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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver George Kiriakopoulos Looks to Rebound After Rough Start

George Kiriakopoulos qualified 11th at Formula Drift Orlando, but would have to retire early

George Kiriakopoulos qualified 11th at Formula Drift Orlando, but would have to retire early

After a rough start to his Formula Drift Pro 2 rookie season, George Kiriakopoulos is looking forward to showcasing his driving prowess in the second half of the season after several tough breaks left him with room to improve from the first half of the season. Kiriakopoulos will be debuting a new livery in time for the third round of the Pro 2 season in Seattle, and hopes to see better results at both Seattle and Texas to close out his Pro 2 season.

Kiriakopoulos started the season out in Orlando with no major expectations as a rookie, experiencing his first Pro 2 event alongside more than 20 other drivers. After the Thursday practice and qualifying session had ended, Kiriakopoulos had put his Universal Machine 370Z in 11th qualifying position, which guaranteed him a spot in the tandem battles. Unfortunately, during the practice session just prior to the Top 16 tandem battles, Kiriakopoulos broke the dogbox transmission in the car. Without a replacement available in time for the tandem battles, Kiriakopoulos would have to sacrifice his battle against fellow AEM Induction-sponsored driver Travis Reeder.

George Kiriakopoulos dealt with a broken steering rack at Formula D Atlanta, which cut down practice

George Kiriakopoulos dealt with a broken steering rack at Formula D Atlanta, which cut down practice

Heading into the second round in Atlanta just two weeks later, Kiriakopoulos and his Modified Performance team had repaired the transmission and were ready for the dynamic Road Atlanta course. Kiriakopoulos knew that the Atlanta round would be tricky, partially due to having never run the track before while several drivers on the Pro 2 roster had competed at the track in previous seasons.

In his first practice run out of the gate, Kiriakopoulos came into the first turn a bit too hot and pushed the front end of the car off course, which damaged the steering rack. The team worked hard to make the rack straight enough to run for the weekend, but the lost practice time made it difficult to qualify. Although Kiriakopoulos put two solid qualifying runs down that were scored, ultimately those scores wouldn’t push him into the top 16. By comparison, only 10 of the 30 other drivers were able to put down two full passes in qualifying, showing just how tricky the course can be.

George Kiriakopoulos unfortunately didn't make the cut for Top 16 at Road Atlanta

George Kiriakopoulos unfortunately didn't make the cut for Top 16 at Road Atlanta

During the three month layoff between rounds, Kiriakopoulos has been busy prepping for the second half of the season out of his Las Vegas-based shop, Modified Performance. Kiriakopoulos has continued to drive the car at local Vegas Drift events, continuing to get seat time in the car and dial in the grip in tandem battles.

For Seattle, Kiriakopoulos will be debuting a new wrap design, which features AEM Intakes more prominently along with some other new partnerships. Kiriakopoulos has also removed some additional weight from the car, which should make the car quicker and more predictable in grip. Kiriakopoulos feels that he has the car and the skill to be competitive in Pro 2, and is anxious to showcase that at the upcoming Evergreen Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway events.

George Kiriakopoulos knows he has the car and team to be successful in the second half of the season

George Kiriakopoulos knows he has the car and team to be successful in the second half of the season


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Kristaps Bluss Earns Second Consecutive Podium Finish at Formula Drift New Jersey

Kristaps Bluss earned 95 points in qualifying at Formula Drift New Jersey, Photo by Larry Chen

Kristaps Bluss earned 95 points in qualifying at Formula Drift New Jersey, a career high for him

Kristaps Bluss piloted his HGK Motorsports / Wisefab BMW E46 to P4 in qualifying and earned third place in the tandem competition at the fourth round of the Formula Drift Pro Championship, currently sitting in sixth place overall in the championship at the halfway point of the season. Bluss has earned back-to-back third place finishes at Round 3 in Atlanta and Round 4 in New Jersey, and will be looking to capitalize on the success for a career-best finish in the final championship standings. In his third year of competition in Formula Drift, Bluss has progressively moved up the overall standings, finishing in 28th position in his rookie season, and 12th position last season. Bluss is confident that he and his HGK Motorsports team will continue their success this season.

