The News for December 14th, 2018

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:

  • McLaren does the Spider thing with the 720S

  • Pininfarina shows us more of their striking Battista EV supercar

  • 2020 Supra caught uncovered by the internet

  • Ford Ranger earns class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings

  • What’s your automotive news?

McLaren 720S Spider

In news that is completely stupid and meaningless but is still kinda cool anyway, the mandatory open top version of the stupidly fast McLaren 720S is finally here. As is typical for McLaren, they created a Spider version that has few compromises when compared to its hard top counterpart and it promises to rock your world… but only if you’re one of those people I read about on the internet who figured out how to make $5,000 a week by working from home.

At the center of the 720S Spider is a Monocage II-S (‘S’ is for ‘super good’ or something) carbon fiber core which features an integrated rollover protection structure. It offers the same benefit as every other McLaren monocage – light weight, super strong, super safe – but with the added bonus of keeping the chassis stiff enough so as to not require any additional chassis strengthening over the 720S Coupe. This is the main reason why they say it’s just as #dynamic and agile as the coupe. Its dry weight is 2,937 lbs which is just 108 lbs more than the 720S Coupe and 194 lbs less than its closest competitor.

For the ‘Spider’ portion of the car is a new retractable hard top, but it’s far from any normal hard top. Standard equipment is a one-piece carbon panel but there’s an option for an electrochromic glass panel which can switch rapidly between transparent and heavily tinted states. A touch of the button can activate this feature and there’s a memory setting plus automatic tinting once the vehicle is turned off.

But the optional glass top isn’t the only new thing letting light into the cabin. The rear buttresses have a glazed portion which also aides in rear visibility. Some poor guy at McLaren was tasked with figuring out that this offers 12% increased rear visibility over the 650S Spider.

With the RHT closed, the car maintains the same aerodynamic properties as the coupe and it even shares the same 212 mph top speed. Anyone brave enough can reach 202 mph with the top down. Sound insulation from this RHT design is twice as good as previous iterations and is even a bit quieter than the old 650S Coupe. Switching from that quiet sanctuary to open top fury takes just eleven seconds. And the full body-width rear active spoiler will change positions depending on whether the top is up or down.

The only other thing unique to the 720S Spider are the new ten-spoke forged alloy wheels, but everything else is identical to the 720S Coupe. But that’s not even close to being a bad thing. It gets full access to the M840T 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 710 horsepower and 568 lb.-ft. of torque. Its 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds is identical to the Coupe’s and it’s only a tenth slower to 124 mph at 7.9 seconds.

So there you have it. It’s the fastest and most uncompromising Spider in McLaren history and it sets a new benchmark for the class. That’ll be $315,000 please.

[Source: McLaren]

Automobili Pininfarina Battista Teaser

The EV wars just keep getting less and less shitty.

Automobili Pininfarina has been working on a new EV supercar that’s scheduled to debut at Geneva next spring and they gave some additional teaser drawings and an official name: the Battista, named after founder Battista “Pinin” Farina. There isn’t anything to go off of besides ‘expected’ specs and figures, but here’s what has been provided so far.

The Barista will supposedly boast a lightning quick 0-60 time of under two seconds, a ridiculous 0-186 mph time of under twelve seconds, and a top speed exceeding 250 mph, all while offering a 300+ mile driving range and stellar looks that only Pininfarina can provide.

As Autoweek points out, Pininfarina theoretically has the capability to make this a reality. They recently announced a “multi-million-euro commercial partnership” with Rimic Automobili which would give Pininfarina access to what are hands down the best EV battery and powertrain in a supercar right now. Rimac of course makes a particular car called the C_Two which boasts numbers within the range that Pininfarina is claiming for the Dave Bautista.

This next chapter in ‘not boring EV’ history will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next spring. We’ll be watching this one very closely.

[Source: Autoweek]

2020 Toyota Supra leaked

The longest new car reveal since the Acura NSX just got leaked ahead of its expected debut at the Detroit auto show. A member risked life and limb to get a snap shot of the new Supra’s nose as it was in a transporter. Toyota has shown this car in some form or another approximately 863 billion ways, but this is the first time we’ve seen what we can only assume to be the production car completely unexposed.

And I, for one, love it. Toyota’s FT1 concept was one of the most stunning designs I’ve ever seen and I’m pleased they were as faithful to it as possible. Any reasonable person would have known the production car would never look exactly like the concept while adhering to regulations and real world engineering challenges, but I was expecting it to be a lot worse than it appears to be now.

So shoutout to member Supra93 for probably ending up on a list somewhere at Toyota corporate to grab this. We should see it again at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

[Source: via Autoweek]

Ford Ranger EPA ratings

I’m reusing this image because I love it.

When the new Ford Ranger FINALLY launches next January, it’ll be the most efficient gas-powered mid-sized truck around. Official EPA ratings for its 270 hp/310 lb.-ft. 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine are 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined when spec’d with rear-wheel drive. The 4×4 numbers are 20 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.

A lot of that can be attributed to the now tried and true EcoBoost engines that Ford has redeveloped for the Ranger and the ten-speed automatic (same as the F-150’s) which can keep the engine operating at its optimal speeds for longer. For something that can tow 7,500 pounds and haul 1,860 pounds in the bed, those numbers don’t seem too bad. This four-cylinder truck has towing that’s only slightly worse than my ’02 F-150 Supercab with the 5.4L V8 while being significantly better on gas.

[Source: Ford]

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 © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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.


  1. All the supercar stuff is usually as interesting to me as watches clothes dry, but the Pininfarina with its simple, sensual lines is really stunning to look at. I hope the next reveal doesn’t include lots of messy details.

