Jump to content
  • Automotive News

    Manage articles

    Cadillac Lyriq Gives Us Our First Peek Into GM's Electric Dreams

    You'll Be Waiting Until Late 2022 To See The Production Version

    It is no secret that General Motors has big ambitions in the electric car space, we talked about back in March. But our chance to see to see the first fruits of this, the Cadillac Lyriq had been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. But tonight, Cadillac finally revealed the Lyriq in show car form.
    "Show Car" is important in this context as Cadillac is finalizing various parts of the Lyriq's design - various reports say the design is 80 to 85 percent production ready. This may explain why Cadillac isn't launching the model until late-2022. The design is quite out there with a large pattern grille, vertical LED headlamps, fastback roofline, and rear lights that wrap around the pillars. Moving inside, the center piece is a curved, 33-inch display that features driver information and infotainment. There is also a dual-pane head-up display that can display different information - the nearest one can show speed and direction, while the further one can issue alerts and navigation.
    Cadillac hasn't released any power figures on the Lyriq, only saying that it will offer two drivetrain versions; rear-wheel drive with a single electric motor and all-wheel drive with two electric motors. A new modular platform for electric vehicles promises a low-center of gravity and a near 50/50 weight distribution for the all-wheel drive version. Range is targeted at over 300 miles. Cadillac says the production model will offer DC fast charging.
    Source: Cadillac
    Press Release is on Page 2


    LYRIQ Show Car Leads Cadillac Into Electric Future
    The brand’s first all-electric vehicle introduces a new era in luxury, technology and zero-tailpipe-emissions performance Cadillac’s introduction of its electric portfolio begins today with the debut of the LYRIQ show car — a dynamic, modern and fully electric luxury crossover. 
    The propulsion system and supporting technologies position Cadillac to be a leader in electrification, connectivity and automated driving, all delivered with thrilling performance and a new threshold in technology integration.
    “Led by LYRIQ, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs,” said Steve Carlisle, executive vice president and president, GM North America. “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys.”
    The LYRIQ is based on GM’s next-generation, modular electric vehicle platform and driven by the Ultium propulsion system, allowing Cadillac to deliver customers a variety of range and performance options. With range being one of the biggest factors when it comes to selecting an EV, we’re designing LYRIQ to offer beyond 300 miles of range on a full charge, based on internal testing1. Performance and technology highlights include:
    Charging options that fit a variety of preferences for home, the workplace and on the road — including DC fast charging rates over 150 kilowatts and Level 2 charging rates up to 19 kW2. Rear-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive configurations. The latest version of Super Cruise3, the industry’s first truly hands-free driver assistance feature, available on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways and recently enhanced to include automated lane change. New technologies such as dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display and remote self-parking. The brand’s most seamless and adaptive technology interaction with the driver and passengers, including the latest Cadillac user experience, which is showcased in a 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED screen the spans the entire viewing area of the driver. “LYRIQ was conceived to make every journey exhilarating and leverages more than a century of innovation to drive the brand into a new era, while rewarding passengers with a more personal, connected and immersive experience,” said Jamie Brewer, Cadillac LYRIQ chief engineer. “To do this we developed an architecture specifically for EVs.  It is not only an exceptional EV, but first and foremost a Cadillac.”
    LIBERATING PERFORMANCE
    Some luxury EVs today feature adapted traditional internal combustion engine architecture, that is not the case with LYRIQ. Cadillac’s all-new, modular EV platform on which the LYRIQ is based is the foundation for its liberating performance. With a dedicated EV architecture, its design eliminates significant physical constraints associated with adapting electric propulsion within a conventional vehicle architecture, for an optimized design that supports greater driving range, an engaging driving experience and a new interpretation of passenger space.
    Within the LYRIQ, the Ultium battery system is a structural element of the architecture, integrated in ways that contribute to ride and handling, as well as safety. In fact, the lower center of gravity and near 50/50 weight distribution enabled by the placement of the battery pack results in a vehicle that’s sporty, responsive and allows for spirited driving.
    Additionally, the LYRIQ is driven primarily by the rear wheels, with a performance all-wheel drive option available. The placement of the drive motor at the rear of the vehicle contributes an even greater feeling of balance and agility — attributes that affirm Cadillac’s longstanding commitment to satisfying performance. It also enables the system to channel more torque to the pavement without wheelspin for exhilarating acceleration and greater cornering capability. Vehicles equipped with performance all-wheel drive go a step further, with a second drive unit placed at the front of the vehicle, which allows for a significant amount of tuning flexibility, enhancing vehicle dynamics and performance for drivers.
    ALL-NEW ULTIUM BATTERY SYSTEM
    The Cadillac LYRIQ is powered by GM’s new Ultium battery system, which offers approximately 100 kilowatt-hours of energy to deliver stirring performance.
    Ultium’s state-of-the-art NCMA (nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum) chemistry uses aluminum in the cathode to help reduce the need for rare-earth materials such as cobalt. In fact, GM engineers reduced the cobalt content by more than 70 percent, compared to current GM batteries.
    The advanced battery chemistry is packed in large, flat pouch cells that enable smart module construction to reduce complexity and simplify cooling needs. Additionally, the battery electronics are incorporated directly into the modules, eliminating nearly 90 percent of the battery pack wiring, compared to GM’s current electric vehicles. 
    When it comes to charging, LYRIQ offers quick and convenient charging options whether at home or on the go. With DC fast charging, the LYRIQ can charge at rates over 150 kW. 
    ARTFULLY INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY
    Envisioned to make interaction with its technologies more intuitive and rewarding, the LYRIQ’s partnership with the driver and passengers is simultaneously energizing and artful.
    Upon approach, the LYRIQ recognizes the driver and initiates a “greeting” with a choreographed lighting sequence, while also preparing the cabin for the journey, including seat, mirror and climate system adjustments. Once inside, the LYRIQ offers Cadillac’s highest level of driver information, infotainment and connectivity integration, for a more seamless and rewarding experience.
    A 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED display artfully integrates a single, large screen that spans the viewing area for the driver and incorporates driver information details, infotainment controls and camera views. This new display has the highest pixel density available in the automotive industry today and can display over one billion colors, 64 times more than any other vehicle in the automotive industry, providing a stunning in-vehicle experience unlike anything seen before from Cadillac.
    Additional technology and interactive highlights include:
    Battery and charging monitoring conveyed by easy, at-a-glance graphics. The system identifies the vehicle’s energy needs at home and on the go, according to owner preferences, while also monitoring and forecasting energy consumption and providing charging suggestions. New dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display employs two planes: a near plane indicating speed, direction and more, and a far plane displaying transparent navigation signals and other important alerts. The latest version of Super Cruise, the hands-free driver assistance feature, including automated lane change.3 Supervised remote parking that uses ultrasonic sensors to help the LYRIQ park itself in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces — whether the driver is inside or outside of the vehicle.4 SENSE OF SOUND
    LYRIQ’s technology also addresses sound in two important ways: Blocking unwanted sounds and making the most of the sounds passengers want to hear.
    For the first time, Cadillac will introduce a new road noise cancellation technology, which takes active noise cancellation to the next level by introducing more microphones and accelerometers, which improve noise cancellation abilities. With this new system, Cadillac’s performance and audio engineers can target the frequency range of tire cavity noise, reducing the noise level in the vehicle and allowing for a quieter in-cabin experience.
    The Cadillac LYRIQ builds on the brand’s exclusive partnership with AKG. “With LYRIQ we wanted to deliver a sound experience that would transport the driver from a vehicle into a recording studio,” said Hussein Khalil, Cadillac lead audio design release engineer. “With the AKG sound system, we are able to deliver this experience along with the quality and reliability luxury customers expect.”
    At launch, LYRIQ will offer a 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system that delivers exceptionally crisp and precise sound reproduction, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy their favorite music.
    NEW FACE OF CADILLAC
    Cadillac’s first electric SUV makes a bold design statement that introduces a new face, proportion and presence for the brand’s new generation of EVs. It’s a forward-looking vision unconstrained by the needs of a traditional internal combustion engine and driveline.
    “The LYRIQ represents the next iteration of the iconic brand’s styling, enabled by electrification, as only Cadillac can express,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Global Cadillac Design. “Inside and out, LYRIQ is a thoughtful integration of design and technology and is intended to make every drive an occasion.”
    Defined by taut lines and clean surfaces, LYRIQ is assertive and modern, characterized with a low, fast roofline and wide stance that emphasize agility and convey confidence. Additional details such as a flow-through roof spoiler express the careful attention paid to aerodynamics to optimize efficiency on the highway.
    A distinctive “black crystal” grille in the front is one of the LYRIQ’s most unique and expressive design elements. It is also a dynamic feature, as it is part of a dramatic lighting choreography that — along with bold vertical, slim LED signature lighting — greets the owner upon approach. At the rear, a split taillamp design incorporates slim LEDs that are also integrated into the lighting choreography.
    Inside, the LYRIQ’s new electric vehicle architecture opens up possibilities in vehicle spaciousness and design; and Cadillac designers used this as an opportunity to rethink how to use the space and where to locate various interior elements.
    The result is a more airy, minimalistic design that does more to involve the driver and passengers in the driving experience while offering exceptional functionality when it comes to storage solutions. It is also brimming with subtle yet obsessive details such as backlit speaker grilles, curved screens with hidden storage and, like the exterior, orchestrated lighting features.

