Meet Ram’s electric pickup, Subaru recalls its EV, Lucid to partner with Aston Martin?


Production-spec electric Ram REV debuts during Super Bowl

Intake: A clever one-minute ad during the closing half of Super Bowl LVII showed the actual Ram REV, something we hadn’t seen until then. The looks are toned down considerably from the Ram prototype that was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it’s still identifiable as something different from the regular Ram. Details on the REV remain sketchy—the website does announce that “a sophisticated front full fascia and lower grille surround complement this electric truck’s already heroic demeanor,” but that’s about it. Mostly the site shows how you can become a Ram Insider+ by sending them $100 to reserve your place in line when the truck goes into production next year, with delivery in the fourth quarter of 2024. That gives Ford and GM quite a jump on their electric trucks before the Ram REV makes its entrance.

Exhaust: It’s undeniably a good-looking truck, but so are the Ford and GM electrics. Ram will need some innovative engineering and features, something more than a “heroic demeanor,” and it needs to reveal them soon if it wants customers to wait a year and a half before buying an electrified pickup. — Steven Cole Smith

Subaru issues a “do not drive” on some 2023 Solterras

Intake: In what amounts to a re-recall, Subaru is issuing a “do not drive” advisory on 1182 Solterras made for the 2023 model year. These electric vehicles were the subject of an earlier recall requiring the replacement of original hub bolts. Subaru identified an issue with vehicles repaired at two port locations by one particular team of contractors. The teams did not properly complete the repair procedure resulting in the potential for significantly under-torqued bolts. Out of an abundance of caution, Subaru is recalling all vehicles repaired at all port locations supported by the third-party contractor. Vehicles without the original hub bolt recall and vehicles repaired at other facilities are not affected.

Exhaust: For all potentially affected vehicles, Subaru retailers will inspect the hub bolts and, if necessary, retorque to the specification at no cost to the customer, who will be instructed not to drive their vehicle and to contact their retailer to have the vehicle towed for inspection. Towing will be offered at no cost. — SCS

2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport get a refresh

2024 Volkswagen Atlas with 2024 Atlas Cross Sport high angle front three quarter

Intake: Volkswagen’s largest SUVs, the seven-passenger Atlas and five-passenger Atlas Cross Sport get a refresh inside and out for the 2024 model year, with the vehicles available in the third quarter of this year. Outside, there’s a new front-end design and greater differentiation between Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport. On both cars, a wide chrome four-bar grille is framed by LED headlights with the newly standard adaptive front-lighting system. At the rear, both models add a larger spoiler, lengthening the overall roofline of the vehicles and giving them a sleeker side profile. Atlas Cross Sport models add a more aggressive rear diffuser than the previous generation, further differentiating the two models. All trims get new wheel designs, ranging from 18 to 20 inches with machined alloy and black finishes available. R-line trims up the ante with a gloss-black grille, 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and signature R-line badging. Under the hood, power will come solely from a four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection engine with 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The six-cylinder engine goes away.

Exhaust: We’ll miss the VR6 engine, but the four-cylinder actually has more torque, and towing capacity (5000 pounds) remains the same. An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available across the model lineup. — SCS

Lucid linked with Aston Martin when AMG arrangement ends

Intake: Luxury EV startup Lucid Motors is in talks with Aston Martin, according to a new report. A story by well-connected German journalist Georg Kacher in Car and Driver suggests that a partnership between the two companies would literally electrify Aston Martin’s business, while offering Lucid expertise in vehicle architecture, design, and personalization. It would also give Lucid access to Aston Martin dealers worldwide. Why would Aston Martin need this trans-Atlantic hook-up when it already has an agreement with Mercedes-AMG? Kacher suggests that the rapid exit of former AMG boss Tobias Moers from his job as Aston’s CEO in 2022 means that the German-British relationship is souring. There’s no suggestion that Mercedes would pull the plug early on the arrangement, but an insider told Kacher, “AMG and Pagani—that’s true friendship. AMG and Aston is merely a business case with a fixed expiration date.”

Exhaust: Aston Martin’s 110-year history has been plagued with financial instability and the company seems like it’s almost always up for sale. Under Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin has been floated (though the share price isn’t exactly buoyant) and refinanced, but it will need a strong partner in order to develop the electric vehicles it will be compelled to produce before the decade is out. Lucid comes with big backing in the form of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, but there’s another potential bidder in the form of China’s Geely. Boss Li Shifu is an Aston Martin fan and already owns a sizable share of the British brand which he could be looking to increase, and with Geely comes EV expertise in the form of Polestar and Lotus. —Nik Berg

John Deere debuts electric zero-turn mower

John Deere

Intake: Yes, we know it’s not a car, but it has a motor and four wheels, so allow us to present the first electric zero-turn riding mower from John Deere, as the company begins a serious electric campaign. The Z370R Electric ZTrak has a 42-inch deck and is designed for residential customers, and it’s capable of mowing two acres between 110-volt charges to its sealed lithium-ion battery. Reportedly it’s almost silent and vibration-free.

Exhaust: The price is $6399, and it comes with a 5-year, 200-hour battery warranty. That’s about double the cost of a conventional 42-inch John Deere 20-horsepower zero-turn mower. — SCS

Lyft takes a hit as Uber advances

Lyft and Uber
Unsplash | Thought Catalog

Intake: The ride-sharing service Lyft lost more than a third of its market value on Friday after a “bleak forecast fueled worries that the company’s price cuts to avoid being a distant second to Uber in the North American ride-sharing market would squeeze profits,” reports Reuters. The story quotes analysts who predicted that any additional business at Lyft would not be enough to offset lower prices. Uber and Lyft have been “locked in a battle for market share” with latest earnings showing Uber’s global presence and more diversified business were “giving it an edge over rideshare- and U.S.-focused Lyft.” Lyft shares hit their worst day on record after closing 36.4 percent lower, as the sell-off erased over $2 billion in the company’s market value and nearly all of its share price gains this year.

Exhaust: The battle is reminiscent of the Sirius and XM fight for superiority in the satellite radio business. In the end, there was only room for one, and the companies merged. Maybe that’s the future here, too. — SCS

Build the world’s smallest street-legal car

P50 cars kit
P50 Cars

Intake: “The Peel P50, produced in the early 1960s, was the smallest production automobile in the world. And now a new kit allows handy folks to build their own replica, although this time, it’s electric,” says Peel went out of business in 1965, but a new company, known as P50 Cars, has created a replica that is “much easier to get your hands onto than one of the original 50 production models.” This P50 uses a 4-kW motor that is good for speeds up to 28 mph. The British manufacturer says it takes about 50 hours to assemble. The kit starts at £10,379 (approximately $12,600).

Exhaust: Sure it’s just a light vehicle, limited in speed and utility like a road-equipped golf cart, but isn’t it cute? Check out the P50 website here. — SCS

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Read next Up next: 2023 Super Bowl car ads: Touchdowns, field goals, and fumbles


    Geely possibly buying Aston would end that car company to me. I don’t trust Geely.

    Another 6 cylinder engine (VW) bites the dust.

    Ram apparently wants pretty broad adoption of their EV truck, posing it outside such a post-modern house and not rolling out a 4-motor, 1300hp HellcatEV (yet.)

    C’mon, we can all agree electric landscaping equipment is great right? Outfits that spend two hours and four people cleaning 1/2 acre yard could at least do it quietly.

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