The News for March 6th, 2020

Well this is awkward. The Geneva Motor Show was supposed to run its course earlier this week, but it was instead cancelled late last Friday due to fears over the rapid spread of coronavirus. So instead we just had online debuts from all the manufacturers we were expecting at the show, which is fine because that’s pretty much what all of them do now anyway. This week, McLaren gives the LT treatment to the 720S, Koenigsegg win Geneva again with two absurd creations, Genesis shows off some of their new G80, Volkswagen reveals initial design and numbers on the ID.4 crossover, Porsche impresses with the wickedly powerful 911 Turbo S, Bugatti builds a Chiron for track days, and BMW builds something that’s really fucking ugly again.

McLaren 765LT


McLaren is continuing the “LT” model range with what is unsurprisingly the fastest and most engaging LT yet. The 765LT, based on the already ludicrous 720S, “elevates to new levels the attributes that underpin every LT: driver engagement, track-focused dynamics, minimized weight, optimized aerodynamics, and increased power”. It is also being limited to just 765 units worldwide, which helps ensure those “track-focused dynamics” don’t get put to use once the car’s media tour is done. Many trusted sources in automotive media have already given the 720S extremely high praise for its performance and its driver engagement, so how does McLaren one-up that? Like so…


Weight reduction plays a big role as with every good performance car. The 765LT wears bespoke carbon fiber body panels and employs every trick in the book (including removing amenities) to lose 176 pounds over the 720S Coupe. That translates to a DIN weight of 2,952 pounds (with ballast added to simulate real-world weight with someone actually inside it) and a dry weight of 2,709 pounds with all the fluids out so you can’t drive it.


That reduction in weight means the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 has an even easier time pushing it around. As the name 765LT suggests, it produces 755 horsepower at 7,500 RPM. Torque increases as well to 590 lb.-ft. at 5,500 RPM. When paired with an already fast transmission that’s further optimized for acceleration, the result is an absurd 0-62 mph time of 2.7 seconds and a 0-124 mph time of 7.2 seconds. Immense stopping power is then provided by 15.35″ front/14.96″ rear carbon ceramic discs with calipers from the Senna. They feature F1-inspired integrated caliper cooling. That’s just the default option. The same brake discs from the Senna can also be specified which are then paired with bespoke LT brake pads for extreme track use. New ten-spoke ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels with bespoke Pirelli P Zero tires face the task of putting all those driver commands to the ground.


The aforementioned bespoke body panels all have a functional contribution to the car’s performance. The front splitter and bumper, front floor, side skirts, rear bumper and diffuser, and a larger ‘Longtail’ active rear wing are all made from carbon fiber and add to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency. That active wing can be toggled to either increase downforce or reduce it (DRS) when the driver wishes and will also act as an air brake by increasing rear downforce by 60% when fully deployed. The chassis has also been optimized to make the most out of the extra performance. New springs and dampers, increased front track width, lower front ride height, and unique programming for the linked-hydraulic “Proactive Chassis Control II” suspension will help this thing corner like nothing else.

Look for the 765LT drifting in a couple big budget car shows and sitting in the background of about a thousand YouTube vlogs.

[Source: McLaren]

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut and Gemera


The Geneva Motor Show is usually where Koenigsegg comes out to play. Last year they stunned with the absurdly fast Jesko. This year they brought an even more absurd Jesko and something quite a bit different for the famed supercar brand. The Jesko Absolut and Gemera are Koenigsegg’s latest projects that are sure to make a mark on the automotive landscape.

In the case of the Jesko Absolut Vodka, it’s ironically labeled as a more street-focused version of the Jesko. The spoiler that was large enough to make an LMP1 car jealous is gone in favor of two vertical fins and a true long tail. The priorities for dealing with airflow are quite a bit different on this model; some downforce is given up in favor of a lower drag coefficient of 0.278. They’re going for top speed with this one. It’s lower to the ground and even has rear wheel covers as well.


Between the new slippery body and the 1,600-horsepower that’s on tap from the twin-turbo V8, Koenigsegg claims it’s not only the fastest car they make, it’s the fastest car they will ever make. The exact number isn’t released yet, but it’s safe to assume it’s either close to or surpasses the fabled 300 mph mark. Right now Koenigsegg only has simulations and math to go off of, but we’ll keep an eye out for when they run a top speed test for real.


