The Past Week's Car News in Pictures
21 September 2020 to 27 September 2020
Touring Superleggera has released the Aero 3, which is a rebodied Ferrari F12 limited to a mere fifteen units. Thanks to a 7.3-liter V12 producing 730bhp and 509 pound-feet of torque and a seven-speed transmission, it can hit 60 MPH in 3.1 seconds. It's creators say that every car is bespoke, so there's no released price, and each one takes 5,000 hours (208 days) to build.
On "Battery Day" (22 September 2019), Tesla announced a battery improvement plan. Because Tesla purchased supercapacitor producer Maxwell Technologies and equipment manufacturer Hibar Systems, they will be able to develop and produce better batteries for less money. Energy density will increase from 250Wh/kg to 400Wh/kg per cell, increasing range and reducing weight; now, Tesla batteries will cost $100/kWh, down from $128/kWh. By 2025, the batteries are estimated to cost $80/kWh. Because of this, Tesla hopes to produce a $25,000 (€21,446/£19,661) car.
The Kia Sorento used to have either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.3-liter V6 engine, but both have been replaced in the new 2021 model. The standard powertrain is a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder running through an 8-speed automatic transmission; uplevel models receive a turbocharged variant of said engine producing a more substantial 281 horsepower and utilizing an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The base engine gets 27 MPG, 2 more than the outgoing 2.4-liter, and the turbocharged unit gets 25 MPG, 3 more than the old V6. A plug-in hybrid with a 1.6-liter engine producing 261 horsepower is on the horizon and can travel 30 miles purely on electricity. Inside, the infotainment system has a 10.3-inch screen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is optional. Finally, the X-Line model increases ground clearance by an inch.
The new BMW M4 and M3 are here, and, like it or not, the M3 has the same grille as the M4. On the bright side, they are both powered by a 480bhp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 hooked to a manual transmission. Because the gearbox can't handle the 510bhp in Competition versions, those get an 8-speed automatic and drop the 0-60 sprint time beneath four seconds. Although both models get carbon-fiber roofs, the M Race Track Package drops the weight even more by adding carbon ceramic brakes, lighter wheels, and carbon-fiber seats. Further, M offers a Drift Analyzer that records the distance, duration, and degree of previous drifts and compares them to personal bests. A multitude of adjustable characteristics include those of the sound, engine response, damping, DSC, transmission, TCS, steering weight, and brake weight as well as ten selectable traction control stages; luckily, a shortcut button can be programmed to select a favorite setup. Pricing has not yet been announced.
Volkswagen's first fully electric SUV, the ID.4, is here, and it shares it's platform with the recently revealed Škoda Enyaq iV, which you can read about in this article: https://drivetribe.com/p/the-past-weeks-car-news-in-pictures-ANNKlDMiR8u51OlPAQsFIA?iid=aQEmmg70RDyGIS2dlDSwtA. The first batch of ID.4s will be "1st Editions", equipped with a 201bhp motor driving the rear wheels, a 323-mile range, and an 8.5-second 0-60 time; an uplevel model with AWD and more power is on the way. Prices have not been announced in the UK, but Germans will pay a little less than €50,000 and Americans will pay a little less than $40,000.
Tesla has revealed the specs for the new range-topping Tesla Model S Plaid: three motors producing 1,100 horsepower, a sub-two-second 0-60 time, a sub-nine-second quarter-mile time, a top speed around 200 MPH, an estimated range of 520 miles, and a 130-grand price tag. Elon Musk reckons that three seconds can be taken out of it's 1:30.3s lap of Laguna Seca, making it the fastest production car around the circuit.
Not another coupe SUV thing! Longer than a Mégane and shorter than an X4, the Renault Arkana comes either as a 1.3-liter mild hybrid or a 1.6-liter full hybrid, each utilizing Renault's clever and complex F1-inspired E-Tech CVT and receiving 138bhp ratings. Outside, RS Line models get cosmetic upgrades reminiscent of Renaultsport hatchbacks, but won't be any sportier; inside sit a 9.3-inch infotainment screen and a 10-inch screen for the gauge cluster. Pricing has not been announced.
There is not shortage of rear legroom in the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, but nevertheless Rolls-Royce has created a long-wheelbase variant called the Ghost Extended. It has the same 563bhp V12 as in the standard-wheelbase Ghost, providing a 4.8-second 0-60 time.
Ford has added an ST version to the Puma lineup with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine producing 197bhp and 236 pound-feet of torque. 137 MPH can be achieved, with the first 60 covered in 6.7 seconds. Driving modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, and Track and the £950 performance pack adds a front limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels, and stickier tires.
Hyundai has facelifted the i30N, endowing it with the choice between a 6-speed manual or a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which offers a 20-second overboost function similar to Porsche's Sport Response. The standard i30N retains the same 247bhp 2.0-liter turbo-four, whilst the Performance version brings 276bhp, 5 more than before. Other updates include the obviously different front end, slightly altered rear end, lightweight sports seats, tweaked suspension, and 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubber.
Peugeot Sport has tuned the 508 saloon and estate, calling it the 508 PSE and making it the most powerful production Peugeot ever. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine works with two electric motors to produce up to 355bhp and 348 pound-feet of torque, bringing a 5.2-second 0-60 time, a 155-MPH top speed, and a 26-mile electric-only range. AWD is standard and pricing has not been announced.
Ioniq, Hyundai's new EV brand, has a concept, but it's not a car--it's a cabin. Designed to preview future living room-esque EV interiors, the Concept Cabin features a 77-inch flexible organic LED screen fixed to the ceiling on which two people can watch different things at the same time, speakers in the headrests creating personal sound zones, a robot that cleans the floor, and "Clothing Care" and "[Shoe] Butler" stations. Some of the technologies displayed may reach reality by the end of 2021.
California has joined the 15 or so countries, including the UK, that will ban the sale of new cars that are not electric in 2035. Pre-2035 petrol and diesel-powered cars will still be legal to drive, though.
The Ferrari Omologata has the mechanicals of an 812 Superfast, but everything else (with the exception of the windshield and the headlights) is unique. Ferrari has not said whether it was sold to anyone or anything about the cost, but it has lapped Fiorano. It's lap time was not revealed.
Jeep is launching a line of 80th Anniversary Editions to celebrate the company's 80th birthday. Each model receives unique paint and badging and will come loaded. Here are the prices:
Cherokee 4x4: $35,300
Compass 4x4: $31,190
Grand Cherokee 4x4: $45,830
Renegade 4x4: $29,090
Wrangler two-door: $37,485
Wrangler four-door: $40,985
Audi is expanding it's "coupe SUV" lineup further with the Q5 Sportback, which gets the same engines as the normal Q5 and 40% less cargo space. Pricing has not been announced.