The Big Apple buys some Mach-Es, Ferrari turns 75, Zeekr eyes a self-driving bus


New York City cuts an $11.5M check for 184 Mustang Mach-E GTs

Intake: The Big Apple is getting serious about phasing out gas-powered vehicles for some of its municipal authorities. According to a Detroit Free Press report, N.Y. officials announced on Wednesday that the city has purchased 184 Mustang Mach-E GTs for use in the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and a few others. The initial purchase totals $11.5M, or an average of $62,500 per vehicle. The law enforcement vehicles will include costs for significant retrofitting of safety and equipment. New York City has a goal of an all-electric municipal fleet by 2035. In September, the Mach-E became the first EV to pass the testing regimen required by the Michigan State Police, which includes acceleration, braking, high-speed pursuit, and emergency response handling.

Exhaust: Although the Mach-E passed the Michigan State Police testing regimen, it didn’t do so with flying colors. A report from the MSP’s evaluation shows that the Mach-E frequently scored the lowest on key metrics, including usability around the steering wheel, HVAC controls, trunk access, and back seat access. Whether or not some of the retrofitting mentioned by NYC officials will remedy these issues remains to be seen.

Ferrari celebrates 75 years of looking ahead by getting into crypto

Intake: Ferrari has unveiled a new logo for 2022, which marks the 75th anniversary of the company’s founding by Enzo Ferrari in 1947. As you can see in the video above, Ferrari commissioned a special artwork to mark the occasion made from thousands of jigsaw-like pieces, each placed by a Ferrari worker. That’s not the firm’s only artistic endeavor, however, as it has also partnered with Swiss NFT (Non Fungible Token) marketplace owner Velas Network and is promising “exclusive digital content,” most likely in the form of limited edition NFT pieces. Velas will also become Ferrari’s title sponsor in eSports.

Exhaust: 2022 will be a busy year for Maranello, with a slew of launches including the Purosangue SUV, 296 GTS spider and, no doubt, additions to the Incona line-up to follow the recently-launched Daytona SP3. Maybe you’ll even be able to pay for them with Ferrari crypto currency. Prancing Horsecoin anyone?

Would you ride this self-driving bus?

Intake: Residents of San Francisco and Phoenix could soon be bussing around their cities in this self-driving electric vehicle. China’s Geely sub brand Zeekr has partnered with California’s Waymo to develop an autonomous ride-hailing vehicle and pictured above is the first official render of what it could look like. The bus has been designed by Geely’s China Europe Vehicle Technology Center in Sweden and, once completed, will be kitted out with Waymo’s self-driving kit. Waymo uses Lidar, radar, cameras and a ton of processing power to digitally map the world around it. Waymo—Google’s self-driving project—claims that its system is “the world’s most experienced driver” as it has already driven millions of miles on public roads in more than 13 states. Currently only offering its Waymo One “fully autonomous rides” in Metro Phoenix, Waymo is also testing in San Francisco with a plan to eventually offer its service in The Golden City.

Exhaust: Zeekr hasn’t announced a date for the introduction of its new ride-hail machine, but you can bet the likes of Uber, Lyft and traditional taxi firms will be hoping it won’t be any time soon.

Subaru will reveal an electric STI concept at Tokyo Auto Salon

Subaru STI E-RA concept teaser

Intake: January 14–16th, Subaru Tecnica International (better known as STI by fans) will unveil a major step in its next chapter at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Chiba, Japan. It’s dubbed the STI E-RA concept, which according to Subaru’s announcement, is “a study model for future motorsport vehicles toward a carbon-neutral era.” (Read: an electric race car.) The smokey teaser image above shows some menacing headlights and two hefty nostrils in the hood. The concept will join a host of other STI-tuned vehicles at the event, including a WRX S4 STI performance concept, a Levorg STI concept, and a Subaru BRZ equipped with STI performance parts.

Exhaust: The electric march continues. We’re glad to see that while Subaru’s mainstream EV plans may seem sleepy (the Solterra being the main culprit), the company still plans to allow the geniuses at STI to focus on performance-first electric applications. Electric STI hill-climb monster, anyone?

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