The News for October 1st, 2021

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: Acura shows us a bit more of the new Integra, Chevrolet leaks the first C8 Z06 image themselves, and Ford is going big on new EV and battery plants, plus your news for the week.

Acura offers new glimpse of Integra

Acura isn’t done teasing the new Integra. It was one of the biggest and definitely the most surprising stories out of Monterey Car Week when they announced its comeback. With that announcement we got a small glimpse of its face. This week though they’ve been a little more revealing by showing us its ass. But in doing so, it provided us with one substantial detail.

It’s going to be a four-door sedan with a liftback, or a five-door as the industry calls it. This is confirmed by the new teaser image above which also shows that it’ll have an aggressively-sloped roofline as you’d expect from a coupe… and taillights from a Genesis Coupe. This sloped roofline is what some marketing people call a “four-door coupe”, a term that is an affront to god. Fortunately those weren’t the words Acura used to describe it.

Integra

This five-door liftback design is a throwback to the original Integra from 1985. While there were three-door versions sold globally, only the five-door was sold in the US. So if Acura is going to bring back the Integra in the current consumer market, this route makes by far the most sense. That’s because the ranking among American consumers is something like this: trucks 1st, crossovers 2nd, SUVs 3rd, Imagine Dragons 7th, and coupes 8th.

Acura hasn’t specified exactly when we’ll see the new Integra. But our friend and former contributor Bradley Brownell casually teased a poster for Radwood SoCal with this Integra and its predecessors on it. Given Acura’s support for the raddest car show on earth, one could assume it will make an appearance there. Meanwhile, press days for the Los Angeles International Auto Show start just a few days earlier on November 17th. So it’s not been confirmed, but it’s likely that’s when we’ll see it.

[Source: Acura]  

Corvette C8 Z06 breaks cover

2023 Corvette Z06

Chevrolet says we’ll get to learn all about the C8 Z06 on October 26th, but they couldn’t contain their excitement. We’ve got the first image of an uncamouflaged Z06 courtesy of Chevrolet’s Twitter account. It shows enough for us to pick out a few details from it.

The usual Z06 treatment calls for new wheels, a lower ride height, some bespoke body parts, and more power than the standard car. We’ve seen a few Z06s running around the Nordschleife already and they were at Le Mans for a photo op (the latter of which a source tells me was insanely expensive to organize). We know there’s one crazier than this as well with more aggressive aero. But what this one shows is already an improvement over the standard car. The front lip sticks out a bit more and there are some revised intakes up front. The side intake also looks a bit different, which is par the course for a Z06. We can’t see the back just yet, but the image clearly shows a raised decklid spoiler which is miles better-looking than the factory spoiler options on the C8 Stingray. But from Auto Addiction’s recent capture of two Z06s on the Green Hell, we know the back end will be distinguished by quad central exhaust. You know, the thing Corvettes are known for.

But their video also shows a crazier version with canards and a giant wing. The sound is the same (more on that in a bit) and the pace looks to be about the same. So while its aero is crazy enough to be a ZR1, it’s more likely a track pack-type option for the Z06.

Now for that engine. Listen to that Auto Addiction video or even the teaser GM themselves released a few weeks back and you can immediately tell it will be a flat-plane crank V8. The C8.R was the first Corvette to run this exotic engine package when it debuted in IMSA last season. That car runs a 5.5-liter V8, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the same from the road-going Z06. That engine has proven to be reliable in IMSA, but I’ve heard of some difficulties in getting it to that point. The C8.R is rev-limited to 7,000 RPM or so to ensure reliability over a 24-hour race. There’s talk of the Z06 engine peaking at 9,000 RPM. It’s not unreasonable to expect growing pains when building the highest-revving road car engine in company history. Ford encountered the same sort of problem when developing the Voodoo for the GT350.

In any event, a new Z06 is always an exciting time. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for updates on this one.

[Source: Chevrolet, Auto Addiction]

Ford has big plans for new EV factories

A side effect of the industry’s rapid transition to electric vehicles is the need for more factories. But not just any old factory will do anymore. Automakers are committing to zeroing out their carbon footprint and that includes manufacturing. Ford has been throwing billions at this process and have just announced two huge projects to support their vision in collaboration with SK Innovation. Two massive plants/campuses in Kentucky and Tennessee were just announced, both will be focused on producing electric vehicles and their batteries by approximately 2025.

