The News for June 26th, 2015

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:

  • Alfa Romeo unveils all-new Giulia in its most potent form

  • Aston Martin DB9 GT doesn’t look new, but it’s new where it counts

  • Chevrolet Cruze is all-new, lighter, more advanced, and cooler

  • Chevrolet Camaro Convertible is ready for next summer

  • Ford finalizes Focus RS power figures

  • Maserati Trofeo racing series begins its American tour

  • McLaren honors Alain Prost with special P1 at Goodwood

  • What’s your automotive news?

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo is continuing their new global marketplace assault with an all-new four-door sports sedan that’s aiming straight for the segment leaders. Alfa Romeo’s bid for sports sedan dominance is the 2016 Giulia and they’re already kicking things off properly by showing the fastest model first.
What you see here is the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the top-of-the-line model which has all the practicality a four-door could have but a punch that puts it in line with the very best performance sedans. It features a distinctive Italian design, innovative engines, a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, unique technical solutions, and the best power-to-weight ratio possible. Alfa Romeo sums up the Giulia Quadrifoglio with the phrase “la meccanica delle emozioni”, which translates to “the mechanics of emotions”. How can you get any more Italian than that?
The source of that emotion is a twin-turbocharged, all-aluminum V6 which delivers 510 horsepower to play with. Alfa Romeo “borrowed” some engineers from Ferrari to produce this engine, and seeing as how 0-62 mph is being quoted at 3.9 seconds, it certainly paid off. It features cylinder deactivation for enhanced fuel efficiency and the normal Giulias will be offered with smaller petrol and diesel engines. The Quadrifoglio at least will be rear-wheel drive and come with a manual – no word on other transmission options yet.
Helping tame that power is a double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension along with “rapid”, accurate steering. They’ve also added lightness through the use of carbon fiber on the hood, roof, seats, and anywhere else they could. Alfa also used aluminum for the engine, suspension, and most other body components. That all has resulted in a weight-to-power ratio “remarkably lower” than 3 kilograms/horsepower, which could translate to the 1,500 kilogram/3,300 pound range.
As for their unique technical solutions, Alfa Romeo have given the Giulia Quadrifoglio double-clutch torque vectoring, an Integrated Brake System to help produce “record braking breaking” stops, an active aero front splitter, and F1-style controls mounted on the steering wheel.
So far, there’s nothing to suggest that the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio won’t be an incredible car. But Alfa Romeo’s American presence is still trying to grow which could affect this car’s sales performance. Hopefully this will be enough to help get them established again. Alfa Romeo has even adopted a slightly modernized logo for this car.
Information on a launch date, pricing, and what the lesser models will be like is not yet available.
[Source: Alfa Romeo via Autoweek]

Aston Martin DB9 GT

DB9 GT 1
Aston Martin takes quite a bit of flak from people who think their designs – while beautiful – are too lazy. They don’t seem to revolutionize the designs of their production models that often, but they always try to keep them looking fresh with small visual improvements. Styling-wise, that’s exactly the case with the 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT – but there’s a bit more to it.
The DB9 GT is the most potent DB model yet thanks to a big improvement where it matters the most. Aston Martin’s 6.0-liter V12 has been reworked to deliver 540 horsepower and 457 lb.-ft. of torque. The all-alloy, quad overhead cam, and front mid-mounted V12 is paired with a Touchtronic II six-speed automatic transmission which helps in bringing the car to 60 mph from a rest in 4.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 183 mph.
The independent double wishbone suspension all around and active damping system ensure that the DB9 GT has sporty, sharp reflexes when needed and a comfortable ride when they’re not.
Other substantial changes come in the form of the new AMi II touch-screen infotainment system which offers more user-friendliness and better hands-free controls among many other improvements. This AMi II system will soon be available in the Rapide S and Vantage models as well.
The only way to tell the difference between the old DB9 and the new DB9 GT is by the new black painted splitter and diffuser, revised headlight and tail light treatments, and ten-spoke twenty-inch alloy wheels. Drivers and passengers will also noticed the wide array of new interior material options that launch with the DB9 GT and other Rapide S and Vantage models.
The DB9 GT is available for order now with prices starting at $199,950.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze – a larger, lighter, more efficient and more sophisticated evolution of the brand’s best-selling global car.
Chevrolet’s best-selling global car is the Cruze compact sedan, so in an effort to keep it that way they’ve got an all-new model coming by next year. The car goes on sale first in America but will then  be offered in more than 40 global markets with both petrol and diesel engine options. For the Cruze’s second generation, Chevrolet has focused on improving efficiency (of course), packing in some impressive tech, and wrapping it all in a more attractive package. It’s also 53 pounds lighter.
Styling on the 2016 Cruze is perfectly in line with the newest Chevrolet family styling, which makes the car look more modern and sleek. There is a function to all of it though, as Chevrolet engineers spent quite a bit of time optimizing its shape in the wind tunnel. The result is a 0.29 coefficient of drag, which makes it one of the slipperiest cars in its class. It’s 2.7 inches longer and nearly an inch shorter in height than the current Cruze. When you add the RS package, the Cruze will wear a unique grille, front and rear fascias, fog lamps, front splitter, rocker panels, rear spoiler, and available eighteen-inch wheels. All in all, the new Cruze is very much a looker.
2016 Chevrolet Cruze steering wheel
The longer dimensions contribute to a more spacious cabin highlighted by a modern interior with upgraded materials. It features more storage solutions, more intuitive controls, and available premium leather among other options. Tech-wise, this is by far the smartest Cruze yet. There’s a 4.2-inch high-res driver information center in the gauge cluster, improved smartphone integration in Chevrolet’s updated MyLink infotainment system (controlled from an eight-inch display, Wireless phone charging, and available Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. There are also several new safety features like Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, and Forward Collision Alert.
The standard source of power is a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder capable of 153 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission is available. With the automatic, efficiency is estimated at 40 mpg highway.
[Source: Chevrolet]

