The News for October 18th, 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, Porsche unveils a cheaper Taycan 4S, Saleen is going GT4 racing with the S1, BMW unites a divided country on the 2 Series Gran Coupe, Formula 1 may be coming to Miami, and IMSA names John Doonan as their president.

Porsche Taycan 4S

Following Porsche’s release of the super fast and super expensive Taycan not-a-Turbo models, the calls for a cheaper option that focused less on performance grew louder, and for good reason. Porsche’s first all-electric car was shown in trim levels ranging from $150k to $180k, and that’s before adding the options. This week’s Taycan news works to address that. The Taycan not-a-Turbo and not-a-Turbo S were good for making an initial impression, but the one you’re more likely to see is this: the $105,150 Taycan 4S.

Based on Porsche’s regular trim level hierarchy, the 4S is on the lower end of the spectrum with only non-S and non 4 (wheel drive) models below it. It’s possible the same will apply here. But as for the Taycan, 4S trim means less outright performance than the top dogs but with the option to have the greatest range in the Taycan family (so far). It’s a more civilian option so to speak as opposed to the ridiculously quick not-a-Turbo models, but it’s still a Porsche.

Two batteries are offered, the first being a 79.2 kWh single-deck Performance battery and the second being the same 93.4 kWh two-deck Performance battery Plus from the not-a-Turbo models. Power outputs differ with each battery as well, with 523 horsepower being the standard and 563 horsepower unlocked by the bigger battery. The drivetrain is the same as we’ve seen on the other performance models, meaning two “permanently excited” (good for them) synchronous motors split between both axles and a two-speed transmission on the rear axle. Both variants of the 4S accelerate to 60 mph in four seconds and the top speed is 155 mph. Driving range (on the WLTP cycle, not EPA) is 253 miles with the standard battery and 288 miles with the upgraded Performance Plus battery. So far that’s the longest a Taycan can go on a single charge.

The Taycan 4S is available to order now and will arrive in Europe first by January 2020.

[Source: Porsche]

Saleen S1 GT4

A year or two ago Saleen announced they were entering the racing scene again with the Saleen Cup, a one-make series with the new Saleen S1 Cup Car. During their inaugural season this year they noticed something… turns out the times drivers were posting at each track was on par with the times posted by other GT4 cars in SRO competition. Because they pretty much had to and because the GT4 class has exploded with popularity, Saleen is going GT4 racing with the S1.

The GT4-spec S1 only differs slightly from the Cup Car to conform with class rules. The car’s bodywork sees most of the upgrades with a new splitter, rear diffuser, rear wing, and fenders that likely give it more downforce than what the Cup Car had. Power comes from a 2.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 450 horsepower. According to Sportscar 365, the cars will be build at Saleen’s facilities in Corona, CA next month and have a full year of Pirelli GT4 America competition planned for next year, pending SRO homologation.

The S1 GT4 will be priced at $225,000, which doesn’t sound too bad for a competition-ready GT4 car. That puts it in the ballpark of a Mercedes-AMG GT4 and Audi R8 GT4. However Porsche’s 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is probably still the best value at $179,000.

[Source: Sportscar 365]

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

We live in truly divided times. We’re all at each others throats over every single little issue when we used to talk to each other as friends and neighbors. It’s so rare for us all to be truly united on anything anymore.

So it feels wonderful to see everyone in agreement with each other that this BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is shit.

F1 Race at Miami in the Works

Formula 1 seems hellbent on racing in Miami one way or another. After their most recent attempt at a street circuit there failed, there finally seems to be some traction. The Miami Herald reports that Formula 1 and the Hard Rock Stadium have struck a deal to hold a grand prix at a street circuit carved around the stadium as early as May 2021. Only approval from Miami-Dade County and reality are in the way now. Making it all look a little more official are some high-res renderings obtained by Jalopnik. Will Formula 1 add a second grand prix to the US? Will this replace that fancy race track in Austin that was built pretty much exclusively because of Formula 1? Will any of the infinitely superior road courses already in existence in the US ever get love from the FIA? We’ll follow this story as we can.

[Source: Miami Herald  via Jalopnik]

John Doonan Named IMSA President

This was the only image IMSA provided. High resolution scares them.

Following longtime IMSA President Scott Atherton’s retirement, IMSA has formally announced his replacement. John Doonan, formerly the directory of motorsports at Mazda North America Operations and one of the people responsible for their DPi program, will take over the role on October 21st.

And now, have some quotes because I don’t know what else to write.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime and dream opportunity after attending IMSA races since I was young boy,” Doonan said. “I am very humbled and truly honored to have the opportunity to join the IMSA team and I’m really looking forward to making a positive impact for our sport, our partners and our industry.”

