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The News for May 4th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian May 4, 2018 The News! 45 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:

  • Buy a Brabham BT62, help fund their return to Le Mans and be a development driver

  • Porsche does the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid thing to the Cayenne

  • Porsche drives a 919 Hybrid around NYC because they have nothing better do to

  • Aston Martin’s first DB4 GT continuations take to the track

  • Mazda prices updated CX-3 at just over $20,000

  • What’s your automotive news?

Brabham BT62

Remember when we thought the compact crossover segment was the most over crowded car market on the planet? Apparently we’re all wrong – it’s actually the “million-dollar track toys for the elites who want to play pretend race car driver” segment. This new super-competitive space once owned by the likes of the McLaren P1 GTR, Aston Martin Vulcan, and whatever else is out there now gets to deal with a new car from an old name.

Brabham, a legendary name tied to a successful racecar manufacturer and Formula 1 team, has just revealed their first new car in 26 years – the BT7274 BT62. For all intents and purposes, it’s a race car that can’t compete… but you can help get it there.

This new Brabham Automotive is headed by David Brabham and their end game is to return to motorsport with their own car and they especially want to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They’ve set out to build 70 of these things at over $1 million a piece to help fund their triumphant return. Of course raising money is only part of the deal here – a now standard-issue driver program will basically turn hedge fund managers of the world into development drivers. This program will raise drivers’ physical ability and determination to a place “where the performance potential of both driver and vehicle can be fully exploited together as one”.

Brabham raises money, they collect data on development drivers who paid to be there, and 70 less people were clogging up the golf course that weekend.

As for the car they’ll be doing that development work on, it’s a good old-fashioned apex predator. It’s a lightweight at just 2,143 pounds dry, gets its 700-hp punch from a naturally-aspirated 5.4-liter V8 of their own design, and claws its way around the track with a staggering 2,646 pounds of downforce and Michelin competition slicks.

So this thing makes close to Hellcat numbers at the crank, weighs around 200 pounds less (dry) than a Miata (wet), and generates more downforce than a Ferrari FXX-K, a McLaren Senna, and that Yaris with the big wing at the car meet.

The interior is all business as well. There’s a sizable digital gauge pack, a race car-spec button box, some big red buttons, and very well bolstered racing seats.

No word yet on exactly when deliveries will start, but the first 35 cars will be liveried in tribute to each of Brabham’s 35 F1 victories.

[Source: Brabham Automotive]

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Hey remember that Panamera 4 E-Hybrid that Porsche made? You know, the one with the turbo V6 and the electric motors with a combined 462 horsepower and good gas mileage? It’s like that except it’s in the Cayenne now too. Porsche couldn’t even be bothered to release a high-res image of it.

[Source: Porsche]

Porsche drives a 919 in NYC rather than race it

Hey remember how Porsche used to race in LMP1 and they were really good at it? Well they’re not doing that anymore, so they drove it around New York City instead to help sell the Panamera.

[Source: Porsche]

Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuations hit the track

To help cheer you up after those last couple of stories, here’s something cool. A few years ago, Aston Martin announced they were building 25 “new” DB4 GTs as part of a continuation series. These are hand-crafted beauties made exactly as they were when actually new (to their lightest specification too) and were built to be driven. They were originally race cars after all.

Well guess what? Five of the first cars to be delivered were just driven around Silverstone by their owners. It’s part of a 2-year program Aston Martin is running which brings DB4 GT owners to some of the world’s best circuits and provides them with period-correct driver training. As Aston puts it, the DB4 GT competed in a time when racing was more of an art than a science, so they’ve enlisted the help of works driver Darren Turner who has degrees in both fields to do the training.

Turns out that some of the guys who dished out $2 million for an vintage race car continuation special are actually planning to drive them. Good rich guys, good… *pats head*.

Have some pretty pictures.

[Source: Aston Martin]

2019 Mazda CX-3 priced at $20,390

In the one bit of auto news that could actually matter to someone reading this, Mazda just revealed pricing for the new 2019 CX-3 before it hits dealers later this month. With a starting MSRP of $20,390, this little crossover brings new refinements and comforts to the one market people can’t get enough of.

Standard features include upgraded fabric seating, power locks and mirrors, two USB ports, Bluetooth phone and audio, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, smart city brake support, and a 7″ full color display for the infotainment system. It also receives a retuned Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine which now produces 148 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. The suspension and steering have been recalibrated as well for a more engaging drive which Mazda can actually deliver in a crossover. Ask Jeff. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic are standard on all CX-3s and all-wheel drive is a $1,400 option on every trim level.

The range-topping model is the $26,445 Grand Touring + Premium Package which offers full leather seating, chrome exterior accents, full LED lighting, a power moonroof, a full-color HUD, navigation, paddle shifters, 6-way power driver’s seat, heated seats and steering wheel, traffic sign recognition, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

[Source: Mazda]

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 © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • My first five minutes (netto beam time) of MAG welding happened. The pieces look like the stuff that did not a misaligned re-entry, and I certainly do all the beginner’s mistakes (mainly torch too far away). But boy is it fun!

