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The News for April 10th, 2015

Greg Kachadurian April 10, 2015 The News! 11 Comments

Welcome to the Redusernab 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:

  • Ultima unleashes the Evolution

  • Hennessey prepares a 1,000 hp twin-turbo kit for new CTS-V

  • Audi will bring the RS3 to American enthusiasts

  • Fisker and Aston Martin settle lawsuit out of court

  • Chevrolet teases gen 6 Camaro with more technical details

  • Tanner Foust will compete in Formula Drift with a 900 hp Passat

  • What’s your automotive news?

Ultima Evolution

EVO001

Ultima is one of those brands that doesn’t get much exposure here on Redusernab, but this week they’ve earned a spot here on this prestigious news column for the Le Mans Group C-inspired super car they’ve unveiled this week.

The Ultima GTR and Can-Am have both broken many records during their production run, but the torch is about to be passed off to the coupe and convertible versions of the Evolution, which build on the many strengths of the old cars and improves on nearly everything, such as build quality, safety, driver comfort, usability, practicality, handling finesse, and of course, outright performance.  These improvements are all things that Ultima has picked up on since bringing the GTR to the market.

EVO055

There are two things that haven’t changed though: the car’s clear inspiration from the timeless Group C designs and the massive amount of power that’s available to buyers. Styling is largely untouched with the exception of the new carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, new LED lighting options, and lightweight forged alloy one-piece wheels. The interior is all business with a flat-bottomed racing wheel with wireless integrated button controls as an option, leather trimmed roll cage, perforated leather seats with alcantara inserts. There is at least navigation, an Alpine sound system, and iPod connectivity available for those that may want to use this somewhere other than a race track.

EVO012

As for the massive power, Ultima has stuck with Chevrolet V8 power – with some modifications. There are fifteen different power outputs to choose from, ranging from 350 horsepower all the way up to 1,020 horsepower thanks to a fancy new supercharger. Power goes to the rear wheels through a Porsche-sourced six-speed manual transaxle with a machined billet quick shifter cable change system. The first factory-built Ultima Evolution Coupe demonstrator (the car pictured) has that 1,020 hp engine option and has already shown some seriously impressive capabilities during testing. With a power to weight ratio of 1,050 hp per ton, there’s really not much that can touch this. As in, 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.9 seconds, 0-150 mph in 8.9 seconds, standing quarter mile in 9.2 seconds at 156 mph, and a top speed of 240 mph.

Since the first GTR was released, Ultima have devoted fifteen years of continuous research and development to improve it any way they can. As a result, there is almost nothing on the Evolution that is within the same specification of the GTR. Fundamental enhancements have been made to the chassis, bodywork (fit, finish, and aero), drivetrain, wheels, cooling system, fuel system, steering, suspension, lighting, interior, and more.

Ultima is now taking orders for the Evolution Coupe and Convertible. Pricing starts at £65,995 ($96,000) for a factory-built base Evolution, but they also come as DIY kit for less.

[Source: ]

Hennessey HPE1000 Cadillac CTS-V

hpectsv

Speaking of 1,000 horsepower, Hennessey are prepared to do to the new Cadillac CTS-V what they do best: throwing some turbos on it. When the all-new Cadillac CTS-V hits showrooms later this year, it’ll feature a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 cranking out 640 horsepower (more than the last Corvette ZR1) with a top speed of around 200 mph. That’s already good enough to make it one of the fastest sedans in the world, but it’s not good enough for Texas-based Hennessey Performance Engineering.

HPE has announced a limited production run of the 2016 HPE1000 Twin Turbo Cadillac CTS-V, of which just 24 will be built for the 2016 model year. As the name suggests, they’re ditching the factory supercharger and replacing it with dual snails for at least 1,000 horsepower. In addition to the extra power, HPE will also offer a full suite of performance upgrades ranging from carbon ceramic brakes, wider tires, and a widebody to accommodate for  them.

There are no other performance figures to go off of for now, but HPE remind us that they ran their VR1200 Twin Turbo CTS-V Coupe a few years ago on a closed Texas highway up to 221 mph before running out of room. They estimate that the new HPE1000 CTS-V could reach upwards of 240 mph given the room.

Those interested in acquiring one of the 24 HPE1000 kits for 2016 should Hennessey Performance Engineering. After this limited run, they are also planning other CTS-V packages that utilize the factory supercharger for 700-800 horsepower.

[Source: Hennessey Performance Engineering]

Audi RS3 coming to America

Audi RS 3 Sportback

is reporting that Audi will bring the awesome RS3 to the United States after an interview with Audi of America CEO, Scott Keogh. The high-performance compact was previously offered to European customers only as a five-door hatch, but when it reaches America it’ll likely be as a sedan instead.

But regardless of how many doors it has, the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 367 horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque is surely coming over unchanged. Power is sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which allows for a sub-five-second 0-60 mph time. Styling is just as sporty as it should be and the interior is a nice place to be for some apex hunting.

“We really, really want the RS3. [The sedan is] going to be a great positioning car, a great halo car. I’m very confident we’ll see that car in the market,” Keogh said to Automotive News. And we really, really want it too.

Expect the RS3 to arrive sometime in 2016.

[Source: – sub req.]

Aston Martin and Fisker hug it out

Henrik Fisker Thunderbolt Match_Front - High Res - EMBARGOED UNTIL 10AM ET 031415

Remember the Fisker Thunderbolt? Remember the lawsuit that Aston Martin filed against Fisker for said Thunderbolt? The latest news on that this week is that Aston Martin and Fisker have looked deep inside their hearts and settled the lawsuit out of court. Both parties resolved their differences and the lawsuit will be dropped.

