New Model News

2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid kicks of the electrified future of the trident brand

The 2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid is the company's first electrified vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati sparked one, but it wasn't as big a light as many thought it would be. The redesigned 2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid is tougher looking and more fuel efficient than its traditionally powertrained predecessor thanks to a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

The Modena-based manufacturer sees the Ghibli Hybrid as a jumping off point for the new version of the brand - one where electrification and performance take center stage. Call it the Italian version of Akio Toyoda's famous "no boring cars" statement.

To mark the occasion of the new vehicle, Maserati has developed a new logo, complete with a blue color that signifies an electrified powertrain in a cars.

2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid

2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Maserati

The Ghibli's newest iteration is still easily able to be identified as the model. At the front, the car's grille and bars have been redesigned to look like a running fork. It has more dominant creases on the hood and an aggressive pouncing-like stance but the backside strays even less from the mold though Maserati is quick to point out that it's completely restyled with a "boomerang-like profile inspired by the 3200 GT and the Alfieri concept car".

The car's hybrid technology was designed to improve fuel economy and performance. It includes the ability to regenerate energy through forward motion and braking, storing that energy in the car's battery. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 48 volt alternator and an electric supercharger, supported by a battery. It's the first vehicle in its segment to sport the technology.

The battery is located at the rear of the car, helping to improve weight distribution. The new powertrain weighs 80 kg less than a diesel-powered power plant.

With their powers combined, the car is able to achieve 330 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. It has a top speed of 158. mph and can move from zero to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds. Simply put, the Ghibli Hybrid is not a lightening rod, but it appears to be sufficiently powered.

The car also comes with the brand's new Maserati Connect program, which appears, on paper, to be similar to Hyundai Blue Link and other connected car technologies. The Ghibli Hybrid's infotainment system is backed by Android Automotive technology. Maserati says that the system is "fully customizable to the driver's personal preferences". It's displayed on with an 8.4- or 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen, depending on model.

The Brand's first all-electric cars will be the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio, which are scheduled for 2021.

Pricing for the 2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid has not yet been announced.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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