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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Review July 17 - July 23, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - July 24, 2022; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Complete versions of today's review articles, along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million-page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a headline and inserting it into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Weekly Auto News Review - Week Ending July 23, 2022 In the Review 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-understand automotive universe news nuggets.

* Overall vehicle satisfaction has declined for the first time since 2014 in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. A drop in satisfaction with fuel economy and driving range has contributed to a one-point decline in overall new-vehicle satisfaction. Porsche ranks highest among premium brands with a score of 888. Genesis (886) ranks second and Cadillac (885) ranks third among premium brands. Dodge ranks highest among mass market brands with a score of 882. Ram (863) ranks second and GMC (856) ranks third among mass market brands. Hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) have lower composite APEAL Index scores than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

* For the second year in a row, Chevrolet and Ford full size pickups took the top two spots in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) annual Hot Wheels vehicle theft report, and the GMC full size pickup made the top 10 list. Of the nearly 1 million total vehicles reported stolen in 2021, 14% of passenger vehicles were Chevrolet, Ford, and GMC full size pickup models. In third place and the top stolen car is the Honda Civic. Passenger vehicle thefts increased 8% in 2021 compared to 2020. Have a look here:

* The 670-hp 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will start at $106,395, about $40,000 more than the base 2023 Corvette Stingray. Orders for the high-performance sports car open July 28, and production is slated to begin in September. Loading a Z06 up with all of these extras will push its price toward the $150,000–$160,000 range, according to Car & Driver.

* The 8th edition of MINI TAKES THE STATES happened from July 9th to 17th. The MINI community of over 2,000 MINI owners with over 600 MINI Cooper vehicles from across the model range explored a total of nine states and eight cities driving a route from Burlington, Vermont to Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina. Making its return after four years, the biennial MTTS trek covered more than 1,700 miles in total.

* Ford unleashed the new F-150 Raptor R – the fastest, most powerful, most extreme high-performance off-road desert Raptor yet. Under the hood is a new 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers 700 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of torque. Trail 1-Pedal Drive allows customers to control throttle and braking with just one pedal to make extreme off-roading like rock crawling even easier. Ordering for F-150 Raptor R opened this week and production starts late 2022 at Dearborn Truck Plant.

* Kelley Blue Book announced its 17 Best Off-Road Trucks for 2022, recognizing both new and used 4x4s on the market. Chevrolet, Ram and Ford lead the pack.

* Reports by The Detroit Bureau as well as the Detroit Free Press say Cadillac quietly launched a program designed to let it closely track how its new Lyriq battery-electric vehicle is being used. The “Cadillac Lyriq Targeted Private Offer,” provided a $5,500 discount to 20 new Lyriq owners who mostly live in cities such as Detroit, Los Angeles and New York. The Lyriq owners have agreed to let the automaker track the way they use the vehicle, while also signing a non-disclosure agreement. “As we transform our business, the launch of our first all-electric vehicle, Lyriq, provides Cadillac some unique learning opportunities,” spokesman Mike Albano told the Detroit Free Press, which first reported on the program. “Therefore, we have engaged a small group of early customers who agree to share their vehicle information and customer behaviors. Cadillac will use these learnings to elevate the experience for all our customers.”

* VW gave us further indication it will introduce a pickup in the North American market with a top management announcement. The new independent company, Scout, with an iconic brand will launch all-electric pick-ups and rugged SUVs in the U.S. market. Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, and CEO of Volkswagen North American Region, will become President and CEO of the newly established company Scout.

* Chevrolet revealed the all-electric 2024 Blazer EV. Multiple distinct trims, multiple range options — including an available GM-estimated range of up to 320 miles on a full charge — and available front-, rear- and all-wheel drive configurations will offer customers more choices. Those choices include available 1LT, 2LT, RS and Chevy’s first-ever electric SS performance model, along with a pursuit-rated Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) model for police fleet applications. The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV 2LT and RS go on sale in summer 2023, priced starting around $47,595 and $51,995, respectively.

* Say goodbye to AM radio in future cars. Volvo and BMW told The Drive for a report this month that the power their EVs draw from the batteries generates too much audio interference for their liking. Automotive News reports that the Detroit-3--GM, Ford and Stellantis--are sticking with AM radio.

* From Reuters we read the U.S. Postal Service said it will buy 25,000 electric vehicles as part of its initial order of 50,000 “next generation delivery vehicles,” more than double the number of EVs called for in previous plans. The USPS has been under fire from members of Congress and the Biden administration for its reluctance to go electric in a big, fast way.

* Amazon is hitting the road with new battery-powered Rivian EDV 700 electric delivery vans. Amazon has ordered 100,000 vans. The first units are bing rolled out in about a dozen cities including Chicago, Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix and St. Louis. Drivers should like them a lot since they are not only heated but air conditioned as well plus the driver's seat is also heated and cooled. Neighborhood residents will like the new vans since they operate significantly more quiet than a gasoline engine van bringing reduced noise on their streets.

* Joe White writing for Reuters reports Ford said it plans to start installing lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, batteries from Chinese battery champion CATL in Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E models sold in North America. The batteries will be imported from China at first, but Ford said it is looking forward to sourcing LFP batteries from a 40 gigawatt-hour capacity North American factory by 2026. This is all about reducing battery cost. LFP batteries offer a 10-15% cut in battery material costs, and reduce the need for costly, hard to source nickel and cobalt. But....Switching to LFP batteries from current nickel-cobalt chemistries comes with a bet that U.S. and European consumers and commercial fleet buyers will accept a slight cut in driving range between charges in return for a lower priced vehicle. Until recently, the industry consensus was that boosting range was the top priority. Ford is not alone in rethinking the trade-off between range and price. Tesla, Rivian and others are talking about offering LFP batteries in more markets.

* The Automotive Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Ceremony was held this week in Detroit. This year's class of inductees are Wanxiang Group founder Lu Guanqiu; Alma and Victor Green, writers of The Green Book, a travel guide for African Americans in the United States; Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of Lamborghini luxury cars; Taiichi Ohno, creator of Toyota Production System; and Lyn St. James, American race car driver.

* From the Detroit Free Press we read that General Motors will soon offer an electric crate-motor package to allow people to replace gasoline-powered engines with fully electric propulsion systems in classic cars. It's dubbed the Electric Connect and Cruise eCrate Package. The eCrate is a motor and a package of components for use on vintage GM vehicles. But GM is not yet specifying which vehicles will be compatible with the eCrate.

* NASCAR will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2023 and for the first time in its history its premier series will compete on a street course. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and NASCAR officials announced a first-of-its-kind street course race downtown through Chicago, just ahead of the July 4th holiday next year. The first-ever NASCAR Cup Series street course race will be held on July 2, 2023. It will be preceded by an International Motor Sports Association race on July 1, 2023. The deal is for three-years.

* Motorsport legend Paddy Hopkirk, most famous for winning the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, has died aged 89. Born in Belfast in April 1933, he competed for many years in Ireland and on the global stage and won the famous Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S. In 2010, he was among the first four inductees into the Rally Hall of Fame, along with Timo Makinen, Rauno Aaltonen and Erik Carlsson and was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year's Honours List.

Stay safe. Be Well.