The News for March 27th, 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:

  • McLaren announces the 570S

  • Jaguar shows off the all-new XF

  • Porsche’s new 919 Hybrid is ready for Le Mans

  • Toyota’s new TS040 Hybrid is also ready for Le Mans

  • Aston Martin will bring the Vulcan to New York

  • Mazda to debut MX-5 Club Edition

  • Ford Focus RS to make US debut at NY

  • What’s your automotive news?

McLaren 570S

Up to this point, no one has really been sure what to call McLaren’s upcoming sports car. Early rumors suggested it would be called the P13 and other news releases until now have called it the Sports Series. This week though, McLaren finally gave it a real name – the 570S. Sports Series isn’t necessarily the name of the car, but rather the name of McLaren’s new product range that will include the 570S and [probably] other sports cars that slot in underneath the current 650S and 675LT models.
With the official name come some preliminary details, like the fact that this sports car will be V8-powered, carbon-fiber structured, and will be aerodynamically optimized to deliver the kind of performance McLaren is known for. As with other McLaren models, the name 570S gives away its power figure: 570 metric horsepower, or 562 ‘Murican horsepower.
The McLaren 570S will be shown in full at the New York Auto Show on April 1st, where it will be revealed that it also features rear-hinged scissor doors and 26-inch spinners.
[Source: McLaren]

All-new Jaguar XF didn’t fall in the water

Last week, Jaguar announced they would reveal the all-new XF before its official debut at the NY Auto Show by driving it across a suspended high wire over Canary Wharf in London. Fortunately [depending on who you talk to], the Jag didn’t get wet and the first details were announced after it make its record crossing.
Other than the new styling, which we’ll see even more of at New York, the biggest party trick of the new XF is its added lightness. Like other Jags, the XF is aluminum-intensive in its construction which results in a significant weight loss. The XF is at least 170 pounds lighter than any of its closest competitors, which contributes to its much improved efficiency. Available engines range from a 2.0-liter diesel offering 70 mpg (EU measurements) and a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 petrol engine offering nearly 360 horsepower. There’s even a twin-turbocharged diesel offering over 500 ft.-lbs. of torque! A six-speed manual transmission is offered with some engines and an eight-speed automatic is available on everything. Meticulously tuned electric power steering passive dampers are standard and all-wheel drive is available as an option.
The interior will feature an innovative 10.2-inch touchscreen in the center console with Dual View technology which allows the driver to view navigation and the passenger to watch a DVD simultaneously. The InControl Touch Pro system running it all is backed by a solid-state drive and a quad-core processor for a powerful infotainment system.
We’ll of course know and see a little more of the all-new Jaguar XF at the New York Auto Show next Wednesday, but this is already pretty much everything we need to know.
[Source: Jaguar Land Rover]

2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid

After a rough 2014 season in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche’s first with this new program, the Stuttgart-based team is looking forward to the start of the new season with their updated Porsche 919 Hybrid prototype.
More power, better energy recovery, and updated aerodynamics all fit within the new FIA regulations and will give the team a more potent car to run with. In fact, the energy recovery package they’re running is the most powerful one they’re allowed to use. The new 919 is also more efficient, more rigid, easier to handle, lighter, and more robust. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged V4 (not a typo) petrol engine producing more than 500 horsepower to the rear wheels. An electric motor kicks out another 400 horsepower to the front wheels. Porsche will also give them more cars to run with, as three 919 Hybrids – one white, one black, and one red – will race at the season’s high point: the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The starting number (17) and color of the red 919 Hybrid is a tribute to the Porsche that captured the first of sixteen Le Mans victories in 1970 and will be driven by Timo Bernhard of Germany, Brendon Hartley of New Zealand, and Mark Webber of Australia. The black 919 will run with the number 18 after the road-going 918 super car which has a close technical kinship with the LMP1 racers and will be driven by Marc Lieb of Germany, Romain Dumas of France, and Neel Jani of Switzerland. The white 919 carries number 19 and a color that is traditional of German race car. This will be driven by Earl Bamber of New Zealand, Nico Hülkenberg of Germany, and Nick Tandy of the UK.
This year’s Le Mans should be very interesting.
[Source: Porsche]

2015 Toyota TS040 Hybrid

Not to be outdone, Toyota also revealed their new version of the TS040 Hybrid LMP1 car. Last season, Toyota didn’t win Le Mans but they did win the overall championship and driver’s titles after winning five of last season’s eight races.
For 2015, the TS040 Hybrid features a new FIA-compliant aero package, a revised front end including crash structure, and new suspension kinematics to optimize tire usage. Also, added lightness. Toyota’s Hybrid System is also updated and boasts excellent thermal efficiency and up to 1,000 horsepower. That also includes a revised super capacitor, which I’m only mentioning because it sounds cool.
Toyota will run two TS040s: car #1 will be driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, and Kazuki Nakajima whle car #2 will be driven by Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, and Mike Conway.
Toyota had a strong showing during last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, but they just had a few technical issues that held them back. This year’s car is also meant to be more robust, fortunately.
[Source: Toyota]


Aston Martin Vulcan_01
If you want to see the insanity that is the Aston Martin Vulcan, the New York Auto Show is your next chance to see it. Aston Martin will be in NY with an impressive display, featuring their main lineup and the 800 horsepower, fire-breathing, rare beast that is the Vulcan. This is a car that may not be shown very often, since only 24 will ever be built.
[Source: Aston Martin]
Mazda will bring the MX-5 Club Edition to New York next week. Not much is known about it, other than that it’s going to be improved in some way for canyon carving or track use and will be the “most aggressive road-going iteration of Mazda’s fourth-generation flagship roadster”. Sounds awesome. No more details were given, but when they become available, it’s going to be featured here for sure.
[Source: Mazda | Image source: Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]
The Ford Focus RS will appear at NY for its US debut. It’ll be shown in US spec and in a new color called Nitrous Blue, which is the first color we’ve seen on this car that will actually make it to production. It will also be available in Stealth Gray, Shadow Black and Frozen White. The car will hit US dealerships in Spring of 2016. So until then, we’ll just have to sit and wonder how awesome that “drift” button will be…
[Source: Ford]

What’s your automotive news?

