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NASCAR race car VS regular car

NASCAR chevy cars for 2013

NASCAR is the biggest racing league in the United States. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing has used factory-ish vehicles since its early days, more than six decades ago. Quite a bit has changed since then, as the original race cars were “strictly stock” and were just factory vehicles with safety and performance modifications. Ever wonder how the current “stock” cars compare to what you can buy from the factory? Let’s take a look.

For this comparison, let’s look at the 2013 NASCAR season, as the stats on the newest cars are still being sorted out. That year, Chevrolet debuted the brand new Chevrolet Malibu, but saw NASCAR move to a Chevrolet SS on the new “Gen 6” racecar chassis. Sure, Chevy also launched the fantastic SS street car that year, but it is a low-volume premium sedan. NASCAR is about making racing for everyone, and the Malibu is more in-line with being a car for everyone. As you will see, there are slight differences besides the names.

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Drivetrain

The 2013 Chevy Malibu has a choice of competent dual overhead cam four cylinder engines. The base engine is the gas sipping 2.5L, delivering 197 horsepower. This engine features variable valve timing, and is EPA rated at 22 MPG in the city and 34 on the highway. It’s economical to run, as filling the 15.8 gallon gas tank with 87 octane (and up to 10% ethanol) will last you up to 350 miles.

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The other option for 2013 is the turbocharged 2.0L four cylinder. Power is noticeably up, at 259, and tops out at 145 MPH. Keep in mind, this is no sport model, as this engine is the economical replacement for the old V6. The turbo four manages 21/30 in the city/highway test, and still takes regular gas. Both four cylinders have a 6-speed automatic transmission.

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NASCAR strays from factory stock, a little. The 2013 Sprint Cup SS featured an overhead valve 5.9L (rounding up) fuel injected V8. Engine output varied by the builder and team, but 2013 saw roughly 850 horsepower without a restrictor plate from the big guys like Hendrick.

With the plate, power decreased to approximately 450, but that is still noticeably more than the turbo factory-built Malibu. The Cup-spec SS ran 98 octane unleaded, with 15% ethanol, in an 18 gallon tank. Gas mileage would make the EPA frown, as an SS racer ran about 5 MPG at speed. No word on city gas mileage, but flat out in a draft, it’s capable of over 200 MPH.

Safety

The 2013 Malibu is a “Top Safety Pick” at the IIHS, which scored the Malibu as “Good” in all tests but the small offset test. That rating is “Marginal” but that is still pretty good since that test is relatively new and a very high bar to meet. The NHTSA gave it 5 stars overall, and with 8 airbags, this is a very safe car.

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For the Sprint Cup driver, there are no airbags, but the 5-point harness and mandated helmet and HANS device are far superior to your lap/shoulder belts. The entire car is wind tunnel designed for maximum downforce, so even when there’s a bit too much rubbing on track, none of them go airborne. The seat is closer to the centerline than the factory Malibu (or factory SS) to provide a larger crumple zone. The steel roll cage can take a serious beating while keeping the driver safe, as you may have seen Clint Boyer educationally demonstrating that one time he crossed the finish line backwards, upside-down, and on fire.

Features

The Malibu can be loaded up quite nicely. Check all the boxes and you’ll get leather, turn-by-turn navigation, paddle shifters, OnStar, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. Of course, being for the American market, there are Big Gulp capable cupholders front and rear. Plus, the drivetrain has a 5 year, 100,000 mile warranty. All of this is wrapped in a steel chassis that weighs 3,580 pounds in street trim.

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With a racecar, there is no leather, satellite radio, or navigation. The seat is custom formed for your body, but has almost no adjustment. The pedal on the right is the fun one that makes the entertaining noise. There’s no weaksauce paddle shifters here, but a proper manly four speed rock crusher, as God intended. Little known fact: there are zero cup holders, so Dale Jr has to hold his diet Mt Dew the entire race (Okay, sure. There’s a place to plop a sports bottle if the driver isn’t wearing a Camelbak, but it is not a traditional cup holder). There is no warranty, so if you tag the wall and have as many sponsors as Kvapil, you’re paying for that yourself. This steel and sheetmetal beast is close to production weight, at 3,300 lbs empty.

Price

A new 2013 Malibu retailed for a little over $23k as a base model. With the turbo engine, leather, nav, and some sweet 19”s, you could spec out a Malibu into the $33,000 range. While that was a good deal on a new car, the used market really shows depreciation as strength for the used buyer. Poking around Mojo Motors, there are 42 pages of Malibus for sale, and a low-mileage 2013 Eco can be had for as little as $10,995.

Unfortunately, there are no 2013 SS race cars currently on Mojo Motors. However, for price comparison, a 2006 Nationwide Series Chevrolet Monte Carlo is selling on the used racing equipment site RacingJunk.com for $35,000. While the race car is faster, it looks like the street car is a way better value.

