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The News for July 8th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian July 8, 2016 The News! 43 Comments

AM-RB 001_05

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing reveal the hypercar of the future

  • Ferrari TheFerrari roadster confirmed

  • Nissan Pathfinder receives substantial updates for 2017 model year

  • What’s your automotive news? [UPDATE: GTXcellent FINALLY GOT IT!]

Aston Martin AM-RB 001

AM-RB 001_04

Back in March, Aston Martin confirmed they were working with Red Bull Racing to build a hyper car of epic proportions. They must have gotten one hell of a head start because they’re already showing us their first concept. It’s called the AM-RB 001, it’s actually being built (eventually), and there’s a lot to be excited about.

The AM-RB 001 is the result of a technical partnership between Britain’s finest and one of the top teams in Formula 1; looking at the preliminary specs, it couldn’t have happened any other way. This project was realized by Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, David King, VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, and Andrian Newey, Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer and the world’s most successful F1 designer. It’s equal parts beautiful and batshit crazy and it’s easy to see which party is responsible for each area of the car.

AM-RB 001_01

Power comes from a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated V12 which will probably be some derivative of the Vulcan’s 800 horsepower V12. It’ll have to be more powerful than that though given their target of a 1:1 power-to-weight (bhp to kilogram) ratio. To help the AM-RB 001 reach that goal, it’ll of course be as light as possible.

But what really makes a car with this much presumed power a step above the rest is how well it manages air at speed… Adrian. Newey. Remember the Red Bull X2010, a car so mental it could only exist in the digital world? That Adrian Newey is working on the aero (and the suspension to support it) for this car. Much of his work focused on the car’s underfloor aerodynamics, which left Reichman free to craft a breathtaking form which truly makes it seem like the hypercar of the future.

AM-RB 001_06

When we see the final results around 2018 (when they plan to deliver these), it could take road car performance to levels we’ve never seen before. They didn’t speculate on performance figures it could achieve, but when you’ve got V12 power in a car with a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio with aero by the best F1 car designer in modern history, it’s going to be wicked. The AM-RB 001 is ambitious, it’s uncompromising, and it’s a road car.

Between 99-150 road legal AM-RB 001s will be built. They’ve also confirmed a track-only version will be produced by 2018; only 25 of those will be built and they’ll have performance to rival today’s LMP1 cars.

AM-RB 001_10

Even as a concept, it’s already like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

[Source: Aston Martin]

LaFerrari Spider/Aperta/Roadster


I knew this day would come… I was warned.

The Ferrari TheFerrari is back in the news again because the rumors that have been circulating around the car since its inception have finally been confirmed – it’s getting an open-top version. The only news we got out of Maranello was that it exists and it looks like this^, but we don’t even really know the name. Traditionally, open-top Ferraris have been called Spiders, but lately they’ve used Aperta for the really special ones. I would assume the fastest, most powerful open-top production car in company history would qualify for the name Aperta, if not some other overly complicated way to say “convertible” in Italian.

Regardless of the name, this enhanced headroom edition LaFerrari keeps everything that made the original LaFerrari such an amazing car. Most notably, it still has the same 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated V12 combined with electric power for a total system output of over 950 horsepower. It’ll still be blindingly quick and will still look spectacular while sitting in a collection for the rest of its life.


The removable roof will either be carbon fiber or of a more traditional cloth construction, depending on customer preference. Chassis rigidity is always an issue when taking the roof off cars originally designed as hardtops, so Ferrari has beefed up the chassis to keep rigidity as close to the standard car as possible.

Because you still haven’t mastered the art of telepathy to predict this car, each of the 150 planned examples are already spoken for.

[Source: Ferrari via Autoweek]

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

This is how the Nissan Pathfinder will look for the next ten years. The SUV is getting a mid-life refresh through a pretty substantial face lift, new features, and a bit more power for the 2017 model year. They hope all the new changes enhance the Pathfinder’s sense of adventure and its character.

