the Tribe

WIN THIS NEXT MONTH! SCUDERIA FERRARI CAP

Jarrod Harrison, via Facebook

Our Letter of the Month author, Brian, has nabbed himself a swish Aston Martin flask as featured here last issue. Next issue, write us what’s on your mind and you might be donning this genuine Ferrari Scuderia Shield cap. It features the tricolore under its bill and a metal adjuster embossed with the prancing horse.

GIVE ME HANDLING OVER POWER

ONE OF the reasons I read MOTOR magazine is you adopt a broad definition of performance. For example, it is not just measured in power but other things such as handling. In the past you have had to defend reviewing the Mazda MX-5 and Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86, which have modest power, but good handling and driver engagement

So thanks to Jethro Bovingdon for addressing the elephant in the room in his october issuse column; namely supercars whose power far exceeds what's usable. At the end of the day, the difference between a good car and a great car is how it makes you feel, not just the kilowatts it generates on the dyno.

Brian Breakey, via email Hear, hear, Brian. We won't lie, there is something about a huge amount of horsepower that we are very big fans of - once you've had a hit you can't stop thinking about the next - but it is to know a different and equivalent enjoyment just belting an 86 or BRZ around a track.

BULLITT DODGER

I AM not impressed with the new Ford Mustang Bullitt. Ford should be ashamed for doing this to a classic. Ever since I saw the movie when it first came out, it has been one of my all-time favourite cars and movies.

It also has by far the best movie car chase ever - it was a real car chase, not some fancy movie work to give the impression of a car chase. I know it is my opinion and some people may argue other chases were as good or better, but show me one where there is as much action

Plus, the visuals and sounds were real rather than being added during editing. But my main gripe is if Ford wanted to make a movie inspired Bullitt Mustang it should have fit nice round headlights -just like the original!

It would have set it apart from all the other Mustangs and been immediately identifiable as a Bullitt Mustang. As it is, you would never notice the small decals stating 'Bullitt'. So disappointed, it just looks like another random green version of the modern Mustang

Gary Barnet, via email We were about to say that’s a horrid idea but it’s obviously exactly how Ford made the XRs stand out amongst regular Falcons for many a year.

SPEED LIMIT FARCE

Speed doesn't kill; stopping suddenly kills (or so the famous quote from Jeremy Clarkson goes). When the Speed Kills campaign started, cars weren't as safe, roads like the Hume weren't as good. Accidents from fatigue still can't be fully measured. How could you ever know if a crash was caused because someone fell asleep?

Increase the speed limit and get people to their destination quickly to reduce exposure. When you're driving faster you're also more switched on.

All the highways should have increased limits. Drivers will show common sense, courtesy and patience because if you're caught behind something, then you know that you can use higher speeds to overtake and get going again.

And a head-on with a tree at llOkm/h and a head in with a tree at 130km/h-plus have the same result, I'm afraid.

Jarrod Harrison, via Facebook

BLESS YOU, FORD

Good on Ford for doing the right-hand drive Mustang. It must be laughing at the price of the Camaro. Yet, it will still find a market with the Chevrolet die-hards. The Oz market is so small GM could not be bothered to do right-hand drive (initially). The only other major right-hand drive markets are the UK, South Africa and Japan. These countries have no natural demand/history for muscle cars.

Mark Boxsell, via Facebook

BUILD QUALITY WOE

The $20K price difference between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro is a deciding factor for some. Although some people also won't mind.

I'm a Holden man and will look at one if it's in a showroom close to me. Build quality is something I'm looking forward to inspecting.

I've been deciding if I should buy a Mustang or not for the past two-and-a-half years. The build quality has been so terrible and the reason I pulled the pin on an order for one.

The new 2018 model, though, has seen a big improvement. Hence coming into consideration once again.

Darren Etchells, via Facebook

We've got a Mustang and HSV-converted comparo coming up next issue so we'll be sure to eyeball build quality while we're at it.

“THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD AND A GREAT CAR IS HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL”

FUEL PRICE RORT

Whether it likes it or not, the government has to acknowledge fuel prices are a fundamental influence on our cost of living and the economy.

Slowly, the big few are having a disproportionate affect on the country's economy by milking the price of a necessary commodity. Only the federal government can influence these greedy wholesalers and retailers.

David Cumbers, via Facebook

Adam Ryan

Ford Falcon XR8 | 5.0-litre V8 s/c 380kW (modified) ODO 61,000KM | OWNED FOR 18 MONTHS

What's done to it? It has a twin three-inch exhaust, lOOOcc injectors and a custom tune. I have driven a couple of stock GTs - not FG X Falcons - and the throttle response was completely different to this car. The FG X felt much more responsive. It makes a huge difference.

How do you use it? It's a daily. When you merge on the Ring Road every morning you need a little more power to overtake those slower cars [laughs]. A few trips up the mountains are definitely a lot of fun. I haven't driven on a track before. But because it is a daily you know you're going to destroy brakes or tyres.

