All I want for the New Year is…

you! Well, it’s actually not you in any capacity beyond that as reader and for that, let me start with a big thank you to all of those reading these lines. In 2022 you have been more numerous than ever before, more precisely three times as many than in 2021, hopefully proving the blog is more than a pandemic distraction! Most of you are American, followed by the UK and my native Sweden. Not sure how we got there, but happy you are so many and also that you can live with the metric system in all numbers. On a more exotic note, I’m also thrilled to have almost 5% of readers from India and around 3% from South Africa, so it seems this has really become a global blog!

In terms of posts it also seems the mix of classic cars and more modern sports cars hits the mark in terms of your interest, and among the newer cars, it’s interesting to see that the buying opportunities, if I may call them that, seem to be of particular interest. My post on the Ferrari F8 being a bit of a bargain from January saw large interest and as a small update, whereas the F8’s were trading more or less at their (base) sales price of EUR 250-260′ at the time, that starting price is now 10% higher in Europe, with options obviously driving the price of many cars very much higher. So if you trusted me there, congratulations! More recently, my post from as late as last week on the best sports cars for 130′ has also seen a lot of interest. This brings us to my first wish for New Year, which is to ask you to click on the posts you read rather than just scroll down, as this then allows me to track closer what is of interest and thus produce a content in line with this.

The “bargain” F8 is now 10% more expensive…

As we move into 2023, something that will affect US readers and drivers is no doubt Biden’s so called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which notably relates to NAFTA-related tariffs on foreign cars and trucks and will take effect in 2023 and 2024. Buy-green policies will also make electronic vehicles more affordable – as long as they’re built in North America. It goes without saying that most cars from non-US brands are not, so if you live in the US and plan to buy a new car next year, it will become expensive to go for a European… A small prediction for 2023 is that the EU will somehow retaliate against these measures, remains to be seen how.

It’s not clear yet what %-age of content will clear the new NAFTA limit, but these 10 should be safe (source: US Dep’t of Transportation).

Buy-green in the US and various measures across European countries will also make it cheaper to buy EV’s. This goes from outright subsidies to various tax incentives. Everyone seems set on this, from politicians to manufacturers, with little thought to any back side of this whole endeavour, as notably described in my “nail in the coffin for EV’s” post from a few weeks ago. In a few weeks there’s a small chance that this changes with the publication of the book “Cobalt Red” by Siddhart Kara. Kara has done what all EV buyers should, namely travelled to the cobalt mines in the Congo, often at severe risk to his own life. What he discovered there is beyond belief for anyone thinking the world has moved on since Belgian King Leopold reigned in terror over the former colony. At the time, it was the hunt rubber that fueled the terror. Today, rubber has been replaced by cobalt, but the victims are the same.

Kara was recently on Joe Rogan’s podcast, link here, and my second wish for the New Year is that you please take the time to listen to the podcast and/or read the book and spread the word, as a small gesture to the children at the bottom of the cobalt mines, far away from the boardrooms and marketing literature of EV manufacturers, or ignorant politicians who just buy into the green story without knowledge of any afterthought to maximize the number of votes.

A picture of a cobalt mine in the DRC, from Siddhart Kara’s upcoming book “Cobalt Red”.

So what does the new year have in store for us on the car front? Firstly there will be a number of new EV’s, of which I find Lotus’s new Eletre the most exciting, together with the potential roll-out of Lucid Motors in Europe (se my post here from my visit to their showroom in New York in October). Ferrari’s new Purosangue that we looked at a few weeks ago is no doubt the most exciting SUV, and in Europe, the Z06 version of the Corvette C8 will be introduced as it’s already been in the US. First impressions from there seem to indicate it’s a real track weapon and although still a bargain compared to similar German and Italian cars, less so than the excellent C8 that I look forward to driving soon! The other notable sports car that will see the light of day is Nissan’s new Z, of which we know that it will have a V6 engine, a nice change to the trend of even more four-cylinder engines powering everything from hot hatches to larger SUV’s.

Looks the part and definitely looks like a Z!

If you read this on Sunday on the day of publication on 1 January, I hope you’ve had a nice New Year’s party, that the hangover isn’t too bad and above all, that you’ll have a fantastic 2023 with many great drives! I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing that the war in Ukraine and the suffering finally comes to an end somehow, that inflation hereby falls back and that by some stroke of magic, one of the e-fuel projects pursued notably by Porsche reaches industrial scale much earlier than expected, so that we get a real alternative to the unethical EV’s. Many thanks again for your trust and for following the blog, please don’t hesitate to provide any suggestions or recommendations on themes or cars here below, and see you next week for the first post written in 2023, and a Happy New Year to you all!

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