Kristaps Bluss dialing in his HGK Motorsports BMW E46 at Wall Speedway Photo by Larry Chen

Kristaps Bluss dialing in his HGK Motorsports BMW E46 during practice at Wall Speedway

Leading up to New Jersey, Bluss had only lost to some of the top names in the series, and was looking to continue his success. In Long Beach and Atlanta, Bluss lost to Aasbo and Essa respectively, both in the round of 16. Bluss made contact with Aasbo in his chase run in Long Beach, and made a few small mistakes in his lead run against Essa in Orlando. As Aasbo is the 2015 champion, and Essa is the 2013 champion who has returned to the same E46 chassis he won the championship with, Bluss knew that the matchups would be a tough test for the team. With those losses in the rear view mirror, Bluss entered Atlanta with a newfound motivation for success.

In Atlanta, Bluss qualified in third position, a season high which gave him an automatic bye into the Top 16 round. Bluss then defeated Nate Hamilton in the round of 16 and fellow European driver Piotr Wiecek in the round of 8 to advance into the Final 4. Bluss would push Kearney to not one but two “One More Time” rounds with his aggressive driving. Unfortunately, contact with Kearney in the final run of the first “One More Time” round was narrowly unrepairable within the competition timeout window, which allowed Kearney to move on by default. Bluss still earned third place by virtue of his qualifying results, but he and the team were disappointed, knowing they were just seconds away from having the car successfully repaired.

Kristaps Bluss chases down Dean Kearney in practice at Formula Drift New Jersey Photo by Larry Chen

Kristaps Bluss chases down Dean Kearney in practice at Formula Drift New Jersey

Thursday’s practice in New Jersey went nearly flawlessly, the only casualties would come to the rear bumper and rear taillight, which had an unplanned meeting with the jagged guardrail which lines the top of the bank. Bluss and the team also decided to make a small change around the final sweeper after evaluating the data from Thursday’s practice session to reduce the wheelspeed and conserve a bit more grip for the second run on the same set of tires. Friday morning’s practice session confirmed that the test was looking solid, and the team was excited for qualifying. After the first qualifying run, Bluss earned 95 points, which is the highest score he has earned to date in Formula Drift. The second run resulted in a de-beaded tire after an increase in entry speed caused a small collision with the wall in an attempt to earn a higher score, putting the team in 4th place overall based on the score from the first run.

Although the qualifying position was one notch lower than Atlanta, the team was excited to earn the highest score to date and still would earn a bye run into the Top 16.

Kristaps Bluss defeated series points leader James Deane in the Top 8 Photo by Larry Chen

Kristaps Bluss defeated series points leader James Deane in the Top 8 at Formula D NJ

In the Top 16 round, Bluss earned an automatic win when Nate Hamilton collided with the guardrail and was unable to repair his car within the time allotted. Bluss would then face series leader James Deane in the Top 8, who had won both the Long Beach and Atlanta rounds in his rookie year with the series. Entering the matchup, Bluss knew he would have to be driving at his best as Deane had only lost a single tandem battle all season long. After putting together a pair of flawless runs, the judges narrowly gave the decision to Bluss. As the highest ranked driver in the Top 4, Bluss would be guaranteed a podium finish.

Kristaps Bluss celebrates his second straight podium victory at Wall Speedway Photo by Larry Chen

Kristaps Bluss celebrates his second straight podium victory at Wall Speedway in New Jersey

Bluss would be paired up against Michael Essa in a rematch from the Top 16 matchup in Orlando and a battle between BMW E46’s on Achilles Tire. After a pair of very tight runs, the judges decided in favor of Essa to move into the finals. Bluss has moved up to sixth place overall in the standings, just 90 points behind series leader James Deane. Bluss has confidence in his car and team, having only lost narrowly to drivers who all currently sit in the top 10 in the series points.

The upcoming fifth round of the Formula Drift series will take place at Autodrome St. Eustache just outside of Montreal, Quebec.

Kristaps Bluss celebrated his podium victory Photo by Larry Chen

Kristaps Bluss celebrated his podium victory alongside Odi Bakchis and Michael Essa at Formula D NJ


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AEM Cold Air Intake System Offers Estimated Boost of 8-HP on 2014-2015 Lexus GS350

The AEM 21-806C Cold Air Intake System is designed for 2014 and 2015 Lexus GS350s.

