The News for September 24th, 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: Toyota drops all-new Tundra for the first time since 2007, Acura and Motul team up for Rad NSX Type S pace car, and Audi steals Ken Block for EV development.

2022 Toyota Tundra

Undeterred by the leaks that exposed the first all-new Tundra since 2007, Toyota unveiled their new full-size pickup as planned this week with all the details. This is about as new as a pickup can get. Toyota hasn’t left much of anything untouched for the third-generation Tundra. That includes its styling which uh, has people talking.

But starting from the ground up, it’s built on a new high-strength boxed, steel-ladder frame with an aluminum-reinforced composite bed (GM’s marketing department has taken note) and fully redesigned multi-link rear suspension. These structural improvements enable a towing capacity of up to 12,000 pounds and a max payload capacity of 1,940 pounds. That’s an improvement of roughly 1,800 pounds for towing and 210 pounds for payload. Toyota will continue to offer two cab configurations, both of which are four-door cabs because that’s all people buy anymore. You can opt for the Double Cab and CrewMax. The former offers a choice of a 6.5-foot or 8.1-foot bed while the latter can have a 5.5-foot bed or 6.5-foot bed. It’s unclear if Toyota will offer a single cab ever again.

Other big changes come in the powertrain department which has dropped the V8 and added a hybrid option. The only engine you can get at the moment is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which on its own produces 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. But when paired with a hybrid motor mounted in the bell-housing called i-FORCE MAX, that jumps to 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque. Let’s just say those specs are very competitive in the current market. A new ten-speed automatic transmission is standard as well, because no matter how much the internet cries, a manual is not coming in a new pickup. And they didn’t publish 0-60 times but the magazines will figure that out soon enough.

Moving on to the cabin and all (okay, some) of the tech features packed in there. It’s a very new and very modern-looking interior with plenty of screen space. Toyota calls it “Technical Muscle” which I guess works. The centerpiece for it all is the available 14-inch touchscreen which houses Toyota’s latest Toyota Audio Multimedia system. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard and both support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is something everything except some six-figure supercars can do. It’s feature-rich with cloud-based navigation using Google’s latest data at any time, but it can also work offline by storing previously-downloaded map data. That’s not the only screen in the cab though, as a 12.3” digital gauge cluster is an available option with a part-analogue, part-digital cluster remaining as a standard feature. There’s other cabin features too, such as an available panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, rear sunshade, and loads of towing and off-road aids. There’s also a ton of safety features – far too many to name. Just know that your 2022 Tundra will be very well equipped as standard and can have so much more added to it.

Saving the best or worst for last, the exterior. The leaks from a month or two ago proved it was going to be polarizing. It’s taken the world’s love affair with giant grilles to an extreme. Jason Torchinsky said that the front fascia looks like Hulk Hogan, and I have not been able to unsee that since. It’s just a strange and obnoxious series of design choices that I still can’t wrap my head around. Toyota says it’s “bold” in the same way they tried to convince us that buying a Camry was bold. Looks are subjective, but I’d have nothing bad to say about the 2022 Toyota Tundra if not for *gestures wildly*.

Pricing is not available yet but it will go on sale later this year.

[Sources: Toyota, Jalopnik]

Motul does up an Acura NSX Type S for pace car duty

With the Acura Grand Prix at Long Beach this weekend and Motul’s close involvement in all things motorsport, they’ve collaborated with Acura for this weekend’s pace car. The results are absolutely fantastic.

Acura correctly chose to showcase the NSX Type S this weekend as it leads the field, but Motul got involved to take it to a new level of rad. It’ll be wrapped in this stunning retro Motul livery which takes inspiration from some of the 80s and 90s race cars that they sponsored. The white and red is complemented by brushed gold HRE Vintage FMR 527M 2-piece wheels. All in all, it’s basically perfect. I suspect (hope) that some NSX owners will be copying this.

[Source: Motul]

Ken Block partners with Audi for electric vehicle development

Everyone’s favorite tire-slayer has partnered with Audi for “exclusive join projects in the field of electric mobility”. The surprise announcement dropped this week as Ken Block continues to move on from the world of Gymkhana into the world of doing whatever he wants.

Previously he had a decade-long partnership with Ford and before that he was with Subaru. But after the Ford deal lapsed and he handed the reins to Gymkhaha to Travis Pastrana, he’s become something of a free agent. He’s competing with Subaru again for the American Rally Association, running Baja with a brand-less trophy truck, and still gets to enjoy the Fords he’s built with Hoonigan Racing over the years, including a rad Escort Cosworth.

