AD #2737 – Hyundai Sonata N-Line Details; Plug-In Hybrid Sales Plunge; Ford Offers Free GT500 Instruction

December 13th, 2019 at 11:58am

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Listen to “AD #2737 – Hyundai Sonata N-Line Details; Plug-In Hybrid Sales Plunge; Ford Offers Free GT500 Instruction” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:01

0:07 Daimler’s Credit Rating Cut
0:43 Mercedes Equips Side View Cameras on Actros Truck
1:38 Passenger Drone Market Set to Explode
2:39 Hyundai Sonata N-Line Details
3:37 Ford Offers Free GT500 Instruction
4:16 MINI Cooper SE Range Revealed
5:00 Most Cadillacs Will Be Electrified By 2030
5:49 Kia To Rename the Optima the K5
6:16 Skoda’s Clever Snow Scraper
6:45 Plug-In Hybrid Sales Plunge
7:30 ADAS Making Big Improvement in Safety

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63 Comments to “AD #2737 – Hyundai Sonata N-Line Details; Plug-In Hybrid Sales Plunge; Ford Offers Free GT500 Instruction”

  1. Larry D. Says:


    Fairy tales not worth the paper they are printed on. These drones will be as expensive to use as HELICOPTERS and THEREFORE only the very wealthy will be able to afford them. I will not even bother to look at the link to see all their FAULTY assumptions on which they made this laughable GUESS. Because it is a GUESS, not a Fact.

  2. Kevin A Says:

    1. The bulk of the maintenance and cost of a helicopter is due to the highly stressed mechanism that tilts the blades. Since air taxis do not tilt the blades to turn, they should be much less expensive to maintain

  3. Larry D. Says:


    Are you surprised? In most cases the price difference is far greater than the meager gas savings, at our DIRT CHEAP gas prices. COnsumers do the RIGHT THING, they are ECONOMIC ANIMALS.

  4. WineGeek Says:

    The plug-in hybrid is the prefect solution if you drive longer distances regularly. A full EV is too inconvenient if you happen to drive as I do over 200 miles a day on business trips. It is way too inconvenient to stop and wait a couple of hours for a recharge.

    The big problem is that the electric range is too low to be practical. I am very interested in the new RAV4 plug-in that is being released next summer with 39 miles of EV range and a predicted 5.7 second 0-60. That is a reasonable EV range and reasonable performance. Let’s see if that appears as announced…

  5. Larry D. Says:

    2 Maintenance is a tiny component of the overall cost. A Helicopter does not cost as much as a taxi, and same with the stupid drone, it will be much more expensive. Plus they are far less safe than planes.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    4 this may be true price independent, but not if the plug-in price diff is way higher than the meager savings, given our, I repeat, DIRT CHEAP gas prices.

  7. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Anyone see the “Easter egg” in the Mini E’s rear taillight (portion/image of the British flag) or am I just seeing things.

    And I’ve (and others) have also been skeptical of the passenger drone market expanding to the levels sited in this article. I feel it will be elitist for as long as they exist.

  8. ChuckGrenci Says:

    ZR1 owners were offered free driving instruction at Ron Fellows training facility in Las Vegas similar to what Ford is offering for the GT500. I believe with the introduction of the C8 a discounted fee will be offered for the Ron Fellows school but due to the number couldn’t offer all a free ride; I expect the ‘new’ C8 ZR1 may re-instate a similar offer of free training. Kudos to Ford to follow along as these high-end beasts should be driven by well trained individuals (are you listening Hellcat).

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 Some, if not all versions of the current Minis have the Union Jack in the tail lights.

    I’ve been very skeptical of the “passenger drone” thing too. Helicopters, and especially multi-rotor ones without pitch adjustment are very inefficient machines. It will take a big battery to fly even a very few miles, and then take time to recharge it. The market for $500 dollar a mile taxi rides will be quite limited.

  10. Buzzerd Says:

    Cadillac to electrify there fleet by 2030, also in the news manufacturers can’t give away plug in hybrids.
    I would get in a drone helicopter thingy in many countries, UAE is definitely not one of them, a little to easy in some of those parts to make you disappear on purpose or accident.

