Ford has also revealed the name for its new special edition and is ordered to pay a fortune for an F-250 crash.
Good morning, early birds, and welcome to another edition of Cold Start, your daily roundup of the biggest news from the last 24 hours. Since yesterday's roundup, Volkswagen has strangely filed for a trademark for synthetic blinker fluid (seriously), Porsche has teased a new take on the Vision Gran Turismo, and Tuthill Porsche has unveiled its 11,000-rpm Singer rival.
But this morning, we'll talk about your last opportunity to order the Dodge Challenger and Charger with a V8, another increase for Tesla's Full Self-Driving semi-autonomous software, and details on Bugatti's Chiron successor. We then head to Dearborn to discuss Ford's silly new name for a special edition and the outcome of legal proceedings following a rollover crash in an F-250.
The Brotherhood of Muscle is evolving and will be going electric, but until that day comes, there remains an opportunity for enthusiasts to get their hands on the Dodge Charger and Challenger with HEMI power. Dodge is calling the 2023 run of muscle cars 'Last Call' editions, and each will get a unique plaque to certify that it's one of the final models available. Dodge has not yet opened orders for these vehicles, but some dealerships are being inundated with calls from customers who don't want to miss out and want their names on the list when it opens. So if you want a 2023 Charger or Challenger, best you do the same.
Tesla's controversially-named Level 2+ autonomous driving aid may not be the "Full Self-Driving" system it claims to be, but it's still remarkably popular. Perhaps that's part of why prices are continually being raised, and now it's happened again. The EV manufacturer has raised prices for the advanced driver assistance system from $5,000 to $10,000 and then to $12,000. Company CEO Elon Musk tweeted that it hasn't yet reached its peak, and all orders placed after September 5 will be subject to the new price, which is now $15,000. That's a lot of money to pay for a package that Tesla may not even allow you to use, but we doubt the uptake rate will slow much.
Following the reveal of the W16 Mistral, Bugatti's swansong to the W16 engine, the French automaker is looking to the future and has started work on the successor to the Chiron. With a smaller engine that is set to adopt hybrid technology, the new hypercar will require an all-new chassis. The new car could be smaller too, but it will continue to convey a luxurious look and feel. We also know that the new Bug will look very different from current Molsheim offerings. Fortunately, there's more than just a new look and a new engine coming, and this won't be like anything else offered in the world of high-end exotica. After all, "if comparable, it is no longer Bugatti."
This isn't a late April Fool's joke or the result of some collaboration with a brand that produces small pink horse toys for kids. Ford will call its new accent package (which adds a more sinister, inky look to the Mustang Mach-E and Mustang GT) Nite Pony after receiving countless suggestions from its fans. What has us flummoxed is that the other suggestions made were far better: Shadow Stallion, Alastor, and Shadowmare. The automaker even trademarked another suggestion, Dark Horse, but apparently, that isn't good enough. We're disappointed, but hopefully, the badges revealing the special edition's name will be small and discreet. If not, prepare for abuse from your buddies.
In April 2014, Melvin and Voncile Hill were killed after their Ford F-250 rolled over. The children of the couple, Kim and Adam, took Ford to court over this, citing nearly 80 instances in which the roofs of Ford trucks caved in after a rollover, with the result being injury or death. The court has now ordered the Blue Oval to pay $1.7 billion in damages, but Ford is appealing the verdict, stating that it has not put people in danger and its engineers were careful to build the truck as best they could, with an eye on safety. We now await the initiation of the appeal process and its outcome.