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

You can’t have a new Camaro without a convertible option. Chevrolet’s drop-top Camaro was finally announced this week and it’s ready for an early 2016 launch. The Camaro Convertible takes the best of what’s new with the 2016 hard top model and creates a more refined and more rigid convertible.
The convertible cloth top is fully automatic and has latches that automatically release and secure the top, so all you really have to do is press the button. It can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 30 mph and there’s even remote opening with the key fob. When the top is down, there’s a hard painted tonneau cover that automatically deploys over the folded cloth to provide a more refined and finished appearance.
Underneath the new body is all the same performance goodness already launched with the 2016 Camaro hard top, including the same V6, turbo four, and V8 options and transmissions. Most importantly, the improved architecture for added lightness and rigidity is still a core element to the Camaro Convertible, so it’s 200 pounds lighter than the previous model and there are no indications of flex, cowl shake, or an under-damped chassis to be found. The Convertible is just as nimble and sharp as the Coupe, which is no small feat.
[Source: Chevrolet]


Ford has finally dropped the official power figures for the 2016 Ford Focus RS. The tuned 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder will produce 345 horsepower and 324 lb.-ft. of torque (between 2,000 and 4,500 RPM) with up to 347 lb.-ft. aviaalble for up to fifteen seconds during hard acceleration. The only remaining numbers left to reveal are its 0-60 mph times and figures from other benchmark tests, but that’ll come soon enough. In the meantime, just imagine what a Focus with this much power and a “drift” button is like… oooooh yes.
[Source: Ford]
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Masterati’s Trofeo World Series has begun its American tour. The one-make racing series has almost half-way through its season and the next two races will be held in America. They’re racing this weekend at Road America (flag drops on the 28th) and sometime in August at Virginia International Raceway. There’s also another chance to see a bonus third race on September 13th at Laguna Seca as part of the Maerati Trofeo North America challenge. If you’re near any of these tracks and looking for a noisy weekend, look into this.
[Source: Maserati]
McLaren will honor Alain Prost with a unique P1 courtesy of McLaren Special Operations. MSO is responsible for several McLarens that pay tribute to legendary drivers from the team’s distinguished racing history at the Goodwood Festival of Speed going on now, including this one that wears a livery to resemble Prost’s helmet design from his F1 career. The helmet design was originally a patriotic French theme, which therefore means this is the only British car to intentionally honor France. Regardless, it looks awesome.
[Source: McLaren]

What’s your automotive news?

[no image this week]
That’s all I’ve got, so now it’s your turn. If you bought, drove, broke, or otherwise did anything newsworthy that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

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  1. mdharrell Avatar

    This weekend is the eleventh annual Great Pacific Northwest Microcar/Minicar Extravaganza, returning to Forest Grove, OR, after last year’s excursion to Tacoma, WA:
    The events start today but the show itself is on Sunday. If all goes well, I hope to be there that day with my American Microcar. I figure they’ve got to let it into the show, as the name is right there in the, ah, name.

  2. Cameron Vanderhorst Avatar
    Cameron Vanderhorst

    God help me, I think the new Cruze is somewhat attractive for its class, and good on GM for still offering a manual.

  3. ramLlama Avatar

    That Alfa…oh be still my revving heart. We need it over here in the US of A. It is very pretty, almost understated! I always do like sleeper-ish sedans. And those wheels! I know they are Alfa’s standard design but they look very good.
    Oh and the mechanics are solid, I suppose.

    1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
      Frank T. Cat

      According to my Italian correspondent living in Arese, Italy, the new Giulia is coming to North America either late this year or next year. He had no idea about which engines though; probably only the ones Fiat has brought over the US via Chrysler.

  4. CraigSu Avatar

    I see the Camaro has yet to lay off the steroids.

