The News for April 28th, 2023

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Porsche will race Le Mans with a killer tribute livery for the 963, McLaren is reportedly working on a P1 successor, Ford may show the new Ranger in the US next month, Lia Block will drive the Hoonipigasus up Pike’s Peak, plus your news for the week.

Porsche will race Le Mans with special tribute livery

For the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche Penske Motorsport will be sending their three 963 LMDh prototypes to the grid with special tribute liveries to commemorate Porsche’s rich history with the race. Penske Motorsport is running the works team for the Porsche 963 and Porsche loves a good tribute, so the opportunity was perfect. The design was revealed today as the FIA World Endurance Championship descends upon Spa-Francorchamps for the Le Mans dress rehearsal.

“This year, we are celebrating 75 years of Porsche sports cars. Motorsport, and endurance racing in particular, is a core element of our Porsche DNA. Therefore, the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours also has a special significance for the Porsche brand as well,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board, Sales and Marketing. “The color scheme of the three works race cars connects both anniversaries. Every color on the Porsche 963s has its own Le Mans history. And we are very proud of every single one of them.”

It features fifteen stripes in seven different colors, which flow from the front and flare out at the rear. The colors of each stripe relate to a specific car with an iconic livery, and I bet you can already tell which one is which. Orange is for the legendary Gulf design, pink is for the also legendary Pink Pig, green and light blue commemorate the “Hippie” livery as well as the iconic Martini design, and dark blue is a nod to the Rothman’s paintwork from the 80s. Red is heavily featured as it’s part of the base design for the factory-run 963s, but the red section in the middle is to commemorate the Salezburg-Porsche 917 from 1970, Porsche’s first overall winner. A yellow stripe down the middle pays tribute to the Porsche RS Spyder which saw great success in ALMS with none other than Penske. To differentiate between the three racing cars, fins on each engine hood have different colors: black for the No. 5 car, white for the No. 6 and red for the third No. 75.

As far as tribute schemes go, it’s hard to get any better than this. Porsche will be represented by numerous teams at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both Hypercar and GTE-Am classes. The factory-run 963s will be driven by Dane Cameron (USA), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) in the No. 5. Sharing driving duties in the No. 6 sister car are the WEC drivers André Lotterer from Germany, Kévin Estre from France and Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium. Felipe Nasr (Brazil), Nick Tandy (United Kingdom) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) share the No. 75 cockpit.

[Source: Porsche]

Report: McLaren P1 successor due in 2026

According to the kings of the inside scoop, Automotive News (sub required), McLaren is working on a successor to the famed P1 hybrid supercar. The P1, along with the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari, were the first to show what hybrid power was truly capable of when engineered for performance. They flipped the notion of boring and dull hybrids completely on its head by achieving a level of performance no one could’ve imagined back then. Supercars and hypercars are a dime a dozen these days, but these were in their own league. And now at least one of those manufacturers is planning round two.

AN‘s sources were dealers who had just attended a special presentation from McLaren. They went on to say the car will feature another hybrid V8 powertrain, as the P1 had, but be much more powerful than the 903 horsepower the P1 had to settle for. Some other key figures they threw out there was that the new hybrid system would be 70% lighter than what was in the P1, which probably means a smaller battery. They also talked about 3D-printed suspension parts, something a few boutique manufacturers have already been experimenting on with great success. And because McLaren needs to continue to justify their midfield F1 team, it’ll have aerodynamic elements inspired by their rolling billboard of an F1 car.

And that’s about all there is to say about it right now. We’ll be sure to follow up on this in three years if anyone is still around or if the world hasn’t plunged into some new crisis by then.

I wonder how well that comment will age.

[Source: Automotive News via MotorAuthority]

Ford may finally show the new Ranger in the US next month

It’s been a long year and change waiting for Ford to talk about the new Ranger for the US market in literally any capacity. Since they unveiled the all-new Ranger and Ranger Raptor in the Australian and Southeast Asian market last year, the midsize truck war has been slowly rekindling back in America with a new Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, a new Nissan Frontier, and Toyota teasing the announcement of a new teaser of the announcement for the new Tacoma. But Ford has been completely silent on the new Ranger stateside aside from a comment about how we’d see it launch here as a 2024 model.

But now Ford Authority says they’ve received a tip that it’ll debut next month. Next month is of course only two days away, so I guess any day now. Based on Ford Authority‘s understanding, the 2024 Ranger was scheduled to enter production at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant around the same time in order to meet that whole ‘launch as a 2024 model’ deadline. No one seems to know if that’s still the case. But seeing as the world has known what this thing will look like (more or less, depending on market-specific design requirements) for over a year now, it’s not out of the question that we’d see a reveal for the US market just days or weeks before it enters production.

Either way, it’s a new midsize truck coming to America. Finally. And despite Ford delaying a truck rollout to the US by over a year, it’ll probably still manage to go on sale and enter production before we know what the new Tacoma even looks like.

[Source: Ford Authority]

Lia Block will drive the Hoonipigasus up Pike’s Peak

Last year, Hoonigan Racing Division and BBi Autosport set out to build the ultimate Pike’s Peak hill climb car in collaboration with Ken Block. They came up with the Hoonipigasus – a car with a really silly name but a dead serious attitude. It has insane aero suitable for high altitudes, 1,400 horsepower, AWD, and GPS-controlled suspension for the perfect calibration for every corner. But it never got to see its potential unleashed. Due to some mechanical gremlins they weren’t able to iron out in time, Ken Block never got to make a full speed run all the way up the hill. And with his tragic passing earlier this year, it looked like it would never go up the hill at all – obviously, the least of anyone’s worries.

But this week, Lia Block, Ken’s oldest daughter and rising motorsport star in her own right, announced she’d be taking it up Pike’s Peak this year. Not for any sort of timed run, but as a tribute run. In her Instagram post, she admitted she wasn’t ready to take on the mountain in anger with a car that not even her dad got to get fully acclimated with. And no one who’s familiar with the sort of cars Ken had dreamt up could blame her. But she did hint that it would be a way to get her feet wet on the legendary mountain – perhaps as a warmup run.

Whether she drives it anywhere near her limit or not, it’ll be an incredible moment for Ken Block fans and for fans of Pike’s Peak. And one thing’s for sure: when that car goes up that mountain, there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Go get ’em, Lia.

[Source: @liablock]

What’s your news for the week?

hooniverse news whats your naws

So that’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

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2 responses to “The News for April 28th, 2023”

  1. foodle Avatar

    Extremely good livery. Designers knocked it out of the park!

  2. Ali Haider Avatar

    Automotive world buzzes: Le Mans tribute, McLaren’s P1 successor, Ford’s new Ranger, Hoonipigasus tribute run!