AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO – September 12, 2021: Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel’s
“take” on this past week’s automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.
LEARN MORE: Links to full versions of today’s news nuggets along with a million pages of the past 25 year’s automotive news, articles, reviews and archived stories residing in
The Auto Channel Automotive News Library can be found by just copying and then inserting the main headline into the News Library Search Box.
Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending September 11, 2021; Below are the past week’s important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as
expertly crafted easy-to-digest news nuggets.
* The Munich Auto Show, IAA Mobility 2021, was this week. Previously held in Frankfurt, the show has become mostly German in terms of auto maker participation. Mercedes-Benz unveiled a series of electric vehicles with its VISION AVTR concept vehicle, Maybach EQS, EQE sedan, EQB compact utility as well as an electric G-Wagon. BMW’s i Vision Circular concept four-seat electric is built almost entirely from recyclable materials. The Audi Grandsphere is the automaker’s idea of what self-driving luxury car could be, with controls that fold away and lounge-style seats in the front. Volkswagen showed its ID.Life concept that previews an affordable, small EV that will eventually make its way into production. Porsche showed its Mission R concept 1,000-hp battery powered race car capable of going 300kph (186 mph).
* Joe White writing for Reuters reports the CEOs of Germany’s three major automakers all showed up at the Munich show. But, Volkswagen’s Herbert Diess made the most aggressive use of Munich’s platform to send his message that VW is gearing up for a world where the main value in a vehicle is generated by software and autonomous operation. The “gamechanger” is software and automation, Diess said. In comparison, the shift to electrification is relatively easy.
* As a follow on to the above mentioned Diess software and autonomy statement, Ford hired Doug Field away from Apple to be its chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer. Field will partner closely with Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, to create the next generation of Ford’s connected products and experiences at the foundation of the Ford+ growth plan.
* Reuters also reports Hyundai executives said their H2 strategy is to offer a hydrogen fuel cell power option for all the group’s commercial vehicles by 2028, and get the cost of fuel cell tech to parity with battery electric systems by 2030. Hyundai and its affiliate Kia sold about 287,000 commercial vehicles last year. The companies indicated they will field fuel cell passenger vehicles in the Kia and Genesis brands after 2025.
* We read in Car & Driver that starting in September 2021, all new vehicles sold in Canada need to have headlights, taillights, and side lights that automatically turn on in the dark. Also, the dashboard won’t light up until the headlights are turned on. It’s a safety issue, says Transport Canada, which announced the rules changes were coming two years ago. With more lights on, cars won’t look like “phantom vehicles.” The new rules apply not just to cars, trucks, and SUVs but also motorcycles and heavy trucks.
* Ford has developed a police-specification Mustang Mach-E for use in the England. In GT trim the Mach-E can accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds, so it’ll be more than a match for most getaway cars. Having proved itself capable of 379 miles on a charge on a recent mileage marathon, villains will likely run out of road before the cops run out of juice. Modifications to the Mustang are minimal, with LED light pods and a distinctive wrap.
* Inside EVs reports GM’s $1.8 billion battery recall problem that concerns all of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Bolt EUV ever made appears to be worsening. Inside EVs reports Reddit user u/scarls13 (via Teslarati) posted a photo of a Chevrolet Bolt EV ban at an outdoor parking lot in San Francisco. A sign read: “For customer safety: CHEVROLET BOLT EVs are STRICTLY PROHIBITED from parking at this facility. Thank you for your compliance!”
* New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a bill that sets a goal for all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks to be zero-emission models by 2035, joining the state of California in attempting to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles. The law directs setting regulations requiring higher numbers of zero-emission vehicles with a goal of “100% of in-state sales by 2035”, and a similar target for medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045 if feasible.
* Ford is ending production in India and taking a hit of $2 billion as it retrenches from a market that has been almost impossible for American automakers to break into. Here in the U.. that means the EcoSport subcompact crossover utility vehicle with a small but mighty following is a casualty of that decision. The EcoSport will be built and exported to the U.S. through mid-2022.
* Subaru did a livestream unveiling of the all-new 2022 WRX that was supposed to be unveiled at the now-cancelled NY Auto Show. More advanced features, design, and performance arrive on the fifth-generation rally icon with power from a new 271 hp 2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru BOXER engine and featuring a track-tuned suspension.
* Chevrolet showed the 2022 Silverado pickup lineup with its first-ever ZR2 aimed squarely at aggressive off-roaders such as the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Ram TRX. A bigger 13.4 inch infotainment screen is one of the features of substantially upgraded interiors in the 2022 Silverados.
* Toyota is recalling more than 158,000 Tundra pickup trucks from the 2018 through 2021 model years because their headlights could catch fire. Only trucks with halogen headlights are included in the recall.
* The 1934 Avions Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe owned by Peter and Merle Mullin took home the prestigious “Best of Show” award at the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance, which was held at the Hampton Court Palace on September 5, 2021. The Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace brings together the rarest automobiles in the United Kingdom to the historic abode in England owned by the Queen and previously owned by Henry VIII. This year, the concours celebrated Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday with a display of 95 iconic British automobiles, from the 1926 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre to the 2021 Lotus Evija.
* In NASCAR Denny Hamlin won the Round of 16 first race in the Cup Series Playoffs. It was Hamlin’s first win of the season and moves him into the Round of 12. And in Formula 1, Max Verstappen won the Netherlands Grand Prix at his home track in Zandvoort. Verstappen’s win puts him 3 points ahead of Louis Hamilton after 13 races to lead the series driver’s championship. Hamilton is seeks a record eight F1 title to move one ahead of Michael Schumacher.
Stay safe. Be Well.