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The News for May 19th, 2017

Greg Kachadurian May 19, 2017 The News! 27 Comments

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. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Shelby American reveals a Super Snake for road courses and some expensive truck

  • Jaguar teases XF Sportbrake again by showing nearly all of it

  • BMW confirms all-wheel drive for new M5, but it won’t kill the fun

  • Nissan begins teasing next-generation LEAF

  • Volvo prices XC60 from $41,500

  • What’s your automotive news?

Shelby Super Snake Wide Body Concept

Looking at this picture, you’re probably thinking “what, another one? Shelby only revealed a Super Snake five months ago, so why are we talking about it again?” Because this one is better, and it’s better because it was designed to turn more. It’s a wide body version that exists to tackle road courses rather than just the drag strip like the “normal” Super Snake.

It’s technically a concept, but they hint at production intentions and even have ” available Fall 2017″ on their homepage. Regardless, it’s something they could easily produce given the fact they already sell the car it’s based on.

The wide body kit features extended front fenders with vents, rear quarter panels, and a new rocker styling kit to make it look great but more importantly allow more room for bigger rubber and a wider track. Two-and-a-half inches were added to the car’s track up front and four inches were added at the back.

The car’s handling upgrades include a new fully adjustable coil over suspension, new rear lower control arms, bigger brakes, hardened wheel studs, stronger spindles and hubs, 11” x 20” front wheels, and 12.5” x 20” rear wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Those bigger brakes come courtesy of Brembo and the kit includes 16″ rotors with 6-piston calipers front and 14″ rotors with 4-piston calipers rear, making this one of the biggest brake kits ever equipped on a Mustang.

All of this is completely necessary given the Super Snake’s supercharged Ford-sourced 5.0-liter V8 which can deliver up to 750 horsepower to whichever sections of tarmac aren’t too scared of it. Shelby says the new setup will allow for later braking, earlier acceleration out of corners, better communication to the driver, and will absorb track imperfections more effectively.

As mentioned earlier, they only call it a concept (and the first they’ve had in over a decade) but I’d be very surprised if they didn’t start selling this. Should they choose to build it again, it’ll be available worldwide.

Oh and they also revealed this truck they call the Shelby F-150 Super Snake. It can produce 395 horsepower or over 750 depending on the package and prices start at $96,880 (including the F-150). Yep.

[Source: Shelby American, Inc. via Autoweek]

Jaguar XF Sportbrake assaulted by tennis balls

Jaguar casually slipped in a “camouflaged” XF Sportbrake while promoting their partnership with Wimbledon 2017. The actual news release isn’t very interesting if you aren’t a tennis fan, but it’s our clearest picture yet of the upcoming XF Sportbrake – that is if you can look past all the tennis balls on it.

Usually automakers will use a dizzying black and white camo pattern when they want to test prototypes in plain sight, but wrapping a car in tennis balls is certainly a first. The tennis balls will come off on June 14th when we’ll also learn more about the new Sportbrake. Updates as I get them…

[Source: Jaguar]

BMW M5 – AWD, 8-speed Steptronic confirmed

The rumors of an all-wheel-drive M5 are confirmed by a technical description and video recap released by BMW. The sixth-generation M5 due later this year will be the first to come standard with BMW’s new M xDrive system – but don’t worry, it isn’t killing the fun.

The traditionally rear-wheel-drive M5 isn’t necessarily dead, and I say that because the M xDrive system going in the new M5 can be disengaged at will. À la carte handling dynamics, as they call it, allows drivers to choose between the standard 4WD mode, the more playful and less intrusive 4WD Sport mode, or the traditional 2WD using in-car controls. You can see how it all works in the video above.

This is still possible

The idea here is to create an M5 that can be driven fast and enjoyed by everyone in any weather condition. Even the more experienced drivers will still enjoy the added stability and cornering performance the 4WD modes bring, according to BMW works driver Timo Glock. Besides the added complexity (which is to be expected from BMW these days) and the extra weight it carries (though BMW says the car will still be lighter than before), there are no downsides to this. BMW purists like myself can rest easy…

… and focus all of our rage to the torque-converter eight-speed Steptronic (automatic) transmission which will replace the seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission and six-speed manual in the old car. BMW says it’ll still be lightning quick and will also be more comfortable around town and on the highway, which is probably where an M5 spends 100% of its time, but the M DCT was just too cool to replace with a glorified ZF automatic. Maybe it’ll be fine… but it seems as if they’re taking a step back for the sake of comfort – in a 200+ mph super saloon.

[Source: BMW, Bimmerpost on YouTube]

The new Nissan LEAF is coming

Nissan, the automaker who loves to let their models age as much as possible before they do anything about it, is finally talking next-gen LEAF and kicked off the conversation with a quick teaser shot. The headlight lenses shown here belong to new mass-produced EV that we’ll see later this year. It doesn’t reveal much obviously, but its release is a sign of things to come with Nissan planning more photo teasers and international briefings scheduled throughout the summer to get us hyped.

More as we have it.

[Source: Nissan]

Volvo XC60 US pricing announced

Volvo announced US pricing for the all-new XC60 premium midsized SUV which are set to arrive in dealerships this fall. MSRP on the base XC60 T5 is $41,500 and that price includes standard leather seating, a panoramic moonroof, LED headlamps, a nine-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and the usual array of safety features that Volvo does best.

