The News for July 23rd, 2021

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: the Audi RS3 returns to prove there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, Porsche updates the Macan so they can print more money, Subaru’s new BRZ is technically cheaper than the old one, Ford Bronco’s hardtop woes continue, and your news for the week.

2022 Audi RS3

On the short list of compacts that kick ass is Audi’s RS3. Turbocharged-five-cylinder power sent to four wheels in a small saloon body is about as close to old school Audi performance as it’s possible to get these days. And from the 2022 model year and on, it’s getting even better. A new generation RS3 delivers more power, improved driving dynamics, and the latest tech features from Audi’s parts bin.

The 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder, which they say has won the “International Engine of the Year” award nine years running, has seen enough upgrades to eclipse the 400 horsepower mark for the first time. It makes 401 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. They’re not huge increases by the numbers, but engine tuning allows it to kick in much earlier than before and at a wider rev range. The seven-speed dual clutch transmission amplifies that with a shorter gear ratio spread. 0-62 mph occurs in 3.9 seconds which is a few tenths quicker than before.

Along with the usual sport suspension goodness and Quattro, the RS3 debuts a new torque splitter, a first for Audi. It replaces the rear axle differential and the previous multiple disc clutch package on the rear axle with an electronically controlled multiple disc clutch on each of the drive shafts. During moments of #dynamism, this increases the torque to the outer rear wheel to significantly reduce the tendency to understeer. Conveniently, this same tech is used to induce the opposite of understeer. That’s right, the RS3 has a drift mode now. For reasons.

Some of the more noteworthy features are its big ass brakes which can be ceramic as an option, RS3-specific shocks with available active damping, and revised suspension geometry with more camber. Probably the coolest feature though lies within the optional Matrix LED headlights. An extra section of the daytime running lights will display a checkered flag pattern while driving and then flash ‘R-S-3’ when the car is locked or unlocked.

The 2022 Audi RS3 looks aggressive and should have all the performance to back that up. The last car was a fan-favorite for a reason and this new model only builds on that further. US pricing isn’t available yet but it’s quoted at 62,000 European money units for the sedan (US won’t be getting the sportback) and goes on sale basically now. Enjoy these kinds of cars while you still can.

[Source: Audi]

2022 Porsche Macan

Porsche has updated their bestseller because they like printing money. The Macan has been a huge hit with customers who want a Porsche but also want to sit higher in traffic. For 2022 and beyond it’ll look a bit different and have some general improvements across the board.

It sports a new front end with larger and more aggressive integrated cooling air intakes and front trim. At the back is a new black diffuser that has been stretched upwards. Along the side, the side blade trim piece now features a 3D, textured structure element. Lighting elements have been altered as well and there are seven new wheel designs ranging from 19”-21”.

All 2022 Macans will have the latest seven-speed PDK, all-wheel drive, and powertrains that are more powerful than before. The base Macan with its 2.0-liter turbo four now has 261 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Step up to the Macan S and its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 375 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. – you’ll also get PASM as standard on this model. Porsche has shuffled some things around at the top of the Macan lineup as the GTS is now the top model (pictured in red), replacing the Turbo. It’ll get a modified version of the Turbo’s 2.9-liter tt V6 but with 434 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. The upgrades don’t end there as it also gets Porsche Surface Coated Brakes, adaptive air suspension with a 10mm drop, increased suspension stiffness for reduced body roll, and recalibrated dampers. You can take that even further with a Sport Package for the GTS.

The interior of the Macan is updated as well. The analogue clock is now standard and the center console has new haptic touch elements so you too can experience what it’s like to have to press the same button twelve times for it to do anything. There’s a larger center infotainment screen which still doesn’t support Android Auto.

The 2022 Macan will arrive early next year with an MSRP of $54,900 plus $1,350 for delivery.

