12 cool features of the Genesis GV60

The Genesis brand is still trying to distinguish itself, in both the highly competitive luxury marketplace and from its own increasingly upscale cousins at Hyundai and Kia. Being a standout becomes doubly difficult when the car is an electric vehicle built atop a modular skateboard shared with the other Hyundai Group brands. However, in our first peek at the Genesis GV60, the top dog in Hyundai’s trio of E-GMP cars, we found it imbued with an astounding level of differentiation.

There will be no mistaking a GV60 for a Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6. Even in areas where other brand-engineered cars may cut a parts bin corner or two — a power mirror adjuster here, a window switch there — the Genesis forges its own path. Not only that, but the Genesis possesses enough cleverness to set itself apart from other luxury makes, period.

Much of this is accomplished with attention to design detail and novel use of technology. Here are some of the finer points that you can’t really appreciate by simply looking at a typical three-quarter view photo.

No Shared Panels

Although all three E-GMP cars have a general five-door hatchback-ish form, there are no shared body panels between them. According to a Genesis spokesperson, teams from each division got the platform, but then the designs split off from there. The GV60 more closely resembles the Kia EV6 than the boxy-retro Hyundai Ioniq 5, but even the rooflines — an area where it’s really hard to disguise a shared unibody — are different.

Other design flourishes include a minimalist side that resists forced character lines, a clamshell hood (still rear-hinged, though) and a rear that puts everything functional (sensors, reverse lights, reflectors, license plate) below the bumper line to keep the upper half clean.

Biometric Authentication

In theory, you don’t ever need a key fob to drive the GV60. A facial recognition camera hidden in the B-pillar can save up to profiles. Like an iPhone, you simply need to walk up to it and a light illuminates to indicate it’s reading your mug. Once you’re verified, the door unlocks.

As a precaution, it requires a second authentication to actually start the car. That comes in the form of a fingerprint sensor on the center console. Of course, a fob can be used if you want your friend to fetch something out of the car for you, but not needing to carry a fob can be useful if, say, you’re headed for a day at the beach. These features will not appear on either the Ioniq 5 or EV6, one of the many ways the Genesis separates itself from them.

Not-identical key fobs

You may not need a key fob, but Genesis still gives you two well-designed ones that aren’t the typical black oblong. They do the same job but why the different colors? No reason, except Genesis designers could make them that way.

Cameras integrated into the design

Most cars nowadays have front and rear cameras, but all too often they’re enclosed in large black boxes that disrupt the design of the car, particularly at the front. On the GV60, the cameras are hidden in tasteful crest shapes, a design cue that doesn’t look out of place because it’s repeated throughout the car. The rear camera is part of a spoiler whose entire trailing edge is the main brake light.

Real metal badge

The GV60 has an old-school metal wing logo on its nose. It’s cool to the touch and gives off a sense of quality that’s compounded by the guilloché pattern at its center. The brand emblem should be a carmaker’s badge of honor, so why do so many use a cheap hunk of plastic?

Thoughtful Design, Part 1

The GV60 abounds with design that illustrates an attention to detail. Sometimes it seems like designers are out of ideas, especially when variations on the Hoffmeister kink or floating roof C-pillar spring up on every new reveal. It’s hard to come up with something new, but the GV60 has a clever lightning bolt design on its rearmost pillar. It simultaneously hints at the electric powertrain beneath and is part of a chrome strip that begins at the rear spoiler, wraps around the top edge of the windshield, and ends at the rear spoiler’s on the opposite side.

Other musings: The door to the charging port is push-activated, but has two subtle lines that indicate where to press while other cars make you hunt for the magic spot; also, the wheels are dazzling, even if they do look hard to clean.

Modular Headlamps

The GV60 continues with the quad lamp design that’s been a Genesis trademark ever since the stunning Essentia concept. However, in this case the headlights are modular, meaning parts of the headlight, like the lens or one of the projectors, can be replaced. This not only limits repair costs should the light get damaged, but reduces waste as well, which is part of the EV’s ecologically conscious philosophy.

Crystal Sphere Shifter

The centerpiece of the GV60’s interior is the Crystal Sphere shifter (we were admittedly completely wrong and not entirely informed about the extent of its function). When parked, a glowing glass ball with an intricate lattice pattern sits on the center console. The lighting within can be customized with dozens of preset colors (or a hue of your own choosing) to match the ambient lighting on the doors and dash. When you’ve authenticated yourself as the driver, the orb flips over to reveal an ornate rotary gear selector. It frankly seems like a party trick that gives the car an extra bit of wow, but Genesis claims it’s actually a safety feature because you’ll clearly know when the car is actually on. That can be an issue in a car without an internal combustion engine, but any claim that a fanciful electronic shifter is a safety feature does seem dubious. 

The Center Console

The center console itself is a floating design that juts out like a pier. Not too long ago this would’ve been a concept car styling cue. What’s a bit more clever is that there’s a pass-through storage area below it that rear seat passengers can access too.

Glove Drawer

Instead of a glove box, the GV60 has a glove drawer. This provides a much larger in-dash compartment than a typical box, and it has a flat bottom so things don’t get jumbled around as soon as you close it. The opening and closing motion wasn’t as fluid as it could be, but this car is pre-pre-production, essentially hand-built in a lab. We expect it’ll work better in production cars.

Different colors and eco-friendly materials

The interior also comes in some sharp colors beyond your typical black or tan options. The car we examined had beautiful dark blue upholstery with a fun electric yellow contrast piping and stitching. Some interior bits use 15% recycled PET plastic and fishnets, while leatherette is up to 10% corn. Leather upholstery uses linseed oil to process instead of the traditional bath of harsh chemicals.

Thoughtful Design, Part 2

The attention to detail continues on the inside. For example, on the driver’s door the mirror adjustment is located in a nicely sculpted chrome circle by the pull. For symmetry’s sake there’s a similar circle on the passenger side, but of course there’s no need for a mirror adjustment there. Instead, the circle is a cap that unscrews to reveal a cubby hole for a refillable scent dispenser.

But what really sets the GV60’s cabin apart is the fact that every surface, no matter how insignificant, is permeated by design. The dome light housing isn’t just your run-of-the-mill bezel; there’s a pattern to it. An overhead speaker grille features a matrix pattern that’s repeated on everything from the pedals to the seats, giving the interior a cohesive feel. The volume control wheel, the window switches, even the vent tabs that are usually simple flat pieces of plastic, are all intricately textured, giving the entire cabin an upscale feel. We should be clear, too, that none of these pieces are found in the also-impressive GV70 or GV80. 

This is the kind of artistry typically reserved on a much pricier class of car, like a Bentley. As it turns out, Genesis’ head of design, Sangyup Lee, is an ex-Bentley man. So too is Genesis Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckervolke. The cost to press out a plastic dial with a plain lined edge versus one with an elegant diamond texture seem likely to be similar. The latter just takes a bit of extra effort to design. However, these details give the impression that designers questioned every detail of the car, and in total a pleasant environment to be in and one that feels truly premium.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Cadillac won’t build 2022 Escalades with Super Cruise until chip shortage abates

Cadillac still can’t catch a break with Super Cruise, it seems. Earlier this year, it looked like Cadillac’s fantastic hands-free highway driving system might become standard equipment on the big SUV. Now, we’re learning that it won’t be available at all when production kicks off for the 2022 model year. 

GM Authority reported Tuesday that Cadillac does not have adequate supply of the necessary electronic components to build any 2022 Escalades with Super Cruise for the foreseeable future. It’s unclear at this time when the feature will again be available to order. 

This is not the first time GM has been forced to eliminate features due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Rather than sideline production altogether, GM chose to produce 5.3-liter V8 models of the Silverado without its active fuel management technology, for example. Customers got their trucks, albeit with reduced fuel efficiency. 

We expect GM will get this situation resolved as soon as humanly possible, as both the Escalade and Super Cruise represent halo products for Cadillac.

Source: AutoBlog.com

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Grand Cherokee L: What’s the difference?

In just a year, Jeep has gone from offering zero three-row vehicles to two: the 2021 Jeep Wagoneer and the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. While the Wagoneer is mechanically related to the Ram 1500 pickup and competes with the Chevrolet Tahoes of the world, the Grand Cherokee L landed in the ultra-competitive three-row crossover set with Palisades and Tellurides. And if you’re wondering why the all-new L showed up before the two-row Grand Cherokee was replaced, consider that three-row midsize SUVs sell substantially better than two-row ones. The difference between a Honda Pilot and Passport is almost comical. 

It’s perhaps surprising, then, that the two-row Jeep Grand Cherokee sold as well as it did. Now, the new generation version has finally arrived and it’s actually more than just an L with part of the back chopped off. As you can see in our side-by-side spec comparison below, there are greater differences than just “one has two rows, the other three.” 

