Mazda has unveiled its new flagship vehicle, the 2024 CX-90, which replaces the CX-9 in the lineup. The three-row CX-90 is wider and longer with room for up to eight passengers, providing more room than the CX-9.
The CX-90 is based on Mazda’s new large platform, which features a rear-wheel bias layout. Mazda has not announced the exterior or interior dimensions, but given the fact that it can now hold more passengers, we expect it to have more shoulder room than the CX-9.
There are two engine options to choose from. The standard engine is a new turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-6 E-Skyactiv G engine that’s mated to a M-Hybrid Boost electric motor that’s situated between it and the eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain generates a combined 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel. You’ll notice that’s the most powerful Mazda series production engine yet.
The more efficient version is the E-Skyactiv plug-in hybrid that mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor that generates a combined 323 hp and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The plug-in hybrid is powered by a 17.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Mazda has not announced the electric range estimates.
The CX-90 also features the brake-based Kinematic Posture Control torque vectoring system that debuted on the 2022 MX-5 Miata. The system helps limit body roll and improve the SUV’s handling.
Inside the CX-90’s cabin has a minimalistic design, like the CX-50. At the top of the dashboard there’s 12.3-inch screen, which requires you to use the rotary dial on the center console when you’re on the move. Distinct features include the optional Kumihimo cloth dashboard trim and exposed-grain Maple trim.
Mercedes-Benz has announced that the 2024 GLE-class and AMG GLE models are getting mid-cycle updates, with some styling updates and new powertrain options.
The entire GLE lineup is now electrified thanks to the addition of a 48-volt hybrid system with a starter-generator. The GLE 350 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower, while the GLE 450 gets a 3.0-liter engine with 375 hp and the GLE 580 has a 4.0-liter engine with 510 hp.
The big news is the addition of the new GLE 400 e plug-in hybrid, which features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s mated to a 134 hp electric motor to generate a combined 381 hp and 479 lb-ft. Mercedes hasn’t announced the electric range for the GLE plug-in hybrid. The GLE 580 also gets a new off-road package that adds additional production under the SUV and an additional 1.2-inches of ground clearance.
The sportier options are the AMG versions with the GLE 53 arriving with 429 hp and the GLE 63 S with 603 hp. The AMG versions come standard with more features, like the AMG Performance exhaust system, parking assistance package, heated and ventilated front seats, MBUX Augmented Reality for Navigation and the AMG Performance Steering wheel. New trailer technology has also been added.
On the outside the changes are small with updated headlights and taillights, and additional chrome.
Acura is getting ready to introduce its first electric vehicle, the 2024 ZDX and ZDX Type S. With orders slated to begin later this year, Acura has announced that it buyers will only be able to buy a ZDX online, which is similar to other automakers, like Volvo, Ford and GM.
We don’t know yet when the 2024 ZDX will debut, but Acura has released a few teaser photos of a camouflaged ZDX Type S. We do know that the ZDX will be based on GM’s Ultium EV platform, which means that it will share some of its DNA with vehicles, like the Chevy Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. Honda is also getting its own version called the Prologue.
“In 2023, we will see the strategies we’ve been talking about, including growing sales of light truck models, increasing volume of hybrid-electric models and the start of digital sales at Acura,” said Vice President of Sales, Mamadou Diallo. “All this leads toward our vision of 100-percent electrified sales by 2040 to fulfill our ultimately goal of zero emissions by 2050.”
Last week Audi pulled the wraps off its latest concept, the Activesphere concept, which is the automaker’s latest “sphere” concept. We don’t know if the Activesphere is a preview of something we’ll eventually see enter production, but we do have confirmation that one of the earlier concepts is a preview of the next-generation A8.
Autocar spoke to design chief, Marc Lichte during the debut of the Activesphere concept, where he provided some hints about what we can expect from the 2024 A8. In September 2021, Audi unveiled the sleek Grandsphere concept, which we now have confirmation that the next A8 will be inspired by it. “The Grandsphere is a very concrete teaser. It’s not far away from what will become production. It’s not 1:1 but very close,” Lichte stated.
The Grandsphere concept is part of the “sphere” concept family that includes the Activesphere, Skysphere and Urbansphere. But according to Audi, the Grandsphere is the closest to a future production vehicle. The Grandsphere concept is based on the new PPE electric car platform that Audi co-developed with Porsche. The Macan EV will be the first Porsche to use the new platform.
Ford has announced that it is going to ramp up production of the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover in 2023. The Mustang Mach-E was the number 3 best selling EV in 2022, so Ford is hoping to move it up higher in the sales ranks by not only increasing production, but also reducing the pricing across the board.
“We are not going to cede ground to anyone. We are producing more EVs to reduce customer wait times, offering competitive pricing and working to create an ownership experience that is second to none,” said Marin Gjaja, Chief Customer Officer, Ford Model e.
The pricing for the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E now starts at $45,995, which is a $900 reduction. The model with the biggest price reduction is the GT Extended Range, which starts at $63,995, $5,900 cheaper than before. Ford also says that existing Mustang Mach-E customers awaiting delivery of their vehicle will automatically receive the adjusted price and for customers with a sale date after Jan. 1, 2023, and already have their Mustang Mach-E, Ford will also honor the updated pricing.
Lastly for buyers that decide to finance their Mustang Mach-E between Jan. 30 and April 3, 2023, Ford Credit will be offering special rates as low as 5.34%.
We talk a lot about the Cadillac Escalade, but what if you want something at the other end of the spectrum. That’s where the small Cadillac XT4 comes in. It’s a stylish small crossover that attempts to give you the same luxurious experience as the Escalade. In this hotly contested segment, the XT4 is going up against some heavyweights like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Does the XT4 succeed at its mission? In some areas yes, but in some others Cadillac’s smallest crossover could work a bit harder.
On the outside the XT4 is a stylish crossover that has a more unique look that helps it stand out from its German rivals. The angular styling is distinct and although the XT4 has been around for a few years, it still looks fresh. Cadillac didn’t give the 2023 XT4 any big exterior updates for the new model year, but it is available in two new colors: Argent Silver Metallic and Radiant Red Tintcoat.
While the exterior is a stand out, the XT4’s interior could use some upgrades to make it feel more luxurious, like we expect from Cadillac. The XT4’s interior is covered in materials that don’t feel very premium. The dashboard is covered in fake leather and other parts of the interior are covered in hard plastic. The overall design of the interior is also not very memorable, plus there are too many parts shared with GM’s other vehicles, which makes the interior not feel very special. The good news is that there’s ample space in both rows while the cargo area is a tight squeeze for a weekend’s worth of gear.
On the tech front, the 8-inch touchscreen looks pretty basic and in the front of the driver there isn’t a fully digital instrument cluster, like we’ve come to expect from pretty much every automaker now. There is a head-up display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but we wish the XT4 had something similar to the Escalade’s large curved screen to make it feel more special.
Under the hood there’s only one engine available, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, that’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. Around town there’s more than enough power to get you moving, but the engine could be a bit more refined. Its sound is a bit more coarse than we’d expect. With 235 hp on tap, the XT4 is more than capable, but also not very sporty or engaging to drive.
The suspension provides a smooth comfortable ride, but if you encounter some twists and turns along your route, the XT4 quickly lets you know that it isn’t happy. The steering also lacks feedback, while the brakes aren’t a stand out either. Overall the driving experience in the XT4 is not entirely memorable, nor does it really present a challenge for its German rivals. If you want a competent, smooth riding crossover the XT4 could be good for you, but again some crossovers costing thousands less are more enjoyable to drive.
The XT4’s fuel economy ratings are pretty average at 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with front-wheel drive, and 22/29 mpg with all-wheel drive.
On the safety front, the XT4 comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. If you want adaptive cruise control and “enhanced” automatic emergency braking you have to add the Driver Assist package, which lists for $1,100. We do wish that the XT4 was offered with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free tech, like the Escalade.
The 2023 Cadillac XT4 is available in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium and Sport. The pricing for the base Luxury trim level with front-wheel drive starts at $37,490, making it a pretty good value on paper. But that price quickly skyrockets when you add the Driver Assist package ($1,100), Technology package ($1,400) and the Enhanced Visibility package ($1,500) and a panoramic sunroof ($1,500). A fully equipped XT4 Sport with all-wheel drive easily reaches over the $50k mark.
At the end of the day, the 2023 Cadillac XT4 is a stylish luxury crossover that stands out with its looks, but easily falls to the rear of the pack with its boring driving experience and easily forgettable interior.
Back in November, Genesis unveiled the stunning Genesis X Convertible EV concept. At the time it wasn’t confirmed if Genesis would build a production version of the electric convertible, but if we go back to 2015, Genesis did announce plans for a coupe. Now we have the official confirmation that the Genesis X Convertible concept is headed to production.
Automotive News is reporting that Genesis Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke confirmed plans for a production version of the X Convertible at an annual dealer meeting. The info comes from the head of the Genesis National Dealer Advisory Council, Peter Lanzavecchia.
