The Price is Right

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid starts at nearly $50,000, arrives in Q1

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe will arrive at dealerships in January

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The first plug-in hybrid vehicle in Jeep's U.S. lineup finally has a price tag. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe will start at nearly $50,000. Deliveries of the Launch Editions of the model are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Jeep will launch two models of the electrified Wrangler first, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4xe Launch Edition and the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Launch Edition.

Both Jeeps offer driver's access to 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The automaker says that the SUVs get from zero to 60 mph in six seconds. This is all while achieving an estimated 50 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe).

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe carries a high price tag, but may be eligible for tax incentives.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Under the hood of each model is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission that are paired with a 17 kilowatt hour battery made of lithium-ion, nickel manganese cobalt. This combination offers three different types of power options: gasoline-only, hybrid, and electric-only.

The Wrangler Sahara 4xe Launch Edition and Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Launch Edition get a unique list of standard premium equipment. The Wrangler Sahara 4xe Launch Edition runs on 20-inch wheels. Its interior features leather-trimmed bucket seats, Jeep's LED Lighting Group, an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, navigation, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, a 2.72:1 Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel drive system, and Dana 44 HD wide axles.

The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Launch Edition gets the LED Lighting Group, an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen, navigation, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, and a 4:1 Rock-Trac heavy-duty four-wheel drive system.

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is assembled at FCA's Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio.

The Wrangler Sahara 4xe model carries a starting U.S. manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $47,995 while the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe has a starting MSRP of $51,695. All prices exclude the available $7,500 federal tax credit, any additional eligible state and local credits, and $1,495 destination charges.

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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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