[Source: Porsche]

2022 Subaru BRZ pricing revealed

The much-anticipated second-generation Subaru BRZ has had its pricing info revealed and you’ll be happy to know that it’ll still be within the realm of possibility for most people. An MSRP of $27,995 plus $960 or more for delivery means it’s technically cheaper than the outgoing model as Jalopnik points out.

That price is quoted for the BRZ Premium with the six-speed manual transmission. The automatic commands an additional $1,600 on this model. Step up to the BRZ Limited with more comfort and convenience features and MSRP climbs to $30,495 minus destination. Meanwhile, the same exact automatic transmission upgrade which costs $1,600 in the Premium will cost $1,800 for the Limited trim, for some reason.

Weird automatic transmission pricing aside, the BRZ will still offer a great driving experience at a great price. It should be out later this year.

[Source: Subaru, Jalopnik]

The Bronco hardtop curse continues

2021 ford bronco 2 door 4 door

Some new Bronco owners on BroncoG6 are reporting that their First Edition Broncos with the hardtop are developing some odd issues. Larger than normal panel gaps, sagging headliner, and a “snakeskin” pattern that’s begun to appear on the outer skin of the optional hardtop. The same hardtop that’s caused numerous delays for people who placed orders for them when reservations opened up last year like Kamil… poor guy.

Per Jalopnik, the supplier to blame for basically all of this is Webasto who are well experienced in building tops and other components for brands like Jeep, BMW, and Mazda. They’ve faced issues keeping up with production because of the new shop they set up in Michigan just for the Bronco and all the covid-related delays and issues they’re facing to get it fully up and running. They’re experienced enough to get this sorted, but nobody really knows when that will happen. And these emerging issues certainly aren’t helping their case.

So if you’ve got a hardtop Bronco on order or your name is Kamil… uh, I guess be patient but also happy that you don’t have to deal with this.

[Source: BroncoG6 via Jalopnik]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

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.

23 Comments

  1. So wait, the BRZ Premium is the base model and the Limited the upscale version? Shouldn’t that really be the other way around?

    As for automotive here, the Kia got a new windshield. A truck overtook me in a no passing zone while I was on my trip and flung a rock or something and cracked it. Not a cheap repair.
    For the Mazda, I picked up a headlight restoration kit to bring some life back into them. Amazing how much help a bit of sanding and polishing does to improve the looks and performance.

      1. The 3M one. It has a bunch of sanding discs and a buff pad that you put into a hand drill.

  2. So, one of the ball joints exploded on my son’s Ford (wait for it….) exploder. I had to rent a trailer to go retrieve it. The very next day they were leaving for a trip to St Louis. had to take the old corolla. He had a new coil with him in case another one failed. Well they got an hour away, and check engine light started flashing, car bucking. So he scans it, cyl 4 misfire. Aha, new coil, but no dice. didn’t help. 2 days, 2 cars down. I still had the rented trailer to return, so I made another rescue trip, and now I have 2 disabled cars in my driveway. I’m trying to be thankful nobody was hurt, or they didn’t get to Iowa or somewhere further to go get them.
    This is why people go spend too much on a new car just because of the emotion of it all.

    1. Oooh, after about two years with an exceptional amount of car troubles, I get the emotional argument much better now. But did your son get to go on vacation at all, then?

      We had ​the emotional gun pointed at us by family and my wife used her household council veto right to set the oldest possible age for our 3rd car at five years. Turns out, though, that also “new” cars have issues.

      Talking to new car owners, people will often say they bought new to avoid issues, but then list all the recalls, rusting brakes, warranty issues and other stuff they had to deal with. The “less stuff to break”-theorem on EVs though seems to be working for many people we meet regularly.

      1. yes, my wife gave them her S80 and off they went. she waited for me to rescue her and the corolla. Interesting slant on Ev’s I hadnt considered. Less maintenance? At least until the suspension/brakes/steering need work.

        1. Volvo to the rescue!

          No stress maintenance has become one of the main selling points for EVs here, for sure. Some electrical cars have reduction gears to service, otherwise its brakes that need their regular greasing, brake fluid change, and cabin filters. “Battery hygiene” aka “don’t charge to 100%” and attention towards the 12V battery most EVs come with are the only regular items to worry about. No other fluid or filter changes.

