2020 porsche macan turbo

The News for August 30th, 2019

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 updates the Macan Turbo with more power and some awesome-looking brakes, Ford reveals EPA estimates for the new Explorer Hybrid, and another industry icon – Jessi Combs – has left us.

2020 Porsche Macan Turbo

2020 porsche macan turbo

A lot of crossovers claim to be just as fast and engaging as sports cars to an extent that’s often infuriating and insulting for anyone who has ever driven a sports car. But there’s one crossover that stands alone in proving that such a thing is actually possible and that’s the Porsche Macan. It gets a new (for the Macan) engine, chassis enhancements, and plenty of new tech and convenience features. It’s all aimed to make a favorite in the category even better.

The new engine is a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 434 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. Each of the turbochargers are hidden inside the V of the engine in what Porsche calls a central turbo layout. The short exhaust paths between the combustion chambers and the turbochargers allow for a rapid build-up of power and sharp response. When equipped with the Sport Chrono package, the Macan Turbo accelerates to 62 mph from a standstill in 4.3 seconds – three-tenths quicker than before – and tops out at 170 mph. A seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox sends power to all four wheels.

2020 porsche macan turbo

Because Porsche isn’t one to just add power and call it done, the Macan Turbo gets a few neat upgrades in the chassis department. Starting with the brakes, the standard hardware now includes “Porsche Surface Coated Brake”, a tungsten carbide coating on the discs which offers faster response, less wear, and up to 90% less brake dust(!!!!!). The PSCBs are standard on the Turbo and optional on all other Macan models. If they can just go ahead and start selling that in a size that fits my Mustang, that’d be great. Other optional extras like the height-adjustable air suspension also have a few tweaks made to them and the ceramic composite brakes are still available as well if you like having to clean off your wheels regularly.

Meanwhile, standard interior features include adaptive leather sports seats with 18-way adjustment, a 10.9″ infotainment screen, and a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system. You can now opt for a wireless device charging pad, heated windscreen, an ioniser to improve cabin air quality, and traffic jam assistant with semi-autonomous features.

Those that want in can place their orders now. Pricing hasn’t been announced.

[Source: Porsche]

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

2020 Ford Explorer

Ford has revealed EPA mileage estimates for their all-new Explorer Hybrid and they’re actually not so bad. The 3.3-liter “hybrid engine” sips gas for such a large SUV when equipped with RWD. The EPA estimated 27 mpg city and 29 mpg highway in that configuration. With an 18-gallon tank, that allows for a driving range of around 500 miles. Once you add 4WD to the mix though, those numbers drop considerably with 23 mpg city and 26 mpg highway being the estimates. Compared to the non-hybrid Explorers, the one with the 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost gets 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway as RWD and 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway as 4WD. That’s right, somehow the 4WD Hybrid is slightly worse in highway mileage compared to the non-hybrid four-cylinder 4WD model. Weight is a hell of a thing.

But in any event, the Hybrid model should be able to get you a solid 450-500 miles a tank depending on its configuration if you drive reasonably. Ford suggests that’s enough to cover a round trip from NYC to DC, Detroit to Toronto, and Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Order books should be open for the Explorer Hybrid soon, if not already. I couldn’t be bothered to look because the new Tool album is dropping as I’m writing this.

[Source: Ford]

Jessi Combs – 1980 – 2019

jessi combs

Awful things keep happening to great people and the automotive community has been hit hard lately. Few hits have been as hard as this one though. Jessi Combs, one of the toughest and most genuine people in the industry, passed away on Tuesday while attempting to break her own land speed record. She was 39. Details are scarce at this point and will probably stay that way, but she was piloting the North American Eagle on a dry lake bed in Oregon with the goal of becoming the fastest woman on earth (not just on four wheels).

