The News for May 13th, 2016

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:

  • Audi celebrates racing success with R8 ‘selection 24h’

  • The Lotus Hethel factory turns 50, therefore special edition Evora 400

  • Mini brings back the Seven, kind of

  • What’s your automotive news?

Audi R8 V10 Plus ‘selection 24h’

Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus: „selection 24h“
The first of many special edition models announced this week also happens to be the fastest and is therefore the best. It pays homage to a race car which had the best debut possible about a year ago – the Audi R8 LMS. It managed to win the 24 Hours Nürburgring (N24) on its very first outing, a feat that Audi was proud of then and is even more proud of now. Since then, the new R8 LMS has enjoyed success all over the world in various forms of endurance and/or sports car racing. As of writing, the R8 has tallied 323 wins globally since 2009. That warrants a special edition, no?
Audi calls it the R8 Coupé V10 Plus ‘selection 24h’ and it pays homage to the car’s racing success over the years. Only 24 are being made globally and each one will be loaded with every performance option Audi could throw at it.
It’s powered by the wonderful 5.2-liter V10 mounted in the middle and armed with 610 horsepower. It still comes with Quattro and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox enabling a 0-62 mph time of just 3.2 seconds before topping out at 205 mph. Its suspension, aerodynamics, and lightweight spaceframe construction are all truly motorsport inspired. Audi can get away with saying that because Audi developed the new R8 road car in parallel with the GT3-spec R8 LMS.
Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus: „selection 24h“
The selection 24h cars get all of that plus dynamic steering, active damping via Audi’s magnetic ride, and Audi Laser Lighting. It’s visually differentiated by a tri-color paint scheme with a Suzuka gray base, Mythos black accents, and Misano red highlights. The front spoiler, mirror housings, engine compartment cover, side blades, rear wing, and rear diffuser are made of gloss-finish carbon fiber. It rolls on twenty-inch ten-spoke forged aluminum wheels painted in anthracite black.
Inside, Audi gives it a full leather interior in Rotor gray with Alcantara headlining. The air vents and the extended inlays for the surround of the Audi virtual cockpit are made of glossy carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. One feature that’s surprisingly limited to this selection 24h model is entry lights that project the R8 logo on the ground at night. Audi also says that future R8 buyers will be able to personalize their car with a near-unlimited range of lettering and logos. No specifics were mentioned on that, but I have a feeling it’ll be abused.
The Audi R8 Coupé V10 Plus ‘selection 24h’ will be on display publicly at the upcoming 24 Hours Nürburgring. Order books are open now in Europe at least and they’re asking €229,000 ($260,000).
[Source: Audi]

Lotus Hethel Edition Evora 400

Manufacturers pay tribute to significant facilities or locations all the time, but that usually doesn’t involve a special edition car dedicated to a single factory. Lotus being Lotus, that’s exactly what they’ve done. But hey, I have an excuse to talk about the Evora 400 again…
In 1966, founder Colin Chapman moved Lotus into a purpose-built facility in Hethel, Norfolk. Since then, pretty much all of Lotus’ road cars have been assembled in what’s become the geographical center of all things Lotus. To mark 50 years of making history at that facility, Lotus is offering the exclusive Hethel Edition Evora 400.
The choice to base this off the Evora 400 was appropriate given that it’s the fastest car to ever roll off the assembly line there. It weighs just under 3,100 pounds and is powered by a supercharged and charge-cooled 3.5-liter V6 with 400 horsepower. Its composite body, flat floor, sizable rear diffuser, and three-element rear wing provide the aerodynamic efficiency and the 14.6-inch AP racing brakes provide the stopping power. Throw in a limited-slip differential and Lotus Dynamic Performance Management and you’ve got the most capable road car in Lotus history.
But as far as what’s really new with the Hethel Edition Evora 400, there’s not much to it. Three iconic color schemes are available: Essex Blue, Motorsport Black, and Racing Green, each of which also include bespoke graphics. The interior can be upholstered in leather or Alcantara trim in either red or black depending on the exterior color. The lightweight forged aluminum wheels are painted silver and the brake calipers behind them can be painted in contrasting colors.
It’s pretty simple for a special edition, but simplicity is why we love Lotus to begin with. The £75,500 ($109,000) asking price is why you don’t see many of them around. They’ve only confirmed availability for the UK, Germany, France, and Italy, so we’re definitely not going to be seeing this one around.
[Source: Lotus]

Mini Seven

Hey… guess what? It’s another special edition! This time it’s from a brand that hasn’t made one in quite a while. Mini is launching the first special edition of the latest Cooper generation and it’s one whose origins date back even further than that Lotus. It’s simply called the Mini Seven and it recalls the premiere of the revolutionary little British car more than five and a half decades ago.
In 1959, two nearly identical models known as the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini Minor were presented to the public for the first time. I guess the first one to roll out of the assembly line shed was the Austin Seven and it’s now known as the classic Mini. Mini is bringing the name back as a special edition Cooper and Cooper S and is available as both two door and four door models.
The new Mini Seven uses exclusive design features inside and out to pay homage to the original Mini’s classic styling while still highlighting the modern appeal that newer Minis have had since they relaunched in 2001. It’s shown here in bespoke Lapisluxury Blue paint but can also be spec’d with Pepper White, Midnight Black, and British Racing Green Metallic. No matter which color is applied, the roof, mirror caps, and bonnet stripes are painted Melting Silver for a nice contrast. Mini also designed new seventeen-inch light-alloy wheels specifically for the Seven and alternate eighteen-inchers are also available.
Inside, standard specification includes sport seats in exclusive Malt Brown fabric/leather upholstery but they also give black and grey leather options. Either way, the seats have fabric side sections with a classic grey and black check pattern. Other special interior touches include uniquely colored trim pieces and special badging.
Otherwise, it’s just like any other well-equipped Cooper/Cooper S. It’s fun to drive, surprisingly spacious, and has plenty of features to keep anyone entertained. Pricing on the Seven has not been announced yet but it goes on sale later this summer.
[Source: Mini]

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 © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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  1. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar

    I might be buying a first gen Dodge Cummins later today.

