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    Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota 86 GT

    Can a sports car act as a blank canvas?

    The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen radio featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  Trying to find a comfortable position the 86 took longer than I expected due to the limited amount of adjustments on offer. The sport seats provide excellent bolstering to hold you in during enthusiastic driving but falter in terms of comfort when it comes to long drives. As for the back seat, I would only recommend it for either very small kids or extra storage space. We come to the key weak point of the 86, the engine. It is the 2.0L Flat-Four from Subaru which produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the six-speed manual - figures drop by five when equipped with the automatic. Not much has changed in the performance department. At low speeds, the 86 goes along merrily. But then the power band falls off a cliff and you're left wondering when it will come back.  It doesn't help that the engine note of the 2.0L sounds like a bucket of bolts dumped into a dryer. This doesn't encourage wanting to climb higher in the rev band and giving the illusion of going faster - something Mazda does quite well with the MX-5 Miata. On my test car, an optional TRD exhaust was fitted and it somehow makes the noise worse. It sounded like a group of cats fighting one another to get that prime spot in the box from an Amazon delivery. The manual transmission does not like being shifted quickly as it becomes slightly stiff and bulky. Go slowly and the gear lever responds with a smooth and positive feel. An option that was ticked on this vehicle was the TRD handling package which adds a set of SACHS dampers. The SACHS do make an improvement in terms of body control as the 86 doesn't really exhibit any sort of roll. What you get a vehicle that is fun to toss in the corners. Helping out is the steering that responds quickly and provides a decent feel. But there is a downside to the TRD Handling package and that is the ride quality. I found the FR-S to be quite stiff and transmit most bumps and road imperfections. This package only increases the frequency and impact them. I would highly recommend driving a standard 86 against one with the Handling Pack to see which one you would prefer. The 86 GT starts at $30,115 and my tester with the two TRD options and some other items stickers at $34,783. If you drop the TRD options, then it becomes slightly better at just under $32,000.  Who is the 86 for? The obvious answer to this is someone who wants something fun to drive but doesn't have that much to spend. Of course, there are other options that offer more performance, the 86 shines on a winding road. But as someone pointed out in our interactive review, the 86 is a good option for someone who wants a blank canvas. This and the BRZ have a large aftermarket which means an owner can build their coupe to their desires. Want to upgrade the suspension and brakes? There are parts available. Feel like dropping in a larger engine? That is possible. It's a blank canvas ready for someone to make it their own. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 86, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: 86
    Trim: GT
    Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
    Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
    Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
    Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
    Base Price: $30,115
    As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
    TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
    TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
    TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
    Special Color - $425.00
    Center Armrest - $199.00
    All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00

    ZETA - Zero Emission Transportation Association - What is it?

    What is ZETA you ask?

    This is the first industry-backed coalition of 28 businesses and growing covering employees in all US states advocating for a national policy that supports the sale of electric vehicles only starting in 2030 of light, medium and heavy-duty auto's. This group calls for the accelerated transition to EVs.

    Securing American global EV manufacturing leadership, dramatically improving public health and significantly reducing carbon pollution is some of the key goals that ZETA or Zero Emission Transportation Association was formed for.

    This industry association is focused on creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. In quoting their www.zeta2030.org web site they state the 3 core points.
    Job Creation - Enacting ambitious, but realistic policies to accelerate transportation electrification will create hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs. Congress must seize this opportunity or risk ceding this economic growth to others. Cleaner Environment - The transportation sector emits more carbon pollution than any other sector of the U.S. economy. Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions and are 67% less carbon intensive than gasoline-powered auto's over their lifetime. Real Savings - By going electric, vehicle owners can save over $700 a year in Fuel and an additional $330 in annual maintenance costs. Federal, state and local incentives can drive greater consumer benefits. Their press release has the ZETA five key policy pillars:
    1. Outcome-driven consumer EV incentives. Point-of-sale consumer incentives drive adoption, provide cost reductions and achieve real results in pushing transportation electrification. In addition, incentivizing early retirements while encouraging EV adoption will speed the transition and meet the urgency of the moment.
    2. Emissions / performance standards enabling full electrification by 2030. Emission targets are a key piece of protecting public health and sending the correct market signals to support and accelerate the transition to zero emission transportation.
    3. Infrastructure investments. Strong federal charging infrastructure investments will drive the electric transportation transition and ensure that the United States is leading the way in a clean recovery where everyone is better off.
    4. Domestic manufacturing. We should not only accelerate U.S. transportation electrification, but also work to ensure that we secure domestic economic growth and leadership in EV manufacturing. Federal policies must encourage job creation and economic activity across the entire EV supply chain and lifecycle, from critical materials to vehicles.
    5. Federal leadership and cooperation with sub-national entities. Federal support should invest in research and development, provide an aligned vision for electrification, and ensure local leaders are empowered with the expertise and resources to support full vehicle electrification.
     Further details about their key issues can be found here: https://www.zeta2030.org/key-issues/
    ZETA includes the following founding members:
    ABB Albemarle Corporation Arrival ChargePoint ConEdison Copper Development Association, Inc. Duke Energy Edison International Enel X EVBox EVgo Ioneer Li-Cycle Lordstown Motors Lucid Motors Piedmont Lithium PG&E Corporation Proterra Redwood Materials Rivian Siemens Southern Company SRP Tesla Vistra Volta Uber WAVE ZETA mission statement:
    ZETA brings together those whose values and strategic interests support 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030.
    This diverse non-partisan group coordinates public education efforts and federal policy development to promote EV adoption with the goal of creating American electric vehicle manufacturing jobs, better serving consumers, improving air quality and public health, and significantly reducing carbon pollution.
    ZETA can be contacted at the following:
    Joe Britton
    Executive Director, ZETA
    David Ganske
    Communications and PR for ZETA

    Quick Drive: 2020 Volvo V60 Polestar

    Can a Volvo Wagon Be Wicked and Green?!

    Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different.
    Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey wheels that cover up the massive gold brake calipers, and the two Polestar badges. Only changes for the interior are the Polestar logo embossed on the front headrests and gold seatbelts. Under the hood is Volvo's T8 powertrain. This is the 2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a total output of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. This setup also provides all-wheel drive. It is quite shocking (pardon the pun) as to how fast the V60 Polestar goes. Step on the accelerator and it feels like you have engaged warp drive as the two powertrains work together.  But there were times where the gas engine and electric motor didn't seem to be on the same page. There would be the odd delay or surging of the gas engine when driving around town in the hybrid mode. Hopefully, this is something that could be addressed with an update to the engine software. The other party trick of the V60 Polestar is the ability to run on electric power alone. This comes from an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the cargo floor. Volvo claims a range of 22 miles on electric power alone, but I was able to stretch it out to around 23 to 25 miles throughout the week. Recharging took around eight to eleven hours if the battery was near or fully depleted.  For the week, I saw an MPGe average of 52.1. With the battery drained, I saw the average fall to around 29.1 MPG.  Volvo turned to suspension supplier Öhlins to develop something bespoke for the V60 Polestar. What was delivered is a special set of dampers that are manually adjusted by gold-colored aluminum knobs. You'll easily find the ones in the front by opening the hood - sitting on top of the shock towers. The ones in the back are slightly harder to find as they're located above the wheels in the wheel housing. This is something that feels like more of a talking point when showing off the wagon, not something you want to mess with unless you are knowledgeable on damper tuning. The V60 Polestar may be the best handling Volvo I have driven in quite some time. The Öhlins dampers do make a difference as they minimize body roll. But the dampers cannot fully hide the massive weight of the Polestar - tipping the scales at 4,522 pounds. This makes the wagon not feel as nimble. In terms of ride quality, the V60 Polestar does well on smooth roads. Take it on a road with a litany of bumps and potholes and the ride becomes very choppy. This is where I wished Volvo had gone for a computer-controlled damper system to make the ride slightly smoother. A price tag of over $68,000 is a bit much for a Volvo, but you need to take into consideration that you're getting everything as standard. That includes the premium B&O audio system, full LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Pilot Assist, and more. The only option on our tester is the metallic paint. Despite the price tag and rough ride, I'm happy to see Volvo venturing out and doing some wild as the V60 Polestar. This vehicle is a prime example of having your cake and eating it by delivering excellent performance and efficiency in one package. The fact that this package is in a wagon shows this for someone who doesn't want to follow the Joneses and get a performance crossover. Would this be the 60 Series model I would buy? No, that honor falls to the V60 Cross Country I drove in the early spring. But the Polestar runs a close second. Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the V60 Polestar, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Volvo
    Model: V60
    Trim: T8 Polestar Engineered 
    Engine: 2.0L Twincharged DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder, Two AC Electric Motors
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 328 (gas), 46 (electric motor front), 87 (electric motor rear), 415 (combined)
    Torque @ RPM: 317 (gas), 111 (electric motor front), 177 (electric motor rear), 494 (combined)
    Fuel Economy: Combined MPGe/Gas - 69/30
    Curb Weight: 4,522 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
    Base Price: $67,300
    As Tested Price: $68,940 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
    Metallic Paint - $645.00

    BMW iX - New Era, New EV Flagship

    BMW and Electric Cars, Take iX!

    BMW announced today their new flagship electrical SUV, the BMW iX. This SUV will launch late in 2021 as a 2022 model. The style will likely be controversial as it retains the concepts overly large kidney grill front end but maintains a sleek drag coefficient of 0.25 Cd which is equal to the Tesla X.

