Report: Camaro to spawn crossover, IMSA packs out Daytona, LEGO’s furiously fun Skyline

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Report: Escalade, Camaro to be GM’s next “brands”

Intake: As rumors swirl about the Corvette name growing into a sub-brand for General Motors, it appears that the Cadillac Escalade and the Chevy Camaro may also get the same treatment. Citing sources inside GM, Car and Driver reports that a smaller, three-row SUV could take shape as a mini-Escalade, geared for competition against Porsche’s upcoming three-row SUV, codenamed K1. There’s also a chance of “a more carlike modern-luxury segment-fusing Escalade” which sounds like an off-road flavored wagon à la Porsche’s Taycan Cross Turismo. Meanwhile, the Camaro name could grace an all-electric 2+2-seater coupe and its convertible variant, as well as a sporty crossover. There’s also the possibility of a mid-priced flagship sports car that would share some content with the battery-electric C9 Corvette.

Exhaust: Cadillac has struggled for decades define its brand, with the Escalade the only model that’s kept its prestige fresh, generation to generation. Growing a name that strong into a sub-brand makes sense, if we’re thinking only with our corporate bean-counter brains. Blame Ford and (the very successful) Mustang Mach-E SUV for putting the Camaro idea into GM’s head.— Nathan Petroelje

Group B is back as German firm recreates short-wheelbase Audi Sport Quattro

Intake: Germany’s LCE High Performance has brought back the ’80s rally legend Audi Sport Quattro. The company offers a range of six different specifications, from a road-legal 220-hp version all the way to a 750-hp Pikes Peak replica. Road-biased cars use the running gear from the later Audi S2, utilizing its axles, differential, brakes, interior, and its 2.2-liter engine and five-speed manual transmission. A 350-hp tune is also available, while a 2.5-liter, 20-valve motor can be dropped in to boost power to 450 hp. That 20-valve motor goes alongside a six-speed transmission and more powerful Brembo brakes from a Porsche 996 GT3 RS. The entry-level Variant 1 uses a Kevlar body, but the rest employ carbon fiber to reduce weight. The king of the hill Pikes Peak edition gets custom KW suspension, a full roll cage, Brembo brakes, Speedline wheels and a KKK turbo to boost power to a sky-high 750 hp. Prices start from around $147,000.

Exhaust: Only 214 SWB Sport Quattros were made between 1985 and 1987, signing off on Audi’s World Rally dominance which began in 1981. Should you find one for sale, it will likely set you back $500,000, so LCE’s pricing looks quite keen for what would be the most awesome Audi on any (Ken) block.—Nik Berg

With a maxed out field, IMSA might have to turn away Rolex 24 at Daytona entries

2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona full field photo
LAT Images

Intake: The Rolex 24 at Daytona, IMSA’s season-opening race, has so many entries that some will be turned away, said IMSA President John Doonan. Sportscar365.com reports that IMSA will be forced to use a reserve list for entries to see who gets in and who doesn’t. The problem, Doonan said: “Obviously the challenge is that we can only fit so many in the garages and on pit lane. We showed that 61 is possible last year and have been very sensitive about people’s experience in making sure we’re not putting them in too tight of quarters.” By comparison, NASCAR caps the field at 43 for the Daytona 500. The selection process is expected to favor entries that are full-season competitors.

Exhaust: Having such interest in the Rolex 24 is a good problem to have, Doonan said. “I think it’s a wonderful statement for the OEMs that have customer car programs that there’s that many people who want to compete. That’s the positive.” The negative, obviously, is having to send some teams home. – Steven Cole Smith

Lego rolls out 2 Fast 2 Furious Nissan Skyline GT-R

Intake: So many cars, so many Legos. The latest edition in the toymaker’s seemingly endless stream of build-it-yourself automobiles will hit the market in 2023: the Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) from the 2 Fast 2 Furious movie. The highly detailed Lego Speed Champions car comes with a Brian O’Conner minifigure, providing the perfect tag-team partner to Dom’s Fast & Furious 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. The blue-and-gray GT-R from the 2003 film wears a Toyo Tires badge and Florida license plate. Lego has not released complete details, but other cars in the Speed Champions set include 300–500 pieces and retail for $20–$40.

Exhaust: Lego’s latest replica toy car may not be immediately familiar to kids of a certain age, but their movie-watching parents will dig it. It seems there’s nothing beyond imagination when it comes to the iconic plastic building blocks, including a working life-size Bugatti Chiron. — Jeff Peek

Add pep to your Polestar for $1195

Polestar2 270 track 3
Polestar

Intake: Polestar 2 owners can unleash an extra 68 hp by paying a one-off unlock fee. Buyers of the dual-motor, long-range version can opt to pay $1,195 to see power boosted to 476 hp from the standard 408, and a torque increase from 487 lb-ft to 502 lb-ft. The added electric oomph shortens the car’s 0–60 mph time from 4.5 seconds to 4.2 and cuts its 50–75 mph acceleration from 2.7 seconds to 2.2. What’s more, the upgrade can be done over the air, so there’s no need to visit a dealer, just buy online instead.

