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The News for September 1st, 2017

Greg Kachadurian September 1, 2017 The News! 17 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:

  • Bentley reveals sharper, more advanced Continental GT

  • Polestar does more with less with the new Volvo S60 and V60 Polestars

  • Porsche is still building the Cayenne

  • Cummins surprises with EV truck concept

  • Mercedes-AMG releases new image of Project One hypercar, sort of

  • Kia teases attractive new five-door hatchback

  • What’s your automotive news?

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley’s tried and true luxury grand tourer is getting its biggest update yet for next year and beyond. The third-generation Continental GT gets more power, more refinements in styling and interior quality, and more features as usual. Even though the Continental GT has only been in production since 2003, Bentley says they’ve drawn on their some 100 years of experience to build what they say is the pinnacle of their design and engineering achievements.

That pinnacle of Bentley design is essentially the stunning EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, a car that was pretty much universally loved, in production form. It’s not 100% identical, but really close. Highlights include a longer and lower profile, an extended bonnet with a lowered nose (made possible by pushing the front wheels up 135mm), a “power line” going all the way from the headlights to the rear haunches, and sharper lines all around.

A major technical achievement that helped greatly with the design process is an expanded use of Super Formed aluminum. Previously used to create Bentley’s fenders, this method of production was used on the entire body which permitted many of the new changes.

There’s also new lighting at each end inspired by the concept. Using the latest Matrix LED technology and an intricate lens design inspired by the finest cut crystal glasses, the new headlights create an effect similar to that of an illuminated gem. The taillights aren’t nearly as special, but they’re now shaped into ellipses.

There’s still seating for four inside if you try hard enough and all the materials are as nice as you’d expect from a Bentley. Ten square meters of wood (107 square feet!!!) is used for various trim pieces and inlays and there’s a new “diamond in diamond” quilt available which makes the leather seating even softer. You can even get the center console finished in the same material used in automatic Swiss watches known as Côtes de Genève, because Bentley. They also added a ton of other little details all around the cabin for a greater sense of quality, too many to talk about really.

There are three audio systems to choose from (standard, Bang & Olufsen, and Naim) paired with new laminated acoustic glass to offer a nine-decibel reduction in exterior noise over the outgoing model. A new and configurable digital gauge cluster is borrowed from Audi as is the 12.3″ MMI display (Bentley’s largest ever) that’s hidden behind veneer until startup.

Power comes from a familiar 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 but a series of enhancements bump its output to 626 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is also more responsive which helped make it a prime candidate for the new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox which will offer the quickest gear changes any Continental has ever seen. It also runs with a new AWD system which ditches the traditional 40:60 power delivery split in favor of a more dynamic one. 0-60 mph takes just 3.7 seconds and the top speed is an eye-watering 207 mph.

Improving ride quality and helping to make full use of its extra power is Bentley’s advanced Dynamic Ride control. It controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle to improve handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise. The car also rides on a new three-chamber air suspension system for extra softness and electric power steering so rich people’s hands don’t go numb or something.

The 2018 Bentley Continental GT will make its international debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12th and we’ll likely see it in dealerships by next summer.

[Source: Bentley]

Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar

Polestar, Volvo’s new performance brand, is bringing new enhancements to the 2018 Volvo S60 sedan and V60 wagon. It’s primarily an aero and suspension package, but many of these components were developed and tested by Cyan Racing, Polestar’s motorsports partner in the World Touring Car Championship. Should you be lucky enough to snag one of the 1,500 units planned for production, here’s what you can expect.

Polestar’s attractive new aero package adds a new front splitter, side sills, and a rear spoiler extension. Every new piece is made from carbon fiber and contributes to a 30% increase in downforce, increasing grip and high-speed stability.

Other less functional styling changes include high-gloss black Polestar diamond cut wheels, carbon fiber door mirror housings and a new Bursting Blue Metallic paint option. The interior gets its fair share with new seat upholstery, blue contrast stitching, and Polestar embroidering.

But most of the updates have been made beneath the skin. More than 250 chassis and powertrain components have been changed compared to the standard Volvo counterparts to deliver year-round performance with Volvo practicality. The highlights are adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers, six-piston Brembo brake calipers with 14.6″ discs, Michelin Pilot Super Sports, “Polestar optimized” steering, various chassis and body reinforcements, and 80% stiffer springs compared to S/V60 T6 R-Design.

It retains Volvo’s record-breaking turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine but benefits from a higher capacity turbo, strengthened conrods and camshaft, higher capacity fuel pump, and a new intake and air filter. Power is now rated at 367 horsepower and 347 lb.-ft. of torque. Out of a four-cylinder. From Volvo.

With Polestar-calibrated BorgWarner AWD and an eight-speed automatic, 0-60 mph is handled in 4.5 seconds and its top speed is limited to 155 mph. And until the new Panamera Turbo and the Giulia Quadrifoglio beat them, an S60 Polestar with many of these same enhancements held the Nürburgring lap record for production four-door sedans.

