Tag Archive | Edmundscom

Wanna be like Magnum, p.i.?

You, too, can be like Tom Magnum.  All you have to do is purchase Edmunds.com’s Long-Term 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole.  Sure, it would get smoked by a 2007 or later Toyota Camry with a 3.5L V6, but it would sound awesome while being served a slice of humble pie.

You can read Edmunds’ adventures with the car here – 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole.  It even defeated the mighty Kia Sedona in a head-to-head comparison test! =Þ

Sure, rocking a Detroit Tigers baseball cap and a ‘stache would be easier and cheaper, but I doubt they’d be as cool as driving a Ferrari!

Ebay auction for our 1984 Ferrari 308 QV

Help wanted

I’m looking for a ride from Edmunds.com’s Santa Monica office to LAX on Tuesday afternoon.  I’d like to get to the airport around 3-3:30 PM PDT.  What’s in it for you?  I’ll treat you to lunch or dinner, whichever you prefer.  Please let me know ASAP if you’re interested in helping me out.  Thanks!



I’ll be heading to Buttonwillow Raceway for a track day on Saturday, March 29th.  I’ve booked a two person (two queen bed) room at Motel 6 for Friday night if anyone is interested in tagging along.  If you want to ride along, you’ll need to wear a SA2000-rated or later helmet.

No greater love than this

On Monday afternoon, I was really moved when I heard “This Man” by Jeremy Camp on KLOVE (www.klove.com).  I had heard it before but had never given what the song is about much thought.  I’m not a big Jeremy Camp fan either but the lyrics to many of his songs are pretty good.  The only “problem” I have with songs like these is that Jesus’ hands weren’t pierced–it was His wrists that were actually nailed.  I suppose I can let artistic license have this one.

What really moved me was asking myself if I would take Jesus’ place on the cross.  Part of me says I would because He means that much to me.  Another part of me says I would definitely wuss out.  A third part of me says I can’t because I shouldn’t get in the way of His mission to do the Father’s will and give up His life for those God has chosen to redeem.

This Man
by Jeremy Camp

In only a moment truth was seen
Revealed this mystery
The crown that showed no dignity He wore
And the King was placed for all the world to show disgrace
But only beauty flowed from this place

Would you take the place of this Man
Would you take the nails from His hands
Would you take the place of this Man
Would you take the nails from His hands

He held the weight of impurity
The Father would not see
The reasons had finally come to be to show
The depth of His grace flowed with every sin erased
He knew that this was why He came

Would you take the place of this Man
Would you take the nails from His hands
Would you take the place of this Man
Would you take the nails from His hands

And we just don’t know
The blood and water flowed
And in it all He shows
Just how much He cares

And the veil was torn
So we could have this open door
And all these things have finally been complete

Would you take the place of this Man
Would you take the nails from His hands
Would you take the place of this Man
Would you take the nails from His hands,
from His hands, from His hands, from His hands


On Monday night, our softball team won its championship game, 15-5 in the 5th inning (the mercy rule took effect when we scored our 15th run), to win the C+/C league winter season championship.  It took a little time to get things going after we gave up two runs in the top of the first inning.  It wasn’t until the bottom of the second we started to put the pedal to the medal.  I think we scored most of our runs with two outs in the bottom of the second and fourth innings.  I went 2-for-2 (2 singles to second base, the second was misplayed and I took second on the error) with a walk and three runs scored.  We’re off until April when the summer season starts.  Hopefully my left groin will be able to get to 100% with the time off.  I can run full speed on it now but it feels tight at times.



If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been blogging more about the car and things related to it, it’s because my CarSpace blog, The Outside Line, is “featured” on the CarSpace Blogs page.  Because of that, I feel a little more “obligated” to write more blog entries.  I’ll usually write them here and copy the source code to my CarSpace blog.

http://www.carspace.com/blogs/


Regarding the Associate Editor position I applied for at Edmunds, I was given my second assignment last Friday.  I have to write a review for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (No, I won’t get an opportunity to drive it.).  This is going to be used as my second sample in the application process.  The first one I wrote was a 2008 Nissan Maxima review (I didn’t get to drive that either.).  The SLR review is due on Friday.  I’ll plan on working on it tonight and Thursday night and submitting it on Friday morning.  If you would be interested in reading it and giving me criticism and feedback on it, please let me know.

My Magnificent Obsession (Part 1 of 2)

Here’s my magnificent obsession…

Edmunds.com Inside Line‘s Comparison Test of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, and 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR (Click on the image to see the article and video)

NOT!


