AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO July 11, 2021 Every Sunday, Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with the expert assistance of Senior Editor Thom Cannell of The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, puts together the “recording” of the Auto Channel for last week’s automotive news in easily digestible new nuggets.
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Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending July 10, 2021; Below are the major, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions, and insider backstories from the past week, presented as expertly crafted, easily digestible news nuggets.
* President Biden is encouraged to crack down on automakers to slow climate change. Biden, who plans to propose this month, can accept changes through the executive’s administrative rulemaking powers. He can instruct the environmental protection agency to enact rules that will phase out the sale of gasoline vehicles by 2030.
* Gasoline prices are the highest in seven years. The national average is up over 3 cents since last week, and the national average is $ 3.12 per gallon, according to GasBuddy. By August, motorists could see the national average rise another 10 to 20 cents, according to the AAA, bringing the national average to over $ 3.25 per gallon this summer.
* Stellantis NV presented a comprehensive electrification strategy for the company’s 14 cult brands. More than 30 billion euros are to be invested in electrification and software by 2025. By 2030, over 70% of sales in Europe and over 40% in the USA should be low-emission vehicles (LEV). The plan to deliver battery electric vehicles (BEV) that meet customer demands, with ranges of 300-500 miles (500-800 km) and a class-leading fast charge capability of 20 miles (32 km) per minute. Get ready for an all-electric ram pickup and the world’s first electric muscle car from Dodge.
* Toyota will no longer make campaign contributions to Republican MPs and Senators who voted against voting from key states in the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6. Toyota was included in a report by the Washington nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, or CREW, listing corporate and industrial PACs that contributed the most money to the 139 Republican Representatives and 8 Republican Senators who voted against the certification.
* The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced a new “Callback Dashboard” that makes it easier to find callback information for automated safety. According to NHTSA, the dashboard contains more than 50 years of recall data and offers “user-friendly and transparent options for sorting, filtering, visualizing and exporting recall data”. The new dashboard is in addition to the NHTSA’s VIN look-up tool, which displays pending recalls, and the SaferCar app.
* The Ford Mustang Mach-E 2021 was recognized as the first electric vehicle of the year for both car and driver. Car and Driver magazine named the Mustang Mach-E better than 10 competitors in a direct comparison of fully electric vehicles and won first prize as “Best Electric Vehicle of the Year”.
* Rimac, the Croatian electric hypercar startup, will take control of Volkswagen’s Bugatti brand in a deal that solidifies its position as an established automotive power. Rimac, backed by Porsche and Hyundai, will own 55 percent of the new company, while VW’s Porsche brand will own the rest. The new company will be called Bugatti Rimac and will be headed by Mate Rimac.
* Tesla again! The owner of a new Tesla Model S Plaid was driving through Haverford, Pennsylvania when his vehicle reportedly “burned spontaneously”. The driver was briefly trapped but managed to escape before the car even came to a stop. The NHTSA has initiated 30 separate investigations into Tesla products. Most of them are semi-autonomous autopilot technology, which has been linked to a number of crashes and some deaths.
* If you see a Ford pickup truck driving behind you quickly, it may be the brand new 2021 Ford F-150 Police Responder, which has the best acceleration of any police vehicle tested with pursuit rating. Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Department test data, as well as preliminary Michigan State Police test results, show the 2021 F-150 Police Responder, America’s only pickup truck with pursuit rating, had the fastest 0-60 mph, 0-100 mph, and a quarter – Mileage times from police vehicles, including SUVs and sedans.
* Lotus introduced its Emira, a new mid-engined sports car for everyday use. Buyers have a choice of two engines and three transmissions at a starting price of around $ 82,800. The Emira is offered either with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder from AMG newly charged for Lotus or with the supercharged Toyota V6 used in the Exige and Evora. Manual, automatic and dual clutch transmissions are offered “to maximize global appeal”.
* The European Union has fined four major German automakers $ 1 billion for coordinating to curb the development and adoption of emission control systems for cars. Daimler, BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche have avoided competing on technology to limit pollution from gasoline and diesel cars, the EU executive said. Daimler was not fined after exposing the European Commission’s cartel. It was the first time the European Commission had imposed collusion fines to prevent the use of technological developments rather than a more traditional practice such as price-fixing. This story thanks to the Detroit News.
* Mazda is recalling nearly 261,000 small older cars because a plastic badge on the steering wheel can crack when the airbags inflate and cause injury. The recall covers certain Mazda 3 vehicles from model years 2004 to 2007.
* GM is recalling more than 400,000 pickup trucks in the US because side airbags can explode without warning and spit parts into the cab. The recall affects certain 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks.
* The Maserati MC20 supercar made its dynamic UK debut at the 27th Festival of Speed in Goodwood, taking on the famous hill climb at the Supercar Run. The Maserati MC20 was put to the test on the 1.16-mile route during the four-day motorsport event taking place July 8-11 at Goodwood, West Sussex. The first Trident branded mid-engined two-seat supercar with a top speed of over 202 mph, the MC20 is the first Maserati to feature a carbon fiber monocoque, meaning the entire car weighs a featherweight 1500 kg / 3306 pounds.
* The last time NASCAR top-of-the-line cannons competed on Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in 1956 was 65 years ago. A new tradition on July 4th may just have been born. Cup Series defending champion Chase Elliott won the 62-lap Made in America 250 jockey in 2021. Elliott is perhaps NASCAR’s best road racer and he certainly demonstrated his prowess on the 4-mile road circuit. Only two road races have been on the NASCAR schedule the longest. A third was added for 2018 to 2020. This year there are seven races on street circuits.
Stay safe. Be good.