The News for April 7th, 2017

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:

  • Lotus Evora Sport 410 is finally US-bound with a gorgeous GP Edition

  • Chevrolet brings street performance to Tahoe and Suburban

  • Buick Regal Sportback is lighter, sharper, more advanced, and gorgeous

  • Subaru lightly updates the 2018 Outback, as they do

  • Nissan releases Heritage Edition 370Z because even they know it’s old

  • Audi confirms RS3 Sedan is headed to America

  • Volkswagen competitively prices the Atlas at ~$30,000

  • Other stories from the week, including Regal TourX and Civic Si

  • What’s your automotive news?

Lotus Evora Sport 410 GP Edition

You know it’s been a good week when I can present a Lotus that’s actually coming to our side of the Atlantic. That’s finally the case with the Evora Sport 410, a high(er)-powered and more track focused Evora that was always meant to come stateside, but only after it was allowed to. The fastest and most focused Evora ever will be on sale in the US and Canada this summer, and just to make up for the wait, we’re also getting it with an available GP Edition shown here.

The Evora Sport 410 has undergone considerable development to meet our market-specific demands related to crash and efficiency standards, which is mostly why it took us so long to get it. But it’s fully legal, it hasn’t lost any of the power (except for those lost in unit conversion), and it’s only twenty pounds heavier than the UK-spec car. Since this car was already covered in more technical detail last year, here’s a condensed version.

It weighs in at 3,020 pounds (132 pounds less than the standard Evora 400) or 2,910 with all lightweight options and no fuel, has more sophisticated aerodynamics which can produce double the downforce of the standard car, rides on a bespoke suspension setup, can be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires or optional Cup 2s, and has more power than ever before.

A mid-mounted supercharged 3.5-liter V6 producing 400 horsepower and 301 lb.-ft. of torque is paired with a six-speed manual or super quick six-speed automatic gearbox and there’s a Torsen-type LSD to keep things planted. 0-60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds and it’ll top out at 190 mph.

Only 150 examples will be produced each year worldwide, but if you want even more exclusivity, this 1 of 5 GP Edition is the way to go. It has all the lightweight options checked and a racing-inspired black and gold livery that any F1 fan will recognize. Team Lotus’ iconic F1 color scheme from 1972 to 1986 is beautifully adapted for the Evora Sport 410 GP Edition. It’s a shame only five of these will ever exist.
US pricing for the Evora Sport 410 starts at $104,200 and the GP Edition goes for $110,000. These are available to order now.
[Source: Lotus]

Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban RST

“Because we can”, said the engineer to the executive.
Chevrolet will soon offer a special edition Tahoe and Suburban with increased street performance looks, and in some cases, even more power. The RST (Rally Sport Truck) package is really just an appearance package that unlocks the potential for other performance-enhancing options, mainly for the Tahoe.
The RST package follows aftermarket trends and eliminates virtually all exterior chrome in favor of body-color grille surround and door handles as well as a gloss-black grille, mirror caps, window trim, roof rails, and badging. RST also adds exclusive 22″ wheels wrapped in Bridgestone tires.

Both the Tahoe and Suburban RST can be fitted with Borla performance exhaust which improves exhaust flow and can unlock 7-10 horsepower. There’s even a Brembo brake option with six-piston front calipers and 16″ Duralast rotors.
But the real news here is the other option on the Tahoe RST; the Performance Package. Opt for that and your family-friendly Tahoe will be equipped with Magnetic Ride Control, a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, and a new ten-speed automatic transmission. As of now, factory estimates call for an 8,400 pound towing capacity and a sub-six-second sprint to 60 mph (just not at the same time).
It may be the closest thing we’ll get to a GMC Typhoon revival for a while but you’ll have to wait till this fall to get it.
[Source: Chevrolet]

Buick Regal Sportback

The Buick Regal that we may or may not have forgotten about is all new for the 2018 model year with a European design, new levels of refinement and luxury, and some new hardware. As expected, it carries the exact same design as its former European cousins from Opel and Vauxhall despite the recent separation. So what did Buick do with their version?
It runs GM’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine capable of delivering 250 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels or up to 295 lb.-ft. of torque when fitted with all-wheel drive. FWD cars feature a nine-speed automatic while AWD cars will just have to make do with the eight-speed automatic but get the added benefit of a twin-clutch differential. On a car that weighs 200 pounds less than its predecessor, that’s more than enough to have a good time.

