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: I Actually Like The Name RC
Patrick George was impressed when he drove the 2014 Lexus IS and, like any car, it can be made better by dropping a pair of doors. In this case, the new Lexus IS C (now available only in convertible form) will become the Lexus RC according to Automotive News, which they say will debut in Tokyo.
As for power, expect the same 3.5-liter 306-hp V6 and a hybrid version that's going everywhere but the U.S. because, c'mon, who cares?
There's also the possibility of a Lexus RC-F with a 460-hp V8, an improvement over the current 416 hp V8 in the Lexus IS-F. Now just give us a wagon.
2nd Gear: Consumer Reports Says Ram 1500 Best Full-Size Truck
We enjoyed the 2013 Ram 1500 when we drove it and, apparently, so did Consumer Reports, who called the truck the best of the new full-sized models, besting the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra, but not the new Silverado.
Curiously, the previously highest-rated truck was the Chevy Avalanche, which is going out of production.
The new Ram is great but I'm not sold on the Avalanche.
3rd Gear: Hyundai's Production Problem
Talk about your good, bad news… Hyundai is going to have a better year that last year, perhaps earning a 4.4% sales increase over a strong 2012. Their average discount per-vehicle is down, meaning they're making more money on each vehicle they sell.
So what's the problem? As the Wall Street Journal reports, they simply can't make more cars than they're already making. Running on three shifts they still can't meet demand.
Assuming car sales continue to pick up in the U.S., they could have their best year ever and still lose market share.
"Our plants are really taxed and really maxed out," John Krafcik, chief executive of Hyundai's U.S. business arm said at an Ann Arbor, Mich., presentation of its restyled 2014 Equus luxury sedan.
4th Gear: The C-Class Isn't So Bright
Per the AP, the 2008-to-2009 Mercedes C-Class is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over dimming brake lights and turn signals.
They say they've got 31 reports of the lights either dimming beyond use or, in some cases, failing to light at all.
There are also a few reports of a "burning smell" when this happens and one report of small flames which, of course, could lead to fiery death if you investigated said small flames while wearing a suit made of fabric softener sheets doused in gasoline.
5th Gear: Sabine To Race A Porsche 962
I once met Sabine Schmitz while walking around the Nürburgring. She didn't know who I was and trying to explain that "I'm from Jalopnik" while race cars were flying behind us at top speed wasn't going to work, but she stopped to take a picture. She is, indeed, awesome.
To add to this awesomeness, she'll be racing a Porsche 962 with Klaus Abbelen at the Silverstone Classic as the series hosts the best Group C cars of the 1980s, including the Nissan R90C, Mercedes C11, and the sole surviving Jaguar XJR-14.
he Porsche 962 is such great car for the purists – I just love driving it,” she said. “Silverstone is the Mecca for all petrolheads and, with all the downforce in the fast sections, racing the 962 is going to be a fantastic experience… if a little painful on the poor old neck muscles!”
Reverse: He Also Shot A Judge
The world's first parking meter, known as Park-O-Meter No. 1, is installed on the southeast corner of what was then First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on this day in 1935.
Neutral: What Would Make Lexus More Palatable To Enthusiasts? I like the old Lexus IS and, have to admit, the Lexus LS is a ton of car, but my feelings on Lexus are fairly cold. What would make Lexus more appealing to car enthusiasts? Should they care?
Photo Credit: Getty Images