Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Hyundai and Kia Won’t Build the Apple Car
Last month, Hyundai confirmed it was in talks with Apple to build a car for the tech giant before quickly walking that confirmation back. Talks between the two companies continued, however, and it looked like Hyundai was set to build the Apple Car at a Kia factory in the U.S. But now, the deal is off. Reuters reports that following much debate within Hyundai, the company announced today that it’s “not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.”
Hyundai is reluctant to work with outsiders, and some executives were worried about the negative effects of becoming simply a contract manufacturer for Apple. “We are not a company which manufactures cars for others,” an anonymous Hyundai executive told Reuters last month. Since making the announcement both Hyundai and Kia’s stock fell sharply. Whether or not Apple forges ahead with another automaker or builds a car in-house remains to be seen.
More Mazda EVs on the Way
Mazda currently has one EV on the market, the MX-30, which will come to the U.S. with a rotary (!) range extender. Automotive News reports that we should see more electrified Mazdas in 2022, including a plug-in hybrid riding on a new large-vehicle platform in development. We assume this is the new rear-drive platform for the Mazda 6, which will also underpin an SUV. Mazda is also working on a platform for dedicated EVs, which should arrive sometime between 2023 and 2026.
Peugeot Announced World Endurance Championship Drivers
Peugeot is returning to top-level prototype racing in the new Hypercar class next year, and just days before it’s set to show off its new car, the French company announced its driver lineup. Recent Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen joins the team, as do Paul di Resta, Loïc Duval, Jean-Eric Vergne, Mikkel Jensen, Gustavo Menzes, and James Rossiter. It’s unclear how the seven drivers will be utilized, i.e. who will run full seasons, and who will join for long races like Le Mans. Magnussen is also driving in the IMSA WeatherTech series for Chip Ganassi, so a full season with Peugeot would be tricky.
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