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2020 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2020 Mazda 3 hatchback: Compare Cars

2020 Mazda CX-30

Mazda has presented a curious case with its small cars. Following the evolutionary chart of the Mazda3 hatchback leads to a split in what we can now call the Crossover Era. While the lovable Mazda3 continues on one trajectory, the split presents a new subspecies known as the CX-30 subcompact crossover. The CX-3 exists in that split, a small knuckle-dragging step behind, but the larger CX-30 is better adapted to thrive in the American concrete jungle. 

New for 2020, the CX-30 offers inhabitants a taller ride height, a larger footprint, and a bit more cargo room than the genetically related 2020 Mazda3 hatchback. Is that enough to let it proliferate with car shoppers? Or, will the fun-to-drive nature of the Mazda3 continue to nurture it?

We do not ask in vain. According to our TCC Ratings, the 2020 Mazda3 outdoes the CX-30 by nearly a point, with the stalwart earning a 6.7 and the newcomer a 5.8. The score for the Mazda3 factors in the sedan, which has much better outward visibility than the hatch, while the score for the CX-30 does not include a safety rating since it has yet to undergo the evolutionary shock known as crash-testing. Those differences would narrow that one-point gap. 

There’s much more to it than the numbers, however, so what follows is a breakdown of those key distinguishing traits to help decide which one to domesticate. 

MORE: Read our 2020 Mazda CX-30 and 2020 Mazda 3 full reviews

Style and performance

Back here in the real world of car shopping, the CX-30 has one thing in abundance over the Mazda3: plastic body cladding. It covers the front and rear bumpers, rocker panels, wheel arches, all in the name of rugged American individualism. Or something. Other than that, with their wide grilles and narrow headlights, snub noses with short overhangs, and attractive flowing body lines, they could almost be twins. But the Mazda3 is more pinched at the rear, rounded like a mouse controller while the CX-30 has a more traditional crossover shape that makes for better cargo space even though it’s three inches shorter. 

2020 Mazda CX-30

2020 Mazda CX-30

2020 Mazda CX-30

The CX-30 is five inches taller and rides 1.5 inches higher off the ground than the Mazda3. The Mazda3 has a longer wheelbase, and a slightly wider rear track. Being lower to the ground and stretched out for balance is what makes it fun to drive. Both vehicles use MacPherson struts up front with springs and a rear torsion beam in back. Critics say some of the sportiness in the Mazda3 left along with the independent suspension, but that would be hard to notice in most everyday driving situations.

Both are powered by a 186-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4 with a 6-speed automatic transmission powering the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available for $1,400, and the Mazda3 hatchback in top Premium trim can be had with an excellent but endangered 6-speed manual. With a sizable engine for this class, the CX-30 can tend to the louder side when pushed, but once it hits 4,000 rpm the power comes on strong. Sport modes will delay the shift points, and for drivers who enjoy driving, the centered steering, balanced handling, and churning engine will satisfy in either application. When it comes to handling, the CX-30 can only roll its eyes and body. The Mazda3 wins.

As much power and efficiency as Mazda has squeezed out of this engine, even with fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, it is average when it comes to fuel economy. The CX-30 gets an EPA-rated 25 mpg city, 33 highway, 28 combined with front-wheel drive; the Mazda3 with the automatic rates better at 26/35/30 mpg as a front-drive hatchback. 

2019 Mazda 3 – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mazda 3 – Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Mazda 3 – Best Car To Buy 2020

Comfort, safety, and features

Here too, the similarities exceed the differences. Both offer well-bolstered seats shod in synthetic leather or better on all but the base trim. Rear seats are roomier in the CX-30 thanks to the higher roof, and rear visibility is much better than in the Mazda3 hatch. Even though cargo volume is nearly the same, the CX-30 is more practical because of the more vertical shape of the liftgate. You can stack more. We could carpool to hockey practice by stacking two bags in the back and having the sticks ride shotgun. We couldn’t do that in the Mazda3.

2019 Mazda 3 – first drive – Los Angeles, January 2019

Mazda has pushed a premium feel in its cars recently, and that’s most evident in the tuxedo black Preferred and Premium trims. Base models of the CX-30 start at $23,000, while the Mazda3 hatchback is about $1,500 more. Both come with cloth upholstery, power locks, and an 8.8-inch infotainment display controlled by a dial in the console. Step up to Select trim and get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, and keyless ignition for about $1,200 more than the base model. That’s where we’d go for either, even though base models come with active safety features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

2020 Mazda CX-30

We expect the CX-30 to mimic crash-test results of the Mazda3, which earned a top five-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

Both the 2020 Mazda CX-30 and 2020 Mazda3 hatchback come well-equipped and offer a sporty alternative to their rivals. Much more than numbers, the difference between the two comes down to feel. The Mazda3 is better for drivers who like to drive, while the CX-30 is the more practical everyday vehicle. Options like that support a healthy evolutionary chain.

Summary

Styling

Performance

Comfort & Quality

Safety

Features

Fuel Economy

MSRP

Invoice

Fuel Economy – Combined City and Highway

Engine

Drivetrain




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Car Reviews

2020 Kia Telluride vs Sorento, 2021 Genesis G80 preview, electric trains are coming: What’s New @ The Car Connection

2020 Kia Sorento vs. 2020 Kia Telluride: Compare Crossover SUVs

The 2020 Kia Sorento and 2020 Kia Telluride are both three-row crossover SUVs that share similar missions to get the family to soccer practice on time. 

Sidewalk Edition returns to 2021 Mini Cooper S convertible 

2021 Mini convertible Sidewalk Edition is a Cooper S with a six-speed manual and some fancy badging. 

Review update: The 2020 Ford Expedition Max Platinum poses issue for car seats

The 2020 Ford Expedition full-size SUV is a full-size family hauler unless that includes young kids in child safety seats. 

From Motor Authority:

2021 Genesis G80

2021 Genesis G80 preview: New mid-sizer answers call to make sedans sexy again

A redesigned Genesis G80 boasting a new platform, new powertrains, and a very alluring design will be heading to showrooms soon.

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A stiff body structure, a powerful engine, and a suspension that maximizes traction are the basic bones of performance. However, automakers have developed numerous features that can help cars and an ever-growing subset of SUVs get more from those basics—to go faster in a straight line, through corners, and around a track.

Christian von Koenigsegg explains how to start a car company

His eponymous firm has only built a small number of high-priced supercars, but it’s still one of the few new automakers to survive in the modern era. This short video provides some of words of wisdom from von Koenigsegg.

