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The News for April 20th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian April 20, 2018 The News! 47 Comments

Welcome to the Redusernab 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 breathes new life into the M2, is still the only BMW that matters

  • Ford is bringing the Mustang to V8 Supercars and NASCAR Cup Series

  • Ford Mustang Cobra Jet returns soon, is their quickest ever down the 1,320

  • Aston Martin revives the DBS Superleggera nameplate for an upcoming model

  • Brabham will make a comeback with new supercar

  • Cadillac’s CEO is out after nearly 4 years of questionable decision making

  • What’s your automotive news?

BMW M2 Competition

After much speculation, hype, and , BMW has finally revealed the M2 Competition in all its glory. It follows the lead of the M3/M4 Competition by getting sharper and more powerful but differs in that it isn’t just an optional package – this is how all M2s will be starting this summer. Future M2 buyers can look forward to a new engine, improved #dynamism, and some other new features. Oh, and the standard six-speed manual transmission doesn’t go anywhere.

Starting with the most interesting part first, that new engine. Rumor confirmed: it’s a detuned S55 borrowed from the M3/M4. The TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter straight-six produces 405 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque in this specification and does so across a broad rev range. It revs up to 7,600 RPM now, but that’s hardly relevant when peak power drops off at 7,000 RPM. It sings through a dual exhaust system with electronic flaps and is kept cool by an oil supply and cooling system sourced from the M4 Competition Pack.

Complementing the power bump is a series of other #dynamic enhancements that should make BMW’s most agile sports car even more so. The carbon fiber-reinforced plastic high-precision strut from the BMW M3/M4 crowns the engine bay and improves front end rigidity and steering precision. The borrowing doesn’t stop there though: lightweight aluminum intensive front and rear axles from the BMW M3/M4 are stuffed in as well to enhance the sharpness even more. The electromechanical power steering, the Active M Differential, and the Dynamic Steering Control system have all been enhanced. The braking system gets a bit of an overhaul as well with larger diameter rotors on all four corners (15.75″ front, 14.96″ rear) and two additional pistons at both ends (now up to 6-piston front, 4-piston rear).

Completely ignoring the fact that this is only the 2nd BMW M2 to have ever existing, BMW proclaims the M2 Competition to be the first M2 to be equipped with selector switches in the center console that allow instant control of settings for the engine, steering, and Drivelogic functions – you know, like every other M car has.

The only noticeable changes to the body are all at the front end and were designed around that new engine. The kidney grilles and redesigned front skirt both allow more air to pass through. The new rollers are 19″ forged wheels that come in two finishes.

New interior features include new M Sport bucket seats which for some reason have an illuminated M logo in the backrests where they’re sure to not be noticed. The black leather upholstery is perforated in some areas and that part is available in either blue or orange. Those who hoped for more than just four paint colors will be glad to know there are now five! Sunset Orange Metallic enters the game and Hockenheim Silver replaces Mineral Grey Metallic.

So there you have it. A mostly new and improved M2 which continues to prove that at least some part of BMW still has a soul. Pricing will be revealed closer to the car’s launch this summer. Spoiler alert: it’s going to go up. A lot.

[Source: BMW]

Ford Mustang Goes to V8 Supercars, NASCAR Cup Series

Ford celebrates the Mustang’s official 54th birthday this past Tuesday in a variety of ways, but the two coolest ways are what I’m talking about first. The Mustang’s competition schedule for next year just got a lot busier. Australia’s V8 Supercars series and the NASCAR Cup series will be the Mustang’s next target starting in 2019.

With the tragic demise of the Ford Falcon, the Mustang has been wisely chosen to fill those big shoes in the Virgin Australia V8 Supercars Championship from next year. All teams currently running the Ford Falcon will switch to a Mustang that should look something like this. DJR Team Penske, Tickford Racing, and Ford Performance are collaborating on the final design which will be revealed after the car’s homologation testing in December.

