Junkyard Gem: 1937 Hudson Terraplane

In the 15 years that I’ve been writing about automotive history as viewed through the lens of the car graveyard, the oldest vehicles I’ve documented were two 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedans (one of which I ended up buying). Oh, sure, I’ve photographed even older discarded machines, but 1941 was as far back as I had ventured for single-car-specific junkyard features. As of today, though, I’ve gone four more years into the junkyard past, with an 85-year-old Hudson that showed up in a Denver-area yard a few months ago.

Naturally, I photographed this much-modified Terraplane with one of my many old film cameras, though it was a late-1980s-vintage Ansco rather than one of the New York camera company’s products more appropriate to the middle 1930s. Perhaps the 1910 Ansco Dollar or the 1927 Ansco Memo would have been better.

Hudson did make pickups during the 1930s, many of which were sold under the Essex brand, but this truck clearly began life as a regular Terraplane sedan. Someone hacked off the rear body, then grafted on a pickup-cab rear window panel and bent roof sheetmetal down over it to create a not-so-weathertight seal.

There is some not-so-precision lumber work added to make a flatbed.

It appears that some sort of wooden structure was added to the rear of the cab, though many decades of exposure to the elements have rotted much of the wood to nothingness.

If I had to guess, I’d say that someone did the truck conversion during World War II, perhaps after the car picked up some damage to its rear body. Trucks got better gasoline rations than cars during the war, a big incentive to break out the torches and saws.

These ancient tires look to be of 1930s-1940s vintage, and they’re hard as cement after sitting in some Colorado field for what I’m guessing was at least the past 75 years.

The original engine and transmission were still present. This is a 212-cubic-inch (3.5-liter) flathead straight-six. The flathead six-cylinder was the most commonplace engine type used in American-made cars from the late 1930s through the early 1950s, and you could still buy flathead-equipped new cars here as late as the 1964 model year (some Dodge trucks made for military use kept Chrysler flatheads into the early 1970s).

The regular ’37 Terraplane engine made 101 horsepower, but this car got the optional Power Dome and its 107 horses.

This cylinder head looked so cool that I had no choice but to remove it, buy it, and hang it on my garage wall. Let’s just say that I learned that sun-baked 75-year-old rodent poop makes a very effective adhesive. I was able to convince the Pick Your Part cashiers that this kind of cylinder head — which is just a slab of iron with spark plug holes and water passages — is as much valve cover as head, so they split the difference on the valve cover/cylinder head prices.

The Hudson Motor Company stuck around until 1954, when it merged with Nash to create the American Motors Corporation. Hudson-badged vehicles were built through 1957, after which AMC went all-in on the Rambler brand. You could think of this car truck as the corporate ancestor of the Eagle Premier, which provided a bit of the DNA that still lives on in the current Charger and Challenger. You see, not so many degrees of separation lie between a ’37 Hudson and cars you can buy new right now!

The Terraplane name is best-remembered today due to Robert Johnson’s profoundly influential 1936 song, “Terraplane Blues.” 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Jaguar’s EV future starts with three ‘sports crossovers’ in 2025

Who’d have thought Cadillac and Jaguar would have so much in common? Once paramount luxury brands that lost their respective ways around the same time, floundered with one not-good-enough product after another, and have several failed reboots on their résumés. Given one last chance by their parent companies to get it together, both committed to all-electric lineups. And both have made it clear they’re targeting the super-luxe demo, with Bentley the marque that always comes up as the hare in the distance. Cadillac appears to have made an outstanding shot off the line, its Lyriq bringing home reviews worthy of long-ago Cadillac, the Celestiq promising everything we screamed for from Cadillac concepts like the Escala and Ciel. We have two more years to wait for what Jaguar’s bringing, the English automaker not expected to show near-production concepts of it coming lineup until a “globally significant” auto show that year.

Autocar calims to have a few more details out of Jaguar HQ about what’s to come. The product lineup has been guesswork to now. Autocar says it’s going to be “a trio of … electric sports crossovers.” If that’s the case, that means the F-Type puts an end to Jaguar’s run of sporty, luxurious coupes — for a spell, at least. According to the report, the new range starts with a model around the size of the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo wagon, which is an inch shorter than a Cadillac Lyriq. Two- and four-door variants will offer single- and dual-motor powertrains. Pricing is expected to begin in the £80,000 ($96,406 U.S.) to £90,000 ($108,457 U.S.) bracket, which would make this EV the highest starting price for any entry-level production Jaguar in maybe ever. Right now, the I-Pace starts at £66,350 ($79,957 U.S.), the F-Pace at £46,250. The most expensive model among the range is the F-Pace SVR at £81,150 ($97,792 U.S.). It’s thought the upper end of the lower-end EV could “push prices to £120,000” ($144,610 U.S.) before getting to the SVR trims.    

