Of all the tuners this side of AMG, none are as close to Mercedes-Benz as Brabus. After all, when Daimler needed a tuner to spruce up the Smart car, it was Brabus that it turned to. But Brabus tunes vehicles other than Mercedes – it just uses, let's call it, a pen name. It brands them Startech, like the widebody kit it's developed for the new Range Rover Sport and will present at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
The Startech Environmental Corporation is going to make methanol and other fuels from waste processed in the Startech Plasma Converter Systems in the EnviroSafe Recycling Facility in Puerto Rico. Startech has got a cool phrase: "Startech regards all wastes, hazardous and non-hazardous, as valuable renewable resources" and seems to be making good on the promise inherent in that statement.
OK, this seems too good to be true and I'm sure it is. But let's let the good news play out first. Sartech Environmental Corporation has a system called the Plasma Converter. What this sci-fi sounding converter does is destroy Municipal Solid Waste, "but in the process of destruction, it produces a clean synthesis gas rich in hydrogen that can be recovered for many valuable commercial uses including a pristine fuel", according to Startech. You got that? It turns garbage into hydrogen. In the fut
Brabus' tuning arm for American-branded vehicles, Startech, has started paying attention to Dodge's entrant in the European marketplace: the Caliber. The Euro Caliber, as you already know, can be had with Chrysler's VW-supplied 2.0L CRD. Startech's new control module, when installed, bumps peak output up 40 horses to 180 hp. Torque rises to 266 lb-ft between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. (The unmodified engine generates 229 lb ft). Acceleration to 62 mph drops to 8.6 sec -- a .7 sec improvement over stoc