LondonMetric makes logistics double acquisition

Property Week News Feed - 2 hours 29 min ago
LondonMetric has acquired two recently developed urban logistics warehouses for a combined £23.5m reflecting a blended net initial yield of 4.9%, rising to 5.6% after five years.
Categories: Property

Meiklejon to head new real asset investments team at Aviva Investors

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 25 min ago
The global asset management business of Aviva has appointed former Standard Life Investments real estate investments director Mark Meiklejon to head up its newly-formed real assets investment specialist team.
Categories: Property

Patrizia buys Hammersmith retail asset

Property Week News Feed - 4 hours 33 min ago
Patrizia Immobilien has acquired a flagship retail asset at 49-63 King Street in Hammersmith, London from Alanis Capital for €24.6m (£22m).
Categories: Property

Countrywide bows to shareholder pressure over incentive package

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 2 min ago
Countrywide has backed down in the face of shareholder criticism of plans for a generous pay plan for its senior executives.
Categories: Property

Global uncertainty hits FTSE 100

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 22 min ago
The FTSE 100 suffered its worst week in three months last week amid global trade fears and a worsening currency crisis in Turkey.
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Countrywide's shares rise on growth strategy

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 22 min ago
Countrywide’s share price rose 2.74% on Monday morning to 14.94p as it issued a statement confirming shareholder approval for raising £140m of additional equity through a listing on 28 August in line with its ‘Absolute Growth Plan’.
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2019 Ford Taurus

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 11:00
We all forget a thing or two, so perhaps we should forgive Ford for dropping the ball on its full-size sedan. The 2019 Ford Taurus has been around for a while. The current model debuted 10 years ago, and even then its bones were derived from a decade-old Volvo platform. The years have not been kind to the Taurus, which is likely to disappear...
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Extremely Rare 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Prototype Turns up in Texas

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 02:00

An experimental Ford Shelby GT500 Prototype nicknamed “Little Red” was discovered in a North Texas field this past spring after spending at least two decades outdoors.

The owner obviously didn’t know he had a 1967 Shelby GT500 Experimental Coupe rusting away next to a bunch of mesquite trees on his property. What’s left of the neglected prototype was located and verified on March 3, 2018, according to Craig Jackson, the chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson who announced the find at a private event tonight at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Aaron Shelby, grandson of Carroll Shelby and board member of Carroll Shelby International, and Henry Ford III were on hand to witness the historic reunion.

“Finding Little Red is the discovery of a lifetime,” said Jackson in a release. “This Shelby prototype has been one of the most sought-after and elusive vehicles in postwar history. Countless enthusiasts and experts have searched for Little Red since it went missing in the 1960s. Many believed it was destroyed when the car was no longer needed. I’m excited to announce that was not the case. We’ve found Little Red and we intend to meticulously restore this legendary car back to its original glory.”

Jackson and classic car restoration specialist Jason Billups led the team who discovered Little Red. The quest began during the restoration of the other legendary Shelby prototype coupe, named the Green Hornet. The pair were the only notchback coupes to ever wear the Shelby badge.

The two cars were built by Ford and Shelby to test out a number of ideas for a special model. They featured a restyled body, including the iconic horizontal taillights sourced from a Mercury Cougar, and even a Paxton supercharger for the big-block engine. Little Red, which was built first, is most famous as the model for the 1968 Ford Mustang California Special. Despite that provenance, the car was put into storage and lost for decades.

“Locating Little Red was tantamount to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack,” said Jason Billups in a release. “After our initial research we realized that, like others before us, we were using the wrong search criteria. Everyone looked for Little Red using the Shelby serial number, which would eventually lead to a dead end. We took a different approach and located the car’s original Ford VIN number, which wasn’t easily discoverable. That VIN led us to its original registration and eventually to its last owner.”

The team also verified its authenticity using cross-references, serial numbers, date codes, and other confidential documents. Shell and Pennzoil are also helping support the restoration that will be fully documented at and will include photos, personal accounts, and videos of the restoration. Stay tuned for more details to come in the months ahead.

