In addition to the many ways a real Ford Mustang can be modified, Ford is now giving fans the opportunity to customize the car’s badge. It has launched a Facebook app called “Personalize Your Pony” and can be visited at this link. It allows you to select from some preset patterns inspired by Shelby, Bullitt, Roush and RTR Vehicles, and then shift and manipulate them within a Mustang logo with a very simple tool. One of the other color settings that lets you play with different pairings of Mustang colors to create a custom design.
Now, the tool is more interesting than a brief five-minute time waster. Whatever design you end up liking the best, you can submit with your name and city. Afterward, you can buy shirts, mugs, phone cases and stickers with the logo. But the coolest product is the actual Mustang badges that feature your design that you can buy for your 2015 and later pony car. But you’ll need to act quickly, because Ford will only make 1,000 of them.
There’s one other nifty aspect to this program. When you submit your design with your name an city, you’re also entered to have that design featured on a billboard. Exactly where wasn’t given except to say that the locations are “major cities across the U.S.”
The Ford Ranger will soon return to America, but for now we have to sit and wait while the rest of the world runs around in Ford’s smallest pickup truck (except for Autoblog, because we couldn’t wait forever). The wait is made more difficult knowing something like the Ranger Raptor is coming. While we’ve seen teasers and spy photos, Motoring in Australia reports that Ford has confirmed the new performance truck will make its global debut on Feb. 7 in Bangkok, Thailand.
While some people may have been hoping that the Ranger Raptor will get some flavor of Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost engine, it seems the truck will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel. That’s smaller than the Ranger’s 3.2-liter inline-five diesel, but it should deliver more power. Still, when the truck finally comes to America, it’s likely to have a gasoline powertrain. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 is offered with both gasoline and diesel engines. Ford may take the same route. Look for the 10-speed automatic, though we can cross our fingers that a manual will be on offer.
We don’t know many other details on the truck. Look for beefed up suspension, wider fenders thanks to a wider track and more aggressive front and rear fascias. Really, this is going to be a smaller version of the F-150 Raptor, and that’s totally OK by us.
We already know that the Dodge Demon is crazy fast. We experienced that firsthand. But its more than ample amounts of built-in speed doesn’t mean that owners won’t be tinkering with it to make it faster. But if you don’t want to add more power (or even if you do), you can always make the car lighter. That’s what SpeedKore Performance Group has done, and it will bring its lightweight carbon fiber Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to the SEMA show in Las Vegas, where it will be introduced by none other than rock legend Sammy Hagar.
Last year, SpeedKore brought its carbon fiber-bodied Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to SEMA, and now it has applied the same treatment to the 840-horsepower Demon. The body panels and spoilers will be manufactured using SpeedKore’s autoclave in Grafton, Wisconsin.
SpeedKore will also be one of many companies bringing a modified Ford Mustang to SEMA. A carbon-bodied Ford Shelby GT350R by SpeedKore was recently featured on “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Last year, Leno also drove SpeedKore’s 1970 Dodge Charger Tantrum, which features a carbon fiber front end and a 1,650-horsepower Mercury Marine engine.
Our friends at JL Wrangler Forums have been very kind to us. While we’ve seen plenty of spy shots of the new Jeep Wrangler, until recently these renderings from JL Wrangler Forums provided our best look at the new model. Today, we have a new batch of the traditional short-wheelbase, two-door Wrangler. We just hope the full production model doesn’t stray too far from this.
The design, like every new Wrangler, is simply an adaptation of what came before it. These new renderings pull some new cues seen on the most recent set of Wrangler spy shots. The new model packs LED headlights, taillights and running lights. The Rubicon model looks to have fog lights embedded into the bumper. The vented Rubicon hood looks like it carries over. The Sport model is the entry level Wrangler. As such the renderings ditch some things like body-color fenders and roof and alloy wheels.
The JL Wrangler has been in development for years, so expect to see the full production model sometime in the next few months.
Honda said Monday that its 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid earned an EPA range rating of 47 miles on a full charge, the highest all-electric range among midsize plug-in hybrids.
The plug-in hybrid, which made its debut in April and hits showrooms later this year, also received an EPA fuel economy rating of 100 combined MPGe, among tops in its class, and a gasoline-only rating of 44/40/42 (city/highway/combined).
The sedan comes with a 181-horsepower electric motor that delivers 232 pound-feet of torque. It draws power from both the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack that can recharge in 2.5 hours at 240 volts. Drivers will be able to select from three driving modes — Normal, Econ and Sport — with a fourth HV mode that lets you preserve your electric charge for use later in the trip. The PHEV is capable of an EPA overall driving range of 340 miles.
The Clarity lineup, which also includes the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan, is part of Honda’spush to derive two-thirds of its global sales from electrified vehicles by the year 2030. Honda also expects the plug-in hybrid, which will be available in standard and Touring trims, to be the volume sales leader in the Clarity lineup.
With the reveal of the new Azera, Hyundai has made it clear that it has no plans to leave the large, upscale sedan market. This South Korean Avalon-fighter underwent a significant redesign inside and out and will first go on sale in Korea next month.
Outside, the Azera has a significantly different and more formal, profile. While the previous model was rakish and wedgy, the new model adopts an upright version of Hyundai’s new corporate grille, along with a long hood and more vertical windshield. The flanks also receive long, flowing character lines that give it a muscular appearance. At the back, the Azera gets a new version of the full width taillights that the model has had since the nameplate’s introduction two generations ago.
The Azera also changes radically inside. Instead of the downward flowing dash of the old model, the new interior features an instrument panel that emphasizes width, with a dark top portion and lighter lower section. Sandwiched between the two halves of the dash is a section that rises up at the center stack to house the large touch screen and an analog clock, which looks a bit out of place.
Hyundai has yet to reveal any stats, pricing or availability for the new Azera, except for its aforementioned launch date in South Korea, where it will carry the Grandeur name. However, we would imagine more details will be coming soon ahead of its US launch.