From Green Car Reports:

Design for new Aptera electric car, Aug 2019

Aptera’s hyper-efficient, solar-charged car: Does $2 gas change its appeal?

Aptera appears to be pitching its electric lightweight vehicle around oil conflict and an activist mindset. Will that work around $2 gas and economic woes?

Battery-powered electric trains will soon bring cleaner air—especially in Europe

Trains are about to go electric. Battery-electric, that is. While electrical propulsion has been the preferred way to move trains for most of a century, the idea of moving them longer distances via battery is one that’s just now being realized. 

Ethanol may be the loser amid cheap gas and an oil glut

As gas prices plummet toward the $2-per-gallon mark on a national level—with some regions already reporting $1 gas—forecasts are suggesting the bargain pump prices will last at least through the summer. 

 


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Car Reviews

2020 Kia Sorento vs. 2020 Kia Telluride: Compare Crossover SUVs

2020 Kia Telluride – Best Car To Buy 2020

The 2020 Kia Sorento and 2020 Kia Telluride are both three-row crossover SUVs that share similar missions to get the family to soccer practice on time. The biggest question for shoppers: How many players do you need to haul and how many shin guards and cleats do you need to carry in the back?

Both the Sorento and Telluride offer three rows of seats, value, style, and easy-to-use tech. The larger, sharper-looking Telluride wins both on paper and in our hearts with a TCC Rating of 7.3 versus the Sorento’s 6.5. We even named the Telluride our Best Car To Buy 2020. Which of these crossover SUVs fits your needs best?

MORE: Read our 2020 Kia Sorento and 2020 Kia Telluride full review

2020 Kia Sorento

2020 Kia Sorento

2020 Kia Telluride – Best Car To Buy 2020

2020 Kia Telluride – Best Car To Buy 2020

The Sorento has seats for up to seven while the Telluride can fit seven or eight, depending on whether second-row captain’s chairs are installed.

The third row in the Sorento can fit two people and is more of a token row, suited best for two kids for short drives. The third row in the Telluride has space for two adults or three kids, though it’s not as spacious as competitors such as the Volkswagen Atlas.

Both the Sorento and Telluride have comfortable front seats, though the Sorento’s seats have more bolstering with excellent support. The Telluride’s second and third rows are more comfortable than the Sorento’s. When it comes to people-hauling, comfort and space are essential and the Telluride is tops for now.

The story is similar with cargo, as the Sorento has a mere 11.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row compared to 21.0 cubic feet in the Telluride. Fold the third row down and the Sorento can haul 38.0 cubic feet of stuff compared to the Telluride’s 46.0 cubes, and the Sorento taps out at 73.0 cubes with both the second and third row folded down while the Telluride can haul 87.0 cubes. Another point for the Telluride in the hauling department.

2020 Kia Sorento

2020 Kia Sorento

2020 Kia Telluride – Best Car To Buy 2020

2020 Kia Telluride – Best Car To Buy 2020

Both the Sorento and Telluride feature stylish exteriors, but the smaller Sorento can’t match the Range Rover-like swagger that the Telluride exudes. When fully loaded, the $45,000 Telluride could compete with $80,000 SUVs from Europe. The Telluride’s exterior is more brick-like with a blunt front end and chrome detailing that runs partially up the center roof pillar. The Sorento looks continental as well, but it’s more voluptuous and soft with a swept-back front end.

Inside, both crossovers feature well-organized dashboards that are carlike. There are a bevy of hard buttons and knobs and both feature touchscreens, though the Sorento’s is integrated into the dashboard while the Telluride’s looks like a tablet Gorilla-glued to the dashboard.

Sorentos are more fuel-efficient and can nearly hit 30 mpg on the highway when equipped with a modest 2.4-liter inline-4 that drives the front wheels only, according to the EPA. We recommend the punchier 3.3-liter V-6 with 290 hp. Every Telluride is powered by a larger, 3.8-liter V-6 with 291 hp, and the EPA rates it up to 26 mpg on the highway. Every V-6-powered Sorento and Telluride gets an 8-speed automatic transmission while 4-cylinder Sorentos make do with only six gears.

When properly equipped, both the Sorento and Telluride are rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2020 Kia Telluride – Best Car To Buy 2020

Every Telluride comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors. All are available, but not standard, on the Sorento.

The Sorento starts from less than $28,000 while the Telluride costs nearly $33,000. Both come with three rows of seats, power features, and touchscreen infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Telluride costs about $5,000 more, but it gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen, synthetic leather upholstery, and active safety tech while the Sorento makes do with cloth seats and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Our pick of the Sorento lineup is the S V6 for $33,935 that nets the V-6 engine and blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, keyless ignition, and heated front seats. It’s the value play with the active safety tech and a more powerful engine.

For our money, we’d opt for the $38,100 Telluride EX with seating for eight, 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery, cooled front seats, and wireless charging pad.

A loaded Sorento SX costs just over $41,000 but we’d move over to the larger Telluride SX for about $1,000 more. It offers more space and a nicer interior.

The Telluride’s our pick unless you only need seats five, don’t mind a smaller cargo area, and would prefer a few extra thousand dollars in your pocket.

Summary

Styling

Performance

Comfort & Quality

Safety

Features

Fuel Economy

MSRP

Invoice

Fuel Economy – Combined City and Highway

Engine

Drivetrain




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Car Reviews

Tesla Model Y Vs Model 3 In Toilet Paper Hoarding Challenge

In our hoarding world in which we now live in, which Tesla can haul the most toilet paper?

Since we all now seem to be hoarders, it’s critical to now which Tesla, the Model Y or Model 3, to take to Costco to hoard the most rolls of toilet paper. Lucky for us, this video loads both cars partially full of toilet paper (and uses a tape measure to see how much more would fit) to help us find out which is the better hoarding vehicle.

It’s not unusual these days to see cars, SUVs and even trucks packed full of toilet paper after a run to the grocery or warehouse store. Well, it wasn’t, but now maybe it is since the hoarders have created such a toilet paper shortage that most shelves are bare.

Regardless, if you’re heading out to hoard, you need the right vehicle for the job and that’s where this video comes in. As you’ll see in the video (starting at around 3:25), both a Model Y and a Model 3 are partly filled up with goods, including toilet paper. Then, measurements are taken to see how much more toiler paper would fit before filling the vehicle up.

Which vehicle is more suited to hoarding? Watch the video to find out. We should point out though that no crazy amount of hoarding was done for this experiment. And no toilet paper was harmed, damaged or destroyed in the process either.

And, as you’ll see in the video, the space difference between the 3 and the Y isn’t nearly as big as you might think.