There’s no info on the middle sibling. The flagship is anticipated to start around £120,000. Two motors and all-wheel-drive would be the default powertrain, prices hitting £200,000 ($241,016 U.S.) for SVR models. 

The aim is to earn comfortable profit selling no more than 60,000 vehicles globally per year. Automotive News said Jaguar sold 86,270 units around the world in 2021, down 16% on 2020 in part because the brand suffered badly with supply chain issues, JLR prioritizing Land Rover products in the crunch. AN reported JLR had an order log of 154,000 Land Rover and Jaguar models at the time.

Whatever kinds of Jaguars open the battery-electric account, they’ll be built on the firm’s new Panthera platform. The automaker worked with Magna, which builds the I-Pace in Austria, on the Panthera platform, and is working with chip maker Nvidia on integrating the maximum processing power into Jaguar’s EVA electric platform. The final products are supposed to possess 800-volt architectures, tons of cloud computing power, and plenty of autonomous driving capability.

Demonstrating one analyst’s assessment that “premiumness [is] indivisible from greenness,” engineers and designers have focused on maximizing sustainable content. The platform will incorporate recycled aluminum, the “Carpets made from wool, silk and recycled fabrics,” plus “ceramics, stone and glass trimming.”

Prototypes will hit the roads in the next couple of months wearing Range Rover Sport bodywork. JLR vehicle boss Nick Collins told Autocar about the coming designs, “We’ve signed off the whole portfolio. We’re in the final maturation phase, getting the cars ready for production by dealing with production surfacing and practical stuff like aerodynamics and cooling.” The two-year wait to see the production sheetmetal is because CEO Thierry Bollore and group creative director Gerry McGovern want “something great to show.”  

Until then, everyone must make do with special editions of current Jaguars. Collins said designers are putting together more specials like the F-Pace SVR Edition 1988 (pictured), “including with the XF and XE, which will be back soon,” as well as a 75th anniversary celebration focused on the F-Type.

Source: AutoBlog.com

2023 Living Vehicle travel trailers just add water

Living Vehicle makes travel trailers that are practically self-supporting, overlanding tiny homes with a focus on sustainable living. They aren’t cheap, starting at $339,995 for the entry-level 2023 Core model, but they are beautiful, sturdy, and primarily solar powered; the Core comes with 1,400 kW of solar capacity and 14.4 kWh of storage capacity standard. The newest features for the Living Vehicle range could enable living off-grid for much longer than before, and make working vacations that much more productive. 

The marquee feature is an atmospheric water generator by Watergen. Powered by the solar array, the Watergen turns humidity into a potable water supply. The first catch is that the air-to-water system needs at least 20% ambient humidity to work, but that’s not the high bar it might appear to be. The average annual humidity in Los Angeles is north of 60%, the average low for a Southern California desert city like Bakersfield is 38%. Phoenix, Arizona, in June gets down to 11% humidity on average in the afternoon, otherwise, there’s plenty of water vapor even in that blistering metropolis. Under ideal conditions, the Watergen can filter up to five gallons of water per day, enough to keep a couple of occupants hydrated, fed, and clean.

Floor-standing air-to-water generators start at around $1,000 and can cost much more. Watergen’s been developing its portable system for at least three years, and it isn’t the only such company trying to get a mobile unit to market. A comfy home that can draw its own electricity and water could turn an overlanding trip into a semi-permanent move, but here’s the other catch: The Watergen option costs $25,995 to add to a Living Vehicle. Part of that money is doubtless paying for in-house integration and massive convenience, but that’s a breathtaking premium.

