To sum up: New BMW M2 CS and GP Mini Works revealed
America is going modification mad this week at the 2019 SEMA show, lots of high-power Supras and big appearances from Nismo and Shelby to boot. This hasn't stopped the BMW group attempting to steal the limelight, announcing their new M2 CS and the GP John Cooper Works Mini. Ford are further teasing the return of their long awaited Bronco, entering an 'R' version into the Baja rally, 50 years after one last took victory on the dunes. Audi meanwhile have made the RWD V10 part of their permanent line up and British engineering firm Lister have had a go at creating the ultimate i-Pace, for those who thought the standard car was a little too sedate.
The Ultimate M2
As a final send-off for the M2, BMW has gone one above it's M2 Competition model with the new CS edition, turning the 2-series all the way up to 11. Similarly to the M3 and M4 CS models, the M2 CS gains extra power, a more focused chassis setup and weight reductions thanks to carbon fibre parts.
The engine is derived from the M4 Competition, meaning 444bhp and 406lb ft of torque from the 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged engine, this is sent solely to through rear wheels via the standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional 7-speed double clutch 'box. This gives performance figures of 4.2 seconds for 0-62mph in the manual model (4.0 for the double-clutcher), going on to 174mph with the optional Driver's pack selected. Chassis tweaks include re-calibrated adaptive dampers and larger M sport brakes. The electric power steering has also been re-worked alongside a standard-fit active M differential.
The exterior has been updated with a carbon-fibre roof for weight saving and a bonnet adorned with a large scoop for better cooling. Body modifications over the M2 Competition include a new front splitter, boot spoiler and rear diffuser. The interior includes seats borrowed from the M4 CS along with a whole host of alcantara. All of these mods add up however, with M2 CS coming in at £75,320. This is over £20,000 more than the M2 Competition, but the rarity and high level upgrades may justify this. Quite a send off for the M2.
Bronco Takes on the Baja After 50 Year Absence
Not your typical early prototype, but the Bronco R is our latest look at the long awaited 2020 Ford Bronco. Ford Performance has built this off-road monster to take on the infamous Baja 1000 rally, the timing could not be more perfect as it is 50 years since the iconic Bronco win in '69 at the hands of Rod Hall and Larry Minor.
Due to the competition nature of the Bronco R, this car doesn't give much useful insight into the new road-going model. The Baja Bronco includes a lightweight composite body, long-travel Fox racing suspension and a smattering of LED light bars. Underneath all the fancy parts sits, we're told, the Ford T6 architecture from the Ranger and a twin-turbo Ecoboost engine. This architecture and powertrain is likely what we will see in the new Bronco, alongside retro-themed styling to celebrate it's legendary model.
RWD for the New Entry Level R8
It's back, the RWD R8 has returned but this time it's not a limited-run model. The new model offers rear-wheel drive alongside it's outstanding 5.2-litre V10 engine and 7-speed double clutch 'box. The RWD model comes in at the bottom of the current range, with power down on Quattro and Performance models, still it comes with 533bhp which is sure to be plenty.
Reduced weight compared with the Quattro models (75 kg reduction) gives the RWD R8 a kerb weight of 1595kg. Headline performance figures include a 3.7-second 0-62mph time and 198mph top speed, to go alongside the beautiful wail originating from over your shoulder. Visually the car is very similar to the four-wheel drive models, with body-coloured lower intakes and black upper intake caps.
Pricing is yet to be released for the UK but expect the new 'entry-level' model to be priced under the £128,000 of the Quattro model, maybe not cheap then.
Ultimate GP Mini is Back
The second half of this weeks BMW group offensive, the new GP John Cooper Works Mini. The third generation GP picks up where the R56 model left off, namely featuring more power, lighter weight and extreme track-focused aero features. The car will be officially unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show but Mini has confirmed the power and price for the new car, 302bhp and £34,995 for one of the 3000-unit limited run.
The power will likely be produced by a version of BMW's B48 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, as used in the forthcoming BMW X2 M35i. The car will also feature an automatic gearbox as well as the possibility of four-wheel drive, thanks to sharing it's underpinnings with the aforementioned X2. Other likely features include a wider track, flared wheel arches, updated suspension components, weight reduction and outlandish aero features (namely the huge rear wing).
After a mediocre reception of the current Cooper S model, Mini will be hoping that the GP really takes off, utilising a hardcore driving experience and increased performance to excite and thrill Mini fans who take the plunge.
Big Green EV Machine
Lister, the Jaguar-oriented engineering firm has turned their attention away from the F-Type for a couple of months to improve the i-Pace. Their modifications include increased performance, reduced weight, chassis improvement and new aero parts alongside Lister's classic green paint scheme.
Lister have used enhanced software to give their SUV-E more power and torque, figures are not confirmed but they are promised to be increased from the standard i-Pace's 395bhp and 463lb ft. Lister has also confirmed a 100kg weight reduction (though still over two tonnes), allowing for a sub 4 second 0-60mph time. Weight has been reduced via the use of carbonfibre, used on the cars body kit and bonnet. Underneath the carbon body kit sits lowered, adjustable suspension. The car will also feature a louder 'exhaust' sound for a more aggressive soundtrack, hopefully without sounding too artificial.
All of the SUV-E's can be specified to the customers liking, with a vast array of paint combinations and interior schemes. Almost anything will be possible according to company boss Lawrence Whittaker. Price will start at £125,000, twice what the regular i-Pace retails for but the car will target a different, more performance oriented audience. Enough to take on the Model X?