The News for June 7th, 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, BMW finally reveals the M8, Porsche shows off an epic Boxster that never was, Jaguar adds a Touring version of the XE Project 8, and Ian Callum steps down from his role at Jaguar.

2020 BMW M8

BMW M8

At long last, the mythical BMW M8 is officially a thing. It started as an abandoned prototype nearly 30 years ago, was rekindled last year with an endurance racing program, and is now in its rightful place as BMW’s flagship. It enters production next month as a coupe, convertible, and with Competition variants.

The styling and the luxury are all new on the M8 but unsurprisingly the powertrain is not. It runs with the same S63 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that’s found in the current M5. It even boasts the same power output at 600 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque in standard form and the same Competition package with a 17-horsepower boost.

BMW M8

Power gets channeled to an M-specific xDrive all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed automatic with M tuning and an active M differential. That all means the M8 jumps off the line with a 0-60 mph time of as little as three seconds flat (M8 Coupe Competition). The heavier M8 convertible without Competition package is only two tenths slower. Meanwhile, the top speed limiter can be raised to 189 mph if you pay them for it.

Considering the fact that the M8 weighs between 4,300 and 4,500 pounds depending on the body style, those numbers are flat out astounding. It also means that drivers can relive all the memes from the M8’s racing career on their daily commute.

BMW M8

Like all M cars, it has a dual personality that allows it to be superbly comfortable on the road and surprisingly quick on track. It features adaptive M suspension as standard, brake-by-wire with adjustable pedal sensitivity, and all sorts of vehicle adjustments that can be made. And BMW didn’t skimp on the cooling either so it can actually be driven on track.

Buyers who do plan on tracking it should consider the carbon ceramic brakes for better heat resistance and the Competition package. The latter adds firmer suspension, stiffer motor mounts, increased front negative camber, and other little enhancements. It then adds bespoke wheels, active exhaust, a dedicated track mode, and 17 extra horsepower for good measure. But crucially, it adds the seat belts with the neat little M striping detail on them.

BMW M8

The BMW M8 Coupe starts at $133,995 and the Convertible starts at $143,495. The Competition package adds $13,000 to each of them, but it’s worth it for the seat belts alone.

[Source: BMW]

Porsche Boxster Bergspyder

boxster_bergspyder

So this is probably the best thing Porsche has made in the last decade. It’s a design study that Porsche made during the previous (best) generation of the Boxster which was inspired by legendary Porsche 909 hillclimb car. The project was commissioned by Porsche to push the boundaries of lightweight, minimalist design to see what the 981 platform was capable of.

It was named the Bergspyder (berg = mountain in German) and it ended up as a topless single-seater with no door handles and just a short wraparound windscreen. The dashboard was totally new and featured lots of 919 Spyder elements, as did the driver’s seat. In place of a passenger seat was a storage compartment that could be accessed through the door. All of the new body structures were made from carbon fiber and imitation leather was initially used for interior trim.

boxster_bergspyder

The project saw significant results from their weight-saving efforts. The car tipped the scales at just 2,422 pounds and had 387 horsepower to play with thanks to the Cayman GT4 powertrain. It was expected to hit 60 mph in four seconds and lap the Nürburgring in around 7:30.

As for why it remained a one-off, the suits were worried that it would not be eligible for registration in some countries which would be key to its success. So it was shelved and displayed in various Porsches offices, but will finally be shown to the public during the Gaisberg hillclimb race. Its new permanent home is the Porsche Museum.

high_boxster_bergspyder_2019_porsche_ag

The best car Porsche has made in a long time and it was cancelled. Press F to pay respects.

[Source: Porsche]

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Touring

jaguar-xe-sv-project-8-touring-1

Hey remember the Jaguar XE SV Project 8? It was a super sedan unlike anything else that boasted serious numbers and claimed lap records. Well Jaguar is producing 15 additional examples in a new Touring specification which is less track-focused and more street-friendly-ish. It ditches the rear wing and adjustable front spoiler but retains the all important speed holes… and the 592-horsepower supercharged V8. We like it.

[Source: Jaguar via Autoblog]

Jaguar’s Ian Callum Steps Down

In related but less happy news, Jaguar’s head of design, Ian Callum, has stepped down from his position effective July 1. He served the company for 20 years and has played a pivotal role in redefining the brand. In a statement he said he would be moving on to do other design projects and Jaguar said he’d continue to be a design consultant.

I first learned of him after the stunning XF debuted in 2007, which is essentially what ushered in the era of Jaguar we’re in now. It was so different from what we had seen from them at that point and it was a design that got people excited about Jaguar for the first time in… uh, a long time.

Since then, Jaguar has done no wrong in terms of design. Everything they build looks great, even the cars that shouldn’t look as great as they do. I discounted the F-Pace, Jag’s first SUV, before it was even released because I assumed it would look terrible as most new SUVs do. How foolish I was for doubting him. Few automakers have been as consistently beautiful as Jaguar has and that can be a greatly attributed to Ian Callum. Wherever he goes next is certainly going to be better off.

[Source: 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.

27 Comments

    1. Imho, the M8 does look big – too big. Not with the elegance of a grand tourer, more with the unwanted extra weight of a corporate limousine. Strange. And those extra 17 hp in the “Competition”-package…that’s not even an extra Trabant. I know, there’s more to it, but it sounds odd on paper.

