The News for April 22nd, 2016

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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. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • BMW launches first 100 year edition car, gives it a stupid name

  • Honda revives the Accord Hybrid starting this spring

  • Honda Clarity battery EV and plug-in hybrid coming next year

  • Ferrari shows off classic Pioneer racing colors on a 488 GTB

  • Report: wagons out, inline-sixes in at Jaguar

  • What’s your automotive news?

BMW M760i gets 100 year treatment

Autodesk VRED Professional 2015 SR1-SP5
As has been covered here before, this year is BMW’s 100th year in business and they’re not shy about making it known. The Munich-based maker of branded accessories and the X4 M40i already revealed their big 100 year concept car and announced their visions for the future; things any automaker would do on their centennial. But BMW, like most automakers would, felt the need to take the whole “we’re 100 years old now” thing even further. That’s what brings us to this, a car that’s actually referred to globally as the BMW Individual 7 Series THE NEXT 100 YEARS.
And thus marks the start of a trend which won’t end until every model in the BMW lineup has as many ‘100 years’ badges as possible. Consider this a warning.
The 7 Series THE NEXT 100 YEARS is a special edition model limited to 100 units worldwide, five of which are coming to America. The exact specification of the car depends on the market, but each of the five coming to America will be based on the M760i xDrive already on sale.
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And because these special editions are going through BMW Individual, the car we’re getting in America will officially be called the “BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS“. BMW has become self-aware. They know their naming scheme is meaningless and now they’re taking it to a new level.
Of all the cars I’ve covered here on Hooniverse, I don’t think any of them have had a name as needlessly long as this one. Let me try to break this down for you all in plain English…
BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS:

  • BMW Individual: It has special paint and leather options not in the normal options list. BMW will build as many cars with these options as the can sell but they choose to make them exclusive so rich people can feel special. The fact that this car starts with BMW Individual means it’s very special and exclusive indeed.
  • M760i xDrive: It’s not a full-fledged M car, but they want you to think it sort of is. It has a twin-scroll turbo V12 with 610 horsepower and all-wheel drive to keep it planted. This is what you and I care about the most.
  • Model V12: BMW buyers have a notoriously short attention span so the marketing department felt the need to remind everyone that it has a V12 just four syllables after it was first implied by ‘M760i’. The fact that this was included means it’s the V12 model…. Hey, just in case you’ve forgotten, this car has a V12.
  • Excellence: BMW knows 7 Series buyers have a tremendous sense of self-importance so they threw in the word ‘excellence’ to further inflate their egos. The fact that this car has EXCELLENCE written in its name means it’s more excellent than the normal 7 Series they give to the commoners. (I think Excellence actually refers to a BMW Individual package, but I like my explanation better).
  • THE NEXT 100 YEARS: Because “100 Jahre” (similar to what they did for the 30th anniversary M5) or “100th Anniversary Edition” wasn’t good enough to convey its EXCELLENCE. The fact that it has these words at the end means it’s going to be a “future collectible” and probably never driven.

The end result is a car that oozes pompousness. Just saying “I drive a BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS” can make anyone sound less like a person with thriving Panamanian company and more like someone who would happily spend $13,500 on an HDMI cable.
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But all joking aside, the BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 FUCKING YEARS is armed to the teeth with the latest in-car technology and luxury features. It’s all built around an advanced Carbon Core body structure and made luxurious with things like Rear Executive Lounge Seating, gesture control for the infotainment system, a neat Panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof, and anything else that would fit. It does have that special BMW Individual paint, but the Centennial Blue Metallic paint won’t be available on anything but THE NEXT 100 YEARS models. The interior is upholstered with BMW Individual (of course) Smoke White Full Merino Leather and trimmed with fine raw materials.
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They’ve not disclosed pricing info or what it takes to get in line for one. If you’re extremely wealthy and not amused, maybe a special included gift will. BMW has partnered with Montblanc, a maker of fine watches and expensive pens, to produce a 1-of-100 “Montblanc for BMW” Centennial Fountain Pen which will be handed out to everyone that buys one of these cars. Because nothing says EXCELLENCE like having a $1,000+ writing utensil to match your $100,000++ BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS.
I give up.
[Source: BMW]

