GR 86

The News for April 9th, 2021

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

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.

GR 86

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).

GR 86

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.

[Source: Toyota]

GMC Hummer SUV

GMC HUMMER EV 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.

[Source: GMC]

Polestar 0

polestar 0

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.

[Source: Polestar]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse news whats your naws

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.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

14 Comments

  1. DMV reopened for walk-in customers, and I had some registrations to renew that couldn’t be done online. I spent Monday afternoon standing in line.

    Unlike pre-COVID days, there isn’t just one long line. Now there’s an outdoor line (where you try to find shade or protection from the elements). At some point, a government employee comes outdoors to read everyone a long list of new rules.

    One of the new rules is that they no longer accept cash. If you were planning on paying with cash, you were directed to go to the nearby post office to purchase a money order. I guess nobody cares if the postal workers get infected by the same dollar bills the local government workers are afraid to handle, but the post office has to charge people for something.

    Anyway, periodically the government employee would pop outside to tell the next handful of customers to come inside. As it turned out, this was not for people to be next in line, it was just an intermediate waiting area. But it was structured with the line in reverse–the person at the far south end of the line outdoors should have been the person farthest north inside–but there were no ropes or tape marks or anything to make this simple to understand, and the line (which was less of a line than a huddle) got immediately mixed up with each new incoming group.

    While I was outside, I had requested a form that I needed. One was given to me with the instruction that inside there would be counters with pens. When I got inside, all I saw was a customer service window that had the blinds pulled down. There was indeed a chain with parts of what was once a pen attached to the counter, but unfortunately the part with the in was no longer there. I assumed the government employee was talking about a pen I would encounter later in the process.

    Finally, I got to the room where the transactions were being handled. Only the person whose name was on the license paperwork could enter that room. So if you wanted to handle your neighbor’s paperwork, or keep your parent company during an errand, you were not allowed. I asked about the pen and was scolded for not using the one without ink. I was told to sit in chair #5 and wait to be called. I tried to fill out the paperwork, using my thigh as a writing surface.

    The government employee sat other people down in other chairs. When the person in front of me heard someone behind the glass call “next customer”, then the person in front of me got up. The government employee yelled at her and said the person behind me should be next because she was sitting in the designated chair. Nobody had mentioned to us that we were supposed to be constantly switching chairs every time a new customer got called. Even though the three of us all agreed who was first, second, and third, this was opposite of the order the government employee had in mind, and she threatened to send the #1 person to the end of the line to start over. Finally, someone behind the glass acknowledged seeing us enter in the order we insisted was correct.

    When I got my turn, the person behind the glass said my form (which I filled out on my thigh while being scolded) was illegible. Keep in mind that this form was for transcribing the VIN and other specific details onto a form for the person behind the glass to type into a computer, and that the VIN and all those details were clearly printed on other government-issued documentation I was submitting for the renewal. Fortunately, she was able to print some new blank forms and allowed me to complete them at the counter.

    Plates should arrive by mail in about three weeks, assuming the mail gets delivered to the right address. That’s not always a given.

    1. Wow…feels like a public works sitcom. Why can’t a registration be renewed online? I honestly can’t come up with anything we cannot do online by now, and I am very grateful for that.

      1. I was renewing three registrations. One could have been done online, but I figured if I had to stand in line anyway, I’d take care of it at the same time (and ended up applying for classic license plates while I was there).

        The other two of them had been lapsed for too long, and they ask you in person whether or not the vehicle has been driven on the roads during the lapse, so they can determine whether a penalty should apply. I guess if they allowed people to answer that question online, everybody would check the “NO” box without any signs of culpable body language, so having you go in person allows them to guilt an extra one or two people per day into paying the fine.

        TL;DR: there wasn’t any real technical reason why that couldn’t have been handled online, but I was beyond some eligibility parameters.

  2. That cover of The Immigrant Song in the Hummer commercial? It’s by Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails, and like all the movie scores of the last decade), and was done for the American adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I like it fine, although the origin makes it an odd choice for a Hummer commercial (frankly, the Led Zeppelin version wouldn’t make much sense either). I just have no idea why CRATERING A MAJOR DOWNTOWN ROAD IN LOS ANGELES is how GM wants to unveil the thing. Like, are they going to follow it up with driving through a skyscraper which them collapses?

