2020 alpina b7

The News for February 15th, 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 we have the new Alpina B7, a very green (literally) Toyota 86, a very green classic Mini (figuratively), and a special edition Bugatti Chiron with some French flags on it, and more!

2020 Alpina B7

alpina b7

Alpina, legendary BMW tuner and general fixer of bad redesigns, has returned to tune the recently refreshed BMW 7 Series and fix its bad redesign.

The general Alpina formula is simple but effective: add small subtle lower body enhancements, paint it blue, slap on their signature wheels, and add a ton of power. They haven’t deviated from that at all with the 2020 Alpina B7 xDrive Sedan but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

The B7 starts with the 750i’s 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, xDrive AWD system, and ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and makes better use out of them. By fitting a larger impeller in the exhaust side of the two twin-scroll turbochargers, custom intercoolers with “an interconnection to equalize and reduce pressure pulsations between the two cylinder banks of the V8 engine”, and a more aggressive engine tune, they’ve been able to crank out 600 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. They also added a stainless steel exhaust system with active valves for good measure.

Alpina also fiddled with the software and some hardware in ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission to stand up to the added power. It has a closer gear ratio, reinforced torque converter and planetary gears, and inner transmission cooling and they say no torque reduction is needed during upshifts.

All that plus BMW’s standard xDrive system means 0-60 mph sprints take just 3.5 seconds and it won’t stop going until it hits 205 mph.

alpina b7

The already advanced suspension system from the 7 Series gets some additional Alpina features like a height-adjustable two-axle air suspension system. When in Sport mode or at speeds over 140 mph, the car drops by 0.6″ for a lower center of gravity. It can also raise itself by 0.8″ at lower speeds should you find yourself on the poorly-maintained roads of uncultured middle class neighborhoods again.

The styling is pretty much business as usual for Alpina with a new front bumper featuring functional air intakes, and a rear spoiler. Both of those contribute to greater high speed stability with essentially zero lift at speed. The Alpina sport exhaust opens up to two elliptical twin tailpipes that are cleanly integrated into the rear bumper. The Alpina Classic wheels can be ordered in 20″ or 21″ in size and are wrapped in ultra high performance Michelin tires (or all-seasons). It can be ordered in exclusive ALPINA Blue metallic and ALPINA Green metallic paints or with any regular 7 Series color.

No word on pricing yet but this car will be just the 3rd generation B7 to reach US shores.

[Source: Alpina via Autoweek]

Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition

toyota-86 british green

In news that will only matter to Japanese readers who were unfortunate enough to stumble upon this article, Toyota is offering a pretty neat special edition 86 that draws inspiration from a place that is distinctively not Japan. Just because it looks good, British [Racing] Green makes its debut on the Toyota 86 for a special edition that… th-th-that… has us (omg are you guis ready for this) green with envy. I bet none of the other car journalists thought of that one.

This iconic color is contrasted with a beautiful bronze hue on the wheels and nice earthy tan leather accents inside. There isn’t much else to this car besides a bespoke color combination, lightweight aluminum wheels, and Brembo brakes, but that’s really all it needs to earn our love.

toyota-86 british green

They say it’s a Japan exclusive at the moment but I wouldn’t be surprised if they at least offer it in the UK at some point. Until then, those blessed with the opportunity of being a car enthusiast in Japan can place orders until May 31st.

[Source: Toyota via MotorAuthority]

Swind E Classic Mini – An Old School Mini With a Twist

swind e classic mini

The powertrain specialists at Swindon Powertrain in Swindon, UK introduced yet another one of those classic car EV conversions, but this one actually makes a bit of sense. It’s called the Swind E Classic Mini and it’s a fully electric Mini that will be produced in a limited run of 100 units.

These Classic Minis are completely restored and modernized, and not just in the powertrain department either. It features a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery and an 80-kW electric motor with the equivalent of 108 horsepower, an 80-mph top speed, and a city-dwelling range of 125 miles. That kind of hardware in something as compact as an original Mini sounds like a compelling argument for a city car.

Swind claims it still offers the same kind of character the originals were known for but in a package that’s a bit more modernized. For instance, the cabin features navigation, heated seats, and USB ports. The more compact packaging also means there’s some additional trunk space. Or any trunk space.

If there’s anything that doesn’t immediately sound promising, it’s the price. £79,000 is what these start at, which translates to a little over $100,000. Just as a reference, Autoclassics.com tells me a Concours quality Mini can run up to £37,000 / $47,000. I don’t doubt a hand-built and modernized Mini with a bespoke EV powertrain produced in such limited quantities can be sold for that much, but that just sounds… steep.

