The News for June 28th, 2019

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, Dodge adds a Widebody to the Charger Hellcat and Scat Pack, BMW previews an electrified M future, Ford adds an off road package to the Super Duty, and the future of the Camaro is uncertain.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat/Scat Pack Widebody

Dodge knew what they were doing when they waited till just before Independence Day to reveal a new Charger. It’s been a rumor and a concept for the last couple months, but now it’s official. The Charger SRT Hellcat will come standard with new Widebody treatment and it’ll be optional on the Charger Scat Pack.

It’s pretty much the same story as when they did this to the Challenger last year. Add fender flares, stick wider tires in the gap, and somehow make it even more badass than it was before. The Charger Widebodies feature integrated fender flares which add 3.5 inches of body width and a few minor design updates. The front fascia will look slightly different with its new mail-slot grille which provides a more direct route for air to reach the radiator. Additionally, there are new side sills and a rear spoiler with the latter being for the Hellcat only.

Taking full advantage of all the extra space to fill in the wheel wells is a massive square wheel setup. 20×11 wheels all around with three designs available add some extra attitude to the car. Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires are the poor souls chosen to try and handle that power. Those wanting something resembling traction can opt for three-season performance tires.

It may not look or sound like it, but the Charger Widebody will boast a noticeable improvement in handling. It rides on an SRT-tuned Bilstein three-mode adaptive damping competition suspension, stiffer springs, larger sway bars, and retuned shocks. Braking is also improved with standard 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece front brake rotors with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.

The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is the most powerful

Whether you opt for the 485-horsepower Scat Pack or the 707-horsepower Hellcat, the Widebody will make a substantial difference in performance. And it just looks badass. They’ll be in dealerships with a nine-billion-percent markup and special financing for military by early 2020.

[Source: Dodge]

BMW Vision M NEXT

bmw vision m next

Man BMW sure does pick the shittiest names for their concepts. But as far as the actual car goes, this one is probably the most significant of all the recent concepts they’ve done, at least for enthusiasts like us. At the same time that BMW confirms an onslaught of new electric vehicles for the main lineup will continue full speed ahead, they’re also talking about an electrified future for the M brand as well. Expect to see hybrids first and then some all-electric offerings as the automotive landscape continues to change.

This BMW Vision M NEXT is considered a foretaste of a new generation of M cars, and it’s no coincidence that the car sort of resembles an M1. The original M1 was the official birth of the M brand and it set the tone for a long line of beloved sports cars and whatever it is they’re making now. And this car, whether it ever reaches production or not, is sort of doing the same for a new generation of M cars.

bmw vision m next

From the “future-focused interpretation” of a low-slung, wedge-shaped mid-engine sports car to the three-piece louvers and the Roundels around the tail lights, it’s a striking design that is actually something this BMW enthusiast can relate to. For so long BMW has tried to force some of their former glory into a modern design that’s supposed to get people excited, and it’s never really worked so well. I think this works and it actually looks excited, though it might just because it’s refreshing to finally see a BMW with normal-sized kidney grilles again.

The exciting looks are backed up by a hybrid powertrain we’re sure to see again sometime soon. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine sits in the middle and four electric motors supplement it. Power can be sent to all four wheels or just the back, with or without the gas engine contributing.

bmw vision m next

It has a theoretical EV range of 62 miles for daily commutes or city driving and a total system output of 600 horsepower when you want to run free. 0-62 mph would happen in about three seconds and its top speed could be as high as 186 mph. Provided they can actually make a turbo four-cylinder engine that’s more exciting than watching C-SPAN, this kind of powertrain would fit right in tucked inside an M car.

bmw vision m next

But besides the impressive performance figures, BMW knows that enthusiasts place a priority on the driving experience as well. Or at least I think they know that. BMW is experimenting with all sorts of new features aimed at amplifying the driving experience and helping us regain the connection to the road that they’ve worked so hard to ruin themselves. We’ll see whether that’s something they can still figure out when we start seeing the effects of this car reach the showroom. Look for a very different kind of M car in the coming years.

[Source: BMW]

Ford F-Series Super Duty Tremor

The 2020 F-Series Super Duty is delivering next-level capability in an all-new way – the Tremor Off-Road Package. Tremor pushes the boundaries of Super Duty off-road capability with new hardware and tech to handle rough terrain, providing greater towing and payload than Ram Power Wagon. This is the most capable off-road Super Duty ever.

