The News for May 3rd, 2019

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 we have the gorgeous Toyota 86 Hakone Edition, the less gorgeous 2020 Camaro, the Hennessey Ranger VelociRaptor, and more!

Toyota 86 Hakone Edition

Toyota 86 Hakone

Toyota is introducing a gorgeous new special edition 86 that’s a love letter of sorts to great driving roads and the people who frequent them. Named after a famous turnpike near Tokyo, the 86 Hakone Edition is available in the US starting this Fall. It takes a page from the recent British Green Limited Edition 86 that set the internet on fire and offers an equally fantastic color scheme.

The list of what goes into an 86 Hakone Edition isn’t very long, but everything it does offer is exceptional. It’s coated in Hakone green paint and is complemented by a bronze coating on the 17″ twisted spoke wheels and a black spoiler. This Hakone green color looks almost identical to the British Green on the other car. It’s so rich in color and has to be one of the prettiest paint jobs on sale today.

Toyota 86 Hakone

The interior is dominated by tan and black. The Alcantara seats, trim, and control surfaces all receive this classic tan and black theme through stitching and inserts. It’s the only logical choice of interior colors on a dark green car, really.

Toyota 86 Hakone

Because it’s the Toyota 86 we’re talking about here, there’s nothing done to the powertrain and both the manual and automatic are available.

There’s no word on pricing or whether it’s a limited run but we’ll know more by Fall.

[Source: Toyota]

2020 Chevrolet Camaro – More Options, Slightly Less Ugly

2020 Camaro SS

“Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Steve Majoros, an important GM director guy, as he threw the last of the 2019 Camaro marketing materials into the incinerator. Without explicitly admitting that the ’19 Camaro SS was the single ugliest car revealed last year as agreed on by everyone, Chevrolet has made a valiant effort to fix it with an updated 2020 Camaro. There are also some new features and a new trim level to go with the news, but the new nose has been the one thing fans have been waiting for the most.

This new look was first previewed on the “Camaro Shock” SEMA show car and rights some of the most egregious wrongs on the SS’s redesign. The main changes were to move the bowtie off the center cross bar and back into the grille and make it all body color. Those two things have been addressed in the production-spec 2020 Camaro SS. That’s all it took to make something horrifically awkward and unattractive (I can relate) considerably less so. In fact, they’re so confident that the car only takes up about 10% of the pixels in the original, uncropped press photo. The other 2020 Camaro models look to have been unchanged.

Camaro LT1

2020 Camaro LT1

If you believe that’s enough to get you to like the new Camaro, here are some other changes you can look forward to. For starters, the same ten-speed automatic that was offered in V8 Camaros has been recalibrated and is now available on V6-equipped models. That trend of sending features down stream continues with things like a suede steering wheel, red seat belts, and Recaro seats being offered on lesser trims.

The one new thing that’s really going to get some attention is the new LT1 trim level (not to be confused with the existing 1LT trim), a bargain V8 Camaro. Priced at $35,000, the LT1 features the LT1 V8 with 455 horsepower (yes it has the same name as its engine) and fewer features as standard. It’s meant for the buyers who want good V8 performance for less and don’t mind making a few sacrifices. For instance, the LT1 is equipped with all season tires compared to the summer performance tires on the SS. If anything, it’s the package to buy if you planned on modifying it anyway.

The new 2020 Camaros go on sale this fall.

[Source: Chevrolet]

Hennessey Ranger VelociRaptor

hennessey-ford-ranger-velociraptor-1 (1)

While Ford is yet to officially confirm that the Ranger Raptor is coming to America, Hennessey has preemptively released their tuned version of it. They’ve been making VelociRaptor versions of the F-150 Raptor since it launched, so they seized the opportunity to beat Ford to the punch with the Ranger VelociRaptor.

Because the truck is still so new in America, Hennessey were limited to an exhaust and ECU tune on the Ranger’s EcoBoost four-cylinder. That’s still enough to deliver 360 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque compared to 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. stock. 0-60 mph takes 4.9 seconds and the quarter mile can be done in 13.9 seconds at 101 mph, two full seconds faster than the stock F-150 Raptor.

hennessey-ford-ranger-velociraptor-1 (1)

This initial Ranger VelociRaptor package also adds a four-inch lift kit and eighteen-inch wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich Mud Terrain TA KM2s. It also has off-roader body cladding at each end and fender flares. As Hennessey gets more time to tinker with the Ranger there will most certainly be crazier and more powerful models coming soon. I expect a Ranger VelociRaptor with twice as much power over stock by Christmas.

