It’s been a Ford-tastic week in the automotive industry. The Fusion has newfound life, the upcoming Ranger has some blue-collar bite. And the 2018 Mustang, like Luke Skywalker, has a surprising origin. Meanwhile, Honda is trying to make chores seriously competitive, and Tesla is killing everybody’s buzz with productivity. But the talk of the week… after a successful SoldierCon event last month, the crew was asked to attend the 5th Annual World of Custom Wheels Auto Show & Expo in El Paso, where they put on quite a show!
150 MPH Lawn Mower
Speaking of buzz, this Honda lawnmower doesn’t mess around! The Mean Mower V2 has lofty goals, one of which is reaching 150 mph. Known for this running gag, Honda had a mower last year that officially hit 116 mph (the OG Mean Mower). The V2, however, is out for blood with a 999-cc 4-cylinder engine. This is the same engine used in the Honda Fireblade motorcycle. With this, the mower has 189 horsepower, and utilizes a 6-speed manual transmission. And oh yeah, it can still cut grass! Somewhere, Hank Hill is smiling. Here it is zipping around and climbing hills at Goodward!
Future Tesla Owners to Lose Tax Credit Opportunity
It was inevitable, and now the moment is finally here. Anyone seeking the federal $7,500 for owning a Tesla will no longer receive it. The EV company was the first to produce its 200,000th vehicle, which means that the tax break total is now cut in half. It’s still a little something of a reward for driving greener. But more than anything, it means that novelty is much less a pillar of the movement and that EV tech isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Production is on the upswing for Tesla, who is possibly expanding and outsourcing to Chinese factories, and it won’t be long before other EV operations follow suit.
Ford Fusion Name to Live On
According to reports, death has come for the Ford Fusion as we know it. However we have recently learned that the Ford Fusion name will gain new life. It has been assigned to a future Ford wagon that the company hopes will compete with the versatile Subaru Outback. We already knew that Ford was rebranding their catalog, essentially cleaning house to accommodate for a future that does not heavily feature sedans. In fact by 2020, Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said the company will have the “freshest show room in the industry.” And clearly, the positive association consumers make with the Fusion name figures into those plans.
Ford Ranger XL Spied
The 2019 Ford Ranger isn’t just a toy, it seems. As indicated in the spy shots captured of its chassis cab version last week, the Ranger will be a commercial buyer venture as well. This is the first that the chassis cab version was seen in the wild fully uncovered. The bare bed will likely accommodate various moving-van attachments or flatbed installations. And as for the machine itself, the 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is likely. Also, a spotted window sticker may indicate the XL’s debut coinciding with the standard Ranger’s comeback, giving the company an even more diverse truck line.
And while we’re riding the Ford hype train, here’s a tidbit that might interest enthusiasts and Star Wars nerds alike!
Exciting SoldierCon Event Leads to New Opportunities
After a successful SoldierCon last month—featuring an Eat/Sleep/Drift Car Show, comic book convention, gaming center, live action role playing activities, a cosplay contest, and celebrity appearances for military families at Fort Bliss—the event organizer Carlos Molino was asked to set up a booth at the 5th Annual World of Custom Wheels Auto Show & Expo in El Paso. If you missed the fun this weekend, follow SoldierCon on Facebook for upcoming events. And make sure to stay tuned to The Engine Block for our full coverage of the first annual SoldierCon, featuring a one-on-one with Carlos Molina and celebrity guest Noel Gugliemi from the Fast and Furious franchise!
Around the Circuit
The 2018 Redbud National Motocross 250 class was one to remember. Aaron Plessinger’s performance helped him capture his third win of the season and the fifth victory of his career. He now looks poised to usher in a new crop of young talent, as he leads the championship standings by 35 points. The 26-year-old Red Bull racer, Alex Martin, also nabbed himself a piece of the podium, which got him fourth overall just behind 24-year-old Dylan Ferrandis.
The 4 Wheel Jamboree Nationals ran for its 31st consecutive year over the weekend in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. It featured all the usual suspects and some bold new vehicles and events. Over 2,000 four wheel vehicles in total came out for the weekend’s festivities. Some competed in heavy action like the fan favorite mud bog or the burnout competition, and some were happy to just be showing off their build on a warm July day. Check out some of the fan-captured action below!