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: Acura teases the NSX Type S, the swan song for the hybrid supercar, Lamborghini seems to confirm an LMDh program, I guess an Aston Martin Valkyrie Roadster is in the works, Audi RS3 claims a ‘Ring record, the Toyota Avalon is dead after the 2021 model year, the New York International Auto Show is cancelled again, we can’t have nice things, and your news for the week.
Acura NSX Type S is coming
Pretty much since the day the third-generation Acura NSX was introduced, the odds were stacked against it. Acura had made their case for bringing it back as a highly advanced and very capable hybrid supercar, even though it was once a pure, beloved, and legendary sports car which lacked any of those modern conveniences. What the original NSX did for sports cars of the 90s, the new one would do for hybrids of the modern era. But it was dismissed by a large number of enthusiasts, a handful of which might actually have been potential buyers, because of that very case Acura had made. And that’s certainly helped play a role in the news we got this week. The Acura NSX is nearing its final year of production. But it won’t be going quietly.
The world is getting one last chance to experience one of the most underrated cars in years and to prove Acura was right. The Acura NSX Type S, a version that we’d been hoping for basically since day one, is that last chance. Not a whole lot is known so far, but they promise it’ll be the best-performing road-legal NSX ever. It will have more power, quicker acceleration, sharper handling, and a more emotional driving experience. Exactly how they’re accomplishing that will be revealed on August 12th when it debuts during Monterey Car Week. It will be the only NSX they produce in 2022 and only 350 units will be built globally, 300 of which will be reserved for the US where they’re built. We will be covering this in full next week.
I was one of the skeptics at the beginning of the NSX’s reign. I fell in love with its design on day one but had questions about how engaging they could make a V6 hybrid powertrain. I came around to it pretty quickly, but one experience made me a true believer, and I wasn’t even driving. Just before Petit Le Mans in 2019, Ryan Eversley took me for a lap around Road Atlanta in an NSX. He told me the car we were in wasn’t equipped with the best tire you could get from the options list, just before he took me on the ride of my life. I’ve never driven one, but that lap alone proved to me it was every bit as good as Acura said it was. This NSX Type S will be even more good. I’ll miss it greatly.
Lamborghini all but confirms LMDh program
Lamborghini made motorsport headlines this week as the future of prototype racing looks brighter and brighter. According to a report from Racer, Lamborghini is all but confirming an LMDh program. Lamborghini’s senior motorsport manager said they weren’t quite 100% over the line, but they’re just about there once some final pieces of the puzzle are put together.
It will join two of its VAG stablemates, Audi and Porsche, plus Acura and BMW. Cadillac or at least some component of GM is expected to be joining the party too. With Audi and Porsche already well established with factory-backed racing programs that they help run themselves, Lamborghini has always been a customer effort where private teams handle all the day-to-day operations and that whole racing part. As such, Lamborghini expects their ramp up to take a bit longer if they want to follow the same model as the rest of VAG. LMDh officially launches in 2023 but Lamborghini is targeting the 2024 season as its introduction.
The only details we have as it pertains to the car itself is that it’ll run on the same Multimatic chassis that Audi and Porsche will be using. It might even have the same engine as the others, but we don’t know yet. Theories and rumors on Audi and Porsche engine choices are just that. Using the V10 from the Huracan or even a V12 would be the cooler choice, but there are plenty of other engines in the VAG parts bin. Expect multiple cars (so probably 2) from the Squadra Corse in IMSA and in the FIA WEC.
Aston Martin Valkyrie Roadster is coming, I guess
There really isn’t a better place to reveal a Valkyrie Roadster than Pebble Beach. Aston Martin knows their clientele and they know the hype surrounding the Valkyrie, a wicked hypercar developed in collaboration with Red Bull Racing and Cosworth that was supposed to also race at Le Mans until they decided they didn’t like being cool.
So while a bunch of old rich people, influencers, and people who played the pump and dump game on the crypto market are all gathered in Monterey for Car Week, Aston Martin will show off another Valkyrie. This one will be like all the others we’ve already seen, but with a removable roof. That’s… uh, all we know. And that’s all I care to know. I’ll maybe cover this again next week when we learn more.
[Source: Aston Martin via Jalopnik]
Surprise! Audi RS3 claims a ‘Ring record
We should all assume that any new German car will have a Nürburgring lap record associated with it. I like to imagine there’s a hidden back room somewhere within each manufacturer’s engineering facility with discarded prototypes and test mules of cars they wanted to build but cancelled because they couldn’t get a lap record. The Porsche GT cars and Audi RS models we see were the ones that survived because they were the strongest. Sort of like a Spartan baby system but for cars.
So it’s no surprise then that the all-new (and likely final) Audi RS3 has claimed a record on the north course. With a time of 7:40.748 minutes, the new Audi RS3 Sedan is the fastest compact model on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It was a standard car minus the additional safety equipment. And while it ran on super sticky Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tires, that will be an option on the production RS3. The video of its run is available above. If you’re like me and never get tired of watching professionals lap the Nordschleife, it’s worth checking out.
[Source: Audi, YouTube]
Toyota Avalon is not long for this world
The Toyota Avalon, the brand’s big sedan that tried desperately to shake off its reputation as a Japanese Lincoln Town Car in recent years, will not get a 2022 model year. It earned a reputation for being a fairly nice and very comfortable family car over the decades, but it not being a crossover SUV in 2021 is just inexcusable, says Toyota.
As Automotive News reports, its sales were pretty abysmal when you compare it to its peak of nearly 104,000 cars sold in 2000. Just 10,000 were sold in the first half of 2021. The sedan market in America is getting decimated of course, but it was still one of the lowest-selling cars in its class. AN learned that a refresh was due later this year, but Toyota has decided it’s not worth saving anymore. You’ll have just a few more months to buy a brand new Avalon from the factory.
And with that, another large sedan is gone. Pour one out for the Avalon.
New York International Auto Show cancelled… again
Welcome to your new hell. The coronavirus will never go away and fun things will keep getting shut down because of it. It’s been a while since a slew of events were cancelled because of this, but the New York International Auto Show is picking up right where we left off.
Citing growing concerns over the delta variant of the “fuck everything” virus, the organizers have had to cancel this year’s event just two weeks before it was scheduled to begin. Numerous manufacturers were scheduled to debut their stuff during one of the biggest shows on the global auto show circuit. It’s certain that those will all take place online as we saw last year. Some of those may even happen earlier than anticipated. Regardless, stay tuned for a slew of new car debuts in the coming weeks.
Maybe one day we’ll be done with this thing.
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.