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These were our favorite cars from the 2023 LA Auto Show

Let’s preface this by saying: No, this is not a news beat. No, this is not a grand compilation of every little reveal and every hunk of metal on display at the LA Auto Show. Take this as a more personal and me-engaging-the-audience-type feature where I, editor-in-chief and supreme (assistant) overlord to the site, and Gabe, founder and supreme supreme overlord, share our top cars from this year’s gathering.

Whether it be a new release, a kinda-sorta new car that may be making its first in-person appearance, or perhaps something that’s not new at all, these are our personal standouts in attendance that truly scratched my automotive itch. And hopefully, it scratches yours, too.

Ahem. And, if you’d like, please feel free to check out coverage of cars from this year’s auto show on our TikTok and Instagram

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Gabe: 2025 Lucid Gravity

@acceleramota The 2025 Lucid Gravity is a luxurious 3-row SUV from the chief engineer behind the original Tesla Model S and the designer of the Miata ND. Would you buy one over a Model X? #auto #lucid #tesla #carlifestyle #teslamodely #suv #electricvehicle #electriccars #luxury #truck #lucidgravity #teslas #newcars #lucidair #luxurycar ♬ original sound – acceleramota

In a market already saturated with three-row luxury SUVs, a lesser-known brand introducing its own would surely have its work cut out for it. Lucid Motors is a prime example. In the third quarter of 2023, Lucid lost $430,000 for every car it sold, according to InsideEVs. Four hundred and thirty thousand dollars

By no means is that indicative of Lucid’s standards, though, as its first EV – the Lucid Air – was met by reviewers with mostly positive marks. Everyone I’ve known who’s driven a Lucid Air came away a fan as well. In fact, when we offered test drives at one of our car and coffee meets in New York earlier this year, one of the most stubborn anti-EV people I know came away a fan. The premium interiors, consistent build quality, and aversion to oversimplification-for-the-sake-of-it distinguishes Lucid from its main competitor, Tesla, with which it shares common DNA.
Judging by its roughly identical $80,000 starting price, the Lucid Gravity is poised to compete with Tesla’s Model X – you know, the midsize family SUV with the dancing falcon wing doors. But unlike the Model X, the Gravity brings more cargo space, the option of a third row, and an estimated 440 miles of range, nearly 100 miles more than that of the Model X. For some reason it also has 880 horsepower, because in competing with the alarmingly quick Hummer EV, it’s not an electric SUV if it can’t push 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. The only obvious downside is that, at least according to our new best friend, it does have more than one button for the center stack, and the luxe woodgrain finish is an acquired taste, allegedly.

Jeric: 2025 Lotus Eletre

Did anyone forget about this thing? I surely did, even after much press and controversy that one of the most legendary sports and race car manufacturers is now making (gasp) an electric SUV! What has the world come to? But the Lotus Eletre certainly makes a compelling case for itself that should help give it the Cayenne complex it needs for Lotus to keep building Emiras. 

How does 603 to 905 horsepower and 310 to 373 miles of range from its 112-kWh battery and dual-motor all-wheel drive setup sound? Overkill? Sure, but a Lotus must perform, and if it can’t simplify and add lightness, then power is one way to sweeten the deal. Interior is wonderfully posh. The rear cargo area is cavernous. The exterior styling is interesting, although seeing it in person does it far more justice than any photo. Designed in the UK, engineered in Germany, and assembled by Geely in China, the Eletre also signals a remarkable international effort for the hallowed English brand. And while its occupation as an electric SUV for eclectic rich folks may sour some peoples’ opinions, its strides to be a financial success could be what the brand needs to send its last wave of gas sports cars out with a bang instead of a whisper.

Jeric: Honda Prelude Concept

The legend returns! Except, not really, because this is a Honda Prelude, and the Acura Legend is still dead as a doorknob. Unless you count the Acura RLX as its successor? Anyway, the Honda Prelude returns rocking a swagtastic new look evocative of the Honda Insight face meets Honda Accord tail affixed to a last-gen Honda Civic Coupe body. And for the first time in years, Honda may actually have another spunky, fast two-door sports coupe in their fleet since the S2000. No, Si owners, I said fast.

Being a concept, we know next to nothing about the forthcoming Prelude or if it’s even coming. But This model seems fairly production-ready, aside from eye-catching carbon accents and a carbon roof that’d definitely launch its price tag into oblivion. But the upscale wheel design wrapped in Continental SportContact 6 tires sheathing Brembo brakes and the familiar Civic Coupe profile scream production-ready. Perhaps most importantly, despite much speculation that it could be an EV, the new Prelude Concept is actually slated to be a hybrid. If I were to place my bets, the base variants might likely use the Accord hybrid or an electrified Civic Si motor, but top-shelf models could use an electrified variant of the K20 turbo-four from the Civic Type R and Integra Type S, probably pushing between 350 to 400 horsepower.

Just a guess. A fanboy can dream.

Jeric: 2025 Toyota Camry

10 years ago, the Toyota Camry was plain as can be. Even in its day, the top-shelf SE or XLE trims did little to incite lust in those it drove by. It was a fine car, and it did its intended job great! But so does white bread. However, the new 2025 Toyota Camry is a Camry masquerading as a Lexus, and it’s got the goods to match. Never thought I’d ever say this about a front-drive, hybrid family sedan, but I am hot and bothered. And you will be, too, after a few pictures. 

Look at it! I said look at it, you! Does that not scream upscale? The long, sleek bodywork combined with that statement of a grille, Prius-like headlights, and some fairly attractive wheel designs make for one heck of a looker, especially in the sportier SE and XSE forms. The interior remains simple yet usable, resembling an evolution of the previous-gen Camry but tweaked to better suit Toyota’s current design language of wide, high-mounted touchscreens and expansive, button-centric center consoles. Specs? Pretty darn good. And that’s the best you can say about a Camry. A hybrid powertrain pushing 225 horsepower and available all-wheel drive (which bumps power to 232), sure to match the old car’s 44 to 50-plus mpg, is a compelling buy.

Jeric & Gabe: 2024 Acura ZDX

Born from the unlikely partnership between GM and Acura, the new-generation 2024 Acura ZDX ditches its forbearer’s heinous Star Wars cargo freighter looks for a sleek, concept-car-like caricature of the Acura MDX SUV. Wide, low, and unapologetically bold without offending those with working eyeballs. This is actually quite the attractive centerpiece of Acura’s booth. And most interesting of all, it’s a full EV riding on GM’s Ultium platform, the same platform underpinning the Blazer EV and Silverado EV.

Much like the Prelude, not much is known about the nitty-gritty details of the ZDX, but Acura insists we should expect a starting price somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 and a maximum range of up to 325 miles. Not bad! That lines it up with the upper echelon of the Blazer EV’s estimated range. Being marketed as a sporty and athletic Whole Foods hauler, the ZDX will launch with the sporty A-Spec and the SPORTY Type S models, with the latter aiming for over 500 horsepower, a 288-mile range, and sub-five-second zero-to-sixty. And if the ZDX can make good on blending Acura styling and luxury inside and out with GM’s handy EV know-how, Acura should be poised to have a real knockout winner on their hands.

Gabe: 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

As I mentioned in our video preview at the LA Auto Show, with the Corvette E-Ray, Chevy hopes to prove that hybrids aren’t all about going green. In fact, the E-Ray lays claim to the same fuel economy as the standard C8 Stingray at 24 MPG highway and 19 MPG combined. Instead, the E-Ray has more in common with a McLaren Artura than a Prius XLE. That’s to say, the tiny 1.9 kWh lithium-ion battery in the transmission tunnel is there to bolster the performance of its already potent 6.2-liter V8. Of course, pairing hefty battery tech with a big block motor does increase its curb weight by a little over 300 pounds, but how much does that matter when you can zip from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds? After all, the E-Ray is the quickest Corvette in the American sports car’s rich history. 

But the distinctions between the E-Ray and the Stingray don’t stop there, because on top of being the first hybrid Corvette, it’s also the first all-wheel-drive model. Don’t worry, it’s still rear-biased, and if you’re skeptical, Chevy’s built-in E-Ray companion app shows its homework with real-time performance data – including a diagram laying out the power distribution between the front and rear wheels. While it sounds like an automotive tech nerd’s playground, this Corvette isn’t just for wonks and weekenders; it’s a grand tourer, lending itself to longer road trips and grocery-getting as much as it does track days. 

