The Friday Five:The Land Rover Rooftop Suite, BMW Fob-Less Entry, and Ram Hellcat Dust Cloud Edition

Beverly Braga | Jun 26, 2020

This week, we released results of the J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study, and there were impressive changings in the rankings—positive and negative. Read all about the latest IQS figures here

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

Land Rover Defender Can Double as Your Next Campsite

As a brand that has always supported social distancing by embracing the faraway outdoors, Land Rover has partnered with Autohome, which developed the world’s first rooftop tent in 1958, to produce a bespoke version for the all-new Defender 110. 

2020 Land Rover Defender 110 Roof Tent

Manufactured with a lightweight fiberglass shell, the Defender roof tent deploys within seconds and can be done with one hand. Setup requires a simple unclip of a rear fastener and lifting the shell slightly before the gas struts take over to fully open the covering. Measuring 7.6 feet long, 4.3 feet wide, and almost 5 feet tall, the tent comes with a stowage bag and can be folded flat.

With enough room for two adults, the Defender rooftop tent includes a full-size luxury cotton mattress, pillows, an interior LED light, a rear canopy view, and a compact aluminum ladder. Priced at $3,827, it’s currently only available in the U.K. But as U.S customers begin to receive their vehicles, it may be a matter of time before the Defender roof tent appears on the stateside accessory list.

Tesla Offers a Summer Flash Sale on Autopilot

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted (as he is wont to do) that basic Autopilot is available now as an in-app purchase for $2,000, but only through July 1. Although new Tesla vehicles are equipped with these driver-assistance features as standard, that wasn’t always the case. So, for existing owners who didn’t opt in at the beginning, now is the chance to upgrade your vehicle’s safety systems at a discount. Basic Autopilot bundles together adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and lane keeping assistance capabilities.

Owners with Autopilot-equipped vehicles also can upgrade to Full Self-Driving (FSD) Capability at a reduced price of $7,000. The rate increases by $1,000 next month. This FSD upgrade adds hands-free technology that allows the vehicle to take additional control like navigating highway on- and off-ramps, passing slower traffic, making lane changes, self-parking, and summoning from parking. And if you’re on the fence about FSD, note that Tesla has announced plans to switch FSD to a subscription-based system by the end of the year.

BMW, Apple Announce Industry-First Fully Digital Key On iPhone

BMW was the first car company to integrate the iPod and offer wireless CarPlay in its vehicles. As if the Bavarian automaker’s taste for Apple products wasn’t already apparent, BMW owners will soon be able to use their iPhones to unlock and drive their vehicles. 

The upcoming BMW Digital Key will be supported and securely stored within Apple Wallet. The digital key, which you set up via the BMW app, will not only enable unlock and locking controls but is sharable with up to five additional drivers. You can also access-restrict the digital key, configuring everything from speed and horsepower to radio volume to each of the five users, which is perfect for households with teen drivers. 

BMW Digital Key will be available on most models built after July 1, and for use in 45 countries. Compatible Apple products for the digital key will be iPhone models XR, XS, and newer as well as the Apple Watch Series 5 and newer. 

Jaguar I-Pace to Be World’s First High-Power Charging Wireless Taxis

Jaguar Land Rover has agreed to provide Oslo, Norway with 25 I-Pace electric vehicles as part of a multinational venture to build a high-powered wireless charging infrastructure for the city’s taxis. With a plan to be emission-free by early 2024, Norway’s capital is hoping the “ElectriCity” project—the world’s first—will lead to greater acceptance and use of EVs worldwide. 

In order to fully implement EVs as taxis on a 24-hour basis, the vehicles need the ability to charge without travel restrictions or being tethered to a charging station for extended periods of time. As part of the ambitious partnership, 50-75 kW charging plates will be installed in the ground at specific pick-up/drop-off points and the Jaguar I-Pace will be designed with compatible wireless charging technology. Charging will be automatic and provide 6-8 minutes of energy per each 50-kW charge. With multiple battery boosts, the EVs can maintain a high charge level even while in continuous operation. 

Ram Teases Summer Debut of Hellcat-Powered TRX Performance Pickup

In 2016, Ram unveiled its Rebel TRX concept performance truck that produced 575 horsepower thanks to a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine. On paper, the Rebel TRX was meant to not just beat the Ford Raptor but to trounce it. Yet it was never built…until now?

The 9-second clip posted to Ram’s Twitter feed shows nothing but a dirt cloud. Literally. However, “TRX” is not-so-subtly emblazoned on the screen (i.e., intense slow-motion effects) before the dust even settles. The tweet states late summer 2020 as the unveil. Industry insiders speculate the 707-hp V-8 currently in the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats will also befit the Ram TRX and estimate a $56,000 starting price when the truck arrives next year. 

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