After months of saying only that the upcoming 2016 Shelby GT350’s 5.2 liter flat-plane-crank engine would produce “over 500 horsepower,” Ford today announced the supercar’s official power output.
“Officially, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 will produce over 500 horsepower,” said Ford’s Vice Officer of Ridiculously Powerful Cars, Sheldon Branson “Shel B.” Geeteetreefiddy.
“Because really there’s no point,” Geeteetreefiddy said when asked the obvious question. “A few geekholes are going to actually dyno-test the thing, and they’re all going to come up with slightly different numbers anyway because the outside temperature is to low and the humidity is too high and a squirrel farted on the rollers and they don’t know how to run a dyno and it’s the third Thursday of the fourth month with an R in the name. As for the rest of the buyers, most wouldn’t be able to tell a 400 horsepower car from a 500 horsepower car or a 600 horsepower car or even a seven trillion horsepower car. All they know is that it’s really, really friggin’ fast. So why bother with a number?”
Geeteetreefiddy said that by not certifying a horsepower figure, Ford was able to cut nearly $600 from the Shelby GT350’s development cost.
“That alone will pay for the upcoming Explorer redesign,” he added.
Asked if perhaps Ford did not know the exact power output for the new uber-Mustang, Geeteetreefiddy responded, “What? That’s ridiculous! Of course we – how could you say such a thing? We – yes, we know it, of course we do, I can’t believe you would imply that, um, it’s just that these things are highly technical, you know. Hey, ever see a carbon-fiber hood before it’s been painted?”
Meanwhile, other Ford divisions are considering adapting a similar strategy for model lines. Starting in 2017, for example, Ford plans to say that all of its EcoBoost models are EPA-rated at “over five miles per gallon”.
The diesel community, already reeling from the low 14:1 compression ratio in Mazda’s new Skyactiv-D diesel, were absolutely gob-smacked when Mazda announced that they are developing a new ultra-low compression diesel engine.
The new Skymaster-Z engine uses an 8.5:1 compression ratio, so low that it requires an auxiliary electrical spark system in order to maintain combustion, and requires fuel that is more volatile than standard low-sulfer diesel. Mazda engineers have calibrated the engine to run on ordinary 87-octane gasoline, but this requires retimed single-pulse injectors and a more complicated intake system that premixes the fuel and air in a relatively constant ratio, as opposed to the variable mixture and power-cycle injection used by traditional diesels.
According to Mazda Chief Engineer Ashiro Nakahonda, the Skymister-T engine’s low compression ratio eliminates the need for a turbocharger and allows use of lighter components that can spin faster, raising the redline to 7,000 RPM. The new engine also produces significantly less noise and vibration than a typical diesel and has a markedly different emissions footprint, allowing it to meet 50-state standards with a standard catalytic converter and without the use of an AdBlue-type additive. The trade off is a 75% reduction in torque and higher fuel consumption. The prototype two-liter engine reportedly develops around 140 horsepower but only 135 lb-ft of torque, returning the equivalent of approximately 30 MPG in the EPA city cycle and 40 MPG in the highway cycle when mounted in a C-segment-size car. “While these numbers are not typical of an ordinary turbodiesel engine,” Nakahonda says, “we believe they will be adequate for the American market.”
Diesel nuts who worry about this sort of thing have expressed concern about the lack of upper-cylinder lubrucation due to the engines’ rapid combustion and reduced fuel stratification, but Nakahonda is confident the Skymassive-F engine will achieve a 180,000 mile service life.
Irked at not having anything more technical-sounding to say, Mazda spokesman Jeremiah Burns vamped, “While the Skymatic-P engine does have some trade-offs compared to conventional diesels, we are confident that the lower noise and ease of fuel availability will appeal to American buyers.”
Mazda plans to offer the Skymackerel-Q engine in its popular Mazda3 compact, offsetting its additional cost by making the interior even cheaper and crappier.
Citing consumer reaction to its decision last week to cancel advertising on Facebook and the Super Bowl, General Motors announced that it is going to cease advertising altogether.
“Reaction to our Facebook announcement led to a 1.4% increase in consumer traffic to our web sites, and the news that we were pulling out of the Super Bowl gave us another increase of 2.3%,” said General Motors PR professional Bert Fanktanker, speaking on the condition that we refer to him as Lance Hardmore. “Those two outlets represent approximately 4% of our advertising budget, so we figure if we drop all of our advertising, besides saving a buttload of money, we’ll increase consumer interest by a factor of… um… well, a lot.”
GM plans to rely primarily on word-of-mouth advertising and strong buyer loyalty as exemplified by satisfied Chevrolet customer Fern D. Climptrap, who was brought along to the interview despite our strenuous objections.
“Ain’ no way I’d buy a furrin’ car from one of those pissant little countries we kicked the shit out of back before the god-damned Democrats ruined the god-damned country,” Climptrap said. “God-damned Mexicans.”
Fanktanker Hardmore underscored the effectiveness of this strategy. “We read an article in the Delta in-flight magazine that said that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, and we realized that was true. I mean, Nader wrote that book about the Corvair, what, fifty years ago? People are still talking about that, and it didn’t cost us a dime.”
“God-damned right,” added Climptrap.
General Motors’ global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, was unfazed by the news that he was out of a job.
“I was there for two years,” Ewanick told a woman putting change in the parking meter who he mistook for a reporter but who, it turns out, actually is a reporter for Autoblopnik, so that worked out well for us. “That’s an eternity for me.”
Ewanick would not comment on his immediate post-GM future, but sources close to his cleaning lady say he plans to take over Ford’s European marketing efforts for about twenty minutes before being hired by Mazda and then getting recruited by Toyota later that afternoon.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, interviewed by Autoblopnik in the men’s room near Gate E14 at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, said he supported the move.
“We’re General Motors, for crying out loud. Why the hell do we need to advertise? Anyone who would even consider one of our cars already knows who we are. Shit, my fly’s stuck. I should never have let Karin go to that discount tailor. Don’t print that.”
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