The post Extremely Rare 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Prototype Turns up in Texas appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Porsche Macan

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 00:25

Midcycle refreshes on Porsche vehicles usually require a magnifying glass to see what’s changed, but in the case of the 2019 Macan, the updates are pretty clear. For the 2019 model year, Porsche’s compact crossover has gone under the knife and received a significant update inside and out.

Up front, the grille has been reshaped and made wider. The lower air intakes on the refreshed model are also less rounded than on the pre-facelift Macan. Perhaps the most obvious change is the shape of the headlights, which are now similar those found on the Panamera and third-generation Cayenne. The 2019 Macan also gets the quad LED daytime running light strips in each headlight cluster just like its larger siblings.

Where things don’t change much is in the refreshed Macan’s side profile, which remains virtually the same as the outgoing model. Out back, the refreshed Macan adapts Porsche’s new full-width taillight design, which uses an LED light strip that spans the crossover’s rear end, connecting both lamps together. This was first seen on the facelifted 911 before making its way to the Panamera and Cayenne, and now the Macan.

Inside, the refreshed Macan gets a redesigned dash with a new center stack and reshaped air vents. A large touchscreen—and we mean large at 12 inches—is the new centerpiece of the dash, and the center air vent are now beneath it instead of at its flanks. Sadly, the button-happy center console remains.

Porsche hasn’t released much information regarding the refreshed 2019 Macan, but we expect it to get the brand’s latest PCM infotainment system and new safety and tech features. Engine choices should carry over from the outgoing model but there’s a possibility that Porsche will also add a Turbo S variant as the new range-topper and the most powerful model in the Macan lineup.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Porsche Macan appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid on Track for 2020 Launch

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 08/18/2018 - 00:01

Jeep confirmed plans to produce a Wrangler PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) last year and announced today that the 54-year-old Toledo Machining Plant in Ohio will produce the plug-in’s Power Electronic module, install the applicable software, and conduct final testing before the units are shipped off to the Toledo Assembly Plant, where the Wrangler plug-in will be built.

The Power Electronics module is comprised of the Power Inverter module and the Integrated Dual Charger module, which includes both an onboard charger and a DC/DC converter. Jeep will mount the module in a protective structure under the SUV between the exhaust and drive shaft.

Like with most plug-in vehicles, the electric motor (or motors) will provide additional power, improve fuel economy, and should offer a short all-electric driving range. Jeep has yet to announce what gas engine will be utilized in the hybrid system, but it could be a 3.6-liter V-6 like the one used in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Currently, the Wrangler’s optional 2.0-liter turbo-four uses the automaker’s eTorque mild-hybrid system and delivers an EPA-rated 22/24 mpg city/highway in the four-door Unlimited model, and 23/25 mpg in the two-door. That’s a nice improvement over the 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic combo that delivers 18/23 mpg for both models.

The Wrangler plug-in is expected to launch in 2020 and is part of FCA’s commitment to have 30 models with electrified powertrains by 2022. The Pacifica Hybrid is currently FCA’s only plug-in vehicle and is rated at 32/33 mpg with a 33-mile all-electric driving range.

Off-roading quietly on all-electric power probably doesn’t sound very enticing to your average Jeep customer, but the extra power and fuel economy that the hybrid powertrain affords could expand the SUV’s appeal.

Source: Jeep

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Watch: Behind the Wheel of the Bentley Bentayga W12

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 22:32

Bentley has a Bentayga in every flavor, from a V-8 to a diesel to a new plug-in hybrid variant. But sometimes there’s nothing like the magic of a burbling W-12 engine. In this video, AUTOMOBILE social media editor Billy Rehbock takes the 12-cylinder SUV for a spin on Colorado’s high-altitude roads.

The Bentayga’s twin-turbo W-12 engine consists of two narrow-angle V-6 engines joined at the crankshaft. All in all, it produces up to 600 hp and 662 lb-ft of torque. In our First Test from 2016, we clocked the Bentayga hitting 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. That was enough to make it the quickest gas-burning SUV we had ever tested at the time, until the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk came along to steal its thunder.

Check out the video above to find out how the Bentayga drives and how it feels inside the cabin.

