Mach-E pressed into police service, Continental’s futuristic VW Type 2 restomod, Emira goes racing

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Cop a load of this police Mustang Mach-E

Intake: Wrong ‘uns of Great Britain beware: The rozzers have a new silent weapon and it’s no plodder. Ford has developed a police-specification Mustang Mach-E and the cops are itching to drive it. In GT trim the Mach-E can accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds, so it’ll be more than a match for most getaway cars. Having proved itself capable of 379 miles on a charge on a recent mileage marathon, villains will likely run out of road before the cops run out of juice. Modifications to the Mustang are minimal, with LED light pods and a distinctive wrap. London’s Metropolitan Police and constabularies in Sussex, Surrey, Wales, Devon, Cornwall, and Scotland are all keen to get behind the wheel.

Exhaust: The Mustang Mach-E is set to become one of Britains’ fastest cop cars. In the U.S. Ford already holds that honor with its F-150 Police Responder. Several states run Teslas in their law enforcement departments, so if the Mustang Mach-E works in the U.K., Ford’s enforcer could soon be in hot pursuit on its home turf.

George Russell nabs F1’s most coveted seat, Silly Season continues

hamilton russell f1 fist bump
Williams’ British driver George Russell (L) celebrates after taking second place in the grid with third-placed Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) in the parc ferme after the qualifying session of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on August 28, 2021. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Intake: Every racing fan’s favorite game of musical chairs is in full swing. Following Kimi Räikkönen’s retirement announcement last week, multiple drivers have announced 2022 plans, some of which caught us by surprise. Valterri Bottas, current driver for Mercedes-AMG Petronas alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton, will depart at the end of this year, taking up the mantle at Alfa Romeo for a multiple-year contract starting in 2022. That open Merc seat will be filled by George Russell, a young star within the Mercedes junior driver program and current driver for Williams F1. The Williams seat, in turn, will belong to Alex Albon beginning next year. Albon, who is a part of Red Bull’s young driver academy, drove for Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen in 2020, but lost his seat to Checo Perez in 2021. 

Exhaust: Here’s the subtext: Russell has spent three tedious years waiting patiently for that Merc seat to open up, all the while dragging a dog of a Williams car to better results than should be expected. Bottas routinely delivered results that propelled Mercedes to five consecutive constructor’s championships, but Merc felt it was time to give young blood a chance. Whether or not Russell will play nice with Hamilton remains to be seen. Albon was jettisoned from the Red Bull seat in 2020 because Perez brought in significantly more funding for 2021. It’s surprising to see Red Bull allow Albon to drive for Williams, a team that’s closely aligned with Mercedes, Red Bull’s main rival; but he’s a likable guy and we’re pleased to see him back on the grid.

The Lotus Emira will trade paint in GT4 racing next year

Lotus Emira GT4 front three quarter
Lotus

Intake: Following a July launch filled with acclaim and a twinge of bittersweet, Lotus announced that it will take the Emira, its swan-song internal-combustion sports car, racing in the GT4 class. The Emira GT4 features the same supercharged 3.5-liter Toyota-sourced V-6 as the top-spec production version, which in racing tune produces 400 horsepower at 7200 rpm. With help from U.K. Motorsports firm RML Group, Lotus has transformed the Emira into a fully-homologated GT4 car with the appropriate safety systems, fuel cell tech, and data-logging electronics. The Emira GT4 will debut later this year at Lotus’ Hethel test track. Lotus hopes to build a few units for the 2022 race season, with plans to ramp up production the following year, according to global demand.

Exhaust: We love that, even in the waning days of its internal-combustion glory, Lotus chooses to go racing. The GT4 class seems to be the current Goldilocks formula with regards to competitive fields, sensible cost structures, and robust manufacturer involvement, so it’s no surprise that Lotus opted to plunge the Emira into this fray. We can’t wait to see how it does in 2022 and on into 2023.

Finally, some good Bronco hardtop news

Comparison lineup of the three different tops. The Modular Painted Hardtop will be available in the 2023 model year. Ford/Eric Perry Photography

Intake: Brace yourselves, Bronco customers, because the Detroit Free Press has an update on the hardtop situation. The replacements for Webasto’s problematic molded-in-color (MIC) tops are arriving ahead of their October projected deadline—and they’ll ship within a week. Mark Grueber, marketing manager for the Bronco, told the Free Press that the main holdup now is doing a final comprehensive inspection on vehicles that are currently sitting in lots after they receive their new roofs. If you’re one of the thousands waiting for a hardtop four-door (or any two-door) Bronco, Ford says it will contact you directly when your replacement is ready.

