The Friday Five:The Ford Getting Gassy, Rotary Not a Reality (Yet), and Jeep Going Electric Edition

Beverly Braga | Jul 16, 2021

This week, the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Brand Study was released. Subaru once again took the top spot, but the study also found that brand loyalty increased overall during 2020. Learn more about the results and rankings here

Other news included additions, subtractions, and total prices. BMW and Lexus added special edition SUVs to their lineups; the Ford F-150 diesel has been discontinued; and pricing for the all-new 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R was recently announced.

We also previewed the upcoming 2022 Hyundai Elantra N and 2022 Jeep Compass – both will arrive by the end of the year. Our latest expert review is a facts-and-figures overview of the 2021 Jeep Cherokee, and we’ve also got a truck comparison that pits the Honda Ridgeline against the Toyota Tacoma.

On the how-to side, we offer a refresher course on how to drive on the freeway and explain how traffic jam assist driving aids work.

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

Ford Unveils Fossil Fuels-inspired Fragrance - Find the best Ford deals!

Ford Mach-Eau Perfume

Thanks to automakers’ electric vehicle-only plans (and anti-internal combustion engine government mandates), the future of traffic jams will be quieter and have fresher air. But what if you’re jonesing for a deep breath of exhaust fumes or even just a subtle whiff of gasoline? Ford has you covered.

The Mach-Eau premium parfum was introduced this week. Its scent includes hints of blue ginger, lavender, and geranium that are blended with automotive-leaning benzaldehyde (“new car” interior smell), para-cresol (tires), and sandalwood (metal, rubber). 

This is no April Fool’s joke, but it’s also not actually for sale. The fake fragrance was a marketing ploy for the Mustang Mach-E as a survey found that 70 percent of drivers would, to some degree, miss the smell of burning fossil fuels. This is Ford’s way of saying, “No, you really won’t.”

GM SUVs Drop Wireless Charging, Chip Shortage to Blame

What is real and likely will be missed is wireless charging. As the global semiconductor shortage continues to create production slowdowns, some OEMs have resigned to shipping out vehicles without certain features just so dealerships have inventories to sell. 

The latest feature-killing is courtesy of General Motors. Trucks and SUVs are known for their high prices and equally high-profit margins. To get those moneymakers out the factory door, GM is building the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevy Suburban without wireless charging. Production of the 2022 Buick Enclave, Cadillac XT5, Cadillac XT6, and Chevy Traverse are also affected. Buyers do receive a $75 credit for the inconvenience.

GM has already de-contented the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups for the same reason, dropping HD Radio and engine stop-start, which would save on fuel economy. No word if these features will be retroactively added to already purchased vehicles.

Mazda’s Rotary Return in Question - Find the best Mazda deals!

Speaking of fuel economy, the rotary-engine range extender meant for the upcoming Mazda MX-30 has been put on hold. According to Automotive News, the return of the rotary is supposedly neither confirmed nor canceled but, rather, is still under consideration. Which is interesting considering Mazda’s North American arm confirmed the rotary’s return to the U.S.

With or without the rotary, the MX-30 will launch as scheduled. As Mazda’s first-ever EV, the MX-30 will go on sale next year as a battery-electric vehicle with a plug-in hybrid model to come the following year.

Volkswagen Atlas-Sized ID.8 EV Crossover Coming  - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

Looks like the Volkswagen Atlas will be getting a battery-electric brother. Earlier this week, the Volkswagen ID.8 was mentioned for the first time during a VW strategy presentation. 

ID is Volkswagen’s EV-only subbrand, with the ID.4 already available and ID.6 arriving by year’s end. Although no vehicle specifications or launch timing was divulged, the ID.8 was heavily compared to the Atlas three-row midsize crossover and confirmed to be competing in the same segment.

Jeep to Offer EV for Every SUV Segment - Find the best Jeep deals!

Last week, Stellantis announced its global electrification plans, which included an all-electric muscle car from Dodge. This week, Jeep laid out its brand-specific plans towards electrifying its off-road-famous fleet. 

In addition to its growing family of 4xe plug-in hybrids, Jeep plans to offer full-battery EVs – and have one available in every SUV segment globally by 2025. No word on whether these Jeep EVs would be all-new models, an EV variant of a current model, or a mix of both. 

Stellantis, for its part, did announce its investment in developing four new platforms dedicated to its global EV push. 

The automakers and trusted publications are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on July 16, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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