Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


MY PRINCIPAL CAR-ENTHUSIAST READING these days focuses on three publications: the Brit monthly Classic & Sports Cars; my R&T collection, 1947–2012; and the weekly Automotive News. Here are tidbits gleaned from recent editions of AN.

EV Pickups. I have yet to buy into EVs (the house would need electrical upgrading) and I’ve never had a lifestyle calling for a pickup truck. Apparently this isn’t the first time my Luddite qualities show through.

Tesla Cybertruck. This and other images from Automotive News. 

By contrast, pickups have been top sellers for years, and EVs are all the current rage. (Ha!) In AN, January 2, 2023, it’s reported that “Rivian, Lordstown, Tesla Try to Shake Up Pickup Market with Fresh Features.”

Rivian produced 24,337 EVs last year: R1T pickups, R1S crossovers, and Amazon Electric Delivery Vans. Lordstown Motors bought the GM Lordstown Complex back in 2019.

Lordstown Endurance.  A feature of the Endurance pickup is its wheel-hub motors.

Indy Autonomous Challenge. Geez, here’s another AN subject about which I’ve possessed less than deep knowledge: autonomous Indy cars. “Indy Autonomous Challenge Returns to CES for a More Sophisticated Sequel,” Automotive News, January 2, 2023, gives details: “Nine university-affiliated teams are eligible to compete…. Cars will still race two at a time in head-to-head competition. But revised rules will permit them to change their race lines and use more defensive maneuvers.” 

The winning PoliMOVE car, 2023. Image from The University of Alabama.

The event took place on January 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “PoliMOVE Wins The Autonomous Challenge @ CES 2023, Setting a New Autonomous Speed World Record for a Racetrack” gives details: The modified Dallera AV-21 from Politecnico di Milano and the University of Alabama won, reaching maximum speeds of 180 mph. 

MCLAREN DEALERSHIP. I feel a kinship with the McLaren exotic, what with, in a sense, my being there at its 1992 birth. Now three decades later (wherever have they gone?), AN gives details of McLaren’s new digs in Orange County, California.

The new McLaren Newport Beach showroom opened in December. (Despite the name, it’s really in Irvine).

Full disclosure: I would have known of this sans my AN perusals. It’s just a few miles from here.

Ferrari Roar. Speaking of Orange County reminds me of its Mile Square Park (once a Naval Outer Landing Field) where I tested a Ferrari F40.

My favorite Ferrari. Image from, September 7, 2013.

Automotive News, January 30, 2023, says, “The patent covers a ‘reproduction device for the realization of a sound that can be associated with an electric motor,’ Oddo BHF [an equity brokerage firm] wrote in a note. Ferrari declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.”

“Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna told investors at the company’s capital markets day in June that sound is one of the ‘essentials that characterizes a Ferrari.…’ The company is set to start production of its first-ever electric supercar in 2025,” AN reports. 

“Stuff I would not have known, were I not reading Automotive News”?? Even after reading it, I’m gobsmacked. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2023


  1. Andrew G.
    February 7, 2023

    I don’t think you’re that much of a Luddite, Dennis. I’d bet that in the unlikely event your Crosstour and Miata suddenly needed replacing, you would consider a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). PHEVs don’t have as much battery to charge, so you don’t have to rewire the house for a 220V outlet. You’d have usable electric range for regular grocery runs or local cultural events, but still have the capability to run up to Pebble Beach, endure overloaded grid brown-outs, or visit more distant friends and family without suffering range anxiety.

    As for Ferrari, I don’t know. I’ve gotten used to the fact that they don’t require a V-12 (in fact, my favorites are the Dinos never badged as a Ferrari), but beyond the current batch of hybrids, what will tell you it’s a Ferrari when it’s purely an EV? Some current enthusiast cars have artificial motoring sounds piped in through the infotainment system, but many annoyed owners have that “feature” disconnected. I think Maranello’s sought-for Ode to Joy will be perceived somewhere in the seat of their pants, not through a fake opera.

  2. Mike Scott
    February 7, 2023

    Monsignor Simanaitis,   For some reason, I can only sign in  a f t e r  trying to post a comment, in which case, it does not appear.  So, if it please the court, herewith, and please retain paragraph spaces to improve readability.  As always, profound thanks for a website of not just welcomed Esso terica, but other interests and matters welcomed by us autoholics given to thought, who are far from Luddites:   Today’s car buffs are wheeled techies who unlike us,  grew up with computer games and CGI Gone in 60 Seconds mallplex fare; imagery, no substance.  The visceral attraction of an old internal combustion automobile lost on them.  

     If we want to ensure a livable future not just for the world and its species, but for our i.c. cars, we do everything in our power to curb overpopulation, which UN, Bloomberg News and other polls of the nation’s and globe’s scientists show agreeing by far our biggest problem, their words, “bigger than climate.”   

     And be vegan like Lewis Hamilton, the world’s leading Formula One driver,  since, according to the UN and other vetted studies, animals raised for meat and dairy produce more greenhouse gas than all the world’s cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships combined.

      Simple, yes. EZ, no.  But neither is rebuilding a 70-80-90+ year-old Bentley, Alvis, Cord, Buick, Bristol, Pierce-Arrow, Morgan, Delahaye, Railton, Packard, MG, Lagonda, only to be under  house arrest because of incessant traffic and perhaps soon, fees, surcharges, taxes, fines for occasional jaunts in same.

  3. Mike B
    February 9, 2023

    Took my Chevy Bolt to a Cars ‘n Coffee one Saturday morning last fall. The only other EV there was a F150 Lightning. The truck was, frankly, boring – nothing to see or talk about, big empty space under the hood. My Bolt, at least, has all the HV electronic boxes exposed under the hood, so I could prop it open and shoot the breeze with people. Fun. Coffee sucked, though; was glad I had brought some Starbucks.

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