    This AWD SUV has one motor per axles giving a combined 370 kW or 500 horsepower with a 0 to 62 mph of under 5 seconds. A 100 kW battery pack that will give 600 kilometers on the WLTP cycle or 300 plus miles on the EPA cycle FTP-75. These figures are subject to change once official testing is done.
    The BMW iX has a 200 kW charging controller for DC fast charging that will allow up to 80% charged battery in 40 minutes equaling about 75 miles of range every 10 min. For level 2 home charging, it will take less than 11hrs for a full battery recharge from zero.
    The interior is a appears to be a two tone renewable material based on past comments from BMW. They have gone with a minimalist interior, but using what appears to be jewel like controls for the doors and center console. One observation is the metal rings in the top section of the seats just below the headrest.

    One does have to wonder if shorter drivers and front passengers might not hit their head on this. An interesting trend as we have seen Cadillac do this with the speakers built into the sides of the Head rest area on the seats.

    BMW announced in 2019 that they would have a dozen EVs by 2025 which was later revised to be 25 new electrified models on sale by 2023, majority will be pure ev.

    Interactive Review: 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux

    Lexus' popular crossover arrives for its interactive, with three-row seating!

    This week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau sees the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux come in for an interactive review. It has been some time since I last drove any version of the RX and it has gone some significant changes. The key one is the introduction of a three-row version - designated by the L at the end. Another welcome change is an introduction of a touchscreen for the Lexus Enform infotainment system.
    Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Out the door, this RX 350 comes with an as-tested price of $63,540 with a $1,025 destination charge.
    Here are some quick thoughts,
    Acceleration isn't the RX's strong suit. The V6 moves the crossover at an adequate speed. The touchscreen makes a huge difference in overall usability with Enform. I find myself not screaming at it - both internally and externally. Third-row does eat up a lot of cargo space when up. I'll be trying to squeeze myself into the third-row along with other items throughout my week in the RX. In the meantime, drop off any questions you have.

    Interactive Review: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription

    Volvo SUV? Check. Plug-In Hybrid? Check. Interactive Review? Check.

    Next up for an interactive review is the most expensive Volvo I have driven, the 2020 XC90 T8 Inscription - as-tested price of $86,790 with a $995.00 destination charge. Sadly, there is no kitchen sink to find, but this vehicle is loaded. It has four-corner air suspension, 21-inch wheels, a Bowers and Wilkins audio system, massaging front seats, heated steering whee, captain chairs for the second row with heat, panoramic sunroof, and 360-degree camera.
    Power comes from the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain that I tried in the V60 Polestar a few weeks back. While not as potent as the Polestar, the XC90 still posts some impressive numbers of 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet.
    Here are some initial impressions
    Despite the hefty pricetag, I don't get the feeling of luxury that the Inscription is supposed to bring. I have to wonder if its due to the black leather and dark wood trim being used. Did I mention that this comes with a crystal gearshift? Ride quality seems to be ok with the 21-inch wheels, but there is a fair amount of tire noise on rough pavement. I'll have more thoughts as the week goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, drop them below.

    2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Is An Affordable German EV

    To Begin at $39,995 and Offer 250 Miles of Range

    Volkswagen's electric car offensive has already started in Europe with the ID.3. The next step is taking on the U.S. with the next electric vehicle, the ID.4 introduced today.
    The ID.4 looks very close to the concept that was first shown back in 2017 with such details as the VW logo smack dab in the middle with a light bar running across; wide air dam for the front,  flowing lines, and a full-length lightbar at the rear. In terms of size, the ID.4 is about 4.6 inches shorter, 1.9 inches lower, and 0.5 inches wider than the Tiguan sold in the U.S. No word on weight.
    For the interior, Volkswagen went minimalist. The driver faces 5.3-inch digital display and is able to change gear via a knob on the right side of bezel - similar to the BMW i3. Either a 10 or 12-inch touchscreen display handles the infotainment duties. Interior space is quite generous with 99.9 cubic feet of passenger space and 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
    At launch, the ID.4 will only be available with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle providing 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. An 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides the juice. Range is estimated at 250 miles. A dual-motor version with 302 horsepower and all-wheel drive will come out sometime next year.
    For charging, Volkswagen says that on a Level Two charger, the ID.4 takes around 7.5 hours from an empty battery. If you can find a DC fast charger, the recharge time drops significantly: Volkswagen claims that the battery can reach an 80% charge in 38 minutes.
    Pricing for the ID.4 will begin at $39,995 for the base Pro when it arrives at dealers at the end of the year. No mention on destination. But Volkswagen is planning to drop the price of the ID.4 once production begins at the Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Volkswagen unveils the all-new 2021 ID.4 electric SUV
    Sep 23, 2020
    Reservations for the ID.4 start online today with 50-state launch in early 2021 MSRP starts at $39,995 for ID.4 Pro before potential $7,500 Federal tax credit Estimated 250 miles of range on ID.4 1st Edition Compact SUV will be available in rear-wheel drive 201-hp 82 kWh (launching first) and all-wheel-drive 302-hp 82 kWh configurations Three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost Modern design pairs with high-tech features, like DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology and a smart infotainment system, using voice and touch Localized production in Chattanooga, starting in 2022 with anticipated MSRP around $35,000 Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. revealed the all-new ID.4 electric SUV today—the brand’s first long-range EV to be sold stateside. This compact SUV will offer all the best features of Volkswagen’s current lineup—hallmark driving dynamics, bold design, and advanced technology—along with long-range EV capability and three years of fast charging with Electrify America for no additional cost, to customers in the largest segment in the U.S., all with a price point aimed at the heart of the segment.
    “The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric—and fall in love with Volkswagen again,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle. All the best things about VW in one package.”
    Powertrain & Charging
    The ID.4 electric compact SUV is based on the modular electric drive architecture (MEB). While it is the brand’s newest platform, it also represents a return to Volkswagen’s roots, with the electric motor located at the rear, just like the original Beetle.
    The heart of the ID.4 is a battery pack comprised of 288 pouch cells in 12 modules, positioned in the underbody to create a low center of gravity for optimal driving dynamics as well as extremely well-balanced weight distribution. It is housed in a lightweight aluminum structure that is bolted to the frame, helping to improve rigidity.
    At launch, the vehicle will be offered with an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen estimates that the ID.4 82kWh RWD 1st Edition models will have a range of 250 miles with a full charge on the EPA cycle. A powerful, electric all-wheel-drive variant with 302 hp will follow later in 2021.
    The ID.4 also comes with three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost, helping to reduce range anxiety. The ID.4 can be charged with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) fast-charging capability. The 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge the battery 33 miles in about one hour, and charges to full in around seven and a half hours at a home or public Level 2 charger. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes.
    The ID.4 is designed to be strong, yet agile. The chassis and body are made from steel. The front suspension is a strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar. In the rear, the ID.4 uses a multi-link rear axle with coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. With 3.5 turns lock-to-lock and a stellar curb-to-curb turning radius of 33.5 feet, the ID.4 feels nimble, especially among other compact SUVs.
    A combination of brake types is used on ID.4. It features disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear—the difference being specific to electric vehicle needs. As EVs rely on regenerative braking, disc brakes on the rear can be less effective than drums after long periods of not being put to heavy use.
    Like the platform, the design of ID.4 represents a move towards the future with a nod to the past. At the front, the Volkswagen logo is able to be positioned centrally because there is no radiator grille, as it was on the Beetle. Large LED headlights flow backwards, hinting at the aerodynamic nature of the car, while a sculpted front bumper with large intake-like scoops and honeycomb accents give the car a powerful presence. Models fitted with the Statement package add an illuminated Volkswagen logo and an illuminated light line that stretches outward from it, creating a striking light signature.
    Front to back, clean, flowing lines alternate with crisp edges for a refined, yet futuristic look. A softly molded side section curves under the crisp rising shoulder line and flush illuminated door handles. The low greenhouse runs out into a strong C-pillar—a classic Volkswagen design feature—and into a long spoiler. The ID.4’s aerodynamically refined exterior helps it achieve an excellent drag coefficient of 0.28.
    The ID.4 sits squarely in the middle of the compact SUV segment, size-wise. It is 4.6 inches shorter than the Volkswagen Tiguan, at 180.5 inches, with a 0.9 inch shorter wheelbase at 108.9 inches. It is 1.9 inches lower than Tiguan at 64.4 inches high for the rear-wheel drive model, and 0.5 inches wider, at 72.9 inches.
    The ID.4 will available in six exterior colors—Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey, Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic and King’s Red Metallic. All models come with a body color roof, black roof rails, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The Statement package adds a panoramic fixed-glass roof, premium LED projector headlights with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and power-folding side mirrors with puddle lamp signature, while the Gradient package (sold on top of the Statement package) upgrades to 20-inch wheels, black roof, and silver roof rails and accents.
    Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV features ample space and a modern design. Passenger volume is similar to the Tiguan despite the overall smaller footprint, with 99.9 cubic feet total. Legroom is a comfortable 41.1 inches for front passengers and 37.6 inches in the rear seat. Cargo volume is 30.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 64.2 cubic feet with the seats folded.
    The interior of the ID.4 mirrors the futuristic look of the exterior, with functionality almost completely controlled by touch or voice control. The 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit (digital driver display) replaces the traditional instrument cluster and is operated with touch-sensitive controls on the leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel. Three tiles show the most important information, with the display for battery status and range underneath. The traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right of the ID.Cockpit, and a control panel to the left of the steering wheel integrates the lighting functions, including automatic headlights.
    A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display with the Statement package. Menus can be moved using gesture control, simply swiping one’s hand in front of the screen. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.
    “Hello ID.” natural voice control is standard in the ID.4. The car follows the instructions spoken by the driver and passengers and is capable of understanding many commands from everyday language, such as “Hello ID., I’m cold” to turn up the heat.
    The ID.4 will feature ID. Light—a light strip below the windshield to support drivers in a host of situations with intuitive lighting effects in different colors and sound prompts. For example, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle’s drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by some of the driver-assistance and navigation systems and signals, both visually and acoustically, details like charge status indicator, braking prompts and incoming phone calls.
    The steering wheel, steering column, and the housings for the display and control panels in the doors are finished in Piano Black. Seats in the ID.4 are finished in black cloth on entry models and Lunar Gray or Galaxy Black leatherette on models with the Statement package. Entry ID.4 models feature six-way adjustable seats with power recline, while the Statement package adds 12-way power seats, with massage lumbar and memory, as well as 30-color ambient lighting.
    ID.4 offers a range of comfort and convenience features found throughout the rest of the brand’s lineup. Standard features include rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone Climatronic® climate control, and KESSY® keyless access. To manage cold temperatures, the ID.4 features a standard heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, and, on all-wheel-drive models, a heated windshield. The Statement package adds SiriusXM® satellite radio with a three-month trial, an adjustable trunk floor, and a power tailgate with Easy Open & Close.
    To complete the high-tech package, ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net® with in-car WiFi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—all at 4G LTE-enabled speed.
    Safety & Driver Assistance Technology
    To help protect occupants, the ID.4 provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard—front and side airbags for front passengers, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions. Additionally there are a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
    With regards to the battery, an extruded aluminum frame protects the battery system against damage in the event of a crash, and a replaceable aluminum underbody panel protects the battery against the road. Additionally, the battery is also disabled if the vehicle is involved in a serious accident.
    With the standard IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology, all ID.4 models include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist); Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); Travel Assist; and Emergency Assist. In addition to IQ.DRIVE features, the ID.4 includes Dynamic Road Sign Display; Park Distance Control; and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
    Pricing & Sales
    Pricing for the ID.4 starts at $39,995, for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro (available in the first quarter of 2021), before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is applied. With those credits, the entry price of ID.4 is on par with the 2021 Tiguan SEL.  For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit, the monthly lease payment for a 36-month lease with 10,000 miles a year, is $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing, excluding tax, title, license, options and dealer fees.
    Starting later in 2021, the ID.4 AWD Pro ($43,695) will be available. Both Pro models carry largely the same equipment, with AWD models putting out 302 hp, and adding a heated windshield and tow hitch. These models can be additionally outfitted with two packages—Statement ($4,500), and Gradient ($1,500), which is only offered with Statement.
    The ID.4 launches with a limited-run ID.4 1st Edition (MSRP $43,995). The 1st Edition models feature the same content as the Pro model, and Statement package (minus illuminated VW logo) and Gradient package come standard. These models also include unique features including accelerator and brake pedals with “play” and “pause” logos, the steering wheel and column, radio bezel and door island finished in Electric White, 1st Edition badging, black mirror caps, and a tow hitch.
    Volkswagen plans to offer the ID.4 electric vehicle across all 50 states, and throughout its network of more than 600 dealers. A reservation platform debuts today on VW.com, allowing customers to reserve an ID.4 before it hits dealer showrooms, with a fully refundable $100 reservation fee. As vehicle production starts, reservation holders will be invited to confirm their order with an additional fully refundable $400 vehicle deposit. From placing a reservation, to production and through delivery, the customer can see where they stand and when they can expect their ID. 4 to arrive at their preferred local VW dealer in a simple, transparent process. At that time, the customer can transact with their dealer and complete their purchase.

