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When news broke that rental car agency Hertz was introducing a "Dream Car Program" program to give customers a chance to rent a supercar, we didn’t know that the company was also giving its famous fleet of airport rental cars another a pretty bad-ass ride to its Adrenaline Series of rental muscle and sports cars.

Together with Penske Racing, Hertz is introducing the special-edition Ford Mustang GT , appropriately dubbed as the Hertz Penske Mustang GT. Instantly recognizable, the special edition muscle car carries the familiar black and gold paint scheme while also featuring a slew of new components and even a performance upgrade to give customers a chance to experience the exhilaration of driving a hopped-up Mustang GT.

On top of the sexy two-tone color scheme of the body, the exterior of the muscle car also received a new front splitter from the Boss 302 and a rear valence from the Shelby GT500.

Inside, the cabin is what you’d come to expect from Penske Racing: Recaro racing seats, custom floor mats, special door sill plates and even the gauge pod from the Laguna Seca Mustang. Additionally, this rental racer also features all the goodies that came from Ford, including the touchscreen infotainment system, a GPS and a back-up camera.

Under the hood, the Mustang’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine received the full performance treatment with an optimized ECU, a new air intake and a four-tailpipe exhaust system. The engine is backed up by a set of 3.55 gears to help improve acceleration. No performance numbers were released, but we won’t be surprised if this Mustang packs close to 600 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, with an estimated 0-to-60 mph time of 4 seconds and a top speed of about 185 mph.

Keeping the modded Stang on the road is an upgraded suspension system — no details were given on what was upgraded — and a Brembo braking system.

All that is well and good but the best part about this special edition Mustang is that it will become part of Hertz’s newly established Adrenaline Collection and will be available to rent at "select U.S. airport locations."

Click past the jump to read about the Ford Mustang GT

Posted on by Simona  

Classic Recreations developed a one-of-a-kind Shelby G.T.350CR that will be auctioned at Mecum Auctions on August 16, 2013. The new G.T.350CR will feature classic Shelby elements, such as functional brake scoops, riveted quarter window covers, side exhaust and iconic LeMans stripes.

The model is based on an original 1966 Mustang fastback combined with a complete ground-up rebuild. The base V-8 engine was replaced with a new 7.0-liter V-8 engine from Ford Racing that delivers a total of 545 horsepower. The engine mates to a Tremec five-speed manual transmission.

Along with the new engine, Classic Recreations also installed new Carroll Shelby signature rally series 1000 seats, climate control, a top-shelf sound system, a dual-tank nitrous injection system, bespoke forged three-piece HRE Performance wheels, Wilwood brakes and custom paint.

A coil-over suspension and power rack-and-pinion steering handle all the corners that this hopped-up pony car encounters. The GT350CR also includes a four-wheel disc brake system with 13-inch discs up front and 12-inch discs out back combined with four-piston calipers.

After the first prototype crosses the auction block, Classic Recreations will put the G.T.350CR into production. The custom builder will produce only 10 units per year and prices start at $119,000.

Click past the jump to read more about Shelby GT350CR by Classic Recreations.

Metropolitan cities are fast becoming scenes of some impressive rallying action. Whether its on races or the usual number of promotional events, big cities like New York and San Francisco have played host to these awesome events.

Well, Detroit felt a little left out of all the fun, so in an attempt to bring the Global RallyCross series inside its area code, the city decided to try out one of those promotional rally stunts right at the heart of the city.

The car of choice is the Ford Fiesta ST GTC , which has gained quite a reputation in the rally series as a dominant force, helping manufacturer Ford gain sole possession of the manufacturers’ standings.

If you’re from Detroit, you might recognize some of the sights where the Fiesta ST does its rally business. If you’re not from Detroit, don’t be too dismayed because you’re more likely to enjoy the Fiesta ST than try to see where in the city it’s going.

Either way, the video is a must watch for all rally aficionados. Heck, if you’re not one, this video just might be what converts you into one.

Click past the jump to read about the Ford Fiesta ST Rally Car

Posted on by Simona  

When Steve Saleen officially regained his namesake brand, you knew it would only be a matter of time before his company would debut its first project car. That time, apparently, was at the LA Auto Show when Saleen introduced its return to the auto industry with the Saleen 351 Mustang.

"Since regaining the Saleen brand, I really want to bring it all together with the heritage that Saleen is known for," Saleen said. "With the current Saleen [302] Mustang model it provides all the right features to bring back and update the S351 model."

