the new york auto show, poised for a post-pandemic comeback, has been canceled for the second year due as it becomes clear that we are still more mid- than post-covid. the california-based pebble beach concours d'elegance and monterey car week events, kicking off this weekend, appear to be proceeding as planned.
this week in sheetmetal
porsche announced the super-limited-run 911 gt2 rs clubsport 25, a race car with a 690-hp twin-turbo flat-six engine, an adjustable racing suspension, carbon-fiber bits on the exterior, and a massive rear wing. porsche is only building 30 of the cars, which commemorate the 25th anniversary of porsche's partnership with mathey-racing. only six clubsport 25s will make their way to the u.s. they'll cost $620,000 apiece.
mclaren unveiled an even more exclusive project this week in the one-off edition of its speedtail grand tourer, already a limited-run model. the speedtail albert features a mesmerizing striped paint scheme that took 12 weeks to apply. the car was commissioned by the mclaren beverly hills dealership.
acura will send the nsx off with a hotted-up type s for 2022 model year, which will be the last model year for this generation of nsx. all 350 2022 nsxs will get the s treatment, which includes an "enhanced" version of the base car's twin-turbo v-6 hybrid system that we expect to top 600 hp. there will also be tweaks to the suspension, wheels and tires, and brakes.
toyota has no such farewell planned for the avalon sedan, which will leave production in 2022.
the era of big government is not over
it appears that president biden will get his infrastructure bill, after months of negotiations and a few political fumbles that threatened to doom the package. the bill the senate is expected to vote on this weekend is the result of bipartisan negotiations and will provide $550 billion for infrastructure projects, including $15 billion for ev-related projects and $110 billion to build or upgrade roads and bridges.
biden's original proposal included $157 billion for evs, money that would have gone a long way towards advancing another of biden's goals: the president signed an executive order calling on the auto industry to push for evs, plug-ins, or fuel-cell vehicles to account for 50 percent of sales by 2030. several large automakers have signaled support for the voluntary, unenforceable goal, but the three legacy u.s. automakers said their buy-in is contingent on funding from the federal government for ev infrastructure, research and development of new electric technologies, and new incentives encouraging car buyers to choose evs. in other words, don't count on it.
also this week, the biden administration restored some tailpipe emissions standards set during the obama administration but abandoned during the trump era, and proposed new rules that would take effect for the 2027 model year mandating a fleet-wide average fuel economy of 52 mpg.
don't stand so close to me
for yet more evidence that the pandemic is still with us, look to uber, which posted a $509 million loss in the second quarter of 2021 despite increasing demand for rides. incentives to attract drivers drove the loss; uber said in april that it plans to spend $250 million bringing new drivers on board and tempting back those who sat out the worst of the pandemic. just because you're willing to get in a stranger's car again doesn't mean they want you there. uber competitor lyft managed to turn an adjusted profit last quarter, but forecasted weak demand through the third quarter because of driver shortages and the pandemic.
if congress manages to pass that infrastructure bill, there will be more than just funding for evs in store for the auto industry: one portion of the bill would mandate anti-drunk driving technology in new cars, starting at least three years after the bill's passage.
click here for an update on the ongoing microchip shortage.