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
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.
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.
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.
Mini VISION NEXT 100
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.
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.
Subaru BRZ Series.Yellow
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.
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.
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]
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.
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?
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]