The AEM 21-806C cold air intake system offers an estimated boost of 8-HP on 2014-15 Lexus GS350s

Manufactured by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, the GS Series is a mid-size luxury car that debuted in 1991 as the Toyota Aristo in Japan, but was given the Lexus-badge in 1993. It sold under the Aristo name in Japan only until the third-generation of the car was introduced in 2005.

A performance sedan, the GS was slotted between the entry-level compact luxury IS and the large, flagship LS and was assigned the same chassis as the one used on the Toyota Crown premium sedan.

The car is now in its fourth generation and features 6-cylinder and V8 engines and rear-wheel drive configuration, which were introduced in the second and third generations as well as all-wheel drive and a hybrid that was released in 2005.

The GS first appeared in the United States and Europe and selected nations in Asia in 1993. An inline-6 engine powered the car.

The car debuted with a new platform and a V8 engine at the start of its second-generation in 1997. It was the first V8 used on GS models outside Japan.

A V6, V8 and hybrid powertrain was included on the third generation models, which were unveiled worldwide in time for the 2006 model year.

By the time of the introduction of the fourth generation models, the GS series models were available with a choice of six engines.

• 2.0-liter 8AR-FTS I4 turbocharged gasoline engine

• 2.5-liter 2AR-FSE I4 hybrid/gasoline engine

• 2.5-liter 4GR FSE V6 gasoline engine

• 3.5-liter 2GR-FSE V6 gasoline engine

• 3.5-liter 2GR-FXE V6 hybrid/gasoline engine

• 5.0-liter 2UR-GSE V8 gasoline engine

Four transmissions were available:

• 6-speed automatic

• CVT automatic (hybrid)

• 8-speed AA80E automatic

• 8-speed AA8IE automatic

The engines that power the GS350 include:

• 2.5-liter 2GR-FSE V6, which produces 304-horsepower (227 kW; 309 PS) at 6,400 RPM and 278-lb-ft (38.4-kg-m; 377 N-m) at 4,800 RPM. The engine features port injection and new dual fan spray pattern direct injectors that move perpendicular to the piston travel with wide cylinder dispersion, which aids in the mixing of the air and fuel resulting in increased power and efficiency.

• 3.5-liter 2GR-FSE V6, which delivers 305-horsepower (227 kW; 309 PS) at 6,400 RPM and 278-lb-ft (377 N-m; 38.4 kg-m) at 4,800 RPM

The models equipped with the 3.5-liter V6 and using the 6-speed automatic accelerated from 0 to 60-mph in 5.8-seconds. Estimated EPA fuel economy ratings for rear-wheel drive models are 19-mpg in the city, 29-mpg on the highway and 23-mpg combined. For all-wheel-drive, the car achieved 19-mpg in the city, 26-mpg on the highway and 21-mpg combined.

New for 2014 was the 8-speed automatic transmission, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, full color readout for the optional heads-up display, rear cross-traffic alerts for the optional blind spot monitoring system, an optional power trunk opener, and a Siri Eyes Free improved voice control for Apple mobile devices.

New on the 2015 model are a new infotainment display the subdivides to view and control up to three different functions including audio and navigation, 18-inch wheels that are standard, and a new limited-edition Crafted Line Trim.

Owners of a 2014 or 2015 Lexus GS350 with the 3.5-liter V6 who wish to boost horsepower, acceleration, torque, throttle response, and enhance engine sound should consider exchanging the factory air intake system with the AEM 21-806C cold air intake system. A dyno-test confirmed that the air intake offers an estimated boost of 8-horsepower at 5300 RPM.

The AEM 21-806C Intake has an air filter, aluminum tube, heat shield and stainless steel clamps.

The AEM 21-806C intake includes an AEM 21-2113DK air filter, aluminum tube and heat shield

It includes a washable and reusable AEM 21-2113DK DryFlow air filter that lasts for 100,000 miles between servicing. The media also includes three-dimensional proprietary non-woven polyester material sandwiched between two layers of coated aluminum wire screen to ensure rigidity and helps to give the material the ability to capture and hold contaminants and keep them from entering the engine.

AEM also offers 1-1000 air filter cleaner that is specially formulated to cleanse and rejuvenate the air filter so that it can be used over and over again for the life of the car.

