The News for May 26th, 2017

Welcome to the Hooniverse 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 gives a preview of the upcoming 8 Series Coupe

  • Jaguar SVO announces new 592-HP Project 8 based on the XE

  • BMW Motorsport debuts M4 GT4 at Nürburgring 24

  • Geely takes majority stake in Lotus to “unleash” full potential

  • Patent drawings appear to show new Jeep Grand Wagoneer

  • Ford announces significant leadership changes

  • What’s your automotive news?

BMW Concept 8 Series

Making its first public appearance at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este today is the design study concept for what may be BMW’s most anticipated new model: the return of the 8 Series. This concept serves as a preview of the forthcoming 8 Series Coupe due in 2018 as part of BMW’s ambitious new model offensive (which means you’ll be hearing about them a lot for the next few years).
“The number 8 has always represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” said Harald Krüger, one of the big suits on BMW’s board or something. “The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand.”

Because we’re so far out from the real thing, they haven’t gone into detail about those razor-sharp dynamics they’re promising. I would expect the existing 4.4-liter V8 and 6.6-liter V12, both TwinPower Turbo of course, to be your engine choices and most if not all of the same adaptive chassis and suspension tech which debuted in the new 5 Series. BMW still knows how to make a big car move quickly, it just may not always be the most fun. The 8 Series won’t be a slouch.

Unsurprisingly, the exterior design is what they detailed the most in the press release, so here’s the rundown. They aimed to create a fresh interpretation of the iconic BMW styling cues we all know in a package that’s crisp, brimming with character, and makes a forceful statement.
The silhouette is highlighted by the long bonnet, flowing roofline, and the upward sweep of the concept’s trailing edge (business end). This isn’t supposed to be an ordinary luxury car, so it isn’t designed to look like one either.

The interior is perhaps subject to change the most once it goes to production, but the general shape of the cabin should be fairly consistent with the final product. With fluid transitions between panels and instrument panels with low visual focus they tried to emphasize the snug and sporty feeling of space, or something. The seat structures are crafted from carbon fiber and filled with fine leather which would be cool in the production car.
Of course, this is only a sign of things to come. BMW will kick things off for the production 8 Series sometime in 2018 with a similar form. They promise a true dream car with this one and I, for one, am looking forward to it… even though most of them will surely cost well over $100K.
[Source: BMW]

Jaguar XE SV Project 8

Something wicked this way comes. Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) announced a new project that will be the most powerful, agile, and extreme performance car they’ve ever developed – and it’s coming from the smallest car in their lineup.
The new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, based on the mid-size XE luxury sedan of course, will somehow carry a tuned version of the company’s beloved 5.0-liter supercharged V8 capable of 600 PS or 592 HP. For the sake of comparison, the famous XJ220 had 540 HP.

There’s no doubt it’ll be one of the quickest cars they’ve ever produced, but it’ll have handling and agility to back it up thanks to a standard performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system and some aggressive aero elements packed into the smallest sedan they make. The XE is only a tiny bit bigger than the BMW 3 Series, so imagine what a car that size can do with AWD and 592 HP. Yeah, it’s going to be wicked.
Like the last Project SVO produced, it will actually go into production but in limited numbers. Only 300 will be built worldwide. We’ll learn more about the car a few days before it makes its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 30th.
[Source: Jaguar]


BMW Motorsport is offering up a new GT4-spec M4 for customer racing teams around the world. The BMW M4 GT4 will see competition from 2018 on, and in America at least, you’ll see the fine folks at Turner Motorsports racing them.
Like a true GT4 car, many production M4 elements are still present in the race car, including the obvious 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo straight-six with more than 431 hp (depending on BOP adjustments), production engine management electronics, the carbon bonnet (from the M4 GTS), standard carbon roof, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission modified with motorsport software.

New additions include carbon fiber doors, motorsport-specific front splitters and rear wings, and a racing exhaust system. It also borrows a few things from its bigger brother, the M6 GT3, like the pedal box, seat, and AP Racing brakes. A first for BMW Motorsports, the M4 GT4 features power sticks with pre-programmed, plug-and-play engine performance levels so teams can react quickly to BOP adjustments.
Everything else is of course replaced and upgraded for reliable motorsport use. Öhlins provides the motorsport shock absorbers and adjustable stabilizers and springs comprise the rest of the suspension. BMW Motorsport also provides the essential driver aids (stability/traction and ABS).