The Ranger VelociRaptor package goes for $19,950 plus the cost of the standard truck and shipping and such. Hennessey provides a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty.

[Source: Hennessey via Autoblog]

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Sets Record at Road America

high_911_gt2_rs_road_america_elkhart_lake_2019_porsche_ag

Porsche has decided to keep its streak going and set another production car lap record, this time at Road America. The same two cars that ran hot laps at Road Atlanta were shipped up to Elkhart Lake to see how they’d fare. Pretty well, as it turns out.

The Porsche 911 GT2 RS piloted by David Donohue set a time of 2:15.17 around Road America, smashing the production car lap record. Porsche’s wonderful 911 GT3 RS was also on hand to run some laps but was a little over three seconds slower as expected. Both cars were on road-legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R N0 tires.

The GT2 RS lap is above. Those who need more time away from your responsibilities at work today can also view the GT3 RS lap here.

IT’S THE NEW C8 CORVETTE…. ‘S BADGE

C8CorvetteBadge

It looks like this.

[Source: Facebook via Autoweek]

Other Coverage From the Week

Vantage AMR

In other news that was already covered on the site, Aston Martin is bringing back the manual with the Vantage AMR and oh yeah the Nissan 370Z Roadster is dead after this year.

What’s Your Automotive News for the Week

hooniverse whats 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]

51 Comments

  1. My news, I found a new quirk on my 2015 Volt yesterday. Wife was leaving, called me to tell me that I needed to add washer fluid. She has started the car with a full battery charge. I pop the hood and the gas engine starts up. Close the hood and the gas engine stops. I guess it is for checking fluid levels or something.

    1. Useful for emissions test.
      Not useful in closed garage.

      Start the engine!
      Wait, I need to open the hood.
      It’s almost but not entirely unlike Dr. Harrel’s fleet.

  2. Oooooooooohhhhhhhhh mmaaaaaaaannnnnnn – that GREEN! I’ve had very little desire in even paying attention to the 86 or it’s Subaru brother/cousin, knowing that I’d never want one. Until now. I want it!

    Funny enough, my boys and I were having a discussion about cars and the lack of color this morning – and we did an experiment on our drive into town. 22 ‘non-colors’ (black, white, silver, gray, charcoal gray, nightfall gray, granite, magnetic, steel, graphite, machine grey, gun metal, platinum [ugh there’s a lot of gray] and beige hues) versus 8 that were ‘colors’ (and 2 of those were such dark blue shades that I’d almost call them non-colors).

    Now I know, vehicular color choice is as subjective as one’s taste in music (wink, wink) but it sure is nice to see more options for those of us who love to see a full rainbow’s color palette.

          1. It’s been years since I’ve painted a full car, and that was a two-stage non-metallic. I’ve never attempted a metal flake or mica with an HVLP gun, either, so getting something like that Toyota green to lay down correctly would be a challenge for me today. Unless I choose to embrace the patina on my next project truck, though, I’d better be prepared to try!

          2. It’s been years since I’ve painted a full car, and that was a two-stage non-metallic. I’ve never attempted a metal flake or mica with an HVLP gun, either, so getting something like that Toyota green to lay down correctly would be a challenge for me today. Unless I choose to embrace the patina on my next project truck, though, I’d better be prepared to try!

          3. Bought my Binks #7 a long time ago and it served me well. Mostly did collision repairs , quit long before the new HVLP guns came out.

    1. The photos look heavily manipulated, I’ll wait for others before getting too excited, but it does look good. Almost like a candy style paint, maybe over a gold metallic base.

      The Camaro looks like they accidentally put the Silverado drawing into the system; doesn’t seem too popular there either.

      For a bit of fun, have a look at the second “Enforcer and The Dude” video where they show the effects of the V8 Supercars CoG changes that have recently been made. A new, no-BS show from 2 former racers. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D23B1h2T_YU

    1. To me as well! Hey crank_case, I think this resolves our discussion about Nissans. The FT86 HE is only about 100 hp and two cylinders shy of what I’d like to see in a new Z car.

