The News for February 19th, 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: the king returns – Porsche’s 911 GT3 is all new, McLaren shows off new hybrid supercar with mind boggling numbers, Chevrolet unveils new Bolt in two flavors, and the famed SRT division is effectively dissolved.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 (992)

The one 911 everyone looks forward to the most with each new generation is the GT3. The high-revving, big-winged, motorsport-derived legend has a new version based on the current 992 platform. Any fears you may have had about the GT3 getting softer or losing some of its magic given the direction VAG has been going can be put to rest. For now. This new GT3 will still be just as raw and rewarding as a GT3 is supposed to be. To put it simply, Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche NA, says “the new 911 GT3 sends a driver’s heart racing”.

As with every GT3 the centerpiece is its fabulous naturally-aspirated engine. The 4.0-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine generates 502 horsepower and 346 lb.-ft. of torque and revs to a howling 9,000 RPM. It’s nearly identical to the engine found in the 911 GT3 Cup race car (or is it the other way around?) and features six independent throttle bodies. It may sound like the same engine from the outgoing GT3, but they say it’s actually based on the engine from the limited-run 2019 911 Speedster… which was based on the engine from the GT3 at the time. So yes they basically are starting with the same engine. But when it’s as sweet as this one it’s hard to complain. Eager to avoid a repeat of the shit storm from enthusiasts with the launch of the PDK-only 991 GT3, the 992 GT3 will have a six-speed manual transmission available as a no-cost option. Those who would rather have their GT3 with the seven-speed PDK – quite literally the finest automatic on the market – can still do so as well for no additional cost. PDK-equipped models can achieve a 0-60 mph time of just 3.2 seconds. Top speed is 197 mph.

Porsche 911 GT3 (992)

Some of the bigger and more noticeable updates are the aerodynamics. Up front are new integrated cooling ducts plus a front spoiler lip and front diffuser which are both adjustable in stages for track use. New side skirts optimize airflow around the wheels. Meanwhile in the rear is probably the biggest change in GT3 styling in ages. The signature rear wing is now a swan-neck design which is derived straight from motorsport. That too is adjustable in stages with settings set aside for road and track use. With the front and rear aerodynamic settings in the road configuration, the new GT3 still produces 50% greater downforce compared to the previous model. With everything in the most aggressive track mode, that number shoots up to 150%.

Porsche 911 GT3 (992)

This GT3 grows a little bit over the outgoing model but weighs virtually the same thanks to a more extensive application of lightweight materials. The hood, rear wing, and rear diffuser are made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and all the windows consist of lightweight glass. Those CFRP panels aren’t the only new thing borrowed from the race cars – another big new addition is its double wishbone front axle. It’s derived from the 911 RSR and the 911 GT3 Cup cars and adapted for road use, a first for the model. The benefit is even more direct and precise steering plus improved cornering stability when compared to the predecessor. The rear axle is still using a multilink design but uses more ball joints which they say further enhances the car’s capabilities. They’re also keen to point out that this new GT3 suspension does not share any parts with the of the current 911 Carrera models.

With an increase in power and cornering speed also comes an increase in stopping power. New cast iron discs measuring 16.1″ at the front axle with a narrower friction ring to reduce weight isn’t even the most powerful option they offer. For an additional cost you can get Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes which are a tad larger and weigh about half of what the iron ones do. New GT3-specific forged alloy wheels are a little wider yet still lighter than the previous wheels. Though they didn’t mention the tires by name, they will offer the same street legal track tire from the outgoing GT3 RS as an option on the new “base” GT3, which would have been the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2. You can see all of this put to work in a flying lap around some German race track.

In short, the best has gotten better.

[Source: Porsche]

McLaren Artura

McLarenArtura

This week McLaren started one of those new chapter things with the Artura, the first series-production hybrid in company history. That phrasing is important because it’s definitely not the first hybrid they’ve made – see the P1 and the Speedtail – but this is the hybrid McLaren we’ll be seeing most often. It’s a sign of things to come for the brand who are eager to show they can still provide powerful and engaging supercars as the push for alternative fuels grabs hold of the industry. As such, it’s the most fuel efficient McLaren to date… by a large margin.

McLarenArtura

If there’s anything the aforementioned McLaren P1 and the “Holy Trinity” of supercars of the era taught us, it’s that hybrid powertrains can make cars faster. Not every hybrid needs to be a soul-sucking experience. The Artura takes this to a greater level with a combination of specifications I never thought I’d see. Gas power comes from an all-new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 capable of 577 horsepower and 431 lb.-ft. of torque on its own. That’s a remarkable 192 horsepower per liter. This engine, which we’re likely going to see more of, is a 120-degree “hot vee” design for lower center of gravity and more compact packaging. It also revs to 8,500 RPM.

Meanwhile, a compact axial flux e-motor sits inside the transmission bell housing. It can provide 94 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque to the equation, either as a supplement to the V6 or a temporary replacement. Battery power comes from a 7.4kWh lithium ion battery pack which enables a pure EV range of a whole nineteen (19) miles. That’s not exactly great by hybrid standards but perhaps not bad at all considering the Artura can hit 60 mph from a standstill in three seconds flat and reached 205 mph. Total system output is 671 horsepower and 531 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite that, European estimates for fuel efficiency call for 50 mpg combined. EPA numbers will be a fair bit lower but that’s still remarkable for a car like this.

McLarenArtura

As for the rest of the car, yup, it’s a McLaren. It’s built on an all-new McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (which will be used more in the future) which was intended specifically for high-performance hybrid applications. In typical McLaren fashion it also allows for significant weight savings. Despite the addition of the hybrid components, which are relatively light themselves, the whole car weighs just 3,300 pounds. And on top of all that, it actually looks pretty good. McLarens had been getting stale for a bit but this is a fresh take on their design language. It’ll look good in the thumbnails of your least favorite YouTuber’s videos.

[Source: McLaren]

Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt family received a new member this week. Offered alongside the redesigned 2022 Bolt EV (top) will be the Bolt “EUV” (bottom), which as you can imagine, will be a version of the Bolt with more SUV-like proportions. The underpinnings are the same for both cars but the exterior sheet metal is completely different in style and size. To make their EVs more affordable, prices have also been slashed to levels that can’t go unnoticed by those in the market for a new car.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The starting price for the 2022 Bolt EV has been reduced to $31,995, about $5k less than the previous model. Even the larger 2022 Bolt EUV is still cheaper than the old Bolt with a price starting at $33,995. Prices exclude destination charges and any state, local, or utility incentives. So already these two are shaping up to be some of the most accessible EVs on the market. That doesn’t mean their powertrain cuts corners – quite the opposite. The Bolt’s proven battery technology, including its 65kWh lithium-ion battery pack, delivers up to 259 miles of range in the EV or 250 miles in the EUV (GM’s estimates). These also continue to benefit from their active thermal management system which uses coolant to maintain the battery at its ideal operating temperature. It’s because of this technology that Chevy offers an 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty. They also offer standard DC fast public charging capability which allows for up to 100 miles of range to be replenished in 30 minutes. Both models feature a single-motor drive unit with 200 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

As for what’s new with the Bolt EV, new design updates add a new, more upright front fascia and new front and rear lighting signatures. There’s also a new instrument panel, vehicle controls via a 10.2″ screen, and new seats. It’s largely the same story with the Bolt EUV. Even though they say the sheet metal is entirely different between the two, the EUV literally looks like a slightly taller and slightly longer EV. The features are the same as well save for the optional panoramic power sunroof only on the EUV. So basically it’s going to come down to whether the additional $2,000 is worth it for 3 additional inches of rear seat legroom.

Both versions of the new Bolt will become available this summer.

[Source: Chevrolet]

SRT is being disbanded – sort of

The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is the most powerful

Some heartbreaking news hit the internet this week but initial reports may have been worse than what was actually happening. With the recent merger between FCA and PSA forming Stellantis, word quickly spread that FCA’s enthusiast-favorite SRT brand was getting axed. It’s not technically true… but also not completely wrong either. Stellpower (via Jalopnikgot both confirmation and clarity from the stupidly-named Stellantis.

In February 2021, all of the core elements of the SRT performance engineering team were integrated into Stellantis’ global engineering organization.

This action will have the two-way benefit of ensuring that our brands’ SRT and performance-focused product offerings continue to meet the highest quality standards and expectations, while delivering key learnings from motorsports and other high-performance-technology applications across a wider mix of our company’s product lines.

These products have delighted enthusiasts for nearly two decades, and Stellantis will continue to sell and develop the next generation of Dodge//SRT-branded vehicles, as well as Jeep and Ram vehicles that utilize high-performance SRT technology.

What this means is SRT engineers still have a role in the company and SRT-branded creations will continue to be built and developed. But SRT as a standalone entity is no more. Ralph Gilles, the man who was once the CEO of SRT and now serves as the FCA head of design, took to Instagram to reiterate that this isn’t completely the end of SRT.

I will add that we will keep imagining, developing new & compelling products worthy of the SRT badge for years to come. By being integrated into the core teams, the passionate & brilliant engineers behind the current SRT products will certainly influence the performance aspects of a broader spectrum of products. In fact as an example while there isn’t any outright SRT badging on them, the latest RAM TRX & 392 Wrangler launching this year were a result of RAM & Jeep calling on those very team members to help and work with the core teams… to great results.

