The News for January 17th, 2020

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, Genesis unveils their first SUV, Porsche brings more flat six goodness to the 718, Mk8 Golf GTI is expected at Geneva this year and Golf R at Goodwood, BMW is killing the i8, and Hummer may be coming back?

Genesis GV80

gv80

Genesis has wisely chosen to partake in the fastest-growing market in the industry with the all-new GV80, their first luxury SUV. It focuses on versatility (where the “V” in the name comes from) and has a number of “firsts” for the company which we’ll get into. The naming convention also allows them to fully expand their SUV lineup to mimic the current sedan lineup, where G70 is the smallest (so far) and G90 is the largest. It launches soon in South Korea and then to other major markets with a whole host of options to fit your needs.

Design

Starting first with the design, it follows the Genesis tagline of “Athletic Elegance” rather well. I swear I see that kind of description on every press release these days, but it’s hard to translate attractive styling developed on a sedan to an SUV. Just ask Bentley. Genesis collaborated with their design centers in South Korea, Germany, and America to come up with a package that I think works. The now signature “Crest Grille” dominates the front while a parabolic line runs all along the side with “precise execution, accentuated by power lines above each wheel”. It debuts new quad head lamps with a stunning G-Matrix pattern will become another staple of Genesis design going forward. The same kind of pattern is also visible on their optional 22-inch wheels, which for some reason was not shown on any of the press photos. Genius.

Interior

Cabin design is dominated by “the beauty of white space”, a characteristic of elegant South Korean architectural philosophy. It’s about an airy, open, uncluttered feeling, which they say is what you’re treated to inside the GV80. Sleek, thin air vents run across the dashboard and on top is a wide 14.5-inch split-screen infotainment display. Soft materials cover every surface and physical buttons and switches are kept to a minimum. Buyers are given a generous amount of customization inside the cabin as well. Genesis allows a choice of 5-passenger and 7-passenger configurations, which isn’t all that common on larger SUVs these days. Heated and cooled seats are available on the first two rows. The driver’s seat can be optioned with a world-first active motion seat with seven air cells that reduce fatigue. There’s also an air purification system that filters out 99% of particulate matter in the cabin.

gv80

Other world-first features include Road-Noise Active Noise Control technology and augmented reality navigation. The RANC system dramatically reduces road noise while driving by generating sound waves of opposite phases in real-time with a 0.002-second response time. It’s like a large-scale noise-cancelling headset specifically tuned for common road noises. Meanwhile, the navigation system takes guidance to a new level with a front-mounted camera that captures the road ahead and feeds it into the nav system. The system then recognizes upcoming exits or streets to turn onto and projects instructions onto the image. So it would spot an upcoming street and have the route in an overlay on top of it.

Under the hood

Part of being an “authentic” Genesis is having a capable rear-wheel-drive platform, so the GV80 does too – AWD is still available of course. The powertrain it launches with in South Korea is a diesel of all things – a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel with 274 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. When equipped with the five-seat configuration and 19″ wheels, it returns up to 27.8 mpg by South Korea’s calculations. Two turbocharged gasoline engines are arriving shortly but we have no details on those yet. Assume the family 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 is one of those, and either the 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the 5.0-liter V8. You know which one I’m hoping for.

gv80

And it goes without saying, but the GV80 is also loaded with safety features as standard. These include the usual forward collision-avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic avoidance, driver attention alert, and smart cruise control with some machine learning thrown in. Physical safety measures involve 10 standard airbags, including a center-mounted airbag between the front occupants to mitigate interior impact.

We should know a little more about the GV80 we’re getting at the next major US auto show, which I can’t be bothered to look up right now. I’m sure Genesis will be eager to show us so they can start printing money with it. As of now, we have no pricing info or an exact US launch date to report. It is however on sale in South Korea by the end of the month.

[Source: Genesis]

Porsche 718 GTS 4.0

porsche-718-gts-4.0

Filed under: enthusiasts were right

One of the most controversial things Porsche did last decade was replace the fantastic naturally-aspirated flat-six in the Cayman and Boxster with a turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s a fine motor on paper, but enthusiasts believed it was a downgrade in the driving experience over the tried-and-true flat-six. Just recently, the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder were the first to go back to the old [better] ways. But those are special models with enormous price tags and more limited availability. Starting later this year though, enthusiasts will have another option…. which also comes with an enormous price tag.

