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The News for November 17th, 2017

Greg Kachadurian November 17, 2017 The News! 43 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:

  • The Corvette ZR1 returns

  • Singer unveils stunning 964 with help of Williams

  • Dallara’s new Stradale is a true purist’s car

  • Aston Martin confirms track-only Valkyrie is coming

  • Tesla surprises with crazy promises for new Roadster, returning in 2020

  • What’s your automotive news?

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

After all the speculation, spy shots, and leaks, Chevrolet finally revealed the C7 ZR1. If you thought the last ZR1 was crazy, it pales in comparison. The C7 ZR1 has way more power than before and it’s got the most extreme downforce package applied to any road going Corvette. In Chevrolet’s words, it “puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back.” So what’s it coming back with?

For starters, 755 horsepower and 715 lb.-ft. of torque from a brand new LT5 supercharged 6.2-liter V8 made exclusively for the ZR1. No other car in Chevrolet’s history has ever left the factory with more power. That’s due in part to a more efficient intercooled supercharged system that offers 52% more displacement over the Z06’s LT4 supercharger and GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. They had to create an opening in the hood for the supercharger to fit.

You get a choice of seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic to try and send all of that power to the rear wheels.

All this extra power requires more cooling and that comes courtesy of four new heat exchangers, thirteen total. A new front fascia with larger intakes supplements those as well. You get some more aggressive aero elements as standard such as a front underwing and a rear Low Wing which enables a 210+ mph top speed, but you can take it a step further with the ZTK Performance Package.

ZTK is the most track-ready ZR1 you can buy as it comes with an adjustable High Wing, a front splitter with carbon end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and other specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning to make the most of it. Both of the available rear wings are tied into the chassis as it is on a C7.R race car, which is good because the ZTK package produces up to 950 pounds of downforce at speed.

Yep, America still knows how to build super cars.

[Source: Chevrolet]

Singer Porsche 964

Singer Vehicle Design unveiled yet another custom Porsche restoration, but this one is a little different than the other stuff they’re known for. It started earlier this year when they announced a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering to perform a Dynamics and Lightweight Study on a customer’s 1990 Porsche 964. It’s restoration work meets F1 engineering and it might be their most stunning build yet.

A lot of big performance brands and legendary names were involved in engineering and testing the car to make sure it was as good as it could be. Porsche legends Norbert Singer and Hans Mezger were consultants, Marino Franchitti and Chris Harris were development drivers, and Michelin, Brembo, and BBS Motorsport all contributed as well. Here’s the result.

The centerpiece of the car is a beautiful Porsche four-valve, four-camshaft, naturally aspirated, 500HP air-cooled flat-six engine developed by Williams Advanced Engineering with consultation by Hans Mezger. Williams and Norbert Singer also thoroughly optimized underbody and surface aero through CFD analysis and the suspension has also been reworked to provide more adjustability and better geometry. Weight was reduced everywhere possible thanks to heavy use of magnesium, titanium, and carbon fiber… and I do mean a heavy use. This 964 weighs just 2,180 pounds, around 1,000 pounds less than the standard car weighs.

Some additional new features made just for this project (but will also be available on future Singer commissions) include bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires wrapped around BBS Motorsport lightweight 18” forged magnesium, monobloc, centre-lock wheels. Stopping power comes from Brembo lightweight, monobloc calipers and carbon composite rotors [CCMR]. Hewland supplied a magnesium, lightweight 6-speed transmission and EXE-TC developed bespoke damping for this Singer.

Singer has always been known for doing breathtaking restorations with great attention to detail, and now it’s gotten even better by combining F1 levels of engineering with their flawless craftsmanship. It’s high up on my list for coolest Porsches of all time.