SRT’s contributions over the years have been worth celebrating. While it’s still heartbreaking to see them disbanded like this, it’s not the end of the road for what really made SRT what it was – the people that made it.

[Sources: Stellpower via Jalopnik, Instagram]

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.

10 Comments

  1. Hope everyone is staying safe with the cold weather over there.

    For being all new, the McLaren looks very similar to the old cars.

  2. but this is the hybrid McLaren we’ll be seeing most often

    Tongue in cheek, but I do struggle to tell any of them apart. McLaren is the Aston Martin of…eh…super cars? Hyper? Ultra? Megamaxi2000?

    1. Time to overshare today’s achievements. One of my recent Korean acquaintances lobbed me into Hyundai GSW and I now have full access to my car’s repair manual, maintenance routines, wiring etc. It’s in Korean, but technology is amazing and I can pretend to understand what is written there. It also contains glorious reminders for wrenchers. Then he send over links to articles that provided more photos of roofless Equus’, making me ever more happy.
      https://i.ibb.co/HNrny6J/Equus-Roofless.jpg
      https://i.ibb.co/hM4GB9C/Equus-LZpresidential.png

      He’s also providing his takes on Korean classic limousines and the confusing richness of representative KDM cars. I went straight to a Korean car shopping site and was shocked to see that the Arcadia aka Legend retains value much better than a comparable Equus:
      http://www.encar.com/dc/dc_cardetailview.do?carid=28869648&WT.hit=share&adnm=pc_detail_url
      …and because I like to get stuck in rabbit holes, I found the second Kia Elan I have seen for sale, out of about 200 left in Korea. In rough shape, but no less lovable:
      http://www.encar.com/dc/dc_cardetailview.do?carid=28730366&WT.hit=share&adnm=pc_detail_url

  3. Van pooped out. Ran when parked, ran for 1/2 second next morning, then poop. Seems to have fuel flow, judging from the miasma of unburnt gasoline coming out the tailpipe when crankity-cranking.

    Left this morning on a flatbed to go to the mechanic. I need it back by next Hooniverse News so I can go 150 miles up the coast get the motorcycle that pooped out earlier.

    All that has to happen before I go away for a month a week from Sunday.

  4. My son’s Toyota Corolla engine replacement project is buttoned up enough that he can drive it to work and I’m preparing the work space to resurrect a long idle motorcycle

  5. I went to the junkyard to try to remedy the missing rear cargo light in the wagon. I found a sedan that had the same dome light as what I have above the driver’s seat. I bought it, but the rear light is apparently different than the front.

    Not a totally wasted trip, though. I did score two sets of Cadillac 4-note horns.

  6. “Not every hybrid needs to be a soul-sucking experience.”

    As a former Prius owner and having now owned 2 Accord Hybrids, I can say that this is true even at the pedestrian end of the hybrid scale. Not for the Prius, but for the Accord. The 2015 was very good, but the new 2021 is simply a fantastic driving vehicle. In fact, I’d say that the steering in that new Accord approaches my E46 in satisfaction. Certainly not equal in capability, but the steering is perfectly weighted and gives generous feedback.

    On the new Artura, while I get that mid engine cars need side scoops, the trend on this and some recent Ferraris toward giant divots in the side largely disconnected from and interrupting the rest of the form isn’t one I like.

    Lastly, are we going to get a proper comment system again? 😀

  7. Well our free trial week in the Arctic Circle Home Delivery Service is finally but it was fairly nasty there for awhile. I’ll spare you the details since you already know them except to say that I wish I could share my picture of my car in the driveway buried under 6 inches (15 cm) of snow, which I captioned “BMW: The Ultimate Driveway Machine”.

    Other than that, I suspect that my wife’s car needs a new battery. She almost never drives it so it pretty much lives in its garage stall hooked up to the trickle charger. The Spider does as well of course, however with the frequent and prolonged power outages when the power did come back on, the Alfa’s charge indicator popped back to green pretty quickly, while the wife’s car took at least an hour of trickle to get back to green every time. Of course the Spider has zero drain when off since it’s so last century, and her 328i does have a late 90’s style onboard computer with clock etc so it does have some minimal drains, but I don’t think it should cause -that- much impact on charge level.

    1. You’re up 45 from me IIRC. We made it through unscathed but for landscaping and one valve on a water line pressure vacuum breaker that was closed and wrapped, but alas, not enough. I’ve spent plenty of time in places that cold, but it wasn’t anywhere near my home in the swamplands. Best tip – if you have power, get an insulated cooler bag, fill it with a string or two of little Christmas tree lights, and place it zipped up around anything you want to protect if you can manage it.

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