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2021 Acura TLX Type S to make public debut as pace car

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No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi at the 2021 24 Hours of Daytona

Acura’s redesigned 2021 TLX has been out for a while but the version performance fans are waiting for, the TLX Type S, is yet to land in showrooms.

It arrives in late May but the public will get to see the car for the first time during the Mid-Ohio round of the 2021 WeatherTech Sports Car Championship on this weekend in Lexington, Ohio. This year’s race is officially known as the Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S.

The TLX Type S will serve as the official pace car throughout the weekend, and will be decked out in the Tiger Eye Pearl gold paint finish exclusive to the performance sedan.

There will be Acuras competing on the track as well. ARX-05 prototype racers will be competing in the DPi class and NSX GT3 Evos will be in the GTD class.

No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi at the 2021 24 Hours of Daytona

Acura has already seen a lot of success in this year’s WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season. Recall, the Wayne Taylor Racing No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 scored an outright win at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

And last season Acura took home the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Drivers’, Manufacturers’ and Teams’ titles in both the DPi and GTD classes.

While not as fast as Acura’s race cars, the TLX Type S should still be plenty quick thanks to a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 coupled with sport-tuned suspension and powerful Brembo brakes. Peak output of 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque will ensure the car is the quickest Type S to date.

Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch but Acura said to expect a starting figure in the low $50,000 bracket.

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Autos

Henry Ford II’s 1966 Ford Mustang GT K-Code convertible heads to auction

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Henry Ford II's 1966 Ford Mustang GT K-Code convertible (Photo by Barrett-Jackson)

A 1966 Ford Mustang K-Code convertible owned by Henry Ford II is heading to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas scheduled for June-17-19.

The K-Code was one of the earliest performance variants of the Mustang. It featured a sportier version of the available 289-cubic-inch V-8, boasting a 10.5:1 compression ratio, a solid-lifter camshaft, a 4-barrel carburetor, heavy-duty valve springs, and a high-flow exhaust manifold.

The result was 271 hp, according to the listing, which is routed to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission and 3.89:1 rear-end gearing.

Known as the “Deuce,” Henry Ford II was the son of Edsel Ford, and grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford. After his father’s death, Henry II took over the company and emphasized motorsports as a marketing tool. When his offer to buy Ferrari was turned down, he famously launched the GT40 program that led to four consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans wins.

The car comes with documentation from Jean-Jacques Browaeys, Ford France director of communication, dated Jan. 3, 1991, confirming the Mustang was “commissioned by Ford for Henry Ford II during his stays in France,” according to the listing.

Henry Ford II’s 1966 Ford Mustang GT K-Code convertible (Photo by Barrett-Jackson)

The Mustang wears Raven Black paint (a special finish from Ford’s styling department, per the listing), with a white leather convertible top and tan leather interior. These colors weren’t available on the regular-production Mustang, according to the listing.

Other unusual features include bucket seats that would later be used in the 1967 Mercury Cougar, and door-panel trim that would wind up in the 1968 Cougar. An “HFII” logo is displayed throughout the interior as well.

The Deuce’s Mustang also has the GT Equipment Group, including an AM/8-track stereo, power steering, power front disc brakes, a power convertible top, grille-mounted fog lights, dual exhaust, model-specific wheels, and a quicker steering ratio, per the listing.

The car spent most of its life in France, where it was shown at Mustang events, the listing says. Interestingly, Henry Ford II also owned a 1952 Ferrari Barchetta, which is now in the collection of Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum.

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Lordstown Motors loses CEO and CFO days after warning of cash crunch

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Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns in assembly plant

Lordstown Motors on Monday announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez have left the company.

The electric-vehicle startup said it is on the lookout for replacements but in the meantime has appointed independent director Angela Strand as executive chairman to lead the company during the search for a new CEO, and Becky Roof as interim CFO. Lordstown President Rich Schmidt will continue to oversee all day-to-day operations, the company said.

It’s now been a year since Lordstown unveiled its Endurance battery-electric pickup truck, and the new announcement comes after the company’s warning last week that it is unlikely to start production without fresh investment.

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns in assembly plant

Lordstown, which only last October went public via a SPAC deal, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it doesn’t have the cash to start production of the Endurance and has warned that it might not be able to stay in business over the next 12 months. According to the filing, Lordstown had $259.7 million in cash as of March 31 and had posted a loss of $125.2 million in the three months prior to the date.

Lordstown also said in the filing that it still needs to complete development of its pickup, including obtaining regulatory approval. The company’s last update on production pointed to a start date of late September. Lordstown plans to build the Endurance at a former General Motors plant located in Ohio, which it acquired in 2019.

At the time of writing, Lordstown’s shares, which trade on the Nasdaq, dived 16% to $9.60. That’s down from the high the shares hit last September.

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

The latest news comes after famous short seller Hindenburg Research in March issued warnings about the credibility of claimed pre-orders for the Endurance pickup. This is the same company that made warnings about rival EV startup Nikola last year, leading to Trevor Milton, Nikola’s founder and chairman at the time, stepping down.

In a response issued on Monday, Lordstown conceded that its statement that its pre-orders were from, or “primarily” from, commercial fleets, was inaccurate, and that some commitments appear too vague to be counted as pre-orders.

Should Lordstown manage to get the Endurance into production, the company will be faced with more hurdles. Ford has just unveiled an electric version of its top-selling F-150 pickup that is priced from a very reasonable $39,974, or roughly $12,500 less than what Lordstown said it will charge for its own pickup. Chevrolet is also close to unveiling an electric version of its top-selling Silverado, and then there’s the other electric pickups like the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T to compete with.

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The “Fast and Furious” saga will end in 2024 after 11 movies

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“F9” movie poster

The “Fast and Furious” saga will finally end with the 11th movie in the franchise, Vin Diesel said in a recent interview with ET. He told the Associated Press that the final two movies could be released in 2023 and 2024.

“Every story deserves its ending,” Diesel said in the video interview (embedded above). While this will be the end of the main storyline, Diesel said it won’t be the end of the “Fast universe,” potentially keeping the door open for spinoffs like 2019’s “Hobbs and Shaw.”

The main “Fast” saga will wrap up over two movies, parts 10 and 11 in the franchise, Diesel said. Justin Lin, who directed parts three through six, as well as the upcoming “F9,” said in the same video segment that he would return to direct the final two films.

“F9” movie poster

“Nine is kind of the first film of the final chapter,” Lin said. “We’re kind of reconfiguring everything so that the next two movies should wrap up this amazing journey for these characters.”

“F9” was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020, but was pushed back to June 25, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trailers have revealed that the plot will center around the appearance of Jacob Toretto (played by John Cena), the previously unmentioned brother of Diesel’s Dominic Toretto. It will also feature the return of Sung Kang’s Han, plus a lot of vehicular carnage.

Plans to end the “Fast and Furious” saga with the 11th movie were first reported last year. The 10th movie was confirmed in 2016, and was originally scheduled for 2021, but that was made impossible by the coronavirus pandemic. That will give the franchise a run of more than 20 years from the 2001 release of “The Fast and the Furious.”

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