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    Splash! We Imagine a New, Fun Ford Maverick Compact Truck Variant

    See all 10 photosThe original Ranger Splash welcomed additional color options for the 1995 model year, and our proposed Maverick Splash is wearing a sharp shade of purplish-blue inspired by the original Ranger Splash’s Sapphire Metallic paint code. Rather than the five-spoke steelies or deep-dish cast aluminum wheels found on the original Splash, we added a set of five-spoke wheels from the Maverick’s SUV-relative, the Bronco Sport. Bold, contrasting graphics are a throwback to the original Splash’s squiggly side stripes. In a nod to the body-colored exterior elements, the bar spanning the Maverick’s grille is also body-colored.We considered doing some virtual surgery to the bed to make it a Flareside, but unlike the old body-on-frame Ranger, the new Maverick features unibody construction. This means significant engineering (and factory retooling) would be required to stamp a new body shell—something Ford, even if it revived the Splash as a trim, almost certainly wouldn’t do.      And while the Ford Ranger Splash could only hope to look sporty (although, to be fair, it did have a slightly lowered and retuned suspension setup), our theoretical Maverick Splash, with its available turbocharged 2.0-liter “EcoBoost” four-cylinder engine, is likely to match its dynamic looks with formidable performance. While we doubt Ford would add any power to the Splash’s stable relative to that of the run-of-the-mill Maverick EcoBoost, it’d likely fit the colorful Maverick model with a slightly sportier suspension setup (well, that’s what we imagine).See all 10 photosThe Maverick already looks pretty good in bolder colors, such as Cyber Orange and Velocity Blue. Bringing back some heritage colors, such as the fun purplish-blue featured on our imagined Maverick Splash, as well as the reds and yellows more typically associated with the original Ranger Splash, might be a neat way for Ford to bring an extra dash of street appeal to its new compact pickup. More

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    Lincoln’s First EV Debuts Next Year, Three More Set to Follow

    Lincoln will introduce four new electric vehicles, the first of which is to debut next year in celebration of the American luxury brand’s 100th anniversary. Lincoln plans to electrify its entire portfolio by 2030. These Lincoln EVs will be global vehicles, too, with the brand planning to sell its forthcoming electric models in the United States and China.The four electric Lincolns will be derived from Ford’s new rear-wheel/all-wheel-drive electric vehicle platform, meaning not a single one of these luxury models will share the architecture used by the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. Once the four anchor EVs are in production, the flexible EV architecture can spit out derivatives.These new Lincoln EVs will no doubt be crossovers. Think Lincoln Corsair, Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator, but propelled by batteries and electric motors instead of gasoline and internal combustion engines. Lincoln currently has no all-electric vehicles but does have plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid versions of the Aviator and—soon—the Corsair.The EV Aviator (EV-iator?) ComethFord recently confirmed there will soon be battery electric variants of the Lincoln Aviator and Ford Explorer three-row SUVs. Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln, would not confirm that the EV we will see next year is the Aviator. Forecasters and media reports have said an electric Lincoln Corsair is not due until 2026 when it will be assembled at the Oakville, Ontario plant that will eventually make five different EVs for Ford.EVs will represent half of Lincoln’s global volume by 2025, as part of the larger Ford+ plan. The automaker is investing $30 billion toward electrification by 2025. This includes EVs for both the Ford and Lincoln brands, retooling plants, and the development and manufacturing of battery cells, as well as other components, for electric vehicles.Lincoln is stepping up its EV game because the adoption rate of EVs by buyers of luxury vehicles is higher than that of mainstream ones, Falotico said. The overall EV share in the U.S. makes up around 2 percent of total sales, whereas the share of EV sales in the luxury segment is closer to 19 percent. To further cement its role as an EV brand, Ford’s luxury marque will also introduce the Lincoln Charging Network that pulls together partners such as Electrify America to create a broader network of choice, which ought to make it easier to find a place to charge using the Lincoln Way app.See all 5 photosLincoln Zephyr Returns … in ChinaThere are no plans to offer the Zephyr in the U.S. That said, the Zephyr’s styling cues will carry over to the new U.S.-bound EVs Lincoln has in the works.Future electric Lincolns will also feature more spacious interiors with clever storage spaces. Screens are all the rage right now, and future Lincolns will have what the brand calls “coast-to-coast” displays that will use color and light to create a mood, not to mention display various vehicle information.See all 5 photosAdditionally, Lincoln is continuing to focus on the premium experience of buying and owning one of its luxury cars, and its efforts to do so are just getting started. The new Lincoln Intelligence System will enable an always-on relationship with clients, Falotico said. The Lincoln Intelligence System is a cloud-based platform designed to keep customers connected with the brand, as well as receive performance updates for their vehicles.Meanwhile, Lincoln Enhance over-the-air software updates begin this summer, and—as its name suggests—serve as a way to continually enhance Lincoln vehicles. The first OTA is for the Nautilus, which will receive enhancements to its navigation system, Apple CarPlay system, and a digital owner’s manual. A second update to improve the Alexa digital assistant arrives this fall.Lincoln will also get the best of Ford’s technology. This includes Lincoln’s ActiveGlide hands-free driver assist technology, which is analogous to Ford’s BlueCruise.Lincoln Goes DigitalTo bolster the Lincoln ownership experience, the brand is expanding the Lincoln Way app to deliver more connected services. Lincoln is also making it easier to buy and service vehicles digitally, Michael Sprague, the luxury marque’s North American director, said.Lincoln Way was developed for the digital-savvy China market, offering personalized services and benefits. It is being adapted for the U.S. market so customers can go online to buy and service their vehicle if they do not want to go to the dealership. More

