Posts Tagged "Interview"

Kevin Lawrence – Formula Drift Pro 2 [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license ?
Kevin Lawrence: I am from Clermont, FL. I earned my pro2 license through the Three Palms drift series that ended up being a pretty big flop of a series.

Wrecked Magazine: Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?
Kevin Lawrence:This year I will be running a RHD S14 Chassis powered by an RB25 engine that we are pushing 770whp out of this year! Enjuku Racing is my title sponsor this year and with out them specifically I wouldn’t have a drifting career at all.
A big sponsor I partnered up with is Fortune Auto who has been giving us ( team Enjuku) outstanding support with helping us get the cars dialed in perfect on their coilovers so we are 100% ready for all our events. A few other sponsors I also am excited to have on board this year include. Konig Wheels, Lucas Oils, Design Engineering Inc. “DEI”, 2f Performance, Wilwood Brakes, and Chase

I am also very thankful to have a bunch of my last years sponsors still on board with me who see great potential in my driving and program so a big thank you goes out to. Vibrant Performance, Falken Tire, Competition Clutch, Turbo By Garrett, BridgeMoto, R.S. Enthalpy,Bink Industries, ISR Performance, The Drivesaft Shop, DOC Race, and Thunderbolt Race Fuels

Wrecked Magazine: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
Kevin Lawrence: Definitely Atlanta! I have been so eager to get a chance to drive that track since the first time I visited it back in 2006. The elevation changes the track has kinda makes me a bit nervous being from Florida and not having much experience driving any tracks with changes in elevation but I think I’am ready to tackle it!

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Wrecked Magazine: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
Kevin Lawrence:This year I specifically want to see battle with Josh McGuire in Texas again after our double OMT battles last year that he advanced from. So I really want redemption for that. haha

Wrecked Magazine: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?
Kevin Lawrence: It’s honestly hard for me to pick a single favorite, I look up to quite a few drivers and have always been a huge fan of the underdog so to speak since they are the drivers who in my opinion are truly driving their hardest to compete and the ones who want the win more than anyone else. Aasbo, Denofa and Bakchis are the ones I have been watching mostly the last few years and it was great seeing Aasbo take the championship last year, Denofa Take first and Irwindale and I have a feeling Odi this year is going to get quite a few podiums.

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Wrecked Magazine: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
Kevin Lawrence: Denofa is who I would be betting on this year, after his win in Long Beach I believe that was the biggest mental boost anyone could get for someone who has been struggling in past seasons and truly wants the championship. Knowing Chelsea’s past in driving he will continue to show up at all the rounds this year swinging!

Wrecked Magazine: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?
Kevin Lawrence: Haha! This is an easy one. I am at just under 2 weeks before the first Pro2 event this year my engine threw a connecting rod out both sides of the block which i am currently working on to get our spare in now.

Wrecked Magazine: What advice can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
Kevin Lawrence: Work as hard as you can on the relationships with your sponsors you have now so that they are just as eager to work with you as you are with them. Pro2 is a huge step from Pro Am and you will absolutely need all of their help in many different ways along your first year in Pro 2.

Taylor Hull – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license (please mention Pro Am and/or former drift experience)?

Taylor Hull: My name is Taylor Hull, I’m 27 and I live just south of Atlanta, Georgia. I started racing on oval tracks when I was 13 and competed in various series with that until 2012 when I took up drifting just because it always looked fun, and I wanted something to just “have fun” driving. I didn’t take into account how competitive I am so it wasn’t long before I started going to grassroots competitions and realizing how much I really had to learn. I won my first grassroots competition in 2012 and decided to do Pro Am with Streetwise Drift in 2013 where I ran the first event, then blew my motor and was out for the rest of the season. I came back strong in 2014 with SWD and made all the events, had some great runs and ended up 3rd in points after going into the last event in 7th. All the stars aligned and I had a great event which gave me my Pro 2 license. I had no idea what I was in for.

WM: Can you give us a break down of your car?

Taylor Hull: We have some great new partners onboard this year as well as several returning from years past.

