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: a gorgeous one-off Ferrari, more of the attractive 2020 Hyundai Sonata, lap records, and more.
Sometime back in 2015, a “great connoisseur of the Ferrari world” approached Ferrari with an idea for a one-off track car. And also what I assume was a metric shit load of money. This connoisseur loved classic Ferrari sports prototypes and wanted a modern interpretation of cars like the 330 P3/P4 and Dino 206 S. It also had to hold its own on the track. After four years of development time, this incomprehensibly gorgeous race car is the result.
The Ferrari P80/C is a legitimate race car prototype. It’s built around a 488 GT3 but doesn’t conform to any series regulations. With that freedom, they made an entirely bespoke body from carbon fiber along with unique aero elements. The only body part that’s still 488 GT3 is part of the rear diffuser.
Ferrari’s Styling Center weren’t trying to make a replica of the older sports prototypes, as you can clearly tell. Instead they were “attempting to recreate the sensual shape of those iconic models through more muscular wings formed by the intersection of concave and convex surfaces”. I’d say they succeeded.
One thing that lends to the car’s “sensual shape” they were referring to is the bodywork that’s wider at the front axle than it is at the rear . In a departure from modern mid-engine Ferraris, the rear glass is concave to make way for the aluminum louvers on the engine cover. This design required an additional wing at the leading edge of the roofline to help direct airflow to the rear wing properly.
The rear diffuser area contains no painted bodywork and is extremely efficient at extracting air from the engine bay and the underbody. It also fully exposes the running gear, so that’s cool. Speaking of air, the headlights are tucked away into carved pockets that look like they could be air intakes. Additionally, the tail lights look just like air vents at first glance.
They didn’t go into specifics on the mechanical awesomeness of the car, but 488 GT3 running gear means 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8. Without BOP to adhere to, that engine could easily make over 600 horsepower. The owner seems to have every intention of using that too as they’ve specifically requested the car to come in show and race trim.
The racing setup includes the massive carbon-fiber wing and 18″ single-nut wheels while the exhibition package has 21″ wheels but removes the aero package. They don’t show the car in show trim, but the race spec looks good enough to show off any day.
In short, this is the best car Ferrari has made in a very long time. It’s perfect.
[Source: Ferrari via Autoweek]
A Better Look at the 2020 Hyundai Sonata
Shifting gears just a tad, Hyundai has released more real images of the all-new 2020 Sonata as the press drives begin. We can more clearly see the surprisingly attractive styling and the even more surprisingly upscale interior.
With these new shots, we can see more of the styling choices they made which were harder to pick up on last time. The first thing I noticed is the chrome strip that runs from the top of the headlights all the way to the A-pillar. Initially I figured that was a reflection on the body, but it’s part chrome and part daytime running light. There’s a crease about a third of the way up where it switches. I thought we were done with hood-length chrome strips a long time ago, but this seems to work rather well.
And we get further confirmation that the tail lights look almost exactly like that of the Honda Civic’s. Seriously.
But all in all, this car is looking to be a winner for Hyundai. Hopefully they don’t need to put the thing on stilts to get people to buy it.
[Source: Hyundai via Autoweek]
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Sets Road Atlanta Record
The production car lap record at the newly renamed Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta has fallen to the locals. Porsche, whose North American HQ is an hour down the road, claimed the title this week with the incredible 911 GT2 RS. Randy Pobst, another local, did the honors.
Coincidentally, Pobst also held the previous record in the Corvette ZR1 with a time of 1:26.45. Before that, the Dodge Viper ACR held that title. Both Randy Pobst and David Donohue were actually sent out in two Porsches to set times – the 911 GT3 RS and the 911 GT2 RS. The GT3 was fast enough to beat the ZR1’s time with a 1:26.24.
But the fastest time of the session and the new record belonged to Pobst who ran a ridiculously quick 1:24.88.
Both cars were equipped with road-legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R N0 tires and had lap times validated by Racelogic. You can see the run in its entirety above. Having driven that track in real life, the speeds he’s carrying through the Esses and on the straights is pant-wetting, even from here. I managed 150 mph on the back straight in a BMW M5. Randy does 173 mph like it’s nothing.
2019 Volkswagen Arteon Pricing
The stunning 2019 Volkswagen Arteon, the brand’s new halo sedan which replaces the Passat CC, has had its pricing finalized. Front-wheel-drive models starts at $35,845 and 4Motion AWD starts at $37,645. It arrives in dealerships next month. Neat.
Lincoln Corsair Teased
Lincoln is continuing their lineup overhaul with a new model that’s set to debut in New York. The existing MKC crossover is being reworked and rebranded as the Lincoln Corsair. The name is synonymous with two classic US Navy aircraft which fits into Lincoln’s aviation theme. Maybe it’ll be a thing of beauty like the F4U Corsair, widely regarded as one of the prettiest planes ever. Or maybe it’ll be more like the A-7 Corsair II which earned the nickname “Short Little Ugly Fucker”. But regardless of how it looks, Lincoln will do their best to make a class leader out of it. And it probably will be.
Nissan RB26 is Going Back into Production
You read that right. Nismo is building the RB26 again. This is part of their effort to make replacement and restoration parts for heritage models more accessible to enthusiasts. The Skyline in particular has gotten a lot of love lately, and this takes it a massive step further.
The RB26 block, head, engine harness, and fuel pump assembly will soon be available directly from Nismo. To top it all off, prices seem very reasonable. At current conversion rates, the block is valued at $1,534 and the heads $1,688. Everything else is even less. Check out the full list of new old parts from Nismo here and start dreaming up a twin-turbo RB26 build. Most parts will be ready to ship this April.
[Source: Nismo via Autoblog]
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 © 2019 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]