The Friday Five:The Torque Vectoring, Free Charging, Safe Driving Edition

Liz Kim | Mar 19, 2021

This week, we reported lower Chevy Silverado fuel economy ratings due to the industry-crippling microchip shortage, the new Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid’s estimated electric driving range, and 2022 Kia Stinger changes, including a significant standard power upgrade.

BMW made news this week with the new 2022 i4 electric car and its long-range electrification plans. We also published articles explaining what a continuously variable transmission is and how eTorque works to make Jeeps and Rams better.

New expert reviews covered the ever-popular 2021 Honda Pilot and refreshed 2021 Lincoln Nautilus, and we have a comparison of the 2021 Honda Civic vs. 2021 Volkswagen Jetta

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

2022 VW Golf R Specs Include Rear-axle Torque Vectoring - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

Volkswagen gives its redesigned 2022 Golf R performance car even more athleticism thanks to the latest version of 4Motion all-wheel drive, now with rear-axle torque vectoring.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Blue Drifting in Snow

Previously, the Golf R’s AWD system could divert 50% of the engine power to the rear axle, then split the power evenly to each rear wheel to enhance traction and handling. 

For 2022, the system still puts up to half the power to the rear end but can send 100% of that to one or the other of the rear wheels. This design adds torque-vectoring capability to the new Golf R, and, well, if you’ve experienced this before, then you know that VW’s hot hatch is going to be even more thrilling to drive.

Additionally, the new Golf R gets an adaptive damping suspension for improved ride and handling, and drivers can also choose a Drift mode that dials down the stability control system while sending all of the rear torque to the outside wheel.

Good times. 

Volkswagen Flexes its Engineering Pecs on “Power Day” - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

Speaking of VW, the Volkswagen Group held its first annual “Power Day” conference to announce the state of its efforts to electrify its vehicles. 

While VW didn’t state that its entire lineup would fully transition to electric vehicles as other automakers have, the automaker is taking charge of battery production, bringing it in-house to lower the cost of batteries by 50% and to ensure adequate supplies to meet the demands ahead. 

Volkswagen says it will have six factories churning out batteries and is working on a future solid-state battery that is lighter, smaller, more durable, and can charge to 80% in just 12 minutes.

Land Rover Seeks to Help the Helpers - Find the best Land Rover deals!

Land Rover wants to reward organizations that provide service to their communities. The Defender Above and Beyond Service Awards will give a customized Land Rover Defender to each of seven American non-profit organizations (501 [c][3]) that fall within these categories:

  • Search and Rescue
  • Coastal and Marine Conservation
  • Animal Welfare
  • First Responders
  • Environmental
  • Urban Improvement
  • Fire Services

Submission dates vary, and finalists will be subject to a public vote. Learn more and nominate your favorite by submitting a nomination video and other documentation on the Land Rover website.

Hyundai and Electrify America Offer Free EV Charging  - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Hyundai is preparing to relaunch its electric vehicle (EV) efforts, but the company already sells a couple of EVs. One is the Kona Electric, and the other is the Ioniq Electric. The Kona gets a refresh for 2022, while the fate of the Ioniq Electric is in doubt. After all, Hyundai uses “Ioniq” for its new family of EVs based on Hyundai Motor Group’s sophisticated E-GMP platform, so this original model might face discontinuation.

To clear dealer inventories of the vehicles, Hyundai is now offering free charging for the 2021 Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric. Just take your EV to one of 2,400 fast chargers at an Electrify America network, and you can get up to 250 kWh of charging at no extra cost, which translates into about 1,000 miles of travel. 

While Electrify America’s claim that 96% of Americans live within 120 miles of an EA charging station doesn’t seem very useful – “I’m driving 240-miles round trip to charge my EV” – it does operate one of the largest charging networks in America.

The 2021 Genesis GV80 Earns a Top Safety Pick +  - Find the best Genesis deals!

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that the 2021 Genesis GV80 midsize SUV really delivers when it comes to crash prevention and protection, as it just earned a Top Safety Pick + designation. That means that it aced all six crash tests and its front crash prevention and headlight performance tests. 

The GV80, if you’ll remember, was the vehicle in which Tiger Woods rolled down an embankment in spectacular fashion. We are sure that Mr. Woods is appreciative of the safety engineering baked into this new luxury SUV.

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