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Archive for the ‘muscle cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Corvette ZR1 Convertible by Xtomi

Chevy just released its new Corvette ZR1, and the spec sheet is just this side of insane. All told, this thing is the fastest, most powerful production Corvette ever created, with a thumping supercharged V-8 under the hood, advanced adaptive suspension components and tuning, and more wing than an international airport. All good stuff, no doubt, but what happens when you take off the roof? To find out, X-Tomi Design put together a rendering, and long story short, we approve.

The ZR1 convertible bears the same upgraded front fascia as its hardtop sibling, with aggressive, angular front intakes, a large splitter, and a taller hood to accommodate the bigger blower underneath. The wheels, fender vents, and enormous rear wing are also a carryover. Up top, though, you’ll notice the expanded headroom. If we’ve got your attention, then you’re in luck, because word has it a factory-made ZR1 convertible will break cover soon, possibly alongside the coupe version later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible by X-Tomi Design.

What Makes The 2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible By X-Tomi Design Special


2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible by Xtomi - image 745417

While overall we like the rendering, we can’t help but point out that it looks a little silly with that carbon fiber monstrosity hanging off the tail – indeed, cutting the roof off the ZR1 would do a good job in screwing up its formidable aerodynamics package. Chevy says the coupe makes close to 1,000 pounds of extra stick at speed, a vital feature when considering the ZR1’s 210-mph top speed. So what effect would a convertible have on performance?


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744527
“Cutting the roof off the ZR1 would do a good job in screwing up its formidable aerodynamics package.”

Luckily, recent spy shots seem to reveal that the factory convertible will get a few tweaks, including a less aggressive wing in back. The rest of it should be identical to the hardtop version, with as much as 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque on tap from a boosted 6.2-liter V-8. Magnetic ride suspension and a seven-speed manual transmission round it out, although we’re guessing convertible lovers will instead go for the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744531
“The real question is how a roofless ZR1 will hang on the track.”

The real question is how the roofless ZR1 will hang on the track. The aero will likely be much less effective, and with no top, the car’s torsional rigidity will take a nosedive, affecting how it corners as a result. Basically, it’ll be pretty sloppy, especially with all that tire that’s stuffed in the corners. Chevy’s engineers might counter this with additional bracing in the flanks, but that’ll inevitably increase the car’s curb weight, once again hampering performance.

Either way, we’ll keep an eye out for any further developments. What do you think? Does a ZR1 convertible make sense to you, or does it neuter this latest ultimate ‘Vette? Let us know in the comments!

Drivetrain Specifications

Type: LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material: Cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: Cast aluminum
Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery: Direct and port injection
Horsepower 755 HP @ 6,300 RPM (SAE certified)
Torque 715 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM (SAE certified)
Transmission 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match
8-speed paddle-shaft automatic
Fuel economy city/highway 15/22 mpg (manual)
13/23 mpg (automatic)
Front Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
Rear Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
Steering Type: Variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
Turning Circle (ft. / m): 39.2 / 11.6
Brake Type: Front and rear power-assisted discs with two-piece carbon ceramic matrix rotors; fixed six-piston aluminum front calipers and fixed four-piston aluminum rear calipers
Brake Rotor Size (in / mm): Front –15.5 / 394
Rear –15.3 / 388
Wheel Size: Front: 19-inch x 10.5-inch
Rear: 20-inch x 12-inch
Tire Size: Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat (std.)
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (ZTK)
Front: P285/30ZR19
Rear: P335/25ZR20

References

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

Chevy Corvette Stingray


2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - image 526921

Read our full review of the 2014 – 2017 Corvette Stingray

Latest Corvette News


1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 - image 639510

Or, read our full review on the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427/430 L88

PostHeaderIcon Ford Shelby Mustang 1000

2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000

It’s been only four three model years since the sixth-generation Ford Mustang arrived in showrooms, and the pony has already spawned an impressive number of versions wearing the Shelby badge. Although the iconic GT500 has yet to be revived, Ford has already launched the GT350, the Super Snake, GT-H, and GTE, just to name a few. The GT500 may still be a year away, but sixth-gen Mustang, but Shelby just launched yet another performance model. This time around it’s the Shelby 1000, the brand’s most menacing creation in terms of output and straight-line speed.

The Shelby 1000 is closely related to the GT500, as the first model to wear this badge, launched in 2011, was based on the fifth-generation GT500. Offered in both street and 1000 S/C track versions, the first iteration of the car was discontinued in 2012. The 1000 returned in 2013, once again based on the GT500, but now with the 5.8-liter V-8 instead of the old 5.4-liter unit under the hood. Both the street package and the S/C track package were offered. Also available as an upgrade for the GT500, the package was discontinued in 2014, after only two years on the market. The new Shelby 1000 is the first such model based on the sixth-generation Mustang, so everything about it is new compared to previous iterations. Let’s have a closer look at the car in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Shelby Mustang 1000.

Exterior

  • New front fascia with larger intakes
  • Bulged engine hood
  • Wider fenders
  • Fatter wheels
  • Sporty side skirts
  • “Shelby 1000” graphics
  • Trunk lid spoiler
  • New diffuser

2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742932
“The wider fenders make way for fatter tires, but also give the car a more menacing stance”

Ever since it was introduced in 2011, the Shelby 1000 made a name for itself as the most aggressive road-legal production version of the Mustang in terms of exterior design. The new model is no exception from this rule and looks even more menacing on the styling cues of the facelifted, sixth-generation ’Stang.

As usual, it sports wider than usual fenders. These were added to make way for fatter tires, but also to give the car a wider stance for increased stability and a more aggressive look. Shelby redesigned both the nose and the bumper. The grille now features a honeycomb mesh and a trapezoidal element at the bottom with “Shelby” lettering inside.


2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742933
“Around back, there's a new spoiler atop the trunk lid and a more aggressive diffuser below”

Below, we can see larger side cooling ducts, a more aggressive lower grille, and a bigger splitter. The hood is new as well, now sporting a massive center bulge and big vents, both added to accommodate the supercharged engine.

Moving onto the sides, we can see a new vent on the front fender, black side sill extensions, and “Shelby 1000” lettering on the lower door area. The standard Mustang wheels have been ditched for 20-inch, forged aluminum rollers with a twin-five-spoke design. Around back, there’s a new spoiler atop the trunk lid and a new, more aggressive diffuser with wide exhaust pipes below the bumper. As usual, the black panel between the taillights comes with “Shelby” lettering.

Interior

  • Illuminated sill plates
  • Katzkin leather
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Four-point roll-bar and harness
  • Autometer gauges
  • CSM badging
  • Custom floor mats

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702221

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“The front seats are wrapped in Katzkin leather, while the rear seats have been removed”

Shelby has yet to release interior shots of the 1000, but it did post a list of upgrades it made to the sixth-generation Mustang. Open the door and you’ll be greeted by special, illuminated Shelby sill plates. You’ll notice almost immediately that the front seats are wrapped in Katzkin leather. Because this car was built with racing in mind, the rear seats have been removed and a four-point roll-bar and harness system was added for enhanced safety. Other highlights include an instrument with Shelby by Autometer gauges, CSM badging on the dashboard, and custom floor mats.

In addition to all of the above, customers will benefit from the sixth-gen Mustang’s redesigned interior. Despite this model being almost four years old as of 2017, I’m mentioning it because this is the first Shelby 1000 based on it. So the new 1000 will have quite a few features to stand out by compared to previous versions of the supercharged coupe, including a redesigned dashboard with a more modern design, fresh technology, softer materials, and a bit more room.


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702222

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“In terms of new-for-2018 tech, there's a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and Ford SYNC Connect with FordPass”

Those who opt to have the Shelby 1000 update on the facelifted, 2018-model-year ’Stang will also benefit from hand-made contrast stitching, padded knee bolsters, and aluminum door handles, rings, and bezels. You can even have a heated steering wheel if you check the option on Ford’s ordering list.

In terms of new-for-2018 tech, there’s a 12-inch digital instrument cluster with a personalized LCD and Ford SYNC Connect with FordPass. Available as an option, the latter is an app that enables drivers to start, lock, unlock, and locate their car using smartphones.

Drivetrain

  • 5.2-liter Alluminator V-8 engine
  • 4.5-liter Shelby by Whipple supercharger
  • Upgraded new, manual transmission
  • Shelby exhaust system
  • Short throw shifter
  • 1,500-horsepower rated axles
  • Penske adjustable shocks and springs
  • Ford Performance sway bars
  • Brembo braking system
  • Frame strengthening
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires

2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang - image 643647

Note: 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang pictured here.

“The 1000 package ditches the 5.0-liter V-8 that comes with the Mustang GT, replaced by a larger, 5.2-liter unit”

As it is the case with most Shelby muscle cars, most of the upgrades are hidden under the engine hood. The 1000 update ditches the 5.0-liter V-8 that comes with the Mustang GT, replaced by a larger, 5.2-liter unit. If it sounds familiar it’s because Shelby is using the same engine found in the cool GT350. However, while the GT350 is a naturally aspirated car, the Shelby 1000 also gets a 4.5-liter, Whipple-designed supercharger.

The assembly also gets new radiator, heat exchanger, oil cooling, and an aluminum cooling tank, as well as a Shelby exhaust with long tube headers. It mates to a new manual transmission with revised cooling parts and a short throw shifter. There’s also a one-piece drive shaft, a truple disk clutch, and a Shelby fuel pickup system. Driveline upgrades are rounded off by an oil recovery system, an ATI vibration dampener, and a high capacity oil pan.

“The new axles are rated at a whopping 1,500 horsepower”

The new axles are rated at a whopping 1,500 horsepower. Speaking of which, Shelby has yet to announce the power rating of the 1000 model, but if the past is any indication, you can specify as much horsepower as the axles can handle. In this case, 1,500 horsepower. It’s worth noting that the first-gen model developed 920 horses in road-legal specs, while the second-gen car was good for a whopping 1,200 horsepower. Assuming that Shelby will offer two power ratings, expect at least 1,000 horsepower from the base model.

But the Shelby 1000 isn’t just about engine upgrades. The chassis has been heavily modified too and now includes revised front spindle and control arms, new rear lower control arms, Penske adjustable shocks and springs, a caster camber plates and adjustable sway bar link, Ford Performance sway bars, Ford Performance half shafts, a Brembo brake system, and further frame strengthening. The wheels, which feature hardened studs, are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires for enhanced grip.

“It's safe to assume that it will hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 2.5 seconds”

Of course, you’re probably asking how fast this car is in a straight line. It’s difficult to tell without actual specs, but it should be the quickest Shelby ever created. If you really need a figure, it’s safe to assume that it will hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 2.5 seconds. Actually, it could be almost as quick as the Dodge Challenger Demon, which needs only 2.3 ticks.

Interestingly enough, Shelby claims that the new 1000 is an entirely different car compared to its predecessors, as it has been designed to be the “ultimate road course warrior.” But this mission was far from easy, according to the firm, which said that modifying the sixth-generation Mustang was far more complication due to the independent rear suspension system and the new platform.

“Since Ford dropped the solid axle rear end, we had to take an entirely new approach,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby vice president and head of development. “Not only did we build strength into the car with components like heavy-duty halfshafts and CV joints, we revised the entire suspension by using tubular adjustable upper and lower control arms, as well as fully adjustable coilovers. We then added 10 and 12 inch forged wheels with sticky 20 inch rubber to maximize traction with this high level of power.”
While the previous generation Shelby 1000 was offered in both street and off-road configuration, a decision was made not to pursue emissions compliance on the new model, Shelby added, which makes the newest generation 1000 “purely a track star.”

Prices


2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742305

While the new Shelby 1000 package was advertised on the facelifted, 2018 Mustang, the upgrade is available for any sixth-generation Mustang GT. Production will be limited to only 50 units per year, but Shelby didn’t say whether this edition will last more than the previous ones, which were around for only two model years each. Like any Shelby out there, each car will be documented in the official Shelby Registry. Pricing for the package is set at $169,995, not including the Ford Mustang GT. Add the base car, which retails from $35,095 before options, and the Shelby 1000 will cost you a whopping $205,090!

