The News for December 3rd, 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: Genesis stuns with new G90, Kia shows off 2023 Niro in South Korea, Polestar offers glimpse at company’s first SUV, Aston Martin is giving the V12 Vantage a final run, plus your news for the week. 

Genesis G90

The flagship of the growing Genesis brand is getting a substantial overhaul soon. Details are limited but we’ve been given a full look at the stunning redesign for the upcoming G90. The luxury sedan was last reworked in 2018 with a facelift, but this upcoming model will be a full rework – to what extent, we can’t say yet. But we can tell from these images that they aren’t messing around.

The G90 will continue to be available in two wheelbases much like its German rivals, the S Class and 7 Series. But unlike those rivals, it boasts a design that will get people talking. Genesis has recently introduced a design language that’s just more interesting than what you can get from most of its competition, and for the G90 they’ve taken it to a new level. The “most elegant interpretation of the brand’s design philosophy” involves a giant Crest Grille and sleek Two-Line lamps – two signature design elements in every new Genesis.

The new grille on this model has a Layered Architecture finish with two G-Matrix patterns layered on one another in order to create a three-dimensional effect. Meanwhile the Two-Line headlamps are the thinnest Genesis has made to date. The same lamp design continues behind the front wheel well for what are presumably side turn signals and maybe a courtesy light too. It’s a simple trick but it contributes greatly to the car’s style. And for one final party trick, the hood is a giant clamshell design in which a single panel combines the hood and fenders in order to greatly reduce panel gaps up front.

The Two-Line theme continues at the back, but the lightning elements are switched up a bit. A thin light bar stretches across the rear at the bottom and another one connects the two bigger combination lamps. The roofline tapers off dramatically at the C-pillar, but doesn’t sacrifice headroom for a “coupe-like” roofline that every other sedan seems to go for. Despite that, they still managed to give it an elegant and athletic appearance without ruining the back seats. Imagine that.

So far that’s all we know about the new Genesis G90. It’s a dramatically different take on a big luxury sedan. Its design takes chances and breaks from the norm, but manages to keep elegance and beauty intact. So in other words, Genesis is doing what BMW thinks they’re doing.

We can assume it’ll go on sale next year as a 2023 model and have some form of electrified powertrain(s), but we’ll just have to wait and see. The interior should be interesting as well.

[Source: Genesis]

2023 Kia Niro

Kia has shown off the 2023 Niro for the South Korean market, which means it’ll also come to the US at some point largely unchanged. The Niro is a compact crossover designed from the ground up to be electrified in some way, either as a hybrid or BEV. With these new images, we can see that will continue into a new generation along with some dramatic new looks inside and out.

In a press release obtained by Jalopnik, they call this design language “Opposites United”. It’s a busy design with new lighting elements and a grille that makes the car look like it’s shouting at you. There’s also lots of two-tone going on with black painted accents along the doors and a contrasting C-pillar reminiscent of the original Audi R8. The rear end is highlighted by thin LED strips on top and a second set of brake lights at the bottom.

The interior is probably a bit less polarizing. It has a cabin layout with a screen setup once reserved for luxury cars with a digital gauge cluster and a central infotainment screen, both arranged in a way that almost makes it appear as part of the same screen. Lending to its environmental-friendliness is the extended use of sustainable materials, which should become the norm in all new cars. A headliner made from recycled wallpaper and seat fabrics from eucalyptus leaves are two examples provided.

Additional details like pricing and the exact powertrains offered aren’t available yet. Those would be subject to change anyway for the US market, so we’ll wait until that announcement before digging deeper.

[Source: Kia via Jalopnik]

Polestar teases first SUV

Polestar, which is Volvo’s all-electric sub brand, is at the point of their life where they’re just beginning to expand into other markets. The Polestar 1 was a luxury coupe few could afford while the 2 was a smaller sedan that was more realistic for daily driving duties. They’re now teasing the next model, which unsurprisingly is poised to tap into America’s obsession with crossovers and SUVs.

And you guessed it – it’s called the Polestar 3. It’ll launch next year as the company’s first SUV and the first one built in America, with production set to take place in Charleston, South Carolina. The 3 is a big move for Polestar as the premium SUV market is still the fastest growing segment in the US and, most importantly, is expected to be one of the most rapid to adopt EVs. The majority of new EVs I cover here are crossovers/SUVs, so that checks out.

Even though the 3 in this image is wearing a giant QR code, we can already see heavy influences from other models and concepts, especially the Polestar Precept. Their design language is impressive because it looks like its own thing but you can also tell it’s still related to Volvo. Other brands are quick to throw futuristic shit onto a crossover and call it futuristic, but Polestar seems to be taking a more nuanced approach to it. It should look stunning when the QR code comes off.

[Source: Polestar]

The V12 Vantage will return

final V12 Vantage from Aston Martin noise

Jeff already covered this one but it’s too cool not to mention again. Aston Martin confirmed a familiar and much loved model is making a final comeback – the V12 Vantage. They announced it properly with a video of nothing but the sound it’ll make. It sounds glorious. Read up on Jeff’s predictions and catch the video here.

