Toyota Announces Track-Ready Supra

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is working on a beefed up Supra for fans of the Japanese sports which has risen from the grave. The GR Supra GT4 is set to be released publicly sometime next year.

There is no word yet in which markets the GR Supra GT4 will be released in, however.
The new GR GT4 is based on the Supra that was released earlier this year, but Toyota has yet to release any details about the new Supra’s powertrain. As the GT4 edition is going to be built with circuit racing in mind it is expected to be a higher performance vehicle than Supra re-release. This will be a track-only vehicle, so don’t expect to see it on the road.

Released photos of a stripped-down GT4 reveal a cockpit dressed in carbon fiber. It also revealed bare metal coming from the transmission tunnel as well as the firewall and rear interior. It is also sporting a large wing mounted on its back. A video game controller styled steering wheel is covered in buttons. The driver is encased in a roll cage. The fuel tank is a fast fill, racing style tank.

More details will be released later this year.

An Electric Vehicle With A Transmission Tunnel? Polestar Explains Why.

Polestar, the Volvo subsidiary, will release its first battery electric sedan with an unusual design element for an electric vehicle, a transmission tunnel. As one might suspect, this has nothing to do with an actual transmission.

It is a battery storage area which keeps a portion of the three-hundred and twenty-four pouch cells that power the Polestar 2.

Polestar engineers explained that this is both an aesthetic and functional design. Most EVs store their batteries flat and under the floor which is known as a “skateboard” design. This, however, adds to the height of the vehicle and gives way to pour aerodynamics and negatively effects driving range.

The engineers were able to create fast, sleek silhouette by removing batteries from the rear-seat footwells. This also allowed more comfort for these passengers by creating a cockpit design down the center of the vehicle with a raised center console.

The Polestar 2 will most likely reach US sales floors mid-2020 as they go into production next year.



Ford Announces New Shelby Mustang Specs

Ford has announced that the 2020 Shelby Mustang GT500 will come equipped with 625 foot-pounds of torque and 760 horsepower.

The new Ford offering was revealed in January. At the time Ford announced it would be the most powerful street legal car they had made and that it would be capable of 0-60mph in a 3 second time frame. The GT500 will have 5.2 liter V-8 and will reportedly complete a quarter mile in under 11 seconds. This new model will also offer a carbon fiber track with no rear seating for weight reduction.

This new Mustang will be available this fall.

The Dodge Challenger Hellcat, with over 700 hp, is going to be a competitor for the new Shelby. The 2019 Mustang GT350 only comes in at 526 hp (for comparison).

While Ford has announced it’s North American lineup would be reduced, their classic Mustang will remain in the stable.


Lilium Flying Car Service to Start by 2025

While flying cars have largely been a thing of imagination, there are now many companies trying to make imagination real.

One of them is the Munich start up Lilium who is developing a five seat electric air taxi. Commercial transport is scheduled for 2025. The company hopes to offer pricing that everyday people can afford and would be centered around an app like Uber.

To give as accurate an idea on pricing as possible, Lilium suggested that a trip from Manhattan to JFK would be around a 60 minute flight time and cost $70. Current helicopter rides from Manhattan to JFK cost around $200 per passenger and takes about 8 minutes.

The Lilium aircraft—with its vertical take off and landing ability, can go about 300 kilometers (a little over 184 miles), after a single charge. One charge could take a passenger from London to Manchester (from one end of the UK to the other) in a single journey.


Uber to Offer Helicopter Ride Hailing in NYC

It looks like Uber is taking to the skies in New York City as the company gears up to offer a helicopter service in the Big Apple. As with the current app, users will be able to order up flight service on the new “Uber Copter” app. Test flights have already happened on routes between a Wall Street heliport and JFK International.

The service is going to open to the public on July 9th in NYC and will cost about $225 per passenger. Uber supposedly has plans to offer the service in other major cities.

This kind of service isn’t all that new in New York City. A start up by the name of Blade Urban Air Mobility has been offering a similar service through a mobile app with regular flights from Manhattan to three area airports, six days a week for around $200 a passenger.

