The Friday Five:The Twin-Turbo Z, Apple Goes EV, Genesis Adds an 'E' Edition

Liz Kim | Feb 05, 2021

This week, we published details about the new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor and confirmed a high-performance, V8-powered Raptor R is coming next year. Nissan introduced redesigned 2022 Frontier pickup and 2022 Pathfinder SUV models, while its Titan full-size truck took a hit on safety ratings.

We also comprehensively reviewed the all-new 2022 Acura MDX, compared the Ford Explorer vs. the Toyota Highlander, detailed the new Cadillac Blackwing sedans, and explained what Highway Driving Assist is and how it works.

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

More Speculation About the New 2022 Nissan Z - Find the best Nissan deals!

Nissan Z Proto Yellow Front View City Street

Nissan will continue its tradition of building affordable sports cars when the upcoming, seventh-generation 2022 400Z arrives. And although the recently revealed Z Proto is technically a concept car, the chances are that it is a close approximation to the production model.

This week, some folks got a peek at what's under the hood of the Z Proto. Whether this was intentional or not is up for debate, but what's nestled into the next-gen Z's engine bay looks suspiciously like the twin-turbocharged, 400-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 current serving duty in the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 and Q60 Red Sport 400.

Nissan has not confirmed this. But as we get closer to the production car's official debut later this year, we suspect that what's bolted in there now is what driving enthusiasts will get then. 

Ford Doubles EV Investment, Doubles the Fun - Find the best Ford deals!

Last week, GM made a stunning announcement that it is transitioning its entire light-vehicle lineup to electrification by 2035. Nissan made a similar announcement. And that left competing automakers that haven't already announced similar plans scrambling to clarify their positions.

Now, Ford proclaims that it will double its investment in electric vehicles (EVs) from the current $11.5 billion to $22 billion by 2025. That's not quite as dramatic as promising to give up gas and diesel within 15 years. However, it's still a substantial commitment to the industry-electrification snowball that is rapidly becoming an avalanche as it makes its way down EV Mountain.

Kia-Apple Collaboration Bears Fruit - Find the best Kia deals!

UPDATE: On Monday, February 8, 2021, Hyundai Motor Group clarified its relationship with Apple regarding a potential deal to build an electric vehicle for the consumer electronics giant. Read the full story here.

Although neither Kia nor Apple has officially announced a partnership to develop and build an Apple-branded electric vehicle, a Korean newspaper report that the tech giant would invest $3.6 billion in Kia sent the automaker's stock soaring to their highest valuation since 1997. The report states that by 2024, up to 100,000 electric cars will be built in Kia's West Point, Georgia facility.

It's no secret that Hyundai Motor Group (HMG – Kia's parent company) is preparing an onslaught of Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia EVs based on its new Hyundai Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Kia has already announced its plans for an entire range of electric cars and SUVs. And HMG has said other companies could use its new platform to create their own branded products or services.

In light of this, it is entirely plausible that Apple might hire HMG to build an EV for you and me using the impressive new E-GMP. And really, can it be called anything other than iCar?

The report states that HMG and Apple will sign a deal on February 17, 2021. Neither company offered a comment.

Genesis-e, Coming Right Up - Find the best Genesis deals!

Genesis, HMG's luxury brand, is also heading toward full electrification. Based on January trademark filings, all six Genesis vehicles – the G70, G80, and G90 sedans and the GV70, GV80, and GV90 SUVs – will be getting an e-suffix to denote the electric versions.

This plan comes as no surprise (see Hyundai E-GMP above), and spy photographers have captured the small GV70e undergoing testing. Perhaps the more significant news here is that a larger GV90 SUV is coming soon, and it will be electrified.

Happiness is Expensive When it Comes to Home Charging

In the first study of its kind, J.D. Power, in collaboration with PlugShare, an EV app and research firm, released a report that measures the satisfaction levels of those with home chargers for their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or fully electric vehicles.

The J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study found that overall, those who use a permanent Level 2 charger at home are the happiest with its operation and the swiftness of charging. People using a Level 1 charging source, such as a household electrical outlet, are dissatisfied with the recharging speed.

However, according to Home Advisor's latest findings, installing a permanent Level 2 home charging station is expensive. The charger itself costs between $500 and $2,000, while the parts and labor associated with installation will run you anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000.

Prices vary depending on the region of the country and how modern your home's electrical system is. Also, adding a Level 2 charger could increase your home's value with buyers who own or plan to own an electric vehicle. But even at the low end of estimates, if you want a permanent Level 2 charger, it's going to be a commitment.

The J.D. Power/PlugShare study also found satisfaction levels vary according to geographic region and parallel electricity costs. The higher the electricity bill climbs, the lower satisfaction is.

Finally, the study found that Tesla provides the best overall home charging experience.

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