Meanwhile, back in America, Ford is adding the Tremor off-road package for the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty for people who want to look like they go outdoors and for parents who want their kids to have the biggest truck at school.

The off-road package adds aggressive 35-inch-diameter Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac maximum-traction tires – the largest diameter tires available on a heavy-duty pickup – mounted on a set of unique 18-inch matte-finished black wheels. Ford also adds a 2-inch front-end lift and shorter air dam for good measure, resulting in 10.8 inches of ground clearance, water fording of 33 inches, and approach and departure angles of 31.65 degrees and 24.51 degrees, respectively. Progressive-rate springs strike a balance between heavy duty truck stuff  (it has “nearly” the same capacities as the standard versions) and off road truck stuff.

All in all, it has an impressive array of off-roading hardware and software, some of which is borrowed from the Raptor. It will certainly be a capable truck in the right hands and Ford will sell tons of these things to Costa sunglasses-wearing, Salt Life-stickered, Yeti cooler in the bed filled with Reign energy drinks brodozers of the world. Meanwhile, the regular off-roaders will keep driving their home-built rigs because they still work better than this will.

[Source: Ford]

Report: Next-Gen Camaro Delayed

2020 Camaro SS

Camaro fans have had a hell of a week. By now you’ve most likely seen headlines about the demise of the Camaro after this generation has run its course. It began with a report published by GM Authority in which several GM insiders claimed that the Camaro would die once again. But about a day after it set the internet on fire and got us all pissed off at GM for ruining the Camaro twice this year, there was a correction issued.

GM Authority received new intel which no longer spells out certain doom for the Camaro, but rather a delay of the seventh-gen car “until further notice”. Either scenario doesn’t sound too unlikely given the Camaro’s lackluster sales figures and the whole “oh shit we made it ugly and nobody liked it” emergency redesign they had to go through this year.

But despite GM’s stunning ability to somehow always make the wrong decision, even I would be shocked to see the Camaro die completely. The C8 Corvette is moving up market for some reason and almost all the other cars in America are dying out, so keeping a cheaper sports car with the brand recognition of the Camaro still makes sense. Speaking as a Mustang owner here, the Camaro deserves to live.

Hopefully this latest report calms the nerves of any Camaro fan reading this. I’m sure it’ll be re-engineered to ride on the Silverado platform to save costs and double in size, but it’ll still look like it was designed for a Transformers cameo and have terrible visibility so it’ll be like nothing’s changed.

[Source: GM Authority]

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.

26 Comments

  1. After replacing the rusty steel brake line with 10ft of home-bent CuNiFer (and spraying oil into the seat belt latching) the 944 passed tech inspection.

    Oh boy, this year was expensive: clutch hydraulics and a load of desperately purchased tools for the stuck slave cylinder bolt, a used but tight steering rack, three inspection fees (one each: failed, state authority, passed) and a couple of liquids including beer sum up to a low four-digit dollar amount. But the worst was the time and life power sucked up by the sheared-off M8….

  2. Got my first company car ever.

    Sold the old Mazda 3 Kintaro and moved on to a Skoda Octavia RS245.
    Quite mixed feelings – the new car of course has many features the old one did not have, connectivity, MOAR POWA and so on; but it lacks some of the …i’d call it “immediateness” (is this a word?) the old, non-adaptive ride, manual 150 hp N/A “warm hatch” delivered.
    It is a great, fun car, I think, but a totally different thing, to which I need to get used.
    Also, from an economical point of view absolutely sensible.

  3. Nice, where to? Just sing something or talk to your group in tight spots where you could surprise bears…and don’t sleep in your favourite bacon grease shirt.

  4. Boy, the pundits sure like to bag on this new Tremor – me however, as soon as the filthy animal urchins (otherwise known as my kids) grow up enough that they can get in and sit in the back seat without turning it into an instant superfund hazardous waste site, that will be my next truck.

    I need to give huge accolades and a massive thank you to Agri-Cover, Inc, makers of Access tonneau covers. I’ve had an Access Lorado cover on since new (it’s a 2012) and lately the sides – notably the velcro – have a hard time staying shut, especially in a cross wind. Knowing the cover was out of warranty, I called their customer service anyways, looking for some pointers, adjustments, etc that would help. Well, beyond surprising, they sent me brand new hard velcro for the rails, and a brand new replacement cover! If anyone is in the market for a tonneau cover, give them a serious, serious look – I also want to add that this is the only time I’ve had an issue – I had the same brand on my ’97 Dodge, my ’05 Dodge, and my father has the same on his ’04 Dodge.

