No words, just pictures. Enjoy! (Check out Ford’s 2015 Mustang page)
Category Archives: Auto
There has been a lot of speculation about the 2015 Ford Mustang. What will it look like? Will it have independent rear suspension? Will it have a 4 cylinder option? Will it be smaller? Will it weigh less? This Thursday, December 5, we may finally get some answers. To build suspense, Ford has released the teaser image above, and hopefully we will get some answers at 12:01 AM on Thursday.
I do not expect much from Ford on Thursday, however. I believe Ford will only release images of the new Mustang and withhold all the details. Ford has been masterful at keeping the 2015 Mustang in the press, and they are certainly not going to release all the information at once. I suspect we will find out all the technical details at the Detroit Auto Show in in January, and we will likely see other Mustang models (convertible, GT 350, Mach 1, etc.) at the New York Auto Show in April.
I am looking forward to seeing the 2015 Mustang. I am tired of the countless renderings and endless speculation, and this Thursday we can put some of the speculation to rest.
Top Gear, the world’s most popular automotive program, will return to BBC 2 in the United Kingdom on Sunday, June 30. This will be the show’s 20th season. In the United States, Season 20 will debut on Monday, July 8 on BBC America. Judging from the preview images on Top Gear’s website, we can expect a review of the new Jaguar F-Type, a race involving an Audi, Ferrari, and McLaren, and there will be a new reasonably priced car. To hold you over until the new season begins, you may view a slew of teaser photos by clicking here.
The 2015 Mustang mule that was captured on camera last week is certainly making its rounds. Those images offered the first glimpse of a full bodied Mustang prototype. This week, a stealthy driver was able to capture what appears to be the same prototype on video. While it is impossible to make out any of the body lines due to amount of camouflage and padding, the V8 in this mule sounds great! With this video it is possible to compare the prototype along side to other vehicles (there is a current generation Mustang following it in part of the video), and its smaller size is unmistakable. Check out the video posted on YouTube above.
In other Mustang news, Road & Track is reporting that the SVT version of the new Mustang will arrive as a 2016 model and will be called the Shelby GT350 instead of the GT500. The original Shelby GT350 was a successful race car in the 1960s, and I think the name will fit better with the car’s updated dimensions. There are also rumors that a Mach 1 is possible for 2016, but nothing is definitive.
The 2015 Mustang is going to be in the news a lot over the coming months as the car continues to be put through its paces. Hopefully some keen spy photographer will get a shot of it with less camouflage before it is unveiled to the public.
Last June, I posted a ranking of my favorite automotive websites. I originally posted a ranking of this type in December 2011. My justification was that automotive websites rank and review cars, someone should rank and review them. I decided that the sites have had a year to implement my changes, so it is time to update the rankings.
There is not doubt you have come across all these sites at some point. The sites reviewed include: Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Top Gear, Edmunds, Jalopnik, Autoblog, Autoweek, and Road & Track. They are the biggest names in the work of automotive journalism. As a close follower of the auto industry, I visit these websites frequently and have my favorites.
These rankings are my opinion and do not take into account their print magazines (if they have one). The magazines are largely similar, and they typically review the same new cars in any given month. Instead, the rankings are based on how their websites are organized and the accessibility of their content.
8. Car & Driver
Car & Driver has not fared well in my rankings. Their website is consistently one of the worst organized automotive websites. A stark white home page with columns of article titles is no way to get a visitor’s attention. When I am at work or quickly browsing the news, I do not want to only read headlines. Car & Driver has great articles and a fantastic magazine (I am a subscriber), but their website still needs a lot of work.
I debated adding Edmunds to the list. It is not really a news website, but they are one of the best websites for car shoppers. A number of car shoppers read a review of the car of their choice in Car & Driver, Motor Trend, etc. then they go to Edmunds for the full details. Edmunds road tests cars and keeps an archive of all makes and models. Users can view color choices, trim options, tech specs, and full reviews for new and used cars. The layout is user friendly, but the content is a bit stale. Edmunds is all business, but that is not a bad thing.
