GM’s not cutting ICE just yet, The King joins RPM Act fight, Maserati goes GT2 racing

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Chevrolet

Chevy and GMC will sell ICE models alongside EVs—and a Corvette SUV might be coming

Intake: The tidal wave of electric vehicles coming from General Motors may be looming large, but at least two of its brands—GMC and Chevrolet—will continue to offer gasoline-powered vehicles alongside BEVs for at least a few years, according to a report from Automotive News. The report gives a full rundown of what’s coming for each of the nameplates from the two brands, (there’s a lot of platform-sharing between them), but a few are worth calling out specifically. Chevy’s Silverado EV is slated to go on sale next spring; GMC’s been quiet about how it will incorporate the Ultium battery platform into a Sierra EV, AN says the GMC will be unveiled later this year. GMC has invested quite a bit of money into two high-end Sierra trims—the Denali Ultimate and the AT4X—as ways to boost profit margins ahead of the reveal of a Sierra EV. In the mid-size game, combustion-powered versions of the Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon are due for a refresh early next year, but electric versions are on the way as well, due sometime in 2026. GM’s cash-cow SUVs, the Tahoe/Suburban siblings from Chevy and the Yukon/Yukon XL from GMC, will get all-electric versions in 2026 that will also be sold alongside the gas-powered versions. As for Chevy’s pony car? Sadly, the Camaro is expected to cease production in 2025, replaced by a similarly sized EV that’s yet to be named. That’s marginally better than earlier rumors that had production ending next year, but a hard pill to swallow nonetheless.

But the biggest news comes from the house of Corvette: Forecasters expect an all-electric version of America’s Sports Car to debut in 2025, alongside at least one (gulp) Corvette crossover arriving that same year. In the immediate future, we’ll see a hybrid version of the Corvette (dubbed the E-Ray) later next year—we’ve seen this one out and about at the Nürburgring already—which will join the standard C8 and the yowling Z06.

Exhaust: While the all-electric transformation may be in full swing at Cadillac and Buick, GM’s not giving up on ICE—or its short-term profit potential—just yet. Ford has adopted a similar strategy with plans to retain gas-burning engines for its pickups through 2040. Blasphemous as it may seem to the crossed-flag faithful, rumors have been circulating around a Corvette SUV for a while now. From an emotionless business perspective, the case for a Corvette SUV is hard to argue with, but consider our pearls clutched. Elsewhere in GM’s lineup, all-electric versions of its full- and mid-size pickups and full-size SUVs could prove quite profitable. That will help subsidize development of smaller electrics like the forthcoming Equinox EV that Chevy says will start around $30,000, even as raw material shortages affect battery cell prices. — Nathan Petroelje

Ford’s F-150 Tremor gets pricier but adds V-8 for 2023

Ford

Intake: According to a new report from Ford Authority, Ford is dropping the base option level (400A) for its off-road-focused F-150 Tremor, opting instead to set the minimum bar to entry at the 401A mid equipment group. So while the 2023 model will come with more creature comforts, we also expect a significantly higher price tag, as the difference between the two trims is currently $6065. Configuring a 2022 Tremor with just the 401A mid-equipment group brings the MSRP to $61,980 including $1785 destination. That puts it a lot closer to the F-150 Raptor, with currently starts at $72,350, including destination. As a consolation for V-8 fans, Ford will also make the 400-hp 5.0-liter V-8 the standard engine for all F-150 Tremors, replacing the standard-output 400-hp 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Should you still want an EcoBoost engine in your tremor, rest easy—that one’s still an option.

Exhaust: It seems that the addition of the Rattler package to shore up the entry-level off-road enthusiast market for 2023 has given Ford room to push the Tremor upmarket. The popular EcoBoost V-6 has become a workhorse in the F-150 lineup, but many buyers still crave a V-8. Perhaps the Raptor R and its new supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 sent some ripples through other off-road F-150s. No matter what the impetus, we’re glad buyers have more choices. —  Brandan Gillogly

This Beatle’s Porsche could be yours

Intake: In 1980, George Harrison picked up this cool black-on-black Porsche 928 S and it was his Ticket to Ride for the next four years, during which he racked up 11,000 miles. Harrison replaced it with a 500 SEL AMG, but the car went on many a Magical Mystery Tour with its next owner, who had to replace the engine block at 108,000 miles. Harrison’s 928 S was bought by the current keeper in 2017, after which it underwent a complete restoration which cost more than $120,000. It’s now for sale at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $150,000–$250,000. It comes with a cassette of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons that was discovered under the driver’s seat, which was known to be a Harrison favorite, so Roll Over Beethoven. RM’s Monterey sale will take place August 18–20.

