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The News for July 21st, 2017

Greg Kachadurian July 21, 2017 The News! 21 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:

  • Lotus reveals most powerful, fastest Evora ever – again

  • Buick is bringing back the Regal GS with 310 hp

  • Ford creates pursuit-rated F-150 Police Responder

  • BMW posts successful first test with M8 GTE

  • Honda reportedly files patents for new roofless sports car

  • Buick cuts 2018 Regal pricing by $2K over the previous car

  • What’s your automotive news?

Lotus Evora GT430

This week Lotus unveiled the most powerful road-going production car in company history and the most extreme Evora to date – again. Like all the other record-breaking Evoras that have come before it, this one takes another big step forward. With Lotus now following the Call of Duty release cycle for all their cars, we can only assume they’ll keep getting better and faster year after year, but the release of this Evora GT430 has me starting to wonder where they’ll be able to go from here. It’s even good enough to warrant the return of the “GT” nameplate which hasn’t been seen in the lineup since the Esprits in the 90s.

As with every new Lotus these days, the GT430 has more power than its predecessors and can do more with it through better aerodynamic efficiency and less weight, but the way they accomplished those gains is much more remarkable here. The aero kit is far more aggressive than even some of the Evora race cars and more of the car’s body is finished with exposed carbon fiber.

You’d think it was a racecar – it practically is – but it’s fully road legal and an American version will follow next spring, or however long it takes them to fit yellow reflectors on the bumpers (and probably do some other stuff too).

Lotus keeps coming up with ways to gradually increase output from the 3.5-liter supercharged and charge-cooled V6 that the Evora 400 was originally born with. This one makes 430 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with a lightweight titanium exhaust as standard. Also standard is a new air-to-liquid gearbox cooler, six-speed manual, a low-inertia single-mass flywheel, and a Torsen-type LSD to help power reach the tarmac as efficiently as possible.

0-60 mph takes just 3.7 seconds and its top speed is 190 mph.

Up to 550 pounds of downforce can be generated thanks to a new and specifically designed body panels with exposed carbon fiber. Compared to the Evora 400 and Sport 410, the GT430’s face has larger front apertures, a new carbon fiber splitter, air blades, and louvers on the front wheel arches. At the rear, aero ducts behind each wheel reduce pressure in the wheel arches, a rear diffuser gets larger and pointier, and there’s a larger wing to top it all off.

Almost everything mentioned is crafted from carbon fiber and there’s also a new carbon fiber front access panel, carbon fiber roof panel, and one-piece carbon fiber tailgate to go with it all. The use of everyone’s favorite element is continued inside as well with new carbon-backed Sparco race seats, new carbon door sills, and a new carbon instrument binnacle cover.

All this shaves 57 pounds off an already light Evora Sport 410, resulting in a total dry weight of 2,773 pounds. The “standard” Evora 400 weighs in at 3,076 pounds.

Making full use of its increased power and downforce is pure mechanical grip as only Lotus can deliver. Ulta-lightweight forged aluminum wheels (19″ front/20″ rear) are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and are 10mm wider than on the Evora Sport 410. Damping is provided by Lotus-tuned Öhlins TTX two-way adjustable units with 20 click-adjustment compression and rebound settings. Eibach provides the lightweight, low-sideload springs with an increased spring rate to go with the new front and rear anti-roll bars. Stopping power is provided by two-piece J-grooved and ventilated front discs (rear uses lighter three-piece discs) paired with AP Racing four-piston calipers at each corner.

All of this results in the ultimate Evora. It’s designed to not be too harsh for a quick trip to the fun roads but it’s exactly as focused as a track car needs to be. The GT430 can lap their Hethel test track in 1:25.8, a record for the Evora and the same time posted by the even more ridiculous 3-Eleven road car.

Only 60 examples will be produced for various global markets. No word if the planned American version will contribute to that 60-car limit or not. Prices were not listed but it’s available for order now.

[Source: Lotus]

Buick Regal GS

As Buick is preparing to roll out their eye-catching new Regal, their performance division is already working on a faster version. That’s right, they’re bringing back the GS. The new mid-size luxury car is getting its sporting credentials with a new V6, updated chassis, and some light styling tweaks. The goal here is to produce a more engaging sports car that can still be a true daily driver, so its upgrades are fairly modest.

Power comes courtesy of a new 3.6-liter V6 with direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and a new exhaust system to sing through. With 310 horsepower and 282 lb.-ft. of torque on tap, all-wheel drive with active twin clutch (rear), and a nine-speed automatic as standard, it’s probably a quick car, but we don’t have any acceleration figures to confirm it.

It also comes with various chassis upgrades to handle the extra horsepower (51 more than the last GS). As with all AWD Regals, a five-link rear suspension reduces road noise and improves stability. As a GS-exclusive, it gets a newly-developed Continuous Damping Control and Interactive Drive Control (driving modes). Brembo provides the stopping power.