The post Watch: Behind the Wheel of the Bentley Bentayga W12 appeared first on Motor Trend.

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World’s Only Kona Blue Ford Mustang Bullitt Will be Raffled for Charity

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 21:20

Ford is raffling off a Mustang Bullitt painted in Kona Blue to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The special model debuted today at the Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan.

Normally, the Mustang Bullitt is only available in one of two colors: Shadow Black or Dark Highland Green. This bespoke model features a dark blue paint job as well as unique gray wheels. Open the doors, and you’ll find blue stitching inside the cabin.

Just like other Bullitts, this model features a 5.0-liter V-8 engine making 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque on 93-octane fuel. Top speed is rated at 163 mph. Comparatively, a Mustang GT makes 460 hp and the same torque, with a top speed of 155 mph. Ford didn’t announce how many copies of the Bullitt it would sell, but it has told consumers to act fast because it is a limited edition vehicle. Prices start at $47,590, according to Ford’s online configurator.

If you want a shot at owning the world’s only Kona Blue Mustang Bullitt, Ford and JDRF are selling 60,000 raffle tickets at $10 a pop. You can buy them online by filling out this form. Tickets can be ordered online through November 9, or until they are sold out. A winner will be announced on November 13.

Check out our First Drive of the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt here.

Source: Ford

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5 Cool Facts About the Sold-Out Ford Mustang FP350S Race Car

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:55

Unless you’ve got a GT4 racer in your garage, the FP350S is meaner and more capable on a track than your Mustang. Already sold out, the Ford Mustang FP350S is a Trans Am-ready turnkey race car—and we recently drove it. Don’t miss our full review of the car, but if you’re curious what goes into a $114,990 race car, keep reading.

The Aluminator

The engine is closely related to Ford’s Aluminator 5.2 XS crate engine ($19,995 by itself). It features a unique Ford Performance M-6303-M52 forged-steel 90-degree crankshaft, Manley “H-Beam” connecting rods, Mahle forged pistons with low-friction coatings, and a host of other special parts including a special 12-quart steel oil pan fabricated with highly elaborate baffles and trapdoors to ensure adequate oiling under high g loads. The Aluminator is rated at 580 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque.

Why the Brake Calipers Look Strange

The Radi-CAL calipers look kind of strange because they’re not styled to look symmetrical like most calipers. Instead, AP Racing used finite element analysis to optimize the shape. Any molecule of metal that wasn’t needed to make the caliper more rigid was eliminated, and voids were inserted to improve airflow and cooling. The calipers are also ultra-compact to enable, in some cases, smaller-diameter wheels than other calipers would require for a given rotor size. These ultra-rigid calipers and a firewall stiffened (by a factor of two or three) where the stock Shelby booster mounts help to remove all slop from the brake pedal feel.

The (Adjustable) Wing

The rear wing is manually adjustable in half-degree increments between 0 and 12 degrees, by selecting various combinations of eight holes on the stanchions and 20 holes on the wing. The cars are shipped with the wing set to 8 degrees. The downforce is transmitted to the body via adjustable pads, and the trunklid itself gets reinforcing struts to bear the load.

Info Stop

Three screens are offered: The warm-up screen prominently shows all fluid temperatures and a compact round tach. The qualifying screen indicates fastest lap time, a prediction of the current lap time and the gain/loss, along with a linear graphic tach and a few key fluid temps. The race screen shows the current lap time, lap number, fuel economy mode, fuel used on the last lap, and total fuel used along with the same graphic tach.

The Totalizer Button

The center console area has buttons for pit lane speed control (PLSC), “spare” buttons for auxiliary helmet or suit coolers, and a “totalizer” button that you press when the tank is full to reset the fuel-use meter. The system then precisely measures fuel used by monitoring fuel-injector pulse-width so the driver knows precisely how much is left. Then he or she can use the “map” button to change fuel mapping to a leaner setting if conserving fuel might prevent a pit stop.

Find out how the Ford Mustang FP350S race car drives in our review right here.

The post 5 Cool Facts About the Sold-Out Ford Mustang FP350S Race Car appeared first on Motor Trend.