The bigger of the two will be in west Tennessee where a 3,600-acre mega campus called Blue Oval City aims to be “the largest, most advanced, and most efficient auto production campus in Ford history”. This $5.6 billion investment will bring 6,000 new jobs into the region as well. Ford says it will be devoted to producing electric F-Series trucks and their batteries. While doing so, it will be carbon neutral with zero waste-to-landfill and onsite battery recycling.

The other facilities will be part of another giant campus in Glendale, Kentucky called BlueOvalSK Battery Park. As you can imagine, this one will be devoted entirely to battery production for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles. This $5.8 billion, 1,500-acre campus will bring approximately 5,000 jobs to the area spit among two dedicated battery plants and its onsite suppliers. And although they don’t explicitly state this, I’m sure this campus will be carbon neutral or as close to that as possible. You kind of have to aim for that this day in age. But regardless of its own carbon emissions, this campus will be instrumental in Ford’s transition to EVs.

[Source: Ford]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

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.

29 Comments

  1. The slushbox in my truck developed a bad leak after only 33 years. I took it to a shop to have it resealed. When they pulled it down, there was a lot of metal stuck to the magnet, and enough chunks of friction material that I opted for a full rebuild. The good news is that it’s only $250 more than the reseal-only.

    1. “…after only 33 years.”

      This type of planned obsolescence is precisely why automatic transmissions will never catch on.

      1. The transmission shop said the seals looked dried out and suggested I drive more frequently. It has 270,000 miles on it (or perhaps 370K or 470K–can’t be certain due to 5 digit odometer).

  2. The Vivaro has not gotten a new Check Airbag light yet, and the AC got two O-rings and a refill. Perfect time to sell it… I am just too clogged with side tasks- that’s what I keep telling myself.

  3. Ok, big texts incoming, sorting my own thoughts, comments welcome. Today we test drove the Polestar 2. A monumental letdown, despite going into the test drive with an expectation of this being one of the less competitive vehicles on our shortlist, but, nonetheless, maybe my way back into Volvo ownership after a 10 year hiatus. We didn’t even ask them to sit down and provide us with a price – normally considered rude, but, in this case, a waste of time.

    Volvo was the modern age inventor of the floating mid-console. This console is a monster, with sharp edges you can’t lean your knee on, also restricting arm space and giving the cabin a crammed feeling. The battery tunnel is so tall and demands so much interior space also in the back, that the vehicle essentially is a four seater. The roof is super low, I had 2 fingers width to the top in the driver’s seat, couldn’t sit in the back (Polestar says the limit is 185cm tall people, but my legs didn’t fit either; I’m about 190 cm). Visibility in all directions is poor. The floor in front of the driver’s seat being two levels, lower at the pedals, is weird and creates poor resting conditions for the driver.

    The driving was good though: Excellent dampening, unevenness of the road gets swallowed like in few other cars I have tried. But it’s quite dead, a lifeless driving experience. Steering can be adjusted from superlight (you can hear the servopump throwing on its Rambo headband) to tight – the only viable option. Regen is a mess. The setup is made for one pedal driving, but the gas pedal had a dead spot right at the start, and regen was way too heavy even at “low” setting. The other setting, “standard” resulted in heavy braking if you didn’t compress the accelerator at all. Worst of all: This is a screen setting. WTF! Kia has pedals at the steering wheel, and that’s the way to do it.

    The materials were good and, famously, eco-friendly, and I liked that the car starter is the driver’s seat. Smart. But in addition to the more serious letdowns above, there’s more: The speed is shown in a corner of the display, hard to read – a map is center. The car key is some yoghurt cup, Fisher Price-grade plastic key that is the worst piece of crap I have seen in automotive relation ever. Period. I grew up with parents that bought a Kia Shuma and a Daewoo Matiz…It pains my heart to see that in a Volvo-related vehicle. Even the blinker sound was weird, like someone popping plastic wrapper. When driving with cruise control, you can only adjust it in 5 kph intervalls up and down – why?? What an odd vehicle.

    1. Depending on who you ask, the industry leader or, at least, everybody’s point of reference was our test drive #3, the Tesla 3. We could just as well have tried an Y, but the 3 SR+ is currently very cheap and a highly competitive product. If I want to put my money where my mouth is, the 3 ought to come first over the SUV-y Y.

