As if the Gods of writing and news knew I had been away for a couple and thought I needed practice, it was a busy weekend in the world of automotive news. Debuts, race wins, and individual crashes all grabbed headlines since Friday morning.
Richard Hammond: The Boy Who Live
Almost as if it were becoming habit, The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond crashed a very expensive, very fast car over the weekend. While filming a segment for the upcoming season Amazon’s The Grand Tour in Switzerland, Hammond lost control of the all-electric concept/street car Rimac One (pictured uncrashed in header). Hammond was able to extract himself from the car and move away under his own power, despite having a fractured knee. As the Croatian-built Rimac One subsequently caught fire, this proved to be a Good Thing.
Hammond was airlifted to a hospital in Switzerland where he will be undergoing an operation to repair his knee injury, granting Hammond what he dubbed a “Swiss Army knee”. Hammond has since tweeted that he feels a “colossal idiot”, apologizing to his family for his carelessness. As Clarkson dubbed the crash the “Biggest I’ve ever seen”, everyone is grateful for the simple fact that the Hamster is still up and running—so to speak.
Honda Accord 10th Generation Detailed
Honda has revealed further details of its new 10th generation Accord, which will debut in early 2018 in sedan form. Two details from the various releases are grabbing headlines: the lack of a V6 engine choice, and the spread of the manual throughout the lineup.
The first piece of news—the deletion of the V6—will surely anger desk jockeys the world over, however Honda maintains that the new engine choices will be sufficient. A 1.5L turbo-four will be the base engine, very similar to the units found in the CR-V and the Civic. The uprated engine, traditionally Honda’s much-lauded V6 offerings, will instead be a 2.0L turbo-four very similar to the unit found in the upcoming Type-R. Honda maintains the accelerative efforts of the larger turbo-four will be a sufficient replacement for the V6, however we will have to wait for further reviews to come out as release nears.
In better news, Honda will offer a 6-speed manual for all of the Accord’s engine choices, besides the hybrid. The 1.5T engine will be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT. The 2.0L unit also has the option of a 6-speed manual—what a car that will be—while also having the option of a traditional automatic, a 10-speed unit shared with the Odyssey mini-van, fully developed by Honda.
Look for the 2018 Honda Accord later this year, with more refined units entering the reporters fleet soon, with reviews and news to follow.
Porsche GT2 RS: Further Details
The upcoming Porsche GT2 RS model was visually detailed this weekend at the E3 video game convention. While the setting may seem strange, the GT2 RS is serving as the cover car for Forza 7, and participated in the announcement of the game. The vents and scoops all hint at serious performance, and soft-facts from the Porsche CEO seem to confirm that this will be the fastest 911 ever made.
The GT2 RS is reported to use a Turbo S 3.8L twin-turbo flat-six, with enhancements such as new turbochargers and a lightweight titanium exhaust. Power will stand at 641hp and 553lb-ft of torque, aided by a water-injection system, similar to what is found on the BMW M4 GTS. This engine will be connected to a PDK only. Look for the GT2 RS later this year.
Fisker E-Motion: Further Details
Henrik Fisker tweeted images of his E-Motion electric passenger car. As a truly four-door Fisker, the company hopes to break into the luxury electric market currently dominated by Tesla’s Model S. While tech details are lacking, previous claims put the cars range at near 400 miles on a single charge, “fast charging in 9 minutes”—whatever that means—and unspecified levels of autonomous driving, with a full LIDAR unit hidden in the pretty beak. No release date is announced, but look for further details in the near future.
NEVS Shows ‘New’ 9-3 and 9-3x for China
China’s drivers will have the lucky option to purchase a new-built Saab in the very-near future. Swedish company NEVS—National Electric Vehicle Sweden—debuted their EV versions of the old Saab 9-3 and 9-3X. Now, when I say old, I mean old, as the design originated in the GM/Opel days of 2003.
This does not seem to faze the Chinese buying public, as NEVS claims 150,000 pre-orders. For the average Chinese driver, it does tick a lot of boxes, featuring a 186-mile claimed range, a Wi-Fi hotspot, an app to manage the batteries, and more techy features. If you are in China, look for the NEVS EV 9-3 and 9-3X later this year.
Lewis Hamilton Drove Around a Track in Canada
Lewis Hamilton won this year’s Canada GP Formula 1 race, in a perfect example of boring F1 action. Hamilton seemed to almost effortlessly win, taking pole position and leading all subsequent 70 laps. Mercedes and Lewis dominated the race, taking home a giant maple and gold trophy for their troubles. While impressive on Hamilton’s part, as a spectator the race perfectly demonstrated the lack of action—passing or otherwise—in the race series.
Texas IndyCar Carnage
In stark contrast to the boring action of Formula 1 over the weekend, the IndyCar series had an almost too-exciting race in Texas over the weekend. Out of a starting grid of 22 cars, only 6 were able to finish on the lead lap, with a further 3 finishing under caution. This was due to a serious of accidents, most notably a single crash after mid-race that took out exactly half of the field. The remaining 11 cars suffered a late crash affecting 4 cars, knocking out 2, leaving the 9 finishers. Will Power was able to survive long enough to take the win, finishing the chaotic race. Fun. Stuff.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.