The News for November 20th, 2020

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: Honda debuts dramatically different Civic in prototype form, Subaru gives us more of a good thing with the new BRZ, Lamborghini blurs the line between race car and street car with Huracan STO, Mercedes-AMG claims production car lap record at the Ring, Jeep makes the V8 Wrangler official, and your news for the week.

2022 Honda Civic Prototype

2022 Honda Civic Prototype

Honda has a new car coming and they say it’ll be a big deal. It’s called the “Civic” (sɪvɪk) and they think it’ll be America’s best-selling car. Because there’s so much riding on this, they pulled out all the stops for this one. Shown for the first time this week in concept form, though will likely be a very good representation of the real thing, it’s the 2022 Honda Civic Prototype.

The 11th generation Civic will be maturing quite a bit and moving a little more up market. But it’ll still have the same playful spirit we’ve come to expect from it as shown by their choice to debut it on Twitch. Most of the changes we can talk about this early relate to its styling. It’s comprised of “timeless elements of Honda design”, including a low and wide stance, low beltline, clean and sophisticated detailing, and an open and airy cabin.

2022 Honda Civic Prototype

The new face of Civic features a cleaner and more sophisticated look now. It’s low and wide stature with strong horizontal elements, including offsetting the upright grille below the headlights, provides the most mature face yet for the Civic. In profile, the Civic’s greenhouse is moved rearward on the body, thus elongating the hood. The upper body design features numerous changes geared towards improving visibility for drivers and passengers. In the rear you’ll see new taillights which draw numerous comparisons to the Audi A3. The back is capped off with a “playfully upswept” yet functional trailing edge to the trunk lid.

Civic’s interior uses some of the same design philosophies of the exterior to provide a clean and uncluttered look. Stretching the width of the dash is a honeycomb mesh accent, which serves not only as a design element, but also conceals the air vents. One of the biggest changes here is the new digital gauge cluster for the driver, a first for the Civic.

2022 Honda Civic Prototype

Other details are scarce this early into the process, but we can expect a stronger and more rigid body structure which contributes to its driving refinement, sportiness, and safety. Pedestrian and occupant collision protection will be improved by that as well. Multiple new active and passive safety systems and even some new airbag designs are also expected.

Honda’s preliminary timeline has the production 2022 Civic sedan arriving late Spring 2021 with the hatchback following that a little bit later. The sportier Si and range-topping Type R models will come at a later date.

[Source: Honda]

2022 Subaru BRZ

This wasn’t the only big news for fans of fun and affordable Japanese cars. The other massive announcement came from Subaru who debuted the all-new but not too new BRZ. Don’t let the dramatically updated styling fool you – it’s still the simple, lovable, and slow enthusiast’s car we all fell in love with several years ago.

Subaru was gracious enough to give Jeff a sneak peak and a hot lap in a pre-production car. He’s got that ride along plus all the details we know about it so far in the video above. Check it out if you haven’t yet.

[Source: hey did you know we have a YouTube channel too]

Lamborghini Huracan STO

Huracan STO

In 1%er news, Lamborghini has come out with another high performance variant of the Huracan. It’s called the Huracan STO, which is short for Super Trofeo Omologata. The best online translator that no money can buy tells me that means “Super Trofeo Approved”. Super Trofeo of course is Lamborghini’s customer racing series that’s done with factory-prepared Huracan race cars. While the Huracan STO remains a street legal supercar, it’s clearly meant to blur that line as much as possible.

The STO formula in a nutshell is more racing tech, more power, less weight. There are few body panels that haven’t been changed and 75% of them are carbon fiber. All of the changes to the body were made with lessons learned from their ST and GT3 race cars are functional in that they either produce downforce, move air in the precise way engineers desired, or provide cooling.

Huracan STO

They say it’s all good for a 53% increase in downforce and a 37% improvement in aero efficiency over the current top dog, the Huracan Performante. The Super Trofeo Omphaloskepsis is also a bit lighter than the standard car with a dry weight of 2,952 pounds.

Other performance enhancements include as close to competition-ready suspension and braking as a road car can achieve – for now. MagneRide 2.0, stiffer roll bars and suspension bushing, increased wheel track, and a snappy, fixed-ratio steering rack will certainly make it feel like a race car. Rear-wheel steering and bespoke driver assistance modes will keep things agile and planted. Appropriately-sized Brembo CCM-R brakes provide exceptional durability and stress resistance. Bridgestone Potenza tires in two flavors – one more street focused and one more track-focused – maintain a firm hold on the road.

Huracan STO

All of what I’ve talked about so far exist to help tame the mighty V10 that sits at the back. For the Super Trofeo Domo Arigato, this unit produces 640 horsepower at 8,000 RPM and 417 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,500 RPM. Among a 10 ho also been tuned for super sharp throttle response. Lamborghini’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels exclusively and does so at a quicker pace than normal. They claim a 0-62 mph time of three seconds flat, a 0-124 mph time of nine seconds flat, and a top speed of 193 mph.