Competition

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 713286

When it comes to massive horsepower and drag-ready underpinnings, the Challenger Demon is the best competitor I can think of. Developed with fast quarter mile runs in mind, the Demon is a development of the Hellcat, but with significant upgrades in just about any department. The Demon is a Hellcat on steroids on the outside, featuring a new splitter, wider fender flares, and a beefed-up engine hood. Inside, the Demon is again similar to the Hellcat, but benefits from new seats with “Demon” logos, a bespoke instrument cluster, extra performance apps, and optional leather. The standard model comes with just the driver seat, but options include two- and five-seat layouts. Power comes from a souped-up supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 that cranks out horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque. It might not sound like much compared to the Shelby 1000, but the Demon needs only 2.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. However, this figure is achieved when the car is equipped with radial drag tires and used in Drag Mode. The Demon is also the fastest quarter-mile production car with a 9.65-second run at 140 mph. It’s so quick that the NHRA actually issued a ban, as regulations state that a car that’s quicker than 9.99 seconds on the drag strip (at more than 135 mph) requires extra safety equipment and a racing license. This coupe is also fitted with a large number of upgrades developed to sustain the insane performance, including the SRT Power Chiller, TransBrake, and Bilstein shocks tuned for drag racing, just to name a few. Pricing starts from $84,995 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination), which makes it $20,800 more expensive than the Hellcat, but significantly more affordable than the Shelby 1000.

Read our full review of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Hennessey Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist”


Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey - image 715078

Built by Texas-based tuning company Hennessey, “The Exorcist” is not a factory-built car like the Demon, but it’s put together in the same way as the Shelby 1000. And the outrageous power and its nickname make it a suitable rival for the other cars in this comparison. Built around the latest Chevy Camaro ZL1, “The Exorcist” has a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 1,000 horsepower and 966 pound-feet of torque and rides on drag slicks. The 0-to-60 mph sprint comes in “under three seconds” while the quarter-mile happens in “less than 10 seconds,” which should be pretty close to the Shelby 1000. The good news is that even though it’s not a factory vehicle, the upgrade can be ordered through Chevrolet dealerships and comes with a two-year/24,000-mile warranty. What’s more, the 10-speed automatic transmission is joined by a six-speed manual, whereas the Demon can’t be had with a stick. Pricing for this package starts from $55,000, not including the car, which means that the sticker actually begins from $116,140. Get all the options and “The Exorcist” will set you back a whopping $142,080. Far from affordable, but definitely not as expensive as the Shelby 1000.

Read our full story on the Hennessey Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist.”

Conclusion


2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742306

The Shelby 1000 is far from being among the brand’s most iconic nameplates. Because it’s still relatively new, having been first introduced in 2011, it will be overshadowed by the GT350, GT500 and the Super Snake for many years to come. On the other, I have to give the 1000 credit for being the most extreme Shelby ever built. And with new axles rated at 1,500 horsepower, the new Shelby 1000 will be more powerful than ever. Granted, there’s a chance it won’t be as quick as the Challenger SRT Demon on the drag strip, but it will put any production muscle car and most aftermarket upgrades to shame in terms of horsepower. And needless to say, it doesn’t look bad either. Put a big wing on that thing, and you’ll have a full-fledged race car on your hands. The only downside here is that the Shelby 1000 is very expensive. You can buy a Porsche 911 GT3 and still have some $60,000 to spend on fuel and weekends at the Nurburgring.

  • Leave it
    • Likely not as quick as the Demon
    • Very, very expensive

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang - image 671847

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang.

PostHeaderIcon AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas is a great event if you like aftermarket car upgrades and various equipment for SUVs and pickup trucks, but sometimes it’s a nice place to find restomods. Ringbrothers is one of the companies that bring one or two new restomods at each edition, and needless to say, it’s doing a great job at combining classic designs with modern features and drivetrains. Well, Ringbrothers did it again this year, but unlike previous events, the 2017 SEMA Show hosted the public debut of a truly special car. While most tuners usually go with Fords, Chevys, and Dodges for their restomod projects, Ringbrothers picked a 1972 AMC Javelin this time around. Yup, this underrated competitor for the Big Three muscle cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s got a complete makeover with all the bells and whistles Ringbrothers is known for.

Granted, choosing a Javelin for such a project may seem like a weird choice with much more popular muscle cars around, but it’s great to see that big companies like Ringbrothers is trying something different for a change. And needless to say, the Defiant! turned out great. It’s not only the coolest AMC restomod yet, but it also puts most projects from this year’s SEMA Show to shame. Keep reading for the full details.

Continue reading for the full story.

What makes the AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers special?

  • Carbon-fiber front fenders
  • Bulged hood
  • Aggressive front bumper
  • Side-exiting exhaust
  • Black roof
  • Wider rear fenders
  • Custom rear diffuser
  • Machine-turned instrument cluster
  • New upholstery
  • Modified Dodge Challenger Hellcat engine
  • 1,100 horsepower!
  • Four-speed transmission
  • Modern subframe and suspension

“It's a Javelin AMX on steroids. Brutal and modern”

Much like any Ringbrothers creation, the Defiant! is a significant makeover of the stock vehicle. It’s a Javelin AMX on steroids. Brutal and modern.

Most of the car’s notable features, such as the round headlamps, the pointy grille, and the arched fenders are still there, but everything else from the windshield to the nose has been redesigned. Arguably the most interesting fact here is that Ringbrothers moved the front wheels and arches forward by 6.5 inches in order to eliminate the original car’s long overhang. But the firm didn’t modify the stock fenders. These were removed and replaced by custom-made, carbon-fiber ones. The bumper was also replaced with a more menacing element that reminds of modern race cars. Finally, the engine hood gained a massive bulge to make room for the supercharged engine.

The remaining side body panels were modified too. While the rear fenders became wider, the side skirts now feature side-exiting exhaust pipes. The A-pillars and the roof are finished in black, just like the upper front fascia and the center section of the engine hood. The wheels are new too and feature a twin-five-spoke, dual-color design with high-performance tires.


2017 AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers - image 742608
“The stock front fenders were replaced by custom-made, carbon-fiber ones”

Modifications are rather subdued around back, where the ducktail spoiler, taillights, and bumper were kept in stock form. However, Ringbrothers did add a two-piece diffuser and a new emblem between the thin and long taillights. Rounding off the custom Javelin AMG is a sparkly gold color that keeps some of the car’s classic vibe alive.

Interior changes aren’t as radical, but the instrument cluster gained a machine-turned metal finish. There’s also new leather upholstery, modern floor mats, and slight changes to the steering wheel and center console. Classy!


2017 AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers - image 742611
“Interior changes aren't as radical, but the instrument cluster gained a machine-turned metal finish”

Under the hood, the AMX is no longer a Javelin. While the 1972 model was powered by a naturally aspirated V-8, this modern rendition draws its juice from a modified version of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V-8. A bit blasphemous for AMC loyalists I guess, but hey, this is a restomod after all. The V-8 is topped with a 4.5-liter supercharger that raises the power from the Hellcat-standard 707 horsepower to a whopping 1,100 horses. All that oomph is channeled to the wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission connected to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber driveshaft. Six-piston brakes provide stopping power.


2017 AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers - image 742613
“The modified Hellcat engine cranks out a whopping 1,100 horsepower”

The muscle car rides on a custom front subframe originally designed for a Camaro and fitted with modern sway bars and RideTech suspension components. A Chevrolet 12-bolt rear end is mounted on a four-link suspension designed by the Ringsbrothers.

The original Javelin might not have been that impressive compared to the competition, but this thing is something else. But as it is the case with Ringbrothers builds, the Defiant! will remain unique. But I’m sure they wouldn’t say no to another AMC-based project should you want one.

References


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

Unveiled in 2013, the sixth-generation Mustang marked the beginning of a new era for the iconic pony car, one that brought an independent rear suspension for the first time and revived the turbocharged ’Stang after a long hiatus. Revised for 2018, it received a 10-speed transmission, also a first, and a performance package that made the GT version the quickest in history with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of fewer than four seconds. But Ford didn’t stop there, and after just a few months it launched the Performance Pack Level 2 for the range-topping GT model.

Unveiled at the SEMA Show, the place where the world’s most spectacular aftermarket upgrades are introduced to the world, Level 2 is essentially an update to the first Performance Pack. It includes everything that comes with the latter but adds redesigned aero elements front and rear, new tires and wheels, and new suspension parts and settings. The purpose of the Level 2 upgrade is to make the Mustang GT even faster than it already is and turn it into a better competitor for German coupes such as the BMW M4. Also, the Mustang GT with Performance Pack Level 2 may be a solid proposition to the Porsche 911 Carrera. Which is a big achievement for a pony car. Find our more about that below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2.

What makes the Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 special

  • New front splitter and rear spoiler
  • New lightweight wheels
  • High-performance tires
  • Custom graphics
  • Optional Recaro seats
  • Includes Performance Pack Level 1
  • Custom-tuned MagneRide dampers
  • Quicker steering calibration
  • Stiffer stabilizer bars
  • Stiffer springs

2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740006
“The new splitter is based on that of the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca”

The Performance Pack Level 2 may not do much to alter the Mustang GT’s appearance at first glance, but look closer and you’ll see a new splitter below the front bumper. Designed around the splitter of the iconic Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, it’s attached to the underside to fan out as much as three inches around the corners. This creates about 24 pounds of extra downforce at 80 mph, helping give the car enhanced grip. To balance the downforce, a subtle rear spoiler was added atop the decklid.

The spoiler was created with a 3D printer, which enabled quicker turnaround times, eliminating much of the time wasted on the usual trial-and-error process. What’s more, both the splitter and the spoiler were designed by Mustang veteran Jonathan Gesek, also a
former aerodynamics specialist at NASA.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740008
“The rear spoiler was created with a 3D printer”

Other features that set it apart from the first Performance Package model are the split-fitment, 19-inch aluminum wheels and the lowered ride height. The rollers were designed by longtime tire and wheel engineer Chauncy Eggleston. Wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire, the 19-inch wheels help provide improved steering and handling response.

Finally, the package is rounded off by black detailing on the splitter and spoiler, the tire spat on the back edge of the rear wheel wells, which are exclusive to this upgrade.

Everything remains unchanged inside the cabin, but customers who opt for Performance Pack Level 2 can select Recaro front seats in either leather or cloth.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740007
“The bespoke wheels are wrapped in high-performance Michelin tires”

There are no changes to the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, but the unit already benefits from the extra oomph that comes with the facelift. Specifically, it cranks out 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, a 25-horsepower and 20 pound-feet improvement over the previous Mustang GT. The package is available exclusively with a manual transmission, so forget about that new 10-speed automatic transmission if you want this upgrade.

Before we move further, it’s important to note that the Performance Pack Level 2 includes all of the features of Performance Pack Level 1. That’s a unique chassis and antilock brake tuning, unique stability control and electric power-assisted steering, Brembo six-piston front brake calipers with larger rotors, a K-brace, larger radiator, silver-painted strut tower brace, and a Torsen rear differential with 3.73 axle ratio.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740013
“Custom-tuned MagneRide dampers and quicker steering calibration provide better response”

In addition to that, it sports custom-tuned MagneRide dampers and quicker steering calibration for better response, new stabilizer bars, and stiffer springs. The rear stabilizer bar is 67-percent stiffer, while the rear bar is 12-percent firmer. Likewise, the Level 2 bundle has 20-percent stiffer front springs and 13-percent stiffer rear spring. These updates provide a more stable ride around corners with less body roll. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, usually found on high-profile sports cars, are 1.5 inches wider than those offered with the Performance Pack Level 1. They provide a firmer grip and put the car more than a half-inch closer to the ground.

There’s no word on performance yet, but this performance pack could make the Mustang GT a tenth-second quicker than it already is. A 3.8-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph seems doable and makes the GT quicker than a lot of significantly more expensive alternatives made in Germany.

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet has launched its 2018 COPO Camaro with an all-new, 302 cubic-inch V-8 and “Supercrush” orange paint with black racing stripes just like the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, which debuted alongside it. Both cars will make their first public appearance next week at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. And, while anyone can order the Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the COPO Camaro is a race-bred monster built exclusively for the dragstrip and limited to 69 examples per year. Hopeful buyers have to win Chevy’s lottery for the chance at COPO keys.

The COPO Camaro has a rich history that dates back to 1969 when Illinois Chevy dealer Fred Gibb ordered 50 Camaros with the all-aluminum ZL-1 V-8 from Chevy’s central office production order system, hints the COPO name. Basically, these were special-order cars that proved insanely quick. Soon, 19 other COPO Camaros in similar configurations were ordered by other eagle-eyed dealerships. Yenko Chevrolet also got in on the action, ordering 201 COPO Camaros with a 427 cubic-inch iron-block V-8 in 1969. Sadly, the original COPO Camaros were a one-year-only phenomenon – that is, until Chevy decided to build its own COPO Camaro with its all-new, fifth-generation Camaro for 2012. Since then, the COPO tradition has lived on into the Camaro’s sixth generation and into 2018. To see what changes Chevy has made for this year, keep reading.