The other new feature for 2023 is the Creative Studio, a complete Mac-based computer setup for anyone who needs big power and visuals. The basic configuration bundles an Apple MacBook Pro M1 16-inch laptop with a trackpad and secondary keyboard, two mounted Apple XDR displays, two Genelec Studio speakers, Apogee USB audio interface, a Logitech 4K webcam, and a wired headset. It starts at $5,995 for the kit, but can be upgraded with a more powerful laptop chip, different monitors, better microphones, and more. The office is set up on an 80-inch walnut desk laid out for one or two people, mounted to the base of a retractable bed. Lowering the queen-sized Memory Foam bed automatically flips the desktop into the space beneath the bed.   

The 2023 Living Vehicle range is available now, but an order placed today takes 10 to 12 months to complete. Those who prefer a digital and much less expensive getaway can play with an imaginary build on the full-featured configurator. 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Keep your dog secure in the car with the leading dog car harnesses

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Dogs can become nervous and stressed when riding in the car. Keep Fido safe and secure with a top-quality dog car harness for your vehicle. We all adore our furry four-legged friends, and when riding in a car it’s important to keep them secured in place. Dogs, like people, must take precautionary measures to stay protected in the event of an accident. The first preventive device that everyone (including canines) must use is a seatbelt, or in the case of dogs, a harness.

Dog car harnesses are a real thing, and they can keep your dog secured and unable to get into unintentional mishaps, reducing their nervousness and helping you keep them in one spot. We’ve reviewed the finest dog car harnesses which can help keep your furry friend buckled up and can also help teach them fundamental vehicle etiquette. Our detailed guide will help you explore some different options and find out the things you’ll have to consider to make a worthwhile purchase.

Also, here’s a guide to dog safety equipment that has actually been crash-tested by the Center for Pet Safety, and a link to the CPS’ own website.

What are the leading dog car harnesses of 2022?

BWOGUE Dog Car Harness

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This BWOGUE dog car harness can be fastened and fixed to the headrest, giving your dog the impression that nothing’s out of the norm. This dog car harness is strong and durable, made from heavy-duty nylon that allows you to drive worry-free while your dog remains in one spot. This harness lets your canine perform basic motions, ensuring that they won’t feel constrained in the car. The functional design of this dog car harness encourages innovation by letting you use it as a conventional leash as well as a doggy seatbelt, and it can be adjusted from 18 to 30 inches in length, allowing you to select a secure position to keep your dog on the seat. This dog car harness is available in a plethora of colors, giving you the freedom to choose the style that matches your tastes, or even your dog’s personality.

Pros 

  • Durable, heavy-duty design
  • Multifunctional — use as a car harness or leash
  • Many color options are available 

Cons 

  • Only for small and medium-sized dogs

SlowTon Dog Car Harness: Another great option

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The SlowTon dog car harness has a breathable mesh chest strap with flannelette edges designed to absorb sweat. It’s made from nylon, ensuring durability and longevity, and it comes with a suitable “humanized” design that makes it a great fit for all kinds of car seats. This dog car harness wraps around your dog’s body and neck, preventing them from roaming and being completely free in your vehicle. It has two buckles on its chest area, making the harness easy to put on and take off, and four adjustable loops on its harness strap ensure that it’s a great fit no matter how big (or small) your furry friend is.

Pros

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Durable, long-lasting design
  • Various size and color options 

Cons 

  • Not suitable for larger dogs

Kurgo Enhanced Strength Dog Car Harness: Versatile

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This Kurgo dog car harness features heavy-duty steel buckles that ensure strength and durability, and it comes with a double ring closure that will prevent your dog from getting loose. Its body is safe and crash-tested according to child car seat standards, and this enhanced strength dog car harness can be used to secure canines weighing up to 75 lbs. This dog car harness comes with five adjustment points for a customizable, versatile fit for dogs of all shapes and sizes, and it also has a seat belt loop with an attached carabiner that offers compatibility with all cars. You can also use this dog car harness to train your dog, and it’s suitable for medium-sized dogs with neck sizes of 16-25 inches and a chest size of 18-28 inches for maximum stability.

Pros

  • Provides maximum stability 
  • Crash-tested
  • Use for training as well 

Cons 

  • Fewer color options than similar harnesses

IOKHEIRA Dog Car Harness: Also consider

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This IOKHEIRA dog car harness is a 3-in-1 multifunctional belt that comes equipped with two different types of buckles, each of which can be attached to the seat belt buckle and metal hook latch for maximum doggy security. This dog car harness is made from sturdy nylon fabric, with high elasticity and a top-quality zinc alloy carabiner for durability and toughness. This dog harness comes with an adjustable strap leash that can extend from 19 to 31 inches, and its strong elasticity protects canines in the event of sudden braking or sharp turns. It’s a breeze to install this dog harness, and you’ll only need to follow a couple of steps to get fido ready for the road.

