cobra jet 1400

The News for April 24th, 2020

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry (or whatever wasn’t impacted by the coronavirus) without the fluff or bull. This week: Ford builds the first real electric Mustang and it’s going drag racing, Lotus is reportedly building a more accessible volume sports car, Porsche reveals classic communications module to bring modern infotainment features to classic Porsches, Polestar 2 pricing gets revealed, and your automotive news.

Mustang Cobra Jet 1400

cobra jet 1400

The latest addition to the long line of Cobra Jet Mustangs is the most dramatically different one yet. The turn-key drag racing car that was born at the height of the original muscle car wars has been reborn a few times in recent decades, each with more power than the last. But what makes the Cobra Jet 1400 unique is its the first one to feature an all-electric powertrain. It won’t hurt your ears but it will still hurt some feelings.

It’s just a prototype for the time being but is fully functional and capable of some big numbers. 1,400 horsepower and over 1,100 ft.-lbs. of instant torque translate to a low 8-second quarter mile at more than 170 mph. “Ford has always used motorsport to demonstrate innovation,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director, Ford Icons. “Electric powertrains give us a completely new kind of performance and the all-electric Cobra Jet 1400 is one example of pushing new technology to the absolute limit.”

Cobra Jet vs eCOPO

cobra jet 1400

They’re of course not the first to push the limits of electric power in drag racing – Chevrolet revealed an eCOPO Camaro back in 2018. But the Cobra Jet 1400 has twice the power. That of course didn’t stop Chevrolet from talking trash. Even though their car is clearly outgunned. But why do numbers matter when you can just use your feelings as facts?

This escalation in EV performance comes as the first ever all-electric Ford to be called a Mustang gears up for its market launch later this year. Unlike the not-a-Mustang MachE though, this wasn’t entirely a home-built project. They called in the experts at Cascadia for the inverter and electric motor and AEM EV for the software, motor calibration, and controls. Watson Engineering provided chassis support and development as well as the roll cage while MLe Racecars were the general car builder. It’s unclear what Ford themselves contributed, but since it’s just a one-off prototype to see what’s possible in an electric drag racing Mustang, I suppose that’s not terribly important. Credit where it’s due though, Chevrolet’s less powerful eCOPO seemed to be more in-house with the potential for production.

Ford will be demonstrating the Cobra Jet 1400’s potential at some drag racing event later in the year. They didn’t specify when and where that would be, probably because they themselves don’t know yet. But if you have MotorTrend On Demand, “Hard Cell” will be showcasing the car’s abilities this Sunday.

[Source: Ford]

Lotus may be building a new volume model

Lotus Evija

(It’s not this)

Lotus isn’t a brand that you would expect to hear with words like “volume” and “everyday”, but according to a Bloomberg report, that may be about to change. In a move that may be aimed at pleasing their new overloads at Geely Group, they’re planning a more accessible car that can be used daily.

But before you fret about Lotus tarnishing the name with a godawful crossover to accomplish this, they’re reportedly planning a sports car as their first new offering. It’s what Lotus does best after all. This sports car would just be more spacious and easier to use and ideally cheaper as well. That’s of course all relative, because Lotus indicated the price would be between 55,000 and 100,000 in the Queen’s money, or about $67,000 at a minimum. Lotus did also indicate they would be looking at other segments as well, like sports sedans and cruisers. And maybe a crossover which would of course signal end times are upon us.

As Lotus looks to restart production when lockdown restrictions are lifted, they’ll be working on a factory expansion for the new model. We can expect to see its debut later this year or early next year.

[Source: Bloomberg via Autoweek]

Porsche introduces Classic Communication Management

porsche classic control management

Porsche is now offering a plug-and-play infotainment system for classic Porsche owners looking to bring a little bit of the 21st century into their car. The Porsche Classic Communication Management is launching in two variants which can exactly replace the original built-in units with 1-DIN or 2-DIN dimensions. They offer features like BlueTooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (2-DIN only), and DAB+. A mixture of touch screen controls and physical buttons/rotaries is included and seamlessly integrates into the dashboard.

porsche classic control management

Models ranging from the original 911s of the 60s to the 996 and Boxsters of the 90s are supported. It can also be equipped in earlier front-engine and mid-engine models like the 928 and 914. The 1-DIN model, called PCCM and is the one with the smaller touch screen, is priced at $1,553. The 2-DIN model, called PCCM Plus and features the 7″ touch screen, costs $1,733. They’re available at the Porsche Classic online shop and at dealerships. Installation at dealers is available as well.