Jeric: 2024 Subaru BRZ tS

No, this is not news. But here this favorite of mine is in the flesh, so I’m gonna thrust it down your throat anyway. Behold! The Subaru BRZ tS. It’s like a regular BRZ. But tS. And by that, Subaru means “Tuned by STI.” And by that, they really mean they stole the black wheels off the Toyota GR86, threw on some Hitachi dampers, added a sweet set of Brembo brakes, and called it a day. Really, the 2024 BRZ receives the mildest of updates as it enters the new model year, but they’re still noteworthy enough on a car this basic to be worth sharing!

For 2024, the BRZ receives a tS trim, which, like the previous gen’s tS, functions as a comprehensive performance package sans that car’s goofy wing. Beyond the new brakes and dampers, the tS is built upon the BRZ Limited, which throws in luxury goods like suede and leather interior upholstery, heated seats, and an upgraded stereo, as well as an 18-inch wheel package wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer rubber, which is perhaps the most transformative performance upgrade on any BRZ, turning this diminutive sports car into a genuine Porsche Cayman fighter. Additionally, for 2024, EyeSight is now standard on all models, including manual transmission cars, which does increase the price by a couple of grand, pushing the BRZ in the low-$30,000 range. A tS will run you about $36,000, which is still a hell of a bargain compared to literally anything else on the market today, assuming you can snag one without that dastardly markup. 

Jeric & Gabe: 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

The surprise hit from Korea strikes another tally of its bucket list and enters the high-performance EV fray. After much coverage and polarizing the press, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N arrives on American shores to grace us with its matte blue goodness, and it’s here to prove that fast EVs don’t have to be mere straight-line missiles. They can soul, too. Or at least as much soul as you can pump into something that ditches pistons and gas for battery cells and electrons. 

The Ioniq 5 N remains in its early launch phase, without much information besides what was available at its debut. That means nothing much has changed from its claims of 641 horsepower from an 84-kWh battery with 350-kW fast charging. But no complaints there! We still expect its aggressive e-LSD, Drift N Optimizer, and N e-Shift’s simulated 8-speed manual shift mode to make it to our shores, as we do for the changeable fake exhaust noises that can imitate fake revs from a jet fighter, the Gran Turismo Vision concept, or a traditional gas engine. Gimmicky? Absolutely. Necessary? No, not at all. But at least someone out there is having fun with EV tech and is trying to bridge the gap between gassers and electric cars with something that can parody the best attributes of both worlds. Being based on an already well-received vehicle like the regular Ioniq 5 doesn’t hurt, either. 

Jeric: 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally

If Ken Block we here, I can totally see him sliding through the woods with his family in tow in one of these. The Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is very real and is very much coming to dealers near you for the next model year. Because what says environmentalism and family-friendly more than something that gently nudges you to take that dirt fire road at triple-digit speeds while blasting “Kickstart My Heart?”

Based on the already formidable and definitely quick-enough Mach-E GT, the Mach-E Rally skews its priorities towards off-road hooliganism. New are 19-inch wheels stolen from the nearest ARA race and shod in skinnier Michelin CrossClimate2 all-seasons sporting a nice, meaty sidewall for all the potholes you’re going to smash on the Wal-Mart Rally. The fog lights, underbody protection, black plastic fender moldings, Focus RS-style rear hatch wing, and a hyper-aggressive RallySport drive mode add some extra WRC flair. The ride height has been jacked up by 20 millimeters and still utilizes the GT’s Magneride shocks but retuned for more off-road shenanigans, and the dual-motor powertrain still zaps out 480 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Its range is a still-okay-ish 250 miles, but I don’t expect many people to match that given its intended purpose. 

Jeric: Nissan Z Nismo & GT-R Nismo

Ah, yes. Even at a quintillion years old in car years, the Z and GT-R manage to tickle my fancy, now with matching gray-black-and-red paint jobs to boot! The new Nissan Z launched onto the scene with a lukewarm reception, with praise for its modernization and a newfound sense of speed but criticism for the softened edge it bears in order to expand its appeal. The Nissan GT-R is as big, tech-laden, and video-gamey as ever. Both are fine driver’s cars, but fanatics asking for more will find prayers answered in their respective Nismo track variants. 

The Z Nismo, already making rounds in media drives, impressed journos with real, genuine connectedness, inspiring confidence to attack curves on or off-track with a heavily revised suspension, RAYS wheels rocking the GT-R’s ultra-sticky Dunlop tires whose full name I refuse to type out, and a wicked body kit that vaguely reminds me of JDM Fairlady Z G-nose. The VR30 twin-turbo V6 has been massaged to 420 (aye, lmao) horsepower, yet the move to keep it nine-speed-only sparked much ire for what’s to be a purist track Z. Ye ole GT-R Nismo adapts much of the same formula to the geriatric R35 platform, with a new swan neck wing, 600 horsepower from its 3.8-liter VR38 V6, similar RAYS wheels and sticky Dunlops, and a drop-dead gorgeous suite of carbon goodies, from the ground effects to the hood. Also new for 2024 are faster-spooling turbos from the GT-R GT3 race car and a front LSD. Old and possibly overpriced? I guess, but don’t tell me you can’t look at it and giggle with excitement even a little bit. 

Jeric & Gabe: Aston Martin Cygnet

It’s hard to talk about the Alfa Romeo Tonale without mentioning the Dodge Hornet in the same breath. It’s impossible to talk about the Aston Martin Cygnet without bringing up the Scion iQ. Love it or hate it, the Cygnet is one of the most notorious examples of badge engineering from a major automaker. So notorious, in fact, that it’s recently cemented its place in car culture as a not-so-guilty pleasure for the irony-poisoned enthusiast. 

When the Aston Martin Cygnet first debuted in the U.K. in 2011, it came with a starting price of £30,995 – the equivalent of $49,595 in the States. For anyone familiar with Aston Martin as a prestigious luxury brand, that probably doesn’t sound like a lot. But what if I told you that the Aston Martin Cygnet was just a cheap Toyota city car in disguise? Well, sort of. It might’ve featured luxurious interior trappings like bespoke leather upholstery, wood trim, and in some configurations, a shitload of carbon fiber. 

Any mechanical differences between the Cygnet and the iQ were negligible. Both had 1.3-liter four-bangers, continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), and front-wheel-drive. Yet, for whatever reason, its presence at the LA Auto Show was magnetizing. Jeric and I stumbled into Alanis King of Doug Demuro’s Cars & Bids fame, who happened to be fawning over the Cygnet from the inside. It wasn’t long before we joined in. This little number in particular comes courtesy of Galpin Auto Sports as part of its Hall of Customs exhibit.

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2024 Lucid Gravity: A new electric SUV is coming to save Tesla’s fancier rival

Regardless of its financial outlook as a company, Lucid is one of the more remarkable names in the Californian new guard of automotive technology. Considering the star power it wields, the high-caliber design and performance of its first electric car should come as no surprise. The Lucid Air is the product of a collaboration between former Tesla Model S chief engineer Peter Rawlinson and the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 (aka the ND Miata) designer Derek Jenkins. Now, with the upcoming Lucid Gravity, the iconic duo is tapping into the SUV market.

Whereas the Lucid Air was a beefy sedan with a curb weight exceeding five tons, the Lucid Gravity will adopt many of the same design cues for what will presumably be an even heftier machine. Anticipated to arrive sometime in 2024 with similar performance, range, and pricing to the Air, the Lucid Gravity is little more than a concept ripped straight from a gallery at this stage, but if their shared otherworldly style is any indication, the EVs will have more than a few things in common.

2024 Lucid Gravity price and specs

Like its sedan equivalent, the Lucid Air Sapphire, the Gravity Sapphire is expected to push 800 horsepower while maintaining up to 440 miles of range on a single charge. So it makes sense it would cost as much as a house in the ‘burbs.

Estimated price:TBA; starting at approx. $80,000
Estimated range:TBA; over 440 miles
Estimated power:800 horsepower
Battery capacity:TBA; approx. between 88 kWh and 118 kWh
Seating capacity:7 passengers
Zero-to-60:TBA; <3.5 seconds
Drag coefficient: 0.24 cd

(Editor’s Note: Estimates, current as of 11/27/2023, pulled from Lucid Gravity release page and known stats of Lucid Air powertrains)

Unlike the Lucid Air, which came in both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, the Gravity SUV may come standard with the latter. Even as RWD remains the drivetrain of choice for sports car enthusiasts, modern luxury SUVs like the Alfa Romeo Tonale tend to forego the option altogether.

