The News for April 21st, 2023

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: Hyundai previews the facelifted Elantra N, Lamborghini is celebrating 60 years with some special Huracans, the Land Rover name is simultaneously going away and staying and we’re all confused, plus your news for the week. 

Hyundai Elantra N

The growing Chinese market has become impossible for any brand to ignore, including Hyundai who are introducing the high performance N line to the country for the first time. They used the Auto Shanghai show to debut the facelifted Elantra N, which will continue to be available in other markets including ours. We just saw the facelifted Elantra not long ago and this new Elantra N certainly looks like it could come to the US with minimal changes.

They provided no specs or any kind of timeline, but we can at least see one of the more polarizing aspects of the Elantra N – its face – has been thoroughly reworked. The Elantra N now has a lower stance with enlarged black trim and exterior color garnish compared to the base model as well as a “bolder” bumper design. The rear bumper, also black, has been enlarged and a boat tail detail has been added to assist with aerodynamics.

As it’s only a facelift, I wouldn’t expect significant powertrain or chassis updates. The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4cyl engine it has now is more than capable with 276 horsepower and 289 lb.-ft. of torque. And with an eLSD, six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT, and loads of knowledge and experience gained from racing these things in TCR, it’s already plenty of fun to drive. It’s just that now it might look a little nicer.

[Source: Hyundai]

Lamborghini Huracan 60th Anniversary Editions

The Lamborghini Huracan STO, Technica, and EVO Spyder will each be getting a very limited production run of 60th Anniversary Edition models. Just 60 units of each car – 180 total – are being made and buyers get two paint schemes to choose from. These cars, along with the recently revealed Scrambled Eggs, are of course celebrating the 60th anniversary of one of the greatest “screw you I’ll do it myself” moments in history when a man named Ferruccio founded one of the silliest and most memorable car brands to date. Each model has a special “1 of 60” carbon fiber plate and a “60th” painted on the doors and embroidered on the seats.

The 60th Anniversary Edition Huracan STO wears one of two paint schemes that they say is inspired by high-performance athletic sportswear or team colors using tone-on-tone hues. One is painted Blu Aegeus with elements of Blu Astraeus providing some contrast as well as optional exposed carbon fiber with a Blu Mira finish. The second version is Grigio Teleso (gray) and Nero Noctis (black). Both versions are equipped with 20″ forged aluminum wheels with a matte black finish.

With the Huracan Technia, the theme changes to motorsport inspiration (which you think would’ve been more appropriate for the STO, given it’s closer to a race car than any Huracan to date) and incorporates the colors of the Italian Tricolore. One option is Grigio Telesto (gray) with Nero Noctis (black) and Rosso Mars (red) accents. The second option is Bianco Asopo (white) with Verde Viper (green) accents. Both ride on shiny 20″ black wheels.

There’s no real theme to speak of with the Evo Spyder models. One is Blu Le Mans with contrasting Bianco Isi (white) details and the other is Verde Viper (green) combined with Bianco Isi (white), both on shiny 20″ black wheels.

Regardless of the 60th Anniversary Edition one chooses, it’s sure to impress a crowd when it’s taken out to its first and only car show before being tucked away somewhere for good. It may even fetch a small premium at auction one day.

[Source: Lamborghini]

The Land Rover name is gone, but it’s also not?

Land Rover Defender 130

Bear with me here. This news hit the industry like a turd at a pool party this week and there’s been some “misinterpretation” which still isn’t completely cleared up. The gist of it is Jaguar Land Rover is rebranding to just JLR (I wonder what the LR stands for) and is turning themselves into a “House of Brands”, leveraging more popular nameplates under the current Land Rover brand to spin them into their own entity.

Instead of Jaguar Land Rover comprising of Jaguar and Land Rover, it’s JLR comprising of Jaguar, Range Rover, Discovery, and Defender. It’s not unlike what Dodge did with Ram and SRT when the Viper was still around. The reasoning for this was given by their creative officers – “the reality is Range Rover is a brand and so is Defender. Customers say they own a Range Rover. In luxury, you need absolute clarity. Land Rover Range Rover SV Autobiography doesn’t give it. We love Land Rover, but there isn’t as much equity as Range Rover, and Defender is increasing massively.”

So you’d read that and think the historic Land Rover name is a goner, right? Especially given that the clarity he’s talking about is a perfectly valid point. Apparently everyone thought that too, because JLR issued a statement to Car and Driver stating that the Land Rover name was going nowhere – without explaining how it was going nowhere. Looking for answers, I saw that MotorTrend was told “… the Land Rover name remain(s) on our vehicles, reinforcing our all terrain credentials and technology capabilities”, which appears to be the only clarification anyone has received about the future of the Land Rover name. Even then, it still leaves a lot of questions. Are the cars still wearing green Land Rover badges? Is Land Rover going to be the name of a trim level or equipment package? What sign(s) will dealers have on their stores? Will Land Rover be what “Trail Rated” is to Jeep but for people with vacation homes? At this point, no one seems to know.

On the plus side, this is the most anyone’s talked about Jaguar Land Rover in a very long time.

[Source: JLR, Car and Driver, MotorTrend]

What’s your news for the week?

hooniverse news whats your naws

So 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.

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15 responses to “The News for April 21st, 2023”

  1. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    ugh land rover. this is the industry that turned great names like “Legend” and “Integra” into alphabet soup bullshit like “ILX” and “TLX”, or even made decent alphanumeric bullshit like G35 into the completely meaningless Q60.

    the auto industry is empty suits with MBAs selling their empty ideas and selves to empty suits in board rooms.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Seems pointless, indeed. But change happens for the sake of change, even with nameplates which got where they are by being a constant.

