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Well, it’s official, one of the kings of speed, Hennessey Performance, has built its 10,000th vehicle, a Heritage Edition Ford Mustang. Like virtually all Hennessey cars, the secret sauce is mostly under the hood. In this case, the Mustang’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 cranks out 808 horsepower, or 75% more than the standard Mustang GT on which it's based. Hennessey says 0-60 mph is 3.3 seconds with a top speed of over 200 mph, and given their blazing track record, we have no reason to doubt them!
The auto industry will be trading winter coats for sunscreen at future editions of the North American International Auto Show.
Beginning in 2020, the show will be held in June instead of January. Detroit’s Cobo Center will remain the hub, but a warmer month allows for events to also be held at outdoor locations throughout the city. That creates more options beyond the typical auto show reveals. There are several reasons behind the decision, including some automakers pulling out of the January show, and trends in the industry overall. The 2019 North American International Auto Show is still slated for January.
Porsche’s pursuit of improving performance… is making its way to their compact SUV…
The 2019 Porsche Macan was unveiled in Shanghai, but before that… MotorWeek got a close up look at the vehicle designed for the Chinese market. This mid-cycle refresh, features sportier front and rear fascias.
Changes to the V6 engine include more horsepower, moving the fuel injectors next to the spark plugs for a better fuel-air mixture… and placing the turbochargers inside the V to improve performance.
Project managers told MotorWeek about their goals…
Antoon Janssen: “So yes, we increased the power output of the engine, but I have to mention that one of the main items is also the efficiency and the reduction of emissions.”
Sebastian Staiger: “We developed a new chassis especially the air suspension. The air suspension comes with more dynamics and more comfort.”
YOLANDA VAZQUEZ: A Panamera influence is clear in the new touch screen technology. An optional sport steering wheel is from the 911.
We haven’t heard official specifications on a U.S. model of the new Macan, but we expect the Chinese model to be a good indication of what Americans might see.
And that does it for this week’s Motor News.
Engine: 3.8 liter
Torque: 443 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
EPA: 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway
McLaren has been growing their portfolio for a few years now; and apparently you can’t be a full-line dealer in exotics, if you don’t offer a convertible, or spider in supercar parlance. So, now they’ve added the open air experience to their sports series with the 570S Spider.
Don’t for a minute think that the 2018 McLaren 570S Spider is just a spur-of-the moment chopped roof version of what was already available. Rather, it is a carefully calculated, integral part of the plan that’s been in place since development for the 570 began. Following the original Sports Series Coupe and GT.
And, this Spider’s open-air experience is truly fantastic; as we all know, wind in your hair heightens the sense of speed, and gets more of your senses involved in the supercar experience.
Things about the minimalist cabin are very familiar, including the central touchscreen that’s full of info. Granted it’s rather small by latest standards, but works quite well.
Mirroring the GT more than the Coupe, means there’s additional storage space, including where the roof panel stores. Now, if you’re familiar with the 650S or 675LT Spiders, the top’s operation is quite similar. Just hit the button, and watch the tonneau raise as the top neatly folds underneath of it. No flimsy cloth setup with this Spider; there’s a real-deal folding hard top. In addition, there’s a power rear glass panel that can be left up to combat wind buffeting.
Hardware is mostly all the same as well, with everything being built around McLaren’s carbon-fiber MonoCell II chassis, but the folding top and accompanying mechanisms do add about 100-lbs. However, no additional structural reinforcements were needed.
The 562-horsepwer and 443 lb-ft. of torque available in the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, is more than capable of compensating for that; aided by a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 is the same as the Coupe at 3.1-seconds.
The suspension keeps ride quality borderline plush, and speed sneaks up on you in a real hurry. Only slight adjustments have been made to the adaptive dampers; not necessarily because it was needed, but because they could.
Like the rest of the McLaren breed, it’s certainly not a car for blending in. It has the presence only true exotics can pull off; from all of the air intakes and vents, to all of the swoops and sways of the sleek body panels. Not to mention when you flip up one of the dihedral doors.
Apart from the folding roof, the overall look is not so different from the Coupe; and only true aficionados will notice that the rear spoiler has been extended by ½ an inch to compensate for the new roof shape.
Much like the GT, the Spider is a McLaren that you don’t need a racetrack to appreciate; it feels much smaller than it is, with a direct steering feel that only a fully hydraulic system can provide.
But more like the Coupe, the standard carbon ceramic brakes feel more track-worthy than street subtle. You really have to put your foot into them, and there’s not much gray area; they’re either full on or full off. And there are various amounts of turbo lag, depending on which drive mode you’re in and how aggressively your throttle inputs are. All of these elements, you might call character rather than flaws.
We don’t often say options are must-haves, but the available sport exhaust system clearly fits that category. It not only opens things up out the back, but pipes additional noise forward into the cabin.
The shifter paddles are plasticy in feel; but they work well, and give you full manual control no matter how poor your decision making is. Government Fuel Economy Ratings aren’t final, but we don’t expect them to differ from the Coupe’s 16-City, 23-Highway, and 19-Combined.
Now, hopefully you haven’t made too many poor decisions when it comes to your finances, as you’ll need $211,300 in reserve to purchase this Spider. That’s about a 20-grand premium, or just a 10% mark-up for 50% more coolness.