      1. Just to be my usual contrarian self, what you really want is a resurrection of the Silvia really in that case. 😀

        https://images.cdn.circlesix.co/image/1/700/0/uploads/memes/nissan-silvia-s15-spec-r-aero–550a2cd5ce242.jpg

        ..well apart from the cylinders, but let’s face it we’re unlikely to see a new NA V or straigh six so that leaves either going up to a turbo V6 and stepping on the GT-Rs toes (though the 300zx and R32 GT-R managed to live in harmony, but it was the bubble era and Infiniti wasn’t a thing) or down and getting a turbo 4, which would probably be better off called a Silvia (see also related Gazelle/180sx/200sx/240sx).

        Then again, maybe they could do what I believe Toyota going to do with the supra, where the six is called a Supra and the four will be referred to Celica Supra, although that makes more sense in their case due to the cars intertwined history. With the Supra originally starting out as a six cylinder Celica so there’s a nice historic symmetry to it.

        So anyway yeah, Nissan, new Z please, and a Silvia and then take the Silvia and wrap it up in weirdly mini 90s Caprice bodywork to create a new four door RWD A31 Cefiro replacement (we’ll choose to pretend the A32 version, AKA Maxima didn’t exist). I don’t ask for much…

        https://img.favcars.com/nissan/cefiro/nissan_cefiro_1988_wallpapers_1_640x480.jpg

        1. I was deeply in love with the A31 Cefiro for a long time … I’ve seen a few imported into Canada but they’re vanishingly rare here, can’t imagine why.

  3. It’s the only logical choice of interior colors on a dark green car, really.

    Now there is an option to go caramel/chestnut though, that I would say is an even better fit. Yes, the 86 looks gorgeous, but a more “juicy” interior is only…better:

    https://cdn.bringatrailer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/1517613866d8e6158lagondainterior.jpg

    No big news from me this week, but I got some random fresh-EV-owner-ramblings. Our hilly area and, especially, our insane driveway keep flummoxing our Leaf’s range-o-meter. We feel a strange mix of relief, excitement and technological conquest once the range and actual driven distance do differ by less than a factor of two. Despite being rated at only 105 hp, the famed instant power of electric cars is real and so entertaining. I live in a sparsely populated area and the observation that I zoom away from every standing corner like a fool has already come around to me. HVAC even without the AC on consumes about 2 kW permanently, which seems like a lot to me, but also makes sense. Stuff like that suddenly has a real cost.

    1. On my Leaf AC had a negligible affect on range. Heat was the range killer. Funny Leaf vs. Volt EV thing, the Leaf defaults to normal mode (relatively quick throttle mapping) and offers an ECO mode to slow down throttle response. The Volt on the other had defaults to a normal mode that feels identical to the Leaf’s ECO mode, but can be put in Sport mode that matches the Leaf’s normal mode.

      1. Interesting distinction! I use ECO mode mostly to increase engine braking/charging. I would really like to get more charging out of low speed downhills though. Tapping the brakes increases the charge, but there’s always a way to go. Driving in ECO just feels…dead. How much does the sport mode affect your range?

        1. I really haven’t noticed a difference/don’t care since I have the gas when the battery is drained. Seems like I just read something about a B Mode on the Leaf that increases regenerative charging, but looks like it didn’t start until the 2013 models.

    1. I can’t believe you’d tarnish your car with that sticker 😛 Have fun and be safe!

  4. My news: I’m running away from my adult responsibilities and taking part in the iRacing Nurburgring 24 Hours this weekend. Mostly the same group of guys that I raced with in Sebring. We’ll be in the top class (GT3) just trying to survive. I anticipate lots of carnage.

    1. That would be the northern loop, right? Good luck, especially at night, and fingers crossed for the weather/visibility sim output!

      1. It was the endurance layout so it included the green hell and the GP circuit. It was very challenging but we had fun. We must have outlived about half the field and ended in 12th place. We lost time from a couple crashes (not my doing) that cost us a few laps. So once again we had to claw back from about P34 after all the repairs. Despite the repair times our car was still way down on top speed. And the steering wheel was off centered for half the race. But I made it through all five of my stints, including night laps, without issues.