Styling tweaks are pretty minor and understated, but those in the know will be able to easily tell the difference. The GS features a more aggressive front and rear fascia with larger openings and a new grille design, standard 19″ wheels, a rear decklid spoiler, and mandatory GS badging.

The interior is highlighted by new GS-specific performance seats with integrated headrests and adjustable lumbar and thigh support. Not only do they look cool, they also have heating, cooling, and massaging functions as standard. It also comes with a heated flat-bottom steering wheel plus GS-specific pedals and sill plates.

So there you have it. All season performance at a price point meant to be more attainable than its European rivals. Prices start at $39,990 which puts it into some dangerous territory.

[Source: Buick]

Ford F-150 Police Responder

Nothing is safe. Ford has revealed the industry’s first pursuit-rated pickup – the F-150 Police Responder. It’s designed to give law enforcement a more versatile, off-road capable patrol vehicle that can still be called into high-speed action when needed. They designed this to excel in rural environments patrolled by sheriff’s departments, border patrol operations, and the Department of Natural Resources.

Built on a standard issue F-150 FX4, it takes full advantage of its high-strength steel frame and aluminum-alloy SuperCrew body to give it the largest passenger volume, payload, and towing capacity (7,000 pounds) of any pursuit-rated vehicle. It also makes good use of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, ten-speed automatic gearbox, and four-wheel drive. It’s a big, heavy truck, but with 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque on tap, it’s the most powerful pursuit tool in the police arsenal.

For patrol and pursuit duties, it’s been upgraded with bigger brake calipers and better pads, a new front stabilizer bar for improved braking and handling, 18″ alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, and underbody skid plates. The interior is fully prepped for police duties as well with a 240-amp alternator for on-board electronics, heavy duty cloth front seats, and vinyl rear seats and flooring for easy cleanup.

If for some reason you try to run from one of these, don’t go off the road. You won’t win.

[Source: Ford]

BLIPS

BMW Motorsport wrapped up their first test with the new M8 GTE and gave us a first look at next year’s car. As the 8 Series prepares to take over flagship coupe duties from the 6 series, the M8 is also taking over for the M6 in race car duties. It’s also with this car that BMW will make a return to the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE class (that specification is shown here). It’ll race in America as well in the IMSA GTLM class under the BMW Team RLL banner. So far, BMW only spoke briefly about their testing to say this was sort of a familiarity run with greater emphasis placed on safety rather than performance – that’ll come later.

BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk (GER) alternated at the wheel with BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin (BEL) and they both reported very positive first impressions. From my point of view, it’s also a very positive first impression – this thing looks killer. The M6 looks great as a racecar, but its quite big compared to everything else it races against in the GT3/GTD and GTLM class. The M8 however looks like it’ll be much more sleek and aggressive – almost as if it was meant to be a racecar from day one of the M8’s development. We’ll see more of this near the end of the year.

[Source: BMW]

Honda has filed interior patents for what seems to be a smaller, roofless NSXThe Drive picked up on these patent filings from the European Union Intellectual Property Office which show a new dash, F1-style steering wheel, and sporty seats wrapped in a wild-looking topless sports car body. It looks more like an NSX roadster concept or design study than the upcoming S2000 revival the internet is pleading for, but whatever it is, I expect we’ll see it at an auto show in the not-too-distant future.

[Source: The Drive]

With the announcement of the Regal GS, Buick also confirmed pricing for the other Regal models revealed earlier this year. The standard Regal Sportback model with its 2.0T engine and sleek European design will start at $25,915, about $2,000 less than the 2017 Regal. So it’s prettier, more efficient, more comfortable, and cheaper. And if you want the cooler Regal TourX, that’ll start at $29,995 and will be available in dealerships next February.

[Source: Buick]

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]

  • Fred Talmadge

    The Buicks look interesting, if only they prove to be reliable.

    • Rover 1

      They are also the new Holden Commodore.

      Feel free to view them as GM’s suggested replacement for the Chevy SS.

      • outback_ute

        / finishes rolling on floor and climbs back on chair….

        Talking about price cuts, I read about the new M-B E63 which is $40k cheaper than the old model here, so much so that it will severely affect resale of the old car and potentially leave people underwater at the end of leases. The E63S is $10k cheaper (we are talking $240k vs $250k!)

        Another Lotus Evora hey? This is now the Sergey Bubka of cars…

        • Rover 1

          It’s not really me that’s saying it. GMH is telling Australia that the new Commodore, Australia’s own, is this new car, to be made for Australia by a Peugeot subsidiary.
          You’re not the only person falling on the floor.

          MB s keep getting cheaper. One of my W124s sold new in the early nineties for the same price E-classes go for new now.

          • outback_ute

            I know it wasn’t your opinion. Holden has a real challenge when it will lose tens of thousands of Commodore sales, on top of the tens of thousands it already has done. They have sold just under 11,000 Commodores for the first 6 months of 2017, so I’m guessing 20,000 for the year – less than a third what they sold 10-15 years ago. Holden is #4 in the market, just a few units ahead of Hyundai.

