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:
BMW Concept M4 Coupe is a glimpse into the future of M
Mercedes-Benz unveils GLA compact SUV
Lincoln Black Label takes luxury, brand to new heights
2K and Lucid Games announce 2K Drive with a touch of hoon
Galpin Auto Sports takes covers off GTR1
Final 2014 Shelby GT500 auctioned off for charity
BMW Concept M4 Coupe
For a while now, BMW has been hard at work splitting up the 3 Series line by body style. The 3 Series used to consist of sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible options, but after the latest redesign, 3 Series only refers to the sedan, wagon, and some god awful 3 Series GT that I won’t talk any more about. Starting with the 2014 model year, what we used to call the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible will now be referred to as the 4 Series. These changes also apply to M models, so the next M3 will be sedan only while the coupe and convertible will be named the M4. The M3 Coupe has only been out of production for about a month, but its replacement is
already almost here – the BMW Concept M4 Coupe.
Shown just yesterday at some fancy car show in Pebble Beach, this is our first glimpse at the future of a 4-Series-based M model, and to a certain extent, the future of the M3. While this is just a concept, it’s still a great representation of what the production car will look like; and even though they’re split up by name, the future M3 and M4 are very likely to share most of their styling and features. And those styling features are all that BMW talked about at the Pebble Beach unveiling and in the press release, so our questions about the performance, interior upgrades, and the number of cup holders remain unanswered for now.
A brief overview of the M4’s styling language is “the embodiment of agility, dynamism and superior performance”. To BMW, that means large air inlets up front, swift lines on the side, and a sporty, low rear end. The only thing that stands out more than the carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof and diffuser elements is the Arum Dust paint, exclusively developed for the M4.
Some things in the design may change before the production model, but judging by BMW’s recent track record with M concepts, it won’t be anything big. The new BMW M3 (four door) is still expected to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA
Also on its way to the Frankfurt Motor Show is Mercedes-Benz’s first compact SUV – the 2015 GLA. Based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz CLA compact sedan, the GLA is eyeing competition like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 in what is one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry.
The GLA utilizes Benz’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder which sends 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels (standard) or all four wheels with an optional 4MATIC system. The only transmission available is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but with its quick shifting times, this compact SUV can hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 6.4 seconds. The GLA also has a focus on efficiency with features like automatic stop/start standard and only the thirst of a four-cylinder engine to deal with.
The interior is crafted from high-quality materials in true Mercedes-Benz fashion and trimmed with either aluminum or [presumably] real wood. Drivers and passengers will also get to enjoy a wide range of technology, like smart phone integration, internet connectivity, social media apps, and navigation with street view. Other features that matter are there for safety, like blind spot, lane keep, and park assist as well as Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can detect the possibility of an accident, wait for the driver to respond, and brake from speeds of up to 124 mph if he/she doesn’t. The system also works with stationary objects at speeds of up to eighteen mph.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA will arrive in U.S. showrooms by fall of 2014. By then we may have seen the inevitable AMG version, which our pals at Autoweek have reason to believe it will use a 2.0-liter turbo four with close to 360 horsepower. The CLA45 AMG does too, so that can’t be too far off. Pricing for the GLA will be revealed at a later date, but the CLA it’s based on starts in the low $30,000 range for reference.
Lincoln Black Label Collection
Lincoln was also at Pebble Beach to show off something new to what is perhaps the wealthiest group of show goers on earth. Their something new is called the Black Label Collection, which previews a new and higher level expression of Lincoln design, style, materials, craftsmanship, and personal service and experience.
So basically that all amounts to three (thus far) distinct themes applied to the production Lincoln MKZ and MKC concept (and eventually every new Lincoln) that combine ultra premium materials and meticulous execution with a consistent, personal, and integrated customer experience from Lincoln and their dealers. We’ll get more details about how much sucking up at the dealerships will take place closer to the Black Label Collection’s market launch. As far as the actual cars go, each of the three themes were conceived by a select “Lincoln Design team” to both reflect the breadth of the brand and cater to a specific customer profile.
