The News for July 5th, 2013

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang GT

Welcome to the Hooniverse News – Slow News Week Edition! This is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry and anything else I could find without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. I hope our American readers had a fun and safe Fourth of July, and to everyone else, a happy Thursday. This week:

  • Ford celebrates 60 years of the USAF Thunderbirds

  • 2014 Mazda6, now with updated pricing and i-ELOOP

  • Sebastien Loeb breaks Pikes Peak record [with video]


U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Ford Mustang

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang GT

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, and with this one-off Mustang, so is Ford. The car will be put up for auction at this year’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh to benefit EAA Young Eagles program which provides free introductory flights to inspire young aviators. This is the latest of several aviation-themed Mustangs Ford has produced in recent years, all of which also benefited charity.

The 2014 Mustang GT designers chose as the base for this one-off car has an appropriate factory-option glass roof and brilliant white paint with red and blue accents to match color scheme of the F-16 Falcons that the Thunderbirds fly. Widebody modifications with custom TS Designs body panels and a custom belly pan to mimic the F16’s air intake built by Creations n’ Chrome give the Mustang the fighter jet-like appearance Ford was looking for. Forgiato also supplied shiny 22″ wheels, because why not.

As a result of all these parts coming together, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang truly looks like it wants to point itself down a runway and take off, but it remains firmly planted on the ground – just like the real USAF Thunderbirds.

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang GT

Inside, the Mustang gets a modified navigation screen, instrument cluster, and a rear-seat delete. Some other nifty details include the Recaro [front] seats with embroidered Thunderbirds elements and the puddle lamps on the doors which project an F16’s silhouette when the doors open.

This Mustang wasn’t just built to look pretty, however. A Ford Racing supercharger boosts the 5.0-liter V8’s output to significantly more than 420 horsepower (they won’t tell us the numbers), a handling package, and Brembo brakes to help it move quickly into the winning bidder’s garage.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang will be auctioned off on August 1st, and when it does, it will be the sixth aviation-themed Mustang whose sale benefits the EAA Young Eagles. $1.9 million has been raised thus far, thanks to past cars inspired by the F-22 Raptor, SR-71 Blackbird, The Blue Angels, and most recently, the Tuskegee Airmen.

[Source: Ford]

2014 Mazda6 prices updated


Mazda is in the news again, but this time for a car we’ve been familiar with for a while now. The 2014 Mazda6 is about to be the first Mazda offered with a new Intelligent Energy Loop (i-ELOOP), a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system that converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electricity as it decelerates.

To get a Mazda6 with i-ELOOP, you’ll need a check for at least $31,775, as i-ELOOP is only available on the Grand Touring models ($29,695) and after you add the new GT Technology Package for $2,080.

The base price of the Mazda6 without i-ELOOP is $20,990, which is a very minor price increase compared to what it was the last time I talked about this car. The Mazda6 comes with a 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine with 184 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque being put to the ground through a six-speed automatic or manual transmission (not available on the Grand Touring model). Three additional trim levels separate from the base model (according to the person typing the press release) are offered with their own combination of features and extras are offered, those being Sport ($22,695), Touring ($23,645), and Grand Touring (still $29,695).


Of course, i-ELOOP is all about saving fuel, and the EPA estimates mileage to be 28 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Non-i-ELOOP cars will still achieve an admirable 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with a manual transmission and 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway with the automatic.

[Source: Mazda]

Sebastien Loeb sets new Pikes Peak record


This past weekend, nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb set a new record time at the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. And by setting a record, I mean destroying it.

His time was 8:13.878 at an average speed of 87.471 mph, which is about a minute and a half faster than last year’s record set by Rhys Millen. Loeb was there with a Peugeot 208 T16 purpose-built for the 4,720′ climb, which fortunately for us, was also rigged with numerous on-board cameras. The video of his entire record-breaking climb is available courtesy of team sponsor Red Bull and can be viewed below. It runs for about nine minutes, and will hopefully help make up for the slow news week.


An entire recap of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb can be found on Autoweek

[Source: Autoweek, YouTube]


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10 responses to “The News for July 5th, 2013”

  1. Devin Avatar

    i-ELOOP has to be the most amusing name for energy saving tech.

  2. skitter Avatar

    Damn that's fast.
    Damn that's impressive.
    Magic's gone.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but you're right – Pike's Peak isn't really the same event anymore. Still worth watching, but for different reasons now.

    2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I think Pikes Peak: drift edition is the future now.

    3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Totally agree… attention should be turned to the Mt. Washington Auto Road Climb to the Clouds

      1. JayP2112 Avatar

        What's the latest for that race? I looked it up and the last auto event was 2011 with no new events scheduled.

  3. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Ford celebrates the anniversary of the Thunderbirds, by not building any Thunderbirds. Why does Ford hate the USAF? Are they still nursing that Trimotor grudge?

  4. Otto Nobedder Avatar
    Otto Nobedder

    150+ mph wound out in 6th gear! Great video/great run up the hill.
    However, I think I'd rather see a Hudson run it 'back in the Day'

  5. Alcology Avatar

    Ok, here is some really crappy math. i-ELOOP. Not even going to get into it. So if you buy the i-ELOOP package and spend an extra ~11k over base. Assuming gas at 3.60 a gallon (even bill burr is going to have a tough time making me laugh this hard.) over 100,000 miles, you are really only saving about 1000 bucks. For more complicated tech. That is probably more expensive to maintain. What are the savings here? If i-gaveacrap, I mean i-ELOOP, was to be worth it, what would it actually contain?
    That mustang is pretty cool though. If they ditched the chin lip dealy and shrunk the front bumper in.

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