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The News for April 28th, 2017

Greg Kachadurian April 28, 2017 The News! 11 Comments

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • BMW doubles down on high-performance diesels with new M550d

  • Nismo launches part reproduction program for R32 Skylines, eventually others

  • Honda recaptures FWD Nürburgring record with new Type-R

  • Jaguar teaser proves existence of new XF Sportbrake (wagon)

  • What’s your automotive news?

BMW M550d xDrive

In the last generation (F10) 5 Series, BMW told their M engineers to go play with a diesel engine and see how nutty they could make it. The result was the M550d, a surprisingly quick and powerful sedan and wagon powered by a diesel straight six with three turbochargers. It was all well and good in the high performance diesel world until that other German brand made a mess of everything.

As others backed away from expanding their diesel offerings, BMW kept at it and have done something awesome for once. Not only did they bring the M550d into the new G30 generation, they made it even crazier.

The G30 M550d xDrive was unveiled in all its diesel-burning glory with the most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine of its kind. Its 3.0-liter straight-six engine is complemented by four turbochargers to produce 400 horsepower and 561 lb.-ft. of torque (available from 2,000 RPM). That’s an improvement of about 20 horsepower and 15 lb.-ft. of torque over the previous car. Power goes to an eight-speed Steptronic automatic and BMW xDrive sends it to all four wheels. With that much torque on tap, AWD is probably not a bad idea.

0-62 mph takes just 4.4 seconds or 4.6 seconds if you [correctly] opt for the Touring model. Top speed is limited to 155 mph. Of course, the beautiful thing about diesel is that it can provide all of this while still getting exceptional fuel mileage. On the European test cycles, the M550d sedan delivers the equivalent of 40 mpg and the touring is slightly thirstier at 38 mpg combined.

And because it’s sort of an M car, it comes with all the usual handling upgrades such as M sports suspension, Integral Active Steering, and beefier M brakes. Making it look the part is a standard M aerodynamics package, exhaust system with dark chrome tips, and nineteen-inch light alloy wheels.

No word on pricing info yet, but I can pretty much guarantee this isn’t coming to America. The last one didn’t either.

[Source BMW]

NISMO R32 continuation parts

Nissan is known for continuously producing cars that are long in the tooth, but they’re about to do a huge favor to owners of old Nissans we actually like. It’s being reported that Nismo is gearing up to produce factory-quality replacement parts for R32 Skylines, namely the GT-R.

Their “Heritage Parts Program” was announced as part of Nismo’s push for a bigger global presence through the form of more special models and higher sales. They’ll certainly have a bigger presence in the hearts of R32 Skyline owners who have to deal with a shortage of some vital parts that can’t always be obtained from the aftermarket.

It’s not currently known what exact parts they’ll be producing again, but most Skyline owners are probably hoping for things like weather stripping, interior pieces, and some maintenance items that are notoriously hard to obtain. Maybe we’ll even get period-correct Nismo performance upgrades as well. I’m sure we’ll see a full catalog of available parts soon enough, but that just isn’t available now.

During their press conference where they touched up on this, they also mentioned that the R32 GT-R is only the start. They plan on expanding their offerings, presumably to R33 and R34 Skylines and beyond.

Even if this program doesn’t cover everything and it’s all rather expensive, we still have to give props to Nissan for supporting the enthusiasts who still love their old cars, and no I’m not talking about the 370Z. That probably still has another 8 year left in it at Nissan’s pace.

[Source: Nissan, SOCOM via r/cars | Image © 2017 Hooniverse/Bryce Womeldurf]

Honda Civic Type-R record

In news that should surprise no one, the new Civic Type-R is fast enough to reclaim the Nürburgring lap record for front-wheel-drive cars. With a lap time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds it bests the previous Type-R by nearly 7 seconds and is crucially 3 seconds faster than the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S that previously held the title.

Fortunately, there’s video evidence (which you can watch here) and some details as to how the car was prepared. It’s a pre-production car that they say accurately represents the production car’s capabilities. It was only modified with a floating roll cage for safety reasons and that doesn’t add any extra rigidity to the car. To compensate for the added weight of that cage, the rear seats and radio were removed. The car was using street legal yet track-focused tires that are likely optional equipment on the car you can buy, or are easy to obtain at the very least.

