Ford Goes all Aluminum, Will Chevy Follow?

You may have heard recently that new F150’s have an all aluminum body, but retain the steal frame. Ford is pushing the American car market forwards, and making them better than ever.

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2015 F150

Pick-up trucks have been made entirely of steel since their beginnings, but with the EPA pushing stricter emissions regulations, auto manufacturers need to step up their game. Now, Ford has been pushing their “EcoBoost” thing for a while now, its just a smaller displacement engine with a turbo or two. But, they took it a step further, 2015+ F150’s have an all aluminum body, saving around 500 lbs, thats HUGE.

The amount of weight it saves going all aluminum means that it accelerates, tows, and handles better, all while saving a lot of fuel. The biggest concern of going all aluminum is the cost of repairing body damage, and yes it is more expensive, but if you ask me its well worth it.

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The 500 lbs that they saved will really show when they release the 2017 Raptor, as lightweight is proven to be the best way to make anything go faster, even when hauling ass across the desert.

Super Duty

Ford just announced details about the 2017 F-250’s, and one of those details is an all aluminum body, much like the F-150. Ford used the weight saving towards making the truck WAY better than ever before, adding a lot of tech features, and a fully boxed frame. That fully boxed frame means its going to be stronger than ever, and it shows with the best tow/payload capacity for the F250 ever.

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It also adds quite a bit of fuel mileage and lessens the amount of pollutants that it puts out.

Your Move, Chevy

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Chevy trucks. But, that aside, Chevy is falling behind the pack very quickly. With Ford pushing their EcoBoost engines in every model vehicle that they offer, while Chevy seems to refuse to downsize their engines (Corvette, Camaro, Trucks). Instead they’re investing a lot of time and money into developing V8 engines that can cut back to 2 cylinders on the highway. How about instead of complicating your ignition systems, just build slightly smaller engines with turbo’s?

I recently saw a Chevy commercial, and it was about how the Silverado’s are “High strength steel for high strength dependability”. While steel is stronger, were in 2015, and Chevy is still building vehicles out of the same material they built them out of 70 years ago, its time to move forwards. Hell, even my friend’s, 2000 Land Rover has an aluminum body, Chevy better pick up their game quick, before its to late.

Summary

Well, Ford is officially pushing the American car market forwards, towards competing with our european counterparts. Like I mentioned earlier, light weight is the best way to make any vehicle better. Just look at Lotus, or Mosler Automotive for example, the both produced cars that got incredibly good gas mileage, while outrunning all of its American competitors.

Ford is making a bold, and very smart move by going all aluminum, as for Chevy, I don’t think that they fill follow Ford’s lead for another 5 years or more.

 

2016 Focus RS starts at $36k, 0-60 in 4.7 seconds

Ford has finally given us some information on the all new Focus RS! We already know its a turbo-4 with all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring. But, until today (Sep. 16) we didn’t know the most important part, the price. The new Focus RS is going to start at $36,605 in the US, which is slightly more than Subaru’s 2016 WRX STI ($34k), and Volkswagen’s Golf R ($36.5k).

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What do I get if I choose the Focus RS over the STI? You get an extra 45 horsepower (350), which gives you a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds compared to the STI’s 5.1 seconds. Thats a lot of performance for $36k, the RS will outrun the Golf R too. The new RS is said to have 350 lb-ft of torque as well.

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Not only will the RS be faster than its rivals at a drag strip, thanks to its torque vectoring, and performance tuned suspension, it’ll be way faster in the twisties. On top of all of that, it’ll have an industry first “drift mode”, which presumably will send almost all its power to the rear wheels.2016-ford-focus-rs-official-photos-and-info-news-car-and-driver-photo-654997-s-original

North American models are set to land in spring of 2016. We have a feeling that Ford dealerships will be littered with STi’s, Evo’s, and Golf R’s that are trading in for the all new RS.

A New Breed of Sports Car

A new breed of sports cars is upon us, not to long ago, electric and hybrid cars were looked at as a performance joke, but recently the tables have turned. Companies like BMW, Telsa, Toyota, and Honda are at the front of developing incredibly good hybrid/electric sports cars. Instead of using the hybrid design towards fuel economy, they’re using the design towards going fast, electrically assisted gas motors, and electrically driven front axles are the new go fast method.

BMW i8:

BMW is known for their incredible sports car, such as the M3 and M5. But they’re new division “BMW i” has taken the hybrid market by storm. The styling is very bold, but strangely sexy, from its low roof line, to its extremely unique body lines, and of course those amazing butterfly doors. It also boasts an incredible fuel economy of 76 MPGe.

BMW i8

Prices for the US market start at $135k, but the i8 is sold out in the US through 2015. The i8 has a mid-mounted inline-3, with a turbo strapped onto it, and an electric motor on the front axle, making it all-wheel drive!

