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2022 Audi A3 lets you move up in the compact class for $34,945

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2022 Audi S3

Audi unveiled a redesigned A3 last year but we won’t see the new compact in the United States until later this year. The new A3 arrives here as a 2022 model and in sedan guise only. In other markets a hatchback is available.

Audi on Thursday revealed a starting price of $34,945, including destination. For this you get a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 mated to a mild-hybrid system and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the peak output registering at 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for an extra $2,000.

Buyers seeking more power will be able to opt for an S3 arriving alongside the A3. The S3 also comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 but a much healthier 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The S3 also comes with all-wheel drive as standard.

2022 Audi S3

Further out we’ll see a new RS 3 with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5. This model should have 400 or more hp.

The new A3 is based on an updated version of Volkswagen Group’s MQB modular platform, the earlier version of which features in the previous A3 and numerous other VW Group models. The updated platform introduces new systems for the all-wheel drive, suspension damping, and speed-sensitive steering of the A3.

For the styling, the new A3 follows a similar formula to the previous model but looks a lot more polished overall. The grille has been enlarged slightly and the headlights feature a more pronounced teardrop element. There also appears to be more sculpting to the body which incidentally has grown slightly. At 14.8 feet in length, the new A3 is 1.6 inches longer than its predecessor though the wheelbase is unchanged.

2022 Audi A3

2022 Audi A3

Inside, there is a digital gauge cluster (10.25 inches standard and 12.3 inches available), a 10.1-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system that can recognize letters entered by hand and responds to natural-speak instructions, and a color head-up display.

Front seat passengers will find standard heated, eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar support, and an available memory for the driver seat and mirrors. Also standard is leather trim and a panoramic sunroof.

Electronic driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, collision warning, a surround-view camera, and an efficiency assist that, using navigation data, tells the driver the ideal time to lift off the accelerator.

2022 Audi A3

2022 Audi A3

Previously, the A3’s only true rivals were the Acura ILX and Mercedes-Benz CLA but in recent years we’ve seen the arrival of new alternatives like the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe, Cadillac CT4, and Mercedes A-Class.

For more on the Audi A3, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.

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Henry Ford II’s 1966 Ford Mustang GT K-Code convertible heads to auction

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Henry Ford II's 1966 Ford Mustang GT K-Code convertible (Photo by Barrett-Jackson)

A 1966 Ford Mustang K-Code convertible owned by Henry Ford II is heading to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas scheduled for June-17-19.

The K-Code was one of the earliest performance variants of the Mustang. It featured a sportier version of the available 289-cubic-inch V-8, boasting a 10.5:1 compression ratio, a solid-lifter camshaft, a 4-barrel carburetor, heavy-duty valve springs, and a high-flow exhaust manifold.

The result was 271 hp, according to the listing, which is routed to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission and 3.89:1 rear-end gearing.

Known as the “Deuce,” Henry Ford II was the son of Edsel Ford, and grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford. After his father’s death, Henry II took over the company and emphasized motorsports as a marketing tool. When his offer to buy Ferrari was turned down, he famously launched the GT40 program that led to four consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans wins.

The car comes with documentation from Jean-Jacques Browaeys, Ford France director of communication, dated Jan. 3, 1991, confirming the Mustang was “commissioned by Ford for Henry Ford II during his stays in France,” according to the listing.

Henry Ford II’s 1966 Ford Mustang GT K-Code convertible (Photo by Barrett-Jackson)

The Mustang wears Raven Black paint (a special finish from Ford’s styling department, per the listing), with a white leather convertible top and tan leather interior. These colors weren’t available on the regular-production Mustang, according to the listing.

Other unusual features include bucket seats that would later be used in the 1967 Mercury Cougar, and door-panel trim that would wind up in the 1968 Cougar. An “HFII” logo is displayed throughout the interior as well.

The Deuce’s Mustang also has the GT Equipment Group, including an AM/8-track stereo, power steering, power front disc brakes, a power convertible top, grille-mounted fog lights, dual exhaust, model-specific wheels, and a quicker steering ratio, per the listing.

