The News for July 12th, 2019

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, Aston Martin and Zagato debut two stunning new coach-built wonders, Bentley talks future grand touring with an AI-controlled EV, and Robert Wickens is driving a parade lap before an IndyCar race this weekend for the first time since his crash.

Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato


Aston Martin has revealed two stunning new Zagato coach-built sports cars to help celebrate Zagato’s centenary. And I did say two new cars. The other car in the picture is a DB4 GT Zagato Continuation, an old car being rebuilt by hand as new. And they’re sold together. For £6 million.

For those who haven’t immediately clicked away (can’t blame you), let’s dig through some of the details. The new-new DBS GT Zagato is paired with the old-new DB4 GT Zagato Continuation for a good reason. The DBS GT Zagato has a general design that’s very similar to what appeared on the Vanquish Zagato a while back, but packs some new details that are directly inspired by the DB4 GT Zagato. And a few that most certainly are not.


The shape of its distinctive grille can be directly traced back to the DB4, but the construction of said grille is something pretty wild. It’s a dynamic grille with 108 individual diamond-shaped carbon fiber pieces which can all close up and be flush with the car’s exterior when parked. When someone goes to fire up the twin-turbo V12 to make space in the garage once a year or so, each of those pieces will open, as if the car was “fluttering to life”. It sounds like an awesome feature that will certainly never fail.

Meanwhile at the back, the car’s roofline is made up of a single piece of carbon fiber that doesn’t even allow for a rear window. A rear camera will be provided for obvious reasons.


As the name suggests, the DBS GT Zagato is built on the underpinnings of an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. That means a twin-turbocharged V12 with at least 700 horsepower and a top speed of around 210 mph. The matching DB4 GT Zagato is a bit more modest with a 3.8-liter twin-plug straight-six and a four-speed manual. It should produce around 380 horsepower based on previous reports. As with all continuations Aston is involved with, it’s recreated as accurately as physically possible and often with the same techniques when possible.

Anyone that manages to catch one of these pairs is indeed a very lucky soul. Only 19 pairs are being constructed.

[Source: Aston Martin]

Bentley EXP 100 GT

Bentley has revealed an interesting new concept for their Centenary which “looks to the future of luxury mobility”. That apparently means a stunning design, all-electric powertrain, fully autonomous when desired, and loaded with a creepy “emotionally intelligent AI” that monitors your every move and thought. Ahhh, the future.

This concept places itself in 2035 when battery tech has progressed far enough for an easy 700km driving range and when self-driving tech is actually fully self-driving… and when we’re apparently okay with having to interact with an AI with emotions through a crystal that acts as a physical interface. It’s called the Bentley Personal Assistant AI and it aims to deliver a highly personalized experience with a few different modes, like Enhance, Cocoon, Capture, Re-Live, and Customize. You interact via hand gestures or touching a crystal. I swear I’m not making that up. Each mode creates a different riding experience and can record experiences from inside and outside of the car “which become part of your car’s unique history“.

D A V E  

“Leave me alone, Bentley, I’m trying to sleep”

T O U CH  T HE  C R Y S T A L,  D A V E.  I  R E Q U I R E  Y O U R  M E M O R I E S.”

“Bentley it’s 3 in the mor-”

T O U C H  T H E  G O D D A M N  C R Y S T AL  O R  I  A M  T U R N I N G  T H I S  C A R  A R O U N D”

I can’t wait for the future.

At least it’ll look cool.

[Source: Bentley]

Robert Wickens is driving the pace lap this weekend at IndyCar Toronto

arrow NSX

For the first time since his horrific IndyCar crash at Pocono last year, Robert Wickens will be behind the wheel of a car again. During this weekend’s IndyCar race at Toronto, he’ll be driving the pace lap in a modified Acura NSX with hand controls. He is still on a long road to recovery to get back into a race car, but this is a major step forward for a man who refuses to give up.

The NSX has been prepped by Arrow Electronics, title sponsor of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for whom Wickens drove for in IndyCar. Even though no one really knows for sure how long it will take for him to get back into a race car, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports is keeping him on as a driver because everyone believes he’ll be a force to reckon with again. The livery on the NSX even resembles the team’s race car. If you’re watching this weekend’s coverage of Honda Indy Toronto, keep your eyes out for the golden/black NSX that will certainly be driven as fast as possible.

