The News for February 3rd, 2017

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:

  • Holden Special Vehicles sends off the Zeta platform with ZR1 power

  • Mercedes-AMG shows off E63 S Estate, the new king of the wagons

  • BMW 5 Series gets the Touring treatment, likely still won’t come to the US

  • McLaren partners with BMW for future powertrain development

  • McLaren shows off the new Super Series’ chassis control and drift mode

  • The Dodge Demon will come with a secret box filled with magic and wonder

  • What’s your automotive news?


Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) revealed the final generation of rear-wheel-drive muscle cars to be locally built on the Zeta platform. All cars currently built on that platform are getting a series of updates for their last year in production, but some cars are getting a much more special send off. A new high-performance GTSR range consisting of a sedan and ute option will likely be the Australian enthusiasts’ last chance to get a brutally powerful, homegrown muscle car/ute, but there’s one extra special model at the top that’s the subject of today’s lesson in awesome. It’s the HSV GTSR W1 and its sole purpose in life is to send off what may be Australia’s greatest contribution to the world in a blaze of glory and tire smoke.

The “standard” GTSR and GTSR Maloo are already among the most powerful and most capable road cars HSV has ever produced, but the GTSR W1 might as well be a halo car. Guys… it’s getting the LS9. The 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with forged aluminum pistons, dry sump lubrication, and a carbon-fiber airbox from the C6 Corvette ZR1 is going in the last great Commodore. With 636 horsepower and 601 lb.-ft. of torque, it’s the most powerful road car ever built in Australia. Chances are unfortunately good that it’ll stay that way for a while.

But it has more than raw power to its name, fortunately. Power goes through a close-ratio Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual gearbox with a twin-plate clutch and short throws, it rides on all-new “SupaShock” suspension using much of the technology found on an actual Aussie V8 Supercar, and stopping power comes from an AP Racing six-piston brake package with 16.1″ front rotors. Old-school mechanical grip is further supplemented by advanced torque vectoring, launch control, and an enhanced driver interface. Additionally, the W1’s forged alloy wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R 265/35 R20 (front) and 295/30 R20 (rear) tires.

It’s a road car that is truly born for the race track and it looks that way too. All GTSR models wear similar bodywork which do have some functionality to it as well. It’s worth noting that the GTSR and GTSR Maloo are powered by a reworked 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 (as used by the last-gen Camaro ZL1) with 583 horsepower and 546 lb.-ft. of torque. They also have some of the same supporting features as the W1 like the powerful brakes and tech backing it all up, so there’s no bad choice to be made within this lineup. You can even see them all sliding around in this official video.
All GTSR models will start rolling off the assembly line this April. The GTSR W1 is limited to 300 examples. Aussie friends, this may be the last chance you ever get to buy something like this new.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

Both Mercedes-AMG and BMW were in the Wagon Wednesday spirit this week when they each unveiled a new wagon for our viewing pleasure on the same day. The Merc is faster so I’m talking about that one first. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S will soon be available as a spacious and beautiful Estate model starting this fall. No confirmation yet as to whether Americans will get in on it, but we’ve gotten the E63 Estate before.

The E63 S super sedan made its debut last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show with loads of power and greater capabilities than any executive saloon really needed, but nobody complained. I doubt anybody would complain about that same exact powertrain carrying over to the Estate model either.
Yes, 603 horsepower and 627 lb.-ft. of torque originate from a standard 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. In a wagon. Based on my unofficial research, it’s now the fastest wagon you can [soon] buy.
Other things that the wagon borrows from the sedan is 4Matic+ variable all-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic gearbox, AMG-tuned suspension, and optional carbon ceramic brakes. Despite the extra weight that the Estate carries, its 0-60 mph time only increases a tenth of a second to 3.4 seconds and its top speed is slightly reduced (electronically) to 180 mph.