Even as an SUV, however, the Gravity will have the advantage of instant torque and mind-bending acceleration over its gas-powered rivals, giving it a zero to 60 time of under 3.5 seconds.

The Gravity will feature the same fast charging setup as the Air, meaning it should squeeze out 200 miles of range in just over 10 minutes. Lucid has said bi-directional charging is coming to its vehicles soon, so the Gravity may be able to provide power for a campsite or a home during a power outage and could potentially charge other EVs.

2024 Lucid Gravity
Image credit: Lucid Motors

Interior and tech

The Lucid Gravity is not reinventing the SUV playbook. Underneath and on the outside, it’s another electric SUV. Inside though, it’s perfection.

It’s not just the looming panoramic roof and windows that give it that spacious feeling. The interior panels, roof, and body pillars are angled outward to let light into the cabin. The windscreen stretches over your head when you’re sitting in the front. You can look up from the front passenger seat and see the real stars at night, which has never been done before.

Of course, the reclining leather seats and soft-touch panels are brilliant, but you expect that in an $80,000 luxury SUV. For some more innovation, Lucid added a funky frunk that can seat two people and if you don’t have bad friends, a couple of beer coolers and bodyboards. It’s flexible, washable, and opens up like a hatchback. Essentially, it’s exactly what you want from a useful front trunk!

Frunk friends Lucid Gravty
Image Credit: Lucid Motors

Lucid equips its vehicles with a load of impressive interior tech, including a massive 34-inch display. Unlike Tesla, it offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and buyers can upgrade with a premium audio system. Lucid includes physical steering wheel controls and a few elsewhere, but many of its vehicle functions and settings are housed in the touchscreen. 

Beyond that, the Gravity will receive Lucid’s suite of trick safety tech. Blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane centering, and collision avoidance will be the order of the day, as it is for many upscale family SUVs, electric or otherwise. Lucid’s DreamDrive driving assistance feature, which they’re lovably touting as more of a co-pilot than a full autopilot function, will also make an appearance in the Gravity.

Lucid EVs: 2024 Lucid Gravity vs Lucid Air

The Lucid Gravity shares much of its underlying engineering and structure with the Lucid Air sedan, so there will be many similarities in how they drive and perform in everyday situations. The Lucid Air is a striking performer that offers sub-two-second zero-to-60 mph times in its quickest configurations, and the Gravity will likely offer comparable performance when even higher-performance variants drop. Even so, less than 3.5 seconds in the Gravity is still plenty quick. Despite carrying the extra weight of an SUV, the low battery position will ensure smooth handling and stability.

The differences between the Lucid Gravity and Lucid Air will become more apparent when you take them off-road. Early concept images from Lucid showcase what appears to be a posh luxury SUV like you’d find at your local Whole Foods, if it’s anything like the Air, the Lucid Gravity’s looks may be deceiving. The exceptionally capable electric powertrain and increased ride height could allow for an adjustable suspension and other trail-friendly features.

Pre-production renderings and photos we’ve seen so far of the Lucid SUV reveal third-row seating with a spacious rear cabin akin to the Air. We don’t have interior details yet, but the vehicle’s greenhouse is almost completely made of glass for a bright, open-cabin feel. We know the Gravity will come standard as a five-seater, but buyers can upgrade to a three-row, seven-seat configuration. Lucid offers a range of leather options, including Nappa full-grain and synthetic. 

To live up to its price tag and stand out from the Air, the 2024 Lucid Gravity will have to offer ultra-high-end luxury finishes and even more advanced technology. Also, with so many competitive options available for a fraction of the price, the Gravity will need to be a transcendent option, in terms of range and performance, to get traction. The Air has done this with its performance and design, and Lucid could take a similar approach with the 2024 Gravity.

Lucid Studio The Westchester
Image source: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Lucid Motors company news: volatile stock prices, job cuts – a reason for concern?

Lucid recently announced it’s cutting 18 percent of its workforce due to underwhelming demand for its vehicles. The company’s position in the market is precarious, as its vehicles are priced above and beyond most of its rivals, including the already-spendy Tesla Model S Plaid. Lucid’s pricing and positioning in the market also make its vehicles ineligible for federal tax incentives. Recent production forecasts show Lucid falling well short of expectations, and the company is only expected to build half of the 27,000 units analysts projected.

None of that is to say that Lucid is going out of business, but 2023 will be the company’s best shot at righting the ship. Company CFO Sherry House said Lucid had enough cash on hand to last through the first quarter of 2024, but lower demand and production volume won’t help extend that date. Additionally, Lucid stock has fallen in recent weeks as the company announced layoffs and insufficient sales.

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Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
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I drove a Huracan Tecnica at the record-setting Lamborghini Movember Bull Run Rally

Anyone stuck in beach traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway this past weekend found themselves in for a treat. Or really just about anyone on the beach or the boardwalk, too, as a fleet of over 200 Lamborghinis makes for quite a rumbling traffic jam that roars hundreds of yards in every direction. 

Welcome to the third annual Bull Run, a series of global rallies that Lamborghini and the charity Movember put on to raise awareness for men’s issues during the month, also known as “No Shave November.” This year, a Bull Run started in a large parking lot below the Santa Monica Pier, then rallied up the coast through the hills of Topanga and Malibu. 

Just in case I wouldn’t hear the echoes from my nearby apartment, Lamborghini kindly offered me a Huracán Tecnica to join the morning’s revelries, so I arrived curious to see what kind of crowd the Bull Run draws—and, of course, how everyone piloting hardcore supercars in a group rally on public roads actually drives.

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Extension PR, Jordan Russell

Welcome to the Bull Run

I arrived about 15 minutes late, figuring the event might run on Italian time. And sure enough, a group of about 30 Lambos already occupied a few spots just off the boardwalk—nowhere near the expected total. I parked the Tecnica and hopped out, noticing the number of mustaches already in attendance, a figure that rose steadily, if not quite as quickly as the number of actual Lamborghinis rolling up in bunches.

Movember’s efforts as an organization center around raising awareness for men’s health issues, with a focus on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. The charity has invested over $350 million in biomedical research projects, supports interventions, provides guidance for cancer treatments, and reframed discussions of mental health and gender norms. Previous iterations of the Lambo Bull Run have drawn 92 dealers in 22 states, with over 1,500 cars worldwide joining the cause. But as the largest single market for Lamborghinis worldwide, LA’s potential turnout this year attracted enough attention to even entice CEO Stephan Winkelmann out for a weekend on the West Coast.

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Setting records with Movember

I almost didn’t recognize Winkelmann in his Saturday casual attire as opposed to his unvarying array of absolutely immaculate suits. He also arrived sporting a beard for the first time since his Bugatti days. Why the beard, I asked him, rather than the Movember mustache gracing so many Lambos around us? He laughed and pointed at my own beard.

“I look older with a mustache, so I said if I were going to do it, then I’d do a beard,” Winkelmann joked before turning serious. “We are doing a thing for a good cause, and to have this as also the biggest gathering in the history of Lamborghini in connection with a movement like Movember is a good thing.”

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Extension PR, Jordan Russell

Winkelmann arrived in the United States fresh off Lamborghini, reporting official sales figures for the first three quarters of 2023. As usual, the US market dominated world deliveries, with 2,342 cars sold. For context, Germany notched second place with 709 units sold. So, as we stood there surrounded by classic and modern Lamborghinis alike, I asked Winkelmann what he thought made customers in America so attracted to the Italian supercars coming out of Sant’Agata Bolognese in recent years.

“People love ‘Made in Italy,’ they love super sports cars,” he replied. “They look at us, and they see that we are consistent with the brand, with the products, with technology, design, and performance. And therefore, it’s a growing curve in terms of awareness, in terms of image, and also in terms of popularity.” 

We watched more cars pulling into the lot, and then perhaps the highlight of the day rumbled past: the so-called “Rambo Lambo” LM002 SUV. Crowds swarmed, pulling out smartphones to record this most beastly of raging bulls in motion. Then the owner hopped out and popped the hood. I stuck with Winkelmann and brought up my surprise at how many brand-new examples of the Sterrato showed up, the Huracán’s off-roading variant that best delivers the modern style of that LM002. In fact, the Sterrato might just be my favorite car of the year. Completely absurd in every way but done right from conception through R&D to production. Winkelmann agreed.

