It’s true. The 6th generation Mustang has a dirty little secret. Rumors have been proliferating throughout the Internet after Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak told Fox News that not everything about the new Mustang was disclosed at its reveal. The undisclosed tidbit is said to be an “OEM first”. From what we know about the Mustang it will have a plenty of firsts for a Mustang but what about OEM? There are a lot of cars out there with crazy features. Self parking cars, extra keys that pack an alternate personality, and multicolored interior lighting have all been done before.
While there is a bunch of hearsay about what the secret feature is exactly, the most popular idea is that the 2015 Stang will have electronic burnout control. Apparently Motor Authority has a mole on the inside and their sources have confirmed that burnout control is indeed the guarded information. Burnout assist? Really? It certainly is a first in the OEM if it turns out to be true. Most performance cars have launch control but none have had the ability to help you perform the perfect burnout. Apparently a heavy right foot followed by feathery pedal play isn’t good enough these days. I’m guessing this new feature partially disables the electronic nannies that would otherwise reel in your attempts to thrash the rear tires and of course automatically apply the correct amount of throttle and torque to display your manliness. Still, in our opinion, your manliness would be much better suited in a generation 5. Not to mention that it’s doubtful that Ford will reimburse you for any tickets you acquire for exhibition of power.
Source: Motor Authority
Last night’s qualifying round for 25 Hours of Thunderhill took place in absolutely miserable conditions: rain phasing into sleet as the temperature plummeted, made all the worse by a bitter wind that cut through multiple layers of fleece and this reporter’s down coat like they weren’t even there. Snow was falling by the time the cars had all returned to their paddocks, and the chances of a good day for racing today seemed slim.
But as the old cliche goes, it always looks darkest before the dawn. When morning arrived, the snow was gone, replaced by a wet, gray fog that quickly burned off as the sun climbed.
The “all comers welcome” nature of this event became obvious as a motley assortment of cars began to grid up beneath crystal-blue skies. The exotic curves of the JFC Racing Wolf GB08S and Factory 48/CrowdStrike Superlite SLC mingled alongside the European lines of Porsches, BMWs, and Audis, while the more utilitarian shapes of the ColdCock Whiskey Silverado and KleenBlast/Davids Racing Camaro lent a dash of blue-collar Americana.
The race began a little after 11 AM PST. IndyCar legend Al Unser, Jr., driving car #52, the JFC Wolf, was in the lead after the first hour, but now that the sun has set again over Thunderhill Racing Park and headlights and tricked-out LED strips are cutting through the darkness, Quick Racing’s Superlite (car #03) has taken the top spot. It’s going to be long night, though…
Jason Bennion is attending his first live motorsports event. He also blogs at www.jasonbennion.com, when the silly thing is functioning properly.
Two top-of-the-line Audi R8 LMSs, diesel-powered Mazda 6s, exotic one-off prototypes, a NASCAR Camaro, even such incongruous entries as a Chevy Silverado pick-up, a Honda CRZ hybrid, a Mini Cooper with two engines, and a Honda Fit… some sixty cars in all.
A champion of the “drift” technique, an IndyCar legend and his son, and some of the top pro, semi-pro, and amateur drivers in the country.
Teams from as far away as Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and New Zealand.
Six classes covering the entire spectrum of motorsports.
All competing on the longest endurance road race in North America.
This is 25 Hours of Thunderhill…
Sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and celebrating its tenth running this year, 25 Hours of Thunderhill takes place only a few miles from the bucolic orange groves and fruit orchards of Willows, California, at Thunderhill Raceway Park. The Daily Derbi has dispatched two intrepid crew members (including yours truly) to cover the event, so watch for our photos and personal impressions. (You can enjoy photos from today’s testing and qualifying now.) But in the meantime, you can keep up with the action at the official NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill website, which features a living timing feed here, or the official NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Facebook page.
Jason Bennion is attending his first live motorsports event. He also blogs at www.jasonbennion.com, when the silly thing is functioning properly.
