Auto Industry News: Data Breach, New Fiat Chrysler CEO, Jeep Wagoneer Hellcat Rumors, & a ’66 Ford Bronco Brute

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This has been a week of powerful information— some in the right hands and some laid out for all to see. Several automakers find themselves in the midst of a massive data breach and Fiat Chrysler has chosen their new CEO. Out of the rumor mill, there is word of a Jeep Wagoneer Hellcat in the works. And to take a road to simpler times by excessive means, a 1966 Ford Bronco gets some killer upgrades.

Data Breach a Threat to Tesla, Toyota

A massive data breach is threatening future plans of automakers including Toyota, Tesla, and Volkswagen. According to reports, documents containing trade strategies, assembly line schematics, and robotics configurations were all accessed via a third party server. The public sever was run by a robotics vendor, Level One Robotics. The average Joe may not need information like this (although maybe the leaks could finally enlighten everyone where their Model 3s are). But burgeoning companies that may have had access can use this info to wedge their foot in the door and undercut the powers that be. Since more than 10 years’ worth of data was available, we can only hope some worthwhile operation uses the info for good! Eternally optimistic? Yea, you could say so…

Fiat Chrysler Appoints New CEO, Looks to Future

While the future of that info seems to hang in the balance, Fiat Chrysler has moved on rather confidently. Sergio Marchionne, former CEO and big boy flexin’ extraordinaire, has announced that he will step down amid health concerns. While this may come as a temporary blow to the company to lose an iconic character in the front office, a rightful heir has already emerged in Mike Manley. Manley has headed Fiat’s Jeep operations since 2009. So, the direction the company will take with the 54-year-old CEO is all but written in stone. Though Manley will be expected to face some tough decisions regarding trimming the fat in the Fiat Chrysler lineup and weighing the options of inevitable electrification.

A Jeep Wagoneer Hellcat? Do Tell

Perhaps this is something that Manley already has on his radar moving operations forward. Rumors of a Grand Wagoneer Hellcat have made their rounds. A leaked ZF document details a 6.2-liter V8-powered three-row Jeep with ZF’s 8HP95X transmission. And while these documents are hype-worthy, they do not necessarily confirm a Wagoneer Track Hawk. HOWEVER, if it is true, the document also lists a 2019 Hellcat engine as the likely setup. This would equate to roughly 718 horsepower, and that would put this daydream whip right up there with the Charger and Challenger— But with off-road chops, it could be in a class all its own. For all Jeep enthusiasts sake, let’s see what your made of, Manley!

‘66 Ford Bronco Build

We do know for certain that the 2020 Bronco is coming. And while that feels so distant, the good folks at Icon are taking a bold retro approach to help build the excitement. This 1966 Ford Bronco Roadster build will have you ready to marathon episodes of the A-Team with the fixings the Icon employees refer to as Derelict style. The rig swapped out the ancient suspension for Fox Racing coilovers and Dana axles with ARB lockers. Under the hood, the ‘66 Ford Bronco has a Coyote V8 taken from a 2018 Ford Mustang. The original project’s goals were much humbler, simply trying to blow the doors off this classic for a unforgettable beach season, but we’re glad they went the extra mile!

A big n' bold '66 Ford Bronco build!

Motorsport Roundup

Over the weekend, Suzuki nabbed its 200th victory of the company’s AMA Superbike tenure. For 14 of the 17 total laps, Suzuki’s Toni Elias trailed Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier. Then he took over and never looked back. He fended off the field by less than half a second to make for the most exciting and historic finish at Utah Motorsports Campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. Though it’s back to business for Suzuki and Elias. “My team deserves a lot of credit for this victory. We did it and now we have to continue like this,” Elias said.

In NASCAR, Kevin Harvick got back to his early season ways and claimed a victory at New Hampshire. It was Harvick’s sixth victory this year and not everyone was thrilled. Kyle Busch was particularly peeved, considering he led the race until the final ten laps. But Harvick, determined to take his third career victory at New Hampshire, outgunned Busch and managed to hold on. Despite this finish, Busch still has the edge in overall standings by 53 points.

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