Now for something a bit more reasonable by Koenigsegg standards, a four-seat hybrid. No, for real. Koenigsegg just built a hybrid with four seats. And a three-cylinder engine. But like everything they do, they went above and beyond. The Gemera debuts a new engine called the “tiny friendly giant” or TFG. This is a 2.0-liter twin-snails three-cylinder which uses Koenigsegg’s camless engine technology to help produce 600 horsepower on its own. That’s 200 hp per cylinder. It also has a trio of electric motors throughout the car – one on each rear wheel and one on the crankshaft – which help push the total power figure into more familiar territory for a Koenigsegg. This hybrid four-seater (with car seat anchor points) produces a total of 1,700 horsepower, will do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, and top out at about 250 mph. In all-electric mode it allows for a range of 31 miles, but you’ll have to settle for a 186 mph top speed.


What’s perhaps more ridiculous about this car is that inside it’s… just a car. It has space for four large adults and their carry-on luggage, has four heated and four cooled cup holders, Apple CarPlay, WiFi, and rear seat entertainment. And it has a larger version of Koenigsegg’s “automated twister synchrohelix actuation doors” so there’s no B-pillar. This is one of the most absurd cars I’ve even written about.  There are so many words in these last two paragraphs that I’ve never put together before. Koenigsegg has once again won Geneva.

[Source: Koenigsegg via Autoweek]

Genesis G80

genesis g80

Without going into any details on features and specifications, Genesis unveiled the new G80 midsize luxury sedan simply to show off its stunning new look. It has a totally new design based on the “Athletic Elegance” styling that first debuted on the G90 and GV80. This new design language in a nutshell calls for a new Crest Grille and double-lined quadlamps, a lighting pattern that carries down the sides with the turn signals and the taillights. It’s a relatively simple design compared to what we often see from other luxury manufacturers, but this proves that simple doesn’t mean bad. It’s a modern and distinctive take on a classic rear-wheel-drive sedan. Can’t wait to see more of it.

[Source: Genesis]

Volkswagen ID.4



As Volkswagen continues to roll out their all-new ID line of fully electric vehicles in hopes that you forget their role in single-handedly destroying the diesel market and ruining the public’s trust in automakers, they’ve given us a closer look at their first ID crossover. It’s built on a shared modular platform that the previously-unveiled ID.3 hatchback debuted with as well. In addition to real pictures, we have some initial numbers and they’re rather impressive.

They’re calling for at least 500 km/310 miles of range (WLTP, not EPA numbers) depending on the drivetrain package. There was no specific mention of different battery packs as you can get on the ID.3, but they confirmed that the ID.4 would keep them all embedded in the floor beneath the passenger cell. That’s the benefit of building on a platform designed for EVs exclusively. It also allows for shorter front and rear overhangs to maximize cabin space while keeping its footprint small. Initially it will be offered in rear-wheel drive but will later receive a more powerful all-wheel-drive system.

We’ll share more info when we get it ourselves. The ID.4 is intended for sale in the US so we’ll certainly be seeing more of it soon.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Porsche 911 Turbo S

911 turbo s

The newest-generation Porsche 911 is finally getting its fastest mainstream model again. The 911 Turbo S makes significant gains in power as if it needed any more. A new 3.8-liter flat six with a pair of larger 61mm turbochargers with variable turbine geometry now produces 640 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s an improvement of 60 horsepower and 37 lb.-ft. of torque. Porsche’s PDK gearbox is the only one trusted with the task of putting that power to all four wheels. 0-60 mph improves to 2.6 seconds and 0-124 mph is handled in 8.9 seconds. The new top speed is 205 mph. This is the fastest and most powerful 911 we’re going to get until they decide to bring back the GT2 RS. Your dentist will love it.

[Source: Porsche]

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport


Bugatti is tapping into the lucrative market of the six people who want to take their Bugatti to a track day but know theirs would be shit. So they’re making a car just for those people and charging $3.35 million for it. It’s the Chiron Pur Sport and it’s what the GT3 RS is to the Porsche 911. It has a large fixed wing, lightweight stuff, and a more minimalist interior.