    Interactive Review: 2020 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate

    One flat tire isn't going to stop our latest interactive review.

    First off, sorry for not posting an interactive review last week. My day job kept me busy and I needed some time to recharge. Nevertheless, you'll be hearing more about the Lexus RC F and its yellow paint color in a few weeks time as a quick drive review. In the meantime, let me introduce to latest vehicle to enter C&G's Detroit garage, the 2020 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate.
    This packs a 5.0L V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic. My test car is rear-wheel drive, but you can order all-wheel drive. The Ultimate brings everything to the G90, minus the kitchen sink. There is power-adjustable rear seats with memory; power window shades, 12-3-inch infotainment system, adaptive cruise control with stop and go; and much more. Price? $76,695 with a $995.00 freight charge. 
    Now this weeklong evaluation didn't get off to the best of starts. I got a flat tire on the first night as I was driving home from an errand. I don't know if I picked up a nail or something in the tire, but it had to be replaced. A big thank you goes out to Driveshop (the company who is providing all of these vehicles for this run) and Suburban Genesis and Hyundai for getting this done in about a day.
    Once over that, here are some first impressions.
    I can't help but think of the Lincoln Contiental with the G90's design in terms of the profile and certain design touches. The large diamond shape grille doesn't look as comical as it does in pictures. But I can see it being a point of contention. I do wish Genesis had added the 12.3-inch digital cluster that will be going into the upcoming G80 and GV80. V8 is very smooth and quiet, though the twin-turbo V6 is slightly quicker. I'll have more updates throughout the next few days, barring any other sort of incident. In the meantime, if you have questions, drop them below and I'll do my best to answer them.

    Nissan Z Proto Shows What's In Store

    What Could Possibly Be Next for the Z

    You would think that Nissan has forgotten about the 370Z, considering not much has been done to it in some time. But the Japanese automaker wants to make it clear they haven't forgotten about their sports car. They have been quietly working on the next-generation model.
    Last night, Nissan introduced the Z Proto which is a thinly-veiled concept of the next-generation model, possibly named 400Z due out within the next few years.
    You will instantly recognize the Z Proto as being part of the Z family. Nissan's designers draw quite heavily from the original 240Z up front as evidenced by the hood, teardrop-shaped LED headlamps (only available on Japanese-market 240), and square lower grille. The side profile also has another nod to the 240Z with the cabin pushed far back. In the back, echoes of the 90's 300ZX with a sloping roofline and rear light treatment.
    The interior looks production ready with a digital gauge cluster, dished steering wheel, sport seats with yellow contrasts, and a six-speed manual. The only callback to older Z models is a three-gauge binnacle sitting on top of the dash.
    Nissan is keeping mum on the two important parts of the Z Proto - engine and chassis. On the former, Nissan says the concept uses a twin-turbo V6 - possibly being the 3.0L used in the Q50 and Q60. This engine produces either 300 or 400 horsepower depending on the version. We may see a smaller engine option being available on the production model.
    According to Nissan, "work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years." Hopefully, more details begin to spill out before its debut.
    Source: Nissan
    Press Release is on Page 2

    New Nissan Z Proto looks to the future, inspired by its past
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The new Z is coming.
    Nissan has unveiled the Z Proto, signalling the company's intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. Shown at an event beamed around the world from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan, the prototype features new design inside and out, as well as an upgraded powertrain with a manual transmission.
    In Franklin, just south of Nashville, hundreds of Z owners and enthusiasts watched the Z Proto's Yokohama debut on big screens from their vehicles in a socially distanced event– part of a weeklong schedule of activities during the 33rd annual International Z Convention (ZCON).
    First hinted at in a brand teaser video, "Nissan A-Z," shown in May, the Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage. At the same time, it's a thoroughly modern sports car.
    "The Z represents the joy of driving in its purest form and has helped shape Nissan's DNA as a passionate, innovative challenger," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. "Ever since the first generation, it has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts all over the world. That's why we're so excited today to be able to say to them: Yes, the next one is coming!"
    Z Proto is one of 10 new vehicles that Nissan is showing for the U.S. in 20 months, along with top-sellers like Sentra and Rogue, and innovative new models like the all-electric Ariya crossover.
    "The United States is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model's 50-year history," said Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales. "With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to U.S. showrooms."
    Z Proto exterior: past meets future
    Sporting a bright yellow pearlescent paint – a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX – the Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates respect to the original model.
    Using a theme that combines elements of previous generations while also projecting futurism was challenging, said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan.
    "Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success," Albaisa said. "Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future."
    The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both unmistakable reminders of the original Z. The rectangular grille dimensions are similar to the current model, although the grille fins nod to the past. The form continues to exude both sportiness and elegance.
    "The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," Albaisa explained. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."
    The link to the original Z is most striking when viewing the Z Proto from the side. The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture. The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect.
    The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX taillights, reinterpreted for the modern world. Set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges, the LED taillights convey a sharp glow.
    Lightweight carbon fiber treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance. 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto's striking road presence.
    Z Proto interior: modern tech with a vintage touch
    Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto's cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches.
    The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for road and track. This can be seen in the Z's instrumentation. All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve o-clock position.
    The new, deep dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.
    Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special accent piping and layered seat material to create depth.
    Sports car joy: an exhilarating, dynamic performer
    The original Z was built to bring the joy and excitement of sports car ownership to as many people as possible.
    "The Z has always been a strong dynamic performer, making it easy for customers to enjoy its capabilities and feel as connected as possible to the car," said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the Z Proto. "This has been true through all its generations, and this is what drives our passion to innovate and challenge the norm."
    Each new generation had a more powerful engine, although the Z is about more than power increases.
    "Z is more than just powerful and agile," Tamura continued. "It is designed to create a connection with the driver, for the car to be a 'dance partner' for their on-road adventures."
    Make no mistake though, the Z Proto packs a powerful punch. Under the elongated hood is an enhanced V6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. As a prototype, work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years.
    "Nissan is transforming its business," said Uchida. "This summer, we unveiled the ground breaking all-electric Nissan Ariya crossover, which represents the future of mobility. Even as we open this new chapter, the Z, its heritage and passion, express who we are and has been shaping our DNA for over fifty years."
    Nissan Z Proto Specifications
    Z Proto specifications*
    V6 twin turbo
    6-speed manual
    (an automatic option is also in development)
    172.5 inches
    72.8 inches
    51.6 inches
    Wheel and tire size
    Front: 255/40R19
    Rear: 285/35R19

