The News for August 6th, 2021

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.

[Source: Acura]

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.

[Source: Racer]

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.

[Source: Automotive News via Jalopnik]

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.

[Source: Jalopnik]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

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.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

25 Comments

  1. Road trip! We’re currently in Portland, OR, but have spent time in Shelley, Idaho previously, staying with friends. This friend in particular was my mechanic in flagstaff, and he had since retired up north. While there, we fixed a couple of things on the x3 (tracked down a ‘bulb out’ error, hopefully; replaced a leaky vapor barrier in the RR door; identified the cause of my dead driver’s side mirror), and I got a chance to drive his restored 968. That was truly a blast. They also have a 68 Cord in the garage, but that one we didn’t take out, but did start up. Nice rumble.

    Before heading home, we’re going to visit friends up in Ocean Park, Washington, and hit every distillery possible within reasonable distance to our route and lodging.

    1. Sounds awesome, but ’68 Cord is a typo, no? ’38?

      My sister is coming for a surprise visit tomorrow, maybe we’ll take the hours drive to see my Centennial parked in a shed…

  2. Perhaps it won’t benefit from Gran Turismo mystque building the way the original NSX did, but it doesn’t strike me that the original got much of its reputation until after it went out of production. I’d half-bet on the current NSX being remembered much more fondly in about a decade.

    Meanwhile, I’ll miss the Avalon, but it’s sort of getting squeezed between the Camry V6 and the Lexus ES (plus, you know, the Highlander and RX).

    Also, I have a Volvo XC40 EV for the weekend. I don’t have anywhere to charge at home. This will be fun!

    1. So, instant access to 400hp (especially with moderate traffic to get around) is very, very addictive. That said, I think decent adaptive cruise control (especially with the muted powertrain) is an even bigger draw. There’s a local highway I avoid under almost all circumstances – it’s the main access point to cottage country, it’s also loaded with transport trucks headed to Northern Ontario and Western Canada, and it’s just very hilly, so the constant large changes in speed get annoying. Letting the car handle it entirely though made it much more tolerable. Other than that, it’s just a normal Volvo except for the Google OS. I know reviews have been pretty positive around that bit, but I didn’t love it. I lost connectivity for part of the weekend, so a bunch of voice functionality was lost (and I couldn’t figure out how to replicate it through the screen). Also, weirdly, it doesn’t seem to have AM radio. I guess that’s not a huge deal with Google maps offering traffic updates, but still. Also, Volvo buries one-pedal driving in a sub-menu, which isn’t great unless it can be changed with voice (but, see above, that can fail on you). I also really like the sage green that’s one of the EV-exclusive colours, as it’s a total throwback, but I wish Volvo offered a little more variety for the EV interior as well. It’s either coal black, or coal black with lava carpets (100% what I’d get for myself).

      Charging wasn’t a big deal either, I picked it up with ~75% charge, did about a half hour on level 2 while stopped at Ikea, and did another half hour on level 3 the next day after driving around the city. Collectively, I’ve driven about 250km on a total 70% charge (I’m down to about 40% right now). The act of charging isn’t the biggest inconvenience (and it’d be no problem for me with home charging), but getting set up with access to charging was a bit of a hassle. I naively believed that free charging meant you just park, plug in, and push a button, which no, you need an account and card/app with one of a handful of companies. My closest Ikea has the chargers in an underground parking level, so I was wandering around trying to get signal to load the app to my phone. The next day when trying to use level 3, that app decided to reject my credit card, so I had to find another app that’d accept my card before I could charge (rather than just paying at the charger, like I’d be able to do with gas). All less of an issue if I owned an EV rather than just having one for temporary use, but good to be aware of since we’re planning on offering these for rent.

      1. Interesting takeaway. I still believe that tje ability to slow-charge at home remains paramount to owning an EV for now. Mostly because of pricing, but also to take care of the battery and charge it at low stress. Your last point though sums up the latest push towards regulators well: Being able to buy zip zap zoom juice the same way one would buy fossil fuels, with a card or even cash in some places, is a necessary next step. I’m an optimist in taht regard and I think this change is coming soon.

        1. (I never noticed how much I cleaned my comment spelling mistakes via the edit button until that was gone…oops)

        2. I should also preface that the combination of pandemic and having a toddler limits options a bit. I was debating using the level 3 chargers at the airport and taking my son to go watch planes land, but my wife didn’t love that idea (and going to the mall is equally unviable right now). You’re also right, that fast charging is only an occasional solution. It does look like plenty of infrastructure is on the way, and even in a year or two I’m sure things will look significantly different.

