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We Are Disappointed To Inform You That The New Nissan Z Has Been Delayed

Morning Dump Nissan Z

The Nissan Z gets delayed, Dodge makes the Hornet official, AMG drops a four-banger in the C 43. All this on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Nissan Hits Some DelayZ

2023 Nissan Z
Photo credit: Nissan

As someone who owned and loved an Infiniti G35, it’s been a long, long, long, long, long wait for the new Nissan Z. The old 370Z went on sale in 2009, some 13 years ago. To get a sense of how different the world was then, The Hangover had just came out, The Black Eyed Peas spent 26 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts with Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling, the economy was in the throes of a recession and MySpace was still (barely) a viable social network. Z fans have been waiting forever for this new car, and it looks like certain fans will now be waiting a little bit longer.

See, Nissan has claimed in a press release that its domestic car production in Japan plunged 44 percent in March. COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions were cited as the driving factors for this production plummet which crushed output of new Zs and the new Ariya electric crossover. According to Automotive News, the launch of the highly anticipated sports coupe has been pushed back from sometime this spring to sometime this summer. The last time I checked, summer in the northern hemisphere ends on September 22, and it would be a damn shame for Z-car enthusiasts to miss summer in their new sports cars.

What’s more, the already-delayed Ariya electric crossover has been delayed yet again. It won’t launch in America until fall, a bit of a downer for electric crossover shoppers looking for more variety in the market. Still, it’s likely worth holding tight for the new Z. After all, when was the last time that three pedals and 400 horsepower hasn’t been worth the wait?

Dodge Makes A Buzz

Tonale 1
Photo credit: Stellantis

It may have been 45 years since we’ve seen the Hornet nameplate on a production vehicle, but the timing feels right for Dodge. Yes, Dodge’s CEO Tim Kuniskis has let slip that Dodge’s new entry-level model is officially going to be a compact vehicle called the Hornet, and it has every possible chance of being really good. Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, among other outlets, Kuniskis said Tuesday, “I think we’ve actually even said that when we get back into the small compact space this summer when we launch the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or variant of that.” Come to think of it Tim, I don’t think you’ve previously said explicitly that the Hornet was on its way, but good on you for breaking the news.

So what exactly is the Hornet? Like seemingly everything else on the road these days, it’s a compact crossover – albeit one that’ll supposedly carry Italian roots. A few months ago, a fairly legit-looking factory floor leak surfaced of a Dodge-branded crossover that looks a lot like the Alfa Romeo Tonale compact crossover. That’s good news, as ever Alfa Romeo that’s come to America since the 8C Spider has been absolutely brilliant to drive. If this is indeed the Hornet, hopefully Dodge retains some zesty chassis tuning and turns out a proper competitor to the Mazda CX-5 for people with responsibilities who want their compact crossover to be enjoyable to drive. Expect more details on the Hornet to arrive this summer as it’s expected to debut in August.

Less Hammer, More Scalpel

C 43 2
Photo credit: Mercedes-AMG

Fifteen years ago, AMGs were big, dumb, goofy German muscle cars with massive V8s or turbocharged V12s. They may not have been as sharp as BMW’s M cars, but who cares when you could summon massive amounts of tire smoke with just a twitch of the loud pedal? Now though, AMG actually seems to care about handling. Case in point, the new C 43. The latest iteration of the baby AMG C-Class drops two cylinders of weight off the nose and adds some tricky active handling hardware to hopefully provide a sharper driving experience.

That’s right, the new C 43 packs a mere two-liter four-cylinder engine. However, like in the SL 43, this turbocharged engine is boosted to the moon for an output of 402 horsepower at 6,750 RPM and 369 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 RPM. Even though AMG has sandwiched an electric motor inside the turbocharger to cut lag, the C 43 should feel like a peaky, old-school turbo car. Power goes to the ground through a carryover nine-speed automatic gearbox and a rear biased all-wheel-drive system with a default 31:69 (nice) front-to-rear torque split, good for a quoted 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 4.6 seconds. For anyone keeping track, that’s two tenths of a second slower than BMW quotes for their M340i xDrive, though AMG hopes to catch the M-lite Bimmer in the bends.

That’s because the new C 43 features active four-wheel-steering as standard, something we’ve never really seen in the compact luxury segment. Sure, the Volvo 850 of the 1990s had passive rear-wheel-steering built into its rear suspension bushing deflection, but an active system should take nimbleness to the next level. Also standard on the C 43 are adaptive dampers, a nifty feature that’s optional on most competitors. Dial the dampers rock-hard for an autocross event, then cruise home over broken pavement in comfort mode. Neat stuff. If I’m being honest though, these adaptive dampers and that four-wheel-steering system must be really good if AMG wants to make the C 43 feel substantially more nimble than its competitors.