Continue for more information on the 2018 COPO Camaro.

Exterior

  • Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Package
  • Supercrush orange paint & black stripes
  • Purely for drag racing
  • Limited to 69 examples

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876
“The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges”

To understand why the 2018 COPO Camaro looks the way it does, we’ve got to check out the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition. This car honors the long history between the Camaro and the famed toy car builder, Hot Wheels, by throwing on a highly visible paint color, racing stripes, unique 20-inch Satin Graphite wheels, Hot Wheels badges on the front fenders, and a slew of added Hot Wheels details on the inside. It can be had in both coupe and convertible form and with either the 2LT or 2SS trim packages. That means it’s available in only the highest trim, but with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the 3.6-liter V-6, or the 6.2-liter V-8.

The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a similar exterior treatment that includes the bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges. But that’s where the similarities end between it and the road-going Camaro. The COPO wears an airbrushed-style copy of the “Hot Wheels 50” logo on its rear haunches, has a tall ram-air hood, and drag racing equipment that includes skinny front tires massive rear slicks, wheelie bars, and a parachute. You’ll also notice the missing side mirrors and low-buck headlights. Those changes are meant to save weight. There’s no denying the COPO is meant to live on the drag strip.

Interior

  • NHRA-certified to race
  • Gutted cabin for reduced mass
  • Pro-level gauges and controls

2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740872

Note: Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition pictured here.

Speaking of saving weight, the COPO Camaro’s cockpit barely resembles the production car. The dashboard, steering wheel, and door panels are about the only stock pieces still in place. NHRA-rated racing seats and five-point harness replace the standard seats. A full roll cage keeps the driver and front passenger protected. Controls include a set of aftermarket analog gauges, an A-pillar-mounted tachometer, a shift light, and a rocker switches in place of the infotainment screen that controls the ignition, fuel pump, radiator fans, and the starter motor. A ratchet shifter controls the TH400 three-speed automatic transmission and beside that is a lever to release the parachute. It’s all business inside the COPO.

Drivetrain

  • New 302 cubic-inch V-8 built for high revs
  • 427 cubic-inch V-8 with 470 horsepower
  • Supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 with 580
  • Quarter-mile times in mid-8s at 160 mph
  • TH400 three-speed automatic
  • Solid rear axle

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740877
“The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options”

The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options. There’s the 427 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter V-8, the supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 (5.7 liters), and the new 302 cubic-inch V-8. The new 4.9-liter replaces the 410-horsepower, LT1-based 6.2-liter found in the 2016 and 2017 COPOs. Technically, the 4.9-liter is a de-stroked 6.2-liter LT1 that’s build to hit higher revs. Chevy didn’t get into the exact details, but expect to see the 302’s redline well past 7,000 rpm. Likewise, horsepower and torque figures haven’t been published, but expect it to be competitive with the outgoing 6.2-liter.

The returning 427 is also naturally aspirated and is based on the LS7 V-8 found in the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28. In this application, it should make 470 horsepower. The supercharged 5.7-liter is an LSX small block race mill with a 2.9-liter roots-type blower force-feeding it cool air. Last year, the engine made an NHRA-certified 580 horsepower and boasted a redline of 8,000 rpm. That’s no joke.
In fact, the 350-powered COPO will do the quarter-mile in the mid-eights at a blistering 160 mph.

“Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter”

Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter. Super strong with crazy fasts shifts, the turbo-hydramatic 400 is a legendary transmission that’s been used for decades.

And unlike the standard sixth-generation Camaro with its independent rear end, the COPO uses a solid rear axle with a multi-link suspension system. The front suspension is also adjustable to suit track conditions. That just goes to show, sometimes old technology works just fine.

The COPO is designed to compete in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator Class.

Pricing


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 741105

The exact pricing for the 2018 COPO Camaro has not been announced, but 2016 and 2017 COPOs sold for between $90,000 and $110,000, depending on what options were ordered. Expect those prices to continue, though Chevy is likely to charge more for the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary paint job.

On the road-legal 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the package adds $4,995 to the MSRP and is limited to 2,500 cars.

Competition

2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet


2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet - image 653934

Ford is in on the NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock class action, too. The 2016 Cobra Jet is a special-built drag car with 1,000 horsepower from a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that shares nearly 75 percent of its internal parts with the stock Mustang GT. It has a solid rear axle, massive drag slicks, and the all-important parachute. Inside, the cabin is stripped of all unnecessary parts and fitted with a roll cage and race seats. Basically, it’s Ford’s direct answer to the COPO Camaro. Ford even limited the Cobra Jet to 50 examples. Sadly, 2016 is the most recent example Ford has produced.

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 729184

The Demon has gotten plenty of press over the last year thanks to Dodge’s incredibly slow yet methodically planned rollout. The car was well worth the wait, though, thanks to its insane level of go-fast drag strip technology. Its powered by a modified Hellcat engine that displaces the same 6.2 liters of Hemi goodness, but with 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when ran on race fuel. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the same ZF gearbox found in the standard Challenger Hellcat. Dodge somehow makes this four-seater hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.

The best part, of course, is the Demon is completely street legal and comes with a VIN – something no COPO or Cobra Jet can boast. Better yet, Dodge is building 3,000 of them for 2017. The price is even comparatively reasonable at $86,090.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Conclusion


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876

The 2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is a helluva car, though only if you’re planning on living life a quarter-mile at a time. Vin Diesel has met his match. The COPO offers a factory-built dragster to anybody with six figures in their bank account and enough luck to win the independently moderated and randomly drawn lottery. Remember, only 69 COPOs are built each year.

And should you want your Camaro to do more than drive straight, Chevrolet also has you covered with the Camaro GT4.R track car. This ZL1 1LE-based GT4 car is designed to out-turn, out-stop, and out-accelerate the best from Germany, all for $259,000.

  • Leave it
    • Not street legal
    • Verly limited production

References

Chevrolet Camaro


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740868

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition.


2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 653876

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet has launched its 2018 COPO Camaro with an all-new, 302 cubic-inch V-8 and “Supercrush” orange paint with black racing stripes just like the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, which debuted alongside it. Both cars will make their first public appearance next week at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. And, while anyone can order the Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the COPO Camaro is a race-bred monster built exclusively for the dragstrip and limited to 69 examples per year. Hopeful buyers have to win Chevy’s lottery for the chance at COPO keys.

The COPO Camaro has a rich history that dates back to 1969 when Illinois Chevy dealer Fred Gibb ordered 50 Camaros with the all-aluminum ZL-1 V-8 from Chevy’s central office production order system, hints the COPO name. Basically, these were special-order cars that proved insanely quick. Soon, 19 other COPO Camaros in similar configurations were ordered by other eagle-eyed dealerships. Yenko Chevrolet also got in on the action, ordering 201 COPO Camaros with a 427 cubic-inch iron-block V-8 in 1969. Sadly, the original COPO Camaros were a one-year-only phenomenon – that is, until Chevy decided to build its own COPO Camaro with its all-new, fifth-generation Camaro for 2012. Since then, the COPO tradition has lived on into the Camaro’s sixth generation and into 2018. To see what changes Chevy has made for this year, keep reading.

Continue for more information on the 2018 COPO Camaro.

Exterior

  • Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Package
  • Supercrush orange paint & black stripes
  • Purely for drag racing
  • Limited to 69 examples

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876
“The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges”

To understand why the 2018 COPO Camaro looks the way it does, we’ve got to check out the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition. This car honors the long history between the Camaro and the famed toy car builder, Hot Wheels, by throwing on a highly visible paint color, racing stripes, unique 20-inch Satin Graphite wheels, Hot Wheels badges on the front fenders, and a slew of added Hot Wheels details on the inside. It can be had in both coupe and convertible form and with either the 2LT or 2SS trim packages. That means it’s available in only the highest trim, but with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the 3.6-liter V-6, or the 6.2-liter V-8.

The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a similar exterior treatment that includes the bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges. But that’s where the similarities end between it and the road-going Camaro. The COPO wears an airbrushed-style copy of the “Hot Wheels 50” logo on its rear haunches, has a tall ram-air hood, and drag racing equipment that includes skinny front tires massive rear slicks, wheelie bars, and a parachute. You’ll also notice the missing side mirrors and low-buck headlights. Those changes are meant to save weight. There’s no denying the COPO is meant to live on the drag strip.

Interior

  • NHRA-certified to race
  • Gutted cabin for reduced mass
  • Pro-level gauges and controls

2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740872

Note: Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition pictured here.

Speaking of saving weight, the COPO Camaro’s cockpit barely resembles the production car. The dashboard, steering wheel, and door panels are about the only stock pieces still in place. NHRA-rated racing seats and five-point harness replace the standard seats. A full roll cage keeps the driver and front passenger protected. Controls include a set of aftermarket analog gauges, an A-pillar-mounted tachometer, a shift light, and a rocker switches in place of the infotainment screen that controls the ignition, fuel pump, radiator fans, and the starter motor. A ratchet shifter controls the TH400 three-speed automatic transmission and beside that is a lever to release the parachute. It’s all business inside the COPO.

Drivetrain

  • New 302 cubic-inch V-8 built for high revs
  • 427 cubic-inch V-8 with 470 horsepower
  • Supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 with 580
  • Quarter-mile times in mid-8s at 160 mph
  • TH400 three-speed automatic
  • Solid rear axle

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740877
“The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options”

The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options. There’s the 427 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter V-8, the supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 (5.7 liters), and the new 302 cubic-inch V-8. The new 4.9-liter replaces the 410-horsepower, LT1-based 6.2-liter found in the 2016 and 2017 COPOs. Technically, the 4.9-liter is a de-stroked 6.2-liter LT1 that’s build to hit higher revs. Chevy didn’t get into the exact details, but expect to see the 302’s redline well past 7,000 rpm. Likewise, horsepower and torque figures haven’t been published, but expect it to be competitive with the outgoing 6.2-liter.

The returning 427 is also naturally aspirated and is based on the LS7 V-8 found in the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28. In this application, it should make 470 horsepower. The supercharged 5.7-liter is an LSX small block race mill with a 2.9-liter roots-type blower force-feeding it cool air. Last year, the engine made an NHRA-certified 580 horsepower and boasted a redline of 8,000 rpm. That’s no joke.
In fact, the 350-powered COPO will do the quarter-mile in the mid-eights at a blistering 160 mph.

“Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter”

Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter. Super strong with crazy fasts shifts, the turbo-hydramatic 400 is a legendary transmission that’s been used for decades.

And unlike the standard sixth-generation Camaro with its independent rear end, the COPO uses a solid rear axle with a multi-link suspension system. The front suspension is also adjustable to suit track conditions. That just goes to show, sometimes old technology works just fine.

The COPO is designed to compete in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator Class.

Pricing


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 741105

The exact pricing for the 2018 COPO Camaro has not been announced, but 2016 and 2017 COPOs sold for between $90,000 and $110,000, depending on what options were ordered. Expect those prices to continue, though Chevy is likely to charge more for the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary paint job.

On the road-legal 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the package adds $4,995 to the MSRP and is limited to 2,500 cars.

Competition

2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet


2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet - image 653934

Ford is in on the NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock class action, too. The 2016 Cobra Jet is a special-built drag car with 1,000 horsepower from a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that shares nearly 75 percent of its internal parts with the stock Mustang GT. It has a solid rear axle, massive drag slicks, and the all-important parachute. Inside, the cabin is stripped of all unnecessary parts and fitted with a roll cage and race seats. Basically, it’s Ford’s direct answer to the COPO Camaro. Ford even limited the Cobra Jet to 50 examples. Sadly, 2016 is the most recent example Ford has produced.

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 729184

The Demon has gotten plenty of press over the last year thanks to Dodge’s incredibly slow yet methodically planned rollout. The car was well worth the wait, though, thanks to its insane level of go-fast drag strip technology. Its powered by a modified Hellcat engine that displaces the same 6.2 liters of Hemi goodness, but with 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when ran on race fuel. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the same ZF gearbox found in the standard Challenger Hellcat. Dodge somehow makes this four-seater hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.

