The Friday Five:The Plaid Edition, Onyx Edition, Z Day Has Come Edition

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 11, 2021

This week was a busy one in terms of new product debuts. The biggest news was the debut of the new 2022 Ford Maverick small pickup truck. Audi finalized the details of the redesigned 2022 Audi A3 and S3 models, Honda teased its all-new 2022 Civic hatchback, and Kia released official photos of the redesigned 2023 Sportage.

In addition to these all-new models, several automakers announced updates to product lines and models. BMW revealed the redesigned 4 Series Gran Coupe, a 5-door sportback version of its existing 4 Series lineup. BMW also debuted an updated X3 and a freshened X4. Jaguar announced changes to the 2022 I-Pace electric SUV. Chevy announced a new 2022 Corvette special edition

Jeep announced prices for the new Grand Cherokee L, and we’ll have a full review of that vehicle for you next week. This week’s car review covers the redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, which represents a big improvement over the previous model. This week’s comparison article pits the Chevy Silverado vs. the Ram 1500.

Additional content we’ve published in the past week includes an explainer of kWh per 100 miles, a measure of efficiency applied to electric vehicles. We also explain the difference between carbon neutral and climate neutral, and offer some background on Ford IonBoost EV batteries.

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

Tesla Model S Plaid Delivers Blistering Performance - Find the best Tesla deals!

Claiming his electric car company’s product plan is stolen from the movie “Spaceballs,” Elon Musk roared down a test track and onto a stage at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. factory to introduce the new Model S Plaid. 

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Front View

Priced from about $130,000, the Model S Plaid accelerates to 60 mph in less than two seconds, runs the quarter-mile in just over nine seconds at 155 mph, and can reach 200 mph. Additionally, it offers nearly 400 miles of driving range. Using the highest powered Tesla Superchargers, it recoups nearly 190 miles of range in 15 minutes. These are all claims made by Tesla, and are not independently verified.

In addition to its new 1,020-horsepower electric drive system, the Model S Plaid gets a new interior with completely reworked technology. The 17-inch control touchscreen is now mounted in landscape orientation, and a new dashboard allows Tesla to position the front seats further forward, increasing rear-seat room.

There’s more to this story, so head on over to the Tesla website to get all of the details.

GM Expands OnStar to Everyone

Connected services are all the rage. Every automaker has them. And they promise to become a solid source of recurring revenue as people pay monthly or annual subscription fees for features like Wi-Fi, the ability to monitor your kids’ use of the family car, and safety systems such as automatic collision notification.

General Motors thinks there is a way to capitalize on the trend without restricting itself to owners of Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevys, and GMCs. So, it now offers its OnStar connected services to anyone who has a smartphone with the OnStar Guardian app and an active, paid subscription.

Got an old car? No problem. Got a Ford? Not an issue. You prefer Apple over Android devices? Doesn’t matter. Pay for OnStar service, and you’ll get it, and for up to seven people.

2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Gets the Blacked-out Treatment - Find the best Subaru deals!

Subaru teased a new version of the 3-row family-sized SUV this past week, and its pretty easy to guess what the 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx offers. This “darker and more dramatic” version of the SUV virtually guarantees black wheels, black trim, and black etc. Get out the car duster. Daily.

New Land Cruiser, but Not for U.S. - Find the best Toyota deals!

At long last, Toyota has replaced the Land Cruiser with an all-new version. But, it’s not coming to the U.S. Not with a Toyota badge, anyway. You can bet it will adopt a spindle-style grille and arrive as a next-generation Lexus LX, though.

So, what are the highlights of the LC 300 Land Cruiser? The styling is evolutionary, so it still looks like it needs a Noom subscription. The interior looks like it was designed in this century, so that’s good. It ditches the thirsty V8 engine for twin-turbocharged V6 engines burning gasoline or diesel. And a sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission feeds power to a tremendously capable 4-wheel-drive system and its related terrain-traveling technology.

No doubt, the next Lexus LX will positively drip with quality, refinement, and sophistication, in addition to go-anywhere capability.

Z Day Has Arrived! - Find the best Nissan deals!

At long last, and almost anti-climactically given the lengthy tease leading up to the reveal, Nissan will show off the final production version of the next-generation Z sports car in New York City on August 17, 2021. You can bet it’s gonna look a little something like this.

The automakers are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on June 11, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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