Pros 

  • Quick and easy installation process
  • Durable, strong, and stable 
  • Adjustable strap for comfort and freedom

Cons 

  • Requires collar for connection

PETZANA Dog Car Harness: Another option

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This PETZANA dog car harness is designed to restrain your dog for extra peace of mind while on the go. It only takes a few seconds to attach this harness to the car headrest and your dog’s collar for comfortable and adjustable use. The harness’s bungee cord won’t tangle thanks to its 360-degree swivel feature, allowing your canine to move around in the car without getting all wrapped up. You can also attach this dog car harness to your pet’s collar when you’re not in the car, letting both you and your dog enjoy walks and other activities. There’s also reflective stitching included in this dog car harness for nighttime visibility, and it’s available in various colors.

Pros 

  • Quick and easy to attach 
  • Does not restrict canine movement
  • Can also be used as a leash

Cons 

  • Not suitable for small dogs

Buying guide: Dog car harnesses

Looking for help when it comes to purchasing a great dog collar harness for you and your pet? Check out our detailed buying guide for useful information and important things to consider.

Choosing a dog car harness 

There are several things you should keep in mind when picking a suitable dog car harness for your canine friend. 

Material

The material of a dog car harness is important in determining its comfort and longevity. Dog car harnesses are typically made of nylon, but there are some polyester and leather options out there as well. Choose something that will provide optimum comfort without having any negative effects on your pet’s skin.

Size

Although adjustable dog harnesses are available, anything between 16 and 32 inches is acceptable for medium-sized dogs. This may be too long or too short for other kinds of dogs, so if your pet doesn’t fall into this category then look for other sizes or read customer reviews to see how they fit your dog’s breed. Make sure to always choose a belt that allows your dog to make fundamental motions and not feel too restricted.

Adjustability

The flexibility of your dog car harness allows you to adapt it to the seat, allowing your furry friend to perform basic motions without feeling constrained or uncomfortable. With that said, you also need to ensure that the dog car harness provides sufficient support to keep your curious canine in place.

Pairs

Dog car harnesses sometimes come in pairs, while others simply come with one belt per dog. What you pick should depend on the size of your pup, along with its breed and weight. Most owners prefer going with a double belt for better security, while others think that one is just fine. Two belts can be a great choice for medium to large-sized dogs, but this can be constricting for smaller breeds and puppies.

Cleaning a dog car harness 

Let’s talk about how to clean a dog car harness. 

Reasons harnesses get dirty 

Dog car harnesses are prone to dirt and other debris because of dead skin, bacteria, environmental factors, and fur. This can lead to smell, visible dirt, and much more, so the first thing you can do to avoid this is to purchase a material that does not absorb odors. Polyester is a great choice, but remember that you can only maintain a dog car harness by cleaning it regularly. 

Impact of a dirty dog car harness

A dirty dog car harness can irritate your dog and leave them feeling grumpy, and it can even cause sores and infections. Irritated dogs are prone to biting or getting stressed, and this is why it’s essential to keep everything clean.

Cleaning a dog harness 

Start by filling a good-sized bowl with hand soap, baking soda, and vinegar. Soak the harness in it for 15 to 30 minutes to remove any visible debris, and after that, you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove the dirt. Rinse the harness with hot water and let it air dry for a couple of hours until it’s completely free of moisture. Avoid putting your dog’s car harness in a machine or dryer, as this can destroy its integrity. Another thing to keep in mind is that a strong detergent might destroy the structure of your harness, and fabric-based dog car harnesses might also bleed color. You’ll have to take extra good care of your dog’s car harness for your pet’s sake, and that’s why it’s a smart idea to handwash it. 

Dog car harness material

Dog car harnesses are usually made of steel, nylon, and polyester. 

Nylon 

Nylon dog car harnesses are great for energetic dogs. Nylon is a highly resilient material that’s not easily damaged or ripped, and it has low moisture absorption, making it ideal for walking in wet places. Aside from water, nylon will not collect external impurities such as oil or dirt, making it simple to keep a nylon dog car harness nice and clean.

