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    2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Previewed by Europe-Spec Model

    This is the new N Line version of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson for the European market.
    The U.S. version should look similar, although it will have a longer wheelbase.
    Hyundai’s consumer site confirms that the N Line will have the same engine as the base Tucson.
    We now have a better idea of what the new N Line version of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson will look like thanks to these photos out of the company’s European division. The yet-to-be-revealed U.S.-spec Tucson N Line won’t be exactly the same, but will likely feature similar appearance changes and trim.

    2022 Hyundai Tucson Looks Daring, Feels Roomier

    Hyundai Tucson N Line Teased

    The biggest difference for the U.S. model will be its longer wheelbase, as we’re getting a slightly larger version of the Tucson than other markets get. Otherwise, based on what we’ve seen from teaser photos, the special grille and 19-inch wheels seen here will carry over to our market. Inside, the Europe-spec N Line features different seats, red stitching, and various N Line badges; the U.S. model will have a combination of leather and cloth upholstery.

    Hyundai

    We previously thought it was possible that the Tucson N Line would have more power, but a configurator page on Hyundai’s U.S. consumer site confirms that’s not the case. It will use the same base engine as the standard model, a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four with 187 horsepower, paired with either front- or all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic. Other than the larger wheels and tires, we don’t anticipate any other major mechanical changes.

    Hyundai

    While we’re disappointed that the 290-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter from the Sonata N Line won’t make it into the Tucson N Line, we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a full-bore N version of the Tucson eventually, given that Hyundai has confirmed an N version of the smaller Kona crossover for the U.S.
    Hyundai says that it will release full details on the U.S. version of the Tucson N Line within the next few months, and it will go on sale later in 2021.
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    Lotus Confirms Existing Lineup Will Die, New Sports Car Coming Soon

    Lotus will soon discontinue the Elise, Exige, and Evora sports cars.
    A new model, code-named Type 131, is coming soon to replace these cars.
    It will likely have a hybrid drivetrain, as the company’s CEO has said it will be the last Lotus with a combustion engine.
    We’ve known that Lotus was working hard behind the scenes for some time, but now the British brand has announced that its entire existing lineup is going to die this year, with a new sports car due to replace them in 2021.
    Lotus insiders have already revealed a fair amount about this new car. We know it will be based on an evolved version of the bonded aluminum architecture that underpins the soon-to-retire models, and company CEO Phil Popham has also told us that it will be considerably more usable than the cars it will replace. But now we also know the code name it is being developed under: Type 131.

    Lotus Evora GT Is Delightfully Analog

    New Lotus Sports Car Aims to Rival Porsche Cayman

    2021 Lotus Evija Coming Soon in Three Wild Colors

    After years of few sales, Lotus was acquired by Chinese auto giant Geely in 2017, which ordered work to begin on several new models. The only one of these we have already seen is the forthcoming Evija EV hypercar, but we know that at least one of the others is an SUV, which we believe will be built in China. The Type 131 will replace the existing Elise, Exige and Evora when it goes on sale (of these, only the Evora is currently available in the ‘States). Popham told us that the plan is to make a car with the everyday viability of rivals such as the Porsche Cayman.

    Lotus Evora GT
    Lotus

    We don’t know what powertrain the new car will use, although it will likely need a hybridized powerplant in at least some markets, likely one based on the Toyota V6 of the existing Evora. Popham has admitted that it will be Lotus’s last new model with a combustion engine. Work on the EV sports-car platform that will be sold alongside it—and will ultimately replace it—has already begun. Renault subsidiary Alpine has recently announced a deal with Lotus to use the same architecture for its own next-gen electric sports car.
    The need to replace the entirety of Lotus’s sports car lineup means the production version of the 131 is likely to get lower entry-level pricing than the current Evora GT, which starts at $99,150. If Popham is serious about creating a genuine alternative to a well-equipped Porsche Cayman, then a starting price around $75,000 would seem a reasonable ambition. The Type 131 will inevitably gain one of Lotus’s traditional “E” names for production; might this be a suitable excuse to bring back the Esprit badge?
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    1750-HP SSC Tuatara Sets Production-Car Speed Record (for Real This Time)

    Last October, Jerod Shelby, founder and owner of SSC North America (formerly Shelby SuperCars), took a 1750-hp Tuatara hypercar to the Nevada desert and claimed a production-car record with a 316.11-mph average speed. Then the internet went to work, digging into the runs and digging up inconsistencies in the measuring and monitoring of the car’s performance. Whether the Nevada attempt was sloppy or underhanded remains debatable, but the results didn’t stand up to scrutiny.
    Setting up in Florida at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at the Kennedy Space Center on January 17 to take another run at a record held by the Koenigsegg Agera RS since 2017, Shelby and SSC brought along plenty of backup.

