Leaked Accessory List for the 2019 Ford Ranger Proves Ford isn’t Playing Around
Ford’s not messing around with the list of accessories available to the upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger. Leaked documents shown via the Ranger5G forum reveal an extensive list of accessories that includes bull bars, racks, carriers, tow hooks, cup holders, and different versions of roadside assistance kits. The list of accessories points to one inevitable conclusion: you’re going to have to drop a serious amount of money to get what you want.
Why Is The Manual Transmission Living On Borrowed Time?
Just the other day I was reading that some teens have given up carjacking because the car they wanted to lift had a manual transmission. First, I thought that they perhaps didn’t know how to drive a car with a manual at all, but then, it hit me. Maybe they gave up the idea of stealing that car because it is much harder to find someone who would actually drive it later.
Now, regardless of my train of thought, I believe that the former is the truth in this very instance. This got me to thinking - how and why is the manual transmission losing the war against automatics? Is it that bad, or are there some dark forces at play here? Why is the manual transmission living on borrowed time?
Flyin’ Miata Offers a Roll Bar for the Miata RF but It Comes at a Cost
Flyin’ Miata, the company responsible for the best Mazda MX-5 upgrades on the market, is now offering a roll bar for the Targa-style RF model. The protective device was added to the catalog as a result of customer requests and makes the MX-5 RF safer at the race track. But there’s a catch — you lose the ability to lower the roof!
Bugatti Reinvents the T-Top Roof, Makes the Glass Permanent, Calls it Sky View
The T-Top roof design has roots that go back to the late-1940s, but Bugatti has taken the idea, christened it new (since the glass is fixed, of course,) and will offer it as “Sky View” on the Bugatti Chiron. In fairness, it’s not exactly a T-Top since the glass isn’t removable, but that almost seems like a missed opportunity, though, doesn’t it?
According to Bugatti, each glass panel measures 25.5-inches wide and 17.3-inches long. It’s apparently a laminated structure that consists of thin glass and “four intermediate layers.” They are said to reduce noise at speed, reflect infrared radiation, and filer UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation. Bugatti also says that the design of the glass panels improves the stiffness of the roof and has no ill effect on crash safety. The glass panels are also tinted for privacy and actually add in just over an inch of extra headroom in comparison to the standard roof.
Of course, this is nothing new. The T-Top roof design has been around since 1948 when TASCO debuted the styling on a prototype that went nowhere. GM reintroduced it again with the 1968 Chevy Corvette. It’s since been found on a number of cars, with the most prominent example being the Pontiac Trans-Am. The big difference, however, is that all of those cars were fitted with removable glass panels – allowing you to have the luxury of an open roof without the weight or packing of a convertible top. It almost feels as if Bugatti missed the mark here as a T-Top Chiron would be pretty damn cool if Bugatti could manage to keep structural strength intact.
In that case, maybe Bugatti is offering the best it can, as it might be hard to maintain structural stability without a full roof – it’s the same reason third-gen, unibody Camaro’s need subframe connectors to handle any engine with real torque. All that’s left now is pricing, and Bugatti has yet to reveal that tidbit of information. The first Sky View-equipped Chiron will be on display in August at Pebble Beach, so stay tuned for updates and pictures from the scene.
The Bentley Bentayga Now Comes with the Tiniest Little Biometric Safe
As if the Bentley Bentayga isn’t opulent enough on its own, Bentley is throwing in a new feature that’s going to help owners keep their valuables in a secure location. Courtesy of the Mulliner personalization division, Bentayga owners can now avail of a biometric stowage space in the SUV’s center console that can only be opened through capacitive fingerprint sensor technology. Fingerprint technology on the Bentayga? All in a day’s work for Mulliner.
Rally Wheels And Knobby Rubber Make For Quite The Off-Road Package
With its Impreza-based bones under the skin, standard symmetrical AWD system, copious rock-deflecting exterior trim, and sizable 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Subaru Crosstrek makes for a pretty decent choice when tackling the great outdoors. I mean, that’s kinda the whole point, right? Load up the capacious rear trunk with your lifestyle equipment of choice (mountain bike, camping gear, inflatable raft, etc.) then set out for the trail head. That’s all well and good, but whaddya need to take it even further? Well, a set of rally wheels and knobby rubber would certainly do the trick.
That’s exactly what the owner of this particular hatchback Scooby did, throwing on a set of what appears to be ten-spoke Method rally wheels wrapped in General Grabber all-terrain tires. It’s a pricey set-up, for sure, but we think it’s worth every penny. Not only that, but the combo looks fantastic on the Crosstrek, turning it from mall marauder to trail buster in an instant.