    Interactive Review: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited 1.6T

    A jaw-dropping midsize sedan arrives in C&G's garage for a weeklong evaluation

    Taking the place of the Toyota 86 this week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau is the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited. A car which I have been wanting to drive since it made its North American debut last spring at the New York Auto Show. The new model solves one of the biggest criticisms I had with the last-generation model, a very boring and plain design. Taking it out last night, I was noticing people glancing at this midsize sedan.
    Power comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder producing 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic. The as-tested price is a surprising $34,465 considering what you get on this including Smart Park, 10.25-inch touchscreen, heads-up display, heated/cooled seats, and more.
    Some first impressions,
    Hyundai has provided an Android smartphone (Samsung Galaxy Note 8) so various writers can try the digital key, which allows a smartphone to take the place of the actual key. I haven't tried it in place of the key yet, but I'm having some confidence issues with it. Whenever I try to connect the phone with car from inside the house, it cannot find the vehicle. I know I'm within range - 10 meters or 32 feet. So far, I have been able to connect with the vehicle once. The interior in my Limited tester is very impressive. Handsome design, quality materials, and roomy. Fuel economy is one area I wasn't expecting to be this good - currently seeing around 33 mpg. I'll have more updates throughout the Sonata's stay, including Smart Park and Digital Key. In the meantime, drop your questions below.

    2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Shows A Green Side

    You got plug-in hybrid in my off-roader! You got off-roader in my plug-in hybrid!

    The Jeep Wrangler is going green with the introduction of the 4xe.
    This plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler pairs a 2.0L turbo-four with a transmission-mounted electric motor. Total output is 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, making this the powerful production Wrangler to date. A 17.0-kWh, liquid-cooled battery pack battery pack mounted under the rear-seat provides the electric juice and allows the 4xe to travel up 25 miles on electric power only. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. Jeep hasn't revealed how long it takes to charge up the 4xe.
    Before you start thinking that going plug-in hybrid lessens the capability, Jeep says the 4xe models come with Dana 44 axles front and rear, and the various electronics have been waterproofed - allowing it to ford up to 30 inches of water. Base and Sahara models come with a two-speed transfer case with automatic four-wheel-drive mode and a 2.72:1 low-range. Rubicon models feature a transfer case with a 4:1 low-range, electronic locking front and rear axles with a 4.1:1 ratio, and an electronic sway bar disconnect.
    The 4xe does give up cargo space, with 27.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats (down four) and 67.4 with the rear seats folded (down five). It is also heavier with the base model coming at 5,000 pounds - about 800 pounds heavier than the gas model. 
    Jeep will begin selling the Wrangler 4xe early next year in the three trims mentioned above. You'll only be able to get it in the four-door version. Expecting pricing to be above $30,000 or so.
    Source: Jeep
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New Jeep® Wrangler 4xe Joins Renegade and Compass 4xe Models in Brand’s Global Electric Vehicle Lineup
    Advanced, Eco-friendly, Premium Technology Delivers Absolute and Quiet Open-air Freedom, an Even More Fun-to-drive On-road Experience and a New Level of Benchmark Jeep® Off-road Capability
    4xe electric vehicle technology is the natural evolution of nearly 80 years of Jeep® capability leadership Jeep 4xe vehicles provide new levels of efficiency, environmental responsibility, performance and capability, on and off the road Jeep Wrangler 4xe available in Europe, China and the United States by early 2021; Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe models began arriving in Europe this summer Wrangler 4xe boasts 375 horsepower and delivers up to 25 miles of pure electric operation for daily commutes while providing nearly silent, zero-emission, open-air freedom without range anxiety Torque-on-demand electric power enhances Wrangler’s on-road performance, delivering crisp launches from a standing start and plenty of low-speed thrust Low-speed, peak torque-on-demand raises Wrangler’s legendary off-road benchmark to master off-road environments Wrangler 4xe is first and foremost a Jeep Wrangler with Trail Rated running gear: solid front and rear axles, full-time 4x4 two-speed transfer case, fully articulating suspension and 30 inches of water fording capability Wrangler 4xe’s advanced turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors and robust TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission combine to deliver an estimated 50 MPGe 400-volt, 17 kWh, 96-cell battery pack mounts beneath second-row seat to protect it from outside elements and to preserve the interior space Wrangler 4xe features exclusive exterior design cues to signify efficient, environmentally friendly, electrification technology Available for order in Europe, Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe deliver up to 240 horsepower and approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) of zero-emission pure electric range September 3, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Jeep® brand has introduced its new Wrangler 4xe, marking the arrival of the most capable, technically advanced and eco-friendly Wrangler ever. Jeep Wrangler 4xe models will be available in Europe, China and the United States by early 2021. The Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe models – introduced last year in Geneva – began arriving in Europe this summer. The new Jeep 4xe models follow the introduction of the Jeep Grand Commander PHEV in China last year.
    The Wrangler 4xe’s plug-in hybrid powertrain is capable of up to 25 miles of nearly silent, zero-emission, electric-only propulsion, making it commuter friendly as an all-electric daily driver without range anxiety and the most capable and eco-friendly Jeep vehicle off-road – combined with the open-air freedom that only Jeep Wrangler offers.
    Jeep will offer electrification options on each nameplate in the next few years as it strives to become the leader in eco-friendly premium technology. Electrified Jeep vehicles will carry the 4xe badge. Jeep electric vehicles will be the most efficient and responsible Jeep vehicles ever, taking performance, 4x4 capability and driver confidence to the next level.
    “Our Jeep 4xe vehicles will be the most efficient, responsible and capable that the brand has ever created,” said Christian Meunier, Global President of Jeep Brand - FCA. “We are committed to make Jeep the greenest SUV brand. The electrification of the Jeep lineup will allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, delivering an efficient and fun on-road experience and offering an ability to enjoy even more Jeep capability off-road in nearly complete silence.”
    The Wrangler 4xe’s advanced powertrain provides a unique on- and off-road experience through the combination of two electric motors, a high-voltage battery pack, a high-tech 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine and robust TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The most advanced powertrain ever developed for a Jeep Wrangler maximizes efficiency with an estimated 50 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) while eliminating range anxiety, delivering pure-electric operation for most daily commutes.
    Torque from the electric motors in the Wrangler 4xe’s hybrid powertrain arrives instantly on demand from the driver. The powertrain also delivers fuel-saving, seamless, start-stop operation of the engine.
    Jeep has demonstrated 4x4 capability leadership for nearly 80 years. Jeep vehicles were the first to feature an automatic full-time four-wheel-drive system, first 4:1 transfer case and first electronic front sway-bar disconnect system. Merging electrification into the product lineup is a natural evolution.
    The Jeep Wrangler 4xe will be sold globally, with electric vehicle (EV) charge port plugs tailored to specific regions. It is assembled at FCA’s Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio.
    Wrangler 4xe Advanced Powertrain Combines Electric Motors, Turbo Engine
    The Jeep Wrangler 4xe powertrain integrates two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack with a fuel-efficient, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This configuration maximizes the efficiency of the hybrid propulsion components and mates them with the Wrangler’s world-renowned and proven driveline.
    Key elements of the Wrangler 4xe powertrain include 375 horsepower (280 kW), 470 lb.-ft. (637 N•m) of torque and an estimated 50 MPGe from the following components:
    2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 Engine-mounted motor generator unit Transmission-mounted motor generator unit integrated into eight-speed automatic transmission (ZF 8P75PH) 400-volt, 17-kWh, 96-cell lithium-ion, nickel manganese cobalt battery pack The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family. The high-tech, direct-injection engine uses a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head, along with a dedicated cooling circuit for the turbocharger, intake air and throttle body for exceptional responsiveness, performance and fuel efficiency.
    A high-voltage, liquid-cooled motor generator unit mounts at the front of the engine, replacing the conventional alternator. A robust belt connects the motor generator to the engine crankshaft pulley. The motor generator spins the engine for nearly seamless, fuel-saving, start-stop operation and generates electricity for the battery pack. The Wrangler 4xe does not use a conventional 12-volt starter motor. The Wrangler 4xe is equipped with a 12-volt battery to run accessories.
    The second high-voltage motor generator is mounted at the front of the transmission case, replacing the conventional torque converter of an automatic transmission.

