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The News for January 15th, 2016

2017 Lincoln Continental

Welcome to the Hooniverse News – 2016 North American International Auto Show (Detroit) Edition! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry which all comes from the year’s first big show. Lots of shiny new hardware was on display at this week’s show but I’ll focus on the half-a-dozen or so debuts that I found most interesting. Some are covered in more detail than others because there’s only so much a single hoon with a day job can do… Nevertheless, there’s no fluff, no bull, and just a little opinion of mine thrown in because I can. This week:

  • Lexus brings a true concept car to life with the LC 500

  • Infiniti finally debuts their all-new premium sports coupe

  • Lincoln Continental is a production-bound, seriously attractive luxury sedan

  • Honda brings back the Ridgeline for the smart, modest pickup buyer

  • The Chrysler Pacifica is the new Town & Country

  • Ford sort-of updates the Fusion but adds serious power

  • What’s your automotive news?

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The Hooniversal Opinion: 2016 North American International Auto Show (Detroit)


There is no possible way that the Detroit show in 2016 can beat the Detroit show in 2015. Last year, we saw the unveiling of the GT350, the Raptor, and the Ford GT was a surprise that blew everyone away. Not to mention the Acura NSX, the Porsche Targa 4S, The Alfa 4C Spider, and a number of other great concepts and whatnot. Well, the level of surprise has at least been matched, as Buick rolled out a performance car concept that stunned the motoring world. Nobody saw that coming. This is a show that’s largely been dominated by a van, a Honda pickup truck, a couple of full-sized luxury sedans, and a sports car concept from an unlikely brand. Check out what’s new this year (with photos cribbed from our friends at AutoWeek and Autoblog), and the whole crew’s opinions about everything, after the jump.

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An Outsiders Perspective: 2015 North American International Auto Show

1 (Copy)

I went to an auto show once. It was held on the parking lot of a hotel and didn’t have a single concept car or preproduction model. There were no new vehicles released and nobody was ringing to get your attention over to their own stand. There were however a lot of people very interested in taking a huge chunk of money from my folks and I to get us into some random underpowered silver vehicular appliance.

The North American International Auto Show is altogether a different animal with a lot of interesting things that I could gleefully pick apart for the first time. It’s not like I’ll ever see most of them again anyway.

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Everything there is to know about the 2016 Ford GT

All-New Ford GT

A Ford like this doesn’t come around very often. In fact, I was in the seventh grade when the last one did.

A Ford “like this” has only come twice before [in production]. As everyone knows, Ford surprised the racing world when their GT40 won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 1-2-3 finish and then won the next three years consecutively, beating the almighty Ferrari in the process. In 2004, Ford came out with the GT to pay homage to the GT40 with retro-futuristic styling and an old school V8 that let it run with some of the best cars of its day.

Fast-forward to 2015 and Ford is looking to recapture some of that shock factor with the third installment. This is the 2016 Ford GT: the car that will bring Ford back into the supercar arena and, most importantly, bring the blue oval back to Le Mans for the first time since 1969 and just in time for the 50th anniversary of their first 1966 Le Mans win.

Not every detail is set in stone, but click past the jump for everything there is to know about the 2016 Ford GT at this point.

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The Hooniversal Opinion: Judging The New Cars Of The Detroit Auto Show


At the beginning of every year, the auto show I most look forward to rolls around, NAIAS. The North American International Auto Show has long been a favorite of mine, and when I lived in Michigan, I’d go every year. Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near the show this year, so I’ll be reporting from the sidelines. Equally unfortunate, Hooniverse does not have any representation at the show this year. As we’ve been doing for a couple of years now, when we don’t have anyone at the show to represent our interests here in the Hooniverse, we all pitch in with our opinions.

We have new car launches in the form of Ford’s GT, Ford’s Mustang GT350R, Ford’s new Raptor (Ford is pretty much killing it in Detroit this year!), Nissan’s new Titan diesel, Toyota’s new Tacoma, Porsche’s Targa 4GTS, Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo S, Acura’s NSX, Alfa’s 4C Spider, Merc’s C450 AMG Sport, Merc’s GLE, Chevy’s new Volt, Buick’s new Opel Astra Cabriolet Cascada convertible. Jaguar also debuted their new SUV, in name only. There are also some pretty tempting concept pieces, with Buick bringing the Avenir, Infiniti dropping the Q60 Concept, and Chevy shocking everyone (not really) with the new Bolt EV.

