The News for July 18th, 2014

AMroadsterSlead 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:

  • Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster is the rag top of our dreams

  • Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG has V12 power that can move the earth

  • Mazda reveals the all-new Mazda 2

  • Ford confirms all the 2015 Mustang’s performance figures we care about

  • Ford to create F-35-inspired one-off 2015 Mustang

  • Dodge prices the Challenger SRT Hellcat

  • A special Tatra T77 is headed to Pebble Beach

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster

AMroadsterS What’s the logical thing to do when you’re Aston Martin and you’ve got a car as awesome as the V12 Vantage S? Make a roadster version, of course. The formula is pretty simple, but the results are still stunning. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster is mechanically identical to its hard-top sibling, which is to say it’s awesome. A 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated V12 is stuffed under the baby Aston’s hood by some kind of witchcraft and provides a select few with 565 horsepower and 457 lb.-ft. of torque to play with. The fastest roadster in Aston Martin history can complete the 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 201 mph, or whenever the driver’s hair blows away. On the bright side, hair blowing away won’t take away from the glorious V12 sound which can now be heard even more clearly with the top down and with the car’s new One-77-derived exhaust system. AMroadsterS2 Just as it is in the hardtop version, the only transmission available is a new Sportshift III automatic with paddle shifters. We’ll just have to dream about what a manual would be like in this car. Fortunately, those caught day-dreaming about having a manual transmission will be able to save their assets with powerful carbon-ceramic brakes. You’ll be able to recognize the V12 Vantage S Roadster by its black wheels, the black mesh grille, black painted rear fascia, and a bunch of carbon fiber exterior trim. More carbon fiber is also plastered to the interior along with special badges that let the world know you just bought the S. The 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster will go on sale later this year at an undisclosed price. Even though it’s still a few months out, one of us Hoons has already been invited to drive it and review it for our little site. Hint: It’s not me. Or Kamil. Or Robert. Or Antti. Or Jim, Chris, or Tim… [Source: Aston Martin via Autoweek]

Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe

S65_1 Were you one of the dozens of people who gazed upon the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and thought “I need more”? Do you gag at the thought of having to drive an S63 AMG Coupe with its peasant-class biturbo V8? Well you’re in luck, because Mercedes-Benz and their in-house performance brand AMG have revealed the S65 AMG Coupe for those that want more. And it’s immense. To give you an idea of how immense, let’s start with other versions of the S-Class Coupe which sit below the S65. The standard S550 Coupe is powered by a 449 horsepower biturbo V8, which is by no means under powered. Then there’s the S63 AMG, which is powered by a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 which produces 577 horsepower and 663 lb.-ft. of torque. That should be enough power to get the job done, no matter what that job is, right? Hell no. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe will be powered by a 6.0-liter biturbo V12 which delivers a ridiculous 621 horsepower and 738 lb.-ft. of torque. That basically makes this luxurious land yacht a Mustang away from a Bugatti Veyron. S652 This top-of-the-line silver arrow is propelled to 60 mph from a standstill in four seconds flat and won’t stop until it reaches its electronically-limited 186 mph top speed. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic, which I’m sure is the only transmission in the company that can handle that much power and torque. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some pretty wicked burnout videos of this thing pretty soon. Mercedes-Benz’s wonderfully-named “Magic Body Control” is included with the S65 and includes technology which scans the road ahead for curves and then makes the car “lean” into the corners for a more commanding driving experience. When it isn’t wearing its robe and wizard hat, the suspension’s stiffness is adjustable for different conditions and driving styles. Carbon ceramic discs are an optional extra on the S65 and probably a good one to have. The interior is of course as luxurious as you’d expect a really expensive Mercedes-Benz to be (we don’t have a confirmed MSRP yet, but you know they’ll ask a lot for it). We’ll get a better idea of pricing before its release later this year. [Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autoweek]

2016 Mazda 2

2016mazda2 Mazda has been hard at work refreshing and redesigning its entire lineup with their most current “Kodo” design language, which replaces the happy face and cartoonish proportions with a more mature and athletic profile. Their latest design language has already been seen on the CX-5, Mazda 3, and Mazda 6, but the Mazda 2 is just now getting the same treatment. Shown here in Japan-spec, the 2016 Mazda 2 takes the very best Kodo has to offer and applies it to the smallest car yet. The more serious and aggressive family face can look good on just about anything it seems. When it arrives in Japan later this year, it will be available with a 1.3-liter petrol and 1.5-liter diesel engine. The totes for serious Mazda 2 will hit US shores sometime this fall. [Source: Mazda via Autoweek]

