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, McLaren reveals the GT, Porsche shows off heritage liveries for the new 935, Ford makes us jealous with the Focus ST Wagon, BMW M5 Edition 35 Years, and another big investment in Rimac.
McLaren Tries Their Hand at a Grand Tourer
This week McLaren fully revealed a very different kind of car than what we’re used to seeing from them. Their relatively short history as an independent automaker has produced some of the world’s best performers. Hybrid hyper cars that defy belief, function over form track day beasts, and hardcore sports cars have been plentiful. But despite all the performance their cars are capable of, they all have an underlying sense of user-friendliness that’s engineered into them. The press release for every one of their cars – save for maybe the Senna – includes a line about how they’ve made it practical and easy to be used on a daily basis.
With the McLaren GT, they’re bringing that to the forefront. This is the first of its kind from McLaren – a car designed from the ground up to be the ultimate grand tourer. It trades world-beating performance and race track poise for ride quality and cabin space.
That doesn’t mean it can’t still share some go-fast stuff with its siblings though. McLaren hopes to make a splash in the ever-expanding grand tourer segment with a car that’s “re-imagining the spirit of traditional Grand Touring”. In true McLaren fashion, it’s “lighter, faster and more engaging than existing products in the segment, with greater space, comfort and usability”.
It’s built on a bespoke carbon monocoque chassis and gets its form from aluminum body panels. Weighing in at just 3,230 pounds, the 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V’s 612 hp and 465lb ft of torque have an easy job. 0-60 mph takes just 3.1 seconds, it rockets to 124 mph in 9 seconds, and has a top speed of 203 mph. Yes, the McLaren that’s supposed to be softer and less about outright performance can still hang with a Corvette ZR1 in a straight line.
Helping to really differentiate the GT from other McLarens is a newer version of their Proactive Damping Control. Through road sensors and a “Optimal Control Theory” software algorithm, it controls the hydraulic dampers to anticipate surface changes. It was developed for the 720S originally, but the McLaren GT’s version prioritizes comfort.
The cabin doesn’t look too different from other McLarens, but it does offer a new touring seat design and more upscale options. Crucially, it offers a total stowage capacity of 20.1 cubic feet with a larger rear luggage bay that can fit the all-important golf clubs and skis.
The McLaren GT is an interesting option from a company that’s made a name for themselves by developing the fast and the hard core. For those buyers who are real with themselves and realize they don’t need a GT3 car for the street, but still want the performance a McLaren can bring, it’s a logical choice.
Porsche Shows off Vintage Liveries on New 935
Porsche surprised us last fall with a new 935 and have had some fun with it this week. It’s basically a heavily modified 911 GT2 RS with a throwback body and race car stuff thrown in. It’s grown on me since it first debuted, but I was waiting for designers to explore all the livery options afforded to them by elongated body. Thanks to Porsche’s Photoshop wizards, they’ve done just that.
Porsche has revealed 7 stunning throwback liveries for the new 935 which call upon some of the most recognizable color schemes from Porsche’s motorsport history. The 935 was rendered in gorgeous Gulf, Momo, Sachs, Vaillant, Salzburg, Interscope, and John Player Special liveries. And they’re all awesome. Each of these plus the existing Martini liveries will be available to the 77 buyers lined up for one. Having to pick just one of those is such a hard decision that I almost don’t envy them.
Ford Focus ST Debuts in Wagon Form
Because America only gets pickups, SUVs, and crossover “coupes” these days, Ford is taking their cool toys back to Europe. We’ve already been teased about the new Fiesta ST and more recently the Focus ST that aren’t coming here. Well, get ready for maximum disappointment.
The Focus ST Wagon is a thing. It looks wonderful. It can have up to 276 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed manual or seven-speed auto. There’s also a diesel option. One of the prettiest cars Ford has built in years and we’ll never see it. In the time it’s taken me to half-ass write this section, Ford has sold more pickups and SUVs than they would sell Focus ST Wagons in America all year. Reality is often disappointing.
[Source: Ford via Motor1]
BMW Celebrates 35 Years of the M5
The venerable BMW M5 turns 35 this year and that can only mean one thing. The 2020 BMW M5 Edition 35 Years is coming later this year to celebrate in typical fashion. It’s built on the immensely powerful M5 Competition spec with loads of unique touches from BMW Individual. Only 350 are available worldwide and 35 of those are slated for the US.
BMW Individual adds Frozen Dark Grey II metallic paint with a special pigmentation to create the appearance of a silk matte surface finish. It rides on 20 inch M light alloy Y-spoke wheels finished in Graphite Grey, which are exclusive to this model. They also opted for badge deletion from the trunk. That’s okay though, it’ll still remind you in 84 other ways that it’s an M5.
The interior features Individual Merino black full leather with contrasting beige stitching throughout the cabin. That’s contrasted by trim pieces made from a shimmering, gold anodized aluminium carbon structure.
Performance-wise, it benefits from the Competition package. That increases power from the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 to 617 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque. Various supporting upgrades and chassis tweaking makes it a serious performer. 0-60 mph takes just 3.1 seconds.
If you want one of the 35 models earmarked for the US, you’ll have to set aside $128,995 for one.
Hyundai/Kia Invests in Rimac
In other news, Hyundai/Kia have both invested a considerable amount in Rimac. The EV supercar pioneer out of Croatia will receive $80 million total from Hyundai/Kia to enter one of those technical partnerships everyone’s in on these days.
So far they’re willing to confirm that the partnership will produce two high-performance electric vehicles by 2020. It’s been envisioned by these exclusive renderings for your viewing pleasure. I made it a Kia because “Hyundai” was too long to write out. Both Korean brands are no strangers to performance nowadays, but performance EVs are still a relatively new thing for everyone. Rimac has consistently proven themselves to be the leader in this segment. We’ll follow this one as we can.
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 © 2019 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]
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