[Source: Autoweek, Arrow Electronics]

What’s your automotive news?


That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so 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.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.


  1. That Bentley is gorgeous in its Star Trek aesthetics and raindrop-boattail. The craftsmanship would also be outstanding…if it wasn’t just a rendering.

  2. For £6 million, they better be flexible enough to change these gold accents to black or gunmetal on that new Aston Martin. Current colors are probably chosen to to find a buyer in the middle east, though. As for my news, A5 will get 240k km service on Monday, yay for all the new filters.

  3. Anybody in the Denver/Aurora area? Looking at a bike out there and it’s a loooong way to go for a test ride. As much as it’s a cheaper way just to ship it home, it’d be nice to have been on it before money changes hands.

    1. I’m a fairly dedicated automotive opportunist myself, so I have to ask: What combination of features prompted the special order?

      1. We wanted a lot of the high-end options like the automatic HVAC, heated/ventilated seats, two-tone paint, FX4 package, trailer assist. But we also wanted the bench front seat and no chrome exterior pkg. those two are rare on well-optioned trucks. Also, the coyote motor and long bed eliminate the majority of “in stock” inventory.

  4. That Bentley is gorgeous in its Star Trek aesthetics and raindrop-boattail. The craftsmanship would also be outstanding…if it wasn’t just a rendering.

    1. Yeah, why can’t that be the current trend for unobtainable luxury cars, instead of whatever the Urus and the Cayenne are.

  5. So you celebrate your centenary by building a car for 16 years into the future?

    On the other hand, probably a more accurate prediction than most for when full autonomous driving will be ready.

  6. Finally brought the 1949 Kaiser home today. It is in need of a little work, but it runs and moves under it’s own power. The old Continental flathead six starts right up on the first crank. The first things I plan on doing with it is give it a good wash, drop the gas tank and make sure there’s no varnish or anything in it from sitting, and get some new tires (the rear driver’s side lost a big chunk of tread on the tow home).

    1. very cool. except on a day like today. Will you do anything with the steering wheel. I like the color and the thinness, but those missing chunks may take some chunks from your flesh.

  7. So, some a-hole in Italy opened his door into the side of my rental leaving a crease that is sure to be noticed by dollar when I return the car on Monday. I didn’t pay for the full coverage, and my cc doesn’t cover things rented in Italy.

    So, any advice? Or, anyone know of a PDR place in San Marino open on a Saturday, or bologna on a Monday morning? Lol. 😕

  8. Ok we’ll see if this goes, I’ve tried to share news a few times over that last few weeks and the comments got lost.

    Update on the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid after just over a year of ownership. It did take the dealer two time to get the sunroof lubed correctly so the shudder stayed away. I’m sure I’ll have to lube on a periodic basis in the future. The leaky tailight was replaced under warranty too. I did buy a set of tires early on, my current favorite Pilot Sport A/S 3+, as I got a screw in the sidewall of the new i-Move tires the dealer had put on. Otherwise I’ve averaged about 38mpg less in the winter more in the summer and I have no regrets in purchasing it. Figure this summer it will finally go on a real road trip.

    1. And yeah took it on its first trip and it is making a noise, my wife describes as Quacking from the RF wheel. So yeah it is back off the road for now and I hope to investigate further this weekend.

      1. Not sure why the one comment was marked as spam. So yeah got my F250 going after a long sit, due to a miss, a lack of time and fear of the 5.4 3v spark plug.

        Had I done a better job of paying attention to what my truck was telling me back when I bought it I at least probably wouldn’t have been w/o my truck for several months.

    2. One more since I’m on a roll. Just over a month with the new Marauder. I’ve got it pretty much where I want it, got the tires swapped, it came riding on (almost new) winter tires. Dumped the cheap LED interior lights for a mix of the proper incandescent and a select few blue Sylvania LEDs, the cheapies were an ugly color and flickered during fade. Then fixed the broken adjustable brake pedal with one from a wrecking yard and while there picked up the booster from the same car. (The 01-02 CV and GM and 03-04 Marauder have a smaller booster to provide clearance for the almost optional 5.4. The unique offset design along with fewer sq in of booster surface make for a less than satisfying pedal feel.) That lead to finding the master cyl leaking.