The intake also includes gunmetal gray powder coated mandrel-bent aluminum intake tube as well as a heat shield to block hot engine air from getting into the intake, three stainless steel clamps and one coupler.

The air filter is designed to fit into the factory air box and the air intake system accommodates the factory engine emission control devices including the mass airflow sensor and PCV hose.

AEM is so sure of the quality of the 21-806C cold air intake system it covers it with a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

The air intake system can be installed using common hand tools and is designed to fit the following vehicles:

2015 LEXUS GS350 3.5L V6 Fuel Injection - All Models
2014 LEXUS GS350 3.5L V6 Fuel Injection - All Models


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Matt Field’s Formula Drift New Jersey Weekend Ends Early Due to Debeaded Tire

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field debeaded a tire against Jeff Jones at Wall Speedway, ending his weekend early

Matt Field’s Formula Drift New Jersey weekend ended unfortunately early in the Top 32 round of tandem due to a debeaded tire. While Field felt strong going into both the qualifying and tandem rounds, the results would not be a full reflection of the hard work of the Drift Cave Motorsports / Falken Tire team. Overall, Field sits in 15th position overall at the halfway point of the Formula Drift season, and looks to use the final 4 events to move up into the Top 10 overall.

Thursday’s practice session was one of the best of the season for the team, with Field’s confidence carrying him through Friday’s early practice session as well. After laying down a conservative first qualifying pass to get a score on the board, Field pushed hard in his second pass and unfortunately found and exceeded the limits of the track. A small miscalculation of a few inches pushed Field into the jagged guard rail that lines the top of the bank at Wall Speedway, which whipped the front of the car around and caused some major cosmetic damage. Thankfully, the damage was restricted to the body panels, and the Drift Cave Motorsports team had the car looking 100% before packing up for the evening on Friday.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field tandeming with Falken Tire teammate Odi Bakchis during practice prior to FD New Jersey

Field's scored first qualifying pass put him in 14th position, which matched him up with Jeff Jones. Jones has been looking stronger and stronger in the Pro class this season, and Field wasn’t planning to take the matchup lightly. After some strong practice runs with drivers like Odi Bakchis and fellow AEM Induction-sponsored driver Fredric Aasbo, Field was feeling enthusiastic for the matchup. Field opened up a several car gap on Jones after initiation, but a small adjustment with the handbrake mid-bank caused one of the Falken 615k+ tires to debead.

Amazingly, Field continued the run flawlessly on three tires and looked to have an advantage entering the second run. However, Formula Drift rules don’t allow a driver to re-mount a de-beaded tire if it happens on the first run of tandem, which effectively disqualified Field from the competition. Had the de-beaded tire happened in the second run, the runs would have been scored normally and Field may have moved on.

Field and his team were disappointed with the outcome, particularly knowing that their air pressures weren’t low and the de-beading was a pure fluke occurrence. Jones made a solo pass and was granted the tandem win. After debriefing with the team, Field signed autographs for several fans and even gave away a damaged rear bumper to a fan.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field got some tandem practice in with AEM driver Fredric Aasbo at FD New Jersey

Looking ahead, Field hopes to discover the second-half magic he had during the 2016 season which lead to two event wins and a Top 8 appearance in the final four events. Field felt that he had a car that could have earned a Top 8 finish or beyond at Wall, and only an issue like a de-beaded tire could hold them back. The Formula Drift circuit will take more than a month off before heading to Autodrome St. Eustache raceway just outside of Montreal for Round 5.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field opened up a big lead in his tandem battle with Jeff Jones but lost due to a debeaded tire

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field debriefs with his Drift Cave / Falken team prior to tandem competition at FD New Jersey


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2016 and 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5L Engines Unlock Power with AEM Air Intake System

The intake tube, heat shield, and filter bolt together as a single unit for secure installation.

The intake tube, heat shield, and filter of bolt together as a single unit for secure installation

The Chevrolet Malibu got a new base model engine in 2016 with the 1.5L Turbo Ecotec 4 cylinder. This turbo power plant replaces the larger displacement 2.5L naturally aspirated 4 cylinder of the previous models. Where this new engine lacks in displacement, it makes up for it with turbo boost, variable valve timing, and direct injection to produce a rated 163 hp and 184 ft-lb of torque. AEM Intakes has introduced their AEM 21-813C intake kit to add some performance to this new platform.

