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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

The News for September 9th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian September 9, 2016 The News!

bentley-flying-spur-w12-s

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. Today it’s mostly Volkswagen Auto Group news… there’s an immature joke in there somewhere. Anyway, there’s also a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Bentley’s first 200 mph sedan is a W12-powered beast

  • Porsche channels the 918 for the new Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

  • Audi says five-door coupes are cool, releases another A5/S5 Sportback

  • Land Rover teases what the new Discovery will look like by showing us exactly how it looks

  • Jaguar Classic and Pirelli team up to solve XJ220 tire shortage

  • One-Millionth MX-5 is finishing up its US tour; locations below

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

True aural pleasure is this 3D/binaural recording of a WEC test

Being at an auto race is an assault on the senses. The sight of a battle for the lead, the smell of burnt dinosaur in the air, and the huge sound that comes with it all is what makes these such special events. Personally, one of my favorite parts of being at a race comes down to the sound of it all. It’s the feel of thousands of revs per minute rattling bones and engines making their voices heard from miles away that keeps me coming back to my favorite races rather than just watching them on TV. It’s hard to describe exactly what makes this experience so wonderful, but in this case a video is worth a few thousand words.

19Bozzy92 has captured that experience on film in a little experiment of his. Using a new 3D/binaural audio recording setup, he attended a practice session for the WEC at Monza and recorded some superb audio. There are only four cars on track during this session so it isn’t the most exciting to watch, but that’s not what this is about. The binaural recording means it’ll sound exactly as it did in real life when you listen on a decent pair of headphones. You can hear the distant drone of cars on complete opposite ends of the track, the ear-splitting roar of an Aston Martin when it’s right in your face, and other great sounds you get from a live track. This video is about the excellent sound, not so much the on track action.

So find your headphones/earbuds and listen up. It’s the very definition of aural pleasure.

[Source: 19Bozzy92 on YouTube]

The News for September 2nd, 2016

Greg Kachadurian September 2, 2016 The News!

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupé; 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. This week:

  • Mercedes-AMG releases GLC43 “Coupe” because they think we’re idiots

  • Porsche reveals impressive Performance Package for Macan Turbo

  • Shelby GTE Mustang tries to bring great performance to the masses

  • Ferrari building a 500th LaFerrari to benefit Italian earthquake victims

  • GM teases secret fuel cell project for the US military

  • One day Bondurant schools free with Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

  • BMW ceases production on the E89 Z4, makes way for the new model

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading