Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:
Lamborghini’s updated Aventador is a birthday present to itself
Rolls Royce launches Alpine Trail Centenary Collection
Mercedes-Benz GLA is a concept you can eventually buy
Chevrolet Cruze diesel is now the most efficient car of its kind in America
Bugatti gets its world’s fastest production car record back
Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50° Anniversario
This week, Lamborghini is continuing its rich tradition of releasing vehicles with obnoxiously long names. I gotta hand it to them though, because the name Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50° Anniversario tells you just about everything you need to know about the car. It’s an Aventador with 720 horsepower, all-wheel-drive, and it’s being built to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.
The other enhancements the LP720-4 has to offer are just as obvious. The car receives an extensive carbon fiber aerodynamic package, which improves aerodynamic efficiency by a convenient 50%, bespoke wheels, and special Giallo Maggio paint. Underneath the flashy body work is the same 6.5-liter V12 and 7-speed independent shifting rod transmission from the standard car, plus the previously mentioned 20 horsepower bump. 0-62 mph takes just 2.9 seconds and the car will keep going to 217.5 mph.
Just 100 LP720-4 50° Anniversario models will ever be made, one of which will be on display at the Shanghai auto show next week.
Source: Lamborghini via Autoweek
Rolls Royce Ghost Alpine Trail Centenary Edition
Depending on how well you know your automotive history, this June is a special month for Rolls Royce fans. That’s because a century ago this June, four Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts set off on the Austrian Alpine Trail, which at the time was the ultimate test of endurance. Don’t worry, I didn’t know about thsi either. The cars managed 1,820 miles over rough mountain terrain without any mechanical faults (according to them), and Rolls Royce calls that event the one that earned them their reputation for mechanical excellence, which they keep today, depending on who you talk to.
To help celebrate that event, Rolls is launching the Alpine Trail Centenary Collection with this, the Ghost Alpine Trail Centenary Edition. This is the first bespoke model in company history to take inspiration from a heritage model, which happens to be James Radley’s Silver Ghost which took part in the event. The unique blue paint, black painted grille, a center analog clock that displays rally stages and timings, and special wood trim on the dash and rear picnic tables that feature hand-crafted inlays depicting the topography of that famous Alpine route in meticulous detail. Oh, and that painted grille marks the first time a Rolls has ever been offered with a painted grille.
No word on availability or price.
Source: Rolls Royce
Mercedes-Benz GLA concept
We don’t normally cover concept cars here, but this is one of the rare exceptions because it’s a somewhat accurate preview of what Mercedes-Benz has already confirmed for production. By fall of 2014, the GLA will be Benz’s ticket to the growing compact crossover segment, and there’s a chance it may even be affordable.
The GLA will be based on the same platform as the compact, front-wheel-drive CLA sedan and will also use the same 208-horsepower turbocharged 4-banger paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. As with the other cars that share this platform, all-wheel-drive will be an option. The styling, while clearly louder and more radical than the production car will be, features the new family face we see on the CLA as well as some of the “in your face” styling found on bigger Benz crossovers/SUVs. The CLA is priced at around $30,000, so it’s safe to say the GLA will start somewhere near that same price, if not just a little higher. Between the CLA, the A-Class (which we won’t get in America) and now the GLA, Mercedes-Benz seems serious about offering luxury to a wider variety of buyers. I’m sure a few elitists and their S-Classes will scoff at that idea, but it could prove to be a smart move for them.
The production GLA is scheduled to be revealed later this fall at the Frankfurt auto show, and by then we may have more technical details to share.
Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autoweek
Chevrolet Cruze diesel gets official mpg figures
The Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel got its official EPA estimates this week, and the results were better than expected. 46 mpg on the highway and a range of 700 miles or 10 hours of continuous driving on a single tank based on highway mileage (city mileage was not disclosed). That makes the Cruze diesel the most efficient non-hybrid passenger car in America, even beating out the Jetta TDI. Hell, some hybrids don’t even do that well on the highway.
This magic comes from GM’s new 2.0 Turbo Diesel, which is their cleanest diesel ever. The Cruze diesel gets to play with 148 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque from that power plant, and as an added bonus, you can summon 280 lb.-ft. of torque for short periods of time with the overboost function. All this plus the essential amenities inside, like leather seating and GM’s infotainment system, costs $25,695 including destination.
Bugatti has the world’s fastest car again
Last week I reported that Guinness World Records revoked the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport’s status as the world’s fastest production car. The title was revoked because of a deactivated speed limiter, which usually restricts the top speed of customer cars to 258 mph, but allowed the Super Sport to achieve 267.8 mph for the record the first time around.
So yeah, ignore that, because Guinness announced they’re reconfirming the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport as the world’s fastest production car. They came to this conclusion after deciding that the electronic speed limiter doesn’t really affect the fundamental design of the car or insane powertrain which won Bugatti the title. No reports have surfaced suggesting bribery, honest.
Source: Guinness World Records