The News for August 17th, 2018

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

  • Ford reveals new Mustang Cobra Jet 50 years after the original

  • Infiniti is bringing another EV concept to Pebble Beach

  • Volkswagen is adding 40 special colors to the Golf R’s option list

  • Subaru prices the 2019 Forester from $24,295

  • What’s your automotive news?

Ford has released a few more details and real images of the all-new Mustang Cobra Jet and it’s as much of a beast as we were expecting. As the Cobra Jet name enters its 50th year, it gets more powerful and faster than ever – fast enough to require a parachute. Only 68 are being built and each will carry an MSRP of $130,000. What kind of factory turnkey drag racer does 911 GT3 money get you?

It gets you a Mustang that can run the quarter mile in the mid-eight-second range and trap at speeds up to 150 mph. The forces required for that crazy of a run come courtesy of a special 5.2-liter V8 (based on the 5.0-liter Coyote from the road car) that’s been strengthened to handle a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger. For various reasons, Ford has not divulged power figures for the Cobra Jet’s unrestricted engine but the previous Cobra Jet was expected to produce around 1,000 horsepower. If people are getting those kinds of numbers on their own Mustang builds, that’s not an unreasonable assumption.

Ford be like: “oh, you wanna see the engine? Here fam, have the serpentine belt”.

Backing that up is a 9-inch solid rear axle, two-way coil-over shocks with adjustable ride height, a low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering, and a four-link rear suspension with antiroll and panhard bars. It of course comes with all the necessary safety equipment including a full NHRA-certified roll cage.
But we have a picture of the whole engine, too. [-Ed.]

The 50th Anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet is only available in Race Red or Oxford White and is shown with the optional commemorative livery. It also comes with special badges that are good for a couple HP at least. Those interested in buying but never racing a car made specifically for drag racing, contact your local Ford dealer.
[Source: Ford]

Infiniti Confirms Prototype 10 Debut for Pebble Beach

Like everyone else, Infiniti has signaled their intentions of developing more electrified vehicles but so far has only done so through one-off concepts. Next week at Pebble Beach though…. that trend will continue with Infiniti’s debut of another one-off concept car.
Infiniti will be showing off the Prototype 10, another single seat EV that can’t possibly be as cool as last year’s EV concept. Last year’s Prototype 9 was a modern interpretation of an old Grand Prix racer, but this year they’ve turned to the classic 50’s speedster look for inspiration. They say it’ll have a “cool, clean, and forward-looking design” which you can sort of see for yourself with this concept sketch. It’ll be revealed in full on August 23rd.
Speaking more in its design (because that’s all we can go off of for now), I’ll let Infiniti’s Executive Design Director, Karim Habib, explain:

The INFINITI Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars. Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving.

It’s certainly gonna look cool and it will be another hit that tugs at the heartstrings of enthusiasts who yearn for more interesting EVs, but at some point a concept will have to turn into a real car. Next year they should have the Prototype 11 be inspired by a contemporary sports car that can actually be built.
[Source: Infiniti]

Volkswagen Spektrum Program Adds Color to Golf R

Oh look at you, Volkswagen, being all German and stuff by using the German spelling of that one word in the title there. I know this brilliant play on words is super subtle, but Volkswagen used a word in the title of this new program that was in their native German language – a feat that would normally confuse and bewilder – but it pays off because it sounds similar to its English counterpart. Don’t know if anyone else caught that.
The Spektrum Program, which would be pronounced Spectrum Program by uncultured swines, will be an option for future Golf R buyers which presents them with a diverse range of 40 new paint colors. This is separate from their standard paint colors and is an additional $2,500 option. These colors range from bright and flashy to deep and beautiful while others are even borrowed from older models.