  11. GEORGE V RICCI Says:

    On the story about Plug-in Hybrid Sales Plunge. The problem is that you have a limited number of green vehicle buyers and they are moving to full BEV’s. With the price of new vehicles growing much faster then inflation and some buyers being priced out of the new car market, your not going to get non-green buyers pay extra for a Hybrid or a BEV.

    Your going to need big incentives on Hybrids/BEV and car companies are going have to raise the price of IC vehicles to offset the money they are losing on Hybrids/BEV’s.

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    Loved the After Hours show on the C8. Some interesting challenges in changing from front to rear mid design, some even surprising Tadge. Makes me wonder if a show with Maximum Bob and Tadge would be fun.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Many, or most plug-in hybrids do not have near full power when running only on battery, so if you tip into the throttle very hard, the ICE will start up. Basically, the plug-in aspect just improves the gas mileage for the first several miles, and with cheap gas, why bother?

    The plug-ins that DO have full power on battery, like the Volt, and especially the i3 REX, have mediocre mpg when driving on gas. When batteries get cheap enough, there is a “why not” aspect to putting in as big of battery as you can fit into a regular hybrid, but we’re not there yet, and I suspect putting a significantly bigger batter in a car like my Camry, would end up taking away trunk space.

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    They should be able to produce a passenger drone for less money than a conventional helicopter it should be cheaper to operate too. My understanding is one of the main expenses is FAA certified inspections and overhauls. A conventional Helo has to get minor inspection every 25 hours and major inspection every 150 hours and the engines need rebuilt after 2400 hours. With a lot less parts and components to wear down the cost to maintain should be less. I wonder what the FAA will require for EV drones. I would guess the inspections will be the same but rebuilds and teardowns should be far less.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I watched the AAH this morning, and the Corvette guy said they tore apart a Ferrari to learn some things about mid-engine cars. Did he saw what model of Ferrari? If so, I missed it.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 The actual mechanical part of the EV things should be simple, just electric motors with gear reduction. The electronics and sensors are fairly complex, but has been done in large enough volume for small, hobbiest multi-rotors, the it is almost free. They’d need redundancy in the electronics, and the autonomous navigation, etc. Still, when you scale it up enough to carry 200 pounds, make it autonomous, and factor in the liability for the crashes, and allow for the very short run time between charges, it doesn’t sound very practical. I guess we’ll find out in due time.

    If these things do come into fruition, they might be good candidates for quick change batteries, like those cars in China.

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    I’m a bit surprised at the study results from the collision avoidance systems. Emergency braking only cut those accidents by 46% and rear avoidance by 38% which although is a good reduction it begs the question why in the other 54% and 62% of crashes did the system not work? Was it turned off? or some other type of circumstance? I’m still not real sure how automatically dimming the lights reduced accidents by anything as that would seem to affect the oncoming traffic more than the actual vehicle equipped with the feature. So claiming that cut accidents by 35% seems high.
    All great improvements but the data seems to be pretty subjective.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    16 I could see the manufacturers of the “ultralight” or “Experimental” air craft industry jumping all over personal drones. Those single person crafts don’t abide by the FAA regulations and if manufactured similar to the remote small drones anyone can buy seems they could be fairly cheap. The stabilization would be automated but controls could still be managed by a pilot. Only downside is you cant take a passenger in those crafts.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I haven’t tested the automatic emergency braking of my Camry, but I’ve read that these systems will often “soften” a rear end crash, even if it doesn’t prevent it completely.

  20. Buzzerd Says:

    @15, I too watched it this am and was wondering that also. Wonder what they do with the car or bits of car when they are done.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    The Hong Kong-Macau Heli ride is 4,300 HK $ each way, or about $600. The HK $ is worth about as much as a Chinese Yuan ($1=6.5Y, but was 7 in 2013). I’ve done the trip by fast catamaran, which cost far less. But the $600 is not for one mile, but more like 30 miles. OF course you share the heli with other passengers.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 How many passengers do the helicopters carry?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 They could auction the parts for charity. Probably some parts, like a crinkle red cam cover saying “Ferrari” would bring pretty good money.

