Aston Martin Vulcan: AMR Pro Upgrade Package AnnouncedTwenty-four people across the globe face a tough decision, as Aston Martin has announced their racing division, Aston Martin Racing (AMR), will release an add-on package for the limited-edition, track-only Vulcan supercar. As the car produces “800-plus” horsepower from its 7.0L V12, the engineers focused their efforts not on producing more power, but instead managing that power during an on-track situation. Bodywork has been modified and added to increase downforce from 3150NM to 4000NM, more than the Aston Martin Le Mans-winning GTE race car. While this reduces top speed, the added pressure increases cornering speeds. Further reducing top speed, the transmission has been modified with shorter gears, addressing a complaint fielded by owners; too much gearwork was required on track, because the gears were too long.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, and production is of course capped at the existing 24 cars, although 8 of the 24 owners—a full third—have already expressed interest in the package, officially dubbed ‘AMR Pro’.
2018 Mustang Receives Line Lock Across the RangeFord has announced the addition of the burnout-enabling line lock feature to its EcoBoost Mustangs for the 2018 model year. With the deletion of the V6 engine from the range, this means that every Mustang sold will have the ability to press a button and light the rears up, fitting giving the muscle car nature of the model. While exciting for new Mustang owners—and tire manufacturers the world over—it also has interesting implications for the future of Hertz rental Mustangs. Assuming it will take some time for them to join the fleet, come 2019 or 2020, theoretically any Joe Schmoe can walk into a Hertz and rent a burnout-mobile.
The option always exists for Hertz to either order a special ‘fleet’ model from Ford, without such a feature, or to simply disable it themselves if possible. More likely I feel, is the chance that Hertz employees will simply take a before/after measurement of tire tread, and charge any customers for fresh rubber if they partake of the line lock. Either way, expect more bald-tired Mustangs to be prowling the roads.
Audi Sport Hints at Future Models Not Having QuattroAudi Sport—formerly Quattro GmbH—may produce models in the future that do not have all-wheel drive, a pillar the brand has built its reputation on. Boss-man Stephan Winkelmann—formerly head of Lamborghini—told U.K. magazine Auto Express that the name change his appointment heralded was for a very good reason, “When looking at the name, we decided Quattro could be misleading. […] I can imagine we can also have cars with rear-wheel drive or two-wheel drive in the future.” The thought of a rear-drive Audi R8 has had many publications in a tizzy, however the thought of Audi working their magic on the FWD platform of the Golf GTI has me equally excited.
Look for more news on two-wheel drive Audi Sport models in the future.
BMW 2-Series Keeps Manual for American MarketBMW’s financial chief, Nicolas Peter, started a media firestorm when he told journalists that the 2-Series will be dropping its manual transmission in the US market for the next model year. While this has been reported as true by various outlets, Road & Track reached out to BMW North America for clarification. The statement they received seems to shed light on the situation:
Nicolas Peter’s, Board Member BMW AG for Finance, talked about the need to reduce the number of variants BMW produces and described the process where BMW continuously evaluates its model portfolio and optional equipment offerings to determine if they are needed to satisfy customer demands. As part of the discussion, he used the 2 Series Coupe with a manual transmission as a hypothetical example. This 2 Series example has been incorrectly reported as a fact. However, since the manual transmission is still a popular option with our 2 Series core enthusiast customers we can assure you that the manual transmission has not been dropped from the option list for the US market. In fact, we recently announced the updated 2 Series Coupe and Convertible, both of which are available with manual transmission”.
The possibility still exist that Mr. Peter’s was talking about the future model generation, and not the future model year. The announcement of the next 2-Series later this year will clarify the situation.
Rumors of BMW 3-Series EV SurfaceHandelsblatt, a German financial new site, reports that BMW will be announcing a 248-mile range EV 3-Series at this September’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The news site also claims the 3-Series EV will compete with the Model 3 in terms of price (before options it must be assumed), as well as size. Due to the growth of the market—everything from the Chevy Bolt and Fiat 500 all the way to the Panamera Panamera—it should come as no surprise that the Bavarian automaker wants to join the market. Saying that, BMW has lots of catchup to play, although the experience from the iPerformance sub-brand should aid in development.
Look for more news this September.
Kia Introduces the World to Turbo the Hamster
With the introduction of the Kia Soul Turbo, Kia has also decided to introduce a new hamster to join the existing hamster crew. As the Soul Turbo is the new kid on the block, the new hamster is suitably young. Watch the video below, and enjoy the cuteness before the inevitable flood of commercials tires the poor little guy out in our minds. Everyone, meet Turbo:
The full ad campaign will hit TV’s and theaters this weekend.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.