The News for June 23rd, 2017

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. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Cadillac XTS gets numerous updates for 2018

  • Jaguar announces E-Pace compact SUV, debuts in July

  • Camaro ZL1 1LE is scientifically proven to be stupid fast

  • Volkswagen confirms ID Buzz (Microbus) revival for production

  • Dodge announces plans to combat dealer markups for Demon

  • Assetto Corsa Ferrari celebration car pack and poll announced

  • What’s your automotive news?

2018 Cadillac XTS

In an effort to remind us that the XTS exists, Cadillac is rolling out a good amount of mid-life updates for the luxury sedan to keep it from being the old man in the lineup just a little longer. The most noticeable changes are made outside but it also gets new tech and chassis refinements aimed at making it more appealing, even as it sits in showrooms surrounded by the rest of the (prettier) lineup.
It’s not a complete redesign, but the XTS does receive a refreshed front and rear fascia, new fenders, a new grille, full LED exterior lighting, and new alloy wheel options. Despite the extra styling, the car’s overall length actually decreases by an inch.
Whether you get the 19″ or 20″ wheels, they’ll give you new tires designed to improve ride quality and reduce road noise. They also upped the use of engineered sound insulators to create a more serene environment. In addition to the better and quieter ride, front seat occupants will notice an entirely new and more comfortable seat design.

Cadillac’s infotainment system gets a lot of bad rap, which it mostly deserves, but they’re working on improving the user experience with a “smartphone-like” home screen which allows faster access to the most common features. Without going into too much detail, using the 8-inch LCD touch screen to get what you want out of it will be more intuitive than before. There’s also a personalized in-vehicle app store curated by Cadillac which does things.
The XTS’s source(s) of power haven’t been changed and it’s still available with the V-Sport package and its 410-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6. New pricing hasn’t been announced.
[Source: Cadillac]

Jaguar E-Pace

Jaguar SUVs are here to stay and they’re already set to reveal their second in just a few weeks. The mid-size F-Pace that went on sale last year will soon be joined by a new compact “performance” SUV called the E-Pace.
We’ll see the full thing on July 13th but we already know a few things about it. It’ll have all-wheel-drive technology as standard and a selection of gas engines all provided by Ingenium. That plus your usual connected features, Jaguar levels of comfort, and Jaguar’s faultless styling and you’ve got yourself an E-Pace.

They promise an engaging drive with good performance and a sub-$40,000 MSRP to top it all off. It goes on sale early next year, so we’ll have to wait a while to see if any of that is true.
[Source: Jaguar]

Confirmed: Camaro ZL1 1LE is really fast

It’s a silly name, but the 2018 Camaro ZL1 with the additional 1LE just proved how fast it really is at that place where all the fast cars go to show how fast they are: the Nürburgring. Lapping the 12.9-mile Nordschleife in only 7:16.04, that puts the $69,995 pony car in some prestigious territory.

Perhaps the best comparison to be made here is with the “standard” gen-6 Camaro ZL1 with the ten-speed automatic they tested at the ‘Ring last year. That car ran a 7:29.6, meaning the addition of the 1LE package alone took off 13.56 seconds despite the fact the ZL1 1LE ran with a “slower” six-speed manual.
The ZL1 1LE starts at about $7,000 above the normal ZL1, so for that much of an improvement it’s probably worth it.
And I now realize this was already posted on the ‘verse yesterday… don’t care, just wanted an excuse to use these photos.
[Source: Chevrolet]

Volkswagen ID Buzz concept gets green light

The Volkswagen ID Buzz concept, the one that might as well be a VW bus revival, has been confirmed for production according to a report from Auto ExpressMore specifically, it was VW boss Herbert Diess who was speaking at a VW Polo launch about how their emotional cars like the Beetle are still selling well, adding “we have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided we will build.”
The only numbers we can really talk about originate from the concept that was revealed at Detroit this year, and those are of course subject to change. In concept form, it had a 268-horsepower electric motor at the rear wheels which could get it moving to 60 mph in five seconds and up to a 99-mph top speed. A theoretical driving range of 270 miles is possible.
We’ll just have to wait and see how well they stick to the concept with this one. There’s no word on when we can expect to see it on sale.
[Source: Auto Express via Autoblog]

Dodge will combat dealer markups for the Demon

Insane dealership markups on performance cars catered to enthusiasts is something as certain as death and taxes, but Dodge will utilize new tactics to discourage this behavior for the upcoming Challenger SRT Demon. The limited-run drag racer for the street will start at $84,995 before taxes and destination charges and Dodge will do what they can to make sure the check you write is as close to that as possible.
For starters, Dodge will favor Demons sold at or below MSRP by giving them priority scheduling resulting in lower serial numbers. Demons sold with $50,000 “market adjustments” will be produced and delivered after the priority cars, meaning there could be a significant wait which will make the customer – and the dealer, who will want to draw attention to their showroom with it – unhappy. This certainly won’t stop everyone from abusing their powers, but it sounds like a monumental step in the right direction.

