Jay Leno recently visited the Nissan design studio in Japan, where he met with Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura and found designers hard at work styling the next Z. The Z is clearly in the design phase where hundreds of drawings will be made and then final styling elements will be selected. That probably puts the timeframe of the debut out 2-3 years… depending on which platform will be used. If it will again be shared with the upcoming new G, then sooner. Otherwise later.
Looking over all the drawings and video below, and knowing how the process works, we note that the basic proportions are all nearly identical – so it’s clear that the chassis underneath and the resulting hard points have in general been determined. And it’s clear that a return to the proportions and styling cues of the original 240Z is the plan!
Our hope: the proportions of the original Z, and a rear side window that is actually functional. We don’t like sitting inside the “cave” of our current Z, unable to see to the sides or the back.
Now lets look at the concept drawings and videos:
Jay Leno was at the introduction of the Boss 302 a few weeks back and now has the video of his visit with Tom Barnes, Vehicle Engineering Manager for the Mustang. There is only a little bit of new information here, but more importantly we get to hear how the Boss sounds.
“As long as there is an America, there will always be a Mustang” – Jay Leno.
Scandal, drug deals, and international warrants – that’s the down side of John DeLorean. But his car legacy remains: over 9000 built in two years and over 7000 surviving. And now the revived DeLorean Motor Company can rebuild one for you: http://www.delorean.com/
Jay Leno tests one such rebuilt car:
Dodge sponsored a Challenger get-together at the iconic Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank California on the 18th. One attendee was Jay Leno – world’s biggest car fan and nicest guy. See the site: http://www.engineblockparty.com/ Lots of Challengers in attendance, as well as some classic Fords.
Jay Leno is probably the world’s premier Driving Enthusiast. And his latest video shows us why he is - yet again.
Jay starts by telling us that one of his favorite car films of all time is Rendezvous (and we wholeheartedly agree!). The Jay tells us that every city has a race track hidden somewhere inside it’s borders – and in this case it’s a loop of Mulholland Drive, Laurel Canyon, Sunset Blvd, and Coldwater Canyon.
It’s a combination we are very familiar with, having driven the same route in a very nicely buttoned-down G35 just 2 years ago.
Enjoy the video!
And what’s a great movie without a “making of”? Jay delivers again:
And here’s the route:
Nice job of driving – you can tell he knows cars by the way he handles the turns. And the new course record. Note Tim’s comment about doing >190 in a Mustang race car.
Tim is also looking a little… old. And the gut will keep him out of any sequel to Galaxy Quest – he can’t play Kirk if he can’t take his shirt off.
Complete video here (since the embedding feature from NBC.com is inconsistent): http://www.thejaylenoshow.com/video/clips/tim-allen-racing/1164175
As the very first contestant Drew Barrymore has the best score so far. Yes, dumb. Dumb as the test track, which as another blog points looks like something at a kiddy park. Nonetheless, it was interesting because the Focus seems to be quick, and of course it’s completely silent. With a 50/50 weight balance (due to the battery pack in the trunk), it also handles.
Jay made the mistake of saying the car was built in Dearborn, which is not entirely true. The final tuning of it was, bit otherwise it’s a Ford of Europe Focus (a significantly better Focus than the lame one sold in North America) with a prototype battery pack engineered by Ford of Europe. AT the Frankfirst show last week, Ford introduced nearly the same car, minus the ST suspension, to point the way to the future 2011/2012 production car.
The jury is out here at DrivingEnthusiast…
The special one-off electric Ford Focus built for guests to race around Jay Leno’s new test track is a one of a kind car. And not because it’s a preview of the electric Focus Ford will sell here in North America in 2011 – it’s not.
It is a current European-spec Focus converted to full electric power.
It is not the Focus we’ll see here – that Focus will be an updated version with a new body and interior, based on an updated version of this chassis.
It is unique because it’s a sporting Focus with electric power built for handling. With the exception of the Tesla and Fisker, the electric cars we have seen to date are pretty dull – and handling was never part of their intent, much less engineering. This one is differnet – it’s based on the Focus ST suspension, which normally underpins a very highly regarded turbocharged 5-cylinder drivetrain. With off-the-shelf extra-large brakes added from Ford of Europe’s parts bin, plus spome special shock and spring tuning to handle the different weight balance, the electric Focus will be put to work on Jay’s new show highlighting green energy and giving guests a chance to compete for best lap times (or worst!). Drew Barrymore is first in the car tonight.
But we also believe it could be much more than this - it might actually be possible to offer a handling suspension similar to this as an option on the production car. Somewhere there is a Ford Exec who looked at this car and had the same thought. Let’s encourage it. It’s inevitable that sporting electrics will happen as electrics gain ground in market share - but here at DrivingEnthusiast.net we see this type of option as a means of building market share for electrics – for enthusiasts who love driving *and* efficiency and want to combine the two in a way no other current product does.
Meanwhile, the Jay Leno Show tonight is one not-to-be-missed. IT’s been an interesting week watching the show develop –
Ford Press Release follows:
ELECTRIC FORD FOCUS READY TO RACE TONIGHT IN “THE JAY LENO SHOW’S” GREEN CAR CHALLENGE
Background: A battery-electric Ford Focus will appear tonight, Friday, Sept. 18 on “The Jay Leno Show” (NBC, Monday through Friday, 10-11 p.m. ET) in a segment they call “Green Car Challenge.” The battery-electric Ford Focus will be used throughout the first season of the show, driven by celebrity guests who accept the challenge.
SUMMARY / PHOTO CAPTIONS:
- A one-of-a-kind battery-electric Focus will make its television debut tonight on “The Jay Leno Show’s” “Green Car Challenge.” Celebrities who accept the challenge will be at the wheel, driving quickly to establish a fast lap time that future guests will try to beat. The “Green Car Challenge” will be a regular segment on “The Jay Leno Show.”
- The electric Focus to be driven by celebrity guests on “The Jay Leno Show” is one-of-a-kind vehicle, based on the European five-door production Focus ST, modified into a battery electric vehicle (BEV) as part of Ford’s BEV test fleet. The Focus BEV foreshadows many of the same systems that Ford will begin selling to consumers in an all-new electric Ford Focus, scheduled to go on sale in North America in 2011. The new Focus BEV is one of four electrified vehicles Ford is introducing now through 2012 as part of the company’s commitment to deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency with every new vehicle it introduces.
- “The unique Focus BEV for “The Jay Leno Show” started life as a European production Focus ST, built in Germany in July. The car was delivered to Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., where engineers went to work, removing the traditional engine and gas tank and installing an entire electric powertrain
The ultimate tank engine swap?
The Sherman engine in the Mustang might sound better… but here’s a swap that is registered in California and is street legal. Jay Leno built an entire car around an M-47 Patton tank engine:
Of course, Jay being Jay… it wasn’t powerful enough. So it’s off to Banks Engineering for a turbo installation:
Yes, it’s driven regularly. Imagine being at a car show and having this pull up!
This is yet another reason why I can’t stand Letterman: Jay is not only far more funny, he’s the ultimate car nut.