The News for June 17th, 2016

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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:

  • Rolls-Royce concept shows a future where you can’t drive your Rolls-Royce

  • Mini concept shows a future where you can drive other people’s Mini

  • Subaru cranks out a new special edition BRZ called the Series.Yellow

  • Aston Martin using Goodwood FoS for dynamic DB11 debut

  • Omix-ADA hosting inaugural Jeep Heritage Expo this July

  • Forza Horizon 3 revealed – it’s bigger than ever

  • What’s your automotive news?

Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100

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BMW has not been shy about it being their centennial this year. We’ve seen special edition cars with ridiculous names, special liveries on their race cars (which really do look awesome), and even a semi-autonomous concept car branded as their vision for the next 100 years. BMW Group owns Rolls-Royce and Mini, so of course they’re going to make them get in on the centennial celebrations in some way.
Rolls-Royce, a 110 year old company, is envisioning the next 100 years of luxury mobility with the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100. It’s a futuristic, zero-emission, fully-autonomous mobility capsule that looks ready to chauffeur the next 007 villain. When the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Design team, led by Director of Design Giles Taylor, looked to the future of the company, they did so through the eyes of their own customers. What would the future luxury appliance vehicle buyer want and expect from the brand? How would a future Rolls-Royce meet those expectations? What they settled on can be summed up by four key tenets: The Personal Vision, The Effortless Journey, The Grand Sanctuary, and The Grand Arrival.
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The Personal Vision is the most interesting principle they aim to embrace, because it essentially means they’re envisioning a company where a customer’s individual tastes can influence their personal appliance’s car’s design. In other words, it’s a return to coach building. What a future Rolls-Royce would theoretically provide is a zero-emissions drivetrain on a platform that allows the customer to be more involved in the design, shape, size, and silhouette of their Rolls so that each one is a bespoke masterpiece.
For The Effortless Journey, it’s pure autonomy but at a level only Rolls-Royce could come up with. The car has its own digital assistance which connects with owners “in every aspect of their lives”. It’s called the ‘Voice of Eleanor’, after the model used for the Spirit of Ecstasy, Eleanor Thornton. She frees owners from the hassle of driving a Rolls-Royce (proof that RR buyers don’t own these things to drive themselves), can drive the car around to the owners when they’re ready to embark, make travel recommendations along the way, and brief them ahead of their arrival so they’re ready to “perform”. Basically, your future Rolls-Royce is never going to stop pestering the shit out of you.
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The Grand Sanctuary is made possible by the lack of driving controls and capitalizes on the flexibility future cabin designers will have. To cut it short, each future Rolls-Royce will have a handcrafted lounge-like atmosphere, display a creative use of premium materials, and can of course be tailored to each individual’s tastes. Also, no seat belts apparently. The Grand Arrival is achieved by making cars that make their owners look important when their overly-attached Siri pulls up to their destination. This particular design vision definitely has that part nailed. It’s the kind of car I would expect a crooked businessman to arrive in when he’s trying to buy the family farm.
Will a future Rolls-Royce look nearly as cool? Will Rolls-Royce return to coach building soon? How annoying will their digital Eleanor be? Only the next 100 years will tell.
[Source: Rolls-Royce]

Mini VISION NEXT 100

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Mini, a car brand whose roots go back 57 years, also built a next 100 years concept. It’s similar to the BMW concept in that it has planned autonomous capabilities. but crucially, it still has a steering wheel that a future owner could take control of at any time. Mini goes a step further though and envisions a new kind of Mini “owner”. Their future motto is a big hint at the direction they’re wanting to go: “every Mini is my Mini”.
Yep, ride sharing. If future civilizations are going to be filled with dull, soulless robots looking for people to rent them, why not make them a little interesting? A future ride sharing-equipped Mini will still aim to engage with occupants on an emotional level. The go-kart-like handling Minis are known for is something Mini specifically mentions as being preserved in their future vision, which will certainly help with that whole engagement thing.
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For those future centennials who ruin everything and can’t be bothered to learn of their ancestor’s motoring ways, they can call on a Mini “tailored to their personal requirements” wherever they are, day or night. And when it arrives, certain aspects like interior lighting, color of the roof and other exterior elements, and other on-board graphics can be changed according to their mood or situations they encounter. This futuristic mood ring thus effectively becomes “their” Mini even though they don’t actually own it. It’s a brilliant solution because it allows anyone to experience a Mini, whether it be as a tailored autonomous experience or a manned cross-town sprint.
Whether or not this strategy makes any sense is up to you, but at least there’s another brand who will still emphasis driving dynamics in the future.
[Source: Mini]

Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow

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Subaru just revealed the first special edition BRZ since its recent face lift and it picks up where the Series.Blue left off. It’s a similar formula but with a different color and it’s appropriately named Series.Yellow. Being a totally legit automotive journalist, I feel obligated to make some kind of half-assed quip on the car’s name in relation to its paint color, like “o man i wonder wut color it is hue hue hue hue“, but that’s too easy.
17BRZ_Series.Yellow-interior
Anyways, the major difference between the old Series.Blue and this new Series.Yellow, other than what was added with the 2017 BRZ, is the [unnamed] bright yellow exterior paint. The same color is used on some interior accents and upholstery stitching. As far as what’s unique to the Series.Yellow, that’s about it. It does come standard with the Performance Package which adds upgraded Brembo brakes, SACHS Performance suspension, 17″ black alloy wheels, and the Sport mode that was so greatly improved that it was renamed TRACK mode.
The Series.Yellow will be available this August and only 500 units will be available. It’ll be the only way to get a BRZ in this color.
Obligatory drift shot.
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[Source: Subaru]

BLIPS

Vulcan at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is just a few short weekends away and Aston Martin is already dropping the details on their display. They’ll be back with several new cars including the all-new DB11, the Vulcan, V8 Vantage GT8 (a racing-inspired but road legal Vantage), and V12 Vantage S with its new dogleg seven-speed manual. It’ll be the first time the new DB11 gets a chance at running up the hill and none other than Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer will be the one doing the honors. The track-only, 820 horsepower Vulcan is returning this year because Vulcan and the Vantage GT8 and manual V12 Vantage S will be making their first Goodwood debuts as well. For those in attendance, it’ll be a beautiful display where everything sounds good and nothing has less than 440 horsepower.
[Source: Aston Martin]
Civilian and Military Jeeps from the Omix-ADA Jeep Collection
Omix-ADA is hosting their first Jeep Heritage Expo at their headquarters in Suwanee, GA which celebrates 75 years of Jeep. This is the same company that maintains an awesome Jeep collection which I got to tour and they also happen to be the largest independent manufacturer and wholesaler of Jeep parts and accessories. But on July 16, they’re opening their doors to the public for the first time so anyone can view their 230,000 square foot facility which includes the warehouse and the Jeep collection. The collection has been publicly accessible for a while now through [free] reservations, but this is the first time its doors will remain open to spectators throughout the day.
They will also host a Jeep Show & Shine which benefits the American Diabetes Association. Enthusiasts can register their Jeeps online and it can be any model from 1941 and up. Prizes and awards from Omix-ADA are up for grabs and 100% of the proceeds from the Show & Shine entry fees go to the charity. It’s a festival after all, so plenty of other activities are planned and food trucks will be onsite. If you’re interested, general admission is free and it runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, July 16th at Omix-ADA / Rugged Ridge, 460 Horizon Drive, Suwanee, GA 30024. For Jeep lovers, this is sure to be an event that can’t be missed. Assuming you’re near Georgia, at least.
[Source: Omix-ADA]
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTSUgXkfooA[/youtube]
 Forza Horizon will return for its third installment this autumn in a grander scale than ever before. Forza Horizon 3 was revealed at E3 with a stunning trailer showing off a massive open world based closely on Australia. The map will feature iconic landmarks, cities, deserts, and jungles making for one huge playground that caters to all sorts of new machinery, including trophy trucks and off-road beasts like the Aerial Nomad. It’ll have about 350 cars, co-op integrated into the story line, and cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. See the beautiful trailer above.

What’s your automotive news?

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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]

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    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      I love those FR500s. I had no idea they were that expensive though. Ooof. And ditto on the race. I’ve got beer and two computers to stream stuff with at the ready.

      1. JayP Avatar
        JayP

        I have borrowed 2 laptops from work plus a few idevices to stream RadioLeMans and Fox Sports Go. May even turn the PS3 on for some GT6 fun.

