the Tribe

WIN THIS! TW STEEL SPECIAL EDITION WATCH

Zoltan Vincze, via email

Our Letter of the Month winner receives this $399 Red Bull Holden Racing Team watch. Designed to celebrate the on-track efforts of 2017, TW Steel worked with the team to produce this 48mm timepiece. Itís powered by Miyota 6S21 chronograph movement and sports a racing-inspired blue leather strap.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE NEW MAG

HI MOTOR. I Just picked up your latest svelte mag with the silvery, icegrey Valkyrie cover. As a 35-year-old enthusiast and Ďsince-I-was-a-kidí long-time reader, Iíve honestly enjoyed every issue.

Here is my first letter, and first feedback: itís the beeís. Thereís always been something in it for me. No matter what criticism may come, you guys always do a stellar job Ė beautiful pics, lively writing, sometimes funny, never dumb, always to the valves of an enthusiastís heart. Iím happy to pay the minimal extra.

Before writing this I was watching Daddyís Home 2 with the kids and paused no less than eight times (much to their annoyance) to read a bit, then read some more. Team, in this tech day and age, I am thrilled Iím still able to feel the (new) smooth, glossy texture of this quality parchment.

Its refreshed design is manly-sexy. Iíd probably read it even if I had to fan it open like a newspaper. Its pages are thick and muscular, but lean and elegant. Marvellous. Too much?

Whilst Iím here, Iíve always wondered why do I/we love cars and car mags so much? Has anyone done a psychological PHD on brain-mapping to understand why it means so much to look, smell, touch, dream, drive these mechanical beasts? Maybe next issueÖ Enough from me, Iím off to install a larger turbo inlet elbow into my MkVII GTI. Keep up the good work.

Zoltan Vincze, via email

Thank you, Zoltan! Weíre blushing, and we didnít even have to bribe you! The MOTOR crew slaved away with the redesign to produce something fresh but familiar. As weíve said before, itís a work in progress and weíve been alerted to some room for improvement mostly with legibility. However, for the most part, weíre over the moon with the redesignís largely positive reception.

BIT HARD TO READ

I have been a subscriber for many years, and have just renewed for another year. I understand that you need to update the format periodically to keep the magazine fresh, but I think the latest changes need some fine tuning.

It may be my eyes getting old, but I find the white text on a dark background very hard to read on pages 20 and 52 of the April 2018 issue.

But the text on top right of page 53 looks okay. Not sure if this is a layout or printing issue, but I like to read all of the magazine when I subscribe to it.

Daryl Adams, via emailii

We appreciate your feedback, Daryl. Weíre looking into improving this.

MORE TUNER CARS

My only gripe with the new-look MOTOR mag is the font/font-sizes. Please donít put form over function.

Also, is there any chance we could get a few more pages dedicated to vehicle mods/upgrades/reviews? I know there are dedicated mags for that sort of thing, but I like to read about mods for all sorts of cars, not just for one specific brand. MOTOR is a performanceoriented mag so I assume a large percentage of the reader base modify their rides Ė I know I do.

Otherwise, great job on the redesign.

James Silva, via email

Thanks, James. We will investigate creating a new department outlining modification options for various new performance models.

GOLF WARS

I bought and enjoyed your new mag, it caught my eye with the Ďnew lookí title. I havenít been a regular buyer of motoring magazines for ages, so you have at least won a new reader. I also recommended your new look magazine to a friend who I know has enough coin to buy some of the exotica featured in the April edition, so somebody might benefit from a resulting sale.

As to my suggestion, I have had several performance-based cars over many years. Iím retired and I currently own a 2008 Golf GTI which fits my low-kilometre needs. Itís a manual and I have the leather pack and sunroof. However, at some point I will be looking to replace it and another Golf is almost certain to be in the garage.

Upon reading your article on the i30 N vs GTI Original (three door), I wondered if a lot of enthusiasts would be interested in a full GTI comparison, every variant through the GTI range, including the R of course.

Iíd like an opinion on what you guys think is the overall best, if money wasnít an issue. All the facts on performance, liveability, price, value for money and ďthe one Iíve just gotta have!Ē Many thanks and best wishes with the new product.

Colin Butler, via email

Interesting suggestion, Colin, and weíll give it some thought. From the outset, however, having driven them all, and in lieu of there being no diff-equipped ĎPerformanceí variant at present, weíd probably pick up a manual Golf R.

CLEAR THE FOG

Iím writing in reference to Tim Keenís column in the February issue.

I like Timís column, itís usually good for a laugh. In regard to his little rant about the premier manufacturers doing away with fog lights, Iím sure that Tim realises that these darn things are to be seen and not to see with.

I get heartily sick of people who drive around with them on for no good reason other than to show others that theyíve got them. Itís frustrating.

Have you ever driven in thick fog? I used to have to do it regularly on my run to work from the Southern Highlands through Kanigaroo Valley to Nowra. The fog lights played absolutely no part in increasing the visibility from the cockpit despite what others might tell you. They merely allowed an oncoming car, or indeed one coming up from behind, some chance of seeing the extra bright light at the front and rear of the car.

On many occasions youíd be right on them before you could see the fog lights. However, I will say that these are what I would see first.

Sorry Tim, but if these guys can make ia better low-beam light then Iím all for ditching these darn pose-pony things.

I do realise that your pen is always firmly in your cheek, old son..

Ray Murphy, via email

TYPE R? NAH, 718!

I have just read the PCOTY articles and, as usual, it makes for a great read.

But of course, you have it completely wrong. The car I have just purchased, a 718 Cayman S, really should have won!

Like anyone who has just purchased a new car I think it is quite wonderful.Mine is the same colour as the one in the story, and shares the options of PASM and PTV, but with a manual gearbox and 19 inch wheels.

