Welcome to my world, my world of turbos, tyre smoke, and tuning...
Tuning cars, driving cars, testing parts, and complaining about everything. It's my job, and a the majority of my non-work life too...
As we all know and have experienced, the car world is a hive of bullshit and excuses, as people can never admit anything is their fault, so either blame the car or someone else.
From people blaming poor performance on a misfire when it's actually shit driving or them lying about how quick their car really is, to companies not honouring a warranty by making some kind of excuse to blame it on user-error- Excuses are a 'car thing'.
The inspiration for this mini-feature was hearing one of the most ridiculous excuses I've ever heard, and something that I'd not heard for about 15 years, and even back then it blew my mind someone supposedly respected had the balls to claim this...
Step back to 15 or so years ago, and the first example of this was about the Skyline GT-R RB26DETT engine, and most notably the ceramic turbine wheels the turbos have, which are known to snap off the shaft or shatter to many pieces.
While the above is an unfortunate and common fact, one of the big name tuners of the time used to convince their followers they needed an engine reubild as soon as this happened, as bits of the turbine wheel will have been 'sucked' in to the engine.
Some of you right now might be thinking "Well can it?", and some others are thinking "WTF?", so let's break it down in to a way even a tuning novice can understand...
Fast forward to today, and I heard a very similar thing, used as another bullshit excuse, but actually even more far-fetched in my eyes.
The basic story is an engine has severe pitting (IMO severe detonation, but that doesn't matter for this) on the squish/quench pads on all cylinders on a turbocharged engne, and on the exact same opposite areas on the pistons too.
No marks anywere else- Untouched bores, untouched centres of pistons, untouched valves, untouched combustion chambers- Basically only the areas most affected by det.
Certain people (And to make it even more stupid, these people AREN'T the tuner either! This is honestly people just trying to defend him off their own back, despite it not being strictly blamed on him- Retarded or what) flatly refuse to see it as detonation, and claim it's FOD (Foriegn object damage), and back that up by the fact ONE of the cylinders has broken a piece of valve guide off in an inlet port.
My comment was "Even IF somehow it can only damage areas either side of the piston/chamber without touching the center or the bores, how can FOD in one cylinder account for the same damage in all the others?"
The reply was "Doesn't matter which cylinder was damaged, if one goes they're all going to get damaged as the metal will travel back up the inlet manifold and in to the other cylinders"
Again, some of you are already thinking "WTF", as it's probably even more far fetched than the first, despite being said by a bit of a hero of the tuning scene, so let's once again break it down...
So yeah, more utter shit.
The WORST thing about all this kind of crap is though, is that this isn't words of random idiots, the 2nd example wasn't even from a tuner making an excuse either- This is coming from RESPECTED names in the modified car world, 'FAMOUS' names some might say, and because they're "Somebody", people blindly believe them, despite it being insanely far fetched.
My question of it all is, do they BELEIVE what they're saying, or are they LYING? Either way it is REALLY fucking bad considering they're influential, aspirational, whatever the fuck you want to call them, names, in this stupid hobby we all have.
And this is exaclty why I'm hugely skeptical of what even 'Big' names say, partly by being untrustworthy, partly by not knowing as much as you think (or they'd like you to think) they'd know.
It's terrible really, being a skeptic or having trust issues isn't a good thing, and it'd be amazing if this tuning world was just people being honest and helping, but instead the kind of people and the kind of advice in the tuning scene is a big reason why so much of it is fucking awful and so slow progressing.
You have 2 choices, you can either listen to these people and be one of the crowd getting ripped off or having mediocre stuff, or you can take everything you hear with a pinch (ok, a fucking huge road gritter full) of salt, and fact check stuff from even supposed big and trustworthy names, which should, while it's a lot of work, get you a seriously good car.
"Oh Emm Gee, my car does 0-60 in less than 4.5sec, it's almost a supercar, your car is way slower, it's 0-60 is 6sec" says all kinds of clowns with pretty standard 4wd turbo cars, usually to people with cars with far more power; almost like they've never raced a car in their lives.
In fact 0-60mph sells cars- A whole lot of people seem to choose their car by its 0-60, which frankly, is retarded.
The fact is though, when the fuck is the official manufacturer 0-60mph figures relevant in the real world? Pretty much never, that's when.
