The past 24 hours of automotive news have given us loads of exciting stories.
Good morning, and welcome to the sixth edition of Cold Start, your daily roundup of important automotive news from the last 24 hours. Today's roundup is a rather diverse selection, so let's get started.
We open with an astonishing new type of diesel engine from Mazda before discussing the imminent arrival of the Toyota Crown. We then take a look at a Porsche 911 that has been made even darker than the notorious Vantablack can manage. We also get a look Ferrari's new Le Mans Hypercar. Not only are we being treated to a glimpse of the new racer, but we have a video of the Italian LMH making noise too. Finally, we close with a new reveal from Tesla.
Over in Europe, diesel remains a pretty popular option. As such, Mazda is debuting its new diesel engine technology in the Euro-bound CX-60. This new 3.3-liter straight-six e-Skyactiv D engine is offered in two guises, the first of which produces 197 horsepower and the second of which generates 251 hp. What's amazing about the engine is that it has a thermal efficiency rating of 40%, while most diesel engines can only manage 30-35%. On the WLTP cycle, this engine will return 48 mpg in low-output guise and 44.3 mpg in high-output spec. Not bad when a lighter and smaller Toyota Prius will manage 57.4 mpg.
After much speculation, Toyota has, at last, announced when its Avalon replacement, the Crown, is to debut. According to the automaker's Japanese website, July 15 is the date. As we are a few hours behind, this will take place late on July 14 EST. Thus far, we know that the Crown is to be a slightly quirky character, merging the sedan body style with the ride height of a crossover. Other than that, details have been purposefully withheld, but we expect that this new model will arrive at American dealerships later this year after it is previewed to us next week.
By now, we've likely all heard of Vantablack, which was marketed as the blackest black ever. But that has now been eclipsed (ha!) by a new type of dark paint called Musou Black, a water-based acrylic paint that absorbs an astonishing 99.905% of visible light. That makes it even darker than Vantablack, but like Vantablack, this stuff is not cheap at all. A single one-liter bottle reportedly costs more than $132, so covering an entire car in the stuff is pretty pricey. A recent video captured a Porsche 911 Turbo with this finish, and it looks like a Grand Theft Auto car has been dropped in the real world.
Ferrari has teased its new World Endurance Championship entrant in a shadowy image, revealing not very much. Fortunately, a spy photographer was camped at Ferrari's Fiorano test track in Italy and managed to capture more angles of the racer. More importantly, we get to hear the purpose-built racecar as it barks its way around the track, making all sorts of lovely noises. It doesn't sound as good as the naturally-aspirated racers of old, but it's not bad at all. Likely to be some sort of turbocharged V8 engine, we expect that lessons learned in the WEC will benefit Ferrari road cars in the future.
Although great advances have been made in the field of electric vehicles, one of the biggest issues that buyers will often bring up is that of range anxiety. This issue is no longer as big a deal as it used to be, but that doesn't mean that things can't be made better. To that end, Tesla seems to be working on a portable solar charger, specifically one that can be towed behind a vehicle. At this point, what you see below is still a design concept, so there are improvements yet to be made, but it could be proven to be a practical range extender soon enough.