GM eyes off-road HD pickups, Wraith no more, Denzel Washington’s 911 for sale

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Chevrolet

GM’s heavy-duty pickups likely headed off-road in 2024

Intake: GM-Trucks.com recently spotted an off-road-focused Sierra HD that’s quite a bit beefier than the current AT4. Based on the camouflaged prototypes spied by the publication, both the Silverado and Sierra HD pickups will likely be joined by even more off-road-capable versions for the 2024 model year, following on the heels of the long-awaited Silverado ZR2 and Sierra AT4X. The pre-production pickups flaunt 35-inch tires, new bumpers with better approach angles, and sturdy skid plates. Each is expected to use front and rear lockers like its midsize and 1/2-ton counterparts.

Exhaust: The pickup truck market is huge and buyers are willing to pony up for expensive trim levels, whether luxury-focused or off road–oriented, so it seems natural for GM to offer a more off-road focused line of Sierra and Silverado. The fact that the Power Wagon and now the Super Duty Tremor have been able to establish themselves in the market proves that these trucks are viable. If these two offer the balance of on- and off-road ride and handling that the Colorado ZR2 has continued to deliver, then GM should have two smash hits on its hands.

Arizona lets you store drivers’ license on iPhone; more states to follow

Intake: Apple has announced that Arizona is the first state to offer driver’s license and state ID in the iPhone Wallet app, a method of identification that has been approved for use at TSA security checkpoints. Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, says other states will soon follow suit, including Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and the territory of Puerto Rico, as well as seven other previously announced states—Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. The news comes on the heels of Apple’s announcement that it will provide digital car keys for the 2022 Kia Niro, 2022 Genesis G90, and all-electric 2022 Genesis GV60.

Exhaust: It is not surprising that as technology improves, the automotive world is moving closer and closer to a digital existence than an analog one. However, while the features announced by Apple seem to offer a more seamless way to live, the move to a digital lifestyle may ultimately get more complicated. For example, if Apple decides to stop supporting the digital key feature on older phones, users will be forced to upgrade. And there are always unforeseen problems as software ages—like GPS system failure, which automakers have not exactly been quick to fix.

Wraith no more

Rolls-Royce Wraith and Dawn
Rolls-Royce

Intake: Rolls-Royce has stopped taking orders for the Wraith coupe and Dawn droptop as the British luxury carmaker gears up for the launch of its all-electric Spectre. The U.S. order books had already closed, but now Rolls won’t be accepting build requests from anywhere in the world. The final cars will be delivered in 2023, shortly before the Spectre glides in. Although the Spectre isn’t a like-for-like replacement for the Wraith, it will be the only coupe in the Rolls-Royce range. A convertible version will follow soon after.

Exhaust: It’s the beginning of the end for combustion engines at Rolls-Royce. From 2023 onwards, the only new vehicles to be unveiled by the brand will be electric and its purring V-12 and V-8 engines will be completely phased out by 2030.

Jeep teases military-themed Easter Jeep Safari concept

Stellantis

Intake: Jeep doesn’t give us much here besides an image and a brief bit of text, including the following: “This year, the Jeep design team is hard at work on an off-roader that pays homage to a Jeep vehicle of the past. Hint, it blends military grit and determination with 4xe electric vehicle technology.”

Exhaust: The photo, combined with what little information we can glean from the photo, gives us an idea of what to expect when this concept is revealed next month at Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The RU31-CON/4XE lettering clearly indicates a hybrid powertrain. Our best guess is that the “military grit” points to a homage to the Willys M38A1, from which the CJ-5 evolved. We admit that “M38A1” is a bit of a stretch from the “31” in the hood lettering, so we may be way off. The number could have something to do with the output or the range of the 4XE powertrain or something else entirely. Thankfully, we don’t have long to wait. 

USPS doubles the number of EVs in its replacement fleet

Oshkosh USPS Truck side profile
USPS

Intake: The U.S. Postal Service announced that it has ordered more than 10,000 new electric delivery trucks, up from the 5000 the agency had initially planned to purchase as part of its $2.98 billion order of 50,000 new delivery vehicles from Oshkosh Corp. In an elongated, publicly scrutinized evaluation to determine the percentage of EVs vs. ICE-powered vehicles in the fleet, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says the agency’s decision to purchase 10,019 EVs “makes good sense from an operational and financial perspective.” The change comes after the Biden administration criticized the Postal Service’s technical analysis of emissions impacts and argued it overestimated the long-term cost of EVs.

Exhaust: Somehow, we knew this discussion was not over. First, the USPS pumped the brakes on its original plan to electrify only 10 percent of its new fleet. Then it finalized those plans in defiance of the Biden administration’s objections. Now it has doubled the number of planned EVs to be built. Will the compromise be enough to put this environmental tug-o-war to rest? Likely not. Stay tuned. 

Denzel Washington’s 911 takes flight on BaT

Denzel Washington Porsche 911 Turbo
Bring A Trailer

Intake: A 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo originally ordered by Oscar-winner Denzel Washington has already soared past $300,000 on auction site Bring a Trailer. The black-on-black 993 has been owned by the actor since new and is specified with 18-inch Turbo Twist wheels, xenon headlights, a fixed rear wing, power seats, and climate control. There are crimson (tide?) brake calipers and, with a clean CarFax report and a 18K-mile odometer reading, the car appears in magnificent (seven!) condition.

Exhaust: The price of this struck 911 looks Unstoppable. The auction ends in four days, so you’ll need Courage Under Fire to stand a chance of winning before you’re Out of Time.

Virginia joins North Carolina in banning Carolina Squat

Intake: Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed SB777 into law yesterday, which bans trucks and SUVs modified with the “Carolina Squat,” a style in which the rear end of the vehicle is lowered and the front end is hoisted skyward. Virginia now joins North Carolina in banning the modification, which stipulates that the difference between the front bumper height and the rear bumper height be no more than 4 inches. Opponents of the modification argue that the squat obscures road visibility and can result in increased risk of a crash: Youngkin was joined at the bill’s signing by a family who lost their son to a crash with a vehicle that had been modified with the Carolina Squat.

Exhaust: Your feelings on the stylistic delicacy of the Carolina Squat notwithstanding, does regulating a modification like this going to change anything significant? The parameters for a truck’s legality—that 4-inch difference—seem awfully subjective, and with suspension tech such as airbags that can raise and lower a truck with the flip of a switch, some might find a way around this. Does a tape measure become standard kit for traffic enforcement now?

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