Here’s the Mustang Supercar, Honda Prologue EV previewed, new Vespa cute as a kitten
Ford Mustang Supercar breaks cover
Intake: It may have required a trip halfway around the world to see it, but here’s the seventh-generation Mustang Supercar in the flesh. It’ll be racing this weekend at the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama in Australia in what’s now called the Repco Supercars Championship, formerly known as the Australian V-8 Supercar Championship. The car, which closely resembles the GT3 and GT4 Mustangs that will be racing in the states in the IMSA and SRO series, “is more closely aligned with its road-going brethren than ever before, including being powered by a 5.4-liter 600+horsepower Ford Coyote V-8 production-based engine,” Ford says. The engine is mated to an Xtrac six-speed transaxle. The car uses a three-piece spaceframe with removable front and rear sections.
Exhaust: Get used to seeing these track-ready 2024 Mustangs in racing guise, starting on the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend in January, where they’re expected to compete first in the IMSA Michelin pilot Challenge on January 28. “The reveal of the Mustang Supercar is the first of many, with Mustang to race in GT3, GT4, NASCAR and NHRA competition globally,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Motorsports. “Mustang has been an iconic brand on and off the track for 58 years and its legend will continue around the world. We always say Mustang was born to race, and that is more true today than ever.”—Steven Cole Smith
Acura opens up reservations for handcrafted TLX Type S PMC Edition
Intake: Just 300 2023 Acura TLX Type S PMC Editions will be built at the brand’s Performance Manufacturing Center which crafts its mid-engine NSX in Ohio. Of those 300, 100 each will be built in three colors curbed from the NSX: Curva Red with Ebony interior, 130R White with Red interiors, and Long Beach Blue Pearl with Orchid interior. Today marks the opening for the first reservations, which will be for the Curva Red models. Reservations for 130R White versions will open November 9, with Long Beach Blue becoming available December 8. PMC models will come standard with the Type S’s turbocharged, 355 horsepower engine and all-wheel drive along with exclusive content for the PMC Edition, including carbon fiber decklid spoiler and rear diffuser, copper-finished Y-spoke wheels, Berlina black roof and door handles, black chrome exhaust tips, a numbered PMC Edition serial plate, and carbon fiber interior trim. Acura hasn’t given a specific MSRP for these loaded sport sedans, but their release noted that it is, “expected to be in the low-to-mid $60K range.”
Exhaust: These cars are stunning and the color combos offer excitement that is often missing in late-model sports sedans. With just 100 of each color combo, these will be snapped up by Acura fans in no time. The mid $60,000 price range, however, puts these cars into consideration with some serious performance models from the competition, including Audi and BMW, as well as the from the six-speed manual CT4-V Blackwing from Cadillac. —Brandan Gillogly
Vespa introduces a new Vespa GTS with the highest-horsepower engine ever
Intake: Go ahead and say it: Awwww! Yeah, there’s something about a little red Vespa that’s just as cute as a kitten, before it starts to sharpen its claws on your table leg. This is the Vespa GTS, the “Vespa family patriarch,” the company says, and you can get the GTS Supertech (below), powered by a liquid-cooled engine with electronic injection. The 300 HPE model delivers more than 23 horsepower, the most powerful engine in Vespa history, though admittedly that is not a real high bar to clear. The steel body is mated to an entirely new front suspension, and there’s a new touring-level seat. There’s keyless entry and new instrument panel. They should be in showrooms soon, with a starting price of just over $7000.
Exhaust: It’s only been four years since the last Vespa GTS was launched, but the Italian company seems to have made some significant strides to counter a market filled with competitors and copycats. I’d like to have a Vespa, if for nothing else to park it in my living room and look at it. —SCS
Car haulers want new weight limits because electric vehicles are heavy
Intake: You already know that the spike in diesel fuel is making everything delivered by truck more expensive, but Reuters uncovered a new and growing concern: Electric vehicles are heavy—the Ford F-150 Lightning weighs about 1600 pounds more than a comparable gas-powered pickup, due to the weight of the batteries—and truckers are dealing with decades-old federal limits that can easily be overtaxed by a load of EVs. “The truth is we will not be able move as many electric vehicles under the current weight limit. That could mean more trucks on the road, delays in orders and increased costs,” Sarah Amico told Reuters. She is executive chairman of Jack Cooper, among the largest car haulers in North America. The American Trucking Associations has asked lawmakers to increase the 80,000-pound weight limit by 10 percent, to 88,000 pounds, saying the current weight limit is unsustainable given the trends.
Exhaust: This could be one more reason why you’ll be paying more for that Ford Lightning. Oh wait, you already are: Ford just increased the base price of the Lightning for the second time since it was introduced last year—this time by nearly 11 percent, from $46,974 to $51,974. As expected, Ford blamed supply chain issues and inflation, but didn’t mention one central factor: At the introduction, Ford simply priced the truck too low. —SCS
Honda previews the Prologue
Intake: Honda is giving us a look—but not much more—of the upcoming Prologue electric SUV that goes on sale in 2024. The Prologue “will complement Honda’s light truck lineup, positioned above CR-V and alongside Passport, offering generous passenger and cargo space,” the company says. It’s an attractive vehicle, with 21-inch wheels an a panoramic sunroof. It’s about eight inches longer and five inches wider than the new CR-V, and it’s available with all-wheel-drive. “Our goal was to create a clean harmony based on a rugged SUV image by coordinating the colors and materials to express neo-rugged design styling that’s familiar to our customers and uniquely Honda,” said Masaki Sumimoto, design lead for color, materials, and finish. “Neo-rugged” appears in the press release several times. We’d say mission accomplished: It isn’t as cute as a Vespa, but it’s clean and stylish in a neo-rugged way.
Exhaust: Honda has a keen eye toward electrification. Honda will introduce 30 new EVs globally by 2030, with a global sales volume of 2 million units. In North America, Honda has laid out an aggressive timeline of EV introductions based on three initial phases leading to 2030 and ultimately to 100 percent zero-emission automobile sales by 2040: In 2024, begin sales of the Honda Prologue, co-developed with GM. In 2026, begin sales of Honda models based on Honda e:Architecture to be produced by Honda in North America. In 2027, begin sales of a new series of affordable EVs co-developed with GM, also produced by Honda in North America. —SCS