Tom Brady teams with Porsche, Mini’s special convertible cooper, Non-Teslas welcome at some Superchargers
Tom Brady teams up with Porsche’s newest race car
Intake: Wondering what’s next for former Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Tom Brady? You aren’t? Well, maybe you might be when you hear that he and his clothing line—did we know he had a clothing line?—have teamed with Jota, which is racing a Porsche 963 in the WEC. Brady’s apparel brand, creatively named Brady, is a sponsor of Team Jota, along with the rental car company Hertz, and Singer, makers of stunning reimaginations of the Porsche 911. Here’s Tom himself: “I have been a big fan of motor racing for a long time, and for Brady to now be a part of Hertz Team JOTA as the future of motorsport apparel and design is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Brady and Hertz are great brands that pride themselves on teamwork, determination and providing a seamless experience, making this the perfect partnership. We’re all looking forward to competing at the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours later this year.” The Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963 will face off in the WEC’s hypercar class against entries from Cadillac, Toyota, Peugeot, and others at the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe this June.
Exhaust: Who knew he was a fan of motor racing in general, Team Jota in particular? News is being made left and right here. Either way, it sounds like Brady (the future hall-of-fame NFL quarterback), on behalf of Brady (the brand), might be at Le Mans, like he has anything else to do. Hertz Team Jota will debut at the 1000 miles of Sebring, the first round of the 2023 World Endurance Championship in Florida on March 17. The Sebring track is just a short drive from Tampa, should Tom decide to attend. Check out his line of largely underwear at Bradybrand.com. — Steven Cole Smith
Rivian: “robust backlog” will mitigate need to join EV price war
Intake: Citing a robust order backlog that will take until 2024 to fulfill, Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said that the fledgling automaker would abstain from joining the EV price war started by Tesla and Ford earlier this year, according to Automotive News. Scaringe reasoned that with such a backlog of orders at current price levels, there was no need to enter the race to the bottom. “We feel confident in the value proposition of what we’re delivering at pricing levels today,” he said on Rivian’s fourth-quarter earnings call yesterday. “The demand backlog we have is very robust, it gives us a clear line of sight well into 2024.” Though the company no longer reports the backlog number, it said in November of last year that it had 114,000 preorders for the R1T and R1S in the U.S. and Canada. Rivian also has a long-term order for 100,000 EDV delivery vans from Amazon and others. Rivian forecasted 2023 production to total 50,000 vehicles, which would be double its 2022 output but still below analyst expectations.
Exhaust: The Rivian R1T Adventure, the mid-level trim that the company expects to sell the most of, starts at around $75,000. Add $6000 to that price if you want the larger battery pack, and another $8000 to that if you want the quad-motor setup. That quad-motor, large-battery variant is the only one currently available from the company. The R1S, meanwhile, starts at around $92,000. While the move to fulfill the backlog at current prices makes sense, you have to wonder what will happen a few years from now when the legacy OEMs get their electric truck offerings into high gear and offer prices that should fall below those of Rivians. — Nathan Petroelje
Mini reveals limited Seaside Editon convertibles
Intake: To celebrate 30 years of top-down cruising, Mini is building “around 500” Seaside Edition models based on the Cooper S Convertible for the North American market. Each one built will include high-gloss white trim, a side stripe, and a 30th-anniversary motif in the side scuttles, front bumper decal, and wheel center caps. Buyers will be able to choose between Caribbean Aqua paired with 18-inch Pulse Spoke two-tone wheels and summer performance tires, or Nanuq White matched with 17-inch Roulette Spoke wheels and all-season tires. Inside, both versions feature touchscreen navigation, Carbon Black leather seats, uniquely trimmed floor mats, dashboards and steering wheel, along with unique badging. The price for either color option is $46,455 including destination,
Exhaust: Carribbean Aqua is a fantastic color for a Mini and the package looks great no matter which exterior color you choose, yet it is pricey. We know Mini Coopers aren’t economy cars, but buyers will have to decide if the special edition rarity is worth the upgrade compared to a similarly priced and more powerful John Cooper Works convertible. — Brandan Gillogly
Ferrari prices Purosangue like a Ferrari
Intake: If you want to take the kids to school in the 715-horsepower 2024 Ferrari Purosangue SUV, it will cost you $398,350, excluding an as-yet unspecified gas-guzzler tax, says Car and Driver. The destination charge alone is $5000. It’s a lot, obviously, but with Ferrari finally joining the sport-ute party, we knew it wouldn’t be cheap. By comparison, the 657-horsepower Lamborghini Urus Performante lists for a seems-reasonable-now $264,671.
