2021 Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition - Is It Really That Bad Ass?
Riding high on the success of the Ranger in Europe, Ford launched a special edition of the truck based on the Ranger Raptor. Called the Ranger Raptor Special Edition (no marks for creativity there), the truck comes with aesthetic upgrades and wide tracks. It rides on the same drivetrain without any power bumps. The automaker is pushing it as a ‘badass’ edition of the truck. But, what’s so badass about it?
21 Awesome Hot Hatches That Americans Can’t Drive
The world of hot hatches is far more interesting than what we in the U.S. can ever fathom. The Europeans are particularly fond of them (the Brits especially), which led to the development of some of the most amazing cars. Some of them have never even appeared on U.S. shores. Believe it or not, I have found 21 awesome hot hatches from the past five years that have never set their tires on this side of the pond.
While compiling this list, I have come to a conclusion that buyers and drivers in the U.S. are usually really predictable. Apart from some producers who do not sell in the U.S. at all, international safety (UNECE) standards for car production are the ones to blame for a shortage of some of these cars.
We’re not compliant with those standards as we have our own set of rules called the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In short, a disparity like this makes it very expensive for car producers to create two different versions of a car. And, that is exactly what is needed if you want to sell the same car in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, walk through this 4,853 horsepower list and imagine what your life would be like if some of these hot hatches could actually come here.
2020 Toyota Hilux
After teasers, leaks, and getting Fernando Alonso to drive the Hilux, Toyota has finally unveiled the 2020 Toyota Hilux. The truck has been launched in Europe, where the pickup truck segment is picking pace. The truck has a long history and enough credibility to make it one of the segment’s top picks. But, with growing competition, Toyota, too, had to bow down to the pressure and deliver the best it could. So, for this updated model, the Japanese automaker has introduced a new front end, better tech features and, most importantly, a more powerful 2.8-liter engine. How about that!
Ford Will Sell the Mustang Mach 1 In Europe, But There’s a Big Catch
The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is headed to the Old Continent. No, it’s not going there for test runs at the Nurburgring — it already did that — nor is it going there to be showcased at an auto event — it just made its debut at Goodwood SpeedWeek — only to return to the U.S. as an America-only special edition Mustang. The Mustang Mach 1 is coming to Europe, and, more importantly, it will be staying in Europe.
Sorry, Europeans, No Ford Bronco For You
On the onset, the new 2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport appear to be a big hit for the blue oval. In the first three weeks after its reveal, North American consumers have made more than 165,000 reservations – something that appears to be a first for Ford. Of course, those reservations only required a refundable, $100 deposit, but for now, things are looking great the new Bronco. But it’s not all peaches and cream and, as it turns out, the Bronco and Bronco Sport are going to be absent from a major market. The worst part is that you can blame the government and you’d likely be right for once.
Europeans Get the Shaft on the 2021 Toyota Supra
While news outlets everywhere are praising the 2021 Toyota Supra for its updated powertrain and improved performance, Europeans are stuck looking in from the sidelines. Due to the ever-increasing and near-impossible to hit emissions regulations, Toyota is being forced to withhold all the updates that just made the 2021 Supra that much better here in the States. What can we say, Euro 6 emissions regulations are a real bitch when it comes to getting cool, fast cars.
If You Pre-Ordered the Tesla Cybertruck in Europe, You Might Want to Cancel It
The Cybertruck was widely criticized for its weird shape, but that was mainly because of how it looked. Soon after the unveiling, a lot of other practical problems came to light, such as parking woes, truckbed usability to haul longer objects, and so on. One such glaring problem that raised a lot of eyebrows was the safety aspect. The Cybertruck sure has strong components, but how can it be tested for crash ratings and how will it fare in case of a rollover? With a lot of questions unanswered, an expert in Europe has deemed the Cybertruck to be far from road-legal. This is a huge blow to the company. Will Tesla heavily modify the Cybertruck to attain road legality?
2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R
The 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R is about as close as it gets to being the cap stone for the front-wheel drive hot hatch pyramid. It is the most extreme version of the current Megane RenaultSport and it makes the regular model look tame and watered down by comparison.
It is the even more extreme version of the Megane R.S. 300 Trophy, which, in turn, is more hardcore than the base Megane RenaultSport. The 300 Trophy already has plenty of go-faster mods, such as a standard Torsen limited-slop differential, a stiffer suspension setup complete with trick dampers that feature a hydraulic bumptstop, as well as bigger brakes and extra power extracted out of its 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder.
