This is the Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: To commemorate its one millionth fan on Facebook, Porsche built a unique custom-made 480 horsepower 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car. To say thank you, Porsche covered the car with the names of more than 27,000 fans. What, you couldn't just drop the font size to say "thank you" to the rest of them?
2nd Gear: A teaser image surfaced today providing us with our first peek at a new concept for a 'baby' Jaguar model targeting the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class, the B99 (the "B" stands for design house Bertone) set to premiere at next month's Geneva Motor Show. Just please don't make it an X-Type. Please.
4th Gear: Honda says the automaker will recall 693,497 vehicles globally, including 170,000 of the Freed and Fit models in Japan, 220,000 units in Southeast Asian ASEAN area, and about 156,000 in China. Here in the United States, around 97,000 units will be recalled. All over defective spring parts that could deteriorate and lead to
potential fiery death
5th Gear: Malcolm Gladwell takes a stab at explaining why Car and Driver's heterogenous ratings are completely useless. Edmunds CEO Jeremy Anwyl agrees — and then pitches his own site's currently heterogenous ratings as a solution. Hmm...
6th Gear: John McCormick at The Detroit News asks an important question this morning — since folks judge books by their covers, other people by how hot or not they are, and cars by their front ends, why aren't most vehicles irresistible looking? His answer: That shit's expensive. I dunno. Cost sure didn't stop Pagani from making the front end of its new supercar make us want to Huayra all over the floor.
⏎ Laura Soave, the head of Fiat North America, is a total fox. Rowr! [Edmunds Straightline]
⏎ Global Vehicles has dropped its legal action against Indian automaker Mahindra over lack-of-action on diesel pickups. The whole thing leaves a bad, oily taste in our mouth. [Automotive News]
⏎ Ford offers $500 cash back on F-150 XLT with EcoBoost. [PickupTrucks.com]
⏎ Despite sitting on top of the pole, Dale, Jr. will start at the back of the pack thanks to a crash in practice yesterday. [NYT]
⏎ Lewis Hamilton's little brother Nick is headed to racing... in the UK Renault Clio Cup series. [Autosport]
⏎ MG gets a new, more rounded logo. If only they also got a new, better-looking more-MG-like car to go along with it. [Car Enthusiast]
⏎ Audi, Voith will make sweet, sweet carbon fiber love together. [autoevolution]
⏎ Alfa Romeo shows off its new MiTo and sat-nav tech ahead of Geneva. [GoAuto]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day in 1972, the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle comes off the assembly line, breaking a world car production record held for more than four decades by the Ford Motor Company's iconic Model T, which was in production from 1908 and 1927. [History]
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