2023 BMW X1

Built in Germany, BMW’s smallest crossover SUV grows longer (by 1.7 inches), wider (by 0.9 inches), and it rides on a wheelbase that is 0.9 inches longer. The dimensions suggest a roomier interior for up to five passengers, but final specs won’t be available until nearer its on-sale date of October 2022. 

More Info: thecarconnection.com

All-Electric Alice Airplane Expected To Fly this Summer

Eviation’s Alice all-electric airplane is designed to carry nine passengers. [Courtesy: Eviation]

Eviation’s sleek, all-electric airplane demonstrator–dubbed Alice–reportedly completed a low speed taxi testing program this month at Arlington Municipal Airport (KAWO), in Washington, north of Seattle, and is “gearing up” for its first flight “this summer.”

The FlightGlobal report, from the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE 2022) in Geneva, quotes interim CEO Gregory Davis, who said low-speed ground testing finished on May 2, with Alice achieving a maximum speed of 86 kts. High-speed taxi testing won’t be attempted until Alice has received an experimental permit to fly, Davis told FlightGlobal Tuesday.

In April, Eviation told FLYING it was conducting a parallel process of ground testing and safety board reviews. Based on the ground test results—Davis told FlightGlobal that Eviation has slowed down its timeline.

“When we completed the ground-test program, we found some things that we needed to tweak and that’s what we are working on as we prepare the aircraft for first flight,” Davis told FlightGlobal. 

Source: flyingmag.com

2022 Acura MDX

The MDX’s fresh shape elevates its former good looks into something higher-wattage on the glam scale. It’s a sinuous shape, with a broad grille that leads into swole fenders and a leaner look that belies its chunkier curb weight. The cabin’s swept up by a ribbon of wood or metallic trim that dodges below a big central display, surrounded by synthetic leather on base cars and real hides on all other models. 

Acura’s 290-hp V-6 couples to a 10-speed automatic in the new MDX, and steps off from stoplights and through interstate passes with authority. The power’s similar to the 2020 model, but ride and handling have made a quantum leap: A stiffer body lets even the MDX A-Spec ride on 20-inch wheels and still quell big bumps with deft control. New for 2022 is a performance-oriented Type S variant that features an even more powerful 335-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with standard all-wheel drive, as well as an adaptive air suspension, larger brakes, and interior upgrades.

More info: thecarconnection.com

2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

The Eclipse Cross comes with standard all-wheel drive this year, but the base model lacks key features.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a small crossover with more interior space than many subcompact rivals. It vies for sales with other entry-level crossovers such as the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, and Nissan Rogue Sport..

More info: thecarconnection.com/overview

2023 Subaru Solterra, Acura Integra top this week’s new car reviews

The new, the old, and the confusing topped this week’s new car headlines at The Car Connection. We test drove the 2023 Subaru Solterra, the brand’s first global electric car, in the desert beyond Scottsdale, and we got the scoop on what exactly the resurrected Acura Integra will entail when it launches later this spring. 

GM was coy about the end of the Chevy Trax and Buick Encore small crossovers, and it befuddled us with two different iterations of the 2022 Chevy Silverado pickup truck, one carryover, one new. 

More info: thecarconnection.com/news/

2022 Mercedes-Benz SL Class

A V-8-powered 2+2 convertible, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class is a sports car that puts more focus on performance than the two-seater it replaces, while still retaining the brand’s signature luxury. It competes against the BMW 8-Series, Jaguar F-Type, and Porsche 911.

It’s a blast to drive thanks to strong V-8 power, adept handling, open-top fun, and a smooth ride. It looks great, too, though space and fuel economy suffer at the altar of power and style. We rate it a 6.2 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Everything, including the philosophy of what the SL should be. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class changes from a rear-wheel-drive two-seat roadster with a hardtop to an all-wheel-drive four-seater with a soft top. For the first time, it’s developed entirely by Mercedes’ AMG performance arm, and that gives it a new and much stiffer structure. 

More info: thecarconnection.com

Cheops reveals a rugby ball-shaped exoplanet

Artist impression of planet WASP-103b and its host star

ESA’s exoplanet mission Cheops has revealed that an exoplanet orbiting its host star within a day has a deformed shape more like that of a rugby ball than a sphere. This is the first time that the deformation of an exoplanet has been detected, offering new insights into the internal structure of these star-hugging planets.

