New Model News

Fresh 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge embodies the allure of the dark side

Rolls-Royce has just introduced its latest Black Badge model, the Cullinan Black Badge.

Photo by Harvey Briggs

With the recent introduction of Cullinan, their first ever SUV, Rolls-Royce took their brand to new places. Now they're pushing the boundaries even further with Cullinan Black Badge, an edgier, more daring, and more powerful version made for the streets.

The smoked chrome parthenon grille comes at you like a shadow. The Spirit of Ecstasy is also darkened and unlike Wraith or Ghost now rides on a darkened mounting plate. All the rest of the traditional brightwork surrounding the windows, along the doors, on the boot, and exhaust tips have been blacked out. Cullinan Black Badge also gets model-specific black and brushed aluminum 22-inch alloy wheels.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge Cullinan Black Badge is the darker side of the brand's first SUV.Photo by Harvey Briggs

Black Badge is more than an appearance package. In addition to upping the 6.75-liter V12 engine's output by 29 horsepower to 600, Rolls-Royce has recalibrated the satellite-aided 8-speed automatic transmission which propels the three-ton SUV from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds.

Press the "low" button on the traditional Rolls-Royce column mounted shift stalk and you'll notice something rarely heard in a Rolls, engine noise. Cullinan Black Badge has a new exhaust system which issues a satisfying low rumble at idle and actually snarls and burbles at speed.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge The 6.75-liter V12 engine now offers 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.Photo by Harvey Briggs

The ride is also more dynamic with firmer spring and damper settings. The brakes, which, for the first time ever, feature painted calipers (red, of course) are also more aggressive with a raised engagement point and shorter pedal travel. Four-wheel steering also insures nimble handling for a vehicle with an almost 130-inch wheelbase.

Photo by Harvey Briggs

Aggressive styling is backed up by enhanced power.

Inside, Cullinan Black Badge offers the Rolls-Royce signature starlight headliner – now with shooting stars! You'll also find carbon technical fiber trim panels. The infinity symbol they've placed throughout the cabin is the mark of Black Badge, honoring the legacy of Sir Malcom Campbell's record-setting, Rolls-Royce powered unlimited hydroplane,

Cullinan Black Badge is available for order now and pricing starts at $382,000.

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The CX-50 features body cladding and rugged styling.

Mazda

Mazda's got a busy 2021 and 2022 as it gears up to release several new vehicles. The first is almost here, and today the automaker shared preliminary details. The CX-50 is an all-new SUV that shares a platform with the Mazda 3 and CX-30.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Production begins in January 2022. Mazda

At first, the CX-50 will be offered with Mazda's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, one of which is turbocharged, but electrified powertrain options will join the lineup down the road, including a traditional hybrid. Both gas engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. A new drive mode select system is also standard that allows the driver to change the CX-50's behavior to match road and driving conditions such as towing and off-roading.

2023 Mazda CX-50 A new drive mode selection feature allows the driver to change vehicle behavior. Mazda

The new SUV's styling is a departure from the norm for Mazda, whose typical designs are sleek and elegant but far from rugged. That changes with the CX-50. Mazda installed beefy fender flares, body cladding, and a chunky front bumper that make the SUV look ready for the trail. New colors debut with the CX-50 as well, including Zircon Sand for the exterior and a terracotta upholstery option for the interior. The SUV will be the first Mazda to be offered with a panoramic sunroof.

2023 Mazda CX-50 New color schemes are available for both the interior and exterior. Mazda

We don't have full pricing or options details yet, but Mazda says that the CX-50 will be built at the facility in Huntsville, Alabama that it shares with Toyota. Production is scheduled for January 2022.

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Electric vehicles

Three new EVs we can't wait to see

The F-150 Lightning is just one of several new EVs we'll see soon.

Ford

With all the crazy news coming out of the auto industry this year, it'd be easy to believe that the rollout of new models is slowing to a snail's pace. The pandemic and ongoing microchip shortage have slowed vehicle production, to be sure, but they haven't put the brakes on automakers' push to roll out exciting new electric vehicles. In the next few months alone, we'll see several new electric trucks, cars, and SUVs hit the market, some of which will break new ground and help define their segments. We're on board with this trend 100 percent, and to help you get excited, we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Here are the three upcoming electric vehicles we're most excited to see.

Ford F-150 Lightning

One of the world's best-selling and most popular vehicles is going electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to arrive in 2022 with a fully electric powertrain, forward-looking technology, and a familiar style that will make any truck lover feel at home. We don't have full details on the truck, but Ford has shared some awe-inspiring performance numbers. The Lightning will offer around 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which should push the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in just four seconds. Payload capacity comes in at up to 2,000 pounds, and towing will reach 10,000 pounds for specific configurations.


Ford F-150 Lightning The Lightning will offer impressive capability in a familiar package.Ford


The Lightning's starting price will come in under $40,000, but don't get your hopes up about actually buying one for that amount. Ford says the entry-level Lightning is a commercial truck that will be a stripped-down work-ready vehicle, which likely means features like vinyl seats and far fewer of the desirable tech goodies that you'll want. To get the truck you and your family will want to drive, you'll need to spring for the XLT model, which starts just shy of $53,000. That's quite a bit more, but it is still a somewhat reasonable price to pay for what will surely be a capable electric pickup.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class is a unique model in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. The car typically showcases the automaker's latest technologies and design techniques and offers a glimpse of the features that eventually trickle down to the rest of Mercedes' vehicles. Soon, we'll see the EQS, a fully electric flagship sedan that paves the way for the brand's other electrified offerings. The car will have a range of well over 400 miles on a charge, up to 516 horsepower, rear-axle steering, and breathtaking technology.


Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS will usher in a new electric era at Mercedes.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS is expected to land sometime late in 2021 and will carry a price tag that matches its premium brand name and top-notch feature set. Pricing for the "entry-level" EQS 450+ will come in at around $100,000, while the top EQS 580 4MATIC will land well north of that number. Remember, though, that Mercedes offers a long list of ultra-desirable options for its cars, so you'll likely shell out more than the base price to get the features you want.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq name is nothing new, but the way it will be seen in the automaker's lineup will change significantly going forward. Rather than being a model name within the Hyundai catalog, Ioniq will split off and become its own sub-brand, covering a line of electric vehicles of all types. The Ioniq 5 is the first such vehicle and will be offered in single- or dual-motor configurations that generate 225 or 320 horsepower. The car's futuristic design is attractive and features a pixelated look for the front-end, lighting features, and rear. Inside, the vehicle is clean but comforting and offers the features buyers expect in a family crossover.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Ioniq 5 is the first in what will be an entire line of new EVs from Hyundai.Hyundai


The Ioniq 5 should go on sale in late 2021 and is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

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