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.

13 Comments

  1. Watching the Genesis brand come into its own is fun because they really do something quite unique by now. The G90 being my Centennial’s grand-grandson, there’s really nothing here that carries over. ABM are set in their respective ways, Lexus is doing its repulsive-design-threshhold-thing and Genesis really carves out a niche for its own. I’m not all behind the design, but I respect it and it works.

    The new Niro is a surprise, given I just talked to my Kia dealer when we test drove the e-Niro which will be offered for at least two more years, he was sure. Or not, I guess.

    Otherwise, no real news. We received the bizarre HB3 front light bulbs for our baby Hyundai. I purchased Osram brand products for the quality and longevity, over my usual hardware store quality. Well, this is what the manufacturer themselves tells me about their product:

    1. The fact of old fashioned halogen bulbs is that the trade off is brightness vs longevity. So your +150% performance comes at the cost of 50% of the life.

  2. My M3 is on a boat, and expected at the BMW Oxnard Port Facility on December 27th, 2021 (https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/ASTERIA-LEADER-IMO-9531741-MMSI-431024000).

    In other news, my x3 has been in the air for over a week now in the middle of a tension strut / ball joint replacement. The last step I made was a trip to Harbor Freight to buy a few miscellaneous items to help get the ball joints out of the steering knuckle (large punch, dead blow hammer, shitty air chisel, etc.) that have been happily residing there for 199,700 miles. It’s been sitting there with PB Blaster in it for a week now, but I’ve been so busy with the end of the semester, all I’ve been able to do is look at it. It also has a rear diff output seal that needs to be replaced.

    In other, other news, one of my neighbors wants to buy my red wagon from me. I told him how much I had into it, and that he’d need to make me whole, and he still wants to come by next week to chat / take a look at it. So, we’ll see where that goes.

    In other completely unrelated news, I’m running a marathon this weekend up in Sacramento. Weather looks great for it. I’m looking forward to a whisky on the flight home.

  3. It’s not so well known that Rootes Ltd still exists as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stellantis NV. With the demise of its assorted car divisions though Rootes has not had a lot to do lately. Nothing lasts forever and in October Stellantis management commenced winding up Rootes for good. That news made me a sad panda.

  4. A bit of salt this week, so I’ve been driving the Tundra. Reminds me that I need to get the exhaust fixed after losing the muffler a few months ago. Really drones on the highway.

    The BMW has been sitting in the barn awaiting the replacement fender to be installed. Going to try to get that done this weekend, but I also should winterize the mower and make sure the snow thrower is ready in case we actually get snow.

    Got my daughter’s Protege fixed from the debris strike. She hit what looked like a broken window frame and took out the grille, horn and radiator. Miraculously the condenser is bent but the ac still seems to work – for now anyway. New radiator went in and I ordered a horn. It’ll be installed soon.

    I also ordered a new front axle actuator to hopefully get the 4WD on the Tundra working.

  5. You know the old internet meme, “I’ve got the best anti-theft device, a manual transmission”. Well I’m here to say it is true or that certainly seemed to be the only reason I still have my pickup. Last weekend I needed to go and jump start my daughter’s old car since she hadn’t driven it in a while. So I grabbed the jumper cables out of the truck. Well yesterday I was cleaning out the vehicle used for that mission and went to put the cables back in my truck. Now the way my driveway is set up it is 2+ cars wide shortly after the street and it winds around to the front of the garage. Well the truck is too long to want to deal with turning it around so it gets backed in on the one side up near the road. So I’m walking up to it and notice the driver’s door isn’t fully closed. It is open and when I look at the key hole I find the lock has been punched back. Getting in I find the lock cylinder has been forced and was in the “on” position. The battery was completely dead. I hooked up the jumper cables and let the other car run for quite a while and was able to start it with a screw driver, as long as I had the clutch pedal pushed in. So the only thing that seems to have kept them from getting it started is that they didn’t know that you have to have the clutch depressed for the starter to work.

    So yeah I’ve ordered up the billet door handles and a new set of locks. Meanwhile it is sitting out there with the ignition lock removed, the battery disconnected and the fuel pump and starter relays inside the house.

    It is kind of annoying that Ford included the transponder key on our 02 F-150 XL but the 06 F-250 XL and 09 E-150 XL don’t have it.

    I’ll be installing a kill switch on both and I’m thinking about setting it up so if the starter is activated with the switch in the kill position the power instead goes to the horn.

    1. I know someone who had a cheap homebrew antitheft device on her car. There was a relay spliced into the feed for the starter relay. It was a normally open circuit. It got its power through the driver’s power window. If you turned the key while pushing the power window switch to the CLOSE position, the starter would engage. If not, it wouldn’t even click; sort of like what your clutch switch must have done.

  6. I spent all week grinding out, learning to weld, welding in 1 new rocker panel and other missing pieces on my expedition. i am nobodys body man. I struggle with enough patience to do it right, but I’m happy with the results. Primer down. color goes on today.

    1. I’ve done this before, and I learned that you’re doing it right. you can spend a year shooting for perfection, or you can spend a weekend getting it finished.

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