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All the Automotive News You Missed This Week That You Should Know About

Santa Claus digs the Bronco. The first electric camper van is coming soon. And check out this incredible wood Ford Ranger Raptor model.

frozen ford bronco with santa
Bronco Nation

We here at the Gear Patrol motoring desk covered a ton of news this week, whether it was Mercedes-Benz's upcoming EV onslaught, Nissan building better than new (and super expensive) Skylines or the coolest and weirdest concept car of 2020. We sprinkled in some reviews of the Audi R8 and the AEV Jeep Gladiator. We also lamented the impending demise of the best cheap car on sale in America today.

But we are mortals. We couldn't quite get to everything noteworthy that happened in the automotive world over the past week. Here are some items we were buzzing about behind the scenes but did not get a chance to write about. Happy holidays!

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This Wooden Ford Ranger Raptor Deserves Respect

Ford does not sell the Ranger Raptor in the United States (yet). But you can buy this stunning 1:13 replica of an off-road modified one built by YouTuber Woodworking Art. Carved from Fujian cypress, it has rolling wheels and a functional suspension and weighs about 11 pounds. Price: $2,000.


The First Electric Camper Van May Arrive Next Year
vauxhall motors camper van

British automaker Vauxhall is partnering with specialists Wellhouse Leisure on an officially sanctioned Vivaro Elite Campervan, and Autocar reports they are developing a camper version of the electric Vivaro-E, reigning International Van of the Year, which could arrive in 2021.


bronco santa photo op
Bronco Nation

Ford found an old photo of Santa Claus in a Bronco in their archives. They brought him back down from the North Pole to their extreme cold-weather testing facility to recreate the shot with the new Bronco.

Note that Saint Nick appears to have seriously trimmed down the facial hair for proper face mask use. Fair play to him.


EVs May Soon Be As Cheap as Gas Cars
2019 hyundai kona ev gear patrol ambience 1

The cost of battery tech is a major barrier to mass EV adoption. That could be about to change. A Bloomberg forecast has the average battery cost falling to $101 per kWh, which is about the threshold for EVs to be priced alongside gasoline cars. The cost could lower to $58 per kWh by 2030.

How many people would buy a car like the Hyundai Kona EV if it's not nearly twice as expensive as the combustion model? We may find out soon.


Canoo's New Electric Van Is Boxy and Proud of It

EV startup Canoo unveiled its full-electric multi-purpose delivery vehicle. It's about as space-efficient as it gets, since it's a giant box on wheels. There are two size options (with a third one coming). Estimated EPA range will be between 110-250 miles depending on the spec. And it will be super maneuverable, with a steer-by-wire system to eliminate hand over hand driving.

The first vehicles should arrive sometime in 2022. Canoo says they will start around $33,000.


The 16 Best Cars You Can Buy in 2021
all new f 150 lariat in rapid red metallic tinted clearcoat

Kelley Blue Book has released their best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.


These Automakers Are Ahead of the Safety Curve
bmw m5 f80

20 automakers agreed to make Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) standard on all vehicles by 2022-23. The IIHS confirmed that 10 have already done so. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Tesla added it to all of their cars last year; this year, BMW, Hyundai, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota and VW followed suit.


Porsche Aren't the Only Ones Working on Sustainable Fuel
f1 grand prix of spain
Mark ThompsonGetty Images

Formula 1 isn't known for its climate leadership with teams flying all over the world to burn yet more fuel driving around in circles. And that's when countries aren't threatening to tear down vital forests to build more race tracks. But the sport appears to be serious about its pledge to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.

The FIA has delivered the first barrels of sustainable biofuel to engine manufacturers for testing. It could come into mandatory use in F1 with the new 2026 engine regulations.


The Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Collection
robert persig collection
Mecum Auctions

Robert Persig's 1970s bestseller "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" remains a classic for motorcyclists and inquiring minds alike. In January, Mecum will auction a lot of Persig's personal effects, including autographed books, manuscript pages and homemade tools.


Here's What a $5 Million McLaren Looks Like
2020 mclaren speedtail
James Edition

The McLaren Speedtail is the fourth McLaren Ultimate Series car sold in a limited 2020 batch of 106 vehicles. They sold out already. But if you wanted to get your hands on the 250-mph reaching hypercar, you aren't completely SOL.

A German owner is willing to part with his/her 78-mile McLaren Speedtail for a mere €3,990,000 — more than $4.8 million at the present exchange rate.


SNL Spoofs Lexus

Carmakers have made a trope of the "car as holiday gift" commercials. You know. The ones with a smiling spouse waking up on Christmas morning to a new vehicle with a cartoonishly large gift bow. It's cute. It bears no resemblance to how anyone buys a car in real life. Saturday Night Live offered a hilarious parody of Lexus's "December to Remember" campaign.

The Best Winter and Snow Tires You Can Buy for 2021
gear patrol best winter tires lead full

We picked the best tires to help you stay mobile through the winter months.


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