The News for August 18th, 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:

  • Ford ’67 Heritage Edition honors GT40 MkIV’s Le Mans win

  • Infiniti Prototype 9 is a stunning “barn find” F1 car

  • Aston Martin confirms Speedster and Shooting Brake Vanquish Zagato

  • Chevrolet introduces new cheaper entry-level Tahoe

  • BMW teases new M5, will reveal it all on Monday

  • Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 competing in Vegas to Reno off-road race

  • Other coverage from the week

  • What’s your automotive news?

Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition

If Ford had won Le Mans this year, we would have seen this car a little bit earlier. But regardless of how the GT performed this year, they still have a major victory to celebrate 50 years later. In 1967, a Ford GT40 Mark IV driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans and scored the only all-American overall Le Mans victory to date.
So with a new Ford GT in production 50 years later, a new Heritage Edition is mandatory. Ford debuted the new limited-run GT ’67 Heritage Edition at Pebble Beach with custom graphics and details to honor that legendary race car and the dream team that made it so. They don’t say how many exactly are being built, but the normal GT is already limited to around 250 units per year. It’ll be exceedingly rare and only ever seen at collector car auctions, probably.

Here’s what to look forward to at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2037. The ’67 Heritage Edition features a gloss Race Red exterior with white striping and white number 1 hood and door graphics to match the GT40’s livery. It also features silver side mirror caps, red brake calipers, 20-inch one-piece forged aluminum wheels in silver satin clearcoat, and the exposed carbon fiber package to add a modern touch.

Inside, the seats and steering wheel are wrapped in new black leather with red contrast stitching, the seat belt webbing is red, and multiple trim pieces feature satin dark stainless appliqués. There’s also exposed matte carbon fiber door sills, air register pods, and center console.
For a modern car that was shaped by science in a wind tunnel, it sure does wear classic liveries well, doesn’t it? And if Ford continues this trend of adding a Heritage Edition for each anniversary of their Le Mans wins, next year and the year after we should see a Gulf-liveried GT. That might break the internet… or maybe just me.
[Source: Ford]

Infiniti Prototype 9


Infiniti’s coolest concept car to date was revealed at the Concours d’Elegance: the Prototype 9. Built as if an early Japanese F1 car had been found in a shed and resurrected with modern technology, this one-off concept celebrate the pioneers of Japanese motorsport more so than it teases a future direction of the brand. The only thing that’s even remotely associated with a production Nissan/Infiniti is the EV powertrain.

Yep, rebuilding an early F1 car with today’s technology would constitute an all-new, not yet produced EV powertrain. Based loosely on the upcoming LEAF, its electric motor produces 148 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque which allows for a 0-62 mph sprint in 5.5 seconds and a 106 mph top speed. However, its 30kWh battery pack will only last 20 minutes under heavy track use. Theoretical stopping power is provided by 10″ disc brakes, it rides on transverse leaf springs, and it features a front leading-arm rigid axle and rear De Dion axle.

But its golf cart-like range isn’t what makes this car spectacular. Its bare sheet-metal skin, wrapped around a steel ladder frame, was hammered into place by Takumi (Nissan Motor Corporation’s master craftspeople). Panel beaters managed to incorporate Infiniti’s signature design elements on a car theoretically from the 50’s, including the double-arch grille, “shark gills” aft of the front wheels, a single-crease hood, and sharp lines that stretch from front to rear. It all weighs in at just 1,962 pounds.

Yet other things are left unashamedly retro like its 19″ center-locking wire spoke wheels wrapped in cross-ply tires, its tight open cockpit, and its super long bonnet. The vintage details continue inside the cockpit as well with a steering wheel rotates around a fixed central hub (finished with turned aluminum) that houses the driver’s instrument gauges. The single driver’s seat is finished with black leather, red stitching, and Japanese flags stitched into the headrest.
Infiniti/Nissan’s coolest concept?
[Source: Infiniti]


The Aston Martin Zagato relationship is the gift that keeps on giving. They’ve confirmed the existence of two new Vanquish-based Zagato creations, one of which will certainly be popular around these parts. Aston Martin will soon produce a Speedster and Shooting Brake version of the Vanquish Zagato in addition to the Coupe and Volante. That’s right, a shooting brake Aston Martin. As with the other Zagatos, the Shooting Brake and Speedster will be built in limited quantities. Only 28 Speedsters (all of which have been sold already) and 99 Shooting Brakes will be built in 2018. Even though the bodies will change between all variants, the 600-horsepower V12 and jaw-dropping beauty will remain consistent.
[Source: Aston Martin]

