seen it happen at the drag strip more than once.


It was now time to crack open the box, check the contents and get this Civic-Slayer on the hoist. Inside the box, we find the 6-puck clutch, pressure plate, alignment tool, the high quality throw bearing and of course, detailed instructions. The techs at Mario’s Auto Repair in Stouffville, ON got to work on removing the bell-housing bolts and dropping the transmission in no time.


  1. First the transmission was unbolted and carefully lowered to the floor. The old clutch and pressure plate are now exposed for inspection. The throw-out bearing supplied is replaced on the bell-housing side.
  2. The OEM clutch was burned from the new horsepower increase, and some glazing on the face from slipping and overheating was visible. The SACHS clutch, pressure plate and OEM bearing are all garbage.
  3. Check out the OEM flywheel with hotspots galore. Yes you can machine the face of these for a few bucks and even have them lightened but why? While you are in there replace it with a lightweight aluminum flywheel for free-revving and resistance to failure.
  4. Flywheel to flywheel, the difference is over 20-pounds and less rotational mass which means it requires less torque to spin up and faster acceleration. Plus those hotspots are no good and we’ll bet there are hairline cracks in it.
  5. Clutch to clutch you can see why the old one can’t handle a HAHN turbo upgrade. The face is glazed over with hotspots galore.
  6. The new flywheel is bolted up with ultra-strong OEM bolts and ready to interface perfectly with the matching Clutch Masters clutch.
  7. Using the supplied clutch alignment tool, the 6-puck clutch and pressure plate are fitted up and torqued down. The clutch is now ready for its break in period, which as stated by Clutch Masters is 1000km (700mi) with no riding, no launching and no high RPM operation


Clutch Masters
FX400 Clutch & Aluminum Flywheel







]]> ( Dave Pankew Photos By: Reviews Tue, 06 Jul 2010 05:00:00 +0000
EBC USR Rotors with EBC Greens  


There isn’t much left to be desired for BMW braking power from the factory. Right out of the box, the systems are capable of stopping these flying sport sedans and coupes in a hurry without the need for expensive multi-piston systems. Known as the “kings of the floating caliper” these aging designs are still found on some BMW models today. In this install, we took a braking system that is almost 20 years old and brought it up to a more modern specification with a level of performance that would be on par with today’s sports sedans.


Equipped with ABS, this ‘92 318iS has been though many pads and rotors in its service life. Most recently, the last set of rotors were cross-drilled and equipped with a ceramic brake pad. The existing system offered capable ss_thbraking, low dust and low noise so we wanted to get more performance out of it without sacrificing too much in these areas. Typically, the rule of thumb is the more aggressive the pad, the more noise and more dust. When it comes to the rotors, the cross-drilled design has advantages for heat dissipation and gas evacuation but is prone to cracking and warping. Under extended heavy braking, many cross-drilled rotors will form hairline cracks around the holes and become warped over time causing annoying vibration.


EBC Brakes has set out to change the rules governing simple pad and rotor upgrades. The UK-based company makes friction materials for anything that moves including cars, motorcycles, trucks, planes and even bicycles! Well known for their line of brake pads, EBC has added a few new products to their lineup and modified existing products to work well with them. Their new line of EBC Ultimax Slotted Rotors (USR) features a slotted design in order to evacuate heat and gases and to resist warping. The USR comes with a special black PHP coating that quickly wears off, making the contact surface a shiny silver color within minutes but it remains on other areas to prevent corrosion. The coating interfaces with the new “BRAKE-IN” coating now found on top of all of their pads (including the EBC Greens we tested) to expedite the bedding-in process as well. The mild abrasive surface scrubs off the PHP coating and produces a perfect transfer film every time.IMG_5721_th


After the brakes were installed and all parts reassembled with anti-seize and the system topped up with a DOT 3 fluid. The BMW wear sensors were replaced with new ones, which interface seamlessly with all EBC products. During the road test, EBC strongly recommends against heavy application of the brakes (also known as dragging) for the first 160km (100mi). For the following 160km (100mi) after that, more pressure can be added during all braking situations, but drivers should never drag the brakes.


After the break-in period was complete, it was time to head out in a safe area (not on public roads) for some heavy stabs at the EBC brakes. Take the car up to 100km/h (60mph) and jam the brakes all the way down to 15km/h (10mph). After five of these aggressive decelerations, drive freely to cool the brakes with no full stopping for 15 minutes to create a proper transfer film. Braking will be dramatically improved but optimal performance may not be seen for as much as 2,400km (1500mi).

We immediately took the 318iS to the track to see how the brakes performed under extreme conditions. The test track is the 2.0km course at Toronto Motorsports Park, a flat elevation track with loads of tight turns, chicanes and a long straight, really gives the brakes a real workout. We started out with some warm up loads to get some heat into the Falken Azenis RT-615 tires and the brakes themselves. When the checked flag fell (yes, we had full flags for our track day) the first hurdle for the BMW would be turn one at the end of a straight. While our project Skyline GT-R hits 200km/h on this straight, the 318iS is barely scraping 150km/h but it doesn’t need to scrub too much speed since the 90-degree right turn is extremely wide in this area. You can clip the apex in the triple digits and maintain the momentum. For a car with only 140hp, ‘momentum’ really is the key- you have to brake late, scrub off speed quick and then get back on the gas to turn quick lap times.