    • wunno sev

      i love welding. so satisfying once you figure out what you’re doing, which i absolutely have not done yet, but each improvement is tangible. i’ve found welding to be like driving on track, shooting guns, throwing basketballs, and other highly-refined skills: when you apply your thinkin’ brain to what your muscles are doing, you make the biggest leaps. it take not just practice, but a conscious effort to analyze what you’re doing.

      i need to find more excuses to bust out my little MIG, which i’ve been using for FCAW since i moved from my parents’ home and returned my gas bottle to the supplier outside of Chicago. having thought about it a bit, it’s a little scary to have gas bottles at thousands of psi in my car and my chaotic garage.

      just googled MAG. i definitely haven’t heard of that process before. i assume it’s not that different in execution from MIG.

      • I think it’s only sticklers who differentiate between MIG and MAG – it’s the same machine and the same principle (continuous wire as melting electrode under gas cover), but the given metallurgy demands either pure argon (inert) or a percentage (up to 100%) of non-noble gas (active).

  • smalleyxb122

    I sold my beater truck. The empty space it this left in my driveway was short-lived, however. Unfortunately, that is not because I purchased another vehicle. Another vehicle just randomly showed up in my driveway. I don’t know whose it is, but I want to give them time to come get it. If it’s still there when I get home today, I’m getting it towed. That will have been at least 48 hours, and it’s blocking my garage door. I need to be able to get my mower out of the garage this weekend.

    Based on the vehicle, it is not owned by someone in a great financial position, so I don’t want to be a dick and stick them with towing and impound fees, but it can’t stay there.

    • That is actually nice of you! Could you trace the owner using the registration, so you could try to reduce your expenses?

      • smalleyxb122

        I don’t expect it to cost me anything. I just report the abandoned vehicle, and the county takes it from there. I can’t get the owner’s information on my own, but when I contact the sheriff (if the car is still there), I will see if there is a way to contact the owner and have him move it without needing to tow it to impound. If that is a no-go, the sheriff with arrange the tow, and it’s out of my hands.

        • Fair enough. What a strange thing to happen!

          • smalleyxb122

            I just wish he had left a note with it. Hell, I’ve got my car trailer. I’d tow it back to his house for him, if I knew where that was, or who he is. Really, the problem is that I just don’t have any information. I feel bad sticking him with impound fees that will quickly exceed the value of the car.

    • That’s considerably more generous that I’d be. Assuming I eventually noticed an additional sketchy-looking* vehicle in my driveway, my first thought would be that someone ditched it there after stealing it, so it should be reported ASAP. My second thought would be to evaluate it for a racing cage. My third thought would involve a struggle between the first two thoughts.

      *I assume from your description that it’s sketchy-looking. A non-sketchy-looking vehicle appearing in my driveway would stand out immediately.

      • smalleyxb122

        It has a primered quarter panel and significant rust. It has a flat tire, which I assume is the reason for it being there, and my house looks enough like a commercial property that I can understand someone leaving it there while they figure things out. In fact, I’ve let people leave their cars in my driveway on two other occasions when they had car trouble. Of course those times, I was home, and they asked, and they retrieved their cars in less than 24 hours.

        • Even if the driver thought your place was commercial, parking so as to block a garage door without leaving a note strikes me as more along the lines of “I’m abandoning this” than “I’ll be back for this.” Still, one never knows.

          Abandoned vehicle laws work pretty much the same here, so I strongly suspect my first thought would win. Washington does, however, have a comparatively simple procedure for a property owner to claim a “junk vehicle” that’s been abandoned, provided it meets at least three out of four of these conditions: (1) at least three years old, (2) extensively damaged, (3) apparently inoperable, and (4) approximately worth only its scrap value. Its status must be determined by a law enforcement officer or other authorized inspector for this. The owner of record then has fifteen days to move it or lose it.

          http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420549.pdf

    • smalleyxb122

      I called dispatch, and they told me to just call a towing company. They sent a deputy anyway, and he ran the plates. It didn’t come back stolen. The tow truck just left with it.

    • smalleyxb122

      UPDATE: I met my new neighbor today. I apologized and gave him the number of the towing company.

      • Neat alternative to a fruit basket!

      • wunno sev

        if i can ask, how did he take it? i’m curious how someone who wordlessly leaves a car in a stranger’s driveway expects it to turn out.

        • smalleyxb122

          Obviously, he wasn’t thrilled, but he was relieved that it hadn’t been stolen. My understanding at this point is that he had his car towed up to his new place before moving in, but the towing company left it in the wrong driveway. Hopefully, the at-fault towing company will reimburse him for the towing.

  • onrails

    One Lap of America is getting started this weekend, so 365 days until I head to South Bend for next year’s start. Between now and then, I’ve got 3 track days, a year to prep, and I’m watching this year’s event like a hawk to see what I’m going to need to know. Let the countdown begin!

  • Zentropy

    My oldest child just received his learner’s permit, and is starting to develop an interest in what car he might get (reality: his mom is getting a new car, and he can drive her 10-year-old one). He’s sure as hell not driving my E28.
    He has, however, developed an interest in S14 Nissans with Boss front clips. I’d be game for such a project (the converted cars look like mini Mopars), but I’m not sure his mother would go for it.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kx-ETIEeiIc/maxresdefault.jpg

    • No crazy HP, in a modern-ish car, there are worse choices. What would be her alternative suggestions?