The updated appearance incorporates Nissan’s latest signature design elements that we’ve seen on all their new cars lately, most notably the “V-Motion” grille which also improves aerodynamic efficiency and engine cooling. The hood and front fascia are reworked as well to follow the same V-Motion theme. New headlights with boomerang style LED running lights flank both sides of the wide grille and higher trim levels come with full LED lighting as standard. The changes in the rear include new taillights, a “stronger” bumper design, and a new automatic rear lift gate. There are also new eighteen and twenty-inch wheel designs and two new paint colors available.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

Interior updates focus on convenience and connectivity. It all looks mostly the same, but little things were changed to make the Pathfinder a nicer place to be. The cup holders were reshaped to fit mugs, the front storage bin is now illuminated, and there are now two USB ports inside the center console. Bigger changes were made to the on-board tech though. The driver assistance display tucked in the gauge cluster now shows more data, voice recognition is improved, and moving object detection was added to the around view monitors. Its updates here are nothing huge, but it doesn’t need much else for reliable family duties.

Power now comes from a revised 3.5-liter V6 engine which features 50% new or new-to-Pathfinder components to increase power, torque and towing capacity. Power is up to 284 hp now (compared to the previous 260 hp) and torque rises to 259 lb.-ft (up from 240 lb.-ft.) of torque. One of its more important new components is its enhanced direct injection system which improves wide-open throttle performance and uses fuel more efficiently while doing so. Towing capacity improves by 1,000 pounds to a class-leading 6,000 pounds [update: maybe not – the Durango tows 7,400 pounds]. Despite the extra power and towing capabilities, fuel efficiency remains at 20 mpg city, 27 mph highway, 22 mpg combined on 2WD models – all-wheel drive is still an option.

Pricing isn’t available yet but they’ll be in showrooms by the end of the year.

[Source: Nissan]

What’s your automotive news?


That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]


  • GTXcellent


    • Greg Kachadurian

      YEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!! So stoked for you guys! Enjoy the hell out of it


    • nanoop

      That was about time!

    • GTXcellent

      So the car finally showed up on the 4th of July, almost 7 full months after our order was submitted to GM. So was it worth the wait? HELL YEAH!

      I wasn’t super thrilled with the wheels, but they look far different in person from the pictures. The color is perfect – glad that’s what we went with. The exhaust note – oh man that exhaust. There hasn’t been a better sounding snarl to come out of Australia since Jimmy Barnes. In ‘Sport Mode’ it’s really loud – almost obnoxiously so, with all sorts of gravely pops. When MiSSus GTXcellent first started it, she frightened an elderly lady walking by (that was awesome!) She also loves the drilled pedals – says it’s much easier to drive than the Saab in heels.

      So how does it drive? I don’t know, she hasn’t let me slip behind the wheel yet 😉

      • Jeff Glucker

        “So the car finally showed up on the 4th of July,”

        …You’re god damned right it did.

        (Yes, I know it’s Australian… but so what)

      • Ross Ballot

        Congrats! Seems like a hell of a car, best of luck with it!

    • kogashiwa


    • engineerd


    • ramLlama


      I’m so happy for you all!

    • Sjalabais

      Really good looking package. Aggressive, but not ridiculously so, and if it sounds that well…perfect. Did GM throw in some sort of apology bonus, like a 500$ gas card or so?

    • onrails
  • nanoop

    I’m now in shipping limbo, too.
    – I wanted to celebrate the new seals with thinner oil (5W-40), but the shop shipped only 6 of the 7 liters (that’s nine shortsocks and a squelch in, um, other units). I still have enough of the 10W-40 though (which started to leak when cold – I fixed that!), but I won’t get the “do everything right right away” badge.

    – I still don’t have the correct block-off plate for the water pump. wish I had access to a proper metal saw and some thick sheet metal, I’d simply cut and drill an oval-y 2×1″ piece of almumyum… Instead, I walk up to my mailbox every afternoon and sneak back home, head between shoulders – nuthin. Sad panda.

    • Jeff Glucker

      Ugh, I gotta do my seals…

      • nanoop

        Which car, the truck? Wait until stereo is installed, so you don’t have to hear the droplets hitting the tarmac. …

    • 0A5599

      Aluminum bar stock from the hardware store and a jig saw would work. Or have a local machine shop make one if final appearance matters.

      • nanoop

        Yeah, what’s bugging me is that it’s a 3-Dollar part, my seller is already 25 bucks in for shipping, and I have SEEN the part at the pickup shop, but the postal service demanded $50 for handling the customs since they assumed a wrong value…

        • Sjalabais

          Ah, good luck with the toll office. I have currently a 100+$ case going with them for messing up the tolls on a shipment of sports clothes w/ print for our local badminton team. The backlog for cases is six months…

          • nanoop

            No point in wishing me luck, they suck and demand a sucking fee. I could hear an arrogant southern (sørlanding) voice when reading the explanation that I might get the tax back, but never the fee, and that there is no point in escalating the case since they’ve done everything correctly. ..

    • Van_Sarockin

      Do you live in magical distant land, without road signs? Almost all are at least 1/8 inch aluminum, and would add a lovely splash of color to the engine bay. A hand held jig saw with a fine metal blade should be more than sufficient. even a coping saw with a metal blade, or a hacksaw, since it’s not so many inches to cut out. And electric (or hand drill) for the holes, and good gasket material should do the trick.

      • nanoop

        “No officer, I didn’t think I own the road and the signs – I was bullied on the Internet into doing this. Honestly!”

        • Vairship

          Does the postal service/toll office have a nice sign? Sounds like you already paid for it…

  • kogashiwa

    My news, such as it is – I’ll join the limbo party but not because I want to. About two weeks ago, two in the morning, woke up to the sound of very light hail – I hadn’t bothered to park my IS300 in the garage (stuff in the way), so wondered, do I get up or not, then the hail stopped – okay fine, roll over and go bacOH NOW IT REALLY STARTS so in a panic I went outside (I did remember pants) and pulled it into the garage but by then it was far too late.

    Fast forward to a couple days ago and the insurance claims inspector looking at it. I’d spotted one more ding on the door but other than that I thought damage was limited to the roof, hood, and trunk lid. So I really didn’t know if they’d fix it or write it off. The guy spent a long time punching numbers into his computer, then got out of his car/office (there were so many claims they were using a parking lot to process a bunch at once) and pronounced it a total loss.

    So yeah ever since then it’s been non-stop researching options this way and that way. I really like the IS300, with the exception of the slow-witted automatic transmission, so I could get another with a manual, or better yet an Altezza. Or I could go for a bit more of a long distance cruiser (a big benefit in Manitoba where everything is very far from everything else) and look for a GS300/350/430. Or I could lease something new, maybe a BRZ, maybe a manual Accord Sport, maybe a Focus ST, maybe even a Mustang?! (that would be very unlike this import guy) Or find a good deal on a lease takeover. Or get paintless dent removal to basically clean it up and keep driving it, but then I’d almost be stuck with it because it’d only be worth salvage value … and whichever way, insurance hasn’t gotten back to me yet with what they’ll actually give me for it so the main thing I need to know to make a decision I still don’t know. So many things I don’t know all at once!

    • Jeff Glucker

      FWIW, the latest gen Accord Sport is really really good.

      • kogashiwa

        This is what I keep hearing. I will definitely need to test drive one.

        • The Real Number_Six

          My sis has an Accord Sport. After driving it for an afternoon, I’d have one in a second.

      • Ross Ballot

        Any Accord with the manual is good, especially the V6 Coupe. One of the best all-around cars I’ve ever driven.

    • ptschett

      That sucks. If it doesn’t look too much like a golf ball, paintless dent repair could still be a good option though. My old Challenger got caught out in a hail storm when it was parked on the street by a friend’s place while we were away in his car; the PDR guy that I found popped out all the dozen-ish hailstone dents I knew of and a few I never even noticed, in my own garage, for ~$800 on a Saturday morning. A conventional bodyshop would have needed to do metalwork/filler/paint and would have cost about three times the PDR repair.

    • Sjalabais

      Wow, that’s a heavy hand by mother nature. No way to get a payout and keep driving the Lexus?

      • kogashiwa

        Yes, if I want to I can keep driving it and they will pay me the difference between market value and salvage value.

        HOWEVER I just this morning heard from the adjuster, and it sounds like the guy who looked at it in the first place underestimated the value of the car so it may well be repaired after all. Now I have to take it in to my body shop to get an accurate repair estimate done, and take it from there.

  • engineerd

    Adrian Newey is a mad scientist. I love it.

  • Jeff Glucker

    HoonTruck is in the audio install bay getting its gear installed. Woo

  • outback_ute

    I don’t mean to question the amount of work that has gone into this first concept or how close it may be to the final product (ok I do), but looking at the rear 3/4 view of the AM-RB, where you can see the aero tunnel and front wing through it (!?!), where do the drivers legs go?

