The News for September 11th, 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: Maserati MC20 is the MC12 successor that’s ready for racing, Genesis unveils breathtaking G70 redesign, Nissan will show off next-gen Z prototype next week and confirms a manual, Lucid Air is inching closer to production, McLaren is selling its iconic HQ to help stay afloat, and your news for the week.

Maserati MC20

Maserati MC20

A new Maserati supercar is something I don’t think has ever happened since I started covering the industry ten years ago, so this will be cool. The Maserati MC20, the successor to the legendary Enzo-based MC12, was finally revealed this week after much teasing. It’s significant in a few ways besides just being the first supercar of theirs since 2005. It represents the beginning of a new era for Maserati, and what better way to do that than with a halo car.

Maserati MC20

The MC20’s design draws some inspiration from the MC12 and Maserati’s racing history. The whole car is built with racing DNA and signals the brand’s intention to return to racing. Over the course of its creation, a process which took 24 months, over 2,000 hours were logged in a Dallara wind tunnel to perfect the aerodynamics. After more than a thousand computational fluid dynamics simulations, they came up with a design that not only looks gorgeous but doesn’t need any “mobile appendages” (active aero) to work at speed.

Maserati MC20

Power comes from a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, Maserati’s first totally in-house engine design in over 20 years. It uses twin side turbos with electronic actuated waste gates, dry sump oil system, and “Maserati Twin Combustion” (MTC) Twin Spark with passive prechamber to produce 621 horsepower and 538 ft.-lbs. of torque. That’s the same power output as the MC12’s Ferrari-sourced V12 with half the displacement and cylinders and a lot more torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed DCT and a mechanical LSD (with an electronic LSD as an option). Maserati says the MC20 is designed to enable full electric power as well which will be offered in the future.

Maserati MC20

The body and the chassis it’s mounted to is also fairly light with the whole thing weighing 3,300 pounds. Carbon fiber was used to its potential but in a way that doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The car rides on a full double wishbone setup and 20″ wheels. Brembo provides the stopping power with six piston front and 4 piston rear calipers and ventilated discs up to 14.96″ in size. It promises to be a well rounded and very capable track car should owners choose to exploit its abilities. If not, Maserati hints more than once that they’ll be returning to motorsport. Most recently the Gran Turismo was competing in various GT4 series around the world, but I believe its finally been retired after a very long service. I think the MC20 would make for a fine GT3 car.

Bottom line, it’s good to talk about a new Maserati with a heart in racing again. There’s a lot of significant steps taken with this car and it shows Maserati is ready to venture into the next decade with a whole new outlook and put the Ghibli behind them (that part may be a lie). But don’t worry, the Maserati we know and love will always be with us as shown by this screen shot taken directly from their media site.

Maserati MC20

[Source: Maserati]

2022 Genesis G70

genesis g70

Maserati weren’t the only ones dropping gorgeous stuff in the middle of the week. Genesis, the luxury sub brand of Hyundai, debuted the all-new G70. They were light on technical details in the press release but I suspect that was for a very good reason – they only want us talking about its looks. They could have announced a hybrid V12 with a gated manual shifter and the design still would have been the biggest talking point here.

This new design language of theirs has proven to be wonderful on everything they’ve put it on. It started with the G90, matured a bit with the GV80 and G80, and is simply breathtaking on the G70 now. The new family face includes the new signature crest grille, which is positioned lower than on other cars, and the defining Quad Lamps. With the “sensuous” surface around the front wheels and the long hood, it looks like a true sports sedan. If the current G70 and the Kia Stinger it’s built on is anything to go by, it’ll have performance to back that up. The profile is cab rearward and shows functional side air extractors which show it isn’t just about looking pretty.

genesis g70

The back of the car looks most familiar to the current G70 but it still gets that new Quad Light treatment here as well. They’re angled slightly upwards to mimic the soaring wings of the Genesis logo. Additionally, the rear decklid spoiler is a little more pronounced, the license plate frame is moved lower, and body-colored diffusers wrap around the exhaust.

genesis g70

Genesis also reworked the interior quite a bit with typical buzzwords like “driver-centered” and “fighter jet cockpit”. But despite the cliches, it’s a beautiful and no nonsense design. And it looks fantastic in burgundy. The user experience is enhanced with a new 10.25″ infotainment screen with a new Genesis UI with updates via wifi and features like Valet Mode and CarPlay (no mention of Android Auto, but this is a rather short press release).

