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Liberty Walk Dodge Challenger
Some cars with sporting credentials are best left as they come off the production line. Meddling with the engineering and go-faster know-how that went into them is, as the purist crowd might tell you, sacrilege.

Five Cars That Would Be Ruined by Tuning

Mazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 MiataShelby GT350R MustangShelby GT350R MustangShelby GT350R MustangShelby GT350R MustangShelby GT350R MustangPorsche Cayman GT4Porsche Cayman GT4Porsche Cayman GT4Porsche Cayman GT4Porsche Cayman GT4Dodge Challenger SRT HellcatDodge Challenger SRT HellcatDodge Challenger SRT HellcatDodge Challenger SRT HellcatDodge Challenger SRT HellcatHonda Civic Type RHonda Civic Type RHonda Civic Type RHonda Civic Type RHonda Civic Type R
In the light of the EPA’s proposition to ban certain modifications of road-going vehicles, the future of the aftermarket industry and our love for making cars go faster could turn out to be as dark as a starless night sky. If all goes according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s plan, the controversial regulation could be published by July.

The little-noticed proposal was published in July 2015, buried deep in a 629-page proposed rule setting fuel economy standards for commercial trucks. As if this weren’t enough to raise an eyebrow, the agency did not flag the proposal in the document’s contents. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, is that the EPA shamelessly hid a rule that applies to passenger cars and trucks in a proposed rule for commercial vehicles.

Let’s suppose that the proposal will not pass as law and petrolheads will continue to modify cars to their hearts’ content. We agree that sports cars such as the Scion FR-S could use more than 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft (205 Nm) of torque. The other end of the sports car spectrum comprises automobiles in need of better handling characteristics. The Lexus RC, for example, would’ve been much sharper if it weren’t for its weight.

Lugging around 3,737 pounds (1,695 kilograms) of Lexus RC 200t isn’t exactly sporty, especially if you’re the type that enjoys carving up a canyon road from time to time. On the other hand, some manufacturers found the perfect formula for cars that don’t need aftermarket mods to improve their go-faster credentials or their high-speed roadholding.

Some of the cars that made our list might not come as a surprise to those who live and breath automobiles, so feel free to comment what other four-wheeled machine currently in production should be left stock. In no particular order, here goes:
Mazda MX-5 Miata ND
Mazda MX\-5 Miata
By the time the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata was unveiled in 2014, production of the Japanese model had surpassed the 940,000-unit mark. It’s no wonder the MX-5 Miata continues to be the best-selling two-seat convertible in history. The Miata’s specialness is obvious from its name.

Rod Bymaster, the head of product planning and marketing for the original Mazda MX-5 Miata, is the one to thank for choosing the Miata nameplate. Miata is the Old High German word for “reward” and, as any owner will tell you, this car is as rewarding as open-top motoring gets.

Owners aren’t referring to feeling the wind in your hair and the 86 million miles of blue sky above your head. These are offered by other roadsters out there. The 2.0-liter and 1.5-liter SkyActiv-G engines aren’t potent enough to get your dopamine rush. The interior is cramped. As it was the case with the first three generations, body roll is present during turn-in. Despite everything, the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata is brilliant.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t excellent if you analyze it bit by bit. It’s only when you take all its reward-inducing parameters that you start to understand the greatness of the damn thing. Even the 1.5-liter engined model flows in a way that makes people wonder why more cars aren’t like this. It feels like the natural order of what a driver’s car should be about. And that’s why the Mazda MX-5 Miata should never be modified.
Shelby GT350 Mustang
Shelby GT350R Mustang
With the arrival of the first generation of the Ford Mustang, the pony car segment took off. But then again, the Shelby GT350 improved on the concept of the Mustang. Ease of driving wasn’t on the priorities list of the original Shelby GT350. Performance in the SCCA National Sports Car Championship was the sole purpose behind the Shelby GT350 program.

Drawing on Jerry Titus’ win in 1965 at the wheel of GT350 #5R001, the civilian variant of the Shelby GT350 Mustang was fast, it cornered a lot better than its Ford-badged donor vehicle, and it was challenging to drive. Fast-forward to the present day, and you’ll find reminiscences of sporting DNA from the 1965 model in the contemporary Shelby GT350.

The racing genes of the GT350 and GT350R start with the flat-plane crankshaft V8 under the hood - the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine Ford has ever made. It’s an engineering marvel and its roar is as imposing as it gets. Strapping a supercharger on top of a no-compromise powerplant such as the Voodoo V8 isn’t just sacrilege. From our point of view, modifying the 5.2-liter motor makes everything about the car worse.

