The News for March 13th, 2015

Galpin-Fisker Mustang Rocket (27) Low Res
Welcome to the Hooniverse News – Slow News Week Edition! 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. Stuff did happen, but most of the big announcements were all done last week which leaves this week as a week to sort of catch our breath after the dozens of supercars shown in Geneva. This week:

  • Galpin Auto Sports to begin production of the Rocket

  • McLaren confirms pricing and availability for 675LT, configurator goes live

  • Mazda and Microsoft to give Forza Horizon 2 players a chance to win a real 2016 MX-5 Miata

  • Chevy drops the first teaser for the all-new Spark

  • What’s your automotive news? (Please?)

Production-spec Galpin Rocket

Galpin-Fisker Mustang Rocket (4) High Res
At last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Galpin Auto Sports and Henrik Fisker unveiled their concept for a coach-built super Mustang appropriately called the Rocket. Yesterday, GAS proudly revealed the Rocket in its final production form in their shop and via the interwebs. It will make its first public appearance at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance along with some other awesome stuff and will officially enter its limited production run shortly thereafter.
The Rocket is the product of Henrik Fisker’s design pen and GAS’s keen eye for performance. Fisker took inspiration from various Mustangs of the 60’s and early 70’s for his design, especially the 1968 Shelby GT500. But unlike the Mustangs of the 60’s and 70’s, this one is built like a modern supercar.
Galpin-Fisker Mustang Rocket (22) Low Res
The car’s construction is composed of carbon fiber and brought to life with the help of GFMI Metalcrafters of Fountain Valley, CA. In the four months since its LA Auto Show debut, GAS and GFMI worked to finalize the molds for the production carbon fiber body panels and even developed the rest of the car further to add more standard and optional performance and appearance upgrades. And since it’s a coach-built car, the buyer can pick any color/stripe combo they like. Also, the press photos show that the car has since dropped its out of place “ROCKET” badge that spanned the trunk lid… which is good.
The most important performance feature on the Rocket is the very thing that earned this car’s title: the available 725 horsepower supercharged V8. Not much was said about that engine in the release though, but it seems the car does not come standard with the supercharger kit. Either way, it dumps through a new Bassani cat-back exhaust system with quad tips.
Galpin-Fisker Mustang Rocket (49) Low Res
Other standard equipment on the Rocket includes Ford’s optional Mustang performance pack, which adds improved cooling, unique chassis tuning, unique driver aids tuning, a 3.73 Torsen rear diff and Brembo six-piston front brake calipers with larger rotors. A more extreme Gran Turismo Brembo braking package is also available and adds fifteen-inch front and rear two-piece drilled rotors. Wheel options include a ten-spoke twenty-one inch wheel designed and built in conjunction with ADV1 and a super-light twenty-inch wheel intended for track use.
Prices start at $109,100 and that includes nearly everything except the supercharged performance package, which starts at $125,000.
[Source: Galpin Auto Sports]

McLaren 675LT production information

Since it’s a bit of a slow news week right after the Geneva Motor Show, I’ll take a step back and discuss something that I missed last week. McLaren’s 675LT “Longtail” (it’s not actually that much longer) is going gold and ready to ship, so McLaren released its production figures and pricing.
The 675LT commands an entry price of £259,500 ($382,000) plus the price of a few optional extras to choose from. There’s a Club Sport pack which adds titanium roll hoops and racing harnesses, optional paint colors, and whatever else they have available here in their 675LT configurator. For those looking to kill time on a lazy Friday, you’re welcome.
If you happen to see a 675LT on the roads near you, it’ll be a fairly rare occasion since only 500 will ever be produced worldwide. Deliveries will commence this July.
[Source: McLaren]

