Speculation

All signs point to the fact that the Jeepster may be making a comeback

Jeep is slated to bring back the Jeepster name.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC via Mopar Insiders

Stretch way back in the automobile history books and you'll reach the chapter on Willys. The short version is that the little World War II multi-terrain capable model Willys designed is the reason we have the 2020 Jeep Wrangler.

The Willys-Overland company, by then known as the Kaiser Jeep Corporation was acquired by AMC in the 1960s. AMC was purchased renamed the Jeep Eagle Corporation in 1988 and was merged with Chrysler in 1990. When Chrysler was purchased by Fiat S.p.A in 2014, the Jeep brand continued, placing us where we are today.

2021 Jeep Renegade Jeepster The Jeepster name is an iconic part of Jeep history.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC via Mopar Insiders

The Jeepster was originally made by Willys-Overland from 1948 to 1950, bridging the gap between the traditional Jeep for wartime and farm use and the typical passenger car of its time.

In 1966, the C-101 Jeepster Commando revived the name with a number of body styles: station wagon, convertible, pickup, and roadster. There was an available two-tone exterior and sliding rear window. By 1971, the company had removed all reference to the Jeepster name from its lineup.

Reporting by Mopar Insiders indicates that Jeep is bringing back the Jeepster name for a special edition Renegade model. How accurate the reporting is remains to be seen, but the website offers up a pretty solid list of specs that lead the AutomotiveMap team to believe it's real.

The website says that the entry-level Jeep Renegade Sport will be offered in a Jeepster special edition. Its exterior will feature 19-inch Granite painted aluminum wheels, 235/45R19 BSW all-season tires, gloss black grille rings, and Jeepster door decals. The model will come with a paint of in Colorado Red, Black or buyer's choice of three specialized colors (late availability).

Inside the crib is black cloth upholstered seating with accent color stitching, metal diamond speaker covers and vent bezels, Uconnect 4 with a 7.0-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, keyless entry, and remote start.

The models will run using the Renegade's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The SUV will come in front- and four-wheel drive configurations.

The website says that the Jeepster edition will add $1,895 to the sticker price of the Renegade Sport. The 2020 Jeep Renegade Jeepster is likely to start around $25,700 with the destination charge added in.

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The final versions of the McLaren 620R have been delivered to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive
McLaren recently shipped its last Sports Series cars to the U.S., marking the end of production of the popular models that have been staples of the luxury carmaker's lineup for the last half-decade. Over 8,500 cars were sold globally.

The Sports Series debuted in 2015 with the 570S, and also included the 540C, 570S Spider, 570GT, 600LT coupe, 600LT Spider, and 620R. The final examples of the series were built at the company's Woking, U.K. headquarters at the end of 2020. The 620R was the last off the line.

The McLaren 620R is a road legal version of a race car. It's based on the McLaren 570S GT4 and uses motorsport technology without the restriction of racing regulations. It is the most powerful Sports Series model ever, with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 producing 611 brake horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque.

Final examples of the McLaren 620R

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

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The 620R shares aerodynamic hardware with the 570S GT4, creating 408-pounds of downforce at 155 mph. It can handle the road (and you can hear it coming) thanks to its wider track, carbon ceramic brakes and center locking wheels, and low-exit stainless steel sports exhaust.

"As the McLaren range has matured, we've tailored our North American model line-up to closely match customers' requirements, with a car suitable for every personality," explained Tony Joseph, President, McLaren, the Americas. "Limited-numbers models with the highest levels of performance – cars like the 620R, which feels like a race car on the street or at a track day - are in demand not only because of the driving experience they offer but because they have even greater exclusivity. You can see how this has played out with the 765LT as well, with all of the available volume sold."

Of the 225 examples of the 620R produced, only 70 were slated for the North American market. All North American 620R models come with a special MSO upgrade package that features a gloss finish Visual Carbon Fibre roof with a roof scoop to maximize engine intake and exhaust sound, MSO Defined gloss finish carbon fibre roof cantrails and the McLaren Track Telemetry system with lap time function and three cameras to record on-track performance.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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