Pirelli Has Six Different Tire Options for the Lamborghini Urus
The Lamborghini Urus is not your standard SUV so it’s not beholden to standard industry practices. That’s the case when it comes to choosing tires for the Lambo SUV. Whereas most tire makers prepare up to around two to three tire options for the standard SUVs, Pirelli doubled that number to six different tire options for the Urus to account for the SUV’s performance capabilities.
Audi Introduces Amazon Music Services On All 2017 and 2018 Models
In what can be considered an early Christmas present from Audi, owners of 2017 and 2018 model year Audis will now have access to Amazon’s music services, including Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Prime Music. The two services are now embedded into the infotainment systems of these models, as well as in the Audi MMI Connect smartphone app.
Renault and Mercedes Debut new 1.3-liter Engine!
Automotive partnerships come in many forms. In the case of Renault and Mercedes, we see that partnership come to life in the form of a newly developed 1.3-liter gasoline engine. The new engine is expected to debut in the Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic MPVs before other Renault models get their turn with it sometime in 2018.
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit
The Jeep brand’s foundation is based on utility and preparedness, so it comes as no surprise that the 2018 Wrangler JL comes with its own toolkit. The kit comes with a socket wrench and the drivers needed to remove the doors and fold the windshield – two very important aspects of Wrangler ownership.
The toolkit trend started a few years ago with the Wrangler JK, but Jeep is keeping the idea alive. The kit comes in a snazzy nylon pouch with a Velcro latch. Inside are elastic bands that hold the tools in place. The kit includes a min socket, a T40 and T50 Torx bits and an M15 socket. The T40 is used for the various parts of the soft top, while the T50’s main job is removing the bolts holding the door hinges in place. The T50 is also used to remove the track system of the Sunrider soft top.
Folding the windshield requires removing the windshield wipers. That takes the M15 socket. Simply pop off the caps at the wiper hubs and remove the nut. Use the T40 to remove the four bolts holding the windshield header bar to the Sports Bar support and boom – the windshield easily folds down. Two more T40 bolts on the windshields two hinges will have the entire windshield assembly removed from the Jeep.
Best of all, the Wrangler offers a custom-fit storage holder for all this hardware. Lift up the cargo floor, and holes are pre-made and labeled in the plastic tray found underneath.
Jeep also includes a handy instruction guide with photos and labels. The instructions are on thick, laminated paper that should last a while, especially when kept in the clear plastic pocket inside the took kit pouch.
Bosch’s new iDisc brake disc reduces pollution, lasts longer
With emissions standard becoming stricter as we move toward the 2020s, all carmakers are now focusing on electrification. Be it all-electric or hybrid; most vehicles will feature some form of electrification in a decade or so. But while this may reduce emissions and oil consumption to some extent, cars need more than just cleaner engines to become green. Brakes and tires also leave a mark on the environment, being responsible for 32 percent of particulate emissions. Half of that comes from brake dust alone, and Bosch has set on a mission to reduce braking emissions as much as possible with a new disc design.
Called the iDisc, it features a tungsten-carbide coating over the mechanically, thermally, and galvanically treated friction rings. This process creates a significantly more durable disc that produces 90 percent less brake dust. So, it’s not only cleaner for the environment, but it also lasts longer than a regular disc. Bosch says that it’s resistant to corrosion too, which should make it more suitable for electric cars and regenerative braking systems.
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New Tires Could Make Ford Mustang GT as Quick as the BMW M4
The summer may be long gone, and you may have already put winter tires on your car, but Ford just decided to launch a new set of summer tires for the Mustang GT. Not exactly the best timing out there, but hey, we’re talking about a set of high-performance Michelin rubber, so I’m not going to complain. Specifically, the V-8-powered Mustang GT is now available with Michelin Sport 4S tires, which will make their mass-market North American debut on the pony car. While these tires aren’t exactly new in Europe, where they’re offered on some performance cars, they have yet to make it to the United States on regular production cars. What’s more, the Mustang GT isn’t getting the usual Pilot Sport 4S, but a custom version made specifically for this model.
Ford says that its engineers took learnings from the Ford GT supercar and the Shelby GT350 Mustang to develop this special tire. Designed with optimal wet and dry grip, increased braking distance, and lateral handling performance in mind, the custom-tuned Pilot Sport 4S features an ultra-reactive tread pattern that adapts continuously to the road, and a hybrid belt of aramid and nylon that ensures optimum transmission of steering input to the road. The hybrid elastomer that forms its outer rib delivers more dry grip to help relieve stress under hard cornering, while the middle and inner rib improve braking.