  5. https://st.motortrend.com/uploads/sites/5/2019/06/BMW-Vision-M-Next-rear-look.jpg

    It’s a bit of a missed opportunity for BMW to not have teased the Vision M Next with a pseudo-retro video game, because this view is crying out to be pixelated.

    Not like I’m the target buyer for the Widebody Charger, but I feel like box flares would have looked better than the ones they used (at the very least, it’d echo the prominently squared off shoulder line nicely) – not that it’d turn me off, but you know, there’s not enough box flares anymore.

    The Camaro’s biggest sin is less that it’s ugly (the 5th gen was sort of ugly and sold just fine), but moreso that it’s a small car with poor visibility that doesn’t look like a car with poor visibility. It’s not like the Camaro looks significantly sleeker than the Mustang, but the Mustang feels comparatively so much more light and airy, and frankly drives just fine unless you’re tracking it permanently. At least the 3rd/4th gens looked sleek and low.

    1. I hadn’t thought about it, but your first point is spot-on. The Vision M Next’s looks are already pretty 80s-futuristic to me (M1 influence, maybe), and right down to the look of the promo images, the thing is crying out for some retro-future marketing. I’ve also recently discovered the musical world of synthwave/darksynth/retrowave/insert-your-own-combination-here, though, so I might just have that aesthetic on the brain.

  6. Is it just me, or is the first image of the Charger widebodies missing a red one? Especially considering the timing of Dodge’s announcement…

  7. After replacing the rusty steel brake line with 10ft of home-bent CuNiFer (and spraying oil into the seat belt latching) the 944 passed tech inspection.

    Oh boy, this year was expensive: clutch hydraulics and a load of desperately purchased tools for the stuck slave cylinder bolt, a used but tight steering rack, three inspection fees (one each: failed, state authority, passed) and a couple of liquids including beer sum up to a low four-digit dollar amount. But the worst was the time and life power sucked up by the sheared-off M8….

  8. Not particularly good (or interesting) news, just that the 46 DeSoto has new leaks.

    At first, we thought it was fuel. Then we saw it was from the differential that maybe the driveshaft joint was splashing. Finally, it’s both! (just a bit). At least for the time being it holds its water (it has always leaked a bit of engine oil).

  9. Got my first company car ever.

    Sold the old Mazda 3 Kintaro and moved on to a Skoda Octavia RS245.
    Quite mixed feelings – the new car of course has many features the old one did not have, connectivity, MOAR POWA and so on; but it lacks some of the …i’d call it “immediateness” (is this a word?) the old, non-adaptive ride, manual 150 hp N/A “warm hatch” delivered.
    It is a great, fun car, I think, but a totally different thing, to which I need to get used.
    Also, from an economical point of view absolutely sensible.

  10. We talked about Ikarus busses and their successors the other day. Got to talk to a bus driver here and he said Solaris had a very poor reputation. Several busses here had started to burn, but the automatic fire containment system saved the vehicles. In Bratislava, Slovakia, mechanics had not maintained this system/were unaware of it, and 15 out of a fleet of just 200 busses burned down. This is unverified chatter, but if that’s what bus drivers tell each other…It’s not flattering.

      1. I really, really hope so. Just found the answer to be so wild, sharing it seemed the right thing to do.

    1. Where’s this Ikarus discussion?
      My hometown just had tender for 100+100 (option) nat.gas. buses Solaris won and Scania decided to contest as they believed rules were not fair.
      In connection with this came to light that there’s big corruption scandals in POL and LV were Solaris has been a party…. probably kickbacks/bribes.

      1. Busses are an oligopoly, and the fight is not about new customers (every child knows that busses exist) but market share. I’m not saying this in defence of the allegations, but as an explanation.

        1. Our city gov. has been run years by one party which have had some real corruption problems, paid penalties after lost court cases etc, so it’s kinda logical to bring up similar cases in other countries. Based on historical facts and people organizing it, something could well be fishy in this tender too.

        2. Our city gov. has been run years by one party which have had some real corruption problems, paid penalties after lost court cases etc, so it’s kinda logical to bring up similar cases in other countries. Based on historical facts and people organizing it, something could well be fishy in this tender too.

