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    Koenigsegg Is Now Making Aftermarket Carbon-Fiber Parts for Teslas

    Koenigsegg takes its carbon fiber seriously. One look at any of the Swedish supercar company’s creations up close, and you’ll understand just how much effort is put into each and every weave. Whether we’re talking about monocoques, body panels, or even wheels, Koenigsegg’s carbon is perfectly aligned and masterfully crafted. It’s a major reason why all of the company’s cars sell out so quickly. Previously, if you wanted a car with carbon fiber made by Koenigsegg, you’d have to shell out several hundred thousand dollars to buy a Koenigsegg. Now, though, all you’ll need is a Tesla to make use of Koenigsegg’s ultra-high-quality carbon. That’s thanks to a new collaboration between Koenigsegg Advanced Manufacturing and Tesla tuner Unplugged Performance. Unplugged Performance is one of the most popular suppliers of aftermarket Tesla parts, offering things like high-performance braking systems, suspension upgrades, and exterior modifications. It’s also the company behind that highly modified Model S Plaid that attacked Pikes Peak in 2021. Furthermore, Unplugged Performance is an officially authorized service provider for Tesla vehicles, according to Electrek. So it’s only natural Koenigsegg would team up with it to provide parts to customers.

    As a part of the launch, Unplugged Performance is offering a handful of carbon-fiber spoilers for the Model S, Model 3, and Model X. Additionally, carbon-fiber front fenders are available for the Model 3. Pricing for the spoilers range from $1745 to $2495, while the fenders come in at $8895 per set before taxes and shipping. That sounds like a whole lot of money for body panels, we know. But once you consider the parts are made from Koenigsegg’s proprietary carbon-fiber weave and built on the same assembly line as the aerodynamic parts destined for Koenigsegg’s newest hypercars, it starts to make sense. Unplugged Performance says it plans to debut more parts in collaboration with Koenigsegg later in 2022, so if you don’t see anything you like just yet, stay tuned.

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    Cars to Convert Non-Enthusiasts: Window Shop with Car and Driver

    Chased by deadlines, haunted by chaos, and thrilled by the possibilities right in front of them, the usual gang of goofs are back for another round of Window Shopping mayhem. Yes, it’s a recorded Zoom call blended with obsessive-compulsive car nuttery and a game show where nothing everything is at stake.This episode’s online challenge? Find a vehicle for $40,000 or less that will introduce the non-car-obsessed to the world of vehicular fascination. In sum, a gateway drug. A machine so good that it will get them hooked on the sweet, sweet addiction of car enthusiasm. Yes, we’re out to wreck normal people and turn them into versions of us.Let’s meet the panel! There’s this guy who hosts the show and edits and writes for Car and Driver. And that guy who does “testing” for Car and Driver. Plus here’s another dude who is “on staff” for Car and Driver. Then there’s the guy who “contributes” to Car and Driver from a bunker in Hebron, Kentucky. Finally, there’s this last guy who works for the more sophisticated, more erudite and generally superior Road & Track and who also sells his Hot Wheels toys collectibles here.The goal is to do one of these every week. Because if the YouTube viewership numbers mean anything, well, let’s not worry too much about the numbers. This is too much fun.Join us. We’re mostly harmless.

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    2023 Cadillac Escalade V Sports Aggressive Design in New Photos

    Cadillac released the first full images of the 2023 Escalade V after teasing the sporty SUV in a video yesterday. The Escalade V gets a revised front bumper, quad-tip exhaust, lots of black trim, and a faux-rear diffuser. Power is expected to come from a detuned version of the supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 found in the CT5-V Blackwing sedan.Cadillac teased the Escalade V yesterday with a short sound bite of its snarling V-8 engine, and now Cadillac has shown the first images of the new high-performance SUV. The 2023 Escalade V will be the first SUV to bear the “V” badge, and while Cadillac has yet to release any technical details, the design of this burly beast is on full display.

