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:
TVR announces partnership with Rebellion Racing in LMP1
More Alfa Romeo Giulia coupe rumors paint an awesome picture
Report: SUVs are about to kill the Impala and Taurus
What’s your automotive news?
TVR returns to endurance racing
That whole “TVR is coming back to life” thing just got a bit more serious. TVR has announced their role as the automotive partner to Rebellion Racing who will be competing in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship this season. It’s the first time TVR has been involved in motorsport in over a decade. An LMP1 entry in WEC’s super season is a hell of a way to make a comeback.
Even though the TVR name is on the car, there probably isn’t anything TVR in the car just yet. The car is built on an Oreca chassis and has a series-compliant Gibson V8. In fact, the whole thing was developed and revealed before TVR was even announced as a partner. Though there may not be any parts sharing, there’s certainly some knowledge transfer going on that should benefit TVR’s upcoming Griffith road car.
Les Edgar, Chairman of TVR, explains: “When we resurrected the TVR brand, we knew that we wanted to achieve a return to the race track. Our partnership with Rebellion Racing allows us to achieve that goal, while bringing about valuable operational and technical knowledge, which directly transfers to our road car operation and future racing activities.”
TVR hasn’t been to Le Mans since 2005 but that changes this June and next June thanks to WEC’s 2018-2019 super season. If it’s going to be anything like last year’s race, all they have to do is survive longer than everyone else and they’ll win.
Also, Griffith GT3 when?
Alfa Romeo Giulia coupe rumored again
It wasn’t very long ago that rumors of a Giulia-based coupe first surfaced, but there’s already more leaks reigniting our curiosity. This one again comes from Autocar who reports two possible powertrains for what may be called the Giulia Sprint and a potential for a 2019 launch.
Grains of salt and such, but such a car could launch with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine used across the board at Alfa and the almighty Quadrifoglio’s twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6… but with a twist. Standard output of that engine is a cool 505 horsepower, but an F1-style energy recovery system could bump that up to 641 horsepower.
Alfa Romeo did just partner with Sauber F1 so that almost seems logical. Kinetic-based generator units have been on the market for several years now and heat-based units (which recover energy from exhaust gasses in the turbo) are starting to follow. Any one (or both) of those units could make for a fine powertrain when paired with that V6.
Whether any of that comes true or not is anyone’s guess but it sure is fun to speculate.
Report: Days are numbered for Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus
As crossovers and SUVs continue to dominate the marketplace, two iconic large sedans and two subcompacts from Ford and Chevrolet are on death row according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The two biggest names that are reportedly being discontinued are Chevrolet’s Impala and Ford’s Taurus after sales of those models have plummeted by 36% and 25% respectively over the past year. The large car segment in general is down 12% while anything that even somewhat resembles a crossover is surging.
Even the smaller cars are being impacted by this. We’ve believed for a while that Ford is not bringing the new Fiesta to America, but now one of its rivals is getting the boot as well. Chevrolet’s Sonic – which in fact does still exist – could be axed as early as this year.
Spokespeople for both Ford and Chevrolet commented with the typical “these cars are an important part of our portfolio” statement while certainly struggling to keep a straight face. All four of these cars will be dead in America and nobody will miss them – until gas prices spike again and everyone realizes you still get shit mileage with most crossovers and automakers scramble to build cars again, because that exact scenario was so much fun a decade ago. Buckle up, buckaroos.
[Source: WSJ via Autoweek]
What’s your automotive news?
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.
[Image © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]