Ford posts surprise profit as prices surge for scarce vehicles

Ford Motor Co. overcame a critical parts shortage and managed to post a surprise profit in the second quarter, thanks to surging prices on models that have become harder to find on dealer lots.

The automaker on Wednesday also raised its full-year forecast for adjusted earnings to a range of $9 billion to $10 billion before interest and taxes. That’s an increase of about $3.5 billion from its previous projection and at least triple what it made last year. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company expects sales volume to increase by about 30% in the year’s second half.

Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley said Ford now has more than 120,000 $100 reservations for its electric F-150 Lightning pickup coming next spring and that demand is similarly high for a revived Bronco sport utility vehicle.

“We are now spring-loaded for growth in the second half, and beyond because of those red-hot products, pent-up demand and improving chip supply,” Farley told analysts on a conference call.

Ford has suffered more than rivals from a shortage of semiconductors because it sourced so many chips from a Japanese factory hit by a fire in the spring. Despite that, the company posted second-quarter earnings of $1.1 billion before interest and taxes, which was well above the $167 million analysts predicted. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 13 cents, beating the 5-cent loss that analysts had forecast.

Shares of the carmaker rose as much as 4% to $14.42 in extended trading after the results were announced. Investors have rallied behind the automaker, lifting the shares 58% this year as of Wednesday’s close.

New model blitz

Well-received new models, such as the F-150 Lightning, the compact Maverick truck and the Bronco SUV, as well as a plan to spend $30 billion to electrify the entire lineup, have buoyed Ford shares.

Despite the expected increase in volume in the year’s second half, Ford forecast that its earnings before interest and taxes will decline from the first six months of the year.

Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said rising commodity costs will take a $2 billion bite out of earnings in the second half. Ford Credit, the automaker’s lending arm, also will see profit fall by about $1 billion as sky-high used vehicle prices come down to earth. At the same time, Ford will be spending heavily on electrification and automation.

The scarcity of chips has triggered prolonged factory shutdowns and cut inventory on dealer lots by more than half. But that lack of supply drove up the average price of a new Ford model to a record $47,446, according to researcher Cox Automotive.

Farley said last month that even after the chip crisis subsides at some point next year, lean inventory on dealer lots will be the “new normal” in order to keep prices high. He told analysts Wednesday that Ford is moving to an order-bank system rather than flooding dealer lots with multiple versions of every model.

The automaker had seven times more orders at the end of the second quarter than it did a year ago, he said. Switching to orders will help Ford rein in the thousands of dollar per vehicle it spends on incentives to move the metal off dealer lots.

“I know we’re wasting money on incentives, I just don’t know where,” Farley said. “With an order-based system, we’ll have much less risk of that.”

Market share drops

U.S. vehicle sales rose 9% in the quarter, but fell sharply in June as inventory dried up. Ford’s gains in the quarter were far short of the 50% rise in the U.S. overall, which caused the automaker’s share in its home market to plummet to a six-year-low of 10.7%, down from 14.7% a year earlier, Cox said.

Revenue rose 38% to $26.8 billion in the second quarter, more than the $23 billion analysts expected, driven by strong sales in its home market.

Ford Credit earned $1.6 billion before taxes, thanks to high resale prices on used vehicles. That was the biggest contributor to the bottom line in the second quarter.

North American operations drove Ford’s earnings, with income before interest and taxes of $194 million. That compares with a loss of $974 million a year ago when the pandemic hit and factories closed for two months.

The automaker continued to lose money in most of its other key regional markets, including Europe, China and South America.

In Europe, Ford posted a loss of $284 million, an improvement from the $664 million it lost there a year earlier. Sales in the 20 key European markets rose 44% over the previous year, but were down significantly from 2019.

Ford also saw more red ink in China, the world’s largest auto market. It reported a loss of $123 million, slightly better than the $136 million it lost a year ago. Sales in the Chinese market rose 24% in the quarter, as deliveries more than doubled for its Lincoln luxury line. Ford sold nearly twice as many Lincolns in China in the quarter as it did in the U.S.

In South America, where Ford is ceasing manufacturing in Brazil after more than 100 years, the company lost $86 million, compared with a loss of $165 million a year earlier.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Here’s your chance to win a 2021 Corvette Z51 and a trip to the Indy 500

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. See official rules on Omaze.