    The front bumper of the Escalade V is revised. Instead of a long trim piece stretching across the bottom to link the LED running lights, a chunky lower grille juts out, flanked by the LEDs which gain a vent-like trim piece and are carved into the bodywork with a sharp character line. There is also a new front splitter and multi-spoke grey wheels. Quad-tip exhaust and a faux diffuser make up the changes around back, and all of the SUV’s trim is blacked out. Of course there are prominent “V” badges on the rear hatch and front doors, and the only interior shot shows another “V” at the base of the steering wheel. Cadillac also released a brief video, providing another chance to listen to the supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 that is expected to reside under the hood. The same engine powers the CT5-V Blackwing sedan, where it produces 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque. It will likely be detuned in this application, but the Escalade V should maintain a healthy horsepower advantage over the 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 powering lesser Escalades. The video reveals the Escalade V will have a redline around 6200 rpm, 300 rpm lower than in the CT5-V Blackwing.

    While both of the Escalade V models seen in the new photos are the standard-wheelbase model, our spy photographers recently caught a long-wheelbase Escalade ESV version of the V during testing. Cadillac had previously said that the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings would be the final gas-powered V cars. Unless Cadillac gets the sudden urge to build V models of the XT4, XT5, or XT6, the Escalade V could be the last gas-powered V-series model ever. More detailed technical information should arrive soon, but until then we will have to be satiated by the sound of the growling V-8.
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    This Radical 1983 Subaru GL Wagon Is the Latest Gymkhana Drift Car

    Travis Pastrana, who has taken over the helm of the Gymkhana YouTube series from Ken Block, has shown off his latest drift car, a 1983 Subaru GL wagon.This is no ordinary GL wagon, however, gaining beefy wheel arches, a roll cage, gold wheels, and a fully carbon fiber body.No technical details have been released, and the dramatic GL drift wagon should have its full Gymkhana debut later this year.Late last year, drift maestro Ken Block—known for his viral Gymkhana Youtube series—revealed his latest toy, the all-electric Audi S1 e-tron Quattro Hoonitron, which will star in a new video called Elektrikhana coming this year. But while Block has transitioned to electric power, rally driver Travis Pastrana, who took over the Gymkhana series two years ago, is sticking with internal combustion and has unveiled his latest drift machine, a heavily modified 1983 Subaru GL wagon.
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    While we don’t yet have details about the Subaru’s modifications, we can clearly an awesome set of gold wheels and that GL’s body has been radically modified, sprouting wide wheel arches. The body is entirely built from carbon fiber and the work was completed by Vermont SportsCar, Subaru’s U.S. motorsport partner. You can catch a quick glimpse of the car at the beginning of the preview video above, where Pastrana calls it “the coolest car I’ve ever driven.”

    The second-generation GL first went on sale in 1979 and was powered by a series of flat-four engines. The GL was offered in a variety of body styles, including coupe, sedan, wagon, and three-door hatchback, and the compact BRAT pickup truck was spun off the same platform. Pastrana has gone for the wagon variant, and while no technical details have been released, we’d wager that the flat-four has been extensively tuned for this drift machine.
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    GM Working on Hydrogen-Powered Generators to Make EV Charging Portable

    GM is working with a company called Renewable Innovations to build tools that will bring its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel-cell technology to generators. The automaker’s mobile power generator (MPG) and Empower rapid charger offer ways to charge as many as 100 or more EVs without refilling or tapping into the electrical grid.With the U.S. hydrogen infrastructure still in its infancy, these systems are not very cost-effective, at least for now, but they’re intriguing.General Motors announced Wednesday that it is planning to bring its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel-cell technology to generators. The company plans to test the waters with a hydrogen-powered mobile power generator, or MPG, and a rapid charger called Empower.While GM foresees multiple use cases for its Hydrotec-based generators, it is primarily highlighting this technology’s potential to help today’s gas stations transition to electric-vehicle charging stations. That said, GM also sees the versatile MPG playing a military role, with its palletized prototype designed to provide power to temporary camps.

    General Motors

    Credit the hydrogen generator’s quieter operation and lower heat signature relative to its gas- or diesel-powered counterparts. In theory, these features ought to reduce the chance of enemy combatants coming across makeshift military sites.