  1. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    Hate to admit it, but I absolutely love both the British excentrics interiors. Yay for simplicity!
    When I had my car at tech inspection the other day, the shop guys said that my chassis treatment didn’t look good, and who had done that. Well, so called “professionals”. I showed up there and got as an answer that they had had an employee who would sandblast cars, and then not apply Mercasol everywhere. That means my Honda has had the questionable pleasure of two bare metal salty winters, and it looked its part. This week, the moron shop without a delivery control redid their work, and here are the photos I received:
    https://s26.postimg.org/gvdifk3xl/primer0_1.jpg
    https://s26.postimg.org/aiyd5q0vd/primer0_2.jpg
    https://s26.postimg.org/ipqcxaqy1/primer0_3.jpg
    https://s26.postimg.org/rm1518hk9/primer0_4.jpg
    https://s26.postimg.org/t66gzmpyh/mercasol01.jpg
    https://s26.postimg.org/f10nxtgx5/mercasol02.jpg
    https://s26.postimg.org/omu8e482x/mercasol03.jpg
    That’s a lot of black goo supposed to conserve my minivan for another decade.

    1. nanoop Avatar
      nanoop

      I’ve just sent requests to two companies to do that (minus the two years of flashing) to my Roomie. I am still amazed how unprofessional things are handled in this country, sometimes – I mean, look at the technical quality of your images… I’ll probably pay the 50 bucks for the USB stick with photo documentation, so they feel encouraged to do most of the steps…

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        A big resounding yes. I asked for proper, detailed before/after pictures by email and got a few halfway/after images made with a toaster by MMS. If my floors are paper thin now with two sandblastings in two years, and the “flashing”, I guess this is a lost cause, too, as there’s not even a receipt. My wife picked the car up and being Norwegian, she’s not a pusher and struggles to handle instructions… 😉
        Are you sure you want to do that to a new car? I know every dealer does it, but can’t modern cars handle winters better now?

        1. nanoop Avatar
          nanoop

          My impression is that icy snow is pretty abrasive, and occasional driving over it will do things to metal, which makes it vulnerable for salt – I am sure I want 1/4″ of goo under there.

  2. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    I got about a thousand miles to drive at the end of the month for a friend’s wedding so I had my car inspected by an indie shop to make sure nothing would blow up on me… something would’ve blown up on me.
    I knew I had a pulley going out which did end up getting replaced, but they also found the water pump was throwing a couple dozen faults since the last time they saw it, about 8 months ago. E90s are notorious for eating up water pumps and they were impressed I had even made it 94k miles on the original pump.
    Let’s just say I reached the limit for how many credit card payments Fidelity allows per calendar month, which I didn’t even know was a thing. Like, “no, we don’t want you to pay us more than 3 times per month. Go away.” Time for a dedicated car parts credit card I guess.

  3. Inliner Avatar
    Inliner

    “proof that RR buyers don’t own these things to drive themselves”
    Well of course. How would you enjoy Grey Poupon while being motored to your destination?
    Speaking of enjoying Grey Poupon, when you’re out of it in the future, you’d have to roll down the front(!) window to ask instead!

    1. Alcology Avatar
      Alcology

      Eleanor, I’m out of Grey Poupon.
      Please Eleanor, I know we’re making good time, but I must stop for more Grey Poupon.
      Eleanor, it’s been 10 hours. I need to stop.
      Eleanor, it’s been 2 days. I’m severely dehydrated.
      Eleanor….
      ….

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        A British automotive electrical system that functions for two or more consecutive days? That is indeed a work of speculative fiction.

    2. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      The ones that drive themselves buy the Bentley Next 79* Years!!! of course…
      *: Hey, the Rolls isn’t named Next 110 Years, is it?

  4. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    At the airport, waiting to head home after a long week.
    Got to ride along with Aston Martin engineers as they conduct final hot-weather testing on the DB11. Very cool to see this side of the industry. Most automakers wouldn’t let you near their cars in this state.
    Picking up the CX-9 when I land back in Orange County. Curious about this one for sure, especially after our own recent purchase of the CX-5.
    After that, it’s off to Goodwood for the FOS next week – beyond excited for that one. It’s a lot of travel these two weeks, but I know that no one is shedding a tear for me… and shouldn’t either.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Sounds harsh and way too busy. I’m here to pick up the slack. Always ready to help.

    2. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      It’s a shame that Goodwood is so far away, both physically/time/cost-wise, I went 7 years ago (doesn’t seem that long!) and one of the funniest things was Jesse James in his trophy truck running up the hillclimb, straight past the finish and into the rally stage, then jumping over a bank on the outside of one corner onto the 4×4 hill. Pretty epic.
      Not to mention seeing Auto Union GP cars running up the hill etc. Three very full days to see everything, all the different cars, displays, events, vantage points on the hill, well worth it.

