Brabus Rocket 1000 Is Brand’s First Ever 1000hp Creation

The extreme Brabus ‘Rocket’ series has reached new heights with the Brabus Rocket 1000. Here are all the major details.

Fans of the German tuning scene, or just car tuning in general, will be familiar with the Brabus Rocket lineage. Over many years, Brabus has reserved the Rocket moniker for only its wildest, most powerful projects. But, as the car tuning scene has moved on in the past decade or so, there became one thing notably missing from the Brabus line-up: a car which could churn out four figures on a dyno. Well, not anymore. Here’s everything you need to know about the Brabus Rocket 1000.

front quarter of Brabus Rocket 1000

Brabus Rocket 1000

Ok, look, I know you lot probably want to get straight into the powertrain details, but first let’s take a moment to see what Brabus has done to make sure this executive beast can handle all its grunt.

The Brabus Rocket 1000 is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance, which is quite a mouthful of a name, but essentially it’s the four-door version of the AMG GT. In its standard guise, that car already pushes the limits of performance for a vehicle of its size and weight, but Brabus clearly thinks it’s capable of a whole lot more. And anyway, it’s fitting that the company’s first 1000hp car is a four-door Merc; the original Brabus Rocket of 2006 was based on the CLS, which I guess is this new model’s semi-spiritual predecessor.

rear of Brabus Rocket 1000

Aero

Of course, to look at, this is quite obviously no standard Merc. It’s got wider, carbon fenders, plus a carbon splitter at the front. As well as looking mean, that splitter helps to reduce lift over the front axle. Speaking of the front axle, carbon blades within the car’s air inlets help to guide air to (and around) the wheels to help cool the brakes.

Overall, the car should be a bit more planted – it’s 67mm wider, and its air suspension allows for up to 20mm of ride height reduction, which will come in handy at Autobahn speeds.

Brabus Rocket 1000 engine

Powertrain

So, that’s how Brabus intends to keep the Rocket 1000 in check, but how did it reach the 1000hp-mark in the first place? Well, there’s a few steps to solve that puzzle. Stock, the four-door AMG GT produces 639hp, which is an awful lot of power. However, that’s more than 300hp to make up in modifications to reach four figures.

Brabus’ efforts began with increasing the car’s displacement; the engine now has a capacity of just under 4.5 liters, up from the standard 4.0-liter architecture. The twin turbos are new revisions too, set at 1.4 bar. Add that to a reworked exhaust system and map it altogether through some ECU wizardry, and there you have it… 1000 horsepower.

Brabus Rocket 1000 interior

The car has a maximum torque potential of a whopping 1,820 Nm (1,342lb ft), though Brabus has limited the engine electronically to 1,620Nm (1,048lb ft.). “Why is the necessary?”, you ask. Well, if the engine was completely unleashed, you’d get through transmissions quicker than you could say, ‘clutch failure’. A pair of carbon ram air intakes have the job of keeping everything cool.

As for performance figures, you’re looking at 0-62mph in just 2.7 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 196mph. Fast enough for ya?

Only 25 of these mega-sedans will make production, each set to cost €450,000 apiece. That’s around $485,000, or £385,000 sterling.

Like what you see? Check out Brabus’ interpretation of a Porsche 911 and a Maybach, next.

The post Brabus Rocket 1000 Is Brand’s First Ever 1000hp Creation appeared first on Fast Car.

The Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Is An Off-Road Pickup For The Masses

Modern trucks have become statement pieces, lifted luxury vehicles more at home in parking lots than actual dirt roads. So it’s refreshing that Chevrolet offers a no-frills, off-road-oriented pickup like the Colorado Trail Boss. This truck’s $41,000 as-tested price isn’t exactly bargain-bin, but for what the Trail Boss offers in the way of off-road capability, it’s a screaming deal.

It starts with a torquey turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 310 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. No there’s no V-6, but acceleration feels effortless thanks to generous amounts of torque, which peaks at 1,250 rpm. The torque figure pairs with enough power to quickly get the truck up to highway speeds.

It’s not the most powerful Colorado, either – that honor goes to the ZR2 with its 430 lb-ft – but the Trail Boss has 73 more hp than the base model and an extra 131 lb-ft. This smaller engine is more powerful than the previous Colorado’s V-6, has more torque than the current Nissan Frontier’s V-6, and offers more power all-around than any Jeep Gladiator.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Review

Quick Specs2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss
EngineTurbocharged 2.7-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output310 Horsepower / 390 Pound-Feet
Towing7,700 Pounds
Base Price$39,390
As-Tested Price$41,195

The reason you buy the Trail Boss, though, is for its plentiful off-road kit. Four-wheel drive and 32-inch all-terrain tires come standard along with a 2.0-inch suspension lift, a 3.0-inch wider track, an automatic-locking rear differential, and hill descent control. Adding a skid plate is a $995 option. The tires, lift, and bodywork, result in a 30.5-degree approach angle, a 22.4-degree departure, and 21 degrees of breakover. Not amazing numbers in the larger scope, but excellent at this price within the mid-size pickup segment.

The Colorado Trail Boss also has a secret drive mode that other off-road trucks don’t. Terrain mode is a one-pedal drive system – yes, like in EVs – that makes difficult off-roading easier. Instead of modulating braking and throttle with two feet, Terrain mode controls throttle and braking with one pedal. It’s seamless and simple to use; you can read more about it in my first drive.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Review

Pros: Torquey Engine, Excellent Off-Road Equipment, Affordable

But most of my time in the Colorado Trail Boss this time around was on the road, and it’s a mixed bag as a daily driver. The engine is torquey and the suspension is stiff but well-damped. The thicker off-road tires help soften the blow of broken pavement, even if the twin-tube shocks aren’t so forgiving. But the steering feels vague, the cabin is loud, and there’s still a lot of body roll. Having been in the Colorado Z71, which is genuinely nice to drive, much of this decrease in civility comes down to the off-road kit.

You also get a basic interior at this price. It’s equipped with a standard 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as all new Colorado models are., But the cloth seats feel cheap and there’s a lot of hard plastic in the cabin. The fuel economy, even for a four-cylinder, isn’t great either; the Colorado Trail Boss returns a middling 21 miles per gallon combined.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Review

Cons: Basic Interior, Inefficient Engine, Questionable Front-End Design

And if you’re wondering about the front end – that’s standard. Chevy decided that black plastic on the front fascia would be better than metal and paint for off-roading, which is more prone to scratching. It’s a good thought, but it leaves something to be desired visually.

But those are the sacrifices you have to make to get an off-road truck at this price. And frankly, even with cloth seats, the Colorado Trail Boss is worth it. You really won’t find another truck this capable for the price.

You can get into a Colorado Trail Boss for as little as $39,390 (with destination) for everything mentioned above. The handsome Radiant Red paint is an extra $495 and the $375 Convenience package adds cruise control, which brings this truck to an as-tested price of $41,195.

Update: An earlier version of this article indicated the front skid plate was standard, but it is a $995 option on the Trail Boss.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Review

More Chevy Truck Reviews

2024 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD ZR2 Bison First Drive Review: Doing The HD Dance
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 First Drive Review: The Trail’s New Boss

Competitor Reviews

Ford Ranger Nissan Frontier Toyota Tacoma

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss
EngineTurbocharged 2.7-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output310 Horsepower / 390 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeFour-Wheel Drive
Weight4,640 Pounds
Efficiency19 City / 23 Highway / 21 Combined
Seating Capacity5
Towing7,700 Pounds
Payload1,610 Pounds
Base Price$39,390
As-Tested Price$41,195
On SaleNow

Ford Ranger MS-RT Gives Pickup Extra Street Cred

Beefy Ford Ranger MS-RT joins new Transit Custom MS-RT as Ford’s commercial vehicles bulk up. But are they all show, no go? Let’s find out.

Ford of Europe has been offering ‘vans in tracksuits’ for quite a while, but now the Ranger pickup has joined the party. So, if you’re a UK- or EU-based tradie that also happens to be a budding modified car enthusiast, you might be interested in adding one of these to your work fleet. However, before you sign on the dotted line, let’s have a look to see what you’re really getting, starting with the new Ford Ranger MS-RT.

rear of Ford Ranger MS-RT

Ford Ranger MS-RT

Aesthetic Tweaks

As is tradition, a big part of the MS-RT range is the aesthetics. Inspired by motorsport, the looks of these two vehicles have definitely been altered to appeal to the traditional Fast Ford enthusiast – they’re low, wide, and even have legitimate aero packages. The Ranger, for example, gets redesigned bumpers at both the front and rear; the front one based on competition-spec Rangers used in Asia, and the rear featuring a diffuser. Naturally, the sideskirts have also had a muscular makeover to blend into the bodykit seamlessly.

If you look closely, you’ll also notice that this truck has two rear spoilers – one ducktail on the tailgate, and another on the rear of the cab. Ford says it has used computer simulations to ensure that these two additions do genuinely aid the Ranger’s aerodynamic balance through bends.

front of Ford Ranger MS-RT

Any mechanical upgrades?

