Get ready for the weekend with a recap of the most important automotive news stories from the last 24 hours.
Good morning and welcome to Friday! You've almost made it through another week, and Cold Start is here to help you catch up on the most important automotive news from the last 24 hours. Porsche has expanded its retro interior packages on the 911 family, and new trucks are still not as safe as the feds want them to be, now because of seatbelt warnings. But more importantly, french sports car manufacturer Alpine has revealed an electric coupe that weighs less than a Porsche 718 Cayman - this is one to remember.
Elsewhere, US buyers have put their money where their mouths are by buying a ton of manual Golf GTIs and Rs, Bugatti delivered its final Chiron Super Sport 300+, and Ford's new battery chemistry will help it achieve two million EV sales by 2026. Rolls-Royce's next bespoke product will be called the Droptail, while down under, Tesla is refunding Cybertruck reservations. With a catch. Let's dive in on the details.
The end of an era is nigh as the Bugatti Chiron starts to wind down production. Yesterday, Bugatti confirmed that the final Super Sport 300+ had been delivered. Part of a limited production run of just 30 units, the Chiron Super Sport 300+ was built to celebrate a modified Chiron breaking the 300-mph barrier. The special editions had elongated bodywork, naked carbon panels, and orange stripes but also saw the output of the quad-turbo W16 enhanced to 1,577 horsepower - necessary to hit 304.773 mph.
The Tesla Cybertruck was supposed to be the world's first mass-market electric pickup truck, but a number of delays since its official reveal mean that there are now three bona fide contenders on the market delivering trucks already. While in the US, Musk promises deliveries will start in 2023, in Australia, the Cybertruck has been withdrawn entirely. Tesla is willing to refund buyers their deposits, but instead of automatically doing so, the company wants them to apply for a refund first. Considering many reservations were made years ago when the Cybertruck was first revealed, we wouldn't be surprised if people just wrote off the reservation fee instead of going through the rigmarole of requesting it back. Tesla has yet to deliver a single Cybertruck.
CarBuzz discovered a trademark filing with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) confirming the name of the next Rolls-Royce bespoke creation. Following on the heels of the Boat Tail and the Sweptail that came before, the new creation will be called the Droptail. There's no indication of what it might be, perhaps a car with a protracted rear end tapering towards the floor, or maybe, a convertible with some unique design elements. Time will tell what it looks like, but we know this, it won't come cheap.
The manual is dying, and yet, North America is the only market globally to get the Golf R with a six-speed do-it-yourself shifter and three pedals. But this controversial decision is paying dividends, as supporters of the Golf GTI and R are ponying up to keep the manual around. As part of an exclusive interview with CarBuzz, VW told us as many as 40% of all GTIs and Rs are being sold with the manual, giving us hope the transmission will stick around.
Ford is expanding its EV portfolio with a new midsize SUV in Europe. But it's also worked on new battery chemistry and says it has the resources available to build as many as 600,000 EVs - including the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, by 2023, targetting two million EV sales by 2026. The new battery chemistry is particularly important, as they degrade less over time, meaning batteries retain more of their original range abilities. They also reduce the need for rare minerals, making them less impactful on the environment and cheaper to produce. The Blue Oval's goals are lofty, but this could be the first step to reaching them.