The News for January 8th, 2016

For the first time in 2016, welcome to the Hooniverse News! After a short break in automotive news, things are already picking up in the new year and it’s great to be back. Some things may change during the new year, but this won’t… unless I think of something else to do. 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:

  • Chevrolet’s first real EV is here.

  • The Cruze Hatch is real, gorgeous, and coming to America.

  • Hyundai Ioniq looks to be a serious Prius competitor after all.

  • Too much practicality this week? Have a Pagani.

  • What’s your automotive news?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Less than a year ago, Chevrolet revealed a compact, all-electric concept car that they promised would become a production-bound electric car for the masses. GM was at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to deliver on that promise by revealing the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. It’s real, it’s affordable (relatively speaking), and it’s coming by the end of the year.
The Bolt isn’t GM’s first electrified car by any means, but it’s their first fully-electric car built upon their electric vehicle architecture. That means the Bolt was built from the ground up specifically for all-electric goodness which is something no other production Chevrolet before it could claim. This platform could potentially open the door for a greater variety of EV models in the future and in fact I’d expect nothing less.
As for the Bolt itself, it’s a five-door compact with seating for five and deep storage in the rear thanks to the lack of moving parts taking up space in the undercarriage. It will offer “more than” 200 miles of driving range. So, like, 201 miles then? Either way, that’s double the range of the Nissan LEAF.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
It’ll also be priced very competitively with an expected MSRP of $37,500  – so about $30,000 after the government’s “thank you for saving the north pole”’ rebates kick in.
You’re not just paying for the electric drivetrain and a body with that either. The rest of the car will be armed to the teeth with tech features ranging from a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment center, surround vision, low-energy Bluetooth integration (minimizes energy draw) which quickly connects a smart phone as the owner approaches the car, built-in WiFi hotspot, and EV-optimized navigation (takes you on the most efficient routes).
Another neat feature that will eventually debut in the Bolt is a sort of “gamification” where Chevrolet turns efficient driving into a connected competition among other Bolt/GM EV drivers so you can get owned by 1337EVdrivr and brag about sleeping with someone else’s mom. I’ve played enough XBOX Live to know at least one person will find a way to abuse it.
[Source: Chevrolet, Autoweek]

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch

In the latest and most convincing attempt to prove GM still takes hatchbacks seriously, Chevrolet unveiled the new 2017 Cruze Hatch the week before its official debut at the North American International Auto Show. The most important thing to know about this car besides the fact that it exists is that it is coming to America for once.
The 2017 Cruze Hatch shares its underpinnings and hardware with the all-new Cruze sedan unveiled last year but offers buyers a more functional and arguably prettier choice. Much of the body is the same of course, but a new roof, tail light design, and integrated spoiler at the top of the liftgate are unique to the Hatch. That’s enough to make this hatchback look really good to at least one hoon. The new rear end structure opens up 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats which increases to 47.2 cubic feet when they’re folded.
Chevrolet will offer the Cruze Hatch in two trim levels and with an RS appearance package which appears to be equipped on the car pictured. The standard engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with direct injection and stop/start technology. Efficiency is boosted by an electric power steering system and handling is optimized by an available Z-link rear suspension. This all is nicely complemented by the dramatic weight reduction brought by the new lighter and more rigid architecture the Cruze is built on. At least in the sedan model, they shaved more than 200 pounds compared to the previous model.
Other features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, driver assistance systems, Teen Driver system (the thing that narcs on your new driver in the family), heated steering wheel, and LED lighting aim to make the Cruze Hatch as pleasant as it is useful.
Pricing isn’t available yet but you can expect it to go on sale this fall.
[Source: Chevrolet]

Hyundai Ioniq

If there’s anything the world needs in this day in age, it’s more Prius competitors. That’s just the thing Hyundai is teasing this week with a batch of photos that seems to show everything but its face and some preliminary specs. The Hyundai Ioniq as it’s called should debut sometime early in the auto show season if not next week, but here’s what we know so far.
The Ioniq will be built with efficiency in mind starting from its very core. It’ll be built on a new lightweight yet strong platform comprised of 53% high-strength steel combined with aluminum wherever possible. Further weight was saved by making non-structural components like the hood and tailgate from aluminum as well. The car’s structure allows for the batteries to be mounted low and forward, which Hyundai claims to greatly improve the car’s ride and handling and put it a step above competitors.
Ioniq will feature a choice of EV, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid powertrains, a first for a single model. The plugless hybrid will be the first Ioniq to market and the only powertrain details we have so far relate to that. The Ioniq Hybrid will receive gas power from a new 1.6-liter Kappa GDI engine which boasts the world’s highest thermal efficiency at 40%. That’s joined by the Lithium Ion Polymer Battery powering a permanent magnetic electric motor. Between both units, the Ioniq can summon about 147 horsepower which gets transferred through a dual-clutch cog box.
We’ll get more info on their Prius fighter closer to the car’s launch, but I can already say with confidence that it’ll be better simply because they’ve actually put the gauge cluster directly in front of the driver. *Glares at Toyota angrily*
[Source: Hyundai]