Even if the situation arose, how many owners are able to hit the factory 0-60 figures? Not many, that's for sure, and for lots of reasons too.
First up, the majority of factory figures are done by GOOD drivers (and truth be told, most people can't drive for shit), after countless attempts, so a typical owner can't usually get within about a second of it. And I mean REAL times too, not a speedo and a stopwatch.
Secondly, how many owners do full on, and I mean REALLY full on, max revs, clutch dumping, launches, especially in transmission destroying 4wd cars? Again, next to none.
I've had hundreds, maybe thousands, of impromptu races off the lights over the years, and the amount of cars I've came up against who's actually done a full-on launch I can probably count on my hands- Most just fanny off the lights gently and then nail the throttle a second later; even highly tuned cars racing to big speeds.
People might like to think they're straight out of Street Outlaws, but more are more like Driving Miss Daisy.
Thirdly, and maybe most importantly in the UK at least- This ain't Fast And The Furious or Street Outlaws, so a VERY small % of races happen from a standing start; it's almost all roll racing, so your 0-60mph time means cock all.
I think some of it, the bit that's not total blinkers/pride in their own shit, is that some people really think 0-60 acceleration corresponds to acceleration at other speeds too, but it doesn't, at all. 0-60mph is ALL about the launch.
I've timed tons of cars over the years due to my work, and it's fair to say, aside from really, truly, fucking ballistic things that also have great startline traction, and that's rare, 0-60mph does not tally up with rolling start acceleration at all.
The old Dragon Performance FD RX7 drag car was a great example of this. Fuck yeah it launched well compared to most cars, but it still was often hampered by it's first 60ft or so, hence doing 160mph by the quarter mile, but still running low 9s, despite some 'slower' cars in the 8s despite only hitting about 150mph, due to being able to launch off the line like a bullet out of a gun.
In fact, I had some timing data from a run where due to wheelspin the 0-60 time was 3.5seconds, which is still ridiculously fast, but 1 whole second slower than the legendary Bugatti Veyron.
But DESPITE being 1sec slower to 60mph, it still got to 150mph two seconds FASTER than a Veyron- That means it did 60-150mph THREE FUCKING SECONDS faster than the 1000bhp 4wd mega bucks Bugatti hypercar.
So in the real world, ie a typical rolling start race, despite the 0-60 time being way way slower, the RX7 would absolutely fucking annihilate the Veyron, which illustrates my point nicely.
It's just as relevant with standard production cars, especially now with so many hot hatches having 4wd and twin clutch DSG boxes; both MASSIVE advantages on the 0-60mph sprint.
Lately all I see is people wanking off about the new Golf R and A45 AMG with their 4wd and twin clutch boxes, and saying they're sooooooo much faster than, say, the new Civic Type-R for example, purely going from the 0-60 times and various "Race" videos on the internet from the likes of TopGear etc.
Fuck yeah they're much faster to 60 from a standing start, as the Civic just wheelspins when launching hard, and like most manual cars, it loses about 0.5sec on the 1st-2nd gearchange, compared to almost no time for a DSG box. BUT...
BUT... Look at the times at the end of the video, the 0-60 and 0-100mph figures they achieved, and then subtract the 0-60 time from the 0-100mph time, to calculate the real world, and relevant, 60-100mph time...
The Civic is actually 0.1sec FASTER from a rolling start, and that's despite the advantage of the DSG box in the Golf.
So there you go, unless you REALLY do standing start racing, and REALLY do zero mechanical sympathy hardcore transmission destroying launches, 0-60mph means fuck all, so if you're gonna do anything with it, use it to subtract from your cars 0-100mph time to see a real world acceleration figure.
Overall... STOP FUCKING QUOTING 0-60 TIMES! YOU SOUND LIKE A MORON!
THE FORD SIERRA RS500- A LEGEND THAT WOULD'VE BEEN EVEN BETTER IF FORD DIDN'T OVERRULE COSWORTH'S PLAN...
I love Ford Cosworths, I really do, and a BIG part of the reason they're so good is they were designed from the outset to be Group A homologation specials. Group A rules at the time (ie mid 80s) dictated the standard block, head casting, crank, rods, exhaust manifold, inlet manifold, intercooler, and general turbo size, all have to be standard. And because of that, if you want to be successful in Group A, the parts fitted to the standard production car needed to be capable of pushing some serious power for full race and rally distances without issue, so Cosworth designed the engine for Ford to be VERY strong and tunable.
