Chevrolet eCOPO Concept SEMA 2018

Chevrolet Camaro eCOPO ‘crate electric motor’ concept brings huge power to SEMA 2018

Chevrolet eCOPO Concept SEMA 2018

Electric motors and battery power is an inevitability for all new car manufacturers now. But what does that mean for us enthusiasts and racers?

Well, good news: Chevrolet believes electric vehicles and motorsport do not need to be mutually exclusive. It is using the 2018 SEMA Show to demonstrate this, with a 700 horsepower battery-powered 2019 Camaro.

Based on the fearsome COPO Camaro, the eCOPO ditches the legendary and beloved V8 engine for a substantial electric motor instead.

Batteries ARE included

Chevrolet eCOPO Concept SEMA 2018

Powered by an 800-volt battery pack, the pair of electric motors in the eCOPO generate a staggering 600lb-ft of torque.

Electric power means all that torque can be accessed instantly, something which no doubts help with a quarter-mile drag strip time estimated to be under 9 seconds.

Chevrolet has mounted the battery packs strategically throughout the eCOPO Camaro for optimum weight distribution. An addition to the roll cage helps protect the precious batteries, whilst systems ensure they are in perfect health during any trip down the drag strip.

Plug-in, go fast

Chevrolet eCOPO Concept SEMA 2018

What makes the electric motor in the eCOPO more impressive is the potential for it to be bolted into other applications with relative ease.

Chevrolet has a strong history of producing powerful ‘crate motors’, offering big performance off the shelf. The aim is to make electric power no different to traditional internal combustion engine offerings.

The eCOPO’s motor uses the same mounting placement and crankshaft flange as the rest of the engines in the Chevrolet crate engine range. This meant the electric motor could be simply dropped in the Camaro’s engine bay, and connected to the same transmission as the fuel-burning regular COPO.

For the future this promises the opportunity to swap out traditional crate engines with an electric motor, making classic cars thoroughly clean and green. It might upset purists, but the promise of huge instant torque may well win them over.

At present this is very much a concept, but Chevrolet is serious about building electric crate motors. This will involve plenty of time spent at the drag strip, testing out the tyre-shredding abilities of the eCOPO Camaro.

Chevrolet is showing off the eCOPO Camaro at the 2018 SEMA Show alongside the conventionally powered 2019 50th Anniversary COPO Camaro. There are also more than 20 other Chevy concepts and modified cars on display at the Las Vegas event.

2019 Toyota Supra A90 tease

Finally! Toyota Supra production car to debut at Detroit 2019 show in January

2019 Toyota Supra A90 teaseThe new 2019 Toyota Supra will finally be revealed at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January, the firm has announced. This at last confirms what even it admits is “one of the auto industry’s worst-kept secrets”. 

The new A90 Supra will be a headliner for the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which runs from 14-27 January at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

Luckily, following its debut, we won’t have quite as long to wait until we can actually buy a new Supra. Toyota’s today confirmed it will reach worldwide markets “during the first half of 2019” (and it’s open for ordering now). Praise be.

2019 Toyota Supra A90 tease

Toyota has been teasing us with the new Supra for months now. It showed a GR Supra Racing Concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show back in March, and since then, has been running the prototype at various events over the summer. 

It was in action at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and Toyota’s even raced the new Supra, entering it into a VLN Endurance Championship race at the Nurburgring.

2019 Toyota Supra A90 tease

All that’s left now is to actually see it, outside and in, to find out what lies beneat the ‘A90’ camoflague we’re all now so familiar with. Hairdryers at the ready to finally peel off that camo wrap. 

Will the wait to revive a car line that was last seen in production form back in 2002 be worth it? Thankfully, there’s not long to wait now…

SEMA 2018

SEMA 2018: the world’s biggest modified car show

From modified monstrosities to tastefully tweaked performance cars, SEMA 2018 has something for everyone

Halloween horrors: which cars would the scariest film stars drive?

Halloween horror carsDriving can be a nightmare if you have claws for hands. Or indeed if you’re clasping a blood-soaked chainsaw. Yet the stars of horror films face such challenges on a daily basis.

We’d previously heard tell that Freddy Krueger is on his third Honda Jazz, while Hannibal Lecter prefers a 2003 Rover 75. However, the truth is altogether scarier; the cars of these stars are even more terrifying than the characters themselves.

To celebrate Halloween, the team at Carwow produced a series of sketches revealing the cars horror films stars (probably) drive. Fasten your seatbelts for a thrill ride…

Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th

The Fiat 500 is usually cute, cuddly and about as threatening as a labrador puppy chasing a toilet roll. But strap on a Jason-style hockey mask and suddenly, as you’ll see above, this Italian supermini can strike fear into the most hardened Mafia hitman. Note the machete wedged in the windscreen and the bloodstains on the wheels. This 500 is actually the sporty Abarth 595 – so you can run, but you can’t hide.

