760-hp Predator V-8 available from Ford, 4 Series Gran Coupe graces us with more grille, Brit outfit supercharges Porsche’s flat-six

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GT500’s 760-hp Predator V-8 now available from Ford Performance

Intake: Ford Performance has recently added the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 from the Mustang GT500 to its engine lineup, although it doesn’t have full-fledged crate engine status just yet. The ultimate version of Ford’s Modular V-8 engine architecture uses a cross-plane crank, forged internals, and an Eaton TVS R2650 Supercharger to make 760 hp and 625 ft-lbs of torque, but for right now, the $25,995 engine doesn’t come with an ECU and is meant only as a replacement engine for the current GT500 Mustang.

Exhaust: This seems like a stepping stone to make the Predator engine a crate engine, but considering the production version was developed with a dual-clutch transmission in mind, it might be a while before Ford decides to offer a package that will work with the transmissions that most hot-rodders would use. On the other hand, Ford probably wouldn’t stop anyone from plunking down the cash and figuring out the tuning on their own.

Everrati set to electrify the U.S. market

Everrati
Everrati

Intake: British classics-to-EV-conversion company Everrati is expanding into the United States. The firm made its debut with an electro-resto-mod Porsche 911 (964) and is also developing a Land Rover conversion, and even a Ford GT40 replica.”With surging demand from US customers, we are rapidly establishing new operations in North America,” says CEO Justin Lunny. In order to meet this demand Everrati has hired Amit Chandarana as a strategic advisor who is currently Head of Commercial at Gettacar. The company has also enlisted sports marketing guru David Warren who is the Commercial Director of Formula E to work on future brand partnerships.

Exhaust: It’s not clear yet whether the Everrati’s expansion to the U.S. will see its cars built Stateside but the high level hires show how serious the British startup is about conquering America. The move is also clearly about raising funds and increasing the value of the company.”The investor community in the US has already shown a keen interest in meeting this demand, the next round of funding will accelerate our North American operations and presence,” Chandarana says.

More doors, same grille for BMW 4 Series

BMW M440
BMW

Intake: BMW’s second generation 4 Series Gran Coupe has arrived for 2022, and it’s bigger in every direction than its predecessor. That includes the giant grille, of course, which seems to have now been widely accepted. The new 4 is 5.9-inches longer, an inch wider and 2.1 inches taller than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase has been stretched by 1.8-inches, and the front and rear track have been widened by 1.6 and 0.7-inches respectively. The main upshot of this is a tad more interior space, especially for those making use of the rear doors. Despite the increase in size the new 4 Series is more aerodynamic than before, thanks partly to an almost completely sealed underbody. There’s more use of aluminum in the body and chassis to reduce weight, including the hood and front fenders. The chassis is stiffened with a shock tower braces, and there’s additional underbody bracing. The suspension utilizes a two-joint spring system for the front, and a five-link setup at the rear with lift-related shock absorbers to provide additional damping over the biggest bumps and to reduce dive under braking. Electric power steering is fitted, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Providing power for the first models available is either a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 hp for the $44,800 rear-drive 430i, or a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline-six with 382 hp for the $58,000 M440i xDrive. The latter comes with all-wheel drive as standard as well as a new mild hybrid system. To follow will be an all-wheel-drive 430i, as well as a rear-drive M440i. Various M Sport options, from steering to braking, differential, and suspension are also offered to dial up the handling should you desire.

Exhaust: Where’s the M4 GC? Apparently there won’t be one, with the M440i being offered as the most powerful iteration of this variant. Can’t have a four-door M4 stealing the limelight from the iconic M3.

Theon Design supercharges the 964 to over 450 hp

Theon Design supercharged engine
Theon Design

Intake: Theon Designs, Britain’s answer to Singer, has taken Porsche’s 3.6-liter flat-six to new heights by adding a supercharger. The installation uses a Rotrex centrifugal blower to deliver “a linear and smooth surge” of power with no lag. The numbers are mighty, with the motor producing 456 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, but most importantly the characterful note of the engine has been maintained, says Theon Design’s founder Adam Hawley. “It was crucial to us that the Porsche flat-six sound was undiluted and we’re very pleased with the results: the supercharger has a very subtle ‘whine’ so the flat-six is still front and centre, with some wonderful added character.” Instead of an intercooler there’s a water-methanol injection system which doesn’t just cool things down, it also increases the octane rating of the fuel to improve performance. The new engine is being fitted to a customer commissioned car which will be revealed in the next few months.

Exhaust: “Finding the balance and creating the sweet spot is the key,” says Theon Design engine specialist Nick Fulljames. “We use the generation one and generation two Porsche 911 GT3 models as benchmarks. That’s the kind of power delivery and driving experience we want to create—really tractable low down, with superb response when revved.” The idea of a no-lag boost to a Porsche flat-six definitely has some appeal, but purists may well have something to say about adding a supercharger instead of the traditional turbo.

On this day in 1940, Willys-Overland delivers the first “Quad” prototype

Willys Quad prototype
Jeep

Intake: On November 11, 1940, Willys-Overland delivered the first “Quad” prototype to the U.S. Army for evaluation. The vehicle’s name came from its 4×4 system, and only two such prototypes were ever made. The design for the quad was completed in just 75 days. The Quad prototype eventually morphed into the Willys MA, which became the eventual recipient of the Army contract in July 1941. The MAs were sent to U.S. Allies in Russia and England to assist in early combat operations.

Exhaust: American ingenuity was on full display as the national war machine sprung to life. The Willy’s Quad marked a major milestone in what would become arguably the most iconic vehicle of World War II. The next iteration of the MA—the venerable Willys MB—would come to forge the iconic Jeep shape that we know and love today.

Nissan gets inky with new Midnight Edition package, shares ’22 pricing

22 Sentra Midnight Edition
Nissan

Intake: Nissan is going dark with the 2022 top-of-the-line Sentra SR. The Midnight Edition package will blacken out familiar components like the grille, rear spoiler, diffuser, badges, and aluminum alloy wheels. While the specific cost for the package remains unclear, the Sentra SR will start at at $22,110. The other two trims available, the S and SV, ring in at $19,510 and $20,570, respectively. Aside from the midnight madness, new for 2022 is an all-weather package that appeals to the cold weather compact shoppers, adding creature comforts such as dual-zone climate controls, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start.

Exhaust: All hail the economical compact! For folks in search of a sensible vehicle at a price that won’t break the bank, the Sentra offers a fair value for a vehicle that doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. The redesign in 2020 brought on some better looks with it, but the SR’s new Midnight Edition option allows for the black floating roof to look far more at home on the model.

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