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:
Shelby American reveals a Super Snake for road courses and some expensive truck
Jaguar teases XF Sportbrake again by showing nearly all of it
BMW confirms all-wheel drive for new M5, but it won’t kill the fun
Nissan begins teasing next-generation LEAF
Volvo prices XC60 from $41,500
What’s your automotive news?
Shelby Super Snake Wide Body Concept
Looking at this picture, you’re probably thinking “what, another one? Shelby only revealed a Super Snake five months ago, so why are we talking about it again?” Because this one is better, and it’s better because it was designed to turn more. It’s a wide body version that exists to tackle road courses rather than just the drag strip like the “normal” Super Snake.
It’s technically a concept, but they hint at production intentions and even have ” available Fall 2017″ on their homepage. Regardless, it’s something they could easily produce given the fact they already sell the car it’s based on.
The wide body kit features extended front fenders with vents, rear quarter panels, and a new rocker styling kit to make it look great but more importantly allow more room for bigger rubber and a wider track. Two-and-a-half inches were added to the car’s track up front and four inches were added at the back.
The car’s handling upgrades include a new fully adjustable coil over suspension, new rear lower control arms, bigger brakes, hardened wheel studs, stronger spindles and hubs, 11” x 20” front wheels, and 12.5” x 20” rear wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Those bigger brakes come courtesy of Brembo and the kit includes 16″ rotors with 6-piston calipers front and 14″ rotors with 4-piston calipers rear, making this one of the biggest brake kits ever equipped on a Mustang.
All of this is completely necessary given the Super Snake’s supercharged Ford-sourced 5.0-liter V8 which can deliver up to 750 horsepower to whichever sections of tarmac aren’t too scared of it. Shelby says the new setup will allow for later braking, earlier acceleration out of corners, better communication to the driver, and will absorb track imperfections more effectively.
As mentioned earlier, they only call it a concept (and the first they’ve had in over a decade) but I’d be very surprised if they didn’t start selling this. Should they choose to build it again, it’ll be available worldwide.
Oh and they also revealed this truck they call the Shelby F-150 Super Snake. It can produce 395 horsepower or over 750 depending on the package and prices start at $96,880 (including the F-150). Yep.
[Source: Shelby American, Inc. via Autoweek]
Jaguar XF Sportbrake assaulted by tennis balls
Jaguar casually slipped in a “camouflaged” XF Sportbrake while promoting their partnership with Wimbledon 2017. The actual news release isn’t very interesting if you aren’t a tennis fan, but it’s our clearest picture yet of the upcoming XF Sportbrake – that is if you can look past all the tennis balls on it.
Usually automakers will use a dizzying black and white camo pattern when they want to test prototypes in plain sight, but wrapping a car in tennis balls is certainly a first. The tennis balls will come off on June 14th when we’ll also learn more about the new Sportbrake. Updates as I get them…
BMW M5 – AWD, 8-speed Steptronic confirmed
The rumors of an all-wheel-drive M5 are confirmed by a technical description and video recap released by BMW. The sixth-generation M5 due later this year will be the first to come standard with BMW’s new M xDrive system – but don’t worry, it isn’t killing the fun.
The traditionally rear-wheel-drive M5 isn’t necessarily dead, and I say that because the M xDrive system going in the new M5 can be disengaged at will. À la carte handling dynamics, as they call it, allows drivers to choose between the standard 4WD mode, the more playful and less intrusive 4WD Sport mode, or the traditional 2WD using in-car controls. You can see how it all works in the video above.
This is still possible
The idea here is to create an M5 that can be driven fast and enjoyed by everyone in any weather condition. Even the more experienced drivers will still enjoy the added stability and cornering performance the 4WD modes bring, according to BMW works driver Timo Glock. Besides the added complexity (which is to be expected from BMW these days) and the extra weight it carries (though BMW says the car will still be lighter than before), there are no downsides to this. BMW purists like myself can rest easy…
… and focus all of our rage to the torque-converter eight-speed Steptronic (automatic) transmission which will replace the seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission and six-speed manual in the old car. BMW says it’ll still be lightning quick and will also be more comfortable around town and on the highway, which is probably where an M5 spends 100% of its time, but the M DCT was just too cool to replace with a glorified ZF automatic. Maybe it’ll be fine… but it seems as if they’re taking a step back for the sake of comfort – in a 200+ mph super saloon.
[Source: BMW, Bimmerpost on YouTube]
The new Nissan LEAF is coming
Nissan, the automaker who loves to let their models age as much as possible before they do anything about it, is finally talking next-gen LEAF and kicked off the conversation with a quick teaser shot. The headlight lenses shown here belong to new mass-produced EV that we’ll see later this year. It doesn’t reveal much obviously, but its release is a sign of things to come with Nissan planning more photo teasers and international briefings scheduled throughout the summer to get us hyped.
More as we have it.
Volvo XC60 US pricing announced
Volvo announced US pricing for the all-new XC60 premium midsized SUV which are set to arrive in dealerships this fall. MSRP on the base XC60 T5 is $41,500 and that price includes standard leather seating, a panoramic moonroof, LED headlamps, a nine-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and the usual array of safety features that Volvo does best.
The standard T5 model is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with 250 hp. The next step up is the T6 ($44,900) which adds more premium features and a 316-hp turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder gas engine. At the top is the T8 ($52,900) which adds electric motors to the T6 drivetrain to create an all-wheel-drive hybrid.
Some of the premium features that distinguish the XC60 from others in the segment is optional soft Nappa leather seats with ventilation and massage, Bowers & Wilkins premium sound, and four-corner air suspension.
You can configure your XC60 right now at volvocars.com/us in anticipation of the fall 2017 delivery date.
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]