The biggest mechanical difference is the suspension. Overall, the Ford Ranger MS-RT sits 40mm lower than a regular Ranger, which not only helps to give the truck a stockier stance but also indicates that Ford views this model as being strictly for asphalt. As for how that suspension performs, Ford claims that it has attempted give the truck greater stability through corners without compromising too much on comfort. To do this, as well as lowering it, they’ve also stiffened the Ranger’s front dampers and re-tuned the rear setup.

“If Ranger Raptor is the ultimate off-road truck, then the Ranger MS-RT is the ultimate street truck,” says Hans Schep, General Manager of Ford Pro Europe. “It’s a departure from what we usually see in this segment in Europe, but with more car-like driving dynamics and the towing and carrying capacity unchanged, we believe it will offer a compelling new option for pickup customers.”

Beyond that, there isn’t much else beneath the skin to talk about. The powertrain is the regular 240hp diesel V6, and as Schep mentioned, its carrying weight and towing capacity remain the same too (one tonne and 3500kg, respectively). Essentially, the Ranger MS-RT is a truck for people who want the benefits of a pickup, but want a bit more feedback and poise from the handling. If you want anything more than that, get a Ranger Raptor instead.

front of Ford Transit Custom MS-RT

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT

Moving onto the Transit, and the recipe looks fairly similar – though there is a bigger range of powertrain options, including one that nears 300hp. But before I get to that, let’s first cast our eyes over the aesthetics. The first thing to note is that bodykit. The Transit’s new lines actually seem a bit more aggressive than the Ranger’s. Again, the package features heavily revised bumpers at either end, as well as sideskirts and plenty of additional aero. You get a splitter at the front, diffuser at the rear, and check out that rear wing in the picture below!

rear of Ford Transit Custom MS-RT

The van’s unique 19-inch alloys reduce its unsprung mass by more than 1kg per corner, while Ford has also increased the track width by 50mm. Like the Ranger, you can also opt for slightly different interior packaging; either single cab or crew cab.

As for the powertrains I teased earlier, options start low with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. You can have it hooked up to a FWD drivetrain with 150hp, or opt for an AWD variant that bumps power up to 170 horses. Alternatively, there’s a plug-in hybrid model which uses both a 2.5-liter petrol engine and electricity to churn out 232hp. The range-topper, however, is the all-electric e-Transit (as pictured, with its unique front light bar). That thing registers the equivalent of 285hp, which all gets sent to the rear wheels.

Sounds pretty lively for a Transit, if you ask me.

The post Ford Ranger MS-RT Gives Pickup Extra Street Cred appeared first on Fast Car.

Lexus Finally Figured Out The Three-Row SUV

Remember the Lexus RX L? Not many people do. Lexus tried to shove an extra set of seats in the standard-wheelbase RX, which resulted in a horribly cramped third row and even less usable cargo space than its two-row counterpart. So Lexus ditched the RX L with the latest generation of RX. Ultimately, that was the right move.

The new Lexus TX is a proper three-row SUV. It has space for seven normal-sized adults and their luggage, with the premium fit and finish you expect from Lexus. Based on the also-good Toyota Grand Highlander, the Lexus TX has three powertrain options to choose from.

Quick Specs2024 Lexus TX 350 AWD
EngineTurbocharged 2.4-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output275 Horsepower / 317 Pound-Feet
Cargo Capacity20.2 / 54.7 / 97.0 Cubic Feet
Towing5,000 Pounds (Max)
Base Price$55,050
As-Tested Price$57,150 (est.)

The base engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The next-up, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid, pushes out 273 hp and 339 lb-ft. The range-topping 3.5-liter V6 plug-in-hybrid makes a hearty 404 hp.

The base engine is just fine in this TX 350 trim. Power arrives smoothly and there’s just enough of it to move the massive TX out of its own way. Considering it takes 7.8 seconds for this exact TX to reach 60 miles per hour, you won’t win any stoplight drag races against other luxury three-rows with torquier engines. And you will have to bury your foot deeply into the accelerator to get this hefty SUV up to speed; the Lexus TX weighs 4,575 pounds in this spec.

2024 Lexus TX Review

But as with any Lexus south of an F model, performance isn’t the purpose here. The TX is the king of comfort and has a wonderfully isolated ride over most surfaces. On the highway the suspension feels buttery smooth, quickly quashing bumps and undulations, and the cabin is whisper quiet thanks to excellent sound deadening.

Lexus makes some of the best chairs in the business and that’s mostly true here. The shape is great, the bolstering is excellent, and there’s ample butt and back support. But much like the front seats in the Grand Highlander, the bottom of the seat is too short and doesn’t come with extended thigh support for lanky lads like myself.

The second and third rows, though – relative to the class – are superb. The rearmost bench has enough headroom and legroom to seat two average-sized adults comfortably, or three bigger children. And there’s still a healthy 20.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row – 12.8 more than the outgoing RX L.

2024 Lexus TX Review

Pros: Tons Of Cargo Space, Lovely Cabin, Affordable Price

Fold the third row and that storage figure jumps to 54.7 cubic feet, while dropping the second row improves that number to 97.0 cubic feet. I managed to shove a king-size mattress with a few small bags and boxes in the back of the TX with no issue. It’s a hauling champ – just be careful not to scuff up the upholstery.

Most of the cabin surfaces within reach are soft to the touch, while the faux NuLuxe leather covering the seats and other surfaces looks and feels like the real thing. A sturdy piece of aluminum washes over the dash, accenting the pleather and soft plastic that covers most of the front console. There is a big chunk of piano-black plastic around the shifter and cup holders, which catches fingerprints like a magnet – but it’s the only unsavory trim piece in the cabin.

Every TX comes standard with Lexus’s Safety System+ 3.0 driver-assistance suite, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keep assist, among others. And outside some of the true hands-free systems, Safety Sense is about as good as it gets. It keeps the SUV centered in the lane, without ping-ponging it from side to side, while delivering smooth throttle and braking inputs that react nicely to the flow of traffic.

2024 Lexus TX Review

Cons: Slow, Heavy

The base TX 350 with front-wheel drive sips fuel at a rate of 21 miles per gallon city, 27 highway, and 23 combined – better than the most efficient Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX models by a good margin. But if it’s efficiency you’re after, the TX plug-in hybrid returns 27 miles per gallon combined and reaches up to 33 miles of electric driving.

All that comfort, capability, and efficiency won’t cost you much, believe it or not. The Lexus TX starts at just $55,050 with destination and handling for the 350 model with front-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive version tested here adds an extra $1,600, starting at $56,650. The range-topping plug-in-hybrid model costs $78,050.

2024 Lexus TX Review 2024 Lexus TX Review

If you want things like real leather, bigger wheels (up to 22 inches), and more technology – like a head-up display – you’ll have to splurge on the Luxury model. That version starts at $60,950 with front-wheel drive or $62,500 with all-wheel drive.

Regardless of trim, Lexus finally figured out how to make a great three-row SUV. It took them long enough. With an excellent selection of powertrains, a supremely comfortable cabin, and tons of cargo, luxury buyers who require loads of space need look no further.

More Lexus Reviews

The 2024 Lexus GX 550 Is An Old Land Cruiser For A New World
2024 Lexus TX First Drive Review: Just What We Needed

Competitor Reviews

Acura MDX Infiniti QX60 Volvo XC90

2024 Lexus TX 350 AWD
EngineTurbocharged 2.4-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output275 Horsepower / 317 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeAll-Wheel Drive
Speed 0-60 MPH7.8 Seconds
Weight4,575 Pounds
Efficiency20 City / 26 Highway / 23 Combined
Seating Capacity8
Towing5,000 Pounds (Max)
Cargo Volume20.2 / 54.7 / 97.0 Cubic Feet
On SaleNow
Base Price$55,050
As-Tested Price$57,150 (est.)

The New Four-Cylinder Genesis G70 Is Better, But The V6 Is Still Best

Aging sucks. But even for a fledgling brand like Genesis, it’s inevitable. The seven-year-old G70 is Genesis’s oldest model, a trailblazing midsize sedan that’s grown long in the tooth. But that’s not to say this isn’t still a good luxury car. A facelift in 2022 revitalized its looks while updates for 2025 make the base model more appealing.

A new turbocharged 2.5-liter engine replaces the old 2.0-liter mill, making 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. That extra 48 horsepower makes the G70 the most powerful entry-level option in its class and helps drop its 0-60 mph time under five seconds. The base G70 starts at $42,795 with the destination included, or $44,895 with all-wheel drive.

Quick Specs2024 Genesis G70 2.5T
EngineTurbocharged 2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output300 Horsepower / 311 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Base Price$42,795
As-Tested Price$48,450 (est.)

