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:
Honda is bringing back the Insight
Hennessey says third-axle trucks are still cool, will sell the VelociRaptor 6×6
All-new Acura RDX and Infiniti sedan concept teased ahead of NAIAS
What’s your automotive news?
Honda Insight Prototype
Honda is bringing back the Insight at next year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit and it’ll be very different from what we’ve seen previously. The first Insight launched in 1999 as a bare-bones coupe and we got a revival ten years later as an inexpensive five-door, but this hybrid is going upscale for its third generation.
We’ll get full details at NAIAS next month, but Honda is claiming an “entirely new approach” to styling, packaging, premium features, and performance so it’s more in line with what today’s buyers are looking for. If all goes to plan, they say it’ll be a hybrid without any of the inherent compromises. So basically a hybrid that’s “normal”. One of the suits at Honda describes it as “a great car in its own right, independent of what’s happening under the hood”.
Its looks to be positioned just below the new Accord and above the Civic, so it’ll be a size that’s convenient for most families but still offer mileage that’s “competitive with other compact hybrid models” – as of now they’re not talking stats, but the EPA’s numbers should be pretty nice.
With it being touted as a more premium car now, one number that might also increase is the price. The last Insight launched as the most affordable hybrid on the market… that might not be the case again.
Hennessey VelociRaptor 6×6 goes on sale
And now for something completely different.
Remember when adding a third axle to pickups and G-Wagens was cool? Hennessey still remembers, which is why they’re bringing their old VelociRaptor 6×6 concept to production and opening the ordering books. To those who’ve erased the concept from their memory, this is a Ford Raptor that gets a substantial power boost and a third axle for no reason other than because they can.
Here’s the rundown: it starts as a standard Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew and gets Hennessey’s VelociRaptor package, which through some turbocharger upgrades bumps power to 605 horsepower and 622 lb.-ft. of torque. Then they cram an additional locking rear axle under the bed, rework the Fox suspension, and throw on new 20″ wheels wrapped in Toyo Open Country tires for good measure. Finishing touches include custom front and rear bumpers, an exterior roll bar, and additional LED lightning.
They say it can go anywhere, fast. It’s certainly quick for what it is with a 4.9-second 0-60 mph time. “Anywhere” might be a relative term though, because all 50 trucks scheduled for production are almost certainly going to Dubai and nowhere else. A Raptor with bigger turbos and a third axle will set you back $349,000… so yeah, Dubai.
[Source: Hennessey Performance Engineering]
With the first big auto show of the new year just a few weeks away, manufacturers are already teasing what they’ll be bringing to Detroit. In addition to that Insight mentioned above, Acura and Infiniti have both announced their big debuts already (in less detail).
Acura is bringing an all-new RDX crossover which is the culmination of their “most extensive redesign in more than a decade”. It’s designed and developed in America for the first time and will also be the best performing RDX yet… which is typically how these new generations are supposed to work. The RDX is their strongest seller, so I’d expect to see a lot of work put in to this one.
Infinti’s teaser is for an unnamed concept (though they way they name things these days, it should probably stay that way). They say it’ll take the traditional sedan to “its next stage of evolution” with “smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains”. So it’s going to be another electric sedan that’ll be scrapped and turned into a hybrid crossover instead. Got it.
[Sources: Acura, Infiniti]
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 and happy holidays!
[Image © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]