Speaking of tyres, there's decent rubber on this. If you want to go fast you need a good tyre. You grow out of the whole burnout sort of thing when you're a kid. You want to have fun you want to go fast around corners and that's the best way to enjoy the car. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport in all conditions is really a solid tyre. I'll definitely be looking at the Pilot 4 S.

Best things about it? I followed one [a prototype FG X] camouflaged driving on the street. I caught one in Ivanhoe, it was driven by a Ford engineer at the time, and I asked if I could take a few photos. I went to the official release, as you follow the release of every new Falcon as a kid it was great to have the chance to finally buy one of the brand new ones they were releasing at the time. Admittedly, it wasn't brand new when I bought it. But it was cool to follow that journey of seeing it half-released and next year it was mine.

What plans do you have for it in future? Once it gets closer to about 100,000km I might think about getting rid of it. I have absolutely no idea what will replace it. There's been a few thoughts for things like a Mustang or an AMG C63, but it just depends on the funds at the time. So yeah, just drive it, maintain it, and enjoy it, in every way possible.

BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Arise at dawn and seek your pleasure, the 'back-road evangelist' urges you. Often you will have heard the expression "we live in a golden era" - but that is truer now than before.

Need proof? A $50K Honda Civic that can outpace some supercars from a decade ago! But, the dark clouds of autonomous 'driving' loom, I warn you friends that time is so much closer than you imagine.

Technologies like automated braking and lane assist are just the thin end of a very short wedge. All pedalled under the palatable banner of 'safety'. Makes me think of those elixirs sold in the old Wild West. Enjoy your driving now as time is of the essence. And, for those who disagree and think I’m inciting riot… have you picked up the wrong mag?

Jonathan Dymond, via email So long as there’s always an off button and we’re allowed to use it on a quiet, twisty road, we won’t get mad.

On The Wires

Tag your pics with #motormag so we can find you

1. Paul Barry on Facebook “Monthly head clearing drive to Mt Glorious here in Brisbane”

2. Christian Dignan on Facebook “Mountain Pass in Switzerland”

3. Tim Huynh on Facebook Hitting Sydney Motorsport Park at #Subinats18

4. Rheyce Spears on Facebook “Cape Leeuwin in my Harrop 375 kitted Holden VFII Redline manual!”

5. Paul McF on Facebook Sign porn. “These are the best spots”

CAMARO V OZ

I understand that the Chevrolet Camaro costs so much because of the righthand drive conversion when it lands here, but how much – if any – has been spent on tuning the suspension/chassis for Australian roads?

Albert Biermann needed only one drive on our roads in the i30 N to be convinced that a unique setup really was necessary.

So, will the badge and the 7-11 car park cred that comes with it be enough to justify the ask? Or will a Stinger Hog it in 2019 BFYB?

Greg Brotheron, via Facebook

Read our first impressions later this issue, Greg. Next month we get our hands on it, take it to familiar roads on our time and will be digging deep to see if stuff like the Yank suspension tune works in Oz or not.

BEND NOT READY

While the Tailem Bend circuit is great, a lot more infrastructure is needed to bring the big names to town. Where are the teams and fans meant to stay? Would the World Endurance Championship and those fans be prepared to use the long layout given its twisty nature would make racing more difficult.

Whilst having been there and seen the facility as it was for the Shannon’s round, I can see that there is good intent on where to go in the future. I just can’t help but see that being quite a while away yet.

Ryan Lee, via Facebook

There’s an enormous Rydges Hotel on top of the pit building? True, the price is not right for everyone and even still it only has so many rooms (100), however The Bend is currently building a brand new caravan park on site which will go some way to fitting everybody in. Camping and endurance racing go together like egg and bacon, it’s a thing all around the world, Bathurst to Le Mans to Indianapolis.

SCRUBBING MAD

I own a Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe and am a bit puzzled by the front tyre scrubbing when turning at low speed. This issue seems to have been discussed a lot on forums, but mainly in the UK and regarding the GLC43.

Are you aware of the issue in the C43 and do you know what Mercedes response to the issue is? I have a client who has the C63 and experienced it as well, so I am guessing it is not an issue with the 4MATIC.

With 20,000km driven to date, the front tyres are ready to be replaced due to the scrubbing on the outside of the tyres. In reality, I probably should have replaced them at 10,000 but it seems there is no fix to the problem. Would appreciate any information you might have on this issue

Darren Smith, via email

Darren, Mercedes-Benz says it’s normal. It’s called ‘tyre skip’ and is caused by the forces placed on the tyre’s outer parts near or at full steering lock at low speed. It’s got to do with suspension geometry and apparently is most common in cold conditions. There are other variables. Mercedes told us the difference on tyre wear is negligible.