Long live the GR Corolla, VW Scout could be U.S.-built, Lordstown’s quality woes


Toyota extends GR Corolla Circuit production after high demand

Intake: Toyota has decided to produce the hot GR Corolla Circuit Edition for 2024, even before the 2023 model hits the market, which will be this spring. “We are seeing a ton of enthusiasm and excitement for the GR Corolla, especially the Circuit Edition,” says Michael Tripp, Toyota’s vice president of Marketing and Communications. “When Toyota GR fans speak, we listen and our plans are to increase GR Corolla volume and continue offering the Circuit Edition as part of the GR Corolla lineup in 2024.” The 2023 GR Corolla Circuit Edition’s standard features will include a vented bulge hood, forged carbon fiber roof, gloss black rear spoiler, front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials, and red-painted GR logoed calipers. There will be around 1,500 Circuit Edition cars produced for the U.S. for model year 2023. Production of the Circuit Edition model for 2025 and beyond is still under consideration, Toyota says.

Exhaust: The 300-horsepower GR Corolla is the car Toyota enthusiasts have been waiting years for, and a large aftermarket accessory market has already sprung up for the car. The Circuit Edition should be a great starting point for a genuinely potent track-ready car. — SCS

Automobili Pininfarina Battista Hyper GT claims two world records

Intake: The $2 million Automobili Pininfarina Battista Hyper GT has snagged the quarter- and half-mile records for a production car. Automobili Pininfarina is a Germany-based subsidiary of Indian automotive manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, best known for tractors and its SUVs, who purchased the Italian car design firm Pininfarina SpA. The 1900-horsepower Battista GT, at a track in India, ran the quarter-mile in 8.55 seconds, and the half-mile in 13.38 seconds. The car began production last year and will soon be delivered to customers.

Exhaust: This and the electric Rimac Nevera are the future of supercars, like it or not. We’ve experienced the neck-snapping acceleration of the Nevera, and all that’s missing is an exhaust note. — SCS

Report: VW’s Scout may be assembled in the U.S.

VW Volkswagen Scout bring back resurrection EV
Twitter | Volkswagen Group

Intake: Automotive News‘ European sibling publication Automobilwoche, citing company sources, reported that Scout, which Volkswagen acquired in 2021 with plans to relaunch it as an electric light-truck brand, will begin production in 2026 from a VW Group-built plant in the U.S. Volkswagen had considered contracting manufacturers Foxconn and Magna, but decided to build the plant on its own. “The decision to build the plant ourselves is available as a draft resolution and has thus been taken,” company sources told Automobilwoche.

Exhaust: The Scout is expected to be a direct competitor for the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. The fact that it might be built in the U.S., in its own plant or a new plant shared with Audi, is good news. — SCS

Hyundai divests interest in plant which may have violated child labor law

2022 Hyundai Elantra N front three-quarter
Matt Tierney

Intake: Hyundai has told shareholders that it would divest its controlling stake in a major Alabama auto parts plant where Reuters last year documented that children as young as 12 were working. In a letter to shareholders from Hyundai Chief Executive Jaehoon Chang, the company said recent audits at 29 of its direct suppliers across Alabama made it confident they are “now in full compliance with underage labor laws.” Hyundai also told investors it was implementing extensive new corporate measures, including a training program for its parts suppliers to begin next month in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor, to prevent future child labor violations.

Exhaust: Reutersaward-winning series on American child labor violations was compelling. Hyundai appears to have done the right thing when confronted with the issue. —SCS

Lordstown pauses production and deliveries citing quality issues

Lordstown Endurance front three-quarter action

Intake: Electric pickup manufacturer Lordstown Motors announced yesterday that it would halt production and deliveries of its Endurance pickup truck due to performance and quality issues with certain components, according to a new report from Automotive News. The EV maker said in a statement that it has filed paperwork with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a voluntary recall of the Endurance to remedy an electrical connection issue that could result in a loss of propulsion while driving. The company began production of the Endurance pickup in September of last year with a goal to deliver 50 vehicles last year, plus more this year out of the first batch of 500 planned units.

Exhaust: It’s starting to become a common story among these fledgling automakers hoping to jump into the fray during the shift to EVs: Startup automaker reveals interesting component, gathers hype, holds an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of stock to raise funds, then hits the skids once production ramps up. Shares of Lordstown fell more than 8 percent in trading before the bell yesterday and continue to take a hit today. Let’s hope it can get the issues resolved in short order. — Nathan Petroelje

No more Mini Clubman after 2024?


Intake: Citing a Mini-centric website called Motoring File, Car and Driver is reporting that the Mini Clubman won’t be back after 2024. Citing disappointing sales—from 12,204 units in 2016 to just 2469 last year, becoming the worst-selling model in Mini’s lineup—there’s no point in continuing production, which will apparently end the first quarter of 2024. Mini declined to comment on the rumor.

Exhaust: Too bad; the Clubman has been one of our favorite Mini models, but you can’t argue with those sales figures. — SCS

Read next Up next: We expect 2023’s Amelia auctions to be the biggest ever, and here’s why


    No more Mini Clubman after 2024
    We owned a 2022 and loved it but the price was CRAZY AWD S Signature $37,000 in 2022. $3000 more now!

    Nice to see more GR Corolla’s will happen. I have yet to see one in the wild.

    Lordstown is in trouble I feel.

    I had a ’61 IH Scout once – for about 6 weeks – in the early ’70s. It was the literal definition of POS. I bought it because I thought it looked cool – terrible reason to acquire an ostensibly “off-road” capable vehicle. I soon figured out that it looked it’s very best as the guy who bought it from me drove it away. I doubt that I’d become interested in any rebirth of the Scout, especially at the hands of VW. My guess is that, if anything, it’ll spur some curiosity and/or nostalgia buyers, but I can’t imagine it being a serious threat to Wranglers or even the Bronco. 👎

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