Honda Accord and Clarity hybrid options

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Reveal
Now for news that actually matters. Honda is stepping up their green car game with a new hybrid option for the Accord plus a battery electric and plug-in hybrid variant for the Clarity, a car that was previously available exclusively as a hydrogen fuel cell car. Each of these new offerings aim to bring outstanding efficiency to the masses through perfectly normal cars that everyone is already familiar with (except for maybe the Clarity, which only few parts of the world can buy at the moment).
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
2017 Accord Hybrid
The Honda Accord Hybrid gets a pretty substantial update to its gas electric powertrain which delivers more power and even slightly better fuel mileage. It gets a new 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine which is paired with an electric motor of some sort (they didn’t really go into specifics) to deliver up to 212 horsepower, a 16 horsepower increase over the last model. It may not sound like much, but it’s the highest of any mid-size hybrid sedan.
When power goes up, the car suddenly has an easier time moving itself around, thus increasing fuel mileage. The EPA rates it at 49 mpg city, 47 mph highway, 48 mpg combined using new, more strict rules which make it look less efficient than the last car. Honda claims that it actually represents a 1 mpg city, 2 mpg highway, 1 mpg combined increase when accounting for the new EPA measurements. It can be driven “short distances” on battery power alone. Other new additions include a more compact battery pack which in turn increases cargo volume, loads of new standard safety features, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and everything else that was added to the Accord after its 2016 model year refresh.
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
You’d be forgiven for not knowing they even made an Accord Hybrid. Less than 14,000 examples of the last one were sold in 2014. With all the new features and the updated powertrain, they’re doubling production capacity in anticipation for the sales increase which hopefully comes. It goes on sale later this spring at an undisclosed price.
Honda Clarity Series
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Fuel cell model shown. No pictures of the others exist yet.

The Honda Clarity was originally launched as a hydrogen fuel cell EV and has not exactly been a huge sales success. It may have something to do with the fact that it was only sold in limited markets and was only practical for people who live near hydrogen refueling stations, of which there are just twenty-four nationwide according to the US Department of Energy. Compared to the some 46,000 electric charging options available in that same space… uhm, yeah. Fortunately, Honda is a smart company and has decided to address that insane margin by offering two more conventionally electrified Claritys to leverage a common platform.
Starting early 2017, the Honda Clarity can be ordered as a battery EV (BEV) or a plug-in hybrid. Exact specifications of each aren’t available yet, but they promise a 40 mile range on battery alone and a “hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode” for the plug-in hybrid. All three cars in the future Clarity lineup will capitalize on its streamlined shape to provide excellent range. The fuel cell model at least takes advantage of compact hardware to provide extra cabin space from the firewall back and I’d expect the same from the BEV and plug-in hybrid models.
We’ll know more about each of the newcomers soon enough.
[Sources: Honda, US Department of Energy]

BLIPS

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Ferrari has a one-off 488 GTB headed to the Grand Palais in Paris, France which pays tribute to one of their most iconic racing liveries. The first car to wear this blue and white livery and roll on gold wheels was the 308 Gr4 Pioneer driven by Jean Claude Andruet back in the 80s. With that car, he won the Tour de France Auto in 1981 and 1982. This special 488 GTB was built by Tailor Made (some bespoke Ferrari service) with the exact same paint colors, a near identical livery, and the same matte gold paint on the wheels. Even the 80s red fabric seats were reinterpreted using modern materials. As of writing, this car is on a five-day rally over four circuits and nine closed roads for… reasons. It may never be seen again after it finishes up this Saturday, but props to Ferrari for even building this.
[Source: Ferrari via Autoblog]
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Someone at Jaguar had loose lips this week. Reports/rumors suggest good news and bad news for Jaguar enthusiasts. Starting with the bad news, Jaguar design chief Ian Callum is on record saying to Automotive News Europe that the wagon market is “massively shrinking… it’s a very difficult market to justify”. And to effectively nail the coffin, “we will do things that will surprise you but it won’t be wagons”. Welp, shit. We all went mad over the XF Sportbrake wagon when it launched in 2012 and were especially pleased to see the supercharged XFR-S Sportbrake (pictured) be a thing that actually existed. But when not enough people buy it, it doesn’t matter how gorgeous and wonderful it is.
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Now for the good news. A report from Autocar (which will be treated as a rumor until confirmed) suggests that Jaguar will be returning to the inline-six engine somewhat soon on most if not all of their models. Anything that currently has a V6 could potentially be graced with the smooth power delivery and sonorous notes of six cylinders all lined up, as teased by this BREAKSCLUSIVE leaked image of the new engine. Ingenium would be the supplier and the typical displacement would be 3.0 liters if these rumors come to fruition. Speaking as someone that loves what BMW used to be, I think I love the current Jaguar more than I do the current BMW. Jaguar making inline-sixes again would make it official. Hell, an inline-six in a XF Sportbrake would seal the deal.
[News Sources: Automotive News Europe, Autocar via Autoblog | Image source: me]

