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:
McLaren goes crazy with carbon fiber on the 675LT Spider
Audi reveals all-new A5 and S5 Coupe
Volvo’s Polestar performance package revealed for S90 and V90
Ford Fusion Sport confirmed to nearly be the Fusion RS we wanted
BMW builds a new 3 Series GT, analysts predict they’ll sell four units
What’s your automotive news?
McLaren Special Operations Carbon Series LT
A few months ago, McLaren’s Special Operations team (MSO) created a McLaren P1 show car that was 100% exposed carbon fiber with a blue-tinted lacquer giving it a gorgeous look. MSO used it as a promotion for a carbon fiber conversion being sold to existing P1 owners. It must’ve made some fans because MSO is now doing something similar for the 675LT Spider by customer demand.
The Carbon Series LT as it’s called is a special edition 675LT Spider which takes the carbon fiber levels up to eleven. It’s strictly limited to 25 units worldwide on top of the 500 “standard” 675LT Spiders already sold. The only way to get one of these is to harness the powers of time travel as they were already sold before we even knew about it.
So other than a time traveler’s special, the Carbon Series LT is a 675LT Spider with literally as much exposed carbon fiber as humanly possible. Much of the standard 675LT Spider is already at least constructed of the material, but this adds even more and exposes all of it. As with the original Longtail it’s named after, it has a focus on reduced weight, so the expanded use of the lightest [and practical] material you can build a car out of is a perfect
excuse to sell another 25 cars fit for the Longtail ethos.
As with the standard 675LT, the front bumper with larger splitter and end plates, front under body, side skirts, side intakes, lower side intakes, rear bodyside lower, rear fenders, rear deck, rear bumper, diffuser, and ‘Longtail’ Airbrake are all carbon fiber. What the MSO Carbon Series LT adds to that is a carbon fiber electrically retractable roof and tonneau, A-pillars, bonnet and rear deck, side blades, complete front and rear wings, and even fuel filler door. So there’s carbon literally everywhere (except the wheels) and it’s all coated in a high gloss finish to make it shine without hiding the intricate weaves of it.
In total, this MSO model features around 40% additional carbon fiber parts over the the standard car. It’s impressive but also very complex to engineer and develop. Therefore, it’s not possible to get this package as a conversion on existing 675LT Spiders as was possible with the carbon P1. Looks like those 500 standard 675LT Spider buyers will just have to deal with not having full carbon-bodied cars like the rest of us…
If you live near someone with telepathy, you’ll see these hit the streets by the end of the year.
Audi A5 and S5 Coupe
Audi launched the A5 Coupe way back in 2007 and it became a near instant success. After plenty of face lifts and updates, it’s finally getting a new generation for the 2017 model year. It goes on sale this fall and the more powerful and also new version of the S5 Coupe will follow shortly thereafter.
Both models certainly look recognizable but their new designs don’t leave anything untouched. The whole car is designed to look more modern and also more revealing of its sporty and yet elegant character. A prime example is the now three-dimensional wave-shaped shoulder line with pronounced bulges over the wheel arches – they say that emphasizes its Quattro all-wheel drive.
It proudly wears a new Singleframe grille which is wider than the last one and also shinier. On either end of that grille are available Matrix LED headlights, which to Audi’s credit, are actually styled quite a bit differently than those of the A4/S4 it shares a platform with. At a higher level, it still maintains the balanced proportions of a long hood, stretched wheelbase, and short overhangs that’s been a part of the A5/S5 formula since the beginning.
The interior is redesigned to fit the theme with other new Audis. It has the huge Audi Virtual Cockpit, updated MMI, available Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and an overall design that promotes visibility and openness. In short, it looks great.
Through “an intelligent” mix of materials and a lightweight design, they’ve trimmed 132 pounds off its curb weight compared to the last model. That gives each of the five engines available in the Euro-spec A5 an easier job of moving mass and that helps improve both performance and fuel efficiency. No word on exactly what engines are coming to the US-spec A5, but seeing as how they’re… unlikely to sell it with any of the three TDI engines on the options list in Europe, that only leaves us with two TFSI gas engines.
One will likely be the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder VAG sells with everything and the other is a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 354 horsepower. That V6 may be limited to the S5 but the press release really wasn’t clear. A six-speed manual or seven-speed S Tronic gearbox is available in most A5s except for the ones with the V6; those get an eight-speed gearbox instead.
Pricing and US availability will be confirmed at a later date.
Volvo S90 and V90 Polestar Performance Optimisation
Volvo may be known as the brand for practical buyers looking for the safest, most comfortable car for their families, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to have fun. They’re expanding their Polestar Performance Optimisation package to the all-new and desperately pretty S90 and V90. Available starting this fall on the D5 diesel and T6 petrol versions, it’s much more than just an appearance package.
Polestar is of course Volvo’s new performance brand, founded in 1996 as a motorsport team racing Volvos and fully acquired by Volvo just last year. They’ve had a hand in a few performance-minded Volvo production cars lately and the all-new S90/V90 platform was just chosen as their new canvas. Developed in cooperation with the engineers and drivers of Polestar Cyan Racing (who compete in the FIA World Touring Car Championship), this package is a decent overhaul of the entire drivetrain for the purpose of driving pleasure.
They don’t go into specifics on what exactly was modified, but throttle and off-throttle response, gearshift speed and precision, and overall engine performance were all improved as a result. They didn’t even mention if the power was increased, but knowing Volvo it wouldn’t have been by much. Either way, you can get a luxury sedan or estate with killer looks, legendary safety, and Polestar-approved driving dynamics. I’d say it’s worth the price of admission (which also wasn’t disclosed, but I’ll just assume it’s still worth it).
Ford Fusion Sport details emerge
Ford seriously started off the press release with this: “New Ford Fusion Sport gives owners of German sedans 380 reasons to change their Lederhosen”.
It’s not unwarranted though because we finally know more of the glorious specs of Ford’s upcoming Fusion Sport and it’s already packing more grunt than that Audi S5 I just talked about. It’s powered by an 2.7-liter EcoBoost (twin-turbo) V6 with 325 horsepower and a “class-demolishing” 380 lb.-ft. of torque which is channeled to all four wheels. With available summer tires for improved dynamics and its sights set on some ambitious targets, it’s really just a Drift mode and a set of Recaro seats away from being the Fusion RS we wanted.
The price of admission is $33,475, which Ford is keen to point out is significantly less than many German sports sedans with less power and/or torque because we all know an American car is only better than the foreign competition if it’s cheaper (/s).
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
Clearly, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has been labeled as a success by someone because they sold a few more units than the twelve they were anticipating. Therefore, it’s been given the green light for a new version – on purpose.
You don’t care about it, I don’t care about it. You can still get M badges on it.
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.
[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]