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    Could the F-150 Lighting EV be Fords first $100,000 plus EV Truck?

    Ford has announced this week that on May 19th 2021 they will livestream the F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck at Ford HQ. Could this be Ford's Halo pickup truck for the full EV Truck lineup?

    Ford has announced that on May 19th 2021 the world will get to see the start of the next chapter in America's best-selling vehicle, F-150 Lightning. The Lightning will bring stunning innovation, technologies and capabilities to the F-Series lineup. This BEV will combine the best power, payload and towing capabilities that is the hallmark of all Ford Tough Trucks.
    The reveal will take place at 9:30 pm  E.D.T from Ford World Headquarters and be broadcasted live with 30+ ways to watch across physical and digital destinations. This will include Ford Facebook, YouTube channels, Twitter, Key National Publications as well as 18 impactful out-of-home locations such as Times Square in New York City and Las Vegas Boulevard.
    Ford President and CEO Jim Farley says, "Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game. Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3 and now the Ford F-150 Lightning. America's Favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric. The F-150 Lightning can power your home during an outage, it's quicker than the coveted original F-150 Lightning performance truck and will constantly be improved via over-the-air updates."
    Production of the F-150 Lightning begins next spring at the all-new Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. This $700 million investment will see the start of all electric Ford F-150 pickups being produced starting mid-2022 for sale in Q3/4 2022.
    Ford to Reveal All-Electric F-150 Lightning May 19 with Livestreamed Event at Ford HQ | Ford Media Center
    F-150 Lightning | Ford Media Center
    Ford Deepens Commitment to American Manufacturing, Celebrates Production Start of All-New F-150, Breaks Ground on New Electric F-150 Plant at Historic Rouge Center | Ford Media Center

    "SOLTERRA" SUBARU First All-Electric SUV

    Tuesday May 12th 2021 SUBARU announced their first all-electric SUV for the brand aimed at coexisting with nature. SOLTERRA is scheduled to go on sale in 2022.

    SOLTERRA, SUBARU's all-new, all-electric C-segment-class CUV is the first Subaru built on the all new battery electric vehicle (BEV) dedicated e-Subaru Global Platform jointly developed with Toyota Motor Corporation. The SOLTERRA will go on sale globally in 2022 with a focus in Japan, China, Europe, Canada and the US.

    e-Subaru's Global Platform is a combination of Toyota's and Subaru's strengths in creating an AWD platform that allows the mix and match of the front segment, center and rear allowing a wide mix of FWD, RWD and AWD configurations in an optimized roomy platform with superior passive safety and vehicle stability.
    Per Subaru's press release the BEV name SOLTERRA was created by joining the word SOL, Latin for Sun and TERRA, Latin for Earth. This name was chosen to further advance Subaru's appreciation for mother nature and the over all planet we need to coexist with. This Subaru believes delivers on the commitment to their customers on a go-anywhere capable BEV.
    To learn more go to the following web site: Solterra EV – An All-Electric SUV | Subaru
    Press Release
    en2021_0511_1-1_e4_N-dS8BJ.pdf
    Source links
    SUBARU Names New All-Electric SUV “SOLTERRA” | NewsRelease | Subaru Corporation
    Subaru U.S. Media Center
    Subaru U.S. Media Center

    Jeep Challenge is on as Ford Grows Rugged SUV Lineup!

    Ford had promised more rugged off road SUVs challenging Jeep's dominance in the off road market and the over all market image with the introduction of the Ford Explorer Timberline edition. This Timberline series gives Ford's customers a more capable off-road feature packed SUV for memorable weekend adventures with family and friends. 

    The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline edition is the most off-road capable Explorer ever due to increased ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, steel skid plates, Torsen limited-slip differential, Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, new shocks, springs and stabilizer bars.
    The Timberline sports a functional, capable appearance with unique front and rear styling combined with three rows of seating for everyone.


    Fords marketing data shows that over the last 10 years, SUVs have jumped to command 55% of the U.S. Market with sales growing from 4.6 million units in 2011 to 7.8 million for 2020. This same Ford data is saying that owners are reporting a 56% increase in off-road use over the last 3 years alone. Timberline was built to give customers more confidence and capability to get to the their next adventure be it fishing or a remote off the beaten path spot.
    A second very important trend is the data showing people are now participating in more outdoor activities and adventures than before due to the pandemic. 40% of all Americans surveyed say they spent more time outdoors since the pandemic began.



    The Ford Explorer Timberline off-road credibility starts with Ford's standard intelligent four-wheel drive. A system that automatically adjusts torque between the wheels based on conditions and driver inputs delivering best traction, pre-empting wheel slip with proper application of torque per wheel.

    Ford continues the off-road passion with the following details:
    Intelligent four-wheel drive Torsen Limited-slip rear differential Terrain Management System featuring seven drive modes (based on 2020 version, could be different on the 2021) Normal mode Eco mode Sport mode Slippery mode Deep Snow and Sand mode Trail mode Tow/Haul mode Standard Hill Descent Control for constant speed control between 2 to 12 mph maximum Timberline capability Heavy duty steel skid plates Enhanced steering calibration Heavy duty stabilizer bars and springs tuned for the Timberline Includes exclusive rebound springs in the front to prevent sudden jarring off-road Heavy Duty Shocks raises the ride height 0.8 inches (Developed for the Explorer Police Interceptor) Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 All-Terrain tires Approach angle of 23.5 degrees and departure angle of 23.7 degrees Minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches EcoBoost 2.3L engine producing 300 HP and 310 lb/ft of torque paired with a 10 speed automatic transmission giving a 5,300 lb towing capability. Ford only states a couple modes in their press release and as such it could be using the same 7 modes from the 2020 Explorer, but since this is the Timberline edition of rugged off-road prowess, it could be using the Bronco 7 G.O.A.T. modes which stands for Goes Over Any Type of Terrain. This would be the first 5 listed above and then would include a Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes for the final two. Either way you will have a very capable off-road SUV.
    The Explorer Timberline edition launches a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color with a blackout treatment and red ember tow hooks rated at 150% gross vehicle weight. Ford has already incorporated a heavy duty wiring harness that allows Fords wide dealer network to install Ford Performance auxiliary lights giving an output of 160,000 candelas of illumination for nighttime trail riding. This equates to 2.5 times the brightness of the Explorer Timberline high-beam headlamps.
    Ford's Deep Cypress interior trim color compliments the new Forged Green Metallic exterior and includes the standard Co-Pilot360 with Assist+ technology featuring Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Speed sign recognition, Lane Centering, Evasive Steering assist and voice activated touch screen navigation. Standard 360 degree cameras provide views of all potential obstacles including a front view camera to help with cresting hills off-road.



    Ford has partnered with Yakima Rooftop accessories for customer to take any and all the equipment they want on their adventure.
    2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is available to order now and arrives at Ford dealers summer of 2021.
    Ford Grows Rugged SUV Lineup with New Ford Explorer Timberline – Most Off-Road-Capable Explorer Ever | Ford Media Center
    What’s New in the 2020 Ford Explorer Terrain Management System? (akinsford.com)
    Terrain Management System - Ford Technology| Ford KSA
    2021 Ford® Bronco Sport First Edition SUV | Model Detail & Specs

    450 Fleet Customers Line Up for Ford's E-Transit Vans

    Ford is proud to open registration for the new E-Transit Vans supported by 645 Commercial Vehicle Center Dealers across the U.S. E-Transit joins America's best-selling commercial van, the Ford Transit family.

    E-Transit registration opened today, Wednesday 5th of May 2021 for commercial customers highlighted by the fact that they have over 450 commercial customers showing purchase intentions. Pricing for all configurations start at $43,295 and go up to $52,690. Expanded details are available on Fleet Home Page (ford.com)

    Ford used more than 30 million miles of Ford Telematics data in confirming that the average commercial vans in North America only drive 74 miles a day. Ford also understands that there are days with long and shorter range as well as hot and cold weather. This allowed Ford to target the E-Transit with a starting point of 126 miles of range for the Cargo Van Low-roof models with larger battery packs available as needed.
    E-Transit is built without compromise according to Ford as the maximum payload is 3,800 lbs. of cargo for the van low-roof model on a regular wheelbase, 4,250 lbs. on a chassis cab and 4,290 lbs on cutaway. Ford also offers Pro Power onboard which provides a 2.4kW of power for recharging tools and powering tools like drills, saws, jackhammers, laptops and more. Keeping you powered to get the job done is the goal of Pro Power by Ford. 
    Ford offers a very functional and accommodating interior. Ford redesigned the center console with a new rotary shifter and e-brake on the panel. improved walk-through, and a rear shelf delete giving even more head room when moving around the van.


    12 inch touch screen with Available Sync 4 can make a perfect crew member with built in navigation and so much more.
    E-Transit is available in the following:
    three cargo van roof  heights three cargo van body lengths Chassis cab and cutaway models

    The E-Transit is build to be driven and helps by having Ford Co-Pilot360 technology and Smart Acceleration Control. Ford has you covered with an 8 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first).
    According to Ford, demand is growing for electric vans based on Ford data, shows 70 percent of the full size bus and van business is going electric by 2030 representing over 300,000 BEVs annually in the commercial space. Demand for the wide range of configurations options is based on the history of Ford selling into the commercial space where Ford data shows 40 percent lean towards high-roof vans with the remaining 60 percent going with medium and low roof vans.
    The Ford E-Transit joins the growing family of electric auto's including the F-150e and Mach-E

    Ford Opens E-Transit Registration Site, Releases New Targeted MSRP as Top Fleet Customers Line Up for All-Electric Van | Ford Media Center
    2022 Ford® E-Transit | All-Electric Chassis Cab, Cutaway & Cargo Van

    From 0 to 600 in Less than 3 Years, Electrify America is on a Roll!

    May 2, 2018 in Chicopee, Massachusetts, Electrify America opened their first Ultra-Fast Charging Station. Less than three years later they have 600 Ultra-Fast Charging Stations with 2,600 fast charger connections.

    Electrify America has released that they will have 800 Ultra-Fast charging stations with 3,500 fast charging connections by early 2022 covering 47 states and the District of Columbia.

    Currently Electrify America is working on new Ultra-Fast charging stations in Hawaii, South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont that will complete the 47 states. Electrify America says they are also opening additional stations in Montana, Minnesota and New Hampshire, states with a small EV charging network presence. States that have passed legislature such as Washington state which starting in 2030 will ban the sale of new ICE auto's will have significant expansion of Ultra-Fast charging stations.
    Electrify America Ultra-Fast Charging Stations support 150 kW charging which adds 7.5 miles of battery per minute for capable BEVs in metro stations and highway locations that support up to 350 kW chargers which add 23 miles of battery per minute. Select stations will have solar panel canopies that not only give shade to customers while charging but help to minimize the impact on the local electrical grid via a battery storage system.

    Electrify America Opens 600 Public Ultra-Fast Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Less Than Three Years - Electrify America NEWSROOM

    Rental Car Companies Are Buying Up Used Cars

    We'll Pick You Up (in a used car)

    Around this time last year, rental car companies found themselves selling off a fair amount of their inventory as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the travel industry. With travel starting to bounce back, rental car companies now find themselves with a new problem - a shortage of vehicles to rent. Usually, they would turn to automakers and buy up a batch of new cars to shore up inventory. But the on-going semiconductor shortage has automakers cutting back on production, and causing rental companies to look at used cars.
    “You would never go into auction to buy routine sedans and SUVs. These are special circumstances. There is a shortage of cars,” said Maryann Keller, an independent consultant.
    Bloomberg reports that rental car companies do buy a small amount of used cars in the event of an sudden rise in demand, but not to fully outfit their fleet.
    New car production has been hampered since last year as plants were shut down to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Production was starting to climb back up later in the year only to be hampered again by another crisis, the lack of semiconductors and chips needed for various systems. In their first-quarter earnings call, Ford reported production was down 17 percent and could fall as much as 50 percent in the second quarter. Other automakers are making similar statements.
    “Our fleet acquisition team is working hard to secure additional vehicles -- both new and low-mileage used vehicles -- through all channels to meet the ongoing increase in demand.Overall, though, both new and used car inventory remain low. Our teams will continue to do everything we can to help customers with their transportation needs,” Enterprise spokeswoman Lisa Martini said via email.
    There is a silver lining for rental car companies as they'll be able to charge higher rates as many people begin to take vacations after spending a lot of time at home. For example, the average rate at Avis increased 3 percent in the fourth quarter, to $59.43 a day according to Hamzah Mazari, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. He expects that number to rise to $60.00 when Avis reports their first quarter results.
    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)

    Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota Camry TRD & Lexus ES 350 F-Sport

    From the Mundane to Somewhat Exciting

    For your consideration: Two unlikely sport sedans.
    The Toyota Camry TRD and Lexus ES 350 F-Sport may not seem like credible sport sedans at first glance. They may seem like tarted-up sedans in terms of looks, but nothing else. However, after spending a week in each one, I can say both are the real deal.
    Camry TRD
    This Camry is in your face about its sporting potential. It comes with a front splitter, side skirts, a distinct rear spoiler, and 19-inch TRD wheels with a matte black finish. I found it to be a bit much and wished Toyota offered a package that got you the goodies for the suspension and exhaust system while keeping the looks of a standard Camry. A sleeper of sorts. TRD models come with small touches inside such as red seatbelts, red stitching on the seats and dash; leather-wrapped steering wheel, and TRD floor mats. Otherwise, it is your standard Camry interior. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Yes, that's the same output as the Camry XLE V6 I drove earlier. But what TRD has done is added a new exhaust system that provides a nice growl. I'll admit I was surprised when I blipped the throttle at a stoplight and heard what came out. This is an engine you have to work slightly to get into its sweet spot of power - around the mid-range on the rpm band. But once you do, the engine delivers a smooth punch of power. I do wish the six-speed automatic wouldn't try to go into the highest gear ASAP to maximize fuel economy. Where TRD worked their magic is with the suspension. The car is lower than a standard Camry, along with being stiffer thanks to thicker underbody braces, stabilizer bars, and shocks. On a winding road, the Camry TRD feels much more athletic than the standard Camry with minimal body and a set of summer tires providing excellent grip. The only downside is the steering which needs a bit more weight. Ride quality is a bit more firm than a standard Camry, but the suspension does a decent job of minimizing the bumps and impacts. To top it all off, Toyota has priced the Camry TRD at a surprising point. With the two-tone paint on my tester, it comes at $32,920 - making this the cheapest way to get a V6 in a Camry. The added bonus is that the TRD is also the most fun you can have in Camry.
    ES 350 F-Sport
    Lexus takes a more sedate approach with the ES F-Sport with a mesh grille insert, new wheels, and a small lip spoiler. I think if they went overboard with the sporty touches, it would ruin the elegance of the standard ES design. I will say the grey on my tester makes the F-Sport kind of look somewhat bland. Going with either the blue or red helps it stand out. Under the hood is the same 3.5L V6 found in other ES 350s, producing 301 hp and 267 lb-ft. The behavior is similar to what I found in the Camry, needing to work it before a smooth rush of power comes on. The transmission doesn't have the same programming as the Camry's with trying to maximize fuel economy. It is ready to downshift at a moment's notice. I've praised the standard ES for making a real leap forward in handling as there is less body motion on windy roads when compared to the previous model. The F-Sport takes that a step further with a revised suspension and optional adaptive dampers - which my car had. Slip the drive mode into Sport+ and ES transforms into something that you can pilot with confidence on a twisty stretch of road. The dampers firm up to make body roll non-existent, and the steering feels more weighty when turning. When you decide to stop having fun and turn the drive knob to either normal or comfort, the F-Sport transforms a standard ES with a smooth and quiet ride. The price? Base is $44,635 and this fully-loaded tester comes in at $53,950 with destination. A bit hard to swallow when you consider that the Avalon TRD offers similar performance for slightly less money. But not everyone wants a sedan that screams "look at me", and thats where the ES 350 F-Sport shines. It may be sporty, but it keeps quiet about its intentions. Disclaimer: Toyota and Lexus Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Camry
    Trim: TRD
    Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve VVT-iW V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
    Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
    Curb Weight: 3,572 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
    Base Price: $31,040
    As Tested Price: $32,920 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    Two-Tone Midnight Black Metallic Roof and Rear Spoiler - $500.00
    Special Color - $425.00
     
    Year: 2020
    Make: Lexus
    Model: ES 350
    Trim: F-Sport
    Engine: 3.5 DOHC 24-Valve VVT-iW V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 302 @ 6,600
    Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
    Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
    Base Price: $44,635
    As Tested Price: $53,950 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Package - $2,900.00
    Triple Beam LED Headlights - $1,515.00
    Blind Spot Monitor w/Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intuitive Parking Assist w/Auto Braking - $1,065.00
    Adaptive Variable Suspension - $750.00
    Hands-Free Power Open/Close Trunk - $550.00
    10.2-inch Head-Up Display - $500.00
    Illuminated Door Sill - $400.00
    Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
    F Sport Heated Leather Steering Wheel with Windshield Wiper Deicer and Fast Response Interior Heater - $180.00
    Door Edge Guard - $145.00
    Wireless Charger - $75.00

    "Everybody In" GM Ultium Charge 360 App, GM Holistic Charging Approach

    April 28th 2021 General Motors is please to introduce their Ultium Charge 360 program. A holistic charging approach for the 21st century. Integrating charging networks with GM vehicle mobile apps, products and services to simplify the overall charging experience for GM electric vehicle owners.

    EV charging to some is a stressful thing, the ability to drive your EV, knowing you can quickly get a recharge and where should be a simple thing and yet range and charging hit the stress level for current and potential owners of BEV products.

    GM is tirelessly working to provide GM EV owners more confidence and convenience when it comes to EV charging. As stated by GM, the customers need a robust charging experience that makes the transition from ICE to EV seamless and helps to drive mass adoption per Travis Hester, GM's chief EV officer. Quote:  “As we launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025, Ultium Charge 360 simplifies and improves the at-home charging experience and the public charging experience – whether it’s community-based or road-trip charging.”
    GM's Ultium Charge 360 holistic charging experience offers the following:
    Access to Charging: GM will continue to work with a variety of third parties, including charge point operators, electric utilities and government agencies to make home, workplace, public and fleet charging ubiquitous for customers. Mobile Apps: GM will continue to update the GM vehicle mobile apps to provide an even more intuitive mobile experience that makes navigating to a charging station, plugging into a charger and paying for charging simple. Products and Services: To help ensure the transition to an EV is seamless, GM is working to offer EV owners charging accessories and installation services tailored to their lifestyle. For example, GM will cover standard installation of Level 2 charging capability for eligible customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV in collaboration with Qmerit. GM's continued progress on it's EV infrastructure strategy is as follows:
    GM now has signed agreements with seven major charging providers: Blink Charging, ChargePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, FLO, Greenlots and SemaConnect. Through their GM vehicle mobile apps, EV customers will soon be able to easily see real-time information from nearly 60,000 charging plugs throughout the U.S. and Canada, find stations along a route and initiate and pay for charging. The first GM and EVgo sites are now live in Washington, California and Florida, nine months after a commitment to add more than 2,700 fast chargers in cities and suburbs by the end of 2025 was first announced. Each site is capable of delivering up to 350 kilowatts and averages four chargers per site. GM and EVgo are on track to have approximately 500 fast charging stalls live by the end of 2021. As GM continues to update Ultium Charge 360, they will also be including new elements and collaborations.

    GM Ultium Platform is powering the Cadillac LYRIQ, GMC Hummer EVs and the Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup to start with many more models to come. The Ultium Charge 360 will help you optimize the use of your Ultium platform with a GM-estimated range of up to 450 miles on a full charge.
    GM's multiple announcements over the last two years shows it's rapid advancement in moving to an all-electric, zero-emissions future making EV ownership easier for all.
    GM revealed its proprietary Ultium Platform that will allow the company to compete for nearly every customer in the market today. GM committed more than $27 billion to EV and AV product development through 2025, including $7 billion in 2021, and plans to launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025, with more than two-thirds available in North America. Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick will all be represented, with EVs at all price points for work, adventure, performance and family use. In July 2020, GM and EVgo announced plans to triple the size of the nation’s largest DC fast charging network over the next five years. In March 2020, GM announced it is adding 3,500 new EV charging plugs throughout its U.S. and Canadian facilities for employees. In February 2020, GM made enhancements to Energy Assist, making it easier for GM EV owners to find an available public charging station and initiate a charging session. In August 2019, GM announced a collaboration with Qmerit, which manages a nationwide network of certified EV charger installers, simplifying the home charging experience. In collaboration with Qmerit, Chevrolet will cover standard installation of Level 2 charging capability for eligible customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV.   Unlike GM's competition focusing only on select charging companies, GM is taking an all in approach allowing for 60,000 and growing charging points across North America. Working with all companies and the EVgo effort, GM is on track to have 500 fast charging stalls live by the end of 2021 supporting the Ultium 800V 350 kWH battery / Powertrain system.
    GM-Collaborates-with-Seven-Charging-Providers.mp4
    To Put ‘Everybody In’ an Electric Vehicle, GM Introduces Ultium Charge 360

    Quick Drive: 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

    A convertible that brings a smile

    There are some cars I will not turn down the opportunity to spend time with again. A prime example is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, a car that brings a smile to my face. This past fall, I had a chance to spend some time in a soft-top version and to figure out whether I would have this or the RF.
    What has changed since our last visit with Miata? Only a few things such as the addition of Mazda's i-Activsense suite of active safety features (automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning) as standard; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the Club and Grand Touring models. I find myself drawn more to the standard Miata than RF because it looks a bit neater. The hardtop makes the Miata look somewhat bulky.  The 17-inch wheels finished in dark silver help set the car off. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes using the MazdaConnect infotainment system a bit more bearable to use. I found myself using CarPlay more due to its easier interface layout and brighter graphics. Power comes from a 2.0L Skyactiv-G inline-four with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed manual, while an automatic is optional. As I noted in my review of the RF, the new 2.0 makes a dramatic difference to the Miata's performance. Leaving a stop, the engine freely revs and delivers a smooth rush of power. I think this version is slightly faster than the RF, mostly due to it not having the foldable hardtop. The six-speed manual is still one of the sweetest transmissions I have used. It feels smooth and precise when running through the gears. Handling is still one of the Miata's strong points as it eagerly changes direction and shows little body roll. Steering is sharp and provides the right amount of weight when driven hard. Ride quality is slightly better than the RF I drove last year due to the Grand Touring not having as stiff as a suspension setup. Yes, you will still feel several bumps and imperfections. But not at the rate as you'll experience in the Club. The Miata is one of those few cars I find myself still being impressed with every time I get the chance to drive one. It offers a level of driving fun that very few models can match, along with a price tag that won’t break the bank. If you were to ask which Miata I would choose, it would be the soft top. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Mazda
    Model: MX-5 Miata
    Trim: Grand Touring
    Engine: 2.0L Skyactiv-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
    Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
    Curb Weight: 2,341 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
    Base Price: $31,670
    As Tested Price: $32,790 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    Grey Cloth Roof - $200.00

    2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Reveal, A New Standard for the 21st Century and Beyond!

    Wednesday April 21st, 2021 marks a new standard of luxury to the world and for the 21st century. Cadillac introduced the all-electric  2021 LYRIQ SUV starting at $59,990.

    The culmination of a century of innovation goes with the start of a great new era as Cadillac introduces the all electric 2023 LYRIQ SUV. With testing running ahead of schedule, Cadillac announces that customers may place orders for the LYRIQ beginning September 2021, availability starting the first half of 2022.

    Vice president of Global Cadillac Rory Harvey had this to say about this auto reveal: 
    “Throughout the next decade, Cadillac will define the future of luxury transportation through a series of exciting new electric vehicles, and it all begins with LYRIQ,” “The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ’s stunning design and artfully integrated technology combined with GM’s Ultium Platform will deliver a high-performance luxury experience unlike anything that has come before it, setting a new standard for Cadillac.”



    At launch, LYRIQ premier technologies and performance capabilities will be driven by the dedicated Ultium electric architecture. Incorporating a 12 module, 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack with rear-wheel-drive the Ultium power train will deliver an estimated 340 horsepower and 440 Nm of torque (325 lb-ft) with over 300 miles of range with a full charge.
    LYRIQ will offer high-speed DC fast charging at 190 kW for public stations. This will add an estimated 76 miles of range in 10 minutes. Home charging will be a segment leading 19.2 kW charging module that adds 52 miles of range per hour of charging. 
    LYRIQ will feature next-generation variable Regen on Demand technology, One-Pedal Driving and so much more. Per the Cadillac LYRIQ press release:
    Additional 2023 LYRIQ highlights include:
    Available Super Cruise6, the industry’s first true hands-free driver-assistance technology for compatible roads A stunning 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED display with the ability to emit over 1 billion colors Cadillac’s next-generation Active Noise Cancellation system Slim-line LED headlamps with choreographed lighting sequence AKG Studio 19-speaker audio system with headrest speakers KeyPass digital vehicle access Dual level charge cord Standard 20-inch split six-spoke alloy wheels or optional 22-inch dynamic split-spoke Reverse Rim alloy wheels Customers will be able to select from Satin Steel Metallic or Stellar Black Metallic exterior colors, and Sky Cool Gray or Noir for the interior.
    Andrew Smith, the executive director of Cadillac Design says the objective for his team was as a clean-sheet, set the future of Cadillac with a level of detail one would find in the best show cars. The customer should feel like they're driving in the future.




    From what you see on the exterior of the Cadillac LYRIQ above with the Black Crystal Grille, the attention to detail continues on the inside with an industry first of laser etched patterns through wood over metal decor, the industries largest 33" curved LED screen that is a centerpiece incorporating artful, yet blurring lines of separation among technology, lighting and decor.


    One will find the smallest details such as Cadillac knurling which is etched on all LYRIQ components, emphasizing the idea of high design even in the smallest of areas.

    Cadillac LYRIQ interior is clean and simple yet has a focus on secondary and tertiary design elements.

    From the smallest detail on the steering wheel to the clean large storage area in the back, Cadillac is ensuring attention to detail for the launch of the 21st century standard of BEV.



    LYRIQ's slim electric architecture allows new opportunities for designers in rethinking the auto interior. The center console is now replaced with a drawer system that holds all the necessary content, in a new way adding functionality and storage. Even the door interiors have the same intricate attention to detail.


    Clean, simple and luxurious is the goal that the interior design team delivered with the Cadillac LYRIQ.

    New Face of Cadillac
    New-Face-of-Cadillac.mp4
    2023-Cadillac-LYRIQ-B-Roll (1).mp4
    2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Debuts, Heralding an All-Electric Future (gm.com)
    LYRIQ Preliminary Specifications
    EFFICIENCY
    Cadillac Estimated Driving Range^: More than 300 miles (482.8 km) on a full charge
    ^ Based on GM testing. EPA estimates not yet available. Actual range will vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and vehicle loading, use and maintenance.
    BATTERY SYSTEM
    Type:
    Rechargeable energy storage system comprising multiple linked modules 
    Battery chemistry:
    Lithium-ion NCMA cathode, blended graphite anode
    Modules:
    12
    Energy:
    100 kWh
     
    ELECTRIC DRIVE
    System:
    1 drive unit with 1 motor
    Motor:
    Permanent magnet, bar wound
    Power:
    340hp (255 kW)
    Torque: (lb-ft / Nm):
    325 lb-ft. (440 Nm)
    Final drive ratio (:1):
    11.63:1
     
    CHARGING TIMES^                                                                 
    120 V:
    3.5 miles of range per hour of charge time
    240 V (11.5 kW AC)
    240V* (19.2 kW AC)
    31 miles of range per hour of charge time
    52 miles of range per hour of charge time
    DC Fast Charge:
    Up to 76 miles of range in 10 minutes of charge time
    Up to 195 miles of range in 30 minutes of charge time
    ^Actual charge times will vary based on battery condition, output of charger, vehicle settings and outside temperature.
    *Requires professionally installed 19.2 kW AC / 100A dedicated charge station.
    CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
    Front Suspension: 5-link SLA with Passive-Plus Premium Dampers
    Rear Suspension:
    5-link with Passive-Plus Premium Dampers
    Steering Type:
    Continuously Variable Electric Power Steering (EPS)
    Turning Circle (wall-wall)
    (ft. / m):
    12.1m
    Brake Type:
    4 wheel disc with DuraLife Rotors
    Brake Rotor Size:
    (in. / mm)
    17” (321mm) front/18” (345 mm) Rear
    Wheel Size:
    Standard: 20” Split 6-spoke Alloy
    Optional: 22” Dynamic Split-spoke Reverse Rim Alloy
    Tires:
    Included with 20” wheels: 265/50R20 All Season, Self-sealing
    Included with 22” wheels: 275/40R22 All Season, Low profile^, Self-sealing
    ^ Lower-profile tires wear faster. Tire and wheel damage may occur on rough or damaged roads or from surfaces, curbs, debris or obstacles. This damage is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. For more details, go to my.cadillac.com/learnabout/tires or see your dealer.
    EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS                            
    Wheelbase
    (in. / mm): 121.8 / 3094
    Overall Length
    (in. / mm):
    196.7 / 4996
    Overall Width
    (in. / mm):
    77.8 / 1977
    Overall Height
    (in. / mm):
    63.9 / 1623
     
    INTERIOR DIMENSIONS                             
    Headroom
    (in / mm): Front 38.6 / 980
    Rear 37.7 / 957
    Legroom
    (in. / mm):
     (front - max) 41.4 / 1052
    (rear) 39.6 / 1006
    Shoulder Room
    (in. / mm):
     (front) 58.9 / 1497
    (rear) 58.6 / 1488
    Hip Room
    (in. / mm):
     (front) 56.5 / 1436
    (rear) 54.0 / 1372
     
    WEIGHTS & CAPACITIES                            
    Base Curb Weight (Min)
    (lb. / kg): 2545 kg/5610 lbs
    Passenger Volume (cu. ft. / L):
    105 / 2976
    Cargo Volume
    (cu. ft. / L) ^:
     28.0 / 793 (behind rear seat)
    60.8 / 1723 (rear seat folded)
    ^ Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution

    Honda SUV e:prototype Reveal at Auto Shanghai 2021 Plus More

    Auto Shanghai 2021 was Honda's world premiere of their first BEV, the Honda SUV e:prototype near production ready. The first of 10 BEVs by 2025 for the China market not including PHEVs.

    Honda showed off their first of 10 up coming BEVs, the Honda SUV e:prototype which is scheduled to go on sale spring 2022 as the first Honda-brand EV in China. Interesting is that Honda has kept very quiet about their Global plans for EV's or even PHEVs. Honda which has not in the past had much R&D into BEVs signed a contract with GM to use their BEV platform for EVs and one could make the assumption that this is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV auto. Honda has also stated that they will use the Ultium platform of batteries and motors in future auto's also.

    If this Honda SUV e-prototype is based on the Chevrolet Bolt platform, it is a striking image.

    Honda also then premiered their Breeze PHEV as their first ever plug-in hybrid model. This auto is based on Honda's original hybrid system that has been sold in Europe as well as the North America market. The Breeze will go on sale in China in the second half of 2021.

    Honda has stated that their third generation of Honda CONNECT will be available in the Breeze and all new products coming out in China this year and moving forward. All Honda brand auto's will have advanced driver-assistive systems and over-the-air updates, wireless delivery of software updates.
    Honda Global | April 19 , 2021 "Honda Exhibits the World Premiere of the “Honda SUV e:prototype” at Auto Shanghai 2021"

    LiNa Energy and Ion Ventures Conclude Successful Test of a Solid-State Sodium Battery!

    LiNa Energy is commercializing a cobalt and lithium free solid-state sodium battery suited for the growing BEV and grid storage markets. LiNa technology believes it can not only help the world get to a net-zero by 2050, but help achieve it sooner.

    As of February 23rd, 2021 ion Ventures and LiNa Energy released their results of their first successful trial of the proprietary solid-state sodium battery platform at an undisclosed South East England location. ion Ventures, a 21st century utility and energy storage infrastructure specialist with LiNa Energy a solid-state battery technology developer had finished the final milestone of the prestigious UK BEIS Award.

    LiNa Energy was formed in the summer of 2017 as a spin-out of Lancaster University. The goal was to apply modern material engineering to the sodium-nickel-chloride battery allowing them to create a game-changing battery storage technology.
    The goal here was to commercialising a safe, cobalt-free battery platform that would be suited for both BEV and Grid Storage by the Utility industry at a substantial reduced cost. The achievement was that they hit $50 per kWh which is a substantial reduction over current battery technology. LiNa Energy went even further in focusing on a superior solid state cell design that also did not need Lithium removing both rare earth elements as they successfully created a solid-state sodium battery.
    Development time was just under two years from concept to development and finally operational prototype that produced energy density comparable to todays existing lithium/cobalt batteries. They went even further in building a battery pack that can operate in a wide range of temperatures and does not require expensive cooling systems. 
    The aim of this trial was to demonstrate the ability to charge and discharge a battery module containing LiNa's patented system design which included optimized thermal and electrical management and control systems. LiNa Energy created the battery platform and ion Ventures is leading the deployment of the battery in real-word environment with a view to deploying it in the grid storage market near future.
    The benefit of LiNa battery cell design is that this helps to manage grid volatility created by the decline in fossil fuel generated power by providing a synthetic source of inertia as the world moves towards green power generation. Lithium-ion technology is the dominant chemistry for battery storage systems. The LiNa Platform is a disrupting technology to the Lithium-Ion batteries currently being used in Grid storage markets, passenger and commercial vehicles (BEVs). 
    The clean-tech specialist consultancy BEIS Award, E4Tech performed an independent, strategic study of the stationary grid storage application based on LiNa's Technology. They identified that LiNa's platform was superior to existing Lithium-Ion based storage in regards to distribution, generation level storage and behind the meter owing to superior CAPEX, OPEX, LCC, battery self-discharge and safety metrics.

    The next step is to setup a commercial large scale production for taking this battery technology to market focused on the following:
    Utility Scale Storage: Transmission grid Distribution grid Generation level storage Behind the meter Transport: Passenger EV Commercial/heavy duty EV Bulk transport Maritime Railway Aerospace LiNa Technology hit's these very important points:
    High Performance Higher volumetric and gravimetric energy density than incumbent lithium-ion Expected significant operational cycling improvement vs. lithium-ion Low Cost: Cell Cost as mass manufacturing of c.$50 kWH Uses abundant raw materials, cobalt and lithium free and easily recycled Safe: Inherently safe system reduces system-level costs and complexity Ceramic separator is non-flammable Chemistry & IP: Underlying NaNiCl chemistry proven commercially LiNa IP is protected by several patents and 60+ years of combined specialist materials know-how
    LiNa and ion Ventures conclude successful test of pioneering solid-state sodium battery platform - LiNa Energy
    Technology - LiNa Energy
    ion Ventures • ion Ventures and LiNa Energy conclude successful test of pioneering solid-state sodium battery platform
    ion Ventures • homepage

    Next e-volution is here, Audi A6 and Q4 e-tron

    Audi revealed at the Shanghai Auto show their luxury-class Sportback concept car with fast charging of 270 kW and a range of 700 km (800V system & 435 mile) in the form of the A6 e-tron. They also showed off their Q4 e-tron.

    Using the VWs groups MEB platform, Audi first introduced the world in 2018 to the Audi e-tron GT and today takes the next step in showing the world their A6 e-tron luxury sportsback sedan.
    Audi premiere the world to their Light, Design and Technology with the Audi Q4 e-tron
    Audi Q4 e-tron premiere
    Audi A6 e-tron concept – the next e-volution | Audi MediaCenter (audi-mediacenter.com)

    Toyota bZ, A Full Line-up of Battery Electrified Vehicles (BEV)

    Toyota released their new vision of a dedicated BEV line-up in Shanghai tonight 4/19/2021. The Toyota bZ lineup will cover 15 BEVs of which 7 will be Toyota badged bZ BEVs to be introduced globally by 2025.

    Toyota Motor Corporation announced their Toyota bZ line-up of BEVs at the Shanghai Auto Show. The first to be unvealed is the Toyota bZ4X, an AWD in the bZ series. This CUV plays off the success of the Toyota Rav 4 hybrid series in style.








    Toyota had 4 key points that they made with tonight's product reveal:
    Toyota intends to contribute to SDGs based on the perspective of "home planet" that responds to environmental issues of global scale above and beyond the concepts of "hometown" and "home country" that the automotive industry has long continued its business in. Toyota intends to fully concentrate on achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, in accordance with the energy and industry policies in different countries. Toyota is establishing a full line-up of electrified vehicles, which has worked in reducing carbon emissions, based on the concept of introducing sustainable vehicles practically to the market. The number of electrified models will reach around 70 by 2025. In establishment of a full line-up of electrified vehicles, Toyota is underway to introduce 15 BEVs, including seven Toyota bZ models, by 2025. Toyota is working together with Subaru Corporation (Subaru) to promote car-making that takes advantage of the strengths of both companies. Toyota hopes to begin worldwide sales of the Toyota bZ4X, a new SUV BEV, by the middle of 2022. While Toyota had heavily invested in Hybrids and believed Hydrogen is the future, they have quickly paired up with other companies to share the cost of BEV development. China's BYD, Daihatsu, Subaru and Suzuki are partners in using the new e-TNGA platform.
    Toyota and Subaru jointly developled the Toyota bZ4X taking advantage of the companies strengths. Toyota expertise in electrification with Subaru's superior AWD technologies and driving performance that is both comfortable and enjoyable is what has allowed the bZ4X to be a class leading design with Toyota planning to have the bZ4X produced in Japan and China for global sales starting in the middle of 2022.

    The Toyota bZ4X has the following characteristics:
    Using a BEV-specific platform, the bZ4X combines a long wheelbase with a short overhang; this results both in a distinctive design, and in an interior space comparable to a D-segment sedan. A uniquely shaped steering wheel eliminates the need to change grip when steering, and also contributes to a spacious interior; the vehicle adopts a steer-by-wire system that provides a smooth driving feel aligned with the driver's intentions. The low position of the instrument panel and the location of the meters above the steering wheel serve not only to enhance the vehicle's sense of space, but also improve visibility and contribute to safe and secure driving. The bZ4X adopts a new AWD system jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru; it combines safe and pleasing driving performance―made possible by the unique responsiveness of electrified vehicles―with an impressive off-road performance. In addition to the use of regenerative energy systems, the vehicle also adopts a solar recharging system; this cleverly recharges the battery while stationary, and further enhances the unique environmental performance of a BEV. It also provides cruising range that ensures customers not to be inconvenienced in wintertime. Toyota believes they can greatly reduce CO2 emissions via their electrification program and as such plan to have globally 70 electrified models by 2025. This includes their HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles), PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles).
    Toyota currently has 22% of their global product line some form of electrified vehicles. They plan to increase this to 70 models covering an undefined percentage of their global product line depending on customers needs Toyota will slowly phase out ICE only auto's as they move to a full hybrid/BEV/FCEV product line.
    An interesting observation is in their first commercial for the Toyota bZ product line and how they are clearly showing the BEV line as an activity / lifestyle auto with the ability to play in the city and just as easily play in the woods.
    You can find additional photo's and videos of the product release at the company link below.
    Toyota announces its new BEV series, Toyota bZ, in establishment of a full line-up of electrified vehicles | Toyota | Global Newsroom | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website

    2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Is A Step Smaller Than A Midsize Truck

    But don't call it a truck

    It is surprising to think it has been over six years since Hyundai first showed the Santa Cruz pickup concept at the Detroit Auto Show. But today, Hyundai has unveiled the production version. The automaker isn't calling this a truck, instead using the term "Sport Adventure Vehicle". To us, it's a truck.
    We need to start with a bit of a reality check. The Santa Cruz is not a direct competitor to the likes of Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline, or Toyota Tacoma in terms of measurements. Compared to those models, the Santa Cruz is around 10 to 17 inches shorter in length. Overall height is around 3 to 4 inches shorter. The bed measures 4.3 feet, which is about foot shorter than the Ranger. There is also an in-bed trunk like the Ridgeline.
    The model is based on the recently redesigned Tucson crossover, which explains why it shares the front end styling - complete with headlights in the massive grille. That also means it shares the same engines as the Tucson. Here's the lineup,
    2.5L four-cylinder:  estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque Turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder: estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque The N/A 2.5 comes with an eight-speed automatic, while the turbo makes do with an eight-speed dual-clutch. Front-wheel drive is standard, while HTRAC all-wheel drive is optional.
    The interior looks very modern and comes with an eight-inch touchscreen in the center stack. Optional features include a 10-inch touchscreen and TFT instrument display. 
    Hyundai is keeping mum on pricing until the Santa Cruz launches sometime this summer.
    BTW: If you're wondering why the Santa Cruz took so long to reach production, I recommend this piece from Autoblog which delves into this.
    Source: Hyundai
    Hyundai Unveils Segment-Shattering Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle
    Highly-anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle Shatters Both SUV and Truck Segments, Creating an Entirely New Vehicle Category Multi-utility, Secure Open Bed Provides Diverse Gear-Carrying Flexibility Powerful and Efficient 2.5L Turbo Powertrain with HTRAC® AWD Capability Available Cutting-edge Connectivity, Convenience and Active Safety Features Compact Footprint Provides Superior Maneuverability in an Open-bed Configuration Proudly Built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) in Montgomery FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Apr. 15, 2021 – Hyundai today unveiled its highly anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, Truck and Crossover segments by offering a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else in the U.S. market. Santa Cruz boasts bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity and a highly maneuverable all-wheel drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments. The Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle begins production in Montgomery, Alabama in June and will be available for sale in summer. The addition of Santa Cruz to HMMA production will add an estimated 1,200 jobs to the U.S. economy. Hyundai is also creating an early reservation system for the U.S.-market Santa Cruz in late April at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/.
    “Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.
    Why Santa Cruz?
    Santa Cruz was developed to be the ultimate Sport Adventure Vehicle, a moniker confirmed in Hyundai’s early consumer research. The research found consumers, often living in urban environments, whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures of all kinds. Many of these customers carry various gear and equipment that is better suited to an open bed rather than a typical SUV bodystyle. These buyers want versatile transportation that is equally flexible for urban, adventure, occupational or even home improvement gear. Santa Cruz features a secure, open bed area which includes a lockable tonneau cover, hidden bed storage and versatile bed extension accessories. At the same time, these customers still value the secure utility of a compact SUV, with its comfort, passenger space, fuel efficiency and parking ease. Santa Cruz, with its unique, bold design, created an entirely new segment that meets these specific buyer needs like no vehicle before it.
    Everything about Santa Cruz reflects a duality of purpose in its design execution. This all-new category-bending vehicle holds a variety of imagery in balanced juxtaposition:
    Urban life connectivity with escape to outdoor adventure Work and play flexibility Tough yet alluring demeanor Roominess with maneuverability Open cargo area and secured, lockable storage Towing capability and fuel efficiency The forward view of Santa Cruz deploys a hidden lighting signature that becomes visible within the grille only when illuminated. The daytime running lamps (DRLs) present a parametric jewel design with high-tech precision detailing. A bold, cascading grille anchors the front view, supported by a skid plate element in the lower front fascia. Voluminous hood and fenders further communicate an imposing first impression.
    In profile, Santa Cruz signals a sporty yet capable spirit. The A- and C-pillars present faster forward and rearward rakes than typical open-bed utility vehicles. Large 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design are surrounded by armor-like wheel arches, conveying both wheel-articulation potential and off-road capability. Powerful body side volumes contrast with precise triangular sheer-edged surfaces and tight radius character lines.
    From the rear, a horizontal “T” lighting signature adds visual width and distinguishes Santa Cruz from anything on the road. The functional rear open bed area features secure, lockable in-bed storage, integrated corner bumper steps and a lockable tonneau cover, seamlessly integrated with the overall design. The rear tail lamps are embossed with: “Designed in California” as a testament to the passion of Hyundai’s California-based design team. Small, discrete design details such as this can be found throughout the exterior and interior.
    Interior Design
    The interior of the Santa Cruz expresses a sophisticated and refined appearance. The contrasting rugged yet refined motif matches the boldness of the exterior, boasting a technical ambience that appeals to those who appreciate cutting-edge technologies in their daily lives. It features an enveloping dual-cockpit design that encapsulates each passenger. Design teams focused on ease of ingress and egress and ergonomic comfort on long drives. The premium center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with an impressive 10 inches of visibility. The optional center digital cluster display also measures 10 inches. Under the rear seats is convenient, in-cabin storage. Completing the premium ambience is an available Bose® audio system.
    Powerful and Efficient Powertrains
    Santa Cruz offers two powerful, flexible and efficient powertrains. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque. This engine couples to an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission for quick acceleration and superb efficiency. Santa Cruz also offers a 2.5L direct-injected turbocharged engine with an estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This DCT includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver.
    Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
    The eight-speed transmission for the standard 2.5-liter engine provides quick and crisp shifts for an engaging and efficient driving experience. This automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient trip on the interstate. A multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter improves responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band, while a downsized oil pump and double ball bearings minimize frictional losses.
    Advanced HTRAC® AWD and Towing Capability
    Both 2.5L four-cylinder and 2.5L four-cylinder turbo models offer HTRAC® all-wheel drive capability for complete confidence when pursuing adventures of all kinds or for that extra peace of mind when driving in an unexpected snowfall. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty, dynamic experience. This system has a wide range of torque distribution variability, tuned for conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts. For those customers who like to tow their weekend gear with them, the 2.5L 4-cylinder is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts a generous 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.
    Compact Dimensions Yield Superb Maneuverability
    Santa Cruz makes efficient use of its compact dimensions by offering high utility with excellent maneuverability. Its shorter wheelbase and smaller overall footprint make it a joy to maneuver and park in challenging urban parking, with an exceptional curb-to-curb turning radius of only 20.0 feet.
    Specification (in.)
    Santa Cruz
    Tacoma
    Ridgeline
    Frontier
    Length
    195.7
    212.2
    210.0
    205.5
    Width
    75.0
    75.2
    78.5
    72.8
    Height
    66.7
    70.7
    70.3
    70.1
    Wheelbase
    118.3
    127.4
    125.2
    126.0
    Bed Length
    Upper 48.4
    Lower 52.1
    60.4
    63.6
    59.4
    Footprint Area
    (sq. ft.)
    101.9
    109.7
    114.6
    103.9
                       
    Responsive and Refined Chassis Tuning
    Santa Cruz was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a wide variety of urban and off-road, multi-surface driving conditions. The shorter wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track create a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in urban environments. These specifications also provide confident agility when traversing off-road terrain. Available 20-inch alloy wheels with wide, all-season, all-terrain tires give surefooted, agile handling character on a variety of road surfaces. Available 18-inch wheels with more voluminous tire sidewalls for off-road adventures are also available.

    Toyota e-TNGA Platform to be Unveiled April 19 as part of "Beyond Zero" EV products.

    To comply with European and Chinese laws, Toyota has filed a new family of Names for their "Beyond Zero" EV product line built on the e-TNGA platform.

    According to L'argus.fr a french news reporting site, they have uncovered that the first 100% electric SUV from Toyota is to be called BZ4X with X standing for AWD. This BZ4X will be a class equal in size to the current Toyota Rav4. This news site states that Toyota will unveil the BZ4X on April 19th 2021.

    As stated, Toyota a strong Hybrid auto builder and strong believer that Hydrogen is the real future has found itself playing catch up to an industry that is now dominated by European and Chinese having declared for personal auto's that BEV is the future.
    Built on the e-TNGA platform Toyota has filed the following family line of names:
    BZ1, BZ2, BZ3, BZ4 and BZ5 expected to be either FWD or RWD. BZ2X, BZ4X are expected to be AWD.
    The sneek peak image that Toyota has released is expected to be what the production BEV will look like of their 6 BEV lineup with the BZ4/BZ4X being the first out equal in size as stated earlier to the Toyota RAV4 in both ICE and Hybrid form.

    The product line will be totally built on the e-TNGA platform of either 1 or 2 motors. This product line will also be sold at Subaru under their new BEV product line called Evoltis as well as an undefined name for Lexus.

    This product line of BEV to be sold under three name plates will have a range of 110 to 220 or 300 HP for a sporty version based on past comments from Toyota.
    Welcome to "Beyond Zero"

    Toyota BZ4X (2022). Le premier SUV 100 % électrique bientôt dévoilé (largus.fr)


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