The Friday Five:The Silverado EV Heads to Vegas, Last Lotus ICE Gets Priced, and OEMs Stop Suing Each Other Edition

Beverly Braga | Oct 08, 2021

This week, the news and reviews feed was a busy one. We kick off with the latest J.D. Power consumer survey results for the 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study. The results focus on the adoption and useability of new automotive technologies, like Genesis Face Connect.

Speaking of tech, General Motors announced Ultra Cruise, a new advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) that it says will allow semi-autonomous driving in 95 percent of driving scenarios.

On the new-cars front, Honda teased the Civic Type RFord added two special-edition packages for the Mustang, Mazda will bring three new crossover SUV models by 2023, and we previewed the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Regarding models already on the market, we have new expert reviews on the Ford MaverickGenesis GV70Mazda MX-30Lexus NX, and Volvo XC90. And our latest crossover comparison features the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

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

Chevrolet Silverado EV to Debut at CES - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

Electric Chevy Silverado Silhouette

Mark your calendars. The electric truck war is officially on! Sure, we’ve got startups like Rivian and Bollinger, but would they really have competed against the Ford F-150 Lightning? Even in sheer production numbers? Nope.

But the Chevrolet Silverado is a different story. While Ford has been the truck sales king ad nauseam, Chevy and Ram have a good enough battle going on—even if in a distant second place. Last year, Silverado sales were up 3.2 percent to beat the Ram 1500 by 30,418 units. Now add a Silverado EV to compete directly with the F-150 Lightning, and, well, Ram could be stuck in third-place purgatory.

We’ll find out more details (and hopefully specs) on January 5, when the battery-electric Silverado debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Price of Goodbye: Last Lotus Gas-Powered Sports Car Starts at $75K

The Lotus Emira is the automaker’s newest mid-engine sports car and its last to be equipped with an internal combustion engine. The Emira replaces the discontinued Elise, Exige, and Evora before itself being replaced by an all-electric variant.

The 2023 Emira base model will start at $74,900 (excluding destination) and feature a 360-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 courtesy of Mercedes AMG. Opt for the deluxe First Edition, and you’ll find a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 under the hood. The Toyota-sourced engine produces 400 hp, and Lotus claims a 4.5-second zero-to-62 mph time. The First Edition will start at $93,900—less than the Evora GT with the same engine.

Mini Launches New Anniversary Edition - Find the best Mini deals!

To celebrate 60 years of racing ingenuity, Mini unveiled details of its latest Anniversary Edition. Available on 2-door John Cooper Works Hardtop models, the car will feature Mini motorsports heritage throwback details.

For U.S.-market cars, all Anniversary Editions will be painted in British Racing Green and feature white bonnet stripes and red outlines—a nod to the Cooper Car Company’s original logo design. The logo itself will also appear on the door sills and side scuttles. Lastly, “74,” the Mini Cooper’s assigned number during its first-ever race, will be prominently featured on the hood. Available now, the Mini Anniversary Edition is priced at $39,900 (excluding destination).

Five Midwestern States Develop Bi-Partisan Coalition for EV Charging Network

Last week, Michigan wanted to beat Indiana toward implementing wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging via the road. This week, apparently, everyone is playing nice. The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have joined forces to develop an EV charging network for the Midwest. The partnership, called the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition (REV Midwest), has broad goals such as reducing emissions and creating jobs, but specific ones as well.

The plan also states that the construction of the charging network needs to speed up and include support for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, not just mass-market consumer EVs. REV Midwest is also looking at increasing the production of EVs in the Midwest. The hope is that more charging stations plus hometown-built pride could help the region increase EV adoption, like the West and East coasts.

OEMs Settle Lawsuits Against Each Other, Except Tesla - Find the best Tesla deals!

In November, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) filed a lawsuit against the Volkswagen Group, alleging the off-road mode of its SUVs was similar to Land Rover’s and infringed on a patent. As a result, JLR wanted to block sales of the Lamborghini UrusPorsche CayenneVolkswagen Tiguan, and Audi’s A6 AllroadQ5Q7, and Q8. According to Automotive News, the trial was set to start next week. No details of the settlement have been made public.

General Motors was miffed when Ford announced its BlueCruise hands-free driving system earlier this year, saying the name for the ADAS was a rip-off of its long-established Super Cruise trademark. So, GM sued. But the spat is apparently behind them now. GM said in a statement that they’ve “resolved the case and related proceedings amicably.” It must’ve been amicable since Ford can still use the BlueCruise name.

However, if Tesla has a problem with you, you’ll not only feel the wrath of an Elon Musk Twitterstorm but also a lawsuit. The EV automaker’s target is fellow EV upstart Rivian. Tesla filed its grievances 14 months ago but is claiming that Rivian continues to poach not only its employees but also its proprietary next-generation battery technology. A California judge allowed Tesla to add the new accusations to its pending case. Rivian, for its part, lost its initial request for dismissal.

The automakers are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on October 8, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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