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    Ferrari Dino: Everything We Know About the F8 Successor

    The Ferrari F8 Tributo is only two years old, but the rocketship-quick mid-engined supercar is already a bit long in the tooth. We only met the F8 back in 2019 as a 2020 model, and even though Ferrari will never admit this next part, the F8 Tributo was really a stopgap measure to keep the 488 GTB competitive against the shockingly good McLaren 720S. Hence both cars having identical 711 hp outputs. Speaking of things Ferrari will never admit, the F8 is being replaced by a supercar with a hybrid V-6. And it’ll happen sooner than later.Meet the Dino, or perhaps the SF60, and yeah, we’ve made both names up. It’ll crib its platform from the Maserati MC20. We know the MC20 is mid-engine and makes use of an engine that shares features with Alfa Romeo’s 90-degree 2.9-liter V-6. Dubbed Nettuno, Maserati’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 621 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, plus it has a Honda CVCC-like extra set of spark plugs and mini-combustion chambers. Bringing it all full circle, both Maserati’s and Alfa Romeo’s V-6 engines are derived from Ferrari’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8, only with two cylinders lopped off. Moreover, the carbon-fiber monocoque MC20 platform has been designed from the beginning to accept a battery-electric powertrain. Meaning motor mounts and wiring passages have been baked in from day one. A hybrid powertrain would be easy to implement in a platform designed for both gas and EV duties.Yes, the new entry-level mid-engine Ferrari will be a hybrid. A plug-in hybrid to be specific. Following in the footsteps of the mighty SF90, the forthcoming Ferrari will pack at least one electric motor to assist with forward propulsion. We’re hearing that the total system output will be in the 800 to 840 hp range, so we’ll guess three motors. We can do some easy extrapolating here. The SF90 has a total system output of 976 hp, with the gasoline-powered V-8 producing 769 hp. This means 207 of the peak combined hp comes from the hybrid part of the powertrain. And yes, “combined hp” is a black and mysterious art. Assuming the plug-in hybrid components are the same as those of the SF90, we simply add the 207 hp to the MC20’s 621 to get 828 hp—which would be 840 metric horses, a sum that also just happens to be the exact number given by our source. These things write themselves.See all 33 photosWe can also infer that the Dino will have the same—or a similar—battery as the SF90. That said, given the MC20’s chassis is smaller than the 458/488/F8 platform the SF90 is based on, it’s possible the new six-cylinder Ferrari will get away with a smaller battery pack. There will be a “pizza motor” sandwiched between the V-6 and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (the MC20 also has an eight-speed dual-clutch). Expect two traction motors, one powering each front wheel, too. The front motors will handle the EV driving duties, just like in the SF90, as well as reverse because the dual-clutch gearbox has no reverse gear. This means that, like the SF90, this baby Ferrari can switch between front-wheel-, all-wheel-, and rear-wheel-drive settings, as the front motors stop spinning above 130 mph.We can infer another thing. This new car will be quicker than both the 812 Superfast and the 812 Superfast Competizione, as not only is the 812 a much more massive car that’s RWD only, but the “normal” version makes 789 hp, whereas the Competizione makes “just” 819 hp. The baby SF90 will be AWD, smaller, more powerful, and sport instantaneous electric torque. Again, a V-6—powered anything will be quicker than a big dog V-12 Fezza. And here you thought 2020 was crazy! The Superfast will be faster than the Dino, however, because it retains its glorious V-12’s full power output all the way to its 211-mph top speed. Maybe call the new car the Superquick? Just a thought.The question becomes when will we see this new machine? The answer is soon. We guess we’ll see the new Dino or SF60 or whatever Ferrari calls it on or around September 7—the first day of the 2021 Frankfurt Motor Show. Why not wait for Geneva? Because Ferrari has something even bigger planned. I’m talking about the brand’s first-ever SUV, the Purosange. Like the SF90 and this new V-6 model, the Purosange will also be a PHEV. We’ll go ahead and guess that the Ferrari SUV will make use of the fact the hybrid bits can mate to both the company’s V-6 and V-8 engines. All will be revealed in March. And we’ll learn everything about the Dino come September, though one source is saying Ferrari might reveal its $300,000-plus V-6 hybrid supercar even sooner than that—like maybe in the next month or two. Until then, yeah man, it’s a bit sad that the era of the mid-engine V-8 is coming to a close. But are you going to turn your nose up at a mini-hypercar packing potentially 828 horses? Didn’t think so. More