  3. The Toyota will be forever known as the Grady-Six.

    GMC hoes you get a Hummer this Summer.

    The soon-to-be released Polestar O Sport will be a true P.O.S.

      1. I was looking forward to the Hoes and Hummers event coming to town. So far, the best personal contact swag I’ve gotten from a carmaker has been a massage from Lexus.

  4. Well, this week’s news can be summarized as follows:

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    It has been a couple of weeks since the wife’s 1998 328I went into the shop. It went in for three things:

    1. Its annual oil change.

    2. Replacement of the plastic cowling at the base of the windshield which had cracked and broke from age.

    3. After spending some $2500 last year replacing belts hoses and gaskets and engine mounts I was annoyed that it was still dripping (perhaps 2 or 3 ounces a year?) onto the garage floor. “Fix that leak”, I said….half thinking they should fix it for free as rework from last year. How big a deal could that be?

    Well…… guess what? Another $2500 this year for more gaskets, and power steering hoses and on and on. I admit to being impressed – I pulled last year’s bill and I cannot find where they have duplicated anything from last year. I damn near just went and got the car; at that rate of leakage, I could live with the leak, and I could afford to replace the lost oil with stuff refined by bodily passage through a sequential string of a dozen virgins. But…..

    Upon reflection, I started to think about the fact that not being driven is very hard on a car, and especially on gaskets, hoses, and seals… they dry out, and if the plastic windshield cowling dried out and cracked…well, the under hood stuff has probably gone bad too.

    So, yeah, actually just old, under-used car problems, unfortunately at BMW prices. And, it would cost me at least $25,000 to buy Frau Lokki another car….to just sit in the garage. Sadly, she has been spoiled by such long fancy-car ownership…no Camry or Corolla will be acceptable.

    So, Hell. For the cost of a few car payments a year, the car retains some value and usefulness. If I stop maintaining it it will gradually fall into clunker-hood, AND fail on her sometime in a (to-be-determined) remarkably annoying manner sometime and then I’ll have to buy her a car and get zero for this one.

    Rational? Hell no. Rationalized? Hell yes.

    My name is Lokki, and I am a serial BMW owner. Now excuse me, I have to go throw some more money on the fire.

    1. Maybe there is a local college student you could pay to come out once or twice per month on sunny days to put the car through its paces. Sort of like a dog-walker, but for automobiles. At $20, or even $50 per visit if you throw in a good car wash. you still won’t come close to what you seem to be spending annually on gaskets and hoses, and it will be significantly less costly than another car.

      1. Dream job! When I was a student, a friend was flewn to some tropical island to watch over a bunch of animals in a 4 pool mansion. When she said the pay wasn’t good, I almost smacked her.

        Vintage BMW exercise comes close to that.

    2. I understand your pain. In the 2+ years that I’ve owned my 2002 BMW 325Ci I’ve spent more on parts than the initial purchase price. I cringe to think what the labor for control arms, struts, engine mounts, vanos seals, valve cover gasket, and a complete CCV replacement would have cost had I not been able to diy.

  5. For those that remember the wheelchair lift van I was back at it last week. After the board was resoldered it had worked w/o problem for months. However I got a call that it stopped while half way down and would go back up, but not down.

    Testing did reveal it definitely was the relay for the lift motor. Unfortunately the original part number was long since discontinued. I did find one with a suitable capacity but of course the terminal arrangement was different. I did need to make some jumper wires to make all the connections but it wasn’t too bad and thankfully it worked. Fingers crossed the cheap part from Amazon doesn’t fail early.

  6. The source of the brake fluid leak on the Tundra appears to be a bad LR wheel cylinder. It’s wet around the perimeter of the drum. So, rear brakes are on the agenda this weekend. I get my second covid shot today too, so I may not be able to finish, depending on how I feel tomorrow.

    I also hope to get the cracked intake hose on the BMW replaced and clear the check engine light.

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