Polestar announces pricing for 2021 Polestar 2

Polestar 2

Polestar is ramping up their EV efforts with numerous new models in the pipeline. Their first all-electric model to go on sale is the Polestar 2, a standard mid-size sedan that will inevitably go against the Tesla Model 3. The car’s MSRP was just announced at $59,900. This puts it below state incentive thresholds in prime EV markets like California and New York, which means up to $2,000 in state rebates add up to the maximum $9,500 of available incentives between state and federal tax credits.

It launches with 408 horsepower, 487 lb.-ft. of torque, all-wheel drive, a 78 kWh battery pack, and an EPA estimated driving range of 275 miles. Though it will be on sale all across the US, market launches in New York and the west coast are getting it first starting late this summer.

[Source: Polestar]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

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29 responses to “The News for April 24th, 2020”

  1. paulz67 Avatar
    paulz67

    Re: The electric Cobra Jet: Meh. Let me know when someone comes out with a Col. Stapp edition. 😉

    1. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      I suppose it is something that it has 1400 hp and not 1328…

  2. Zentropy Avatar
    Zentropy

    It’s a shame Lotus didn’t join up with Mazda. Lots of potential synergy in such a pairing.

  3. 0A5599 Avatar
    0A5599

    I have a classic car that won’t fit any aftermarket radio without cutting the dash. There are places that will pull the guts out of the factory AM unit, paint and polish the enclosure, and attach the original knobs and pushbuttons to new electronics including 4-channel FM, XM, aux input and USB for $400-700 depending on how many of those features you want. I may go that route in the future, but for now, my phone with a powered Bluetooth speaker is fine.

    If someone with a Boxster or 996 wants to pay $1500+ to put a single- or double-DIN stereo with a Porsche nameplate when there are certainly reputable manufacturers selling head units for a third that price with feature lists and acoustical qualities that are probably comparable, if not better, well, it’s their money to spend. I hope the owners of, say, a 959 or a 60’s 911 find better ways to spend money.

    1. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      Plus single-DIN is not the same as the 1960/70s ‘shaft drive’ format either, and would still require cutting a hole in the dash.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar
        0A5599

        The DIN standard was adopted in 1984. Some early to mid 80’s cars would also require hackwork to fit a DIN chassis, And anyone old enough to afford/appreciate a Vietnam-era Porsche probably no longer has good enough eyesight to use a dash-mounted 3″ touchscreen.

        1. outback_ute Avatar
          outback_ute

          Plus a touchscreen in a moving vehicle is inferior to buttons anyway IMO.

        2. Lokki Avatar
          Lokki

          My current solution in my 71 Alfa Spider is a Bluetooth receiver in shape of a cassette tape. It just slides in like a standard cassette and plays whatever music is chosen from my phone. Cost about $25 from Amazon, sounds great, and didn’t require rewiring anything. True, the ‘cassette’ has to be recharged but it uses a standard mini-usb cable so it’s no big deal. I like it.

        3. Lokki Avatar
          Lokki

          My current solution in my 71 Alfa Spider is a Bluetooth receiver in shape of a cassette tape. It just slides in like a standard cassette and plays whatever music is chosen from my phone. Cost about $25 from Amazon, sounds great, and didn’t require rewiring anything. True, the ‘cassette’ has to be recharged but it uses a standard mini-usb cable so it’s no big deal. I like it.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Have you tried Aliexpress? I was looking for an odd-shaped radio for a friend there once, and found one that was smaller then the slot – AM/FM, USB, AUX, SD and Bluetooth for something like 10$. He just had to made some sort of blend because there was empty space on one side, and it turned out nice. I had a 8.88$ single’s day special radio in my Honda for seven years, worked wonderfully.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar
        0A5599

        I had not heard of the place until now. I want something that exactly fits the dash opening, but also uses the proper style, with real chrome, no plastic, and an analog display. I don’t think I’ll find that there.

        I also have a Panther with a readout that recently stopped lighting up. I have to guess what station it is tuned to, but it otherwise works for AM/FM/Cassette. I don’t want to put a lot of money into replacing a radio that mostly works, but ten bucks isn’t a lot of money. That car has a single-DIN opening, so a fit should be easy.

        1. Vairship Avatar
          Vairship

          I used a RediRad https://redirad.com/ for a few years. Worked great, and keeps the radio/dash/speakers all original, yet allows you to use FM radio or MP3 player, all playing through the car’s AM radio.
          Only when I had my car repainted did I replace the AM radio with an AM-on-the-outside, new-guts-inside radio.

