After this post, Richard’s Review Mirror column will continue, albeit on a slightly less regular basis. It will also occasionally include stories on the classic car collecting hobby.
GM TO INTEGRATE CHAT GPT IN ITS VEHICLES
GM states that the AI software could be used, for example, to explain certain vehicle functions (in lieu of reading the owner’s manual) or could help integrate functionality with other devices.
KIA INTRODUCES ITS LATEST EV, THE EV9
The new KIA EV is the first all-electric 3-row SUV to come to market. Details are scarce right now, but photos show a cavernous space with 2nd and 3rd row seats folded (keeping in mind that there is no ICE drivetrain to take up space).
RIVIAN WANTS TO UPDATE AMAZON TRUCK DEAL
Rivian had signed a deal with Amazon whereby the online retail giant had agreed to purchase 100% of Rivian’s commercial truck output. However, Amazon now states that it intends to purchase only 10,000 EV vans this year. Rivian wants to get out of the exclusivity clause so that it can sell trucks to other customers.
PORSCHE: FUTURE CAYENNES WILL BE BUILT WITHOUT AN ICE
Porsche announced that the next generation Cayenne will be available as a pure battery-electric EV, alongside ICE and hybrid options. It will launch in Europe in 2026 and in the U.S. in 2027.
NEW CAR PRICES RETURNING TO EARTH?
Consultancy firm LMC Automotive is projecting that as new vehicle supply improves and slowly returns to something closer to what it was, new car pricing will follow by dropping back to pre-pandemic levels.
LEXUS ANNOUNCES FIRST EV
The new model, the RZ450e, shares its platform with the Toyota bZ4x. It is on sale in the U.S. in limited quantities at present. Prices start around $60,000, and the spindle grille remains, even though this was a ripe opportunity to eliminate it.
VW STILL AIMING FOR “AFFORDABLE” EV WITHIN TWO YEARS
Vw is claiming to be shooting for what they call an affordable EV (€ 25,000, or $27,000) within two years. It would be sized below the existing VW ID.3 EV. A released VW illustration shows the name ID.2ALL.
NISSAN ARIYA EV SLOW TO RAMP UP
When Nissan launched its Ariya EV, the company had planned to produce close to 150,000 units a year. However, various manufacturing issues and parts delays have cast grave doubts on Nissan reaching that number. Current projections claim that the actual number will be “significantly below” 1000,000 units.
NHTSA UNDERREPORTING DISTRACTED DRIVING DEATHS?
NHTSA’s most recent numbers show that about 10% of all driving fatalities are related to distracted drivers. However, the National Distracted Driving Coalition claims that NHTSA’s methodology, which pre-dates extensive smartphone use, is outdated, and the true number is closer to 25% to 30%.
CARFAX REPORTS MUCH HIGHER CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFTS
You read that correctly. CarFax has the ability to track and record the number of stolen cats, and for 2022, they report as many as 153,000 were stolen. The top 5 vehicles which lost their converters is not a surprise: it’s the Ford F-150, Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and Ford Explorer. The SUVs are all on the list because they sit higher off the ground, making access easier. And the Prius is a frequent target because its cats have a higher mineral content.
PORSCHE TO REPRODUCE AIR-COOLED 911 MAGNESIUM CRANKCASES
Porsche announced that they will begin to manufacture replacement crankcases for ‘60s and ‘70s era 911s. Up until now, new replacements have not been available from any source. No word on pricing, but given the market values of these air-cooled cars in the collector car marketplace, Porsche can probably charge whatever they want and can expect to get it.