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The News for September 22nd, 2017

Greg Kachadurian September 22, 2017 The News! 14 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:

  • Volvo introduces all-new XC40, their first small SUV

  • Lamborghini enhances Huracan Super Trofeo with EVO package

  • McLaren finally joins the Vision Gran Turismo project

  • Toyota launches performance sub brand with Gazoo Racing

  • Mitsubishi pretends to bring back the Evolution

  • Ford Fiesta ST isn’t returning to America next year

  • What’s your automotive news?

Volvo XC40

Volvo introduced their all-new XC40 this week, the first small SUV in company history. There are a couple of other firsts being introduced with this one as well: it marks the first time Volvo has ever had three globally available SUVs, it’s the first new Volvo built on their modular architecture, and it’ll also be the first Volvo to launch with a new subscription service called “Care by Volvo”.

We all know the SUV/crossover segment is growing more than any other, but the small ones are flying off dealership lots even quicker. The XC40 will aim to capitalize on that growth while broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand, or something. Design-wise, it has all of the same styling cues as its larger siblings but they worked harder to make this smaller shape look a bit more interesting.

Another thing it borrows from its siblings is the wide range of safety features that Volvo is known for. Things like Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with brake support, and the 360° Camera are all packed into the XC40.

And speaking of packing stuff in, the XC40 features a new interior design which focuses on providing more functional storage solutions. There’s extra space in the doors and under the seats, a fold-out hook for small bags, a removable waste bin in the tunnel console, and a special spot for phones with inductive charging.

From launch, the XC40 will be available with with a D4 diesel or T5 gas engine in most markets. Hybrid and pure EV options will be added later. The T5 with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive is your only option here in the states.

To briefly explain Care by Volvo, it’s yet another subscription service that tries to change how we own cars. This time it follows the cell phone model with a flat monthly subscription fee that “eliminates” down payments, taxes, and other fees (which are likely just included in that monthly fee anyway). You order your car online and have it delivered to you, then after 24 months, you get a new one with a 1mm thinner case and a slightly better camera. There are some interesting perks to this though such as fueling services, cleaning, and temporarily switching cars should the need arise. This service eliminates price negotiations, regional price differences, and age discrimination. If owning a car scares you for some reason, this may actually be the way to go.

[Source: Volvo]

Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO

Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Lamborghini’s motorsport division, has unveiled a more aggressive version of their Huracan Super Trofeo for their one-make racing series. The Huracan Super Trofeo EVO raises the standards with an entirely redesigned aero package to make a fast customer racing car even faster.

Designed by Dallara Engineering and Lamborghini Centro Stile, the new body kit doesn’t actually add any additional downforce when compared to the previous model. The goal was to maintain the already high levels of downforce while enhancing aerodynamic efficiency. They say it still provides the same levels of stability, but there’s less resistance to forward travel.

You can see the Super Trofeo EVO next year in Super Trofeo Europe, Asia, and North America. Teams with existing Super Trofeos can upgrade to the aero kit or buy new from $295,000. Somehow that seems like a great value for a Lamborghini race car.

[Source: Lamborghini]

McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo

Remember the Vision Gran Turismo cars? Back in the days of Gran Turismo 6, GT founder Kazunori Yamauchi challenged the world’s automakers to create a no limits racing car that’ll only ever exist in their virtual world. McLaren is finally delivering theirs and it comes just in time for Gran Turismo Sport. 

The McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo isn’t necessarily a preview of an upcoming McLaren model, but it’s a fun concept to show what they could achieve from 2030 and beyond. With no real world limitations placed on them whatsoever, they created a race car with the world’s most uncomfortable driving position.

Your virtual driver doesn’t sit in the car, they lay facing forward in the cabin which is “shrink wrapped” around them. The driving position is designed to give you greater visibility and make your driver question its purpose in life.

The rest of the car is a bit cooler though. Extensive use of carbon fiber brings the virtual curb weight down to about 2,200 pounds. Integrated active aero replaces conventional adaptive wings with tiny aperture covers around air inlets on key surfaces which can allow more or less air to pass through. Centrally-mounted carbon brakes provide great stopping power and reduced unsprung weight.

A twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 of McLaren’s own design powers the rear wheels while electric motors sit at each front wheel pod. Players will have a total of 1,150 PS or 1,134 mechanical horsepower and 940 lb.-ft. of torque.

The McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo should be in Gran Turismo Sport on launch day, which is October 17th.

[Source: McLaren]


Toyota is launching a new performance sub brand called GR, for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Gazoo Racing is Toyota’s motorsport branch who regularly run the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and other major races, but they’ll soon oversee an initiative to introduce sportier special edition and more mainstream Toyota models. Basically, the GR sub brand is a hierarchy of performance with limited edition GRMN models at the top featuring specially tuned engines and more, followed by mid-range GR models with a decent bit of mods and entry level GR Sport models which may just have appearance packages. They have a range of GR-tuned models in Japan, but the only one that is really relevant for America so far is the Prius… yes, a modded Prius. In GR Sport trim, it features “special” suspension tuning, additional bracing, a GR tach and shift knob, aluminum pedals, and a small diameter steering wheel. GR will start in Japan and make its way elsewhere in the coming years. We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of GR specials we get.