    Jim Hackett To Retire As Ford CEO, Jim Farley To Take His Place

    The Changeover of Jims To Take Place on October 1st

    Jim Hackett's tenure as Ford CEO will be coming to a close on October 1st as he will retire from the position. His replacement is Jim Farley, currently Ford's Chief Operating Officer, a role he took on at the beginning of this year. In a press release, Ford said the two will be working together over the next two months on the transition. Hackett will stay on as "special advisor" for some time after.
    “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future. Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic,” said Ford executive chairman, Bill Ford.
    Hackett became Ford's CEO in 2017 after the ousting of then CEO Mark Fields. His short tenure brought forth some major and controversial decisions such as Ford killing off most of their passenger car nameplates to focus on trucks and utility vehicles; spending $11 billion in electric vehicles by 2022, and the introductions of the Mach-E, 2021 F-150, and Bronco. He has also dealt with a lot frustration from various groups as The Detroit News outlines,
    Hackett admitted that his tenure did cause a fair amount of friction, but said his efforts are starting to show.
    "I aimed for moving ahead versus just moving fast. Could we aim for a longer-arc kind of reward. In this case, for the three years it takes to get products to market, you're starting to see the fruits of our labor."
    Farley, who has been with Ford since 2007, knows he has a tough road ahead. Aside from realizing the various paths laid out by Hackett, he also has to deal with the issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully launch two of Ford's key product without any issues.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2


    FORD ANNOUNCES JIM HACKETT TO RETIRE AS PRESIDENT AND CEO; JIM FARLEY TO SUCCEED HACKETT AS COMPANY CONTINUES TRANSFORMATION
    Jim Hackett, who has led Ford Motor Company’s transformation since 2017 as president and CEO, has elected to retire from the company Jim Farley, currently chief operating officer, becomes president and CEO of Ford effective Oct. 1. He was also elected to the Ford board of directors. He will work closely with Jim Hackett on the transition over the next two months Seamless CEO transition underscores strength of Ford’s leadership team, succession planning, and company progress over the past three years, Executive Chairman Bill Ford says DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 4, 2020 – Ford Motor Company today announced that Jim Hackett, who has led the company’s transformation since 2017, plans to retire from the company. Jim Farley has been named the company’s new president and CEO and will join the board of directors, effective Oct. 1.
    Hackett, 65, and Farley, 58, will work together on a smooth leadership transition over the next two months.
    Under Hackett, Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart vehicles and drove a deeper focus on customers’ wants and needs. At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.
    “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
    Farley, an automotive leader with deep global experience and a successful track record, collaborated with Hackett over the past three years to develop and execute Ford’s Creating Tomorrow Together plan to transform Ford into a higher-growth, higher-margin business.
    “Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Bill Ford said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”
    Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of Marketing and Sales and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets in successive roles. In April 2019, Farley was chosen to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion. He was named chief operating officer in February of this year.
    Hackett, who will continue as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021, said the time is right to pass the mantle of leadership to Jim Farley.
    “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.
    “I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader,” Hackett said. “He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”
    Said Farley: “I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders. Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”

    Rumorpile: Kia Soul EV Won't Be Coming To the U.S.

    A number of factors played into this

    When Kia revealed the new Soul to the U.S. in 2018, they announced that the EV would be arriving sometime a year later. 2019 came and the automaker announced that the Soul EV had been pushed back to 2020. A few months later, the launch date was pushed to 2021. Now, an internal source at Kia's U.S. office has revealed to Roadshow that the Soul EV isn't coming at all.
    According to the source, a number of factors played into this decision. Some of the factors such as limited supply of batteries and motors, along with increased demand for the model Europe were used to explain the last delay. Also, the Soul EV has independent rear suspension. The standard Soul doesn't, which would make the EV more expensive to bring to the U.S. and add complexity. 
    Adding fuel to the fire, Kia has removed any mention of the Soul EV on their U.S. consumer and media sites. There is also no mention of the Soul EV on the EPA site. Previously, the vehicle was mentioned with a range of 243 miles.
    When reached by Roadshow, a Kia spokesperson said they haven't heard anything about the Soul EV being canned for the U.S., but did confirm they have "no pending plans to introduce before 2021 at the earliest."
    We'll keep you posted on this story.
    Source: Roadshow

    Average Age of Cars in the U.S. Climbs Again

    Expect the Age to Climb Higher Due to COVID-19

    IHS Markit recently published their analysis on how long Americans are holding onto their vehicles. The average according to the firm stands at 11.9 years, the highest amount since they have been tracking this. Also, about one in four vehicles is over sixteen years old. We should note that this data came before COVID-19 started to wreak havoc on the U.S. IHS notes that new cars only made up 6.1 percent of vehicles in operation in 2019, down 0.8 percent when compared to high of 2016. This highlights falling new car sales.
    But the question lingering over automakers and analysts is will the pandemic cause sales to fall even further as more people hang on to their vehicles.
    "People are going to keep their vehicles because they don't know if they're going to be driving to work in the future, they don't know if they're going to be driving to work anytime soon even. If you're not accumulating the miles, you might keep that vehicle on the road a little longer," said Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions at IHS Markit.
    IHS estimates that new cars in operation could drop to 5% or less in the coming year or so. The firm also expects the age to climb upward in the coming years as owners consider whether or not to spend the hefty amount on a car, when their current vehicle is still quite good.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CNBC

    Genesis Delays Launch of 2021 G80 and GV80 for U.S.

    Wheres the G80 and GV80?

    Genesis was hoping to have a one-two punch for the U.S. with the launch of the new GV80 crossover and redesigned G80 this summer. But the COVID-19 pandemic has screwed up these plans. Automotive News reports that Genesis has pushed back the launch of both models to the fall.
    A Genesis spokesman told the outlet that Genesis couldn't get the two vehicles into EPA testing to have them certified for vehicle emissions. The labs that perform the tests were shutdown due to COVID-19.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax

    It is old, but still has some tricks.

    The Toyota Tundra holds the title of being the oldest full-size truck, coming in at thirteen years without any sort of redesign. On one hand, this makes the Tundra a very reliable and dependable truck. On the other hand, the Tundra isn’t able to fully compete with the likes GM, Ram, or Ford with their more modern designs and hardware. But there is one exception to this where the Tundra can be a good alternative to the Detroit Three, and it comes in the form of the TRD Pro.
    Color can do a lot to a vehicle such as making an older model look modern or highlighting some of the polarizing elements of a design. This Army Green paint, which is new on all TRD Pros for 2020 makes the Tundra look younger and a bit more aggressive.  Inside, you can tell that the Tundra is getting up there in age. The design hasn’t changed much and material quality cannot even compare to the likes of GM and Ram’s trucks. But I like the large buttons and knobs for various controls. Not only does it make it easier to find, but it means you can have a set of gloves on and easily control various aspects. One key improvement for 2020 is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto being added to the Tundra’s Entune system, which gives drivers another choice in their infotainment choices. The Crewmax model seen here is huge. Step into the back seat and you might think you entered a limo with an endless amount of head and legroom on offer. I do wish the seats had a little bit more padding. Only one engine is available on the 2020 Tundra; a 5.7L V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. This engine provides plenty of thrust and provides an engine burble that you might expect from one of the Detroit three’s V8 trucks. The automatic is very smooth when changing gear and seems to where it needs to be in any situation. The downside to this V8 is fuel economy. The EPA says TRD Pro CrewMax will return 13 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I saw an average of 14.2 mpg during my week of a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Maybe a couple more gears for the automatic could improve this. Toyota has kitted the Tundra TRD Pro with some serious off-road chops; Fox internal bypass dampers for all four corners, TRD springs that increase wheel travel, and a set of Michelin LTX off-road tires. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try it off-road. But other reviewers who have taken it off the beaten path report the TRD Pro is very capable.  What I can report is the changes to the suspension makes for a surprisingly comfortable ride. This suspension does mean you will experience a fair amount of body roll when cornering, but that is to be expected with a truck like this. My Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax starts at $52,780. With some accessories and destination, the price climbs $55,020. The Tundra is getting long in the tooth as evidenced by the interior and poor fuel economy from the V8 engine. But the TRD Pro helps freshen the Tundra a bit and makes a compelling option for those who plan on spending more time off the beaten path. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tundra, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Tundra
    Trim: TRD Pro CrewMax
    Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve i-FORCE V8
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/14
    Curb Weight: N/A
    Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX 
    Base Price: $52,780
    As Tested Price: $55,020 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    Chrome Tube Steps - $535.00
    Stainless Steel Door Edge Guard - $140.00
    Door Sill Protector - $70.00

    Rumorpile: Ford's Small Truck May Arrive As A 2021MY Vehicle

    How does the name Maverick sound to you?

