Auto Industry News: Power, Wreckage, and the Future

Gentlemen, Charge Your Engines

We begin this week’s auto industry news with a tale of testosterone. Tesla v. Lambo. Drag race. Right here, right now. Who do you got? Logic would probably tell you the Lamborghini, yes? And your friend who supposedly knows everything about cars will claim that electric motors lack, uh, testicular fortitude. Right? Well, watch the video below and see for yourself (skip to the 2-minute mark for the race):

Now one could argue that the Lambo stumbled out of the gate, but feel free to discuss amongst yourselves in the comment thread below. Racing excitement continued at IndyCar, with a massive wreck between Will Power, Ed Carpenter, and Takuma Soto. All three drivers were okay and sustained no injuries. But because of the wreck, Will Power now seems to have lost any realistic chance at contending for the title. In other auto industry news, Lewis Hamilton captured a win at F1’s Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. The British driver edged out Sebastian Vettel, who still leads the overall standings. Though that lead has been cut. Daniel Ricciardo took third.

Truck It Up

In the world of all-things truck, Chevy looks pretty badass right now. We’re talking Mad Max: Fury Road badass. The ZR2, the automaker’s mainstream market, off-road pickup traveled 539 miles in the famous “Vegas to Reno” extravaganza. What’s more is that Hill Racing completed the 539-mile trek with the truck in mostly stock form. The lift and width were only mildly adjusted. According to FourWheeler, only 204 of the 336 competing vehicles finished the course, many of them modified. Achievements like this are huge and could spell “increased competition” for aftermarket manufacturers. Models like the Chevy ZR2, Ford Raptor, and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro provide a bone-stock beast ready for off-road action the second it leaves the lot. Time for the aftermarket to up the ante yet again. If history proves anything, you can be sure they will…

SEMI Secrets and Implications

The truck market has grown leaps and bounds since its inception. And it’s fair to say their ubiquity is so ingrained in our lives that we as consumers rarely stop to consider how they’ll progress. But rest assured, Tesla is thinking BIG in terms of the future. Last week, more details leaked regarding its all-electric SEMI model, a heavy-duty commercial truck that rivals the torque performance of diesels. A trucking company official who met with Tesla reported that the massive trucks will have an electric range of 200-300 miles. Now, most information about this line is speculative since Tesla refuses comment, but it provides a glimpse into the future and what that means for the industry at large. If the next foundation of transportation indeed goes electric, then it’s our duty to ponder the trickle down effect. What becomes of the future of commercial business, mechanic shops, and gearhead projects?

Jaguar Classes It Up Again

AAA recently released a list of costly and cost-effective vehicles to own and maintain. You know, the supercars of the world. Did you know that nearing the top of the “expense” category is actually pickup trucks? In fact, pickups average a maintenance fee of over $10,000 a year. While the aforementioned pickup market continues to expand and evolve, such costs place a financial burden on businesses and owners.

But you know who couldn’t give a rat’s behind about appearing on that list? Whoever buys the new Jaguar F-Type SVR for $20,000. Although it seems worth it because good Lord is this thing decadently cool. It tops out around 195 mph thanks to the supercharged 5.0L V8 it harbors. And in addition to its fast, sleek look, the 575 horsepower will make it sound just plain mean while cruising with the top down. That’s right, the SVR’s a convertible now. Well done, Jaguar. Well done.

Auto Industry News: VW Woes and Wins

We end this week’s auto industry news with, well, more somber insight from the Volkswagen camp. Last week, it was announced that VW engineer James Robert Liang will face jail time and a $200,000 fine for his involvement in an emissions scandal. Liang invented a device that helped deceive U.S. emissions regulators into believing certain vehicles were environmentally in compliance. To soften that blow, however, the German automotive company celebrated its 150 millionth vehicle off the line. Any other week, this would be an astounding achievement by a brand synonymous with innovative engineering and invention. But this week it’s bittersweet.

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