aston martin let us in on a bit of corporate intrigue this week when it announced it was suing nebula, the swiss group that helped finance its mid-engined valkyrie supercar. aston says the group has been withholding customers' payments for the cars to the tune of $21 million dollars. as a result, aston will end its contract with nebula, which conveniently removes the carmaker's obligation to pay royalties to nebula from sales of the valkyrie. nebula, predictably, thinks it's still entitled to the royalty payments. we smell a countersuit.
this week in sheetmetal
we have seen the new honda civic hatchback and it looks good. unlike the sedan, this version of the civic will be available with a manual transmission, plus it has 10 cubic feet more cargo space than the sedan. even better, it doesn't look as weird as the previous-generation hatchback. we eagerly await our chance to drive one.
if you feared that ferrari's second hybrid would be a dud, the specs of the new 296gtb should put you at ease. the roughly $321,000 coupe uses a new hybridized v-6 powertrain that makes 819 horsepower and eeks out 16 miles of electric range, per maranello.
porsche released details on the 992-generation 911 gts. the car has 472 horsepower and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. it will come in coupe, convertible, and targa forms. the company also announced that manual-transmission 911 gt3s will indeed grace california showrooms. this comes in the wake of news that porsche's three-pedal version wouldn't be available in the golden state due to convoluted protocols for noise tests. what's the saying? if it's too loud, you're too old.
lastly, ford will supply both gasoline and electric powertrains for the next generation of u.s. postal service delivery trucks. firetruck and m-atvp manufacturer oshkosh will build the vehicles in south carolina and says it will hire 1000 workers to staff its plant there.
infrastructure week, cont'd
president biden and a bipartisan group of senators say they've come to an agreement to put $1.2 trillion toward infrastructure projects. we never count our bills until they're passed, but if this plan holds, it will provide $7.5 billion to build up a national ev charging network and another $7.5 billion to electrify the nation's bus fleet and boost the manufacturing of components used in evs.
that doesn't add up to biden's original $174 billion quota for promoting evs, but he says he won't sign a slimmed-down infrastructure bill unless the rejected proposals make their way to his desk in other bills. house speaker nancy pelosi has drawn a similar line in the sand, promising not to schedule a vote on a bipartisan package until the senate has handed down a bill supporting the expanded infrastructure spending that republican lawmakers refused to sign.
don't say it's over
used-car sales surged this spring when manufacturers struggled to get new cars on lots due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. analysts at cox automotive think used-car prices may be nearing their peak. they tell us the value of used cars is still increasing but not as rapidly as before.
that doesn’t mean the chip crisis is over. mazda, nissan, stellantis, and subaru all announced this week that they plan to idle plants in july as a result of the shortage. what's more, a new study from ihs markit found that the average age of vehicles on the road in the u.s. is now 12.1 years. we can attribute some of that to the fact that cars last longer than they once did, but the shortage of new cars—and their correspondingly high prices—has played a role in our aging fleet.
in a tragic loss, the philippines bureau of customs crushed $1.2 million worth of illegally imported vehicles, including a mclaren 620r, and posted pictures of the incident to facebook to deter others from trying to sneak in cars.
volkswagen received some less-than-excellent ev sales results in china.
and lordstown put on a dog and pony show in ohio this week to help build investor (and media) confidence in its product.