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 shows off camo’d Civic Type R as it heads to the ‘Ring for testing, Lexus teases all-new LX, Ford adds Stealth Edition Mustang and GT Performance Pack to California Special, Alpine commits to an LMDh program from 2024, the Geneva Motor Show is cancelled again, plus your news for the week.
Honda teases next gen Civic Type R
As the newest-generation Honda Civic is hitting dealership lots, the one we’re all really waiting for is getting ready for its most important test of the bunch. No, not the “how many vape pens can fit in the glovebox” test, but the one that takes place at the Nürburgring.
Honda isn’t talking specs, release dates, or anything like that yet. But they were generous enough to provide us with two shots of the next-gen Civic Type R all camo’d up. The dazzling red and gray wrap can only go so far in hiding the details of a car like this, so you can already sort of tell how aggressive it’s going to be. It may be slightly toned down compared to the previous car, but the custom bumper with its big gaping maw, the fender flares, side skirts, rear diffuser, and spoiler show it still means business. The now signature triple exhaust is still present as well, and those split five-spoke wheels are looking fantastic. So while the Civic in general is aiming to be a little more grown up and “more European” for some reason, the Civic Type R is shaping up to be the fun-spirited, pure Japanese compact sports sedan it needs to be.
Even though we don’t know specs yet, it could still use the same K20 turbo four-cylinder with around 306 horsepower and still be an absolute blast. If anything we may get a little more power out of the same engine, or they’ll surprise us with a new one. It’s expected to be released next year as a 2023 model. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more. And so will literally everyone else on the internet.
Lexus is prepping a brand new LX
Toyota isn’t selling the new Land Cruiser in the US anymore, despite the fact that a brand new one just launched in the Middle East and Asia and America can’t get enough of big vehicles with far more capability than we need. But not all hope is lost, because the Lexus LX doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and it should be the same platform underneath as the newest Land Cruiser we aren’t getting.
The press release says that all will be revealed on October 13th at 12:30 PM Eastern as it shows quick glimpses of the luxo barge speeding through the desert. Whatever they have planned, it’s going to have some level of off-road capability that no one will ever use. Things like specs, release dates, pricing, and basically everything can only be hypothesized at this point. But if it is in fact going to be built on the newest Land Cruiser platform (no reason it wouldn’t be), then we can assume it’ll be powered by the same 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 with 409 horsepower as well and feature most if not all of the same enhancements that came with that chassis. Long story short, it’ll be an off-roading experience fit for a king.
We’ll of course know more about the new Lexus LX next Wednesday, my dudes.
Mustang Stealth Edition and GT Performance Package California Special
We’re at that point in the S550’s lifetime where Ford has run out of ideas to keep the Mustang fresh and are resorting to special editions and new packages. As I said in my GT500 track impressions (I think), the GT500 is as good as a Mustang can get. After that, nothing can top it until the next generation. We’ve had the Mach 1 since then and that’s proven to be a great addition to the lineup, but there isn’t much that’s new on that car. It’s just repackaged stuff [albeit good stuff] from the PP2, Bullitt, and GT350. A new generation of Mustang is on the way, so anything else that we get out of this platform is going to be like… this.
Buyers will have two new options to choose from when ordering their 2022+ Mustang: the Stealth Edition and the California Special with GT Performance Package.
The “first-ever” Stealth Edition is an appearance package for the Mustang EcoBoost Premium (most likely just the coupe and not the convertible). It’s available in a gorgeous Atlas Blue, Carbonized Gray, Dark Matter, and Shadow Black paint. It adds 19” Ebony Black-painted aluminum wheels, black pony badges, black performance rear spoiler, black mirror caps, and clear LED taillamp covers. The interior features matte and gloss black instrument panel badging and lighted door sill plates.
Meanwhile, those who want the style of the Mustang GT California Special but the added performance from the GT Performance Package are in luck. For the first time ever, those two can be combined. You can still opt for just the CS, or the GT/CS with both. The heritage-inspired California Special is available on GT Premium fastback and convertible models and adds a blacked out grille, side stripes, and a rear fender scoop plus some special badging and stuff.
