Such a Tease

Lexus teases electric concept car before its Tuesday debut

Lexus IS debuting a new concept car on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

We already have an idea what it will look like. Now Lexus has teased something more intriguing about the concept vehicle they'll be unveiling on Tuesday, March 31.

"Many wonder what the future will look like. But few ask how it will feel." That's what the company released alongside a new image of the vehicle, which can be seen above. This image focuses on the interior of the concept car, showing off shapely seats that deliver a luxury ride experience.

Superimposed on the image is what looks to be a large battery pack, which would traditionally be located on the floor of the vehicle below the cabin. Long, flat battery packs have been customary on new vehicles for the last few years.

The image also shows what looks to be an electric motor at the front centered behind two headlamps that have sharp, traditional Lexus aesthetics.

Another teaser photo, released last week, showcases the exterior of the vehicle in more detail. There, we see a front that appears snub-nosed, with a smaller grille than what can be seen on current Lexus sedans like the ES and IS. The hood comes nearly to the edge of front end but sweeps back in dramatic fashion thanks o shapely curves that guide the eye up to the windscreen.

Lexus concept car preview 2021 The Lexus concept car front end looks to feature a smaller grille than current models, possibly because it's an EV. Photo courtesy of Lexus

Lexus showed its signature checkmark-light daytime running lights under a singular headlight housing, where they were moved during the most recent round of vehicle fascia refreshes. On the concept car, the Lexus "L" badge at the front of the car is illuminated like the emblems on the front of Lincoln, Cadillac, and Mercedes SUVs. Cadillac has most recently shown the illuminated emblem on the forthcoming Lyriq all-electric crossover.

Last week it was assumed that the bubble on the hood of the car was for a large engine. Now it looks like it's for aerodynamics as an automaker would not traditionally pair a battery pack that large with a gasoline engine. Plus, an engine isn't shown in the see-through-like photo distribed most recently.

It's important to remember that this car is merely a look at the future of design for the company and not necessarily a specific new vehicle that on the horizon. They've teased us before, remember.

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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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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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