The News for November 3rd, 2017

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:

  • Ferrari FXX-K Evo is coming to terrorize a track near you next year

  • Hennessey promises 300 mph top speed with Venom F5

  • Ringbrothers win SEMA again with three new restomods

  • Ford introduces “Drift Stick” for Focus RS, salvage yards scramble to make room

  • The Dodge Hellcat crate motor is happening

  • Honda offers Type-R crate motor

  • What’s your automotive news?

Ferrari FXX-K Evo

Before we get into the more interesting parts of SEMA, we have to talk about this thing. Unveiled at Finali Mondiali at the Mugello Circuit last weekend, it’s the ultimate version of Ferrari’s ultimate race car version of their ultimate road car. It’s the new Ferrari FXX-K Evo, a new aero and weight reduction package for the super exclusive and super fast FXX-K which is of course based on the LaFerrari hypercar.
This evolution of the FXX-K brings a fully reworked aero package which brings a new fixed rear wing, side fins, a central fin, and six vortex generators (three of which are underneath the car), and a new front bumper featuring canards. Those fixed elements also work with the existing active rear spoiler to improve downforce at both ends by at least 10%.

There’s also new suspension tuning and an unspecified weight reduction thanks to some new carbon fiber construction techniques.
What hasn’t changed is the fire-breathing V12 paired with a KERS-based hybrid system. It didn’t exactly need any updates though. It produces 1,035 horsepower and one outrageous noise.
As with the other XX Program cars, this one is only available to a small group of Ferrari buyers as either an “extremely limited” new model or as an upgrade package to existing FXX-Ks, of which only a couple dozen exist. The FXX-K Evo will see track time next year.
[Source: Ferrari via Autoweek]

Hennessey Venom F5

Filed under: grains of salt.
SEMA is a show that’s all about grabbing attention and few got as much of that this year as Hennessey has with this. They call it the Venom F5 and it’s their second attempt at building their own supercar. Unlike their last car, this one doesn’t seem to rely on anyone else’s chassis and it has a body of their own design. It’s also going to be even faster, if Hennessey is to be believed.
The Venom F5 they showed at SEMA was allegedly not running (it doesn’t even seem to have an interior yet) so all of the figures they’ve given us are goals more than anything. But the numbers they do promise are incredible.

The 2,950-pound car will be powered by some sort of twin-turbocharged V8 with around 1,600 horsepower going through a seven-speed sequential gearbox to the rear wheels. Earth-shaking amounts of power combined with a sleek body reportedly means a 0-186 mph time of less than ten seconds and a 0-249-0 time below 30 seconds.
The number that has everyone talking though is 300 mph, which is the top speed they’re gunning for with this thing. Bugatti is also targeting 300 mph with the Chiron, but according to them the limitation is with the tires. Has Hennessey figured it out? Is this going to be the first road car to hit 300 mph? Will they get it running first? Only time and belligerent forum posts from John Hennessey will tell…
[Source: Hennessey via Autoweek]

Ringbrothers restomods storm SEMA

Once again, the most memorable projects at SEMA come from the Ringbrothers. This year they had three cars unveiled from three different decades and all of them are worth talking about. They worked with an AMC Javelin, a Dodge Charger, and – for their first time ever – a Ford F-100.
It’s the Ringbrothers’ first pickup and it’s already setting the bar pretty high. This 1956 Ford F-100 is called Clem 101 and it’s only old in appearance. Everything underneath the skin is new, including the custom-built boxed frame, the coilover suspension from RideTech, the Baer brakes, and the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 with Ford Performance fuel injection and Flowmaster exhaust. It sits on HRE Vintage Series 545 forged wheels, rocks a custom bed and widened fenders, and is just gorgeous inside and out. Hopefully this isn’t the last truck they do.

Their most radical build of the show is this 1972 AMC Javelin AMX commissioned by Prestone. It’s unclear how much of this car is actually still an AMC, but the engine is the most un-AMC thing on the car. It gets the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 out of the Hellcat but with a 4.5-liter Whipple supercharger upgrade that brings output up to 1,100 horsepower. Ringbrothers aren’t ones to let an engine overpower the chassis, so a more modern suspension setup, a twelve-bolt axle, and bigger brakes were also added.

