2008 Ford Mustang Roush
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Auto blogTue, 23 Jul 2013
Highly intrigued, we recently visited a Southern California Gas Company office to check out several hybrid vehicles promising something new. Unlike more commonplace gasoline-electric hybrids, we were there to evaluate innovative gasoline-compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrids - yes, they run on unleaded gasoline and compressed natural gas. According to the experts on hand, this arrangement delivers extended range and reduced emissions while chipping in with lower operating costs than pure-gasoline vehicles. There are advantages over its gasoline-electric counterparts, as well.
The program is part of a three-way collaboration between The Carlab, a Southern California-based automotive consulting firm, Landi Renzo USA, a company specializing in alternative fuel solutions, and America's Natural Gas Alliance, a group that promotes CNG. Long story short, the team has engineered a way to allow a modified internal combustion vehicle to seamlessly switch between two fuels (gasoline and CNG) with no driver intervention. In theory, and if it works as well as promised, it's a win-win for the vehicle owner and the environment.
Parked at the Gas Company office were six different gasoline-CNG hybrid vehicles. To demonstrate the technology's versatility (just about any gasoline vehicle may be modified) Carlab brought a varied assortment of bodystyles, each from a different automaker. After taking a quick glance at the half-dozen in the parking lot, we made a beeline for the performance-oriented Ford Mustang GT - a 2012 model - with the six-speed manual gearbox.
Now With More EcoBoost
There's an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in there somewhere, and it's headed straight for Ugly Horse.
For the second time in my life, I'm staring at an engine in the back of a truck with no concept of how to get it safely into the garage by my lonesome. The first time this happened, I dragged home a $300 International 345 V8 in the back of my Scout Terra only to discover that the bounds of my manliness terminated well before my ability to muscle that 800-pound cast iron block out of the pickup bed.
XCAR has put together what it believes is a first - a drag race between Ford's legendary, Le Mans-winning GT40, the more recent GT supercar it inspired and the little-known GT70 rally car. The three mid-engined monsters were all built for very different purposes, and not surprisingly, they come to battle with very different powertrains.
The GT40 is powered by a thumping, naturally aspirated V8. This example, which looks like a Mark IV model, is likely powered by a 7.0-liter engine, although it's not entirely clear how much power it's putting down. The GT70, meanwhile, was Ford's response to the Lancia Stratos. Considering that the Lancia is one of the greatest rally cars in history and many of you are probably just hearing of the GT70 for the first time, you can imagine how much success Ford had with it. Only six were produced before a change in regulations doomed this mid-engined rally car.
The Ford GT, meanwhile, doesn't really need an introduction. 550 horsepower is on offer from a 5.4-liter, supercharged V8, which keeps the GT competitive even against more modern supercars. 60 miles per hour arrives in well under four seconds while the top speed sits at 212 mph. Not bad for a car that went out of production in 2006.