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

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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]

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

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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]

1968 Dodge Super Charger is a super Charger with a supercharger

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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]

Jeep Scrambler truck to debut at L.A. Auto Show next month

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Jeep is planning to premiere a pickup truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month. We all know what that means: It’s Scrambler time, folks. This news comes courtesy of a press release talking about the show in general. It casually mentions that “a pickup truck from Jeep” is coming. Up until now, we weren’t sure when the Wrangler-based pickup would make its debut, but that’s not a problem anymore. There sure aren’t any other pickups from Jeep in the works we know about.

The release details a few other debuts happening at L.A. as well. Audi confirmed we’ll be seeing the E-Tron GT four-door concept. Mitsubishi is planning to show off a new concept car — it better not be an SUV with any Evo references. Hyundai is debuting an “all new” vehicle, and Kia is apparently planning on multiple new vehicle debuts.

All of that is great, but the biggest splash is almost guaranteed to be the highly anticipated Scrambler. Everything is still speculation, but we’re expecting the Jeep truck to offer both the Wrangler V6 and turbo four-cylinder powertrains at launch. We anticipate a diesel showing up at some point down the road, but almost certainly not at this auto show.

L.A. mostly plays host to a whole lot of mobility pod news, but there are always a few big reveals like this one. Porsche fans will be able to see the 992-generation 911 on the show floor that we’ve already seen about 10 times over in spy photos too.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Ford Series 1 Mustang RTR arrives with Vaughn Gittin Jr. drift car looks

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Ford is offering a limited-edition Mustang for 2019 called the Series 1 Mustang RTR. Built as a collaboration with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR team, the car consists mostly of aesthetic modifications to a Performance Pack 1-equipped Mustang GT or EcoBoost.

The one big performance enhancement it does get, though, is a Ford Performance suspension with adjustable sway bars. When you see Gittin Jr., it’s normally in a Mustang sliding sideways, so that’s why this Mustang gets the adjustable suspension. You can set it up to best suit track time, drifting, drag strip runs or normal road driving. It’s compatible with both the standard shocks and MagneRide suspension option. A 19-inch wheel package finishes the running gear changes.

To set it apart from your run-of-the-mill Mustangs, the Series 1 changes up the front end design with an RTR grille, lighting and graphics package. An aero package is highlighted by a spoiler with an RTR gurney flap. Of course, there are plenty of RTR badges throughout, and you get a serialized dash plaque for authenticity. There will only be 500 Series 1 Mustang RTRs made for the 2019 model year.

This whole package will be treated as a dealer installed option, and comes with the normal Ford warranty for the Mustang. It’s slated to be available at dealerships in early 2019 for the time being. Chances are that buying this won’t turn you into a drifter like Gittin Jr., but you can get a Mustang with some of the looks now.

[Source: Autoblog]

Hyundai N Performance division working on ‘exotic’ halo model like the RM16

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This is the year of Hyundai N Performance. After three official launches, the division’s leadership has made imprecise noises about a halo car since this summer. Brand boss Albert Biermann said, “Right now, we don’t need a halo car in N. We have to get in a routine with N cars, and not just hit a peak.” Around the same time, VP Thomas Schmera said, “Rest assured we are coming up with something,” that something being a halo car. Reports expected either a two-seat coupe or a four-door sedan like the Kia Stinger. In a recent interview with AutoRAI, Schmera narrowed the focus, saying, “Think of the Hyundai RM16 and you have a bit of an idea of ​​what is possible.”

The RM16 is the third iteration of the mid-engined Veloster RM first showed at the Busan Motor Show in 2014. In 2015 the RM15 debuted at the same motor show, followed in 2016 by the RM16. By then, the performance specs listed a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 296 horsepower, an electric compressor and electronic differential, rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual. The bodywork, draped on an aluminum spaceframe, channeled the spirits of other outrageous mid-engined hatchbacks like the Renault 5 Turbo, Renault Clio V6 Renault Sport, and Lancia Delta S4.

Four months after showing the RM16, Hyundai took a running prototype to the Nürburgring (pictured). Earlier this year we heard tale of a new Theta III engine suited for front- and rear-wheel drive, and mid-engined applications. With the ability to be tuned to 350 hp, this led to suspicion that there could be a mid-engined Hyundai sports car on the way. The evidence is circumstantial, but now we have Schmera telling us to consider a long-lived mid-engined concept as the potential template for a future N Performance halo car.

The idea of Hyundai rolling out a mid-engined coupe sounds crazy. It sounds doubly crazy when Biermann has said of the i30 N, “This is a halo car that can make [the company] money, so what better halo can we get?” Hyundai knows its math better than we do, but we don’t see how the carmaker makes money in a segment ruled by the Porsche 718 twins under $100K, and by a number of storied brands above that figure. The triple crazy comes when Schmera told the Dutch outlet in the same interview, “This is going to be a great machine, something nobody expects from Hyundai, something really exotic,” and, “It will be a car in the super sport segment….”

Whatever is on the way, it could be a limited edition, it might include a hybrid system, and it likely won’t break cover for a couple of years, but we’re already looking forward to it.

[Source: Autoblog]

Mopar teases a big Hemi crate engine for SEMA

Mopar has released a new video teaser hinting at the release of a large and powerful crate Hemi engine at SEMA later this month in Las Vegas.

The video functions like a lesson on symbolism in an English lit class. It opens with smoke and settles on a pair of backlit, large-clawed paw prints that look to be feline in origin. Then we hear earth-shaking pounding sounds of something larger than the paw prints that stomps over them. Then cue an overhead shot of what looks to be a vintage-model Dodge Charger and its growly Hemi engine entering the frame and then gunning the engine.

Mopar already offers three crate Hemi V8 engines, topped by the 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat, good for 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, found in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and marketed for pre-1976 classic muscle cars. So promising that “Something big is coming” is really saying something. Could it be a crate version of the 808-hp Hemi 6.2 that was found in the Dodge Demon, which was rated at 840 hp on racing fuel? Or is it something different?

Curiously, Mopar says its reveal is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the odd time of 4:26 p.m. Could that time be a reference to the 426 Hemi — and specifically the Generation III 426 Hemi “Elephant” that Chrysler made several years ago? That technically qualifies as “bigger,” and it would also align with both the muscle car-era Charger and round, earth-shaking footprints shown in the video. Time will prove whether we were right.

[Source: Autoblog]