New Model News

BMW introduces new 2 Series Gran Coupe as an entry-level model, on sale in March

The 2 Series Gran Coupe is not a coupe, but rather a four-door sedan with a graded roof.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW continues to call four-door vehicles coupes and give them larger and larger grilles. That holds true for its new 2 Series Gran Coupe, a performance-focused model that anchors the German automaker's lineup.

The model will come in two variants: 228i xDrive Gran Coupe and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe. Both models come standard with all-wheel drive.

Its hood and trunk are made of aluminum and body components are made of high-strength steel. The BMW M235i xDrive get additional structural equipment including strut tower tie bar and bracing on the front axle subframe and in the tunnel area as well as an anti-roll bar mounting with high preload. It also has a sport suspension and the M Sport steering.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe The grille on the BMW is large and not particularly attractive from many angles.Photo courtesy of BMW

The car's exterior is marked not only by its large grille but also its frameless windows and a wide stance. It also has standard full-LED headlights with hexagonal tube daytime running lights. At the back are an upswept trunk and dual 90mm chrome exhaust tips.

BMW has given the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe the company's signature sport black exterior accent treatment. The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe features a Cerium Grey finish for the Mesh Kidney grille surround and raised nuggets, front air inlet surrounds, side sill inserts, mirror caps and free form tailpipe finishers.

The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It has a zero to 60 mph time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph when running on all-season tires. It can get to 151 mph on performance tires.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Out back, the car mostly has business as BMW usual.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has given the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe standard 17-inch multi-spoke wheels with 225/45R17 all-season runflat tires. The M235i xDrive comes standard with 18-inch M double-spoke wheels with 225/40R18 all-season runflat tires. Both models are available in a variety of 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheel/tire combinations.

The more powerful M235i xDrive Gran Coupe gets 301 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque from its tuned 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It can nget to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.7 seconds (4.6 with optional boost functionality). The car has a top speed of 155 mph when equipped with performance tires.

M Sport brakes are available as an option on the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe and are standard on the M235i xDrive model.

BMW has given both models Comfort, Eco, and Sport modes. The more powerful model has launch control and available adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Opting for the sportier model gets the buyer richer accents on the exterior of the vehicle.Photo courtesy of BMW

The car shares a near-actuator wheel slip limitation system with the BMW i3. The system's position under the car allows for a relay between the wheels and slip controller that is three times quicker inn detecting slip and getting the car's mechanics to intervene.

BMW has outfitted the model in premium features including a standard backlit interior trim and grain effects on the steering wheel, instrument panel, and doors and contrast seams on the dashboard. Technical Orbis graining is used on the driver's side in the cockpit area while leather-like Verona graining features on the passenger side, the two separated by contrast diagonal stitching, depending on the equipment line specified.

The car comes standard with an 8.6-inch infotainment screen. An 8.6-inch digital instrument display is standard and a 10.25 digital instrument cluster is available. The buyers select the large digital cluster, the infotainment screen is upgraded to a 10.25-incher. A full-color 9.2-inch BMW head-up display is also available.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Ambient light options allow for a level of interior customization.Photo courtesy of BMW

Among the special personalized details available as part of the available Live Cockpit Professional system is the Welcome Scenario, which greets the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe driver when they enter their vehicle. The driver's user settings, including seat, air conditioning and radio settings are saved to a profile via vehicle key and pin code.

Drivers can interact with their system with via gesture control or the "Hey BMW" function, which allows drivers to use various vehicle functionality without having to take their hands off the wheel.

The standard BMW Stereo sound system includes ten speakers and a 205-watt amplifier. The optional Harman Kardon surround sound system enhances the audio experience with 16-speakers and 464 watts of audio power.

The German automaker has given the 2 Series nearly the same legroom as what is found in the 3 Series. It also has a 15.1 cubic foot trunk and a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe BMW says that the 2 Series has nearly as much legroom in the second row as the 3 Series.Photo courtesy of BMW

The new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupes come standard with power Sport seats covered in standard Oyster/Black Sensatec or Black Sensatec on the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe. Dakota leather is standard on the M235i xDrive Gran Coupe in either Magma Red, Mocha, Black with Blue highlights or Oyster.

The car's standard Active Driving Assistant technology includes forward collision warning with City Collisionn Mitigation, blind spot detection, daytime pedestrian protection, and lane departure warning. Additional standard and available features include parking distance alert and back-up assist, which is able to assisting with parallel parking.

Production of the 2 Series Gran Coupe started in November and it will begin arriving at dealerships in March. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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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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