Aloha Green Tea Hawaii is a power based additive for water that tastes great and is very good for you, it helps with energy during the long days at the track as well. Affirm Consulting is a partner that helps business recognize and resolve deficiencies and be more productive, putting more to the bottom line. I know Dennis that runs the company very well and he has an amazing mind for business, anyone that gives him a chance won’t be disappointed.
Next, my wrap designer, installer, crew chief and friend, Sticker Shark is back and making my car look great again. I took the reins off him this year and let him be more creative on the design, I think people will really like the result. Rovos Wheels is back providing a great 18×9 up front and a 18×10.5 rear in their Durban style. I will be back on Falken Tire 615k Azenis again this year for max grip. Magnuson Superchargers provided a tvs2300 supercharger to go on the Daffron Race innovations built 408 LS engine. Driven Race Group is back for the fourth year providing all our safety equipment. Weir Performance got our back with their race spool for the Q45 rear end as well as the conversion to make it work with the stub shafts needed, it’s a very nice piece for higher powered cars if you aren’t going with a quick change. We are back on Feal Suspension coilovers and I look forward to working with Odi Bakchis on setup, especially now that he is also on Falken this year. Our fuel injection is powered by Donkey Power Injection for the 2nd year with 1000cc injectors. ATI dampers provide a 8 rib pulley setup to keep belts on the car. We have a twin disc ACT clutch to put the power to the ground, they are a new sponsor this season. Wiring Specialties is back on board this year as we are running a beautiful race harness that cleans up the engine bay significantly. Sikky Mfg is a great partner that we traveled with last season that we look forward to continuing to work with in the future. Finally, Enjuku racing is our official aftermarket parts supplier. Their team provides a wealth of knowledge and a vast range of parts that we have used on our build at great pricing.

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WM: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?

Taylor Hull- I am stoked to be able to run at Road Atlanta. Since I live about an hour away, this is the first event that many of my friends and family will be able to come to, plus with the fastest initiations of the season should be a great time. I wouldn’t say I am nervous about going anywhere but I feel that Texas was a challenge last year. I have to get more consistent in my runs there and I was born there so I want to have a good showing for my family still there also.

WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?

Taylor Hull: I look forward to all my battles, that’s what makes drifting fun to me. My battle with Brandon Wicknick at Seattle last season was the most fun I’ve ever had in a car I think. I hope to get to battle with some of my friends in the southeast though like Kevin Lawerence, Ricky Adams, and several of the others around here.

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WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?

Justin Pawlak.
Last year in Texas Justin took a few minutes to find me and give me some pointers that really helped me with my driving that day and it really meant a lot to me. Having a seasoned pro take the time to do something like that was really cool, so I try to help as many people with quick tips like that as well. We ended up making the same mistake in the competition that weekend so we were able to laugh about it on Saturday. He is a fierce competitor and you can tell how much he wants to win and how hard he works for it. Those qualities coupled with the fact that he’s such a nice guy gives me someone to try to model a career after.

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?

Taylor Hull: I think this may be the year that Odi Bakchis finishes the way he started last year. Again, he is someone I admire who builds his cars and does so much r&d.

WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?

Taylor Hull: We had to build a new motor and drivetrain setup this year, but the car is all mine now which is what I wanted. It’s a lot of work to make sure what you’re building and buying is compatible with what you have and falls within all the rules. We had a few struggles but have most of it worked out now. I build my car mostly myself so if I don’t know how to do something I have to learn.

WM: What advise can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?

Taylor Hull: Haha! Expect to spend WAY more money than you budget for each year. The sport is expensive and the competition is greater than you expect. Everyone is good at this level, there are no gimme battles and everyone has earned their right to be here. Also, expect a professionally run series that will top most anything you’ve ever been a part of, being involved with Formula D and interacting with the fans is really the experience of a lifetime.

Learn More About Vaughn Gittin Jr. Than You Ever Wanted to Know

Vaughn Gittin Jr. spends two hours with MotoManTV where you can learn more about him than you ever wanted to know. Vaughn talks about his personal car with hydraulics he use to own, his job at Wendy’s, and walking away from a career in IT all before his Formula Drift championship.

Up and Comer: Meet Lone Star Drift Driver Garrett Hoyt

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Texas is the home to a pretty solid group of talented drivers, Garrett Hoyt (though technically being from Arkansas), is definitely no exception. I met Garrett last year when he was finishing up his previous Ls6 car cage build up in Dallas at Autocomp Racecars, and we pretty much became BFF right away. Over that weekend, I believe it was Lone Star Bash, I got to know him pretty well, and also noticed that he was an extremely good driver. He was very aggressive, and even more consistent. Unfortunately for him, at the time anyway, his fully built ls6 motor exploded in a fit of rage just a couple events later.