  24. Kevin A Says:

    Larry, Maybe you should talk to someone in the helicopter business (or are you an expert in that as well?) Maintenance (parts and labour) are THE largest cost of operating a helicopter. Maintenance, especially on older units, exceeds the original cost of the helicopter and the fuel costs. As usual, you are opinionated but uninformed.

  25. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Lambo #17 – Not all automatic emergency braking systems are the same. Some will bring a vehicle to a complete stop, while others only slow the vehicle down. I think that’s why those numbers look a little wonky to you.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    24 Yeah I was reading an article some years ago about a company that was buying up used Bell Helicopter engines because they were more expensive to rebuild than to just replace. So they could be had for next to nothing as they basically became useless for the aviation industry. They provided like 350 HP and were very lightweight. This company put one into Chevy S-10 and I believe are the ones that made the jet powered Motorcycle that Jay Leno owns. Biggest challenge was gearing and exhaust temps. But apparently the engines likely had a lot of life left on them but FAA regulations made them disposable.

  27. Bob Wilson Says:

    “Sales of plug-in hybrids are going nowhere” makes sense today but in 2014-2016, the market was different. There was no affordable, <$40k, BEV with a practical, fast DC charging network. So we bought an end-of-lease, 2014 BMW i3-REx which remains as our backup car. Wednesday, I drove it to Nashville to pickup parts for our Tesla Model 3.

    Today, the reliable SuperCharger network has at least five, coast-to-coast routes and spans from inside Canada and Mexico. The unreliable Electrify America claims coast-to-coasts routes and some Canadian stations. The growth of fast DC chargers has all but eliminated the need for a plug-in hybrid.

  28. buildmore2doors Says:

    Maybe Skoda should look at putting capless fuel filler ports on their cars before getting all clever with the add-ons, fuel caps are so 20th century.

  29. Brett Cammack Says:

    Experimental aircraft can carry passengers. They just cannot be used for commercial purposes.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like Brexit might soon be finalized, and we may learn if BMW and other car companies will leave the UK, to avoid tariffs, and other issues, with moving parts and cars going between Britain and the continent. Could all Mini production join the Mini EV in China?

  31. cwolf Says:

    30) May have to think twice before moving Mini:

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 I think the Mini EV that will be built in China is for global markets, more than just for China. As far as BMW in the UK, I suspect what they do will depend on what arrangements are worked out over the next few months. If they can’t easily operate in the UK, getting parts from, and selling cars in continental Europe, they will move Mini from the UK. They will leave Rolls-Royce in the UK, no matter what, because Rolls “has” to be in England, and price is no object, so 20% tariffs on parts wouldn’t matter.

  33. Max Says:

    I’m not buying the idea of hundreds of thousands of passenger drones at any point in the near future. Nobody seems to mention air traffic control. As controlled as our skies are for commercial traffic, how in the world are they going to keep thousands of drones darting around the skies of a city in check??? It would seem that air traffic patterns would need to be developed along with air traffic controllers, and that’s just not going to happen. Certain distances between drones will need to be maintained and it’s just a nightmare waiting to happen, especially when half a dozen of these things are looking to occupy the same space. When you have a fender bender on the freeway, you simply pull over and take care of it. When you have a fender bender in the air, people are going to be falling out of the sky! Please tell me how this part of it is all supposed to work???

  34. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I think the plan for these passenger drones is to be autonomous (air traffic control without this feature would be unattainable). However, I don’t think this will be a widespread phenomenon for quite some time if ever. And to quote Thorton Melon (from “Back to School”), where do you think this is going to happen: “how about Fantasyland”.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    22 As i have not used the heli service (I went from HK to Macau and back in a fast catamaran) I would not know, but maybe the link has something about it.

    34 They expect to start in the Middle East where the sheikhs waste their easily gained petrodollars on exotic cars for police cruisers or in casinos without much thought.