2024 Genesis G70 First Drive Review

The bad news is this turbo-four doesn’t develop a ton of torque off the line – nor is it that engaging. The turbo lags like an early-2000s smartphone so you really have to bury your foot into the accelerator pedal – and keep it buried – to get the G70 up to speed. At least the new engine delivers more power through the mid- and upper-limits of the tachometer, even if it takes a minute to get there.

If power is the priority, the V6 G70 is still the one to get. While it doesn’t receive any powertrain upgrades for 2024, the twin-turbo engine has a healthy 365 hp and 376 lb-ft, which launches the sedan to 60 mph in well under five seconds.

An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission option for either engine. It’s mostly anonymous but can be lethargic when driving quickly, refusing to upshift or downshift on time. Tick over to the most aggressive Sport+ driving mode and flick the paddles yourself for best results.

To its credit, the base G70 doesn’t shy away from corners. The electric power steering has moderate heft and a good road feel. The suspension is tight and the generous rear-drive system makes the G70 eager to get its ass-end around on tight turns. If you go for the 3.3T trim, which costs $51,245 out of the box, there’s even a drift mode (not that I got the chance to sample it). And not even the optional all-wheel-drive model hampers fun like some of the other too-stringent alternatives.

2024 Genesis G70 First Drive Review

Pros: Most Standard Power In The Class, Well-Tuned Suspension, High-End Interior

But the G70’s chassis still doesn’t respond as sharply as the BMW 3 Series, nor is the handling as predictable as an Alfa Romeo Giulia. Although the G70’s ride feels stiff, there’s too much body roll and some vagueness when you push it hard. Even the steering – although better here than on the 3.3T – is a bit fuzzy on center. And for some reason, Genesis only offers the rear limited-slip differential on the top-end 3.3T model. It would do the base model some good.

At least the 2.5T keeps things simple with a Macpherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear, with a fixed-ratio steering rack. The 3.3T has adjustable springs and variable-ratio steering; both changes contribute to a car that’s more complicated and heavier than its 2.5T stablemate. The base G70 weighs 3,688 pounds with rear drive while the 3.3T is close to 4,000 pounds.

One of G70 owners’ biggest complaints was how the car braked, so Genesis amended that with standard Brembos on every model. The new rotors bring the G70 down to speed with ease and they’re easy to modulate. Even non-enthusiast drivers will enjoy living with them.

2024 Genesis G70 First Drive Review

But the G70’s suspension can feel too harsh when you’re not tracking it – a place we don’t expect many Genesis owners will venture. The suspension crashes over imperfect roads. Tire and wind noise enter the cabin at a volume you’d expect from an economy car. My passenger and I could barely talk without raised voices.

To its credit, the cabin looks lovely. I’m a sucker for quilted leather, and the G70 keeps that going for 2025 with an available combo of black Nappa and red stitching. Aluminum trim pieces dot the steering wheel and dash, lending the interior a feeling of industrial heft, while that same black leather extends to the center console and door panels. There isn’t a piece of hard plastic or flimsy faux wood in sight.

2024 Genesis G70 First Drive Review

Cons: Lacking Low-End Torque, Loud And Harsh, No LSD On Four-Cylinder

One of the biggest upgrades inside the new G70 is a 10.3-inch touchscreen that’s standard on all models. It’s joined by a half-digital instrument cluster and a new productivity screen lower on the dash for air conditioning controls. I still prefer hard buttons for basic functions like this, but the G70’s HVAC screen is easy enough to use.

More standard safety equipment makes its way to the G70 for 2024, including things like blind-spot monitoring, a forward-collision, and Highway Driving Assist (HDA) – Hyundai’s excellent driver assistance feature. While HDA isn’t a true hands-free system, it comes close, with the perfect lane-centering and smooth acceleration and braking inputs. The automatic steering even navigates around highway curves that less-capable systems simply can’t.

Buyers looking for a punchier, more refined base model finally have something to look forward to in the 2024 G70 2.5T. But it’s still a step down from the punchier V6.

2024 Genesis G70 First Drive Review

The New And Improved Genesis G70

The 2024 Genesis G70 Is More Expensive Than Last Year
2024 Genesis G70 Gets 300 HP And Brembo Brakes For Base Model

Competitor Reviews

Alfa Romeo Giulia BMW 3 Series Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2024 Genesis G70 2.5T
EngineTurbocharged 2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output300 Horsepower / 311 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeRear-Wheel Drive
Weight3,688 Pounds
Efficiency21 City / 29 Highway / 24 Combined
Seating Capacity 5
Cargo Volume10.5 Cubic Feet
On SaleNow
Base Price$42,795
As-Tested Price$48,450 (est.)

The Audi RS6 Avant GT Is The Ultimate Super Wagon

Fans of fast wagons, brace yourselves. The Audi RS6 Avant GT could be a new classic of the genre. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

When it comes to high-powered estate cars, or wagons as they’re internationally known, Audi is the king. It practically created the genre with the ’90s RS2, and although BMW has given the Ingolstadt marque a run for its money with the M3 Touring, this car would appear to be Audi saying, “hey, remember who’s boss”. So, here’s everything you need to know about the awesome new Audi RS6 Avant GT.

RS 6 GTO concept, Audi RS 6 Avant GT, Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO

Aesthetic design

Before we get into the meat of the engineering behind it, I first want to talk about the way it looks. The regular RS6 Avant is a striking car to begin with, but this new motorsport-inspired livery and additional aesthetic touches really elevate it to a new level. Students of the racing world will immediately recognize this livery as an homage to the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO racecar. In general, these colors were synonymous with Audi’s 20th Century motorsport exploits across the world, and they translate incredibly well onto the RS6 Avant’s silhouette. That said, if you’re boring, Audi will also sell you this car in either Nardo Grey or Mythos Black with matching dark and dreary rim colors.

Audi design apprentices

Impressively, a group of twelve apprentices played a major role in designing the car’s emphatic new look, naturally with the support of Audi Design as well. The closer you look, the more aesthetic changes you’ll find though. Besides the obvious livery, this car wears a more aggressive face than the regular RS6 Avant, and a much-changed hood. In addition to the grooves, it is also constructed from carbon fiber – which, quite surprisingly, is a first for Audi Sport. To further increase the weight-saving, the car’s fenders are made from carbon fiber as well.

As for the wheels, these wonderfully retro six-spoke rims measure 22 inches in diameter, and hark back to old Audi rim styles of the past.

Audi RS 6 Avant GT side profile

Aero touches

A lot of thought has gone into improving the RS6 Avant’s use of the air around it. For example, behind the wheels, air outlets help to minimize air pressure within the wheel arch, thus improving brake cooling.

At the back of the car, you’ll find a fully-functional diffuser and a motorsport-inspired double-decker rear wing. Such is the focus of this car, even the roof rails have been ditched in the quest for better aero – though I’m not sure if that’ll be a popular move with the regular wagon crowd.

front of Audi RS 6 Avant GT

Performance upgrades

Now for the bit you’ve been waiting for – the performance stats. Happily, this isn’t just some fancy-dress special edition. Some genuine engineering upgrades have gone into this masterpiece, not least under the hood. Audi has managed to squeeze an extra 30PS and 50 newton meters out of the car’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, taking its total outputs up to 621hp and 627lb ft of torque. In practice, that translates into a rapid 0-62mph time of just 3.3 seconds, and a top speed of 190mph. How’s that for the school run?

In addition to the extra grunt, the RS6 Avant GT also benefits from some handling revisions. The headline alteration is a specially-tuned rear-differential which, when put into ‘dynamic’ mode, gives the car more of a rear bias and in theory better agility. The GT also sits 10mm lower than a regular Avant, and gets a higher spring rate, triple-adjustable dampers, 30% stiffer stabilizers at the front and 80% stiffer stabilizers at the rear. All in all, the Audi RS6 Avant GT should feel tremendously planted.

Audi RS 6 Avant GT studio shot

Availability & Cost

Now, here’s the kicker. A car this special was never likely to make mass production, and sadly that’s what we’re dealing with here. Only 660 examples are slated for construction, and due to the expected demand, pricing starts at a whopping 219,355 euros. At the time of writing, that’s $235,411.79 USD or £187,307.23!

So, Audi has shown that it’s still the king of fast wagons, but its greatest hit will come with a serious cost attached. Oh well, I guess there’s always the regular Audi RS6 Avant to turn to. I’d have one of those over an M3 Touring any day of the week. However, the boys from Bavaria are set to strike back later this year with the return of the M5 Touring, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say I’m *very* intrigued.

In the meantime, here’s what Matt thought of the RS6 Avant’s little brother, the RS4:

The post The Audi RS6 Avant GT Is The Ultimate Super Wagon appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Car Wash Mitt In 2024

A proper wash mitt will make cleaning your car easier, as well as keep your paintwork safe from scratches. We’ve tested each of these products to ensure you’re getting the best wash mitt for your money. 

If you’re still using a sponge to wash your car, you need to stop. Drop it, bin it, and buy yourself a proper car wash mitt. Why? Because sponges absorb everything, including tiny pieces of dirt. The result is you’re reapplying dirt to your car each time you go back with a sponge. To go with your wash mitt, you need the proper washing technique and the best car shampoo.

