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The News for January 16th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian January 26, 2018 The News! 60 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:

  • BMW shows off a little bit more of the new 8 Series in testing

  • Land Rover is building a two-door Range Rover

  • Alfa Romeo 6C rumored for 2020 debut

  • Groupe PSA sets up American HQ in Atlanta

  • What’s your automotive news?

BMW 8 Series development update

BMW has completed a series of endurance tests for the all-new 8 Series at a high-speed proving ground in Aprilia, Italy as they inch closer to its launch date. The main goal of the testing was to harmonize all drive and suspension systems and further develop its #dynamism. When the final product hits the road later this year, we can expect a sports car that “offers maximum agility and precision in highly dynamic situations” while being as advanced and comfortable as its richest customers demand. And we’re not even talking about the M8 yet.

In addition to a short video which lets us briefly hear its V8 snarl for the first time, we also get more shots of this thing in action. While still heavily camouflaged, it’s clear the production 8 Series will closely resemble the concept as we had thought.

Of course, the best glimpse yet of the new car will be racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend. Which is all I can think about right now as I head that way the morning this goes live.

[Source: BMW]

Land Rover is getting into 2-door Rovers again

Speaking of news that doesn’t affect us in any way, Land Rover has been developing a two-door Range Rover SV Coupe as a special edition throwback to the two-door trucks they launched the brand with. And no, it isn’t also revisiting old school British quality control either – the mismatched leather is intentional. Only 999 of these will be built and all of them will be hand-assembled at their SV Technical Centre, which is good because we have less of a chance of being exposed to a yet another real “SUV Coupe”. It debuts at the Geneva Motor Show.

[Source: Land Rover]

Alfa Romeo reportedly considering 6C

Alfa Romeo is working on a new 6C coupe according to a tip Autocar received from a German tuning company. Pogeo Racing told Autocar they were closely involved with the new sports car’s development and that we could see it on the road within two years. Alfa Romeo’s official response was that it was speculation, but did not rule out a new sports car. They also announced they’re looking for a new tuning partner (they actually didn’t, but I can only assume they will).

As with its predecessors, we can safely assume the name refers to the number of cylinders under the hood. The only noteworthy six-cylinder engine they have right now is the 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 505 horsepower, as seen in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. Things could change a lot in two years and the thought of another Alfa Romeo sports car is sure to make that wait unbearable. This is a story I’ll definitely be following.

[Source: Alfa Romeo]

Groupe PSA to set up American HQ in Atlanta

Groupe PSA, parent company of Peugeot, Citroen, and now Opel and Vauxhall, is setting up shop on our shores with a new North American HQ in Atlanta. The decision was just publicly announced a few days ago and even this Atlanta boi was surprised by the news.

Groupe PSA says the decision came after a “yearlong, nationwide search to find the optimal balance of business environment, standard of living, and workforce” – and maybe the biggest tax break. They will join Porsche and Mercedes-Benz in setting up operations within this great city. Atlanta is rapidly becoming a global automotive hub and it’s so exciting.

The HQ will be operational by next month and will spearhead their entry into the North American market. The planned rollout spans a ten year period, but there’s no word yet on exactly how soon we can start buying PSA products here.

[Source: Groupe PSA]

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.

And if you’re heading to the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, follow me/us at gregckach and therealhooniverse on Instagram for live-ish updates. If you find me, I’ll share my moonshine.

Have a good weekend.

[Image © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Sjalabais

    Got some actual “factory new” news: Fiat is now offering a 7 year/200000km warranty. Without reading the fine print, my initial snarky reaction was that they’ll finally be bankcrupt in a decade. But, some of their Golf competitors have been good.
    https://i.imgur.com/8of27vS.jpg
    Looking at their Norwegian sales numbers for 2017, they are not in the danger zone for colossal liabilities:
    https://i.imgur.com/jaY29hY.jpg

    • Alff

      How many Norwegian dealerships do they have to support so few sales?

    • P161911

      Might be pushed by the same people that came up with the Chrysler “lifetime” powertrain warranty from about 10 years ago here in the US (just before Fiat took over). There was a little weasel out clause that said you had to bring the vehicle into the dealership every 50k miles or so for an inspection. Fail to do that and the warranty was void.

