Good Oil: Transformer tool truck the best thing at SEMA
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For every SEMA tuning and customiser show booth dedicated to outrageous engine mods or sportscar sacrilege (whichever way you want to look at it), at least three modifiers are devoted to reimagining the all-American pick-up truck.
Our favourite from the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas a couple of weeks back, has to be this Ford F-250 Super Duty Transformer Work Truck, fabricated by DeBerti Design.
Forget the fact that underneath the bonnet the F-250’s 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 diesel has been dialled up to 900 (as in 900 horsepower).
Forget the after-market twin-turbo performance kit, adjustable Fox Shocks, airbags and swaybars, or those chunky 37-inch BF Goodrich KR2 tyres.
What we want to mention is the practicality.
Rather ingeniously, the rear fenders lift up on custom-built struts to reveal a sort of fishing tackle box on (enormous) wheels. The truck features all manner of hidden tool drawers underneath the fibreglass. Even the rear bumper slides out to reveal a perfectly nestled welding rig.
How cool is that?
You can keep your Fast & Furious wannabe muscle car makeovers and your knife-edge tuned exotics.
This is our idea of custom fun. Now we just need to spend the equivalent of a Ford Ranger Wildtrak kitting it out with tools.
VW adds another name to the wider stable
The announcement last year that Volkswagen AG was to scythe off SEAT’s performance arm, Cupra, and create a standalone sub-brand raised a few eyebrows. After all, just how crowded does Wolfsburg want its car park to be?
The Cupra name goes a long way (mainly in Europe) and carries plenty of cred (again, mainly in Europe). But with such a busy marketplace for fizzed-up performance takes on existing models available from the wider VW gene pool, would Cupra really stand a chance against the well-established R, RS, vRS brigade?
Not that we’ve driven it yet here in New Zealand, but the Cupra Ateca mid-sized SUV looks like a safe bet and will probably be a fun steer. But a dress up is still a dress up. And the fire-breathing Ateca still sticks to a template. Is this all Cupra can offer?
Thankfully, no. In fact, we’ll see a not-available-as-any-other-model Cupra in about 18 months. It’ll be called the Cupra Terramar and, says Volkswagen AG, it will be the first “100 per cent Cupra”.
The Terramar will be one of those coupe-crossover thingies (think BMW X4) and will be powered by the same 221kW four-cylinder turbo as featured under the bonnet of the Cupra Ateca. There are lots of dramatic edges and creases and, in all, can’t be mistaken for a SEAT in wolf’s clothing.
Lambo Urus one-make race series announced
There will soon be a one-make Lamborghini Urus race series.
The Italian manufacturer has announced the new Urus ST-X isn’t a Navara ute as you were thinking but instead a dedicated track-only version of the twin-turbo V8 SUV.
We know what you’re thinking. But before you cry “Do we really need another one-make tarmac race series?” the hook to this championship is that the circuits will be a mix of track and off-road racing.
Okay. Tell us more.
Each four-wheel drive Urus ST-X will develop 477kW peak power and 850Nm of torque. The race edition Uruseseses will be fitted with an FIA-approved roll-cage and fire safety system and have had around 25kg of internal gubbins removed from underneath the sheet metal in order to have them race fit. The first round of the series “proper” is scheduled for late 2019.
That doesn’t sound too bad, especially when you throw in the leveller of dirt track action. While they’re at it, an exciting support race to the support race would be to stage some gravity-defying stadium truck racing with original Lamborghini LM002s.
Now that would be a spectacle. Although we’re presuming the world’s modest supply of LM002s are either a) too priceless or b) too thoroughly unreliable, so that’s not likely.
But just maybe an Urus dressed up in Mad Max battle mode would suffice? It should be more entertaining to watch than yet another straightforward circuit race series for rich dudes.