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

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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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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