The News for January 20th, 2012

Welcome to the Hooniverse News: Relatively Slow News Week Edition! This is a weekly recap of all the automotive news you should care about we could find without the fluff from a hyper salesman and without the dullness from an executive in a suit. We also throw in some opinion because we can. This week you get some stories we wouldn’t normally cover because we got a little desperate:

  • MINI pumps up for the London Olympics with two special editions

  • BMW brings new variety to the aging 1-Series in the US

  • New McLaren MP4-12 High Sport spotted?

  • Ford putting a Shelby test mule up for auction

  • Saab’s demise might spell trouble for Dutch supercar maker

Special Edition MINIs Celebrate the London Olympics

As I’m sure many of you know, BMW is sponsoring the 2012 Olympic Games in London and they also own MINI, which calls Britain its home.  I think you know where this is going. MINI is rolling out with two special edition MINI Coopers called the Bayswater and Baker Street editions, which are named after well-known London-area neighborhoods, and not that Gerry Rafferty song everyone knows. [singlepic id=3328 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3329 w=320 h=240 float=] The Baker Street edition can be ordered with the MINI One, Cooper, One D and Cooper D hardtops and is highlighted by unique Rooftop Grey metallic paint with black bonnet stripes. Black 16-inch 6-star wheels and black mirror caps with some neat V-shape design top off exterior enhancements. Cloth and leather seats are available with certain exclusive materials and patterns for an unmistakably British ambience (minus seal leaks) (I hope). [singlepic id=3327 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3326 w=320 h=240 float=] The Bayswater edition is available on the MINI Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper D and Cooper SD hardtop models and is unique with its Kite Blue metallic paint and the new bonnet stripes which kind of resembles trendy athletic clothing. 17-inch Sandblast wheels, a black top and black mirror caps with unique striping that matches the ones on the bonnet also make the cut. Inside, leather seats with the exclusive Rocklite Anthracite color variant and contrast stitching make you feel like you walked into an Adidas store. Piano Black trim pieces and aluminum pedals finish it off. Neither of these editions have prices yet and chances are it won’t even come across the pond. Nevertheless, you can expect to see these rolling around London before the Olympic Games start this July.

Two Special Editions for the BMW 1 Series

While we wait for the next, redesigned generation of the BMW 1-Series, Munich is giving us a few more updates to it before it’s gone for good. While BMW is slightly updating its entire fleet for 2012, the 1-Series is getting a special edition or two, so I might as well you about it. [singlepic id=3331 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3324 w=320 h=240 float=] Buyers who can’t wait for the new 1er to arrive in the US (possibly by the end of this year) to show off a Roundel in their driveway will have two special edition models to choose from that apply to both coupes and convertibles: the Edition Exclusive and the Edition Sport. The Edition Exclusive features unique Mineral Grey Metallic paint (or any other standard color) with various chrome trim pieces to top it off. A wide range of alloy wheels that go up to 18-inch in size top off exterior enhancements. Inside, gray or black leather seats with contrast stitching and wood or aluminum trim pieces add typical touch of German classiness. The version most of us probably care about is the Edition Sport, which aims to highlight the 1’s athletic abilities using factory M Sport parts. The sport suspension, wheels and aero kit are included to help make it look and feel like something that was truly meant to make you feel alive. The Edition Sport is coated with the exclusive Carbon Black metallic paint and topped off by Shadow Line (glossy black) trim, black line tail lights and glossy black kidney grilles. Buyers also get to choose from 17 and 18-inch M Sport wheels that definitely won’t get stolen. The interior gets the M Sport treatment as well with a black leather M Sport wheel, aluminum pedals and black leather sport buckets with blue contrast stitching. No pricing info yet and both of these special edition models will start popping up in showrooms this spring.  

Real Life McLaren MP4-12C HS Spotted

[singlepic id=3325 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3330 w=320 h=240 ]   McLaren’s MP4-12C has apparently received quite the makeover as a newer, higher performance version was recently spotted in Miami of all places. This unique variant, called the MP4-12 HS (“High Sport”), is believed by some to be part of a project by McLaren Special Operations that was launched at last year’s Concours d’Elégance. However, YouTuber Jodito20 caught one in action in Miami and was reportedly told by employees at a local dealership that it was not part of the McLaren Special Operations at all, even though it has many resemblances compared to the concept they showed at Pebble Beach. Right now the only thing we know for certain is that just 5 will ever exist, and it’s even faster and more extreme than the standard car. A new aero kit derived from the MP4-12C GT3 racecar with lots of carbon fiber bits adds vital down force. That extra down force is necessary for the rumored 667 horsepower (75 more than the standard car) that the 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 now makes with the boost dial turned up. Even though we’re still trying to figure out exactly what the hell this car is all about, at least we have pictures and video to drool over. Second image is a still from a video by Jodito20 which shows details of the car. Check out the video here if you haven’t already. Source: GTSpirit

Shelby GT500 Test Mule For Sale

Ford is giving its fans a rare opportunity to buy an abused Mustang a racetrack durability car used to develop the 2013 Shelby GT500, you know, the one with 650 horsepower and a supposed 200 mph top speed. Yes, that one. [singlepic id=2705 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=2706 w=320 h=240 ]   According to Ford, the car was built in 2007 and was one of the first to sport the new bod style of the 2010 model. Then it went off to Sebring for a 24 hour endurance test where it ran continuously at speeds up to 150 mph. It also spent many hours on Ford’s own test track to make sure the production pony was up to the task. Now, they’re giving one lucky (filthy rich) person a chance to own it by putting it up for auction at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. Even though the winning bidder will probably be spending Lamborghini money on an abused Mustang that isn’t even road legal, some if not all proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Interested? The auction will take place on Saturday, January 21st.    

Spyker in Danger of Going Under with Saab

Possibly the worst automotive story of 2011 was Saab’s bankruptcy, which upset a great number of auto enthusiasts around the world. However, Saab’s bankruptcy might just be the beginning as Swedish Automobiles NV (Swan) revealed that they are still looking to sell the Spyker brand, a Dutch supercar company that makes some of the coolest, most unique exotic cars on the planet, before they go belly up and take Spyker with them. The sale (or lack thereof) of Spyker will perhaps be the pivotal moment of Swan’s future. Right now Swan is still deep in the red and there doesn’t seem to be enough interest from anyone else in buying Spyker. If Swan can’t generate enough cash out of a sale or come to some other agreement soon, they won’t last till the end of the year and neither will Spyker. That makes me a bit sad, really.

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