Do You Remember The "OG" Ford F-150 SVT Lightning?
Back in the day, automakers like Dodge, Chevy, and GMC, tried to develop pickup trucks that were more than their towing and payload prowess. They came up with performance versions of their respective trucks, but could not break this perception people had about trucks and failed to create a niche. Ford, too, threw its hat into the ring with a product called the Lightning. The Lightning stayed around for a decade before going down the same way as its counterparts. But, does that mean it was a bad truck? No, sir!
With the moniker being resurrected again, we thought it would be a good time to remember the original truck and tell you everything you need to know before Ford blankets its legacy with its first electric truck with the same name.
What You Really Need To Know About the 1997-2004 Porsche 996 911
The Porsche 911 has had a long and illustrious history that dates all the way back to 1963. Basically becoming the posterchild for performance and what a true sports car should be, it has quite the cult following. One could even argue that it’s one of the most loved sports cars in the world. But, despite all of this love, there’s one generation that stands out as inferior, and that my friends is the 996 generation that was built between 1997 and 2004. Well, technically it stayed in production to some extent until 2006, but we’ll talk more about that later. So, was the 996 911 really such a bad car, and should you risk buying one today? It’s not as bad as you might think, although, there are some things you need to know about it.
The Rise and Fall of Saab - A Story Of Interesting Intent, Success, And Failure
Made by trolls in Trollhattan, this is the story of one of the greatest car companies in the world - from birth to success and then to its death and troubled resurrection. Today, we’re going to talk about how SAAB went from a safety and Turbo icon to just another General Motors casualty, like Pontiac, Saturn, and Oldsmobile.
Vehicle Development - There’s More To It Than You Realize
Perhaps the most important point is for the customer to be sure what it is they´re expecting from a sportscar. Speed? Comfort? Agile track handling? It is easy to see that it is not easy to reconcile all these aspects, and this is the reason why in many instances firms will offer several variants of the “same” sportscar. Let´s take the Porsche 911 range as an example; it includes models for everyday use such as the Carrera S all the way to the more extreme, flamboyant – and less comfortable – GT3 RS or GT2 RS.
It is up to the development, dynamics and product management teams to give the vehicle its appropriate driving qualities. Performance targets such as top speed, acceleration, maximum weight or cornering speed need to be pre-defined. In the automotive industry, such parameters are referred to as “vehicle attributes”. Driving an S-Class is a very different experience to driving an AMG GT-R; this is all down to their different attributes.
The Evolution of Performance SUVs
Back in the day, if you wanted to have a practical and fun car, you needed to have two cars. Things are different nowadays, as most manufacturers, even those you do not expect, have a fast SUV in their lineup. Obviously, the versatility of an SUV is second to none, but performance has always left something to be desired. That is, until the first performance SUV came out and started a trend that would spiral out of control. Suddenly, you didn’t need to have two cars, but that didn’t came by overnight. This is the history of the performance SUV and how it got to where it is today.
The Story of Fordlandia - One of Henry Ford’s Bounciest Failures
Buried deep into the Brazilian jungle sit the remains of what was once Henry Ford’s utopian city. A place where one of the richest and most influential men on the planet wanted not to make money, but to - quote - help develop that wonderful and fertile land.
And I can tell you right now that Henry Ford definitely didn’t make any money out of his dream city. In fact, it turned out to be one of his biggest failures - but we’ll get to that later. So keep reading to find out the story of Fordlandia, an American attempt at making an American rubber factory and an American-style community in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.
The Mercedes-Benz Logo - A Complete History
10 Things a BMW M Hypercar Needs to Corner the Market
One of the best ways to showcase your technical expertise and convince buyers to buy your cars is to build a hypercar. Mercedes-AMG did it, Aston Martin too. Heck, Volkswagen AG has the best of them all - the Bugatti Veyron and the Chiron. I can only imagine that somewhere in BMW headquarters in Munchen, the board of directors and investors sat together and discussed the hypercar idea.
