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The News for February 5th, 2016

All-new 2017 F-150 Raptor 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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Scion is officially dead, but its heart will live on

  • Ford goes off-road racing with [mostly] stock 2017 Raptors

  • McLaren to show off 650S GT3, new driver lineup at Geneva

  • What’s your automotive news?

Scion, 2003 – 2016

2015_NYIAS_Scion_iM_008 It was a valiant thirteen-year-long run, but it wasn’t good enough. Toyota has announced they’re officially killing off the Scion sub-brand by August of this year. The Scion brand was originally spun off from Toyota in 2003 and has been a laboratory for them ever since, allowing them to try new ideas and processes that would’ve been too risky to do from the mothership. Toyota learned from it, sold over a million Scion-branded cars, and attracted new, younger customers in the process, but ultimately it made more sense to transition Scion back into the Toyota family. The decision comes after Toyota noticed that Scion’s all-important young buyers were going to the main Toyota brand instead. It also doesn’t help much that the demographic they’re trying so hard to sell cars to usually can’t afford a new car at all. What this transition means for us is that 2016 will be the last model year for Scion-branded cars. Starting with MY2017, all remaining Scions will be rebranded. The Scion iA sedan (the one with the melted face), iM hatchback, and FR-S have made the cut and will live on as Toyotas. We’ll start seeing those Toyota-branded MY2017 Scions in dealerships this August. The tC, Scion’s best-selling car, won’t make it past 2016 at all, but that was apparently the plan all along. There was also a recent Scion concept that debuted at the last LA Auto Show called the C-HR (I forgot about it too) which Toyota plans to adopt as well. 2015_2016_Scion_FRS_015_7E33B13D193E0041DA19B20B4BC9356907D24CFB As for existing Scion customers, Toyota service centers will still be there for you. Dealers will likely be transitioned as well and Toyota said they’d work closely with them during the process, but they were less specific on how that would work. Fortunately, Toyota claims all existing Scion employees have opportunities to continue working for Toyota in other areas. 1,092,675 Scions were sold between 2003 and 2015. [Source: Toyota]

2017 Ford Raptors to compete in “Best in the Desert”

All-new 2017 F-150 Raptor Before the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor goes on sale later this year, Ford Performance is going to prove its off-road capabilities and durability by entering it in the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road racing series. It’ll compete in the series’ new factory stock class to give Ford the opportunity to show off the Raptor’s Baja racing roots. Ford will race the Raptor in six races spread across Arizona and Nevada and it’ll be mostly stock. It will still run with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, ten-speed transmission, torque-on-demand transfer case, Torsen front differential, and beadlock wheels that all come with the truck from the factory. The modifications made for the racing truck are limited to those necessary for safety and additional ground clearance. They include race-optimized three-inch-diameter external-bypass Fox Racing Shox on all corners (which they say are otherwise similar to the internal-bypass Fox Racing Shox on the street model), race-optimized front and rear springs for additional ground clearance, a roll cage, MasterCraft seats with five-point safety harnesses, LED light bars, racing fuel cell, advanced GPS including a digital dash, and a data logger. Everything else is exactly the same as what’s found on the factory Raptor. All-new 2017 F-150 Raptor Your chances to see it break down are below:

  • Parker 425, Parker, Arizona, Feb. 4-7
  • Mint 400, Las Vegas, March 10-14
  • Laughlin Desert Classic, Laughlin, Nevada, May 5
  • Vegas to Reno, Nevada, Aug. 17-20
  • Bluewater Challenge, Parker, Arizona, Sept. 10-Oct. 6
  • Pahrump Nugget 250, Pahrump, Nevada, Dec. 1-4

If you were on the fence about buying a new Raptor, perhaps keep a close eye on how it does at these events. The suspension is different than what’s on the stock truck, but all the other hardware is identical. If it can survive those races, it’ll probably survive your hooning sessions. [Source: Ford]

McLaren 650S GT3 going to Geneva

6137-650S+GT3+2016-1 If you’re one of the lucky ones attending the Geneva Motor Show this year, you’ll have your best chance yet to see the McLaren 650S GT3 before it kicks off its 2016 season. McLaren GT (their racing program) is coming off of its most successful year yet and the first competitive season with the new 650S GT3. The car is more or less unchanged for the 2016 season, only accounting for any rule changes that would have been made. The 650S GT3 will join McLaren’s display of dream material alongside [presumably] the 570S, 650S/675LT, and maybe even a P1. The biggest change is with its factory driver lineup. Plans for factory drivers Rob Bell and Alvaro Parente are finalized along with confirmation of the signing of Côme Ledogar to the works lineup. McLaren’s new Driver Academy gets a new addition as well with Colin Thompson joining this season. All four drivers will see competition across the globe, including the Blancpain Endurance Series and Spring Series, Pirelli World Challenge, and even the Bathurst 12 Hour set to run this weekend. This probably would have been a better fit for Bradley’s motorsport news recap instead, but I liked the pretty race car and ran with it. [Source: McLaren]

What’s your automotive news?

whatsyourautomotivenaws 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 © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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