The News for June 29th, 2018

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:

  • McLaren debuts 600LT, another track ready supercar

  • Dodge gives their most powerful Challengers and Chargers even more power

  • 2019 Honda Pilot and HR-V receive new features, updated styling

  • New Hyundai Santa Fe gets loads of new features, price only jumps $500

  • Gunther Werks begins first 400R conversions for customers

  • Other coverage from the week

  • What’s your automotive news?

McLaren 600LT

It’s been a few months since McLaren last revealed a higher power and limited run version of something and that’s clearly been a few months too long. Just as everyone started to wonder if McLaren was on its way out, they came back from the dead swinging with one of those things again. They’ve just introduced the 600LT, the new top-of-the-line Sports Series which currently includes the 570S and 570GT among a few other variants. LT used to mean ‘Longtail’ back in the days of the F1 GTR, now it just means ‘make everything more expensive’.
This is one of those cars where you can make assumptions and turn out to be completely right, so let’s see how close you got.
The twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 gains a decent amount of power from upgraded cooling system, reduced back pressure thanks to new exhaust which exits out the top, and some other stuff to produce 592 hp and 457lb.-ft. Other things like the forged-aluminum double-wishbone suspension, quicker steering, and bigger and more responsive brakes from the Super Series cars sharpen up the car and make it more suited for the race tracks it’ll never see.

The most noticeable changes are all on the outside which gets a bit of an overhaul. Much of the bodywork is carbon and all new extremities, from the splitter to the rear spoiler and a bunch of stuff in between, are all carbon fiber as well. Adding downforce and reducing weight is the name of the game.
The expanded use of carbon fiber inside and out, swapping leather for Alcantara, and adding the super short exhaust system do wonders for saving weight as the 600LT sheds 211 pounds over the lightest 570S on which it’s based. That brings it down to 2,749 pounds dry, meaning if you were to defy physics and drive your 600LT without any oil, gas, or other fluids, you’d benefit from an impressive 474 hp/ton. But you won’t because that’s impossible, so this figure is stupid and useless.

It’ll be fast and great to drive and it represents a significant improvement over the standard 570S, but most importantly it “has all the physical hallmarks of a true McLaren ‘Longtail’. It’s a “true Longtail” that only grows 2.9 inches in length thanks to the new front splitter and rear diffuser. That’s about the same length as an average golf tee. The F1 GTR Longtail grew by 25 inches.
The car will be built in very limited numbers and pricing will be astronomical.
So… how close did you get?
[Source: McLaren]

2019 Challenger & Charger Hellcat

It’s no coincidence that this was announced a week prior to the 4th of July.
Dodge has revealed a slew of updates for their most potent muscle cars that you can still buy, including the Challenger Scat Pack, Charger and Challenger Hellcats, and even a new variant. Among the changes are several new safety features, various refinements to the chassis for improved ride comfort and vibration reduction, and enhanced interior comfort with new premium entertainment features.
Kidding. They’re all just making even more power now.
All Hellcats get at minimum a small bump in power so they now produce 717 horsepower and 656 lb.-ft. of torque in standard form. That beast of a motor sits beneath a new dual-snorkel hood for Challengers as a throwback to cars like the 1970 Dart Swinger and 1971 Demon. The Charger Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack models get extra intakes too, but those are embedded in the grille. And speaking of Scat Pack, checking that box on the Challenger now adds the widebody kit that originated from the Challenger Demon.

Those are the updates to the existing models worth mentioning, but there was one model that we’re seeing for the first time. On Challenger Hellcat models, you can now opt for the Hellcat Redeye which sort of fills the void left by the Demon after its limited production run was up. The Redeye is an otherwise normal Hellcat but it borrows the same supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 found in the Demon. It offers up 797 horsepower and 707 lb.-ft. of torque which makes it the most powerful production V8 engine in the world. 0-60 mph takes 3.4 seconds, it runs the ¼-mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph, and reaches a new top speed of 203 mph.
Why? Because they can.
[Source: Dodge]

2019 Honda Pilot & HRV

The 2019 model year will see dozens of new features and improvements for the Honda Pilot and HRV. Both see refreshed exterior styling, more safety features, and a variety of new features.
What’s new on the Pilot in particular is sportier exterior styling and significant refinements to its 9-speed automatic transmission. Most of the updates though are in the tech department: it gains an available hands-free power tailgate, 4G LTE in-car WiFi, a larger Rear Entertainment System with Blu-Ray and streaming video capability, Honda’s CabinTalk in-car PA system, and a new Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

