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:
Mini now offers the Clubman with all-wheel drive
BMW is bringing back the Competition Package in the M3 and M4
Aston Martin is giving someone the rare chance to own a DB10
Hyundai competitively prices the 2017 Elantra
Ford will give you your GT350R’s rear seat back for a price
What’s your automotive news?
Mini Clubman ALL4
“Oh gawd… it’s right behind me, isn’t it…”
If you’re interested in picking up Mini’s premium compact four-door Clubman but live in a place where people wear shorts in blizzards, Mini finally has the right Clubman for you. Mini has announced a new four-wheel-drive option will soon be available on the all-new Clubman.
The new generation of Mini AWD is called “ALL4” and promises to take you and your always-frightened-looking Clubman just about anywhere. It features electrohydraulic regulation and is both lighter and more efficient than Mini’s previous AWD offerings. Interconnection of the ALL4 control unit with the car’s Dynamic Stability Control system means it’ll also respond more quickly to changing terrain and road conditions as well as offer more grip and stability in the rare event that it’s driven spiritedly.
At launch, it will be available as the Mini Cooper Clubman ALL4 and the S Clubman ALL4. The standard car is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. The S is equipped with the latest generation Mini TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine (fancy way to say detuned BMW engine) with 189 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. 0-60 mph on this one takes as little as 6.6 seconds. Both engines can be paired with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
Apart from the shiny new all-wheel-drive system and the recycled engines, the Clubman ALL4 also benefits from standard Electronic Differential Lock Control and available Dynamic Damper Control along with a purposefully-tuned suspension optimized for ride comfort in all conditions.
Other than that, it’s the most comfortable and most practical Mini on the market. With the rear seats folded it offers 44 cubic feet of storage space and room for five adults otherwise. Being a company owned by BMW, Mini has access to some great tech features including an optional heads-up display, Parking Assistant, Comfort Access including hands-free operation of the rear split doors, and the latest infotainment system from the IT closet.
Pricing starts at $25,900 for the Clubman ALL4 and $29,450 for the S Clubman ALL4, not including destination charges. Order books open up this April.
BMW M3 and M4 Competition Package
[This actually debuted last week but got lost in all the Detroit Auto Show madness. Impeccable timing, BMW…]
BMW is bringing the Competition Package back to the M3/M4 options list starting this spring. The Competition Package is a comprehensive performance-oriented add-on which takes already stellar performance to a new level. It’s essentially bridging the gap between the standard M3/M4 and the more hardcore M4 GTS with more power, better suspension, and some new aesthetics.
The S55 twin-turbocharged straight-six engine being used by both the M3 and M4 receive a decent power boost with the Competition Package; when equipped, the S55 cranks out 444 horsepower (up from 425). When equipped with the still optional and still ridiculously quick seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission, the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe can do 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds (down from 3.9). The six-speed manual is still available with the Competition Package and that also sees a tenth-of-a-second improvement in 0-60 times.
Another major selling point for the Competition Package is the Adaptive M Suspension which has been freshly retuned with new springs, dampers, anti-roll bars, and reconfigured driving modes. The standard M differential and stability control have also been reworked for their new application. Stickier tires wrapped in lighter and more rigid twenty-inch alloy wheels mean drivers should see a dramatic improvement in handling. My short personal experience with the new M3 on track was impressive enough as it was, but with these additional enhancements in the chassis alone, the Competition Package sounds like a no-brainer for anyone in the market who takes their track driving seriously.
Special lightweight M sport seats are included on the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe Competition Package. Also included are woven-in M stripes on the seat belts. Other additions include a new exhaust system with black chrome tips, high-gloss Shadow Line (black) exterior trim, black kidney grilles, and at least another twenty ///M badges laying around.
The Competition Package commands another $5,500 to be equipped on the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. The M4 Convertible only requires another $5,000 for the package.
Aston Martin is giving the highest bidder the chance to own an Aston Martin DB10. The car created exclusively for James Bond has never been made available for private ownership until now. It’ll be auctioned off on February 18th to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders. This is a fully-functional movie car powered by a 4.7-liter V8 with an estimated top speed of 190 mph. It comes with a six-speed manual and a unique handmade interior. This is not, however, homologated, certified, or approved for use on any public roads nor has it been tested for crash safety. But if you’re fortunate enough to be able to drop the £1,000,000 it’s expected to fetch at auction, you can probably work around those limitations somehow.
[Source: Aston Martin]
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra will start at $17,150 when it hits showrooms later this month. The sixth-generation compact is all-new and better than ever with new efficient powertrains, better ride quality, and new standard features. At that price, you get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine providing 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque with a six-speed manual transmission (six-speed automatic is $1,000 extra), LED daytime running lights, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and hands-free trunk operation. Other options like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto through an eight-inch touchscreen, Infinity premium audio, Automatic Emergency Braking, and HID headlights are available as well. For a decent compact car to live with every day, you may not need to look any further than this. The Elantra is assembled in both Montgomery, Alabama and Ulsan, South Korea.
When the Ford Shelby GT350R was introduced, it had a rear seat delete for reduced weight. But now if you pay them enough, you’ll get it back. If you ever want to see the back seat that you never use again, put $999 in an envelope and drop it off at your local price-gouging Ford dealer. There’s obviously a bit of weight that’ll be thrown back into the car, but if you regain the ability to share the flat-plane crank V8 experience with three of your friends again it could be well worth it.
[Source: Ford via Autoweek | Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week. 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]