The News for January 27th, 2012

It’s time for the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of everything that happened in the automotive world that you should care about without the fluff of a hyper marketing agent or the dullness of an executive in a suit. I also throw in some opinion, just because I can. This week: 

  • M Performance Automobiles releases four new super diesel BMWs

  • BMW updates the not-dead-yet X6

  • Jeep shows off wicked new Grand Cherokee, wants you to name it

  • Ram shows off premium truck that still gets the job done

  • Nissan raises the price on its super fast GT-R

M Performance Automobiles rolls out four new super diesels

M Performance Automobiles, BMW’s latest project that aims to add M performance to select BMW model without compromising practicality or comfort, have just given us a taste of what’s to come with four new models. [singlepic id=3391 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3392 w=320 h=240 ] The M550d xDrive sedan, M550d xDrive touring, X5 50d, and X6 50d each use a new tri-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 diesel motor for power and their not crappy xDrive all-wheel-drive system for putting power down to the road in any condition. AWD is nice to have on a car that’s putting down 381 horsepower and 546 lb.-ft. of torque, which is damn near Dodge Viper SRT10 territory in terms of torque. Of course, M Performance Automobiles threw in sporty suspension component to improve agility and control that power without compromising comfort. Even though these vehicles are more performance-oriented than standard BMWs, M Performance Automobiles is making sure it’s easy on gas as well with BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology like automatic stop/start and an 8-speed automatic transmission that keeps engine revs in a range that’s “optimal” for power/torque delivery and fuel efficiency.  BMW estimates fuel efficiency to be somewhere around 44 mpg for the 5ers and 36 mpg for the heavier X5 and X6. [singlepic id=3395 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3396 w=320 h=240 ] What’s more impressive is that the M550d xDrive sedan and touring can reportedly do the 0-62 mph run in 4.7 and 4.9 seconds respectively, which is only a couple tenths of a second slower than the new M5’s time. The X5 50d and X6 50d are supposed to do the same sprint in 5.4 second and 5.3 seconds respectively, which is exactly why the world needs more diesels. The few visual enhancements include exclusive 19 or 20-inch M wheels for the 5 sedan and touring, 20-inch M wheels for the X5 and X6, exclusive aero pieces many, many M badges inside and out that give posers the perfect opportunity to convince everyone they drive a real M car. Pricing info isn’t available yet, but BMW will only be bringing these four super diesels to Europe because of America’s strict emissions regulations. Emission regulations are cool, but really? A 44 mpg 5 Series doesn’t make the cut?  

BMW X6 gets a facelift

BMW say the X6 “Sports Activity Coupe” has been selling rather well in America and other markets, which is why they’re still interested in keeping it up-to-date with a mid-cycle refresh. The 2013 BMW X6 LCI (Life-Cycle Impulse) consists mostly of new styling cues and a few new options, but that might be all BMW needs to do to keep on exceeding expectations. [singlepic id=3393 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3394 w=320 h=240 ] Subtle changes to the sheet metal were made to bring out its athletic and road-holding looks, a new LED headlamp design mimics that of the new 3 Series and replaces the old Xenon bulbs, and new-ish LED tail lights add another touch of athleticism. Also, a new bold front grille design will be 58% more effective at telling other drivers to go faster when they’re being tail-gated in the right lane on the interstate. A variety of new premium paint finishes and light alloy wheel designs will keep you entertained on BMW’s online configurator for a few minutes and fancy new interior upholstery options that will no doubt be comfortable as hell add new style to the otherwise un-touched interior. Of course, both the aforementioned X6 50d available to Europeans and the 555 horsepower X6M will feature the same updates. The standard X6 will continue to be sold in America with your choice of a 3.0-liter inline-6 with TwinPower Turbo technology or a 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 that make 300 and 400 horsepower respectively. No pricing info is available yet, but we do know that the 2013 X6 models will hit showrooms this spring.  

Jeep shows off a blacked-out GC

Jeep is continuing to expand their new award-winning lineup with various special editions that add a unique touch of style to otherwise soulless markets. Case in point is this production-intent concept based off the Grand Cherokee that doesn’t really have a name yet. This blacked-out Jeep will get its official name via a Facebook contest hosted by Jeep where fans can submit ideas and vote for the chance to win a new Jeep for themselves. What exactly makes this Grand Cherokee stand out from the rest is the obvious all-black color scheme. The Jeep shown here is painted in Brilliant Black with gloss black 20-inch wheels and platinum chrome and gloss black trim pieces, but a dark red paint finish will be available as well for an equally badass look. The interior is wrapped in standard leather (most likely in black) and is finished with creature comforts like a heated steering wheel, iPod connectivity, and a park assist system with a backup camera. The Grand Cherokee’s strong powertrain, which features a totally new 290 HP V6 and a 470 HP HEMI V8 with 4-wheel-drive, is untouched. This special Grand Cherokee is currently unnamed, but Jeep is giving Facebook fans a chance to change that by submitting ideas and voting for the winner. A 2012 Grand Cherokee is also up for grabs, so get to it! In the meantime, this special Jeep is on display at the Houston Auto Show in black and at the Washington D.C. Auto Show in Deep Cherry Red for those who want to look at it first-hand before it hits dealerships this spring at an undisclosed price.  

Ram rolls out with a luxurious alternative

The Ram Truck brand has something special planned for the upcoming Chicago Auto Show and they’re letting the world take a peek before its official debut. A new high-end luxury truck, dubbed the Ram Laramie Limited, will hit the assembly line and give buyers the option to drive a comfortable and stylish truck that still promises to get the job done. [singlepic id=3397 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=3398 w=320 h=240 ]   The truck’s exterior offers “street truck” looks through premium paint colors that body-matching bumpers with a few special silver chrome accents. 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are standard on the Limited model and the optional Heavy Duty model comes with 17-inch polished aluminum wheels instead. The interior features a full leather cockpit with contrasting piping on the seats and extra leather on the center console lid, shifter, and heated steering wheel for added comfort and style. The construction site-friendly leather interior is topped off with piano black trim pieces, navigation, and heated seats all around. This package will be available on 1500, 2500 HD, and 3500 HD Ram trucks and should hit dealerships this spring for an undisclosed price.  

Nissan ups the price on the GT-R to $96,820

[singlepic id=2680 w=620 h=440 float=center] The Nissan GT-R was considered to be the ultimate budget supercar when it was launched in 2008 as it offered uncanny performance for under $70,000. Since its launch, Nissan has been making it better every year, and that means the price has been increasing as well. The car recently underwent a big update which gave it slightly updated styling and lots more performance. As a result, the 2013 GT-R Premium now costs $96,820 and the Black Edition costs $106,320. Mind you, that price gets you a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 545 HP and 463 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission and an insanely grippy AWD system. All that technically goodness is good for a 0-60 MPH time of just 2.7 seconds, which makes it one of only four production cars on earth that can hit 60 MPH in under 3 seconds – one of those being the $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron. While the price has jumped quite a bit, the Nissan GT-R is definitely still a supercar on a budget.

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