The News for January 16th, 2015

Welcome to the Hooniverse News – 2015 North American International Auto Show recap! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. Most of the stories this week come from the first big auto show of the year in Detroit, which Hooniverse was at in spirit. This week:

  • The actual  production-spec Acura NSX is here!

  • Ford Shelby GT350R, the most track-capable Mustang ever

  • Nissan’s Titan and Titan XD are ready for battle

  • Ford GT [recap]

  • Ford brings the Raptor to the next generation but has to be green now

  • Some information on the new Toyota Tacoma

  • Chevrolet updates the Volt and reveals the Bolt EV

  • Buick teases a possible future with the glorious Avenir

  • BMW de-uglifies™ the 1 Series

  • Plus what was your automotive news?

Acura NSX

It took the all-new Acura NSX about seven years to get to this point. Well before the official concept cars were revealed both at auto shows and on the silver screen, Acura/Honda had been talking about this car and presumably developing it for a release that was originally supposed to happen way before 2015. As for why it took them so long, they’d probably say “we were striving for perfection”. That’s a professional way to say “we didn’t want to bring back the Ayrton Senna-approved NSX back as a crap car”. It looks like they aren’t about to disappoint.
The NSX you see here is finally out of beta and is 100% ready for production, which means Acura has finally given us all the juicy technical data and performance figures… wait. Nope. They didn’t. We’re still lacking some specific information but at least we know the car is coming now.
What we do finally know about the next generation Acura NSX is that it seeks to bring a “new sports experience” to the supercar segment and challenge conventional beliefs about supercars as the original NSX did in 1991 – just in a very different way. The original NSX was naturally-aspirated, balanced, and advanced goodness (being the first all-aluminum supercar). The new NSX is turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, and also advanced goodness.
The final powertrain setup they decided on includes a longitudinally-mounted twin-turbocharged V6 which makes some amount of horsepower that they won’t tell us about. That imaginary power is sent to the rear wheels through a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That horsepower is assisted in acceleration, braking, and gear change performance by a rear direct-drive electric motor. The front wheels are driven by two other electric motors which deliver instant torque and left-to-right torque distribution. All those motors contribute to a nifty all-wheel drive system that Acura calls “Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive” (SH-AWD) which should help contribute to that new sports car experience Acura is gunning for. The fully independent all-aluminum suspension and carbon ceramic brakes should help with that too.
As for the construction, the new NSX features a space frame design consisting of an internal frame constructed from aluminum, high-strength steel, and other materials with a carbon fiber floor as an anchor. The gorgeous body built around all that space stuff is composed of a combination of aluminum and sheet molding composite. The design of said composite body features the classic supercar proportions (low and wide) with all the necessary airflow management neatly integrated. It just… works. Even though we’ve known how 95% of the NSX was going to look since the first official concept three years ago, it still looks phenomenal.
On the inside, Acura has created a cockpit that serves the driver with simple and intuitive controls, great forward visibility, carefully planned ergonomics, and a seat that they say is as supportive and comfortable as a seat can possibly be.
So in a nutshell, the Acura NSX has advanced construction, an intelligent and powerful (as assume) drivetrain, great styling, and a cockpit that’s all about the driver. Sounds like a winner.
Acura will begin accepting orders this summer with deliveries scheduled for later this year. Pricing isn’t available yet, but we do know it will be built in Marysville, Ohio.
[Source: Acura]

Ford Shelby GT350R

Shelby GT350R Mustang
The “regular” 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 hasn’t even opened up for orders yet and there’s already a version that takes the crown as the most track-capable production Mustang ever built. The Ford Shelby GT350R adds a lot more than just an extra letter to the badge to an already fast Mustang and it’s easy to see where.
The GT350R adds several new features that result in weight savings, enhanced aerodynamics on track, further tuned suspension, and probably more power – we still don’t know exactly how much power and torque the GT350’s 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 will produce, just “more than” 500 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft.
The GT350R is a road legal track star, and like every track star before it, it first went on a diet. Ford engineers delivered against aggressive targets for weight savings. If a part didn’t make the car faster around a track, it was considered for deletion… within reason. So in the end, the GT350’s items that didn’t make it in the GT350R include air conditioning, stereo, rear seats, trunk floorboard and carpet, backup camera, and emergency tire sealer and inflator. Buyers that chicken out can get most of that back minus the rear seats, but the end result is a 150-pound weight reduction over the GT350 Track Pack for those that live in cooler climates.
Shelby GT350R Mustang
Perhaps the most extreme weight savings measure – and probably the most noticeable – is the wheel package. Super-lightweight carbon fiber wheels are standard on the GT350R, making Ford the first major manufacturer to introduce full carbon fiber wheels on a high-ish volume car (Koenigsegg was technically first). Each carbon fiber wheel is about 13 pounds lighter than one of the GT350’s wheels and is just as stiff, if not stiffer. They’re wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
For the improved aerodynamics, many existing splitters and such were enhanced while some new things, like a larger rear spoiler, were added exclusively for the GT350R’s anticipated track days. Suspension-wise, the GT350’s existing MagneRide suspension was further stiffened and improved for track duty.
Final power figures for the 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 aren’t out yet, but it’s safe to assume the version of that motor that goes in the GT350R is at least a little more powerful.
The GT350R will arrive in both the US and Canada later this year in relatively limited numbers.
[Source: Ford]

