New Model News

Twisted NA-V8 is a customizable 4x4 that is available as a wagon, truck, or cabrio

The Twisted NV-V8 has a six-month build time.

Photo courtesy of Twisted

It's no secret that the overlanding and off-roading communities are growing by leaps and bounds. So is the luxury vehicle market. Enter: Twisted.

The Austin, Texas-based company is introducing a lineup of ultra luxury 4x4s to the market this year, each highly customizable. The Twisted NA-V8 comes in a variety of powertrains (including an electric version) and five different body styles. The vehicles are based on a classic Defender body style and hand-built in both the U.K. and U.S.A.

Twisted NV-V8The NA-V8 is powered by a Chevy engine.Photo courtesy of Twisted

The configurations include NA-V8 110 station wagon and double cab, NA-V8 90 soft top and station wagon, and NV-V8 130 pickup.

Under the hood of most models is a General Motors 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and delivers 455 horsepower. Buyers can upgrade to a five-speed manual transmission and a tuned version of the engine that ups the output to 650 horsepower. Custom tuning is available upon request.

The all-electric version of the SUV is projected to launch later in the year – with pre-orders beginning this month.

The model's suspension and braking system was developed with Alcon, Bilstein and Eibach. It features custom valved dampers, six pot front brakes, four pot rear brakes, hard-use RS29 brake pads, antilock brakes, and a traction control system. The model has heavy-duty differentials, drive shafts, and half shafts. Its exhaust delivers a proper rumble.

Twisted NA-V8

Twisted NA-V8

Photo courtesy of Twisted

Twisted has given the NA-V8 a thoroughly modern interior with a infotainment touch screen with navigation, an enhanced splash scree, a custom designed and built eight-channel audio system, electric windows, cruise control, air conditioning, heated and cooled Recaro seats, and a custom center console.

Soundproofing and insulation keep the cabin relatively quiet.

Safety and security features include: a tracker and immobilizer; front and rear facing cameras; and parking spot and blind spot sensors.

Twisted covers each model with a 24-month/20,000-mile warranty. Extensions are available. The GM engine and transmission come with a two-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Twisted is pricing the models to start at $250,000. Each takes approximately six months to build from the time of order. Limited test drives will be available starting this month.

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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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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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