March 8th, 2013 at 11:36am
One of the former executives from the old General Motors lands a big job. The Ford Mustang is getting a 4-cylinder engine …again. For the first time in 35 years, iconic sports car brand Alpine will be returning to endurance racing. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Seamus McElroy takes us for a few laps around Austin Texas’ brand new Formula 1 track in the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT.
All right, it’s Friday and I for one am looking forward to the weekend. We’ve got another great Barn Find coming up later in the show, but before we to to that,let’s get to the news.
EX-GM EXEC GETS NEW JOB
One of the former executives from the old General Motors just landed a big job. Troy Clarke was named the CEO of Navistar International, the big commercial truck company. Under former-CEO Dan Ustian the company bet on the wrong kind of emissions technology for its diesel engines and racked up huge fines and posted big losses. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn threw Ustian out, brought in three of his own board members, and now they appointed Clarke to run the company. Clarke was pushed out of GM right after the bankruptcy when he was president of GM North America, the same job now held by Mark Reuss.
DING A CHEVY, GET A NEW ONE
I‘ve heard of all kinds of sales gimmicks before, but not this one. GM Korea will now allow owners who get in an accident to come back to the dealership and pick out a new car. As you can imagine there are a few caveats. You have to make any swap within the first three years of ownership, the owner must be 50 percent or less responsible for the accident, and the repair cost must be at least 30 percent of the vehicle’s purchase price. The damaged vehicle must be repaired at the owner’s or insurer’s expense at a certified Chevrolet service facility and then returned to a dealer before getting a new car.
MUSTANG GETS A 4-BANGER
Well the Ford Mustang is getting a 4-cylinder engine…again. Many of you may remember the Mustang SVO from the mid-80’s that had a turbocharged 4, and others may remember the ill-fated Mustang II from the 70’s that was fitted with a 4-cylinder lump that came right out of the Pinto. According to a report from Edmunds, the 2015 edition of the pony car will get a hopped-up version of the 2.0 Liter EcoBoost engine that is currently the Focus ST. But this option is for European eyes only. Displacement will be 2.3 Liters, it will put out 300 horsepower and will get 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. European customers will also have the option of Ford’s 5.0 liter V-8. That leaves me asking, why can’t we get their engine if they can get ours?
ALPINE RETURNS TO LE MANS
Last year Renault announced it’s reviving the iconic Alpine sports car brand. The first car won’t be available until 2016, so in the meantime, the brand will return to endurance racing for the first time in 35 years. Alpine will race in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the 2013 European Le Mans Series with a prototype car powered by a 500 horsepower Nissan engine. Alpine won many class victories in the 1960’s and took the overall win in 1978.
FEATHERWEIGHT CITY EV
A consortium led by researchers at the Technical University of Munich created a lightweight EV know as the Visio.M. Thanks to a monocoque carbon-fiber body this 2-seater EV only weighs 1,100 lbs and can meet all crash standards. It is powered by a 15 kW, 20 horsepower electric motor that is mated to a prototype transmission that is 15 percent lighter than conventional designs. Other participants in the consortium are BMW, Daimler and Continental, so maybe we will see some trickle down effect in future vehicles.
It’s time for another edition of Barn Finds where we feature some of the coolest vehicles you’ve discovered. Today’s submission is a Three-fer — scratch that — FOUR-fer. Chris Orchard spotted these trucks outside of a business in New Lenox, Illinois. At first glance it looks like a trio, but on closer inspection, there’s actually a fourth cab perched behind the middle rig. And, if you’re curious as to what these rust buckets looked like new, here, through the magic of Photoshop, is what you’d see if this GMC got a little TLC. Don’t these trucks remind you of the GM Futurliners used in the company’s Parade of Progress tours? Very cool find, Chris. If you think you’ve got a good pick for an upcoming Barn Finds segment, shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SRT
(Video and interviews for the SRT GC can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Thanks for that report Seamus, that SRT GC looks like a blast to drive. You know? I’d love to see Jeep make a diesel version of the SRT. Now that would be awesome!
Anyway, that wraps up this weeks reports. Go have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.