New Model News

BMW announces 2020 X3 xDrive30e, a plug-in hybrid SUV

BMW has debuted a new model, the X3 xDrive30e, a PHEV.

Photo courtesy of BMW

It takes the utility of a BMW SUV and combines it with the electric power automakers believe customers are seeking. Meet the 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e.

The new X3 variant is a plug-in hybrid. This means that it has a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine under its hood that works in tandem with an electric motor and a 12 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery to move the car from point A to point B and beyond. It has around 30 miles of all-electric range, which is pretty standard on PHEVs these days.

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e driving electric plug-in side wheels mirrors The car retains all the of the outward aesthetics of the typical X3.Photo courtesy of BMW

The battery gets its power by being plugged into an outlet. BMW says that charging via a "traditional household socket" can bring the battery up to full in just six hours.

With their power combined, the X3 xDrive30e puts out 292 horsepower. BMW reports that it can get from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. It only comes in four-wheel drive.

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e driving electric plug-in MAX eDrive The SUV's eDrive mode lets drivers run on just electricity.Photo courtesy of BMW

Drivers can run on just electric power by putting their X3 xDrive30e into MAX eDrive mode. It's activated by pushing a button on the center console near the shifter.

Moving the car into Battery Control mode is an energy saver and helps keep the battery at the level it is at when the mode is selected. This allows a driver to choose when they go emissions free.

On the outside, the 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e is nearly the same as other X3s, albeit for some unique badging and its power port on the front side of the vehicle.

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e driving electric plug-in driver information display Much of the vehicle remains the same as the gasoline-only powered X3.Photo courtesy of BMW

The SUV's interior dimensions have remained much the same because its battery pack is located under the rear seat wheel the fuel tank is positioned over the rear axle. Its cargo space remains similar to what you'll find in other SUVs its size, even those without a battery pack.

BMW will sell the SUV in Advantage, xLine, Luxury and M Sport trims. Additional available equipment includes an adaptive Suspension, variable sports steering, the M Sport Brake System, the BMW head up display, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, Driving Assistant Plus with steering and lane guidance assistant, and Parking Assistant Plus.

A tow hitch is available. The model can tow up to 4,400 pounds.

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e driving electric plug-in side mountain goats The new SUV can tow up to 4,400 pounds.Photo courtesy of BMW

Some functions, including climate control, can be operated via BMW's mobile app. The app also gives information on charging stations, the charging process, range, and charging status.

The new BMW X3 xDrive30e will be produced at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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The Genesis GV70 will go on sale in the U.S. in 2021.

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The first Genesis GV70 debuted with little fanfare but all the looks, charm, and charisma of the GV80, but smaller. It joins the rapidly expanding Genesis lineup alongside the G70, G80, and G90 sedans and below the the GV80. Like all other Genesis models, it will be based on a rear-wheel drive platform.

"Genesis continues to build on our solid foundation with the addition of new and exciting products to our lineup," said Mark Del Rosso, President and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Motor North America. "We recently launched our first-ever SUV, the flagship GV80, with U.S. deliveries beginning in the next thirty days. Now, with the upcoming release of the dynamic GV70 and a further diversified product portfolio, Genesis will be able to reach an even broader audience of American consumers."

2022 Genesis GV70 Sport

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Genesis says that the GV70 gets its name from the following formula: the "G" stands for Genesis and "V" stands for versatility.

Like the sedans and SUV already in the Genesis lineup, the GV70 features the company's crest grille at the front. The grille takes it shape from the Genesis logo. One this model, it's set lower than on the GV80, and below the Quad Lamp headlights to give the GV70 the look of a sporty crossover.

Muscular rear fenders and a coupe-like roofline give the GV70 an athletic appearance. There's a chrome line to the C-pillar to accentuate the sportiness and exude a sense of elegance.

Quad Lamp taillights are set into the bumper, which also features a G-Matrix pattern applied to it. The Muffler is vertical-shaped and the SUV features a body-colored diffuser.

The Genesis G70 Sport variant takes the looks of the model even further. This SUV has an exclusive front bumper, 21-inch G-Matrix pattern-applied wheels, dark chrome garnishes, and a large diameter exhaust. The Sport model's interior features exclusive colors and trim, including a sport steering wheel and carbon-fiber appointed consoles and doors.

"The audaciously designed new GV70 breaks new ground for Genesis through purity of design execution. This follows the Genesis G80 and GV80 which demonstrated the perfect balance of our design identity 'Athletic Elegance,'" said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Genesis Design."

He added "The new GV70 inherits the Genesis design DNA including signature elements, such as the Wing Face and Two Lines. Along with the G70, the athletic 70-series line-up expands our design territory. As a luxury brand based in Korea, we are excited to offer the 'Beauty of White Space', Genesis' contemporary spatial experience exclusively to our customers."

The first GV70 is expected to arrive in the United States in calendar year 2021. The GV80 starts at $48,900. Expect the GV70 to have a MSRP far below that starting price.

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Ram will welcome an electric member to its family in the future.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV and all-electric Ford F-150 are coming soon. It would ludicrous to think that Ram wouldn't be joining the other two members of the Big Three in producing an electric pickup truck.

Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley confirmed that one is in the works during the company's third-quarter earnings call. He provided no additional details.

In response to an industry analyst's question on the matter, Manley said, "I do see that there will be an electrified Ram pickup in the marketplace, and I would ask you just to stay tuned for a little while, and we'll tell you exactly when that will be."

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is one of the least fuel-efficient vehicles FCA makes, but the Ram TRX is even less efficient.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The confirmation was a strategic, given that just one quarter ago Manley more or less ducked the question saying "Obviously, pickup trucks is a key franchise for us, and we're not going to sit on the sideline if there is a danger that our position gets diluted going forward," during that quarter's earnings call.

Ram isn't just facing competition from General Motors and Ford. It also has pressure coming from startups including Rivian, which is currently tooling as it gears up to produce the R1T, and Lordstown Motors, which is substantially backed by GM, and already has 40,000 reservations for fleet vehicles. Tesla has promised that the Cybertruck will come to market.

FCA is more than a touch behind when it comes to electrification. Its U.S. lineup is aging with the mid-generation Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as its only plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) currently on sale. Ram offers a few mild-hybrid engine options for buyers and the Maserati Ghibli Hybrid is on the horizon. The company recently debuted PHEV 4xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade but only the Wrangler 4xe will be sold in the U.S. in the coming year.

In the meantime, FCA continues to push out fuel inefficient vehicles for buyer consumption in the U.S. where emissions regulations are not as stringent as they are in Europe and China. This includes the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (EPA-estimated 15 mpg combined) and Ram 1500 TRX (EPA-estimated 12 mpg combined).

The way forward for Ram may be complicated by the forthcoming FCA-PSA Groupe merger, which is set to be confirmed by the European Union in early 2021.

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