            It is not just MB that applies to – even a Toyota Corolla is nearly the same price as 25 years ago.

          • wunno sev

            i did an inflation adjustment for my W123 (base-model, no-options 240D) and that car, with its vinyl seats, crank windows, manual climate control, slick top, and stick shift, cost the inflation-adjusted equivalent of something like $55k today.

            how did they sell any of them?! as much as i claim to be an adherent to quality of build over quantity of features, i’d be really hard-pressed to pay three or four base Focuses worth of money to get a Mercedes with the same features, no matter how well it was built.

  • Greg Kachadurian

    I’m pretty positive I got the leak fixed in my truck. The adhesive seems to have formed a good seal around that plastic window surround, and despite my best efforts to screw it up, it’s even blended in nicely. I ran a garden hose over that whole area for about 15 seconds and it’s all completely dry inside 😀

    • Rover 1

      I always liked that model of Toyota Corolla.

    • Sjalabais

      …and you think you can get away with a short notice?
      I honestly thought that challenge was a bit too tough, congrats!

  • JayP

    Fusion Sport makes more power and is about $5k less.
    Lincoln MKZ makes 400hp and with AWD is $43k.
    I want to see a comparo… the Buick may look better but is it a better car?

  • I’m 2 or 3 weeks (I’ve lost track) into getting the RSX on the road. With any luck it’ll be done this weekend. Of course, that’s what I said last weekend.

    First it was the battle against the crank pulley bolt, then the battle of the timing chain alignment and now the fight with a failed starter (which I likely contributed to in an ill advised attempt to use the starter to remove the crank pulley bolt.) Did you know that to change the starter on a K20A2 you need to remove the intake manifold? Well, not officially, but in practical terms, yes.

    I’m hoping that I’ll be rewarded with a 5,000 something RPM V-TEC kick on the way to a 7,900 RPM redline and a big stupid grin on my face, but up to now it’s been a painful ownership experience. At every turn, this car seems to be fighting me. The 318ti was, mostly, a joy to work on. This Acura, not so much.

    • Well, she’s running again. Tomorrow I’ll wrap things up and take it for a spin.

      • I got the rest of the small details together Sunday and took her for a blast down my country road. VTEC hits at 5,900 and it pulls hard all the way to the 7,900 RPM redline, nice. Pull in the garage and check the codes. A couple O2 sensor codes and a knock sensor code. Huh? Wait,did I plug that harness back in … ?

        Nope, and it’s under the intake, above the starter, behind a couple of coolant pipes. If I snake my hand up in there I can – barely – get my fingers on the sensor. Several minutes of fumbling and I somehow manage to get it plugged back in. Clear the codes, take it for another drive and check again. Gone. Whew.

        I’ve been driving it the last two days and that sound and pull are intoxicating. It takes some getting used to, I find myself shifting below the VTEC crossover by default, but man is it a thrill when you let it run.

        VTEC kick? Check.
        Big stupid grin? Oh yeah, check.

  • ptschett

    So the obscure VW engine part that I ordered from the UK during the US Independence Day holiday arrived uneventfully at my parents’ farm about a week ago; my dad’s little DeuceSpra-Coupe is up and running again.
    (For those unaware of what a Spra-Coupe is… it was a small pesticide application machine for farmers that used to be popular especially in the wheat-growing parts of the US prairie states and great plains. Originally they had a single central front wheel, but later models like this had a wide 2-wheel front axle. For much of their history they used VW-derived engines and transmissions.)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8259647b918a1f1ddc9cfa45b8fb35604a0c5a62be059555f34948723f31295.jpg

    • CraigSu

      I wonder if it’s any coincidence that it resembles the bugs it designed to kill?

    • Fuhrman16

      My uncle had one of the really early versions of those that used an air cooled Beetle motor. Always thought it would make for an interesting little beach buggy or something.
      Here’s a video of a similar version.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqtB8lmNUVA

    • Rover 1

      You just need to fix the buildings to match the retro-futurism now.
      http://i.imgur.com/ukXC421.jpg

  • Van_Sarockin
    • Rover 1

      I can’t say I’m surprised. Aren’t they mostly based on Bosch patents purchased from the original inventors of diesel electronic common rail direct injection, Fiat?

      Isn’t Bosch the common element between them all?

      • Van_Sarockin

        The big story is that manufacturers have formed an illegal cartel to make many large scaled and detail decisions about design and manufacturing, in violation of the law. Emissions defeat software was one aspect of this widespread practice.

        Fuel injection isn’t the root issue, other than the inherent problems of optimizing emissions reductions in diesels. They conspired to agree on a specific tank size to save money. Then Audi developed the software emissions defeat, so the tanks wouldn’t run out of fluid too soon. Then that software cheat was provided to other manufacturers, who used it, resulting in grossly polluting vehicles in general usage. Bosch doesn’t get mentioned as a participant in the crime. It would have been helpful, but not necessary, for Bosch to have provided its base software code.