It may not be as big of a jump over the standard car as an AMG, RS, or an M, but it’s more than enough to turn a sensible Swedish family car into a serious sports car. We’re fans.

[Source: Volvo]

Porsche Cayenne

I can’t imagine there’s any other car that anyone reading this could care about less than the Porsche Cayenne, so I’ll make this quick.

Hey guys there’s a new Porsche Cayenne. More than 760,000 people bought these hot peppers since 2002 for some reason, so a new third-generation model was justified. It has new engines, more features, and a somewhat new design.

It will launch next year as a Cayenne and Cayenne S, each with turbocharged V6s. The S is faster because of the name and because its V6 produces 440 horsepower. The poors with their non-S Cayenne pepper will only have 340 horsepower.

Because the Cayenne Pepper SUV is “based heavily on the iconic 911 sports car” (their words, I swear), it too has a new four-wheel steer system and other stuff that other Cayennes and other Porsches have had for years like standard AWD, air suspension, and a drastic 143-pound weight reduction on a 4,400-pound SUV. You know, just like the 911.

And because it’s so much like a 911, it has its taillights too. And fancy new headlights. And uh… yeah that’s about it. They’ll continue to sell tons of these.

[Source: Porsche]

BLIPS

Cummins made headlines this week by introducing an all-electric truck meant for local deliveries. The main thing that got people talking is that they beat Tesla to the punch who are also expected to show their EV truck this month. The Aeos, as it’s called, is a concept that shows what the future of trucking could look like. As of now, that future won’t go very far. They expect a 100-mile range when loaded up to its gross weight limit of 75,000 pounds, but that could be pushed to 300 miles with extra batteries. Cummins is being realistic in saying this isn’t meant to replace the diesel-powered beasts that long-haul truckers drive, at least not yet. Even though it may not be very useful for many truckers right now, this could be an ideal option for cross-town deliveries and may even open the door to diesel-electric trucks that can benefit from what both diesel and EV trucks have to offer.

[Source: Autoweek]

Mercedes-AMG finally released an image of their upcoming Project One hypercar… driving through a dark tunnel. This is our first glimpse at what will likely end up being the final product or something close to it, which will actually be on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show most likely. It’s a hypercar in the sense that it’ll essentially have a modern F1 engine with four electric motors making lots of power in a lightweight, aerodynamic form. It’ll be nuts and we can’t wait to see it.

[Source: Autoweek]

Kia also has a new concept coming to Frankfurt, but it’s a bit more realistic. Designed by Kia’s European Design Center in Frankfurt, a little over a quarter-mile away from where it’ll be unveiled, it’s basically an extended hatchback or a wagon. They say it’ll preview what the next cee’d could look like, but my first impression gave off more of a Stinger GT wagon vibe than anything. Regardless of what this will actually be, it looks promising.

[Source: Kia]

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]

  • Tiller188

    Is it just me, or does that new Bentley look a LOT like a big Aston? The “face” is quite different, of course, but in profile and from the rear 3/4…even the shape of the badge is close enough for a doubletake. Not that this is a complaint…

    • rovingardener

      Pretty much the same profile though slightly less than the EXP 9 concept, almost as though they just replaced the fenders, headlights and fascia on the EXP 9. Yeah, not a complaint at all.

      • outback_ute

        Probably better-looking than the EXP 10 too, although I think there is scope for a facelift to make the front end a bit more cohesive. It just doesn’t quite work for me.

        That wouldn’t stop me buying one though, there is the small matter of the price tag that gets that done!

  • Cayenne: wow, they sold those at a higher rate than Opel and Renault could sell their commercial, cheaper-than-market-gold-standard-VW-bus Vivaro/Trafic. Same overall length and empty dry mass, too.

    Bentley: good looking exterior with 30% too big a grille.

    Volvo: what will happen to Polestar now that mothership dropped developing combustion engines, mid-term.. boost capacitors?

    Kia: their one-ofs keep impressing me.

    Cunnings Æon: The German Postal Service is using and selling to third parties an EV (developed with Ford) for the last few miles. Keyword Streetscooter. Dang, a private company has to teach the German car makers (who are behaving like national institutions by now) what they need by making it themselves. A proper utility car company should have at least a prototype by now, claiming “if you buy it we’ll make it”. So disappointed how self-satisfied they are, no eagerness to simply show off what they really could do…

    MB: oh, a fast, expensive car with headlamps and a hood ornament, how exciting.

    • Greg Kachadurian

      Polestar will follow suit. And Volvo hasn’t ditched ICEs completely, it’s just that after 2019 they’ll all have some kind of electrification. New Volvos and Polestars will be either hybrid or pure EV.

      • The actual details of the announcement of Volvo don’t really concern me, I’m rather curious what the performance division of a car manufacturer (think AMG, M, quattro, oops, those are all German) will do in 10 years, aside from adding 1″ to the rims and cutting 1″ off the springs. There won’t be much room for engine tuning, since a) they will have been doing exactly that for the future last ten years, and b) who knows what emission laws will demand once the German lobbyists were expelled from the legislation process.