An important thing to know is that nylon is combustible and should never be stored near a fire– it’s made of unavoidable oil products, which contribute to the material’s flammability. Nylon is a lightweight, supple material with strong weight resistance, and it has a quick-drying finish and a smooth, low-friction surface, which won’t leave any impact on your dog’s skin.

Most car harnesses are made from nylon because it comes in multiple colors and designs. It’s very simple to maintain and store, but exposure to excessive heat can cause discoloration.

Steel

Steel is one of the most durable materials available. It provides extra strength and durability and is mostly designed for larger dogs who possess a lot of strength. High-quality steel is weather-resistant and provides maximum stability, but you’ll still need to take care of steel to ensure that it lasts long without rusting. Steel doesn’t have much adjustability, however, and it can cause rashes and infections in some dogs, so it’s important to look for a dog car harness with extra padding. There are not many color options when it comes to steel, but this choice is more of a “function over fashion” situation. 

Polyester 

Polyester is a wrinkle-resistant material that’s easy to store after folding. It’s tough and resistant to stretching, wear and tear, and chemicals, but it’s a flammable material that can easily catch fire. Never place a polyester dog car harness near an active barbeque, fireplace, or heater.

Unlike nylon, a fire generated by polyester is easier to contain. Polyester offers a quick-drying and smooth feel with no rough areas, allowing your dog to sit without any discomfort.

It has a smooth look and a variety of colors, although they may not be as brilliant as nylon ones. Polyester is also UV-resistant, making it ideal for dogs with skin disorders.

Perks of using a dog car harness 

Dog harnesses in cars are great for instructing mischievous fur babies who can’t sit still in the car due to excitement or nervousness. These harnesses also provide comfort to your dog, as they know something is keeping them secure. Rescue dogs or little pups often get uncomfortable during car rides, which can be avoided by providing them with a little extra sense of security. Dog car harnesses are a reliable option as a behavioral protection measure, but make sure you look for the right size and weight tolerance for top performance. 

Dog Car Harness FAQs

Q: Which dogs should not be fastened with a car harness? 

You should avoid using steel dog car harnesses on dogs with thyroid issues, breathing issues, and skin problems. 

Q: What is the right fit for your dog’s car harness? 

A dog car harness should not be too tight that the dog suffocates or too loose that it’s able to get out of it. 

Q: When is it time to upgrade a dog car harness? 

Depending on how much your dog grows, or whether it’s fully grown already, you may or may not have to frequently purchase new dog car harnesses to accommodate your furry friend’s size.

Source: AutoBlog.com

‘F1 22’ feels fast and familiar | Gaming Roundup

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This week in racing game news:

‘F1 22’ impressions

At its core, “F1 22,” the latest installment in the F1 series from EA Sports, is a lot like “F1 2021.” Whether that’s a good thing or not will largely depend on your own gaming preferences. There are some notable, pretty cool differences in the new game, but it’s still a tough, sim-y, good-looking, fast-feeling racer that definitely does not hold your hand.

The most exciting new addition to “F1 22” is probably the new VR mode, which in my experience worked really well. I booted up the VR mode via Steam on an Oculus (Meta) Quest 2 and found it to run pretty flawlessly. Too often I’ve found VR versions of non-VR-specific games to be clunky and slow, but that wasn’t the case here. Everything loaded quickly and expectedly, and while it’s probably not breaking any new ground graphically (it looked about the same as the Project Cars VR versions) it still more than did the job and it’s very cool to have the option to hop in the cockpit of a Formula One racer and zip around a track.

In addition to the new VR mode, there’s also a new F1 Life feature in the game as a sort of pseudo-replacement for the missing Braking Point story mode introduced in “F1 2021” last year. This feature is fine, but basically just amounts to superficial customization options for your character and their digital digs. You have the option of displaying unlockable supercars in your virtual penthouse, but with under 10 total to choose from, it seems a little underwhelming and unneeded. 

As far as the races go, if you’re not already a big F1 fan, it can be tough to sink into the gameplay, and the game probably doesn’t do enough to make it easy on average Joes new to the sport. The 17 “tutorials” presented at the beginning of an in-game career basically amount to paragraphs of jargon-heavy text accompanied by an occasional video. The game does offer more traditional (and helpful) tutorial-like challenges in the way of “Practice Programs,” but even navigating to them and understanding the ideal order in which to complete them can be frustrating at times. Once you get into the flow, there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had after figuring out the corners and pushing your car to its limits, even if you’re not very good (like me). But if you’re not already accustomed to the gameplay, be prepared for a challenge even on the lowest difficulty settings. This game very much does not feel like a “Forza” or a “GRID.” 