Be it a spider or a convertible, they aren’t for everyone, and of course neither are McLarens. But the appeal of this 2018 McLaren 570S Spider is out of this world. The only way you’ll be out-cooled at your next trip to cars and coffee, is if a P1 rolls up next to you. This Spider is McLaren’s best offering yet, and we bet that it’ll quickly become their best-selling model too.
Road Test: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT
Comparison Test: Full-Size SUV Challenge
Goss' Garage: Measure Up
Over the Edge: Art House
Long Term Update: 2018 VW Golf Sportwagen | 2018 Mazda6
Quick Spin: 2019 Jaguar I-PACE
Quick Spin: 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel
In Podcast 186, Brian Robinson and the MotorWeek crew discuss the new Mazda 6 sedan. Then Garick Zikan talks about his recent drive of the Nissan Kicks and a luxury SUV comparison test. Next, the group talks about the pros and cons of digital license plates, and they help a viewer that's shopping for a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Engine: 6.4 liter
Torque: 470 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
1/4 mile: 13.0 seconds @ 104 mph
EPA: 13 mpg city / 19 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 22.0 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 9.7 tons/yr
While we can all dream of owning a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon or maybe even a Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk, most of us need something a little more practical for the everyday grind. But if we’ve learned one thing from the Dodge boys, practical doesn’t have to mean boring. Let’s see what they’ve now done to the venerable Dodge Durango!
You don’t have to take your 2018 Dodge Durango SRT to a race track, but knowing that you could, and it wouldn’t disappoint, is reason enough for many. Owning one of the baddest SUVs ever created, is another good reason.
No, this doesn’t have the full-on Hellcat HEMI of its Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk relative, but it does have SRT’s 6.4-liter naturally-aspirated version, here with 475-horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque. And while on paper, that looks far shy of the supercharged Trackhawk’s 707-horsepower insanity, once you nail the Durango’s throttle, you probably won’t notice much of a difference between stop lights, as it feels every bit as fast.
A healthy seven drive modes, allow you to tailor the experience to whatever you have in mind that day. For us it was, Track mode; which sets the suspension to its stiffest setting, dials back the traction control, and quickens steering, as well as increases shift speed in the 8-speed automatic.
The lowered suspension doesn’t help the Durango feel any lighter; however, it does help it feel extremely well-planted, and Dodge was wise enough to not eliminate all of the traction control nannies for it can be a handful under stress.
When not in Track or Sport mode, it mostly feels like what you’d expect an all-wheel-drive big box Charger Hellcat to feel like, if such a thing existed. But also much like your everyday Durango, there’s sufficient comfort; and enough luxury features for passenger pampering, as it remains an amazingly comfortable highway cruiser.
It also feels nimbler on the highway than classic Detroit SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe, and new Ford Expedition; and somehow more European as as well in the way it soaks up bumps with little fuss.
There is an aggressive exhaust note, but even it backs off the noise, when you back off the throttle; quite civilized indeed.
There’s plenty of room inside for hauling cargo, or a few understanding friends not opposed to whiplash; and perhaps most impressively, it still tows 8,700-lbs.
For hauling of a different sort; dial in your preferred launch RPM, step firmly on the brake, engage launch control, floor the accelerator, then release said brake. If the stars align correctly, you’ll jump off the line, and be at 60 before you know it, or 4.5–seconds in our case.
Somehow, it manages to handle all of that power going to all four wheels quite easily, staying amazingly smooth for the whole ¼-mile. Shifts are fast and aggressive, accompanied by a nice throaty pop from the exhaust. We cleared the ¼ in 13.0-seconds flat, travelling 104 miles-per-hour.
Inside, they’ve done a great job of keeping the 3-row, 6-passenger interior current even though the basic architecture has been around since 2011. No complaints about the Uconnect multimedia system as usual, and the steering wheel is chocked full of fingertip controls.
Amazingly, it really wasn’t that long ago, that we were wondering whether the Durango was going to be around or not. And now, not only are SUVs back, but they’re turning into exciting performance machines like this one.
But, poor Government Fuel Economy Ratings are the nature of this beast; 13-City, 19-Highway, and 15-Combined, which we matched exactly, on Premium fuel. That’s a very poor Energy Impact Score of 22.0-barrels of oil burned yearly with 9.7-tons of CO2 emissions.
Now, you could spend $31,090 on a base Durango and perfectly enjoy it; or you could say the heck with that, and drop $64,090 on this Durango SRT. You probably won’t regret either choice, but one of them would be a whole lot more fun, and even a much more sensible answer to the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
In fact, most of us here, would prefer the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT over Jeep’s Trackhawk. It’s just a better all-around cruiser with more than enough power, as well as plenty of practicality; a true sleeper for sure, and further proof that Dodge just doesn’t do boring.
If you’re a follower of Formula 1 racing or just high performance cars, you may think you know everything there is to know about team McLaren. Chances are, you don’t.
But there’s no better place to get the full story than directly from someone who was there from the beginning. Tyler Alexander.
Released just prior to his death unfortunate passing, this autobiography, “Tyler Alexander: a life and times with McLaren,” gives you the full story how a Massachusetts born lad became an integral part of the British racing team for 46 years.
With a year by year account of both their trials and great victories, including McLaren’s most recent Formula 1 championship with Lewis Hamilton in 2008. It’s one high performance MUST READ that flies by at full speed.