The Greatest Feature of the De Tomaso P72

In a world of modern hypercars sporting carbon fiber paddle shifters, electronic transmission shift solenoids, electronic rev matching and fancy knobs to notify what drive mode you’re in — there’s something that’s been missing in the context of these supercar-like vehicles.  Ahhh yes.  It’s a stick shift.

I know.  It seems archaic.  It’s slower that an automatic.  It’s clunky.  But the stick shift is revealed as the ultimate connection to man and machine.  Take for instance the “gated” Ferrari Shifter.  Or the Hurst short-throw shifter.  These are weapons that demand tire-frying chaos.  But just as the hypercar industry has waved a white surrender flag to AI, classifying the stick shift as an archaic tool of the past, one motor company has risen above the madness like a phoenix.  To this, I welcome the new De Tomaso P72, and is stick shift.

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Not only is it an absolute beauty, it’s a tribute to the times when racing and driving was passionate.  A stick shift is not just about the performance and how fast one can drive, it’s a connection to man, machine and its element of power.  Now, I could point out the history of how the De Tomaso company began and how the original P70 was a phenomenal supercar, but there is something that everyone can relate to when we say De Tomaso – and that’s the Pantera.

As soon as you have read that name, I’m sure images of that car appear in your head.  The Pantera was utter chaos.  It was an Italian chassis and body design with a gigantic American motor shoved in the ass.  And yes, it had a stick shift that utilized the “gated” Ferrari design.  Did the Pantera handle well?  Was it the fastest supercar of its time?  No.  Not by a long shot.  But it was one hell of a ride.

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So now that the P72 and its mechanical masterpiece has been revealed, one can wonder how this will be received among other manufacturers. Will this make them realize that driving doesn’t have to be split second shift points, unemotional buttons, automated assists and no feedback from the road. Can’t a modern super car just be simple?  Until this answered,  I am going to stop writing and just let you gaze at the glorious design of the De Tomaso shifter in P72 cabin.

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Photo credits: P72- @detomaso , Pantera – @drivernet

Not the first. But the most logical. Chevrolet’s New Mid-Engine 2020 Corvette C8

The new 2020 Corvette C8 has finally been revealed, despite the executives toting the car around for the past few months underneath a camouflaged, but not so deceiving vinyl wrap, the official Corvette reveal opened a new chapter for Chevrolet motor company.  Though their new mid-engine sport car is not a first that we’ve seen in the industry; Ford has the GT, Acura has the NSX,  Ferrari has . . . well — a lot.  But what we can say is that Chevrolet is the first to make a mid-engine supercar affordable – and that’s a game changer.  So here are the best features of what the $60,000 mid-engine supercar will get you.

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First is the all-new 6.2 liter LT2 engine, with its naturally aspirated intake system exposed through the polycarbonate rear glass.  Epic looking in just the photo, the engine backs its bold looks with 495 horsepower and 470 foot pounds of torque with added the Z51 performance package.  Plus, the new LT2 incorporates a dry sump oil system, eliminating the need for a large oil pan, thus providing room to lower the motor in the car and provide a lower center of gravity and clearance for the engine compartment.

A highly sophisticated Performance Data Recorder will be onboard, despite that most sports cars can record your driving data, such as 0-60 time, 1/4 mile time, G-force, and other variables, the new 2020 Corvette C8 takes it to another level by displaying all of the performance data feeds  on the in-car, 8-inch technology touch screen.  Plus, you can log and analyze your driving data like a professional using Cogsworth Toolbox software. This is great for if you’re a spirited driver or weekend track warrior.

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Then for the more spirited and track drivers, the new 2020 Corvette C8 offers 3 different seat options: The GT1, GT2 and Competition. The GT1 seat is a causal daily driver option offering a more comfortable lumbar with wide and low side bolsters while the next level GT2 seat is an upgrade to Napa grain leather and more aggressive styling.  The Competition seat is dialed up even further with up with tighten bolsters, race inspired design and a mix of leather accented by bold color options.

Whether your data logging on the PDR or hitting the track in your Competition seats, the new 2020 Corvette C8 will be working with functional body styling — that actually works.  In the past, with exception of the C7, had useless aero body work.  The C8 incorporates front diffuser cooling for the brakes, side vent cooling for the engine, and more.

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Another small but great feature is the having 2 separate linked key fobs.  What this means is that each key fob can be set to two separate driver preferences.  So depending on which fob is used, once the driver is in the vehicle, it will automatically adjust the seats, steering wheel and other specific driver preferences settings programed to that particular Fob.

Whether you’re driving solo or with your companion, there will be ample luggage space.  Unlike most supercars with barley enough room to fit a laptop case, the new 2020 Corvette C8 offers a deep trunk space in the front that can easily fit a golf club bag, with a secondary storage spot large enough for a small bag.  Then in the rear of the car, in front of the engine compartment is another trunk, which is large enough to fit a normal-sized travel suitcase.

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I could go on and include a lot more features such as the temperature monitoring wheels, that indicate what the surface temperatures are for driving conditions, or the electronic limited-slip to posi-traction differential system.  Or even the removable targa roof that’s iconic with Corvette.  But the most important feature is the price, which starts at $60,000.  For that amount, the new 2020 Corvette C8 is the most logical, and obtainable mid-engine supercar on the marketplace.