[Source: Singer Vehicle Design]

Dallara Stradale

Dallara knows a thing or two about motorsports and assisting with development work for some road cars, but they’ve been working on a new road car to call their own. Yesterday, their dream was finally realized with the unveiling of the Dallara Stradale, a simple, lightweight open top sports car whose sole purpose in life is to help drivers “rediscover the real pleasure of driving on the road or on the track”.  And yes, it’s already on sale with some deliveries starting now. There’s no word on pricing yet or which markets are being served.

It was shown initially in base configuration as a barchetta without doors but a few additional configurations, including a targa and coupe with gull-wing doors, will be available later. There’s also a host of other options like windshields (for the barchetta), rear wings, and adjustable suspension components so drivers can tailor it for primarily street or track use.

Power comes from a supercharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 400 horsepower channeled to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or sequential automatic gearbox. But what makes this car so sweet goes way beyond the powertrain.

The Stradale weighs in at just 1,885 pounds as a result of an extensive use of composite materials and carbon fiber. 400 horsepower will go a long ways here. Dallara also worked hard on striking a perfect balance between stiffness and ride comfort when dialing in the suspension.

There’s no word on whether we’ll ever get to see this in the states, but those lucky enough to get one are sure to be treated to the kind of pure, unfiltered driving experience that may not be around for much longer.

[Source: Dallara]

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Aston Martin hasn’t even shown a 100% production ready Valkyrie road car yet but they’ve already confirmed an even hotter version meant exclusively for track use. Their recently launched AMR Pro lineup is creeping into their unreleased hypercar in a big way.

Just as the Vulcan was a track-only experiment in all things awesome, the Valkyrie AMR Pro will be a super limited, no compromise race car that may very well be flirting with LMP1s when it hits the track in 2020. What the renderings show is more downforce, including a now prototype/F1 standard shark fin and a massive rear wing. What they don’t show is how far they go to reduce weight.

Only the bare essentials are left over. Everything else, including things like the heater and defroster, are dumped (though the polycarbonate windshield will have a built in heating element for the sake of visibility). Weight was such a factor that even the mufflers were deemed too heavy. They don’t have exact figures for us yet, but initial performance estimates claim a sustained 3.3Gs while cornering, up to 3.5Gs under braking, and around 250 mph given the space.

The only thing cooler than the way it looks is the fact that we’ll be able to hear its glorious 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 through straight pipes.

[Source: Aston Martin via Autoweek]

Tesla Roadster is returning

Last night, Tesla revealed a bit of a surprise after introducing their dumb new truck. The Tesla Roadster, the car that got them on the map, is coming back in a potentially big way. I say potentially because it was introduced by the same guy who decided he was going to dig tunnels under LA and mass produce a Model 3. Grains of salt and such.

As of now, the new Tesla Roadster is slated for production by 2020 and it’ll be their quickest and fastest car ever while also boasting the company’s longest range. It’s also the first Tesla since the Model S that isn’t ungainly or outright hideous. Here’s the rundown:

  • A new 250kWh battery powers three electric motors which drive all four wheels with up to 7,376 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 8.8 seconds.
  • A 250+ mph top speed, which blows every other Tesla’s top speed out of the water.
  • A removable top and a 2+2 seating configuration.
  • All this with a 620 mile range at highway speeds.

You’re not alone in thinking this is a little hard to believe, much in the same way a 300 mph car from Hennessey is. Or a mass-produced Model 3. But we’ll all find out together if it’s a load of bull once this thing hits the road.

Until then, Tesla needs money to burn. You can place a $50,000 deposit for one now. If you want to be one of the first 1,000 people to get it, you need to drop a $50,000 deposit and pay $200,000 up front for it. Asking the world’s richest to pay a quarter million dollars up front for a car they might see in three years isn’t exactly rare these days (most super cars are sold out before we even see them), but Tesla’s word on deadlines isn’t exactly the best right now.

[Source: Tesla via Motor1]

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]

  • Smaglik

    I changed the oil, and swapped out the summers for winters on the M3 yesterday. Since I had the right front wheel off, and easy access to it, I decided to change the windshield washer pump. It’s been quite weak since I got the car (I actually thought it was broken, until I replaced the nozzles), and has been on my to do list. Well, I didn’t have the foresight to buy a new grommet for where the pump enters the tank, so I’m patiently waiting for Monday’s UPS from AutohausAZ so I can finish the job.