This intake system removes the restrictive factory air box and replaces it with a free-flowing mandrel bent aluminum tube. This tube provides a smooth transition from the large oversized 21-2027DK Dryflow air filter to the turbo of the 1.5L Malibu. The use of this large filter prolongs the time between cleanings and its molded in velocity stack significantly reduces restriction and MAF sensor signal noise. The intake tube is sized to match the MAF signal required for proper function and the extra tall MAF adapter pad positions the sensor in the proper spot within the tube. A billet PCV connector interfaces with the factory quick disconnect line, providing unmatched fit and finish.

A CAD designed, powdercoated heat shield is included to seal off the air filter area from the rest of the heated engine bay. The heat shield is designed to seal to the hood and engine bay when the hood is closed but allow full view of the intake system when the hood is raised. The factory high pressure air feed is isolated in the center of the heat shield area, blowing cool air directly on the filter while allowing the entire heat shield area as a breathable volume to ensure there is always enough airflow. The intake system works as a unit to provide estimated horsepower and torque increases up to 7% over stock. The performance increases come complete with the added style of the powdercoated heat shield and tube and the increase in engine sound that adds to the driving experience.

Installation of the AEM 21-813C intake kit can be done in less than an hour with guidance from the included instructions. The AEM 21-813C intake kit is designed for the follow models and years:

2017 CHEVROLET MALIBU 1.5L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models
2016 CHEVROLET MALIBU 1.5L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models

With the hood raised, view of the intake kit is unobstructed for added style

With the hood raised, view of the intake kit is unobstructed for added style


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Travis Reeder Earns Formula D Pro 2 Event Win at Road Atlanta, Now Leads Standings

Travis Reeder drifts the keyhole at Road Atlanta en route to his event win at Formula D Round 2

Travis Reeder drifts the keyhole at Road Atlanta en route to his event win at Formula D Round 2

In his rookie season, Travis Reeder now leads the Formula D Pro 2 class by 78 points after two of four events. Reeder moved into the championship lead by winning the Round 2 event at Road Atlanta, defeating fellow Evergreen Drift alumni Matt Vankirk in the final. In addition to the payout from Formula Drift for the event win, Reeder wins $500 as part of the AEM contingency program as the highest ranking driver enrolled in the contingency program.

Reeder qualified 11th during Thursday’s qualifying session, matching him up against fellow AEM driver Andy Hateley in the Top 16 round. Reeder had a pair of consistent runs, while a few small mistakes from Hateley and a general lack of proximity in chase gave Reeder the win into the Top 8. In his battle against Hooman Rahimi in the Great 8, Reeder had consistent steering angle and a very aggressive chase run with good proximity to earn the win and guarantee an appearance in the Final 4 for the second consecutive race. As the sole driver who had earned a Final 4 appearance at both of the first two rounds, Reeder knew he would be leading the championship at the midpoint of the season. Rahimi earned $200 as the third highest ranking AEM driver. Dirk Stratton, who was also eliminated in the Great 8 but qualified higher than Rahimi, earned $300 as part of the AEM contingency program.

Travis Reeder now leads the Formula D Pro 2 championship standings after 2 of 4 events

Travis Reeder now leads the Formula D Pro 2 championship standings after 2 of 4 events

Reeder faced some adversity in his Final 4 matchup with Randall Waters as he had shallow steering angle exiting the keyhole in his chase run which put him at a disadvantage after the first run. Fortunately for Reeder, Waters misjudged his entry and tapped the rear of Reeder’s car before sliding off course which resulted in an incomplete run for Waters. The victory was a bit anticlimactic for Reeder as Vankirk had a mechanical issue shortly after leaving the line in the final battle, giving Reeder a solo lap for the event win.

The Pro 2 class takes a summer break through June and July while the Pro class travels to Wall, New Jersey and Montreal, Quebec for the next two rounds of competition. The next round of the Pro 2 series will take place at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, which is the same track Reeder earned his Pro 2 license at via the Evergreen Drift ProAm series. Reeder could potentially lock up the Pro 2 championship ahead of the final round at Texas Motor Speedway pending his results at Evergreen.

