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.
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.
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 Supramkv.com 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.
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.
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]