Handling is also expected to be dramatically different than the previous car as its chassis is vastly different. The wheels are pushed farther out to the corners, the wheelbase is three inches longer, and the body structure is stiffer. Additionally, AWD models get a five-link rear suspension for road noise isolation and enhanced capabilities.

Inside, drivers will appreciate the center stack being skewed towards them and passengers will have premium seating surfaces and loads of tech options to enhance the experience. Every Regal comes with an OnStar 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and other OnStar apps, a seven-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support (an eight-inch screen with navigation is optional), available Bose premium audio, and active noise cancellation that’s standard on AWD models.
The Buick Regal Sportback and TourX (which you can read about here) will be coming over from Germany later this year. Pricing wasn’t announced.
[Source: Buick]


Subaru has a lightly updated Outback on the way and it’s been revealed ahead of the NY show. Its exterior design is slightly updated to reflect changes made to other models, it gets more premium materials inside, new multimedia capabilities including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, voice recognition, and steering-responsive LED headlights. They aren’t very big changes individually… or even as a whole, really, but it’s better than nothing. The 2018 Subaru Outback will be ready to explore this summer.
[Source: Subaru]

Because even Nissan knows the 370Z is hilariously old, they’re launching a Heritage Edition model at New York. It also previews all the numerous and wonderful changes for the 2018 model year, such as “refined exterior treatment”, a high-performance clutch for the manual transmission, and probably nothing else. The Heritage Edition offers a choice of Chicane Yellow or Magnetic Black with custom graphics and yellow interior trim. Just so everyone is aware, the 370Z has been in production fundamentally unchanged since 2009.
[Source: Nissan]

Audi will be bringing the RS3 sedan to North America for the first time ever and it’ll start at $54,900. The RS3 is one of the only ways to get a turbocharged five-cylinder engine at the moment and this one makes 400 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard as is the performance-tuned Quattro AWD system. You can read more on it here, and even though that was technically the European model covered, it’s mostly unchanged. It launches this summer.
[Source: Audi]

The all-new Volkswagen Atlas will start at $30,500 when it arrives in dealers this May. It’s the cheapest way to get a seven-passenger SUV. Yep.
[Source: Volkswagen]

Other stories from the week

The news is finally picking up again ahead of the New York Auto Show, so we’ve got two other stories that have already been covered. Kamil talked about the highly-anticipated and awesome little Civic Si that’s headed our way soon-ish and I covered the gorgeous Buick Regal TourX, Buick’s first wagon in years.

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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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32 responses to “The News for April 7th, 2017”

  1. Kamil K Avatar

    GM upper managers see the Durango SRT and say “crap, we need something like that NOW!!!”
    *rummaging noise, sawing noises, hammering noises, glass breaking noises, engine noises*
    Engineers emerge from the bunker and say “Sirs, this is what we have… we call it… the RST!… which is completely original and not just rearranged letters of our direct competitor…”
    GM upper managers… “My gawd…. it’s… PERFECT! You’ve done it!!”

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Because when you think Rally sport, you automatically think Chevy Suburban!

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        If you were buying a Suburban, it would be the one to get though!

  2. onrails Avatar

    SS update… still waiting. It’s been invoiced into the official system which means it’s off the boat and *might* be on a train or truck. But the dealer doesn’t know anything for sure. Snow last night but supposed to be in the 70’s by Sunday (life in Michigan…). I don’t know of any county road commission that put salt down and the roads are still clean so I’m getting itchy to have it home! Hopefully by the end of next week?

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      MiSSus GTXcellent just got hers back from the shop – leaky rear shock replacement and recalled seat belt fix.
      It’s funny how much better her mood has been since the mud dried up and she can drive her SS again.

  3. Ross Ballot Avatar
    Ross Ballot

    The RS3 reminds me, from the front 3/4 angle at least, more of the RS4 than any Audi has since. I dig it.

  4. GTXcellent Avatar

    Saab got new shoes. I went with Falken Ziex ZE950s. First time with Falken, but so far so good. The internet’s biggest gripe is noise, but maybe because I’m coming from loud snow tires, I think they’re pretty quiet. I think they feel a little more like a softer touring tire than the Conti DWS06s we had on. But, I’m not Auto-X or anywhere really where I need to drive over 55, so I like the sidewall flex – smooth man! We’ll see how well they wear.

