The News for April 27th, 2012


Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of all the biggest stories in the automotive industry with no fluff and no bull. I also throw in some opinion, just because I can. This week:

  • Range Rover Evoque gets the Beckham treatment

  • Jeep Wrangler gets high with the Altitude edition

  • Acura’s baby ILX gets priced

  • Toyota’s awesome off-road Tacoma Baja gets priced

  • Shelby GT500 officially gets higher power figures


Range Rover Evoque Victoria Beckham Edition

You read that correctly. The celebrity turned Land Rover creative director now gets a special edition Evoque to call her own, and seeing as how she played a huge role in the Evoque’s creation, I’m surprised it took this long.

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What makes this a special edition is the hand-finished matte grey paint (a first for Land Rover) with gloss black trim pieces and something awesome called rose gold accents on the 20-inch gloss black wheels, badging, and front grille. Inside, the four sport seats are covered with Vintage Tan Leather with special stitching more rose-gold accents are found on the piano black center console’s controls and the rotary shifter. Basically, the car is a fashion designer’s dream inside and out, but I’m guessing it isn’t the kind of car a Land Rover enthusiast will like taking off-road.

Nothing changes mechanically as the standard Evoque’s 240 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine sends power to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. All interior luxuries and technology bits carry over from any regular 2-door Evoque, and you better believe it comes fully-loaded. Oh, and it comes with a matching 4-piece luggage set. 

The 2013 Range Rover Evoque Victoria Beckham Edition will be limited to just 200 units worldwide and 5 will make their way to the US. Pricing info has not been released yet. 

Source: Land Rover 

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude

Jeep has been on a bit of a special edition spree lately with multiple new editions added just in the past year. The latest editions carry the Altitude nameplate, and so far it’s been glued onto the back of Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass models. Now it’s the Wrangler’s turn to try on this rather attractive package. 

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The Altitude package is based off the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara model but wears a body-colored hardtop, black-gloss exterior appointments, some black hood graphic, and unique 18-inch alloy wheels that are also black. Exterior paint colors include the Deep Cherry Red shown in the obviously Photoshop’d pictures and your traditional black, silver, and white. The interior features a red and black theme as well with lots of red stitching over black leather (leather in a Wrangler??). All the mechanical bits – including the new-ish 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower – carry over directly from the Sahara and still work together to produce one of the world’s most capable vehicles. 

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude will go on sale next month for $33,740, which is roughly $2,000 more than the standard Unlimited Sahara. Also, just 4,500 examples will be built (and approximately 10 will ever go off-road). 

Source: Jeep

2013 Acura ILX reasonably priced

Acura wants you to love their newest model, the “sporty compact sedan” ILX. The all-new entry-level car will be priced at $25,900 and includes lots of Acura technology and luxuries as standard, which might just make this a good buy. 

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A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower mated to a 5-speed automatic comes standard, but a 2.4-liter engine with 201 horsepower with a 6-speed automatic can be ordered with the Premium Package ($29,200). The ILX will also be available as a hybrid that makes use of a 1.5-liter engine, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and typical hybrid drive hardware to help it achieve an estimated 39 mpg city/38 mpg highway for just $28,900. 

Standard luxuries include Bluetooth, a power moon roof, Pandora internet radio, and a text message function that totally won’t distract you. For an extra $3,000, the Premium Package gives you leather seats that also warm your posterior, HID headlights to blind your enemies, 17-inch wheels, and multi-view rear camera system. Throw in another $2,200 and Acura will give you an extensive infotainment system with real-time traffic info, weather reports, and voice recognition as a part of the Technology Package. 

The Acura ILX will go on sale late next month and will be built at Acura’s Greensburg, Indiana plant. 

Source: Acura

Toyota Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series

In “I totally forgot this truck existed until just now” news, Toyota’s hoontastic Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series just got a price tag of $32,990 for the “Access Cab” model (shown below) and $34,275 for the Double Cab model.

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I say “hoontastic” because this Tacoma is built for some good old fashioned off-road shenanigans with standard hardware like Bilstein off-road race shocks with TRD springs at all four corners, an electronically-controlled locking rear diff, an extra 2-inches of ground-clearance, TRD cat-back exhaust, and big BF Goodrich T/A KO tires. The TRD Off-Road package also comes standard with many electronic aids like hill descent control and hill start control. The powertrain of choice is a 4.0-liter V6 mated to a – wait for it – 6-speed manual transmission as standard or a 5-speed automatic for an extra $980. 

The interior is mostly the same, except for a few new center console covers and a new seat fabric design that’s conveniently water resistant. The 2013 Tacoma TRD T/X Baja will be built in the great state of Texas and will hit dealerships sometime next month. Sounds like a winner to me, but what do you think? 

Source: Toyota

2013 Shelby GT500 official power/torque figures 

When the new Shelby GT500 was reported to have an estimated 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque out of a 5.8-liter supercharged V8, the muscle car wars immediately went to a whole new level. At the time it was set to be the most powerful car out of anything the “Big Three” had to offer, but now its power figures are officially official – and a bit better than expected. 

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The 2013 Shelby GT500 now has an SAE-certified 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world. That figure represents a 112 horsepower gain over the 2012 GT500, yet fuel economy figures jump up a staggering 1 mpg both city and highway. The GT500’s fuel economy is also 5 mpg greater than the Camaro ZL1’s figures, which makes due with significantly less power (82 to be exact). Keep in mind, a car with this kind of performance is about to hit showroom floors with a price tag of $54,200 (before the insane dealership markups). 

Sounds like fun to me! Now about that 200 mph claim…

Source: Ford

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