All posts in “Cars”

We May Have Found Out What Engine the New Ford Bronco Has

There are plenty of exciting new products rolling into Ford dealerships in the next few years — the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500, a Mustang-inspired electric performance crossover, a tiny off-roader — but perhaps none has whipped up as much frenzy as the 2021 Ford Bronco due to arrive next year. Ford, for the most part, has played its cards close to the vest with the new Bronco, revealing little beyond the basic silhouette. That’s left enthusiasts scrambling to find information however they can — including some odd places.

Like, for example, the auto parts reference computer at an automotive store. Which is exactly where Off-Road.com found out that the 2021 Ford Bronco will apparently pack a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

One of the website’s correspondents stumbled upon the listing while poking around the parts lookup tool at a Canadian Tire. To verify this, Gear Patrol checked out the online version of the tool on Canadian Tire’s website; sure enough, searching under 2021 model year vehicles revealed a single result — a Ford Bronco with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

A quck survey of Ford’s engine lineup reveals but one engine matching that displacement: the turbocharged EcoBoost inline-four found in various states of tune under the hood of the now-defunct Focus RS, the base Mustang…and, most notably, the Ford Ranger. In Ranger form, the engine cranks out 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and comes connected solely to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Given that the new Bronco will be based on the Ranger’s chassis, it’s no surprise to hear that it would pack the same engine found in the pickup (at least, here in America).

Of course, it’s possible that some overzealous Canadian Tire employee simply guessed what engine will be crammed into Ford’s new off-roader, and that the new Bronco will show up with a different powertrain entirely. But our instincts tell us this seems more like an honest mistake made by someone with inside access to the Bronco’s mechanical specs than an auto parts database programmer deciding to go wild with the system. Here’s hoping Ford pulls the wraps off the vehicle soon enough and clears things up once and for all.

These Are the Most American Cars and Trucks On Sale

“Buy American.” It’s a saying with deep roots in the national psyche, a two-word phrase that unites patriotism and capitalism into a single expression. Well-made products can be built anywhere, of course, but we take special pride in those goods made right here in the U.S.A. And that goes double for cars, where brand loyalties can run thick as blood and companies often define themselves as much on their country of origin as they do any other trait.

But badges, like looks, can be deceiving. Many cars made by Detroit’s Big Three are actually assembled abroad, while plenty of vehicles coming from companies headquartered in other countries are screwed together right here between sea and shining sea. To help cut through the confusion, the folks at Cars.com have put together a list of the new cars and trucks on sale today that qualify as the most American-made rides you can buy off a showroom floor, based on both where they’re built and where the parts used to make them come from.

As it turns out, American brands make up only four of the top 10 cars and trucks on the list. (And in fact, one of them isn’t represented there at all; Ford doesn’t even show up until spot no. 13.) The other six, interestingly enough, not only come from a “foreign” brand, they all come from the same automaker: Honda. The carmaker pops up again once more before the 15-car-strong list wraps up, giving it nearly half the entries on the list between its Honda and Acura brands. Toyota comes in strong at the end, as well — thus giving Japanese automakers 60% of all the most American-made cars and trucks on sale today.

The complete list of the 15 most American-made vehicles, starting with the most American and working on down:

  1. Jeep Cherokee
  2. Honda Odyssey
  3. Honda Ridgeline
  4. Honda Passport
  5. Chevrolet Corvette
  6. Acura MDX
  7. Honda Pilot
  8. Chevrolet Colorado
  9. GMC Canyon
  10. Acura RDX
  11. Chevrolet Camaro
  12. Toyota Avalon
  13. Ford F-150
  14. Honda Accord
  15. Toyota Tundra
Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Ten

We’re proud to present the Innovation Issue. In our newest magazine we take a look at how boundaries are being pushed in everything from virtual reality, to coffee farming and more. Learn More Here

BMW Vision M Next concept debuts, shows the way forward for BMW M

Today marks the next step in BMW’s “Next” concept program, previewing the company’s future. It’s the most exciting step, too, because this particular concept is called the BMW Vision M Next. As this “Next” ground is still relatively untrodden, we’ll make it clear that M means the same thing here as it does for every BMW M car. This particular firecracker is meant to give us a taste of what’s coming to BMW’s M division, electrification and all.

The shape and stature of the car instantly screams i8 at us. However, the actual design and styling is new and unique to itself. More than anything, it looks like a worthy evolution of the i8, previewed in concept form. When we get to the powertrain details, it sounds even more like such a vehicle. BMW didn’t make it a fully electric car. Instead, it’s a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged four-cylinder drinking gasoline. We aren’t privy to the engine’s specs, but BMW says the combined system output is 600 horsepower. That’s good for 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. Recalling the i8, that car has a turbocharged three-cylinder combined with an electric motor that makes 369 horsepower in total. The M Next is capable of driving 62 miles electric-only on a full charge, while the i8 is only capable of 18 miles. Needless to say, the M Next is a huge step forward in every way.

BMW likes to use a lot of colorful language to explain and detail its styling decisions, but we can stick to the important stuff. Those kidney grilles are rather eye-catching. Even though it may not look it at first glance, they’re blanked off with a transparent layer of bodywork. The pattern visible in the grille was actually laser-etched in there, and is also illuminated. Fancy stuff. Another interesting bit is the headlight technology. BMW calls it “Laser Wire” lighting. Glass fibers coated with phosphorous are used to produce the elements, which results in an extremely thin form that we see with one stacked on top of each other. BMW used the same tech to create the taillights, and you’ll notice floating BMW roundels floating inside the element, too. The rear “window” design is meant to remind of the BMW M1, which happens to be a glorious car design to take inspiration from. In the M Next’s case, the three-piece louvres are made of glass. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all the glorious orange used throughout the car. BMW calls it “Thrilling Orange,” and it’s thrilling indeed.

