Adaptive LED headlights finally U.S.-bound, all good on Super Bowl lowriders’ hoods, Macan goes Touring

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NHTSA approves use of adaptive beam LED headlights

Intake: Love driving with your high beams on, but wish there was a way to tailor the amount of light to the road ahead? Luckily for you, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration moved quicker than expected (over a year in advance) in legalizing the use of Adaptive Driving Beam headlights for new vehicles. The agency issued this ruling (details here) after a request from Toyota, ad they expect it “improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists by making them more visible at night, and will help prevent crashes by better illuminating animals and objects in and along the road.” The rule was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden last November.

Exhaust: As the video below shows, adaptive beams are a matrix of LED lights forming a high beam pattern, and it can turn off individual lights to keep from blinding others while still retaining high beam functionality elsewhere on the road. Note that this video is from 2014, so America is a bit behind the curve with this technology. Which comes as no surprise, as our headlights have been hamstrung by an inferior beam design set in place by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. While this new law can’t forgive the sins of not having H4 headlights in our classics, at least we’re getting what we deserve in the latest technology from new vehicles.

All was, in fact, good on the Super Bowl lowriders’ hoods


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A post shared by Thekingofchevys (@thekingofchevys)

Intake: The overlap between NFL fans and classic-car fans is bigger than you might expect, as was pointed out by the uproar over the dancers atop the hoods of a trio of vintage Chevrolet lowriders during the halftime show at this Sunday’s big game. (We, too, were concerned.) The owner of the three cars is here to put your mind at ease, though. According to thekingofchevys on Instagram, all the cars received “stunt hoods” which were braced internally and painted to match each car. This left the original sheetmetal home and safe during the foot-stomping dance performance.

Exhaust: These vintage cars are and were valuable enough that it’s hard to believe anyone would do anything but make special arrangement for stunts like these. Regardless, it’s nice to see the owner pop up to clarify these cars are just fine. Deep breaths, everyone.

This is not a video game: Instagram-famous collector reinvents a V-12 Ferrari 

Intake: You’re a collector of late-model exotics who has everything. What Ferrari do you get? An F12tdf would be a natural, tasteful choice—but you don’t stop there. Instagram-renowed mwvmnw, a user who chooses to remain anonymous, is the keeper of an eye-popping collection and has revealed their latest dream come true: The Veloqx Fangio. Details are scarce, but mwvmnw specifies that this otherworldly build “and its racing project” (your guess is as good as ours) are “purely non-profit, non-commercial initiatives,” cars created “by an enthusiast for enthusiasts only.” Inspiration was apparently taken from the WEC’s upcoming Hypercar class. We can’t get enough of the custom F12tdf’s radical surfacing, roof-high wing, quad-center-exit-exhaust, and delicate side mirrors—all photographed by similarly Insta-famous Alex Penfold beneath the lights of Bahrain International Circuit.

Exhaust: Few late-model collections rival mwvmnw’s, but it is this person’s genuine enthusiasm that has charmed their 1.1M followers. Be it the Veloqx Fangio, a quartet of Ford GTs, or a trio of Bugattis, mwvmnw loves to get these cars out on track and in the wild, commissioning high-dollar photographers to share the screensaver-worthy escapades. It’s about the cars, and we couldn’t approve more.

Porsche packs the Macan light for Touring

Intake: Porsche is bridging the gap between its standard and “S”-spec Macans with a new T model. As it’s done since 1968, T stands for Touring, but this SUV is no slowcoach. Under the hood sits a two-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 261 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, driving all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It can reach 62 mph from rest in 6.2 seconds and top out at 144 mph when fitted with the Sport Chrono Package. Compared to the 2.9-liter turbo V-6 in the S and GTS this engine is 130 pounds lighter, so Porsche has also fettled the suspension, lowering the ride height by 15 mm (0.59 inches) and upping the stiffness of the front anti-roll bar. Adaptive air suspension is an option. Mirrors, side blades, roof spoiler, and logos painted in Agate Grey Metallic are used to differentiate the T from standard and dark titanium 20-inch wheels are installed. Inside, black leather is the main theme, with the Porsche crest embossed in the seat headrests.

Exhaust: It’s not a big step from standard Macan to Touring, but the subtly enhanced looks and more tied-down suspension might be a price worth paying. We’ll have a better idea once Porsche announces pricing.

A sharper look for Audi’s flagship

Intake: Audi has refreshed the A8 and S8 for probably the last time before these executives get electrified. Up front there’s a new, wider grille with what Audi calls an “angular bar” design, while at the rear a new light signature has been created with OLED lights and a segmented light strip. There are no changes to the metalwork, mind. Separating the 563-hp V-8 powered S8 from its three-liter, six-cylinder sibling are quad tailpipes, a chrome-accented grille, plus black badges, mirrors and stealthy 21-inch alloys. Audi has also taken the opportunity to simplify the range, with the long-wheelbase A8L 55 TFSI offered at $86,500 and the S8 at $116,900.

Exhaust: The A8 and S8 will soon make way for the first results of Audi’s Artemis Project—an all-electric sedan with a hefty 400-plus mile range and autonomous features aplenty. So if you’re an admirer of the A8, this could be your last chance.

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    True Matrix lights? Major manufacturers say – thanks to the dinosaurs that run NHTSA’s inability to accept worldwide standards that have been in place for a decade or more – that it’ll be years, if EVER, that lights that meet OUR re written standards will be available. So happy they stepped up and released this decision a year or more early. I drove a rental spec Mazda in Australia and it was amazing how good, and adaptive to oncoming traffic, those lights were.
    But hey, got a new enough Merc, Audi, or many other brand vehicle? Chances are it already has the technology installed but dealers aren’t allowed to enable it.
    My ‘18 Audi is right on the border, and being so, would cost well over $5k to purchase (not install) the needed parts. I no longer drive enough at night to fund that or better, get a newer car, or else I’d very happily give those rules the big middle finger salute. Of course, we all know the blinding ‘modern’ lights we currently get are SO much safer!

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