Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Porsche Prepares More Power, Liveable 911 Turbo Line for 2021

Photo Credit: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

The Porsche 911 is an instantly sporty shape few other automobiles have been able to match. As soon as the production started on the first car on September 14th of 1964, the magical charm of the sports car carries through with every generation of refinement to the vehicle. The 992 architecture is the most advanced version of the Porsche 911 touting the smoothest body lines, awesome engine power supported by available equipment such as all-wheel drive or all-wheel steering and an interior containing a level of luxury amenities few past Porsche enthusiasts would have expected.

Instilling the ultimate heights of performance for drivers of the latest German sports car is an all-new 911 Turbo. With the first turbocharged 911 coming into existence in 1975 known as the Porsche 930, the 256-horsepower machine was conscripted for motorsports with models sold to the public to comply with sporting regulations. Though the engine power figures of the 930 seem somewhat mundane by modern comparison, the legacy created by the mention of the word “Turbo” with Porsche remains a promise for peak road-going performance. 

Photo Credit: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Appearing 45 years after the earliest foray into turbocharging, the latest 992-based Porsche 911 Turbo lineup is a rolling exhibition of high-tech supremacy. The new Porsche 911 Turbo models contain a well-engineered, 3.0-liter flat-six engine that utilizes two variable turbine geometry turbochargers. The top-of-the-line 911 Turbo S has 640 horsepower of performance available with a press of the accelerator. In July, Porsche later added a lower-priced 911 Turbo variant using the same twin-turbocharged engine generating a more modest 572 horsepower. 
Aerodynamics is also a source of concentrated development on the new Porsche 911 Turbo models. Featuring a wider bodywork than the 991 Turbo, the 992 design includes an expanded active front spoiler and an enlarged rear wing equating to 15 percent greater stability. The rear spoiler’s construction combines carbon fiber reinforced polymers and fiberglass resulting in a weight savings of 440 grams compared to the previous model. Air flow is also rechannelled through the use of front electronically-controlled active cool air intakes and reworked rear side intakes. 

Photo Credit: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Capable of a top speed of 320 kilometer per hour (200 miles per hour) or greater, the new Porsche 911 Turbo models are equipped with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) technology insuring firm, controlled handling at almost any speed. Traction control, rear-axle steering and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus is also included on the 911 Turbo vehicles. A new braking system on the Porsche 911 Turbo models feature thicker, wider diameter discs with a ceramic brake system offered as an option. 

The latest Porsche 911 Turbo lineup also exhibits an expanded level of livability with practical and luxury upgrades. In addition to improving aerodynamic performance, the front active spoiler system is also engineered to allow the sports car to manage uneven terrain. The new 911 Turbo features greater ground clearance on ‘basic position’ providing less of a chance for damage over the course of everyday driving. The adjustable spoiler is operated pneumatically now with a smaller module that frees up three liters of capacity for the Porsche 911 Turbo’s front cargo space. The cabin of the Porsche 911 Turbo includes a GT sport steering wheel, 14-way power adjustable sport seats, a 10.9-inch center screen with Porsche Connect integration and a Bose Surround Sound System as standard equipment.

Photo Credit: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

The Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S trims are offered as both coupe and cabriolet body styles. Canadian pricing for the new 911 Turbo Coupe is $194,400 while the open-top version costs $209,000. The coupe variant of the 640-horsepower Turbo S wears a $231,700 price with the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet costing $246,300. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A New Age of Bucking Trends: The 2021 Ford Bronco

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Recently demonstrated by the announcement of the limited edition Mustang Mach 1, Ford Motor Company enjoys drawing on the vast reservoir of their past looking towards their future. For the 2021 model year, the automaker re-imagines the Bronco name for an exciting new sport utility vehicle.
In 1965, Ford  was a hive of activity in motorsports as well as on the road. Fully invested in capitalizing on the instant success of their Mustang, Ford continued to find their affordable sports car was a sales darling in its first full year of production. Customers of larger vehicles were presented with an all-new Ford Galaxie as well as a reworked Country Squire wagon. Diverting from on-road to off-road, the auto company was putting the finishing touches on the release of their first compact sport utility vehicle (SUV). The Ford Bronco debuted in 1965 for the 1966 model year as something unlike anything the blue oval badge had been worn on up to this point.

