Hummer’s battery recall, Maserati’s Barbie collab, AMG’s next hybrid sports car


GMC Hummer EV recalled for improper battery pack sealing

Intake: GMC is recalling 700 Hummer EVs after two customer cars and one test vehicle suffered a failure where water entered the battery pack, causing one vehicle to stop driving, and two others to refuse to start. The recall will address “improper urethane sealing” of the battery pack, and owners of affected vehicles will receive recall information by mail. GMC will repair the vehicles at no cost, but so far there’s no solution set for these early production EVs. Until a fix is determined, GMC has also stopped new deliveries of Hummer EVs.

Exhaust: This recall has thrown a bit of a damper on GMC’s big all-electric debut. The solution to fixing the battery pack might be rather extensive, we’ll have to wait and see. General Motors has a lot riding on its Ultium platform, literally and figuratively, as the Cadillac Celestiq, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and GMC Sierra Denali EV will all use similar technology. The bright side is that the improper sealing was caught early and the issue hasn’t resulted in any fires, accidents, or injuries. —Brandan Gillogly

gm ultium ev platform

Barbie tricks out a Maserati for Neiman Marcus

Intake: Mattel and Maserati have come together to create a pair of Barbie Grecale SUVs, and one will be sold as part of the 2022 Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gift range. Barbie pimped her pink ride through Maserati’s Trident Fuoriserie program, adding acid yellow accents, and her famous signature to the exterior, which also features an iridescent top coat that creates a rainbow effect in direct sunlight. Inside, the black leather cabin is set off with pink stitching and monogrammed headrests. Powered by a 530-hp Nettuno V-6 engine, Barbie’s Grecale is offered in Trofeo specification, and priced at $330,000, with ten percent of the proceeds going to the Barbie Dream Gap Project. Maserati will reveal plans for the second car in 2023.

Exhaust: This isn’t the first Maserati to be sold through Neiman Marcus, and neither is it the only full-scale Barbie car. In 2004, the swanky store offered 60 Quattroportes for sale at $125,000 apiece in its Holiday Catalog, and in 2015 it followed up with 100 Ghibli S models, to mark Maserati’s centenary, priced at $95,000. Meanwhile, for her own 50th birthday in 2009, Barbie had two carmakers vying for her attention. Volkswagen unveiled a new Beetle with a motorized vanity in the trunk at a party in Barbie’s real-life Malibu Dream House, while Fiat also honored her with a hot pink 500 at the Milan Monza auto show. —Nik Berg

The Lotus Eletre will drive you round the ‘Ring

Lotus Eletre on track
Nik Berg

Intake: Lotus is developing its autonomous driving features so that the new Eletre hyper-SUV will be able to pilot owners around the Nürburgring at full tilt. The Eletre’s suite of deployable LIDAR sensors are standard fit and mean that it should be ready for “end-to-end autonomous driving” when regulations around the world allow, but until that time racing circuits such as the ‘Ring might offer the only opportunity to see just what the Eletre can do on its own. Lotus has also announced more detailed spec, and European pricing, while stating that “thousands of customers around the world have placed deposits to secure their Eletre.”

Three versions will be available with a choice of two powertrains. The Eletre and Eletre S come with a 603-hp single-speed setup providing a range of up to 373 miles and the flagship Eletre R offers a 905-hp dual-speed arrangement with a 304-mile range. That dual-speed setup cuts the 0-62 mph run down to under three seconds, versus the single-speed’s sprint time of 4.5 seconds. All Eletres come with a 112 kWh battery pack with the capacity to charge from 10-80 percent in 20 minutes on a rapid charger.

On-board tech includes sophisticated navigation with predictive routing to steer you on the most energy-efficient route, and there’s a Dolby Atmos entertainment system with KEF speakers. Six different interior options will be offered, including those with sustainable alternatives to leather. The entry-level Eletre will cost €95,990 ($96,378) in Europe, with the S costing €120,990 ($121,479) and the R €150,990 ($151,600). U.S. sales will begin in 2024, and local prices will be revealed nearer the time.

Exhaust: Whether in racing or on the road, Lotus has always been an innovator and the amount of tech offered in the Eletre is mind-blowing. It makes Ferrari’s V-12-powered Purosangue look like a dinosaur, although the world may not be ready for it. It could be many years before governments permit true autonomous driving, but at least your Eletre will be able to lay down some laps in the meantime. – NB

Spied: Next AMG GT may add GT 53 model with 671-hp hybrid four-pot

Intake: Spy photographers have captured a camouflaged test mule of what appears to be a Mercedes-AMG GT sports car equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. At the rear of the mule, you can see a small flap that likely shields a charge port. The low-slung sports car is rumored to be hiding a version of AMG’s plug-in hybrid four-cylinder, the advanced powertrain set to replace the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8s in several performance models. It’s already slated for the new 2024 C 63 S E Performance, in which it produces a stout 671 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque. If the AMG GT adds this powertrain it may name the model “53 S E Performance,” indicating a mid-level spec below the top-dog 63. Design differences on the GT 53 S E Performance are minor, but those exhaust pipes are rounded here, whereas they’re usually squared-off on the big-boy variant. The braking hardware looks plenty capable of arresting major speeds Expect to hear more about the upcoming AMG GT in the coming months.

