Happy New Year, TTAC! We’re less than a full week into 2023 and there’s already a ton of EV and EV-adjacent news to cover that I was struggling to figure out where to start — that is until Stellantis took the wraps off the new Ram Revolution BEV concept truck at CES last night!
The biggest EV news of the last week has to be the official start of Tesla Semi deliveries, which were perfectly timed (intentionally or not) to drown out the news that the electric car brand had been forced to slash prices in both China and the US in the face of reduced site traffic and waning approval for the brand as-a-whole.
Volkswagen is one of the few automakers that have consistently offered at least one “fun” car here in the United States. The Golf GTI has remained on sale at times when other companies were killing cars altogether, and VW steadfastly offers vehicles with manual transmissions. Volkswagen is going electric, though, and rumors have floated that it had plans for hot versions of its ID EVs. Unfortunately for enthusiasts, the person overseeing VW’s R vehicle lines told Top Gear not to expect any R-branded EVs in the near future.
In what’s only the latest in a long history of engine-related legal battles in the form of recalls, individual owner lawsuits, and class action suits, Hyundai and Kia find themselves entangled in the latter once more. This time, the list of the affected vehicles is much larger than in previous instances. It seems the calendar has now crossed the decade mark with regard to major engine issues in Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Oh, and they’re also super easy to steal, too.
Dieselgate slashed a gaping hole in the assumption that automakers were genuinely invested in building more efficient cars, but it’s hardly the only flimflammery going on behind the scenes. A recent report from Transport and Environment, a European NGO pushing for cleaner transport, found that many automakers are underreporting global emissions by as much as 115 percent.
In 2021, Lamborghini announced the Aventador Ultimae, a super-limited swan song to the automaker’s iconic V12 engine. Unfortunately for Lambo and anyone waiting for one of the cars, a shipwreck took some of the cars down with it, leading the automaker to extend the timeline and build more cars.
Other than a few controversial wheel designs and far more buttons, the steering wheel hasn’t changed all that much in the last several decades. Your car probably has an adjustable steering wheel that allows different height and telescoping settings. If it’s a fancy car, you may even have power adjustments and other options like a heated steering wheel or leather grips. Those are nice features, but General Motors’ latest idea goes several steps further.
If you thought there was an explosion of competitors in segments like the compact luxury crossover game or so-called ‘four-door coupe’ SUVs, it would appear you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The number of all-electric pickup trucks is piling up like cords of wood, with the latest to show its face being the GMC Sierra Denali.
Did that headline grab your attention? As proponents of unmuffled V8 engines, it certainly grabbed ours. Gearheads have been shouting for an eight-cylinder Bronco ever since the first sketches of the Wrangler-fighter appeared all those years ago. Yesterday, in the desert near Las Vegas, Ford finally introduced such a rig.
There’s a catch, of course: the Bronco DR is strictly meant for off-road racing. And it’ll cost a cool quarter-mil.
For anyone looking forward to a new iteration of the Ford Ranger (*raises hand*), it seems like November 24 would be a good day to mark on your calendar. In a teaser video released today on YouTube, the Blue Oval announced they’ll be showing what they’re calling a ‘global’ midsize pickup truck on that day.
It will be broadcast by the crew at Ford Europe, and the teaser was voiced by an Aussie. Sounds pretty global to us.
I, Jason R. Sakurai, literally grew up in a dealership, with a father that nurtured my automotive interests. Following grad school, I was recruited by General Motors, leaving Phoenix for the Motor City.
Managing 21 dealerships in GM’s San Francisco Zone, I later moved to Nissan, and then Mazda. Eschewing corporate life, I sold ad space for Four Wheeler Magazine, then did TV for the National Hot Rod Association as Director of Sales. ESPN’s buyback of my inventory prompted me to start Roadhouse Marketing, a marketing, advertising, and PR firm dedicated to the automotive aftermarket and outdoor industries.
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- Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.
- Stodge I test drove the 200S and damn, its suspension was so firm, I was convinced it didn't actually include suspension at all. It hurt my spine and hip, it was that firm.
- MRF 95 T-Bird If Mopar had only offered sport hatch versions of the 200 and or Dart they might have sold more of them for folks who wanted some more versatility without having to go for a small utility Compass Patriot or new at the time Renegade or Cherokee.
- El scotto I started driving in the late 70's. The cars high school kids could afford and wanted were very very worn out muscle cars. Oh Lordy those V-8's bring back some happy memories. Oh there some outliers in my crowd, a VW Bug and a Dodge Scamp with slant six; neither car would die. In 10 years their will be young people wanting very used Teslas or Dodge's with hemis. B&B, I say that if someone is excited about their EV, Hybrid, or Hemi welcome them to the club of people who like cars.
- El scotto Farley and Billy Ford need to put on some jeans, flannel shirts and PPE. They should (but never will) walk the factory floors and ask "what is wrong?", "what could we be doing better?"Let me caveat that. Let Jimmy and Billy explain that any constructive criticisms will be non-attributable. Oh they can use platitude like making the house level again or setting the ship on the right course.Sadly I suspect than many, many Power Points will die in vain in the executive suites in Dearborn. At least three if not four very expensive consulting teams will be hired to review Ford's QC problems. Four consulting teams will mean four different solutions. None them will be put in action. Ford will still have huge QC problems.