  5. CraigSu Avatar

    So, instead of a sedan with a Brera face, we get an Italian Edsel, um, “face”. Thanks, pedestrian safety standards. Oh, what could have been…

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      To me the Guilia looks like one part Mazda 6, one part BMW 3 and one part Alfa-antiques (front heart, wheels) stirred together to somethiing that’s pleasant and also surprisingly bland.
      One thing is sure: Alfa wasn’t doing too well with the current lineup. A good idea to shake it up with something different, especially with Marchionne’s ambitious targets. 510hp would be amazing in Europe; 300 is still a lot here, as opposed to the US.

    2. Grinder74 Avatar

      This would’ve been cool

      1. Grinder74 Avatar

        Not like

    3. Maymar Avatar
      Keep in mind, this is what used to wear that badge.

  6. JayP Avatar

    Why not make a Guilia with the Phoenix engine? Maybe bring it down to a plebeian price point?
    300hp, rwd, 6 speed and that sexy shape would eat at Audi/MB/BMWs share for sure.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      One of those is certainly possible, but I’d expect them to go with one of the turbo fours instead for the entry models.

    2. Frank T. Cat Avatar
      Frank T. Cat

      The Giulia is going to at least have the 300hp 1.8L turbo, along with a turbo diesel of some description, and the 2.9L V6

      1. JayP Avatar

        I was thinking 300hp on cost with the V6 but turbo 4’s are making the V6 irrelevant.

    3. ptschett Avatar

      Sounds like a recipe for a future Dodge Charger or Avenger to me.

    4. Maymar Avatar

      I expect them to go turbo 4, but the Pentastar sounds pretty decent in the Cherokee, I can imagine it’d get pretty lustworthy in the hands of Alfa’s engineers. If they could even just make that for one year, I’d be content.

  7. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Stay tuned this weekend for live Goodwood Coverage on this very frequency.
    Yes. They allowed us back.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      As I sit here at work trying to figure out where I’m going to live in two weeks, I’m extremely jealous. I’m really looking forward to your coverage though

    2. mdharrell Avatar

      Isn’t two years the minimum duration of an ASBO?

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        That Honda balaclava I picked up a fortnight ago has already come in handy…

    3. JayP Avatar

      One of my pals is at FOS with the NASCAR group.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Cool! I love watching teh NASCAR roaring past an English stately home.

  8. nanoop Avatar

    I like Alfas and the, ahem, passion that long term ownership requires, but I realize that I am too clumsy, hippie, un-elegant to desire an Alfa unless it’s older than 15 years.
    Anyway, in my news, the P-car does not leak any fluid at all, and the shiny fuel lines around the engine make me feel safe from car-BQ. The tires were aligned by a shop that has done that to a 944 before, and it shows: the car is now a bit more nervous, which in combination with 1980 spring constants (way softer than today) makes an interesting ride: comfy but responsive. Added new tie rods, too, and I start getting an idea how good it once was. It handles better than I can drive, for sure.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      “…does not leak any fluid at all…feel safe from car-BQ.”
      Are you sure you want an Alfa?

      1. nanoop Avatar

        Only if the syncro rings of the 2nd gear are shot.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          I’m pretty sure that’s the case even for their automatics.

  9. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    That Alfa… oh my god.
    Wombat news – I actually have a question here… What do you think we should do with regards to a fuel tank. Should we reuse the existing diesel tank, and clean it up and prep it for regular fuel use or find a used MB gas fuel tank and work that in?
    If I didn’t need to save the rear space I’d just use an aftermarket racing fuel tank… but I want to keep the rear facing seats.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      I’ve never quite been in a place to make that decision, but I’d lean toward keeping the factory type of tank (whether reusing the old diesel tank or finding a gasoline car’s tank) unless there’s a compelling reason (racing plans, etc.) to go with the aftermarket type. I’m an engineer, I enjoy solving mechanical problems, but if someone’s already solved the problem I’m happy to use the pre-existing solution and move on to somewhere that my time can be used on a problem that’s more unique.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      If re-using the diesel tank, make sure that you have it cleaned REALLY well. Diesel contains LOTS of gunk, as found by people that switch to bio-diesel (which partially dissolves and therefore loosens said gunk, only to have it clog the fuel filter time and time again). I don’t know if (ethanol containing) gasoline will have similar dissolving/clogging tendencies, but it seems very likely.

  10. ptschett Avatar

    I really like the Giulia, because I look forward to a future where FCA US LLC RWD (OMG WTF BBQ!?!) cars can stop being “old Mercedes-based” and can start being “Alfa Romeo-based” in the popular press.
    The Focus temporary torque-boost reminds me of CART/IndyCar’s push-to-pass.

  11. danielm26 Avatar

    I think this Giulia finds it’s inpiration on the GT , the last Bertone Alfa Romeo