  5. Frank T. Cat Avatar
    Frank T. Cat

    Well I packed up my ’97 900S, Garrus, with all of the parts I’ve taken off of the car or collected over the past three years. Why? Garrus is going on a tow dolly behind my girlfriend’s dad’s 2006 Toyota Tundra, for what may well be the final journey this car will ever take under my ownership.

    View post on imgur.com


    But while I’m sad to see this chapter of Swedish Car Hell come to a close, don’t worry, for who’s to say there’s not another just about to open? ;D

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      :c
      but it’s good to know when it’s time to let go. is a new chapter about to open?

      1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
        Frank T. Cat

        That news will drop sometime this coming week.
        c:

    2. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Awww…the wheels? NOT THE WHEELS!!!

      1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
        Frank T. Cat

        Oh god no, I’m not selling any bit of car stuff in that photo. It’s just being removed from my parent’s garage finally.

  6. nanoop Avatar
    nanoop

    Bright midnight here, so I removed the bolts and nuts of the coolant pump of the project car. It’s still the first pump, after 33 years. Note that I didn’t remove the pump yet, I still have to find out what time does to gaskets. ..

    View post on imgur.com

  7. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    Who knew that Fiat, having RAM and Jeep in house, is now offering the Mitsubishi L200 pickup with a Fiat-badge? It’s also available with RWD only, something that’s not possible at Mitsubishi.
    https://data.motor-talk.de/data/galleries/0/148/5511/74348524/208491591-w665-h423.jpg

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      And yet Marchionne still whinges on about loss of control and high imposed costs.
      Does Fiat make anything as a commercial vehicle that isn’t a joint venture with someone else?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        Choice at Fiat has shrunken a fair bit, car models being limited to the 500 family, Tipo and Punto. Otherwise it’s only commercial PSA products, a Mazda and a Mitsubishi – and the Freemont. I guess the product planner has a short attention span? Or a knack for dealmaking combined with a desire to travel the globe.

  8. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Many Rolls Royce owners today enjoy the pleasure of enjoying an autonomous vehicle which demonstrates how rich they are.
    They employ a chauffeur to drive for them.
    They’re voice activated, don’t speak when it’s not required and can be transferred to lesser vehicles if needed.

    1. nanoop Avatar
      nanoop

      Best of it: just say “Mortimer, there is no beverage back here”, and there will be champagne on the double.

  9. salguod Avatar

    Eventful car week where I did none of the actual work.
    Wednesday the ti finally got an alignment after the control arms in the fall and strut mounts last month. It also turned 250K miles on the way home.
    Thursday I came out to a flat tire on the Prius. After installing the donut on the LF I headed to Discount Tire to get new shoes on order as these were to the wear bars. I drove it to work on the donut and discovered that the stability control throws an absolute fit if you try to drive freeway speeds with the donut on the front axle. Had trouble keeping the speed up while the traction control engaged and the hybrid battery drained to near zero on the dash display. Ridiculous. Drove back to the tire store and kept it under 50 and it was fine. Just another reason to dislike the Prius.
    Friday the Mazda3 got its alignment after it got control arms and tires last month. Found out that there’s no way to weld a new hanger on the muffler so it needs a cat back exhaust.

    1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
      Frank T. Cat

      FWD P.2 platform Volvos have an issue with the exhaust hangers rusting off, but there’s an OEM/aftermarket replacement that just clamps over the exhaust pipe instead. Is there nothing like that for the Mazda3?

      1. salguod Avatar

        Not that I’ve found, but I’ve not looked real hard. I’ve got to believe there’s a way to rig something up. I need to visit another muffler shop for a second opinion.
        Got a link to that Volvo part? Maybe I can adapt it to the Mazda.

        1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
          Frank T. Cat

          This is the Volvo clamp:
          https://www.ipdusa.com/products/6622/114612-muffler-hanger-clamp-fwd-models
          I don’t see how you can’t come up with something similar.

          1. salguod Avatar

            That probably won’t work, but the single pipe that has the broken hanger is $20 at Advanced auto. Add a clamp and I’ll probably be done for under $30. Unless I see other things broken under there, that seems like the solution.

  10. CraigSu Avatar
    CraigSu

    Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100: Once these hit the used car market I’m predicting an increase in rolling bordellos.

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