Tier 3 bins
Vincent Lin pulls right next to the recently updated Kaizen SCE19 in the new 1988 Sendo GT
Well hello there, Vincent Lin reporting, and welcome to Velocity. It’s great to have you back!
In America, there was a time when the phrase “Japanese luxury car” sounded outright impossible. Then along came the Kaizen S Series. Offered in sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible forms, its immense success showed that Japanese functionality, engineering, quality, and reliability could be distilled into a car that could impress upmarket buyers, a market segment that was simply misunderstood by Japanese manufacturers. With the introduction of Honda’s Acura Legend and the latest update of the 8th generation Kaizen S Series comes a new wave of luxury cars from renowned and rumored brands alike, such as Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, Seikatsu, and Suisei, that are all gunning for the success both Honda and Kaizen have had.
If you’re a driver who desires even more from your car, you can now add Sendo to your list. A collaboration between Kaizen, Seikatsu, Suisei, and Yuro, this is a car that both the domestic and European automakers will have to watch out for.
[Play the review of the 1988 Sendo GT]
Now, the recalls.
@Fenix4 XE 4.1T (Tier 3, 4)
Chambord Auto is recalling their XE 4.1T performance sedans. The company says that all vehicles manufactured in 1988 have a driver’s airbag that may be improperly mounted in the steering wheel. The airbag module may loosen from its position as a result, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. Chambord will notify all owners of affected vehicles, and inspect and tighten the airbag mounting bolts free of charge.
@Kursk Kurskian Blizzard Sport (TIE Tier 3, 3)
The Kurskian Motorgroup has recalled all 1988 model year Kurskian Blizzard Sport sedans after the automaker discovered a manufacturing error involving tire sizes. Certain 175 series tires from the optional Performance Package might have been wrongly installed in the standard Sport model, which were supposed to come with 170 series Michelin TRX tires. As the cars were not designed for the wider front tires and their increased grip, this leads to an increased risk of loss of vehicle control, especially in emergency maneuvers. Kurskian has notified owners of affected vehicles and will replace the front tires and rims, along with changing the front and rear wheel hubs to prevent mixups between the different rim and tire sizes.
@Mikonp7 Ecamobile Ace GT (TIE Tier 3, 3)
By now, owners of the 1986-1988 model year Ecamobile Ace GTs should have received a recall notice from Ecamobile. The automaker and their importer, Max Hoffman Incorporated, have been fined a combined total of $120 million by the NHTSA due to Ecamobile’s delay in recalling their 5L V12s, which have a piston manufacturing defect that could cause metal shavings to block oil flow to the connecting rod bearings, causing loss of lubrication and increasing the risk of engines stalling or catching fire (as engine oil and fuel spills onto hot exhaust parts). The resulting loss of power increases the risk of an accident through loss of vehicle control. Ecamobile will replace the engine with a similar engine of updated design that does not have the manufacturing issues free of charge.
@GassTiresandOil Armor Valencia H.O. (Tier 3, 2)
The Armor Company is recalling their 1988 model year Valencia HO sport sedans for brake lines which could have been damaged during manufacturing. Over time, the brake lines may leak brake fluid, affecting braking performance, including complete failure, loss of directional stability, and loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash. Armor will notify owners of affected vehicles and will replace the brake lines free of charge.
@alen.alic1983 Alaen Tempa gt5 (Tier 3, 1)
Alaen Motors has issued a technical service bulletin regarding 1988 model year Tempa gt5 sport sedans. It was discovered that on some cars manufactured in 1988 that there were missing bolts that were supposed to keep the front and rear bumper covers attached. During normal driving, the movements of the car may cause the front and rear bumper covers to fall off the car, which could also damage other bumper cover bolts. Alaen will inspect all affected cars during their next scheduled service for any missing bumper cover bolts, and install them if necessary
Now on to Vince’s Garage with Vince Whiteley
[Rest of episode plays]
None of these 5 cars will be considered.
The Alaen Tempa gt5 was one of the best cars submitted to the whole competition. It was one of the quickest, with good midrange acceleration to boot and a well-tuned transmission. However, handling was middling, comfort was one of the worst here, the rear suspension was too skittish, the brakes faded too fast, and the engine redline was too low. Although I absolutely loved the tidy, Germanic styling. If only it didn’t come with negative body quality…
The power of the Armor Valencia HO was a bit underwhelming for what it was and had a redline that was judged to be too low. However, it was very linear and had good midrange torque, the transmission was well tuned. In addition, it was one of the quickest cars here. This car also had one of the best braking performance, although with way too much fade. The numb steering and very nervous suspension did it no favors. An aggressive and menacing fascia that fits right in Talladega makes this car a styling high point. Maybe investing in some better brake(s) (quality) would help.
I loved Ecamobile’s unique approach of putting a V12 into a smaller car. It had a very linear delivery with yet another premature redline. This was also the only car with an open diff, which hampered performance heavily. It was very drivable for what it was, despite the skittish suspension. The handling was surprisingly good, and the comfort was one of the best. Front styling was nice, but the rear styling was a mess, and everything looked a bit outdated. Seriously Mikon, did you think -10 in internals and -2 in exhaust would get you anywhere?
The XE 4.1T had the quickest acceleration of this competition, at 4.8 seconds. It has good all-around performance, but was the most compromised, with negative safety, aero, driver aid, and brake quality, and poor comfort. Styling was very bland too.
The Kurskian Blizzard, with 210 hp, was the second least powerful car here, so it’s one of the slowest here. Despite the RR setup, it is one of the most drivable here, and reasonably comfortable. Handling and brakes were pretty bad though. The styling is much improved from Kursk’s past cars but still didn’t stand out that much. While I did allow tires ending in 0s (Michelin TRX), I’m pretty sure you know that you shouldn’t mix and match tires ending on 0s and tires ending in 5s together.
The 1988 Sendo GT is a collaboration between me, @Tzuyu_main, @Falling_Comet, and @variationofvariables.
Cones were made by @Executive, although I did modify them for the braking and slalom/emergency maneuver tests.