 

Images source: http://www.chevrolet.com

Is a New Racecar on the Horizon? The Ford GT MK II

A supercar is a living, breathing machine.  Just like a prize fighter, or competition stallion, it’s bred for maximum performance and capability.  But imagine if your prize fighter was restricted?  Like fighting with its hand tied behind back.  This is a scenario that happens in auto racing.  Motor companies are held back by regulations enforced by global racing sanctions — and it’s known as the balance of power.

Now this creates an equal playing field among the different racing classes and the cars within them, so most manufacturers design their street supercars to naturally fall into these classes.  But what if you take that same street-able race car, and uncap the restrictions?  This is what Ford Motor Company has done with the new GT MK II.

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Revealed during the Goodwood “Festival of Speed,” the new GT was unleashed with a full send.  Which is appropriate in the given scenario; and as it climbed up the hill, screeching its tires through the corners, from afar, it looked just like its predecessor, but up close, you’ll see it’s a different animal.

“The Mk II answers the regularly asked question of how would the car perform with all the limitations lifted: the answer is spectacularly.”  These are the words of Larry Holt, Multimatics Chief Technical Officer.   In fact, the new GT was co-developed by Multimatic with Ford Motor company. And if you don’t know who Multimatic is, well — they’re big into racing.

So together, they’ve pushed the new GT to it’s full capability.  The twin turbo, 3.5 liter V6 that previously put out 500 horses is now putting out 700 horsepower.  The aerodynamics have been upgraded to produce over 400 percent more downforce, and pull over 2 G’s of lateral grip.

They even cut over 200 pounds of weight from the car by removing the hydraulic suspension and replacing it with mechanical. And removing the lumbar seats and  putting in a single racing seat.  The passenger side is an option.

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Then there’s the and added performance enhancers such as a new racing tune, upgraded ceramic brakes,  a redesigned air intake system and even water sprayers on the intercoolers to keep the intake heat down.  Overall, they turned the new GT into what should have been produced in the first place.

But why wait until now?

Lets circle back to the topic of racing sanctions.  Since the fall of 2018, the FIA World Endurance Championship announced they would be developing a new Hypercar class that manufacturers can race an unrestricted street car in, as long as there are 25 of the cars in production.   The previous Ford GT was produced for the GT3 race class, which is a restricted class.  Are you seeing where this is going?

Many say that the new GT will be Ford Motor Company’s new racecar for the new WEC Hypercar class.  Of course, Ford has not officially announced this strategy, but teaming up with Multimatic is almost dead giveaway; and the fact that Ford is only producing only a limited amount of 45 vehicles that are sold at 1.5 million a piece —  that’s a pretty good racing fund.

 

 

Photo Credits:  Ford Motor Company Media Center – https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2019/07/04/limited-edition-ford-gt.html

Will We See Dealer Price Gouging on the New 2020 Ford GT500

Just recently Ford enlightened the automotive industry with news of the MSRP price for the new 2020 Ford GT500.  According to sources, the sticker price will be just under the $74k range starting at $73,999 for the base model.  But add the extra the costs of goodies such as the carbon fiber wheels, upgraded suspension, technology package and more, and soon the price skyrockets nearly $18,000.  But wait — there’s more.

During the initial launch of the 2020 GT500, Ford Motor Company hosted a special publicized auction for the first 001 VIN number production model during the Scottsdale Barret Jackson auction week.  By the time the gavel hammer swung its last stroke, the bidding price was at 1.1 million dollars.  Though this auction doubled as a fundraiser for JDRF, the leading global organization that funds type 1 diabetes research, one can say this caused the bidding price to be over inflated.  So now it’s time for the dealerships to have their swing.

2020 Ford GT500

This scenario takes me back to the summer of 2015. I was a bright-eyed enthusiastic internet shopper, dreaming of the moment when I could finally order the new Ford Mustang GT350.  Of course I knew of the inflated prices, but I had a connection, a personal family member of Ford Motor Company and with a great tie to my local dealership.  On the day I walked in to order my new GT350, I was confronted with a 15K dealer mark up.   Regardless of family connection, regardless of leverage,  it wasn’t going to disappear.

The gouging was stuck across the entire nation like an old piece of duct tape. Dealerships were only allocated 2 to 3 models and most were sold before they hit the floor. Many dealerships marked up the GT350 models from 13k – 25k over the stock MSRP.  During those times the new model was something long awaited for, and it hosted a new engine, high-revving, 5.2 liter flat-plane crankshaft, Voodoo.  But the GT500 is an entirely new animal.

Packed with a redesigned supercharged, 760hp 5.2 liter V8, and a 1.1 million dollar sale on its resume — we can expect this car will be no where near its MSRP.  Unless Ford Motor Company puts an end to the inflation, my hats off to those who will be able to cut though dealership tyranny and for those who can’t, you have my sympathy.  Otherwise you can wait nearly five years like I have, because the GT350 models are finally selling at a base MSRP — and even lower.