We’ll know more about the stunning G70 next month when they reveal more specifications. So far though it’s another win for Genesis.

[Source: Genesis]

Nissan teases “Z Proto”

Nissan has been ramping up the hype train for the upcoming “Nissan Z Proto”, which is going to be a concept version of the upcoming Z sports car. How much of a prototype it is and how close it’ll be to production remains to be seen, but we’ll know more on September 15th at 8:30 PM Eastern. In the meantime, they released a teaser video to get us all talking. It shows one very important thing. It shows a manual.

The video also briefly shows off the engine sound but it’s just a startup and quick rev while music plays over most of it. From what I can tell though, it’s still got six cylinders. The engine we’re all expecting to see here is the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 from the Infiniti Red Sport line. Internet enthusiasts who pretend to only buy cars with manuals were scared because Infiniti offers no manual transmissions. Last year though, Nissan showed off a 370Z with that same engine and a manual transmission. They were proving it works while dropping us a hint. Of course, the engine choice is really just a best guess at this point. We’ll know for sure in a few days.

[Source: Nissan]

2021 Lucid Air moves closer to production

lucid air

Here’s a car I’ve been trying to follow over the years but have had trouble for some reason. The Lucid Air, the first production-intent car from EV startup Lucid Motors, has been in the news a lot since its initial debut. Each time it comes back in the news, I seem to have a hard time understanding what’s new about it that week and where it is in its journey from concept to production. All the articles were basically just repeating the same thing I had already heard. I declined to cover most of those because, well, there’s no point in repeating promises from a startup over and over. Well, this week it came back in the news and it seems that it is indeed still a thing that is being built.

Our buddy Bradley Brownell at Jalopnik (their site redesign looks okay – there I said it) got a chance to spend some time at their R&D facility to learn more about the company and the car. It’s the deepest dive into the car I’ve seen yet. Lucid shows some very promising tech while highlighting their plans to roll it out next Summer. What we still don’t see though is proof of their incredible claims – 1,080 horsepower, 200+ mph top speed,  9.9-second quarter mile, and over 500 miles of range. But with the access that Bradley was given, it seems they just might be able to pull it off after all. I suggest reading his thoughts over on Jalopnik if you, like me, feel like you don’t know what to believe regarding the Lucid Air.

[Source: Jalopnik]

McLaren plans to sell their McLaren Technology Centre HQ

mclaren

McLaren is among many automakers struggling with the economic hardships caused by COVID-19, but their relatively small size as a low volume manufacturer is making it a little harder. As part of a restructuring plan to stay afloat, McLaren is attempting to sell their iconic McLaren Technology Centre. It’s the gorgeous building that’s been the backdrop of many a press shot but is also home to a significant portion of their engineering and design team as well as a racecar collection and a wind tunnel. Here’s the breakdown on the terms of the sale provided by a McLaren spokesperson to City A.M.

“The potential sale and leaseback of our global headquarters and the appointment of banks to advise us on a debt restructuring and equity raise are part of the comprehensive refinancing strategy that we announced earlier this year.

“Building on the shorter-term measures that we put in place over the summer, these initiatives will deliver a stronger balance sheet and ensure that McLaren Group has a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment.

“The proposed sale and leaseback mirrors best practice among leading companies and will have no impact on our day-to-day operations.

“The McLaren Campus, comprising the McLaren Technology Centre, McLaren Production Centre and the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre, is an iconic, world-class facility that will remain our home in the future.”

I went to college to do computer stuff so all this business talk makes no sense, but Jalopnik points out that McLaren will be able to stay in the building as long as they pay rent, but they will effectively lose ownership over the building. Sad times indeed, but losing ownership of a building is a better alternative to losing a whole company, especially one like McLaren.

[Source: City AM via Jalopnik]

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.

36 Comments

  1. I had my doubts about the G70’s styling until I saw these images, which show a contoured front end, including that massive diamond-shaped grille. Ok, this thing is gorgeous. The rear is a bit staid, but overall I really like this design!

    1. I have to agree on that front end — that turned out a lot better than I was afraid of, to the point that I think the new G70 wears the new Genesis brand “look” the best, at least up front. I’m not a fan of the rear-end treatment, though. I definitely prefer the looks of my first-gen’s trunk and taillights. Not as distinctively Genesis, but to my eyes they’ve got a little bit of 2 Series to them, in a good way. I also prefer just having the winged badge rather than the big, bold, “G E N E S I S” across the trunk.

