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Archive for the ‘Muscle Cars’ Category

AMG Electrifies: Mercedes’ New E53 Takes 1st Step towards Battery-Based Performance

48V powertrain set to debut later this year.

by on Jun.21, 2018

The Mercedes-AMG E53 will be offered in sedan, coupe and cabrio body styles.

Whether on track or on the road, Mercedes’ AMG brand offers a broad array of models that have relied on a variety of methods to maximize performance, including turbo and supercharging. Now, however, AMG is pushing into a new world with the upcoming launch of the E53.

The performance version of the familiar Mercedes E-Class will pair a turbocharged inline-six engine with an electrically driven supercharger to turn out an impressive 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. But unlike traditional “blowers,” which need to rev up before they deliver full boost, the new system will deliver maximum power essentially the moment the driver’s foot hits the throttle.

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“Electric forced induction devices mitigate turbo lag,” explains Brian Cotter, the U.S. product manager for the AMG brand. But it promises to do even more, Cotter says, suggesting that electrified drivetrain technology could radically change the world of performance driving in the coming years.

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Back-to-Roots Ford Mustang Raises Money for Charity

The Eagle Squadron Mustang debuts at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

by on Jun.15, 2018

The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT draws inspiration from American fighter pilots who served with the Royal Air Force in World War II.

The Ford Mustang was a hit when it was introduced in 1964. The pony car, as it became known, was emblazoned with a horse on the grille and other parts of the logo. However, Lee Iaccoca’s best-known contribution to Ford wasn’t named after a wild horse at all.

The name for company’s best-selling sports car ever was derived from the P-51 Mustang, a fighter plane from World War II … or at least that how some of the legend goes.

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However, at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, attendees will get see to a Mustang truly inspired by fighter planes and pilots: the one-off Eagle Squadron Mustang GT. (more…)

Polestar Will Pump Up New Volvo S60 Performance Model

Volvo takes performance to new level with modified S60 sedan.

by on Jun.13, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered gets unique Brembo brakes, among other modifications.

Few brands have done more to try to transform their image in recent years than Volvo, and the new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered sedan should continue shifting the Swedish marque in its new direction.

The latest version of the S60 not only puts more of a premium on sporty styling but backs it up with a 415-horsepower engine. But that’s no ordinary powerplant. No V-8s or turbo-sixes for this new Volvo. It’s a Polestar-modified version of the carmaker’s T8 plug-in hybrid, the top-performing version of its all-four-cylinder line-up.

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“The new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is an electrified car that does what you want it to,” said Volvo’s Senior Vice President of R&D Henrik Green. “All components have been fine-tuned to work together, delivering a responsive and exciting driver’s car.”

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First Look: 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Handling and control matches power and speed.

by on Jun.11, 2018

The 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 offers plenty of power and improved handling.

The competition in the sports car segment is hot, and Ford is one of the better automakers about finding ways to constantly improve its entry, the Mustang, on a regular basis.

Whether it’s a full makeover or simply an upgrade of its special edition vehicles like the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 — and the upcoming GT500 — the automaker continually ensures its legion of loyal fans are sated while drawing new fans to keep sales up over the years.

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The new GT350 has a variety improvements to keep that tradition rolling along. (more…)

What’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Without Fiat and Chrysler?

Two namesake brands will survive – barely, for now.

by on Jun.04, 2018

The Chrysler Pacifica may soon go it solo as the brand continues to shrink.

It’s been nearly a decade since struggling European automaker Fiat combined with the post-Chapter 11 Chrysler, and if the 5-year plan unveiled during a day-long meeting in Milan last week comes close to being accurate, the carmaker could be in for a “brighter future” than ever, according to John Elkann, the chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and the heir to the Italian side of the company’s founders.

There’s just one problem: neither the Fiat nor Chrysler brands seem poised to share in the spoils. The Fiat Capital Day briefing focused all but exclusively on just four brands – Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati – expected to dominate FCA’s future. For now, Fiat and Chrysler will survive, but in greatly diminished form, and observers question whether they’ll be around for the long-term.

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“There was enough doubt…about their future because they barely showed up in the presentations,” said Joe Phillippi, chief analyst with AutoTrends Consulting, after attending the day-long session at Alfa’ proving grounds near Milan. Fca’s management team “took pains to say (Fiat and Chrysler will have a future, at least in the near-term. But it will be up to the next management team to determine whether they will remain in the portfolio for the long-term.”

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FCA Planning to Plug In

After slow start, automaker reveals big plans for electrification.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The production version of this Maserati Alfieri concept will use an electrified drivetrain to launch from 0 to 60 in barely 2 seconds.

