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Jay Leno remembers director John Frankenheimer with a 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III

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John Frankenheimer's 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III on Jay Leno's Garage

John Frankenheimer is probably best know among car enthusiasts as the director of “Grand Prix,” but he and his wife also owned—and cherished—a 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III for decades. That car is featured on this episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

As Leno tells it, the long-armed Frankenheimer was in London having shirts tailored when he passed a Rolls-Royce/Bentley dealership (the two companies were still joined at the time). He tried a Bentley first, but didn’t fit in it properly. Finding that the Silver Cloud was a better fit, be bought it on the spot with cash, calling it a wedding present for his wife.

The Silver Cloud III was the final version of a model line that dated back to the mid-1950s, marking the end of an era for the automaker. The same year Frankenheimer’s car was built, Rolls-Royce launched its first truly modern car, the Silver Shadow. Unlike the body-on-frame Silver Cloud, the Silver Shadow had unibody construction, as well as a hydropneumatic suspension system licensed from Citroën.

John Frankenheimer’s 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III on Jay Leno’s Garage

It’s hard to beat the Silver Cloud III for pure ostentation, though. Behind the trademark Rolls-Royce grille and “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament sits a 6.2-liter V-8, which produces “adequate” power in the range of 200-240 hp, Jay says. The rear-wheel drive Rolls has a General Motors Hydramatic 4-speed automatic transmission.

The car accompanied Frankenheimer to film shoots around the world, and was supposed to drive Robert F. Kennedy away from Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968, had the presidential candidate not been assassinated there that day, Leno says. Despite its age and continual use, the Rolls is in fairly good condition. It only has 27,000 miles, and the interior is all-original, Jay notes.

Frankenheimer died in 2002, but his wife kept the Rolls for several years before donating it to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. She still visits the car occasionally, according to Jay.

Watch the full video to see learn more about the car and see and hear this classic Rolls get a rare bit of exercise.

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2022 Porsche Macan prototype builds a fun bridge to an electric future

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2022 Porsche Macan prototype

Life is about to get a lot tougher for the Porsche Macan.

Introduced in 2013, the Cayenne’s younger brother propelled Porsche to new heights by making the brand accessible to a wider and younger audience. It was the right vehicle at the right time. In the U.S., it outsold the 718 duo, the 911, and the Panamera combined in 2020. Starting in 2023, however, it will face the unenviable challenge of competing for the market’s attention with its intended successor, an EV built on a new platform (called PPE internally) with new technology and a new design.

While it sounds like the fight is skewed toward the newcomer, Porsche is teaching the original Macan a few additional tricks to level the playing field. Updated 4-cylinder and V-6 engines, subtle design tweaks, chassis improvements, and a better infotainment system are on the menu for the 2022 model. What better roads to sample these changes than those surrounding Porsche’s hometown of Stuttgart, Germany?

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

Easy does it

“We wanted to make at least one change per side,” explained Christian Graf, the complete vehicle manager for the Macan line, as we walked around a camouflaged pre-production prototype.

This is where the X-ray vision promised me when I was a kid would come in handy. Pressed for details, Graf noted designers tweaked the lower part of the front bumper to give the Macan a wider look, and made small revisions to the rear end. Clearly, it still looks like a Macan.

Inside, the changes are much easier to spot. Porsche gave the center console a ground-up redesign that ditches buttons in favor of touch-sensitive surfaces, a transformation partially made possible by a new gear selector that takes up less space. A 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen carries over, but Porsche promises yet-to-be-divulged improvements. Technology is an important measuring stick in the luxury car segment, and the Macan has to keep up.

The Macan is still marketed as the driver’s choice in the segment, and the availability of a steering wheel borrowed from the 911 adds credibility to this claim. Right-sized, it instantly makes the steering feel quicker. Porsche’s visual updates tend to be evolutionary more than revolutionary, and the Macan is not an exception to this rule.

