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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
2017 GT-R NISMO – new face, same 600 horsepower bite
2017 Subaru BRZ channels the STI concept for a face lift
BMW design study pays tribute to the original 2002 Turbo
Cosworth is setting up an engine shop near Detroit
The first Acura NSX rolls off the assembly line in Ohio
What’s your automotive news?
2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO
Just a few months after the face lifted and reupholstered Nissan GT-R debuted, it’s time for the NISMO to get similar treatment. The 2017 GT-R NISMO gets updated bodywork and improved aero, updated interior, and new chassis tuning.
Some of the new styling cues from the standard 2017 GT-R carry over to the NISMO, such as the “V-motion” grille and the new hood which carries those V lines all the way up. To account for the extra output of the engine, the V grille has been enlarged to collect more air without having an impact on aerodynamics. And because the NISMO has so much extra power to work with, the hood had to be reinforced to avoid deformation at high speeds. The NISMO also receives new layers of carbon fiber that make up the redesigned, stiffer bumper, and that stiffness is needed for the redesigned and more effective canards. Overall, the shape of the 2017 GT-R NISMO is one that generates more downforce than any other production Nissan to date.
The GT-R NISMO benefits from the standard model’s significantly reinforced body structure and capitalizes on that with new shock absorbers, springs, and stabilizers. Its Bilstein DampTronic driver-adjustable system features a new NISMO-tuned mode which they claim allows for the most effective power delivery to the road surface. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission is what still gets it to the wheels. Power output of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 known as the VR38DETT remains at 600 horsepower and 481 lb.-ft. of torque. Fun fact: those turbos are the same ones used in the GT3-spec GT-Rs.
Inside, it’s a similar story to what was debuted on the standard 2017 GT-R. No surface has been left untouched during the update and it’s all much more upscale than before. High-quality Alcantara suede covers the redesigned dashboard and steering wheel. It also features a new eight-inch touch-panel monitor which utilizes larger icons for easier touch screen use or a new Display Command control in the center console which allows for easy operation without having to touch the screen, a welcomed feature in a stiffer car. Finally, the GT-R NISMO is the only way to get leather Recaro seats with red suede inserts in a factory Nissan.
All in all, it’s not a dramatic redesign or a car that’s faster by leaps and bounds, but it’s still a potent machine perfectly suited for canyon carving or racing circuits.
2017 Subaru BRZ
Scion Toyota updates the FR-S 86, a Subaru BRZ update won’t be far behind. That’s certainly the case this week following the unveiling of the mid-life refresh of the BRZ for the 2017 model year. It being a nearly identical car mechanically, it gets many of the same updates as on the new 86 but benefits from a face lift not nearly as polarizing.
The BRZ’s face lift takes a page out of the wildly popular BRZ STI Performance Concept’s styling in a less dramatic fashion. Its front bumper has been redesigned for a widened appearance and positioned lower for improved aerodynamics and cooling. Higher up are new “kono-ji” style LED headlights which provide a cleaner look over the previous design, provide better nighttime visibility, and reduce power consumption.
At the rear, all BRZ models will now come with an aluminum spoiler in matching body color and black finish. It utilizes a new pedestal design which has a positive impact on
horsepower downforce. Sadly, they only gave us one picture of the exterior so we can’t see the whole thing just yet. The tail lights back there are also upgraded to full LED for energy reduction and improve visibility. The aluminum alloy wheels were redesigned as well for the Premium and Limited models and feature a new 10-spoke, 17″ design and a high-contrast black and machined finish.
Its interior gets a few new updates as well, most noticeably with a new leather-wrapped steering wheel. Tucked to the right of the tachometer is a 4.2-inch LCD multifunction display providing real-time telemetry including lateral Gs, accelerator position, braking force, steering angle, oil and water temps, voltage, and a stop watch for recording lap times.