Would you be interested in an attempt by me to write an ownersí perspective? I can actually admit to a couple of faults, but not many!

Greg Weston, via email

Thanks for pointing out our blunder with Performance Car of the Year Ė how did we miss that! We donít disagree that the 718 Cayman S is an utterly brilliant sports car, the engine just isnít as special as it used to be.

Despite how it looks, weíll continue celebrating the Civic Type R for offering a sublime driving experience at a relative bargain price.

TOOTHLESS RAPTOR

Iíve just read the March 2018 issue and was shocked to find out that Ford put a small 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in the Ranger Raptor Ė big mistake, Ford. The lesson will be the same as Volkswagen experienced with the Amarok and its small engine, which affected initial sales. VW finally delivered the turbo-diesel V6, and with it the grunt it needed.

The 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel in the current Ranger is a great motor and should have gone into the Raptor with a power boost. I will trade my 2014 Ranger for the current model on a runout sale with the five-pot oiler, but I will not buy the 2.0-litre four. I really wanted to buy this Raptor, but with this small motor strung out to give similar power to the 3.2-litre itís just not worth buying.

Australia needs a 3.0-litre engine or larger in 4WDs. Anything smaller will have bad sales.

Alex Angelico, via Facebook

FULL BERRIES, COBBER

Thanks to Brian Colton for pointing out all those cliches. Duly noted.

Now Iím just gonna take my all-paw, auto-tranny-equipped weapon out for a fang. Itís got decent grunt even with the slusher, but not as much poke as a Falcon or Commodore with a bent eight. Still plenty of mongrel for a family hauler, though, and the rev-hungry donk makes me feel like a real track-day hero when I take on the odd Fezza, Macca or Subie. A paean to you!

Darin Howell, via email

We stand and applaud.

GOOD GM IDEAS

In your November 2017 edition, you say that youíd prefer the SS Commodore to a Mustang Ė me too Ė although the two doors are a pain. You also say that the Mustang is one of the Top 10 Movers with a 75 per cent increase in growth. Wow! I wonder if GMH is regretting the way it introduced change; I wonder if it should have kept the V8 Commodore alive until it had the Camaro ready for sale in Australia?

Youíve compared the SS Commodore to the Mustang, how about comparing it to the Camaro? The Mustang was fairly affordable, but its price has increased. Letís hope a factory RHD Camaro is as affordable as the Mustang when it lands. If I have to pay $80K for an HSV Camaro, Iíd rather the extra cost to go towards a blower kit than a RHD conversion. Pontiac GTO sales in the USA were stuffed by the high Aussie dollar. And now when we need a high dollar to make the Camaro affordable, itís around 77 cents. Dang!

And lastly, letís talk about the ZB Commodore. How long before itís made by a company other than Opel? GM should Panamera-ise the Camaro by adding rear doors and make it the next Commodore. Build it in Mexico or the Daewoo factory to make it affordable.

Ben Tate, via email

ITíS MINE OWNERí S Ride

Randy Stagno Navarra

MAZDA MX-5 2.0-litre | 2.0-litre 4cyl, 118kW/200Nm ODO 33,450KM | OWNED FOR 1-2 YEARS

YOUíRE A MASSIVE CAR NUT, WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM? [My familyís] always been into cars. Weíve always had Fiats, Alfa Romeos and Golfs. Dadís had umpteen Minis, AustinHealeys and Sprites. I met my wife through mutual friends in the car scene. Most of my friends are in the [car] club and they range from school teachers, to lawyers, to accountants.

HOWíD YOU COME CROSS THE MX-5? I bought a three-door Sierra Cosworth that I had to get rid of, no-one knew anything about them. In the end I got offered good money for it and the car is back in the UK. I had a friend working at Mazda who offered me a drive of the MX-5, the NB had just come out. I bought my first one in 1999. This is number 11.

WHY NOT THE 1.5-LITRE? On the road I prefer the 1.5. I love the way it revs, thatís something the 2.0-litre lacks and I think the 2.0-litre is a bit of an afterthought, because of the American market. The ride is a bit better than the 1.5, yes itís softer, so it moves around more, it actually feels better engineered. But then you take the 1.5 on the track and itís not as good. It lacks torque. I did a 1:36.8 in the 1.5 at Sandown, then a 1:32.4 in the 2.0 litre. But in the 13 years on track Iíve done a clutch once.

WHATíS IT GOT? Itís got lowered Whiteline springs, Whiteline adjustable swaybars, adjustable end-links, and thatís it. The only difference is I put on a set of brake pads and 17 x 8-inch wheels with some good Yokohama rubber [for the track].

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MX-5s? They all do the same thing. Put a smile on your face. What Bob Hall said about them is true. If you canít drive a car with 90 horsepower you canít drive one with 900 horsepower. I did an event at Bathurst in the NC, lived out my dream as Peter Brock. Drove it there, and drove it back to Melbourne. Theyíre just so versatile.

I HAVE JUST READ PCOTY ... YOU HAVE IT COMPLETELY WRONG

YOUR MONTH IN SOCIAL MEDIA

On The Wires

Tag your pics with #motormag to get published here

1. Cameron Shaw on Facebook ďErm, yeah, itís a completely standard N13 Nissan Pulsar...Ē

2. Daniel Broomhall on Facebook If I put a sign on it, does that mean someone will wash it?

3. Tyron Mason-Powell on Facebook It turns out that 800Nm is a little too much for an Astra to handle

4. Matt Gollan on Facebook Dave Reynolds does one PCOTY with us and now he thinks heís a star...

5. Shane Soutter on Facebook Taking to Tailem Bend track to cut some laps in a Ford Focus RS

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