Not only is this a win for red “R” enthusiasts, it’s a thing for workers at Honda’s Anna, Ohio engine plant to be proud of. The 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC turbo four-cylinder engine is built there and powered this Type R to a record that will probably stand for at least another eight or nine months.

[Source: Honda]

Jaguar XF Sportbrake teaser

There’s a new Jaguar XF Sportbrake (wagon) coming this summer and this is what its roof likes like. Yep.

[Source: Jaguar]

What’s your automotive news?

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.

[Image © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • 0A5599

    I’m thinking about a Volvo 850 turbo for the teenager. Cost of entry is reasonable enough to walk away from if it gets stuffed into a wall, and safety reputation means walking away is likely if it does crash.

    Any problem areas to look for?

    • CraigSu

      Sorry, posted as new instead of a reply. I would check on swedespeed.com and brickboard.com. They may have buyers guides for the 850. Worst case you can troll/post in their forums.

    • Sjalabais

      Not many problems with these, mostly the Audi diesel that is bothersome (about 30% of sales, 95% of engine issues at tech inspection). But you didn’t get that in the US, right? Cooling hoses on gas engines can crack, the rear door lock tends to seize. Rust shouldn’t be an issue. I never had one myself, but they have a solid reputation around these parts. Powerful cars (T5, T5R, R) tend to destroy themselves by throttle.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    Well, the power seat in the Focus is stuck. Thankfully in a reasonable position.. It’s always blown a fuse maybe once a year, now it worked once after I replaced the fuse and then nothing. The fuse is still fine. Doubt all three motors gave up the ghost at the same time. The seat electrics is behind the fuse for the horn for some inexplicable reason, and the horn doesn’t work either. Haven’t had time to go stab connectors with the multimeter yet, but since nothing else got more broken at the same time I’d think the problem is after the fuse box somewhere. Have to see if i can dig up a wiring diagram from somewhere..

    • outback_ute

      Maybe you might be able to see something with a mirror and a torch, or by removing the seat?

  • CraigSu

    I would check on swedespeed.com and brickboard.com. They may have buyers guides for the 850. Worst case you can troll/post in their forums.

  • outback_ute

    An extra for that little extra power seems like poor ROI really.

    I was going to comment on the non-standard tyres on the Civic, but it seems they all do that. No issue with putting a cage in with the speeds they reach, but why remove things to compensate for a few kilos of weight? It’s like worrying that the extra rigidity of the cage (what is a “full floating roll cage”, surely it needs to be attached to the car somehow?) will make a difference on standard suspension. Still I bet the traction control will get a workout on real roads in real life.

  • Tech inspection next Tuesday, so I used the opportunity when switching to summer tires to also fix a “minor category” issue from two years ago, ahem: one of the bolts fixing the drive axle/CV to the hub snapped. If they are okay with the brake disks I have a realistic chance to pass without remarks.

  • Fuhrman16

    I went racing last week with my 1986 Hyundai Excel at the 24 Hours of Lemons race at Gingerman Raceway. Saturday went fairly well. Apart from losing the fan belt (<=== because some idiot put it on the wrong pulley) and an oil leak from the valve cover at the start of the race, the car ran fine. Apart from the massive gap between 2nd and 3rd gear (there's like a 2100 RPM drop) and stuttering issue through right hand turns (not sure if the carb is getting too much fuel or not enough), it really isn't a bad car.
    What let us down on Saturday was the drivers. We had planned on doing roughly hour long stints, but the car doesn't have a clock, so we wound up just coming in when ever we felt like it. To make matters worse, one of our drivers got sick after 20 minutes and spent the rest of the day laying in bed and another got roped in helping out with the penalty box and was only in the car for like 45 minutes. So most of the driving was split between our rookie driver and myself. So we lost a bunch of time doing driver changes.
    Sunday went way worse. The water pump gasket failed 5 laps in, the car over heated and blew the head gasket. When we took the head off, we also discovered that the block was cracked. We decided to press on regardless and spent the next 4 hours or so putting it all back together to attempt to take the checkered flag. Unfortunately, we had forgot to install the old mechanical fuel pump before installing the intake manifold, which meant that there was almost no room to screw the bolts in. At this point there was only like five minutes left in the race, so the call was made to throw in the towel and take a DNF.
    Overall, it was still a good weekend. Got in a couple hours of racing, ate a bunch of good food, and hung out with old friends and make a couple new ones. Hopefully we'll have a running car ready for the race at Autobahn in like 12 weeks.