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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

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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The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is joining the company’s lineup

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The decision to add a turbocharged engine variant to the Mazda3 was met with praise for those who like getting in a little more excitement behind the wheel. Now It has been announced that the Mazda3's crossover counterpart, the CX-30 is getting the same treatment.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 will be available with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when the tank is filled with 93 octane fuel. The performance drops to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque when owners fill up with 87 octane. Engines with the turbo-four also get standard all-wheel drive.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The body styling is pretty much the same as the rest of the Mazda CX-30 lineup, but it does have unique wheels and other attributes.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

To accommodate the new engine option, Mazda has not had to change the outward appearance of the model In earnest but does add some highlights including 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, larger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors and a "TURBO" badge on the liftgate.

As the most premium Mazda CX-30 model, it comes with a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, black upper dash and chrome finishes. The features list includes a Bose 12-speaker audio system and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen..

The CX-30 2.5 Turbo, as the models with the engine will be known. Also comes equipped with Smart City Brake Support Reverse and rear cross-traffic braking technologies that can sense a vehicle coming into the lane of travel when reversing, warn the driver, and apply the brakes in order to possibly avoid a collision. Additional available safety technologies include a 360-degree view monitor, Active Drive Display, traffic sign recognition, and adaptation front lighting.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The CX-30 debuted just last year.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is scheduled to go on sale by the end of 2020. Specific packaging and pricing details will be announced in the coming months

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The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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