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OEM NEWS

DOUBLE DEALS

The Canadian government has inked deals that will see Mercedes- Benz and Volkswagen Group each gain access to the nation’s largest stores of key battery materials—like lithium cobalt, nickel and graphite—for use in electric vehicles (EVs). The twin Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) will see Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz receive priority access to Canadian battery minerals. Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) called the agreements a “fourth-dimensional chess move” and “the most significant thing that’s happened so far” for Canada’s mining sector.

BRING THE NOISE

As Dodge winds down the Charger’s long-standing production run, engineers are ensuring that a particular electric-powered concept model sends the iconic muscle car off with the roar it deserves— even if it requires some help from an amplifier or two. The newly announced Charger Daytona SRT Concept—a high-performance electric-powered muscle car that grabs attention in ways a Prius driver could only dream of, boasts an industry-first EV exhaust system that can reach up to 126 decibels. They allege that the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust is about as loud as a Hellcat engine.

As far as body design for the Daytona model goes, the car features a patent-pending R-Wing on the front end that allows air to flow through the front opening, enhancing downforce.

SINKING FEELING

A brake failure has been identified in Ferrari vehicles built since 2005, leading to more than 23,000 Ferraris being recalled by the NHTSA.“These vehicles are equipped with a braking system that could potentially leak brake fluid,” details the NHTSA recall. “Upon total loss of brake fluid, the vehicle would lose braking capability.” Barring other errors, safety notifications such as warning lights and buzzers should alert drivers when fluid levels drop to 50 percent of the reservoir’s maximum level.

Only one percent of the recalled Ferraris are suspected to have a fatal brake defect, said the OEM.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE

A recent market research report found that 96 percent of Subaru vehicles sold in Canada in the past ten years are still running and on the road. According to data compiled by IHS Markit as recently as June 30, the Subaru Outback leads the Japanese OEM’s model lineup overall in longevity, with 97 percent of the 2013- 2022 Outbacks sold in Canada over the past ten years still being on the road today. Still an impressive percentage, Subaru’s least long-lasting offering, the BRZ, still has 86 percent of its 2013-2022 model history on Canadian roads.

In addition to its longevity, the 2023 Subaru Outback was the only vehicle, of seven tested by the IIHS, to earn a ‘good’ or ‘acceptable’ safety rating in a recent side-crash safety test.

EXPLORE NO MORE

Rivian has cancelled the entry-level versions of its R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV, informing its customers of the decision via email last week. The electric automaker is cancelling its “Explore” trim level for the R1T model, which has a starting price of US$67,500. The automaker’s lowest-cost electric pickup is now the “Adventure” trim option, which carries a US$73,000 price tag. Customers with existing orders can either upgrade to a more expensive trim level or cancel their pre-orders.

Customers were left “totally enraged” by the announcement, one owner wrote on the Rivian Owners Forum. Similar frustrations were felt last March when Rivian increased the estimated prices of its vehicles by up to 20 percent, meaning some pre-holders would pay between $10,000 and $20,000 more for their vehicles.

 

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