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 we have a potential VW Dune Buggy comeback, a special yellow Lexus LC 500, Sublime making another comeback, and some truck news.
VW is Bringing the Dune Buggy Back
It’s getting to be that time of year again. The most hyped auto show in the global circuit with all the supercars and concepts is coming in just over a month. Yep, it’s time for some Geneva Motor Show teasers.
This one though may actually be of interest to most readers here. As VW brings back some of their most beloved cars throughout their history as EVs to make the world forget about that whole diesel scandal, the venerable dune buggy was chosen as the inspiration for their next concept built on the same modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform as most of their recent concepts.
The concept that is being referred to internally as the e-buggy is based on the traditional dune buggies that were created in the 60s and 70s in California. Those were of course built upon the Beetle chassis… but since that’s dead now, the new MEB platform is proving to be just as flexible as engineers had hoped. With no fixed roof or doors, large wheel and tire package, and open side sills, it stays true to the dune buggy formula, just with an electric powertrain for the first time.
We’ll see more of it and probably have our dreams crushed over a production version on March 5th.
2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
Lexus has apparently been doing a special “Inspiration Series” edition of the LC since it launched a few years back. I say apparently because they say the car we’re looking at now is the third one and I had no idea there were two others. Some news editor I am.
Anyway, Lexus is rolling out with a limited-edition Inspiration Series LC 500 that features a unique mix of colors and features that only 100 buyers can get. This year’s car stands out with Flare Yellow paint, a “rich, metallic shade of yellow that’s eye catching from a distance, yet subtly handsome up close where the deep layers of paint highlight every crease in the sheetmetal”. This is the first LC offered in the US with this paint.
The main addition to the cabin is the yellow Alcantara door inserts and semi-aniline leather with yellow stitching. That stitching is also on the instrument panel, console, and glovebox.
The wonderful 5.0-liter V8 with 471 horsepower remains unchanged, but who cares about that when you get a matching leather Lexus garment bag that folds into a spacious travel bag instead? This package goes on sale in April for $106,210.
Sublime Returns to Charger/Challenger
It’s one of the most recognizable and beloved Mopar colors and it’s making another comeback. All 2019 Charger and Challenger models can once again be ordered with Sublime, their famous high-impact green paint that hails from the original muscle car era.
It hasn’t been available since 2015 on the Challenger and 2007 on the Charger and it’s the first time it’s been available on any Hellcat. You can start reliving those Friday night drags this February when the ordering books open for it. Those attending the Chicago Auto Show this month can be the first to see it in person.
Range Rover SV Coupe Cancelled
In news that matters to absolutely nobody, the Range Rover SV Coupe has been cancelled less than a year after it was originally revealed. For those that already forgot about it like I did, this was that two-door, four-seat Range Rover that they decided to charge almost $300,000 for.
As Autoweek reports, it turns out that some corporate cost-cutting has deemed it to be too expensive to even produce with all the unique body panels and interior parts that would need to be created and installed alongside normal Range Rover parts – even with a limited run of 999 units.
I’d like to think that the real reason they cancelled it is because the mismatched seat upholstery annoyed a Jaguar Land Rover executive as much as it annoyed me.
Ford Already Planning Overtime for Ranger Demand
We all knew the Ford Ranger’s return to the US market would be a popular one, but apparently even Ford is surprised at how many people they expect to be lining up to buy one. As the Ranger completes its first month of production in the US again, Ford is already expecting to be going into “massive overtime” to keep up with demand, according to Automotive News.
Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America, said the Ranger is exceeding their own already high expectations and they are anticipating 300,000 customers to be buying one when it comes available. First-month sales alone are expected to top 1,200.
So as expected, you’re going to be seeing these things everywhere.
[Source: Automotive News | Image © Hooniverse or Jalopnik idklol/Jeff Glucker 2019]
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 © 2019 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]