Something wicked this way comes from Pagani

And now for something completely different, Pagani. The super exclusive Italian marque welcomed the new year by releasing a teaser image of what can only be a more powerful, more extreme, probably less road legal Huayra presumedly due sometime within the next year. It could be something along the lines of the also wicked Pagani Zonda R which was radical even by Pagani’s standards. There were no details in the Facebook post but the implication is clear… Pagani are going crazy again and nobody should stop them. More as we have it…
[Source: Pagani on Facebook via Autoblog]

What’s your automotive news?


New year, new picture. Okay, so one thing’s changed already. Sort of.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week. 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 © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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57 responses to “The News for January 8th, 2016”

  1. bigredcavetroll Avatar

    I don’t understand why you would want every electronic gizmo conceivable to be put in an electric car. Wouldn’t you want crank windows, manual seats, a basic audio setup, and NOT WiFi, Bluetooth, a 10.2″ screen, etc.?

    1. Roody Avatar

      Logically, yes. In practice, no…normal consumers (usually) want the most range possible, but also want heated seats, a place to charge their and their kids iPhones, more screens than they have in their house, etc…

      1. bigredcavetroll Avatar

        It would appear as though I’m an abnormal consumer then. I’d definitely take range over Bluetooth, a screen, electric windows and locks, etc.

      2. ramLlama Avatar

        I think this hits at the root of the issue: EV’s are now marketed towards normal, everyday customers, not the early-adopter who is willing to go all-in on a technology and drop all the niceties that have become table stakes over the years.
        This is a good thing.

        1. Roody Avatar

          Just think original Prius and Honda Insight vs. the modern slew of hybrids and EVs…

    2. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      I’d imagine it’s all been optimized for its EV application like the Bluetooth is in the Bolt. If I remember correctly, some EVs may have separate batteries for the accessories. If not then they should.

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        I expect they’re using off-the-shelf parts for it, and they aren’t doing anything particularly out of the ordinary for their gizmos. IOW: they’re not optimizing for EV usage, because the whole CE industry is already doing it for them. There’s huge pressure to build chips that use extremely small amounts of power to get the most life out of the smallest battery possible. WiFi and bluetooth are pretty small draws. A good class D amplifier can sound great and be extremely efficient (most of the draw on the power amp stage comes out the speakers). The thing that I think is likely to be most problematic is the power windows…
        (FWIW: the regulars should all know I’m with bigredcavetroll: I’m not even a fan of *having* windows, let alone a crank for them…)

    3. caltemus Avatar

      Really a 1992 base model corolla with an electric drivetrain would be ideal

  2. Rob A Avatar
    Rob A

    The Cruze looks like a direct copy of the KIA Forte.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      It does, but is that really such a bad thing?

    2. William Robinson Avatar
      William Robinson

      Exactly what I was thinking..

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    I believe most of the post-HSNC’15 discussion took place on Facebook, which remains a mystery to me, but I’ve waited long enough to thank Marcal “mve” Eilenstein for sending me a ’49 Buick radio:
    Conveniently the speaker is integral with the receiver, making it an ideal candidate for following my father’s lead by installing it in my garage and powering it via a trickle charger. Yes, I do in fact have a six-volt trickle charger, because of course I do. Now I just need an appropriate antenna. Thanks!
    Oh, and to answer the question Marcal posed in the enclosed letter: No, it hasn’t. Yet.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      These days, I wouldn’t know where to start to find a six-volt antenna.

  4. GTXcellent Avatar

    Car mystery – fluids edition (cue the dun dun dun sounds)
    So Mrs GTXcellent’s current drive – (soon to be mine) – 9-3 Aero is now 10 years old. Other than gas, windshield and blinker fluids it has never required any additional fluids. Now, last month, the coolant, the power steering fluid and the brake fluid have all run low (and yes, of course Saab would use expensive Pentosin synthetics instead of every other GM product). Here’s where the mystery comes in – the brake fluid and power steering fluid are fine. Howeva’ the coolant – for almost a month I had to add about a 1/4 cup of Dexcool every week. Not a lot, but figured it was becoming an issue – probably water pump related (oh the horrors!) BUT, now for the last month, it hasn’t dropped at all. What? Did things self seal? Is this a ticking time bomb waiting to explode? Did I simply imagine this entire scenario?

    1. bigredcavetroll Avatar

      Have you had cold weather? It could have changed due to weather.
      Does the 9-3 have a power steering cooler in the coolant line like some other GM products?

