After Porsche’s intelligent choice to enter the electric vehicle market with a practical four-door coupe, and following the Taycan up with an even roomier Cross Turismo version, which even offers crossover…

New virtual and physical prototypes of upcoming Macan EV revealed

2023 Porsche Macan EV Prototype
Porsche has been running laps in new Macan EV prototypes at its Weissach development centre.

After Porsche’s intelligent choice to enter the electric vehicle market with a practical four-door coupe, and following the Taycan up with an even roomier Cross Turismo version, which even offers crossover SUV-like design elements and an off-road package, the performance-oriented brand will soon be anteing up with a full EV version of its best-selling Macan compact luxury SUV, and thanks to some early photos and info, we’re starting to catch a glimpse of what we can expect.

The all-electric Macan, as Porsche refers to it, is planned for a 2023 launch, which allows plenty of time to get it right. So far the German brand has been digitally and physically testing it on the proving grounds of its Weissach Development Centre, but now it’s about to enter the public domain wearing camouflage to hide its second-gen Macan body panels.

“Testing in a real-life environment is now getting underway – one of the most important milestones in the development process,” said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, at Porsche AG.

2023 Porsche Macan EV Prototype
Two camouflaged prototypes of the new Macan EV can be seen here with Michael Steiner, Member of Porsche’s Executive Board, Research and Development.

Porsche is targeting 3,000,000 km of global testing in all types of conditions before the new Macan EV arrives in dealerships, and that doesn’t even include the “countless” virtual km the model has accumulated before and since the prototypes shown in the accompanying photos started hot lapping the proving ground’s track.

Developing the electric SUV digitally saves money and time, plus of course it minimizes environmental impacts. Instead of running actual prototypes, a digital computational model replicates the types of true-to-life “properties, systems and power units of a vehicle to a high degree of accuracy,” stated a Porsche press release. Porsche utilized 20 digital prototypes to simulate various development categories, such as aerodynamics, energy management, operation and acoustics.

“We regularly collate the data from the various departments and use it to build up a complete, virtual vehicle that is as detailed as possible,” commented Andreas Huber, manager for digital prototypes at Porsche, and one of the first aerodynamics engineers to ever work with digital prototypes. “This allows previously undiscovered design conflicts to be swiftly identified and resolved.”

2023 Porsche Macan EV Prototype
Porsche uses digital Macan EV prototypes to create and refine the physical prototypes, and vice versa uses the data derived from the physical SUVs to enhance its digital prototypes.

Lowering aerodynamic drag will help the all-electric Macan achieve its EV range targets. Even small flow enhancements can make a big difference.

“We started with a flow-around model when the project first started about four years ago,” said Thomas Wiegand, Director of aerodynamics development.

Porsche’s team of engineers use simulations to fine-tune every surface of the SUV, with particular attention paid to the various air ducts used for cooling. These calculations help the engineering team arrange each component to optimize efficiencies, while also providing the necessary data used for estimating variances in real-world temperatures. In fact, Porsche claims the new testing procedures allow for a very precise simulation of both aerodynamics and thermodynamics.

“The digital world is indispensable to the development of the all-electric Macan,” continued Wiegand.

Back to air ducts and cooling, the Macan EV’s motive electric system incorporates a totally different cooling and temperature control concept than the conventionally-powered version of the SUV. To clarify, the various internal combustion engines in the regular Macan need 90- to 120-degree (Celsius) temperature range, while the new electrically-powered model’s power unit electronics and high-voltage battery require a temperature window between 20 and 70 degrees.

2023 Porsche Macan EV Prototype
Some of the initial Macan EV running prototypes were made by hand.

Also unique to the EV, where a combustion engine might increase its temperature when starting and stopping in heavy traffic, a battery-powered vehicle requires the most cooling during high-power charging, especially in warm weather. Porsche is overcoming this problem by calculating and digitally optimizing “position, flow and temperature” with the same virtual prototypes noted earlier.

The use of virtual prototypes can start early in a vehicle’s developmental stages. Porsche has created a wholly new driver interface for its second-generation Macan, which of course features a revised driver display. Once ready for testing, Porsche brought it to life in a “seat box” capable of simulating the driving environment.

“Simulation allows us to assess displays, operating procedures and the changing influences during a journey from the driver’s point of view,” says Fabian Klausmann of the Driver Experience development department. “Here, the ‘test drivers’ are not just the specialists themselves but also non-experts. This allows all interaction between driver and vehicle to be studied down to the last detail, enabling selective optimization even before the first physical cockpit has been built.”

2023 Porsche Macan EV Prototype
Porsche uses a “seat box” to recreate the all-electric Macan’s driving environment.

The first physical Macan EV prototypes were created out of the information garnered from the digital prototypes, at which point those running examples provided yet more data back to the digital prototypes. This allowed Porsche’s engineers to continually update both digital and physical prototypes, refining each element of the SUV along the way.

“Endurance testing on closed-off testing facilities and public roads in real-life conditions is still indispensable to ensure that the vehicle structure, operational stability and reliability of hardware, software and all functions meet our high-quality standards,” added Steiner.

The all-electric Macan continues to undergo a demanding test program, in which it endures climate extremes and all types of topographical conditions. This includes the real-world charging and conditioning of its high-voltage battery, with a focus on everyday reliability plus segment-leading performance.

“Like the Taycan, the all-electric Macan, with its 800-volt architecture, will offer typical Porsche E-Performance,” continued Steiner, citing development goals like the model’s long-distance range, high-performance fast charging, and targeted best-in-class performance. “The all-electric Macan will be the sportiest model in its segment.”

