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:
Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing reveal the hypercar of the future
Ferrari TheFerrari roadster confirmed
Nissan Pathfinder receives substantial updates for 2017 model year
What’s your automotive news? [UPDATE: GTXcellent FINALLY GOT IT!]
Aston Martin AM-RB 001
Back in March, Aston Martin confirmed they were working with Red Bull Racing to build a hyper car of epic proportions. They must have gotten one hell of a head start because they’re already showing us their first concept. It’s called the AM-RB 001, it’s actually being built (eventually), and there’s a lot to be excited about.
The AM-RB 001 is the result of a technical partnership between Britain’s finest and one of the top teams in Formula 1; looking at the preliminary specs, it couldn’t have happened any other way. This project was realized by Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, David King, VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, and Andrian Newey, Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer and the world’s most successful F1 designer. It’s equal parts beautiful and batshit crazy and it’s easy to see which party is responsible for each area of the car.
Power comes from a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated V12 which will probably be some derivative of the Vulcan’s 800 horsepower V12. It’ll have to be more powerful than that though given their target of a 1:1 power-to-weight (bhp to kilogram) ratio. To help the AM-RB 001 reach that goal, it’ll of course be as light as possible.
But what really makes a car with this much presumed power a step above the rest is how well it manages air at speed… Adrian. Newey. Remember the Red Bull X2010, a car so mental it could only exist in the digital world? That Adrian Newey is working on the aero (and the suspension to support it) for this car. Much of his work focused on the car’s underfloor aerodynamics, which left Reichman free to craft a breathtaking form which truly makes it seem like the hypercar of the future.
When we see the final results around 2018 (when they plan to deliver these), it could take road car performance to levels we’ve never seen before. They didn’t speculate on performance figures it could achieve, but when you’ve got V12 power in a car with a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio with aero by the best F1 car designer in modern history, it’s going to be wicked. The AM-RB 001 is ambitious, it’s uncompromising, and it’s a road car.
Between 99-150 road legal AM-RB 001s will be built. They’ve also confirmed a track-only version will be produced by 2018; only 25 of those will be built and they’ll have performance to rival today’s LMP1 cars.
Even as a concept, it’s already like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
[Source: Aston Martin]
I knew this day would come… I was warned.
Overheard near the Ferrari owners club… “in the next year or year-and-a-half you’re going to see an open top LaFerrari.”
— Greg Kachadurian (@GregCKach) January 29, 2016
The Ferrari TheFerrari is back in the news again because the rumors that have been circulating around the car since its inception have finally been confirmed – it’s getting an open-top version. The only news we got out of Maranello was that it exists and it looks like this^, but we don’t even really know the name. Traditionally, open-top Ferraris have been called Spiders, but lately they’ve used Aperta for the really special ones. I would assume the fastest, most powerful open-top production car in company history would qualify for the name Aperta, if not some other overly complicated way to say “convertible” in Italian.
Regardless of the name, this enhanced headroom edition LaFerrari keeps everything that made the original LaFerrari such an amazing car. Most notably, it still has the same 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated V12 combined with electric power for a total system output of over 950 horsepower. It’ll still be blindingly quick and will still look spectacular while sitting in a collection for the rest of its life.
The removable roof will either be carbon fiber or of a more traditional cloth construction, depending on customer preference. Chassis rigidity is always an issue when taking the roof off cars originally designed as hardtops, so Ferrari has beefed up the chassis to keep rigidity as close to the standard car as possible.
Because you still haven’t mastered the art of telepathy to predict this car, each of the 150 planned examples are already spoken for.
[Source: Ferrari via Autoweek]
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
This is how the Nissan Pathfinder will look for the next ten years. The SUV is getting a mid-life refresh through a pretty substantial face lift, new features, and a bit more power for the 2017 model year. They hope all the new changes enhance the Pathfinder’s sense of adventure and its character.
The updated appearance incorporates Nissan’s latest signature design elements that we’ve seen on all their new cars lately, most notably the “V-Motion” grille which also improves aerodynamic efficiency and engine cooling. The hood and front fascia are reworked as well to follow the same V-Motion theme. New headlights with boomerang style LED running lights flank both sides of the wide grille and higher trim levels come with full LED lighting as standard. The changes in the rear include new taillights, a “stronger” bumper design, and a new automatic rear lift gate. There are also new eighteen and twenty-inch wheel designs and two new paint colors available.
Interior updates focus on convenience and connectivity. It all looks mostly the same, but little things were changed to make the Pathfinder a nicer place to be. The cup holders were reshaped to fit mugs, the front storage bin is now illuminated, and there are now two USB ports inside the center console. Bigger changes were made to the on-board tech though. The driver assistance display tucked in the gauge cluster now shows more data, voice recognition is improved, and moving object detection was added to the around view monitors. Its updates here are nothing huge, but it doesn’t need much else for reliable family duties.
Power now comes from a revised 3.5-liter V6 engine which features 50% new or new-to-Pathfinder components to increase power, torque and towing capacity. Power is up to 284 hp now (compared to the previous 260 hp) and torque rises to 259 lb.-ft (up from 240 lb.-ft.) of torque. One of its more important new components is its enhanced direct injection system which improves wide-open throttle performance and uses fuel more efficiently while doing so. Towing capacity improves by 1,000 pounds to a class-leading 6,000 pounds [update: maybe not – the Durango tows 7,400 pounds]. Despite the extra power and towing capabilities, fuel efficiency remains at 20 mpg city, 27 mph highway, 22 mpg combined on 2WD models – all-wheel drive is still an option.
Pricing isn’t available yet but they’ll be in showrooms by the end of the year.
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]