The Friday Five:The Canceled Continental, Electric Trucks Are Really Coming, and Jeep Lower Altitude Edition

Beverly Braga | Jul 03, 2020

This week marked the halfway point of 2020, and second-quarter automotive sales reports. And the numbers are not good. Expectedly, the industry as a whole is down but the summer season does offer upbeat news in terms of what’s to come. Just this week we’ve covered new vehicle debuts from the 2021 Audi Q5 to the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, with several more in between.

But that’s not everything that was happening in the automotive space. 

Lincoln Confirms the End of the Continental

After 2020, the Lincoln Continental will be no more. The long-running nameplate was introduced in 1939 only to be discontinued in 2002. Yet the flagship was reintroduced in 2016 when Lincoln was on the rebound, leading the way with a new marquee grille and luxuries like 30-way massaging seats. Sedan sales slowed, however, as crossovers and SUVs stole away more customers. Earlier this year, Lincoln announced the MKZ would cease production as well. 

Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Edition

Lincoln will continue to sell the Continental in China through the 2021 model year, but the brand’s U.S. lineup next year and in the foreseeable future will focus on the robust and profitable SUV market.

Newly Unveiled Lordstown Endurance to be First Electric Pickup to Market

In the race to be the first all-electric mass-market truck available to consumers, Lordstown Motors has picked up the pace. The electric vehicle (EV) startup unveiled its first vehicle, the Endurance, late last week from its Ohio-based headquarters. Although no engineering or production-related details were shared, the light-duty pickup will offer 600 horsepower, 6,000 pounds of towing capacity, an estimated range of 250 miles, and a starting price of $52,500. 

Lordstown says deliveries will begin early next year, first to fleet buyers with other customers to follow. If this timetable holds, the company will beat the likes of Bollinger, Rivian, and Hummer — all of whom began dancing along the “coming soon” line much earlier. 

Reservations for Nikola Badger FCEV/EV Truck Now Open with Company Matching

Nikola Motors, a specialized manufacturer of heavy-duty commercial trucks with electric and hydrogen powertrains, is slated to introduce its Badger pickup on December 4. But prospective buyers can put down deposits now, which will also secure a spot at the unveil event as well as an entry for a free truck. 

Additionally, the fully-refundable deposit, of which there are three options, will not only be applied to the final purchase price but also be matched by the automaker. The packages are priced at $250, $1,000, and $5,000 with varying levels of perks. Nevertheless, those opting for the $5,000 “Honey Package” are invariably looking at a $10,000 discount before any federal or state credits are calculated.

The Nikola Badger will be available in battery and fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) variants. The EV starts at $60,000 and offers up to 300 miles of range; the FCEV offers twice as much distance and starts at $80,000. Estimated horsepower is listed at up to 906 with peak torque of 980 pound-feet. Production is expected to begin in early 2022.

Ford Offers Buyback Protection Program for Customers Who Suffer Job Loss

Covid-19 will be part of the global narrative for months to come, and everyone has been or will be affected by the pandemic. If not physically, then economically, socially, etc. And Ford has acknowledged this unknown by introducing the Ford Promise buyback program.

Whether purchasing or leasing a new or used vehicle, if financed through Ford Credit, customers can return the vehicle within a year if they experience a job loss and can longer make payments. The Ford Promise protection begins 30 days after purchase or lease and applies to 2019-2021 model-year vehicles.

Customers will be responsible for the difference between their remaining balance and the vehicle’s trade-in value as well as any late fees, deferred payments, and vehicle damage costs. When those requisites are met, the account will be deemed paid and subsequently closed. The enrollment period ends September 30.

Jeep Gladiator Altitude Joins Model Lineup

And then there were eight. Jeep has announced a new trim for the Gladiator line, dubbed Altitude. Not be confused with the top-of-the-line High Altitude model, the entry level-ish Gladiator Altitude is based on the Sport S

Offering a factory-installed “blacked out” look, Altitude vehicles will feature a body-color grille with dark gray inserts and headlamps, body-colored fender flares, black Jeep badging, and dark gray wheels. The three-piece Freedom hardtop will be standard in black with an optional dual top available. The interior will feature more black accents: cloth seats, steering wheel stitching, instrument panel mid-bolster and bezels.

Arriving in the third quarter of this year, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Altitude starts at $38,340 before options and the $1,495 destination fee.

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