Sized 275/40-19 for the rear and 255/40-19 for the front, the new tires will also enable the Mustang GT to achieve a sub-four-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph. No figures are available as of this writing, but Ford says that this will be possible only with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission and Drag Mode function. This means that the Mustang GT could be as quick as the BMW M4. It doesn’t get more exciting than this!
The Bugatti Chiron’s Tires Are Actually Cheaper Than The Veyrons
It’s a well-known thing in automotive circles that if you own a Bugatti Veyron, the costs of maintaining it over time could be just as expensive as buying it. Annual maintenance for the almighty machine costs $20,000. If you happen to live in a state that charges car property tax, then the cost of simply owning a Veyron will set you back close to $50,000 a year. That’s like buying a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 every year just because. Then again, none of those costs compare to the ridiculous price of the Veyron’s tires. A fresh set will set you back as much as $40,000, and you’ll only be able to drive them for 2,500 miles because they’ll have to be replaced after that. I bring all of this up because, in a recent interview with CarBuzz, Bugatti Principal Engineer Martin Grabowski revealed that the set of tires on the new Bugatti Chiron is actually much cheaper than the Veyrons. Of course, the Chiron costs three times as much as the Veyron, but I’m not worried about that. It’s those tires that matter!
To put into context, Grabowski said that the Chiron doesn’t use the specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that the Veyron used. Instead, Bugatti’s new supercar uses a standard rim geometry and standard mounting process, which means that according to Grabowski, “the tires can be mounted and changed anywhere.” Even better, the tires that the Chiron uses have been reportedly been tested to handle the supercar’s incredible 261-mph top speed, and quite possibly more given that Bugatti is still “testing them to see how far they can go.” And as far as the price goes, it’s expected to be “much cheaper,” according to Grabowski. He didn’t specify the actual price, but don’t be surprised if a set goes for around $20,000, which would make Grabowski’s statement technically true.
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Hyperloop One Becomes Reality with First Successful Test Run
When he isn’t making electric cars or sending rockets into space, Elon Musk busies himself promoting a new train-like form of transportation called a Hyperloop. Essentially a magnetically propelled pod that moves through a vacuum-sealed tube, the idea is to create a quiet, comfortable, and efficient method of moving people and things at incredibly high rates of speed. It’s not a new concept, but it’s certainly extremely technically challenging. However, the Los Angeles-based company Hyperloop One just announced a major breakthrough with the completion of the first phase in the creation of a real, working vactrain.
The announcement comes via press release stating that Phase 1 was completed May 12th at the DevLoop test track in Nevada. Parameters tested include the vacuum environment, the propulsion motor, the vehicle suspension, the magnetic levitation system, the electromagnetic brakes, and the vacuum pumping system. The pod coasted for 5.3 seconds and posted as much as 2 G’s of acceleration, reaching a speed of 70 mph. While far below the 700-mph top speed expected when this technology is fully developed, the Phase 1 completion is proof that development is indeed underway. The next phase will target a speed of 250 mph and take place on a longer track. Alongside the announcement of Phase 1 completion, Hyperloop 1 also unveiled its new pod prototype. Made from aluminum and carbon fiber, the pod is 28 feet long. Check out the included seven-and-a-half minute video of the test inside the control room for more.
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Audi Launches Sport Performance Parts Upgrades For R8 And TT
The automotive market has evolved to the point where carmakers offer a wide range of intermediate versions of their vehicles. Can’t afford a BMW M but you also want something above the standard model? You can get one with the M Sport package. The same goes for various Mercedes-Benz models and, starting 2017, for a couple of Audi vehicles too. The German firm has just launched the Audi Sport Performance Parts line, which adds various upgrades to the R8, TT, TTS and TT RS.
With upgrades for the exterior, interior, suspension, and exhaust system, the Sport Performance Parts package is also a bit different from what you can get from BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Specifically, it’s a retrofit range, so you can purchase it for a car you already own. The bundles are scheduled to go on sale this summer, initially in Germany, but other markets will receive them later on. The good news is that Audi is planning to launch similar ranges for additional models in the future. Find out what these packages include in the review below.
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New Audi A8 Will Launch Company’s New Dashboard Technology
The long-awaited debut of the Audi A8 happens today, and if the hype surrounding the company’s new flagship model is any indication, we could be in store for a few treats. One particular aspect about the new A8 that’s getting a lot of attention is its dashboard, and just in time for the sedan’s debut, Audi Design boss Marc Lichte is throwing more wood on that fire by hinting at what could very well be the latest innovation to come out of Ingolstadt.