“When he said that at the dealer meeting—to say it in front of a couple of hundred Genesis dealers—that’s a pretty good sign,” Lanzavecchia stated in an interview.
Genesis dealers have been asking for a coupe, so it’s likely that the convertible will also be sold as a coupe.
Back in October, Maserati revealed the 2024 GranTurismo, but at the time we only saw photos of the exterior of the new GranTurismo. Now Maserati has released the first photos of the GranTurismo’s new interior, which features several digital screens.
In front of the driver there’s a 12.2-inch digital instrument cluster and in the center there’s an an Android-based 12.3-inch infotainment system that sits about an 8.8-inch screen for the climate control settings. You’ll notice that the clock is also digital. The screens show different graphics based on the version you get. For a refresher, the 2024 GranTurismo is available in three versions: Modena, Trofeo and the fully electric Folgore.
Overall the styling of the interior looks sleek with the focal point being the digital screens. The GranTurismo also retains its 2+2 seating configuration. The interior is also available with other tech features, like a head-up display and a Sonos Faber audio system with either 14 or 19 speakers.
The 2024 GranTurismo is powered by the same 3.0-liter Nettuno twin-turbocharged V6 as the MC20. The Modena version has 483 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard. The Maserati GranTurismo Modena can accelerate from 0-62 mph in only need 3.9 seconds. The GranTurismo Trofeo has 550 hp and 479 lb-ft. It has a top speed of 199 mph and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds.
The GranTurismo Folgore is powered by three electric motors, one at the front and two at the rear. The Folgore’s electric powertrain has 900 kilowatts of power, which equates to about 1,207 horsepower, but the maximum output is 751 hp and 996 lb-ft. The electric GranTurismo can accelerate to 62 mph in 2.7 seconds.
Deliveries of the 2024 GranTurismo are expected to start later this year.
Polestar has announced the updates to the 2024 Polestar 2, which includes some styling updates, more power and a longer driving range.
At the front of the 2024 Polestar 2 there’s the new SmartZone, which is similar to the design language that debuted on the Polestar 3. The exterior also gets 20-inch wheels in the Performance Pack and Michelin all-season tires are also available for the 19-inch wheels.
Now for the powertrain updates. The single-motor version is powered by a new permanent magnet motor and carbide inverter that powers the rear wheels. The new electric motor has 299 horsepower, which is up from 231 hp, while the torque rating has increased to 361 pound-feet compared to 243 lb-ft before. That extra power means that the single-motor Polestar 2 can accelerate from 0-60 mh in 5.9 seconds, a 1.1 second improvement.
The dual-motor version gets a rear-drive bias to make it more fun. Both motors are new, which now generate a combined 421 hp, up from 408 hp and 546 lb-ft, up from 467 lb-ft. To improve its efficiency, the front electric motor can be disengaged when it’s not need. The dual-motor version can do the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.3 seconds. The optional Performance Pack gives the Polestar 2 455 horsepower, which enables a 4.1 second 0-60 mph time.
The updates help improve the Polestar 2’s driving range. The long range single motor version has a new, larger 82 kWh battery, which gives it a driving range up to 300 miles. Charging speeds have also improved with the max charging speed at 205 kW. The dual motor version has a 270 mile range.
The 2024 Polestar 4 also gets more standard equipment, like the Driver Awareness features. The long range dual-motor version now comes with the Pilot Pack, which includes blind-spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, rear collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and a 360-degree camera. A wireless phone charger is also standard.
Deliveries of the 2024 Polestar 2 will start later this year.
Audi has revealed its last “sphere” concept, the Activesphere and this one looks to combine attributes from its sleek Sportback and high-riding Allroad models with a bit of pickup truck DNA thrown in for fun.
In its standard form, the Activesphere concept looks like a coupe-like crossover, but if you slide the top up to and flip the rear down, you get a useful cargo space that’s similar to a truck. With the push of a button the roof moves and the rear flips down, while a a divider rises up behind the rear seats to keep passengers away from any dirt or crappy weather.
On the outside the Activesphere is about the same size as the Audi A7 and its air suspension can raise or lower the ground clearance between 8.2 and 9.8 inches. Inside there’s a minimalistic design and in autonomous mode the steering wheel and dashboard retract. Augmented reality is a huge highlight here. With the use of special glasses information can be displayed to the driver and front passenger.
Under the skin the Activesphere concept is based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform, which was co-developed by Audi and Porsche. Thanks to its 100 kWh battery, it has a driving range up to 373 miles. The 800-volt architecture enables charging speeds up to 270 kW. The two electric motors generate a combined 436 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.