Ford GT Carbon Series is the lightest version of Ford’s supercar

2019-ford-gt-carbon-series-1.jpg

Following up on the announcement that it will build 350 more GTs, Ford revealed another version of its supercar that will be available to customers. It’s the 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series, and it’s the lightest version of this GT model.

Visually, it’s recognizable by its gray paint and the standard exposed carbon fiber stripe down the middle, which showcases the perfectly reflected carbon weave on either side of the car. This stripe can be accentuated with a contrasting color stripe down the middle, along with mirror caps the same color. The accent color choices are restricted to silver, orange, red and blue. Inside, upholstered parts get unique silver stitching, and matte carbon fiber is used for the air vent pods, side sills and center console.

While the visual upgrades are nice, the real appeal of the Carbon Series is that it’s the lightest current GT. Total weight loss is 39 pounds. This is because it includes as standard the optional carbon fiber wheels, titanium exhaust and titanium lug nuts. It also gets a unique rear hatch with lighter glass and additional ventilation. We suspect that Ford could have shaved off a few more pounds if it removed the climate control and radio, but Ford said that GT buyers didn’t want to sacrifice those features.

[Source: Autoblog]

Jeep Wrangler rides into SEMA on new Mopar performance axles

jeep-wrangler-mopar-performance-axles-1.jpg

Mopar is unveiling Jeep Performance Parts axles as the latest off-road accessory to the Jeep Wrangler, which itself won the “4×4/SUV of the Year” honors at SEMA for the ninth consecutive year. The show opens Tuesday and continues through Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Mopar teamed with longtime partner and auto supplier Dana to develop the axles, which are co-branded under the name JPP Ultimate Dana 44 AdvanTEK. They’re installed on a Nacho Wrangler concept at Mopar’s 15,345-square-foot display.

The high-strength axles are built in the U.S. and feature gear technology that reduces gear set packaging, with added strength and overall rigidity for the trail. The high-clearance carrier design adds an extra half-inch of ground clearance, with an expanded range of gear ratios (4.56, 4.88, 5.13 and 5.38) to accommodate for more tire sizes. Chromoly axle shafts, thicker quarter-inch steel bracket mounts, 9.5-millimeter tubes and upgraded U-joints also add durability, while a nodular iron differential cover adds rugged looks, and its ribbing adds strength and rigidity.

The direct bolt-in assembly allows for use of OEM components and includes electronic differential lockers already installed.

The axles will be available for purchase starting next month.

Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept is a Ridgeline-based Baja runner

honda-rugged-open-air-vehicle-concept-1.jpg

Honda doesn’t have an off-road truck to compete with the likes of the Ford Raptor or the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, but this concept vehicle is a step in the right direction. Just revealed at SEMA, Honda’s brawny “Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept” is a cross between the Honda Ridgeline and the Honda Pioneer 1000 side-by-side. Honda calls it the “ultimate open-air off-road Honda adventure vehicle,” and we agree that it looks the part.

Some of the specifics are a bit vague from Honda, but the truck uses a heavily modified Ridgeline body and suspension. The interior is Ridgeline-based — there are a lot of hard points similar to our long-term Ridgeline. The shape of the dash and the footwell area seem nearly identical, and the instrument cluster hasn’t changed one iota. Honda doesn’t mention the engine it uses, but the safe guess would be the 3.5-liter V6 out of the donor truck. If that’s the case, then this truck is probably mighty fast given all of the parts removed.

There are plenty of components donated from the Pioneer 1000, too. Production Pioneer doors fit right up, and Honda modified the bed and tailgate from it for duty here. A Pioneer steering wheel was mounted on the Ridgeline steering column as well. The interior has a few other cool features too like full weatherproofing for the outdoor elements. Our favorite part is the reskinned Civic Type R seats. Those svelte buckets look perfect for some serious sand dune destruction. A couple RAM smartphone holder mounts round out the interior modifications.

Skid plates and cladding are everywhere, with much of the design being borrowed from Pioneer 1000 styling, just blown up to truck size. It feels a bit like a Baja family truck. Chuck the kids in the rear seats, tenting gear in the bed, and point it into the desert. Sadly, it’s a concept vehicle, but that doesn’t make us want to go bombing around off-road in it any less.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gets new performance parts at SEMA

hyundai-veloster-customs-and-performance-parts-1.jpg

Hyundai is planning a line of aftermarket performance parts being developed for the 2019 Veloster Turbo sport coupe and, it says, other sporty models.