    SSC Tuatara Says Speed Record OK, Video Was Wrong

    SSC Tuatara Sets Production Car Speed Record

    “We had Racelogic there with their VBOX equipment, we had Life Racing, we had Garmin, and we had IMRA, which is the International Mile Racing [Association],” Shelby said. “We used equipment from all four groups and had staff there from three of those groups. But when it came down to it, it seems that everyone in the car community looks at Racelogic and VBOX as the most respected measurement tool, so they had multiple redundant systems in the car, and they had a gentleman named Jim Lau, their American representative, present for all the tests.”
    Lau sent us a signed certification of the results, vouching for the fact that the Tuatara hit 279.7 mph on its northbound run and 286.1 mph on its southbound run, that both runs were completed within an hour of each other, and that the average of the two runs was 282.9 mph, good enough to break the prior record of 277.87 mph (average run) and the prior single-run record of 285 mph.
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    SSC provided us with all of this data for analysis.
    “Like many car enthusiasts, I saw SSC’s original video, had questions about the speed claims, and wondered why they didn’t use a VBOX to validate their extraordinary top speed,” Lau said. “Unlike many car enthusiasts, I found myself on a runway in Florida with our equipment installed on that very car just a few months later.”
    During the October attempt, Shelby and his team—including winning race-car driver Oliver Webb and designer Jason Castriota—celebrated in front of banners declaring “Life Begins at 300,” as in, mph—but the car didn’t even approach the magic number this time. Asked why, Shelby explained that this run differed from the prior attempt in numerous ways.
    “We had only 2.3 miles for the acceleration zone,” Shelby said of the NASA runway, comparing it to the six or seven miles of paved public road in the Nevada desert. “And we only have 0.7 mile to slow down. So, when you’re at 287 mph, you really have to be on the brakes at the braking zone,” lest you run out of runway.
    Shelby said they also limited the top-end power of the car on the first run because of a third factor. After getting behind the wheel of the Tuatara in Nevada, Webb said, “I hope to never do that again. I actually don’t think anyone is crazy enough to attempt it anytime soon. I think it’s unwise to even try.”

    SSC North America

    So the decision was made to allow an inexperienced driver—the owner of the test car, SSC customer Larry Caplin—to pilot the vehicle on this latest attempt. Shelby said that aside from practice runs over the past few months, Caplin didn’t have much seat time in any car above 200 mph. They wanted to help him acclimate.
    “We were still down about 300 horsepower when we did the first of the two record passes,” Shelby said. (It is worth noting that the Tuatara only makes 1750 horsepower on E85; on 91-octane, the twin-turbo 5.9-liter V-8 makes 1350 horsepower.)
    The car’s gearing was changed from the prior runs as well, to accommodate for the limited acceleration distance. “When we were going to a shorter runway, and running in, like, a drag-race mode, with full throttle full boost for 40 to 50 seconds instead of bringing the car up slowly to 200 mph nice and easy and then at 200 mph, full throttle, full boost for 20 to 30 seconds, we wanted to make sure we could use all seven gears and keep the gearing closer together,” Shelby explained. “So we went with a lower gearbox ratio setup.”
    SSC provided us with these ratios for analysis.
    Despite repeated requests for an explanation of what went wrong in October, what the results were of SSC’s internal analysis, or how improbable it was that the errors that occurred were simply an “oopsie,” Shelby would not cop to any wrongdoing. “All I can say is, there were multiple things that didn’t line up, and in the heat of the day, with a large film crew there, and all kinds of people around,” he said. “And we’re trying to make sense out of the data, things weren’t adding up to us, and we couldn’t make sense of it. We could not come up with clear-cut answers of exactly what went wrong.”

