Drive Wire: May 26, 2016
Muscle car crash tests, Acura's new NSX, Ariel's off-road Nomad, a perfect action camera, and epic bodyboarding.
Hey guys, it’s Marisa Hunter and this is Drive Wire for Thursday, May 26.
Although American pony cars have plenty of muscle to spare, they apparently provide little protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put the V8 models of the 2016 Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger through their “small overlap front impact” test. This test basically simulates the car slamming into a stationary object with the driver’s side headlight at 40 miles an hour, which is a difficult one for most cars. None of the three muscle cars earned the IIHS “top safety pick” award, with the Mustang and Camaro earning “acceptable” ratings and the Challenger limping home with a “marginal” grade. Not surprising results, as the Mustang’s platform is the newest and the Challenger’s is about a decade old. It’s worth noting that the IIHS statement on the test noted that they tested the cars because of consumer interest, and also, that the IIHS is subsidized by the same people who set your insurance rates. Still, it continues to be the stated policy of Drive Wire that viewers avoid 40 mph collisions with stationary objects.
In exotic Ohio news, the very first production 2017 Acura NSX has rolled off the production line in Marysville. After winning a $1.2 million bid, owner Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports drove the Valencia Red model off the line. NSX models will be in dealerships near you in the next couple months, starting at a $158,000. If you recall, the NSX will have 573 horsepower from a 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 and three electric motors. Slow clap for Acura for finally getting this car off the line.
In news of the weird, which is so often the best kind, we have the latest from the no-frills all-thrills team at Ariel. They’ve taken the ultra-spare approach they use on their Atom track car and applied it to an off-road model, the Ariel Nomad. The Nomad is basically a hand-built Sand Rail Baja racer, meaning it’s one of the best things in the world, and its 1,500 pounds are motivated by a 230 horsepower Honda four. That means you can hit 60 miles per hour down a back road in 3.4 seconds. The base model starts at $80,000; the “tactical” is $92,000, which gets you top-shelf Ohlins suspension and – seriously- a front fender with a winch mount, which you’ll inevitably need.
Turning to gear, we have the perfect action camera for those moments when you’re trying to document exactly “how” you got your Ariel Nomad stuck in the top of a tree. The Olympus Tough TG Tracker is rugged enough to survive stuff you won’t, plus it has GPS tracking, weather monitoring, and of course amazing optics and imaging technology. Order yours at getolympus.com.
Bodyboarding has gotten a bad rap as some lesser form of surfing, but this video proves that this is far from the case. Watch as Shane Ackerman gets barreled by some of the heaviest waves we have ever seen. Defying death every time he drops in, Ackerman demonstrates his ability to absolutely demolish any preconceived notion of the sport. Keep shredding Shane.