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

“Lambos are created to be dream cars,” he posited, “To be objects you might dream of since your childhood. And this is something we have to keep alive, and we always have to surprise people. The LM002 back in time was a big surprise for the customers. So is also the Sterrato. This is a car, which is part of our thinking out of the box now; it’s a car, which is very special, and the reception has been incredible. And it’s even more fun on the racetrack than off-road because you can just slide it.”

I declined to share my own tale of sliding a Sterrato enough to wind up fully sideways on a rally course at the official press debut earlier this year but nodded with appreciation for the incredible job that Lambo’s CTO Rouven Mohr manages to do with traction control and ESC programming. This guy drives a Lancer Evo, drifts a Nissan 350Z, and came up with the idea for a Sterrato in the first place. Then he decided that media should off-road the Urus Performante, set up a stage rally day at Chuckwalla for the Sterrato launch, and programmed the 1,000-horsepower Revuelto hybrid’s all-wheel-drive system well enough that I even drifted one at Vallelunga. Not bad, to say the least.

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

A sense of surprise

And my Tecnica loaner wasn’t bad, either. Compared to other Huracan variants, including the Sterrato but also the aggressively aerodynamicized STO, the Tecnica nails a certain level of stylistic restraint. Call it more in line with Winkelmann’s more typical visage than on a Movember rally, where the Sterrato is the bearded CEO in cargo pants at the beach on a Saturday morning. And this particular Sterrato looks extra svelte in a matte grey, officially called Grigio Acheso, with carbon fiber interior door cards and even racing-inspired pull straps instead of handles. 

Don’t forget the 5.2-liter V10 that revs to 8,500 RPM and puts 640 horsepower through a lightspeed seven-speed DCT to the rear wheels only. Perfect for a road rally, a racetrack, or tooling around town—whether anyone shelling out $300,000 for their daily driver might want to keep the Movember mustache decals on after the rally remained another question entirely.

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Huracans made up most of the crowd by the time SM Pier’s lot began to fill up, heartily outnumbering even the Urus, Lambo’s best-selling model that contributed mightily to steadily growing sales stats since debuting for model year 2018. And yet, the Lamborghini crowd that gathers at a rally clearly prefers the company’s supercar persona rather than the do-anything SUV. Not too surprising, I suppose, given how many commuters I regularly see in Uruses (Urii) here in Los Angeles. Maybe the Lanzador could change that in the near future.

Sprinkled between the modern Lambos, a few Diablos, Murcielagos, and Aventadors also arrived to great fanfare. Even a lone Lamborghini Jalpa caught my eye, with an absurd yellow interior unveiled on full display. And it’s not often that anyone on hand can see the details that made these cars so super, from the Rambo Lambo’s wider-than-wide dash and peculiar Pirelli tires to the Jalpa’s gated shifter and three-spoke steering wheel or even the Diablo’s massive rear air intakes. Then, comparing older cars to newer ones, the evolution of aero and design, not to mention materials and craftsmanship under Volkswagen ownership—the whole history of Sant’Agata Bolognese played out in the pier parking lot.

Then came the time to drive after a few words of warning to prevent any shenanigans. Luckily—or not—beach traffic piled up on the PCH immediately, so as I slunk forward at a few miles an hour with the Tecnica set to softest Strada mode and AC blasting, a bunch of Aventadors lurched around at low speeds, automated manuals slapping audibly and 6.5-liter V12 engines revving to prevent stalls. We passed Jerry Seinfeld in a bright orange IROC Porsche, thinking it’s not often that Jerry gets upstaged in the car biz, but it’s pretty hard to beat a line of 200 Lamborghinis in public.

Once past a blinking red traffic light that caused the holdup, speeds increased but never to the point of irresponsibility. Even up Las Flores Canyon, then down Stunt and across Mulholland, the line of Lambos barely cracked the speed limit. And it’s a good thing, too, because the sheriff’s department definitely got the memo, as proven by about 15 cop cars passing in under an hour on mountain roads.

On Las Flores, a bit of water spray contrasted the Tecnica’s matte finish. On the rough road surfaces that took a beating this past winter, I again found myself entirely happy to have drawn the “short” straw with the Tecnica rather than the more “desirable” STO. Sure, on a track, the STO’s stiffer suspension and aero package may allow for better lap times, but here on public roads, the Tecnica’s more approachable setup kept me swaddled in much more comfort. I can admit to wishing for a bit more time actually ripping around, throwing that low-slung weight into corners, and punching the brake pedal to chomp down on massive carbon-ceramic brake discs. Oh well, maybe next time. If I ever get a next time.

Welcome to Calamigos Ranch

The rally ended at Calamigos Ranch, right off Kanan Dume in the heart of Malibu. A popular wedding venue, Calamigos Ranch also rents out to automakers regularly for sneak previews, official launches, and lunches during test drives. In this case, Lambo parked a brand-new Revuelto at the entrance for guests to check out. The bright orange Arancio Apodis launch color certainly caught eyes, though, in my opinion, it only highlights certain unflattering comparisons to the C8 Corvette in photos. Those impressions come through less in person, but the angular body still looks best in dark and matte tones.

Then, another orange Lambo absolutely stole my gaze: a sparkling Miura that guarded the entrance to the main field where lunch trucks, picnic tables, cornhole, and a Ferris wheel all dotted the lawn packed with more Lamborghinis, of course. Here, I got to check out more Diablos and Murcielagos that I must have missed earlier in the rush to chat with Winkelmann and grab a cup of coffee before the rally started. The crowd grew steadily, some dealers wearing official garb, plenty of father-son duos out for a Saturday cruise, solo owners, and more Lambo executives. I grabbed a Mediterranean salad with shaved ribeye, chugged another coffee, then moseyed over to take a closer look at sweet rims, quilted leather, and even more sparkling paint jobs.

And to think, all this for a good cause in an era when Cars and Coffee meets often devolve into donuts and drifting, prompting police shutdowns and ticketing. By contrast, the Bull Run stayed surprisingly classy. We all know the stereotypes, but the Mustang and Hellcat hooligans stayed away on this day of fundraising. Each dealership involved contributes to Movember’s purse, the final tallies of which will be announced at the end of the full month’s efforts. 

Lamborghini Movember Bull Run
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

But in the meantime, I spent the rest of the afternoon ripping my Tecnica home through the tight curves of Latigo Canyon Road, simply one of the best 10 miles of asphalt the world over for driving one of the best supercars ever. Suffice it to say, it’s a great way to give my own mental health a boost with a healthy dose of automotive therapy.

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The 2024 BMW X2
Buying GuidesFeatures

Here’s everything we know about the 2024 BMW X2

BMW and their X series vehicles are nothing new. The original X5 debuted in 1999, not long after we had the X3 in 2003, then the X6, and so on with the various other X models. But the newest one is the latest generation of the BMW X2 lineup, based on the same architecture as the BMW X1 and the Mini Countryman. The first generation F39 BMW X2 was produced from 2018 to 2023, with an LCI (BMW for facelift) in 2021. It sold over 380,000 thousand worldwide. And it looks like that was enough for BMW to continue making a whole new version for 2024. It’s something we all hoped for, as the prior model was pretty good!

The second generation BMW X2 has dropped, and it’s immediately apparent that BMW wants the sports activity coupe to stand out from its competition. Didn’t matter how. The lines are more pronounced and acute. It produces an almost boxlike look that impresses BMW’s new design language onto whoever sees it, with the aggressive front end and large grilles that seem like if it wanted to, it could swallow up all the world’s oxygen without hesitation. While the previous generation X2 lacked the aggressive slanted rear hatch most of these crossover coupes have, the new model has no shame in showing off its coupe styling.

If this is the sort of look you like in your crossover, um, sorry, “sports activity vehicle,” then the 2024 BMW X2 might be the right buy for you. So come on through as we break down all the little specs and tidbits we know about BMW’s upcoming not-an-SUV.

2024 BMW X2
image credit: BMW

BMW X2 price and trim levels

So far, the new X2 is available with two trim levels, the xDrive28i and the M35i. The xDrive28i starts at $42,000, and the M35i will base at $51,400. It is set to go on sale in March of 2024.