The 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS will soon launch with the same 4.0-liter flat-six engine lifted from the Spyder and GT4 models. And it will be paired exclusively with a six-speed manual. Power is rated at 395 horsepower and there are no turbos getting in the way of the kind of noise a Porsche deserves to make.

porsche-718-gts-4.0

All the usual handling upgrades found on the GTS carry over. That means Porsche Active Suspension Management, 20mm ride height reduction, torque vectoring through a mechanical LSD, and the Sport Chrono package. That will all translate to a driving experience that should truly be unrivaled from its class. Nobody makes a car like this as good as Porsche, which makes a car + engine + gearbox combo like this so great to see.

Germans will get first dibs on the 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS 4.0. It launches by the end of March this year, just in time for Nürburgring Touristenfahrten. The rest of the usual markets get it at a later but unspecified date.

[Source: Porsche]

2021 VW GTI debut expected at Geneva

2020 VW Golf

Now for some rumors. Autocar reports that VW will be using the Geneva Motor Show in March to debut the next-generation Golf GTI. They’re also expecting a standard output of 242 horsepower or 287 horsepower if you tick the right options. Then a few months later, VW will likely debut the mighty Golf R at Goodwood. Those two models will be of great interest to enthusiasts in America in particular, since it’s the only way we’re getting the next-generation Golf. We’ll be sure to follow these updates as we get them. In the meantime, you can check out the rest of Autocar’s reporting on what they believe the Mk8 GTI will consist of. It all sounds great to me.

[Source: Autocar via Autoweek]

The BMW i8 is Dead

BMW i8 Roadster

In 1%er news, the BMW i8 will not live to see another year, as confirmed by BMW UK to Autocar. They claim the six-year production run will end this April with ordering books closing by the end of February. The move is reportedly to make way for other electrified projects that have long been in the works at BMW.

Despite looking more futuristic than anything on the road to this day, its powertrain really isn’t anything that spectacular. And certainly not befitting of how fast it looks. It would lose a race to a Mustang GT and its EV range is shorter than that of a Ford Fusion Hybrid. The competition has simply gotten faster and more impressive through more potent hybrid and EV powertrains. It was in desperate need of a refresh years ago. But killing it off to start from scratch on more important volume hybrids/EVs is not a bad call.

RIP, i8. At least you still look cool.

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Hummer… is… coming back?

hummer

Finding original Hummer press images is… difficult

What will undoubtedly be the topic of heated debate is a report from the Wall Street Journal that Hummer could be making a comeback, but not the one we would have expected. The original Hummer consisted of gigantic off-roaders with an equally large appetite, but it could return as an electric GMC pickup. Yep, that’s what the word on the [Wall] street is. And they expect it to debut during a Super Bowl commercial. You can read the full details if you have a WSJ subscription or just wait until February 2nd and be surprised because you already forgot about it like the rest of us.

[Source: Wall Street Journal via Autoweek]

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse

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.

40 Comments

  1. The GV80 reads like an exercise in Swede-fying a Korean SUV. The naming convention mimics Volvo – the “V” in V40, V60, V70, V90 also stands for “versatility”. Volvo adopted this in 1995 after the S4/F4 name for the coming S40/V40 was called out by Audi to be too close to their S4. Then there’s the architecture-inspired interior: “It’s about an airy, open, uncluttered feeling” – That’s the kind of mumbo jumbo you hear about Swedish design every time a new vehicle leaves Gothenburg.

    So I guess there’s even more mimicry in design and press releases than first noticed.