My real magnificent obsession lies in God’s call to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength — a humanly impossible feat.

Hanley preached from James 3:13-18 (link to BibleGateway.com James Chapter 3 – NASB) many Friday nights ago (September 7, 2007 to be exact).  God really convicted me of my selfish ambition.  I should want what God wants–not what I want.

Wisdom from Above

 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

A few weeks later (September 23, 2007), God convicted me through Pastor Jackson’s message on the Triumphal Entry in Matthew 21.  He mentioned that Jesus Christ wasn’t who the Israelites hoped He would be as the Messiah.  He used a cross reference from Isaiah 55:8-9 which says that God’s thoughts and ways are higher (Thanks, Nick!) than people’s.  This reminded me I need to have the proper perspective of God and not try to make Him who I want Him to be.

When I went with Steve (Xanga: rice4krxst), Hanley (Xanga: randomranting), and Don (Xanga: udonoogen) to see Steven Curtis Chapman, Sanctus Real, and Bethany Dillon perform live on the evening of October 28, 2007, God convicted me that I had not been placing Him entirely first in my life when SCC and his band featuring his two sons played “Magnificent Obsession”.

Last month, I applied for an Associate Editor position in Edmunds.com’s editorial department.  The thought of getting it would be a dream come true (since becoming a professional race car driver or fighter pilot is very unlikely at my ripe old age of 26) as I would get to write about (it’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun, too) and evaluate automobiles for a living.  Last week, I started getting anxious that I was probably not going to get the position.  God used His Word (Philippians 4:6-7) to remove the anxiety and replaced it with a sense of contentment.  I knew His perfect will will be done.  And in that, I rejoiced!  I probably will find out in a few weeks where I am in that process.  I would appreciate your prayers for God’s will to be done, not that I would simply get the job.

With that said, I’ll post Part 2 of “My Magnificent Obsession” in His time.

In closing, here’s a clip of SCC performing “Magnificent Obsession” live along with the song’s lyrics (from www.hughchou.org).

 

Magnificent Obsession
Written by Steven Curtis Chapman
From the recording: Declaration, Track #9.

Matt. 13:44-46; Heb. 12:2; Phil. 3:8-10

Lord, You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers and explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life’s complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling like I’m chasing down the wind
But now it’s brought me back to You
And I can see again

This is everything I want
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You, Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession

So capture my heart again
Take me to depths I’ve never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You’ve shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down to so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains

You are everything I want
And You are everything I need
Lord, You are all my heart desires
You are everything to me

You are everything I want
You are everything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You
I want it all to be for You

Copyright Information
©2001 Sparrow Songs / Peach Hill Songs / BMI / Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing

Edmunds.com Inside Line Full Test: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX


Edmunds.com Inside Line Full Test: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=121788

Thanks to God, Inside Line Executive Editor, Michael Jordan, and Inside Line Editor-in-Chief, Scott Oldham, for giving me the privilege and opportunity to write the Second Opinion piece for this review.

Below is what I actually wrote for the Second Opinion piece before the editing process worked its magic.  Please let me know what you think.  Any and all questions are welcome.

Regarding the Second Opinion, below is what I wrote before it got edited. I was trying to compare the stock 2008 WRX to a stock 2002-2007 WRX and had a 300 word cap.

Second Opinion

With the incoming 2008 Impreza WRX, Subaru has decided to explore the “x” in WRX—the unknown—with its latest sporting icon.

That unknown is the mainstream market. The 2008 Impreza is Subaru’s first concerted effort to enter what it believes is the promised land. Can the new WRX win over both the general public and enthusiasts desiring to slide it like (world rally champion Petter) Solberg?

Being a current WRX owner, I had high hopes for the new ‘Rex. I can easily say the new WRX does everything better than its predecessor—but not by much.

The new car drives much like the old car. That has never been a bad thing. The WRX has always had a way of making its driver feel connected. Rowing through the gears and carving corners remain a delight. The problem is the new WRX’s “improvements” were never felt. And for those wondering, a cheap suit still sticks to the road better than its all-season tires.

To satisfy the general consumer, Subaru knew it had to make the car a better daily driver. Improved areas include interior fit and finish, the radio and available navigation, ergonomics, cabin noise, and usable space. It’s what Subaru didn’t do that hurts its cause. Options that would make life with the WRX grand are still absent. Options such as HID headlights (long offered on WRXs around the world except North America) and keyless start are unavailable on a car Subaru hopes will court most people.

