Subaru has been making popular cars for a long time. It has hybrids in the line up now, but so far, it hasn’t rolled out a fully electric car or SUV. That will change over the next decade and a half. Subaru this week has set a mid-2030 target for selling only electric vehicles.
The decision is part of its strategy for a long-term goal of a carbon-free society. Subaru and Toyota will be working together to cut the development and manufacturing costs associated with the move to EVs. This has become common as developing tech for EVs, and autonomous autos is costly. Ford and VW are working together on EVs and autonomous cars.
Subaru has announced that it is developing a battery-powered car with Toyota that will be released in the mid-2030s. Subaru says that by 2030 at least 40% of all the vehicles it sells globally will be BEVs or hybrids. The move will be a significant change for Subaru, a company known for turbo-powered Boxer engines and all-wheel drive.
It produces the enthusiast favorite Subaru WRX. While automakers have shown that performance can be had in an electric car, fans of Subaru may worry about the EV future. Automakers have a long way to come before the mainstream buyer is ready for an EV.
As it stands now, most auto buyers still prefer combustion engine-powered vehicles. Many are interested in hybrids, which often have an all-electric driving range suitable for most daily use. Ford, for instance, has bet big on hybrids rather than full EVs, though the automaker does have the battery-powered Mach-E coming. Subaru will be significantly behind its peers in EVs if its first model doesn’t debut until 2030.
Major tire recall issued by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Many years ago, a major recall was issued on Firestone tires that were failing and causing accidents that were sometimes fatal. Recalls in the automotive industry aren’t uncommon, and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has now issued a tire recall the covers more than 430,000 light truck tires in the US. The tires are being recalled due to sidewall bulges that could lead to tire failure.
Cooper says the recall covers only certain Discoverer, Evolution, Courser, Deegan, Adventurer, Hercules, Back Country, Multi-Mile, Wild Country, and Big O tires in multiple sizes. Some of those tires are also commonly used on Jeeps and other off-road vehicles as upgrades to factory rubber. Sidewall bulges pose a risk of sidewall separation that would make the tires lose air rapidly and increase the crash risk.
Cooper reports there has been no property damage, death, or injury due to the problem. The recall is expected to begin on March 25, and owners of the tires will be notified. Dealers will replace the tires at no cost. It’s unclear if there is any sort of caveat to the free replacement, such as miles or tire condition.
Some who’ve been using these tires for a while might find the recall results in newer and fresher tires. Having a blowout at high-speed certainly poses the risk of accidents and even death. Recently, automaker Hyundai issued a massive recall on electrified vehicles due to a potential risk of fire.
Reports indicate the recall in Hyundai’s instance will cost as much as $900 million and will see the automaker replacing battery systems in about 82,000 electric cars around the world. That particular recall was among the first for electric vehicles and will show how automakers and battery makers will work together for electric vehicle recalls in the future.
Rumor claims Mercedes-AMG C63 will go hybrid
One of the hottest AMG cars made by Mercedes-AMG is the C63. This car has traditionally had a big burly V-8 engine under the hood, making gobs of power. A new rumor has surfaced that claims that will change with the V-8 engine out and a hybrid four-cylinder powertrain in.
Automotive enthusiasts know that means an exhaust note that will lack the throaty rumble of the V-8 engine, but the hybridized four-cylinder will reportedly have massive amounts of power. What’s expected to live under the hood of the car is the AMG M139 turbocharged engine, which is used in the A45 S, combined with an electric rear-wheel-drive unit and integrated starter generator.
The turbocharger used on the four-cylinder also has electric assistance to reduce lag and improve throttle response. When all the electric and gas power is combined, rumor has it total output will be over 550 horsepower with maximum torque up to 590 pound-foot. The car will have active all-wheel drive, but a Drift mode will be standard for those who feel like putting on a smoke show.
All that power goes to the road via a nine-speed sport transmission, and the car will feature adaptive suspension and staggered tires. The vehicle will use a 400-volt electrical architecture rather than the 48-volt system used in other C-Class cars. Another interesting tidbit is that the car is tipped to drive about 40 miles on electricity alone.
One downside with hybridizing cars is the additional weight, with reports indicating the electric components add about 250 kilograms pushing the car close to 2000 kilograms overall. The upside is the smaller four-cylinder engine is reportedly 60 kilograms lighter than the outgoing V-8, and the vehicle will have a 50:50 weight distribution. The car is expected the land in the UK in early 2022, with the reveal by the end of the year.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L starts at $37,000
Many SUV fans and Jeep fans are excited to hear that an all-new three-row Grand Cherokee was coming. Jeep has officially announced the starting prices for the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L line, including the entry-level Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit models. This vehicle marks the first three-row Grand Cherokee Jeep has ever offered.
The Laredo trim will start at $36,995 and promises a host of standard safety features. Standard features include adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring along with all new LED exterior lighting, leather-wrapped steering wheel, tip and slide second-row seats, and a 10.25-inch frameless digital driver cluster with customizable menu options.
The next step up the ladder is the Limited model starting at $43,995. It includes Capri leather seats, a heated steering wheel, standard heated seats in the first two rows, remote start, and a power liftgate. The Overland model starts at $52,995, and 4×4 versions of this model include the Jeep Quadra-Trac II system and a unique Overland appearance.
Overland models get Nappa leather seats and door panels, standard ventilated front seats, premium navigation, LED ambient lighting, length adjustable front-row cushions, hands-free foot-activated power liftgate, and a dual-pane sunroof. Overland buyers can also opt for the optional Trail Rated-Road Group on 4×4 versions that adds skid plates, electronic limited-slip differential, 18-inch wheels, and all-season tires.
The Summit model starts at $56,995 and packs quilted leather seats, real wood veneers, 16-way adjustable front-row seats, and much more. The Summit Reserve starts at $61,995 and features quilted Palermo leather, open-pore waxed walnut wood trim, ventilated second-row seats, and a 950 Watt McIntosh audio system. None of the MSRP’s include the $1695 destination charge.
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