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The 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF finally gets the sweet Recaro seats

Mazda has some major updates in store for the 2019 MX-5 Miata. That punchy SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is now producing 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Inside the engine itself, Mazda has reduced the size of the pistons and connecting rods, while also reducing exhaust loss. Two of the biggest new items for the 2019 MX-5 though? The steering wheel has a telescope adjustment now, and the RF finally gets the sweet Recaro seats.

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Autocar imagines modern cars built in an earlier era

That is what an Audi R8 might’ve looked like had it been offered back in 1980. At least, that’s what Autocar believes and I’m sitting here nodding along in agreement. It’s Gandini-esque to my eyes, and maybe it would serve to signify an even earlier union of Lamborghini and Audi.

Autocar didn’t stop with the imagined Audi though, as there are 10 other modern machines that get an old-school style drawn up. From the Dodge Viper to the Toyota Prius, there’s a little something for everyone.

Head on over and check out the full set.

[Source: Autocar]

Hooniverse Asks: What’s your favorite “ugly” car or truck?

The McLaren Senna is a tremendous machine. It’s exceedingly ugly and technically  brilliant. As Jalopnik’s Michael Ballaban points out, a recent MSO-commissioned Senna finished with a unique white and blue paint scheme that on its own would be considered ugly actually helps “pretty the car up” a bit.

There are a number of vehicles that most would consider “ugly”. Yet those vehicles also find a place in the hearts of people who cherish them. The Senna isn’t a personal example, but one that sits atop my morning automotive reading. It caught my eye with it’s Bugatti Veyron L’Or Blanc-esque tribute livery(even though it’s not being referenced by McLaren as such).

What vehicle do you love that most would consider… a bit ungainly?

Audi e-tron all-electric SUV is ready for your deposit this September

Audi is cooking up its own competitor to battle the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace. It’s called the e-tron and it’s an all-electric SUV that will land in showrooms sometime in the early part of 2019. Before that happens, Audi is looking for interested parties to raise their hands (and open their wallets).

Starting on September 17th of 2018, Audi is opening up the reservation process for the e-tron. Customers will need to put down a refundable $1,000 reservation fee. From there, Audi plans to make the entire process, from production to delivery, a transparent one. You can track everything online.

Audi is launching its updated EV strategy on the back of the e-tron. Two more vehicles will follow with debuts by 2020. What’s more, Audi is looking to see 30% of its customers jump into electric vehicles by 2025.

With the e-tron, that means electric quattro all-wheel-drive, 150 kW high-speed charging, a pair of electric motors, and a 95 kWh battery pack. We expect it to drive well for what it is, considering the weight is mostly tucked nice and low in the chassis. Inside, it should be typical Audi luxury but with a tech-focused feel.

We don’t know all of the details yet, including the MSRP. But the space primarily occupied by Tesla is getting ever more crowded. The EV wars are heating up and they should be interesting to watch unfold.

Raptor power now available on the F-150 Limited

I love the Ford Raptor. It’s a silly truck that I don’t need, but I’d love to own one if I had the coin. Others out there might like the idea of the Raptor powertrain, but don’t wish to drive a Hot Wheels fever dream of a pickup on a daily basis. Ford has a fresh solution and it arrives under the skin of the 2019 F-150 Limited. You can now fit the 450-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 betwixt the fenders of this fancy Ford.

There’s no word on pricing just yet, but it certainly won’t be cheap. The Limited trim of the F-150 is a pricy 1/2-ton bugger. Typically you’ll find these starting well over $60,000. For the prior model year, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost churned out 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. That’s plenty of grunt, but the 2019 getting the Raptor engine is quite a healthy upgrade. Besides the jump in horsepower, you’ll now find 510 lb-ft of torque on tap.

Truck buyers are now basically luxury car buyers, so the price won’t be an issue for well-heeled pickup customers. And more conservative folks will certainly appreciate the toned-down styling afforded with the Limited trim compared to the far more raucous Raptor.

Though there’s a bit more noise offered up up… Ford are fitting the 2019 F-150 Limited with a fresh dual exhaust system. We’re eager to hear the revised tone for ourselves, so stay tuned for a review down the road.

While we’d still take the Baja-ready Raptor over a Limited, it’s pretty cool to see Ford sharing the engine with other F-150 family members.

Hyundai could have one hell of a hot hatch in the Veloster N

Friend of Hooniverse Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained was invited to Germany to sample Hyundai’s latest top-spec version of the Veloster. It’s called the Veloster N, and it represents our first taste of Hyundai’s feistier family members. 

Hyundai have fitted a 275 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood. Right now, that’s backed up by a six-speed manual transmission. You’ll find electronically controlled suspension, an electronic limited-slip differential, and all sorts of pops and burbles emanating from the rear end. 

The automaker clearly want to show off its truly sporty machine, so it invited a flock of journalists to the Nürburgring to find out more about it.

If you want a deep dive, this is the video for you. Fenske talks about the car in great detail. We hope to get our own mitts on the car sometime in the not too distant future.

Truck Thursday: Is it too much for this GMC Typhoon?

Jeff Glucker July 26, 2018 For Sale

The information posted in this Craigslist sale is minimal. In fact, it’s just one unpunctuated line of text that reads: 

“139kmiles 92 gmc typhoon runs strong new transmission in excellent condition”

This would be a rare machine, as GMC only built around 500 or so Apple Red GMC Typhoons. The most common color you’ll find is Black on Black while the rarest seems to be Radar Blue.

That new transmission “described” above should be a 4L60 four-speed and it should be feeding power to the 280 horsepower 4.3-liter V6. The hood is odd looking, as that’s not a stock unit, the wheels are different too. But the rest of the truck appears correct.

Clean, low mileage examples are being offered for sale between $25,000 and well into the $30,000 range. So do you think this 139,000 miles Type Hoon should fetch the $12,500 the owner believes it’s worth?

It feels like a lot of dough… but that’s one rare machine.

[Source: Craigslist]

Podcast: Episode 258 – Old Benzes and Adi Desai

Friend of Hooniverse Adi Desai joins me on this episode of the Hooniverse Podcast. Adi is in town visiting from Canada, where he is part of the team that runs http://doubleclutch.ca/. Adi happens to enjoy big old Benzes like I do, so we chat about his 560SEL. We also happen to have stopped at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center just before recording… so we’ve clearly got Benz on the brain in an extra strength dosage.

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the dumbest car fad… that you secretly love?

I want to drive a donk. This is a ridiculous vehicle with insanely oversized wheels and it’s usually finished in a bright color or with an oddly branded wrap. I should hate the donk… but I love the donk.

What oddball automotive fad do you secretly love?

Volkswagen shares more angles on the ID R and its Pikes Peak winning run

The angle inside the cabin is less than ideal but it shows how much work Romain Dumas puts towards his record-smashing run. 

Volkswagen built the ID R electric race car with the sole intention of devouring Pikes Peak top times. The first goal was the electric-car overall record but the ultimate goal was complete and total domination. That’s what happened, as Dumas piloted the ID R up the hill in just 7:57.

You can see that, despite the full gamut of pavement running the length of the course, it’s still a bumpy ride. The suspension is likely supremely stiff (which you can also see when the car goes up the hill at Goodwood) and that aero is working to further press it into the ground.

While the angles provided are great overall, we’d still love to see a camera a bit lower and more forward facing. I want to get an eyeful of what Dumas saw as he raced into the record books.  Eventually, the onboard video goes away… which means Volkswagen had camera issues. There had to have been more angles or more footage planned, but things don’t always work out the way in which you plan.

Unless the plan is to go insanely fast… in which case, mission accomplished.