      • Sjalabais

        Most warranties like that have a similar clause. I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable either; if people want to enjoy an extended warranty like that, having the car serviced at a licensed dealer is an ok tradeoff. It’s a bit surprising though that brands like Chrysler and Fiat try to build trust this way.

        • SAAB/Saab continued to honor the lifetime warranties for original owners of 1968 Shrike engines until… well.. given the uncertain and undead state of affairs I wouldn’t be surprised if NEVS is still honoring them. There were no maintenance requirements.

          (Actually I’m pretty sure coverage stopped when GM sold what was left of Saab, but only pretty sure.)

        • P161911

          Most US warranties require that some basic maintenance be done, but usually do not require the 50k, etc services. The one on the Chrysler “lifetime” warranty was somewhat hidden and not a common practice here.

          • ptschett

            My dad has an ’09 Ram 1500 from the lifetime warranty days. He was within the every 5 years (+/- 60 day) inspection requirement to keep the warranty in force, but when something let go in the bottom end of the engine at ~200k miles this past summer he wasn’t able to convince them that he’d changed the engine oil often enough. He was given the option of paying for a Mopar certified engine to reinstate the warranty, or taking it back and fixing it on his own and losing the warranty [or selling it for salvage]; he ended up buying the Mopar engine but it was a tough call.

            • Sjalabais

              Did he at least get a discount? It’s reminiscient of house paint. We use a brand that offers a 12 year repainting interval warranty. With 200 days/year of precipitation and an extreme weather warning every other week on the dark end of the year, nobody waits that long. Still, the people I have talked to who tried to get new paint after 5-7 years due to issues have had a 50% chance of being heard. The company will tell you that you didn’t prime the surface well enough, or didn’t wash the house regularly. There’s always a way out.

    • “You have never felt more safe in a Fiat Tipo”
      Let me add snark by thanking legislation for moving up the bar for roadworthiness since the last time I drove one (about 1998).

      • Sjalabais

        Yeah, I reacted a bit to how specific the claim was. They don’t even say it’s the safest, best, most reliable car in their class or market or even from Fiat. It’s just the best typo Tipo.

    • crank_case

      Golf rivals have been good? Even die hard Italian car nuts told me to stay away from the Stilo.. the Bravo seemed sort of interesting with the 1.4 turbo, but I think there’s so much choice in that part of the market in Europe (all the VW group golf based notagolfs, Ford Focus, Opel DisAstra, Pyoojo, Citroen, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Mazda, BMW 1 series/Merc A Class, etc. etc.) that it’s very hard to find a compelling reason to buy a Tipo really.

      • Sjalabais

        I thought that the Bravo/Brava did well in the bracket up to 7 years, then disintegrated quickly? For new car buyers, that shouldn’t be so bad. Honestly, I haven’t heard anything at all about the Tipo, and the reviews I googled after that brave one page ad (marketing works!) were intensely lacklustre. Not sure what Fiat is attempting to do with a vehicle as boring as a VW to look at, but with all the troubles you might get from an Italian. Plus, mostly ancient engine tech.

        • crank_case

          I’m referring to the Bravo after the Stilo, not the Bravo/Brava before it. It barely seemed to make an impact.

    • Vairship

      Surprising to see that VW, Skoda and Audi are going strong but Seat are a virtual non-entity. Given that they’re pretty much all the same cars…

      • Sjalabais

        Norway was a pretty homogenous country not long ago, and to this day, you will travel to the other side side of the country and find that the new people you just met somehow know a handful of people you already know. So the neighbour’s opinion is important. Also, the VW Golf in itself would be the country’s 4th biggest brand if standing alone, and it has been the most sold new car 10 years in a row. Škoda is sort of the poor man’s Subaru and Audi is the same trophy car as everywhere else.

  • Alff

    Atlanta is as good a place to retreat from as any, I suppose.

  • P161911

    That Photochop picture of the Atlanta skyline makes my head hurt. I spent awhile trying to figure out where exactly you could get all those building in one shot. You can’t!