Photographs are either manufacturer supplied, or politely swiped from the hands of our friends at Autoblog and Autoweek.

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Opinion: The Numerous Premiers at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

2014 Detroit North American International Auto Show 2014 hooniverse

Typically here at Hooniverse, we try to attend the big auto shows, but it is not always possible. This year we were not able to make the North American International Auto Show, a.k.a. Detroit, and if it wasn’t for Steven Lang’s guest posts, we would have no coverage at all.

That won’t stop us from spewing our useless and pointless opinions, however. Below are our own thoughts on some of the production (concepts are for kids) vehicles that premiered at the show, and other random stuff. Pictures are either manufacturer supplied or blatantly stolen borrowed from our buds at Autoweek and Autoblog.

We will discuss the WRX STI, 911 Targa, Corvette Z06, Lexus RC F, Caddy ATS Coupe, Hyundai Genesis sedan, Honda Fit, BMW M235i, M3, and M4, Benzito GLA45 AMG and C-class, Ford F-150, GMC Canyon, Chrysler 200, VW Golf R, and the Acura TLX. See what we have to say and give us your thoughts.

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Morning Glory At The Detroit Auto Show


It’s 7:00 A.M.  I have two guys in front of me muttering in Russian about someone’s wife… someone’s mother… or it could be the new Ecoboost engine on the F-150.

The guy next to me is the same son-of-a-… who was snoring half the night. I am wearing a suit as a type this. An article of clothing which I never thought I would ever have to wear except for the proverbial wedding or funeral.

My fruit is plastic. My Danish is recycled bits of bread crumbs and corn syrup, and this computer I’m typing on has that blasted chiclet keyboard which makes me type an ‘e’ every time I need an ‘s’.

Damn I love it here!

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Detroit 2013 – Where can I buy this Cadillac?

Cadillac CTS-V coupe racecar front

I recently finished shooting a new episode of The Hooniverse, and the subject of the video is the Cadillac CTS-V coupe. The clip is shot, edited, and ready to roll, and I should have it up next week. That car was a blast to pilot around downtown LA, well after the sun went down. Still, there’s always a more exciting version of any car just waiting around the corner… and I happened to find the Caddy’s upgrade sitting under the shining lights of Cobo Hall in Detroit.

This is the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe race car that serves as home to drivers Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell. I believe the car above is just a show pony though, as Pilgrim and O’Connell pilot cars three and eight. That almost makes me feel a bit sad looking at the car above. It shouldn’t stay so clean. It was designed to run, yet here it sits corralled. I imagine this is what it would feel like to go to a zoo in a communist country. People flock to see the powerful animal in its tiny cage looking like it doesn’t know how it got to this point.

Regardless, it’s a glorious sight to take in… and you can take in more of it after the break.

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Detroit 2013 – The best seat at the show

2014 mercedes-benz e-class wagon

I needed to get out of the basement that is the Detroit Auto Show press room, and take an automotive walkabout. Finding that stunning redhead Zach Bowman, we set off to find stuff that made us smile. There was a lot of folks wandering around, doing their job; i.e. making crap thirty-minute handheld videos of the front infotainment system in the Kia Rio. That doesn’t make me smile, and it doesn’t make you smile either.

So, eventually Bowman and I found ourselves standing in the Mercedes-Benz booth. A sea of various new E-Class variants splayed out before us, and someone reached out to open the rear hatch on the latest iteration of one of my favorite wagons. What lay hidden behind the hatch? Rear-facing jump seats!

I know the last version had them too, but I never got to see them in person. Now, before me and the Bow Man, there they sat, upright and glorious. I have no desire to have children, but if I did, I would seriously enjoy scaring the crap out of them while their crying faces look to those rapidly disappearing behind us for help.

These seats made me smile.

Detroit 2013 – Audi RS7 is a ground-seeking missile dressed in a tuxedo

Audi RS7

Minus those terrible wheels, the 2014 Audi RS7 is everything I need in a new car. It’s wickedly fast, looks damn good, and seats four people plus gear. I might just steal this car right off the show floor, and drive it back to Hooniverse HQ.

If you don’t find my body, it’s because I tried to jump the Grand Canyon on the way back out West.