Episode #390 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing and Sebastian Blanco from Autoblog Green talk about the 2015 Ford Mustang specs, the 2016 Smart models, a proposal to add real-world numbers to EPA economy tests and the potential downside of autonomous cars. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
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We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #390 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #390
The 2015 Mustang will be making its first inroads into the Asian market this September when it goes on sale in China.
As it stands, mass production of the 2015 model is slated to begin on September 19th. Before 2015, the Mustang was much more difficult and expensive to own. Mustangs in China where available only through dealer-to-dealer “gray market” purchasing, with a 2013 V6 Mustang selling for $90,000 USD and other 10-14 models only bringing in more money.
Ford announced the formal introduction of the pony car to the Chinese market by displaying a pre-production Gray GT on the showroom floor of a Ford Dealer in Beijing. It’s no surprise that the styling and performance of the Mustang has world-wide appeal. When the 2015 Mustang went on sale in Europe it completely sold out in the first 30 seconds. It will be interesting to see if the Chinese market follows the trend and shows the same interest as Europe in the 2015 Mustang.
It will be fun to see in the coming month just how the American Muscle icon meshes with the Asian Market. There are not many cars that can boast the same power numbers of the 2015 Mustang in the US market, let alone foreign markets. What is still uncertain is what the price is going to be. China is subject to large taxes on importing vehicles, especially engines bigger than 4.0 liters; this means that the beloved 5.0 GT model will fall victim to a large MSRP cost. With that said, that will make the 3.7 liter V6 model more desirable as well as the 2.3 liter EcoBoost even more so.
Despite having revealed the 2015 Mustang many months ago, Ford hasn't divulged the official power and weight specs - until now. Today, we learned that the new 'Stang will produce anywhere from 300 to 430 horsepower, and will weigh anywhere from 3,524 to 3,729 pounds, depending on engine and trim. There's a whole lot more to learn, here.
Ah, nuclear-powered cars. A good idea, in theory, especially for the 1950s and 1960s, but in execution, not exactly something that'd be, you know, safe. Looking back, the Atomic Age produced a good number of delightful concept cars, and so we've pulled five of our favorites together for a quick blast-from-the-past list.
Hyundai has just overhauled its Sonata and Genesis sedans. So where does that leave the fullsize Azera that slots between the two? Executive editor Chris Paukert recently sat down with some Hyundai executives and learned that while a next-generation Azera is indeed in the cards, it might be a Korea-only affair. As of right now, the car's future in the US is unclear.
It's shaping up to be a golden age for enthusiasts, and what's under the hood is becoming more important than ever.
Right now, the 5.0-liter Mustang GT has the lead among Detroit's V8 muscle cars in the power department, though there's a caveat. The 435-hp output of the 5.0-liter 'Stang is ahead of the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 Camaro SS, which is rated at 426 ponies. It's also better than the 5.7-liter V8 Challenger R/T's 375 hp.
But, it trails the 6.4-liter V8 used in the 392 Challenger, which makes 485 hp. Blue Oval enthusiasts could argue the 392 is a sort of "Hellcat Lite," and not the GT's true competitor.
The tables are turned in the torque department, as the V8 Stang summons 400 lb-ft, which is behind the Camaro SS (420 lb-ft), the Challenger R/T (410 lb-ft) and the 392 (475 lb-ft).
Of course, we're just talking about the 2015 Mustang's competition, and since we don't know what's in store for the SVT-tuned example yet, we're leaving out any comparisons to the Camaro Z/28 and ZL1, as well as the previously mentioned, 707-hp Challenger Hellcat.
Among V6s, the Camaro is the decided leader in power, boosting 323 hp, well ahead of the Challenger's 305 hp and the now-detuned Mustang, which dropped to an even 300 hp this year.
The Blue Oval does pack the most torque among six-cylinders with 280 lb-ft, just ahead of the Camaro's 278 lb-ft and the Challenger's 268 lb-ft.
Of course, we're referring to Ford's EcoBoost inline four-cylinder, which pushes out 310 hp and an impressive 320 lb-ft from a turbocharged 2.3-liter mill. Neither Dodge nor Chevy have anything similar in their current muscle car lines, and if there are any undecided potential buyers in this died-in-the-wool segment, it could prove to be a game-changer.
Tipping The Scales
The turbo four is also the lightest Mustang and the lightest car among these offerings from Detroit, weighing 3,524 pounds. The V6 'Stang is just two pounds heavier though, which puts it well ahead of the V6 Camaro (3,702 pounds) and Challenger (3,834 pounds).
This trend continues among the V8s, as the Mustang GT is 3,705 pounds - just three pounds heavier than the lightest Camaro V6. The eight-cylinder Chevy comes in at 3,908 pounds, which is still lighter than the Challenger's weight of 4,082 pounds.
So those are the cold, hard numbers. Objectively there are definite winners and losers, depending on what you value in a sporting automobile. But in the end, this segment has always been about more than the numbers. If anything, spec sheets trivialize it. Muscle cars are about the visceral experience from behind the wheel. Pick your favorite, plunk down your cash and hit road. Who are we to tell you that you're wrong?