Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in some opinion of mine, just because I can. So fire up the generators, get comfy in your doomsday shelter, and check out what automakers have been up to for this week:
BMW updates the Z4 for 2014
Lotus adds Sports Racer package to Evora
Dodge adds sport package to AWD Charger
Lexus builds final LFA
Aston Martin gets ready to celebrate their 100th year
Updated 2014 BMW Z4
The BMW Z4, which is definitely one of the better-looking roadsters currently on sale, is getting a few new updates for the 2014 model year, all of which are cosmetic. Most of the sheet metal is identical, but eagle-eyed observers or people who spend too much time looking at BMWs (like me) will pick up on the revised headlamps and intakes up front.
The other update is one you’ll see from a mile away – the paint. The car in the photo above is coated in Valencia Orange metallic, which used to be exclusive to the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. This color can only be had with the Hyper Orange Package, which as the photo below shows, adds a splash of orange to the dash, seats, and door inserts. Two other colors are also being added to the options list for the first time, those being Mineral Grey metallic and Glacier Silver metallic. Every other new Z4 will have new glossy black surrounds for the central air vents and iDrive display and a new wood trim is available. An M Sport package is also thrown into the mix to offer up a plethora of M badges and other enhancements inside and bespoke 18″ light alloy wheels and aero pieces outside.
All engine and transmission options remain the same for the American market. Deliveries will take place Spring of 2013 and updated pricing info will be divulged later.
Lotus Evora Sports Racer
The Lotus Evora and Evora S are getting a new appearance package soon which brings a few special touches to the exterior and interior under the name “Sports Racer”. Sounds creative.
Buyers will only get to choose between four paint colors on Evoras equipped with this package – those being Aspen White, Carbon Grey, Nightfall Blue and Ardent Red – and all come with sport wheels, trim pieces, and a roof smothered in gloss black paint for contrast. Inside, you can opt for black leather seats with red contrast stitching and piping or vice versa and the dash is covered with grey suede and gunmetal panels. The Sports Racer trim level also adds just about every optional extra available including the Sports Pack which sharpens throttle response, enhances the Dynamic Performance Management system in some way, and tacks on cross-drilled brakes. It also comes with the Tech Pack which adds a DVD player, a 7″ touch-screen display, and parking sensors.
Pricing for UK buyers is set at £57,900 when equipped on the Evora and £65,900 on the supercharged Evora S. Lotus also says that opting for the Sports Racer will save buyers roughly £7,000 compared to any other normal Evora with similar options. Lotus did mention this car would be available across Europe, but didn’t specify the pricing in Euros. No mention of it coming to America.
2013 Dodge Charger AWD Sport
Chargers equipped with all-wheel-drive are about to get a little more interesting thanks to a new Sport package that will soon be available on all trim levels excluding the SRT8 (because it doesn’t need it). Like all the other cars I’ve discussed so far, the Charger AWD Sport receives mostly cosmetic enhancements.
Those visual enhancements include a gloss black grille, rear spoiler, and 19″ alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires. The interior also gets its fair share of sportiness with “sport” seats and paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel and hooked up to an 8-speed automatic with a new sport setting. Dodge will also throw in a massive sound system featuring technology from that one headphone brand all the cool kids have (Beats) complete with a 8″ subwoofer out back that may or may not reduce trunk space.
Pricing for the Sport package starts at $1,195 for R/T models and $1,395 on SXT models. Deliveries will take place during the first quarter of 2013.
Final Lexus LFA built
The white Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package you see here was built last Friday, and it happens to be the 500th and final LFA supercar ever built. As the car’s production comes to an end, it marks the end of an amazing chapter for Lexus. The The LFA was the car that forced many of us to recognize the engineering and technological greatness that Lexus was capable of when they work with few limits. While we’ll never see another LFA roll off the line, the lessons they’ve learned from the car will carry on in future products. Lexus specifically cites their newfound experience with carbon fiber-reinforced plastic as something they’ll use again in upcoming models.
The car that took about 10 years to develop took just two years to run through a production cycle, as the 170 hand-selected factory workers completed LFAs at a rate of just one per day, which should give an idea of how complex each car’s construction was. Farewell.
Aston Martin turns 100, plans week-long party
January 15th, 2013 is the official 100 year anniversary of Aston Martin, and they plan on taking full advantage of their most powerful lineup in company history to celebrate their progress in a week of fun that we probably won’t be invited to.
Part of that fun involves an event featuring the two cars you see above – the 2014 Vanquish and the A3, the oldest surviving Aston Martin – taking place at the original home of Aston Martin in Henniker Mews in Chelsea where a commemorative plaque will be unveiled. Later that same day, they’ll head into central London to relive the experience of building the first Aston Martin in the words of Lionel Martin himself. After that, the next week is devoted to everything Aston Martin with open-house activities (namely factory tours and driving tours) at their new headquarters in Gaydon, followed by a 1000-guest “birthday party” and a Centenary Concours in central London featuring the largest Aston Martin gathering in history.
In the UK, Aston Martin will set up a driving tour that takes visitors to a number of iconic Bond film locations and other areas with some of the best driving roads around, while Americans get to enjoy a driving event on the California coast during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to finish things off. Oh, and they’ve also got a neat Centenary logo just in case anyone forgot that they’ve been around for a while.
Source: Aston Martin