Exhaust: That 400 grand gets you, of course, Ferrari’s sweet naturally-aspirated V-12 and a trick suspension, but mostly it gets you that little prancing horse on the nose. Ferrari can charge what it wants because it’s a Ferrari—few have remained unsold because they are too expensive, and we expect the Purosangue will make Ferrari a lot of coin—heck, on transportation costs alone. — SCS
Select Tesla Superchargers now open to other EVs
Intake: Via Twitter yesterday, Tesla announced that “select” superchargers are now open for public use by those with EVs from a non-Tesla brand. The move to open 3500 current and future superchargers to other EVs will make Tesla eligible for certain subsidies as part of a $7.5 billion federal effort to expand the nation’s EV infrastructure, according to Automotive News. Tesla is by far the most dominant EV maker globally, claiming about 65 percent of the total EV market last year. Its massive supercharger network is a big selling point, and while some of those charging locations may now find Mustang Mach-Es or Rivian R1Ts among the throngs of Model 3s and Model Ys, Tesla is still holding plenty of superchargers in reserve for Tesla vehicles exclusively.
Exhaust: Because Tesla cars use a proprietary charging plug, the automaker had to modify the charging units that will be open to all EVs to include an adapter that uses the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard, the most common plug for other EVs. While the move to open select superchargers might erode Tesla’s competitive advantage a tad, it’s a massive step forward in catching up America’s charging infrastructure, which is still sorely lacking overall. — NP
A rare and unused Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf is for sale
Intake: Only around 120 Aston Martin Lagonda Tarafs were built, and almost all of them found buyers in the Middle East. However, we do know that at least one example made it to the U.S.A. because it’s now being offered for sale in California. At its launch in 2016, the Taraf was billed as a million-dollar rival to the very best of Bentley and Rolls-Royce, but in reality, it was little more than a stretched Rapide sedan with some mildly-tweaked styling. To make the Taraf, the Rapide’s wheelbase was extended by 7.9 inches for extra leg room although the 5.9-liter, 540-hp V-12 and eight-speed automatic were unchanged. It also rode on standard steel springs rather than the air suspension of its high-end competition, so it could never offer the wafty ride that oil sheiks and oligarchs would have expected. The 2018 example for sale at O’Gara in Beverly Hills comes in a Satin Jet Black finish with a contrasting Kestral Tan leather interior that has barely been sat in. Just 178 miles are on the odometer.
Exhaust: If the original buyer was hoping to flip this Taraf for a tidy profit it’s gone about as well as a crypto crash, with the car being offered for sale at $800,000—a hefty depreciation hit of $200,000. Interestingly O’Gara is actually willing to take payment in cryptocurrency from anyone bold enough to take on this Taraf. — Nik Berg
“Ferrari prices Purosangue like a Ferrari”
You’ve omitted the fact that you have to be on the “Ferrari list” to even be eligible to buy one of these, so the price is actually much higher than reported 😉
I’m not in love with the Ferrari’s looks. That front end is just too squinty eyed. Either way it will sell.
Brady and Porsche? I still aspire to own a Cayman, but the threshold pressure just increased by maximum degrees.
I really do not understand how someone who excels in a certain field (say, oh, football, for example), suddenly feels that they just “belong” at the top of another field (say, racing), and essentially just buys their way in. Fer Criminy Sake, what do football and underwear have to do with winning LeMans?
Aha – the dots are connecting! 😄