Those of you with checkered shirts in yer closet and a few pogs still kicking around may recall it was the original Lexus RX from the late ‘90s which arguably kicked off the “tall wagon” car-based luxury crossover craze. Sure, the first Ford Explorer put us all on a path to what we see in suburban driveways today, but it was the RX which placed them in the hands of moneyed types.
Lexus introduced a new RX yesterday near its home base in Texas, expanding the number of powertrains and (finally) dumping the ill-advised three-row model. And, oh yeah – we need to have a conversation about that grille.
Now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks poised to reinstate California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act — allowing the state to establish stricter tailpipe emissions than the federal limits — the coastal region has resumed its quest to abolish gasoline-powered vehicles in earnest. While the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has yet to finalize all the details, the latest proposal calls for strengthened emissions standards for new light-duty vehicles in anticipation of the necessary approvals.
The scheme would require pure electrics and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) to make up 35 percent of new-vehicle sales for the 2026 model year. By 2030, that number will become 68 percent before hitting 100 percent for MY 2035. CARB said zero-emission vehicles comprised 12.4 percent of the state’s new market in 2021, hinting that the number could have been higher without the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part One having stifled its progress.
Let’s assume you’re lost and have made your way to a Mitsubishi dealership to make an emergency phone call and use the bathroom. Suddenly, the urge to buy a hybrid SUV overtakes you and you involuntarily find yourself asking a salesperson to direct you to the nearest model. They have several available and walk you over to the Outlanders, where they totally bypass the new models to show you the previous-generation PHEV.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann announced on Tuesday that the Italo-German supercar brand will officially be transitioning to electric vehicles, with the last traditional internal combustion model coming before 2024.
But these kinds of proclamations rarely adhere to observable reality, otherwise, we’d all be riding around in flying cars that can navigate autonomously. What Lamborghini is really promising is an intent to abandon models that rely exclusively on combustible fuels while it builds a bunch of them in the interim. It’s kind of like saying you’re going on a diet next month and gorging yourself on chocolate cake as you brag to your friends about how healthy you’re about to become.
McLaren Automotive has decided on a name for its upcoming plug-in hybrid. But we know you don’t care much about premium automobiles reserved for people with more money than sense, so we’ll keep this one brief.
Formerly referred to as the P16, McLaren’s new PHEV will be called the Artura. The name, which is of Celtic origin, is supposed to denote nobility. While we cannot say for sure, the brand may be dropping hints as to the type of customers it’s targeting — because the model will no doubt come with a princely sum.
One of the main reasons Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is partnering with PSA Group is to help soften the financial blows of battery development, we literally just talked about it. But the French automaker has its own reasons for wanting to get into bed with the FCA, namely its rather diverse list of subsidiaries — with Jeep occupying spot número uno.
Despite being offensively American to some, Jeep is the sixth most-popular nameplate in the United States. It also happens to be world-renowned as an off-road brand and had made strong inroads in places you’d never expect. This has forced the brand to rethink its global appeal, requiring Fiat Chrysler to issue some market-specific models like China’s Jeep Commander PHEV and the Renegade 4xe — the latter of which is already sold in Europe and slated to launch this November in Japan. But these models are only the tip of the iceberg as FCA intends on meeting ever-tightening emissions regulations in major markets that aren’t the United States.
Eager to steal some thunder from Ford’s returning Bronco, Jeep pulled the wraps off its upcoming Wrangler 4xe Thursday, revealing an off-roader that might be able to handle your commute without consuming a drop of gas. Oh, and you could probably cruise quietly through some sort of wilderness terrain, too.
Mating a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, the Wrangler 4xe is said to be able to deliver up to 25 miles of all-electric driving.
Overshadowed lately by a brace of upcoming full-size SUV stablemates, to say nothing of its reborn Ford Bronco rival, the plug-in Jeep Wrangler remains the next big introduction for the off-road brand.
Teased on and off throughout the year, the Wrangler plug-in hybrid, known officially as the Wrangler 4xe (a moniker greeting all hybridized Jeeps), has appeared with an arrival date in tow. Best to get this introduction out of the way before a busy 2021.
You’ll be crushed to learn that Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale has been delayed on account of the pandemic.
By nature of being the brand’s very first plug-in hybrid, the SF90 is incredibly complex. The model relies on a trio of electric motors working in tandem with its turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 to achieve a maximum output of 986 horsepower and 590 lb-ft. Electrification also requires the Stradale to have a small, 7.9 kWh lithium-ion battery, regenerative brakes and a totally new 8-speed transmission.
The grocery list of essential (and novel) items turned out to be problematic as supply chains were disrupted the world over by coronavirus-related lockdowns. Originally scheduled for delivery this summer, the SF90 is being pushed back to the end of the year as Ferrari waits for idled supply chains to catch up. The manufacturer admitted that its own shutdowns haven’t helped it get out the door any faster.
If you’re as paranoid as this writer, chances are your formerly daily driver has long since sailed past its last regularly scheduled fill-up date. The last time any fresh gasoline hit the innards of your author’s high-end motorcar was three and a half weeks ago. The needle’s now resting just north of a quarter tank.
Frankly, it’s cause for concern, as adding useless miles to the odometer has typically served as a mental tonic for yours truly. At the same time, who wants to encounter people or things they’ve touched? That friendly neighborhood gas pump is no longer the welcoming monument it once was (with Doritos, no less). Wouldn’t it be great to drive past it without a care?
Steady change. Minus a few models incapable of adapting to the times, the auto industry’s relentless march forward delivers new efficiencies every year. No newly revamped model can sip more fuel than the one that came before it, and that was certainly true of the enlarged 3 Series that bowed (in 330i form) for the 2019 model year. With 2.0-liter under hood, BMW’s go-to sports sedan boasted added economy in its latest iteration.
You might recall that there was already a 3 Series plug-in hybrid (330e). Well, the marque has seen fit to return it to the lineup for 2021 with an updated body, dropping it on dealers come May. The differences between old and new may not be drastic, but they’re likely big enough to be appreciated.
Ah, the BMW i8. First foisted upon us back in 2014, drooled over by auto and tech aficionados alike, featured in big-budget films in exotic, big-budget locales, and finally put out to pasture.
The plug-in hybrid with the fancy doors will soon depart the automotive landscape to make way for a range of (much) more conventional BMW electrics, Autocar reports.
The mighty Jeep brand is hitting the Consumer Electronics Show next week, and it’s got a new badge in tow. No, Jeep isn’t messing with its namesake script; rather, there’s a new signifier on the way.
As it prepares to tout a trio of upcoming plug-in hybrids at the Las Vegas trade show, Jeep’s electrification effort will see the “4xe” badge filter through the lineup in the coming years.
A brand that’s slowly capturing a greater (albeit still slim) slice of the U.S. new car market stands to gain a new version of a long-running crossover in the coming year. That product is the Outlander, an outdated vehicle whose current generation bowed back in 2012.
The largest vehicle in Mitsubishi’s meager lineup, the Outlander stands to gain size and decidedly non-Mitsubishi underpinnings for its ground-up revamp.