        2. Vairship Avatar
          Vairship

          I used a RediRad https://redirad.com/ for a few years. Worked great, and keeps the radio/dash/speakers all original, yet allows you to use FM radio or MP3 player, all playing through the car’s AM radio.
          Only when I had my car repainted did I replace the AM radio with an AM-on-the-outside, new-guts-inside radio.

          1. 0A5599 Avatar
            0A5599

            Thanks, but I think my portable Bluetooth speaker sounds better than I could ever hope to get from anything modulated to AM and then played through a speaker assembled during the space race. Plus, I already own it, can move it from car to car to outdoor activities, and I don’t have to splice into my wiring harness to use it.

            Ironically, I think the radio in the top picture on that site has the same bezel shape as mine.

    3. Zentropy Avatar
      Zentropy

      In my classic cars, I always mount the stereo in the glovebox so that I can leave the AM radio in place.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar
        0A5599

        I have a friend who bought a $20 amplifier that runs off an iPod that gets stashed in the glovebox or under the seat, with everything pretty invisible. I was thinking about going that route, but my convertible doesn’t have any acceptable places to mount speakers unless I get one of the 2 channel dash units. I want to hear how those sound before I go through the hassle.

  4. Smaglik Avatar
    Smaglik

    I bought a trailer. I got tired of having to borrow less than ideal trailers for firewood runs, so I picked this up. Homemade, about a decade old, but in pretty good shape. Need to do a few things to it including flipping the leafs to get a little more clearance, but overall I’m content with it, and looking forward to getting into the forest.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Firewood? Leaf?

      https://i.ibb.co/B63YX3z/IMG-20200424-231726.jpg

      I was originally planning to use a trailer this year, too, but always end up thinking it is so much easier to just throw the wood into the car.

      1. Smaglik Avatar
        Smaglik

        I’ve stuffed the x3 before, but I prefer just being able to toss away.

        Would be interesting to see a trailer with two inverted nissans at the end of the axle…

        1. Sjalabais Avatar
          Sjalabais

          The tossing is just a matter of where on the scale of disrespect for your car you are yet. But I get the point. Crossing my fingers there will be a time when tinkerers create lifted Leafs or electric, automobile trailers for woodruns.

          1. Smaglik Avatar
            Smaglik

            I’ve filled the trunk of my m5 with firewood before. Just need a good vacuum.

      2. Fuhrman16 Avatar
        Fuhrman16

        Indeed it is. Who needs a pickup when you have a hatchback? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a87bf933e2f3c31e2a565e7c14b9304868324b2f3d95ef0bb9fb1e79123491e7.jpg

          1. Vairship Avatar
            Vairship

            It could not be confirmed whether the red Lada was chasing the green Lada.

          1. Fuhrman16 Avatar
            Fuhrman16

            Man, I miss having an OG Saab 900. The cargo area was like some magical bag of holding that could swallow so much stuff.

  5. salguod Avatar

    I finally got the BMW back on the road Friday. I had 3 of the 4 corners done and discovered a bad strut bearing when I pulled the LF strut, so I had to wait for the part to arrive. Then, after disassembling the strut I discovered that the new one didn’t match the old. It was a RH strut. DidI get sent two RH struts? I checked the boxes and they are marked correctly. I checked the strut I had already installed in the RF and it was marked L.

    Dang it.

    Things always are faster and easier the second time. After reassembling the old LH strut to free up the spring compressor, I pulled the RH again, swapped it the proper one. And got it all buttoned up that afternoon. On the short test drive I took I was able to accelerate hard out of a LH turn without wheel hop or the traction control activating and it generally feels more planted. The steering is a bit vague on center, but hopefully the alignment will help that.

    My other automotive news is that my daughter took a minor off road excursion in the wet with her Protege. Only real harm was a shake at speed solved by removing mud from the wheel and a slow leak in the tire from a broken bead seal. Later she asked for help cleaning the dirt from under the car. I put it on my ramps and proceeded to pull from between the engine support and the transmission enough mud and turf to fill a gallon bucket probably twice. I wish I taken a picture. It was surprising how much was jammed in there.

    1. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      When I was young a cousin & I cleaned all the mud from under the wheelarches (3-4″ thick) of my uncle’s Landcruiser pickup, and off the chassis rails under the flatbed (up to 6″ thick) – because we had to pick it all up afterwards (it was dried) I can tell you that it barely piled onto a large wheelbarrow.

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