The Friday Five:The New-to-U.S. VW, Not-Really-A-Concept Infiniti, and Gale-Force Maserati CUVs Edition

Beverly Braga | Sep 11, 2020

This week, as the summer days begin to wane, we covered 2021 model-year updates for the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Challenger, but also previewed some exciting new cars like the 2022 Genesis G70 and 2022 Lucid Air EV.

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

Volkswagen Grows Lineup with All-New Compact Crossover - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

The market for crossovers is getting bigger! Volkswagen released a teaser image and video of an all-new compact CUV that will be joining its lineup. To be revealed on October 13, the new vehicle will be smaller than the Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Small SUV

Officially, that’s all VW announced. Unofficially, industry insiders speculate it to be an iteration of the Tarek or Tharu CUVs, which are already sold in other global markets. If so, the U.S.-bound cute-ute will be roughly 10 inches shorter than the current Tiguan. Based on comparable competitors, suggestions estimate a $22,000 starting price when the vehicle goes on sale next year.

Infiniti QX60 “Concept” Coming Soon - Find the best Infiniti deals!

The Infiniti QX60 is overdue for a redesign having been introduced way back in 2013 as the JX35. But before that happens, the luxury automaker decided to share a teaser image of its QX60 Monograph — “a prototype and not available for purchase,” per the small print. Sure, Infiniti. *wink*

This concept is said to be an exercise showing how the 3-row crossover might (or might not) look in the future. Not much is actually revealed in the image other than snarky LED accent lighting and a barely-there illumination of a different hood shape. Beyond that, nothing. Stay tuned as all will be revealed on September 25.

Maserati Announces All-New Grecale Crossover

While debuting its new supercar, the MC20, Maserati casually announced a new crossover in the works. The Grecale is named after a distinctively strong wind that blows in the Mediterranean during winter months. A corresponding teaser image reveals only a sleek roofline, which is expected of something with a name suggesting a hurricane-force movement.

The Maserati Grecale will be built in the same plant as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio CUV, but no confirmation as to whether the two vehicles will share any components. And although no specifications regarding the Grecale were released, its powertrains should include hybrid and battery-electric versions as Maserati announced in March that all of its new vehicles will adopt such systems.

New Wrangler 4xe PHEV Inspires Jeep to Build Solar-Powered Charging Stations Along Off-Road Trails - Find the best Jeep deals!

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid was just launched. And in support of the notion that electric SUVs and trucks can go wherever their fuel-sipping cousins go, Jeep announced plans to build solar-powered EV charging stations along off-road trails in California and Utah. And, yes, this includes the Rubicon Trail. 

Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand in North America, confirmed that EV owners (Jeep or otherwise) will be able to utilize these Level 2 charging stations at Rubicon Springs and the halfway point of the 22-mile-long Rubicon Trail in Northern California. Select trails in Moab, Utah, also will feature the charging stations, which will be located where people can spend extra time, like in camping areas.

Honda, Toyota Partner with Shell to Expand Hydrogen Refueling Network in California

In a massive team effort, Honda, Toyota, and Shell have agreed to support expanded hydrogen infrastructure in California thanks to an award proposed by the California Energy Commission (CEC). As an applicant to a related grant, using the $40.8-million CEC award, Shell (as Shell Hydrogen) will retrofit 48 existing fuel stations to accommodate hydrogen refueling equipment as well as upgrade two current Shell Hydrogen stations and add other updates for light- and heavy-duty vehicle use.

Also part of the agreement, Honda and Toyota will push to further grow their respective fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) sales. Currently, the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity, and Hyundai Nexo are the only FCEVs available in the U.S. market, and they are limited almost exclusively to California due to a lack of nationwide infrastructure. 

Hyundai, although not part of the CEC award or partnership with Shell, recently announced its own FCEV expansion with the addition of a second Northern California dealer for Nexo crossover sales.

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