The best part, of course, is the Demon is completely street legal and comes with a VIN – something no COPO or Cobra Jet can boast. Better yet, Dodge is building 3,000 of them for 2017. The price is even comparatively reasonable at $86,090.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Conclusion


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876

The 2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is a helluva car, though only if you’re planning on living life a quarter-mile at a time. Vin Diesel has met his match. The COPO offers a factory-built dragster to anybody with six figures in their bank account and enough luck to win the independently moderated and randomly drawn lottery. Remember, only 69 COPOs are built each year.

And should you want your Camaro to do more than drive straight, Chevrolet also has you covered with the Camaro GT4.R track car. This ZL1 1LE-based GT4 car is designed to out-turn, out-stop, and out-accelerate the best from Germany, all for $259,000.

  • Leave it
    • Not street legal
    • Verly limited production

References

Chevrolet Camaro


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740868

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition.


2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 653876

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang RTR

2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Part of the Ford Mustang’s appeal lies in its ability to be easily customized. We’ve seen so many versions of the ‘Stang over the years, and there are a handful of them that are head and shoulders above the rest, including the Ford Mustang RTR. Created by Ford in partnership with Pro Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., the Mustang RTR stands tall as one of the sickest interpretations of the iconic muscle car. It’s essentially a Mustang on steroids, accomplished in part because Ford is always looking for ways to improve the car’s status as one of the best pony machines in the market today.

Those of you who are familiar with the RTR badge will know that it’s become somewhat of a tradition for Ford and Gittin Jr. to collaborate on this specific kind of creation. In fact, the past decade has given birth to a good number of Mustang RTRs, ranging from the subtle to the over-the-top. Hard to think of the 2014 Mustang RTR as anything but outlandish, but that’s the whole point on why the RTR badge has become synonymous with Ford’s legendary muscle car. This year, a new version of the Mustang RTR is set to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, and really, where else would it do it? Ford and Gittin Jr.’s aftermarket firm are once again heavily involved in its creation, and the result is nothing short of our expectations. Improved looks, more power, and a seal of approval from one of the best race drifters in the world. This is what awaits us when we get a hold of the latest version of the Mustang RTR.

Continue after the jump to read more about the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Exterior

  • Front lip spoiler
  • Sculpted hood
  • RTR signature LED grille lighting
  • RTR Appearance Package
  • RTR graphics
  • RTR 19″ Tech 7 wheels w/ Nitto 555G2 tires

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741085
“The RTR Design Package features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks”

If pictures painted thousands of words, the Mustang RTR is going to turn some serious heads. While it’s somewhat true that almost all of the signature elements from the last RTR remains here, the underlying appeal of the special edition Mustang still holds weight. The name of the game in this section is the RTR Design Package, which features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks. The triangular-shaped LED accent lights on the grille count as one of the most distinct exterior features, but there’s also a new front splitter and a more sculpted hood in the mix now. Combine these aero parts with black accent striping on the hood and side profile and a new set of 19-inch Tech 7 wheels wrapped in Nitto 555G2 tires and you have the makings of a Mustang RTR that does its predecessors proud.

It’s admittedly not as flashy as some of the past Mustang RTR’s we’ve seen before, but remember, those versions Gittin Jr. created with the help of Monster Energy and Nitto tires were race-spec units of the RTR. This one, like the more subtle RTR-spec versions that have also come out, are road-production models. If you want to see the difference, check out the photos below.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500929

2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Note: Photos of the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR by Monster Energy, Nitto Tires, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

Interior

  • Recaro sports seats
  • Signed dash plaque by Vaughn Gittin Jr.
  • RTR shift knob
  • RTR floor mats

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702250

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself”

Judging by what we’ve come to know about past Ford Mustang RTRs, the road-spec versions are lacking in terms of exclusive interior goodies. There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself, but for the most part, the most you can expect are throw-in items like the RTR shift knob and if you really want to go all-out, the RTR-branded floor mats.

That’s likely the extent of what we can expect from the RTR unit, though Ford may still have a few more surprises up its sleeve once the special edition Mustang makes its official debut at SEMA.

Drivetrain

  • Three Spec options
  • Around 700 horsepower for the Spec 3 tune

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741088
“Details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA”

Specific details surrounding the power and performance credentials of the Mustang RTR are still shrouded in secrecy, we can at least expect it to hit the magic number of 700 horsepower. That’s the indication Ford has given us as it pertains to the Spec 3 state of tune that the Mustang RTR will have at its disposal. On the other end, details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA, so that’s two things we can at least look forward to. Regardless of their specific states, the 2018 Mustang RTR should come with noticeable power and performance improvements over its predecessor. Not by much, but still something worthwhile. My best guess would be that the Spec 1 RTR will simply be a design and aero-focused tune. That means it’s going to carry the same output as the stock model, or about 460 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque at the tilt.

As far as Spec 2 is concerned, the previous road-spec version of the RTR carried over with a 30-horsepower increase from the standard unit so given what the 2018 Mustang has at its disposal, somewhere in the territory of 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque is a possibility. The incremental gains will likely be credited to software upgrades.


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741091
“Adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.”

Last but not least is Spec 3. This is where a supercharger and a few other fun bits, including an intercooler and an upgraded fuel injection system, were thrown into the mix and the result of that on the last Mustang RTR was an output of 670 horsepower. If Ford decided to adopt the same approach using the Mustang’s new engine configuration, 700 ponies is definitely attainable.

On the suspension side, lowering springs are a lock to be included, owing to the fact that they’re included in the RTR Design Package. That said, adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.

Pricing


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741087

Ahh, yes, The question that trumps all manner of features and oddities for each and every car. How much is it? Well, Ford hasn’t released a price tag yet, but we were hinted on the likelihood that the Mustang RTR will carry a price tag of somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000.

That figure came to our attention because of a giveaway being sponsored by American Muscle. Yep, one lucky Mustang aficionado will win one of the first Mustang RTRs to come out of production. The drawing isn’t taking place until April 6, 2018, but the giveaway did mention that the special edition Mustang carries an “approximate retail value” of $65,000. It’s far from a slam dunk that the figure is the exact price, but at least it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of that.

Those who miss out on the giveaway will still get a shot at owning the car as it’s scheduled to become available at select Ford dealerships sometime in the spring of next year.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741086

It’s Ford. It’s Vaughn Gittin Jr. It’s the new Ford Mustang RTR. Really, what could go wrong? I certainly don’t expect any hiccups as far as the new ’Stang RTR is concerned. We’ve seen what the protagonists are capable of in the past so there’s no reason to believe that this new version is going to be a letdown. Regardless of what we see at SEMA, I fully expect the new Mustang RTR to be a hot-ticket item when it goes up on sale next year, as it should since Ford and Vaughn Gittin Jr. have been doing this racket for almost a decade now with no let-up in sight. Seems like they’re doing something good so why mess with that?

  • Leave it
    • Not much happening on the interior
    • Expected bigger and more profound improvements from previous version
    • Availability could be limited

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500924

Read our full review on the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin.


2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang RTR

2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Part of the Ford Mustang’s appeal lies in its ability to be easily customized. We’ve seen so many versions of the ‘Stang over the years, and there are a handful of them that are head and shoulders above the rest, including the Ford Mustang RTR. Created by Ford in partnership with Pro Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., the Mustang RTR stands tall as one of the sickest interpretations of the iconic muscle car. It’s essentially a Mustang on steroids, accomplished in part because Ford is always looking for ways to improve the car’s status as one of the best pony machines in the market today.

Those of you who are familiar with the RTR badge will know that it’s become somewhat of a tradition for Ford and Gittin Jr. to collaborate on this specific kind of creation. In fact, the past decade has given birth to a good number of Mustang RTRs, ranging from the subtle to the over-the-top. Hard to think of the 2014 Mustang RTR as anything but outlandish, but that’s the whole point on why the RTR badge has become synonymous with Ford’s legendary muscle car. This year, a new version of the Mustang RTR is set to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, and really, where else would it do it? Ford and Gittin Jr.’s aftermarket firm are once again heavily involved in its creation, and the result is nothing short of our expectations. Improved looks, more power, and a seal of approval from one of the best race drifters in the world. This is what awaits us when we get a hold of the latest version of the Mustang RTR.

Continue after the jump to read more about the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Exterior

  • Front lip spoiler
  • Sculpted hood
  • RTR signature LED grille lighting
  • RTR Appearance Package
  • RTR graphics
  • RTR 19″ Tech 7 wheels w/ Nitto 555G2 tires

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741085
“The RTR Design Package features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks”

If pictures painted thousands of words, the Mustang RTR is going to turn some serious heads. While it’s somewhat true that almost all of the signature elements from the last RTR remains here, the underlying appeal of the special edition Mustang still holds weight. The name of the game in this section is the RTR Design Package, which features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks. The triangular-shaped LED accent lights on the grille count as one of the most distinct exterior features, but there’s also a new front splitter and a more sculpted hood in the mix now. Combine these aero parts with black accent striping on the hood and side profile and a new set of 19-inch Tech 7 wheels wrapped in Nitto 555G2 tires and you have the makings of a Mustang RTR that does its predecessors proud.

It’s admittedly not as flashy as some of the past Mustang RTR’s we’ve seen before, but remember, those versions Gittin Jr. created with the help of Monster Energy and Nitto tires were race-spec units of the RTR. This one, like the more subtle RTR-spec versions that have also come out, are road-production models. If you want to see the difference, check out the photos below.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500929

2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Note: Photos of the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR by Monster Energy, Nitto Tires, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

Interior

  • Recaro sports seats
  • Signed dash plaque by Vaughn Gittin Jr.
  • RTR shift knob
  • RTR floor mats

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702250

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself”

Judging by what we’ve come to know about past Ford Mustang RTRs, the road-spec versions are lacking in terms of exclusive interior goodies. There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself, but for the most part, the most you can expect are throw-in items like the RTR shift knob and if you really want to go all-out, the RTR-branded floor mats.

That’s likely the extent of what we can expect from the RTR unit, though Ford may still have a few more surprises up its sleeve once the special edition Mustang makes its official debut at SEMA.

Drivetrain

  • Three Spec options
  • Around 700 horsepower for the Spec 3 tune

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741088
“Details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA”

Specific details surrounding the power and performance credentials of the Mustang RTR are still shrouded in secrecy, we can at least expect it to hit the magic number of 700 horsepower. That’s the indication Ford has given us as it pertains to the Spec 3 state of tune that the Mustang RTR will have at its disposal. On the other end, details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA, so that’s two things we can at least look forward to. Regardless of their specific states, the 2018 Mustang RTR should come with noticeable power and performance improvements over its predecessor. Not by much, but still something worthwhile. My best guess would be that the Spec 1 RTR will simply be a design and aero-focused tune. That means it’s going to carry the same output as the stock model, or about 460 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque at the tilt.

As far as Spec 2 is concerned, the previous road-spec version of the RTR carried over with a 30-horsepower increase from the standard unit so given what the 2018 Mustang has at its disposal, somewhere in the territory of 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque is a possibility. The incremental gains will likely be credited to software upgrades.


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741091
“Adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.”

Last but not least is Spec 3. This is where a supercharger and a few other fun bits, including an intercooler and an upgraded fuel injection system, were thrown into the mix and the result of that on the last Mustang RTR was an output of 670 horsepower. If Ford decided to adopt the same approach using the Mustang’s new engine configuration, 700 ponies is definitely attainable.

On the suspension side, lowering springs are a lock to be included, owing to the fact that they’re included in the RTR Design Package. That said, adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.

Pricing


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741087

Ahh, yes, The question that trumps all manner of features and oddities for each and every car. How much is it? Well, Ford hasn’t released a price tag yet, but we were hinted on the likelihood that the Mustang RTR will carry a price tag of somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000.

That figure came to our attention because of a giveaway being sponsored by American Muscle. Yep, one lucky Mustang aficionado will win one of the first Mustang RTRs to come out of production. The drawing isn’t taking place until April 6, 2018, but the giveaway did mention that the special edition Mustang carries an “approximate retail value” of $65,000. It’s far from a slam dunk that the figure is the exact price, but at least it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of that.

Those who miss out on the giveaway will still get a shot at owning the car as it’s scheduled to become available at select Ford dealerships sometime in the spring of next year.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741086

It’s Ford. It’s Vaughn Gittin Jr. It’s the new Ford Mustang RTR. Really, what could go wrong? I certainly don’t expect any hiccups as far as the new ’Stang RTR is concerned. We’ve seen what the protagonists are capable of in the past so there’s no reason to believe that this new version is going to be a letdown. Regardless of what we see at SEMA, I fully expect the new Mustang RTR to be a hot-ticket item when it goes up on sale next year, as it should since Ford and Vaughn Gittin Jr. have been doing this racket for almost a decade now with no let-up in sight. Seems like they’re doing something good so why mess with that?