This announcement though sees him partner with Audi for the first time and it could produce something very special. While he gets to play around with some of the legendary Audi race cars that inspired him as a kid, his main job is to collaborate with the brand on electric mobility. They’re light on details of what that means, but it almost certainly means electric motorsport. I suppose a future Gymkhana could feature an Audi EV race car, similar to the Ford Not-A-Mustang Mach-E 1400 from RTR. But it could also mean an electric Dakar effort as he was photographed next to the Audi RSQ e-tron, which was previously confirmed to be competing in Dakar next year.

Ultimately, Ken Block is a creative guy with a genuine passion for fast, fun, tire-shredding machinery. Whether it’s a Ford, a Subaru, or an electric Audi, he’ll continue to entertain and bewilder. We’re looking forward to where they go with this.

[Source: Audi]

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.

20 Comments

  1. In August, my son went on an epic 3700 mile road trip. A third of the way there, he started smelling coolant, and traced it to a leaking heater hose that had some abrasion in the middle. I suggested that he take the other heater hose and loop it back to bypass the heater core entirely (and the leaking hose), but he opted to repair the true man’s way, with duct tape. The car made the rest of the trip without any cooling incidents, other than to occasionally top off the coolant.

    Recently, I had the car out, and started smelling coolant. The mechanical temperature gauge was about 20 degrees hotter than normal–still a little below boiling point, but I didn’t want to go too far in case the leak deteriorated rapidly. When I got home, I decided to replace the bad heater hose. I already had a partial spool of bulk hose. Remove and replace two hose clamps; how hard could that be? I figured I would be done in less than 10 minutes.

    Nope. The front end of the hose was pretty accessible, but the heater core end was recessed and under a sharp metal thing that held a bracket that had some downward-facing poky things. It was sort of like going to one of those places that has all the broken glass built into the tops of walls to deter intruders. I drew only a minimal amount of blood getting the old one off, but it was a huge struggle to push the new hose on and then tighten the clamp. That 10 minute job ended up taking a half hour, and I’m not able to play the violin now.

    1. Now you know why he went for the tape repair… 30min still is quick, I usually get tired from awkward postures and need to rest in between “attacks”.

  2. Truck design has really fallen off a cliff. What I miss in the press photos is a human for scale – the photo angles are clearly designed to inspire awe (and anxiety?), but how big is it really? Kind of hard to grasp.

    We’ve started our test drive marathon. First out is the Kia e-Niro. Just took it on a 3+ hour round trip along some of my favourite mountain passes. That’s a stupid thing to do on a friday night after a long work week; I actually made myself carsick. Not sure if that’s in favour of the Kia – which behaved impressively for a 1.8t family blob – or an issue. There’s constant movement along the vertical axis, as if front and rear wheels are dampened differently. It’s also quite loud inside, both wheel noise and wind noise – I checked if the already closed windows are open twice…that’s a disappointment. But the car is spacious given the exterior footprint, has an amazing stability on the road (I only got it to slide on gravel, never a warning symbol even though “the computers” did a lot of work), and the 204 hp – like Volvo’s ancient I6 back around y2k – are more than enough for me. There are F1-style flappy pedals on the steering wheel to brake with regen, which works very well. Backside of that is using maximum crazy bananas regen to brake means the front wheels are totally overloaded on a twisty mountain road. I think that is a good chunk of why I am car sick, with full regen and an attempt to test the car’s boundaries, it all felt a bit too go-karty – never balanced, always busy.

    We already have to give it back tomorrow and will price it out to see if the e-Niro can compete with the rest of our list.

    1. Did you take the whole family on that three hour test drive to see if any “He’s touching me/She’s on my side of the line” issues arose from the rear as a result of road stress?

      1. No, but we had ~30 minutes with the kids in the car, picking them up from birthday parties and dumping them at friends for overnight stays. They liked the car, had enough space, and were extra happy with the pleasant blinker sound. 🤪

    2. I admittedly haven’t checked dimensions on the new Tundra, but it should be nearly the same size as the old one, along with every other full-sized truck (~6m long, ~2m tall, ~2.5m wide, very roughly). I think having them fit in normal parking lots is the only thing that’s stopped them from ballooning any bigger.

  3. Today the BMW gets a few things that I’ve been putting off for a while. Flappy C pillar fabric will be reattached (hopefully without getting dirty adhesive on the fabric), the floppy parking brake lever will be fixed or replaced, I’ll reattach the taillight lens that fell off the trunk and I’ll diagnose the CEL that popped up a couple of weeks ago. Sunday I hope to clean it up in preparation for selling it. I’m getting the itch for something new and sub $8K Boxsters have been filling my searches.

  4. Gotta agree with Sjalabais on this one: modern truck designs generally suck. Most of them appear to be a manifestation of male insecurity, rendered in steel. Although there are a few that aren’t outright ugly (sorry, Chevy Silverado, you definitely don’t qualify), most of them go too far on the “big and bold” theme. Who is actually building a truck now that looks both smartly utilitarian? Does everything have to be swollen and extroverted?