    During a recent fireside chat with Bank of America, Ford teased a new 'Whitespace' product due in the 2021MY. What could that product be? Muscle Cars & Trucks speculates this may be a smaller pickup truck.
    We've been hearing rumblings about this since 2018 when Automobile Magazine first brought this to light. This truck would be the replacement for the Brazilian market Courier, last sold in 2013. It would be based on the C2 platform that underpinned at the time the new Focus for markets outside of the U.S. Fuel would be added to the fire a year later when Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets dropped this,
    Since then, a trademark filing for Maverick by Ford has appeared, possibly giving us a name for this new model. Plus, dealers were shown this model earlier this year where it earned an enthusiastic reception.
    This model could have a starting price of around $20,000 or so when it launches. Stay tuned.
    Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks

    Nissan Ariya EV Possibly Marks A Comeback

    Will Be Arriving in the U.S. Late Next Year with a $40,000 Price tag

    The past year is one that Nissan would like to forget. Their former CEO is arrested and then escapes to Lebanon. Shareholders are angry at the new leadership. Sales have been cratering and other issues. But the automaker is trying to get itself out of the hole by launching 10 new models in the next 20 months. The next model has been revealed this week - the 2022 Ariya EV.
    A compact SUV, the Ariya certainly looks futuristic with distinctive sculpting along the side, new "shield"-style front insert, and flowing roofline. Inside, Nissan goes for a minimalist approach with little brightwork and a row of touch-capacitive controls for the climate system that disappear when the vehicle is turned off. Two 12.3-inch screens serve as the instrument cluster and infotainment system.
    There will be two electric powertrains on offer for the Ariya,
    Single electric motor providing 215 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, front-wheel drive Dual electric motors producing a total output of 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive Both powertrains will come standard with a 63.0-kWh battery pack, while a larger 87.0-kWh pack is optional. Nissan claims that the single electric motor paired with 87-kWh pack will achieve a max range of 300 miles - and that is based on the EPA cycle. No information was provided on recharge times.
    The Ariya will also come with Nissan's next-generation of ProPilot driver-assistance system called ProPilot 2.0. It will allow for hands-free driving in certain circumstances and can change lanes.
    Japan will be the first market to get the Ariya sometime in mid-2021. The U.S. won't see it until the end of 2021.
    Source: Nissan
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Nissan’s product transformation continues with Ariya, a 100 percent electric crossover for a new era
    The next step of Nissan’s transformation is here with an all-new EV that delivers driving excitement, confidence, comfort and connectivity; set to go on sale in U.S. in 2021 with a $40,000 starting price NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today introduced the all-new Nissan Ariya, an electric crossover SUV that lets customers travel up to approximately 300 miles per charge (preliminary Nissan estimate for long-range 2WD model) while enjoying greater driving excitement, confidence, comfort, and connectivity.
    Its debut marks a key milestone in the Nissan NEXT transformation initiative, a four-year plan building on Nissan's reputation for innovation, craftsmanship, customer-focus and quality, alongside an ongoing cultural transformation. As the company's first all-electric crossover SUV, the Ariya embodies the company's vision to enrich people's lives.
    Representing the pinnacle of Nissan's technologies and design, the 100% electric Nissan Ariya debuted during a digital event in Yokohama. Ariya promises powerful acceleration and smooth, quiet operation and advanced driver assistance and connectivity technology– wrapped in a sophisticated yet simple exterior design with a spacious, lounge-like interior.
    CEO Makoto Uchida and Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta unveiled the Ariya to a global audience during a livestreamed event at the new Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan.
    "The Ariya, a key model in Nissan's plan to roll out 10 new models in 20 months, demonstrates our commitment to meeting customer demand for crossovers with the most advanced electrified, automated and connected technologies," Gupta said. "The company expects sales of its EVs and e-POWER electrified models to be more than 1 million units a year by the end of fiscal 2023. The Ariya will play a significant role in attaining that goal."
    Nissan also aims to introduce advanced driver assistance technologies in more than 20 models in 20 markets, and to have sold more than 1.5 million vehicles equipped with these systems in that same period.
    The all-new Nissan Ariya is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in mid-2021, followed by the U.S. and Canada later in the year. U.S. pricing will start around $40,000.
    Powerful performance for a wide range of needs
    Nissan was the first automaker to introduce a mass market electric vehicle with the Nissan LEAF in 2010, which has resulted in nearly 500,000 sales to date. Building on Nissan's strength as an EV pioneer, the Ariya takes the powerful performance and capabilities of zero-emission vehicles to the heart of the electric vehicle market.
    The car's all-electric drivetrain combines excellent power delivery, charging capabilities and range. Customers can choose from multiple configurations to meet their individual needs. These include two-wheel-drive and new "e-4ORCE" all-wheel drive versions, as well as two different battery sizes. The e-4ORCE all-wheel control system balances the powerful performance with a smooth, comfortable ride and all-weather capability. The system's twin electric motors provide balanced, assured handling with sports car-level power.
    Advanced design and technology for stress-free driving
    Ariya is also the most advanced embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility in a car to date.
    Drivers will feel more confident and less stressed thanks to the available, next-generation ProPILOT Assist 2.0 advanced driver assistance system that uses driver attention monitoring to enable hands-off single-lane highway operation. Ariya will also offer e-Pedal, which allows the driver to start, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal.
    Standard across the Ariya lineup is Nissan Safety Shield® 360, a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies. This includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist. Ariya will also feature Nissan's Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and other technologies aimed at making the drive easier and more enjoyable.
    A human-machine interface lets customers use natural speech to adjust car settings. Over-the-air firmware updates keep the Ariya feeling fresh and exciting. The Ariya also includes Amazon's Alexa to help customers simplify and organize their lives.
    Ariya will also feature wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ standard to help drivers seamlessly integrate their smartphone into their vehicle experience.
    Spacious, flat-floor cabin
    The Ariya's striking looks represent Nissan's new design language, Timeless Japanese Futurism. It is characterized by a distinctive Japanese approach, conveyed in a simple yet powerfully modern way.
    Nissan's designers took advantage of the car's new EV platform, which allows for a flat floor, and its compact climate control components to give the Ariya a very spacious cabin. The lounge-like interior, featuring thin profile Zero Gravity seats, provides a welcoming and comfortable environment for driver and passengers alike.
    "Nissan was a pioneer in the world of mass-market electric vehicles a decade ago with LEAF, setting the standard for affordable, mass-market electric vehicles. We expect nothing less for the new Nissan Ariya," said Gupta. "While the driving exhilaration of its acceleration and torque levels is undeniable, the Ariya offers balanced, customer-centric technology that is perfect for everyday use."
    Nissan Ariya Key Specifications
    Passenger configuration
    2-row, 5-passenger
    Drive configuration
    Front-wheel drive or e-4ORCE all-wheel drive
    Platform
    Newly developed Alliance CMF-EV
    Powertrain
    Single (FWD) / dual (e-4ORCE AWD) electric motor, Externally Excited Synchronous Motor (EESM)
    Battery capacity
    63 kWh / 87 kWh usable (total 65 kWh / 90 kWh)
    Thermal management
    Active battery management system
    Estimated range
    Up to approximately 300 miles (preliminary Nissan estimate)
    Level 2 charging
    Up to 7.2 kW
    DC charging type
    CCS standard up to 130 kW
    Output
    160 kW – 290 kW
    Torque
    221 lb-ft – 443 lb-ft
    Wheelbase
    109.3 in.
    Overall length
    182.9 in.
    Overall width
    74.8 in.
    Overall height
    65.4 in. – 65.7 (depending on roof rack)
    Cargo volume
    16.5 cu ft (FWD)
    14.6 (e-4ORCE)
    Wheel size
    19-inch or 20-inch
    Tire size
    235/55R19 or 255/45R20
    Available interior features
    Lounge-like space created by flat, open floor and slim-profile Zero Gravity seats; large, minimalist instrument panel with integrated capacitive haptic switches; innovative center storage box with fold-out tray, adjustable center console
    Available Advanced Driver Assist (ADAS) Technology
    ProPILOT Assist 2.0 featuring hands-off highway operation with Driver Monitoring System
    Available safety technology
    Nissan Safety Shield® 360 with Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking
    Model configurations
    Ariya standard and long range (FWD)
    Ariya standard range e-4ORCE and long range e-4ORCE (AWD)
    * NOTE: All specifications are as of July 2020 and are subject to homologation. Model names, features and specifications may vary by market. Subject to final validation.

    Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group Unveil Their New Merged Name: Stellantis

    How much did the two spend on consultants to come up with this name?

    We'll excuse you if you forgot that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group have been working towards finalizing their merger considering the state of the world at the moment. But the two are making serious headway as they have announced the new name of the multi-national corporation that will form once the two merge. Meet Stellantis.
    Don't worry, you're not the only who is thinking "What" or thinking of some clever joke to make fun of this name. We'll let the two explain what this name means?
    Yeah, if this doesn't like something from a branding agency, we don't what does.
    We should note here that Stellantis will only be used at a corporate level, not as a individual brand for vehicles.
    Source: FCA
    Press Release is on Page 2


    STELLANTIS: The Name of the New Group Resulting From the Merger of FCA and Groupe PSA
    July 15, 2020 , Vélizy-Villacoublay, France and London - In a major step as they move toward the completion of their 50:50 merger as defined in the Combination Agreement announced on December 18, 2019, Peugeot S.A. ("Groupe PSA") and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. ("FCA") (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) today announce that the corporate name of the new group will be STELLANTIS.
    STELLANTIS is rooted in the Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars.” It draws inspiration from this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility while at the same time preserving all the exceptional value and the values of its constituent parts. STELLANTIS will combine the scale of a truly global business with an exceptional breadth and depth of talent, knowhow and resource capable of providing the sustainable mobility solutions for the coming decades. The name’s Latin origins pay tribute to the rich history of its founding companies while the evocation of astronomy captures the true spirit of optimism, energy and renewal driving this industry-changing merger.
    The process of identifying the new name began soon after the Combination Agreement was announced and the senior management of both companies have been closely involved throughout, supported by Publicis Group.
    The STELLANTIS name will be used exclusively at the Group level, as a Corporate brand. The next step in the process will be the unveiling of a logo that with the name will become the corporate brand identity. The names and the logos of the STELLANTIS Group’s constituent brands will remain unchanged.
    As previously stated, completion of the merger project is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by both companies’ shareholders at their respective Extraordinary General Meetings and the satisfaction of antitrust and other regulatory requirements.

    Quick Drive: 2020 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport

    One last drive before going away

    When I was driving the 2020 Lexus GS in late February, rumors were flying around that the model would be discontinued at the end of the model year. There was some credence to this rumor as sales had been falling and Lexus hasn’t been updating the model to keep it somewhat up to date with competitors. It would sometime later that we learned that the GS would be going away at the end. So this is the last look at a sedan that I liked at the beginning but now have some mixed feelings.
    Not much has changed in the overall design of the GS since our last review in 2018. The F-Sport has its tweaks such as a mesh grille insert, more aggressive bumpers, and dual-spoke wheels. I still find this sedan very striking, especially in this bright blue. The interior is much the same as the 2013 and 2017 models I have driven. Plus points are high-quality materials, very comfortable front seats, and an easy to read instrument cluster. Downsides are the very dated infotainment system and confounding controller for it; and tall transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in many Lexus and Toyota vehicles. In the GS, it produces 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. My test vehicle came with the optional all-wheel drive system, which means a six-speed automatic is standard. Sticking with rear-wheel drive gets you the eight-speed. The performance of the V6 doesn’t really wow as it once did. 0-60 takes around six seconds for the AWD version, which is unremarkable as other competitors can do the same in around five seconds or less. Not helping is the six-speed automatic which limits the flexibility of the engine. The pluses to the V6 are minimal NVH levels and silky smooth power delivery. The EPA says the GS 350 AWD will return 19 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 22 mpg during my week. The GS surprised me as to how it well handled in the corners, especially in the F-Sport trim. That continues here as the GS 350 F-Sport AWD shows off minimal body roll and sharp steering. You do miss out on some of the trick features on the RWD model such as limited-slip differential and variable gear-ratio steering, but you’re likely not to notice it. What is a bit surprising is the GS F-Sport’s ride quality. Those expecting more bumps to disrupt the ride will be surprised as the GS glides over them like it was nothing. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Previously, the GS 350 F-Sport would have been my recommendation for a luxury midsize sedan with a sporting edge. Now, it is difficult for me to recommend the GS at all considering the age and how many competitors have moved forward. Right now, I would go with a BMW 5-Series as being the one for sport while the S90 takes the place of being something a bit different in the class. Still, if I had the opportunity to get my hands on the GS 350 F-Sport, I would do it. This is a prime example of do as I say, not as I do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 350, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Lexus
    Model: GS
    Trim: 350 F-Sport AWD
    Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve VVT- V6
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6,400
    Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 4,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
    Curb Weight: 3,891 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
    Base Price: $54,505
    Author's Note: Unfortunately, I lost my copy of the window sticker for this particular test vehicle, hence why I don't have the as-tested price or option list for this review.

    2021 Ford Bronco Makes A Splash

    Watch your back, Wrangler

    The 2021 Ford Bronco shows how serious the automaker is to creating a real threat to the Jeep Wrangler. With two and four-door versions, seven different trims, a number of off-road features, and other goodies, there is a lot to digest. So let us dive in.
    It Certainly Looks the Part
    Ford's designers leaned heavily on the first-generation (1963-1977) Bronco as inspiration for the new model. The boxy profile is here, as is the "BRONCO" front grille. Unlike Broncos of the past, Ford is offering two and four-door versions. Before you ask, the doors are removable. While being slightly heavier than the Wrangler, the Bronco's doors are frameless that not only makes them more compact to store, but also makes it feel more like a convertible. If you're wondering about the side-view mirrors, Ford moved them from the doors to the front cowl.
    Which brings us to the Bronco's tops. The two-door version will only come with a hardtop, while the four-door comes with both a soft and hardtop. Ford claims that removing the top on the Bronco will be easier and quicker than on the Wrangler, we can't wait to see that claim be put to the test.
    One item that the Bronco doesn't have is the ability for the front windshield to fold down like on the Wrangler. Roadshow asked Ford officials and this is what they wrote,
    Moving inside, the Bronco leans more on being purposeful and plain. There are some clever touches such as grab handles molded into the dash, a set of dedicated buttons on top of the dash for various off-road features, and built-in drains in the floor to wash out the interior. Ford's latest infotainment system, SYNC 4 will come standard in the Bronco - either in 8 or 12-inch touchscreen. 
    Turbo Power!
    Ford is going all-in on turbocharged power for the new Bronco. The base engine is the 2.3 EcoBoost four-cylinder packing 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. This will come standard with a seven-speed manual. Before you start thinking this is similar to what you'll find in a last-generation Chevrolet Corvette or Porsche 911, the seventh-gear acts a crawler gear. With the upgraded 4x4 system, it can achieve a 95:1 crawl ratio for peak climbing prowess. A ten-speed automatic is optional.
    Next step up is the 2.7L EcoBoost with 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. This is paired solely with the ten-speed automatic.
    Both engines have four-wheel drive as standard - in this case a part-time system with a two-speed, shift-on-the-fly electronic transfer case. Optional is a full-time system with a 4-Auto setting.
    GOAT Doesn't Mean "Greatest of All Time" for Bronco
    If you checked our Bronco Sport story from last night, you may have seen something called GOAT. This in Bronco terms means "Goes Over Any Type of Terrain" - i.e. seven different drive modes. Those modes are,
    Normal Eco Sport Slippery Sand Baja Mud/Ruts Rock Crawl There is also hill-descent control and Trail Control, the latter being an off-road cruise control system.
    How About that Suspension?
    Up front, the Bronco utilizes a independent suspension setup with twin-A control arms and coilovers. The back utilizes a live axle with trailing links and coil-over springs. On certain versions, a electro-hydraulically actuated sway bar can be disconnected while under load. It will automatically reconnect at speeds above 20 mph.
    If you want a slightly deeper dive into the Bronco's suspension, I highly recommend Dan Edmunds' piece on Autoblog.
    How Much and When I Can Get One?
    First the bad news, the 2021 Ford Bronco will not be available at dealers until next spring. This might be a good thing considering Ford's previous launches haven't gone over so well (see Explorer). As for pricing, the base two-door will begin at $29,995. The four-door kicks off at $34,695. Prices include a $1,495 destination charge.
    The rest of the lineup is as followed (two-door, four-door),
    Big Bend: $34,880, $37,375 Black Diamond: $37,545, $40,040 Outer Banks: $40,450, $42,945 Badlands: $43,590, $46,085 Wildtrak: $50,370, $52,865 First Edition: $60,800, $64,995 (Author's Note: As of this morning, Ford has announced that all First Editions of the Bronco have sold out.)
    Car and Driver has a good piece breaking down each trim and what comes equipped.
    As we mentioned in our Bronco Sport story, you can put a reservation on a 2021 Bronco with a $100 deposit. Hopefully, Ford's servers are up to the task as they were struggling last night.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2


    ALL-NEW 2021 BRONCO TWO-DOOR AND FIRST-EVER FOUR-DOOR MODELS: BUILT WILD SUVS WITH THRILLING 4X4 CAPABILITY, READY FOR FUN
    Built Wild™: Ford Bronco returns as the flagship of a new all-4x4 family of rugged SUVs, with a classic two-door and a first-ever four-door; both are engineered with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design for segment-leading 4x4 capability, long-term off-road performance and dependability Thrilling: Bronco features powerful EcoBoost® engines with segment-exclusive 7-speed manual transmission and available 35-inch tires; Bronco excels with available best-in-class 94.75:1 crawl ratio, ground clearance, suspension travel and water fording capabilities, plus breakover and departure angles Ready for fun: Bronco two-door and four-door models can get you to the trails fast with quick-release stowable roof panels and doors on select versions; available cutting-edge off-road drive technologies and segment-exclusive digital trail mapping allow owners to easily plan, record and share their experiences via an all-in-one app Infinitely customizable: Bronco launches with more than 200 factory-backed aftermarket accessories for more capability, personalization and style, and with a base MSRP of $29,995; 2021 Bronco two- and four-door SUVs can be reserved at ford.com starting today for $100 DEARBORN, Mich., July 13, 2020 – Ford today unveils the 2021 Bronco – including a classic two-door and first-ever four-door – the flagship of an all-new family of rugged off-road vehicles.
    The all-4x4 Bronco brand is Built Wild™ and ready to deliver thrilling experiences with its heritage-inspired style, engineering and smart off-road technology, plus innovative features to help outdoor enthusiasts create adventures in the most remote corners of the world.
    “We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4x4 segment and take people further into the wild,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”
    The all-new Bronco re-enters the scene with an all-4x4 lineup with production beginning in early 2021 and first models arriving in Ford dealerships next spring. Bronco owners can choose from an extensive lineup of more than 200 factory-backed accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each customer’s individual adventure needs.
    Built Wild 4x4 confidence

    Just like the first-generation Bronco, nicknamed G.O.A.T., the mission of the all-new 2021 Bronco is to deliver maximum 4x4 go-anywhere, anytime capability and confidence. Bronco incorporates off-road mapping and drive technologies to give novice adventurers as much fun as hard-core off-road experts, while its Built Wild durability makes for lasting performance in the harshest of conditions for generations to come.
    “Bronco’s advanced four-wheel-drive technology is at the core of its off-road capabilities, and at the heart of it all is Bronco’s exclusive Terrain Management System™ with G.O.A.T. Modes™ that is designed to help drivers better navigate any type of terrain,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager.
    Up to seven driver-selectable modes are offered including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.
    Two 4x4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, a base setup and advanced 4x4. The base system utilizes a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H. Power is distributed to a Dana™ 44 AdvanTEK® solid rear axle and Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential unit – both with available Spicer® Performa-TraK™ electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain.
    Available segment-first Trail Toolbox gives Bronco owners a suite of exclusive technologies to elevate their off-road experience. This includes Trail Control™ – cruise control for low-speed trail driving, while Trail Turn Assist tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring, and the innovative Trail One-Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control makes for more precise and confident slow-mode rock crawling.
    Segment-leading levels of off-road capability are possible thanks to Bronco’s available best-in-class 11.6-inch ground clearance, maximum 29-degree breakover angle and 37.2-degree departure angle, plus best-in-class water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches. Off-road capability is further reinforced by exposed tow hooks in the front and rear and available heavy-duty modular steel bumpers with integrated Ford Performance accessory winch mount.
    Bronco’s strategically placed steel shields protect critical hardware. Higher-capability models get an available front bash plate, plus shields for the engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank. For those taking on the roughest rocky terrain, Bronco’s available side rock rails are strong enough to support the weight of each side of the vehicle.
    “Bronco two- and four-door models leverage the company’s Built Ford Tough durability and performance testing and take it even further off-road with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing in the harshest possible environments, including the brutal trails of the King of the Hammers off-road competition,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford enterprise product line management, Icons.
    Thrilling performance borne of Bronco DNA
    Thanks to Bronco’s legendary Baja racing DNA, each model brings forth a thrilling off-road experience and delivers it with modern, heritage-inspired style. It all began in a Ford design studio with a life-size digital scan of a first-generation model that served to influence the proportions and design of the all-new Bronco for maximum off-road capability and performance.
    “Similar to the first-generation model, Bronco’s square proportions, short overhangs and wide stance are optimized for off-road adventure,” said Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer. “The side profile features a flat, no-nonsense surface with clear-cut edges and robustly flared fenders. Large, open wheel wells are a modular design with a quick-release attachment for simple customization.
    All-new Bronco architecture for two- and four-door models is based on a fully boxed, high-strength steel chassis that delivers available best-in-class suspension travel – 17 percent more both front and rear over the closest competitor to thrive in rugged environments.
    To deliver thrilling high-speed off-roading and overall driving performance, every Bronco comes with an independent front suspension for improved control, confidence and comfort. At the rear, a rugged solid axle design featuring coil springs with five locating links delivers both strength and off-road control. Long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein® dampers with end-stop control valves at every corner are available for added off-road durability and reduced harshness.
    An available segment-exclusive semi-active hydraulic stabilizer bar disconnect design provides maximum articulation and increased ramp angle index for off-camber terrain. This innovative system bests competitors by disconnecting during articulation; it can reconnect under all conditions to improve steering and stability at higher speeds.
    Segment-first 35-inch off-road tires direct from the factory are available on every trim level of two- and four-door Bronco, while available segment-first beadlock-capable wheels allow customers to elevate off-road capability, regardless of price point. 
    “Race-bred EcoBoost® engines and our segment-first 7-speed manual and available 10-speed automatic transmissions give the all-new Bronco the optimal combination of power, torque and gear ranges to perform in a wide variety of terrains and uses,” said Pericak.
    Best-in-class projected gasoline-powered horsepower and torque is available with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, which is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is targeted to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder torque of 310 lb.-ft. with an expected 270 horsepower.
    For maximum low-speed rock-climbing capability, a segment-first 7-speed (6+1) manual transmission paired with the available advanced 4x4 system with automatic on-demand engagement generates a class-leading available crawler-gear ratio of 94.75:1. An available segment-first SelectShift® 10-speed automatic transmission makes for easier driving on- and off-road, while offering a maximum 67.8:1 crawl ratio with the available advanced 4x4 transfer case.
    Ready to head effortlessly into the wild
    Both Bronco two- and four-door models make the open-air experience quick, easy and fun. Two-door models come with a standard three-section roof system – left and right front sections and a rear section – molded-in color and an available premium painted modular top with four sections that adds a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area. Four-door models have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width center panel and a rear section. Roof panels on all models can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.
    All modular hardtops have rear quarter windows that are removable in three easy steps – snap, push and lift away in a fraction of the time it takes for competitors – without removing the roof panels. By locating the sportbar behind the second row, both Bronco two- and four-door models offer the largest overall open-top view in its class to take in the sunshine or to gaze at the stars at night.
    A cloth soft top, standard on four-door models, provides easy access to the open air and a unique tilt-up function for quick access to the rear cargo area. For customers who don’t want to choose between a soft or hardtop, the four-door model can be optioned with both.
    Every Bronco comes with class-exclusive frameless doors that make them easier to remove than what competitors offer. On four-door Bronco models, all four doors can be stored onboard with protective door bags. Exclusive cowl-mounted mirrors maintain sideview visibility when the doors are removed. Trail sights on the front fenders also serve as tie-downs, reminiscent of the first-generation Bronco, have a 150-pound capacity for securing longer items like canoes.
    High-tech interior designed for the outdoors
    Inside, all Bronco models are purpose-built and ready for action. The instrument panel is inspired by the first-generation model, with gauges and controls clearly visible and intuitive. Colors and materials are inspired by natural palettes and outdoor gear. With off-road functionality paramount, materials are tough and rugged.
    A multifunction color LCD instrument panel is front and center with the transmission shifter/selector and G.O.A.T. Modes controller in the center console. Available grab handles are integrated into the modular instrument panel and center console, while available MOLLE hooks are mounted in the seatbacks. Attachment points are built into the instrument panel to mount a bring-your-own-device rack, with 12-volt power connections to easily mount cameras, navigation units, phones or other devices.
    Further setting Bronco ahead of the off-road competition is an available segment-exclusive 12-inch SYNC® 4 system with over-the-air updates and seamless integration to the FordPass Performance app with off-road navigation – a Bronco class-exclusive feature that allows owners to easily plan, navigate and share their off-road adventures. The SYNC system also displays the available 360-degree camera system with class-exclusive off-road spotter views to provide additional visibility in technical pursuits such as rock crawling.
    Bronco’s advanced topographic trail maps and more than 1,000 curated trail maps are powered by class-exclusive trail content from NeoTreks’ AccuTerra® Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides and FunTreks trail guides.
    “The trail mapping system available on Bronco is truly a game-changer in the off-road community,” said Grueber. “It works online or off on either of the navigation-capable 8- or 12-inch SYNC systems, allowing users to select one of hundreds of available curated trail maps to map out and then track, capture and share their adventures with others.”  
    To make post-adventure cleanups simple, fast and painless, select Bronco models come with washable rubberized floors with integrated drains and marine-grade vinyl seating surfaces that resist mildew. Instrument panel surfaces are wipeable, with seamless silicone rubber on the dash-mounted hero switches, while rubber touchpoints protect against dirt and water. Six available upfitter switches mounted overhead are silicone-sealed to protect against the elements and to make customization easy, with pre-wired leads to key accessory points.
    A modern high-strength steel roll cage with integrated side curtain airbags in the upper structure and seats helps protect passengers from side impacts and complements driver and front passenger airbags. Available Ford Co-Pilot360™ driver-assist technologies plus standard AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ and Trailer Sway Control help instill driver confidence.
    Equipment series redefine customization
    An all-new experiential-based equipment series provides unique flexibility to align capability with the adventure interests of each customer. Seven unique Bronco series are offered, with matched color and trim combinations. When combined with four content packages, numerous available options, 11 color choices and more than 200 dealer-installable accessories, personalizing an all-new Bronco SUV has never been easier.
    Series range from a base Bronco, a no-frills SUV for those who want to customize their own, to Big Bend™, Black Diamond™ and Outer Banks™ with a variety of options and colors, topping out with Wildtrak™ and Badlands™ for more extreme off-road adventuring. A limited-production First Edition™ will be offered at launch.
    Reservations begin today

    As with the five generations before it, the all-new 2021 Bronco two-door and four-door models will be built at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. More detailed information, including vehicle specs, accessories and full pricing and options, will be provided closer to launch. MSRP for the base two-door Bronco is $29,995, including $1,495 destination and delivery. Reservations for Bronco two- and four-door models can be made for $100 beginning at 8 p.m. EDT today at ford.com. 

    2021 Bronco Sport Completes the Family

    May Have a Bloodline with the Bronco, But has More In Common with the Escape

    (Author's Note: For those wondering where the 2021 Bronco story is, that will be up sometime tomorrow morning. There is a lot to digest, and need some more time to figure out how to structure that. Stay tuned. -WM).
    If the standard Bronco is a bit out of your reach, then Ford has another option in the form of the 2021 Bronco Sport. Yes, it is based on the Escape platform, but Ford is very adamant this us a very different animal.
    Lets begin with the dimensions. The Bronco Sport measures 172.7 inches in length and rides on 105.1 inch wheelbase - 7.8 and 1.6 inches shorter than the Escape. But the Sport is about an inch wider and is taller in terms of ground clearance (7.8 to 8.8 inches depending on the trim). Design-wise, the Sport looks very rugged with a boxy shape. chunky c-pillar, and a deep cut in the doors. The roof is raised slightly higher towards the back, reminding us of the first and second-generation Land Rover Discovery. This allows for better headroom and more cargo space.
    The only items that the Bronco Sport and Escape share inside are the switchgear. Everything else is unique to Bronco Sport such as the steering wheel featuring a bucking Bronco, MOLLE webbing on the back of the front seats to allow owners to attach various items, and optional rubberized floor. An eight-inch touchscreen with SYNC 3 comes standard. 
    Power will come from two engines. A turbo 1.5L three-cylinder providing 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque come standard on the base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks. The Badlands and 2021 model year only First Edition get the 2.0L turbo-four with 245 hp and 275 lb-ft. All with come with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Like the larger Bronco, the Sport gets a range of drive modes called GOAT (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain). Controlled via a knob in the center console, a driver can select from five different modes - Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Sand. Badlands and First Edition add Mud/Ruts and Rocks.
    Surprisingly, Ford has announced pricing for the Bronco Sport. The base model begins at $28,155 including a $1,495 destination charge. The rest are as followed,
    Big Bend: $29,655 Outer Banks: $33,655 Badlands: $34,155 First Edition: $39,995 The first Bronco Sports are expected to arrive in dealers this fall, but you can put in a reservation right now with a $100 deposit. Though, we would wait a bit as Ford's servers are having some issues dealing with the load of everyone trying to put a reservation for the standard Bronco.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2


    ALL-NEW FORD BRONCO SPORT RUGGED SMALL SUV EQUIPPED FOR TRAILS WITH STANDARD 4X4 AND BUILT WILD CAPABILITY AND CONFIDENCE
    The Bronco of small SUVs: All-new Ford Bronco Sport expands the rugged Bronco family of 4x4-only vehicles, giving more outdoor adventurers Bronco off-road capability, durability and technology Built Wild™: With standard 4x4 across the lineup, Bronco Sport lives up to its G.O.A.T. (goes over any type of terrain) heritage with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design to deliver unsurpassed ground clearance, made-for-the-trails approach and departure angles, water fording, obstacle protection and segment-first trail technologies Thrilling: Bronco Sport SUV enables exciting, high-speed off-road driving thanks to its Bronco-specific variant architecture, Bronco design DNA, available 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine targeting segment-best horsepower and torque, and advanced 4x4 system with class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature Ready for fun: Class-exclusive features designed for life on the trails include safari-style roof enabling class-leading headroom and a cargo area high enough to hold two 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes; more than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories are available to transport gear such as kayaks, surfboards, skis and camping equipment Reservations: Open now for $100 at ford.com DEARBORN, Mich., July 13, 2020 – The all-new Ford Bronco Sport off-road vehicle – the Bronco of small SUVs – signals for adventure-seekers a welcome return to roads and trails less traveled.
    With unmistakable Bronco styling and unrelenting Bronco capability, the smaller sibling of Bronco two-door and first-ever four-door SUVs joins the family with its own idea of fun. As with all Broncos, 4x4 is standard, and this rugged SUV is engineered to handle whatever weekend adventure its owner has in mind.
    “Bronco Sport has the toughness and smarts to help turn off-road novices into 4x4 pros,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “Bronco Sport embraces the needs of outdoor enthusiasts – every inch of it was designed and engineered with weekend adventurers in mind.”
    Bronco Sport is smartly designed to transport two mountain bikes standing up in its cargo area – and two cyclists up front. Four available accessory bundles – in addition to more than 100 factory-backed standalone accessories – let owners easily make the vehicle their own by outfitting it to transport kayaks, skis, camping equipment or whatever gear propels their adventure.
    Five trim levels are available, including the base model, Big Bend™, Outer Banks™, Badlands™ and First Edition™.
    Reservations for Bronco Sport open today at ford.com; vehicles can be reserved for $100.
    Vehicles arrive in dealerships late this year.
    Built Wild 4x4 confidence
    Like the larger Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport delivers the 4x4 off-road capability that made the original Bronco a legend. With off-road performance at its core, Bronco Sport provides solid footing on sand, snow, mud, rocks and more.
    For maximum off-road capability and long-term durability, Bronco Sport was tested in extreme conditions in places such as the Johnson Valley desert in California, as part of Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing. Badlands and First Edition models pack an advanced 4x4 system with a class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature to allow greater off-road performance – similar to a traditional mechanical locking differential. The system can divert virtually all rear axle torque to either wheel, setting it apart from any other vehicle in the non-premium subcompact utility segment.
    Bronco Sport’s suspension can take on rugged terrain and is complemented by Ford’s trail technologies. The small SUV’s Terrain Management System™ with up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes™ helps drivers “go over any type of terrain” and in various conditions. Standard modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand; Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes are available on Badlands and First Edition.
    All models feature an independent front and rear suspension engineered and performance-tested in demanding environments across North America. The suspension is optimized to help drivers confidently maintain vehicle composure while aggressively taking on rugged terrain.
    On Badlands and First Edition series, the system includes uniquely tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound stops designed to provide a quieter, less jarring off-road experience. In addition, 46-millimeter-diameter monotube rear shocks are among the largest in the class, helping provide improved response and more comfort off-road, while softer springs and antiroll bars offer greater articulation over obstacles.
    Class-exclusive Trail Control™ technology furthers the vehicle’s off-road prowess. The available feature enables a cruise control-like setting up to 20 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse for vehicle-controlled throttle and braking, letting the driver stay focused on navigating the trail.
    For adventurers taking on rough and rocky terrain, the small SUV’s design includes made-for-the-trails departure, approach and breakover angles. An available class-exclusive front off-road camera with lens washer serves as a spotter and helps provide better visibility of the trail ahead, displaying the video on the center stack-mounted touch screen.
    In Rock Crawl mode, the electronic power steering assist system is uniquely calibrated to provide more precise control and help reduce steering wheel disturbance during low-speed maneuvers over rocky terrain.
    Off-road capability is further reinforced by four steel bash plates, plus available frame-mounted front tow hooks that can individually withstand static loads up to 100 percent of the gross vehicle weight. Badlands and First Edition can wade through up to 23.6 inches of water.
    Thrilling performance borne of Bronco DNA
    Staying true to the DNA of the first-generation Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport SUV pays it forward with modern, heritage-inspired style, agile off-road architecture and optimized suspension for better control in all environments.
    The Badlands and First Edition series are powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine that produces a targeted best-in-class 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque for high-speed off-road performance*. Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks series feature the proven 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a targeted 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque*.
    Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition add SelectShift® with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to help drivers maximize control both on- and off-road. A cooling system with additional transmission and rear-drive coolers keeps 2.0-liter models running strong over tough terrain.
    The Bronco Sport SUV’s design inspiration is directly linked to the all-new Bronco halo model. Its rugged design attributes include signature encapsulated cartridge grille, round headlamps, clean, flat bodysides, and timeless proportions that enable the short front and rear overhangs required for off-road maneuvers. Tough unpainted finishes smartly cover exterior contact points, so the vehicle is ready for almost anything the rough and tumble outdoors can throw at it.
    The Badlands series comes standard with 28.5-inch all-terrain tires. First Edition comes standard with 29-inch all-terrain off-road tires with more aggressive, deeper treads that stretch on to the sidewalls for improved off-road traction.
    Ready for fun to venture into the wild
    Human-centered design led to special Bronco Sport features such as class-exclusive liftgate LED floodlamps – because out in the wild, there are no streetlamps – MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage, and even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.
    Its upright design and safari-style roof contribute to Bronco Sport’s adventurous silhouette, which not only features a long flat roof rail for maximum carrying length, it also treats occupants to best-in-class first- and second-row headroom. The cargo area has enough height to accommodate two standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes with the available Yakima dealer-installed interior bike rack accessory.
    Bronco Sport will launch with more than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each owner’s individual adventure needs. Bronco Sport buyers can also opt for any of four lifestyle accessory bundles themed Bike, Snow, Water and Camping.
    A flip-glass rear window, low-load floor cargo area, overlanding-ready roof rack with capacity to make roof-top tent camping easy, and front fender peaks that allow the driver to see the corners of the vehicle easily from behind the wheel reveal this small SUV is purpose-built for adventure from front to back, top to bottom.
    Bronco Sport can quickly help with basecamp setup thanks to an innovative slide-out working table, part of the available five-way configurable Cargo Management System, plus a class-exclusive 400-watt inverter and liftgate floodlamps that illuminate up to 129 square feet for when the adventure ends after sundown.
    To make post-adventure cleanups painless, the Badlands and First Edition series offer washable rubber flooring throughout the cabin and cargo area, easy-to-clean cloth seating surfaces and silicone-sealed control switches. For stowage of wet, icy or muddy gear, an available storage bin is located below the second-row passenger-side seat.
    Smart in addition to being rugged, the vehicle features a SYNC® 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. Other available technology features include Ford+Alexa and SiriusXM™ satellite radio.
    The Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite of advanced driver-assist technologies is standard across the lineup, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, Auto High Beam Headlamps and a rearview camera. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 technology adds Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane-Centering and Speed Sign Recognition.