2023 Porsche Macan EV Prototype
The first physical all-electric Macan prototypes are seen here leaving the Porsche development centre in Weissach, wearing camouflage to disguise their generation-2 body panels.

The Macan EV must be as efficient as possible, after all, which is why it will be first in Porsche’s lineup to utilize the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture. Nevertheless, being that most Macan buyers will continue choosing a conventional internal combustion engine over the electric alternative for the time being, especially in markets where consumers aren’t penalized for doing so, gasoline-powered models will continue.

“In Europe, demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, but the pace of change varies considerably across the world,” said Steiner. “That’s why we’re going to launch another attractive conventionally-powered successor to the current Macan in the course of 2021.”

A new second-generation Macan will be launched later this year, with a full assortment of gasoline-powered engines to choose from. The Macan EV will follow, but only after its digital and physical prototypes have accumulated millions of km in tests.

Until then, the current 2021 Macan starts at $57,800 and can be had with factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent. Make sure to check out every available trim, configure the ones you’re interested in with every option and colour, and then use the CarCostCanada system to maximize your savings via dealer invoice pricing, which can save you thousands when negotiating your best deal. Find out how the CarCostCanada system works, and be sure to download the free CarCostCanada app at the Apple Store or Google Play Store too, so you can have all of their money-saving info at your fingertips when you need it most.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

It’s been nearly a decade since Nissan launched its car-based Pathfinder crossover, representing a risky move that replaced three generations of body-on-frame SUV predecessors, as well as the Quest…

Redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder rolls off production line

2022 Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan just started production of its 2022 Pathfinder, a completely redesigned model that will hit Canadian showrooms this summer.

It’s been nearly a decade since Nissan launched its car-based Pathfinder crossover, representing a risky move that replaced three generations of body-on-frame SUV predecessors, as well as the Quest minivan that faded away five years later, but it proved positive for sales. Now those awaiting its replacement before trading up can take heart, because the all-new fifth-gen Pathfinder just started rolling off the automaker’s Smyrna, Tennessee assembly line.

“Start of production of the new Pathfinder marks another major milestone in our Nissan NEXT momentum story,” said Jeff Younginer, Vice President, Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant. “The Smyrna plant team is thrilled to put the newest version of this iconic vehicle on the road for customers.”

2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The 2022 Pathfinder is almost entirely new, keeping its 3.5-litre V6 yet boasting an all-new shape and fully updated interior.

The new Pathfinder, which has been built in the Nashville suburb since 2004, pulls its sole 3.5-litre direct-injection V6 engine from Nissan’s Decherd Powertrain Plant in Decherd, Tennessee, located about an hour south on Interstate 24. The drivetrain’s all-new nine-speed automatic transmission, on the other hand, hails from ZF’s production plant in Gray Court, South Carolina, but would-be buyers hoping for greater performance will likely be more interested to know that it’s not the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the outgoing model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The new Pathfinder receives Nissan’s Intelligent AWD system as standard in Canada once again.

The new nine-speed auto should provide quicker, more engaging shifts when performing passing manoeuvres or managing the three-row mid-size SUV through fast-paced corners, while Nissan promises smooth operation as well. Additionally, standard Intelligent 4WD with a seven-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector means Canadian buyers will enjoy optimal traction year-round. This is especially important off the line thanks to the powertrain’s strong 284 horsepower, the torquey V6 partially responsible for the new SUV’s impressive 6,000-pound (2,721-kg) maximum towing capacity.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The new Pathfinder’s interior receives improvements in refinement, larger, modernized electronic displays, and much more.

Along with wholly renewed styling that should appeal to Nissan’s many truck buyers thanks to plenty of sharp angles and rugged details, the bigger and broader version of its trademark “U” shaped grille especially notable, a completely redesigned interior provides seating for up to eight, new available second-row captain’s chairs (which reduce seating to seven), plus an optional 10.8-inch head-up display that projects key info onto the windscreen ahead of the driver, a large 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the brand’s ProPilot Assist semi-self-driving capability with Navi-Link, while the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver assistive systems comes standard.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder
Second-row captain’s chairs will be optional for 2022.

The new 2022 Pathfinder will start showing up in Nissan Canada dealer showrooms this summer, although those wanting to take advantage of especially good savings may want to consider the outgoing 2020 Pathfinder which utilizes the same V6 engine. Nissan is currently offering up to $7,000 in additional incentives when purchasing a 2020 model, and new zero-mileage examples are still available being that no 2021 version was produced. Be sure to check out CarCostCanada for all the details, and remember to download their free app so you can access timely info on available factory rebates, manufacturer financing and leasing deals, and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands on any new car, truck or SUV.

2022 Pathfinder and Frontier Reveal (14:39):

Dévoilement du Pathfinder et du Frontier 2022 (14:39):

The All-New 2022 Nissan Pathfinder ​(0:06):

2022 Nissan Pathfinder LIVE Walkaround & Review (5:31):

Design Spotlight | Nissan Design Director Ken Lee on All-New 2022 Pathfinder (8:55):

How many seats does the Pathfinder have? | 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Q&A (0:55):

How many trims are available? | 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Q&A (0:31):

What’s the towing capacity? | 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Q&A (0:39):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Nissan

Hyundai Motor’s premium Genesis brand will be introduced to European markets this summer, starting with two mid-size luxury models, the G80 four-door sedan and GV80 two-row crossover SUV. Genesis Motor,…

Genesis luxury brand will arrive in Europe this summer

2022 Genesis G80 EV
The upcoming 2022 Electrified G80 will be one of the first vehicles to wear Genesis branding in Europe.