Nissan Titan

2016 Nissan TITAN XD
It’s finally happening. Nissan’s full-size pickup is being rejuvenated in a big way for the 2016 model year. The Titan has gone largely unchanged for about a decade, so it’s fitting that when Nissan updated it they did a thorough job of it.
Everything on the 2016 Titan is new. So new, in fact, that one of the available models seeks to create a new class of trucks all together. That one is the Titan XD and it’s the Titan that grabbed most of the headlines, and for a good reason. Even though the Titan will be available with a wide variety of engine, cab, bed, trim, and drive configurations, the one variant they’re proud of the most is the XD.
2016 Nissan TITAN XD
The Titan XD seeks to capitalize on “an unmet need” in the hugely competitive truck market, which is for a truck that can tow and haul like a more expensive heavy-duty truck yet has the efficiency, ease of use, and affordability of a half-ton pickup. To meet such a demand, Nissan chose a new 5.0-liter V8 turbo diesel provided by Cummins rated at 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque. The XD is built on top of a bespoke fully-boxed ladder frame (it’s the only Titan that has it) and has a payload rating of over 2,000 lbs. and a tow rating of over 12,000 lbs.
On top of the raw capabilities that each Titan delivers, they can also come equipped with all the necessary tech to help drivers get the most out of it such as RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, and a Trailer Light Check system. Furthermore, a spray-on bed liner, lockable storage within the bed, an integrated gooseneck hitch (on the XD), flush-mounted LED lighting, and a bunch more.
The Nissan Titan XD will go on sale late this year with the other Titans arriving early 2016. Pricing is not available yet.
[Source: Nissan]

Ford GT

All-New Ford GT
For those that haven’t heard already, Ford stole the show this week when they revealed the all-new Ford GT. Because I knew I wanted to cover this car in full detail, I opted to give it its own spot on the Web to make room for everything else during the regular News spot. That article is here. It’s glorious [the car, that is].


The Raptor has survived into the next generation of the F-150 but with some substantial changes. Obviously the styling changes based on the standard F-150’s new design, but perhaps the biggest change is the source of power. The previous 6.2-liter V8 (411 hp and 434 lb.-ft.) has been replaced by a new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 which is more fuel efficient and more powerful. Power is sent to all four wheels through a ten speed automatic and is managed by a revamped four-wheel-drive system including a new transfer case, better driver assists, and more. The backbone of the truck is also new high-strength frame that is the strongest of any F-150, so maybe now people won’t go bending their frames when jumping over huge sand dunes. The all-new Raptor goes on sale in fall 2016.
[Source: Ford]
The Toyota Tacoma is also back in a new form for 2015. On top of new styling inside and out, the new Taco comes with two new engines: a 2.7-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 with both port and direct injection. Both engines can be paired with a six-speed automatic but the V6 can be ordered with a six-speed manual. The cabin is also well-suited for daily tasks with features like Qi wireless charging, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, leather-trimmed seats, touchscreen audio, and more available. The Tacoma will be available in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations among five trim levels.
[Source: Toyota]
Chevrolet’s two big NAIAS debuts were the Volt and Bolt concept. Both cars show Chevy’s commitment to efficient cars for the masses but the new Bolt in particular will be their first all-electric vehicle when it goes on sale within the next few years. The Bolt will deliver around 200 miles on a full charge and will cost around $30,000. As for the new Volt, it will go on sale within Q2 of this year and deliver 50 miles of all-electric driving, 400 miles on gas alone, and up to 1,000 miles of driving between fill-ups if the batteries are charged regularly. On top of the improved capabilities, the 2016 Volt also features new styling inside and out which is meant to be more luxurious yet sportier.
[Source: Chevrolet]
Normally I don’t touch on concepts, but this Buick Avenir is worth a mention. This elegant concept is a potential glimpse into the future of Buick – Avenir is French for future – which includes premium sports proportions and modern interpretations of classic Buick styling cues. Whether or not this would ever make it to production remains to be seen, but we can sure hope.
[Source: Buick]
The 2015 BMW 1 Series is the only car featured this week that wasn’t at the NAIAS and for a valid reason. The BMW 1 Series has been on sale for the last ten years but it only ever came to America as a two-door coupe and convertible, whereas European models were available as hatchbacks. When BMW split up all existing model lines by door count, the 1 Series coupe and convertibles in America became the 2 Series and the 1 Series hatches in Europe remained as the 1 Series. Since this split occurred a few years ago, the 1 Series was not sold in America. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though because the styling of said 1 Series was… controversial. Some would call it ugly and I would call it an odd fit because it really didn’t look like any other BMW on sale.
That all changes with the facelifted BMW 1 Series you see here. By “all”, I really just mean the ugliness. The beautified BMW 1 Series is still for Europe but it does feature a much nicer face that actually makes it look like a BMW. Available as a three and five-door model, it further improves on the already nice features and performance the last one offered. More features are standard and the three and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines have been modernized. The one model we’re really jealous of though is the M135i which features a twin-power turbo inline-six with 326 horsepower. The facelifted BWM 1 Series will go on sale by this spring.
[Source: BMW]
Alright, that’s just about everything worth mentioning that happened this week. But what’s your story? If you saw, bought, sold, broke, fixed, or did anything awesome you’d like to share to your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments. Special bonus points to people that post pics I can use for next week.
My news was some weekend stress relief up in the mountains. My friend and I piled in his Trans Am and proved that both he and his car could handle a decent hill climb surprisingly well.
[Source: Me]