It’s not just the extra foot of overall length that differentiates the L from the new two-row Cherokee. The L actually gains 5 inches of wheelbase and tacks on 285 pounds of additional curb weight; that’s one or two American passengers you’re adding before you even open a door. The new two-row model should be a bit nimbler than the L we drove back in June. There are a couple of smaller differences (a 0.4-inch difference in body width and a significantly different D pillar design) but by and large, they’re otherwise identical – same sausage, etc. 

Inside, things get a bit weirder. The front row is virtually (though not completely) identical, as is to be expected. Behind that, we start to see the packaging differences between the two. The long-wheelbase L offers slightly more head and leg room in the second row, but the same amount of shoulder and hip room. This makes sense since they’re the same width. What’s really noteworthy here is that the Grand Cherokee L didn’t have to compromise second-row space in its mission to offer a third row of seats. The L’s middle-row seats also slide, offering 7.1 inches of adjustment, while the two-row model’s rear seat bases are fixed. 

And once we get to cargo room, well, it’s the L’s game. While the area behind the third row may seem a bit paltry at 17.2 cubes, that’s on par for its class and bigger than the trunks you’ll find in most midsize sedans, just shaped differently. Technically, yes, the two-row model will fit more cargo in the rear with all of the seats up, but that’s not exactly a fair comparison. Fold the L’s third-row bench down and you get a whopping 46.9 cubic feet, blowing away the five-seater’s 37.7 cubes. With the L’s second row folded, you get 84.6 cubic feet, which is about right for a midsize, three-row SUV, and commendable from Jeep given the inherent packaging compromises of its RWD-based platform. 

Beyond the dimensions, the two-row Grand Cherokee can be had as the off-road-oriented Trailhawk, the plug-in hybrid 4xe and, their forces combined, the new Trailhawk 4xe. None of those were offered for the 2021 Grand Cherokee L and we’ve heard nothing at the time of this writing to indicate when or if the three-row will get them. If one is more likely than the other for the L, it’s the 4xe.

It’s clear that Jeep put more effort into the Grand Cherokee L than merely cramming an extra row of seats into a two-row body. There’s also more differentiation here than Pilot and Passport. Whether the extra utility it provides (at the expense of some off-road capability, if that matters to you) is worthwhile is entirely up to you. 

How they compare in photos

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L 

Source: AutoBlog.com

2022 Infiniti Q60 gets wireless Apple CarPlay

Infiniti has announced what’s new for the 2022 Q60 and the list contains one item: wireless Apple CarPlay. This is after the automaker made the most minor of changes to the 2021 Q60. We can almost imagine one of the coupes sitting outside Infiniti HQ playing a particular Ray Parker, Jr. song on repeat, with the line, “If you’re not sure that you want me, let me go.” Thing is, the Q60’s sales figures aren’t bad, not far off the Chevy Camaro’s numbers since the Infiniti got refreshed in 2016. Sales have plummeted this year — and so have the Camaro’s — but the freefall puts the Q60 right in line with the Toyota Supra. Rumor has it that Infiniti’s only going to keep its flagship coupe around until 2023 anyway, when it will embrace electrification, meaning the Q60 could continue to follow the Camaro into the sunset.

Prices for the entire range run thusly after a $1,025 destination charge: 

  • Infiniti Q60 Pure – $42,775
  • Infiniti Q60 Luxe – $51,325
  • Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 – $59,225

Adding AWD is a $2,000 option on all trims. And Android Auto is still included, but the phone must be plugged in for that.

To recap the trim line, the Pure and Luxe run with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Q60 Red Sport whips 400 hp and 350 lb-ft out of the same engine. All models shift though a seven-speed automatic. 

Pure and Luxe sit on 19-inch wheels, but the Pure interior makes do with leatherette seating trim while the Luxe upgrades to semi-aniline leather on heated front seats and other perks such as adaptive cruise control and 13-speaker Bose Performance Series sound. The Q60 Red Sport ups the tire contact patch with staggered 20-inch wheels and upgrades the suspension to adaptive damping, further sharpening its reflexes with a faster steering rack.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Subaru Solterra EV finally gets a video

Subaru’s Japanese HQ released its first vid showing off the company’s first EV, the Solterra, and while it’s nice to finally see the crossover in motion, we’re not sure why Subaru’s being so flirtatious with the rollout. Everything in the video reaffirms all the evidence we have so far that this is Subaru’s tweaked version of the Toyota bZ4X, and we’ve virtually crawled all over the Toyota already. The only mystery left is figuring out what the panel is behind the rotary knob on the center console. In every Toyota bZ4X video we’ve watched, there is, at most, one tiny illuminated light. In the Solterra teaser images and video, the panel is covered in lights laid out like an illuminated spreadsheet. There’s also a shutline and a depression at the leading edge like it’s a cover to be opened. It can’t hide anything that deep, though, because of the tunnel cutout beneath.