See, Mercedes-AMG quotes the C 43’s curb weight at 1,765 kg or around 3,891 pounds. While that sounds monumentally awful, that’s an EU curb weight with 75 kg added to the true curb weight to account for a driver. Figure a true DIN curb weight of around 1,688 kg or 3,721 pounds. Still, BMW uses the same EU curb weight measure, which means that this four-cylinder C 43 only weighs 77 pounds less than a full-fat six-cylinder all-wheel-drive BMW M340i xDrive. That’s not bad but definitely not great. I guess all that four-wheel-steering and all-wheel-drive hardware adds up. Also mildly disappointing is the lack of any mention of a limited-slip rear differential in the C 43’s press materials, a bit of a shame as competitors from the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and BMW M340i get trick electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differentials. That being said, the new C 43 still looks fabulously luxurious and elegantly subtle. If the idea of a sort-of grown-up turbocharged four-cylinder performance car appeals to you, expect the new C 43 to go on sale late this year.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on this edition of The Morning Dump. With supply chain delays maintaining such a constant presence, I’d love to know how they’ve impacted you. Maybe your new car is delayed, maybe the last part needed for your project car is out of stock, maybe you’ve been trying to buy a PS5, maybe the supply chain issues have inspired you to keep your daily driver around for a bit longer. Whatever happens to be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

Lead photo credit: Nissan

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27 Responses

  1. Re: Supply Chain issues

    I reserved a Bronco the morning after the unveiling, converted my order as soon as possible, and waited until November of ’21 with no build date. At that point, the Maverick caught my eye (and it fits into my life way better than the Bronco), so I dropped the Bronco order and ordered a Mav. Now I got an email from Ford advising me that several of the options I’ve ordered are constrained and some orders may get pushed to MY’23. Considering I’m near the end of the line waiting for hybrid Mavs, I’m not holding my breath.

    So, I’m still waiting for a replacement for my ’08 Escape. I bought it new with a plan to keep it for 10 years and 150k. I’m well past both targets now, in large part due to supply chain issues.

      1. Yeah, I was able to get some pricing guarantees for both the Maverick and the Bronco, but many customers are getting screwed by dealers with ADM. The worst part for Ford is that many customers on the forums don’t understand how the dealer model works, and don’t understand what control Ford does (or doesn’t) have over individual dealers for individual sales. There are multiple people on those forums that claim they’ll never buy a Ford again because of stuff the dealer did.

        I suspect the same is true for most other manufacturers.

  2. To get around the supply chain issues I decided to replace my motorcycle for reliable daily transportation and just save money until Nov/Dec and see what happens. Worst case I have a friend that will let me use one of his beaters for the winter.

    1. I would be really upset if I paid 10’s of thousands and all I got was a caliper. 😉

      The Dart wasn’t an entirely bad car, but it had some big issues that really turned people off. It was at least a big step in the right direction after the Caliber though.

  3. I totally lucked out and ordered my two current cars right at the onset of the pandemic, so I didn’t have to deal with prices going crazy (actually got a significant discount on one with the initial market uncertainty) or chip shortages causing production delays.

    1. Me too. Right at the beginning of lockdowns, got a 2020 Grand Cherokee Limited X with 1200 miles for almost 10k off of sticker. At the time they were grateful just to move a car off the lot. How things have changed…

  4. I had to think for a minute on what cars Dodge actually had left. I know Chrysler is down to like 2, but realized Dodge only has 3, that’s crazy! Chevrolet has 13! Ford has like 15! Jeep, JEEP of all, has 8! And 2 of them they said will be sunset, leaving the Durango? Should just go back to the old days of the 1 model and call it a Dodge. The new Dodge! With big brakes!(they literally used to have commercials like that).

  5. All kinds of little remote control vehicle parts are backordered for about forever. If some hobby shop doesn’t have one on the shelf and can ship fuggedaboudit! So lots of people are finding the modeling side of the hobby in fixing up their broken stuff with whatever they can find.

    The new EV I want is delayed until 2024. Which is fine, since I have other projects to do to further reduce my carbon footprint in the meantime.

    1. RC stuff has been in short supply for sure. Lucky for me, I scratch-build a lot, and I have a backlog of projects I haven’t gotten to yet. But I also have a couple of projects sitting around waiting for that ONE piece to come back in stock.

  6. The supply chain has been actively helping my wallet. I made the mistake of showing my wife the new 2 series coupe in its Thunder Night Metallic paint, and the only thing keeping us from a car payment is the fact you can’t even look at one, let alone drive it to know if we will even like it. I hoping one of two things happens,
    1. She hates it and we can move on to pursuing well depreciated shit boxes vying for the limited parking space we have.
    2. It takes long enough to get our eyes on one, that they release the rwd m240i version. You see I don’t much care for BMWs awd so we are only considering the 4 banger currently, but if they do what the rumors say I’d be willing to scratch together the extra 10k to have the 6 cyl.

    To be fair to my wife, I don’t need this car, but if it shakes out in person the way the reviews present it then I will happily add it to the stable.

  7. The flush: The check engine light on my wife’s car has been on for a couple months. Took it in right away and they said the part is on backorder until late April (so basically now). Fortunately, they said it’s no big deal and we can wait. So we wait.

  8. Re: Supply Chain issues

    I ordered some oil filters for my plane back in January, and ship date was May. And then July. Now it says August. Fortunately an alternate brand was only on a two month back order, so I was able to complete my oil change.

    Oil filters aren’t some exotic part and my plane takes bog standard filters. No idea why they’re having major supply chain issues with both brands.

    1. I order rear discs and pads for my wife vehicle over a month ago; still waiting on them to ship. There were plenty in stock if you wanted the uncoated ones; all coated ones (I live in a very salty area) were a month plus out. I expect them to ship any day now… any day.

      Just had to buy a rear wheel bearing for my car. Most had notes that the shipping date wasn’t concrete as do to supply shortages, they were all shipping direct from manufacturer and were basically guesses.

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