All the Automotive News You Missed This Week That You Should Know About

A groundbreaking EV from China, cool new heads-up tech, and a peek at the next Nissan Z.

car news

Here at Gear Patrol, we take pride in keeping tabs on all the ins and outs of the automotive world. This past week saw Porsche celebrating the Boxster's 25th anniversary, a leak of the hundreds of accessories available for the Ford Bronco and learned about the new McIntosh stereo coming to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, among many other newsworthy happenings.

But try as we might, even our intrepid team can't cover every bit of news individually. So rather than let some of those stories go unseen, we're bringing you the news we didn't have a chance to get to in an abridged list right here. Check it out below.

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Lexus has a sexy new LC 500 variant
lexus lc 500 inspiration black

The LC 500 needs no introduction and little help; it's one of the coolest cars on the road today. Every so often, though, Lexus tries to spiff it up even more with an "Inspiration Series" version — a design-focused limited run.

The fifth one in the series, seen here, is restricted to just 100 copies, and sets itself apart with features like a gorgeous hand-finished carbon fiber spoiler and a black-and-tan interior loaded with leather and Alcantara. It hits dealerships before spring.


VW's sweet electric Microbus has been delayed to 2023
vw idbuzz

Of all the electric VWs coming our way in the next few years — and there's a bundle — none is quite as exciting as the new EV interpretation of the iconic Type 2, better known as the Microbus.

Sadly, it seems we won't get it as soon as we'd hoped; Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Keogh told Automotive News its American arrival has been pushed back until sometime in calendar year 2023. Blame issues with reformatting the factory for EV production for the delay.


Nissan's 400Z seemingly revealed in patent images
nissan 400z
Patent Office

The new Nissan 400z, as we're expecting the all-new version of the Z to be called, is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of the year. Nissan teased it with last year's Z Proto concept, but recently discovered patent images found by CarExpert suggest that the production car will likely look pretty dang similar to that model. The big question, of course: will the production 400Z also keep the Z Proto's twin-turbo V6 and stick shift?


Panasonic reveals AR HUD tech at CES 2021, heading to production soon

2021's all-virtual CES was largely a letdown from an automotive standpoint, apart from GM's extravaganza of EVs and fantastic Cadillac concepts. One boring-but-important announcement, however, came from Panasonic, which showed off a new heads-up display tech that uses AI to project information onto the windshield head-up display, creating an impressive augmented reality experience. And this Tony Stark tech ain't vaporware; Panasonic told Car and Driver the system will probably show up in a 2024 model year vehicle.


The Gear You Absolutely Need for Car Camping
Thomas BarwickGetty Images

Car camping makes getting away easy as pie. These items will make it even tastier.


The Durango Hellcat won't be as rare as we thought
2021 dodge durango srt hellcat the most powerful suv ever features a new aggressive exterior, a new interior with a driver centric cockpit and delivers 710 horsepower, shown here in reactor blue with dual silver stripes

When Dodge announced the Durango would be gaining a Hellcat version for the 2021 model year, our first reaction was, "What took them so long?" It seemed, however, that the 710-hp SUV would remain rare even in life; FCA said it would only be in production for one model year, with around 2,000 expected to be made.

This week, though, Mopar Insiders caught word that dealerships have received word from Dodge that production will be stretched out, with new builds coming off the line all the way until June.


Chinese automaker Nio reveals electric sedan with groundbreaking battery tech
china auto nio
STRGetty Images

If the name "Nio" doesn't ring a bell, don't sweat; after all, the Chinese carmaker doesn't sell anything here in the States. Still, the EV-only carmaker has some impressive accomplishments in its rearview already, including building an electric supercar that's set lap records at multiple Formula 1 tracks.

But it's Nio's latest car, the ET7, that could finally vault it into global contention. The company says it'll use a solid-state battery —the tech that's expected to bring in a vast improvement in charging times — that offers up to 621 miles of range.


Mazda's diesel crossover is dead, at least in America
cx 5

Few automakers bother to sell diesel-powered cars in the United States anymore, so it was a bit of a surprise when Mazda announced a couple years back that it would be bringing its Skyactiv-D oil-burner to America in the CX-5 crossover. Much less surprising: news this week that Mazda is axing said model.

CarsDirect heard the word from a Mazda spokesperson, citing "consumer demand" as the reason for the decision. In other words: nobody was buying them. Considering the diesel was only offered in the most expensive CX-5, cost more than $4,000 over the gas-powered version and barely bettered the gas model's fuel economy, and the fact that diesel costs more than regular gas...we can't say we're shocked.


This super-cool new electric motorcycle is a great deal
sonders metacycle

The new Sonders Metacycle is the latest addition to the growing menagerie of electric motorcycles going on sale — but it has a couple interesting things that separate it from the pack. For one, it's affordable, ringing up at just $5,000. That still gets you 80 miles of range, thanks to a swappable 4-kWh battery; plus, its electric motor can push the bike and rider along at up to 80 mph. Oh, and it looks pretty freakin' awesome, on top of all that.


The 12 Best Travel Mugs Money Can Buy

When you’re on the go or off on a big adventure, a top-notch coffee keeper is critical — and these picks are just perfect.


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