2015 Ford Mustang performance specs

15FordMustang_14_HR When Ford showed the world the redesigned 2015 Mustang, some of the more important bits of information weren’t really covered in detail in their press releases. Full details on power outputs from its three engines, suspension enhancements, and the all important curb weight which the internet obsessed over for a few days are now available from the pony wrangler, so here’s a quick rundown… The 2015 Ford Mustang will be available with three engines at launch. The standard 3.6-liter V6 carries over from the old pony and remains the entry-level power plant with 300 horsepower on tap. The new middle child is Ford’s new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-banger, which brings turbocharging and direct injection to the Mustang as well as 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque – the best-ever power density from a Ford motor. Ford’s awesome 5.0-liter V8 also remains intact as the headliner for the non-Shelby/SVT Mustang but with a few updates of its own. Using some techniques learned from the recent Boss 302, it now makes 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Each engine is available with a standard six-speed manual – which apparently shifts smoother than ever before – or a six-speed automatic which now features paddle shifters and rev-matching. In addition to more powerful engines and better transmissions, the 2015 Mustang will also utilize independent front and rear suspension (which we already knew) and is built on a stronger and lighter platform. The results should make it the best-handling Mustang by far, and with three different brake packages available between each trim level, including six-piston Brembo calipers with 15″ front rotors (Mustang GT performance pack), it should also be the easiest to stop. Even though Ford mentioned the new Mustang’s platform is lighter, the actual car as a whole is a bit heavier than the previous generation. Due to the added weight of a better rear suspension, or something, the 2015 Mustang V6 fastback is 30 lbs. heavier with a manual (3,526) and 12 lbs. heavier with an automatic (3,530) compared to the 2014 model. The weight difference is more noticeable in the Mustang GT fastback, with 87 lbs. added with the manual-equipped car (3.705) and 54 lbs. added to the automatic (3,729). Ford still claims the Mustang is lighter than its competition. So there you go. The 2015 Ford Mustang’s power figures, handling enhancements, and weight gains are now official. Will you be standing in line at the dealership or at the rental car counter? [Source: Ford]


F35mustangalsodoesntfly Ford is creating a one-off 2015 Mustang inspired by Lockheed’s F-35 Joint-Strike Fighter which will be auctioned off to benefit charity. Similar stories to this have been covered here before as Ford’s partnership with EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI continues to spawn some crazy custom Mustangs. Each of the handful of custom Mustangs they’ve built over recent years, all with an aviation theme, have been auctioned off to benefit the EAA Young Eagles program, which has been inspiring young aviators since 1992. Ford has recently created one-off Mustangs to honor the USAF Thunderbirds, the Red Tails, and the Blue Angels to name a few, but this new one takes inspirations from America’s newest fighter, the controversial (to say the least) F-35. This special F-35-inspired 2015 Mustang carefully mimics the real F-35 by incorporating some of its key details, such as its lightning vertical stabilizer art, Joint Strike Fighter program markings, yellow-tinted canopy, and its inability to fly. [Source: MustangsDaily via Autoblog] 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat That awesome Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat we’ve been drooling over for months now has been priced at a modest $60,990 (including destination charges). Yes, 707 horsepower can be had for $60K. Sixty-thousand dollars. 707 horsepower. Optional extras available on a Lamborghini Aventador will end up costing more than this whole car which even offers slightly more power. That price includes a six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed automatic is a $400 option. So… who’s going to be first in line? [Source: Dodge] 2014March-thefirsttestride-20yearsfrompurchase1 A very special Tatra T77 will be making its way to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. For the first time, Tatra’s groundbreaking streamlined style will be represented at Pebble Beach with eight models, including one particular T77 with a rather interesting background. The T77 pictured above resides in the Czech Republic and has gone through a passionate twenty-year restoration by its also passionate owner. Only the car’s original parts were used, many of which had to be tracked down over the course of twenty years. Just days after the restoration was complete, the owner is shipping it to Pebble Beach so the world can admire both his handy work and that of the designers who worked for the third oldest car manufacturer. The 80-year-old masterpiece will be shown to the [high-paying] public this August. [Source: Pebble Beach Concours]

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