After 10 or so laps, we were still impressed with the EBC system, which showed almost no indication of fade. Since the rotors are slotted and we used them less because they generate loads of friction, the rotor temps were much lower than the other 10 or so vehicles at this invitation-only track day. When we wrapped up, the car showed minimal dust and none of the noise associated with upgraded brakes were present, and we were able to drive home comfortably.

EBC Brakes
USR Rotors & Green Pads

]]> (Dave Pankew Photos By: Lindsay Tadros) Reviews Tue, 06 Jul 2010 05:00:00 +0000
UpRev Osiris Software for 350Z maximize them, but they’re certainly not capable of handling major upgrades. If you have been following our Project 350Z build, you’ll know we’ve added a number of bolt-on upgrades in addition to an innovative STS turbocharger system. The rear-mounted STS turbo kit has distinct efficiency benefits and had been reported by others to crank out over 400 whp! In our case, Project Z was fast, but definitely wasn’t as close to that big power number as we’d like. The performance at a recent track day proved that it needed to be dialed in and tuned properly, as the car has plenty of power waiting to be found.

We recently heard about new Nissan-specific tuning software called UpRev. While it sounded good on paper, we were wary about using a new tuning method on such an expensive VQ engine. The UpRev Engine Management Solutions provides data collection and calibration systems for popular Nissan and Infiniti vehicles so that they can make more power! Essentially, UpRev is a tuning software program (Cipher or Osiris) with an OBD2-to-USB hardware connector that allows a tuner (or owner with tuning knowledge) to tune a vehicle and unlock the full potential of a car. By connecting the vehicle’s onboard computer to a PC, a single tune or various tunes can be added to the supported vehicle applications – Nissan’s 350Z, Frontier, Armada, Titan and Infiniti’s G35, M35 and M45.

The software and UpRev Osiris system allows for a vehicle to hold multiple tunes simultaneously and the ability to switch between tunes on-the-fly while driving. This feature gives the driver the ability to switch from a progressive daily driving tune to an aggressive race tune, and even to a limited valet tune that can be set with a rev limit of 2,500 rpm and a maximum speed limit.

Osiris Engine Management for Nissan and Infiniti VQ35 & VQ37 engines

  • PC based re-flash system lets the user to flash their ECU with customized tuning
  • Osiris flash service is a mail-in service for customers to mail in their ECU for a one time recalibration
  • Osiris standard includes Cipher software and 3 eTune updates providing custom tuning for your vehicle
  • Osiris Tuner is for DIY owners who are familiar with and capable of tuning their own vehicles. A great alternative to a Stand-Alone ECU and Piggyback systems

UpRev referred us to the tuning experts at Advance Power House (APH) in Toronto, Ontario which is authorized to tune using UpRev software. We had seen a few of the APH builds like their insane Power House Amuse S2000 at IMG_1104_th local shows and knew their builds were the real deal. We connected with Ed and Brian at APH who checked out the Z and took it for a spin. After a quick evaluation, they both agreed the car was healthy and offered good power, but the tune itself was a mess and power delivery could be made much smoother and improved with UpRev.

Our 350Z put down 240 whp and 238lb-ft when it had zero mods on it, but even with a turbo kit installed our 350Z had a hard time cracking 300 whp, which was not acceptable. APH tuning specialist Brian explained he would be 03 stock vs mark tuned_thable to use the UpRev Osiris software to extract more potential from the STS turbo system using the supplied 450cc injectors. However, for maximum tuning gains we would need to upgrade to the 660cc Deatsch Werks injectors (which is planned for later this season).

With that in mind, Advance Power House hooked our 350Z onto the dyno and got to work. Within a few pulls, we discovered the injector duty cycle wasn’t anywhere near where it could be. This meant we could throw more boost at it because the fuel was adequate. Our Project 350Z is still driven daily, so it has to start, idle and warm-up with all of the functionality we expected. As the day went by, APH continued to find and extract more power from our 350Z and eventually finished with a number around the 345whp range, but advised us to settle on running a nice, safe number that produced a little less jam. Making 325 whp at 5600 rpm, our 350Z isn’t going to set any records… but it’s a lot faster than it was before and it’s driving dynamics have been significantly sharpened, as it now pulls hard and steady throughout the power band. Plus, the torque is the real story here, with a matching 325 lb-ft. of juicy flatness! Our beefy torque number stays over 300 lb-ft. from 3,400 rpm to 5,400 rpm, meaning our Project 350Z is ready to get down and dirty at any speed… anytime.

The best features from UpRev are that their systems can be custom tuned for a wide variety of modifications, so it can provide the best tune for each custom vehicle. Just as easily as UpRev can provide the best tune for a turbo upgraded application, we’ve even seen UpRev unleash the most surprising power gains from simple mods, like an intake and exhaust system.  Stick around, as we add more high-octane fuel to the fire and chase 400 whp on the stock bottom end of our Project 350Z.


Osiris Tuning Software

Advance Power House
Installation & Tuning

]]> (Dave Pankew // Photos by Mark Pereira) Reviews Tue, 06 Jul 2010 05:00:00 +0000