A wash mitt will make washing your car easier, allowing you to get into those tight spots easily. The microfibers or noodles will capture dirt and lift it away from the paintwork, minimizing the risk of scratches. And a mitt will be super soft, absorbent and will glide effortlessly across your car’s bodywork. If you’ve only ever used sponges before, a wash mitt will be a revelation. It’s important to note here than using two buckets to wash your car, alongside a grit guard in each, will help minimize the transfer of dirt onto your car further. Be sure to check out our guide to the correct process for washing your car for tips and tricks.

detailing a car

I’ve chosen a selection of wash mitts plus one wash pad to help you pick the best one. I want something that holds plenty of shampoo, that’s good to use and makes washing easy. As Fast Car’s Detailing Product Tester, I’ve tried a lot of wash mitts over the years. Plenty have been relegated to wheel and exhaust duty only, and only the best wash mitts get used on the paintwork. My selection here covers all bases and budgets. Some are good, some are great, while others miss the mark. Read on to find out which car wash mitts make the grade.

Best Car Wash Mitt At A Glance

  • Best Overall and Editor’s Choice: Microfiber Madness Incredipad XL. RRP: $27.99 / £19.95. Buy now.
  • Best Value: Meguiar’s Super Thick Microfibre Wash Mitt. RRP: $5.99 / £13.50. Buy now.
  • Approved: Autoglym Microfibre Wash Mitt. RRP: £10.00. Not available in the US. Buy now.
  • Approved: Gtechniq WM2 Microfiber Mitt. RRP: $18.95 / £12.25. Buy now.

Best Car Wash Mitt Microfiber Madness

Microfiber Madness Incredipad XL – Best Overall and Editor’s Choice

RRP: $27.99 / £19.95. Buy now.

Pros:

  • Massive
  • Very tightly-packed microfiber surface

Cons:

  • Very heavy when fully loaded
  • A little expensive

As its name implies, Microfiber Madness is a company dedicated to the art of microfiber. The company does make a car wash mitt, but I’ve picked the Incredipad XL because it’s my wash product of choice. First of all, as its name implies, it’s seriously hefty, measuring 9.5×9.5”, and 2” deep. Because it’s so big, it just makes washing your car so much faster. Just a few swipes and a whole panel is clean. The absorbent foam core means it soaks up loads of shampoo, allowing you to wash large areas quickly.

Best Car Wash Mitt Microfiber Madness in action

The surface is made up of microfiber strands of varying lengths. They’re incredibly tightly packed, allowing them to pick up loads of dirt and lock it away for safer washing. The only downside is that it’s almost too big. When it’s fully loaded, it’s very heavy, which makes moving it around hard work. It’s also quite hard to keep a hold of, so you need a claw grip on vertical surfaces. But aside from that, it’s very hard to fault, and this remains my personal favorite.

Want to see the full review? Check out more details on the Microfibre Madness wash mitt here

Meguiar's wash mitt

Meguiar’s Super Thick Microfibre Wash Mitt – Best Value

RRP: $5.99 / £13.50. Buy Meguiar’s Super Thick Microfibre Wash Mitt here.

Pros: 

  • Soft
  • Nice-sized cuff

Cons:

  • Short fibers

This is a great all-round car wash mitt from Meguiar’s. It’s a good size, so will fit a variety of hands. It also holds plenty of shampoo and will fit into all manner of tight spaces. The elasticated cuff isn’t too tight or too loose, so it’s easy to put on and take off. It’s soft, too, and feels nice on your hand.

using meguiar's wash mitt

It washes well and allows you to apply good pressure to the panel. But I prefer longer fibers, as they feel like they’re better at trapping dirt away from the paint. It’s a good mitt overall, but it feels a little outclassed here.

Be sure to check out Buffy’s full review of the Meguiar’s wash mitt

Best Car Wash Mitt Autoglym

Autoglym Microfibre Wash Mitt – Approved

RRP: £10.00. Not available in the US. Buy Autoglym Microfibre Wash Mitt here.

Pros:

  • Super-soft noodles
  • Densely packed washing surface
  • Mesh edges for scrubbing

Cons:

  • Absolutely horrible cuff

The Autoglym Microfibre car Wash Mitt really impressed me. It features a more traditional ‘noodle’ design. These ultra-plush noodles are super-effective at lifting away dirt and grime with ease. They’re incredibly densely packed, soaking up plenty of shampoo, and can trap a lot of dirt in one go. They also feel incredibly silky-soft to the touch, so your paintwork will love that. I also love the mech inserts on the edges for removing stubborn dirt, bugs and bird droppings.

autoglym wash mitt in use

The Autoglym Microfibre Wash Mitt is almost the perfect wash mitt. Almost. Unfortunately, it’s let down by its awful cuff. It’s really tight, which makes putting on and removing the mitt a pain. It’s also incredibly stiff and rough and will rub your wrist raw while using it. I can’t believe Autoglym designed such a fantastic mitt and dropped the ball with such a terrible cuff. It really lets the whole mitt down, and that’s a shame as this could have been the winner.

Head over to our full review of the Autoglym wash mitt

Best Car Wash Mitt Gtechniq

Gtechniq WM2 Microfiber Mitt – Approved

RRP: $18.95 / £12.25. Buy Gtechniq WM2 Microfiber Mitt here.

Pros:

  • Feels expensive
  • Good mix of fiber lengths

Cons:

  • Honestly not a lot

There’s a lot to love about Gtechniq’s mighty-fine car wash mitt. First off, it’s got ultra-low-friction glide characteristics, which help minimize swirl marks. The inner foam core has been designed to absorb a very large amount of shampoo while you’re washing. This makes it easier to wash large areas in one go. The different lengths of polyester strands make this mitt more effective at capturing dirt. That lets it hold onto the dirt until you rinse the mitt, so there’s less chance of scratching your paint.

gtechniq wash mitt in use

The elasticated cuff is a little loose, but that makes it easy to spin the mitt around when you want a clean side. It’s also got a little grab strap inside, handy for when you need more grip on your mitt. It feels thick and soft and is really nice to use. It’s well-priced, too, and it’s a superb wash mitt.

Gtechniq wash mitt full review.

auto finesse

Auto Finesse Plush Mitt

RRP: $19.95 / £12.95. Buy Auto Finesse Plush Mitt here.

Pros:

  • Good size
  • Long fibers

Cons:

  • A little thin

The Auto Finesse car wash mitt promises plushness and doesn’t disappoint. It features an ultra-deep, smooth-glide microfiber weave. These fluffy strands help the mitt to glide smoothly across the paintwork. They lift and lock away dirt, keeping your paintwork safe while washing. It’s very similar to the Gtechniq wash mitt but with a few differences. The fibers are longer, which I prefer, but they are less dense, It’s a tiny bit larger, and the cuff is softer.

Auto Finesse wash mitt

But it feels thinner, with less foam inside. This means it won’t be able to hold as much shampoo. It also has a split sewn into the middle, which gives you more control when manoeuvring the mitt. It sounds weird, but it works well. Overall a very good wash mitt that performs really well.

For more buying advice, check out the Auto Finesse wash mitt full review

Chemical Guys wash mitt

Chemical Guys Chenille Microfiber Premium Scratch-Free Wash Mitt

RRP: $10.79, buy now. / £12.49, buy now.

Pros:

  • Soft noodles

Cons:

  • Not very dense washing surface

The Chemical Guys Chenille Microfiber is a striking wash mitt with some nice features. It’s made with premium 70/30 blended microfiber noodles. They will hold plenty of shampoo while trapping dirt for a safer wash. At 8×10” it’s a decent size, too. The cuff is the right tightness, and there’s plenty of space for your hand inside without feeling cramped.

chemical guys wash mitt in use

The problem is that there’s nothing special about it, it’s just fine. In isolation, it’s a good wash mitt, but it doesn’t shine in this company. Also, the noodles aren’t very densely packed, which feels like a cost-cutting exercise. It’s not a bad wash mitt, but you can do better.

Here’s Buffy’s full review of the Chemical Guys wash mitt

Mothers wash mitt

Mothers Microfiber Chenille Wash Mitt

RRP: $7.99, buy now. £11.99, buy now.

Pros: 

  • Big

Cons:

  • Almost too big

The Mothers Microfiber Chenille Wash Mitt is very similar to the Chemical Guys offering. So much so, you might think they were identical, but there are some differences. You have the same microfiber noodles, and as with the Chemical Guys mitt they could do with being a bit more tightly packed. The cuff is also different – a little looser and rougher.

using mothers wash mitt

On paper, these two wash mitts are meant to be the same, 8×10”. But the Mothers wash mitt is clearly larger – it’s both longer and wider. On the one hand, that’s good, because it means a greater washing surface area. However, unless you’ve got massive bear-like paws for hands, it’s going to be too big. Your hand will flap around inside, and it’s going to be hard to control the mitt properly. Again, it’s a decent mitt and better value than the Chemical Guys offering, but it can’t match the best mitts on this list.