    This afternoon I’m tackling the blower motor on the X3. Hopefully it goes without incident…

  • Fred Talmadge

    I bought my first set of chains and a snow shovel. I should see about winter tires soon.

    • Smaglik

      Fresh move to a snowy area?

      • Fred Talmadge

        yep, but at 4000′ it shouldn’t be much of a problem but in case we want to go further up.

        • Sjalabais

          Any decision on what kind of tires you’ll go for? Are studded tires a thing in your area?

          • Fred Talmadge

            Around Sonora CA many do have studs, but I suspect most of them go higher up into the mountains. I have a 2000′ elevation drive on a windy tree covered road to get into town. It ices up and every year a few people slide off into a ditch or hit a tree. I’m retired now so I can put off trips till the weather improves but I’m thinking a good set of winter tires would be prudent.

            • Sjalabais

              Sounds like an interesting area. I use studded tires exactly for those icy roads, even though they come with a disadvantage for all other settings.

            • cap’n fast

              got chains for the TD dodge 4×4 for those rare but fun trips up over loveland pass as it is 11,000 feet up. what are you gonna do when it gotta get done.

  • Cute thought, that 80+ you Mezger explains air cooling to F1 engineers: “No no, we still have oil that’s getting hot, but we cool the oil with air, not water”.
    I am not trying to obsolete his knowledge, but there are two, three generations of engineering between the two schools.

    In other news, the van passed tech inspection, and the steering is tighter than any T4 I ever tried recently.

    • outback_ute

      Singer are way down the road of diminishing returns at this point, and I wonder if the cars are still fun to drive at four tenths? Then again you can still buy the normal version if that is what you want.

      Does anyone else think that the Tesla 7,376 lb.-ft. of torque is a bit hard to believe? Would you get any traction, or just break things? Semi trucks don’t have that much torque.

      • Must be at wheel, a regular semi has something like 15:1 in the first gear, so a 1500Nm engine might end up with even more. I’m waiving theory here, might be having it all wrong, mind you.

        • outback_ute

          Just read elsewhere it is an at the wheels figure. Can’t be bothered to work out how it compares to say a Demon with 8 speed automatic for example.

          • Does the TT feature gears, or is it direct drive?

            • outback_ute

              Don’t know. Don’t forget the 7,000+ figure is for the roadster! Hence the scepticism

              • My 30yo 944 has a maximum torque at wheel shy of 3000 Nm (210Nm through 1st gear (3.6:1) and diff (3.9:1)). A C6 is about 4kNm, a McLaren F1 is 5kNm.

                Double that to 7,000 lb-ft (9500 Nm) at the wheel sounds believable for a 200kUSD “sports car of tomorrow”.
                I’m not engineer enough to understand how multiple, independent engines (one per corner/axle) are adding up (do they add?), torque-wise.

      • Vairship

        As long as the drive train components are stronger than the grip of the tire on the road, they’ll be fine and the theoretical amount of torque the motor COULD develop will be meaningless 😉

        • cap’n fast

          that is the great thing about electric motors. they get the same torque with out regard to outside factors, so long as the voltage and watts are the same. series wound gets peak torque at locked rotor while shunt wound gets it after locked rotor. compound wound motors are the ultimate compromise. the polyphase motor is more flexible but has less starting torque and gets hot when torque is built up. advantage to them is no brushes or commutator. motors be heavy no matter what. electric boost for a tractor trailer-as in a motors on the trailer wheels to help push it up the hill-is the only practical alternative drive. keep the diesel rig. electric prime mover is economically stupid concept. it can be done but stupid economics because batteries. drive train weight is less cargo weight. why do you think OTR truck cabs are plastic? serious money considerations on the returns. batteries last how long on a tesla? trucks push how many miles? neighbors Mack rig has 1.7 million miles. so local delivery or even garbage truck i can understand but OTR? no.

          • outback_ute

            Agreed, voltage and current determine power and torque output of a motor, not to neglect the power electronics and also output potential of the batteries.

            The other question is has this provides a distraction from the Model 3 issues or has every news story finished on that note?

  • Alff

    I’ll be guiding my children as they replace the struts on their hoopties over the Thanksgiving break. Despite years of opportunity, neither has shown much interest in auto repair in the past. This should be entertaining.

  • My Allegro’s brake lights and turn signals failed a couple of days ago, although I’m not sure that counts as “newsworthy” so much as “inevitable.”

    “Newsworthy” is that the car did not, so far as I could tell, simultaneously catch fire.

    • Vairship

      Nor was it hit by a falling piano, which other British cars have been susceptible to.

      • outback_ute

        Moreso the Marina for that particular foible

  • wunno sev

    all set up to paint the bumper cover for my Mercedes this weekend, when the weather should be 70Fish/30-50% humidity. this’ll be my first time painting anything with a spray gun, and my first time painting plastic car parts. it’s been a learning experience for sure.

    it’s a complex balance of taking my time and doing it right. paint and bodywork are, i think, even more punishing than mechanicry to those who half-ass, but next weekend is Thanksgiving and at some point this warm weather is going to end, so i’m really feeling the pressure to get this done.

  • kogashiwa

    I have no news this week so instead I ask a question.

    What’s the most “Petrolicious” car you can obtain for the least amount of capital outlay?

    It’s a little hard to put a finger on exactly what that means but at the same time it’s perfectly clear when you see it, I think. (and if you don’t already watch the Petrolicious YouTube channel well this is a fine time to start.)

    My nomination: Jaguar XJ6, any series of I, II, III will do but while a I is probably the nicest a III is practically speaking basically the same thing and a perfectly serviceable one can be had for laughably small money. Really, even a series I is spectacular value, I think.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99beee6096e191d7355137b3ba29e4bf66b21fe6f4bf20eaa2d340d14603d197.jpg

    • outback_ute

      Lancia Fulvia sedan. A guy I know bought one in good driving condition but with 40+ year’s careful wear and tear, if that makes sense – ie nothing was bad enough to really need to be redone – for $600 I think.

    • Vairship

      They do make for beautiful driveway sculptures!

      • cap’n fast

        mine is called a “low speed planter”

    • My first thought was NSU Ro 80, but they are 10kUSD here, for a poor runner – not cheap. A Saab 900 maybe, a design-led engineering effort? Or simpler cars with wedge design, such as VW Scirocco mk. 1 or 2, or a hot Honda CRX from the 80ies. Turns out all my ideas are already in Petrolicious’ portfolio, and are available in acceptable quality (non-rusty driver with intact interior) here well below 5kUSD. The actual price is determined how really nice the individual car is, though.

  • Zentropy

    Hoping to finish up the exhaust on the E28 soon, though picking up the kids with straight pipes booming underneath does get attention. Going dual into single 2.5″ with high-flow cat and a Magnaflow 4×9, so hopefully it will be quieter but still good.

  • Victor

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef9d65bf0aa6190f57f5b5f14aa5a907af5ab37b80ef5c7412ac48c404567281.jpg
    My 1998 E-150 with a 4.6 dual overhead cam engine and deluxe interior just finished its’ first 200,000 miles.

    • outback_ute

      I assume you mean it has 2 cams not 4? My first reaction was you’d swapped in a Mustang Cobra engine!