Bugatti managed to remove an impressive 110 pounds from the 4,400-pound car it’s based on. They also stiffened the suspension to improve agility and fitted an exclusive tire from Michelin, called the Bugatti Cup R tire, in 285/30R/20 up front and 355/25R/21 in the rear. Power is the same at 1,500 horsepower but the redline increases by 200 RPM to 6,900 (nice) RPM. The gearing however was revised to prioritized acceleration over top speed. It will still go over 200 mph but falls short of what the standard Chiron could do.

It’s another technological marvel from Bugatti. A stunning feat of engineering. Look for it in the next Shmee150 vlog.

[Source: Bugatti via Autoweek]

BMW debuts some really fucking ugly shit

bmw concept i4

If there’s anything good to come from this coronavirus outbreak, it’s that the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled, thus sparing the public from having to see this abomination of automotive design in person.

Seriously, this is the BMW i4 concept that they were actually prepared to debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Since the day the i3 and i8 came out, the i4 was one of the cars everyone was most anxious for. It was supposed to be the “normal” electric sedan for people who couldn’t be served by the i3 and weren’t rich/pretentious enough for an i8. Now that BMW is finally paying attention to the i brand again, the brand that was supposed to be monumental to the company’s future and stuff, this is what they come up with? There must be just two designers at BMW; one who came up with the rather attractive 2, 3, 5, and 8 Series, and then one who sniffs sharpies and takes inspiration from his own diarrhea while designing everything else.

This concept was meant to preview their commitment to a serious electric car offering. And it sounds like it will be a very good one too with 530 horsepower, 270 miles of range, and fast charging. But instead all that we’ve been given a preview of is a future where everything BMW makes will just be fucking ugly as shit. Enjoy.

[Source: BMW]

Other coverage from the week

Aston Martin V12 Speedster (2)

If you want something to help you remove the image of BMW’s stupid new kidney grilles that were burned into your retinas, check out some other new cars that debuted online during the Geneva Motor Show week. Aston Martin showed off their V12 Speedster, Bentley did a thing with the Continental, Hyundai showed off a proper retro concept car, and Alfa Romeo built the Giulia we’ve all been secretly wanting (no, not one that’s reliable).

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.

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31 responses to “The News for March 6th, 2020”

  1. mdharrell Avatar

    My news: I spent last weekend in Arizona racing a Borgward Isabella Coupé. At one point the accelerator decided to stick in the down position, forcing me to come in early after giving it a couple of laps to see whether it would correct itself, but that’s better than the total steering failure that our next driver got to experience. Good times. For our team’s other car, a Porsche 924, we discovered it’s quite possible to fix a cracked VW diesel engine block with nothing more than brake cleaner and JB Weld. Again, good times.

    Now I get to spend this weekend figuring out how to deal with this morning’s announcement that my university, as of Monday, is suspending all in-person lectures, labs, and so forth with a week of classes to go, as well as all in-person final exams for the week after that. Not such good times.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      My wife is travelling, and will return in a week from Germany. After that I shall work from home for two weeks, whereas my wife will show up in her office, since her employer has a different policy (i.e. none).

    2. nanoop Avatar

      My wife is travelling, and will return in a week from Germany. After that I shall work from home for two weeks, whereas my wife will show up in her office, since her employer has a different policy (i.e. none).

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        On a slightly related note, for some reason corona virus means you have to buy massive amounts of toilet paper, so the other day I saw an entire aisle completely empty. A few days earlier the expensive stuff was still there and it had been restocked in between; there is no actual shortage were it not for panic buying.

        1. nanoop Avatar

          The Postillion mag has already posted “10 creative recipes for pasta and toilet paper”… (apparently, Germans raided the pasta aisle, too, probably in fear of Italy closing the Pasta Road through the Alpes or something)

          1. outback_ute Avatar

            Yes rice and pasta stocks were low too

        2. dr zero Avatar
          dr zero

          Don’t forget to get into a fight in Woolworths over your toilet paper as well.

    3. Smaglik Avatar

      We don’t have the cases you do, but our admin is already talking about the possibility of everything going online too. I only have one class this semester, as I’m doing mostly research, but putting everything online pretty much guarantees a weaker educational experience for the kids, provides an excellent venue for those who want to cheat (if you can’t proctor in person exams), and increases faculty workload quite a bit. But, these are interesting times.

