No. 926
December 6, 2017
 

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of Autoextremist.com.

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Tuesday
Jun132017

JUNE 14, 2017

 

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Apple, Tim Cook.
The CEO of the Silicon Valley icon has announced that the company is planning on developing autonomous driving technology to sell to the auto manufacturers. That's high-minded, noble, worthy and all, but as a colleague pointed out, what happens when they start dealing with the typical OEM purchasing department? Welcome to the jungle, Tim!

(Hyundai)
Hyundai has introduced the Kona, its first B-Segment SUV. The company is touting the Kona's "advanced technology and class-leading safety features" and that it is designed for "urban pleasure seekers." Really? Wow.

(Honda)
The all-new 2017 Honda Civic Type R - available in one, fully-loaded Touring trim - goes on sale today with a sticker price of $33,900. The Good Stuff? A 2.0-liter, DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged i-VTEC® engine with 306HP (SAE net) at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net) from 2,500-4500 rpm; a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox with helical limited slip differential; 245/30ZR20 Continental SportContact 6 high-performance tires on 20x8.5-inch black-finished aluminum wheels; 13.8-inch cross-drilled brake rotors with 4-piston Brembo aluminum calipers in front and 12.0-inch rotors with single-piston calipers in the rear. The Type R chassis features a dual-axis strut front suspension and multi-link rear, front and rear anti-roll bars, Type-R exclusive springs, bushings and damper mountings and a newly designed Adaptive Damper System with the ability to continuously adjust damping force at all four corners using input from three on-board G sensors, four suspension stroke sensors and a steering angle sensor. The Adaptive Damper System, along with the dual-pinion variable-ratio electric power steering, drive-by-wire throttle, and brake system, are tied to the Type R's three selectable driving modes, with COMFORT, SPORT and +R settings. The throttle ECU also features driver-selectable automatic rev matching with two profiles, one for COMFORT and SPORT modes and one for +R mode. The Type-R also gets a all-aluminum hood and the application of structural adhesives to the body for added structural rigidity. A high-flow exhaust system with three center-mounted exhaust outlets and a comprehensive aerodynamic package that delivers an exceptional balance of high-speed stability and low drag is also part of the package, according to Honda. A pre-production version of the new Type R claimed the title of world's fastest production front-wheel-drive (FWD) car on April 7, 2017, setting a record lap time of 7 minutes 43.80 seconds on Germany's legendary Nürburgring Nordschliefe (North Loop), more than three seconds faster than the previous FWD best. The 2017 Civic Type R for the U.S. is produced exclusively in Honda's Swinton, UK plant, with the engine produced in Anna, Ohio.

(BMW)
This is the 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, which will be available this fall starting at $69,700. This is what BMW says: "Its distinct coupe-inspired aerodynamic design excites from every angle and combines the long-distance comfort of a luxury sedan with the aesthetic appeal of a coupe." Editor-In-Chief's Note: No, this is the latest entry into "The Answer To The Question That Absolutely No One Is Asking" Sweepstakes. Since when is "coupe-inspired" a thing? And the design doesn't "excite from every angle," it only underscores what I said in our AE Brand Image Meter column. BMW's quest to be in every garage in every toney community in America has delivered vast profits but it has gutted its brand integrity. The result? BMW’s brand image is lost in a choking haze of profitability over integrity, and it’s not likely to find its way back anytime soon. -PMD

(Audi)
This is the new Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus, which Audi Sport GmbH says is the fastest series-production convertible model available from the brand. The mid-engine sports car has a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter 610HP V10, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and goes 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.3 seconds and achieves a top speed of 328 km/h (203.8 mph). It's also available in a series of exclusive colors, including "Micrommata Green" (as shown). The first cars will be delivered in late summer 2017 (no word on when they'll be available here). The base price in Germany? 207,500 euros.

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Hyundai.
 Editor-In-Chief's Note: As I said in my Autoextremist Brand Image Meter column last week, there’s no use telling Korean auto executives what to do. They know absolutely everything there is to know about absolutely everything. Which I would imagine gets old if you're trying to make a difference there. Would that possibly have something to do with Hyundai's top sales guy, Derrick Hatami, leaving the company? (As Hyundai PR kindly pointed out to me, Derrick left for a new opportunity, he was not let go. And it was announced today - 6/8 - that VW has named Hatami as its new head of U.S. sales and marketing.) The ugly reality for Hyundai? The company has lost its mojo in the U.S. market. Remember, Hyundai just jettisoned its U.S. CEO, Dave Zuchowski, last December. According to Automotive News, Hyundai brand sales dropped 18 percent in May, to 58,259 units. That's also six straight months of sales declines, year over year. For 2017, sales are down 7.5 percent to 283,547 units. Hyundai's notorious shortsighted thinking is on full display here. They look for quick fixes and fire executives left and right instead of taking a long, hard look at the way they do business. The company makes strategic and product mistakes, then it plays the blame game because, well, you know, it's never their fault. This just in: Yeah, it is. -PMD

(Porsche images)
The latest from the "Fools And Their Money" File. This is the new 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series Coupe, which Porsche calls "the most powerful 911 Turbo S ever." Now, before we go any further, no manufacturer in the world has turned extracting boatloads of money from its True Believer enthusiasts into an art form more than Porsche. The company comes up with so many special editions and packages to generate more cash that it makes our head spin. Make no mistake, Greed Is Good in Zuffenhausen. So what's the deal with this latest rolling cash machine designed to soak the Porsche faithful? Its 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six engine with a power kit delivers 607HP and a maximum torque of 553 lb.-ft. between 2,250 and 4,000 rpm. 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds; 124 mph comes in 9.6 seconds making it a whopping 0.3 seconds faster than the standard 911 Turbo S. (Really? 0.3 seconds? Don't hurt yourself.) Top track speed is 205 mph. It comes with a bunch of stuff as standard, which we don't care to bother listing. The car is limited - of course - to 500 units worldwide. And if you happen to give a shit, you should know that it is finished by hand in the new Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur at Porsche AG's headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, formerly known as "Porsche Exclusive." For the first time ever, Porsche customers can have the optional matching chronograph from Porsche Design configured in the same specification as their car. (OMG!!!) How much will it cost you to be the biggest tool in the shed? The 2018 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series Coupe starts at $257,500. The Porsche Design Chronograph 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series will be optionally available at Porsche dealerships for those who buy the vehicle. U.S. pricing for the watch has yet to be determined (don't worry it will be Hose-O-Rama too.). Oh, we almost forgot, there's a five-piece luggage set that costs $6,324 too. 

 


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