Designed to compete against the Jeep CJ model (evolving to the modern Wrangler) and the International Harvester Scout, the off-road focused 1966 Ford Bronco was an exclusively four-wheel drive truck-like vehicle that was most more athletic than a F-Series pickup truck. The sport utility vehicle featured a variety of body configurations including an open-top with removable passenger doors as well as full range of optional productivity equipment such as power take-off.  A polar opposite to the Ford Mustang, the Bronco found a smaller but similarly enthused audiences of young performance-seeking fans instead choosing dirt rather than the pony car’s pavement. The first generation Bronco represented a pure off-roading adventure model that was diminished by the 1980s as the Bronco nameplate was applied a model based on a full-sized pickup truck and the Bronco II was a compact SUV that lacked the aggressive capabilities of the earlier vehicle. Coming 55 years after its initial debut, the Ford Bronco returns to its originally envisioned form it some perks. 

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Playing heavily to both sport and utility with a “Built Wild” persona, the 2021 Ford Bronco is a highly expressive, highly versatile machine. The all-new Bronco is exclusively a four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle that provides a unique action-oriented design not associated with the current crop of urban-focused crossover vehicles. A turbocharged, direct-injected EcoBoost four-cylinder engine generating 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque serves as the base powerplant paired with a part-time, selectable four-wheel drive system. A 310-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine with 400 pound-feet of torque production is also available on the new Ford Bronco along with an optional Advanced 4x4 transfer case. A seven-speed manual transmission with a crawler gear is offered with the base engine while a 10-speed automatic gearbox can be paired with both engines. The 2021 Ford Bronco’s driveline also incorporates Dana AdvanTEK differentials at the front and rear with available Spicer Performa-Trek electronic locking differentials.

The Bronco’s familiar two-door body style returns (the first two-door Ford SUV since the 2003 Explorer) joined by the first ever four-door Bronco. The two-door model features a 100.4-inch wheelbase while the dimension is 15.7 inches longer on the four-door 2021 Bronco. Touting what Ford classifies as “Baja racing DNA”, the all-new Bronco is unmistakably influenced by the original 1966 design. Sharp edges, wide stance and tall ground clearance are basic elements to accommodate the off-roading persona. Finer details harking back to the first generation vehicle includes a front with round headlights and a mid-level nameplate as well as rectangular taillights.
Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Constructed on a high-strength steel chassis, this remastered version of the Ford Bronco reintroduces removable doors, roof and body panels associated with the first generation vehicle. An available hardtop roof structure incorporates a simple and quick to remove multiple piece design that can be dismounted to create an open-air cabin. A soft top cloth roof will be offered standard on most four-door Ford Bronco. Buyers of the four-door model also have the flexibility of ordering most the cloth and hardtop roof. Both the two-door and four-door Bronco includes frameless doors that can be easily removed or reattached. Four-door Ford Broncos comes with protective bags allowing the doors to be stored onboard. Cowl-mounted side mirrors insure maximized visibility regardless of the doors being installed or uninstalled.