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Jump ahead to round 1 of the 2014 lone star series this past weekend. Garrett had spent his offseason going full retard on a pretty intense 350z build. After realize how much time and money it was going to take, he decided breaking a few SR’s before even using them was the best option, and finally got a solid motor set in the car. Caught up with him that day at the event and chatted about his new setup, which low and behold, he liked even more than his more powerful v8 motor. HA! turbo forever! Garrett was the number 1 qualifier for the event and I believe finished 6th or 7th over all for the weekend! Heres a little bit of our discussion!

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Q: What do you drive and why (specs and such)?

A: Well lets do this. I drive a 1995 Nissan 240sx, I’m running a red top sr20det with a top mount hybrid turbo. I have ISIS coilovers and arms and I can’t complain they feel really high end actually. Parts Shop Max super angle steering kit, with MCR Factory Knuckles. Also some PSM drop knuckles in the back. The car is perfect right now. Love it

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Q: When did you start drifting and why?

A:  I Started drifting back in 2009. I had my Jeep and yes, I was drifting my jeep wrangler around into people’s yards and shit, then I got my first 240sx. I started drifting because it was just so much fun. It is for sure the most fun you can have with pants on.

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Q: So besides being the pants-less wonder, what are your goals with drifting? Is it all for fun or do you plan to take it all the way to pro level?

A: My goal in drifting is to always have fun. But I am very competitive and I want to go pro, that’s what I’m aiming for.

 

Q: When you aren’t working on your car or driving events, what do you do for fun?

A: When I’m not messing with my racecar or my buddy’s cars. I love to play the guitar. Acoustic of course.

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Q: Who do you look up to both in the drifting world and abroad?

A: Well I really look up to Nate Hamilton. He has been like my coach and we have had a lot of seat time together. And outside of drift it is gonna sound cheesy, but it is my dad. My dad is such an amazing person. Couldn’t ask for anyone better.

 

Q: Not cheesy, admirable! Where are you from and What made you decide to make the travel to drive the Lone star series?

A: ARKANSAS!!! I was born and raised in good ol’ Arkansas. I was drifting up in Memphis but they don’t have the series that lonestar does. NO ONE DOES! I love the lonestar drift series. Great drivers and fast courses plus the amount of tandem that goes on is crazy. Love it down there.

 

Q: At this point in your “career” with drifting, what moment stands out the most for you?

A: The moment that stands out the most to me, well there are moments. 1st one is when I blew the ls6 that I was running last season. I shot two rods through the block. And the second one is coming back from the blown ls6, to a little sr20det and I was first place qualifier with it at round 1. I couldn’t be more happy with how the sr20 feels. Soooo much better then the ls6. True story. #V8hunterReborn

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Q: Any advice for someone looking to get into drifting?

A: If you’re wanting to start drifting. All I can say is GO FOR IT, like I said earlier it is the most fun you can have with your pants on haha. Don’t do it on the streets though. Safety first kids!

 

Photos By: Justin Cunningham, Alex Callaway, and Jason Scott

Danny George and Chris Jeanneret Live on #WreckedWeekly Tonight at 8pm

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Tonight Danny George and Chris Jeanneret are joining us for Wrecked Weekly Episode #13 tonight live on Google Hangout at 8pm PST / 11pm EST. Jacob Leveton will be our special other guest asking all the hard questions tonight! The live airing of our Google Hangout can be tune in via our YouTube.com/wreckedmagazine page!

 

Post questions to either driver or ask anything in general you want us to talk about below in the comments or ask them on Twitter/social media with the hashtag #WreckedWeekly and we will check that through the show. 

Danny George released a video today hinting at another possible crowd funded project in 2014 which we will try and dig up way more on!

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Chris Jeanneret finished his season at Irwindale by flipping over his S14 above and writing it off. Now he is partnering with Speedfactory to build a 1000hp K series Honda s2000 for the 2014 Formula Drift season. It is going to come with quite some challenges but his team might be ready.
 

Post questions to either driver or ask anything in general you want us to talk about below in the comments or ask them on Twitter/social media with the hashtag #WreckedWeekly and we will check that through the show. 

MotoIQ Radio Sits Down with Danny George to Talk Leaked Proposal and 2014

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The guys at MotoIQ Radio were so intrigued that Danny George leaked us his 2014 sponsorship deck that they sat him down for an interview on their weekly radio show. Looking into the new season Danny has also leaked he is going to make big improvements with the Miata platform seen here on a notepad. Follow the link below to check out what Danny has to say with Justin Banner.