      1. GTXcellent Avatar

        Actually, this has been a rather warm winter for us in far northern Minnesota – it’s 10F today. Not too bad.
        Weather one-up-manship aside, I had some initial weather leanings, but I don’t think that’s the case. It was actually really warm (relatively speaking) in late Nov/early Dec when these issues first popped up, and it’s been a lot colder since. Actually, cold is really never a problem, it’s heat – the 2.8 is packed in pretty tight, and the turbo generates a LOT of heat. Internet experts (are there any other kind?) all complain of heat related problems (including coolant leaks).
        As far as the power steering cooler – I believe they are separate, dedicated lines.

        1. 0A5599 Avatar

          When was the last time you changed the thermostat?
          Re: “it’s 10F today. Not too bad.” I was born in the Twin Cities, but my wife has never lived anywhere with snow. When we went back for my grandfather’s funeral, the morning weatherman said something pretty similar. It was a lot of work to keep her from throwing a heavy object at the TV.

    2. Frank T. Cat Avatar
      Frank T. Cat

      Check the thermostat housing. It’s plastic. It probably cracked.
      At least you don’t have to worry about the coolant bypass valve the 9-5 has, which is also plastic, and has a propensity to explode and leak all your coolant out post-haste.

    3. ptschett Avatar

      My ’96 Thunderbird had a similarly slow coolant loss when it was about that age, worse in winter; it turned out to be an extremely slow seepage where the plastic radiator side tank attached to the metal core, so slow that it didn’t even drip but just left some residue. I lived with it till the water pump started weeping a year later.

    4. CraigSu Avatar

      My ’99 9-3 has a small hole in the radiator that never leaks except in the winter. Given the cost of fixing/replacing the radiator it’s easier just to wait until the Low Coolant warning appears on the SID (about once a month from December-March) and add about 20 oz of premixed coolant that I keep in the trunk to the overflow tank. I’ve kept this routine for about 10 years now.
      /minor rant
      Why did Saab/GM decide to do away with a radiator cap? Given the size of the leak I could probably fix it with a Stop Leak product if I could pour it straight into the radiator. Adding it to the overflow tank simply won’t work because it would just settle in the bottom of the tank.
      /rant off

  5. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Really stupid name.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      And like the Prius, it’s still not over the 1981 Volkswagen Auto 2000 concept’s basic design:

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Always loved this.

      2. Monkey10is Avatar

        So: low-profile nose, flush sides, kamm tail? …Science never gets old.

    2. nanoop Avatar

      Oh, the Iony!

      1. Monkey10is Avatar

        And isn’t it ioniq – huh – don’cha think…?
        (TM: A. Morissette)

        1. Citric Avatar

          It isn’t at all like rayyyyyaaaaiiiin on your wedding day.

          1. Monkey10is Avatar

            …or a black fly in your Chardonnay…

          2. Vairship Avatar

            Clearly it’d be more ironic if it were a black fly in your Pinot Noir…

  6. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    As I look again at my picture at the bottom, I realize all the ‘E’s in are worn out so they look like ‘I’s. Heh.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      It’s the disruptive Web 3.0 version of Hooniverse

      1. Monkey10is Avatar

        Edit: It’s the disruptive Web 3.0 version of Hoonivisri
        (You want disruptive? I’ll give ya disruptive…)

    2. jeepjeff Avatar

      Hoonivirsi! I like it. Italian. Soundsa fancy.

  7. Citric Avatar

    One of the ces announcements was a fly by night electric outfit called “Faraday Future” which unveiled a car with no obvious way of getting in or out. Now I’m not a professional car designer, but I would think “way to enter and exit vehicle” is one of the basics you would include, for some reason.–vYf7xrGQ–/fmzwa4r8y6muyrdre83k.png

    1. Monkey10is Avatar

      By contrast, the Volkswagen (sorry: “New Volkswagen”) Budd-e featured “a mobile interface between the world on board and the world outside” which — as a commenter on Pistonheads remarked — are more commonly known as ‘doors’.

      1. Monkey10is Avatar

        And also: The new VW (“New VW”?) Budd-e features full connectivity to “the Internet Of Things”.
        I, for one, welcome our new Thing overlords.

        1. Vairship Avatar


    2. CraigSu Avatar

      First thing I thought of when seeing this: Saab Aero-X.

    3. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      This might be why you aren’t a professional car designer. You can’t be thinking about how someone will get inside the box.