The goal with this car is to provide ultimate track performance in a street legal package. It’s designed to show off as much of the Huracan’s impressive potential using years of data collected from their highly successful racing programs. And in the end it’ll only be driven to car shows by the most annoying internet personalities you can possibly think of.

The Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Otamatone costs 17.98 Bitcoin.

[Source: Lamborghini]

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series sets ‘Ring record

We haven’t had a new Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record in like, what, at least 2 months? This week Mercedes-AMG was the latest to take the crown and have the new AMG-GT Black Series recognized as the new fastest street-legal series production car. Lap records are now getting tallied in two ways it seems, a lap with and without the small straight in section T13 of the track. T13 is where the old pits are and is traditionally the start/finish line of the Nordschleife.

So the lap time when measured without the straight at section T13, the car ran a time of 6:43.616. With that straight at section T13, the time is a 6:48.047. It seems they just started measuring lap times this way fairly recently. The brave driver behind this feat was GT3 racer Maro Engel who is intimately familiar with the Green Hell. It’s an impressive lap and an impressive feat by the AMG engineers. Watch the lap above.

[Source: YouTube, Twitter]

Jeep’s V8-powered Wrangler gets official

2021 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon 392 with Jeep Performance Parts

Shortly after Ford broke the internet with the new Bronco announcement, Jeep fired back with something so on brand that it was impossible not to appreciate it at least a little bit. They showed off a teaser/concept/whatever of a V8-powered Wrangler that was intended for production. Well this week they brought that a little closer to reality. One of our resident off road experts has the lowdown here in case you haven’t seen it yet.

[Source: us]

What’s your news for the week?

hooniverse

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.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

33 Comments

  1. Brought it home yesterday. Now just need to title it and start driving it. It really is a blast to drive. I’d forgotten how good the handling is on this generation of 3 series. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53c51a28119a5b93d58f1d269d4a2277304759a0e2c63bf1ad9c8da0a453589b.jpg

    Also did the rear diff and transfer case fluid on the x3 last weekend. Thank you, BMW, for only putting a fill plug in the rear diff. I, for one, enjoyed it.

    1. My neighbor’s dad drove one just like that (but in white) for several years and loved it. Had I not known the fender-benders he’d been in with it, I might have tried to buy it before he traded it in. Great cars.

      1. But what transmission, then? The K24 wasn’t used in any RWD applications, was it? I would think the Altezza setup would be an easier swap, considering you can use the entire drivetrain.

        1. You can get adaptors for BMW ZF or Nissan V6 boxes, plus others including.S2000. Note they have built a custom (fairly crude looking) trans tunnel in that 2002 – old 4sp boxes are always smaller, often it’s worth starting with an automatic body shell cause they often have bigger trans tunnels.

          On that basis maybe a Ford Type 9 5sp from a Sierra might be smaller, but probably not as good otherwise.

  2. Gotta love how Lambo has to have the all important sub 3000lb weight, but it ain’t gonna be very fast in sub-300 (dry) form…

  3. Releasing a car on Twitch was a nice touch, if there really was an audience for it there. Seen from Norway, this seems very odd, as Honda is the pensioner’s brand in this country. I have no idea how this came about, but they have among the highest age of new car buyers, and the brand has the lowest insurance rates if sorted by brand. Must be an outlier on the world stage.

    In my car news, this week has been strange. My mechanic came to live again and maybe we’ll fix the Centennial together. Not sure, lately, I was prepared to call the former owner and give it back. Then I drive it and revolt against this thought, wanting to keep it. Forever. This is soul torture.

    The i20 had two “almost broken” front springs, a discovery that was fixed under used car warranty today. We’ve been driving it a fair bit and I’m getting used to the low power engine. Loving to drive a manual again, I had no idea how much I missed that. Here it is this morning, with ice inside and outside, because my wife tried to turn on the interior lamp last night and, instead, opened the glass roof ever so slightly, letting in a solid dose of moisture. Grumble.

    https://i.ibb.co/mbTGntx/IMG-20201120-090750.jpg

    1. Cute car, but you had my interest with “manual”. I drove manuals my entire life (other than a couple of big classics) until we had our second child and stepped “up” to a minivan. It’s a must-have feature on my next vehicle, considering my oldest is getting ready for college. The nest is emptying.

    2. Releasing a car on Twitch was a nice touch

      The car itself will be free-to-drive, but making any sort of progress will require spending huge amounts on DLC

        1. Blinker fluid will only be available in crates with unspecified drop rates. You can buy “gold hp” at red lights to beat any other Civic. The car will be on hour long updates every monday morning.

      1. But in all seriousness, I thought Twitch was used to stream video gameplay from Xbox and PS. I’ve never used it, but my boys have.

