They don’t half love a Beemer in the States. We’re told it’s actually their most popular European marque, and that certainly reflects in the amount of them on display at last year’s SEMA.

The list of BMW tuning parts at the show was long and distinguished too, but one that immediately caught our eye is this high-flow N55 manifold from BKC Motorsport. We definitely need more of this stuff here on our shores.

Designed to free up restrictions caused by the stock item, this puppy also uses a ‘top-side’ injector mounting position, both to give the optimum fuel path into the inlet ports, and to generally look all-round awesome with the matching fuel rail. A proper bit of kit.


For more info see BKC Motorsport


Panasonic looks beyond Tesla, signs Toyota partnership on electric car battery venture in 2020

Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic are combining resources in a joint venture to produce electric vehicle batteries that will begin in 2020, according to a report published by Nikkei Asian Review. To compete with Chinese players rapidly growing into the EV arena, five Panasonic battery manufacturing facilities in Japan and China will be made part of the new partnership to boost their production to reach 50 times the current capacity. The pooling of resources could provide both companies with much-needed network resources to increase their EV market presence.

The two Japanese manufacturing giants already have experience in collaboration with one another – Primearth EV Energy is their venture producing batteries for Toyota and Honda hybrid vehicles. This new collaboration will first aim to ramp up production and triple Toyota’s annual EV sales to 5.5 million by 2030, but it will also work to develop next-generation high-capacity solid-state lithium batteries, a goal needing plenty of capital and access to top talent. The company’s electric vehicle partner Mazda Motor and subsidiaries Daihatsu Motor and Subaru may be initial recipients of the newly produced batteries, with Panasonic-supplied Honda Motor on the wish list for product adoption.

A partnership deal between Panasonic and Toyota was first reached in 2017. An official announcement may take place later this week according to Nikkei’s source.

Panasonic establishes a global battery cell production facility in 2017 at Dalian, China for electric vehicles

As of 2017, about 60% of world’s lithium-ion batteries are made in China, and the government there is taking aggressive steps to expand on that number. Tesla’s red carpet treatment with its Gigafactory 3 is a testament to this, with limited land bids in their favor and even “green card” residency being offered to CEO Elon Musk. Toyota has not kept up with its Chinese and Volkswagen EV rivals in the market, thus a partnership enabling a widened resource network and customer reach opportunities seems to be part of a competitive strategy. The carmaker will reportedly own 51 percent in the new venture with Panasonic.

In addition to a quickly expanding presence in China, adding to Toyota’s EV woes in the country, Tesla has its own partnership history with both of the venturing companies in the battery and electric vehicle manufacturing arena. In 2010, Toyota purchased $50 million of Tesla stock as part of a vehicle-cooperation agreement which also included the development of a version of the Japanese automaker’s RAV4 model with a Tesla electric powertrain. Company culture clashes first sunk that part of the deal in 2014, and the full relationship drifted apart and ended in 2017 as a result of Tesla’s eventual emergence as a full-fledged Toyota competitor in the green car market, while the Japanese automaker focused on hydrogen cars.

Panasonic, on the other hand, continues to have a battery production agreement with Tesla, and may even be intending to double down on that partnership by bringing operations to a US-based location this year. Some US production – Model 3 2170 cells – is already done inside Gigafactory 1 by Panasonic, but the Model S and Model X cells are still made in the company’s Japanese factories. According to the Nikkei report, the new joint venture between the Japanese manufacturers will not include any of Panasonic’s Tesla cell producing factories.

Panasonic looks beyond Tesla, signs Toyota partnership on electric car battery venture in 2020


2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition with famous Gulf livery sells for $2.5M

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A 2019 Ford GT was just sold for a staggering $2.5 million in a charity auction.

The particular car is one of the Heritage Editions, which for 2019—and 2020—wears the iconic Gulf Oil livery. The same livery featured on the GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 and 1969.

The 2019 GT Heritage Edition was sold on Saturday at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It bears the VIN ending in 001 for the GT’s 2019 model year, and was donated by Ford.

2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition

2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition

The final bidder was none other than Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and a frequent buyer of charity vehicles. All proceeds from the sale will go to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan charity.

Production of 2019 GTs is already underway. The starting price has been increased from $450,000 to just under $500,000, and available is a new Carbon Series model. It’s just like the GT’s previous Competition Series but adds back some niceties such as a radio and air conditioning. Powering the GT is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 good for he 647 horsepower.

Ford also offered the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 with VIN ending in 001 for charity, with the rights to the car’s build slot sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction on Friday for $1.1 million.