Supercars

Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Charles Leclerc film brings the Monaco F1 circuit back to life

The Monaco F1 circuit has been brought back to life, if just for a few minutes.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a dizzying engineering achievement of numbers and downforce and power-to-weight ratios and power output and a big plug. It's also Ferrari's first "series production" plug-in hybrid.

Series production is Ferrari-speak for car-that-we-build-a-bunch-of-instead-of-building-just-five. It also has the most powerful eight-cylinder engine of any Ferrari ever, and excitingly (if you're a Ferrari enthusiast), means that a V8 is the Ferrari's top-of-the-range engine for the first time.

Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Charles Leclerc film Monaco movie The film was shot on the streets of Monaco.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The 90-degree turbo V8 makes 769 horsepower. The car's three electric motors (one on the back axle, and two more up front) make another 216 combined electric horsepower. Combined, that's a whopping 985 total horsepower.

The SF90 Stradale is also the first straightforward Ferrari sports car (not to be confused with GT cars like the Ferrari FF, which are not sports cars in the Ferrari playbook) to come with four-wheel drive.

It goes zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds and on to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds. It also handles really well thanks to a whole bunch of wild and amazing technical details crafted by the engineering team that you can read about on Ferrari's website.

But a Ferrari isn't really about numbers and engineering. Go buy a McLaren if that's all you're interested in. The prancing horse is all about speed and pretty girls and sunshine. It's about passion for history. A Ferrari is basically Monaco in automotive form.

The plot takes the Ferrari around Monaco showing off several well-known attractions.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

That passion for history and speed and pretty girls is why Ferrari partnered up with Claude Lelouch, a cult hero in automotive circles for his short film "C'était un Rendez-Vous" shot on the streets of Paris in 1976. That film had a soundtrack from Lelouch's own Ferrari 275 GTB (it was filmed by a camera mounted on a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9), and Ferrari felt that now was time for a remake of sorts.

The Monaco Grand Prix is arguably the most iconic motor race in the world. The 2020 running was cancelled, however, thanks to COVID-19. But that wasn't going to keep Ferrari — the oldest active team in Formula One — from running a car around the city on race day.

And so Lelouch, Ferrari F1 driver and Monagasque Charles Leclerc, a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and HSH Prince Albert II all got together on the closed streets of Monaco early on May 24. That's the day the race *would* have taken place, mind you, and His Serene Highness was kind enough to close all the streets around the Principality so Lelouch and Leclerc could create a new short film: *Le Grand Rendez-Vous*.

The film stars F1 driver Charles Leclerc.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

In true Ferrari fashion, it combines what makes a Ferrari a Ferrari and it is perhaps the perfect quarantine antidote for any petrolhead. Watch it, then watch it, then watch it again. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face — especially when Leclerc and his lady friend (played by Lelouch's granddaughter Rebecca) pull their masks off at the end.

Monaco lives. The horse prances. Life goes on.

"Le Grand Rendez-Vous" — Charles Leclerc and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale — One guy. No traffic. www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition features a thermal orange paint job that it shares with the Acura NSX.

Photo courtesy of Acura
Acura will make a PMC Edition of its best-selling RDX for the 2021 model year. The move comes following successful PMC Edition iterations of the TLX and MDX and forecasts a design change is in the RDX's future.

Named after Acura's Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Ohio, the 2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition will be hand-crafted alongside the Acura NSX by master technicians. Just 360 of the range-topping RDX PMC Edition models will be made and carry a sticker price in the low $50,000s. Exact pricing will be announced in the coming weeks.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura has given each of the North American market-exclusive models a Thermal Orange Pearl paint job - a color shared with the NSX.

It builds on the top-of-the-line RDX, which includes the RDX Advance Package and RDX A-Spec styling. The model gets exclusive black 20-inch alloy wheels, a body color grille surround, black chrome exhaust finishers, and a gloss black roof, side mirrors, and door handles. All-wheel drive is standard.

Acura has pushed the orange color to the cabin where it appears as color-matched orange stitching for the seats, center console, door panels, steering wheel, and floor mats. The RDX PMC edition features a 10.5-inch color head-up display, 16-way power Sport Seats trimmed in Ebony Milano leather and Ultrasuede, heated steering wheel, and heated outboard rear seats.

Like the NSX, each RDX PMC Edition will be built and handled with care. It starts as a body-in-white shell that arrives at PMC to be finished in its orange paint via a robotic paint system. Multiple base coats enhance the paint's intensity. Next ,a mid-coat of gold and orange mica is applied giving off a pearlescent effect in the sunlight. Finally, four layers of clearcoat are applied to increase the paint's luster and protect the finish. The total time in paint, including curing, is five days.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition www.youtube.com

Post-paint, PMC master technicians begin hand-assembling the two-row SUV starting with the installation of the drivetrains and chassis components, wiring harnesses, and electronics. Then, the wheels and tires are added. The final step in the process is to fit the vehicle with its unique interior including an individually numbered serial plate affixed to the RDX's center console.

Following assembly, the RDX PMC Edition undergoes an identical quality control process as NSX, which includes a full electronic systems line-end test, expert wheel alignment, dyno run, water-leak test and final paint examination. Before exiting PMC, each vehicle is wrapped in a protective film and loaded onto an enclosed, single-car carrier for transport to an Acura dealer.

Acura has introduced a PMC Edition of the TLX and MDX as they have entered the final year of their design phase. Could a refreshed RDX be on the horizon for 2022? All signs point to yes.

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The 2021 Ford F-150 will come in a hybrid variant

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

If Ford is making anything clear these days, it’s that the future all-electric F-150 won’t just just a mundane street car. The future model will be capable of achieving the same feats as the rest of the company’s family of full-size pickup trucks, if not with more gusto than its relatives.

Ford has confirmed that the battery-electric (BEV) F-150 will be on sale in just a few years. To get to that point, there’s a lot of work that isn’t just going into product development, but also into facilities development. Demand for the F-150 BEV is expected to be high and Ford’s Rouge Complex can’t absorb it as the plant stands now.

Ford Rouge Complex The Ford plant in Dearborn will be the home of the F-150 electric truck.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The company will invest $700 million in the Dearborn, Michigan plant to include a new high-tech manufacturing home for the model. The investment will add 300 jobs. This $700 million is on top of the $1.45 billion that Ford is spending to equip its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan to produce the Ranger and Bronco.

"We are proud to once again build and innovate for the future here at the Rouge with the debut of our all-new F-150 and the construction of a modern new manufacturing center to build the first-ever all-electric F-150," said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "This year's COVID-19 crisis made it clear why it is so important for companies like Ford to help keep our U.S. manufacturing base strong and help our country get back to work."

The all-electric Ford F-150 is expected to come to market in mid-2022. The redesigned 2021 F-150 will come to market later this year and include a new hybrid powertrain option dubbed the F-150 PowerBoost.

Recently, the company captured video of the F-1500 BEV testing in the wild.

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