        1. That’s basically how Twitch got started, and is still the mainstay of the site, but they expanded what one could stream some years back. There’s quite a few people who do art, cooking, sports, and general IRL stuff now days.

    3. Cute car, but you had my interest with “manual”. I drove manuals my entire life (other than a couple of big classics) until we had our second child and stepped “up” to a minivan. It’s a must-have feature on my next vehicle, considering my oldest is getting ready for college. The nest is emptying.

      1. I went through my Excel files the other day – “fun” for a statistician – and was baffled again how fantastic our Honda minivan was. Dirt cheap, quite reliable, incredibly low fuel consumption, and that manual gear lever on the dashboard right next to the steering wheel…possibly my smartest purchase ever, strangely enough.

        1. Before we bought our first minivan, I tried to convince my wife that a station wagon was the better choice. She wanted sliding rear doors. The Mazda5 was the only minivan in the States available with a manual, so I tried that line of argument. It wasn’t big enough to suit her. So here I am, still dallying a “big” automatic minivan, fifteen years later.

          The next vehicle purchase is going to be to my specifications, or else I’m going solo.

          1. But your Kia is a V6, right? Compared to the cars I grew up with, with barely noticeable amounts of horsepower, I honestly think that most cars today are enjoyable. Even our i20, which has a suspension akin to early ’00s Audis – aka no suspension – is fun on a twisty road with momentum on your side. I went “solo” with the Centennial, and it feels a bit odd to do so. Certainly not a driver’s car, that one, either.

          2. By “going solo” I meant “buying a car without my wife’s input or approval”. In my marriage, it would be a huge act of defiance, betrayal, or whatever word with which she chose to vilify it.

            I personally don’t find most cars enjoyable today. I find most of them pretty boring. Most cars within a given class look fairly similar and drive similarly, with similar performance, similar safety features, similar convenience features. Most are quiet, and have steering that you can push around with one finger (but through which you can’t really feel the road). It’s difficult to be uncomfortable in them, and they all hold up fairly well. They’re largely flawless, and therefore inherently flawed. And most of them are fairly devoid of any redeemable character.

            I’d almost rather be a passenger than drive a car with an automatic transmission. I would prefer the most temperamental manual transmission with the stiffest clutch and most unintuitive take-up. Front-wheel drive I find unpleasant, AWD I find innocuous. 4WD can be fun, given the right situation. I genuinely like most RWD cars, even if their performance is lackluster.

            I guess what bothers me is that most cars today focus on objective performance and convenience features, neither of which really impact what I love about driving. I want involvement and feedback, and I’m not seeing much of that out there, which is why I keep looking backwards for the right car, rather than forwards.

        2. I love spreadsheets, and enjoy trying to extract meaningful information out of an otherwise useless collection of data. I have no idea why I didn’t become a statistician and instead chose science. Math was always my favorite subject.

  4. The Continentals on my Mustang were finally too worn to be driven safely. They lasted an impressive 24,000 miles and those were not all easy miles. 3 track days and dozens of spirited mountain runs mixed in. I got a pretty solid price on the Michelin PS4S through Costco and got them installed over the weekend, then broke them in on the bay area’s killer roads. First impression is that they’re great as expected, but it also made me realize just how good the Continental Extreme Contact Sports were for much less money (for my size). They are very close in performance I think. It would probably take track time or back to back driving on fresh tires to really see a difference.

    1. i just bought a set of those Continentals since Michelin doesn’t make the PS4S in 16″. happy to hear they’re closely matched! the Contis were cheaper than i expected tbh, and they have been great so far (1 track day, maybe 500 street miles).

  5. I have an unabashed weakness for checking out every toy car rack in any store I’m in. As much as I hate myself for shopping at Walmart, I’m excited that they carry Tomicas now. Mundane foreign vehicles, opening bits, working suspension? Everything a kid who loved Majorettes has been missing. Although, at $7 a car, I’m probably not getting many more than the 70-series Land Cruiser I started with.

    //uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32a3d1f139ea9b836722073a85fee5a64ea2a80ae8e77862cc63bbb90632bd26.jpg

  6. I like that new Civic, but I see a fair bit of Cadillac CT5 in it, which I guess is not bad. Certainly an improvement, inside and out, from the current. Looking forward to seeing the hatch.

    My daughter spun the Ranger into a wall this weekend. Rain and a 2WD unloaded truck plus inexperience. She’s fine, no one else involved and only minor damage to 2 corners. It required a little redneck bodywork to keep the bumper clear of the front tire. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24ac20ccf8463ffb7b0240e8a20a61426fff9d51047b66f0fdfbaa05204e6744.jpg

  7. fulfilled a years-old dream with the first track day in my 1999 Volvo. it held together beautifully. temperatures stayed down, shifted great all day, no detectable losses in power, brakes stayed grabby, drove home on its own power. i was really happy. it’s not a track car and wasn’t setting lap records, but it felt good to hustle, which is all I want out of it.

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