Also worthy of discussion is the rather spartan and technology-infused interior. We’re not so sure about the design from the photos BMW provided us with, but make your own judgments. There are three displays, all directly in front of the driver. Massive infotainment screens need not apply in the M Next. The first display comprises two tiny screens on the steering wheel, followed by a curved glass display where one would expect an instrument cluster. Finally, an AR (augmented reality) head-up display stretches across part of the windshield to offer even more information at a glance. The point here is to make all the displays fall in the driver’s line of sight. Whether that distracts the driver with display overload, or takes pressure away from looking to the center infotainment display is still up to the jury to decide. BMW does point out that it’s opposite the goal of the Vision iNext, which attempts to make the technology accessible to everybody in the car.

One neat interior feature we’d love to see on today’s cars is a gyroscopic cup holder. BMW says it’s able to compensate for strong lateral and longitudinal forces, which would be great when you’re trying to accelerate through an on-ramp with the morning coffee in tow. There’s no indication of when we might see any of the technologies previewed in the M Next, but it could serve as a point of reference for an i8 successor or even a standalone M car.

Ferrari shows off SF90’s four powertrain modes in new video

The Ferrari SF90 is the newest foal in the Maranello stable, and Ferrari continues to parade it for the crowds. A new video shows how the plug-in hybrid’s four powertrain modes work, controlled by buttons on the lower left side of the steering wheel. The greenest mode gets a button marked “eD,” for electric driving (now that Smart’s effectively dead here, someone had to pick up the eD moniker). In that guise, the 7.9-kWh battery mounted transversely behind the seats sends energy to the two e-motors up front, and can power the SF90 for up to 15 miles as a front-wheel-drive coupe.

Next up, the “H” button turns the SF90 into a hybrid, with a priority on maximum efficiency. The battery sends its power to the dual e-motors in front and the third e-motor between the engine and transmission, with the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 firing to work the rear wheels as well. Under low loads, the control logic can switch from Hybrid mode to pure electric driving, then reengage the ICE on demand.

Above that, a checkered flag icon represents Performance mode. Here, the ICE is always running, with the priority on keeping the battery charged.

The gutsiest mode gets a clock icon, representing Qualify. This extracts all the performance available, the video indicating this is where the 1,000 CV, or 986 horsepower, comes into play. It isn’t clear if Qualify is the only mode that unlocks peak horsepower, of if Performance can do so as well. In fact, we’re still not sure what the SF90’s effective horsepower is; Ferrari added the V8’s 769 hp to the three e-motors’ 217 hp to reach that total output figure, which isn’t how this is usually done.

We’ll undoubtedly get more answers once the first drives hit the interwebs. We already have a lot of questions about that intense steering wheel and its “View Max” touch controller, and the rather comely 16-inch display.

Ford Has a New Version of the GT It Will Show at Goodwood

A More Extreme Ford GT?

The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed should be a fantastic event with some of the most impressive and amazing cars in the entire world. Now, there is another good reason to pay attention to the event. Ford recently teased a shot of a new version of its GT that will appear at Goodwood. The company released the images and the information that it would share “exciting Ford GT supercar news” on July 4 at 4:45 a.m. EDT.

Hermann Salenbauch from Ford Performance and Larry Holt from Multimatic will be the two people who will give the announcement. Right now, what those two men will be discussing is a bit up in the air. Ford did not let any more information slip out beyond the fact that it will be exciting news. 

The car in the teaser image is just more or less a dark outline. However, that dark outline does show a huge rear wing and what appears to be a roof scoop. There are a few possibilities. It could be a special one-off build, a new limited edition run of the car, or some kind of new racing variant. 

Ford already has plenty coming to Goodwood, including the new Focus ST, the Mustang Shelby GT500, the Ranger Raptor, and Ken Block’s vehicles and Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s wild rides. We have a feeling, though, that the GT news will steal the show.

Another Ford GT is coming, and this is it

Get excited, everyone. There’s another Ford GT coming. Ford just dropped this teaser of a shadowy, winged GT supercar staring back at us, and it certainly has our hearts pounding.

Sadly, information about the unnamed GT version is even scarcer than most teasers we typically get. Here’s the text direct from the Blue Oval: “Ford will make a special Ford GT supercar announcement during a dedicated press conference from 4:45 a.m. EDT, July 4, at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.”

Multimatic will be on site for the announcement, with chief technical officer Larry Holt in tow. If you’re in the UK for Goodwood, you’ll want to be at the Ford stand in the Drift Paddock for the news. And that’s all the official information available for the time being.

So for now we’re left to gaze at this great teaser photo Ford provided us. The wing is absolutely massive, like race car levels of massive. Also, it has a roof scoop, which is something the normal Ford GT doesn’t have. Beyond these couple of details, it’s hard to tell much of anything apart from the Ford GT we already know and love. Clearly, Ford is after something a bit racier with this version. We’ll have to wait until Independence Day to see the car in full, as a new American supercar makes its world debut in the country we declared independence from on that day’s anniversary.

The Complete Electric Car Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

Electric cars are the future. At least, that’s the idea most automakers are banking on. Elon Musk and Tesla have shown off the immense potential for battery electric vehicles (also known as BEVs), delivering models that offer prodigious range equal to gas-powered equivalents and “ludicrous” acceleration that exceeds most internal-combustion cars.

The biggest hurdle for automakers looking to build new EVs is battery technology; power storage units remain heavy, cumbersome and expensive compared with gasoline. So far, battery limitations have been one of the main constraints what types of BEVs can be made, who can afford them, and how much — if any — profit automakers can make from them. But that’s starting to change. The 2020 model year should be a tipping point for EVs, with heavyweight manufacturers like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz diving into the mix, as well as intriguing startups like Rivian launching new vehicles.

