Ford EcoBlue Engine Said to be a Game Changer

© Provided by MotorTrend

Ford has unveiled a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel called the EcoBlue, which will be the first of a new range of clean-sheet oil-burners. The EcoBlue 2.0-liter will be the first Ford engine to use modular camshafts, which increase fuel economy by 13 percent. Expect the EcoBlue diesel to power future Ford passenger and commercial vehicles with an output ranging from 98 to 237 hp. The Transit and Transit Custom are slated to be the first models to use the new engine.BBsiHOD

Improvements include 20 percent more torque at 1,250 rpm compared to the 2.2-liter design it will replace. The engine will be less noisy thanks to a reduction of 4 decibels in radiated noise at idle. In addition, the new engine architecture in the EcoBlue also has reduced friction and has a clean-burning combustion system. A new after-treatment for exhaust gasses allows the EcoBlue engine to comply with Euro Stage VI standards that will be introduced in September 2016. That standard requires a 55-percent reduction in NOx emissions versus Stage V standards.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/ford-reveals-new-ecoblue-diesel-engine-touts-it-as-game-changing/ar-BBsiHPs?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=edgsp

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Ford Supercar? Oooo…

The all-new Ford GT supercar is officially available to order. Ford announced today that it will begin taking order applications for the GT on www.FORDGT.com, a dedicated website that’ll also allow anyone to configure the Blue Oval’s upcoming supercar.

GTFord is only accepting 500 orders, which covers the allocation for two years (250 units each year). Official pricing has yet to be announced, but the automaker estimates a starting price of $400,000 before taxes and destination.

The GT will be powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that will make at least 600 hp. It’ll be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. A number of Ford GT race cars have been busy testing this past year and four GTs are slated to race at this summer’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

By Moter Trend, MSN News

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-sports/ford-gt-ordering-website-is-live-has-configurator/ar-BBrH8Gv?ocid=spartanntp

The Fastest Street-Legal Electric Car Is a Chevrolet Corvette

It would be easy to assume the Tesla Model S is the fastest electric car in the world. The P90D can, after all, hit 60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds and is limited to a top speed of 155 mph. But no, it doesn’t hold the record as the fastest electric car in the world. That record belongs to an electric Corvette called the Genovation eXtreme Electric, Road and Track said.

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The GXE’s motors produce a combined 700 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to also hit 60 mph in three seconds flat with a top speed of 186.8 mph.  Its 130-mile range on a single charge isn’t too shabby either. Perhaps the craziest thing about this electric Corvette-other than its $335,000 price tag-is the fact it still uses a manual transmission.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/the-fastest-street-legal-electric-car-is-a-chevrolet-corvette/ar-AAgwScs

More on New Trans Am

TAWith the demise of the Pontiac brand in 2008, hopes of a new Firebird or Trans Am from GM were all but crushed. For those wanting a new Pontiac pony car, Trans Am Worldwide converts fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaros into modern-day Pontiac Trans Am coupes.  Burt Reynolds introduced a modern tribute car celebrating the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am that was used in the popular movie “Smokey and the Bandit.”
Dubbed “The Bandit” and signed by the actor who played Bandit in the film, the new Bandit Trans Am tribute car will be limited to just 77 examples, a nod to the 1977 model year of the car from the original film. Like the car from the movie, the Bandit features black paint and gold accents, including the “screaming chicken” graphic on the hood. Other cosmetic details include custom T-top roof panels and more gold trim in the interior.

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Under the hood, the Bandit Trans Am features a supercharged LSX 454-cubic-inch (7.4-liter) V-8 crate engine cranking out 840 hp and 790 lb-ft of torque. The T-Tops and boosted LSX crate engine are options on the company’s standard Trans Am conversions.

Trans Am Worldwide can also make a Pontiac GTO Judge, but some may look at the Trans Am or GTO conversion as just a Chevrolet Camaro with a body kit.

For more on that check the link.

MSN News
http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/enthusiasts/burt-reynolds-talks-about-his-bandit-trans-am-tribute-car/ar-BBr9Z0a?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=edgsp

Trans Am is Back

TA.pngPlenty of folks have cashed in on public nostalgia for the Camaro’s late, lamented F-body sibling by Firebird-izing and Trans Am-ifying Camaros, often just by replacing the front and rear soft trim with vaguely Pontiac-y styling cues. Tallahassee, Florida-based Trans Am Worldwide has endeavored to take that approach to a higher level, modifying or replacing virtually every panel on the car except the doors.

The examples on display in the concourse area at the NYIAS are all based on the recently departed Camaro, but tooling is underway to replicate this look on the new Alpha platform architecture. In the meantime, cars have been procured to produce a limited run of 77 special black and gold Bandit Editions. Old Bandit himself, Burt Reynolds, is completely on board with the plan and will personally sign each of the 77 copies, which are retailing for between $125,000 and $150,000, depending on options. And if black isn’t your color, Nate Shelton, chairman of Hurst Performance Products, would be happy to sign a Hurst Trans Am edition in another color — if they weren’t already sold out.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/new-york/2016-trans-am-worldwide-first-look/ar-BBqV9U0?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=edgsp#image=BBqV9TX|1

Interview With Car and Driver’s John Phillips

 

Car and Driver (C/D) contributing writer John Phillips has been around the block a few times, and the test track. After he spent three years at Ohio State, he finished his education at Oxford in England.