  5. The Camaro LT1 sounds a bit like how my 1st Challenger R/T was trimmed out. That was a “27F” package car with conventional halogen-reflector headlights [where xxH = R/T Plus or xxJ = R/T Classic had projectors], manual climate control, cloth seats, and a basic AM/FM/CD-slot radio that was quickly upgraded to add Sirius satellite [that I wanted] and a 6-disc changer [because I couldn’t get Sirius without going to that head unit.] That overlap with the 1LT trim and LT1 engine is gonna be the stuff of confusion for years though.

    I racked up about 1000 miles on the Ram from Good Friday to the Sunday after Easter. Drove ‘home’ to the farm for Good Friday/Easter, came back to the city for just two days, then was back to the farm again on account of my grandmother’s funeral the Thursday after Easter, then back to the city again for work as of this past Monday. The last time I drove in a funeral procession to the cemetery, the protocol was for cars in the procession to have headlights on; this time it apparently was the hazard lights — I guess that makes sense considering how so many cars have daytime running lights now.

    With the family coalesced for the aforementioned occasion and it finally being spring-ish here [the last blizzard of the winter was just 2 weeks earlier], there were some ATV hijinks on the farm; I was putting around with my dad’s Yamaha 700R Raptor sport ATV so he decided he needed to demonstrate more of its [rather unhinged] range of potential antics, and I got to teach my cousin’s wife who’s a lifelong city gal how to operate the utility ATV. [Basically: “your brakes are these levers on the handlebar like a bicycle, or there’s a pedal on the right floorboard too; keyswitch is over there, start button is here; the shifter’s like an automatic car’s PRNDL, H is equivalent to D; your throttle is that thumb lever on the right side.”] No harm to man, woman or machine to report there, though not for lack of effort on the part of my dad.

  6. Am I the only one who is at least a bit surprised that people are still giving money to Hennessey and trusting him to work on their cars? He’s been repeatedly sued over the years and currently has a one-star rating with the Better Business Bureau.

    A quick search on “Hennessey Lawsuit” will pull up more details including an article from 2016 titled
    “John Hennessy: Criminal Scumbag Disguised As a Car Guy”.

  7. Not much news, new front struts on the IS300, will do timing belt/water pump soon, and tires shortly after that, and then likely keep it for another two or three years. First JDM EVO X will be legal to import here in 2022, maybe I start saving pennies, or nickels I guess since pennies are a relic of the Heisei era …

  8. Oil change on the x3. Two new rear tires ordered for the m5. I know they were needed, but, no tread left… Got 17k out of Michelin PSS, not bad I think.

    1. That’s some Herman Melville level verbiage. “Must sell, lost leg to white whale, need money for sea cruise.”

  9. That LT1 package is a good move. A basic, bargain-priced V8 is something I think a lot of buyers will find appealing, and the front end of the base model is far more appealing than that of the revised SS.

    Strangely, the image of that red Camaro reminded me of the Peugeot e-Legend Concept– a car whose design I absolutely love. It’s admittedly retro (a bad term these days), but refreshing now that nearly everything wears a swept-back roof. I really like the formal C-pillar and level trunk lid, a style that also looked sharp on Fox-body Mustang notchbacks and mid-80s BMW E30 coupes. And there’s just enough early-70s Alfa Romeo Giulia curves thrown in to make it sensual.

    https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/qsqAVV6CuxVfW1r7UHJ-MoInkNA=/2018/09/21/3e04f459-ea17-4740-8230-3f8bba65eac7/peugeot-e-legend-gallery-ogi.jpg

    https://preview.netcarshow.com/Peugeot-e-Legend_Concept-2018-infographic.jpg

  10. The best thing about the LT1 Camaro vs. the SS is that it wears the base model’s nose. Some paint and a badge relocation on the SS can improve things but it still wears mutton chops and that’s not pretty. (There’s a good Hooniverse Asks: What base model actually looks better than its upmarket sibling?

    On the car front for me, I’m shopping for a new one for my daughter. The Prius was totaled this week. Six years and 100K of service for $10K is a pretty good run.

  11. After 1.5kmls on the Autobahn I can assure you that the wagon is not dead: around the cities its crawling with SC/UVs, but the left lane inter-city race is still dominated by dark wagons (number wise) and sedans (speed bracket) of German marques. About 10% of the autobahn roads I used were unlimited, so the left lane race is on the way out..

