The News for January 23rd, 2015

GTS Club Coupe _lead
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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • McLaren channels the 650S’s inner F1 GTR for a special edition

  • Porsche releases GTS Club Coupe for its American enthusiasts, ducktail and all

  • Mercedes prices the 911-fighting AMG GT S

  • Lamborghini Huracan GT3 is ready for racing

  • McLaren confirms development of hardcore 650S for the track

  • Ford teases the new Focus RS, will be revealed Feb. 3rd

  • Plus what was your automotive news?

McLaren 650S Le Mans

The 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans may be a distant memory for most people, but for McLaren it’s an event they will never forget. It was at this race where five McLaren F1 GTRs finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 13th overall and helped solidify the F1’s reputation as the king of supercars. Back then, McLaren celebrated by releasing just five examples of the F1 LM that brought the spirit and most of the looks of the F1 GTR to the street.
Now, twenty years later, McLaren is preparing to celebrate that achievement again in a predictable yet uniquely McLaren sort of way. Yes, they are celebrating with a special edition model of an existing car, but the extra bits that make it a special edition are much more impressive than just special paint and crappy stickers. In fact, Peter Stevens, the original designer of the McLaren F1, was brought in to help McLaren Special Operations with the design for this car.
The finished product is the McLaren 650S Le Mans – a car that will once again bring the spirit and [some of] the looks of the F1 GTR to the street. Offered as a coupe only, the 650S Le Mans will feature the recognizable roof-mounted “snorkel” intake, which is fully integrated into the car and is fully functional. It serves to look awesome while channeling air into the mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin turbo V8, all while also improving aural pleasure in the cabin. The V8 doesn’t serve up any more power than it normally does, but it already has 641 horsepower so we won’t hold that against them.
Up front, the existing front “wings” now feature subtle louvres to reduce pressure over the front wheels which increase downforce. MSO also threw in a carbon fiber front splitter and rear bumper/diffuser as well as extended carbon side blades. The only paint option McLaren informed us of is the Sarthe Grey color, which was inspired by the color of the race-winning F1 GTR.
The final exterior touch is the set of unique “Le Mans Edition” lightweight wheels that mimic the racing wheels on the ’95 F1 GTR. Those wheels are wrapped in McLaren-developed Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and are mounted in front of carbon ceramic brakes with orange calipers.
The interior features black leather and Alcantara all around and includes sport bucket seats with orange Alcantara inserts. There are a few expected badges and stickers inside and out, but only ones that outline the famous Circuit de la Sarthe.
The McLaren 650S Le Mans is available globally but is limited to 50 examples. Pricing is at £244,500 and owners will get an exclusive invite to join McLaren at their celebration of the event at the historic Le Mans circuit.
[Source: McLaren]

Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe

GTS Club Coupe _1
It’s no secret that Porsche has one of the largest and most passionate enthusiast followings of any manufacturer, which I got to see first hand at the Werks Reunion in Monterey last August. The first chapters of the PCA predate the Porsche 911 by nearly a decade and it’s been thriving ever since. So what better way to celebrate its 60th year than by releasing a special edition 911?
Say hello to the Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe, one hell of a birthday gift from Porsche. It’s based on a 911 Carrera GTS but has a few bespoke features that make it worthy of top PCA enthusiasts. Well, maybe. If it was, it would be air-cooled, manual only, and have hydraulic power steering, but even Porsche has limits…
The GTS Club Coupe has all the same features as the “normal” GTS, including the 3.8-liter flat six capable of 430 horsepower, rear-wheel drive, and a seven-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission. That boxer engine sings through standard sport exhaust and is tamed through Porsche Active Suspension Management, torque vectoring, and dynamic engine mounts. Advanced headlight systems and other tech features carry over unchanged, but what makes this one special is the extra goodness they added elsewhere. For starters, that color is called “Club Blau” and is exclusive to this model. The car rides on twenty-inch Sport Classic wheels painted in semi-gloss black with polished wheel centers and rim flanges. Finally, there’s a ducktail spoiler out back to make everything better.
GTS Club Coupe _2
The cabin is mostly standard but does benefit from special trim, stitching, and PCA badges.
The Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe will launch in America this June and only 60 will ever be built. Porsche Club of America members will be able to buy one of 59 examples for $136,060 and one lucky member will be driving home with the initial display vehicle for free.
[Source: Porsche]