      Anyway, this was the most entertaining test drive; unfortunately for comparison’s sake, I got a more powerful LR car. I took the same route as with the Kia last week, just cut it short by a third or so and still returned home incredibly car sick. Uphill, the 3 seems to regard physics as a theoretical concept and I basically threw this thing up the mountain. It was insane. Driving aids preventing me from falling off a cliff worked even more seamlessly than in the Kia. I only got it to slide once (safely), and that was scary, because the cars’ boundaries are so far off the charts. The 3 has great lights, with slightly too little spread in sharp corners – the LED has no leakage, leaving the inside of serpentines unilluminated. My wife and I both loved the airy and stylish interior. There’s a lot of smart and neat functions, like using your phone as the key, and it has the most successful one-pedal-drive-setup I have tested so far. What I haven’t found out though, is if the regen is adjustable? Steering had the same options as in the Polestar, basically, but everything felt more refined. That’s a slap in the face for Volvo and I am not over it yet.

      The tiny and cheap looking steering wheel felt good, but basic functionality is a huge minus on the Tesla 3. The wipers don’t recognize fogging as wipeworthy – a big drawback in an area dotted with tunnels; much the same issue happens with slow buildup in light rain and splashes from tunnels. The AUTO-setting is garbage and you need the screen for wiper adjustment; that is really poor design. In general, the reliability on the screen is a significant downside, even though the menues and the setup are intuitive and work well. I never before noticed how often I use hazard lights – to thank people for inviting me to pass, or waiting for me on a one lane road, or to signal a stoppage at road works. In the Tesla 3, I didn’t find them. Seriously. Didn’t look too hard either, but that should be as easy as stretching your right arm to “middly dashboard”.

      There was one other major setback: The “TACC”/adaptive cruise control emergency braked twice. Once when I passed a truck parked next to the road, the car abruptly slowed from 75 to 55 kph. Another time, it did the same from 85 to 55 kph and I couldn’t figure out the reason. After that, I honestly didn’t dare to use the cruise control at all – what if I had cars behind me? I also thought Tesla had this stuff figured out by now; this was still at our big regional road. Nothing out of the ordinary. Another automatic oof were the lights. No chance to use long lights in auto mode in tunnels or on lit streets. They just won’t work when the car deems them unnecessary. So that’s three failures with automated stuff (wipers, lights, cruise control).

      Other minor issues are that I can’t sit behind myself in the 3 either (due to leg room only), the tight sedan boot opening should really be a hatch, the windows lower themselves automatically in order for the doors to open (pretty strange mechanism that owner #6 at 300k kms will love), the rearview mirror didn’t blend out the lights of following cars so I had to twist it away, and the douchy image, of course. I was denied lane zipping mere seconds after the test drive started…something that almost never happens in kind and orderly Norway, or so I thought. Overall, a great car, but also this one has some serious downsides, dammit. Going to get a proper price tomorrow morning.

      1. Given you don’t really fit into the Polestar: you’ll become a Tesla owner, as long as the deal sweetens the automatic letdowns?
        Make sure to get the “future self-driving functions” option, they must be SO close by now… 60kNOK.

        1. The Tesla is the cheapest option at 422k NOK, and the iron phosphate battery behaves a little different than lithiumbatteries (it handles full charges better and might possibly have better range conservation in the cold). The Tesla sales lady said that she just turns off cruise control/”Autopilot” whenever she sees a truck next to the road, or a larger vehicle is coming towards her. I had to laugh at that because that is just stupid tech and it completely defeats the purpose of cruise control. Right now, Kia is on top, and we’re waiting for the EV6. Might test drive an Ioniq 5 first. I can’t believe the Koreans are beating everyone else.

          1. I’ve only seen press images of the exterior of the EV6, and it looked good. Not “look at this turd we’ve put into fantastic landscape in dramatic light” good, rather a self-conscious yet humble object of beauty.

            Buying an EV now is like buying a PC in the 90ies: you can’t afford the performance you’d actually need, and even if you could it will become obsolete by innovation within a couple of years.

      2. So, one of the thing that gnaws at me about the full electrics are the design choices that seem to be made purely for the sake of design choices. Of course, function in an EV is going to be different than an ICE, and form should follow, but some things I just don’t get, like the Tesla lack of cluster in front of driver. To me, that screams entry level car design for global distribution that is so entry level the mfgr doesn’t want to tool up for RHD and LHD. Even with the big-ass screen, it screams that to me. There are certain design elements that make a car, a car, and those should carry on…and get off my lawn.