When Uber went public last month spokes people focused a lot on Uber’s investment all kinds of transportation. While being the world’s largest ride-hailing service, Uber also runs scooter rentals, electric bikes, cars and now has added helicopters to the list.


Lexus Leaks Digital Reveal of Made-Over RX SUV

Lexus has let the internet know about the revamp of their RX SUV. Make-over items included “blade-scan” slim headlights which offer faster switching between high and low beams. New front and rear bumpers and revised character lines are also on the table.
It will also over both 20 and 18 inch wheel options, more colors and different taillights (still LED).

Maybe more exciting is the lane tracing assistance and road sign recognition that is included in the Lexus Safety System suite. The new touch screen system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Lexus has remodeled the third row seating with two positions to give more leg room when needed.

New dynamic shock absorbers with a new friction control device should reduce high frequency vibration caused by road imperfections for a smoother ride. Also included are new stabilizer bars among other similar improvements that will provide ride quality and handling benefits.

AMG Mercedes-Benz Announces new GLB 45 4Matic

The AMG division Mercedes-Benz has begun testing on their GLB 45 4Matic on public roadways just 12 months before its scheduled showroom premier.

Audi’s new RS Q3, a rival vehicle, will be different from the new standard GLB in its reduced height, multi-pot calipers, larger brake discs and four tail pipes. This is in opposition to the dual pipes on the GLB.

The GLB 45 will run on a new four-cylinder engine. It is based on the M260 unit, a turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder.

This new engine claims 383bhp and tuned up 416bhp. The engine also plans on appearing in the A45 4Matic, CLA 45, CLA 45 and GLA 45 vehicles.

The 45 is meant to be the crown of the upcoming GLB line when it hits showrooms for sale in 2020

BMW M5 Edition 35 Years

BMW will be releasing a special edition of its M5 vehicle the M5 Edition 35 Years. The car will feature the M5 Competition V8 which makes 553lb ft torque and gets to 62 MPH in just 3.3 seconds. It has a top speed of 155 MPH.

The 4WD model will have lowered and stiffer suspension from the M5 Competition. The front end will have upgraded anti roll bars and the rear suspension will be ball jointed.

The model run will be limited to 350 vehicles. These special editions have a special hue grey paint and new 20 inch alloy wheel. The brakes will be finished black in high gloss. Optional ceramic breaks will be offered in gold.

The door trim will be good anodized as well as the instrument panel and center console. The rest of the interior will include special edition embossing.

The Edition 35 Years will be available in July.



Illinois Wants to Charge How Much to Register Your EV?

The state of Illinois is proposing what some are calling an outrageous hike for yearly vehicle registration fees for EV owners—from $17.50 annually to a jaw dropping $1000.

The proposal, intended to raise money for desperately needed road improvements and repairs across the state, would also double the gas tax in the state to 44 cents a gallon. It was raise the standard vehicle registration from $98 to $148.

The 60 times increase for electric vehicle registration would be a huge blow to a niche industry that already relies on government subsidies to attract early adopters.

Hybrids that use any kind of gasoline and plug-in hybrids will be excluded from the $1,000 annual registration fee.

So why the prejudice against pure EV vehicles and the justification for the 60 times increase in registration? EVs don’t provide the state with any gas tax money.


Audi Doubts Electric Vehicles, Reignites Hydrogen Cell Program

Audi chairman Bram Schot announced publicly that the company will ramp up their hydrogen fuel cell program. Audi has doubts about resource availability for battery production and the marked increase in customer expectations when it comes to electric cars.

These doubts led the car maker to re-open the h-tron program and will place hydrogen fuel cell technology as the keystone of the Volkswagen Group.

Audi confirmed a new 6th gen hydrogen fuel cell vehicle prototype will be available for public display sometime this year. They also said that a small number of such production vehicles could be part of a lease program as early as 2021. At the moment these vehicles would come from the Neckarsulm, Germany plant where the A6, A7 and A8 are currently produced.

This new fuel cell tech was born from a cross-license agreement with Hyundai. This car maker already sells the FCEV called Nexo SUV.