That’s not to say the electric car marketplace is barren right now, however: Early adopters can still choose from an array of compelling options. Here, then, we present the Gear Patrol guide for every battery electric vehicle currently available for sale in the U.S.

Charging

Level 1 Charging: A standard 120-volt wall outlet. It can take 24 hours or more to fully charge an EV.

Level 2 Charging: Most home charging systems and public charge points; they deliver power at 240 volts, and charge vehicles about five to six times faster than Level 1. These can add significant range in a few hours, or fully charge a vehicle overnight. Almost every electric vehicle is compatible with a Level 2 charger.

Level 3 Charging: Refers to a number of methods that generally deliver a “fast charge,” raising a battery to 80 percent in less than an hour. These chargers are less common. Not all EVs accept Level 3 charging.

Plugs

SAE J1772: The standard five-pin connector used on most Level 2 charging systems.

CCS: “Combined charging system.” Combines the five-pin SAE J1772 “J-plug” with an additional plug to accommodate DC fast-charging.

CHAdeMO: DC-only fast-charging connector, most commonly used on Japanese and Korean vehicles.  

Tesla Supercharger: Tesla uses its own proprietary connectors that accommodate fast charging, which they call “Supercharging.” Tesla sells SAE J1772 and CHAdeMO adapters. European Teslas are fitted with a CCS plug.

Other Useful EV Terms

BEV: “Battery-electric vehicle.” Used interchangeably with “EV” to describe electric vehicles.

Federal Tax Credit: In America, EVs come with a $7,500 federal tax credit that lowers the effective cost of purchase. The tax credit begins to phase out after a manufacturer sells 200,000 electric vehicles.

ICE-ing: Internal combustion enthusiasts parking their large trucks in a manner to block public charging points.

kWh: “Kilowatt-hour.” This is the energy unit used to measure battery capacity. 

MPGe: Miles per gallon equivalent.” Designed to measure how many miles an EV will travel on the energy equivalent of one gallon of gas. Works as a vague basis of comparison between internal-combustion and electric vehicles.

One-Pedal Driving: Many EVs use a regenerative braking system, where lifting off the accelerator causes the electric motor to create resistance and braking, sending electricty to the battery. This permits the driver, for the most part, to drive without using the brake pedal. It improves efficiency in stop-and-go traffic. Most cars will let the driver adjust the system’s strength.

Range Anxiety: Fear that an EV won’t be able to travel sufficiently far on a charge. Considered a major barrier to widespread EV adoption.

Torque: The rotational equivalent of linear force, which provides forward acceleration in a vehicle. Internal combustion engines must build their revolutions to a specific speed range to achieve peak torque, while EVs reach peak torque immediately, enabling tghem to accelerate more quickly and feel quicker still.

WLTP: The World Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, used for testing efficiency and energy emissions in non-U.S. markets. Manufacturers often cite it because it gives a more favorable range estimate than America testing, which is closer to real-world driving.

Audi

Audi recently debuted the E-tron, a midsize luxury crossover. It is the first of 12 electric Audi models set to launch by 2025. The E-tron looks like a standard Audi SUV, all the way down to the (unnecessary) grille. The e-tron SUV’s two electric motors generate a maximum of a combined 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, and accelerate it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

While the E-Tron SUV’s EPA range of 204 miles disappoints compared to its closest competitors, the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, Audi would counter that by saying using only 88 percent of battery capacity improves battery lifetime and reliability. Nevertheless, at 74 MPGe, the e-tron SUV is the least energy efficient electric vehicle produced by a major manufacturer.

Model:

  • Audi e-Tron SUV

Engine:

  • Dual motors, all-wheel-drive, 95-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $74,800

BMW

BMW’s only pure electric vehicle, for now, is the i3, a subcompact hatchback that debuted in 2013. The i3 is a bit of a throwback to the early 2010s, when EVs needed quirky, avant-garde designs to appeal to early adopters. There are two trims: the standard i3 that makes 170 hp and a sportier i3s making 181 hp. Both can achieve 153 miles of EPA range. Those willing to tolerate some vehicular emissions can bump the range to 200 miles with a gasoline range extender.

The major knock on the i3 is that the competition has caught up since 2013. Cars like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offer far better performance, space and range, at a similar–if not lower–price point.

Models:

Engine:

  • Rear motor, rear-wheel-drive, 42-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $44,450

Chevrolet

Chevrolet makes the pure electric Bolt, which is not to be confused with the soon-to-be-discontinued Volt, a plug-in hybrid. The Bolt is a small hatchback with an engine producing 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. It has an EPA range of 238 miles. The Bolt is well-regarded for its capability, but not so much for its looks. Chevy markets the Bolt as the affordable EV, with a base price of $36,060 before any tax incentives. But the Bolt and is about to become less affordable; the $7,500 federal tax credit began its graduated phase-out in April 2019.

Model:

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

Engine:

  • Front motor, front-wheel-drive, 60-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $36,060

Fiat

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Fiat is expected to reveal its exciting electrified future at the 2020 Geneva Auto Show. For now, Fiat offers the ill-supported 500e. It has all the practicality drawbacks of the standard Fiat 500, with the added charm of only being sold in California and Oregon. The 500e is reasonably powered, at 111 hp and 147 lb-ft. The trouble is the 84-mile EPA range, which limits the 500e to being a city car, and makes it a poor value compared to the alternatives.

