Mustang Dark Horse boasts wild blue paint, Tremec’s new electric motor, Mazda prices the CX-90

Mustang Dark Horse flaunts exclusive blue paint and host of interior flourishes

Intake: We’ve just gotten our first look at the interior of the Mustang Dark Horse, as well as info on two stripe options for the high-performance coupe plus a trim-exclusive paint color. The vinyl stripe option, shown in the rendering of the red car above more closely follows the body lines on the hood, while the painted stripes are wider and extend onto the roof and decklid. Exclusive to the Dark Horse model is a new Ember Blue exterior paint, which will shift color dramatically depending on the angle you’re viewing it and what light is hitting the paint.

Inside, an anodized blue shift knob sits atop the six-speed manual, or, if you opt for the ten-speed automatic, you’ll get shift paddles with a similar treatment. The flat-bottom steering wheel is wrapped in suede and features indigo contrast stitching, mimicking the accent stitching elsewhere in the cabin. Opt for the Mustang Dark Horse appearance package and you’ll get Recaro performance seats with indigo bolsters and that same accent stitching. Other trim pieces in the Dark Horse will be blacked out instead of silver as they are on lesser Mustang models.

Exhaust: Ford knows that personalization is a cornerstone of the pony car market and we’re always glad to see colorful interior options, especially when they’re as tastefully done as this. That color-changing blue paint and the painted-on stripes will likely become sought-after options when these performance ponies inevitably become collector’s items in the future. — Brandan Gillogly

Honda issues recall for more than 114,000 vehicles for wonky rearview camera

2018 Honda Fit Sport exterior rear three quarter driving

Intake: Honda issued a recall for more than 114,000 vehicles due to a faulty rearview camera that may not display correctly, according to a report from Automotive News. The affected vehicles include the 2018–20 Honda Fit hatchback and the 2019–2022 Honda HR-V crossover. According to the filing submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda says that an error in the audio display power circuit may cause a failure in the rearview camera that will result in no image being displayed on the central infotainment screen. Honda says that 205 warranty claims related to the issue were filed between March 20, 2018, and January 6, although it also noted that no injuries or deaths related to the issue have been reported. Honda notified dealers on February 3, and it will start notifying owners of the recall on March 13. The fix will be to get your Fit or HR-V to a dealership, where they will reprogram the unit, manufactured by Denso Ten America Ltd., with updated software.

Exhaust: Mirrors and your ability to turn your head mean you can still back into and out of parking spots safely, but having a working rearview camera certainly is a plus. If your vehicle is affected, make a plan to get to a dealership soon; the fix doesn’t seem like it will take a long time. — Nathan Petroelje

Tremec jumps into EV fray with 800-hp drive unit

Tremec electric motor unit as seen at 2022 SEMA show
Brandan Gillogly

Intake: Tremec, the maker of some of the best manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions in the business, is casting an eye toward the future. The company recently unveiled a new electric drive unit that could serve as a direct replacement for gasoline-burning powertrains in sports cars, according to a report from Automotive News. The twin-motor electric drive unit can reportedly make as much as 800 hp and help a car hit speeds of 180-plus mph, all while weighing just 243 pounds—roughly half of what the gas-burning setup typically weighs in sports car applications. Tremec makes gearboxes for everything from the Camaro to the Mustang to the C8 Corvette and more, but Matt Memmer, Tremec’s director of global engineering and platform management, told AN that the amount of time he and his teams are spending on electrification has gone up by a factor of 10 in the past two years. “We’ve created an advanced engineering team to focus on electrification,” said Memmer. “We’re putting more and more people into that group.”

Exhaust: With promising results like this, the shift seems to already be bearing fruit. That said, many automakers are using in-house developed electric motors, so Tremec may need to be patient to find an OEM in need of the solution that it can provide. As much as we love a good snicky Tremec six-speed, we can’t fault the company for looking at what’s coming down the road. — Nathan Petroelje

Style meets function with Praga’s ZS 800—but only for a few

Praga ZS 800 rolling right side
Jakub Frey/Praga

Intake: Czech Republic-based Praga just announced today that it will be producing a limited run of just 28 units of its new ZS 800 motorcycle. The bike features an air-cooled 773cc parallel-twin engine and is styled to be a modern interpretation of the 1928 Praga BD 500. Despite the vintage looks, the components are all modern, with forged carbon wheels and titanium exhaust. The engineering team even went so far as to create hydraulic drum brakes for the period-correct look with modern stopping capabilities. Pricing matches the exclusivity of production, at $92,188 plus tax.

Exhaust: With a rigid rear and girder-style front suspension—even if it is sprung by an Ohlins shock and titanium spring— the ZS 800is a hard sell for anything other than style, but this bike does pull off the vintage look a lot better than most other modern bikes produced to look old. We doubt that many will be ridden anyway, as we expect most buyers to park this feat of engineering and materials next to their Praga Bohema hypercar in a collection. — Kyle Smith

Mazda prices the new straight-six-powered CX-90

2024 Mazda CX-90 Reveal exterior front three quarter

Intake: Barely a week after Mazda introduced its new 2024 CX-90 crossover, we now know what it will cost and the fuel mileage. The entry-level model, the surprisingly well-equipped CX-90 3.3 Turbo Select, begins at $40,970, including the $1375 destination charge. It’s powered by a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six that produces 280 hp. It’s matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Mileage is EPA-rated at 24 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined due in part to its mild-hybrid system. At the top of the line are the 340-hp Turbo S models, with a $53,125 starting price. That goes up to $57,825 for the Premium and $61,325 for the Premium Plus.

Exhaust: Mazda dealers have badly needed a fresh SUV in this size and price range, and a tip of the hat to Mazda for not just doing a basic update on the CX-9, but coming out with a much-changed (and we’ll bet much-improved) crossover. — Steven Cole Smith

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    Mazda’s CX-90 looks good. It must be low boost to make only 280hp on a 3.3L Turbo with mild hybrid on it. Most of the Japanese 90’s turbo cars had 300-320hp with no hybrid, no direct injection, etc. on them and were 3.0L. Either way I want to see this engine on a smaller vehicle. I might be interested in it then.

    My 84 Mustang 20th Anniversary 5.0 has over 200,000 miles on it and a new powerplant like the Tremec would be a fun replacement. I would be happy to “loan” the car to Tremec for them to prototype a “crate” engine, I mean motor swap.

    I am glad to see companies like Tremec developing Electric replacements for ICE. I see a great market opportunity for the millions of full size pick-ups in America. These truks are built to last and are suited for an easy environment friendly swap. Magna also have developped a brilliant electric conversion system. I hope small shops in my area will soon offer to do the job.

    I hope a more environmentally sustainable power source besides the current batteries is developed. The amount of raw materials needed to be mined is unsustainable — The motor sounds great though.

    ‘Exclusive to the Dark Horse model is a new Ember Blue exterior paint, which will shift color dramatically depending on the angle you’re viewing it and what light is hitting the paint.’

    Hideous type of paint. It always looks overall awful. Saturn used it on the ION. Shirts used to be made with material that did the same thing.

    It always looks off with some sort of ugly gold/green tinge whether paint or clothing.


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