The News for September 18th, 2015

Welcome to the Hooniverse News – 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show Edition! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week most of that news is coming from one of the biggest auto shows of the year. There’s a lot going on so let’s get to it. This week:

  • Lamborghin Huracan now finally available with a cloth top

  • Jaguar F-Pace – the luxury crossover you might not hate after all

  • Porsche Mission E Concept is an EV as fast as a Porsche can be

  • Audi S4 – new engine, more power, more goodness

  • BMW M6 GT3 ready to terrorize the track

  • BMW M6 Coupe Competition Edition ready to terrorize your wallet

  • Honda unveils an all new Civic (for real this time)

  • Full Frankfurt Motor Show coverage from Autoweek

  • What’s your automotive news?

Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

Lamborghini stormed into Frankfurt with the kind of car you wouldn’t actually want to drive in a storm. They debuted the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder, a highly anticipated drop top version of the “entry level” supercar for the Italian brand. If the Huracan was a replacement for the Gallardo (which it was) then consider this a replacement for the Gallardo Spyder. The world’s elite who can’t be seen in an R8 can finally have a cloth top to complement their V10 again.
The new folding roof is an electrohydraulically actuated cloth top which smoothly operates within seventeen seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph. While other automakers are managing to create convertible models that weigh reasonably close to their fixed roof counterparts, Lamborghini…. isn’t. About 260 pounds of weight has been added from the folding mechanisms and other engineering solutions needed for safety and performance.
Speaking of performance, the hardware that matters hasn’t changed one bit. It’s still powered by a mid-mounted 5.2-liter V10 producing 602 horsepower and 413 lb.-ft. of torque. A seven-speed automatic gearbox transmits power to all four wheels. I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for rear-wheel-drive Huracans? 0-62 mph takes 3.4 seconds (slightly slower than the coupe) and the top speed is said to be 201 mph.
Deliveries are expected to begin next spring with US prices starting at an easy $262,000.
[Source: Lamborghini via Autoweek]

Jaguar F-Pace

After Jaguar dedicated the last year to showing us how the new F-Pace would look, they’ve now confirmed that it will look exactly as we all thought it would… like a taller Jaguar. For the first time in company history, Jaguar will be building and selling a crossover/sport utility vehicle and it will arrive next spring.
The F-Pace’s design manages to take family faces and styling cues we’ve all seen on other Jags before and still stand out from anything else on the road. It might have something to do with how closely it resembles the C-X17 concept it was inspired by which gives it much more athletic proportions than we’re used to seeing on a crossover. If Jaguar styling can make a crossover look good, what else can it make look good? Actually, don’t answer that… we don’t need a Jaguar minivan.
There’s plenty of substance underneath the skin too. At its deepest level is an advanced, lightweight aluminum architecture which promotes agility, refinement, and efficiency. In its lightest configuration you can buy from the factory, the F-Pace weighs in at just 3,671 pounds. Add bigger engines and more options and the weight goes up too. Engine options will range from 177 horsepower diesels to 374 horsepower supercharged V6 petrol engines. The few sentences Jaguar gave on the drivetrain info suggests that rear-wheel and all-wheel drive systems are available as well as manual and automatic gearboxes. In its most powerful, grippy form, Jaguar claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph (probably a good idea).
Ride and handling are improved greatly by borrowing the F-Type’s double wishbone front and integral link rear suspension and adding torque vectoring and available active damping into the mix. That means the F-Pace should offer a nice balance between comfortable everyday use and quick spirited driving.
There is also a plethora of driver assistance and convenience systems stuffed into the F-Pace for improved safety and ease of use. It also includes a fancy new infotainment system on a 10.2 inch touchscreen display powered by a quad-core processor and a solid-state drive. Looks like the F-Pace joined the #PCMasterRace.
So that’s the Jaguar F-Pace in a nutshell. We knew it was coming for quite some time and now that it’s finally here… well, I don’t hate it like I thought I would.
[Source: Jaguar]

Porsche Mission E Concept

It may not look like it at first, but this is a very important car for Porsche and it’s certainly groundbreaking for them too. This is the Porsche Mission E Concept and it’s the car that enthusiasts might not have expected to see so soon – that being an all-electric four-seat Porsche. Hell has frozen over.
I don’t believe Porsche is the kind of company to half-ass their first attempt at something new (with a possible exception being the Cayenne). When they want to do something new with either their powertrain technology or a new vehicle segment, they make something good out of it and make it uniquely Porsche. For example, the Panamera moves its mass as fast as a true four-door sports car should, the E-Hybrid drivetrain is great in the 918 and other cars they put it in, and even the new Macan is supposed to be stellar to drive. So when they want to build a concept to show what’s possible with a Porsche EV, they do this.
This EV’s backbone is an 800-volt drive system powering two permanent magnetic synchronous motors which share a design with the ones used on the 919 Hybrid LMP1 car that just won Le Mans. System power is 440 kW or over 600 horsepower which is all available as fast as you can mash the go fast peddle. The car has all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring to handle the power. 0-62 mph takes under 3.5 seconds and 0-120 mph is under 12 seconds.
When you’re not setting Nürburgring lap times (which they say can be done in under 8 minutes) the driving range on the Mission E is “over” 311 miles. And because of that 800-volt system, it takes just 15 minutes to recharge the batteries up to 80% capacity. It also means less weight and charging can be done by parking on top of an embedded coil which transfers energy through the underbody.
The car has a low center of gravity and a perfect weight distribution thanks to where all the batteries and motors are located. Lightness is achieved by a mix of aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber reinforced polymers in the body as well as carbon wheels.
Styling-wise, all Porsche. They’ve transferred some styling cues from various Porsche models (mostly 911s) and given it a proper “four door coupe” look that so many automakers are going for now.
It being a concept, we of course don’t know for sure when to expect a production version of something like this… but it’s coming.
[Source: Porsche]