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Written by Andy Jensen

Photo Credits: NASCAR, Chevrolet

 

Cars in Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction

If you’re one of the millions of people who have seen one of the new Transformers movies, you know to expect robot-battle carnage, a supermodel-turned-actress wearing short-shorts and a full lineup of GM cars. In Transformers: Age Of Extinction, or “TF4,” the addition of  dinobots, Mark Wahlberg and some pretty sweet supercars make it a thrilling follow up. transformers 4 movie poster Like most quadrillogies, the ante gets upped with each installment. That meant director Michael Bay had to reach deep into his sleeves for some cinema magic. In this post, you can find a break down of what cars have been updated for the fourth installment, as well as completely new vehicles for the series. [keep reading]

Cars in the movie Pain & Gain

Pain & Gain is Michael Bay’s return to directing films that aren’t the Transformers series involving a Camaro or multiple GM vehicles. In fact, the last movie he directed before Transformers was The Island way back in 2005. Pain & Gain is the true story about three Miami body builders, Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) that successfully extorted wealthy Floridians like Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) in 1994 and 1995. pain and gain movie poster The movie is supposed to be based on a true story, but it’s filled with so many absurdities, reporters have questioned Bay’s depiction. In a notable scene deemed false, Dwayne Johnson’s character is grilling the hands, on a charcoal grill, of a murdered porn-tycoon and his girlfriend to disguise their identity. For further coverage, check out this report here, here or even here. Decide for yourself, but one thing remains true – the cars in the film are outlandish and over-the-top in true Michael Bay form. [keep reading]

Used cars with largest price drops

I already discussed the pattern of car price drops based on month, if you missed it, read it here. Articles like that can be very useful for shoppers, but may be missing a needed level of granularity. One such item would have been a breakdown of price drops on a vehicle based on specific models.

Corvette Price Drops Stats

For example, wouldn’t it be helpful for people looking to buy a used Chevrolet Suburban to know that it drops about 3% in price before being bought or for people looking to buy a Hyundai Genesis that drops 6%? The information in this post should offer better insight on how cars drop in price depending on their model. The average car on Mojo Motors drops more than $800 before being sold, but this number varies model-to-model. [keep reading]

What if Hyundai entered NASCAR?

The world of NASCAR as we know it was changed when Toyota entered the ranks of racing in 2007 with the Toyota Camry. This got the blood boiling for many fans who took it as a personal affront that a foreign car manufacturer was allowed to race with their beloved Fords, Dodges, and Chevys. The most common argument made was that NASCAR rules state that vehicles competing on the racing circuit must be based on American vehicles. I think we can clear this little misunderstanding up right away.

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The Toyota Camry, the nameplate on the 2007 race car, is manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky. This same Camry has been the best-selling car in the United Stated for years and Toyota employs some 152,000 American workers. It is obvious that Toyota can now be considered as much an American manufacturer as GM and Ford, who still build a significant number of their vehicles in Mexico and Canada.

Plus, Toyota developed their race cars for NASCAR in North Carolina. These facts make Toyota more than qualified to race according to the NASCAR rulebook. And race they have. [keep reading]

Fun facts about 2012 car sales

A few weekends ago Hooniverse published an article breaking down 2012 car sales. Inside the post which you can read here, there are some really interesting fun facts about the cars the were sold. The article is long, perhaps a little too long for a weekday read, so here’s the most interesting bits you can digest in just a minute or two.

Ford Crown Vic: 546 sold in December 2012, last built in September 2011

Ford Ranger: 118 sold in December 2012, last built in December 2011

Lincoln Town Car: 1,001 sold in 2012, last built in August 2011 [keep reading]

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The movie opens with a sniper picking off presumably innocent people walking along the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh. The man charged with the crime, Barr, is a former military sniper. While in police custody for questioning, he writes on a piece of paper, “Get Jack Reacher.” And so the movie begins and Tom Cruise in all of his 5′ 7″ glory comes to town to find out who is responsible for the murders.

Reacher believes Barr doesn’t have the skills as a sniper to kill all those people so the lawyer defending Barr teams up with Reacher to find the real sniper. In the process of trying to find who framed Barr, Reacher discovers corruption in the city’s government and a gang using a construction company as a front.

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Find out the cars Tom Cruise drives in all his newest movies.

There are a handful of cars in the movie including a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, a 2012 Mercedes Benz C-Class C250 CDI Coupe, a 2012 Ford Transit Connect, a 2006 Audi A6 C6 and a really old Silverado pickup from the late 70’s, early 80’s. Similar to the film Drive, cars driven by characters in the movie Jack Reacher serve as a reflection of the people who drive them. [keep reading]

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That was a lot of time to get to know our respective cars. We broke down our reviews into five categories: gas mileage, ride comfort, review of Hertz rental agency, tech gadgetry and the overall experience. Make the jump to see the Mazda3 square off against the Chevy Cruz in the first edition of Battling Rental Cars. [keep reading]

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