Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Ford adds Maverick Tremor option as order books reopen, Porsche shows off their GT3 competitor for next season, Nissan is killing off the Maxima next year, and your news for the week.
Ford Maverick Tremor
The Ford Maverick has been such a hit among buyers who maybe don’t want to spend $50k minimum on a new truck that Ford had to stop taking orders earlier this spring. This week, they announced that order books are back open for the 2023 model year and there will be a new flavor as well. The Maverick is getting the Tremor treatment. Similar to the Tremor packages we’ve seen on the Super Duty, F-150, and Ranger, this one builds on top of the FX4 package and provides numerous upgrades for those who like to get dirty.
The Maverick’s Tremor option is available on XLT and Lariat models with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost (no hybrid). The Tremor package adds an improved AWD system which features a twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock for improved off-road performance. Another exclusive feature is Trail Control, which Ford says is like cruise control for off-road driving. It allows the driver to focus on wheel placement rather than correct throttle and brake application.
Additional off-road hardware includes Tremor-exclusive front and rear springs and shocks. In addition to a 1″ increase in ride height, this new combo should keep the compact truck more composed on rough terrain. Ford also upgrades the half-shafts and adds a heavy-duty transmission cooler. The Tremor package rides on 235/65R17 A/T tires which look to be Falken Wildpeaks from the press images. Approach, departure, and breakover angles are greatly improved over the standard truck at 30.7, 22.2, and 19.9 degrees respectively.
The off-road equipment does impact payload and towing capacities though. Payload is reduced to 1,200 lbs (compared to 1,500 lbs) and towing is capped at 2,000 lbs, which is the same as other Mavericks without the 4k Tow Package – a feature not available on the Tremor.
Just like other Tremors, signature orange accents are added inside and out. The Maverick Tremor gets a unique grille finish with orange accents, blacked-out Ford logos, unique headlamps and taillamps, and orange tow hooks. Special 17″ aluminum wheels are finished in dark gray but sport an orange accent in one corner as well. The cabin gets Black Onyx seats with stitched Tremor logos and orange accents. The center console, register vents, and door pulls carry the same theme. For an additional $1,495, you can opt for the Tremor Appearance Package which adds a Carbonized-Gray painted roof and mirror caps plus black side graphics on the hood and lower body.
Production for the 2023 Maverick begins this fall. Order books for regular versions should be open now while the Maverick Tremor is available sometime in September. Pricing for the Tremor package is $2,995 plus an additional $1,495 if you want the sick graphics for five additional horsepower. Depending on how Ford decides to group everything together (they make force you to add other packages too), the cheapest Maverick Tremor you can build could start at $30,505. That was using an XLT with the 2.0L EcoBoost and AWD equipped separately, as the Tremor package isn’t on the configurator yet. Whether any one of Ford’s magnificent and not at all scummy as shit dealerships will let you pay MSRP for it is anyone’s guess.
Porsche 911 (992) GT3 R
Right after Ferrari unveiled the 296 GT3 leading up to the Spa 24 Hours, Porsche joined in on the fun. The 911 GT3 R has been a favorite among customer racing teams all around the world and it’s time it got updated to the 992 generation, just as the road cars have. Its main improvements over the existing model come down to a larger engine, more consistent aerodynamic performance, and optimized balance. And it just looks incredible.
One of the bigger changes sits at the back of the car. The naturally-aspirated flat-six engine is now at a higher displacement, from 4.0-liters to 4.2-liters. This, along with other improvements they probably won’t tell us about, boost the engine’s peak output to 565 horsepower and allowed for a more optimized power and torque curve. Balance of Performance ultimately dictates how much power a car can have and it differs in every series. But Porsche acknowledges that by adding more power from the get go, they can tap into a larger performance reserve as BoP dictates. If the car can run reliably for 24 hours at the full 565-horsepower engine map, imagine what it can do when it’s restricted to 500 horsepower.
The car’s aerodynamics are assisted by slightly repositioning the engine. They’ve tilted it forward by 5.5 degrees which creates more space for the underbody diffuser, a significant source of downforce for modern race cars. Auxiliary components like the alternator and air conditioning compressor have been moved forward and further down into a space in front of the engine and gearbox, this improving the car’s weight balance as well.
Porsche focused heavily on updating the suspension to achieve more desirable characteristics on track and in the garage. The new car has more precise steering, less rear tire wear, and will be quicker to adjust during setup changes between sessions. KW shock absorbers offer five adjustment settings which are done with shims – these are plates that enable precise adjustments without the need to realign the suspension afterward.
Central pivot points at the front axle were repositioned slightly to free up space for the aerodynamic underfloor, a concept borrowed from the 911 RSR that competes in GTE. This cleaner flow of air to the rear diffuser reduces the pitch sensitivity in various situations, including a high rake under heavy braking. And last but not least, the wheelbase is extended by 48mm or 1.89 inches which reduces the load on the rear tires and improves consistency of the tires’ performance over a long stint.
Aerodynamically, the car has greater emphasis on underbody aerodynamics than before. The underbody ahead of the front axle is raised, the entire undertray is smooth, and a larger rear diffuser provides greater downforce without a significant increase in drag. The biggest aero change you can see from the outside is a new rear spoiler with a swan-neck mount for the first time, just as with the road-going 992-generation 911 GT3. The swan-neck mount ensures clean airflow under the wing by moving all the mounting components up top.
The Porsche 911 (992) GT3 R will make its global competition debut at the 2023 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Porsche Motorsport North America will offer the car to customer teams for $567,210.
Nissan Maxima is getting the axe
If you’re a convicted super speeder or in a high-risk insurance group, you’ve only got a short time left to order your Nissan Maxima. According to a report from Motor1, Nissan is giving their top-of-the-line sedan the axe next year. The 2023 model year will be the last of their full-size sedan following a long career spanning back to the 1981 model year.
Nissan’s statement to Motor1 explains the decision as “part of Nissan’s Ambition 2030 plan”, in which the company will be “prioritizing electric vehicles and advanced technologies”. The question I’m sure is being asked by those recently deemed at fault is “why not just make the Maxima electric”. I’m sure that will be in the cards at some point, but you see, the Maxima made the grave mistake of not being a crossover in the 2020s, so it deserved to die. Perhaps the nameplate will be revived as yet another electric crossover that will compete for market share with Nissan’s other electric crossovers that are slightly different in size.
What’s your automotive news?
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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