Hybrid Corvette due in 2023, Lambo builds the 20,000th Huracán, VW celebrates 50 years of the electric Bus
Next year’s hybrid Corvette to be sold alongside combustion models
Intake: As early as 2017, we’ve suspected that electrification is coming to America’s favorite sports car. This morning, GM president Mark Reuss shared on LinkedIn that the first hybrid Corvette is due as soon as next year. Given the eerily quiet test mules—such as the one flaunted in the video below—skulking about the Nürburgring in October of 2021, and the reassignment of Corvette engineers to the Autonomous and Electric Vehicles team back in 2020, a hybrid Corvette comes as little surprise. Though Reuss also officially promised an Ultium-based all-electric Corvette “in the future,” his announcement of “other phenomenal gas-powered variants” in the works indicates that Chevrolet is remaining sensitive to the Corvette’s combustion-powered legacy even as it (like nearly every other automaker around) leverages a decades-old nameplate for its electric offensive. As we speculated, the all-electric Corvette will likely debut as the C9. That said, Chevrolet’s decision to fund and develop not one but two new engines (LT2 and LT6) for the eighth-gen Corvette says much about its sensitivity to Vette history and to the company’s awareness of its combustion-centric engineering prowess.
Exhaust: Reuss’ most immediately important announcement, which diehard fans will find consoling, is official confirmation that hybrid models will be sold alongside combustion-powered cars in the C8 Corvette family. Our best guess, as we reported back in October of 2020, remains that this first hybrid model will be named “E-Ray” and use a front differential incorporating an electric motor to supplement the mid-mounted LT2’s output. Such an all-wheel-drive model would replace the Grand Sport in the Vette hierarchy, slotting above the base model but below the track-oriented Z06. It would likely be followed by a “Zora” model—essentially a hybridized Z06. Expect Chevrolet to send combustion out with a seriously proper fanfare, however. What might these “other phenomenal gas-powered variants” be? ZR1, is that you?
Lamborghini clears 20,000 Huracáns, readies new GT3 version
Intake: It’s been a big year for the Lamborghini Huracán. Late last week, the 20,000th example of this mid-engine V-10 supercar rolled off the Sant’Agata, Bolognese production line. The car in question is a gorgeous STO model slathered in Grigio Acheso Matt paint and headed to a customer in Monaco. Since it launched in 2014, the Huracán has enjoyed 12 road-going variants and three racing variants.
Speaking of race versions, it looks like Lambo is about to add a fourth version to that list. A recent Instagram post showing a second-generation Huracán GT3 EVO featured the caption, “Our story began on April 2015 with our first GT3 win in Monza. The STOry continues…” Expect this raging bull to be dubbed the Huracán GT3EVO2. The styling at either end of the race car (deliberately obscured in the teaser) will likely emulate that of the recently announced Huracán Tecnica. If the hashtags are any clue, the second-gen Huracán race car might make its debut at next year’s 24 Hours of Daytona.
Exhaust:Whether you’re into a minimalist look in the vein of the Huracán Evo, or you want the loudest styling possible (hello, Huracán STO), Lamborghini has done a commendable job of making one platform appeal to a wide variety of customers. Even though it’s approaching 10 years old, the supercar continues to sell and helped Lamborghini kick off 2022 with its best-ever first quarter of sales. We’re looking forward to seeing the next iteration of the Huracán GT3 battling on track with the likes of Corvette, Porsche, and even Ford in the coming years.
25 years on, the first 200-mph Pro Stock pass remains a remarkable achievement
Intake: Twenty-five years ago today, pro drag racer Warren Johnson made the first-ever 200-mile-per-hour pass (200.13) in an NHRA Pro Stock drag car. Nicknamed “The Professor” for his engineering chops and pragmatic approach to racing, Johnson was no stranger to setting high water marks on the strip. During his drag racing career, Johnson accumulated 36 national records. He was the first to 180 mph, the first to 190 mph, and finally the first to 200 mph in 1997. After nearly four decades on the strip, Johnson also amassed a series-record 97 victories in the NHRA’s pro stock class. Unlike the funny car floppers and top fuel rails, pro stock racers more closely resemble road-goers—despite their tube-frame bones. The Professor consistently employed General Motors’ products and his preferred lab rats included Chevrolet Camaros, Oldsmobile Cutlasses, and Pontiac Grand Prix—the latter of which would be the model that first took Johnson to 200.
Exhaust: “Warren Johnson is a man of few words, and that is mostly because he is hyper efficient, though precise, in all that he does,” wrote Kelly Wade in her recent biography of the pro stock legend. “He doesn’t believe in wasting time, and conversation without a purpose is just as invaluable as making a pass down the quarter mile with no intention of winning.” Diving further into the comprehensive profile, it’s no wonder the hyper-focused Johnson set as many records as he did. And given the NHRA’s Pro Stock class restricts use of forced induction and nitrous oxide, his 200-mph feat is likely at near the top of the list.
An Acura NSX died to make this diabolical Lambo replica for a baseball player
Intake: MLB star Jose Canseco once made the questionable decision to turn a 1999 Acura NSX into a Lamborghini Diablo GT lookalike, and the car is now up for grabs on eBay. The seller estimates that over $200,000 has been spent on the conversion and maintenance over the years, but also makes a few other crazy claims including that it “sounds exactly like a Diablo GT because the Acura NSX has the same firing order as the Lamborghini and the same high RPM range when shifting. It has been tuned to sound exactly like the real deal and it does.” With half the cylinder count of the Diablo, we’re calling bull on that, but we don’t doubt that the running gear is as reliable as the seller says.
Exhaust: Canseco struck out if you ask us, but bidders seem to think otherwise—bidding for the car has already reached $126,100 as of this writing. That’s more than you’d expect to pay for an unmolested NSX, but considerably less than the $1 million you’d need to find for a Diablo GT.
VW celebrates 50 years of EV Bus innovation
Intake: In 1972, VW introduced an electric T2 concept that used a 21.6 kWh battery mounted on the vehicle’s load floor that delivered a range of just over 50 miles. The battery on that groundbreaking concept was removable, enabling five-minute changes of the nearly 2000 pound battery rather than spending hours for it to charge.
Exhaust: VW is on the verge of launching the ID.Buzz in North America, with a fast-charging battery that stores three times the energy of that T2 concept at just over half the weight. The ID.Buzz and VW’s Modular Electric Drive platform upon which it’s built show how far electric batteries and powertrains have come. True, 50 years is a long time, but plenty of the advancements have come in recent years, finally making an all-electric van a viable option for many customers.
250 mph+ Bugatti driver gets away with autohbahn stunt
Intake: The Czech millionaire who filmed himself driving at 257 mph in his Bugatti Chiron on the German autobahn has escaped all charges. Although there is no speed limit on the stretch of road where Radim Passer put his foot down, authorities can still pinch drivers for reckless driving, so local prosecutors in Stendal studied footage of his high-speed run closely. Passer stated at the time of the attempt that “Safety was a priority, so the circumstances had to be safe to go” and that the he chose a specific six-mile section of the autobahn between Berlin and Hanover with “visibility along the whole stretch”. Having reviewed the footage, prosecutors told Germany’s dpa news agency that they agreed Passer had not endangered anyone and would not face charges.
Exhaust: Amazing as it is to see a Bugatti being driven as designed, we hope this doesn’t serve as an open invitation for speed fiends to go all-out on the autobahn. Passer planned his run to perfection and took safety seriously, which is more than can be said of many YouTubers who attempt similar feats for online viewership.