On Motoring Monday we’re looking at some hot new special edition vehicles from the SEMA Show from Volkswagen and Scion. And specifications are finally out for the 2017 Acura NSX.
2016 Volkswagen Jetta MOMO Edition
This week at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI MOMO edition debuts, offering an extra dose of style and exclusivity to the sedan.
The limited edition Jetta sports aggressive 19-inch MOMO Revenge mesh design alloy wheels, a design which hasn’t been offered for nearly thirty years. It comes in two shades for the Jetta MOMO edition, black and matte anthracite.
They have a nice offset in their look, so the face is concave a bit, which accentuates their 235/35ZR19 Pirelli P Zero tires. This plus upgrade is expected to offer better handling on its own, but the car also gets H&R coil-overs at all four corners and thicker anti-roll bars to boot.
The coil-overs are adjustable so you can set your own ride height for handling or looks. And backing up the visuals are some larger 14.4-inch Brembo cross-drilled, two-piece front front disc brakes with yellow calipers.
At the rear it gets larger 12.2” rotors from the Golf R along with matching yellow calipers and sound is tapped up with a stainless steel cat-back exhaust from Milltek Sport.
The interior is rounded out with special touches starting with a MOMO GT50 Anniversario steering wheel with yellow trim details. That trim scheme continues to the doors and dash, as well ass the accent stitching on seats and boots.
An aftermarkety touch is the information display in the driver’s side air vent from P3 Cars. It can show turbo boost and exhaust gas temperature among other things and has a 0-60mph timer. It’s well accessorized with lots of catalog extras too.
And yes even that roof rack is included. No word yet on timing or pricing for the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI MOMO Edition, but expect it to be more.
2016 Scion FR-S Release Series
The 2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0 makes its debut at the SEMA Show, the second installment of the brand’s special editions for the rear-wheel drive sports car.
Taking on a more upscale theme, the 2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0 comes with luxurious appointments and premium features, and with just 1,000 vehicles available, it’s the most elusive Scion Release Series yet.
Its cabin gets heated seats in black Alcantara and leather with rich camel-colored accents. Camel trims flow along the doors as well. And that theme continues to steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake lever too.
Camel accent stitching is prominent throughout the interior and embroidered on the dash insert is the release series badge, sequentially numbered from 1 to 1000. Additional touches include push-button start, automatic climate control and HID headlights.
It’s special paint color is the latest off-white theme popular with the Japanese brands, this one called Lunar Storm. An aero body kit fills out the FR-S’s flanks and is combined with unique 17-inch forged alloy wheels.
The 2016 FR-S Release Series 2.0 will be available with either the six-speed manual six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Pricing is a bit more than garden variety models, starting at $29,510.
The car will be at the SEMA Show, and should arrive at dealerships forthwith. If you want one, you should be on the phone to them now to get your foot in the line.
2017 Acura NSX Specifications Released
After a good deal of waiting and teasing, a lot of waiting and teasing in fact, Acura has finally shared the hot specifications of the 2017 Acura NSX.
It’s the spec sheet dreams are made of. A light weight sports car with a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.5 V6 engine and a 9-speed dual clutch transmission. Added into the mix is an electric motor at the crank shaft for more power.
And at the front is a twin motor unit with additional electric motors to add not only all-wheel drive with full torque vectoring ability. But those motors also throw power down to give you a zero-delay response to throttle inputs while the turbos catch their breath.
And when it all comes together, the 2017 Acura NSX has an estimated total system peak output of 573 horsepower. That’s 500 horsepower from the twin-turbo V6 and 73 horsepower from the electric motors up front.
The package should also feel of torque, with 409 pound-feet from the engine and 108 pound-feet from the twin-motor unit. The direct-drive motor at the engine also itself has 47 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque, but it’s not figured into the total peak output.
To make up for the weight of its comprehensive drivetrain systems, batteries and cooling apparatus for the engine and turbochargers, the NSX body structure is made of high-strength steels, aluminum castings, and sheet molded composites.
