Bugatti’s wildest monster nears, Land Rover splits, Hyundai aims for moon


Track-only Bugatti nobody will race is almost ready

Intake: Bugatti has announced that the Bolide, its latest and wildest supercar, has moved on to the next phase of testing before customer deliveries start in 2024. For the Bolide, Bugatti began with the quad-turbo W-16 engine, and “then built the lightest possible car around it,” the company says. Its minimal bodywork is designed to maximize downforce and cooling while delivering an exceptional power-to-weight ratio. In its final form, the 3200-pound Bolide is expected to deliver 1580 horsepower.

Exhaust: Said Christophe Piochon, president of Bugatti Automobiles: “The Bolide is treading new ground for Bugatti. Never before has such a powerful engine been paired with an ultra-lightweight design to create a track car that delivers motorsport levels of performance. Almost every component has been analyzed and redesigned to ensure Bolide is as light, capable and reliable as our strict targets require it to be.” Production will be limited to 40 cars at a price of about $4.4 million each. — Steven Cole Smith

Jaguar and Land Rover split into four brands

Intake: Jaguar Land Rover will now be called JLR in a rebrand that births four sub-brands: Range Rover, Discovery, Defender, and Jaguar. JLR will become a “house of brands” in a change of strategy that will help “amplify the uniqueness of our characterful British marques,” Gerry McGovern, chief creative officer, said in a statement to Automotive News. The strategy within Land Rover since 2021 has been to separate vehicles into three “pillars,” with Range Rover representing luxury, Discovery focusing on families, and Defender drawing from its rugged off-road roots. Some are already protesting that the rejiggering seems to eliminate the storied Land Rover moniker, but JLR says the name would continue as a badge on its SUVs to serve as a “trust mark.”

Exhaust: Jaguar has announced it will “reinvent itself” with the 2025 launch of an all-electric, four-door GT model that will have “exuberant and fearless” styling, executives told Automotive News. The car will be the brand’s fastest model to date and will cost more than 100,000 pounds ($124,200) as Jaguar moves more upscale. — SCS

Harley’s electric dirt bike will be pricey

Livewire Del Mar S2

Intake: LiveWire’s S2 Del Mar dirt bike is confirmed to launch with an MSRP of $15,499. Reservations are open for the production version in three colors and deliveries are expected to start in July. More detailed information including performance and production specifications of the dirt-track-inspired electric motorcycle will be released in June.

Exhaust: Livewire has been trodding along steadily now that it is out of the Harley Davidson shadow (though HD is still the majority shareholder in the company), and the Del Mar S2 has a unique look that has caught the attention of a fair number of riders. The lack of performance information makes this price announcement tough to interpret, but it certainly sets high expectations for the specs we will see in June. Kyle Smith 

Attorneys General want Hyundais, Kias recalled

Kia Soul steering wheel
Flickr/Adam Rose

Intake: The attorney general of California and attorneys general of 17 other states have asked a federal regulator to recall certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles, saying some vehicles from these brands are more likely to be stolen because they lack the theft-prevention features that are standard in many other cars, such as engine immobilizers and push-button starters, says Reuters. “Kia’s and Hyundai’s failure to install standard safety features on many of their vehicles have put vehicle owners and the public at risk,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. U.S. theft claims were nearly twice as high for Hyundai and Kia vehicles compared with all other manufacturers among 2015–19 model-year vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute said.

Exhaust: The thefts began in earnest after TikTok videos aired specific instructions on how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars that started via a physical key and whose engines had no immobilizers. Bonta said the carmakers included an immobilizer in the same models in Canada and Europe but chose to “carve out” the United States. Hyundai and Kia have argued that the cars were federally compliant when sold. — SCS

Hyundai Motor Group at work on lunar rover

Hyundai Lunar Rover mock up

Intake: In happier Hyundai news, Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Kia, announced that it has begun research into building a lunar rover that should be ready for launch by 2027. The “autonomous driving unit” is specially designed to explore the moon’s surface, equipped with various advanced technologies with the goal to deliver a universally applicable mobility platform “to handle a variety of payloads.” The lunar mobility platform will include solar charging, autonomous driving, thermal management and radiation shielding, and can carry various equipment on top of the rover with a maximum weight of 150-plus pounds. The Group expects completion of the initial development model as soon as the second half of 2024. “Hyundai Motor Group has consistently stated its goal is to contribute to expanding human reach and the scope of human mobility experiences,” said Kim Yong-Hwa, the Group’s executive vice president and the head of its R&D planning & coordination center. “The creation of the lunar exploration mobility development model not only reflects this goal, but also shows our ambition to achieve tangible results in the face of significant challenges.” 