    Two clutches work to manage power and torque from the e-motor and engine. A binary clutch (on/off) is mounted between the engine and the motor. When this clutch is open there is no mechanical linkage between the engine and the e-motor, which enables it to propel the Wrangler 4xe in electric-only mode.
    When the binary clutch is closed, torque from the 2.0-liter engine and the e-motor flow combine through the automatic transmission. A variable clutch mounted behind the e-motor manages engagement with the transmission to improve drivability and efficiency.
    Battery Pack Preserves Interior Room
    The Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s 400-volt, 17-kWh, 96-cell lithium-ion battery pack uses nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) graphite chemistry. The pack and controls mount underneath the second-row seat, where it is protected from outside elements. The Wrangler 4xe’s second-row seat is redesigned, allowing the bottom cushion to flip forward for access to the battery.
    Encased in an aluminum housing, the pack is fitted with a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance. The temperature control circuit includes a dedicated heater unit and a chiller that uses the Wrangler air-conditioning refrigerant to reduce coolant temperature when needed.
    The Wrangler 4xe hybrid system includes an Integrated Dual Charging Module (ICDM), which combines a battery charger and a DC/DC converter in a single unit that is more compact than two separate components, and a next-generation Power Inverter Module (PIM) that is reduced in size. These components are housed and protected from damage in a steel structure mounted below the battery pack.
    All high-voltage electronics, including the wiring between the battery pack and the electric motors, are sealed and waterproof. Like all Trail Rated Jeep Wranglers, the Wrangler 4xe is capable of water fording up to 30 inches (76 cm).
    The electric charge port features a push-open/push-close cover and is located on the left front cowl of the Wrangler 4xe for convenient nose-in parking at charging locations. The charge port includes LED indicators of charging status. An LED battery level monitor is mounted on top of the instrument panel, making it easy to check battery state of charge at a glance during charging.
    Wrangler 4xe E Selec Modes
    The Jeep Wrangler 4xe driver can tailor the hybrid powertrain to best suit each trip, whether it is filling the needs of most daily commuters in pure-electric operation, a night on the town or quietly exploring nature off-road.
    The Wrangler 4xe hybrid powertrain has three modes of operation, known as E Selec. The driver can select the desired powertrain mode via buttons mounted on the instrument panel, to the left of the steering wheel. Regardless of the mode selected, the Wrangler 4xe operates as hybrid once the battery nears its minimum state of charge.
    Hybrid: The default mode blends torque from the 2.0-liter engine and electric motor. In this mode, the powertrain will use battery power first, then add in propulsion from the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 when the battery reaches minimum state of charge Electric: The powertrain operates on zero-emission electric power only until the battery reaches the minimum charge or the driver requests more torque (such as wide-open throttle), which engages the 2.0-liter engine eSave: Prioritizes propulsion from the 2.0-liter engine, saving the battery charge for later use, such as EV off-roading or urban areas where internal combustion propulsion is restricted. The driver can also choose between Battery Save and Battery Charge during eSave via the Hybrid Electric Pages in the Uconnect monitor To help optimize the benefit of the E Selec modes, the Wrangler 4xe driver information display and the Uconnect touchscreen feature Eco Coaching Pages. The Eco Coaching Pages let owners monitor power flow and see the impact of regenerative braking, schedule charging times to take advantage of lower electric rates, and view their driving history with a detail of electric and gasoline usage.
    Regenerative braking is a key part of the Wrangler 4xe eco-friendly equation. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the powertrain control engages the maximum available regenerative braking, up to 0.25 g, from the electric motors to slow the vehicle, augmented with the Wrangler’s traditional friction brakes. The regenerative braking feature also extends the replacement period for brake pads.
    With 4x4 engaged, all four wheels feed torque for regenerative braking, maximizing the energy recovery. Electricity due to regenerative braking is fed to the battery pack to maintain or increase the state of charge.
    The Wrangler 4xe also features the ability to maximize regenerative energy production via a driver-selectable Max Regen feature.
    When Max Regen is engaged, a more assertive regenerative braking calibration occurs when the vehicle sees zero throttle input from the driver (coasting). Max Regen can slow the Wrangler 4xe faster than standard regenerative braking and generate more electricity for the battery pack. Once selected, the Max Regen feature remains engaged until driver deselects it.
    Off-road Legend
    Jeep Wrangler’s heritage is defined by its legendary off-road capability. All Wrangler 4xe power modes are available when the drivetrain is shifted to 4Lo. The seamless integration of electric power into the 4x4 drivetrain elevates the Wrangler 4xe to new levels of off-road performance.
    Enthusiasts will find that the instant availability of torque from the Wrangler 4xe’s electric motor delivers a more precise and controlled driving experience for climbing and crawling – there’s no need to build up engine rpm to get the tires to move, minimizing driveline shock loading and maximizing control and speed.
    In EV mode, the Wrangler 4xe treads lightly and silently, conserving fuel and allowing occupants to focus solely on the sights and full sounds of nature.
    The new Jeep Wrangler 4xe is available in three models: 4xe, Sahara 4xe and Rubicon 4xe. Wrangler 4xe and Wrangler Sahara 4xe models are equipped with full-time 4x4 systems, front and rear next-generation Dana 44 axles and are fitted with the Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. The intuitive system allows the driver to set it and forget it in any environment.
    An available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential provides extra grip and capability in low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.
    Wrangler Rubicon 4xe models carry the Rock-Trac 4x4 system that includes a two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio, full-time 4x4, front and rear next-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle lockers. The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe has an impressive crawl ratio of 77.2:1, which makes scaling any obstacle easy. Wrangler Rubicon models also offer improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a front axle, electronic sway-bar disconnect. Together, these components contribute to the maximum off-road prowess Wrangler Rubicon is known for.
    The Wrangler 4xe includes Selec-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control. This allows drivers to control vehicle speed up and down steep, rugged grades with the transmission shift lever.
    Like every Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe models wear a Trail Rated badge that signifies legendary 4x4 capability with equipment that includes:
    Skid plates and front and rear tow hooks Wrangler Rubicon 4xe approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 22.5 degrees, departure angle of 35.6 degrees and ground clearance of 10.8 inches (27.4 cm) Aggressive, available, 17-inch, off-road wheels and 33-inch tires standard on Rubicon 4xe; 20-inch wheels standard on Wrangler 4xe and Sahara 4xe Up to 30 inches (76 cm) of water fording All 4xe models maintain Wrangler’s renowned ease of customization with a host of Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar, available when the vehicle arrives in showrooms.
    ‘Electric Blue’ Design Cues Mark Wrangler 4xe
    The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe maintains a sculptural design aesthetic that’s bold and functional, with a wide stance and trapezoidal wheel flares.
    Exclusive content identifies the Jeep Wrangler 4xe as the most technologically advanced Wrangler ever. New Electric Blue coloring on the front and rear Rubicon tow hooks stands out against the black bumpers. The unique blue coloring also traces the Rubicon name on the hood, Jeep badge and the Trail Rated badge. Select Easter egg design cues also receive the Electric Blue shade. The black hood decal is outlined in the special color with “4xe” that lets the body color show through.
    Inside, the Wrangler 4xe Rubicon includes unique Electric Blue stitching on the seats and trim.
    The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is available in 10 exterior colors: Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Hella Yella, Hydro Blue (late availability), Sting-Gray, Snazzberry, Sarge and Billet Silver Metallic. Two Wrangler interior options are available in the 4xe version: Black with Heritage Tan cloth and Black with Dark Saddle leather.
    Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe
    Presented globally in March 2019 at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe are the first Jeep models with plug-in hybrid electric technology available in Europe. Their arrival was celebrated in January with the exclusive First Edition – a special launch edition made available for customer previews and pre-booking on a dedicated website for select European markets. Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe began arriving in the European market this summer. Both Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe models feature a no-compromise hybrid solution that integrates the unmatched technical layout of each Jeep SUV and takes their capability to the next level through some of the most advanced technology, which combines enhanced performance (up to 240 horsepower), improved safety (four-wheel drive is always available) and low environmental impact (less than 50 g/km of CO2 in the hybrid mode).
    The combination of a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and the electric unit guarantees performance and extraordinary driving pleasure: acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 7.5 seconds and full electric top speed is 130 km/h, which reaches 200 km/h in the hybrid mode.
    With the new hybrid technology, Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe further improve their benchmark off-road capability courtesy of the greater torque offered by the combination between the two power sources. Thanks to the new Jeep 4xe technology, traction to the rear axle is not provided by a prop shaft, but through the dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system, giving instant electric boost to the rear wheels when needed.
    The new Jeep Renegade 4xe and Jeep Compass 4xe began arriving in Jeep dealerships across Europe this summer with a full lineup to include Limited, S and Trailhawk trims, all with four-wheel-drive configuration.
    Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts Supports Launch of Most Capable, Technically Advanced, Eco-friendly Jeep Wrangler Ever
    When the new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe (pronounced 4byE) plug-in hybrid joins the Jeep brand’s global electric vehicle lineup later this year, Jeep Performance Parts and Mopar will offer a wide variety of factory-engineered, quality-tested performance parts and accessories for the most capable, technically advanced and eco-friendly SUV on the planet.
    The comprehensive portfolio of more than 300 Jeep Wrangler products will include exclusive Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) offerings, allowing customers the opportunity to expand upon the Wrangler’s fun-to-drive on- and off-road experiences. An industry-first, OEM-developed JPP 2-inch lift kit is specifically engineered and tuned for the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid application. Additional products will include beadlock-capable wheels, off-road bumpers, LED off-road lights and rock rails, just to name a few. More detailed information will be available closer to launch.
    In addition, Jeep Performance Parts and Mopar will offer a 240-volt at-home electric vehicle (EV) wall charger on Amazon.com and quality installation services, giving customers a fast and convenient way to charge their vehicles at home.
    Unlike any other aftermarket offerings, Jeep Performance Parts and accessories are backed by a full factory warranty. The products are created in close conjunction with the Jeep brand, engineering and product design-office teams for development, testing and validation. Strict standards and factory-exclusive data — information not available to the aftermarket — are used to seamlessly integrate performance parts and accessories in order to deliver proper fit, finish and quality right down to the color, grain, and appearance of each product.

    Rumorpile: LA Auto Show Possibly Moving To May

    Detroit and New York: SERIOUSLY?!

