Category Archives: Auto Industry

GM Temporarily Halts 3.0 Duramax Engine Production

There’s nothing wrong with GM’s popular diesel engine (unlike the Chevy Bolt’s batteries). In an age of endless production woes, though, The Drive reports that a part supplier for the 3.0 Duramax is unable to supply their parts, which has brought production of the entire engine line to a screeching halt.

GM uses this engine in the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs and the Express van, the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade.

No other engines are thought to be affected by the part shortage. GM believes the issue is only temporary and should be solved soon. In an age of “just in time” delivery, though, with few parts actually on hand, this is what happens when there’s even a small hiccup in the system. Between chip shortages and COVID-19, there are many worse problems than small hiccups in the supply line right about now.

Ford Reveals the “Very Gay Raptor”

In response to an internet troll who called the Performance Blue color of the Ranger Raptor “very gay,” Ford has gone over the top and created this work of art that they call, and I quote, the “Very Gay Raptor.” explains that Ford created this particular truck for Christopher Street Day in Cologne, Germany, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Between the huge rainbow and the gold sparkles, I have to say it looks fabulous, darling.

This isn’t the first time Ford has build a car specifically for this event, either. The Ka parked next to the Very Gay Raptor is a car they built for the 1998 event.

Honda Warns Dealers of Upcoming Shortage

Due to a perfect storm of the ongoing chip shortage and a resurgence of COVID-19 in southeast Asia, Honda has warned US dealers to expect a 40 percent reduction in some models, according to a letter leaked to the CivicXI forums.

The Pilot and Passport shouldn’t be affected, partly because they’re built elsewhere, and partly because SUVs rule North American sales. Additionally, the new 2022 Civic Hatchback should also remain on schedule for its planned rollout in late September.

For other models, though…

Toyota Has Sold 50 Million Corollas

If it seems like Corollas are everywhere, that’s because they are. The Drive reports that last month, Toyota sold its 50 millionth Corolla, along with a great history of the iconic model.

50 million! That’s more than the population of Spain. It’s more than double the number of VW Beetles ever made. I’m talking the original, air-cooled, rear-engine Beetles, not the modern Golf with a round body.

Watch Morgan Build the Last 3-Wheelers

It’s a sad day. Morgan has ended production of the 3 Wheeler, a car that is one of my personal favorites because it perfectly embodies the driving experience in its most raw form, despite the fact that it has one less wheel than a traditional car. Morgan has released this video commemorating the event, which shows us how they build… sorry, built these beasts.

Some speculate that in the future, the 3 Wheeler may return, in electric form. Certainly it would be an excellent platform for an electric conversion. There’s so little to it, you wouldn’t need much of a motor or battery pack to propel it to ludicrous speed. But there’s there’s something special about the ridiculous look of a Harley-Davidson engine (I know, it’s really an S&S) hanging off the front of the thing, and the sound of a Road Glide accompanying this weird contraption of a car. It’s bonkers, and that’s why I love it.

Subaru WRX Wagon May Return, But Only In Australia

WRX fans have been screaming for a hatchback or wagon version of the car ever since the current (and outgoing) generation car came out for 2015. It seems those screams have been answered — but only if you live in Australia.

CarExpert reports that the current Levorg wagon will complete its transformation into a long-roof version of the WRX starting next year. Unfortunately, Subaru will continue its financially sensible commitment to crossovers and SUVs in North America and not bring it here, much to the dismay of wagon fans like me. I bought my 2015 WRX in spite of it being a sedan and not a hatchback, not because of it.

So what will the next North American WRX look like? Subaru will show us on September 10.

Photo credit: Tokumeigakarinoaoshima via Wikimedia Commons

Every Chevy Bolt Gets Recalled

First, GM was going to test the batteries in pre-2019 models and replace defective battery cells. Then they decided to replace them all. And now, 2019 and newer Bolts have been added to the list, also to get a full replacement whether they need it or not. That’s all of them. Every. Single. One.

It’s not a good look, is it? Fires in Chevy Bolts due to spontaneously combusting batteries evokes memories of the Pontiac Fiero and its infamous fires. In this case, though, it’s because of defective battery cells, which could apparently all go up in smoke at any time. This one isn’t even Chevy’s fault, but supplier LG Chem, who of course Chevy wants compensation from, according to The Drive.

The Bolt was the early go-to affordable fully-electric car after customers learned the affordable versions of the Tesla Model 3 wouldn’t even be built for a year or two after its introduction. Chevy scored a big win there. That’s all been undone, and then some, because, as the Hydraulic Press Channel would say, “It is extremely dangerous and may attack at any time, so we have to deal with it.”

Top tip: Don’t use a hydraulic press to dispose of your old batteries.

The 2023 BMW M5 Goes Hybrid

It’s no secret that BMW, like many manufacturers, is making a big push toward hybrid and electric vehicles. Even the performance-oriented M series isn’t immune, as Autocar reports that the next M5 could have a V8 hybrid drivetrain producing 750 horsepower. Strangely enough, the M might not even be the fastest of the upcoming G30s. That honor may go to an all-electric version based on the i5, which could have up to 800 horsepower. Tesla’s going to need to pour some Liquid Schwartz in the tank to keep up with that.

2022 Ford Explorer ST To Have Standard Rear-Wheel-Drive

What’s old is new again. Sources tell Ford Authority that the 2022 edition of the Explorer ST will attempt to justify its sporting pretensions by making its currently standard all-wheel-drive an option, and coming with rear-wheel-drive off the shelf.

I remember the original Explorer, which was nothing more than a Ranger with a wagon-style body — literally a grown-up Bronco II. That was rear-wheel-drive, with optional four-wheel-drive, transfer case and all, because it was a truck. Today SUVs bear little resemblance to truck except for their sky-high price tags, and being big, bloated, and way more car than you actually need. And now, all of a sudden, rear-wheel-drive is back, because it’s sporty.

I have fond memories of the Focus ST press car I had for a week. I parked my Subaru BRZ, (a genuine rear-wheel-drive sports car), drove the ST exclusively, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This was in spite of the focus being “wrong wheel drive,” powering the front wheels. It handled well. It stopped well. It had more than enough power. In fact, the only reason I ended up replacing my BRZ with a WRX is because the Subaru dealer hooked me up with a great deal to keep me in a Subaru instead of jumping ship to Ford. I would’ve been happy owning a Focus ST. I definitely would’ve enjoyed its interior more.

To the Explorer ST, I say, “You, sir, are no ST.” I understand that since Ford has axed all their cars except the Mustang from American shores, they have to have something sporty to offer the masses. But the Explorer will never bring a smile to my face the way that Focus ST did. It’s a big lumbering SUV, and nothing can offset the bulk that comes with it. As the great philosopher Montgomery Scott said, “Ye canna change the laws of physics.”

So I find it ironic that Ford feels the need to offer a rear-wheel-drive version of the Explorer ST to scream, “Look! It really is a real performance car, really!” Then again, I also find it ironic that so many manufacturers are going back to rear-wheel-drive for performance applications after insisting on the safety and economy of front-wheel-drive layouts for years. BMW and Mercedes, who practically invented the sport sedan segment, never left rear-wheel-drive behind in the first place.