Saleen’s 800-hp droptop Stang, e-fuels halt Europe’s ICE ban, and more

Saleen SA-40 Mustang speedster side profile Manifold lede bannered

Saleen unveils very yellow, 800-hp SA-40 Mustang

Intake: In celebration of 40 years spent tuning Fords (and occasionally building a wild supercar or two), Saleen has unveiled the SA-40, an extremely yellow take on a Mustang speedster. According to Ford Muscle, the SA-40 will be limited to just 10 units, each finished in Speedlab yellow. A speedster-style tonneau top covers the back seats (although Saleen says that it can be removed if you need to haul more than two people) and real carbon fiber hoops boast a “40” logo on the side. The hopped-up Mustang reportedly pushes 800 hp, and other upgrades include Racecraft suspension, Saleen brakes, and custom wheels, as well as a host of other modified bodywork. Nine of the 10 units will be sold at $142,000 apiece, but the first unit will be donated to benefit cancer research through the Cruise for a Cause charity.

Exhaust: The Mustang has long been a popular canvas upon which prolific tuners such as Saleen can bring their power-stuffed dreams to life. That yellow should pop at any car show it winds up at, and each time you see it, you’ll know there are only 9 others like it in existence. — Nathan Petroelje

E-fuels to save Europe from ICE ban

Zero Petroleum e-fuel
Zero Petroleum

Intake: The European Union has stepped back from its plan to ban all combustion-engine cars from 2035 under pressure from Germany and Italy. A new agreement will see the creation of a class of cars that can only run on carbon-neutral e-fuels after the Germans dug their heels in. It’s the second time that the E.U. has had to backtrack on its ambition to axe all ICE vehicles, after previously agreeing to an exemption for low-volume car makers. Under the latest proposal, which will be voted on today, new combustion-powered cars would have to run on synthetic fuels only, not regular gas or diesel, or even biofuel which is made from crops that could otherwise be used for food. Porsche has been advocating for e-fuels for some time and has begun manufacturing it in South America. This new ruling should accelerate the burgeoning industry significantly.

Exhaust: This is great news for fans of the combustion engine, but quite how car makers will be able to ensure their vehicles only run on e-fuels is unclear. Nonetheless when such issues are resolved the European rules could well become a global template—and a sensible one at that. — Nik Berg

Cadillac’s hottest sedans debut in Forza Horizon 5

Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing in Forza Horizon 5

Intake: As part of the 20th-anniversary celebration of V-Series performance, Cadillac’s hottest new sedans, the CT4-V Blackwing and the CT5-V Blackwing, will soon debut in the Forza Horizon 5 video game. The sandbox-style game features an open-world setting where players can cruise all over a massive map and partake in race events or simply cruise with friends. The two Blackwings join the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and ATS-V as well as a 2013 XTS limousine as the only Caddies currently available in the video game. Interested in adding the two to your virtual garage? The CT5-V Blackwing will be available as a seasonal reward to players from April 6–12; the CT4-V Blackwing from April 20–26.

Exhaust: What car magazines were to young fans two decades ago, video games are to today’s car-curious youth. Forza Horizon 5 is full of aspirational and interesting cars from all corners of the automotive world, and Cadillac’s choice to get its coolest rides in front of that audience is a smart one. — NP

NHTSA investigating the Tesla Model X for seatbelt issue

Tesla Model X 75D doors up
Flickr | Pål-Kristian Hamre

Intake: Though there have only been two complaints thus far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into about 50,000 Tesla Model X crossovers from the 2022-23 model years. This follows reports of the front seat belt failing to remain connected to the anchor pretensioner while driving, says Automotive News. The two complaints described an issue with the front seat belt anchor detaching in those vehicles. “In both cases, the pretensioner and the linkage were not properly connected during assembly,” NHTSA said. “The linkage and the pretensioner suddenly separated when the force exerted on the linkage overcame the resistance of the friction fit while the vehicles were in motion.”

Exhaust: After the evaluation, NHTSA will either close the investigation or move into the next phase. If a safety-related defect exists, according to NHTSA, the agency may send a “recall request” letter to the manufacturer, says Automotive News– Steven Cole Smith

St. Louis sues Hyundai and Kia over theft issues


Intake: Add St. Louis to the list of major U.S. cities that are suing Hyundai and Kia for failing to install anti-theft technology in millions of their vehicles, says ReutersThe lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri, is similar to those filed by Cleveland, Ohio; San Diego, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; and Seattle, Washington. They allege that had immobilizers and push-button starters been used, thefts would have been much lower. The ease of stealing the cars has resulted in at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities in the Korean automakers’ vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in February.

Exhaust: The suit addresses a trend in TikTok and other social channels that have shown specific methods used to steal some pre-2021 Hyundais and Kias. “Big corporations like Kia and Hyundai must be held accountable for endangering our residents and putting profit over people,” said St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. Since May 2022, St. Louis police received more than 4,500 reports of thefts of Kia or Hyundai vehicles. Sixty-one percent of vehicles stolen in St. Louis have been Kias and Hyundais. Last month, the Korean automakers said they would offer software upgrades to 8.3 million U.S. vehicles to help curb thefts. – SCS

Read next Up next: Driven to Fail Podcast #7: The 200-mph psychologist


    Symptom or cause? Sounds like TikTok and social media should be the ones sued for creating this “danger” and making our poor children victims!!! (sarcasm)

    Cities and Insurance Companies should able to sue TikTok directly for causing this problem. TikTok should be banned or at leat switched to the Chinese model all educational and 4 hour limit.

    As much as I feel for people getting cars stolen how is it Hyundai and Kia’s fault their customers didn’t do the research to see if their cars had adequate security systems? Can I sue Ford because a 70’s Mustang would take zero effort to steal?

    Tiktok should be banned. Not just for the threat to the US from China, but for what kids are watching and getting into.

    The exhaust for Forza Horizon 5 has to be one of the most positive remarks about that game since it came out, outside of general gaming reviews, that I have ever seen…. and it was mainly for Cadillac.
    Which is sad, since most people still favor the home-buying simulator that is Horizon 4.

    Saleen’s SA-40 Mustang is the best looking Camaro I’ve seen. Come on Saleen, you can do better.

    The look on the faces at Saleen when Dodge unleashed the Demon 170 with 1025 HP and a factory warranty.

    I believe Milwaukee, WI will be joining St. Louis in suing Kia and Hyundai.
    They even have a name for the juvenile thieves: Kia Boyz
    My son had his Forte stolen in Milwaukee.

    Are the criminals who are stealing these Hyundai and Kia models being duly punished? Let’s start there.

    As for the EU providing an exemption to the ICE ban for low volume car makers, it sounds like an exemption for wealthy Europeans to continue buying the expensive cars they want while dictating to the masses what they must do.

    Sure go after the manufacturers because they’re easier targets with deep pockets instead of the low lifes who follow up a bad act with a worse one. ANY product can be misused to cause harm, it’s never the manufacturer’s fault.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *