Milestones

Tiguan passes six million in sales, becomes best-selling Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Tiguan is sold in two- and three-row variants in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Tiguan has moved to the front of VW's class. The SUV is now the most successful model in the Volkswagen Group lineup and the best-selling SUV in Europe after completing its six millionth model sale.

The automaker produced around 910,000 Tiguans in 2019 and made it available for sale in 80 percent of the countries on Earth. That's one unit rolling off the line every 35 seconds in a Volkswagen plant in Germany, Russia, China, and Mexico. It's produced in four time zones on three continents.

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan teaserTo celebrate the sales milestone, Volkswagen teased a refreshed Tiguan, coming in 2020.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen introduced the Tiguan at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 2007, 58 years after the first Volkswagen was produced. Its first generation was a two-row variant that almost immediately proved popular. By 2011, VW had moved production of the model to over 500,000 per year.

In 2016, the second-generation model arrived and in 2017 an XL variant was made available that delivered three rows of seating. Additionally, the SUV's new platform meant that it was roomier and safer than the previous generation. Over 55 percent of all Tiguans made today feature a third row of seating.

Buyers in the U.S. simply know the three-row Tiguan as the long version. In Europe it's called the Tiguan Allspace and in China its the Tiguan L1.

VW added a plug-in hybrid electric version of the model to it's lineup in China in 2019.

For the 2020 model year, the SUV will receive a mid-cycle refresh complete with major technical and visual updates including a PHEV model for Europe.

Earlier this month, Volkswagen offered up buyer profiles based on their Zodiac sign, saying that the Tiguan is perfect for a Taurus.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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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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