Ultimately, you probably already have a good idea about whether this game is for you. If you’re a big F1 fan, loved the previous installments, or you appreciate a challenging, realistic experience, you’ll probably love this game. If you’re an F1 fan with a VR headset, hoo buddy, this damn well might be your game of the year. But, if you’re looking for a casual racing experience that doesn’t make you work too hard to simply get onto the track and start slamming the pedal to the metal, there might be better options out there for you.

If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, you can pick up “F1 22” right here for PC, Playstation or Xbox systems.

‘Construction Simulator’ is launching Sept. 20

Do you love trucks, bulldozers and excavators? Then you’ll probably love “Construction Simulator.” It’s exactly what it sounds like, allowing players to operate over 70 machines by 24 brands in two open-world settings. You can even build with your friends and accept over 90 in-game construction contracts. It’s going to be launching for Xbox systems, Playstation systems and PC on September 20. Check out the video below to learn more.

Source: AutoBlog.com

British Grand Prix prepares for protesters who could storm the track

Charles Leclerc during Friday’s practice at Silverstone. (Getty Images)

SILVERSTONE, England — British police said they have credible intelligence a group of protesters is planning to disrupt the Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, so authorities issued a pre-emptive warning on Friday by telling them not to put themselves or drivers at risk.

With a record three-day attendance of 400,000 expected to descend on the circuit 90 minutes outside London, the race is one of the British summer’s sporting highlights and has in the past been a magnet for protesters.

Two years ago police arrested four people after protesters displayed a banner for climate action group Extinction Rebellion during the British Grand Prix.

The race was closed to spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That will not be the case on Sunday with 142,000 spectators and a global television audience providing a massive stage for protesters seeking a spotlight.

“We have received credible intelligence that a group of protesters are planning to disrupt the event and possibly invade the track on race day,” said Northamptonshire Police Event Commander chief inspector Tom Thompson in a statement.

“First of all, I want to appeal directly to this group of people and strongly urge you to not put yourselves, the drivers, as well as the many marshals, volunteers and members of the public, at risk.

“Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous – if you go ahead with this reckless plan you are jeopardizing lives.”

Silverstone officials said they had been briefed on the threat and were prepared to take action if necessary.

“We work closely with Northamptonshire police and the emergency service agencies to put plans and procedures in place to ensure we are fully prepared to handle such situations,” said Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle.

“I am confident, under the lead of the police, and with the pooled resources of our partners, that we can deliver a safe and secure event for the fans which remains our overriding priority.”

In 2003 the British Grand Prix was the scene of one of Formula One’s most bizarre and infamous protests when a man dressed in a kilt ran onto the track waving a banner “Read the Bible, the Bible is always right” causing the speeding cars to swerve around him.

The man was wrestled to the ground by marshals before being arrested.

Source: AutoBlog.com

BMW i3 ends production with limited HomeRun Edition

After a decade and 250,000 units produced, it’s the end of the line for the BMW i3. Production of the premium electric compact is winding down at BMW’s Leipzig factory, but before it ends for good BMW is releasing a limited batch of HomeRun Edition cars as a sendoff.

With so many electric vehicles on the market (and on the horizon) today, it’s difficult to remember that when the BMW i3 debuted 10 years ago, the EV selection was quite small. The most prevalent competitors were the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S, neither of which directly rivaled the i3. 

The BMW i3 took on the shape of a new-age Isetta, a departure from the sports sedans and SUVs that the brand was known for. While it was known primarily for being BMW’s first mass-produced electric vehicle, it also advanced the company’s composite construction know-how with its carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) shell, and its aluminum chassis containing a battery pack and motor. Partly recycled materials were used in its thermoplastic skin, and BMW says that 25% of the interior was recycled material. Door panels were made from fibers of the kenaf plant, and parts of the dashboard were made from eucalyptus wood.

According to BMW, just a few days ago i3 production surpassed the quarter-million threshold. A black i3 made its way down the assembly line with a “250,000 Danke [Thanks]” sign on its roof. It was a significant milestone reached before the i3 ended its run altogether. 

