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The Contrarian

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  1. When I go to Chevy Canada right now and choose 2019 Corvette Grand sport it gives me a $76,895 MSRP before adding any options. You can easily upgrade to $90k plus if you add in performance packages and different wheel sets. So the new mid-engine is going to be cheaper? That's a tough pill to swallow. We shall see. The exterior looks great, like a Ferrari crossed with a Ford GT, but the interior is the typical sore spot. It appears the driver is walled off from the passenger by a bulkhead containing a row of 25 buttons and the steering wheel is aesthetically dreadful. There will certainly be a lot of complaints about the lack of a manual transmission, but the reality is many modern performance cars are just too fast for manual transmissions. If the car can do 0-60 mph sub 3 seconds, 1st gear is probably over in 1-1.5 seconds.
  2. Modern gen V haldex systems are not reactive and do not require slip to activate. This is the AWD system in the A3/S3/RS3/Golf R/TTRS, plus Volvos, Saabs and a few more. Throttle induced oversteer in winter is no issue. Power is transferred proactively depending on driver inputs. If you give a healthy amount of throttle engagement of the rear wheels is instantaneous. The 2018 Audi TT RS just won the one lap of America with 2nd and 3rd being Porsche 911s so I guess Haldex isn't that bad.
  3. I did end up getting xpel on most of the front of the vehicle. Unfortunately the installation has issues and will be going back to the installer. Good quality product, but the installer appears to be the key to a great final product. Don't go with the cheapest quote. As the break-in period elasped, I took the RS3 to Gimli to set a stock 1/4 mile time. My best run was 12.04 @ 112 mph w/ a 1.76 60' time. I hope get out to autocross later this month.
  4. I plan to take it to an autocross event once the engine is broken in (1600 kms) and I figure out how I am going to prevent sticky tire rash. My car is spec'd out exactly like this video, except the mirror covers are carbon fiber, the interior has grey stitching instead of red and there are carbon fiber inlays in the doors and dash.
  5. Hello, I'm looking for opinions on the value proposition of xpel (or similar) paint protection wraps to prevent rock chips and other damage to painted surfaces, mostly the bumper and hood. I am taking delivery of a 2018 Audi RS3 in a couple weeks and have got two quotes around $3k to get the full hood, bumper, fenders and rocker panels wrapped. The cost with tax would approach 5% of the cost of the car. I plan to keep the car a long time (generally I keep all my cars at least 10 years). I see value in the film preventing the tiny stones that get kicked up from chipping the paint, but when a piece of large gravel hits the car at 60 km/h, I feel like plastic film is not going to make a lot of difference. It may be better to just save the money for a repaint down the road. Xpel also has a Tracwrap product for temporary use during autcross, track days etc. I feel like the majority of the stone chips on my Mustang were from autocross and HDPE events, so this may be a much more cost effective method of slowly down the deterioration of paint over time.
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