Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
BMW 2 Series gets mid-life refresh
Porsche’s one-millionth 911
BMW 8 Series concept teaser and the 6er Coupe is axed
Honda Civic Si goes on sale tomorrow, priced at under $24K
Alfa Romeo prices Stelvio SUV
Assetto Corsa getting new “Ready to Race” car pack
What’s your automotive news?
BMW 2 Series/M2 LCI
Three years into its North American run, it’s about time for the BMW 2 Series to get its round of mid-life updates (or life cycle impulse in BMW speak). Available from this July, the 2018 2 Series and M2 get some light exterior styling tweaks, a more refined interior, new tech features, and some other new options.
So as with most of BMW’s LCI models, the changes made to the styling are very minor. The general silhouette of the headlights are the same, but new Bi-LED headlights are now standard and bring with them a new hexagonal interpretation of BMW’s classic twin-circular-headlight look. The front fascia is also home to the new kidney grille surrounds and revised air intakes, both of which vary by model. The only change at the back that’s worth highlighting is the new one-piece LED tail lights.
Four new wheel designs come to the 2 Series as well as three new paint colors – Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Seaside Blue Metallic, and Sunset Orange – added to the regular options list for all models except the M2.
In the cabin, roominess was the inspiration for a handful of changes that aim to change the overall impression from the inside. The cabin’s geometry is more biased towards the driver, some controls are repositioned, and things like the air vents and the glove box cover are designed to take up less space.
The new 2 Series also comes with BMW’s latest version of the iDrive interface through a standard 6.6-inch touch screen or an optional 8.8-inch high-res display. BMW also expands the usefulness of their ConnectedDrive technology package to add a more efficient real time traffic monitoring system, a new On-Street Parking Information service to predict your chances of finding a parking spot somewhere, and expand the car’s connection to your Android or iOS device.
If you have an event scheduled on your phone, your BMW will help make sure you leave on time and will automatically pull the destination and start guidance. You can also scare neighborhood children by controlling the car’s ventilation, door locks, lights, and even the horn from anywhere in the world through your phone. And as you’re fleeing from the angry mob who wants to burn your demon car at the stake, you can charge up on the optional wireless device charging pad.
The 2 Series, and most of BMW’s lineup for that matter, just got new engines last year so those haven’t been changed with the LCI at all. You still get a standard 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder gas engine in the standard 230i and a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six gas engine in the 240i and M240i.
As far as I can tell, the M2 doesn’t get any extra performance upgrades as an LCI as many were expecting. It still has the same 365 hp from its 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six, the same six-speed manual or 7-speed DCT, and the same chassis and suspension tuning. There’s still a very good chance that a faster M2 is coming, but it’ll likely be an M2 CS or something similar.
Pricing will be announced closer to its North American launch in July.
One Millionth Porsche 911
This week, Porsche hit a remarkable milestone that’s been 54 years in the making. Porsche’s production line at Zuffenhausen produced the one millionth 911, a new Carrera S in the beautiful “Irish Green” special paint color designed to match the original. Also following the spirit of the original 911 from 1963 is several other unique features including a steering wheel, shift knob accents, and dashboard trim made from wood as well as classic Houndstooth seat fabric.
The one millionth 911 is being kept by Porsche and will eventually head to the Porsche Museum, but first it’ll embark on a worldwide tour and see miles in the Scottish Highlands, around the Nürburgring, and in various countries like the US, China, and “beyond”. There’s no word yet on the timing of any of this, but I’d recommend following Porsche on their social channels for any announcements.
Porsche also took the opportunity to release some statistics they’ve been keeping track of for one million 911s now. They estimate that over 70% of all 911s are still roadworthy and its quality (as ranked by J.D. Power, if they still mean anything) is consistently topping the charts. Fortunately, 911 sales continue to impress with 32,365 911s delivered in 2016 alone. The next million 911s should come much quicker. And since the 911 was always intended to be a race car and a street car, Porsche can credit over half of their some 30,000 motorsports victories to the 911.
BMW 8 Series Concept teaser + 6 Series Coupe is dead
BMW will be revealing a new concept for the upcoming 8 Series revival at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on May 26th. This teaser shot shows a striking silhouette of a big, powerful, and luxurious sports coupe that is scheduled to be revealed in production form in 2018.
In an annual general meeting, BMW Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger announced the arrival of the concept car and had this to say about the forthcoming 8 Series:
“The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination,” says Krüger, looking ahead to the new model. “The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe.”
The 8 Series was last seen in 1999 and has since been effectively replaced by the 6 Series, but BMW is in the middle of switching things up in anticipation. The 6 Series Coupe is dead and may never come back as long as the 8 Series is around. It’s not even on the BMW website anymore, but the convertible and Gran Coupe versions are. A BMW spokesperson confirmed to Road & Track that the 6 Series Coupe actually went out of production in February and we’re just now finding out about it.
The future of the 6 Series in general is very unclear. With other models downrange, like the 4 Series, likely to get bigger and a new range-topping 8 Series coupe (and possibly convertible) on the way, the 6 Series might be reinvented or just killed off all together. Whatever happens, at least the 6 Series went out as one of the most beautiful BMWs of its day.
[Sources: BMW, Road & Track]
Honda Civic Si pricing
Honda will officially open the ordering books for the all-new Civic Si tomorrow at North American dealerships, only a month after their world debut at the New York auto show. Available in both coupe and sedan form, the MSRP for both has been set to $23,900. For more details on the first-ever turbocharged Civic Si, check out our original coverage here.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio pricing
Alfa Romeo’s taller Giulia, the Stelvio SUV, will be arriving at dealerships this summer in two trims with prices starting at $42,990.
In its base form, the Stelvio is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque. An eight-speed automatic channels power to all four wheels as standard and it allows for a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. It comes well-equipped with standard full leather seating, LED and bi-xenon lighting, and standard 18″ aluminum wheels.
For $44,990 you can opt for the Stelvio Ti trim instead, which is the sportier model available now (until the Quadrifoglio comes out). The Ti gets no extra power out of the four-cylinder engine but it does benefit from sport-tuned suspension, 20″ wheels, more premium tech features, and more premium cabin materials.
No additional details were given regarding the 505-horsepower Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but that’s expected to be on sale by the end of this year.
[Source: Alfa Romeo via Autoweek]
“Ready to Race” DLC coming to Assetto Corsa
In racing game news, Kunos Simulazioni announced the latest car pack for Assetto Corsa – it’s glorious. Ten new race cars and high-performance street cars from various nationalities and disciplines are coming to the racing sim on May 18th for PC and then “in the near future” for consoles. Here’s what’s included:
- Audi R8 LMS 2016
- Audi R18 e-tron quattro
- Audi TT Cup 2016
- Audi TT RS (VLN)
- Lotus 3-Eleven
- Maserati MC12 GT1
- McLaren 570S
- McLaren P1 GTR
- Toyota Celica ST185 Turbo
- Toyota TS040 Hybrid
These ten cars will be a hugely welcomed addition for AC fans and I, for one, can’t wait to lock myself away from society and drive them all for hours.
[Source: Assetto Corsa on Facebook]
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.
[Image © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]