Maybach celebrates 100, Ford drops $7B on BEVs, ’22 NSX Type S breaks Long Beach record
Mercedes-Maybach Edition 100 is a rare, V-12-powered salute to the past
Intake: Exactly 100 years after the first Maybach made its debut in Berlin, prompting Motor magazine to write, “A new star in the automotive firmament is beginning to shine,” Mercedes-Maybach is building an exclusive run of 100 celebratory models. Powered by a silky-smooth, 621-hp V-12, the Edition 100 sits on a wheelbase stretched 7 inches more than that of the most imposing S-Class. The extension means even more legroom in the noise-insulated rear compartment where passengers can stretch out on heated massage seats, play with their infotainment screens, or indulge in some car-aoke with the epic Burmeister 4D surround-sound audio system … all while ensconced in luxurious Manufaktur Crystal White/Silver Grey Pearl leather. The exterior is hand-painted in Cirrus Silver and Nautical Blue and is replete with Edition 100 badges and hubcaps. Every car will also come with a cover and a handmade leather case to store the keys and documents. You can even buy a matching diamond-studded fountain pen. No price has been announced—but if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
Exhaust: When Wilhelm Maybach, alongside his son Karl, founded the company that bears his name, he said, “I think about it around the clock, a constant impulse: the perfection of the technology.” We suspect today’s Edition 100 would meet his approval. There’s also a distinct chance that the Edition 100 will be one of the final V-12-powered masterpieces to bear the double M.
10 years ago, Cuba lifted its restriction on new car sales—sort of
Intake: Ten years ago, on September 28, 2011, Cuba legalized the sale and purchase of automobiles for all its citizens. A game changer, right? Not exactly. Before that date, only cars that were already on the island before the 1959 Cuban Revolution—when it became a “Marxist-Leninist socialist state” under Fidel Castro—could be freely bought and sold, which explains Cuba’s legendary vintage car population. After lifting that restriction, government-run dealerships offered a modest selection of cars, but little changed. That’s because new cars in Cuba come with markup costs ranging from 400–1000 percent, and that upcharge carries over to used cars, as well.
Exhaust: Although it’s been a decade since Cuba lifted its import restrictions, the country’s streets are still dominated by older American and Soviet cars. While some new non-U.S. cars have made their way there, the high cost of buying a new vehicle is prohibitive in a nation where the average monthly income is about $30. As long as Cuba’s economic and political environment remains the same, the island’s classic car population won’t be going away anytime soon.
Tahoe and Suburban spread the 6.2 love, add digital instrument cluster for 2022
Intake: Just one year after the debut of Chevrolet’s all-new Tahoe and Suburban, the marque is releasing a host of changes to make these school-line stalwarts even better. For 2022, the venerable 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 is now offered on the RST, Z71, and Premier trims, in addition to the High Country. The off-road-focused Z71 trim now offers Chevy’s electronic limited-slip rear differential to shuffle torque left and right in tricky driving situations. Inside, a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is now standard on every trim except the base LS. Lastly, there’s a host of new tech, including more trailering aids and Google integration with the infotainment systems.
Exhaust: These are solid updates that burnish the appeal of two well-established and already impressive full-sizers. Chevy’s 6.2-liter V-8 is one of the best engines of all time, whether it’s powering a C8 Corvette or a soccer mom’s Tahoe RST. The digital instrument cluster is also a big win; for vehicles like these, a navigation read-out right behind the wheel is more useful than a tachometer.
