Chevy drops 70th Anniversary Edition Z06, WRC’s oldest comeback kid, Saleen to forge its own EV path?

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UPDATE: 70th Anniversary Edition Corvette Z06 arrives this year

Intake: Late last week, the founder of midenginecorvettes.com spotted the 70 Anniversary Edition by coincidence upon visiting the Visualizer. What he found set the internet ablaze and subsequently shut down the Visualizer, presumably to stop the leak. At noon today, Chevrolet decided to drop all the official details, including the photos below. As we expected, there will be two color choices for Z06s specced with the 70th Anniversary Package, which is limited to 3LT and 3LZ coupes and convertibles: White Pearl Metallic Tri-Coat or Carbon Flash Metallic. Exterior upgrades include unique badging, red brake calipers, and “carbon flash” on the mirrors, spoilers and wheels. The 70th’s interior has white GT2 seats with red stitching (or optional Competition Sport seats), red seat belts, a suede steering and several unique logos. There will be three unique accessories (red engine cover, paint protection, and custom fitted luggage) for those inclined. Pricing is not yet published on the Visualizer.

Exhaust: The internet can be a tough place to keep secrets, be it third-party hacks or mistakenly releasing time sensitive data at the wrong time. It appears the leak wasn’t too ahead of schedule, however, considering that the first-ever production Z06, which we already knew would cross Barrett-Jackson’s auction block on Saturday, January 29 with proceeds going to Operation Homefront, will be a 70th Anniversary Edition example. And in terms of a leak damaging a company’s future prospects, the impact here was likely low: The 70th Anniversary is special, but likely more like the Ford GT Carbon Series over a regular GT. A few extra carbon-fiber parts and unique trim and badges won’t take the spotlight away from all of its Z06 brethren—but they will surely sweeten the deal for B-J bidders in Scottsdale this weekend.

SNL’s Davidson and Jost hope to turn retired Staten Island ferry into a party barge

Intake: When we announced last week’s $280K sale of the decommissioned John F. Kennedy Staten Island ferry, we hoped the boat would find new life in a less stressful environment. This wasn’t exactly what we had in mind, but … it looks like the JFK is ready to party. New York media outlets are reporting that Saturday Night Live stars and Staten Island natives Pete Davidson and Colin Jost purchased the boat in partnership with Manhattan real estate broker and comedy club owner Paul Italia. And the trio has big plans. “The idea is to turn the space into a live entertainment event space, with comedy, music, art, et cetera,” Italia told the New York Post. “We’re in the early stages, but everybody involved had the same ambition—not to see this thing go to the scrapyard.” The buyers have 10 days to get the vessel out of the St. George Ferry Terminal, and Italia says plans are being made to tow the boat to a local shipyard, where it will remain until long-term location is found.

Exhaust: Regardless of whether or not you agree with turning the John F. Kennedy into a party barge, at least it won’t be cut up and sold for scrap. As much as Davidson and Jost joke about their native borough, they obviously care enough to save a piece of Staten Island’s storied history. 

Ford Maverick demand outpaces supply, remaining 2022 reservations full

Maverick Ecoboost rear plywood bed space
Ford

Intake: In three days, the Ford Maverick will no longer be orderable (as first reported by the Wall Street Journal). In early December, Ford announced that it would close the tap on reservations for the 2022 base-model hybrid (which accounted for 40 percent of orders) until summer of 2022. Since then, consumer interest has spiked regarding higher trims of the compact, economical trucklet, and Ford is hitting its projected 2022 MY production capacity. After this Thursday, customers configuring their dream Mavericks will need to either try their luck with dealer inventory or prepare to wait even longer as ordering reopens for the 2023 model later this summer.

Exhaust: Everyone and their grandma Sue could’ve predicted that the Ford Maverick would sell like hotcakes, and skyrocketing prices in the used-vehicle market have only added, erm, syrup to the stack. Ford’s now buried beneath an onslaught of interest generated by a genuinely affordable compact pickup; a promising problem to have.