  • Leave it
    • Not much happening on the interior
    • Expected bigger and more profound improvements from previous version
    • Availability could be limited

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500924

Read our full review on the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin.


2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition

Stop the presses if you’ve seen this one before. Chevrolet and Hot Wheels have been business partners for quite some time, and the fruits of that partnership have given us a handful of Camaro Hot Wheels special editions over the past years. We’re getting a new version of the same special edition at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, though this time, we’re also getting something extra on the side courtesy of the Hot Wheels’ 50th Anniversary Edition.

Special is as special gets, and we’re getting two doses of it with the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition. The first of these two SEs come in 2LT and 2SS coupe and convertible trims of the muscle car. The aesthetic elements of the Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is a cool callback to the 1968 Camaro that was one of the first cars to be immortalized in Hot Wheels format. In fact, the ’68 Camaro holds the distinction of being the first car to get a Hot Wheels casting. 50 years later, that milestone is being celebrated in typical bombastic Hot Wheels fashion with the inclusion of the Hot Wheels package on the purpose-built 2018 COPO Camaro drag race car. These two special edition Camaros are expected to headline the Camaro contingent at SEMA, and there’s no reason to think that any other custom-built version of the pony car will compare to the appeal of these two commemorative crown pieces.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition

What makes the Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition special

  • Orange Crush paint
  • Satin Graphite stripes / Silver Ice Metallic accents
  • 20-inch Satin Graphite forged aluminum wheels
  • 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender badges
  • Galvano Chrome inserts on the front grille
  • Orange brake calipers
  • Dark taillamps
  • Black taillamp panel with the Hot Wheels emblem
  • Black Chevrolet bowtie emblems
  • Jet Black leather-appointed interior
  • Orange kneepads on the doors and orange safety belts
  • 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badge on the steering wheel
  • Illuminated door sill plates with 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badges
  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine (LT trim) with 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque
  • 6.2-liter V-8 engine (SS trim) with 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque

2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740867
“In keeping with the theme of tying the SE up to Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary, the Camaro receives a striking Crush Orange paint finish”

For the record, we’re talking about two special edition Chevrolet Camaros here. The first one is available on all 2LT and 2SS coupes and convertibles. In keeping with the theme of tying the SE up to Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary, the Camaro receives a striking Crush Orange paint finish. It’s not exactly the exact same shade as the Hugger Orange paint on the 1968 Hot Wheels Camaro, but it certainly comes close to it. Providing a nice contrast to the splashy and dominant orange color are Satin Graphite stripes with Silver Ice Metallic accents, though you can probably just use “grey” and “white,” and it’s going to mean the same thing. The use of the Satin Graphite shade continues on the ground effects, wheels, and the Hot Wheels badges on the fenders. Speaking of the wheels, the Hot Wheels Camaro sits on a set of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels that are finished in, you guessed it, Satin Graphite. It’s hard to make out from the photos too, but those wheels also feature milled faces and unique center caps. Other additions come in the form of dark taillights, Galvano chrome inserts right on the front grille, and Chevy’s own bowtie emblem getting the all-black treatment.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740872
“The cabin showcases an explosive combination of black and orange upholstery”

Move inside the car and prepare yourself for a cabin that showcases an explosive combination of black and orange upholstery. The treatment is pretty slick though, especially the orange stitching on the black leather. That’s a nice touch. The embossed headrests and the Hot Wheels banding on the steering wheel and door sills are perfect identifiers of the car’s special edition roots, while the orange knee pads are there for reasons that are unclear to me. But, hey, the orange seat belts are another nice touch to the cabin.

You would think that a car like this would get an engine upgrade, right? Well, if history is any indication, it won’t, and I don’t expect it to have any. Still, you can get it with one of two engines. Your first choice is a 3.6-liter V-6 that’s good for 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque and a sprint to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. If you want the big boy Camaro SS unit, you’ll get a massive 6.2-liter V-8 with 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque at your disposal. Likewise, that 5.9-second time gets shaved by over a second to 4.8 seconds.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740869
“2,500 units of the Camaro will receive the Hot Wheels package, which itself is an option priced at $4,995”

Availability shouldn’t be an issue, especially if you jump on the wagon early. According to Chevy, 2,500 units of the Camaro will receive the Hot Wheels package, which itself is an option priced at $4,995. Be wary, though, because these units sell out quickly. So if you’re not up on your toes when the package becomes available, you might be out of luck.

The Chevrolet COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition

  • Orange Crush paint
  • Satin Graphite stripes / Silver Ice Metallic accents
  • 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender badges
  • Hood scoop
  • Fat Hoosier tires
  • Naturally aspirated 302-cubic-inch Gen V small-block V-8 engine (standard)
  • Supercharged 5.7-liter V-8 engine (optional)
  • Naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V-8 engine (optional)

“This Hot Wheels SE is the living embodiment of the toy car maker’s over-the-top philosophy”

Far more exclusive is the COPO Camaro Hot Wheels Edition, which might as well be the closest thing to a life-sized Hot Wheels car Chevrolet has ever created. We’re talking about a factory-built drag racer here, folks. And, while the striking orange paint scheme does make it a little cartoonish, this Hot Wheels SE is the living embodiment of the toy car maker’s over-the-top philosophy. The massive bulge on the hood and the fat Hoosier tires further slam home the car’s drag racing credentials. It’s worth noting, too, that the car that will be on display at SEMA will get an exclusive Supercrush Orange paint finish. That’s not going to be the case though for the available lot that Chevy will offer; they’re getting the same Orange Crush treatment as the “standard” Hot Wheels SEs.

Vanity takes these special edition Camaros far, but in the case of the COPO Camaro, it’s not the most important part of the whole package. That distinction goes to the engine or, at least in this case, engines. Three different versions are available, including a standard naturally aspirated 302-cubic-inch, Gen V, small-block, V-8 engine that’s based on the LT1 unit found under the hood of the Camaro SS. If that engine’s not to your liking, you can opt for a supercharged, 5.7-liter V-8 engine or a bigger, naturally aspirated, 7.0-liter V-8 powerhouse. Chevy made no mention of power numbers, but it did say that a COPO Camaro using the supercharged V-8 will be able to hit a quarter mile in eight seconds with trap speeds approaching 160 mph.

“The COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary is far more limited than its standard counterpart”

The cost of getting a Chevrolet COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is unclear at this point, though if you’re interested, Chevy’s already taking in registrations from potential buyers. Make no mistake though; the COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary is far more limited than its standard counterpart as only 69 units of the actual COPO Camaro will be made available. How many will get the Hot Wheels SE treatment is another question entirely, though don’t expect it to be more than the 69 units that Chevy’s building of the COPO drag racer.

References

Chevrolet Camaro


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 653876

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods

50 years on the market is a long time, and the Mustang is coming up on 53 years as of 2018, the year that the sixth-gen model gets a serious facelift. That facelift brings new looks, updated technology, and more power to one of America’s favorite muscle cars, and now, it’s serving as the basis for at least seven concept cars at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The one we’re looking at here is developed by Tucci Hot Rods, and it’s one of the most intensive Mustangs that we’ve ever seen. We’re talking about engine modification, custom exterior work, custom interior work, and a supposed top speed of 200 mph. Whether or not it can really do that remains to be seen, but I’ve seen the modification list, and I have to admit, it’s not that farfetched.

Needless to say, Tucci Hot Rods had to put some serious work into the Mustang to get it to this point. Not that it’s necessarily a slouch. This concept is based on the 2018 GT, so we’re talking about a starting power output of 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (yes, that’s 25 ponies and 20 pound-feet more than the pre-facelifted model.) At this time, technical specifications are still shrouded in mystery, but we do know what the standard model’s “less-than-four-second” sprint to 60 is probably easily topped by this custom GT. This Mustang will be fully revealed when SEMA kicks off, so until then, let’s talk a little more about what Tucci Hot Rods did to push this Mustang over the top and faster than 200 mph…

Exterior

  • John’s Auto Restoration paint
  • Tucci Hot Rods aluminum pro mod wing and rear diffuser
  • Ultimaker 3D-printed hood vents
  • Stroud parachute

2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740040

If you know the 2018 Mustang, then looking at the picture above should hit you right in the feels. To put it simply, it’s still got most of the stock ‘Stang styling, but there’s a completely different front fascia that has the corner vents closed completely off (this could be for extra downforce on the front end) Speaking of downforce, Tucci Hot Rods added a much more prominent spoiler to the front and to the sides to help keep the ‘Stang planted as well. We can’t see much of the rear, but you can bet that there is a massive diffuser and there’s most certainly a large spoiler in the rear too, most likely of the active variety. Considering the car is designed to break the 200-mph barrier, it’s likely there’s a parachute strapped to the rear end as well.

With that in mind, there’s a lot of extra engine work going on under the hood, and that’s why you’ve got those deep intake bellows sitting on each side of the grille – just waiting to channel air into the monster lurking under the hood. More about that later, though. For now, you’ll have to make due with the knowledge that Jon’s Auto Restoration took care of the matte-grey look while Tucci Hot Rods threw on the aluminum pro mod wing and rear diffuser. Those hood vents, while appearing stock are actually 3D-printed by Ultimaker, and as I mentioned before, there is a parachute out back, supplied by Stroud. The car rides on Forgeline GTD1 Open lug wheels. They are 19-inch units, but measure just nine-inches wide up front and 11-inches wide out back. Those wheels just so happen to wear Hoosier rubbers — 265/25-series up front and 315/35-series out back.

All told, it’s not too bad, but we’ll have to see what it looks like in the metal once the doors at SEMA open and we can get a good look. Until then, let’s talk a little about what’s going on inside this 200-mph beast.

Interior

  • Cobra Sebring Pro-Fit GT driver’s seat
  • Cobra Suzuka Pro-Fit GT passenger’s seat
  • Schroth Pro-Fit II 6 pt. HANS harnesses
  • Tucci Hot Rods 8 pt. roll cage
  • TMR Customs interlocking roll cage clamps

2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740046

For the most part, the interior was left alone. By that, I mean that the dash, center console and the rest of the stock goodies still exist in their natural habitat. What has changed, however, is pretty important for a car that does 200 mph. I’m talking, of course, about the seats, the roll cage, and the racing harnesses to keep asses in the seats should things go awry. So, Tucci Hot Rods threw in a Cobra Sebring Pro-Fit GT seat for the driver and a Cobra Suzuka Pro-Fit GT seat for the passenger. And, those who get the glory of riding in those seats will be held in place by Schroth Pro-Fit, six-point HANS harness. Finally, Tucci Hot Rods threw in an eight-point roll cage that’s held in place by TMR Customs interlocking roll cage clamps.

Drivetrain

  • Hellion twin turbo kit
  • Mishimoto radiator, transmission cooler and oil cooler
  • Turned by HP Tuners
  • G-Force driveshaft and rear axles
  • DEI exhaust wrap
  • Ford Performance by Borla exhaust
  • RideTech triple adjustable air ride suspension
  • Wilwood Aero (six-piston front / four-piston rear) brakes
  • Ford Performance front and rear sway bars

2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740047

Ah… we finally get to the real meat and potatoes of this custom build. Of course, there’s still a little while before the car is shown off in all of its glory, so specs are limited at best, but we do know what has been done under the hood, and it’s nothing short of magnificent. First, let me start off by explaining where Tucci Hot Rods had to start. They picked themselves up a 2018 Ford Mustang Fastback – you know, the one with the 5.0-liter V-8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Out of the gate, that engine is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s not bad, and it’s enough to get the Mustang to the 60-mph benchmark in “less than four seconds.” But, that’s not good enough for a modded out muscular beast, now is it?

Of course, it’s not, and that’s why it’s been fitted with a Hellion twin turbo kit to cram as much air as possible into that intake sitting up top. And, that’s why this baby has those custom intake bellows on either side of the radiator grille. And, with all of that extra intake, there’s bound to be a need for a custom exhaust, so the Ford Performance Borla exhaust system is a perfect fit for this application (and it’ll sound good too.) In addition, there’s some DEI exhaust wrap applied within the vicinity of the turbos to prevent too much heat exchange under the hood while a Mishimoto radiator, transmission cooler, and oil cooler will keep the necessary fluids within a safe operating range during the most extreme conditions. Finally, to help handle all of the extra add-ons, HP tuners was commissioned to do a custom tune for this monster of a Mustang.

