Welcome to the Hooniverse News – Slow News Week edition! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry, or whatever I could find, without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
Viper production resumes, is then halted again
Callaway tunes the Stingray for an interesting Z06 alternative
Volvo details the new XC90’s innovative powertrain
Acura prices the 2015 TLX
Super special bonus video!
Dodge Viper production resumed, then halted
Back in March, the formerly separate SRT brand announced they were cutting production of the SRT Viper for two full months starting in April due to slow sales and rising unsold inventory. About 90 employees at the Conner Avenue assembly plant would be cut as well according to the solemn announcement. That two months crept by and fortunately production resumed late last month as SRT, who are now a part of Dodge again, promised. Fast-forward to this week in July, however, and the news gets bad again. Effective immediately,
SRT Dodge Viper production has been put on another hiatus, but this time for just two weeks. For now. According to this announcement, brought to us by Jeff’s buddies at Autoblog, this means that Viper production should resume by July 21st at the same pace it was already at before the plant was idled. The first production hiatus was done to help ease the burden of overstock on dealerships, who reported over 750 unsold cars as of March shortly before the first shutdown. Selling at a rate of roughly 30 cars a month at the time (I guess nobody buys Vipers in winter), production could have been halted well into 2015 without struggling to keep up with demand. We don’t have updates on those figures yet, but if they had to halt production again just a few weeks after resuming, it’s probably not much better. Hopefully this means you can still buy a Viper for a more reasonable price, but somehow I doubt it. [Source: Autoblog]
Callaway tunes C7 Stingray
Can’t wait any longer for the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06? Callaway would like to show you something. The legendary Corvette tuner has released info on a package available for the new Corvette Stingray which just might be enough to win over some of the people waiting in line for the Z06. For their appropriately titled SC627 performance package, Callaway starts off with the same 6.2-liter V8 in the standard Stingray but then throws on a 2.3-liter supercharger featuring a new intake manifold design, a new intercooler with three liquid-to-air cooling elements, and other small engineering tricks which produce big results. Big as in 627 horsepower and 610 lb.-ft. of torque using the same SAE-certified calculations which Chevrolet uses. Through their own calculations, Callaway claims up to 657 horsepower and 639 lb.-ft. of torque. That power combined with suspension upgrades that Callaway also offers could prove to be a potent combination. Would anyone be willing to pass on the Z06, which does offer marginally more power, for the chance to own a Callaway sooner? The Callaway SC627 costs $22,995 but you have to provide the Stingray. [Source: Callaway via Autoweek]
Volvo XC90 powertrain revealed
This week, everyone’s favorite Swedish brand revealed the all-new Volvo XC90… ‘s powertrain! Volvo’s bread and butter SUV will be a seven-seat, all-wheel drive, twin-engine family hauler when it eventually hits showrooms. Sometime before then we’ll be shown the exterior for the first time to go along with the interior which they’ve already teased in recent weeks. Driving all four wheels on the new XC90 are two motors – one gas, one electric. The gas motor is a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder which features both a supercharger and a turbocharger. Why? Because race Volvo. The some 320 horsepower four-banger powers the front wheels while an 80 horsepower (60 kW) electric motor powers the rear. When both motors work in unison, total system output is 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque. The result of this setup is instant torque from the electric motor, low-range power from the supercharger, and then a surge of power as the revs increase. The electric motor can drive the car entirely on its own for up to 25 miles in city driving. Volvo’s most efficient full-size SUV can be made even more efficient with one of two available diesel engines, including a twin-turbo diesel with 225 horsepower and 347 lb.-ft. of torque for 47 mpg combined and a turbo diesel with 190 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Volvo didn’t mention if those diesels would be available with the electric motor as well, but we can only hope. Interestingly enough, Volvo also claim that cargo space has not been severely impacted by the addition of extra batteries. We’ll know if they’re bluffing when we finally get to see the full thing in the coming months. [Source: Volvo]
2015 Acura TLX priced
Good news! The Acura TLX has been priced and is ready for deliveries beginning in August! A base Acura TLX will start at $31,890 and will feature more standard equipment than the outgoing model, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 204 horsepower, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A check for $36,115, however, will net you a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower sending power to the front wheels through a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Another $6,000 adds all-wheel-drive to the V6 and a fancy technology package is available for an extra $4,000 on each trim level of the TLX. There are other details about this car at each trim level, but I’ll spare you the excitement. [Source: Acura]
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ4f-hlZGK4[/youtube] I hate slow news weeks. You, our dear readers, go through the trouble of clicking the link when your boss isn’t looking and expect the latest and greatest in the automotive industry but instead get… whatever I could find. So as a bonus for getting this far, here’s Kimi Raikkonen racing Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert, and Anthony Davidson. On race-prepped lawnmowers. I’m really not sure why either, but it’s an entertaining way to kill a few minutes on a Friday. Cheers! [Source: YouTube] As another bonus, do you have any automotive-related news to share, whether it’s a personal announcement or some other cool thing you found when surfing the interwebs this week? And yes, my news week really is this slow.