  • Gas engine: 228 hp, and 236 lb-ft
  • Electric motor: 129 hp, and 184 lb-ft
  • Combined power: 357 hp, and 420 lb-ft
  • 0 – 60: 3.8 seconds
  • Price: $135,000+ USD

Toyota FT-1:

The MK4 Toyota Supra has one of the largest fan bases of any automobile ever, YouTube is oozing with videos of 1,000+ horsepower Supra’s, and the 2JZ engine is praises for its ability to make massive power without blowing into pieces. So when Toyota showed the world the FT-1 concept in 2014, the internet nearly broke itself with all the uproar of sheer joy that Toyota would finally make an incredible sorts car again.

Toyota FT1

Since Toyota has yet to release the FT-1, we can’t know anything for sure. The FT-1 will be equipped with a 2.0L inline-4, and a pair of electric motors. In  personal opinion, the FT-1 looks absolutely stunning. It’s as if a GTR, C7 Corvette, and a Supra had sex with the year 2025, and made this beautiful machine.

  • Gas engine: ?
  • Electric motor: ?
  • Combined power: Around 450 hp, and 480 lb-ft
  • 0 – 60: Estimated under 4 seconds
  • Price: Estimated to be around $100,000 USD

Honda NSX:

In the mid-90’s Honda put all super-car manufacturers on their toes, the NSX was better in almost every way than its competitors, and cheaper too. Now, 20 years later, Honda is about release the all new NSX. Much like the original NSX, the new NSX has a V6 engine, but this time around it has not one, but two turbos strapped onto it! Much like the FT-1, Honda has yet to release solid figures for this car, so nothing is for certain.

Acura NSX

But what we do know, is that the twin-turbo V6 will be assisted by three electric motors. One electric motor between the V6 and the 9-speed transmission, and an electric motor for each front wheel. We expect that Honda will implement some sort of high-tech torque vectoring system.

  • Gas engine: ?
  • Electric motor: ?
  • Combined power: North of 550 hp
  • 0 – 60: Estimated 3.8 seconds
  • Price: Estimated to be around $150,000 USD

Telsa Model S P85D:

Tesla, the all electric, and rapidly growing car manufacturer from California. The Tesla Roadster wasn’t a massive success, mostly because Tesla was a very small car company at the time. But now in 2015, they’re becoming a sizable car company, and their latest creation is creating quite the buzz. The new P85D keeps the original P85 rear electric motor, but now with an electric motor on the front axle. Tesla has also implemented an electromechanical brake system, the Porsche 918 is the only other production car to use this system.

Tesla P85D

Tesla was even bold enough to add a vehicle mode called “insane mode” which unleashes this cars full potential, I personally think the more auto-manufacturers should add in silly things like a mode called “insane”. Although the P85D is “insanely” quick, it still retains the all electric bliss that Tesla is all about.

  • Front electric motor: 221 hp
  • Rear electric motor: 470 hp
  • Combined power: 691 hp
  • 0 – 60: 3.2 seconds
  • Price: $105,000+ USD

Conclusion

Its fairly evident that hybrid/electric technology is starting to become less about being “green”, and more about going fast, in new ways. Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren all use hybrid technology in their latest flagship super-cars, but thats a little out of the realm of sports-cars.

2016 Camaro Redesign: Our Thoughts

Because of the absence of the Chevrolet Camaro from 2002-2009, the 5th generation Camaro, was a great success when it hit the showroom floors in 2010. Since the 5th generation was released, it’s only received minor changes in its 5 year life-span.

Chevrolet has finally debuted the all new, long awaited, 6th generation Camaro, sporting a similar body shape, but looking far more modern.

This all new 2016 Camaro sports 3 different engine packages, as well as 2 different transmissions, but we’ll get to that later.

Styling

You may have noticed that the 2016 Camaro sports a similar style to the C7 Corvette.

2016 Camaro Interior

  • The lower parts of the door are creased, giving it a more aggressive look.
  • The tail lights are unmistakably similar in design the the C7 Corvette
  • The “hips” of the car are much more defined and noticeable
  • Its much curvier, and more “exotic” looking, much like the C7 Corvette
  • Dare I say that the rear reminds me of a BMW M4?
  • The front end receives a much more modern, and exotic headlight design
  • The hood is also similar is design to the C6, and C7 Corvette.
  • Overall the redesign makes the 2016 Camaro look much more modern, and strangely exotic.

2016 Camaro Exterior

Interior

Quite frankly, Chevrolet has really stepped up their game when it comes to interior quality, and the 2016 Camaro is no exception.

2016 Camaro Interior

  • The interior is now much more “cock-pit” like, its much more driver focused
  • Over-all it looks much higher quality
  • Once again, the design seems to be similar to the C7 Corvette

2016 Camaro Interior

Power-train

As stated at the beginning, the 2016 Camaro receives 3 engine choices.