    I have no real news, but on Wednesday I was called out to the furthest reaches of our municipality. While we have a mild and wet winter down at the fjord, the people up there see no competition to mighty king Winter. I spend my working day driving on wet ice and snow – and it was fantastic.

    https://i.ibb.co/ckjZwHY/IMG-20200117-152246.jpg
    https://i.ibb.co/DR9Fk6N/IMG-20200117-152326.jpg
    https://i.ibb.co/RcBbSgC/IMG-20200117-152202.jpg

  2. What’s that saying about free stuff not really being free? So this poor little Indy Lite snowmobile I picked up for the boys. Well, my eldest stuffed it into a culvert. So this weekend I’ll be replacing upper and lower radius rods and hopefully nothing more. Now this sled was designed to be a low buck entry into snowmobiling, as such, there are some “interesting” design aspects and it was engineered to be easily and quickly assembled. It was not built for serviceability. There are 2 radius rods per side, with bolts on the skis, and then upper bolts through the bulkhead. On the right hand side, the bolts are pretty easy to get at and it would be about a 7 minute job (which includes the beer time). Well guess which side he mashed up? On the left hand side, the bolts are NOT accessible. In order to reach them, I need to remove the airbox, then entirely remove the engine, then spend a few seconds tightening up said bolts, then, ‘reassembly is a reversal of dismantling.’ Hooray for wrenching.
    Oh well, it’s not like his Dad every wrecked anything…

  3. The GV80 reads like an exercise in Swede-fying a Korean SUV. The naming convention mimics Volvo – the “V” in V40, V60, V70, V90 also stands for “versatility”. Volvo adopted this in 1995 after the S4/F4 name for the coming S40/V40 was called out by Audi to be too close to their S4. Then there’s the architecture-inspired interior: “It’s about an airy, open, uncluttered feeling” – That’s the kind of mumbo jumbo you hear about Swedish design every time a new vehicle leaves Gothenburg.

    So I guess there’s even more mimicry in design and press releases than first noticed.

    I have no real news, but on Wednesday I was called out to the furthest reaches of our municipality. While we have a mild and wet winter down at the fjord, the people up there see no competition to mighty king Winter. I spend my working day driving on wet ice and snow – and it was fantastic.

    https://i.ibb.co/ckjZwHY/IMG-20200117-152246.jpg
    https://i.ibb.co/DR9Fk6N/IMG-20200117-152326.jpg
    https://i.ibb.co/RcBbSgC/IMG-20200117-152202.jpg

    1. We’ve had 7 days below -25C here, and roadside assistance is taking 14+ hours just to show up for a jump start

    2. Yikes. Pls say you didn’t need any roadside assistance!? I spent a winter working at a ski cabin when I had a then 25 year old 1977 Volvo 242. We had a long cold spell at these temperatures and I found it really hard to start the car – and keep it running. Strangely, the battery was never an issue, but keeping the choke in a spot that would neither drown the valves nor make the engine run to lean…mad science.

    3. Yikes. Pls say you didn’t need any roadside assistance!? I spent a winter working at a ski cabin when I had a then 25 year old 1977 Volvo 242. We had a long cold spell at these temperatures and I found it really hard to start the car – and keep it running. Strangely, the battery was never an issue, but keeping the choke in a spot that would neither drown the valves nor make the engine run to lean…mad science.

      1. I was in Helsinki two years ago, which is like 600km east and 300km south of where I live. The rental had a cable in the trunk for the electric heaters, which I deemed a part of the package to make the car more sellable once it is done, but what struck me was the shortness, 6ft at most: a socket within this distance is clearly expected.
        You may argue that I live at the wrong end of the gulf stream, but it’s still a heat source.

        1. We have an air current from the Pacific that’s like the gulf stream, but it only makes it here a few times per year through the Rocky Mountains. The air temperature can go from – 20 to +10 in a couple of hours when it arrives in winter. This air current is literally our city’s snow removal strategy!

        2. That’s a crazy swing! The thing with air vs. water is the heat capacity: a delta T of a quarter of what you are describing is considered as proper extreme here. It might get down to – 25°C for a couple of days, so we do have snow-how indeed, but it won’t swing that rapidly. I’d have headache all day long!

          1. The other day it went from 36 to 20 in under an hour when a cold front came through.

            Nearly as big a change as the fuel prices which do a 35 cent per litre jump for some arbitrary reason, 139 to 174.