    The COVID-19 pandemic has possibly caused another auto show to rethink their plans. According to Automotive News, organizers of the show are planning to delay the show from November to next May. Three sources tell the outlet the new dates are May 21st to 31st. Two of sources go on to say that an announcement could come this week.
    Automotive News tried to get comment from Terri Toennies, president of the show, but did not reply.
    By possibly moving the LA Auto Show to May, automakers and organizers of the New York and Detroit shows find themselves in a difficult spot. The LA show sandwiches between New York (April) and the revised Detroit show (June), which may cause automakers to make difficult decisions as to which shows get the most significant unveilings or whether to attend at all.
    Auto shows in general have been struggling before the onset of the pandemic. With automakers deciding to hold their own events to have more time in the spotlight and save cash, the spectacle of the show has gone down.
    We'll keep you posted.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    FCA's Upcoming Small Cars To Switch To PSA Group Architecture

    Another Piece of the Stellantis Puzzle Falls Into Place

    Future small cars from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will not be using an updated version of their small car platform. Instead, they'll be underpinned by PSA Group's Common Modular Platform (CMP).
    Automotive News obtained a letter sent by FCA to suppliers in July stating "to immediately stop any research, development and tooling construction activities on future B-segment (small/subcompact) cars." These include the Fiat 500 and Jeep Renegade to give some context. The letter goes on to say it is moving to CMP and that vehicles based on this will be built at the company's Tychy, Poland plant - home to 500 and Lancia Yplilon production. 
    FCA had already put a stop, albeit a temporary one on developing parts for the five new small cars that were destined to use this platform due to COVID-19. There will be one model that will move forward on this orphaned platform - the upcoming 500 electric for Europe.
    As for CMP, this underpins the Peugeot 208 and 2008; Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Mokka; and the DS3 Crossback. It allows for both combustion and electric powertrains.
    Moving to CMP is another step towards FCA and PSA Group's merger to become Stellantis. It is unclear whether or not the U.S. will see any of the new models that will use CMP from FCA's brands.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Interactive Review: 2020 Toyota 86 GT

    The model formally known as the Scion FR-S comes in for its interactive review

    Next up on the review vehicle playlist here at C&G's Detroit Bureau is the 2020 Toyota 86, a vehicle I haven't driven since it was called the Scion FR-S. A lot has changed with this model aside from its name since the one I drove back in 2013. The styling has been refreshed, various tweaks made the suspension, and minor updates to the interior. What hasn't changed is the 2.0L boxer-four from Subaru that produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. My test vehicle has the standard six-speed manual.
    The as-tested price for this 86 comes to $34,783, partly due to a couple of TRD options being fitted. Here's some first impressions,
    The 2.0L boxer-four isn't a great sounding to begin with, sounding like a bucket of bolts being shaken. The optional TRD exhaust only makes the noise worse. Handling is still this car's strong suit, offering minimal body roll and crisp steering. The touchscreen radio is very barebones, but does offer Apple CarPlay. I'll have more thoughts throughout the week, and will be doing my best to answer various questions from you. 

    Interactive Review: 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar

    A mad Swedish Wagon arrives for a week-long review

    Taking the place of the Genesis G70 this week in the C&G Detroit Bureau is the 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar. Aside from the long name, this Volvo gives us our first chance to check out the T8 powertrain. In Volvo terms, this is a 2.0L four-cylinder that comes super and turbocharged, and boasts two electric motors. This gives a total of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. It also gives the wagon an electric only range of 22 miles - something I'll be checking out once I get the battery fully charged.
    Pricing on this wagon comes in at an as-tested price of $68,940.
    Some first impressions below,
    This powertrain pulls the V60 along like a train. Being a Polestar Engineered model, the V60 comes with adjustable Ohlins Dampers and a stiffer front strut bar. I can't comfirm its handling characteristics yet, but can say ride quality is a bit on the rough side. Gold seatbelts. I'll have a bit more to talk about as the week goes on with the V60 Polestar, so stay tuned. Also, drop a question or two on this speedy Swede.

    2021 Ram 1500 TRX Continues FCA's Hellcat Obsession

    Taking the off-road pickup to 11

    It is no secret that Ram wanted to give the Ford F-150 Raptor a challenge. Look back to TRX concept from 2016 with its off-road suspension and a de-tuned version of the supercharged 6.2L Hellcat V8. Fast-forward to today and Ram has introduced a production version of the TRX and let's just say they took it to the extreme.
    No De-Tuned Hellcat!
    Open the hood of the Ram 1500 TRX and you'll find the 6.2L Hellcat V8 producing 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph takes a mouth-dropping 4.5 seconds and you'll be past the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds with an exit speed of 108 mph. Sure it isn't the full 707 horsepower, but Ram engineer's had to make some concessions for the TRX's off-road capability.  For example,  a high-mounted air induction system allows the TRX to ford a 32-inch body of water, but also requires more exhaust pipe to allow for easier breathing.
    Other modifications for the V8 include a new oil pan; the alternator being raised up, and a set of heavy duty filters.
    Power is routed to an eight-speed automatic and a four-wheel drive system. Ram employs a a new BorgWarner 48-13 transfer case to handle all of the performance from the Hellcat engine. A locking rear differential completes the four-wheel drive system.
    Not Your Normal 1500's Frame or Suspension
    Ram says the 1500 TRX's frame is 75 percent different from the standard 1500. The differences include thicker high-strength steel, boxed side rails, and certain parts being hydroformed. All of the changes are claimed to hold up better to high impacts such as landing from a jump than competitors (ahem Ford Raptor). 
    A set of Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive shocks with nitrogen-charged remote reservoirs handle damping duty. They can automatically adjust depending on the terrain, but the driver will able to control them via a set of settings. 
    The front suspension features forge aluminum upper and lower control arms, while the five-link rear suspension has a new design to make space for a Dana 60 axle. A set of Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels provide the traction.
    Not Your Father's Ram
    Its clear that Ram allowed its designers to go mad with the TRX's design. There's a massive hood scoop with lighting, mean looking grille surround, composite fender flares, and a set of optional graphics. Move inside and there are some minor alterations such as a console-mounted shifter, drive mode selector being placed where the dial gear selector would be on other Rams, and a heads-up display - a first for any FCA model.
    So What's the Catch?
    That would be price which begins at $71,690 with a $1,695 destination charge. For the first year of production, Ram will offer a Launch Edition version with a special anvil gray paint and every option in the book for $90,265. You'll won't be waiting too long as the TRX arrives at dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.
    Source: Ram Trucks
    Press Release is on Page 2