Autoweek’s website looks pretty much the same as it did a year ago. Like Car & Driver, the website is just full of headlines, and there are not very many. It is a shame that their content is buried deep in the website because it is very high quality.
5. Motor Trend
Motor Trend’s home page is too cluttered. There is a small content box with all the top stories, but that is about all. The rest of the page is full of ads and content boxes. They have buried the content in various blogs and webpages. Like Car & Driver, I am a subscriber to Motor Trend, and they have great reviews and features, but good luck finding anything on the site.
4. Top Gear
Does this site ever change? Top Gear has the same layout as it had over a year ago, but there is no denying that the content has character. The arrangement of the content is not bad either, but reading one of their articles is painful. Scrolling through multiple pages to read a paragraph or two at a time is a pain. Top Gear’s magazine just received a redesign, let’s hope the website is next.
3. Road & Track
Wow! This website has been completely overhauled since last June. Road & Track was purchased by the parent company of Car & Driver and there are rumors this magazine may not be around much longer or that it may remain as an online blog. The site now has a blog-like layout with the newest articles appearing at the top. This is why I like Autoblog so much. This new layout makes Road & Track a contender for #1, in fact, the top three websites have a similar layout and are great sites.
Jalopnik is an interesting website in that it is an automotive blog that allows anyone to contribute. While the top stories of the day from the auto industry may not be immediately covered, but Jalopnik has character and interesting side stories about classic cars and auto racing. Jalopnik is more than just the auto industry, it is a website for car enthusiasts. I check the site at least once a day.
The reigning champion! Autoblog is still my favorite website. They cover the latest news in the auto world, have great car review, cover auto culture, and produce enjoyable special features. Autoblog has a great layout, beautiful photo galleries, and a great Podcast. If you want a quick way to keep up with the auto world, Autoblog is your one stop shop.
All the sites reviewed are quality sites. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be there. But when you begin to look at their websites, it is easy to determine which are the most useful to readers. As I mentioned, Autoblog, Jalopnik and Road & Track have a similar layout that makes them the best of the bunch. Sometime Jalopnik can be a bit out there, but that is what makes their site the so interesting. Autoblog has the whole package and that is not likely to change anytime soon.
Last week, spy photographers captured a full bodied 2015 Mustang mule. Until now, we have only seen pieces of the new Mustang being tested. Finally, Ford is testing the full bodied car, and it is interesting.
Despite the heavy camouflage and padding, the new Mustang it is clearly smaller. Rumors had suggested that Ford is planning to cut the weight and dimensions of the car. Many have criticized the modern muscle cars for being too heavy, and a smaller Mustang would certainly be welcomed.
In addition to the new dimensions, the 2015 Mustang is expected to (finally) have independent suspension and an available Eco-Boost 4-cylinder engine. The 5.0 V8 is expected to stay in the GT model. Rumors have also suggested the top Mustang will drop the Shelby name and will no longer be turbo-charged. This comes following rumors that the engine in the current GT500 would not fit in the Mustangs new engine bay.
The 2015 is expected to be unveiled by the end of 2013, possibly at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It is likely the Mustang will be available in early 2014, just in time for the Mustang’s 50th Anniversary.
SRT Racing has accepted an invitation to run two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The race will be held June 22 – 23 at the historic track. The cars will be driven by Marc Goossens, Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito. Other drivers and team members will be announced in the future. The 2013 entries will be a part of the LM GTE Pro Class.
The Viper has a winning history at Le Mans with both cars finishing at the top of their class in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The new Viper GTS-R made its debut last season in the American Le Mans Series. Both cars are also scheduled to run the full 2013 ALMS season.
