It seems everyone, including Nissan, forgot about the now eleven year old Nissan 370Z which is no about as competitive in the sports car realm as a pair of roller skates. However, Nissan is finally giving the Z an upgraded successor.
The new Z35 isn’t a complete rebuild. It will use the latest of Nissan’s FM platform and it will share some components with the Q60 Infiniti coupe. For one, the Q60’s V6 that gives the Q50 and 60 400 horsepower is a likely borrowed component. While the Q’s only offer seven speed automatics the Z35 being a sports car has a chance at a manual transmission. While Nissan could make the new Z all-wheel drive, that isn’t what the Z is and will likely stick with the front-engine, rear wheel drive sports format.
It is said that Nissan has chose the original Datsun 240Z as a styling inspiration. Many are hoping for smoother lines than the very busy look of some of Nissan’s recent concepts. Rounded headlights and 300ZX style taillights reportedly will give it some touches of retro nostalgia.
The two-seater’s nostalgia will stop with the exterior as the new Z will benefit from a modern makeover with the latest Nissan infotainment system and a new dashboard.
Some suspect the pricing to be in the neighborhood of $40k which would undercut the new Toyota Supra.
After 17 long years Ford Motor Company will be offering a new Mustang Mach 1. The new Mustang Mach 1 will include suspension upgrades and new aerodynamics. The 480 horsepower 2021 Mach 1, according to Ford Motor Company, will be “the pinnacle of 5.0L Mustang performance and handling,” when it becomes available for sale next spring.
The Mach 1 is very much a party of Mustang history. The first version came about in 1969 winning two in a row Sports Car Club of America Manufacturer’s rally championships. It set 295 speed and endurance records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in its first model year. Since that very first generation Ford has built only two Mach2s. One based on the unpopular Mustang II that kept the brand alive through the oil shock of the 70s. The second was based on the ’04, fourth-generation Mustang.
The 3rd iteration of the Ford Mustang Mach 1 will include an upgraded version of Ford’s fast-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission; which isn’t even available on the Bullitt or Shelby Mustangs. It will also feature 150% more downforce than the Mustang GT + Ford’s performance pack 1 upgrades.
If some drivers want a more vintage feel they can choose the Tremec six-speed manual that the Shelby GT350.
The NCAP, global vehicle safety body, has again put a lens to the inequality between the safety standards Europeans enjoy and the lack of standards in low-income markets. NCAP’s data shows that this disparities account for 90% of the 1.3 million annual road deaths in the world.
As an example, the Renault Kwid, which tested poorly in India and Brazil, scored only two stars in the Global NCAP’s recent testing in its Safer Cars for Africa test even though the criteria were lower than those in the US or Europe. This even though the Kwid received upgrades like passenger and driver airbags.
The Kwid is much like the Dacia Spring Electric—this vehicle might be the cheapest mass-production electric car when it goes on sale. However, to go on sale in Europe it will need significant safety upgrades to the structure and electric safety system.
The Renault Kwid is just one example of vehicles whose lower-income markets receive vehicles made with inferior materials and at lower safety standards.
Ford’s new four-door Bronco SUV did not meet the standards to win two safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The issues included the Bronco’s head restraints and headlights according to the IIHS.
While the Bronco got “good” ratings in five of the six IIHS “crashworthiness” tests but in the head restraint category it earned only an acceptable rating. In simulated rear-end crashes the test dummy’s head was not as protected from force as it needed to be.
The IIHS also rated the headlight system as only “marginal” as they did not provide enough visibility a far enough distance into curves.
Thus the Bronco missed the mark to earn IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ designations.
Ford stated that safety is high priority in all their vehicles and that they were happy to see they earned the top rating in five of six crash test ratings at the IIHS and a superior rating for front crash prevention with standard automatic braking. They also reminded consumers and journalists that the despite some lower IIHS ratings the Bronco exceeds all federal safety standards.
For a vehicle to achieve Top Safety Pick status the vehicle needs a “good” rating in all crashworthiness tests. They must also have a “good” or “acceptable” rating for headlights and have an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention. To earn the Safety Pick+ status the same requirements must be met plus “good” or acceptable ratings for all versions and packages available for the vehicle in question.