Mark McNabb is one of those eccentric people who, for whatever reason, cannot stop thinking about mechanical modes of transportation, especially the automobile. With dirty hands and a background in automotive journalism, Mark is excited to join TopSpeed.com in providing the latest news and most interesting reviews to this corner of the internet.
There is plenty to know about the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang , ranging from its all-new body, to engine upgrades, to suspension and chassis overhauls. Chris Nelson of Automobile Magazine has gone straight to the source and interviewed Dave Pericak, the chief engineer over the Mustang project.
Pericak talks about what systems received upgrades and how that plays into the overall performance of the car. Starting from the underside of the pony, Pericak emphasized the fact the Mustang is in fact all-new with nothing more than a few bolts and nuts being carried over from the current-generation car . The 107-inch wheelbase and the 3.7-liter V-6 are the only other carryover items, one being a mere measurement of distance.
Diving into the under hood details, the pair discuss the Mustang’s three engine options and what that means for buyers in the U.S. and abroad. Keep in mind, the 2015 Mustang is the first global edition of the famed pony car Ford has ever produced. Besides the 3.7-liter V-6, the 5.0-liter V-8 returns with all-new cylinder heads and upgraded lower components like its crankshaft that, if you read between the lines, will push it well above its current 420-horsepower rating.
The biggest news, however, is the addition of the 2.3-liter, EcoBoost in-line four. The engine was designed for the Mustang platform and features enough technology to produce over 300 horsepower, while still earning the best (estimated) EPA fuel economy numbers in Mustang history.
Click past the jump for more info on the 2015 Ford Mustang
We all know Google and how heavily we rely upon it for information gathering. Constant updates and improvements keep Google ahead its competition and growing even larger as a search engine. But Google’s latest improvement has car shoppers and gearheads taking note of the new features.
Google’s Knowledge Graph — the information box on the right-hand side of a search results page — now includes info on cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Pricing, EPA estimated fuel economy, trim levels, and even a vehicle’s direct competition will appear in the search.
“You may already use Google to help you make everyday decisions, like what restaurant to pick for dinner or which movie to go see. Starting today, you can also rely on Google’s Knowledge Graph to research a big decision: cars,” Google wrote in a blog post.
While finding a vehicle’s specs and pricing in a condensed format is definitely helpful for car buyers, seeing its direct competition seems even more important for buyers looking to purchase the vehicle best suited for their specific needs. Buying a car is a huge decision – especially considering it’s the average person’s second-largest purchase following their house – and Google is aiming to help consumers be better informed before walking into a dealership.
We love the idea of quick-n-dirty information being a few mouse-clicks away, however we wince at the thought of not doing further research on a more dedicated website such as you’re truly. Shameless self-plugs aside, having such information readily accessible is appealing and we look forward to having production dates, engine options, and trim levels at a fingertip’s reach.
Click past the jump for videos on Google’s Knowledge Graph
Off-roading in an extreme or remote environment is always an adventure. Potential hazards lurk behind every rock, potential fun waits in every mud hole, and between every tree awaits life-long memories to be made. The opportunity for a great time is easily accessible when in four-wheel-drive.
The guys over at ExtremeTerrain know first hand the fun that off-roading entails and have decided to share the excitement with their EXTRME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST. One winner and one of their lucky friends will get an all-expense-paid trip to three of the most well-know off-roading locations within the United States. ExtremeTerrain will provide a Jeep Wrangler for the winning pair to explore the famous Rubicon trails of California, the hills of Moab, Utah, and the backcountry of Ouray, Colorado for three days and four nights at each location.
ExtremeTerrain, know for their array of aftermarket Jeep parts and accessories, will fly the two to and from each destination with hotel and meals provided. Entry into the contest ends at 6:00:59 PM on January 21, 2014, so if an off-road excursion sounds like your idea of a great weekend, head over ExtremeTerrain’s website to registe. And luckily, ownership of a Jeep vehicle is not a prerequisite.
Click past the jump for more information and photos
The hype and hysteria over the all-new 2015 Mustang’s reveal are still fresh in the air, as journalist and consumers alike scramble to learn every detail and fact about America’s newest pony car.
Ford ’s launch of the Mustang can only be described as spectacular with reveals in multiple cities and countries around the world. The overriding fact that Ford is going global with the 2015 Mustang is perhaps the biggest news about the Mustang nameplate. It’s hard to imagine a bigger birthday present to an iconic car celebrating its 50th year in production.
