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2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupé gives 8 Series a rare and lavish makeover

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There’s a new Alpina in town, and if you demand serious exclusivity to go along with your luxurious – and fast – new BMW, the 2022 Alpina B8 Gran Coupé may do the trick. Third new model set to arrive in the US after the B7 Sedan and the XB7 SUV, as the name suggests the B8 Gran Coupé is based on BMW’s 8 Series in its four-door form.

Now the 8 Series Gran Coupe itself is no slouch, but Alpina makes things even more interesting. Under the hood, the Alpina version packs the 4.4-liter V8 bi-turbo engine, with 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 rpm.

It’s paired with an 8-speed Sport automatic transmission, which like the V8 has been fettled specially for Alpina’s purposes. The result is 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and the quarter-mile arrives in 11.5 seconds. Top speed is 201 mph.

What should help make it special, though, isn’t just the pace but the soundtrack. Alpina has used its own special sport exhaust system, reducing backpressure for better performance, but also featuring active flaps to temper the sound in Comfort mode but allow it to howl appropriately when you switch into Sport mode.

Similar attention has been paid to the sport suspension system, which also adjusts depending on if you have the car set to Comfort, Normal, Sport, or Sport+ mode. At the front there are hydro mounts on the axle struts, with Eibach springs and stiffer support mounts. Alpina also adds reinforced sway bars, and the Integral Active Steering system. That allows the rear wheels to swivel either in tandem with, or opposite to, the front wheels, maximizing stability during high-speed maneuvers, and reducing the turning circle at lower paces.

All-wheel drive is standard, as is a rear limited-slip differential. Alpina fits the B8 Gran Coupé with special Pirelli tires, with noise-cancelling at the front, on the special 21-inch wheels. They use Alpina’s 20-spoke design, and there’ll be 20-inch forged wheels available as an option for use with winter and all-season rubber.

Behind are blue brake calipers with white Alpina lettering, with four-piston fixed calipers at the front clamping down on 15.6-inch discs. The rear gets floating brake calipers with 15.7-inch discs. They’re not the only styling difference, either. Special front and rear aprons and an Alpina rear spoiler lip are added, and the car will be offered in the company’s exclusive Alpina Blue Metallic and Alpina Green Metallic finishes if you don’t want one of the more standard hues.

Inside, the 8 Series’ already plush cabin gets special door sills and an iDrive rotary controller in crystal glass with a laser Alpina logo. The standard trim is high-gloss Walnut Anthracite, while there’s special leather to wrap the steering wheel. BMW Individual extended Merino letter and an Alcantara headliner are standard.

So, too, is a panoramic glass roof, Harman Kardon surround sound system, ventilated and heated front seats, front armrests, and a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, quad-zone climate control, Icon Adaptive LED headlamps with Laserlight, and a full-color head-up display. There’s also the 12.3-inch driver display and 10.25-inch center touchscreen for iDrive 7, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

You get wireless phone charging, WiFi hotspot, lane departure and front collision warnings, automatic city collision mitigation, and gesture-control for the infotainment. Options include a carbon roof, Bowers & Wilkins Diamond audio system, Driving Assistance Package and Driving Assistance Professional Package, and various other interior trim choices.

Pricing will start at $139,900 (plus $995 destination) when it arrives in the US in late-Spring, which leaves it a little more expensive than a 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe (at $130,000 plus destination), but less than the M8 Gran Coupe Competition. Of course, part of the Alpina charm is its exclusivity: the company hasn’t said how many 2022 Alpina B8 Gran Coupé it’ll be bringing to the US, but its annual sales are typically a fraction of those of BMW, meaning it’s unlikely you’ll see another on the street.

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Polestar 2 electric car reveals paid download to add horsepower

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Polestar has released a downloadable over-the-air (OTA) update for all long-range dual-motor versions of the Polestar 2. The electric automaker’s latest performance software upgrade unlocks more horsepower and nippier acceleration, good things to have in a premium electric performance car.

Polestar has already released numerous software updates for the 2, but most of them had something to do with convenience features and range/charging improvements. The latest software upgrade is the first time Polestar applies its tuning magic to an all-electric model. If you’re old enough to remember, Polestar started life in 1996 as Volvo’s tuning arm similar to BMW’s M division and Mercedes-AMG.

So, what does the performance update give you? It adds 67 more horsepower and around 15 torque, boosting the power output to 470 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. What’s more, the power boost has given the Polestar 4 nippier acceleration. According to the automaker, accelerating from zero to 60 mph now only takes 4.4-seconds, better than the outdated software’s 4.7-seconds.

Best of all, everything happens with a few taps on the screen. The Polestar 2 is not a slow car by any means. In stock form, the Polestar 2’s 408-horsepower translates to an “addictive wave of instant torque, combined with a satisfying thrum rather than the bordering-on-harsh electric shriek some EV motors produce,” said executive editor Chris Davies upon driving the Polestar 2 last year. But with 67 more horses, the software update has added more spice to the EV’s grand-touring potential.

Furthermore, Polestar claims the additional muscle has no penalties for range and energy consumption. Equipped with a 78 kWh battery, Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor achieves an EPA-rated 233 miles of range. It has an 11 kW onboard charger and supports up to 150 kW of DC fast charging. With the latter, you’re looking at zero to 80-percent in around 40 minutes.

However, the latest Polestar 2 performance software upgrade is not free of charge. It starts at around €1,000 ($1,130) and is currently available to download in Europe, including the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Finland. Meanwhile, Canadian and US owners can avail of the OTA update starting early next year.