As of now, there’s no word as to how much horsepower or torque this baby produces, or how fast it can get to 60 mph. But, it has been promised that it can hit the 200-mph benchmark. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re looking at somewhere around 800 horsepower, that would be enough to justify the addition of the G-Force driveshaft and rear axles – a necessary evil when you have that kind of power going to the rear wheels. Of course, we’ll know more about the specs by the time it debuts at the SEMA show, so stay tuned for updates.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740042

At this point, I have to say that this build looks highly impressive, but a Mustang Fastback hitting 200 mph seems like something out of a wet dream for Ford fanboys as opposed to reality itself. Then again, Tucci Hot Rods did put some serious work into this ‘Stang as well. Since it’s a concept for SEMA it’s hard to say whether or not we’ll ever know for sure that it can hit that magical speed, but it sure would be nice to see, don’t you think? Either way, the build list is outrageous and promising at the same time, so we’ll be keeping our eyes open at SEMA. Check back with us at the end of the month for the latest update on this mean beast!

  • Leave it
    • A little over the top
    • Can it hit 200 mph?
    • Color could be better

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By DRAGG

The Ford Mustang can be customized in a number of different ways and we’re seeing a full lineup of them at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. One of these cars is this particular Mustang. It may look the part of an actual police car – it even has a push bar, for crying out loud! – but it’s anything but one. What it is though is a custom Guardian-themed police car created by Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG), a non-profit, youth-oriented automotive after-school program that encourages kids to race on the drag strip against actual police officers.

I don’t know if this Mustang can hold its own on a drag strip, but I’m pretty sure it’s not built for that environment either since it’s been described, among other things, as “eco-friendly.” However it’s made out to be, this Mustang does have a bigger purpose than just being a SEMA showpiece. It was created by DRAGG to be a symbol of unity and purpose, to encourage troubled kids to turn their backs on knucklehead environments and focus on being a part of improving their communities together with the local police forces that serve these locations. Visually, it’s one of the most arresting (no pun intended) creations among all the SEMA-bound Mustangs. Purposefully, it’s probably one of the most important customized Mustangs we’ve seen in quite a while.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang by DRAGG

Exterior

  • Rally Innovations custom front splitter
  • Federal Signal emergency lighting by West Coast Lights and Siren
  • Commercial Auto Body custom paint
  • 3M graphics and logos by Ron’s Signs
  • Metalhaus Inc. police push bar
  • Petty’s Garage custom rear spoiler
  • Velgen VFMP10 wheels
  • Michelin tires

2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740274
“It’s hard to imagine this Mustang not striking fear in the hearts of those that cross paths with it”

It’s hard to resist the urge of calling this a cop car because it’s all dressed like one. It’s got all the graphics and logos of a police cruiser and it even has Federal Signal emergency lighting and an actual push bar, two components that were provided for by West Coast Lights and Siren and Metalhaus Inc., respectively. On the aero front, the Mustang receives a custom front splitter from Rally Innovations, a custom rear spoiler from Petty’s Garage, and a set of 20-inch Velgen VFMP10 wheels that are all wrapped up in Michelin tires, measuring 275/30/20 in the front and 305/30/20 at the back.

It’s hard to imagine this Mustang not striking fear in the hearts of those that cross paths with it. I certainly wouldn’t want to have this car occupying real estate space in my rear view mirror. The good news is that it’s actually not a full-fledged police car, but the mere suggestion that it looks like one is enough to guarantee it’s legitimacy.

Interior

  • Leather interior kit by Katzkin
  • Sport pedal kit
  • Kicker audio system

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702221
“The interior looks exactly like what a standard ‘Stang cabin should look like”

If this were an actual police cruiser, the interior will take on a completely different look to it. It’s going to have a screen that separates the front and rear sections and it’s going to have one of those fancy computers that cruisers all have. It might even have live ammunition all over it. But none of those are present in this Mustang. Instead, the interior looks exactly like what a standard ‘Stang cabin should look like. There are added benefits like a leather interior kit from Katzkin, a sport pedal kit, and an audio system from Kicker. But by and large, the interior is just a well-dressed version of a standard cabin. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it’s how it’s presented. We’ll take it for what it is.

Drivetrain


2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740275
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine
  • 310 horsepower
  • 350 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Borla exhaust
  • Air Raid intake
  • Jet-Hot high-performance coatings
  • Lucas Oil engine products
  • Ford Performance lowering springs
  • Eibach sub-frame and rear sway bars by America Muscle
  • Wilwood six-piston high-performance brakes
“The additions include a new cold air intake from Air Raid, high-performance coatings from Jet-Hot, a new Borla exhaust system from Ford Performance”

At the heart of this fearsome creation is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s unclear though if the output still stands after all the tuning work done on the car’s engine. On that end, the additions include a new cold air intake from Air Raid, high-performance coatings from Jet-Hot, a new Borla exhaust system from Ford Performance, and enough engine oil products from Lucas Oil that will ensure that the whole engine runs as smooth as smooth can be.

Given its redesigned purpose, I’d still be surprised if the output on this Mustang approaches the numbers provided by the big dog V-8 Mustang. That version is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist, which might be a lot to ask for this tuned version sporting the smaller EcoBoost engine. I do expect improved performance out of it, even if there are minimal gains from a power point-of-view. It certainly would behoove even the most hardcore of tuners to put all the improvements in this section without at least expecting any improvements to come out of all of it.

On the chassis and suspension front, we can at least confirm that there are also tangible upgrades featured in the program. Lowering springs from Ford Performance should help ensure a more spirited ride while the Eibach sub-frame and rear sway bars from America Muscle will do nothing but help improve the ‘Stang’s toughness and durability. Last but not least are the six-piston high-performance brakes from Wilwood. If for nothing else, any decent tuning project on the Ford muscle car will need nothing less than stronger brakes.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740273

I’m a big fan of this custom job for a number of reasons. First, I like that DRAGG went with one of its core missions and dressed it up as a police car. It’s not an actual police car in terms of overall function, but it certainly looks like one from a visual point of view. I also like that the NGO didn’t try to do too much to promote its message. It’s already clear with the final product and any additions that it could’ve made wouldn’t have made any difference. Resisting the urge to go all-out on the cabin upgrades is also a nice move, although I wouldn’t be surprised if other people thought differently. I just think it would’ve been unnecessary because at the end of the day, this custom project is more than just a tuning build. It’s a call for something bigger and far more important. It’s a call for troubled young kids to resist the urge of the streets and use the time they have on something more worthwhile like, say, drag racing with local police officers. It’s not the safest after-school activity by any means, but it’s one that fosters positive relations between the community and the law enforcement officials that try to keep it as safe as safe can be.

  • Leave it
    • Not something you’ll see on the road, unless it’s an actual police cruiser
    • Interior could’ve had more add-ons

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

The upgraded 2018 Ford Mustang is already in showrooms, and all major tuners are now rolling aftermarket upgrades for both the EcoBoost and GT versions. With the 2017 SEMA Show just around the corner, the updated Mustang also received its fair share of wild concept cars, some of which might make it into production at some point. One such model comes from Roush Performance, a tuning company that has been modifying Mustangs for over two decades now. Finished in a modern take on the classic Grabber Green color, this beefed-up muscle car takes its styling cues from the iconic Mustang Boss 429 of the early 1970s.

Unlike most Roush-modified Mustangs, this green beast sports a custom-built widebody that turns the basic GT into a full-fledged race car. The motorsport-inspired look is backed by carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, while the interior boasts everything a proper race car needs. From the Recaro racing seats with harnesses to the roll cage and the carbon rear seat delete, this Mustang is ready to hit the track at any given time. Drivetrain updates are also on the table, but information is still limited in this department. We should find out more at the SEMA Show, so stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what we already know about this concept car.

Continue reading to learn more about Roush Performance’s latest concept car.

Exterior

  • Custom widebody kit
  • Carbon-fiber aero elements
  • Vented engine hood
  • Vossen wheels and Continental tires
  • Grabber Green paint

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740245
“Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT”

Roush has been building some mean, evil looking Mustangs in recent years and this SEMA Show project is no different. The body kit used for the facelifted ’Stang GT is rather complex, combing not Roush’s new kit for the 2018-model-year pony car, but also a custom widebody layout.

Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT. Not only are the side vents under the LED daytime running light are bigger, but the main intake is wider too. Down below, there’s a massive, race-inspired carbon-fiber splitter that enhanced aerodynamics, while giving the coupe an aggressive stance.

The standard grille with the honeycomb mesh and the slanted side bars has been replaced with a Roush specific element with horizontal slats. The engine hood now sports a big bulge in the middle, as well as heat extractors on each side, toward the nose.

“Onto the sides, it's the massive wheel arch extensions and the carbon-fiber side skirts that draw attention”

Onto the sides, it’s the massive wheel arch extensions that draw attention. The side skirts are wider too and feature carbon-fiber lower areas. More carbon-fiber can be found in the mirror caps, while the front fenders have specific “Roush” lettering. The coupe rides on custom 20-inch wheels developed by Roush in cooperation with rim specialist Vossen. These are wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires. The profile is rounded off by function quarter window scoops and a lowered ride height.

Around back, the heavily modified Mustang features a revised diffuser, carbon-fiber aerofoils, and a big carbon-fiber spoiler. There’s no photo of the rear section yet, but I bet this Mustang also features larger exhaust pipes. The exterior is finished in a custom paint by Sherwin Williams that’s heavily based on the historic Grabber Green.

left
right
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

Interior

  • Recaro racing seats
  • Sparco harnesses
  • Watson Racing roll cage
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Katzkin leather trim

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740247
“Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats, which are paired to Sparco four-point racing harnesses”

Sadly, there are no photos of the interior, which is the norm with SEMA Show concepts launched before the event begins, so we can’t see the long list of updates Roush operated inside the cabin. Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats. These are paired with Sparco four-point racing harnesses and a carbon-fiber rear-seat delete by Anderson Composites, the same company that provided carbon elements for the aerodynamic kit.

The race-prepped interior is backed by a Watson Racing roll cage, as well as Roush’s very own performance instrument cluster. But this Mustang isn’t a stripped out race car. Roush also added new floor mats and a Ford Accessories leather interior kit by Katzkin. Needless to say, it’s a combination you can get in most Roush products nowadays, but with an extra touch of racing goodness through the rear-seat delete and other weight-saving measures.

Drivetrain

  • Performance cold-air intake
  • Active exhaust system
  • Three-way adjustable suspension
  • Brembo GT brakes

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740246
“The V-8 gained a new cold-air intake and performance exhaust system”

Under the modified hood lurks the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that comes with the standard Mustang GT, but Roush made several modifications. A new performance cold-air intake was fitted, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with the tuner’s active quad x-pipe layout. No word on output figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that this V-8 delivers a bit more than the standard 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist.

“The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension”

The mill mates to the recently introduced 10-speed automatic, which makes the GT the quickest non-Shelby Mustang ever with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of “less than four seconds”
(with Drag Strip setup enabled, of course). With all the extra oomph, the Roush model should be quicker by at least a tenth-second, but I can’t point out a specific figure since the official acceleration rating is not available as of October 2017.

The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension and enhanced stopping power through Brembo GT series brakes.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

When it comes to modded Mustangs, Roush products are as good as they get, usually raging from mildly upgraded cars to aggressively beefed-up packages that put a whole lot of extra oomph under the hood. This concept is a good example of the former, but it packs a very attractive body kit that makes it look as it just came off the race track. The Boss 429-inspired paint and detailing is also cool to have, but it remains to be seen whether this things becomes a production model in the future.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept for now
    • Deserves more power

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

The upgraded 2018 Ford Mustang is already in showrooms, and all major tuners are now rolling aftermarket upgrades for both the EcoBoost and GT versions. With the 2017 SEMA Show just around the corner, the updated Mustang also received its fair share of wild concept cars, some of which might make it into production at some point. One such model comes from Roush Performance, a tuning company that has been modifying Mustangs for over two decades now. Finished in a modern take on the classic Grabber Green color, this beefed-up muscle car takes its styling cues from the iconic Mustang Boss 429 of the early 1970s.

Unlike most Roush-modified Mustangs, this green beast sports a custom-built widebody that turns the basic GT into a full-fledged race car. The motorsport-inspired look is backed by carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, while the interior boasts everything a proper race car needs. From the Recaro racing seats with harnesses to the roll cage and the carbon rear seat delete, this Mustang is ready to hit the track at any given time. Drivetrain updates are also on the table, but information is still limited in this department. We should find out more at the SEMA Show, so stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what we already know about this concept car.