  8. ramLlama Avatar

    The Chevy Bolt is the most interesting to me, since it’s the first long-range *and* affordable EV we have. I believe that other manufacturers are also bringing out 200mi+, sub-$40k EV’s this year, so I am looking forward to seeing what they can do.
    As an aside, Chris Ziegler over at The Verge test drove the Bolt ( What stands out for me is the heaping praise he puts on the LG-designed entertainment system. Car interfaces have taken a decided downturn since they moved from knobs and switches to touchscreens, so it’s about time they catch up to the phones we have in our pockets (especially since they are probably powered by the same damn hardware anyways)

    1. Monkey10is Avatar

      Check out the new Bosch Neosense system ( which appears to be the first auto on-board system with PROPER haptic feedback.

      1. Monkey10is Avatar

        Great system, I am sure; but one significant problem:
        Who can see the trademark ‘Neosense’, without reading ‘Nonsense’?

        1. ramLlama Avatar

          Yup, I read that as Nonsense first too. Still, if they have cracked haptic feedback (many have tried, but I have yet to see it in wide use), that’s great news.

  9. Frank T. Cat Avatar
    Frank T. Cat

    So despite my 9-5 coming in handy moving my girlfriend today, I’m sick of it breaking and it’s going up for sale very soon. Any hoons up for buying it? ’99 9-5 wagon with a 5spd ,the 2.3L lpt engine and 190k miles. I’ve basically already replaced all of the big ticket items. You’ll get even more of a discount than the guys on Saabnet!
    Also, I ran across the previous owner of my Volvo by chance on Facebook the other day. He told me he regretted selling it to me so badly, he went out and bought himself another 240 less than a month later.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      Colors & trim? It’s fitted out the best way to do a 9-5. I’m probably sticking with my 9000, since I wouldn’t have enough challenges otherwise.

      1. CraigSu Avatar

        I understand Saab challenges. Due to some unanticipated work on the house my 9-3 will be with me for at least another 6 months. I had hoped to replace it by the end of 2015.

      2. Frank T. Cat Avatar
        Frank T. Cat

        It’s midnight blue metallic, but kinda faded to more of a lavender in places because of the UV damage from living on Cape May for 13 years.
        As far as I know, the car has every option the 9-5 wagon could have in 1999, save for the self-leveling rear suspension and 3.0l V6. So that means it has heated front power seats, heated rear seats, the 8 speaker Harmon-Kardon sound system, the sliding hatch load floor, the hatch divider, the dual-zone climate control, front and rear fog lights, roof rails, and probably other things I’m forgetting.
        It could really use rear suspension work at this point, and the interior is really worn out around the driver’s seat thanks to its 190k miles as a family truckster. Builds boost great though, and easily spins the tires into second gear. It’d be a nice sleeper with Aero sway bars and a TD-04HL turbo swap.

  10. ptschett Avatar

    It was so warm last weekend (in relative terms) that I took the Challenger out for a drive, and decided to play with the launch control mode.
    Near as I can tell, you’re supposed to activate launch control & set an RPM to be held (1500 – 3500 in 250 RPM increments for my automatic, a different range for a manual), using the controls in the center uConnect screen, with the car stopped on level ground and the front wheels straight; watching the instrument cluster screen for instructions, hold the car with the left foot on the brake (auto) / keep the clutch depressed (MT); quickly floor the throttle and hold it down, letting the car bring the engine to the set RPM; then release the brake (auto) / clutch (MT) to launch.
    In practice I couldn’t bring myself to floor the throttle with the brake also depressed, so I ended up doing a series of burnouts because I kept breaking one of the launch system’s parameters (vehicle speed not zero because I was right-foot braking, throttle not depressed quickly enough, etc.)
    Further along my route I found an un-snowplowed, un-supervised parking lot; donuts ensued.

  11. ptschett Avatar

    Now Chevy just needs to release a Jolt to finish the trifecta of “_olt” names that associate with electricity.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Well, there’s still Dolt. Oh wait, you said Electricity.
      Jolt might not be available because:
      We used to get this for free when I worked for Microsoft. Stressed out IT support personnel were certainly the right target market for this stuff.

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        I believe GM management reserve ‘Dolt’ for internal memos.

      2. ptschett Avatar

        I miss that stuff. One C-store in my hometown carried it when I was in high school (late ’90’s), and it was a nice alternative to my other method of sugar/caffeine infusion (Surge) once in a while.

  12. salguod Avatar

    At last year’s NAIAS, I thought the Bolt concept was very nice. An attractive, upright 5 door with tidy styling and an airy greenhouse. Sadly, the production version has lost most of what was good about it:

  13. CraigSu Avatar

    Judging by the livery on that Pagani it will be called the Huayra QR Edition.

  14. Guest Avatar

    I’m more of a performance sedan guy than a hot hatch guy.

    I still think that Cruze Hatch looks like it’s begging for an appearance/performance package to compete with Focus RS.

    I mean, seriously, if you going to have all those sharp lines and angles, why not go all the way and add flares and air splitters and diffusers?

  15. Preludacris Avatar

    Why does the Bolt have a Nissan C-pillar?