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The Bugatti Divo Doesn’t Look Anything Like the Chiron

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:30

Early last month, Bugatti began teasing a new model called the Divo. Named after Albert Divo, a French driver who successfully raced Bugattis in the 1920s, the car promised to be extremely rare and incredibly expensive. Until now, though, we had no idea what the Divo would look like. Even though Bugatti has released quite a few teasers since then, they were all close-ups of small details that didn’t show much of the car itself.

Granted, the Divo in the image shown here is still covered by a sheet, so we can’t actually see it. But it does reveal the general shape of the car and give us a better idea of how it will look. Perhaps most importantly, it’s now clear the Divo and the Chiron will look like two distinct models. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept‘s wing and central fin find their way onto the Divo in some way, but the silhouette is clearly different, and the Chiron’s distinctive C-shaped character line is completely gone.

Mechanically, though, expect the Divo to share its platform and drivetrain with the Chiron. Bugatti’s focus on reducing weight, increasing downforce, and improving handling means the driving experience should be unique, but this car has been billed from the beginning as a revival of the French automaker’s “coachbuilding tradition.”

When Bugatti says production will be limited, it really means it, too. Only 40 cars will be built, each costing more than $5 million. Hopefully, at least one or two of them will find their way to a race track, because, as Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann has already said, “The Divo is made for corners.”

Source: Bugatti

The post The Bugatti Divo Doesn’t Look Anything Like the Chiron appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2018 Woodward Dream Cruise: Cruising With Ford/SVT’s Hermann Salenbauch

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 19:31

When you cruise Woodward in a brand new Wimbledon White Mustang GT convertible with “10,000,000th Mustang” emblazoned on the doors, everyone leaps from their curbside lawn chairs or swivels in their passenger seats to grab a snap of this milestone-mobile. Not too many vehicles hit eight-digit production figures, and those that do tend to be workhorses or commodity cars, not iconic sporty cars. One driver yelled “who do you have to know to get to drive that?!” The answer: Hermann Salenbauch. He’s at the wheel—literally and figuratively. The German-born BMW engineer was lured to Ford in 2001 by the irresistible prospect of serving as chief engineer of the fifth-gen (S-197) Mustang. The pony car was well known even in Germany, having made a big impression on young Hermann ever since it first appeared in Goldfinger. These days he serves as Director of Ford’s Advanced Product Creation and Global Performance Vehicles—a title sufficiently lofty to get him the keys to the 10M Mustang with 41 miles on the odometer. We’ll add 8.6 more idling up and down the curb lane of Woodward Avenue in an hour-and-a-half-long photo op during which we also snapped some shots of cars that piqued Hermann’s interest.

More 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise coverage:

1965 Volkswagen Beetle

Hermann’s family actually drove lots of Fords growing up, but they were all German Fords so we had no luck finding a 17M Taunus, Euro Granada, or Consul convertible, but the first car he owned was a 1967 Beetle convertible. It came in that light yellowy beige, which he garage-painted violet. It was a little rusty and he wasn’t a welder, but he was pretty facile with fiberglass, so he managed to thwart the TUV safety agent’s rust-probing pick with a few well-placed and well laid-up layers of plastic to keep it on the road beyond what the safety commission probably would have permitted. His handiwork also managed to net him double his money when it came time to sell a few years later!

1986-1990 BMW E30 Convertible

Hermann’s career started at BMW, where one of his more proud achievements was the slick convertible top mechanism on the E30 3 Series. It was the first to use an over-centering mechanism to press the rear of the top to the rigid tonneau cover, negating the need for a rear latch. The setup also had the effect of keeping the fabric very tight along the top of the roof where others frequently bowed in the wind. During that model run an electric top would be offered, but it was a snap to raise and lower manually as well. Another cool BMW-era story Hermann shared: While developing the E32 7 Series, quite late in the program the decision was made to widen the car 30mm right down the center so as to better accommodate BMW’s first V-12 engine. Indeed the car ended up 45mm wider than its predecessor.