Based on the 2013 Ford Mustang , the car’s name comes from the engine used under the hood, which is a 351-cubic-inch V-8 engine tricked to deliver way more than a base Mustang.

Next to that, Saleen is offering numerous other updates to the interior and the exterior, but also an updated suspension and braking system - all made to transform the Mustang into a real beast.

Updated 07/05/2013: The new Saleen 351 is now officially into production, so the tuner has unveiled tons of new details on its first Mustang-based package since Steve Saleen regained control.

Click past the jump to read more about the new Saleen 351.

Though we’re pretty confident that the "Need for Speed" movie will hit theaters on schedule next March, in the event that it doesn’t, we can all take comfort in knowing that director Scott Waugh is taking the video game treatment to the cinema screens pretty seriously.

We already saw a "making-of" trailer of the movie a month ago, and now, more behind-the-scenes footage is propping up for our enjoyment.

This particular scene was apparently filmed in the streets of Detroit with the one-off Shelby GT500 Need For Speed Edition taking to the streets to put in some serious drift work ala those "Need for Speed" video games.

We already know that the Shelby GT500 also plays the role of the movie’s "hero car," which means that we expect it to last for the duration of the movie. The same can’t be said for some of the supercars that were used and abused in the "making-of" trailer.

As for this footage, it doesn’t last long, taking up only half-a-minute of your time. Yet in that short time frame, we’re treated to a pretty sick shot of the GT500 doing its business right in its hometown.

Needless to say, we can’t wait to see this movie come out.

Click past the jump to read about the Shelby GT500 Need for Speed Edition

Posted on by Simona  

Ford developed yet another great one-off edition that will be auctioned at the Gathering of Eagles charity event on Thursday, August 1st. The special edition is based on a 2014 Ford Mustang GT and was built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds - the fastest, multi-jet flight demonstration team in the world.

This special Mustang GT Thunderbirds Edition features a custom brilliant white paint with red and blue accents, plus numerous logos and markings inspired by the Thunderbirds F-16 Falcon Falcon aircraft. Next to the special paint, this unique Mustang GT features handcrafted front and rear body elements, a unique belly pan and a set of custom 22-inch wheels.

For the interior, the model adds a modified navigation screen, instrument cluster and drops the rear seats. Both the driver and front passenger enjoy Recaro seats with embroidered Thunderbird elements. Additionally, the Thunderbird model also features unique sill plates and puddle lamps that project the aircraft silhouette when the doors open.

Next to the exterior and interior updates, Ford Racing also added a supercharger, suspension handling pack and Brembo brakes. Though Ford didn’t release the specifications on this special edition, Ford Racing’s website lists a series of superchargers that boost the 5.0-liter engine to between 525 and624 horsepower.

Updated 08/05/2013: The new Mustang GT Thunderbirds Edition was auctioned at the Gathering of Eagles charity auction for an impressive $398,000. All the proceeds will go to the EAA Young Eagles program.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang GT.

Posted on by TB +  

The Fusion Energi is the first in a large wave of mainstream, plug-in Fords in the mid-term future. The extra EV power doubles silent range and EPA efficiency of the already-stellar Fusion Hybrid for only about $6,000 more than a loaded Hybrid Titanium model.

Who killed the electric car? Was it you?

No, it was coal. Coal killed the electric car.

Until 2012, the idea of an electric car faced not only the technical challenges of building one but also the significant consumer hurdle of buying something without knowing the actual savings over gasoline.

Anyone who has ever gotten a $400 power bill for a hot summer month would certainly think twice about the cost and hassle of plugging in the car constantly. Consumers rightly wondered: How high could an EV charger spike that utility bill?

Large-scale U.S. energy shifts to natural gas power stations mean home electricity is at record lows and expected to stay low for years. ‘Natty G’ costs about a fifth as much as coal per megawatt and significant savings are coming to home users in the U.S. as well.

Suddenly, Ford ’s plug-in hybrid electric car not only satisfies Eco-minded hybrid buyers but also the hardcore-green BEV owners in Nissan Leaf and Tesla vehicles. There’s simply no drawback to this Fusion Energi PHEV when the equation is close to $1 of juice (very roughly) equaling $10 in gasoline.

Add in the peace of mind of a gasoline backup and less cord fumbling… and it all starts to make sense. The Chevrolet Volt the first to a market that also includes the Honda Accord Plug-in and low-tech Prius Plug-in .

