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The News for July 6th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian July 6, 2018 The News! 30 Comments

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:

  • Honda reveals Mean Mower V2, a 190-hp lawnmower that’s going for the speed record

  • Toyota confirms Goodwood appearance for Supra and shows off its NASCAR version

  • Dodge confirms price cut for Challenger SRT Hellcat

  • Chevrolet also drops price on new Silverado, starts under $30k

  • What’s your automotive news?

Honda Mean Mower V2

I know what you’re thinking. “Is a lawn mower really the most interesting thing that happened this week?” Why yes, yes it was. Nothing could have topped this anyway.

Honda UK has had a bit of a passion project going on since 2013 in the shape of a land speed record-breaking “Mean Mower”, an honest to god lawn mower capable of 116.57 mph under its own power. It was a one-off creation with a motorcycle engine and all sorts of race-inspired engineering behind it, but it could still cut the grass if tasked to. Because the record of fastest lawn mower is hotly contested, they’ve since been surpassed by Per-Kristian Lundefaret with a modified Viking T6 at 133.57. Honda fancies a go at taking that record back.

Say hello to the Mean Mower V2, the silliest and coolest thing I’ll write about all year. It’s the mastermind of Honda UK and Team Dynamics, Honda’s British Touring Car Championship partner and the builder of the first Mean Mower. For V2, they’ve pulled out all the stops. It’s been engineered with CAD design, more bespoke parts and advanced materials, and 3D printing. It also packs more than double the power of the original.

The whole thing is built around the 999cc inline four-cylinder engine plus the clutch, ECU, and six-speed transmission that was all borrowed from a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. It offers 190 hp at 13,000 rpm in something that weighs approximately 308 pounds. Honda did the math and figured an astonishing 1,000 hp/ton, which translates to a sub 3-second 0-60 time and 35 mpg.

Though it uses the same front cowl, grass box, and body panels as a standard-issue Honda HF 2622 lawn tractor on which it was built, everything beneath that is custom made for this beast of a thing. The chassis had to be redone in T45 steel rather than chromoly for durability and flexibility, which is important in something that has no suspension.

Even the Hoosier racing slicks that are wrapped around those Goldspeed ten-inch ATV wheels had to be custom ordered. As for the braking, it has a system stronger than what’s found in most cars with Kelgate four-piston front and six-piston rear calipers and vented discs to reduce weight.

And despite all the fancy race car stuff, it can still mow a lawn. It does it with electric motors which spin carbon fiber blades underneath the original – but lightly modified – cutter deck. And once it’s done cutting grass, it can run up to 90 mph in first gear and reach an expected 150 mph. Only when they go to reclaim the record will we know exactly what it can do, but 150 mph in something like this sounds possible… and absolutely terrifying.

The only one brave enough to ride a lawnmower up to 150 mph is Jess Hawkins, an experienced kart and car racer who at 23 is currently performing as a stunt driver in the touring Fast & Furious Live show. No word yet on when she’ll get a chance to take the record.

[Source: Honda UK]

Toyota Supra is Coming to Goodwood

Another week, another Supra update. This week it was announced that what we can assume is the road-going Toyota Supra will be making an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in some manner. A revealing photo was tweeted by Toyota Europe with the caption “ is back. A90. At Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 “.

A90 is pretty much confirmed to be the chassis code for the new Supra, which is logical as the last Supra was the A80.

They didn’t mention whether this’ll be a static display or if it’ll be making a run up the hill, but it would be hard to imagine why they wouldn’t take a stab at it after going through all the effort of getting it there. The road going Supra has never been seen with such little camo – you can pretty much see all there is to see with the exterior. All that really remains to be seen now is how it moves and hopefully that’s not too far away.

That wasn’t the only bit of Supra news we got this week, but it was the coolest. Toyota also revealed the “Supra” that’s destined for the NASCAR XFinity Series next season. If you’ve ever wondered what a sleek and sculpted Japanese sports car looks like when it’s stretched and awkwardly converted into a big and boxy stock car, look no further.

[Source: Toyota via Autoweek]

2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Pricing

The day after Dodge showed off the latest batch of Hellcats, including that new Hellcat Redeye, they went and confirmed pricing in a news release that just couldn’t happened until after the news came out last week. For those who still care, the “standard” Challenger SRT Hellcat just got cheaper and the new range-topping SRT Hellcat Redeye seems to be a bit of a bargain.

