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The News for August 19th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian August 19, 2016 The News! 27 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:

  • Koenigsegg sends the first US-spec Agera RS to Monterey

  • McLaren debuts the 570GT by MSO with a fancy glass roof

  • Dodge revives the T/A and Daytona nameplates

  • Infiniti has a production-ready variable compression engine

  • Mercedes reveals the huge Maybach 6 concept

  • BMW 2002 Hommage picks up a throwback livery

  • Follow up: The Peninsula Best of the Best Award goes to…

Koenigsegg Agera XS

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Koenigseggs are getting hard to keep track of which is why one American buyer wanted to make it even harder when ordering their Agera RS. It’s the first US-spec Agera RS, which is described as an evolution of the One:1 but with more comfort and “practicality”, and that meant it was special enough to be called the Agera XS. That’s according to the buyer’s wishes. But when they’re responsible for bringing something like this to the states for the first time, they can call it whatever they please.

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The first US-spec Agera RS XS is making its debut somewhere within Monterey Car Week and it promises to be the most mental road-legal car in the country. It’s also a quite a bit unlike the other Agera RS models terrorizing the world’s highways, and not just because of the name. It’s presented in Karosserie Orange – an “intense orange finish with diamond-dust metallic effect” – and a clear carbon center strip. The interior follows the same color scheme with black Alcantara and orange contrast stitching. Bespoke to this example is a new aero package which includes the largest rear wing ever mounted to a Koenigsegg.

Perhaps most importantly, it’s going to be ungodly quick. It being an evolution of the One:1 means it has most of the same hardware as the Megacar. It runs with a 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 mated to a CIMA seven-speed paddle shift transmission with Koenigsegg’s in-house, integrated E-diff. Normal Agera RS models have 1,160 horsepower and up to 944 lb.-ft – in a car that weighs 3,075 lbs. wet. Sheer insanity.

It also has a bunch of other features nobody but the owner would care about. But hey, it looks cool.

[Source: Koenigsegg]

McLaren 570GT by MSO

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Called it.

McLaren’s concept debut at Pebble Beach is a 570GT that’s been worked on by McLaren Special Operations (MSO). Like most if not all MSO concepts of the past, this now bespoke 570GT is being used to preview some visual and practical enhancements made by the MSO team, some of which will eventually be available to customers.

Sound is something McLaren has been pretty good at lately, but MSO has come up with a new titanium exhaust system for the 570GT which brings it to a new level of awesome. It’s 30% lighter than stock and it delivers a progressively richer and more characterful tone as the revs increase. It also features an exhaust heat shield finished in a golden titanium nitride tint. On the outside, it stands out with Elite Pearl White paint and an MSO Piano Black package providing a deep gloss black finish to all exterior trims and the wheels.

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The big new thing here though is a new Electro-Chromic Roof. It’s a new technology currently in development for the 570GT which has a lightly tinted glass roof as standard. On top of the standard UV-protective interlayer, the new roof adds an electro-chromic interlayer which can be adjusted through five defined points from almost clear to a rich, dark tint. It adds a further level of comfort, privacy, and protection for the occupants. It’s also controlled with touch-sensitive headlining, so it’s also really really cool.

It has other new things too, but only people rich enough to go see it on the concept lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance would find it interesting.

[Source: McLaren]

Dodge Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 (foreground) and 2017 Dodge Challe

Meanwhile at the Woodward Dream Cruise, Dodge announced the triumphant return of two historic nameplates. The 2017 Dodge Challenger and Charger will be available as a T/A or Daytona, respectively, and they’re far more than just decal packages meant for an extra couple hundred bucks added to its resale value. To sum these up, they’re non-Hellcat cars with many of the additional performance enhancements enjoyed by the Hellcat models.

The Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona borrow the Hellcat’s cold air intake, electronically controlled cat-back exhaust, bigger brakes, and 20″ wheels to clear them. There is of course a unique tape striping package for each model and they both come with extra bolstering on their sports seats.