    SSC North America

    That’s less than a mea culpa, and it may not be enough to slake the thirst of the internet audience that challenged the validity of SSC’s earlier runs. Shelby claimed that they didn’t record any data in the October run, which is suspicious.
    “Really, all this is just a progress report on the status of our top-speed testing,” Shelby said, “and we’re still on that journey. We’re still moving forward; we’re going to be doing further runs in the future.” And he believes his car can surpass the 300-mph barrier. “The question is whether we can break 300 in 2.3 miles,” he said.
    In the meantime, he is utilizing all of this publicity to abide the fading auto industry maxim, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday.” Though perhaps not exactly to the capacity he’d hoped. “We’ve sold more cars since the last run,” he says. “Probably not as many as we would have. But, yes.”
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    2022 Mini Cooper Lineup Benefits from Sharper Looks, More Features

    Mini’s Hardtop and Convertible lineups get a range of updates for 2022.
    The new look includes revised front and rear ends, and there are new standard features.
    Pricing starts at $23,750 and the updated Minis will be available this spring.
    Mini’s Hardtop and Convertible models will look better and offer more goodies thanks to a freshening for 2022. With sharper styling and newly standard and optional features, the two- and four-door Cooper, Cooper S, JCW, and Electric models will go on sale this spring in the U.S. with slightly higher starting prices.

    Tested: 2021 Mini JCW GP Sets a Record

    Mini Looks to 1969 as Inspiration for New 1499 GT

    Tested: Mini Cooper SE Brings Joy to Cheap EVs

    The front end benefits from a body-color insert in the grille to replace the previous black insert, getting rid of the awkward open-mouth look. The rear fascia is also revised, with S and JCW models getting an aggressive-looking diffuser. As is befitting a Mini, there are plenty of new customization options including new colors and an option for a multicolor roof treatment. LED headlights are now standard across the board.

    View Photos

    Mini

    Inside, a digital gauge cluster and 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system are newly standard, and the dashboard layout has been subtly revised with new air vents. Satellite radio is also standard, and Apple CarPlay is available if you select the option for navigation (Android Auto is still not offered). Lane-departure warning is a newly standard driver-assist feature, while others, including adaptive cruise control, remain optional.
    Engines and transmissions remain the same, with the base Cooper coming with a 134-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder, the S coming with a 189-hp turbo 2.0-liter four, and the JCW having a more powerful 228-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four. The Mini Cooper SE has a 181-hp electric motor and an EPA-estimated 110 miles of range. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on most models, with either a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or an eight-speed automatic transmission optional, depending on configuration.

    View Photos

    Mini

    Base prices rise by $500, with the Cooper Hardtop starting at $23,750, the Cooper S at $27,750, and the JCW at $33,750. The Cooper Convertible starts at $28,750 and the electric Mini holds the line on price, starting at $30,750. The updated 2022 models start production in March and should arrive at U.S. dealerships shortly after that.
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    627-HP 2022 BMW M5 CS Will Be the Ultimate M5 (for Now)

    The 2022 BMW M5 CS is a lighter and more powerful version of the sports sedan.
    It has 627 horsepower and is claimed to weigh 230 pounds less than the M5 Competition.
    The M5 CS will arrive in the U.S. later this year with a starting price of $142,995.
    Do you want a BMW M5 or do you want a real collector’s item? BMW is launching a derivative that will whet enthusiasts’ appetites for decades to come. Meet the M5 CS, available for exactly one model year—2022—and mainly targeting a few select markets: North America, Russia, Germany, and the U.K. If you love fast BMWs, this one deserves a very close look.

    2021 BMW M5 CS to Have More Horsepower

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    BMW’s M5 Competition Tops Claimed Power

    BMW managed to squeeze considerable heft out of the M5, as the CS is lighter than the M5 Competition by a claimed 230 pounds. The hood, front splitter, mirror housings, and rear diffuser and splitter are made from carbon fiber, there are carbon-fiber front seats, two rear bucket seats rather than three-person bench, and a center console without extra storage. Additionally, the amount of sound deadening material has been reduced to save valuable pounds. Forged 20-inch wheels are standard, as are the carbon-ceramic brakes. The chassis has been tweaked with spring and adaptive damper tuning and sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires will be a no-cost option, sized 275/35 up front and 285/35 in the rear.