          This one is still valid (even though I had to replace the on-board-charger myself):

          This is One Year in the Life of Used Nissan Leaf EV Ownership

  3. Tuesday night I was refueling the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, and a woman came over and said “SQUIRE! You have a SQURE! Want to sell?”

    She offered me an amount that would have been a couple thousand dollars of profit (without accounting for my labor), but the car was already committed to a 3000 mile road trip that began the next morning.

  4. MYSTERYCAR! I’ve now seen 2 auto-groups on FB trying to figure out wtf is this thing….

  5. Last weekend I thought I was going to have to do brakes on two cars, my B<W and my youngest's Protege. but after driving both, I decided neither needed done. Whatever noise I had heard from the Protege was no longer present. On the BMW, there's slight grinding noise coming from the RR, but only intermittently. And the rear brakes are all new, except for calipers and hoses, maybe a year ago. I'm thinking something wedged in the caliper or under the pad. I've been driving the Tundra since, the plan is to pull the wheel and check today.

    Work on the barn proceeds, but slowly. He tells my it'll be wrapped up this week, but I'm dubious. Rough electric is complete and the inspection was Friday. There's some marginally legible notes from the inspector, I'm not sure if it passed or not. Need to follow up with the builder on Monday. Remaining work is finish electric, insulation, overhead doors, outside concrete aprons and final driveway gravel. I'm betting on a couple more weeks. While I'm anxious for them to be done, the reality is that I'm putting Ghostshield sealer on the concrete and the first step can't be done before 4 weeks after concrete pour and the second step a week after. That's August 11 & 18, respectively. So I realistically can't move in until then, even if they were done sooner.

    1. Well, this is a new one for me. All the pad material on the outer RR pad came loose from the backing plate and is gone. Note that there’s ~4mm of pad left on the inner, zero on the outer.

      Last time I drove it to work, on the way home I remember hearing a clunk when I got on the freeway and when I got off, there was a lot more brake pedal travel that first stop. It stopped OK, and normal pedal travel immediately returned. By the time I got home I noticed the scraping sound and parked it until I could investigate. Seems the adhesive failed and the entire pad fell out!

      The rotor isn’t badly grooved, so it looks like a new set of pads should fix it.

      1. That’s bizarre. If you bought them a year ago, you should send a note to the manufacturer. Not sure if recalls are being done for brake pads, but this is a serious issue.

        Who sends the inspector to check the garage? Your municipality?

        1. I was wrong. The front brakes are new, on the rears I only replaced the parking brake components. So these aren’t new. New pads are on the way.

          The county inspects new construction at various stages. They inspected wen the framing was done and now at rough electric. I assume there’s at least one more inspection when all is complete as well. Not sure, the builder is handling it all.

    2. what drew you to the Ghost Seal? I’m gonna be moving into a place with a dirty old concrete garage floor and want to seal it with something. likely am gonna just use epoxy for appearance and ease of repairs if I’m grinding / welding in there, but I hear good things about the Ghost stuff and might consider using it just where the cars will park.

  6. We just returned from a week on the other side of the country, meeting family and friends. The tiny Hyundai isn’t all that tiny, and swallowed our luggage without hesitation. And, again, even this underpowered econobox is such a blast to twist around mountain roads. I’m gearing up and down more or less constantly, to use the narrow power band, and it’s an engaging, fun drive – even with the family on board. All the while getting 47 US mpg. Photo is 2h old.

    1. and who says fun cars are dead! economy cars are the last home for #purity. I enjoy renting base model Fiestae, and my mom’s Sentra is a terrible car dynamically but still fun to chuck around. low weight and minimal distraction is still a great formula, and now the cars with those features are actually well-built and safe.

  7. Anyone else find they are constantly getting “loading” on where the comment like button should be?

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