Exhaust: Presumably, the lunar rover will have push-button start and immobilizer technology. — SCS

Lincoln: To grow, it must get smaller

Vitrine Dealership Lincoln of Sugar Land Charging

Intake: Lincoln’s new president is working to “galvanize the luxury brand’s stalled revival” by cutting its dealer network, refocusing its electrification strategy, and updating its products. “We have to get our mojo back,” Dianne Craig told Automotive News this week in New York as Lincoln introduced the redesigned Nautilus, a product she hopes will be key. Lincoln executives have worked hard to make the brand relevant again, and their efforts succeeded, to an extent—U.S. sales topped 112,000 vehicles in 2019, a 12-year high—then “flatlined when the pandemic hit.” Craig, who succeeded Joy Falotico as the brand’s president in December, now vows that Lincoln will grow again. “It’s really very straightforward—great products, great service,” she said. “That will define the future of the brand.”

Exhaust: This revitalization will happen without a lot of Lincoln’s dealers, though. Although Craig called the brand’s dealer network a “strategic advantage,” she said it must get smaller. Lincoln had 637 dealers at the start of 2023, according to Automotive News’ annual dealer census. — SCS


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    So, now that the LMh class is up and running…NO EXCUSES! The REAL test for any car now is WHEEL TO WHEEL!! I would really like to see how some of these so called “performance” hypercars stand up to hardcore track duty. Bugatti, Pagani, Mercedes, Rimac, Gordon Murray, Saleen, LETS GET THOSE CARS ON THE TRACK!

    How completely fun would it be to see real production cars racing in the WEC and Le Mans at the top class?? Real Hypercars racing each other like the good old days of “real” Stock Car and Sports Car racing!

    If Huyndai makes a lunar rover, who’s going to pick up the astronauts after the Martians steal it?

    Theft prevention features are considered a ‘safety feature’?
    I wonder what label they put on the one who steals the car?

    Wouldn’t want the person who stole the vehicle to get injured in a high-speed Police pursuit!
    And that person would be labeled a “Victim” when they sue the Police for millions of Taxpayer dollars.

    I am quite amazed to see such a polarizing and divisive statement here. Especially in light of the fact that some of my my own equally tame (and truthful) posts have been removed via the censors of this fine organization.

    After the theft the owner either chases or calls the police who get into a high speed chase. Many of the chances cause innocent bystanders to be killed or injured! That is the safety issue!

    It would be nice if a willing owner allowed a professional driver take their car on a few laps of The Ring. The The AMG One may have met its match.

    I fail to see how Hyundai or Kia is liable for selling the car without certain parts of a security system. If you bought it without to save a buck you got what you paid for. Can I sue them for not providing decent back seat room, sub 5 second 0-60 acceleration? Of course not, so why is this a thing? Oh yeah the government is involved. Must be looking for a payday I guess?

    Lincoln is a brand with nice looking crossovers that do little a Ford doesn’t do but for extra money. No wonder they are not doing well. The dealer experience doesn’t feel premium like say a Lexus dealer does.

    Didn’t realize the UK had such good narcotics… to get Jaguar/Land Rover to do whatever that plan they just annouced.
    That plan is just…. WEIRD.

    Blaming Hyundai and Kia is a lot like blaming the victim for the actions of the rapist.
    It would be nice if Hyundai and Kia came up with a fix, but it would also be nice if the attnorey generals would start pursuing actually catching, convicting, and incarcerating car thieves.

    Michael Keaton wants his batmobile back

    can you actually utilize 1500 HP in a 3200 lb car? I’m asking seriously. It seems like there is just a point where all you are going to get is enormous wheel spin

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