However, like its predecessors, the new WRX will grow on its drivers over time. It may not be the best at anything, but it does everything well. Subaru’s first foray into the unknown—reaching the masses—is an experiment to say the least. But it’s not one gone totally wrong.


Notes (were used for writing the Second Opinion above)
1. Exterior – Neither bland nor boring. Not exciting either. The front fender gap is not as tall as the outgoing model’s. Taller tire sidewalls make vehicle less appealing. Obviously resembles Mazda3 and BMW 1-Series in style and form. Personally, I am fine with the front grille, even with its “egg crate” look. In my opinion, the rear tail lights aren’t that bad; the chrome strip is. A heavily modded Miata owner behind me on Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) had no idea what the car was—he thought it was a Civic of some sort (note: the time was well into the night). Current owners say the exterior is more exciting than the 04-05. Others say it is the most boring Impreza to date. Some absolutely love it. Impreza owners and Subaru enthusiasts are an “interesting” breed to say the least. I actually enjoyed the fact that nobody seemed to really be looking at the car as I sat in stop-and-go traffic for roughly 90 minutes to travel 30 miles on Thursday evening. Why aren’t HID headlights an option on North American market vehicles? One would think there would be a healthy profit margin on it. How difficult would it be to offer the headlamps that will be standard on the STI as an option for the WRX (like they already have been for years throughout the rest of the world)?

2. Interior – Visibility all around is fantastic except for the A-pillar and larger driver side mirror, which affects looking ahead on tight corners. Tilt/telescope steering wheel is a long overdue addition. Driver side front window switch still has no express up functionality. Passenger side front window switch still has no express down (or up) functionality. There is more front legroom width-wise. The interior feels more spacious due to the scalloped door panels. The armrests on the door panels are softer/more plush. The miniaturized Tribeca dash works well for the car. Fit and finish are excellent. Radio and HVAC controls are easy to use. Steering wheel controls could benefit from a little more thought. A slight rattle was heard from the passenger side area of the dash near the windshield when traveling over certain stretches of road (particular frequency of the road undulations is probably the cause of this). The dim blue light and rubber tray on the center console in front of the shifter makes for an ideal location to place a mobile phone and/or a portable digital music player. The electroluminescent instrument cluster is bright and easy to read at all times. Redline on the tachometer would have been better at a 2 to 4 o’clock position compared to the approximate 1 o’clock position it actually is displayed. There is a lot more headroom in the cabin—Subaru shouldn’t have any problems adding a sunroof mid-way through the car’s lifecycle. The front seatback side bolsters appear smaller than 04-06 WRX (excluding the 06-07 WRX TR seats) but hold just as well. The thigh supports on the front seat bottoms seem shorter on the 08 WRX seats than their 04-07 WRX counterparts. Their reduced heights didn’t seem to affect how well the seat held me and may actually facilitate ingress and egress. Rear seat legroom is definitely improved. However, if any of the front seats are placed all the way aft on the seat rail, legroom can be very tight. The rear doors open at a greater angle than the outgoing models thus facilitating the loading of large boxes or other bulky items. The rear hatch opens easily with a press of its latch button. It has a convenient inner grab handle. North American Imprezas finally have a navigation system as an option, but Bluetooth and push button start (actually available on some of Subaru’s other JDM models) options are still not offered. The addition of window frames on the new Impreza definitely help reduce road and wind noise.

3. Engine & Transmission – The 2.5L flat-4 feels fantastic! Bear in mind my vehicle has the 2.0L used in ‘02-‘05 vehicles. I imagine the engine’s performance isn’t much different than the 06-07 2.5L though. Usable torque can be had throughout the entire powerband and turbo lag is non-existent as long as the driver has selected an appropriate gear. The engine pulls strongly to redline—never feeling like it’s running out of breath. Gearing is similar to 02-05 WRX (e.g., 75 mph @ 3,000 rpm in 5th, shift points for other gears seem similar). The “punch” of the turbo (confirmed that it is indeed a Mitsubishi TD04 unit and not the Legacy GT’s IHI VF40 despite the fact that the engine is an LGT motor) providing full boost is no longer felt and may make acceleration less thrilling to the driver. The clutch take-up is progressive and does not require as much effort as the one in my 2004 WRX (pedal travel is slightly shorter than 04 WRX, but still fairly long). No hanging rpm issues (think 2006 Honda Civic Si) were apparent with the drive-by-wire throttle. Shift lever action is fairly smooth and throws are long, but not “cross-country” long (easily cured by the installation of a short-shifter). Downshifting into 1st gear is easier than 02-05 thanks to the double-cone synchros for 1st. Reverse gear can be engaged infinitely easier than the previous 5MTs. The transmission coupled with the engine never left me wanting for an additional cog. I was initially disappointed in April when Subaru announced a 5MT was going to be used with the new WRX, but after driving it, five is fine. The exhaust note is more subtle from both inside and outside the cabin, which like hitting full boost, may detract from the fun factor of the vehicle.