Intel tags Ohio for new $20B American chip-manufacturing facility

300 mm Silicon Wafer Auto Worker Hands
A worker at U.S. chip supplier GlobalFoundries holds a 300-millimeter silicon wafer on which has been photo-etched hundreds of “die,” or integrated circuits, which each have billions of semiconducting “lines.” A shortage of such chips has caused slowdowns in the auto industry. Liesa Johannssen-Koppitaaz/Bloomberg

Intake: By 2025, Intel is aiming to alleviate the microchip supply chain shortage by erecting two facilities outside of Columbus, Ohio. Starting out on 1000 acres, the plants are to become self-contained sites focused on both R&D and manufacturing, with room to grow into a potential 2000-acre operation. Domestic semiconductor production has the full attention and support of the White House. Since early spring of last year, President Joe Biden lobbied congress to pass the U.S. Investment and Competition Act (USICA), which did so as of June 2021. The move sought to accelerate investment in American infrastructure in critical industries. Congress is yet to pass the CHIPS for America Act, which allocates further financial support ($52B) to this sector. Doing so, in theory, would lead to greater opportunities for other domestic labor markets to benefit from a potentially massive investment.

Exhaust: The current wafer squeeze is a situation that the auto industry and the U.S. government is hellbent on never repeating. Importing the lion’s share of this essential technology shackles stateside production, putting it in a position of weakness, and the quicker the industry can wiggle out of the current fiasco, the sooner it will stabilize. Three years is still a ways off; expect delays to continue until Intel’s Columbus plant, and more like it, find some footing.

At 47, Sébastien Loeb is the oldest comeback kid in World Rallying

Sebastien Loeb and Isabelle Galmiche
Red Bull

Intake: Flying Frenchman Sébastien Loeb has become the oldest-ever winner of a World Rally, after taking victory in the 2022 Rallye Monte Carlo. In a new era for WRC, with high-tech hybrid cars taking to the mountains above Monaco, it was the 47-year-old nine-time world champion who beat younger rivals to the flag. In a one-off appearance driving an all-new Ford Puma alongside 50-year-old codriver Isabelle Galmiche, who was making her first start at rallying’s top level, Loeb proved that age and experience counts, beating Toyota and Hyundai to give Ford a perfect start to the season.

Exhaust: Loeb is an incredible all-round driver who just seems to get better with every year. After winning back-to-back World Rally Championships, from 2002 to 2012 he ‘retired’ but has never stopped racing, taking part in World Touring Cars, Le Mans, the Porsche Supercup, World Rallycross, Extreme E, and Dakar. What a legend.

Patent pics reveal new Land Rover Defender 130

Land Rover Defender 130 patent
Land Rover

Intake: The upcoming extended Land Rover Defender 130 has been revealed in new patent images. It appears from the above sketch that the stretch comes not in the wheelbase but aft of the rear axle, which will provide more spacious third-row seating than the seven-seater 110 does. The 130 will be able to seat up to eight people and they’ll all have a grand view out, thanks to rear side windows that extend right to the car’s extremities. Despite being named 130, the largest Defender will be 201 inches in length and, aside from mildly-modified side vents, has no major styling changes. Expect to see it in the metal later in the year, and on sale in the U.S.A. in 2023. A pickup version is also said to be in the offing.

Exhaust: The Defender 130 is aimed squarely at America, where size matters most and the extra internal space will be welcomed by families and overlanders alike.

Saleen is cooking up an electric supercar

SALEEN_FOURSIXTEEN tesla model s based project
Saleen Automotive

Intake: Saleen, the aftermarket Mustang tuner and occasional producer of bonkers supercars like the S7, is readying a jump into the electric supercar space. Through a mildly convoluted announcement made on Facebook, Saleen let potential investors know that it is “entering an explosive growth cycle with new and exciting visionary products, including an electric supercar.” Details beyond intent were nonexistent, but we’ll stay close to the matter as more information becomes available.

Exhaust: Saleen’s first foray into the EV space was back in 2014 when it debuted a Tesla Model S-based ride dubbed the FOURSIXTEEN at that year’s Pebble Beach concours. That was just a mild upgrade to the Model S consisting of a few visual tweaks and an upgraded cooling system. We’re excited to see Saleen branch out into (what we assume will be) a full-fledged EV offering of its own.

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