Paul Walker’s F&F GT-R for sale, Wranglers at risk of fire, Cayenne adopts Taycan digital dash
Fast and Furious’ only legit GT-R for sale
Intake: The hero car from Fast and Furious (2009) is headed to auction in Belgium. The 2000 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 was built to Paul Walker’s specification by Kaizo Industries and is seen on-screen racing through the streets of Los Angeles. Although several TV2 Bayside Blue Skylines were used during filming, this example is the only true GT-R, with other screen cars being GT-Ts dressed up in East Bear body kits. Purchased in Japan without an engine, the car was brought to the U.S.A. by California’s Kaizo Industries and re-assembled, thus classifying it as a kit car and allowing Kaizo to skirt import regulations. Walker’s requested mods included Volk Racing wheels, a custom roll cage, Rotora brakes, NISMO bumper, skirts, exhaust system and pedals, and an East Bear hood. With an uprated intercooler and extra turbo boost, the straight-six engine makes a reported 558 horsepower. Further adding to this car’s provenance is the fact that the Momo race seat is still fixed in the position set by Walker. After filming the car was seized by the U.S. Border Force, as it was never officially imported, and then subject to a protracted legal battle. Eventually it was sold to a buyer in Germany … but it was never registered in Europe, either. It will be sold by Bonhams in Brussels some time between April 28 and May 5.
Exhaust: There’s a strong chance that this could become the most expensive R34 ever sold, as Walker-driven cars always exceed expectations at auction. In 2021 a 1988 BMW M3 owned by Walker reached $183,700, while a F&F Mk IV Toyota Supra soared to an incredible $550,000 and a Mitsubishi Eclipse went for $170,500. —Nik Berg
Report: Road-rage shootings on the rise
Intake: A report from the advocacy group Everytown Research and Policy says that road-rage fatal shootings have increased every year since 2018, when 70 road-rage shooting deaths occurred. In 2022, that number doubled, to 141. Non-fatal injuries increased from 176 “to a staggering 413 people in 2022. These incidents translate to a person being shot and either injured or killed in a road rage incident in 2022 every 16 hours, on average.”
Exhaust: According to the report, as detailed in USA Today, the five states with the most road-rage shootings are New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, “which make up 8 percent of the U.S. population, but accounted for 20 percent of road rage shooting victims.” —SCS
Federal EV subsidies are still confusing
Intake: Months into a federal effort to make electric vehicles more affordable, says the Washington Post, many Americans are unsure about which models will be eligible for tax credits, the size of the credits available, and whether customers must purchase (rather than lease) the cars to get the full tax break. “On Friday,” the story says, “the Biden administration is expected to release guidance that will sharply limit the number of vehicles eligible for the $7500 tax credit authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act,” according to “auto industry lobbyists.”
Exhaust: The problem is largely due to wording in the Act that contains a decree to boost U.S. sourcing of EVs and batteries, “limiting the full tax credit to vehicles whose components are largely sourced in North America,” the Post says. The publication points out that “China controls much of the world’s electric vehicle supply chain. Automakers and analysts said they expect the [Inflation Reduction Act’s] provisions to force deep cuts to the nearly 40 vehicles now eligible for tax breaks—or to slash in half the credit many buyers would get—for the next year and maybe beyond.” —SCS
2020–23 Wranglers could puncture their own fuel tanks
Exhaust: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a recall of 57,855 Jeep Wranglers built from 2020–23 because a stud on the frame assembly may puncture the fuel tank in a crash, which can result in a fuel leak and an increased possibility of a fire.
Exhaust: The vehicles were built between October 16, 2019, when frames with the stud were introduced into production, and ended on May 14, 2022, when frames with the problematic fastener were no longer used. Dealers will inspect—and, if necessary, remove—the frame stud, free of charge. —SCS
Toyota: Cars are only going to get more expensive
Intake: Jack Hollis, head of sales for Toyota Motor North America, said in a briefing on Toyota’s business prospects for 2023 that average transaction prices across the industry “will continue to grow” above $50,000, according to Automotive News. Hollis said that if there were no supply chain constraints, the industry would be selling 16.7 million to 17 million vehicles in the U.S. this year. “Instead, we’ll sell around 15 [million], so that means there’s another 2 million vehicles added to pent-up demand.”
Exhaust: That pent-up demand, left over from COVID and resulting supply-chain issues, will help keep the market for new cars strong. Used-vehicle demand, bolstered by an influx of shoppers who are suddenly priced out of the new-car market, will continue to keep residual values high. Hollis said the only thing “holding us back [as an industry] is the totality of the supply chain and the fragility of it, because we’re not back to normal anywhere globally.” A robust forecast by Cox Automotive predicts that new–vehicle sales will grow 5.7 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2023. —Steven Cole Smith
Watch M’s electric 5 Series fling snow
Intake: Electrification may dull the noise of the next M Performance 5 Series from BMW, but it doesn’t appear to have diluted its driftibility. In a new video the engineers of M hand over a pair of camouflaged i5s to Red Bull Driftbrothers Elias and Johannes Hountondji, who certainly live up to their moniker by parallel power-sliding the prototypes on a frozen lake in Arjeplog, northern Sweden. Underneath the wrap, the two cars appear to be pretty much production-ready, with no major disguised areas.
Exhaust: BMW is staying quiet about the i5 M’s powertrain, but it is anticipated to feature a derivative of the i4’s system. That would mean all-wheel drive from dual electric motors, and given the extra size of the 5 Series, which can accomodate a larger battery pack, both power and range should increase. 600 horsepower wouldn’t be unreasonable, along with the capability to go more than 300 miles on a full charge. Expect BMW to tease more details over the coming weeks before the car is unveiled. —NB
New Cayenne borrows Taycan’s screens, 911’s wheel
Intake: Porsche has released photos of the all-digital interior of the new, third-generation Cayenne, which will be the first internal combustion–powered Porsche not to have an analog speedometer. The deluxe cockpit takes elements from the all-electric Taycan, including a curved, free-standing 12.6-inch digital instrument cluster with variable display options; a redesigned center console; and a 911-sourced steering wheel. A new feature is the optional 10.9-inch passenger display. Integrated into the dash directly in front of the passenger, the additional touchscreen allows the front passenger to operate the navigation system or select a media service. A screen filter ensures that the display cannot be seen from the driver’s seat, so videos can be streamed on the passenger display without distracting the driver.
Exhaust: Rumor is the new Cayenne is a moderate freshening, with a new look in the front and rear and some substantial changes to the suspension. We won’t get a look at the exterior of the Cayenne until April 18th, when it makes its world debut. —SCS
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Car companies are limiting new auto/truck production to sell less but make more with higher margins per sale. GM shutdown their Silverado, etc. truck plant for 2-3 weeks and stated they wanted to balance supply and demand to keep margins up. In turn, this will keep used car higher too.
Head of sales, major auto manufacturer: We’re going to screw you out of your money, hope you enjoy it!
Me: Will continue to drive 40+ year old car. Suggest strongly all others hang on to whatever they’re driving for next 5 years. Enjoy your stuffed sales channel, a****le!
12 year old 4runner with 160k miles, going strong! My pals wife wants a new Yukon Denali XL every 2 years, he finally said no… no more. He drives an old Tundra.
Seems like artificial shortages is the name of the game these days.
Road rage for sure- people are staring down at their phones while driving, while sitting at a red light, driving through parking lots. More horns get honked as a result, the finger goes up, window goes down, and up goes the temperature. The other day I saw a lady facetiming using hand gestures holding up the phone in her other hand, I’m assuming her knee was driving?