Listen to “AD #2956 – Next-Gen Model S Planned for 2026; Hyundai Product Offensive Coming; Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Review” on Spreaker.
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0:07 Next-Gen Tesla Model S Planned for 2026
0:47 GM Needs More Tech Employees to Speed Up EV Development
1:06 Chevy Shows Bolt EUV Interior
1:32 Continental Develops New Tire for Electric Buses
2:54 Hyundai Launching SUV Offensive
4:36 Hyundai Tucson N Line Teased
5:13 Hyundai & NVIDIA Develop Connected Car Platform
5:50 Land Rover Discovery Refreshed
7:07 Mercedes Offers 1st Metris Camper Van
8:02 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Review
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
NEXT-GEN MODEL S PLANNED FOR 2026
If you had any interest in getting the next-generation Tesla Model S, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer. AutoForecast Solutions reports that the next-gen Model S will start production at the company’s Fremont, California plant in March of 2026. Production of the current Model S will end a month before that. The next-gen Model S was originally scheduled to go into production in early 2024, but now that’s being pushed back two years and it will remain in production until 2033. Tesla started building the current Model S in 2012, so that means it will be in the market for 14 years before the next-gen model is introduced.
GM NEEDS MORE TECH EMPLOYEES TO SPEED UP EV DEVELOPMENT
Even still, most automakers are way behind Tesla in EV development and that’s why General Motors announced its hiring 3,000 new employees across its engineering, design and IT divisions, from now through the first quarter of 2021, to help speed up electric vehicle development.
CHEVY TEASES BOLT EUV INTERIOR
And speaking of GM and EVs, the company gave us a glimpse of the interior of the upcoming Bolt EUV, the electric crossover based on the Bolt. It released this short video of the Power Flow Screen, which displays info like regen braking use and battery charge level. The Bolt EUV along with the refreshed Bolt go into production in the summer of 2021.
CONTINENTAL DEVELOPS TIRE FOR ELECTRIC BUSES
It’s not just passenger vehicles that are joining the electric craze, so are commercial vehicles. But batteries can add a lot of weight to what is already a very heavy machine. So, Continental has come out with a new tire that was developed specifically for electric buses. The Conti Urban HA3 tire features a high strength casing, robust tread strip and reinforced sidewall, which allows it to carry more weight. It also helps with the added strain that an electric drive can put on the tires during acceleration and braking.
HYUNDAI LAUNCHING SUV OFFENSIVE
Car buyers continue to gobble up crossovers and SUVs, so it’s not a surprise to learn that Hyundai plans to introduce 12 new or refreshed SUV models through the end of 2021 in the U.S. That includes internal combustion, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and N performance models. The models getting updated or coming out include the Kona, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz pickup, and the electric Ioniq SUV. As well as the 2022 Tucson, which was revealed a few months back but now we have some more details. As we reported before, it will have the option for a 2.5L four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission or a 1.6L that powers the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. The 2.5L gets an estimated 28 MPG combined with front-wheel drive. The hybrid is equipped with a 44.2 kW electric motor and a 1.49 kWh battery pack. While Hyundai didn’t provide specifics, it says the hybrid is 30% more fuel efficient than the standard gas engine and it has a driving range of over 500 miles. The plug-in hybrid features a 13.8 kWh battery, which provides an all-electric range of 28 miles and an estimated fuel economy over 70 MPGe. The new Tucson will only be available with the long-wheel base in the U.S. The SUV goes on sale in the U.S. in the spring of 2021, while the plug-in version will be available next summer.
