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Auto blogMon, 17 Mar 2014 19:19:00 EST
"Now before you turn away, this is not another boring hybrid car thing..." Despite the slightly defensive introduction from Jay, the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage is actually pretty fascinating. The Ricardo HyBoost is a 2009 Ford Focus that has had a 1.1-liter engine swapped in for the stock 2.0-liter four. That might not get you performance enthusiasts out there fired up, until, that is, you hear that the 1.1L is also fed by both a turbocharger and an electrically driven supercharger for an instant-on "torque-fill" effect. Sounds about right, considering that Ricardo engineering is part of the genius behind the McLaren P1.
Perhaps most exciting of all, the Ricardo folks say that the package should run somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,100. A sort of performance-hybrid that makes sense for the frugal driver and the enthusiast one, then. There's a lot more to the HyBoost, all of which can be seen in the video below.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
Think of mid-engined supercars and your mind is bound to gravitate towards Europe, but the United States has been known to make a handful from time to time - exceptional vehicles from the likes of Vector, SSC, Mosler, Hennessey, and Saleen. But long before any of those came around, Ford famously became obsessed with beating Ferrari at its own game, leading to the development of the iconic GT40.
The story is well known, sending Ford to the checkered flag at Le Mans four times in a row in the late 1960s. Ford and Shelby also built over 100 for public consumption, but just four of them were roadsters. Of those only one remains in original condition, and now that exceedingly rare example going up for auction.
Consigned to RM Auctions for its mid-August sale during Pebble Beach weekend in Monterey, California, this 1965 model is the first GT40 Roadster built. It was used as a development and demonstration vehicle for Ford and Shelby. Carroll Shelby himself drove Henry Ford II in this very car during one of many test and demo events, this time held for Ford's board of directors in Los Angeles.