      And of course, no one’s surprised about the manual going away. Being a (relatively) early adopter isn’t typically my thing, but I’m glad I bit the bullet!

  2. The last couple of years, my life has been an easy breeze of unexciting comfort, and the Centennial I bought in May has, so far, delivered a dose of inner conflicts that I am not accustomed to. I love the car, but every time I look away, something seems to break, and that keeps my mind occupied in the most unpleasant way.

    Also, the environment has changed a little, as my wife has gone from “yeah, let’s try this” to “this is your car and yours alone”. Additionally, my former neighbour, a good mechanic who loves rare cars and said he’d work with me on it, is ghosting me for no reason I understand. Car’s expensive now, as my mechanical skills are comparable to that of a squirrel.

    After the 3k$ overhaul last month, the transmission is still acting up. There’s an exhaust leak so the car sounds all wrong and it’s really embarrassing. No time to fix it yet. The freshly redamaged radiator leak might be done for a while after adding “radiator concrete”, but I am not 100% sure of that yet. And I found oil mist on my front wheels, which lead me to check my power steering fluid…*crickets*

    https://i.ibb.co/JHrqQzD/IMG-20200911-210754.jpg

    This seems to have been a green oil, I only know (and have) red Dexron. Any ideas? At the bottom of the tank, there’s only black slush. Still getting an ABS/ESP warning light, and no one can read the OBD, not even the Hyundai shop. So I’m in the process of finding four sensors. Not even thinking about the paint and undercarriage yet, which need proper care. I’ve always been real fond of the driving part of the hobby, the fixing stuff part is, kind of, the dark side for me.

    1. Hmmm, rare/non-existent parts? Stuff starting to break? Nobody with the right scanning tools. Sounds like the last year of our Saab story.

      Speaking of, I think that power steering fluid might be a hydraulic fluid (like our Saab). I had to scramble around to find something called Pentosin CHF-11S, https://www.smgsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Pentosin.jpg which happened to be green in color. Too bad you only live about 4000 miles away, I have a big canister you could have because the Saab needed all of about a tablespoon.

    2. This seems to be the story with elderly luxury cars. I haven’t owned a luxury car since the ’80s, but I read the internet a lot. BMW 7 and 8 series cars seem to be the zenith of luxury when new and the nadir of maintenance after 5 or 10 years, along with other top models from other marques.

      My theory is that manufacturers know their high end customers are only going to keep their swanky sedans for a few years and then trade up. In the design process all those luxury systems become engineered for a short service life and maximum return on investment; being cheaply made and not designed for repair. A lot of that stuff ends up being one-year, one-model unobtanium after only a decade.

      This isn’t exactly cheering you up, is it? I’ll shut up now.

      1. This exact approach might be why the Century is considered special. The Equus forums are full of people with broken stuff, the Century forums are more like “look at my car in this beautiful scenery” and “which flag to buy for my corner poles?”.
        https://i.ibb.co/JdNCnvC/20200912-084458.jpg
        I veered from the path of the righteous!

      2. I wouldn’t confirm “cheaply made”, new S-classes often have/had (unnecessary) high-tech stuff in there which, at the respective time, simply wasn’t cheap. Not designed for repair? Oh yes, and those aged bits of high-tech I just mentioned are probably a bigger chunk of the causes.

      3. I wouldn’t confirm “cheaply made”, new S-classes often have/had (unnecessary) high-tech stuff in there which, at the respective time, simply wasn’t cheap. Not designed for repair? Oh yes, and those aged bits of high-tech I just mentioned are probably a bigger chunk of the causes.

        1. Ah, perhaps I meant to say “economically manufactured”; as if to save the last few dollars after spending so much chasing the state-of-the-art.

      1. P.S.: Do you have the V6 engine or the V8 engine? The V8 was apparently manufactured by Mitsubishi, so maybe visit your local (?) Mitsubishi dealer to find out more?

        1. It’s the 3.5l V6 and the car came without a manual. The link above is without content for the first generation car, unfortunately. I’m going to ask in a Korean Equus forum with 20k+ members that I read with Google Translate. My local Mitsubishi dealer wouldn’t touch the car, and I am highly sceptical of my Hyundai dealer after the work they’ve done earlier. They’ll be looking at my exhaust again in a bit, but then I’ll try to find someone else or do more myself. Or I’ll admit defeat and find a buyer.