Half a century since the original hit the public roads, advances in the domain of automotive engineering made the Shelby GT350 Mustang one of the most superior handling vehicles money can buy. A supercharger is going to spoil the car’s near perfect 54/46 weight distribution. The added torque and different torque band of a supercharged engine are the other technicalities that will probably worsen the driving dynamics of the Shelby GT350. Whatever you do, don’t supercharge the Shelby GT350 Mustang.
Porsche Cayman GT4
Porsche Cayman GT4
Ten years after the Boxster was launched in 1996, Porsche decided to give the mid-engined sports car a fixed-roof brother - the Cayman. I’m not a big fan of the Cayman, partly because its purpose in life is to fill a gap between the Boxster and the 911. However, I’m down with the GT4.

The first reason the Porsche Cayman GT4 earns its corn is the 3.8-liter flat-6 engine behind the rear seats, which is a detuned version of the same motor you’ll find in a pre-facelift 911 Carrera S (991). The thing is, horsepower and torque alone don’t make a Porsche a Porsche. Finesse, agility, and accuracy serve as centerpieces to the Porsche experience.

The drawbacks of the butt-engined Neunelfer have been perfected by Porsche over the course of more than half a century. With that know-how and its vast racing experience, Porsche refined the Cayman formula to its fullest potential with the GT4. More capacity, more thrust, more traction, and more competence at attacking corners is the name of the game here.

It’s pointless to bore you by explaining control systems relevant to the driving dynamics of the GT4 or the fact that the Club Sport package will ruin the everyday usability of the thing with the addition of a roll cage and a seriously uncomfortable six-point safety harness for the driver.

The Porsche Cayman GT4 has everything relevant for a spirited driver going for it and more than most mortals can handle on a public road or on a circuit. That’s why adding aftermarket bells and whistles to the GT4 would only taint the forbidden apple in the Cayman range.
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Welcome to the stuff of car enthusiast dreams and everyone else’s nightmare. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the demon king of the muscle car genre and it has no excuses for what it is - a hunk of lard that wraps around the most powerful V8 ever fitted to a road-legal muscle car.

The problem is that 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft (881 Nm) of torque channeled to the 275/45 ZR20 rear wheels is never going to work if you’re in the market for a great handling car. Two reasons are fundamental to the Hellcat’s failure as a driver’s car: the eons-old chassis and the weight.

It’s no secret the Chrysler LX platform incorporates W220 S-Class and W211 E-Class components, albeit the Hellcat chassis employs the best bits and bobs developed by the SRT skunkworks. The base curb weight of 4,240 lbs (1,923 kilograms) overshadows that of a small moon. Whatever you do, just don’t take any chances with a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in the corners because this kitty cat will bite your head off.

Nonetheless, the Hellcat is as mad as a rabid animal. Wait, scratch that. Owning a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is like owning a dinosaur. Fun, but ridiculous. It may lack the hair-trigger reflexes of a track-focused muscle car, but there’s nothing wrong with mashing your foot in the loud pedal of the SRT Hellcat and shoot for the horizon in a straight line.

The shortcomings of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat are also the things that make it great. Squeezing more power out of it or the addition of a wide body kit would only estrange the driver from what the Hellcat is all about. Thomas Sankara, the man referred to as Africa’s Che Guevara, once said that one cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. How does that apply to the Challenger SRT Hellcat? It’s simple. The muscle car wars were always based on evolutionary changes. The changes brought by the Hellcat, though, are revolutionary.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic Type R
When the first Type R arrived in 1997, the Volkswagen Golf GTI lost its edge as the crowned prince of the hot hatchback kingdom. It was ugly, it was heavy, and the 2.0-liter engine with 150 PS was reluctant to deliver the go-faster goodies. The EK9 chassis Honda Civic Type R, on the other hand, was prettier, lighter, and it boasted 185 PS from a 1.6-liter engine.

In terms of specs, the Type R had the GTI left for dead. It’s clear that the 1997 Honda Civic Type R was a blank page in hot hatchbacks world and you, as its driver, were the author. With the present-generation Civic Type R, things have changed. For the good, for the better, it’s a car that divides opinions, but one thing is certain about the current Civic Type R - it’s the most powerful FWD hot hatchback in the world.

Serious performance, thrilling handling, and the focused nature that oozes from its pores make the Type R distinctive. For a car as subtle as being slammed in the face with a hammer, the Civic Type R is praised for its phenomenal performance in real-world driving situations. Yes, we don’t appreciate the fake intakes slashed into the front wings, nor the industrial sound generated by the high-strung 2-liter VTEC Turbo engine. But these nuisances pale in comparison to the Honda Civic Type R’s strong points.

Designers and engineers took the “take it or leave it” approach when they sat at the drawing board and began sketching ideas for the Type R. Like every high-performance Japanese machine before it, the Civic Type R shines as long as all its components work at their specific parameters. In this regard, meddling with the harmony of thousands of bits and bobs working together is a big no-no.

Please refrain from turning the Type R into a ricer’s delight. This pocket rocket should be enjoyed as is.

 
 
 
 
 

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