New Truck

Canoo's new pickup truck is a quirky little people and package transporter

The Canoo pickup truck is coming to market in a few years.

Photo courtesy of Canoo

Rivian has designed their all-electric truck to be big and beefy, with traditional truck-like aesthetics. Tesla went the other direction with the Cybertruck. Canoo's new pickup has looks more like a lorry you might find in Southeast Asia than an American pickup.

Canoo is a company developing purpose-built electric vehicles (EVs) using their own platform and architecture. Their fully-electric pickup debuted this week and the company was quick to point out its unique features.

Each Canoo pickup is moved by a single rear motor or dual front-rear motor combination. With the dual motors, the truck delivers up to 600 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. It has a 1,800-pound payload capacity and offers 200+ miles of all-electric range.

Canoo pickup truck profile The truck is shorter than a Ford Ranger but has about the same cargo capacity in the bed.Photo courtesy of Canoo

Canoo pickup truck profile

The truck is about 21 inches shorter than a Ford Ranger. A lot of that can be chalked up to its stubby nose in replacement of the engine bay. Because there's no engine, the Canoo pickup truck is able to make full use of its front via an installed cargo storage area and a fold-down work table that is complete with electrical outlets. The sides of the truck also feature fold-down tables with two expandable depths that allow it to become a work bench.

At 76 inches, it's four inches taller than the Ranger. They are the same width. Canoo has given the model a 64x72-inch bed that has a depth of 21 inches.

Like a. traditional SUV, Canoo's truck bed features a modular space divider that keeps items separate and secure. There are modular wheel chocks in the bed well that can be used to help secure bikes. Tie downs allow for secure storage of work materials like ladders and large equipment.

The truck's bed is six feet long and can be extended to eight feet via a pull out, which means hat a 4x8-foot sheet of plywood can fit inside. The pull-handle bed extension can help with loading and unloading, and serves as a license plate holder. When the bed is extended, a second layer of tailgate doors can be swiveled out and it houses secondary taillights for legal road use.

The pickup features two skid plates to protect from off-road terrain.Photo courtesy of Canoo

A hidden step on the vehicle allows for easy access to the truck bed. A flexible storage area below the step allows for additional cargo space. A third brake light doubles as an overhead light to see inside the cargo bed at night. Perimeter lighting on all sides of the bed wall adds interior visibility.

The flat-bed, electric body design of Canoo's truck allows for exportable power on all sides of the vehicle. Canoo says that utilizing the outlets with tools and devices has as little as a 10 percent impact on vehicle range.

Canoo is showing the truck wearing 18-inch wheels. It has metal skid plates n the front and rear as well as integrated tow hooks and fog lamps. Buyers can spec their model with roof racks or a camper shell.

Canoo pickup truck features: front cargo area and work table

Photo courtesy of Canoo

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The extended cab truck has two seats in the front while the rear compartment can be customized to fit two additional seats or for purpose-built use-case configurability. A tow hitch receiver, and steer-by-wire, and brake-by-wire technology are standard. Full specification options will be available closer to the truck's on sale date.

The production version of the pickup truck will open for preorders in the second quarter of 2021, with deliveries beginning as early as 2023.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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