Standard equipment all modelsStandard equipment xDrive28i ($42,000)Standard equipment M35i ($51,400)
– 7 Speed StepTronic dual-clutch transmission
– BMW Curved Display with iDrive 9
Active blind spot detection
– Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation
– Lane departure warning
– Active park distance control
– BMW navigation
– Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
– Sirius XM with 360l and 1-year platinum subscription
– LED headlights
– Dual-zone automatic climate control
– Power Tailgate
– Privacy glass
– Automatic high beams
7 Speed StepTronic dual-clutch transmission
BMW Curved Display with iDrive 9
Active blind spot detection
Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation
Lane departure warning
Active park distance control
BMW navigation
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
Sirius XM with 360l and 1-year platinum subscription
LED headlights
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Power Tailgate
Privacy glass
Automatic high beams
– 20-inch M V-spoke bi-color wheels style
– 873M with all-season non-runflat tires
– Aluminum hexcube trim with ambient lighting
– Shadowline exterior trim
Illuminated kidney grill
2024 BMW X2 Interior looking through windshield
image credit: BMW

BMW X2 interior and technology

The X2 comes with all the tech BMW can offer the compact SAV. The dash gets the newest BMW treatment with their Curved Display, made up of two screens. One 10.5-inch screen functions as an information display for the driver, and another 10.7-inch screen handles controls, both behind a single piece of glass. The latest version of iDrive is available with in-car gaming, video streaming capabilities, and BMW’s cloud-based navigation system.

Most safety features like blind spot monitoring, collision warning, and lane departure are standard equipment across both models. Of course, there are plenty of options to add on, too. Various packages provide hands-free driving up to 40 mph and a live view inside the vehicle. You also won’t need a dash cam anymore, as the X2 can record collision events for you. The X2 also has its own version of Sentry Mode and will use the cameras for surround view to record when the alarm system detects movement around the vehicle, à la Tesla.

2024 BMW X2 with M sport seats
image credit: BMW
Standard interior colorsM Sport seat color
– Black
– Mocha
– Oyster
– Red and black bi-color
– Atlas grey and smoke white bi-color
– Black with blue contrast stitching
Technology PackagePremium PackageDriving Assistance Professional Package
– Convenience Package
– Parking Assistant Plus
– Head-Up Display
– Live Cockpit Professional
– Surround View w/3D View
– Technology Package
– Universal garage door opener
– Interior camera
– Harman/Kardon Premium Sound System
– Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for limited access highways
– Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go
– Active Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance
– Evasion Aid
– Front Cross Traffic Alert

BMW X2 exterior dimensions and luggage capacity

Measurement2024 BMW X2
Length: 179.3 inches
Width:72.6 inches
Height: 62.6 inches
Wheelbase:106.0 inches
Track width:62.3 inches

Normally, this is where we’d spin off anything beneath that sheet metal into its own interior dimensions table. Unfortunately, such information other than cargo capacity was unavailable at the time of writing. We shall remain vigilant and update this hub with a dedicated interior space section as more information is released.

Luggage capacity:25.3 sq. ft.
Luggage capacity (rear seats folded):51.7 sq. ft.
BMW X4
Image credit: BMW

BMW X2 engine, transmission, and performance

And while the 2024 X2 has grown slightly compared to the old model, it also gained some power. Both trims are equipped with BMW TwinPower Turbo engines. If it’s the xDrive28i you’re after, you’ll get a 2.0 four-cylinder Miller cycle engine making  241 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. And if you want to keep up with your buddy’s E36 M3, you should opt for the M35i, which has the highest output available from BMW’s four-cylinder engine family. It puts out 312 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and even carries over the main caps from the six-cylinder variant. It’ll reach 60 in 5.2 seconds. However, we know this is utter crap as the Germans love to underrate their stats, so expect these hunchbacks to rocket themselves even quicker than advertised.

StatsX2 xDrive28i X2 M35i
Horsepower:241 hp @ 4,500 – 6,500 rpm312 hp @ 5,750 – 6,500 rpm
Torque:295 lb-ft @ 1,500 – 4,000rpm295 lb-ft @ 2,000 – 4,500 rpm
Weight:3,803 lbs3,840 lbs
zero-to-60:approx. 6.2 secondsapprox. 5.2 seconds

Both are standard all-wheel drive, and the 8-speed automatic has been replaced with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The transmission has a built-in mechanical limited slip differential that gives the X2 the ability to send power where it’s needed. This works well with the all-wheel drive to make a vehicle of its size handle much better than one would expect, much like a fattened hot hatchback in a way.

The M35i is sold with adaptive suspension with adjustable frequency select dampers as standard, and so can the xDrive28i if equipped with the M Sport package. The M Sport will also add Sport Steering, with a quicker steering ratio and BMW’s Servotronic speed-sensitive steering.

The brakes are standard floating calipers on the xDrive28i, while the M35i has M Sport brakes with a fixed four-pot caliper in the front. If you want better brakes on the front of your funny little “sports activity coupe,” you can opt for the M Sport package. The X2 will get an upgrade to M Sport brakes for the lower-end model, and if you check the right box, the M35i will get the spicier M Compound Brakes. They’ll come equipped with a grey caliper instead of red and a massive 15.2-inch rotor.

M Sport Package (xDrive28i)M Sport Professional Package
– 19-inch M double-spoke bi-color wheels style 871M with all-season non-runflat tires
– Shift paddles
– Adaptive M suspension
– M Sport Brakes with blue calipers
– Aluminum Hexacube trim with Ambient Light
– M Steering wheel
– Aerodynamic kit
– Shadowline exterior trim
– Mirror caps in black (xDrive28i)
– M Sport Brakes with red calipers
– M Shadowline lights
– Rear spoiler (xDrive28i)
– Extended Shadowline trim
– Optional M Compound Brakes with grey calipers (M35i)

Overall, I’d have to say that the 2024 BMW X2 is a solid, albeit odd-looking, offering. It has numerous options to transform into a somewhat unique entry in a rather bland segment. BMW didn’t specify every color available outside their faux car configurator, but you will have access to the frozen (matte) paint lineup and maybe even individual color options. So go nuts! Order one that isn’t white or dark grey! Perhaps a bright green, and you can pretend you’re driving a miniature Lamborghini Urus.

As for additional specs, dimensions, options pricing, and figuring out how it drives, we’ll have to wait for its Spring 2024 release date to draw nearer. Until then, let’s sit and gawk at the X2 and all its frumpiness.

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Rivian R1S
News

The Rivian R1S and R1T electric trucks finally get the 400-mile Max pack battery

There is some good news for future Rivian buyers and electric car fans in general. At long last, the Max pack battery launches for the Rivian R1S electric SUV and R1T electric pickup. As expected, it gives the twins a healthy jump in energy capacity, resulting in a handy range boost to further quell the range anxious out there.

According to Rivian, the new Max pack battery sits atop the food chain as the flagship variant of the dual-motor electric utes. Capacity jumps from the Large pack’s 135 kWh to a stout 149 kWh, notably lower than the originally quoted 180 kWh. Range leaps from an already-commendable 352 miles in both the dual-motor R1T and R1S to 410 and 400 miles, respectively. Note that this is with the most efficient, road-oriented wheel-and-tire package. Stepping to a 20-inch wheel package with beefier all-terrains slashes the range considerably, knocking the Rivians down to roughly 350 miles. In accordance with their configurator, pricing rings in at $16,000 over the Standard battery and $10,000 over the Large.

We must also note that this is the maximum range variant, meaning it’s only available in a dual-motor configuration. Quad-motor Rivians with the Max pack battery is a combination we’ll have to wait for, but it’s not currently in the cards. But one can dream.

You can say it’s about time these Max batteries finally arrived, as it’s reportedly one of many hot features promised for the Rivian twins that have faced delays for one reason or another. Despite the hiatus, anticipation and hype for the long-range Rivians stood strong, having been tossed around from headline to headline for months.

Rivian R1T
Image: Rivian

Interestingly, some aren’t impressed by the debut of the new pack, citing the exuberant cost and potentially longer charge times. But that’d be partly ignoring how the Rivians stack up against its peers, now being among the highest-range electric trucks on sale, far exceeding the best figures from the F-150 Lightning, Tesla Model X, Kia EV9, or Hummer EV and being just as competitive as them when equipped with all-terrains. Only the upcoming Silverado EV, with a promised range of 450 miles, can best them. How this new battery option actually performs in the real world is yet to be seen.

R1Ts can be specced and delivered with the Max pack battery now, while R1S models will begin deliveries in the fall.

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2025 Volvo EX30 SUV
News

Volvo announces price for the 2025 EX30 entry-level EV

Volvo has officially released the pricing for next year’s entry-level electric crossover SUV – the 2025 EX30. The MSRP will be set at $34,950. After adding in the destination fee of $1,295, consumers are looking at $36,245 for the new Volvo EV.