Exhaust: Rumor has it on the Bronco forums that Ford express air-lifted tooling in a mad scramble to make up for supplier Webasto’s stumble. Along with many Bronco customers, we’ll believe this good news when we see the new roofs, but if Ford has truly pulled off this recovery stunt a month early, our hats are off to the Blue Oval.

Genesis’ 2022 G80 Sport decides not to rock the M5’s boat

Genesis G80 Sport profile
Genesis

Intake: Since you can order a “regular” G80 with a 375-hp turbocharged mill as of the 2021 model year, we rather expected the hotted-up version of Genesis’ 5-Series fighter to pack something truly spicy for its second generation. Genesis has thrown a bit of a curveball, however, by rearranging its G80 lineup for 2022. A Sport model is now the only avenue to the 3.5-liter, 375-hp, turbocharged V-6. Regular models make due with a 300-hp inline-four. The 2022 G80 Sport doesn’t blow its predecessor out of the water in terms of powertrain—and thus won’t strike fear into the M5—but it does get a handful of techy upgrades (rear-wheel steering, sport-tuned suspension, and mono bloc front brakes) in addition to model-specific dark chrome trim, red paint, and a 20-inch wheel designs. All-wheel-drive comes standard, and summer tires are optional. Price has jumped $6675 compared to 2020’s V-6-equipped G80 Sport, however.

Exhaust: While we welcome an underdog contender to the venerable M5, a balls-to-the-wall G80 is evidently not in Genesis’ budget. Genesis is picking its fights in the luxury market, and the cash saved by ditching the first-gen G80 Sport’s V-8 is likely going straight to the hungry mouths of its SUVs, a lineup that includes the new-for-2022 GV70. If we had our druthers, however, we’d put that cash aside for a GT4 racing budget.

Continental presents AMBIENC3, an eco-friendly interior from the future

Intake: This past weekend—during the 2021 IAA in Munich—manufacturing giant Continental AG debuted a self-proclaimed “perfect vehicle interior.” Dubbed AMBIENC3, the futuristic interior concept was married to a classic VW Type 2 Microvan for the supplier to show off in retro-chic fashion to the masses. Sustainably based, the design’s environment aims to unify all of the common on-the-road activities for occupants—such as driving, working, and relaxing—by altogether creating a “third space” interior. “With the AMBIENC3 we are connecting a globally renowned icon of the automotive world with new, intriguing surfaces and future-focused technologies, whose attributes assist driving, working and relaxing as effectively as possible and distinguish them through color, design and material,” said Ralf Imbery, Continental’s global director of innovation, transformation and design.

Exhaust: Nothing simultaneously brews both excitement and resentment like stuffing new-age tech into a beloved classic like VW’s Type 2. Featuring the highest and most unobtrusive tech possible, this reimagined Bus is trying hard to come across as the C00L3ST millennial pod on wheels to ever hold an espresso machine. All jokes aside, we’re excited to see an innovative supplier like Continental seize an opportunity to show off on the international stage in front of OEMs. Though the concept in its current form is contingent on an autonomous future, redeemable technologies and materials found within the AMBIENC3 should make waves in the years to come in more practical applications. We’ll be watching out for the Ac2ated speaker-less audio and ProViu 360 camera systems, in particular.

Nine Le Mans winners will line up in Minis at the Goodwood Revival

MinisatGoodwood.Ph.byJaysonFong.(2)
Goodwood

Intake: The glorious Goodwood Revival is fast approaching and the highlight of this retro race-fest looks likely to be a marvelous Mini battle featuring no less than nine former Le Mans winners, with 21 titles between them. The line up includes Emanuele Piro, André Lotterer, Romain Dumas, Brendon Hartley, David Brabham, Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer, and Neel Jani plus former F1 racers Karun Chandhok, Martin Brundle, Jochen Mass, and Jean-Eric Vergne, plus stars from World Touring Cars, Formula W, and Formula E. A total of 30 Minis will go at in the Sir John Whitmore Trophy, a 45-minute race with two drivers per car. Tune into the live feed on Goodwood’s YouTube channel on Saturday, September 18.

Exhaust: Goodwood on a late summer’s day, a grid full of champions, and Minis everywhere—does it get any better than that?

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