jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

The Toyota FT-86 Open Concept Is Here To Scare The Mazda Miata

The Mazda Miata has dominated the small, open top rear-drive market for nearly 25 years now. It's a personal favorite of mine as well as many on staff here. But the Toyobaru twins have been able to match it on the fun to drive scale. They just didn't have that open top flair.

Until now.

The Toyota FT-86 Open Concept is a barely disguised look at what a convertible Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S and possibly a Subaru BRZ roadster will look like.

This concept comes with an electrically folding soft top. It also has an iPhone holder in the interior in the shape of the 86 that is also an iPhone holder.

Smart Toyota. Smart.We imagine it has the same flat four under the hood with 200 horsies and has gained a little bit of heft from the needed added stiffening.

I think it looks pretty good. Not Miata good, but I'm very biased.

We'll see the real deal next week at the Geneva Motor Show.

via Jalopnik http://jalopnik.com/450672953

The Man Who Designed The Edsel Has Died

(While the Edsel was not a huge success, it spawned some of the most successful cars to ever come out of the Ford Motor Company. Daniel Strohl at Hemmings takes a look back at what was. - TO)

While success has many fathers… In the long run, the failure of the Edsel actually proved a blessing to Ford: Out of its ashes came the Ford Falcon and Mercury Comet, and the lessons learned helped Ford successfully launch the Mustang. Somebody still had to take the blame for Ford Motor Company suddenly becoming the butt of many jokes, however, and that somebody was Roy A. Brown, the Edsel’s chief designer, who died this past Sunday at the age of 96.

Born October 30, 1916, in Hamilton, Ontario, Brown attended the Detroit Art Academy. In 1937, at the age of 20, he graduated from the Academy and almost immediately went to work as a designer in Bill Mitchell’s recently formed Cadillac studio. According to Jim and Cheryl Farrell’s Ford Design Department Concepts and Showcars, 1932-1961 , He remained with GM for only a couple of years before leaving for an industrial design firm (and returned only briefly in 1941 to head up the Oldsmobile design studio), but made plenty of industry contacts while there. Among them was Gil Spear, with whom Brown worked on a design proposal for the never-built 1941 La Salle – a design proposal that included a narrow upright grille.

During World War II, Brown guarded Fort Knox for the Army, and after the war he worked as a color consultant with Ditzler, but then in 1953 he decided to return to designing cars and called up Gene Bordinat at Ford. Bordinat, impressed by Brown’s design and leadership skills, initially assigned Brown to direct the clay modeling process for the Lincoln Futura show car and to contribute to the 1956 Lincoln’s design. He then later recommended Brown for the chief designer position for the new E-car program.

Intended to help tighten the gaps in the market between Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln, the E-car, later named Edsel, was to split the difference between Ford and Mercury while Mercury moved upscale. Brown’s old associate Spear had by this time also made his way to Ford, where in 1948 he proposed an updated Continental with an upright grille, which he called the Cavalier. While the Cavalier didn’t make it past the 3/8-scale plaster model stage, it (and that 1941 La Salle) nevertheless inspired Brown to use that upright grille on the E-car. While not the only designer whose work appeared on the E-car (among those who assisted were Bob Ademeit, Bob O’Neil, Ken Pheasant, Byron Brown, Jim Arnold, and Robert B. Jones), Brown was still tasked with setting its overall design direction and with making it distinct from every other car on the road while forced to use existing Ford and Mercury body shells. When he unveiled it to Ford management in August 1955, they applauded him; when it became apparent by the spring of 1958 that the Edsel wouldn’t come close to meeting sales expectations, they exiled him – first to the truck studio, and then, in the fall of 1959, to Ford of England.

In an interview with the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel in 1985, however, he said that the scapegoating didn’t get him down. ”I cried in my beer for two days and then I said, ‘The hell with it. Enthusiasm got me where I was, and it’ll get me back.’ It was a blow to my ego, which taught me a bit of humility, which I needed to learn… (but) I decided I did what I was told and I did a good job of it.” In a later interview with Automotive News , he called the Edsel “Ford’s most successful failure.”

Ironically, it was in England where Brown achieved his greatest success: designing the massively popular Ford Cortina, which debuted in 1962. While there, he also designed the Consul, Zodiac, and Zephyr, but by the spring of 1964, his exile over and the memory of the Edsel scrubbed away by the launch of the Mustang, Brown returned to Dearborn. There he remained for the next 11 years, eventually working his way up to executive designer at Lincoln-Mercury.