 

Listen to the Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFe1jMt6r-g#t=986

J.R. Hildebrand – Wrecked Weekly Episode #11 [VIDEO]

This weeks Wrecked Weekly episode features 2013 Formula Drift rookie and INDY racer J.R. Hildebrand. I had a brief interview with him at the Mobil 1 booth where he talked about his new Chevrolet Camaro they are building for 2014 and how he got robbed at “gun point” in downtown Indianapolis. We even threw in some test footage from Sonoma Raceway of him running a Camaro.

Chris Mills Formula Drift Bound with 350z in 2014 [INTERVIEW]

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Chris Mills started drifting not long after he received his driver’s license. Last year, he not only celebrated his 21st birthday but also earned his Formula Drift (FD) Pro License. Mills competed in the Golden Gate Drift Pro-Am series and finished as the series champion last year in the 2013 season. Mills is now set to drive FD this year in Otto Graven’s old 350z.

Read on to find out Mills’ unique additions to his new drift build and what he’s doing to prepare for the upcoming season of FD.

Q: What did you drive during your Pro-Am season?
A: My Pro-Am car was a very basic set up. I had cut knuckles and extended arms done by me. With a ls1 motor with ls6 cam and a 50 shot of nitrous to give me 400 hp. With stock rear end welded and that’s about it a very basic set up.

Q: You were the overall champ for Golden Gate Drift, how does it feel?
A: It feels amazing its a great feeling [e]specially [be]cause I came out to golden gate drift thinking I was not a top driver out [there] but as the day went on I got in my groove and was able to take home first place.

Q: What was your recipe for success during the 2013 season?
A: I think what helped a lot during my 2013 season was just making sure it was all about having fun.

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Q: What are your plans for next year? Will you be running FD or Pro2?
A: Next year’s plan is to finish my 350z and run full season of fd.

Q: So you’re running pro, not pro2? Can I get your thoughts on pro2? Why not run that instead?
A: I have been preparing myself to go run with the big boys and I honestly think pro 2 would be a waste of my time since I’m not a big budget team it would not be in my best [interest] to spend close to the same amount of money to just run pro 2 when all I have been working for is pro1 and being able to throw down good tandem runs with the top dogs.

Q: So you’re willing to risk your license? How confident are you that you will earn enough points to prevent yourself from being relegated back to pro-am?
A: I’m very confident I will make more than enough points to keep my license.

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Q: Tell us about your new build. You bought Otto Graven’s old car right? What changes can we expect to see on this car within the next year?
A: The 350z I bought is Otto Gravens old car and it is the perfect fd starter kit as you could say. The car came with a set up suspension package with full spares. So with this being an old fd car it doesn’t need much to get me to long beach. The things we are deciding to change out are the right hand drive set up. I will be converting to left hand drive. And then the body kit will not be so wide lol. And last but not least we will be installing a ls3 drift cave style to a 4 speed dog box to a speedway quick change rear end. We will be running an identical motor set up as matt field. A ls3 built with a vortec supercharger and nitrous with a tex t101a dog box to a speedway quick change rear end. And the wide body kit is gone lol

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Q: Do you have any advice to aspiring professional drifters out there?
A: I guess I would have to say is make sure you’re having fun. [Be]cause if you’re drifting and not having fun you’re doing something wrong lol.

Q: Describe yourself in 3 words.
A: pretty lucky guy lol

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Q: If you could change one thing about your driving technique/style, what would it be?
A: I would like to work more on my aggressive transitions this year.

Q: What do you do when you’re not drifting?
A: I am either at work til 5 then at the drift cave til bed time lol

Q: Who is your favorite pro drifter? Why?
A: It would have to be the man that trained me Matt Field. As a privateer team he is a badass. And is an insane driver.

(Photo Contribution: AFL Photography by Aaron Lundgren and Carbon Studios by Edward Khoma)

Mills’ Sponsors Include: Drift Cave, Radium, Chase Bays, 408 Graphics, DNR Performance, Grip Royal, and Daft Innovations

Up and Comer: A Sit Down with Dewayne Ramsey [INTERVIEW]

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It’s been awhile since I’ve been down to the Longhorn State, so I reached out to pretty boy Stewart Leask for some news on drivers down there.  He mentioned a fourth generation Toyota Cressida driver by the name of Dewayne Ramsey. Who? I had never heard the name, so I reached out and scheduled a time to speak to Dewayne.

