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The News for October 21st, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 21, 2016 The News!

lynkncolead

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’s Marco Wittmann wins DTM championship, gets special edition M4 GTS to celebrate

  • New Geely sub-brand reveals ride-sharing concept

  • Shop Neiman Marcus, get an Infiniti Q60 as a stocking stuffer

  • Tesla is putting better Autopilot hardware in all future models starting now

  • Nissan takes control of Mitsubishi because nobody else wanted them

  • Neat fact about the Aston Martin RB001 – it can drive on a ceiling

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

Everything you need to know about the 2017 BMW 5 Series

Greg Kachadurian October 14, 2016 The News!

p90237240_highres_the-new-bmw-5-series

This is a supplemental piece to today’s news recap. BMW ended up doing A LOT to the new 5 Series, so much so that I could only cut down the 7,000+ word to about 1,000 words without missing the important details. Therefore, spin off post.

The F10 BMW 5 Series (2011-2016) is a great car by pretty much all accounts. It has less controversial styling than its predecessor, it’s supremely comfortable, it’s quite nice to drive, and the M version once got me to 150 mph at Road Atlanta. It also sold pretty well and served as sort of a benchmark for the executive sports saloon class. This week, BMW announced the next chapter in the 5 Series saga which aims to build on everything that was great and fix what wasn’t. Say hello to the 2017 BMW (G30) 5 Series. Yes, BMW chassis codes are already up to the Gs now.

The seventh generation 5er gets a full makeover both visually and mechanically. Vehicle performance and dynamics are improved, weight has been lost, driver assistance systems were tweaked and added, and it’s all wrapped in a visually stunning design. It’s rare that I get to write about a new BMW I don’t hate.

… Continue Reading

The News for October 14th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 14, 2016 The News!

scg_003s_stradale_11

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 reveals all-new 5 Series with tons of new and exciting things

  • Honda CR-V gets meaner, more upscale for 2017 model year

  • Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus promises fully street-legal SCG003S

  • The Hoonicorn makes 1,400 horsepower now

  • Ford Performance offers EcoBoost power pack

  • Ford idles Mustang production after sharp decrease in sales

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

The News for October 7th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 7, 2016 The News!

cq5dam-web-1280-1280-2

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:

  • Chevrolet and TARDEC reveal their military fuel-cell truck concept

  • Hennessey will build a 600 horsepower, 6×6 Raptor because it can

  • UAW chairman confirms Ranger and Bronco are returning

  • The last Ford Falcon rolls off the line, Ford Australia manufacturing ceases

  • Toyota prices the more capable, better-looking Prius Prime under $30K

  • Mazda prices the regular MX-5 Miata RF over $30K

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

Quick Pics – the Daytona Prototype’s swan song

Daytona Prototype

Several race cars made their final professional appearance at last weekend’s Petit Le Mans, including the polarizing Daytona Prototype cars. After thirteen years, IMSA is replacing them next season with all new cars that follow more of an international standard and should make their top class a little less awkward. Generally, the reaction to that decision has been more than favorable. Will you miss them?

If you asked me that around the time ALMS and Grand Am merged, I would have cheered at the thought of them being gone. Those DPs were replacing the fantastic LMP1 cars that made an ALMS race such a magical thing up until 2012. No more Audi R18, no more Peugeot 908, and no more Aston Martin-powered Lolas. I hated DPs for that. But then I saw them race a few times at Road Atlanta and Daytona… sure enough, my opinion changed. The DPs have been getting prettier in recent years (not saying much, I know) and the Corvette DPs in particular are probably the best-looking models to date. They’re fast, they’re louder than anything else on track, and they helped a newly formed sports car series get its footing during its most crucial years. I’m looking forward to the new cars 2017 brings, but I find myself missing the DPs a bit more than I thought I would.

[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

The News for September 30th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian September 30, 2016 The News!

