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Kia's The Great Unknowns Scholarship seeking applicants

Kia is, once again, offering its scholarship program to students studying STEAM-related professions.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia Motors America has announced that applications are now being accepted for this year's The Great Unknowns Scholarship program. The application process is open to students across the U.S.

Qualifications for consideration include plans to pursue a college undergraduate degree in one of the following discipline areas: Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Math. Recipients will be chosen based on a number of factors, including academic performance and demonstrable ways they make a positive impact within their local communities.

Scholarship winners will be notified by Kia in mid-June.

The scholarship program was introduced in 2019. First-year recipients of The Great Unknowns Scholarship enrolled at a variety of colleges and universities including Harvard University, University of Alabama - Huntsville, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, University of Texas - San Antonio, Duke University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Those students study a wide range of coursework from economics and computer science to public policy, neuroscience and aerospace engineering.

More information including eligibility and application requirements can be found at https://www.kia.com/us/en/give-it-everything.

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The Kia Sorento Hybrid offers a lot to like for families looking to save on fuel.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The redesigned Kia Sorento looks good. Kia has given the three-row SUV new life, not as a substitute for the Telluride SUV but instead as its own crossover, with plenty of differences to give them their own identity.

The 2021 Sorento comes in two variants, the Sorento and Sorento Hybrid. Each is offered in its own set of trim levels. The Sorento base model is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine that delivers 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Higher grades get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is rated at 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

Sorento Hybrid comes in two trim leaves, S and EX. Both are powered by the company's turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain that offers up 177 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The SUV prioritizes fuel efficiency over performance, an important distinction that sets the Sorento Hybrid apart from other hybrid variants, including the Toyota RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid that delivers an energetic boost to the RAV4 lineup.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The Sorento Hybrid is the type of vehicle that can get you to a trailhead, but isn't built to go beyond that.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The power output is fine if you plan on sticking to in-town driving and aren't looking to load up the Sorento Hybrid for a long road trip. In the default Eco drive mode, the car responds to the throttle the most comfortably. Under traditional and harder acceleration, the Sorento Hyrbid's powertrain is noisy and ill-mannered. It's almost like the SUV is telling you, "I'm built for efficiency, not speed". Message received.

Kia's done a good job making the Sorento agile and it drives nicely and makes for a pleasant daily runaround. Unlike what Toyota has done with the Highlander, all-wheel drive is not available on the Sorento Hybrid.

The 2021 Sorento Hybrid comes standard as a six-seater with captain's chairs in the second row. The seats, leatherette in the upmarket trim level, are comfortable enough. There's a decent amount of cargo space with the third row erect or stowed.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The cabin of the Sorento Hybrid is plush enough for its price point.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The well-thought out cabin design delvers exactly what customers need and in the EX trim level, the car's appointments are near-premium. The SUV has the usual list of standard and available features, but nothing is too fancy: Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, satellite radio, push button start, keyless entry, a rearview camera, wireless smartphone charger. Nothing looks, feels, or operates like it's cutting edge, but it doesn't have to - this isn't a luxury vehicle.

There is one very nice design touch in the cabin. On either side of the infotainment touch screen are vents that service the front row of the auto. Their output is divided into two each with the bottom vent able to serve the midsection of front passengers' bodies while the upper part goes higher. More automakers should design vents this way.

The Hybrid EX model that was delivered for testing had its lane keeping and centering system not as honed in on lane lines as is optimal, which resulted in crossing over the lines without any alert going off or corrective action being taken by the vehicle's computer.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid Cargo space is always tight in three-row SUVs, but Kia has given the Sorento a good balance between cargo space and third-row legroom.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid starts at $33,590. That's a thousand-and-a-half over the starting price of the Telluride and $4,000 more than the traditional 2021 Sorento.

There are currently only two other three-row hybrid SUVs on the market, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Ford Expedition Hybrid. The three models and their varied price tags and third-row layouts service very different customers but they generally all get lumped together. The Sorento Hybrid is, by far, the lowest priced model of the three, and it feels like it when you're inside. There's nothing wrong with that. Dodge sold a lot of Journeys despite the fact that it wasn't the best or most expensive SUV out there.

Think of the Kia Sorento Hybrid as the Dodge Journey of three-row hybrid crossovers and you won't be disappointed.

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The Hispano Suiza Carmen will cost around $2 million.

Photo courtesy of Hispano Suiza

Unless your a posh vintage motoring enthusiast, the brand name Hispano Suiza may not be known to you. The company is hoping to change that, designing vehicles meant to make a splash among the Pagani and Rolls-Royce crowd. Like those companies offer, the automaker will offer the new Hispano Suiza Unique Tailormade Program.

The Unique Tailormade Program allows clients to choose between interior and exterior details, offering a high level of customization. In total, 1,904 different customization combinations are possible.

Customers will start by choosing the configuration line that best fits them. The configurations are named to fit the brand's DNA - Heritage, Sport, and Elegance. Designers have named some of the available colors after the historic landmarks and milestones of the brand, such as Peralada Green, Swiss Red, Xenia Gray, Birkigt White, and Begur Blue.

Customizable exterior parts include the grille, side mirrors, body color, wheels, and air intakes. On the inside, buyers can choose to personalize the steering wheel, dashboard, seat upholstery, and floor mats.

With the Unique Tailormade Program we wanted to capture the most diverse possibilities of creating a unique Hispano Suiza Carmen for each client. We want these 19 units of the Carmen to be a work of art on wheels, collectibles, symbols of excellence and that each owner can participate in the customisation process of their vehicle ," said Francesc Arenas, Design Director of Hispano Suiza.

Hispano Suiza was recently brought back to life by the Suqué Mateu family. Automobiles haven't been made under the marques name since the mid 1940s. The Mateu family are direct dependents of the one of Hispano-Suiza's original founders, Damián Mateu.

The Carmen is an all-electric car designed with influence from the 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia. The new car was first shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

Hispano Suiza is limiting production of the Carmen to just 19 units, ensuring that it is an instant collector's car. Only five of those 19 will be built in the Boulogne version.

The car is expected to achieve around 1,100 horsepower and 855 pound-feet of torque via four permanent magnet synchronous motors housed in the rear axle. Engineers say that the car will get from zero to 62 mph in less than 2.6 seconds.

Pricing for the Carmen is expected to be around $2 million before taxes and fees.

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