Civic Type R sets Nürburgring FWD record, 131K Ram pickups recalled, Volvo finds its Waze


Civic Type R sets FWD record at Nürburgring

Intake: A 2023 Honda Civic Type R has set a new front-wheel-drive track record at the 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany, considered the most challenging road course in the world. The Civic Type R, the most powerful Honda production vehicle ever sold in the U.S., lapped the track in 7 minutes, 44.881 seconds. The previous record was set six years ago by the previous-generation Civic Type R. The only performance difference from stock was the addition of  Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tires, which are available through Honda dealers.

Exhaust: Said Hideki Kakinuma, Civic Type R Development Leader: “Since the start of sales in Japan in September 2022, we have received numerous customer feedback from all around the world filled with amazement and joy, far exceeding our expectations. However, we still had one more mission to fulfill, which was to claim the title as the world’s fastest FWD car with a record Nürburgring lap time.” The 315-horsepower Civic Type R has starting price of $42,895. For comparison, the current overall street-legal lap record is 6:30.705, set by the Mercedes-AMG One at the ‘Ring last October. — Steven Cole Smith 

131,700 Ram pickups recalled for stalling issue

2020 Ram 1500 Laramie drivers front three quarter
Nathan Petroelje

Intake: Chrysler is recalling 131,700 2021 Ram 1500 trucks in North America equipped with the 5.7-liter eTorque V-8 engines over the risk of stalling out. The powertrain control module software may create an incorrect fuel mixture in the engine, which can stall it, creating a potentially hazardous situation. The engine can turn off without warning, possibly causing a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Exhaust: As of March 30, one accident and no injuries were reported in relation to the issue. Owners will be notified by mail beginning June 2, 2023. Dealers will update the powertrain control module calibration software for free. — SCS

Maserati’s second EV, the Grecale Folgore, debuts in Shanghai

Intake: Maserati unveiled another all-electric vehicle at the Shanghai Auto Show this week. The Grecale Folgore becomes the second EV revealed by the Milanese firm, joining the GranTurismo Folgore which was revealed late last year. The Grecale Folgore is a compact luxury crossover, while the GranTurismo Folgore remains a slinky-looking coupe that reportedly boasts nearly 760 hp. Maserati has committed to making electric versions of all its models by 2025, as well as exclusively electric vehicles by 2030. That means there’s a battery-powered version of the MC20 sports car in the works, as well as an electric Levante, and the Quattroporte.

Exhaust: While Maserati’s electrification strategy appears more conservative than some of its rivals like Mercedes or Audi, the Trident-adorned cars are already quite attractive looking, so perhaps the team feels no need to radically reinvent the lines of these machines to show how they can look with battery power. We’re quite fine with that. — Nathan Petroelje

Certain VW, Rivian models qualify for tax credits after all

Intake: Left off the original list, Volkswagen and Rivian have confirmed that certain electric models they make are eligible for tax credits under the U.S. Treasury Department criteria, says Automotive News. All models of the 2023 ID.4 are eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit this year. Said Pablo Di Si, CEO of VW Group of America: “This shows that we made the right decision to localize production of the ID4 in Tennessee and invest even further in battery production, components and innovation.” Also, certain Rivian R1S and R1T configurations are eligible for a $3,750 credit. While the Rivian SUV and pickup start in the $70,000s, most are expected to be configured at sticker prices higher than the $80,000 maximum threshold. That would make them ineligible for the credit.

Exhaust: Under the Inflation Reduction Act, buyers who meet income thresholds can get a tax credit of $3,750 or $7,500 for new EVs assembled in North America that also meet stricter battery sourcing restrictions. Those rebates “ramp up over time, maxing out at 80 percent in 2027 for minerals and 100 percent in 2029 for battery components,” Automotive News says. It’s apparent the list of eligible models is a moving target, so expect more additions and subtractions over time. — SCS

Volvo now has the Waze, and the means

Volvo Waze in-car integration

Intake: Volvo has become the first manufacturer to offer the useful Waze navigation and information app to U.S. drivers as part of the car’s infotainment system. “Our in-car app library just grew one app larger today as Waze becomes available to all Volvo cars with Google built-in around the globe. Our collaboration also brings the in-car Waze app to drivers in the U.S. for the first time,” the company says. There’s a one-time setup for Waze after downloading the app in the Google Play Store in your Volvo car. “No matter who’s driving the car and what device they use, navigation with Waze will be just one simple tap away.”

Exhaust: The in-car Waze app helps make things easier by avoiding phone-related distractions while continuing to offer the functionalities that you’ve come to expect from the Waze app on your mobile phone. Displayed on Volvo’s infotainment system, the in-car Waze app “utilizes more of the center screen in the Volvo user interface you’re most familiar with, making navigation more comfortable with a bigger and bolder eye-level display area.” — SCS


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    The Civic with the breadvan/ shooting brake design or whatever it is- wagon-ish would be a neat design I think.

    The Civic Type R is an amazing car, not just for FWD. I hope this car gets an extended life. I am concerned with Honda losing their fun that this will stick around.

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