Shelby’s 775-hp F-150, a quadriplegic IndyCar vet takes on Goodwood, Polestar’s spicy 2
Before our regularly scheduled digest of news and what’s happening in the car world, we’d like to take a moment to recognize Collector Car Appreciation Day. Be sure to get out there and show your classic—and any others that you see on the road—some extra love!
Meet the 775-horsepower supercharged Shelby F-150
Intake: Shelby American just unveiled its newest project—a heavily modified, ’roided-out Ford F-150. The truck’s V-8 is available in two tunes: The standard 395-horse truck, or the optional supercharged V-8, which pushes 775 ponies. It’s got Fox shocks like those on the Ford Raptor, as well as underbody protection to prevent your off-road shenanigans from suddenly clanking a vital drive component on something not so soft. Shelby says that it will only build a limited number of these trucks (each one serialized) but did not specify exactly how many. Starting MSRP is $107,080, which includes a 2021 Lariat 4×4 F-150.
Exhaust: It was only a matter of time until one of Ford’s tuning houses got its hands on a new F-150 and tuned it way up. Depending on how you look at it, here’s the first Ford (okay, Ford-adjacent) contender to de-throne the Ram TRX from its sandy throne of desert-dashing supremacy. That said, we’re still hoping for a full-fledged effort from Ford itself eventually—Shelby GT500 motor in a Raptor, anyone?
IndyCar owner Sam Schmidt won’t let disability slow him down at Goodwood
Intake: Arrow McLaren SP team founder Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed after a 200-mph IndyCar crash in 2000, will be racing up the Goodwood hill in a specially-adapted C8 Corvette this weekend. Schmidt can only move his head, so he controls the car’s acceleration and braking by blowing or sucking through a straw. A camera monitors his head movement, which is directly linked to the steering. “Driving up the hill at Goodwood is such an honor, I’ve watched it a zillion times on YouTube. I guess you could say this is an epic moment,” Schmidt tells BBC News.
Exhaust: Schmidt’s story is inspirational in so many ways. Not only has he led a team to 12 victories in IndyCar, but his work with Arrow Electronics on the technology behind his Corvette could soon help countless others with disabilities stay mobile. We’ll be cheering him on as he takes to the Goodwood hill.
This rare, unrestored Aston Martin DB2 had the same owner for 56 years and now could be yours
Intake: A 1952 Aston Martin DB2 that has been cherished for 56 years is for sale at British specialist Pendine. The Botticelli Blue Aston with its matching blue-leather interior has been painstakingly looked after–including a recent 140-hour service–but never restored. The DB2 was the first car developed by Aston Martin under David Brown’s ownership, with bodywork by Frank Feeley, and a 2.6-liter straight-six engine which was developed under the watchful eye of none other than W.O. Bentley who worked for sister company Lagonda at the time. Pendine says, “Given the rarity of well-maintained yet unrestored examples, this particular DB2 deserves to pass to an enthusiast who honors its condition and ensures it avoids becoming just another restored Aston Martin from the Feltham era.”
Exhaust: Just 411 coupe and drophead DB2s were produced between 1950 and 1953 and, of those that remain, most will surely have been restored by now. That makes this time machine even more valuable in our book.
Alphabet soup no more: LMDh and LMH classes to merge
Intake: When it announced the decisions of the World Motorsport Council yesterday, the FIA revealed that a “technical regulations amendment” had been approved to merge the LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) and LMDh (Le Mans Daytona H) classes. The exact compromises and/or timeline remain a mystery, for now, although we do know that existing LMP2 regulations will remain in effect through 2023, suggesting that the LMDh rules (upon which the new LMP2 class will rely) won’t appear until 2024. The LMH regulations are already active, of course. Interestingly, the LMDh ruleset were rolled out after lukewarm interest to the initial LMH set; evidently, the double eligibility for WEC and IMSA competition was compelling.
Exhaust: Perhaps, after a few more regulation-merging headaches over at the FIA, everyone can be happy. The process of replacing the WEC’s top prototype class, LMP1, with a more cost-effective and exciting alternative is, at long last, arriving at a conclusion. A huge factor in the convoluted timeline here has been the COVID-19 pandemic.
Polestar’s tuned-up prototype 2 hits the hill at Goodwood
Intake: Among the many excellent cars blitzing the hill at Lord March’s estate this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend is a hotted-up Polestar 2 prototype. Driven by chief chassis engineer Joakim Rydholm, this pure-electric fastback crossover boasts a combined output of 476 horsepower from twin electric motors. Upgrades to this beast include new Öhlins three-way performance dampers, much stiffer springs, a carbon-fiber front strut bar from a Volvo S60 Polestar, as well as six-piston Akebono front brakes and chunky 275/30R21 Pirelli PZero tires from the gorgeous Polestar 1.
Exhaust: We’re absolutely here for companies juicing their EV offerings and flinging them up the Goodwood hill. If we’re picky, we much prefer the slinky coupe shape of the Polestar 1 over the taller silhouette of the Polestar 2. Still, it’s great to see Polestar exploring how it can expand its performance offerings. After all, before Polestar was the avant-garde EV brand for your city’s best architect, it was a tuning house hellbent on making bricky (and shapely) Volvos faster and meaner. In a way, the brand is starting to come full circle. Spicy EVs for all!
Corvette C8.R will evolve to enter GT3 competition
Intake: Things are shaking up in the world of endurance racing, and the stalwart Corvette Racing team will be making some big changes in order to compete. As we previously reported, declining participation in the GTLM class has led to IMSA replacing it with GTD Pro, which is based on the GT3 platform also used by WEC. That will mean a lot of technical changes will be required, including the addition of an ABS system, and modifications to the aerodynamics. GM Authority spoke to Laura Wontrop-Klauser, GM’s Sports Car Racing Program Manager, about the transition, who said it would take a couple of years for the Corvette race cars to evolve.
Exhaust: Corvette Racing has been a staple of American endurance racing and has made a name for itself on the world stage in LeMans. This transition to GT3 competition will bring more direct competition but the 2022 and 2023 seasons might be shaky until a purpose-built Corvette GT3 car can hit the track.