2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392

The Challenger T/A gets all of the above a NACA ducted hood, 2.75″ exhaust, Bilstein shocks, performance brake linings, and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. It even gets the same pass-through headlight found on the Hellcat. And last but not least, there’s an option for factory-installed hood pins. The Challenger T/A starts at $38,485. A little higher up in the hierarchy is the T/A Plus and that just adds multiple interior upgrades, like an 8.4″ UConnect screen, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a shortcut for the Performance Pages available from the UConnect system. That commands $41,235. If you want all that but with the 392 6.4-liter V8 instead, that starts at $45,090.

2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 (left) and 2017 Dodge Charger Day

For the Charger Daytona, it’s ctrl+c and ctrl+v minus the air intake headlights. The Charger Daytona’s pricing ranges from $40,985 to $46,090 for the Daytona 392.

These beasts will hit dealerships this fall.

[Source: Dodge via ]

BLIPS

INFINITI VC-T engine - 15 August 2016 - F3-42k

Infiniti will soon debut the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, a project nearly twenty years in the making. Infiniti VC-T (Variable Compression – Turbocharged) will make its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show on September 29th, so we’re missing some vital specs and a full explanation of how the hell they’ve managed this, but here’s what we know so far. The VC-T will debut as a four-cylinder engine in a future production model and its key benefit is the ability to switch between high performance and high efficiency at the drop of a hat. Through its ability to seamlessly lengthen or shorten the stroke of the piston, its compression ratio can vary between 8:1 and 14:1. The transition will happen automatically depending on conditions or how much of a pussy the driver is. If they can make it reliable and if the benefits are clear, we may be looking at the future of the internal combustion engine here. You’ll hear more on this later…

[Source: Infiniti]

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The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 made its debut at Pebble Beach yesterday. It can be summed up in two ways: 1) the Mercedes Vision Gran Turismo in luxury trim 2) an eighteen-and-a-half-foot “fuck you” to the working class. Its theoretical drivetrain is an all-electric, all-wheel-drive system with about 738 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of under four seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, and a 200+ mile range – theoretically speaking, of course. It’s hilariously big and would be obscenely expensive if it were to go into production, but it’s the perfect car for Pebble Beach.

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[Source: Mercedes-Benz via ]

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BMW surprised at Pebble Beach with an updated 2002 Hommage concept and one of the coolest throwback liveries possible. It all went down at the conclusion of Thursday’s action at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the historics. BMW has a huge display set up to spotlight some of their most iconic and most successful race cars from their history. I was wandering around during one of their press conferences when I looked out and saw this sitting outside, waiting to be driven in under their tent. It looks freakin awesome. The 2002 Hommage is a funky looking car but this Turbomeister livery dramatically improves it. It’s a very similar livery to what some of the 2002 turbos raced with in the 70s. The success those cars saw is what got people to pay attention to turbos. Now that all BMW models are turbocharged, it’s fitting to celebrate with a throwback to a time when turbos were just getting started.

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Follow up: the winner of the inaugural The Peninsula Best of the Best Award is the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS, Chassis No. 90106 Coupé aérodynamique ‘Goutte d’Eau’. It beat out five other fantastic cars, all prior best in show winners from the world’s top concours events. A panel made up of 24 industry legends and leaders did the judging and they’ve essentially named the finest car in the world right now. I think I agree.

[Source: The Peninsula Hotels]

What’s your automotive news?

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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 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Rented a 2016 F150 Supercrew XLS 4X4 this week. Compared to our well-worn 2002 Supercrew, it kind of sucked. Seats were worse, tranny shifted worse, ride was waaay worse, road nose was worse at speed. The only thing that was awesome was the Ecoboost V6, which is much smoother and silkier than our old 5.4L Triton modular.

    My wife and I were actually kind of pleased; it didn’t leave us jonesing for a new truck and the monthly payments that would go with it.

