1,400hp Mustang Mach-E: Electric cloud maker

What’s the best way to increase the hype of an upcoming electric car? Put seven electric motors in it and give it silly amounts of power. Well Ford Performance and RTR have done just that with the Mach-E.

Three motors drive the front wheels, four motors drive the back wheels – two more than standard, allowing the car to be used in varying situations – drag racing, rallying, drifting etc.

1400hp, a top speed of 160mph and over 1,000kg of downforce and put it in the hands of Ford racer Vaughn Gittin Jr. and that’s how clouds are made.

It is only a prototype at the moment, taking over 10,000 hours of collaborative work between Ford Performance and RTR but it surely sets the bar for tuners when the Mach-E is released.

Ford brings back the Bronco

After 20 years, Ford is reviving the Bronco. Yes, you have read that right. Land Rover couldn’t have all the fun with the new Defender, the Bronco is returning as the flagship of a rugged 4×4 SUV family but remaining true to its original design. The designers went as far as having a life size digital scan of the original Bronco to influence the proportions and design of the new generation for maximum off-road capability.

Available in two-door and four-door guises – the latter a first for the Bronco, oh and a baby Bronco Sport. But we aren’t here for that. The proper off-roaders are fitted with either a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder EcoBoost with 270hp and 310 lb ft or a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 with 310hp and 400 lb ft mated to either a seven-speed (6+1) manual or a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The swish auto -box will make driving and off-roading a breeze but the manual with its crawler gear will be more engaging and fun to drive.

If there was any doubt that the Bronco was built to be off-road, the 35-inch tyres, the seven driver selectable modes (G.O.A.T. – Go over any type of Terrain modes) and the two 4×4 systems put it beyond doubt. Let’s talk about those two 4×4 systems for a second – the base system uses a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H.

The body is based on a fully boxed, high-strength steel chassis that delivers available best-in-class suspension travel. Each model comes with an independent front suspension for improved control, confidence and comfort. At the rear, a rugged solid axle design featuring coil springs with five locating links which can be upgraded to long travel position sensitive Bilstein dampers with end-stop control valves at every corner.

Inside, the Bronco is just as rugged. The instrument panel is inspired by the original and all the materials are tough and rugged with clear, visible gauges and a 12-inch Sync infotainment system that includes access to the FordPass performance app and OTA updates. This allows drivers to plan, navigate and share off-road adventures (it has over 1,000 maps with help from NeoTreks, Trails Offroad and FunTreks) as well as having a ‘spotter’ with the 360-degree camera.

The driver also has those G.O.A.T. modes – seven driver-selectable modes including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving. If you are a novice at off-roading, don’t worry Bronco has you covered with off-road mapping and technologies such as the Trail Toolbox that includes Trail Control (cruise control for low-speed trail driving), Trail Turn Assist (torque vectoring to tighten the off-road turning radius) and Trail One-Pedal Drive that helps drivers be more precise and feel confident whilst rock-crawling.

Ultimately off-roading is about being with nature, so the doors and the roof needs to come off. Bronco has got that sorted too; the doors are frameless making them easier to remove and two-door models come with a standard three-section roof system – left and right front sections and a rear section. Four- door models have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width center panel and a rear section. Roof panels on all models can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.

Unfortunately the UK will not be getting the Bronco, in the same way it missed out on the F-150 Raptor. In the US, the Bronco starts at $29,995, including $1,495 destination and delivery and you can reserve one now for $100 now.

Geneva 2015: What to expect?

The time of year has come around for all petrol heads. Much like Christmas for a child, the 85th edition of the Geneva Motor show is ten days of motoring goodness. Here are a number of the hotly anticipated cars expected to make an appearance at the show on 5th -15th March.

Abarth:

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Abarth 659 Biposto and a number of updates to the 500 range and new kits and accessories.

Alfa Romeo:

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The Alfa 4C gets the wind in your hair treatment with a Spider version. With its new look, both models get a new voice box in the shape of an Akrapovic exhaust system.

Aston Martin:

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Vulcan is Aston Martin’s new track weapon. Fitted with a hearty 7.0Litre V12 pushing over 800bhp to the rear wheels and limited to 24 examples.  Expect these beasts to be sold out before even catching a glimpse of them in the metal.

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Another racer for Aston, the Vantage GT3 Special Edition, is a road and track car limited to 100 examples, heavily inspired by the marque’s success in Motorsport. The GT3 has clearly been on a diet, losing 100kg over the V12 Vantage S thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre in and around the car.

Audi:

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The supercar which promised to take on the Italians at their own game is back with an update. The R8 gets updated looks, loses some weight (50kg) over its predecessor capable of hitting 62mph in 3.2sec and topping out at 205mph. The V10 engine comes in two guises, standard packing 533bhp and the V10 Plus with 602bhp.