What’s your automotive news?

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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 © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

37 Comments

  1. “BMW launches first 100 year edition car, gives it a stupid name”
    Best description yet Greg! My special interior would be my own cloned skin-leather to really just be encompassed in me as an individual. That pen is hideous.

    1. Cloned skin leather seats and an HDMI cable that plugs right into the crack when seated? I’m sure marketing specialists will find A Suitable Capital Letter Name for this edition, too.
      Seriously, if this is the one real world model made by BMW to celebrate their 100 year history and heritage, I’m a bit baffled. Here’s hoping for a smallish, tossable roadster.

      1. I guarantee they’ll make one of these editions for every car in the lineup. There were a lot of neat rumors about cars BMW was “considering” but most of them haven’t panned out. There was a rumor that they would make a special high(er) performance i8 but I’ve not heard much about it since.

        1. They’re just getting in line with special trim posing as something really special. What is this, the 80s?

    2. I would also add carpeting woven from clones of my actual hair.
      I’m a little disappointed this car wasn’t called the BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence #NEXT100 just to tie it in with the Instagrams.

  2. Chuga-chuga, chuga-chuga, choo-choo! The Rock’N’Roll train is headed here, loaded up with the SS! Not only that, but the dealer actually has the invoice now, with VIN and a scheduled delivery date of 5/8/16 (which is Mothers’ Day Sunday) so I’m guessing the week before walleye opener will be go time!
    Normally calm and optimistic, MiSSus GTXcellent has now become almost unbearable – First she was doubtful that GM had gotten the order. Then she was certain the ship would sink. While the car was sitting in Benicia she was convinced the Bay Area would have a major earthquake and her car would slide in the ocean. Now she whole-heartedly believes the train will derail in the Rockies.

    1. Woo hoo! I can’t wait to hear about the whole experience. I’ll be sitting at the dealer’s doorstep when the orders open up for 2017.

  3. Tomorrow, Mrs. engineerd™ and Miniengineerd™ are joining the MotorCity BMWCCA for the spring drive. There is rumor* of a stop at MIS for a photo op. I hope this includes driving the car on the track. Time to get the new summer tires broken in!
    *Not really a rumor since they told us, but all they have said is we are going to MIS for a photo op.

  4. BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS
    Please, oh please, tell me that the official BMW protocol when speaking the name is always to shout that last bit as loudly as possible.

    1. The later version of the name shown lower in the article deserves more exposure. It has more of a ring about it…
      “BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 FUCKING YEARS”

  5. Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS means it comes with a hundred year warranty, I suppose? Because a lot of modern BMWs lose their excellence before the end of the first decade.

    1. No joke, my parents bought the optional extended-extended warranty for their 2014 Grand Cherokee, and it’s 99 years or 999,999 miles (whichever comes first). It only took the first year for it to begin to lose its excellence though (not to mention a fuel pump replacement under warranty at 71K miles…).

      1. How much is that warranty? Not knowing the fine print, that reads like the end of FCA’s financial health.

      2. Holy crap.
        I’d be all over that- but what was the price?
        Maybe FCA figured your folks would hate the Jeep enough to ditch it after 100k?

      3. @Sjalabais:disqus and @JayP— it wasn’t cheap, but I can’t recall exactly how much. Somewhere in the $2k region I believe, but totally worth it. It was a trial type thing, only offered to a limited few, so I don’t think it’s what’s doing FCA in. As for them hating it…they’re less than pleased…it’s had as many issues in 72k miles than my Avalanche had in 140k, or as my dad’s 2500HD had in 150k (the ensuing 30k being much different)

    2. Herr Excellence will depreciate faster than the warranty can fix it, so it probably doesn’t matter anyways.

  6. I’m glad to hear that Jaguar is going to a straight-six. I was reading an article by Car and Driver that talked about how their current V6 and V8 have basically the same block casting to save on machining costs, but then with a weird space in the V6 version, so the V6 engine actually ends up weighing just as much (or was it more?) as the V8 and is the same physical size. From a cost perspective that makes sense, but for a “prestigious” brand like Jaguar I would expect slightly better engineering.