In an interview released by Audi itself, Lichte explained that the A8 will hardly feature any buttons or switches in the interior. In their place will be a new touchscreen display integrated into the dashboard, essentially serving as the brain and command center. Lichte’s comments aren’t exactly ground-breaking; we’ve already seen Audi’s new virtual dashboard, albeit in concept guise when it was introduced with the E-tron Quattro Concept back at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s unclear how much of the virtual dashboard from the concept is going to be used in the A8, but remember, that dashboard featured not one, but three different digital displays that were responsible for all of the vehicle’s operations. All signs, including Lichte’s comments, seem to point to the new A8 getting a production version of this virtual dash. How close the production version is to the concept will only be answered when Audi finally pulls the covers off of the new A8. Good thing then that it’s happening today.
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2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to Come Standard with Line-Lock
The V-8-powered Ford Mustang GT has come standard with electronic line lock as a part of the track pack since its redesign in 2015, but for 2018, Ford has announced that it will now include that feature on the EcoBoost models as well – effectively giving those who want some EcoBoost love a much easy way of roasting some rubber. For those of you that don’t know, a line lock system, applies pressure to the front brakes only, making it possible for those with a six-speed manual to roast the tires without some impressively difficult footwork, while those with the automatic transmission don’t have to risk burning their transmission fluid or burning up the rear brakes from doing a traditional brake torque. Think of it as an emergency brake for the front wheels.
When Ford introduced the sixth-generation Mustang for the 2015 model year, it was met with enthusiasm from pony car fanboys everywhere. As part of the generational shift, the Mustang grew in width by 1.5 inches, sat 1.4 inches lower, and came with an all-new independent rear suspension system. More important was the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that served as a middle point between the entry-level 3.7-liter V-6 and the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. After just three years on the market, the sixth-gen Mustang was up for a facelift and Ford decided to drop the V-6, leaving just the EcoBoost and the V-8. It’s not surprising considering the EcoBoost delivers 10 more ponies than the V-6 while offering better efficiency. There was no need for a V-6 and consumers knew it. Now limited to two engine options in the standard Mustang, Ford is ensuring both are equally capable at the dragstrip.
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McLaren’s Customer Service Goes Into Overdrive By Promising A Loaner Engine For F1 Owners
McLaren’s customer service is already regarded as one of the best in the business, so this news comes as no big surprise. The British automaker is giving owners of the McLaren F1 the opportunity to have the original BMW-sourced, 6.1-liter V-12 engine fully serviced, yet still have use of the car. How does McLaren do this? Two words: loaner engines.
The whole concept follows McLaren’s reputation for having one of the best full factory support services among all premium automakers in the world. While it’s not impossible for automakers to put in loaner engines on cars that allow them to be driven, it’s unheard of when you consider that the car in question is the McLaren F1. The F1 is largely considered as one of the finest supercars ever developed, despite already being 25 years old. The news came from a Road & Track report indicating McLaren’s MSO division does offer the temporary engine swap, allowing owners of the F1 to continue driving their cars even if the car’s original engine is being repaired or rebuilt at MSO’s factory. Whether owners actually drive their F1s with the loaner engine installed is a separate issue entirely. Some might opt to not risk any potential issues incurred by having a loaner engine in place. Remember, despite the assurance that McLaren still has plenty of original parts and upgrades for the F1, a simple knock or issue on the supercar could spiral into a messy financial black hole for the owner. Maintenance costs run ridiculously high with the F1 and the risk of issues arising is a cause for concern.
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Toyota’s Doubling Down On The C-HR With Massive List Of Options And Accessories
Toyota is probably not going to admit this off the bat, but all signs do point to the new C-HR crossover being one of the company’s most important models in recent years. Not only is the C-HR set to become available in three different trims – Icon, Excel, Dynamic – but it’s also the recipient of one of the most extensive lists of accessories and options that have ever been offered on any one of Toyota’s models. They say that a customer’s ability to personalize a car is one of the most important offerings an automaker can have these days. Judging by a number of options Toyota is dropping on the C-HR, that statement at least holds true for the new crossover.
In addition to the three trim options that are available for the C-HR, Toyota is also offering as many as 20 accessory packs and up to 200 unique add-ons for customers in the U.K. Those numbers aren’t exaggerated either because a visit to Toyota U.K.’s new online configurator reveals all these options, allowing customers the unprecedented opportunity to specifically choose which add-on or accessory they’d want to fit into the C-HR. The range of accessories covers so much ground that Toyota even has four segments – Style, Protection, Technology, and Lifestyle – that group them together depending on what category they belong in. From aero kits and foldable baby seats to storage boxes and DVD systems, Toyota spared no expense in giving potential customers of the C-HR to treat the crossover, relatively at least, as their own personal blank canvas.