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Making its official appearance to the public is the RS3 Sportback, to be hitting the roads by Summer 2015. Deemed the most powerful five cylinder engine ever produced by Audi RS with 362bhp and 465Nm to play with, it is a good thing it is fitted with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system.

BMW:

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BMW have updated a few of its models including the 1-Series and the 6-series but what everyone wants to see is the M4 MotoGP safety car.

Bugatti:

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Veyron La Finale is the very last one to roll off the factory line. Already sold to a lucky chap in the Middle East  this vast array of numbers wasn’t something people were used to when it was first introduced back in 2004. But now, let’s see the successor.

Ferrari:

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Turbocharging has made a comeback to the ‘Cavellino.’ The 488GTB can be said to be the successor to the F40, the last turbocharged mid-engined Ferrari and a replacement to the fantastic 458 Italia. 661bhp and 760Nm are created by the 3.9Litre Turbo V8 able to hit 125mph in 8.3 seconds.

Ford:

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The much-anticipated Focus RS is the 30th incarnation to wear the RS badge. Fitted with all-wheel drive and torque vectoring will help the driver push the 316bhp to its limits. Ken Block, driver of the legendary Gymkhana series was a consultant during the development of the RS.

All-New Ford GT

50 years after Ford’s GT40 took all three spots on the podium at the 1966 24Hours of Le Mans, Ford have revealed the new GT powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5Litre EcoBoost V6 said to give the car the one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.

Honda:

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Honda are back in F1 with an engine partnership with McLaren F1 and an icon has been reinvented. The NSX is making its rounds 25 years after the original was first premiered. A twin-turbocharged V6 which is a nod back to the original is fitted with a nine-speed DCT box.

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The Civic Type R is getting its debut fitted with a 2.0Litre VTEC Turbo engine allowing drivers to hit a top speed over 160mph. To help drivers deal with the level of speed, the Type R has been fitted with 350mm drilled Brembo brakes up front.

Koenigsegg:

The Swedish company has managed to keep it all very hush-hush in terms of leaks of new cars. A teased sketch of the rear of potentially the Agera RS and supposedly Koenigsegg is bringing another hypercar to Geneva hopefully to take on the three hybrid hypercars from the likes of Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari.

Lamborghini:

Again very little has been given away by Lamborghini, spy shots of what looked like an Aventador SV have  been seen across the internet but all details are being kept close to heart before the official reveal however their teaser video promises to reveal the most ‘reactive’ Lamborghini yet.

Land Rover:

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The stunning Land Rover Evoque gets some cosmetic surgery up front (not that it was ugly in the first place) and gains Jaguar-Land Rover’s new Ingenium engines promising up to 68mpg and under 110g/km of CO2.

Lotus:

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£70,000 worth of Lotus will be officially unveiled at Geneva, 16% more powerful, 22kg lighter and 400bhp gives you the new Lotus Evora 400.

McLaren:

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The Longtail is back. The Mclaren 675LT focusses on less weight and more power.It will shoot to 62mph in 2.9secs. McLaren will make five ‘Hero’ specification Longtails  which consist of never offered colours Silica White, Delta Red, Napier Green and Chicane Grey. The McLaren Orange completes the set.

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Some individuals don’t in the saying that enough is enough. A few of those people clearly work at McLaren as they have taken the insanely quick P1 and upped the power to make the P1GTR. 986bhp, 50kg lighter, wider and lower than the standard P1 and some serious spoilers creating 10% more downforce are all the ingredients to make this GTR.

Mercedes:

Three noteworthy models are being launched by Mercedes. We have reworks of two classics and a GT3 racer.

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Maybach is back as a sub-brand and the first model is the remake of the classic S600 Pullman, 50 years on. At a length of 6.5 metres expect to have a driver to wait with the car as prices start around €500,000 for the unarmored version. I doubt it will be a slouch if it needs to get out of any hairy situations as it is fitted with a V12 biturbo with 830Nm available from as low as 1900RPM.

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If off-roading is more your thing, the G-wagen is the one for you. Elements of the 6×6 have been fitted to the G to create the G500 4×4 squared.  New powerful engines, wider track and higher ground clearance (450mm) promises to tackle nearly any environment you throw at it.

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The GT3 race series is about to get a little more interesting, Mercedes are to launch the AMG GT3 race car. Even though the road car is fitted with a 4.4 biturbo V8, the GT3 will use a fettled example of the naturally aspirated 6.2 V8 from the SLS AMG GT.

Porsche:

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A manual hardcore Cayman is coming. The Cayman GT4 is built with components from the 911 GT3, perfect for racing and with an engine derived from the 911 Carrera S, it is good for 380bhp helping position it as a benchmark.

The second model is a secret but quoted ‘is another exceptional Porsche that sets new standards on the racetrack.’ Could it be the 911 GT3 RS?