Exhaust: Offering software updates to boost performance after purchase is the new “mats and flaps”—a way to cash in on customers after they’ve paid. On the plus side, unlike Mercedes-Benz recent offering for the EQE and EQS, Polestar is sticking to a single fee and not a subscription, and they don’t seem to be charging an annual fee for heated seats, either, like BMW. — NB

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Comments

    What in the world would the Escalade Brand key elements be? Gigantic ugly grille? Clumsy, topheavy stance with no agility? Bigger is always better?
    I worked at GM Advanced Engineering in the late 90s and suggested that the Cadillac name had no brand equity. GM spent a fortune buffing up the Cadillac name and finally they make a couple really good cars just as cars are on the decline. I don’t think SUV buyers are near as discriminating as long as their product has the seating and space that customers are looking for. The fancy interiors are what they want. Still think that they would have been way ahead if they had just simply started a new brand like Lexus or Acura.
    Spare the Corvette and Camaro the embarassment. They will sell some more vehicles but the damage done to their performance brands will be lasting.

    $1195 for a software update. Yeah, No!

    Camaro sub brand? Escalade sub brand? Is GM just completely screwed up?

    The camaro has literally been getting smoked in sales for years by not only ford, but even more so by dodge – why would you turn a dog into a brand lol

    Another way to cash in on customers after they’ve paid would be to charge a subscription fee to enable the use of the hardware they’re already driving around with….Oh wait, they already do that, too.

    let’s be honest for a moment, they already made a Camaro SUV, and then doubled down on a bad idea by corrupting a cherished name by calling it the Blazer. Just pull up the current Blazer and a Camaro in Google and tell me they didn’t take more than a little of the design in the front. Don’t get me wrong, I think the current Blazer is a nice vehicle, overall, but it doesn’t deserve the name that graced the venerable K5, and with that design may as well have been called the “Camaro Cross”.

    The amount of control “they” are going to have over you in coming years is amazing. The polestar thing made me think of that. No thanks!

    Didn’t the government force GM to abandon the Oldsmobile and Saturn brands because they had too many brands? They were also “too big to fail?” I guess we’re coming full circle.

    Seems to me that some people in GM really don’t know what they have in history, brand and nameplate equity.

    Ford put a Mustang front end on the last Fusion. Great 4 door car (I had one). Calling it a “Mustang 4” wouldn’t have boosted sales. They’ve gotten away with the Maverick name but they could have called that the Courier and done just as well –it’s the pent-up demand for smaller pick up that is the deal there not the name.

    Why GM would muddy a name plate by sub-branding it eludes me. Right now consumers know what an Escalade is and where it fits. Denali is a bit muddy (probably should be your junior sized caddy SUV and not across various GMCs). GM needs to clarify their offerings not further murk it up. I am a classic GMC fan but think that brand should be just heavier trucks now (and maybe a new little Jimmy that is actually a Jimmy) leaving all the 1/2 tons as Silverados.

    The ideas being pitched for Camaro should be a Chevelle if you want a retro name. Going without a Camaro for a decade is better than pulling the Blazer stunt.

    GM of any one should know that slapping model names on other cars is not how you sell product.

    In the 80’s and 90’s GM slapped Cutlass on several models and it saved none.

    I am a GM guy but don’t understand the thinking in names.

    The Blazer was a off road vehicle but they used the nam3 for a street wagon that is sporty. Yet they left the sporty wagon name on the table like Nomad?

    A 4 door Camaro? While you have a Chevelle name sitting there. Or just use a new original name.

    Denali worked but it took an original name and it took a few years to build equity but that is the right way to do this.

    GM slapping Camaro and Corvette on various models is a mistake and a great risk to damage name equity that took 50 and 70 years to build. Once it is gone it is hard to get back.

    First GM dropped Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn because they need to spend less on new vehicle development. That came from the ever falling market / sales numbers.
    Cadillac was destroyed by GM in the 70ties when they went for the short win with a “value” car instead of developing models to complete with the top elite europeans. The Seville was a decent start hampered by inside politics. When they had a chance to make the second gen. car a RWD independent rear suspension, 4WD brakes, console shifter etc they did the bustle back front wheel drive car. Game over. almost 50 years and BILLIONS of $$ later still a second class luxury/performance vehicle. Escalade does have a top market position, but it means gigantic and over styled.
    The Camaro is an odd story. It started it’s slide with the 3rd gen. car. Arguably better style and clearly a better performing car but too much so that you could not drive it everyday, like a mustang not to mention was more expensive. Today the car has middle of the road styling, a small nearly useless interior, and no identity. The Challenger is a brick of a car, but a clear identity…BIG POWER…SRT, Demon, Red Eye, Hellcat that makes it a winner. Will see what happens next year when the HEMI is gone.
    Trying to lunch off Escalade, Corvette, or even Camaro is another huge bet. It’s unfathomable that such a (supposed) conservative company has such a bad gaming problem.

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