Mercedes-AMG GT S priced

Mercedes-AMG’s all-new 911 fighter, the GT S, will start at $129,900 when it arrives in dealerships this April. That’s according to a dealership ordering guide that was leaked and Autoweek who was able to confirm the price with Mercedes.
For all that cash, Mercedes-AMG delivers with a 503-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, big brakes, and the most advanced sports car chassis they’ve ever created. It’s capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and will go up to 193 mph. The interior is of course all Mercedes with plenty of space, comfort, and tech to keep anyone preoccupied.
It takes a lot to go up against the Porsche 911 with a new car and it looks like Mercedes-AMG was prepared. That ~$130,000 price tag puts it above the Carrera GTS (not the Club Coupe) which starts at $114,000 and serves as Porsche’s middle ground. For another couple hundred bucks you can get the 911 GT3 (MSRP is $130,400) which could run rings around most other cars on track. However, to get a Porsche with more power than the AMG GT S you’d need to go with a 911 Turbo which starts at ~$150,000. That price point puts the AMG GT S within a dangerous range for Porsche.
Let them fight.
[Source: Mercedes-AMG via Autoweek]

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

The Lamborghini Hurricane Huracan is going racing. Revealed in Sant’Agata in GT3 form, the Huracan GT3 will hit the track in the Blancpain Endurance Series and likely elsewhere.
The Huracan GT3 takes everything that’s good about the road-going Huracan and makes it better suited for track use, including the subframe and the direct-injection V10. As for what’s new, the Huracan GT3 adopted an aluminum-carbon chassis, a full FIA-spec roll cage, and all-new bodywork designed in alliance with Dallara Engineering which also features fully adjustable aero work up front and in the back. With all the unnecessary items removed from the road car, the Huracan GT3 weighs just 2,730 pounds, over 400 pounds less than the road car.
Among the items that were cut from the road car is its ability to drive the front wheels. The six-speed sequential gearbox only sends power to the rear wheels, but each wheel gets full-on racing brakes measuring fifteen inches front and fourteen inches rear with four-piston calipers all around. The interior is all business with a carbon fiber frame racing seat, fire extinguisher, racing belts, adjustable pedals, a racing wheel, and a removable roof panel for emergencies.
The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 will cost about €369,000 ($413,000 US). We look forward to seeing where else this car ends up.
[Source: Lamborghini via Autoweek]

McLaren to release track-focused 650S

This is a good week for the 650S. After already releasing the 650S Le Mans edition as noted above, McLaren announced that a more track-focused version of the 650S is being developed and will debut at the Geneva motor show alongside the finished P1 GTR. Not much is currently known about the car other than that it’s surely going to be insanely quick. This teaser shot is all we have so far but when that changes you can bet I’ll cover it here.
[Source: McLaren]

Ford Focus RS teased

It’s no secret that Ford is preparing to introduce a new Focus RS and bring it to America for the first time. What has been a secret until now is when we’d get to see it. Thanks to a new teaser video Ford released, we know the full thing will be revealed on February 3rd. And that it’s going to be the most hoon-tastic™ Focus yet.
At this point the car’s specs are pure speculation, but some of that said speculation claims over 320 horsepower and all-wheel drive. If the car’s ability to slide in this video gives us anything to go by, they’re probably right about that AWD.
Come February 3rd we should know much more and I’ll be sure to share that knowledge with you.
[Source: Ford, YouTube]

What’s your automotive news?

