Ford’s last modern GT (promise), Buick greenlights Electra, Elon’s wandering eye
Ford’s modern GT says a track-only farewell
Intake: Earlier this fall, Ford unveiled what was believed to be the final special edition of the Ford GT to mark the end of the model’s production run. It appears they found one more unlit candle for their celebration cake, however, as the marque just unveiled an 800-horsepower track-only “long tail” variant of the third-generation sports car. Dubbed the Mk IV, this iteration of the GT is an “ultimate send-off” to the third-generation supercar and an homage to the car that won the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. In reference to that year’s victory, just 67 will be constructed.
Canadian engineers Multimatic will build the beast out of their facility in Markham, Ontario. “Multimatic’s brief was to create the most extreme final version of the Ford GT, and the Mk IV is the outcome,” said Multimatic executive vice president Larry Holt. “A unique larger displacement engine, proper racing gearbox, stretched wheelbase and truly radical body has resulted in an unprecedented level of performance.”Prospective buyers will have to go through a new application process to be considered for a Mk IV. In addition to the paperwork, prospective buyers will need to have $1.7M in their pocket. If you are lucky enough to snag one of the 67 cars, you will know by the first quarter of 2023. Deliveries will take place in late Spring.
Exhaust: Who doesn’t love a special edition that goes beyond cosmetic flair? As the final chapter in GT special editions, the Mk IV homage feels appropriate given that much of Ford’s Le Mans cache is wrapped up the 1967 race. That year, Americans Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt drove to an overall victory in a GT40 Mark IV. Under reworked aero and sporting nine more inches from nose to tail, the racer hardly resembled the trio of GT40s that went 1-2-3 in 1966. The new GT Mark IV is highly-reminiscent of another reworked Le Mans staple. In 2018, Porsche released a similar track-only iteration of its 911 GT2 RS wearing long tail bodywork, building just 77 units. With only 67 of the new Mark IVs available, buyers who make the cut will likely feel like they’ve won Le Mans. — Cameron Neveu
London taxi goes luxe for $120,000
Intake: British self-titled “Automotive Fashion House” Kahn Design has turned its attentions away from Range Rovers, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis to the humble London taxi instead. The newest hybrid TX5 may be the most sophisticated black cab ever built, but, designed as it is for public transit, it’s not exactly luxurious to ride in. Afzal Kahn and his team has changed that, transforming the exterior and interior into something that could (almost) rival Rolls-Royce. The starlight headliner certainly takes inspiration from Rolls, while there’s a bit of Maybach in the new front grille, and some Bugatti in the seat design. Passengers also benefit from wireless phone charging, ambient lighting, chrome cupholders, wood veneer, and assorted USB charging points. The Kahn cab is available in left-hand drive for export, as well as Britain’s native right-hand layout with prices starting at £99,000 ($121,220).
Exhaust: Black cabs are the ideal urban vehicle, with an incredibly tight turning circle of just 25 feet and, since they’re now hybrid powered, the ability to run in emissions-free mode as well. London Taxis have long been the choice of celebrities wishing to travel without attracting attention, and can count Prince Phillip, Sir Laurence Olivier, Kate Moss, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger as past owners. This Kahn edition might not be quite as stealthy, however. — Nik Berg
Buick Electra EV Crossover greenlit for production
Intake: Earlier this year Buick teased the Electra-X concept crossover in China, and suggested that EV-motivated Buicks will fall under the “Electra” sub-brand going forward. According to GM Authority, that concept has been greenlit into production with a new name: Electra E4. Sources claim the E4 will look very much like the Electra-X concept, and that it will utilize GM’s BEV3 platform and Ultium EV hardware.
Exhaust: Odds are, GM Authority is right when they suggest little will change when the Electra-X turns into the production Electra E4. The formula for masking a production vehicle as an eye-catching concept car is nearly universal: lower the stance, increase the wheel size, shrink (or delete) the side mirrors, thin the roof pillars (concepts don’t need to pass rollover tests!), reduce the bumper’s footprint, and simplify the headlight design to merely hint at what will actually, legally make production. No matter; as far as CUVs go, the Electra E4 will most certainly be a looker in its market segment. — Sajeev Mehta
A solar-powered car for $6250? Well, sort of
Intake: A new product from a Dutch company called the Squad solar city car—one of those LSV, or low speed vehicles—may be ideal in dense urban areas and especially in sunny retirement communities. Set to go no more than 25 mph, the golf-cart-like LSVs can easily carry you a few blocks to the grocery store or to the community center. A story in Ars Technica details the Squad, a handsome little city car with 250-watt solar panels for a roof that, in a sunny climate such as Florida or Arizona, may mean you never have to charge the batteries. The company, Squad Mobility, plans to sell the Squad in the U.S. come 2024. Designed by a couple of former Lightyear employees, the Squad uses a pair of 2-kW motors, one powering each rear wheel. Squad claims that on a sunny day in the Netherlands, the solar power adds 13.6 miles to the range, and in a sunny clime like Las Vegas, could add up to 19.2 miles. Fully charged by a 110-volt outlet, the total range in 60 miles. “We are seeing a tremendous interest from the USA, specifically for markets such as sharing platforms, gated communities, campuses, (seaside) resorts, tourism, company terrains, hotels and resorts, amusement parks, and inner city services,” said Robert Hoevers, one of Squad’s co-founders. Their web site is squadmobility.com.
Exhaust: Could be a big hit in the right market like The Villages in Florida. – Steven Cole Smith
Tesla investors and analysts to Musk: Keep your eye on the ball
Intake: These are tense times at Tesla: The Gigafactory in Austin is running behind, the Cybertruck is ways behind schedule, there are problems in China, and competition is such that Tesla is offering a $3750 discount on a car. And what is Tesla founder Elon Musk doing? He’s busy tweaking his new acquisition of Twitter. Analysts and investors aren’t amused. A story in Automotive News titled “Elon Musk’s Twitter antics tarnish Tesla, analysts say,” comes down hard on Musk. “This is creating real damage for the Tesla brand,” analyst Mario Natarelli told Automotive News. “When I see people commenting that they are no longer considering a Tesla car or are embarrassed to drive it, I think that’s reaching the point of significant equity damage for the brand.” Just as forceful is a story in Bloomberg titled, “Tesla Investors Have a Message for Musk: Stop Wasting Time on Twitter.”
Exhaust: The ball’s in your court, Elon, but your people have spoken. — SCS
This might be the last unrestored Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet in existence—and it’s for sale
Intake: A 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Pininfarina Cabriolet that languished in a New York garage for decades is for sale for $1.275 million. The seller, Gullwing Motors, says the car “may be the last unrestored example left on earth” and “proudly displays an abundance of patina.” Wearing chassis number 3051, it is the 152nd of 200 examples built and was first registered in Italy. It was exported to New York in 1971 where it has stayed ever since. The V-12 engine of this numbers-matching Ferrari is said to start and run, and the car is original in every aspect aside from the paint. It was originally delivered in Blu Scuro to contrast with the Rosso leather interior. A full spare set of Borrani wheels and re-chromed bumpers comes are included in the sale, along with a mostly-complete toolkit and the original documentation.
Exhaust: This looks like quite a big ask. Gullwing Motors describes the car as “ready for a straightforward and well-deserved restoration,” but that will still add several hundred grand to the asking price and a #2 Excellent condition car could be purchased for the same money, according to the Hagerty Valuation Tools. Still, there’s nobility in a restoration, so we hope this one’s next owner considers giving this drop-top a new lease on life. — NB