4. Brakes – Brake pedal feel is not as good in terms of the brake system’s initial response as that of the 06-07 WRX with the Subaru 4-pot/2-pot calipers (these were also used on the Z32 Nissan 300ZX). The stopping ability of the brakes (front rotors are believed to have the same part number as the Outback XT’s) is excellent, but still is hampered by the grip of the Bridgestone Potenza RE92A tires. Rear brake disc size appears to be the same as the 02-05 WRX rear discs (unconfirmed). No fade was felt going up or down GMR.

5. Suspension – The new suspension (Legacy front or similar and Tribeca-derived in the rear) seems to be a slight improvement over the outgoing model’s. Healthy body roll still exists, but seems to be less than the 02-07 WRX. The steering rack seems to be quicker. The car is capable of executing quick changes in direction well. Understeer still exists (tires?), but is manageable nearly all the time. The rear stays composed unless the car is tossed hard into a corner or the car is greatly upset in mid-corner. High-speed stability is lacking as the car feels jittery when being driven at high speeds (tires a factor here?). The deletion of the rear limited-slip differential (to make way for the Vehicle Dynamics Control, or VDC, stability control system (can be easily turned off) and an open rear diff) did not seem to affect the vehicle’s handling characteristics adversely.

6. Tires – The Bridgestone Potenza RE92A all-season tires don’t seem to be any better than their RE92 predecessors. They howl in protest in turns stickier tires quietly manage. The change in size to skinnier and taller 205/50R17 from 215/45R17 still does not make any sense.

On Wednesday night, thanks to a kind volunteer on NASIOC (member: theheckwithyou), I drove a stock 2006 WRX to verify (or disprove) some of the things I wrote. In first gear, the 2008 WRX doesn’t feel more powerful than a stock 2006/2007 WRX (compared to the 2.0-liter flat-4 in my car). It’s in the low RPM range in higher gears that the increased “usable torque” is much more noticeable, especially in 5th. Discernible differences couldn’t really be felt in the suspension or brakes. Please note I didn’t open up his car like I did our evaluation vehicle. The brake pedal response and feel I wrote in my “Notes” section were probably an effect of having stainless steel brake lines on my car. The brake calipers on my 2004 WRX are the same as the 2006-2007 WRX ones (I paid an arm and a leg to retrofit them because the WRXs in the rest of the world had them at the time…then Subaru stuck it to me by announcing the brakes would be standard on 2006 North American WRXs). Cabin noise is definitely less in the 2008 model (thank you, window frames).

My 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan

Powertrain
COBB AccessPORT Stage 1
OEM STI 5-speed short throw shifter
Prodrive round tip muffler (axle back only)
Prodrive silicone intercooler hose

Wheels & Tires
Prodrive P1 Gold 17″ x 7″
Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R P225/45R17

Suspension
Prodrive WRX springs (2004-on)
STI Group N strut tops (2004-on)
Whiteline steering rack bushings

Brakes
Subaru 4-pot front/2-pot rear brakes (red, same as USDM ‘06-’07 WRX)
Ferodo DS2500 front brake pads
Goodridge stainless steel brake lines
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid

Exterior
Cleared headlights
OEM painted sideskirts
JDM sidemarkers
2006 STI rear diffuser

Interior
OEM turbo boost gauge
MOMO shift knob
STI 5-speed shift pattern emblem
Rear dual cupholder from a Subaru Forester

The Outside Line

Hey, folks!


I just created a new blog at CarSpace.com called The Outside Line.  I will use it to mainly post about automotive-related things.


http://www.carspace.com/blogs/theoutsideline

Things can only go up from there!

I should have some good news on Sunday night (No, I didn’t save a lot on my car insurance by calling Geico)!  Praise God!