Frankenstein’s monsterHalloween horror cars

As Carwow points out, ‘the Mercedes-AMG G63 is built from very old parts, stitched together and reanimated by a multitude of life-support systems’. Just like Frankenstein’s monster himself, then. This off-roader started life as the G-Wagen in 1979 and remains a favourite with the German Army. The ballistic G63 has a 544hp twin-turbo V8 and sounds like a lobotomised zombie roaring at the moon.

Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm StreetHalloween horror cars

Anyone who watched Matt LeBlanc on Top Gear knows the Ariel Nomad is unstoppable on tough terrain. It’s the ultimate pursuit vehicle – and thus perfect for Nightmare on Elm Street villain Freddy Krueger to chase-down his victims. The spikes on the front wheelarches match those on Freddy’s gloves, while the car’s chassis has been colour-coded to match his jumper. Well, that’s thoughtful.

Ghostface – ScreamHalloween horror cars

Some might say the scariest thing about an Alfa Romeo 4C are the potential bills. After all, Alfas aren’t known for their reliability – and repairing that carbonfibre chassis wouldn’t be cheap. But morph the 4C’s visage into an Edvard Munch-style Scream mask and it becomes even more terrifying. On the plus side, it least it doesn’t have the standard car’s horrible headlights.

The Grady twins – The ShiningHalloween horror cars

Like the Fiat 500, the humble Smart ForTwo isn’t usually a vehicle you’d associate with skin-crawling horror. But then neither is a tricycle – the other chariot of choice for the Grady twins from The Shining. If this outwardly-innocent pair followed us down the corridors of the Outlook Hotel, we’d be rightly terrified. Not least because they could perform a swift U-turn if you tried to run the other way.

DraculaHalloween horror cars

Does Count Dracula of Transylvania drive a Mazda MX-5? We’d have thought a hearse was more his style. However, perhaps Carwow has a point. The latest model boasts suitably sharp-edged styling and ‘bat-like agility’. This version sports matte-black paint, a pair of fangs in the front grille, a blood-red interior and a flowing cape.

Xenomorph – AlienHalloween horror cars

Silent but deadly, the all-electric Tesla Model X has more in common with Alien‘s iconic Xenomorph than you might think. Both are striking to look at, widely misunderstood, and – if Tesla is to be believed – both will soon be multiplying fast.  This sinister Model X has a front-mounted charging cable hidden within its inner mouth. Because even aliens run out of juice eventually.

Leatherface – The Texas Chainsaw MassacreHalloween horror cars

We assumed ‘Leatherface’ was a not-particularly-flattering nickname for Iggy Pop. In fact, he’s the chainsaw-wielding bad guy in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Using an all-American Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up gives our murdering madman plenty of space for his tools – and his victims. Equally, an oversized leather car bra keeps all that shiny chrome clean.

Pinhead – HellraiserHalloween horror cars

The standard Citroen C4 Cactus comes with Airbumps on its doors to prevent parking scrapes. Pinhead, however, has modified his car for the exact opposite purpose. Pity the unsuspecting motorist who parks too close to this four-wheeled pincushion. Carwow also explains that ‘the inside has been fitted out with storage for various instruments of torture or cursed puzzle boxes as needed’.

Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the LambsHalloween horror cars

We end with Hannibal the Cannibal – for our money, the most terrifying movie monster of all. Doctor Lecter has replaced his Jeep Wrangler’s usual seven-slot front grille with a sinister muzzle, while the boot is loaded with a crate of his favourite Chianti. If this turns up to your dinner party, just bolt the door and pray for help. Happy Halloween.

Thanks to Carwow for the selection of Halloween car images

job

One in five jobs requires a driving licence

job

According to an analysis of the Find a Job database by the RAC Foundation, as many as one in five job vacancies require a driving licence.

A total of 19 percent of the 182,000 jobs on offer on September 14th 2018 listed the ability to drive as a requirement.

That’s not to say that there were 34,000 van driver jobs, either. The careers listing the ability to drive as a requirement were diverse, from carer to chef to security guard to gymnastics coach.

Interestingly, the percentage of adults in England who hold a full driving licence is 74 percent. Put simply, that’s the highest ever percentage of the population that are fully qualified drivers.

Contrast that with the amount of 17-20 year-olds who have licences – a steady 30 percent over the past five years. It was closer to 35 percent in 2010, and nearly 50 percent at its peak in the early 1990s.

job

What reasons have young people got for not getting behind the wheel? One in four say it’s too expensive and 17 percent simply have no interest.

