Porsche recalls Carrera GTs, Polestar’s fastest EV yet, Feds eye MPGe calculation for EVs


Porsche recalls Carrera GTs to inspect suspension for damage

Intake: Porsche is recalling 489 2004–2005 Carrera GTs to inspect, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “The spherical joints that connect the wishbone suspension components on the front and rear axles,” says the recall report. The joints, says NHTSA, may be affected by salt-related corrosion and mechanical stress that could cause failure. NHTSA and Porsche first became aware of the potential problem when joint degradation was found in a Carrera GT undergoing unrelated service in August of 2019. Because of the age and scarcity of Carrera GTs, it took until last month to sufficiently analyze sample vehicles and create “a suitable simulation method and model [that] had to be defined and validated. On March 29, 2023, out of an abundance of caution, Porsche decided to voluntarily recall the subject vehicles,” NHTSA says.

Exhaust: Porsche produced fewer than 1300 Carrera GTs, well short of a production run that was supposed to be 1500 cars. The Carrera GT sold new for about $450,000, and Hagerty values a 2005 Carrera GT in #2 Excellent condition at $1.3 million. Porsche has no replacement joints available, so cars will be inspected and those with no damage will be cleared for driving, and if any are found with damage, owners will be advised to not drive the cars until replacement parts become available. The original component manufacturer was Carl Hirschmann GmbH of Germany. – Steven Cole Smith

Polestar 4 set to be the fastest in the fleet

Polestar 4 teaser

Intake: Polestar will shine the light on its fourth model, imaginatively named the Polestar 4, at the Shanghai auto show on April 18. The 4 is an SUV coupe and the Swedish-Chinese brand claims it’s much more than a restyled version of its recently-announced 3 SUV. “Polestar 4 is not simply a modified version of our first SUV. Instead, we reconsidered the entire design to create a new breed of SUV coupé,” explains Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. Wearing a significantly more aerodynamic body than the 3, the 4 will nonetheless offer the same cabin space as a conventional SUV, says the firm.

Exhaust: The 4 is said to be the fastest Polestar built to date, which would mean it eclipses the 489 hp of the 3 and even the 609 horsepower of the hybrid Polestar 1, despite being driven only by electricity.  Tune in next week to find out more. — Nik Berg

Revised EV mileage calculation could make CAFE ratings much harder to achieve

2022 F-150 Lightning Platinum

Intake: According to a new report from Reuters, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed a significant revision to how it calculates the petroleum-equivalent fuel economy rating for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The move could have a big impact on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHSTA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program, the figure that examines the overall efficiency of the mix of vehicles sold by a given automaker. Currently, fuel economy ratings for EVs and plug-in hybrids–reflected as Miles Per Gallon equivalent (MPGe)—that are used in CAFE calculations are much higher than those listed on fueleconomy.gov. The discrepancy has come under fire from environmental groups, who say that the inflated MPGe figures offer an outsized measure of reduction to CAFE ratings. The system to calculate MPGe hasn’t been updated in more than two decades.

Under the DOE proposal, a Volkswagen ID.4, which is rated to return 380.6 MPGe under the current calculation, would return 107.4 MPGe. A Ford F-150 Lighting, currently rated for 237.1 MPGe, would be reduced to 67.1 MPGe.

Exhaust: With tightening efficiency requirements for gas-burning vehicles looming, this new proposal would force automakers to further adjust fleet mix to remain in compliance with CAFE requirements. Unsurprisingly, environmental groups have come out in support of the DOE’s new proposal, while groups that represent the large automakers are calling into question the effect such changes would have, arguing that they might discourage EV adoption. — Nathan Petroelje

Laguna Seca erects new bridge after a three-month delay

Bridge Positioned Over WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Hill Photographer

Intake: While Weathertech might be the main sponsor of the Laguna Seca race track, it can’t control the California weather and the rain has put a major damper on the track’s latest project: Replacing the pedestrian bridge that allows spectators to cross over the start/finish straight. Earlier this week, a major milestone in the project was finally reached as the new 160-foot bridge was lifted into place with the help of a 350-ton crane. Due to significant rainfall since the project was approved in November of 2022, the team building the bridge has had to go to double shifts to ensure the project will be wrapped in time for the first two events of the year: Trans Am SpeedFest on May 5–7, and the Motul Course de Monterey on May 12–14.

Exhaust: Seeing investment and support from all sides involved in this project is encouraging, as this bridge replacement is only one step in the significant investments being made in Laguna Seca raceway. The next steps include a full-course resurface that will start on May 16 and provide a brand new track for the MotoAmerica Superbike SpeedFest on July 7–9. — Kyle Smith 

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    The MPGe thing- also false claims in range estimations which lower the mpg-e. I’ve seen this first hand with a coworker compaining about his Tesla’s range falling short regularly- instead of going 300 miles on a charge he’s lucky to get 250 (round numbers). Gotta borrow your Mom’s car for a road trip, that’s cool.

    Our son’s 7 year old Tesla S is down to 160-170 miles after a full charge. And yes, they borrow their mom’s car when they go out of town. Mine are two seaters!

    Mr. Hagerty, if they “only” sold 1,200 GTs at a half a million dollars, would it not be the proper thing to do. To send out a team of factory engineers to the estate of each of the GT owners and do an on-site inspection. Not talking Plymouth Neons here. A member of our parish has a RR and when the car notifies RR it needs service RR sends a well dressed driver to retrieve the car and take it to the dealership and bring it back when finished. Porsche seems to not be providing excellence was expected customer relations.

    We need to re name EV’s they should be referred to as ETV’s – Emission Transfer Vehicles. As this is exactly what they do!

    Although I think EV’s in the right mix can be a good thing, the current way they are calculated is similar to a gas powered vehicle following a semi downhill. I wish hybrids were looked at more – they seem to be greatly ignored. They can be more directly compared under real world driving conditions. Many have a direct gas model to compare to – no smoke and mirrors needed for the average consumer to sort through.
    Ask an EV owner in a cold climate and see if they noticed reduced range, or longer charging times at home. Ask about how those road trips go, and if those ‘fast chargers’ cost more. Many drive in less than ideal conditions, and if your quick charge is not part of that MPGe selling point, at least to a normal degree, it needs to be adjusted and reflect it.
    So it’s not that I am against EV’s, it’s more about the true picture being presented. MPGe was a metric designed to try and paint a comparison when it was new. Much more real data is out there, and the technology has progressed. Time to correct things. And take a good look at beginning and end of life environmental impacts of gas, EV, and hybrids to make sure we are heading done the right road.

    Not many are really talking about end of life and the 50 year impact.

    Volvos own study 2022 (?) said their own EV last 10 years and only hit zero emission at year 7. Typical US driver would use 4 and a bit ICE vehicle in 50 years with current average lifespan but 5 EV. That extra .8 of a vehicle might wipe out most of the zero pollution 15 years in that (very generalized) math example.

    Add in the extra weight = more tire wear, and what do we do with an end of life EV (ship them to countries with no pollution controls to break them down?)

    Someone will make an award winning documentary about all of this.

    I’ve been following the prices of used Chevy Volts myself –I’m not opposed to change. Don’t like false sells though.

    The mere suggestion of ship somewhere else at end of life tells how much of the full story is buried as it would never fit the narrative. Nuclear power is great, but the waste is an issue. I read one report touting the EV’s as a percentage sold in California, and the electricity used to charge them Then it went on to increase the number ten fold, but only doubled the kilowatts used. Like people were buying door stops.

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