  5. ptschett Avatar

    Ram update: it’s showing up on the dealer’s website as being in-transit now. I’ll probably go to the dealer and a few truck accessories places and price out some things (e.g. tonneau cover) this weekend.
    The Challenger turned on the check engine light for some silly evaporative emissions thing again.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      Definitely stick with the Jamestown guys on that tonneau cover.

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I am biased toward Agri-cover’s stuff. The Dakota had the taller, standard type Access which was still in good shape at 12 years old.
        From the “it’s a small world” department: One of my coworkers has family who live / farm / own land near Jamestown, and apparently one of his uncles was an S-10 driver back in the day and was instrumental in persuading Agri-cover that small pickups needed covers too.

      2. outback_ute Avatar

        Interesting to see those, the Australian default was a plain canvas/vinyl cover (aka tarp) with a tie-down rope and metal bow/s, then elastic loops, which allows great flexibility to cover an irregular load.
        The latest utes tend to have a clip-in plastic track to perform the same function, still over the bed sides, and have clips attached underneath. Hard covers are a lot more common now than they used to be though.

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    Surely black, gold wheels and a single gold stripe should be a permanent option for Lotus? A bit like Subaru and blue/gold.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Lotus should always have a JPS Edition in their line-up. They can call this one the GP Edition but that color scheme will always say John Player Special to me.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        I suppose they are downplaying the ciggie connection, and emphasising the racing heritage.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        I’m guessing about half Lotus’ work and the rest by owners?

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          The S2 Elan FWD was.

  7. nanoop Avatar

    The ’44 has now a head unit with Bluetooth. Didn’t try handsfree yet (too late to call folks), but the audio of a Regular Car Review was clear, crisp, and horny.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Horny? Maybe I should start listening to Regular Car Review.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        It’s​ a YouTube channel of two well educated literature and history buffs reviewing cars, spiced with college humor and occasional phrase drops off the porn industry.
        Depending on your work, NSFW – one of them was a teacher and they used to publish anonymously…

  8. Alff Avatar

    On the hunt for a Saginaw 605 ps box to replace the ailing one in the Ford. The Internet is less good at identifying the nuances of things that went out of production before there was an Internet. References suggest an 82 Z28 is the right donor for a quick ratio box but once I had it in my hand at the local O’reilly AdanceZone ™, it was clearly not a 605.

  9. cap'n fast Avatar
    cap’n fast

    street performance looks…….looks yes. it would take a pair of lunar excursion module assent engines running at 104% of rated thrust to provide a suburban with performance.

  10. salguod Avatar

    So that Regal is a hatch? The name and shape imply so, but many hatch shaped cars aren’t (see the new Civic 2 and 4 doors.)

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      Technically yes, in the same way the Audi A7 and the BMW Gran Turismos are. The entire back window lifts up with the trunk, as shown by this press photo that I didn’t notice until now.

      1. salguod Avatar

        That’s a hatch and I call the A7 & BMW GTs hatches too. Very cool.
        Modern hatches tend to have an upright liftgate, but it wasn’t always the case. See 70’s Nova hatch, Chevy Monza & Vega, the first gen Mazda6 and my 318ti.

  11. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Did VW draft in some GM stylists for the Atlas?

  12. Inliner Avatar

    “steering-responsive LED headlights”
    While I know of older cars with steering-responsive LED headlights, namely Citroëns, I’m surprisingly unaware of other modern cars with steering-responsive headlights, LED or not.
    Should this be a topic for a special Encyclopædia Hoonatica?

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Assuming this means the headlights follow the steering, there are many that do this nowadays. Most commonly called Adaptive Headlights

      1. Inliner Avatar

        Oh – just a simple terminology change – it sounds so much more special as “steerable headlights”.

  13. Inliner Avatar

    “The RS3 is perhaps the only way to get a turbocharged five-cylinder engine at the moment”
    The related Audi TT RS has the same turbocharged five-cylinder, like it did in the previous generation.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      Huh, for some reason I thought that was a four-cylinder now. Whoops… fixed.