Rivian’s big recall, California’s gas price conundrum, AMG ONE’s ridiculous speed
Rivian recalls nearly every vehicle for loose fastener
Intake: Rivian is recalling about 13,000 of its R1T and R1S electric vehicles due to an improperly torqued fastener that may affect the vehicle’s ability to steer, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press. The fastener, which holds the front upper control arm and the steering knuckle together, will need to be re-torqued by a Rivian technician to remedy the issue. Rivian says that it is aware of seven reports that may be related to the fastener issue, but it noted that no injuries have been reported thus far. “If you experience excessive noise, vibration, or harshness from the front suspension, or a change in steering performance or feel, you should call immediately,” CEO RJ Scaringe said in a letter to owners. The fix is expected to take just a few minutes to remedy, and Rivian expects to have the repairs finished on all the affected vehicles in about 30 days, assuming customers are quick to get their EV in to a service center.
Exhaust: It goes without saying, but if you have an R1T or R1S, don’t dawdle in getting this fix done. Recalls happen, especially if you’re a company like Rivian experiencing the growing pains of scaling production from just a few vehicles per day to a much larger-scale operation. Recently, Rivian announced a partnership with Mercedes-Benz to build a factory in Europe that will produce electric vans for both marques; perhaps some of Big Benz’s manufacturing expertise will help inform future production facility tweaks at Rivian to avoid issues like this. — Nathan Petroelje
Gas prices in California continue to spike
Intake: “Pain at pump is unique to state,” read a headline last week in the Los Angeles Times. Story after story in the California media has attempted to explain why California gas prices are so high. And they still are: Sunday night, AAA listed the average price of regular gas in California at $6.34 a gallon, compared to the national average of $3.91. California is higher than Alaska ($5.55) and Hawaii ($5.22). Why? Because of the special cleaner-burning blend required in California. The capacity at refineries to supply the gas has also been cut, the Times says: “At least five plants have recently faced maintenance-related stoppages or slowdowns.” The story continues, pointing out that there are just 14 refineries now compared with almost 50 a few decades ago, so California becomes “precariously reliant” on the refineries still operating, given the state’s more stringent gasoline requirements compared with the rest of the U.S., said Severin Borenstein, the director of UC Berkeley’s Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business. “The reality is that as we phase out gasoline, we’re going to have fewer and fewer California refineries that make this blend,” Borenstein said. “And that’s going to make us more and more vulnerable to any one refinery, if they go out unexpectedly, to see a big price shock.”
Exhaust: As you know, California and other states plan to ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. It could be a long 13 years. The assumption seems to be that there will still be refineries producing ample amounts of gasoline right up to 2035, but that’s a gamble; it’s unlikely any industry faced with being put out of business is going to build any new refineries, so it all hinges on keeping the ones we have running. — Steven Cole Smith
This incredible collection of supercars and rally stars is for sale
Intake: Dreams can come true. Or at least they did for one British enthusiast who amassed a collection of 18 of the most amazing automobiles on the planet. From Bugatti, there are GT and Supersport versions of the EB110, together with a Chiron Supersport. The Ferrari stable features a 288 GTO, F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari—all in red—and a Superamerica, 550 Barchetta, and 599 SA Aperta in standout yellow. Jaguar is represented by the XJR-15 and XJ220, and there’s a Lamborghini Miura SV and a Countach LP5000S to complete the supercar superlatives. From the special stages come a Lancia 037 and Delta S4, and an Audi Quattro S1 E2, suggesting the owner was a big fan of rallying’s Group B golden age. Now the entire multi-million-dollar fleet is for sale at RM Sotheby’s London sale on November 5, where more dreams will be made real.
Exhaust: Owning any one of these machines is the stuff of fantasy, yet one man amassed them all. “This is certainly one of the most remarkable single-owner collections of supercars to be offered in Europe,” says Michael Squire, Senior Car Specialist and Director of Research at RM Sotheby’s. Could this be the sale of the century? — Nik Berg
Watch the AMG ONE leave a GT Black Series standing
Intake: Its arrival was significantly slower than expected, but the AMG One is even faster than anticipated. In this video released by Mercedes-AMG the hybrid hypercar is so rapid that it makes the AMG GT Black Series look like a laggard. For context, the Black Series is a one-time production car lap record holder at the Nürburgring which can accelerate from 0- 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and top out at 202 mph. The AMG One simply smashes those numbers with its 1049-hp hybrid powertrain sending it to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and on to 219 mph. The difference looks even greater in a 1000-meter drag race where the One flies across the line at almost 200 mph while Black Series struggles to reach 170 mph. Watch in awe.
Exhaust: Benz buffs have been waiting since 2017 for the AMG One and its Formula1-derived powerplant, and at long last, their patience looks to have been rewarded. This is performance on a whole new level for Mercedes-AMG—and remember, this is just a straight-line sprint. Expect to see a new ‘Ring record soon. — NB
Polestar hampered by COVID lockdowns in China
Intake: The plant in Luqiao, China, that produces the Polestar 2 “was hamstrung or stopped entirely for almost eight weeks in the spring, and the company is still scrambling to get enough computer chips and other essential parts,” says a report by Bloomberg, via Automotive News. Polestar had delivered just 9215 of the hot-selling cars to customers in the quarter that ended September 30. “The company will need to more than double that figure this quarter to reach its 50,000-vehicle target for the year, as it’s delivered 30,400 so far,” Bloomberg said. The company said this should not affect the introduction of the new Polestar 3, the electric SUV that will be built in both China and South Carolina. The Polestar 3 is set to debut in Denmark on Wednesday.
Exhaust: The customers seem to be there for Polestar’s products; now it’s just a matter of getting them built and delivered. The Bloomberg story reminds us that last April, Hertz ordered 65,000 cars for its rental fleet. Polestar wants to sell 290,000 EVs sales by 2025. Ambitious. — SCS
Electra reincarnated as a Grand Sport EV
Intake: The information released with Buick’s Wildcat concept suggests that all future Buick EVs will sport the “Electra” name, and Carbuzz found a trademark filing that proves the point: the Electra GS has been trademarked in the United States by General Motors. Hard numbers and concrete photos of the Electra have yet to surface, but it’s a safe bet that the electrified Buick will benefit from GM’s Ultium platform, which currently underpins a handful of Chevrolet, GMC (Hummer) and Cadillac vehicles that are either in production or very close to it.
Exhaust: Electra Waggoner Biggs likely never expected her name to live for so long as a Buick sedan, but news of a GS-grade Electra EV shows that the name, the brand, and the performance potential have serious legs in the EV market. Is it possible that a battery-powered Grand Sport from Buick will put down the mind-altering quarter miles numbers of a Tesla Model S plaid, paying proper homage to the big-block Skylarks of our past? And will the Electra GS flaunt a sculptural design worthy of its namesake’s passion for fine art? Only time will tell! — Sajeev Mehta