Meanwhile in America, the Mustang already competes in NASCAR but jumps from the XFinity series into the top Monster Energy Cup Series. Perhaps another sign that the Fusion is dying or being reborn as a crossover made from recycled sports cars, Ford teams will drive the Mustang in stock car racing’s top league for the very first time. Look for it in Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports, and Go Fas Racing colors at the 2019 Daytona 500. Ford will show the finished design once it’s been formally approved by NASCAR this summer.

[Sources: V8 Supercars, Ford]

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

Ford’s turnkey drag racer makes a noisy return this year, 50 years after the first one debuted on the staging lane. This drag strip exclusive is not street legal and limited to just 68 units but it’s set to be the quickest Mustang they’ve ever produced.

The heart of this beast is a supercharged 5.2-liter Coyote V8 engineered and built by Ford Performance. We don’t have power figures yet, but the previous models have been speculated to have over 1,000 horsepower. Who wants to bet this engine is based on what will eventually debut in the new 700+hp GT500

Helping to put power to the ground is a unique four-link rear suspension setup, a Ford 9-inch solid rear axle from Strange Engineering, drag race-specific coil-over suspension, and specially designed Weld Racing wheels with what will surely be some biiiiig rear tires. Other drag-ready add-ons include an NHRA-certified roll cage, Racetech FIA seats, and the all-important 50th anniversary badges.

When the engine, chassis, tires, and badges all work in harmony, you can expect a mid-8-second quarter-mile time and a 150-mph trap speed.

More specs will be released this summer. It’s designed to be legal for National Hot Rod Association drag racing and several National Mustang Racers Association and National Muscle Car Association classes.

[Source: Ford]

Blips

Aston Martin is bringing the DBS Superleggera. The famous name will soon be proudly worn by Aston Martin’s new flagship super grand tourer, which to me sounds like the Vanquish replacement we’ve been expecting. Whatever it is, the DBS Superleggera will feature “the highest levels of performance, craftsmanship, and design”, which I’m pretty sure they’ve said about every Aston Martin ever. We won’t have to wait very long to find out more – it debuts in Q2 this year.

[Source: Aston Martin]

Remember Brabham? They’re coming back with a new supercar. They used to build all sorts of successful racing cars up until 26 years ago, but a new, road-legal project is bringing Brabham Automotive back into the car building game. This teaser shows the business end of what will be called the BT62, a track day-ready beast with a naturally-aspirated 5.4-liter V8 producing around 700 horsepower and a not at all subtle aero package. They claim a dry weight of 2,142 pounds, up to 2,645 pounds of downforce, and reinforced carbon-carbon brakes lifted straight out of F1. It’ll cost around $1.4 million and only 70 will be made, all of which are probably sold by now because there’s apparently no shortage of rich people around to buy up cars like this. It’ll be shown next month in London and never seen in public again.

[Source: ]

Johan De Nysschen, the Cadillac CEO who thought it was a brilliant idea to move the company’s headquarters from Detroit to a trendy part of New York where nobody buys cars, is out. The decision for him to leave immediately officially came about so he could “pursue other interests” in implementing dumb new naming conventions and moving headquarters to even dumber locations. What likely happened is GM management ousted him due to slow sales despite their recent product overhaul and deteriorating relations amongst their dealer network. There’s no word on where he’ll end up next, but sources tell me he’s looking to move some Italian brand out of their quaint little space in Maranello to a trendy part of town outside St. Louis that just got a Whole Foods.

[Source: Cadillac | Image © Keiron Berndt/Redusernab 2018]

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 © 2018 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • My automotive news: After getting my new-to-me Zap Xebra home last weekend and unloading it from my trailer, shown below, I managed to push it slightly less than its own length before the support for its steering arm shattered, taking a section of its fiberglass firewall with it. Now turning the steering has no effect on the front wheel and vice versa. I may have to downgrade my opinion of the Xebra from “cautiously optimistic” to “somewhat concerned.”

