CES 2021

Coils in this wireless smartphone charger move closer to your device for best results

A new technology by Panasonic charges a smartphone uniquely.

Photo courtesy of Panasonic Automotive

Most wireless phone chargers currently installed in vehicles require a phone to be docked loosely into a specific area - to touch a certain area of the charging pad. If the phone shifts while going around a turn or because of a rough road, the phone loses its charge until you move it back into place. It can be as annoying as it sounds, especially at night when the phone lights up every time its charge status changes.

New in-vehicle wireless charging technology announced by Panasonic Automotive today changes up the wiring behind traditional wireless charging technology in an innovative way. The two types, moving coil and static coil, allow devices to be recharged quickly while vehicles turned on.

The moving coil charge variant of the wireless charging pad has patent pending tracking technology that targets a device once it's in the tray. The coil moves into the optimum position to align with the mobile device's charging coil and begins charging with 15 watts of charging power, one of the highest rates of charge in the industry. In addition to being able to move toward the device in need of charging, the technology has better coupling capability when compared to other wireless charging systems.

The company says that the new tech meets or exceeds most current in-vehicle charging systems.

Many new vehicles offer available wireless charging. Nearly all offer cabled charging via a USB Type A or USB Type C charging port. These wireless charging trays are frequently located at the front of the center console while others sit inside the console or require a phone to fit into a charging slot in the console.

For the 2021 model year, Hyundai began offering wireless charginng with cooling fans that work to alleviate the problem of high-heat generation that occurs while charging at higher speeds for prolonged periods of time. High temperatures may cause a device to stop working and a charger to malfunction.

In order for the system to cahrge a smartphone, the phone must be wireless charging compatible.

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Existing Dodge Charger and Challenger models are getting a no-cost update designed to thwart thieves.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis
The Dodge Charger and Challenger are hot models. Not just hot as in good-looking. Hot as in stolen. In 2019, the Dodge Charger HEMI and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat were atop the Highway Loss Data Institute's list of vehicles most likely to be stolen. The claim rates for each model's whole-vehicle theft were more than five times the average for 2016 to 2018 models. Since then, both models have continued to see robust sales.

Dodge has announced an automotive software upgrade that is designed to made the cars less desirable to theives. Using the Dodge owner's four-digit security code, a new enhanced deterrence feature limits the vehicle's engine speed to idle (675 rpm). At idle, the engines produce approximately 2.8 horsepower and 22 lb.-ft. of torque.

2020 Dodge Charger The Dodge Charger is one of the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The no-charge update is limited to Dodge Charger and Challenger models equipped with 392-cu.-in. HEMI V8 or supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engines.

"Dodge is launching a new owner-customized 'double verification' security system," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. "When flashed into the computer of affected 2015 or newer Dodge muscle cars, the protective software will limit the engine output to less than three horsepower, foiling fast getaways and joyrides."

The software upgrade can be installed free of charge by any Dodge dealer on 2015 through 2021 model-year Dodge muscle cars. The complimentary enhancement applies second-level vehicle security encryption via Dodge's Uconnect 4C infotainment system.

"More than 150 cars are stolen every day in the United States," added Kuniskis. "For any car owner, it's terrible, it's a hassle and it's a personal violation. Though statistically rare, car thieves have targeted the high-horsepower Dodge muscle cars, and we want the Dodge 'Brotherhood' to know we're taking quick action and covering their backs."

Dodge has committed to pursuing other enhancements to vehicle-theft deterrence in order to protect owners' investments.

Dodge expects the new security feature to be available late in the second quarter of 2021.

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The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid joins the Hyundai family this summer.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson has yet to reach dealerships, but that isn't stopping the automaker from introducing two new variants. The 2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line and 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid join the lineup and will be available in the spring and summer, respectively.

2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line

2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The new Hyundai Tucson N Line is designed to appeal to enthusiast buyers and has looks that fall into the N Line design precedent set by the Sonata N Line and Elantra N Line with a more aggressive appearance. Hyundai also says that it has motorsport-inspired details.

The Tucson N Line builds on the Tucson SEL and includes the features from the Convenience package. Unlike other upgraded Hyundais, the N Line model has no performance enhancements.

Its exterior features N Line front and rear bumper fascia, an N Line grille, black headlamp bezels, Fender N line badging, 19-inch black alloy wheels, black side mirrors and window surrounds, a dual-tipped exhaust, and N Line rear spoiler.

The interior of the SUV has N line logos, steering wheel, shifter, and seats. There's also a black headliner, metal pedals and door sill plates, and a Bose premium audio system. N Line interior details include N-branded black leather sport seats with cloth inserts and red stitching on the door trim and armrest. N logos accent the shifter console surround, metal pedals, footrest and doorsills.

Hyundai will sell the model in Ash Black, White Pearl, Titan Gray, and Red Crimson paint colors. The red is exclusive to the Hyundai family.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid

Hyundai says that this model focuses on balancing fun-to-drive performance and fuel economy. The SUV is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It achieves 261 horsepower and combines with a 13.8-kilowatt-hour battery to yield 32 miles of all-electric range. Fuel economy is rated at 70 MPGe and 30 mpg.

All-wheel drive and Snow drive mode are standard.

The vehicle is capable of charging via a Level II (240-volt) system using the on-board 7.2-kilowatt on-board charger. It takes two hours to charge the battery on this type of power source.

Hyundai rates the Tucson Plug-In Hybrid as having a 2,000-pound towing capacity.

Hyundai is backing both models with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, and even-year anti-perforation warranty. Three years/36,000 miles of normal oil changes and tire rotations are also included.

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