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

All turbo, no Turbo

Porsche’s mechanical improvements, however, are normally more extensive, and the Macan doesn’t try to swim against the current here, either. The entry-level model receives a newly developed 2.0-liter turbo-4, the S gets a 27-hp bump, and the GTS welcomes 59 horses to its cavalry. One of the reasons for the big increase is that the GTS will become the range topper; the Turbo currently positioned at the top of the Macan hierarchy is headed for the history books. Reading between the lines suggests the Macan EV will follow the Taycan into turbo-less Turbo territory, but nothing is official yet, and Porsche isn’t ready to talk about how the EV line-up will look.

Mild, hot, and fire sounds like a good order for sampling Porsche’s new Macan recipe, which means starting with the base turbo-4 model. It has never been one of the portfolio’s highlights, partly because the beefier V-6s have always overshadowed it, and partly because it lacks some Porsche-ness, both in sound and performance, both factors that help separate a mainstream car from an enthusiast’s car. The folks in Zuffenhausen must have detected that disconnect because the new engine (rated at 260 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque) is punchy, linear, and markedly more refined overall than the 2.0-liter turbo-4 it replaces. Drivers can finally take advantage of having less weight over the front wheels on a winding road.

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

Next on the sampler list is the S, which swaps its 3.0-liter V-6 for a familiar 2.9-liter V-6 with two turbos. With 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque on tap, it’s in more of a hurry to build speed, and it feels like a natural evolution of its predecessor. The real star of the show is the GTS, however. Newly promoted to flagship status, it’s powered by a version of the same engine that makes 434 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. To add context, the 911 Carrera’s 3.0-liter flat-6 posts figures of 379 and 331, respectively. Apples to oranges, of course, but the point is that’s big power for a compact SUV.

Porsche doesn’t take the GTS designation lightly; whether they’re on a Macan, Panamera, or 911, these three letters denote a car developed with handling in mind. Engineers worked their magic on the Macan’s air suspension to make the standard ride height lower, though it’s adjustable. They also added front and rear air springs that are 10% and 15% stiffer, respectively, than the previous model’s, and they made software calibrations to widen the spread between comfort and performance. 

It’s not a surprise that the lowest, firmest, and most powerful Macan is also the best one. The changes give Porsche’s smallest crossover (and small is relative here; we’re talking about a 4,400-pound vehicle) a sports car characer. It’s quick off the line, reasonably flat around bends, and admirably comfortable during the commute. It’s not the most powerful entry into the ever-crowded crossover and SUV segment—not when Jeep and Dodge are making family trucksters with supercar-like power look as normal as the Star-Spangled Banner on the 4th of July and Porsche is preparing a mega-Cayenne—but it likely earns the handling crown. We’ll need to put more miles on its odometer to tell.

The Macan GTS ist he kind of vehicle that leaves you wanting more time behind the wheel; that’s Porsche-ness. However, if I could take the reigns of the team putting the final touches on the Macan, I’d request a louder exhaust system. It has the soul and the legs of a sports car, but not the voice. My time behind the wheel was limited to a European-spec pre-production prototype, so the V-6 might roar louder by the time it reaches U.S. European-spec cars are quieter than their American-spec counterparts due to tighter noise regulations, and Porsche stressed development work is on-going.

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

2022 Porsche Macan prototype

On the final stretch

Porsche will introduce the updated Macan during the summer of 2021, and sales will presumably start shortly thereafter as a 2022 model. It’s difficult to know precisely how long the revised crossover will be in the range, but it will likely be sold alongside the upcoming EV model. Even if sales remain strong, however, the hostile regulatory environment in Europe will drive the final nails in the gasoline Macan’s coffin. Porsche told me that, as of writing, the general plan is to put the model out to pasture when the harsh Euro 7 emissions regulations come into force around the middle of the 2020s. Until then, the Macan will continue vying for the crown of the most engaging crossover money can buy.

