The News for March 25th, 2022

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Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Maserati tries to print money with compact SUV named after a direction on the compass, Polestar gives the option to drop a motor for more range on the 2, Ferrari confirms existence of an SUV they’re working on, Stellantis debuts impressive new inline-six, Buick files trademark for possible new logo, and your news for the week.

Maserati Grecale

Maserati has decided they want to print more money by launching another crossover SUV thing that’s smaller than the other crossover SUV thing they’ve had for a few years now. It’s called the Grecale which the internet tells me is Italian for “wind from the north-east” or just “north-east”. The Maserati North-East is, in Maserati’s words, a range within the range, meaning there will be a few different variants to cater to a wide variety of buyer needs with gas, hybrid, and EV options planned.

The North-East is a compact crossover SUV thing with a full-size car’s worth of Italian styling packed into it. It wears the new family face that debuted on the breathtaking MC20 but is obviously a bit stretched out vertically. The headlights and grille create that sort of happy face you’re used to seeing from Italian cars. And at the rear, taillights which may look fairly generic are inspired by those of the Giugiaro-designed 3200 GT.

The cabin is a luxurious and tech-focused setup with a 12.3″ central screen, the largest in any Maserati, another 8.8″ display for extra controls, and a third screen for rear seat passengers. Maserati’s Intelligent Assistant (MIA) multimedia system controls everything inside, including the available Sonus faber 3D sound system. The traditional Maserati clock is also present but is all digital for the first time.

There will be three versions of the North-East available at launch later this year. The first is the GT which features a four-cylinder mild hybrid engine delivering 296hp for North American markets. Next up is the Modena which runs a higher output version of the GT’s powertrain with 325hp for NA. At the top of the range is the Trofeo with its 3.0L 523hp V6 derived from the MC20. Why something this size needs over 500 horsepower is beyond me, but I’m sure the driving experience will be… interesting.

Eventually there will be the Grecale Folgore (North-Eastern Winds Lightning), a 100% electric version on a powerful 400V architecture. Not much is known about the North-East Folgers Coffee just yet but it’s due in a year’s time. Maserati also did not detail how each different trim varies in terms of equipment beyond the powertrain, but I’m sure it gets much nicer the higher you go.

Things like pricing and an exact launch date have not been disclosed.

[Source: Maserati]

Polestar 2 gets single motor option

Polestar 2

Polestar’s first foray into a mass-market EV has been a fairly well-liked model so far, albeit not the huge sales success they were hoping for. Although if we’re honest, buyer interest isn’t the biggest reason for why some cars aren’t selling so well right now. But the Volvo sub-brand is hoping that a rework of the Polestar 2 can help entice some new buyers.

As Jalopnik spotted on the Polestar 2 configurator, the new base model is a single motor configuration with a slightly longer range in exchange for much less performance. The FWD, 231 HP Polestar 2 offers an EPA-estimated 270 mile driving range while its 0-60 time rises to 7 seconds flat. Compared to the dual-motor, AWD Polestar 2 with 408 HP, 249 miles per charge, and a 4.5-second 0-60 time, it’s perhaps a more commuter-friendly option for those who want to maximize drive time between charges in exchange for how quickly they can get around. Everything else on the car, including its 78kWh battery, is the same. Pricing starts at $45,900 before destination charges and potential tax incentives.

Compared to other EVs in that price range, the driving range is still not quite close to the best that’s available, nor is its performance. The base model Mach-E is quicker but tops out at 249 miles of range, the Ioniq-5 has 303 miles of range for nearly the same price, the Tesla Model 3 keeps going up in price but still offers a great all around EV package, and the BMW i4 is overpriced and much uglier (this doesn’t necessarily compete with the Polestar 2, I just wanted to remind you that it’s ugly).

The Polestar 2 long range is available to order now.

[Source: Polestar via Jalopnik]

Ferrari confirms existence of SUV project

I can’t really blame anyone for wanting to make an SUV anymore. It’s clear that no matter how expensive, how ugly, or how impractical a brand’s SUV is, it will fly off dealership lots with as many 84-month financing deals as are available. So I understand why so many brands are choosing to capitalize on that for the first time. But I expected Ferrari to hold out for much longer than they have being the purists they are. Nevertheless, rumors of the Ferrari Purosangue have been abundant. And this week Ferrari confirmed that at least some of them are true.

So within the year we’ll have the full story of what Ferrari thinks an SUV should be like. This shadowy teaser shot is already enough to know that it won’t be phoned in. The link from their tweet proclaims that “a new, and very different Ferrari is coming” and to “stand by for a genuine game changer”.

It looks aggressive, very Italian, and very expensive. And I’m certain it will have the biggest engine they can stuff into it as well as some form of hybrid system. Maybe it’ll have a range of engine options from a twin-turbo V6 and hybrid system, like the upcoming 296 GTB, a twin-turbo V8 from the F8 Tributo, or maybe even a V12 as some sort of limited run special edition that’s sold out already. Regardless, I’ll bring you updates when possible.

And now that this is happening, my bets are on McLaren as being the last to produce an SUV.

[Source: Ferrari]

Stellantis unveils impressive new Hurricane engine

It’s not often we see a new engine from the Mopar family that isn’t some new form of the Hemi, but here we are. Stellantis has revealed their new “Hurricane” GME-T6 engine – a twin-turbocharged 3.0L inline six. This engine will surely make the rounds throughout the vast Stellantis portfolio but is expected to make its home with Jeep first.

It’ll be available in Standard and High Output (SO and HO) versions ranging from 400hp and 450 lb.-ft. of torque to “more than” 500hp and 475 lb.-ft. of torque, respectively. The Hurricane is an aluminum-block engine with dual overhead cams, direct injection, and variable valve timing. The twin snails produce 22.4 psi or 26 psi depending on the model and it’s designed to produce lots of torque down low with 90% of peak torque available at 2,350 RPM. Its redline is 6,100 RPM.

It’s expected to debut at the New York International Auto Show next month in the Grand Wagoneer but should eventually be seen in the Wagoneer, Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, Durango, and others. Stellantis will be taking this push for electrification and maximum efficiency seriously, and as hybrid options continue to prove popular, it’s worth taking the time to create a powerful gas engine that’s much more efficient than the ancient (but still awesome) engines they rely on now. Fuel efficiency estimates will depend on the vehicle this engine gets put into, but they’re saying we can expect at least a 15% increase in efficiency over the V8s this is intended to replace.

[Source: Stellantis]

According to trademarks filed last week and picked up by Jalopnik, Buick could be in for a rebranding of sorts. What appears to be a modern, somewhat minimalist take on the classic Buick tri-shield emblem could be the new face of the brand. Though the image available shows it devoid of color, it’s possible they could keep the red, white, and blue on some variation of it. But for now all we have is some government paperwork and speculation. Buick will make a big deal out of this when the time comes, if it’s legitimate.

[Source: the gubment via Jalopnik]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

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.

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