In-Car Tech

2021 Audi models get Hybrid Radio as part of iHeartRadio collaboration

Audi vehicles equipped with the MIB 3 infotainment system can take advantage of the technology.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has partnered with iHeartRadio to deliver Hybrid Radio to owners of select 2021 model year Audi vehicles. The result is an industry-first experience.

Models that are equipped with Audi's MIB 3 suite of infotainment technology will be able to take advantage of Hybrid Radio, which allows listeners with an Audi Connect Prime or Plus subscription not switch between broadcast and digital radio signals when they have entered or exited radio signal territories for uninterrupted listening.

iHeartRadio Audi The new technology allows you to take your local radio station with you when you leave its broadcast zone.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

When the vehicle is cycled off and on again, it is able to retain the radio station, picking up the digital radio channel via internet connection.

"The ability to bring Hybrid Radio® to Audi customers would not be possible without pioneers like iHeartRadio embracing this technology," said Pom Malhotra, director, Connected Services, Audi of America. "Audi advances progress through technology, and we are thankful to be able to collaborate with iHeartRadio to continue bringing new conveniences to our customers."

"Radio has always been the consumer's No. 1 choice for companionship in the car," said Michele Laven, president of Strategic Partnerships Group for iHeartMedia. "The innovative functionality Audi is introducing via their Hybrid Radio® experience allows yet another way for that companionship to be seamlessly extended beyond the range of the broadcast signal keeping the consumer connected to their favorite station, no matter where the road takes them."

Hybrid Radio is available to Audi customers at no additional cost as part of their subscription.

It uses the integrated 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. Verizon is Audi's wireless connectivity provider.

Models equipped with the MIB 3 system are arriving at U.S. dealerships this month.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson takes what you know about the model and kicks it up more than just one notch.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai sells more Tucsons than any other model, and not just in the U.S. The global best-seller has been reborn with striking new looks and high-tech innovation that, on the surface, squarely put it at odds with the budget-conscious most of the models it competes against.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson will be sold in short- and long wheelbase models worldwide.

Designers continues the Sensuous Sportiness language first put forth in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and continued in the 2021 Hyundai Elantra in the new Tucson. At its front are Parametic Hidden Headlights that incorporate the daytime running lights and their housing into the grille of the vehicle. Here, it's realized as a "T" shape the that is similar to the new fascia on the refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe. The automaker says that the lights are only visible when they are illuminated.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Numerous creases are featured on the body of the car.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The crease-heavy body styling continues from the hood and down the sides of the compact SUV giving the model looks beyond your typical jellybean-shaped mommy hauler.

At the rear, a body-width taillight incorporates half-hidden triangular shapes that are only visible when lit. The Hyundai logo has been moved from its traditional place and and is now integrated into the rear glass. In turn, the wiper is now hidden under the car's spoiler.

Hyundai will sell the gasoline-powered versions of the model in seven paint colors: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, Nocturne Gray, Amazon Gray, Flame Red, and Intense Blue, six of which are new for Tucson. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models offer the following four colors: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, and Intense Blue, three of which are new for Tucson.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hyundai's new Tucson design is sleek yet sharp.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Tucson will be powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It achieves 187 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. These figures give the engine more horsepower than either of the two engines in the 2020 model and 31 pound-feet more torque than that year's base 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

A more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder will be available. That same 1.6-liter engine is also able to be matched with hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology. Each engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 1.6-liter hybrid engine alone achieves 178 horsepower. When coupled with the battery and elector motor, the overall output increases to 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, far surpassing anything offered in the last-gen Tucson.

Hyundai will employ its first-in-class E-Handling technology for HEV and PHEV models. All-wheel drive is available on the Tucson and comes with a number of drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Smart, Sport, Mud, Sand and Snow (not available in all markets).

2022 Hyundai Tucson The car features very distinct design lines.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The roster of safety technology on the Tucson is impressive. It includes: highway driving assist, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, blind spot view monitor, blind-spot collision warning, surround view monitor, reverse parking collision-avoidance assist, remote smart parking assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning. Blind spot collision avoidance assist with rear cross-traffic alert and assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and safe exit warning are also available.