    All-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX: Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Mass-produced Truck in the World With 702-horsepower 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI® V-8 Engine
    2021 Ram 1500 TRX Engineered to Handle the Most Punishing Conditions With Extreme Capability and to Outperform Every Other Truck  2021 Ram 1500 TRX, the apex predator of the truck world, is engineered to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability, significantly outperforming every other truck New frame extensively uses high-strength steel that increases low-torsion attributes to amplify durability and stability Engineered to deliver a new level of truck performance, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI® V-8 engine sets new benchmarks for power and performance among half-ton pickups: Rated at 702 horsepower, 650 lb.-ft. of torque 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.5 seconds; 0-100 mph in 10.5 seconds Quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph Top speed of 118 mph High-torque-capacity TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission delivers quick, crisp gear changes during both normal and performance driving conditions New, innovative dual-path air induction system delivers maximum output and feeds a steady supply of cool, clean air to the engine through the front grille and functional hood scoop Largest air filter in the segment uses dual filter elements and is designed for extreme, dusty environments with four times the dust trapping capacity when compared to the closest competitor Full-time active transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength, durability All-new, unique suspension system with active damping, inspired by desert off-road racers, incorporates forged aluminum front upper and lower control arms with special attention to caster and camber angles during suspension cycling New independent front suspension system with active damping uses high-strength aluminum to maintain overall strength and durability TRX uses a Dana 60 solid rear axle with a 3.55 ratio featuring full-floating hubs and axle-hop damper for improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. An electronic locking rear differential is standard for increased performance off-road Designed exclusively for TRX, new front and rear 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks provide fast reaction time, unbeatable damping and improved heat dissipation for traversing harsh terrain at speeds greater than 100 mph Five-link coil suspension is tuned to deliver the best combination of ride, handling and comfort no matter the road surface Wheel travel is greater than 13 inches at all four corners, an increase of more than 40 percent compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup All-new face of Ram includes modern Ram’s head logo and “R-A-M” badge with flow-through lettering Functional hood scoop is responsible for 50 percent of air entering the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine while the other 50 percent enters through the grille New integrated composite fender flares add 8 inches of body width and feature all-new steel box outers, creating a striking “hourglass” body New LED clearance lamps are cleverly integrated into the hood scoop and front bumper flares, amplifying the new aesthetic of the truck Full LED Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) includes twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and taillamps with up to 15 degrees of direction control with steering input Most spacious interior in the segment offers new, authentic premium materials, colors and textures, including hand-wrapped leather instrument panels for unexpected luxury throughout All-new 2021 Ram TRX features three interior options, including premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, or premium wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents New flat-bottom steering wheel offers enhanced hand grips wrapped in leather with optional suede and carbon fiber accents. New aluminum paddle shifters stretch above and below the steering wheel spokes Reimagined center console with maximum storage includes a new performance-oriented floor shifter, wireless charging dock and five USBs, including Type A and C ports Custom specifications plate on the console lid lists which engine is under the hood, the type of supercharger Ram TRX uses, boost output, horsepower and the vehicle-specific Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Ram TRX-specific transfer case switches are integrated into the dashboard along with Drive Mode selector and Launch Control Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch touchscreen is standard equipment and includes SiriusXM 360L with Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, which offers a custom listening experience through a 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system All-new Head-up Display unit makes its FCA vehicle debut and can show up to five different content areas at once TRX touts the first FCA application of Drive Modes and Off-Road Pages with the Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch touchscreen New Baja drive mode calibrates four-wheel-drive and steering systems, stability control, paddle shifters and suspension for ultimate desert performance, delivering maximum capability on undulating, loose surfaces Available digital rearview mirror replaces the traditional rearview mirror with a 9.2-inch-wide LCD monitor Trailer Reverse Steer Control is an available standalone option on Ram TRX and uses a dial to point the trailer in the desired direction while the system controls the steering wheel More than 100 active and passive safety and security features, including ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six air bags. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Ready Alert Braking and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, available All-new 18-by-9-inch aluminum wheels are available in both standard and a beadlock-capable option Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain 35-inch tires, developed exclusively for Ram TRX, achieve unmatched levels of wear resistance, traction and reduced road noise Ram TRX offers the largest front brakes in the segment at 15 inches Ram TRX has a maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and maximum trailer tow of 8,100 pounds Ram TRX features a 2-inch ride height increase over Ram 1500, enabling 11.8 inches of ground clearance and capability of up to 32 inches of water fording All-new 2021 Ram TRX underwent rigorous testing in extreme environments across the continental United States to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme confidence, capability and durability August 17, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The all-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the apex predator of the truck world and cements Ram Truck as North America’s off-road truck leader. Ram TRX expands the light-duty lineup and sets new benchmarks for power and performance among half-ton pickup trucks with the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI® V-8 engine.
    “The all-new 2021 Ram TRX sets the benchmark for extreme performance pickup trucks and solidifies Ram Truck’s position as the off-road truck leader,” said Mike Koval, Head of Ram Brand, FCA - North America. “Ram has a strong history of high-performance trucks and TRX adds to that while expanding the light-duty lineup with the segment’s best combination of performance, capability, luxury and technology.”
    Rated at 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine powers the Ram TRX to a top speed of 118 mph. Combined with a high-torque-capacity TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, the Ram TRX delivers a new level of performance: 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph.
    A proven and reliable high-performance engine, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine delivers top output for extended driving sessions without degradation in performance.
    The 2021 Ram TRX benefits from up to 32 inches of water fording, up to 8,100 pounds towing and a maximum payload capacity of 1,310 pounds.
    New aesthetic design pairs chiseled form with extreme function
    The all-new 2021 Ram TRX features an aggressive stance and an impossibly wide, muscular body wrapped over the top of it. Like a mixed martial arts fighter in a tailored tuxedo, the Ram TRX makes an impactful visual statement with an acute “hourglass” body design that features composite flares and fender wells that have been stretched to cover aggressive 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain tires.
    Ram TRX is 8 inches wider when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup, and the composite flares help to compensate for a 6-inch increase in track width. Normally, Ram 1500 features a wheel that is 8 inches wide, but the TRX design team had to accommodate a wheel that is 9 inches wide.
    The front axle was shifted 20 millimeters forward to accommodate the 35-inch Goodyear Territory All-Terrain tires that were designed exclusively for TRX. The 35-inch tires are available with 18-inch beadlock-ready wheels with accent color-matched rings.
    LED clearance marker lights flank the front bumper, creating a menacing light signature that further sets TRX apart from anything on the road – day or night. A new, aluminum hood features bright LED clearance lights that are integrated in the hood scoop.
    The hood scoop is responsible for 50 percent of air entering the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine while the other 50 percent enters through the grille. Design elements, like the functional hood scoop, are complemented by secondary details, such as the functional air curtain just outboard of the headlamps, relieving high pressure zones at the front corners and allowing air to pass through the fenders.
    A unique R-A-M badge, front grille, hood, skid plates and steel bumpers help the TRX meet extreme functional objectives. The R-A-M badge is bigger when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup and features a new “flow-through” design that assists with airflow. All-black premium LED headlamps, including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, are standard.
    TRX buyers can choose an optional full-length rock rail for added body/sill protection or traditional off-road powder-coated aluminum running boards. Optional body-side and hood graphics are available as a pair or separately.
    Ram TRX features new box outers made of steel and are wider than that of a traditional Ram 1500. A bed-mounted spare tire carrier is available in addition to the standard full-size spare tire that sits underneath the bed, between the rear axle and trailer hitch. Premium LED taillamps are standard on TRX and the bezels allow for the Blind-spot Monitoring function to see around the extended box outers.
    Closing out the rear of the truck, a large R-A-M badge, similar to that seen on Rebel, stretches across the tailgate. Center identification marker lights, like what is seen on Ram Heavy Duty models, are tucked between the tailgate and rear bumper.
    The new aesthetic is taken to even higher levels of visual impact with oversized tow hooks, found at the front and rear of the truck, and integrated 5-inch dual exhaust ports driving the functional performance objective home.
    High-performance-inspired interior with authentic premium materials
    The 2021 Ram TRX combines all-new features, technology and authentic premium materials with extreme performance, class-leading quality, comfort and durability. The interior design team chose premium textures, colors and material, including available hand-wrapped leather instrument panels for unexpected luxury throughout.
    The all-new 2021 Ram TRX features three interior options, including premium cloth and vinyl, premium wrapped leather and suede, or premium wrapped leather and suede with available red and carbon fiber accents. Based on the Rebel layout, trucks outfitted with a TR Equipment Group will greet occupants with premium cloth and vinyl accents featuring black and Dark Ruby Red surfaces. Opting for the TR1 or TR2 Equipment Group provides an interior based on the Ram 1500 Limited and features an all-black color scheme with leather and suede to give TRX a unique feel. Heated and ventilated premium Natura Plus leather with perforated suede accents cover the front bucket and rear bench seats. The TR1 and TR2 Equipment Groups come standard with medium Greystone stitching and Graphite Metallic accents. The TR2 Equipment Group offers TRX red stitching and carbon fiber accents as an available option.
    Ram TRX features new front seats with enhanced upper bolster support and embroidered logos. TR1 and TR2 Equipment Groups feature a Modular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment / Pouch Attachment Ladder System (MOLLE/PALS) on the seatback that enables bags and other equipment to be weaved in place.
    A new SRT-signature flat-bottom steering wheel, with enhanced hand grips wrapped in leather with optional suede and carbon fiber accents, enables performance driving. New aluminum paddle shifters stretch above and below the steering wheel spokes, allowing the driver to choose the proper gear with their fingertips.
    A console mounted performance floor shifter, which includes a cast metal main grip wrapped with semi-perforated leather, lends itself to spirited performance driving that TRX was bred for, while maximizing storage. Both the console and paddle shifters mark the debut of each in a Ram truck.
    The Drive Mode selector has been integrated into the dashboard above the transfer case switches and offers different modes of operation, indicated by a TRX pictogram for select environments: Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and Baja. A Launch Control button is easily within reach of the driver, sitting to the right of the transfer case switches, and is standard on TRX.
    Reinforcing TRX’s performance chops, an all-new Head-up Display unit can show up to five different content areas at once, including Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, current gear and speed limit. The Head-up Display is available on the TR2 Equipment Group and is a full-color unit accessible through the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen.
    A custom specifications plate on the console lid lists which engine is under the hood, the type of supercharger Ram TRX uses, boost output, horsepower and the vehicle-specific Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
    A new, innovative dual-path induction system enables extreme performance
    The new 2021 Ram TRX is designed for class-leading, uncompromising performance in the harshest environments. Stratospheric power and performance numbers were achieved in part through a new, innovative dual-path air induction system that ensures the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine receives a steady supply of clean, cool air regardless of inbound dirt and debris.
    The Ram TRX uses two paths to draw in outside air and routes it to a large, 29-liter air box that filters out dirt, sand, debris and water before getting anywhere near the engine. The innovative dual-path system pulls in outside air from a functional scoop in the hood and the upper edge of the grille. Air entering the grille flows to the bottom front of the air box, guided by tailored panels. The hood scoop ducts air to the bottom rear of the air box via ports that seal to the hood when it is closed. An air box support bar is precision-mounted in the engine compartment during vehicle assembly to ensure the hood intake seals to the air box ducts to prevent engine-heated air from entering the system.
