Kia’s Telluride-sized electric SUV breaks cover, hydrogen Toyota on fire, Denmark’s new supercar

Kia

Kia’s Telluride-sized electric SUV is funky, futuristic

Intake: Kia has released teaser photos of its EV9, but now we get to see the real thing, undisguised—and it’s impressive. Kia says the big EV9, its first three-row electric flagship SUV, “encapsulates bold styling and sophisticated elegance inside and out. The Kia EV9 represents a pivotal step forward in the company’s journey towards becoming a sustainable mobility solutions provider.” The big brother to the EV6 crossover-hatch will be built on Kia’s “Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).” The Telluride-sized EV has a long wheelbase and low beltline, “and [the] completely flat electric vehicle architecture [has] facilitated the creation of generous space for all occupants to connect and relax with lounge-style comfort in all three rows of seats.”

Exhaust: The interior is impressive, especially the swiveling second-row seats, which we weren’t expecting to see on the production model. Mechanical details—power, range, etc.—will be released later this month. —Steven Cole Smith

At long last, legendary Porsche tuner RUF has a U.S. base

RUF CTR Anniversary
RUF

Intake: Five decades after Alois Ruf Jr. first visited the U.S.A., the German Porsche re-manufacturer has finally established a permanent base in Miami, Florida. RUF North America’s home will be at The Concours Club, a private circuit and country club in the city center, and will serve as an import, sales and distribution hub as well as a service facility. The RUF range currently comprises three cars: the SCR, based on the 911 SC; the CTR 3 Clubsport, on the Cayman platform; and the CTR Anniversary, which looks like a 911 Carrera but is actually built a round RUF’s own carbon-fiber monocoque. A tribute to the first Yellow Bird biturbo built by the company 30 years ago, it packs a 710-hp version of the 3.6-liter flat-six linked to a seven-speed manual transmission and weighs just 2755 pounds.

Exhaust: Back in 1970 Ruf arrived in Los Angeles with three tuned Targas and sold them all. Although a network of importers and dealers was established to support American hunger for RUF automobiles, the Miami shop is the company’s first factory-backed base in the U.S.A. —Nik Berg

Can you decipher Dodge’s fourth “Last Call” teaser?

Intake: The fourth of five teaser videos for Dodge’s “ultimate” performance car—the culmination of the manufacturer’s Hemi send-off—has dropped, and it’s pretty abstract. Called “Hemi Vice,” the evil cartoon engineer, minus the Leprechaun sidekick that appeared in earlier videos, uses a jackhammer on some glowing orbs, and it shows a screen with “2538 psi.”

Exhaust: Well. Huh. Could it be direct fuel-injection pressure? Maximum cylinder pressure, divided by eight? Stay tuned for the final video, which comes later this week. The debut of the actual car, which will be the final Hemi-powered Dodge, will be March 20. —SCS

2022 SEMA Dodge challenger build tease 1fast29
As close as we’ve gotten to the real (disguised) thing, which Dodge originally planned to debut in 2022 at SEMA. Grace Houghton

Toyota’s hydrogen race plans go “up in flames”

Toyota Corolla H2
Toyota

Intake: Automotive News is reporting that a modified Toyota Corolla with a new liquefied hydrogen carbon-neutral combustion engine, which was to be raced at an endurance race this weekend, “went up in flames. Quite literally. The modified Corolla race car caught fire during testing because of a leak in a hydrogen fuel line.”

Exhaust: No one was hurt in the fire, and the driver escaped “after an emergency failsafe kicked in, Toyota said in a briefing Wednesday.” The car can’t be repaired in time for its debut at a five-hour race in Japan’s Super Taikyu series scheduled for March 19 at the Suzuka Circuit in western Japan. “Toyota president Akio Toyoda had planned to take a turn behind the wheel in the race,” Automotive News said, “as part of his push to promote clean-burning hydrogen combustion technologies as one route to achieving carbon neutrality. He has raced cars with hydrogen-burning engines since 2021.” Perhaps “hydrogen burning” is not the optimum way to describe the cars. —SCS

Honda gearing up plants for EV production

Honda battery install 2023 Accord hybrid
Honda/Paul Vernon

Intake: Honda has announced that after decades of building the Accord in its Marysville, Ohio plant, production will be moved to Indiana, as Marysville retools for EV production. Additionally, Honda says it will electrify the East Liberty Auto Plant and Anna Engine Plant, “leading to the start of EV production in North America. This EV Hub will play a key role in developing the company’s knowledge and expertise in EV production that will be shared across Honda’s entire North American auto production network in the coming years.”

Exhaust: This doesn’t mean that Honda is abandoning ICE production anytime soon, “as many Honda plants continue production of gasoline-powered vehicles.” Marysville has been producing Honda products since 1982. —SCS

Finally, a successor for Denmark’s only supercar

Zenvo TSRS at Petersen Museum
Zenvo

Intake: We last heard from the Danish company Zenvo in 2020 when they debuted the V-8 1177-horsepower TSR-S seen here; now comes an announcement that it will be building the Aurora. Not to be confused with the Oldsmobile model, this is a “V-12 hypercar featuring a modular design chassis with carbon monocoque and carbon subframes, plus Zenvo’s own gearbox with integrated hybrid drive. At the heart of Aurora will be an all-new 6.0-liter, twin turbo V-12 engine.” Top speed will be over 248 mph.

Exhaust: Yes, another supercar: Let’s see if it makes it to America. Zenvo says the Aurora will have “worldwide homologation,” so perhaps it will. No date or price or photos were shared. Two models will be offered: The track-focused Aurora Agil, and the street-focused Aurora Tur. —SCS

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Comments

    There is a lot of brains behind Toyota’s hydrogen push.

    However we have seen lesser tech adopted as the standard in the past (VHS, MP3, arguably the PC…) for reasons beyond the pure merit of such an idea.

    I hope Toyota gets the hydrogen thing down. I want any sort of clean burning fuel so ICE doesn’t go anywhere. EVs are soulless and just another disposable appliance.

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