Wrapped around a protective high-strength steel roll cage, the interior compartment of the 2021 Ford Bronco features both high-tech solutions and retro ruggedness. Up to five occupants can be seated inside a cabin that can be utilized as utilitarian or can be decked out in leather-trimmed luxury. The Off-road friendliness of the Ford Bronco can be enhanced by easy-to-clean washable rubberized floors, marine-grade vinyl seats and rubber touchpoints. The instrument panel design borrows styling cues from the first generation Bronco. Ford’s SYNC 4 is offered with 8-inch and 12-inch SYNC system with some added off-road tailored technology. A FordPass Performance app with off-road navigation is exclusively available on the new Ford Bronco providing trail maps and plans to optimize off-roading trips. Upfitter switches are available with pre-wiring for activating added an assortment of accessories.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford Bronco will debut with six trim level choices (Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands and Wildtrak). In addition to factory options, Ford also pledges more than 200 dealer-installed accessories can be selected by buyers. The Canadian starting price for the new SUV is $40,499 for the base model with the top-of-the-line Wildtrak retailing for $58,494. Ford Motor Company of Canada has begun accepting customer reservations for the new Bronco with a $100 deposit as of July 13th.  
In addition to the regular 2021 Bronco, Ford has also unveiled the four-door only Bronco Sport. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is marketed as a less extreme, lower-cost yet still adventurous sport utility vehicle option. Propelled by a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter EcoBoost, the Ford Bronco Sport shares the aesthetics of its more powerful counterpart as well as the inclusion of standard four-wheel drive. Base price for the Bronco Sport is set at $32,199 in Canada. 

The 2021 Ford Bronco is launched in direct competition with the new Land Rover Defender as well as an old foe, the Jeep Wrangler. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Car FYI Throwback 2009: Chrysler’s Quashed Electric Vehicle Plans

Photo Credit: FCA North America

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is seen as a slower adopter to electrified motoring compared to many other major automakers. Through much of the 2010s, the vehicle builder was mainly focused on bolstering the Jeep as well as the young Ram brand emphasizing more traditional propulsion. From 2020 until 2017, the only vehicle publicly sold by FCA to employ an electric drivetrain in North America was the Fiat 500e (a fully electric version of the stylish subcompact limited to sales in only select American states and was not available in Canada). Contrasting FCA’s barren electric or hybrid vehicle offerings through much of the past decade were production plans announced in the late 2000s. 
At the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the corporate entity that would become FCA existed as Chrysler LLC. Recently splitting from its turbulent marriage with Daimler-Benz, the auto company operated under a private equity group eager to impress as a reborn independent business. The product line of Chrysler LLC had a lot going for it heading into 2009. In addition to the all-new Dodge Journey crossover, the automaker also had a slew of recently introduced models including the Dodge Challenger as well as an updated versions of the Ram pickup truck and Chrysler’s minivan line. Chrysler LLC also had ambitious plans for future product development. 

By late 2008, Chrysler LLC prepared the automotive public and media for a collection of partial or fully electric vehicles from their ENVI group. A name spawned from the first four letters of the word Environmental, ENVI was assembled in September of 2007 as Chrysler’s in-house organization devoted to exploring ways to apply alternative energies into the company’s vehicles. Operating in cooperation with GE (General Electric) and the United States Department of Energy in the creation of energy storage technology, ENVI would demonstrate some lofty ambition for the auto company.   

Photo Credit: FCA North America

At the Detroit auto show occurring weeks into the new year, Chrysler made a bold declaration to produce 500,000 electrified vehicles by 2013 consisting of ENVI electric drive technology as well as vehicles sold through GEM. GEM or Global Electric Motorcars built low-speed neighbourhood electric vehicles since 1998 and was acquired through DaimlerChrysler at the end of 2000. Unrelated to the ENVI organization, the 2009 model year included a hybrid version of the Chrysler Aspen sport utility vehicle. The first hybrid production vehicle sold by Chrysler, the short-lived Aspen Hybrid used a special transmission in concert with a HEMI V-8 engine to achieve a fuel economy improvement greater than 25 percent. Chrysler’s electrified intentions for the main roadway was highlighted at the North American International Auto Show by a portfolio of five vehicle concepts across the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. 

The majority of Chrysler ENVI’s initiative was focused on plug-in hybrid or range-extending electric vehicles. One of the first vehicles unveiled was one based on the company’s popular minivan. The Chrysler Town & Country EV touted improved efficiency while also maintaining the family van’s seven-passenger capacity. This was not the first time Chrysler envisioned an electrified powerplant being used with their minivan. The all-electric EPIC concept was shown off at auto shows in 1992 leading to a limited production version being offered for fleet use in the late 1990s.

