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Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage Twins by R-Reforged starts at $2M

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Swiss bespoke manufacturer R-Reforged is officially starting production of the Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage Twins. Based on the 2013 Vantage V12, the company is slated to produce 19 coupes and 19 convertible models to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Zagato and 60 years of partnership with R-Reforged. Prices start at around $2-million and the vehicles are sold as a pair.

“The Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage TWINS by R-Reforged is undoubtedly a highlight of our centenary celebrations,” said Andrea Zagato, CEO, and grandson of company founder Ugo Zagato. “A beautiful, bespoke and intrinsic part of our history and creative association with Aston Martin. To own these collectible cars will be a very personal and emotional experience.”

What really caught our attention is the decision to combine the best of both worlds. The Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage models are twins, but they are far from being identical. The coupe model looks pretty much like a 2013 Vantage V12 with its familiar fascia and double-bubble roof design.

However, the convertible model is destined to steal the show – it has a unique fastback-inspired rear end like the Aston Speedster. Both vehicles receive 100th-anniversary gold Z badging, an active rear wing, and bespoke 19-inch center-locking alloy wheels by APP Tech.

But the biggest news has nothing to do with the twin’s iconic design. Each of the 19 coupes and 19 speedsters features a retuned version of the Vantage’s 5.9-liter naturally-aspirated V12 motor. Each car is now producing a healthy 600 horsepower – 86 more horses than the original model. We have no word yet on transmission choices, but we reckon a paddle-shift automatic is standard while a six-speed manual (which was standard in the original V12 Vantage) remains an optional possibility.

Potential buyers are in for a treat. Upon placing an order, customers will receive a bespoke gift box as part of the R-Experience. Each vehicle is highly customizable, and buyers will work directly with the designers at Aston Martin St Gallen in Niederwil, Switzerland to discuss specific bespoke options for each model. Afterward, lucky buyers are invited to R-Reforged’s brand new manufacturing facility in Warwick, UK to witness firsthand how each car is built.

“Aston Martin’s relationship with Zagato stretches back 60 years and together in that time we have created a series of very special cars,” said Peter Freedman, Aston Martin VP, and chief marketing officer. “The Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage TWINS by R-Reforged project is a fitting tribute to the Zagato centenary anniversary.”

The Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage Twins is the first project of R-Reforged. Both the coupe and convertible models are set to debut this summer while official production begins later this year. According to R-Reforged, the order books are still open but most of the 19 build slots are already sold out.

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BMW iX5 Hydrogen Production Starts, But Don’t Expect To See This Fuel-Cell SUV In Dealerships

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The reality, though, is that even with a small number of BMW iX5 Hydrogen SUVs being produced — using individual fuel-cells supplied by Toyota, but assembled into a stack by BMW using the automaker’s own processes and technologies — the expectation is that hydrogen as a fuel will be predominantly of interest to non-passenger vehicles. Instead, it arguably makes the most sense, BMW suggests, for larger vehicles like medium- to heavy-duty trucks, along with the marine and aviation sectors. We’ve already seen Toyota reveal its plans for such an FCEV truck.

Despite that, and an acknowledgment that battery-electric vehicles will undoubtedly lead in the mainstream, BMW still believes there’s a place for FCEVs. After all, the automaker argues, if the infrastructure is being built to cater for trucks, there’s no reason not to also use it for passenger vehicles like the iX5 Hydrogen.

The results of the small-series production beginning today will be used as technology demonstrators across select regions from spring 2023, BMW says. It’s unclear at this point how many will be built. Depending on the reception and the strengths of the technology, series production of a first model could follow mid-decade, ahead of a potential full portfolio of BMW FCEVs from the 2030s onwards.

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Tesla Set To Deliver The First Semi To Pepsi

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In October, Tesla’s CEO revealed that the production of the Tesla Semi had begun, and it was bound to be delivered today. Tesla has already started the countdown, and we expect the unveiling event to go down at the Nevada factory. The electric truck will be dispatched to Pepsi, which had ordered 100 units. Investor reports that Tesla’s stock price increased by 7.7% on Wednesday, probably in anticipation of Tesla’s Semi first delivery.

Musk tweeted on Saturday that the “Tesla team just completed a 500-mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!” However, considering that Musk said that the company is dealing with supply chain issues and market inflation, it’s unclear if Tesla will stick to the original $180,000 price it intended to sell at when it was announced in 2017. Then again, Tesla offers a cheaper Semi that will be available for about $150,000 — but it can only achieve up to 300 miles at full load capacity. For now, we can only wait until it’s on the road to confirm if the specs match up to what was promised five years ago.  

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Coinbase Joins Elon Musk In Slamming The Apple App Store Tax

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Coinbase complained that Apple’s insistence on its cut unreasonably interfered with its business.

Coinbase’s argument was largely the same as Elon Musk’s, and the basis of Epic Games’ aforementioned lawsuit. According to all of the above, Apple was half of a duopoly: with Google, it controlled the global app marketplace. The “duopoly” part of the argument is pretty much incontrovertible: As of October 2022, both Apple and Google control 99.43% of the global smartphone market between them (via StatCounter). Both get a 30% cut of everyone’s action on its marketplace. From the perspective of Coinbase, that took too much money out of too many elements of its business.

Epic sued over that and, as noted above, won with an asterisk. Apple had restricted in-app purchases, and courts found that anticompetitive, but did require that Apple get a 30% cut of the profits, even though they took place in someone else’s app. In short, according to the Verge, the court said that if you’ve found a way to make money using iOS, you owe Apple 30%, period.

Epic thought in-app purchases should be exempted from the tax. Coinbase thinks elements of the NFT development process — in this case, gas prices to run the processing equipment necessary to mint NFTs — should be exempt from Apple’s app tax. Apple treats all user expenses on an app as in-app purchases and, per the Epic court decision, in-app purchases mean Apple gets a cut.

It’s not a simple problem, and it’s not likely to be solved anytime soon. Stakeholders and regulators have barely begun to integrate cryptocurrency and NFTs into the conventional marketplace. Who gets paid for what is likely to be a conversation for years on end. For now, all that’s certain is that conversation has begun.

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