    View Photos

    BMW

    The M5 CS also looks unique and, if you ask us, more beautiful. Outside, there is a specific color scheme: The kidney grilles and badges are executed in gold bronze (same for the wheels); new colors (frozen deep green and frozen Brands Hatch gray) are available; and the headlight surrounds emit yellow instead of white light, a nod to BMW’s race cars. The four exhaust pipes, designed to deliver a louder soundtrack, are made from stainless steel.
    Further changes inside include carbon shift paddles, an Alcantara headliner, CS badges on the dashboard and between the rear seats, a Nürburgring silhouette on the headrests, and an Alcantara steering wheel with a mark at the top so you know the steering wheel position on the track.
    There was a limit to the weight-saving approach: The M division has neither killed the all-wheel-drive system nor the eight-speed automatic, even though reverting to rear-wheel drive and a manual gearbox would have brought about very significant improvements. Sadly, the manual transmission seems to be gone for good in this segment.

    View Photos

    BMW

    The twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 in the M5 CS makes 10 more horsepower than the M5 Competition. The powerplant is now rated at 627 horsepower and this—in conjunction with the weight savings—leads to tangible benefits. The sprint to 60 mph takes a claimed 2.9 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than the company’s claim for the M5 Competition. Of course, we tested a 2019 M5 Competition that got to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds, so we think the CS will be quicker still. Top speed is governed at an impressive 190 mph.
    In the past, BMW’s CS models have become collector’s items. For customers in the market, the M5 CS is a tempting choice: More aggressive, lighter, exceedingly rare and more pure in many aspects. It will arrive in the U.S. later this year with a starting price of $142,995, nearly $30,000 more than an M5 with the Competition package.

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    NBC Comedy Coming This Fall Stars Detroit Auto Industry

    It’s a workplace comedy set in the executive suites of a U.S. carmaker.
    The producer has solid credentials, so we’re looking forward to it.
    A new TV comedy series about the Detroit auto industry will debut this fall when American Auto arrives on NBC.
    A new comedy TV show called American Auto arrives this fall on NBC.
    Hollywood has tried to depict the car industry before, with semi-disastrous results. Consider the 1986 movie Gung Ho about the relationship between American union auto workers and Japanese carmakers. That flick has a 33 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert called it “a disappointment” and gave it two stars. Consequently, Tim Allen set his highly successful TV show Home Improvement, which featured a hot rod, at least, in Detroit. Ed Asner’s Thunder Alley was peripherally about the car industry and lasted two whole seasons. Many a History Channel documentary has approached the topic of the U.S. car industry on a more serious, historical basis. And there are myriad shows depicting small hot rod shops with angry mechanics hitting each other over the head with wrenches.
    But this new show promises to be a mainstream, prime-time, major-network comedy deal.
    The official description from NBC says it’s “set at the headquarters of a major American automotive company in Detroit where a floundering group of executives try to rediscover the company identity amidst a rapidly changing industry.”

    The show stars “Saturday Night Live” alum Ana Gasteyer, best known on SNL for her Martha Stewart sketches.
    NBC

    Does that mean they’re making the change from internal combustion to electric cars? To autonomous cars? Or, worse, to hydrogen fuel cells? We don’t know yet.
    The show stars Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer, best known on SNL for her Martha Stewart impressions. On this new show she plays Katherine Hastings, the CEO of the troubled Payne Motors (is that a joke?). Harriet Dyer plays the head of PR, Humphrey Ker as head of sales, Michael B. Washington plays the designer, Tye White is an assembly worker, and comedian X Mayo is Gasteyer’s executive assistant.
    The show is the brainchild of writer/producer Justin Spitzer, who was also a writer/producer on The Office, as well as writing episodes of Scrubs and Courting Alice. Most recently Spitzer brought us the popular NBC comedy Superstore, now in its sixth season. So that bodes well for the Spitzer-made “American Auto,” we can hope.

