Callaway supercharges the C8, Mustang flirts with Godzilla V-8, royal sum for Princess Diana’s Escort
Callaway Cars will supercharge your C8 Corvette to Z06 territory
Intake: Callaway Cars, the Old Lyme, Connecticut-based tuning house behind the iconic 255-mph Sledgehammer C4 Corvette, has announced a supercharger kit for the C8 Corvette. The kit was previewed to attendees of the Corvettes at Carlisle event in Pennsylvania, over the weekend. Configured for the C8 Corvette’s LT2 V-8, which already has 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, the supercharger system will come with its own three-year/36,000-mile powertrain warranty that supplements the Corvette’s existing warranties. Callaway says the kit will undergo final engineering tweaks, emissions compliance testing, and performance wringing in the coming months, at which point the final figures for power gains and performance improvements will be announced. Interested in juicing your C8 with some supercharger whine and a heap of extra grunt? Callaway is taking $1000 deposits for serialized production slots now.
Exhaust: Callaway has already announced a performance upgrade for 6.2-liter and 5.3-liter V-8-equipped GM vehicles such as the 2021–23 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, the 2022–23 Chevy Silverado, the 2021–23 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, as well as the 2021–23 Cadillac Escalade. The $24,95-and-up kit uses an Eaton supercharger and adds as much as 182 hp to the 6.2-liter-equipped models. Using those power gains as a reference point, we may be looking at a nearly 700-hp C8 Corvette. That’s north of Z06 territory! (The eagerly anticipated C8 Corvette Z06 boasts 670-hp from a 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank DOHC V-8.) Yes, the Z06’s appeal lies in more than just its yowling engine but consider this: The base C8 1LT starts at $65,595 including destination. If the Callaway bits come in at roughly the same price as its current kit, you’re looking at just over $90,000 for a car with even more power than the Z06—which we’ve already confirmed will be a six-figure car. The Callaway upgrade may be the better choice for cost-conscious, power-hungry clientele. — Nathan Petroelje
Honda, LG Energy Solution joining forces to produce EV batteries in the U.S.
Intake: Two years after announcing a partnership with General Motors to produce two future Honda EVs, Honda has announced a $4.4 billion joint venture with LG Energy Solution to build a new battery manufacturing facility in the United States. The plant aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40GWh, enough to power 800,000 vehicles by 2030. The pouch-type batteries produced at the new plant will be supplied exclusively to Honda facilities in North America. Its location has not yet been determined, but construction is expected to begin in early 2023, with a goal of starting mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025. By producing the batteries in the U.S., Honda will qualify for the increased EV tax credits by meeting the more stringent requirements of the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act. However, Honda has been consistently critical of the pro-union subsidy plan because it offers higher credits for union-built EVs, and Honda does not use union labor.
Exhaust: Honda and LG Energy officials ignored the elephant in the room and steered clear of political differences when announcing their partnership. Instead, the two say they are focused on their “shared belief” that expanding local electric vehicle production and ensuring the timely supply of batteries will put them in the best position to target the growing North American EV market. We can’t argue with that, regardless of any additional outside factors that may have played into their decision to join forces. — Jeff Peek
That goofy GT350 mule was indeed packing a Godzilla V-8
Intake: Months ago we saw a Shelby GT350 test mule with a bizarre hood bulge, which Ford is now confirming housed the 7.3-liter “Godzilla” truck engine. Ford Performance employees feature the REVan Evan YouTube channel show how the prototype, which prior to this integration was sitting around otherwise unused, blends a manual transmission calibration for the crate V-8. Those looking for a stick-shifted Godzilla crate motor will get the chance in the fall (the automatic is already available), but one look at the Shelby and it’s clear the truck’s intake manifold is a major issue. Fear not: Ford Performance is making more a car-savvy intake with a straight-shot throttle body.
Exhaust: As Hideto Ogata said in the famous movie, “You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which is reality.” The act of fitting it to a manual transmission is a given for a crate motor, but the new intake manifold that will fit in more applications is beyond delightful. Will this OHV Ford soon rival the ubiquity of the LS swap? We shall see. – Sajeev Mehta
Scottish startup has its sights on the U.S.A.
Intake: Scotland isn’t exactly well-known for its automotive industry, but new EV manufacturer Munro Vehicles wants to change that. The firm has developed an $88,500 commercial 4×4 and is targeting North American businesses in mining, farming, forestry, and even oil. Munro’s 376-hp electric off-roader features permanent four-wheel drive and locking differentials to give it serious go-anywhere ability with zero tailpipe emissions. The range is limited to around 170 miles, which is why the company is going for the commercial market. Munro will build just 50 cars in 2023, with half set for export to the U.S.A. and Canada, but the firm plans to scale up to 500 units in 2024, and 5000 by 2030. Should demand outstrip supply, then Munro will produce knock-down vehicle kits which could be assembled in the U.S.A and allow it to qualify for the latest $7500 EV tax subsidy.
Exhaust: Munro hasn’t released key information such as payload and towing capacity, but it’s hard to see how it can compete with the likes of the Rivian R1T or the Ford Lightning. They’ll need the luck of the Irish—sorry, Scottish—to succeed. —Nik Berg
One Lady owner Ford Escort fetches over $850,000 at auction
Intake: A 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo driven by Her Royal Highness, Diana, Princess of Wales for almost three years has just set a right royal record at Silverstone Auctions in the United Kingdom. The People’s Princess was quite the Blue Oval aficionado, but this was her fastest Ford. Diana’s engagement to Prince Charles gave her an Escort Ghia, while this Series 1 RS Turbo was an early family car, with the young princes William and Harry often riding in the rear. Up front would always have been an officer from the Royal Protection Command, known as SO14. According the auction house, the RS Turbo was a stealthy black instead of the standard white at the royal family’s request. SO14 had previously vetoed the princess’s first choice of a red Escort cabriolet. In May 1988 the RS was returned to Ford and sold internally to a manager, appropriately named Geoff King. Later the Escort was offered as a prize on radio station, before being picked up by the latest owner in 2008—a Mr. Windsor. Having collected the whopping £730,000 ($852,000) fee for the car, he could almost afford his own castle now.
Exhaust: A study by Hagerty U.K. confirmed Princess Diana as the most powerful member of the monarchy when it comes to commanding a premium for royally-appointed automobiles. Tallying up four sales, the number crunchers reckoned that having the People’s Princess as a previous owner increased the value of a car by 813 percent. With equivalent Escorts optimistically advertised for £30,000 ($35,000) this latest sale represents an astonishing 2,433 percent rise. —NB
Porsche’s IPO plans are coming along nicely despite market headwinds
Intake: Sources inside Porsche tell Automotive News and other publications that the company expects a valuation as high as $85 billion when it proceeds down the long road to an IPO, perhaps as early as September, based on perceived buyer demand. The names of potential buyers being floated include Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz, T. Rowe Price Group, Qatar Investment Authority and LMVH Chairman Bernard Arnault. Some analysts are surprised that Porsche is going ahead with the IPO in this current market climate affected by inflation, high fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine, but Porsche seems to have confidence that it’s the right time. Parent group Volkswagen and Porsche SE, the company’s biggest shareholder, would have to make a recommendation on the flotation first.
Exhaust: The IPO is not expected to change the way Porsche does business, except maybe to put some money in Porsche’s pockets to help fund further electrification. Only a small percentage of Porsche will be up for grabs, and the shares have no voting rights. VW, and new VW and Porsche head Oliver Blume, will continue on the path already laid out. — Steven Cole Smith