    • GTXcellent

      Sounds like maybe kids’ playhouse was the correct use after all

    • Jeff Glucker

      Needs the plate “BRANIGN”

    • JayP

      Surprised Lane Motor doesn’t have one.
      Or do they?

      • Sjalabais

        You’re just thinking profits, aren’t you? There might be a 50$ markup in there.

  • I’m not sure the Cadillac guy deserves all the bashing: he was hired to try something, it didn’t work as initially hoped, he is encouraged to pursue other interests (a standard phrase for upper management layoffs), next.

    My welder is in the mail, so I’ll be ready when they encourage me to pursue other interests.

    • Sjalabais

      This, imho, is a pretty good analysis:

      As people have pointed out, his 4 years at Cadillac are about the time it takes to develop new models. So, if anything, his product changes will only start to appear now. On the other hand, he had C suite people say phony, stupid, insightless stuff like: ” I don’t use Apple products because they’re good, but because they’re cool”. That’s just cringy stuff grownups are not supposed to say, especially in a leadership capacity.

      • Vairship

        That was Melody Lee’s statement. There’s a song called Melody Lee (performed by The Damned) with appropriate lyrics:

      • A CEO mentioning culture trouble to outsiders? Wow, someone was frustrated… Changing corporate culture top-to-down is hard, everybody has habits, opinions, and no intent to move. The internal rubbing must have been huge. We don’t know if he was kicked or went by himself, but the “pursuing other interests” phrase is lawyer speak for “don’t worry, we know he’ll be fine.”

        The Apple comparison: that didn’t come from the VP of drivetrains, but from a branding manager, so she’s aligned with the CEO, ok for me. She’s still with the company, btw, but not as high as before.

        The entire situation seems to be a clusterflock, with a branding overshoot and a company structure (both internally and in the ties to mothership) that has anchors in the 70ies, as the replacement CEO indicates. (Implicitly by his mere vita, not explicitly saying so)

    • neight428

      The move to NYC seemed like a tone deaf approach at something cool for the sake of coolness. They could attract the kind of talent that took an interest in cars when the guy hosting the exclusive party they finally got invited to mentioned he has a Tesla at his place in the Hamptons. They’re green and expensive, you know.

  • GTXcellent

    I hope my new Wrangler shows up soon – because our Saab story has ended. A friend of a friend was in need of a car, and had been searching for a long time, specifically wanting a black sedan with a manual transmission. Done deal and everybody’s happy.

    Thankfully the weather FINALLY turned nice as the SS has now been pressed into DD status (though I’m leaving the snow tires on for now).

    • onrails

      Each time I’ve gotten mine out (twice so far this year), we’ve gotten snow within a day or two afterwards. Going to try again tomorrow morning. I apologize if more of the white stuff falls from the sky again.

  • Jeff Glucker

    The Wombat is heading to a shop for evaluation on Monday… They’re going to look it over and tell me:
    1) Yes, we can make this work and it will cost $X
    2) Yes, we can make this work but it will cost $XXXXX
    3) No… this is dumb
    4) Yes, we can make this work if you ditch the Hemi and swap in an LS

    So stay tuned I guess… it’s only been over 4 years since I bought the thing

    • GTXcellent

      5) All of the above

    • kogashiwa

      1.0 EcoBoost?

    • Zentropy

      Looking forward to some news on this project!

  • JayP

    One thing my ’05 had that made it over the top was the Boss side pipes and was looking for a kit for my ’12. I found one on CL for a few hundred but missed the chance. I found one on ebay for a lot more $$. Bought it.

    Talking with a pal who bought a Boss used, he was also looking for that kit to replace the aftermarket exhaust the PO installed. He said he found one on CL… he was the one who sniped that one from under me. I don’t feel so bad about snagging the GT500 wheels and tires from under him now.

    Sidepipes will be delivered next week.

  • JayP

    Mustang NASCAR – Whatever.
    Mustang V8 Supercar – Cool.

    • outback_ute

      Not sure about the last bit, they will have their work cut out to make the Mustang body look good on the standard chassis/cage designed for large sedans!