We’ve already covered the nitty-gritty details concerning the Mustang’s updates here , but now we present the “Reader’s Digest” version – the “just the facts, Ma’am” edition with all the details nestled snugly into 10 categories. Jump on down for TopSpeed’s top-ten list of 2015 Mustang improvements.
Click past the jump for an overview of the 2015 Ford Mustang
News surrounding the 2015 Ford Mustang is still hot, as details about the coupe and convertible models keep rolling in. But now with a finalized exterior design, our rendering artist went to work piecing together what Ford’s rumored 2015 Mustang Mach 1 might look like.
High-performance with retro throwback flair is the name of the game and the exterior styling screams it. Up front, a huge front splitter with adjustable supports instantly stands out, while a larger rear spoiler and quad exhaust pipes juice up the rear end. The iconic Mach 1 logo adorns the rear truck lid in all its ’60-era font glory. Other small details, like the rocker panel and hood stripes, add character, while the vertical-bar Mustang logo replaces the galloping stallion on the front grille.
We can only guess at what lurks under those functional heat extractors on the Mustang’s hood, and guess we will. The current 2014 Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V-8 cranks out 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, and while Ford says the 5.0’s output is expected to be "at least" the same for the upcoming year, we suspect the 2015 GT to receive a marginal increase; perhaps to 430 horsepower and an even 400 pound-feet of twist.
Starting with those suspected output numbers, an estimate of 440 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque from the new Mach 1 sounds reasonable; especially considering the 5.0 produced 444 horsepower and 380 pound-feet in the 2013 Mustang Boss 302 , which we expect the Mach 1 to basically be the replacement for.
Click past the jump for more speculation on the Mustang Mach1
Automotive design is an odd beast that usually ends up being a product of compromise and costs concerns after long hours in board meetings and design studios filled with creative minds that don’t always agree. One man, however, has broken that tradition and designed a car from the ground up to be a single entity, appealing to both the male and female buyer through specific design elements and featured content.
Timur Bozca is that man and his Bozca Zest concept is a truly unique piece of automotive design. The philosophy behind the Zest is, according to Bozca, one of equality between the sexes and what each desires in a vehicle. Men look for performance and stunning designs, while women desire creature comforts, useful interiors, and storage space.
Not only is the Zest an exercise in clever design, but its powertrain is something to be admired. An Audi -sourced, 2.5-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder with direct injection makes its home under the hood and produces 335 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline engine does not power the car, however. Rather, four synchronized electric motors at each wheel receive power from the gas engine and 84 kg (185-pound) on-board batteries to propel the Zest forward – with the ability to hit 62 mph from in just 5.5 seconds. Regenerative braking, photovoltaic panels on the transparent roof, and full-on, plug-in-hybrid capabilities (PHEV) mean the Zest is highly efficient while being performance oriented.
The Zest also boasts a composite chassis that aids in reducing the car’s overall weight to just 1,200 kg (2645 pounds). Carbon fiber is used extensively and is even employed in crash zones to help absorb impacts. The body panels are comprised of a sandwiched material of linen and cork bonded together with epoxy resin. The result is a lightweight, yet strong exterior that also boasts a drag coefficient of only 0.35 Cd.
Click past the jump for more info and photos of the Bozca Zest Concept
On occasion, we find extremely rare and desirable cars that roll across the auction block, but few are as pristine and well kept as this 2009 RUF CTR3. Its beautiful chassis has only called one garage home while having traveled a mere 547 miles. They don’t come any better than this.
Although it looks like a modified Porsche 911 or Cayman , this is no chop job. The small German manufacturing company RUF designed and built the CTR3 from the ground up, using only a handful of original Porsche parts in creating perhaps one of the top supercars ever produced.
The CTR3 starts off with the front crash zone, floor pan, and hood of a 911 GT3 RS delivered directly from the Porsche assembly line. RUF then added the mid-mounted engine cradle and integrated roll cage. Adding to the car’s safety are Porsche production GT3 doors with integrated side-impact braces. A modified 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six is then fitted snugly behind the passenger compartment. It powers the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission. A massive 750 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque move to 3,086-pound car from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 3.1 seconds.
Bringing the car to a halt are four 15-inch, carbon-ceramic rotors clamped by six-piston aluminum calipers front and rear. Huge 265/35ZR19 tires up front and massive 335/30ZR20 tires out back grip the road. The CTR3’s track is five inches wider than a standard 911 and the wheelbase has grown 10.8 inches, while the overall length hasn’t changed. The beautiful rear suspension set up is a multi-link arrangement while the front uses the 911’s MacPherson struts.