Those worried that mandatory all-wheel drive means no sideways smoke machine action in your wagon, the included “drift mode” can send 100% of the power to the rear wheels alone. This variable AWD technology is becoming more common in new cars and I, for one, approve.
It’ll officially debut at the Geneva Motor Show a month from now, but that’s all you really need to know about it.
[Source: Mercedes-AMG via Autoweek]

BMW 5 Series Touring

As BMW begins their rollout of the all-new 5 Series to global markets, the mandatory Touring model was revealed to celebrate Wagon Wednesday in style. Everything new and great about the 5 Series Sedan exists in the 5 Series Touring as well, only now in a package that’s much prettier because wagon. Every 5 Series Touring is designed to be “dynamically excellent, aesthetically appealing, and intelligently functional” and the new one takes this combination to a new level.
The 5 Series Touring gets its sporty driving characteristics from new chassis technology like standard rear air suspension with self leveling, dynamic damper control, active roll stabilization, integral active steering (in conjunction with xDrive AWD), and available M Sport suspension. It’s also up to 220 pounds lighter than the previous model (depending on specification) thanks to suspension side members and a tailgate made from aluminum in addition to all the other weight saving methods introduced with the 5 Series Sedan.

Two gas and two diesel engines (one four-cylinder and one six-cylinder engine for each fuel type) will be available at launch, each with the option for xDrive AWD. In most markets, the Touring will be available as a 530i, 540i, 520d, and 530d. More engine options will follow at a later date. An eight-speed Steptronic automatic is standard on each car, but there’s a six-speed manual option for the 520d as well.
As its exterior dimensions grow, so does its cabin space. Its boot space grows to 20 cubic feet or 60 cubic feet with the seats folded down. That space can hold up to 1,600 pounds as well. Living with the Touring should be easier than ever with features like  40:20:40 split/folding rear seat backrests, electric remote backrest release, separately-opening rear window, and automatic tailgate operation with optional hands-free opening and closing.

Everything else included or available in the 5 Series Touring matches what is already available in the sedan. Just as its four-door counterpart was BMW’s most advanced 5 Series Sedan ever, this is the most advanced 5 Series Touring as well. Sales commence this June. It’s most likely not coming to America… but don’t worry, we’ll probably have another 5 Series GT to keep us company. *gags*
[Source: BMW]


McLaren confirmed a new partnership with BMW for future powertrain development. The project will focus on reducing emissions while simultaneously increasing engine output on McLaren’s next-generation engines which are set to eventually replace the M838T, the engine used in every car they’ve ever made to this point. It’s part-funded by the UK Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre and will also benefit the UK’s ability to develop and produce more efficient combustion engines. So while we may not get another BMW V12-powered McLaren out of this partnership, it could benefit more than just future McLaren and BMW owners.
[Source: McLaren]

McLaren released a teaser for their new Super Series car showing off its new Proactive Chassis Control II system. When their 650S successor debuts at the Geneva Motor Show, it’ll have the “widest breadth of dynamic ability of any McLaren and set new standards for Super Series’ cornering performance, driver enjoyment, and ride comfort”. Much of that will be thanks to their newest generation multi-mode chassis control which uses multiple sensors – more than the last models, including an accelerometer on each wheel hub – to read inputs from the road and measure tire contact patch. It takes this kind of information and can immediately adjust suspension damping at each corner to enhance performance and/or ride comfort. McLaren says it alone can significantly enhance the grip levels on the car without ruining the car’s balance or feel. There’s also a new McLaren Variable Drift Controller, which will be used by literally nobody except auto journalists.
[Source: McLaren]

Here’s your weekly Dodge Demon teaser thing. This week, Dodge confirmed that the Demon will come with a secret box!!!!!!!1! Are you guys pumped? Because I’m pumped. The special box will contain some [branded] tools that will allow customers to prep their Demon for street use, drag strip runs, or something in between. It seems Dodge is going to deliver and insanely powerful Challenger and let you set it up to your personal preference. Neat.
[Source: Dodge]

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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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18 responses to “The News for February 3rd, 2017”

  1. Ol' Shel' Avatar
    Ol’ Shel’

    Does anyone know if the terrorist massacre in Bowling Green will affect hours at the Corvette museum?

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        Have they fixed all those Corvettes that were damaged yet?