      At least the decision has finally been made though.

      • JayP

        We’d rather see Commodores and Falcons, but this is better than nothing.

        V8 Supercars has history of making exciting, close racing. So we’ll see.

    • neight428

      I’ve always lamented that we never got to hear a nail biting last lap battle between a Lumina and a Camry.

  • Fred

    I saw an original condition 1957 Chevy 4 door at the grocery store. As I was checking it out the lady who drove it came up. She asked if I wanted to buy it and I said not really. She laughed and said I was probably the only who didn’t want it. Well it’s not that I didn’t want it…anyway she was nice and drove off with a very slight puff of smoke on start up.

    • outback_ute

      I saw one a couple of years ago. In amazing condition, completely original, I think driven by the original owners. Huge credit to them for keeping it going when I’m sure there would have been times when the sensible thing would have been to move on.

  • I am looking for a work truck. I have very little background knowledge on pickemup trucks and am looking in a dangerously low price range (5k CAD). I need a long box, but I think I want a regular cab in order to keep the wheelbase shorter – I’d like it to be able to go everywhere my CR-V can. A 3/4 ton would be preferable over a 1/2 ton because I’ll occasionally carry heavy crates of stone. 4×4 is required and a manual transmission would be really nice… if that combination exists in the real world after 1980.

    So two questions:
    Any particular makes/models to seek out or avoid?
    Is an extended cab worth the extra wheelbase it adds?

    • Something like this?

      • ptschett

        I’m endlessly fascinated with how it is that later-model GM truck wheels consistently look good on earlier model trucks. I remember that style of wheel from a friend’s GMT800 2500 Duramax and they look great on this GMT400; my dad’s brother has the 20″ wheels from a ’08-ish GMT900 on his mid-’90’s GMT400 Suburban (takeoffs from someone who inexplicably needed bigger rims because reasons) and they look just fine there.

    • kogashiwa

      For me the extended cab was worth it, but that’s highly individual. On a full-size it would be a little easier to do without than on the compact and mid size trucks I’ve had.

      With that list of requirements you’re looking at something that’s been to the moon and back (maybe twice) … but I’m sure you knew that.

      Something like maybe?

      (I’m sure it can go everywhere the CR-V can but I can’t guarantee the integrity of the surroundings afterwards)

      • That’s a thing of beauty! I forgot about the Dodge V10. So much want for that engine with a 5spd manual behind it…

        *Looks up fuel economy*

        • Vairship

          I foresee a diesel in your future:

          • Prices on those are obscene over here, especially the fabled 12 valve. I’m talking $8-10k for one with half a million kilometer, and 15k or more for a nice one!

    • Batshitbox

      I get my trucks from a guy who only deals in fleet maintained trucks, usually from municipalities. They’re usually the best deal because they’ve been well maintained and sold off cheap. See if your area has a guy like that, or maybe buy direct from your telephone / power / mail / forestry agency, they usually list their fleet sales days and inventory.

      I avoid Dodge trucks, but that bias is based mostly on their sedans. Trucks was what the Dodge Boys did.

      • Good idea, thanks!

        • Scoutdude

          publicsur.com and govdeals.com are a couple of the big online selling agencies. I’ve bought state vehicles from them. My local county has two auctions per year and I’ve bought some vehicles there. I’ve also bought from a couple of local auction houses that sell fleet consignments. Most of the buyers at the auctions I go to are dealers so they aren’t paying over wholesale which means there are good deals to be had.

          • My provincial government auction site has a grand total of 70 vehicles listed, of which only a couple are pickups, but I’ll keep following that line of thought.

    • the best excuse for the extended cab is safe and dry storage for tools. Parking lots can be managed if you’re willing to walk to get to the store rather than having to have the closest parking spot.

  • Sjalabais

    With my sickly Honda acing tech inspection, I have started on the project “two more years on the road”: Some welding will be necessary (changing to summer tires, I could put my fist through the rocker), exhaust farts needs fixing, lambda sond might be done, one of the window washer pumps needs replacing and two of my winter tires approached 4mm and 4 years of age on very rusted out steelies. Of course, I started with the easiest one.