          2. A certain oddly-coiffured and otherwise also odd person letting an attack helicopter or Reaper drone recently launch a Hellfire missile at a now-deceased Iranian’s convoy might have had something to do with that last part, I would guess.

          3. No, it’s been happening most of last year too. Once upon a time we used to have a weekly fuel price cycle fluctuating by 10 cents per litre, over 10% at the time. The size of the swing probably crept up a bit over time, but I think it was quite a jump to 30-35 cents.

            Perhaps the government will have another enquiry which will no doubt again find there isn’t any evidence to take action, because the oil companies aren’t insane to create/keep any. Used to be a phone call to put prices up, but showing a call was made doesn’t prove anything was said. Maybe with technology they have gone to non-verbal that will leave a record somewhere? Not going to hold my breath.

        1. Shades of Ettore Bugatti’s response about cold start issues; “well keep the car in a heated garage”

      2. This infrastructure would have been nice to have to keep EV batteries at operating temperature and top up charges, too.

    4. Yikes. Pls say you didn’t need any roadside assistance!? I spent a winter working at a ski cabin when I had a then 25 year old 1977 Volvo 242. We had a long cold spell at these temperatures and I found it really hard to start the car – and keep it running. Strangely, the battery was never an issue, but keeping the choke in a spot that would neither drown the valves nor make the engine run to lean…mad science.

    5. I see what you’re getting at with the Volvo inspiration, and it’s working for me – for something modern, it’s strangely restrained and tasteful. But also (maybe less in line with modern Volvo), I’m taken by all the sidewall on the green GV80. It’s not even close to a sports car, so I’d love to see them go full waft.

      1. Nope, the naming convention originates in a time when Volvo tried to be more international, and that’s what they came up with.

  4. What’s that saying about free stuff not really being free? So this poor little Indy Lite snowmobile I picked up for the boys. Well, my eldest stuffed it into a culvert. So this weekend I’ll be replacing upper and lower radius rods and hopefully nothing more. Now this sled was designed to be a low buck entry into snowmobiling, as such, there are some “interesting” design aspects and it was engineered to be easily and quickly assembled. It was not built for serviceability. There are 2 radius rods per side, with bolts on the skis, and then upper bolts through the bulkhead. On the right hand side, the bolts are pretty easy to get at and it would be about a 7 minute job (which includes the beer time). Well guess which side he mashed up? On the left hand side, the bolts are NOT accessible. In order to reach them, I need to remove the airbox, then entirely remove the engine, then spend a few seconds tightening up said bolts, then, ‘reassembly is a reversal of dismantling.’ Hooray for wrenching.
    Oh well, it’s not like his Dad every wrecked anything…

  5. I was today years old when I learned that a formerly-East Berliner who grew up during WWII modified his BMW Isetta so it could be used to transport one of his childhood friends through a checkpoint in the Wall, an task so unlikely for such a small car that it was ultimately successful.
    The people that helped with the scheme were inspired to build their own Wall-transgressing Isetta, and carried on bringing people from East to West Berlin for another year and a half. (What gave them away on the last try was the car wobbling on its springs from the movements of the smuggle-ee when it was supposedly unoccupied.)

    https://www.bmw.com/en/automotive-life/berlin-wall-escapes-in-a-bmw-isetta.html

  6. last weekend i got my perpetual project running with its new motor for the first time in more than a year. I’ve put about 70 miles on it this week and it drives just how i remembered. haven’t gotten it tuned for the big turbo yet, so i have to take it easy and keep the boost down.

    it’s really tempting to spend insane amounts of money on shipping so i can finish this now now now, but tuning and tires are gonna cost booku bucks and i don’t have time for anything super involved this week anyway.

    man. so close, and yet so far. but being able to drive it again has been really gratifying.

  7. That 35 yo project- Porsche is not that friendly. New filters, oil, spark plugs, distr caps+rotors (2 pcs both) and it still doesn’t run properly, Next stop: injectors, cleaning, tests. If these are OK, then ancient LH-Jetronic, vacuum lines etc. My mechanic thinks I should get new spark plug wires, that’ll be relatively expensive for the V8. Any opinions how often wires are culprits on badly running engine? Problem is that car runs OK at 1000 rpm but higher some cyl stops working.
    How could I test the wires, one possibility is to use timing strobo light to get the idea if spark reaches nearly the plug or not, but there should be other, better testing methods, no?

