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. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
Jaguar stuffs a bigger engine into the F-Pace
Audi introduces RS 5 Sportback
Lincoln is giving the Aviator another go
Genesis reveals G70, a new 3 Series fighter
The Toyota Corolla iM lives on as the Corolla Hatchback
Honda reveals some more Insight numbers
Lamborghini stuns with Huracan Performante Spyder
Cadillac bores with XT4
What’s your automotive news?
Jaguar F-Pace SVR
In a move that almost surprised someone, Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations has injected some of their high-powered goodness into the Jaguar F-Pace for a special SVR model. The F-Pace SVR gets a full makeover with a beast of an engine, special suspension, and unique bodywork. It’s the “fastest and most powerful F-Pace yet”… it was only introduced two years ago, but still.
As with every other SVR made to date, the centerpiece is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 which they somehow fit under the hood of this thing. That might actually be the most impressive thing about this. The F-Pace basically competes with the Porsche Macan but you don’t see them stuffing V8s in that one.
This V8 is the same one that’s in use in various Land Rover SVRs and the magnificent F-Type SVR, but it’s been detuned to 542 horsepower and 501 lb.-ft. of torque. With power distributed to all four wheels, that’s still good enough for a 4.1-second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 176 mph.
Because their Special Vehicle Operations doesn’t just add power and push it to market, it also rides on uprated SVR suspension with stiffer dampers and roll bars, it cuts weight in the wheel department with new forged alloy wheels, and has special calibrations for the automatic transmission, traction and stability control, torque vectoring, and electric power steering.
Long story short, it’s an F-Pace that hauls ass. It also costs £74,835 (~$104,970).
Audi RS 5 Sportback
Audi is offering the high-performance RS 5 option for their recently introduced five-door “coupe” this summer. Simply put, the RS 5 Sportback takes everything that’s great about the RS 5 Coupe and adds two more doors and a rear lift gate. So it adds three doors, I guess.
The highlights are 444 equestrian powers from a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6, an eight-speed automatic, sport-tuned Quattro, a 3.9-second 0-60 time (only two tenths off the RS 5 Coupe), a top speed of up to 174 mph, five-link front and rear suspension, and more RS-bespoke hardware and software than I care to list. It moves like an RS 5 Coupe but has the added practicality of larger rear seats that might have enough headroom for some adults, thanks to its “coupe-like” roof line.
But most importantly… it comes in Sonoma Green Metallic.
Remember when Lincoln sold the Aviator about 15 years ago during the height of America’s badge engineering craze? It was basically a Ford Explorer with a shrunken Lincoln Navigator grille and some interior upgrades that people didn’t seem to care about. It only lived for 3 years. This week in New York though, Lincoln announced round two for the Aviator… and it’s definitely not just a slightly nicer Ford Explorer anymore.
It’s technically a “preview” which might just be a more pretentious way of saying “concept”, but Lincoln confirmed the Aviator returns to showrooms next year and this vehicle shows the direction they’re headed with it. Highlights of said direction include streamlined styling inspired by its namesake, new technology that will aim to enhance the user experience (like having your smartphone serve as the key), and a plug-in hybrid option. The days of badge engineering are very much over.
The Aviator certainly looks like it’s ready for production, but we’ll keep an eye on how much it changes between now and it’s 2019 production timeline. I’m guessing it won’t change much.
Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury sub brand, has launched its opening salvo in the competitive entry-level luxury sedan segment. It’s that segment where everything is a BMW 3 Series fighter, but this one might be the most compelling fighter yet. It’s the Genesis G70 and it’s coming for the segment that Germany holds dear.
Following the brand’s “athletic elegance” design signature, the G70 looks the part with short overhangs, a long bonnet, and a cab rearward architecture. It looks mean, yet sensible. Or maybe that’s just my sleep deprivation thinking that.
The ‘athletic’ part of the Genesis mantra is brought to life by what lies underneath. It launches with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 252 horsepower or a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 with 365 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is an option. The four-cylinder model has a six-speed manual option too, but there’s an eight-speed automatic option as well and the V6 version is automatic only.
It rides on a MacPherson multi-link front and multi-link rear suspension setup that’s designed to strike a balance between ride comfort and handling prowess. The Brembo brakes, limited slip differential, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires help with the latter.
So… basically it’s how Genesis does a Kia Stinger. It goes on sale this summer.
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
What used to be the Scion iM and Corolla iM will continue life as the Corolla Hatchback. Toyota revealed a slew of changes for the compact that take it up market a bit without sacrificing its playful spirit. It gets leaner and meaner, some new tech features, and a new engine to help breathe new life into a forgotten segment.
The redesign brings the car about an inch lower and makes it 1.2 inches wider and 1.5 inches longer to create some sportier dimensions for it. In that space is a more sculpted front and rear fascia, and it even sports an optional rear wing. They promise a tighter chassis, a lower center of gravity, and a more planted ride for the enthusiasts.
It will launch with Toyota’s brand new “Dynamic Force” 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and will be available with six-speed manual or a CVT. There’s no word just yet on what kind of numbers are coming out of that engine.
Inside you get more cabin space, an eight-inch touchscreen, a wireless charging pad, and reworked seats that they say are more comfortable. It also comes standard with Toyota’s latest Safety Sense which features pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, radar cruise control, lane keep assist, road sign assist, and automatic high beams.
It goes on sale this summer as well. There’s no pricing on it just yet.
As the all-new Honda Insight debuted in New York this week, we got some new numbers for their upcoming hybrid. The 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine working in conjunction with an electric motor backed by lithium-ion batteries produces a total of 151 horsepower and 197 lb.-ft. of torque. More importantly though for a car like this, they revealed a figure of 55 mpg in city driving – highway and combined numbers will come later. Also, with 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, their goal of making the uncompromising hybrid sedan to date just might pan out. On the next episode of the 2018 Honda Insight Goes to Market, maybe they’ll tell us something else about it!
Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder
Remember that super fast Lamborghini Huracan Performante that held the Nürburgring production car lap record for a few weeks? It’s like that, but now with a folding cloth top. It’s probably the coolest car in New York this week but there really isn’t much to say about it other than that. Look for it in the thumbnails of YouTube videos about how to make money with a new cryptocurrency.
[Source: Lamborghini via Autoweek]
Remember every compact luxury crossover that’s ever existed? It’s exactly like that, except it’s from Cadillac.
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 © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]