Only 31 CTR3s were ever made and this particular example is for sale in California. It was imported into the U.S. in 2009 to an owner who never had it registered. It was then shipped back to Germany in 2012 for upgrades including a bump in horsepower to its current output. Even with its outrageous power, it still meets all federal emissions standards and is completely street legal. Current asking price is unknown, but other CTR3s have sold for $400,000 plus. Head over Canepa to see the RUF’s actual listing.
Click past the jump for photos and info on RUF and this 2009 CTR3
By now, the tragic news of actor Paul Walker’s untimely death on Saturday, November 30 has spread throughout the media and its audiences. Walker’s involvement in a fiery car crash in Santa Clarita, California and the details surrounding it have been well covered. What many may not see is Walker’s intense commitment to helping people in need the world over through a charitable organization he started in 2010.
Reach Out Worldwide began as a heartfelt response to the tragedies seen following the massive January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Walker visited the country as part of a disaster response team and felt the calling to continue such philanthropic work on his own. Upon his return, he and a group of friends and started ROWW, whose philosophy is, “by making a difference in just one person’s life, the world has been changed for the better.”
The non-profit organization quickly grew into Walker’s dream of “filling the gap between the availability of skilled resources and the requirement for such personnel in post-disaster situations.” ROWW enlisted the help of doctors, nurses, firefighters, heavy-equipment operators, project planners, and others in building a network of volunteers with the ability to respond to worldwide disasters. The organization even attracted the help of companies like STIHL – America’s number one selling brand of gas-powered, handheld power equipment, like chainsaws – who donates equipment to the team.
To date, ROWW has assisted in the recovery efforts following the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the Typhoon in the Philippines, the Tsunami in Indonesia, and tornadoes in Illinois, Oklahoma City, and Alabama. Currently, ROWW has members deployed to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall in early November.
As many of the news reports mentioned, Walker was attending a “charity toy drive and automotive social gathering” on Saturday just minutes before his death. The charity aimed to gather toys and funds to help economically disadvantaged children the world over, and especially in the current Philippine disaster zone.
Paul Walker died not only an accomplished actor and active automotive enthusiast, but more importantly, a legendary philanthropist and activist for just causes and hurting people worldwide. He will be sorely missed.
Click past the jump to see videos of Paul Walker in action with ROWW
Everyday, thousands of new cars, trucks , vans , and SUVs roll off assembly lines the world over. They represent the newest technology and innovation their respective manufacturer has to offer, and for many buyers, will be the second-largest single purchase they make following their house.
But what happens to a vehicle once its life on the road comes to a stop? The latest infographic from gocompare.com details just how automotive recycling programs are cutting back on unused waste and reintroducing the market with quality recycled materials by shredding the old family sedan for all it’s worth.
Before the recycling process can begin, all fluids are drained, tires are removed, and special equipment like mercury switches and batteries are sent off for separate recycling. The tire-less, dry vehicles are then crushed and ground up. The fist-sized chunks coming from the grinder are then sorted, depending on material. At this point, roughly 15 to 25 percent of the vehicle is considered waste and enters a landfill, with the large remainder headed for further processing.
Plastics and metals are two of the largest reclaimed materials from recycled vehicles. In fact, recycled vehicle plastics save roughly 24 million barrels of oil annually in the U.S. alone. Metals like iron and steel are separated with magnets while copper and aluminum are separated by weight. Car batteries are also a highly recyclable material and can yield up to 97 percent of its original lead content in the process.
Automotive recycling is big business in America with over 12 million vehicles processed annually. Recycling is a $22 billion dollar industry and growing. That growth helps conserve resources and reduce landfill waste while expanding job growth the world over.
There is something about Black Friday that brings out the crazy in people. Trampled store employees and fistfights over the latest Elmo doll in the toy aisle have become an unfortunate yearly tradition only hours after observing Thanksgiving. It’s ironic to say the least.
But perhaps equally as ironic is the idea of a station wagon hitting 60 mph in under four seconds while hauling a trunk-full of Christmas presents for the whole family. We’re not afraid to explore the ironic here at TopSpeed, so we compiled a list of vehicles we would use to snag all those infamous Black Friday deals.
These Black Friday cargo haulers had to be fast enough to outrun other shoppers, have enough cargo room to haul a flat-screen TV with other boxes stacked around, and flashy enough to let others know you mean business.
Scroll on down for TopSpeed’s top-10 list of Black Friday deal-getters and why we chose them. Leave a comment on which one you would be driving.
Click past the jump for the Top 10 list of best wagons, hatchbacks , SUVs and — uhm — "Other" gift getters