Exhaust: When we heard that gas-only AMGs were coming to an end, we were a little bummed. However, the kind of power figures that the crew in Affalterbach may coax from two liters of displacement and some batteries is admittedly titillating. The prospect of AMG’s slinky two-door coupe with a lighter engine over the nose and more weight mounted mid-ship sounds like a wicked way to carve winding roads. We’re looking forward to seeing this one unveiled in full. — Nathan Petroelje

Limited-run Golf GTI celebrates 40 years of hot-hatch hijinks

Intake: Volkswagen has announced a special 40th Anniversary Edition of its beloved Golf GTI. Just 1500 units will be built, all exclusively for the U.S. market. They’ll be split roughly down the middle between the six-speed manual and the 7-speed automatic. Four colors are offered, two of which—Tornado Red and Urano Gray—are exclusive to this special edition. Other design flourishes include a black roof and mirror caps, 19-inch gloss black wheels with red pinstripes borrowed from the European Golf GTI Clubsport 45 model, and special “40” badging inside and out. Performance-wise, the 40th AE is based on the lower-rung GTI S trim, but it adds 235/35 performance summer tires, DCC adaptive dampers (which are standard on the top-spec GTI Autobahn trim), and speed-sensitive steering. Power comes from the same EA88 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. The Golf GTI 40th Anniversary Edition will go on sale sometime in early 2023. Pricing, including the $1095 destination fee is as follows: $34,150 for the manual-equipped model and $34,950 for automatic-equipped model.

Exhaust: Forty years is a long time for a nameplate to endure, especially one that’s oriented towards the enthusiast more than the average Joe. While all other variants of the Golf are no longer available in the states, the GTI soldiers on. Here’s to many, many more years of one of our favorite hot hatches ever. — Nathan Petroelje

EV tax credit rules leave little wiggle room for South Korean, European automakers

Hyundai Ioniq 5 rear three-quarter action
Cameron Neveu

Intake: Foreign automakers, which have been lobbying against stringent limits on the United States’ electric-vehicle tax credit, have received some bad news from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “I’ve heard a lot about the concerns of the Koreans and Europeans … and we’ll certainly take them into account,” Yellen said Monday. But? “The legislation is what it is. We have to implement the law that was written.” That means the current $7500 consumer tax credit is available only on North American-built EVs. According to the Inflation Reduction Act, after 2023 the tax credit will not be given to any automakers that use battery components manufactured in China, a move to eliminate the United States’ reliance on Chinese technology.

Exhaust: South Korea and European automakers believe the new rules regarding EV tax credits are not only unfair but will stifle the EV movement as a whole. Yellen tried to placate those concerns by explaining that “we’re early on in the process for writing rules,” but experts say the new legislation allows little wiggle room. In other words, while the U.S. pushes back against China’s current domination of the EV battery market, our allies could suffer some collateral damage. — Jeff Peek

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    Re: The Hummer EV, an “off road” capable vehicle that can’t get wet…guess the design team didn’t think of that. I think I’ll hang on to my 20 year old Jeep.

    As the former owner of Lotus Elan #110 I am agog at the idea of a Lotus electric self-driven SUV. Colin Chapman’s coffin must be hitting redline.
    But sending it off around the Nurburgring sounds like slot-car track racing, scale 12 inches equals one foot. Save $150,000- buy a video game .

    The Barbie Maserati makes me want to vomit. So gross and yet some instagram model will probably buy it for the clicks..

    As the former owner of Lotus Elan #110 I am agog at the idea of a Lotus electric self-driven SUV. Colin Chapman’s coffin must be hitting redline.
    But sending it off around the Nurburgring sounds like slot-car track racing, scale 12 inches equals one foot. Save $150,000- buy a video game

    The Barbie Maserati makes me want to throw up. I’m sure an instagram model will buy it for the clicks.

    “The bright side is that the improper sealing was caught early and the issue hasn’t resulted in any fires, accidents, or injuries”
    Recalls on EV’s are of a whole different animal.

    ‘ The bright side is that the improper sealing was caught early and the issue hasn’t resulted in any fires, accidents, or injuries.’ Yet.

    Other than the mishap, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

    My ultra-conservative neighbor predicted this potential issue with EVs. He also said that all the EVs in Florida were catching fire after the hurricane, and the actual number appears to be more like nine… but he appears to be right about this. On the upside for GM, an EV recall is 700 vehicles, not 700,000

    Let the money-hungry EV Manufacturers cry–their saltwater tears will only exacerbate the problems they are creating for the Automotive World. They lie so easily that they are “saving the World” through producing “zero emission” vehicles. Let them “save themselves”!

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