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    The pilot for the new series was greenlit a year ago and shot soon after, but the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted production. Then the series itself got the go-ahead earlier this week. No specific dates have been released except that it will be part of the 2021-2022 season, which means we’ll see it in fall sometime.
    And before you start drawing conclusions, the casting of a woman as the head of a major American automaker actually happened when the story was sold to NBC back in 2013, a year before Mary Barra took over as General Motors’ CEO. So there goes that line of thinking.
    Here’s hoping it’s hilarious. We are trying to track down a viewing of the pilot, which has already been shot. We’ll let you know how we liked it when we see it.
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    2021 Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 Is Ford's Longest-Range EV Yet

    The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 has an EPA-estimated 305 miles of driving range on a full charge.
    The Mach-E California Route 1 is equipped with an 88.0-kWh battery pack and rear-wheel-drive.
    It starts at $50,900 and is available to order now.
    The 2021 Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 is Ford’s longest-range electric vehicle yet, and the EPA estimates that it will travel 305 miles on a single charge. That’s five more miles than rear-wheel-drive Mustang Mach-E models equipped with the 88.0-kWh extended-range battery. The $50,900 California Route 1 model does, however, fall 21 miles short of the Tesla Model Y Long Range electric crossover, which starts at $51,190.

    Ford

    Tesla’s Model Y Long Range has all-wheel drive, although a rear-wheel-drive Standard Range model is now available with an EPA-estimated 244 miles of range. The Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 is equipped with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive Mach-Es are available, but offer less range because the secondary drive unit has “associated parasitic losses,” Ford told C/D at launch. The California Route 1 is equipped with an 88.0-kWh battery pack paired with a permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor on the rear axle. Total output is 290 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, and Ford claims that that the California Route 1 gets to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

    2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Is Ford’s Best EV Ever

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    2022 Mach-E Hits 300 Mile EV Range Target

    Ford says that the Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 is lighter than the rear-wheel-drive Extended Range model, which has a 300-mile EPA-estimated range. It also has tweaks to improve aerodynamics including a set of 18-inch wheels with black aero covers wrapped in Michelin all-season rubber.
    The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E starts at $43,995 for the rear-wheel-drive Select model with an EPA-estimated 230 miles of range. The 305-mile California Route 1 starts at $50,900 and is available to order now.
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    Biden Wants to Replace U.S. Fleet Vehicles with American-Made EVs

    As part of a press conference about an executive order regarding the expansion of the “Buy American” act of 1933, President Biden said that the federal government’s fleet of vehicles will be replaced with clean electric vehicles.
    The fleet replacement portion of the news conference is part of a campaign promise Biden made while running for president.
    As of 2019, the federal government has over 645,000 vehicles in its fleet, so it’s likely going to take years for a full replacement to happen.

    What the Biden Administration Could Mean for Us

    Biden to Work toward More EVs, Stable Car Industry

    Will Biden Presidency Bring EVs to Mainstream?

    As part of his campaign, President Joe Biden announced a plan to replace the gas-powered federal fleet of vehicles with EVs. Today he announced that the pledge will become a reality during a press conference regarding an executive order to expand the “Buy American” act.
    At the announcement of the executive order, he noted that “the federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers.” For U.S. automakers that have invested heavily in electrification, as GM has, this is great news.
    Biden said the electrification of the fleet would create jobs for autoworkers and that it would be “the largest mobilization of public investment in procurement infrastructure and R&D since World War Two.”
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    The actual executive order itself makes no mention of the fleet replacement. Instead, it’s meant to increase the number of components a product is made up of in order to qualify to be a domestic good. It’s currently set at 50 percent. Biden hasn’t set a new percentage threshold. What Biden and the order do say is that the value of the individual components need to be such that they contribute to the U.S. economy. Stating that the components will be “measured by things like a number of American jobs created and or supported.”
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    The United Auto Workers issued a statement following the press conference about the executive order stating, “with the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden today sent a strong message to American workers that our government will do all it can to support buying American products, made here by American workers, recommitting to the men and women of working America. Through today’s order, the Biden Administration commits the vast power of the U.S. government to U.S. citizen made products.”
    GM said that it “is encouraged by President Biden’s commitment to supporting American manufacturing.” Ford said, “President Biden’s early focus on investing in American manufacturing is critical to the continued success of the U.S. auto industry.
    How long the transition from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs will take is unknown, although it’s likely to take a few years. According to the General Services Administration, as of 2019, the government fleet has over 645,000 vehicles on the road. That’s a lot vehicles to be replaced by clean-running counterparts.
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