The News for July 26th, 2013

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Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:

  • BMW’s first all-electric production car priced

  • Aston Martin and AMG to enter technical partnership

  • Mitsubishi updates and prices the 2014 Lancer Evolution

  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport updated and priced

  • BMW Motorrad pulls out of FIM Superbike World Championship

  • And more!

 

BMW i3 priced

bmwi3concept

The BMW i3 is shown here in concept form

BMW’s first all-electric series production vehicle will be seen in the flesh by important members of the press (as in, not me) next Monday, but before their three city press event kicks off, they announced official pricing and availability info for their groundbreaking i3. German pricing is set at 34,950 Euros, which is about $46,000 ‘Murican dollars, with German delivery dates set for this November.

All of the i3’s electric drive system was developed in-house at BMW Group and features a 125kW/170 horsepower electric motor. The 22kWh lithium-ion battery holds enough juice for 80-100 miles of emission-free driving according to BMW, and they have plans for fast public charging stations and a range of other driver services. An at-home charging station is included to recharge batteries overnight. The shell of the i3 is built entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and mounted to an aluminum chassis to reduce weight, and it’s the first production car to feature this. This kind of weight-saving construction will be seen on many future BMWs very soon, which is a good thing, because the i3 weighs under 2,700 lbs yet still has the interior space of a 3 Series according to our friends at Autoweek, who got to drive a camouflaged i3 a few weeks ago. 

After its three city press event on the 29th, the i3 will be headed to the Frankfurt motor show in September for its final reveal before it starts to go on sale. Those wishing to watch the press event on the 29th can do so on YouTube and those wishing for an electric BMW that isn’t, shall we say, polarizing, will have to wait for the i8.

[Source: BMW, Autoweek]

New Aston Martin and AMG technical partnership

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Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz AMG, two automotive giants from Gaydon and Stuttgart, have signed an agreement to enter a technical partnership. There are few details so far, but we do know the plan is centered around a new V8 power plant(s) for Aston Martin to benefit from. Seeing as how AMG currently supplies a twin-turbocharged V8 more powerful than any V12 Aston Martin currently produces, this is a good thing [AMG’s 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 in the S63 AMG produces 577 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque while the 6.0-liter V12 in the Aston Martin Vanquish produces 565 horsepower and 457 lb.-ft. of torque]. The sharing of electrical components is also mentioned, but not detailed either.

[Source: Aston Martin, AMG via Autoweek]

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Priced

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The Evolution is entering the 2014 model year with a couple upscale-oriented improvements, mostly to the interior. It also gets a new starting price of $34,995 for the GSR and $38,195 for the MR.

From what I can gather from the press release, the noticeable differences between the GSR and the MR is transmission (five-speed manual on GSR and six-speed twin-clutch automatic on the MR), Bilstein struts with Eibach springs, larger BBS wheels, and certain packages that are only available on the MR. Both cars utilize a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger that pumps out 291 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque which is sent to all four wheels through Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) derived from Mitsubishi’s rally racing experience. Active Center Differential, Active Yaw Control, Sport ABS, and Active Stability Control are also derived from their rallying days, and other mechanical goodies like Brembo brakes tucked away behind lightweight Enkie wheels (those are BBS wheels on the MR) wrapped in Yokohama Advan high-performance rubber help make the Evo one of the most capable cars in its price range.

But none of that is really new. What is new is the 6.1-inch touchscreen display audio system featuring HD Radio and SiriusXM with three months free as well as an available navigation system with a 7″ touch screen that features voice command, 3D mapping, real-time traffic, and two free map updates from Mapcare.

[Source: Mitsubishi | Images via Autoweek]

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport priced

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If the Evo is too pricey or too impractical for your tastes, Mitsubishi also offers the Outlander Sport for a more reasonable $19,470 or $22,070 for the all-wheel-drive model. Most of the big changes were made last year, so what you see here is an Outlander Sport with more interior enhancements similar to what’s on the Evo mentioned above.