The C8 Corvette was one of the most anticipated cars of the past decade, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a V8-powered, mid-engine sports car with nearly 500 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque, a dual-clutch transmission and head-turning looks, all for under $60K when it was released. You’d be hard pressed to find that kind of performance bargain anywhere else. As good as the price was, winning one from Omaze sounds even better.

Win a 2021 Corvette Stingray – Enter at Omaze

This particular Corvette comes in Arctic White and has a value over $90,000. Here’s what’s included, according to Omaze: “Z51 performance package; 3LT trim; carbon fiber roof; Front Lift adjustable height with memory lifts the front end to clear driveways, speed bumps and remembers those locations to automatically lift when returning; 19”/20” Carbon Flash wheels, red brake calipers, red engine cover with carbon fiber engine bay accents, fully digital gauge cluster with head-up display, 8” HD color infotainment system with touchscreen and navigation, driver-focused cockpit with two-spoke, squared-off racing-inspired steering wheel, 14-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system.”

Plus, if you enter to win this giveaway between now and June 22, you’ll also be entered to win a two-person VIP Indy 500 experience including flights, hotel, a ride in the festival parade and a tour of the garages and the pits before the race. If that’s not enough, you’ll also be watching the race from the VIP suites. Don’t wear yourself out too much on race day, though, because the following day you’ll hit the track for a hot lap. 

Here’s what we said about the mid-engine Corvette in our first-drive review:

“The Corvette Stingray we drive at Spring Mountain, pictured above, is equipped with the Z51 track package. It adds an electronic limited-slip differential, larger Brembo brakes with four-piston monobloc calipers, enhanced cooling, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, a specific axle ratio, the performance exhaust, front splitter and two-piece rear spoiler that together add up to 400 pounds of downforce, and the track-tuned FE3 suspension (the base is FE1 and there is no FE2) that alters the springs, sway bars, dampers and electronic calibrations. You can enhance all of that with the optional $1,895 FE4 magnetic suspension, a bigger wing and a pair of upgraded seats. While we didn’t get a chance to try the $1,495 mid-grade GT2 seats, we’d recommend trying out the $1,995 top-of-the-line Competition Sport seats before placing your order — both of your Autoblog test drivers are on the slender side and found the seat bottom uncomfortably pinchy. The standard GT1 seats (pictured below) were fine in that regard and still provide adjustable side bolsters that kept us sufficiently in place on the track. The low roof and roll structure also caused headroom issues for this pair of 6-foot-plus drivers, especially with helmets on the track.

“Much has been made that the C8 is not available with a traditional manual transmission, but it doesn’t have a traditional automatic, either. Frankly, both would be out of place in what is effectively a mid-engine supercar capable of blitzing from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. On the track, the new eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual developed by GM and Tremec is smart enough to shift at the right time most of the time, but there were nevertheless a few odd downshift choices and moments when pulling a paddle was needed. That virtually never happens when using the most aggressive settings of Porsche PDK or Mercedes AMG’s automated manual, but this is a critique concerning degrees of excellence. GM and Tremec should be applauded for their effort.

“So too should the Z51 package’s fat Brembo brakes that took lap after lap of pounding while maintaining their reassuring pedal feel. That pedal itself is also nicely placed for left-foot braking, which can’t be said for Porsche’s.”

You’re probably asking yourself, what does it take to win? First of all, according to Omaze, “no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.” $10 will get you 100 entries, while $50 will get you 1,000 entries and $100 will get you 2,000 entries.

The donations themselves benefit The 500 Festival Foundation. According to Omaze, “The 500 Festival Foundation supports the 500 Festival in its mission to produce life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500, fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. Your generosity can ensure everyone has access to the 500 Festival’s free youth education, health and fitness, and leadership development programs.”

If you want all 495 of these mid-engine horses in your driveway, enter here. The deadline to enter is August 18, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

2022 Ford Expedition prototype in spy photos might be an ST

The 2022 Ford Expedition is expected to get a facelift and probably a number of major updates such as a new interior. On top of that, the range should be expanding. We’ve seen prototypes of an off-road-oriented Timberline, and these new spy photos seem to show a performance-oriented ST variant.

The evidence for this being an ST starts with the grille. It has a black, thick mesh with large openings, something shared with other ST variants. Around the side, it has huge wheels in a sporty black and silver finish, and bright red brake calipers show up behind them. It seems like it sits a tad lower than standard Expeditions, too.

