New Civic Type R speeds around Suzuka, tornado halts Corvette production, Bronco Everglades glimpsed
Ogle Honda’s new Civic Type R in its natural environment
Intake: Honda is teasing us all with a new set of photos showing the next-generation Civic Type R sedan on test at the Suzuka circuit in Japan. The car is still wrapped in a quirky, red-and-black camouflage but you can see the styling is somewhat toned down. Compared to the outgoing car, the new Type R has fewer air scoops and vents, though that exaggerated, hooped rear wing remains. Honda says the car will be introduced in 2022 as a 2023 model. You can expect facts, figures, and more images to appear over the coming months to keep the hype machine in motion.
Exhaust: The 2021 Type R is a tough act to follow. We previously described this car as “stunningly capable—a front-drive supercar, if there is a such a thing—that demands very little in the way of compromise as a daily driver.” If there was one area in which we felt the ’21 Type R could be improved it was styling, which doesn’t exactly suit everyone. Will this new, softer (and, dare we say, more mature) be a hot beverage for which the masses will thirst? We’ll find out when the camouflage comes off—and when pricing is announced.
Former AMC headquarters will be razed as part of $66M project in Detroit
Intake: The Detroit City Council announced a plan to raze the former American Motors Corporation headquarters on the city’s west side. Mayor Mike Duggan has previously condemned the building as “nothing but an eyesore” and a “source of embarrassment.” According to the Detroit Free Press, Missouri-based NorthPoint Development will demolish and clean the 2,000,000-square-foot site at 14250 Plymouth Road and build a new 728,000 square-foot industrial space for an automotive parts supplier. The project will cost $66M and is expected to begin in late 2022.
Exhaust: Considering AMC moved its headquarters to nearby Southfield, Michigan, in 1975 and the Plymouth Road facility has been without a tenant since 2009, a decision to refurbish the complex or raze it was long overdue. Although the proposed demolition and new construction carries a hefty price tag, it’s good to know that the automotive industry will be alive and well at this location once again.
Max Verstappen is the 2021 Formula 1 World Champion … for now
Intake: Max Verstappen has become the first Dutch Formula 1 World Champion after a one-lap shootout between him and Sir Lewis Hamilton decided a 22-race season. Going into the final showdown in Abu Dhabi, the pair was tied on points, setting up a battle royale between the key protagonists which many feared would end in a collision. In the end, the race result was decided by something that even Netflix couldn’t have scripted.
Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG looked comfortably faster in free practice, but Verstappen turned in a sensational qualifying lap to put him on pole for the race. As the lights went out, Hamilton got the better start, edging into the lead. At turn six Verstappen dived down the inside, forcing Hamilton to go off track to dodge another crash with the Dutchman. The British racing knight rejoined the circuit further ahead than he was before, but then backed off to avoid a penalty. For the rest of the race it looked like Hamilton and Mercedes had everything under control, electing to stay out on hard tires even when Verstappen pitted for fresher rubber under a virtual safety car. After Williams driver Nicholas Latifi hit the barrier in the closing stages of the race, and the Aston Martin safety car was called out while the track was cleared, it looked like the whole championship would end in a parade. Race director Michael Masi had other ideas, however. As the final lap approached he allowed the cars that separated Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake the safety car, which was then immediately brought in. That meant Verstappen had one lap to take the win and the title on much fresher, faster tires than Hamilton. The seven-times World Champion was effectively a sitting duck and the orange army supporting Verstappen had plenty to celebrate.
Exhaust: Despite taking its eighth consecutive manufacturers’ title, Mercedes immediately protested against the decisions made by race director Masi, and although these objections were dismissed at the circuit, the German giant has not given up and the drivers title could yet be decided in court. After a season full of drama this is an added twist that doesn’t make the sport look great but, if nothing else, will boost the ratings of Netflix’s next season of Drive to Survive.
Corvette assembly plant catches fire after being struck by tornado, pauses for a week
Intake: The tornado that swept through six states early Saturday morning is responsible for a fire at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which will shut down C8 production for at least one week, according to Automotive News. Multiple sources reported a fire on the roof, and plant officials confirmed that the tornado caused damage to the roof and an employee entrance. According to a statement released over the weekend, Corvette Assembly has canceled second- and third-shift production until the week of December 20 as it works “to get tooling, equipment, and the facility space up to standard.” The UAW said the status of first-shift production was unknown. The nearby National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park sustained significant damage to the property and all events are “canceled until further notice.” On a positive note, the museum itself—no stranger to catastrophes—was spared from substantial harm, but it was without power and remained closed over the weekend.
Exhaust: We’re relieved to know that no one was injured inside any of the Corvette facilities. This production setback should be little cause for concern for order holders—the plant has recovered from worse delays in the past 18 months. Bowling Green, Kentucky, is synonymous with Corvette and is a must-see destination for fans of America’s Sports Car, so the community—and everyone affected by the tornado in all six states—will remain in our thoughts.
Behold Ford’s new snorkel- and winch-toting Bronco Everglades
Intake: While there is already a plethora of off-road companies working on off-road essentials like a snorkel intake for the new Ford Bronco, Ford confirmed earlier this fall that it would also eventually offer the snorkel as a factory option with a new Bronco trim called the Everglades. BroncoNation posted the first photos of the Everglades model testing in partial camo, and sure enough, there’s a sweet-looking snorkel affixed to the passenger side of the windshield. There’s also a Warn winch, which like the snorkel will come installed from the factory. The snorkel will greatly bolster the Bronco’s existing 33.5 inches of water-fording capability (as measured with the Sasquatch package installed, which adds 35-inch tires). This Everglades trim—one of two Special Editions to come for the 2022 MY—will also use 35-inchers, but it’s not yet clear whether they will be available on the Everglades via the Sasquatch package or simply as standard equipment along with the snorkel and winch. In summer of 2022, all will be revealed.
Exhaust: Ford is making all the right moves with this Everglades Bronco. As automakers reach further and further into the aftermarket industry and grab accessories to install on their own factory lines, this package is both logical and exciting. As with most of these accessories, it’s not necessarily about what you’ll use a snorkel-equipped Bronco for on the regular, but what becomes possible should you find yourself needing to wade across a particularly gnarly stream. We’re also seriously digging that Eruption Green paint.