2020 has been a full plate and despite the covid setback, big things happened

By now, you’ve read a lot of articles starting with how awful 2020 was and how covid ruined it for us. But guess what: as we enter 2021, covid isn’t going to magically disappear. Nor will a magic sponge come to erase what’s happened last year and the effects that are still rippling through the car industry.

That aside, we’ve had our fair share of goodies in 2020, so here’s a look back at this strange year’s biggest car stories.

The Hummer went electric

The Biggest Automotive Stories of 2020 Exterior
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The Hummer EV SUV marks an unexpected comeback for an iconic name. Once famous for its gas guzzling abilities, the Hummer looks to the future with a little help from GMC, who will assemble it in Detroit. So far, we’ve been hearing a lot of impressive numbers attached to the Hummer EV’s name, including 1000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 in three seconds, over 350 miles of range, and ability to crab walk. While this sounds almost too good to be true, the Hummer EV won’t have it easy - the Cybertruck is gearing up for a debut and Ford is working hard to bring the electric F-150 to market in mid-2022. Then there’s Rivian with the R1T. I guess the next couple of years will see some sparks flying in the electric pickup truck segment. Read the whole story!

We got a new Bronco

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2020 is the year that Ford aficionados will cherish the most. If 2019 was the year that brought us the Mustang Mach-E, 2020 was the year we got the new Bronco. A new Ford F-150 came, too, but the Bronco stole all the limelight and on paper, it looks like a sure-shot winner: stylish retro looks, cool modern features, and top-shelf off-road abilities. Some die-hard Ford fans are bemoaning the lack of a V-8 engine in the lineup but the optional manual gearbox might do just enough to soothe their pain. Plus, the twin-turbo V-6 isn’t to be ignored, not when it packs 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Learn all about the new bronco.

Koenigsegg presented the world’s most powerful 3-cylinder engine

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Even though covid made sure this year’s Geneva Motor Show never happened, the show had to go on and Koenigsegg kept the music playing. By music we’re referring to the Swedish carmaker’s decision to go ahead with its launches and introduce the Gemera, a 1667-horsepower, 2581-pound-feet family-oriented supercar that rocks three electric motors and the world’s most powerful three-cylinder mill. Displacing two liters, the engine makes 592 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. No typos here, in case you’re having trouble lifting your jaws off the desk. Don’t miss out on the finer details!

Hennessey’s Venom F5 came with speed record ambitions

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Powered by Fury, a 6.6-liter push-rod V-8 cranking out 1817 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 1193 pound-feet of torque at 5500 rpm, Hennessey’s Venom F5 takes its name after the highest point on the Fujita scale of tornado intensity. Marketing aside, the F5 is touted as being able to scorch the 0-62 mph sprint in 2.6 seconds. 0-124 mph takes 4.7 seconds, while 0-186 mph happens in 8.4 seconds. Impressed? You should be. Top speed is rated at 311 mph, but Hennessey claims that the V-8 can rev its way all the way up to 334 mph, as it’s aided by a very tall seventh gear and by the fact that the F5’s naked carbon tub tips the scales at just 190 pounds. Utter madness. Here’s what else we know!

SSC Tuatara set a new speed record, sort of

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There was a lot of controversy behind SSC’s Tuatara top speed record. The 1750-horsepower supercar allegedly did a 316-mph two-way run on a closed highway in Nevada and took to YouTube to tell the story, which was quickly put under doubt by the likes of Shmee150. The vlogger posted a detailed analysis of SSC’s run and Koenigsegg’s from back in 2017, when the Agera managed a two-way average of 277.9 mph. His main claim was that the Tuatara didn’t seem faster than the Agera, although it was some 50 mph faster overall. Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained also did some number crunching and according to his calculations, the SSC only traveled at 225 mph. SSC responded by saying that all the data is accurate and that Dewetron handled the validation, but Dewetron was quick to issue a statement of its own denying SSC’s claims. Finally, SSC admitted that the videos it published of the run were incorrect due to "mixups on the editing side" and promised it will have another go at the record. To be continued...

BMW Bucktoothed the M3 and M4

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As far as controversy went in 2020, it’s hard to compete with BMW. After showing the Concept 4 in 2019, Munich basically ignored the polarizing reactions it generated and went ahead with the initial plans: to slap the M3 and M4 (the 4 Series, too, as a matter of fact) with a huge, vertical kidney grille. In all fairness, I did get to see (and drive) the 4 Series in the metal and I can attest that the press photos do no justice to that grille. However, such shockwaves it sent through the car realm that tuner Prior Design decided to offer an aftermarket grille that fixes the bucktooth-ness. Looks aside, the M3 and M4 get up to 503 horsepower from a twin-turbo 3-liter straight-six that lets them shoot from naught to 60 mph in under four seconds. On-road dynamics are expected to be of the top notch ilk so looks aside, the way the M3/M4 twins drive and handle should make up tenfold for the less fortunate kisser design. Learn all about it

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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