    2. Batshitbox Avatar

      lol, “LR3”

      1. wunno sev Avatar
        wunno sev

        haha yeah. i guess this has been going on for a while. can’t imagine who thought those were better names than “Freelander” and “Discovery”.

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    My 2023 Ford Ranger arrived in California on March 24th. This was a bit of a surprise, as it was manufactured on the week of the 6th, ans wasn’t expected until the 18th of April. There was a hitch in the getalong, though, as part of the door latch hardware was missing, and it’s a side-impact safety issue. So I actually took delivery on April 9th.
    Not a bad timeline: Ordered in August ’22, production began for the 2023 models in October, mine was made in early March and in my hot little hands a month later. Ford originally said the production date was the week of March 13th, then moved it up a week to the 6th. Then they said it would be here in mid-April, but surprised us in late March.

    I’ve never ordered a new vehicle. Two of my motorcycles were bought New Old Stock off dealer’s floors, but a bespoke thing with doors and 4 hubs is a first.
    First turbo (twin scroll!)
    First time I’ve had power windows since 1988
    First vehicle with working air conditioning
    First time I’ve had a radio since 1991
    First non-motorcycle I’ve owned manufactured after 1991
    I still haven’t owned a sedan since 1991
    (Jeez, what happened in 1991? I sold my 1980 SAAB 900 GLE, and its tape deck; and both my GMC Sierra and my Ford Econoline rolled off the assembly line.)

    I can’t expound on the truck’s merits over any other modern pickup, since my control group is 32 years old.

    I like it for its somewhat obsolete qualities. Steel body* on a steel frame bookended by steel bumpers, gauges with rotating needles, tons of visibility from the pilot’s chair, a dashboard full of buttons & knobs I don’t need to look at to operate.
    *Except the aluminum hood & tailgate

    Last week I tried to add a photo to this post and nibbles ate the whole Megillah, so I’ll drop this and see if I can reply some pics.

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    Bought a new car last week, when the comment system was down again. 2018 Kia Optima PHEV, because we still haven’t resolved the charging issue for a proper EV at home.

    Seems like a reasonable vehicle. There are some unrefined moments, I don’t understand why the gas engine has to come on every time it starts, so it collects countless cold starts and never gets warm – even now over a 40 km distance, the engine temp gauge, starting at 50°C won’t usually show anything at all, let alone 90°C operating temperature. Otherwise I really like it so far.

    And, yes, the 2.0 GDI has had it’s failure already and is rebuild at 117kkm. It’s a gamble. A Volvo V90 hybrid is 10k$ more and twice as sexy, but we didn’t afford a Swede this time either.

    Ok, so no attachments, that gives the error message. You guys don’t get to see my new sleek wagon, then.

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      good cop! properly wagony wagon. how does it drive?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        The driving is actually a bit of a downside with this one. Wallowy, like a Camry, and the rear suspension can be a bit harsh on certain kinds of asphalt. The electronic steering feels imprecise. I’m hoping it just takes a little getting used to. It swallows uneven roads very well though, and the wagon is really rather quiet. If the kids hadn’t grown out of the smaller car, we would have kept that one instead. 😀

        1. wunno sev Avatar
          wunno sev

          the hyundai is gone?

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            About to:

            Expecting someone to check it out tonight. The amount of messages I get that include a low number – and often only that, nothing else – is staggering. Selling a Hyundai is less fun than buying one. 😛

          2. wunno sev Avatar
            wunno sev

            haha. i imagine so. seems like the high used prices these days only apply to cars i don’t own, sorry to hear it’s the same everywhere else.

            i dig that brown color, very distinctive. hope it finds a generous buyer!

          3. Sjalabais Avatar

            Thank you! It sold tonight, maybe your wishes were decisive. 😛 We got double the price the dealer offered, 69k NOK instead of 34k NOK. That’s okay, losing about 800$/year in ownership. And the brown colour is really lovely, the kids instantly named that one “Brownie”. Hyundai even made a version with brown plastic inside, which is amazingly neat for a compact car.

  4. Salguod Avatar

    The Land Rover thing smacks of a long period of poor brand management resulting in it becoming meaningless. The LR vehicle names have gotten ridiculously long and goofy. Land Rover Range Rover always sounded a little odd, but then they kept adding modifiers. It didn’t help that there were two Land Rover Range Rover models, regular and Sport. So they got themselves into this with years of not giving the Land Rover brand meaning.

    And the idea that everyone just says they drive a Discovery or a Range Rover is silly. Everyone says that about most cars. I drive a Boxster and a Tundra, but that doesn’t make them less of a Porsche or Toyota. I suppose BMW, Lexus and Mercedes people might not say the alphanumeric gibberish and just say the brand, but my wife drives an Accord, my sister a CRV, my neighbor a Silverado and my friend a Challenger.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      The whole Land Rover nonsense does feel like an evolution of what they’ve been doing for the last decade plus though, where roughly they had the Land Rover side of things (Defender, Disco, Disco Sport) and the Range Rover side of things (Full-sized RR, RR Sport, Velar, Evoque).

  5. subway surfers Avatar

    The facelifted Elantra N features a redesigned front end, giving it a lower stance and more pronounced black trim and exterior color accents compared to the base model. The bumper design is described as “bolder.”