The M4 GT4 has already driven under racing conditions a few times, but its first real test will be at the Nürburgring 24 Hours this weekend in the hands of BMW’s own drivers and mechanics. After that, it’s off to customer racing teams around the world. Prices start at €169,000 (~$189,000).
[Source: BMW]

Lotus now majority owned by Geely

Geely, a Chinese automotive manufacturing company, has taken a 51% majority stake in Lotus Cars off the hands of Proton. But don’t worry, Geely is as big of a Lotus fan as we are and have promised to “unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars and bring it into a new phase of development by expanding and accelerating the rolling out of new products and technologies.”
As of now, there’s no word of any leadership changes if any, so take it as a sign of Lotus finally being able to develop what they want rather than Lotus going mainstream and boring. Geely also took over and revived Volvo, and look where that’s gotten them. Good things should be coming their way soon.
[Source: Automotive News]

Jeep Grand Wagoneer patent drawings

The rumors of a Grand Wagoneer revival just might be confirmed after new patent filings emerged. The unlabeled drawings show what is clearly a Jeep SUV, but it looks big enough to be the range-topping three-row SUV that could become the Grand Wagoneer.

More than anything, it looks like a longer and slight face-lifted Grand Cherokee… so yeah, I’d say it’s legit. But as Motor1 points out, it might just be the production version of the recent Yuntu hybrid concept which debuted at Shanghai, meaning it’s possible this is a Chinese exclusive. But it looks like something that’s ready for the driveways of America’s suburbs as is, so I’m more inclined to believe it’s for us as well.
We obviously won’t know for sure until it’s unveiled in production form. Updates as I get them…
[Source: Motor1, Motor Trend]

Ford leadership changes

One headline you’ve undoubtedly seen already is that Ford has appointed a new CEO, a Mr. Jim Hackett, to replace Mark Fields. But with that came sweeping changes in leadership elsewhere within the company which are designed to streamline their decision making processes, but there’s only one new appointment that really needs to be mentioned.
Raj Nair (pictured) will become President of Ford North America which is great news for enthusiasts of the blue oval. Raj is perhaps one of the biggest fans working for Ford and he was leading the secret operation which gave us the new Ford GT and, as Autoweek points out, he also convinced higher ups to green light their triumphant return to Le Mans last year. When someone who truly loves cars is the one leading a car brand, good things are bound to happen.
[Source: Autoweek]

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 © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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10 responses to “The News for May 26th, 2017”

  1. CraigSu Avatar

    Mr Nair may also be smiling because he’s got the keys to Mark Fields’ GT.
    I, for one, will be shocked if BMW stuffs a V-12 into the 8-series. Should they? Of course, but given the brand direction lately I think it will be lucky to get a twin turbo V-8. More likely a twin turbo V-6 with electric “assist”.

    1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
      Greg Kachadurian

      I’m thinking they would since they did it with the 7 Series (M760i or something). Maybe it’ll just be for an M version, but I think it’s likely.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    wow, that 8 is a serious butter face.
    Looks like a mash-up of a nurse shark and 1930s/40s racist, anti-Asian caricatures.

  3. ptschett Avatar

    I think the Jeep’s the “K8” for China. The trapezoidal fender bulge extends into the front door, more like a Cherokee than like a Grand Cherokee.

  4. nanoop Avatar

    So I signed the contract for one of the last MY2013 Opel Vivaro aka. Renault Trafic aka. Nissan Primastar. Long wheelbase, registered for 9 seats. Ran 35kmls for Avis, so not the worst life (although the interior could be nicer). Delivery next week.
    Plan: yank out 3rd row, craft a platform for a matrass with stowing space underneath behind the 2nd. Go on tour as often as possible.

  5. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    So it’s official – I’m finally buying that F-150 off my grandfather and driving it from San Francisco back to Atlanta very soon! I fly out end of next week, going to Radwood, then driving it back the following week. My body is ready (I think).
    Also fun fact: I looked into possibly replacing the driver’s seat belt since there’s some black mold stains I can’t get out. Called up a local Ford service shop and apparently there’s only one example left in the whole country. And because they have to replace the whole assembly with it, the part alone is $450. So looks like I’m looking through a junk yard when I get back.

    1. boxdin Avatar

      Generic and model specific 3 point belts are available on amazon.

    2. NapoleonSolo Avatar

      I’ve always heard that you need to be very careful about using seat belts from junked cars. If the car has ever been in an accident, the belts may be compromised from previous stress. Just repeating what the auto manufacturers tell us. If there are non-OEM replacements, I’d go with them.

      1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
        Greg Kachadurian

        Oh for sure, I’m definitely looking closely for any accident damage before I nab the seat belt off anything. I’ll also take a look at other options too – thanks!