Video description via Jim Talks on YouTube:

Using the TP test, we measure the Model Y’s true cargo space (plus or minus). I was hoping to get a whole pile of TP or something to compare, but had limited time and resources, so I used a tape measure to help augment the tried and true TP measurement system.

See other videos. More to come. Let us know what you would like to see.

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Car Reviews

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 vs Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

Hardcore Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R lock horns in track showdown

Is a Porsche Cayman sports car really going up against a Renault Megane family hatchback in an Auto Express twin test? It’s a fair question, but look closer. These aren’t the normal Cayman and Megane; this is a battle between two of the most hardcore, track-focused cars around: the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R.

Both have been developed from lesser versions, with the engineers given the task of making the best-handling car they possibly can to attract buyers who care deeply about driving. They’re special, limited-edition models that build on decades of road car and motorsport heritage from their respective brands, and they carry nameplates – GT4 and Trophy-R – that enthusiasts know are reserved only for the very best.

Interestingly, they’re also closely aligned on price, because the top Trophy-R version comes with some very special wheels and brakes that go some way to justifying its premium price. But unlike with most of our road tests, price really isn’t the key factor here; it’s all about how the cars drive and make you feel. Read on to find out.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Model: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
Price:  £75,348
Engine: 4.0-litre 6cyl petrol, 414bhp 
0-60mph:  4.7 seconds
Test economy:  23.0mpg/5.1mpl 
CO2:  249g/km
Annual road tax:  £465

The GT4 stands out from the rest of the 718 Cayman range thanks to its aggressive bodykit and rear wing, but the most important changes are under the bodywork. At £75,348, it’s more than £30,000 more expensive than the entry-level Cayman.

Design & engineering

Those huge changes mean the extra cash isn’t just justified, it even seems like good value. There’s a totally new engine mounted just ahead of the rear axle: a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat six (replacing a turbocharged 2.0 or 2.5-litre flat four in the normal and S models) developed from the unit used in the flagship Porsche 911.

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The lack of a turbo here isn’t a downside, though, and keen drivers will be pleased to hear this engine is capable of revving to 8,000rpm. It produces 414bhp at a lofty 7,600rpm, and there’s a six-speed manual gearbox sending power to the rear wheels. It’s the dream layout for many enthusiasts. Plus, with strut suspension at the front and rear, and six-piston front brakes, the GT4 is set up to deliver the agility and response you’d expect of a true driver’s car.

Ceramic-composite brakes are available as an option, just like on the Megane. They cost £5,597, and are designed for track days rather than use on the road, because they resist fade even better.

Porsche Active Suspension Management and Porsche Torque Vectoring including a limited-slip differential are both standard. As well as the electronically adjustable dampers, enthusiasts can mechanically tweak the suspension’s toe and camber angles, as well as the anti-roll bar set-up, to tune it for track use. The mechanical limited-slip differential helps improve drive out of tight bends; this bit of kit is key for track cars and the Renault features one, too.

Another key option for track fans is the £2,778 Clubsport package, which adds a half roll cage and six-point seatbelts, although it’s only available if you also choose to add the £3,788 bucket seats. The interior is suitably upmarket, and unlike some track-focused models, it still includes creature comforts, such as sat-nav and climate control.

Driving

From the moment you drop behind the wheel of the GT4 it feels right. The driving position is superb, something which is key to any sports car. The Megane has been adapted from a family hatchback, so it’s a little more compromised in this respect.

Select first and it’s also obvious that Porsche’s six-speed manual transmission is beautifully precise and requires a minimum of movement but a little bit of effort to snick the lever between ratios with a wonderfully mechanical feel.

The steering gives a similarly wonderful connection to the car and the process of driving. It’s weighty and solid because there’s an extraordinary level of grip to tap into, and while it’s not the last word in feel, compared with other sports cars it’s one of the most communicative set-ups of any model on sale today. You know instantly when it shifts into understeer or oversteer, because the GT4’s chassis balance is also beautiful. With the engine in the middle and such little mass, it feels superbly agile and eager to turn. Grip through the corner and traction on the way out are superb; you have to work hard to unstick it, but when you do, the GT4’s delicacy comes into its own and you can exit corners with a little opposite lock and indulge.

It’s a firm car, but the 718’s suspension beautifully controls body and wheel movement so there’s very little roll and plenty of stability. Bumpy B-roads do make the Porsche hop around a little, but on smoother surfaces like tracks it’s supreme.

The engine is wonderful, too. It loves to rev and really comes alive beyond 5,000rpm, with a flat-six howl that encourages you to push it to the red line. Filters in the exhaust mean it’s a little quiet at lower revs, but the motor is a joy to extend.

While these cars aren’t all about straight-line performance, with more power the Porsche had the measure of the Renault from 0-60mph, even if the turbocharged Trophy-R’s grunt helped it assert an advantage in gear. But it’s how the engine and gearbox, and every other element of the package, work so well together that makes the GT4 so great to drive.

Practicality

The GT4 is just as practical as lesser Caymans, with 150 litres in the front boot and 270 litres available under the rear hatch, although the Clubsport pack’s half cage means it’s slightly more difficult to load items around. All 718 Caymans are two-seaters, the same as the Trophy-R (but not the regular Megane R.S.), yet the Renault has more room for kit if you’re a track-day regular.

Ownership

These cars are stripped-back in terms of safety kit, although both still have comprehensive ESC set-ups, even if they can be disabled fully to really get an idea of both models’ balance. With strong brakes, sticky tyres and impressive traction control systems, they’re safe and easy to drive on track.

Running costs

The GT4 has 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 245 and 295-section front and rear tyres, at around £300 each, while the Megane’s 245-section Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres will cost around £170 each.

We recorded 23.0mpg in the Cayman and 24.1mpg in the Megane, but expect economy in the teens during a track session. If you spend a lot of time on track think hard about choosing composite brakes on both models; they will be much more expensive to replace once worn than normal steel discs and pads.

Testers’ notes: “It’s such a pleasure that Porsche kept the GT4 manual-only because the six-speed box is perfect and immerses you in the action. Porsche’s PDK transmissions are good, but its manuals are great.

Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

Model: Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R Nürburgring Record
Price:  £72,140
Engine: 1.8-litre 4cyl petrol, 296bhp 
0-60mph:  5.6 seconds
Test economy:  24.1mpg/5.3mpl 
CO2:  180g/km  
Annual road tax:  £465

With the Nürburgring Record pack included, the RenaultSport Megane Trophy-R costs £72,140, bringing it to within a whisker of the GT4. Our test car in these pictures doesn’t have the £12,000 carbon-fibre wheels fitted, but we’ve got extensive experience of this model, so it’s the one we’re testing here. Without options, the Trophy-R is £51,440.