      • Zentropy

        I’m sure she’s thinking airbag count, four doors, low insurance rates, and something that doesn’t look like it should be drifted in turns.

    • Jeff Glucker

      That looks fantastic

    • Batshitbox

      I wish I’d inherited my mom’s 20 year old car when I got my license. It was a 1968 Camaro convertible with a 327.

      • Sjalabais

        Some moms score higher on the vehicular scale than others. I could have inherited a newish Kia Shuma, but kept my last-owner 242.

  • “This program will raise drivers’ physical ability and determination to a place ‘where the performance potential of both driver and vehicle can be fully exploited together as one’.”

    I’ve already fully exploited my performance potential as a driver and the potential of a British vehicle together as one. Turns out it didn’t take much to reach both sets of limits. I’ll pass on the Brabham.

    https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5474/9992977564_a05866fe69.jpg

  • Batshitbox

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fba95fe8627df3c98ea3543f58510faa2d18b9cdb621cb8124efa78b09071b05.jpg

    Remember ‘dragoning’? Did you think it wasn’t real? Well a man in Kansas does, and did.
    “We were called to the 1200 block of East Broadway to a report of a
    naked male underneath a car,” said Lt. Scott Powell of the Newton Police
    Department. ”.. He was attempting to stick his penis into the tailpipe
    of the vehicle.”
    http://www.thekansan.com/news/20180502/man-arrested-for-attempted-sex-with-car

    Meanwhile, Those Darned Engineering Students up there in Canada are up to their old “Suspending Cars From Bridges” games again.
    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/car-suspended-from-toronto-bridge-believed-to-be-a-prank-police-1.3911501

    UBC students have been suspected of this type of prank in the past, but they favor VW Beetles
    https://bc.ctvnews.ca/car-suspended-from-lions-gate-bridge-1.274613

    They even invaded the United States in 2001 to hang a Beetle off the Golden Gate Bridge
    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Beetle-Overboard-VW-hung-off-GG-Bridge-in-prank-2955618.php

    • I_Borgward

      Sometimes a tailpipe is just a tailpipe.

  • Jeff Glucker

    Benz audio stuff is done today. I’m going to pick it up later this afternoon, and I can’t wait.

    Also, finally got some mid-grade tint on the glass so it doesn’t feel like a greenhouse in there.

    • Greg Kachadurian

      Weren’t you just talking about selling the Benz? Why bother with the Clarion upgrade then 😛

      • Jeff Glucker

        it won’t be sold for a bit…

        • Sjalabais

          Frank question: Do you get discounts for stuff like this? The equipment and work just for the radio conversion would be pretty pricey around here.

          • Jeff Glucker

            Yes. And on the actual post about the system and install we disclaim that.
            I paid for the tint though, that was separate.

    • Zentropy

      I usually prefer an un-tinted look on older cars, but I’ve likewise considered a mild tint on my black Bimmer. At least until I get the A/C working.

      • Jeff Glucker

        Yep, same thinking on my end.

        Fixing the AC is next on the list.

  • Sjalabais

    Here is a Camry from Hell. Literally, Hell is a place in Norway. Of course it is beige:
    https://www.finn.no/car/used/ad.html?finnkode=119775878
    https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/960w/2018/5/vertical-3/05/8/119/775/_1282193316.jpg
    It is priced at 1300$ with a year of tech inspection left and basic tech maintenance done. Ten years ago, i would have jumped on this and driven up and down the mountains until rust had it.

    • Camry hatch! We didn’t get that here. Not that I’m really saddened by that fact.

      • Sjalabais

        I just have to admit how I adore most cubist cars ever made, I actually like that one. And apart from the Citroën C4, I haven’t driven a car that couldn’t be fun on the road; only-flat-out-for-movement Daewoo Matiz and Kia Shuma included.

    • dr zero

      Hell as in just to the east of Trondheim? Always fun to tell people that the airport in Trondheim was in Hell (it is actually in the next town/village east, but that doesn’t make as good a story).

      • Sjalabais

        Spot on, very close to Værnes. That should be roughly in @nanoop’s neck of the wood. In Norwegian though, “hell” is just another word for luck.

  • wunno sev

    just sold my W124 coupe to a coworker. no regrets in getting rid of it, as circumstances will not let me keep it, and i have other projects that are more important to me. but i will miss the absolute shit out of that car. what a lovely machine.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BidY6cogspo/

    • wunno sev

      annnnnnnd i just sold my Fiesta ST. back to one car, ready to move this weekend.

      that’s a jarring change, but i think i can rely on the Volvo for a few thousand miles before getting a better daily.

  • ConstantReader

    Changed the oil for the first time on my newly acquired 1990 MB 300SL. Relatively straight forward task. Ready for summer!.

    • wunno sev

      ooh, an R129? more details? tell me more :3
      a 5-speed 300SL is 100% in my ten-car dream garage.