It’s also possible that this won’t be a full ST, and perhaps an ST-Line or Ford Performance option package. Unlike full ST models, this Expedition doesn’t seem to have particularly different front and rear bumpers, and it has a very plain exhaust.

Either way, it’s clear that Ford is working on some kind of street performance Expedition variant. It makes sense, since Chevy offers the RST package for its Tahoe and Suburban that opens up some road-going visual and performance upgrades. We should see it launch sometime next year along with the refreshed Expedition and the new Timberline trim. Odds are, it will get sportier suspension, as evidenced by the lower ride height. The interior will probably get some sporty touches. It will surely be powered by the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 like other Expeditions, but possibly retuned for more power. It could use the F-150-spec engine making 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Chevy Camaro could be replaced by an EV performance sedan

It’s impossible to tell what will become of the Chevy Camaro and when, but the news is consistently unkind to the pony car. U.S. sales peaked at 88,249 units in 2011, fell to 29,775 in annus horribilis 2020, the chip shortage has kept sales pacing even lower so far this year, and the sixth-gen Z/28 has been canceled. The seventh-gen model was first reported to be canceled, then postponed, then rumor said the sixth-gen might be asked to carry the torch — however weakly — until 2026. Now, if Automotive News‘ survey of future GM products is accurate, it looks like the Camaro’s going to be dragged behind the woodshed in 2024. That’s the year Camaro assembly is predicted to end, making room for “an electric performance sedan” as a replacement in 2025. Please, let’s all give Camaro fans a moment to digest this.

If the Camaro’s really given up the fight, that could remove the primary competition for Ford’s suspected electric Mustang thought to debut in 2028. Dodge just announced a battery-electric muscle car for 2024 with vulgar specs and teaser photos shot in a nightclub, but we’re not sure whether that vehicle will be two or four doors or come in both forms. A battery potent enough for 2-second sprints to 60 miles per hour and a 500-mile range leads us to wager on four doors, at least initially. Chevrolet’s entry could be looking more at Auburn Hills than Dearborn, especially by being a sedan, a bodystyle Ford has given up here save for the Mustang Mach-E. And if Chevy does expand the Camaro brief by sliding the name onto a four-door instead of carrying out its teased Camaro silhouette atop GM’s Ultium battery pack, then the faithful will take some heart that it isn’t a Camaro crossover. At least not at first. 

The mystery electric machine will be part of GM’s enormous and enormously expensive electrification plans. The General has set aside $35 billion to get at least 20 new EV models on the market in the next five years, including all of Cadillac’s lineup; a replacement for the Chevy Bolt; at least one electric Chevrolet crossover to be dubbed Blazer and perhaps two more; a GMC crossover; and battery-powered pickups for the Bowtie and GMC.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Rivian files to trademark six new pickup and SUV names

On the sidelines of the New York Auto Show back in April 2019, Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe told Bloomberg his company planned to launch six products by 2025. One of those products, a result of the EV maker’s Amazon tie-up, is “not necessarily a vehicle,” yet the article noted later that the outfit’s Normal, Illinois factory “will make the half-dozen different pickups and SUVs of varying sizes.” The Rivian Owners Forum has discovered six new trademark applications filed July 23 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They requested to reserve the names R3T, R4T, R5T for what would be pickups according to Rivian’s naming scheme, and R3S, R4S, and R5S for what would be SUVs or crossovers. We suppose these will be smaller, less expensive models in their respective lineups, seeing that the R1T starts at $69,000 and the R1S at $72,000. We don’t know for certain, though.  

If you’re wondering about the missing digit, Rivian sent applications to corner the number two back in 2018 and 2019. Those filings cover the expected Rivian 2T and Rivian 2S, as well as a Rivian 2A, Rivian 2C and Rivian 2R, plus a Rivian 1A. Where those might be applied is a mystery, and it’s interesting that these earlier submissions have “Rivian” spelled out, whereas this month’s submissions requested the shorter alphanumerics. What we do know is that the company recently raised another $2.5 billion, taking its total outside funding to about $10.5 billion. That money will be spent on these coming products and a massive new U.S. factory the firm’s currently scouting locations for, which will be responsible for vehicle and battery assembly. 