  • I like how Land Rover is referencing the production difficulties of the 70s by not managing to fit four seats in the same colour.

    • Alff

      Brand heritage is important.

    • *Pedals in right-hand footwell not visible in this photo.

  • Manic_King

    I’ve been travelling a lot and now have ended up in Uruguay, couple of days in Punta del Este, then back to BuenosA and then to Europe. This place here is playground for Rich Argentinians. Prices are double comp to BA. Most cars have ARG plates and many are kinda different to what one can see back in Argentina. Some ferraris even. ARG was like Brazil car-scape-wise: small cars and CUVs, no fun cars (coupe, cabrio, sporty- or sportscars, wagons). All very sensible and kinda boring, even in their summery beach towns.

  • Smaglik

    I swapped out the blower motor in the x3 today. My hands are too big. Very simple procedure, but any youngins outside nearby would have learned a free words. First time I ever found myself laying across the engine in a fetal position trying to get my hands on a connector. On a related note, warming the car up beforehand proved a good idea to offset the 35F temp in my garage.

    • I changed the blower motor in my Mazda3 a few weeks ago. The motor is deep inside the dash and goes in from the passenger side (after removing the glove box & fresh air plenum) but the fastening ring & electrical connectors are on the driver’s side. The only way I could get my hand on the connector in a way that would let be depress the release tab was to remove the accelerator pedal and lay on the floor with my head near the brake, my butt in the seat and my feet at the headliner. Very painful experience, literally and figuratively.

  • ptschett

    …did Land Rover never hear about Rosa Parks?

    • crank_case

      Too soon..

  • Victor
  • Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale was a real experience. Because I was working, that meant nine 12-14 hour days on my feet talking to people about our cars and less time enjoying the experience. Still, the decadence of the event, especially Friday & Saturday nights, was a bit unnerving for a conservative midwesterner like me.

    The range of cars was amazing, however. Three original Cobras were offered, none made reserve I believe. Dennis of Gas Monkey fame offered 24 low mileage Fox body Mustangs plus a neat 1976 Mustang Cobra II (which brought $38,500!). There was a silly 1973 Olds ambulance painted black with flames and perched on a 1976 Chevy crew cab 4×4 frame. Early 70s GM C10 trucks were in abundance and bringing fairly big money, most selling between $20K & $70K. Plus several high dollar exotics, customs, muscle cars and classics.

    A couple of bargains stood out and made me wish I had been bidding. One was a 1988 Fiero GT 5 speed – the Fiero to have with the last year all new suspension. It was clean, all original and fairly low mileage at a about 48K. It sold for less than half what I thought it was worth at $4,620.

    Another was a clean 1990 Mustang GT convertible, white with red interior and a 5 speed that sold for $7,150.

    Lastly, here’s a picture of our booth space, right outside the staging area for every car that went in to auction. We got a lot of attention and, hopefully, will end up with a number of sales as we follow up.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ac45eb83b343667f403d6ad1ee75a5d4f4eabb5b392efef1220dbec9b679ff0.jpg

  • JBsC6

    Hopefully the 6c will be as strong a performance machine as the Guilia..QV…the 4c is cool but is outperformed by the Guilia QV…

    A little strange in my opinion.

    Q

  • crank_case
    • Rover 1

      This WAS a 2 door Rover

      • crank_case

        Aye, but a Landie hasn’t been a “Rover” since 1978.

        • Fair enough, but 101FC production ended in ’78 and the one I posted above is a ’76. Besides, nowadays aren’t we looking at what amounts to an inverted reunification, inasmuch as Jaguar Land Rover owns the rights to Rover?

          • crank_case

            Yeah, the parent company Tata got the rover name, while Roewe got MG. Maybe when they release the so-called “Road Rover”, they’ll just be sensible and call it a “Rover”

            • Vairship

              They *could* call it a CityRover 😉

              • crank_case

                Can’t go wrong.

              • Since they’ve already used the name Rover CityRover for a supermini, they should avoid potential confusion on any similar new offering by instead emphasizing how far it can go before needing to refuel: Rover RangeRover.