Speaking of final runs, the last 10 units of BMW i3 will be so-called HomeRun Editions. Based on the i3s trim level, they will be finished in one of two colors from the BMW Individual program. Both are matte paints, either Frozen Dark Grey or Frozen Red II. Cabin-wise, they will come with the Suite interior option, which nets leather upholstery in Vernasca Dark Truffle, leather dash pad, leather steering wheel with galvanized trim, Carum Grey roof lining, as well as ambient and welcome lighting.

Post-i3, the Leipzig plant will continue to produce electric drivetrains and battery packs for other BMW Group products. Next year, the factory will start churning out the third-generation Mini Countryman, which will come with a full-EV drivetrain. As such, it will become the first facility where BMW and Mini models are manufactured side by side.

Having been sold in more than 74 countries, the BMW i3 has been a noteworthy step in the transition to EVs. The i3 will continue to leave its mark at the site, though. An energy storage farm uses 700 i3 batteries to store energy produced by four wind turbines, which BMW says, helps make its manufacturing carbon-neutral.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Hyundai Veloster N, Accent officially dead for 2023

Hyundai has announced its starting lineup for the 2023 model year. While most of the roster stays the same, there are a few notable players that won’t be coming back next year. As with most carmakers, Hyundai’s smallest offerings are getting the axe. 

We had our suspicions that the Veloster N was on its last legs. Last summer Hyundai confirmed that it would discontinue the distinctive little hatchback for the 2022 model year in all trims except for the pocket rocket Veloster N. With its base model consigned to the big scrapyard in the sky, the N’s days were numbered.

Hyundai says that with the presence of the Elantra N and Kona N, the Veloster N has been made redundant. Still, as the smallest and lightest of the bunch, the Veloster N boasted a slight performance edge in terms of acceleration and handling. The quirky design also gave it a massive funkiness advantage that the others lack. Unfortunately, fun, sling-able hatchbacks are a dying breed in the U.S., and Hyundai knows that all too well. It killed the Elantra GT for 2021, so perhaps we should be grateful the Veloster N stuck around as long as it did.

Another Hyundai on the chopping block for 2023 is the Accent. The extinction of affordable compacts like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris has been a recurring theme in the past several years, so the Accent’s axing should also come as no surprise.

However, with the $16,645 Accent gone, the most affordable car in Hyundai’s lineup is now the Venue compact crossover, which starts at $19,000. That’s a fairly big leap for those in the lower tax brackets. Hyundai certainly isn’t alone in abandoning that market, but with automakers spraying a firehose of luxury offerings, something in the market definitely seems askew.

A third car to meet its demise is the Ioniq hybrid and PHEV. We knew this one was coming, and it makes sense. With multiple electrified offerings and the Ioniq becoming an unofficial sub-brand with cars like the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, there was no need to continue the model. Hyundai has plenty of other hybrids like the Elantra, Sonata, Tucson, and Santa Fe to fill that gap, not to mention pure EVs like the Kona and even the hydrogen Nexo.

The rest of the Hyundai lineup marches into 2023 largely unchanged. Only the Palisade gets significant updates during its mid-cycle refresh. Beyond 2023, we have heard that the Sonata will not see another generation. That would leave only the Elantra as the only surviving Hyundai nameplate from before Y2K. 

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Our long-term 2022 Kia EV6 doesn’t come with a charging cable

When testing electric vehicles, one item I’ve started to take for granted is the inclusion of a charge cable or mobile charger. Nearly every new EV comes with a plug as standard equipment, but not our new long-term 2022 Kia EV6. In fact, it’s not even a pay-for option on the EV6.

Most owners may shrug this omission off, because if you’re planning on buying an EV6, you’re very likely already planning on having a Level 2 charger installed at your home to charge it. I, on the other hand, am currently renting a home. My landlord’s garage isn’t wired up for 240V power, and there’s no way I’d pay the money to prep a space for EV charging if I’m just going to move out eventually. That leaves me with a charging conundrum. 

Trickle charging an EV with Level 1 power typically lets me do all the driving I might need to do in a week, but since the EV6 doesn’t come with any charger to plug in, I’m 100% at the mercy of public charging stations to get juice into the EV6’s battery pack. It’s both annoying and more costly to power the EV6 this way. The annoyance is in the time I need to block out on some evenings to charge back up. Even though I live in a heavily-populated suburb in metro Detroit, the closest fast charger to me is an over-15-minute drive. The extra cost is due to the higher price you’ll pay for fast charging versus your typical home electricity costs. A trip to the local Electrify America station with a nearly depleted battery runs me about $35 to get back to 100% charge. Meanwhile, that same amount of electricity would cost about $10-$15 at home.

