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The News for September 21st, 2018

Greg Kachadurian September 21, 2018 The News! 25 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. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Ferrari surprises with stunning Monza SP1 and SP2 barchettas

  • Audi reveals production-ready e-tron SUV, priced from $74,000

  • BMW does another ugly concept car again

  • Ferrari reluctantly confirms development of “Ferrari Utility Vehicle” by 2022

  • Mercedes-AMG proves Project One is a road legal racecar with testing shots

  • What’s your automotive news?

Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Ferrari to write about that has actually made me excited, but here we are. Ferrari surprised a bunch of rich people at an investor summit with two versions of one very special new car.  The Monza nameplate is back with the Monza SP1 and SP2, two open top supercars that seek to offer a driving experience like no other with seating for one or two.

Among the many things Ferrari discussed with the rich people that give them lots of money was a new segment of cars under the ‘Icona’ name which will feature heavy influences from Ferrari’s illustrious past. The Monza SP1 and SP2 will be the first of such cars, taking inspiration from the 166 MM, 750 Monza, and 860 Monza. Just like those original barchettas, they’re low, sleek, and quite stunning. There’s no roof and no physical windscreen besides the small one the optional passenger gets.

And yes… also like the old cars, the new Monza has a V12 hiding underneath that long bonnet and it’s the most powerful [road] engine Maranello has ever produced. It’s a 6.5-liter V12 producing 799 horsepower at 8,500 RPM and 530 lb.-ft. of torque at 7,000 RPM. There’s no turbo and no hybrid – just one earth-shattering V12. They claim a 2.9-second 0-62 mph time and a 0-124 mph time of 7.9 seconds – we have no reason to doubt that.

The entire body shell is made from carbon fiber and designed as if it were created by a single pencil stroke. The architecture is based on a “monolithic form with an aerodynamic wing profile”, allowing designers more freedom than usual.

Some of the more complex aerodynamic solutions from other Ferraris were avoided here in order to create a more simple and timeless look. There’s no active aero or big spoilers here – in fact, the only real aerodynamic challenges they worked to overcome was managing airflow around the exposed cabin. They used a “Virtual Wind Shield” in the fairing ahead of the instrument panel to deviate airflow just enough to make it not miserable while on the move.

The thorough use of carbon fiber and a distinct lack of a roof helps keep the weight down and the improve the driving characteristics. They quote a dry weight of 3,306 pounds for the SP1 – add 50 pounds for the extra seat and roll bar. With the relatively little weight all hanging around down low, it provides for an uncompromising driving experience. Ferrari claims it’s perfectly balanced with no roll whatsoever. Mix that with a true open air experience and an epic V12, it truly should be sensational.

It will be road legal and it will be very limited to an unspecified degree. It’s probably one of those cars where Ferrari has to allow you to buy it too.

But to answer the one question you guys really wanted to know… there’s no word on whether a matching luggage set is available, but they have partnered with Loro Piana and Berluti to create a matching line of gentleman-driver-inspired apparel and accessories. Not even joking.

[Source: Ferrari]

Audi e-tron fully unveiled

The e-tron name has been tossed around Audi’s production and concept car lineup for longer than I’ve been covering this industry, but that’s all been leading up to this – Audi’s first all-electric vehicle destined for mass production. And it’s just called the e-tron. And it’s another SUV.

The Audi e-tron is a mid-size SUV that’s “fit for every aspect of daily life” but still has the performance, comfort, and features you’d expect from any of Audi’s nine billion other SUVs. Reservations are open now and deliveries are expected to start in Q2 2019. Pricing starts at $74,800.

For that money, you get a 95kWh battery pack that runs beneath the cabin floor and powers two asynchronous electric motors, one at each axle. The e-tron is free to distribute power and torque where it needs to and simulates Quattro AWD as needed. Previous releases from Audi claimed peak power of 402 horsepower and 490 lb.-ft. of torque in “boost mode” or 355 horsepower and 414 lb.-ft. of torque everywhere else, but this latest release says we’ll need to wait for official US power figures. But we do know it’s capable of a 5.5-second sprint to 60 mph and a limited top speed of 124 mph. When equipped with the tow package, it can haul up to 4,000 pounds.