Mothers Wash Mitt full review.

armor all wash mitt

Armor All Microfibre Wash Mitt

RRP: $9.99 / £7. Buy Armor All 2 in 1 Microfibre Noodle Wash Mitt here.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Dual washing surfaces

Cons:

  • Small
  • Nasty cuff

Cheap and relatively cheerful, this Armor All wash mitt is great value but doesn’t scrimp on features. On one side, its densely-packed soft noodles soak up loads of shampoo and gently clean your car’s bodywork. On the other, there’s a non-scratch mesh for tackling tough stains and lets you scrub stubborn dirt safely. Like the Auto Finesse mitt, it’s also got a split for greater control when washing. It’s certainly versatile and is impressive considering its price.

using armor all wash mitt

There are some caveats, though. First of all, it’s very small. It feels tight on your hand, in fact, you can barely get your whole hand in. That also means a lot more effort to clean each panel. Also, it has another nasty, cheap cuff that makes it uncomfortable to use. It’s not bad, especially given the price, but I’d spend a little more to get something better.

Check out our in-depth review for more info on the Armor All wash mitt

How Each Product Was Tested

I compared the size of each mitt, the softness, and the length and density of the cleaning fibers. Fit, comfort, and features, like different washing surfaces, as well as price were also taken into account. Each mitt was then tested on a section of the car, where I observed how it felt in use. I compared how heavy each one felt and how much shampoo it could hold. And I also considered how each mitt felt and how easy it was to wash with.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Wash Mitt

You want a wash mitt with a very densely-packed washing surface. More fibers or noodles means it can trap more dirt more effectively. That also makes for safer washing as the dirt is held away from your paintwork. You also want the washing surface to be nice and soft. A larger mitt will be able to hold more shampoo. It will also make cleaning quicker, but if it’s too large it will be cumbersome to use. A mesh surface for scrubbing is always a nice bonus. Finally, make sure you pick a wash mitt that’s actually comfortable to use, otherwise, you won’t be happy with it.

The post Best Car Wash Mitt In 2024 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Car Shampoo In 2024

We tested 10 of the best car shampoo products you can buy in 2024 against each other in a mega test of cleaning power. Here are our best car wash soap results.

You might think that all car shampoos are equal, but that’s definitely not the case. Some will clean better than others, and others will foam up more. Some will feel slicker on the paint, and some have special features that make them stand out. Choosing a car wash soap is difficult, which is why I’ve done the hard work for you. It is my job as Fast Car’s Detailing Product Tester, after all.

Best Car Shampoo group shot

I’ve tried a lot of car shampoos over the years, so I know what makes a good one. I’ve picked 10 shampoos for this mega group-test and they’re all really good. Honestly, there’s not one bad car wash soap here. But, some are just a little nicer to use than others. Picking the right shampoo is essential as washing your car is a core part of the car detailing process.

These are all pure shampoos with no added wax, which makes them perfect if you want to apply your own protection afterwards. Without further ado, here are the results of our car shampoo group test.

Best Car Shampoo At A Glance

  • Best Overall: Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash. RRP: $22.68, buy now. £12, buy now
  • Editor’s Choice: Adam’s New Car Wash Shampoo. RRP: $13.19, buy now. £9.99, buy now.
  • Approved: Dodo Juice Born to be Mild. RRP: £11.98, buy now (not available in US). 
  • Approved: Gyeon Q2M Bathe. RRP: $27.99, buy now. £13.50, buy now.
  • Best Value: Bilt Hamber Auto Wash. RRP: £19.95, buy now. Not available in the US. 

Best Car Shampoo Meguiar's

Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash – Best Overall

Size: 18 fl. oz (532ml), 64 fl. oz (1892ml). RRP: From $22.68, buy now. £12, buy now.

Pros:

  • Features lubricating oils and water softeners

Cons:

  • You need to use more shampoo than some others

Meguiar’s offers a lot of different shampoos but NXT Generation Car Wash deserves to be noticed. In a sea of very similar pure shampoos, this really stands out from the crowd. Crack open this pH-neutral shampoo and you’re hit by a tangy citrus scent, which is delicious. What makes it stand out is a couple of impressive features. First off, synthetic lubricating oils deliver exceptional slickness. Then you’ve got the engineered water softeners that help reduce deposits in hard-water areas. These help you to achieve a spot-free finish, always a bonus.

Best Car Shampoo Meguiar's in action

You need 2 capfuls (0.7 fl. oz) per gallon, which is an odd measurement as that’s not a lot of water. Realistically you’ll be using 3 gallons or so, which means 2 fl. oz per wash. As you’d expect, it felt exceptionally slick on the paintwork and delivered superb cleaning. The water softeners are the icing on the cake, making it ideal for hard-water areas. Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash is another shampoo I will be using personally from now on.

To learn more, read our full review of Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash here.

Best Car Shampoo Adam's car wash soap

Adam’s New Car Wash Shampoo – Editor’s Choice

Award: Editor’s Choice
Size:
16 fl oz (473ml), 1 gallon (3.8 liters). RRP: $13.19, buy now. £9.99, buy now.

Pros:

  • Can be used in direct sun and won’t leave water spots.

Cons:

  • Not the most economical shampoo.

Adam’s New Car Wash Shampoo is a personal favorite of mine for several reasons. It’s pH-neutral for starters and has a lush Wildberry scent. It foams up well, and the foam does last. It’s designed to be exceptionally slick, and you really do feel that when you’re using it. It also cleans very well indeed.

Best Car Shampoo Adam's in action

The biggest selling point for me is that you can use it in direct sunlight. And it will not leave water spots. This makes it my go-to summer car shampoo. I know I can wash my car even on sunny days, and get great results. The only downside is that you need 1-2 fl. oz per wash. That means it’s not going to last as long as some other more frugal shampoos. But that’s a very minor negative point. For hot, sunny climates and summertime washing, Adam’s New Car Wash Shampoo is exceptional.

Check out our in-depth review of Adam’s New Car Wash Shampoo here.

Best Car Shampoo Dodo Juice car wash soap

Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild

Award: Approved
Size:
16.9 fl. oz (500ml), 33.8 fl. oz (1 liter), 1.3 gallons (5 liters). RRP: From £11.98, buy now (not available in US).

Pros:

  • Loads of foam and very slick.
  • Contains limescale inhibitors.

Cons:

  • Lots of shampoo required for dirty cars in hard-water areas

Dodo Juice Born to be Mild pH neutral shampoo is a wax-friendly offering. It has been a staple of the company’s cleaning lineup since its launch. I can see why it’s been around for so long. I can’t place the smell, but it’s sweet and delicious – almost good enough to drink. Dodo Juice says to use between 2-6 capfuls in a bucket. This depends on how big your bucket is, how dirty your car is, and if you’re in a hard water area. How big is a capful? I measured it, and it seems to be around 0.42 of a fl. oz. So you’ll realistically need between 1.7-2.5 fl. oz per wash.

Best Car Shampoo Dodo Juice in action

It delivered loads of foam and was really slick on the paint. Best of all, it boasts limescale inhibitors that help soften your wash water. This makes washing your car in hard-water areas that bit easier, and that’s a huge selling point. Dodo Juice Born to be Mild is going straight into my personal cleaning arsenal.

Read more about why that is in our full review of Dodo Juice Born to be Mild, next.

Best Car Shampoo Gyeon car wash soap

Gyeon Q²M Bathe Car Wash Soap

Award: Approved
Size:
13.5 fl. oz (400ml), 33.8 fl. oz (1 liter), 1 gallon (3.8 liters). RRP: $27.99, buy now. £13.50, buy now.

Pros:

  • Foamy and slick.
  • Very economical.
  • Good cleaning performance.

Cons:

  • Smells a bit like cough syrup.

Gyeon Q²M Bathe is a thick gel shampoo that is pH neutral. You need between 0.5-0.7 fl. oz in your bucket, and that will give you loads of foam. This was a really nice car wash soap to use.

Best Car Shampoo Gyeon in action

It was really nice and slick and just made washing a pleasure. Gyeon Q²M Bathe also had a nice amount of foam that didn’t instantly disappear. And it cleaned really well too, as you’d expect from Gyeon. A very easy car shampoo to recommend.

For more info, check out our full review of Gyeon Q²M Bathe here.

Best Car Shampoo Bilt Hamber car wash soap

Bilt Hamber Auto Wash – Best Value

Award: Best Value
Size:
16.9 fl. oz (500ml), 33.8 fl. oz (1 liter). RRP: £19.95, buy now. Not available in the US.

  • Incredible value for money.
  • Cleans very well.

Cons:

  • No scent.
  • Not much foam.

