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Orders for well-equipped 2020 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Launch Edition open

Toyota is no longer the only minivan maker to offer all-wheel drive.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Chrysler Pacifica has been given a thorough overhaul for the 2021 model year. The van will now be offered in an all-wheel-drive variant and has fresh exterior styling. It also has gotten a long list of new technology and added standard safety features. But before that model arrives at dealerships, many of its features, including all-wheel drive, will be available on the 2020 Pacifica AWD Launch Edition.

The 2020 Pacifica Launch Edition builds on the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L model and is equipped with all-wheel drive. It includes the S Appearance package that includes a Black Noise AWD badge, Black Noise Pacifica and Chrysler wing badging, and rolls on upgraded 18-inch wheels in the new "Foreshadow" finish. Gloss Black features on the headlamp eyebrows, grille surrounds, rear valance, and daylight opening.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Launch Edition The model features Stow'n'Go seating as well as all-wheel drive.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The appearance package extends to the interior where the seats are covered in McKinley leather seats that are stitched with Light Diesel Grey thread. The model will have an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment touch screen.

The all-black S Appearance interior is upgraded with McKinley leather seats bordered with Light Diesel Grey stitching and an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen radio. There are brushed metal hydro bezels on the dashboard and center stack.

Buyers can add features including Uconnect Navigation, Uconnect Theater, Advanced SafetyTec, a tri-pane panoramic sunroof, trailer tow, KeySense, and the Premium Group package.

The AWD Launch Edition rides on standard 235/60-R18 Michelin Premier self-sealing tires.

The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Launch Edition is available now for ordering at Chrysler dealerships in the United States and Canada. The U.S. manufacturer's suggested retail price $40,240, excluding destination fees, includes the AWD Launch Edition package MSRP of $3,095.

The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Launch Edition is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in the third quarter of 2020.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle | Chicago Auto Show | Major Refresh With AWD Option www.youtube.com

Chrysler's refreshed 2021 Pacifica was originally slated to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. Chrysler will release pricing information closer to start of sales.

A number of features contained in the new model, including FCA's new Uconnect system, are not available in the 2020 Pacifica. Additionally, the 2020 model is not sold in Chrysler's new Pinnacle trim level.

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Balmain's Creative Director Olivier Rousteing is a Porsche fan.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

What does it mean to "drive defined"? A new series of videos from Porsche and the Creative Director of the Paris fashion label Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, explorers the meaning of the phrase. Rousteing says that he's been "fascinated" by Porsche since childhood.

The designer, who grew up in France, worked at Roberto Cavalli before becoming the Creative Director at Balmain in 2011. The powerhouse fashion brand was founded in 1945 and was previously lead by Oscar de la Renta. Modern Balmain designs feature elements of French couture mixed with Asian influence. In 2019, the brand launched the KYLIE X BALMAIN, a makeup collaboration with social media influencer Kylie Jenner.

Olivier Rousteing sits in a Porsche Panamera during the filming of the short.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The short videos, published on Porsche's social media channels and on Rousteing's Instagram feed, focus on Rousteing's powerful inner driving force. In a release, the luxury car manufacturer says that there are "many similarities between the fashion designer and the sports car brand" including boundary pushing and an eye toward the tradition-rich history of the company Rousteing leads into the modern age.

"Olivier Rousteing is not just an authentic Porsche enthusiast, he is also a perfect fit for us with his desire to make Balmain a modern brand with the highest standards of quality and luxury," says Jelena Batic who is responsible for the cooperation at Porsche. "Together, we explore his exceptional driving force in the films by examining the connection between the worlds of sports cars and fashion, which creates relevance for our existing customers, as well as for younger and female target groups."

The series kicked off with a video featuring the Porsche Panamera. It was just the first step in a planned, longer collaboration between Rousteing and Porsche. Further aspects of the partnership are expected to be made public in due course.

Watch the first video below.

Drive Defined with Olivier Rousteing www.youtube.com

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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