You know the drill. If you saw, drove, bought, sold, fixed, broke, or otherwise did anything notable that you’d like to share with your fellow hoon, now’s your chance.
My automotive news was… light. I saw this bright green McLaren 650S at some fancy shopping mall (I hate those). I love the 650S very much, but I’m not sure about the color. I feel like lime green is a color that should only be for Lamborghinis or cars that are about flashiness. To me at least, the McLaren 650S is meant to be a more serious car. It isn’t loud, it doesn’t look like a stealth fighter, and it goes much faster than it wants you to think. It’s a car for drivers that want the very best in go-fast engineering and technology and not for those that just want to catch everyone’s attention. Just my thoughts.
[Source: me]

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  1. muthalovin Avatar

    I am sure my wife will be pleased when I inform her that the Fiesta ST is going to be traded in for a better family wagon, the Focus RS.

  2. JayP2112 Avatar

    There's debate about the AWD on the RS- at one point it lifts the rear wheel off the ground like a front driver.
    If the RS is FWD, I'll feel better than I'm not losing out by getting an ST.
    Ford is hitting homeruns these days… so it'll prolly be AWD and I'll be comforted I couldn't afford the RS anyway.

  3. I_Borgward Avatar

    Out of five cars, only one under $100K. What is this, the Robb Report?
    Pricing info: If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
    I guess my automotive news for today is that I'm beginning to not give a crap what the 1% are driving.

    1. GregKachadurian Avatar

      I only write The News based on what stories are the most newsworthy each week [that I can find]. Sometimes that means million-dollar super cars and sometimes that means sub-$15K compacts or both. The auto show recaps I do are a good example of that. I know full well that the stuff I report on may not always be relevant to every reader (it sure as shit isn't always relevant to me lol) but I try to make it interesting regardless.
      I'll never go full Robb Report on you 😉

      1. I_Borgward Avatar

        No worries, one of the things I like about the 'verse is how its feet are generally planted well on the ground. So, what's a little time spent in the clouds? Thank you for the gracious reply… I think I just may have climbed out of the wrong side of the car this morning. : )

        1. monkey_tennis Avatar

          Hey! As soon as Borgward release a new car I am sure that Greg will cover it for you…
          Until then, we are all stuck with the fact that Mercedes, Porsche & McLaren have more development money and busier press offices. Borgward, on the other hand, are keeping us all waiting.

  4. ptschett Avatar

    I renewed my drivers license (my birthday is the day of the Focus RS debut). I paid the renewal fee with a card so I didn't exert any thought when I was asked to sign on the pen input device… now I have my standard illegible scrawl on the new license, that doesn't match very well with the attempt at a neat signature on the back of my credit/debit cards 🙁
    Otherwise I changed the oil in the '05 Dakota and decided I could safely procrastinate its scheduled tire rotation till spring; continued anxiously waiting for my '15 Challenger; took the '10 Challenger for one of its last hoonings in its tenure as my car; and let the Thunderbird continue its annual slumber through January.

  5. racer139 Avatar

    My I can't wait to see the rs. Wounded what they will cost up here in canukistan? I'm sure it will be round 35/40 large.
    My automotive news, I'm having a heck of a time trying to spread the word for my crowd funder to help rebuild my familys shop. There is no cash to hire a PR firm and I'm not entirely sure that they are worth the cash. Any help spreading the word is greatly appreciated. The guys over at daily turismo helped a ton and I'm thank full for their help.. Like I said any help getting the word out would be sweet. Thanks

  6. craigsu Avatar

    Well, now we know why Rowan Atkinson is finally selling his McLaren F1 after 18 years of ownership.

  7. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    My Automotive News: Bought some power steering fluid for the Rover.
    *white knuckle excitement*

    1. danleym Avatar

      Awww yeaaah
      I put new shocks in mine. Well, in the front. Haven't gotten around to the rears.
      What Rover do you have? One of the Land (or maybe even Range) variety, or the kind that doesn't have another word in front of it?

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        <img src="; width=400>
        Of the completely valueless and unloved by the majority of society variety, I'm afraid. 'Kin love it.

        1. monkey_tennis Avatar

          …but worth any number of Deutsch marques.