    24 So these drones were hit over the head by the Flying Drone Taxi fairy and will have zero maintenance costs, and be much safer than Helicopters? Can any rational person buy this fantasy?

  36. Larry D. Says:

    35 On a related topic, Many taxis where I live and also in other places (Wash DC is the first time I used one) use Priuses (the regular one, not the larger Prius V). When I used my first one in Wash DC it was a new 2010 model that year, and I sat in the passenger seat since the previous model had an atrocious rear seat, no headroom, little legroom. I asked the driver and he claimed he was getting 50 MPGs average.

    But the problem was, NONE of these savings was passed to ME the consumer, the taxi fare was the same if I had used a Lincoln Town car with its poor but spacious bench seat in the back and its EXCELLENT passenger seat.

    So why in the world would I use a Prius taxi again if I had a choice?

    My point is, these drone taxis will NOT be very popular because their GREEDY operators will NOT have fares much lower than their competition helicopters with pilots, just lower enough so the customer does not take the piloted heli.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 Yeah, taxi prices are generally the same, regardless of the car, except for “premium” taxis some places, like NYC. In my limited experience using taxis, I don’t pick the cars. I ride in what’s available.

    Also, in my limited experience with Uber, about 8 rides, vehicles vary widely. I have ridden in a Prius V, a RAV4, a Nissan Sentra, and a Ram 2500 diesel crew cab pickup. All were the same, cheapest Uber price category. The guy with the monster truck was apparently driving for Uber, just for fun. Given the high purchase price, and operating expense of those trucks, there is no way he could be making money.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    37 I only use taxis to go to and from the airport, and then I get to reserve them. If I have no reservation, there is a long line of taxis at the airport in the old country, and you have to choose the first one. About a third to a half are E class diesels and the rest are Skodas, much smaller, and with an utterly uncomfortable back seat (backs like 2X4s) and a few Toyotas, all of them diesels. If the taxi is lousy, I yield my place to the next passenger and get the much better one behind it.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    Today I had time around noon to go test drive cars, and the weather was fine, but I did not feel like it. It did not help that the dealerships are in the western part of town and I am in the NE.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last time I used a regular taxi was about two years ago, to a cruise ship terminal 3-4 miles away. It costs about half as much to take a taxi both ways, than to park at the terminal. I just call a taxi company to go to the port, and take the first one in line to return home. If I do another cruise from here, I’ll use Uber, as I have my last few airport/hotel trips. From my experience, Uber just works better than taxis, and is cheaper. Maybe I’ve been lucky.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    “The verdict:
    Smooth, silent and strong, the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In hybrid drives well and looks sharp, but it suffers from an inferior interior. ”

    This car would do all of my daily miles on pure electricity, except for long trips and maybe a few weekend invitations. There were about 130 used ones on sale at, but this review has made me a bit sceptical. of course they compare the interior to that of the Germans, who have the best in the business (along with the previous LS Lexi)

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 It sounds like it works pretty well, but is already an “orphan,” last imported for the 2018 model year. I don’t know that I’d have much confidence in a dealer’s knowing how to work on the powertrain a few years down the road.

    As far as the interior, it’s certainly not as nice as an S-Class, but it’s nicer than any cars I’ve had.

  43. Barry Rector Says:

    Cadillac dropping alpha/numeric naming and Hyundai dropping names in favor of it? It
    s a crazy car world after all!

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 It looks like Hyundai, or at least Kia, is using both alphanumeric and names, with the K5 borrowing from the K900, and the Telluride, borrowing a name from a town famous for lead mining. At least the K5 won’t have the Canine Hundred option, like the expensive Kia.

  45. cwolf Says:

    Caddy interiors are fine. Too much plastic in some areas and too hard and flat seats for my taste. Still, I have thoughts of buying an suv if it wins my fancy. I’m reluctant only because I don’t want to get to know the service writers by name!

