Exploding Dodge engines, old-school Toyota keys and more

Including the good, the bad and the funky at SEMA 2022

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Welcome to our roundup of the biggest breaking stories on Driving.ca from the past week. Get carried away and be ready for the weekend, because it’s hard to keep up with a digital traffic jam.

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Here’s what you missed while you were gone.

Dodge Pushes ‘Last Call’ Reveal Due To Exploding Engines, Ram’s Delayed Truck Reveal

2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody Jailbreak
2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody Jailbreak Photo by Elle Alder

Dodge had plans to unveil the last farewell model ‘Last Call’ Challenger or Charger this week at SEMA 2022 in Las Vegas, but those plans literally fell apart with the engine. According to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, the brand “got into trouble. To be more precise, the modified V8 has exploded when pushed to their limits in the Dodge test lab. We’re not talking about a minor glitch. Apparently the engines really exploded.” With a reportedly 909 horsepower engine under the hood, it’s no wonder he has plunged himself into obscurity.

That wasn’t the only delayed Stellantis product to get attention this week. Initially it was supposed to be unveiled in the fall, but Ram has now officially said it will debut its electric truck concept, the Ram 1500 Revolution conceptat the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on January 5, 2023. A teaser image of the truck’s side profile accompanied the announcement, and a production model should follow in 2024. The 1500 Revolution is Ram’s next stop on its journey to a fully electrified lineup by 2030.

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Honda wants more than $50k for its 2023 Civic Type R in Canada, but even more in the US

2023 Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R Photo by Honda

Canadian prices for the 2023 Honda Civic Type R start at $50,050 ($51,830 in Quebec), making it the most expensive Civic you can get. Honda announced prices this week, along with confirmation that no SE model would follow. As a quick refresher, the ‘racing’ special uses the brand’s K20C1 2.0-liter Turbo four, good for 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, setting the R all-round record for front-wheel drive production cars. has improved. the Suzuka Formula One racetrack in Japan.

It sounds enough to earn that “R,” but if the news has you reeling with sticker shock, be glad you’re not in America, where the car is even more expensive at around $58,000 at the current exchange rate.

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Toyota revives the old-school key due to chip shortage

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross
2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Photo by Renita Naraine

The ongoing shortage of microchips has led to: Toyota takes a game out of its 90s strategy and brings back the manual key. Some Japanese buyers will receive their new Toyota vehicles with one ‘smart’ key and one mechanical key, in an effort to keep up with estimated delivery times. “As the semiconductor shortage continues, this is an interim measure to get cars to customers as soon as possible,” Toyota said in a statement, adding that the second smart key would be shipped “once it is ready.”

But the move may still not be enough to keep the Japanese maker on track. Last week, the brand announced it likely won’t be able to build the 9.7 million vehicles it originally planned to produce this year.

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The most notable cars at SEMA 2022

SEMA 2022
Defunct Rippers Ford Super Duty Photo by Lifted Rippers

It’s been a good week to be a gear shifter in Las Vegas, with SEMA 2022 filling the city with customizers and the enthusiasts coveting their work. We hopped a flight to Sin City to take a look at the best custom builds of the year and were not disappointed. One of the highlights was a 1948 Chevrolet Super Truck built by Ringbrothers for over 10,000 hours, with a 1,000 horsepower Goodwin racing engine and a sculpted body full of carbon fiber elements.

Other favorites included a gold-and-chrome truck from Florida-based Lifted Rippers Ford Super Duty and a 1966 Toyota Stout Drift Truck with a four-cylinder built by PSI Racing. Here’s what all these modified vehicles have in common: they all prove that anything is possible, while also disproving that everything is practical.

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Check out our full list of SEMA 2022’s 8 most daring, brash, and beautifully wacky cars – including Kevin Hart’s 1987 Buick “Dark Knight” Grand National — here.

Maine issues recalls on obscene vanity plates

An obscene Maine license plate photographed in 2019 by resident Derek Volk
An obscene Maine license plate photographed in 2019 by resident Derek Volk Photo by Derek Volk

In 2015, Maine made an adjustment to the way it distributed personalized license plates, essentially ditching the review process and giving anyone with a dirty mind and a driver’s license the opportunity to express themselves as lewd as they wished on their government-issued issued state plates. Now you may be thinking, but how bad can it be? See if you can fill in these blanks from this actual makeup plate: “F-You.”

The state is now speeding up its rules with much of the rest of the nation banning derogatory comments about gender identity, race, age, nationality, ethnicity, religion and more. Free speech advocate and Secretary of State Shanna Bellows has advice for those angry at being unable to express their more vulgar opinion about the backs of their vehicles: “What would I say to those who want to make offensive or questionable statements: Buy a bumper sticker.”

The joke is over, Maine. You all went too far!

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