Last week, this week is a new series covering some of the more obscure auto news you may have missed. Or the really big news that somehow flew under your radar. So this week we look at the demise of the Mercedes X Class, mourn the BMW i8, marvel at the resurrection of the Hummer and the somehow eternal Fast & Furious Franchise.
Mercedes X Class
The Mercedes X Class launched towards the end of 2017 as a joint project with Renault/Nissan. It was an open secret that the X Class was little more than Nissan Navara in a fancy dress. It didn’t help either that the X Class carried a healthy premium over its Japanese sister car. As early as mid 2019 rumours started circulating about the model ending production and now Daimler has made it official.
Unfortunately the X Class wasn’t a big seller, as a niche product selling only 16,700 units in its first full year on sale in 2018. 2019 was an even worse year with only 15,300 units sold worldwide. To put that into context, the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger sold over 40,000 & 25,000 respectively in South Africa alone! What is probably the saddest thing about the loss of the X Class is that we won’t get to see a bonkers V8 AMG version. Maybe someone will do an aftermarket swap?
After 6 years on sale, BMW have finally confirmed that BMW i8’s production is soon to end. The hybrid sports car came into the market with its sharp concept car looks and an interesting drivetrain. Initially unveiled in concept form with a turbo-diesel engine, the production model had a petrol turbocharged 3 cylinder with electric motor providing motivation at the front axles.
Some BMW dealerships in the UK are reportedly already offering massive discounts of up to £20,000 on the original list price of £155,000 for the hardtop model. Although there hasn’t been exact date for the end of production; UK customers have until the end of February to place their orders. There is no word yet on a replacement for the i8, but would have been nice to see a more powerful i8M.
After two depressing deaths, we have a resurrection from General Motors. Much like anything else that comes back from the grave; the Hummer is not the same as when it was previously killed off. The old Hummer was gas guzzling monstrocity not known for its fuel economy. The new one swings completely the opposite way. Electric. Hummer. Let that sink in for a minute. No one would have predicted that 10 years ago.
The Hummer EV is now an electric truck under GMC, rather than a brand of its own. It was teased in a Super Bowl ad featuring LeBron James. Auto journalists everywhere must be planning out their Cybertruck Vs Hummer EV head to heads as we speak. The Hummer EV will have up to 1000hp, 11,500lb-ft of torque and complete the sprint to 60 in 3 seconds. Expect the reveal towards the end of May 2020. Check out the teaser below.
Our final recap for this week; the Fast and Furious trailer. The Fast Saga as it’s now known has long since left it’s boy racer roots behind in favour of a sprawling action packed adventure. Despite the bigger and often unbelievable story lines, the importance of family remains a constant thread. And this installment is no different with John Cena being introduced as Dom’s younger brother. Charlize Theron’s Cipher makes a return too. If for some reason you haven’t seen the trailer yet, I’ll leave the video below for the final big reveal of this story.