The Outlander Sport will now benefit from a new audio head unit, new steering wheel audio controls, improved sound insulation, the same touchscreen audio system with HD Radio and a rearview camera, available navigation with all the same features listed under the Evo, optional premium audio, and a new leather seating option.

The only available powertrain is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque through either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Each Outlander Sport achieves 24 mpg in the city regardless of transmission or drivetrain, but highway mileage is 31 mpg for the front-wheel-drive CVT-equipped model while those with all-wheel-drive have to make due with 29 mpg highway.

[Source: Mitsubishi | Images via Autoweek]

2014 Mazda3 priced

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The all-new 2014 Mazda3 was revealed just month ago along with almost every detail of the car we could ever want. This week, we got the final two bits of into we wanted – price and fuel economy. $16,945 is the new starting price for the Mazda3, and when equipped with everything their SkyAtiv program has to offer, boasts up to 41 mpg on the highway.

For $16,945, buyers get the Mazda3 sedan with a six-speed manual (six-speed automatic is a $1,050 option), a 2.0-liter four-banger with 155 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque, and a wide range of standard features. The entry level five-door Mazda3 starts at $18,945 and is higher up on the trim level food chain, so it also offers more standard features (the sedan model of this same trim level is $18,445). The highest trim level available is the Grand Touring model, which starts at $25,995 for the sedan and $26,495 for the five-door.

[Source: Mazda]

BMW Motorrad pulls out of FIM Superbike World Championship

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Is it Two-Wheel Tuesday yet? The 2013 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship will be the last for BMW Motorrad, according to a news release BMW issued this week. BMW is endings its factory involvement with this series to strengthen its customer sports program and is all a part of its long-term “strategic realignment” of the brand, including BMW Motorrad Motorsports, which is next in line to be “restructured”.

Stephan Schaller, General Director BMW Motorrad, says “[this move] is consistent with the strategic realignment of our brand. BMW Motorrad will now focus on the further expansion of the very successful product portfolio over 500 cc, the expansion of product segments under 500 cc, e-mobility and the development of market potential in emerging economies like Brazil and Asia. Only those who act consistently today are well prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. BMW Motorrad will remain involved in motorsport and in doing so we will focus on the international customer sport in all its facets.”

BMW Motorrad entered the FIM Superbike World Championship in 2009 and has accumulated eleven race wins and 33 podiums with a race version of the BMW S 1000 RR.

[Source: BMW]

Blips

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The BMW M5 Nighthawk is a new special edition M5 built specifically for the Japanese market. Just ten examples will be made, each featuring Frozen Black (matte) paint, Frozen Black 20″ wheels, black kidney grilles, Melbourne Orange leather seating, and carbon fiber trim inside. Unlike many other special edition BMWs of the past, this one also features a performance gain in the form of fifteen additional horsepower, bringing the output from the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 up to 575 horsepower. Pricing starts at ¥18,200,000 which translates to over $185,000. – [Source: BMW via Autoweek]

Sony Pictures has started production of a Gran Turismo-based action movie, according to a report published by The Wrap. The film will be produced by Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti, who are both responsible for Oscar-winning movies like “The Social Network”. They’re also working on a film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey… which… I… don’t even know what to say. Also confirmed [by me] to appear on screen is the Nissan GT-R hero car, a neon green Lamborghini Aventador, and at least 80 varieties of the Mazda MX-5 – all of the aforementioned cars will sound the same. – [Source: The Wrap via GT Planet]

Galpin Auto Sports GTR-1 Rear 3Q

Remember the Galpin Auto Sports Ford GTR1? It’s their concept for what the Ford GT would have been if it wasn’t discontinued, and at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it will be revealed in the flesh for the first time in all of its 1,024 horsepower glory. The 225 mph monster will be on display on the concept lawn at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering on August 15th. We’ll have more for you, including real photos, when that time comes. [Source: Galpin Auto Sports]

 

34 Comments

  1. Maybe BMW pulling out of World Superbike will allow them to concentrate on producing final drives that don't assplode.

