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Special Vehicle Operations is Jaguar Land Rover's biggest success story of 2020

Jaguar Land Rover sells high-powered and customized versions of its models for discerning customers.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Want it faster? With more of a growl coming from the exhaust? Incredibly spacious? What you want are Jaguar Land Rover's range of Special Vehicle Operations (SV) models.

You're not alone, that aspect of JLR's business retailed over 9,500 high-performance and luxury SV products in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, up 64 percent from the previous year.

Range Rover Sport SVR Media Drive, March 2018 Models in the Special Vehicle Operations product line wear SV badging. Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"Despite a challenging sales environment for the automotive industry as a whole, we're delighted that the demand for Jaguar and Land Rover SV products continues to grow strongly, just five years after the division was first launched," said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. "We currently have our broadest-ever range of models offering enhanced performance and luxury, each with its own distinctive personality that resonates with our customers."

The strong demand is well distributed. There are seven SV vehicles offered that have driven the growth, including the long wheelbase Range Rover SVAutobiography, which offers airline-style Executive Class seating, and the driver-focused 550-horsepower Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic.

JLR's best-selling SV SUV is the 575-horsepower Range Rover Sport SVR, which saw sales growth in its fifth year of production.

The company launched the 550-horsepower Jaguar F-PACE SVR and Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition in 2019.

To capitalize on markets primed for these models, JLR has rolled out SV Specialist Centers in the areas and dedicated SV areas at retailers. The company says that these retailers are specially trained to meet the needs of the SV customer base. SV Specialist Centers have already launched at 100 retailer sites globally, with more to follow.

"We've focused on satisfying demand for existing SV vehicles, while simultaneously expanding into new sectors with models such as the Jaguar F-PACE SVR, which instantly became our second highest volume vehicle," said Mark Turner, Commercial Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. "Developing the SV presence in the global Jaguar Land Rover retail network and on social media, in conjunction with SV Bespoke, is also having a positive effect on our business."

There's another page to the menu. The Special Vehicle Operations SV Bespoke department is available to customize the vehicles from tailoring paint color and finish to interior and exterior trim choices. This area of the business has seen a 20 percent growth in bespoke commissions and Premium Palette paint finishes for a selection of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

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Kia is offering the Sorento SUV in a hybrid form for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

New car prices keep going up so it was only a matter of time before the average new car price hit the $40,000 threshold. New quarterly analysis by Edmunds showed that the average amount borrowed for a new car in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $35,373. Buyers put an average of $4,734 down on top of that, which makes the average new car price $40,107.

Paying around $40,000 is a sweet spot in the market. It gets buyers into lower cost luxury and premium models as well as most of the mass market offerings. AutomotiveMap has put together a list of the best vehicles you can get for around the $40,000 mark.

2021 Acura TLX

2021 Acura TLX Advance

Photo courtesy of Acura

Price: $37,500
The Acura TLX debuted as a completely redesigned car for the 2021 model year bringing with it a new sportiness and fresh styling outside and in. The TLX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Its cabin is quite nice - decked out in leatherette upholstery with 12-way power-adjustable and heated front seats. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two USB ports, a 10.2-inch infotainment touch screen, seven-inch driver information display, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto make up just some of the items on the standard features list.

Editor's Note: Acura doesn't sell the TLX in a variety of trim levels. Instead, buyers choose the TLX then can add on packages to get what they want. The model described here has no package add-ons. Pictured: 2021 Acura TLX Advance

2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn

2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Price: $39,490
Configure the 2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn with two-wheel drive, a crew cab, and 5'7" box to get one of the best trucks at the price point. It comes standard with Ram's tried and true 3.6-liter V6 engine, which provides a good amount of power. Cloth seating for six passengers and a five-inch infotainment screen is standard as well.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Price: $32,660
The Ford Bronco Sport Badlands trim is the most off-road capable version of the SUV, and it's no slouch. The model is powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, off-road suspension, advanced four-wheel drive with a twin-clutch rear-drive unit, a Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. modes, metal bash plates, Trail Control, a 180-degree front camera with washer, front tow hooks, and rubberized flooring. The SUV rides on 17-inch Carbonized Gray-painted aluminum wheels wrapped in 28.5-inch all-terrain tires.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Price: $36,590
The new-for-2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid comes in just two trim levels: S and EX. The upgraded EX model gets an EPA-estimated 37 mpg and has 227 total system horsepower. The features list for the Sorento Hybrid EX is long and includes a power liftgate, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, and wireless phone charger. It also comes with a host of safety and driver assist technologies like adaptive cruise control and forward collision avoidance assist.