ANYHOW, while I don't think it's ever been officially documented/admitted, being in this industry for so long means I've got to speak to quite a few people 'off the record', and there's one odd thing about the 2wd/RS500 Cosworth engine, that would've been a lot better if Ford would've let Cosworth have their own way, and here's the story...
Basically, Cosworth designed probably the best standard turbo manifold any production car has ever had- A strong, long runner, and fully twin scroll (2+3, 1+4) T3 flange exhaust manifold, proven capable of 600bhp+
But, bizarrely, the turbos fitted to it, the Garrett T3 on the Sierras and 2wd Saffs, and the Garrett T3/4 the RS500 had, are all single scroll, making the fact it's twin scroll, and the huge turbo spooling advantage that brings, totally and utterly pointless.
I'd always wondered why this was the case, it's bizarre. Twin scroll was pretty much unheard of on production cars back then, and would never deliberately had a single scroll turbo fitted, as the entire operation would be a huge waste of time and money.
While it's no issue with the little T3, the RS500 turbo, while good for 550bhp+, isn't exactly a responsive turbo, with good power starting from around 4500rpm upwards, and a twin scroll setup would've been a HUGE advantage- Even a much larger and more powerful turbo would've spooled up faster in twin scroll, making the RS500 even more dominant in motorsport than it was.
So why was a laggy single scroll turbo fitted then, despite a beautifully designed twin scroll manifold being on the engine? Well, company politics, that's why...
Basically, Cosworth had a VERY successful partnership with UK turbo legends Holset, who produced the turbochargers for the other turbocharged race engines Cosworth ran at the time- The 2.6ltr Indy Car lumps used by most the top Indy cars of the 1980s and 1990s- Including the 1987 Indy 500 winning car actually sponsored by Cummins and Holset (Cummins own Holset)...
The story goes that Cosworth fully intended, indeed full developed, as per their other race engines, to use top-spec Holset turbos. Unfortunately, Ford Europe had an agreement with Garrett to use their turbos on all the production cars, so overruled Cosworth and chucked on something 'suitable' from Garrett- The powerful, but unresponsive, single scroll 'RS500 T4'. This, below, is what it could/should have been...
The RS500 Garrett T4 is legendarily "Laggy", in fact you won't see a single article or film that doesn't mention it; even the racers all talk about anticipating the lag and planting their foot down early so the engine over-comes the lag just at the right moment, but thanks to people tuning Cosworth engines in the many years since, it's now well proven going from the twin scroll Holset plan to a single scroll Garrett was a MASSIVE MISTAKE...
A fair few people since have fitted Holset HX35s to the Cosworth 2wd twin scroll manifold, and the results say it all. 25psi+ boost by 3500rpm, despite being 600bhp capable turbos. The RS500 T4 is capable of ~550bhp but spools around 1000rpm later!
I don't know exactly what Holset Cosworth planned to fit, but I'd guess it was about HX35 size, and just imagine how dominant they'd have been with at least 50bhp more and the powerband starting 1000rpm sooner! Insane really. Politics eh...
Thankfully, Ford didn't get to meddle with Cosworth's exploits in the USA with Indy cars, so they carried on using Holsets on them for 10+ years later, such as this HX50...
Who originally said this shit anyhow? I've seen it attributed to Carrol Shelby, Enzo Ferrari, and Carrol Smith, but did any of them really say it? And if they did, it must have been taken massively out of contact, as frankly, it's a load of rubbish.
Fuck it, as there seems to be no proof who said it, I'm starting a new rumour of who made it up, maybe that'd stop people quoting this shit...
You know though, I'm sure it's a mis-quote, and I think I know where it comes from...
Imagine you had a car with BIG bhp, but a tiny peaky powerband, and a gearbox without close ratios. So every time you changed up a gear, you dropped out the powerband, killing your acceleration. So despite the big peak power number, a lesser tuned car, which was less peaky so didn't drop out the powerband, and no doubt had more low/mid torque, would actually be faster; especially on tighter tracks.
In the old days, where this quote seems to originate from, this would be even more of an issue, especially with heavy "muscle" cars running 4, 3, or even 2 speed gearboxes, which means powerful but peaky cars would easily drop out the powerband and be shit slow compared to torquey but low power cars.