And when you’re at the track with the 2017 BRZ, the numerous improvements made to the chassis should make it a thriller. It receives updated coil springs and dampers as well as a larger rear stabilizer bar. It also gets a reinforced strut tower brace, transmission cross-member plate, and rear wheel housings. To allow anyone to take full advantage of the new capabilities the enhanced chassis brings, Subaru has also increased the thresholds for the stability control. All of this makes enough difference that Subaru felt compelled to rename its “Sport” mode to “Track” mode. For real.
Get ready to fee like Mario Andretti because the 2017 BRZ also features a power increase… it’s five. Same power output as reported on the new Toyota 86 because they pretty much had to. 205 horsepower and 156 lb.-ft. of torque is what the TRACK MODE BRZ has to play with now. But making the most out of that power is a new, lower final drive ratio of 4.3:1 paired with the standard Torsen limited-slip differential when equipped with a manual transmission.
For those that want even more TRACK MODE to their BRZ, it can now be spec’d with the Performance Package on Limited models with a manual transmission. That adds Brembo brake calipers and larger rotors at all four corners, SACHS Performance shocks, and unique 17″ x 7.5″ black aluminum alloy wheels.
The Premium and Limited BRZ models will arrive by September, but Limited models with the Performance Package will have to wait till next Winter. Pricing isn’t available yet.
BMW 2002 Hommage
By waiting till Friday before doing a weekly automotive news recap, I can normally get a chance to cover everything that matters. I say normally because BMW. They like to make big announcements hours after the news goes live. This story is no exception. You’ve all probably heard about it by now and it doesn’t matter that much, but it’s still worth a quick mention. Maybe.
Anyways, BMW revealed the 2002 Hommage at last weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este near Lake Como, Italy. Like BMW’s previous attempts at making polarizing retro/modern concepts, this is a one-off design study with the sole purpose of showing what designers are capable of and to pay tribute to some of their most important cars. This one is an homage to the car that put BMW on the map: the BMW 2002 Turbo. Whether it’s a turbo or not, the 2002 is still a highly revered car in company history.
Think of this Hommage model as a re-imaging of a 1970’s engineering marvel as a design study for modern times. I won’t go into the details of its design, but overall it tries to be minimalist in terms of body lines, wider hips, bespoke Space Race Metal paintwork, 20″ multi-spoke, light alloy wheels (which I hope go on a production car somehow), and several neat details that certainly weren’t on the original car. Certain details from the original 2002 race cars of the era were adapted for the 2002 Hommage, including the BMW Motorsport livery on the front apron. mirrored “turbo” lettering, matte paintwork on parts of the roof, bonnet, and boot lid to reduce glare, and finally yellow-hued headlight lenses.
Will they ever build and sell this? No. Is it pretty? To most, probably not. Is it kind of awesome regardless? I think so.
Cosworth setting up shop near Detroit
Interesting news this week via Autoweek confirms that Cosworth, a British manufacturer of high performance powertrains and electronics, is setting up shop in a Detroit suburb of all places. With a $30 million investment, they’ll be building an all-new facility in Shelby Township, Michigan.
When the factory opens in 2018, it’ll start off supplying an unnamed manufacturer of “high performance road cars” *cough* TVR *cough* with V8 cylinder heads. The factory will be flexible enough to allow them to branch out with other manufacturers and produce other components in the future. Future growth plans could include expanding the same facility or opening a new manufacturing plant nearby, but for now they’ll take advantage of the facility’s close proximity to some big customers to grow as they can. Cosworth states up to 110 jobs will be added as a result.
[Source: Cosworth via Autoweek]
First Acura NSX rolls off the line
It’s happening*! After years of teasing, concepts, delays, and starting over a few times, Acura has finally built its first real NSX for a real customer.
NSX VIN 001 was assembled at Acura’s new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio and it belongs to Rick Hendrick. The NASCAR team owner won the right to own the first NSX after bidding $1.2 million in an auction benefiting two children’s charities. Presumably, NSX 002 and 003 were right behind it and destined for the climate controlled garages of Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld after they did that commercial they did four years ago.
*This is not a political statement. I just really like that gif.
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. If you’re a certain someone who’s just taken delivery of a Chevrolet SS, pix pls 😉
Have a good weekend.
[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]