Hyundai Motor’s premium Genesis brand will be introduced to European markets this summer, starting with two mid-size luxury models, the G80 four-door sedan and GV80 two-row crossover SUV.

Genesis Motor, which initiated sales in 2015, is currently sold in South Korea, the United States, Canada, China, Russia, the Middle East, and Australia. After its launch into Europe, which was delayed due to the global health crisis, it will be introduced to other markets in Asia.

Genesis chose to launch its G80 first in Europe because a new plug-in electric version will be part of the lineup for 2022.

2021 Genesis GV80
In a wholly intelligent decision, the South Korean luxury brand’s initial European launch will include its new GV80 mid-size SUV.

“The Electrified G80 will be the first all-electric Genesis to arrive in Europe,” stated Genesis Motor Europe in a press release. “A further two battery electric cars will follow, providing European customers with a choice of three Genesis zero-emission cars within the first year.”

Shortly after the initial two mid-size models arrive in European dealerships for June, Genesis will introduce its smaller G70 sedan and GV70 crossover SUV, the latter being an entirely new model within each of the brand’s markets this year.

Genesis has enjoyed generally positive reviews and luxury market acceptance in most markets, particularly those in North America, arguably achieving greater perceived prestige than some of its Japanese competitors that have been struggling to make their marks since the 1980s.

2021 Genesis G70
The G70 has yet to receive Genesis’ new grille design.

For instance, Genesis hit the market with a full-size luxury sedan, the G90, complete with potent V6 and V8 powertrains, while Honda’s Acura brand and Nissan’s Infiniti marque have discontinued their full-size luxury sedans after poor sales, the former brand’s RLX cancelled last year, and the latter having nixed its Q45 way back in 2006. Likewise, Infiniti discontinued its mid-size Q70 and long-wheelbase Q70L in 2019, its compact Q50 now being the only four-door sedan model available.

Genesis has a compact four-door of its own to compete with the Q50, Acura’s TLX, and a whole host of other challengers including BMW’s 3 Series, Mercedes’ C-Class, Audi’s A4, and the list goes on, while the brand promises a sports coupe will join the fray soon.

2022 Genesis GV70
The all-new GV70 crossover will join the G70 sport sedan soon after the G80 and GV80 debut.

In fact, Genesis showed off a stunningly beautiful new sports coupe prototype this year, dubbed X Concept. What’s more, according to reports the brand trademarked the names GT60, GT70, GT80, and GT90 in 2017, some of which will more than likely provide competition to the BMW 4 and 8 Series models, Mercedes C- and E-Class coupes, the Audi A5 and A7, Infiniti Q60, and others, while four-door coupes and convertibles will probably be part of the automaker’s GT line as well.

Even more important to the brand’s sales growth, the aforementioned mid-size SUV will soon be joined by the GV70 compact crossover SUV, which appears ready to do battle against BMW’s X3, Mercedes’ GLC, Audi’s Q5 and others, including Acura’s RDX, Infiniti’s QX50, and Lexus’ NX.

2021 Genesis X Concept
This year’s X Concept depicts what a future “GT” coupe model might look like.

The latter brand is probably Genesis’ most targeted rival, being that it’s easily had the greatest success of the three Japanese luxury vehicle brands introduced in the 1980s. Toyota’s premium contender continues to offer a full-size luxury sedan, the LS, a market segment that’s still important from a prestige standpoint, as well as competitive models in most of the key luxury categories.

It’s difficult to guess how the various European markets will accept Hyundai’s luxury brand, but if Genesis can come close to duplicating the growth it’s experienced in North American markets, the brand’s leadership should be satisfied. Sales more than doubled from January through March of 2021 when compared to the same quarter last year, while Q1 year-over-year deliveries in its South Korean home market were up 165 percent. Genesis has only been available in China since last month, so time will only tell how Chinese buyers respond.

2021 Genesis G90
The full-size G90 flagship luxury sedan shows how serious Genesis is about garnering respect amongst premium buyers.

Canadian Genesis sales grew from 229 units in Q1 of 2020 to 628 sales in the same three months of 2021, representing 174 percent year-over-year growth. This beat the previous quarter’s YoY increase of 171 percent, but Q4 sales totalled a whopping 935 units, which was the best three-month stretch yet for the fledgling brand.

Of course, manufacturer incentives always help to spur on sales, and right now Genesis is offering zero-percent factory leasing and financing rates across the entire line. What’s more, CarCostCanada members are saving an average of $2,666 on the 2021 Genesis G70, plus saving an average of $10,000 when purchasing the 2021 G90.

CarCostCanada provides its members with otherwise hard to get dealer invoice pricing, which means they have a massive advantage when negotiating a fair price. Find out how it all works now, and also make sure to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, so you too can have all of this important info at hand when it comes time for you to buy your next vehicle.

 

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Genesis

Off to a very good start, the totally redesigned 2022 Acura MDX has taken home a best-possible Top Safety Pick + rating from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The MDX garnered a…

All-new 2022 Acura MDX earns IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating

2022 Acura MDX
The 2022 Acura MDX has earned the best-possible Top Safety Pick + rating from the IIHS.

Off to a very good start, the totally redesigned 2022 Acura MDX has taken home a best-possible Top Safety Pick + rating from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The MDX garnered a Top Safety Pick + ranking by achieving “GOOD” ratings in all its crashworthiness tests, including the demanding passenger-side small overlap test. The MDX also earned a “SUPERIOR” rating for its Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), plus “GOOD” for its standard JewelEye LED headlamps.

2022 Acura MDX
The MDX’ standard JewelEye LED headlamps helped it earn the highest possible IIHS ranking.

A full assortment of standard AcuraWatch advanced driver assistive and automated safety technologies allowed the MDX to earn such high marks, including the just-noted CMBS, plus Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Road Departure Mitigation.

By achieving top-tier status with the IIHS, the new MDX joins other Acura models that have already earned the same rating, including 2021 model year versions of the RDX luxury crossover SUV, and the TLX sport luxury sedan that achieved the ranking in February of this year.

2022 Acura MDX
The new MDX is filled with top-tier safety and driver assistive system, like this available 360-degree surround parking camera system.

Acura is already offering up to $1,000 in additional incentives on the new 2022 MDX, while CarCostCanada members purchasing new 2020 models (no 2021 model was offered) are experiencing average savings of more than $6,000. The Japanese luxury brand is also offering factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent on 2020 models.

Find out how a CarCostCanada membership can save you thousands when purchasing your next new vehicle, by informing you about all the latest manufacturer offers, and by providing you with dealer invoice pricing that can keep thousands in your wallet when it comes time to negotiate your deal. Also, make sure to download their free app, so you can always have the most critical car buying info close at hand in order to save as much money as possible.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Acura

Honda Canada’s Civic sales have been crashing recently, down more than 20 percent throughout Q1 of 2021 compared to the same three months last year. Reasons for the downturn are likely varied, from…

Honda reveals single photo of all-new 2022 Civic sedan

2022 Honda Civic Sedan
Honda will give its Civic Sedan more conservative styling for 2022.

Honda Canada’s Civic sales have been crashing recently, down more than 20 percent throughout Q1 of 2021 compared to the same three months last year. Reasons for the downturn are likely varied, from the health crisis to a 25-plus-percent increase in CR-V deliveries, the latter thanks to changing consumer tastes from cars to SUVs. Additionally, some of the slowdown is probably due to fewer Civics in dealership inventories, which makes sense now that we’ve learned a totally redesigned model is on the way later this year.

Honda took the wraps off its all-new 2022 Civic sedan this week, and at first glance it appears as if the design team wanted to take it back to the more conservative stylings of earlier iterations. Considering how well Honda has done with its current 10-generation model, which arrived six years ago for the 2016 model year, deviating from its ultimately angled look to a much more rounded, minimalist design may be seen as a risk, although it will certainly be a positive for less progressive buyers.

2022 Honda Civic Sedan
Some of the new Civic’s design details are similar to its larger Accord sibling.

This change will make Hyundai’s third-place Elantra the compact segment’s most sharply creased dresser, while the category’s second-most popular Corolla could also be seen as an even more aggressive alternative than the upcoming Civic. The compact class isn’t as varied as it was five years ago, having lost the Dodge Dart in 2016, the Buick Verano and Mitsubishi Lancer in 2017, the Ford Focus in 2018, and Chevy’s Cruze in 2019, but the Civic still needs to contend with the already noted Corolla and Elantra, plus the Kia Forte, Mazda3, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, and VW Jetta, while the regular Golf will be discontinued for 2022, taking one more compact car competitor out of the market (don’t worry GTI and Golf R fans, as these will arrive in stylish new MK8 duds).

2022 Honda Civic Prototype
The 2022 Civic Prototype, introduced last November, shows expected rear styling.

As for the new 11th-generation Civic, other than what little information the single frontal photo provides we know very little about it. Then again, if the Civic Prototype that debuted (on video game platform Twitch no less) in November is anything to go by, and both cars look very similar from the front except for lower fascia details, its rear design should include a smart set of LED infused taillights that come to a point that’s kind of reminiscent of those on the eighth-gen North American sedan at their rearmost ends, albeit much narrower. That was a particularly good-looking car for the era, while the current model’s C-shaped lenses have been amongst its most controversial styling elements.

2022 Honda Civic Prototype
The Civic Prototype shows a fairly straightforward cockpit, with a large display screen atop the centre stack.

We won’t delve into expected content, other than to say it will likely be filled with standard advanced safety kit in order to help keep its occupants safe, and score well in safety tests, while its cabin will no doubt come standard with a large centre touchscreen and offer a fully digital gauge cluster, at least as an option. More detailed information will arrive later this month, which we hope to include more photos, including at least one of its backside plus with a plethora of interior shots.

If a glimpse of the new 2022 Civic makes you want to snap up a 2021 before all the new ones are gone, take note that Honda is now offering up to $1,000 in additional incentives, while most CarCostCanada members are saving $1,593 off their purchases. To find out how you can potentially save thousands from your next new vehicle purchase, see how the CarCostCanada dealer invoice pricing system works, and make sure to download their free app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store now.

 

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Honda

News flash: Mercedes-Benz Canada just revealed an impressive new C-Class and the market responds by purchasing more SUVs. While a redesigned C-Class will certainly increase the model’s sales, it shouldn’t…

Mercedes reveals sleeker, sportier looking 2022 C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Mercedes-Benz Canada will offer a new C-Class sedan for 2022, but most buyers will opt for one of the brand’s compact SUVs.

News flash: Mercedes-Benz Canada just revealed an impressive new C-Class and the market responds by purchasing more SUVs.

While a redesigned C-Class will certainly increase the model’s sales, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that only 684 C-Class sedans were sold into the Canadian market during the first three months of 2021. This represented a downturn of 26.9 percent compared to Q1 of 2020, although ever-growing interest in SUVs over cars wasn’t the only factor at play in our whacky new car market. Low interest rates have done their job in propping everything up, despite the repeated economic shocks our systems have experienced via the health crisis et al, but the overarching automotive theme remains changing tastes.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
A new frowning grille combines with additional styling upgrades for an all-new 2022 C-Class.

