Car Collection

Check out the supercars inside Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander's garage

Huston Astros pitching ace Justin Verlander has an impressive car collection.

Photo by Getty Images

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has a thing for baseball, Kate Upton, his daughter, and cars. A quick scroll through his Instagram feed shows pictures of little else. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Among his collection, past and present, is a Ford GT, a replica of the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Eleanor, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, Ferrari California, Ferrari 458 Italia, a Maserati Gran Turismo, a Mercedes-Benz SL55, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Audi R8, BMW M760i, and an Aston Martin DBS.

In January, Verlander told MLive.com, "I always envisioned having a collection if I made it and got to that point," Verlander said. "It was always a dream of mine. And I would say I have a pretty decent collection now."

Second-Generation Ford GT

Verlander's Ford GT is one of one, a custom-made creation with lightning fast speed, planted performance, and sleek lines. The model debuted in 2016 and deliveries began in 2017. The Ford GT is powered by a EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that employs 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque to get its 3,300-ish pound body moving.

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Eleanor

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🖤😈🖤
A post shared by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on Jan 28, 2019 at 3:07pm PST

The Eleanor Mustang, as its affectionately called, is the car Nicolas Cage drove in "Gone in 60 Seconds." The production company built 11 of them for the movie but only three were used in driving scenes. Those three are the only fully functioning models.

Verlander got his with help from Fusion Motor Company about 19 months ago. The replica of a Mustang Eleanor has a starting price of $189,000 and tops out near $285,000. The car is officially licensed by Ford Motor Company and models are still available for purchase.

Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

Verlander clearly has a penchant for powerful cars and the Lamborghini in his collection is no exception. Powered by a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine the open-top model has typically beefy Lambo lines and an aerospace-inspired interior.

Ferrari California T

There have been two generations of the Ferrari California with the second (2015-2018) being the sexier and more desirable. The second-gen is powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that gets 553 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque. It's only 60 percent as heavy as the Ford GT, with nearly as much oomph. According to Verlander, his wife chose the specs on this one.

Ferrari 458 GTB

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#sundayfunday #sundaydrive #ferrari
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The smile on the Ferrari 458 Italia is like that on the Cheshire Cat. Its soft and subtle supercar lines are of a bygone design area despite the fact that the car was produced starting in 2011 and running through 2016. The predecessor to the Ferrari 488 was available new in a traditional format or in several special editions. Power comes from its 4.5-liter V8, which achieves 562 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque.

Ferrari 488 Pista

About a year ago, Verlander teased a Ferrari 488 Pista he touted as being on order. The model features the most powerful Ferrari V8 ever made, which gets it from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. It has Formula 1-inspired ducts and a massive rear spoiler. Certain components are made of carbon fiber including the engine cover, bumper, and rear spoiler.

Astin Martin DBS

The Aston Marketing DBS was made through 2012. It came standard with a V12 engine that was paired with either a standard six-speed manual or an available six-speed automatic transmission. The only 3,400 units of the 510-horsepower model were built.

Audi R8

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Game day! Which one?? #488 #r8
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Sold starting in 2006, the Audi R8 is a coupe that sports the automaker's permanent all-wheel drive system. It was originally based on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform. When it was new, the R8 was the first production car with full-LED headlights, something that is commonly available on most mass market models today.

BMW M760i

This luxury large sedan is massive in its size and power. Up until 2019, it was one of the few remaining models that housed a V12 engine under its hood. The car is mostly steel but there are key aluminum elements like the hood, trunk, and door skins. With the V12 it can hit 601 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is here.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

After years of development, test mules, and spy shots, Ford has finally pulled the wraps off its long-awaited Mach E all-electric crossover. Set to go on sale in late 2020 and early 2021, the Mach-E made its debut in Los Angeles just days before the 2019 L.A. Auto Show. Here's a quick look at everything you need to know.

There will be five variants (and lots of numbers).

Select: Available in early 2021, this base model will start at $43,895 (all prices exclude $1,100 destination and any state or federal tax incentives). The Select will come with rear-wheel-drive and 230 miles of range, while the AWD will have 210 miles of range. Both versions will have 255 horsepower; RWD will have 306 pound-feet of torque and AWD will have 417 pound-feet of torque. It's worth noting that this is the only Mach E variant that will not allow for 150kW DC fast-charging so beware if fast-charging is your jam.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The rear of the Mustang Mach-E has some of the design hallmarks of the Mustang coupe.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Premium: This second-tier version will be available in late 2020 and will start at $50,600. It will come in standard range or extended range as well as RWD or AWD. Standard range will have 230 miles of range in RWD guise; 210 miles in AWD. Extended range will have 300 miles of range in RWD, 270 miles in AWD. Standard-range models will have 255 horsepower, extended-range RWD will have 282 horsepower and extended-range AWD will have 332 horsepower.

California Route 1: This trim level is essentially the Premium Extended Range RWD plus some added options, so its number line up: 300 miles of range and 282 pound-feet of torque. It will start at $52,400 when it goes on sale in early 2021.

First Edition: This limited-edition model starts at $59,900 and will be available in late 2020 (order soon). It features similar specs as the Premium Extended Range AWD: 270 miles of range and 332 horsepower. It also adds a variety of interior and exterior trim upgrades and limited availability to the mix.

GT: It's the big daddy of the Mustang coupe lineup (excluding Shelby versions) so it's the big daddy here. For $60,500 buyers get AWD, 235 miles of range and a healthy 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque, good for 0-60 runs in the mid-three-second range. This version adds the requisite 20-inch forged wheels, Brembo brakes, an adaptive Magnaride suspension, and exterior trim upgrades.

Gobs of tech will be standard.

This includes a 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system (ala Tesla) that will run Ford's Next-Generation Sync operating system and will feature over-the-air updates (also ala Tesla). Drivers will have the option of using their smartphone as a key; the Mach E will detect phones paired via its bluetooth system and unlock and adjust settings to that driver's preference.

The Mach E Premium and GT models also come pre-hardwired with a driver-monitoring system, which Ford will activate at a later date to provide a hands-free driving system. The system uses an infrared camera mounted on top of the steering column to watch the driver's attentiveness.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The interior is sparse in design but full of high-tech features.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Three drive modes are included.

Here's another Tesla-inspired feature: three drive modes that alter the nature of the Mach E's performance. 'Whisper,' 'Engage' and 'Unbridled' will each allow increasingly aggressive performance and handling features. Not unlike Tesla's well-documented Ludicrous mode. Fun fact: the 'Unbridled' mode in the Mach E was originally to be called 'Stampede' and one of the test-mules we rode in on a media briefing in LA last week still had this setting name. Within each drive mode, numerous elements of the Mach E will be configurable, including regen levels for one-foot driving, if drivers so choose.

Yes, there's a Frunk.

Would it be an EV without one? But Ford says theirs is better since it has a drain plug at the bottom; apparently owners of other EVs told Ford researchers that they often found themselves wanting this.

Room for everyone.

The Mach E seats five adults comfortably, with plenty of legroom and headroom for the six-footers out there (we know since we've sat inside). This, despite the sloping, coupe-like profile of the crossover. Most models also come with a fixed panoramic glass roof that does wonders for opening up the cabin.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

There are no coincidences in the automotive world, so it was no surprise that I found myself riding shotgun in a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle prototype in front of SpaceX and Tesla's offices in Los Angeles. Ford's all-electric crossover is their most ambitious electric vehicle project to date. With styling, range, and debut location, they proved that they are targeting Tesla and their customers.

The Mustang Mach-E is, according to Ford, 100-percent Mustang. For those who are used to seeing the Mustang as a sports coupe with rear-wheel drive, an electric crossover with available all-wheel drive bearing the Mustang name might be eyebrow raising.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mustang Mach-E has many exterior design attributes usually reserved for the Mustang coupe.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

That skepticism is one of the many reasons why, during a secret reveal ahead of the global debut, Ford shuttled me around Hawthorne, California in one of the Mustang Mach-E prototypes. The company was out to prove to me that they built a vehicle worthy of the Mustang name.

The model Ford put me in was the Mustang Mach-E Premium all-wheel drive, extended range model. That EV runs to 60 mph from a standstill in a hair over 5 seconds. Because electric motors make torque immediately, the car pushes the driver and passengers relentlessly back in their seat as they make that run. The torque makes the car feel faster than it is.

For folks who want to go faster, the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance trim should do that same run in around 3 seconds. When the GT Performance goes on sale in early 2021 (late 2020 for the other models), the quickest accelerating Mustang you'll be able to buy will likely be electric.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E interior seats cabin The cabin of the new model is spacious.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

On a route around Hawthorne, I was able to experience the car's on-road manners. Even though it was an early prototype, the cabin was quiet. That's in part due to the lack of a motor but also because of the car's three performance modes for the Mach-E – Whisper, Engaged and Unbridled. In Unbridled mode, which is what I experienced, the car allows computer-generated internal combustion engine-like sounds to flow into the cabin when accelerating hard.

Unlike the Jaguar I-Pace's piped-in growl, the Mach-E's sounds natural for a performance car. It doesn't exactly sound like a gasoline-powered car, but it adds a soundtrack to the spirited drive that this author doesn't find obtrusive. In Whisper mode, the car is relatively silent.

Cornering, at least from the passenger seat, felt relatively flat. The low center of gravity of the battery pack helps a ton. Right now, there is no adjustable suspension system, like MagneRide, that is available on other Mustang models.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E infotainment screen steering wheel dashboard Ford has simplified the interior of the car in a very Tesla-esque fashion.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mustang Mach-E takes many interior cues from Tesla design though many elements are unmistakably from the Ford team. There is a large, center-mounted screen that handles most of the controls of the infotainment system and vehicle functionality. Interestingly, while the center screen handles most of it, there still is an instrument cluster to provide vitals – something Tesla has done away with.

Display vehicles had gobs of space inside, including numerous of storage cubbies for nearly everything. Fit and finish were solid for vehicles this far along in the process and it felt more Tesla Model 3 inside than Mustang.

The new infotainment system supports routing based on how long you'll sit at a charger and which chargers you need to stop at – basically what a Tesla does. Another first for Ford is support for both wireless Apple Car Play and wireless Android Auto.

Additionally, the Mustang Mach-E has truly hands-off Level 2 semi-autonomous driving. It'll be an over-the-air update after launch for customers, but there are cameras in the car that watch the driver to make sure they are paying attention. If they are, and the roads are digitally mapped, the Mach-E will handle most of the driving duties for the driver. The system is very similar to how Cadillac's Super Cruise technology works and is not hands-off.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E rear seat back sunroof moonroof panoramic vegan leather The rear seats of the Mustang Mach-E offer more legroom than what you'll find in the Jaguar I-Pace.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It's difficult to determine how good a car is going to be based on a ten-minute ride in the passenger seat. However, it is obvious even after that little time that Ford checked all the right boxes during the development of their new EV. This is likely the first viable mainstream competitor to Tesla, and Tesla should consider themselves put on notice.

In short, the Mustang Mach-E should have performance similar to the Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla Model 3, but with more rear seat headroom than the I-Pace, and better reliability. It looks far more attractive than the Nissan Leaf or anything the Korean automakers are doing, and since it'll be available in all 50 states, you'll be able to purchase and repair it in a town near you, just like what you could do with an F-150.