Audi S4

Dynamic photo, Colour: Misano Red
When a new Audi A4 arrives, a new S4 follows. Audi introduced the new 2017 S4 at the Frankfurt show and it actually had a few surprises. It looks about how we’d expect a sportier version of their practical four-door to be, but there are some major new components here to mention.
For one, there’s a new engine with new (for the modern S4) forced induction. The old supercharged V6 has been replaced by a new 3.0-liter TFSI V6 with turbocharging and direct injection. With all that, the S4 now has 354 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque to play with. And play it will, all the way up to a limited top speed of 155 mph. 0-62 mph takes 4.7 seconds. With the new engine, the S4 is more powerful, faster, and even more efficient. European fuel economy standards rate the S4 at 32 US mpg (converted).
Audi S4
Also new in the hardware department is the eight-speed Tiptronic transmission replacing the previous seven-speed STronic unit. The extra gear assists in fuel economy but also in everyday performance by keeping the engine in the optimal power and torque range more often. A newly developed suspension featuring a five-link front and rear setup aids in stability and control, plus an optional adaptive damping keeps it comfortable. What hasn’t changed is the standard permanent Quattro all-wheel drive. A self locking center differential can send power and torrque wherever it needs to go.
Styling-wise, the 2017 S4 looks just as sporty as it needs to. It’s not particularly flashy (besides the paint) and it doesn’t shout “I’M FAST LOL”. It looks like the kind of car that will show you how fast it really is by just doing it, and that’s alright to me. Pricing is not available yet.
[Source: Audi]

BMW M6 GT3 and Competition Edition

Coming to a race track near you next racing season, say hello to the BMW M6 GT3, Munich’s latest endurance racing star. This competition-spec machine is entirely new from the ground up and replaces the Z4 GT3 that’s seen competition success all around the world. This new machine will be raced by private teams, many of which have already been racing the Z4 in America, Europe, and Asia.
One of the crucial changes here with the new M6 GT3 is the engine. The Z4 GT3/GTE/GTLM cars were all running a 4.4-liter V8 which was essentially a modified S65 motor used in the E92 M3. The road-going Z4 was never sold with a V8, so clearly BMW was walking a fine line with the rules when they entered this into GT racing – not unlike the story about the E46 M3 GTR. That all changes with the M6 GT3. This uses a twin-turbocharged V8 based on the actual motor sold in the standard M6 these days. That should allow BMW to race in GT spec competition without pissing off competitors.
On a similar note, the E92 M3 GT2 car was the last BMW raced iun the World Endurance Challenge and at Le Mans. The Z4 didn’t race at Le Mans for reasons I assume come down to it not having the right engine, so maybe with the M6 GT3 (which will be modified to a higher GTE or GTLM spec) they can return to Le Mans too? Again, assumptions were made.
Anyway, back to facts. The M6 GT3 boats great power and balance thanks to its centrally-positioned driver seat (in relation to the axles) and its longer wheelbase. I know of some BMW drivers who are especially thrilled about the long wheelbase part. It weighs less than 1,300 kilograms (2,866 pounds) which would be great on the road car too. The car is still undergoing testing in preparation for competition in 2016, but the final product will be very close to this. Pricing for race teams is just 379,000 Euros or 431,000 US Dollars.
And to celebrate the new race car, BMW is also launching the M6 Coupe Competition Edition. Limited to an unconfirmed amount of units, this M6 features unique options like a BMW Motorsport livery, extra carbon fiber, special leather and stitching colors, and other “unusual” details. The Competition Edition is only available on M6 Coupes with the available Competition Package which bumps power to 600 horsepower from the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 and adds other performance-minded enhancements. The only colors available are Alpine White and Austin Yellow. The Competition Edition is a $20,130 option on top of the price of an M6 Coupe plus the Competition Package.
[Source: BMW]

