Such a Tease

VW gives first peek at Project Trinity electric car with Level 4 automated driving ability

Project Trinity is a new sedan Volkswagen is set to bring to market in five years.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Talk about a long tease. Volkswagen has released an image of the vehicle dubbed Project Trinity, an all-electric sedan that's not expected to hit the market until 2026.

The project takes its name from three new design these: a newly developed electronics platform with state-of-the-art software, the simplification of the supply structure, and fully networked and intelligent production at the main plant in Wolfsburg.

"Trinity is a sort of crystallization point for our Accelerate strategy, a lighthouse project, our software dream car," says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

The car is designed to fast forward automobile intelligence. It will set new standards for range, charging speed, and digitalization, according to the automaker. In regards to charging speed, Volkswagen anticipates that vehicle charging will be coming as fast as a petrol refuel.

Additionally, Trinity will reach production with Level 2+ advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) technology. However, VW says that the car will be able to drive "highly automated according to Level 4" standards.

The gap between Level 2 and Level 4 ADAS standards is large. According to NVIDIA, Level 2+ adds surround perception and articial intelligence as a layer onto the typical Level 2 experience. This added technology allows the vehicle to perform some automated maneuvers, such as lane changes, while the driver is still in control of the vehicle. Driver monitoring is also a part of Level 2+ tech.

"We are using our economies of scale to make autonomous driving available to many people and to build a learning neural network. In this way, we are creating the conditions for the continuous exchange of data from our vehicle fleet—for example, on the traffic situation, on obstacles or on accidents," says Ralf Brandstätter. Trinity thus gives people time and saves them stress. After a long highway trip, you arrive at your destination relaxed. Because you have been driven by a chauffeur to your vacation or to your home after work. "Trinity therefore becomes a kind of 'time machine' for our customers," says Ralf Brandstätter.

Volkswagen intends to build future vehicles with fewer variants, standardizing hardware in the process. In a release, the company said, "The cars will then have virtually everything on board and customers will be able to activate desired functions "on demand" at any time via the digital ecosystem in the car. This will significantly reduce complexity in production."

"In the future, the individual configuration of the vehicle will no longer be determined by the hardware at the time of purchase. Instead, customers will be able to add functions on demand at any time via the digital ecosystem in the car," said Brandstätter.

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Toyota's ready to make a big announcement.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation2

Auto Shanghai has another surprise in store. Toyota will debut an electrified vehicle next week and ahead of that moment, the company has leaked teaser photos and video featuring the model on its social media channels.

One of the posts, available on Twitter and Instagram, showcases the vehicle and a series of conceptual, perhaps inspirational, related items. A light shines as a reflection in an eye. A design on paper leads to a math equation. A laser, perhaps a plasma cutter, is focused on an object. Watch the see the rest.


It passes by quickly, but in there is the shape of a crossover. We've captured the moment in a still photo below so you can take a longer look. From the body design quickly shown here, the SUV is shaped more like the Toyota Venza than the Toyota RAV4. The key here is the rear side window, which is more triangular, like the Venza, than the squared-off RAV4''s.

202 The shape of the vehicle is similar to the Toyota Venza.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

2022 Toyota Venza EV

The face of the vehicle, shown in another social media post (this time on Instagram) and at the top of this article, shows a pared back vehicle face. The height of the vehicle confirms that it's in fact a crossover body style.

We do know that Subaru and Toyota have been working on an electric SUV for a while. While Subaru is likely calling the vehicle "Evoltis" there's some indication that Toyota may be reviving the "Celica" name for the EV. Batteries, after all, are made up of cells.

As of right now, we have to take the wait-and-see approach. One thing's for sure. We'll know more next week.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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