A decade or so ago the C-Class fought for luxury sector dominance with BMW’s 3-Series, but now both cars aren’t even playing second fiddle to their utilities counterparts, they’re deep into the second row of backup string players. Adding a little clarity to this scenario is the C-Class’ third-place standing in Mercedes first-quarter retail hierarchy, with significantly more popular models including the similarly sized GLC compact luxury SUV selling 1,778 units during the same three-month period (1,094 more than the C-Class), and the GLE mid-size luxury SUV finding 1,598 buyers (and outselling the E/CLS-Class’ 341 deliveries by 1,257 units).

This story is nothing new, but instead supports the reasoning behind C-Class’ competitors bowing out of the market. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the end of Jaguar’s XE and Lincoln’s MKZ, while a number of previously popular luxury sedans are the sole remaining body styles in their respective lines, with their coupes, convertibles and wagons having been nixed (more on this in a moment).

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
New character lines on the hood and sides help distinguish current and future C-Class models.

The only Mercedes’ car to challenge the SUV-winning trend is the entry-level A-Class, which together with the CLA-Class (a four-door coupe that rides on the same underpinnings) earned 1,001 new buyers compared to the GLA and GLB subcompact luxury SUVs’ collective 609, but this anomaly likely has more to do with the A’s relatively inexpensive pricing that results in an affordable gateway into revered Mercedes-Benz ownership.

Back to wagons, a diehard niche of Mercedes enthusiasts will be sad to hear their beloved C-Class Wagon will be dearly departing from North American markets for 2022, so grab a new AMG C 43 4Matic while you can. The fifth-generation (W206) C will now soldier on with its Sedan, Coupe and Convertible body styles, leaving enhanced cargo-carrying duties to the aforementioned GLC and GLC Coupe SUV models, within the compact luxury sector at least—the E-Class Wagon soldiers on in three trims, including the sensational AMG E 63 S 4Matic.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Triangular LED taillights are two of the most noticeable changes from the rear.

With this bit of Mercedes spring cleaning out of the way, the new C should please all that lay eyes on it. It wears the luxury brand’s sportier new styling from front to back, including the new frowning oval sport grille now found on the aforementioned A and CLA classes, as opposed to the outgoing smiling one (its ends now point downward instead of upward). Additionally, new more angular Performance LED headlamps wrap farther around the front fenders, plus a revised lower front fascia flows more effortlessly from side-to-side. The hood now features two stylish new character lines, reminiscent of those found on the classic ‘50s-era 300 SL.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Unfortunately, the C-Class Wagon has been discontinued in our market for 2022.

Looking rearward, Mercedes did away with the outgoing model’s graceful beltline crease that previously swept downward through the rear door before disappearing below its handle, the new car’s flanks less curvaceous, but the lower upward crease remains intact.

The new C’s two-piece taillights might be its most noticeable update, as the old car’s less distinct ovoid blobs have been replaced with nice sharp triangular lenses (can you tell which ones we like better?), also similar to those found on the A-Class. Lastly, new 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels round out the design changes, plus new exterior paint colours of course.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
The new C-Class bypasses the dual-display in one MBUX system for two separate screens.

The current C-Class is the last remaining Mercedes-Benz with a conventional dash layout, either incorporating mechanical analogue dials flanked by a centre multi-information display or a fully digital gauge cluster with the same curving metal shrouds all around, this fully separated from a smallish tablet-style infotainment touchscreen perched atop the centre stack. All other models within Mercedes’ lineup received a version of the fancy MBUX two-in-one conjoined digital gauge cluster and infotainment touchscreen setup.

It’s now clear the brand’s second-best-selling sedan will never see that much-praised layout, but instead get something similar to the entirely new S-Class (which initially ushered in the MBUX dash design). Both sedans feature a fresh new approach to the MBUX layout, incorporating digital gauges ahead of the driver in a fixed horizontal tablet-style cluster, plus a massive vertically positioned display on the centre stack, not dissimilar in size to that found in a Tesla, albeit flowing almost seamlessly into a curving lower centre console.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
The C’s fully digital driver display is nicely framed by an all-new steering wheel.

It’s artfully executed, especially when accompanied by high-gloss carbon fibre weave as seen in this story’s accompanying press photos. The centre display should be easier to reach than either the current MBUX or outgoing C-Class designs, plus much more capable of hosting multiple functions simultaneously. This will be important, as it appears Mercedes is saying goodbye to its console-mounted touchpad and surround switchgear, the minimalist look more attractive and elimination of redundancies likely less expensive to produce.

Integrating haptic feedback makes clear that Mercedes wasn’t cutting corners, mind you, or for that matter including over-the-air software updates, not to mention biometric authentication via voice or fingerprint scanning. Touching the scanner makes pre-selected memory adjustments to the driver’s seat, radio station, and more, the latter including the ability to purchase apps (and possibly other items) from the Mercedes Me store. What’s more, the head-up display in front of the driver uses augmented reality to project real-time visuals onto the windshield.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Get ready to be impressed by the C’s new infotainment touchscreen and its myriad features.

The driver isn’t the only benefactor from new C-Class upgrades, however, because everyone should enjoy a bit more comfort from the car’s greater overall length and width. This means front and rear passengers gain legroom and shoulder space, important in a segment that sees some competitors nearing mid-size dimensions.