Continue reading to learn more about Roush Performance’s latest concept car.

Exterior

  • Custom widebody kit
  • Carbon-fiber aero elements
  • Vented engine hood
  • Vossen wheels and Continental tires
  • Grabber Green paint

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740245
“Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT”

Roush has been building some mean, evil looking Mustangs in recent years and this SEMA Show project is no different. The body kit used for the facelifted ’Stang GT is rather complex, combing not Roush’s new kit for the 2018-model-year pony car, but also a custom widebody layout.

Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT. Not only are the side vents under the LED daytime running light are bigger, but the main intake is wider too. Down below, there’s a massive, race-inspired carbon-fiber splitter that enhanced aerodynamics, while giving the coupe an aggressive stance.

The standard grille with the honeycomb mesh and the slanted side bars has been replaced with a Roush specific element with horizontal slats. The engine hood now sports a big bulge in the middle, as well as heat extractors on each side, toward the nose.

“Onto the sides, it's the massive wheel arch extensions and the carbon-fiber side skirts that draw attention”

Onto the sides, it’s the massive wheel arch extensions that draw attention. The side skirts are wider too and feature carbon-fiber lower areas. More carbon-fiber can be found in the mirror caps, while the front fenders have specific “Roush” lettering. The coupe rides on custom 20-inch wheels developed by Roush in cooperation with rim specialist Vossen. These are wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires. The profile is rounded off by function quarter window scoops and a lowered ride height.

Around back, the heavily modified Mustang features a revised diffuser, carbon-fiber aerofoils, and a big carbon-fiber spoiler. There’s no photo of the rear section yet, but I bet this Mustang also features larger exhaust pipes. The exterior is finished in a custom paint by Sherwin Williams that’s heavily based on the historic Grabber Green.

left
right
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

Interior

  • Recaro racing seats
  • Sparco harnesses
  • Watson Racing roll cage
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Katzkin leather trim

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740247
“Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats, which are paired to Sparco four-point racing harnesses”

Sadly, there are no photos of the interior, which is the norm with SEMA Show concepts launched before the event begins, so we can’t see the long list of updates Roush operated inside the cabin. Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats. These are paired with Sparco four-point racing harnesses and a carbon-fiber rear-seat delete by Anderson Composites, the same company that provided carbon elements for the aerodynamic kit.

The race-prepped interior is backed by a Watson Racing roll cage, as well as Roush’s very own performance instrument cluster. But this Mustang isn’t a stripped out race car. Roush also added new floor mats and a Ford Accessories leather interior kit by Katzkin. Needless to say, it’s a combination you can get in most Roush products nowadays, but with an extra touch of racing goodness through the rear-seat delete and other weight-saving measures.

Drivetrain

  • Performance cold-air intake
  • Active exhaust system
  • Three-way adjustable suspension
  • Brembo GT brakes

2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740246
“The V-8 gained a new cold-air intake and performance exhaust system”

Under the modified hood lurks the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that comes with the standard Mustang GT, but Roush made several modifications. A new performance cold-air intake was fitted, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with the tuner’s active quad x-pipe layout. No word on output figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that this V-8 delivers a bit more than the standard 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist.

“The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension”

The mill mates to the recently introduced 10-speed automatic, which makes the GT the quickest non-Shelby Mustang ever with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of “less than four seconds”
(with Drag Strip setup enabled, of course). With all the extra oomph, the Roush model should be quicker by at least a tenth-second, but I can’t point out a specific figure since the official acceleration rating is not available as of October 2017.

The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension and enhanced stopping power through Brembo GT series brakes.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

When it comes to modded Mustangs, Roush products are as good as they get, usually raging from mildly upgraded cars to aggressively beefed-up packages that put a whole lot of extra oomph under the hood. This concept is a good example of the former, but it packs a very attractive body kit that makes it look as it just came off the race track. The Boss 429-inspired paint and detailing is also cool to have, but it remains to be seen whether this things becomes a production model in the future.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept for now
    • Deserves more power

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Air Design

Ford Mustang by Air Design

The Ford Mustang is going to be well-represented at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show as a total of seven different versions of the muscle car will be in attendance at the aftermarket show. The large volume isn’t a surprise to regular SEMA attendees. The ‘Stang, after all, is one of the most tuned cars in the business today and a show that celebrates that very sub-section of the industry is going to feature its share of Mustang models.

One of the versions we’ll see at this year’s show comes to us by way of Air Design, a tuning firm that has a long history of dynamic and easy-to-install accessories for models ranging from muscle cars like the Mustang all the way to massive pick-ups like the GMC Sierra. Air Design’s reputation for creating understated yet effective body kits has become its calling card, and we see it on full display with its latest custom creation for the iconic Ford muscle car. It is disappointing, however, that upgrades to the powertrain are limited compared to other Mustangs that we’ll see at the show. You can’t win them all, I guess, though I suppose that Air Design is more willing to show off its expertise than it is willing to try to dip its toes in unchartered waters.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang by Air Design

Exterior

  • Ford Mustang by Air Design
  • Body Kit from Air Design
  • New front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser
  • 21-inch Forgiato Fratello ECL wheels; Pirelli P Zero Tires

2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740031
“The front splitter adds a breathe of aggressiveness to the front section”

This section is where Air Design’s expertise lies so it’s no shock that the tuner’s focus lies here. The focus is clear here. Dress up the muscle car in a body kit to make it look more imposing. Consider the aerodynamic upgrades a plus in this regard too. The result is actually impressive in its own way because the car looks awesome. The front splitter adds a breathe of aggressiveness to the front section and while it’s hard to make out from this one photo, there is a new rear diffuser at the back that should carry the same aesthetic and aerodynamic benefits.

That’s the scope of Air Design’s body kit, but the program doesn’t just end there because the tuner also added licensed accessories from Ford itself to bring the whole kit together. The hood vents, air curtains, side scoops, and window louvers are all part of this catalog.


2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740030
“The kit also includes a set of 21-inch Forgiato Fratello ECL wheels, all of which are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires”

Individually and all together, their functions involve improving the car’s design and its handling characteristics. To that end, Air Design did a great job putting all of the pieces together. It even collaborated with Sherwin Williams to give the ‘Stang a silver paint finish with custom black stripes and finished the upgrades with a set of 21-inch Forgiato Fratello ECL wheels, all of which are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires.

Interior

  • Recaro Leather Seats; Tinted Windows
  • Kicker Audi System

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702250

Note: Standard Ford Mustang pictured here.

The modifications in this section are limited compared to what was done to the exterior. In fact, it’s arguably the weakness of this tuning build since all we can look forward to are the Recaro leather seats, the Sundial window tint, and a new audio system by Kicker. On the bright side, the audio setup helps give the Mustang a real custom tune feel to it. On the other hand, the absence of any other meaningful upgrade means that ‘Stang owners can probably get more bang for their buck if they look elsewhere for their cabin upgrade needs.

Drivetrain

  • Borla Exhaust
  • 310 Horsepower
  • 350 Pound-feet of Torque

2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740033

Note: Borla exhaust system pictured here.

“Air Design’s single upgrade in this section of the car is a Borla exhaust system”

The donor car for Air Design’s tuning build is the base Mustang. That means that it’s only carrying Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. It’s still good enough to produce 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, but it’s a ways away from what its V-8-powered counterpart is capable of. The Mustang GT, for those who aren’t familiar, packs 460 ponies and 420 pound-feet of twist. But 310 horses is still decent for a base model and owners can even maximize its performance credentials by pairing it with a 10-speed automatic transmission and dressing it up with Ford’s own Performance Package. That’s a good route to take, something that I’m not quite as sure of when it comes to Air Design’s upgrades for the muscle car’s smaller EcoBoost engine. In fact, Ford itself indicated that Air Design’s single upgrade in this section of the car is a Borla exhaust system. That’s it.

I’m sure that the new exhaust system will spell improvements for the Mustang, but at the end of the day, there’s not much to see here, at least if you’re looking for power and performance enhancements. You can find better options elsewhere, including some other ‘Stangs that will participate at the event. The good news is that even with a lack of significant enhancements on this section, the tuner didn’t leave out the upgrade offerings it has for the muscle car’s chassis and suspension.

These mods come in the form of a new brake system that makes use of six-piston callipers in the front and four-piston units in the back. Drilled and slotted rotors from Wilwood – 15 inches in the front, 12.9 inches in the back – complete the drivetrain upgrades for the Air Design-tuned Ford Mustang GT.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a kit that gives the Ford Mustang a meaner and more imposing mug, you won’t be able to do a lot better than what Air Design is showing off at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. The kit really is all about looks and the tuner nailed it in that regard. The addition of an exhaust also spells improvements from a performance standpoint.

But, if you’re looking for something entirely different, something that stretches the capabilities of the muscle car past the point of its own performance prowess, then this program isn’t for you because it’s not going to do any of that. It won’t be the fastest Mustang. It won’t be the most powerful Mustang. But as far as looking the part of a muscle car, Air Design’s program for the ‘Stang is as good a choice as anything that you’ll see at SEMA.

  • Leave it
    • Minimal engine upgrades
    • Nothing too special in the cabin
    • Better options elsewhere

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA - image 739814

Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Watch This Ford Crown Vic Transform Into A 1969 Dodge Charger

The ole Duke Boys put their 1969 Dodge Charger, affectionately named the General Lee, through countless jumps over the TV Series’ six-year run. No matter how rough the landing, the boys never seemed to skip a beat, despite their car supposedly being held together with duct tape and bailing twine. Sadly, each of those jumps cost a real-life Dodge Charger its life. These days finding one is getting harder, and those that are still around have seen their price skyrocket. So, it comes to no surprise that “The Dukes of Hazzard” superfan James Smith chose to build its own General Lee from an old cop car.

Yep, Smith started with a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria with relatively low miles despite it being nearly 20 years old and having served time with the Portland Police Department. Every body panel came off, including the roof and trunk supports. With a bare chassis, aftermarket Charger parts started going on. Impressively, the A-pillars are actually part of the roll cage. Smith even hand-built the Charger’s iconic split grille from leftover aluminum and the plastic grate from a household box fan. In fact, the front fenders, trunk lid, and fuel filler cap are the only authentic Dodge parts. Naturally, that means this car is expendable. Wreck it (or in this case, jump it), and the only loss is a worn out Crown Vic, the cost of aftermarket parts, and sweat equity.

Smith has gotten his money and time out of it though. The car was used for a music video before being painted in General Lee livery before its big jump. Best of all, the car survived its two scheduled jumps and will likely live on so jump again.

PostHeaderIcon Take A Trip To Octane Island With Danny Trejo: Video

Look, we know what you want. Burnouts. Lots of horsepower. High speed. Roaring supercharged V-8 engines. Wheelies. Danny Trejo being a badass. We couldn’t agree more, and as such, we’d like to present you with the following 3-minute video. Created by Supercheap Auto, a car parts company based out of Australia that should definitely consider getting into full-time video production, the video has all of the above and more, and is a seriously entertaining watch. The basics are straightforward – a group of enthusiasts are dropped via helicopter onto an abandoned island. There, they run into Trejo, who’s apparently the head honcho running the whole thing. The enthusiasts are then recruited to drive fast and burn rubber. No reason is given, but none is needed – you’ll be too busy enjoying yourself to ask questions. It’s like Fast & Furious meets Escape From L.A., plus an extra dose of tire smoke just for good measure.

No joke, we’ve watched this thing all the way through more than a few times now. We have no idea what’s going on, and we don’t care. Just hit play, sit back, and enjoy the show.

PostHeaderIcon Video Memo: Ken Block Spotted on Detroit Streets – Gymkhana 10 Could be Underway

Everyone loves watching a good Ken Block video, and why shouldn’t you – the man sure can drive. And, just recently, YouTuber Revin caught Block and his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonigan RTR tearing the hell out of Detroit streets. Who wouldn’t start shaking in their boots and biting their nails hoping it’s for the next Gymkhana – after all cool things do happen in Michigan; Transformers was filmed there not that long ago. But, word has it – thanks to Nate Stoebner, a line producer on the shoot – that the next Hoonigan video would focus on Mustang history and there may not be stunts.

Be that as it may, the streets were shut down, and Block was leaving his classic calling card – smoke – all over the highway in Detroit. Either way, Gymkhana 10 hasn’t even been confirmed, and a local business even reports that Block and the Hoonicorn were there for some other kind of video. Maybe it was a commercial or some kind of promotional video – it doesn’t matter we’re all itching to see it. But for now, check out the quick YouTube video below, then let us know what you think.