      1. …egads.
        I make my living cramming the proverbial 10 kgs of engine [diesel, 4.5L I-4 to 9-liter I-6] and associated systems [SCR aftertreatment, DEF tank, air intake, cooling] into the 5 kg box [on heavy construction equipment]. I’d be very unhappy with trying to integrate an engine that wasted a whole main bearing span’s worth of space for no good functional reason.

        1. When I was first told, I didn’t believe it – internet and all that. But there’s the prof.
          No wonder Land Rover are still unhappy about it. They don’t have a six cylinder engine to put in their transverse engined RR Evoque and Discovery Sport models even though the previous Freelander 2 had one, (the Volvo straight six)

        2. And I make my living cramming a 100 tonne box around a 200 tonne diesel engine (I-8 or I-9) 😉

          1. Hah. Cool.
            I started out working on skid-steer loaders; when I went to this job (to work on a series that starts at 10 tonnes, roughly twice a big skid-steer’s weight) I ignorantly thought “this’ll be easy now, the machines are so much bigger!” …but really it’s an exercise in creativity to get all the required parts into the required space no matter what you’re designing.

  7. So I’ve got some interesting news, I just added to the fleet. Ok so a lot of hoons won’t be into it but at least the back story is interesting and it involves some of my long time faithful friends the 2v 4.6 and a decendent of the AOD family of slush boxes. It is a 2009 E150, former aid car with high top addition. Now some of you may go an aid car on a 150?. Yes but the E150 was dropped some time ago and replaced with the E250 to dodge CAFE. So it is rated for an 8520lb GVW. It is light years ahead of the 83 that it is replacing, though that was a faithful old truck.
    Now for the interesting part of the story. I had seen this exact truck at the county auction, where I purchased my current DD P71. I was interested in it, and had set my desired price in the $3500-$4000 range. Well it went for a good chunk more than that, I walked away when it topped $5,000 and didn’t pay attention to the price it went for.
    Apparently it went to a dealer, because the person I bought it from had purchased it in Dec for a mobile dog grooming business she was starting after closing down her shop. She says she paid over $8000 by the time the tax and license was done. She had a major injury that is preventing her from continuing the business. So I picked it up with about 3,000mi more than it had a the auction, for my target price of $3500.
    All in all I’m happy though the AC doesn’t work and there are a few other issues to take care of. A big bonus is that since it is a 2009 no emissions test is required as all 2009 and newer vehicles are exempt. Real nice to know I shouldn’t have to mess with that or spend the $15 every other year.

  8. The P-car makes me nod at wheel speed under light braking – the rotors have shed their autumn leaves. Now I need to watch that video again that’s explaining the awkward bearing in rotor in hub construction in the front, and how to rotate the pistons. Anybody knows why break pistons should be rotated according to the workshop manual?
    The F-car handbrake wire needs a zip-tie, it’s touching the asphalt pillows they are using as speed bumps – I can feel it in the handbrake lever, spooky. Also, it will go 1000+ mls this summer, probably its last trip across Europe, wearing its roof box.

  9. “BMW Individual M760i xDrive Model V12 Excellence THE NEXT 100 YEARS”
    Clearly the name was chosen to attract all of those recently minted Chinese billionaires.

      1. Given that there were 213 known billionaires in China in 2015 it’s reasonable to assume that enough of them survived to satisfy BMW’s desires.

  10. Someone with P-shop skills please take the Jaguar F-Pace and give it a lowered stance so we can see how close it is to the XF Sportbrake.

    1. I sectioned it instead of lowering it, but it does seem to work…

      The original is first, followed by my version.

  11. I’ll be replacing the heater control valve in the Ranger this weekend. Not a hard job but the autozone version sux eggs. And I’m too lazy to go to the dealer.
    I’ve come to the point where I change it out every 50k regardless of if it is leaking.

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