        1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
          Greg Kachadurian

          Some were damaged beyond repair IIRC, but I know they saved two of them and maybe a third by now as well. The ones damaged beyond repair are still on display as well I think.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    So I hinted at it the other day, but the Saab has been quite the Saab story this week. Started out last Friday when I get a call from the MiSSus that the car wouldn’t start. She got a jump, and limped it home. Well, this car eats batteries (combo platter of a lot of under hood heat, and 150 degree temp swings between winter and summer) so that was obviously my suspicion, even though the current battery was only 18 months old. So Saturday morning I pulled it out, lugged it into town, and had the parts store give a test, anticipating getting a new battery and problem solved – test showed perfect. Oh no. Well, maybe she accidentally left a light on and the battery drained. Stuck it back in, car started no problem. Sunday morning – nope, nothing. Uh oh. Must be some module/solenoid/switch/lingenberry locator/alien probe that is causing this parasitic drain. I am a poor mechanic, as I don’t possess a multi-meter, so, no choice but to again jump it and bring it into the shop. About 30 seconds after arrival they’re putting a new battery in and problem is solved! What the?!
    I suppose that a plate or some other inner battery component semi-broke. When I jostled it around to get tested, it put itself back together and showed fine. Jostled it around again putting it back in the car, and broke. Otherwise, it was definitely aliens.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    So when does (did?) the last Caprice police interceptor roll off the assembly line?

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      Caprice production will apparently end when Holden shuts down their Elizabeth plant some time this year.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        The last day of production is set for October 20

  4. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    I went in to do my yearly purchase of wiper blades for my MB W124. They usually have a book/catalogue that you can look up to make sure you get the right one. It wasn’t there. I went to the counter and the bright young attendant served me. First he asked what the was.
    I have five of these cars and momentarily couldn’t remember which of the two white ones I was driving.
    ‘That’s OK what model is it?
    ‘Which version?’
    ‘They’re all the same.’
    ‘I need to know.’
    ‘Alright, a 300E’
    ‘What year?’
    ‘They’re all the same but let’s say 1987 or 1998’.
    ‘Which one?’
    ‘OK. 1990’
    ‘That’s not what you just said’.
    ‘I couldn’t remember clearly but it’s 1990, they’re all the same’.
    ‘Diesel or Petrol?’
    ‘I’ll play your silly game. Petrol.’
    ‘Sedan, Coupe or Estate?’
    ‘It’s a 300E not A 300CE or 300TE but they’re all the same.’
    He gave me a suspicious look.
    ‘You’re not helping’
    No, I thought. YOU’RE not helping
    ‘It’s a sedan’
    ‘I’ve nearly got it ‘
    ‘Well that’s good’
    ‘Left or right hand side, or do you want both?’
    ‘There’s only one’
    ‘I AM trying to help you’
    ‘Let’s say the left’
    He went away and returned with the pack from the rack and rang up the sale.
    ‘There’s two blades in the pack so you can do both sides anyway, I can’t sell you an individual blade.
    ‘That’s alright. It’s good to have a spare.’
    He gave me another suspicious look.
    I paid.
    I went outside, paused, and thought to myself if now would be a good time to get a new wiper for my Citroen BX. I decided no.
    You couldn’t make it up.(Transcribed from the voice recording on my phone.)

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man one-wipered car is king.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        In the land of apps, one has to fit in the software writers mind (small as it may be). FTFY. 😉

    2. salguod Avatar

      Though it’ll never get used, we need a wiper for the 818 we’re building and we bought one of these MB units to see if it would work. It didn’t, so we fitted a boat wiper instead. Simple and should satisfy the government folks.

    3. peugeotdude505 Avatar

      I’ve been buying the Michelin wipers at Costco for a while. They’re not great but the price is right

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        None of them wear that well on the W124s and W201s with the way the wiper assembly skews them around. That’s why I replace them six-monthly.

  5. jeepjeff Avatar

    I found an old Hooniverse decal in a box that had survived a couple moves. Now to find out if wood can rust! (In before the Morgan jokes)

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    I wonder how many of the HSV GTSR W1’s will have any meaningful miles put on them, with only 300 to be built and a pricetag of $170k! I was told there have been 800 people put deposits down for one.
    There are some gains over the normal $107k GTSR that might be of benefit on the racetrack, but even the ‘base’ car at $77k has more power than you can use very often on the road.
    It is useful sometimes; on the weekend I was a passenger in a car that did some big overtaking moves on two-lane highways and secondary roads, mostly 100km/h limit. With around 400rwhp I’d guess that most overtakes were done in under 4 seconds from pulling out to returning to the right side of the road; actually the left side – perhaps I should say the correct side.