The car spent most of its life in France, where it was shown at Mustang events, the listing says. Interestingly, Henry Ford II also owned a 1952 Ferrari Barchetta, which is now in the collection of Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum.

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Lordstown Motors loses CEO and CFO days after warning of cash crunch

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Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns in assembly plant

Lordstown Motors on Monday announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez have left the company.

The electric-vehicle startup said it is on the lookout for replacements but in the meantime has appointed independent director Angela Strand as executive chairman to lead the company during the search for a new CEO, and Becky Roof as interim CFO. Lordstown President Rich Schmidt will continue to oversee all day-to-day operations, the company said.

It’s now been a year since Lordstown unveiled its Endurance battery-electric pickup truck, and the new announcement comes after the company’s warning last week that it is unlikely to start production without fresh investment.

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns in assembly plant

Lordstown, which only last October went public via a SPAC deal, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it doesn’t have the cash to start production of the Endurance and has warned that it might not be able to stay in business over the next 12 months. According to the filing, Lordstown had $259.7 million in cash as of March 31 and had posted a loss of $125.2 million in the three months prior to the date.

Lordstown also said in the filing that it still needs to complete development of its pickup, including obtaining regulatory approval. The company’s last update on production pointed to a start date of late September. Lordstown plans to build the Endurance at a former General Motors plant located in Ohio, which it acquired in 2019.

At the time of writing, Lordstown’s shares, which trade on the Nasdaq, dived 16% to $9.60. That’s down from the high the shares hit last September.

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

The latest news comes after famous short seller Hindenburg Research in March issued warnings about the credibility of claimed pre-orders for the Endurance pickup. This is the same company that made warnings about rival EV startup Nikola last year, leading to Trevor Milton, Nikola’s founder and chairman at the time, stepping down.

In a response issued on Monday, Lordstown conceded that its statement that its pre-orders were from, or “primarily” from, commercial fleets, was inaccurate, and that some commitments appear too vague to be counted as pre-orders.

Should Lordstown manage to get the Endurance into production, the company will be faced with more hurdles. Ford has just unveiled an electric version of its top-selling F-150 pickup that is priced from a very reasonable $39,974, or roughly $12,500 less than what Lordstown said it will charge for its own pickup. Chevrolet is also close to unveiling an electric version of its top-selling Silverado, and then there’s the other electric pickups like the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T to compete with.

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The “Fast and Furious” saga will end in 2024 after 11 movies

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“F9” movie poster

The “Fast and Furious” saga will finally end with the 11th movie in the franchise, Vin Diesel said in a recent interview with ET. He told the Associated Press that the final two movies could be released in 2023 and 2024.

“Every story deserves its ending,” Diesel said in the video interview (embedded above). While this will be the end of the main storyline, Diesel said it won’t be the end of the “Fast universe,” potentially keeping the door open for spinoffs like 2019’s “Hobbs and Shaw.”

The main “Fast” saga will wrap up over two movies, parts 10 and 11 in the franchise, Diesel said. Justin Lin, who directed parts three through six, as well as the upcoming “F9,” said in the same video segment that he would return to direct the final two films.

“F9” movie poster

“Nine is kind of the first film of the final chapter,” Lin said. “We’re kind of reconfiguring everything so that the next two movies should wrap up this amazing journey for these characters.”

“F9” was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020, but was pushed back to June 25, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trailers have revealed that the plot will center around the appearance of Jacob Toretto (played by John Cena), the previously unmentioned brother of Diesel’s Dominic Toretto. It will also feature the return of Sung Kang’s Han, plus a lot of vehicular carnage.

Plans to end the “Fast and Furious” saga with the 11th movie were first reported last year. The 10th movie was confirmed in 2016, and was originally scheduled for 2021, but that was made impossible by the coronavirus pandemic. That will give the franchise a run of more than 20 years from the 2001 release of “The Fast and the Furious.”

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