The clerks at the USPTO are sorting through a number of other Rivian plans outside of vehicles, too. Last month saw applications for a first aid kit, a travel reservation service, a vehicle rental and winch-out roadside assistance service, a filing that covers everything from “a navigation apparatus” to measuring spoons and weatherproof electrical adapter covers, and two “Hello Rivian” requests, one for clothing, the other for entertainment and educational services. As with a batch of other Rivian-branded gear, these all seem geared toward the outdoorsy owners Rivian’s designed its products for, assuming any of the filings go beyond the paperwork stage.   

 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Once an invisible econobox, today, this ’94 Chevy Cavalier turns heads

Cheap economy cars aren’t often preserved for posterity, but this 1994 Chevrolet Cavalier sedan is certainly an exception. It’s clean, (nearly) pristine and shows just 18,000 miles. it’s up for auction right now on eBay Motors,, too.

The Cavalier nameplate had made its debut back in 1982, one of GM’s J-car family of front-wheel-drive subcompacts. The J-cars and the mid-size A-cars both followed by two years the General’s first group of front-wheel-drive small cars, the star-crossed X-cars.

In 1994, the Cavalier had yet to be treated to a major redesign — that would arrive, finally, in 1995. The model was offered as a coupe, sedan, station wagon and convertible. With the new generation right around the corner, the 1994 model was largely unchanged. Its standard 2.2-liter engine had 10 more horsepower than before, however, and the car added tinted glass and a right-hand outside mirror to its standard equipment list. The ’94 Cavalier was available in VL (“Value Leader”), RS and Z24 trim.

This stone-simple VL sedan rocks the 2.2-liter four, a three-speed automatic, air conditioning, an AM/FM radio and crank windows — pretty much just as you would have found it on the Avis lot back in the day. This one, though, is probably cleaner — check out those cloth seats. It doesn’t even look to have been smoked in, although a sniff test would tell for sure. The attached Autocheck report shows a lifetime in Ohio and one minor accident when the car was new.

This Cavalier is the perfect example of a car that you never would have noticed back then, but one that, despite its humble nature, would turn heads now, especially in that metallic teal color. Does it get any more early-’90s? It does not.

Watch below to see how Chevrolet sold the Cavalier back in the early ’90s — on price. Because what else were they going to say? But they did spring for actress Janine Turner, then starring in the TV series “Northern Exposure,” where she was perpetually vexing transplanted NY doctor Joel Fleischmann.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Lucid stock gets a warm reception on its first day of public trading

A Lucid Air with its limited-edition metallic paint-job called “eureka gold” glints, parked outside of the Nasdaq. The luxury car, a part of the electric carmaker’s Dream lineup, is evocative of the path it took to public markets via blank-check.

Newark, California-based Lucid Group’s debut listing on Monday comes after it completed a reverse-merger with financier Michael Klein’s special purpose acquisition company Churchill Capital Corp. IV. The stock, now trading under the symbol LCID, received a warm reception. Shares closed 11% higher at $26.83 on Monday.

Lucid Chief Executive Officer Peter Rawlinson said that the company remains on track to hit key milestones, producing 577 vehicles this year and as many as 20,000 next year. As disruptive as the global pandemic was on automakers and their suppliers, Lucid included, the company built a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona from the ground up in less than 12 months.

“Execution is everything now and I tell my team that every day,” Rawlinson said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We haven’t achieved a thing as a company until we have delivered our car to satisfied customers.”

Hurdles remain. A number of shareholder lawsuits have been brought against Lucid and its acquirer Churchill Capital in recent weeks. Rawlinson says Lucid did everything “by the book” and expects the company to “prevail.”

When Lucid’s deal with Churchill was first announced in February, it was the largest proposed SPAC transaction at that time, referred to by many on Wall Street as “peak SPAC” and drew Tesla comparisons. Yet, for all of the institutional support the deal appears to have, the company’s fate will depend on the loyalty of retail shareholders, many of whom are new to investing and trading on apps.

“Retail investors are connected and act in blocks. People talking about Lucid on WallStreetBets, Reddit and StockTwits will have the power of a massive institutional investor,” said Matt Tuttle, chief of the Greenwich, Connecticut-based namesake shop that issues thematic and actively-managed ETFs.