But these days, where you tend to have to either totally fuck up the spec to make it mega peaky, and even peaky engines have closely spaced 5/6/7/8 speed gearboxes, the likelyhood of even a road car being driven properly falling out the powerband is slim, and literally no chance on a well built race car.
That's my theory anyhow- This quote is out-dated and taken out of context.
Anyhow, this quote, almost always used by butthurt turbo diesel owners, low power V6 and V8 owners, and anyone arguing with a Honda owners, just makes people who are trying to be clever just sound clueless, like they've never had a proper race or even driven a performance car in their lives. I mean seriously? One tear up with a lower torque but higher power car would tell them their argument is pretty retarded.
When most people talk about torque, what they really mean is low/midrange grunt, and while it's great (I LOVE torque, it makes cars much more fun to drive, in fact it's why I love big boost turbo engines), and it's certainly something any performance engine, road or race, should aim for the maximum of, providing they've got the traction to make use of it, it's not what wins races, power is.
BHP is just Torque and Revs combined. It's a tricky one to explain in words, it's far easier to experience in reality by driving various cars, but torque is the "Strength" of your engine at a set rpm, but the faster your engine is spinning the bigger effect torque has on performance, so torque+rpm = POWER, which is key to how fast your engine can accelerate (providing it can stay in the powerband though the gears, that is!).
First up on the explanation list, a BMW F1 engine dyno graph (allegedly) from the a 2007 2.4ltr F1 engine...
So, what do we have here? Well, it's about 740bhp, and a pretty tiny 230lb/ft of torque.
So 6lb/ft less than a Golf TDI. And with about 150lb/ft at 6500rpm, it's got about the same torque at that RPM as an EP Civic Type-R, which frankly, isn't a whole lot- People make fun of Type-Rs for being torqueless, but F1 engines are no better.
Next up, a standard BMW 335D, 3ltr twin turbo diesel engine...
The above dyno is at the wheels, so I'm going to add about 30bhp/30lbft to these numbers, which about tallies up with the official 282bhp and 428lb/ft figures.
Either way, say peak torque is 428lb/ft, that's 200lb/ft more than a Formula Fucking One engine. And a remapped one is something upwards of 500lb/ft if I remember right, over DOUBLE what one of the modern V8 era F1 engines were.
Does that mean Formula 1 teams are stupid and they should've just used a 335D engine with a £150 plug in remap and be shitloads faster? Fuck no, as only retards think that.
Fuck, even comparing like for like cars, 335i vs 335d, and the 335i is plenty faster, despite "Only" having 20bhp more than the diesel, and about 130lb/ft LESS. Basically, it's not true.
The above picture is about the predictable thing every "Torque wins races" person says next... "But, but, but, WRC cars only have 300bhp but like 700lbt/ft, and they're mega fast, they win races" YES, but they've not got '300bhp' by choice- That's all they can manage because the rules dictated an inlet restrictor to prevent power going higher.
With no option of more power, no issues with traction due to 4wd and sticky tyres, AND a style of motorsport that involves a lot of very slow corners where instant momentary punch of acceleration is a big advantage, you'd be out of your mind not to go for maximum torque to go with the limited bhp you're stuck with.
But for next year the rules in WRC are changing once again, inlet restrictors bigger than ever, allowing more than 400bhp if I remember right. So will they still go for maximum possible power, if it's "Torque that wins races"? Fuck yes they will, as it's power that's the no1 performance enhancer.
Another argument by these people are "So, if torque isn't important, why do drag cars run big V8s?". Err, mostly as they're the easiest to get POWER from you clowns. The above car is Larry Larson's S10 10ltr twin turbo V8 pickup truck. Yeah it's got fucking shitloads of torque, but the reason it runs 5sec quarters at over 240mph is because the bloody thing has upwards of 3000bhp!
Torque is a BAD thing for him, and because of this he deliberately launches at just 8psi of boost, as at full boost it'd make so much torque it'd just smoke the tyres. In fact it's only ramped up to full boost (50psi!) by most the way down the track and he's already doing over 180mph! "Low RPM V8 Grunt" is literally no issue on fast drag cars either- Larry's car never sees under 8000rpm for the whole run after 1st gear!
So once again, power wins races, and in fact, torque can slow you down if you've got more than your tyres can handle...
