The News for March 11th, 2022

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Acura reveals production ready Integra, Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid debuts for the EU market and previews upcoming NA model, Ford surprises with one more Heritage Edition GT, and BMW acquires Alpina.

2023 Acura Integra

It feels like it was just yesterday when news first broke that Acura was bringing back the Integra for the first time in two decades. And it also feels like yesterday when the internet decided that it was bad. But this week we’ve got the full details on the production version that’s bound for our showrooms in the coming months. Acura hopes its new premium sport compact can fill the same role as the original Integra did decades ago, which was to attract new young buyers to the brand and maybe even give them an experience they’ll enjoy.

While the name is a retro comeback, the car’s styling certainly does not reflect that. The only design element that can clearly be linked to the original Integras is its five-door liftback design which is an exclusive feature in the segment. The rest of its styling is just like what we see in other Acuras these days. Thin A-pillars with a low cowl, frameless Diamond Pentagon grille, JewelEye LED headlights with “Chicane” LED daytime running lights, and an aggressive rear fascia with dual exhaust tips and an upswept decklid. It rides on a selection of 17, 18, and 19″ wheels. Opt for the A-Spec sport package and it’ll have gloss black window surrounds and front and rear fascia trim, a lip spoiler, and Shark Gray 18″ alloy wheels.

The interior is where the benefits of paying extra for the Integra over the Civic really come into play. In typical Acura fashion it’s got loads of high quality materials and switchgear with a focus on making sure all touchpoints have a true premium feel. Body-stabilizing and heated front seats are standard but can be upgraded to 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat with microsuede inserts for driver and passenger. The rear seats have “generous” legroom and have a 60/40 split to expand its cargo area. Up front there’s a standard 10.2″ “Acura Precision Cockpit” digital gauge cluster and a 7″ touchscreen for infotainment needs. The available Technology Package expands that touchscreen to 9″ and adds wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired support is standard), Alexa Built-In, wireless charging, and a 5.3″ HUD. Top-of-the-line sound is provided by a 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D premium audio system.

Another big selling point that Acura is pushing is its driving dynamics, which it says is class leading. The Integra is built on “an exceptionally” rigid body and sport-tuned chassis which works with a fully independent suspension to deliver precise, sporty handling and a comfortable ride. It has an available Adaptive Damper System, variable ratio steering, and three standard drive modes with the ability to create an individual setting on higher trims.

This chassis should work well with the powertrain which is taken straight from the brilliant new Civic Si. A VTEC-enhanced DOHC 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower and 6,000 RPM and 192 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,800-5,000 RPM. The standard transmission is a CVT, for better or worse, which offers quick response, Step Shift programming to simulate gear changes, and paddle shifters. A six-speed manual is available but it’s only available on A-Spec models. But it should be a sweet gearbox with a short throw, close ratios, automatic rev matching, and a helical limited-slip differential that’s also thrown in on manual-equipped vehicles.

Production will commence in the coming months in Marysville, Ohio on the same production line as the TLX. MSRP is expected to be “around” $30,000, about $3k higher than the new Civic Si it’s effectively based on. If a manual is a must for you, then that price difference will be even higher (we aren’t sure by how much yet) as you’ll need to get the A-Spec version. But for the average consumer who is okay with a CVT, the level of quality found in the Acura just might be worth that premium.

[Source: Acura]

Mazda CX-60 debuts in Europe

A big and important launch for Mazda just took place in Europe, and I’m talking about it because it previews what the brand will bring stateside in the future under another nameplate. The CX-60 is Mazda’s newest crossover/SUV thing but it’s also the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It also shows off some new styling features which is sure to spark some conversation.

Not a ton has been said about it so far, but here’s what we know. The company’s first PHEV powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a 100kW electric motor. Up to 42 miles of range is available on battery power alone. When both power units are working together, it’s capable of a respectable 5.8-second 0-62 mph time. It’s also going to take the brand’s focus on moving upmarket to a new level with starting prices around $57,000 (converted) in the UK market. While the version we get may differ slightly, this should be a good preview. Like what you see or does the prospect of a near $60k Mazda turn you off?

[Source: Mazda via Jalopnik]

Another Ford GT Heritage Edition is coming

Remember when Ford introduced that Alan Mann Racing Heritage Edition GT last month and we thought it was going to be the last one? Well uh, it wasn’t. Ford has teased another one and this time it might actually probably maybe be the final one, potentially.

This one is inspired by Holman & Moody Racing, who were a longtime official racing contractor for Ford at the time, mostly on the NASCAR side. But their experience with big power and high speed made them invaluable to the GT40 program. They helped develop the monstrous 427 V8 which powered them to a 1-2-3 finish in 1966. The car that finished third that year was one of the three entered by Holman-Moody themselves, and it’s that car which is being honored this time around. The #5 GT40 Mk II driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson was part of that historic photo finish and sported a gold livery with red accents and white side stripes. Back in 2018, it sold at RM Sotheby’s for nearly $9.8 million.

