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.
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.
Corvette C8 Z06 breaks cover
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.
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.
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.