  1. 2.0L Turbo, outputting 275 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque
  2. 3.6L V6, outputting 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque
  3. 6.2L V8 (LT1), outputting a whopping 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque

Interestingly enough, the new LT1 V8 is sourced out of the C7 Corvette, with minor changes to accompany the Camaro’s chassis better. 455 horsepower also makes this the most powerful Camaro SS ever.

Performance

Since the Camaro is a performance car, it has received a number of performance upgrades.

2016 Camaro Exterior

  • 200 lbs lighter than the out-going camaro
  • Standard Brembo brakes on the SS model
  • Drive Mode Selector from the C7 Corvette
  • Optional Magnetic Ride on the SS model

2016 Camaro Front End 2016 Camaro Exterior

 

 

2014 Arizona International Auto Show

Upon arrival to the AZ International Auto Show, you’re immediately greeted by a few high end cars.

Rolls Royce

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Aston Martin, Ferrari F12, and a Maserati

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Bently

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Lamborghini Huracan

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Alfa Romeo 4C

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Then, we went inside of the Auto Show, and headed straight for the offroad section
Ford Raptor’s

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Jeep JK Wrangler’s

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Ballistic Bronco

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Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

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Then to the Audi section
Audi A7

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Audi R8

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We then wandered around, taking pictures of cars we liked.
Chevy Trucks

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Lexus RC F-Sport

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Nissan GTR Black Edition

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Ford Fiesta ST

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Chevrolet Camaro Z28

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Dodge Challenger Hellcat

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Chevrolet C7 Corvette Z06

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Detroit Electric’s SP:01, The Next Gen Sports Car.

A company by the name of Detroit Electric has aimed its sights on the Tesla Roadster, and plans to build a better, faster, two-seater electric sports car than the Roadster. Both the SP:01 and the Roadster are powered by electric motors, have two seats, and are based off to the Lotus Elise. However, the SP:01 is based off of the latest model Lotus Exige. The founder of Detroit Electric is former Lotus executive, Albert Lam. Detroit Electric says the SP:01 will not be an open top roadster, but rather a hatchback, allowing the SP:01 to have better aerodynamics, longer range, and a higher top speed.

SP:01

Production of the SP:01 is to begin late 2014, a goal of 2,500 cars per year has been set by Detroit Electric. Sales will begin in early 2015, the first countries to receive the SP:01 will be Asia, Europe, and North America. Detroit Electric hasn’t announced a price, but expect it to be similar to the Telsa Roadster. When Detroit Electric was founded in 2008, they said all their cars would be built in Detroit, now their plan is to build their cars Leamington Spa, England.

SP:01

Detroit Electric has greatly changed the SP:01 since its initially unveil in 2013, a fastback design with a smooth roofline, and a rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics, and a better heating-cooling system. The SP:01’s 37 kWh battery pack sits in a composite casing, which is a stressed member of the chassis, improving the chassis stiffness, but also protects the batteries in case of a collision.

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric claims that the SP:01 will be the world’s second fastest production electric sports car, faster then the Telsa Roadster and the Telsa Model S, but not the Model S P85D. The SP:01 weighs in at 2,590 lbs, and will have a 278 horsepower and 207 ft-lbs of torque, mid-mounted electric motor. They have rated the top speed at 155 mph, and 0-60 mph in an impressive 3.7 seconds. The SP:01 has a claimed driving range of 179 miles.

The Worlds First 3D Printed Car. “Strati” by Local Motors

Imagine being able to walk into a dealership, and being able to buy a 3D printed car, designed as your dream car, and then drive it home the next day. This sounds crazy, but it will soon be a reality in 2015, Local Motors debuted its 3D printed car named “Strati” at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, and its stirred up quite a buzz. No tools, dyes, patterns, or wasted materials, its as efficient as it gets. Strati is made entirely of carbon fiber, one of the worlds lightest and strongest materials, combined with plastic, it only takes 44 hours to print, and only has 50 parts to assemble to create the finished product. Strati has a Renault Twizy electric power train, and weighs in at about 1500 lbs. A gas powered model is going to be an option according to Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors. Since its not a production car it only has a top speed of 40mph, and has no creature comforts, its as bare bones as it gets, but it gives a glimpse of the future for the automotive industry.

3D printed car

By mid-2015 the Strati will be a legal road going car, and will probably go through many development changes to get the final product, a base model Strati will cost around $18,000 USD. Local Motors is mostly known for their street legal baja truck, the Rally Fighter, but now is going to be changing the automotive world forever. You can tell its a 3D printed car by looking at the body up close, its a little lumpy.

Strati’s first ever test drive goes perfectly as shown in the video.

Local Motors Rally Fighter, the ultimate offroad toy. They’re known for efficient building of cars. The Rally Fighter has many parts off of other cars, the tail lights come from Honda, the headlights from Toyota, the engine and transmission from Chevrolet.

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