New Car

Google and Fiat partner for new polka dot-covered car models

The Google logo appears for the first time on a car thanks to the partnership.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

"Hey Google, where is my Fiat 500X Hey Google parked?" A new lineup of car models from Fiat celebrates the technology of Hey Google. The special editions are mainly just a publicity stunt (for both companies), but buyers will be able to place an order for the fresh 500 family models this month.

Each car in the special series is equipped with the Hey Google voice assistant. Owners can connect their car to the their Google Nest Hub (included in a welcome kit with purchase) and smartphone, should they so choose.

Owners will use the phrase "Hey Google, ask my Fiat…" to get answers regarding questions about where the car is parked, how much fuel is left, the location of the nearest workshop, and much more.

Fiat 500 Family Hey Google: Fiat 500

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

In addition to the tech, each Hey Google cars are equipped with unique exteriors and interiors. They have white paint jobs on their bodies and gloss black roofs and mirror caps. For the first time in automotive history, the Google logo is displayed on an automobile. The Hey Google badge is placed on the wheel arches of every model. Both B-pillars are also embellished with the multicoloured 'molecules' of the Hey Google logo.

The molecules are also displayed on the inside where they feature on the seats, which also have a label embroidered with "Hey Google". The dashboard fascia is matte silver with a white 500 logo.

At the center of the dashboard is a 7.0-inch touch screen display that features an animation where "Hey Google" appears then moves to the Google "G" then transforms to the Fiat logo.

Fiat will offer Hey Google editions of their 500, 500X, and 500L. The Fiat 500 hybrid Hey Google are priced from £16,005 OTR, 500X Hey Google priced from £21,765 OTR, and 500L Hey Google priced from £20,345 OTR

Deliveries are limited to the U.K. Ordering for the special series opens mid-April.

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Owners of 2020 and 2021 model year Infiniti vehicles will be eligible.

Infiniti

Apple CarPlay is a great feature that can add maps, streaming audio, and voice controls to even base model vehicles that would otherwise lack such technology. It also offers a standardized interface that works similarly to a smartphone's built-in software, so there's no confusion about how to operate the system. Until recently, users had to have their phones physically tethered to the vehicle with a wired connection, but many automakers have begun offering wireless connectivity. Infiniti is one of them, but in an unusual step, the company says that it will upgrade older model year vehicles with the technology at no cost.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay The upgrades will be free for owners.Infiniti

This means that if you own a 2020 or 2021 Q50, Q60, QX50, or QX80, you are eligible for the upgrade. Wireless Apple CarPlay became available for Infiniti vehicles starting with the 2022 model year, so it's a new feature for the automaker. The first model to support the feature was the 2022 QX55 and the new 2022 QX80 will offer the tech with its 12.3-inch touchscreen system. The 2022 Q50 and Q60 will both leave the factory with the feature, as will the upcoming QX60.

It's unclear how or if the upgrade will affect other vehicle systems, but it's a worthy move for anyone who owns a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti vehicle, if only to boost resale value down the road. Cars such as the 2021 Q50 came standard with a dual-screen infotainment system and wired Apple CarPlay, so the ability to go wireless would be a big bonus for some drivers.

Infiniti Wireless Apple CarPlay Owners have until March 31, 2022 to complete the upgrade.Infiniti

If you own a 2020 or 2021 Infiniti model, you have until March 31, 2022, to complete the upgrade. Infiniti says its dealers will perform the update at no cost to owners, so make your appointments now. The automaker has not announced plans to offer wireless Android Auto.

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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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