Having a base of novice investors who might have picked up their shares on platforms such as Robinhood proved to be a teachable moment last week when the Churchill SPAC struggled to secure enough shareholders to meet a voting deadline.

Last week’s struggles were not on display Monday. Instead the company was offering rides in its Dream car parked in front of the Nasdaq near Times Square.

Source: AutoBlog.com

2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT First Drive | SUV apex predator

LOS ANGELES — We can all agree that “Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up and Hang On” is a tired bumper sticker slogan. It’s laughably inappropriate on every beater it’s invariably attached to, but that phrase wouldn’t be out of place if it were emblazoned on the cover of the 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT owner’s manual. 

The Turbo GT is, in a word, a beast. It’s the vehicle that recently set a new SUV lap record of 7:38.9 seconds at the Nürburgring before anyone knew what Porsche would name it. Porsche also says the Turbo GT can rocket from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, which is a tenth quicker than the Porsche 911 GT3, and only a tenth shy of the 911 GT3 RS. I’m sorry, what?

We admit that closed-course superlatives don’t have much real-world relevance beyond bragging rights, but they’re not kidding. The Cayenne Turbo GT demonstrated a breathtaking abundance of speed, poise, and sheer grip on a recent weekday blast along the length of Angeles Crest Highway. This mountain road is pretty much a Nürburgring loop cut open and laid out ”straight,” but over twice as long, with cliffs to the sides, and with donut skidmarks instead of rude slogans painted on the tarmac. Thing is, the Turbo GT was also a quite-livable daily driver around town on the imperfect roads closer to home.

Before we get too far, the 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT will only be available in the Cayenne’s coupe body style when it hits dealers early next year. This, they tell us, is precisely why the word “Coupe” does not appear in the name of the car. If they did have Coupe in the name, they’d get people asking for a Turbo GT in the squareback body style, and there isn’t one.

It would be an understatement to say that the Turbo GT is powered by an improved 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. At 631 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, this engine is the most powerful V8 in Porsche’s lineup. They’ve done it by fitting new turbos with larger compressor wheels, by dropping the V8’s compression ratio from 10.1- to 9.7-to-1 and then cranking up the boost from 21 to 23 psi. There are revised intake and intercooler systems that can handle more air, and new injectors that can deliver additional fuel. Belowdecks, they’ve fitted a new crankshaft, rods, pistons and timing chain to bear up to the extra stress.

On paper, the changes amount to a whopping 90 hp and 59 lb-ft over the twin-turbo V8 that powers the Cayenne Turbo. Sure, the Turbo S E-hybrid is rated at a combined 670 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque, but that’s when the electrical side can participate with a fully-charged battery. On pure gasoline it’s working with the same 541 hp and 567 lb-ft V8 engine as the normal Cayenne Turbo. What’s more, the Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe is a full 673 pounds heavier than the Turbo GT, and that extra bulk limits its best effort 0-to-60 mph acceleration to 3.6 seconds, not to mention its overall dynamics.

The end result is a significant punch you can really feel when you lay into the throttle, but it’s also very tractable, precise and ultimately responsive when you feather it through corners because of the effort put into keeping the turbos spooled up. Not in a hurry? Fine. It exhibits zero high-strung drivability traits in Normal mode. If you do happen to be dawdling and anticipate a sudden need for a burst of speed while on the move, the GT’s Sports Chrono dial has a red Sports Response button that functions like push-to-pass. Pressing it sets the transmission in the most favorable low gear for your current speed and optimizes all other systems. You have 20 seconds to act, after which it resumes your previous setting.

Big power and torque gains don’t mean much if you can’t put it to the ground or carve through corners, and here Porsche has given as much thought to the Turbo GT’s tires and suspension. The Turbo GT also rides on specially-developed 22-inch Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires, which carry a treadwear rating of just 80. The GT’s tires share the 285-mm front and 315-mm rear tread width of the 21-inch Cayenne Turbo setup, but here the profiles are 5 points lower (285/35 and 315/30) owing to the larger wheels. And the wheels themselves are wider — 10.5 inches instead of 9.5 up front and 11.5 inches instead of 11 out back. Front negative camber has been increased by 0.45 degrees to make use of the extra stick.

