This Week in Cars: There's a Genesis G70 Wagon and a Gas Shortage
Photo credit: Genesis
Used car prices rose 10 percent in April 2021 compared to March, the largest increase since at least one month in 1953. That surge accounted for more than a third of the 0.8 percent rise in the consumer price index, a tool the government uses to measure inflation. The sudden interest in used cars is driven by the shortage of new cars due to the semiconductor shortage, which may last until the end of the year or even until 2022.
This week in sheet metal
Porsche announced plans for a Porsche Macan EV with a range greater than the current range of 227 miles available in the Porsche Taycan. The Macan EV is expected to hit the market in 2023, and even better, Porsche is also working on an electric concept based on the Boxster coupe.
Genesis unveiled the sleek, beautiful G70 Shooting Brake with 40 percent more cargo space than the G70 sedan. It will share the sedan's Turbo-Four and twin-turbo V-6. The car is intended for the European market, but it's still fun to look at.
Photo credit: Officine Fioravanti
A Swiss tuner is working on building a modernized version of the Ferrari Testarossa. The company, run by the man who designed the original Testarossa at Pininfarina in the 1980s, plans for the updated Testarossa to use a more powerful version of the 4.9-liter Flat-12 to a top speed of 200 miles per hour. No word yet as to when the car will be ready for production or how many will be built.
Subaru announced that its first EV, the Solterra, will be available in 2022. It will drive on a four-wheel drive platform shared with Toyota and will be roughly the size of a forester. We don't know much else now, but we should hear more by the end of the year.
The Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45 percent of the east coast's gasoline, was shut down this week after a cyber attack late last week. The company paid the hackers around $ 5 million in ransom (apparently against government advice) and announced on Wednesday that it was working to restore service. Meanwhile, panicked customers in the southeast began hoarding gasoline in absurd containers of all kinds, including large Tupperware bins and plastic garbage bags.
It doesn't matter how you get gasoline into a vehicle from a plastic bag. Gasoline can dissolve some types of plastic, so these panic buyers can quickly get a dangerous mess on their hands. A budding hoarder learned the folly of storing flammable liquids when the fuel they'd packed in a lobster ignited. The car was destroyed in the resulting fire. We've said it before, but we'll say it again. Don't be like these people.
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Elon's big week
For Elon Musk, it was another week's roller coaster ride. Musk hosted Saturday Night Live last week, which turned out to be the third most popular episode of the season so far. During the show, Musk (in character) referred to the cryptocurrency Dogecoin as a "hustle and bustle" that made the currency's value drop. On Tuesday, Musk asked his Twitter followers if Tesla should allow customers to pay for their cars with the coin (voters overwhelmingly affirmed that), and the value rose again. If we knew the SEC was reading our Twitter feed, we'd be a little more cautious.
Later in the week, Musk backed up a plan to allow customers to buy Teslas using another cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, which he believed Tesla will no longer use for transactions. The company previously announced that it holds $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, though it is now likely to hold significantly less as the currency's value has fallen 10 percent in the wake of the news. Musk said the decision to stop using Bitcoin was based on the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Bitcoin mining (don't ask). He said Tesla, which is profitable thanks to its practice of selling carbon credits to polluters, would reconsider the Bitcoin ban if the currency's carbon footprint shrank.
Oh, and that deadly Tesla crash in Texas last month? It turned out that the car wasn't on autopilot after all.
The New York Times believes the EV bubble will burst soon as investors begin to shy away from unproven EV startups.
Almost paradoxically, the newspaper published a separate report this week on the rush to develop US-based lithium sources to aid the upcoming flood of electric vehicles.
If schadenfreude is your thing, check out this report from the Wall Street Journal about the fearful auto dealers starting the car buying season with a fraction of their usual inventory.
Or read the warning from the Daimler CEO that the switch to electric vehicles will result in significant job losses, especially in plants that are currently building engines.
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