Model:

Engine:

  • Front engine, FWD, 24-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $33,210

Honda

Honda uses the “Clarity” name for its stable of super-clean vehicles, including a pure BEV, a plug-in hybrid, and a hydrogen fuel cell car. The Clarity Electric debuted for the 2017 model year. It’s a midsize sedan making 160 hp and 221 lb-ft. But,there are some downsides: the Clarity Electric’s EPA range is only 89 miles; it is only available in California and Oregon; and we can’t give you a base price because you can only lease it, for $199 per month on a three-year lease with $1,799 down.

Model:

  • Honda Clarity Electric

Engine:

  • Front engine, FWD, 25.5-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $199 per month lease

Hyundai

Hyundai offers two electric vehicles. The first is the Ioniq, a compact four-door hatchback that debuted in 2017. Its engine produces 118 hp and 218 lb-ft and it boasts a 124-mile EPA range. At 136 MPGe, the Ioniq Electric is the most efficient EPA-rated electric vehicle. It is only sold in 10 states: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The other option is the Kona EV, which debuted in the U.S. for the 2019 model year. The Kona EV is more of a mass-market vehicle, a full-fledged competitor for the Tesla Model 3. It’s an electrified version of the Kona subcompact crossover, with 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. Its EPA range of 258 miles is the highest among non-Tesla electric vehicles. The Kona Electric was named the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

Model:

  • Ioniq Electric
  • Kona Electric

Engines:

  • Ioniq: Front engine, FWD, 28-kWh battery
  • Kona: Front engine, FWD, 64-kWh battery

EPA Range:

  • Ioniq: 124 miles
  • Kona: 258 miles

Base Price:

Jaguar

Designed by famed British designer Ian Callum, the Jaguar I-Pace is an electric performance SUV. The dual-motor system produces 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque. It can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph. The impressive I-Pace won Car of the Year, World Car of the Year, and Design of the Year at the World Car Awards. All that performance and style do come with an efficiency drawback, though: The EPA rates it at just 76 MPGe, only slightly above the Audi e-tron SUV.

Model:

Engine:

  • Dual motor, AWD, 90-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $69,500

Kia

Kia offers the Niro EV, a small crossover. It is similar — though not identical — to its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV. The Niro is built on the same platform as the Kona; its engine also makes 201 hp and 291 lb-ft, and battery size  is the same at 64 kWh. The Kona EV is more efficient, per EPA ratings, while the Niro EV is bigger and slightly more expensive. 

Model:

Engine:

  • Front motor, FWD, 64-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $38,500

Nissan

The Nissan Leaf is a compact four-door hatchback. It first debuted in 2010, with the second generation coming out for the 2018 model year. The Leaf comes in two versions, the Leaf and the Leaf Plus. The Leaf is the entry-level EV, offering 147 hp and 236lb-ft, a base price under $30,000, and a range of 150 miles. The more expensive Leaf Plus is a competitor for the Kona EV, Bolt and Model 3. It is more powerful, packing 214 hp and 250 lb-ft, and has a longer EPA range of 226 miles thanks to its a bigger 62-kWh battery.

Model:

  • Leaf
  • Leaf Plus

Engine:

  • Front motor, FWD, 40-kWh battery
  • Front motor, FWD, 62-kWh battery

EPA Range:

  • Leaf: 150 miles
  • Leaf Plus: 226 miles

Base Price: $29,990

Tesla

Tesla has redefined the paradigm for electric vehicles, producing cars with an unmatched combination of performance, range and practicality. With more than 250,000 sales in 2018, the brand has also shown the mass-market potential for BEVs. Tesla’s ambition and success, however, have been tempered by concerns about build quality, safety and the company’s long-term stability. Tesla’s federal tax credit dips to $1,875 on July 1, 2019, and expires at the end of the year.

At present, Tesla offers three electric vehicles. The Model S is a four-door liftback sedan that entered production in 2012. It comes in three trims: Standard Range (285 miles of range, 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds), Long Range (370 miles of range, 0-60 mph in 3.7 sec), and Performance (345 miles of range, 0-60 mph in 3.0 sec). For an additional $20,000, you can purchase “Ludicrous Mode” for Performance models; that improves the 0-60 mph acceleration to just 2.4 seconds.

The Model X is a mid-size luxury SUV Tesla began producing in 2015. Like the Model S, it has been simplified to three trims: Standard Range (255 miles, 0-60 mph in 4.6 sec), Long Range (325 miles, 0-60 mph in 4.4 sec), and Performance (305 miles, 0-60 mph in 3.4 sec). Ludicrous Mode will bring the latter Model X’s 0-60 time down to 2.7 seconds.

The Model 3 is a four-door fastback sedan that entered production in 2017. It was both the best-selling electric vehicle and best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. in 2018. There is a base RWD model, the Standard Range Plus (240 miles of range,  0-60 mph in 5.3sec) that comes with what Tesla describes as a “partial premium interior.” There are also AWD Long Range (310 miles,  0-60 mph in 4.4 sec) and Performance (310 miles, 0-60 mph in 3.2 sec) trims. None of the Model 3s offer Ludicrous Mode.

The company is taking orders on the upcoming Model Y compact crossover. Tesla also has a pickup truck purported to be more capable than the Ford F-150 and Porsche 911 in the works, as well as the Tesla Roadster, which purportedly will do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, top out at more than 250 mph, and offer a 620-mile range.