          1. Exhaust work, in Norway, is usually done best by the workshops that look the worst. A plus when the guy has a strong foreign accent, because then he comes from a culture that wasn’t flush with oil money throughout his childhood.

    3. Perhaps another avenue on the map of the Hooniverse is worth taking a look down? This creampuff may never meet your expectations. As every low-budget hoon who has bought a second hand Cadillac has found, some modifications are needed to make it do what you want; to make it your own.

      Is the paint wearing out? Two Scotch-Brite pads on a Cyclo polisher run over the whole thing will banish your anxiety over minor dings, and leave a nice murder-black finish that needs no further worry. Take the chrome off first, then re-install for that Rat-Rod look.

      Drivetrain problems? A V6 PRV will suffice. You could convert it to stick! Maybe buy a welding rig. Throw in a Volvo 245 rear axle and go chasing apexes.

      In short: Excise the things that disappoint. Stop chasing OEM, concours winning perfection. Make it YOUR Centennial. Be a hoon. Be an avatar. Let the unique circumstances of your existence guide you to make a unique car. Slap that thing around until it does what you want and then take a second look at it.

      1. Suddenly, I got two Leaf batteries in the trunk and the slowest Centennial ever. 😛 Fair point though, concours attitudes and budget practice don’t line up.

    4. You really should try and track down the lack of communication with the ABS computer first and foremost. That may be the only problem, that it isn’t able to communicate with the bus and thus is missing data that it wants to properly operate.

      1. Makes sense, just going after all the connections and check for broken cables? I have tried to brake hard and the right front wheel locks up. So I assumed it might be that sensor. The transmission guys also said that the sensor issue could affect gearing.

        1. Yeah a check of the condition of the wiring and connections is a good place to start. Also check all the fuses, many computers have more than one power feed, and frequently more than one ground too.

          I’m not sure it there are options in your country, but in the US many public libraries have a subscription to one of the service information companies. My county’s has a subscription to Chilton’s professional level that includes many reprints of OE materials for things like wiring diagrams, diagnostic trees and specs for the sensors so you can test them. Mitchel On-demand is another one that offers a library deal. Maybe something is available from your library. Of course with an less common model the info may not be available but definitely worth a try.

  3. Last weekend I finally bit the bullet and bought a truck. After toying with the idea of a 90s Chevy 2500 with a 5 speed, I decided that I wanted a truck that would be reliable and not too needy.

    Here’s what I got. A 2001 Tundra SR5 Access Cab, V8 4WD with 290K miles for $2,500. Got a full frame replacement at 160K along with brake lines, steering rack and suspension bushings. Runs and drives very well, feels like half the miles, except for the worn driver’s seat. Clear coat has failed on the hood and roof, there’s some minor damage on the right side of the bed and some rust around the wheel arches.

    Needs a timing belt and an actuator for the 4WD, but not much else.

    Every other Tundra I found was ~$5K with 200K – 250K or $7K+ for something under 200K. The guy I bought it from replaced it with a 2006 with 250K (I think that’s what he said) that cost him $7K.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0dac18bb41a9d98082b9d40369ade158cdf221ee25b39191a6d426519ce9fae0.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0c048379567cb0fbce50b96663376390c6d6a17807ce86a43ad1bc50a72fa9e8.jpg

    1. Running driving 4WD pickup for $2500? Thats a deal! I really like the first gen Tundras. Just the right size (unlike the modern monster the Tundra has become), and 20 years later the styling still looks great.

      1. Well, it’s only theoretically 4WD right now because of the failed actuator, but it sounds like it should be easy to remedy.

        I like the size too, and the Access Cab is a bit shorter than the later Crew Cabs, which I like.

    2. Congrats on the new truck.

      FWIW, GMT400s are generally considered to be pretty reliable (and cheap to repair when things eventually do wear out). I’m kind of wondering how you decided to cross-shop a 2500 against a half-ton that’s already been through one frame (and has close to the same amount of miles on the replacement).

