We had a great week at the Gear Patrol motoring desk. We reviewed the North American Car of the Year-winning Hyundai Elantra and took a virtual ride in the all-new Mercedes EQS. Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz, and claims it is not a pickup truck. Audi debuted what may be its most important new car, and we learned Honda may have something cooking on the electric sports car front.
But, as always, we didn't have time to cover every juicy news nugget that made the rounds in a given week. Here's a quick roundup of notable items we didn't get a chance to write about.
Volkswagen’s electric cars are getting high-performance versions. Well, at least the European ones. They will carry the “GTX” branding. The GT is a nod to the GTI, while the X “is building the bridge to the mobility of the future” or something like that. The ID.4 GTX will debut on April 28th; no word on when/if GTX will come to America.
Tesla loves two things: Easter eggs and butt jokes — often together. Owners have discovered an unofficial voice command that lets you open the charging port by instructing it to “open butthole.” You may also say “close butthole” when the charging is completed to shut the port. Godspeed to any Tesla owner innocently transporting their 8-to-11-year-old children to school in their Model 3.
Adventure ORX, the third-party running the Bronco Off-Roadeo programs, pulled out of placing one at the Suicide Six ski area in Vermont. Locals, probably with good reason, feared that emboldened Bronco owners would veer from their designated trails. The programs were intended to be regional, but the three extant ones — Moab, Las Vegas, Austin — are all in the Southwest.
French automaker Citroën unveiled the C5 X, the brand’s new flagship vehicle. Is it a sedan? A wagon? An SUV? We’re not sure either. But it’s quirky and kind of cool. And it’s a Citroën, so you know it will have a buttery soft suspension. The PHEV model will offer 31 miles (under the WLTP standard) of EV range.
Love the idea of a vintage Defender, but not so keen on the poor fuel economy? Well, Himalaya, one of the best custom Defender builders out there, built an electric one — and it's being given away in an Omaze sweepstakes. Every donation supports the African Community & Conservation Foundation.
There are a lot of Texans. They love their trucks. And Jeep is giving them their own version of the Gladiator, the Texas Trail trim. Built off the base Gladiator, Texas Trail adds 32-inch mud-terrain tires, 17-inch mud-gloss black wheels and the trailer tow package. It will only be available at Texas Jeep dealerships. But one could always buy one there and smuggle it across state lines.
Ford announced its hands-free driving system, BlueCruise, which sort of sounds like an oceanic vacation for Raw Dog Comedy fans. 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E vehicles will be the first to get it via software update.
Ford made a point of boasting that its engineers tested their system themselves, unlike Tesla’s Autopilot. And unless there are some German speed metal fans at Ford — which is definitely possible — there appears to be another pointed barb at Tesla in the photo’s song title.
Kelley Blue Book has released their best cars to buy awards for 2021. The results may surprise you.