The News for December 7th, 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:

  • The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD is here to make us forget about the failed Camaro redesign

  • Koenigsegg shows off a true bare carbon Regera

  • VW is in talks to expand their US production with Ford’s plants

  • Lexus confirms new Track Edition for the RC F, coming next month

  • What’s your automotive news?

2020 Silverado HD

Coming soon to the trendy high school parking lot near you is the all-new 2020 Silverado HD. When the new heavy duty Silverado debuts in February 2019 it will be “the most capable and most advanced Silverado HD ever” as well as being the ugliest fucking thing you’ll have the misfortune of laying eyes on. It’s the third new Silverado in the last 18 months and it’s designed to cater to all the needs of heavy duty truck owners, provided they never need to walk in front of their truck without vomiting.

That front end design that is pretty much universally panned is of a “bold, sculpted form that follows its enhanced heavy-duty function”. It “makes a statement” and is meant to visually capture the power and capabilities of the Silverado HD. To further distinguish it from lesser Silverados so the HD buyers can feel better about themselves, every piece of exterior sheet metal – save for the roof – is unique to the HD.

For the designers, they feel the end result is a truck that “looks like a piece of heavy machinery with modern, chiseled finishes”. But in reality it looks like something you want to mangle with said heavy machinery. No matter which way you spec it, there’s no saving that nose. Chevrolet is already having to rush out an emergency redesign for the new Camaro SS, so are they going to end up having to do the same with this? Maybe they should close some design studios instead of their factories.

But [godawful] looks aside, the Silverado HD will have just what heavy duty truck buyers are looking for. More space inside, integrated tailgate steps at each corner of the bed, and new trailer assistance tech that is yet to be detailed. Two engines will be available, the first being an all-new gasoline engine (no details yet) mated to a six-speed transmission, or the good ole Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 with 910 lb-ft of torque paired with a new Allison ten-speed transmission.

The Silverado HD will be available with Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ, and range-topping High Country trim levels at launch. Each one gets a little nicer than the last and adds some different exterior treatment that still fails to address how unbelievably hideous it looks. For reference, the pictures you’re seeing show the LT (with Z71) and High County.

A lot of details are scarce at the moment but more will be revealed closer to its launch date.

[Source: Chevrolet]

Koenigsegg Regera ‘KNC’

Look, we all need something to undo the damage the Silverado HD just did to our eyes. Those who are out looking at puppies online right now…. continue. For everyone else, this quality eye bleach comes to us from Koenigsegg who just showed off a very unique Regera that’s headed off to its owner. They sold their last Regera a while back but are still working through the last of the builds and this one stands out for being a truly bare carbon car.

It’s the first car they’ve made with a Koenigsegg Naked Carbon (KNC) finish and it’s true to the name. Plenty of supercars can be found with exposed carbon bodywork, but none of them have ever been this exposed. Per Koenigsegg:

KNC involves no lacquer, varnish or alternative coating being used on top of the carbon surface. The thin layer of epoxy that normally covers a high-end autoclaved cured carbon piece is carefully removed by hand polishing. This is an extremely sensitive process; one stroke too many will ruin the visible weave structure underneath the thin epoxy layer.

The end result is a striking new look for carbon fiber. The body of the car becomes cold to the touch as the material is pure carbon, instead of an insulating epoxy or lacquer layer with carbon underneath. The sheen takes on a more metallic graphite appearance as each graphite strand is now fully exposed.

… Instead of reflecting the shape of a panel covered in clearcoat, the light plays off each strand of carbonfibre. It’s familiar and yet unlike any Koenigsegg that has come before, and it is a unique method developed by Koenigsegg as a world’s first.

Koenigsegg has been slowly working up to this point with small samples of KNC-prepped items like wheels, wings, and trim pieces with success. Their testing process even went as far as leaving pieces exposed to summer and wintry conditions to ensure the elements did not negatively affect the unique raw carbon surface.

In fact, they’ve noted that the KNC-prepped surface is actually more resilient to stone chips and surface scratches than a lacquer finish is. Of course, the lack of any kind of paint or sealant is good for a 44-pound weight reduction.

The bar for “exposed carbon” supercars was just raised to the exosphere.

[News source: Koenigsegg via Autoblog | Images by Keno Zache Photography]

Volkswagen may start building cars at Ford plants

Autoweek is reporting some interesting developments in regards to a strategic alliance between Ford and Volkswagen that could see Ford factories boosting VW production in the US. VW CEO Herbert Diess has recently indicated that Volkswagen is considering adding a second plant in the US and that they could tie this in with their developing manufacturing alliance with Ford.

As of now, Volkswagen has their plant in Chattanooga that’s building the Passat and Atlas but the need for additional production capacity in the US is now too large to ignore. One of the proposed solutions is to use an unknown number of Ford’s plants to produce Volkswagens for the American market. Volkswagen in return would provide Ford with vehicle platforms for the European market.

It’s unclear if these plants will be formally changing hands or just leased and how many plants will be affected. There are rumors circulating that Ford will be announcing plant closures and layoffs soon which they’ve declined to comment on, so maybe Volkswagen is looking to appropriate some of those plants while they’re still active and have a workforce. Having a plant change hands rather than be shut down certainly sounds like the better option but nothing is official yet and I’ve basically pulled this whole paragraph right out of my ass so grains of salt and such.

[Source: Autoweek]

Lexus RC F Track Edition is coming

Lexus has confirmed the existence of something called the RC F Track Edition and it’s coming to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 14th. As you can see, it has a carbon wing and a matte paint finish so it’ll be much faster than the regular RC F. More info on this as we get it…

[Source: Lexus]

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]

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28 responses to “The News for December 7th, 2018”

  1. tonyola Avatar

    I don’t think the Silverado HD is that bad looking. The front end might be overly butch, but it’s not as messy as the 1500.

    1. Fred Avatar

      Still two things about modern trucks that bother me. I’d like to stand at the side of the bed, reach over and be able to pick items up from the bed. I would also like less cab and more bed length. Oh might as well add a third thing, the price.

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      The height of the hood on these trucks is what gets me, they must be restricting visibility as in things disappear from view when they are a long way off (relatively), and I’m sure it is all for styling.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        On the plus side, there should be amble space for steamboiler setup. These trucks are so huge, ancient train tech might put some of that wasted space to intriguing use.

    3. Zentropy Avatar

      I too have been harshly critical of the 1500’s stying since its makeover. But the HD takes that same awkward ugliness and exaggerates it to the extreme. These two, along with the train smash that is the Camaro front fascia, suggest to me that Chevrolet desperately needs an infusion of better designers. They’re having enough difficulty without intentionally building heinous vehicles.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        On the other hand, those Camaro/Silverado HD stylists have a great career ahead of them at Lexus!

  2. neight428 Avatar

    I think Chevy’s focus groups are all convinced they are going to be made famous on one of those TV commercials that “Mahk” makes fun of so they don’t say anything critical. This thing is visually offensive.

    GMC dealers have to be cautiously optimistic that GM loyalists will steer their way until the emergency redesign crew can be mustered.

  3. outback_ute Avatar

    The VW Ford thing makes a lot of sense given the massive overcapacity across the industry. Total vehicle sales are unlikely to increase from this point either, even before you consider the effect of car sharing and autonomous mobility services that will see some people moving away from owning a car.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      It would also cut down on people getting laid off at a factory in one state, and then having to move to another state in order to be the already-trained workforce for another factory.

      Maybe instead, the workers should own the means of production factory, and the various manufacturers can shift models in and out as demand waxes and wanes. Wait, why does that sound familiar? 😉

  4. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the world where trucks are for carrying things and not for posing as lifestyle accessories, everyone uses trucks like this.

    1. Manxman Avatar

      I never figured out why American pickups couldn’t be made from full-size vans, kind of a modern version of thr old Ford Econoline pickup. Not a fan of the forward cab but still…

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        Ford are offering the Transit cab chassis in the USA, but not so far the dual cab. to configure one.×382.jpg

      2. Harry Callahan Avatar
        Harry Callahan

        I LOVE those early Econolines…but never wanted my knees to serve as the crumple zone.

    2. Jeff M Avatar
      Jeff M

      I like these. There’s aboot 5-6 different kinds here in Mexico.

  5. ptschett Avatar

    …I actually rather like the Silverado HD from the head-on view, in the version that has the word CHEVROLET spelled out across the crossbar. (The one that has just the bowtie logo and more chrome, not so much.)

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Bangle 7-series?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        It’s a 5, close call!

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          That makes more sense as it looked like a manual gear lever (would that have been available on the 7?). I probably hadn’t allowed for lens distortion – the boot looks very long which is why I went for the 7.

          Also is that an OSI-Ford 20M? Initially I was thinking Fissore-bodied OSCA which are similar but not quite as good-looking.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            You’re right on all counts. I agree that the boot looks massive – surprisingly. The OSI is just gorgeous, it is the first one I had seen in person.

    2. crank_case Avatar

      Which one? I’ve been to the Munich one, but only saw the main part of it, as it’s spread across three sites!

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Berlin – tried to go there the last three times I visited the city, but I always set aside time on mondays. When it’s closed. Being a slow learner, I did that again this time around, but had a couple of hours on a tuesday, too. Really haven’t seen everything, I focused on cars and trains.

    3. Smaglik Avatar

      Amazingly cool. Where is this place?

      Two years ago on a study abroad I lead in the UK, we hit two separate transportation museums (I am a civil engineer by trade, specializing in traffic ops), one in London, and a second in Glasgow, and your photos somewhat remind me of those venues.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        It’s this one:

        All these museums are very similar, down to one exhibition to the tune of “the internet has come to stay”, explaining cable highways and displaying old phones. Haven’t seen one without! Imho, the provincial ones are a bit more interesting, as they sometimes have long forgotten local car brands or just weird items that others don’t show. Do you still have pictures?

        1. Smaglik Avatar

          I did not take any photos of the inside of the museum. We’re going back this May, if we get enough students to sign up for the trip, and I shall take photos then.

          That German museum looks really cool. I’m always wary of hitting museums off the beaten track when I don’t speak the local language, which is a lot of locales.

    4. Manic_King Avatar

      It’s clearly BMW, so E60 5-series? If not then 7-series outback_ute already offered above.

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