The Friday Five:The Broncomania, Millionth Tesla, Safe Mazda Edition

Christian Wardlaw | Mar 13, 2020

This past week, we published in-depth reports about how oil price drops affect gas prices, the cancellation and rescheduling of the 2020 New York Auto Show due to the coronavirus pandemic, and new Level 2 partial automated driving system guidelines from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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

New Ford Bronco Photos Leaked

The internet went wild over leaked photos of the 2021 Ford Bronco and it’s ‘lil sidekick, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. Just like a modern Jeep Wrangler recalls the Willys MB, the new Broncos hearken back to the 1966 model pictured here.

Red 1966 Ford Bronco Top Off Doors Off

Based on the images circulating everywhere online, the bigger and tougher 2021 Bronco is set to take on the Wrangler, right down to its apparently removable roof panels. Meanwhile, the smaller crossover called the Bronco Sport reminds of both the original bucking SUV and the first-generation Ford Escape. Speaking of the Escape, the Bronco Sport shares its platform and, likely, its powertrains. It will be a more affordable way to get a new Bronco.

Hyundai Kona N Spied Testing

If you’ve never driven a turbocharged Hyundai Kona, you don’t know what a fun little crossover it is to fling around. Based on new spy photos, the Kona is about to aha’aina (party) on the pavement like never before.

That’s because a new Hyundai Kona N variant is undergoing final testing in advance of a 2022 refresh that will also likely see the vehicle adopt the automaker’s Parametric Dynamics design themes that debut on the redesigned 2021 Elantra.

Expect the Kona N to include the same turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder found in the Veloster N, which makes between 250 and 275 horsepower plus 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Naturally, given the genesis of its N badge, it will be dynamically tuned on Germany’s Nurburgring circuit.

Tesla Builds Its Millionth Car

Elon Musk and his upstart electric vehicle company, Tesla, built its first car in 2008. Now, 12 years later, the automaker’s millionth car rolled off the assembly line at the company’s factory in Fremont, California.

Painted bright red and equipped with the optional Performance Upgrade that bumps top speed to 155 mph, lowers the suspension, installs better brakes, and bolts on 21-inch wheels, the Model Y is Tesla’s latest vehicle, a 5- or 7-passenger compact crossover SUV.

Tesla Model Y prices start at $52,990, but a less expensive version with lower total driving range goes into production in early 2021.

2020 Mazda CX-30 Safety Ratings Announced

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the new 2020 Mazda CX-30 earns a Top Safety Pick rating following the organization’s standard battery of testing. But, in a certainly unexpected twist, the rating only applies to versions of the compact crossover SUV that have the standard LED headlights.

What’s the issue? The available curve-adaptive LED headlights, which help the driver to see better around corners at night, cast too much glare for oncoming drivers, according to the IIHS.

From a shopper’s perspective, what might be most important here is that the CX-30 aced all crash-impact protection and crash-avoidance tests.

2021 Audi RS6 Avant Prices Start at $109,000

Driving enthusiasts love station wagons. Why is that? They have all the family carrying and cargo toting capabilities of an SUV but sit low to the ground for better handling through a reduced center of gravity. Plus, nobody else wants a wagon, so they’re rare on American roads.

Audi has something special for this kind of car buyer, and it’s called the RS6 Avant. Equipped with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 making 591 hp, standard Quattro all-wheel drive with a sport rear differential, and an 8-speed automatic transmission with launch control, the Audi RS6 Avant accelerates from zero to 60 mph in a claimed 3.5 seconds.

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