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    Put on ICE: The Upcoming Lotus Emira Is a Final Goodbye to Gas

    Lotus has revealed the Type 131, known as the Emira, and its new sports car is an interesting follow-up to the all-electric Evija. We use the word interesting because, contrary to some rumors that have swirled about its nature, the Emira will definitely use conventional gas powertrains—no electrification here. Moving forward, all vehicles from Lotus will be EVs.See all 19 photosIts gas-burning nature will make the new Emira more like every other Lotus ever made before it, including the long-running Elise, Exige, and Evora. Still, the Emira will share some design elements with its all-electric stablemate, including the large hoop-like elements out back and the stacked headlights up front—both reinterpreted from the Evija. The latest announcement by Lotus includes a very typical teaser that’s light on details but big on hype. That said, we have gleaned some information about the Emira from the bits and pieces that have trickled out of Hethel so far.For one, like the Evora, the Emira will have usable space inside, making it a semi-practical choice for day-to-day use. Whether that’s spacious by Lotus standards—or spacious by everyone else’s standards—remains to be seen. But the Emira will be especially important because it’s not a supercar. Its pricing is set to span from the high-$60,000 mark to the low $120,000 range. Ever-hopeful Lotus is hoping to build a total of 5,000 cars a year, and we’re thinking the Emira will be the volume sportscar in the Lotus line (and hopefully a profitable one). After all, even with Geely’s stake in it, the British brand’s finances have always been tenuous.See all 19 photosAs far as where its engines will be sourced … well, that is an open question at this time. The company promises “an exciting new powertrain partnership” for at least one of the Emira’s engine options, so the company’s recent powertrain partner—Toyota—may be fully or partially kicked to the curb. Recall that the current Evora GT uses a supercharged Toyota-sourced V-6 that makes a stout 416 hp and up to 332 lb-ft of twist.There are other Lotus models in the wings, too. For one, the $2 million Evija is almost through its development process, with the company claiming 80 percent of that program is finished. And more vehicle lines are being developed. The company promises a total of four platforms from which various models will spawn: Hypercar, Sports, Premium, and E-Sports, per Lotus.Lotus claims that the four platforms will be developed exclusively for Hethel within the Geely constellation of brands, although the underpinnings may be available to non-Geely brands through Lotus Engineering’s consultancy business. The Emira will be built on the Sports platform, and like its recent predecessors, this platform will utilize the signature aluminum extrusions used by the platform of the Exige and Evora. That said, Lotus promises it’s a new platform, not a revision of the outgoing one.The Evija is built on what’s known as the Hypercar platform. Meanwhile, the Premium platform seems very different from the sports cars the company currently makes. Lotus also promises the chassis will be used to build upscale, active lifestyle vehicles for global consumption. While the company doesn’t say it in as many words, it’s likely planning to move into the SUV space—something the company has been talking about for ages. Meanwhile, the E-Sports platform will spawn the fruits of the company’s previously announced partnership with Alpine.Lotus will officially unveil the Emira on July 6. More

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    Lincoln Zephyr Reflection Concept First Look: One Beautiful Sedan

