This week starts off slow for the automotive news world, but expect more exciting news as the week heats up.
Ford Confirms the Leaving of Mark Fields
As reported yesterday, Ford confirmed on Monday the news which began on Sunday evening, detailing the removal of Mark Fields as Ford Motor Company CEO. Citing a lack of desired direction on Mr. Fields part, Ford is bringing in relative newcomer Jim Hackett to lead the company. Mr. Fields lack of ‘directional mobility’ was also cited as a contributing factor. We can expect Mr. Hackett to make some cuts to the product line which may hurt the enthusiast dearly.
Super Snake F-150: Raptor, Bitten?
Is your two-ton, widebody, twin-turbo, river-jumping, dirt-munching 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor too subdued for you? The optional graphic decals just not cutting it? Shelby American Motors has the answer for you, with their new-for-2017 F-150 Super Snake, limited to just 150 examples. Whereas the Raptor is a purpose-built off-road tool of Armageddon, the Super Snake is based on the more pedestrian 5.0L V8 equipped F-150 not out of place at a construction yard.
Costing nearly twice the base price of a Raptor at $96,680, customers get plenty of bang for their buck. The Five-Oh is equipped with a supercharger, intake system, and a billet throttle body to pump out 750 horses. With enough power to move like a proper muscle-truck, the Borla exhaust with dual-SST tips ensure that the truck rips off a soundtrack just like a real muscle-truck. Suspension and a wheels+tires package complete the performance modifications.
Shelby teamed up with Tuscany–a long-time supplier of truck body-kits–to outfit the exterior of the truck in its polarizing fashion. Hood scoops, fender flares, and lots of ‘busy-work’ make the Super Snake stand out. The interior is festooned in the normal Shelby fashion, featuring lots of dead cows, and lots of ‘Shelby’ and ‘Super Snake’ badges. With 150 being built, don’t expect to see one outside of Texas or Florida.
The IIHS Wants to Save You
The IIHS–the auto insurance industry funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety–gave its first ever official evaluation of under-ride protection for side collisions involving autos and tractor-trailer trucks. That is a complicated way of saying they crashed a bunch of cars into the rear-underside of big-rig trailers. As the pictures above demonstrate, some accidents can have better results than others, mainly due to side guards. Due to the results of these tests, the IIHS is officially recommending side guards for mandatory instillation, a move trucking organizations say will be harmful to the industry.
Trucking advocates say further development of high-tech safety features on personal automobiles is a better solution. The IIHS specifically recommended a product called the AngelWing, a metal-reinforced, efficiency enhancing, safety deflector–the only one on the market. Many trucks are already equipped with fiberglass aerodynamic enhancers, as pictured in the first picture, which provide the same efficiency benefits of the AngelWing. Trucking advocates claim that a device such as the AngelWing will increase safety in the short-term, but degrade tractor-trailers structural integrity to un-safe levels in the long-term.
Despite the trucking companies concerns, the IIHS recommendation remains. For the most part, it is an individual’s concern whether their truck or their companies truck has a device such as AngelWing installed, as only some cities–such as Boston, New York, and Seattle–require the device. Despite the requirements, always drive safely, and give truckers plenty of room. You, no matter what you are driving, are more agile and faster stopping than they are. Use that power responsibly.
MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden Has Passed Away
Nicky Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP world champion and 2002 AMA Superbike Champion affectionately known as the Kentucky Kid, has passed away at the age of 35. Nicky Hayden has been in a coma since last Wednesday when he was involved in a motoring incident while on his bicycle while riding in Italy. Hayden was the youngest Superbike Champion at the age of 21, when he beat Valentino Rossi.
Hayden is survived by his siblings Tommy, Roger Lee, Jenny, and Kathleen, parents Earl and Rose Hayden, and his fiancee Jackie Marin.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.