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:
Porsche drops cylinders and adds numbers to the new 718 Boxster
Jaguar confirms 200 mph super F-Type is coming with new images
BMW reveals two special liveries for the M6 GTLM race cars
Opel shows off GT Concept, suggests they can still be cool
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles shifts focus to more trucks and SUVs
DeLorean Motor Company will be selling DMC-12s again soon… probably
Hooniverse will be at the Rolex 24!
What’s your automotive news?
Porsche 718 Boxster
Porsche’s not-million-dollar mid-engine roadster is getting a pretty substantial update for the 2017 model year. The popular Porsche Boxster lives on as the 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S featuring a new-ish name, revised styling, and some new hardware underneath it all. Both versions are on sale now and will arrive in dealerships in late June of this year.
Starting with the name change, Porsche’s reasoning for appending ‘718’ to the Boxster’s nameplate is to pay homage to Porsche 718 race car which won numerous races in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The original 718 ran with a flat-four cylinder engine mounted in the middle of the chassis, so them bringing that number back can only mean one thing…
The 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S are now powered by all-new turbocharged flat-four cylinder engines. One is a 2.0-liter unit with 300 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (718 Boxster) and the other is a 2.5-liter version with 350 horsepower and 309 lb-.ft. of torque (718 Boxster S). When equipped with PDK and Sport Chrono, the 718 Boxster runs the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.5 seconds and the 718 Boxster S runs the same in an impressive four seconds flat.
Supporting the 718’s higher power outputs are fully reworked suspension and braking systems which lay the foundation for enhanced driving pleasure. Of course, they use the words “driving pleasure” for a car which has electric power steering… it’s “10% more direct” than the last system they used for the Boxster, but take that as you will. Another big first for the Boxster is the available Porsche Active Suspension Management which includes a reduced ride height and active (adjustable) suspension.
In terms of styling, it may not look almost entirely new, but it almost entirely is. Sort of. It’s about as new-looking as a Porsche can be these days. Every part of the exterior has been changed with the exception of the boot lid, windshield, and the retractable cloth top. Everything else is more sculpted/sharper and more muscular to hopefully make it more appealing to more buyers. It gets new Bi-Xenon headlights with optional four-point daytime running lights and out back it features “3D LED technology” in the taillights plus a new horizontal strip of what I assume are taillights as well.
The 718 also gets an updated cabin with an all-new instrument panel and now standard Porsche Communication Management.
Pricing for the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S starts at $56,000 and $68,400, respectively.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
When Jaguar Land Rover launched their Special Vehicle Operations, a special division whose sole purpose in life was to create a range of high(er) performance production models, create personalization products, and produce limited-run models for both brands, the Jaguar F-Type was one of if not the first product to get their attention. They’re still in the process of delivering the 250 F-Type Project 7s they sold, but they’ve already chosen to make another limited-run, high-powered F-Type that’s arguably more crazy than the last.
Say hello to the Jaguar F-Type SVR – “a 200 mph, all-weather supercar”. It’s lighter, faster, and more powerful and it takes performance, dynamics, and driver involvement to a new level. Because it’s a Jaguar, they also claim it’ll still be usable every day and will still be available as a convertible so you can enjoy its new titanium exhaust system.
Other than 200 mph, coupe and convertible, and titanium exhaust, that’s all we know about the Jaguar F-Type SVR itself. It’ll make its formal debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1st but will have its full technical details released on February 17th. Sales are expected to commence this summer.
BMW M6 GTLM liveries
Just days before the start of racing season in America, BMW revealed two commemorative liveries for the new M6 GTLM cars that they’ll be running in this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. There’s plenty for BMW to commemorate this year because it’s their centenary, so both liveries honor the past and look towards the next 100 years of BMW.
BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will be running two brand-new M6 GTLM racecars this season: the #25 M6 and the #100. The 25 car’s livery depicts images of historically significant Roundel-branded racecars including the BMW 3.0 CSL (which gave them their first win in the US), the BMW M1, the BMW V12 LMR which won Le Mans and Sebring, and the BMW M3 GT which won all possible championships in the 2011 ALMS season – even I remember that one. It’s fitting that the driver who raced the V12 LMR and the M3 GT, Bill Auberlen, gets to drive this particular car.
The other car is also very interesting. The #100 M6 GTLM wears a livery which, as they say, looks to the future. It’s dominated by a lattice work design, the meaning of which BMW will reveal in March. The lattice work is done in a fancy new 3D effect with reflective colored vinyl, making it literally glow under the track lights at night. It sounds cheesy, but I expect it to look pretty freakin’ awesome when it debuts at the Rolex 24 this weekend – I’ll know because I’ll be there!
BMW Team RLL will run both cars in these liveries for the entire 2016 IMSA WeatherTech season.
Opel is tugging at our heart strings with the Opel GT Concept, seen here before it’s Geneva Motor Show debut. This concept car is absolutely worth mentioning because its one of those concept cars where only a quick glance is needed to realize what it’s supposed to be – a sign for a potential Opel GT comeback. It’s not too over the top (minus the red tires) and it looks exactly how you’d expect a modern Opel GT to appear in showrooms today. Opel has not confirmed any plans to produce it, but I get the feeling they really want to with this one. It would theoretically be a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with the turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-three cylinder engine from the Astra. It wouldn’t be the fastest thing in the world, but it would surely be entertaining. We can only hope something as well done as this gets the honor of seeing production… in a perfect world, I guess.
[Source: Opel via Autoweek]
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is shaking up their corporate strategy again and it affects all their brands, some of them in big ways. FCA is betting that our low gas prices will continue to stay low enough for SUV and truck sales to surge again and they’re increasing production capacity to build more of them. It seems their passenger cars will take a backseat in this plan; the new Alfa Romeo Giulia is expected to enter production by this March, but their plans to axe the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart were all but confirmed. Ha. Haha. The only new debuts that aren’t trucks or SUVs they hinted at were some specialty cars and a hatchback for Alfa Romeo by 2020. So in a nutshell, FCA (which totally sounds like a government agency or something) will be shifting focus to their successful SUVs and trucks than anything. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see how it pays off for ’em.
[Source: FCA via Autoweek]
DeLorean is maybe probably coming back actually for real this time. The DeLorean Motor Company was revived in 1995 and has been trying to figure out a strategy for a proper comeback for at least a decade now. They’ve built up a restoration and parts business, but you couldn’t buy the “new” turnkey replica they’d been wanting to sell all along – until now. A recent law which makes vintage car replicas exempt from national safety standards has allowed them to finally bring the DMC-12 back to the market. When speaking to Autoweek, DMC confirmed that they’d have to use an approved, current production engine. Right now the Chevy-sourced LS3 is at the top of their list and they’re in talks to secure a V6 of some sort. The styling will not be tampered with and the interior will be made more user-friendly and comfortable. Pricing should be less than $100,000 if all goes to plan.
[Source: DMC via Autoweek]
Hooniverse will be at the Rolex 24! And by “Hooniverse” I mean me! As this post goes live, a friend and I should still be alive after driving down through the night and we’ll be there Friday through Sunday. I’ll try to stay awake for the entire 24 hour race… but I know it won’t happen. If you’re there this weekend and want to see me exhausted and probably a little drunk, hit me up on Twitter @GregCKach or email email@example.com and we’ll try to arrange a little meetup. I’ll have beer.
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]