Travis Reeder has won the top AEM Contingency prize at each of the first 2 Formula D Pro 2 events

Travis Reeder has won the top AEM Contingency prize at each of the first 2 Formula D Pro 2 events

All Pro 2 drivers are eligible for the AEM Contingency program, provided that they fulfill the requirements of the program:

1. Run an AEM Dryflow air filter on their competition vehicle

2. Run an AEM decal on locations laid out in the program

3. Finish in the Top 16 of a PRO 2 Round

The total contingency payout for each round is $1000, with payouts occurring at each round of Formula DRIFT PRO 2 competition. The highest finishing AEM contingency driver in the Top 16 will earn $500, second highest driver will earn $300, and the third highest will earn $200.

Travis Reeder runs an AEM air box on his LS-powered S13

Travis Reeder runs an AEM air box on his LS-powered S13


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Add Power to Your 2016 Chevy Cruze With an AEM Air Intake

The AEM 21-805C incorporates the factory high pressure feed and seals in the cool air

The AEM 21-805C incorporates the factory high pressure feed and seals in the cool air

In 2016, Chevy improved its Cruze line of vehicles with new styling, matching the rest of the restyled Chevy line-up, while adding a hatchback model. It is still powered by the EcoTec 1.4L turbocharged 4 cylinder but performance has been increased to 153 hp and 177 ft-lb of torque, all while retaining a 47 mpg rated fuel mileage. This fuel efficient compact car is still no slouch with a 7.7 second 0-60 time. True to their sport compact roots, the experts at AEM Induction Systems now have an answer for the restrictive factory air intake system with the AEM 21-805C intake system.

The engineers at AEM utilized two sizes of mandrel bent aluminum tube for this intake. A large-diameter straight section for the MAF sensor sized for proper ECU tuning, and a large-radius bend using smaller diameter tubing for increased velocity into the turbo inlet. These two sections are joined by a spun aluminum adapter for a smooth, restriction-free transition. The large-diameter MAF sensor section of the intake also allows for the use of the oversized 21-2038DK DryFlow filter. This filter offers increased flowable filter area, a molded in velocity stack, and the convenience of AEM’s oil-free, washable DryFlow material.

The large 21-2038DK DryFlow filter provides ample flowable area to the intake system

The large 21-2038DK DryFlow filter provides ample flowable area to the intake system

The filter is isolated by the CAD-designed and powdercoated heatshield. This shield is designed to seal to the hood, shock tower, and engine mount surfaces, while interfacing with the stock high-pressure air scoop to provide cool, outside air while preventing the engine heat from causing poor performance. The heat shield also helps provide more airflow by opening the cool area of the lower front bumper to the filter, reducing the restriction existing in the factory intake system. All these performance improvements allow measured horsepower increases up to 7% over stock and come in an aesthetically pleasing package that looks great when the hood is up. Besides the added power, the aggressive intake sound is pleasing while not overwhelming and the open element filter design makes the turbo recirculation valve audible, giving that aftermarket blow-off valve sound when the throttle is lifted.

The AEM 21-805C intake kit is easily with common hand tools. Everything required for complete installation is included in the intake kit and no cutting of your stock equipment is required. The AEM 21-805C intake kit is designed for the follow models and years:

2017 CHEVROLET CRUZE 1.4L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models


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AEM Air Intake Offers Estimated Boost of 28-HP on 2016 Lexus IS 200T

The AEM 21-791C Intake will improve acceleration, torque, throttle-response, and engine sound.

The AEM 21-791C cold air Intake offers an estimated boost of 28-HP on 2016 Lexus IS 200T

Lexus, the luxury car division of the Japanese automaker Toyota, introduced the Lexus IS entry-level luxury sports car in 1999. Originally sold under the Toyota Altezza name in Japan from 1998 until the debut of the Lexus brand and the second-generation of the car in 2006. It was offered as a front-engine, rear-wheel drive outside of Japan and a front-engine, four-wheel drive vehicle in Japan. It came in two styles – a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback/station wagon.

The 2016 incarnation, dubbed the 200T, is a brand new rear-wheel drive model, which includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 241-horsepower and 258-lb-ft of torque and an 8-speed paddle-shift transmission. Although it can’t compete with some of the higher performance luxury cars in the 0-to-60 mph, it does achieve a relevant 6.9-seconds. The 200T achieves an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 22-mpg in the city, 33-mpg on the highway and 26-mpg combined.