The RAC also found that eight percent of apprenticeships require a driving licence, after analysis of the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s apprenticeship database.

So what can we conclude? That 25 percent of young people (17-20 years old) aren’t financially furnished to obtain a licence and as a result, are ruled out of getting one in five jobs and one in ten apprenticeships.

Driving remains a desirable skill, in spite of its costs – including lessons, insurance, tax and fuel. 

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GCotY Jaguar I-Pace

British car wins 2018 German Car of the Year

German CotY Jaguar I-Pace

The new Jaguar I-Pace has added German Car of the Year to its extensive list of accolades and awards. Yes, we’ve beaten the Germans on their own turf with the Jaguar I-Pace – arguably the most important car release of 2018.

It’s no small achievement and no small task for the I-Pace. Given another 58 cars to compete with and a panel of 12 expert journalists to impress, Jaguar’s first EV had its work cut out to grab the inaugural gong.

Indeed, the car is an impressive achievement by Jaguar before you ever get behind the wheel. Nearly 300 real-world miles on a charge, class-leading and genre-defining cabin space, classic Jag good looks. All over six months in advance of key German rivals that, when they presented alternatives, didn’t match the I-Pace’s specs. The German judges were impressed.

“The Jaguar I-Pace is not only the first premium electric vehicle from an established manufacturer, it also makes uncompromising use of the advantages of an electrified vehicle architecture,” said Jens Meiners, German Car of the Year award jury member and spokesman.

German CotY Jaguar I-Pace

Driving the I-Pace yields no disappointment, either, displaying the dynamic prowess and pleasing experience you would expect from a big cat. This, among its appealing design and practical credentials, helped earn it this latest praise.

“Its performance is impressive, and its design and practicality stand out, which is why the I-Pace ultimately was the winner against strong competition.”

It just goes to show that the early bird gets the worm, especially if it’s an exceptionally impressive bird…

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Ford Bridgend begins building the new Dragon engine

Ford begins building new Fiesta ST engine in Wales

Ford Bridgend begins building the new Dragon engineEngines for the acclaimed Ford Fiesta ST are now coming from Wales as production of the all-new motor begins at Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant.

£100 million has been invested in the facility to build the new 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine, in a project dubbed the Dragon engine programme.

The Welsh government has supported the investment and Ford says the resultant line is all-new, fully-flexible and “state-of-the-art”. Engines produced on it will also go into the new Ford Focus.

Ford Bridgend begins building the new Dragon engine

“I’m personally very proud to see production start of this all-new engine here in Bridgend, said Wallace Yearwood, plant manager of the South Wales facility.

“It’s the result of a significant investment in the plant, a plant which has a long-established history of delivering world-class engines, and we will make this engine another success.”

“We are proud to have played a part in developing this world class manufacturing facility,” said Welsh energy and transport secretary Ken Skates, “and look forward to continuing to work with the company and workforce to ensure a bright future for the plant at Bridgend, despite the upcoming challenges of Brexit.” 

Ford Bridgend begins building the new Dragon engine

Ford adds the engine isn’t just built in Britain, but was also partly designed here. Engineers at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre worked with colleagues in Germany to create the new motor which, in the Fiesta ST, produces 200hp yet also averages 47.9mpg.

The news does, however, come in the same week Ford bosses temporarily closed the production line for Jaguar Land Rover engines. The former Ford-owned British brands still use V6 and V8 engines from the blue oval, and several shutdowns in its Midlands factories are having a knock-on effect with suppliers such as Ford. 

The company will cease producing engines for Jaguar Land Rover entirely in September 2020. 

While the new Ford Dragon engine is good news for Bridgend, BBC Wales’ Sarah Dickins says the new programme will only make a quarter of the engines Bridgend has been building up to now: it remains to be seen what will take the place of the JLR line when production ends – and what else Ford Bridgend, the largest employer in the region, can build. 

Ford Edge ST camera car

This Ford Edge ST is the latest Hollywood movie chase car

Ford Edge ST camera car

Ford has teamed up with camera car company Pursuit Systems to create a custom Edge ST crossover for filming Hollywood chase scenes.

The journey from Edge ST crossover to fully fledged camera car is a long modification-addled one. First and foremost on an extensive list of mods was a 1,000-pound (450kg) pursuit arm, from which cinema-quality cameras are mounted.

The 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 engine has also been upgraded, to help keep the Edge ST brisk under the weight of camera operators, their gear and that massive rig. Four-corner air suspension has been added to manage the weight and keep the Edge ST level and even, too. We’re sure camera operators will also appreciate the smoother ride.