The other notable difference in the Subaru is the seriously bolstered seats, which look like they belong in a WRX. They could just be digital units just for the video.

It’s a good-looking package, and there’s a chance it might actually work better as a Subaru than a Toyota — a Crosstrek gone all mature. Bettors seem to think pricing will fall in the high $30,000s to low $40,000s. With the Tokyo Motor Show canceled, the L.A. Auto Show is the only big showcase left; it’s possible we could finally get hard intel on both the Toyota and Subaru then. It goes on sale in various markets including the U.S. next summer, likely as a 2023-model-year offering, so next year’s auto show circuit might be more appropriate. 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Watch The Aston Martin DB5 Get A Workout In No Time To Die

The DB5 made a brief appearance at the end of the last film, 2015’s Spectre, but will be seeing a lot more action in No Time to Die.Ahead of the film’s release, Aston Martin has released a new video giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the opening car chase featuring the DB5. As No Time to Die’s Action Vehicle Supervisor Neil Layton explains, each car is set up specifically for each stunt, whether it’s being rammed by a Range Rover or drifting through narrow alleyways. Five replica DB5s were built for the film. Each car was modified with a rollcage and a hydraulic handbrake system to make it slide around corners more dramatically.
Source: carbuzz.com

Lucid Air production begins, with EV range exceeding Tesla’s

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Lucid Motors said on Tuesday it will start delivering its luxury electric sedans with a Tesla-beating driving range in late October, in a major challenge to the market leader whose sales of premium models have stagnated.

The California-based startup began production of its long-delayed Lucid Air cars at its Arizona factory on Tuesday. The company, founded in 2007, received funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in 2018 before going public via a shell company in July.

Lucid Group’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, who had overseen Tesla’s Model S development before he left the company in 2012, faces tasks similar to those of Tesla in its early days, including how to address manufacturing challenges and scale up production.

“I think the big challenge for Lucid will be execution,” said Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “I think that they have a very good car. It’s very attractive,”

Lucid said on Tuesday it has received more than 13,000 reservations for Lucid Air models, whose price starts at $77,400. It also said it has increased the planned total production of the top-end Lucid Air Dream Edition to 520 vehicles. That car is priced at $169,000 and will be available in late October, followed by less expensive models: Grand Touring, Touring and Air Pure.

A version of the Dream Edition has received an official government rating of a 520-mile (837 km) range, delivering more than 100 miles of additional range over its closest rival, Tesla’s Model S, which is priced at $89,990.

“The proprietary EV technology that Lucid has developed will make it possible to travel more miles using less battery energy,” said Rawlinson.

Lucid has not yet disclosed the battery capacity of the top-end version of Lucid Air, but it said its Lucid Air Grand Touring version has an official EPA rating of 516 miles of range with a 112-kWh battery pack, giving it an industry-leading efficiency of 4.6 miles per kilowatt-hour.

Musk said in June that Tesla has canceled its plan to launch a Model S Plaid+, with a target driving range of 520 miles, saying another version is “so good.”

Tesla’s combined sales of Model S and Model X luxury models stood at only 1,890 in the second quarter of this year, down from 22,300 during the same period three years ago. Tesla does not break out figures for the two high-end models.

“The Model S doesn’t look fundamentally different from a Model S nine years ago,” Abuelsamid said. “In the premium market, customers are looking for the latest and greatest.”

“What Lucid is going to potentially have an advantage is the Air feels like a luxury car, feels a lot more premium,” he said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk in October 2020 cut the price of its Model S, shortly after Lucid announced the pricing of its base model. “The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled,” he tweeted at that time.

Musk reiterated this month that “production is hard.”

“Production with positive cash flow is extremely hard,” he said, citing carmakers’ razor-thin margins.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian, backed by Amazon.com Inc and now preparing for a public stock listing, earlier this month started production of electric pickup trucks. That move came ahead of similar expected moves by Tesla, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co, which are all preparing to launch electric pickup trucks.

Source: AutoBlog.com

2015-17 Kia Sedona recall: Turn signals don’t know right from left

In case you hadn’t heard, Mini is fending off certain corners of the internet over the Cooper’s Union Jack taillights. Because the flag of the United Kingdom wasn’t designed with driver notifications in mind, splitting the crosses down the middle makes the resulting arrows point to the middle of the vehicle when they’re placed at the corners of a car. All the turn signals on certain Kia Sedona minivans, on the other hand, have a more serious issue than a difference of design opinion. The automaker’s working with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on a recall of 88,576 Sedonas from the 2015 to 2017 model years because using the turn signal lever might cause the opposite signal to blink.