It’s curb weight comes in at 3800 pounds which isn’t feather light, but is an impressive feat considering all the hardware this car has. And while acceleration times haven’t been stated, Acura says all this gives the new NSX a top speed of 191 miles per hour.
While its power and acceleration specs are likely to be right in class with super-car competitors, the 2017 Acura NSX is likely to offer fuel-efficiency metrics for the daily drive that they don’t. These numbers haven’t been announced yet.
The 2017 Acura NSX is expected to come to market sometime next year with pricing likely to be around the $100,000 mark at least. If it’s less I will be surprised.
Test Drive: 2015 Nissan Frontier Pro 4X
In our test drives I recently spent some time in the 2015 Nissan Frontier top dog off-road model, the Pro-4X. And while you might ask why test a truck so old in the market, and I did too. But it was there so I did.
The Frontier as we have it today has been on the market for a decade with very few if any significant changes in styling, interior features, or powertrains. The same could be said for its chief competitor, the Toyota Tacoma, at least until this year.
Test driving a well outfitted Pro-4X off-road in the Texas back country showed me a few things I expected such as its interior and feature content is getting a bit old out and out of date. It simply doesn’t offer much of the latest stuff you’ll find in the new GM twins Colorado and Canyon, or the 2016 Tacoma from Toyota.
What did surprise me is how well it still competes in the area of chassis dynamics and handling in the rough. It still has a two-speed transfer case with hi and low modes and an electric locking rear differential. There’s also hill start assist and descent control.
While it doesn’t have some of the more sophisticated toys found on the Tacoma TRD like crawl control and the like, its hardware is still robust and feels more solid than I expected out here over the more challenging terrain.
The Pro-4X adds Bilstein off-road shocks, more aggressive all-terrain tires, some nice looking 16-inch alloy wheels, and a number of other off-road accoutrements like skid plates for the drivetrain bits and fuel tank.
Power from its 4.0 liter V6 is the weaker of the class at 261 horsepower, and its 5-speed automatic transmission is now at the back of the class too. But, it still works well with better than expected torque feel and more refinement than I expected.
As tested our Pro-4X with the luxury package came it at $35,680 which is right up there with its competitors. And that may give some pause as the others offer more of the latest stuff on the feature list than does the Frontier.
The Nissan Frontier is expected to get a makeover soon, though will go at least one more model year before that happens. But I think, if capability and driving feel are more important than gizmos, it’s still worth a good look.
Reality Check: Datsun brand expanding
In our reality check, it’s been a year since the return of the Datsun brand in emerging markets around the world, and they’re now gearing to expand the reach.
Emerging market is a term often given to third world countries, poorer nations where owning a car for most is a new concept, and even at entry level, an expensive one at that. For Nissan, the Datsun brand was a way to sell cheaper cars than they’d normally associate with their name.
Over 100,000 of the Datsun Go model have been sold in India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. and now the brand is looking to expand into other parts of Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and potentially beyond.
And in that light they showed the Datsun GO-cross Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show last week which takes their inexpensive Go and gives it the crossover treatment. The concept shows the vision of expansion for the Datsun brand line.
In the markets where the Datsun brand has been launched, Nissan has been celebrating the way the basic experience of owning a new car has transformed the lives of their owners and families. It’s a hard thing for us Americans to perhaps grasp, as we sometimes take car ownership for granted.
That said, our relative wealth as a nation still leaves many of us in search of basic reliable and inexpensive new vehicles that many brands operating here have moved upmarket from – even Nissan. Our base entry level new cars, are hardly bargain basement anymore.
My point? I think Nissan and other brands ought to consider the potential space here in the North American market for something like a bargain priced Datsun without all the extra crap that makes cars expensive. Maybe the youth supposedly disinterested in cars might just bite. Just saying.
Now it’s time for our Money Shot where we take the best photo from this week’s automotive news and we show it to ya!
Kia returns to SEMA this year and this is the first hint and the mayhem that will ensue. The Forte Koup Mud Bogger, kind of has that Schlepcar Wonderbug thing going doesn’t it? But wait, there will be more.