McLaren Artura, Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E EPA range: Today’s Car News

McLaren has confirmed that its next supercar will be called an Artura, and we have spy shots of a prototype. Due in the first half of 2021, the Artura will sit between the GT and 720S in McLaren’s model hierarchy.

Audi is developing a new compact SUV with battery-electric power to be called a Q4 E-Tron, and a coupe-like version to be called a Q4 Sportback E-Tron is also coming.

Ford promised that its Mustang Mach-E would offer up to 300 miles of range, and now the EPA’s range estimates confirm it. The 300-mile figure is when the battery-electric SUV is equipped with an 88-kilowatt-hour battery rear-wheel drive. Add all-wheel drive and the figure drops to 270 miles.

You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.

McLaren Artura spy shots: Hybrid supercar coming soon

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron spy shots: Audi readies 2nd coupe-like electric crossover

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E gets up to 300 miles of EPA range

Volkswagen to pass on Passat, cease production of sedan by 2023

2023 BMW X5 spy shots: Mild facelift pegged for popular SUV

GM switches allegiances, halts challenge of California clean-air standards

Cadillac to dealers: Spend $200,000 to upgrade for electric future or move on

GM to recall nearly 6M trucks and SUVs with Takata airbags despite disagreement with the NHTSA

Jay Leno’s Porsche Carrera GT wasn’t the most reliable car

Nissan and Detroit startup Hercules may pair up for electric truck, according to report

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TUNED VOLVO 850 R: BRICK TEASE

Uninformed passers-by may dismiss Scott Irving’s mid-nineties Volvo estate as a pensioner’s garden centre runabout. But this gross error works in Scott’s favour when his bagged bruiser leaves them for dead at the lights…

Feature taken from Fast Car magazine. Words Daniel Bevis Photos Matt Clifford

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

The British Touring Car Championship has a lot to answer for. There’s a generation of old-school petrolheads out there who are desperate to live out their dreams of BTCC glory by buying a Sierra RS Cosworth or E30 M3 in order to relive the halcyon days of the 1980s. For us, the really exciting time was the Supertouring era of the 1990s.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

Manufacturers’ works teams were pouring astonishing budgets into developing remarkable race cars, things that looked like stickered-up examples of road-going saloons dumped on huge multi-spoke wheels. The technology inside these racers was unprecedented and scary, forever altering the perceptions of cars like the Ford Mondeo, Renault Laguna, Peugeot 406 and Vauxhall Vectra in the eyes of everyday consumers. And perhaps the coolest moment of all came in 1994 when Volvo teamed up with TWR to launch a racing version of the 850 estate. With Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers at the wheel, these deliberately bizarre Touring Cars may not have troubled the podiums too much, but they became (and remain) many people’s favourite cars of the Super Touring oeuvre.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

There’s a particular image that sticks in the mind for the die-hard fans and it’s what you see if you stick ‘BTCC Volvo 850’ into Google Images – the amusingly frisky sight of seeing a fully liveried, decked and caged 850 wagon bouncing over the kerbs with two wheels in the air. This is where they looked absolutely the coolest, no-f**ks-given at maximum attack. And it’s this image which particularly struck a chord with retro brick enthusiast Scott Irving.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

“I’d been through a few years of driving pretty tragic and forgettable second-hand Vauxhall Corsas,” he recalls. “And I knew I needed to get myself something totally different and a bit leftfield. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for estate cars, and given the obvious cool factor from the ’90s Touring Cars, the 850 was for me the stand-out car of the time – especially when slammed to the deck and hopping over kerbs on two wheels!”

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

That said, he wasn’t planning on building a full road-going replica resplendent in blue-and-white Securicor Omega livery. No, for starters he was happy enough to position himself, at the age of 21, in a bone-stock 850 R. And if you’re not familiar with exactly what that is, allow us to fill you in on the back-story: the genesis of it all was the 850 T-5, when Volvo decided to jazz up the perceived sensibleness of their battleship-like compact-executive by shoehorning in a transverse 5-cylinder engine, a turbocharged 10-valve 2.3-litre serving up 222bhp. This really made the best of the car’s clever chassis, with its delta-link semi-independent suspension and passive rear-steer, and in 1995 the model naturally evolved into the 20-valve T-5R. This had a different ECU and a bit more boost, adding up to 243bhp and 150mph+ thrust.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

Porsche was involved in the engine tuning and transmission setup (as well as the seat design!), and these fully-loaded boost buses were proper stealthwagons. In early 1996, the T-5R was replaced by the 850 R, which had redesigned spoilers, sportier bucket seats, a really powerful stereo, and the much-celebrated M59 manual transmission option. This last item was seriously hardcore and came complete with a viscous LSD, and the 850 R also got a bigger TD04HL-16T turbo on a reworked manifold, larger intercooler, and a bespoke Motronic ECU. The upshot of all this was 250bhp, which is more than enough to surprise people at the lights.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

So this is a car you need to know about, particularly given there’s only about 150 examples of the 850 R left on the road in the UK (and about half of those are the less powerful automatic-transmission versions). “That first 850 R I bought didn’t last too long, as it suffered from colossal rust issues, so it was broken and scrapped – much to my disappointment,” Scott recalls. “But then I saw this one for sale all the way down in Kent. Its registration number was only two digits different to my old 850, so I took it as a sign! I caught the train from Carlisle to go and view it, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to resist buying it.”

