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?
In the game of musical chairs that is The Morning Shift, today we let Patrick have a day off (Definitely not my choice) and Matt is bouncing around Texas, so I'm here to heel/toe your way through the news that is hot this morning.
Let's get rev matching. I'm sorry for the shifting puns.
1st Gear: NYC Gets A New Rangie
We like the new Range Rover a lot. So it stands to reason that we'll like the new Range Rover Sport a lot too. It seems we'll find out at the New York Auto Show later this month.
Range Rover has announced that the new car will be unveiled on March 26 at a special event. What do we expect? Lighter weight, more power, and a ton of off-road capability.
It'll also be able to navigate the parking garage at the galleria splendiferously.
2nd Gear: Toyota Power Shift
For ages Toyota has been structured as rigidly and as traditionally as a company has been structured. But there have been a number of changes since Akio Toyoda has taken the helm. More exciting products have emerged and now, after years of losses, Toyoda is giving power to non-Japanese execs.
The restructuring will basically turn over half of the globe to non-Japanese CEOs for the first time ever. New CEOs have been appointed in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. The current president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, Jim Lentz, is the new CEO for North America. Kaz Ohara from Lexus will report to Lentz and run Toyota in the USA.
3rd Gear: Regs Ruining LED Light Tech
Headlights are getting better and better, but the advent of LED lights in cars is proving tricky for automakers when it comes to the regulators in Washington.
Volvo's 2014 cars have a technology that lets them use their new LED high beams without blinding everyone and their grandma on the roads. But the tech isn't yet legal in the USA, which means we'll have to do without. Right now, LED and OLED tech is in its infancy.
I guess Audi will have to wait on that all LED car I keep asking them about.
4th Gear: Audi Adds A Periscope
Next weekend is the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the most legendary endurance races of all time. Audi is bringing their R18 e-tron quattro racers there for one last hurrah before the series changes next year and the cars might not meet the regulations.
There is a novel change to the cars: A periscope. The cars are hard to see out of, so the new video system will give drivers a chance to actually see everything that's in front of them. I hear this is important, so it's probably good time to implement it. Look for the cars to be slicing through traffic all next weekend.
5th Gear: Your Weekend In Racing
Motorsports are back. For those of you that decided to go outside this weekend, here's what you missed. If you recorded it and don't want to know what happened, stop reading now.
- Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR race at Las Vegas, narrowly beating Kasey Kahne. Kenseth took no tires at the last stop and managed to stay in front of Kahne, who had the car to beat all day. It was also Kenseth's 41st birthday and just his third start with Joe Gibbs Racing. Not a bad gift.
- In the Nationwide race on Saturday, Sam Hornish Jr. captured the win for Roger Penske.
- VW is still having a great year in World Rally, with Sebastien Ogier taking the win at the Rally Mexico.
- Sad news from the F1 world: Virginia "Ginny" Williams, wife of team owner Sir Frank Williams, has passed away after a battle with cancer. Our condolences and thoughts are with Sir Frank and the entire Williams team at this difficult time.
As always, please add your gears in the comments below.