Honda Civic Type R Prototype

Welcome to the Hooniverse News – 2016 Mondial de L’Automobile (Paris Motor Show) edition! 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:

  • Honda Civic Type R concept – an awesome sign of things to come

  • First ever Audi RS3 Sedan takes the five-cylinder turbo to new heights

  • Meanwhile in Texas, a Hellcat-powered* Ram Rebel

  • Audi debuts 2nd-gen Q5 SUV with loads of new features

  • Mercedes-Benz launches new MAGIC ELECTRICITY CONTROL EV brand

  • BMW unleashes a whole lot of ugly onto the world with the X2 concept

  • Jeep shows off new 2017 Compass for global markets and it’s looking better

  • New battery tech means BMW i3 gets 50% more range

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Launch Edition is up for pre-order, but it’s pricey

  • 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo is $175K now because reasons

  • MagnaFlow and Classic Kustoms teases 1,000 HP, twin-charged ’65 Mustang

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

The News for September 23rd, 2016

Greg Kachadurian September 23, 2016 The News!

eclassallterrainlead

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:

  • Mercedes gives us the all-terrain E-Class Estate some people maybe asked for

  • Ferrari GTC4Lusso T drops the V12, adds turbos, and goes RWD

  • Chevrolet’s all-new Equinox is finally here

  • Bentley adds triple-charged diesel power to the Bentayga

  • Mini adds new JCW performance package to the Clubman

  • Saleen will maybe build the S7 super car again

  • Lexus teases holographic interior of the future

  • Toyota drops prices on a Mirai lease because we don’t love it enough

  • Because I had to talk about it, Apple is maybe investing in McLaren

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

Pennzoil takes an M6 on the ultimate frozen joyride

Greg Kachadurian September 22, 2016 All Things Hoon

It’s a known fact (which I just made up) that companies who spend their advertising dollars on hooning expensive cars are cooler than those who don’t. Fortunately, Pennzoil’s marketing team thinks the same way I do. They’ve been producing a mini series lately called JOYRIDE which consists of nothing but pure hoonage with some serious machinery and above is their latest film, JOYRIDE Tundra.

Despite the name, no trucks were involved with this one; just a 2016 BMW M6 Coupe with Rhys Millen doing the honors. Basically, it answers the age old question, “what would happen if you could hoon an M6 in the frozen tundra?” Even if you’re not in the market for motor oil, it’s still a great way to kill three minutes. In fact, it’s the best way. When you’re done with that, there’s also a quick hooning session captured on a 360-degree camera for your viewing pleasure right here.

[Source: Pennzoil]

The News for September 16th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian September 16, 2016 The News!

caterhamsprint

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:

  • Caterham does a proper retro Seven and it’s awesome

  • Mercedes-AMG GT and GTC Roadster previewed early

  • Volvo gifts us with the existence of a new V90 Cross Country

  • The Chevrolet Bolt gets rated at 238 miles of range

  • Volkswagen doing away with the three-door Golf GTI

  • Alfa Romeo’s upcoming crossover accidentally leaked. Meh.

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

An inside look at how Toyota builds their trucks in Texas

northamerican-126

At the height of the recession that nearly wrecked the US auto industry, I remember seeing loads of TV ads from local big three dealers which always ended with the phrase “be American; buy American”. Those dealers and plenty of other people in my social circles were promoting this notion that you weren’t American unless you bought things that were American-made. By “American-made”, the people running those ads really just meant “has an American badge on it… our American badge”.

Turns out, if you actually want to buy an American-made car, you have a lot of options besides what the big three offer. For example, BMW builds the X5 in South Carolina, Kia builds the Sorento in Georgia, Acura builds the NSX in Ohio, and as Toyota wanted me to find out, they build the Tundra and Tacoma in Texas.

That Texas plant was the subject of a recent press trip Toyota brought me on. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) is home to almost every pickup Toyota sells in America and the 2,600+ American employees building them really wish you’d stop calling their work “foreign” and “un-American”.

As I found out first hand, Toyota has gone great lengths to make their Tundra and Tacoma some of the most American trucks you can buy. It was an eye-opening experience for me and maybe it will be for you too.

Disclaimer: Toyota was so proud of their North American-produced cars and their TMMTX facility that they flew me out to Texas to go check it all out. Endless shrimp was not provided.

… Continue Reading