  • Rudy™

    Not much to report here–I priced a garnish panel for CR-V #2, as it was lightly rear-ended three weeks ago (a week after we picked it up). Debating buying/replacing myself, or having the shop do it and billing insurance for it. But being Michigan, that means our rates will jump even higher. Probably cheaper to pay once out of my own pocket, vs. five years of monthly punishment in the wallet. On the brighter side though, #2 has new tires. I loves me some new tire smell. 😉

    I kind of chuckled, in a way, at the Telsa announcements, though. I can’t believe how incredibly stupid investors are in falling for Musk’s hype shows. His company can’t even deliver cars as promised (far as I know, he has *never* lived up to any of his production promises, and the current Model 3 is a trainwreck in that regard), and now he creates more hype and excitement by introducing two *more* products. The company has never once turned a profit. He also spins off divisions left and right. I can’t believe nobody sees it. It’s like the announcements come at just the right time to pump up admiration for the company and the stock, before anyone realizes the company is running on empty and digging itself into a deeper hole.

    Tesla’s future has DeLorean stamped all over it. IMHO, anyway. Except maybe for that little cocaine thing DeLorean was involved in…

    • Vairship

      I think Tesla will be fine as long as Mr. Musk is willing to plow in more money every month.But since he has another toy that requires even more money (SpaceX), he might get bored with Tesla in which case the employees will soon discover it would have been better to sort out the Model 3’s problems instead of being distracted by trucks, roadsters etc.

      So Tesla’s future hangs by Elon’s whims.

  • ptschett

    I’m debating between two alternatives now that winter is setting in & I still haven’t figured out quite what sort of house that I want to be replacing my apartment…
    -put fresh winter-suitable tires on the Challenger, keep dailying it whenever possible, and continue to use the Ram just for weekend trips & the worst winter weather days, or
    -stash the Challenger in a storage unit, park it till spring or I buy a house, & figure out how to make the Ram fit in my comically-undersized 1.5-car apartment garage (parking kitty-corner to the world, etc.)

    On the one hand the Challenger is actually quite capable in winter for what it is. On the other hand, if there’s too much snow it becomes actually unsafe to be pulling out into intersections in a low-slung vehicle even if the roads are good. On the gripping hand, maybe what I actually need is motivation to find a buyer’s agent realator…

    • Vairship

      Clearly a lift kit for the Challenger is what you need.

    • cap’n fast

      sell the challanger, up fit the ram with good tires, chains, tank heater, survival kit and get a warm house with gas heat

  • This weekend the youngest did the Street Survival driving school. I had her drive the middle daughter’s Protege instead of her Prius since the stability & traction control nannies in the Prius are rather aggressive and undefeatable. It’s a great class, aside from the rather dry classroom sessions, and a great value at $75.

    Here she is hustling the Protege through the autocross.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6Vj0TiEvCs

    And this is the result of a day’s tire punishment:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a95ec8324ad0f70fcdcd33f0d54fc08e2fffb186ad44860f36630c06954908d.jpg

    • Zentropy

      Was that over near the fairgrounds / Crew Stadium? My oldest just hit 15 and is champing at the bit to drive. Next year, this would be a great program to curb his impulsive tendencies. (I’ve seen him on Forza Horizon 3, and it’s not pretty…)

      • Yep, north end of the Ohio HIstory Center parking lot. Although I’m not sure it’d curb his impulses as much as make him safer exploring them. They encourage the kids to push themselves in a controlled environment where it’s safer to make mistakes.

        You can sign up at streetsurvival.org to get notified when a new class is nearby.

        • outback_ute

          The other thing could be let him enter autocrosses or similar low-level motorsport to have an outlet, combined with the stick of big consequences for any inappropriate driving on the street.

  • Zentropy

    I have to say as much as I find Singer cars impressive, the 964 pictured really disappoints in appearance. It looks like an enlarged plastic model that’s been over-painted and lost all of its details. Normally a fan of green, I don’t care for that shade, either– especially when paired with orange. And other than the dash, the interior just looks boy-racer to me. I’m likely in the minority, but while this may be a technical masterpiece for them and I’m sure it goes like hell, I wish it were more tastefully styled.

    • outback_ute

      Yes it looks like there has been some post-processing of the photos