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 out-uglies themselves with new M2, Polestar debuts their first SUV, Ford is teasing a new Transit built for the outdoors, plus your news for the week.
2023 BMW M2
All the leaks that came out to suggest that the 2nd-generation BMW M2 would be pretty ugly were proven true this week. BMW, who still seem to think no one is repulsed by their designs, have unveiled a bigger, more powerful, heavier, and more technologically advanced sports coupe. There’s a lot to unpack with this one, most of which I will be ignoring.
Beginning with what everyone’s been talking about first, the styling. The latest stool sample from BMW’s design team is an especially awkward and bulgy design. Oversized boxy air intakes do provide a functional purpose as do the large kidney grilles. Fortunately, they’ve spared us the horror of another buck-toothed design as seen on the M3 and M4. But the “muscular” wheel arches that make it look like a marshmallow in the microwave and a lack of most signature BMW M styling cues aren’t doing it any favors.
Also not doing it any favors is the fact that it weighs roughly the same as its larger and more powerful M4 sibling. The six-speed manual M2 weighs 3,814 lbs. while the eight-speed automatic version is 3,867 lbs. That’s over a hundred pounds heavier than the standard M4 and just shy of the 3,880-pound weight of the M4 Competition. But at least there’s more power now to help make up for it courtesy of a reworked S58 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo inline-six. 453 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque over a very broad power band should at least make it fun to drive and very compelling on a track. 0-60 mph takes as little as 3.9 seconds with the automatic and 4.1 seconds with the manual.
The M2 retains its pure RWD setup with none of the part-time AWD from its larger siblings. But it does keep its standard Active M Differential, Adaptive M Suspension, and its monster brake setup with adjustable brake pedal sensitivity. The Dynamic Stability Control has gotten smarter as well with the ability to issue corrections up to 10x faster than other stability control systems. There’s also a built-in lap timer and “M Drift Analyzer” which records the duration, distance, and angle of the sick drift the driver just pulled out of the car show with. There’s no way this will be abused.
The 2023 BMW M2 launches globally next April. US pricing starts at $62,200 plus $995 destination and handling.
2024 Polestar 3
Polestar has decided they want to print money by producing their first SUV. The Polestar 3 is an all-electric five-seat premium SUV with impressive performance and a long list of standard features. It’ll be the first Polestar to be built on two continents with US production on the road map for it.
The now signature Polestar styling has been translated onto its biggest platform yet, and it still holds up. “Polestar 3 premieres a new aerodynamic profile where strong focus has been placed on retaining the hallmarks of an SUV… This has been led by subtle yet effective aerodynamic optimization – including a front aero wing integrated into the bonnet, an aero wing integrated into the rear spoiler, and rear aero blades.”
Power comes from a 111kWh battery pack which feeds two electric motors, one on each axle. There’s a slightly rear-biased power distribution but the AWD traction will come in handy with its astronomical power rating. 483 horsepower and 620 lb.-ft. of torque is the standard specification, but opting for the Performance Package increases that to 510 horsepower and 671 lb.-ft. There’s torque vectoring at the rear axle and a disconnect feature which allows the 3 to operate as a FWD vehicle for energy savings. On the European WLTP cycle, they estimate a 610 km or roughly 380-mile driving range per charge. EPA numbers are usually lower.
There are loads of standard features to help justify its starting price. Standard equipment on all versions includes air suspension, a full-length panoramic glass roof, all-LED lighting inside and out, retractable door handles with proximity sensing, and 21-inch alloy wheels. The Plus Pack and Pilot Pack are fitted as standard for the first model year a 25-speaker audio system from Bowers & Wilkins with 3D surround sound and Dolby Atmos capability, soft-closing doors, a head-up display, and Pilot Assist. The Pilot Pack will also add an additional control unit from NVIDIA which manages three cameras, four ultrasonic sensors, and cleaning for the front- and rear-view cameras, providing accurate real-time data about the car’s surroundings. This enables enhanced 3D scanning of the car’s surroundings in greater detail and helps prepare the car for autonomous driving.
When the Polestar 3 goes on sale Q2 next year, its MSRP will be set at EUR 89,900 or roughly $87,500. US pricing may differ considering we’ll be getting ours built at home. Volvo Cars in Ridgeville, SC is expected to add additional manufacturing capacity by 2024. Until then, all Polestar 3s globally will be built in Volvo’s Chengdu, China plant.
Ford Transit Trail teased
Ford is going after all the influencers in your Instagram feed that use the #vanlife hashtag with this one. The Ford Transit is one of the most versatile and popular vans out there and it’s recently taken on a new role as a camping rig for many of its more adventurous owners. So Ford is offering up a new version just for them called the Ford Transit Trail. Not much is known about it as we only have a teaser tweet to gather info from, but their intentions are clear.
The Transit Trail is expected to be a more rugged and more capable van, perhaps with more overlanding features built in or the prerequisites for a heavily customized camping rig. Expect black plastic body cladding (which as you know means it’s practically a rally car), AWD, maybe a small lift, and some all-terrain tires. More will be revealed next month. You’ll know it’s on dealer lots when millions of people who venture outdoors to escape modern society spend their whole time with a camera in their face talking about their new van setup which probably cost an exorbitant amount of money.
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.