New Model News

2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition improves performance but isn’t TRD approved

The Toyota Corolla Apex Edition joins the Toyota lineup for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota is launching a new, performance-focused-ish version of the Corolla for the 2021 model year, the 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition. Unlike models that meet criteria governed by the team at Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the Corolla is a step in the right direction but doesn't meet the standards.

The Apex Edition is a package available on Corolla SE and XSE models.

It is powered by the Corolla's 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual. Sport driving mode and paddle shifters are standard equipment.

2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota is enhancing the noise that comes out of the Corolla Apex Edition's posterior with a sport-tuned exhaust that delivers a throaty growl. The specially developed catback exhaust has a 3.5-inch stainless steel tip.

Just 6,000 of these versions will be sold for the 2021 model years. Of those 120 will have a six-speed manual transmission that replaces the standard automatic.

Models with the CVT achieve 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Six-speed Corollas get 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

To make it look the part, the Apex Edition gets a black body kit that is meant to visually impress and increase aerodynamics. There is a black front spoiler, fog light covers, side moldings, and rear diffuser. There are bronze accents as well. Buyers can add a rear trunk aero spoiler.

Under the body is a special set of unique coil springs that lower the vehicle by 0.6 inches. Specially tuned shocks with internal rebound increase the damping force to control body roll. A unique solid stabilizer bar further ups the ante.

New jounce bumpers are meant to ensure that the car's lower ride height doesn't hinder ride quality. The changes increase roll stiffness by 47 percent in the front and 33 percent in the rear.

The model's electronic power steering has been tuned specifically for the model.

The Corolla rides on 18-inch flow-formed cast aluminum gloss black wheels. Buyers can get them wrapped with all-season or summer tires.

Buyers will have their choice of three exterior colors: Cement with a Black Sand Pearl roof, Super White with a Black Sand Pearl roof, and Black Sand Pearl. All models have black mirrors caps, triple J-shaped clearance lamps, LED turn signals and tail lamps with smoked outer lenses.

The Corolla SE Apex Edition will feature premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE Apex Edition has black SofTex-trimmed fabric upholstery. The XSE Apex Edition will also feature heated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support.

The car has standard Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility that play out on the car's 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen. Two USB ports, Bluetooth, and satellite radio are also standard.

Toyota is equipping the model with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which is standard across the Corolla lineup.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.


2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.


2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc


Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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