Few automotive rivalries are as heated as the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro. For decades, the two cars have faced off, constantly fighting tooth and nail for bragging rights and customer attention. Factory performance packs are nothing new, but the Camaro’s 1LE variants have garnered a lot of praise, more than the basic performance pack on the Ford Mustang. Now, Road & Track is reporting that an even more extensive performance pack may be in the works for the refreshed 2018 Ford Mustang.
Road & Track compiled a list of evidence that points toward a more robust performance option. The current Mustang GT Performance Pack includes things like staggered wheels and tires, six-piston Brembo brakes, new front springs, a larger radiator, a limited-slip differential and more. The upgrades to the Camaro 1LE are roughly the same, but somehow Chevyseems to eek out more performance from its parts than Ford has with the Camaro, especially with a car like the ZL1 1LE (internal option codes are sexy).
A new Mustang was spotted wearing a new set of wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, some of the stickiest street tires available. There have also been some leaked order guides that hint at an even greater performance pack. Still, we’ve been burned by leaks before. There’s no comment from Ford on the matter, so we’ll have to wait for the Mustang to hit showrooms before we know any more.
Honda pulled the covers off its K20C1 crate engine at SEMA today, greatly reducing the hassle for enterprising racers wishing to bolt 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque into their track-day weapons of choice. Details on how to apply for the right to purchase one of these powerplants can be found at Honda’s Racing Line site.
A purchase price of $6,519.87 (plus shipping) sounds downright reasonable for a factory-fresh, ready-to-run engine with this kind of reliability and power. Remember, this is the engine that powers the Civic Type R, which is capable of lapping the legendary Nürburgring in just 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds. But before you start dreaming up that perfect engine swap scenario, know that Honda won’t sell a crate engine to just anyone.
The Japanese automaker says these crate engines are available “to U.S. grassroots and professional racers for verified, closed-course racing applications,” which means these turbocharged beasts are not intended for the street. That said, we won’t be surprised at all the first time we see a K20C1-powered Integra at the local Cars and Coffee…
We’ve already seen Ken Block do donuts in his new project car, the 1991 Ford Escort Cosworth. Now, as SEMA approaches, it seems the Escort has experienced a bit of a makeover since appearing in fridge white on Ken’s hoonage video. In this teaser image released by Pennzoil, the still-recognizable Escort is spewing sparks from its suffering tires.
Pennzoil calls the Escort Block’s “biggest project ever.” and says in the adjacent tweet that there will be a special trailer released tomorrow. In the earlier video the Escort appeared to be a rally car pretending to be a “regular” Escort Cosworth, but the new teaser image suggests all sleeper pretensions are long gone. Tomorrow will tell just how far the “Cossie” has been taken.
Hot on the heels of the Urban EV Concept shown at the Frankfurt show, Honda has another electric car, and it’s exactly what we as enthusiasts hoped for. It’s the Sports EV Concept (admittedly the name could be more inspired), and it hits every traditional sports car note. The whole car sits low, which is emphasized by a very low roof. It has a long, sleek nose, and a rakish fastback. The fenders are appropriately bulging, especially at the front where the arches rise above the top of the hood. In fact, the car looks like a modern interpretation of the AMC Javelin and AMX. That’s not a bad thing.
The Sports EV also owes much to the Urban EV. There are many styling cues shared with the little hatchback. Immediately obvious are the black panels that house the headlights and taillights, and imply a grille without actually having one. Though we can make out a small slit in the front. The lights are also similar in that they use simple circles up front and rounded squares in the back. The wrap-around windshield and black bars on the sides are also clear Urban EV cues.
It’s not just styling that the Sports EV shares with the Urban EV, though. According to Honda, it uses the same electric car platform as the economy car. This gives us some hope that this electric sports car could see the light of day. This is because Honda confirmed that a production version of the Urban EV would go on sale in Europe in 2019, and it announced at the Tokyo show that the same car will arrive in Japan in 2020.