Hyundai designers strived to give the 2022 Tucson a serene and spacious interior. Like in the Nissan Ariya, the model was crafted to seamlessly blend space, technology, and information. The layered waterfall effect of the dashboard combines traditional horizontal lines with curves to draw the eye upward and downward without the feeling of space segregation. This space is marked by twin silver garnish lines that flow from the center fascia to the rear doors. Sixty-four color ambient mood lighting is adjustable in 10 levels of brightness.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Angular taillights are a unique design highlight.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The center stack houses twin 10.25-inch touch screens with split-screen and multi-tasking capabilities in the top Tucson trim level. A multi-air ventilation system and a hoodless digital gauge cluster are also present. An 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology. A Bose Premium audio system is available.

Hyundai has given the Tucson its Digital Key technology, which uses an app to turn a user's smartphone into a smart key. This technology also debuted on the 2020 Sonata.

The company's car-to-home functionality allows customers to control smart home appliances from their car. Similarly, Tucson's new Multi-Command function allows customers to "warm-up the car"— including heating system, heated steering wheel and seat warmers—with a single voice command while at home.

2022 Hyundai Tucson A wraparound dashboard gives the model a sense of spaciousness.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Tucson is the first Hyundai vehicle to have the company's new air conditioning technology.

Hyundai engineers have designed the Tucson's second-row seats to feature fold-and-dive functionality. This allows for 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space. This is about the same amount as the cavernous Honda CR-V.

The first deliveries of the Tucson will happen in Korea in September. The U.S. will have to wait until the first half of 2021 for the model.

Hyundai has plans to introduce a Tucson N Line model globally at a date to be announced.

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General Motors anticipates having $4 billion in returns from its investment.

Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

General Motors (NYSE: GM) is expanding its stake in an alternative fuels future. The auto industry giant is receiving a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA) for in-kind contributions relating to the engineering and manufacturing of the company's hydrogen-powered pickup truck, the Badger.

The deal includes putting GM's hand in the full product planning process including engineering, validating, and homologating the Badger for both battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicle variants.

Nikola is one of the most innovative companies in the world. General Motors is one of the top engineering and manufacturing companies in the world. You couldn't dream of a better partnership than this," said Nikola Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton.

Nikola Badger Nikola has revealed renderings of its hydrogen- and battery-powered pickup truck. Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

"By joining together, we get access to their validated parts for all of our programs, General Motors' Ultium battery technology and a multi-billion dollar fuel cell program ready for production. Nikola immediately gets decades of supplier and manufacturing knowledge, validated and tested production-ready EV propulsion, world-class engineering and investor confidence. Most importantly, General Motors has a vested interest to see Nikola succeed. We made three promises to our stakeholders and have now fulfilled two out of three promises ahead of schedule."

Nikola says that the engineering and manufacturing process would have cost the company $4 billions in battery and powertrain costs over 10 years and $1 billion in engineering and validation costs. Through its $2 billion investment, GM expects to receive inn excess of $4 billion in benefits between the equity value of the shares, contract manufacturing of the Badger, supply contracts for batteries and fuel cells, and EV credits retained over the life of the contract.

Nikola will utilize General Motors' Ultium battery system and Hydrotec fuel cell technology. General Motors debuted the Ultium battery system earlier this year. It will be an integral part of the company's lineup in the future including the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV and Cadillac Lyriq.

Nikola Badger The Nikola Badger powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology will include a water tap in its cabin. Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

Nikola is expected to introduce the Badger in early December. Badger is expected to enter production by the end of 2022. Deposits are currently being accepted for the model. Early in the reservation process, Milton divulged that 1,500 people per day were reserving the truck.

Another side of the Nikola business deals with tractor trailer technology. General Motors will be the exclusive supplier of fuel cells globally (outside of Europe) to Nikola for Class 7/8 trucks. This will allow Nikola to validate and scale to a possible multi-billion dollar operation.

Nikola remains an independent company. The investment is subject to customary antitrust regulatory approval and closing conditions. The parties anticipate closing the transaction prior to Sept. 30, 2020.

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