This Heritage Edition car, like all those that came before it, should capture the essence of this car well. Based on the three closeups we have so far, it will look stunning in this paint scheme. I’ll cover this again when there are more details.

[Source: Ford Performance]

BMW acquires Alpina

BMW_ALPINA_B3_

BMW has acquired longtime tuner and officially recognized manufacturer Alpina in a move to help secure the brand’s future. The rapidly changing landscape in the automotive industry was cited as a primary reason for the Alpina brand to join BMW Group’s portfolio. Though Alpina had been operating as a separate entity since 1965, they had become extremely close in recent years and were practically operating under the same roof already. But now it’s official.

Alpina has earned a reputation as being way more than a reskinned BMW. They develop their own greatly enhanced engines, refine the suspension, and give their cars more class than BMW could hope to achieve themselves. Alpinas are beloved in the BMW community for a reason. And that’s why BMW’s silence on what they plan for the brand long term is a little worrying. A recent contract extension means that Alpina will continue to operate exactly as it is today until 2025. That means more Alpina models produced and maybe even new ones developed until then. But after that, BMW confirms the Alpina vehicle program will be discontinued and employees will be moved to other spots within BMW Group and its suppliers as needed. The service, parts, and accessories business will continue long term so existing customers aren’t left hanging. But the Alpina brand we know and love will look very different after 2025.

BMW_ALPINA_B3_

BMW hasn’t been known for making wise decisions lately, so needless to say I’m pretty worried. But BMW states it plainly – “the transformation towards electromobility and increasing regulation worldwide – particularly emissions legislation, software validation and requirements for driver assistance and monitoring systems – result in significantly higher risks for small-series manufacturers”. So this move protects the future of the Alpina brand to some extent. Or at the very least, it guarantees that no one gets to kill Alpina except BMW.

[Source: BMW]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

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.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

15 Comments

  1. So Mazda is finally starting to dabble in proper hybrids…the Outlander PHEV has been around since 2014 or so, but Mazda kept insisting they’ll just perfect their SkyActive engines instead. About time?

    Talking about being late, I am finally working on the broken head unit in our small Hyundai. After some testing and inspecting, it seems like this one needs to be replaced…big meh.

  2. I’ve retaken control of all my project bikes’ online documentation. The enthusiast forum as a whole is clearly dying; for too long, I’ve been migrating from forum to forum, with the VerticalScope grim reaper always on my tail. So, I did a fresh WordPress install on my personal domain and copied all my build documentation to my own, stand-alone blog. Now I have a secure repository for 10+ years of words and pictures, as well as a single, dedicated spot for future updates. It’s currently approaching 300 posts, all organized by sequence and project. It is mostly for my own reference, so I don’t care how many hits it gets.
    http://tanshanomi.com/

  3. i watched a youtube video about the latest Lemons race and saw our old friend Eric Rood!

    the subject of the video was an E46. i got manual sport seats out of exactly such a BMW for my 190D and am now waiting on an adapter bracket to see if i can fit them in. the driver’s seat is pretty collapsed on the left side and it’s starting to hurt my knee and back. i also would like to be able to corner without a death grip on the steering wheel, and to someday add stiffer springs to the car without turning the sprung base into an out of tune vibrator.

  4. Saw a Hyundai Ioniq 5 for the first time today, definitely a concept car for the road and could really do without some of the styling flourishes that nearly make as much impact as the front styling.

    I’ve read the upcoming Mazda is the rwd platform and includes the straight six; I’m not sure how sporty it will be though even if they make a new 6 sedan as it seems it’s pretty large and heavy

  5. So…. I flew out to Florida, rented a Mustang Convertible, and went to “The Amelia” – the famous Concours event with a buddy. I’ve donecthis before, amd it is hard to beat a trip to Florida in March to look at a group of beautiful cars.

    Flying was….an okay experience except that American did their level best to make it difficult and annoying. The rental Mustang was actually a pretty nice car – this one had the base engine; a turbo 4 with an 8-speed auto albeit with paddle shifters. The top was a breeze to operate and sealed really well; a big plus: well done Ford! The engine was fun too – 310 HP! (I looked it up) and in sport mode moved right along while making a lovely sound. I enjoyed driving it, and in general really liked the car except that the Ford Sync media system was a serious pain; you know it’s a problem when you are happier driving along with your phone in your hand while navigating strange territory . The only other annoyance was that the rear quarter windows wouldn’t close completely when you put the top up and didn’t do it quite the same way every time. If it were my car, I’d have it at the dealer to fix those ideally before the next rain storm: not so good but certainly not a deal-breaker. So: I would consider spending my own money to buy one.

