After the last-minute cancellation of the New York International Auto Show, manufacturers who had planned to unveil new models there are starting to so it online instead. Lincoln has pulled the covers off the 2022 Navigator, Kia has shown us the 2022 Sorento plug-in hybrid, and Hyundai took the wrapper off the sporty 2022 Elantra N. All of these were supposed to be shown to the public for the first time at NYIAS.
Absent from these online reveals, at least so far, is the 2022 Subaru WRX. We were also supposed to see it in New York, but alas that is not to be.
It would’ve been a brilliant move to instead reveal it at last weekend’s Climb to the Clouds race up Mt. Washington, NH. Subaru is the title sponsor, and Travis Pastrana’s new record-breaking time already had all the media attention. It would’ve been the perfect setting, both logistically and philosophically, to see the new WRX for the first time. The Airslayer STI is arguably the ultimate evolution of the current car, probably the fastest one we’ll ever see. The next logical step is to begin with the next generation car, which could have appeared there as well.
I’m still looking forward to seeing it when it eventually does come out. As the past owner of a 2015 WRX, I want to see how they improved on what I had.
Nissan pulled the covers off the long-awaited and seriously overdue successor to the 370Z. At first glance, I think it’s exactly what Nissan needed.
The current version of the car came out as the 350Z way, way back in 2002. It got some minor updates and became the 370Z in 2008 and has remained basically unchanged since, so if you think the 370Z looks dated, that’s because it is. Its replacement, originally thought to be called the 400Z but now known as simply the Z, are both an update and a throwback, all at the same time. The front evokes the twin round headlight design of the original 240Z, while the rear mimics the 1990s 300ZX. It does both of these in a thoroughly modern way.
The Z gets a 400 horsepower, 350 lb-ft, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. If the suspension is tuned for handling rather than boulevard cruising, it could be quite the formidable sports car once again, as any Nissan with a Z in its name should be.
Jalopnik has a good overview of the new car, as well as five great design details that really make it work visually. Automotive News has more, and points out that Nissan has given us a 400-horsepower twin-turbo sports car in the age of ever increasing electrification. The Drive gives Nissan well-deserved kudos for keeping the manual transmission alive in the new Z.
Cop cars are known for being cheap to buy, cheap to run, run hard, and put away wet. So why has the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office splurged on a not-so-cheap Tesla Model Y? Fuel costs, says Elektrek. They believe that in 6-18 months, the savings in gas will offset the additional cost of purchasing the car.
There’s a lot to that. Police cars run almost constantly, and burn a ton of fuel just idling. I mean, who’s going to steal them? An electric car completely eliminates this waste. It also has at least as good, if not better acceleration than the Explorers, Chargers, etc. currently in service. Finally, police run an insane amount of electrical equipment. All those flashing lights, sirens, radios, computers, radar, and other stuff sucks down a lot of power. Traditional cruisers get upgraded alternators to keep up with the demand. An electric car can already supply it, straight out of the box.
We’ll have to keep an eye on this one. If Boulder County is right, we may start to see a surge in electric police cars over the next several years.
The Maverick is supposed to be the small, cheap truck that the old Ranger used to be. We already know it’s the right size. Motor1.com reports that adjusted for inflation, the Maverick, starting at $19,995, is cheaper than the Model T, whose $850 price tag in 1908 dollars equals $25,000 in 2021.
Additionally, The Drive tells us that the EPA has rated the non-hybrid, 2.0-liter EcoBoost FWD models at 23 city, 30 highway, 26 combined. AWD models lose 1 mpg across the board. That’s excellent for a truck, and keep in mind this is the version with the worse mileage. Hybrid versions should get somewhere in the 40 mpg range.
I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet, but Jalopnik has, and they’re impressed. The new version of the Toyobaru twins has cured the complaints people had about the original (full disclosure: I had a 2014 model and LOVED it). The new 2.4-liter boxer engine cures the dreaded torque dip of the old 2.0. The interior doesn’t feel like you’re in a Yaris. The gauge cluster and infotainment work much better than in my old car. And, if you choose the correct option package, the standard Michelin Primacy HP “Prius tires” get an upgrade to the Pilot Sport 4S, The old Pilot Super Sports transformed my BRZ from a drift machine into a grippy track car, so it’s great that they now offer this setup from the factory.
I still want to get my hands on one for myself. Toyota or Subaru, call me.
How many Generation X gearheads had a poster of the Lamborghini Countach on their bedroom walls? Well, the nostalgia craze is alive and well, as Lamborghini announced they’re bringing it back — in an expensive and exclusive way.
Automotive News has all the details, but to summarize: 112 cars, $2.6 million a piece, with a hybrid V12 drivetrain and an attractive body strongly influenced by the original, but updated for modern times. I wonder how many of these will appear on teenager’s bedroom walls?
You knew it had to happen. Ford grabbed the electric truck spotlight with the F-150 Lightning, so Chevrolet had to answer with an electric Silverado. What we didn’t expect, though, was the return of four-wheel steering.
Elektrek brings us this teaser video of the upcoming electric Silverado, which prominently features the four-wheel steering option. This harkens back to Chevy’s Quadrasteer option, available on 2002-2005 Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra twins, as well as the Chevy Suburban / GMC Yukon XL. (You can read more about Quadrasteer at GM Authority.) Being a teaser, we have little info on the new system, other than its availability and simliarity to the one offered on the Hummer EV.
With vehicles getting ever bigger and bigger, it’s no wonder this feature is making a return. My dad downsized from a Silverado to a Colorado specifically because the bigger truck can’t make the turn into his garage in one swing, the Colorado can, and both trucks fulfill all of his truck needs. So the need for a tighter turning radius is definitely there.
One of the biggest gripes about the return of the Ford Ranger to the US is that it’s almost as big and expensive as the F-150. The new Maverick is looking to change that, being a truly compact and affordable truck. But how small is it? So far we’ve only seen pictures of the truck by itself, which makes it hard to judge its size.
Motor1.com brings us some context, spotted on the Maverick Truck Club forum. These are the first known pictures of all three trucks together, which gives us a great idea of the Maverick’s actual size. It’s significantly smaller than its two siblings towering over it, closer to the original Ranger than the current model. This is great news for genuinely compact truck fans. But can they get over its front wheel drive?