Concept Cars

Maserati MC20 super sports car prototype to pay homage to Sir Stirling Moss

Maserati found a lot of success with Sir Stirling Moss behind the wheel of their cars.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Sir Stirling Moss, a British Formula One race car driver, won two out of every five races he entered throughout his career, but never won a World Championship, passed away one month ago at the age of 90. Maserati has announced that a prototype of its new MC20 super sports car will pay homage to the gentleman racer.

Moss's history with the brand goes back to the mid-1950s. He raced his first Maserati, a 250F, in 1954 at the urging of Mercedes-Benz racing boss Alfred Neubauer. His first Formula One victory came that year at the Oulton Park International Gold Cup in Cheshire, England while piloting the car.

Maserati MC20 Stirling Moss tribute prototype concept car The car will still have some camouflage.Photo courtesy of Maserati

In 1956 he won the Monaco F1 Grand Prix behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F after leading the race from the first to the last lap. Another Maserati captured third that day, driven by Frenchman Jean Behra.

Moss continued driving that car for the 1957 season ("his favorite", as he often recalled) and was beaten only by Juan Manuel Fangio for the F1 driver's championship. Fangio was also behind the wheel of a 250F.

The list of Maserati cars driven by the British driver also includes the Tipo 60 Birdcage, Tipo 61, and 300 S.

The MC20's design will be reminiscent of the Maserati Eldoardo, the single-seater that was driven in Monza in its 1958 debut by Moss. That design is distinctive because it was the first time a non-racing brand had been featured on a race car. The Eldorado Ice Cream Company ushered in a new era of sponsorship that lasts to this day with its company colors replacing the ones assigned by the governing body of racing, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

Maserati MC20 Stirling Moss tribute prototype concept car Maserati has a long heritage of Formula 1 success.Photo courtesy of Maserati

The MC20 is an important prototype for the Italian automaker because it will be the first car to adopt an engine designed, developed, and produced by Maserati. The brand typically relies on another Italian company, Ferrari, to supply power plants for its vehicles.

It's a step forward for the brand, which has languished without much innovation for the better part of a decade under the FCA umbrella. Maserati has announced that all their new models will be electrified, adopting either hybrid or battery electric power. This begins with the redesigned Maserati Ghibli, which is set to debut this year.

Maserati MC20 Stirling Moss tribute prototype concept car The car wears Moss's name on its rear.Photo courtesy of Maserati

The company is also committing to the vehicles being 100 percent developed, engineered, and built in Italy. This is an especially important commitment as Maserati's parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is in the process of merging with PSA Group.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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