    • Sjalabais

      We the ride: Small pickups like the Mazda B2000 etc are very harsh and jumpy unloaded, being commercial vehicles. I guess that’s not the same with American pickups, being basically used as cars? Anyway, good to get your “old car is best car”-strategy confirmed. Lots of nods around the table.

      • Neither of them has a stellar ride by car standards, but these were two examples of the exact same model; I was very surprised that the 14-year-old one had the more comfortable ride.

  • JayP

    While on a pizza run I witnessed a Ram 2500 utility truck lurch right and into a barrel roll due to a suspension failure. I was the first to stop to find the driver was shaken up but unhurt. I just knew someone was going to climb out all beat to hell. 2 rolls at 60mph – not a scratch.

    With that, the Vic suspension parts I’ve ordered are going on this weekend.

  • The Real Number_Six

    I read “electro-chromic roof” as electro-comic. Now I want a car that daily paints a random favourite comic panel overhead.

    • 0A5599

      You missed the last word. Electro-comic SANS. You definitely don’t need that shit in your car.

      • The Real Number_Six

      • Fuhrman16

        OK, why does Comic Sans get so much crap as a font? I’ve never understood the hate for it.

        • Sjalabais

          It’s a messy font with reduced readability, trying to (very half-heartedly) emulate handwriting. It is the #1 choice for the clueless trying to establish an atmosphere of relaxed friendliness, which sort of fails when you struggle to read a full page invitation, say. My mil has it as the basic font on her phone and I have to bite my tongue every time she wants to show me anything on the phone.

          • nanoop

            So what would be the better choice to achieve that atmosphere in body text? Optima is maybe still too formal.

            • Sjalabais

              Actual, real hand writing maybe? Not sure. I’m the formal kind. =8^)

            • Tekton Pro Bold.

          • Vairship

            On the other hand, it is a GREAT font to use at work for documents which you DO NOT want to be sent to the customer, intentionally or otherwise… 😉

        • nanoop

          Me neither, it’s not a good font for body copy, and basically works only for “Happy Birthday” along a curved path (like so many other title fonts), but people send me emails with background images and bold Arial headings, too, and I hate that.

  • CraigSu

    That Maybach interior looks like it could benefit from some cable management. Either that or just replace the wires with a plasma generator and put on an interior light show.

    • Vairship

      Similarly, the seats would only cradle one size of butt.

  • My auto news is that today was the last day at my place of employment for the last 15 years. In two weeks I start a new job where, among other things, I get to play with cars. My former boss is expanding his design and engineering and small run manufacturing business into design, manufacturing and building kit cars. He’s got a Factory Five 818 nearly complete and a K1 Attack in the wings.

    I’ll be overseeing the design and engineering business and helping to run the kit car side of things. He’s still figuring out where it’s headed, but designing and manufacturing our own kit is a real possibility.

    This is either a fantastic career move or the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. Too soon to tell.

    • Alff

      What sort of kit would you create?

      • Mid engined, WRX powered, likely a roadster, possibly AWD.

    • jeepjeff

      I can think of dumber things you could do. That sounds awesome, man.

      • Thanks, I hope so. Look for more information as I get into it next month.

  • That Talbot Lago is absolutely stunning

    • Rover 1

      And you can make your own replica, (with Lincoln LS/Jaguar V8) – and even buy the company that makes them.

      • Sjalabais

        Can’t get this out of my head, but…3000 pounds and an automatic. No price on the website?

        • Rover 1

          You could email them?

          • Sjalabais

            True, but it’s not like I’m waiting to burn througha random six digit dollar amount – which it almost certainly would be with Norwegian taxes. Very tempting machine though.

  • nanoop

    I declassified one of my ‘What Enzo?’ T-shirt from “rather cool (within my personal boundaries) apparel” to “may get stained or ripped”.
    The winning “strategy” of this year’s LeMans Fords made the decision surprisingly easy, I tend to cling to my old shirts well longer than Mrs.nanoop would prefer.

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