[Source: Autoweek, Autoclassics]

Bugatti Chiron Sport ‘110 ans Bugatti’

chiron sport 110 anus bugatti

And now for something completely different.

Bugatti is celebrating its 110th anniversary with an even more exclusive version of one of the most exclusive cars in the world. 20 examples of the Chiron Sport will be produced in this 110 ans Bugatti (110 years of Bugatti) specification which adds a Steel Blue matte exterior finish, a bigass French tricolor painted on the underside of the active spoiler, matte black wheels, and a themed interior with tricolor accents. Any of the Chiron Sport’s exposed carbon fiber accents get a transparent Steel Blue finish applied to them as well.

chiron sport 110 anus bugatti

Sadly, this is just an appearance package as no part of the Chiron Sport’s 1,480-horsepower W16 engine will get any new upgrades.

[Source: Bugatti via Autoweek]

Other Coverage from the Week

bmw x3 m and x4 m omfg just die already

I want to use this space to publicly thank Kamil for covering the inevitable BMW X3 M and X4 M earlier this week so that I didn’t have to. If you a glimpse into what a future without proper sports cars will look like, look no further.

For significantly less disappointing news from the BMW family, Mini is bringing the John Cooper Works GP back for another round of fun and it’s debuting at the New York auto show this year. We’ll be following this one closely…

And finally, Land Rover confirmed that the new Range Rover Sport HST will feature a brand new inline-six engine with an electric supercharger cranking out an impressive 395 horsepower and 405 lb.-ft. of torque. We approve.

What’s your automotive news?

mustang gt pp2

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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32 responses to “The News for February 15th, 2019”

  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    My transmission went out Friday. 82k miles. I bought the car at 79k.

    The transmission shop tore it down Wednesday. The filter had been changed recently, but installed improperly, which starved it for fluid. Gee, thanks previous owner guy.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      Oh, that very much sucks. Sorry to hear that.

    2. nanoop Avatar

      Let me guess, re-installing a filter properly won’t fix it…

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        No, but about 80% of the cost was labor, parts that wear out, or things like the rear main seal (didn’t need replacement yet, but while everything was already apart, might as well renew it). And I went back with better than stock parts.

    3. Smaglik Avatar

      Which vehicle is this?

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    Question for our UK readers – would a BRG anything still sell to anyone who hasn’t owned a MGB in the past? (wasn’t sure how to phrase that, but in more than limited-edition numbers)

    On the Bugatti front I wonder how we will look back on matte paint in a couple of decades. Probably with a few shiny spots where it has been rubbed to clean something off?

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      I think just about anything looks good in BRG, and I’ve never owned a British car. My first car was dark green, though, so it’s one of my favorite car colors in general.

    2. crank_case Avatar

      Next country over – I quite like it and have never owned a BL product, plus it’s technically Shamrock Green in reference to the 1908 Gordon Bennett Cup being held in Ireland (which was still the UK til that little scrap in a post office). My missus hates green cars though, so even if I had the cash to buy one, I doubt I’d get that color choice past her.

    3. nanoop Avatar

      I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that “brown on BRG” is as British as French fries are French: sure, you can have it there, too, but the taste is as diverse as anywhere else.

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    Last Friday my university closed early because of weather. I was among the last to leave my parking lot, which made it particularly troubling when my car wouldn’t crank. Happily enough, one of my coworkers was also leaving late, so I asked him to give me a jump start, only to find afterwards that my electrical system wasn’t adequately charging (I admit I should have noticed this earlier. Gauges: read them.). This left me driving through heavier and heavier snowfall, stuck in gridlock with everyone else trying to get home early, which turned my typically twenty minute drive into an hour and a half of wondering when the residual charge in the battery would be exhausted. I got home okay, although heat and headlights and more frequent use of the wipers would have been nice little luxuries.

    Normally when snowbound at home in the US, finding a Ducellier alternator for a Volvo 66 GL would pose a significant challenge. Fortunately I have a parts car. Fortunately the rear plastic housing on the alternator in the parts car was not melted for reasons as yet uninvestigated, unlike the one I removed from my driver. Fortunately the two alternators appear to interchange just fine. Fortunately the one from the parts car seems to work okay so far. Overall I’m calling this a win.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Parts cars for the win!