Chrysler Town & Country EV Concept on display at 2009 Canadian International AutoShow (Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada)

By 2009, a Chrysler 200C EV sedan was also announced. Two plug-in hybrid vehicle concepts were also shown for the Jeep lineup. Finished in a Green Pearl body color, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV presented itself as an electrified means to roam the planet with off-roading capability. ENVI would add the Patriot EV, based on Jeep’s compact sport utility vehicle by the time of the January auto show in Detroit.   

The ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle drive system was developed as a versatile collection of technology that could be applied to front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. A battery pack would store enough energy to propel a Chrysler product to a projected 40-mile range using all-electric propulsion. Total range of the drive system was rated at 400 miles with the range-extending internal combustion powerplant.

The only Chrysler ENVI vehicle not based on an existing model, the Dodge Circuit EV was also the program’s only fully-electric propelled prototype. The small, two-passenger Circuit EV sports car incorporated aggressive Dodge performance styling with an electric motor producing 268 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Fed to a rear-wheel drive system, the electric power system would be capable of propelling the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds and a top speed of 120 miles per hour. The Dodge Circuit EV’s advertised range was slated at between 150 and 200 miles.

Photo Credit: FCA North America

A lithium-ion battery pack was highlighted in the various ENVI electric drive concept vehicles. Through partnership with GE, Chrysler ENVI was also investigating the idea of a dual-battery setup. Instead of accepting the advantages and flaws of a single type of battery, the dual-battery would combine two different chemistries in one energy storage pack to create more well-rounded performance. 

When Chrysler LLC presented the projects of the ENVI organization in 2009 they made it clear that production based on their electrified technology was forthcoming. A North American release of the first ENVI vehicle was based in 2010 with Europe receiving the model shortly after. Three additional electrified offerings would arrive by 2013 as part of Chrysler LLC’s master plan. Unfortunately as the year 2009 progressed, the automotive entity’s electric vehicle ambitions were halted by a severe cash flow problem. Filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States on April 30th of 2009, Chrysler LLC was forced to reorganize and restructure into a company. The new company would eventually emerge as FCA with Italian automaker Fiat Group absorbing Chrysler. ENVI and the products conceptualized through the organization were casualties of the bankruptcy. 

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada

While ENVI was unable to introduce a passenger car to the general driving consumer, the advanced propulsion technology did find some applications on the road. In middle of 2009, four all-electric Chrysler Town & Country minivan prototypes were delivered to the United States Postal Service with the intention to have 165 vehicles operating in four regions. 

Photo Credit: FCA North America

Other plans by Chrysler following the disbandment of ENVI involved plug-in hybrid versions of the Town & Country and the Ram 1500 pickup truck. Originally announcing the production of 100 of each model for fleet evaluation, 109 Ram 1500 PHEV and 23 Town & Country PHEV were known to exist during September 2012. At that time, an overheating problem with the plug-in hybrid powertrains’ 12.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery was discovered on the half-ton pickup trucks during their evaluation period. Though FCA has investigated electrified platforms, the auto company’s steered clear of mainstream sales to the general marketplace for several years following the 2009 bankruptcy.

Entering a new decade in the 21st century, the attitude towards electrified powertrains in FCA appears to be shifting to embrace some of the lessons of ENVI. In 2017, a plug-in hybrid vehicle was finally added to the Chrysler brand when the Pacifica Hybrid minivan was introduced. Capable of running up to 30 miles solely on electric power, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid remains on sale heading into 2021. FCA’s latest adaptation to integrating electric power into their vehicles consist of eTorque. A system that supplies extra torque through an electric assist, the eTorque mild hybrid technology is currently included with the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Wrangler.

During the 2018 FCA Capital Markets Day announcement, another ambitious plan proposed 10 battery electric vehicles on the market by 2022. However, in breaking down the total, four would be produced for the Chinese marketplace, four would be Maserati-branded and two available through Fiat. A new all-electric 2021 Fiat 500 line was unveiled in March but North American release is a longshot due in part to the projected sale price as well as dipping sales of the previous generation version of the subcompact car that led to its discontinuation in the United States and Canada.

However, even up to today in 2020, FCA’s commitment to electrified technology is not at the same level of many other leading automakers.

Information Source: FCA North America

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Ford Mustang Sends Sonic Boom Forth With Mach 1 Revival For 2021

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

With more than 55 years of history for the Ford Mustang, it’s amusing that much of the car’s decades on the market is focused on the passion and enthusiasm created in the first five years of the original pony car’s history. Monikers such as GT, Shelby GT350 and Cobra Jet have been revived on numerous occasions. Ford has also celebrated the appearance of a green Mustang GT fastback in the 1968 Steve McQueen movie Bullitt with a commemorative edition vehicle twice in the past 20 years. Even if we have not experienced the Mustang’s history first-hand, the vehicle has a knack of drawing out the emotions found in fans of speed. Set to appear in its fourth incarnation for the 2021 model year, the famed Mach 1 name will again ride on the Ford Mustang in a spirited high-performance revival.

When the Mach 1 was introduced by Ford in 1969, the nameplate was instantly coveted for V-8 performance. Providing available 52 years later, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 not only recalls the glorious high-speed past but enhances it. The 2021 edition will arrive as the most powerful version of the Mach 1 ever to leave a Ford factory. Propelled by 480 horsepower, the Mustang Mach 1's power source is a finely-tuned 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Generating 20 additional horsepower more than the Mustang GT, the powerplant in the 2021 Mach 1 includes a variety of Ford Performance components from the GT350. The intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler allows for greater power as well as improved temperature management. The 480-horsepower engine can be paired with either a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission or the standard Tremec six-speed manual gearbox featuring rev-matching and a GT350 oil cooler unit. Heat exchangers are positioned at the side of the Mach 1 to aid cooling for the engine and transmission oil.

Aerodynamic and handling characteristics of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 are also tweaked over the Mustang GT. A two-piece upper grille and front splitter at the front of the Mach 1 edition contributes higher downforce performance along with maximizing air flow for cooling the V-8 engine. An extended underbelly pan as well as a lower diffuser assembly from the Shelby GT500 is also applied to 2021 Mustang Mach 1 for better aerodynamics. Available with manual-equipped models is a Handling Package that adds more aggressive exterior features providing a downforce improvement of roughly 150 percent over the Mustang GT outfitted with Performance Pack Level 1.  

The Ford Mustang Mach 1's suspension utilizing MagneRide calibration and stiffer components combine with a recalibrated steering system for better stability. Other equipment enhancing the handling of the 2021 Mach 1 edition includes Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 sourced brake booster and Michelin PS4 tires. Five-spoke design reminiscent to the Magnum 500 style popular with the first generation Mach 1 features aluminum construction and a Tarnished Dark paint appearance.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

Sharp, performance-themed styling accompanies the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 on the outside and inside. Unique, distinguishing hood and side stripes featured in Satin Black supported by accent striping. Eight primary exterior color options will be offered on the Mach 1 including a Fighter Jet Gray shade exclusive to the special edition model. A low-gloss Magnetic colour is applied to the mirror caps, rear spoiler and pony badge in the center of the grille. Inside, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 boasts unique styling touches highlighted by a Dark Spindrift instrument panel, a retro-themed white cue ball shift knob and accented Ebony leather seats. The Mach 1's interior also includes an engraved badge with an individualized chassis number.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

Positioned above the entry-level V-8 powered Mustangs but under the Boss and Cobra Jet models, the Mach 1 debuted in 1969. Despite its premium price compared to several other Ford Mustang trim levels exceeding $3,100 US at the time, the 1969 Mustang Mach 1 sold exceptionally well. The premiere year for the model saw it account for 72,458 units of the Ford Mustang’s total 299,824 vehicles sold. Only the base styled coupe recorded greater trim level sales than the Mach 1. 

The Mach 1 nameplate did carry over to the Mustang II (the second generation of the Ford Mustang) but immediately lacked the intensity of the earlier version. With the introduction of the Mustang II in 1974, the Mach 1 trim was the sportiest presentation of the new, smaller pony car powered by a 2.8-liter V-6 engine. Offered as a three-door hatchback, the Mach 1 package remained until the conclusion of the Ford Mustang II production in 1978. Though the second generation Ford pony car sold well, the popularity of the Mach 1 didn’t translate. 

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited


The latest appearance of the Mach 1 nameplate was during Ford’s centennial in 2003. In what was a twilight period of the Ford Mustang being constructed on a derivative of the long-running Fox platform, the 2003 Mustang Mach 1 model generated 305 horsepower from its 4.6-liter V-8 engine and featured a functional shaker hood. Coloring and graphics of the 2003 vehicle called back to the first generation model. The revived Ford Mustang Mach 1 inherited some of the sales charm of the original version with enough demand to warrant a production year in 2004 for what was intended as a limited edition vehicle. 

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is set to appear in dealerships for the spring of next year in the United States and Canada. Ford plans to once more maintain the Mach 1 as a limited edition release though the actual count has not been named. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Dodge Prepares Monstrous SRT Hellcat Durango for 2021

Photo Credit: James Lipton for Dodge/Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

When Dodge introduced the Hellcat moniker as an enhancement to the SRT version of the Challenger in 2015, the insane horsepower that erupted through the coupe’s exhaust was seen as astonishing. Shortly after the Challenger introduced the high performance variant, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat made use of the same 707-horsepower, supercharged HEMI V-8 engine that made the Challenger SRT Hellcat a beast. In an announcement of their 2021 product line, Dodge’s parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveiled a third member of the ferocious Hellcat family based on their Durango sport utility vehicle.
The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat establishes a new performance peak for the three-row passenger vehicle lineup for the American brand. A creation that was once difficult to conceive, the appearance of the Durango SRT 392 in 2017 for the 2018 model year paved the way for this even more aggressive take on the sport utility vehicle. Following the 475-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT 392 that arrived with an advertised National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds, the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat sets out to shatter the already impressive numbers of what came before it.  

Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

With the addition of the Hellcat badge to the Durango, the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 powerplant has been dropped into the engine compartment. Generating 710 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, the cast-iron engine is assembled with sturdy components including heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads, high-strength forged-alloy pistons as well as sodium-cooled exhaust valves and hollow-stem intake valves engineered to handle temperatures up to 900 degrees Celsius. Capable of handling 11.6 psi of maximum boost pressure, the twin-scroll rotor supercharger unit part of the Hellcat HEMI engine includes an integrated electronic bypass valve and a special coating to prevent wear. The Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat’s supercharger is fed by cold-air scoop located at the vehicle’s lower front fascia. The supercharged 6.2-liter eight-cylinder engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge also tuned the suspension and handling for the 710-horsepower Durango SRT Hellcat for enhanced responsiveness to complement its powerplant. Improved cornering stability is realized by a 2.5 percent reduction in understeer and a better roll gradient. The upgraded suspension of the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat can be set to four selectable drive mode setting (Auto, Sport, Track and Custom). Brembo six-piston, two-piece front brake calipers and four-piston rear brake calipers and an electronic power steering system with selectable steering tuning is also standard on the Durango SRT Hellcat. Arriving on both the SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat version of the Dodge Durango for 2021 are rebound spring shocks as well as new upper rear top mounts resulting in better performance handling. Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires mounted to 20-inch wheels is also found on both high-output versions of the 2021 Durango.

Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds with a top speed potential of 180 miles per hour, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat’s most eye-catching performance figures come NHRA certified. In a quarter-mile run, the 710-horsepower sport utility vehicle needs just 11.5 seconds to go from end-to-end. Beyond the quarter-mile, many drivers of the Durango SRT Hellcat will likely appreciate the more practical figure of towing capacity rated at 8,700 pounds. 

Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat’s exterior delivers functional touches to maximize the vehicle’s upgraded aggression as well as advertises aggression to onlookers. Inspired by the Dodge Charger Widebody, the Durango SRT Hellcat features a new front fascia with slimmer LED headlights that also appears on the 2021 Durango SRT 392. The SRT Hellcat model possesses larger openings for improved engine cooling. Dodge Durango SRT models for 2021 also employ a new rear spoiler design. The Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat’s exterior appearance is best distinguished by its badging and standard equipped 20-inch machine-faced wheels with mid-gloss black pockets.

Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The entire 2021 Dodge Durango lineup receives a newly-designed cabin that includes a redesigned dashboard, instrument panel and some repositioned controls. A new, available 10.1-inch center touchscreen is mounted in a driver-focused manner. The Uconnect 5 system comes standard on all 2021 Durangos enabling a selection of user profiles, improved phone connectivity as well as Amazon Alexa compatibility. The Durango SRT Hellcat includes the 10.1 touchscreen as standard equipment with a SRT Performance Pages function that allows a driver to view g-forces and detailed engine readouts. A flat-bottom steering wheel, heated/ventilated Nappa leather front seats with suede and red-accented gauges are SRT Hellcat exclusive accents.

Somewhat like the vehicle itself operating at its full potential on a stretch of pavement, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat will move quickly through dealerships. Dodge only intends to produce the super high performance sport utility vehicle for one year. Orders for the Durango SRT Hellcat will commence this fall with models arriving at dealerships during the early part of the 2021 calendar year.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Mazda's 100th Anniversary Party Will Come To Canada With Special Edition Vehicles

Photo Credit: Mazda Canada

To live for a century is truly a journey worth celebrating for any individual or entity. For 2020, the company today recognized as Japanese automaker Mazda commemorates its 100-year milestone with a range of special edition vehicles. Available with all products with exception to the new CX-30 crossover, the 100th Anniversary Edition Mazda lineup features unique appointments allowing Canadian buyers to claim a piece of the celebratory cake later this year. 

The Mazda 100th Anniversary Edition models are presented with a Snowflake White Pearl exterior paint combined with an interior finished in red and Garnet Red. On the convertible Mazda MX-5 sport roadster, a red retractable soft-top is also part of the special commemorative line. All models will also be richly accented by 100th Anniversary badging inside and outside with the location for the logos including floor mats, wheel caps and on the key fob.   

Founded in 1920, the auto company started life as Toyo Cork Kogyo Limited (soon shortened to just Toyo Kogyo) producing machine tools. The first recorded use of the Mazda name was on a motorized rickshaw in 1931. A popular sight in Japan between the 1930s and 1950s, the three-wheeled Mazda-Go vehicles combined the design of a motorcycle and a truck with its practical cargo bed. At the same time in the early 20th century, the Mazda branding was more commonly associated with a popular type of light bulb that used a tungsten filament. The name that would become known for lighting and later automobiles are attributed to a Zoroastrian deity Ahura Mazda. Ahura translates as ‘lord’ or ‘god’ while Mazda is accepted for meaning ‘wisdom’ or ‘light’ (perhaps similar to how the word ‘bright’ in the modern English language could define light or intelligence). 

Celebrating its centennial in its current form as an automobile company, Mazda’s existence as a car maker is actually 60 years old. The first four-wheeled passenger car to be sold under the Mazda brand was the R360 Coupe that debuted in 1960. Powered by a small, air-cooled V-twin four-cycle engine, the 838-pound R360 served as a launch pad for the Japanese automaker’s automotive lineup. Mazda’s commemorative 100th Anniversary Edition models pay homage to the color arrangement featured with the tiny coupe employing white and red in a two-tone pattern. 

