Auto Industry News: Big Cat, Big Milestones, and Big Builds

Big Cat on Camera

To hell with sick days and weather delays. Security workers at a Suzuki factory in New Delhi got a little more than they bargained for last week when a leopard was spotted on camera stalking company grounds. The entire ordeal caused major setbacks in corporate productivity, including two cancelled work shifts and thousands of dollars down the drain. It took over 200 security and wildlife officers to remove the big cat from the premises safely. How would you handle a workplace visit from a feline predator? Watch below!

Wrangler Makes Changes

But not everyone has been slacking. The Jeep Wrangler, a master of consistency, will add a little innovative flare to its redesigned 2018 model as it is set to offer an optional 368-hp 4-cylinder engine. The turbocharged 2.0L inline-four engine option is a distinctive feature for the upcoming JL. The engine, paired with Wrangler’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, aims for improved fuel economy. And though there is no official word on diesel options in 2018 just yet, it is clear that Jeep has efficiency on the brain. The 285-hp 3.6-liter V6 still comes standard, though, for any Jeep fanatics fearing they’ll lose power and capability with the JL.

VW Beetle Celebrates 50 Years

Like Jeep, the VW Beetle is a cultural icon. It is ubiquitous and proof of collective consciousness, because when we hear the phrase “beetle” or “bug,” we all think the same thing, right? The VW Beetle as a Mad Max caliber death machine that hauls ass across the Baja Desert. What? You didn’t know that your bug was racing royalty? Well, then you’ve probably never seen the cinematic masterpiece that is Herbie: Fully Loaded, but we’ll save that for another day.

The 50th Baja 1000 is set for November. And it will be the VW Beetle’s 50th year of racing excellence in the competition. The beloved VeeDub has its own class in the race, filled with Bruce Meyers inspired lifted buggies. And seeing that it clearly has no plans to leave the desert circuit, we wish the VW Beetle a happy anniversary and good luck!

You may be cute, but we know you’re deadly.

Beefy S15 Build

Far from cute is what the crew at Stone Motorsport is doing with a build of an S15 Nissan Silvia. John Stone and his team are prepping the aftermarket-friendly S15 for the 2018 Irish Hillclimb Championship. And one of the primary goals is to make it heavy. Specifically, the target weight for the car is 900kg (1,984lb) without a driver. Yowza. Perhaps too heavy for an S-Frame? Not in the eyes of Stone Motorsports, as they’re confident in the sort of power it will generate. They have a goal of 700 horsepower at the wheels. And to achieve that they will employ the services of a four-cylinder Honda K24 engine.

Stone Motorsport likes to keep the public intrigued with sometimes cryptic documentation of their builds on social media. Definitely worth the follow and watching the method of the madness. Click here to read more!

Porsche Won’t Quit

Rumor has it that the 2020 Porsche Mission E was testing alongside the Tesla X and Tesla S last week. And this comes as no surprise, considering Porsche’s competitive spirit and Tesla’s now almost automatic association with all things electric. Many believe the Mission E will be Tesla’s first true competitor. Because when it comes to power, no one in the electric world has come close to what Tesla has achieved…yet.

Though not a whole lot is known about the Mission E, it is clear the Porsche will not allow itself to be outdone in the power department. A showdown is about to happen, and we’ll have the popcorn ready.

Motorsport Mashup

Speaking of powerful finishes, Max-D dominated Monster Jam in Mexico City over the weekend. The famed truck crushed the competition in Racing (9.522), Two-Wheel Skills Challenge, and Donuts. The Max-D team also snagged a victory in ATV racing and the overall event win with 42 points. Megalodon was second with 33. Grave Digger finished with 28.

Martin Treux Jr got back to his winning ways at Charlotte over the weekend as he clinched the win. Though it wasn’t necessarily easy for him. He had poor qualifier for his standards and started in 17th position, failed to score in the first stage of the race, and endured multiple late restarts. Treux now leads Kyle Larson in overall standings by 34 points and is guaranteed to make the Round of 8. The field will go to Talladega on October 15th for the Alabama 500.

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