    I also saw this recently, showing crappy car in other crappy car’s clothing. Ad campaign? Strange.
    https://media.giphy.com/media/l3q2MFl3S6eAV35io/giphy.gif

    1. Years ago had my ute at a workshop that did a lot of taxis, they were a bit shocked that my plug wires were (a lot) older than 12 months; lpg is a lot more demanding on spark than petrol/gasoline. Not sure on testing them, perhaps measure resistance but it may be something that only shows up under load.

  8. I was today years old when I learned that a formerly-East Berliner who grew up during WWII modified his BMW Isetta so it could be used to transport one of his childhood friends through a checkpoint in the Wall, an task so unlikely for such a small car that it was ultimately successful.
    The people that helped with the scheme were inspired to build their own Wall-transgressing Isetta, and carried on bringing people from East to West Berlin for another year and a half. (What gave them away on the last try was the car wobbling on its springs from the movements of the smuggle-ee when it was supposedly unoccupied.)

    https://www.bmw.com/en/automotive-life/berlin-wall-escapes-in-a-bmw-isetta.html

    1. This still gets to me, and millions of other Germans and Europeans. Imagine such a dysfunctional, human-unfriendly system finally just collapsing – with no bloodshed.

      My mother worked 14 years with the agency that went through the endless miles of data files the Socialist surveillance entity, Stasi, had produced. There was so much wild stuff. People escaping in balloons, home-made submarines, in tunnels and on surfboards on the high seas.

      A constant reminder to not restrain people, and get the most out of everybody’s lifes by offering them freedom – so they can excel at whatever they’re good at.

    2. This still gets to me, and millions of other Germans and Europeans. Imagine such a dysfunctional, human-unfriendly system finally just collapsing – with no bloodshed.

      My mother worked 14 years with the agency that went through the endless miles of data files the Socialist surveillance entity, Stasi, had produced. There was so much wild stuff. People escaping in balloons, home-made submarines, in tunnels and on surfboards on the high seas.

      A constant reminder to not restrain people, and get the most out of everybody’s lifes by offering them freedom – so they can excel at whatever they’re good at.

      1. The agency that was always called after its director (it even changed the name when a new director took over, huh) – as if it was impossible to use its proper name…
        https://www.bstu.de/en/

        I moved to the East of Germany only in 1997, but man the stories I have heard from first hand about imprisonment, bullying, invisible walls, not to mention the secondary sources – all these bent and broken life lines… They didn’t outright kill thousands (but people died not just at the Wall, don’t get this wrong), but they ruined and abused hundreds of thousands of minds.

  9. My teenage daughter has no interest in cars at all which is probably fairly normal. During the week I was pointing something out and said “over there near that Alfa Romeo”. She gave me a funny look and and said “Alfa what?” I was stunned to realise that Alfa is no longer a household name even here in a country where Alfas have been sold continuously since – well – as long as I’ve been on Earth plus a fair bit more.

  10. My favorite was an Acura NSX navigating a 4″-6″ snow storm on the Southfield Freeway in Detroit at rush hour. This would have been around 1994-1995, so a relatively new car at the time. Still, a brave soul running an aluminum bodied, low slung sports car in those conditions.

        1. If it made it this long, either everything has already been made reliable, or someone at the factory had the magic touch.

  11. How about driving Shelby Cobras in a snow storm? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbba43a2c1ba2229608dfa1888408ed247e62dfaeb3b401edd626268fab6d9b3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e77c76e11d2ece0481a45d86a4564769feedb24709158e63b76c4053e95188f2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/489ed4fa4afc61d5be188fc362fbfe39ae75121611d4fca2c10f0005abf4e4e2.jpg

    The story behind this was some Cobra Owners Club was doing a cross country drive when they hit some unexpected snowy conditions in the mountains.

    1. That had to have been terrifying (“drive like there are eggshells under your feet” comes to mind…), but it made for a heckuva photo op.

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