Honda didn’t reveal many details about the mechanical parts of the Sports EV Concept, nor general features. It did, however, mention that the Sports EV has an AI system on-board. It’s called the Honda Automated Network Assistant, and all Honda said about it was that it’s supposed to “create communication that unites driver and car.” We’re not really sure what that’s supposed to do, but hopefully, since Honda also said it was focused on a “a one-ness between driver and car,” it has something to do with making the car nimble and fun. You know, like a certain little Mazda that’s philosophy, Jinba Ittai, means “horse and rider as one.”
It’s been a big day for Jeep news. Earlier today, a leaked timeline revealed that the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will make its debut sometime in November, likely at either SEMA or the Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, thanks to our friends at JL Wrangler Forums, we have news that an order guide has leaked and order banks are open. That means you should be able to go to a Jeep dealer and place an order for a new Wrangler now. This order guide only covers the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, but it gives us a pretty clear look at the new model.
At launch, the Wrangler Unlimited will come in three trims – Sport, Sahara and Rubicon. The only available engine will be FCA’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Those hoping for a diesel will have to wait a little while longer. All three models will offer both a manual and automatic transmission. While the current model is available in a wide range of colors, initially only five – Billet Silver, Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red and Granite Crystal – will be offered.
Poring over the guide shows that features line-up pretty closely with the current model. Hardtops are still optional, as is leather on the Sahara and Rubicon. It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to get a Sport with a body-color top and the dual-top option for the Rubicon is only listed on the order banks with a black hardtop. The Sahara and Rubicon both have optional trailer hitches and the Rubicon has an optional steel bumper.
There’s lots we still don’t know, but look for more news in the next month or so after the new Wrangler finally debuts.
Jeep’s much-awaited next-generation 2018 Wrangler looks set for a November reveal, according to a product graphic released by an FCA employee on Twitter. The SUV off-roader will move from Toledo South to Toledo North for production, with no lost production during the changeover.
Information about the 2018 Wrangler has leaked for years now in dribs and drabs. The recent leak of an owner’s manual and user guide provided the most details to date, including engine version — a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter Pentatar V6 — plus features like a power sliding top, removable soft top and doors, foldable windshield, 4WD Auto mode. Options include a blind-spot monitoring system and heated seats.
The new Wrangler is expected to feature an evolutionary restyling, with a slightly more aerodynamic body, aluminum body panels, LED lighting, eight-speed automatic transmission and an available diesel powertrain. Jeep has also confirmed a pickup truck version to be revealed shortly after the Wrangler JL. Here’s a running list of everything we know about the new Wrangler JL.
The FCA chart also suggests Jeep will reveal its new Cherokee and Ram 1500 during the first quarter of 2018, likely at the Detroit auto show.
Hyundai will display a custom concept version of its Tucson Sport developed by Vaccar at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, showing a more muscular-looking crossover that contains a full aero kit and significant additions to the powertrain, design, infotainment and suspension.
The concept enhances the Sport, the third-highest of four trim options for 2017, by adding a Boostec turbocharger, AEM air intake system and charge pipe kit, a Mishimoto G-Line intercooler, new piping and exhaust, and other elements to the standard turbocharged 1.6-liter, inline-four engine. It also gets forged wheels, new tires, and Vaccar-Power Stop front and rear Z23 Evolution brakes.
The exterior gets a blue and silver metallic two-tone paint treatment from BASF, an M&S mesh front grille and Vaccar front lip, side skirts and rear diffuser. Interior features include Katzkin ice grey leather, 9-inch headrest-mounted LCD screens, and an Android-powered 9-inch head unit with WiFi.
“The Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept takes the Tucson far beyond its OEM roots without sacrificing reliability,” said Aaron Vaccar, president of Vaccar. “By building upon the well-developed Tucson platform, powertrain and design, we’ve given enthusiasts a vision of just where this affordable crossover aspires to go.”
SEMA runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.