New Products

New Puma/Pirelli shoe inspired by turbocharged racing engine | Journal

Puma and Pirelli produce new Replicat-X 1.8 shoe | Puma photos

Inspired by a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine that was among the “most iconic” in motorsports history, sports shoe producer Puma and tire supplier Pirelli have launched the Replicat-X 1.8 Pirelli, a sneaker with a quick-lacing system. 

“The Replicat-X 1.8 Pirelli takes on the ferocity and form of a modern supercar, inspired by motorsports heritage, to transform it into the fastest footwear in the entire collection,” the shoe company based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said in its announcement.

If you’re wondering what engine inspired the shoe, so are we. And we asked. Twice, before finally receiving this response: “Without mentioning the specific engine, the Puma Replicat-X 1.8 is inspired by that very number and its significance for motorsports vehicles past and present.”

We suspect that Puma isn’t saying which 1.8-liter turbo inspired the shoe because the engine manufacturer might want a piece of any profits the shoe might produce. 

But back to the shoe itself: To provide “faster acceleration to kick off the day without worrying about tying your shoes,” the Replicat-X 1.8 Pirelli features a quick-lacing system as part of an upper made of perforated mesh vamp with lateral mesh panels for breathability. 

Puma adds that the upper is built up of layering more like that in a boot and which makes the shoe more comfortable. Meanwhile, the body of the shoe features an oversized wraparound full-rubber outsole with Pirelli’s Cinturato Blue tread pattern “to generate maximum traction during wet races. This gives it a distinctive, racing-inspired look.”

The shoe also has a molded sock liner for added comfort.

Puma says the shoe is being offered in retail stores in several color schemes: Black-Luminous Purple-Sunny Lime, White-Peacoat-Limepunch ,and Gray Violet-Sunny Lime-Palace Blue.

According to the Puma U.S. website, the shoes retail for $120 a pair.

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Ford Mustang, Ford Mustang Shelby, gary patterson, New Products, Shelby American, Shelby Mustang, Shelby Signature Series, tom Stahler

825 hp and available manual? Sign us up! Shelby Signature Series | Journal

The all new 825 hp Shelby Signature Mustang

The 2020 model Carroll Shelby Signature Series Ford Mustang will be introduced by Shelby American at the National Automobile Dealer Association Show in Las Vegas on February 14. It is the only sports car in the world available in new car dealer showrooms with a choice of convertible or fastback, automatic or manual transmission, and 825 street-legal horsepower. A total of 50 limited-edition sports cars will be available. Several are already spoken for.

Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American, is quite excited about the new creation, “The limited edition 2020 Carroll Shelby Signature Series Mustang is the ultimate combination of exceptional design and amazing brawn. From its refined, yet functional styling to its poised handling and awesome power, this is the most polished performance car in Shelby American’s history. With its performance capabilities, this Shelby is the automotive equivalent to a champion ultimate fighter who looks as good in a tux as he performs in the ring.”

The Shelby American team spent the past two years carefully engineering and refining the car to create a vehicle worthy of Carroll Shelby’s name. They worked closely with Ford Performance and other partners on the new vehicle.

The Shelby Signature Series Mustang features a Shelby-specific tuned suspension, up to 825 horsepower, high flow exhaust and new brakes. The car’s bodywork may be the element most noticed by enthusiasts.

“The body was widened with high quality aluminum fenders to create a ‘square’ footprint,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American vice president of operations and chief of R&D. “This allows the one-piece forged Monoblock wheels and Ford Performance tuned MagneRide suspension to maximize the incredible power churned out by the supercharged 5.0-liter motor. The metallic ram air hood, front fascia and bodywork were all carefully sculpted to both tame the air and dramatically drop under hood temperatures. The fit and finish are unbelievable, making it as stunning at rest as it is in motion on the road or track.”

The new model will be shown for the first time in the Shelby Tuscany exhibit at NADA from February 14-16. All 50 super cars will be identified by special badging and will be listed in the official Shelby Registry. The cars can be ordered in any standard 2020 Ford Mustang colors.
“There are many aspects to performance, which is why we addressed every aspect of the car,” said Patterson. “We spent enormous energy to maximize speed, reliability and consistency. These enhancements will enable the Signature Series Shelby to perform flawlessly lap after lap and mile after mile.”

The mighty 825 horsepower V8 will begin at $127,795 MSRP, including a well optioned Ford Mustang. The car comes with a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty.

The Carroll Shelby Signature Series Ford Mustang will be available through select Shelby dealers across North America. A limited number will be built by select Shelby mod shops and distributors internationally. Individuals interested in these or any other Shelby vehicle can visit their local dealer or go to Shelby Signature Series Mustang.

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New Products

Aston Martin unveils Vantage Roadster | Journal

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster has MSRP of $161,000 | Aston Martin Lagonda photos

Aston Martin has unveiled its new Vantage Roadster, which it claims is fast on the road as well as dropping its top.

The automaker says the car’s 4.0-liter, 510-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 and 8-speed ZF automatic transmission can propel it to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 190 mph. 

It also says the convertible top can power down in less than 7 seconds, “the fastest for any fully automatic automotive convertible roof.” The top can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 50 k/ph (31 mph), the company added.

Pricing in the American market starts at $161,000 with deliveries beginning in the second quarter of 2020.

The coupe version of the car was unveiled in 2018. “This convertible model amplifies the emotional appeal of a model renowned for delivering a compelling blend of potent performance, outstanding dynamics and everyday usability,” Aston Martin Lagonda said in its announcement.

The company says the convertible adds only 60 kilograms of weight and “shares the Vantage Coupe’s absolute commitment to driving thrills.”

The Roadster offers Sport, Sport+ and Track chassis and powertrain modes, giving the car “a tremendous breadth of ability and feels equally at home on road or race track.”

As part of the automaker’s 70th anniversary celebration, the Roadster or the Coupe can be equipped with an optional “vane” grille rather than the “hunter” grille that has been standard on the Coupe.  Coupe buyers also can opt for a 7-speed manual transmission. 

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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New Products

This Mercedes pops its top | Journal

Mercedes-Benz unveils the Weekender pop-up camper version of its Metris van | Mercedes-Benz photos

There’s a new pop-up camper coming from Germany, but it’s not from Volkswagen. It’s the Mercedes-Benz Weekender that was unveiled this week at the Chicago Auto Show.

“Harkening back to the glory days of camper vans, Mercedes-Benz drew inspiration from illustrious models of the past while integrating the latest sophisticated safety, reliability and convenience features to create a new modern pop top van,” the company said.

The camper is based on the Mercedes Metris van. 

Options include a rear slide-out kitchen and tent

“This adaptable vehicle can be used in myriad ways: traveling across the U.S. on extended road trips, taking the family on summer vacations or spring breaks, quick weekend explorations or having a comfortable place to work or relax after a surf or climbing session. 

“The pop-up camper offers unique flexibility, while the Metris is perfectly suited as a versatile daily driver designed to thrive in major metropolitan areas with a spacious interior and practical dimensions that fit in parking spots, garages and driveways in any city.”

“Pop-up campers are iconic and highly functional vehicles, “  said Robert Veit, managing director of Mercedes-Benz USA Vans. “We have known for a long time that this market need was unmet as evidenced by the high demand for aging existing camper vans still on the road. With the help of our partners, Peace Vans and Driverge, we have utilized the Metris to create a product suited to those who seek adventure, but also need a versatile and comfortable vehicle for their day-to-day lives.”

The Weekender features a pop-up roof with elevated sleeping (and USB ports) for 2 people, a rear bench seat that opens into another bed for 2 people, swiveling front seats to enhance passenger conversation when parked, a second battery to power various electric devices or to provide lighting at a campsite.

The first 100 customers for the new camper also get a free National Parks Pass, Mercedes said.

Optional equipment includes integrated solar panels, an 8-foot awning, bus screens, a tent that attaches to the rear lift gate for additional space, a pull-out rear kitchen, roof racks, and a selection of vehicle wraps for personalization.

The conversions are done by Driverge Vehicle Innovations, a Mercedes upfitter, and Seattle-based Peace Vans. Mercedes said more information on the pop-up camper will be available at the Mercedes vans website.

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