    The Concours: well….. Hagerty Collector Car Insurance company bought the rights to the show. Now, I generally hate what I call “National Geographic Magazine Syndrome” which can be summarized as “You should have seen (whatever) before it was ruined by the evil and greedy corporations” but… that really seems to apply here. Hagerty recently went public and I am sure what started out as a noble gesture of support to keep the show alive in these difficult times (when they were private) has now been turned into a money-grubbing profit-oriented operation. Whoever is in charge will be proud that they turned a profit but whoever is in charge doesn’t get “it.” The whole affair was rather poorly run – the only food available was Sysco Food System (basically school cafeteria suppliers) sandwiches – a piece of plain unseasoned chicken breast between two slabs of hamburger-bun style bread with no lettuce or tomato or nuthin (and not even available for a price) except a squeeze packet of mayo and a little bag of BBQ chips et al… exactly the fare you (don’t) expect the Dusenberg crowd to go for. Oh, and to add insult to injury the vendors only accepted cash. Who the hell only accepts cash in 2022? I should note that this is after they charged me $300 (that’s per person) for “early” entry (an hour free of the hoi polli except they started letting them in early just because) for which I also received… nuthin’ … not even a water bottle, cap, or t-shirt, and most especially not parking at $40 a day – also cash only. Seriously Hagerty? They were also short by nearly 100 cars from previous years, and none of the major car makers had displays of their historic greats as has happened in the past.

    Anyway by way of brief demonstration of what I am trying to say though about Hagerty falling into the clutches of MBA’s and “not getting it” regarding the car scene(s) , Hagerty has also purchased RadWood and (apparently?) LeMons. So, they bunched the three shows into one at Amelia, setting them cheek-by-jowel. While it’s true they are indeed all ‘car shows’, the Amelia has always been about Dusenbergs, exotic Jaguars, Alfas, Mercedes, and Porsches..in short, true exotica and special and unusual examples of automotive genius and madness. This year they had a whole row of Nascar has-beens, and the best-in show for racing cars was a 5 year old Cadillac prototype racer on a Dallara chassis. Okay then. And Radwood and LeMon: RadWood is about ‘cool cars’ from the 80’s that are not collectible per se, and LeMons is about creativity with junk. Now all of these are cool in their own rightand I enjoy them all individually, but the crowds they attract are not fungible nor even compatible, really. It’s like putting people who drink ancient Napoleon brandy in the same room with youngsters who like rum and coke like dad drank, and then tossing in a bunch of guys who like making moonshine distilled though things you can find around the house. They don’t mingle comfortably.

    So, to summarize: I was disappointed.

    1. My general rule with convertibles is that if the temperature is above 40 degrees F and rain looks unlikely, the top is down. I don’t know whether I would have discovered the gaps in the rental’s quarter windows. On the other hand, I’ve had 8 different convertibles from the 60’s, 70’s, and 90’s, and I don’t think any of them have had tightly-fitting glass.

      Bummer your trip was such a cash grab.

    2. If you’d consider sending that in as an article, it sounds like something I’d like to read. With pictures!

      Anyway, sounds like a great trip despite the respectless commercialization.

  6. Of industry news, I’m most excited for the VW ID.Buzz – assuming it’s not stupidly priced, an electric minivan with any personality is pretty appealing to my wife and I (and we’re not looking to buy new prior to 2024 anyhow).

    Not news by any stretch, but I was filling out a public survey on the expansion of a local LRT line, and found it funny that whoever illustrated one of the sample images decided to use a stylized Porsche 944.

  7. Looks like Audi is taking the “same sausage, different lengths” approach with the Integra. I can’t say it’s unattractive, but I admit I’m disappointed and uninterested. For anyone enamored with the TLX, I suppose the reveal is welcome, though.

    There are so few new cars that spark my interest these days.

  8. Second time is the charm, on Saturday I spent about 11 hours driving to KY and back to pick up a 1998 140K mile 5 speed Boxster.

    It’s a very clean and well kept car with some needs. Had a PPI done and it found a number of minor issues (a couple of small oil leaks, rattles in the suspension, bad 02 sensors), one potentially big one (clutch may be at the end of life) but otherwise a solid car where everything works.

    It’s silver, which is not my favorite, but it’s got the Navy top and interior, which is kinda neat.

    I drove it around the block once before loading it up and then about 12 miles here on Saturday. Looking forward to putting some miles on it this week.

    I borrowed a 2021 Ridgeline for the trip rather than risking a breakdown in my 296K mile Tundra. The U-Haul trailer clocks in at 2,200 lbs empty (beefy!) and the Boxster is about 2,800 so I was right at the 5,000 limit. While you definitely knew it was back there, it towed it like a champ. Set the cruise at 67 MPH and returned about 15 MPG. What a fantastic truck.

  9. RIP Alpina. BMW lost its way years ago– I can’t see anything good coming from this acquisition.

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