Bilt Hamber Auto Wash’s specs are impressive. It’s salt, wax and additive-free. Its anti-corrosive properties make it especially good for washing older cars that might have stone chips and exposed bare metal. What’s really impressive is how highly concentrated it is. You only need 0.17 fl. Oz in a 2.6-gallon bucket – that’s one teaspoon. Which is wild.

Best Car Shampoo Bilt Hamber in action

Bilt Hamber Auto Wash might not deliver loads of foam, but it feels lovely and slick on the paintwork. It’s a pleasure to wash with and delivers excellent cleaning. Another superb product from Bilt Hamber.

For a closer look, read our full review of Bilt Hamber Auto Wash here.

Best Car Shampoo Gtechniq car wash soap

Gtechniq W1 GWash

Size: 8.5 fl. oz (250ml), 16.9 fl. oz (500ml), 33.8 fl. oz (1 litre), 1.3 gallons (5 liters). RRP: From $15.95, buy now. £8.95, buy now.

Pros:

  • Lovely and slick.
  • Solid cleaning performance.

Cons:

  • Very little foam on the panel.

Gtechniq makes some excellent cleaning products, and its W1 Gwash car shampoo does not disappoint. It kicks things off with a gentle grapefruit scent – very nice. Gtechniq says to use four capfuls in a 5.3-gallon bucket, but seriously, who has a bucket that big? I’d say 3.2 gallons is more reasonable. With each capful being 0.3 fl. oz, you’ll be using around 0.8 fl. oz per wash.

Best Car Shampoo Gtechniq in action

It made lots of foam in our container, but there was virtually none on the surface. This didn’t impair its slickness or cleaning performance, though. W1 Gwash shampoo really delivered, and I like this one a lot.

To learn more, read our full review of Gtechniq W1 here!

Best Car Shampoo Mothers car wash soap

Mothers California Gold High Performance Car Wash Soap

Size: 16 fl. oz (437ml), 32 fl. oz (946ml), 64 fl. oz (1892ml). RRP: $12.99-$23.99, buy now. £8.49-£21.99, buy now.

Pros:

  • Smell gorgeous.
  • Feels great to use.

Cons:

  • Poor value for money.

Mothers California Gold car shampoo is an excellent car wash soap that’s so nice to use. On paper, it doesn’t seem that special. It’s pH neutral but doesn’t offer anything special to set it apart from other shampoos. However, on the panel, it just felt incredibly slick and was so nice to wash with. Sometimes, that can make all the difference between a good shampoo and a great one. And it smells absolutely gorgeous as well, which is a bonus.

Best Car Shampoo Mothers in action

Unfortunately, the dilution ratio lets it down. The instructions call for 1 fl. oz per gallon, which means you’ll be using around 3 oz in your bucket. That’s quite a lot of product, which means you’ll likely get just five washes from the smaller 16 oz bottle. As nice as it is to use, that makes it very poor value for money, unfortunately. So, check out our full review of it to decide once and for all whether you can justify the cost.

Best Car Shampoo Auto Finesse car wash soap

Auto Finesse Lather Car Shampoo

Size: 16.9 fl. oz (500ml), 33.8 fl. oz (1 liter), 84.5 fl. oz (2.5 liters), 1.3 gallons (5 liters). RRP: From $18.95, buy now. £11.95, buy now.

Pros:

  • Slick and foamy.
  • Cleans well.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t smell great.

Lather from Auto Finesse is a strong all-round car shampoo offering that doesn’t disappoint. Its combo of advanced surfactants with highly-concentrated lubricants has been designed for easy and safe washing. Naturally, it’s pH-neutral, though I’m not sold on the smell – it’s a weird chemical citrus scent. I’m not a fan.

Best Car Shampoo soap Auto Finesse in action

Auto Finesse says to use 2-4 capfuls, so that means once again measuring how big a capful is. My measuring beaker says it’s about 0.5 fl. oz, so that’s 1-2 fl. oz per wash. It makes lots of foam and serves up plenty of slickness with good cleaning. An excellent car shampoo from Auto Finesse. Find out more in this full review.

Best Car Shampoo Griot's car wash soap

Griot’s Car Wash Soap

Size: 16 fl. oz (437ml), 1 gallon (3.8 liters). RRP: From $9.99, buy now.  £9, buy now.

Pros:

  • Cleans very well.
  • Smells great.

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as others tested.

Griot’s makes a wide range of excellent cleaning products and its Car Wash shampoo is most definitely one of them. This pH-neutral shampoo not only looks orange but has a lovely tangy citrus scent too. The dilution ratio is 1 fl. oz per 2 gallons, so you’ll be using around 1.5 oz per wash, which is not bad at all.

Best Car wash soap Shampoo Griot's in action

While it’s light on foam when you get it on the panel, it does feel very nice and slick under your mitt. It doesn’t offer any unique standout properties, but it is a solid all-round car shampoo. Read the full review here.

Best Car Shampoo Autoglym car wash soap

Autoglym Foaming Car Wash

Size: 33.8 fl. oz (1 liter), 84.5 fl. oz (2.5 liters). RRP: £12.99 (not available in the US). Buy Autoglym Foaming Car Wash here

Pros:

  • Cleans well.
  • Good value.

Cons:

  • Nothing to make it really stand out.

UK car-cleaning expert, Autoglym, offers some excellent shampoos, and Foaming Car Wash is no exception. Naturally, it’s pH-neutral, while the marzipan scent is just unreal. Autoglym says to use 2 capfuls per 2.6 gallons, which works out as around 0.7 fl. oz. This makes it good value as you’ll get 50 washes from even the smallest bottle.

Best Car wash soap Shampoo Autoglym in action

It delivered a nice amount of foam, and I had no complaints about its performance. It felt slick under my mitt and cleaned very well. This is an excellent choice of shampoo and it’s very easy to recommend. For a closer look, have a read of our full review.

Best Car Wash Soap: The Testing Process

First, I diluted each shampoo according to the individual instructions, opting for a medium dilution ratio where a range was suggested. Then observed the amount of foam each shampoo produced and assessed how slick it felt on the panel. Next, I carried out a visual and physical inspection to see how much dirt, if any, was left after washing. The price and how much shampoo is needed per wash were also taken into consideration.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Car Shampoo

Always look for a pH-neutral car shampoo that won’t strip any wax or other coatings you have applied to your paintwork. Look for car shampoos that need less product per wash as they are better value and will last longer. Car shampoos that can be used in direct sun are fantastic for summertime washing. Any car shampoo with water-softening properties is ideal for hard-water areas. Finally, make sure you like the scent of the shampoo you plan to buy. If it triggers childhood trauma of nasty cough syrup, you’ll hate using it.

Car Shampoo FAQs

Can I use a sponge to wash my car?

No. Put simply, a sponge absorbs everything, including all the little stones and pieces of dirt, and traps them in the fibers. Once you reapply the sponge to the car’s paintwork, you’ll be dragging those small particles across the paintwork, creating small scratch marks often known as swirl marks. Get yourself a proper wash mitt, in fact we’ve got a guide to the best car wash mitts in 2023 to help you out.

Do I need to use two buckets or one?

If you want to minimize the risk of carrying dirt from wash your wash mitt back onto the paintwork after rinsing your mitt, then you’re best of using two buckets. One bucket should contain your car shampoo product, the other should be clean water with a grit guard. The idea is you start with the car shampoo bucket, clean a panel, and then rinse off the wash mitt in the bucket of clean water with a grit guard. Rub the mitt against the guard to encourage stones away from the mitt, and then place the mitt back into the shampoo bucket and onto the car. By doing this, you reduce the chance of creating imperfections in your paint.

You don’t have to use two buckets, but you generally run the risk of creating paint damage without having a rinse bucket to discard of dirt.

Can I use dish soap to wash my car?

While very good for removing dirt from dishes, dish soap is no good for your car’s paintwork. In fact, the chemicals used inside of dish soap to remove food from your dishes can cause damage to your paintwork. Don’t do this!

What is pH neutral car shampoo?

A pH neutral car shampoo is the type of product you should be buying. Put simply, it sits at 7 on the pH scale, and is neither dominant in acid or alkaline. The benefits to this is that the product won’t damage your paintwork, nor will it strip away ceramic coatings or wax from the body. With products that have more acid in, you’ll risk causing damage to the paintwork and it will almost certainly start stripping away protective coatings on the body.

Relevant content: 

The post Best Car Shampoo In 2024 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Budget Dash Cam In 2024

A dash cam is well worth having these days, but you needn’t spend a fortune to get a good one. Here’s our pick of the best budget dash cams under $150. 

You might be the best driver in the world, but even so, what about the road users around you? This is why you won’t catch us driving without a dash cam. Whether it’s protecting you from crash scams or assisting with insurance disputes, they’re essential motoring equipment. You can pick dash cams up for peanuts these days, but there’s almost too much choice. Don’t worry though, we’ve done the hard work for you and picked five of the best budget dash cams that’ll do the job without breaking the bank.