      I lead a study abroad course that would have gone to Italy this May. We can’t travel to Italy for the foreseeable future, but the course isn’t canceled. I hope we start getting some good guidance from our admin, and not just vagueness.

      1. dr zero Avatar
        dr zero

        Our universities have built a business model reliant on international students, especially from China. So you can imagine how well things are going with that. I was up in Sydney last week, one the unis there had 10,000 students less on campus than normal.

  2. bv911 Avatar

    “Koenigsegg builds a hybrid four-seater with a 600-horsepower three-cylinder!”

    I <3 Koenigsegg…

    “BMW debuts some really fucking ugly shit”

    I <3 you guys!

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Agreed…the BMW comes across as if they ran out of ideas. No need to post the meme of ever growing kidneys that everyone has seen. The absolute biggest irony here though is that the electric motor and battery actually need a fair amount of cooling – just not necessarily from a whale mouth intake up front.

      1. Smaglik Avatar

        Tis indeed fugly, and I generally like their products…

      2. Smaglik Avatar

        Tis indeed fugly, and I generally like their products…

  3. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    That Genisis G80 looks like a reasonably attractive car, but did they forget to put tires on those wheels?

  4. Smaglik Avatar

    I’m chasing down a fluid leak on the x3, and doing some maintenance on it (coolant, belt, idler, tensioner, oil, front diff). I’m pretty sure that it’s one of the oil pan gaskets, as I can’t see it, but it’s coming down the and soaking the front diff. If so, not sure that’s going to get fixed, as you have to pull the subframe to do it, something I’m not likely to do, nor pay someone 4 figures to do on a car with 184k miles on it.

    1. salguod Avatar

      Oil is cheap.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar

      Edward *pulls you aside friendly, yet firmly* we are concerned with your role as a BMW ambassador on the world wide web.

      1. Smaglik Avatar

        Haha. Yeah, I’m not doing them favors. Been looking at replacements for the x3, and it’s not going to be German, I can tell you that much!

  5. 0A5599 Avatar

    The B-pillarless Walterkoenigsegg four seater reminds me of the Joalto conversions of the Lincoln Mark VIII.


    1. onrails Avatar

      How have I not made the connection of Walter Koenigsegg yet? Well done. Would be a great name for a nuclear powered wessel car.

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    BMW needs an intervention

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      It feels as if their walking down the same path that led to the Acura beak


      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Has the aftermarket come out with a replacement grille to de-uglify those?

        There were a couple of Ford grilles over here that were a bit controversial, and dealers frequently swapped them for other versions.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          That is actually quite interesting and could be a worthwhile Hooniverse Asks: Which cars were known to be so ugly, there was a post-factory fix for everyday users?

          I am friends with a few architects. When their creations get…well, sometimes just “practified”, they can get so angry. “It’s outrageous, they break the whole idea!” – how do car designers react to that?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Chrysler offered a factory kit for the ’34 Airflows to retrofit the more conventional ’35 grille in place of the first-year “waterfall” front end. I happen to prefer the original ’34, but it was, rather infamously, poorly received at the time. Details are shown on the fourth page of this document (numbered as page six) from the Airflow Club of America:


        2. E34less Avatar

          One of our local Acura dealers was sticking Strut (remember that name?) wire mesh grilles on a lot of their TLs back in the day. The regional Acura office found out and had some strong words for them.

          1. Tiller188 Avatar

            Huh, I never would have even thought of that, but that’s an excellent idea. Whatever strong words the regional office had, I think this (and possibly the resultant sales numbers) speaks louder:


        3. dr zero Avatar
          dr zero

          I actually liked the AU baleen whale grill!

  7. Zentropy Avatar

    Tried to remedy the BMW nose, but it’s still fairly ugly.


    1. Tiller188 Avatar

      Definite improvement!

      Part of me thinks the best way to “fix” the i4 would be to make a racing version of it, borrow Porsche’s old Pink Pig livery, and just roll with the giant kidney grilles. Unfortunately it’s probably not exactly the most-amenable-to-a-racing-version car in the BMW stable, so…

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        The porcine grille would pair well with that livery!

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