The Trophy-R takes things a step further: most of its performance gain comes from the weight shedding of 130 kilograms (286 pounds) and some enhanced aero. Renault engineers also removed the 4Control four-wheel steering system not only to make the car lighter, but to also give it a more consistent feel when driven quickly around a track. This and other mods result is a car that currently holds the front-wheel drive lap record around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which is no surprise, because that’s what it was designed to do (and also be the quickest and most focused vehicle of its type).
It’s also definitely got future classic written all over it. Only 500 examples will be made, all with a manual six-speed gearbox, stripped out interior (with a deleted back seat) and unique graphics. The high asking price might put some off it, but for those hardcore enthusiasts who are willing to spend more than 50 percent more on a Trophy-R than they would on the regular RenaultSport Megane (in order for the car to come fitted with the Nürburgring Record Pack), the difference will be worth it.
Jeep Brings The Gladiator To Europe!
After being launched in the U.S., the Jeep Gladiator is now debuting in Europe. It is slowly finding its feet in the States, which won’t be difficult because people had been waiting for this for a very long time. In May and June 2019, Jeep sold 2,584 and 4,231 examples of the Gladiator, respectively. So, now it’s time for the automaker to focus on its next stop. The Gladiator will be unveiled at the Camp Jeep Event held every year by the Jeep Owners Group in San Martino di Castrozza, Italy. Just to be clear, the Gladiator is just being launched In Europe. It won’t hit dealerships until 2020.
Europeans can buy a tow hitch for their Tesla Model 3 at about $1,262
On May 7, honoring a promise made in 2016 to Tesla customers, Elon Musk made a tow hitch available as an option for Model 3. So far, the feature is open only to Europeans for an extra charge of about $1,262. Tesla has been talking about a towing capacity of up to 910 kg (2,000 lbs).
Disappointingly, Tesla is not making available the tow hitch for Model 3 vehicles already delivered, so you can only get one if you haven’t taken delivery yet.
The European Union Wants to Fit Cars with Electronic Nannies that Won’t Allow Drivers to Exceed the Speed Limit
It looks like Volvo knew something when it announced that all its new cars would be limited to 180 km/h or 112 mph by 2020 because it seems all cars are going to be forced to obey the speed limit in the near future. At least that’s the plan announced by the European Union after it reached a provisional agreement to mandate that automakers fit their cars with speed limiters that won’t allow the driver to go over the speed limite when the situation would require it.
Our European Friends Will Only Get 900 Toyota Supras This Year
The Toyota Supra is making headlines left and right, and as the unquestioned star of the 2019 North American International Auto Show, it’s only fitting that we uncover more details about Toyota’s new sports car. In somewhat of a surprising twist, Toyota is limiting the Supra’s availability in Europe to just 900 units in the first year of the car’s production. It’s a small volume for a region that has a healthy amount of Supra fanboys, but the good news is that Toyota will also throw in access to an exclusive experience programme and money-can’t-buy rewards for those lucky enough to scoop up the 900 units earmarked for the market. In addition to the promised programs and rewards, Toyota will also offer the first special edition version of the Supra — the Supra A90 Edition — exclusively to the European market.
One in Three Cars Sold in Norway in 2018 Was Electric
Almost a third of new vehicles sold in Norway in 2018 were all-electric, a new world record for the Scandinavian country. Specifically, 31.2 percent of the 194,200 cars sold in 2018 use batteries and electric power. That’s a solid increase from 20.8 percent in 2017. Back in 2013, only 5.5 percent of cars sold in Norway were all-electric.
Ford Adds the Rugged Focus Active to its European Lineup
Persuaded by the high interest in SUVs and crossovers in Europe, Ford decided to rough up the 2019 Ford Focus a bit and give it an Active badge. The Focus is the third model in Ford’s lineup to be offered in Active trim after the likes of Fiesta and KA+. The Focus Active can be had in both hatchback or wagon body styles, and Ford says its engineers tweaked the springs, dampers, and stabilizer bars, while also lifting the ride by 30 mm up front and 34 mm at the rear.
New E.U. Insurance Rules Could Ban All Motorsport
Can you imagine a world where all forms of motorsport become illegal in Europe? That could happen if the European Motor Insurance Directive isn’t amended to change stipulations that require all cars to be fully insured. New proposals to amend the MID are currently under review by the European Commission. If the amendments pass without any changes to the specific phrasing to the text, motor racing of any kind, be it Formula One, rally racing, and even go-kart racing, will become illegal. It’s hard to imagine a world where Formula One racing is illegal in Europe, but it could happen if the amendments don’t include the stipulations that will allow the entire industry to operate legally within the Union’s laws. A vote is set to take place in December in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.