“John is a fantastic choice to become our next president, to build upon the momentum of our just-completed 50th anniversary season and take our sport to the next level,” said Ed Bennett, IMSA chief executive officer. “He is respected, well known in our paddock, and brings a strong passion for motorsport that will greatly benefit everyone involved.”

As big fans of IMSA ourselves, everyone here at Hooniverse wishes the best for John Doonan in this role and nothing but happy times ahead for the recently-retired Scott Atherton. We’re looking forward to the future of IMSA now more than ever.

[Source: IMSA]

What’s your automotive news?

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.

34 Comments

  1. More weird stats from this tiny little country in the North. The new smart insurance company hoveringly called “Future” (Fremtid) – those with the big brother bricks™ – has analysed their driving data. The region with the most offensive drivers is…eh…my “state”. *whistles* The most aggressive drivers drive those cars:

    Audi A1
    BMW 1
    BMW 3
    Mini
    Audi A3

    The most defensive drivers:

    Volkswagen Caravelle / Transporter
    Volvo XC70
    Suzuki SX4
    Mazda CX3
    Honda CR-V

    Maximum allowed speeds on Norwegian roads is usually only 80 kph, a few have 100-110 kph. Yet, this insurer has a car brand list over those who drive faster than 180 kph the most:

    Audi
    Mercedes-Benz
    Volvo
    Nissan
    BMW
    Honda
    Volkswagen
    Ford
    Skoda
    Mazda

    The cars with the highest average speeds:

    Mercedes-Benz
    Volvo
    Audi
    Škoda
    Mazda
    BMW

    The lowest average speeds:

    Honda
    Toyota
    Kia
    Hyundai
    Ford

    Not sure what to make of this…I am surprised how Honda is the granny brand above all, something I noticed with the superlow insurance premiums on my Honda Stream. Also funny to see how the Volvo XC70 makes the “defensive” list, but the brand has almost the highest average speed clocked. The Audi A1 as the most aggressively driven car is a bit of a surprise, too, as it is neither too popular nor usually especially powerful. And in any case, it is amazing how someone would a) allow anyone to closely monitor their driving, then b) drive excessively.

  2. The touring is on the truck, heading my way, but the trucking company doesn’t communicate at all, so hopefully I’m around when it shows up! Giving a multiday window with, we’ll call before we’re there, works for retirees and homemakers, not many else.

  3. More weird stats from this tiny little country in the North. The new smart insurance company hoveringly called “Future” (Fremtid) – those with the big brother bricks™ – has analysed their driving data. The region with the most offensive drivers is…eh…my “state”. *whistles* The most aggressive drivers drive those cars:

    Audi A1
    BMW 1
    BMW 3
    Mini
    Audi A3

    The most defensive drivers:

    Volkswagen Caravelle / Transporter
    Volvo XC70
    Suzuki SX4
    Mazda CX3
    Honda CR-V

    Maximum allowed speeds on Norwegian roads is usually only 80 kph, a few have 100-110 kph. Yet, this insurer has a car brand list over those who drive faster than 180 kph the most:

    Audi
    Mercedes-Benz
    Volvo
    Nissan
    BMW
    Honda
    Volkswagen
    Ford
    Skoda
    Mazda

    The cars with the highest average speeds:

    Mercedes-Benz
    Volvo
    Audi
    Škoda
    Mazda
    BMW

    The lowest average speeds:

    Honda
    Toyota
    Kia
    Hyundai
    Ford

    Not sure what to make of this…I am surprised how Honda is the granny brand above all, something I noticed with the superlow insurance premiums on my Honda Stream. Also funny to see how the Volvo XC70 makes the “defensive” list, but the brand has almost the highest average speed clocked. The Audi A1 as the most aggressively driven car is a bit of a surprise, too, as it is neither too popular nor usually especially powerful. And in any case, it is amazing how someone would a) allow anyone to closely monitor their driving, then b) drive excessively.

    1. Some of the fastest highway drivers I’ve seen here are in Priuses. Go figure.

      The highest speed limit in the U.S. is 85 mph. I’m not begging to get my Hoon card revoked, but I really don’t understand why cars aren’t limited to this, particularly when speed limits are supposedly established for public safety. I don’t think I’ve exceeded 85 mph more than a handful of times on public roads in the past decade (and then, probably only for a few seconds at most), so I really don’t get the importance of high top speeds on normal passenger cars.

    2. Some of the fastest highway drivers I’ve seen here are in Priuses. Go figure.

      The highest speed limit in the U.S. is 85 mph. I’m not begging to get my Hoon card revoked, but I really don’t understand why cars aren’t limited to this, particularly when speed limits are supposedly established for public safety. I don’t think I’ve exceeded 85 mph more than a handful of times on public roads in the past decade (and then, probably only for a few seconds at most), so I really don’t get the importance of high top speeds on normal passenger cars.