2021 Genesis G70 2.0T

2021 Genesis G70 Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Price: $36,000
The Genesis G70 is a sports sedan you probably haven't seen that much on roads near you, but you should. They should be everywhere. For under $40,000, buyers can get their hands on a rear-wheel drive G70 2.0T with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It has the buyer's choice of gray or black leatherette upholstery.

2021 Honda Ridgeline RTL

2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Price: $39,470
The Ridgeline might not be a typical truck in the looks category, but for the 2021 model year the Honda has gotten some aesthetic beef thanks to a design refresh. The truck continues to have a trunk in its bed and now comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assist technologies. Power comes from the truck's 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.The Ridgeline is most noted for its refined and comfortable interior that's more SUV-like than truck-like. For 2021, that has only improved. The RTL grade (Ridgeline Sport is shown above) is a step up from the base model.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Price: $39,995
The Chrysler Pacifica is presently the best minivan you can buy. Its Hybrid version (shown above in the Pinnacle grade) adds plug-in electric capability to the equation offering over 30 miles of gasoline-free driving per charge and running like a typical hybrid when the battery has been depleted or the van needs some extra oomph. With the Pacifica Hybrid Touring buyers get their choice of a number of included paint colors, 17-inch machined aluminum wheels with gray pockets wrapped in all-season tires, premium cloth bucket seats in black or cognac, and a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen.

2021 Acura RDX

2019 Acura RDX Advance

Photo courtesy of Acura

Price: $38,400
Acura sells gobs of RDXs and it's really no mystery as to why. The SUV is fun to drive, has abundant cargo space, and is easy on the eyes. Add in the comfortable seats that offer plenty of space, and the RDX turns into one of the best family haulers out there, empty nest or not. The 2021 RDX rides on standard 19-inch glitter silver wheels, gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 272 horsepower, and has a host of infotainment features like a nine-speaker audio system, two USB ports, HD Radio, a 10.2-inch infotainment system touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. Buyers ca opt for all-wheel drive, which puts the vehicle just a tick over the $40,000 mark.

Editor's Note: Acura doesn't sell the RDX in a variety of trim levels. Instead, buyers choose the RDX then can add on packages to get what they want. The model described here has no package add-ons. Shown: 2019 Acura RDX Advance

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Price: $35,300
Not only does the fanciest and most tech-forward Hyundai Sonata Hybrid you can buy get 47 mpg, it also has a solar roof. It also doesn't lack oomph, with 192 horsepower from its propulsion system at the ready. The car has a 12.3-inch fully-digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. It also sports plenty of head- and legroom, cargo space, and forward visibility. Pricing for the sedan includes checking nearly every option box, which is standard for the Limited model.

2021 Kia Telluride EX

2020 Kia Telluride

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Price: $37,590
Kia is selling the Telluride like gangbusters and it's not hard to see why. The three-row SUV comes standard with a 3.8-liter V6 that supplies plenty of power. Its roster of standard features on the EX trim level includes a power liftgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, Driver Talk, Quiet Mode, a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen, wireless smartphone charging, six USB ports, leather-trimmed seats, and more. Add all-wheel drive for just $2,000 more.

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The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV will go into production this summer.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Right before Christmas, Chevrolet showed off the new headlights it's created for the forthcoming 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Now it's time for another bit of news regarding the model.

The Bolt EUV will be the first Chevrolet offered with Super Cruise, a hands-free driver assistance system that allows for advanced computer-lead driving on over 200,000 miles of North America roads.

Chevy's newest Bolt will join the already-on-sale Bolt EV, the all-electric car slash hatchback slash crossover that we've come accustomed to seeing on the road (in some parts of the country). The Bolt EUV is expected to be more crossover-like and less car-like. The Bolt EV is expected to get a refresh for the 2022 model year with looks to match the EUV.

The 2022 Bolt's EUV lighting signature features a sequential front turn signal and LED daytime running light. The video was first shared on TikTok by automotive content creator Pushing Pistons.

The company hasn't let much information about the model slip, but the automotive universe is rife with speculation. The Bolt EUV teaser released by Chevy earlier this year makes the vehicle look a lot like the Buick Velite 7. The what? You've probably never heard of the model because it's built for the Chinese market, but it's an electric SUV in the General Motors portfolio that could be rebadged as a Bolt EUV for America. It wouldn't be unprecedented.

Despite low adoption rates for electric vehicles nationwide, sales of the Bolt EV were up in the third quarter of 2020, to 5,682 from 4,830 in 2019.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Chevrolet teased the 2022 Bolt EUV by revealing new blade-like headlights late last year. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Bolt EUV is part of a larger electrified product portfolio General Motors is expected to offer. The company recently detailed their vehicle plans by brand.

General Motors will begin production of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV this summer.

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