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 shows off the customer version of the LMH race car they cancelled, Porsche builds a super Cayenne for reasons, Volvo offers a glimpse into their EV future again, Subaru promises a new WRX this year, plus your news.
Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
Remember when Aston Martin was planning to race at Le Mans with an impossibly beautiful V12-powered hypercar? And remember when they cancelled it because they were broke and decided to spend money on buying a back marker F1 team instead? Do you also remember how they had originally been one of the biggest driving forces behind the adoption of the more expensive Le Mans Hypercar class which spelled the end of a single unified prototype class that would’ve made it significantly easier for WEC and IMSA manufacturers to compete together on a more level playing field at the world’s biggest endurance events? I do.
This track-only AMR Pro version of the Valkyrie first debuted back in 2018 in concept form. It was always intended to be a sort of “no rules” hypercar but was also supposed to preview the LMH race car. You know, the race car built for a class they worked so hard to create that they won’t actually be competing in. The press release carefully glosses over this issue while bragging about its expected 3’20” lap time around Le Mans. They also go on about how hard their team worked alongside Multimatic, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, and none other than Adrian Newey to create a race car that would battle for outright wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This rich man’s track day toy is all they have to show for it now.
This isn’t to say the car itself isn’t stunning. It is drop-dead gorgeous in a way that’s hard to describe. You wouldn’t even need to be told that Adrian Newey, one of F1’s most genius engineers, had a hand in this. And with a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 revving to 11,000 RPM and electric motors backing up, its powertrain is the stuff of dreams. No less than 1,000 horsepower will blast this thing down Mulsanne… or rather, it would if Aston Martin let it.
40 hedge fund managers will soon have a chance to own one of these.
[Source: Aston Martin]
Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
Porsche has long enjoyed strong sales of the Cayenne, a sporty luxury SUV that was the first of its kind. The “911 in SUV form” has gotten faster and faster with each generation. But it’s about to reach an entirely new level with the Cayenne Turbo GT.
It’s the Cayenne for the zero people who asked “what if 911 GT2 but Cayenne”. With outrageous power and the same kind of upgrades that would double the MSRP of a 911, it’s the fastest and most powerful Cayenne ever produced. And it already has a Nürburgring lap record to its name. It tops the “SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up” category with a hilariously quick 7:38.925 minutes. The fearsome north loop has been through a few surface changes over the years, but for the sake of comparison, that puts it right among some supercars. Ferrari 458, 997 911 Turbo, C6 Corvette ZR1, and Lexus LFA to name a few.
It’s managed that record with the help of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 631 horsepower and 626 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s an increase of 90 hp and 59 torque units over the Cayenne Turbo Coupe that this model is built on. It rides on stiffer three-chamber air suspension with retuned Porsche Active Suspension Management. Active dynamic chassis control and torque vectoring help keep this beast under something resembling control. Huge 22” Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires developed specifically for this car’s unique needs provide immense grip. Meanwhile, 17.3” front and 16.1” rear Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes provide exceptional stopping power. Those front brakes are bigger than the ones on the Shelby GT500, in case you were wondering.
Porsche can’t let something like this not look like a race car, so it has centrally-mounted titanium exhaust, model-specific bumpers, a contoured carbon fiber roof with an upper rear wing. Inside there’s more Alcantara than you’d find in about 10 Lamborghinis.
It’s objectively stupid. But I somehow admire it at the same time. It’s expected to reach US dealers in early 2022 with an MSRP of $182,150 (incl. destination).
Volvo Concept Recharge
It’s another one of those future EV concepts from a company that swears it’ll produce more EVs one of these days. This time it’s from Volvo, if you couldn’t tell by the fact that it’s a wagon. It’s called the Concept Recharge (get it, because EV lol) and Volvo says to expect it to influence future Volvo EVs.
It not only showcases a forward-thinking rework of Volvo’s gorgeous design language but also the advantages of an EV platform that they plan to take full advantage of. For starters, it has all the batteries integrated into the floor which leaves plenty of space elsewhere to work with. Volvo uses this to extend the wheelbase for shorter overhangs and increased interior space. More than you’d expect out of something this size.
That little pod on top of the windshield houses some next-generation safety tech, primarily lidar, which Volvo plans to use as part of their “nobody dies in our car anymore” strategy (paraphrasing).
When we eventually see the next-generation Volvo EVs, expect them to draw inspiration from this concept. And according to something Jalopnik picked up on in a presentation the company made, you could also expect up to 900 miles of range. “Up to” of course leaves the suicide doors wide open to miss the mark, but Volvo aren’t known for overpromising.
[Source: Volvo via Jalopnik]
2022 WRX teased
Meanwhile at Subaru, the news that enthusiasts had been waiting for is finally almost here. There’s an all-new WRX coming and it will debut “this year”. And that’s… all we know. The announcement was accompanied by this dark teaser shot but there’s not a whole lot we can get from it. It’ll be a sedan, it’ll still have its hood scoop, and there will still be a built-in vape holder. Cranking up the lighting in a photo editor doesn’t reveal anything else. So we’ll keep an eye out for any more details that come out.
What’s your automotive news?
This is that part where I open it up to you. If you saw something, broke everything, or did anything even remotely car related (or not), sound off in the comment section.
Have a good weekend.