Good morning and welcome to our daily digest of automotive news from around the globe, starting with…
Teslas – or any EV for that matter – aren’t known for their rich aftermarket performance options. But that’s bound to change sooner or later. For now, Unplugged Performance has made a bunch of chassis tweaks to make a Model 3, dubbed the Ascension-R, lap the Buttonwillow Raceway Park in just 1:54.2. That’s faster than what a Porsche 991 GT3 RS did on the same track!
The aggressively-priced EV duo from Audi will start from just a few thousand dollars more than the VW ID.4. The US will get two performance models: the rear-wheel drive e-Tron 40 with 200hp, and a more potent all-wheel drive e-tron 50 with 295hp.
Seat pulled the wraps off its new Ibiza and Arona refresh, which includes new LED lights, and three new wheel designs. The big changes though are inside, with a new dashboard design, bigger touch screens that support wireless Apple Car Play and wired Android Auto, as well as soft-touch materials.
XPeng has unveiled the all-new P5, ahead of its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show. The car will offer a built-in fridge and a fragrance dispenser, as well as turning into a mobile bed thanks to a “sleep mode.” But the big news is that the P5 will be the world’s first production EV equipped with automotive-grade LiDAR technology, capable of distinguishing pedestrians, cyclists, and scooters, static obstacles in challenging situations such as changing light and inclement weather.
Current VW CEO, Herbert Diess, is reported to had been offered the top job by none other than Elon Musk, to head Tesla. As history had it, Diess opted to join VW instead, just before the dieselgate scandal, but rose to the top of the German brand regardless. It remains to be seen where he’ll end up once his five-year contract is up.
Californians will get their hands on the new 2022 MX-30 EV later this year, which will be followed by the return of the rotary engine (albeit as a range extender) in the plug-in hybrid version. Prices haven’t yet been announced, but the EV won’t be for those looking for long-distance travel. The Mazda MX-30 is powered by a single electric motor with 144 HP and 200 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels and a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack rated at just 124 miles.
The much-awaited hardcore variant of the Ferrari 812, rumored to be called the ‘Versione Speciale’ finally has a possible launch date. The info comes from a respected Ferrari historian and Ferrari restorer, who also added that prospects will get their first look at the car on April 21.
Honda has given us this image of the new 2022 Honda Civic Sedan to whet our appetite ahead of its launch on the 28th of April. No specs have been revealed yet, but the image does give us a good idea of what to expect: a clean and unfussed design that harks back to Hondas of yore.
What Else Is Making The News
Navy Confirms Weird Footage Is Real
In what the Pentagon is calling unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), the US Navy has recently confirmed that night-vision video of an unidentified, triangular aerial craft swarming around the Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Russell in 2019 is real. First Reported by The Mystery Wire, Gizmodo confirms that the footage is the latest to be acknowledged by the Pentagon.
Matchbox Launching New Range Of EV (Toy) Cars
Matchbox wants to raise awareness of environmentally friendly cars among children. So they’re releasing scale models of electric and hybrid vehicles made by Nissan, Toyota, and BMW. The Tesla Roadster, which will also be launched next year, will be the first die-cast model car to be made of 99% recycled material.