  46. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I don’t have the CT6 hybrid, which were all made in China, but my CT6 Luxury (model) has a very nice interior. Even the seats, which some feel are weak, were very comfortable to me, this after just taking a 400 mile trip (S.C. to FL) and back. The seat actually got more comfortable as the trip wore on. All I can say is that I love mine; you just need to evaluate for yourself. And while the hybrid has the four cylinder turbo, my 3.6 six yielded 30 mpg at hwy (70 mph) speeds.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 The only vehicle I’ve driven with the 3.6 is my friend’s Camaro, and it works great in that application. The ~4000 pound CT6 weighs only about 400 pounds more than the Camaro. I suspect that engine is less impressive in the ~4700 pound Traverse/Encore, especially when they’re full of people and stuff, but I’m sure it works ok in those too.

  48. Larry D. Says:

    46 of course I would never buy anything without a thorough test drive, but the review is quite comprehensive, and I can already look at the photos of the interior.

    42 That interior is not only inferior to the S class and the A8 (and the 7 I owned) but probably also than those of the cheaper 5, E and A6. And the LS too.

    And the used prices for the CT6 Hybrid were not low. They were young, 2 year old vehicles, at most 3 (2018-19 models) but the cheapest, at almost $30k, had a carfax sheet that mentioned “lemon” and “accident” and of course I would not give it the time of day. Not for $30k!

  49. Lambo2015 Says:

    29 Brett your right the Experimental crafts can carry passengers but I believe only if the pilot is has a pilots license. Where the singles flying alone anyone can jump into a pilot.

    33 Not all planes are in contact with Air traffic control. Especially if on a private runway. The small planes that do not have oxygen supplements are limited to the air-space below 12,500ft. So its not like the drones and commercial craft would be in the same area. Other than landing and take off the commercial crafts will be much higher than a drone. Still I agree with your concern in a major city as it could get very congested. My guess is people will not want the excessive whine of the drones and will block them just when everyone thinks its going to be huge.

  50. Larry D. Says:

    I looked at the photos of the interior again (driver’s seat and dashboard). There is not one square inch of wood veneer, which makes it a no-no in by book, especially for such a flagship sedan that is compared to the S class and similar vehicles. (it really is between this group and the E class, and the E class I own has acres of brilliant wood all over the dash and doors, and none of these dull, cheap plastics the CT6 has.

    Really disappointing, given how great the exterior of the CT6 looks, especially in Black.

  51. cwolf Says:

    46) Chuck, Your 30 mpg is very good! I’ll take another test drive when we are ready for a new vehicle. I’m curious how many times you had to take your car into service while under warranty; Seems like you had good luck with yours.

    I can’t honestly say the interiors are inferior as others in its class. Maybe it just comes down to personal taste. I like European leathers. They are more supple, but I don’t think they last any longer than others. Now that most seats found in higher grade models are top stitched and no longer use a welt cord, all of them look pretty good regardless of the type of leather used.

  52. Larry D. Says:

    “Tesla, General Motors and other automakers are pushing Washington for tax extenders that would extend the federal incentive for electric vehicle purchases.

    Talks in the U.S. Congress over the weekend focused on the reinstatement of tax extenders that will not only benefit electric car manufacturers but those involved in biofuel and short-line railroad industries. If the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act gets the thumbs up, the cap for EV sales for manufacturers will be raised to 600,000 from 200,000 units and also reduce the tax credit from $7,500 to $7,000.

    There will also be tax credits for the purchase of used electric vehicles with certain limitations such as the vehicle was used and registered in the U.S., will be sold for less than $25,000, tax credit can’t exceed 30 percent of the selling price, among others.”

  53. cwolf Says:

    Are luxury models not having real wood trim make them inferior? I guess if your willing to spend extra thousands$ just for a shiny piece of wood,….go for it.

  54. Lambo2015 Says:

    51 Yeah I was thinking the same thing as my CTS with the 3.6L is lucky to see anything over 25mpg. Mine is also 7 years old so years of improvements behind the CT6.

    I’m not sure a wood veneer is a sign of luxury anymore. Everyone knows its not real wood but a plastic look-a-like. It seems to be going the way of the wood sided station-wagon. Being replaced with fabric, carbon fiber and other new textures. Personally Id take a fully leather wrapped steering wheel over one of those half wrap and partial wood looking wheels any day. The wood veneer just looks dated to me and although better looking than a plain colored plastic piece it seems manufacturers are trying to find something other than wood.