Some of the noteworthy options in this spektrum include Viper Green Metallic, originally found on the European Mk 3 Scirocco and later featured on the Lamborghini Huracán, Deep Blue Pearl from the Mk 4 and Mk 5 R32, Ginster Yellow from the 1997 Driver’s Edition GTI, and Mars Red from the Mk 1 GT.
The SPEKTRUM will soon be added to the Golf R configurator on and color sample kit is on its way to dealers. The ordering books should be open soon if not already and deliveries may take up to four months to complete.
[Source: Volkswagen]

Subaru prices 2019 Forester

Subaru’s all-new fifth-generation Forester, which offers the most space, capability, and features in its 22-year history, will have an MSRP between $24,295 and $34,295 when it goes on sale this fall. The base prices increase by $500 over last year’s version, but that all goes into some big improvements.
The 2019 Forester is re-engineered on the new Subaru Global Platform and delivers major improvements in safety, ride, handling, and occupant comfort. It now comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and full LED headlights. Higher trim models introduce features ranging from heated seats and a panoramic roof to Hill Descent Control and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The powertrain also sees some improvement, starting with the revised 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder. It now produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with a CVT. The EPA estimates 33 mpg highway with this setup. For those who like doing Forester things with their Forester, all versions now come with Active Torque Vectoring to supplement the Symmetrical AWD they’re known for.
The basic convenience and performance features covered here only scratch the surface of what all is upgraded in the new Forester. There are plenty of other quality of life improvements and tech features that are new for this year’s model. You can see this for yourself sometime this fall when they start rolling out.
[Source: Subaru]

What’s Your Automotive News?

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.
[Image © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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35 responses to “The News for August 17th, 2018”

  1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian
    It’s waiting on Clear Bra so I pick it up on Wednesday. I’m now at the point where I can’t sleep.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      BEST. NEWS!

    2. GTXcellent Avatar

      Wednesday? But that’s like a year away man!
      I’d suggest stocking up on Mylanta and maybe try putting band-aids on your fingers to keep from chewing the nails off for these next 5 days.

      1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
        Greg Kachadurian

        I know right. It was gut wrenching when I was told it would take another week, but I know I will regret not getting Clear Bra when I had the chance.

        1. ptschett Avatar

          No better time than when it’s brand-new and unravaged. I had it done on my newer Challenger along the lower bodyside (3″ at the bottom of the front fender behind the wheel, 2″ on the door and the rest of the way to the rear wheel, 5″ on the rear fascia) because I knew that was where the rock chips would be worst from the older Challenger, and it was worth doing & still holding up after 3 years.

          1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
            Greg Kachadurian

            That’s exactly my thinking too. I hear they can last up to 8-10 years if they’re taken care of.

    3. Zentropy Avatar

      Woohoo! Grats, man!

      1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
        Greg Kachadurian

        Thanks! Just gotta make it a few more days and I’ll finally join the ranks of the car show killers.

    4. onrails Avatar

      Sweet! Soak in the slow and gentle break in miles. The fun comes soon enough. Enjoy!

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Nah, got to bed those rings in!

      2. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
        Greg Kachadurian

        Hell yeah. I’m off work for the last half of the week so I can get it broken in properly and then go have some fun.

    5. JayP Avatar

      Shit. That looks good.
      Those wheels and tires just nail it.

    6. neight428 Avatar

      Two days to go, hopefully.

  2. nanoop Avatar

    Green cars are back, fine! Now pair them with red interiors, please…
    Cammed & Tubbed closed the doors of their podcast palace, and leave a sad nanoop with a playlist filled with old DWA episodes and Dinner with Racers (a project I’ve heard about on C&T, btw.).
    I’ll always bear my favorite quote in my heart: “Go ahead and sit in it, it’s not the fucking Mona Lisa!”

  3. Zentropy Avatar

    Ok, a quality $2500 paint job on a restored car is a huge bargain. But a $2500 premium for a “special” paint on a new car is just ludicrous.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      Just a quick cursory glance and it looks like there 8 different gray/grey/silvers there. Why would anyone pay $2500 extra to get a slightly different shade of non-color?
      Now some of those blues and greens and reds…

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Yeah, that is the same logic as with house paint. When we moved here, the scattered houses on the other side of the fjord represented a wide spectrum of paint colours. Now they are all white or grey. I can’t wait for the fashion pendulum to swing back again, and I applaud VW for trying. We jumped ahead and painted our house yellow 2-3 years ago.

        1. nanoop Avatar

          Here in the forest, black is the big thing. We chose “grendegul”, an orange yellow that is cozy under rain clouds and brilliant against a blue sky.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            Funny, we went for “herregårdsgul”, which is just a shade darker.