Jessi was a talented TV presenter having worked on shows like Mythbusters, Overhaulin, Extreme 4×4, and “The List” on Autoblog and also had many off-road racing successes to her name. She won King of the Hammers in 2016, finished 2nd in class at the 2011 Baja 1000, and competed in many others. But her accomplishments alone didn’t define her. The outpouring of love for Jessi that followed immediately after this announcement shows how many people respected and were inspired by her. It seems that she made a fan everywhere she went. I unfortunately only know her from her TV appearances, but learned a lot more about who she was as a person from her appearance on The Smoking Tire Podcast. Which was to say she was perhaps the biggest badass the world has ever seen.

Shortly after the incident was made public, Jessi’s family issued a statement:

It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, where she was pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon. The details of the crash have not been released at this time.

Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams. Her drive was infectious, and she served as a role model for young Girls, and Women around the world. People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion.  Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them. Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.

Surrounded by her family and friends at the time of her passing, Jessi lived fearlessly and her legacy lives on in the countless lives she touched.

Jessi is known for her hosting work on television series including “All Girls Garage”, “Overhaulin’ “, Extreme 4×4 and Autoblog’s “The List”.

Jessi is survived by her Mother Nina (Chuck, niece NIna Alayne) Darrington, Father Jamie (Sandy) Combs, brother Kelly Combs (Cary, Eli, Ethan and Anna), sisters Danielle Theis (Jacin, Justice, Nation), Brother Austin Darrington (Leah, Lane) Kayla Green, Kyrie Darrington, Natasha Darrington

Step sisters Rebekah Hall (son Aaren Kearns), Arielle Hall (son Dru Hanson). And Jessi‘s love Terry Madden and his son Dalton.

A celebration of Jessi’s life in being planned and a foundation is being created to continue her efforts to empower women and young girls to follow their dreams.

Godspeed, Jessi. If only we could be so lucky to have another one like you.

[Sources: Jalopnik, North American Eagle, @JessiCombsOfficial]

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30 responses to “The News for August 30th, 2019”

  1. Smaglik Avatar

    Mmmmm…. Macan.

    Very short list if I ever have to consolidate to 1 vehicle…

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Was just thinking yesterday as I drove through a particular part of town that the Macan would have to be the “official car of”. Almost like you move in and get issued with one along with the council rubbish bins.

      Why not I suppose given Porsche’s quality reputation along with the package, plus it separates you from the plebs in BMW and M-B SUVs…

      1. Smaglik Avatar

        I’ll take that as a compliment! Lol.

        Honestly, in my town, you would totally stick out in one of these, which is one if the reasons I haven’t seriously considered a used one. Flagstaff, where this is money, it’s generally quiet money. Well, except for the guy that has a lambo and a Ferrari in the garage.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          In that area, yes definitely, median house prices are over $2m. Not that there aren’t good people there but many live in a different reality to most. Last month Mercedes Benz outsold Honda in Australia, although that says more about Honda. M-B were the no. 11 brand.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            That’s interesting. Is there a Western country bar the US where Honda is still doing well? In Norway, they are in 23rd place or so, with 600 cars sold (-12.5% over last year). The market leader, Tesla, has sold 13000, even Jaguar has sold 2400 cars so far in 2019.


            Yeah, yeah, wacko, tiny car market, just had to mention it.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    Sad to hear about Jessi. I heard her on TST too and was very impressed with her focus on being a role model, showing girls it’s ok to go outside the stereotype roles in life.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      My personal view of him is: a great engineer, a brilliant project manager, but man what an ‘sshole as your direct boss…
      Prerequisite: The Piëch family is a branch of the Porsche family. Both families agreed (in the late 70ies?) that no family member should be employed at Porsche AG, the reason why FKP invested himself into Audi like he did. Just owning Porsche AG was ok though, most family members did do that.
      Let me summarize a rather personal obituary to Ferdinand Karl Piëch that was written by a journalist of Der Spiegel who accompanied him through the 90ies and 00s. It was that very journalist who got an unsolicited phone interview with FKP where he dropped: “I’m keeping myself aloof from Winterkorn” – the (golden) end of a career.