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Sourcing Parts for Your Classic Nissan is About to Get Easier
Owning a classic car, regardless of make and model, can be a very rewarding thing. On the flip side, it can also be very frustrating if you happen to need a replacement part that’s not made anymore, or only available in the aftermarket. The latter of which can be pretty hit and miss, as oftentimes aftermarket parts for classic cars are far from OE standards and will either fail early on or potentially lead to damaging your baby. Well, if you own a classic Nissan, things are about to get a little easier, as it has just announced a new “Heritage Parts Program.” This new program will operate as a new division of Nismo and will kick things off by offering a whole host of OE spare parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R. Nissan has said the program will expand to other classic performance models but has yet to elaborate on what models will be next.
This move puts Nissan into a group of elite manufacturers like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and even BMW — all of which offer similar programs for their classic cars as well. It’s likely that the next cars added to this program will be the R33 and R34 skyline as well, and hopefully, we’ll see support for models like the Fairlady Z or 300zx, Pulsar GTi-R, and the Primera GT, among others. There’s no word on whether or not this program will be available to those in the U.S., but considering there’s a decent market for older imported skylines here in the U.S. (thanks to U.S. import laws that force us to wait what seems like a lifetime,) I would have to say that at least certain parts offered under this new program will eventually be available here. If not, you can always overnight parts from Japan, right?
Cummins Jumps Into Crate Engine Market
For decades now, folks wanting to power their project vehicles with a Cummins turbodiesel were left calling scrap yards or searching for a cheap donor vehicle. Thankfully Cummins is making another option with the launch of its Cummins Repower program. The legendary turbodiesel maker will soon begin offering brand new engines directly to customers.
Cummins is kicking off its Repower program with the R2.8 turbodiesel. It’s a 2.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 160 horsepower at 3,200 rpm and 267 pound-feet at 1,600 rpm. The package comes complete with the new engine, wiring harnesses, engine control module, and accelerator pedal.
The R2.8 has been on the market for several years now and has already become a go-to engine for Jeeps and other lightweight vehicles. It only weighs 503 pounds, so it’s not too much heavier than most stock engines. A Chevy small block V-8 weights roughly the same. Customers aren’t limited to off-road only applications, though, as the Cummins is certified as 50-state legal.
What’s more, a Jeep TJ with the R2.8 swap reportedly can double, or in some cases, triple its fuel economy. That would go a long way towards making the Cummins pay for itself. Unfortunately, Cummins has not released pricing at this point. Sales are slotted to being in early 2017, so that information should become available soon.
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Ford Offers Power Upgrades For EcoBoost And V-8 Mustangs
The sixth-generation Ford Mustang will soon receive a facelift for the 2018 model, which may also bring a bit more power to the rear wheels, but until that happens, you can add more oomph to the existing pony car via Ford Performance Parts. Specifically, FoMoCo’s aftermarket division is now offering power upgrades for both the 2.3-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V-8 engines and the good news is that they are legal in all 50 states and won’t void your car’s warranty.
So what do these upgrades have to offer?
First up, the EcoBoost performance calibration kit boosts peak horsepower and torque by 25 horses and 70 pound-feet, respectively. When applied to the drivetrain, it gives the Mustang EcoBoost a total output of 335 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. That’s only 10 pound-feet less than the stock, V-8-powered Mustang GT! The EcoBoost also benefits from substantial gains throughout the powerband, including a 100-horsepower increase at 6,000 rpm. This kit, which includes a cold air intake and a Pro Cal 3 calibration interface, costs only $699.
Moving over to the Mustang GT, it receives a trio of power packages for its V-8 engine, marking the first time Ford has offered more than one performance calibration for a single mill. The first pack features a unique performance calibration and high-flow air filter, which delivers peak gains of 13 horsepower and 16 pound-feet of torque for a new output of 448 horses and 416 pound-feet. The second kit includes a cold air intake, 87-millimeter throttle body, and an intake adapter from the Shelby GT350 Mustang. This one adds 21 horsepower and 24 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a final output of 456 horses and 424 pound-feet.
Finally, the third power pack includes all of the above, but also moves the redline up to 7,500 rpm. When this kit is installed, the V-8’s power jumps to 472 horsepower, but torque sees a mild increase of only five pound-feet over the standard model. However, the extended powerband should deliver loads of fun behind the wheel, especially during track days.
All three power packages for the V-8 also bring a unique no-lift-shift feature to manual transmission-equipped vehicles. This feature enables drivers to maximize acceleration by allowing shifts without lifting off the throttle. As far as pricing goes, the first power pack costs $599, the second one fetches $949, while the third bundle comes in at $2,395.
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