Happy Memorial Day, everybody, and thanks for stopping by in between barbeques, races, parades, and some genuine thanks giving. This was a big week. We checked out a couple of all-new BMWs, found out that Tesla’s new S sedan is for real, and even found time to remember Caroll Shelby in video. But that’s not all, so sit back and enjoy our weekly recap.
Monday, May 21
Chevrolet wants us to know that its mostly electric Chevy Volt is saving the country gas. How much gas? A whole supertanker full since it went on sale as a 2011 model. A supertanker holds about 2 million gallons, so there’s no question, that’s a lot of gas. But in the grand scheme of things, maybe it’s not quite as much as it sounds. See, we used up about 130 billion gallons of gas in 2011, meaning that the Volt’s 2 million gallons saved is, well, a drop in the supertanker. Still, we give Chevy credit for crowing. After all, that’s 2 million gallons of gas that wasn’t burned into air pollutants, and as the old Chinese saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Volt. Or something like that.
Tuesday, May 22
Our friends over at Motor Trend have crowned a new champion, and declared the 2012 Subaru WRX STI the best sports car for the money. No, they haven’t completely taken leave of their senses. Driver Carlos Lago explains clearly, and makes a compelling case, that the funky looking hatchback nails the cheap-sports-car formula better than anything else at the price. It’s also functional, able to swallow all the video crew’s equipment without even breaking a sweat. And how many sports cars can you take off road? Check it all out in this week’s episode of Motor Trend’s Ignition.
Wednesday, May 23
In the computer world, “vaporware” is something that is promised time and time again, but never actually materializes. There are some here at Automotive.com who believe that Tesla’s products, especially the Model S sedan, fall into that category; the fact that Tesla founder Elon Musk made his first fortune in the tech world only bolsters the case. Yet this week, Tesla announced that the Model S would actually go on sale, and even issued a date: June 22. That’s next month. Do we believe it? Absolutely, say most of us. “Show me the pink slip,” say the rest.
Thursday, May 24
The BMW 7 Series is the big kahuna of the manufacturer’s lineup. Posh, comfortable, technologically advanced and fast, fast, fast, it’s a tough act to follow. But many are following, and maybe even catching up, so BMW announced on Thursday that it’s staying in the fast lane with a host of updates for its big sedan. The engines, except the V-12, will all get a power boost, and the ActiveHybrid7 will ditch its V-8 for BMW’s excellent turbocharged six-cylinder engine instead, and get a comfortable fuel economy boost in the process. But wait, there’s more! So be sure to check it out.
Friday, May 25
Friday saw the unveiling of what could well be the most beautiful car we’ll see this year. BMW teamed up with Italian design house Zagato to create the stunningly gorgeous BMW Zagato Coupe. And words fail us. It’s simply breathtaking. The sensuous curves could only come from Italy’s finest, but there’s still a German sensibility there: This car is a driver. Does that mean it’s for sale? Not officially. After all, there’s only one, and it’s currently on display at Italy’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. However, we have a feeling that Zagato would happily make one for you in exchange for a dump truck filled with money.