[Source: Toyota]

Mitsubishi is bringing the Evolution back… as an electric SUV “coupe”. You hear that? That’s the sound of Mitsubishi continuing its fall into total irrelevance.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford will not be bringing the Fiesta ST to America next year, according to an interview with Ford Performance Europe’s director Leo Roecks. When speaking with Carbuzz, he confirmed the sales couldn’t justify bringing the new 2018 Fiesta ST here, especially when the base Fiestas aren’t coming back either. “It’s simply a matter of a lack of interest in the B-segment in America”, Roeck said. “It doesn’t make sense, nor is it possible financially speaking, to import a single trim level, and a niche one at that.” So if you want the little hatchback that auto journalists go crazy over, you need to act fast.

[Source: Carbuzz via Autoweek]

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]

  • P161911

    My automotive news is that the Saab lives!
    The backstory is that a couple of weeks ago I was an idiot and rear ended someone in my Silverado. It needed to go to the body shop for a couple of weeks. For the first time ever, I didn’t have a spare vehicle. My dad has a 2003 Saab 9-3 convertible. This is his “old man convertible”. He spent three years driving me crazy looking for a convertible. Looked at Jaguars, Mercedes, BMWs, etc. He finally settled on the Saab. He got it, drove it for less than an year, and then let it sit for about 3 years under a tree. He let it sit until the battery died and it didn’t move again, until Monday. I was AMAZED that it actually started with a good jump start. Of course it needed a battery and 3 years of crud/mold/mildew cleaned off it. The brakes were a little iffy for the first few miles with all the rust. I had visions of draining the gas tank, starting fluid, locked up brakes/wheels etc. Nope, none of that.
    My dad mentioned that one of the front tires was probably bad and caused a vibration issue. By vibration issue it was the seat felt like a Magic Fingers bed and the steering wheel shook violently between 50 and 65 mph. Maybe that was why he parked it…
    Looked at the tires, 3 Toyos and one Ling Long! There’s the problem! Took it yesterday for 4 new tires. thought it only needed 2, but the backs were worn on the inside and dry rotted too. Drives like a new car now! Almost everything works, even the A/C. Only issues found so far are the power mirrors are dead, half the steering wheel radio controls don’t work, and the climate control LCD is sort of funky. Now if it just had about 2 more inches of legroom. Looking at beater cheap Saab 9-3s now (hardtops) now for a commuter car instead of my truck once my truck is paid off. I am amazed that a car with E10 gas can sit that long and still start. It was made in Finland at the Valmet plant alongside Porsche Boxsters for what it is worth. The 2003 convertible is the last Saab engined Saab 9-3, they went to GM Ecotecs after that. The car still needs a good buffing/cleaning and a good cleaning of the top.

    • GTXcellent

      Welcome to the Saab club – funny that you mention looking for a Saab as a commuter, as the MiSSus has been doing a LOT of internet searching for JK Wranglers as she hates driving the Saab in the Winter. She’s right though, our Saab sucks in the winter – even with snow tires. The problem is the car sits so low, any amount of new snow and it turns into a very, very poor plow. On the Jeep front, I told her we can suffer through one more snow season and wait until the JL Wranglers come out. We’ll see. The last time she just plain decided we ended up with a Miata…

  • outback_ute

    So that McLaren which has a normal looking cabin with the twin turbo V8 engine presumably mid mounted, has the driver lying down? Do your legs go over the top of the engine? And I wonder about having impact forces going mostly into harness straps over the shoulders.

    And Gazoo racing, does a version of the Prius but apparently not the 86!

  • kogashiwa

    No news to speak of, but I did find this, first Citroen locally I’ve seen in a long time.



    Apparently this hopeful restorer had had enough S and ran out of M.

    • (S)tone and (M)ortar?

  • Zentropy

    So why would a Prius– given its CVT transaxle– have need for a special shift knob, tach, and aluminum pedals? There’s no clutch, and you have no control over shifting. If you throw in a 6-speed manual, then I’m on board, but otherwise I don’t get it.

  • Vairship

    So basically Toyota re-launches Scion but calls it Gadzooks to better align with the customer profile?

  • ptschett

    Toyota GR’s = GRounded to the GRound amirite?


  • Alff

    Not sure that a Camry festooned with GRMN TRD graphics conveys a performance image.

    • Harry Callahan

      ‘Cept of course that a contemporary Camry with optional engine blows away almost every single 1960’s big block muscle car….while blowing clean, sipping fuel, and providing maximum reliability over 200,000 miles with the hood welded shut.

  • Harry Callahan

    Despite Richard Hammond’s bromance with FiST, that damn car is just too small for me.

  • wunno sev

    realistically, we have no need of the Fiesta here. even our cities, with maybe two exceptions, are spacious enough to fit basically whatever midsize-or-smaller car you like into a convenient parking spot anywhere. the Fiesta doesn’t have the charm of the Mini or the Smart and costs nearly as much as the substantially-larger Focus; for Americans who will have only one car, it’s pretty hard to justify the Fiesta.

    the ST is a fantastic hot hatch, and i regret that we won’t get the next one. would have liked to take a spin in the big turbo triple.