Ford eyes off-road trim for Maverick, 007’s infamous Mustang miss, Range Rover SV gets seriously swank
Chilean patent hints at off-road-focused Tremor package for Ford’s Maverick
Intake: Ford’s Tremor package for its pickups—the midsize Ranger, the full-size F-150, and the gnarly F-250 Super Duty—has become a wildly popular option for buyers seeking to add some extra off-road chops right out of the showroom. Now, it looks the Tremor package will trickle down to the Maverick compact pickup as well. The folks at CarBuzz uncovered a trademark for the Maverick Tremor filed with Chile’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) earlier this week. We’d bet that Maverick Tremor will make its way stateside in short order. The Tremor package revolves around an uprated, off-road-focused suspension, meaty off-road tires, and a bank of accessory switches on the inside for trail lighting and the rest of your adventuring arsenal. If the Ranger is any indication, the Tremor upgrade will add the underbody skid plates and additional Mud/Rut and Sand drive modes of the FX4 package (which is currently available on the Maverick for $800). On the Ranger, the Tremor Package costs $4290. Ford hasn’t released figures for the equivalent Maverick, but we’d guess $3000 to $4000 extra for the off-road kit.
Exhaust: Which truck or SUV is going to get an off-road-focused trim this week? Ladies and gentleman, we have our mid-December winner! In all seriousness, a Maverick Tremor would be killer. Expect the option on all-wheel-drive versions of EcoBoost-equipped Mavericks (XLT and Lariat). We specced an XLT with the Luxury Pack (read: heated seats) for $29K out the door. Add $4K for the Tremor, and you’ve got a compelling, affordable alternative to the Subaru Forester Wilderness ($33,945).
Nissan electrifies a Bluebird to celebrate its Sunderland factory, and it’s one rad flier
Intake: The city of Sunderland, a port city in northeast England, has been home to Nissan vehicles for the past 35 years. It started with the Nissan Bluebird (Stanza in stateside speak) from a factory that, as per Wikipedia, was “instrumental in proving that a British factory could produce vehicles to the same quality standards as those built in Japan.” With such a legacy, Nissan UK contracted Kinghorn Electric Vehicles to take an original, British Bluebird and electrify it using the powertrain from the Nissan Leaf EV currently made in Sunderland. The end result is called the “Newbird” and it sports a Rad-worthy graphics package, a Leaf powertrain, and improvements to steering, suspension, ventilation and lighting systems. Nissan claims everything from the Newbird’s gauges to the fuel filler door work in harmony with the new EV powertrain, and there’s even a lighted Nissan grille emblem like the Leaf.
Exhaust: Like Hyundai, Ford, and GM before it, Nissan is doing a fantastic job finding reasons to restomod globally historic vehicles with electric powertrains, and other timely upgrades available in the automotive aftermarket. Celebrating 35 years of building cars in England, with a manufacturing base demoralized by the fall of British Leyland, is a wonderful tribute to Nissan UK’s employees and a delightful way to usher in 35 more years of manufacturing excellence.
Michigan lawmakers considering $9M grant to kickstart Detroit auto show in 2022
Intake: A $795 million spending bill in the Michigan State Legislature contains a $9 million one-time grant for Detroit’s auto show, according to Automotive News. The North American International Auto Show has not been held since January 2019. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association was forced to cancel the show in June 2020 and September 2021 due to the COVID-19 concerns. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), the Michigan House Appropriations Committee chairman, told Crain’s Detroit Business that the grant will “help them get back—get them up and running again.” The next NAIAS has been tentatively scheduled for September 14 to 25, 2022, at Huntington Place (formerly TCF Center and Cobo Center).
Exhaust: The Detroit auto show, once a highly anticipated winter event, was transitioning to a summer rebirth when the pandemic hit, and the extended hiatus has put a strain on the NAIAS budget. Michigan’s $9M grant should put it back on solid financial ground as it prepares for a brighter future.
Ken Block’s first Audi is this retro-inspired, electric Hoonitron
Intake: Ken Block’s adventure with Audi will begin with a tribute to the Pikes Peak-conquering S1 Sport quattro. The all-electric S1 Hoonitron was designed in just four weeks and is set to star in Block’s next YouTube video, dubbed Electrikhana. Audi and Block remain tight-lipped about the car’s specification, but the sideways star has revealed that his first impressions of the OTT EV are good. “I’m familiar with a wide variety of cars using internal-combustion engines and transmissions, but there were a lot of new things for me to learn here. Spinning into a donut at 150 km/h (93 mph) directly from standstill—just using my right foot—is an all-new experience for me,” he said.