    1. There’s certainly a case to be made for car design being cyclical. The Bronco is already taking a retro step in a better direction – with round headlights! – and I believe we’ll see a slight neutering of the testosteron explosions that litter your roads soon. Maybe truck design can live off the contrast to rising eco-consciousness a bit longer, but we’re already at caricature levels. It’s getting impractical by now, regarding visibility and wasting of space.

  5. Ending up doing a car thing or two. My daughter and future Son-in-law needed another car, or really he did. So we went and looked at and bought a 2008 Escape Hybrid 4wd. It does have an issue that is most likely the not uncommon problem of the coolant pump for the hybrid system, and could really use some new tires sooner rather than later. But for the $3200 price I think it is a good solution for them.

    I also made a trip to the Pick-n-Pull near there and got a score there. The RR wheel bearing has been making noise for a while so I picked up a complete knuckle bearing and hub assembly. Again a not uncommon problem with those vehicles so I managed to find one with a fairly new bearing and hub. Much cheaper and easier than taking the assembly off and sending it to the machine shop to have a new bearing pressed in.

    I also did an oil change and tire rotation during the week on my DD and tires are going to need to be done pretty soon.

  6. I’ve done a few things in the past week. I’ve been getting the itch to move on from the M5, and have visited a BMW dealer in PHX twice to drive a couple of things. I was originally looking at the X3M, with passing interest in the new M3. Last week, I was down in PHX for bowling, and we stopped in and were able to drive an X3m40i. Not the same, but close enough to confirm again that I am not a ‘truck’ or ‘suv’ person (in that I have no interest in spending large coin on that type of vehicle, regardless of the cool noises it makes).

    Sitting in the showroom was a new M3. Looking at the vehicle, I was glad I wasn’t 14 years old, wearing sweatpants, and in church (+, manual!). The vehicle just looks good, lungs not withstanding. I wasn’t able to even sit in it, as it had just been sold, and they didn’t have anything else available. So, we kept in touch, and today I was able to test drive a used 21 competition (who trades this in with 4k miles on it???). I really did enjoy it, and chatted a bit with the sale dude about the process, and headed home. They’re selling at MSRP (which, I guess is good in this market), and it would likely be 3-4 months for an order. I’ve fairly sure I’m going to place an order, but going to sleep on it a couple of nights before pulling the trigger, if I do. I did get the link to the individual paint catalog, and have been tossing around a few options, so we’ll see. The last time I bought a new car was 2007.

    I also changed the oil on the red wagon this week, and reached out to a local list of craigs listing for a set of e9x rims for snow tires. It’s starting to get cold at night…

      1. Ha! Nope, just baring my automotive soul for the group. I don’t expect logic regarding cars here, well, not logic the rest of the world would understand. That’s why I like it here.

        1. As I have hinted on before, I look forward to your regular updates on BMW ownership. As long as you enjoy their wondrous benefits, can pay for it and continue putting a positive spin on the pain, I’ll be here cheering.

          1. I mean, honestly, there really hasn’t been that much pain, other than the sensor issue with the e61 (knock on wood). If you buy a well maintained one, they generally treat you well…so far, that is! 🙂

          2. Well, my E46 was a 1 owner car with a Carfax that showed dealer service all its life, including cooling system service and a clutch. It’s still needed a lot – control arms, window regulator, VANOS seals, CCV replacement, valve cover gasket, engine mounts, etc. Probably a function of the high mileage (150K when I bought it). Even well cared for, a high mileage BMW is going to be needy. Not well cared for, it’ll be worse.

          3. Ha! That doesn’t sound that bad to me. My working theory is that if you pick it up before 75k miles and then do the real maintenance on it (smaller OCIs, drive train fluids, etc), you can prevent a lot of that from happening. Of course, I only have a sample of one (my x3 with 196k on it), as all others have had under 80k on it, but my brain has been trained to not think much of replacing a vanos solenoid or cps sensor on a bmw engine. I learned a long time ago that I was willing to deal with the extra issues to drive a non-washing machine. Doing your own work though is a must.

  7. Regarding the Tundra I am glad that Toyota is still offering an 8′ bed since I get far more use out of the extra cargo length than I would out of a crew cab. I am disappointed that Toyota has adopted the same French pre-Dreadnought battleship design language as Detroit.
    In local news I ordered the fuel pump assembly for my F150 and am steeling myself for the ordeal of dropping the fuel tank to get it changed so I have a working fuel gauge. I also started figuring out what I need to change the front axle on the 2003 Buick LeSabre. Fortunately I spent Sunday reorganizing the garage so that I can get at least half a car inside and have ample space for motorcycle work.

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