The HR-V gets some love too with two new premium trims, lightly updated styling, and some of the same tech that was just introduced to the Pilot. Its biggest new addition though is “Honda Sensing”, their driver safety and assistance suite that’s making its way to the HR-V for the first time. That includes Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The 2019 Pilot goes on sale July 16th and the HR-V books open on July 24th.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing

Hyundai has a new Santa Fe on the way and it just got a price tag of $25,500 for the entry-level SE 2.4 model. That represents a $500 increase over the previous model but that seems like nothing considering all they’ve changed.
The list of new standard features on a 2019 Santa Fe priced as shown above includes a new eight-speed automatic gearbox, idle stop and go, Rear View Monitor with parking guidance, Android Auto and Apple Car Play support, dual front and rear USB charge ports, and a bunch of safety features ranging from Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist to Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. That’s on top of the new “bold” exterior design and more spacious cabin the 2019 model year offers.

Not bad for $500. If you want to go crazy, the range-topping Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T with all-wheel drive starts at $38,800.
[Source: Hyundai]

Reminder: Gunther Werks’ 400R is epic, enters production

Remember the Gunther Werks 400R, that fully rebuilt and enhanced Porsche 993 that won hearts earlier this year? Gunther Werks has just started work on 400R conversions for customer cars and we’ll see them hit the road by Q3 this year.
They call the 400R a remastered Porsche 993 and here’s why:

Each 993 that comes in for a 400R conversion is fully disassembled down to the frame and inspected. Once the initial inspection is completed the frame is media blasted and primered. Gunther Werks then installs the custom carbon fiber panels that create the distinctive sculpted body of the 2,700 pound 400R. Custom valved JRZ coilovers and a number of tailor-made suspension components are installed. These modifications increase the front and rear track width by over six inches, creating a 63 inch square track inspired by many iconic Porsche race cars.

Rothsport Racing’s Jeff Gamroth, an acclaimed Oregon-based engine builder with more than 30 years of Porsche building and racing experience, creates the heart of each 400R by assembling and dyno testing each naturally aspirated 4.0-liter power plant while creating bespoke gear ratios for the six-speed transmission. Each motor produces more than 400 horsepower with an astonishing 7,800rpm redline.

A carbon-bodied 993 with pro-tuned suspension and a gorgeous motor sounds like it would be awesome, and according to our friend Matt Farah, it is. Maybe a bit on the expensive side, but awesome.
[Source: Gunther Werks]

Other Coverage From the Week

Seriously, if you haven’t read about the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, do it. It’s cool. Jeff for some reason broke rule #87 of the Rule of Hoon by including pictures of the fitted luggage set, but it’s cool nonetheless. Check out our coverage here.

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 © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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27 responses to “The News for June 29th, 2018”

  1. mdharrell Avatar

    My automotive news: My Allegro not only made it to (and from!) this week’s Mini Meet West in Oregon but it took third place in the ADO 16 class, despite being an ADO 67. Of course, since I entered the car using the prepaid registration of a friend of a friend who couldn’t make it, the results show that person’s name instead of mine, which is somehow fitting for a car that’s in the wrong class anyway. Curiously for a meet devoted to anything that left the factory with a transverse-mounted BMC A-Series engine (and modern MINIs), they didn’t have an ADO 67 class:
    Yes, before anyone asks, there were in fact more than two other cars in the class.
    Also, the guest speaker was Paddy Hopkirk, so that was nice.

    1. Alff Avatar

      They didn’t even know what they were looking at when they awared second place in C8 themed and race prepared…

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Oh, car 148B was a… That’s odd. I don’t recall.

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      Sounds like a good event, it would have been great to hear Paddy Hopkirk talk. Did he have any stories you hadn’t read before?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        No, but it was nice to hear directly from the source.

  2. nanoop Avatar

    I managed to order an outdated shopping cart from Blipshift, breaking the limited time availability rule and bending the browser cache handling. I probably created a time loop or an unknown force field or something, but I have a shipping confirmation.

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      What did you get?

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Time to spring for one of these from Ottomobile?

          1. nanoop Avatar

            That’s probably as real as it will get for me, considering those are collectables..