  11. Nice, where to? Just sing something or talk to your group in tight spots where you could surprise bears…and don’t sleep in your favourite bacon grease shirt.

    1. I live an hour from the Rockies, so each weekend in summer we pick a different trail and do 15 to 20km. Everywhere pretty much looks like the pic attached in next message:

    2. Haha, I can do that! Quite jealous of your ability to do proper hikes with such regularity. Can’t wait for my kids to become old and strong enough for that – we sometimes struggle with 2 km ski hikes and 5 km walks.

  12. The BMW has some nice Huracan like lines through the mid section and a nice nod to the original M1 in the C pillar but the front and rear are not pretty and not just because of the garish orange.

    No auto news this past week but next week I’m off work but staying home. My primary goal is to get the Tbird back in road worthy condition. New oil pan and a series of gaskets to attempt to stop the oil leaks and perhaps more. I haven’t driven it much in 2 years and that needs to change.

  13. I’ve got a bunch of news on the automotive front this week. Finally got my truck back on the road, after several months! Then took it right back out of service.

    The story starts last winter when we had record snow. That meant the F-250 was pressed into daily driver status due to its 4wd. One day on the way into work it started having an occasional miss. Came out at the end of the day and the miss was still there. It progressively got worse until a couple of miles from home it turned into a dead miss. Being dark and cold I just parked it. The next morning I got out the scanner and found #4 identified as the source of the miss. Now when I bought the truck it was because it had a miss along with a number of other codes and it was on #4. I took a coil with me, replaced it in the surplus store parking lot, cleared the codes and drove it home. So I thought I could have got a bum coil. So I grabbed one, installed it to find no change. What did surprise me was how hard it was to get the coil to come free of the plug and there was some discoloration that I didn’t think too much of at the time.

    Now the truck in question has the infamous early 3v 5.4 with an unusual spark plug design that is know for breaking and leaving a sleeve in the head. It also takes a 9/16″ socket. Regarding the spark plugs breaking off there are a couple of schools of thought. The problem is that carbon builds up between the sleeve and head and as you turn it out it gets jammed and then pulled off. Ford says to crack it 1/8~1/4 of a turn and then squirting some carb cleaner down the hold and letting it set. Of course the offending cylinder is the least accessible. So I started at #1 which easily did the 1/4 turn as did #2. Got to #3 and it didn’t come loose so smoothly, but did get it 1/4 turn and gave id a squirt. Now on to the offending cylinder, the socket didn’t seem to engage the plug. I eventually stuck my phone back there and was able to take a shot down the spark plug well. There was some seed chaff thanks to the squirrels. Managed to blow that out but it still didn’t seem to engage. But I kept spinning with my hand as I wiggled it back an forth in an attempt to engage it. Eventually when I pulled the socket back out it had a spark plug in it.

    I started examining it and quickly noticed the exhaust staining on the insulator and threads, but the more concerning thing was the lack of the little point of platinum. However nothing stuck out as a reason for a total dead miss. I was definitely concerned that there might be some other problem going on. I went to take a picture to send to my son and holding it along side one of the others with the tip down there was no gap! The center electrode had broken in half and the resulting gap was up in the insulator where it couldn’t do anything.

    Relieved that I was pretty certain that I had found the problem I started thinking about the situation and examining everything. That new coil’s boot was getting hard and had exhaust stains as did the coil just above the vent. What I had pulled out were not the original plugs and apparently they failed to properly torque that one and the resulting exhaust leak took out that original coil and I guess the banging around helped to snap that center electrode.

    Got the other side done, with #7 also being a slow process of 1/4 turn out, 1/8 turn in and letting it soak.

    Now some people say the best way to do it is to get the engine up to temp and pull out your impact gun and zip them out. Well many years of being told never to remove spark plugs, or any other fastener from a hot aluminum head, and I just couldn’t bring myself to use an impact on spark plugs.

    Now the other casualty this winter was the ABS. While bashing through the 3′ of snow I ripped the LF ABS wire out and in fact had ordered that before the miss reared its ugly head. So I slid under to see what it will take to install it. Well I found that the brake hose brackets had also been bent. That meant the portion to caliper was stretched and the hose on the other side of that bracket the hose had been rubbing against the tire on both sides. Got those today and will install tomorrow.

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