TTAC News Round-up: Your Factory Ford Mustang Racecar Has Arrived

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ford is offering a new turnkey GT4 series racecar, meaning ‘Stang owners can now race on a track instead of just strip mall parking lots.

That, Volvo is moving S90 production east, a Texas woman is suing Honda and Takata for almost fatally spraying her with bits of her own car, and Mopar is letting you refresh old cars with new Hemis with a lot less hassle… after the break!

Ford offers a turnkey racecar

Ford has unveiled the Mustang GT4, a new turnkey competition race car based on the Shelby GT350R-C.

Developed with help from Multimatic Motorsports, the people that brought you the Ford GT, the GT4 comes equipped with everything you need to enter the world of GT4-spec racing.

This package includes a tuned-up version of the GT350’s 5.2-liter V8, a paddle-shifted six-speed Holinger transmission, loads of suspension upgrades, FIA-compliant roll cage, 18×11-inch Forgeline racing wheels, track tires, and tons of ugly functional bodywork focused on improving downforce and cooling.

Ford’s introduction of a factory GT4 cars means it will be joining BMW, McLaren, and Porsche in selling directly to a consumer a vehicle that can compete in IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Pirelli World Challenge GTS, or European GT4 racing straight out of the box. While Ford announced that it would begin taking orders in December, it neglected to mention how much cash customers would need to part with. BMW’s M3 GT4 sells for around $136,000, which would be a good benchmark.

Volvo’s S90 moves from Sweden to China

Future production of the elite S90 sedan and its long-wheelbase L variant will be leaving Sweden for Daqing, China. While some of the range-topping Volvos will continue to be made in Torslanda, Sweden, CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Automotive News Europe that those numbers would be limited.

Volvo, owned by Chinese automaker Geely, also confirmed that a large number of other models, including the V60 and S60, will also be built in China. The S60L is already produced in Chengdu, Szechuan province.

More compact and Euro-centric 40-series Volvos will be built at Geely’s currently unfinished plant in Luqiao. The site will also be responsible for producing models for Geely’s new Lynk & Co branded vehicles, which share Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture platform.

Speaking at the launch of the long-wheelbase S90 models Samuelsson said “With three plants, and the designation of one car line for each plant, Volvo creates an efficient production structure ensuring future capacity for growth.”

A Texas woman is suing Honda for almost killing her with an airbag

A Texas woman is suing American Honda Motor Co. and the U.S. subsidiary of the forever sullied Takata Corp. for over one million dollars.

Forbes reports:

The plaintiff, Serena Martinez, said the ammonium nitrate in the airbag in her Honda detonated in the collision, causing the bag’s inflator to disintegrate and spraying her with shrapnel. She was struck in her chest and arms by the flying debris, the suit said.

Takata was not available for comment but American Honda released a statement saying ““Honda has not yet been served with a lawsuit associated with Ms. Martinez, and, lacking formal confirmation of certain facts, we are unable to offer any detailed comment at this time.”

The airbag inflators produced by Takata have been linked to at least 16 deaths and more than 150 injuries, leading to the largest vehicle recall in history.

Last week, Toyota Motor Corp said it was recalling about 5.8 million cars, and the number of Honda or Acura vehicles eligible for recall are believed to be twice that figure. The New York Times published a report in 2014 suggesting that Takata knew about the airbag issues by 2004 and had been conducting secret tests off work hours to verify the problem.

As a result, Takata has been on the receiving end of numerous lawsuits. U.S. regulators ordered Takata to recall all airbags using ammonium nitrate without a drying agent by 2019.

Mopar brought some old cars with new V8s to SEMA

At this year’s SEMA, Jeep brought a modernized Jeep CJ and Dodge did the same with a 1971 Challenger. Both came loaded with new bits from Mopar and new Hemi engines. In fact, most of FCA’s offerings came to SEMA with a 392 cubic inch or 345 c.i.d. Hemi. That left us wondering if Mopar had something in the works.

It turns out that they did. After showing off the cars, Mopar announced it’s going to make cramming a new Hemi engine into an old car a lot easier with an engine kit.

Kits include a power distribution center, a powertrain control module (PCM), O2 sensors, air temperature sensors, engine and chassis wiring harnesses, accelerator pedal, and ground jumper. It’s designed for manual transmissions, but Mopar says an automatic like the Torqueflite 727 or 904 can still work.

Chevrolet Performance already sells something similar — the “Connect and Cruise” package can be paired with its various crate motors for classic cars. The Mopar kit runs $1,795, since engines are not included. Those are another $4,275 to $7,540, unless you have a late-model donor car and an engine hoist.

[Images: Ford; Volvo; Takata; FCA]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 5 comments
  • True_Blue True_Blue on Nov 02, 2016

    Ford has a similar harness, for dropping Coyotes in other vehicles (specifically pre-OBD I vehicles). I'm planning on going this route.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Nov 02, 2016

    GM has been selling the "connect & cruise" package for years. Some of them are even California CARB compliant, which makes sense since these EFI engines with cats have to be mucho cleaner than the originals. Must be a decent sales volume if the other guys have decided to jump into the market.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.