It was an exciting week here at the Gear Patrol motoring desk. Subaru unveiled the Outback Wilderness, while we reviewed the Yukon Denali Diesel and the sexy Volkswagen Arteon. We brought you news about which cars you should definitely buy new — and which cars you should definitely not buy new. We even talked about Tesla on The Gear Patrol Podcast.
But, as always, there wasn't enough time to get to every news item we wanted to talk about. Here's a roundup of the scintillating news items we couldn't get to.
As the Drowned God always said, What is dead may never die. It certainly seems to hold true for the Dodge Viper; while the V10-powered sports car was killed off back in August 2017, somehow Dodge dealerships managed to move two new ones in the first three months of 2021, Stellantis reported this week. (We're guessing they've been sitting on dealer showrooms to draw in eyes all this time.)
This week, Lexus revealed a glimpse into its electric future in the form of the LF-Z Electrified concept car. It is, of course, an angular crossover with a swoopy coupe-like roofline, as every other concept car must be these days. Still, we wouldn't be surprised to see a toned-down version of it hit the streets sometime around 2025.
A Volkswagen press release briefly leaked on March 29 — which, if you'll recall, is not April Fools Day — claimed the company was changing its name to Voltswagen in America because it sells electric cars now. Most of us presumed this was a marketing stunt for the new ID.4.
Then VW doubled down on the joke. The company published a now-deleted press release on March 30 — also not April Fools Day — formally announcing the change. VW then lied to reporters claiming the change was legitimate, which led to wire reports running with it. Mass confusion ensued.
VW eventually admitted the joke....but the journalists who were lied to weren't laughing. Moral of the story? Confine April Fools Day to the 24-hour period of April 1. And maaaaaybe don't prioritize corny jokes over a trust-based relationship that sustains peoples' livelihoods.
Another week, another weird story from Tesla. According to CNBC, multiple Tesla customers have had their accounts inadvertently double-charged for new Teslas they purchased — including one who bought a loaded-up $71,000 Model Y. As of this writing, it's not clear whether the situation has been resolved.
Hyundai and Kia aren't the only brands getting cool, stylish electric cars. Genesis unveiled the X Concept, which they're calling an "EV-based high-performance GT coupe." The Genesis cars we've driven have all ranged somewhere between stinkin' good and sublime, so we can't wait to see what a production sports car might look like.
Tesla makes electric cars; Toyota has cast aspersions on the EV revolution while building hybrids. But a Chinese report suggests the two quasi-antagonists may join forces in a move that could scare other automakers.
The proposed plan would reportedly see Toyota build an EV platform it would share with Tesla. In return, Tesla would give Toyota access to its powertrain technology. It's hard to conceive of a more formidable combination than Tesla's EV powertrains with Toyota build quality.
Love the idea of a vintage Defender, but not so keen on the poor fuel economy? Well, Himalaya, one of the best custom Defender builders out there, built an electric one — and it's being given away in an Omaze sweepstakes. Every donation supports the African Community & Conservation Foundation.
President Biden unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan this week. It would provide $174 billion to help speed the transition to electric vehicles — including money to fund 500,000 new charging stations by 2030. The lack of charging infrastructure, as you may recall, is currently one of the biggest reasons not to buy an EV.
Lexus is overhauling its lineup, with plans to get at least 10 electrified options on the road by 2025. Hiroo Togashi, Lexus's head of brand management, confirmed to Autocar that halo sports cars like the outstanding Lexus LC 500, one of our favorite drives of 2020, will still be part of that future — just with some type of electrified powertrain.
Porsche recently unveiled the awesome new 911 GT3 with its fancy new swan neck rear wing. It's the closest thing you can buy to a racing 911 for road use, and it still comes with a manual transmission.
The 911 GT3 will start at $162,450, which is a $17,600 hike over the last-generation version. The car is available for order now and will arrive in the fall.
Barrett-Jackson auctioned off nine VIN 001 cars at their annual charity auction, which netted around $5.8 million in donations in total. The first Hummer EV fetched $2.5 million for the Tunnels to Towers Foundation and the first Ford Bronco raised nearly $1.1 million for the National Forest Federation and Outward Bound.
This week, a New Mexico man went grocery shopping, then returned to find about the last thing you'd want to find in a car: a swarm of about 15,000 honey bees.
No one was seriously injured, thankfully, and the bees were safely removed by a firefighter who's into beekeeping, which would be neither my first nor 108th choice for a hobby.
Because you should give your 4Runner or Gladiator the fancy rubber it deserves.