Since it is considered to be an entry-level model, the IS 200T may lack some of the power many owners may wish it to have. That’s where the AEM 21-791C cold air intake system comes in. Dyno testing confirms that it offers an estimated 28-horsepower at 5900 RPM and will also improve acceleration, throttle response and engine sound.

It includes an AEM 21-2113DK washable and reusable DryFlow air filter that lasts for 100,000 miles before service is required, depending on driving conditions. The DryFlow media is constructed of a proprietary non-woven polyester material that has an exclusive 3-dimensional internal structure that captures contaminants without relying on sticky oil treatments. The material sits between two layers of coated aluminum wire screen that increases the structural integrity of the filter and keeps large contaminants from entering the engine.

AEM also offers the 1-1000 air filter cleaner that is specially formulated to cleanse and recharge the air filter so that it can be used over and over again for the life of the car. AEM is so sure of the quality of the filter it covers it with a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

The AEM 21-791C Cold Intake is designed for the 2016 Lexus IS 200T.

The AEM 21-791C cold air intake has an AEM 21-2112DK air filter, aluminum tube, and heat shield

The cold air intake system also includes a mandrel-bent aluminum intake tube that is covered in a durable gunmetal gray powder coated finish and a heat shield that blocks hot engine air from affecting the intake. The intake tube incorporates the engine’s emissions control devices and the valve cover breather hose.

The air filter is designed to fit into the original factory air box and the intake tube has been tuned in length and diameter to match the engine’s resonance to help get more air to the cylinders, which results in more power delivered to the engine.

The intake can be installed using common hand tools and is designed for the following vehicles:

2017 LEXUS IS200T 2.0L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models
2016 LEXUS IS200T 2.0L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models


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Fredric Aasbo Earns Event Win at Formula Drift Orlando, Leads Championship

Fredric Aasbo's Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota Corolla iM drifts the Orlando Speedworld course

Fredric Aasbo's Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota Corolla iM drifts the Orlando Speedworld course

For the second consecutive season, Papadakis Racing and AEM-sponsored driver Fredric Aasbo took home the event win at Orlando Speedworld, and the team is leaving the state of Florida with the lead in the championship points. In 2016, Aasbo was piloting the Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC2 to the event win, but this season, Aasbo drove the newly-debuted Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota Corolla iM to the event win. Last season, Orlando Speedworld was the third event on the season schedule, but with a small shuffle of the schedule for 2017, Orlando stands as the second event of the season. The team will take the lead into Road Atlanta for the next round of Formula Drift, just 500 miles north of the Orlando Speedworld site. "What an incredible win! We only built this car over the off season and to get this first win after only the second time out is amazing," said Fredric Aasbo about the win.

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his event win on the podium with Michael Essa (2nd) and Dai Yoshihara (3rd)

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his event win on the podium with Michael Essa (2nd) and Dai Yoshihara (3rd)

En route to the win, Aasbo received a bye in the top 32 round by qualifying second, then defeated AEM-sponsored driver Matt Field in the Top 16, Alec Hohnadell in the Top 8, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Final 4 before reaching the championship battle with former champion Michael Essa. All four drivers in the Final 4 were former Formula Drift champions, showing just how competitive the series is this year. Aasbo was able to defeat Essa with a strong lead run and an aggressive chase run, topping off a perfect day of tandem battles that stretches Aasbo’s undefeated streak at the track to nine consecutive battles dating back to last season.

Aasbo’s battle with Gittin Jr. was one of the better runs of the day, with Aasbo’s chase run showing incredible car control behind Gittin Jr’s Ford Mustang RTR. Gittin Jr’s Mustang has been one of the fastest cars on the grid since it debuted last season, so the ability of the freshly-built Corolla iM to pull away from the Mustang in the lead, and keep within a single car of proximity around the track in the chase position made the team very happy. "Today it all came together especially in that Top 4 battle with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and that was my highlight of the day showing that I can chase really close and getting this first win in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM is huge,” said Aasbo.