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi including an exclusive video tech overview of the interior.

Posted on by TB +  

The Focus ST is a real sports car with a six-speed manual and 154 mph top speed honed on German autobahns. It also has a fluid and capable handling balance, thanks to intensive tuning on the moonscape that is U.K. roads. As the Fiesta ST fails to generate meaningful excitement and buzz, can the 270 pound-feet of torque in the hottest Focus ST tempt a new generation of power-hungry drivers?

The delayed U.S. launch of many European performance models can be infuriating at times, especially for readers of international car magazines. One such case is the latest Ford Focus ST that’s been on sale in the U.K. since early 2012 and laps up praise from all who drive it.

Arriving in the United States as a late 2013 model year, it has been a long roll out that is just starting to see Focus ST’s appear in volume across U.S. showrooms. Better late than never.

The 2014 ST now has two cool go-faster mods for less than $500 extra: titanium-grey wheels with red calipers or twin matte black racing stripe graphics.

The car’s speedy performance and exterior design solidify the Focus ST as a contender versus the VW GTI , Subaru WRX and the outgoing MazdaSpeed 3 .

Click past the jump for the full review of the Ford Focus ST with highlights on U.S.-market changes to the global specs and info on the cool new options.

Posted on by Simona  

Ford expanded the 2014 F-150 lineup today, with the addition of a new F-150 Tremor version, which gives customers a model similar to the now-discontinued Lightning model. Unlike the Lightning model, this new Tremor package gets it power from two fewer cylinders and a pair of turbos.

The new Tremor edition comes only in the short-wheelbase, regular-cab F-150 , giving it a sportier look. To add to its sportiness, it comes standard with the FX Appearance Package, which tosses in flat-black trimming, black badges with red lettering and body graphics. The model will sit on a set of 20-inch flat-black wheels to complete the exterior upgrades on this special pickup.

On the inside, the Tremor gets black leather seating surfaces with red perforations and red piping.

Under the hood, Ford installed a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers a total of 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and a peak torque of 420 pound-feet at 2,500 rpm. The engine offers twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved performance and fuel economy. Sure, this engine is the same as any old EcoBoost-equipped F-150, but it has an extra twist in the back end that helps up the ante a little.

As standard, the Tremor edition comes with a 4.10 axle ratio, which is typically reserved for the FX4 4X4 and SVT Raptor models. Additionally, this rear end features an electronic locking differential for improved traction during takeoff. There is no mention of whether this is a 4X4 or rear-wheel drive, but we assume it is the former.

The Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado are officially on notice to pump out something to match wits with this performance pickup. To date, neither brand has plans to launch a performance model in 2014.

The new F-150 Tremor will be put on sale this fall and prices will be announced later.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ford F-150.

Posted on by TB +  

The Fusion Hybrid finally cracks the code to unravel Toyota’s stranglehold on the eco market by offering consumers what they actually want: a gorgeous sedan shape, a quiet cabin and very good handling. These are all places where the Prius cannot compete. The Ford also runs lithium-ion batteries for a 47 mpg rating, despite costing just $27,000.

Ford’s most promising hybrid to date is joined by a plug-in model called the Fusion Energi. The Hybrid is the volume electrified sedan and packs some great technology into one of the most attractive midsize car shapes on the market.

The Hybrid might actually be the pick of the range that also includes a 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder in a new-for-2014 ‘S’ trim at the bottom of the range.

The Fusion Hybrid offers nearly all of the Energi’s benefits for about $10,000 less. This makes it a really viable contender among urban dwellers without access to a garage plug.

The 47/47/47 mpg across all EPA categories takes most of the headlines but the Fusion Hybrid also drives really nicely and is more balanced that the typical sedan, thanks the trunk-mounted battery pack helping even the weight distribution of this front-drive car.

Conventional Hybrid sedans are just starting to really move up the sales charts versus the dedicated Prius hatchback. Even among Prius owners, there is some latent desire for a classic large sedan’s refinement and handling. The Fusion Hybrid aces these criteria and many more, via a sophisticated suite of interior technologies and active safety options that are from a class above.

How will the Ford fare versus this fall’s supercharged Nissan Altima Hybrid and the popular Toyota Camry Hybrid ?

Click past the jump for the first-drive review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid with highlights on the new features and equipment.


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