The News for April 12th, 2013


Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:

  • Maserati resurrects the Ghibli nameplate

  • Aston Martin’s Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S is ready to race

  • Ford launches a Special Edition SVT Raptor

  • Bugatti trades one world record title for another

  • Audi announces U.S. pricing for the 2014 R8

  • Costco Auto Program teams up with Volvo for employee pricing

Maserati Ghibli returns


The last time we had a Maserati Ghibli, Led Zeppelin IV was on the top of the charts. Earlier in the week, Maserati gave us a glimpse at what will be bringing the Ghibli nameplate into the 21st century, which is essentially a sedan that offers the luxury and performance of a Quattroporte in a smaller and maybe more affordable package. The underlying goal of the Ghibli is to boost international sales and contribute to their ultimate production goal of 50,000 units a year by 2015, which they first announced along with the 2013 Quattroporte.

The Ghibli is still a few weeks away from its official unveiling at the Shanghai motor show, so we don’t have all the details just yet. But we do know that the Ghibli will launch with a large variety (by Maserati standards) of engines, including two twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter petrol V6s and a 3.0-liter diesel (a production Maserati first) with power from those three ranging from roughly 240 horsepower (diesel) to over 400. Even a few four-cylinder engines are expected, but more on that will be available later. And seeing as how they have Ferrari as a sister company, you can expect a higher performance engine offering to come later as well.


As of now, the only transmission option available is an 8-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels. Interestingly enough, all-wheel drive will be available as well, but only for left-hand drive Ghiblis because the cost of re-engineering the AWD system to fit right-hand drive cars would’ve been too much. So if you live in the UK and you want AWD because it rains 300 days a year, you’re out of luck.

Then there’s the styling. They haven’t talked much about it yet, but we all know how similar it is to the 2013 Quattroporte. It’s a fairly attractive thing, according to me, but the last company I ever expected to be guilty of the “same sausage, different lengths” philosophy was Maserati. But what say you?

Source: Maserati via Autoweek 

Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S


Aston Martin will once again take part in the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring, which of course means they need a new car for the job. That new car is something a bit different than anything else they’ve done so far – the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S. When it makes its racing debut in Germany on May 19th, it’ll be the first to race in an international event with hydrogen power. They also want it to be the first car to complete a race-pace lap with zero CO2 emissions.

Power will be delivered from a prototype 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 built by Aston Martin in conjunction with Alset Global, who are known for their expertise with hydrogen power. The Hybrid Hydrogen system utilizes a hydrogen fuel rail, four ultra-high strength carbon fiber storage tanks, and a proprietary engine management process, which allows it to run on regular gasoline for practicality, pure hydrogen for zero emissions, or a blend of both. The tanks are stored next to the driver and in the boot and each holds about 7.7 lbs of hydrogen stored at a pressure of 350bar.


With this, Aston Martin wants to prove they’re serious about their commitment to engineering innovation as well as show how safe and reliable today’s hydrogen technology is. Who knows, we just might see hydrogen power in a production Aston as the company enters its second century in business. If you don’t want to wait for that, however, you can pick up the road-going Rapide S that it’s based on now. You know, just to hold you over.

Source: Aston Martin

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition


Ford is very pleased with how well the Raptor is selling. Just last year, 13,000 were sold and five out of the last six months saw record sales. This can only mean one thing… special edition time! 

The Raptor Special Edition will still have everything that makes us love the Raptor plus a few additional features and luxuries found on higher-end Ford trucks. Also, paint. Ruby Red Metallic paint is only available on the Special Edition, but the standard Tuxedo Black Metallic is also available. Special Editions will also feature a bespoke graphics package, Brick Red seat bolsters with black seat inserts and cloth honeycomb highlights, and special trim on the center console. Those interior touches will be applied on top of the Luxury Package that’s already available on any Raptor.


No pricing info for the Special Edition is available yet, but the standard Raptor has an MSRP of just under $44,000. Sales will begin this fall.

Source: Ford, Autoweek

Bugatti trades one world record for another


Ask most people what the fastest production car in the world is and they’ll most likely answer “Bugatti Veyron/Veyron Super Sport”. 267.8 mph was the official top speed and was certified as a world record by Guinness. Until now. According to various reports, the Veyron Super Sport has been stripped of its title by Guinness because the car allegedly had its top speed limiter disabled.

So, in production form, the Super Sport is only capable of 258 thanks to the electronic nannies, which means the “fastest production car on earth” title goes back to the lads at SCC with the Ultimate Aero. Or, Hennessey Performance could take the title with their Venom GT, which just went 265.7 mph, but it didn’t make the two trips required for an official Guinness World Record.

Then a few days later, Bugatti announced they’ve got another record – world’s fastest open-top production car. That was earned with a Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, and the speed was confirmed at 254.04 mph. The driver, Anthony Liu, actually had to do the two required speed runs with the top removed. Helmet or not, that sounds like a pretty wicked thing to experience. The Vitesse they used was a “World Record Car’ example, which wears black paint with orange accents, just as that last World Record Car had. 8 WRC editions will be sold to the public for $2.6 million each. No word on what speed those will  be limited to just yet.

Source: Bugatti via Autoweek

Audi R8 priced for the U.S.

Audi R8 Spyder V10/Fahraufnahme

The Audi R8 will be on sale Friday today for just $114,900 not including destination and gas guzzler tax (a.k.a. the “Awesome” tax).

In “standard trim”, you get a 430 horsepower V8 paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. An Audi R8 V8 Spyder will set you back $128,400. Stepping up to the 525-horsepower V10 will require a check for at least $151,200 or $164,700 if you want the Spyder. Then there’s the R8 V10 Plus, which gets to play with 550 horsepower for the super low price of $170,545. The R8 V10 Plus is only available in Coupe form.

All the listed prices are for manual-equipped cars – a new 7-speed S-Tronic automatic is available on all models as a $9,100 option.

Source: Audi

Costco Auto Program’s Volvo deal


Are you looking to buy a new Volvo any time soon? Are you also a Costco member? If so, good news! Costco Auto Program has teamed up with Volvo to offer all Costco members employee pricing on all new 2013 and 2014 Volvo models. 

This isn’t the first time these two have teamed up to offer awesome deals, it’s just the first time that Volvo’s full lineup has been included. Those additional benefits I mentioned include an additional $750 off 2013 models and a $500 Costco Cash Card for completing a survey after your purchase. 

These benefits are effective immediately and are good until July 31st. Those interested can learn more and register at

 Source: Costco Auto Program


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9 responses to “The News for April 12th, 2013”

  1. Vavon Avatar

    The interior of that Ghibli doesn't look very classy…

    1. don fehlio Avatar
      don fehlio

      I think I was behind one in traffic this morning.
      <img src="; width="600">

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        The whole car seems to have been designed by some aftermarket-loving photoshop kid. Ah, and Audi maybe?
        <img src="; width="600">

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    "Honey, I am going to pick up diapers, dog food and underwear from Costco. I also might get a C30 Polestar too."

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      [youtube Z8zNsUTWsOc youtube]

    2. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      Ha ha ha, click the link in the post though 😉

  3. frankthecat Avatar
  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    When I wanted to scare my sister I used to shout GIBBLY GOBBLY! at her. I may start doing that again.

  5. rovingardener Avatar

    As much as I like the Ghibli, the Aston is just the bomb.