      Piëch himself explained that his experience from boarding school made him trust nobody: the system of snitching and denunciation, as you would expect from 1940’s Germany, apparently damaged his sense for friendship and trust. As the author put it, FKP had a very B/W approach to loyalty and friendship, which will show in the following.
      The author was part of a small team that accompanied FKP for a couple of weeks, an somehow was accepted as ambiguous: he fulfilled the minimum requirement: know your stuff and meet the agreements. He said in an interview to the author that “I want to be sure that I am decapitating the right person”. The journalist sent the intended text to FKP for approval (meet the agreements, remember?), expecting to have to adjust the drastic wording, and the response was: “Could you please use my second name Karl, too?”.
      When Lopez moved from GM to VW he took quite a load of data with him, mainly subcontractor pricing – exposed by Der Spiegel. This was a breach of several national and, surprisingly, corporate rules, and while the FBI engaged, the Spiegel had to print the biggest counterstatement in its history, and the only one announced on the front page so far (a German construct: the counterstatement has to be as large as the original article). Nonetheless, the magazine was right and VW paid 100 million [DM? USD?] to GM and had to buy parts for another billion. But since the author of the obituary was right, and FKP knew it, they continued their carees in mutual benefit.
      A few years later, when VW reduced to four working days temporarily in order to save all of the 30k jobs in Germany (instead of just firing 20%, a cultural shock to many peers of Piëch), the journalist gave a positive report, and was therefore addressed by FKP in Geneva: when Ursula (his fourth wife since the 80ies, and definitely on the friend-side, as we’ll see later) and he moved through the exhibitions, there was a 10ft halo around them, and people who entered casually would realize their mistake and change course, or be suggested away by men in suits. When Ursula smiled at someone, like she did at our journalist, the person was not removed, and could start a conversation. “Now that was positive, didn’t expect that from you”.
      When the tides at the stock market were chaotic, Wiedeking’s Porsche AG was trying to buy VW AG, and the entire mess was saved by the Porsche/Piëch families owned Porsche SE, rumors were spread that Ursula Piëch should become FKP’s replacement. Our journalist got a call, “Mister Ferdinand Karl Piëch would like to talk to you”. Here, FKP clarified that this was a rumor spread by Winterkorn or his loyals, and underlined that he does not approve of inherited positions, neither by his wife nor by any other person in the corporation. Eventually he dropped the guillotine: “I’m keeping myself aloof from Winterkorn”. Loyalty was important after all, and his wife was above any doubts.

      I am fascinated by FKP. I still think he laid the foundation for the culture of fear in VW AG that caused Dieselgate, but he surely navigated the corporation through difficult times, multiple times. He had some audacious excesses (panel clearances, Phaeton, last-minute design changes and project kills, management by fear, and as a person, a rather large core family), but helped VW to the very top.

      May he have eternal discussions with Bob Lutz in automotive heaven.

      Edit: Clarity. If requested I might give a summary of the interview between that journalist and former chancellor Schröder about FKP in the same issue of Der Spiegel.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Yes please nanoop on the second interview. Agreed on the vanity projects, some at least would be ‘worth it’ – I don’t know enough to make a proper judgement, and I’d wonder how much he knew about dieselgate – or would the phrase plausible deniability be appropriate?

  3. salguod Avatar

    Unfortunately, if not unsurprisingly, the valve cover did not cure my BMW’s oil consumption. It’s likely the poorly designed oil control rings. There are a few fixes out there that claim to help, I’m going to look into those.

    This weekend is for multiple oil changes and control arms on the BMW.

    In late October my daughter and I are going to Phoenix for a weekend to visit a college she’s considering and I’m considering trying out the car sharing service Turo. I can get something basic for about $30 a day or something interesting for more. A manual Solstice is $55, a 2014 Corvette is $120 and a Cayman is $145. There’s even a McLaren for about a grand a day (not going to happen). At the bottom end, it’s probably cheaper than Uber, or I get to try something fun.