      1. My criteria was at least a half ton, V8, 4WD and under $5K. I was focused on Tundras and GM. Several interesting 90s GM trucks came up and the 90s 2500s were not much larger than the 1500s. I wouldn’t want a mid 2000s 2500, too big. A couple of mid 90s 2500s with the 5.7 and a 5 speed came up with about 200K on them. They’re a more interesting choice, but, and I may be wrong, I think the Toyota is going hold together better at 200K plus. This Tundra drives like half the miles.

        I like the frame replacement Tundras because a lot of other parts get replaced too. I expect the replacement frames to be much better than the originals.

        1. Hmm. I hadn’t realized how much work-from-home/quarantine has driven up prices for cheap trucks with V8 engines,. I guess the time to buy is when people fill the tanks to the tune of 30 or 50 gallons per week. And now that Craigslist charges for car ads, a lot of people are too cheap to pay the five bucks to list a lower-priced truck.

      1. It’s a recall for excessive rust, so it was largely on Toyota’s dime. Trucks were brought in and inspected and some trucks would get a full frame replacement, some the rear carrier cross member and others simply a preventative rust treatment. For trucks getting a new frame, frequently the dealer would suggest some things that might be good to replace too and the owner would pay for the part only. My truck got new parking brake components, shock bushings and a steering rack that were probably not covered by the recall.

        There was a similar recall for early 2000s Tacomas too.

        My understanding is that the frame supplier failed to apply the specified rust preventative or that whatever they did apply did not meet the specifications.

  4. More pictures of the Crosstrek in action: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eca5cab8f725fdcc67bf5f24f9956411c98946cc39f76ba1f0cbb07f84f0e055.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/289611bdff7ccb7c24607338866429f3c949d67643948ea0f060c20ee727adc5.jpg

    Some minor updates on the Spirit. Another floor patch done, only 3 small ones to go. They should go easy enough. I started trying to mount the cutch pedal and clutch master cylinder. Car was originally an auto, so no holes in the firewall for it yet. Turns out the clutch master cylinder rock auto sells is not the right piece- there’s a very small space to work in with the wiring harness, brake master cylinder, and clutch master cylinder all in the same very small corner. I actually found an old Hooniverse article from Alan Cesaer about trying to get the clutch working in his Eagle that helped, and I found a remote reservoir piece from Wilwood that is now on the way. It still might hit the brake lines as they come out of the master cylinder, so I might end up having to buy a passenger side outlet brake master cylinder and run new brake lines. I don’t want to run new brake lines… that will add another month to the project at the rate I’m currently going.

    Oh, one last thing- I called an importer about importing a 95 Hilux… we’ll see if that goes anywhere. I’m hoping the truck doesn’t sell to someone else while I’m waiting…

  5. Oil change on the wagon this week.

    Also took the M5 on a 900 mile trip last weekend to Durango, Montrose, and back. I was on the fence between that and the wagon, but took the m5 because, well, I should, right? Good weather, etc. With the exception of when I was executing a pass, I wished I would have taken the wagon. More comfort. More space. No plans to sell, but diagnosis O-L-D.

    1. Hey, I drove through Durango and Montrose this week too! My pictures in the post above yours are from Curecanti National Recreation Area, just a random spot I pulled off along the way.

  6. My, uhm, friends pointed me to an auction: 4×4, 2.5m wide, German/Austrian engineering, only 28kkm, and I can choose whether I want it to become a camper or a mobile swimming pool! Last time I looked, the auction was at ~3kUSD… tempting.

    https://www.retrade.eu/i/detail/2633550-IMG_1476.jpg/Brannbil_MAN_Medium_Cheeta_4x4.jpg

    12L displacement with according mileage, and I don’t have a license for that weight class though.

    https://www.retrade.eu/en/aitem/448507/Brannbil_MAN_Medium_Cheeta_4x4

  7. “Power comes from a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, Maserati’s first totally in-house engine design in over 20 years.”

    A Maserati-developed twin-turbo V6? What could go wrong?

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/45/1985_Maserati_Biturbo_E%2C_front_left_%28US%29.jpg/1920px-1985_Maserati_Biturbo_E%2C_front_left_%28US%29.jpg

    I keed, I keed. I do like the looks of the MC20, and part of me appreciates that the design doesn’t make use of any active aero. But, I have to wonder…3300 lbs? My 5-door hatchback WRX weighs that much, and it’s not a carbon fiber 2 seat race-bred supercar. Sure, cars are only getting heavier as time goes on, and this thing has a bigger engine, bigger brakes, I’m sure a massively stiffer structure, etc….but still.

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