The third and perhaps the most gorgeous build is this 1969 Dodge Charger they call the Defector. It receives a few changes to the body, but the Charger’s gorgeous shape is more or less preserved. If you didn’t know it was a Ringbrothers car, you’d only see it as a clean Charger with HRE wheels. It’s a totally different story underneath though. It sits on a Detroit Speed Hydroformed Subframe plus brand new suspension and a new 6.4-liter (392) Hemi V8. Not only is it one of their best-looking builds yet, it’s also their first Mopar. I demand more.
[Source: Ringbrothers via MotorAuthority {1,2,3,}]


Ford wants to help make it easier to find a salvage title Focus RS, so they’ve introduced the “Drift Stick”. For $999, you can have an electronically-controlled hand brake for the sole purpose of sick drifts, yo. They say it’ll have the same effect and feel of a boosted hydraulic handbrake you find in drift cars, but it won’t require much in the way of modifications to your Focus RS. This slides over your existing handbrake and plugs into the car so you can lock up the rear wheels without stalling (by engaging the clutch to the rear wheels). You can see it in action above. It’ll be available in December. Recommended supporting mods include a Crown Royal shift boot and at least four Hoonigan stickers.
[Source: Ford]

Dodge is answering prayers and finally releasing the fantastic Hellcat V8 as a crate motor. The supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 with 707 horsepower is now available to anyone with around $19,530 to spare. Two additional packages can be ordered with this which include front end accessories and all the additional hardware and sensors required to swap this into a pre-1976 street or off-road vehicle. If you’re interested, which you should be, head over to for more information.
[Source: Dodge]

Call it fan service, but Honda is offering the awesome Type-R engine as a crate motor too. It’s the first time a Type-R crate engine has been offered in the US… it’s made here too so it better be available in America. Honda’s 2.0-liter DOHC direct-injected i-VTEC Turbo four-cylinder produces 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and a peak 295 lb-ft of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. All that can be yours for $6,519.87. Those interested can go to for more information on how to apply.
[Source: Honda]

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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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42 responses to “The News for November 3rd, 2017”

  1. mdharrell Avatar

    My news: The bidding on this thing is currently at $108 and it’s sitting in a building that’s only about 700 feet away from my office, so I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need approximately half of a Formula SAE car:

    1. theskitter Avatar

      Pro: It’s eligible to race as an FSAE car under SCCA rules.
      Con: It’s not the one I gave a perfect score for Frame/Body/Aero in preliminary judging. (’12 or ’13, I forget.)
      You’re welcome.
      Edit 2: Wait, 108 DOLLARS and 700 FEET, not the reverse?
      Buy it.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Are there actually privateers out there running secondhand cars in SCCA FSAE? That’s delightful! I was thinking more along the lines of garage art and/or Lemons judgemobile.
        I assume the existence of a viable SCCA class may drive up the bidding, though.

        1. Alff Avatar

          I thought FSAE teams had to be wholly comprised of college students. Perhaps not as high a hurdle for you as for others.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            I could probably figure out a way of turning it into an extra-credit assignment.

          2. Alff Avatar

            “Sustained Friability Testing of Cementitious Surfaces”

          3. outback_ute Avatar

            Sounds more like there is a racing class that will let FSAE cars run presumably alongside others, maybe bike-engined open wheelers or perhaps sports prototypes. Whether that is a good idea, being designed to run at ~40mph not 120, is another question

        2. theskitter Avatar

          More like graduates who took ‘their’ car with them.
          And if the bidding goes up, you’re safe throwing a bid out.
          Beating out the student with plans to repair the ‘slight’ delamination.

    2. Scoutdude Avatar

      Ha, I saw that and I’ve seen it back when it was together. Some of my former students were on the team in that time frame too.

    3. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Ah, the old wants/needs conundrum, a very ancient one.
      Uterque optimus sit.

  2. nanoop Avatar

    So I got kicked out of the Norwegian transaxle P-car FB group, after two days. It started with a nice chit-chat about rusty sills. Then I posted a link to blipshift, since they had a 944-themed t-shirt. Well, apparently that was considered as spam, pity – they seemed nice. The “Three strikes and you are out” rule… No hard feelings, just a missed opportunity for both, maybe.
    What is interesting is that there was no notification, and when I searched for the group now I’d only find the equivalent for South Africa, of all nations.