      1. I was born in Germany and have been driving 150 mph several times. There is no real reason for any vehicle to go this fast and I might even agree on a limit in principle (Volvo has announced something like this). Yet, it is pretty amazing to be allowed to go this fast in a few places, and my impression is that high speed for the circumstances is more of an issue than high speed per se. All of those flying off a 40 mph corner at 70 mph will not be saved by a flatout 85 mph limiter.

        1. There’s no cure for stupid, nor any carefully-designed law that will prevent bad driving decisions. I like to think that Darwinism takes care of such things, but unfortunately by the time you get your license, you’re already capable of passing on your genetics.

          My max is about 145 mph. There was no justifiable reason why I needed to go that fast– I was just testing the top speed of a drag-limited car. I can tell you from experience that 140 in a modern car is much safer than 100 in a 60s muscle car. Like you said, circumstances.

        2. There’s no cure for stupid, nor any carefully-designed law that will prevent bad driving decisions. I like to think that Darwinism takes care of such things, but unfortunately by the time you get your license, you’re already capable of passing on your genetics.

          My max is about 145 mph. There was no justifiable reason why I needed to go that fast– I was just testing the top speed of a drag-limited car. I can tell you from experience that 140 in a modern car is much safer than 100 in a 60s muscle car. Like you said, circumstances.

        3. There’s no cure for stupid, nor any carefully-designed law that will prevent bad driving decisions. I like to think that Darwinism takes care of such things, but unfortunately by the time you get your license, you’re already capable of passing on your genetics.

          My max is about 145 mph. There was no justifiable reason why I needed to go that fast– I was just testing the top speed of a drag-limited car. I can tell you from experience that 140 in a modern car is much safer than 100 in a 60s muscle car. Like you said, circumstances.

        4. “my impression is that high speed for the circumstances is more of an issue than high speed per se.” <– this. I'm a lot less worried about/for the guy cruising at 90 on an empty stretch of I-5 than the guy trying to merge onto a busy-but-smooth-running freeway at the safe and sane speed of 40 mph.

        5. There’s no cure for stupid, nor any carefully-designed law that will prevent bad driving decisions. I like to think that Darwinism takes care of such things, but unfortunately by the time you get your license, you’re already capable of passing on your genetics.

          My max is about 145 mph. There was no justifiable reason why I needed to go that fast– I was just testing the top speed of a drag-limited car. I can tell you from experience that 140 in a modern car is much safer than 100 in a 60s muscle car. Like you said, circumstances.

        6. There can be a material benefit of limiting top speed, in that manufacturers don’t have to engineer the car for those higher speeds. Not that I’d propose 85 mph, but I’ve driven many with a 115 limiter (180 km/h)

          1. Definitely. e.g.: my ’96 Thunderbird has clean enough aerodynamics and enough power to have a drag-limited top speed in the 130’s MPH (~220 km/h) but it’s limited to 108 MPH (still nearly twice the speed limit in force in much of the US when it was built) to avoid driveshaft issues. Also this allows for it being shod with (what at least were) mainstream S- or T- speed-rated general purpose/touring tires instead of sporty V- or Z-rated tires.

          2. My ’66 Mercury should be governed to about 90 mph. Around 100, it starts displaying the aerodynamics of an airfoil, literally lifting the car. I remember having friends say it looked like it was “on its tip-toes”. I think driving that car as a teen was what enamored me more with acceleration rather than outright speed.

  4. This 1976 Chevy C10 “Bonanza” is going for bonkers dough in Pacifica, California, (the town that rust didn’t forget, not for a single second, ever) where I saw it street parked.

    $1300. Packing a 327 and a Turbo350 that evidently work, but ‘need love’. If you think this truck has been lowered you may want to consider that it’s more likely it just collapsed. Still, with a $109,000 budget you could be next on the block at Barrett Jackson!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/931bc670bbd8e11b2eaaa83748d6c9416e22990a48194fd8dc6710d2f6bbe170.jpg

    1. Not the looker that is the 2nd-generation C/K, but a decent truck nonetheless. That’s honestly not a bad price.

  5. Got my second HPDE coming up this Sunday at Atlanta Motorsports Park. The goal is to not stuff it and try and get more comfortable at speed. But mostly the first part.

  6. Oh, also, took a deposit on the M3. Buyer is coming in from Vegas Wednesday I believe to complete the deal.

  7. Replaced the front brakes on the Ranger last weekend. Non sealed bearings and a rotor with an integral hub meant packing wheel bearings for the first time in long time. The bearings were cheap so I just replaced them.

