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 debuts ultimate road car tribute to Ayrton Senna
ARES Design introduces stunning coach-built Pantera tribute
Ford Fusion/Mondeo’s future uncertain as production shift announced
What’s your automotive news?
Typically whenever a new McLaren road car is revealed, they always stress that it’s a supercar that’s usable every day. Comfortable and practical(ish) supercars have become their trademark by now, but here is a car that deliberately says “nah, you’d have to be superhuman to be able to live with this every day”. It’s McLaren’s most extreme road car yet and it hasn’t been sanitized at all in the pursuit of becoming road legal.
For its uncompromising focus on performance, it was a fitting car to bear the name of one legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna. Remember, he won all three of his F1 championships in a McLaren. Those MP4 cars he drove though… much prettier.
McLaren hasn’t lost their touch with designing pretty cars, but this is one of those pure form follows function designs that was never meant to be easy on the eyes. Oversized splitters and a hydraulically adjustable rear wing are only part of the story with this car’s design, but all you need to know is this car is glued to the surface. It might not overheat either as you can’t follow a single line from front to rear without it passing through a functional air intake or vent.
The Monocage III chassis and every body panel on the car is made of carbon fiber and designed with lightness in mind. This isn’t a case of “oh look, $200,000 worth of carbon fiber and we’ve saved 20 whole pounds!” This whole car weighs in at just under 1,200 kg or 2,641 pounds.
It’s powered by a revised twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 capable of sending 789 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels. It’s McLaren’s most powerful gas engine ever built. Lightweight internal components, low-inertia twin-scroll turbochargers, and electronically controlled waste gates deliver near instant throttle response. Unique engine mounts and a functional roof-mounted snorkel intake mean drivers will be able to hear all sorts of cool engine noises from inside the cabin.
And inside that cabin is the bare essentials. Driver and passenger controls were kept to a minimum and there’s no storage besides a space behind the seats with just enough room for helmets and racing suits. There does still appear to be a sound system though… which somehow feels out of place on a £750,000 car. Only 500 are being built and they’re still taking orders.
Kidding. 499 were sold already with the 500th being auctioned off for £2,000,000 with proceeds going to the Ayrton Senna Institute which benefits underprivileged children in Brazil.
So to recap, it’s hideous and uncomfortable but it has a great name and is going to be unbelievably fast. That’s all we should really want from a modern day supercar.
ARES Project Panther
Your eyes don’t deceive you. That’s a Pantera-inspired supercar you’re looking at here, pop-ups and all.
This beauty comes to us from ARES Design, an Italian coachbuilder that was feeling a bit nostalgic for the 70’s. It’s called Project Panther and it actually starts life as a Lamborghini Huracan. Like a true coach-built special, everything you see here is built specifically for this car and clearly inspired by the De Tomaso Pantera.
Wedge-shaped nose, check. Rear buttresses, check. Flat decklid, check. Split five-spoke wheels that mimic the originals, check. POP-UP HEADLIGHTS. Mega check.
The Project Panther is retro done right.
And because it’s a Huracan underneath, its 5.2-liter V10 and seven-speed DCT mean it’ll be a blast to drive while also being way more reliable than the originals. ARES hasn’t listed any detailed specifications yet, but this is a real car that they’re actually going to build starting next year. They’re taking deposits now. Have your people contact their people if you’re interested.
[Source: ARES via Autoweek]
Ford Fusion/Mondeo’s Future Uncertain
Automotive News has learned that Ford will stop producing the Fusion at its Hermosillo, Mexico plant at the end of the decade. This news comes as suppliers were told in advance about Ford’s decision. This might sound like good news for our autoworkers at home, but the car’s future remains unclear.
Currently, every Ford Fusion is built in Mexico and every Ford Mondeo (as its called in Europe) is built in Spain. Suppliers for Ford’s Valencia, Spain plant were also informed that Mondeo production would end there at the same time. Other reports coming out this week suggested that Ford was moving all Fusion and Mondeo production to China, but a Ford spokesperson told Automotive News that they won’t ship Chinese-built Fusions/Mondeos to America and Europe.
So does that mean the Fusion/Mondeo we get is going to be built elsewhere? Will the next Fusion/Mondeo get built for western markets at all? With new car buyers incorrectly buying crossovers instead of sedans, Ford has already had to cut back on sedan and hatchback production in America especially. They see the shift to crossovers as permanent, so this might be their way of going all in on the trend of blandness.
[Source: Automotive News]
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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]