Fredric Aasbo prepares for battle in his Papadakis Racing built Toyota Corolla iM

Fredric Aasbo prepares for battle in his Papadakis Racing built Toyota Corolla iM

After the Scion brand was sunsetted midway through the 2016 season, the Papadakis Racing team was given some freedom to select what car they wanted to build as the next evolution for the team. Although the Toyota Corolla iM doesn’t look like your prototypical drift car, the chassis was selected for the wheelbase (which sits 1 inch longer than the Toyota GT86) and iconic Corolla nameplate that has historically been synonymous with the roots of drifting. Overall, the car has a longer wheelbase than a Nissan S14, but just slightly shorter than both the Scion tC2 that was campaigned over the past few seasons (and won the 2015 Formula Drift championship) and slightly longer than the current S550 Ford Mustang chassis.

Fredric Aasbo defeated fellow AEM-sponsored driver Matt Field in the Top 16 in Orlando

Fredric Aasbo defeated fellow AEM-sponsored driver Matt Field in the Top 16 in Orlando

The Papadakis Racing built chassis debuted to a 5th place finish in Long Beach, the kickoff event of the 8-round Formula Drift schedule, to a huge fanfare. As the first 4-door hatchback drift car in the series, fans were anxious to peak under the hood of the car at the first event. The car maintains the same 2AR powerplant as the previous Scion tC2, pushing more than 800 horsepower through the drivetrain before the 150-shot of nitrous is enabled. Aasbo piloted the car to a 4th place qualifying effort and a 5th place finish at Long Beach, which earned them 52 championship points after the debut event for the car. With the improved finish in Orlando, Aasbo now holds a 16 point lead entering Atlanta.

Fredric Aasbo eliminated Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 4 en route to the event win

Fredric Aasbo eliminated Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 4 en route to the event win

The Orlando event win marked the ninth of Aasbo’s Formula Drift career, tying him with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Samuel Hubinette for most all-time in the 90-event history of Formula Drift. The win was also Aasbo’s second consecutive win at Orlando, making him the winningest driver in the state of Florida. Previous competitions at Homestead Speedway and Palm Beach Raceway were all won by different competitors, making Aasbo the only two-time winner in the state. Looking ahead to the famed Road Atlanta track, Aasbo has previously podiumed in 2012 and 2014, earning second place both times. Atlanta marks the only track on the current Formula Drift schedule that Aasbo has yet to win at, which would help extend his current lead in the championship. Atlanta is also the birthplace of the Formula Drift series, and said to have some of the rowdiest fans on the schedule.

Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team will be visiting the Toyota Manufacturing facility in Blue Springs, Mississippi, in the down time between Orlando and Atlanta. The visit will likely bring new inspiration and motivation to continue the success through the rest of the Formula Drift season.


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Travis Reeder Gets the Podium at the Formula Drift Pro2 Opener at Orlando Speedway

Reeder on the Orlando Podium

Reeder takes home the podium

The Formula Drift Pro2 category is the last step before drivers step up to the top ranks of the Formula Drift Pro Championship. In many ways, that’s what makes Pro2 a harder series because all drivers are not only gunning for the win but also there is less familiarity. However, our up and coming AEM Drivers were able to put on a show and prove they will be worthy of those Pro ranks, soon, with Travis Reeder taking the podium but not before showcasing his driving talents in the Final Four.

Travis began his weekend with a sixth seed on Thursday Qualifying before heading on to the finals. He would be the best qualified driver but George Kiriakopoulos would find himself in the eleventh seed and driving against Reeder. However, his Friday would end in Top 16 due to a broken transmission, which he still tried to drive on. A broken transmission would also end Andy Hateley’s weekend on qualifying day. He was also able to try and make the field but his best run on a broken box meant he would only get twenty-second seed of a Top 16 field.

Reeder at Orlando

Reeder looked strong in the finals

Reeder would move on to face off against the finals but in his Final Four run, his left rear tire would de-bead. Undaunted, Travis was able to keep his car moving and was awarded the entry into the finals where he would finish in second-place. It was a tough battle but one that ended with Reeder on that second step and the start of a great weekend in Orlando for AEM. Their next round is once again with the Pro Series at Road Atlanta on May 11th and 12th. This legendary track is known for its high-speeds, insane entries, and being a crowd and driver favorite. We’ll see you there.


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