    I also replaced the cam position sensor the previous owner had bypassed, but it didn’t seem to cure the CEL. Does seem to run smoother, but that may be my imagination. Not terribly concerned about it.

    All in, I spent about $180 for pads, rotors, bearings and the sensor.

    Sunny weather and highs around 70 this weekend means that I’ll try to get a couple more drives in the Thunderbird and then put it away for the winter.

    1. Nice work.

      I’ve been doing the same with the m5, stretching it’s legs quite a bit as of late. Once the first snow hits and the cinders hit the road, it’s hard to subject it to that unless we have a long dry stretch and they migrate away…

    2. rotor with integrated hub? non sealed bearings? a $200 front brake job? what a bizarre arrangement. looks like the Ranger / Explorer just dropped a notch on my fantasy small truck list.

      1. Well, keep in mind that this is a 24 year old truck and the design goes back several more years. I don’t think sealed bearings were as common in the late 80s / early 90s. I have no idea if that design carried through the entire model run.

        Also, I think the brake components were about $120, the cam sensor was about $35 and the bearings were about $25. I could have done it cheaper, but I didn’t want to go with bottom line brake parts. In my experience, that’s fairly cheap for decent pads and rotors.

        1. these are all fair points! and you get minty fresh wheel bearings with your brakes, which is nice. it sounds like it complicates what would otherwise be a clean hour-long job, but I’m sure the engineers had their reasons for designing it the way they did.

          1. That was the way it was done for decades, greases weren’t as good way back when so a wheel bearing repack was a regular service. The trade off is yeah the rotors are a bit more, but the bearings are much much cheaper. I’ll take the old school spindle and tapered roller bearings personally, but then that is what I grew up working on.

    3. I could smell the remembered stench of bearing grease on my hands just reading that. Been a long time since I’ve packed wheel bearings!

  8. So I’ve got what I consider big news, on Friday I did my last emissions test*. As of Dec 31st there will be no more emissions tests in my state period! We have been meeting the EPA goals and the number of cars that needed testing anyway has been dropping. When they became a state of Californication they somehow determined that those cleaner cars would not wear out and break down, so they would never need to be tested. On the other end after 25 years they didn’t require testing either. With every other year testing the numbers were shrinking every year.

    The interesting thing was they did an actual emissions test. For what ever reason the last time it was tested it was a straight OBD scan. This time it came up as a F-150 (no 250 or 350 in the system) and a box to say if it was over 8600gvw. So for what ever reason I did the old “2 step” test of letting it idle and running at ~2500 rpm for a few seconds. The really annoying thing it the print out is just a form that says the vehicle passed. Back in the day when they stuck a probe up your tail pipe they would print the actual HC, CO and CO+CO2 readings along with the state standards. Never tested the dreaded NOx that VW cheated on though they had said that they were going to go there before abruptly changing to OBD testing on 96 and newer.

    So anyone that wants an in ground dyno start checking public surplus . com and state of Wa listings after the first of the year. I have seen a couple of the actual emissions test machines starting to come through already.

  9. I’m shopping, think it’s time for something new as I’ve had my IS300 for about seven years now, which surpasses my previous record by quite a bit. It needs a fair bit of work and isn’t worth anything anyway (hail damage), so it feels like the time is right.

    Cross shopping everything from Ioniq to Civic coupe to BRZ to EcoBoost Mustang, it’s quite a ridiculous scenario here really. Mainly want something that won’t cost the earth on a four-year lease (semi-determined by personal circumstances), but still be a bit of fun to drive. The Ioniq is stretching the definition of “fun” about as far as it will go, but the absurdly good fuel economy makes up for it. Also I would like a local dealer if possible, but that limits me to Ford, GM, or Honda.

    Seeming like a big problem now is 2019s are gone and 2020s not here yet. Also there’s no manuals of anything anywhere. Even the Mustang. Couple manual BRZs though, that really seems like a car that knows what it wants to be. Selection of anything except pickups tends to be pretty minimal in Manitoba anyway, the joys of a small market. (If you want a white F-150 though, my small rural dealer has dozens and dozens of them.)

    1. I’m a little surprised no manual EcoBoost Mustangs, as I would think they would like to keep one for the “Mustangs starting at…” ads. Of course if they sell a dozen F-150s for every Mustang they probably are spending their ad budget on “Truck Month” ads.

      1. The ratio is at least 50:1.

        There usually are a few manual Mustangs kicking around but I think it’s the end-of-model-year thing. Manuals actually sell reasonably well in Mustangs, the used market seems to be split almost equally between manual and automatic.

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