2015 Jaguar F-Type Concept 7

This week, Jaguar showed the world the production version of the new F-Type Project 7, confirming it will be offered for sale in limited quantities.

The F-Type Project 7 made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar D-type race car which inspired its design.

Jaguar says the Project 7 will be the highest performance version of the F-Type, only producing 250 hand built copies to be shared around the world.

The car brings the true open roadster design from the Project 7 concept unveiled in 2013, including the distinctive D-type-inspired fairing and folding soft top.

Under the hood is a fire-breathing 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 575 horsepower, up 25 from the F-Type R Coupe.

Special to the Project 7 are carbon-fiber aerodynamic accouterments, a unique suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and torque vectoring control.

Jaguar says the Project 7 will accelerate from 60 mph in 3.8 seconds which makes it well, blisteringly fast for a rear-wheel drive car. The F-Type Project 7 arrives in mid-2015. Better call your Jaguar dealer now.

2015 Ram ProMaster City

Ram announced their entry into the compact commercial van wars in the States with their new Fiat sourced ProMaster City.

Competing against the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Chevrolet City, the new ProMaster City will be available in both a cargo van and passenger wagon.

Like its competitors, the ProMaster City is front-wheel drive and comes with a four-cylinder engine. That engine is Chrysler’s North American 2.4 liter TigerShark four which has some 178 horsepower.

What stands out in this class it the segment first nine-speed automatic transmission which Chrysler says will give the van class leading combined fuel-economy.

The ProMaster City is based on the Fiat Doblo which has been ever popular in Europe for several years. North American engineers have tested and tweaked our version to assure durability in the states.

This prove-out has enabled Ram to offer a five year 100,000 mile power-train warranty for the ProMaster City which should help fleet buyers feel a bit more comfortable.

The new compact van will be built in Bursa Turkey, and imported to the states late this year or early next. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

All new 2015 Ford Edge

Ford unveiled their all-new 2015 Edge mid-sized premium SUV this week, looking remarkably close to the concept vehicle they showed to us last winter at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

All-new from the ground up, styling has a much more premium look yet evolves from the 2014 model. The face is reminiscent of the current Ford Taurus, with the silhouette getting a bit more formal over the current Edge.

Packed with new driver assistance technologies and the first to offer a standard EcoBoost engine, the new Edge will move upmarket slightly now offering a new top-end Titanium trim grade.

New tech features include Ford’s new adaptive steering system, active park assist, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support. There’s also an new 180-degree front camera to go along with the rear view monitor.

Two new EcoBoost engines debut including a 2.0 liter base four-cylinder as well as a 2.7 liter twin-turbo V6 with some 300 horsepower to be standard in the Edge Sport.

The Edge also gets several new safety features like a new glove box-mounted knee airbag system and the inflatable rear safety belts which have been popular in the larger Explorer.

The 2015 Fold Edge goes on sale in North America early next year and then follows in over 100 global markets for the first time including Europe, Asia and South America.

Toyota reveals Fuel Cell Sedan

In green car news, Toyota has revealed the exterior design and Japan domestic market pricing for their first mass-production hydrogen fuel cell car.

Coming to the United States in the summer of 2015, the fuel-cell sedan will cost 7 million yen which translates to about $69,000. Though expect when it arrives here to cost a bit more.

When it arrives sales will be limited to regions where hydrogen refueling stations actually exist. That means basically Southern California and perhaps around the Detroit metro area.

The vehicle converts hydrogen to electricity through a proprietary fuel cell, driving the wheels through an electric motor. Thus driving is much like that of any other electric car.

With a full tank of hydrogen, the fuel-cell vehicle has a range of about 435 miles. The system emits only water vapor as an exhaust making it a true zero-emissions vehicle.

Toyota believes hydrogen fueled vehicles have a good deal of potential in the years ahead, making an ideal environmentally friendly option.

Now if we can only see more hydrogen fueling stations around America, this idea might actually take off.

Test Drives

In test drives this week we reviewed the 2014 Lexus RX450h luxury crossover SUV. One of the first of its kind, it remains one of a kind in the market.

Our all-wheel drive model had electric motors both up front and in the rear with a total system 295 horsepower, the most powerful RX you can buy.

With all that power, it still offers up hybrid like fuel economy that stands out for its size. And as expected the RX450h has a smooth silky driving character and interior experience we’ve come to expect from Lexus.

This week we also released the first of our Hot Lap series reviews from our stint up at High Plains Raceway last week. First up is a track based driving impression of the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker. Have a look!

Right now we’re spending time with the 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited, a black on black fully outfitted all-wheel drive model. We’ve been playing in the desert back-roads this week and we’ll have a full review soon.

For these and a good many more reviews, log onto TestDriven.TV or our YouTube Channel.

Reality Check: Ford announces electric powered 2015 F-150

In our Reality Check segment this week Ford has once again shown they are on the bleeding edge of the light pickup truck market.

As if aluminum bodies and EcoBoost turbocharged engines weren’t enough, Ford announced this week a fully all-electric plastic bodied version of the all new 2015 F-150.

The new F-150 EV comes in rear-wheel drive only and takes a complete charge in about 2 hours using a standard 120V wall outlet.

In an unprecedented move, Ford partnered with long time electric vehicle manufacturer Fisher Price who will co-brand the new F-150 EV with their Power Wheels line.

Standard equipment includes an FM radio with MP3 jack, though its not known whether SYNC or MyFord Touch will be available at launch.

Payload of course will be slightly less than gasoline-powered F-150 models in this first generation, but as the market grows up, we expect to see capabilities evolve as well.

Notable features for the F-150 EV will be drive-by-wire “Power Lock” brakes, and a high-speed
lockout for first time drivers.

Pricing for the new F-150 EV starts at $349.95 and goes on sale at box-box retailers in September. Fleet customers should likely seek them out at Price Costco or Sam’s Club.