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:
The Corvette ZR1 returns
Singer unveils stunning 964 with help of Williams
Dallara’s new Stradale is a true purist’s car
Aston Martin confirms track-only Valkyrie is coming
Tesla surprises with crazy promises for new Roadster, returning in 2020
What’s your automotive news?
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
After all the speculation, spy shots, and leaks, Chevrolet finally revealed the C7 ZR1. If you thought the last ZR1 was crazy, it pales in comparison. The C7 ZR1 has way more power than before and it’s got the most extreme downforce package applied to any road going Corvette. In Chevrolet’s words, it “puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back.” So what’s it coming back with?
For starters, 755 horsepower and 715 lb.-ft. of torque from a brand new LT5 supercharged 6.2-liter V8 made exclusively for the ZR1. No other car in Chevrolet’s history has ever left the factory with more power. That’s due in part to a more efficient intercooled supercharged system that offers 52% more displacement over the Z06’s LT4 supercharger and GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. They had to create an opening in the hood for the supercharger to fit.
You get a choice of seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic to try and send all of that power to the rear wheels.
All this extra power requires more cooling and that comes courtesy of four new heat exchangers, thirteen total. A new front fascia with larger intakes supplements those as well. You get some more aggressive aero elements as standard such as a front underwing and a rear Low Wing which enables a 210+ mph top speed, but you can take it a step further with the ZTK Performance Package.
ZTK is the most track-ready ZR1 you can buy as it comes with an adjustable High Wing, a front splitter with carbon end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and other specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning to make the most of it. Both of the available rear wings are tied into the chassis as it is on a C7.R race car, which is good because the ZTK package produces up to 950 pounds of downforce at speed.
Yep, America still knows how to build super cars.
Singer Porsche 964
Singer Vehicle Design unveiled yet another custom Porsche restoration, but this one is a little different than the other stuff they’re known for. It started earlier this year when they announced a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering to perform a Dynamics and Lightweight Study on a customer’s 1990 Porsche 964. It’s restoration work meets F1 engineering and it might be their most stunning build yet.
A lot of big performance brands and legendary names were involved in engineering and testing the car to make sure it was as good as it could be. Porsche legends Norbert Singer and Hans Mezger were consultants, Marino Franchitti and Chris Harris were development drivers, and Michelin, Brembo, and BBS Motorsport all contributed as well. Here’s the result.
The centerpiece of the car is a beautiful Porsche four-valve, four-camshaft, naturally aspirated, 500HP air-cooled flat-six engine developed by Williams Advanced Engineering with consultation by Hans Mezger. Williams and Norbert Singer also thoroughly optimized underbody and surface aero through CFD analysis and the suspension has also been reworked to provide more adjustability and better geometry. Weight was reduced everywhere possible thanks to heavy use of magnesium, titanium, and carbon fiber… and I do mean a heavy use. This 964 weighs just 2,180 pounds, around 1,000 pounds less than the standard car weighs.
Some additional new features made just for this project (but will also be available on future Singer commissions) include bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires wrapped around BBS Motorsport lightweight 18” forged magnesium, monobloc, centre-lock wheels. Stopping power comes from Brembo lightweight, monobloc calipers and carbon composite rotors [CCMR]. Hewland supplied a magnesium, lightweight 6-speed transmission and EXE-TC developed bespoke damping for this Singer.
Singer has always been known for doing breathtaking restorations with great attention to detail, and now it’s gotten even better by combining F1 levels of engineering with their flawless craftsmanship. It’s high up on my list for coolest Porsches of all time.
[Source: Singer Vehicle Design]
Dallara knows a thing or two about motorsports and assisting with development work for some road cars, but they’ve been working on a new road car to call their own. Yesterday, their dream was finally realized with the unveiling of the Dallara Stradale, a simple, lightweight open top sports car whose sole purpose in life is to help drivers “rediscover the real pleasure of driving on the road or on the track”. And yes, it’s already on sale with some deliveries starting now. There’s no word on pricing yet or which markets are being served.
It was shown initially in base configuration as a barchetta without doors but a few additional configurations, including a targa and coupe with gull-wing doors, will be available later. There’s also a host of other options like windshields (for the barchetta), rear wings, and adjustable suspension components so drivers can tailor it for primarily street or track use.
Power comes from a supercharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 400 horsepower channeled to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or sequential automatic gearbox. But what makes this car so sweet goes way beyond the powertrain.
The Stradale weighs in at just 1,885 pounds as a result of an extensive use of composite materials and carbon fiber. 400 horsepower will go a long ways here. Dallara also worked hard on striking a perfect balance between stiffness and ride comfort when dialing in the suspension.
There’s no word on whether we’ll ever get to see this in the states, but those lucky enough to get one are sure to be treated to the kind of pure, unfiltered driving experience that may not be around for much longer.
Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
Aston Martin hasn’t even shown a 100% production ready Valkyrie road car yet but they’ve already confirmed an even hotter version meant exclusively for track use. Their recently launched AMR Pro lineup is creeping into their unreleased hypercar in a big way.
Just as the Vulcan was a track-only experiment in all things awesome, the Valkyrie AMR Pro will be a super limited, no compromise race car that may very well be flirting with LMP1s when it hits the track in 2020. What the renderings show is more downforce, including a now prototype/F1 standard shark fin and a massive rear wing. What they don’t show is how far they go to reduce weight.
Only the bare essentials are left over. Everything else, including things like the heater and defroster, are dumped (though the polycarbonate windshield will have a built in heating element for the sake of visibility). Weight was such a factor that even the mufflers were deemed too heavy. They don’t have exact figures for us yet, but initial performance estimates claim a sustained 3.3Gs while cornering, up to 3.5Gs under braking, and around 250 mph given the space.
The only thing cooler than the way it looks is the fact that we’ll be able to hear its glorious 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 through straight pipes.
[Source: Aston Martin via Autoweek]
Tesla Roadster is returning
Last night, Tesla revealed a bit of a surprise after introducing their dumb new truck. The Tesla Roadster, the car that got them on the map, is coming back in a potentially big way. I say potentially because it was introduced by the same guy who decided he was going to dig tunnels under LA and mass produce a Model 3. Grains of salt and such.
As of now, the new Tesla Roadster is slated for production by 2020 and it’ll be their quickest and fastest car ever while also boasting the company’s longest range. It’s also the first Tesla since the Model S that isn’t ungainly or outright hideous. Here’s the rundown:
- A new 250kWh battery powers three electric motors which drive all four wheels with up to 7,376 lb.-ft. of torque.
- 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 8.8 seconds.
- A 250+ mph top speed, which blows every other Tesla’s top speed out of the water.
- A removable top and a 2+2 seating configuration.
- All this with a 620 mile range at highway speeds.
You’re not alone in thinking this is a little hard to believe, much in the same way a 300 mph car from Hennessey is. Or a mass-produced Model 3. But we’ll all find out together if it’s a load of bull once this thing hits the road.
Until then, Tesla needs money to burn. You can place a $50,000 deposit for one now. If you want to be one of the first 1,000 people to get it, you need to drop a $50,000 deposit and pay $200,000 up front for it. Asking the world’s richest to pay a quarter million dollars up front for a car they might see in three years isn’t exactly rare these days (most super cars are sold out before we even see them), but Tesla’s word on deadlines isn’t exactly the best right now.
[Source: Tesla via Motor1]
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]