The 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat gets a new MSRP of $58,650, about $5,000 less than the one before it despite the 10 hp power bump and the new interior features. Meanwhile, the SRT Hellcat Redeye – the one that attempts to fill the void left by the Demon with 797 horsepower out of its same engine – starts at $69,650. All prices exclude the $1,395 destination charge and the $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

[Source: Dodge]

2019 Chevrolet Silverado Pricing

Chevrolet is readying the all-new 2019 Silverado for its market launch and they’ve just confirmed the pricing. Despite all the numerous improvements in both weight, standard technology, and the all-new turbo four-cylinder engine in the base model, the MSRP drops by $700 to a new asking price of $29,795 for a ‘Work Truck’ grade regular cab/long bed specification.

As is typical in the full size truck world, you can easily find yourself spending as much as $54,495 (High Country crew cab/short bed) for a truck with an options list similar to most luxury cars. But Chevrolet has made it easier to get exactly the kind of truck you need with more configurations and in between so you can pick exactly the level of luxury and capabilities you need. Of course, dealers will just continue to keep the trucks with the Z71 off road package in stock…. or maybe that’s just a Georgia thing.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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 © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Fred

    I see the mower has a deck. Are they going to cut the grass when they make that run?

    • 0A5599

      It’s probably something like Bonneville, where you can set a category in one class, drain the tank to fill back up with a different kind of fuel, or add non-production aerodynamic aids, or make some other small change to attempt a different record in another class.

      I predict something like a record for fastest lawnmower, then another (slower) record for mowing a certain amount of grass.

    • crank_case

      It has to be a functional lawnmower in order to qualify for the record.

      • Fred

        I went to a lawnmower race once and they all removed the deck saying it was unsafe.

        • outback_ute

          True, but on the salt there isn’t the risk of running into other mowers!

        • Alff

          It’s not really a mower then, is it? Make it an eighth of a mile freshly cut, run it on a par five on a city course and everybody wins.

  • neight428

    I’m not sure what applying your name to a NASCAR vehicle does for your brand these days. With zero carryover to vehicles sold in showrooms, not even styling, why bother? NASCAR has been a spec series for a while now, I guess the OEM’s are just secondary sponsors that support the engine development.

    • Alff

      NASCAR should die. Create a void for something interesting

      • neight428

        I’m not a fan, but if it pays it’s own bills, I’m not going to get in its way. All I can figure is that it’s more of a cultural thing, rural, primarily, though not exclusively southern, etc., you get the gist. Very little to do with the machines from a fan or marketing perspective. The most devoted NASCAR fan I have run across recently wouldn’t know a carburetor from a brake caliper, but he was up to speed on which driver hated the other guy’s crew chief. Very odd.

        • Alff

          My beef is that they run on big boring ovals that typically involve taxpayer funding. Here in KC they initially held out a promise to put a road course on the infield, something that wouldn’t draw the big crowds but would get used by amateur racers every weekend. Instead we have a monolith that sees sporadic use.

  • Sjalabais

    A yellow Blob-class MB and a golden Mercedes ‘vert is a giveaway as to where we currently are, roughly speaking:
    https://image.ibb.co/mHzGWd/IMG_20180706_212859.jpg
    …if it wasn’t for the pimp-like associations, the yellow Mercedes actually had a pretty amazing colour:
    https://image.ibb.co/bwXQPy/IMG_20180706_212940.jpg
    Also, a Tatra right in front of the mountain area that inspired its name:
    https://image.ibb.co/ht1Kjy/IMG_20180706_213105.jpg

    • Fun fact 1: I’ve heard from an acquaintance who did business with Kia that Slovakia is (was, recently?) the country that produced most cars per capita – in the world. We’re talking 0.2 cars per person (1e6 over 5e6, or imagine the USA producing 1.6 billion cars/annnum).

      Fun fact 2: The Tatra Mountains have a Google rating of 4.7 of 5 (447 reviews). What the heck does that mean? I don’t have the energy, but please somebody find a mountain range with a higher rating…

      • Sjalabais

        Yes, I was a bit disappointed by how many new cars populate the roads in both Slovakia and the Czech Republic (even though most go into export, obviously). Very few old cars out in the streets, at least, and lots and lots of Škodas, of course. Bratislava is apparently among the richest regions in Europe (an administrative quirk like Hamburg, with a real foundation to it) – there’s AMGs and Bentleys everywhere.

        Google will rate anything…what I found funny is how someone copyrighted the name “Tatraplan” for hiking maps:
        https://image.ibb.co/iDbUp8/IMG_20180709_084821.jpg
        …while I’m sure 10/10 hooniversal minds would think Tatra 600:
        https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/tatra-600-tatrapl%C3%A1n-27838721.jpg

  • kogashiwa

    I really hope all those different camo schemes are factory paint options for the Supra.