Kia and the NHTSA have been looking into the issue since May, tracing its cause to the Sedona’s Smart Junction Box. A software logic problem in the box can misinterpret signals coming from the turn signal multifunction switch, and activate the opposite signal to the one the driver wants. 

Affected Sedonas were built between July 21, 2014, and June 10, 2016, but they weren’t built in consecutive VIN order. Owners with questions can contact their Kia dealer or Kia’s customer assistance center. The automaker will begin notifying owners by mail from Nov. 12, 2021, to get their Sedonas to dealers to have the junction box software updated. The fix will be performed free of charge.

On a side note, while looking into documents for this post, we discovered that Kia’s VP and Chief Safety Officer based in Irvine, California, refers to himself in letters to the NHTSA as “Mr. J.S. (Jurassic) Park,” which gave us just the chuckle we needed today. 

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Source: AutoBlog.com

New Acura Integra teased, and it looks good

We’ve been expecting a number of big announcements and debuts this week, like the two-row Jeep Grand Cherokee and Rolls-Royce’s “historic” announcement about electrification, both happening tomorrow. What we weren’t expecting was Acura to shock us again with another Integra tease. Honda’s luxury arm posted a seven-second clip to Twitter flashing the new Integra’s rear-three-quarter. That tweet came with a link to a landing page at Acura’s site with the image you see above. 

Although the ILX features the same design language, the switch to a hatch gives us late-model Hyundai Genesis Coupe vibes. That’s not a ding on the Integra, and we have faith in what’s to come.

Other than realizing the teased Integra tailgate has a completely different shutline to the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback, the only info we have on the car came in the caption above the image: “Integra Returns In 2022. The fifth-generation Integra will be a premium sport compact with a striking five-door design. More details about the all-new Integra will be available closer to its 2022 introduction.” Most of this we already knew from the first teaser that dropped in August. The single new addition to our knowledge is the word “sport.”

This is a fertile time for reborn nameplates, although not every attempt has stuck the landing — looking at you, Acura NSX and Lamborghini Countach. When the Autoblog staff mooted ideas for what they’d like a new Integra to be, this writer liked Road Test Editor and Integra owner Zac Palmer’s wish for “a small, affordable car directed toward enthusiasts,” the kind Acura hasn’t had for a while. A commenter’s note on that line suggested “The first-gen TSX could probably be considered that car.” The first-gen TSX was special, and offered a manual transmission. We’d be happy with a return of the original Integra and TSX philosophies with modern underpinnings.

Whatever we get, we hope Acura gets it bang on this time. It can’t be that hard to re-create a legendary nameplate that lasted 21 years and still compels pining and lust, can it? Until the next digital hint drops, we’ll go back to pretending not to wait for a surprise from Japan.

Related video:

Source: AutoBlog.com

Newly built Lego Formula One car sets new world record

A new champion for world’s largest Formula One car built out of Lego bricks has emerged. Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Lego racer consists of more than half a million individual pieces and is currently on display at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The project was commissioned by the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation to promote the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December, the country’s first ever appearance on the F1 calendar. Each brick could be purchased as a fundraiser for Ehsan, Saudi Arabia’s national charity network.

The car surpasses the previous record for a Lego F1 car set in 2017, a replica of a Ferrari SF70H. That car was made up of 350,000 pieces, but was designed and built by Lego employees. The expert touch showed. It had more detail and looked less jagged (more high-resolution, if you will) than the green car.

Still brick are bricks, and the new record-holder does have some impressive details. For example, the wheels and tires, and even the Pirelli lettering on the tires, are made from Legos.

The car took about eight days to complete. Construction began on September 15, and the final brick was placed on the car by SAMF Chairman HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal on September 23.

“This exciting project was all about giving back to our community and reflecting the true meaning and values of progress, innovation & social responsibility that symbolize modern Saudi Arabia. Today I feel confident in declaring that it has done so and much, much more,” he said, according to a news release by Formula One.

Al-Faisal continued, “This incredible accomplishment has been a feat of collaboration and ingenuity bound by a collective passion to use the power of F1 to provide Saudi Arabia with a brighter future.”

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place December 3-5. The track is a street circuit along the Red Sea and a night race, which should make for some picturesque footage.

Source: AutoBlog.com