    1. Alff Avatar

      A group of Porsche enthusiasts who staunchly adhere to a rigid set of rules at the expense of welcoming new members? Astounding.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        Aside from FB’s ability to immediately comply with group “owner” requests while actively refusing to comply with local versions of free speech vs. sedition/insult laws for years, your point is what surprised me – all P-car people I’ve encountered in Norway in person and on the web are open-minded and/or tolerant folks.
        The P-folks certainly comprise of your real-estate-and-oil-firm people with boggling tax slips and a 911 of each generation, but also the guys with beard and brim in the neck, type craftspeople, who are putting 19″ on their lowered 944 with Strosek wings and speakers in the hamster cheeks. They endorse their doings and get along well on the get-togethers.
        (A german group would kick me, too, but with an in-your-face notification, intended to make me feel guilty as if I really impaired somebody’s life.)

    2. I_Borgward Avatar

      Sounds like they did you a favor!

    3. JayP Avatar

      “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”

      1. nanoop Avatar

        I thought I didn’t care, but now I do, dang!

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    I may need to revise my Spring Break plans:

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    After putting my jack into my rusty rocker last weekend, the week brought another incident of stupid destruction:
    Dammit. I did not see the concrete elements someone had strewn across our train station parking lot. The car has a good chance of failing tech inspection which is due by August this year. So I’m thinking about replacements. I’d still love a Previa, but I doubt my wife agrees. The Honda FR-V seems like a cool car, same engine as my Stream, but it’s very rare, too, and pretty pricey used. Apart from that…pretty few low maintenance people movers out there.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Sorry to hear… and grateful that cosmetics are not considered in U.S. inspections. Were that the case, I suspect only 2 of our 7 vehicles would pass despite all being mechanically sound (more or less).

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Haha, yeah,that would be harsh! The broken bumper won’t be an inspection issue in itself (even though it might be a challenge to find a new used one for a Ferrari-grade rare car). It’s more the structural integrity the rust is working on that might be fatal.

  5. I_Borgward Avatar

    Via Craigslist, I found a fellow who is trading in his entire Volvo 240 parts collection for a baby (the kid is damn cute, BTW). Turns out he had nearly every spare part I’ve been seeking to keep my herd of three happy. K-Jet ECUs, idle control and ignition modules, a factory intercooler setup (my Turbo 245 came without one), a warm-up regulator that my 244 desperately needs, and an assortment of engine sensors, switches and interior parts.
    But the best score of all: an M46 manual transmission with only 88K miles on it! The Turbo’s trans has been making input shaft bearing grumbles and I was contemplating a T5 swap, but a low-mile stock unit will do just fine as I’m not building a dragster, just a nice street car.
    Now I don’t have to look for (yet another) parts car!
    Probably. I mean, that is, if I don’t feel like it.
    I can quit any time I want to.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      So you gave him a baby in exchange for the parts? LoL

  6. Jofes2 Avatar

    My news: went to Italy for a week and ran into this fantastic offer in Naples
    DeAgostini for 3 euro a piece! I only bought one, a mustard yellow Wartburg 353 Tourist, but it will look great next to the Volga I bought for four times the price in St. Petersburg back in March.
    Then we rented a beautifully blue Giulia for a couple of days

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      That is living the life.

    2. salguod Avatar

      At first glance I thought “Europe gets a Giulia 5 door? Shame about the awkward rear end shape.” Then I realized that the back door was open.

    3. Siemion Avatar

      Sweet! I can see some of the polish edition ones. I have over 200 of these – including a yellow 353 Tourist. When I was a kid I wanted to have real versions of my toy/model cars. My interests however turned from Ferraris and Lambos to Skodas and Ladas… Nevertheless:

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        That sounds like a healthy turn in interest.

    4. Sjalabais Avatar

      Whoa, nice! I buy these for 2-3€ from Germany, in shipments of 2-400€, then sell them for 25-35€ each in Norway. It’s a high priced country and my labour is lazy expensive.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Not just Wartburgs I presume? Otherwise I am learning something new and suprising about Norway!

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Haha, not just them, no. All kinds of (mostly Eastern bloc) 1:43 cars that come on sale online. Also trying to sell some limited edition cars at truly outrageous prices, but it’s harder to find takers here.