Other changes include a 17mm drop in ride height compared to the Turbo — which equates to a 7mm drop relative to the GTS because that one is 10mm lower than the Turbo. They’ve also increased the effective spring rate of the three-chamber air suspension by some 15% and recalibrated the PASM adaptive damping to suit. In a less-obvious move, they’ve developed a Turbo GT-exclusive water cooling system for the housing that contains the all-wheel drive system’s multi-plate clutch, because that’s where the GT’s newfound power and torque runs headlong into its extra grip. 

All of Porsche’s performance options are here, but in order to limit your exposure to Porsche acronym alphabet soup (PAAS) we’ll focus on the ones that aren’t standard on a Turbo Coupe. Most have been similarly recalibrated to account for the extra power and grip. Those would be rear axle steering (RAS), torque vectoring plus (PTV+), the dynamic chassis control (PDDC) system of active stabilizer bars, and truly massive carbon ceramic brake discs (PCCB) clamped by 10-piston front and four-piston rear calipers.

It all comes together when you hustle the Turbo GT into a corner. The brake action is immediate but fully controllable, and the steering arcs into bends precisely. The PDCC system nearly neutralizes the feeling of body roll as the grip from the Corsas builds and builds. Enter too hot and your line will tuck in neatly as you ease out. The Turbo GT seems to shrink around you, and it’s easy to lose track of the fact that you’re in an SUV. It was so good that we assumed it’d be intolerably stiff around town, but it just wasn’t. The standard rear wheel steering is definitely a plus in tight quarters, too.

Much of this feeling comes from the immense grip and power, but at 5,000 pounds the Turbo GT is also comparatively light. It’s not just 673 pounds lighter than the Turbo S E-hybrid, it’s also 24 pounds lighter than a Cayenne Turbo Coupe. That may not sound like much, but consider the extra standard parts: taller and wider wheels, larger intercoolers, the water-cooled AWD system, and all of those standard P-acronym chassis systems. There are also body changes such as a re-sculpted nose, more prominent wheel arch trim, standard endplates on the roof spoiler, and a taller Gurney Flap on the adaptive rear spoiler.

Some of the offsetting weight loss comes from the standard carbon-ceramic brakes, but another big chunk comes from standard (and Turbo GT exclusive) titanium exhaust piping, rear mufflers and exhaust tips. The upstream steel portion from the middle of the car forward is lighter, too, because the GT lacks crossover piping and center mufflers. Additional savings come much higher up, where the standard Lightweight Sport package brings in a carbon fiber roof and a carbon-fiber rear diffuser.

There are a few negatives, but if you ask us, many of them are positives if you want the Turbo GT because of what it can do. You can’t option it with a panoramic glass roof. Fine. Too much weight up high. You can’t option away the rear buckets. Good. See “hang on” in the above slogan. It can’t tow a trailer or even be fitted with a hitch for a bike rack. Meh. Don’t get any Cayenne Coupe if you want to do that.

Some of the negatives really are negatives — or at least worth considering before you pull your wallet out. The adaptive spoiler is quite tall when it’s up, and it’s always up when you’re cruising the freeway. With the roof spoiler also intruding from above, the view behind through the center mirror is awful. You probably don’t need maximum downforce at 75 mph, but we didn’t find an easy way to tone it down.

Porsche 911 GT2 customers might intuitively know the next one, but SUV buyers might get caught out. The P-Zero Corsas are incredible, but their 80 treadwear rating means you might replace them as often as you change the oil. And don’t even think about foul weather. Tirerack categorizes the Corsa as a “streetable track and competition” tire, and even suggests caution in standing water. They go on to say that “Pirelli’s warranty does not cover tires that develop compound cracking due to use in ambient temperatures below 45° Fahrenheit.” You may need a second set of wheels and some winter tires. Porsche says their accessory 21-inch winter setup for the Cayenne Turbo will fit over the massive PCCB brakes, so there’s that.

By now you probably won’t be shocked to hear the base price is $182,150, including destination. That includes quite a lot, and there really aren’t any performance options. Our test car had $26,700 in assorted other options that brought the price up to $208,850. Most of them amounted to trim and color upgrades, among them $1,500 to paint the wheels and calipers gloss black. The Burmeiseter stereo commanded $5,810, and a quartet of high-end safety options accounted for another $8,950.