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      Last one I grabbed was the 7C Transfăgărășan. I have to say that most of the designs that hit my inbox I quickly delete, but I’ve bought several over the past couple of years, and they tend to be my favorite tees.

  3. Kamil K Avatar

    I really want a widebody Challenger Scat Pack.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Hold on, let me google that foOOOH my! I didn’t know a Pontiac and a Mopar could do that in this country. (/clearbrowsercache)

  4. 1slowvw Avatar
    Missed last weeks update…but we had the turbo tercel back to the track.
    Unfortunately I think we’re driving through our torque converter pretty badly. Also our 60ft sucks…but 14.5 is pretty quick for a 200$ 480xxxkm tercel.

  5. Batshitbox Avatar

    I went out camping in Big Sur in my Econoline with my pal Viv and her big ol’ dog Valentine.
    When Viv got Valentine we convinced her to remove the passenger seat from her Toyota 4WD pickup, rather than go and get a Cherokee or other big dog truck, arguing that she rarely had human passengers, so why not? They had a blast all the way to Boise, Idaho and back.
    But for two-person-plus-big-dog camping there’s nothing like an Econoline. Valentine loved the van so much that now when Viv takes him for a walk he tries to get into any big white van they come across, such as this similar vintage Chevy 30, because Van means Beach!

  6. JayP Avatar

    The Vic is leaking coolant again… it’s either a $200 fix or $1500.
    Started me looking at options.
    Late model Passat 3.6 SEL are relatively cheap. It’s a VR engine that makes 280hp.
    20k used are going for mid teens. Not bad.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      The frugal blue collar and the academic in me are like “but that’s two orders of magnitude apart” but I also see the perceived upgrade (given that the US Passat is as nice inside as the European).

      1. JayP Avatar

        I like the VR6 engine. Had one in a pile of junk shaped like a Passat wagon for a year. It makes reasonable power and isn’t a 4 cyl turbo. Bigger car, nice interior.
        I found it funny that the Vic isn’t a US car, made in Canada while the Passat is made in Tennessee.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Reindeer menaces Jaguar.

  7. MattC Avatar

    I did about 1500 miles in 3 days taking my kids to their respective college orientations. My second Gen Insight averaged 51mpg in primarily highway (some congestion entering each college). That is great. The not so great is that I wanted to burn the car to the ground afterwards due to the awful front seats. I may be getting old but comfortable seats are my top priority for my next commuter

  8. Sjalabais Avatar

    Recently, I have been killing time in “in between”-situations with Vox videos on YouTube. This one is of the more interesting ones; the situation of truckers getting monitored in the US. We have talked to some carpenters etc who are monitored in their vehicles, too. When I say I wouldn’t continue in such a job, they reply: “But every employer does it!”. Vehicles may be turning from a tool for freedom into pretty much the opposite.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      I have a trucker friend, who is bullshit about the federal ELD requirements. OTOH, tired truckers cause a lot of accidents, and often kill themselves in the process. Lots of commercial companies put their own monitoring hardware in vehicles, and micromanage their drivers. I can see how some of that could be good, and also terrible. Rental companies have been putting data loggers rental cars for a long time now, finding ways to add charges for things like speeding. All in all, it’s a slippery slope. Glad my car is OBD 1.

  9. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    Greg your news posts are the best.
    took my new-to-me Miata out to the canyons for a couple hours this morning. desperately needs non-chinesium tires. Falken RT615K+ is pretty much the only 14″ “extreme performance” tire – any experience with these? they’ll be for street and occasional track use. a second set of wheels isn’t in my car budget right now or I’d get some 15s and a better selection of tires.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Falkens are generally ok from what I gather, can’t recall that I’ve actually had any though.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      Dunlop makes Direzzas in 14s, but I don’t know much about them. There’s a Mazda down my street that’s wearing them.

  10. Zentropy Avatar

    I have to say, I really appreciate the Challenger and Charger for the RWD/V8 layout and handsome, muscular looks. And as impressive as the Hellcat/Demon variants are, the only real thing squelching my interest (other than the general leeriness about FCA cars) is the lack of good handling. If they could make these cars dance like a Camaro 1LE and offer a manual transmission on all trim levels, I would actually consider parking a Charger in the garage.
    Any truth the the possible Hyundai takeover of FCA, by the way?