BMW’s Ultimate Driving Experience was in town this week. I went and autocrossed a 328d and a 428i, which was fun. But the Z4 35is they had on the street drive was even more fun. They let us drive that on the street without adult supervision, which was their first mistake. I haven’t experienced acceleration like that in a long, long time. It’s a blast, and I’ll defend the Z4 35is to anyone that says it’s fat and sluggish. The power is awesome, the seven-speed DCT is awesome, and the top-down experience under full power is intoxicating.
Your turn! Sound off in the comments with anything you’d like to share.
[Image source: me]

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  1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    I love the red 919. I may be biased though as my high school, college, and favorite sport team are red.
    Also, I thought the German racing color was traditionally silver.
    They look great and I would love to see Webber experience some success after the treatment he had in F1. They can enjoy it this year, next year… Go Ford!
    My automotive news is not really automotive, but transportation based news. California wants to enact mandatory helmet use for cyclists and that is a bad thing. The laws will be used to blame cyclists, not protect them. They will also be used to allow harassment of cyclists by the police. Helmet laws where they exist reduce the number of cyclists. They don’t work as intended.
    Do not confuse my stance as being anti-helmet. I am pro-helmet, I wear one EVERY time I ride, I don’t need a law to tell me that they are beneficial. I am simply anti-helmet laws, you do not put anyone else at risk by not wearing a helmet. All these laws do is perpetuate a belief that cycling is dangerous because you are biking, not because cars are being unsafe towards you. And I promise you, should these laws pass, they will be disproportionately applied against minorities, like most conduct-based laws.
    Don’t take my word for it:

    1. theskitter Avatar

      As much as I agree with you, I can also see the other side: such a major safety device should be mandatory. There have to be rules of the road (though often mistunderstood by cyclists and motorists alike). Like a seatbelt, it’s a very simple action that everyone should take to reduce the severity of injuries, no matter the cause of the crash. Not wearing a helmet doesn’t injure anyone else, but the increased injuries or death are an additional burden on healthcare and eventually society, and additional blame to lay on someone, fairly or not.
      I’ve had long (occasionally insensitive) talks with my Sikh friends about wearing a helmet. I’ve been hit by cars, but all of my bad crashes were single two-wheeled vehicle. I’ve cracked three helmets, and was the last one who saw one of my best friends alive when I turned for home.
      The demeanor of enforcement is critical, and will always go wrong. But the principle might be appropriate.

      1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

        If the health angle of this were the driving factor, we should all wear helmets in cars too. Head injuries coming into ERs across the nation are overwhelmingly automobile related.
        Helmet laws for cyclists will be mistreated and will put the blame on cyclists for injuries. That’s just not cricket. We already see the second sentence in any article about an accident involving a cyclist, “It’s unclear if the cyclist was wearing a helmet.” Or the like. Even when the cyclist was hit by a car in the bike lane and has a broken leg and nothing remotely related to anything a helmet would do for them.
        There are numerous accounts of people being rear-ended on their bikes and when dealing with the driver’s insurance to claim the damages they rightly deserve the first question is whether they were wearing a helmet.
        These laws will shift blame and enable victim-blaming that we so love to do in this country.
        Sorry, they’re ineffective laws with misguided purposes and do nothing for the overall greater good.

    2. nanoop Avatar

      I think the traditional colour is your main sponsor’s?
      In any case, Black white Red is a bit unfortunate for a german, ahem, fleet.

      1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

        Vee vill race mit great Führer fervor.

    3. Andrew Avatar

      “disproportionately applied against minorities”
      That’s the crux of it for me. It can now be used as an excuse for an officer to talk to that guy who is maybe a legal immigrant or maybe not. He’s only riding a bike because it’s cheaper than a car.
      This law will not in the slightest affect any recreational riders, whose bikes are often more expensive than some cars. Those guys already have $100+ helmets they wear religiously. I live in BC, where we’ve had a helmet law since I was a little kid, and I’ve never heard of it affecting anyone (except perhaps Sikhs as mentioned by theskitter). Those who want to ride, will ride.
      The “invisible riders,” who don’t really want to ride, should be wearing helmets for safety too. But in that context it does seem like just another barricade to climb.

      1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

        Yep. Look at the experiences in “Broken Windows” enforcement policies and you have your answer on how these laws will be applied.
        I have an expensive helmet, the logic being I spent $100k on educating what the helmet is going to protect (in theory.) For guys who have little to no option but to ride their bikes to work, the store, or wherever, maybe their budgets are already squeezed a bit, now they have to buy a $30+ helmet or face a fine, or have their bike taken from them? What if during that process an officer feels that the individual is getting belligerent? Now we can add resisting to the wrap sheet.
        I just don’t see this playing out well.

  2. Vavon Avatar

    This week Honda has released the S660 in Japan… It looks like it is going to “beat” the competition!

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Not in their Life.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        I’m gonna sit back and enjoy my Cappuccino while watching this fight

  3. nanoop Avatar

    Really some imbued styling, that XF.
    In other news, I identified the leak of my project car: valve cover gasket, just like on the DD.
    Unfortunately, the 8V 944 engines have don’t have a valve cover, but a cam tower. Consequently, the famous job of changing the timing belt is due prematurely. (or I could drive it more often, so there won’t collect a bigger amount of oil on the headers, only a feeble stream of grey smoke every now and then…)