    Charge ItYet, it’s the MPG’s potential role as a mobile fast charger for EVs that interests us most. As described by Charles Freese, GM’s executive director of its global fuel-cell business, the MPG provides the ability to add an EV fast charger without the need to connect to the grid or break ground to install fixed charging stations. The Empower rapid charger, meanwhile, takes the basic concept of the MPG and kicks it up a few notches—notably, because of its ability to fast-charge four EVs at the same time. With its internal hydrogen tanks at full capacity, the rapid charger can charge north of 100 cars before needing a refill, according to GM.Hydrogen HighwayGM intends to offer its hydrogen-powered generators in a variety of outputs, from as few as 60 kilowatts to as much as 600 kW, in order to satisfy varying commercial needs. Even so, the potential success of these emissions-free tools is stifled by the hydrogen infrastructure limitations of the United States. As such, refueling either of them is likely to be costly in many areas of the country.

    General Motors

    In fact, Freese acknowledged as much during a media call, saying that today’s practice of trucking hydrogen is often cost-ineffective due to the vast distances traveled. However, Freese believes hydrogen production will eventually happen closer to points of use, which ought to afford shorter trucking routes and bring down the price. Nevertheless, GM and its manufacturing partner Renewable Innovations are continuing to develop these hydrogen-powered generators, with the two companies planning to start public demonstrations of the MPG later in the year. Renewable Innovations is also working to place 500 Empower rapid chargers across the U.S. before 2026.Despite this progress, GM is keeping coy about the potential price of the MPG or Empower generators. Likewise, the company’s not quite ready to discuss the possibility of producing a smaller hydrogen generator for personal use. Regardless, it seems it’s only a matter of time until gas- and diesel-powered generators are replaced by zero-emission alternatives.
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    Thor Vision Vehicle Concept Teases a Future EV/Fuel Cell RV

    Thor Industries’ Vision Vehicle RV concept promises 300 miles of range, although the company provided no specifications as to battery size or type.The Ford Transit–based RV concept also includes a fuel cell that powers a range extender.No word on whether the Vision Vehicle RV is intended for production, but at the very least it proves RV makers are entering the EV era with the rest of us.Even recreational vehicle manufacturers are preparing to bid adieu to the internal-combustion engine. Need proof? One day after Winnebago revealed its battery-electric e-RV concept, Thor pulled the wraps off of its plug-in Vision Vehicle concept.Like the e-RV, the Vision Vehicle concept uses Ford’s Transit full-size van as a base. However, whereas the Winnebago concept packs a mere 125 miles of manufacturer-estimated range (one less than Ford’s estimate for its most efficient E-Transit model), Thor claims its RV offers up to 300 miles of driving range. Credit the hybrid nature of the Vision Vehicle concept’s powertrain, which consists of a “high-capacity” battery pack (Thor’s mum on the pack’s actual energy capacity) and a range-extender with its own onboard fuel cell that allows “for a variety of fuel options,” including hydrogen, per a Thor spokesperson.

    Thor

    Inside, Thor fits the Vision Vehicle concept with a bespoke dashboard fit with multiple digital displays. This includes a digital gauge cluster ahead of the driver, a large center-mounted infotainment screen, and a pair of displays mounted at the top corners of the dash, each of which displays a feed from the RV’s rear-facing cameras that serve the role of rearview mirrors.Those are far from the only highlights of the Vision Vehicle concept’s insides, as Thor fits this RV with luxurious living quarters that include plenty of niceties, including a kitchen replete with a large display that rises from the countertop and adjustable frosted glass windows for additional privacy.No doubt, Thor seems intent on eventually producing a model like the Vision Vehicle concept. When the company plans to actually reveal a production-ready vehicle of this nature, however, is anyone’s guess. Regardless, the Thor Vision Vehicle concept certainly proves that the EV-era will not mark the death of the RV.
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    GM Will Sell 45,000 Repair and Maintenance Parts Direct to You Online

