Jalopnik's Favorite Stories of 2022

Jalopnik's Favorite Stories of 2022

Another year in the books, another year of Jalopnik-esque fun. Our staff shares the ones they loved most to post.

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Someone is pointing through the windshield of a car off into the distance.
Whether it’s exploring your local backroads, diving into automobile esoterica or sticking it to a major corporation, we Jalops love to write.
Photo: Jose Rodriguez Jr/Jalopnik

2022 has been a weird year for the automotive industry, the world and indeed the Jalopnik staff. We’ve seen models debut that we never expected to see the light of day and we’ve said goodbye to some of our favorite cars. We’ve driven all over the world and been fortunate enough to share those experiences with you, our feral readership.

Looking back, it’s hard to pick a favorite story from this year but we rounded up most of our staff and forced them to pick theirs. Here they are, in order of publication.

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Union Pacific Train Thefts Started Right Around The Time It Laid Off Thousands Of Workers (January 24, 2022)

Union Pacific Train Thefts Started Right Around The Time It Laid Off Thousands Of Workers (January 24, 2022)

A cargo train is derailed and surrounded by trash in Los Angeles
Photo: KTLA5

By Erin Marquis

Seventeen Union Pacific train cars derailed last week along the same tracks experiencing mass looting in Los Angeles. Union Pacific recently blamed the staggering 160 percent increase in thefts since September 2020 on the Los Angeles district attorney, but the fault may lie, at least in part, with plain old short-sighted greed.

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Automakers Are Determined To Pretend Right To Repair Doesn’t Exist For As Long As Possible (January 25, 2022)

Automakers Are Determined To Pretend Right To Repair Doesn’t Exist For As Long As Possible (January 25, 2022)

A mechanic is bent over under the hood of a car.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

By Adam Ismail

Back in November, Apple — one of the tech industry’s leading adversaries of the right-to-repair movement — finally caved to pressure from regulators and consumers and announced it would make parts and tools for its products available to the general public. Several months earlier, the Federal Trade Commission vowed to take manufacturers across all industries to task for unlawful repair restrictions, while encouraging the public to reach out and inform it of any shady practices. That followed the European Union’s own similar initiative, taking aim at companies that aren’t incentivized “to make more sustainable products” at the present.

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Yes, Sovereign Citizens, You Do Need A Driver’s License (January 26, 2022)

Yes, Sovereign Citizens, You Do Need A Driver’s License (January 26, 2022)

A fake license place used by so-called "sovereign citizens"
Image: Merrrittt via Wikimedia Commons

By Erin Marquis

A urine-drinking anti-COVID-19 activist is currently driving across the country with the intention of making a citizen’s arrest of every Democratic governor while warning Americans about the “bio-weapon” hiding in the vaccine. Are you ready for the really crazy part? He’s doing it without a driver’s license.

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The Comprehensive Guide To Subaru Engines (February 1, 2022)

The Comprehensive Guide To Subaru Engines (February 1, 2022)

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Image: Subaru

By Steve DaSilva

So you’re interested in buying a Subaru. Maybe you want to stand out in a sea of same-looking commuter cars, or maybe you just appreciate the all-all-wheel-drive (BRZ aside) lineup. Either way, you’ve made an erudite choice. Before you buy, though, you should know about the single biggest Subaru uniquity: the company’s engines.

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Switching Pit Stops For Push Starts: How NASCAR Struck Bobsled Gold (February 4, 2022)

Switching Pit Stops For Push Starts: How NASCAR Struck Bobsled Gold (February 4, 2022)

A Team USA bobsled rockets down the ice
Photo: Shaun Botterill / Staff (Getty Images)

By Owen Bellwood

It was 1992 and the brightest and best from the world of snow sports had gathered in Albertville, France, for the 16th Winter Olympic Games. Team USA had once again sent a squad of its top sliders to go for gold in the bobsled competitions. Once again, they came home without a whiff of a podium.

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Highway Of Agony: How Traffic Safety Films Introduced Millions Of Kids To Scenes Of Real Death (February 14, 2022)

Highway Of Agony: How Traffic Safety Films Introduced Millions Of Kids To Scenes Of Real Death (February 14, 2022)

1950s kids crowded around a television flashing screens of car crashes
Gif: Jason Torchnisky

By Erin Marquis

“There’s trouble ahead. Trouble that may or may not be a signal 30. What will we find? A minor mishap? Or will we look upon the stark face of death?” a deadpan narrator asks his audience. It’s a question you are forced to grapple with every time the scene changes in the first grim and bloody film from the Highway Safety Foundation, Signal 30 (1959)

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8 Kids and 80 Corvairs: How One Man’s Entire World Revolves Around The Rear-Engined Chevy (February 28, 2022)

8 Kids and 80 Corvairs: How One Man’s Entire World Revolves Around The Rear-Engined Chevy (February 28, 2022)

A red and a white Chevrolet Corvair share a parking lot with other modern cars.
Photo: Chris Shade

By Andy Kalmowitz

For Chris Shade, the Chevy Corvair is more than just a car or his business. It’s his family. I mean that literally. Without the Corvair, Shade’s family – and life – would be far different.

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Ridge Racer Type 4 Was The Definitive Racing Game Of My Childhood (March 14, 2022)

Ridge Racer Type 4 Was The Definitive Racing Game Of My Childhood (March 14, 2022)

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Image: Namco

By Lawrence Hodge

1999 was a notable year for gaming. Some of gaming’s most beloved titles were introduced that year, with many of these titles surviving well into the 2010s and today. Those future classics included Super Smash Bros, Marvel Vs. Street Fighter, Silent Hill, and Donkey Kong 64.

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The 2022 Mint 400: Through A First Timer’s Point Of View (March 17, 2022)

The 2022 Mint 400: Through A First Timer’s Point Of View (March 17, 2022)

An off-road racing truck takes off from the start finish line of the Mint 400
Photo: José Rodríguez Jr./Jalopnik

By José Rodríguez Jr.

The 2022 Mint 400 is done. My first trip to America’s Playground is done, too, my journey undertaken for sole the purpose of covering my first real race. And what a race to cover first! The Mint 400 is steeped in infamy, is recovering from a decades-long hiatus, and is now growing through the use of modern tech that brings the race directly to a growing fanbase via streaming.

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Lawyers Argue Millionaire’s Floating House Is Actually A Boat As City Officials Hit Him With Property Tax Bill (March 28, 2022)

Lawyers Argue Millionaire’s Floating House Is Actually A Boat As City Officials Hit Him With Property Tax Bill (March 28, 2022)

A large white floating houseboat is tied to the shore
Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

By Lawrence Hodge

What appears to be a floating home in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, isn’t actually a house. At least that’s how lawyers representing the millionaire that owns it argues. County officials are trying to hit the houseboat with a property tax bill, however to the county, it’s not an actual boat.

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How We’re Going To Steal The Toyota GR Corolla: A Step-By-Step Guide (April 8, 2022)

How We’re Going To Steal The Toyota GR Corolla: A Step-By-Step Guide (April 8, 2022)

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Screenshot: Disney+, Image: Steve DaSilva

By Steve DaSilva

Next week, the New York International Auto Show rolls into a little town called, conveniently, New York. It promises thousands of square feet filled with brand-new cars, one-off concepts, and huge swaths of EV “manufacturers” that no one’s ever seen before trying to pass themselves off as real companies. This year, however, there’s an interesting twist: The 2022 Toyota GR Corolla is coming to New York.

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Drive Your Back Roads Before Traffic Finds Them (April 15, 2022)

Drive Your Back Roads Before Traffic Finds Them (April 15, 2022)

Someone points out of the windshield of a car driving on a two-lane highway
Photo: Jose Rodriguez Jr/Jalopnik

By José Rodríguez Jr.

If your town is anything like mine, there’s a main corridor connecting a handful of important places, and it’s almost always a highway. This stretch of road is a concrete spine, teeming with drivers that dart back and forth like signals in a nervous system. It’s very rushed and usually efficient but not very fun. That’s why I’m reminding you to drive on back roads when you can. Or more to the point, while you can, because back roads are constantly in danger of discovery.

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How The World’s First Automotive Theme Park Died Of Boredom In Just 6 Months (April 18, 2022)

How The World’s First Automotive Theme Park Died Of Boredom In Just 6 Months (April 18, 2022)

A logo for Six Flags' defunct AutoWorld theme park
Illustration: Karl Gustafson

By Erin Marquis

In the midst of an American manufacturing collapse, Flint, Michigan, spent millions building a twisted monument to the very industry that was leaving its citizens high and dry. AutoWorld, the world’s first automotive theme park, was sold as the answer to Flint’s woes. It would turn around the city with the highest unemployment in the nation. It lasted all of six months.

