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Dodge unveils two new versions of its police pursuit vehicles

The Dodge Charger and Durango Pursuit have been upgraded for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There freshened 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit and 2021 Dodge Charger Pursuit have been unveiled. The police pursuit vehicles (PPV) are equipped with new transmissions and offer new high-tech options that Dodge says are designed to "enhance officer safety, responsiveness and fuel efficiency".

The changes are the result of research Dodge did and feedback it received from the company's Police Advisory Board, a group made up of police professionals and Dodge employees from across North America. Boards like this are common and an important part of the design process; Ford also has one.

2021 Dodge Charger Durango Pursuit VehiclesDodge has refreshed the Charger Pursuit and Durango Pursuit for 2021.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"Designed and built based on input from our Police Advisory Board and direct officer feedback, the 2021 Dodge Charger and Durango Pursuit deliver on our promise to offer police agencies the most advanced law-enforcement vehicle lineup in the industry whether as a sedan or a sport-utility vehicle," said Head of U.S. Sales Jeff Kommor.

2021 Dodge Charger Pursuit

2021 Dodge Charger Pursuit Vehicles

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge has refreshed the Charger Pursuit to none exclusively offer an eight-speed automatic transmission with all powertrains options. For 2021, those options include a new V6 option with all-wheel drive as well as more horsepower and torque. It will continue to be offered with a V8 and rear-wheel drive combination.

The car has a top speed setting of 140 mph that can be adjusted to adhere to specific agency guidelines.

Electric power steering, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are now standard.

Dodge has increased the car's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating to 5,500 pounds to accommodate additional payload.

Production of the Charger Pursuit starts in the fourth quarter at the Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant.

2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit

2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit Vehicles

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge is giving the 2021 Durango Pursuit an additional 20 standard features. The all-wheel drive model continues to be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine while a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 remains as an optional upgrade. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Durango Pursuit has a top speed of 130 mph. Customers can configure and limit the car's speed settings for specific agency needs.

Dodge has changed the style of the shift lever to allow for more space in the center console area. There are now black steel wheels with chrome center caps, four programmable auxiliary switches, and police-specific front seats that are designed to better fit duty belts and enable easier seat belt latch points.

"These features, such as the new IP-mounted shift lever, free up valuable space between the front seats to accommodate the police aftermarket equipment needed for the officers to accomplish their jobs," Kommor said.

2021 Dodge Durango Charger Pursuit Vehicles

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge is offering the model with the upfit-friendly Vehicle Systems Interface Module, a heavy-duty BR9 brake package, standard vinyl flooring, and a tri-zone climate control system.

Production of the 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit starts in the first quarter of 2021 at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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American muscle cars

Ford Mustang continues sales dominance

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has good reason to be proud of the Mustang. Now almost 60 years on from its introduction, Ford continues innovating with new versions and performance upgrades. It's all good news for buyers, as it's hard to find a "bad" Mustang in Ford's current catalog. The efforts have paid off, too, as the automaker just announced that the Mustang outsold its competition for the seventh year in a row.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mustang continued outselling the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, and did so without help from the Shelby GT350, which was discontinued. The Mustang Mach 1, with its 5.0-liter V8, led the charge, but Ford notes the performance of its most powerful Mustang, the Shelby GT500.

Ford says Americans are the most prolific Mustang buyers, representing 76 percent of the car's worldwide sales. Mustang sales in New Zealand grew 54 percent and Brazil saw sales climb 37.3 percent, so the car is a global effort for Ford. The automaker notes that retail orders, where a customer places an order for a car instead of shopping for one off the lot, almost doubled last year.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Photo courtesy of Ted Fontenot

The 2022 Mustang may mark the last year of the car's current generation. Spy photographers have caught next-generation cars testing in the wild, and the current-gen cars have been on sale since 2015. Ford also expanded the Mustang name in 2021 with the addition of the new electric Mustang Mach-E, which was met with huge demand and several awards from around the auto industry.

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