Ford sets and resets electric 1/4-mile E.T. record, BMW 2 Series Coupe heads to Goodwood, C8 Z06 likely delayed

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Welcome to The Manifold, our fresh daily digest of news and what’s happening in the car world.

Ford sets, then resets NHRA electric 1/4-mile E.T. record in Ohio

Intake: Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III (yeah, Bob Tasca is his grandfather) changed things up a bit last weekend when he strapped into the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. His exhibition run at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, set a record for an all-electric 1/4-mile elapsed time when Tasca carried the front tires well past the 60-foot mark and nabbed an 8.26-second time slip. Then he improved upon that record with another pass—8.12 seconds at 171.97 mph. Afterwards, in the tweet above, Tasca threw down the gauntlet to Elon Musk.

Exhaust: The NHRA has embraced electric drag racing and will launch several all-electric classes in 2022, so hopefully this kind of performance is a taste of what we can expect in heads-up electric racing next year. Competitors may appreciate the simplified tuning when internal combustion is taken out of the equation, but it may be difficult to get used to the sound of a nearly silent 1/4-mile pass. If you’re a traditionalist, don’t worry; until electric cars start breaking into the 300-mph range, Top Fuel likely isn’t going anywhere.

BMW’s new 2 Series Coupe will shed camo at Goodwood

BMW 2 Series Coupe full camo front three quarter
BMW

Intake: BMW will unveil its new 2 Series Coupe at the Goodwood Festival of speed in early July. The Munich firm says that this new 2 Series will harken back to the original 2002 of the late ’60s, boasting a compact footprint, rear-wheel drive (can we get an amen?), and at least the option of a straight six. The car promises to deliver the simple, engaging thrills that once defined the brand but have since been harder to find as BMW chases higher horsepower and supercar-like performance. It will officially be unveiled on July 8 at BMW’s “M Town” stand, after which it will dash up the hill at Lord March’s estate. Joining this pocket rocket up the hill from BMW will be a host of other models, including an M5 Competition, a special-edition M4 Competition designed in collaboration with fashion brand Kith, an iX electric crossover, and an i4 Gran Coupe, as well as a few motorcycles.

Exhaust: First things first: We’re thrilled to see Goodwood back on the calendar. BMW’s 2 Series has always been a bit of a holdout, staying truly compact while every other model bloats in the pursuit of more power. (Imagine your high-school linebacker joining an NCAA D1 school and getting placed on the O-line, gaining half his body weight in a summer.) The 2 Series is a manual transmission away from being the last simple, driver-focused offering in BMW’s lineup.

Next-gen Corvette Z06 continues to suffer delays

chevrolet c8 corvette z06 front three-quarter camo spy shot
SpiedBilde/Brian Williams

Intake: Despite the enticing train of heavily camouflaged prototypes we saw back in April, don’t expect the mid-engine Z06 model to debut this year. All reports pointed toward the 600-odd-hp beast arriving for the 2022 model year, but now GM Authority reports that the Z06 timetable is the latest pandemic-related automotive casualty: The Z06 could appear as late as the 2023 model year, when we had expected to see the Grand Sport.

Exhaust: Pandemic aside, the decades-long hype behind the mid-engine Corvette will likely stand the Z06 in good stead here. Even now, three model years into the C8’s life span, Chevy can’t make them fast enough. The C8.R’s riotous success on the endurance racing circuit should also help fan the flames of customer enthusiasm during the delay, since a version of the race car’s 32-valve, flat-plane-crank LT6 V-8—one unhampered by motorsports regulations—will power the C8 Z06. 

Nab the millionth 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro millionth auction mecum
Mecum

Intake: A 158-mile example of Toyota’s kitted-out Tacoma, and the millionth “Taco” ever produced, is headed to Mecum’s auction block in Monterey, California, this August. If the ultra-low miles and the Army Green paint (an option unique to TRD Pro models in 2020) hadn’t already got your attention, know that all proceeds will go to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Exhaust: Though the Colorado ZR2 Bison has a more robust arsenal of off-road equipment, including a locking front diff and Multimatic DSSV shocks, it can’t rival the Tacoma’s near-cult following. A pristine example at a high-profile auction like Monterey could offer a hint as to the 2020 Tacoma’s half-life in the collector market.

The 2022 Subaru WRX is due in later this year, hood scoop and all

Subaru

Intake: A new WRX is on the horizon, and Subaru is planning a reveal of the sporty all-wheel-drive mainstay later this year. The teaser image, released today, shows off very little of the 2022 WRX—a sedan-shaped silhouette with a familiar hood scoop.

Exhaust: Earlier spy shots of the upcoming WRX testing in Michigan (alongside a Tesla Model 3) provide a much clearer preview of what’s to come, including angular taillights in the fashion of the 2022 BRZ. Subaru isn’t known for rapid change, preferring to stick with tried-and-true methods to keep the sales rolling in and puppy-laden commercials rolling out.; the next Rex promises another turbocharged flat-four, although whether it’s an updated version of the existing 268-hp 2.0-liter or a sport-tuned take on the Outback XT’s 260-hp 2.4-liter engine remains to be seen. A flagrantly, wonderfully uncouth STI version is sure to follow, and rumors persist of possible hybrid power in the pipeline. We’ll believe it when we see it.

F9 roars to $70M opening for car-crazy Americans

fast furious cast f9 premiere carpet event
The cast of F9 pose together at the premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on Friday, June 18, 2021. Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Intake: Leave it to the latest flick in the Fast and Furious saga to supercharge the summer box office. When the dust settled, F9 captured $70 million on its opening weekend domestically — a roaring success for movie theater chains. Meanwhile, on the international scene, F9 also struck gold to the tune of $335 million in sales, bringing to the global haul to date to around $405 million and counting.

Exhaust: F9 sets an impressive benchmark for the rest of the summer blockbuster slate to chase, demonstrating American and international audiences alike gravitate towards the high concept action genre, especially when cars are involved. We couldn’t be prouder to witness all of the many different ways in which cars are leading us back to what feels like normal.

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