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

There was no need for a return ticket, as fate already had this playbook marked. The car was advertised as being ‘immaculate’, which obviously always means ‘needs a bit of work’, and Scott found there was some rot in the tailgate, a whole bunch of dents and dings, some fading exterior plastics… but none of this was enough to put him off. He had plans, and he knew what he was looking at. “It was showing 152k miles on the clock, so I wasn’t expecting a show car,” he reasons. “Still, that number’s kinda low for these cars…”

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

It’s true that these warships are fairly bulletproof and will happily sail on into stratospheric miles, and Scott was more than happy to sign on the dotted line and cruise all the way back home in supreme comfort. And it wasn’t long before the mods began in earnest: “It all started with some suggestions by my good friend Grant Gilliland to use bags, as he had recently bagged his Mk6 GTI,” he recalls. “So that was decision made, and I used an Only Charged Dubs setup, made up of Air Lift Performance hardware with BC shocks and 3P management.”

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

The next step was to carry out a full glass-out respray in the Volvo’s original shade of red, Scott having dismantled the car himself at his local bodyshop. While he was building it back up again afterwards, he took the opportunity to replace as many parts and trim pieces as possible with new-old-stock items helpfully sourced by Neil at the nearby Lloyd’s Volvo dealership. A set of USDM indicators found their way in too, along with a black egg-crate grille, and the rear wiper was deleted to tidy up the tail.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

The real big-ticket item in the makeover, and by far Scott’s favourite part of the build, is the wheel choice. Now, you may be familiar with the fact that certain Volvos share a PCD with certain Ferraris, and what you’re looking at here is a set of rims pinched from an F355. But they’re not just any old mainstream Ferrari wheels. No, these are super-rare two-piece forged magnesium BBS GT2s, face-mounted and super-aggressive. If there’s any way to entertainingly dissipate the sleeper vibe of an 850 R, it’s to bolt on the rollers from a Ferrari race car, and we love the chutzpah of it. It’s just so naughty.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

“People’s reactions to the car can be pretty funny,” Scott assures us, “and it’s almost always positive. The 850 R is so rare in the UK that you hardly ever see them anyway, so seeing a bagged one kinda blows people’s minds – if they even know what it is!”

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

So consider this lesson learned: the uninitiated may sideline this car as simply a tidy old Volvo estate, but there’s a hell of a lot going on here. Big turbo power, ultra-modern chassis tweaks, race car rims, and all underpinned by BTCC dreams… this is one red brick institution that’s keen to move with the times.

TUNED VOLVO 850 R

TECH SPEC: VOLVO 850 R

Styling
Full glass-out respray in original Volvo 609 Red; USDM indicators; black egg-crate grille; rear wiper delete

Tuning
B5234T4 2.3-litre 5-cylinder 20-valve turbo; 3in OBX downpipe and exhaust system; OEM TD04HL-16T turbo;
alloy radiator and alloy intercooler with Do88 RIP hoses;
M59 manual transmission

Chassis
8.5x18in forged magnesium 2-piece face-mounted BBS
GT2 wheels (from Ferrari F355); 215/35 Maxxis tyres;
Air Lift Performance suspension on BC struts with 3P management; Brembo 4-pot front callipers (from Porsche 993 Turbo); Brembo 4-pot rear callipers (from Volvo S60 R); 330mm S60 R discs all round

Interior
R-spec leather/Alcantara interior with dark wood dash; wheel retrimmed in Alcantara by Royal Steering Wheels

Thanks
Thanks to Scott Thompson for painting the wheels at such short notice; Yvonne Pascoe at AI Engineering; Phil Morton, Graham and Gary at Annan Town Garage; and most of all Grant Gilliland for being my top fan

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2020 Chevy Corvette convertible, 2021 Honda Legend, Mercedes R-Class redux: Car News Headlines

Chevrolet hit a home run with its C8 Corvette and the car’s convertible option is just the icing on the cake. The Corvette convertible has gone down the proper supercar route of using a retractable hardtop that folds neatly below a tonneau cover.

Honda will soon unveil a Legend sedan boasting a Level 3 self-driving system. The car is an updated version of the soon-to-be-discontinued Acura RLX, and we’ve just spotted a prototype.

Remember the Mercedes-Benz R-Class? Well, the nameplate might make a comeback as Mercedes is reportedly looking at adding an electric minivan to its lineup. There’s also talk of AMG version coming.

You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.

First drive review: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible is a Ferrari for everyone else

2021 Honda Legend spy shots: New Legend due next spring but not in US

Mercedes-Benz R-Class to return as EV?

2021 Kia Sorento SUV gets big price increase on base model only

GM introduces V2X technology in China

Ford Mustang Mach-E vs. Chevy Bolt EV: One of these is much cheaper with incentives

Deep dive: Sean’s RB26-powered Ford Mustang from “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”

2021 Audi A6 Allroad vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain: Compare Wagons

McLaren Artura: New name confirmed for V-6 hybrid supercar

Karma sues EV startup Lordstown, claims it stole infotainment tech

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