Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up: October 10-16, 2021
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Nutson's Automotive News Wrap-up - Week Ending October 16, 2021 ; Below are the past week's important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy-to-digest news nuggets.
* California took another step toward its goal of ridding the state of all gas-powered engines thanks to a new bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The new law will ban the sale of all off-road, gas-powered engines, including generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, and even golf carts. Under the new law, these machines must be zero-emissions, meaning they will have to be either battery-powered or plug-in, according to the Los Angeles Times.
* The Wall Street Journal reports that auto insurance companies want to move away from the unpopular practice of using credit histories in setting an individual's insurance premium rates. Instead, they want to track driving patterns using telematics to track, how, when and where we drive. Telematics would monitor policyholders' driving behavior either through smartphone applications or devices embedded in their vehicles. Progressive ands Allstate currently offer the rating practice.
* IIHS Says Brighter Is Better. Do you remember 7-inch sealed beam headlights and then the 5-inch version for quad headlights? And then along came large and small rectangle versions for single and dual headlights. A new study completed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirmed brighter headlights help reduce vehicle collisions. Really! IIHS says the number of nighttime vehicle accidents are nearly 20% lower for vehicles with headlights earning a “good” rating, compared with those with “poor” rated headlights. Vehicles with IIHS headlight ratings of “acceptable” or “marginal” have crash rates that are 10% to 15% lower than for those with poor ratings.
* Why we won't have autonomous cars anytime soon..perhaps never. Researchers at AAA, a federation of North American motor clubs, found that vehicles' auto emergency braking systems, in several instances during simulated rainfall, no longer recognized stopped vehicles ahead and that vehicles' lane-keeping systems performed considerably worse. Advanced driver-assistance systems, or ADAS, are becoming more common in newer vehicles. They do not offer autonomous driving, but can automate limited driving tasks. During simulated rainfall, 17% of test runs resulted in crashes at speeds of 25 mph, increasing to 33% at speeds of 35 mph. Vehicles equipped with lane-keeping technology crossed lane markers 37% of the time during ideal conditions in the AAA test, but that rate jumped to 69% once rain was added.
* Frank DuBois, an associate professor and global supply chain expert at American University's Kogod School of Business released the 2021 Kogod Made in America Auto Index. The index, now in its ninth year, ranked the Ford Mustang 5.0-liter GT with manual transmission first on the list with 88.5% domestic content. The index is intended to serve as a tool for consumers "interested in learning the amount of U.S. content in their cars and the extent to which their purchase decisions impact the economy." Overall, the index contains 98 vehicles from model year 2021. The full index is available at https://kogod.american.edu/autoindex/2021.
* Fender’s Custom Shop, partnered with Lexus, has announced the launch of 100 limited edition Fender Lexus LC Stratocaster guitars built by principal master builder Ron Thorn. The guitar is finished in an omnidirectional Structural Blue paint, the same used on the Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series, that creates a spectral range of light metallic blue to deep midnight blue. This limiter-edition custom guitar is priced at $6,000.
* Mitsubishi Motors Corporation revealed the design of the all-new, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Outlander crossover SUV, confirming it will share the same bold and distinctive styling as the all-new, gasoline-powered Outlander that launched earlier this year in North America. Sales are scheduled to begin in Japan in mid-December and in the U.S. in the second half of calendar-year 2022. The world premiere of the all-new Outlander PHEV will take place October 28 at 12:30 p.m. JST and will be streamed live on MMC’s global website: https://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/digitalreveal
* MotorTrend announced the three finalists for its 2022 SUV of the Year. Among the 23 nameplates representing 35 variants in this year's competition, the 2022 (Jeep) Grand Wagoneer, the 2021 Kia Sorento and the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 made the cut. The winner will be announced this coming week.
* The all-new 2022 Lexus LX 600 has been revealed and stands as the Lexus brand's ultimate sport-utility flagship. The full-size luxury SUV has been reengineered inside and out with a new body-on-frame platform, exterior style and luxurious cabin. It is powered by a high-output, high-torque 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo gasoline engine and features a host of refined vehicle control systems for both on-road and off-road situations. The new model is scheduled to arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2022.
* The 2021 Miami International Auto Show will be running this week. The U.S. auto show circuit continues to slowly recover from the covid pandemic. Next up will be the Los Angeles Auto Show opening on November 19.
* Mopar released concept sketches in advance of the upcoming 2021 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas (Nov. 2-5). Mopar will showcase customized vehicles and hundreds of quality-tested, factory-backed performance parts and accessories in its 15,345-square-foot exhibit in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
* From Hagerty we read Frank Lloyd Wright, the master of mid-century modern architecture, was a total gearhead. Among more than 80 cars he owned during his life were machines by Bentley, Cord, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Cadillac, and he famously said, “A car is not a horse, and it doesn’t need a barn.” Instead, Wright was a proponent of the “car port,” integrating into his architecture a special space for the automobile. A wonderful new book by design writers Thijs Demeulemeester and Bert Voet, appropriately titled Carchitecture Houses with Horsepower is a celebration of what happens when the two great skills of building design and car design come together, with page after page of glorious pictures of machines and structures.
* After eight days of competition in the 2021 Rebelle Rally women’s off-road navigation rally the first place finish in the 4X4 Class was won by Nena Barlow and Teralin Petereit in a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4Xe. First place in the X-Class was won by Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen in a 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands Edition.
* NASCAR’s Round of 8 is now set after a chaotic Charlotte road course race. It'll now ve three teams and eight drivers. The eight advancing from the original field of 16 are Denny Hamlin and former champions Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. from Joe Gibbs Racing in Toyotas; Kyle Larson and reigning champion Chase Elliott from Hendrick Motorsports in Chevrolets; and Ryan Blaney and former champions Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski from Team Penske in Fords.
* Tony Stewart announced the addition of a drag racing program to his Tony Stewart Racing enterprise. The championship-winning race car driver who has successfully transitioned to being a championship-winning team owner is joining the NHRA in 2022. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR), will field two full-time entries – one in Top Fuel for nine-time event winner Leah Pruett, Tony's fiancée, and one in Funny Car for 39-time event winner Matt Hagan. The manufacturer and the team’s technical alliance associate, along with corporate partners, will be announced at a later date.
* Here's a tidbit of info: The Bondurant Racing School will be back in 2022!
* Doug Auld, Hall of Fame journalist and founder of Spring Car & Midger Magazine died following a brief illness. He was 59.
Stay safe. Be Well.