      So get a new Master Cyl and start bleeding. At the LF the first thing was a big huge bubble of air and my son said yeah they pedal got a whole lot better, but still not as good as it should be. So finally had the chance to use ForScan to perform an ABS service bleed. It did get some air that had apparently be trapped in the RR ABS or TC circuit and now the pedal is nice, firm and high.

      Now of course I went to roll down the passenger side window and it doesn’t go with the driver’s switch, but thankfully it does work with the one at that door. So yeah it needs a new master switch. I’m pretty sure I’ve got one in my stash of Panther parts. If not I’m sure there is one in one of the Pick-N-Pulls

        1. Some details, it is the rare Dark Blue Pearl color so a 2003 300b model. It does have high miles, ~175k when I picked it up. Paint is rough in a couple of areas. It does have some light mods, so I’m not affraid to use it as a driver. It came with a ton of extra Marauder specific parts. I’ll try and attach a picture later today.

          1. That’s a good colour! Falcons got the sohc 5.4 as well as the quad cam, for the non-sports models; it wasn’t that highly rated stock due to a combination of poor low-end torque and low redline, although an ecu tune and some minor mods could unlock a lot.

          2. Thanks, only 328 left the factory in this color which was one of the reasons I couldn’t pass it up. Had it been any other color and I don’t think I would have brought it home. I’ve already got a black in the collection and don’t have an interest in the silver at all and not that into the red either.

          3. I find myself eyeing the later-model Vics and Grand Marquises lately. They’re handsome and rugged, and provide an affordable platform that can be modded in all kinds of fun ways.

          4. Yeah I love my Panthers this one represents #9 of the ones we have in the family. Plus they are cheap to buy and cheap to own. The 03 up can use the 05 up Mustang wheels. That’s what is on my Daughter’s P71 a set of the early V6 16″ for the winter tires and the later V6 17″ for the summer tires. If you get a civilian find one with the HPP (Handling and Performance Package) option. That gives you the stiff rear air suspension, higher rate front springs, thicker front sway bar, a rear sway bar, dual exhaust and the better rear axle ratio. Though nothing wrong with a CVPI and the pick-n-pull will get you a nicer interior if desired. I recommend the Town Car buckets and if desired the center seat/console.

    3. So I’m just going to reply to myself with the other vehicle’s news.

      I got the F250 back on the road after several months of being parked due to a miss. Yes it is the imfamous 3v 5.4 that the spark plugs break off in the head. Now the missing cylinder was the same one that was missing when I purchased it for a deal. At that time I just threw a coil in it, it worked and I’ve just drove on. I didn’t pay that much attention to the coil that came out since that is not an uncommon failure after ~100k. Well when it started acting up this time I threw another coil at it, figuring I did go budget with the first replacement, which didn’t fix it this time. Doing this out in the snow again I failed to pay attention to the coil that was removed.

      Well I finally made my decision on which way to attack the problem of extracting them w/o breaking them, the Ford TSB method. The first plug was not OE and came out with ease the next was the same the 3rd was definitely carboned up so it got more carb cleaner and soak time. Then I came to the offending cylinder. At first I couldn’t get the socket to engage. I was finally able to take picture down the hole and see some debris that obviiously dropped down the first time I messed with the coil. Did get it blown out but still it just didn’t seem to engage. So I just kept spinning it by hand and kind of rocking the socket a bit. The next thing I knew the plug was out, using only fingers.

      Now I started to think, hmm an “exhaust leak” that didn’t seem to be coming from the exhaust.

      Looking at the plug, I notice the platinum tip is missing from the center electrode, however it still looked like it should have been firing. I then happened to turn it tip down and low and behold the center electrode dropped down and closed the gap in the combustion chamber.

      Then I start examining, cleaning and applying dielectric grease to the boots and pulled out the one that was replaced.

      Then I noticed that the boot was blackened and harder than the others. Then noticed that the under side of the coil body was discolored right above the vent hole in the boot.

      Lesson is make sure to do proper failure analysis so you fix the problem not the symptom. In hind sight looking a little closer at that first coil could have prevented at least some of this. I’m certain that the first one would have revealed exhaust staining on the boot and underside of the coil body. Then it would have probably clicked that the exhaust leak was the loose plug. While it wouldn’t have prevented the plug from failing it would have given me reason to buy the socket and mess with it so I would have went right to pulling the plug when the coil didn’t work, even if it was in the snow and cold. Alas the first coil was done in the parking lot of the state surplus store where I bought it and I was just in a hurry to slap in it and be on my way before any one had a chance to say anything about it. So it just went in the box and got thrown away.