Drive the 2016 MX-5 in Forza Horizon 2

If you, like some people, own an Xbox One and Forza Horizon 2 and, like everyone, want to drive the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, then you’re in luck. Mazda and Microsoft are giving players the chance to drive the 2016 MX-5 Miata in a perfect virtual world starting on March 17th. Not only can you drive the virtual Miata, you can also win a real one by taking part in the new Time Trial Rivals Contest.
Starting on March 17th and ending on April 30th, players will need to click on the banner ad for the Mazda MX-5 that they’ll see on the Games, Music, Movies, or Apps page on their Xbox One. That ad will lead to a landing page where players can register to compete in a time trial with the MX-5 on the Sisteron Perimeter Sprint Track. The two top players in that event will then be flown out to Los Angeles to compete head-to-head in a winner-take-all race. The winner receives the 2016 MX-5 Miata and some cash to help with the taxes. The loser will be sacrificed to the Kodo gods.
So if you’re on Forza Horizon 2 with Xbox One (Xbox 360 apparently gets no love), start brushing up on your Miata skills.
[Source: Mazda, Turn 10]

Chevy Spark teaser

cq5dam.web.1280.1280 (1)
Chevrolet is promising a “Spark of sophistication” for this year’s New York and Seoul auto shows in the form of the all-new Chevy Spark. The compact will apparently have a sleeker and more aerodynamic profile and feature and aggressive take on Chevy’s signature styling. According to the teaser, it will be more athletic and sophisticated in appearance at least.
The debut will take place on April 2nd with simultaneous events in Seoul and New York. The Spark has sold 1.1 million units in 71 countries since its inception, selling the most in South Korea, the US, and Mexico.
If it looks good, I’ll keep you posted.
[Source: Chevrolet]

What was your automotive news?

I saw a dog.
Since this is a relatively slow news week compared to how it’s been recently, let’s hear from you! If you saw, drove, bought, fixed, broke, or otherwise did anything hoonworthy that you’d like to share, sound off in our shiny new comment system. Pictures are encouraged so I don’t have to keep taking pictures of dogs at traffic lights… unless you don’t mind.
[Source: me]

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  1. mdharrell Avatar

    “…sound off in our shiny new comment system.”
    My very last comment on Hooniverse under the ancien régime was to announce that I had just purchased an American Microcar, a moped from the fertile imagination of Stuart Pivar:
    One catch is that I bought it from a guy in New York, a state which did not title mopeds in 1981. The State of Washington does title them. I’ve now got an appointment with the State Patrol for a vehicle inspection before I can get it registered and I’m most likely looking at a three-year waiting period before a title will be granted. I’ll also have to see what they make of its four-digit* VIN. I enjoy challenges.
    *I don’t know the production figures for these, but the first digit is zero.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      … three-year waiting period? Holy crap. Your level of patience far exceeds mine.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        In practice it’s not so bad. It can still be registered and operated during that period. It can even be sold, but any new owner would have to be willing to wait for whatever remains of those three years to elapse before getting a title. It’s just intended as an opportunity for someone to step forward with a competing claim to ownership before the state officially acknowledges it as mine, just in case the guy who sold it to me was taking advantage of the hot market in stolen tricycle mopeds.

    2. roguetoaster Avatar

      Neat, I’m really enamored with those wheels. Yet the tub of the moped is somehow reminiscent of a pond pedal boat.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        I see the resemblance, although in this case there’s only one set of pedals. The passenger gets a free ride.

      2. Citric Avatar

        The entire thing looks kind of like an amalgamation of parts from my dad’s shed. Which is possibly why the State of Washington is going to take three years, they’ve got to survey the sheds of all the dads to ensure all the crap that will probably be useful one day is still there.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          On the bright side, that means this may end up being one of my few vehicles for which there’s a ready supply of parts.

  2. roguetoaster Avatar

    I just got an email from the shipper (NMT, and they have been excellent with previous cars from EUR to the US) who is handling the delivery of my new (old) 3 series. Apparently, it will be delayed another 5 days. I just can’t wait for that turbo diesel power to arrive!
    I also need to go back to 0 on timing and mixture/idle for the carb equipped car as I’m still not happy with the way it’s running. At least it’s not breaking up at sustained high RPM anymore, of course when it was breaking up it was running great at more normal RPM, grr.

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      keep us posted! you’re really living the dream. E30 wagons are extradope, but i think very few will actually walk the walk and import one now.

