New Model News

2021 Mazda Mazda6 gets Apple CarPlay, Carbon Edition options

Mazda has made few changes to the Mazda6 for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda Mazda6 will get a few tweaks for the 2021 model year but mostly remain unchanged. It will start at $24,325 and arrive at dealerships in September. That price is a few hundred dollars more than the 2020 price.

The Mazda6 will continue to be offered in five trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. There is also a new Carbon Edition.

The base model Mazda6 Sport is powered by a standard 2.5-liter engine that delivers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift and Sport modes. Front-wheel drive is standard.

2021 Mazda Mazda6 The Mazda6 Carbon Edition is new for 2021.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The Mazda6 Sport comes standard with a host of safety features including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Mazda6 will now come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, displayed on an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen. Inside the cabin are also a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth phone and audio pairing, two USB inputs, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, push button start, remote keyless entry, and electronic parking brake.

LED headlights with auto-leveling, LED taillights, and 17-inch gun metal aluminum alloy wheels are also standard.

Upgrading to the Mazda6 Touring ($26,925) adds leatherette-trimmed seats, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, power moonroof, 19-inch gun metallic aluminum alloy wheels, two rear seat USB charging ports and rear air conditioning vents.

Bumping up to the Mazda6 Grand Touring ($30,025) installs a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that generates a robust 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. In addition to a new badge on the tail indicating the turbocharged engine, this trim level model gets wireless Apple CarPlay, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, headed side mirrors with driver's side auto-dimming functionality, and paddle shifters.

The Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve gets even more premium ($32,525). It comes with a head-up display, adaptive front lighting system, black or Parchment leather-trimmed seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, automatic power folding door mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, eight-way power and memory driver's seat with power lumbar support, and six-way power passenger's seat. Traffic Sign Recognition is available with the optional navigation system. This model rides on 19-inch bright silver finish aluminum alloy wheels and has a rear lip spoiler.

The Mazda6 Carbon Edition ($32,800) special edition builds on the Grand Touring Reserve model adding Polymetal Gray exterior paint, gloss black rear lip spoiler, gloss black door mirrors, and 19-inch black metallic aluminum alloy wheels. The interior has red leather seats with black cross stitching and black hairline interior accents on the dash and door panels. The dash and center console armrest add red stitching.

The top-trim Mazda6 Signature has a gunmetal grille. Inside there is Parchment or Deep Chestnut Nappa leather upholstery, adorned with authentic Japanese Sen wood and gilded UltraSuede interior accents. A 360-degree monitor with front and rear parking sensors, 7.0-inch reconfigurable driver's information display, navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link subscription, a black headliner, auto-dimming frameless rearview mirror with Homelink, and LED ambient lights are standard in this trim level.

Buyers will pay a premium for some of the available paint colors in any trim level. The Soul Red Crystal Metallic costs $595. Machine Gray Metallic is $495 and Snowflake White Pearl Mica is $395.

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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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