    2. Vairship Avatar

      Those DAFt Volvos, they just keep on trucking! 😉

    3. Batshitbox Avatar

      My alternator quit during a snowstorm once, too! It’s amazing how long it takes to realize what’s going on. Why are my wipers so slow? Why are my lights so dim? Half an hour later… oh, right, alternator, damn.

  4. Smaglik Avatar

    In the process of fixing a slight coolant leak on the M3 noted during an oil change last weekend. I say, in the process, because all it needs is an o-ring and after several days I have yet to procure the correct one. I do have two sets of o-rings, but, of course, no fit. I can buy the whole housing that the o-ring sits in for $25, but where’s the fun in that?

    Using the picture chart at Napa, we ordered one from a ford transmission yesterday afternoon. It was the only thing that didn’t come in on the truck from phx this morning. Calling shortly to see if it made the afternoon shipment.

  5. ptschett Avatar

    Apropos of nothing, here’s a machine for some really crappy jobs. I’m glad smell-o-vision isn’t a thing.
    (I saw one of these rigs at a farm machinery show a while back. Not having experience in large-scale meat/dairy production, and with the machine showroom-fresh and standing on its own wheels like anything else it took me a little while to figure out what it was for.)

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Some of these “lagoons” are gigantic…wow. Can’t help but think that it will be stranded one day.

      1. ptschett Avatar

        I will admit I do feel a little bit bad for the guy that has to go out there with a small boat if the machine ever either
        a) gets out of the remote control’s reach or
        b) runs out of fuel and needs a towrope brought out to bring it to the ‘shore’.

  6. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    The grille on the new Alpina looks like a caricature of the Lincoln Baleen Whale look, BMW cars has truly lost its way.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Yes they missed the real opportunity!

      All of the new generation BMWs look like they have had a giant grille photoshopped on.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      We need to set up the Hooniverse Replacement Grille company. Between Acura, Lexus, and now BMW, the market just keeps growing!

  7. Victor Avatar

    On the way to the salt… Mickey Thompson’s Challenger 1, 1959 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b108431579f3d59220d1ca1f37567bba6074ef18248c2d1ad82137c38a71ec47.jpg

  8. salguod Avatar

    After wanting one for a while, I finally got myself a beater truck. 1995 Ranger 4 cylinder 5 speed, 221K, records for the past 10 years including a recent clutch. Only $1,400. A bit scruffy inside and out but solid frame and body (mostly, cab corners have some rust) and drives well. Ought to be a good little workhorse and backup vehicle.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e62995895f2d6da38ee69f1a38e207d343134041567d5d29d6d8d676ca8589b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eec2e57ff5a39d44f4cbe95bc4f5ab7fcbd5f47dacac0677de548b17e6b4e867.jpg

    1. Lowell Reid Avatar
      Lowell Reid

      Nice, can’t go wrong there!

    2. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      awesome! we had several of those at my old job. super stout little things – they took a real beating, but nothing would kill them. 1400 is a really good price, and it looks like you got a pretty nice one, too.

  9. Sjalabais Avatar

    While sliding around an icy corner after a skiing trip last weekend, my better half suggested we get a 4×4 next time we replace one of our cars. I am not totally against that, even though I am of the school that thinks it doesn’t help to improve forward motion to a level that gets you stuck in significantly more difficult places to get out of.

    Anyway, I immediately thought of the Kizashi. Of the 7 cars available here, every single one is an automatic though. That is something we agree on as a disqualifier, having owned one car that shifts itself for 5+ years now. Didn’t they come with a manual at all? I see some Google results confirm they exist, but have these become so difficult to find even in Europe?

  10. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    can’t not post this BMW grille meme https://i.imgur.com/7Hg75id.jpg

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Link does not work, it simply displays the new BMWs…

  11. Sjalabais Avatar

    While sliding around an icy corner after a skiing trip last weekend, my better half suggested we get a 4×4 next time we replace one of our cars. I am not totally against that, even though I am of the school that thinks it doesn’t help to improve forward motion to a level that gets you stuck in significantly more difficult places to get out of.

    Anyway, I immediately thought of the Kizashi. Of the 7 cars available here, every single one is an automatic though. That is something we agree on as a disqualifier, having owned one car that shifts itself for 5+ years now. Didn’t they come with a manual at all? I see some Google results confirm they exist, but have these become so difficult to find even in Europe?

  12. nanoop Avatar

    I’m having Groundhog Day on hooniverse.com again, were there any new articles on Monday?

    Baby, I got you baby….

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Dæng. Watch it to the end: