AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The long-awaited rumors are true: Australia’s breathlessly-exciting V8 Supercars series is coming to America. But that’s not, the series has signed a five-year deal with Texas’s Circuit of The Americas, signaling a serious investment in the U.S. market.
Beginning in 2013, Americans in Austin, Texas and watching on the Speed Channel can get a glimpse of the rear-drive, V8 Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores that enthusiasts have pined for, for years.
“We’re thrilled the racing world is so excited about our facility,” said Steve Sexton, the track’s president. “Austin is poised to become the premiere North American destination for international motorsports. In addition to hosting the 4 wheel and 2 wheel world championships, the United States will now enjoy the world’s best touring car series here in Austin.”
The FIA recently sanctioned V8 Supercars as an international series, and its popularity—while always strong and booze-filled in Australia—is growing around the world. Circuit of The Americas will be a place to watch out for in the next few years as well; the triumphant return of F1 to these shores will take place there in 2012, and the MotoGP World Championship will be in 2013.
Now if you excuse me, I’ve got some plane tickets to book.
So the new Ford Taurus was only introduced last year. Why, then, did Ford refresh it for 2013 at the New York Auto Show—why go through all that effort now? Because, according to Ford head design honcho J Mays, the new front end is supposed to showcase Ford’s new global look, and the Mondeo and Falcon are gonna nab a piece of it.
Yes, for once the Ford global look sets its standards from America, not Europe or Australia. The new corporate look, said Mays, will still allow these three diverse sedans to retain their own character. The design elements can be altered to create subtle or aggressive looks across a model range. And the trapezoid grille was influenced by those from Audi—where J Mays used to hang his hat.
The movie is full of high speed chases and destruction in typical 1980′s fashion. You’d either love this movie or think it is one of the biggest time wasters ever invented.
Some of its supporters seem to be Ford of Australia and the team behind Top Gear Australia and they have pooled their talents together bring a modern version of the Mad Max car.
Out of the many designs penned, two designs have been picked as the finalists, one penned by Nima Nourian and the other by Simon Brook.
Ford Australia’s Melbourne based Design Director Chris Svensson said, “Our entire team was very excited to be involved in this after-hours project and they approached it with a great deal of enthusiasm – even those that were too young to remember the first Mad Max movie. We had a special screening of the original movie so they could understand it.”
These two final designs will be voted on by readers of Top Gear Australia, and the winning design will be turned into a full-scale model. Since a Mad Max 4 is being planned, the winning car could end up in the new movie.
With the heaviest 2011 Ford Mustang nudging 4000lbs in curb weight, Ford knows that things have to change if their iconic pony car wants to meet upcoming fuel economy regulations.
Cutting weight and overall size will be the most expedient route, with lightweight materials coming into use throughout the vehicle. The Mustang is also a huge vehicle, and expected to shrink in size as well.
The Mustang is also rumored to get an independent rear suspension, after nearly 50 years of using an antiquated live-axle suspension. While the live-axle setup works well (as you’ll see in our upcoming GT500 review), the Mustang will likely move to an integrated rear-drive platform shared with the more advanced Ford Falcon, which utilizes an independent rear suspension. Finally, the legions of haters will be forced into silence about the Mustang’s rear suspension setup, and Ford will be able to continue the muscle car legacy well into the 21st century.
[Source: The Mustang News]
Ford‘s Australian division tends to get a lot of awesome product that we’re not privy to, like the rear-drive, V8 powered Falcon. The newest Falcon GT will get a supercharged version of the 5.0 Coyote V8 featured in the upcoming 2012 Boss 302 Mustang, which puts out 440 horsepower in naturally aspirated form.
The new supercharged V8, codenamed “Miami” is only up by 9 horsepower from the Coyote, but torque is way up, at 420 lb-ft compared to 380 in the regular motor. Ford Performance Vehicles, Ford Australia’s tuning arm, spent nearly $40 million developing the engine, and is eager to offset some of the cost. Exporting the motor to America is said to be a favored method of making some money on the engine.
“I would be hopeful that our brothers in North America could look at it and decide it would be appropriate for some of the vehicles they have up there,” said Bryan Mears, managing director of Prodrive Automotive Technology Asia Pacific, which owns a majority stake in FPV.
While no vehicle has been cited as a potential recipient of the motor, there’s always the possibility that a future Mustang variant could receive the engine during a mid-cycle upgrade.
When Ford launched it’s all-new retro-inspired Mustang in 2005, the car received plenty of improvements, but according to a recent report in Motor Trend it could have been even better. The chassis, the S197, was originally scheduled to have a fully-independent rear end which would have provided superior performance and comfort, but that plan was scrapped late in development so Ford could save $100 a car.
When the car was first introduced in 2004 the automotive press (and enthusiasts) almost assumed that Ford would do away with the live rear axle in favor of the more modern independent setup and when that never happened questions were asked. Back then we were all told that it would have cost Ford thousands to go this route.
Now, that story appears to be exaggerated. Originally the S197 chassis Mustang was supposed to get a fully-independent setup that was to be shared with the Ford Falcon in Australia. The problems with that setup stemmed from the very different purposes that both cars were designed for, with the Mustang needing just two seats and not much rear space, while the Falcon needed three seats and usable passenger room. Eventually the engineering teams in both Australia and the U.S. came up with their own separate designs.
That U.S. plan for an independent rear-end was, however, scrapped when project boss Phil Martens convinced Ford execs that the company could save $100 per car if they went with a solid rear axle. And so the retro looking Stang got a genuinely old school piece of equipment out back.
The Motor Trend report also points out the eventual irony of the decision to stick with old technology, claiming that it actually ended up costing Ford $98 extra per vehicle due to all the engineering required to make the setup livable by modern standards.
Few engines have received the iconic status of the Ford Mustang’s 5.0. The motor disappeared in 1996 but now appears to be ready to make a comeback.
News of the return comes out of Australia where Ford Australia product development boss Russell Christophers has confirmed a new 5.0-liter V8 is currently undergoing development in the U.S.
In Australia the new engine, code named “Coyote,” will replace a larger 5.4-liter unit in the Falcon, but it could likely be used in an upcoming Mustang.
With new emissions regulations in 2010, we aren’t likely to see the the engine before that. Most likely it would debut in the next Mustang several years from now, but Ford did set a precedent in ’96 when they replace the 5.0 with the 4.6-liter block mid-cycle.
The engine is rumored to make 402hp and 398 ft-lbs of torque.