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Even Devoted Purists Can’t Hate The Custom Bikes At The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show (April 25, 2022)

Even Devoted Purists Can’t Hate The Custom Bikes At The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show (April 25, 2022)

A blue custom airhead BMW motorcycle is parked inside the Handbuilt Moto Show
Photo: Jose Rodriguez Jr/Jalopnik

By José Rodríguez Jr.

When Revival Cycles invited me to the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show last year, I didn’t have the heart to admit I’m somewhat of a purist. I had to stop myself from blurting out that I think an amateur restoration pays homage to the spirit of a motorcycle better than even the best custom builds. Now, after getting a chance to see some of the best bikes at the 2022 Handbuilt Show, I’m glad I kept my mouth shut. Turns out I’m less of a purist than I thought.

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The Original Lotus Factory Was Right There All Along (May 4, 2022)

The Original Lotus Factory Was Right There All Along (May 4, 2022)

Lotus founder Colin Chapman poses next to a car on the assembly line
Photo: Joe Bangay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

By Owen Bellwood

London is a funny old place, everywhere you turn seems to have some intriguing story about its past or a secret history you need to unearth. And while you might expect that this is reserved to the center of the city, where Parliament sits, the Queen lives and all those famous museums are, there are some pretty historic spots across the 30-mile-wide city.

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Sebastian Vettel Calls Out Miami Grand Prix’s Shaky Destiny in the Climate Crisis (May 5, 2022)

Sebastian Vettel Calls Out Miami Grand Prix’s Shaky Destiny in the Climate Crisis (May 5, 2022)

Sebastian Vettel poses in a climate change shirt at Miami GP
Photo: Dan Istitene - Formula 1 / Contributor (Getty Images)

By Ryan Erik King

We’ve all had our fun laughing at the fake marina constructed for Formula 1's Miami Grand Prix. It’s been memed to death across social media. Sky Sports F1 reporter Craig Slater even dove in on live television and did a pretend backstroke atop the simulated water with microphone in hand. But what if I told you that, within our lifetimes, it’s highly likely that there will be water inundating the Miami circuit? That’s the future reality Sebastian Vettel acknowledged with his bold choice of T-shirt during Wednesday night’s Opening Party.

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Speedway, Indiana: 1912's Walled City of our Car-Centric Future (May 28, 2022)

Speedway, Indiana: 1912's Walled City of our Car-Centric Future (May 28, 2022)

An archival shot of a pagoda-like structure in Speedway, Indiana
Photo: Topical Press/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

By Ryan Erik King

Tomorrow’s Indianapolis 500 isn’t going to be held in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. The iconic 500-mile race has never been run in Indiana’s state capital. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located in Speedway, Indiana, a small incorporated town surrounded by Indianapolis. It is racing’s equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip not actually being in Las Vegas, Nevada. Like how Paradise, Nevada exists to further the interests of the casino industry, Speedway was created to further the interests of the automotive industry.

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The Stars of Gran Turismo’s World Tournament See No Future in the Game (July 20, 2022)

The Stars of Gran Turismo’s World Tournament See No Future in the Game (July 20, 2022)

Three Gran Turismo racers are interviewed by a female presenter
Photo: Clive Rose (Getty Images)

By Adam Ismail

Lewis Bentley really started to question things when the show ended.

Bentley had won the Pro/Am race at the Salzburg round of the 2019 FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships (FIA GTC) — a competition that paired each top-tier Gran Turismo player with an influencer, media personality or celebrity for a two-driver mini-endurance esports competition. Bentley and his partner, streamer Steve Alvarez Brown a.k.a. SuperGT, stood on the top step of the podium, beaming. Bentley was handed a Thrustmaster T-GT, a high-end sim racing steering wheel, as a prize.

“I was thrilled with this and you can see that on camera,” Bentley said.

His enthusiasm didn’t last long.

