Such a Tease

Hyundai teases refreshed Santa Fe with hybrid and plug-in powertrains

Hyundai has shown off a refresh of the Santa Fe SUV, which includes two new powertrain options.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai has given the world its first glimpse of a new Santa Fe. With the release of a new teaser photo, the Korean automaker has announced that hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants of the SUV are on their way, as well as a host of interior updates.

The image reveals as slightly bolder Santa Fe, with its daytime running lights and grille combining at the front of the car. The new design incorporates a "T" shape, making Hyundai the second automaker to employ such a design in modern autos. Volvo has had a sideways "T" for its headlights since the current XC90 generation debuted, calling it "Thor's hammer". There will, naturally, be comparisons to the Tesla logo.

Hyundai Vision T concept car suv The Hyundai Vision T concept SUV debuted at the LA Auto Show in November. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The move to debut a hybrid and PHEV version of the Santa Fe comes as no surprise. Hyundai has promised that they will reveals 13 hybrids, six PHEVs, 23 electric vehicles (EVs), and two fuel cell vehicles by mid-decade.

In the U.S., the mode is sold with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower) or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (235 horsepower). Both engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The European version of the model currently only is available with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel power plant, with a manual or automatic transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the U.S. with all-wheel drive available. European models only are available with 4x4.

U.S. buyers can currently choose from three plug-in models in the Hyundai lineup, the Kona Plug-In, Sonata Plug-In and the Ioniq Plug-In. Those models are also available as hybrids, as is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.

At the LA Auto Show last November, Hyundai unveiled a concept SUV that championed eco-conscious lifestyle choices, including electric power. Though it's thought that the model serves as a study for the next-generation Tucson, it's likely that we'll see some parallels between the Santa Fe hybrid and PHEV, and the forthcoming new Tucson. Hyundai frequently reveals concepts that give hints at new model news.

It's also quite likely that the Hyundai Santa Cruz utility truck will be born as a hybrid later this year.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. No word yet on when, or if, it makes its way to U.S. dealerships.

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An all-electric vintage Bentley offers retro looks and modern tech.

Photo courtesy of Lunaz

It's been a busy few months. Lunaz has increased its U.K. electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing footprint by 500 percent and added the world's first electric classic Bentley to its portfolio.

"Restoration, re-engineering and electrification responds to the global requirement for a clean-air future," said David Lorenz, Founder, Lunaz. "The Lunaz proprietary powertrain has been proven by furthering the legacies of the most significant cars in history. The time is now right to establish a significantly expanded presence to answer the global need for much wider conversion applications. Our commitment to the UK as a global centre of technical excellence in EV engineering is signalled with the commissioning of a permanent home for our rapidly growing business."

New home

The new Lunaz production home, designed from the ground up, will be completed this spring. It will feature a state-of-the-art design and a research and development hub. The company will have the ability to finish surfaces, engineer batteries, restore the bodies of vehicles, and crafts key components in hard and soft finishes in-house.

Customers will be able to access a hosting space on the second floor of the building, which has an uninterrupted view of Silverstone Racetrack. Beyond race days, the suite will be used as consultation space with the Lunaz design team.

Lunaz Bentley Continental

Lunaz is now offering electrified versions of vintage Bentley Continentals.

Photo courtesy of Lunaz

Electrified vintage Bentley Continental

Following the offering of an all-electric vintage Rolls-Royce, Lunaz is responding to demand, offering a full production of the world's first electric Bnetleys.

"The Bentley Continental is the definitive British grand touring machine," said Lorenz. "Customers across the globe asked us to create the world's first electric expressions of these iconic cars. The result marries the beauty and presence of these extraordinary cars with a proven answer to the key questions of reliability, usability and sustainability that surrounds classic car ownership. We are proud to further the legacy of the Bentley Continental with the start of full production from our significantly expanded UK manufacturing presence."

The most recently completed car is a 1961 Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur by H.J Mulliner. It is presented with a two-tone paint job and an interior that is finished in hand-restored lustrous green leather with burr walnut trim. Modern conveniences have been fitted to the car including power steering and air conditioning. An infotainment screen with navigation and Apple CarPlay functionality is also included.

This particular model will be used as a daily driver by a U.K. car collector so hill seats have been integrated into the rear.

Lunaz will now permanently release production allocation for Bentley Continental S1, S2, S3 in two-door and four-door configuration. In addition to fixed-head cars, the company will also offer rare Continental Drophead Coupé examples.

Prices for original factory steel-body cars start at £350,000 excluding local taxes.


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Polestar currently operates four showrooms in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Polestar

Polestar, an electric performance car brand, will be opening 15 new sales locations in the U.S. by the end of 2021. Called Polestar Spaces, the showrooms are more in line with what Tesla offers and less like a traditional auto dealership.

Each Polestar Space features minimalist Scandinavian-like design, pulling together the heritage of the company with a modern sales environment. Each location is staffed by non-commissioned Polestar Specialists. Test drives can be coordinated on-site or at home.

In the next few months, locations in Austin, Texas; Boston; Denver, Seattle; South Florida; and Washington D.C. will open. Those new showrooms will be established in connection with established retailer groups in the area. Additional information regarding the D.C. and Florida locations is expected soon.

2021 Polestar 2 The fastback Polestar 2 is a head-turner. Photo courtesy of Polestar

The second-half of 2021 will welcome the opening of additional showrooms in Atlanta; Central and South New Jersey; Connecticut; Dallas; Detroit; Minneapolis; Phoenix; and Orange County, California.

Specific showroom details are available at Polestar.com/Spaces.

"In 2019 we stated our goal of servicing 85% of the addressable EV market within a year of the Polestar 2 launch," said Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar in North America. "With these 2021 appointments, we will accomplish that and more- especially with our free pickup and delivery servicing within 150 miles of a brick-and-mortar Polestar location."

Polestar Spaces are already open in Los Angeles (Santa Monica) and Manhattan, plus two locations in the San Francisco Bay Area (Corte Madera and Santa Clara).

The automaker currently offers the Polestar 2 for sale in the U.S. AutomotiveMap recently had the opportunity to test drive the car for review.

It was recently confirmed that the Polestar Precept concept is headed to production. The concept version of the car is noted for its sustainable materials and minimalist design.

Additionally, Polestar and Koenigsegg are working on a project.

Further markets for expansion will be announced later in 2021.

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