The News for October 11th, 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 shows off the M8 Gran Coupe and it actually looks good, Toyota stuns with next-gen Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Chevrolet ruins a good thing with the 2021 Colorado ZR2, and Chevrolet talks engine specs for the C8.R, plus your news for the week.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe


BMW’s lineup has become so easy to predict, but sometimes an inevitability can turn out pretty good. We all knew that a four-door Gran Coupe version of the M8 was practically guaranteed, especially after the more civilian version was revealed. What we all didn’t know was that it would actually look… good? I guess BMW is still capable of surprising us after all.

The BMW M8 Gran Coupe is a sedan version of BMW’s flagship that still retains all of the performance capabilities of the standard M8. There’s even a Competition version. It shares all the hardware with the M8 and sports the same attractive styling at both ends, it’s just that there’s more stuff in between. The M8 Gran Coupe rides on a chassis and body which is 9.1-inches longer, 1.4-inches wider, 2.3-inches taller and with an increased 7.9-inch wheelbase over the M8 Coupe. That adds extra stability, comfort, and interior space without affecting the car’s track abilities in any noticeable way. There’s an extra 185 pounds to carry around but that’s a small task for the hardware underneath.


The Gran Coupe gets to play with the potent 4.4 liter S63 M TwinPower Turbo V8 (a true twin turbo with a hot V setup) that’s used in most of the bigger M cars now. Standard output is 600 horsepower and 554 lb.-ft. of torque, but opt for the Competition package and that’s increased to 617 horsepower. BMW’s M-specific xDrive all-wheel-drive system (the one that can go RWD) and a ZF-based eight-speed automatic transmission handle the rest. Despite the aforementioned weight increase, its 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds is in line with the M8 Coupe Competition.


So basically it’s a BMW M8 with a usable backseat. And it comes in purple. Plus according to BMW’s own pricing, it’s actually…. cheaper? They call for $130,000 for the M8 Gran Coupe and $143,000 for the M8 Gran Coupe Competition, each of which is $3,000 less than the Coupe versions of both.

[Source: BMW]

2021 Toyota Mirai Sedan Concept


The surprises keep on coming. Remember the Toyota Mirai? It was the first production hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle on the market here in America. It was groundbreaking, very efficient, and very ugly. It was the car everyone made fun of back in school. Well, look at her now.

It’s a concept for the time being, but is almost certainly what the Mirai will look like next year as a 2021 model. It brings enhanced driving range and performance, a premium RWD platform, new safety and tech, and a design that doesn’t look like a Prius watched too much anime. By running a driveshaft to the back, it’s allowed Toyota a bit more freedom in their design of the Mirai. The body is lower, longer, wider, more rigid, and more aerodynamic as a result. A positive side effect is that there’s also more room inside.


Toyota is still committed to hydrogen fuel cells and have worked to increase performance and range on the new Mirai. A targeted 30% increase in range is achieved by better fuel cell system performance and increased hydrogen storage capacity. They also say the power delivery is greater, more engaging, and even quieter than before. As the infrastructure for hydrogen continues to expand, Toyota hopes to prove its worth by developing more fuel-cell electric vehicles over the next few years. They also hinted at the scalability of the technology, which means it could power anything from a phone to a building. It’s currently powering a test fleet of Kenworth class-8 semi trucks that are pulling freight through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, so they’re definitely thinking more than just passenger vehicles with this tech.


The second-generation Toyota Mirai should be on sale late 2020. California and Hawaii are confirmed markets but they will soon be expanding into the northeast and other areas.

[Source: Toyota]

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

look at how they massacred my boy

Chevrolet seems to be taking a page from Lexus and just going apeshit on their grilles. They confirmed that some updates are coming to the Colorado lineup and teased it with the ZR2. Expect a few new features, paint options (like this Sand Dune Metallic), and whatever it is they’ve chosen to do with this grille.

It has Camaro-esque flares on the edges of the grille (which worked so well last time) that appear to have been an afterthought. And it seems designers couldn’t decide on whether to type out “Chevrolet” on the cross bar or just leave the bowtie alone, so they just did both. But because the bowtie couldn’t block out the lettering, they just put the bowtie off to the side. Finally, the lower half of the grille decided it wasn’t gonna talk to the upper half anymore and did its own thing. Where the top half tapers inward, the lower half is just squared off. But it’s okay it has those little flares on the edges now. The current Colorado is a fine looking truck and the ZR2 is especially wonderful. But this… look GM, we love you. Please stop making ugly shit.

The 2021 Colorado debuts at SEMA this year. As if you needed another reason to skip it.

[Source: Chevrolet]

Chevrolet Confirms Engine Specs for C8.R


Now for a GM product that isn’t ugly even though I still think the road version kind of is, the C8.R. It’s being shown at Petit Le Mans this weekend (I saw it!) and Chevrolet is finally talking some specs.

