Ford Updates the F-150 and Expedition
Perineal best-sellers for Ford—the F-150 and its stablemate the Expedition—are receiving updates for the 2018 model year, with more than just simple stylistic changes which have become commonplace. Starting with Expedition, Ford has taken it’s 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 and turned it up to 11, with new power outputs of 375hp and 470lb-ft of torque, on normal gas, through a 10spd automatic transmission. Opting for the Platinum trim level turns up the heat even further, taking the horsepower to an even 400hp and 480lb-ft of torque, although premium gas is required. Also new to the 2018 Expedition is the re-introduction of the FX4 off-roading trim level. While less a baby-Raptor, the FX4 features better shocks rewarding 9.1in of ground clearance, special wheels with knobby tires, and lots and lots of skid plates protecting the underside. The FX4 also comes standard with the tow-packages E-LSD to help handle any slippery situations.
The F-150’s updates come in the form of new and updated engines across the entire lineup. The old, base 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 has been replaced with a more powerful 3.3L unit featuring 290hp and 265lb-ft of torque. Two ‘middle’ engines exist in the form of a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine and a 5.0L ‘Coyote’ naturally-aspirated V8. The EcoBoost V6 produces 325hp and 400lb-ft of torque, improving the old engines torque figures. The Coyote motor also has been improved to produce a nice, round 400lb-ft of torque, as well as a meaty 395hp. The top-dog engine is still the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine, producing 375hp and 470lb-ft of torque in normal applications. The Raptor mega-truck receives a reworked EcoBoost producing 450hp and 510lb-ft of torque. Expect a diesel V6 to join the lineup early next year pending federal approval.
Aston Martin Sends of the Vantage with AMR Edition
The Aston Martin Vantage—the ‘baby Aston’—has been on sale in its current form longer than I have been deeply interested in cars: it has been a staple of my automotive life. It seems this rock in the ever-changing river of new car models is finally going away, as Aston Martin has announced the final, final, edition of the Vantage. Dubbed the AMR—Aston Martin Racing—the package is available with either the V8 or V12 engine. With 200 V8’s being made and 100 V12’s, if you want one you better call your Aston dealer quickly; unless, of course, you live in the United States. Aston is limiting the release of the AMR to the UK/EU market, the Middle Eastern market, and the Asian market. Both cars are available with either an automated single-clutch manual or a proper row-your-own box. The V8 model’s driveline remains largely unchanged, with the manual featuring six-forward gears. The V12—perhaps the last hurrah of the naturally aspirated big V12 for Aston—receives a 30hp bump to 595hp and an extra gear, totaling 7-forward gears. Various aero kits, exhaust packages, and visual upgrades are also available to option. With the knowledge that the new AMG-powered Vantage is coming, this really does seem like the end of this generation. Pricing doesn’t really matter because with so few being produced, most people who get one will get one regardless of the price.
First Honda Type-R Sells for Charity
Yesterday I reported that the new Honda Civic Type-R had gone on sale and was available for order. For one lucky—and generous—Honda fan, their Type-R will soon be arriving. Honda partnered with Bring a Trailer to sell the very first Civic Type-R—of any generation—in America, with the profits going to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The winner of the auction locked their victory in with an early bid of $200,000–$166,100 more than sticker price. With such a large bid, and with Bring a Trailer also donating their 5% fee, America’s first Type-R will leave a nice, lasting legacy. For Type-R’s of a less important historical impact will soon be arriving on America’s highways.
LeMans Lap Record Shattered
During the second round of qualifying at the LeMans race taking place on the Circuit de la Sarthe Toyota LMP1 driver Kamui Kobayashi broke the lap record with a significantly improved time of 3:14.791—two seconds faster than the previous record set in 2015. Qualifying is still taking place, so this lap record might be further improved, yet despite that, this tells us one very important thing about this year’s LMP1 cars: they are really, really, fast.
Porsche Reputedly Considering Entering Formula E
It has been reported that Porsche racing executives were invited to Monaco recently with the express purpose of watching Formula E to get an impression of it. Porsche’s CEO Oliver Blume was in attendance, as was Porsche’s LMP1 racing chief Andreas Seidl. Both men hinted that they were interested in the series, but that the rules might be too restrictive to warrant Porsche’s inclusion at the moment.
Any future Formula E participation by Porsche makes a lot of sense, as they plan to launch a full-electric street car by 2020. Furthermore, they unsuccessfully bid to supply battery technology across the Formula E grid, before losing out to McLaren. Two changes to Formula E could entice Porsche into the series, with the 2-car change mid-race being abolished in favor of a single car, as well as a change in chassis supplier, simplifying initial costs. Stay tuned for future Porsche EV racing news.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.