Home » The News! » Currently Reading:

The News for October 5th, 2012

Greg Kachadurian October 5, 2012 The News! 11 Comments

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of all the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. Just all the facts with a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:

  • Caterham R600 Superlight is too awesome for America, streets

  • Volkswagen Beetle Convertible returns

  • Ford adds no-cost hybrid option for the Fusion Titanium

  • Volkswagen prices the Jetta Hybrid

  • Nissan prices the 2013 Sentra

Caterham R600 Superlight

The world-renowned Caterham Cars has revealed its fastest and most extreme race-ready Seven to date, which is the R600 Superlight you’re seeing now. This Seven was built exclusively for the Superlight R600 Championship, Caterham’s exclusive race series in England, which sadly means it’s too cool for American roads, or just roads in general.

The R600 Superlight uses a supercharged (a first for the Seven) 2.0-liter Ford Duratec engine that produces 275 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft of torque, which is more than enough power for a car that likely weighs no more than 1,000 lbs. Its race-readiness comes from a 6-speed sequential gearbox, slick tires, and a Titan limited-slip differential.

The price for all this is £44,995 ($72,856) and it can be bought new as a complete car or a current owner of a Caterham R300 can upgrade to R600 specs for an undisclosed price. An American car enthusiast can only dream…

Source: Caterham via Autoweek

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

You knew it was coming. The rag-top variant of the recently redesigned Beetle was shown for the first time this past week and it will be shown again in the flesh at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The third generation of the rag-top Beetle is scheduled to launch sometime later in the year – and yes, it’ll launch when half of the world is going through Winter, but it likely won’t arrive in dealerships until the warmer months.

The cloth top, which can fold/unfold in “a little over” 10 seconds, is designed to retain the classic styling when it’s up and increase rear visibility when it’s down. Integrated rollover bars located in the back and strong A-pillars promise to protect all four occupants in the event of a rollover.

Everything Volkswagen is telling us so far suggests that nothing has been changed as far as powertrain options go. Three engine options will be available at launch, with the base option being a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque and paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. One diesel option is available, that being a 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder with 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft of torque which can achieve an EPA-estimated 41 mpg highway with a 6-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed automatic is also available). The top-of-the-line engine option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft of torque and can be had with a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual.  

Pricing will be revealed closer to the car’s launch in Q4 2012. Source: Volkswagen

Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium  

The 2013 Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid are both starting to appear in American showrooms this month, but Ford is already announcing a new addition to the family for 2013. The Fusion Hybrid will now be available in the top-of-the-line Titanium trim, and they’re reusing a rather interesting strategy to sell it. 

Ford is doing what they did with the Lincoln MKZ, which is to offer the car as a hybrid or a standard gas-only setup for the same price – only now it’s just for the Fusion Titanium trim level. That means Ford Fusion Titanium customers will get to decide between a sporty 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with all-wheel-drive or a sensible Hybrid without having to worry about any additional charges. The Fusion Hybrid is already available and will continue to be available in the mid-range SE trim with relatively fewer luxuries as standard.

All Fusion Titanium models come standard with a sportier appearance thanks to chrome accents, 18″ alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a rear decklid spoiler. Inside, the driver is treated to a 10-way power adjustable seat, which happens to be trimmed in leather along with the steering wheel and shift lever. Every other surface is more metallic than other Fusion models to hopefully make the car look more expensive than it really is inside. Standard tech features include a 12-speaker Sony audio system, SYNC with MyFord Touch, a rear backup camera, and ambient lighting.   

The Ford Fusion Titanium and Titanium Hybrid will start at $32,995. The standard Titanium is already on sale while the Titanium Hybrid will launch early 2013.

Source: Ford

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid priced

Speaking of hybrids, the latest addition to the Jetta family is the gas-electric hybrid you see here. The Jetta Hybrid will go on sale later this year with a base price of $24,995 but is also available in four different trim levels. 

All Jetta Hybrids use a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that works with an electric motor producing 27 horsepower to send a combined 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque through a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The Jetta Hybrid can drive on full-electric power at speeds of up to 44 mph and at a range of about 1.2 miles (it’s a start). 0-60 takes around 9 seconds, but more importantly, VW thinks it can deliver 45 mpg combined. 

The different trim levels include the standard Hybrid at $24,995, Hybrid SE at $26,990, Hybrid SEL at $29,325, and the range-topping Hybrid SEL Premium which starts at $31,180. Standard equipment like Bluetooth connectivity, an MP3 jack, multi-function steering wheel, and heated side mirrors are available across the board, but each trim level adds such features like a touch-screen multi-media interface, Bi-xenon headlights, navigation, power sunroof, and a backup camera.

Source: Volkswagen

Nissan Sentra priced

Back in August Nissan revealed the redesigned Nissan Sentra that sports a new powertrain, new looks inside and out, and now, a new price. $15,990 is what it takes to drive one of these home after it goes on sale on October 16th. 

That money buys you a larger, yet lighter, Sentra with a 1.8-.liter four-cylinder that sends 130 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque to front wheels through a standard 6-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel efficiency is rated at 34 mpg combined on all CVT-equipped models.

The all-new interior focuses on driver comfort and available technologies like heated leather seats, Bose audio, navigation, and something called RearView Monitor which may or may not be a backup camera. One neat feature to report is the NissanConnectSM, which not only provides navigation, but also hands-free text messaging.

Source: Nissan 


  • Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Diesel Convertibles

  • FunWithBuns

    This is my first look at the new Sentra. That front end looks straight lifted from Lexus. Awesome.

    • We're driving it in about two weeks, along with the new Pathfinder.

      • MVEilenstein

        Please tell us you're getting the 6-speed.

        • FunWithBuns

          Honestly. I drove a friend's '10 Sentra with the CVT. Abysmal would be the word I used.

        • It's the launch event, so we'll get a chance to drive all flavors.

      • FunWithBuns

        Hopefully in that gorgeous blue color. Look forward to reading it, regardless of which tranny you're stuck with.

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    25K for a Jetta that goes 1mile (hey I rounded the price too) on electrons, that VW badge on the grille had better glow green.