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That Meme About the Cost of Charging an Electric Car Is Hilariously Wrong (July 26, 2022)

That Meme About the Cost of Charging an Electric Car Is Hilariously Wrong (July 26, 2022)

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Photo: Electrify America, Image: Steve DaSilva

By Steve DaSilva

You may have seen a meme going around the internet this week, talking about how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle at a charging station. The meme in question goes so far as to claim that it’s cheaper to tow a fully loaded horse trailer with a Ford F-350 than it is to charge an everyday EV. This, as you may have guessed, is bullshit.

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UPS Refuses to Install Air Conditioning in 150-Degree Delivery Trucks (August 5, 2022)

UPS Refuses to Install Air Conditioning in 150-Degree Delivery Trucks (August 5, 2022)

A cart full of packages is sitting behind a parked UPS truck
Photo: Robert Nickelsberg (Getty Images)

By Kyle Hyatt

Over the past few years, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve become increasingly reliant on fast shipping for our online purchases. Still, there’s a human cost behind all those cardboard boxes showing up at your door every day, and with record-breaking heat waves around the globe, package delivery drivers are suffering through inhuman working conditions.

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How Girl Gang Garage Empowers Women and Launches Careers (August 16, 2022)

How Girl Gang Garage Empowers Women and Launches Careers (August 16, 2022)

Six women mechanics are in front of a Volvo PV544
Image: All Girls Garage

By Lalita Chemello

Hidden away in a quiet, industrial area outside of downtown Phoenix is a custom car shop. Out front sits an old VW Beetle, a Nash Metropolitan and a Suzuki kei truck. The combination alone makes you ponder what lies behind the doors. Inside is an impressive collection: a couple of wild restomodded vintage Chevy trucks, built for SEMA’s annual Vegas blowout, and a variety of motorcycles. But this is not your typical restoration shop.

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A Letter to My Beloved, The 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (September 2, 2022)

A Letter to My Beloved, The 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (September 2, 2022)

A gray 2022 Ford Shelby GT500 is parked on a driveway with hearts drawn all around it
Photo: Lalita Chemello/Jalopnik

By Lalita Chemello

My dearest Shelby,

I miss you.

I never had someone, something, this special in my life. My first instinct is to apologize for this cliche, but I proudly stand by it. My love for you began at first sight. No. Wait. At first sound.

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The 2023 Escalade Is Cadillac’s Past and Present, But Not Its Future (October 3, 2022)

The 2023 Escalade Is Cadillac’s Past and Present, But Not Its Future (October 3, 2022)

A brownish 2022 Cadillac Escalade is parked on pavement
Photo: Andy Kalmowitz/Jalopnik

By Andy Kalmowitz

Cadillac is in an interesting position right now. The company wants to launch a new brand identity, but its most iconic product doesn’t really mesh with that new direction. Cadillac has said many times that from here on out, all its new vehicles will be electric. That leaves its flagship, the Escalade, in a weird spot.

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Tracing the History of the Green Book in Southern California (October 6, 2022)

Tracing the History of the Green Book in Southern California (October 6, 2022)

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Illustration: Richard Chance

By Lawrence Hodge

Being drivers in the 21st century, modern technology has allowed us to have tons of information at our disposal. From travel times with ETAs that are accurate down to the minute to real-time traffic information, many of us take these conveniences for granted. It wasn’t always this way, as those of us who used to print out Mapquest directions recall. But consider that, just over half a century ago, paper maps and travel guides existed to keep certain portions of the population safe while they were out driving. The Negro Traveler’s Green Book, sometimes known as The Negro Motorist Green Book, was that guide. For 30 years, it provided information to help Black drivers navigate America’s roads safely.

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New Rezvani Vengeance Looks Ready to Crush All the Pedestrians (October 12, 2022)

New Rezvani Vengeance Looks Ready to Crush All the Pedestrians (October 12, 2022)

A futuristic looking military style SUV built by Rezvani is rendered on a city street
Photo: Rezvani

By Collin Woodard

Are you a wealthy former Blackwater contractor who wants a full-size luxury SUV but think the Cadillac Escalade looks too feminine? Are you a member of the Three Percenters who fantasizes about running over BLM protesters and thinks Tucker Carlson’s rhetoric doesn’t go far enough? Do you have $250,000 to spend? Then, boy, does Rezvani have the SUV for you.

