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Chevrolet expands availability of Midnight, Sport, and RS packages

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Sport Edition is a new addition to the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet is known for offering a long list of packages for their trucks and SUVs. That list is about to get longer for some. The company's Midnight, Sport, and RS packages will be offered on an expanded number of vehicles.

The move makes Midnight and Sport packages available on more than half of the Chevrolet lineup, where it's already a popular choice. One out of every five Chevy Trax models is sold with either of the packages. Those two packages will now be offered on the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse Midnight Edition The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse Midnight Edition will be added to the company's lineup for the current model year.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

"Customer choice is a competitive advantage for Chevrolet," said Steve Majoros, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. "Special editions and unique trims allow us to offer customers the custom look they want straight from the factory. This helps us get more customers interested in our vehicles, which in turn can help Chevrolet grow sales volume, market share and revenue. It's a win-win for everyone."

The Traverse Midnight Edition comes is available on Traverse LS and LT trims. It has a Mosaic Black Metallic exterior paint color, black ice grille, black-painted aluminum wheels, black bowtie emblem, black badging, and black roof rails.

The Traverse Sport Edition is also available on Traverse LS and LT trim levels. A variety of exterior paint colors are available with the package. It gets black-painted aluminum wheels, a black ice grille, black fog lamp bezels, and black tailgate appliqué along with black roof rails, black badging, and black bowtie emblems.

Chevrolet will expand the RS Trim package to the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox. The offering includes a gloss black mesh grille, 19-inch Dark Android wheels, black bowtie emblems, black badging, black nameplates, and black roof rails. Inside the cabin Equinox RS models get an RS shift knob and black upholstery with red stitching.

It was recently announced that a mid-cycle refresh of the Equinox and Traverse has been pushed back to the 2022 model year due to COVID-19-related delays. Updates for that model year are expected for the exterior and interior of the vehicle though there will likely be no powertrain changes.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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