Brad Pitt filming on-track at 6 F1 races, GM trucks at fire risk, Hummers for the street
Brad Pitt filming F1 movie at 6 grands prix in 2023
Intake: Filming for Brad Pitt’s upcoming Formula 1 movie will see the Hollywood star take part in the parade lap of this year’s British Grand Prix, which will be held at Silverstone. The film, so far without a name, features Pitt as a veteran Grand Prix ace who mentors a younger driver, played by Damson Idris, and its producers are keen to make the footage as realistic as possible. Inspired by the realism of the incredible flying sequences in Top Gun: Maverick, the production has asked for and received permission to shoot at six Grands Prix in 2023. Formula 1 management has even hired former McLaren communications director Tim Bampton to liaise between the film crew and race teams to ensure that director Joseph Kosinski gets the shots he needs.
Exhaust: Lewis Hamilton is a producer on the project. He told reporters: “I have such high hopes for it. I know we’re going to make the best racing movie that’s ever existed.” With unprecedented access to the F1 paddock and an Oscar-winning director at the helm, he certainly has the right ingredients. — NB
YESYES, Hot Wheels’ baddest truck is back
Intake: … But not in black. Unlike Hot Wheels’ first release of its 1/64th-scale 1990 Chevrolet 454 SS, the second model comes only in Spectraflame Red. Like the black-over-red Hot Wheels truck released in late June, this 454 SS is exclusively available to members of the $9.99/year Red Line Club. As this ’66 Nova shows, Red Line Club models are higher quality than the Hot Wheels you’d find at Walmart: their bodies and chassis are metal, the tires are actually rubber, and their hoods usually open—in this case, to reveal a big ol’ V-8. If you missed out on BLK RAT, you’ll want to say YESYES to the red one when it launches tomorrow, April 25, 9 a.m. PT. Be warned: There’s a max of 2 models per customer, 10 per household.
Exhaust: This model recalls a time when the Big Three fought each other to build the highest-performing trucks—not on the dirt, as they do today, but on the drag strip. Even apart from the badass Chevy it recalls, Hot Wheels’ black 454 SS Hot Wheels is something special; it was the first time Hot Wheels had used that casting. Evidently, demand was strong enough for the company to have a second go. — Grace Houghton
Goodwood Revival race to be powered by e-fuel
Intake: For the first time, the Goodwood Revival will rely on synthetic fuel. During 2023’s Revival meeting, held September 8–10, a field of 30 pre-1996 Porsche 911s running exclusively on e-fuels will compete for the Fordwater Trophy. The Sussex circuit has now also announced the full lineup for the 25th Revival, which will celebrate 75 years of Lotus cars and the 100th birthday of Carroll Shelby. Amongst fan favorite competitions—such as the St. Mary’s Trophy for “tin-tops” of the 1950s; the Freddie March Trophy for Jaguar C-Types, Aston Martin DB3s, and Austin Healeys; and the Goodwood Trophy for 1930s and 1940s Grand Prix cars—will be a new Le Mans tribute race called the Rudge Whitworth Cup, featuring Bentleys, Alfa Romeos, and Bugattis. Full details of all 15 races taking place during the three-day event are on the Goodwood website.
Exhaust: Not only is this another great opportunity for Porsche to push its e-fuel agenda; the first-ever use of synthetic gas at Goodwood also suggests that classic car competition will be going strong long after petroleum fuels are banned. — Nik Berg
GM recalling Chevy trucks for fire risk
Intake: General Motors is advising 40,428 owners of certain Chevrolet medium-duty trucks to park the vehicles outside and away from structures. There is a potential fire risk due to a brake pressure–sensor assembly that may leak fluid into the switch, causing a short circuit. This could overheat the circuit and increase the risk of fire while the vehicle is driving or parked. The recall covers some 2019–23 Chevrolet 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD medium-duty trucks.
Exhaust: Dealers will replace the master-cylinder pressure sensor and inspect the wiring harness, replacing it, if necessary, free of charge. Interim letters notifying owners of the safety risk are expected to be mailed May 29, 2023. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. — Steven Cole Smith
Survey: Half of Americans plan to go electric in next five years
Intake: A new survey conducted by Engine’s Caravan for Mini indicates that almost half of American consumers plan to purchase an electric vehicle in the next five years. Factors such as price (44 percent) and lack of reliable public charging stations (18 percent) are the main lingering deterrents. The survey reveals that a majority of consumers (58 percent) would not consider an electric vehicle purchase unless its price is equal to or cheaper than that of a gas-powered vehicle. Surprisingly, the opposite is true for young consumers—in particular, those aged 18 to 34. Among this age group, 56 percent of respondents are willing to pay more for an electric car; among consumers aged 45 to 64, that figure drops to just 33 percent.
Exhaust: Electric cars still have work to do, when it comes to convincing the American public of their virtues, but clearly the tide is turning. The main usage of an electric vehicle is expanding very gradually from short-range urban errand-runner to primary daily driver. Thirty-one percent of respondents cited “city car” as the top usage for an EV compared to 32 percent in 2022 and 34 percent four years ago. “Primary car” usage also remains consistent at 27 percent since last year, though it is a marked rise from just 18 percent in 2019. — SCS
GMC knows some of you won’t off-road your Hummer
Intake: GMC has released a 3X trim package for the 2023 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and the new 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV. The 3X trim will come standard with 22-inch wheels and 35-inch All-Terrain tires that offer a “sportier, more on-road-oriented driving dynamic. In this configuration, customers can expect a GM-estimated driving range of up to 355 miles on a full charge” for the pickup, GMC says. For off-roaders, the 3X trim will also offer the Extreme Off-Road Package, which includes additional underbody cameras, additional skid plates, and rocker protection with built-in assist steps, as well as 18-inch wheels clad in 35-inch mud-terrain tires. This second configuration has a GM-estimated driving range of up to 329 miles on a full charge, the same as the Edition 1 Pickup.
Exhaust: The 2024 SUV Hummer EV Edition 1 and 3X SUV debuts with two versions for two different customers. The on-road version is rated at 314 miles on a full charge, while the off-road version is rated at a 298-mile range. Horsepower drops from 1000 to 830 in 2024, but the truck’s monster 11,000 lb-ft torque rating remains. The SUV has a smaller battery pack than the pickup, hence the drop in range. — SCS