1994-1998 Ford Mustang (SN-95)

This “Fox 4” Mustang is the one that Hermann emigrated to Ford North America in order to replace. By the time he arrived, meeting crash safety standards had stretched the nose enough to give the car an almost front-drive appearance. His primary objective in the redesign was returning that iconic sense of long-hood/short-deck, big dash-to-axle pony proportion to the car. This gave it the proportional look of the ‘60s Mustangs that made an impression on Hermann in Germany, where so many military folks left them behind. It’s only natural then that the designers seized the opportunity to paint a mildly retro design on this better proportioned canvas.

2011-2012 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500

As the driver of this GT500 convertible rolled past, snapping shots of our 10M ‘Stang, Hermann complimented him on his choice of a great engine. Salenbauch has fond memories of working with Carroll Shelby while bringing back the Shelby Cobra name. This later model GT500 version of the S-197 Mustang he came here to oversee was powered by a brand new all-aluminum 5.4-liter engine that shared some DNA with the one in the mighty Ford GT. It featured plasma-transferred wire-arc sprayed cylinder liners, which won a design innovation award. The engine was lighter, more powerful (550 hp/510-lb-ft), and efficient enough to drop the gas-guzzler tax levied on its predecessor. Hermann long advocated to officially sell the Mustang in Europe, but it wasn’t until the current model that this wish came true.

1978 Ford Bronco XLT

Broncos are hot on the Avenue this year as the world awaits a highly anticipated new Ford Bronco. Seeing this one all hiked up on big knobby tires got us talking about Raptors. Hermann recounted the genesis of the current Raptor. “Mark Fields told me we could do two high-performance vehicles—one car [the Shelby GT500] and one truck.” The team considered another rear-drive, lowered, high-performance Lightning model, but aimed instead for whitespace with an ultra-high-performance off-roader. “What about that Ranger Raptor?” We asked. “Oh, I’ve got one in Dearborn if you want to come have a look at it.” But basically he explained that the Ranger Raptor was conceived to give markets that don’t get any F-150s (most of the world) a halo performance truck. “Don’t you want to compete with the Colorado ZR2?” Not necessarily. His team is not yet convinced the U.S. market needs two Raptors. He did indicate that, despite Ford’s close relationship with Multimatic, that company’s slick spool-valve shocks used on the ZR2 have yet to win him over. “I wouldn’t trade our Fox shocks for those.”

1954 Dodge M37

This pristine, vastly-better-than-new example of the type of military trucks that were prevalent in post-war Germany caught Hermann’s eye. Built from ’51-’68 these post-war workhorses were based on the WC series trucks Dodge built during WWII. Power usually came from an inline six-cylinder side-valve engine.

1946-1948 Lincoln Continental

“Now THAT’S a luxury car,” Hermann exclaimed as we passed this very rare (on Woodward) example of a bona fide “Full Classic” car, as recognized by the Classic Car Club of America. It also ranks as the last car produced and sold by a major American automaker with a V-12 engine. The 4.8-liter flathead Lincoln Zephyr V-12 provided whisper-quiet, turbine-smooth power to this elegant, stately design penned by Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie.

1962 Ford Galaxie 500 Police Cruiser

If Andy Griffith had gone bald and lived to cruise Woodward this year in his trusty old squad car from the second season of his eponymous TV show, he’d have surely been pointing at the 10,000,000th Mustang just as enthusiastically as this guy is.

1977-78 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon

What better vehicle for the Woodward Dream Cruise than a Pinto Cruising Wagon!? That is indeed the nomenclature Ford used for this “sedan delivery” panel-wagon-with-portholes. The design was meant to draw a coolness connection between the somewhat unloved Pinto and the custom van craze that was sweeping the market in those days. Period ads showed the Cruising Wagon and an Econoline van in matching striped livery with the porthole windows in back and a tag line “Two Much!” That this would-be shaggin’ wag’n was parked under the Bra-vo intimates sign was icing on the cake…

1968-1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce

Hermann’s eyes lit up when we passed this sleek, spare, Italian beauty nicely enhanced by the removal of its bumpers and fitment of Minilite or Panasport wheels. A friend of his in California has an earlier example of this car.