Source: European Space Agency

Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class overview

What kind of car is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class? What does it compare to?

The GLB-Class taps turbo-4 power and seating for up to seven people to become one of Mercedes’ most flexible crossover SUVs. Competitors include vehicles such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Volvo XC60, and Mazda CX-9. 

What’s new for the 2022 Mercedes GLB-Class?

Only a few minor features have been added to option packages. Otherwise, the GLB’s charming, spare SUV shape still sports the boxy outline it has since it was new in 2020. It’s graced with a few rounded corners and a glam detail or two, but the GLS-knockoff look gives it just the right hint of ruggedness. That dissipates inside where the flavor’s full-on extrovert, with twin displays atop the dash, colorful ambient lighting, and lots of metallic trim.

More info: thecarconnection.com

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq is a four-door electric hatchback that’s being marketed as an electric SUV. It offers more than 300 miles of range in some versions and arrives to an increasingly competitive cohort including the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Volkswagen ID.4.

More info: thecarconnection.com

2022 Chevrolet Tahoe

The 2022 Chevy Tahoe upgrades to business-class seating and top-tier power, but safety gets smudged in federal testing.

The marvelous 6.2-liter V-8 is more widely available, and an electronic limited-slip differential slots into the Tahoe Z71. The Tahoe LT and higher-spec versions get a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and active lane control and parking sensors now are standard.

More info: thecarconnection.com/overview/chevrolet_tahoe_2022

 2022 Lexus ES

The 2022 Lexus ES is a premium mid-size sedan with good handling and great hybrid gas mileage. It’s a quiet contender in a shrinking class that includes the 2022 Acura TLX, 2022 Genesis G80, and 2022 Cadillac CT5. 

Long a leader in the premium sedan class, the ES does what good sedans do best with efficient and potent powertrain options, and a peerless ride quality ideal for road trips. Its good value and strong safety rating also boost its TCC Rating to 7.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.) 

More info: thecarconnection

Consortium Flies Hybrid-Electric Airplane Prototypes

The program displayed the Pipistrel Panthera flown in October to demonstrate the prototype hybrid-electric powerplant in a light single-engine airplane.Joze Kovacic-JUICE

Under the guidance of Pipistrel’s Vertical Solutions, a consortium of eight partners in the European Union have concluded a project designed to advance alternative propulsion and regional air transport.

Its name speaks literally to what the project has achieved: MAHEPA (Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture) brought together DLR-German Aerospace Center, H2Fly GmbH, Compact Dynamics GmbH, Politecnico di Milano, TU Delft, and researchers from University of Ulm and University of Maribor under the umbrella Horizon Europe.

The goal? To address the drive towards zero emissions in transportation sectors, including regional and general aviation.

Together, the team flew two four-seat aircraft carrying the prototype power systems:

  • A Pipistrel Panthera with a single fuselage, traditionally mounted propeller, and retractable gear
  • A H2Fly Hy4 with a dual fuselage and center-mounted propeller and system

The MAHEPA group delivered the report at a meeting at the Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport in Slovenia, where the consortium also had its Pipistrel Panthera demonstrator on display.

More info: flyingmag.com

2022 Ford Maverick

The 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz resurrect a small truck segment that had been dormant for more than a decade. Both of these crossover-based vehicles give shoppers an open bed and a more adventurous edge than compact crossover SUVs that fill roads like construction zones in summertime. 

Despite their similarities—seating for five, compact crossover platforms, available all-wheel drive, turbo-4 engine options, towing capacity of at least 4,000 lb—the Santa Cruz and Maverick appeal as urban getaway vehicles in completely different ways. As the maker of the bestselling F-150, Ford knows what truck shoppers want. Hyundai positions the Santa Cruz as more of a sport utility vehicle with a bed. Those positions check out, as we’ve found after our initial back to back drives with both.

Both are exceedingly clever tricks to get drivers out of mammoth trucks and into fuel-saving trucklets—it’s like putting the dog’s medication in a chunk of cheese. Everybody wins. But which one wins here? It’s close, but not that close. And in a first for truck compares, it comes down to fuel economy.