Why do so many really, really, fast drag cars run centrifugal superchargers, despite turbos giving far more power, and positive displacement superchargers give far more torque? Because turbos and positive displacement superchargers give TOO MUCH torque for the grip, meaning too much wheelspin for any given power level, making them slower overall. Centrifugal chargers increase boost linearly with rpm, giving LOTS of power, almost as much as turbos, but adding only a little extra torque, especially at low and midrange rpm, so they are FAST due to the big power, but still don't wheelspin due to the lower torque.
It's the same reason a lot of the fastest FWD track cars run centrifugal chargers too- FWD is grip limited, and they need big power to "win races", but don't want too much torque or it overpowers the tyres, and thanks to the power delivery of the centrifugal charger they can use more throttle more of the time without it being wasted in wheelspin.
It's the same reason many production turbo cars, and most the fastest turbo race cars, run lower boost in lower gears and lower rpm, compared to in higher revs and rpm- To limit torque so they've got more traction, making them far faster overall.
It's also why naturally aspirated 2wd rally cars are often as fast, or faster, than the 4wd turbo rally cars, on grippy dry tarmac surfaces (where 4wd was no advantage), despite having the same power and often well over 400lb/ft LESS torque- Because its POWER that's the number one performance enhancer, not torque. This happened a lot in the late 90s, with the 4wd turbo WRC cars vs the N/A FWD F2 Maxi Kit cars...
"So, is torque totally pointless then or what???"
Fuck no! Torque is awesome! Generally, I fucking hate cars with no torque! Surely, if you've any experience of driving at all, you know torque is great, but despite all this, it's not the key need for pure performance.
Low/midrange torque makes for a nicer, easier, car to drive, especially in slow/fast/slow/fast/slow driving, saving you constantly rowing the gearbox to stay at high rpm where the power is. It's why things like Type-R Hondas need driving hard and dropping gears constantly to be fast, and a Golf TDI just needs the throttle planting in almost any gear to go fast- But ultimately, the Honda, with more power, despite loads less torque, is the fastest if both are driven on the limit.
I drive like a dick and love drifting, so LOTS of torque to smoke the tyres is great for me too. I actually find a lot of drift car setups bizarre, as they ideally want torque but the engine isn't tuned/specced for it.
And regardless of drifting, I like BIG boost, as boost = torque, and torque = fun to drive, BUT if I wanted to go as fast as possible, while I'd want the MOST torque my tyres could handle- I'd not want more than that, as it'd be pointless.
TORQUE = GOOD.
TORQUE IF YOU GOT THE GRIP FOR IT = FAST
BUT FAST? = POWERRRRRRRR
RWhen it comes to modifications of turbocharged engines, one of the first things that come to mind with a lot of people are blow off valves, or dump valves, depending what you like to call them (same thing!).
They've been around since at least the 1970s on race cars (though pretty much disappeared on turbocharged works race cars after the early/mid 90s...), factory fit parts on most turbocharged petrol engines from the mid 80s onwards, and from around the mid-90s onwards aftermarket ones became THE thing to have- It was, and to some extent still is, the first engine mod people do to a turbo car.
But what DO they do? What are they REALLY for? Well this is where the confusion/bullshit comes in, not only thanks to the internet, but thanks to the fact most the things said about them to sell them, in the past at least, were lies too.
Christ, the "Blowoff Valve" Wikipedia page even talks total and utter shit about what they do, and why, and how, and whatnot...
THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY DUMP VALVES DO...
"Reduce turbo lag"
No. They increase it if anything. Turbo shaft speed drops far more with a BOV fitted than without. That's their true purpose, to prevent surge and overspeeding when you shut the throttle. Honestly, anyone with a turbo speed sensor will have seen this, and I've done tests with timing equipment a few times now, that shows, even if it's not noticeable seat of the pants, it makes it worse, not better. This IS fractional though, don't expect a big, or even noticeable difference on most engines- Really depends on the application.
"Prevent your compressor wheel from slowing/stalling (or going backwards)"
No, they actually SLOW a turbo down, that's their actual job, they're a safety thing, to prevent overspeed and surge on a closed throttle, which in some extreme situations can damage the turbo. Honestly, watch a turbo with a turbo speed sensor fitted, the RPM drops far far more with a BOV than without. The 'spinning backward' thing people say is fucking retarded btw.
