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Despite the fast rising cost of fuel (79p per litre last year to a high of £1 per litre), we have seen a great increase of powerful cars. Cars generally are heavier now due to all their safety features so although the power figures go up older cars still have better performance. Sports versions are available from pretty much every marquee and even the humble people carriers and shopping cars have seen a power hike. Clever use of turbo's are assisting with this power hike and keeping fuel economy as respectable levels.

The most innovative launch of the year has to be the new civic from Honda. The Civic probably has the largest parts catalogue of any car and Honda's new design actually looks quite sporty from the factory. The steering goes from lock to lock in just 2 turns and the rear doors are cleverly disguised to maintain the look of a 2 door hatch. It will be sad if the Type R version comes only in a 3 door version. Another innovation from Honda is the engine range with a Dual Electric/Petrol model providing excellent performance and economy.

The Mini Turbo has still not arrived. VW are hinting at the possible resurrection of the Scirocco Brand. We seem to be in a trend of 80's icons being resurrected as the retro look is coming back. Even the Ford Focus ST has cockpit style dials at the top of the dashboard. The Ford GT hits the streets, headlamps are going back to round individual clusters and chrome is starting to feature inside more and more models.

The mighty Bugatti Veyron is launched at a mere £840k. More of a publicity and research tool than mass produced car. It has two turbo charged engines producing a magic 1000bhp. The gearbox is a masterpiece of engineering when you consider an F1 gearbox lasts for a single race and doesn't have to handle as much power. The looks indicate a return to a long front nose overhang and masses of power!!!

MG Rover went under - the sad demise of a great british marquee. After an initial dip in prices of the current model range the prices are becoming stable as suppliers of spares are produced. We see the Civic arriving in the UK's top 20 car sales in 2005 and the new Astra managing to outsell the Megane and the Corsa. We expect to see the Golf climbing further up the rankings and hope that Audi's most popular A4 continues to grow in sales.

Most naff upgrade of the year has to a digital dump valve that makes a non turbo engine sound like it has a turbo with noisy dump valve. I presume that this can also be fitted to an invalid carriage or a pram with a suitable 12v source! There's nothing like a car that sounds like it will burn off every other car at the traffic lights. Perhaps the vibration of the dump valve noise affects the fuel molecules and helps the car to go faster!

Other Power tuning guides:-

How to improve air induction
How to maximise combustion

How to increase the exhaust rate
The importance of oil

Lightening the flywheel

Stopping the car!
Nitrous injection
Weight reduction
Porting
Tuning for MPG
Clutch Systems
Fuel & Additives
Tyres - choosing the best rubber
Choosing the best wheels
Gearbox ratio selection
Internal engine mods

Turbos & Superchargers

Cam Shafts
Suspension settings
Car insurance for modified cars.

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