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    1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
      PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

      <img src=""&gt;
      Detroit certainly blue itself last week.

  1. Devin Avatar

    Here's a question, is the Ram Rebel a secret project to make everyone appreciate the Ram crosshair grille? Because this is weird, and not in a good way like the one you want.
    <img src="–YL2vtXcT–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/qmnmnqimni5pzg8a0cuc.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Also Mazda launched the 2 in Quebec (where Mazdas are the best selling cars, in fact) and it's totally adorable.
    <img src="; width="500">

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Let's call it for what it is: It's a RAMstache.

      1. Devin Avatar

        It's less RAMstache, more RAM Burnside
        <img src="; width="500">

          1. racer139 Avatar

            That's just not right. Why would someone keep their face hair that way. And then look so serious in the pic.

          2. Sjalabais Avatar

            I guess he's just been through an airport security check.

          3. Devin Avatar

            Convenient place to put your hat.

    2. pj134 Avatar

      I liked the crosshair. This is a very decent looking truck to me.
      <img src="; width=500>

      1. Devin Avatar

        I like it too, but I can't think of another explanation for the Burnside front.

  2. racer139 Avatar

    My news is that I hate insurance companys. They will find anyway possible to get youin the end..
    In other news my family's shop burned on the 20 of December and the insurance company is not covering it only the bike that was inside. The fire was deemed an accident by the fire investigation and the insurance said it would have been covered if we didn't try to put the place out. I figure that's human instinct and something anyone would do.
    Anyhoo I have started a crowd funder and would be forever in the hooniverses debt if you could help me spread the word.
    Thank you .

    1. Manic_King Avatar

      That sucks. Have you talked to the lawyer? Sue the f'ers.

      1. racer139 Avatar

        We have. Its going to cost a bunch of money that we just don't have to sue. Funny thing is the cost to insure the building and two trucks (pick-up and a tow truck) is more than a grand a month money just flushed away.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar

      Wow, this kind of counterlogic really lights my fire. What kind of moronic ideology do they operate after? Of course you try to save what you can.
      I agree with the manic king above, this is deserving of a proper fight. The role of an insurance is to help out in desperate times. These f*ckers have turned their mission completely on the head.

  3. Scout_dude Avatar

    My news is we sold my son's Taurus today. Overall it was one of the lowest operating cost cars I've owned but it was its time to go, for a whopping $400. It was due for a battery, tires soon, the heater core was plugged so it didn't give great heat and it had some body damage. The story on the body damage was that it was sideswiped when we had it about 2 years. The insurance paid us $2400 for that damage. I had paid $1400 for it and spent about $800 on tires, battery, brakes tune up and a starter in the time we had it. All told we put about 70K on it and ended up with $600 in profit.
    I've made more money on other cars but never on one that I put that many miles on as well.
    The big plus is he is going to buy my Grand Marquis and I'm going to get something else, most likely a Town Car.