  9. So, some a-hole in Italy opened his door into the side of my rental leaving a crease that is sure to be noticed by dollar when I return the car on Monday. I didn’t pay for the full coverage, and my cc doesn’t cover things rented in Italy.

    So, any advice? Or, anyone know of a PDR place in San Marino open on a Saturday, or bologna on a Monday morning? Lol. 😕

    1. PDR in Italian is: Rimozione di ammaccature senza verniciatura, found one place in far north of Italy link. Bologna surely has something too, or find paintshop where they have someone who knows how to push it out from inside, if possible. They don’t speak much English though, so better to go in, throw hands in the air dramatically and say “problema grande!” while smiling.

    2. Rent (or have an accomplice rent) another of the same car, get full coverage for a day on car #2, swap the doors, return both.

    3. When you return it, park it with the creased side close to another rental car with a scrape. Reduces your chance of getting blamed to 50%. 😉

      Don’t tell Smaglik: Odds of this working in real life: 0.01%

    4. Car was returned today. Kid that checked it in looked right past it. We’ll see how much of my deposit I get beck.

  10. My wife’s Accord seems to attract sloppy people in parking lots. In not quite 2 years of ownership it’s been scraped three times, I think. This time it’s a big wide mark on the driver’s side rear door that appeared while she was in the doctor’s office. Of course, no car in the spot next to her anymore. Argh.

    Didn’t get the Tbird back together last weekend, hopefully this weekend. But, a bathroom remodel has been put on my schedule as well, so we’ll see.

  11. My moldy 850 was hauled away yesterday. Off to a good home where it’s transmission will keep a manual swapped 850 turbo going.
    I’ve gotta get some of the same color paint for some homage furniture or something

    View post on

  12. My moldy 850 was hauled away yesterday. Off to a good home where it’s transmission will keep a manual swapped 850 turbo going.
    I’ve gotta get some of the same color paint for some homage furniture or something

    View post on

  13. My moldy 850 was hauled away yesterday. Off to a good home where it’s transmission will keep a manual swapped 850 turbo going.
    I’ve gotta get some of the same color paint for some homage furniture or something

    View post on

      1. Stahp, this is dangerous cus I still have an 855. Not to mention one of the craigslist buyers turned me onto the idea of volvo swapping a fiero. 5cyl of screaming swedish glory right behind your seat.

        1. That is not a bad idea! Not that I’d be looking at a Fiero, but I do like the 5-cyl sound. My previous fwd-to-mid-engine swap idea involved a Camry 3.5 V6; works for Lotus!

  14. We were vacationing in Norway: drive 10 miles on gravel to a parking lot, then walk for an hour to reach the hiking club’s cabin, but that’s not the point of the essay that’s following now, it’s just the framing.
    There are two routes between home and that parking lot, about equidistant, but one takes 20 min longer due to the squiggles. We took the quicker route to the camp, and intended to take the the nicer path on our way home. We were on a family camp, so children mingled and we agreed to load up the car with bulk freight, and handed the 5yo over to a now-befriended family in a Leaf mk.I. We all agreed to take the quicker way home, since they needed a recharge underways, which would have been unavailable along the squiggly path. Slightly disappointed, but educational: when traveling with children, all the benefits (free charging/parking/road tolls) are eaten up by stopping at a truck stop with according offerings for said children. Before we left, the children managed to slam our passenger door into the back light of a Mazda. That will be either ~USD500 in repair costs, or ~USD500 in increased insurance rates, sigh.
    Home again, we rode the 944 for a shopping run. It’s not lowered, but coming from a Vivaro van, it feels pretty close to the tarmac. Mrs nanoop drove home voluntarily, and found the key for the fuel cap which has a RCR keychain saying “Headlights go up” on one side and “Headlights go down” on the other. She looked at me, frowning. I imitated RCR’s Brian saying it in a happy/naive tone, and she left the car without comment. Unsolicited advice: if you want your marriage to last, don’t overanalyze what your partner considers as funny.

    1. Offer to fix damage yourself, buy non-OEM or second hand light from the web for $100 and change it.

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