Welcome to your "Exhaust Notes" light-news roundup, an occasional feature in which we cover news bits that don't necessarily deserve their own blog post but are interesting nonetheless.
As I've mentioned before
, this is a semiregular thing. In this installment, we'll cover the financial fallout of Saab's
collapse, the coming MINI
John Cooper Works GP and BMW's
landmark moment in China. (Hint: It involves American sales figures, but not how you might think.)
As a bonus, we have a picture of Justin Bieber's chrome Fisker Karma. I know what you're thinking: Yes, finally. Our long national nightmare is over.
Seriously: He chromed a Fisker. Money can't buy taste, but it can apparently buy a way to make a sexy, dignified car look like a spackled-up Vegas trollop. Who knew?
Saab's Liquidation Debt Totals $2 Billion
Yes, that's billion, not million. The receivers in charge of liquidating Saab Automobile announced Tuesday that the bankrupt Swedish carmaker left behind debts totaling $2 billion when it collapsed. The company's assets amounted to just $500 million.
The Wall Street Journal has more here
, but the gist of it is this: If you owned Saab stock, you are likely screwed. If you happen to be one of the brand's creditors, you are likely screwed. And if you happen to own a modern Saab, you probably know exactly where you stand and don't need me to paint you a picture.
Hint: If you own a modern Saab and don't know where you stand, you should probably sell the car. Now. To someone who also doesn't know where you stand.
Car and Driver's Spies Capture the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP
In 2006, MINI offered a 2-seat, track-focused version of the MINI Cooper
called the MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP Kit
(above). Just 415 were built. Enthusiasts ditched the long name and simply called the car MINI GP; journalists and pundits called it the most outrageous ball of front-wheel drive giggles that the industry had seen in years. According to Car and Driver's spy photographers, a new GP is on the way. If you complain about this, there is something wrong with you.
Rare Lotus Up For Sale; Your Author Drools
Before Lotus founder Colin Chapman got into Formula 1 racing or the production of high-dollar, low-volume exotic cars, he built light, entertaining roadsters based on relatively pedestrian mechanicals. The first of these cars to be offered to the public was the Lotus 6, aka the Lotus Mark VI
. It looked like a four-wheeled bug and was one of the fastest production cars on the planet at the time of its launch.
Just 100 Lotus 6s were built. The model's successor, the legendary Lotus 7
(aka Caterham 7
), needs no introduction and is arguably a much better car, but the 6 is still pretty charming. One of the 100 is now for sale in the Hemmings classifieds
(above); it should go without saying that this is a rare occurrence. If you buy it, call me, and I'll be your best friend for life.
BMW Delivers More Vehicles in China Than in the U.S. for the First Time
BMW's first-quarter sales in China for 2012: 80,014. BMW's first-quarter sales in the United States for 2012: 75,729. If that doesn't explain this
, then you are officially not paying enough attention.
Tanner Foust Drove a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor at the Nürburgring for -- Something
We don't know why he was there. We don't know what he was doing, though he was apparently doing it sideways
. And we don't usually report on the speculative comings and goings of media personalities, but this one was too cool to pass up.
A giant off-road production truck hanging tail at the world's greatest racetrack. A man known
for doing very
silly things in automobiles. This cannot possibly end badly.
Justin Bieber Has a Chrome Fisker Karma; It's Pretty Horrible
I could tell you exactly how horrible it is, but you're just going to have to see for yourself. If they figure out a cure for RichDumbYoungitis, this man gets to skip to the front of the pill line. He's got it bad. Sam Smith is a journalist, a Southerner and a reformed Alfa Romeo mechanic who spends most of his time mooning over ancient racing cars and small-batch bourbon. A multiple International Automotive Media award-winner, he has written for Automobile Magazine, Car and Driver, and Esquire, among other publications. He once drove 4,000 miles in a weekend for a hamburger and has been threatened by the German police only twice.