        Side note: future past tense will have been awful.

        • The performance gains for Formula E motors in just two years have been staggering. They’re breaking with convention in every aspect. It will take a while for the OEM’s to catch up with the motors in actual production cars. And there will always be opportunities for skunkworks along the good/fast axes by sacrificing some level of cheap/reliable.

          Edit: As if the current crop of 300hp base models actually could use more power day to day. They might actually start focusing on driver feedback, sensation, and handling. And while we’re dreaming, I’d like a pony.

  • Zentropy

    I lost the Polestar with the automatic…

  • One of the things we’ve been doing at my job is working on a modern interior package for the Factory Five Racing Mark IV Cobra. This is the first prototype:

    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58175c3615d5dbcebad13573/59569c3d6a49637a936c854c/59569c6eccf2106856891a86/1498848628979/2017-06-25+15.32.42.jpg?format=1500w

    Wrap around accent color trim flowing from the doors to dash to console, piano black center dash that extends to center console, two AC vents low and center, etc.

    When I saw the interior of the new Continental GT, I was slightly amused.

  • Alff

    Seems like an electric truck could make a decent depot hack

  • Smaglik

    I’m going to spend some time today installing a CD changer into the M3. When I bought the car back in May (2002 with 46,xxx… I’ve put on 6k since then), my original plan was to get an iPod adapter for the factory stereo. Well, apparently something changed in the iBus system between 02 and 03, and I can no longer buy one new.

    So, I saw a working CD changer for sale on the M3 forum, and snatched it up for relatively cheap (well under $100) before really investigating what I’d need to do to install it. The car is prewired, like they all are, but I neglected to notice that my trunk is rather spacious on the left side, where said CD changer is to be installed behind the trim panel.

    So, after a month or so of collecting the right parts (chassis, trim panels, etc), I think it’s ready to drop in. We’ll see. I did test the changer when I got it. It works.

  • Also, Aaron Severson of AteUpWithMotor has a new article, it’s about.. well, something drivetrain-y:
    https://ateupwithmotor.com/terms-technology-definitions/split-torque-lockup-converters/view-all/

    • wunno sev

      usually i revel in his articles, but this one felt like a series of really wordy explanations of mechanical assemblies. the diagrams help, but there was little of the historical context and significance I expect from AUWM. it was a slog. good diagrams, though.

      • It looks a bit like a sidebar from the (reworked) transmission history that went awry. Pretty nerdy content indeed, nothing you can drop in a side phrase on your next cocktail party….

  • JayP

    Part 1:
    Gas lines in DFW.
    Yeah, the local news and social media drove people to the pumps. Issues with the refineries because of Harvey sent people into a panic. I saw FB posts warning people to hoard as much as you could. Yes.

    I’d dropped the Vic off at the local repair shop (Part 2) and I was in the 17mpg Mustang with a quarter tank on Thursday morning.
    By 7am, the panic hadn’t hit. Line was 1 car.

    Bu noon, the rush was on. Prices up by 20cents, some gouging was happening. State officials were calling for calm, that there’s plenty of fuel. But this run was insane. The station on the corner had a line a half mile long, causing traffic issues.

    Worked from home Friday, got the Vic fixed Sat AM (Part 2), Sat met my pal who helped with the Vic and bought him all the drinks he wanted. Drove home and filled up for $2.699.

  • JayP

    Part 2:
    Driving home Sunday evening I managed to run into a ladder on the highway. Bad enough that it jacked my alignment in the Vic. I scheduled a time to bring it in Monday evening for them to work it on Tuesday. Picked it up and was given the before and after alignment sheet. Reds on the before but yellows on the after…

    Drove the car to work Wednesday and the car was pulling to the other side. Called and scheduled another app for them to check it. I called Thursday and the lady said the the techs checked and the car is within “spec” and didn’t even try to see what the issue was. They reasoned it was pulling was that the right front tire had low tread. I said that was silly, took my car and left in a huff.

    Mentioned this to my pal who works as a tech at a dealership. His alignment guy knows his stuff. I sent a pic of the alignment sheet and he was amused and offered to take a look and see what he could do. I learned about “toe ‘n go” techs…

    30 min drive to the shop, car on the rack an hour and it’s perfect. He worked on the toe as well as the camber and castor… which were not touched by the first shop.

    I may go after the first shop to get my $90 back but I can live with that life lesson if not.

  • Fuhrman16

    For Labor Day weekend I took the Mazda 2 on a road trip out to the Black Hills of South Dakota. And man, are the roads out there incredible. They’re so twisty and hilly, surrounded with beautiful pine trees and granite outcroppings. The Iron Mountain Road and Needles Highway (US 16A and SD 87) are really special, with their narrow stone carved tunnels. Everyone should make a trip out there. I recemend taking something small and nimble, and tackling the road early in the morning to avoid the tourists (though watch out for all the deer who are more active at dawn).
    Here’s a video of Needles Highway.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epF0M5pYZbY