The Pikes Peak Hillclimb is known for featuring one of the most challenging circuits in the world. Drivers tackle 12 unforgiving miles of winding roads, surface changes and high altitudes. The climb is next month, which means manufacturers are gearing up to enter the race. The ones that do, are some of the most extreme racing machines on the planet. Which makes sense, considering the demanding conditions of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
So, now to Fords entry to the competition. Behold, a custom-built tube-frame Focus. This ferocious ride is the creation of Targa Tasmania driver Tony Quinn and Australian race shop Pace Innovations. From the looks of this competitor, Ford means business. The Focus is fitted with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 from a Nissan GT-R which produces a whopping 850-hp and 720 lb-ft of torque. To handle the terrain, the car has a four-wheel drive system and bespoke race suspension.
Check out these photos posted by Engine Swap Depot. We’ll be sure to report how the competitor does, after the race next Month in Colorado.
The latest leak is brought to us by Weapon X Motorsports, a tuning shop based in Ohio. They spent some time digging through General Motors’ book of Regular Production Option codes (GM’s system for designating models and options, LTZ or ZL1 for example) to dig up what a previous leak hinted at. It’s focused around the letters “LT5,” which reference an engine.
This particular leak mentions that the LT5 will be put into a 2018 model vehicle, but no other details are included. That being said, horsepower and torque ratings are unknown, as is the transmission options for the ‘Vette, even though our gut tells us that a 10-speed automatic and a six/seven-speed manual would be a safe guess.
Assuming it will be more powerful than the Z06 (650 horsepower), we can guess we’ll be looking at 700+ horses. Other rumors have alluded closer to 750 horsepower. Other new features will include more grip and better handling, thanks to aggressive aerodynamics that come from the large rear wing and new body work. Check out these spy photos for a glimpse of this beauty.
The late Gilbert Speed (convenient last name, we know), was a true Mustang lover though and through. More than that though, he was a father of seven. He realized that an actual pony was too small for his seven kids to ride. Instead of selling the pony and getting a real horse, Speed purchased a 1965 Ford Mustang. A purchase we fully support, by the way. Today, his children carry on his legacy. They are in the business of buying and restoring old Mustangs.
Their collection has grown over the years to include three 1969 Mach 1s, two 1970 Mach 1s, two 1971 Mach 1s and a 1973 convertible. The youngest brother, Chester, is the one who started the restoration projects, and the other siblings followed suit. The siblings bring their Mustang collection to shows in the American south at least twice a year. One of the bothers said, “We really enjoy getting the Mustangs out on I-75 and just kind of have our own little parade – our own rolling car show.”
In a recent sustainability effort, GM has plans to buy natural rubber for the 49 million tires it buys annually. This initiative is aimed at helping small rubber farmers, while protecting company revenue by ensuring long-term availability. GM said it is developing purchase requirements that include sustainably harvested rubber. The automaker is also encouraging other companies to follow in its footsteps in order to reduce deforestation and uphold human and labor rights.
The general outline of these purchase requirements are as follows:
-The rubber used does not contribute to deforestation
-The rubber was harvested in ways that contribute to the economic and social development of an area
-The material is managed in a transparent and traceable manner
David Tulauskas, GM’s director of sustainability said, “This isn’t just about going green, It’s about driving real business results.”
GM and tire makers are still unsure of the cost of using more sustainable farming practices, but they hope it will be equal or less than today, in part by increasing rubber yields. Plans are in the works for the automaker to meet with stakeholders (probably in June,) to set criteria for rubber purchasing. We applaud this ‘green’ movement, and hope to see other automakers do the same.
The GT350 and the ZL1 have been track cars from the start. So it makes sense to put these rides up against each other. The 650 horsepower ZL1 outclasses the 526 horsepower of the GT350R from the get-go. Luckily for the GT350R, the ZL1 in this comparison isn’t fitted with the notoriously good 1LE handling package.
Check out the video below for Kelley Blue Book’s full comparison, and find out which ride they think is more fun to drive.