    2. Doesn’t seem that the M8 is that much more than the 850.

      Would make sense that is the Bronco, it looks narrower than an F150

    1. At the risk of making a bad pun….who is the “Target Customer” for an armored Smart Car?

      1. Someone who wants to go under the radar – who would suspect a Smart? Like the story I heard about a diamond mine using a Proton Jumbuck ute for their shipments; people would assume it was transporting cleaning supplies not diamonds.

        1. Amazing! When I was in Kyrgyzstan we went up to the country’s biggest gold mine, producing about 12% of the country’s GDP. Lots and lots of trucks came towards us, with big containers. Never stopped wondering if and which one of these were…valuable.

          https://i.ibb.co/0K6Bk41/P1140428.jpg
          https://i.ibb.co/5FX4C7x/P1140450.jpg
          https://i.ibb.co/HLycDtz/P1140454.jpg
          https://i.ibb.co/1ZxYVTT/P1140426.jpg
          https://i.ibb.co/92WnRQL/P1140431.jpg

  1. I really like the ‘Bergspider’ Boxster. Obviously it is gargantuan compared to the original, but it still seems like it keeps some of the spirit. It would make a great weekend/trackday car. Porsche really really should enter it into a hillclimb somewhere to demonstrate that it deserves the Bergspider name.

    1. Honestly, I don’t see the point. After all that weight reduction, it still probably weighs as much as an Alpine which is much more civilized. I think Porsche probably knocked this one on the head when they realized the cringe factor.

  2. M3 is laid up. Been having issues with the parking brake. It was loose last year, so I adjusted it, and the right rear didn’t want to tighten. I didn’t feel like pulling the rotor off, so I just let it be. The car would still hold on a hill with a solid pull. Tuesday morning, I pulled out of the garage and heard, and felt, a bit of a grind from that wheel. Did everything in hopes of jarring a rock loose, but upon getting it off the ground, the parking brake isn’t releasing from that wheel. I’m going to tear into it Sunday. Never done this before, so it’s guaranteed to be a learning experience.

        1. From experience, make sure you are turning bolts the right way when using spanners in a contorted position…

          Ah, finally it’s getting easier… Snap!

  3. Made some progress sorting out my new to me 03 Marauder in the last week. Driving it at night I found the R high beam was out, so picked up a set of bulbs, only that didn’t fix it. Went to diagnose and found the connector to the headlight harness disconnected and then fully reconnected it and it was good to go. The bulb did have a date code that said it was original so not a bad thing to replace them. The previous previous owner had put some cheap LEDs in the interior lights. A couple of them were intermittent and I didn’t like their color. When you add in the missing under hood bulb and entire trunk light assembly sourced from Pick-N-Pull and I’ve spent ~$100 on lights for the vehicle. Got the oil changed. Swapped out the CD changer that was intermittent with one I had sourced at the Pick-N-Pull when I saw it. Messed with the big box of radios that came with the vehicle, and put together two of the non working ones into a good working unit so I’ve got an extra spare.

    Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to put the other parts from the Pick-N-Pull. A power pedal set, as the gear is stripped in the one on the car. I’m also going to swap in the Brake booster from the same 06 Grand Marquis which should give a higher firmer pedal than found in the 01-04 cars.

  4. I know the love for odd cars is strong here, so I am posting a long, “wrong language”-post that should be readable with Google Translate: The history of Pivco/Th!nk, once deemed the most advanced electric car by Ford, purchased and invested in, but it never made it to big numbers. Lots of interesting photos, at least:
    https://www.nrk.no/ho/xl/den-norske-elbilen-stoppet-pa-startstreken-1.14571761
    There’s also going to be a new “national car museum” in Lillehammer, opening in a few weeks. It’s more than a day’s drive away, but I’ll report eventually.

  5. I find the 8 series a good looking machine, properly aggressive and generally well executed.

    Then I remember the beautiful, clean styling of my E46 coupe (arguably peak 3 series) with a similar overall profile and realize that the 8 series cowl is a bit too high and there’s generally a bit too much “styling” – extra, unnecessary bumps, ridges and fake vents.

    I long for the return of clean, restrained styling.

  6. I’ve told about the bolt that snapped twice and ate the left-extractor already… I got really good drills with a hex fastening (so the angled bit holder would work) and managed to crack the housing with the next left-extractor…

    Since this is only a clutch fastening I would just continue as-is, and try fixing it “later”.. Opinions?

    https://i.ibb.co/WxX2YRw/20190608-225638.jpg

  7. I find the 8 series a good looking machine, properly aggressive and generally well executed.

    Then I remember the beautiful, clean styling of my E46 coupe (arguably peak 3 series) with a similar overall profile and realize that the 8 series cowl is a bit too high and there’s generally a bit too much “styling” – extra, unnecessary bumps, ridges and fake vents.

    I long for the return of clean, restrained styling.

    1. Exactly. Modern BMW design is inspired by a housewife-made flyer…who just discovered all the funny options in Microsoft Word.

      The fact that you can doesn’t always mean you should.

      Few manufacturers got this right now, with Volvo leading the pack.

  8. I’ve told about the bolt that snapped twice and ate the left-extractor already… I got really good drills with a hex fastening (so the angled bit holder would work) and managed to crack the housing with the next left-extractor…

    Since this is only a clutch fastening I would just continue as-is, and try fixing it “later”.. Opinions?

    https://i.ibb.co/WxX2YRw/20190608-225638.jpg

    1. If it is out of the car why not get it welded and tapped or put a helicoil in, otherwise I could see it breaking off completely

      1. It still is on the car – that is the reason why it is such a bodgy job. With proper space over the bolt I would have drilled and retapped right away…
        Maybe I will do my first stick welding on cast aluminium soon…

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