Design & engineering

The high price seems out of place initially; after all, this is still closely related to a basic Renault Megane family hatch. But look closer at the spec and the cost starts to make more sense, then go for a drive and it really clicks.

RenaultSport has left the engine alone, which is a stark contrast to the Cayman GT4. The 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo unit develops 296bhp, the same as the lesser Trophy model. Yet the hardcore R version has been stripped back to cut weight, which means performance is better. The most obvious saving is the removal of the rear seats (there’s a strut brace and storage for tyres instead), but the Akrapovic exhaust, composite bonnet and thinner glass all save weight as well. Models on carbon-fibre wheels have less unsprung weight at each corner, which has more impact on handling.

Other Megane models feature four-wheel steering, which has been a bit hit-and-miss in the past for us, but it’s not present here and there’s a bespoke rear set-up that is unique to this version instead, saving even more weight and providing more predictable handling as a result.

Manually adjustable dampers from Ohlins plus geometry changes on the entire suspension set-up mean the Trophy-R is rather different under the skin to a normal Megane R.S.

Like the Porsche, there’s a mechanical limited-slip differential and a manual gearbox, although, of course, the Renault is still front-wheel drive.

The stripped-out interior means that it’s not as refined as a normal Megane, but the Sabelt seats provide a sporty feel, and there’s enough equipment inside such as sat-nav (although it’s a smaller unit to save even more weight), smartphone connectivity, plus cruise and climate control to keep trips on the road to and from track days relatively relaxed.

Driving

A firm suspension set-up means the Trophy-R is bouncy at low speed. This is also the case with the normal Megane R.S., and the Trophy-R is similar to its stablemate in the way it smooths out imperfections much better as you increase speed. Over rough roads it’s firm but composed, and reacts quickly to bumps.

The steering is weighted nicely, but it can’t match the precision and feedback that the set-up in the Cayman provides. Messages relayed back to the driver through the steering wheel don’t have the Porsche’s clarity, but there’s still enough precision to give you confidence in placing the car.

One of the Trophy-R’s strongest points is its grip; there’s so much bite from the front tyres that the hatch loves to be thrown hard into each bend. You have total confidence that the car won’t wash wide, and you can even bring the Trophy-R’s rear end into play to tighten your line. It transitions its weight beautifully and feels totally natural and predictable in doing so. It’s a contrast to the standard Megane R.S., because that model’s rear-steer set-up can make it feel a bit unpredictable at times.

The Megane Trophy-R feels genetically linked to its predecessors, the 275 Trophy-R and the R26.R, because these range-topping cars all have an incredible balance of grip and adjustability that places them among the best driver’s cars of all time. The Trophy-R doesn’t feel out of place even next to the Cayman on track. The incredible grip and excellent damping mean it feels as special as the Porsche in corners and it gets better the harder you drive it; it’s only the powertrain that holds it back against the GT4.

The 1.8-litre engine is sound – the Akrapovic exhaust gives it plenty of character even if it isn’t as cultured aurally – but it can’t compete with the howl of the GT4’s six-cylinder motor. Plus the manual transmission is frustrating next to the superb set-up in the Cayman. It’s not as precise, the throw is a bit long, and the shift quality feels a little vague.

Still, the Renault’s turbocharged engine means it’s more forgiving if you pick the wrong gear coming out of a corner. The Trophy-R was actually faster than the more powerful GT4 in our third-gear test from 30-50mph, which showed its grunt.

Practicality

Officially, the Megane’s boot capacity is 434 litres, but there’s actually much more space than that in the back because there are no rear seats.

There’s enough room to store a set of wheels and tyres on the concave plastic back bench, but it’s not as practical as a normal Megane with rear seats. Yet  the boot is very roomy for a two-seat track car.

Ownership

Renault finished in 19th place in our Driver Power 2019 satisfaction survey, which was in the bottom half of the 30-strong list of manufacturers. The Megane has a five-star Euro NCAP crash rating, though.

Running costs

Both cars are likely to hold their value extremely well; previous versions of the Trophy-R and GT4 have both become collector’s cars due to their limited-run, enthusiast-focused nature. Our experts predict that the Cayman will lose £29,416 and the Megane will shed £36,698 after three years or 36,000 miles, but we reckon those are conservative estimates.

Testers’ notes: “The Nürburgring Record pack denotes the spec of car that set the front-wheel-drive hot hatch record around the German track with seven minutes 40.1 seconds. Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes on this car cost £9,000.”

Head-to-head on track

Taking to a circuit shows the strengths of these hot models

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

Our in-gear tests revealed that these two cars aren’t as far apart in terms of performance as you might expect, although there are some caveats. For example, the Cayman needed 3.7 seconds to go from 30-50mph in fourth gear, yet the less powerful Megane took 3.5 seconds to do the same. Similarly, the Porsche required 4.6 seconds to go from 50-70mph in fifth, while the Renault took 4.3 seconds.

You’ll be using all of the revs available in each gear on track, making these times more of a footnote than anything else. As a track car the Cayman GT4’s performance limits are greater; after all, it lapped the Nürburgring in seven minutes and 28 seconds. The Nürburgring Record pack Megane with its carbon-fibre wheels and ceramic brakes is the current front-wheel-drive record holder at the circuit, with a time of seven minutes and 40 seconds. It’s a surprisingly small gap.

Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

The Megane R.S. Trophy-R weighs 130kg less than the standard Trophy model, which is a big part of why it’s much more engaging to drive and faster on a track. The main weight reduction comes from the removal of the Trophy’s rear-wheel steering components, which saves 32kg and creates a more predictable, enjoyable driving experience.

Ditching the rear seats has also cut 25.3kg, while the carbon-composite bonnet and lighter alloys shave another 8kg each. If you go for the £12,000 carbon-fibre wheels, the saving is 16kg. Fixed bucket seats cut 7kg each, so that’s 14kg less in total, and these seats provide a lot of support. This is important when you’re throwing the car around on track. They can only be adjusted back and forth, but they’re nice and low so the driving position is not bad for a hatchback-derived track car.

Verdict

First place: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

It’s easy to run out of superlatives when talking about the Cayman GT4. As a driver’s car it’s close to perfect, with one of the sweetest engines around matched to a sublime transmission, a beautifully balanced chassis and super-sweet steering. Its driving position is spot on, the cabin is luxurious, the brakes are mighty, and it’s even comfortable on the road. It justifies its price wholeheartedly.