Chevrolet introduced a new Tahoe Custom, a more affordable entry-level SUV for those who want Tahoe capabilities and can pass on some features. As the SUV segment moves upmarket and demand for the Tahoe continues to rise, Chevrolet hopes they can tap into the needs of potential buyers who want the space and practicality of a Tahoe but not so much the expensive luxury features offered in most Tahoes. For $44,995 (almost $4,000 less than the current entry level), you get 355 horsepower from a 5.3-liter V8, 6,600 pounds towing, 112 cubic feet of cargo space, and a generous amount of standard features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE connectivity and a WiFi hotspot, eight-inch touch screen radio, the government-mandated backup camera, remote start, five USB ports and five power outlets, and a whole range of safety features. They also remove the third row seat because someone’s finally realized that not everyone has five kids. For the capabilities and price alone, this is gonna be a huge seller.
[Source: Chevrolet]

In a new teaser video tweeted by BMW, they’ve confirmed the all-new M5 will finally make its world debut next Monday. I’ll be covering it sometime after it shows its face and we’re all done staring at an eclipse, but here’s what we know about it now. It’ll be the first M5 to feature xDrive AWD, but it can be disconnected on the go for RWD shenanigans. It’ll run a twin-turbo V8 similar to the current M5’s but is expected to produce upwards of 600 horsepower. The super quick seven-speed M dual clutch gearbox will be replaced by a smoother eight-speed gearbox, likely from ZF, because M5 buyers are boring these days. Hypothesis: it’ll be stupid fast.
[Source: Twitter]

A mostly stock Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is running the Vegas to Reno off-road race at the hands of Chad Hall from Hall Racing starting today. The “longest off-road race in the United States” wraps up tomorrow and more than 350 contestants are expected. The course encompasses a wide array of terrain, from silty desert wallows, to dry lake beds and mountain passes as high as 8,000 ft. above sea level. A bone-stock (except for additional mandated safety equipment, a larger fuel tank, and more lights) will be running the entire thing. If you were on the fence about wanting to buy one of these, follow the race and maybe it’ll convince you.
[Source: Chevrolet]

Other coverage from the week

Yesterday I did a full rundown on the BMW Concept Z4 that was revealed in Pebble Beach. Though it’s just a design study, it’ll closely resemble the production car that’s expected next year. For analysis on the new styling and what to expect from the production car, go here.
Also stay tuned later today for a big announcement from Acura. Their new ARX-05 DPI car that’ll race in IMSA next season is making its debut in Pebble Beach about an hour after this goes live. I’ll have a new post on that as soon as I can.

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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22 responses to “The News for August 18th, 2017”

  1. Scoutdude Avatar

    So I added a new vehicle to the fleet. A 02 F150 Supercab 4×4. It is an ex county vehicle that was in the best condition I’ve ever seen an ex gov’t fleet vehicle. It has already started earning its keep hauling materials for some rot/insect repairs to one of my houses and hauling 1.2 tons of gravel for my driveway. Asked for less but when we crossed the scale and went in to pay I got a surprise. Didn’t have far to go and the roads are slower but it handled it quite well and when I looked under it before we started unloading there was still another inch or so of travel before the bump stops would come into play.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      That’s awesome. So far the only truck thing I’ve done with my ’02 XLT is tow an empty motorcycle trailer about a thousand miles round trip for a project bike my roommate wanted but didn’t buy. Nice to know it’ll handle that much payload and still have plenty left over though!

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      The loader bucket is not a precision instrument really, is it? I got a few half cubic metre loads of crushed rock with my ute but they would all have been over. Luckily it still would have been within the load rating (roughly a tonne). I imagine the impact on driving was similar to yours although I don’t think I looked at how much clearance I had to the bump stops (there was some at least) but that is to be expected when the load is approaching 50% of unladen weight.

