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The News for June 24th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian June 24, 2016 The News!

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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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • I made a Volvo S90 as the lead image again because R-Design

  • Dodge prepares to say goodbye to the Viper after 25 years

  • Aston Martin confirms the Vanquish Zagato for limited production

  • This week in crazy: Lanzante is making a road legal McLaren P1 GTR

  • Update: Mercedes reveals hardcore AMG GT R

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

History repeats itself at Le Mans

Ford GT wins class at 24 Hours of Le Mans

50 years ago, Ford won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the GT40 and a 1-2-3 podium sweep. It’s been called one of the biggest motorsports success stories of all time and it was one of four consecutive victories they would go on to claim. Everyone wondered if Ford could relive that glory when they revealed the new GT and promised to fight for a Le Mans win again, albeit in a different class this time. 50 years to the day after their first victory in 1966, they’ve won it again. It wasn’t a perfect win and it wasn’t without controversy, but holy hell they’ve done it.

[Image source: Ford]

Porsche will return to sim racing with Assetto Corsa

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This is really happening. Porsche is returning to sim racing! For real!

This is a big deal because for the last decade or so, Porsche has been locked in a licensing deal with EA Games granting them near exclusive use of the legendary brand in racing games. The now infamous deal is the reason why you needed to pay extra to drive Porsches in Forza Motorsport and why Gran Turismo has never featured them. For a long time, you could only drive a digital Porsche through a Need for Speed game or one of the million mobile phone games EA dumps into the app store, neither of which are really designed to be simulators with detailed driving models and physics.

Porsche fans lost out on a chance to experience the brand in other well-established (and often better) racing titles, Porsche themselves lost out on plenty of exposure to younger fans, and really only EA Games – once voted as the worst company in the world – benefited from it. This IGN article does a good job of explaining the deal, if you’re interested.

That’s all about to change. Today, Kunos Simulazioni and 505 Games made the announcement which many gamers didn’t think would be seen in our lifetime. Two DLC packs headed to PC and console releases of Assetto Corsa will contain various Porsche road and race cars and should drop this autumn. While no car list is confirmed yet, the video trailer they released hints at a lot of wonderful machinery. Using manufacturer b-rolls, we can guess that everything from the Boxster GTS to the 918 and the 935 to the 919 will be included. Should these all be confirmed somewhere down the line, it’s sure to be one of the best additions yet to an already wonderful racing title.

Even if you don’t play Assetto Corsa, this should still great news for fans of other titles. Rumors around that licensing deal suggested it would expire this year. With Kunos and 505 Games, devs and publishers with nowhere near the kind of budget dedicated to Gran Turismo or Forza, being able to secure this license, it could mean other franchises will have an easier time adding one of the most requested car brands to their games as well. Everyone wins. Except Ruf.

[Source: YouTube]

The News for June 17th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian June 17, 2016 The News!

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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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Rolls-Royce concept shows a future where you can’t drive your Rolls-Royce

  • Mini concept shows a future where you can drive other people’s Mini

  • Subaru cranks out a new special edition BRZ called the Series.Yellow

  • Aston Martin using Goodwood FoS for dynamic DB11 debut

  • Omix-ADA hosting inaugural Jeep Heritage Expo this July

  • Forza Horizon 3 revealed – it’s bigger than ever

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

The News for June 10th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian June 10, 2016 The News!

192152_New_Polestar_performance_package_now_available_for_the_Volvo_S90_and_V90

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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • McLaren goes crazy with carbon fiber on the 675LT Spider

  • Audi reveals all-new A5 and S5 Coupe

  • Volvo’s Polestar performance package revealed for S90 and V90

  • Ford Fusion Sport confirmed to nearly be the Fusion RS we wanted

  • BMW builds a new 3 Series GT, analysts predict they’ll sell four units

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

The News for June 3rd, 2016

Mercedes-Benz G-Klasse (BR 463) 2016

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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. It’s a bit more upper class than usual today… This week:

  • A new “Professional” G-Class proves they can exist without chrome

  • Ferrari builds a one-off 458 Speciale for one insanely rich enthusiast

  • Nissan prices 2017 GT-R; new refinements don’t come cheap

  • It’s happening – BMW trademarks 8 Series model designations

  • Lineup for this year’s prestigious Quail Motorsports Gathering confirmed

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

Watch and listen as the Judd-powered SLK340 annihilates a hill climb

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Europeans host some of the most fascinating hill climb events in the world. The routes organizers pick for these events are stellar, but the machinery that competitors turn up with are what really make them stand out. One of the newest creations that recently made its first debut is Team Meisel Motorsport’s “SLK340”, a purpose-built, Judd-powered monster of a hill climb car with the body of a Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster. The team fielding the car is very experienced in the art of hill climb, but this is the first run with the new car that was recorded by the pros at HillClimbFans.

The results are pretty spectacular. It runs with a 3.4-liter Judd V8 capable of producing just over 600 horsepower at up to 11,000 RPM and the rate at which this thing moves up a tight mountain road is incredible. What makes the SLK340 really memorable is that engine. It’s my favorite engine on the planet partly because of the specs but mostly because of the ear-splitting sound it produces. Enjoy a solid three-and-a-half minutes of aural pleasure in the professionally shot clip above from HillClimbFans, who in my unbiased opinion, have one of the best motorsport channels on YouTube.

If you crave more Judd V8 goodness (couldn’t blame you), also check out the late great Georg Plasa’s 134 Judd in action here. It runs the same engine and I can guarantee it’ll make a hill climb fan out of you, or at the very least make you join me in praising Judd’s 3.4-liter V8 as the best engine in the world.

[Source: HillClimbFans, www.SLK340.com]

Modern Art Monday: a Martini-liveried Ford Escort RS Cosworth

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Of all the cars I could have expected to see on display at Atlanta’s Caffeine and Octane car show, this one was pretty far down the list. The monthly Sunday morning car meet that’s outgrown every parking lot it’s ever been moved to delivered a car that’s exceedingly rare in this part of the world. It’s a real Ford Escort RS Cosworth wearing the gorgeous Martini racing livery. Only a handful of these cars ever made it stateside so it was not surprisingly overlooked by many of the people walking past it. Those that knew, however, had a hard time keeping their jaws off the floor, myself included.

For some brief history and more shots of this awesome machine, click past the jump.

… Continue Reading

The News for May 27th, 2016

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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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • 2017 GT-R NISMO – new face, same 600 horsepower bite

  • 2017 Subaru BRZ channels the STI concept for a face lift

  • BMW design study pays tribute to the original 2002 Turbo

  • Cosworth is setting up an engine shop near Detroit

  • The first Acura NSX rolls off the assembly line in Ohio

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

Modern Art Monday: Everything at the Classic Motorsports Mitty

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It’s a known fact that vintage racing is some of the prettiest racing on earth. The highly advanced and technical race cars of the modern era are spectacular in their own way, but nothing can compare to the spectacle of historic race cars reliving the good ole days with some friendly competition. One such event is the Classic Motorsports Mitty organized by Historic Sportscar Racing and held at the beautiful/fun/terrifying Road Atlanta.

I’ve been going for three years now and I can honestly say it never disappoints. Even compared to the ridiculously valuable grid at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during Monterey Car Week, the cars that show up to The Mitty still . The racing is close yet friendly and the cars are all special but don’t live in museums on other days of the year. Most people are there to share in the passion of classic cars and motorsports with their fellow enthusiasts rather than show off their wealth. It’s a different kind of vintage race than what most people typically hear about, but it’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend regardless.

But less words and more cars. Here are about 40 shots of some of the best cars in attendance, starting with what was in the parking lot, then the paddock, and finally on track. Enjoy.

[All images © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian. For more of my hilarious attempts at motorsports photography, see my Flickr.]

… Continue Reading