Word on the street is to expect around 250 miles of range which would put it about on par with every other electric SUV I’ve talked about recently, but those numbers are still pending as well. Audi estimates that about 30% of its range comes from the advanced regenerative braking system that they were so eager to talk about and it’ll be the first EV with a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW at select charging stations. 80% of its driving range can be replenished in under 30 minutes.

Moving on to the design, it uh… looks like an Audi alright. The design isn’t anything out of the ordinary for your typical Audi SUV with the exception of the grille that’s been enclosed and the rear diffuser that draws attention to the absence of tailpipes because we needed reminding that this was an electric SUV.

Audi claims their designers worked in close collaboration with aerodynamics experts – as they usually would – to create the most efficient shape for an SUV they could manage. It rolls on aerodynamically-optimized 20″ wheels wrapped with low rolling resistance tires, it has just enough cooling ducts up front for the brakes but otherwise its face is closed off, and features a fully clad underbody with an aluminum plate for battery protection. All that makes it efficient already, but Audi went a step further and added adaptive, speed-dependent air suspension which can adjust ride height by up to 3 inches to further improve airflow. That same air suspension also enables an off-road mode with an additional 1.4″ of ground clearance.

As for the cabin, it’s as spacious as a midsize SUV can get with its compact drivetrain. There’s seating for five and 28.5 cubic feet of luggage space behind them, or 57 cubic feet with the back seats folded. There’s a panoramic roof, multi-adjustable contour front seats with massaging and heating/cooling, four-zone climate control with ionization and aromatization (we just used to call that farting), and all the technology Audi is known for.

Seriously, there’s a ton of it. I’ve copied the breakdown in features that each trim level adds, starting with the Premium Plus and working up to the limited (999 units) First Edition.

Those interested in placing a reservation can do so . There’s a $1,000 deposit that is fully refundable should you choose to cancel. If electric driving range is all you care about, you can probably go just as far for a whole let less. But if you want a good electric SUV that’s comfortable, packed with tech, boasts solid build quality, and isn’t associated with someone who can’t stop accusing a hero of being a pedophile, the e-tron sounds like it’ll be a solid choice.

[Source: Audi]

BMW Vision iNext

Hey remember that Audi e-tron I just talked about? The BMW Vision iNext is a lot like that, except a lot less real and a lot less attractive. It’ll end up as some highly automated, emission-free, and fully connected #mobility #solution by 2021. And that’s as far as I care to read into the press release.

[Source: BMW]

Ferrari confirms Purosangue SUV for 2022

One of the sadder things Ferrari discussed at their big “give us money pls” summit was the one thing nobody except investors wanted to hear. According to , not even Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri wanted to really hear it either.

Ferrari has confirmed that the Purosangue is under development and is four years away. It’s going to be what you or I would call an SUV, but Ferrari really wants it to be known as a FUV, or Ferrari Utility Vehicle. As Camilleri explained to the media, it’s because “I abhor hearing SUV in the same sentence as Ferrari”. That makes 7-billion-and-one of us.

But the general car buying public is eating SUVs up and it’s probably the single most profitable move any manufacturer could make, hence why we’re suddenly seeing so many new offerings from different brands. Ferrari has investors that could give fewer shits about diluting the brand or turning Enzo’s spinning grave into a renewable energy resource, so ensuring long term profitability with yet another super SUV FUV is the only way to go.

So besides the name, which translates into “thoroughbred” (lol), the only other thing we know for sure is that it’ll be a hybrid. Probably AWD too. A V12 would be surprising and kind of awesome but a turbo V8 is more likely.