  2. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    This week I was approved for media credentials to go cover Gridlife South at Road Atlanta. I’ll plan on being there all three days next weekend. Anyone who happens to be going is welcome to come tell me how much I suck <3

  3. caltemus Avatar

    Got a 2010 Lancer 2.0 for a steal, timely too as my impacted Volvo 850 wagon has some electrical drain that keeps killing the battery. The lancer should be a good appliance while I get around to fixing the Volvo. I miss being able to put my arm comfortably on the sill and not having blind spots. I’m thinking the Volvo might be a loss, and I’d be better off stripping it of good parts and looking for another one. It’s got a good 5 speed

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    The Infiniti gets a lot of publicity and that’s fine – it’s absolutely gorgeous and a neat idea…but am I the only one who thinks this is phony? Infiniti didn’t even exist at that point, Datsun never raced a car like that, and the whole thing is basically just for the looks. It might fit a time in which performance trims outsell performance packages, but I just think they could have done some real heritage work instead.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      I totally get that, but the way they approached this was as if they had come across someone else’s old F1 car and they were rebuilding it as fans of that generation of motorsports. It seems more like a cool science project to me than faking heritage, but I don’t think that criticism is unwarranted.

    2. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      No. You’re not alone. It is fake.

    3. crank_case Avatar

      In fairness, Nissan have offered factory rebuilt 240Z and Skylines GT-Rs (via Nismo) in the past. A more consistent program of parts for heritage models for Japanese cars would be nice though. Mazda have started to do a Ferrari classiche style program with the Euros Roadster and Honda has started making parts for the Beat available again, but there’s a lot of 80s models where it’d be easier to get parts for a 60s European car.

    4. outback_ute Avatar

      I agree, the term WOFTAM comes to mind…
      Even Datsun weren’t racing anything until the mid-1950s roughly.

  5. CraigSu Avatar

    Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition
    No Gurney Bubble
    The heritage is weak with this one.

    1. NapoleonSolo Avatar

      First thing I noticed, as well. Can’t read Gurney without looking for the Gurney bump.

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      The side stripe treatment is pretty poorly integrated too IMO. It is more fitting in a way to commemorate the 67 win in the Mk4 GT40 that was a more extreme race car than the original, and I think the new car is closer in spirit to that.
      Begs the question why they missed a ‘heritage edition’ last year…

  6. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    adding to the list of “I just bought an x”: i just bought a W124 coupe. 95 E320, one owner, dealer maintained, great mechanical condition.
    it’s gonna take much money and time to clean this thing up cosmetically. i’m taking it on in my revolving-door third car slot, but it’s really beautiful. on the other hand, i feel like i picked the one car on the planet that would be harder to take care of long-term than my ’99 Volvo, and it’s got an automatic, which is not my preference.
    man, it is pretty, though.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Although I’ve always preferred the sedans over the coupes that one does have some pretty lines. What cosmetic issues does it have? Apart from the wonky wiper on the headlamp it’s difficult to see anything obvious.

      1. wunno sev Avatar
        wunno sev

        i do like the sedans, but i probably wouldn’t have bought one before this, since i already have a couple of four-door, five-seat cars. the pillarless coupe was too cool to pass up, though, especially in this condition.
        cosmetics: the paint is pretty rough, there’s a dent in the right rear fender that needs fixing, various cracked trim bits, and some torn interior upholstery.
        all of this would be more or less fine except that this car has been so well-kept, and has such potential, that i think it really needs to look better. it’s a good ten-footer, but it could be perfect. the fender dent will require actual pulling, which will take some effort, but the rest can be taken care of with a thorough polishing and some relatively simple reupholstery work. i’m figuring i’ll spend like $1000-1500 taking care of those issues.

    2. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Welcome to the C124 owners club. The coupe version of the best all round car ever built.

  7. Jofes2 Avatar

    I’ve been away for a while, what has happened to the Last Call posts?

  8. salguod Avatar

    This weekend I will replace the partially plugged cat on the RSX and hopefully finally uncork its full rev happy potential.
    Also, I need to get the 318ti listed for sale. I’ll try the 318ti forum first, then Craigslist.

    1. salguod Avatar
  9. nanoop Avatar

    I put the P-car is on stilts two weeks ago for a brake job (rotors, pads, seals, fluid, flex lines) but no progress: friends came up visiting, I have built 70% of a terrace, it’s berry and mushroom season, and there are these people in my house called family.
    I guess I should hook up the trickle charger, so I can do the brakes in october…