Maverick hybrid is a serious sipper, Bentley goes sideways, Tesla forecasts 1M annual units

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Ford

The Ford Maverick hybrid is ridiculously efficient

Intake: EPA testing results for the Ford Maverick’s standard hybrid drivetrain have returned some seriously impressive numbers, and not just for a pickup truck. The Maverick hybrid is good for an EPA-estimated 42 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway, netting out to 37 mpg combined. That makes it the most fuel-efficient pickup by a longshot, besting the Chevy Silverado two-wheel-drive 3.0-liter Duramax diesel’s 27 mpg combined by 10 miles per gallon. The Maverick also beats much more efficient cars, such as the Honda Civic equipped with the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and CVT transmission. Ford expects to start shipping hybrid-equipped Mavericks to dealers in December, with the first customer deliveries beginning in January of next year.

Exhaust: And with that, Ford’s decision to cease selling small cars in the U.S. makes a bit more sense. That fuel efficiency a remarkable achievement for this handsome little truck, and we expect such a powertrain to be a huge plus for weekend gardeners and such who want enhanced hauling capabilities without the need for an unwieldy full- or mid-size pickup.

Watch a slide of British beef as Bentley goes drifting

Intake: Bentley has answered that favorite forum question “Will it drift?” by (full) sending a Continental GT Speed sideways around an abandoned air base in Sicily and filming the action. As you can see, the answer is a resounding “yes” thanks to the GT Speed’s revised chassis, rear-biased torque split for its all-wheel-drive system, a new eLSD, all-wheel steering, and a more loosey-goosey approach to its ESC programming. Of course, having 650 horsepower under your right foot doesn’t hurt either. The film takes a few cues from Ken Block’s Gymkhana series, and although there’s a distinct absence of gorilla-suited stunt men, there are cameos by a gorgeous Mulliner R-Type Continental, and a Fiat Panda.

Exhaust: Isn’t this a little brash for Bentley? Or maybe it shows that there’s a lighter side to the heavyweight performance of the British brand? Either way we can’t recall ever seeing a Bentley hooned quite so heartily, and brash or not, we’re here for it.

Tesla estimates a million unit milestone

Blue tesla front three-quarter
Tesla

Intake: In a Q3 earnings call to shareholders Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn announced, “We were also able to achieve an annualized production run rate of over one million cars towards the end of the quarter. The increase in production rate has been primarily been driven by further ramping of Model Y at Gigafactory Shanghai. Additionally, we have made great progress in increasing production volume of Model S and have recently started production and ramp of Model X.” A run rate is an extrapolation of data used to estimate a company’s future performance, and therefore is not a guarantee Tesla will produce a million cars annually.

Exhaust: Run rates can be a misleading metric, but its clear that Tesla’s production numbers are trending in the right direction to make the “one million” vehicle claim a reality. While Musk’s Gigafactories will never actually live up to their moniker (giga is a billion) the production numbers are impressive for a company that opened its first plant in 2010. New facilities in Berlin and Texas will soon be adding to the stats, too.

Get your $500 Hot Wheels R/C Batman car before they fly away

Batmobile_RC_Car
Mattel

Intake: The Batman is back, and Mattel is holding tightly to his cape with a 1:10-scale remote-control car that looks as gritty as the newest movie about the DC Comics superhero (scheduled for release in March 2022). Created by the Hot Wheels R/C design team, “The Ultimate Batmobile” features street-grade suspension, multi-color LED lights, flame FX on both the front and rear, and a water-activated mist effect for atmosphere. And since the Batmobile needs a place to hide when Bruce Wayne isn’t fighting crime, the R/C car comes with a Batcave display, complete with light-up screens and a Bat-Signal projector. Pre-sale orders for the $500 “toy” and display are now being accepted at MattelCreations.com.

Exhaust: With all of the cool new movie-related stuff coming out (including a Lego Batmobile), fans of The Batman may empty their savings accounts long before the movie reaches theaters. If the R/C car’s $500 price tag gives you pause, eBay sellers are already accepting their own “pre-orders” for $650–$900. Although Mattel allows the purchase of two R/C cars per household, the supply is limited, so the cars could sell out at any moment. Want one? Don’t wait.

Ducati will produce spec electric bike for 2023 MotoE season

Ducati MeooE
Ducati

Intake: Ducati announced a new agreement with Dorna Sports to be the sole supplier of motorcycle for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup. Currently, all MotoE riders compete on Energica motorcycles, another Italy-based brand. Ducati says that this agreement will allow the company “to develop the best technologies and test methodologies applied to sporty, light and performing electric motorcycles.”

Exhaust: This is a very interesting choice by Ducati and Dorna simply because Ducati is one of the few brands that does not have some form of electric motorcycle in prototype or production. A one-year timetable to have a racing-ready machine is a bold move, even if they do have years of chassis information at hand. On the other hand, Volkswagon Auto Group has been on the leading edge of electric development as of late, and since Ducati falls under that ownership umbrella, all the tech it may need is likely just a few phone calls away in Germany.

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