2024 Ranger pricing, all U.S. Vinfasts recalled, Teslas the most-driven EVs
Ford’s new Ranger starts at $34,160, climbs to $56,960 for Raptor
Intake: The build and price tool for the new Ford Ranger went live today, and with it come more details about the pricing for each trim level. In ascending order, all prices include the $1595 destination charge: The Ranger XL will start at $34,160; the Ranger XLT will start at $37,100; the Ranger Lariat will start at $45,120; and the Ranger Raptor will ring the register for $56,960. The new Ranger will feature a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as its base engine, good for 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, but a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 will be offered as an upgrade. That engine makes 315 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Exhaust: The EcoBoost V-6 is not an option currently on the configurator for non-Raptor Rangers. Ford says that’s due to the fact that the V-6 models will be available later than the 2.3-liter Rangers. One note on the Ranger Raptor: Yes, a mid-size truck that starts in the 50s is quite shocking, but to Ford’s credit, almost everything comes standard, save for special paint colors, some mud flaps, and a set of $1495 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels. At least Ford isn’t taking the Porsche approach and forcing death by a thousand options on you. — Nathan Petroelje
Vinfast recalls all VF8s for potential screen blackout
Intake: Vinfast, the Vietnamese manufacturer of electric SUVs, has recalled the entire first batch of VF8 models to reach the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says a “blank multifunction head display will not show critical safety information, such as the speedometer or warning lights, which may increase the risk of a crash.” The problem has been reported in 18 of the 999 imported, but not all those vehicles have been released to customers yet.
Exhaust: It’s the latest blow for the company owned by Vietnam’s richest man, coming on the heels of a press drive in Vietnam that garnered near-unanimous and often brutal criticism of Vinfast’s products. Car and Driver said certain details on the car “make you wonder if VinFast realized it was allowed to look at other cars before building its own,” and said the workmanship was “development-mule fit and finish.” Other publications were harsher. Still, Vinfast is planning a U.S. IPO, and to build a plant in North Carolina. — Steven Cole Smith
Fast Five Pantera up for auction in June
Intake: Well, look who showed up for sale: The De Tomaso Pantera from Fast Five (2011). The first car to be snatched from the train, after which it was driven across the desert by Vince (Matthew Steven Schulze), this 1972 Pantera is unusual among Fast and Furious cars because it isn’t extensively modified. The driveline is Ford with a few aftermarket sprinkles: a 351-cubic-inch Cleveland V-8 topped with an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, a Carter 750 carburetor, MSD ignition, and an electronic, temperature-regulating radiator. Presumably, that last component was added after filming, during which the car consistently overheated. The problem proved its salvation: The crew couldn’t put the panting Pantera through the normal stunt-car wringer, indirectly preserving it for Barrett-Jackson’s auction block. It will go under the hammer in Las Vegas the weekend of June 24.
Exhaust: Since cars from the Fast and Furious movies typically sell for over five times what an unmodified example would go for, this car could set a record for a 1970–74 Pantera both in modified and unmodified form. The current records are $330K, for modified, and $203K, for unmodified. — Grace Houghton
Tesla tops most-driven electric car study
Intake: A study undertaken by iSeeCars.com suggests that owners of gas-operated vehicles typically drive more and farther than owners of electric-powered vehicles. Tesla owners typically drive considerably longer distances than owners of other electric vehicles, the study showed, but still less than gasoline-powered models. The average electric car is driven 9,059 miles a year, compared to 12,758 miles for gas-powered vehicles. Electric cars cost 47 percent more than internal combustion cars, but are driven 29 percent less. Near the bottom of the chart is the Porsche Taycan, which averages just 4846 miles per year.
Exhaust: “Tesla drivers come the closest to matching the driving behavior of traditional car owners,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Without Tesla, the average miles per year for EV drivers would drop from 9,059 to 6,719.” — SCS
Report: New vehicle sales expected to be strong in May
Intake: New vehicle sales in the U.S. are expected to rise in May, on strong demand and improving inventories at dealers, a report from industry consultants showed on Thursday. Reuters said that U.S. new-vehicle sales, including retail and non-retail transactions, are estimated to reach 1.3 million units in May, up 15.6 percent from a year earlier, citing a J.D. Power and LMC Automotive report. New-vehicle transaction prices continue to rise as consumers are expected to spend $46.9 billion on new vehicles in May, 13 percent higher than the last year, the report said.
Exhaust: “Despite the challenges posed by elevated interest rates and pricing, sales volume, and transaction prices have displayed remarkable resilience, enabled by the combination of improved vehicle availability and pent-up demand,” Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, said in a statement. — SCS
Legendary Le Mans-winning Mazda to take part in celebration
Intake: The 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, which was the first Japanese car to win the race, will take part in a demonstration run on the world famous Circuit de le Sarthe as part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend. The winner of the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans will join other winning cars in a demonstration on the French circuit ahead of this year’s race.
Exhaust: The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) invited Mazda to conduct a demonstration run with the 1991 winning car as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The car will be driven by Yojiro Terada, who competed at Le Mans 29 times, and finished in 8th place in 1991 driving the Mazda 787 sister car to the winner. The race takes place June 10–11. — SCS
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That Mazda 787B is such a cool race car.