    1. JayP Avatar

      Do it.

      1. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar

        My wife and I made the 2.5 hour trek to go look at it. In the pictures and on the phone it looked and sounded great, but it needed lots of little things and a few bigger things. It just had too many issues for us since we’re about to move across the country. It was a flatbed, which I really liked, but there were rust pinholes everywhere, and in three or four places I could see light poking through. The cab had lots of rust bubbles forming around the window frame (pretty much a death sentence for the cab in the long run unless it’s fixed, which is a pain to do). The front driveshaft wasn’t installed. The odometer was broken at 71,191 miles, which when I had asked him about the mileage on the phone he evaded the question pretty well (I knew these trucks are prone to having their odometers break), and the pedals had the rubber worn through them to the metal (a better indicator of the mileage or type of driving). Neither of the seat belts worked properly, and one, the driver’s, wasn’t attached (he said he didn’t wear it…), and the seat had a huge gash in it. It had a stack (blech) which belched black smoke because he had turned the fuel wayyyyy up, but never installed a pyrometer. It popped out of third gear despite having a rebuilt transmission. He said he rewired it, but the wiring job was reallllly sketchy and some of the lights didn’t work. The brakes were frighteningly squishy, and the steering made some funky noises.
        He was willing to take $2000 off of what he was asking, but after talking it over with some friends (one of whom has owned a few early Cummins-powered Dodges) and my wife, we decided that was still about $1000 too much, so I passed. If he would have knocked off another $1000 and I would have had about a month’s worth of time to fix all the issues I would have bought it. Oh well.

    1. JayP Avatar

      I think these have the same bolt pattern as the Miata… meaning really cool wheel options.

  2. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    The reason the Mini is surprisingly spacious is because the whole car is surprisingly enormous.. Driving it feels like sitting in the middle of a massively oversized but light and very rigid shoebox with wheels.
    The Lotus interior is lovely, though.

  3. JayP Avatar

    Mustang Parts.
    I couldn’t help myself to day to install a few while I was “telecommuting.”
    Whiteline makes a piece to fill the void in the lower rear trans mount. 20 min to install, $30.
    Barton’s rear trans support is solid. Makes the stock bushing look like something hacked up on the side of the road. No joke… zip ties.. $100.
    And the piece de resistance – Hurst Comp+ shifter. Ties it all together. I added my old INDY stick to replace the limp d-ck looking shorty. $300.
    All together… this seems to make the MT82 work. Driving a little hard on the street had more noise but no strange shifts. I think this will work.
    Yesterday I visited Vorshlag in Plano, TX. I needed lug nuts but that bought me a tour and chatting with the owner about Mustangs. He said Tremec had a bid to make the trans for the 2012+ cars but lost out in the last minute to Getrag. Due to price I guess. Tremec had units ready to go but no. The MT82 was designed to be used in a Range Rover apparently.
    Next up – stainless lines, new disks, Hawk HP+ and FRPP long lug studs.

  4. Krautwursten Avatar

    They should rename the Mini the Maxi.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      To be fair, they distinguish between the Mini and the MINI.
      “Maxi” would leave room for a Midi.. being B-M-Doubleniche after all, the line-up should be
      mini – Mini- midi – Midi – Mini -maxi – MINI – Maxi – MAXI.
      As an exercise, the student may sort the lowered-wagon and raised-coupe versions.

  5. nanoop Avatar

    That black beauty on the top right is a balance shaft. While the O-ring is destroyed, the actual seal was looking ok, but all the shaft collars are worn. I had 5 tea spoons of oily sand grime in my hair after cleaning….

    View post on

  6. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    put new inner and outer tie rods on my volvo today. still pulls to the goddamn side, even after replacing the brake calipers and a new control arm on the left. this thing is driving me nuts.
    thing is though, i’m not feeling dejected. around a year ago i had an accident with the car and was considering selling it and never having an old car again. at this moment i’m looking at all of its problems – and they’ve been multiplying over the last year – and being like, okay, i can do this, one saturday at a time.
    i can’t figure out what’s changed. the challenges i face in getting that car drivable on a daily basis are, if anything, greater today than they were then, and i’m not a better mechanic now than i was then. why the optimism? has something else in my life changed? am i better off in some way that’s cascading down to my willingness to work on my stupid car? who knows.

  7. ptschett Avatar

    I tried to fix the sticky brake caliper on the Dakota. I failed… it seems to be an issue internal to the caliper and its two pistons [so fancy!], rather than the pads getting stuck in their rails on the caliper mounting bracket. Also I think the rotor is warped and/or has randomly-distributed hardness due to the randomness of the location of the brake pads each time the pickup has been parked while the issue has persisted.

    1. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
      Dean Bigglesworth

      I don’t know how I ended up here but Forest Green is definitely a colour that should make a comeback.