It’s one thing for an unproven Chinese car to score poorly on first-world crash tests; it’s another for a first-world car to the same. It’s surprising that the Ford Mustang managed to receive a poor two-star rating in the European New Car Assessment Program.
In the tests, the front driver and passenger in the Mustang suffered from “bottoming out” on the steering wheel and dashboard due to improper inflation of the airbags and inadequate restraint for the passenger seatbelt load-limiter.
One particular test saw the rear passenger dummy ‘submarined’ under the lap portion of the seatbelt, consequently earning the Mustang a low score for potential knee, femur and pelvis injuries. Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen pointed out a big reason for the poor two-star overall score:
“Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter. Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car or a regular family car.”
Interestingly, the Mustang coupe performed notably better in the US NCAP, receiving a five-star overall rating. However, that the EU standards are different than those of the U.S.
Ford will likely address some, if not most, of these poor results with the European version of the revised Mustang, which comes with additional safety features such as pre-collision assist and lane-keeping assist.
Check Out This One-Off Ferrari SP38
This is the Ferrari SP38, a one-off, 488 GTB-based supercar Ferrari made exclusively for ones its very wealthy clients.
A lot of people dream of one day owning a Ferrari. While some people do well enough to make that dream come true, there’s another class of Ferrari fans with the chops to have the company make them a special one-off car as part of its highly-exclusive “special projects” program. Former rock star and longtime Ferrari lover Eric Clapton is the owner of a $4.7 million SP version of the now-retired 458 Italia.
Described as having “a deep passion for racing,” the Ferrarista in question worked with the Ferrari Design Center to create an all-new bodywork that clearly sets the SP38 apart from its donor car. It draws inspiration from the iconic F40 and is characterized by a strongly tapered nose with thin headlights, dramatic side skirts, small side windows, star-shaped wheels and, of course, a cool louvered cover for the twin-turbo V8 engine.
It has a much more dialed-back and timeless look than the 488 GTB that I quite like it.
The Italian automaker didn’t say what its client paid for the SP38, but be certain that it’s a lot more expensive than the $300,000 488 GTB.
High-Performance Acura NSX Type-R Coming In 2020
There have been rumors of a hotter Type-R version of the Acura NSX ever since the the second-generation model hit the market in 2016.
Acura’s vice president and general manager Jon Ikeda previously hinted at the idea of an NSX Type-R, and now a new report claims it could arrive in 2020.
In an interview with , he expressed a strong desire to see the car but stopped short of confirming anything:
“I’m a car guy, so always faster performance vehicles… yeah we like that, we talk about it. We’ll see… anything can happen. “There’s always proposals.”
There are speculations that NSX Type-R could have up to 641 horsepower, which is a nice bump over the standard NSX’s 573-hp.
The Australia outlet claims it has been approved for development and that it will debut sometime in 2019 before arriving in 2020, but because we haven’t heard it from Acura’s own mouth, we’ll have to wait and see what’s speeding our way, if anything.
Lotus Exige Sport 410 Sports Car Strikes A Balance
Lotus has added a new member to its Exige family — the Exige Sport 410.
Slooting between the Exige Sport 350 and Exige Cup 430, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 benefits from many of the Exige Cup 430’s parts and is powered by the same 3.5L V6. Recalibrated to generate 410 hp at 7,000 rpm 310 lb-ft. from 3,000 rpm to 7000 rpm, the engine allows it to can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a supercar-like 3.3 seconds on route to a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h), which is the same as the Exige Cup 430.
The Exige 410’s chassis, suspension and dampers were are borrowed from the Exige Cup 430, but it gains Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars and its three-way adjustable Nitron dampers have been retuned for a more comfortable ride on everyday roads.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires fill the wheel wells (285/30 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front), while stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston calipers and performance two-piece J-hook brake discs.
Other performance highlights include a full exhaust system in titanium and a number of high-gloss, visible weave carbon fiber components inside and out. Buyers can equip their car with such motorsport options as electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion, a non-airbag steering wheel, 4-point harnesses and a dealer fit FIA compliant roll cage.
Inside, the Exige Sport 410 gets an Alcantara steering wheel and carbon fiber sports seats upholstered in either a combination of Alcantara and leather or full leather.
Unfortunately, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 will not be sold in North America.