HYUNDAI TUCSON N LINE TEASED
And speaking of the Tucson, Hyundai revealed a few teaser images of the N Line version. It will have a more aggressive look and offer unique design features for both the exterior and interior. The Tucson N Line will be available next spring. And like its SUVs, Hyundai plans to introduce a number of new N and N Line models over the coming months. Through the end of 2022, Hyundai will reveal seven new N and N Line models. The Elantra N will be the next N brand model unveiled for the U.S. (TOP: Tucson N Line; BOTTOM: Elantra N)
HYUNDAI & NVIDIA DEVELOP NEW CONNECTED CAR PLATFORM
And in a final bit of Hyundai news, the automaker introduced a new connected car platform it developed with NVIDIA called NVIDIA Drive. The system includes a hardware and software stack, which enables Hyundai to combine audio, video, navigation, connectivity and artificial intelligence based connected car services in its infotainment systems. In addition to that, Hyundai and NVIDIA are developing a new digital cockpit that will launch late next year. NVIDIA Drive will be equipped in new Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models starting in 2022 as a standard feature.
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY REFRESHED
The refreshed Land Rover Discovery is making its debut. Some of that freshness comes in the form of new LED lighting and bumpers, both front and rear. A new R-Dynamic model is also available that pairs unique black exterior accents and two-tone leather with contrast stitching on the inside. Sticking with the interior, the new Discovery features a larger 11.4 inch center display screen that Land Rover says is faster, smarter, better connected and offers over-the-air updates as well. There’s some changes under the hood, too. A diesel will no longer be offered in the U.S., but other markets will still have the option for a 3.0L inline 6-cylinder diesel that comes in two power outputs. The base engine is now a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder that makes nearly 300 horsepower, while the upgrade from that is a 355 horsepower turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine. The new Discovery can be ordered right now. Pricing in the UK starts at a little over 53,500 pounds, while in the U.S. it starts at $55,250, including destination charges.
MERCEDES OFFERS METRIS CAMPER VAN
Camper van conversions are just not something that you see very often in the U.S. but Mercedes is looking to change that. For the first time, the Metris, which is sold as the Vito in other markets, will be available with a pop up camper in the states. In addition to the roof top tent, the Metris Getaway, as it’s called, also comes with a second battery, rear bench seat that opens into a bed and swivel front seats. And there’s plenty of accessories, like mosquito nets, an awning, pull out kitchen and even solar panels. The van is available at dealerships now.
TOYOTA TUNDRA TRD PRO
Ever since the pandemic hit and we went into lockdowns, people have been flocking to the great outdoors to find a safe escape from their house or apartment. Sales of bicycles and motorcycles–especially dirt bikes–have skyrocketed. The same goes for off road vehicles. That’s why we were keen to test drive the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. As you probably know, any Toyota that says TRD on the side is a serious off road machine. But there are two versions of this TRD, Sport and Pro. And Pro means just what the name implies. Check out the equipment list: You get a modified suspension with 10.6 inches of ground clearance. You get an inch and a half more front suspension travel, and two more inches in the rear. You get Fox shocks with 3-stage compression damping, which are perfect for a soft landing. And you get a quarter-inch, steel front skid plate just in case you misjudge the landing. If rock crawling is really your cup of tea, then you’ll appreciate the electronically controlled transfer case and a 4.30 rear gear ratio for when you have to crawl very slowly over the biggest rocks or through the roughest trails. The TRD also has what Toyota calls A-Trac, which is a heavy duty traction control that also doubles as a limited slip differential. If a wheel is slipping it will transfer full power to the wheels with traction. Normally, traction control will limit engine power to prevent wheel slip. And there’s plenty of power to tap into thanks to a 5.7 liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound feet of torque, all of which flows through a 6-speed automatic. When you’re not running over the Rubicon Trail, the TRD Pro is a tamed beast out on the open road. Yes, it rides a bit rough but only a bit. And the cabin is relatively quiet until you stomp on the gas. Speaking of gas, it only delivers 14 miles to the gallon. But with a price tag north of $55,000 we suspect that owners can easily afford to fill the tank. And they will enjoy every gallon as they leave their Covid concerns behind.
And be sure to join us for Autoline After Hours later this week. Our guest is Brian Goldstine, the President of Mobility Solutions and Fleet Management at Bridgestone Americas. So join John and Gary at 3PM eastern time this Thursday for some of the best insider discussions in the automotive industry.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show, thanks for watching.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.