Test Drive

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe spent his weekend winter testing the R1T

Rivian vehicles are currently undergoing winter weather testing.

Photo composite by AutomotiveMap, screen image courtesy of Twitter/@RJScaringe

On Sunday night, while you were on the couch missing football and pretending not to watch HGTV reruns of "House Hunters", Rivian's RJ Scaringe was out working with the engineering team that's developing the company's R1T and R1S all-electric vehicles. He posted about it on Twitter.

Scaringe, who is pretty open about the product development process on Twitter, described what they were doing saying that he was working on "developing traction control for some of our more fun driving modes". The one in particular that was shown in the video is Drift mode.

No internal combustion truck or SUV features a specific Drift mode straight off the line from the company. A combination of button switches and screen selections can get you something similar in many vehicles, namely the ones that let you disengage traction control.

Tesla's Track Mode V2 allows owners to adjust their vehicle's drive dynamics in a similar way.

While driving, Scaringe shows off the truck's fully-digital driver information display, which shows that the truck is traveling around 30 mph as it makes its way across the snow-covered track. The navigation screen is also on display showcasing a vivid picture of what the area looks like in more hospital temperatures.

The footage is shown as one of Rivian's electric utility vehicle rivals, the GMC Hummer EV has begun promoting its testing regimen in the snow.

Earlier in the day, Rivian's corporate Twitter account showed footage of the snow testing alongside other captured moments of the R1T and R1S including an intriguing water fording test and mountain climbing.

The company has been continuously giving updates regarding its development progress, even teasing the fact that its truck will be capable of a tank turn.

Rivian has released the footage as the company takes aim at its June 2021 scheduled deliveries start date. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated factors, the comany was unable to keep its original targeted delivery date for the first Rivian vehciles - late 2020.

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New midsize sedan

Subaru announces refreshed 2023 Legacy

The new Legacy got a facelift and new lighting elements.

Subaru

Sedans are a dying breed as SUVs and pickup trucks take over, but there are still a few compelling options out there, and Subaru has one of them. The Legacy has been a long-time part of the Subaru lineup, and the all-wheel drive family sedan got a notable update for 2023.

2023 Subaru LegacyTop trims get luxury finishes inside.Subaru

Subaru offers the sedan in five trims: Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring XD. The automaker updated the Legacy with a facelift that brought a new front fascia, redesigned front bumper and new LED lighting. The car features a low dash and open cabin for great visibility in all directions, and the top Touring XT trim offers high-end accommodations, including Nappa leather and metal trim inside.

Every Legacy comes with the latest version of Subaru Starlink infotainment software. It runs on an 11.6-inch display and offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment. Higher trim levels get the same display with navigation and a new-for-2023 what3words integration.

2023 Subaru LegacyThe Legacy goes on sale this fall.Subaru

The 2023 Legacy comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The top two trims come with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come with a continuously variable transmission that offers an eight-speed manual shift mode.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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