Second place: Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

The Megane Trophy-R comes second here, but it’s still one of the most rewarding, exciting and impressive cars we’ve ever driven. It looks expensive at first glance, but the quality of the engineering here is every bit a match for its rival’s. Its hugely involving driving experience gets better the harder you push the Renault. There’s so much depth here, and it’s only held back by a poor gearshift.

Other options in this category…

Alpine A110S

  • Price: £56,810
  • Engine: 1.8-litre petrol, 292bhp

The Alpine A110S uses a version of the Trophy-R’s engine mounted transversely in this mid-engined two-seater. It’s lightweight, so performance is very strong, and the Alpine is a delight to drive. The new S version promises to be better on track than the standard model.

Caterham Seven 620R

  • Price: £53,640
  • Engine: 2.0-litre petrol, 310bhp

A high budget lets you get into one of the most extreme track models. The Seven is one of the most exciting cars around and caters for track-day fanatics. This range-topping version is one of the most visceral and exhilarating cars we’ve ever driven.

Figures

  Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R Nürburgring Record
On the road price/total as tested £75,348/£94,506 £72,140/£72,140
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000) £45,932/61.0% £35,442/49.1%
Depreciation £29,416 £36,698
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £5,576/£11,151 £3,739/£7,478
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £2,943/£4,906 £2,809/£4,682
Insurance group/quote/road tax cost 44/£974/£465 37/£683/£465
Servicing costs N/A £449 (3yrs)
     
Length/wheelbase 4,456/2,484mm 4,364/2,672mm
Height/width 1,269/1,801mm 1,445/1,874mm
Engine Flat six/3,995cc 4cyl in-line/1,798cc
Peak power/revs  414/7,600 bhp/rpm 296/6,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs  420/5,000 Nm/rpm 400/3,200 Nm/rpm
Transmission  6-speed man/rwd 6-speed man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 64 litres/repair kit 50 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (litres) 150/270 (front/rear) 434 litres
Kerbweight/payload 1,420/330kg 1,306/350kg
Turning circle 11 metres 10.3 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs 3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. N/A 19th/26th
NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/stars N/A 88/87/71/71/5 (2015)
     
0-60/30-70mph 4.7/3.7 secs 5.6/4.6 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 3.0/3.7 secs 2.2/3.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th 4.6/5.5 secs 4.3/5.6 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph  188mph/N/A 158mph/2,550rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph  43.0/29.6/10.1m 44.2/31.4/11.1m
Auto Express econ. (mpg/mpl/range) 23.0/5.1/324 miles 24.1/5.3/265 miles
WLTP combined mpg 25.7mpg 34.9mpg
WLTP combined mpl 5.7mpl 7.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 284/249g/km/37% 271/180g/km/37%
     
Airbags/Isofix/parking sensors/cam Four/£126/£362/£825 Four/no/yes/yes
Auto box/lane-keep/blind spot/AEB  No/no/no/no No/no/no/no
Clim./cruise ctrl/leather/heated seats £539/£228/£1,242/£294 Yes/yes/no/no
Met paint/LEDs/keyless/pwr tailgate £632/£1,397/no/no No/yes/yes/no
Nav/digi dash/DAB/connected apps Yes/no/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes/yes
Wireless charge/CarPlay/Android Auto No/yes/no No/yes/yes

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Car Reviews

Tesla Model Y Vs Model 3 Compared In Convenient Infographic

See how the Tesla Model Y Performance compares to its smaller sibling as far as specs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX, which makes and sells aftermarket Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs, nor have we been paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company’s perspective as an aftermarket supplier of Tesla accessories interesting and are happy to share its content free of charge. Enjoy!

Posted on EVANNEX on March 27, 2020 by Denis Gurskiy

When it comes to electric vehicles, Tesla has topped the industry in just about every category imaginable. The Silicon Valley automaker leads in technology, batteries, range, charging infrastructure, and so much more. One particular automotive characteristic where Tesla really shines, whether it’s gas or electric, is performance. In fact, Tesla’s high-end ‘Performance’ models will demolish just about anything on the track for a fraction of the cost. 

Tesla is so focused on track performance that they’ve released a $5,000 track package for the Performance Model 3. There’s no word on whether or not a similar package will be made available on the Performance Model Y but we have to ask, why not?

As we compare these two Teslas, the inner speed demon in you must be questioning which vehicle would suit you best. Perhaps you’re undecided between the two. Maybe you’re asking if you should trade in your Model 3 for a Model Y? Not everyone can track test each vehicle but you can compare the numbers side-by-side using the above infographic.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had mentioned previously that the Model 3 is to the Model S what the Model Y is to the Model X. Put simply: it’s a more affordable version of the luxury vehicle. Yet due to their smaller size and tighter feel, many prefer the feel of the more affordable models over their larger counterparts — especially on the track.

In hindsight, the Model Y is closer to the Model 3 than the Model X. The two vehicles actually share ~76% of the same parts. Basically, it’s a larger and heavier Tesla Model 3.

That said, size and weight will most definitely affect track performance and specs, as seen in the side-by-side, but maybe you prefer larger vehicles? Crossovers are actually the fastest-growing auto segment in the U.S taking up over 40% of all new car sales.

In any event, if you staged a Model 3 vs Model Y face-off on the track, the former would likely win. But maybe you’re willing to take a downgrade in performance for a more spacious car? Well… it (always) depends on one’s personal preference. Either way, you’ll be getting an extremely high-performance vehicle with plenty of prowess on the track.

===

An earlier version of this article appeared on EVBite. EVBite is an electric vehicle specific news site dedicated to keeping consumers up-to-date on any developments in the ever-expanding EV landscape.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX, which makes and sells aftermarket Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs, nor have we been paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company’s perspective as an aftermarket supplier of Tesla accessories interesting and are happy to share its content free of charge. Enjoy!

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Car Reviews

Tesla Vs BMW: In-Depth Side-By-Side Comparison Of Key Metrics

How do these automakers stack up? The detailed charts are very telling.

YouTube influencer Cleanerwatt has spent plenty of time researching how the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Model S, and Model X compare to gas-powered competitors produced by BMW.

He provides telling charts with all the details related to pricing, standard features, fuel economy, depreciation, performance, safety, technology, and customer satisfaction. While BMW makes incredible luxury cars with fancy interiors and impressive top speeds, it simply can’t compete with Tesla in most areas.

We really appreciate Cleanerwatt’s in-depth research and attention to detail. He always includes all the links in the video description. Check them out for more information. We’ve also included all of the charts from the video in the gallery below:

Gallery: Tesla Vs BMW Key Metric Charts


20 Photos










































Once you’ve watched the video and checked out the sources, leave us a comment below.