The standard T5 model is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with 250 hp. The next step up is the T6 ($44,900) which adds more premium features and a 316-hp turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder gas engine. At the top is the T8 ($52,900) which adds electric motors to the T6 drivetrain to create an all-wheel-drive hybrid.

Some of the premium features that distinguish the XC60 from others in the segment is optional soft Nappa leather seats with ventilation and massage, Bowers & Wilkins premium sound, and four-corner air suspension.

You can configure your XC60 right now at volvocars.com/us in anticipation of the fall 2017 delivery date.

[Source: Volvo]

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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • All these new Volvos are some handsome,,, but they all look so alike. Questions:
    – Is having all cars in the line-up looking almost exactly the same good or bad?
    – How will they age? Will the lines become classic or will they age like desktop computers?

    • Sjalabais

      Agreed, it’s a bit boring. The less I care about new cars, the harder it gets to tell the difference in the Audi and BMW lineup. I have no clue how to distinguish an A5 from an A7 in passing. My guess would be that this is where the inspiration to Volvo is coming from.

      • dukeisduke

        Some of the grilles now vaguely recall the P1800.

      • JayP

        Audi has lost me lately… But mid 90’s to the early 00’s were perfect, especially the A4 and A8.

        • kogashiwa

          Very much agreed with this. “Ronin” S8 second-best Audi of all time after the original Quattro/Sport Quattro.

          They all look completely identical now.

          • But they have the best interiors and drive really nice…

            • kogashiwa

              Oh I’m sure they do. Would love an S5

  • Lokki

    Volvo has to emphasize the Volvo Look to de-emphasize the Chinese ownership.

    BMW is in a somewhat similar soup. They are making so damn many vehicles that have nothing to do with the traditional BMW ‘driving machine’ image that it’s very necessary that all the new children look as much like papa as possible lest people (like me) suspect they are merely step-children (FWD BMW, anyone?).

    • While I agree on the BMW issue, I disagree that Volvo is using design to distract from ownership nationality, as if they would choose a more Chinese look if they were owned by, say, Swiss.

      The design patterns of Jaguar/Opel/Lamborghini/ Rolls-Royce have /had nothing to do with denial.

  • dukeisduke

    In other news, Buick was incorporated on this day in 1903.

  • I was planning to go to the local Polaris dealership’s Slingshot demo day this afternoon, but a good-old-fashioned Midwest thunderstorm is bearing down on us. 🙁

  • dukeisduke

    Time to order front and rear disc pads for my 16yo daughter’s Forte Koup (5-speed). The nice thing is, the OEM pads come with shims *in the box* (take a note, Toyota). Ordering from a Kia dealer on the Web (cheaper).

  • GTXcellent

    Summer tires went on the SS last evening. I may, or may not, have done a huge, smokey burn-out to make sure the wheels were seated correctly and there was no vibration.

    (yeah, I did)

    • Sjalabais

      BBQ season brings with it all sorts of smokes.

  • Alff

    Despite the tennis ball motif, I can’t find fault with that new Jaguar. Absolutely love it. They’ve really come up aces with this one. I’ll add in that I’d let it eat cookies in bed.

  • JayP

    My pal bought a beautiful Mk5 R32 from a fella on VWVortex. He was confident enough of the buyer that he bought it based on the pics and forum posts. I’m jealous.

    My pal also has Mk4 R32 I’m gonna try get him to sell to me super cheep.
    I can hope.

  • IMHO, calling a four-door wagon a brake is as stupid as those “four door coupes.” But I guess station wagon is the marketing kiss of death.

  • kogashiwa

    Hyundai Ioniq not making the news much? Well, it’s no wonder, I suppose, not the usual thing in these circles. But it (the regular hybrid, specifically, not the electric or the PHEV) has me kind of intrigued. 4.1 l/100km! I could go from my ‘umble abode in Manitoba, to Banff, for the weekend, for $55 in gas (one way … no reason to come back anyway). That’s kind of remarkable. High efficiency is its own form of high performance, or something like that? Also it has a dual-clutch six-speed, which is a very nice touch assuming it’s programmed properly and/or has a usable manual mode (oops … so much for the efficiency). What Car in the UK claims it drives pretty well.

    Any chance of seeing a review from the Hooniversal People In Charge Of Beating On Press Cars?

    • Greg Kachadurian

      I didn’t see any Hyundai news this week, at least from the US site. I actually have covered the Ioniq a bit in the past. I’m sure Jeff or Kamil will get a spin soon enough and report back with its burnout scores 😛

      • I have driven the Kia Niro, review soon,… but I have no idea how different that is.
        Hyundai recently had a local press event for the Ioniq but I couldn’t make it. Lemme see if I can get one…

  • wunno sev

    selling my Benz! the 240D has been a good laugh, but around six months after buying it, i’m ready to shuffle it on. my plan is to sell that bastard, get my Volvo working again, and decide if i want a Miata again or if i’m happy with two cars for now.

  • Closing in on the van project. There was a reasonably priced VW T5 California Beach, but it raised several flags: slightly too cheap, contradicting mileage records, security claims of a bank on it, annual road tax not paid for this year….
    It was good looking though, and the price came down twice, so I ran the VIN through VW’s eWin system, and bingo: the car was not a camper ex works, it was a shuttle bus.

    While I would not mind to buy a conversion (with a passionate story and a folder of photos and plans) I certainly do mind a pretender.

    So we’re looking at an LWB Opel/Vauxhall/GM Vivaro (aka. Renault Trafic) from 2014, one of the last MY’13, and I like it.