    GM already sells 5000 different parts online, but now you can get almost any part the company sells delivered direct to your door or to your local dealer, directly on GM’s various brand websites.It’s not about saving you money on purchases—whether that’s new wiper blades or a personalization theme for your vehicle’s infotainment screen—but ensuring you have genuine GM parts and can get GM brands’ reward points for buying them.In the future, customers may order such things as over-the-air upgrades and even electric vehicles directly online from GM.General Motors is making it easier to buy replacement parts for its vehicles online. GM isn’t giving its new official parts portal a fancy name like CarBravo, the company’s new used-vehicle portal. Instead, the catalog of 45,000 repair and maintenance parts is simply being added to the automaker’s brand websites—such as Chevrolet.com, where GM has been selling some accessories online since 2015 and currently offers 5000 different products.Shipping to Your Home or the DealershipThe automaker is touting two benefits for people who buy their parts directly from the company, and cost savings isn’t one of them. Instead, GM says that shoppers can be certain that the parts are “original equipment ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts that are compatible with their vehicles” and that purchases made through the online catalogs will be eligible for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC rewards programs. Ordered parts can be delivered to a home or buyers can get those parts shipped to a local participating dealer. More than 800 GM dealers will participate in this program, and GM said it expects that online sales of parts and accessories will become a $40 billion marketplace by 2030.

    GM

    You can see hints of GM’s overall plan in this move. By adding tens of thousands of parts to its online digital shopping sites, GM is expanding its digital storefront, a place where the automaker plans to sell not just these components, but also “accessories, digital products delivered over the air, and subscriptions through a single digital storefront,” the company said. In other words, today you buy an air filter, tomorrow you pay for some bonus safety feature for your connected car, and it’s all done through one e-commerce interface where your contact and payment information are already on file. Subscriptions and Digital UpgradesToday, GM requires subscriptions to access some parts of its connected services, including OnStar and the myChevrolet mobile app, but this segment of the industry is growing. GM offered up two examples of how customers could use the new digital store “to purchase upgrades such as improved capabilities for the Super Cruise advanced driver assistance system and personalization themes for in-vehicle screens.”

    Future electric vehicle purchases could also be done entirely online as well. Last October, during its investor day, GM said it expects its annual software and subscription services could give the company “$20 billion to $25 billion in opportunities” in the future. “We are placing software and digital services at the center of every part of our business,” GM chief digital officer Edward Kummer said in a statement. “The future of GM retail lies at the intersection of digital and physical e-commerce. Whether it’s selling parts or vehicles, GM will meet our customers where it’s most convenient for them.”
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    Airstream Enters the EV Era with Thor eStream RV Concept

    The eStream concept RV comes from Airstream parent company Thor Industries, and it has an electric powertrain developed by ZF.A pair of electric motors produce a peak combined output of 242 horsepower, and integrated batteries offer 80.0 kWh of energy capacity.The Thor eStream is just a concept, but it sure looks to us as though the maker is ready to start planning a production model.It’s no secret that towing affects a vehicle’s driving range. Thor Industries’ Airstream eStream concept attempts to offset this by way of an integrated electric powertrain. This concept camper packs 80 kilowatt-hours’ worth of energy by way of its batteries, which then feed a pair of electric motors (one at each wheel) that are capable of producing a maximum combined output of 242 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Those electric motors do more than just take some of the load off the powertrain of the tow vehicle; they also have a Move mode that allows the eStream to maneuver remotely.

    Thor

    Although the electric-assist tech is surely the eStream’s feather in its cap, the trailer’s ZF-developed powertrain is far from the camper’s only interesting bit. Credit its 900 watts’ worth of solar panels that feed energy to those aforementioned batteries, as well as various other systems. This feat allows eStream users to live off the grid for up to two weeks while maintaining many of the camper’s various electrically powered niceties. This includes the likes of the eStream’s voice- and touchscreen-activated climate and lighting controls, as well as its kitchen amenities and various entertainment equipment.

    Thor

    While the Thor Airstream eStream is officially a concept camper, it seems like an idea that ought to go into production. We imagine the mass-market eStream will wear a rather high price relative to other campers of this size, but we also think the model’s trick integrated EV powertrain and large capacity batteries offer peace of mind that’s worth its upcharge. Well, provided Thor doesn’t go too crazy with the sticker sum, that is.
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