    I also drove a Boxster again, although not on the ‘bahn, and still like the handling but hate the noises: my 944 makes me cringe every time I hear something new, and a borrowed 20yo convertible is full of sounds and their echoes…

    1. For running the autobahn at high speed , one must drive a black Mercedes with a diplomatic plate.

        1. Don’t think I’ve been on the autobahn in anything with less than 12 seats. One of those times was still 150+K – hotel shuttle bus driver in a hurry!

  12. #OnThisDay in 1959, the first Austin Mini was produced. Designed by AHF inductee, Alec Issigonis. The mini was a staple economy vehicle of the 60’s. Issignois was tasked with designing a vehicle for the British Motor Corporation (BMC), similar to his Morris Minor design for Morris Motors. BMC sought to create a car in the midst of the fuel shortage of the Suez Crisis, something with better fuel economy but still looked great.
    It was designed to give the passengers and luggage no less than 80% of the area of the car. It used a BMC A-series, 4-cylinder, water-cooled engine mounted transversely. Today, almost all compact, front-wheel drive cars use this similar set up.
    #BritishMotorCorp #BMC #AustinMini #Mini #MorrisMinor https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba87cc23afa3a55f8b1001f75319c62ad42d987119a12240327775c42828040a.jpg

  13. Funny, I associate Hakone with the MS Train Simulator route. It was always fun to drive from the observation lounge on the Romance Train. I like the idea of the Toyobaru but the seats don’t fit and I have no $$

    1. Pretty standard stuff for autotesting, which is a discipline you mainly find in the British Isles and is sort of Gymkhana/Autocross oldier, nerdier more pernickity cousin. There seems to be more focus on course memorization than those other two disciplines, e.g. you have to enter a certain gate in reverse, come to a complete stop, circle a pylon in a certain order etc.

      It’s a popular cheap motorsport here and a lot of great rally drivers would have started out in it, such as Paddy Hopkirk. Seven type cars and cut down Mini “specials” are used by some competitors, but one of the more popular and effective cars for people starting out tends to be a 70 or 80 series FWD Toyota Starlet. Really tough gearboxes is a big part of their popularity.

  14. So I got to experience Ford’s failsafe cooling system for the first time yesterday. On Fri I had changed the oil in our 03 Mountaineer, I was in a hurry and just worried about the oil, as the oil change required light had been on for several weeks. I had let it warm up while sitting on the ramps and nothing looked amiss as I rolled under.

    So we were heading to Costco yesterday, we had pulled off the freeway and were waiting at a light when I heard a beep. Looked down at the dash and the High Temp/Low oil light was on, the temp gauge was at the end of the normal bracket and the service engine soon light was on. I had glanced at the temp gauge earlier in the trip and didn’t see anything unusual. Pulling away from the light I could tell it was running on 4cyl. It held the shift so it was running at 2500-3000 as we made it down the road and into the Costco. Parked at the first available spot and popped the hood. No signs of coolant dripping but the degas bottle was dry and the upper radiator hose was solid as a rock. Went on in to Costco, did some shopping and went ahead and got something to eat to stretch out the time. Got out and it was cool enough to open the cap and I ended up putting 15 of the 16.9 oz bottles in before making it up to the cold level. Started it up and the temp gauge immediately went to the point where it normally sits. So capped it up and drove it home w/o issue.

    I’m just not sure what to think. Over the years I have had to add small amounts of coolant maybe a cup or two every year, but never saw any signs of any leaks. Now I admit I hadn’t looked at it since early winter when I last changed the oil, or did I? I do know that 2 years ago it did get topped off when I did a major detail, brakes all around and a ABS sensor.

    I guess I’m just going to have to keep an eye on it for now and see what happens. It is not a primary driver any more and I really planed on getting a few more years out of it.

    1. I’m assuming a blown head gasket is out of the question? Noticed any white smoke from the pipes?

      1. No signs of where it could have gone. Took it for a ~30mi run today and the coolant hasn’t dropped a bit and the temp stayed steady including some heavier loading. So I guess I’ll be checking the coolant every time I use it for the next little bit.

    1. I don’t understand the inclusion of the bow tie? I thought Corvette was now a separate division from Chevrolet and has been for a while.

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