Models:

  • Model S
  • Model X
  • Model 3

Engine:

  • Model S: Dual motor, AWD, 100-kWh battery
  • Model X: Dual motor, AWD, 75-, 90- or 100-kWh battery
  • Model 3: Rear motor, RWD 50-kWh battery; Dual Motor AWD  62- or 75-kWh battery

EPA Range:

  • Model S: 285-370 miles
  • Model X: 255-325 miles
  • Model 3: 240-310 miles

Base Price:

Volkswagen

The E-Golf is Volkswagen’s early attempt at an EV, one that launched in 2015. It got somewhat lost in the shuffle following the Dieselgate scandal and the carmaker’s decision to launch the upcoming ID range of electric vehicles. It’s a well-hidden gem, a practical-yet-fun-to-drive VW Golf that happens to run on electricity. Its 134-hp, 214-lb-ft powertrain gives it a fun-to-drive dynamic much like the rest of its siblings. The major sticking point, however, is the 125-mile range — which may be adequate for most driving, but doesn’t match up to the competition in 2019.

Model:

Engine:

  • Front motor, FWD, 35.8-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $31,895

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Pininfarina Battista gets a small redesign, still looks the business

The Pininfarina Battista may be the wildest car revealed this year. It’s an all-electric supercar with 1,900 horsepower that promises a 0-60 mph time of under 2 seconds. Piloting one sounds akin to a jump to hyperspace. The only bad thing we can say about it now is that you can’t buy one yet — even so, a small redesign was revealed at the Turin Motor Show. None of the performance specs have budged, but there are a few styling elements that have been tweaked.

Pininfarina justifies the changes in the name of aerodynamics. Testing done after the car’s initial debut in Geneva showed that things could be improved, so Pininfarina set out to do so. The lower front grille area has been massaged with some reshaping. Additional elements have been added inside the front opening with a couple extra slats framing the honeycomb grille. Also, the side mirrors have been drastically redone, looking far more exotic and slippery than before. It’s safe to say that all these noticeable changes don’t do anything to change our opinion about how fantastic it looks.

Here’s a comparison — the redesigned Battista in blue is on top, the original is below in white.

Pininfarina Battista updateBattista old front end

We’re told to expect the next stages of wind tunnel and road testing to take place this summer in Italy. Will there be further changes to the design after this? Who knows. We do know that the plan for making just 150 of them hasn’t changed, though. The latest from Pininfarina says to expect a driving range of about 280 miles and a top speed of 217 mph. A 0-180 mph time of 12 seconds is quoted as an official acceleration figure, too. Production is supposed to begin in 2020, and we expect that to go on for some time after in order to build all 150 cars.

The Pininfarina Battista Gets a Design Update

A New Face for a Car That Will Rip Your Face Off

The Turin Auto Show in Italy is in for a treat. The Pininfarina Battista will be there sporting some design updates. A concept version of the car appeared at the Geneva Motor Show, and the one at the Turin Auto Show will be an updated design, featuring a new face for the car

The car gets a single wide, low piece up front instead of the dual-fin setup that was on the concept. It’s actually a much more attractive car. It will be shown in a gorgeous new color, Blu Iconica (blue). The new look comes after extensive aerodynamic testing was performed on the car. Luca Borgogno, the car’s designer seemed pleased with the finished result. He also sounded thrilled with the ability to showcase the next stages of the vehicle.

Since its debut at this year’s Geneva auto show, the Battista has stunned audiences all around the world with its beauty and purity of design. I am pleased to be presenting it with these latest masterstrokes that make the form of the car even more beautiful and elegant, and true to Pininfarina’s design principles.

The Battista features a four electric motor powertrain setup. The car offers 1,877 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque. That translates to a 0-60 mph time of two seconds and a top speed of 217 mph. Pininfarina will build only 150 of the cars and they will each cost $2.26 million. 

Now’s Your Chance to Own a 2004 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500

When it comes to commercial off-road vehicles, there’s the Unimog and then there’s everything else. Whether you’re using it for hauling, climbing or as the base for a sweet expedition camper, the Unimog is a…

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe comes with 523 horsepower and a twin-turbo V-8 engine. It’s based on the two-door model introduced just a year ago. This time around, the revamped unit boasts more space and easier entry, as well as the first-ever inline-six engine option for the 8 Series lineup.

The sportier M850i variant is BMW’s most expensive models ever. This one’s due out in showrooms sometime this September with an unspecified six-figure asking price. That’s when all option boxes are checked, though.

The four-door coupe is nine inches longer and 1.2 inches wider than its two-door predecessor. BMW will offer both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants with a choice of 335 ponies on a six-cylinder engine. Or, if you really want to up the ante, a 4.4-liter V-8 with 523, as we’ve mentioned.

The six-cylinder rear-wheel-drive 840i clocks 4.9 seconds to reach 60 mph, while the all-wheel-drive gets there in just 4.6 seconds. Both models have 130 mph speed cap with all-season tires. They can reach 155 mph with performance tires, though.

As for tech and interiors, the 8 Series Gran Coupe boasts an extensive set of standard and optional driver assist systems. This includes safety systems that could help prevent collisions and other optional features like an Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, which lets the car take over when there’s heavy traffic.

Also included is BMW’s latest-generation Heads-Up display system that fronts crucial information like vehicle speed, route guidance, and overtaking restrictions right in your field of view. There’s also CarPlay, Live cockpit Professional, and iDrive 7.

The 8 Series Gran Coupe launches sometime this September.

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Photos courtesy of BMW

1990 BMW M3 Convertible

On auction now is this 1990 BMW M3 Convertible. It’s not dramatically vintage, to be sure, though time moves so fast that 1990 is basically a bygone era now. An era brimmed in punk-rock and Happy Meal toys that are actually cool.

But we digress. This car is one of only 786 convertibles examples built between 1986 and 1992. Needless to say it’s not that rare, but still quite unique, as it’s also one of the only 12 Spanish-market models with no catalytic converters.

Though it was finished in May 1990, the car benefits from recently renewed brakes. It also comes equipped with a revamped exhaust system and a new soft top. In the correct factory material, too, which will definitely sit well with purists.

