Ford’s new V-8, Tuthill’s Group B 911 restomod, VW’s off-road EV concept

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New 6.8-liter gasoline V-8 primed for 2023 Ford Super Duty trucks

Intake: The Super Duty lineup at Ford has no shortage of engine options, but buyers will have even more choice come 2023. As reported by Ford Authority, a new 6.8-liter V-8 will join the options sheet. All signs point to this new gas burner being naturally aspirated, and we expect it to slot right between the current 385-hp 6.2-liter Boss V-8 and 430-hp 7.3-liter Godzilla offerings, power-wise. The trucks will also see a styling update, but the only sightings of these new heavy-duties have been obscured by plenty of camouflage.

Exhaust: Ford has been making big moves into the EV space for its crossovers, cars, and even light-duty pickups, but the Super Duty lineup is on a longer transition away from hydrocarbons than any other market. We reported back in April that the Blue Oval was planning to keep V-8s on the menu through at least 2040 for its heavy-duty workhorses. When we first heard news of a 6.8 in October of 2020, we expected to see the big-block under the hood of the Mustang or the F-150, but now it sounds like the motor will bow first in the Super Duty. Based on the initial projections, this new engine looks like a nice choice for fleet use or those who aren’t constantly hauling massive fifth-wheel campers. We’ll keep our eyes out for more details to see if Ford has other plans for its new middleweight V-8. — Kyle Smith

Redesigned Lincoln Corsair offers the senses a bigger nose, hands-free driving

Intake: The Corsair isn’t exactly long in the tooth, but the new-for-2020 baby Lincoln crossover receives minor cosmetic tweaks and significant upgrades under the skin for 2023. Nothing’s changed mechanically, but the electronics received a significant upgrade, as a next generation “ActiveGlide” hands-free driving assistant now includes “lane-changing, in-lane positioning and predictive speed assist” for highway use. A larger 13.2-inch touch screen and the latest Ford SYNC 4 software are also on tap. The big mouth grille is the best way to spot the Corsair’s changes for 2023, as it now extends below the bumper structure.

Exhaust:Lincoln says the Corsair is their best selling vehicle, and its sales continue to rise (up 21.1 percent this year). This suggests the brand might be doing better than we previously suggested. While loyalists continue to lust after something more Continental Town Car-like, these mid-luxury crossovers come loaded with technology for urban and suburban dwellers alike. If Lincoln continues to give the people what they like at such a rapid pace, they’ll likely earn progressively larger pieces of the pie. — Sajeev Mehta

Tuthill brings back Group B with 993 restomod

Intake: Britain’s Tuthill Porsche has revealed its latest road car, inspired by the 911 SC/RS that was rushed into World Rallying’s Group B in 1982. Porsche made 20 RS evolution cars by repurposing its 911 SC Group 3, but although it fought hard the SC/RS never landed a win. Tuthill’s take is actually 993 (1993–98)-based, albeit with body panels modeled after the 930 (1973–89, also known as the G-series), and has been designed for road trips rather than special stages. Power comes from a 3.8-liter engine with MOTEC ECU and a bespoke high-butterfly intake system. A six-speed G50 manual gearbox is installed, two-way adjustable dampers are fitted, Tuthill’s own brake calipers are bolted on, and the car wears 16-inch alloy wheels. The interior takes its lead from the 3.2 ClubSport, but throws in added niceties such as air conditioning and bluetooth connectivity. “This is the car to drive 500 km (311 miles) a day without fatigue, but one should also be able to charge down a country road with the same sense of lightness one would normally associate withe earlier Porsche 911s,” says founder Richard Tuthill.

Exhaust: Fresh from unveiling its ultimate 911K at The Quail—a carbon-bodied lightweight with an engine that revs to 11,000 rpm—Tuthill has gone back to its roots with the SC/RS. It was with this model in iconic Rothmans livery that Tuthill first began rallying with Porsche, and the new car is a fitting tribute. — Nik Berg

Patrick Dempsey wins the Mille Miglia (on screen)

Patrick Dempsey Le Mans podium 2015
Porsche

Intake: Patrick Demspey has signed up to play 1957 Mille Miglia winner Piero Taruffi in Michael Mann’s upcoming Ferrari biopic. Taruffi was 51 years old when he won the race for the Scuderia in a Ferrari 315 S, with a time of 10 hours, 27 minutes, and 47 seconds. At 56, Dempsey is older than Taruffi, but still had to dye his hair silver-grey for the role. “It’s been a dream job with a great director. It’s fantastic. So, it’s a combination of all the things I love,” Dempsey told ET online.

