It will cost you in the “mid-$200,000 range,” but Ford plans to produce 50 examples of the Baja-ready 2023 Bronco DR, the company announced. DR is short for Desert Racer. Ford says the SUV will be ready to compete in events such as the Baja 1,000 with Multimatic suspension and a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine rated to more than 400 horsepower.
The vehicles will be available in late 2022, Ford said, adding that the new ones pay homage to the Bronco that Rod Hall and Larry Minor drove to victory in the Baja 1,000 in 1969, the only 4×4 ever to claim overall victory in the historic race on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
Compared to the 4-door Bronco Badlands model, the DR will offer 55 percent more front suspension travel and 58 more at the rear. Approach, breakover and departure angles also are increased.
The DR models will be equipped with a full safety cage, two racing seats and data acquisition systems.
Mercedes-Benz launches 7th-gen SL
The seventh-generation of the Mercedes-Benz SL has been unveiled in the form of the Mercedes-AMG SL, which features a new chassis, AMG active-ride control, rear-axle steering, new aerodynamic control devices, and a 585-horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine.
A 476-horsepower biturbo V8 Mercedes-Benz SL 55 model also debuted, with the automaker also announcing that a hybrid powertrain for the roadster is in development and will be launched at a later date.
For the first time in the SL’s 70-year history, the roadster, in its AMG SL 63 version, can be equipped with all-wheel drive, AMG Performance 4Matic+.
The new SL gets 2+2 seating covered by a convertible rather than retracting metal roof. Mercedes said the car’s enlarged interior is “hyperanalogue,” combining “analogue geometry and digital world.”
BMW opening Indy driving experience
BMW of North America has announced a new BMW M Driving Experience Center based at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where classes will be taught with students driving on the Speedway’s tracks. The program and its new facility, located with a view of the track’s Turns 3 and 4, is scheduled to open in July, 2022, BMW said.
Bentley touts renewable fuel drive
Bentley said its Flying Spur Hybrid, which goes on sale in 2022, posted a 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions on its recent drive across Iceland using second-generation renewable fuel and geothermally produced electricity. The drive covered 455 miles with Bentley proclaiming “best of both worlds… useable electric range combined with genuine grand touring reach.”
Bentley said its second-gen biofuel is produced from agricultural waste materials.
VW, Oak Ridge working on wireless charging
Volkswagen and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have announced a joint research effort to test new wireless charging for electric vehicles.
According to the announcement, Oak Ridge has been working with a Porsche Taycan EV using focused electromagnetic waves with 98 percent efficiency.
“Our unique polyphase electromagnetic coil design and power electronics provide high power transfer levels in a compact system, with the potential to alleviate electric vehicle range anxiety and speed the decarbonization of the U.S. transportation sector,” Xin Sun, associate laboratory director, is quoted.
Aston Martin launches a chronograph
It’s not a new car but a chronograph being launched by Aston Martin and Girard-Peregaux.
The dial of the Laurenato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition shares the green shade featured on Aston Martin racing cars, the partners said in their announcement.
The companies said only 188 examples of the watch are being produced for world-wide distribution.
Pricing to be announced.
Kia debuts new Sportage
Calling it “a welcome addition in a sea of bland-looking subcompact SUVs that crowd today’s market,” Kia has launched its new and fifth-generation Sportage, the South Korean automaker’s longest-running model.
In addition to its exterior design, the new Sportage has a curved 12.3-inch display screen on its dashboard, more interior room, and an additional 1.5-inches of ground clearance when equipped with all-wheel drive. It also has a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and new 8-speed automatic transmission.