Add in the GT Performance Package with that and you get Brembo six-piston front brakes, unique chassis tuning with heavy-duty front springs, larger tubular rear sway bar, reduced ride height, K-brace, strut tower brace, front subframe V-brace, a Torsen LSD, unique tuning on the traction and stability control, and special power steering tuning. It rolls on bespoke 19×9” front and 19×9.5” rear wheels, which look like they were borrowed from the Bullitt and painted gray. The California Special with and without the GT Performance Package is available in most if not all paint colors the Mustang normally comes with.
No pricing has been revealed for these models yet. They’ll be added to the order books in Q1 2022.
Alpine Commits to LMDh
IMSA’s next-gen prototype formula got another massive endorsement this week as Alpine, the legendary French automaker now owned by Renault, has committed to an LMDh program from 2024. Alpine currently competes in WEC’s Hypercar class with an old Rebellion LMP1 car that’s had its hybrid system removed to fit current regulations. They also have a Formula 1 program (that’s effectively the old Renault team rebranded). However this new LMDh program will be their first home-grown sports car program in years.
Now I said this was a massive announcement, not because Alpine is a major brand, but because the French brand has chosen LMDh over the FIA’s and ACO’s own Hypercar (LMH) regulations. To very quickly recap: the FIA/ACO’s LMH favors bigger brands with the budget to make its own race car from the chassis up. LMDh favors brands that want to control costs and start with a supplied chassis from one of four partners and just provide the engine and the front half of the bodywork. After IMSA and the FIA came together and committed to allowing them to compete together, both formulas have a shot at winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall and doing so in the same class through balance of performance.
Alpine chose LMDh, surely because selling only a couple thousand A110s annually (if they’re lucky) doesn’t translate well into massive motorsports budgets. LMDh absolutely was the right call if the goal is to have a sustainable sports car program from one of the most beloved brands in Europe.
All that we know so far is that Alpine is partnering with Oreca for the chassis and the engine will be built by the same team who build their F1 power units. Alpine will also continue to work with Signatech for team operations and Enstone for development assistance on its chassis and bodywork. Oreca supplies the base chassis, but each brand can still adjust things as they need to. And it’s also important to note that Alpine adopting IMSA regulations doesn’t necessarily mean they will compete in IMSA. Rules require that any brand competing in IMSA should be established in the US as a mainstream manufacturer. So basically, not Glickenhaus and probably not Alpine unless they start selling the A110 in the US (and a lot of them) or rebrand it as something else. Either scenario is very unlikely, so this car may only run in the FIA WEC.
The excitement around endurance racing just continues to build. LMDh now consists of Acura, Alpine, BMW, Cadillac, Porsche, and Lamborghini while LMH has Toyota, Ferrari, Peugeot, maybe Glickenhaus after this year and maybe ByKolles. Other brands like Hyundai and McLaren are still discussing things. Regardless of who else joins the party, it’s going to be a hell of a good time.
[Source: Alpine, Jalopnik]
Geneva Motor Show cancelled again
For the third time in a row, the opulent and wild Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled. The first two times were due to health and safety concerns over *gestures wildly*. This week though, they’ve gone ahead and cancelled next year’s show (scheduled for February) as well due to *gestures even more wildly*.
Maurice Turrettini, President of whatever the hell Comité permanent du Salon international de l’automobile is supposed to be, says that “despite all our efforts, we have to face the facts and the reality: the pandemic situation is not under control and presents itself as a big threat for a large indoor event like GIMS. But we see this decision as a postponement, rather than a cancellation. I am confident that the Geneva International Motor Show will come back stronger than ever in 2023.”
Cases and hospitalizations have increased again this year and supply chain disruptions are affecting literally everyone in all industries, but especially the automotive industry. Clearly the conditions aren’t right for a big show like Geneva – and maybe others too. The Los Angeles International Auto Show is still scheduled for next month as planned, but that could change for all we know. The industry will be watching closely to see if big auto shows like this are still possible during *gestures violently towards everything* or if we need to keep waiting for something resembling normal to return.
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.