GM’s parts catalog goes online, Glickenhaus braves Baja with hydrogen, new Sequoia brews
Now available online, GM’s parts catalog eliminates the middle man
Intake: Much like its digital retailing efforts with used vehicles, General Motors now turns its efforts on a customer facing, e-commerce tool to sell its parts. The big perk is that customers can buy online and choose either at-home delivery or pick-up at the nearest participating General Motors dealership that has the part in stock. Customers can also take advantage of GM’s rewards program through this website, just like any transaction at the dealership. Not only are traditional parts/accessories available, but so are over-the-air digital features (think upgrades for Cadillac Super Cruise) and technology subscriptions are available at these digital storefronts. Follow these links for Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC, respectively.
Exhaust: Ever had to wait on hold for an excessively long time when calling your local dealership’s parts department? Wait no more with this new website, as it promises to lighten the burdens of dealership employees while letting the customer find pricing and availability with far more efficiency. GM says its website is “built on one of three platforms that form the foundation of GM’s digital commerce transformation,” which implies that multiple third-party vendors may be involved. If so, odds are the tool Revolution Parts made for Mercedes-Benz could be a sneak peek of the goods headed GM’s way.
Floodgates of Dodge’s Direct Connection performance parts open March 9
Intake: The next chapter of Dodge’s 24 Months of Muscle Calendar is coming into focus. After announcing the contents of the Dodge Direct Connection performance parts catalog late last year, we now know the official green-light date: March 9. Dodge says that print and online versions of the new catalog will be made available. March 9 is also when the Power Brokers dealer network will come online as in-person resources for those seeking to drop ETs at the strip. There’s also a new job opening within Dodge for a unique kind of brand ambassador—Chief Donut Maker. Details for how to apply will be revealed tomorrow, but the perks list sounds killer—$150,000 salary, Dodge wardrobe, special business cards, and your choice of a high-po Dodge vehicle as a “company car.”
Exhaust: Those pining for more muscle now have a date to circle on their calendars. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: If you’re going to close the door on glorious V-8 muscle, you’d best do it with an unapologetic bang and not with a whimper. Hell yeah, Dodge.
Porsche Design gets meta with limited-edition 911 Targa
Intake: In 1972 Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed a rather swish chronograph and founded Porsche Design with his brother Hans-Peter, a spin-off business that would take Porsche style beyond the automobile into lifestyle products. Now, 50 years on, Porsche Design has gone full circle to produce a car. Actually, make that two cars. The first, dubbed the 911 50Y Porsche Design, is based on the 2022 Targa 4GTS and features a simple all-black exterior, while the interior gets Sport-Tex checked seat panels and a red second hand for the Subsecond clock in the dash. Porsche will build 750 examples of the 50Y model, but its second celebratory vehicle is a one-off.
Taking a 1972 2.4 Targa as a starting point, “The vision was to produce a historical counterpart to the new 911 Edition 50Y Porsche Design,” says Ulrike Lutz, head of Porsche Classic. “With the aid of the new Sonderwunsch [special wishes] programme, we were able to implement the idea of a unique pair of vehicles. The job of the designers and works restorers was to carefully transfer the specifications of the new car to the classic.” The ’72 car had its engine and chassis upgraded to S specification, and was painted in tribute to Porsche’s first chronograph. The bodywork is black with platinum side stripes and Porsche Design lettering and the Targa roll bar has been laser-finished in a platinum satin instead of the original stainless steel. It will be exhibited as part of a special show at the Porsche Museum, and isn’t for sale.
Exhaust: Both cars look great, but this is all getting a bit meta. The design company built to cash in on the auto brand’s fine work now has a car of its own. Still, if you’ve got the Porsche Design sunglasses, the Porsche Design pen, the Porsche Design watch, and the Porsche Design polo shirt, you may as well pick up a Porsche Design Porsche.
Glickenhaus Baja Boot will kick off hydrogen racing
Intake: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus will field a hydrogen-powered Boot at this year’s Baja 1000 desert race in November. It will be three years since the off-road buggy made its debut and won its class under combustion power, but 2022 will mark the firm’s first zero-emissions Baja bash. Glickenhaus says the fuel-cell vehicle has a range of more than 600 miles thanks to that huge H2 tank on the rear bed. If all goes to plan Glickenhaus says it will go on to build a road-legal version and develop its own fuelling infrastructure. “Our truck is something you can drive to the Baja 1000, race 1000 miles, and drive home. The Baja is a brutal race, the longest continuous off-road race globally. There is not a battery-electric vehicle in the world that can successfully run the Baja 1000,” says Glickenhaus.
Exhaust: Jim Glickenhaus is nothing if not ambitious. He also has a track record of doing what he sets out to, going up against the big guns in off-road and endurance racing. “When people see this vehicle race the Baja 1000 and finish, with zero emissions, it can be safely driven over the most intense landscapes and refueled in the middle of the desert, with our own infrastructure, that will change the world,” he says.
Something massive Toyota’s way comes
Intake: Toyota dropped a shadow-shrouded image today previewing a large addition to its SUV lineup. While there’s not a ton (ha) to go on here, the rear door and expansive sheetmetal aft of it imply a large two-row SUV, or something with three rows and a cargo area on the smaller side. There’s no word from Toyota about when we’ll see the full product, but it says, “A clear picture will come into view soon.”
Exhaust: We’re betting this is the first image of the new Sequoia, Toyota’s truck-based mega-ute. After a few days in the outgoing Sequoia TRD Pro, we can confirm that this nameplate is plenty ready for a new model. Expect the Tundra’s twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 to provide the grunt. But since dreaming is free, could Toyota be cooking up a mic-drop revival of the Land Cruiser nameplate? The meteoric rise in overlanding and off-road-inclined vehicles in today’s market might just precipitate the conditions needed to get one of our favorite icons back stateside. One can only hope.
Ford patents new tailgate
Intake: Automotive News spotted an interesting patent filed by Ford that shows a central door that pivots along a vertical axis, giving truck owners a new way to access their cargo.
Exhaust: Ford has been using a traditional folding tailgate since, well, forever. Its deployable bed step seems to have been the biggest development of late, and it kicked off innovation from its two main competitors. This new option looks to counter Ram’s Multi-Function tailgate and GM’s MultiPro/Multi-Flex tailgate that both give buyers several ways to access the bed and use the tailgate as a tool. Ford’s center-access option seems like it would be most useful when tied to a shell that also used a center door.