Offsetting the increased dimensions while parking is a rear-wheel steering system, an unusually welcome addition in this compact luxury category. Likewise, the new C 300 4Matic’s advanced tech extends to the powertrain, which combines a standard 48-volt integrated starter-generator (ISG), or mild hybrid system, with Mercedes’ well-proven 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and mostly carryover nine-speed automatic transmission.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
The new C-Class will ditch Mercedes’ usual console-mounted touchpad and surround switchgear.

The electrified portion of the drivetrain provides 20 additional horsepower and 147 lb-ft more torque in certain situations, totaling 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of twist, but strangely this new 2022 model is a fraction slower than the outgoing 2021 C 300 4Matic—go figure. The drivetrain allows gliding, boosting and kinetic energy recovery, however, so it should be ultra-efficient as far as gasoline-powered mild hybrids with all-wheel drive go.

A plug-in hybrid would be nice for nabbing those special parking spots close to the shopping mall entrance, or whisking down the HOV lane unimpeded during rush hour (depending on your jurisdiction’s regulations), while they provide a bit of pure electric propulsion too, over short distances, but no PHEV will be offered in Canada. One does exist, incidentally, providing a shockingly good 100 kilometres of EV range, but for reasons only those within Mercedes-Benz Canada’s inner circle know, you won’t be able to get your hands on it.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
A longer and wider 2022 C-Class should be more comfortable at all positions.

As for ultra-powerful six- and eight-cylinder AMG variants, no announcements have been made yet. Still, reports have been made that next-gen C-Class AMGs will receive electrically-assisted four-cylinder engines with varying outputs, not unlike Volvo’s T8 and Polestar Engineered models. Their focus will be primarily on performance over fuel efficiency, although meeting regulations will be high on their priority list too.

Now that we’re talking practicalities, the new C-Class will come packed full of advanced driver assistive systems, even as much as the new S-Class, with all the usual features now supplemented by the capability of recognizing stop signs and red lights, plus steering assistance that helps a driver maintain their lane up to 210 km/h (where legally allowed).

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Almost as fast and a lot more efficient, the new C-Class features a mild-hybrid drivetrain.

The new 2022 C 300 4Matic will go on sale later this year, with pricing and trim details available before launch. Until then, Mercedes-Benz Canada is offering up to $5,500 in additional incentives on the 2021 C-Class, with CarCostCanada members saving an average of $2,437. To find out more about saving money with CarCostCanada, which provides information about factory leasing and financing deals (when available), manufacturer rebates (when available), and dealer invoice pricing that can save you thousands when negotiating your next new car deal, visit CarCostCanada’s “How it Works” page, and be sure to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Google Play store or Apple store too.

The C-Class: Rapid-Fire Questions to Dirk Fetzer (1:07):

The New C-Class Sedan: An Intelligent Comfort Zone (0:49):

The New C-Class Sedan: A Connected Comfort Zone (0:56):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Mercedes-Benz

Porsche has once again earned top spot amongst premium brands in J.D. Power most recent 2021 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. It’s the second time in three years that Porsche was awarded first place…

Most “trouble-free” premium brand Porsche nabs first place in JD Power CSI

2021 Porsche Macan GTS
After earning top spot in its class for dependability with its latest Macan, JD Power awarded Porsche with its highest CSI score for 2021.

Porsche has once again earned top spot amongst premium brands in J.D. Power most recent 2021 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

It’s the second time in three years that Porsche was awarded first place in the luxury sector, and this happened just a month after the brand earned a “most trouble-free new car overall” ranking for its 911 sports car in the same third-party analytics firm’s latest 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study, and the Macan achieved the highest position possible in its “Premium Compact SUV” class.

“Our dealers worked hard for our customers throughout the initial lockdowns of the past year and subsequent social distancing and health measures to make sure they could rely on Porsche,” stated Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). “We are continually striving to not just meet, but exceed the high expectations of our customers – and it’s vital that the quality of service must live up to that vision.”

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera S
The 2021 Porsche 911 earned the highest overall score amongst luxury vehicles in JD Power’s latest Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

The J.D. Power CSI Study measures “customer satisfaction with service for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles,” with the survey’s latest data collection period having taken place from July 2020 through December 2020. More than 62,500 new vehicle owners responded to this CSI study, allowing for a comprehensive ownership base to draw results from.

Porsche garnered 17 additional points since last year’s CSI study, incidentally, with its 2021 results totalling 899 points out of a possible 1,000. The automaker’s retail outlets were ranked in either first or second place in each of the survey’s five categories, which include Service Facility, Service Advisor, Service Initiation, Service Quality, and Vehicle Pick-Up.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS
According to JD Power, less things break on Porsches, and when they do (or its customers just need a service), they’re treated better by Porsche dealers.

Porsche currently sells six models within the Canadian premium car market, or seven if we were to split up the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster body styles (not to mention the 718 Spyder). The six include its entry-level 718 mid-engine sports cars, the iconic 911 series, the Macan entry-level compact luxury crossover SUV, the Cayenne mid-size luxury SUV, the Panamera four-door luxury coupe/sedan, and the new fully electric Taycan four-door coupe/sedan.

According to CarCostCanada, Porsche is offering all models with zero-percent financing, so follow the links embedded into each model’s name (above) to see their body style and trim pricing, to configure a car with all of its colours and options, and learn about any other manufacturer incentives that may be available. Also, be sure to find out about a CarCostCanada membership so you can access dealer invoice pricing that can save you thousands when negotiating your next deal, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app so you can access all of this important information when you need it most.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

It was fewer than six months ago that General Motors revealed its upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck to much fanfare, a move that simultaneously reintroduced the US military’s SUV brand into the civilian…

Fully-electric Hummer SUV to join GMC’s Hummer EV Supertruck for 2024

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The new GMC Hummer EV SUV completes the Hummer EV family (so far). We think it looks fabulous and performs even better.

