No AWD Integra, Escalade-V VIN #001 to charity auction, McLaren’s Artura ditches hybrid for GT4
No hybrid or AWD Integra, says Acura product planner
Intake: Despite reports hinting that the new Acura Integra would get Acura’s super-handling-all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD), Acura’s lead product planner has indicated that no such plans are in the works. In a recent “ask me anything” on a popular forum called IntegraTalk, the Integra’s lead product planner, Jonathon Rivers, answered a raft of questions from fans eager to learn how this nameplate gained new life as sedan sales slump. One user inquired about an all-wheel-drive Integra, as well as any plans for a hybridized version—both of which Rivers quickly denied: “Acura has recently announced that it will skip hybrids altogether, as we move to full electric models, beginning with an electric SUV in 2024. We have no plans for an AWD Integra.” We’ve known about Acura’s all-electric SUV for some time—patent filings late last year hint that the new SUV, developed on GM’s Ultium battery platform through a partnership with between Honda and GM, will be dubbed the ADX.
Exhaust: As of now, there is no all-wheel-drive option for the 11th-generation Honda Civic on which the new Integra is based. (Full details for the Type R, currently front-drive, have not been released.) Assuming that the Type R continues FWD, we’re not surprised to learn that Acura won’t try to stuff all the hardware for its SH-AWD system under the Integra. We’d guess that Acura convinced Honda to resurrect the Integra by sharing as much as possible with the Civic—thus saving money. A SH-AWD system would do much to differentiate the Integra from the Civic, but therein lies the rub: Acura would have to reverse-engineer AWD into a front-drive platform. Read: Cost. There may be no plans for a hybrid Integra now, but if the new Civic Hybrid proves successful, could Acura be tempted to renege on its promise? We’re happy to make do with the Civic’s, er, Integra’s 200-hp turbo four—so long as we can continue to row our own gears.
GM donates $500K to Sloan Museum, which will name vehicle gallery after Durant
Intake: Sloan Museum of Discovery in Flint, Michigan, and General Motors announced a partnership that will honor the legacy of GM founder William “Billy” C. Durant while supporting the museum’s STEM exhibits and programs. Through a donation of $500,000 from GM, Sloan Museum’s new vehicle gallery will be named The Durant Gallery when it opens in July of 2022. Flint is the birthplace of The Durant-Dort Carriage Company, which paved the way for the automobile industry and GM.
Exhaust: Mark Reuss, General Motors president, describes Durant as “a fearless visionary who boldly seized opportunity wherever he found it and who changed the auto business forever,” and the GM-Sloan partnership will keep Durant’s name front and center at the Flint museum, not far from where it all began. It is an appropriate honor, and we look forward to seeing the new gallery when it opens next month.
VIN #001 Cadillac Escalade-V bound for Barrett-Jackson charity auction
Intake: The first production Cadillac Escalade-V will hit the auction block at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas sale that runs from June 30 through July 2. The proceeds will benefit the College for Creative Studies as it launches a Detroit chapter of the Pensole Lewis College of Design, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) that focuses on product design and marketing. Cadillac and Barrett-Jackson have teamed up with the College for Creative Studies in the past, as the first Cadillac CTS coupe was auctioned off and raised $87,000 in 2011.
Exhaust: Charity auctions of first production vehicles benefit the recipients via sizable donations, but the arrangement is not without some benefit to the winning bidder. As our auction specialist James Hewitt explains, any amount paid by the buyer over the vehicle’s original MSRP of the car is a tax-deductible donation; and if the model is noteworthy, the value of VIN #001 will generally exceed the vehicle’s MSRP, making it a desirable addition to a collection. The Escalade-V is the most powerful Cadillac ever and we enjoyed our brief time behind the wheel. We’re sure VIN #001 will fetch an impressive price.
McLaren Artura GT4 racer will debut this week at Goodwood
Intake: This week, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren will debut its newest race car—a competition-ready version of the Artura supercar. Big Orange is sunsetting its 570S GT4 in favor of the lighter, wider, more fuel-efficient GT4 racer. One with two less cylinders, too. The Artura racer will sport a twin-turbo 120-degree 3.0-liter V-6 married to a seven-speed sequential box (with shorter gear ratios than the 570S’ unit). Unlike the road-going Artura, which has a hybrid powerplant, the race car will operate without the help of any electric unit to satisfy GT4 racing requirements. This means the 585-hp GT4 will actually produce less juice than the production supercar. No matter, the racer saves 286 pounds by not having to lug around the hybrid unit. And while the car is on track, drivers will likely appreciate the improved visibility and cockpit entry (for swifter in-race driver swaps). McLaren is still developing and testing its new beast but you can expect the first customer cars to be ready for the 2023 season. For a sneak peak of the orange streak, tune in to this year’s Festival of Speed, where McLaren factory Rob Bell is slated to thrash the GT4 up the Duke’s driveway.
Exhaust: Anytime a new generation of race car is revealed by a manufacturer, the laundry list of new and improved features makes the old car sound like it an underperforming antique. Truth is, the McLaren 570S GT4 was a venerable track star. During its inaugural season in 2016, the 570S GT4 collected eight championships and more than 40 wins worldwide. Granted, that was over six years ago, so the firm was due for a refresh. The Artura will likely build on its predecessor’s success, perhaps in a more graceful approach. If the 570S was a V-8-powered muscle Mac’, the Artura promises to be a much nimbler apex-eater. Shorter gear ratios and a lighter curb weight (by some 220 pounds) will allow the car to better tackle complex circuits. We will see, this weekend, how the new hardware performs.