The first-generation BMW M3 is a cool-enough car. It looks pretty good, though it lacks the sleek lines and cramped profile of the usual sports car. Still, it’s still perceived today as one of the best drvier’s cars of that era.

The car is extremely well preserved, and the parts are nearly all original save for a handful of bits and bobs. It’s also just on its third owner since new, which means it’s more than ready for a new set of hands. Sure, it’s no Ferrari. And it’s not the best on-auction BMW ride we’ve featured here. Still, there’s something to be said about simplicity, and in that department, this one nails it. More info from RM Sotheby’s when you hit the link below. Car offered without reserve.

ON AUCTION

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Giti Tire Attacks the Nürburgring With a Pair of Audi R8s & a Pair of VW Golfs

Third Year’s the Charm

The 24 Hours of Nürburgring is one of the most challenging motorsports races in the entire world. The track itself is a fabled place for motorsports fans and the proving ground for manufacturers of sports cars and race cars alike. The 24-hour race that is held every year is the ultimate test of engineering, teamwork, and racing skill.

Automakers aren’t the only manufacturers who use the Nürburgring as a proving ground. Tire companies also do. One company that will take their product to the extreme at the upcoming race is Giti Tire. This will be the third year that the company has competed in the race, and it hopes this to be the most exciting year yet. 

The Cars Racing

The company has four cars set to compete in the race. The first is an Audi R8 LMS Ultra that comes with a 5.2-liter V10 engine that makes 570 hp. The car will be driven by Henzel Bernhard, P. Lefterov, and F. Schickler. The second is another Audi R8, this one a GT4 car, that has a 5.2-liter V10 engine tuned to 495 hp. It will be driven by Rainey He, Sunny Wong, Andy Yan, and Li Fei. 

In the past, the company has used the Lamborghini Huracán for the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. This time around, the company thought it would be better to utilize the Audi R8 instead. “The Audi R8 offers a great combination of power, reliability, and technology that goes together very well with how Giti positions its tires,” said a representative of Giti Tire. These are the two cars that many racing fans, spectators, and others in the industry will be focused on. 

Giti tire Audi R8Giti tire Audi R8

The VW Golfs will also run the race. One of the golfs will be an all-female team, including the drivers and crew. According to Giti Tire, this is the first time in the race’s history that this has happened. 

“The 24 Hours Nürburgring race is a great natural choice for [us],” said a Giti Tire representative. “From one vehicle in 2017 to two in 2018 and four this year, Giti is truly committed to making an impact on the race and further utilizing the results and lessons to continue making both our racing and everyday driving tires the best they can be.”

The Tires to be Used

Speaking of the tires used, the company plans to use its GitiCompete GTR1 tires for the race. Those tires are a track-only variant that have proved to be very popular among a wide variety of racers. The GitiCompete GTR1 tires have been used at a wide variety of well-known motorsports events and races, including the 24 Hours Nürburgring race, as well as Formula 3 Asian series, and Pikes Peak Hill Climb among others. 

The latest iteration of the GTR1 tires come after years of research and development. The top grade compound has been designed for racetracks. It should help the Audi R8s compete well in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring race this year. While race is an important test for Giti Tire, the company isn’t just concerned with racing. The lessons it learns on the track will trickle down to road-legal variations of its tires, ensuring the best performance for all kinds of vehicles. 

It will be exciting to see how the Audi R8s and the VW Golfs put out on the racetrack by Giti Tire perform at the race. The race will occur this weekend in Germany. 

Read more @ GitiUSA.com

Could the M-Division of BMW Make Its Own Car?

It Seems Possible

A new BMW M hypercar could be coming. At least that’s what we want to believe after BMW M boss Markus Flasch’s interview with Car Sales. The publication sat down and had a little chat with Flasch, and he revealed that in the future not all of BMW’s M cars will necessarily be modified versions of standard production cars. 

“We are investigating M variants that may also be stand-alone, that don’t have a predecessor,” Flasch said. when pressed for more information and asked if the M-division would start from a blanks sheet on a car in the future, he said, “potentially.”

That’s not a confirmation that a new M car will come that’s not based on anything, but it’s clear that BMW is at least looking into it. The possibility of a hypercar is real, too. 

“We would love to do it … but we are part of a big company and we only do things that make sense economically and are relevant for the brand. So far M is the strongest high-performance brand and we did not need a hypercar. So, from a brand perspective it is not needed, M is strong as it is.”

It would seem that Flasch is open to the idea and that likely means other folks at BMW are, too. However, it sounds as though that would only happen if it made sense for BMW’s business as a whole, which could be a hard sell to some of the top-level executives and decision makers. 

The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 Makes 760 HP and 625 Lb-Ft of Torque

The Beast Is Here

Ford revealed its Mustang Shelby GT500 at the North American International Auto Show. When it did so, the company left out the power numbers for the car, leaving everyone to speculate as to how much the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 would actually produce. Now the company has let those numbers and some other stats out. 

The GT500 will make 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque. That’s more horsepower than the Chevy Corvette ZR1, which is regarded as a crazy-powerful machine and has won many awards for being just that. While Dodge’s Demon still has more horsepower, the GT500 is a bit of a different animal and will be a track monster as well as a true staight-line speed machine.

Official performance times have not yet been released, but Ford promises 0-60 time of mid-three seconds and a sub-11-second quarter mile time, according to Road and Track. The car will also be a track monster due to aerodynamic developments and various technologies. How good the car is will be determined at a later date, but it’s safe to say this is the most extreme Mustang yet. 

As The Drive points out, this will be the first time since the 1960s that Ford has sold the Mustang GT350 and the GT 500 at the same time. For those who thought the 1960s were the peak of muscle car performance, you were wrong. Here’s the perfect example. 