      1. roguetoaster Avatar

        They are neat, and I have two others in the group of cars I have. I must admit, it feels rather special to have one over here, even if it isn’t a globally rare or sporty car. Just for those wondering, importing really only becomes practical once you have a trustworthy contact overseas.
        Feel free to peruse some of the rest of the cars in my life if you are interested:

        1. wunno sev Avatar
          wunno sev

          i don’t think you have enough E30s
          maybe buy some more

          1. roguetoaster Avatar

            Several of those have come and gone, only four on hand at the moment, which is way, way too many. Still trying to get the group down to two cars (when I see flying

  3. Bret Avatar

    I sold my beloved Saab 9000 Aero. It’s going to another enthusiast who is adding a kid to his family. It was a great family car for us, but as empty nesters with a 500 Abarth we just never drive the old Saab.
    Now to sell the P71…

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I like the Galpin Rocket, obviously, but I don’t like the stretch on the tyres one little bit.

    1. roguetoaster Avatar

      Wheels of that diameter are simply ridiculous and completely impractical.
      Also, you can easily tell it’s a Fisker design, as all of his designs seem to follow the same front end recipe.
      Edit for added period correct accessories:

  5. faberferrum Avatar

    Welded a bit of fresh new sheet metal into the rusty sill of my Skoda. Turned into lots of booger welds, my excuse being I was welding lying on my back looking up, holding the MIG gun in one hand and pushing the trigger with the other.

  6. ptschett Avatar

    Saturday: I went to the Twin Cities Auto Show and did my usual wandering about. I learned that the U of M has a student-run solar car project where the car is built out of amazingly light material; that the MSP’s Tauruses are 3.7 non-turbo AWD and the patrolmen love the AWD and the more purpose-built nature of the new car; that I like the Jeep Renegade despite its being a small, tall, FWD-based car; and that FCA, Toyota, and Ford seem to be waging a booth-babe arms race with FCA in the lead.
    Tuesday: the 2015 Challenger finally got here, so I brought in the 2010 to trade and drove home in the 2015. I’m new to this idea of selling cars, not sure I recommend it vs. my usual strategy of hoarding them, but I couldn’t justify having two of the same car when there’s only me to be driving them and I don’t need a parts car yet. While the 2010’s TR6060 was brilliant on a good day, it could be downright clunky on a bad one, and the downsides were starting to overshadow the upsides for me. The new car’s Hemi has the ZF 8-speed bolted up behind it which is pretty dang cool, and the flappy paddles are fun in their own way.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      Congrats on the new ride! Since you started posting updates I’ve been looking forward to you actually getting it. Driving a new car home for the first time is an awesome feeling. Enjoy it… and just wait a few hundred miles before hooning it 😉

      1. ptschett Avatar

        Thanks! I’ve been trying to keep my driving moderate like I did with my ’05 Dakota and prior 2010 Challenger R/T 6MT when I bought those new; the tough thing is that I already know what a Challenger R/T can do (from the prior car) and thought I had an idea of what a good automatic will do (from the Dakota’s 545RFE). Having an automatic that has 6 gears to cover the range from the shortest ratio to the 1:1 gear, vs. my prior 4 or 5-speed automatics that had 3rd as 1:1 (and prior 5 or 6-speed manuals with 4th as 1:1) is a bit mind-blowing. After a long drive on Saturday I did get to the point where I could do things like high-throttle-opening launches from a stop and low-engine-RPM high-torque hillclimbs; I learned that this transmission seems to like being hooned and that it’ll hold gears till the engine reaches about 80% of peak torque (so 320 lb-ft vs. 400 lb-ft peak) before it downshifts.

  7. Lokki Avatar

    My automotive news is that the new fenders and nose for my 71 Alfa Spider Veloce have arrived from England… via air freight. There’s a reason that the company that supplies this stuff is named Alfaholics. The car herself went to my mechanic last week to have the engine and transmission pulled and prepped for storage. Next step will be to start stripping the car. I intend to do that myself, interior, electricals, etc, and then I’ll try to chem strip the old paint myself as well. I know the car well so mechanical stripping is no problem (although my wife may be a little unclear about my plans to store all of the interior stuff in my den). Chem stripping the paint is a new process for me, and I’m not really looking forward to it. Still, it’ll save a hunk of change.

    1. JayP Avatar

      Den storage.
      Better than dining room storage unless you are single.

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        ……and want to remain so ?