July 26, 2021

Gp Delivers1

The excellent automotive artisans1

a 911 That’s Too Loud, Trouble at Lordstown, a Peek at Polestar 3

In honor of Juneteenth, Car and Driver‘s parent company Hearst Magazines is highlighting the stories of black elders as told to young black journalists. One of those stories comes from Joseph Anderson, a former executive at GM’s Pontiac division, a graduate of West Point, and now the CEO of TAG Holdings. Read his story, as told to De’Aundre Barnes, here.

This Week in Sheetmetal

Porsche showed us the wingless Touring edition of its 911 GT3. The wing delete is the only change to the Touring model, which creates downforce using a power-operated automatic rear spoiler. Every GT3 will have 502 horsepower and a flat-six engine with a 9000-rpm redline, and you won’t be able to buy the manual version in California because it’ll be too loud. That’s our kind of car.

Polestar

Polestar gave us a teaser image for its 3 SUV, which should start production next year. The car is under a drape in the shot, but based on its silhouette we suspect it’ll take the form of an SUV coupe, and it looks like it may even sport a rear spoiler or wing.

Honda will soon end production of its Clarity fuel cell and plug-in-hybrid models. The Clarity also initially had an EV variant, but that model was discontinued last year. The cars weren’t big sellers, so Honda says interested buyers will still be able to lease those versions of the Clarity through 2022.

Ford has finally started production of the new Bronco, and the first customers should receive their off-roaders within the next few weeks. Ford first delayed the launch in December, saying then that the Bronco was scheduled to start production in early May. Broncos carrying the Sasquatch package still won’t be available until next year.

lordstown endurance pickup

Lordstown

SNAFU at Lordstown

Don’t let Elon Musk trick you into thinking that running an EV startup is easy. Lordstown Motors, an Ohio-based EV startup, has spent the past two weeks issuing increasingly dire communications about its viability, which have sent the stock tumbling and raised serious questions about the future of the company and its electric Endurance pickup. Early this week, Lordstown announced that its chief executive officer and chief financial officer had both resigned following an internal report. That report found there was some truth to the claims in a report from investment research firm Hindenburg that Lordstown had exaggerated the number of orders it had for the truck.

On Thursday, the company had admitted in an SEC filing that it had no binding or firm purchase orders for the Endurance (the outgoing CEO previously said the company had 100,000 pre-orders, while a different executive said earlier this week that there were enough binding orders to account for two model years of production). Lordstown’s future is still uncertain, but we wouldn’t be surprised if F-150 Lightning owners have come up with their own version of the Jeep wave by the time the first Endurance rolls off the line.

EV a Gogo

Chaos at Lordstown aside, it was another big week for EV announcements from major automakers. Lincoln, Ford’s often troubled luxury arm, will go all electric by 2030, starting with an EV SUV in 2022. The head of brand development at Volkswagen said the brand is preparing to realign its business towards EVs “in a massive way,” while VW’s luxury brand Audi says it will stop introducing new internal-combustion-engine vehicles by 2026. And General Motors is accelerating plans for two U.S. battery plants.

Consulting firm AlixPartners thinks this may all be a bit too much too fast, though. The firm estimates in its annual report on the auto industry that EVs will make up 24 percent of all vehicle sales by 2030, but if every manufacturer that has made a promise about shifting to EV production actually does, demand for those cars will need to increase to 35 percent to match supply.

Further Reading

Ferrari had its first runway show this week, which featured models walking through the brand’s Maranello factory.

The New York Times took an EV road trip through Colorado so you don’t have to.

And if you’re a last-minute kind of gift giver, here’s our list of great books about cars for dads.

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