Since then, Ford has conspicuously ignored the marque, but collectors and enthusiasts have vindicated both Edsel and Brown alike, and Brown reciprocated the appreciation by participating in Edsel club events.

Brown’s memorial service will take place today at First Presbyterian Church in Brighton, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that donations be made to the National MS Society.

(Thanks to Howard Payne for the tip.)

This story originally appeared on Hemmings on February 28, 2013, and was republished with permission.

Email us with the subject line "Syndication" if you would like to see your own story syndicated here on Jalopnik.

via Jalopnik http://jalopnik.com/450655659

'The 2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 Is A Furious Firefly'

The Crossfire SRT-6 might be one of the most forgotten cars of all time. But MotorWeek says it's a car that ever street smart racer dreams of.

I'm not sure what that means, especially the part where we find out it has a respect for pavement.

The 330 horse beast gets to 60 in 5.4 seconds. Gears are shifted through quite the plastic center console. Throttle response is immediate, especially when you push it down with your foot.

And don't forget the safety features, which John Davis says makes it thoughtful for a hot bodied racer. Yes. That was said.

Ok, enough of me. Watch the SRT-6 parade around suburban Maryland and bask in its excellence.

MotorWeek Theater is our showcase of some of our favorite classic reviews from public television's finest motoring program. How does this video only have 70,978 views? Actually wow. That's a lot of views.

via Jalopnik http://jalopnik.com/450664092

Drifting A 1.3 Million-Pound Dump Truck

Today we saw a bus going Maximum Touge Attack on a snowy Kansas City street, taking out a street light. It made us wonder if anything bigger has ever gone sideways.

Reader CJ_S4 answered our idle musings almost immediately, with a story of skidding a full-size Caterpillar mining dump truck. He posted it with a picture of a 797B model, which weighs roughly 1.375 million pounds and has 3,370 horsepower at the flywheel.

I worked an internship at a mine in southern Colorado one year and was allowed to drive (with supervision) one of the large dump trucks that brings material out of the pit. I was instructed to pretty much treat the accelerator as a on/off switch. When I got to the top I was told to drive to the opposite side of the yard, but not before a giant water truck turned the surface into silty mud. Naturally, I floored the accelerator while turning and all 4 of those 10' tall rear wheels broke loose - DUMP TRUCK DRIFT!!!

If this story is true, it might just be the biggest vehicle to ever get some opposite lock. Have you seen anything bigger/heavier go slideways?

Photo Credit: Caterpillar

via Jalopnik http://jalopnik.com/450661941

Extreme Enduro: there’s a school for this

Xavi Galindo is an dirtbiker who rolls over extreme terrains. He has a school named the Husaberg Extreme Academy where he teaches you how to tackle any kind of terrain on your dirtbike. And we do mean any. The usual logs and boulders don’t appear to be a problem, but what about a Renault van?

The post Extreme Enduro: there’s a school for this appeared first on Hell for Leather.

via Hell for Leather http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2013/02/extreme-dirtbiking/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HellForLeather+%28Hell+For+Leather%29

NASCAR Photog Hints That Jeremy Clements Actually Made Sexist Crack At Danica Patrick

We're still waiting on MTV blogger Marty Beckerman to post a story explaining what it was NASCAR driver Jeremy Clements said this weekend that resulted in Clements being suspended from the sport. But now a photographer for NASCAR has chimed in to say that the remarks were directed at a woman, and possibly more sexist than racist.

NASCAR media photographer Allen Bedgood just tweeted that he has learned of the remarks that resulted in Clements' suspension, but did not go into detail about what they were, but it's heavily implied it was about Danica Patrick.

Just learned what Jeremy Clements said to a reporter that got him indefinitely suspended. He made a remark towards a female driver. #NASCAR

— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013

@itsmrsmith Not really -- guess it could be taken that way, though. It was more of a sexist remark than anything.

— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013

@spacie_stacie You would be correct.

— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013

An MTV reporter was offended by Clements' remark and approached #NASCAR. The comments he made were never printed or aired.

— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013

@wny24 MTV Reporter himself told me. I'll post the comments when I feel the time is right. The reporter hasn't even published them yet.

— Allen Bedgood (@Bedgood5) February 28, 2013

Was the comment about Danica? As we noted in our earlier story, Clements and a NASCAR handler were taking Beckerman to meet Johanna Long, whom he later wrote about. But these tweets imply it's Danica, who received the lion's share of publicity this weekend.

Hopefully, we'll find out soon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

via Jalopnik http://jalopnik.com/450660452