Exhaust: “I think it’s cool that the Audi designers have been inspired by their own past and uniquely transferred the car’s technologies and appearance into the present,” said Block. The S1 Hoonitron definitely looks the part, but without pops, bangs and wastegate whistle Block will have to come up with a new soundtrack for his video series.
Electric Silverado revealed next month
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Intake: Leave it to Chevrolet to release information about the first all-electric Silverado in the smallest increments possible. The latest Fun Size bit of information to drop from the hand of the Bowtie brand is a date: January 5, 2022. Three Wednesdays from now, we’ll know the full details on this battery-powered pickup. We already know that it will share GM’s Ultium architecture with the Hummer EV, that higher trims will offer four-wheel steering, and that production is slated to begin in Detroit’s Hamtramck in 2023. What else might Chevy have in store? Hopefully a killer interior that takes full advantage of the “skateboard” electric architecture to offer lots of nifty storage solutions.
Exhaust: Chevrolet has its work cut out. Ford has already beaten Chevy to the electric full-size punch with the F-150 Lightning, which attracted over 200,000 reservations in six months. That doesn’t equate to 200K units sold, of course, but it’s a strong vote of confidence in the Blue Oval, and the battery-electric Silverado needs to come out swinging.
Swanky Range Rover SV adds arts and crafts
Intake: Mosaic marquetry and cool-touch ceramics are to be offered on the next Range Rover SV among some 1.6 million ways the car can be customized. Blending tradition and technology, Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division has come up with a vast number of ways to personalize the new Rangie flagship.
From the outside the car will be distinguished by a new front bumper, five-bar grille, metal plating, and 23-inch forged Diamond Turned Dark Grey Gloss alloy wheels, with a ceramic SV roundel on the hood. That material is also employed inside for the gear shifter, Terrain Response and audio controls, and SVO says it’s created in the same way as luxury watch faces. Optional mosaic marquetry is inlaid in the wood veneers, while semi-aniline leather graces almost every other surface. Alternatively you can pick from sustainable Ultrafabric, which feels like leather but is 30 percent lighter and uses just a quarter of the CO2 to produce compared to cow hide. Customers can choose from 14 colors on top of the standard Range Rover options or have any hue they like replicated with the SV Bespoke Match to Sample scheme, which essentially give an infinite number of choices. The new SV will be available to order in 2022 and will be come in standard and long wheelbase forms, each powered by a 523-hp V-8.
Exhaust: To focus on its impending electric reimagination, Jaguar Land Rover isn’t introducing any new models for the next three years. The newly arrived flagship Rangie needs to last a while, then, and the mind-boggling array of customization options given by SVO should help keep the beast fresh. It’s entirely possible that the next Range Rover will be battery-powered; at the very least, we’d be willing to bet that this is the last V-8-powered flagship truck. All the more reason to lose yourself in the configurator multiverse.
On this day: Diamonds Are Forever makes most memorable movie Mustang mistake
Intake: Fifty years ago today, audiences watched in awe as Sean Connery’s James Bond skidded through the streets of Las Vegas in Diamonds Are Forever … Right up until the moment when 007 pops the car onto its passenger-side wheels to escape the cops through a narrow alleyway and then somehow emerges on its driver’s side wheels. The film makers tried to gloss over this continuity gaffe with a mid-sequence camera move and comedy sound effect, but nobody was convinced. According to Internet Car Movie Database the original, correct exit from the alley sequence had to be dropped because there was a large crowd watching.
Exhaust: Without this error, would stunt driver Buzz Bundy’s two-wheel heroics still be remembered 50 years later? In an interview with Hot Rod Network the now-departed stuntman said it was his favorite stunt. “They built the alley for me, and it was six foot wide. And they asked me if I could, you know, go through it. And I believed I could without touching either side. And so I did. I went through it and then they they couldn’t believe it. And matter of fact, the producer Albert Broccoli, he said to me, ‘You think you can do that again?’ Why not? And so I just went through it again and he was amazed.”