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Inside, the Edge has been completely stripped out and wired up for the addition of monitor equipment. There’s a nice big roll cage, too. On the outside, aside from the massive rig, the Edge has got that typical camera car black wrap, so it doesn’t create reflections for fans of Greatest Movie Mistakes to call out.

Camera car fleets are typically comprised of high-powered full-size SUVs such as X5 Ms and ML63 AMGs. The Edge will be joining such cars on the existing Pursuit Systems fleet. Perhaps the Edge represents a step change for camera car convention. Still spacious, still fast but more nimble and wieldy. It’s certainly a more compact camera car proposition than the two big Germans.

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“Speed, acceleration, braking, handling, even roominess – Edge ST has it all,” said Mike Johnson, racer, stunt driver and Pursuit Systems president and CEO.

“Our shoots often demand a lot of the equipment we use, and especially the vehicles. In every way, Edge ST measures up.”

We’ll be first to say Ford couldn’t have picked a cooler car to be the subject of the Edge ST’s camera testing, too…

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SpeedKore 2018 SEMA Dodge Charger Evolution

SEMA 2018 – SpeedKore Evolution Charger is a muscle car masterpiece

SpeedKore 2018 SEMA Dodge Charger Evolution

There is no shortage of extreme machinery on offer at the 2018 SEMA Show, but this latest offering from Wisconsin-based SpeedKore could take some beating.

Officially titled as ‘Evolution’, this 1970 Dodge Charger has certainly undergone a process of development. The car first found fame in The Fast and Furious movie, wearing the name ‘Tantrum and powered by a 1,650hp 9.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine.

However, SpeedKore promises that the changes are huge, and that Evolution represents “the most advanced 1970 Dodge Charger” anywhere on the globe. A bold claim, but one that is backed up with fastidious engineering.

Turned down for what?

SpeedKore 2018 SEMA Dodge Charger Evolution

In a world where adding more power seems a natural occurrence, the Evolution Charger bucks the trend.

Outgoes the previous Mercury Racing engine, and in comes the 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 from the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. It has been upgraded from the stock 840hp, and now produces a verified 966hp at the rear wheels.

Whilst that may be almost 700hp less, SpeedKore maintains that this makes the Evolution easier to drive. And don’t worry, 1,000hp is still capable of offering “tremendous acceleration” according to SpeedKore Vice President Dave Salvaggio.

Classic lines, modern materials

SpeedKore 2018 SEMA Dodge Charger Evolution

Aiding that performance is a complete overhaul of the Charger’s construction. Lightweight carbon fibre is employed extensively, matched with bespoke billet aluminium components, to meet a target weight of 1,450kg (3,200 pounds).

Much like SpeedKore’s lightweight Demon, carbon fibre is used to create every body panel on the Charger. That includes a single one-piece carbon fibre roof, created in a special autoclave, along with the doors, bumpers and quarter panels.

All the carbon fibre panels are left with a polished clear coat, allowing the natural weave to be seen. The billet aluminium pieces, including the exquisitely detailed door handles, have a bronze-nickel coating to make them stand out.

Devil in the detail

SpeedKore 2018 SEMA Dodge Charger Evolution

Whilst the Evolution Charger might be impressive as a whole, delving into the individual details demonstrates the thoroughness of the build process.

Those door handles feature a narrow strip of carbon fibre running through them, whilst the boot is lined with meticulously stitched leather. In fact, the entire interior features a custom remake, with a bespoke dashboard, CNC-milled steering wheel, and Recaro bucket seats.

SpeedKore also produced a custom 14-point roll cage, mounting fuel and oil lines hidden inside to keep the carbon and leather clad interior neat. Even the classic Charger pistol-grip shifter gets a carbon makeover, connected to a Tremec six-speed gearbox.

Show stopper

SpeedKore 2018 SEMA Dodge Charger Evolution

All other major components feature motorsport-inspired upgrades. This includes the Penske adjustable coilover suspension, Brembo GT brakes, and HRE alloy wheels. The latter feature the same bronze-nickel colour, and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres.

SpeedKore won a Best in Show award at the 2017 SEMA Show, claiming the prize for a special Ford Mustang, created for Robert Downey Jr. Given the attention to detail applied to the Evolution Charger, it would seem a safe assumption that this carbon-clad muscle car will collect more silverware this year.

Whale tail

These are the greatest whale tail cars

The new McLaren Speedtail is the latest (and one of the most controversial) in a long line of whale tail wonders. Indeed, cars have used big bums to stay steady at serious speeds, both on and off the track, for more than 50 years. These are some of the greatest whale tails in motoring. McLaren […]