Vauxhall:

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A hot hatch that is set to attack Ford’s Fiesta ST sales. The Vauxhall Corsa VXR   is fitted with a 1.6Litre turbo charged petrol engine pumping out 202bhp and up to 280Nm of torque to the front wheels. The VXR averages 245Nm from revs as low as 1,900rpm, which is a significant change from the outgoing car.

Ford Focus UK pricing announced

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The new Ford Focus ST prices have been revealed starting at £22,195 ahead of first deliveries in February next year. Both a petrol and a diesel engine will be available in the hatchback and estate ST guises.

The new diesel engine will be a 2.0 litre TDCi pushing out 183bhp from the front wheels and only emitting 110g/km means it may be the choice for people who want a fast Ford but not an expensive one. Don’t worry it won’t be the exactly the same as the diesel engine in the rest of the Focus range. This particular engine has been fettled with to give it a 23 percent increase in power. The purist in us will want to go with the less frugal yet more powerful 2.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine with 247 bhp and emitting 159g/km, down 10g/km from previous model.

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All models come with the choice of the ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 styling upgrades which include ‘Rock Metallic’ alloys with red callipers, illuminated scuff plates, privacy glass and SYNC 2 8-inch touch-screen in the ST-3.

This new model has a sportier and more aggressive styling pack giving it a wider and lower stance.  A new exterior paint colour is available with the ST-3 upgrade called ‘Stealth’ as well as ‘Deep impact Blue’, which is available across the whole range.

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The Green Oval

Land Rover‘s image has evolved a great deal since the inception of the original back in 1947. Based on a Willis jeep, Maurice Wilks created the Land Rover, which he wanted to use on his vast farmland. Now the average Land Rover  owner not only uses their vehicle off-road, but tends to use it a lot on road as well.

Ford’s ownership of Land Rover wasn’t kind to their brand image, however Tata Tata motors has allowed Jaguar Land Rover to flourish, by keeping the brands in Britain. According to Tata, they are British brands that belong to Britain.

When Tom McCahill a famed New York journalist tested a Land Rover in 1960, he stated that the vehicle “is as rugged as a cement casket”.

To keep up the rugged feel of Land Rover, when cars nowadays are become more and more luxurious and somewhat softer by nature, LR keep feeding their vehicles into Motorsport. Most recently Land Rover announced that they are going to continue sponsoring Race2Recovery. Race2Recovery is the only disabled rally raid team in the world. The team will enter two defender based Bowler Wildcats in the 2014 Dakar rally. Land Rover will provide parts, logistics, vehicle and financial support throughout the 2014 campaign.

Land Rover had made a strategic partnership with Bowler Motorsport back in 2012 forging the path for a Motorsport series known as the Defender Challenge whereby competition prepared Land Rover Defenders are used in a seven round rally series across the UK.

Today, Land Rover has gone from rugged work horse to Industrial chic. If its good enough for royalty, its good enough for everyone else.

 

Henry Ford is known to be the man behind the transport revolution. He started off by giving the world the Model T (Tin Lizzie) produced by Ford’s Motor Company from September 1908 to October 1927.

 

He then entrusted the design of the Ts successor to his son Edsel and his team who came up with the Model A. This model is the first vehicle to have conventional clutch, brake pedals and gear lever. The only exception is that the accelerator pedal is on the floor. This can make it a little confusing to drive.

 

When meeting Antoine Vella, executive director of international operations at Express Group, last week, I was greeted by a beautifully restored 1928 Ford Model A truck in the lobby of the Express Group offices. Its cream paintwork and cream wheels, complement the black wheel arches, leather roof and wooden truck-bed perfectly.

 

Vintage vehicles have their own added value and as a leading provider of logistics and transport services in Malta, we felt it appropriate to have a small vehicle, which represents transport in our reception,” Vella said.

 

Vella speaks enthusiastically about how his company got hold of this model. A shareholder of the company was inthe UK and came across a vintage car dealer. He fell in love with the Ford and bought it.

 

“It was a perfect fit and Ford has such a history,” he said. This particular truck is a rare, right-hand-drive model, built for the Australian market where it was a workhorse for 50 years until it was retired to a museum in South London.

 

Although the vehicle was in a relatively good condition it was not quite up to the standards desired.

 

For this reason it was completely dismantled and fully restored with most of the metal work carried out by company employees.

 

Nothing had to be done to the three-litre, four-cylinder engine which pumps out 24 hp.

 

Even though the car is part of the furniture at Velbro House in Luqa, its engine is still started frequently. Vella enjoys seeing people outside the offices staring inside at the truck.

 

Nowadays, with cars and trucks becoming ever so more powerful and comfortable, it is heart-warming to see such an old piece of transportation history given a home in full view of current and future customers of Express Group.

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120422/motoring/A-truck-parked-in-an-office.416648