The News for January 2nd, 2015

Welcome to 2015 and the year’s first 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:

  • Shelby American celebrates 50 years of the Cobra 427

  • Mitsubishi shows off the final Lancer Evolution in concept form

  • Tesla Motors shows some love to original Roadster owners with 3.0 package

  • Plus what was your automotive news?

50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra 427

2015 will be a year of many anniversaries that only car guys/gals will [probably] appreciate. And whenever a big anniversary is fast approaching, the special editions built to celebrate will surely follow. Case in point, Shelby American is celebrating a very special anniversary as only they can. 2015 marks the 50th year of the legendary Shelby Cobra which debuted in 1965, so naturally, they’re bringing it back for 2015 as a limited-run special edition.
The 50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra will be offered as a rolling chassis with either a fiberglass or aluminum body and any color as long as it’s Guardsman Blue paint with Wimbledon White stripes. Aluminum-bodied cars will also be offered in polished aluminum with or without brushed stripes. Each car will come with special 50th anniversary gold badging, logos, and other special features.
It’s worth repeating that these cars are only coming to buyers as a rolling chassis, which means the transmission and engine are not included. You’d think that a car called the 50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra 427 would actually come with a 427 motor, but I guess that’s not the point. On the bright side, that means these 50 lucky buyers can stuff whatever they want in this. However, they’ll need to be sure they have enough money left over for the drivetrain at all considering that prices for the car are $119,995 for fiberglass and $179,995 for aluminum.
As I said, they’re celebrating as only Shelby American can.
[Source: Shelby American]

The Final Lancer Evolution teased

Perhaps the most frustratingly sad story of 2014 was Mitsubishi announcing their intentions to let the successful Lancer Evolution die a slow death by the end of 2015. It’s sad because the Evolution is an iconic chapter of Mitsubishi’s history with rally championships and other numerous racing titles to back it up, and it’s frustrating because it’s the only remaining car in Mitsubishi’s lineup that still has a huge enthusiast following and they’re just letting it die with no direct replacement.
Before it’s fully retired though, the people at Mitsubishi responsible for the greatest car they build have decided to send it off in glory with one last model. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Final Concept represents an awesome way for them to do it.
Set to debut next month at the Tokyo auto show, the Lancer Evolution X Final Concept is built upon a loaded Evolution GSR featuring a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sending power to all four wheels through a five-speed manual. An Evo like this would normally produce around 290 horsepower, but for the Final Concept Mitsubishi enlisted the help of HKS, a famous Japanese tuning house. HKS have provided them with a new and improved turbocharger, intake, exhaust, intercooler, and ECU tuning which easily bumps the power up to 473 hp. The car also sits on a lowered sport suspension and nineteen-inch forged aluminum RAYS wheels with sticky Yokohama tires.
The visual changes, at least in concept form, are fairly subtle for something with more power than a [base] Corvette. The paint is matte black and some of the other exterior accents and splitters are a glossy black. The Evo is dressed up in funeral attire but it’s not mourning, it’s just celebrating.
[Source: Mitsubishi]

Tesla Roadster 3.0

Tesla Motors hasn’t forgotten about its first car – the original Tesla Roadster. The car that put them on the map has been out of production for a few years now since Tesla shifted focus from the Lotus-based sports car to the all-original Model S, which they’re still improving upon. Despite the huge success they’re having with the Model S, Tesla is taking a moment to improve the Roadster for existing owners.
Using the lessons learned from the maturing Model S, Tesla will be offering a 3.0 upgrade for the Roadster which is a package that upgrades it in three main areas: batteries, aerodynamics, and rolling resistance.
The batteries that were first put in the Roadster were state of the art… back in 2008. For version 3.0, they’ve got a new cell with 31% more energy than the previous one which translates to a new battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery. New aerodynamics come courtesy of a retrofit aero kit which is expected to reduce its drag coefficient by 15%, which means more range. Rolling resistance is reduced by about 20% through the use of new tires, improved wheel bearings, and reduced residual brake drag.
All of this translates to an expected 40-50% improvement in Roadster 3.0’s range when compared to the original. In early stages of testing, they saw over 400 miles on a single charge. Within the next few weeks, they’ll be attempting to make a non-stop drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco to prove it in real world conditions. Once the 3.0 package is finalized, Tesla Motors will begin taking appointments for the upgrade. No word on what, if anything, Tesla will charge for this.
[Source: Tesla Motors]
It’s been a few weeks since the last news post, so if you saw, drove, bought, sold, broke, or fixed anything cool, sound off in the comments to share it with your fellow hoon. And since this is also the first Hooniverse News of 2015, feel free to also share what plans you have in your garage for the new year or what your highlights were in 2014.
For me, one of my best highlights of 2014 is demonstrated in the picture I chose. I had a week off from work over the summer so I spent it in California with my family and with my favorite road on earth, the Pacific Coast Highway. We rented a bright yellow Camaro convertible and hauled ass on this beautiful road full of challenging switchbacks and scenery that I will never forget. I never cared that much about the Camaro before this experience, but after spending some quality time with it on such an awesome road, it’s alright in my book. In fact, most of my best memories of 2014 were either on or around the PCH, as a few months later I was in the area again for a day during my first Monterey Car Week. And my goal for 2015 is simple… buy an ///M.
[Image source: me]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. muthalovin Avatar

    "… and it’s frustrating because it’s the only remaining car in Mitsubishi’s lineup that still has a huge enthusiast following…
    Oh hell, now we will be bombarded by the Mirage Owner Club Forum members!

    1. GregKachadurian Avatar

      I had to search to see if that was a real thing.
      <img src=""&gt;

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        I didn't. But then again, I've perused threads on Dodge Caliber forums extolling that vehicle as the greatest automobile ever produced. I sort of hope the Mirage forum denizens don't notice us. That's going to be a lot of crazy.

      2. Vairship Avatar

        Just to throw you under the bus, I'll create a link between our Hooniverse and the universe of the greatest car EVAR:
        Didn't think it'd exist, but it does…

  2. 1977chevytruck Avatar

    I propose an experiment.
    -How many death threats one can receive in one day?
    -50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra 427
    -Stock drive-train from a 1990 Toyota Corolla
    -Combine materials. Cruise the strip.
    -Hypothesis correct. Infinite death threats.

    1. jeepjeff Avatar

      Better get an automatic Corolla. Just to be sure.

  3. jeepjeff Avatar

    You’d think that a car called the 50th Anniversary Shelby Cobra 427 would actually come with a 427 motor
    It's a registration thing. If they sell it without the motor, then it's just car parts. Carefully packaged car parts, but car parts. Then when the proud owner drops a crate engine in and takes it to the DMV, they get to register it as home built and sidestep things like airbag regulations.
    You now know exactly where the line in the legal sand is.