Maverick to gain off-road grunt, Porsche boosts 2020–22 Taycans’ efficiency, 1:10 R/C Hoonicorn

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Off-road-prepped Maverick Tremor spotted undisguised

Intake: Ford will soon equip its lovable Maverick compact pickup further off the beaten path. These spy shots depict what is likely a Maverick equipped with the Tremor package, a mild-not-wild off-road treatment that Ford has already applied to the mid-size Ranger and the full-size F-150. The copper/orange accents (wheels, tow hooks, crossbar grille inlays) are the biggest giveaways; Each is the same color as the accents on Ford’s current Tremorized trucks. While far from the hard-core Raptor models that rule the Ranger and F-150 families, the Tremor package enhances each truck’s off-roading prowess via upgraded suspension and some larger tires to bolster ground clearance. It’s affordable, too: roughly $6K on the half-ton F-Series, on which it is a distinct trim, not merely a package, and $4290 as an add-on to its Ranger brother.

We can’t discern any brand-specific suspension upgrades from these photos, but this Maverick does appear to be riding a bit higher, and the shaved front bumper seen should improve approach angle. (The rear bumper remains the same as that worn by other, more road-worthy Mavericks, but it could be nip-tucked by production time.) The Falken Wildpeak A/T tires are also more aggressive than the all-seasons we’d normally see on a Maverick. There’s an orange Lariat badge on the front fender vent, perhaps implying that the Tremor package will only be available on Lariat-or-higher Mavericks with all-wheel drive. (An AWD Lariat costs $31,010 as of this writing.) We don’t expect a Tremor package to be offered with the front-wheel-drive-only 2.5-liter Hybrid drivetrain.

Exhaust: Though there’s an outside chance this may end up being called the Maverick Timberline, Ford has so far reserved that trim level has been reserved for its SUVs (Explorer and Expedition). “Tremor” is the more likely play here, even if the unibody Maverick has more in common with those SUVs than with its body-on-frame cousins. With the ballooning popularity of overlanding, off-roading, and outdoor adventuring showing no signs of slowing, it’s only logical that Ford prep a version of its red-hot Maverick for the trail. Expect details to arrive from Ford in the near future—camo-free mules don’t often make public appearances like this unless an announcement is already in the works. — Nathan Petroelje

U.S. Army is definitely using the Hummer EV … “for demonstration”

2022 GMC Hummer EV off-road
GMC

Intake: GM Defense has confirmed that a GMC Hummer EV will be used “for analysis and demonstration” to fulfill the U.S. Army’s request for a light- to heavy-duty battery electric vehicle that will be used in “operational and garrison environments.” The GMC Hummer EV features GM’s Ultium Platform, a 24-module, double-stacked Ultium battery pack that provides 1000 horsepower, 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque, 329 miles of combined driving range for Edition 1, and 0–60 mph acceleration in as little as 3 seconds.

Exhaust: Since we know that the Army is planning an Ultium-based “electric light reconnaissance vehicle”—or “eLRV”—that GM Defense announced in November 2021, we’re wondering if the two are parallel projects. Perhaps this demo Hummer is a PR effort meant to prep for the eLRV? We reached out to GM Defense and were referred to the Army for clarification, but we haven’t received an answer yet. We’ll share our findings when we know more.

Upgrade your gaming with this Callum-designed Prodrive sim rig

prodrive_racing_simulator
Prodrive

Intake: Prodrive is making a move from real world racing into the virtual world with this seriously stylish simulator. Created by former Jaguar designer Ian Callum it uses the finest leather and wood, brought together in a simple, elegant form. Prodrive boss Dave Richards says he got the idea during the coronavirus lockdown when he had a team entered in a virtual Le Mans race. Richards reckoned a simulator would be a great addition to the games room in his new house, but his wife hated the “lashed together” looks of existing rigs. Richards approached Callum, who had recently designed the Prodrive Hunter, with a brief “that married technology with contemporary furniture, something you would be proud to have on display in your home like a grand piano, rather than tucked out of the way.” Beyond the looks, the Prodrive sim packs a bespoke PC with a high-end graphics card, a 49-inch curved 5k monitor, a SIM LM Pro wheel with a Simcube 2 Pro motor, mechanical, adjustable pedal box, a Cobra Nogaro Street seat, and comes pre-loaded with Assetto Corsa. Raising your gaming to Prodrive levels doesn’t come cheap, mind. The rig costs $47,000 plus taxes and shipping.

Exhaust: Yes, you could probably do a good season or two of grassroots racing for that figure—but it isn’t abnormal in the sim world, where professional-grade setups can range into the six figures. That said, $47K might be a small price to pay to gain your better half’s approval and not be banished to the garage. — Nik Berg

2020–2022 Taycans gain Spotify, efficiency for 2023

Porsche

Intake: Porsche is planning a bevy of technological updates to its all-electric four-door that will also roll out to 2020, 2021, and 2022 model year Taycan variants shortly. The Porsche Connect software is getting a new user interface with the addition of Spotify and wireless Android Auto. It will also help find charging stations by sorting by power output. Dual-motor Taycans will now de-energize the front motor in Normal and Range modes for improved efficiency while all Taycans will precondition the battery for improved charging performance. Several hardware updates are also coming, including polished and painted Taycan S Aero wheels, Variable Light Control availability on all Taycan models with a panoramic glass roof, and optional dashcam wiring from the factory for easy installation of Tequipment cameras.

Exhaust: If you were an early Taycan adopter, it’s got to be a good feeling to have Porsche offer your car an upgraded user interface and improved software. Several manufacturers have offered similar updates, including Polestar. This is exactly the kind of PR BMW could use in the midst of the dust-up caused by its recent move to “Functions on Demand” subscription service it was planning. — Brandan Gillogly

 

White Rhino six-wheeled Land Rover charges $400,000

Intake: Georgia’s Classic Overland workshop has rescued a rare six-wheel drive African Land Rover and turned it into a 682-hp all-terrain beast. The donor Defender was originally a Fire Truck in Franschhoek, South Africa where its 3.5 liter V-8 helped it haul water across the winelands for around 18,000 miles. Classic Overland bought the Defender, brought it home to the U.S.A and installed a supercharged GM LT4 V-8 with about four times the grunt of the original. The car, named White Rhino for its African heritage and its rarity, is currently in build, so both the exterior and African leather interior can still be customized.

Exhaust: Factory-built 6×6 Land Rovers are few and far between. The Australian army ordered around 400 “Perentie” examples, in no less than 17 body variants, during the 1980s and 1990s but only a few were sold to civilians. This car seems to be one of a very small number of cars built by Land Rover South Africa as a Rapid Intervention Vehicle. The White Rhino is even rarer than an AMG G63 6×6 and some $200,000 cheaper. We know where we’d go for our six-by-six fix, what about you? —NB

Hoonicorn RC is ready for mini-gymkhana

Team Associated

Intake: A drift-ready 1:10-scale RC Hoonicorn is now available from Team Associated, makers of electric radio-controlled cars. Like the Hoonicorn V2 this is modeled after, this mini-Mustang is all-whee-drive and offers a fully independent suspension. Unlike its 1400-hp, turbocharged counterpart, this 18-inch-long version retails for less than $400.

Exhaust: With an electric powertrain, there’d be less maintenance and tuning than with a nitro-powered car. So while it wouldn’t sound as cool as internal combustion, the price is quite tempting and it would kick up some serious dust. —BG

Team Associated
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