    2021 Mazda3 Adds Some Turbo

    Also, a new base engine option for those who can't quite afford the turbo

    Last month in the rumorpile, we reported that Mazda would be launching two new engine options for the 2021 3; a turbocharged 2.5L four and 2.0L four. Today, Mazda comfirmed the rumors with the announcement of 2021 3.
    The turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is an engine we know quite well as it powers the CX-5, CX-9, and 6 sedan. Output is rated at 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet (or 250 hp and 320 lb-ft when running on 93 octane). It will come solely paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. This model will be positioned above the top-line Premium trim and adds such items as a heated steering wheel, enlarged exhaust tips, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels,
    As for the 2.0L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder, again its an engine we know from the last-generation 3 and CX-3. It produces a modest 155 hp and 150 lb-ft. This engine is only available on the sedan.
    We don't have any word on pricing, but we're guessing that 2.0L sedan will be around $20k to $21k. As for the turbo, expect base prices possibly between $28k to $32k. The 2.0L sedan arrives at dealers in August, while the turbo comes in towards the end of the year.
    Source: Mazda
    Press Release is on Page 2


    2021 MAZDA3 2.5 TURBO: REFINED PERFORMANCE
    TURBO ENGINE NOW AVAILABLE FOR MAZDA3 HATCHBACK AND SEDAN World Car Design of the Year winner adds enhanced performance Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine will deliver up to 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium 93 octane fuel IRVINE, Calif. (July 8, 2020) – The launch of the fourth generation Mazda3 stirred emotions with its bold yet sophisticated styling. Renowned as the World Car Design of the Year, fans were captivated by its mature interpretation of Kodo design, but some asked for more power and Mazda listened. Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announces the addition of the turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine to the 2021 Mazda3 powertrain offering.
    Connected and engaging driving dynamics mean road trips are no longer just for special occasions. Each experience in the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo feels more pronounced and spirited. The Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine will deliver an impressive 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium (93 octane) fuel or a solid 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque with regular (87 octane) fuel. This engine is specifically calibrated to the Mazda3 so as to deliver the unique driving dynamics expected by our most passionate drivers. The evolution of Mazda’s turbo engine brings a sense of refinement befitting the brand’s recent updates to the i-Activ all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The high torque characteristic of the Skyactiv-G 2.5T paired with the predictive i-Activ AWD create harmony with the driver’s intentions — delivering greater responsiveness and confidence.
    The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo comes standard with Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM, Mazda Connected Services with three-year trial and in-car Wi-Fi hot spot with six-months or 2GB trial, Bose® 12-speaker premium audio, 8.8-inch large center display with Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, two front USB inputs and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry. Complementing the feel of refined performance, heated leather wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, frameless auto-dim rearview mirror and chrome finishes around the push button start and glove box are exclusive to the turbo offering. Other interior features include Mazda’s Active Driving Display head-up unit, power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leatherette seating, leather wrapped shift knob and aluminum speaker grilles. To encourage peace of mind, the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo includes standard i-Activsense safety technologies such as Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, Smart Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Adaptive Front-lighting system and High Beam Control. Additional standard equipment include larger tailpipes, 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, gloss black heated door mirrors, “TURBO” badge on the trunk and on the engine cover, rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, automatic on/off LED signature headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a shark fin antenna. The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo sedan also features a gloss black front grille and sleek lower front bumper decoration.
    The new 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo with Premium Plus Package heightens the refined styling with a gloss black rear lip spoiler for the sedan while the hatchback is equipped with a gloss black rear roof spoiler and front air dam. Further supporting driving confidence, this top-tier package introduces all-new i-Activsense safety technologies. Rear Smart City Brake Support with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking will automatically apply the brakes when the vehicle is in reverse, if an obstacle or a crossing vehicle is detected. The 360° View Monitor with front and rear parking sensors is now available on the Mazda3 with high-definition digital clarity. A new convenience feature, Traffic Jam Assist enhances Mazda Radar Cruise Control by providing steering inputs at speeds under 40 mph. These advancements in safety technology build upon other features such as Mazda’s Active Driving Display and Adaptive Front-lighting System, which help the Mazda3 stand out among entry-level premium vehicles. The Premium Plus package includes leather seats, navigation and adds HomeLink to the frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror.
    Fans are encouraged to download the MyMazda mobile app to receive exclusive Mazda content as it becomes available (must have push notifications turned on), including the latest information on Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, which is expected to arrive in dealerships by the end of this year. For information on Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, please visit: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/2021-mazda3-turbo.
    2021 MAZDA3: WELL-SUITED WITH ADDED POWERTRAINS
    Mazda Connected Services and in-car Wi-Fi hot spot standard across all models Available Skyactiv-G 2.0 joins Skyactiv-G 2.5 and Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine in Mazda3 offerings IRVINE, Calif. (July 8, 2020) – Following an impressive World Car Design of the Year win, the world’s best-selling Mazda is not resting on its laurels and will continue to find ways to enrich fan’s lives. Alongside the new Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, two additional powertrains are now available. With many options, fans can find a Mazda3 that best fits their unique lifestyle. Today, Mazda North American Operations is announcing that the 2021 Mazda3 will go on sale in the fall of 2020.
    New for 2021, the Mazda3 2.0 sedan is equipped with the efficient Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter engine, rated to deliver 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque with front-wheel drive and standard with G-Vectoring Control Plus.
    Three-year trial of Mazda Connected Services, which allows the ability to monitor or control certain features of the vehicle through the MyMazda app and includes in-car Wi-Fi hot spot with six-months or 2GB trial are newly standard on all 2021 Mazda3 models. Standard exterior features include LED daytime lights, automatic on/off LED headlights, LED taillights, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, matte finish front grille, rearview camera and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The stylish interior is standard with an 8.8-inch large center display, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, two USB inputs, AM/FM eight-speaker sound system with HD RadioTM, push button start, electronic parking brake and black cloth seats. Standard i-Activsense safety features comprise of Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert and High Beam Control.
    The Mazda3 2.5S, available in both hatchback and sedan, will continue to offer the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter engine capable of 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque and standard front-wheel drive. Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM are standard on Mazda3 2.5S, in addition to all the features equipped on the Mazda3 2.0.
    The Mazda3 2.5S with Select Package is a new offering for the hatchback and remains available for the sedan. Along with available i-Activ all-wheel drive, this package adds more conveniences such as Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather steering wheel and shift knob, black leatherette seats, rear armrest with cup holders and door mirror turn signals. The Select Package also upgrades to 18-inch gray aluminum alloy wheels.
    Opening to more potentials, the Mazda3 2.5S with Preferred Package now adds a power moonroof. The Preferred Package consists of heated front seats, gloss black front grille, door mirrors with memory positioning and eight-way power driver seats with power lumbar support and seat memory. As part of this package, the interior and leatherette seats are available in either black or greige.
    Elevating to the Mazda3 2.5S with Premium Package brings the highest qualities to the hatchback and sedan. New for 2021, this package is enhanced with navigation, Bose® 12-speaker premium audio with aluminum speaker grilles, SiriusXM® that includes a three-month trial subscription and a shark fin antenna. Also included in this package is Active Driving Display, Adaptive Front-lighting System and paddle shifters. Leather seats complement the quality of the interior. Along with available black interior, the white interior option is exclusive to the sedan with the red interior option reserved for the hatchback. For the exterior, this package is equipped with 18-inch black finish aluminum alloy wheels and LED signature illumination headlights and taillights. Limited to the Premium package hatchback FWD, Mazda will continue to offer its Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission.
    2021 Mazda3 pricing will be announced on a later date.