It's the AIRFLOW that stalls, not the turbo, something I'll explain further down...
"Help prevent compressor surge"
Yep, they do this, but only off-throttle compressor surge, which isn't that damaging or sustained to turbos, as there's no load on the turbine off-throttle. It's on-throttle surge that can be hugely damaging, and it does nothing to help that. "Certain" turbo manufacturers and their badly mis-matched compressor/turbine combos are the main cause of on-throttle surge...
"Help stop turbo damage due to (whatever)"
Well yes, this is the real reason they're fitted, and can be useful for this, but their need is often hugely over-stated, and how they help prevent it is ass-backwards too. The usual bullshit myth is they help prevent turbos stalling, and the sudden slowing of the turbo is what damages them. NO. They help SLOW the turbo, as without them turbos can overspeed when the throttle is shut, and surge all over the shop, and in certain applications that can damage the turbo.
"Help MAF sensor equipped cars run right (recirc ones ONLY)"
While it's indeed true many engines with MAF sensors run like shit off-throttle if you fit a vent to atmo dump valve, the common info that you HAVE to run a recirc with a MAF is bollocks too in everything I've ever experienced.
Running no BOVs at all is absolutely fine almost always.
It's possible there's a car where the MAF sensor does shit itself, but so far I've not found it. I've heard a whole lot of rumours, I was told by countless people without a shadow of a doubt it'd cause the 2.7TT (ie S4) Audi engine to run like shit and so on if removed, but I tried it, and it's fine- Turned out, as ever, none of these people had ever tried, just 'heard' it did.
EDIT- Now I think back, I do recall a time when it made the MAF go crazy for a second, but that was a BIG aftermarket turbo on BIG boost on a small engine, and that was the only time it happened. Generally, no issue at all.
"Makes that cool chatter noise"
I know most of you know better, but it's rare to see a video of a car with decent turbo chatter without at least one comment saying it's the BOV making that noise, or asking what BOV it is as they want one that makes that noise.
IT'S NOT! HAVING NO BOV AT ALL IS WHAT HELPS MAKES THE NOISE!
Fuck, when I was 18 (1998!) even I at first thought the same, as MAGAZINES TOLD ME SO. In fact these "expert magazines" told me that it was HKS SQV valves did that noise, and though they were about £350 back then, and I wanted that noise SO BAD I would've paid that.
In fact, after a tuned MR2 Turbo came past and chattered like fuck one day I rang Torque Developments (they were the only HKS dealer back then) to order one. THANKFULLY, the sales persons tone of voice and choice of words made me very suspicious, while also accidentally giving me some hints that helped me research what REALLY made the noise (No internet back then!), so I thankfully didn't get skanked out of £350...
THINGS DUMP VALVES DO THAT PEOPLE DON'T TALK ABOUT...
"Help suppress noise"
The main reason they're fitted to OEM vehicles is as noise suppression devices, in fact that's the exact name they're given in many official workshop manuals. The noise I mean is turbo chatter, which is a lot harder to silence with an airbox than the ptschhh of a dump valve. We might like chatter noises and induction noises, but your average Joe new car buyer doesn't. In fact back in the day I worked at a dealership and an Impreza STi we had in on a P/X that we then sold was returned to us by the customer due to "Funny noises" it was making, as it had slight chatter as it had an induction kit on it.
"Help slow the car when in limp home mode"
A lot of new cars also use a system that holds the BOV(s) open, preventing boost/power being made in case of an issue that puts the car in limp home mode. Useful as an OEM.
"Leak like bastards, causing underboosting and turbo wear"
I know they're not meant to do this, but this is a major and common issue, and often impossible to detect unless looking for it. A dump valve is another potential leak point, and split diaphragms and/or weak springs means they leak surprisingly often, especially OEM and cheapo ones, and even if your turbo is still making full boost, a leak can cause a slower boost rise, and a turbo (and therefore entire engine) working far harder.
Confused? Don't be. I'll clear your mind (a little) in this next bit...
""SO! I was always led to believe that turbos stall with no BOV, and now you're telling me turbos SPEED UP?
Hi, I'm Stav...
You may or may not have heard of me, but I've spent the last 15 years working full-time in the tuning scene, and the last decade or so writing for various car magazines.