It is finally here. After spy shots, renderings, leaks, and teases the 2015 Mustang has landed. I must say, I like it. Based on early speculative renderings I didn’t like it. Based on the Autoweek leak I didn’t like it. Now that it is here and we can see it in all its glory I am pleasantly surprised. We’ve heard all sorts of comparisons to its looks with the most common calling it a Fusion Coupe. But believe you me, this is no Fusion coupe! Despite having a similarly designed front end to match the rest of Ford’s Evos design language there is no further similarities. Like the new Corvette, this Mustang takes a slightly more European approach to the design. Even so, it remains true to traditional Mustang style. The grill for example, retains the classic Mustang shape despite some crying Aston Martin. The tri-bar taillight design remains as well. I love the overall look of the car. The taillights are probably one of my favorite parts but I don’t like the angle the back end slopes down at.
Dimensionally the car is nearly the same as the 2014 model. The wheel base is the same and the overall length is a fifth inch shorter. The big difference is the rear track width which grows nearly three inches. Why the drastic growth in the rump? To the dismay of drag racers but the delight of road racers, Ford has finally decided to move away from a live axle to independent rear suspension. This should improve handling greatly. The powertrain will include the 3.7L V6 and an updated version of the Coyote 5.0L V8 and slotted between them will be a 2.3L turbo-4 EcoBoost which will greatly improve fuel efficiency. While power figures for any of the three have yet to be officially announced, Ford admitted the V6 will continue as is producing 305hp. With the EcoBoost slotted between the base and GT models we expect the numbers to be around 320-340hp while the 5.0L will likely get a bump in power. It currently produces 420hp in the GT however the recently axed Boss 302 produced 444hp which is the more likely ballpark figure as Ford claims the new GT is faster than the Boss.
The interior looks to the past as well while skipping the retro. The dash reminisces of the dash pads of the 60s cars while the center stack features MyFord Touch and a push button starter is now featured. Seen above is the GT interior. The 2.3 EcoBoost’s interior features two gauges in the center of the dash including a boost gauge.
Ford is taking the Mustang brand global for the first time. The car has been sold in several locations around the world but for the first time it will be offered everywhere. It will even be offered in right-hand drive for the first time. Look for it to go on sale late next year.
If you’re a blue blooded Mustang buff, midnight tonight will be one to remember. Will it be remembered as the night the Ford Mustang reached new heights of pony car stardom or the night it sold its soul to the global economy? Grab your popcorn and cross your fingers because tonight is the night you’ve been waiting for all year.
The 2015 Ford Mustang will mark its 6th iteration, spanning a half century. The only other American vehicle to achieve such a legacy is the Chevrolet Corvette, now in its 7th generation. The Mustang and Corvette are two different animals all together but both have been around for a long time and for the most part, have been true to their heritage. The 7th generation Corvette is still very much a Corvette. You can line up a C7 next to almost any other generation and feel confident that they share the same bloodline. The upcoming Mustang could be the black sheep of the Mustang flock.
Granted, not all Mustangs have been worth remembering… or even calling Mustangs. The idea of the Mustang II being a sports car is almost laughable. The 6th generation Mustang is likely not in danger of being slow or uninspiring to drive. What it is in danger of is disgracing its roots in favor of becoming just another sports car. Most models in any manufacturers line up look like the rest of the cars in the lineup. Whether you’re looking at an Audi TT or an Audi A4, they are both unmistakably Audi’s. Dodge’s all look like Dodges, Chevy’s… like Chevy’s. But the flagship sports cars generally have something different about them. Not just in the way they perform but in the way they look; in the way they present themselves as they cruise down the boulevard. The Nissan GT-R is certainly a Nissan, but it certainly isn’t just any other Nissan. It’s the fire breathing Godzilla that will blitz 60 mph in under 3 seconds and it turns every head on the way there.
Ford may be an American auto maker. The most famous of the big three to be sure. However, for many years, Ford cars have been increasing in popularity across many other markets throughout the world. The design boss of Ford once designed the British born Aston Martins and the current ford lineup, all have that European feel to their style. One look at the 2015 Ford Mustang and you can tell… it’s a Ford. The problem is, it looks like a Ford.
