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New 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor to make more extreme off-roading possible

The 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor is a new addition to the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor continues the off-road story that was started by theFord Super Duty Tremor and Ford Ranger Tremor. It contains similar upgrades for tacking the trails while maintaining the towing and payload capacity that makes the F-150 a perennial best-seller. The Ford F-150 lineup was completely redesigned for the 2021 model year.

F-150 Tremor is meant for customers that need more off-road capability than what they can get in a F-150 FX4 package, but less than what is available in the F-150 Raptor (Ford hasn't revealed the next-gen Raptor yet). It is designed to tackle the terrain of a cornfield, as well as a dusty two-track, muddy bog, and rock-strewn trail.

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor GIF GIF courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 makes use of a high-strength steel frame and aluminum body. It comes only in a SuperCrew configuration with a 5.5-foot box. Ford will only sell the model with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 under the hood that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is also standard. Buyers will be able to choose from the standard, mid and high equipment groups as well as other features.

Ford has upgraded the truck's suspension to include retuned front and rear springs that add ground clearance, revised front hub knuckles and upper control arms, and added Tremor-specific monotone shocks up front. The twin tube shocks at the rear have been stunned for softer damping at low speeds.

The whole rig rides on new 33-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires that are wrapped around unique matte-finish 18-inch wheels. This adds ground clearance and makes the truck's stance one-inch wider. It also has a Raptor-style bash plate.

All the modifications to the truck have resulted in an approach angle of 27.6 degrees, breakover angle of 21.2 degrees, and departure angle of 24.3 degrees. Tremor has 1.5 inches more total travel in the rear and an additional inch of total travel in front.

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A locking rear differential is standard. Ford is making a Torsen limited-slip front differential available later in the model year. Opting for the high equipment group will get a torque-on-demand transfer case that is similar to the high-performance unit in F-150 Raptor.

Tremor has a maximum conventional tow rating of 10,900 pounds.

Ford's Pro Power Onboard generator system is available and delivers 2.0 kilowatts of exportable power in the bed for tools, an air compressor, or electric chainsaw.

The front of the truck sports a new hood and fascia that is designed to give the model a more muscular appearance. The Ford oval is blacked out and highlighted by the signature Tremor color of Active Orange. Two Active Orange recovery hooks are situated near the bottom. Fixed running boards, inspired by Raptor, are mounted close to the body. A cutout rear bumper features a high-flow dual exhaust flanking its two rear recovery hooks.

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor GIF courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Active Orange is also visible on the fenders, bed sides, and tailgate. The color carries over to the interior where it is featured in special stitching, materials, and finishes on the instrument panel, center console, and doors.

Buyers get a six-position auxiliary power pack mounted to the overhead console as standard. They can have off-road lighting options installed at the dealer and check the 360-degree camera package options box when they order.

The Ford Trail Toolbox will be available in the model. It features one-pedal driving capability that makes activities like rock crawling easier. Trail Turn Assist technology reduces the steering radius of the truck in tight off-road stations by applying brakes to the inside rear wheel.

2021 Ford F-150 Tremor GIF courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Drivers will be able to make full use of Normal, Sport, Tow/Haul, Eco, Slippery, Deep Snow/Sand, Mud/Rut, and Rock Crawl drive modes. Available Trail Control operates like cruise control for off-road use.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor will be available next summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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Honda is working with Verizon on self-driving cars technology.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The Mcity campus was designed to be a proving ground for new technologies. Honda and Verizon are utilizing it as such as they partner to explore how Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) can be used to ensure quick and reliable communication between road infrastructure, vehicles, and pedestrians.

The 5G technology leverages cloud technology to deliver lower latency, a large amount of bandwidth, and improved communication. This communication includes the way that vehicles interact with ther cars, traffic lights, pedestrians and emergency vehicles to improve threat detection and avoid accidents when seconds matter most. That's where the "V2" in acronyms like "V2V" (vehicle-to-vehicle) and "V2X" (vehicle- to-everything).

Honda and Verizon Test How 5G Enhances Safety for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles www.youtube.com

Honda has been working since 2017 to develop a technology that will help to create a collision-free society. The technology, called Safe Swarm, uses V2X communication to enable vehicles to communicate with other road users and share key information such as location, speed, and vehicle sensor data.

There are some obstacles, not the least of which is the need to outfit each vehicle with onboard artificial intelligence capabilities. The use of 5G helps move the AI capabilities from the vehicle to the MEC, reducing the need for AI onboard each vehicle.

"The ability to move computing power to the edge of our 5G network is an essential building block for autonomous and connected vehicles, helping cars to communicate with each other in near real-time and with sensors and cameras installed in streets and traffic lights," said Sanyogita Shamsunder, vice president of Technology Development and 5G Labs at Verizon. "When you consider that roughly 42,000 people were killed in car accidents last year and 94% of accidents are caused by human error, our new technologies including 5G and MEC can help drivers 'see' things before the human eye can register and react helping to prevent collisions and save lives."

Three safety scenarios have been explored as part of the testing:

  • Pedestrian Scenario - A pedestrian is crossing a street at an intersection. An approaching driver cannot see the pedestrian due to a building obstructing the view. Smart cameras mounted in the intersection relay information to MEC using the 5G network. Verizon's MEC and V2X software platforms detect the pedestrian and vehicle and determine the precise location of road users assisted by Verizon's Hyper Precise Location services. A visual warning message is then sent alerting the driver of the potential danger.
  • Emergency Vehicle Warning Scenari - A driver cannot see an approaching emergency vehicle and cannot hear its siren due to the high volume of in-vehicle audio. Verizon's MEC and V2X software receive a safety message from the emergency vehicle and send a warning message to nearby vehicles. The driver receives a visual warning.
  • Red Light Runner Scenario - A vehicle fails to stop at a red light. Using data from the smart cameras, MEC and V2X software detect the vehicle and send a red-light-runner visual warning message to other vehicles approaching the intersection.

You can watch the video of Honda and Verizon's Mcity tests at http://honda.us/5GResearch.

Honda isn't the only company exploring what 5G communication can offer. Pirelli has installed the tech in its tires and BMW recently updated its My BMW app to make it compatible with the new technology. Audi is working on similar technology out on the road in Virginia and Georgia.

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