New accessory parts include a high-performance K&N high-flow air filter, Borla axle-back exhaust systems, a B&M sport shift kit, Eibach springs and anti-roll bars, and lightweight, performance alloy wheels. Hyundai is putting its stamp of approval on the parts, saying it validated them all and adding that the components do not invalidate the automaker’s various warranties, including its 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. The parts will be sold through Hyundai dealers.

The 2019 Veloster Turbo gets a new multi-link suspension, replacing a torsion-beam configuration, plus aluminum suspension parts to save on weight and sharpen handling dynamics. The base Veloster, which starts at $19,385 including destination charge, is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Higher trim levels get a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that puts out 201 hp and 195 lb-ft.

Hyundai says it will continue to expand aftermarket performance offerings for models like the Veloster Turbo, Elantra Sportand Elantra GT Sport.

This 1969 Mustang Boss 429 continuation car makes 815 hp

classic-recreations-1969-boss-429-mustang-1.jpg

Classic Recreations, the custom fabricators from Oklahoma, has rolled into SEMA in Las Vegas with a continuation 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 that features a custom-built crate engine making 815 horsepower.

Swathed in monochromatic “Vengeance Black” paint, the racing pony car was built from an original 1969 Mustang body and restored to factory condition. It’s the first vehicle released under Classic’s new license with Ford, which also permits it to offer continuation versions of the 1969-1970 Boss 302 and Mach 1 Mustangs. The Boss 429 was born when Ford, eyeing intense NASCAR competition from Chrysler, developed a new 429 cubic-inch, 375-hp V8 for the Mustang. Fordbuilt fewer than 900 of them for the 1969 model year and just under 500 for 1970, the only two years they were built.

“The Boss 429 is one of the coolest and rarest Mustangs ever produced, but they have gotten so valuable that most owners won’t drive them,” Classic Recreations owner Jason Engel said in a statement. “This offers people the chance to own an incredibly rare car that they can actually drive, and with modern chassis and engine tech, these cars will actually be faster and easier to drive than the original.”

This continuation version brings a 546 cubic-inch (8.9-liter) mated to a Tremec manual transmission. It also features an updated valve train, electronic fuel injection and engine management systems. There’s also a four-link rear suspension and front tubular upper and lower control arms with adjustable coilovers and oversized sway bars for stability at high speeds. It’s also been fitted with stainless steel performance mufflers and long tube headers to accentuate the aggressive sound and allow the engine to breathe.

Elsewhere, the Boss 429 gets Michelin Pilot Sport tires mounted to all-new forged aluminum 18-inch wheels made by American Racing and zinc-washed rotors mated to six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers. There’s also a tilt column and complete rack-and-pinion steering conversion. There are also Kicker Audio speakers, a custom console, aluminum steering wheel and factory Boss 429 200-mph gauges.

The custom conversion Boss 429 starts at $209,000.

[Source: Autoblog]

1968 Dodge Super Charger is a super Charger with a supercharger

1968-dodge-super-charger-1.jpg

Mopar’s latest custom creation is sure to be in the running for coolest car at this year’s SEMA show. It’s a 1968 Dodge Charger, a car selected in part because this year marks the car’s 50th anniversary, but taken to the extreme and renamed Super Charger. The headliner of the car’s radical upgrades is the new “Hellephant” engine. It’s a take on the original car’s 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8. But this new engine, with the same displacement, is based on the current Hemi V8, and adds a supercharger. All told, it makes a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 950 pound-feet of torque on 93 octane pump gas. It will be available as a crate engine, too.

The engine is far from the only impressive change to the car. All over the body are mild to wild tweaks. The wide, uninterrupted grille from the original is still here, but it’s a one-piece example now. And instead of hiding the headlights behind doors that have to open for illumination, the lights simply shine through the grille, retaining a clean look even at night. The whole car sits 2.5 inches lower than stock, and it’s now four inches wider thanks to the huge fender flares. They house 305-mm-wide tires up front, and 315-mm tires in the rear.

