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

Ford joins the Googleverse. Porsche is definitely on to you. And holy bleep, that Bugatti is quick.

motorcycle
Courtesy

It was a busy week here on the Gear Patrol motoring desk. We reviewed the Cadillac Escalade diesel and the Porsche Taycan 4S, covered major product launches like the Cadillac V Blackwing sedans and the new Ford F-150 Raptor, and told you why Toyota should totally bring the new Land Cruiser back for 2023...but only as a Lexus.

But we are mere humans, limited by time and sets of fingers. As always, we couldn't get to all the automotive items of interest this week. Here are some cool stories you may have missed while you were feverishly tracking GameStop's stock price.

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1 The Jeep Wrangler 392's fuel economy revealed, and it's awful
jeep wrangler 392
Jeep

Jeep's decision to wedge a 6.4-liter V8 under the hood of the Wrangler is set to please a lot of people. One group it won't please, though: environmentalists. The EPA has announced the Wrangler 392's fuel economy figures; the new Jeep gets 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. Luckily, if you want a Jeep that's kinder to the environment, there's also the new 4xe hybrid.

2 Say goodbye to two of our favorite Ford Mustangs
2018 chicago auto show media preview   day 2
Raymond BoydGetty Images

The 2020 model year is over, and two of our favorite Ford Mustangs, the Bullitt and the Shelby GT350, have officially gone out of production. The Mach 1 will replace the former in 2021.

The odds we get we get another pared-down, Highland Green Bullitt version of the next Mustang are good. But a 500-plus hp sport-tuned Mustang with a six-speed manual and a 5.2-liter V8 like the GT350 is probably a thing of the past.

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3 Porsche knows you better than you know yourself
porsche 911
Porsche

Porsche has incorporated artificial intelligence into its online configurator. The system purportedly learns based on previous data and suggests additional (and in Porsche's case, probably pricey) options with 90 percent accuracy. The true test will be whether it can weed out the true 911 buyers from the hordes of lurkers and fantasists killing time building their dream cars.

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4 Confirmed: the Bugatti Chiron Sport is jaw-droppingly quick

Car and Driver got their hands on a $3.3 million starting price Bugatti Chiron Sport. The 1,479 hp, 16-cylinder monster hit a quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds at 158 mph and is the quickest car the magazine has ever tested.

This could be a good time to remind you there's an even fancier version of the Chiron Sport. And the upcoming Bolide track car will make both Chirons look downright pedestrian.

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5 Check out Rivian's electric Amazon van in action

Amazon posted some action shots of their new all-electric van from Rivian. It's a major part of their effort to — incredibly, given Amazon's sheer scale — have net-zero emissions by 2040. You may start seeing these vans into your neighborhood soon; Amazon plans to have 10,000 electric vans in use by the end of 2022.

6 Husqvarna made a great Brooklyn commuter bike
husqvarna
Husqvarna

Swedish brand Husqvarna may be best known for snowblowers and lawn care machines, but their motorcycle division got back into street bikes in the 2010s. They've just unveiled the all-new Svartpilen 125, which looks badass with its black powder-coated steel frame, bronze-colored engine covers and anodized componentry. Checking in at just 322 pounds, it should be manageable for new riders and city streets.

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7 These Are the 16 Best Cars to Buy in 2021
audi q5
Audi

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

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8 The semiconductor shortage is starting to bite the auto industry
2021 ford f 150 tremor
Ford

We knew back in January that the semiconductor shortage would be bad for the auto industry — even the humblest car is now a complicated computer — but the gravity is settling here in February. GM has been forced to idle three North American plants; Ford, in maybe the most glaring sign there's an issue, is cutting back F-150 production.

9 Tesla apparently planned serious obsolescence into its cars
concours d'elegance paleis soestdijk 2019
Sjoerd van der WalGetty Images

The touchscreen controls almost every function of a Tesla, including, in the near future, shifting gears. Apparently, Tesla did not expect buyers to keep their cars very long. As part of the company's defense over a recall for 135,000 cars with older touchscreens, the company noted the touchscreens should only last five or six years — about half the average age of a car on the road.

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10 Ford and Google are teaming up (and the buzzwords are flying)
fordgoogle logos
Ford

Ford announced it will "co-create" its future with Google. There's a lot of talk about "driving" this and that and "disruptive, data-driven opportunities."

What does it mean for you when you clear away the corporate prattle? Well, it means Ford cars will begin using Google's Android operating system in 2023.

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11 So many people are buying snowmobiles, they're becoming hard to find
daily life in moscow
Artyom GeodakyanGetty Images

America's pandemic-induced craze of the winter? Snowmobiles, it seems. Dealers and rental places are getting cleaned out from the industry's biggest boom since the 1990s.

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12 It snowed in New York, and New York got New York with it

New York got a lot of snow, which, in a city that never sleeps, often leads to social media excellence. Shirtless runs? Cops making the donuts in a Ford Explorer? Sled dogs? Mad rhymes? New Yorkers captured it all on their phone cameras.

13 The 11 Pieces of Gear You Absolutely Need for Car Camping
hero grill
Huckberry

Car camping makes getting away easy as pie. These items will make it even tastier.

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