More info: thecarconnection.com/news/

Lucid Air outlasts Tesla with 520-mile electric range

The 2022 Lucid Air tops all electric vehicles with an EPA-rated 520-mile range, the EPA confirmed on Thursday. That’s at least 100 miles more than the next longest range electric vehicle, the Tesla Model S Long Range that has an EPA-rated 405-mile range. 

The 2022 Lucid Air has the most range of any electric vehicle ever, and its 113-kwh battery pack might be the most efficient ever. Lucid says its flagship sedan can recover 20 miles of range per minute of DC fast-charging at a peak rate of 300 kw, and that it can charge up to 300 miles of EPA range in just 20 minutes, quicker than any Tesla model or the Porsche Taycan or any other EV on the market. 

It was less than a decade ago that most analysts pegged 200 miles as the electric vehicle range that would get shoppers over range anxiety—the fear they’d run out of juice before arriving at their destination—and foster the mass adoption of electric vehicles. That’s the stated mission of Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, and the new range toppers reflect the progress made by innovation and decreasing per-kwh battery costs. The first mass-produced electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf launched for 2011, had a 73-mile range. 

More info: thecarconnection.com

EV future takes shape, Audi RS 3

A new generation of the raucous Audi RS 3 compact sedan has arrived for 2022, and it promises even more fun and performance. To demonstrate the latter, Audi had racing and development driver Frank Stippler take the car around the Nürburgring for a hot lap.

He ended up with a blistering best time of 7:40.748, which puts the newest RS 3 in a similar league to cars like the 997-generation Porsche 911 GT3 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

The Audi has some advantages, though. While its 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 only delivers 401 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is less than what the aforementioned sports cars have, the RS 3 also benefits from a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, and, in this test, the available Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slicks.

Source: thecarconnection.com

2022 Jeep Compass redesign counters Ford Bronco Sport

Jeep isn’t about to let the Ford Bronco Sport step on its turf without fighting back.

Jeep unveiled the redesigned 2022 Compass at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday. The small SUV with on-road charm and off-road capability features larger screens, new technology, standard active safety technology, and a more refined design inside and out than the outgoing model. It looks to steal some of the swagger from the upstart 2021 Ford Bronco Sport introduced this year to popular acclaim in the booming compact crossover segment.  

Changes to the exterior of the 2022 Compass will take a keen eye to spot, but the small, subtle tweaks add up to a more refined look. The front bumper’s updated with slimmer LED headlights resting above a new seven-slot grille design similar to the larger three-row 2021 Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Wagoneer. In back there are updated LED taillights.

More info: thecarconnection.com/news/

Mars Perseverance Rover acquired these images on mars surface |6&7 june 2021|Sol 105|Mastcam-Z|Daily

Mars Perseverance Rover acquired these images on mars surface |6&7 june 2021.

Perseverance Sol 105: Right Mastcam-Z Cameraacquired these images using its Right Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover’s mast.

These images was acquired on Jun. 6,&7 2021 (Sol 105) at the local mean solar time of 15:44:47.

2022 Buick Enclave SUV

The 2022 Buick Enclave three-row crossover SUV now comes with more standard safety features, the automaker announced Thursday. Buick also freshened the face and tail with new lighting, and added new wheel options. Inside, the seven-seat family hauler has a roomier center console and more available features. 

Like other GM vehicles, Buick was late to add many of the standard safety features that rival automakers equip on their cars and SUVs. Standard across all four trims—Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir—the Enclave now comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams. The Enclave competes with everything from GM’s own Chevy Traverse to the Mazda CX-9 and Acura MDX

Also standard are wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The center console opens up thanks to an electronic gear panel replacing the mechanical gear handle.

Features that are either optional or available on higher-line models include a color head-up display, heated and cooled front seats that can be upgraded with massagers, and additional safety features. 

The Enclave’s engineering remains the same, with a 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 266 lb-ft of toque. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available for $2,000 more on all but the base Preferred trim. EPA ratings for 2022 aren’t available yet, but the 2021 model gets an EPA-rated 18 mpg city, 26 highway, and 21 combined with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive trims those ratings by 1 mpg.  

Pricing has not been announced but expect about a $1,000 increase from the 2021 Enclave’s starting price of $41,195, including destination. Pricing will be announced closer to when it goes on sale later in 2021.

Credit: Robert Duffer Senior Editor

More info: thecarconnection.com

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