If you can afford the 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, you absolutely will not be disappointed. It is a legitimate apex slayer among SUVs, a vehicle that has been optimized from top to bottom to deliver stunning performance. Somehow, though, it also manages to be perfectly agreeable as a daily driver … if the road is reasonably dry and it doesn’t snow where you live.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Tesla reaches milestone with first $1 billion quarterly profit

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Tesla’s quarterly profit has surpassed $1 billion for the first time thanks to the electric car pioneer’s ability to navigate through a pandemic-driven computer chip shortage that has caused major headaches for other automakers.

The financial milestone announced Monday extended a two-year run of prosperity that has erased questions about Tesla’s long-term viability raised during its early years of losses and production problems.

Tesla now has cemented its position as the leader in the shift away from gas-combustion that is expected to make it even more profitable than during its most recent quarter.

The Palo Alto, California, company earned $1.1 billion, or $1.02 per share, in the April-June period. That was more than 10 times its profit at the same time last year. Revenue nearly doubled from last year to about $12 billion.

Tesla now boasts a market value of roughly $630 billion, far more than any other automaker and 14 times more than what the company was worth just two years ago. Its mercurial CEO, Elon Musk, is now sitting on the world’s third largest fortune at an estimated $163 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s calculations.

For all its recent success, Tesla’s momentum could still be slowed by a persisting shortage of chips that have become vital parts in modern cars. While other major automakers had to dramatically curtail production during the first half, Tesla so far has been able to secure an adequate supply of chips to churn out vehicles at the fastest rate in its history.

In the most recent quarter, Tesla delivered more than 206,000 vehicles within a three-month span for the first time in its history. It is also gearing up to add another sports utility vehicle, the Model Y, to its lineup later this year.

But in a sign that Tesla isn’t immune to the shortage in chips and other components that is hurting its rivals, the company disclosed that it will delay the introduction of a highly anticipated semi truck to sometime next year. Its original plan was to introduce it this year.

Tesla also warned that the availability of parts will determine whether it will be able to maintain the first-half production pace that raised hoped the company will be able to manufacture more than 800,000 vehicles this year. That would be a significant increase from nearly 510,000 last year, when government restrictions during the early stages of the pandemic forced the company to temporarily shut down its California factory.

The uncertainty may have dampened some of the investor response to Tesla’s surprisingly strong quarterly results. The company’s stock gained more than 2% in extended trading Monday after the second-quarter numbers came out. The stock has fallen about 25% from its peak price reached six months ago.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Lamborghini Jumpacan built to race The Mint 400 hits the dirt

Lamborghini’s cars keep finding their way off the boulevards and into the barrens. Officially, Lamborghini whipped out the rally-happy Huracan Sterrato concept in 2019, preceded by the Gallardo Parcour concept in 2013. Unofficially, an unnamed builder sold their off-road Gallardo complete with light bars and rear-mounted spare in 2019, the same year Alex Choi showed off his Huracan V3 Unicorn with an external roll cage, and in 2017 some audacious owner got his Lamborghini Jarama bouncing through stages of the DWA Coastal Range Rally in California. Let us now add the Lamborghini Jumpacan to the roster.

Fabbed up by the YouTubers at B is for Build, the Jumpacan’s been in the works for 18 months with the intention to race it at The Mint 400 this December. The man behind B is for Build, Chris Steinbacher, recently got the Jumpacan out to the desert plains for its first test over 40 miles per hour. 

The mashup started as a Huracan that had been mangled in a big accident. The Build team 3D-scanned the chassis and got it straight, then performed a similar surgery to one they’d carried out on their SEMA Huracan in 2019: They put an LS V8 in back and paired it with a Graziano six-speed manual, leaving off the 1,500-horsepower SEMA car’s two turbos.

The Jumpacan’s been fitted with a long-travel suspension designed by SEM Dirt, the 35-inch tires hung up front and 37-inchers in the back contributing to the 12 inches of ground clearance. Other bits include Holley electronics managing the engine, a radiator mounted just behind the cockpit and fed by a roof scoop, Ford Shelby GT500 brakes tucked into Rotiform wheels, a roll cage and racing fuel cell, and the obligatory torso-hugging racing seats. The Jumpacan conversion has stretched the Huracan’s width from 76.1 inches stock to 102 inches. 

True, it’s barely a Lamborghini anymore. But it might be the coolest thing that was once a Lamborghini to ever line up at The Mint.

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Source: AutoBlog.com