In recent auto industry news, we’ve heard unconfirmed rumors of another Fiat Chrysler merger that has snowballed into whispers of a full-on buyout, seemingly confirmed rumors of a 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor hitting the states, and definitely confirmed rumors of the last Dodge Viper and Demon rolling off the production line. There’s a new sheriff in town protecting the beaches of Italy, and not one, not two, but three Evel Knievel records smashed by a familiar face in extreme sports.
Hyundai Leads Pack in Recent Fiat Chrysler Merger Rumors
According to reports, Hyundai is in talks to completely buy out Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that he will retire by Spring 2019, which may actually expedite the process. Marchionne has said in past negotiations that a Fiat Chrysler merger with Hyundai was unlikely. But being that Hyundai is supposedly preparing to “[launch] a takeover bid” sometime this summer, he might not have to worry about any more logistics.
It should be noted, however, that this isn’t the first time another company caught Marchionne’s eye. He emailed General Motor’s Mary Barra in 2015 to discuss the potential of a GM-Fiat merger. As of now, there is no official offer on the table and Marchionne has not stepped down.
Beach Patrol Wrangler
While FCA’s future hangs in the balance, make no mistake that the Jeep’s future is now. Take for instance, this Italian beach patrol unit keeping things in order on land and sea with “the livery of the military police force. Other upgrades include a flashing light, siren with telescoping mounting, machine gun holder, portable radio, and two signaling disc holders,” said Motor Trend. It’s got a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine to push through the diverse and vast Italian terrain. Not to mention, the subtle 2″ lift kit by Fox Performance that makes it functional with an overall style that means all business and 17″ x 8.5″ Performance Gladiator black alloy rims wrapped with 32″ all-terrain tires fit for tearing through the sand and rounding up beach bad boys.
The presentation of the beach patrol Wrangler was a big to-do. Our boy Sergio Marchionne even met with Italian Commander-In-Chief Giovanni Nistri at the topless cop car’s debut ceremony. So, if you’re vacationing along the Romagna Riviera this summer, keep your eyes peeled for the cool new beach patrol Wrangler!
2019 Ford Ranger Raptor Spied in U.S.
The much anticipated 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor has been spied (again) in the US. The video surfaced with what many Ford enthusiasts know are significant details. The steering wheel is on the left hand side which got some fans properly hot and bothered. There has never really been full-fledged doubt that the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor would show its face stateside, but we all had to experience some mild FOMO as it bombed over dunes and kicked up dust in Australia.
HOWEVER, don’t lock it in just yet. This cherry red, spied version of the Ranger Raptor features a diesel engine. And the U.S. will only get (supposedly) the turbocharged 2.3-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine (300+ hp). So the tease, for now, continues.
Last Dodge Viper and Demon Sell For $1 Million
As we usher in the inevitable future of performance trucks, we must also say goodbye to two vicious Dodge muscle cars. The last manufactured Dodge Demon and Viper sold as a pair at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction for $1 million. Dodge, arguably the reigning champ of muscle cars, opened the Demon up to enthusiasts for one year before shutting down production for good in May.
As for the last Dodge Viper, it’s decked out with a commemorative paint job alluding to the first generation Viper RT/10. The Hellcat engine will live on in production, but we will always remember the spike in badassery that was this pair constantly making headlines. As if they haven’t already cemented their legacy, all proceeds of the sale of the last Dodge Demon and last Dodge Viper benefit the United Way.
Around the Circuit
Nitro Circus star, and extreme sports legend Travis Pastrana is looking to deepen a legacy of his own and break three Evel Knievel jump records. On July 8th, he will jump over 52 cars, 16 buses, and the fountain of Caesar’s Palace. That is the History Channel’s plan, anyway. Pastrana, no stranger to colossal stunts and the injuries that come with them, will be using an unaltered 750cc v-twin Indian Scout motorcycle on the network’s “Evel Live” special. The first two of the stunts would break Knieval’s longstanding records. But even Evel himself hasn’t cleared the fountain at Caesar’s.
Gardiner Back With Vengence
As the season heats up, Tag Rally received some good news about one of their best drivers. Tracey Gardiner, a mainstay of Tag, has been working in the “organizing and media side” in the Rally America series. But that was earlier in the season, and now she finds herself back in the driver’s seat. Just in time for Rally Colorado, Gardiner will have a new rookie co-driver, Nia Schenk. With new experiences under her belt, she might get the win that has eluded her after several podium finishes.