  3. The new NSX’s were fantastic, but the price they wanted for them put them up in the category where they competed against status symbols, not capable, interesting automobiles.

  4. I’ve seen the new NSX several times, as my friend’s teenager likes to go to car shows sponsored by something called “Park Up Front”, and I sometimes tag along. I lead rather a dull life so I have never bothered to find out what “Park Up Front” is all about. Anyhow, they get a very nice turnout of new Ferraris, Lambos, McLarens, et al, and the occasional NSX. The problem for the NSX in this crowd anyhow, is that the look rather generic. Your eyes tend to wander past them in the ranks of worthies surrounding them. Then, when I do see one somewhere by itself, I tend to spot-identify it as a McLaren…or something. Frankly in this class of cars, in this city anyhow, owning a super car is all about how it looks parked in front of a nice restaurant.

    On the home front, not much to report: my buddy with whom I’d planned a quick road trip to the mountains in Arkansas (albeit nothing as glorious as Smaglik’s trip) cancelled on me, and my 2019 BMW 530i pulled a check engine light on me. The car still ran fine and I thought about waiting for the light to go away , but I took it in anyhow, as hey-why not? It’s under warranty. It turned out that the grill air shutter controller had failed and this triggers the Check light on the dash. Apparently this is a common problem for this model. The shutters are kind of silly – they close the grill opening to make the car “more aerodynamic” and only open when the engine is hot because of bumper-to-bumper traffic or something similar. Remember this when you look at the new “Hog Nose” BMW’s they have made a grill which is closed 95 percent of the time 30 percent larger…. Duh….

  5. Sjalabis, it seems that there were a couple of attempts to revive Cord during the 60’s. Judging by the photo Smaglik provided, the one their friend has is SAMCO replica, an Oklahoma based company financed by Lear Jet. They would have been powered by either a Ford 302ci V8 or a Chrysler 440.

    1. Huh, I learned something new there. How cool, even though they seem to have lost the signature front light.

      1. The SAMCO Cords also lost their signature FWD. Earlier in the 60’s there was a scaled-down “8/10” (a play on the original 810 model giving a nod to 80% proportions) that was FWD using a relocated Corvair drivetrain. And even before that, Hupp Skylark and Graham Hollywood used Cord body stampings from the firewall back together with new noses and RWD.

  6. The barn is almost done. Just some clean up next week, then concrete sealing next weekend and the following and I’ll be moving things in.

    Finally getting to the rear brakes on the BMW today .

  7. This week I could listen to a 2.5hr podcast/documentary about Ghosn (HBR.org: The Rise and Fall of Carlos Ghosn, it’s four parts). Lots of original audio citations, I kept shaking my head while mowing the lawn…
    Why is this not a movie yet?

        1. I’ve seen the Podcast Horizon once. It was dark, with a greenish gloom. I had only a few dozen episodes of The Dollop left, a hand full of recent Smoking Tire episodes, plus a daily news review.
          This happened right after I kicked out all mediocre stuff that follow the scheme “n guys talk about x while consuming y” (to be fair that’s how the first 250 episodes of TST were like, but it has developed substantially from there – Matt and Zack are too lovable as host personas, and I continue to learn stuff).

          I’m waiting for Apple to paywall everything, so I can finally go back to buying one newspaper per week and fill the rest of my boring chores with daydreaming.

        2. hah. my usual rotation is pretty light, but I’ve been deskbound at work. blazed through it all.

          the Ghosn podcast was cool. interesting to learn more about how the guy operated on his early days, and how he changed. reminds me of Turkey’s Erdogan. started off pretty well liked and effective, gradually lost touch with reality, dug in his heels when push came to shove.

  8. got a line on a very cool 5-speed 190D Mercedes. I bet it’s a pretty dull little car to drive tbh, but it would be a good daily and, being smog exempt in my area, would enable fantasizing about engine swaps that I’ll never have the guts for.

  9. There’s one that comes up on FB for me and it’s cheap. but, it’s got rusty floors and a bad injector pump, so I’ve been able to avoid looking at it.

  10. Are you looking for the Used Toyota 4Runner engines? If yes then avail Get best deals on Used TOYOTA 4Runner Engines at autoparts-miles.com in US. Avail free shipping & warranty services on purchase of Rebuilt Toyota 4Runner Engines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here