Video Description via Cleanerwatt on YouTube:

Tesla Electric vs BMW Gas: Which Vehicles are Better? + Side by Side Feature Comparison

*** All video and pictures are used with permission or in accordance to the copyright owner’s stated policies and use allowance. ***

Image & Video Clip Sources:
1. Tesla Media
2. BMW Media

Data Sources:
1. BMW 7 Series: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/…
2. BMW 3 Series: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/…
3. Fuel Economy: www.fueleconomy.gov
4. Forbes Depreciation: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorze…
5. Depreciation: https://www.iseecars.com/cars-that-ho… & https://www.iseecars.com/cars-to-buy-…
6. Forbes Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorze…
7. Tesla Safety: https://www.tesla.com/blog/model-3-lo… & https://www.regulations.gov/document?…
8. BMW Safety: https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2019/BM…

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Car Reviews

2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2020 Toyota Camry: Compare Cars






















The 2020 Nissan Altima and 2020 Toyota Camry are workaday commuters, built to chill—not thrill. As such, the expectations for both mid-size sedans are roughly similar to the same expectations we have for our refrigerators: they’re supposed to run without a problem and deliver us our daily needs. 

The Altima and Camry do most of the above, and more. Our TCC Ratings for both show little daylight between the two. The Camry checks in with a 6.8 score, the Altima isn’t far behind with a 6.7. Which one is best for you?

Let’s look at the numbers. 

MORE: Read our 2020 Toyota Camry and 2020 Nissan Altima full reviews

2020 Nissan Altima

2020 Nissan Altima

2020 Toyota Camry XSE AWD

2020 Toyota Camry XSE AWD

The Altima and Camry trade on interior space and comfort. Both easily hold four adults—up to five in a squeeze—and return nearly 40 mpg on the highway in their most popular configurations, according to the EPA. 

According to our backsides, the Altima gets the nod in overall seat comfort and space inside. The front seats are all-day comfortable, with enough room for broad Midwestern frames to slide in and out without much issue. The rear seats in the Altima are nearly as good, with almost 36 inches of leg room, and a comfortable seating position that gives long legs plenty of space. 

The Camry’s front seats are fine, but the bottom cushions are narrower and the seats aren’t as ergonomically efficient. The Camry’s rear offers 38 inches of rear seat leg room—more than the Altima—but getting into and out of the Toyota is more difficult. 

Both sedans sport a 15 cubic foot trunk, which is more than enough space for several suitcases or golf bags. Advantage: Nissan. 

Toyota makes up plenty of ground on covering more ground. Although both cars rely on inline-4 power in the majority of models available, the Camry offers hyper-efficient hybrid versions that rate at more than 45 mpg combined, according to the EPA—the base Camry LE even manages 52 mpg combined. 

2020 Nissan Altima

That type of fuel-efficiency is stellar, just a few years ago those enviable numbers were attainable only in a Prius—hardly an enviable shape, for some. Now, the Toyota Camry Hybrid puts significant distance between fuel stops in a sedan that attracts less negative attention than the pod-like Prius.  

2020 Toyota Camry XSE AWD

Both the Camry and Altima offer all-wheel-drive versions that may serve snow-state buyers just as well as a crossover, although both are suited more for all-weather conditions rather than off-roading. (Eds note: If you take either mud-plugging or rock-crawling, please send pics.) A 301-hp V-6 is available in the Camry, Nissan offers a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 248 hp—they’re both outliers. 

Instead, most versions of the Camry and Altima rely on power from 2.5-liter inline-4s from their respective automakers that drive the front wheels only. Toyota plants a 203-hp inline-4 into the snout of its Camry and shifts power through a smooth 8-speed automatic, no complaints there. Similarly, Nissan stuffs a 188-hp inline-4 into the Altima and sends power to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Nissan’s CVT can be buzzy when pressed hard, even if it helps keep the Altima fuel-efficient. 

Both ride and steer relatively effortlessly, although we prefer the cushier rides offered on 17-inch wheels instead of larger, flashier wheels. 

2020 Toyota Camry TRD

The Camry and Altima offer similar standard features inside including automatic emergency braking, a touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, cloth upholstery, and the usual arrangement of power features. The Altima starts for less than $25,000, and the Camry starts for just over $25,000. The Altima SV is the trim we would recommend and it costs about $29,000. It includes upgraded wheels, nicer cloth upholstery, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. 

For about $29,200, the Camry Hybrid LE steers in and gives us the best of both worlds. It has similar equipment to the Altima SV, but stretches out a tank of fuel to more than 680 miles, according to the EPA. 

The 2020 Camry Hybrid LE is our pick for now, but both are relative values among new cars.

Summary

Styling

Performance

Comfort & Quality

Safety

Features

Fuel Economy

MSRP

Invoice

Fuel Economy – Combined City and Highway

Engine

Drivetrain




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Car Reviews

2020 Gladiator vs. Wrangler, Aston Martin embraces V-6, VW’s EV Bus conversion: What’s New @ The Car Connection

2020 Jeep Gladiator vs. 2020 Jeep Wrangler: Compare Trucks

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator and 2020 Jeep Wrangler serve different market segments—one’s a pickup and the other’s an SUV—but they are very similar. In fact, the Gladiator amounts to a longer version of the Wrangler with a pickup bed.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse review

The Chevy Traverse is among the most prolific three-row family crossovers on the road and there’s hardly a cul-de-sac or suburban shopping center without one. It’s popularity is a blessing and a curse.

From Motor Authority:

Aston Martin turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6

Aston Martin’s new V-6 will be the heart of its most potent powertrain

Aston Martin has a V-12 that makes up to 1,160 horsepower, but a new V-6 will be the centerpiece of its new hypercar formula.

2022 Ram Rebel TRX spy shots

The Ram Rebel TRX, aka the Raptor killer, has finally been spotted. The super pickup truck was first previewed as a concept in 2016 and confirmed for production two years later.

2022 Audi RS 3 spy shots

A prototype for the new RS 3 in sedan guise has been spotted for the first time, revealing many clues about the new performance compact. Prototypes for the RS 3 Sportback hatch are also out testing though we’re unlikely to see this model in the United States, just like with the current generation. 

From Green Car Reports:

1966 Volkswagen Samba Bus with EV conversion from eClassics

VW stokes electric Microbus buzz with e-Bulli conversion

Volkswagen plans to launch a new electric vehicle inspired by the classic Microbus, but in the meantime the automaker has partnered with eClassics on an electric conversion of the original.

