For the first time in 2016, welcome to the Hooniverse News! After a short break in automotive news, things are already picking up in the new year and it’s great to be back. Some things may change during the new year, but this won’t… unless I think of something else to do. 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:
Chevrolet’s first real EV is here.
The Cruze Hatch is real, gorgeous, and coming to America.
Hyundai Ioniq looks to be a serious Prius competitor after all.
Too much practicality this week? Have a Pagani.
What’s your automotive news?
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
Less than a year ago, Chevrolet revealed a compact, all-electric concept car that they promised would become a production-bound electric car for the masses. GM was at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to deliver on that promise by revealing the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. It’s real, it’s affordable (relatively speaking), and it’s coming by the end of the year.
The Bolt isn’t GM’s first electrified car by any means, but it’s their first fully-electric car built upon their electric vehicle architecture. That means the Bolt was built from the ground up specifically for all-electric goodness which is something no other production Chevrolet before it could claim. This platform could potentially open the door for a greater variety of EV models in the future and in fact I’d expect nothing less.
As for the Bolt itself, it’s a five-door compact with seating for five and deep storage in the rear thanks to the lack of moving parts taking up space in the undercarriage. It will offer “more than” 200 miles of driving range. So, like, 201 miles then? Either way, that’s double the range of the Nissan LEAF.
It’ll also be priced very competitively with an expected MSRP of $37,500 – so about $30,000 after the government’s “thank you for saving the north pole”’ rebates kick in.
You’re not just paying for the electric drivetrain and a body with that either. The rest of the car will be armed to the teeth with tech features ranging from a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment center, surround vision, low-energy Bluetooth integration (minimizes energy draw) which quickly connects a smart phone as the owner approaches the car, built-in WiFi hotspot, and EV-optimized navigation (takes you on the most efficient routes).
Another neat feature that will eventually debut in the Bolt is a sort of “gamification” where Chevrolet turns efficient driving into a connected competition among other Bolt/GM EV drivers so you can get owned by 1337EVdrivr and brag about sleeping with someone else’s mom. I’ve played enough XBOX Live to know at least one person will find a way to abuse it.
[Source: Chevrolet, Autoweek]
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch
In the latest and most convincing attempt to prove GM still takes hatchbacks seriously, Chevrolet unveiled the new 2017 Cruze Hatch the week before its official debut at the North American International Auto Show. The most important thing to know about this car besides the fact that it exists is that it is coming to America for once.
The 2017 Cruze Hatch shares its underpinnings and hardware with the all-new Cruze sedan unveiled last year but offers buyers a more functional and arguably prettier choice. Much of the body is the same of course, but a new roof, tail light design, and integrated spoiler at the top of the liftgate are unique to the Hatch. That’s enough to make this hatchback look really good to at least one hoon. The new rear end structure opens up 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats which increases to 47.2 cubic feet when they’re folded.
Chevrolet will offer the Cruze Hatch in two trim levels and with an RS appearance package which appears to be equipped on the car pictured. The standard engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with direct injection and stop/start technology. Efficiency is boosted by an electric power steering system and handling is optimized by an available Z-link rear suspension. This all is nicely complemented by the dramatic weight reduction brought by the new lighter and more rigid architecture the Cruze is built on. At least in the sedan model, they shaved more than 200 pounds compared to the previous model.
Other features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, driver assistance systems, Teen Driver system (the thing that narcs on your new driver in the family), heated steering wheel, and LED lighting aim to make the Cruze Hatch as pleasant as it is useful.
Pricing isn’t available yet but you can expect it to go on sale this fall.
If there’s anything the world needs in this day in age, it’s more Prius competitors. That’s just the thing Hyundai is teasing this week with a batch of photos that seems to show everything but its face and some preliminary specs. The Hyundai Ioniq as it’s called should debut sometime early in the auto show season if not next week, but here’s what we know so far.
The Ioniq will be built with efficiency in mind starting from its very core. It’ll be built on a new lightweight yet strong platform comprised of 53% high-strength steel combined with aluminum wherever possible. Further weight was saved by making non-structural components like the hood and tailgate from aluminum as well. The car’s structure allows for the batteries to be mounted low and forward, which Hyundai claims to greatly improve the car’s ride and handling and put it a step above competitors.
Ioniq will feature a choice of EV, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid powertrains, a first for a single model. The plugless hybrid will be the first Ioniq to market and the only powertrain details we have so far relate to that. The Ioniq Hybrid will receive gas power from a new 1.6-liter Kappa GDI engine which boasts the world’s highest thermal efficiency at 40%. That’s joined by the Lithium Ion Polymer Battery powering a permanent magnetic electric motor. Between both units, the Ioniq can summon about 147 horsepower which gets transferred through a dual-clutch cog box.
We’ll get more info on their Prius fighter closer to the car’s launch, but I can already say with confidence that it’ll be better simply because they’ve actually put the gauge cluster directly in front of the driver. *Glares at Toyota angrily*
Something wicked this way comes from Pagani
And now for something completely different, Pagani. The super exclusive Italian marque welcomed the new year by releasing a teaser image of what can only be a more powerful, more extreme, probably less road legal Huayra presumedly due sometime within the next year. It could be something along the lines of the also wicked Pagani Zonda R which was radical even by Pagani’s standards. There were no details in the Facebook post but the implication is clear… Pagani are going crazy again and nobody should stop them. More as we have it…
[Source: Pagani on Facebook via Autoblog]
What’s your automotive news?
New year, new picture. Okay, so one thing’s changed already. Sort of.
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]