    Then the photo of the Nissan made me think “ok, so they are trying to make their minivan more SUV-ish… doh that is the Pathfinder!” Mind you I used to drive a 1997-98 model and wasn’t that impressed by it.

    Other news; Toyota and BMW are apparently partnering to build a sports car that will replace the Z4, and Mazda has confirmed that the 2.5 turbo engine will fit in the 3 and the 6 – hopefully there is a good reason they know this!

    • Greg Kachadurian

      I’m assuming the driver would sit pretty far back in the Aston so that there’s decent legroom. Or maybe the production car will have that bit moved forward a bit. Or it’ll only be not tall people, so I’m out 🙁

      • outback_ute

        No, the side view shows they sit fairly far forward to make room for a V12 engine. Perhaps they have the “legs up” F1-style driving position, which would be pretty horrible for a road car.

  • Ross Ballot

    I may have new cars news coming in the next week. Updates (hopefully) to come.

  • ptschett

    The ’15 Challenger has been just fine, as would be expected for a practically-new car.
    I spent my Independence Day weekend at the family farm & took the ’96 Thunderbird out for a few drives while I was there. I still like driving that thing, though I’ve had it for literally more than half my lifespan thus far. If I’d known about the crushed-quartzite chip-seal road-repair job on the route to my mom’s sister’s house for the Independence-Day-eve celebration with my mom’s siblings/sibling-in-law’s & my cousins I might have driven the old Ford instead of the Dodge.
    I changed the oil in the ’05 Dakota today; only 3200 miles [5000 km] but 11 months exactly since the last change, and the oil that came out looked like it was definitely due to be changed even though it was full-synthetic. I finally gave in & bought “high mileage” formula* full-synthetic since it’s now past 125,000 mi [200,000 km].
    I’m starting to think about what comes next after the Dakota. The more I daily-drive the Challenger, the slower and more ill-handling the Dakota seems; it doesn’t meet my fun-to-drive threshold anymore (though the old Thunderbird still does.) FCA and Ford would be my usual go-to’s but the Wrangler pickup & US Ranger don’t seem to be officially official yet, so I’m torn between keeping the Dakota another few years or considering a trade for a Colorado/Canyon, Tacoma, etc.

    *the last time I tried “high mileage” oil was in the Thunderbird, about a decade ago. It burned/leaked that oil even faster than it burned/leaked the normal formula oil, somehow, so I’ve been reticent about it ever since.

  • Sjalabais

    I finally got my tech inspection approval. With all the small steering parts renewed, the Honda has a truly saturated road feel. Nimble and quick. My wife was with me and I showed here the mountain road I bike on when I have the car at that shop. On the way home I provoked an angry wife face having too much fun circling around those “50%-of-the-speed-limit-RVs” that are everywhere here during summer.

    The paint guy is unreliable so I have stopped messaging him. Not sure if I need a professional though, I have done ugly stop-the-rust-work a gazillion times before. There’s need for a good session on both cars. An oil change next week or so is tantamount, as I have driven 15k kms or more in my binary style, which really should demand more care. There’ll be a 1000+ kms in vacation driving, too. Can’t find my bag-o-filters though after I cleaned out the garage.

    • kogashiwa

      There ought to be some sort of index, like GDP, for the total annual value of items lost due to cleaning out the garage.

      • Sjalabais

        The my-wife-made-me-do-it, WMD-index? Associations to existing acronyms fully intended.

  • Is the Durango in the same class as the Pathfinder? I believe it can tow 7,500. (I have a strange obsession with following tow ratings on large CUVs even though I sold my camper a couple of years ago.)

    • Greg Kachadurian

      Honestly I don’t know anymore… I think it used to be but now that Nissan made it into more of a CUV maybe that somehow makes it a different class now?

      But then again, going to the Dodge and Nissan comparison tools, the Durango’s listed competitors are the Traverse, Explorer, and Acadia while the Pathfinder’s are the Highlander, Explorer, and Pilot…. using the Explorer as the common denominator, I guess they are in the same class.

      So in that case, yes, Nissan’s press release was full of shit.

      • All of those are unit bodies and all are FWD based, except the Durango which is RWD based. Maybe that makes it not in the same class, but I bet buyers cross shop them. The Durango seems more like the FWD CUVs than, say, a Tahoe.

        • outback_ute

          Durango is basically a longer Grand Cherokee, so unit body, but I think most would call it an SUV not a CUV because it is on a dedicated platform