Ford EV “crate” motor for SEMA, Toyota takes pole position, RV that can fit a Ferrari


Ford Performance packs a $3900 EV crate motor for SEMA

Intake: Ford Performance’s 302 and 351 crate engines are about to get some very quiet company. During a presentation of some iced-out Mustangs (see below), Ford announced that it’s building a “plug-and-play” style electric motor, dubbed Eluminator. Though details are scarce, output sits at 281 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque. Dimensions are quite petite: 570 mm long, 340 wide, and 370 tall. (For context, a Chevy small-block is 747 mm x 510 x 559.) A traction inverter and battery pack are not included. Total cost is $3900. We’ll know full details when SEMA rolls around in early November.

Exhaust: Ford announced its EV crate motor as an almost throwaway prelude to a white appearance package for the Mustang and Mach-E (see below). In a year, this motor will be bigger news. Even though installation doesn’t seem as straightforward as the offering from EV West and Revolt, which bolts into Chevy small-block motor mounts, and the packaging isn’t as fun as the V-8-style motor from Electric GT, this electric “crate” motor wears the Blue Oval—and represents a big investment in the brand’s forward-thinking enthusiast base. Chevy’s already on the DIY EV-swap train, as we saw when it plucked a 200-hp, 266-lb-ft motor from the Bolt and put it in the Blazer-E concept. Who will be first to market? 

Premium-trim Ford ponies add white special editions

Intake: For the 2022 model year, customers of Premium trim EcoBoost and five-oh Mustang Coupes, plus buyers of the similarly specced Mach-E, can give their ponies the Wite-Out treatment. Electric buyers get a Star White exterior with matching mirror caps and wheel-well trim pieces, plus an Oxford White pony badge on the car’s schnoz and Oxford White accents on the package-specific 19-inch rims. (For you naysayers out there, yes, there are different shades of white.) The interior brings a silver hex-patterned trim to the dash and Light Space Gray to the rest of the cabin. The Ice White Edition Mustang Coupe does its best to evoke thoughts of the ’93 Triple White Fox-body, an illusion somewhat wrinkled by the presence of black in its combo-style interior. We’ll forgive the oversight, however, because there’s a set of sweet white rims and a body-color spoiler perched out back. We’ll take our ice noisy, please. Both the ICE and the BEV models will arrive in dealers early next year.

Exhaust: Moments before Ford rolled the iced-out Mustang onto an impromptu stage on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, “Ice Ice Baby” bumped over the speakers. A Vanilla Ice Edition, could it be? The thought crossed our minds, but in an age when everything from the Lexus GX to the VW Tiguan offers a black trim package, we dismissed the thought as frivolous. Apparently, Ford didn’t. Nostalgia is waxing strong in 2021; will the whited-out Mustang (and Mach-E cousin) strike a ’90s chord? 

Toyota on pole for Le Mans

Toyota Le Mans 2021

Intake: Toyota’s Kamui Kobayshi took pole position for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the number seven GR010 Hybrid Hypercar, ahead of team-mate Brendon Hartley in the number eight car. Kobayashi’s lap of 3 minutes 23.900 seconds was over five seconds faster than the times set in testing earlier in the week when it briefly looked like the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 had the measure of Toyota. However, when it came to the Hyperpole session the Japanese manufacturer was in a different league. The third place Alpine was 1.674 seconds off the pace and Glickenhaus could only manage fourth and fifth.

Exhaust: After what appears to be some serious sandbagging during practice, it now looks like Le Mans is Toyota’s to lose. Watch the action this weekend.

This RV has its own supercar garage

Dembell RV

Intake: It’s not uncommon to see RVs towing cars, but German motorhome maker Dembell has decided that’s a little uncouth for its customers. Instead the company’s “land yachts” include a built-in garage. Available in sizes to fit bikes or an ATV, a Smart car, or even a Ferrari, the Dembell is based on a Mercedes-Benz three-axle chassis, and can be had with up to three slide-outs to expand the luxurious interior. Dembell founder Gabor Filo is a former kart racer and took inspiration for the exterior design from top-flight motorsports RVs. The interior design is Italian and the kitchen appliances are top-end German gear. Prices and full specification are due to be announced at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon later this month.

Exhaust: This might just be the ultimate Grand Tourer. Imagine rolling along the Riviera in your Dembell, then sliding your supercar out from its belly to tackle the coastal curves with a little more gusto.

Hyundai’s Elantra N sheds camo and adds power for official debut

2022 Hyundai Elantra N
Hyundai | David Dewhurst Photography

Intake: We’ve seen camo’ed shots and teasers aplenty, but now we get to see the real deal. Hyundai’s latest member of the N performance sub-brand, the Elantra N, made its official debut for North America this week. The Elantra N boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. On cars equipped with the optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic (a six-speed manual comes standard), there’s an overboost feature that delivers 10 extra ponies for up to 20 seconds. Other performance upgrades include 14.2-inch brake rotors and high-friction pads, new dual-compound bushings in the front suspension, and fresh tech that integrates the drive axle, wheel hub, and bearing into one unit to save weight and boost performance in high lateral-g moments.

Exhaust: Call it the Veloster N’s slightly more responsible older brother. We’re digging the way that the Elantra’s bold styling intertwines with the added visual flair that upgrading to N brings. This engine also produces more torque here than in the Veloster N (29 lb-ft more, to be exact.) We’ve yet to drive the Elantra N or the funky Kona N crossover, but if our time with the Veloster N is anything to go by, these both promise to be delightful everyman performance machines worthy of consideration. That’s if you can get over the Elantra’s face, which looks like it’s fresh from an ICP concert.

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