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The Specialized Turbo Creo SL Is a Nearly Perfect Electric Road Bike (October 18, 2022)

The Specialized Turbo Creo SL Is a Nearly Perfect Electric Road Bike (October 18, 2022)

A specialized Turbo Creo electric bicycle is parked on some gravel
Photo: Owen Bellwood/Jalopnik

By Owen Bellwood

Most electric bikes that you see on the street are set up for commuters and delivery riders. They’re heavy, with wide tires to soak up bumps, and come decked out with fenders and luggage racks. Bikes like this are great if you want to leave the car at home and take an electrically-assisted ride.

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Florida Man Blames Paranormal Activity for Driving Car Missing Two Tires (November 2, 2022)

Florida Man Blames Paranormal Activity for Driving Car Missing Two Tires (November 2, 2022)

A police vehicle camera photo of a crossover SUV pulled over and missing two tires
Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office

By Collin Woodard

In general, it’s a bad idea to drive if your car is missing a tire. It’s bad for your wheel, and it tears up the road. If you’re missing two tires, it’s even worse. But what if you’ve been cursed and need to escape to safety? Surely, that’s a reasonable excuse, right? Turns out, at least in Florida, it’s not.

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Flyin’ Miata Quietly Stopped Doing ND V8 Swaps Years Ago (November 11, 2022)

Flyin’ Miata Quietly Stopped Doing ND V8 Swaps Years Ago (November 11, 2022)

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Photo: Bring a Trailer

By Collin Woodard

Yesterday, Road & Track published some disappointing news: Flyin’ Miata is officially out of the V8-swapped ND Miata game. Unless you can find a used one, you’ll have to look to other companies such as V8 Roadsters to satisfy your eight-cylinder Miata needs. But technically, this isn’t new news.

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America’s First Electric Fire Truck Is On the Job in Los Angeles (November 16, 2022)

America’s First Electric Fire Truck Is On the Job in Los Angeles (November 16, 2022)

A red electric fire truck in Los Angeles
Photo: Volvo Penta

By Owen Bellwood

Earlier this year, firefighters in Los Angeles proudly showed off their gleaming new truck. Like its predecessors, the truck was bright red and festooned with chrome accents and firefighting paraphernalia. But unlike the Los Angeles Fire Department’s other vehicles, this one had something special hiding underneath all those tools. This brand new truck, built by Austrian manufacturer Rosenbauer, wasn’t your traditional diesel-powered machine. Instead, this one was lauded as “America’s first electric fire truck” — though it’s equipped with a BMW-sourced diesel engine to top up the batteries if they run low.

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How a Porsche Racing Team Is Getting Women Behind the Wheel in the Carrera Cup (December 13, 2022)

How a Porsche Racing Team Is Getting Women Behind the Wheel in the Carrera Cup (December 13, 2022)

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Photo: Amy Lentz

By Lalita Chemello

It all started with a phone call. Former race car driver, and current driving coach and mentor, Lyn St. James called up Victoria Thomas, co-owner of KellyMoss Road and Race, to ask her what program would be best for an up-and-coming woman driver. In the last 10 years there has been a noticeable increase in young women yearning to race in the bigger series, but finding it difficult to get there. Thomas, one of the few female team owners in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America paddock — or in racing in general — looked around and asked herself, “where are all the women?”

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Here’s How McLaren Managed to Keep the Artura So Light and Compact (December 15, 2022)

Here’s How McLaren Managed to Keep the Artura So Light and Compact (December 15, 2022)

an orange 2023 McLaren Artura is parked in front of some rocks
Photo: Adam Ismail/Jalopnik

By Adam Ismail

Sports cars are supposed to be light; electric cars are heavy. Changing regulations have chimed the slow death of exclusively internal-combustion engine-powered machines, and the first casualties are those marvels of engineering that prioritize performance above all else: supercars.

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The 2022 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Is the Perfect Road Trip Vehicle (December 16, 2022)

The 2022 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Is the Perfect Road Trip Vehicle (December 16, 2022)

A silver 2022 Porsche Panamera hybrid is parked near the California coast
Photo: Andy Kalmowitz/Jalopnik

By Andy Kalmowitz

There are honestly few things I enjoy more than a long drive. That’s why my girlfriend and I decided to do a roadtrip-based vacation a little while ago. We’d start in Los Angeles and then make our way up the coast to San Francisco, and damn did we have the right car for the job. Meet the 2022 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Platinum Edition. It really could be the best long-distance cruiser and daily-driver on sale today.

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