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Spied! Mercedes-AMG GT R Caught Testing as a Convertible

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:15

The Mercedes-AMG GT R is an absolute monster. Developed to dominate the Nurburgring, the GT R’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 cranks out 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, with the dual-clutch transmission sending that power exclusively to the rear wheels. It will also hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and lap the infamous Green Hell in a blistering 7:10.92. So clearly, the next step is for Mercedes to remove the roof.

Yes, you read that correctly. As these spy shots show, Mercedes is about to introduce a convertible version of the GT R. Granted, you can already buy the regular Mercedes-AMG GT and GT C with a soft top, but those cars aren’t nearly as hardcore or track-focused as the GT R.

As our spy photographer points out, though, the idea of a GT R Roadster isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Porsche has a long history of selling quite a few convertibles, including the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, a $200,000 drop-top that makes 580 hp and launches to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. Heck, Ferrari even offered a convertible version of the 950-hp LaFerrari. If they can do it, why not Mercedes?

Like many of the prototypes we’ve caught testing recently, the GT R Roadster seen here looks close to production-ready. That means there’s a good chance it will be revealed soon, potentially as early as the Paris motor show later this year.

Photo source: CarPix

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2017 Ford Mustang FP350S Race Car Review: Performance (p)Art

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 18:08

I’ve just sampled an ultra-high-performing part from the Ford Performance Parts catalog, and if it weren’t already sold out I’d be urging you to pick up the phone, dial 800-367-3788 and order up part number M-FP500-FP350S. You would first need to have a pretty high credit limit and a trailer, though, because this part costs $114,990 and must be picked up in person (saving you the destination charge!). This “part” is a turnkey race car known as the Mustang FP350S. It’s Ford’s follow-up to the run of 50 Mustang Boss 302S club-racers built in 2011 and sold for $79,000. The price increase of about $27,000 after inflation didn’t seem to bother the 50 buyers who will be campaigning this FIA-certified racer in the Trans Am series (classes TA3 or TA4) or in NASA or SCCA club racing classes. As we noted at the new Mustang FP350S’ 2016 unveiling, it follows the out-of-production Shelby GT350R-C and slots in below the big-dog ($235,000) Mustang GT4 in the parts catalog (the latter is still orderable).

The FP350S’ body structure was framed on the Mustang line in Flat Rock, Michigan, and shipped in bare metal 7 miles north to Watson Racing. Then one technician lavished a 40-hour work week light-weighting and seam-welding each body, removing unnecessary parts like the rear package shelf. Then a Multimatic-designed, FIA-compliant roll cage was welded in with high-density foam filling the space inside the doors. All of this makes the bodies vastly more rigid, safer, and easier to repair after accidents (because they don’t crumple as much). Then the bodies were returned to Flat Rock for a full factory paint job, including a dip in the electrocoat tank. Once cured, the bodies went back up to Watson, accompanied by a kit of production parts that carry over to the racer (like the upper dash panel, the suspension hubs and knuckles, the main independent rear suspension module, etc.) for final assembly.

Power for the FP350S comes from a 5.2-liter Voodoo engine with a 90-degree (instead of flat) crankshaft. Certain classes require restrictor plates, so Ford just says it makes “well over 500 hp.” A gigantic oil cooler covers about two-thirds of the main radiator, while what used to be the oil cooler now cools the differential gear oil.

Engine torque routes aft through the Shelby GT350’s Tremec 3160 transmission with an integral pump and a Ford Performance short-throw shift kit to a Torsen rear diff running short 3.73:1 gearing. Customers typically put that power to the ground via 305/680-18 Pirelli P Zero slicks or the slightly longer-lasting, easier-to-get Hoosier A7s in a 315/30R18 size wrapped around the wheels of their choice. Ford offers an optional set of forged 11.0 x 18-inch wheels, but the car is delivered on base 19-inch GT350 wheels and 275-width tires. These tires are for transportation only, because of their limited shelf life. The only other available option on the car is the FP350S graphics package shown here.

