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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed.

21 September 2003

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Interesting Comparo

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More feedback for the Nissan 350Z debate! It would have been nice to see a comparison against a few stablemates - the 200SX and Skyline. Although different in many respects, they share the same driver-focussed spirit. What do you get for your money, with the 350Z sitting mid-way between the 200SX and GT-R price points? Personally, I think the 200SX will age more gracefully, is more tuneable, has better economy, goes faster, etc. I didn't get that feeling of excitement when I was at the controls of the 350Z - mind you, the dealer principal was riding shotgun! Keep up the good work.

Paul Sampson

That would be an interesting comparison - the only problem is the 200SX is no longer being made and Australia gets only 'grey' GT-R imports. Kind of a new v second-hand comparo.

How Do Ya Do It?

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Hi - I'm just curious how you guys do graphs like this one. Excel perhaps? I assume you get your results from having a passenger in the car to get the stats? Cheers.

John Ha
New Zealand

Yep, the info is graphed in Excel. Our previous approach was to have an assistant read off figures from a boost gauge (or whatever) as rpm increments were called out. For that particular story, however, we temporarily rigged the boost gauge alongside the car's tacho and recorded both on a digital camera. Once the runs have been loaded into computer, you can go back over them as many times you want - great for hair-splitting accuracy!

VR4 Feedback Number 1

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First off, I love the online mag! Now onto business... I've just read the article on Galant VR4 being Australia's best-priced performance car ("Australia's Best Value Performance Car"). I really love the Galants of that age, especially the GSR (which I currently drive) - in my opinion, the hatch is better looking than the sedan. Anyway, I have given up on an AWD turbo conversion in my current beast so I'm going to do the only sane thing left... sell my GSR and get the VR4. Before reading this article, I'd never heard of the VR4 EVO and EVO RS models. I don't have the patience to wait a couple of years to import one, so I'm going to import a standard VR4 and mod it to EVO RS spec. Enough babbling on, though - to the questions... Firstly, do you have any info on the exact differences between the models? Part numbers etc? Also, are there any interior differences or is it just the engine and the front bar? And are there any websites that you know off that may have more info on the EVO RS or EVO VR4 models. Look forward to your reply!

Eugene Demirtchian

All that we've been able to find out is that the RS gets a bigger turbo and intercooler. The following email might be of interest too. We don't know of any specific sites for you to visit, but perform a net search under '4G63' and you'll find heaps of good stuff!

VR4 Feedback Number 2

Excellent website with interesting and informative articles, well worth the subscription price.

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Just a couple of comments regarding your recent article about the E39A Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 ("Australia's Best Value Performance Car"). This car does come in an automatic version, which has a smaller TD-04 turbocharger and some other minor differences. Also, both the VR-4 RS and 'Evo 0' VR-4 develop 179kW in stock form due to larger injectors, a different turbo trim, different camshaft profiles and a few other differences. The RS is essentially the lightweight rally version of the 'Evo 0'.

You may be interested to know that the same turbo 4G63 engine and 4WD drivetrain was factory produced in a liftback body as well - the Eterna ZR-4. The Eterna ZR-4 is virtually the same as the VR-4 sedan, although it is 60kg heavier.

I own a VR-4 myself, although it is the next generation E84A series model. This is a completely different car, powered by the 6A12, quad-cam, twin-turbo, 2-litre V6 developing 179kW and 309Nm (at 6000 and 3500 rpm). It now has a few basic modifications and has a best quarter mile time of 13.31 at 167 km/h. Regards.

Simon Lye
New Zealand

A Cooler RVR

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I am looking to upgrade the top-mount intercooler on my Mitsubishi RVR and I have two easy ideas... 1 - put a slimline radiator fan behind it to triple the airflow (especially at the lights), or 2 - make a top-mount intercooler from copper. Copper has a much higher thermal conductivity than stainless steel.

What do you guys think of these ideas? Thanks heaps.

Scott Davenport

Stainless steel? We've never seen an intercooler made from that...

The first and easiest mod we'd recommend (especially if the car is driven mainly in stop-go type traffic) is to fit an electric fan on the existing 'cooler so that air is sucked in through the bonnet scoop. This would work even better with a water spray, since the fan's airflow will help evaporate the water - great for keeping low intake temps!

Visit "DIY Budget Intercooler Fitment" and "Installing an Intercooler Water Spray" to check out the AutoSpeed Maxima, which is fitted with both an intercooler fan and spray.

Trouble With Da Boss!

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In "Who's Da Boss" you say, "No drivability trade-offs, no unwanted attention, no extra noise and a 30-odd percent power hike at the touch of a couple of buttons? Gotta be happy with that!"

Except you neglected to mention that in several states it's illegal to use nitrous on a road registered car. Not to mention the difficulty you would have insuring the car after it's fitted. When reading articles about modified cars these days, I often ask myself...

1) How much did it cost? (Usually too much)
2) Is it all legal? (Generally not)
3) How do they manage to insure it? (I still don't know the answer)

The reality - for me - is that these are the three most important questions I have to ask before I do anything to my car.

Quinton Dolan

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