The Friday Five:The Extra Rugged Explorer, Apple Electric Car, and Mercedes-Benz Hyperscreen Edition

Liz Kim | Dec 25, 2020

This week, we covered 2021 Toyota Sienna crash-test ratings, explained what a PM2.5 air filter is, and described what a rebuilt car title is. We updated our lists of all of the models that are gone after 2020 and all of the new-for-2021 models going on sale. We’ve also got a 2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition review this week, covering the so-called “Sell-u-ride” in-depth. 

But that’s not everything that was happening in the automotive space.

Spy Photos Show More Rugged 2022 Ford Explorer - Find the best Ford deals!

Thirty years ago, the original Ford Explorer kicked off the modern SUV craze thanks to its practical size, daily-driving comfort, and useful off-roading ability. Today, it uses the same formula but faces competition from every major automaker. And today’s SUV customers want a rugged, overlanding look that the current Explorer lineup lacks. 

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum White Parked at a Cabin

This situation appears to be changing for 2022, though, based on spy photos of an Explorer with a unique grille, fat off-road tires, and some red trim and recovery hooks undergoing testing. Could Ford be planning a new FX4 Off-Road package? Maybe. Here’s to hoping that it’ll have more ground clearance than the 7.9 inches supplies by the 2021 Explorer. 

Now You Can Buy a Nissan From Your Living Room Couch - Find the best Nissan deals!

As we’ve all discovered during this holiday season, shopping online sure is convenient. Now, Nissan is bringing the online purchase model to the car buying process with its [email protected] program, which means that you don’t have to set foot in a dealership to land a Nissan in your driveway. 

Rolling out in the next few months, you’ll be able to schedule a test drive, complete all the financial transactions, and take delivery of the vehicle online. Having tried this program out in seven Nissan stores in five states, the automaker calls the program a success and will make it more widely available through the spring. 

Price Drop for 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Suppose you’ve been hankering for the posh comforts of a Hyundai Palisade equipped with the top-of-the-line Calligraphy trim, but you don’t need the additional traction of its standard all-wheel-drive system. In that case, you’ll be glad to know that Hyundai will soon offer a front-drive version of the Calligraphy. Additionally, you’ll get a $1,700 discount, putting the starting price at $47,225, including a $1,175 destination charge. And, according to the EPA, it should be marginally more fuel-efficient, averaging 22 mpg instead of 21 mpg in combined driving. 

Mercedes-Benz to Debut Hyperscreen Tech at CES - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

When it introduces its new EQS electric flagship car in 2021, Mercedes-Benz intends to take its MBUX infotainment system to the next level. The new Hyperscreen technology will debut at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Thursday, January 7, 2021. All we know for now is that the Hyperscreen will feature a large, curved display that runs the dashboard’s full width, from the gauges on the driver’s side to in front of the front passenger. We’ll have more details on the new Hyperscreen technology early next year.

Apple Car Report Boosts Company Value by $60 Billion 

You might be looking forward to receiving a little white Apple box as a gift during the holidays, but the company is hinting that it will be soon offer something that won’t fit under the tree. According to anonymous sources within the company, Apple is working on an electric vehicle that it wants to debut by 2025, complete with the self-driving technology that its Project Titan team has been tinkering with for the past few years. 

According to reports, this vehicle will feature power-dense monocell battery technology to deliver more driving range from a physically smaller battery. Apple is also considering a lithium-ion phosphate solution for the battery that is less likely to overheat than a conventional lithium-ion battery.

Loose lips can sink ships, but in this case, the rumor added $62 billion to Apple’s market valuation. That’s more than the entire worth of General Motors.

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