References

Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2


Ken Block Announces the Hoonicorn V2: A 1,400-Horsepower Monster - image 691807

Read more about the Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2.


2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing - image 672856

Read more Ken Block news.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac CTS-V – Driven

This isn’t your grandfather’s Cadillac. Nope, this is the third-generation CTS-V – a 640-horsepower, rear-wheel drive sports sedan with cutting-edge technology under the skin and looks to kill. Oh, and it also hits 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and goes 200 mph. It rivals the best Germany has to offer, such as the Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG E63 S, and Porsche Panamera Turbo. This Caddy might not match the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for horsepower, but it definitely has more class.

I recently spent a week living with the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V, doing everything from grocery store runs and idling in the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school to launching the blacked-out sedan down open blacktop as the 1.7-liter roots-type supercharger screamed atop its 6.2-liter small block V-8. There’s no doubt the CTS-V is a riot when it comes to performance, but just how good is it at being a Cadillac?

Continue reading for the full review of the Cadillac CTS-V.

Exterior


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737437
“Dark, menacing with only a few touches of chrome define this CTS-V’s theme”

Dark, menacing with only a few touches of chrome define this CTS-V’s theme. Yeah, Cadillac offers several other color options, but the black-on-black look suits it well. Much of the blackness is credited to the Carbon Black Package, a $6,950 option that brings 19-inch “Midnight Dark” alloy wheels, the black chrome-accented grille, and a slew of carbon fiber both inside and out. Outside, this includes the carbon fiber hood vent, carbon fiber front splitter, and the carbon fiber rear diffuser, and the tall, carbon fiber rear spoiler.

About the only bright trim on this CTS-V is the Cadillac badge, the headlights, the V-Series badge on the front fender, the door handles, the trim around the windows, and the bar atop the license plate.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737435
“The CTS-V has some serious aerodynamics improvement over the standard CTS”

Aside from its color, the CTS-V has some serious aerodynamics improvement over the standard CTS. The front splitter, the larger grille, the heat extractors, the underbody panels, and the rear diffuser all help manager airflow to achieve that 200-mph V-max. And yes, everything is functional. That’s especially true up front where seven heat exchangers hid behind the bumper and grille. Each has something it cools, from the main radiator for the V-8 and the intercooler for the supercharger to the rear differential and transmission. Functionality is a big part of the CTS-V’s design.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 114.6
Length (Inches) 197.6
Height (Inches) 57.2
Width (Inches) 72.2
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.1/61.2

Interior


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737415
“The outside might be functional, but the interior is slightly less so”

The outside might be functional, but the interior is slightly less so. I found the CUE infotainment system frustrating to use. The 8.0-inch display is slower to respond to fingertip touches than other GM 8.0-inch systems, and the HVAC and radio controls are just overly complex and solve a problem that didn’t exist. A set of classy yet traditionally functional controls would go a long way to making the CVT-V (and even the standard CTS) a more livable luxury sedan.

Besides the finicky controls, the CTS-V lives up to its hype. It has room for five people and a sizable trunk. The back seats are large enough for adults to get comfy and the secondary HVAC controls and air vents let rear passengers set their own temperature and fan speed. The system can also be controlled from up front so parents can manage the kid’s cooling.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737420
“The seats are impressively adjustable, offering control over the thigh and back bolsters, lumbar, height, and rake”

My tester came with the optional $2,300 Recaro front bucket seats with suede microfiber inserts. The seats are impressively adjustable, offering control over the thigh and back bolsters, lumbar, height, and rake. They would be perfect for the track thanks to their grippy surface. On the daily, though, I found the suede inserts and thick bolster do a better job at trapping heat. Sadly, the Recaros don’t offer ventilation, only heating. The wife says that function works wonderfully.

The CTS-V also boasts a swanky digital gauge cluster that is configurable with three main themes and more than a two dozen combinations of ancillary gauges and vehicle parameters. Being a proper GM track monster, it has a G meter, a lap timing, and the Performance Data Recorder with the HD camera mounted just ahead of the rearview mirror. Slide in a memory card and the PRD will record your driving and overlay information like speed, rpm, g-forces, and lap times.

Interior Dimensions

Legroom front/rear (Inches) 45.7/35.4
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 40.4/37.5
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 56.9/54.8
Hip room
front/rear (Inches)
53.8/53.3

Drivetrain


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737423
“The all-aluminum small-block boasts 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm”

The heart of the Cadillac CTS-V is its engine. This is GM’s LT4 V-8 and is the same supercharged, 6.2-liter engine found in the Corvette Z06 and Camaro ZL1. Unfortunately, Cadillac falls below Corvette and Camaro in GM’s pecking order, so its LT4 is 10 horsepower and 20 pound-feet short of the Chevys. Regardless, that still leaves the Cadillac with world-class power.

The all-aluminum small-block boasts 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. And just like every small-block Chevy since 1955, it uses a single camshaft located inside the block and uses pushrods to operate the two valves over each cylinder. Of course, the LT4 is a member of GM’s fifth-generation small-block, meaning it has direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. These features certainly contribute to the Cadillac CTS-V having an EPA-estimated highway mileage of 21 mpg. That is very respectable for a V-8 with more than 600 horsepower.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737424
“This 4,129-pound car will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, rip through the quarter-mile in only 11.8 seconds at 124 mph, and continue pulling until it hits 200 mph”

GM’s 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission also helps in fuel conservation, while also keeping the V-8 spinning in its power band during spirited driving. The transmission can also be controlled manually via paddle shifters. Power is sent rearward to an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The smart diff manages the twist well, alternating power between the tires to maintain traction down to the millisecond. The eLSD works in conjunction with the traction control and drive modes to provide the best power-to-the ground possible. Disable the traction control, though, and you’ll instantly morph the massive Michelins into puffy clouds of expensive smoke.

The drivetrain isn’t the only tech keeping the CTS-V running right. The sedan has GM’s Magnetic Ride Control – those fluid-filled dampers that constantly adapt to changing road conditions and offer a range of ride stiffness that correlates to the drive modes. Just as in the Corvette and Camaro, the MRC works incredibly well, though I do wish Cadillac would make Comfort Mode a bit less firm. The same goes for the transmission’s shifts; the car remains too high-strung and acts like a Greyhound yanking at its leash even around town.

Small critiques aside, the nitty-gritty numbers don’t lie when it comes to the CTS-V’s performance. Provided it’s launched well and the 295-series Michelin Pilot Super Sport rear tires hook up, this 4,129-pound car will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, rip through the quarter-mile in only 11.8 seconds at 124 mph, and continue pulling until it hits 200 mph. Road-holding is equally good, with a 1.0-g held on the skidpad and braking from 60 mph in an eye-popping 99 feet. These are supercar numbers from a four-door Cadillac!

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 6.2L supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc) 376 / 6,162
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Horsepower 640 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 630 LB-FT @ 3,600 RPM
Transmission 8L90 eight-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph

Behind the Wheel


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737419
“The CTS-V is an absolute blast to drive fast”

The CTS-V is an absolute blast to drive fast. Its supercharged V-8 never runs out of steam on any road short of a drag strip. Its steering is quick and precise. It’s Brembo brakes (six-piston up front, four out back) do an amazing job stopping the car, regardless of speed. Even outward visibility is good, lending to a good sense of control from behind the suede-wrapped wheel.

But not everything is perfect with the CTS-V. Like I mentioned the car doesn’t feel satisfied tooling around town. It wants to move. It wants to dance. The rumble of the exhaust and whine of the supercharger are constant reminders of the 640 horses living under that carbon fiber hood. Worse still, (and I can’t believe I’m saying this…) the CTS-V is just too powerful to enjoy on public roads. That sweet V-8 wants to rev, but anything past half throttle either has the tires spinning or speed limits getting completely blown away. It’s like having bulldozer and only using it to build sandcastles. I guess that’s why they say, “it’s more fun to drive a slow car quickly than a quick car slowly.” But don’t let my personal temptations bar you from wanting this car. I just need to scratch the itch on a proper racetrack.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737421
“The suspension is a bit too firm, and the transmission’s shifts are far too harsh”

The only (slightly more) objective criticism is the CTS-V’s Comfort Mode. I alluded to it before, but the car still feels hyped up even when this drive mode is selected. The suspension is a bit too firm, and the transmission’s shifts are far too harsh. In Sport Mode, it’s great, but sometimes I like to enjoy a peaceful drive with the wife without getting kicked in the pants by a tranny.

Nevertheless, the CTS-V is definitely on my short-list of most fun car I’ve driven and I’d buy one in a heartbeat if I had money to blow. Speaking of that…

Pricing


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737430

Without all the fancy stuff, the 2017 Cadillac CTS has a base price of $46,990. That’s not bad considering it’s rivals. Caddy will happily sell you a soft, luxury-lined model with all the bells and whistles without any of the sporty stuff starting at $60,190 for the Premium Luxury trim. There’s also the V-Sport model with a 420-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 for $61,690 or $71,790 with the Premium Luxury package added. But none of these compare to the CTS-V for raw power and sinister looks.

The 2017 CTS-V starts at $86,990. For that, you get the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, eight-speed auto, magnetic ride control, limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, all the functional aero bits, the digital gauge cluster, CUE, and full leather seats with heating and venting up front. My tester was filled to the brim with options, though, including the $6,950 Carbon Black Package. That brings the exterior carbon fiber pieces, the interior carbon fiber trim, suede steering wheel and shifter, and black wheels.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737432

The $2,075 Luxury Package adds the Rear Camera Mirror, tri-zone climate controls, split rear seat with armrest and heated outboard seats, the power rear sunshade and manual side window shades, and a 110-volt power outlet. Then there’s the $2,300 Recaro front buckets, $1,600 Performance Data Recorder, and $1,450 panoramic moonroof. Last but not least is the Dark Gold paint on the Brembo calipers for $595.

Tack on the $1,000 gas-guzzler tax and $995 destination charges, and my tester totals out to $103,260

Competition

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S


2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 - image 693198

The AMG E63 S is just as beastly as the Cadillac, though it goes about life a bit differently. As a whole, the car is more luxury-minded thanks to an absolutely gorgeous interior that easily outdoes the CTS-V’s and an exterior that’s a bit more reserved.

Power comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with 603 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque at only 2,500 rpm. It might be slightly down on power compared to the CTS-V, but thanks to 4Matic AWD, the E63 S puts the power down more predictably. A nine-speed automatic mediates relations between the all-aluminum, direct-injected V-8 and the stick rubber. Performance numbers are impressive, with 60 mph coming in only 3.2 seconds and the quarter-mile happening in 11.5 seconds. Interestingly, the Merc’s top speed, when not governed at 155 mph, is “only” 186 mph. Perhaps the CTS-V’s extra bodywork really does pay off.

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S makes the Cadillac CTS-V seem like a bargain when it comes to pricing, though. The Merc starts at $104,400 and will quickly soar when extra options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

2018 BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

The M5 is a staple in the performance luxury segment and has been for decades. Now for 2018, the M5 has a fresh face, an updated interior, a more powerful engine, the addition of AWD, and the subtraction of a manual transmission. While those last two items might make purists sad, the Bavaria’s latest is no slouch or ho-hum sedan.

The familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 returns but makes 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Though lower than the others, the torque peaks at only 1,800 rpm and stays strong till 5.700 rpm where horsepower immediately takes over and lasts till 6,600 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting and a part-time (no, not a type-o) AWD system. Yes, you can turn the AWD system off should you decided to drift the M5 with its Drift Mode setting on. Normal operation has the AWD system constantly engaged. BMW says the 2018 M5 will hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 189 mph. Looks like the Caddy is still the fastest of the bunch.

As of this writing, BMW hasn’t released the price for the 2018 M5, but we expect it to start around $100,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737398

The 2017 Cadillac CTS-V is a helluva car. With a good ole fashioned Chevy small-block V-8 under the hood making a class-leading 640 horsepower thanks to a supercharger, this American monster is able to truly fight off its global rivals. Its armor is made of carbon fiber and is lined with microfiber suede. It’s surname has history and it’s battling to clear the Cadillac crest of past sins. There’s no doubt Cadillac has come a long way in recent years, but there is still more work to be done. Nevertheless, Caddy is on the right track. Now, if people would just start buying them.

  • Leave it
    • Transmision isn’t the smoothest
    • Recaro seats make me hot
    • Expensive options

References

Cadillac CTS


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.


2016 Cadillac CTS-V - image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon 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!

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738197

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon 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!

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738197

Read more Ford news.

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