It was fewer than six months ago that General Motors revealed its upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck to much fanfare, a move that simultaneously reintroduced the US military’s SUV brand into the civilian market, and gave GMC its first electric vehicle. Now the General’s truck and SUV division has followed their EV Supertruck up with an electrified SUV that will do its part in repairing the once-maligned Hummer name.

Yes, Hummer, which was previously stigmatized as a gas-guzzling, anti-environmental brand, will no longer be a standalone marque within the General’s ranks. This makes a great deal of sense from a retail distribution perspective, being that GM needs to maintain its simpler four-brand stance in order to reduce marketing costs, compared to the high price of promoting the multitude of brands it once oversaw.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The SUV rides on a shorter wheelbase than the pickup truck, making it more manoeuvrable on and off the road.

The new GMC-controlled sub-brand will take advantage of Hummer’s strong name recognition within the 4×4 overland community, and the emissions-free EV powertrain means that its brand image will no longer be plagued by its supposedly polluting predecessors.

To be fair to the Hummer brand’s original four models, the flagship H1 was mostly turbo-diesel powered and therefore fairly efficient for a military-spec off-roader, while the H2 (and H2T pickup) was based on the full-size Chevrolet/GMC Tahoe/Yukon, which were actually friendlier on fuel than some other full-size 4x4s of the era. The fact they remain popular models within GM’s SUV lineup shows GM may have made a mistake in letting the Hummer brand go as part of their restructuring.

2024 GMC Hummer EV Supertruck
The GMC Hummer EV Supertruck isn’t the brand’s first pickup, those being the Chevy Avalanche-inspired H2T and Colorado-based H3T.

Likewise, the mid-size H3 and H3T (pickup truck) were based on the previous-generation Chevrolet/GMC Colorado/Canyon trucks, so therefore the brand didn’t suffer as much from gasoline gluttony as it did from being targeted by environmental activists using it as a sacrificial mechanical scapegoat.

Now, however, GMC’s upcoming Hummer sub-brand could very well become an icon of zero-emissions righteousness. Then again, with zero-to-100 km/h taking just over 3.5 seconds, putting it neck-to-neck with Jeep’s outrageously potent 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, not to mention dwarfing Land Rover’s new wilderness-conquering Defender (that it’s not stylistically dissimilar to) when it comes to exterior width, the new Hummer SUV wasn’t exactly designed to go up against Nissan’s Leaf for kilowatt cost per kilometer.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The new Hummer EV SUV provides buyers with performance, utility and customization choices, with GMC ready to offer close to 200 accessories at launch.

Tesla has proven that it’s ok to produce ridiculously fast cars, as long as the power unit is electric. Hummer will ride on Tesla’s bandwagon, the latter brand already making a couple of crossover SUVs and soon adding a pickup truck, so far dubbed Cybertruck and about as whacky looking as automotive designs get (we expect the production model to appear a bit more mainstream).

The Tesla and Hummer trucks will be joined by rival electric pickup truck (and SUV) makers including upstarts Alpha, Bollinger, Canoo, Fisker, Hercules, Lordstown, Nikola, and Rivian, while the upcoming Ford F-150 EV should eventually do epic battle against GM’s own Chevrolet BET (Battery Electric Truck—we hope they come up with a more engaging name), leaving Nissan’s Titan Electric Truck to pick up the scraps. Who knows how many of these will ever see the light of day, but some certainly will.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
Despite its blocky, bulky design, the new Hummer SUV will be ridiculously fast and agile.

Barring an economic meltdown, GMC’s new Hummer pickup will be one of the survivors, as will the just-released SUV. The two models’ performance won’t be detuned in production form either, with the truck’s top-line “3X” powertrain making a mind-blowing 1,000 horsepower that results in sprints from standstill to 100 km/h of just over 3 seconds. That’s Corvette territory performance from a truck that probably carries twice the curb weight, the speedy acceleration partially due to 11,500 lb-ft of instantaneous torque from its three electric motors.

You heard that right, both Hummer models’ top-line “3X” powertrain option are three times more fun than electric vehicles with just one motor. The SUV is “only” good for up to 830 horsepower, albeit the same 11,500 lb-ft of torque. The mid-range “2X” engine utilizes two electric motors for up to 625 horsepower and 740 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of roughly 5 seconds, incidentally, which will no doubt be enough for most buyers. Lastly, a base model merely dubbed EV2, featuring 400 volts of charging capability compared to the 2X and 3X models’ 800-volt/300kW charging systems, will be the entry-level gatekeeper.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
Original Hummers are legendary for their off-road prowess, so we should expect nothing less from the new electric version.

“GMC’s HUMMER EV SUV offers an exceptional balance of on-road performance and off-road capability, enhanced by a unique structure that allows for our signature open-air experience,” said Al Oppenheiser, Hummer EV chief engineer. “New features debuting on the SUV reinforce its role as a tactical tool in almost any situation.”

When the truck arrives in the fall of 2022 as a 2023 model, it will come in special “Edition 1” trim with its strongest performance setup, as will the SUV when it shows up in early 2023. Base SUV trims will arrive in the spring of 2024, probably for the 2025 model year, with other trims spaced out in between.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
An Infinity Roof with modular Sky Panels comes standard, creating an open-air experience for all aboard.