  55. cwolf Says:

    I suppose extending tax breaks for EV’s are unavoidable, but still cannot find reason for them. In reality, they only serve as a tax break for the rich and create an economic bubble. Isn’t it enough for manufactures to offset EV costs by jacking up the price of ICE vehicles? Most people still don’t want an EV. When 70% of the EV’s in China are fleet and Gov’t vehicles, this has to tell you something!

  56. ChuckGrenci Says:

    51, I’ll give a couple more details, if interested; first the CT6 can have anything from vinyl to aniline leather depending on model (base to Platinum); mine has leather (not aniline) on touch surfaces (Luxury), the better leather is in the Platinum model (quite a bit more expensive than my model). Also, for those considering purchase, I would stick to a ’19 or ’20 model which has the 10 speed automatic tranny (reported harsh shifts from the 8 speed). One more consideration is that the ’20 model may be the last (conflicting reports); so buyer beware.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 Have you looked at the interior of a recent E-Class? You might be disappointed. I suspect yours is much more “elegant” than the current one.

  58. Larry D. Says:

    51 it is not personal taste. You know when you see a true luxury car. The reviewers are not biased against Caddy. Historically also, I always liked Caddy exteriors (except for the comically short wheelbases for such long cars, back in the day), but their interiors were really not up to par, and even the most important interiors, the ones the driver gets to see in front of him every day, dashboard, gauges, etc.

  59. Larry D. Says:

    57 of course I did, and so did my taxi driver who replaced her centenarian E class 3 lt diesel with 4,000,000 KM with a new and supposedly vastly more fuel efficient 2.1 lt “250″ diesel.

    I also did not like most new BMWs at the dealers a few years back, which I saw while waiting for an oil change, and would not bother test driving any of them, esp the way overpriced, ugly 6 series.

  60. Larry D. Says:

    57 you are right, both inside and out, and its classic style will never age. I will donate it to charity long before that.

    This reminded me of the frequent styling changes of many popular models, including the Camry and the Corolla. It is not just that many object to the grille etc, it is that, unlike the VW Golf, to mention a car in their price range, they don’t have any strong distinguishing characteristics so you can look them from a mile away and say “That’s a Camry or a Corolla”. I think this is not good marketing/selling, the cars should have character unique to their brand. even Current Mercs and BMWs and even Audis, and above all Porsches, have that character.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54 I think your CTS would have the “old” 3.6, which doesn’t get as good of mpg as the new one, partly because it doesn’t (I think) have cylinder deactivation. I’m sure the cylinder deactivation is part of why my Corvette, with its 6.2, gets.29+ mpg on long trips on the interstate, at 75-80 mph.

    56 I’ve read a couple places, one being autonews, that CT6 production at Detroit/Hamtramck will end in January 2020. Also, there are no plans to import the car from China. I’d like to see them reconsider dropping the car, but I doubt that will happen.

  62. Larry D. Says:

    55 there are GINORMUS breaks for ICE cars, which have gotten away with MURDER. They do not pay even 10% of the pollution they cause, if they did, gas prices would have to be $10 a gallon. So drop it about the alleged help to BEVs, ICES have received TRILLIONS, literally, over the years, in 2019 dollars.

    TOday I walked to the office, luckily it was very early (5:30 – 6:00 AM) and the lot I had to cross was empty, and traffic was light, so I was able to inhale very good quality air. The times I go just an hour later, it is really disgusting and unhealthy to inhale the exhausts of all those geniuses who sit on their fat asses in their cars, listening to the radio or texting, or having breakfast, and of course all the traffic.

  63. DanaPointJohh Says:

    The OEMs are to blame for not educating consumers on the great benefit of a PHEV. Poor marketing and promotion is why this technology is not selling stronger. I have yet to find one single reason why a PHEV is not more versatile, efficient, and offers increased performance. Plus, here in California, the PHEV can qualify for the HOV sticker!