Park a BMW art car in your garage (sort of), SSC comes clean, 10 million Camrys
VR app lets you put a BMW art car in your garage
Intake: An artsy new app for Android and iPhone lets you shoot photos and videos of BMWs painted by creative legends anywhere you want. Using the augmented reality technology of the Acute Art app, you could virtually park Alexander Calder’s 1975 3.0 CSL on your driveway, stow Jeff Koons’ 201 M3 GT2 in your garage, or slip Matazo Kayama’s 1990 535i (above) into your space at the office. Esther Mahlangu’s 525i from 1991 and John Baldessari’s 2016 M6 GTLM are available as well, and the app also features a wide range of other art works that you can virtually hang on your walls.
Exhaust: To see a BMW art car in person you’ll have to travel to Art Basel in Switzerland this September, where the Alexander Calder 3.0 CSL will be on display; but with this neat app, you don’t even need to leave home.
SSC comes clean on 2020’s missed record run
Intake: In an Instagram post, nine months after its highly publicized record attempt, SSC North America officially acknowledged that it misreported the results of the Tuatara hypercar’s top speed run in October of 2020. (The average speed around which controversy swirled? 316.11 mph.) “We were truly heartbroken as a company to learn that we did not reach this feat, and we are in an ongoing effort to break the 300 MPH barrier transparently, officially, and undoubtedly,” reads the post’s caption. “If it hasn’t been made clear up to this point, we would like to acknowledge officially that we did not reach the originally claimed speeds of 331 MPH or even 301 MPH in October of 2020.”
Exhaust: Since the original attempt, SSC made a second effort to break the production car top speed record, traveling to the Kennedy Space Center near Orlando, Florida, with Racelogic Vbox data loggers and a Racelogic rep to independently verify the numbers. Guinness hasn’t officially confirmed the Tuatara’s new stats—279.7 mph northbound and 286.1 southbound for an average of 282.1—but, in the meantime, SSC has saved some face with transparency, albeit rather late in the game. For now, the Koenigsegg Agera RS remains the verified record holder, with a two-way average of 277.87 mph.
Toyota’s Kentucky plant rolls out its 10,000,000th Camry
Intake: Toyota’s first wholly-owned vehicle plant in North America is celebrating a big milestone—two, in fact. On July 21, a white 2021 Toyota Camry SE became the 10 millionth Camry to roll off the line at the automaker’s Kentucky facility. Toyota is also in its 35th year of operation in the Bluegrass State.
Exhaust: Even if you think a Camry isn’t the sexiest choice, it deserves respect for its functionality and longevity—eight generations and counting. When it comes to popularity, however, the stalwart midsizer still has a ways to go to catch its Corolla cousin, the best-selling car of all time (37+ million).
Mercedes girds its loins for an EV world
Intake: How serious is Mercedes about transitioning its lineup from ICE to electric power? $47 billion serious. The automaker is preparing for half of its sales in 2025 to be all-electric or plug-in, with that figure rising to 100 percent by 2030. It’s leaving some room for margin, however, stating that its business will “be ready to go all electric at the end of the decade, where market conditions allow.” The plan involves three new EV architectures (one for passenger cars, one for performance vehicles, and one for vans) in 2025, eight new Gigafactories, and a global charge network comprised of 530,000+ AC and DC stations. The automaker is also acquiring YASA, a U.K.-based manufacturer of electric motors that currently supplies the SF90’s power unit to Ferrari. The Vision EQXX concept, which is teased above and will bow next year, teases a 621-mile range and single-digit kWh cruising consumption. The Stuttgart automaker will also dedicate itself to studying solid-state batteries and nanotechnology.
Exhaust: The fun news for enthusiasts? Mercedes is sure to lean on high-margin vehicles for profit to fund the flood of BEVS. That means more high-zoot Maybach and hi-po AMG models are on the way, many of which will incorporate hybrid power.
Watch Christian von Koenigsegg’s guide to the Jesko
Intake: The Koenigsegg Jesko is almost ready and bossman Christian von Koenigsegg is ready to show the world what it looks like and, more importantly, how it goes. Koenigsegg highlights the car’s carbon wheels, which weigh just 15 pounds apiece, and the massive brakes with their stainless steel pistons—the most powerful fitted to any Koenigsegg to date. The car wears special Michelin Cup tires designed to run beyond 300 mph. The car on show won’t hit that speed, since it’s the track-focused Attack model; the Absolut is the version with its sights set on 300 mph. The Jesko has been designed to be more usable, with a small stretch to the monocoque providing a roomier cabin and better visibility through larger windows. The interior of the car isn’t quite up to production spec—the seats will be different, for one—but we do get to see the clever instrument cluster, which moves with the steering wheel, and the car’s touchscreen interfaces which will feature over-the-air updates. The Jesko’s twin-turbo V-8 produces 1297 hp on pump gas but can hit 1622 hp on E85. Power is directed through Koenigsegg’s Light Speed Transmission and you can see just how fast it shifts in the video.
Exhaust: All 125 Jeskos have been presold and we’re quite sure that most will be specced way beyond the $2.9 million “entry level” price. It’s yet another incredible feat of engineering from Koenigsegg and we hope these cars don’t just get stored away in private collections, never to be driven or seen again.
GMC was founded 110 years ago today
Intake: The General Motors Truck Company was founded on this date in 1911, when the sales of two truck companies recently acquired by General Motors, Reliance Motor Car Company, and Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, were brought under one roof. It wasn’t until 1912 that the first GMC-branded product would be built, but GMC as we know it can be traced back to these roots.
Exhaust: Although sometimes GMC gets overshadowed by its more mainstream Chevrolet competition, the “Professional Grade” brand gets to strut its stuff when it counts. Some of the coolest GM pickups ever built have been GMC exclusives, from the Syclone and Typhoon to the GMC Hummer EV. We wish one of our favorite truck brands of all time a happy 110th birthday as we eagerly await what they have in store for us in the near future.