Sergio Marchionne isn’t much of a fan of battery power, or at least he hasn’t been until recently. When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched its first all-electric model, five years ago, the CEO actually urged motorists not to buy it, admitting FCA lost about $25,000 on every one of them.

But at the automaker’s “Capital Day,” in Milan on Friday, Marchionne and his management team were far more upbeat, announcing plans to add dozens of electrified vehicles – everything from mild hybrids to pure battery-electric vehicles – into the FCA line-up over the next give years.

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The economics still aren’t great, noted Mark Chernoby, the automaker’s head of technology compliance, but in an era of increasingly stringent emissions and mileage regulations, it’s the only real day to meet targets being set in markets as diverse as the U.S., Europe, China and Brazil. That’s all the more so as FCA continues to migrate from traditional sedans and coupes to the less efficient SUVs and CUVs that will overwhelmingly dominate its global line-up.

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More Products, More Volume, Bigger Margins: FCA Lays Out Aggressive, 5-Year Growth Plan

Morning presentation outlines plans for Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The Ram TRX will be among the new models FCA will bring out over the coming five years.

(This story has been revised to update plans for Jeep’s pickup and a midsize pickup from Ram that, CEO Marchionne now says will come to the U.S. market.)

In a sweeping presentation designed to give analysts, investors, media and potential buyers a good look at its future, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives are spending a day detailing their plans for the company and its various brands.

At the midway mark, as they break for lunch, they’ve already lifted the kimono far enough to show what’s coming for the Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands and, in a nutshell, it can be summed up as more products targeting lots more volume and much bigger margins.

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The new five-year plan will be the last crafted under the guidance of Sergio Marchionne, the 65-year-old executive who helped pull off the pairing of two struggling manufacturers to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. His third five-year plan, Marchionne stressed that “The true finish line is the one always yet to come.”

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Performance Version of Tesla Model 3 Will Be “Quicker than a BMW” – But Cost $78,000

Will “beat anything in its class on a track,” tweets Tesla’s Musk.

by on May.21, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk claims the performance Model 3 will not only be faster, but handle better than the BMW M3.

Despite a painfully slow ramp-up of production, Tesla is planning to add a new high-performance version of its Model 3 sedan that CEO Elon Musk claims will be “quicker than a BMW,” and be able to “beat anything in its class on a track.”

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Musk fleshed out details about the all-wheel-drive electric vehicle, noting that it will launch from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, top out at an Autobahn-burning 155 mph, and still yield 310 miles per charge – at least when driven a bit less aggressively. But the yet-unnamed performance version of the Model 3 will also cost $78,000, or about twice as much as a base version of the electric sedan.

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That steep jump actually isn’t entirely out of line, at least when comparing to the likes of a BMW 3-Series sedan. The German sports sedan starts at $34,900, around the same figure as a Model 3 before factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit. The BMW M3 starts at $66,500, though appears to have less standard equipment than the Model 3 performance version. The Tesla includes AWD, for example, an otherwise $5,000 option.

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Fired Ford Exec Reappears as Head of Supplier Building Ford GT Supercar

Veteran exec was ousted for “inappropriate behavior” in February.

by on May.21, 2018

Ford's Raj Nair helped introduce the 2019 Mustang.

Unceremoniously ousted in February from one of Ford Motor Co.’s top posts, 53-year-old Raj Nair has resurfaced, hiring on with Canadian supplier Multimatic as its new president and chief operating officer. In that post, Nair will oversee the production of the $450,000 Ford GT supercar.

Until February, Nair was one of the Detroit automaker’s most senior executives, in mid-2017 promoted to the critical post of president of Ford North America as part of a broad management shake-up that saw the ouster of the carmaker’s CEO Mark Fields. In his previous post, Nair oversaw global product development and was a key player in the development of the exotic Ford GT.

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But his career seemed to come to a screeching halt when, early this year, Nair suddenly took a leave, many colleagues and staff members worrying he might be facing a health problem. Instead, insiders told TheDetroitBureau.com, he was named in a complaint filed through an anonymous tip line set up by Ford and subsequently fired for what the company would only describe as “inappropriate behavior.”

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FCA Halts Production in Brampton Due to Supplier Strike

Dodge Challenger, Charger on hold for now.

by on May.04, 2018

Fiat Chrysler was forced to shut down its plant in Brampton, Ontario, due to a strike at its seat supplier, Lear.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. has been forced to close its assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, due to a strike at a plant in Ajax, Ontario, that feeds seats to the FCA factory.

A contract dispute between Unifor, the union representing some 320 hourly workers at the Ajax plant, and Lear Corp., led to a walkout last weekend. Workers rejected Lear’s latest contract offer and Lear responded by announcing that it planned to shut the Ajax plant permanently.

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The dispute mainly over wages, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. (more…)