    Quick Drive: 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT

    A mixed bag in plug-in hybrid form

    I felt very mixed when I reviewed the Mitsubishi Outlander last year, There was a lot to like about the crossover, but the list of negatives pushed me towards recommending it if you could find one at a good price. How would I feel when I drove the Outlander PHEV? Spoiler: About the same.
    (Author's Note: If you're looking for thoughts on the interior, I will direct you to my Mitsubishi Outlander review from last year as the PHEV shares all of the positives and negatives from the standard model.)
    Not much is different from the standard Outlander I drove last year to the PHEV except for the various hybrid badging around the vehicle, and additional fuel filler door on the rear passenger-side fender housing the charging outlets. The hybrid system is comprised of 60kW electric motors mounted on each axle providing 80 horsepower. The motors draw their power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery. A 2.0L inline-four acts as the generator for the battery and can power the wheels in certain situations. Total output stands at 190 hp. The driver has three different drive modes for which the Outlander can operate. EV which makes the Outlander PHEV only run electric power; Battery Save which turns on the engine to power the wheels to save charge; and Battery Charge where the generator charges up the battery. Most of my week, I found myself using Battery Save and Charge when driving on the freeway. Around town, it was left in EV or automatic mode. When the Outlander PHEV is running on electric power only, it provides enough grunt to get out of the way of traffic when leaving a green light. But begin to climb in speed and you realize this isn’t a quick car. Despite the instantaneous torque, the Outlander PHEV does take its time getting up to speed. Some of this can be attributed to the curb weight of 4,222 lbs.  Not helping is when the engine comes on to charge/power the wheels. When the engine is put under a load, it sounds very harsh and under a lot of stress. EPA figures for the Outlander PHEV are 74 MPGe (electric and gas combined) and 25 MPG (gas only combined). My average for the week landed around 35 MPGe, which is well under the EPA figure. But I will cut it a fair amount of slack as it arrived during one of the coldest weeks Michigan experienced. For electric-only range, Mitsubishi claims 22 miles. I saw between 16-18 miles which isn’t bad considering the cold temps. On recharging, Mitsubishi says that the Outlander PHEV takes about 13 hours when plugged into 120V/8A outlet, or 8 hours for a 120V/12V outlet. In my testing with 120V charging, it took about 8 hours to fully charge a depleted battery. The Outlander PHEV feels at home on long stretches of road where it shows off one of its strongest attributes, a smooth ride. On some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Outlander glided over them like it was nothing. On a winding road, the Outlander PHEV feels slightly out of its depth partly due to very num steering. What is surprising is that the PHEV doesn’t have as much body roll as the standard model when put into a corner. I feel conflicted on the 2020 Outlander PHEV as on the surface, it is a pretty competent crossover with the ability to run on electric power only. But the gas engine needs a bit of NVH work and performance could be slightly better. Also, it has several issues that I talked about in the previous Outlander. The final nail is the price; $43,600 for the top-line GT seen here. Yes, it does qualify for a federal tax credit of almost $6,000 that drops the price to under $38,000. But that still a fair amount of money for what is an old crossover.  If you can find one at a decent price, around $35,000 or less, then I would say take a closer look at it. Otherwise, wait to see Ford and Toyota’s entrants into the PHEV crossover market.  
    Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Outlander PHEV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Mitsubishi
    Model: Outlander PHEV
    Trim: GT
    Engine: 60kW Electric Motors (Front and Rear Axles), 2.0L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Single Speed Reduction Gearbox (Front & Rear), All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 80 @ 0 (Electric), 117 @ 4,500 (Gas),  190 (Total)
    Torque @ RPM: 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 137 @ 4,500 (Gas)
    Fuel Economy: MPGe/Gasoline Combined - 74/25
    Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
    Base Price: $41,495
    As Tested Price: $43,600 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    GT Premium Interior Package - $400.00
    Pearl White Paint - $395.00
    Carpeted Floor Mats and Portfolio - $145.00
    Charging Cable Storage Bag - $70.00

    Pickup Trucks Are the Bright Spot In Second Quarter Sales

    The Trucks Are Alright, Everyone Else TBD

    Automakers for the most part were hurting in sales during the second quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economy coming to a screeching halt for a brief time caused new car sales to drop by a third according to Automotive News. But there is a slim silver lining to this, full-size pickups have moved into being the best-selling segment of vehicles.
    According to data from Automotive News, one out of four vehicles sold between April and June was a pickup truck. This helped put them ahead of compact crossovers, which have held the top spot for some time. The reason is that trucks didn't take as big of a hit due to 0 percent financing offers from automakers to help bring in buyers. A large number of dealers said they sold the majority of trucks sitting on their lots.
    Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service provides another reason why trucks didn't fall off a cliff. Speaking to AN, he said that people need trucks for work and "affluent consumers who often buy such vehicles have been less affected by the pandemic."
    Trucks still took quite the hit in the quarter,
    Chevrolet Silverado: Down 14% Ford F-Series: Down 23% GMC Sierra: Down 4% Ram: Down 35% Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Afterthoughts: A Car In Troubled Times

    Driving To Provide Some Space To What Is Going On In the World

    The news came during dinner last Monday. My mother asked if I would be able to take any time off of work, and I said that I might be able to if the circumstances were considered important. She revealed that my grandfather, her dad passed away that afternoon. It wasn’t from COVID-19, but other complications that had put in him the hospital since early June. After dinner, I needed some time and space to begin processing the news. So I grabbed the keys to my car and went for a drive.
    The past few months have been difficult for all of us in varying degrees with COVID-19. Many places going on lockdown have caused massive disruptions to how we work, travel, and interact with the world. I have been hunkered down at home since mid-March when my employer announced our office would be closed for the time being, and we would be working from home. During the first month or so, I had put a moratorium on driving except for essential places such as the grocery store or pharmacy. Isolating to prevent catching and/or spreading the virus took priority over going for a drive. But after a month of just being in a house with family and doing the same things over and over, I was going stir crazy. 
    I realized that I needed some space to not only prevent myself from losing it, but to give me some room to think about everything floating in my mind. Going for daily walks either by myself or with the dog helped a bit. But I still felt like I needed some more space, more time to myself.
    Back in 2015, I wrote an Afterthoughts column titled The Escape Machine. I talked about how the car for some of us was a way to escape the world for a time. You could go anywhere depending on how much fuel was in the tank and give the space needed to clear or process whatever was on the mind. I ended the piece with these two lines,
    That decision for me came in late April/early May. I would go for long drives, provided that I would wear a mask if I got out to go for a walk. Going for the first drive in over a month was a bit of revelation. Turing the steering wheel, pressing down on the accelerator and brake; and watching the world go past in blur made me realize how much I missed this. This seems like a trope, but you have a newfound appreciation for something you haven’t done in some time. This also gave me the space to begin piecing together various thoughts such as how do I keep myself from falling into the endless pit of despair, what can I do to keep myself from feeling bored, and do I dive back into automotive writing.
    I didn’t know how important this would become in the coming weeks as COVID-19 cases increased, the economy would come to a screeching halt; and the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing fallout. Whenever my mind would become overwhelmed or I just get too frustrated, I would hop into my vehicle and go somewhere. It didn’t matter where or how long, just as long as I had some space to think or to calm down, it would be enough.
    Back to last Monday night. As I drove, there was a lot I needed to process in terms of grief and wondering what would happen next: Would there be a funeral, what precautions should I take, will it be a long ceremony, and so on. I didn’t come up with any clear answers to these questions, but having that time to start putting things into perspective helped. 
    It was on the way back that another thought popped into my head. At the moment, we’re all trying to find some sense of normal in a world that isn’t. For auto enthusiasts, that is to drive as it gives some sort of control. It may be a small thing, but they provide some much-needed comfort.
    Like many of us, I don’t what the rest of year holds if it continues to be a landfill fire or somehow begins to contain itself. But I do know that I’ll likely be taking more drives, whether that be my car or one that I’m reviewing. Having something that provides a sense of normal is welcomed.


About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...