Another big step Dodge is taking is only allowing dealers to order as many Demons as they are allocated. Autoweek points out that a major problem with the Hellcat launch was that some dealers were taking deposits for Hellcats they knew they weren’t getting from the supply line. Customers were pissed off, Dodge looked bad, and [some] dealers looked foolish.
Ultimately, Dodge wants the Demon to be a proper halo car for the brand and bring customers into showrooms. You’ll still certainly see huge markups on some of these and probably some being quickly resold by Hawaiian-shirt-wearing Barrett Jackson collectors for twice what they payed, but hopefully it won’t be so bad.
[Source: Dodge via Autoweek]

Assetto Corsa celebrates Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary

Seven Ferraris new and old are coming to Assetto Corsa this fall, but only the first six are confirmed. They want your help picking the seventh.
It’s been in the works (and teased) for a while, but Kunos Simulazioni (based in Italy) is partnering with Ferrari to bring some new road cars and classic race cars to the PC and console sim racer. What wasn’t really expected is just how hard it’ll be to pick just one car. Here’s what has been confirmed and here’s what you can pick from:
Confirmed: 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1967 Ferrari 312/67, 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO, 2004 Ferrari F2004, and 2017 Ferrari 812 Superfast.
Up for voting (highlights): Ferrari F430 Scuderia, Ferrari 360 Challenge, Ferrari 250 Testarossa, Ferrari 312P, Ferrari 512M, Ferrari 575 GTC, Ferrari F1 2007, Ferrari 333SP, and much more.
Sadly, you can only pick one of those. Bastards. But regardless of what you chose, don’t rule out the possibility of others coming out in the near future. All the cars listed are ones that Ferrari gave them permission to add to the game should they be voted in, so they may have more Ferrari DLC later on.
Voting is taking place here and runs until July 9th. You’ll need to provide your name and email so you can’t vote more than once.
[Source: Assetto Corsa]

What’s your automotive news?

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so 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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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13 responses to “The News for June 23rd, 2017”

  1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    So I finished driving my “new” truck home a few weeks ago but I just finished going literally coast to coast. I started in California by dipping my toe in the Pacific and ended last weekend on the Georgia coast doing the same in the Atlantic, because I could 😀 I’m finally writing all that up now. Should be up next week sometime.

  2. kogashiwa Avatar

    A microbus type of vehicle seems like a good form factor for an electric. Skateboard holds all the (not so) oily bits and then all the space above it from nose to tail is utilized.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      VW is the only marque that could bring this vehicle in as a minivan rather than a ‘crossover’, they have the kombi heritage.
      Wouldn’t ‘E-Pace’ be a good name for the new electric Jaguar?
      Why waste it on this 2nd FWD/AWD model after the X-Type, which shares nothing with the XE other than the, especially in Jaguar terms, very special, letter ‘E’ ?
      ( It’s based on the Evoque/Disco Sport ex bits of Ford EU/CD, LR-MS steel platform according to others)

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Thanks for answering the question I was wondering about. At least few customers will be annoyed they paid more for the First.

      2. Vairship Avatar

        They want to reserve the name S-Pace for the coming Jaguar minivan 😉

  3. jeepjeff Avatar

    It’s now in my driveway. I am hoping to run the summer LeMons rally in it. It’s on a trailer because it needs brakes and a few other things immediately. I still need to finish figuring that list out. I have long term plans, but that’s for after the rally. (I am also in the middle of nowhere with a tenuous connection to the Internet)

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Surprised how it makes the trailer look so small. Congrats! (Or is it condolences?)

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        Ask me about condolences at the end of August.

    2. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      There can be no fail in this plan!

    3. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Just don’t feed it after midnight.

  4. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    got my stupid Volvo back up and running after something like two months of occasional troubleshooting. the culprit was…..a loose cable, which i had reconnected but not reconnected enough after taking the top end apart to do the valve stem seals. the car now runs as well as ever and no longer emits massive clouds of blue smoke after any period of time spent idling or coasting.
    i was getting frustrated and starting once more to condemn the car for its excessive complication, but it turns out to have been my stupid mistake again. (last time i was in such a situation, it was the same connector that was completely unplugged.) for the car to run 100% and not be burning oil anymore exceeds my expectations by a mile – no mechanical rework needed! i’ve gotta apologize to the car for cursing it so much and maybe treat it to some other repairs it’s needed for a while.

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    I keep on being happy about my life’s decidedly best oil changes, so maybe it’s share-worthy anyway: Last week I changed the oil and filter on both our cars, and it worked like a charme. Nothing was stuck, I didn’t shower myself in oil, nor did I fubble myself on sharp tools lying around. What hit me was that this was the first time I’ve changed oil twice in a row. Usually, I remember the mess a screwdriver or other tools made on a ridiculously stuck filter the year before – and I send the car off to a shop. Then there’s some mindless fool attaching the filter with all he’s got – and I’ll be the next one to try to get it off when my memory of how stupid I felt fades. Removing my own casually attached filter was a breeze though, so if there ever was an argument for doing simple stuff yourself, here it is.

    1. Alff Avatar

      There’s a shop nearby that charges barely more than the retail cost of oil and filter to do an oil change, and yet I still do it myself. It keeps my weed killer expenses down.