Ford mustangs never really looked like the other Fords of the same vintage. It always had that pony car flare and it was distinctly American. The 2015 Mustang looks like a Fusion coupe. A “world car” is what Ford wanted the next generation Mustang to be and a “world car” is likely what it will be. Clearly Ford is doing this to increase sales and more sales is what they’ll get. It’s probably a good move for Ford in the long wrong but a sad occurrence to the true Mustang faithful. Likely, Mustang collectors and enthusiasts will tighten their purse strings at 2014 and choose to drive earlier models of their beloved pony car. The 2015 will probably be better at the track, have a smoother ride, take the twisty roads with more confidence with its fancy independent suspension but Ford sold the Mustangs soul for world wide sales. While sales will be increased globally, I suspect that they’ll be diluted in the United States.
The official reveal of the Ford Mustang is slated for midnight tonight. Our fears may be false and the 6th generation Mustang may find its way into the hearts of the Mustang faithful. With what we’ve seen so far we don’t have much confidence in that sentiment. Let’s hope we’re wrong.
Ten years ago Lamborghini unveiled the Gallardo at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. It featured a 5.0L V10, 500hp, all-wheel drive, with looks to match, and The Ferrari 360 in the cross hairs. Since production began in the same year there have been over twenty iterations of the car including many special edition and racing versions. Production ended November 25, 2013 with 14,022 being produced and makes up nearly half of the 30,000 total cars built by Lamborghini since 1963. In this article we will be looking at some of the key versions of the Gallardo over the years.
The original Gallardo was built in 2003 as a 2004 model. As mentioned above, it was powered by a 5.0L V10 producing 500hp put down through an all-wheel drive system and either a 6spd manual or 6spd e-Gear (flappy paddle) option and propelled to 60mph in 4.1 sec and on to a top speed of 192mph. It was much easier to drive than its big brother, the Murcielago, and could be used daily.
With 2005 the first update was made. An SE version was launched featuring new “Callisto” wheels, two-tone special paint colors with matching interior accents, and stiffer suspension. It also saw a bump in power making 520hp through a new exhaust system. The e-gear transmission was also updated and featured a new thrust mode which is essentially an early version of launch control. 250 units were built.
In 2006 a convertible version was launched called the Gallardo Spyder. With the exception of a cloth top the only real difference between it and the coupe is that the Spyder benefited from the SE’s 520hp V10 as well as the ability to hear the V10 scream even better! Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear loved it so much he bought one.
Four years after being shown at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show Lamborghini went again to Geneva in 2007 with a new track oriented version of the Gallardo called the Superleggera. Power was upped to 530hp by tweaking the computer mapping as well as revised intake and exhaust systems. On top of the added power the car was also put on a diet and dropped 220lbs through the extensive use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. The aerodynamics were given a rework too adding a new diffuser and an available fixed rear spoiler. It also featured unique wheels and a side stripe identifying the car as something special. It was built for a little more than a year with 172 sold.
Once again in Geneva Lamborghini showed off the latest Gallardo, the LP560, in 2008. This time the car received its first major facelift with more aggressive front scoops to match the LP640 Murcielago. The rear end was redesigned and made use of the triangular shaped LED taillights similar to those found on the Miura Concept and Reventon. The powertrain received a major overhaul too now boasting a 5.2L V10 producing 560hp. The transmissions remained the same albeit an added “corsa” mode for the e-Gear transmission improving shift times by 40%. Combined with a 44lb weight and added power the car now sees 60mph in 3.7 seconds and a new top speed of 201mph.
In 2009 Lamborghini took the Gallardo to the track launching its one make series Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo dubbed the fastest one-make series in the world. The car is essentially a modified version of the road car with all the usual safety equipment and racy bits from roll bars, stiffer chassis, and being stripped out reducing overall weight to just 2900lbs, 400lbs less than the road going version. The transmission is an unmodified e-Gear but the engine has been retuned to produce 570hp. Other versions of the car were also used in various racing series around the world including Super GT, ALMS, and Pirelli World Challenge.