The Swedish manufacturer is offering their latest electric crossover in two variants: a single motor and a twin motor. Each of these breaks down further with the single motor offering Core, Plus, and Ultra trims while the twin just has the Plus and Ultra. The 275-mile single-motor extended range will be the most affordable to the widest range of drivers, but if you’re looking for the twin-motor’s AWD, you’ll have to shell out nearly another $10k.

Below is the full pricing breakdown:

Single Motor Extended Range

  • Core – $36,245
  • Plus – $40,195
  • Ultra – $41,895

Twin Motor Performance

  • Plus – $46,195
  • Ultra – $47,895

While the twin motor performance variant is quite a jump up in price above the single motor, the MSRP of all trims is below the current average transaction price for a new vehicle in the United States. However, bear in mind that Volvo’s assembled-in-China models will not qualify for the EV federal tax credit.

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Hyundai Ioniq 5 Quarter View
Best CarsFeaturesReviews

The best electric cars we’ve driven in 2023

In a rapidly transforming automotive landscape, EVs are taking center stage. What kind of auto journos would be if we didn’t put forth the effort to sample the latest in electric cars? So, we personally tested some of the leading cars on the market to share with you our quick takes and short reviews on the best electric cars of 2023, breaking down their standout features and performance metrics.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Ioniq 5 charging
Image: Hyundai

Starting price: $41,450

Horsepower: 168 to 320 hp

Torque: 258 to 446 lb-ft.

Combined MPGe: 101 to 114 mpge

Battery Capacity: 58 to 77.4 kWh

Range: 220 to 303 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? Not yet evaluated under new criteria

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 combines retro-futuristic styling with advanced driver aids and smooth, silent acceleration. It operates on an 800V electrical architecture, enabling blazing-fast charging, and it can travel up to 303 miles on a charge in its most generous configuration. While all-wheel drive is available, the most efficient and longest-range models are those with rear-wheel drive. The Ioniq 5 has a smooth ride and refined operation, and while it’s not the most powerful or exciting EV on the market, it’s certainly tuned for comfort and delivers on that promise.

Hyundai’s tech isn’t as fancy or flashy as others, but it gets the job done and makes interacting with the vehicle a pleasure. The EV comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, HD radio, SiriusXM, and more. Additionally, the Ioniq 5 earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS in 2022. As of this writing, it hasn’t yet been subjected to new crash-test standards for 2023.

Kia EV6

Kia EV6 rear quarter on display
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Alexander Migl

Starting price: $42,600

Horsepower: 167 to 576 hp

Torque: 258 to 545 lb-ft.

Combined MPGe: 79 to 117 mpge

Battery Capacity: 58 to 77.4 kWh

Range: 206 to 310 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? Not yet evaluated under new criteria

The Kia EV6 shares a platform and much of its underlying technology with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, though it presents unique styling and a hotter performance variant in the EV6 GT. The 800V architecture it features enables a 10 to 80 percent charge in as few as 18 minutes using the fastest chargers available. All configurations offer healthy acceleration, but the EV6 GT’s prowess rivals that of some supercars. At the same time, the SUV has engaging handling and can hold its own in corners. It’s a little tightly wound, but most will find the ride quality agreeable. 

Psst. To any speed junkies here, note it’s the only Korean EV available with that hotted-up, sports car-fighting powertrain option. Or at least it is until Hyundai drops the Ioniq 5 N on our shores. But until then, it’s an EV6 GT or bust!

Like Hyundai, Kia focuses on functionality over flashiness in its infotainment systems. It also offers two 12.3-inch screens, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 14 speakers, wireless charging, navigation, and more. It earned a Top Safety Pick in 2022, but the IIHS hasn’t yet smashed it in the newer, tougher side-crash tests.

Ford F-150 Lightning

F-150 Lightning in the dirt
Image: Ford

Starting price: $49,995

Horsepower: 452 to 580 hp

Torque: 775 lb-ft.

Combined MPGe: 66 to 70 mpge

Battery Capacity: 98 to 131 kWh

Range: 230 to 320 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? No

Ford wasn’t the first to market with an electric pickup, but it hit the market hard with the F-150 Lightning — a normal-looking, full-sized truck that is surprisingly capable and demonstrates decent range. Though it has raised prices and struggled to keep up with demand, Ford configured the truck to be as familiar as possible for everyday buyers, and the Lightning delivers on that goal. It offers fantastic interior space and comfort and plenty of available tech – including BlueCruise hands-free driving. Though its range extends to 320 miles, towing and hauling heavy loads has an outsized impact on the distance it can travel, but 66 to 70 mpge combined is still pretty darn good for what it is.

Ford’s excellent Sync infotainment system runs on a 12-inch touchscreen, and the truck comes standard with a 12-inch digital gauge cluster. Buyers can upgrade to a massive 15.5-inch display, and other options include wireless charging, HD radio, and SiriusXM radio. Though it missed out on a Top Safety Pick, the Lightning comes standard with a load of advanced safety kit, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keep assist, and more.

All said and done, it’s a fairly well-equipped and heavy-hitting product, even if it can get egregiously priced near the top of its trim levels. And sure. Although, it’s clearly not ideally sized for urban environments, don’t let a little girth deter you from an otherwise compelling product, especially if utility is a huge plus for you.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

Mercedes EQS quarter view
Image: Mercedes-Benz

Starting price: $104,400

Horsepower: 329 to 649 hp (751 hp w/ boost)

Torque: 417 to 700 lb-ft. (752 lb-ft. w/ boost)

Combined MPGe: 103 mpge

Battery Capacity: 108.4 kWh

Range: 277 to 350 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? Not yet tested

The Mercedes-Benz EQS is a flagship electric sedan from the luxury brand that offers futuristic tech, striking style, and an available AMG variant with breathtaking performance. No matter the powertrain choice, the car carries itself with authority and composure. It remains comfortable over various road surfaces and is surprisingly capable in the corners. At the same time, the interior remains quiet, and the car feels like an S-Class Mercedes at all times.

Mercedes offers a serious array of tech in the EQS, including standard 64-color ambient interior lighting, a 12.8-inch touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The top configuration includes a massive and seriously impressive 56 inches of display, including an almost 18-inch touchscreen. The EQS comes standard with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, pedestrian and cyclist detection, forward and rear automatic braking, and more.

Nissan Ariya

Nissan Ariya Front Fascia
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Kazya Kuruma

Starting price: $43,190

Horsepower: 214 to 389 hp

Torque: 221 to 442 lb-ft.

Combined MPGe: 87 to 101 mpge

Battery Capacity: 63 to 84 kWh

Range: 205 to 304 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? Not yet tested

Nissan had delays with its new EV, the Ariya, but it’s here for 2023 with a decent range and impressive horsepower. Acceleration feels solid, though the front-wheel drive model takes more than seven seconds to reach 60 mph. The all-wheel drive configuration is considerably quicker, making the run in 5.5 seconds, and the SUV manages itself well on the road. Braking and steering are confidence-inspiring, and the Ariya holds its own in the corners.

Nissan equips the Ariya with a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen running wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A Wi-Fi hotspot, HD radio, Amazon Alexa capability, and much more also come standard. The Ariya has a solid list of standard safety equipment, though the IIHS hasn’t tested it yet. It’s equipped with blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, a rearview camera, parking sensors, and driver attention warnings.

Genesis Electrified G80

Genesis Electrified G80
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Damian Oh

Starting price: $79,825

Horsepower: 365

Torque: 516 lb-ft.

Combined MPGe: 97 mpge

Battery Capacity: 87.2 kWh

Range: 282 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? Not yet evaluated under new criteria

Genesis took a tried-and-true approach with the Electrified G80, fitting batteries and an electric motor to the gas model’s body. The results are impressive: 365 horsepower, 282 miles of range, and all the luxury ride quality anyone could want. The car retains its flagship sedan feel, and the silent electric drivetrain offers strong acceleration and smooth operation. It’s not the most agile option around, but the car’s extreme level of comfort is a substantial consolation prize.

The Electrified G80 gets a 14.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 12 speakers, dual-zone automatic climate controls, a digital gauge cluster, and USB inputs. A 12.3-inch gauge cluster is available, along with wireless charging and an upgraded Lexicon audio system. The Electrified G80 earned a Top Safety Pick + in 2022 but hasn’t been subjected to the new, more intense side-crash tests. 