Dewayne Ramsey has been going sideways since 2008.  Originally from Panama City Beach, Florida Dewayne Ramsey recently relocated to Houston, Texas.  He was a military brat that was spoiled by the Japanese drift scene.  Dewayne attended his first event as a spectator at the Ebisu Drift Matsuri in 2007 and was instantly hooked.  Fast forward a couple of years, he returns to Florida where the Cressida and a 1JZ motor swap sounded like a great idea.

Edgar Sarmiento: Dewayne, thanks for taking the time to sit with me dude!
Dewayne Ramsey: No problem dude!

ES: So I’m not very familiar with drivers that don’t drive the East Coast or Midwest, but I really want to find out more about Texas scene and the drivers down there. My dude Stewart Leask mentioned you, and said you were ripping it up last year during the Fabricated Motorsports Pro Am Series. I am really interested what’s going through your head as a driver. Do you want to be a Formula D driver or something?

DR: The only thing really running through my head is the amount of money I was spending traveling from Florida to Texas for each round. I recently moved to Houston so that should save me some money. I would definitely love to drive the FD Pro Series with amazing drivers on awesome courses, who wouldn’t?

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ES: I also see you are rocking the four door Cressida. Any reason why you aren’t driving a 240SX or RX7 like everyone else?

DR: My decision to drive the Cressida was due to me wanting to run a JZ series engine in a car with a longer wheelbase. I really like how the car transitions and keeping a Toyota engine in a Toyota certainly keeps things simple. I have no problems with other chassis, obviously the S-chassis proves to be solid drift cars every year!
ES: What’s all done to your car? Looks super sweet by the way!

DR: The car has a pretty simple setup. I really focused on the fine-tuning of the alignment settings and spring rates instead of a big crazy engine build. I’m running an internally stock 1JZ with a precision 5858 turbo, big injectors, AEM EMS V2, Spec clutch and flywheel on my built R154. BC Racing coilovers, Excessive Manufacturing mounts, control arms, and changed out all the bushings on it. The car makes 460hp/440tq on VP Q16 race fuel. Excessive manufacturing knuckles, tie rods, Mishimoto Radiator, a dual caliper setup that I made work with my Powered By Max Hydro E-Brake. I’m sure I’m missing some other boring drift car stuff though.

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ES: That’s pretty sweet dude, seems simple! DeWayne, what would you say it takes to be a competitive driver at a Pro Am level? Have you thought about being a pro driver?

DR: In my opinion, I think to be competitive in any organized racing series it takes the commitment of spending a lot of time and money traveling to events. A reliable drift car is very important to me and I feel like it’s key to being competitive! Tires are very important too! I switched tire brands mid-season so I had to adjust my driving and learn a tire that had entirely different characteristics!

I think it will be very challenging to make the jump from Pro Am events to Pro events. For 2013, I saw a few friends compete in their rookie year of FD, and seeing them fight issue after issue was pretty rough. Pro Am events are typically one or two days long, while Pro events are over a weeklong when you account for the traveling, prepping, and everything else. The new Pro1 Pro2 series should make the transition easier. Someday I plan to drive in it.

ES: Thanks for the honest answer! What would you tell drivers that want to get into driving competitively? Any advice?

DR: Stop sucking and actually drive events! Seat time is very important!

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ES: Thanks a ton for the sit down Dewayne, and I can’t wait to see you at an event sometime in the near future! I’ll make sure to keep an eye on you during the Fabricated Motorsports Pro Am season. Do you have any shout outs you would like to send out?

DR: First my mom, she has helped me more than I could ever ask for. Also all my friends that helped change tires, repair the car, and drive the truck/trailer to events: Chris Neiheiser, Brian Beattie, Hannah Mahan, Sean Williams, Ryan Harrington, Mike Fowler, Aaron Conley, Erik Brooks, Will Little, and so many others! Aaron Losey for throwing these sweet events that allows me to drive nearly as often as I want. And an old friend, Robbie Nishida for always lending advice on driving!

 

Photos by Jason Scott

Dennis Mertzanis – Wrecked Weekly Episode 7 [INTERVIEW]

I catch up with Dennis Mertzanis this week to talk about his new build for 2014 and some possibilities for his engine platform for the new season. The video shows a detailed preview of the ARK Performance Legato kit which is what the Hyundai Genesis coupe Dennis is building for 2014 will be based off of. We take a look at the new Konig Intergram and chat about Kenda Tires and their performance in the Formula Drift series during the interview with Dennis. Wrapping up we go into details on his 2013 car and how easy it was to modify for drifting, horsepower/torque numbers, and why it was so overweight. We even get some big hints about an engine swap coming for 2014.

 

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