Week in Review: May 16 to May 22
This week’s news was packed with lots of important products making their debut for the first time.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has finally arrived and it will offer up to 300 miles of range depending on the battery size you choose. Ford is estimating it to be rated at 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. Pricing will start at $39,974 for the commercial version while the XLT checks in at $52,974. The F-150 Lightning also adds the large 15.5-inch touchscreen for the SYNC 4A interface from the Mustang Mach-E. The day after the F-150 Lightning’s debut, Ford announced that it has signed a JV with SK Innovation called BLueOvalSK for the development of batteries. SK Innovation will supply the F-150 Lightning’s batteries.
The U.S.-spec 2022 Kia EV6 has been announced and unlike its global-spec counterpart, the smaller battery option will only be available in the single-motor version. A First Edition model with unique color combinations will be available for preorder soon but production of that variant is limited to 1,500 units. At the top of the range is the EV6 GT, a 576-hp dual-motor monster aimed at the likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y Performance. However, don’t expect the GT variant to get the same 300-mile estimated range as the single-motor model equipped with the larger 77.4-kWh battery.
Mazda has officially announced that the CX-3 and Mazda6 are getting discontinued. The latter could return on Mazda’s upcoming rear-drive-based platform sporting an inline-six engine, electrification, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. That could still be a ways away because the new Mazda RWD architecture, which will be shared with the CX-9’s successor, isn’t expected to debut until late 2022.
The next-generation BMW 2 Series Coupe is just around the corner with production starting in the summer of this year. Torsional stiffness has been increased by 12 percent versus the outgoing car and the available adaptive M suspension now gets electronically adjustable shock absorbers. BMW has upped the M240i’s 3.0-liter turbo I6’s output to 382 hp, which also gets an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. AWD appears to be standard on the M240i as well.
BMW will use its new Space by BMW venue in Los Angeles for the North American debut of its all-electric iX and i4 models. The iX will likely go on sale first in the xDrive50 flavor, which is the 500-hp dual-motor variant that’s expected to get 300 miles on a charge. Following the iX will be the i4, which is essentially an all-electric 4 Series Gran Coupe. BMW Blog recently got a hold of leaked images of the i4 M50 that have since been taken down. That model is expected to get over 500 hp from its two electric motors.
The next-generation 2023 Toyota Tundra has been teased and it looks like it’ll get a more distinctive mug before. Toyota is reportedly ditching the V8 in favor of a twin-turbo V6 since the new TNGA-F platform isn’t able to accommodate the former. A hybrid variant is also in the cards for the Tundra as Toyota has committed to offering an electrified variant for every model in its lineup.
The specs of the next-generation Toyota Land Cruiser leaked out on the Land Cruiser 300 Instagram page. Under the hood is a new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which will likely be shared with the Tundra and other TNGA-F cars. According to the spec sheet, the new engine makes 409 hp and 446 lb-ft, a healthy bump versus the current Land Cruiser’s 5.7-liter V8. We’re expecting the next-generation Lexus LX to use the same engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Lexus has announced that its first PHEV will be due out before the end of 2021 and that it will be followed by the brand’s first EV in 2022. We suspect that the PHEV is the next-generation NX crossover, reportedly getting an all-hybrid powertrain lineup in the U.S. At the top of the range is the NX 450h+ and it will share the same plug-in hybrid powertrain with the RAV4 Prime. As for the EV, we think it will be the first Lexus on the e-TNGA platform and could be a variant of the next-generation RX, the brand’s best-selling model and one of the most popular luxury crossovers currently on sale.
A leaked fleet order guide found by driving.ca suggests that the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Weighs 9,046 pounds. Yikes. That means the electric utility vehicle is heavier than heavy-duty trucks like the Ram 3500HD, GMC Sierra 3500HD, and Ford F-450. Luckily, all that heft is mounted down low and should keep the car from feeling tipsy.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the body shell for the next SL roadster. The drop top’s body is now made extensively of aluminum and has 18 percent better torsional stiffness. Transverse and longitudinal rigidity is up by 50 percent and 40 percent respectively versus the AMG GT Roadster. The overall body shell weight has been reduced by 595 pounds. Expect the next-generation SL-Class to use a soft top instead of a retractable hardtop. Mercedes’ range of six- and eight-cylinder powertrains should be offered in standard and electrified flavors.