    There’s no denying that Lincoln is in a better place than it’s been in years. The Navigator and Aviator have taken the American luxury brand in a bold, distinctive direction. There’s no reason the Lincoln Continental couldn’t have distilled this down into a similar experience, but as you’re probably aware, the Continental never managed to get the formula exactly right. But lest you think that Lincoln simply didn’t have it in itself to craft that sort of swaggering, desirable sedan that could stand out in a way the Continental couldn’t, the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection “preview car” is here to set the record straight in Shanghai.See all 50 photosIf you think “preview car” sounds like PR doublespeak for a concept car that … ahem … previews a forthcoming production model, then you’re not wrong. Indeed, Lincoln claims the production variant of this concept is ready to go and is due to hit dealerships in China next year. Look for the saleable model to sport larger side mirrors and perhaps a less intricate grille arrangement relative to this concept.That said, the Zephyr Reflection is not a China-market analog to our recently departed Continental. In fact, it is much smaller than that car. If it’s hard to tell this, then that’s because there are a lot of stylistic flourishes that effectively add length, elegance, and athleticism to the Zephyr Reflection’s design. Check out the strong lower door crease and side skirt arrangement. These features reduce the visual height of the doors, giving the effect of a longer wheelbase and a hunkered-down stance, while also adding some visual contrast and complexity. The Audi A7-esque tail lip, the sharply swooping body line just below the windows, the kink at the C-pillar? All of these work together to build a car with some real distinct Lincoln character—and without losing coherence. See all 50 photosUp front, Lincoln’s contemporary “hexagonal bean” grille is present. Here, it’s encrusted with inset Lincoln shields. It also features some fascinating curvature and is bisected by a bold accent bar. The headlights and inlets at the lower corners of the car’s fascia don’t necessarily scream Lincoln or resemble other products, but that’s not the Zephyr Reflection’s fault so much as it’s the result of a brand employing a design language that’s still in the infancy. There are other suitably bold and aggressive details, too, such as the horizontal rear light fixture (with a compelling turn-down at the corners) and the crisp, modern (and thus screen-intensive) interior. While Lincoln calls the Zephyr’s design language “Quiet Flight,” it’s certainly louder than “Quiet Luxury.” And so too is the strategy behind it. Lincoln is working to design unique cars for the Chinese market (ahem, the Zephyr Reflection), and also produce these models locally to avoid punishing tariffs. The Chinese-produced Lincoln Corsair PHEV debuted alongside the Zephyr Reflection, and it won’t be the last—part of what we assume is still the plan to produce as many as five vehicles in China.The production Zephyr Reflection will almost certainly never make it to our shores, but perhaps some of its Quiet Flight DNA will help the next generation of Lincoln SUVs and crossovers stand out. More

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    How Does the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Compare to an H2?

    Hummers are big, right? Duh, you’re thinking, that’s not news. Always were, always will be. It’s not, and you’re right: the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV is a big, big vehicle—just like its unabashedly, proudly oversized predecessor, the 2003-2009 Hummer H2. Debuting just a few years after the first-generation Toyota Prius, the first non-military Hummer was a lightning rod for controversy, as its size (and more importantly, thirst) were outsized. The GMC Hummer (mostly) sidesteps the latter issue with a fully electric powertrain, but it’s still a massive brick of a machine. Comparisons will be made—by us, right now. And the results, if you haven’t already examined the dimensions section of the spec sheets, might surprise you.See all 123 photosWhile vehicles have, in general, gotten larger since the early 2000s, the H2 was one of the largest vehicles around. Check out these illustrations we’ve made, which really underline the ways in which the GMC Hummer (red-lined, while the H2 is represented in white) literally overshadows its predecessor.See all 123 photosThe GMC is a massive 93.7 inches wide with its mirrors taken into account, and it’s 86.5 inches wide without—a minimum of 5.3 inches girthier than the H2. The maximum height disparity (remember, the GMC Hummer features adaptive air suspension with an Extract mode that provides an additional 6 inches of lift) is a full 5 inches. At least, it will sometime after launch—the capability won’t be available until sometime after it goes on sale, because reasons.See all 123 photosNot illustrated are some of the new Hummer’s remarkable capabilities, electric powertrain or otherwise. Fording depth? Thirty-two inches. That’s basically a small ocean. Vertical wall climbing ability? Eighteen inches. Suspension travel? Thirteen inches. It’s a monster truck, folks.See all 123 photosActually, despite sharing a platform with GM’s traditional full-size SUVs of the time, the H2 was no slouch. It can clear 16-inch obstacles, thanks to wheels pushed way out to the corners. But in other metrics, it falls short of its descendant. The H2 could only manage a 20-inch fording depth, and suspension travel was far shorter: 8.7 inches up front, 10.8 in the rear. The lack of an air-breathing engine, the unique advantages of its specialized platform, and the inevitable march of progress mean the new electric GMC Hummer leaves its predecessor behind in many metrics.See all 123 photosOverall length, however, is similar, but the new Hummer pushes its wheels even further to the corners, riding on a 126.7-inch wheelbase—roughly 4 inches longer than the H2’s same measurement. Neither are lightweights, either. The H2 had a listed curb weight of 6,400 lbs, and GMC isn’t talking curb weight yet but given the likely poundage of its Ultium batteries, it couldn’t be any less than its predecessor.See all 123 photosOne last point of comparison: range. Using EPA estimates, we pegged the H2 at 448 miles of range for freeway driving—of course, that’d require a light foot and maybe a tail wind. How’s the EV-only 2024 Hummer compare? GMC claims a range of more than 350 miles, with a recharge time of 100 miles in 10 minutes using a fast charger (in absolutely ideal conditions). The time from empty to full is unknown at this time; assume it’ll be a while, even using a fast charger, since the largest pack is a massive 200 kWh.How this all works in the real world remains to be seen, but let’s just say that the new 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV (and its 2022 Pickup counterpart) are making a big impression already. More