The century-old corporate history of Mazda includes 52 official years in Canada. Mazda Canada Inc. was established in 1968 after years of independent Canadian distributors beginning to build the Japanese brand name. A country with a sizable driving population that appreciates the small, value-oriented vehicles constructed by Mazda, the automaker has enjoyed many accolades in Canada including most recently the Mazda3's AJAC Canadian Car of the Year award. 

Mazda has staggered the release of their 100th Anniversary Edition models for 2020 with customers in Japan receiving the first batch of vehicles. Versions of the special edition Mazdas will arrive in Canada this fall with pricing and other details to be specified at a later date.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Toyota’s Offering Super-sized Supra Lineup for 2021

Photo Credit: Toyota Canada

Teased for almost two decades by rumours and the appearance of the FT-1 Concept, the Toyota GR Supra became a production reality for 2020 in a tight, flashy sports car package. The revival of the Supra became Toyota’s quickest accelerating road car sold and featured a wide array of modern performance handling aids such as an adaptive suspension. A debut that saw a fast following for their fast GR Supra, Toyota were immediately relieved when the first production model of the sports car snagged 2.1 million dollars US in June of 2019. After scorching roads in its opening year run, the Toyota GR Supra is ready to lay down even more tire tracks for 2021 model year. 

Entering only its sophomore year, the GR Supra is already undergoing some defining updates. Maintaining a low, elegant body style, intimate two-seat cabin and its rear-wheel drive layout, the Toyota GR Supra does enter 2021 with a new sporting spirit with a revision made to its engine performance. The 2021 Toyota GR Supra’s velocity-seeking audiences now has the choice of engines defined by a more powerful six-cylinder as well as a lighter, more accessible four-cylinder. 

Photo Credit: Toyota Canada

Identified as the GR Supra 3.0 for the 2021 model year, the six-cylinder powered version of the performance car receives considerable improvements. Continuing to feature direct fuel injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger unit, the Supra’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine gains a bump-up in power. Reworking of the engine’s heat management through the use of a dual-branch exhaust manifold  as well as the inclusion of redesigned pistons are notable contributors to what is now a 382-horsepower engine. Mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the upgraded powerplant for the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 now allows for 0 to 60-mile per hour (0 to 95.56-kilometer per hour)  acceleration in 3.9 seconds. 

In addition to dipping acceleration times, the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0's full performance potential is heightened by reworked handling. The added rigidity of aluminum braces, new front and rear bump stops as well as retuned damper control improves the vehicle’s already stellar handling characteristics for greater cornering stability. Electronically-assisted driving enhancements including Adaptive Variable Suspension, Active Differential and Vehicle Stability Control have been reprogrammed on the 2021 GR Supra 3.0.

Photo Credit: Toyota Canada

Eagerly anticipated as an inviting new entry point to Toyota’s aggressive sports car, the 2021 GR Supra 2.0 incorporates a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Besides the smaller powerplant, the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 will feature several other differences to the Supra 3.0 model. A lack of Adaptive Suspension and Active Differential technology, smaller front brake rotors with single-piston calipers as well as a more modest four-speaker audio system and manual seat adjustment on the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 makes the sports car not only more affordable but more than 200 pounds lighter (precisely equating to 219 pounds or 99.3 kilograms) than the six-cylinder powered model. The all GR Supra 2.0 as well as the higher output GR Supra 3.0 models will include an 8.0-inch central display screen as standard equipment. 

Photo Credit: Toyota Canada

On sale now, the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 can be purchased for $56,390 Canadian while the 382-horsepower 2021 GR Supra is $67,690 (a $2,700 increase compared to the previous year). In addition added performance potential, the six-cylinder powered Supra 3.0 will also be offered with as the fashionable A91 Edition variant. 

The limited-run 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 A91 Edition will feature a black/blue interior combined with Nocturnal or an exclusive Refraction exterior color. Other A91 Edition enhancements include touches such as matte black alloy wheels and carbon fiber mirror caps. Canadian retail pricing for the GR Supra 3.0 A91 Edition is $68,890.

Information Source:

Toyota Canada