Since his time in England, he has had a career that looks to be the envy of upcoming automotive journalists like myself. After working for three years at CAR weekly in Ontario, Canada, he worked for two PR firms and wrote press materials for General Motors and Ford Racing. Before coming to C/D in 1989 he wrote for the California based car-racing tabloid, On Track.

To add to my envy, besides driving $100,000 cars for a living, Phillips has written two books, contributed to Sports Illustrated, Elle, Harper’s, Conde Nast Traveler and several different newspapers.

I will admit that I had not heard of Phillips before I read his article, “The Ultimate Antivenom: The Viper’s Dying, and I Won’t Miss It” on MSN News. And I have never driven, or even rode, in a Viper in my life. I have seen one, I think.

Phillips’ words and style stood out to me. Not only did I learn something about the Viper, I had a good laugh and wanted to know more.

One thing a college student does most often is check out other people’s facts, opinions and numbers. It seems a bit of a mystery to me how reporters in the real world find out facts like production numbers and the end of a series.

“I get industry news on model production from Automotive News, which is a bi-weekly trade publication.” Phillips said in an on-line interview. “In case of the Viper, Chrysler wasn’t releasing production numbers because they had become insignificant and embarrassing. So I called a Chrysler PR guy…and he told me the exact number.”

Numbers are important. According to Road and Track, only 676 Vipers were sold in 2105, and according to Phillips, only 2687 fifth generation units sold in total. This could explain why Fiat Chrysler is not making them anymore, and that the fact-checking that one does in college never ends.

“Getting (a) number right is crucial,” Phillips said, “Because the fact-checkers at the magazine will demand to know where it came from, so they can double check it. Never get your fact-checkers angry. If they lose faith in your credibility, you’re screwed.”

After reading the article, I accused Phillips of being a bit snarky, or having a rudely critical tone. Not that I would blame him, but saying that the Viper was “like using a Louisville Slugger to play ping-pong” after he cooked bacon, eggs and then popcorn on the car is not normal civil behavior. But he rattled off a list of bad experiences that he had around the car, like food poisoning, accidents and being banned from all Mopar machinery, that added to his “bad juju” that surrounded the car.

Phillips said that he screwed up if the column came out that way. He hates to hear journalists whine about getting a free ride in cars they could probably never afford. The column is just a representation of his writing style and he doesn’t think it could change without him grinding to a complete stop, and it is the style C/D has used for the last 60 odd years. There is an implied obligation for first-person columnists to agitate to provoke comments and rebuttals.

Which brings us back to cooking breakfast foods and late night snacks on a modern day muscle car. Often enough, college students are taught to show, not tell. It is a real world example of this theory at work.

“I cooked food over the hood of the Viper because that huge V-10 produced so much heat,” Phillips said. “It was one thing to tell readers how much heat was coming into the cockpit, making it miserable in there, but it was more dramatic to show them how much heat it was. To do that graphically, it seemed fun to cook food atop the car just after a spirited run at the test track.”

According to Phillips, the Viper is an unwieldy monolith with 1960s technology that is just too hot to drive and makes driving a real workout. He also said that other cars in its price range of $90,000, like Corvettes and Audi R8s, could double as daily drivers. The Viper could be used for that, as long as it was being towed there. It all added to the snarky feel of the piece, even if things like food poisoning were not the car’s fault. Having hot exhaust where a woman could burn her leg just for getting in the car, however, is.

“It’s easy to criticize specific cars,” Phillips said. “Anybody can do it. But my point was to call into question Chrysler’s overall notion of the car, which hasn’t changed since the first Viper came off the line. I wanted the reader to know that my peevish criticism of the car specifically wasn’t as much the point as Chrysler’s having lost its way – and its enthusiasm. Because of that, the company is being punished by poor sales, which perhaps they should have seen coming if they kept repeating themselves.”

 

Works Cited

Lee, Kristin. “13 Great Cars that Nobody Bought in 2015.” Road and Track. 23 Feb. 2016.

MSN News. Web. 7 Mar. 2016

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-passenger/13-great-cars-that-nobody-bought-in-2015/ss-BBpSoRr?ocid=edgsp

Phillips, John. , “The Ultimate Antivenom: The Viper’s Dying, and I Won’t Miss It.” Car and

Driver. 19 Feb. 2016. MSN News. Web. 7 Mar. 2016

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/the-ultimate-antivenom-the-vipers-dying-and-i-wont-miss-it/ar-BBpHFvS

Definition of “snarky.” Dictionary.com. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://dictionary.reference.com/

New Ford F-650, 750

Ford promises its new medium duty pickups, the F-650 and F-750, could do a round-trip drive to the moon when equipped with the second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke V-8. Now, obviously that’s a bit hyperbolic, but the company’s point is this: With a design life of half a million miles, the biggest F-Series diesel should be very durable.

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It is defiantly quite the looker, coming with the ability to tow some serious weight. I have no idea what I would do with it, but I want one.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-trucks/ford-f-650-and-f-750-power-stroke-designed-to-go-500k-without-major-service/ar-BBqpWgQ?li=BBnb4R5&ocid=edgsp