LA Auto Show 2019

New 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S continues a 20-year tradition

The SUV blends power and performance.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has given the new GLE an expected AMG upgrade. It delivers the exterior looks, interior refinement, and power that Mercedes GLE buyers are looking for. Again, a formula done right by the German automaker.

This is the 20th anniversary fo the M-Class based ML 55 AMG, the model that would evolve to become the modern GLE.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The SUV features AMG-specific exterior features.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The exterior of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S gets an AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvers and a silver chrome front splitter. Its mirror housings and flared wheel arches match the color of the vehicle. Two rectangular tailpipes sit at the back of the SUV along with a spoiler. The GLE 63 S has standard 21-inch wheels. Additional 21- and 22-inch wheels are standard.

An available AMG Night package includes the front splitter, front and rear bumper trim, inserts in the side skirts, mirror caps and window frames in distinctive black. The twin tailpipe trim is finished in black chrome.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The model is powered by a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Under the SUV's hood is a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that is paired with an EQ Boost starter-generator and generates 602 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The electric output adds 21 horsepower off the line to maximize the vehicle's efficiency without sacrificing fuel economy or power. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard. Trail and Sand drive modes have been added in this vehicle.

The SUV comes loaded with a standard air suspension and adaptive damping system. The drive height can be adjusted depending on the drive mode selected. The car's Active Ride Control system keeps he cabin stable despite what the road throws at it.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The car has an air suspension that helps keep it stable on the road.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

There are separate steering control options designed to offer varying degrees of feedback. The model also comes with an AMG high-performance braking system featuring six-piston fixed, red-colored brake calipers and disc brakes. A ceramic braking system with bronze-colored six-piston fixed calipers is available.

On the inside, the SUV has Nappa leather upholstery, a crystal grey seat band, and crystal grey contrast topstitching. The model has crystal gray seat belts. Individually adjustable 64-color ambient lighting comes standard. Its steering wheel features a lined with Nappa Leather and a midnight marking. An AMG-specific control panel features additional switches.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The SUV's interior is familiar but customized for the AMG model.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Further, there are AMG brushed stainless steel sport pedals, door sill panels, and black floor mats with the AMG logo.

The MBUX infotainment system features four AMG-specific display styles including the Supersport mode, which has information specific to AMG with a focus on motorsport.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S The SUV is built for performance (see the grab handles) but also luxury and comfort (see the plush seats).Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

A long list of safety and driver assistance technology is available.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S goes on sale in the U.S. in mid-2020. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle's on-sale date.

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Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

The long process to design, engineer, and award a contract for the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) next-generation mail delivery vehicle (NGDV) has finally come to an end. The government has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle for service. Oshkosh Defense is a a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK).

The NGDV project is the USPS's first large-scale fleet procurement in three decades. Over the next 10 years, the contract allows for the delivery of between 50,000 and 165,000 new vehicles.

"Oshkosh operates with unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world. We are honored to have been selected by the USPS to support their important work by manufacturing American-made Next Generation Delivery Vehicles that will connect every home and business across the United States for decades to come," said John Pfeifer, President & Chief Operating Officer, Oshkosh Corporation.

U.S. Postal Service's Next-Generation Mail Delivery Vehicle

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

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The new mail trucks will have multiple powertrain options, just like many passenger vehicles on the road today. There will be a battery electric vehicle (BEV) version that runs exclusively on electric power and a fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) variant.

Under the contract awarded today, USPS has committed to paying Oshkosh Defense $482 million as a first step toward the new vehicles' production. The money will be used to finalize the production vehicle design and complete factory build-out, all of which is necessary before production gets underway. The process is similar to ones mass market vehicle manufacturers use.

"Our century-long history of delivering products to customers, operating in some of the most demanding and severe conditions on the planet, uniquely positions us to bring exceptional reliability, safety, and maintainability to USPS's Next Generation Delivery Vehicles," said John Bryant, Executive Vice President, Oshkosh Corporation, and President, Oshkosh Defense. "Partnering with trusted suppliers, we have developed a purpose-built solution to support the current and future needs of the USPS," Bryant concluded.

