It was a short week here at the Gear Patrol motoring desk, thanks to the President’s Day holiday here in the United States —though the weather in much of the country made it feel much longer. That said, it’s a great time to make a cup of tea, kick your feet up by the fire and consume some of that sweet, sweet car content.
This week, we reviewed a Mercedes-Benz camper van, and covered exciting new product launches like McLaren’s new hybrid supercar and the new Porsche 911 GT3. We looked at new developments at Subaru, and worked on some great content for the upcoming issue of our magazine (subscribe here). And hey, maybe you’re in the market for a cheap vintage roadster?
We are mere mortals, however, so we couldn’t quite get to everything noteworthy this week. Here’s a look at some of the juicy news items we were buzzing about behind the scenes.
Want a Land Rover Defender pickup? Hang tight
Jaguar Land Rover had some major changes to announce this week. A Defender pickup was not brought up, but JLR’s head of vehicle programs dropped some strong hints to Autocar that Land Rover may have one in the offering.
Could combustion cars become as efficient as EVs?
Porsche believes it can save combustion with synthetic fuel. The company argues it will reduce CO2 emissions by 85 percent — which, from a “well to wheel perspective,” would be about the equal of the pollution from an electric car.
Synthetic fuel may be a pricey niche product in comparison to a true alternative to EVs. But it could also preserve combustion motorsports — and the manual transmission Porsche 911.
Ford has some big changes happening in Europe
One of our favorite SUVs got a new look
We love the Hyundai Kona — a small, fun hatchback that happens to be a small crossover. It was NACTOY’s utility vehicle of the year for 2019, and is one of the best cars to buy in 2021. And hey, there’s even an EV version. For the 2022 model year, Hyundai is refreshing the Kona with a new look and a sporty new N-line trim.
Ask your doctor about Stellantis killing SRT (but not really)
This week, we learned Stellantis has dissolved the SRT team. But if you were worried that lighting up a copious amount of gasoline in a Dodge product was about to become a thing of the past, stand down; i’s just an organizational restructuring. The engineers were kept, and more SRT models are coming.
The 16 Best Cars to Buy in 2021
Kelley Blue Book has released their best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.
You won’t believe how much this Honda S2000 sold for
The mintiest Honda S2000 conceivable hit the block on Bring a Trailer this week. Final model year 2009, limited edition CR version, fewer than 1,000 miles, yada yada yada. Bottom line: someone paid more than $112,000 for an 11-year-old Honda.
Mitsubishi is back with new product
Mitsubishi unveiled the new 2022 Outlander on Amazon Live; we’ll spare you the Prime delivery jokes. It rides on the surprisingly improved Nissan Rogue’s platform, and certainly counts as a stylish upgrade from the last version. It will offer three-row seating, and arrives in April starting at less than $26,000.
Carroll Shelby’s personal Cobra is coming up for auction (again)
Did your dad love Ford vs. Ferrari? Probably. Does he have $20 million lying around? Less likely. Too bad, because Carroll Shelby’s personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake is coming up for auction at Barrett-Jackson. When it last sold in 2007, it was the most expensive American car ever auctioned for $5.5 million. Expect it to go for significantly more this time around.
You can now rent Zero’s electric motorcycles on Eagle Rider
Curious about going electric with one of Zero’s awesome bikes? Want to test drive one? Zero’s SR/S and SR/F bikes are now available to rent for $99 per day at four Eagle Rider locations.
Sebastian Vettel says ciao to Ferrari by selling a boatload of Ferraris
Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel finally left Ferrari to join Aston Martin, bringing the sport’s most toxic relationship to a close. And he’s doing the fabulously wealthy F1 driver equivalent of getting fresh photos with the bomb lighting and a new man on the Minnesota Vikings by offloading an impressive collection of Ferraris. Hopefully there’s a dog-leg seven-speed manual in his future.
The Best All-Terrain Tires You Can Buy
Because you should give your 4Runner or Gladiator the fancy rubber it deserves.
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