Polestar 2 electric car production starts in China; US deliveries still due this year

The coronavirus threat itself, and perhaps the economic fallout that lingers, will likely affect the rollout schedule—or perhaps even the production viability—for some of the electric cars we were looking forward to this year or next.

Report: Jaguar J-Pace and Land Rover “Road Rover” electric SUVs in the works

Jaguar Land Rover plans to convert a United Kingdom factory to produce three new electric models, including the already-confirmed XJ sedan and two SUVs, according to Autocar.

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Tuning and Technology

Synthetic vs Conventional Oils and How To Pick the Correct Engine Oil Cooler – Hot Rod

Get rid of destructive heat with an external oil cooler for your engine, transmission, power steering and rearend.

Have you ever considered how hot oil gets inside your engine, transmission, differential, or power steering? Excessive engine heat can cause unnecessary wear and tear along with premature failure. In normal operation, engine oil temperature needs to be at least 212 degrees F to get rid of destructive moisture and combustion contaminants. Moisture comes from the atmosphere and from the fuel itself. The same can be said about combustion contaminants. Both contaminate the oil if they don’t burn off with enough oil temperature. If engine oil temperature doesn’t exceed 212 degrees F, which is the boiling point of water at sea level, moisture in the oil will mix with sulfur, which is one combustion by-product, and generate acids that can ultimately damage moving parts.

By the same token, excessive engine oil temperatures do another kind of damage. Conventional engine oils can tolerate temperatures of up to 250 degrees F. After that, they begin to cook and ultimately break down at 275 degrees F. Ideally, we will hold engine oil temperatures between 230 and 260 degrees F. Synthetic engine oils, such as those from AMSOIL, are far more tolerant of temperature extremes well above 300 degrees F. They can take the punishment of the high engine temperatures encountered in motorsports.

Conventional lubricants are refined from crude oil that gets pumped out of the ground. Contaminating elements such as sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen and metal such as nickel or vanadium are always in crude oil and cannot be completely removed through refining. Oil refining processes separate the various types of molecules in the oil by weight, leaving molecules similar in weight but dissimilar in structure, which hurts performance. Although synthetic lubricants are considerably more expensive, they contain no contaminants. The dividends they yield over the life of an engine cannot be measured. We’ve torn down engines that have had a steady diet of synthetic lubricant over their 200,000-mile life only to find no visible or measurable wear on journals, bearings, cylinder walls, and piston rings. Therefore, AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are money well spent in what they yield in engine life.

How Engine Wear is Defined

Abrasive wear begins with contaminants from outside the engine, such as dirt and soot. These contaminants get into the engine via the air intake and circulate throughout the engine, grinding and doing damage to metal components. Most abrasive wear can be eliminated with high-quality air and oil filters. Never buy cheap filters.

Corrosive wear, also called chemical wear, results from chemical attack on a metal surface, such as cylinder walls and bearing/journal surfaces. Chemical corrosion is a problem for vehicles we seldom use, such as street rods and muscle cars, because they sit for long periods of time.

Adhesive wear is caused by metal-to-metal contact under high loads, speed, or temperatures where oil breaks down and doesn’t provide a barrier between moving parts. Although the metal surfaces in your engine appear smooth to the naked eye, they contain microscopic high spots, known as asperities. As asperities slide against each other, they can bond causing the two surfaces to adhere and tear each other up. As these metals pull apart surface imperfections accumulate over time leading to failures. Engines lock up due to asperities where parts fuse together.

Fatigue wear occurs when regular stress on a lubricated surface causes fractures over time. Fatigue wear occurs predominantly in rolling-element bearings according to AMSOIL.

Engine oil isn’t just about lubrication, but also heat transfer just like your engine’s coolant in the radiator. Because oil has intimate contact with your engine’s moving parts, it has the task of carrying heat away from the engine’s hottest components like bearings and valve stems. When oil temperatures reach 275 degrees F and oil begins to “coke” and stops being a lubricant. It also stops carrying heat away from the hottest parts. Sludge is a good example of what happens to engine oil when it overheats and becomes contaminated. Sludge is nothing more than cooked engine oil and contaminants.

When engines are competitive and power demands increase, oil then has the tougher task of taking on increasing temperatures and extreme shock loads. Oil temperature can be controlled by giving it a place to get rid of excessive heat. The installation of an engine oil cooler gives excessive engine heat a place to go. An engine oil cooler does the same job as the radiator. It also does the same job as cooling fins on air-cooled engines. It is a heat sink that transfers heat away from the engine to the atmosphere. An oil cooler is plumbed to the engine’s oiling system via an oil filter adaptor and braided hoses that can withstand the heat and pressure. It must also be located in the slipstream in front of the radiator or be equipped with a cooling fan if it is placed underneath the vehicle.

Another important issue with oil coolers is temperature control. You want to keep oil from getting too hot. You also want temperatures to reach at least 212-degrees F in order for moisture and contaminants to evaporate out of the oil. This sometimes calls for the use of an inline thermostat, which controls oil flow through the cooler.

Getting the Heat Out

Oil coolers, like radiators, conduct and transfer heat to the atmosphere. The humble automotive radiator is a large heat sink with tanks at each end (cross flow) or top and bottom (vertical). In between, these end tanks are a series of tubes in which coolant travels. Around the tubes are cooling fins that carry heat from the tubes full of coolant to the air passing through. The more tubes and fins you have in a cooler, the more effective the heat transfer. Your engine’s water pump moves coolant from the radiator to the engine and back to the radiator again. Coolant flow is controlled by a thermostat, which controls the flow of coolant based on engine temperature. When the coolant inside the engine reaches a given value (160, 180 or 195 degrees F), it opens releasing hot coolant to the radiator.

What makes most oil cooler applications different than an engine’s cooling system is the absence of the thermostat just mentioned. Depending upon what you subject your engine to, you might need an oil cooler thermostat to control oil temperature. Otherwise, oil flows continuously from the engine’s oiling system through the cooler and back to the engine. Like the radiator, the oil cooler is a series of tubes and cooling fins. Cooling fins take the oil’s heat and radiate it to the atmosphere. The larger the oil cooler, the more effective it is at heat transfer. And larger isn’t always more effective. Better oil coolers have more tubes and fins within a given area to conduct heat.

How To Choose An Oil Cooler

Engine oil coolers come in many types and sizes. Choosing the right oil cooler for your street rod calls for these six basic considerations.

