The Friday Five:The Porsche Eyes 3-Row Ute, Dodge Hellcat Demise, and GM Heated Seat Comeback Edition

Beverly Braga | Nov 24, 2021

This Thanksgiving week may be a short one from a work perspective, but there’s no shortage of news to keep your automotive bellies satiated. For example, we know the used-car market is as volatile and in low supply as the new-car inventories. So, consider the results of the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. ALG Residual Value Awards as a helpful guide in deciding whether that used vehicle you’re eyeing to buy (or sell) is worth it.

The next-generation global Ford Ranger also debuted this week. Although not arriving in the U.S. just yet, the new truck provides a good sense of what to expect come 2023. Plus, Genesis unveiled the battery-electric version of its all-new GV70, and Nissan gave an update on the 2022 Altima, including adding a new Midnight Edition.

Our latest reviews showcase the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS and 2022 Volkswagen Golf R, while the Honda Odyssey tangos with the Toyota Sienna in a minivan comparison. We also have an explainer on the Nissan VC-Turbo engine, which is found in the Altima and Rogue and several Infiniti models.

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

Porsche Considers Adding 3-Row SUV

Porsche Cayenne GTS Red Front View

These days, many crossover SUVs (CUVs) offer one of two things: a third-row option or an electrified variant. And if the automaker is feeling fancy, maybe the vehicle will offer both, which is precisely what Porsche might be doing.

According to Automotive News, Porsche is considering adding a 3-row crossover to its lineup. And it would do so in the form of a brand new model and not simply shove a teeny row of seats for wee people in the Cayenne. Allegedly arriving in the second half of the decade, the new CUV will launch as a plug-in hybrid followed by a battery-electric model.

Confirmed: Dodge Hellcat Dead After 2023

Have you hugged a Hellcat recently? In an interview with Motor AuthorityDodge CEO Tim Kuniskis unabashedly said, “I will have this car, this platform, this powertrain as we know it through the end of ‘23. There’s two more years to buy a Hellcat, then it’s history.”

Not that we didn’t see this coming as we know of Stellantis’ electrification plans and the Dodge eMuscle plug-in hybrid debuting next year. But it still hurts to hear confirmation of the Hellcat’s final days. In large part, the reason is emissions, which is why the Durango SRT Hellcat was a one-and-done model. Kuniskis added that Dodge can meet emissions with the Hellcat cars, but buyers are “going to pay a lot of compliance fees.”

Ford Cancels Rivian-Based EV Project

Two years after investing $500 million in electric-vehicle (EV) automaker RivianFord is pulling the plug on a project that had the startup building an EV for the legacy brand. Why? Because Ford doesn’t need the help anymore. After all, since 2019, Ford has unveiled its own EVs with the Mustang Mach-EE-Transit, and F-150 Lightning.

The cancellation won’t make for an awkward family gathering, though. Calling it quits on the Lincoln EV didn’t hurt the relationship, and since Rivian went public, Ford’s initial investment is now worth $1.2 billion. The holidays are merry and bright in this household.

GM: Heated Seats Retrofit Doable, But with a Smaller Discount

Last week, General Motors announced that it would no longer offer heated/ventilated seats and heated steering wheels on many of its Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs. Blaming the global microchip shortage, the automaker provided $100 to $500 discounts with no option to retrofit. But in a welcome turn of events, GM now says that it can add the warming feature sometime next year.

However, this only applies to the heated and ventilated seats, and the discount has now dropped to a mere $50 (from $500). GM cannot retrofit heated steering wheels, and the feature’s omission now comes with a $150 discount. Low-key Scrooge level, GM.

Rumor: Audi, BMW in the Hunt for McLaren

In what is the closest version of Page Six—Auto Edition, rumors have been rampant lately about Audi and BMW, and McLaren. Who is wooing who? Will they, or won’t they? Of course, everyone denies it. BMW was the first to say nope. Audi said it was open to “cooperation opportunities” but declined to state with whom. And as if compelled, McLaren released a statement that it had not been sold. Should anything happen, the primary focus could be the Formula 1 team. After all, Audi is no stranger to supercars, already having Lamborghini in the portfolio.

The automakers are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on November 24, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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