See the full announcement from Chrysler/SRT below:
De Retour! Viper set for Return to 24 Heures du Mans With SRT Motorsports
Two factory-supported SRT Viper GTS-Rs will compete in famous 24-hour endurance race in France in June
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — It’s official: Viper will return this year to the stage of some of its most impressive past road racing performances – the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
SRT Motorsports today accepted an invitation from the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) to field two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro class of the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, June 22-23, officially returning the Viper sports car to one of the most prestigious automobile endurance races in the world.
The Viper finished one-two at the 24 Heures du Mans in GTS class competition three consecutive years – 1998 to 2000.
“Racing is truly a part of the illustrious history of Viper and a proving ground for the SRT brand,” said Ralph Gilles , President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “Historically the Viper GTS-R has enjoyed great success at Le Mans, so we couldn’t be more excited and proud to accept the challenge to return to France and continue composing the next chapter in the history of Viper racing at such an historic venue.”
Beth Paretta , Director of Marketing and Operations – SRT Brand and Motorsports, and SRT Motorsports driver Marc Goossens were on hand at today’s press conference in Paris to officially accept the invitation.
“The new SRT Viper GTS-R represents a rebirth for us in road racing by bringing an elevated level of technical sophistication to the track,” Paretta said. “The invitation to return to the 24 Heures du Mans gives SRT Motorsports and the SRT Viper GTS-R the opportunity to compete on a stage with the best sports car teams from around the world.”
SRT Motorsports teamed with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build process of the SRT Viper GTS-R. Two identically prepared cars returned to competition last year at Mid-Ohio, the first of four test-and-tune races in preparation for a full 2013 schedule in the GT class in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron .
In addition to Goossens, drivers returning to the SRT Motorsports lineup for 2013 will be Tommy Kendall , Kuno Wittmer , Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito . Additional team announcements will be revealed at a later date.
The Viper’s successful racing heritage began in 1996 with its first racing entry, the original GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997 to 1999 FIA GT championships in addition to the three consecutive one-two finishes at the 24 Heures du Mans in the GTS class.
The Viper posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car. Viper also captured GTS class and driver’s championships in ALMS competition in 1999 along with the series’ class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championship in 2000 before retiring from the series.
About SRT and SRT Motorsports
The Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.
The SRT lineup in the 2013 model year features five vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. The Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are joined by the SRT flagship Viper and Viper GTS models, which are making their highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.
The engineering expertise within SRT extends well beyond its high-performance street vehicles. Technical support for the Chrysler Group’s various racing programs is provided by the astute engineers at SRT Motorsports, where lessons learned on the race track directly translate to improved vehicles for the company’s customers.
While some of the production vehicles have stolen the show at the North American International Auto Show, there are a number of concepts that have been introduced. The 2012 Detroit Auto Show had several interesting concepts, and there seem to be fewer this year as the production models are more prevalent. Concepts can have a variety of purposes. Some are previews of future models, such as the Ford Atlas Concept – a preview of the next generation F-150. Others are just odd like the X-Truck. See all the 2013 concepts in the gallery below. As before, links will take you to the full article at Autoblog.
The 2013 North American International Auto Show is well underway and all the latest models and concepts have been unveiled. Unlike last year, auto makers had relatively few concept vehicles. This year the focus was on production vehicles for the 2014 model year. The highlight of the show has been the 2014 Corvette Stingray, but there are plenty of other important new models. Check them all out in the gallery below. Please note: all links will take you to the full article by Autoblog.
Tonight, Chevrolet took the cover off the 2014 Corvette in grand fashion. The event was broadcast online and has been publicized for months. One of the most surprising announcements of the night was the car’s name: Stingray. No Corvette has been given this badge since the late 1970s. Chevrolet felt this car was so special, that it was worthy of one of the most iconic nameplates in GM’s history. Stingrays are expected to begin hitting show room floors in September, and no pricing was announced. Nevertheless, a new Corvette is big news in the automotive world and the introduction of the C7 has been anticipated since the release of the C6 in 2005. Is the C7 worth the wait? Let’s explore the 2014 Corvette Stingray.