  • Scoutdude

    I have some big news, at least to me, Thursday I went and purchased a car. A 2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, with the Reserve Package and all of the options that left out and the more expensive version of the options. So Pano roof instead of small sunroof and the Tri-coat metallic paint instead of just the metallic paint. So far I’m loving it and I think I got a good price as the dealership has had it long enough that they were starting to drop the price, yet I was still able to beat them up a bit on price.

    It was pretty painless until it came to the trade and the trade paper work. We were trading in the Escape that was in my wife’s name so they sent it home with me. Only I didn’t notice that the spelled her name wrong and put my DL#. So when my Daughter and I took in the Escape and paperwork the title lady said they can’t have it with hand written corrections. They got the finance guy to do new paper work but they didn’t get her DL# right. So today my wife went back with me and we finally closed out the deal. I was sweating a bit that they were going to balk on how much they gave me for the trade. This is the Escape that my wife wrecked last winter and I patched the significantly torn bumper cover back together with double stick tape and strips of aluminum. I probably should have kept it and sold it myself but said screw it I just want it gone.

    • Fred

      I’m curious how your Lincoln fares. How many miles on it? Keep us abreast on repairs if any.

      • Scoutdude

        It had just a hair under 38K miles on it. One thing out of the gate that I found before making the deal is that pano sunroof isn’t sliding smoothly when it closes. The supposedly lubed the track when they detailed it for delivery and that may be working in some however they are supposed to look at it on Wed. Either way it is still under warranty until the end or the year or until I turn the odo past 50K. I have a feeling that part of the problem is that the previous owner didn’t ever open it. I wanted the Pano roof which is one reason that I looked for the Lincoln over the Ford and will open it every chance I get.

        I’m not worried about the power train as we are getting near 140k on our 2013 C-Max which is the same.

        • Open and close the roof as often as you can until the end of the year, then treat it conservatively…

          • Scoutdude

            Update, the internet revealed a TSB with directions on how to clean and lube the tracks to fix the issue. So I’m hopeful that will take care of the issue.

    • MattC

      Congrats on the “new to you” ride. I’m in the market for a newer commuter car and the Fusion Hybrid/Accord Hybrid/ MKZ hybrid are definitely in the running (preferably off lease examples). Please update us on your experience. I am selfishly waiting my turn to pull the trigger

      • Scoutdude

        Well I can’t vouch for the Accord Hybrid though I like their Hybrid system even if I don’t like the style. Going in I was planning on a Fusion Titanium but the Pano Roof and the fact that this one had all the goodies that others at the same price didn’t made me say what the heck I’ll spend a little more and get the Lincoln.

  • Maymar

    So, out for a drive today, totally forgot the Indy is in town next weekend until I ended up on the course (other side of the road here, but the point remains). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bcd2073ae480a48e5c91ac7db410e6615daf2cb55151f4f52d210bce53e13a1d.jpg

    • Alff

      Armor All.

      • Maymar

        It is bad, isn’t it? I cleaned my windshield last weekend because it was pretty bad, but since the dash hasn’t obstructed my ability to drive, I didn’t think about it. I also clearly need to replace the cabin air filter.

        • Alff

          Meh. Mine don’t look any better.

    • Scoutdude

      Ha a MKZ in front of you which is significant since I just bought one as detailed above.

      • Smaglik

        That was the first thing I noticed. Congrats!

  • outback_ute

    Moved another couple of Imps during the week (last week now), one had no rear end or mechanicals in it at all and when I brought it home it was by using 4 wheels in the engine bay on a crowbar for an axle to get it mobile, then tying it to a tree and driving the trailer out from under it. This time my friend had an old trailer axle to put under it, which is a lot easier to say than it was to do. The second one had donated suspension parts so wasn’t simple either – still more fun than a day at work!

  • So I’ve had enough of the slushbox in the BMW. I had a guy swap a manual into it. Its a completely different car, but now, I have to drill out the bolts on the end of the exhaust manifold. All 4 sheared off. I’ve got 1 drilled out. Used up 4 bits doing so. Tonight I will go at the next one.

  • JayP

    Waiting to hear about the Vic.
    Spoke with the tech, seemed reasonable enough. He said he didn’t want to tear into the intake until l we spoke and confirmed the warranty had expired on the work done by the other shop. Told him they allowed 90 days on parts and labor, we’re 18 months past.
    He laughed and said their shop offers 24k miles or 24 months – whichever is longer.
    I hate taking the car to shops but so far these folks aren’t raving idiots like the other place.