McLaren May Sell Carbon Tubs; ExpertiseMcLaren released their new Monocage II carbon fiber monocoque chassis earlier this year with the launch of their second Sport Series via the 720S. Featuring stronger construction, less weight, and greater scalability over the previous Monocage I chassis, the new chassis is being produced at a new plant in Sheffield, England. Nearly 200 workers will be working at the English plant producing a stated goal of 10,000 chassis’ a year. At a financial meeting at this year’s Goodwood Festival, Chief Financial Officer Paul Buddin confirmed that McLaren is on track to build 5,000 cars by decade end.
He continues to say that the manufacturing surplus is being designed thoughtfully for a few reasons, chief among them being future-proofing the company. Mr. Buddin stated. “It would be very short-sighted to limit ourselves to 5000 cars”, meaning that McLaren has its eyes set towards the future. Before the future arrives, he also stated that the company would be willing to sell the chassis’ to other automotive companies for limited-run productions, going so far as to potentially offering engineering help on the overall project. He concluded, “We won’t do it until we’re fully up and running ourselves, but it is something that we are considering as an obvious expansion.”
Look for more McLaren automobiles and “Engineered by McLaren” automobiles in the coming years.
Polestar Package for New Volvo XC60Volvo is bringing a new XC60 to American shores in August 2017, where it will jockey for sales with the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and other luxury, ‘middle-size’ SUV’s. All of the competition has had Volvo beat in the performance department as of late, with their tuning arms offering specialized, faster, variants of these family haulers: M Sport, Audi Sport, and AMG being the obvious ones. Becoming available at the initial time of sale is a package designed to even the odds a little bit; the Polestar package.
Every XC60 sold will feature a 2.0L engine in various levels of power. While the Polestar package is available on all of them, the one that matters is the top-dog T8 R-Design. The T8 designates that the 2.0L 4cylinder is paired with a turbocharger, supercharger, as well as a mild hybrid system generating 400hp and 472lb-ft of torque in stock form. Polestar tightens throttle response, improves steering and suspension, and adds a bit more power, with a focus on usable power in the middle of the powerband.
The result is an increase to 421hp and an unspecified amount of torque. Almost more impressive than the gains are the minimal impacts the tuning has on the Volvo’s Volvo-ness. The warranty is maintained, emissions are still class leading, about 38mpg can be attained, and 28 miles of all-electric range is preserved. These increases in power make the XC60 T8 Polestar and its XC90 T8 Polestar twin the most powerful Volvo’s ever produced for the road.
Look for the new XC60 this August.
The Nissan 370Z Still ExistsYou can be forgiven if you have forgotten that Nissan still produces and sells new 370Z cars: they entered production in 2009, two years before I graduated high school. As I am married, have a college degree, and a puppy, I seem to have evolved and grown much more than Nissan’s ‘latest’ Z car. For 2018 Nissan has announced some mild updates to the sports car, while maintaining a dizzying amount of prices and trim levels for such a niche car.
All in, there are four trim levels for the coupe, two for the Roadster, with the NISMO-branded Z featured as a separate vehicle. These can be further divided as every 370Z trim—including the NISMO—can be had with a 7-speed automatic transmission, instead of the 6-speed manual which comes standard. With prices ranging from $29,990 to $49,400 (and not even for a NISMO!), Nissan is giving all of its near-extinct customer base plenty of opportunities to afford to buy into the Z family.
The engine is still the naturally-aspirated 3.7L V6 producing 332hp (350 in the NISMO), and power is still sent solely to the rear-wheels. None of this really matters though, because we all want a new Z car, and it seems Nissan may not deliver. It has been reported that Nissan is unsure of the Z’s future in the company. Shame.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.