In 2009 Lamborghini offered a limited run of 250 cars named after their long time test driver, Valentino Balboni called the LP550-2 Balboni Edition. Built to his request, the car was rear-wheel drive only and had a 6spd manual (e-Gear was also available). Without the AWD system the car weighs 66lbs less and also also slightly detuned to 550hp because Lamborghini says it did not need them with the drop in weight. The car is easily identifiable by use of a white stripe running down the center of the car. The seats also featured a white stripe. Performance also allowed for easier drifting, a preference of Balboni. 0-60 times suffered only slightly and took 3.9 seconds.
2010 marked the return of the Superleggera this time as the LP570-4. The styling mimics that of the Murcielago LP670 SV with huge front openings, a fixed wing, and rear diffuser. It also features unique wheels. The engine is a street version of the Super Trofeo which also features 570hp and weighs only 50lbs more than the race car thanks to carbon fiber everything. 0-60 comes in 3.0 seconds while top speed remained at 201mph.
At the 2010 Paris Auto Show Lamborghini pulled out all the stops and unveiled the show stopper Sesto Elemento, a Reventon style special edition car build on the Gallardo. It uses the powertrain from the Superleggera but uses carbon fiber in every place possible allowing the car to tip the scales at 2200lbs allowing 0-60 times in claimed 2.5 seconds! Arguably one of the best looking designs to roll out of Sant’Agata in years. While there were no plans for production, enough demand has been made that in late 2013 they offered 20 for sale to the public for track use only. They sold out quickly and were offered at $2.2-2.9 million.
The very next month for the first time a Spyder version of the Superleggera was offered called the Performante. The Performante offered the very best of both worlds; the open top gorgeousness and all the power and performance of the stripped out, light weight Superleggera. It even comes with the spoiler!
In late 2010 another LP550-2 special edition was offered for a short time called the Bicolore. It is essentially the exact same as the Balboni Edition only it trades the stripe for a two-tone paint job. Outside the US the car was offered as a LP560-4. In 2011, demand for the rear-wheel drive Gallardo was so high it was offered as a base model for less than the LP560-4 version. Both coupe and Spyder versions of the LP550-2 were available.
Special edition Superleggeras were offered in 2011 and 2012 as the LP570-4 Blancpain and LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale. Both cars are mechanically the same as the LP570-4 Superlegerra with the only difference being a larger, more effective rear wing. The Blancpain Edition was black and only 12 were built while the Super Trofeo Stradale was bright red and was far less exclusive with a relatively large number of 150 being sold.
For 2013 the Gallardo received its third facelift only this time it was purely cosmetic. The front and rear fascias were given the trapezoidal treatment. It wasn’t as pretty and nor was it as well received. The Gallardo was still offered with the original LP560 style fascias along with the newer stylized version. As someone who is constantly finding myself looking at inventory at super car dealers I can say I haven’t seen very many of this design being offered.
To go along with the trapezoidal design a third Superlegerra special edition was created as sort of a last hurrah for the Gallardo. Like the Blancpain and Super Trofeo Stradale it shares all the mechanics of the LP570-4 Superleggera with the added styling of the last refresh. A total of 50 were built and were offered in four different colors. 15 came to the US and were only available in yellow. Red, white, and green stripes were added in place of the Superleggera stripe.
November 25, 2013 marked the end of the Gallardo. Seen here is the last car, a LP570-4 Spyder Performante in Rosso Mars, to roll off the assembly line. it has been sold to a private collector. The car is pictured above along with several of the Lamborghini employees and execs. It marks an end of an era in the Lambo book. Ten years of one of the greatest cars ever made. So what comes next?
Seen here is a spy shot of the Gallardo replacement. We’ve seen more recent photos with less camo but they are of the front and rear only so for now we are only including this one. We’ve even seen many renderings of what the car could look like but obviously those are simply speculative and so we won’t share those either. Details are scarce but currently journalists around the globe have been calling it the Cabrera. All we know for sure is that it will retain V10 power a 7spd dual-clutch gear box and to produce roughly 600hp. Expect styling to take inspiration from the Aventador.