Powering their first clean sheet race car design since the C5.R will be a 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8 producing 500 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque in compliance with IMSA GTLM regulations. Our old pal Bozi also confirmed on Jalopnik that it’s a dual overhead cam setup with a flat-plane crankshaft. Because racing engines in that class have to be production based with a minimum amount sold to the public, take that as confirmation that the same is coming to a Corvette road car soon. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels through a new compact Xtrack six-speed sequential gearbox that was designed to allow for a larger rear diffuser.

You’ll get to see it run for the first time in public if you’re at Petit Le Mans this weekend. Its competition debut is next January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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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21 responses to “The News for October 11th, 2019”

  1. Zentropy Avatar

    I honestly think the M8 SEDAN is far prettier than the coupe.

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      Agreed. The coupe looks…awkward.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      Calling it the M-Eighting Granny Coupe can’t be helping sales, even though it might correctly describe the target group. Sponsored by Viagra.

  2. neight428 Avatar

    The M8 call-me-coupe-dammit! looks good to my eye and wouldn’t be the last vehicle in my garage only because there are nominally British vehicles that sell for a higher price. It just screams “GIVE ME ALL THE MONEY AND ENJOY ME FOR THREE MONTHS BEFORE MECHANICAL CATASTROPHE!!!”

    Chevy still has a separate page on its website for the 2018 MY Camaro (when 2020 MY everythings are hitting the lots), presumably because of a grille treatment on the 2019’s that exactly no one liked. Why would they put it on anything else?

    Their “real people” focus groups need an upgrade.

  3. nanoop Avatar

    Do car designers cringe when they see these blacked-out glasshouse halves, or did they get numb, finally? (Looking at the profile picture of that M8y BMWerks)

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      They are probably cursing the regs that mean you have some hope of communicating with other drivers.

  4. Smaglik Avatar

    My new to me wagon is titled and registered in Arizona! But the vehicle is still in Florida. It’s supposed to be picked up Monday. It was also supposed to be picked up last Tuesday, but the trucker wanted to PO to drive it halfway across town without a tag, something he declined to do… I don’t blame him.

    In making room for it, I’ve listed the M3 for sale….she’s a good one, if anyone’s looking…


  5. Manxman Avatar

    When did 4 door sedans become coupes? Did I miss the memo? Did I wander into a parallel universe? Somebody help me out here.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      I was born in the ’60s, worked in a car museum as a teenager and have looked up the definition of coupe versus sedan many times and I can’t tell you what it is. Lack of a trunk? Isn’t that a fastback?

      Maybe there are four door coupes, but four door jeeps aren’t Wranglers; only death will change my mind about that.

    2. ptschett Avatar

      All I know is that if chicken coops had four doors instead of two, they’d have to be called a chicken sedan.

    3. sunbeammadd Avatar

      It would have been 1962 I think when Rover launched the P5 four door coupe. Any nominations for an earlier four door coupe?

  6. ptschett Avatar

    I would have liked to have had more than 3 weeks between the equinox and this s***. I’ve not even gotten the pickup re-shoed for winter yet.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Same here, this weekend I was supposed to do eight brakes and shift to winter tires, too. Yet now it’s slightly warmer, raining heavily, and the garage is as messy as ever. Not going to sit outside all day like this.

      Edit says a slight improvement in weather and a house full of my own and others kids engaged in some sort of screaming competition got me out anyway. Took the Leaf now and immediately found crap engineering that was part of my “no more Nissan”-attitude earlier: The upper gliding bolt of the rear brakes is very hard to remove…because a brake line is in its way. This is one part for crying out loud. #$@&%*!?

  7. salguod Avatar

    Am M8 Coupe showed up in my Twitter feed this week and I initially thought it was an Accord Coupe. My at first glance reaction to this M8 Grand Coupe was that it might be a new Acura sedan.

    That says something about both Honda and BMW, probably, but it’s not favorable to the Bavarian.

    Front brakes on the Ranger are on the agenda for the weekend. Pads, rotors and new wheel bearings since I’ve got to repack them anyway when I pull the rotors.

    Thought about putting the Thunderbird away for the winter but I think I’ll hold out for a couple more decent days.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Ha, I thought BMW is finally tried to catch up to the Stinger…same genre.

  8. outback_ute Avatar

    Bathurst 1000 is on this weekend, the qualifying lap record was broken on day 1 practice, then again on day 2 although the actual qualifying session was wet which shook up the order a little.

    Top 10 shootout saw #17 Scott McLaughlin (DJR Team Penske Mustang) take pole with a 2:03.37, 0.4s clear of second and about half a second quicker than the 2017 record.

    Of course this means little for the actual race, the 2014 winners started from last on the grid due to a penalty.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      McLaughlin and Alex Premat ended up winning the race, from Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander after a one lap dash following I think the 8th safety car of the day (4 in quick succession near the end). Roger Penske was on the podium to receive the team’s trophy with partner Dick Johnson, who’d last won in 1994.

  9. Sjalabais Avatar

    Anybody else having issues with getting Discord to load? More often than not I see the blog post, but the comments (and recommended stories) won’t load. Reloading the page helps sometimes, but far from always. Opera on Android.

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