Suspension upgrades include replacing nearly all the rubber with metal cross-axis bushings and fitting ZF Sachs coil-over shocks that offer two settings each for jounce and rebound. Caster/camber plates use shims in differing sizes that permit precise changes in geometry without the need for an alignment rack, and using coil-over shocks in the rear moves the pickup point outboard considerably for a higher motion ratio that allows greater effective stiffness with lower-rate springs (spring rates are 650 lb/in in front, 600 in the rear). Electric power steering offers low effort for endurance races and higher effort for sprints.

In place of the usual Brembo brakes are AP Racing Radi-CAL six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers biting down on two-piece vented and slotted rotors measuring 14.6 inches in front and 13.4 inches in the rear. Special calipers for endurance racing permit thicker (1.1-inch versus 0.7-inch), longer-lasting brake pads.

Exterior modifications include a hood vent, exterior hood latches, tow rings, an additional carbon-fiber splitter and fence mounted to the already aggressive Shelby splitter, blades to direct air into a pair of 4-inch brake cooling ducts, and a rear wing that’s highly adjustable. Oh, and there’s no door glass. Inside there’s a Motec data acquisition system and digital instrumentation setup that provides multiple screens and stores or transmits GPS lap data. A fire-suppression system is also standard.

After he clambers into the FP350S’ Sparco racing seat (a task made at least slightly easier by the quick-release steering wheel) and fusses with the five-point Sabelt FIA racing harness, Ben Maher confides that this is perhaps his favorite Ford track car—preferable even to the mighty GT. Ben supervises Ford’s driver safety training program, and he’s riding shotgun to ensure I don’t wad up his new favorite toy. We idle out onto the black lake at Ford’s Dearborn proving ground and wait for the engine oil temp light to switch from flashing blue to solid green. When it does, I start a gentle recon lap around the coned and chalk-lined course. A tight hairpin leads onto a straight long enough to reach third gear before bending into a decreasing-radius right-hander followed by a left onto a short slalom that connects to the hairpin.

As a short-waisted 5-foot-10-incher, an ultra-low seating position has me feeling like a cotton-top little old lady in a Grand Marquis. I struggle to see the tops of some of the cones but quickly master the course. It takes a lap or two to warm the tires, during which time the car feels heavily prone to oversteer, especially when bending into the decreaser or powering onto the slalom. As everything comes up to temperature the chassis feels much more neutral. Ben urges me to stay in the throttle later and later on the straight as the slick Hoosiers and giant brake pads combine forces to deliver five-point-harness-straining retardation. With the engine powering half as many Hoosiers, I must exercise far more restraint with the right pedal at all points on this track. “Off-road use only” means there are no fussy sound regulations to worry about, so the noise trumpeting from the straight pipes is glorious—if a shade less malevolent than that produced by the flat-crank Voodoo. No sound insulation also means no heat insulation, and the cockpit warms up in a big hurry. I’d definitely want a cool suit hooked up to one of the unused dash switches.

After my hot laps on the lake, we swap seats and Ben takes me for a drive on the Dearborn PG’s loopy handling circuit, which is filled with jumpable hills that curve at the landing and every conceivable combination of increasing- and decreasing-radius turns. The FP350S sticks like crazy, rewarding Ben’s smooth driving style with small, controllable slip angles. I have difficulty squaring the DNA connection between this car and the Mustang GT Perf Pack 2 I recently sampled. This one operates in a different realm. I have less difficulty understanding Ben’s affinity for the FP350S.

The last of the 50 examples of the FP350 are being delivered at about the time you’re reading this. However, few have been sufficiently prepped, tested, tuned, and raced in earnest, so the car has yet to establish a track record. Tune in to Motor Trend Premium’s coverage of Trans Am racing next year to learn how formidable Ford’s latest hot “part” will be in competition.

2017 Ford Mustang FP350S BASE PRICE $114,990 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door race car ENGINE 5.2L/580-hp (est)/445-lb-ft (est) DOHC 32-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual CURB WEIGHT 3,450 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 107.1 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 196.0 x 77.0 x 52.0 in 0-60 MPH 3.5 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not rated ON SALE IN U.S. Sold out

The post 2017 Ford Mustang FP350S Race Car Review: Performance (p)Art appeared first on Motor Trend.

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