Alfa’s mystery 6C will sell out before unveiling, Tesla hit with class-action suit, 809K Nissan Rogues recalled

Alfa Romeo 6C car sold out Manifold lede bannered
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo’s 6C will be sold out before it’s even unveiled

Intake: The order book for a new Alfa Romeo supercar, known as the 6C, is almost full, even though it has yet to be revealed. Alfa boss Jean-Phillippe Imparato told Autocar that the company has already taken deposits from buyers eager to snap up the successor to the 8C Competizione. “It will be sold out before I unveil the car,” said Imparato. Details of the 6C are few and far between, but there are indications that it will be based on the powertrain and platform of the Giulia Quadrifoglio. Further fettling of its twin-turbo V-6 motor could see power go beyond 505 horses, and, with lighter, more aerodynamic bodywork it may well top out above 200 mph. As for what it will look like, Imparato hinted that there will be at least some nods to nostalgia in the design. “We are working on something that I could put aside the 8C in the museum of Arese, being proud of our contribution to the history of Alfa Romeo. That is what we want,” he said. Assuming it gets sign-off from the Stellantis head office, we should see the 6C this summer.

Exhaust: This is molto bene indeed. Under Imparato, Alfa Romeo is undergoing a renaissance, with the company back in the black and, seemingly, having strong support from parent Stellantis. The 6C would be Alfa’s first proper sports car in more than a decade, and it may well be the last example powered by internal combustion. No wonder even the idea of it is selling out fast. — Nik Berg

Build McLaren’s rarest cars in Lego

mclaren lego f1 lm solus gt
McLaren | Lego

Intake: Often, when a car manufacturer also runs its own race team, the production-car side of the business will leverage the racing side to build a version of a race car to sell to the uber-rich. Such creations, typically produced in ultra-low volume, are designed to burnish the halo around both divisions. If they create a bit of envy in folks with the budgets of you and me, well … why not get the word out in Lego form? McLaren has teamed up with the plastic-brick company to sell a two-model pack representing Woking’s most exclusive street-going models: Representing the ’90s, the high-water of McLaren’s endurance racing era, is the F1 LM. LM stands, as racing geeks know, for Le Mans: In 1995 McLaren entered the eponymous 24-hour race for its first time, with “GTR” versions of the F1 street car. It walked away with first, third, fourth, fifth, and 13th place. To celebrate that mic-drop of a performance, McLaren dropped a race-spec engine in five “regular” F1s, adding the high-downforce aero kit the race team developed for Le Mans. Voila, the F1 LM. Representing the current age in the Lego box is the Solus GT, a blue-sky single-seater intended to represent McLaren freed from any regulations of street or race series. The real world only gets 25 of them, each powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 engine.

Exhaust: It’s best to channel your inner child when thinking of the F1 LM and Solus GT, whether the Lego set or what the bricks mimic. Bring money or practicality into the question, and you may grow cynical: An F1 LM is worth $40M or more, though at least it’s road legal: The $3.5M Solus GT is track-only. Now, where are those instructions? — Grace Houghton

Tesla hit with potential class-action suit by shareholders

Tesla self-driving tech demo
Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Intake: Tesla and its Chief Executive Elon Musk were sued Monday by shareholders accusing them of overstating the effectiveness and safety of their electric vehicles’ Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies, according to Reuters via Automotive News. The suit is a proposed class action filed in San Francisco federal court, and it says shareholders claim Tesla “defrauded” them over four years with false statements that concealed how its technologies, suspected as a possible cause of multiple fatal crashes, “created a serious risk of accident and injury.” Tesla’s share price dropped several times as revelations about the system became known, the shareholders say.

Exhaust: That share price fell 5.7 percent on February 16 after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled over 362,000 Tesla vehicles equipped with Full Self-Driving beta software because they could be unsafe around intersections. The suit should be interesting to watch, as it might help determine whether Tesla has a genuine problem, or just some public serious relations issues. — Steven Cole Smith

Cadillac heads to Le Mans with three-car effort

Cadillac V-Series.R three-car shot driving front three quarter

Intake: Cadillac will head to France this summer to battle the world’s best at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Three Cadillac V-Series.R prototypes, which all made their debuts at this year’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January, will compete for the overall victory in the Hypercar class against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Peugeot, Glickenhaus, and others. Of the three entrants, one Cadillac had been designated for full-time duty in the FIA’s World Endurance Championship (WEC), the global racing series that counts the fabled French 24-hour battle as a part of its calendar, while the other two were earmarked primarily in IMSA’s Weathertech Sportscar Championship here in North America. The Cadillac V-Series.R cars utilize a Dallara chassis and a 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 engine paired with a spec hybrid energy recovery system built by Bosch. Total output is limited to 500 kW (670 hp).

Exhaust: Credit the shared specs of the new prototype cars, co-developed between the FIA and IMSA, for this chance to run the same cars at Daytona and Le Mans. Three cars competing for glory in France is no small undertaking, and the Caddies have to prove themselves a Sebing later this spring first. Cadillac’s first attempt at the grueling French race came in 1950, when privateers Briggs Cunningham and Miles and Sam Collier drove two Series 61 Coupes. The brand’s most recent attempts at Le Mans came in 2000–02 with a turbocharged version of the 4.0-liter Northstar V-8 powering LMP cars. The brand has never won the race, so each of the three cars will be vying for history. — Nathan Petroelje

Nissan recalls Rogues models with jackknife-style keys

2021 Nissan Rogue Sport exterior side profile driving

Intake: Nissan is recalling more than 809,000 Rogue and Rogue Sport SUVs in North America for ignition keys that could inadvertently shut off the vehicle while driving. The recall covers 2014-20 Rogue and 2017-22 Rogue Sports equipped with a jackknife-style ignition key, says Automotive News. Those keys might collapse into a folded position while driving, increasing the risk of a crash if the vehicle turns off.

Exhaust: Nissan is advising vehicle owners not to attach any accessories to the key and to only use it in the unfolded position until a remedy is available, according to a NHTSA recall. The remedy is expected to be available this summer. —SCS

Stellantis to invest $155 million in plants to produce electric drive modules

Stellantis Electric Drive Module graphic

Intake: Stellantis announced that it will invest a total of $155 million in three Kokomo, Indiana, plants to produce new electric drive modules that will help power future electric vehicles assembled in North America, and to support the conglomerate’s goal of 50 percent battery-electric sales in the U.S. by 2030. Offering an all-in-one solution for electric-vehicle powertrains, the EDM consists of three main components—the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission—that are combined into a single module to deliver improved performance and range at a competitive cost. The optimized efficiency of the new EDM, Stellantis says, will help each platform achieve a driving range of up to 500 miles.

Exhaust: “While we continue our successful transition to a decarbonized future in our European operations, we are now setting those same foundational elements for the North American market,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. Investments will be made at three plants in Kokomo, saving more than 265 jobs. Production is expected to start in the third quarter of 2024, following retooling. — SCS

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    When will we see an Electric Drive Module available from the aftermarket retailers? I am sur not the only one who wish to upgrade and keep his beloved pickup on the road.

    There’s one to drop in where a Chevy V8 used to reside available right now. Sorry, I don’t remember the name of it. I’ve also seen a 2 speed motor/transmission unit to replace a Powerglide.

    I didn’t know Alfa Romeo was in the black. I even like their little SUV, and I am not an SUV fan. I really look forward to seeing these 6C’s on the road.

    The 6C sounds interesting. i wonder what it looks like.

    I’m surprised Tesla has not been sued earlier for “self-driving” earlier.

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