    Directing incoming air to the bottom of the air box helps dirt and water settle out before the air reaches the filter elements, ensuring that the Ram TRX continues to perform in the most grueling environments. A one-way drain in the bottom of the air box evacuates water even when the vehicle is moving. Intake air is drawn upward from the box through twin, heavy-duty air filters that provide 198.4 square inches of filter surface area, four times the dust trapping capacity when compared to the closest competitor, to remove any residual dust or sand before the air is ducted. Unfolded, the filter surface medium covers 13.3 square feet.
    The entire Ram TRX intake system is engineered to minimize power-robbing air restrictions while ensuring only clean, cool air reaches the engine. Industry-standard testing shows that the Ram TRX far exceeds any competitor in the amount of time it can ingest dirty air and debris before performance is diminished. The Ram TRX’s air box is mounted at the top of the engine, making it easy to access should the owner choose to field-clean the high-performance filter elements.
    From modern muscle cars to high-performance SUVs, the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 has earned a reputation as a potent, reliable power source that delivers head-turning power when ordered by the driver’s right foot and is also a smooth, efficient power plant at cruising speeds.
    To best match gear selection and shift points to the driver’s demands, the robust TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission monitors inputs, such as engine torque gradients, throttle kick-down, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, detection of friction, downshifts and road grade. This versatile, well-developed, high-torque-capacity, eight-speed transmission delivers quick acceleration and precise, crisp, quick gear changes, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels with consistent performance and drivability.
    Launch Control is standard with the 2021 Ram TRX and manages tire slip while launching the vehicle to give the driver consistent straight-line acceleration. Wheel speed sensors watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and, in milliseconds, provide inputs to the powertrain control module to modify the engine torque to regain full grip.
    The Ram TRX is also equipped with Jump Detection, which uses wheel-speed and ride-height sensors and accelerometers at each corner to identify when the vehicle is airborne and acts to prevent driveline-damaging power spikes. Acting in milliseconds, Jump Detection modifies engine speed and torque, gear selection, transfer case torque split, damping rates and other powertrain and suspension components through the landing to deliver optimum performance.
    Dynamic drive modes
    The 2021 Ram TRX uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish five dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow and Custom – enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering. All modes use active slip control that prevents binding and excessive slip from front to rear.
    Custom mode allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance with a selectable driving experience, offering a multitude of vehicle system combinations.
    Separately, the Ram TRX features three dynamic off-road modes – Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja – enabling drivers to choose a setting that best fits the terrain around them. Like the on-road modes, the off-road drive modes control several systems, including the four-wheel-drive system, throttle response, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and steering.
    Engineered to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability
    Designed bolt by bolt to significantly outperform every other truck, the 2021 Ram TRX has been rigorously tested to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability.
    The 2021 Ram TRX’s frame is composed of thicker, optimally shaped, strategically placed high-strength steel that uses low-torsion attributes to increase durability and stability. Sections of the frame are hydroformed for dimensional accuracy, reducing the need for welding, and the side rails are fully boxed. The front rails use high-strength steel and hydroformed sections to set a strong foundation to better handle the front suspension load. Galvanized frame components provide improved corrosion protection.
    The Ram TRX boasts a ground clearance of 11.8 inches due in part to a 2-inch ride height increase when compared with the rest of the 1500 lineup, along with 35-inch tires. This combination enables TRX to clear surface obstacles easily and at high speeds.
    To protect critical components, including the front axle, transfer case, transmission pan and fuel tank, TRX employs five skid plates. A separate skid plate sits at the bottom of the front fascia, mitigating potential damage, and doubles as a belly pan. Heavy-duty gauge steel rock sliders are an available option.
    The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum closures, including the doors, hood and tailgate, help reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Ram TRX also uses aluminum engine mounts, front axle center section, front suspension and transmission cross-members, front upper and lower control arms, front skid plate, transmission skid plate and steering system gear.
    An all-new independent front suspension system with active damping uses high-strength aluminum to maintain overall strength and durability. The all-new independent front suspension system includes new front upper and lower control arms made of forged aluminum with special attention paid to the caster and camber angles during suspension cycling. The new, longer, substantially sized front upper and lower control arms are constructed of 80-ksi high-strength steel and designed with a focus on additional wheel travel and axle track width. This new suspension system features upgraded components to provide more performance and improved endurance.
    Out back, the Ram TRX’s rear suspension had to clear packaging barriers and the engineering team took that into consideration with this unique application. The result is an innovative and durable solution that produces greater wheel travel without reducing cargo area in the bed.
    The 2021 Ram TRX uses an all-new rear suspension system with active damping and an exclusive five-link coil system for incredible ride characteristics and durability. The frame’s hard points for the five-link suspension system differ when compared to a standard-issue Ram 1500 and allow the Dana 60 rear axle to travel up to 13 inches. Overall, rear-wheel travel is increased to more than 13 inches from the standard 9 inches, or more than 40 percent when compared to the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup.
    The 2021 Ram TRX uses the proven five-link coil suspension configuration and provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf-spring system. This suspension design reduces friction in the spring system and weighs significantly less than a comparable leaf spring system. At 600 millimeters in length, the robust rear springs are the largest ever applied on a non-commercial production vehicle.
    The robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling a maximum payload of 1,310 pounds and towing capability of 8,100 pounds.
    New 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks use precision-machined, single-piece construction comprised of rigid aluminum to reduce and dissipate heat and continuously adjust damping forces for optimal body control and terrain isolation. The adaptive performance shocks feature robust corrosion protection with a durable finish and directional-machined cooling fins aligned with air flow for more effective cooling.
    Dual Electronic Proportional Valves continuously adjust damping forces for precise, independent control of compression and rebound damping. A nitrogen-charged remote reservoir uses a hot-formed, zero-leak tube closure to ensure maximum durability during extreme on- and off-road events.
    A pressure-activated Triple Rod seal has been field-tested for long-lasting durability against contamination and leaks. Ram TRX uses stainless steel braided high-pressure hose to combat corrosion and abrasion while being able to resist up to 5,800 PSI. A high-strength, lightweight rock shield defends the piston rod against incoming rubble with a custom molded escape path for debris.
    The Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks have been tuned to demonstrate optimum balance between on-road handling and class-leading off-road capability. Ride comfort, body roll control and handling are significantly improved with the Ram-proprietary Active Terrain Dynamics suspension management system, new shock tuning, hard points and body mount strategy.
    In addition to a standard urethane jounce bumper, the internals of the Bilstein adaptive performance shock feature a Jounce Cut Off to create three zones for progressive bottom-out control during extreme compression events. All modes can reach peak compression damping for the most extreme events.
    The 2021 Ram TRX is a high-performance pickup truck built to handle the most punishing conditions with extreme capability and durability. To clear the elevated benchmarks and performance figures that TRX presents, a Dana 60 rear axle with full floating axle shafts is standard equipment and handles the increased torque output, rear electronic locking differential and 35-inch tires. The Dana 60 rear axle uses an axle hop damper that enables improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. A new rear axle center section provides balanced performance and a locking differential for increased off-road performance.
    The Ram TRX is equipped with a new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case that enables passage through any off-road obstruction or weather condition. This modified transfer case features upgraded internals for improved strength and durability. Ram TRX features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
    Off road, the 2021 Ram TRX will race to 100 mph with ease, and the segment’s largest brakes bring the TRX to a composed halt. Ram TRX relies on a four-wheel disc brake system and a hydraulic compensation unit to enhance brake pedal feel and performance during emergency maneuvers. Up front are two-piston monoblock calipers clamping down on 15-inch inverted hat (outboard venting) rotors for improved cooling. The rear uses single piston calipers with 15-inch rotors to provide incredible stopping power. An electronic parking brake holds the truck steady when applied and is standard.
    For the 2021 Ram TRX, engineers found that to maximize capability, it would call for a 35-inch tire. Developed exclusively for the Ram TRX, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain 325/65R/18 tires, featuring an aggressive tread and sidewall with D-load rating, are assigned the task.
    There are two different wheel designs that are available on TRX, including an 18-by-9-inch optional beadlock-ready wheel straight from the factory.
    An approach angle of 30.2 degrees, breakover angle of 21.9 degrees, departure angle of 23.5 degrees and a ground clearance of 11.8 inches allow the Ram TRX to go anywhere.
    Most technologically advanced pickup ever loaded with innovative, customizable features
    Designed to be the most technologically advanced pickup ever, the new 2021 Ram TRX is loaded with an array of innovative features combined with the award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system that offers convenience and connected services, keeping Ram truck customers engaged and informed all while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road or desert path ahead.
    The 2021 Ram TRX interior’s high-tech centerpiece, the Uconnect 4C NAV 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, is standard and allows for even more customization. Other features include SiriusXM with 360L, Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora and personal device integration.
    The touchscreen can house one application, such as the navigation map, across the entire 12-inch screen or can be divided in half, operating two different applications at once. A multifunction switch bank and the optional Trailer Reverse Steer Control sit below the touchscreen, giving physical control of specific features. Redundant HVAC controls are located on both sides of the display.
    An audiophile-quality audio system is offered to immerse passengers in the ultimate sound experience, including a class-exclusive 900-watt premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and 10-inch subwoofer – the finest and most powerful audio system available in a pickup.
    Ram TRX uses a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster that is exclusive to the model and features a lit TRX badge, unique TRX colors and graphics with reconfigurable gauges. The same graphics appear on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen, too. This is the first time that Drive Modes and Off-road Performance Pages are displayed on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C screen.
    Performance Pages
    Performance Pages give drivers the tools necessary to become familiar with their vehicle’s performance. The app provides access to real-time vehicle performance information, including timers (such as 0-60 mph elapsed time), g-force, gauges and engine performance. This data can be downloaded to a USB stick, allowing for easy sharing of your driving performance. Owners can also download data to the web. The introduction of the Ram TRX marks the first time Performance Pages is available on an FCA vehicle equipped with the Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display.
    Off-Road Pages
    Off-Road Pages show ride height, the transfer case’s position, the pitch and roll of the vehicle and accessory gauges. The app is accessible through the 7-inch TFT cluster or Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display. The introduction of the Ram TRX marks the first time Off-Road Pages is available on an FCA vehicle equipped with the Uconnect 4C NAV with 12-inch display.
    Forward-facing Camera
    As part of the available 360-degree Surround View Camera system, a forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen. The front camera sits under the crossbar that dissects TRX’s grille and can be accessed through the available Off-Road Pages.
    Digital Rearview Mirror
    An available digital rearview mirror option replaces the traditional rearview mirror with a 9.2-inch-wide LCD monitor. The digital rearview mirror displays video in real time from a rear-facing camera and can be turned off to revert back to a traditional reflective mirror.
    More than 100 available advanced safety and security features
    Safety and security were primary drivers in the development of the new 2021 Ram TRX, which offers more than 100 available active and passive safety and security features. Standard features include ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six standard air bags. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Ready Alert Braking and Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus.

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