After all, back in 2017, when Mercedes-AMG showcased the F1 inspired Project One, BMW M boss Dirk Hacker said:
“We would like to do a standalone car, and we could do it – but today there is no requirement from the market to do it. As a company, we are more focused on future mobility than digitization than building a hypercar, to be honest, but if we came to the decision to do a super sports car, then we could do that.”
Apparently, the market still isn’t favorable for the development of the BMW hypercar, but that does not stop us from the brainstorming of what that proposed hypercar could be. I am giving you ten different things BMW hypercar needs to succeed.
Best Naturally Aspirated Engines in Human History
When BMW rolled the 2002 Turbo towards the tail end of 1973, in the middle of the fuel crisis, everybody viewed it as insanity. Still, as years rolled by, the classic adage that said ’there’s no replacement for displacement’ seemed to hold true for at least some manufacturers. However, ever stringent pollution regulations and the need for increased efficiency pushed carmakers to embrace forced induction more broadly and strangled naturally aspirated engines one by one. Nowadays, big players such as BMW don’t even offer a naturally aspirated engine across their entire lineups and even Ferrari is all but ditching the engines that made the Prancing Horse legendary through their expertly honed soundtrack.
It’s not necessarily that naturally aspirated engines are going to go extinct in a matter of a handful of years but it’s clear that the performance levels achieved by turbocharged or supercharged units simply can’t be matched by a naturally aspirated engine. On top of that, an engine that uses forced induction is more economical due to its smaller capacity and friendlier with the environment which - in the eyes of everyone but some purists - is a win-win situation. While we love turbochargers and superchargers, we thought we’d take a look at some of the history’s best naturally aspirated engines at a time when fewer and fewer manufacturers still offer them - at least in performance cars. We assure you they are proper bangers!
The Real Truth Behind The BMW Logo
In March 2020, BMW unveiled its new logo, a flat, minimalistic version of the one it has been using since 1997. While the new design offers a cleaner version that strays away from the old-looking 3D effects and shadows, it is just the latest version of a logo that has been around since 1917 and one that triggered many controversies regarding its origin.
Porsche 911 GT3 - A Complete History
Porsche is known for continuously bringing race-bred technology into its road cars. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer that has been perfecting the rear-engine formula for over five decades now is also famous for its homologation specials, road-worthy counterparts built by Porsche to race thoroughbred competition machinery in production-based classes of sports car racing. 20 years ago, Porsche introduced the latest model that would spawn a myriad of racing versions: the Porsche 911 GT3, a track-oriented 911 that could be used as a daily driver (if you dared). It came at the same time as the not-for-the-purist 996 generation but, in spite of this, can you now imagine a world without the 911 GT3 in it?
Where were you in 1999 when Porsche unveiled the 996.1-generation Porsche 911 GT3? Well, you probably weren’t at the Geneva Auto Show where Porsche took the wraps of what was, in essence, the road-legal version of the newest Porsche 911 Cup car that would compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and later in the Porsche Supercup sharing the bill with the Formula 1 World Championship. The first 911 GT3 looked a bit tame but, as years rolled by, it evolved, growing bigger, more aggressive, and more insane and overshadowed with ease the 911 GT2, a model we originally thought it’d replace before Porsche decided to continue making GT2 models, somewhat as even more extreme versions of the 911. This is the story of the GT3, a model more famous than all of the track-focused 911s that have come before it, even the Carrera RS 2.7 of 1973.
Aerodynamics - It’s More Than a Fancy Word
Aerodynamics is one of the most exploited areas within the high-performance vehicle industry. Yet it is not easy to judge just how much of it you need, particularly in a road going car. Most car fans will be aware of its importance. However, for a non-engineer, the term “aerodynamic load” can be diffuse and hard to quantify. This is what you need to know about it.
Among the many engines Toyota has built, two stand out. Both of them were conceived in the early 1990s and would go on to power some of the most recognizable Japanese cars ever made. We are talking about the 1JZ and 2JZ engines. Although the technology behind them is now over 30 years old, they are still some of the most popular engines used in builds. But do they differ simply in displacement, or is there more to it? Here’s what you need to know about both these Japanese straight-sixes.