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

Jeep may change one of its iconic names; the Ram Dakota may be back on; and Kia just made one of its cars way cooler.

best new cars

It's been an exciting week here at the Gear Patrol Motoring Desk. We reviewed Acura's awesome new three-row MDX, covered the launch of the new Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo and the first (very conditionally) self-driving vehicle, and gave you the low down on why Ferrari's new SUV will be great and how to figure out which side of the car your gas cap is on.

But, as per usual, there wasn't time enough to get around to everything we wanted to tell you about. Here are some of the noteworthy news items we missed.

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The Ford Maverick has entered production
ford maverick leaked production shot
Maverick Truck Club

Ford's new compact unibody pickup truck — which, like a certain aviator with the need for speed, is expected to go by "Maverick" — has finally entered production. Well, sort of. According to CNBC, Ford's Hermosillo, Mexico truck plant begun quietly cranking out a handful of early production trucks last month — making just 21 of them, in fact. We expect to see it hit the streets by this summer.


Volvo plans to cut some wagons and sedans soon
white volvo v90

Volvo will go electric by 2030, and much of that push will be new SUVs — which means corresponding cuts to Volvo's sedan and wagon lineup. But don't lose hope completely: Volvo's CEO says "definitely don't count out the wagon" when it comes to the brand's EV future.


VW's upcoming "Trinity" electric car sounds revolutionary
2021 vw arteon gear patrol slide 7

Volkswagen's general plans for an all-electric future are well-known, but many of the details remain murky. One of the most exciting new vehicles in development is one called "Project Trinity," which will reportedly be the brand's new flagship. A new report from Autocar makes it sound revolutionary indeed, but maybe not for the reasons you think: VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter told the magazine Trinity would be “our software dream car,” with few physical options but the ability to add features via download: "you select battery capacity, colour and wheels and then order it on smartphone. The functions can be set as you go along: you can add features through your digital system.”


The new Ram Dakota is not dead after all, report says
chicago holds annual auto show
Scott OlsonGetty Images

A report from a couple of weeks week suggested Stellantis had killed Ram's Dakota small pickup plans. But Automotive News says Stellantis still intends to revive the nameplate. What we don't know is whether Ram is planning a stripped-down Gladiator, a compact Ford Maverick rival or something else entirely.


Mercedes teased its new flagship electric car.

We know that Mercedes-Benz will launch its EQS — an electric flagship equivalent of the S-class sedan — later this year. This week, the automaker teased its upcoming swoopy silhouette ahead of its reveal. Spy shots suggest the finished product won't be quite as unconventional as this makes it appear.

Ford's Mustang Mach-E is eating into Tesla's market dominance, Morgan Stanley says
mustang mach e gear patrol slide 05

A new analysis of the U.S. electric vehicle market by Morgan Stanley found that Tesla — which, for obvious reasons, has dominated the segment — saw its market share dip from 81 percent last February to 69 percent last month. (Granted, sales were still up year over year — but the EV market is expanding fast enough that Tesla managed to lose market share regardless.) The reason, according to Morgan Stanley? The Mach-E, which reportedly "accounted for nearly 100 percent" of Tesla's lost market share.


Jeep may be open to changing the Cherokee's name
jeep grand cherokee l

The Washington Football Team and the Cleveland Indians are both changing their names under pressure to stop appropriating American Indian heritage for their own profit. Now, Jeep is facing some pressure to stop using the name Cherokee. Problem is, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are two of Stellantis' four best-selling vehicles in America.

This week, however, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares did not rule out a name change, saying the company will "go to any point" to resolve the matter. (We humbly suggest "Canyonero" as a replacement.)


Here's our best look yet at Ferrari's new hypercar
ferrari test car

The Purosangue SUV is not the only vehicle in the Ferrari pipeline. The folks in Maranello have a new hybrid hypercar coming for 2023, one that will be a successor to the LaFerrari (though probably not with a V12). These spy shots offer our best look so far at the new vehicle.


Enter to Win America's Coolest Station Wagon and Help a Great Cause
audi rs 6

A new RS 6 Avant will run you at least $110,045. If that's a little steep for you, and you're willing to take a chance, you can take a stab at winning one for far less money — and even if you don't win, you'll be helping out the Petersen Automotive Museum in the process.


The Jeep Grand Wagoneer will have built-in Amazon Fire TV
wagoneer and grand wagoneer announced as first vehicles to integrate fire tv for auto

Have an Amazon Fire TV stick? Jeep just announced the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will have an integrated Fire TV system that will sync with your other Fire TV devices. That means Passengers will be able to pick up where that episode of Octonauts left off while the vehicle is in motion. The driver will be able to access it on the main infotainment screen, but only while the vehicle is in park.


Kia just made the four-pot Stinger way cooler (and a better deal)
kia stinger gt

Our one issue with the base model Stinger was the absence of oomph. Consider that resolved: the 2022 base model will pack 300 hp (up 45 hp from the previous version) and 311 lb-ft of torque from a larger 2.5-liter four-pot. Oh, and did we mention it's more fuel-efficient, too?


Back up the Brinks truck: there's a McLaren F1 for sale
mclaren f1

The Gordon Murray-designed McLaren F1 is widely regarded as perhaps the best driver's car ever made, thanks in no small part to its 6.1-liter V12 and a six-speed manual. It's exceedingly rare — only 64 were ever built — and right now, there's a U.S. registered 1995 one for sale on Issimi's website.


That destination fee on a new car? It's getting bigger
subaru forester gear patrol

Every new car sticker has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). That figure does not include a destination and delivery charges, even if it should, since there's no way to avoid paying it. Consumer Reports said this week that it found that those destination and delivery fees have been increasing at 2.5 times the rate of inflation in recent years.


Someone in a Dodge Charger couldn't drive 55

This week, the Michigan State Police arrested a Dodge Charger (who'd have guessed) driver, who was clocked at 155 mph on the Lodge Freeway in the Detroit area. That's 100 mph over the posted 55 mph speed limit. No word yet on Sammy Hagar's whereabouts at the time of the incident.


These Are the 16 Best Cars to Buy in 2021
2021 ford f 150 tremor

Kelley Blue Book has released their best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.


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