        2. Zentropy Avatar

          You people in your forests and fjords really stir the jealousy, you know. J/K… I’m happily envious.

        3. wunno sev Avatar
          wunno sev

          BMW, Toyota, and Porsche are absolutely killing it on paint choices. Toyota is the real surprise, but i’ve been seeing absolutely gorgeous paint jobs on Prii, C-HRs, Avalons, and all manner of otherwise dull transportation appliances.

  4. onrails Avatar

    I put it in Jeff’s “What’s happening?” post yesterday, but this might get some more eyes. One Lap of America 2019 will be assaulted by C-Team Motorsports in the SS. We’ll occasionally be posting updates to our Facebook page (click the follow/like buttons and you’ll see the news) during the months of waiti… er, preparation and during the event that will be our communication with the world. I’ll try and check in here while we’re in the thick of it, too.

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    Volvo is preparing to get back on the stock exchange. The big discussion now is its valuation. Geely wants to see a value of about 30 billion USD, the industry says 16-18 billion seems right though. In either case, the Chinese paid 1.5 billion USD in 2010. Decent investment!

    1. JayP Avatar

      I’d seen Volvo and Saab in the same vein… both near luxury, both in trouble after being snapped up by one of the Big 3.
      So how did Volvo live and Saab die?

      1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

        GM was incompetent.

        1. Zentropy Avatar

          Geely (and Ford, really) let Volvo be Volvo. Saab died because GM beancounters tried to force Saab into becoming yet another badge-engineered GM division, and Saab designers refused to cooperate.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            That’s the quickest three line summary there is, I guess. But I also wonder what the Swedes were thinking? Bottomless American well?

          2. outback_ute Avatar

            I think it was “we’re not putting our badge on this carp!” At least, without the typo

    2. nanoop Avatar

      If the company is healthy and the roadmap affordable, don’t do it Geely. I am working for a company of similar market cap of similar saturation (everybody who wants a car knows where to get one), with products lines that take about 10 FQ from draft to finished product family, and sales projections with a golden peak about 5 years (that’s 20FQ) after product release.
      You’d be wasting your time with two issues: fending off take-overs by a bigger fish, and defending decade-long product roadmaps to short-term investors.
      If the company is healthy and the future growth can be financed without stock market, don’t go there.
      Disclaimer: I have no proper economy education, which is reflected by me not actively investing in the stock market.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Well, hello, Elon! I agree on everything you said. Yet, I think China is reaching a “cashing in”-mentality as growth stops and, in some cases, reverses or gets adjusted due to prior exaggeration. So even though Geely says they’ll do it only with their outlandish valuation, I’m afraid they’ll push it through anyway.

        1. neight428 Avatar

          Volvo has done very well under Geely with the new product they have in showrooms now, but I doubt very much that they will see the market share growth like they have over the past few years. Or I could be completely wrong, and they could trot out whatever the auto equivalent of the iPhone is next week.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            That’s also touching the bizarre conundrum Volvo (and SAAB) have put themselves in: While they are everywhere in Scandinavia*, in most other countries, driving a Volvo also signals a “different” and conscious choice. Like the professor-stigma in Germany or the eco-soccermom-association in the US. That might mean there’s an upper limit of how many Volvos any of these markets can absorb. Or they just pull off a Subaru.
            *Villa, Volvo, voff – house, Volvo and a dog, cornerstones of adult life

  6. neight428 Avatar

    I dedicated a few hours to the Trans Am over the weekend putting in a duplicative manual switch to ground (and thus activate) the aftermarket electric fan whose coolant temperature activated switch was/is suspect. The whole thing is likely the result of some poorly executed wire splice on my part, so I either solved the problem or just doubled down. I find myself in the position that my available time is too scarce to be offset by any particular bit of skill I might have had, leading to insufficient planning and hurried solutions for unforeseen issues. It works for now though, time to clean up the job, sell it and go Greg’s route. Ugh.

  7. Alff Avatar

    Weekly maintenance diary. Rain and taking kids to college limited activities. Buttoned up Subaru after replacing vacuum hoses, mani gaskets. Rotated daughter’s tires, polished headlights. Used rain as excuse to clean out shop, install hose reel. Discovered cracked windshield in Subie that’s been sitting for a couple of months. Bummer.