Exhaust: “Money can’t buy me love” opined the Beatles, but it could buy one of the fab four Porsches owned by George Harrison. In addition to the 928 S, he bought two 911 Turbos and a 924 Carrera GT over the years. His collection also included A Jaguar XKE, an Aston Martin DB5, a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman and 300SEL, a Mini Cooper S, and a McLaren F1. The estimate is way more than double the Hagerty #1 Concours condition value, but there’s bound to be a Beatlemaniac out there already singing “I’ll Get you”. — Nik Berg

Richard Petty joins fight for passage of the RPM Act

Richard Petty and SEMA CEO Mike Spagnola
SEMA

Intake: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has joined forces with SEMA, meeting with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to advocate for passage of the RPM Act (Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act). Petty and Specialty Equipment Market Association CEO Mike Spagnola traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to fight for Americans’ right to convert street vehicles into dedicated racecars, as well as the motorsports parts industry’s ability to sell products that enable racers to compete. The EPA maintains that such modified race vehicles are not legal under the Clean Air Act, but the man known in racing circles as “The King” told members of the media that “the EPA is overstepping its jurisdiction and penalizing small motorsports parts businesses. The RPM Act is essential to the racing industry and protecting the careers of young racers all over the country. During most of my racing career, my fellow NASCAR drivers and I competed in racecars that started out at as street-legal vehicles.”

Exhaust: SEMA has been fighting this battle for years, and it has turned up the heat on Washington in recent months to finally get the RPM Act passed. Bringing in Richard Petty is more than a PR move; he is a personable, reasonable everyman whose words and influence are palpable. Let’s hope that legislators are listening. — Jeff Peek

Maserati readies Mc20 sports car for GT2 racing in Europe

Intake: We’ve known since September of 2020 that Maserati had racing plans for its MC20 supercar—and now we know when and where. It’ll be in the Fanatec GT2 European Series Championship, and the car will debut in the 2023 season, likely with plenty of testing between now and then. The car will be called, perhaps obviously, the MC20 GT2, and it’s based closely on the road-going version, using the Nettuno twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 engine , and a double-wishbone suspension with “a semi-virtual steering axis,” built on a carbon fiber monocoque. Maserati last raced in the GT series from 2004–2010 with the iconic and very successful MC12. Said Davide Grasso, Maserati CEO: “Racing has always been Maserati’s natural habitat and now, both in the Fanatec GT2 European Series Championship and in the Formula E Championship, this brand is making a new start from its roots to build the future.”

Exhaust: It’s disappointing that Maserati didn’t announce whether it would be racing in the U.S.-based Fanatec series (Fanatec, by the way, makes simulator racing hardware) which is strong, but would certainly benefit from a factory-backed Maserati car on the grid. But since Maserati will be offering the MC20 GT2 to customer teams, we’re guessing we’ll see a Maserati here sooner than later. “The car would definitely be eligible to run with us, and we’d love to have them,” said Jim Jordan, a director of the Fanatec World Challenge series. — Steven Cole Smith

Toyota, Suzuki and Daihatsu to team up on mini mid-engined sports car: report

Toyota MR2 concept
Toyota

Intake: The next Toyota MR2 will be a collaboration with Suzuki and Daihatsu, reports a Japanese car magazine. Best Car claims that Toyota will provide its GA-B platform which underpins the GR Yaris and GR Corolla, and Suzuki will come to the party with a three-cylinder, one-liter turbo engine. The motor is currently used in the JDM Swift Turbo, where it drives the front wheels, but in the new sports car it will be fitted amidships and send power to the rear instead. A six-speed torque converter automatic is the expected transmission. It’s unclear what Daihatsu will be contributing, aside from cash, of course. Toyota has already teased the design of such a mid-engined sportster, and the car should reach showrooms some time in 2025 with a dollar-equivalent price of $20,000–$30,000, says Best Car.

Exhaust: Toyota has a successful track record of sports car partnerships, sharing costs with rivals to give gearheads what they want. First there was the GR86 co-developed with Subaru as its BRZ, and then came the BMW Z4-derived Supra. If the rumors are to be believed, expect the new mid-engined machine to be closer to the Subaru venture, with only subtle differences in visuals and suspension tune separating the different brands’ cars. — NB

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