Jeep’s new wipers fix what ain’t broke, Ford hikes Lightning prices, BMW to sell 2020 Daytona GTE winner
Jeep’s fluid-spraying wipers fix what ain’t broke
Intake: Seeing clearly is important, on- or off-road, and that’s why Jeep Performance Parts developed a new windshield-wiper system called Clean Sweep. It using hoses and a special wiper laser-cut with 12 holes sprays to fluid directly on the windshield, ostensibly doing a better job of removing dirt and debris from the windscreen while also using less washer fluid than a conventional system. The kit can be fitted to 2018-and-newer Wrangler and Gladiator models and includes wipers, arms with blades, and hoses to disable the factory-installed sprayer system and redirect flow to the wipers. Orders can be placed through the Mopar estore.
Exhaust: We spot two flaws: First, the holes face up when the arms aren’t in use, sitting parallel to the cowl. This allows dirt and debris to cover, enter, or clog the 12 carefully placed holes. Second: These newfangled wipers ring up at $140 and their rubber blades aren’t going to last any longer than a standard pair—which most folks don’t replace on time, even though they can be 1/10th as cheap as JPP’s. It might be a little stiff to declare this a solution in search of a problem, but most owners are more likely to spend that $140 on something else. We don’t blame them. –Kyle Smith
Is GM pondering an online heritage archive?
Intake: GM Authority discovered a recent U.S. Patent Office filing by GM for the name “GM Classic” as “providing a website featuring entertainment and educational information in the field of automobiles.”
Exhaust: This news could mean a number of things for auto enthusiasts. GM no doubt has a wealth of historic product information including product photos, brochures, and drawings that car buffs would love to see. Considering GM recently filed “GM Restoration” just a few months ago as a place for hobbyists to get parts to restore their classic GM vehicle, GM Classic could also be a place for articles on how to install said parts. For now it’s all just speculation, but we’re still excited to see what GM turns out. —Brandan Gillogly
F-150 Lightning raises prices ahead of likely tax-credit extensions
Intake: Though orders currently in the pipeline aren’t affected, Ford announced a price hike across the board for the next wave of F-150 Lightning orders. Citing “significant material cost increases and other factors,” all upcoming Lightnings will be anywhere from $6000 to $8,500 harder on the wallet than previous examples. In stark contrast to the slap in the face for Rivian reservation holders, Marin Gjaja, Ford’s chief customer officer, made it clear by saying, “We’ve announced pricing ahead of re-opening order banks so our reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering a Lightning.”
Exhaust: Does a price hike before a check is even written make the act any less frustrating? Probably so, even if the Senate’s proposed EV tax-credit extensions, under which the F-150 Lightning would still qualify for the $7500 reimbursement, are passed through the House and are signed into law as part of the federal government’s latest spending bill. (You would also need keep your order under a somewhat-logical $80,000 threshold.) That probable change in tax-credit qualification is likely why Ford had the moxie to raise prices, although inflation was a problem for the Mustang Mach-E’s profit margins, and was likely a mitigating factor here. —Sajeev Mehta
Rodin FZERO is a no-limits track car from New Zealand
Intake: It may be called the FZERO, but the latest model from New Zealand’s Rodin Cars boasts some impressive numbers. Powered by a twin-turbo V-10 displacing four liters and supplemented by a hybrid system, the FZERO makes 1176 hp, weighs 1539 pounds, produces almost 9000 pounds of aerodynamic downforce, and has a top speed of more than 220 mph. Its designers basically threw away the rule book in a bid to create the world’s fastest track car. “The Rodin FZERO is the physical representation of the ultimate heights in vehicle performance,” explains David Dicker, founder of Rodin Cars, head of Dicker Data Australia, and owner of a Cosworth-powered Lotus 125 “F1 customer experience” car.
Rodin has sculpted the FZERO entirely from carbon fiber to keep mass to a minimum, and the list of suppliers is a who’s who of high-performance experts. The engine has been designed with Neil Brown engineering and is claimed to be the most compact V-10 ever made. Weighing just 291 pounds, it revs to 10,000 rpm and is supplemented with a 130 kW (174 hp) electric motor. The eight-speed gearbox is encased in 3D-printed titanium and comes in at under 145 pounds, the brakes are PFC carbon-carbon discs with titanium calipers, and the wheels are 18-inch forged aluminum items by OZ Racing. Avon slick tires are available in a range of compounds to suit track conditions. Just 27 will be made at a price of around $2.2 million and the first will be delivered in summer 2023.
Exhaust: Well, that just elevated the arms race. On paper the FZERO appears to be even faster than this year’s Goodwood record-smashing McMurtry Speirling which literally blew away a Formula 1 car on the British hillclimb course. Who else is hoping for a showdown in Sussex in 2023? —Nik Berg
103-car showcase for Bentley at Monterey Car Week
Intake: A total of 103 Bentleys, one for every year since the British brand was founded, will be on display on the peninsula during the course of Monterey Car Week and will rotate around the Home of Bentley. Visitors will be able to take test drives in the current production cars and pore over the Bacalar, Batur, and a multitude of other Mulliner models. Bentley is starting celebrations of its Le Mans win centenary early and will lap Laguna Seca in the Blower Car Zero and show off the Speed 8 in the U.S.A. for the first time since 2003. In the run up to Car Week a convoy of 30 Bentleys will also cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to arrive on Thursday, August 18.
Exhaust: Go big or go home, they say, and Bentley has chosen the former for its offering at Monterey Car Week. Beyond its automobiles the brand will offer virtual tours of its Miami residences, show off its home furnishings, and offer customers a taste of The Macallan single malt—because you’ll need a drink when you find out how much everything costs! — NB
Would BMW’s Daytona-winning M8 GTE fit in your garage?
Intake: The 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona was a hotly contested race for the overall win, which went to the number 10 Konica Minolta Taylor Racing Cadillac Prototype. But arguably the best race was in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans class, with the number 24 BMW M8 GTE taking the win over the two factory Porsches, which finished on the same lap as the BMW. While the cars were operated by Bobby Rahal’s Team RLL, they belonged to BMW, and BMW is selling off that winning car. The BMW M8 GTE Chassis Number 1809 will be on display in the BMW USA Classic garage during the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion from August 17-20 for prospective buyers to look over. “BMW has a proud history of preserving and exhibiting its rich collection of historic racing cars in both Munich and North America,” said Thomas Plucinsky, BMW USA Classic Manager. “I only need the fingers on one hand to count the few factory race cars that have left the ownership of BMW in recent years.” Presumably the new owner can preserve it as a trophy, race it in one of the historic racing series, or just bring it out on special occasions.
Exhaust: In fact, it’s very likely the car will see some track time. This past February, 1809 was tested at Palm Beach International Raceway in preparation for sale by racer Bill Auberlen, the driver with more victories in IMSA history (65) than any other. The car ran through a spectrum of tests that included updated programming for easier use by a customer. If you’re interested, email BMW at BMW-M-Motorsport@bmwna.com. Price? BMW won’t say, but our guess is about $1 million, and we aren’t far off. —Steven Cole Smith