  2. I can't decide if the i3 is truly ugly, or just funny lookin'. Pretty weak range too… (Edit: Just found out that's about the same range as the Nissan Leaf. Not sure what to make of that, but there you have it.)
    A Gran Turismo movie…? A movie… based on a driving simulator… What? Okay… I really have no idea where they're going with that, but I'll most likely watch it.

    1. The thing that I can't figure out on the i3 is the window line. I suppose I can understand dipping for the rear seat – kids can look out the window then – but it's just really weird.

      1. "It is definitely accurate and authentic to real car racing culture"
        Cut to: Car chase where someone flips a police SUV.
        Riiiiiight.

  3. Gran Turismo, or 50 Shades of GT-R.
    (I say this as someone who is going to buy GT6 on launch day).

  4. AM and AMG should have great results.
    The Mazda3 appears to be a really cool; good looks, value, and quality.
    The EVO was awesome… ten years ago. It's still awesome… just not as awesome as it was ten years ago. It's not awesome because it's almost retro. We'll miss it when it's gone.
    M5 looks great… perfect for some underground organized crime Japanese guy.

  5. Mazda has their styling dialed in. Period. The first generation Mazda 3 was handsome enough, the second, not great, and this one… damn nice. It will still take a backseat to the 6, which IMHO is one of the best looking 4 door sedans ever. Yeah, ever. It's that good.

        1. If they can merge alfa's soul with Mazda's ability to run for 600+ miles, it'll be awesome.

        1. Yeah, I was going to make a quadrifoglio speed3 comment but decided against it. Didn't want to upset those who have been alfisted by making that reference.

    1. Agree. The 3 and 6 are both fantastic looking cars. I can't wait to see the next iteration of the mazdaspeed 3.

    2. The 6 is not bad to drive either. It feels alive, somehow. If the 3 is as good I might have found a car worth upgrading my 2003 Focus to. That is if they bring the 165hp version, currently it looks like only the 120hp version of the 2.0 will be available in addition to the 100hp 1.5 and 150hp 2.2 diesel…

    1. Nope. Me too. To paint wheels black is to hide one of the more important stylistic elements of a car.

      1. To add- my car has black torque thrusts with a machined lip. In the sun, they look good but in the dark or when dirty they look like hell.
        I'm calculating on tirerack now for a new set of wheels and tires. The black wheels ain't doing it for me.

    2. I don't mind black wheels, but I can't think of too many cars where I'd prefer to have them as opposed to regular silver-ish wheels.

    3. With the exception of black steelies (cragar d windows, detroit steel wheels included in this) and black truck wheels (because I really don't like shiny shit on trucks) I'm in the same boat.
      Flick LOVES black wheels though. 😀

    4. For a while it was The Thing To Do to have black wheels on your white car, at least for the tuner/JDM types. Silliest thing ever – you spend a fortune on light 18" wheels and then paint them the one colour that will make sure they look much smaller than they are, or for that matter be almost invisible.

  6. Deep, stereotypical movie trailer voice:
    In a world… where subsistence doesn't matter…
    Only a dream… of filling your wallet to its 20 million credit capacity…

    Main Character:
    "I started with only 10k, but I will achieve my dream…"
    Deep, stereotypical movie trailer voice:
    Stats are on the line…
    Trophies to be won…
    Where a thin layer of dirt on your heavily modified 2,000,000 credit Honda Integra…
    can be all that lies between you…
    and a slightly used Mazda 727C…

    Main Character:
    "I HAVE TO WASH MY CAR!!"
    Deep, stereotypical movie trailer voice:
    One man, in his pursuit of all 70 slightly different GT-Rs…
    Will do anything to attain a driver's license…

    Main Character:
    "1:00:01!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
    Deep, stereotypical movie trailer voice:
    Keanu Reeves is…
    Driver 1, in…

    Gran Turismo!
    Coming Fall 2013… er… Winter 2013… Summer 2014… Eventually…
    Main Character:
    "Whoa…."

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