Likely the most complicated change to the car is the lengthened wheelbase. There are two more inches between the wheels now, something Mopar did to reduce the front overhang. A close second in complexity are the taillights. They’re the same shape as the originals, but now the round elements are actually exhaust outlets. The tips also happen to be the same as those on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. There are other details that help bring together the exterior. The rain rails have been smoothed out on the roof, the vent windows removed, special 426 stickers have been added, and the fuel door now has a Hellephant badge with a blue background with lots of little Mopar Ms.

The interior gets some attention, too. The rear seat has been removed, Dodge Demon style. It gets a custom roll bar designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, even getting the hoop around the seats to roughly line up with where the windows meet. Gauges come from the Mopar catalog, and the steering wheel and seats are from the dearly departed Dodge Viper. They’re particularly relevant, as the six-speed manual transmission comes from the Viper, too.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Quick Spin Review | It’s my Halloween costume

2019-ford-mustang-bullitt-1.jpg

My car is my Halloween costume this year. I’m going as Steve McQueen.

To be sure, the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt exists because of a 50-year-old movie and the car it made famous. Or, perhaps more accurately today, the car that keeps it famous. Much like “Smokey and the Bandit” or “The Dukes of Hazard,” the enduring allure of an automotive star has helped keep alive the memory of a film (or TV show) that likely would’ve faded from the collective consciousness.

Yet, even though I’m definitely not immune to owning a car specifically because it was featured in a film, my deep desire for the Mustang Bullitt has absolutely nothing to do with its role in the film “Bullitt” or its connection to Steve McQueen. I have never actually seen the movie, nor any movie starring the man. (To tar and feather me, please contact my personal assistant).

Nope, it could be called the Mustang Terms of Endearment and I’d still be seeking a way to find $50,000 to put one permanently in my driveway. In short: It’s the perfect Mustang.

It has the right engine: a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 with the GT350’s intake manifold and ECU borrowed to produce an extra 20 horsepower for a grand total of 480. The EcoBoost four-cylinder was not invited. It has the right number of pedals: three, with the accompanying box of six tightly packed gears pleasingly selected by a shifter topped by a special-to-the-Bullitt white cueball. It has the right exhaust: the Mustang’s otherwise optional Active Valve Performance Exhaust system that’s incredibly characterful, incredibly loud and incredibly awesome. The neighbors may disagree.

It has the right collection of other mechanical upgrades: The GT Performance package is standard, including unique chassis tuning, extra structural reinforcements, a Torsen diff and six-piston Brembo brakes with red calipers for the Bullitt. This particular one had the right suspension: the $1,695 MagneRide option that so impressed during my time in the Mustang EcoBoost and that should really be made standard in the Bullitt.

Visually, the perfection continues. It has the right amount of stripes and rear wings: zero. It has the right wheels: 19 inches with an outer alloy ring encasing five black torque-thrust-style spokes. It has the right paint color: Dark Highland Green, which you can only get on the Bullitt and is the only color you should get on the Bullitt. Black is available, but then green is still the correct answer. It’s also carried inside to the similarly hued accent stitching on the dash, doors and seats. The latter can be optional Recaro bucket seats, which definitely provide more lateral support, but if you’re tall like me (6-foot-3), their six-way manual adjustment may not provide as much under-leg support as the standard eight-way power seats.

dims.jpeg

Now, do I miss the Mustang emblem in the grille? A bit. Do I need the Bullitt badging on the tail, steering wheel and dash? Probably not. Would Steve McQueen find the horse lasers offensive? Certainly. Nothing is truly perfect.

Yet, the Bullitt is still as close as you can get to perfection in the realm of Mustangs. Hell, the realm of cars, as far as I’m concerned. It is bad-ass and eye-catching, yet tasteful and unpretentious. It is thrilling and rewarding when driven with exuberance, yet shockingly comfortable (thanks MagneRide) and easy to operate (thanks easy clutch and rev-match downshifting) when driven with mundanity. Like every Mustang, it’s a long-hood, short-deck, two-door coupe of retro-inspired, all-American, timeless brilliance.

And so it’s my Halloween costume this year. Sadly, however, much as I ceased to be a U.S.S. Defiant crew member on Nov. 1 of 2017, my days as McQueen will come to an end tomorrow when a man comes to swap my beloved Bullitt with what I’m sure is a perfectly pleasant Subaru Forester. It won’t be easy. If only Halloween was every day.

[Source: Autoblog]