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Auto blogWed, 27 Nov 2013 11:29:00 EST
Trucks have towing capacity, EVs have driving range and performance cars have Nürburgring lap times. What do all three have in common? They should all be taken with a grain of salt. Currently, there is no sanctioned way to record lap times or verify production-spec cars - a lesson we recently learned with the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo - and until there is a way to do so (and there probably never will be), we'll never officially know the actual time it took for Ford to lap the 'Ring with its ultra-powerful Shelby GT500.
After posting a Ford-made video of a 2013 GT500 running around the 'Ring, the guys over at SVTPerformance.com (an enthusiasts forum not affiliated with Ford or SVT) wanted more answers. They got in touch with Ford's Global Performance Vehicle Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi, who said until there is a way to verify the times and inspect the cars, Ford will not get involved with lap-time wars. In the email, Hameedi pointed out that the 'Ring is a useful tool in that it allows a wide spectrum of track conditions, but until there is a governed way to record times, there is no way to accurately compare cars head-to-head.
And as much as some may not like it, Hameedi speaks the truth. It really isn't possible to compare times from one car to another, unless those cars were lapping the same track at the same time with the same driver. Not that any of this means there won't be continuous wars by fans and manufacturers alike... in other words, feel free to voice your opinions in the Comments below.
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.
The 2003 Ford F-Series Super Duty (shown above) introduced the 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel supplied by Navistar, and while that is an engine Ford would love to forget, it's now one step closer to putting that particular problem behind it. Automotive News is reporting that Ford has settled a class-action lawsuit brought on by problems with this engine that started right out of the gate and ultimately broke up the 30-year relationship between Ford and Navistar.
Owners and lessees of 2003-2007 Super Duty trucks and E-Series vans equipped with the 6.0-liter Power Stroke are eligible for deductible reimbursements of between $50 and $200 from the original five-year/100,000-mile engine warranty, while Ford is paying out as much as $825 for out-of-warranty engine repairs. These repairs may include the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler, EGR valve, oil cooler, fuel injectors and turbocharger, but are only covered if the components failed before six years or 135,000 miles.
In total, Ford has agreed to pay about 50 percent of the value of the repairs and deductibles paid by its customers who submit a claim before the end of this year, and $150,000 is going to the 16 named plaintiffs in the case; Navistar was not included in the lawsuit.