How we chose these products

We’ve been able to test some of these products first-hand, in which case they’ll have been scrutinized during the installation phase as well as the performance phase. So, as a result, we’ll be able to give you a well-rounded insight into what it’s like to own them. However, those listed here which we haven’t tested ourselves are here based on how their spec sheets compare to their price tags – a good benchmark for deciding whether they’re value for money, at least on the surface.

Editor’s Note:

Our contributors who put this piece together, Elizabeth and James, are well-placed to offer you advice on dash cams. James has conducted numerous dash cam reviews for Fast Car, ensuring he’s clued up about what you should look out for, and how the different brands compare to each other. Elizabeth, meanwhile, is a real-life dash cam user, so understands exactly what you need from these devices. She’s also currently Editor of Total BMW magazine, so it’s fair to say she knows her way around the automotive scene.

Best Budget Dash Cam In 2024

At a glance:

Nextbase 222 in box

Nextbase 222

RRP: $99.99, buy now / £79.99, buy now.

If you’re looking for a great entry-level dash cam from a big brand, the Nextbase 222 is an excellent choice. The camera records in 1080P at 30fps and has a 140° viewing angle. The 6G lens, meanwhile, provides you with high-quality images. The wide, 2.5” high-resolution IPS screen allows you to clearly view your recordings. For convenience, the Nextbase 222 uses a Click&Go powered windscreen mount, which I can confirm makes it so much easier to install and remove from the car. There’s also an intelligent parking mode, a high-precision G-sensor, and night vision. It’s a strong performer with a good selection of features, which is exactly what you’d expect from a brand of Nextbase’s stature. To find out more, read our full review here.

Garmin dash cam mini 2

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

RRP: $129.99, buy now. / £119.99, buy now.

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is the most expensive item on this list, but in the grand scheme of dash cams, its retail price is still pretty reasonable. This tiny little device is great if you’re after something that’s discreet, compact, and just focuses on doing the basics really well.

In regards to image resolution, the Garmin matches the Nextbase above it, recording in 1080p at 30fps, with a 140-degree view. Voice control allows you to pose various functionality requests without having to take your hands or eyes of the wheel, and it’s also compatible with the Garmin Drive app. That means you can access the dash cam’s footage remotely. To learn more about this camera’s ups and downs, take a look at my full review of it.

Z-Edge budget dash cam

Z-Edge Z3Pro

RRP: $109.99, buy now / £145.00, buy now.

Z-Edge’s Z3Pro dash cam offers plenty of features at a very good price. First of all, it’s a double camera, which is always a nice bonus. The front-facing camera records in 1440P, which is 2K, at 30FPS. The rear-facing camera is a 1080P one, but it’s only designed to capture what’s happening in the cabin. Both cameras do have a good 155° wide-angle lens, though, which is a decent amount. The interior camera also features four infrared lights and Super Night Vision for enhanced night vision and recording in darkness. The Z3Pro also features a parking monitor to keep your car safe while you’re away. There’s also built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to preview, download and share recordings easily on your Apple or Android phone. This is a good-value dash cam packed with great features.

Spade budget dash cam

SPADE Dual Dash Cam

RRP: $49.99, buy now / £39.99, buy now.

Amazon is filled with ridiculously cheap dash cams, but the SPADE gets our vote. For an incredibly low price, you get a 1296P dash cam, a 1080P rear camera, and a 32GB memory card. 1296P is a slightly random resolution, but every pixel counts when it comes to detail. The main camera has a 170° recording angle, along with WDR and six infrared LEDs for enhanced night vision. It also has a 3” screen for clear viewing of recorded footage. The SPADE dash cam also comes with a parking monitor and G-sensor. The rear camera is a small, exterior-mounted waterproof unit with a 130° recording angle that doubles as a reversing camera. In terms of features and value, the SPADE dash cam is hard to beat, and it’s an absolute bargain.

Kingslim budget dash cam

Kingslim D5 4K Dash Cam

RRP: $42.77, buy now. £89.99, buy now.

In terms of features, the Kingslim D5 4K is a beast, and it offers exceptional value for money. As its name implies, you get 4K recording at 30fps, which means crystal-clear video footage. The camera also features a 170° recording angle, which means it captures a very wide area in front of your car. The Kingslim D5-4K boasts a Sony image sensor, six-layer glass lenses and HDR high-dynamic range, which gives it superb night vision. On top of all that, it features built-in GPS, allowing it to record your driving route and speed, as well as pinpoint the exact location of any incidents. Finally, it also has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to adjust settings, playback video and download recordings to your phone. If you’re looking for a budget dash cam with serious spec, the Kingslim D5-4K is a fantastic choice.

How to buy the best budget dash cam

When all things are considered, you have to ask yourself what you want in a dash cam. If it’s simply to protect you in situations such as accidents, then what you need is a dash cam that can record in good quality, with sound, and a good amount of memory to save the footage. You also want a dash cam that can record footage at the press of a button or by voice command. Other features such as parking mode, or dual camera setups will cost more. If those are features you’d like, then you’ll likely have to spend more than $100. That being said, Amazon’s Spade Dash Cam features a 1080p rear camera, although this does need to be mounted externally.

Night vision is a great touch in a budget dash cam, as it doesn’t restrict when your dash cam can be used. In 2024, this is often a standard feature. Another thing to consider is a wide angle lens to record things at over 130°. For most, the budget dash cams above feature everything you would want in a dash cam, and sometimes more. We’ve selected examples that pack a surprising amount of tech into a small, affordable product. So, whichever one of this selection you opt for, we’re confident you won’t be left disappointed.

Words by Elizabeth de Latour & James Bowers.

The post Best Budget Dash Cam In 2024 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Sound Deadening For Your Car

Want to prime your car’s cabin for some speaker upgrades? Treat it to the best sound deadening material that the aftermarket has to offer.

Have you ever stepped inside a luxury car and noticed how quiet it was when you shut the door? We are way more sensitive to sound than we realize. And as a result, that decibel attenuation is an expensive commodity. In true luxury barges, we even see double glazed windows with an air gap between them for that very reason. Bentley and Rolls Royce cars are said to offer ‘Splendid Isolation’, meaning in reality about 20dB of sound reduction.

The truth is, decibels of sound are slippery customers, moving about through air and metal and bouncing around inside spaces. Which is why we talk about two kinds of things to do with sound in any space, not just vehicles:

One is sound ‘proofing’ – or stopping the transference of sound, the other is sound ‘treatment’ – or improving the space’s acoustics. The upside-down mushrooms hanging from the Albert Hall’s ceiling were devised in the 70s, generations after it was built. It was an awful venue for sound and the shapes cured it. Likewise, your car has weird and horrible acoustics. Your cabin boosts bass, every surface else sucks up the high frequencies, while the windows make ugly reflections. That’s why there is so much interest in tuning car audio equipment to work well.

However, the best investment in the realm of automotive audio has to be the mods which make the cabin a better place for audio. And that is where sound deadening comes in. So, before you think about upgrading your car speakers or subs, give a thought to the products and brands listed below…

Best Sound Deadening Materials

SILENT COAT sound deadening

Silent Coat

Made in the EU, this is a solid value for money product. Silent Coat has a wide range of matting at often remarkably keen prices versus some other brands. They have twelve products if you count the different thicknesses. The first are the foil and polymeric damping bitumen based sound deadening mats: Silent Coat in 2mm, Silent Coat Black in 3mm with black foil, and Silent Coat Extra in a fat 4mm thickness. There’s also Silent Coat Multilayer mat (which is used for heavy vibration areas) with foil atop butyl mastic with a mass loaded vinyl layer, then another of butyl.

Meanwhile, Silent Coat Isolator mat is a foam that can be had in either 6mm or a fat 10mm spec and is used as a layer on top of the deadening mat. That’s the sort of stuff you want when dampening high end audio or bass cars. You want your cabin to be inert, and still be able to afford the audio to install in it? This is a good option.

Specialized products

On top of all that, Silent Coat sells a 20mm or 30mm bonnet liner with foil topping, called Noise Buffler. It is fire retardant and heat resistant but no thermal rating is quoted. Then, there’s a polyurethane foam with an egg-box looking surface called Silent Coat Absorber, offered in 7mm, 15mm and a massive 35mm. This is all about high frequency sound absorption – it is said to absorb 30-40% more sound through its architecture. A major application for this would be inside bass boxes to stop resonances.

Lastly, Silent Coat Noise Isolator in 10mm or 6mm is a lighter weight closed structure cell foam used for doors and in the roof lining. It’s good for absorbing airborne noise.

As well as the mats, Silent Coat offer three kits. One is a basic hatchback deadener, and the others are for Land Rover Defender 90SWB and 110LWB.

Overall, Silent Coat provides cost effective stuff, and offers a good choice of products for different applications.