The three Black Label themes are as follows:
Center Stage – inspired by fashion and theater, the Jet Black interior is highlighted by a Fox Red headliner, which is supposed to capture the drama of being in a dark theater. Alcantara suede with unique perforation lines the doors and seat inserts.
Indulgence – inspired by (I’m not making this up) the lure of premium chocolate that ignites a rich sensory experience every time you step into the car. Ganache and Truffle-colored Venetian leather with an antiquated finish adds richness and depth. Unstained wood they claim to be used in yachts is included as well.
Modern Heritage – offers a new take on the classic black and white interior with subtle red accents to create a clean, modern, and inviting cabin. A nifty feature is the wood trim imbued with metal flakes between its layers to create a sparkling effect.
Lincoln Black Label will launch sometime near the end of 2014.
2K Drive Coming to iOS this Fall
Today, 2K and Lucid Games, a boutique studio founded by creators of the Blur and Project Gotham Racing Series, announced a new racing simulation game called 2K Drive for iOS (Apple iPhone and iPad) set to hit the App Store in the coming months. The premium iOS title is loaded with features that cater to the wants and needs of enthusiasts like us – and us hoons will enjoy one feature in particular that I’ll get to in a second.
As far as the racing goes, you will have access to 25 licensed cars ranging from Fords to McLarens, Fiats to a Salt-Flat racer, and everything in between. You’ll get to race those cars at various iconic locations around the world in both single player and online multiplayer events, like track racing, drag racing, street racing, off-road racing, and more than twenty other mini-games.
With the RaceFace feature, you can take a serious, competitive photo or a duck face selfie and put it in the cabin of your car so your friends always know who just punted them off into the gravel trap or vice versa. I personally can’t wait to see how people get creative with those.
Another nifty feature that contributes to the developer’s goal of an all-in-one entertainment hub for car enthusiasts is a live news feed on 2K Drive‘s cover page inside the app that delivers the world of automotive culture right to their iOS device. From there, users will be able to read articles, view photos and videos, and then “like” and share that content with their friends. The news feed will feature content from popular automotive outlets and blogs, like Car & Driver, Road & Track, AutoBlog, Hemmings Motor News, and some other bloog called Hooniverse.
Courtesy of 2K Games, this is how our content will look on 2K Drive
So if you’ve ever wanted a racing game that also brings you the latest from Hooniverse and those other guys in one place, it’s hard to think of a better alternative than this. You can follow the game’s progress towards launch on their new Facebook and Twitter pages, and if you’re attending PAX Prime in Seattle (August 30 – September 2, 2013), you’ll be able to check out 2K’s booth to see it in action for yourself. They would appreciate your support as much as everyone here at Hooniverse would.
[Source: 2K Games]
The Galpin Auto Sports GTR1 was unveiled today at Pebble Beach for the first time. We’ve shown you concept drawings and told you the general specs of it, but we finally have an actual photo to share. GAS’s vision for what the Ford GT could have been if it wasn’t discontinued is powered by a 5.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that’s good for 1,024 horsepower and 739 lb.-ft. of torque on 91-octane gas. Those figures jump to 1,197 horsepower and 887 lb.-ft. of torque when the tank is filled with 100 octane. The top speed is a claimed “225-plus” mph. The price tag for this beast is an easy $1,024,000, or a thousand dollars per horsepower including the Ford GT donor car. For the full scoop and more photos, head on over to Autoweek. [Source: Galpin Auto Sports via Autoweek]
The last retail 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was auctioned off at the inaugural Hot August Nights Auction Presented by Barrett-Jackson in Reno, Nevada. The bidding war stopped at $500,000 – every cent of which will go to the Brain Injury Association of America. The actual car that rolled across the block wasn’t the final one. Instead, the winning bidder will get to choose any interior, exterior, and stripe color combination offered by Ford to make it his own. That specific car he specs out will be the final 2014 GT500 and it’s set to be delivered by year’s end. [Source: Ford]