We will begin with the most important information. The drivetrain. The Corvette made the small block V8 into what it is today, and the 6.2 litre LT1 offered in the Corvette Stingray is all new. Producing 450 horsepower and 450 lb. ft. of torque, the numbers are not that much more than the C6. Paired with the LT1 are two new transmission options. Chevy is offering an all new seven-speed manual or a six-speed paddle shift. Both will offer impressive performance paired with that V8.
Chevrolet promises the new Corvette Stingray has 50/50 weight distribution and added stiffness to improve handling. In fact, the car’s entire frame is now constructed from aluminum, a feature once reserved for the Z06 and ZR1. Chevy claims that the new Corvette will achieve 0 – 60 in under 4 seconds and that the power to weight ratio of the C7 is better than the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. Those are some pretty big claims. Claims that will have to be tested in the future, but impressive for a base model. But nothing was said of independent suspension. Chevy will offer a Z51 performance package with a variety of improvements including Magnetic Ride Control, limited slip differential, dry sump system, close-ratio gearset, and additional coolers for the brakes, transmission and differential.
Since the C5, the Corvette’s interior has been problematic, no, cheap. The plastic dash and uncomfortable seats have made the Corvette’s interior one of the most hated in the industry. One of the promises GM made with the regards to the C7 was an all new interior worthy of a world-class sports car. Certainly the new interior looks better, but anything would be an improvement in this department.
What has changed inside the Corvette? Chevy claims that the interior is all new, and it looks it. The dashboard has an all new, driver centered design, a new instrument cluster, a new infotainment system, and all new seats. The seats of the C5 and C6 were poor and the Corvette Stingray will come with two seats, GT and Competition. Both look inviting, but the Competition seats will feature a magnesium frame to save weight and add strength. But there are some oddities. The blocky steering wheel looks like it belongs in the Impala, not a Corvette, and the carbon fiber trim pieces look out of place. Although it is not perfect, Chevrolet has paid more attention to the interior and it shows.
The exterior is where everything goes wrong for me. I have said on several occasions that if the Corvette was still made of fibre glass, in the world of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fibre, that Chevrolet had already lost. Bad news: fibre glass it is. Why in the 21st century is a world class sports car still built from plastic?? I know, I know, carbon fibre is expensive, but aluminum is not and the entire frame of this car is made from it. If it is strong enough to frame the car, why can’t it make up the body as well?
Fibre glass aside, the Corvette now has the nose of a Viper, rear 3/4 of a GT-R, and the ass of a Camaro. The result of of an awkward three-way? There are too many lines on this car and it is hard for the eye to follow one line from start to finish with finding another. It reminds me of the current Hyundai Genesis Coupe in this regard. It is over-designed.
Angular design works well on Lamborghinis, but it has not worked here. Softer lines have been a part of the Corvette’s heritage since the first car was unveiled in January 1953. A curvy body has graced the Corvette for most of its life. The designers went for something different, and I am not sure if it has worked. From the side, this car is clearly a Corvette as it has a silhouette that has been familiar since the C3. But from other angles, the car is just bizarre. Perhaps the most unappealing angle is from the rear. The square rear with the square tail lights belong on the Camaro. My only wish is that someone had taken away the designers’ rulers.
I am sure that the majority of Corvette enthusiasts will love the C7, just as there will be some that hate it. I have been pretty critical, and I do not want anyone to think that my negative posts about GM has anything to do with my opinion of the Corvette. As a car enthusiast, I have always had an admiration for the Corvette, and I loved the C6. But I think this car’s styling will make it tough for some Corvette enthusiasts to like, and that is not a bad thing. Controversial design makes a car more interesting, and I am looking forward to learning more about the 2014 Corvette Stingray throughout the year, and there is still a lot to be revealed. When will we see the convertible? Z06? ZR1? What about the C7-R?
In the meantime, watch the full unveiling video below.