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: Aston Martin’s new Super Tourer is here, BMW hits the 5 Series with the Ugly Stick, Ford EVs will soon have access to Tesla Superchargers, and Lexus shows us more of the all-new GX.
Aston Martin DB12
Aston Martin unveiled the replacement for the DB11 this week, but it might not look terribly different at first glance. That’s because the DB12 (no DB13 I guess) is more of an evolution or a fine tuning of the previous design. Certain aspects of the car look identical to the last model, but there’s enough different here that it’s worthy of a new model name. The high-performance GT gets a new face, a new engine, and new tech, plus an interior design that’s far less busy and more elegant.
As you could have guessed, it’s called the DB12 because it has a V8 engine under that long bonnet. As with other engines in the Aston lineup, it’s borrowed from Mercedes-AMG and is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. This one is kicking out a ridiculous 671 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s more power than even the optional 5.2-liter V12 in the DB11 made. They say the DB12 can reach 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds and top out at 202 mph.
Design-wise, Aston channeled the DBS Superleggera with a bigger front grille and a redesigned front splitter to go with it. It’s different enough that it looks like its own thing, but the similarities are uncanny. What’s definitely DB12-specific is the new headlight design. And what’s practically a direct carryover from the DB11 and DBS is everything from the floating C-Pillar (which they definitely didn’t borrow from Nissan) on back.
The interior represents probably the biggest update on the car. It’s much more sleek and “open” with a slanted touch screen and plenty of physical buttons to operate everything. Notably, the push-button gear selection is gone in favor of this wild new invention called a gear lever. Overall, this is quite the improvement over the last generation of Aston interior designs that tried too hard to be like sports cars when the end result was just a bit awkward at times.
No word on a launch date or pricing info yet.
[Source: Aston Martin]
BMW Uglifies the 5 Series
BMW designers found themselves in a panic after having run out of cars in their lineup to ruin. Fortunately, the day was saved when someone remembered nobody’s done anything with the 5 Series in a few years. The end result is this, a fatter sedan with none of the elegance and simplicity of older models. But at least it doesn’t have shitty grilles like the other half of the lineup.
A range of new gas and diesel (Europe only) four and six-cylinder engines with a 48-volt mild hybrid system plus a fully-electric i5 model will be available at launch. Two plug-in hybrid models will join them next year. There’s been plenty of attention given to the chassis to improve ride quality and stuff. I guess it’ll still be enjoyable to drive too. The i5 is pretty quick because the top model has up to 601 horsepower and 605 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s pretty good I guess. And the 5 Series has a vegan interior as standard which honestly should be something other brands adopt as well.
But that styling though. It’s clear they took the same approach as with the new 7 Series in that they began by making the car as thick as possible to the point that it’s creeping closer to crossover territory. And the rest of it just looks like someone took the 2 Series Gran Touring, one of the most clumsy-looking cars I’ve ever seen, and stretched it over the 5 Series chassis. It’s like one of those weird ass amateur renderings of the next-gen 5 Series some kid on Instagram would use to earn clout actually became a reality.
And while the kidney grille is actually somewhat grounded in reality, higher-end models with advanced driver assistance features literally just have the sensor array strapped on to the front of the grille and blocking part of the design. It’s just so weird and awkward and stupid. BMW really doesn’t know what they’re doing anymore. When they inevitably ruin the 3 Series, they’ll well and truly be dead to me and I will no longer acknowledge their existence.
Tesla opens up Superchargers to Ford owners
In EV news that truly shocked the industry (sorry), Ford and Tesla have managed to work out a deal in between one of Elon’s “how to make Twitter worse” brainstorming sessions. Starting early 2024, Tesla will open up its Supercharger network to Ford owners. And I’m not talking about a squatted F-250 with smoke stacks double parking at a station. I mean Ford EVs charging at Tesla Superchargers.
CEOs Jim Farley and Elon Musk announced it in a Twitter Space last night just as Ford confirmed the news via press release. Even then it was hard to believe. This is a massive deal. The one advantage that nobody could deny Tesla was their
bulletproof Cybertruck windows Superchargers. Strategically placed around the country to allow for easier long-distance travel and with rapid charging times, it’s their crown jewel. Ford is the first 3rd party to be allowed access.
Now that’s not without some changes that may or may not be welcomed with some owners. Ford is changing their charging ports from the Combined Charging Standard to the North American Charging Standard. This war over charging ports is one that I was better off not knowing about, but in a nutshell, Tesla uses NACS and most others use CCS. Ford will offer an adaptor that along with a software update will allow them to charge on a Supercharger with an existing Ford EV. Starting in 2025, all new Ford EVs will be built with the NACS ports built in. Some Ford people have discussed the possibility of featuring both ports simultaneously, but that’s a long ways away and is subject to change.
Lexus GX teased again and we like what we see
Lexus says the all-new GX will be revealed on June 8th and based on this teaser image, we like what we see so far. The body-on-frame SUV will clearly adopt a boxier and more rugged look with wide fenders to house some potentially serious off-road wheel/tire setup. The GX has been a long time favorite among the overlanding crowd (just ask Ross), and they certainly seem to be leveraging that reputation with this new model. I’m excited even if I’m nowhere near Lexus’s’sss target market.
What’s your news for the week?
So 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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