    “What sort of weird bolt pattern is that?”, my tire guy said a couple of days later. None of his suppliers can get me wheels, so he suggests eBay or Honda original. He also said that nobody buys steel wheels anymore, “only delivery vehicles come with them”. That made me end-of-an-era-sad, but it’s a good thing I guess…higher priced aluminium wheels do at least have less of a tendency to disintegrate after a couple of decades of salty winters.

    • I still see a LOT of steel wheels in my area. They’re the default for most people’s winter wheels. Makes sense since they’re cheap, but I have wondered if a lot of people even realize winter tires can be mounted on aluminum rims.

      • kogashiwa

        They’re also easier to fix when you hammer that hidden rock/pothole/etc in winter.

    • Rover 1

      Is it a Honda Stream S1? That’s 5 x 114.3mm,( 5 x 4.5 inch) which is quite common in Nissan, Ford and Toyota RWD. See if Mk1 Lexus LS400 wheels are around. or Toyota Hi-ace or Hi-lux, or VW Taro.

      • Sjalabais

        Thanks for checking that out! I am used to the “RN1” connotation, when I google “S1” I get the next generation Stream. When my guy didn’t find wheels, I just asked him to put the Hakka 9 on the old ones…

        • Rover 1

          Of course you live in a different paradigm, with many European cars, that where I live would be rare, and Japanese cars where I live are common.

          RN1 is the correct model designation, I just used S1 as an abbreviation for ‘series one’. As far as I know, ( and Wikipedia confirms), RN1/2/3/4/5 are the same substructure, so likely the same wheel hub assemblies, and PCD.

          So 5 x 4.5/114.3 are common in a way here that they might not be where you are. RED Toyotas and Nissans and Ford Falcons and their component parts like wheels are everywhere.

          Try the drift boys, they use a lot of Japanese vehicles for their toughness.

          • Sjalabais

            Thanks, will keep that in mind for my next round of purchases and do some more digging then. Just odd that the professional wheels dealer didn’t go down this road; he’s a trusted good man.

            • Scoutdude

              It’s not just the bolt pattern that matters, offset and center bore are also important. Large changes in offset aren’t a good idea and Hondas usually have hubcentric wheels meaning the center bore needs to match so the wheel doesn’t “hop” but rings are available to use wheels with a larger hub bore.

            • If I’d known that was a 5×114.3 car I’d have said this right off the bat! There’s nothing odd about that bolt pattern. It is probably the most common for Japanese vehicles. A huge range of Accords, CR-Vs, and newer Civics share wheel specs that are most likely identical right down to hub bore. I believe the Pilot and Odyssey use a bigger pattern and I think the Fit is still 4×100, but all the mid-sized Hondas for a long time have used your bolt pattern.

    • Zentropy

      I’m looking for a set of steelies for my old BMW E28. It think the base-model look is underrated.

      • JayP

        Tire Rack used to carry all sorts of steel wheels.
        A quick check shows that isn’t the case any longer.

  • Zentropy

    It’s not MY news, but:

    After the the discussion about the ROCS Panamerica Outlaw 911, I watched this video on Petrolicious:

    This gentleman impressed me with the simple brilliance of his concept. He takes a 993– the last and arguably the best of the air-cooled 911s– and instills it with his vision of “all things perfect” about the marque. It’s a brilliant car that looks both understated and awesome at the same time. His choice of details inside and out, especially with colors and textures, really clicked with my tastes.

    You may disagree, but IMO this kicks the hell out of anything I’ve seen from Singer, which brings up another thing I liked about this guy: he obviously has a beef with the customizer. Don’t misunderstand– Singer makes awesome 911s. But sometimes I think they are way too over-the-top with their builds. I like this guy’s more practical approach, and his car is much more evocative of what I see as the essence of the 911.