Beyond cost and annoyance, the presence of a mobile charger that you can tuck into the car allows for more peace of mind on a road trip. You’d be able to plug in anywhere you can find a power source, and while the charging might take an eternity, being able to charge your EV in an emergency could allow you to limp it to a nearby charging station. It’s a security blanket that you’d hopefully never need to use, but given the state of disrepair we sometimes find public charging stations in, it’s a security blanket that we’d appreciate.

Weirdly enough, the Kia EV6’s twin (the Hyundai Ioniq 5) comes with a 120V cable for free, but Kia chose not to include one. This is new for Kia, too, for the Niro EV comes with a free cable. Tesla recently decided to drop the provided charging cable from its list of standard equipment, making it an option you need to pay for instead. As of now, though, only Tesla and Kia are the ones to deem it an unnecessary standard accessory for a new EV.

A number of us have Level 2 chargers installed in our homes that will come in handy for testing the EV6, but the rest of us will have to live without. That said, this kind of charging practice will provide its own type of test. Is it viable to own an EV like the Kia EV6 and not be able to charge it at home? We’ll see how our feelings change over time.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

McMurtry Automotive Speirling to get a road-legal version

Talk about betting on yourself. Irish businessman Sir David McMurtry backed McMurtry Automotive in 2016 after asking a group of ex-motorsports engineers to come up with a clean-sheet electric car with the “twin goals of driver engagement and vehicle performance.” The team created the McMurtry Speirling, a diminutive battery-electric single-seater fan car. A 60-kwH Molicell battery powers multiple motors providing well beyond 1,000 horsepower, and powers a fan system that sucks the car to the road, providing more than 4,000 pounds of downforce from a standstill. The upstarts went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and broke the hillclimb record held by the Volkswagen ID.R. since 2019, covering the 1.6-mile run 0.8 second faster than the VW. Now they’ve told Autocar a roadgoing version is on the way, and they already have a working prototype.

McMurtry Automotive managing director Thomas Yates said, “We want to provide something that you can drive through the center of London, and then take onto a track.” The road version will be slightly different than the track-only model that raced through Goodwood grounds. It will likely be slightly slower, too, sacrificing ultimate aero for requirements like headlights and taillights, windshield wipers, and front and rear license plates.

It will still be plenty hardcore, however, a brochure for the car advertising rush to 60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds, 2,000 kilograms of downforce available from standstill and 2,250 kg available at 150 miles per hour, and a peak cornering force of 3G. McMurtry still hasn’t given detailed specs on motor count and output, but the track car’s power-to-weight is claimed to be 1,000 horsepower per metric ton (2,240 pounds). The road car will weigh under 2,240 pounds and have a range of 300 miles on the European cycle.

The fan will only be usable in Track Mode, which we wouldn’t be surprised to find geofenced to known tracks. Not only does it make 120dB of noise at full spin, the dust it sucks up from the road gets ejected out the rear vents — behavior that isn’t friendly to other road users or pedestrians on the High Street. Once taken to a circuit, though, Yates says, “You have this unbelievable, loud, exciting, electric, really compact car that you know will be the fastest [car] at any track day you attend.” The battery can handle from 30 to 60 minutes of flat-out charging before needing a charge.

The firm already has a second act in mind, too — a car smaller than the dinky Speirling (which means “thunderstorm” in Gaelic). The Speirling measures 138 inches long, 67 inches wide, and 43.3 inches high. Compared to a 2022 Mazda Miata, that’s 16 inches shorter, an inch narrower, and nearly six inches lower. Yates told Autocar the company is dedicated to single-seaters for now, the target for the Speirling being “something that was in no way wasteful, had no redundant space, and nothing was wasted, just a phenomenal, compact, lightweight driving experience.” The next model will eliminate even more “redundant space.”

The Speirling road car will cost seven figures in pounds sterling, meaning at least $1.22 million U.S. at current exchange rates, when it debuts. Those interested can register for updates at the McMurtry site.

Source: AutoBlog.com