Total oil capacity in your engine’s lubricating system
Power output of the engine and how the vehicle will be used
Amount of airflow needed and available mounting area available
Radiator size
Inlet/outlet Size
What you can afford

    There are two basic types of oil coolers: tube and fin, and plate or stacked plate, which works the same way but employs a different architecture with more surface area. Tube and fin coolers are typically referred to by the number of passes the fluid/oil makes through the length of the cooler before returning to the engine. A two-pass cooler is a design that allows the oil to run through the cooler length twice. The more passes a cooler offers, the better the heat-transfer qualities.

    There is also inlet and outlet size. Be sure to choose a size that will not be too small and restrictive, as this will result in oil pressure drop that could cause engine damage. Most engines will use an -8 AN or -10 AN size fitting, though high-capacity/high-flow engines can also go to -12 AN port sizes on occasion. You want liberal oil flow through the cooler in order to afford good heat transfer.

    The main thing you want to remember with any engine oil cooler installation is air flow across the cooling fins, whether it’s in the slipstream in front of the radiator or with help from a cooling fan. Also keep in mind you can have excessive air flow to where the boundary layer keeps air away from cooling tubes and fins. You want air to flow over the fins and tubes to where heat transfers to the atmosphere. If air travels too fast over the tubes and fins, heat is trapped and doesn’t have a chance to escape.

    The best placement for oil cooler (with no electric fan) is in a location exposed to a maximum amount of airflow, which allows the cooler to operate as efficiently as possible. You must watch out for air conditioning condensers, transmission coolers, and the like, which can hinder airflow across the oil cooler. Also keep in mind an oil cooler should never be placed where road debris can inflict damage such as a wheel well. If you’re going to place a cooler underneath the vehicle, you’re going to need an electric fan to keep air moving across the fins.

    The best place to tap into the engine’s oil supply is at the oil filter because the filter follows the oil pump, so the oil supply will have adequate pressure to move through the lines and cooler efficiently. Trans-Dapt has sandwich adaptors that enable you to tap into your engine’s oil supply safely and effectively. This approach also enables the oil cooler to cool oil before it is used by the engine. Minimize length and the number of bends in your oil lines where possible, which can cause fluid turbulence in the lines. The best way to add an oil cooler is via a sandwich adapter, where a spacer plate is positioned between the filter mount and the factory filter. Another option is a spin-on adapter that uses a filter relocation kit that locates the filter mount to a more convenient spot. A round two-port O-ringed metal hockey puck style mount replaces the factory filter and routes oil lines to the new filter location.

    You also might want to consider a remote oil filter location for the engine primarily, which will enable you to improve filter access and even add a second filter depending upon the kind of driving you intend to do. Dusty desert conditions mandate as much filtration as you can give your hot rod. Never cut corners with hoses and plumbing. Opt for the best braided stainless-steel hoses and hard lines where possible. It is also a good idea to have an oil temperature gauge inline in order to keep an eye on temperature.

    Speedway Motors offers a variety of engine and transmission coolers and adaptors from AFCO, Earl’s, B&M, TCI, Mr. Gasket and Barnes Systems. Earl’s race-proven lightweight and efficient aluminum oil coolers are engineered to fit in the kind of tight space constraints we find in street rods. Speedway Motors tells us race cars have employed brazed aluminum modular oil coolers since World War II. It was state-of-the-art technology then and remains the choice of racers and enthusiasts now.

    The stacked plate modular oil cooler so common today dates to the early 1930s when it was developed for use with the Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 engine that powered the Spitfires and Hurricanes that won the Battle of Britain. This type of cooler with its “turbulator” plates and dense cooling fins provides maximum liquid and air side surface area. The large collector tanks at each end ensure minimum flow restriction. What this means for you is maximum heat transfer from a compact oil cooler.

    The main thing you want to understand with fluid coolers is what they’re designed for. Engine oil coolers are designed for greater pressures and temperatures than transmission or power steering fluid coolers. This means you need to know what the cooler you have in mind is designed for. You do not want to run a transmission or power steering fluid cooler as an engine oil cooler.

    Here’s what you need to know about Earl’s engine oil coolers from Speedway Motors.

    • They are manufactured in the United States from aviation-grade aluminum alloy using the latest vacuum brazing technology. This means durability.
    • Corrugated screen internal turbulator plates in Earl’s coolers increase both thermal efficiency and mechanical strength resulting in the most efficient, smallest and lightest practical package.
    • Manufactured from thin aluminum plates for the most efficient possible heat transfer.
    • Inlet and outlet fittings O-ring to the top plate assembly for easy service.
    • They are designed for the range of oil flow and air speeds encountered in high performance automobiles, which means they will exceed your expectations.
    • Every Earl’s cooler is pressure checked to 175 psi. Periodic samples are burst tested to 350 psi to make sure they meet standards.

    Speedway Motors also offers several different types of oil filter adaptors for street rod applications. These are universal oil filter adapters that come with four different thread size adapters to make installation straightforward for GM, Ford, or Chrysler applications. Most of these adaptors are designed to be installed between the engine and oil filter to route oil under pressure through an oil cooler. Here’s what you need to know about these adaptors before selecting.

    • 3/8-inch NPT side ports
    • Special thread adapters cover most engines
    • Die cast aluminum construction
    • 1-7/8-inch thick
    • All O-rings included with kit

    Threaded adapters included:

    • (1) -inch-16
    • (1) 11/16-inch-18
    • (1) 13/16-inch-16
    • (1) 7/8-inch-20

    All are 1-inch-12 thread OD.

    Coolers for Other Purposes

    Transmission, differential, and power steering coolers do the same thing an engine oil cooler does. They transfer heat away from the lubricating oil. Although it may seem like transmissions, differentials, and power steering run cooler than engines, exactly the opposite is true. Automatic transmission temperatures can run as high as engine oil temperatures because there’s a lot of friction and pressure going on in there. Differential temperatures can run as high as 300 degrees F depending upon your driving. Ditto for power steering fluid, which is hydraulic and always under pressure. It is a rare occasion a street rod is going to need a differential cooler, which is typically found only in racing. Differential cooler pumps can be electric, or driveline driven.

    The same rules apply with these fluid coolers. They should be placed in the slipstream in front of the radiator with proper airflow management conducive to good heat transfer to the atmosphere. If you must place the cooler underneath away from the grille, such as the differential, power steering, or automatic transmission, you’re likely going to need an electric cooling fan, which calls for the electrics necessary to power the fan. You will need a switched power source from the ignition switch with a relay to handle the electrical load. A differential cooler will need to be in back near the rearend, yet never in a wheel well where it could be damaged by road debris.





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