Ford and SK Innovation drop $11.4 billion on U.S.-based EV production
Intake: The town of Stanton, Tennessee, is soon to become a nexus of Ford EV production. “Blue Oval City,” a 3600-acre, $5.6B campus will employ nearly 6000 new workers to build the next generation of electric F-Series trucks beginning in 2025. The six-square-mile campus and its workforce will dwarf Stanton in both footprint and headcount: As of 2010, the tiny town in West Tennessee had a population of 452 and a total area of .5 square miles. It’s not the only southern locale to host a multi-billion-dollar Ford EV plant, either: Central Kentucky will soon be home to BlueOvalSK Battery Park, a 1500-acre battery manufacturing campus also set to open in 2025, though its twin plants—capable of producing 43 gigawatt hours each—will focus exclusively on battery production. The Tennessee plant in particular will prioritize a light touch on the surrounding environment, aiming to be carbon-neutral from the get-go and to incorporate an on-site wastewater treatment plant. The combined investment of $11.4 billion (between Ford and its battery partner, SK Innovation, for both campuses) makes VW’s $800 expansion of its Chattanooga, Tennessee, facility—its North American EV production hub—look like pocket change. Even considering that SK Innovations accounts for $4.4B of that total, Ford’s $7B outlay overshadows GM’s $2.2B investment in retooling of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant for BEVs.
Exhaust: Together with Ford’s recently announced withdrawal from India, which simultaneously doomed the EcoSport subcompact crossover for the U.S. market, this eye-popping investment sends a clear signal that Ford is focused on domestically produced electric vehicles. Ford isn’t the only Big Three automaker pouring money into environmentally conscious battery production: GM recently announced plans to invest in direct-extraction mining in California’s lithium-rich Salton Sea.
Ferrari hires Ive and Newsome
Intake: Ferrari has taken on the dynamic design duo of Jony Ive and Marc Newsome, together with their LoveFrom collective, to work on Maranello’s first EV, due in 2025. The deal is part of a wider collaboration between the designers and Exor, the Agnelli family–owned company that remains Ferrari’s largest shareholder. “As Ferrari owners and collectors, we could not be more excited about collaborating with this extraordinary company and in particular with the design team expertly led by Flavio Manzoni,” Ive and Newson say. “We see some uniquely exciting opportunities working together which we believe will yield important and valuable work.” Ive joins former Apple services chief Eddy Cue who already sits on Ferrari’s board, which clearly demonstrates how the seriously the Prancing Horse is committing to the brave new world of electrification.
Exhaust: Ive’s expertise in product design at Apple (and his knowledge of the long-rumored Apple Car, no doubt) will be harnessed for future Ferrari vehicles, while Newsome will also be handy as the brand expands into fashion.
Acura NSX Type S sets Long Beach production-car lap record
Intake: The 2022 Acura NSX Type S, unveiled at Monterey Car Week in August, established a new lap record for a production vehicle on the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit. Driven by Acura race car driver and defending IMSA champion Ricky Taylor, the 600-horsepower NSX Type S—packing an enhanced version of the NSX’s twin-turbo hybrid 3.5-liter V-6 engine—completed the two-mile circuit in 1:32:784, eclipsing the previous record by nearly three seconds.
Exhaust: Acura touted the new NSX Type S as “the most powerful, quickest, best-handling production NSX ever made,” and then went out and proved it on the track, beating every other production car in the process. It’s been quite a comeback year for Acura, which at Monterey also announced the return of the Integra. In an interview last year, brand officer Jon Ikeda admitted, “I think we had some growing pains with a little bit of wandering.” Acura seems laser-focused now.
Chevy’s 2022 Silverado ZR2 race truck fulfills 2019’s promise
Intake: When Chevrolet debuted a kitted-out Silverado bound for desert racing back in 2019, we surmised that it would eventually lead to a production version sporting some rather gnarly off-road bits. The unveiling of the 2022 Silverado ZR2 earlier this month confirmed that. That race truck has since donned sheetmetal to match the production truck, and continues its rooster-tailed race antics to this day. Last weekend, it competed again in the Best in The Desert King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic in Laughlin, Nevada, at the hands of Chad Hall, a veteran racer who’s been with this Silverado program since the beginning and with the Colorado ZR2 program before that. The truck finished in fine fashion, stopping only for fuel during the grueling desert dash.
Exhaust: It’s great to see Chevy use this type of racing as a test bed for durable engineering that trickles down to properly badass pickups. We’re not alone in that thinking, either: “The tests and refinements made over the past couple of years absolutely prove the adage that racing improves the breed,” says Hall. Expect the Silverado ZR2 to be a hot seller when it arrives in dealerships in spring of next year.