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      Is that the published rate? I heard the actual cost usually about doubles from that.

      Phx can be nice in October, but maybe not also.

      1. salguod Avatar

        That’s what the site tells me when I pick the date I’m interested in. I have not proceeded beyond that to get a total. I’m sure there will be other taxes and fees.

      2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        It’s Phoenix. By default, it pretty much sucks (although I’ll give the weather a pass from maybe Xmas-early March). Much of that inherent suckage has nothing to do with the climate.

        1. Smaglik Avatar

          It’s not heaven, but it beats Cleveland, imo.

  4. Zentropy Avatar

    “I couldn’t be bothered to look because the new Tool album is dropping as I’m writing this.”

    It’s been 13 long years!!!

  5. 0A5599 Avatar

    I drove the Panther wagon to work for the first time this week; ended up driving it every day. The guy who lives next door to my childhood home has a couple of them; my mom gave me his number and I’ll end up picking his brain when I decide what next steps to take.

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    Got my ute home after 18 months stored at a friend’s place, it hasn’t improved in that time, had been years since it has been driven. However a couple of new fuel pumps, finding a bad power connection, battery, cleaned injectors, flushed lines and rail have it running on 4 cylinders. Mind you it has six… At least it’s not a blown head gasket, but why do I have a feeling that was the easy part?

    So far 2 guys have suggested a Barra swap, not sure about that & the mucking around needed.

    Also gave it a quick wash down to get rid of the green, still needs a proper pressure wash once it is driving.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      Pics? A barra swap would be awesome, but that’s lots of work.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        It is an evolution of the same engine so probably not much more work than R&R the existing engine which may need to happen, just replace with different bits (wiring loom, ecu, bellhousing). Can turn off unwanted functions in the factory ecu so it effectively operates as a standalone from what I understand. On the other hand I’d like to leave it original, given it needs a full resto (eg new sills).

        Didn’t take any photos sorry, it’s not very picturesque…

  7. Sjalabais Avatar

    On my way home from the 3rd children’s birthday party this week, I just saw a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. One of a handful of those sold in Norway, at 600k$/5.5 million NOK a piece. What a distasteful lump of incoherent lines! To my mind, that’s a vehicle just a tad below Excalibur-levels of excess and flamboyance. How far out can they go and still remain respected and true to their history?

    1. Toaster Avatar

      Somebody from Lamborghini handed me this beer, told me to hold it for him, where has he gone?

    2. Smaglik Avatar

      I’ve seen one on the freeway near flagstaff. Fugly.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Often, a car that looks hideous in pictures is better in real life. This one…not so much. I’m sure it’s great to be inside and competent in everything it sets out to do…but the exterior aesthetics are quite unacceptable.

        1. Smaglik Avatar

          It does seem to embody arrogance pretty well, so, that’s on target I guess…

        2. nanoop Avatar

          Buy the tallest and ugliest building in the city and move in. Whenever you see out of your windows: only nice housing areas around you!

    3. Toaster Avatar

      Somebody from Lamborghini handed me this beer, told me to hold it for him, where has he gone?

  8. nanoop Avatar

    Also, the Vivaro is throwing a CEL with OBD2 error p253f. The generic meaning is “detoriated oil”, but an oil change didn’t fix it, it came back on after a full cycle. I don’t know where to start, probably that sensor that is responsible for determining the oil quality? Where is it, and what is it called?
    Looks like I can’t have nice things, sigh..

    1. Manic_King Avatar

      Did you reset the oil change counter? https://www.obd-codes.com/p253f

      1. nanoop Avatar

        I have cleared the error but I did not reset any “OLM” consciously. Given my experience with the competence of some workshops here, they might have “forgotten” it, too. This might be a good lead, thank you!

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