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: Rimac debuts a ridiculous new electric hypercar, Toyota sets a new standard for average crossovers, the GR 86 comes with a NASA membership, Ford confirms Maverick debut next week, Toyota teases an electric future with bZ4X concept, 7Eleven begins installing fast chargers at stores, CarMax needs a lot of new people to keep up with demand, and your news for the week.
One of the more interesting EV manufacturers/startups/boutique car builders originating from one of the most unlikely places has revealed their most insane product yet. Croatia’s Rimac Automobili has confirmed that their second in-house project – the Nevera (previously known as the C_Two) – is finally ready for action. Ever since the C_One blew away expectations a few years ago, there was talk of how much further they were going to go with their second car.
Since then they’ve proven themselves to be a legitimate EV provider with all sorts of partnerships and acquisitions from established manufacturers. Porsche has a stake in the company and Pininfarina is using their tech for an upcoming hypercar. All this despite only ever selling, like, 7 cars? But for the first time in a while, we get to see what Rimac can do with their own homegrown car. If you like cars with big numbers behind them, keep reading.
Four motors. 1,914 horsepower. 1,740 lb.-ft. of torque. 0-60 mph in 1.85 seconds. 0-100 mph in 4.3 seconds. A quarter mile in 8.6 seconds. 0-186 mph in 9.3 seconds. A top speed of 258 mph.
There aren’t enough adjectives to accurately describe these kinds of numbers. Rimac has eclipsed the performance of basically every other supercar with this thing. It also looks rather nice I think – much nicer than the C_One. While it looks sleek and athletic, it’s actually a bit of a chonker at 4,739 pounds – more than a Ford Explorer. But with the battery pack integrated into the carbon monocoque chassis, that weight is all nice and low. So in other words don’t expect it to feel like it weighs 2.03 Miatas. With numerous active aero tricks that allow the front bonnet profile, underbody flap, rear diffuser, and rear wing to adjust themselves for high and low drag modes, it’ll be firmly planted as well.
But as you would expect from something like this, there’s one last big number… the price. It’s around $2.4 million. Only 150 are being made too, so that means you’ll see this car on YouTube supercar spotting channels, the most annoying Instagram accounts, a couple runway events in Europe, and basically nowhere else.
[Source: Rimac via Jalopnik]
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross
Toyota is hoping to cash in on American buying trends by combining two of the best-selling things in the country – crossovers and the Corolla. That’s right, the Corolla is getting a compact SUV/crossover version. It’s the car for those who want a car called the Corolla but believe sitting up higher makes them safer. But if you’re used to the Corolla and just need more space, there should be a lot to like here.
Available in FWD and AWD, it gets power from a “mighty” 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 169 (nice) horsepower paired with a CVT. I don’t know why Toyota called that mighty in their press release, because it’s of course the opposite of that. What it is though is dependable and efficient. Like every other Toyota engine it’ll probably outlast the owners and get up to 32 mpg combined while doing so. You can tow up to 1,500 pounds if you need to, which is about enough for a decently loaded 5×8 U-Hail trailer.
As for the styling, you’d be forgiven for wondering what is so Corolla about it. The answer is basically nothing. The other Corolla is a surprisingly sharp-looking compact while this Corolla Cross is another crossover with soft bubbly lines. I suppose the shape of the grille is similar but that’s really about it. The cabin layout, while of course bigger, probably has the most in common. The 8″ multimedia touch screen area is of a similar look and configuration as is the 7″ digital gauge display. The entire dash area looks nearly identical. And it has similar features too like standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available wireless charging (standard on some trims), and Amazon Alexa connectivity so your kids can try to place orders for 100 pounds of lube before running out of the car.
While it may not look like a Corolla per se, it does truly seem like it’ll be the Corolla of crossovers – generic. The kind of car you immediately think of recommending to someone when they say “I don’t know much about cars, but…”. No word on pricing or when it launches yet.
Buy a Toyota GR 86, get a free NASA membership
While Toyota was busy announcing a slew of new products this week, they took the opportunity to officially reveal a car they already officially revealed a few months ago. I was extremely confused for several minutes when I saw this press release because I had already covered the GR 86, as did basically the entirety of the automotive media landscape. But yet here was Toyota talking about it again like it was something nobody had seen before. Turns out the press release was more about the US-spec model which we technically haven’t seen yet.
There’s still no pricing info available but we do know of a nice little bonus you get with your purchase. Every 2022 GR 86 (and maybe later model years too) will come with a 1-year membership to the National Auto Sport Association. That’s a $49 value!! With it you get all of the usual NASA membership benefits including discounted admission to NASA-sanctioned events, but you also get one free HPDE out of the deal. I can’t tell if that’s part of a normal membership or not, but I’m guessing it isn’t. HPDEs can easily cost $200-300. Toyota really “gets” their 86 customers with this move. Any track day I’ve ever been to has been dominated by Miatas and Toyobarus. A move like this will give buyers all the more reason to take their GR 86 to a place where it was designed to be. Plenty of manufacturers will sell you a track day-ready sports car and tell you to have fun. Toyota is actually giving you the means to do that so there’s no excuse not to, which is really cool.
