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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kelley Blue Book has released their best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Car camping makes getting away easy as pie. These items will make it even tastier.