Dario Orlando, President of Steeda Autosports is a diehard supporter of Ford Motor Company and an avid performance enthusiast. This is not only exemplified in the performance business he founded over 20 years ago – but also in the vehicles he personally drives. In particular, there are three special vehicles he favors to drive depending if he is commuting to work, driving for pleasure, or racing at speed around the track. These same three vehicles are available today for those lucky enough to purchase them at select Ford dealers nationwide.
Commuting to Work
For driving to work everyday, Dario’s choice is the hot 2008 Steeda Fusion that was initially shown at the 2007 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Best described as an all American Grand Touring sedan, it has been modified by the Steeda Team to be further refined, faster, and better balanced so that it delivers more excitement and automotive pleasure than anything else in it’s class – and at a price that most everyone can afford.
Providing four door access and comfortable seating, the Steeda Fusion is a practical family sedan that has been modified to appeal to the die-hard performance enthusiast that demands and needs more than just a typical family sedan. With outstanding fuel economy and shocking performance, the Steeda Fusion is the perfect ride to end that oftentimes-boring commute to work!
To start off, the Steeda engineers have enhanced the Fusion with suspension modifications, including Steeda Sport Springs, that improve the ride and handling but not at the expense of ride quality and comfort. Steeda has designed a proprietary strut tower brace that assists in the elimination of body flex during periods of aggressive cornering.
Dario favors the Nitto Invo performance tires which offer superior wet and dry traction while maintaining a very quiet and smooth ride.
The Steeda Fusion engine performance is dramatically improved with the addition of the Steeda designed and engineered cold air system and Borla free flowing exhaust system. The result is improved performance with a pleasing, yet purposeful sound.
Dario’s Steeda Fusion exterior design elements are not driven merely by visual cues. There is serious substance to back up this style. The aerodynamic styling and graphics, inspired by the Autobahn cruiser is evident in the automobile’s road hugging stance that not only looks good, but also reduces aerodynamic drag.
The interior has a style all it own. Dario added Steeda accents to energize the instrument panel, and custom leather seats that add increased lateral support and comfort for himself and his lucky passengers. With bold styling, spirited performance and it’s well appointed interior, Dario’s Steeda Fusion is an example of a compelling midsize performance sedan for today’s market.
Driving for Pleasure
When Dario wants to seriously kick things up a bit and increase his driving excitement even more, there is nothing turning the key and starting his supercharged 2008 Steeda Q500 to get his adrenalin really pumping! With over 500 horsepower the Steeda Q500 delivers excitement that should be illegal from the moment he gets behind the wheel!
To showcase Dario’s testing and evaluation involvement with all of Steeda’s performance products, he used his personal Q500 (shown here) for the testing and final evaluation of the Steeda Adaptive Performance Calibration. Delivering a healthy dose of supercharged power (over 500+ horsepower and 490+ ft. lbs. of torque), Dario’s 4.6L supercharged pony provides pure power when he needs it with complete control from idle up to it’s 6500 rpm redline.
Having all of this power at Dario’s command requires a suspension system to plant it to the asphalt, and his Steeda Q500 does that with the Steeda proprietary track tested and race proven suspension system. It doesn’t matter if Dario is blasting down the quarter mile in 12.2 seconds at over 113 mph, or if he is testing it’s road-holding ability on the skidpad at over 1.2gs using street Nitto tires, Dario’s Steeda Q500 is an outstanding road car performance engineered for the most demanding performance enthusiasts who likes to live in the fast lane!
Do not be surprised if you see him driving this car on the street that there just might be some newly engineered performance parts lurking underneath the sheetmetal – because Dario is constantly evaluating all of the new parts and accessories personally that the Steeda Skunkworks Team creates before they are offered for sale. It is just another example of the hands-on evauluation that goes into every part Steeda offers.
Racing around the Track
When it is time to go racing against the competition and test the new Steeda hardcore performance parts, there is only one choice for Dario – The Steeda Q650R. Combining Steeda’s proven power it’s exclusive Adaptive Performance Calibration delivers with the world-class underpinnings and suspension systems that Steeda is renown for in the Performance Industry today, the result is the ultimate performance Mustang.
“The Steeda Q650R incorporates our unmatched history of engineering technology accomplishments and racing knowledge we have learned into what is without a doubt, the ultimate performance Mustang available today,” says Dario Orlando, President of Steeda Autosports. “This car is a hint at what’s to come in the future from Steeda for both on and off the racetrack excitement and is my personal choice for racing around the track in competitive events.”
The exterior of the vibrant red colored Q650R is fitted with Steeda’s aerodynamic Race Wing that stands tall at a full-race height and gets into the airstream and creates significant down-force to enhance handling and traction. On the front is Steeda’s fully functional competition front fascia that is designed for improved high speed stability as well as improved cooling of the engine and brakes under harsh race conditions it will be operated under.
Under the hood, the lightweight 4.6L aluminum engine is equipped with the Steeda/Whipple supercharger system and tuning is handled by Steeda’s industry unique Adaptive Performance Calibration – the end result….650 horsepower of heart pounding excitement with “live” – automatic computerized tuning as it is raced.
The Steeda Q650R is equipped with a Tremec TKO600 transmission and a Steeda Remote Tri-Ax Shifter which is designed specificly to work with the S197 body style.
Under the car is where some really advanced Steeda suspension technology is deployed. From the advanced adjustable full coil over suspension system, our proprietary Watt’s Linkage, to our D Spec Shocks and bump steer kit, the entire catalog of Steeda’s superior suspension parts – and some extra experimental suspension enhancements as well – have been integrated into this car so as to make it the BEST HANDLING car we have ever driven on a race track.
Dario outfitted Forgeline 18×9.5 (front) and 18×11 (rear) wheels and shod them naturally with the best track tires you can buy……Nitto’s famed NT01 high performance tires (275/35-18 in the front and massive 315/30-18 in the rear). These tires are mandatory for a high performance vehicle like this racer and provide the grip our suspension enhancements demand.
Rest assured that with Dario behind the wheel, Steeda’s products are being evaluated in real world conditions no matter if they are your daily ride to work or your race car on the track.
Steeda – Where Speed Matters!