The Fisker Thunderbolt was originally a one-off design study based on the Aston Martin Vanquish, but trouble came when Aston Martin decided it resembled their design too much… which it does. Fisker was open to the idea of offering a few interested rich people their own Thunderbolt with a few modifications, but the terms of the settlement state that Fisker will scrap those plans. No more Fisker Thunderbolts will be produced and Aston Martin will not sue. Some would say that everyone wins, but that’s just another beautiful [to me] car that won’t see production. The original Thunderbolt at least won’t be turned into washing machines, and if anything, this agreement makes it even more special.

[Source: ]

2016 Chevrolet Camaro has these wheels and less weight

gen6camaraowheels

Chevrolet are in full hype mode leading up to the Gen 6 Camaro’s May 16th debut. We’ve already learned that the new Camaro is entirely new and composed of 75% unique parts, but this week we’re learning a bit more about the car’s construction and lightweight [relatively speaking] design.

The Gen 6 Camaro will be at least 200 pounds lighter than the current Camaro, which should put it right around the 3,500 lb. mark. With that lightweight design comes more structural integrity thanks to over nine million hours of computer time to make the new Camaro more rigid than ever before it even turned a wheel. The modeling that was done in the digital world has cranked out a unibody that is 28% stiffer than the current Camaro. Besides the obvious benefits of a stiffer chassis, this also allowed engineers to more precisely tune the suspension without having to account for as much chassis flex while also making the suspension lighter. Also, it’ll have these wheels.

It may just be automotive PR teams talking, but the Gen 6 Camaro is expected to have a better power-to-weight ratio than the Mustang. We won’t know for sure until May 16th when Chevrolet reveals the car at Belle Island to a gathering of Camaro fans.

[Source: GM]

Tanner Foust’s drift Passat

pasaaaaaaat

Tanner Foust is a cool guy. Tanner Foust is a talented drifter, RallyCross driver, and TV show host. Tanner Foust has a 900 horsepower VW Passat now. Tanner Foust is awesome.

But seriously though, he’s just taken delivery of a 900 horsepower Passat to use in this year’s Formula Drift season. His sponsorship with Volkswagen and Rockstar Energy gave him great rides for RallyCross, but now it’s given him something properly mad for Formula Drift unlike anything they currently produce. The Volkswagen Passat comes from the factory with a 1.8-liter turbo four or a turbo diesel, but the Passat he’s using now is packed with a 7.4-liter V8 that cranks out 700 horsepower on its own. Factor in the nitrous and that increases to 900 horsepower. The factory DSG gearbox is replaced with four-speed transmission which sends all that to the rear wheels.

Tanner Foust is awesome.

[Source: Rockstar Energy via ]

What’s your automotive news?

DSCN8017

This week, a local dealership received something very, very special. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one in person and it may be the last, as it’s the only one coming through my area. I was in complete awe as I gave up a lunch break to come look at this really nice Lamborghini Huracan in Verde Mantis. I still think I like the Gallardo better but it’s still very nice.

So what’s your automotive news?

[Image © 2015 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

    Damn you Ultima. I just gave my non-essential organs to the guy with the fully restored Land Rover Defender.

    • Manic_King

      Pics, please. No, not of your organs.

  • That steering wheel display on the Ultima, that doesn’t strike me as the best idea ever… like, for instance, what happens when you turn?

    • Greg Kachadurian

      That’s pretty common in race cars actually. At speed the wheel won’t be turning all that much except for much slower corners, where you probably aren’t concerned about reading the speedo. Plus when there’s bright lights flashing numbers in your face I’d imagine they’re easy to notice regardless of what position the wheel’s in.

      Source: I play racing games and am therefore an expert.

      • Jeep Jeff

        Yes, but how am I supposed to do elbow-on-the-doorsill driving if I cannot comfortably grasp the top of the steering wheel with my other hand?

        • PotbellyJoe★★★★★

          Grab the side or bottom of the wheel, perhaps.

        • Monkey10is

          “Yes, but how am I supposed to do elbow-on-the-doorsill driving if the window is a single fixed polycarbonate panel?”
          (First-world problems)

  • GTXcellent

    Personal automotive news – last evening the entire family hopped in the ol’ F150 and drove an hour down the road to the nearest Jeep dealer so the Mrs could finally test a Renegade. It is a sharp looking little rig – looks better in real life than pictures. It was only a Latitude, and looks a little too suburban – I’d like to see a Trailhawk with bigger tires and little more lift. Surprisingly roomy inside for what it is – although it was definitely smaller than my folks Escape. Ride was ok. BUT, this is NOT a hot rod by any means. In fact, the performance was so disappointing that my wife ruled it out as her replacement. Now her gun sight is set squarely on an A4 (especially because a manual trans is available). Any insight out there? Wait until the 2016 redesign comes?

    • Greg Kachadurian

      I don’t really know anything about the next A4 other than that it’s going to feature that new edgy styling as seen on the new TT and R8 and will adopt some better lightweight construction. I’m not aware of any other big improvements – maybe a little moar power and mpg? If she gets behind the wheel of a current A4 and loves it, then it might not be worth waiting – or then again, maybe it will so she can get that same A4 at a discount 😉

    • Manic_King

      Why not 3-series? Or maybe A3, it’s same size A4 was 2 gen. ago. New A4 seems like A3 x1,2

      • GTXcellent

        BMW is an automatic out – the nearest dealer is over 300 miles away and I learned that lesson already with our current Saab. The Audi would be bad enough with that dealer “only” 180 miles.

        I think the A3 would be too little (that was a drawback to the ‘fore mentioned Renegade as well). The A4 is pretty much the same size as her current 9-3 Aero, and our boys don’t have a whole lot of room back there – and they’re still just little kids.

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