Honda Civic

Now for news that isn’t originating from Frankfurt this week but is still very important, Honda has revealed the all-new tenth generation Civic. This is monumental for several reasons, not least of which is that this new Civic is actually all-new and not an “all-new” facelift.
Another huge development with this car is that it’s now a global platform for all other Civics sold across various markets. There will no longer be market-specific Civics for the most part at least. Even the new styling itself is a big change from previous iterations which didn’t seem to change all that much for many years. It now looks more grown up but still youthful and energetic, which is exactly what they were going for.
Another first for the Civic – in the US at least – is that they’re now bringing turbocharged engines to the mainstream models. A 1.5-liter turbocharged, direct-injected inline-four is available on higher trims but is paired only with a CVT. Lower trim levels still get a 2.0-liter inline-four with a normal breathing apparatus. No word on power outputs yet, but whatever they are, the new suspension geometry will be well suited for it. When the Si and Type R come to the US it probably will too.
The interior is more spacious and comfortable as usual, but the main new addition here is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support from the seven-inch infotainment system in addition to more new tech.
Full specs and features are not yet available. We’ll also need to wait a bit longer for info on the new Si and Type R, which are coming to the US.
Honda’s back.
[Source: Honda, Autoweek]

Full Frankfurt Motor Show coverage from Autoweek

Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA” (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automob
As always, our friends at Autoweek have more time and resources dedicated to covering every major auto show live. That’s certainly the case this week. Head on over to Autoweek for everything else that I couldn’t talk about here, including some awesome concepts and European-only cars we can only dream about here.

What’s your automotive news?

[No image since I’ve got nothing]
That’s all I’ve got *heavy exhale*. What about you? If you saw anything, drove something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything newsworthy that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments below… when they come back up… shit. While you’re waiting feel free to say hi to us on Twitter @TheHooniverse or tell me how much I suck @GregCKach.
Have a good weekend.

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  1. gerberbaby Avatar

    Nice to see comments back. I was worried disqus died. Yesterday I tore into the tailgate of the V70 as the auto lock wasnt auto locking. 2 broken wires on the connector. I thought that was strange in an area that can never get touched. Must be vibration induced.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      My vote is on trolls.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    It is amazing how reminiscent the new Civic is of earlier Accords. That’s probably just the way it goes, but what comes after the Fit/Jazz gets obese?
    Also interesting to see how more and more producers break the logic of “more displacement = more expensive car”. Fossil fuel engines are probably over the peak.

  3. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Rolled the Audi out of the garage yesterday after it had slumbered
    for a month or so. Flat battery, obviously, you can hardly blame a battery for
    discharging after a month with an idiot owner forgetting to disconnect
    it. So I knew it would need a jump start. Duly performed by Hero Rover,
    all good.
    Left it running on the drive with a ghetto cruise control arrangement
    holding the accelerator at 2000rpm to “charge” the battery. Gave it
    half an hour. Ate my dinner (meatballs and couscous, beautifully
    seasoned) and then went outside to switch the car off. Didn’t bother
    with shoes, thought I’d only be a few seconds.
    On a whim, decided to drive round the block to scrub the brakes
    clean. Actually don’t have a block to drive around at all, so headed off
    into the village. Car felt good. Felt great, actually.
    Noticed the headlamps were flickering a bit. Interesting. Then, all
    of a sudden, dashboard shut down, engine stopped, no power steering, no
    brake servo, nothing at all. Rolled to a halt with just about enough
    inertia to park half sensibly. Car now dead on key.
    Rain started. Windows all down, no power to wind up. Got out of car,
    socks on wet tarmac. Checked my pocket, no phone with which to call hero
    wife for embarrassing rescue mission. Lifted bonnet and checked all
    electrical connections in failing light, all seemed in order. Diagnosis:
    Cataclysmic battery failure.
    Walked, in socks, jeans and t-shirt, in rain, a mile up the hill and
    down the alley to my wife who collapsed in fits of hysterics. Put some
    vaguely sensible clothes on, stole the (confirmed good) battery from the
    Rover and returned to the Audi which by now had a very damp interior.
    Swapped batteries over using Lego Keyring Torch for illumination and
    adjustable spanner for terminals, Audi fired straight up as expected.
    Returned home for a ribbing.
    48hrs later: FUNNY STORY #2:
    Car has been faultless over the last couple of days. Returning home
    tonight while listening to moderate comedy on Radio 4 I chanced upon a
    stranded motorist with a 2001 Audi TT, bonnet and boot open,
    furrowed brow. A wave of karmic energy flowed over me and I elected to
    stop and offer assistance, thinking I may be of some use as we have the
    same engine.
    He had suffered a battery death and simultaneous low oil level
    warning. He had pulled over to use the somewhat convenient boost-pack he
    was carrying to restart his car, and also had requested that his wife
    come out and bring lubricant.
    Everything seemed to be alright, the oil level was at least
    registering on the dipstick so all was clearly not lost, his wife had
    turned up so I was surplus to requirements. He thanked me for my efforts
    and I returned to my car.
    Which now all of a sudden wouldn’t start.
    “Er, could I borrow your jump-pack, please?”
    Jump pack on, car started (a little reluctantly), volt meter showing
    11.6v with engine running. A little on the low side. Switched on all the
    lights to excite the alternator and by journeys end I was back to about
    12.5v….. dropping rapidly.
    Next day I bought a new battery.
    Then, when I got home, I connected the alternator properly. STUPID.

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