Aston Martin Valhalla Name Confirmed for AM-RB 003 Hypercar

A name has finally been revealed for Aston Martin’s upcoming hypercar. Valhalla will adorn the rear end of the mid-engine model. The name draws from Norse mythology once again, similar to the Valkyrie and Vulcan that came before.

The name relates to an enormous hall located in Asgard where it is said that half of those who die in combat travel to. In Valhalla, the dead join those who have died in combat as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. While the stories are pure mythology, Aston Martin’s hypercar is anything but.

Developed in collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and Adrian Newey, the Aston Martin Valhalla is set to arrive in late 2021. The Valhalla will be less extreme than the Valkyrie, built to compete with more traditional hypercars in the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder range. This puts the cost of the Valhalla in the £1 million range.

The release confirms that the Aston Martin Valhalla will use a high-efficiency, high-output turbocharged V6 petrol engine and battery-electric hybrid system. Rumours have suggested that power will be in the 1,000 hp range. The car will use a carbon fibre architecture and carbon fibre bodywork with a sharper focus on usability than has been the case with the Valkyrie. The Valhalla will get active suspension and electronic systems and advanced under floor aerodynamic systems.

Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer said: “Aston Martin model names always attract a lot of attention. They do so because they invariably capture an emotion or tell a story. In following the Valkyrie we knew the Aston Martin Valhalla needed to make a strong statement of its own, yet also offer continuity and a clear connection. Norse mythology contains such powerful language and rich storytelling it felt only right that the AM-RB 003 should follow the Valkyrie’s theme. For those fortunate enough to own one I’m sure they will recognise and appreciate the name’s connotations of glory and happiness, for there can be few more hallowed places than the driver’s seat of an Aston Martin Valhalla.”

Just 500 Coupe examples of the all-carbon fibre hypercar will be built. The press release is very specific about the 500 Coupe’s which leads us to believe that a Convertible version might also be offered at some point.

2019 Lexus LS 500 AWD Review: Big Car, Big Grille, Big Luxury

The latest generation of the Lexus LS is a big sedan with big shoes to fill. After all, it was the first-gen LS that launched the Lexus brand three decades ago, proudly proving to the world that the Japanese auto industry could build a car every bit as luxurious as the folks over in Germany. Since then, it’s been the standard-bearer for the brand — a car that, like Mercedes-Benz and its S-Class, stands as proof of what the company is capable of today and where it’s going tomorrow.

The latest model, new for the 2018 model year, does just that. Boasting the sleekest version of the company’s current styling language and an interior that looks every bit peeled from a Minority Report plutocrat’s ride, it’s proudly Japanese, distinctly imposing, and every bit worthy of the flagship title in shape and scale. Especially when it comes to that grille.

The Good: If space and comfort are what you want out of a car, the LS 500 has your number. The verb “cocoon” isn’t too excessive to describe being nestled into the driver’s seat, given how the acreage of leather and wood snuggles around you; it’s cozy, but never constraining. The back seat is just as nice, with space for six-footers to flop about freely and — with the $17,080 Executive Package my tester came packing — aft thrones that heat, ventilate, recline and massage. It may not be the ultimate road trip car, but it’s certainly an ultimate road trip car.

Who It’s For: Luxury sedan buyers who value Toyota’s legendary build quality, and/or have been wooed and won over by the distinctive design inside and out; anyone sick of the garden-variety looks of the German full-size luxury sedans; the occasional Uber Black driver.

Watch Out For: The infotainment system, as with all too many modern Lexus models, ventures beyond frustration into the realm of being dangerous. Using a touchpad to control the largely free-floating targeting reticule is a little better than the joystick Lexus used to use, but it still requires a level of dexterity and concentration well beyond what any other system demands. I lost track of how many times I found myself forced to look away from the road for far, far too long just to do something as simple as switch media sources or toggle up the climate controls. And this is coming from a driver who’s spent many hours in the past using the system; familiarity doesn’t bring ease of use, not when the controls are this sensitive and the cause of your finger so divorced from the effect on the screen.

Lexus is finally addressing the issue with the 2020 RX — that model gains touchscreen functionality, which should help mitigate some of the issues with the setup — but for now, the system’s interface is tricky enough to make recommending the car at all an arguable proposition, good as the rest of it is. Anyone considering buying the LS (or really, any new Lexus) ought to take it home for the night to see how they feel living with the system in the real world, not just in the confines of a four-block test drive.

Alternatives: Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic ($104,350); Audi A8L ($83,800); BMW 750i xDrive ($102,650); Cadillac CT6 Platinum ($86,795)

Review: Once upon a time, Gear Patrol deputy editor Josh Condon described the F Sport version of the current Lexus LS as “a big, comfortable sedan with big, uncomfortable dissonance.” There’s an easy way to solve that problem, it turns out: Don’t go for the F Sport version.

The version unencumbered by the aggro front end and sport-tuned suspension strikes a far more appropriate balance between ride and handling by simply avoiding any implication of sportiness. Left in Comfort Mode on the highway, it glides along as though riding on pats of hot butter, keeping the lumps and bumps from interrupting your serenity as the 10-speed automatic shuffles through cogs with the smoothness of a Delmonico’s wine steward pouring Pouilly-Fuissé.

That’s not to say it’s the reincarnation of a Seventies-era luxo-barge; body roll is kept nicely in check, even when hurling through a roundabout at speeds brisk enough to startle the SUV driver Clark Griswolding their way through their seventh revolution ahead of you. Those could be important people sitting in the LS 500’s well-sculpted seats, either front or rear; can’t have them feeling perturbed. It’s at times like this the car’s shared architecture with the LC gran turismo coupe becomes more apparent; the two might not be twins separated only by door count, but there’s enough common bones between them to count as similar skeletons.