But there’s one thing that’s guaranteed regardless of how it turns out – should I still be writing about cars by 2022, I’m going to be extremely salty when I have to cover this again.

[Source: ]

Mercedes-AMG Project One begins road testing

In more cheerful news, Mercedes-AMG has been testing the insane Project One hypercar out in public and were compelled to show us. There aren’t really any new developments to report about this car. I just wanted an excuse to show it again.

This true race car for the street is powered by modern F1 tech – which nobody has figured out as well as Mercedes – and should produce around 1,000 horsepower. It’ll have a civilian version of the 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 found in their F1 car, complete with all the motor generator units for hybrid power. It’s one of the handful of upcoming hypercars that look so out of this world that you’d never expect one to actually be road legal – but here it is, out testing on public roads. Maybe not everything about the future is going to suck.

[Source: Mercedes-AMG via ]

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 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Smaglik

    Small project for the m5 this weekend: swap out the steering where for a recovered one from Coby Wheel. I did this for the m3 earlier this year, and absolutely love it. The wheel in the m3 was shiny and slimy (I used the magic erasers several times, but it kept coming back), so it was kind of a necessity to remove the grossness (I believe one of the previous owners had a lotion fetish to go along with his or her hooker nails, as evidenced by all the scratches near the door pulls). But, after this replacement, the wheel in the m5 feel unnaturally slim. So, here it is. I just need to swap over the trim, electronics, and airbag.

  • Greg Kachadurian

    So I’ve been brainstorming some ideas for a “winter” setup for my Mustang. I don’t want to risk driving on UHP summers when it gets below freezing here in Georgia, just for the sake of safety and not shortening the life span of a really expensive set of tires.

    So for the long run I was looking at getting a set of these American Racing AR924s and BFG Comp 2 All Seasons or Michelin AS3s that I would be using between November and March or so.

    The sizes would be 19×10 and 275/35/R19s on all four. I have a much bigger set right now for summer use so I’m not worried about fitment. I know the performance won’t be nearly the same, but if the only alternative is to risk it on summers or park the car for 4-5 months out of the year…. I’ll deal with it. This is the first time I’ve had to really deal with this kind of dilemma so I’m open to any suggestions or back on tires for the colder months.

    Am I doing this right? And just for the record, I don’t ever plan on driving this in the snow. I just want a tire that can handle the frequent 10-40*F temps we see in the winter.

    • Scoutdude

      If AS tires will do the trick for you then I’d look for take offs from a lesser Mustang, or at least a set of take off wheels. They are of higher quality than the ARs and will be cheaper too based on my local craigslist pricing anyway. Particularly if you want to stick with the 19″ as those seem to go for less than the 18″ and 17″ since their tires are cheaper. Personally with temps like that I’d certainly consider winter tires.

      • Smaglik

        This is a good idea.

      • JayP

        The brakes may limit the wheels to 19’s but I agree 18’s are easier to come by and less $$.

    • Zentropy

      Smart move, as summer compounds go rock-hard when the temperatures dip low. I would second the notion of going with 18s if they will clear the brakes, and I would go as narrow as you think you can manage. A big patch is a huge disadvantage if you find yourself on even moderately snow-covered roads. In Georgia, I personally wouldn’t bother with winter tires. We lived in NC for years and used all-seasons year-round with zero issues (except during ice storms, when studs or chains are your only real hope of traction). We live in central Ohio now, and I still run all-seasons.

      • Central Ohio? Did I know this? I feel like I had this conversation with someone here at some point.

        I’m in central Ohio too and bought winter tires for 2 of my cars and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, our Prius is terrible in the snow and the winter tires make a big difference. (The Mazda3 isn’t as bad.) On the other hand, we just don’t get that much significant snow and we do get a few 60-70 degree days during the winter and winter tires are bad news at those temperatures. Plus trying to when it’s going to stay cold or stay warm for change over time I’m just not sure it’s worth it. I’ve got one more season of tread left on them and then I need to decide if I’m going to get another set or not.

