End of an Era

Dodge Journey reaches the end of the trail

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Dodge Journey is going the way of the Beetle and Grand Caravan. The model, which debuted in 2008 and hasn't changed much since, will end its run in 2021. According to Dodge, the model's tenure will end with little fanfare, much the same way as the product has existed for the last 12 years.

This isn't the only model Dodge is getting rid of. Earlier this month they confirmed that the Dodge Grand Caravan's production will be ending after the 2020 model year. The move leaves Dodge without a minivan in its lineup for the first time since 1983.

2020 Dodge Grand Caravan Dodge recently confirmed the confirmation that it's also killing off the Grand Caravan. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Though the automaker recently launched a new version of the Durango, Charger, and Challenger. The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat installs a 710-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine user the hood, making it the most powerful SUV in the brand's portfolio. The 797-horsepower 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye and 807-horsepower 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock have also been added to the lineup.

Automotive industry analysts have raised questions about the future of the historic brand. Dodge has an aging lineup and continues to debut new model year vehicles with expected engine and equipment modifications rather than debut new models or fresh generations of their cars and SUVs.

Dodge is one of the brands caught up on the FCA-Groupe PSA merger. Earlier this week, the companies announced the new name of their conjoined companies, Stellantis, along with a new logo. The move was largely ridiculed online with the public saying that the name sounds like (in non particular order) an erectile disfunction medication, evil head of a comic universe, and a 1980s vehicle model name.

The next SUV set for arrival in the FCA portfolio is the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, a plug-in hybrid electric version of the Wrangler.

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The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is joining the company’s lineup

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The decision to add a turbocharged engine variant to the Mazda3 was met with praise for those who like getting in a little more excitement behind the wheel. Now It has been announced that the Mazda3's crossover counterpart, the CX-30 is getting the same treatment.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 will be available with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when the tank is filled with 93 octane fuel. The performance drops to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque when owners fill up with 87 octane. Engines with the turbo-four also get standard all-wheel drive.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The body styling is pretty much the same as the rest of the Mazda CX-30 lineup, but it does have unique wheels and other attributes.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

To accommodate the new engine option, Mazda has not had to change the outward appearance of the model In earnest but does add some highlights including 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, larger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors and a "TURBO" badge on the liftgate.

As the most premium Mazda CX-30 model, it comes with a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, black upper dash and chrome finishes. The features list includes a Bose 12-speaker audio system and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen..

The CX-30 2.5 Turbo, as the models with the engine will be known. Also comes equipped with Smart City Brake Support Reverse and rear cross-traffic braking technologies that can sense a vehicle coming into the lane of travel when reversing, warn the driver, and apply the brakes in order to possibly avoid a collision. Additional available safety technologies include a 360-degree view monitor, Active Drive Display, traffic sign recognition, and adaptation front lighting.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The CX-30 debuted just last year.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is scheduled to go on sale by the end of 2020. Specific packaging and pricing details will be announced in the coming months

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The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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