One item it doesn’t share with that wild-eyed two-door, however: the naturally aspirated V8 that makes the LC 500 a surprisingly vivacious drive. Instead, the LS, like most fancy cars nowadays, has downsized under the hood, trading its former eight-cylinder powerplant for a twin-turbo V6. Thankfully, the resulting powerplant is still quite worthy of luxury duty, spooning out low-end torque with near Rolls-Roycian gentility. (All-wheel-drive is a $3,220 option on all LS sedans, which might be enough to keep some buyers from forking over money for an LX 570 whose capabilities they’ll barely scratch the surface of.)

No one’s liable to confuse the LS 500 with an actual Rolls-Royce, though — at least, not from the outside. Granted, the Lexus’s grille is roughly as big as the one on a Phantom, but it’s a curved, cetacean thing that looks ready to devour shrimp by the gallon — worlds away from the Parthenon leading the way for all those Spirits of Ecstasy. Somehow, though, after the initial shock wears off, it works, tying the front end’s design lines together in a way that draws the eye towards that encircled L in the center. Which, presumably, was the idea.

The rest of the general shape is a pleasing form, a striking fastback that seems longer and lower the further back your eyes wander. By the time your eyes reach the tail (which, admittedly, is stricken with some rather generic taillamps, a far cry from the menacing squint of the narrow band of LEDs in the headlights), you half expect to find a Porsche Panamera-like hatch there instead of a traditional trunk. Overall, it’s the sort of shape that leaves you glad the world’s automakers haven’t wholly given up on the sedan. Squeezing this sort of elegance out of a crossover would probably violate some fundamental law of the universe.

A little Japanese-spec weirdness does creep into some of the controls; apart from the aforementioned infotainment system, there’s also the silver radio control buttons barely larger than an engorged tick, and the drive mode controls jutting from the top of the instrument panel shade that bring to mind nothing so much as the bolts in Boris Karloff’s neck. But if that’s the price you pay for the rest of the interior, so be it. The Executive Package may cost as much as an entire Toyota, but a few minutes of Shiatsu massage on a long drive is enough to win over even the most value-minded buyer — especially if he or she ever plans on being driven instead of driving. (Sadly, my car lacked the version of the Exec Pack that, for an extra $6,000, adds hand-cut kiriko glass trim to the doors, a feature that no doubt dazzles the eye and spirit while simultaneously making one wonder how many African children UNICEF could feed with the money spent solely on artisanal glassware in a single moving vehicle.)

Verdict: The first Lexus LS played it safe — doctor-in-an-Ebola-hot-zone safe. It delivered conventional styling, conventional luxury and conventional power, all in pursuit of proving Toyota could outdo the Germans at their own game. In the last 30 years, though, the brand’s had a chance to find its own definition of luxury. The LS 500 shows how far the company’s moved the ball down the field. It may look a little odd, may piss off the occasional technophobe, may draw the occasional unpleasant comparison along the way. But above all else, it’s unconventional in many interesting ways. And anytime a giant company goes that route with a product this important…well, that’s worth praising.

2019 Lexus LS 500 AWD Specs

Powertrain: 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6; 10-speed automatic; all-wheel-drive
Power: 416 horsepower, 442 pound-feet of torque
0-60 MPH: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 136 mph
EPA Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway

Lexus provided this product for review.

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Over 600 1990s Cars! 0-60 mph time, 1/4 Mile time, Power & Top Speed For Every Model

We Compiled The Performance Numbers For Every (600+) Car from the 1990s: 0-60 Times, 1/4 Mile Times, Power & Torque Figures As Well As Top Speed

Yes, we seem to be obsessed with ’90s cars. First we focused on the best 90s supercars, then we searched around for the unloved and forgotten 90s cars and recently even went broader to the best performance cars at any price point from the decade. 

From a data perspective if you think going through 600 cars is a little too much work, then check out the Fastest 1990s Cars post, we only focus on the quickest accelerating and top speed cars of the 1990s. Les data and easier to work through. Some people like to see all the data however so for those of you that do, this is the post you want.

We have compiled data on 600+ cars from the 1990s. Clearly we are focused on cool and awesome cars, the iconic sports and performance cars of the era. We have the engine size, acceleration times, quarter mile times as well as power, torque and top speed numbers for every model. You can easily search for the car you want, as well as filter based on any criteria. Click on the “+” sign to learn more about each car and see things like the engine and the model year. 

Enjoy.

Seized Hypercars of Teodorin Obiang to be Auctioned in Geneva

Bonhams has reportedly announced a new auction, to take place at the Bonmont Golf & Country Club in Switzerland, which will facilitate the sale of a staggering collection of hypercars amassed by Teodorin Obiang. The cars were seized by Swiss authorities in 2016 as part of an investigation into the embezzlement of Equatorial Guinea’s state funds.

The collection includes a white Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, a Koenigsegg One:1, a McLaren P1 and a Bugatti Veyron. A collection of 25 cars will apparently hit the auction block with news sources suggesting that these will include models from “Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes-Maybach and Porsche”.

The news has been widely reported and ties up with earlier articles which confirmed that the cars would be sold. Nonetheless, Bonhams website is silent about the proposed auction (at time of writing). So there is no confirmation that it is definitely taking place.

Obiang’s car collection was seized in two tranches. The first cars were seized by French authorities in 2012 with the second set following in 2016. It is widely believed that the cars include a Ferrari Enzo, LaFerrari, Aston Martin One77 and Ferrari F12 tdf.

Teodorin Obiang’s collection is expected to $13 million. The proceeds are to be given to a social programme in Obiang’s home country.