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:
Rolls-Royce partners with famous British musicians for custom Wraiths
Jeep exec confirms Grand Cherokee Trailhawk debut at New York
Jaguar Classic debuts first of ten accurately-restored “Reborn” E-Types
Toyota testing hybrid system for boats in Tokyo
Other news stories from the week
What’s your automotive news?
Rolls-Royce Wraith “Inspired by British Music”
Britain has given been a breeding ground for some immensely talented musicians and Rolls-Royce is launching a program to help celebrate the very best. The imaginatively-named “Inspired by British Music” series of Rolls-Royce Wraiths will serve as a canvas for nine of Britain’s most revered rock and vocal musicians to illustrate and celebrate their esteemed careers.
Each musician gets their own Wraith (or sometimes two) and the first four were revealed this week. Roger Daltrey CBE, Sir Ray Davies, and Giles Martin got to go first. After all nine cars are revealed, they’ll be offered up for sale at European Rolls-Royce dealerships with some portion going to the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities.
Roger Daltrey CBE of The Who committed to creating two cars, one celebrating his personal music legacy and another commemorating their seminal album “Tommy”. Design motifs on his The Who-inspired car include the iconic bulls-eye logo in various places, lyrics from “Join Together” and “I Can See for Miles” engraved in the two copper door flights, and his signature embroidered into the headrests. On the seat backs are images depicting Keith Moon’s “Pictures of Lily” drum set – you know, the ones that blew up on national television.
Roger’s second car was created in collaboration with Mike McInnerney, the artist responsible for the “Tommy” album artwork. That same art was applied to the bonnet over Lyrical Copper paint. There’s additional custom embroidery with album references all around the cockpit including a depiction of a pinball machine (“Pinball Wizard”) on the rear cabin leather waterfall thing.
Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks selected lyrics from “Shangri-la” and “Drivin’” to be engraved in the door flights in his own recreated hand-writing. Additional signatures and logo embroidery is spread throughout the cabin. He even turned his attention to the two umbrellas that stow away inside the doors and had them engraved with lyrics from “Sunny Afternoon”.
Songwriter and producer Giles Martin took the opportunity to honor his father, the late Sir George Martin with a rear cabin waterfall that names each of his 30 number-one hit singles, his signature stitched into the headrests, and two copper door flights with two special messages. One is the quote; “the recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear”. The other features engraved details from the original handwritten arrangement for “Yesterday” by The Beatles.
So if you’re a British rock aficionado and happen to be into collecting rare Rolls-Royces, these one-off Wraiths should be high on the list of want. Additional Wraiths designed by other musicians will be revealed and eventually sold at a later date.
FCA is doing the thing again
Autoblog reports that we’re just weeks away from seeing what is surely a Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee, in this case referred to as the Trackhawk. Mike Manley, Head of Jeep, confirmed the news at a launch event for this year’s Moab Easter Jeep Safari concepts.
Manley simply smiled and said that it’ll be “quite a special vehicle” while the rest of us began speculating. A Trailhawk has been hinted at almost as long as the Hellcat has even been on sale. They even built a [mostly] working Wrangler and Ram Rebel concept using Hellcat power. We can only assume it’ll have the same supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi which produces 707 horsepower in the Hellcats and probably a million horsepower in the Demon, but I’m not so sure that we’ll see that same figure in the Trailhawk.
Using last year’s Ram Rebel TRX concept as the most recent example, it was a Hellcat-powered truck but its output was detuned to a measly 575 horsepower, presumably so that the rest of the drivetrain could cope. Will they have to do the same thing in the Grand Cherokee, which in its current form has at most 475 horsepower? Will it have a pass-through headlight for cooling purposes? Will it come with a special box?
We’ll find out in two weeks.
Jaguar Classic E-Type “Reborn”
Jaguar’s bespoke Classics division recently announced a new initiative to offer up an extremely-limited run of factory-fresh Series 1 E-Types. Not to be confused with the D-Type continuation models which are actually “new”, this Reborn program takes ten original cars sourced by Jaguar Classic experts and comprehensively and accurately restores them at their purpose-built facility in Coventry. The first car is shown here and will be on display at the Techno-Classica Essen show in Germany, April 5-9.
This first E-Type Reborn is an Opalescent Gunmetal Grey Series 1 4.2 Fixed Head Coupe that was originally exported to California in May 1965. It recorded 78,000 miles before being stored in 1983 and it still retains its original body shell, engine, and gearbox (though it was all obviously rebuilt).
Since Jaguar Classic were the ones doing the restoration, all Jaguar parts were used in the project to retain its authenticity. They keep it as original as possible but any safety-critical parts are typically replaced. Additionally, improved parts from later E-Types can be incorporated into the car as well as the owner wishes.
Only ten Series 1 (1961-1968) E-Types will be Reborn by Jaguar Classic with each going for at least £285,000 depending on specification.
Toyota testing a hybrid boat powertrain
This week in Schooniverse, Toyota announced Japan’s first leisure craft with a parallel hybrid system which will start a three-year-long feasibility study in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Toyota loaned the hybrid PONAM-28V boat to local authorities who will use it around Tokyo Bay and at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to provide Toyota with the data they were looking for. Also, if you’re a Tokyo resident or a visitor, you’ll at some point be able to take canal tours on the thing at the Port of Tokyo and probably give feedback yourself.
The PONAM-28V is a 28-foot vessel that utilizes a gas and electric motor to offer excellent cruising range (though they didn’t specify) and an actual EV mode. Just as hybrid cars can do, it’ll be able to cruise a limited range without making any noise or emissions on nothing but lithium-ion battery power. The gas engine produces 256 horsepower and is supplemented by the electric motor’s 48 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
Depending on how the feasibility tests go, Toyota could make a splash in the maritime propulsion industry and launch a new business initiative to supply hybrid systems to other boat manufacturers. In the three weeks I’ve been covering the boating industry, I’ve never seen a more groundbreaking innovation.
Other coverage from the week
Things are starting to pick up again in the industry so there actually are a few other stories we covered throughout the week. Yesterday Jeep unveiled seven concepts for the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari as is tradition, Toyota Australia unleashed their inner child and built a pretty neat one-off Hilux with Tonka, and we may already know what the new JL Wrangler looks like thanks to another leak.
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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]