Saturday, 09 December 2023

As all automakers work to step up their game in the EV sector, Nissan is finally growing its EV presence with the new Ariya SUV.

An early adopter with the Nissan Leaf EV being on sale for more than a decade, Nissan has now delivered a strong second EV entry. All new for 2023, the Nissan Ariya delivers a bold look unlike anything else in the Nissan lineup, and expands the brand’s EV footprint beyond the long-running Nissan Leaf. 

The Ariya represents a logical step into the EV world for fans of the top-selling Nissan Rogue SUV, as the Ariya is sized similarly to the Rogue.

I spent some time behind the wheel of a 2023 Nissan Ariya Empower+, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in a growing and competitive EV market with offerings from Tesla (Model Y), Kia (EV6/EV9), Hyundai (Kona), Ford (Mach-E Mustang), Volkswagen (ID.4), Chevy (Bolt EUV) and more.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that its parent company, Subaru Corporation, reached an agreement with Tesla, Inc. to adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS) for the charging ports of its battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to be launched in North America beginning in 2025.

To provide customers with access to the extensive Tesla charging network, Subaru will adopt NACS ports on certain Subaru BEVs launched in North America beginning in 2025 and will continue to advance NACS adoption for its subsequent BEVs to be launched after that.

Additionally, Subaru plans to provide access to an adapter enabling NACS charging from 2025 for customers owning or leasing applicable Subaru BEVs equipped with the Combined Charging System (CCS). Customers of NACS-compatible Subaru BEVs will gain access to more than 15,000 Tesla Superchargers across North America, significantly enhancing charging convenience.

Under the new management structure established in June 2023, Subaru has announced a goal of “aiming for 50% of total global sales to be BEVs in 2030” to contribute to achieving carbon neutrality.

— Press release courtesy of Subaru

Published in TECHNOLOGY

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – The first ever BMW XM Label—the company’s most powerful production vehicle to date with 738-horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque on tap—set a new record for hybrid electric SUVs at Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs on September 21, 2023, during an officially certified course run.

Following a previous attempt for the race day record in June during the 101st running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, BMW driver Matt Mullins returned to take on the course last month aboard the range-topping BMW XM Label with support from Rhys Millen Racing. Reaching the summit in 10:48:60, Mullins outpaced the previous race day record by nearly a second and a half.

To provide a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into preparing both man and machine for such an extreme challenge, BMW had a camera crew follow Mullins and team during each stage of the endeavor. The result is an emotional two-part short film that exposes the heartbreaking lows of a failed first fun, followed by the exhilarating highs of success atop the mountain. Both parts are available online at the @BMWUSA official YouTube channel.

Published in NEWS

In the SUV business, where competition is increasingly cutthroat, a brand has to have as many tools in its arsenal as possible.

For Hyundai, its Santa Fe midsize SUV has been around for over two decades, and currently offers just about every variant you can imagine — from ICE versions, to standard hybrid, to plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

Of note is that the Santa Fe is wrapping up its current design before its radically different, brand new 2024 version goes on sale early next year. As is the case when any redesign occurs, the opportunity may arise to catch a price break on 2023 Santa Fe models that dealers may want off the lot.

I recently tested a 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV — which competes mainly with plug-in hybrid options from Ford, Toyota, Kia and others —  and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Electric vehicles are coming out of the woodwork these days, and not all of them are memorable or likely to stand the test of time.

But some of the new entries in the EV marketplace have a lot of potential, including the 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70, a compact SUV that lives up to the lofty standards Genesis has set for itself in just a few years.

In the luxury realm, the Genesis brand is among those leading the way with innovative tech in their new EVs, and the GV70 delivers among the most complete experiences I have experienced from the latest EV crop. Genesis is among the brands aiming to go completely to EVs by the end of this decade, and if they continue to deliver with this level of quality, I can see that becoming a reality.

Read on for a full breakdown on how the latest Genesis EV offering stands up against major competitors from brands including Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, Audi and others.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

BMW has been a longtime supporter of electric vehicles in the luxury realm, dating back to the quirky little i3 a decade ago. And they have stepped up their game with recent EV models that are much closer in design and performance to their regular lineup than ever before.