  • Summer 2023 price of single sheet of Bitumen matting with foil backing: $3.10 / £2.40
  • Try out price/product: 20x 2mm sheet Silent Coat, $62.68 / £47.99
  • Number of kinds of products (as in varieties, not SKUs): 12, plus accessories and three kits
  • Main Market: DIY audio customers, Land Rover fans

NOICO sound deadening

Noico

Available solely through Amazon, this is a factory selling directly to the public, hence the low prices. They only sell a limited range of just the key products; basically two things in a couple of thicknesses. The sound deadening mat is 2mm thick, and has a foil topping that Noico says is used as install indicator. If you have pressed the embossing flat during installation, you have squidged it firmly enough onto the surface of choice. They offer a roller to do this with and there is a black foil version available. You would use this where you might otherwise spot a silvery glimpse of bodywork on stripped-down but deadened cars. A black foil product is a common option in the competition, hence their copying it.

The other product is Noico Red. A polyethylene foam mat in either 4mm or 8mm. Used as a thermal insulator, it’s claimed to perform as well as rubber based foams. Another benefit is that is doesn’t give off any smell like polyurethane foam tends to.

Rated to 190F or 88C, Noico Red works well as thermal insulation for warm climate vehicles, although it is not rated to be used in really hot spots like say, Dynamat Hoodliner. A real commodity purchase, you buy this if you have a clue what you are doing and just want the basic sound deadening. Not really a wide choice of products for van converters, but it’s keenly priced and appears to be good stuff.

  • Summer 2023 price of single sheet of Bitumen matting with foil backing: $3.50 / £2.70
  • Try out price/product: ten sheets of black 2mm, $35.25 / £26.99
  • Number of kinds of products (as in varieties, not SKUs): five
  • Main Market: Audio customers mostly, direct from factory to customer, hence so low in price

DODOMAT sound deadening

Dodo Mat

With more products, more kits, and more bits to help fit the stuff, Dodo Mat are the DIY van converters’ favorite. With some crazy thick insulation for thermal purposes – even including a vehicle-safe lagging wool made from recycled bottles, you could build a sub-zero arctic weatherproof off-grid monster starting with this stuff.

Dodo technically offers 21 products, since many come in multiple thicknesses. Dodo DEADN Hex is their synthetic butyl foil faced deadening mat. It’s soft and flexible for easy installation and 1.8mm thick. DEADN PRO Black has black foil and has 2mm of that low odor synthetic butyl. Dodo SQ DEADENING PLUS is a foam layer atop the butyl. Next in line, DEADN DUO combines a deadening mat with a thermal insulator and the PRO version is 7mm thick as against 5mm.

Specialized products

SQ LINER is a closed-cell wavy-surface foam used for interior sound absorption, while SUPER LINER is a smooth faced foam. Used over a layer of deadening mat, you pick the thickness. It comes in 5mm, 6mm, 10mm and 12mm. The Dodo BARRIER mat, meanwhile, is a Mass Loaded Vinyl or MLV and is weighty at 5Kg/M2. You would use that for sound proofing, as in blocking unwanted noise, say in your van walls. The PRO version has a layer of closed cell foam already laminated to it. SOUND STOPPER measures 14mm thick and is the ultimate carpet underlay, with a layer of MLV between two foam layers. It needs adhesive to fit, unlike all the other products, which are sticky-backed.

Finally Dodo THERMOLINER and the PRO versions (featuring a glass fiber reinforced aluminum layer) are sound and heat insulation mats. In version 3, the self-adhesive glue has been upgraded and the release paper is harder to tear. You can purchase it in 6mm, 10mm, 12mm and a thick 30mm form. The one like loft lagging, called Dodo THERMO FLEECE, is 50mm thick.

In short, Dodo Mat has absolutely everything you could possibly want from a sound deadening supplier.

  • Summer 2023 price of single sheet of synthetic Bitumen matting with foil backing: $3.91 / £2.99
  • Try out price/product: Single Sheet Dodomat, $3.91 / £2.99
  • Number of kinds of products (as in varieties, not SKUs): 21, plus accessories and eight kits
  • Main Market: DIY camper van conversions and audio customers

SKINZ sound deadening

Skinz

There aren’t many kinds of products in the Skinz line up as this is all about hifi, and not camping. They are designed and made for the folks who also sell the Audison Thesis stuff. True audiophiles, they sell very high end electronics. As a result, two items in the range exist just to improve loudspeaker locations, as well as sound deadening products.

Skinz Expert sound deadening mat is available in 2mm or as Pro in the 3mm thickness. The Pro version has black foil, while the Skinz Panel Liner product comes in 6mm and 10mm. The latter is a foam layer and like others, is recommended for use on top of sound deadening mat. The Skinz Wave Diffuser is a wavy foam product intended to be fitted behind loudspeakers in doors. The idea is that it absorbs the back wave of the driver and avoids reflections or distortions from them. The other speaker based product is the unique Skinz WaterGuard, a soft silicone rubber boot in 165mm and 200mm sizes, which prevents water getting at speakers.

Another product others don’t seem to have is a dust and grease cleaner. A preparation spray, it’s used to make sure the self-adhesive layer on the deadening mat does its thing.

Sold through the FOUR Masters network of dealers, you will find Skinz products sold with Hertz and Audison kit.

  • Summer 2023 price of single sheet of Bitumen matting with foil backing: $5.60 / £4.29
  • Try out price/product: 3mm Door Kit of seven sheets of Skinz sound deadening is $39.17 / £29.99
  • Number of kinds of products (as in varieties, not SKUs): six
  • Main Market: High end audio customers

Stinger ROADKILL sound deadening

Stinger Roadkill

This brand is available at Halfords, as well as being widely distributed by AAMP Global’s UK/EU arm. Or, if you want to make life really simple, you can find Stinger Roadkill products on Amazon too.

It’s got pretty packaging and while a big brand, has a less than comprehensive set of products on offer. The coolest product it offers has to be the foam speaker installation rings. Made to hide inside factory speaker locations with aftermarket speakers fitted, they come in six sizes. They fit fives and sixes and three kinds of ovals, including 6x9s.They help reduce the factory locations’ stock ‘boxy’ sound. If you have a better install, they also offer an egg box foam pad to place behind speakers so as to dampen that back wave.

The product range

Stinger Roadkill Expert Lightweight is a foil-topped sound deadening mat sold in various size pre-packs, including 80ft2 rolls. Overkill is a ¼ inch foam damping mat used for interior damping and is aimed at high frequency noises. The sole purpose of this one is to give you a quieter cabin. ULTIMATE combines a layer of Expert aluminum/butyl, with a layer of Overkill acoustic foam, in the one mat. They also do a Hood Liner with the aluminum layer and the heat and sound insulating foam. It’s rated to 255F or 124C – not as high as the Dynamat hoodliner (more on that, next) but that will be a more expensive buy.

Last is the Stinger Carpet Pad pack. Designed for the footwell, it has two layers, One of a high density semi-closed-cell foam and one weighty butyl/vinyl layer.

Stinger has a good selection of stuff and if you do run out, you can just pop out and buy some more at an actual shop.

  • Summer 2023 price of single sheet of Bitumen matting with foil backing: $9.80 / £7.50
  • Try out price/product: Speaker kit of two sheets of Black aluminium foiled, 2mm, $19.58 / £14.99
  • Number of kinds of products (as in varieties, not SKUs): eight, plus branded glue
  • Main Market: Audio customers online or available from Halfords

DYNAMAT sound deadening

Dynamat

The daddy brand, created in the USA over thirty years ago, this is the stuff that folks brag about using. Car audio was their plot, although they also provide home audio application products. I saw Dynamat being used on the production line of the McLaren F1 – they’re THAT good. It is the best in terms of weight versus absorption at soaking up vibration, changing it to low level heat. Yes, when shouted at, sound deadening mat gets microscopically warmer! You cannot destroy energy, only dissipate it. And Dynamat is awfully good at it.

The product range

Sold as seven lines of products and some supporting bits like branded gloves, roller applicators and tape, the main stuff is Dynamat Xtreme; a bitumen based deadening mat with an aluminum foil topping. That stuff is sold by the sheet. Then, with blue rather than silvery foil, there’s Dynamat Superlite, which is 30% lighter and thinner, yet works just as well. Next, you can add a layer of Dynaliner. In ⅛, ¼ or ½ inch thicknesses, it is a lightweight heat and sound blocker layer. Dynacore, in half and one inch thicknesses, is a seriously meatier sound and heat absorber with a black fiber core. It is rated to 350F or 177C, so is useful for hot spots.

Dynamat Hoodliner has a 1mm foil layer and is made to reflect engine heat. Dynapad is a different three-core absorber mat, used for under-carpet heat and sound insulation. Lastly, Dynadeck, a vinyl thermo-acoustic foam mat made as a replacement carpet material.

  • Summer 2023 price of single sheet of Bitumen matting with foil backing: £8.38
  • Try out price/product: Door Kit of two sheets of Dynamat Xtreme sound deadening is £16.75
  • Number of kinds of products (as in varieties, not SKUs) seven plus accessories like rollers
  • Main Market: High end audio customers, supercars like McLaren.

The post Best Sound Deadening For Your Car appeared first on Fast Car.