Cadillac Lyriq

Cadillac LYRIQ on China roads
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Dinkun Chen

Starting price: $58,590

Horsepower: 340 to 500 hp

Torque: 325 to 450 lb-ft.

Combined MPGe: 89 mpge

Battery Capacity: 102 kWh

Range: 307 to 312 miles

IIHS Top Safety Pick? Not yet tested

The Lyriq is Cadillac’s first EV, riding on GM’s advanced Ultium platform. And while not everyone on board Acceleramota seems to love it, there’s no denying what it has to offer GM fans. It offers up to 500 horsepower, and even the base configuration brings 340 ponies to the table. Acceleration isn’t exceptionally thrilling, but the SUV delivers refined power and good handling. It’s also every bit a Cadillac, bringing a smooth driving experience and a stable ride quality. The Lyriq’s one-pedal driving function works well, and standard braking feels solid.

The Lyriq’s dash is adorned with a massive array of screens, collectively spanning thirty-three inches, and equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, multiple USB ports, seven speakers, and more. Additionally, Cadillac includes ambient interior lighting, an AKG premium stereo, and a panoramic sunroof. Though it hasn’t been evaluated by the IIHS yet, the Lyriq comes standard with a vibrating safety alert seat, lane departure warnings, pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warnings. 

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Toyota Prius lineup
Buying GuidesFeatures

Best PHEVs: The 7 top plug-in hybrid cars and SUVs of 2023

Plug-in hybrids make great transitional vehicles for people wanting to ditch gas without all of the potential hassles of living with an EV. They offer all-electric range and efficient hybrid operation when the battery power is exhausted, beautifully splitting the balance between green and serene urban commuting and gas-powered highway hauling. While they’re a bit more expensive than traditional hybrid vehicles, their electric range means that many people can own one without needing to stop for gas until the occasional Disney trip or day-long errand run says they should. Heck, the site’s founder even owns one!

That said, we’ve rounded up our favorite PHEVs for 2023 here. The models on this list offer great tech, upscale interiors, and solid performance. Care to take a look at the best plug-ins the market has to offer? Perfect. Then let’s get rolling.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Quarter View
Image: Chrysler
  • Starting price: $50,795
  • Horsepower: 260 hp
  • Torque: 262 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 30 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 82 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 16 kWh
  • EV range: 32 miles 

Laugh all you want at minivans, but the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is genuinely one for the books. Interestingly, it used to be the only hybrid van on the block, but that changed when Toyota introduced the latest Sienna. But Chrysler beats it out with plug-in functionality and a surprisingly stout 32-mile range estimate. On top of that, it returns 82 MPGe and up to 30 mpg with its gas powertrain. The Pacifica Hybrid also brings comfortable minivan handling and confident-but-numb steering. 

Though aging, especially compared to its more recently updated rivals, the Pacifica Hybrid’s interior offers fantastic comfort and solid space for people and gear. Leather upholstery and heated front seats come standard, and the second-row captain’s chairs bring good padding and support. Chrysler uses Stellantis’ Uconnect infotainment system, which is easily one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces on the market. Even if it’s not the newest system to date, it rewards buyers with rapid touch response and a brainless-to-navigate layout that even our new editor-in-chief can attest to, having experienced many modern Stellantis/FCA vehicles. It runs flawlessly on the standard 10.1-inch touchscreen and brings wireless smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, USB inputs, and six speakers. 

Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV

Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in Front Quarter View
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Alexander Migl
  • Starting price: $42,410
  • Horsepower: 261 hp
  • Torque: 258 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 33 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 76 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 13.8 kWh
  • EV range: 31 miles

The Hyundai Santa Fe was an all-new model in 2021 and gained a frugal plug-in hybrid powertrain last year. While not a performance vehicle by any stretch of the imagination, the Santa Fe Hybrid offers brisk acceleration and reasonably athletic handling. At the same time, it maintains easy-going ride quality and offers a quiet cabin. 

With the recent overhaul, Hyundai moved the Santa Fe in a more premium direction, giving it an upscale interior with excellent materials quality and handsome design. Hyundai’s infotainment tech is less complicated than many other brands’ systems, and it runs smoothly on the Santa Fe PHEV’s standard 10.25-inch touchscreen. Other standard tech includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, wireless charging, and HD radio.

Hyundai Tucson PHEV

Hyundai Tucson PHEV front quarter view
Image: Hyundai
  • Starting Price: $37,500
  • Horsepower: 261 hp
  • Torque: 258 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 35 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 80 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 13.8 kWh
  • Range: 33 miles

The Hyundai Tucson was recently overhauled, which brought sharp style, updated hybrid functionality, and better tech. This SUV offers a smooth ride, solid acceleration, and a refined hybrid system that smoothly hands off between gas and electric components. All-wheel drive comes standard, and Hyundai opted for a six-speed automatic over a CVT here, which significantly improves drivability. At the same time, the SUV returns up to 80 MPGe combined and 38 mpg in gas mode. 

Regardless of trim, the Tucson offers a spacious, upscale interior with solid materials quality. There’s good head and legroom in both rows of seats, and passengers in the front enjoy comfortable buckets with good padding and support. An 8-inch touchscreen comes standard, bringing wireless smartphone mirroring. Wireless charging, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, and dual-zone automatic climate controls are also standard. 

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV front quarter view
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Alexander Migl
  • Starting Price: $60,360
  • Horsepower: 375 hp
  • Torque: 470 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 23 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 56 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 17.3 kWh
  • Range: 26 miles

The Grand Cherokee 4xe was launched by Jeep following the success of the plug-in hybrid Wrangler. The SUV offers a decent all-electric range with energetic acceleration, though the transition between gas and electric powertrain elements can sometimes be awkward. Four-wheel drive is standard, and a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission helps the powertrain maintain smooth, quiet operation. And, okay, so it’s not the most efficient of this gathering at only 23 mpg and 56 mpge combined, but it sure packs a healthy wallop of power and torque, great for off-the-line jumps and highway passes.

The Grand Cherokee offers comfortable seating for up to five people. Jeep offers a range of upscale features, including leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging seats, and a heated steering wheel. An 8.4-inch touchscreen comes standard, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six speakers, and a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster.

Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe PHEV on rocks
Image: Stellantis
  • Price: $60,360
  • Horsepower: 375 hp
  • Torque: 470 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 20 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 49 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 17.3 kWh
  • Range: 22 miles

Surprised that this made it? Come on, now. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe has become America’s best-selling plug-in hybrid, and its powertrain delivers good acceleration with a reasonable all-electric range. However, like the Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler 4xe’s powertrain sometimes stumbles in the handoff between the electric motors and gas components. The Wrangler can also be a handful to manage on the highway, as its off-road suspension makes it feel busy and sometimes unsettled at higher speeds.

It must be noted that while the Wrangler 4xe is the least efficient member of this club, it may as well be a Prius among standard Wranglers, eking out a healthy 20 mpg and 49 mpge combined. Hey, after all, it’s still a big ol’ Wrangler, sculpted by a wind tunnel if the wind tunnel was out of service. But try going to Moab in a Corolla Cross.

The new Wrangler is much more luxurious and plusher than its predecessors, but this is still a rugged off-road SUV we’re talking about. Jeep did a good job at balancing materials quality throughout the Wrangler’s cabin, as there’s a mix of low-rent and upscale materials throughout. The SUV comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen running Uconnect infotainment software. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, along with eight speakers and Bluetooth. Higher trim levels get a larger 8.4-inch screen and navigation.

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime XSE PHEV rolling shot
Image: Toyota
  • Price: $32,350
  • Horsepower: 220 hp
  • Torque: 139 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 48 to 52 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 114 to 127 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 13.6 kWh
  • Range: 39 to 44 miles

Toyota redesigned the Prius and its Prime plug-in variant for 2023, giving it a striking appearance overhaul that made it surprisingly attractive from a design standpoint. It doesn’t just look better, it’s also more engaging to drive, with more power and far better acceleration than the previous generation.

The plug-in powertrain provides solid acceleration and refined operation, and there are up to 44 miles of all-electric range on tap in the most efficient models (it varies on the wheel/tire package). Regardless of trim level and tires, Prius fans are in for one of the most efficient plug-ins by a vast margin and one of the most improved generations of Prius, period. And no better is that reflected than its cabin.

The Prius Prime’s interior feels more upscale and premium than in years past. Toyota implemented heavy updates to the infotainment system, making it easier to use and more intuitive. Front-seat space and comfort are both top-notch, but folks in the back seat may find a shortage of headroom because of the car’s sloping roof. An 8-inch touchscreen comes standard, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and Amazon Alexa functionality. 

Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 PHEV

Volvo XC60 T8 PHEV
Image: Volvo
  • Price: $58,495
  • Horsepower: 455 hp
  • Torque: 523 lb-ft.
  • MPG combined: 28 MPG
  • MPGe combined: 63 MPGe
  • Battery capacity: 18.8kWh
  • Range: 36 miles

The Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 PHEV blends Volvo’s safety and luxury aesthetic with an advanced plug-in powertrain and great tech. The SUV delivers up to 36 miles of all-electric range, and acceleration isn’t wimpy by any measure. At the same time, the XC60 maintains a comfortable ride, though it’s not as athletic as some rivals. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends all that delicious, fiery power to all four wheels, and the stout powertrain operates smoothly in most situations.

Oh, did anyone mention this thing pushes 523 pound-feet? The Grand Cherokee 4xe sprints, but this is definitely a hard charger, with magazine-tested zero-to-60 runs in the low-four-second range and quarter-mile sprints in the high-twelves. For reference, that’s Mustang GT territory. But you’d never know from a mere glance at its opulent innards.

Volvo’s austere Scandinavian design gives the XC60 a calming, serene feel, and the materials are top-notch, no matter where you look. The front seats are supportive and generously padded, complementing a spacious back seating area that comfortably accommodates adults. Volvo moved to Google-based infotainment, which operates well on the 9-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

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2025 Volkswagen Tiguan unveiled, coming to the U.S. soon

Blue-collar suburbanites and highway NPCs, rejoice! The new 2025 Volkswagen Tiguan has been revealed, and VW confirmed a version will be coming to the United States. Several years since its last big revamp, one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States is finally getting an all-new version, complete with hot new styling in line with the rest of the family along with fresh, high-tech powertrains.

Performance and exterior improvements

With engine choices of gas, turbodiesel, and mild-hybrid engines, the real star is the plug-in hybrid which is having a bit of a resurgence in the industry and making waves in cars like the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the Dodge Hornet, and the staff-favorite Alfa Romeo Tonale. Volkswagen has stated it will get up to 62 miles on battery alone before dipping into the gas reserve. With California requiring plug-in hybrids to be capable of at least 50 miles of all-electric range by 2035, it’s nice to see some manufacturers ahead of schedule.

2025 Volkswagen Tiguan hybrid
Image: Volkswagen

You’ll find the safety tech you’d expect on a new vehicle including blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking. An extensive range of option systems will also be available including a park assist with remote parking capability while the driver is outside of the vehicle using a smartphone app.

The design has been updated which is especially noticeable at the front with its super flat LED headlights and a new horizontal LED strip on the rear.

Interior improvements

Sitting in the driver’s seat, you’ll be greeted with a slew of new features. Physical buttons (praise the car gods!) have been added to the steering wheel, with a rotary dial to the center console for command over stereo volume and more. The dial has its own mini-screen as a modern and upscale touch. The dashboard appears to be using the same 15″ touchscreen found on other current VWs, including the Mk8 Golf R, ID.7, and ID.4, which offers a great deal of information near the driver’s sightline but has been criticized for binding many controls to the touchscreen and touchpad. Seats are equipped with heating and, get this, a massage function, which will be a welcome addition for long hours in traffic.

Overall interior design can be perceived as somewhat derivative and unoriginal, but there’s no denying that ruthless German efficiency. The rear seats appear flat but spacious, while the front seats are greeted by an appreciable level of color and brightwork in the dash panels, which compliment the lighter-colored upholstery option nicely. How much of this will transfer over to the North American variant is yet to be confirmed.

Image credit: VW

Volkswagen confirmed the U.S. version of the upgraded Tiguan will be longer than what’s been unveiled here, likely to satisfy our desires for more cavernous interiors. This was expected as it was the case for the previous generation. We’ll be on the lookout for an official North American announcement sometime next year.

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Electrify Expo New York entrance
EventsFeaturesNews

Electrify Expo 2023: our 5 favorite cars from America’s biggest EV auto show

Earlier this month, we were somehow entrusted with media credentials for Electrify Expo at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, just East of New York City (not too far from where we hold NYCars & Coffee each week). This little EV-focused festival was less New York International Auto Show and more CES, minus all the boring stuff from CES that doesn’t sit on four wheels. Unlike a traditional media expo full of idle concept cars designed to drum up headlines, Electrify Expo gave us the chance to drive cars that are already out, but without the anxiety-inducing pressures that come with test-driving at a dealer.

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Although we didn’t have time to take every car on display out for a spin, we at least had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few notable models from top carmakers like Lexus, Ford, Volvo, and Tesla. Without getting too in the weeds, I do have Some Opinions on the cars we saw. No, that doesn’t include the Ford Lightning. I did drive it, but I’ll save those thoughts for another day. Maybe when I’ve moved on mentally from the Fisker Alaska.

1. Mustang Mach-E GT

Electrify Expo 2023: Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

I unabashedly love the GT version of the Mach-E. The base Mach-E is whatever, but Electrify Expo flawlessly demonstrated why the Mach-E GT deserves a second look. For one, they hired a professional drifter to burn those tires bald, and that was a feat to behold. My car can do 0-60 in about 3.5 seconds, but 3.8 hits different when you’ve got instant torque. That it can handle like this while looking like that is a testament to the potential for fun driving in EVs and crossover SUVs alike when a carmaker cares about delivering an engaging experience for the driver rather than another cookie-cutter commuter car.

Whenever Ford is inevitably forced to turn off the lights on the Dark Horse, the Mach-E GT has established a solid enough baseline for what we can expect from the next generation of Mustang sports coupes.

2. Lexus RZ

Electrify Expo 2023: Lexus RZ steering yoke
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

The Lexus RZ has stirred up controversy recently, not only for its steer-by-wire system but Toyota’s also taken a page out of Tesla’s book and decided normal people need F1-style steering yokes. While I sadly didn’t get the chance to drive the yoke-equipped model, I did drive an RZ with a regular steering wheel and it was just as unremarkable as I anticipated given its shared DNA with the underwhelming Toyota bZ4X. Just get a Prius, and if that’s not lavish enough, meet the Toyota Crown.

3. BMW i5

Electrify Expo 2023: BMW i5
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

I said it in the newsletter, and it’s even truer now that I’ve seen it showcased next to the repulsive BMW iX: the new 5 Series looks fire, and the BMW i5 M60 is the best of the bunch. I’ve gone on record saying the BMW i4 M50 is the best EV I’ve driven, and that still holds true today.

At least as far as design goes, the electric 5 Series M takes all the positive qualities of the i4 M50 – 500+ horsepower with a sub-4 second 0-60 speed on a rear-biased AWD platform – and pairs them with a front end I hate a little less. It also helps that on its other side was the BMW i7, which I lamented as my worst driving experience in recent memory.

4. Volvo EX30

Electrify Expo 2023: Volvo EX30
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Mark my words: No matter how this little crossover SUV turns out, the Volvo EX30 will print money. I came this close (imagine my thumb and pointer finger very close together) to reserving one before my wife told me not to because she wanted the Alfa Romeo Tonale.

She made the right call, however, since 1) We needed a car and the EX30 doesn’t come out until next summer and 2) I don’t fully trust Geely with a Chinese-made Volvo. Not necessarily because it’s made in China – hell, the MacBook Pro I’m typing on was, too – but because most other Volvo models are still manufactured in Sweden. This was clearly a move to cut costs. Whether that means cutting corners remains to be seen.

5. Ford Eluminator concept truck

Electrify Expo 2023: Ford Eluminator concept truck
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Did you know you can buy a Mach-E motor from Ford’s website and swap it into any vehicle it fits? I didn’t either until I saw the Ford Eluminator concept truck, which is less of a truck and more of an overarching concept. For a little over four grand, Ford is saying you can put an electric motor with 480-horsepower and 634 pound-feet of torque in a 1978 F-Series pickup, sure. But you can also do your best RDJ impression and get a little more creative. For instance, if you’re mad about the Mach-E because it’s an SUV and not a proper Mustang, why not build your own electric muscle car? Show Ford how it’s done.

Honorable mention: Tesla Model X

Electrify Expo 2023: Tesla Model X converted into "house"
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

“It’s not a recession,” they say. Stop blowing your paychecks on avocado toast and someday you, too, can afford to live in a Tesla Model X.

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