E-Ray-ly quiet Corvette spied, McFly back to the future, Antarctica-bound Porsche on skids
Suspiciously quiet Corvette spied slinking around the Nürburgring
Intake: Spy shooters have caught a rather quiet Corvette driving around the roads outside GM’s Nürburgring Test Center. The camouflaged car makes almost no noise at low speed, suggesting it’s the long-rumored E-Ray version. Seen alongside is the upcoming Z06 which is considerably louder thanks to its flat-plane crank 5.5-liter V-8 derived from that of the C8.R race car. The E-Ray is expected to feature a 6.2-liter V-8 with an electric motor on the front axle giving a combined output north of 600 hp. The E-Ray would therefore be the first production all-wheel-drive Corvette and should be able to light up the drag strip with a 0–60 mph time in the two-second region.
Exhaust: We’re expecting the E-Ray to make its official debut next year as a 2023 model, after the appearance of the Z06. It should slot into the range between the Stingray and the Z06 with a price of around $100,000. Will the cult of Corvette welcome electrification? We’ll soon find out.
Hey, McFly! Check out this Back to the Future 1985 Toyota SR5 pickup
Intake: You can go Back to the Future without a DeLorean or 1.21 gigawatts. A 1985 Toyota SR5 pickup truck that pays tribute to Marty McFly’s dream truck from the 1985 movie is crossing the block at Mecum’s Chattanooga Auction October 15–16. The truck is considered a unicorn because ’85 was the last year of the straight axle and the first year of electronic fuel injection. The pickup features a 103-hp, 2.4-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission and also boasts a roll bar and Smittybilt Bumpers decked out with KC lights. The interior is gray-on-gray. Included in the sale are replicas of Marty’s Hoverboard and self-lacing shoes, along with a framed movie poster, fictitious Grays Sports Almanac, and a 1/10th-scale remote control version of the truck.
Exhaust: We’re obviously big Back to the Future fans (especially when good people build a DeLorean Time Machine to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, like these folks did). So, of course, we’re thrilled to see another vehicle that celebrates the iconic film. Unlike the Grays Sports Almanac, we can’t predict what Marty’s lookalike pickup will sell for, but we guarantee that the buyer won’t have to explain why it’s a star.
Ford’s Coyote V-8 loses a bit of bite in the 2022 Mustang
Intake: Ford’s optional 5.0-liter V-8 will pack a tad less punch in the 2022 Mustang. The Coyote will drop 10 horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque relative to the outgoing engines, for outputs of 450 hp and 410 lb-ft in regular Mustang GTs and 470 hp and 410 lb-ft in the Mach 1. According to Claire Carroll of Ford’s product communications team, the decreases are a result of stricter LEV III emissions regulations.
Exhaust: Our first reaction here is certainly to lament the loss of power, but we’re also plainly aware of the fact that 450 and 470 horsepower aren’t small numbers by any means. Emissions regulations are only going to go one way in the coming years, so don’t expect this to be the last time you hear about a great engine losing a bit of juice.
GM and LG agree to 1.9-billion-dollar truce over Bolt battery recall damages
Intake: According to GM, an estimated 2 billion dollars will remediate Chevrolet’s Bolt battery fiasco; up to 1.9 billion (95 percent) of them will come from its supplier LG Electronics Inc. In late August, the recall seemingly went from bad to worse for the Bolt EV, when it was learned that the model’s battery fire issues expanded to all Bolts from 2017 through 2022. Estimates at the time predicted a 1-billion-dollar problem, but it looks as though that figure has since doubled in scope and remains a moving target, since the final costs will ultimately be dictated by how many Bolts come in for repair. The flub pitted GM against LG as the pair decided who would foot the bill. Thankfully, their corporate relationship appears to have weathered the incident. “LG is a valued and respected supplier to GM, and we are pleased to reach this agreement,” said Shilpan Amin, a GM VP. “Our engineering and manufacturing teams continue to collaborate to accelerate production of new battery modules and we expect to begin repairing customer vehicles this month.”
Exhaust: It’s for the best that this pair realized too much is at stake to ruin the relationship over short sightedness. GM and LG’s joint venture Ultium LLC is paramount to their growth in vehicle electrification moving forward. Staying on the same page and acting fast will be vital towards preventing large-scaled incidents like this in the future.
Renee Brinkerhoff just turned her Porsche into a skidoo to cross Antarctica
Intake: Road-trippin’ philanthropist racer Renee Brinkerhoff is ready to take on the final and most daunting leg of her 20,000-mile, seven-continent Project 365 World Rally. The Denver-based driver is raising awareness and funds for her charity Valkyrie Gives and has already tackled the Carrera Pan Americana, Targa Tasmania, Caminos Del Inca, Peking to Paris, and the East Africa Safari Classic road rallies. The grand finale of this epic, which began in 2017, will see Brinkerhoff drive 356 miles across Antarctica. In order to achieve this freezing feat she turned her 1956 Porsche 356A over to Kieron Bradley, a U.K.-based chassis engineer and extreme explorer who spent over 18 months re-engineering the classic for the harshest climate. Replacing the front wheels are a pair of skis, and drive is provided by caterpillar tracks instead of rear wheels. The conversion has been designed so that it can be fitted by one person and works with the car’s original suspension. Brinkerhoff will be partnered by world-record polar explorer Jason De Carteret who will be on navigation duties during the drive this December.
Exhaust: 356 miles may not sound like much compared to the thousands of miles Brinkerhoff has already covered on her quest. However, the polar Porsche can only run at 25 mph and the terrain will be extremely unpredictable, making this her most dangerous drive to date. Valkyrie Gives was formed to aid women and children around the world who are at risk from human trafficking and through Project 365 World Rally Brinkerhoff is hoping to raise $1 million. All power to this incredibly driven woman.
AC presumably sends off gas-powered era with special edition Ace RS
Intake: AC Cars will soon launch a commemorative continuation model of its Ace sports car, similarly, called the AC Ace RS. According to the English manufacturer, the new roadster is “similar in detail and identical in appearance to the original 1962 Ace.” While the announcement of a new AC project is cause for massive celebration, this news is tainted with a bit of melancholy for traditionalists. As stated by AC leader Alan Lubinsky, this may be its last ever model to be powered by an internal combustion engine. The cottage industry brand already offers electric drivetrains for a majority of their vehicle models. Until then, buyers will have the opportunity to stomp dead dino juice into a 2.3-liter four-cylinder, which produces 350 horsepower the old-fashioned way, all for the fair price of approximately $122,125.
Exhaust: While the Union Jack-emblazoned roadster may be a bombastic departure from many of the single-color Ace’s running around today, the new RS is no doubt a special edition and a proper marker for 60 years since the 1962 Ace roadster, an English sports car that became iconic thanks to the exploits of a certain Texan. If this is truly the last gas-powered Ace, buyers may find this as a proper investment. Speculation aside, what a joy it could be to own a slab-sided Ace for just a shade over six figures. Like Pink Floyd sang, “Shine on you crazy diamond.”