Week in Review: April 26 to May 2
This week was filled with lots of exciting news from Korea, Japan, and Germany.
The biggest news of the week is the 11th generation 2022 Honda Civic sedan, which gets a more restrained mini Accord look and a host of new tech features including a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, a 9.0-inch touchscreen, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Available in four trims, the base and Sport will get a carryover 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. EX and Touring models get an upgraded 1.5-liter turbo-four, which is now rated for 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 6 hp and 15 lb-ft over the outgoing model. If you’re a fan of the manual transmission, you’re going to need to wait for the Civic Si and Civic Type R because the standard models are only available with a CVT. A hatchback body style will also be available after the sedan launches. The Civic Si and Civic Type R will be the final two body styles to arrive while the coupe is officially dead.
Out of Korea, Hyundai announced the Kona N, the latest addition to its high-performance lineup and the first crossover. Think of this as the more practical sibling of the Veloster N. Under the hood is an updated 2.0-liter turbo-four with 276 hp and 289 lb-ft, the same unit that will also see duty in the upcoming Elantra N. The only transmission offered is an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Under the skin, the Kona N gets all the usual go-fast goodies from Hyundai’s N brand like adaptive dampers, oversized brakes, active exhausts, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and N Grin Shift, which is a 20-second overboost function. Although the Kona N is FWD only, Hyundai says it’ll still be able to hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. It also gets a cool new color called Sonic Blue along with several exterior design tweaks like a different front fascia, larger exhaust outlets, a double-wing roof spoiler, and triangular center LED rear brake lights.
In other Hyundai news, our friends over at EV Pulse have got a major scoop on Hyundai’s electrification plans. An unnamed source has revealed that the Ioniq 6 will be the first performance EV wearing a Hyundai badge and could use the same 577-hp dual-motor setup found in the Kia EV6 GT. Hyundai did reveal during the Kona N’s debut that it is working on electrified performance models but now we know what to expect when the Ioniq 6 arrives in 2022. More pedestrian variants of the Ioniq 6 should have similar powertrain options as the Ioniq 5, and borrow a lot of design cues from the Prophecy concept.
Genesis announced the pricing for the refreshed 2022 G70 sports sedan. The based RWD 2.0T starts at $38,570 including the $1,045 destination charge. AWD-equipped 3.3T Launch Edition models are the most expensive at $54,545. Unlike its sister car, the Kia Stinger, the Genesis G70 retains the same engine options. The 2.0-liter turbo-four makes 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque while the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 is good for 365 hp/376 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. Most of the go-fast goodies are exclusive to the 3.3T Sport Prestige and up, including the limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, and electronically-controlled suspension. Advanced and higher grades with the V6 also get a variable exhaust system.
Volkswagen has announced the ID.4 GTX, which will simply be known as the ID.4 AWD here in the U.S. Its dual-motor setup makes 302 hp and will be able to hit 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. Check out the ID.4 GTX climb a 37.5 percent grade on its world debuts here.
The EPA has released the fuel economy ratings of the 2022 Volkswagen Taos. Front-drive models equipped with an eight-speed automatic are rated for 28/36/31 mpg city/highway/combined. AWD models, which get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic instead, are rated at 25/32/28 mpg. The sole engine option is a 1.5-liter turbo-four with 158 hp and 184 lb-ft. These ratings put the Taos on the higher end of the fuel economy spectrum in the subcompact crossover class with the front-drive only Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Venue offering similar numbers but with less power and torque.
Over at Toyota, the Sienna adds a new Woodland Special Edition for 2022 finished in Cement exterior color. Other changes for the Sienna Woodland Special Edition include a slightly raised suspension, built-in navigation, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, a 1,500-watt inverter, 18-inch alloy wheels, and black badges. AWD is also standard on all Sienna Woodland Special Edition models. Toyota will donate $250 to National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) for every Sienna Woodland Special Edition sold with a guaranteed minimum of $250,000 to support the NEEF’s goals.
Automotive News is reporting the next Alfa Romeo model, the Tonale compact crossover has been delayed to next year. According to the outlet, incoming CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato isn’t satisfied with the plug-in hybrid powertrain’s performance and asked for more out of it. A second model, likely called the Brennero will slot below the Tonale but will likely not make it to the U.S. because it’s too small.