Range, the all-important question most EV buyers ask of their new ride, is 482 km for the SUV and 560 km for the truck, the difference due to four additional Ultium battery modules (24 compared to 20) fitting within the span of the latter vehicle’s 3,444-mm wheelbase—the SUV’s wheelbase is 226 mm shorter at 3,218 mm. A less potent base SUV, stocked with just 16 modules, should be good for more than 400 km of range in optimal circumstances. All trims feature GM’s new double-stacked battery pack, which comes as part of an interdependent body/battery structure to enhance the vehicles’ rigidity.

“The HUMMER EV’s body protects the battery, while the battery supports the structure,” added Oppenheiser. “That means the battery pack itself is a structural element, which enables a truly open-air experience and a rare combination of extreme off-road capability and smooth on-road performance in a body-frame integral platform.”

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The Hummer SUV is practical too, featuring plenty of cargo space in the back, plus this “frunk” (front trunk) made possible thanks to its unique electric powertrain layout.

GM Canada is promising a base price of $88,898 (plus freight and fees) for that 16-module base EV2 model, but it’ll be the only Hummer SUV to slip below the six-figure price threshold. The 2X, alternatively, will be priced at $104,898 and 3X from a minimum of $119,398, with the Edition 1 setting early adaptors back $125,898.

Once near flagship Range Rover price levels, however, why not go for the gusto by opting for an Edition 1 with its Extreme Off-Road package, a mere $131,898 being the price of entry for underbelly skid plates that GMC actually calls “armour”, plus rock sliders, front eLocker and rear virtual locking differentials, HD ball-spline half-shafts, and 22-inch alloys wrapped in 35-inch-OD Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT rubber, not to mention front- and rear-facing UltraVision underbody cameras (with a wash system) to help you skirt over untoward obstacles.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
GMC calls the Hummer SUV’s cabin a “low-contrast Lunar Shadow interior”… ok. We just think it looks great.

Such extras should work wonders with the SUV’s already standard Crab Walk technology, which adjusts the standard four-wheel steering system so that all wheels are pointing in the same direction for diagonal mobility, while its air suspension with Extract Mode actually increases ground clearance to a maximum of 406 mm (16.0 inches) on the fly, helping the Hummer walk up and over tall rocks, roots, mud holes, etcetera.

For those willing to potentially scratch up their Hummer EV, it should at least be equal to its diesel and gasoline predecessors when off-road. The e4WD system’s ability to power a single wheel at a time should prove very helpful in slippery conditions, as should its 330 mm (13 inches) of suspension travel, ability to climb 60-percent grades while going forward or reversing, capability of scaling 457 mm (18-inch) vertical obstacles, and skills at fording more than 600 mm (two feet) of water.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster will make configuring the Hummer SUV’s controls easy.

Some noteworthy options will include a “multisensory, interactive experience” called Watts To Freedom, which provides special audio from the Bose sound system, plus kinesthetic sensations via the haptic driver’s seat, and visuals through custom displays that show the SUV’s performance mode as “armed and ready.” It’s all customizable in GMC’s My Mode, which lets drivers personalize driving features such as steering and suspension settings, as well as the SUV’s acceleration response and even the sound the motors make.

An Infinity Roof, along with modular Sky Panels come standard, creating the open-air experience chief engineer Oppenheiser described earlier. This will be ideal when trekking through the wild on a sunny day, whether actually enjoying the wilderness or navigating the urban jungle.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The 13.4-inch centre touchscreen provides all the expected infotainment features, plus access to more than 175 underbody camera views.

The five-occupant SUV should be plenty practical, with its spare tire hanging on a powered side-swinging tailgate that opens up “wider than the vehicle itself.” GMC promises “an unimpeded 48-inch opening” and up to 2,316 litres (81.8 cubic feet) of cargo space when the rear seats are lowered. Additionally, more storage space can be found below the load floor, plus another compartment is integrated within the cargo area’s sidewall.

Speaking of wide, a large 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster gets joined by an even bigger 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen at centre. Integrated within, the “In-vehicle Energy App” both monitors energy usage and can be used to set up charging schedules, condition the battery temperature, and more.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
So what do you think? Can you see yourself driving the new 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV in a couple of years?

Tech in mind, a Digital Key lets owners use their smartphone as the key fob, while the SUV’s HD Surround Vision parking camera provides up to 14 camera views. The previously noted UltraVision underbody camera system offers up to 176 camera views, incidentally, plus a bevy of Off-Road Widgets provide performance readouts for off-road driving scenarios such as “ride height and eLocker engagement, compass headings, pitch/roll status,” and more.

All Hummer EV models can also be had with an updated version of Super Cruise, GM’s much-lauded semi-autonomous driver assistance technology that allows for hands-free driving on compatible highways. The updated system even includes new automatic lane changing.

If that wasn’t techie enough, DIY folks and campers will love the new optional Power Station generator that provides 19.2 kW of AC charging/generator functionality for accessories (120V/25A/3kW) and the ability to charge other EVs (240V/25A/6kW).

More detailed option pricing will be available closer to launch, as will the ability to configure the new Hummer EV models online. The SUV’s special Moonshot Green Matte paint will no doubt be on offer, as will a diverse palette of standard and optional metallic colours.

 

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | EXTRACT MODE | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | “Another Revolution” | GMC (3:30):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | THE NEXT ALL-ELECTRIC SUPERTRUCK | GMC (1:31):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | WHAT TWO CAN DO: TEASER SIX | GMC (0:30):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | ARRIVAL: TEASER FIVE | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | ANTICIPATION: TEASER FOUR | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | WITNESS: TEASER THREE | GMC (0:30):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | IMAGINE: TEASER TWO | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | COUNTDOWN: TEASER ONE | GMC (0:15):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: General Motors