        And, the ACC thing is a real problem up here in the mountains. My only experiences have been in fleet sedans (accords) that love to catch the semi in the right lane while I’m passing around a curve. It *sucks*. It’s gotten so that we request the older camrys that don’t have it.

        1. Oh, so you have experienced that in other cars, too? It was a completely new thing to me, even though I had read about that online. Tesla is waiting for some patent to expire so they can incorporate some other company’s tech into their cruise control software, but that’s no excuse. I am not spending that much money on a car that lacks some basic functionality, even if the rest is good. Actually, we’ve been starting to wonder what exactly we are getting extra for spending, say, twice of what a similar used car would cost. We always end up like that…”Why buy a car for 100k when 50k gets you the same result?”

          When it comes to the instrument cluster, I am not entirely opposed to the Tesla 3’s cockpit layout. It’s very airy and open. But the most basic functionality should be accessable, and it might just be the wipers that are lacking. The Polestar’s unacceptably cramped interior is due to Volvo’s CMA architecture that also incorporates ICE cars – the huge tunnel contains batteries. It’s just a really bad solution if you compare it to other EVs that offer more space in every single direction. The Polestar 2 is even the heaviest of the lot and has the worst fuel consumption. They failed at everything.

  4. I’ve made the decision to sell the m5, Ave purchase a g80 m3. I’m pretty sure on my options, but in trying to figure out a computer. They’ll let me order from the individual catalog, though it will cost me, in time and money. Here are a couple of top prospects. Only the green is a stock color.

        1. That’s Isle of Man Green, the launch color, and what originally peaked interested in the vehicle, honestly. My bmwcca magazine had a review of one in that color, and it did look just so good…

          That should probably be telling me something.

          1. I’d go for the green over tan, too, but all options look great. The purple is amazing. You should be allowed to “dare” whatever you want, no point in thinking about resale value or what others may deem appropriate.

    1. I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to order it that way, but that purple is an amazing color.

      1. That would be my choice…if I were in the market and they had an option to de-beaver the front.

      2. That’s Velvet Blue. If I went that way, I’d get the ‘Whore Red’ interior (they call is ‘Fiona’).

    2. the light blue / orange combo is giving me S60R vibes. that color combo fetches a premium on the used market and is probably pretty easy to keep looking clean. the burrito shop owner near me has a previous-gen M3 in the darker blue, and it’s a very striking color in person. if it were me, i’d get the purple with as much metallic flake as BMW can put in it.

      1. Snapper Rocks Blue on Kylami Orange. I’ve thought about that on red as well, but not sure I have the guts to do that. I like the Velvet Blue, but one of my friends pointed out that it looks like a Fast and the Furious color, and I could not disagree.

    3. All nice colors. However, is there alternatives to stock grille now? Surely there’s some tuner who makes a better looking grille-bumper combo?

      1. Have you seen one in person? Looks are of course subjective, but, the Beaver face is way less overpowering in person. I’m sure someone will make a different front for it, but as of now, I am unaware of anything.

    4. That first blue with a red interior would be my first choice. Second would be the purple with tan, then the green with tan. Not as big of a fan of the second blue, but there’s not a bad color here.

  5. Translation: What is the probability of dying like this? Young women aged 19 and 22 were in the information island on the ground floor of the car dealership. The accident was caused by a 29-year-old man who brought the car from wash. All participants in the accident were taken to hospital with different fractures and other conditions. Link to page with the video:

    Kui suur on tõenäosus niimoodi surma saada?

    1. So the headline suggests death occurred, but the text indicates the injuries were not fatal. I hope that reception desk was sturdy enough and tall enough to absorb the energy of the falling car. I doubt that the injured will be returning to work anytime soon, though, and suspect that even walking will be a challenge for them.

    2. Now I’m really curious about what the upper floor looks like. The article seems to imply that the guy driving the car back from a wash caused the plunge and crash, but did he drive through some kind of a barrier, or did the floor unexpectedly give way (structural issue), or what? Not a lot of falling debris to suggest either, really, but maybe enough for the former in the case of a small railing. Terrible thing to have happen, regardless.

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