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EPA gives 2022 Ioniq 5 EV better range than Hyundai’s first claims

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South Korean automaker Hyundai has outdone itself with the 2022 Ioniq 5. Not only did Hyundai create an awesome-looking all-electric vehicle that won’t look out of place in the film set of Back to the Future 2, but the Ioniq 5 managed better range numbers than Hyundai initially suggested.

As Hyundai revealed today, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 can achieve an EPA-rated 303 miles of driving range, and those numbers apply to the single-motor rear-wheel-drive variant equipped with a 77.4 kWh battery pack. Other markets get two battery options, including a smaller 58.2 kWh unit, but all U.S.-bound Hyundai Ioniq 5s will have the 77.4 kWh long-range battery option.

With a single electric motor, you’ll have 225 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque at your disposal, which is plenty enough for most driving applications. But if you want a zippier Ioniq 5, you’ll need to go for the dual-motor AWD variant with a combined 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque. Both configurations allow a top speed of 115 mph, while the maximum tow rating is 2,000 pounds. Hyundai claims zero to 60 mph in under five seconds, not bad for vintage-inspired EV.

However, the AWD model achieves lower EPA numbers: 256 miles on a single full charge. If the batteries go flat, the Ioniq 5 offers what Hyundai claims is the world’s first multi-charging system that supports both 400V and 800V charging infrastructures. A standard Level 2 10.9 kW onboard charger replenishes the batteries in around 6.5 hours. But if you have access to a 350 kW DC fast charger, the Ioniq 5 can juice up from ten to 80-percent in under 20 minutes.

Furthermore, Hyundai has partnered with Electrify America to give Ioniq 5 owners total access to the latter’s network of over 700 charging stations across America. Each Ioniq 5 comes with free and unlimited 30-minute charging sessions for two years from the purchase date. Suddenly, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 has become a top choice in the EV category. With over 300 miles of range and free unlimited charging, the stakes have gone higher, and we have yet to discuss the Ioniq 5’s tasteful yet purposeful retro design.

Starting life as the Hyundai 45 EV Concept at the 2019 IAA auto show in Germany, the production Ioniq 5 is essentially a concept in production guise. The angular styling is a throwback to yesteryears, but there’s genuine substance behind its quirky design. The Ioniq 5 has a four-inch longer wheelbase than a Hyundai Palisade (measuring a lengthy 118.1-inches, the longest wheelbase in a Hyundai production vehicle) despite measuring a full 14-inches shorter in length.

Combined with shorter front and rear overhangs, Hyundai claims Ioniq 5 has a greater passenger volume than the Ford Mustang Mach E and VW ID.4. In addition, Ioniq 5 has 27.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats. Meanwhile, folding the rear seats reveal 59.3 cubic feet of storage space.

Other neat features include Hyundai’s V2L function that essentially turns the Ioniq 5 into a humongous power bank. Best of all, it can even charge a stranded EV. “Ioniq 5 introduces the Hyundai brand to a whole new set of buyers,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai North America. “Owning one is going to be a new experience and lifestyle that only the Iooniq brand can provide.”

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 will sell this winter in three trims: SE, SEL, and Limited. Hyundai has yet to disclose the MSRP, but we’re expecting base prices to start under $45,000.

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2022 Honda Passport goes upmarket with one monster price hike

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This winter, the redesigned 2022 Honda Passport is arriving at dealerships with a significant price hike. The base Sport trim from the outgoing model is gone for 2022, making way for the new base EX-L trim with standard front-wheel drive (AWD remains a $2,100 option).

With base prices starting at $39,095 (including $1,225 destination fees), the 2022 Passport is about $5k more than last year. What’s more, it now costs thousands of dollars more than its nearest competitors like the VW Atlas Cross Sport, Toyota Venza (which is a hybrid), and Hyundai Santa Fe.

For the money, you get an array of premium equipment like perforated leather seats with contrasting stitching, a remote power tailgate, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wireless charging, and remote engine start. Also standard are 20-inch alloy wheels and a one-touch power moonroof.

All Honda Passports have a 3.5-liter V6 engine pumping out 280 horsepower to the front wheels or all four wheels using the brand’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. Both drivetrains have and a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Honda Sensing is also standard across the lineup and includes hi-tech safety aids like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, collision mitigating braking, and road departure mitigation.

The all-new Passport Trailsport has standard AWD and is the most off-road ready of the bunch. It starts at $43,695 and gets machined 18-inch wheels, chunkier off-road tires, and silver skid plates. It also has bespoke logos, rugged front/rear bumpers, heated wipers, and a 10mm wider track. All 2022 Passports with AWD feature up to 8.1-inches of ground clearance and a 5,000-pound towing capacity.

“The new Passport and Passport Trailsport don’t just look rugged; they’re ready, willing, and able to get dirty tackling trails,” said Michael Kistemaker, assistant vice president of Honda National Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Meanwhile, the range-topping 2022 Passport Elite starts at $46,665. It has trim-specific 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated tiller, heated rear outboard seats, and a hands-free power tailgate.

Honda’s 2022 Passport is an attractive proposition for adventurous lifestyles despite the price hike. The Passport entered rallying a few months ago will continuously see action in the American Rally Association (ARA) series throughout 2022, so we have no question about the Passport Trailsport’s off-road pedigree. But is it $5,000 better than the competition? We’re itching to find out.

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