New Model News

Ohio-based Lordstown Motors reveals $52,000 Endurance all-electric pickup truck

The new trucks are expected to be on the road later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors Corp. CEO Steve Burns, with a little help from Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, unveiled the 2021 Endurance all-electric pickup truck in Lordstown, Ohio this week.

The truck is the first product from the company, which announced their intent in 2019 to build 20,000 trucks in 2021. During the launch event, Lordstown Motors announced that they have received preorders and letters of intent that fulfill that goal. Those letters of intent are from Goodyear, AutoFlexFleet, the City of Bowling Green, the City of Warren, the City of Kent, Clean Fuels Ohio, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy, GridX, Holman Enterprises and ARI, Innervations, Lewis Energy, Lordstown Township, Momentum, ProLeasing Services, ServPro, SmartCone, Southgate Leasing Services, Summit County, OH, Summit Petroleum, Turner Mining Group, U-Go Stations, United States Infrastructure Company, and Valor Holdings, among others.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The model features four motors, one in each wheel.Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

"Endurance isn't just the first all-electric pickup truck in America—it's a virtue the people of the Mahoning Valley have shown time and time again. For more than 50 years, this historic building was used to make literally millions of cars that were driven all around the world—from the '66 Impala to the Cavalier to the Cruze," said Vice President Pence in his speech, after taking the inaugural ride in the Endurance as it made its way to the stage.

"When I was governor next door in the state of Indiana, I used to say, 'in the Heartland we do two things well: we make things and we grow things.' Manufacturing workers like you are the backbone of this economy, and the Valley has some of the best in the world."

It was also announced that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Lordstown Motors have entered into a strategic partnership which sees the two Ohio-based companies collaborating on tires and service, as well as future intelligence opportunities.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The Endurance is the first truck coming to market from the company.Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

The Lordstown Endurance runs only on electric power. It has a in-wheel drive system that utilizes four hub motors that work independently and cooperatively. Lordstown says that the company's motors are 95 percent efficient and deliver a 75MPGe rating.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, which effected the company's ability to re-tool the plant and product delays from suppliers, delivery of the first trucks has been delayed to late summer 2020.

The Endurance will cost $52,500 before tax credits. Pre-orders can be placed now on the company's website for a $100 deposit.

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The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept shows of the possible future of a V8 under the hood of a Jeep.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept model shows that the production model of a V8-powered Wrangler (and possibly Gladiator) is likely on the way - and that's straight from the people in the know at FCA.

Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler -8 and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "From the recently introduced 29-mpg Wrangler EcoDiesel to our award-winning Jeep Gladiator, and the upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Jeep is clearly listening to its customers. We are anxious to gauge their reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, a vehicle that delivers an incredible and unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- and off-road."

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept The model is pretty standard for a modern Wrangler Rubicon - on the outside.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's been a hot minute since there was a V8 under the hood of a Jeep. The last model to wear its power proudly was the 1981 Jeep CJ, which had a 5.0-liter V8 that delivered 125 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque.

The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is powered by a 6.4-liter (392-cubic-inch) HEMI V8 that delivers 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. That power gives the concept a zero to 60 mph time of less than five seconds.

Its engine is paired with a more robust version of the traditional eight-speed automatic, something that the HEMI in the Charger Scat Pack gets as well.

The parts roster includes Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch, and a steel belly pan. It also comes with Dana 44 axles, Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case (3.73 gear ratio), and Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle locking differentials. The SUV rides on custom 17-inch deadlock wheels that are wrapped in 37-inch mud-terrain tires.

The suspension of the typical Wrangler JL has been upgraded to include new aluminum, monotube Fox shocks, and two-mode exhaust, which is adjustable at the touch of a button.

The company has installed a factory Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar.

All that equipment gives the model some impressive numbers. It has a water fording capability of 34 inches, 13.25 inches of ground clearance, an approach angle of 51.6 degrees, a breaker angle of 29.5 degrees, and a departure angle of 40.1 degrees. It's Trail Rated.

Jeep has given the concept a Granite Crystal paint job, bronze-colored tow hooks, badging, springs, shocks, and wheels. There's a heavy-duty raised hood, custom half doors, and Wrangler's Sky One-touch powertop.

The concepts interior features a Red Rock-colored leather bolstered seats with gold stitching, along with a performance steering wheel.

When will you see the production version of the V8? These things take time, but remember, the auto show circuit looks to pick up in earnest early next year, and we have the Wrangler 4xe to see first.

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Thought the 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross just debuted in Thailand, it could be slated to come to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Let's face it, the Toyota CH-R was never really supposed to be a Toyota. The model, destined to be a Scion, had its life's direction altered when Scion closed up shop and parent company Toyota merged select members of its lineup with the Toyota line. For the last three years, the model has been doing its damnedest to escape the Scion mold, but hasn't. It remains the odd duck in the stable, not delivering the high-quality interior, good handling, and capability that earns the brand sufficient praise.

Enter: the Toyota Corolla Cross. Though its name doesn't quite invoke the feelings, of "Why? Whhhhhhyyyy?" that the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross moniker does, the Corolla Cross name is clearly a strategic move meant to capitalize on the one already worn by one of the best-selling cars of all time.

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Marketed as "Corolla Meets SUV", the Corolla Cross looks like it executes at every level. It rides on the same TNGA platform as the Toyota Prius, Prius Prime, C-HR, and Corolla, and the Lexus UX. That architecture make the slightly longer and taller Corolla Cross spacious with class-leading cargo room for its class.

Though the model is undoubtedly going to be modified a smidge if it comes to America, Toyota has outlined its highlights as part of its launch in Thailand.

The Corolla Cross makes much of its looks from the RAV4, but it's a copy. It's a natural progression of the design language, the same way the Highlander is. Toyota notes that this design allows for an "impressive rearview".

A new torsion-beam suspension delivers a cushioned ride. Toyota notes that the Corolla Cross is easy to maneuver and has a tight turning circle.

Toyota is selling the front-wheel drive model with a traditional gasoline-powered engine setup and as a hybrid. These variants are similar to the Corolla and Lexus UX in the States.

The gasoline-powered model has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 140 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid model returns 122 total system horsepower. Both engines are paired with a CVT.

The interior has good headroom and wide door openings. These are similar characteristics to the modern Corolla.

Toyota has already trademarked the Corolla Cross name for the U.S. according to Car & Driver. The model, which would fill a slot in Toyota product plans that were leaked earlier this year, may be the vehicle set to be made at the end joint Mazda-Toyota plant that is under construction in Alabama. It would fill the gap between the C-HR and RAV4 in the Toyota lineup, and compete directly with the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona.

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