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:
Audi reveals all-new A4, even if it doesn’t look all-new
Bentley teams up with Breitling to geek out over their jet team
Subaru reveals Series.HyperBlue limited edition models
The ND MX-5 Miata invasion has begun
What’s your automotive news?
2016 Audi A4
This is the all-new 2016 Audi A4. It may not look all-new, but it is. Audi followed a fairly straightforward formula when upgrading the A4 for its fifth generation so it’s a little bigger, packed with more features, it looks a little different, and there’s a better structure to it all.
Styling-wise, there’s nothing to make it look dramatically different than the last model. It looks a little sharper and more modern… I guess. It’s a step forward in design but it’s not a huge step. The overall shape is similar to the last A4 but it’s been greatly optimized in the wind tunnel for a drag coefficient of just 0.23 for the sedan and 0.26 for the Avant wagon.
The interior perhaps hosts the biggest change with the new model. Unlike the exterior, almost nothing in here is recognizable from the last model. In addition to being physically larger, the design is also less cluttered to make it feel more open. It’s also dripping with new tech which is mostly noticeable in the new all-digital and configurable gauge cluster. The optional multi-media interface (MMI) system is upgraded too, featuring an 8.3-inch display with touch controls, LTE connectivity, and a WiFi hotspot.
Audi’s improvements to the A4 go much deeper than the interior though. The whole car is lighter by up to 264 pounds depending on the engine thanks to an “intelligent” material mix and lightweight construction. A strong seven-engine lineup will be available at launch in certain markets. Three of those engines are petrol-driven and the other four are diesels. It’s a pretty normal mix of different sizes and power outputs, but one new addition is a 2.0-liter TFSI (petrol) motor with 190 hp and a claimed 49 mpg (by European testing, most likely). A future addition will be G-Tron, which will use natural gas or Audi’s magical “e-gas” as fuel. No word on exactly what engines will be available in the U.S.
There are three transmission options including a six-speed manual, seven-speed S Tronic (dual clutch – now available on FWD cars), and an eight-speed Tiptronic unit. FWD and Quattro (of course) models will be available from launch.
Bentley Continental GT Speed + Breitling
Bentley and Breitling go together about as well as any two companies in different industries can. The British automaker and Swiss timepiece institution are teaming up to create seven special edition Continental GT Speeds that pay tribute to Breitling’s fastest asset.
That fast asset is the Breitling Jet Team, the world’s largest professional civilian flight team (in jets, at least). With seven L39 C Albatros jets making their way to North America for the first time, Bentley thought it was the right time to introduce the Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series.
Customized by Bentley’s Mulliner division, each car mirrors the distinctive look of the Breitling jets with two-tone Hallmark and Onyx paint and distinctive highlights that match the same yellow used on the jets. The interior features the same theme along with uniquely sculpted seats – ejection handles not included. Each car is individually numbered to correspond with one of the jets. There’s even a carbon fiber fascia on the dash that shows all seven L39s in their signature Avenger formation with the corresponding jet being highlighted in Breitling Yellow. There are a bunch of other Easter eggs that hearken back to the jet the car is inspired by
The Breitling Jet Team Series will publicly debut at the Boeing Seafair Airshow on July 31st in Seattle, the same day the Jet Team performs. The keys to the seven cars will be given to the customers by the pilots themselves after they’re given a ride in – you guessed it – the plane that corresponds with their car’s number.
Bentley doesn’t claim any performance enhancements to these particular Continental GT Speeds, but they’re already one of the fastest cars on the road today.
If you were looking for a new Subaru BRZ or WRX STI but wanted a little more blue with it, I’ve got good news! For 2016, Subaru is launching the Series.HyperBlue limited edition versions of the BRZ and WRX STI which are restricted in production to 500 and 700 units respectively.
The Series.HyperBlue acts simple as a trim package to the existing hardware with Hyper Blue paint and matching interior upholstery. On the WRX STI, the trim adds blue stitching to the Alcantara seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, shifter boot, console, and carpets. It rides on eighteen-inch BBS Black Alloy wheels to create a nice contrast to the bright paint. The package also adds more features as standard such as the seven-inch multimedia navigation system and nine Harman/Kardon speakers.
On the BRZ, this trim adds the same Hyper Blue paint and a unique interior theme. Blue leather goes on the seat bolsters and headrests and blue stitching goes everywhere else. There’s a lot of blue in there…
Both Series.HyperBlue cars will go on sale this fall. Prices will be announced closer to then.
2016 MX-5s begin US invasion
It’s happening! Mazda’s all-new ND MX-5 Miata or whatever you want to call it is finally hitting US soil. The first wave of the new answers to everything are fresh off the boat and are currently undergoing normal port processing procedures. Mazda says deliveries will be ready to commence within the next several weeks, and once that happens, the world will be a little brighter. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has an ND on order, the wait is almost over…
And if you’re wondering why every car shown here is red, the first 1,000 cars were Launch Editions which only came in that color.
What’s your automotive news?
One of these things is not like the others.
The news was pretty short this week, which is probably a good thing since our wonderful neighbors to the north are probably still recovering from Canada Day and us yanks are preparing to blow shit up for Independence Day. So if you’ve got anything newsworthy to share with your fellow hoon – whether it be a project car update or the bill from your latest firework shopping spree – sound off in the comments. Have a good weekend.
[Image source: me]