    • GTXcellent

      I’m obviously quite late to this party, but I’ll throw my couple of pennies into this – where you live, I would absolutely NOT get snow tires. Just like summer compounds are bad – very bad – when it gets below 40, winter tires are just as worthless when it’s above 40. How many days do you have that stay below 40 degrees? You won’t be on snow, so just go with a performance all-season. I’ll also echo some other opinions here – go with if an 18″ rim if it will clear the brakes as the tires are MUCH cheaper (I know with the MiSSus car, there were a couple of BBS wheels that do clear the Brembo calipers – that’s what we went with).

      In hindsight for our car, I wish I had just gotten all-seasons since we decided we aren’t driving in any kind of weather.

  • Maymar

    I was initially sort of excited for the Peugeot e-Legend concept, but they made a mistake publishing any photos with it alongside the original 504 coupe, because now it just looks like an overstyled Gallic Camaro.

    I’m fully on board with the blue velour interior though.

    • Fuhrman16

      That reminds me a lot of the Nissan IDX concept from a few years ago.

    • outback_ute

      May as well make concept car pillars unrealistically skinny right?

      • Maymar

        Actually, that’s another part I’m here for (especially the big windows).

        • outback_ute

          The additional pillars/framing in the windshield are a strange touch. Can’t work out why they did that, very different from most split pillar designs.

  • Citric

    FUV is the perfect name for that.

    • Smaglik

      It’s a great name for any personality free blob!

    • bv911

      Came here to say the same thing.

      Think it needs a hyphen:

      it’s an FU-V

  • Greg Kachadurian

    I’m in Georgia. Last winter it was below freezing every night but would warm up to the high 30s/low 40s throughout the day. My last car had all seasons and it was never a problem in those temps and even in the little ice we got. If there was any more, the whole state would be shut down lol. If there’s ever a chance of wintry weather it won’t be driven at all, so I’m just concerned with the temps. And I think with my brake kit I pretty much have to run 19s, maaaaybe 18s. I’ll double check though.

  • kogashiwa

    Ferrari should have just re-styled a Ford Escape or something, Aston Cygnet style. “this is how much we care”

    • outback_ute

      They care about the $$$. Although if they aren’t platform sharing the mega profit margins won’t be there, at which point damaging the brand surely isn’t worth it?

    • Maymar

      The Jerrari’s been done before, why not just do it again?

  • tonyola

    Not really auto related, but I’ve upgraded my monitor from 24″ @ 1920×1080 to 32″ @ 2560×1440. Woo!

  • Rover 1

    “BMW does another ugly concept car again”

    I think that this is no longer news any more.

  • JayP

    The Mustang Lug Stud Chronicles comes to an end.
    The ARP studs were on backorder until 9/17. On 9/18 that was moved to 10/31.
    By luck, Amazon had misdescribed their rear kit as for the front. Ordered, here in 2 days and all is back to normal.
    Oh, the airsprings in the Vic are leaking terribly. Realized this while waiting between instructing at the track. Ordered off amazon at 11am, parts to the door by 4, same day.

  • wunno sev

    replaced the door on my Miata after an accident on track a couple weeks ago. i also removed the fender to try to bang out the dents until i can find a replacement in the right color. this whole job has been unbelievably tedious – one million billion little fasteners, two gajillion little plastic snaps that don’t go back right, five quazillion opportunities to scratch the shit out of the paint and make a mess. i still haven’t put the fender back on or reassembled the parts that go in the door, and i am really not looking forward to it.

  • Zentropy

    I honestly could give a damn whether Ferrari makes an SUV, or chooses to call it that, or doesn’t build one at all. SUVs– no, call them crossovers, as a true SUV is a much more capable machine– are here to stay, at least for a while. Building one is like building a sedan. Who cares? Everyone does it. Ferrari is just too stuck-up to admit that they want a piece of that pie.