    Our Camry was supposed to be tech inspected and approved a month ago. Got it back with the message that I should get another car. Brakes up front need to be changed (not a surprise) and a brake shield or brake anchor in the back, too. That last part is basically just a stamped iron sheet, but the Toyota priece is a mindboggling 520$. What I find on Amazon costs 25$. I don’t trust myself now, because the price difference is so ridiculous. But I have to buy something, then try to fix this crap. Sigh.

  2. Alignment for the Stormtrooper 4Runner today. Took it wheeling last weekend, hope the guys at the alignment shop don’t hate me too much.

  3. Not much car news here, but ‘verse seems to be one of the few ‘not secure’ sites I visit. Is that OK or? (not being IT person I’ve got no idea). Dark gray pane on the right is from Brave browser I recently found and I’m happy with, it’s basically Chrome with ad and tracker filter.

  4. halfway through my two-week rental, I’m not hating my Fusion hybrid as much as I expected to. (even though the work travel account opens up many medium fun options, this was the *least* boring car on offer.) keeping the throttle pedal light to stay in EV mode is the successful gamification of the short boring trips I take around Hampton, VA, and the car’s ride and handling are good, as I’ve come to expect from Ford. but I’ll be happy to be back in something with more personality after next week.

  5. Just checking to see if commenting via Disqus is an option, and hoping the site overhaul is still a work in progress.

    1. Is redirecting to “” for you? That’s what’s happening for me, and it’s TERRIBLE.

      1. I went to, clicked one of my prior comments, and then got to Hooniverse from there. It also looks like if I am at an individual posting (not the landing page), the .store link can be edited and refreshed as a .com link for Discus to work.

  6. I’m looking at Hooniverse at 6AM EST on Saturday and am surprised by the new look. I suppose I’ll get used to it but I don’t like the new logo. And why can’t I post via Google anymore?

    1. Time is 12.30 CET here and new look and we have new commenting system again? What was wrong with Disqus? There’s no way to upload images like before…..

      1. Disqus is coming back – We just need the URL to propagate to a new server, so we can remove the redirect. Disqus will then be back in place.

  7. I generally don’t like the look of any car with a nose that looks like a… nose. I didn’t like it on the Enzo, nor do I on the Supra.

      1. Nothing newer than this page appears when I click through Disqus (as of 2 pm Pacific,12/18/18). And now appears to be broken, at least on Chrome/Windows 10.

        1. I think that’s because newer pages don’t have Disqus working yet, so Disqus doesn’t know those pages exist.
          Hopefully, that 24-48 hour process Jeff mentioned will be concluding soon and .store won’t matter. Then maybe they can focus on getting the old Intense Debate comments to reappear.

  8. Oi was just crusin’ along the Internet, Guv, sipping me beer and whistlin’ an happy tune and all of sudden, Flash!! It were like them bloody aliens from outer space had come and changed every bleedin’ thing. Even as I were typin this er report in I could barely see the little tiny four-point type font… meant for bloomin’ midgets, or there like. And GREY! Grey as a London fog. Why ya can hardly see what you’re typing!

    I could live with the all them other fonts making the place look like the gypsys had stolen most of the ordinary fonts and that the editor had to set up the page usin’ whatever was left behind, but this ere tiny stuff in grey. I had to report it, Guv, cause it’s intolerable, intolerable for an old bloke I am. Can’t see to post, and won’t be botherin if it ain’t changed.

    1. I’m assuming it’s a work in progress. It’d be nice to imbed images and like comments, but I’m hoping the functionality just hasn’t been completely implemented yet.

      1. I guess I’m old fashioned. I dont get why it’s ‘’ now. I miss page based article navigation. I really liked the byline and article date on the main page. I liked the old categories. This feels like many newer sites, like it was designed to be viewed on an ipad. Hopefully you’re right, and it’s just not fully implemented yet.

          1. Lack of comment editing is a bummer. I almost always mistype something the first time around, and then need to fix it. If this is the fully-realized format, then I agree it feels like a step backwards.

  9. Looking for some input…A local dealer is willing to trade me a 2008 Miata 6-speed manual for my 2013 Honda Fit Sport 5-speed manual. I want the Miata in the worst way but realize I would be giving up all of the flexibility of hauling people and things. The Miata has a good carfax but 6 previous owners.

    1. 6?! Damn, that gives a moment to pause and question why – though it could’ve been bought and sold amongst family or friends? If it’s otherwise solid mechanically… GO FOR IT but know you’re giving up the practicality of the Fit of course.

  10. It’s all being adjusted in the background – hence why we’re doing it over a weekend.

    Disqus implementation is being finished up, just waiting for the domain to fully propagate to the new host. That’s why the redirect is in place at the moment.

  11. That McLaren Spider really is something else isn’t it! It looks amazing. That colour too, just wow. I think I need to book in another track day soon and get into a McLaren Spider again. They are unbelievable to drive.

  12. OK, it’s 11 am CET here on Wednesday and we have .com ‘verse and old design again (and some other version of Disqus with more possibilities).
    Hey, Jeff, the Hoons will forgive You (that adventure in redesign) if you keep the old design and just change the background to white from ‘brushed metal’ to get more clean look you went looking for in the first place. You can also monochrome some other design elements, incl good old logo (I would use black outline).

    1. Yep looks like maybe the hard part is over?
      Agree with white background at least on the mobile site – better for contrast and reading the text

  13. Hey all – you’re seeing the old site because there’s been a hang up in the Roman transfer.
    We’re dealing with an older domain registrar and getting it sorted. The new site will be up soon. Then back to HCOTY nominees, Disqus commenting, and more fresh content.
    I apologize for the delay.

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