—Ronan Glon

Porsche provided travel, lodging, and access to super-secret prototypes for Motor Authority to bring you this first-hand report.

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Redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra coming soon with new iForce Max powertrain

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2022 Toyota Tundra's new iForce Max powertrain

A new generation of the Toyota Tundra is coming up shortly.

Toyota in May released a teaser image of the redesigned Tundra and confirmed an arrival for the 2022 model year, and on Tuesday the automaker said the full-size pickup truck will feature a next-generation iForce powertrain, dubbed iForce Max.

The iForce branding was first used for a 4.7-liter V-8 in early Tundras. The V-8’s displacement measures 5.7 liters in the current Tundra, though its basic design hasn’t changed much over the years. As a result it’s not only one of the most reliable V-8 engines ever built but also one of the most reliable internal-combustion engines of any type used in a production vehicle. The downside is that its efficiency and 381-hp peak power rating are a tad underwhelming compared to some of the newer competition.

It isn’t clear what the new iForce Max powertrain will be but we’ve heard that a twin-turbocharged V-6 will be offered in the new Tundra, possibly as a replacement for the current V-8. A hybrid option is also likely at some point. Toyota has pledged to fit every vehicle it sells in the U.S. with some sort of electrification. Keep in mind, electrification can be as simple as a mild-hybrid system. We definitely don’t expect the Tundra’s hybrid option to be a plug-in hybrid setup.

2022 Toyota Tundra’s new iForce Max powertrain

Not much is known about the rest of the mechanicals either, but we’ve heard the redesigned Tundra will introduce a new modular platform that will eventually underpin future versions of the Hilux and Tacoma, as well as the 4Runner and Sequoia SUVs.

The image teasing the exterior of the truck hints at a tougher design for the new generation, with some elements expected to be influenced by the recent update to the Hilux mid-size pickup truck sold overseas. The Tundra is also expected to grow in size. Those marker lights you see on the grille and flanks are required for wider trucks in the United States.

With the bigger size, you can count on there being bigger cabin options and possibly bigger bed options, too. Towing capacity should also match or exceed the current truck’s 10,200-pound max rating.

Stay tuned.

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2021 Ford Bronco production is underway

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2021 Ford Bronco

The agonizing wait for reservation holders of Ford’s reborn Bronco is almost over as the first customer examples have rolled off the line at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant and are already on their way to dealerships.

The plant, located in Wayne, Michigan, has been home to the Bronco since the original launched in 1965, and it’s also home to the Ford Ranger pickup truck, which features an earlier version of the Bronco’s body-on-frame T6 platform. The Ranger will move to the updated platform when it undergoes a redesign later this year.

Ford invested $750 million in the plant to upgrade it for the new Bronco and future Ranger, adding approximately 2,700 direct jobs in the process. Part of this investment has gone toward constructing a separate modification center where a range of accessories are fitted, such as sport bars, roof racks, graphics packages, and much more. Ford has also added pre-wired switches to the Bronco to make adding electronic accessories easy.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the 2021 Bronco was first shown. Deliveries were due to start in the spring but supplier delays related to coronovirus shutdowns meant Ford needed to push the start to summer.

2021 Ford Bronco

2021 Ford Bronco

2021 Ford Bronco

2021 Ford Bronco

2021 Ford Bronco

It means some reservation holders already promised their Bronco in 2021 will have to wait until 2022 to receive their vehicles. The delays have also seen manual-equipped Broncos with the Sasquatch package pushed back to the 2022 model year.

The 2021 Bronco is offered with a base 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque (with premium fuel), and an available 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with 330 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can choose between a 7-speed manual or 10-speed automatic, as well as between two- and four-door body styles. A pickup body style is also a possibility at some point.

More powertrain options are also coming. A high-performance Raptor-like model has been spotted testing, and Ford has also hinted at a battery-electric version.

The starting price for the 2021 Bronco is a very reasonable $29,995, including destination.

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