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 breathes new life into the M2, is still the only BMW that matters
Ford is bringing the Mustang to V8 Supercars and NASCAR Cup Series
Ford Mustang Cobra Jet returns soon, is their quickest ever down the 1,320
Aston Martin revives the DBS Superleggera nameplate for an upcoming model
Brabham will make a comeback with new supercar
Cadillac’s CEO is out after nearly 4 years of questionable decision making
What’s your automotive news?
BMW M2 Competition
After much speculation, hype, and questionable forum posts, BMW has finally revealed the M2 Competition in all its glory. It follows the lead of the M3/M4 Competition by getting sharper and more powerful but differs in that it isn’t just an optional package – this is how all M2s will be starting this summer. Future M2 buyers can look forward to a new engine, improved #dynamism, and some other new features. Oh, and the standard six-speed manual transmission doesn’t go anywhere.
Starting with the most interesting part first, that new engine. Rumor confirmed: it’s a detuned S55 borrowed from the M3/M4. The TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter straight-six produces 405 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque in this specification and does so across a broad rev range. It revs up to 7,600 RPM now, but that’s hardly relevant when peak power drops off at 7,000 RPM. It sings through a dual exhaust system with electronic flaps and is kept cool by an oil supply and cooling system sourced from the M4 Competition Pack.
Complementing the power bump is a series of other #dynamic enhancements that should make BMW’s most agile sports car even more so. The carbon fiber-reinforced plastic high-precision strut from the BMW M3/M4 crowns the engine bay and improves front end rigidity and steering precision. The borrowing doesn’t stop there though: lightweight aluminum intensive front and rear axles from the BMW M3/M4 are stuffed in as well to enhance the sharpness even more. The electromechanical power steering, the Active M Differential, and the Dynamic Steering Control system have all been enhanced. The braking system gets a bit of an overhaul as well with larger diameter rotors on all four corners (15.75″ front, 14.96″ rear) and two additional pistons at both ends (now up to 6-piston front, 4-piston rear).
Completely ignoring the fact that this is only the 2nd BMW M2 to have ever existing, BMW proclaims the M2 Competition to be the first M2 to be equipped with selector switches in the center console that allow instant control of settings for the engine, steering, and Drivelogic functions – you know, like every other M car has.
The only noticeable changes to the body are all at the front end and were designed around that new engine. The kidney grilles and redesigned front skirt both allow more air to pass through. The new rollers are 19″ forged wheels that come in two finishes.
New interior features include new M Sport bucket seats which for some reason have an illuminated M logo in the backrests where they’re sure to not be noticed. The black leather upholstery is perforated in some areas and that part is available in either blue or orange. Those who hoped for more than just four paint colors will be glad to know there are now five! Sunset Orange Metallic enters the game and Hockenheim Silver replaces Mineral Grey Metallic.
So there you have it. A mostly new and improved M2 which continues to prove that at least some part of BMW still has a soul. Pricing will be revealed closer to the car’s launch this summer. Spoiler alert: it’s going to go up. A lot.
Ford Mustang Goes to V8 Supercars, NASCAR Cup Series
Ford celebrates the Mustang’s official 54th birthday this past Tuesday in a variety of ways, but the two coolest ways are what I’m talking about first. The Mustang’s competition schedule for next year just got a lot busier. Australia’s V8 Supercars series and the NASCAR Cup series will be the Mustang’s next target starting in 2019.
With the tragic demise of the Ford Falcon, the Mustang has been wisely chosen to fill those big shoes in the Virgin Australia V8 Supercars Championship from next year. All teams currently running the Ford Falcon will switch to a Mustang that should look something like this. DJR Team Penske, Tickford Racing, and Ford Performance are collaborating on the final design which will be revealed after the car’s homologation testing in December.
Meanwhile in America, the Mustang already competes in NASCAR but jumps from the XFinity series into the top Monster Energy Cup Series. Perhaps another sign that the Fusion is dying or being reborn as a crossover made from recycled sports cars, Ford teams will drive the Mustang in stock car racing’s top league for the very first time. Look for it in Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports, and Go Fas Racing colors at the 2019 Daytona 500. Ford will show the finished design once it’s been formally approved by NASCAR this summer.
[Sources: V8 Supercars, Ford]
Ford Mustang Cobra Jet
Ford’s turnkey drag racer makes a noisy return this year, 50 years after the first one debuted on the staging lane. This drag strip exclusive is not street legal and limited to just 68 units but it’s set to be the quickest Mustang they’ve ever produced.
The heart of this beast is a supercharged 5.2-liter Coyote V8 engineered and built by Ford Performance. We don’t have power figures yet, but the previous models have been speculated to have over 1,000 horsepower. Who wants to bet this engine is based on what will eventually debut in the new 700+hp GT500
Helping to put power to the ground is a unique four-link rear suspension setup, a Ford 9-inch solid rear axle from Strange Engineering, drag race-specific coil-over suspension, and specially designed Weld Racing wheels with what will surely be some biiiiig rear tires. Other drag-ready add-ons include an NHRA-certified roll cage, Racetech FIA seats, and the all-important 50th anniversary badges.
When the engine, chassis, tires, and badges all work in harmony, you can expect a mid-8-second quarter-mile time and a 150-mph trap speed.
More specs will be released this summer. It’s designed to be legal for National Hot Rod Association drag racing and several National Mustang Racers Association and National Muscle Car Association classes.
Aston Martin is bringing the DBS Superleggera. The famous name will soon be proudly worn by Aston Martin’s new flagship super grand tourer, which to me sounds like the Vanquish replacement we’ve been expecting. Whatever it is, the DBS Superleggera will feature “the highest levels of performance, craftsmanship, and design”, which I’m pretty sure they’ve said about every Aston Martin ever. We won’t have to wait very long to find out more – it debuts in Q2 this year.
[Source: Aston Martin]
Remember Brabham? They’re coming back with a new supercar. They used to build all sorts of successful racing cars up until 26 years ago, but a new, road-legal project is bringing Brabham Automotive back into the car building game. This teaser shows the business end of what will be called the BT62, a track day-ready beast with a naturally-aspirated 5.4-liter V8 producing around 700 horsepower and a not at all subtle aero package. They claim a dry weight of 2,142 pounds, up to 2,645 pounds of downforce, and reinforced carbon-carbon brakes lifted straight out of F1. It’ll cost around $1.4 million and only 70 will be made, all of which are probably sold by now because there’s apparently no shortage of rich people around to buy up cars like this. It’ll be shown next month in London and never seen in public again.
Johan De Nysschen, the Cadillac CEO who thought it was a brilliant idea to move the company’s headquarters from Detroit to a trendy part of New York where nobody buys cars, is out. The decision for him to leave immediately officially came about so he could “pursue other interests” in implementing dumb new naming conventions and moving headquarters to even dumber locations. What likely happened is GM management ousted him due to slow sales despite their recent product overhaul and deteriorating relations amongst their dealer network. There’s no word on where he’ll end up next, but sources tell me he’s looking to move some Italian brand out of their quaint little space in Maranello to a trendy part of town outside St. Louis that just got a Whole Foods.
[Source: Cadillac | Image © Keiron Berndt/Hooniverse 2018]
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 © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]