In addition to a new exterior and powertrain options, the NGTV also gets modern features and amenities like a rearview camera, walk-in cargo area, air condition, telematics, and a sliding cargo door. There's also a host of safety technology and equipment including airbags, automatic front and rear braking, blind spot warning, a 360-degree camera, and forward collision warning.

Production of the next generation delivery vehicle is expected to begin in 2023.

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The 2022 Kia Carnival was designed to look more like an SUV than a minivan.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

When is a minivan not a minivan? When Kia's marketing department decides its not. Apparently. The 2022 Kia Carnival replaces the Sedona minivan in the company's lineup and instead of being called a minivan, Kia has decided that it's a 'multi-purpose vehicle' or MPV for short.

Kia says that the new Carnival stakes a claim on the "unoccupied space between SUV and family hauler". It's not the first model in that territory. The Ford Carousel may be considered the first modern model to occupy the space, but it was just a prototype.

The Carnival was designed at Kia's California design studio. It's bold and boxy rather than sleek and function-forward, like the bodies of the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Sienna. The Odyssey and Pacifica were both refreshed for the 2021 model year while the Sienna was redesigned.

2022 Kia Carnival: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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Kia carries over many of the design elements of the Telluride, Sorento, and Seltos into the new Carnival. It has the company's new tiger nose grille and integrated LED headlights. At its sides are substantial wheel catches while two-tone mirrors and and cutlines run the length of the vehicle. At the rear, geometric trail lamps, a rear skid plate garnish, and reflectors are positioned to make the vehicle look like an SUV. The model rides on 17- and 19-inch wheels, which are available in gloss black.

The Carnival is a three-row van that seats seven or eight, depending on the buyer's preference. The vehicle uniquely features Side-Flex seating in its eight-passenger variant that allows for multiple configurations. Kia describes it as including "a sliding second row center seat which, when in the forward-most position, allows the front passenger easy access the baby or child riding in it. This seat also converts into a functional table."

Heated and ventilated second row 'VIP Lounge Seating' with power controls, wing-out headrests, and leg extensions is available for seven-passengers Carnivals.

2022 Kia Carnival: Interior

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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Kia will offer the model in four trim levels: LX, EX, SX< and SX-Prestige.

Kia has given the U.S.-bound version of the Carnival a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers best-in-class 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain is completed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and provides 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.

The van's dimensions offer best-in-class passenger room (168.2 cubic feet) and best-in-class cargo room (145.1 cubic feet behind the front row in LX, EX, and SX grades). Removable second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats help the model achieve its best-in-class cargo room (second row seats not removable in SX-Prestige) title.

Kia will offer the model in three interior color schemes.

The list of standard features includes hands-free opening power sliding doors with Smart Key, and 8-inch infotainment touch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2022 Kia Carnival: Details

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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A hands-free power lift gate with auto close, Smart Key with one-button open/close functionality for rear sliding doors and liftgate, passenger voice recognition (allows second row occupants to control numerous in-vehicle functions through voice commands by pushing a button mounted on the ceiling), the Passenger Talk intercom system, Rear Passenger View in-cabin camera, dual-screen entertainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android screen mirroring, wireless smartphone charging, navigation, full digital instrument cluster, multi-Bluetooth, up to nine USB ports, a Bose premium audio system, and UVO link telematics are available.

The long list of standard advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on the Carnival includes: forward collision warning with collision avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring with collision avoidance assist, rear cross traffic warning with collision avoidance assist, rear park assist, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, automatic high beam headlights, and driver attention monitor.

Buyers can add to the safety technology in the Carnival to include the new 'Kia Drive Wise' ADAS, which includes: Blind-Spot View Monitor, a technology that projects live video view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster and activated via the turn signal; speed limit adjustment; navigation-based adaptive cruise control; park assist; and surround-view monitor.

It's the first vehicle Kia is selling in the U.S. with the company's new logo displayed on it. It will go on sale in the second quarter of 2021. Pricing is expected to be made public in the coming months.

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