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First Drive Review: 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid combines premium materials with efficiency, low price

Hyundai has refreshed the Ioniq for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor North America

New face, same name. If it weren't for its quirky backside, the refreshed 2020 Hyundai Ioniq may not be instantly recognizable to the masses, especially if they were sitting inside. The world's first car designed from the start to offer three electrified powertrains has gotten enough upgrades to make it truly begin to be taken seriously.

That all starts with the Ioniq Hybrid. The hybrid model is the most traditional of the car's three powertrain options (others being the plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric). It gets its power from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid The Ioniq Hybrid has enough power to take on daily driving situations with ease.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor North America

Despite having just 104 horsepower and a maximum of 125 pound-feet of torque. The Ioniq is surprisingly zippy in around-town driving situations. This is helped by the immediate availability of the car's power. This isn't always the case in small cars where automakers are using turbocharged engines with significant lag times to achieve fuel efficiency. The car also has unobtrusive regenerative braking.

Hyundai's Ioniq Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 58 mpg combined. That's a touch higher than what the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid gets.

The auto is only offered in front-wheel drive.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid The car has received significant upgrades to its fascia for the 2020 model year.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor NorthAmerica

For the 2020 model year, the car has gotten new front and rear fascias. There's new sill and wheel designs as well as upgraded headlights. The result is an aesthetic that is less yawn-inducing than it was in the past.

The real story is the Ioniq Hybrid's interior. Gone are the cheap-looking appointments and in their place is the high-quality materials Hyundai put in its other vehicles paired with excellent fit and finish. Its cupholders are still a sore point, but that's nit picking a bit.

In the tester was Hyundai's new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. The high-definition screen features the automaker's most recent operating system iteration that is captained by the driver's touch. The system is responsive and easy to use whether you're tuning the radio or setting up an address in the navigation system. Navigation prompts and mapping are easy to follow on the screen.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid touchs creen The top-tier IONIQ Hybrid comes standard with a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. An 8-inch screen in standard in the IONIQ Hybrid base model.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor North America

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

Each new Ioniq comes loaded with a long list of standard safety technology including lane keeping assist, high beam assist, and forward collision avoidance assist. A host of additional available new driver assist technologies bring the car up to par with the more premium offerings in its class.

Pricing for the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid starts at $23,000. The Limited trim level tested is a top-tier model that comes in at $31,000.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne is an all-electric hypercar

Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

The Hispano Suiza brand has been around for more than a century. Now primarily known as an aerospace company, the automotive side of the business is attempting a revival, first with the Carmen's introduction and now with the Carmen Boulogne, a sportier take on the Carmen.

The Carmen Boulogne is a fully electric and exclusive hypercar that was designed, developed, and manufactured in Barcelona, Spain. The company will create just five examples for sale.

Its name origin stretches back to 1921 when Hispano Suiza made a racing version of its high-performance H6 Coupé and entered it in the George Boillot Cup, an endurance race lasting more than 3.5 hours around the French city of Boulogne. Hispano Suiza took the win at the race in 1921, 1922, and 1923.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

The Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne delivers 1,098 horsepower and has an electronically limited maximum speed of 180 mph. The car can get form zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and weighs 3,593 pounds. Its weight is 60 pounds less than the traditional Carmen, a number that was achieved by changing out traditional structural elements for a carbon fiber subframe, among other parts. Additionally, the entire body of the car is carbon fiber.

The car's 80 kilowatt hour battery gives it a driving range of up to 248 miles. That's similar to the range of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. Its battery is designed and produced in-house, and has fast-charging capability of more than 80 kilowatts, taking just 30 minutes to charge from 30 to 80 percent via a CCS2 fast charger. It also has CHAdeMO and GB/T charging options.

Each rear wheel of the car has two permanent-magnet synchronous motors. The torque deliver of each motor is controlled through a vectoring system honed by experience in Formula E racing. Off the line through 6,500 rpm, the car is capable of reaching 1,180 pound-feet of torque.

The face of the car has the same semi-circular headlights and scowl as the Carmen, with the difference of a copper-colored grille. Buyers can customize their model to include either suede or black Alcantara on the dashboard and door panels.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

The price of the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne starts at $2 million USD, and its manufacturing process requires approximately twelve month of lead time.

The five units of the Carmen Boulogne hypercar join the 14 units of the Carmen to reach a total of 19 units in production, with the first unit ready to be delivered in 2022.

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Acura has teased the forthcoming MDX with this photo.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The redesigened versions of the 2022 Acura MDX and 2021 Nissan Armada will be revealed on December 8. The Armada will go first, bowing at 11 a.m. EST. The MDX will make its appearance at 2:30 p.m. EST.

2022 Acura MDX

Acura previewed the 2022 MDX earlier this year, revealing the MDX Prototype two months ago. The new model will be the company's fourth-generation of its flagship SUV. Acura has already divulged that the three-row SUV will ride on a new light-truck platform and feature a double-wishbone front suspension (a first for the model) and will have a "sumptuously appointed interior loaded with an arsenal of new features and technologies".

2022 Acura MDX Acura previewed the model with a teaser photo. Lightening the photo in Photoshop reveals most of its body structure, which looks remarkably similar to the MDX Prototype.Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura has also confirmed that the SUV will continue to be powered by the company's 3.5-liter V6 engine, which will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The model will be available with all-wheel drive and arrive at dealerships in early 2021. An MDX Type S, Acura's first high-performance SUV variant, will follow in the summer of 2021.

The MDX is the best-selling model in its segment where it competes directly with the Infiniti QX60, which is also set for a redesign in the coming year.

2021 Nissan Armada

Changes to the Nissan Armada have been kept under wraps more than the MDX's revisions. There's a big clue, however, and that comes from the 2020 Nissan Patrol, a very similar model that is sold in the Middle East.

The 2020 Patrol refresh featured a new grille and boomerang headlights. At the rear, the Patrol received new taillights, a large chrome nameplate, and sequential rear turn indicators. The cabin featured a dual-display design with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Diamond-stitch quilted leather seats with added padding and a hand-stitched steering wheel also made its debut. Climate control and power lumbar support are available in the model. Nissan reduced the amount of noise and vibration that is passed on to customers and improved airflow distribution in the latest version of the SUV, which also get additional safety features.

2020 Nissan Patrol The Nissan Patrol gives a good idea of what buyers can expect from the refreshed Armada.Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Corporation

It is likely that the 2021 Armada will receive the bulk of these enhancements. Additionally, there is likely to be the incorporation of Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and rear automatic braking. Nissan already employs this tech in 10 of its models.

The Armada is the sister vehicle of the Infiniti QX80. Improvements to the QX80, like a set of higher-resolution infotainment screens indicate that the Armada is also likely getting screen upgrades, and perhaps wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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