Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
Ford reveals minor updates for 2019 Mustang plus new California Special
Ford drops a bunch of info on upcoming vehicles
Mazda6 gets priced, goes on sale next month
Laguna Seca is getting a new name
What’s your automotive news?
2019 Ford Mustang
Almost 50 years to day since the original Mustang California Special entered production, Ford has announced another revival. One of Barrett-Jackson’s favorite limited-edition Mustangs returns this summer on the V8-powered coupes and convertibles with some added style reminiscent of every other California Special they’ve ever done. They also took the opportunity to reveal a few new updates coming to all 2019 Mustangs.
Starting with the CS first, it’s as simple as an appearance package. Ticking this box gets you a blacked-out open grille, the Mustang Performance Pack 1 splitter, a fading stripe along the side, all the necessary badges, and unique five-spoke painted machined wheels.
The interior is lightly updated with rich black Miko suede-trimmed seats with embossed GT/CS logos and contrast red accent stitching, along with – brace yourselves – custom embroidered GT/CS floor mats.
The California Special will launch this summer. And when it does, you’ll notice a few new features for the other Mustangs in the showroom.
2019 Mustangs will have a few more options to make it yours, including two new vintage-inspired colors called Velocity Blue and Need for Green plus new over-the-top stripes. A new option inside is a brand new B&O Play 1,000-watt, 10 channel, 12-speaker sound system that’s been engineered just for the Mustang.
Only two new mechanical features are added to the 2019 Mustang, one for each engine. The EcoBoost versions get the same quad-tip exhaust with active valves as is available on the GT complete with its “good neighbor” mode for quiet morning startups. Meanwhile, those who correctly order theirs with the 5.0-liter V8, six-speed manual, and Performance Package will have new automatic rev-matching to help out. It’s unclear if it can be disabled or not but I’ll assume Ford is cool enough to make that defeatable.
Pricing is not available yet but we should know fairly soon.
Ford teases Bronco, GT500, hybrids, and more
Ford has some ambitious plans for the next five years and dropped a bunch of info on where they’re headed as a brand. There’s a lot of boring #mobility talk but some very interesting bits thrown in as well. I’ll highlight what matters.
- Ford will be replacing more than 75 percent of its current portfolio and adding four new trucks and SUVs by 2020.
- Ford has released a teaser image (above) for the upcoming Bronco and it confirms its off-road focus. I mean, even the sheet covering it is dirty. This should be good.
- They then surprised with another off-road-focus SUV, this time slotting in beneath the Bronco. There’s no name for that one yet but there is a brief glimpse to be had with this teaser image below.
- Ford also confirmed the inevitable… the Explorer will get an ST version sometime after the Edge ST launches in America. Both will happen before 2020.
- Ford is going all-in on hybrid-electric vehicles and will be adding these new powertrain options to some of their biggest sellers. They named the F-150, Mustang, Explorer, Escape and – interestingly – the Bronco specifically.
- The F-150 hybrid is scheduled for 2020 and could be the first ever full-hybrid pickup of its kind. Details are sparse, but they say it’ll have a mobile generator.
- The Mustang hybrid should also be a first. They claim V8-like power that’ll be safe against increasing gas prices. I’d be shocked if it was anything other than an EcoBoost four-cylinder under the hood, but a V8 hybrid would be killer.
- Their next-gen battery-electric vehicles will roll out in 2020 (possibly as an SUV) and six total will be released by 2022.
- A new safety suite called Ford Co-Pilot360 will soon roll out with more comprehensive safety features. It’ll include standard automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and other driver assist features that have yet to be named.
- All new Ford vehicles will have 4G LTE connectivity by the end of 2019. They say this helps set the foundation for their #connected future of over-the-air updates and whatever the hell “Transportation Mobility Cloud” is supposed to be. I tried reading into that but I nearly died of boredom.
So long story short, more hybrids and EVs and more SUVs. But there was one other thing….
Yer goddamn right it’s the GT500. This shadowy image is our best look yet at what’s promised to be the most incredible Mustang yet. No additional figures to report as of now, but the one we know of that matters most is 700+ horsepower. It’s gonna be mean, fast, and crashed a lot.
2018 Mazda6 gets priced
Mazda is rolling out a heavily updated 6 sedan next month and the price of entry has just been set at $21,950. At its basic price, you get the Mazda6 Sport with a newly refined 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is a $1,050 option. It offers a generous amount of standard features as well which range from a six-way manual driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control to LED lighting and rear cross-traffic alert.
The car you’d probably most be interested in is the Mazda6 Grand Touring with its brand-new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque sent exclusively through the recalibrated six-speed automatic. That one starts at $29,200 and also adds an 11-speaker Bose sound system, navigation, auto-dimming mirrors, and paddle shifters.
Sitting proudly at the top of the range is the Mazda6 Signature at $34,750 which is highlighted by more premium cabin materials and features. Nappa leather seating, Japanese Sen wood interior accents, gilded suede, a new 360-degree view monitor, parking sensors, and a seven-inch TFT reconfigurable gauge cluster.
Laguna Seca has been renamed
Hey speaking of Mazda, remember that racetrack they used to have naming rights to? That deal ended a few months ago but someone has already come to its rescue. You’d never guess who…
Yup, it’s WeatherTech, makers of fine floor mats you see advertised at the back of every car magazine. They also own that one IMSA series. The five-year naming rights deal is worth a cool $5 million and takes effect April 1st. After that, the new official track name for everyone to ignore is WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca.
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.
[Image © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]