Five Iron Frenzy

Almost!  “Five Aluminum Frenzy” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Our softball team won 21-5 today in 5 innings over the team we were tied for 2nd place going into the night.  Our fifth straight victory (season record 7-3)moved us into sole position of 2nd place.  I went to 2-for-2 (2 singles, 2 BBs, 3 runs scored).  We should be able to win our two remaining games.  To finish in first place, we would need the 1st place to lose both of their remaining games because they hold the tie-breaker over us, 2 games to 1.  I slid three times tonight to satisfy my “getting dirty” requirement.  I’m pretty sore right now though.  Previous injury is nagging a lot.

Tore Up the Track

Last Tuesday night, I went to Dromo One (www.dromo1.com) with Steve Quon (Xanga: GR81stud) and Alex Ho (Xanga: Alex115).  We went at a great time because we were the only ones on the track for the 6 PM race and hot laps!  It was so nice having the track to ourselves!  By the end of my track time, I was within half a second of the best lap set that day by someone I imagine was a “regular” at the track.  I also don’t think my kart was that great in that it seemed too darty when reacting to light steering inputs (I got used to it) and the seat was in a fixed position for a shorter driver.  I then went to Molcasalsa in La Habra for the first time with Hanley (Xanga: randomranting) and Jon (Xanga: jonathankng).  Mexican food > Asian food!!!


Here’s a video of the 2007 Formula SAE West competition I volunteered at last month:


Still not firing on all cylinders

My left groin is still sore from pulling or straining it four or five weeks ago.  I’d say I’m about 60-75% right now.  Your prayers would be appreciated!


Robots in disguise

I saw Transformers on Wednesday night.  I won’t spoil any of it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.

Here’s a pretty cool Transformer that wasn’t in the movie.





Racking up the miles

I passed the 71,000-mile mark on “Devoted Dan” (my car) on June 24th.  For those who don’t remember, I hit 60,000 miles on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2006.  Those 11,000 miles in six months puts me on pace to hit 82,000 miles around Christmas-time.  I actually was at 72,000 miles when I parked the car at church this morning.  The next goodies I plan on giving him are Koni Sport strut inserts and JDM STI pink springs.  I’ll let you all know when those go on and my driving impressions after the suspension upgrade.


Why I LOVE my job

I found out a little more information about the Vehicle Testing Assistant position I didn’t get.  Our Editorial department hired someone who previously worked at Motor Trend.  That being said, I am totally cool/okay with that.  If I had to make the decision, I honestly would have hired him over me even though I was an internal applicant because of his work experience.  I’m sure I’ll meet him eventually and find out he’s a cool guy because I definitely can say the same about the person who used to be in that role who was promoted to the Manager of Vehicle Testing and our News Editor who used to be the Manager of Vehicle Testing.

Here are some reasons why I love my job:

  1. Our web sites (www.edmunds.com, www.edmunds.com/insideline (for the cool stuff – think Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine), www.carspace.com, and www.autoobserver.com) are devoted to automotive consumers and enthusiasts – I would say they are the best out there (at least the main Edmunds and Inside Line sites…the other two need work)!
  2. I get to see cool/new automobiles in the parking garage on a regular basis (As far as I know, the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX will be coming in this week.  I’m going to keep my camera in the car so I can take some photos of it as soon as I see it)
  3. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people at work
  4. I can wear a polo shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, and a baseball cap to work (T-shirt and jeans would be even better – I’ve seen people in other departments wear those, but I don’t think they’re allowed in my department…I guess that’s too casual)
  5. What I currently do allows me to learn more about how our web site works and visitor behavior
  6. We can surf the Web and use AIM as long as we get our work done (although sometimes I feel I’m not as productive as I should be)
  7. I love the way I’ve “decorated” my “cubicle”
  8. We have a game room
  9. We have a softball team (actually two – the Monday night co-ed team I’m on and a Thursday night men’s team)

Here are some things I don’t like about my job:

  1. Fighting traffic to work and back can be a bear (but hasn’t been as bad as I originally thought it would be on a daily basis…plus it gives me a great opportunity to listen to Truth For Life (www.truthforlife.org) every weekday from 8 to 8:30 AM on KKLA 99.5 FM – latest nugget of truth from God’s Word: genuine faith is visible, audible, and credible )
  2. Not everyone wants to be your friend
  3. Sometimes my group/department feels understaffed (My manager told me another Associate Business Analyst (what I currently am) is on the way)

I feel like I’m forgetting some things above.  I’ll edit this entry if more come to mind.

I thank and praise God for the job He’s given me!  All glory, honor, and praise to Him!



Oh yeah!  Who wants to go to Fishfest 2007 on Saturday, July 28, 2007?  Please let me know.