  7. salguod Avatar

    Last weekend I performed long overdue work on my daughter’s Mazda3 and repaired the issues with the new Protege for daughter #2.
    The 3 got an oil change, replacement valve cover gasket, zip tied front bumper where she had a small incident a year ago and I tore apart the dash in a vain attempt to find an odd howling noise in the HVAC. I also removed the hood insulation because it was oil soaked from her forgetting to put the oil cap on after adding oil. After the fight I had with the splash shield I elected to leave it off too, but I may put it back on later.
    The Protege got the single DIN Bluetooth receiver that was in her Escort installed in place of the factory double DIN nonfunctional CD changer, both RH inner door handles replaced and both RH lock actuators replaced.
    This weekend is largely going to be work as I’m behind on the interior design for our Type 65 coupe. If time permits, the Prius that daughter #3 will be driving needs a new hatch lift handle. Part is in hand, if I have the opportunity.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Hope you’re enjoying some bits, or else it sounds like busy weekend.

      1. salguod Avatar

        Aside from the failed attempt to fix her HVAC noise, yeah. I mostly enjoy doing the work. It’s the annoying things that should work but don’t that give me fits like the spinning weld nuts on the splash shield clips.
        The other was removing the Protege radio. All the videos online show folks just pushing in those silly wire loop tools, having them click and pulling the radio out, like magic. In reality, there are a lot of clicks once you push them in the holes, none of which results in you being able to pull on the radio. It was a lot of random pushing and pulling that eventually resulted in the radio coming out while sounding like I broke something. Once out you can see how it’s supposed to work, but I’ll be darned if I could make it happen blind.
        Breaking a valve cover bolt off wasn’t any fun either. I’m hoping it won’t result in a leak since there was one within an inch or so on either side.
        I’m not looking forward trying to track down the mystery HVAC howl as there are so many places where it could be coming from, all of which are hard to get to. Compounding the problem is it seems to never make the noise when I have the car, making it hard to diagnose.

  8. 0A5599 Avatar

    “Not only is it one of their best-looking builds yet, it’s also their first Mopar.”
    For what it’s worth, the AMC above the Charger became a Mopar back in 1987.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      I bet there would be some who would disagree with you on that!

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        I didn’t mean to imply that particular AMC was good looking, just that it is a Mopar, as evidenced by AMC judging categories at both Chryslers @ Carlisle and the Mopar Nats.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          And I meant that there must be some hardline AMC guys who would not regard the cars as Mopars.
          Here’s a test: is a WW2 Willys Jeep a Mopar?

          1. 0A5599 Avatar

            History is written by the victors.
            If that WWII Jeep had a Hellcat transplant like that Javelin, then unquestionably a Mopar.

          2. Rover 1 Avatar
            Rover 1

            Ford made quite a few and contributed to the design, and the name?
            The Willys were Willys MB, The Fords were Ford GPW , General Purpose, Willys design, licenced. GP gives JEEP

  9. outback_ute Avatar

    The first side on view of the Ferrari F**K made me wonder if they were coming out with a new Vector, before I read any of the text!

  10. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    More US market news from Australia. About the Chevrolet SS and your pending last chance to get a new one.
    Sales of the SS soared earlier this year to a record 1217 in March as buyers lapped up the deep discount applied to what US car enthusiast magazine Road and Track described as “so good, we deemed it worthy of comparison to the all-time benchmark sports sedan, the E39-chassis BMW M5”.
    The left-hand-drive Commodore’s 150 US sales in October ticked the year-to-date total over to 3131, taking its sales past last year’s full-year result of 3013 sales.
    That number is expected to jump dramatically, though; after cutting 20 percent from the price of the $US48,920 ($A64,000) four-door performance sedan earlier this year, Chevrolet is believed to be offering even deeper discounts in its efforts to clear what stock still remains at dealerships.
    According to US new car sales website Autotrader, more than 560 Chev SS sedans remain unsold, with most listed for around $US36,500, or the equivalent of about $48,000. Of those, only 45 are listed as having a manual gearbox.
    The last export Chevrolet SS, a Phantom Black manual LS3, was built at Holden’s now-shuttered Elizabeth production line in May. In its last 12 months of production, Holden built 4008 of the 6.2-litre V8 performance sedans.