Exhaust: The film is based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine and is set during the summer of 1957 when the company is facing bankruptcy. Adam Driver plays Enzo Ferrari and Penélope Cruz is his wife Laura as the company bets all on Italy’s most famous 1000-mile race. With Mann’s direction and a cast who care about cars, it’s shaping up well. — NB

Volkswagen’s ID. XTREME concept imagines the people’s EVs off-road

Volkswagen ID. Xtreme off-road EV concept exterior front three quarter
Volkswagen AG

Intake: Volkswagen has unveiled an off-road concept based on its ID.4 electric crossover. Dubbed the ID. Xtreme, the new dirt-curious EV wants to push the boundaries of what folks expect from Volkswagen and take the electric sub-brand off the beaten path. The ID. Xtreme is based on the ID.4 AWD (called the ID.4 GTX in European markets). An electric motor on each axle will deliver power to all four wheels. Thanks to an upgraded rear motor, the concept’s total system power is 285 kW (382 hp), a 65-kW (87-hp) bump over the ID.4 AWD. Battery-wise, the concept employs a used, 82-kWh battery from another decommissioned test vehicle in the name of sustainability. The off-road build features a host of trail-minded goodies such as 18-inch off-road wheels, a new front bumper, a roof carrier with additional LED lights, an enclosed aluminum underbody, and more. Revised seats, dashes of Alcantara, and orange accents heighten the interior’s sportiness. VW showed the ID. Xtreme to the public at an electric mobility festival that took place in Locarno, Switzerland, last weekend. It says that it will gauge public reception to the concept to decide next steps about whether such a machine will enter production in the future.

Exhaust: When we drove the ID.4 AWD a year ago, we didn’t find it particularly scintillating. One of the biggest concerns was how the suspension seemed to melt when pushed. With no mention of adjusted suspension on this new concept, we’re concerned it will be more of the same, just with added dust. Still, positive reaction to Jeep’s Recon off-road EV suggests a budding market for these silent dirt-slingers. Perhaps the ID. Xtreme will make production, and we’ll get a chance to fling one down a forest road. Until then, this build is just wishful thinking for a car that could use a jolt of personality. — Nathan Petroelje

Supply chain threatened by potential U.S. freight railroad workers strike

BNSF Train on railway
Flickr | Terry Lovell

Intake: After two years of failed contract negotiations between U.S. freight railroads and the unions representing 115,000 workers, both sides are preparing for a potential strike that could severely impact the country’s supply chain. According to Reuters, without an agreement before a “cooling-off period” ends on September 16, the standoff could lead to strikes, employer lockouts, and congressional intervention. Transportation companies BNSF and CSX say they are taking necessary steps to secure the shipments of hazardous and security-sensitive materials in the event of a strike, but they insist that these precautions do not mean a work stoppage is inevitable.

Exhaust: If you believe estimates from the American Association of Railroads (AAR), a work stoppage would cost the U.S. economy $2 billion per day in output and require 467,000 long-haul trucks daily to handle shipments diverted from rail. Worse, AAR says, there aren’t that many available trucks to get the job done, so the supply chain will be squeezed and prices will rise. How will that affect the auto industry, in particular? Since freight rail moves nearly 75 percent of the new cars and light trucks purchased in the U.S., any interruption will be costly. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail even after the cooling-off period ends. — Jeff Peek

NASCAR star Kyle Busch to join Richard Childress, Chevy in 2023

Kyle Busch with Joe Gibbs
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Intake: Earlier this morning, in front of a mass of reporters at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, star driver Kyle Busch and legacy team owner Richard Childress announced that the two will join forces for the 2023 race season. Two-time Cup champion Busch will vacate Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), where he won 56 Cup Series races and took home two championship trophies (2015, 2019)—all behind the wheel of a Toyota. Now, “Rowdy” Busch becomes one of Chevrolet’s star drivers, trading Camrys for Camaros at Richard Childress Racing. The move was prompted by the expected departure of M&M’s/Mars from Busch’s #18 car at season’s end. As JGR searched for a new sponsor, it became more evident with each passing week that arguably NASCAR’s best driver would have to take a pay cut. The 37-year-old-driver indicated a few weeks back that he had multiple offers to consider. With the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season coming to a close, Busch finally has a home.

Exhaust: This is the biggest free agent signing in NASCAR since Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined Hendrick in June 2007. Coincidentally, that move involved booting Kyle Busch—the man who Junior replaced—to Joe Gibbs Racing. During his time at JGR, circa 2011, Busch was involved in a series of on-track altercations with RCR drivers, which eventually prompted team owner Childress to punch Busch in the garage one day. Media sank their teeth into reports of Childress saying “hold my watch” prior to the scuffle, and the slogan went viral. Eleven years later, at today’s press conference, Childress presented Busch with a Rolex for his signing bonus and asked, “Will you hold my watch?” Expect big things from the Hall-of-Fame owner and the first ballot Hall-of-Fame driver. Richard Childress has demonstrated his ability to handle big personalities. The last driver to win a championship with Childress? The biggest personality of them all: Dale Earnhardt. — Cameron Neveu

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