I recently tested one of those offerings, the BMW i4 — their entry in the compact EV sedan category, which is significant since so many new EVs are focused on SUV lineups. (NOTE: I tested a 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40, which transferred to 2023 with only minor changes)


LOOKS

The BMW i4 is a small EV sedan — based on the longtime favorite 3-series sedan and the 4-series Gran Coupe — with a hatchback-style trunk. It features a sleek, eye-catching exterior design that visually tops the looks of the few EV sedans available in the luxury realm, such as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

BMW’s kidney-style grille will continue to polarize opinions, with some loving it while many loathe it, but I thought it fit well with the overall design. The Mineral White Metallic paint on my test vehicle was also very sharp, and the power glass moonroof lets the sun shine in.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

 

As the number of EV models grows, with dozens of launches expected every year, different models will be embraced by different target groups.

The luxury side of the EV market is especially competitive, but one brand taking the fight to that sector with full force is Genesis, the luxury brand launched by Hyundai several years ago.

Well-established already as a respected luxury competitor on the ICE side of things, Genesis is fully embracing the transition to EVs, and the first salvo in that transition was their launch of the 2023 Genesis GV60, a compact luxury crossover that features a cutting edge design and technology and puts the competition on notice — and that competition is not shabby, including the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Tesla Model Y.

I recently tested a 2023 Genesis GV60, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in the competitive EV market — and how Genesis is doing its part to push forward key technological advances that will change the way we drive.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

Like most automakers, Volkswagen — one of the largest global OEMS — is fully embracing the arrival of electric vehicles.

While a bunch more EVs are scheduled in the near future (including the long-anticipated ID Buzz van), the one that they have put out as their opening salvo is the Volkswagen ID.4, a compact crossover that debuted in the 2021 model year. It houses five passengers comfortably and features a futuristic design and a respectable range per charge, plus solid tech and safety features.

Competition is stiff, as everyone from Hyundai and Kia to Ford and Chevy are putting out EVs in this size and category. But VW is committed to the EV space in the U.S., even building the ID.4 at its Chattanooga, Tennessee facilities.

I recently drove a 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S model, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in the growing world of EV options.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 
Electric cars are no longer the vehicles of the future. They are the vehicles of today, with seemingly every new vehicle announcement focusing on a new EV.

Volvo is one brand leading the charge in the EV landscape, having announced publicly a goal of selling only electric vehicles by the year 2030.

Volvo’s portfolio today includes the all-electric C40 Recharge – a compact crossover model that takes on competitors such as Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen’s ID.4, Audi’s Q4 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQA, and Tesla’s Model Y.

The C40 Recharge competes in a segment that focuses on offering extended range and luxury-light styling. Read on for a full breakdown of how it measures up.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

ARaymond, an international automotive leader in fastening and assembly solutions, has announced the acquisition of CGA Technologies, an Italian manufacturer of high performing thermal cooling plates. This step follows the acquisition in early October of Castello Italia S.p.A., a company specializing in plastic tube extrusion for pneumatic applications within transportation and specific industrial market segments.

These acquisitions are not just about broadening the ARaymond product offering, but about scaling up complete and tailor-made plug-and-play solutions. The goal is to design and deliver optimized thermal management systems within the mobility and selected industrial sectors.

“As a leader of fastening and assembly solutions for more than 155 years, we continuously strive to reinvent ourselves and stay ahead in the fast-moving markets that we operate in. The automotive industry is shifting to electric and autonomous vehicles, and we want to actively contribute to this extraordinary transition. To meet our customers' evolving demands, we have a clear vision that agility and time to market are critical and that our customers are expecting complete solutions. For all these reasons, the acquisitions of CGA Technologies and Castello Italia S.p.A, are an ideal fit.  

“With this expansion, we are building up our Network to create sustainability for the future. This includes putting the well-being of our collaborators and the protection of our environment at the forefront of our priorities for our future generations.  We want to provide a service and product offering of the highest quality, that meets both our customers and employees demands for long-term growth and sustainability,” said Antoine Raymond, ARaymond CEO.

— Press release courtesy of ARaymond

 

Published in NEWS
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