The News for January 3rd, 2014

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rogue concept

Welcome to another year of the Hooniverse News! After taking a break for the holidays (did you notice?) because of a distinct lack of news, it’s time to kick off another year of this little thing I do [almost] every Friday. And speaking of the new year, you know how many people around this time of year make some sort of New Year’s resolution to change something about themselves for the better? Yeah. I won’t be doing that. This gig is still a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull and just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Infiniti gets serious about performance, names car after racetrack corner

  • All of Chrysler’s base are belong to Fiat now

  • BMW and Toyota to develop new shared sports car platform

  • 2014 Camaro Z/28 priced like a Chevrolet… or not

  • Kia teases us with a RWD, turbocharged sports car


Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rogue concept

One of soon to be many pre-North American International Auto Show world debuts is the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept you see here. Based on the latest premium Datsun sports sedan, the Q50 Eau Rouge is a high-performance design concept that represents the company’s design vision for its high horsepower products of the future. The car can be seen in its entirety on January 13th at the NAIAS in Detroit, or a few days before once an eastern European site publishes the press photos early.

Since the full details are still over a week away, no word on the car’s actual intended performance has been given. But then again, it’s a design concept, so that’s all they really talk about. Its design, in a nutshell, is heavily influenced by the Infiniti sticker on Sebastian Vettel’s Renault-powered Formula 1 car. And their technical partnership with focuses in engineering cooperation and innovation, or something like that. But nevertheless, Infiniti’s sponsorship partnership with the successful Formula 1 team has introduced the brand to the wonders of carbon fiber. Major bodywork components have been crafted from it and each of the crucial aero pieces serve the sole purpose of improving airflow all around the car. The most noticeable updates are made to the front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts, rear spoiler, roof, and door mirrors – all of which are carbon fiber. The twenty-one-inch wheels are forged alloy pieces for less weight too. Basically, only the doors and the roof line are unchanged from a standard Q50.

Jokes aside, the Q50 Eau Rouge concept is probably our best look at what a serious performance Infiniti could look like in the not too distant future. And it looks pretty cool.

If you can’t wait until January 13th to see the full car, then you’d want to know about how Infiniti is giving you a chance to see it early. Head on over to, do some social networking stuff with hash tags, and watch as every social interaction adds a new piece to a virtual model of the car. The more duck face selfies you tag with #F1Q50, the sooner you can see a full 360-degree view of the car, even if it’s long before the official reveal date.

[Source: Infiniti]

Chrysler to be wholly owned by Fiat

Chrysler PT Cruiser Micro

I just learned of this car’s existence. It’s like a PT Cruiser trying to be a Mazda 2.

Fiat has announced that it will soon be the proud new parents of one of Detroit’s “big three”. In a press release filled with fascinating percentages and terms I should have learned in my accounting classes, Fiat detailed the plan to buy up all the remaining shares of Chrysler in a deal that totals $4.3 billion. The last 41.5% of the company is currently owned by the UAW Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association trust, who will be paid $700 million for their part. As a result of this, the impending initial public offering of the remaining shares is no longer going to happen.

 Both companies believe this deal will benefit both as Fiat tries to expand globally amongst a tough European market and while Chrysler looks for any advantage over its direct competitors it can get – an advantage like Fiat-Chrysler World Class Manufacturing programs, an effort proposed by the two companies and supported by the UAW to adopt new quality and efficiency standards. This could mean many things, but most likely it means the next big new product roll out from Chrysler will be internet famous for catching on fire.

You guys and gals have always been vocal about many of the stories featured here and I’m particularly interested in opinions on this one as one of America’s biggest automakers is adopted by the Italians.

[News source: Autoweek | Image source: NetCarShow]

BMW and Toyota to produce joint sports car platform

BMW 435i

Just in the short time since I’ve started doing this news thing, there have already been several big technical partnerships formed between big brands, some of which yield awesome results. It’s been known that BMW and Toyota have been in talks about a partnership already, but that was for lithium-ion battery and lightweight construction technology.

This one is a little cooler.

The German and Japanese powerhouses have announced an agreement where the greatest minds from each brand come together to develop a single sports car platform. That platform will then be used as the basis for two separate sports cars that are unique to each brand. The main difference here compared to the GT-86/BRZ partnership Toyota wrapped up with Subaru a few years ago is that this platform will supposedly be for a mid-sized sports car.

Neither side was willing to specify what kind of models would spawn off this mid-sized sports car platform, but the internet wants to believe Toyota will use it to revive the Supra or at least introduce a successor. As for the internet’s hopes for BMW, anything that isn’t another four-door sedan version of a 2-door coupe based off a four-door sedan will do.

[News source: Reuters | Image source: BMW]

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 priced


Arguably GM’s most track-focused Chevrolet you can buy right now in a few weeks has just been priced. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 will have an admission price of $75,000. That price includes destination fees but doesn’t include something that almost every car on sale today which costs less than a fifth of the price has – air conditioning.

If you don’t want to sweat through your favorite GM Performance shirt while you attack corners, drag race, or drive anywhere you would normally go in a Camaro, you’ll need to gather another $1,150 first for the right package. Standard audio equipment includes a speaker. That’s it. That same package which adds the air conditioning also adds a six speaker system if you really want it.

But of course, the kind of person that would pay BMW 7 Series money for a Camaro probably doesn’t care about any of that, because this Camaro was built exclusively for speed. A 7.0-liter LS7 V8 produces 505 horsepower and 481 lb.-ft. of torque paired and is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Track goodies like a Torsen limited-slip differential with a helical gear set, spool-valve dampers, Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, and Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes all contribute to its capabilities. Those capabilities include puling up to 1.08 g around a skid pad and a Nürburgring lap time that’s faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S and the outdated, overweight, not designed at all for ‘Ring times Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.

[Source: Chevrolet]

Kia teases RWD sports concept

Kia GT4 StingerKia has high hopes for their upcoming concept debut at the NAIAS in Detroit, which is why they’re starting to use words we don’t always hear from them. Words like functional brake cooling ducts, turbocharging, and aerodynamics. But more than anything, the words we really wouldn’t expect from Kia are rear-wheel drive.

In this sporty new concept, dubbed the Kia GT4 Stinger, the signature Kia family grille sits just inches above the ground, flanked by two vertical LED headlamps and said functional brake cooling ducts. The sculpted hood hides a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger with 315 horsepower to give it the kick to match this sports car concept’s aggressive styling. What’s more significant than the impressive power and the crazy design is where that power actually goes. This concept will [probably] signify Kia’s commitment to an enthusiast-friendly, rear-wheel drive sports car. Whenever a concept like this is revealed, the automaker usually listens carefully to the reactions from the general public and fans alike. So if you like this new trend of catering to driving enthusiasts, be sure to let them know.

Full specifications and photos will be released in time for the NAIAS where we will also see it in the flesh.

[Source: Kia]


This is just a bit off topic, but our thoughts are still with Michael Schumacher who remains in critical, but stable, condition following a horrible skiing accident in France. The Formula 1 legend’s 45th birthday is today, and on this special day for him, we wish him nothing but the best.

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