The Friday Five:The Genesis GV70 Teaser, Mustang Stick Shifts Canceled, and Taos Engine Calculated Edition

Beverly Braga | Oct 02, 2020

This week, we welcome October, even though the scents of pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider has been permeating the air for what feels like ages. In terms of auto news, the all-new 2021 Acura MDX, 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible, and 2022 Infiniti QX60 warranted early previews while Ford dropped some knowledge and pricing, respectively, on its highly-anticipated 2021 models, the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E.

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

All-New Genesis GV70 Teased in Newly Released Images - Find the best Genesis deals!

The Genesis GV80 is just now arriving in dealerships, but the brand’s first-ever crossover SUV will barely have time to let its new-car smell fade before the automaker launches another CUV. Genesis released official photos of a camouflaged GV70 this week. 

Genesis GV70 Front View

Smaller than the midsize GV80, but looking remarkably similar even though under wraps, the GV70 will compete with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Based on the G70 sedan, the GV70 should go on sale sometime next year, likely as a 2022 model. Pricing is estimated to start around $40,000. Genesis had announced a three-crossover lineup, but the timing of number three is unknown at this time.

Ford Discontinues Stick Shift-Equipped Shelby Mustang GT350, GT350R  - Find the best Ford deals!

Another one bites the dust in the manual-transmission club, and this time the deceased is a member of the muscle car family. In favor of the Mustang Shelby GT500, Ford is ending production of the Shelby GT350 and GT350R variants after the 2020 model year — both of which are stick shift only. Alas, the surviving GT500 is not a stick. The supercharged V-8-powered, 760-horsepower GT500 has a dual-clutch automatic with a rotary shift dial on the center console. Eh?

Although offering less power with its naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V-8, the GT350 is no slouch with a just-as-exuberant 526 hp and 429 pound-feet of torque. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. While they last, the 2020 Ford Mustang GT350 starts at $60,440, and the track-tuned GT350R is priced from $73,435. The destination fee adds another $1,195.

Don’t worry. You can still row your own gears in other versions of the Mustang.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Award - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC recently earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The vehicle earned Good ratings in six crashworthiness tests and Advanced or Superior grades in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front-crash prevention tests. The GLC, when equipped with the optional Driver Assistance Package, earned Superior marks. 

The midsize luxury crossover missed the targeted Top Safety Pick+ award, however. The “plus” distinction is the highest IIHS rating and requires vehicles to earn an Acceptable or Good headlight rating for all available lighting options. While the GLC’s optional adaptive LED projector headlights earned a Good grade, its standard LED reflector headlamps were rated Poor. Mercedes-Benz told the IIHS it plans to address the issue for 2021.

Volkswagen Releases Engine Details for Upcoming Taos CUV - Find the best Volkswagen deals!

Ahead of its official October 13 unveiling, Volkswagen released performance details of its all-new Taos compact crossover. To be outfitted with a turbocharged 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine, the Taos will garner 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The engine is a modified version of the 1.4-liter found in the Jetta, and the extra 0.1-liter displacement for the Taos adds 11 hp and will offer improved fuel efficiency. 

Front-wheel drive is standard and paired with an 8-speed automatic with Sport mode. Vehicles with all-wheel-drive get a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Taos slots below the Tiguan in the VW lineup and will challenge the Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Compass in the compact CUV segment. The VW Taos should go on sale next summer.

Plug-In Hybrids Average Lower Lifetime Maintenance Costs Versus Other Powertrains

According to recent data presented by Consumer Reports, electric vehicles (EV) are undoubtedly more economical to own over time than a vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine (ICE). 

In the first 50,000 miles of ownership, battery electric vehicles (BEV) average $0.012/mile in repair and maintenance costs. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and ICE subsequently follow suit with $0.021 and $0.028. 

At 100,000 miles, the order of affordability doesn’t change, but PHEVs close the gap with an $0.031/mile average to a BEV’s $0.028. The ICE goes entirely out of step with a $0.060/mile expenditure. 

At the 200,000-mile mark, PHEVs dethrone BEVs from the top spot with a relatively steady $0.033/mile cost. BEVs fall to second place at $0.043/mile, and ICEs remain an ever distant third with $0.079/mile. When calculating the lifetime average, which CR listed as 200,000 miles in its report, PHEVs held on to its podium win with $0.030, BEVs at $0.031, and ICE at $0.061.

Consumer Reports did not explain why the numbers finished this way but perhaps the PHEV, essentially a BEV-ICE combo, offers the best use of components and, therefore, provides the maximum benefits of both worlds.

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