As far as new bits of info that wasn’t already revealed…. uh, it has colors. Color choices include Trueno Blue, Neptune Blue, Halo White, Steel Grey, Pavement Grey, Raven Black, and a name that absolutely pisses me off – Track bRED. A dad must’ve come up with that name. Additionally the 0-60 times have improved significantly. The manual does it in 6.1 seconds awhile the automatic takes 6.6 seconds. That’s an improvement of 0.9 seconds and 1.4 seconds respectively. It’s also one of the only new cars I can think of where the manual is faster than the automatic.
Anyways, it’ll go on sale in the US later this year. We should get a price in the coming months.
Ford Maverick debuts next week
One of the worst kept secrets – again – has been confirmed. Ford has a new compact pickup on the horizon and we get to see it next week. It was rumored to be called the Maverick and that was confirmed too. Just yesterday Ford gave word that we’ll be given our first look on June 8th.
In an ad campaign with the tagline “the vehicle you didn’t see coming” – which is of course false provided you’ve been keeping up with the news – Ford has enlisted the help of a lady named Gabrielle Union. I guess she’s an actress and an #influencer. I’m sure she’s nice and this also ties into their strategy of using TikTok to help debut it. For those not in the know, TikTok is a data collection scheme disguised as a social media network…. so a social media network. Those who would rather not give your biometric data to help make the most insufferable people on the planet more wealthy can just check back here next week.
What we know so far is that it’ll be their smallest truck offering, slotted below the Ranger and likely on the same platform as the Bronco Sport and Escape. It’ll go toe-to-toe with the new Hyundai Santa Cruz and maybe some other compact pickups that I can’t think of right now. The sudden rise of the compact pickup comes as Americans can’t stop buying trucks which are quite frankly getting too big for certain environments. Have you ever driven an F-150 SuperCrew downtown? I have. It sucks. And mine is an ’02 which is about the size of the Ranger nowadays. As we learn from the teaser videos Ford has put out, it’s designed to be accessible for urban owners or even just people who have to commute downtown. We can also briefly catch a glimpse of a Hybrid badge.
All will be revealed next Tuesday.
Toyota bZ4X concept
The last big thing Toyota unveiled this week is a battery-electric concept that’s sure to get some attention. I normally avoid covering concepts unless they seem realistic for production or are just plain cool. This certainly falls into the former I think, because nothing here looks unrealistic for a company like Toyota to produce. And it actually looks kinda cool too.
It’s called the bZ4X concept and it represents a major step forward for Toyota’s commitment to sustainable vehicles. Its name, which I can only assume is inspired by a knockoff MP3 player from 2007 that they sold in the Walmart checkout lines, is part of a new product line. The Toyota “bZ” brand umbrella will eventually become home to a global series of BEVs. They’re starting with this one – a crossover roughly the size of a RAV4 and built on a brand new platform dedicated to BEVs. This one, like the Toyobaru, is jointly developed with Subaru and called the e-TNGA. It prioritizes Toyota’s legendary quality, durability, and long-term reliability but in an electric platform. It also supports AWD capabilities, so likely dual or single motor setups are possible.
Future plans call for 70 electrified models globally by 2025, 15 of which will be BEVs and 7 of those will carry the bZ moniker. Most of those should be built on this platform. They also want to bring electrification to their pickup lineup, which may require a separate chassis. But this knockoff MP3 player is a sign of things to come. Specs will be revealed at a later date.
7-Eleven to begin installing EV chargers
One of the most important things anyone can be doing to accelerate the pace of EV adoption is to increase the amount of charging stations available. Some gas stations have talked about adding some and a few have even followed through with it. 7-Eleven is the latest to do so by pledging to install 500 fast chargers split between US and Canada by the end of next year. As Jalopnik points out, that pales in comparison to the nearly 10,000 stores they have in North America but it is a start. And I’d imagine they’re wanting to see how popular they actually are with 500 units before going all in. Still, it’s a big move from a big gas station/convenience store brand.
CarMax is hiring a bunch of people because used cars are in huge demand
It’s a sign of the times when CarMax is in dire need of new people. A lot of new people. The car market is on fire, and with all of the chip and parts shortages plaguing global industries, more people are having to turn to used cars. As their values skyrocket, so does the demand placed on used car dealers like CarMax. So they’ve announced 1,800 new positions they need to fill at all 222 locations.
They will have positions for new and experienced automotive professionals ranging from technicians, detailers, painters, supply associates, and more. They need people so much that they’ll sometimes make an offer on the spot if you attend one of the in-person curbside career days. 16 locations with the highest need for workers will be hosting a hiring event on June 10th. So if you or someone you know is in need of a job, head to this link for the curbside career day openings or the main careers.carmax.com site for all available openings.
I’m not a recruiter so I can’t tell you what the pay and benefits will be like. I’m just telling you it’s out there if you need it. And that it’s further evidence that the used car market is insane right now.
What’s your automotive news?
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.