Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Toyota reveals new GR 86 with good looks, more power, and red carpet(!!!), GMC reveals their Hummer EV SUV with its boxy goodness, Polestar promises a truly carbon neutral car by 2030, and your news for the week.
Toyota GR 86
The Toyobaru story is beginning a new chapter as Subaru and now Toyota have unveiled the second generation of their shared platform sports car. Subaru’s BRZ debuted last year to much enthusiasm but Toyota’s 86 replacement has taken several months longer to see the light of day. This got us wondering if they were cooking up something a little bit different. The previous cars were beloved in the community but often mocked for how they were basically the same car with different bumpers and options. Well Toyota has taken the extra time to produce basically the same car. Not that we’re complaining.
It does however get a new identity. It’ll be called the GR 86 going forward, which is in line with Toyota’s naming scheme for their other sports cars like the GR Supra and GR Yaris. Without being able to dissect the car and analyze every little detail, it’s hard to tell how far Toyota went to differentiate their Toyobaru besides what’s been stated in the press release. The first difference you’ll notice is its new front bumper with an almost GR Yaris-like structure to it. It looks very different from Subaru’s and it works quite well on the car. And according to the interior shots, at least some models will get an option for red carpeting which just feels right on a car like this.
But one key difference that’s sure to sway some buyers opinions is that it gets 232 horsepower compared to Subaru’s 228 horsepower. Toyota was able to squeeze a bit more power out of the shared 2.4-liter boxer inline four. Compared to the outgoing engine, this new one is more responsive and smooth while also enabling a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds (down from 7.4 seconds).
Toyota also says that while it was developed jointly with Subaru, both companies focused on providing a distinctive driving feel. Toyota adds that “while engaging in friendly rivalry with the BRZ development team, TGR sought to develop a vehicle that would provide happiness to 86 fans, and realize an evolution of the 86’s unique driving sensations”. The new GR 86 “is specially designed for sports performance, and provides direct and satisfying driving performance of the highest order”. When we eventually get to drive both of these it will be extremely interesting to see how different they actually are. Toyota is saying much of the same thing Subaru did about the BRZ. We know they’ll be fantastic to drive because the last ones were too but we still can’t wait to see what the new improvements bring to the table for ourselves.
The new GR 86 will start arriving this autumn in Japan. Other markets will follow shortly thereafter. Pricing has not been announced yet.
GMC Hummer SUV
As has been widely publicized, the Hummer is making a comeback as a GMC EV model. It first debuted last year as a four-door pickup but the promise of a proper Hummer SUV we all knew and loved[?] was always there too. Now we know what that will look like.
GMC showed it off in a commercial during that big college basketball tournament thing with narration from Space Jam 2 star LeBron James and an awful cover of Immigrant Song as the backing track. As one of the all time greatest basketball players hits you with the inspirational talk, the GMC Hummer EV falls from space and starts driving around town to show off some of its party tricks. So far it looks like all the same good stuff from the Hummer pickup – crap loads of off road clearance, GM Ultium Drive with 2 and 3-motor configurations, up to 830 horsepower and 11,500 lb.-ft. of torque, up to 300 plus miles of range, and the crab walk feature. Pricing starts at $79,995 and can go into the six figures extremely quickly.
Another bit of interesting news GM released is that both Hummers and the upcoming electric Silverado will be built at Factory ZERO, what was formerly known as its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. It’s been renamed to Factory ZERO as it receives a major overhaul to combat climate change with a slew of new EVs. It’ll serve as a launchpad of sorts for future GM EVs as it’s being retooled and expanded with a $2.2 billion investment. It will start production on the Hummer EV pickup later this year.
Speaking of the number zero, Polestar has announced the Polestar 0 project – an initiative to produce a truly climate neutral car by 2030. The act of producing an EV – or any car – is not exactly a clean process, but that’s what Polestar is aiming to fix.
Put simply, “today, Polestar 2 [their first and currently only mass market EV] leaves the factory gates with a carbon footprint”, Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, says. “In 2030, we want to present a car that does not”. Their plan for this is to eliminate all emissions stemming from vehicle production, not just offset them. Any EV can promise zero tailpipe emissions, but that’s only part of the equation. We won’t even come close to fixing our climate crisis if everyone has to buy a new EV when its production is no less harmful than that of an ICE vehicle. If Polestar is successful, it will be a major step forward for EVs and a model for all EV manufacturers to follow. We wouldn’t have to worry about a “break even” point where an EV starts to become more environmentally friendly than its gas-powered counterpart. An EV built with Polestar’s “design towards zero” focus would get to work right away. So while there isn’t much that Polestar can show off with this just yet or much of anything specific, it’s a very promising sign that one day soon EVs can truly start being as clean as they’re advertised.
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.