Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Subaru unleashes the Wilderness specification on the Forester, Genesis has laid out groundwork to go all EV and carbon neutral, Tesla Roadster and Cybertruck delayed again, and Lotus is showing off what it will be able to do with loads of Chinese investor money.
2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness
Subaru’s most popular model will sport some new features and design updates from the 2022 model year on. The entire Forester lineup gets a new front fascia, strengthened roof rails, and the latest drive assistance and safety technology the brand can offer. Meanwhile, the powertrain is… drum roll please…. exactly the same.
But the biggest story by far is the Wilderness model that is now available on the Forester. You may remember the Outback Wilderness that came out back in April… so, approximately 8 years ago. It was a more off-road-oriented version of an already capable Outback that catered to buyers who wanted a family hauler that could go further off the grid. Shortly after that successful launch, Subaru announced that the Wilderness package would become its own sub brand of sorts, one we’d see applied to other cars. This Forester was first in line.
Feature-wise it begins as a Forester Premium, so well-equipped but not as packed as the higher trims can get. It then receives exclusive chassis suspension components which provide an additional half-inch of ground clearance (9.2 inches total) and a more compliant ride. Longer coil springs and shock absorbers paired with Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires mean it can handle more than most, or perhaps any, other vehicles in its class. It also has underbody skid plates for some proper protection on trails.
Like the Outback Wilderness, the Forester Wilderness stands apart with additional matte black body cladding and decals plus subtle bronze accents inside and out. Seating surfaces are upholstered with water-resistant StarTex material. It’s also ideal for roof-top camping with its ladder-type roof rack, which has a dynamic load capacity of 220 lbs and up to 800 lbs when parked.
The Forester Wilderness will start at $32,820 and will arrive this October.
Genesis has a plan for going EV only
Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, is the latest automaker to commit to an all electric lineup and – more importantly – going completely carbon neutral. Genesis just recently unveiled their first EV, and with the way the industry is being forced to go, we knew that was just opening the floodgates.
2025 is the year that Genesis says they’ll begin to transition from ICEs and hybrids to fully battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cells. No new vehicles they debut from that point on will burn any gas, so whatever gas cars they have on the market by then will continue to be sold for some time. By 2030, all of those gas-burning cars should be gone from showrooms completely. From then on, no Genesis vehicles at all will be sold with any kind of gas-burning powertrain. As the brand continues to expand to meet the demands of more markets, they expect to have eight vehicles on sale globally. As you can tell by that teaser shot above, there are a good number of crossovers but also way more sedans and – dare I say – potentially coupes than I would have expected.
That EV business is all fine and dandy, but the promise that really matters and will really make a difference is that of going carbon neutral. 2035 is when they want to be net zero for everything, not just in terms of emissions from cars on the road. They will focus on their entire value chain, from raw materials and parts extending to work sites and production plans, and make them as sustainable as possible. More companies need to be doing this, because that is what will truly make a difference in the long run. It’s hard to say your EVs will save the planet when producing them is still dirty.
Shocking no one, Tesla Roadster and Cybertruck delayed
We’ve been hard on Ford for bungling the Bronco launch as most of its potential buyers who placed deposits on one over a year ago still don’t really know when they will get to actually buy one. But that delay absolutely pales in comparison to what Tesla is making some of its customers go through. The company has had a less than stellar track record in meeting deadlines… or even coming close. Two of its most anticipated models are officially delayed by at least another year or two.
The Roadster, which debuted in 2017 and would be reserved with a deposit ranging from $50,000 or $250,000 (the planned full price of the car), is now delayed to 2023. That’s assuming no “mega drama” as lord and savior of humanity Elon Musk describes it. Meanwhile the Cybertruck, the one that looks like it was designed in MS Paint and had its supposedly bulletproof glass cracked by a hand-thrown metal ball, is delayed to late 2022.
The “mega drama” mentioned earlier can most likely stem from one thing – the chip shortage. The global markets are all impacted to some extent by the fact that there are far fewer semiconductor chips available than what is needed. That’s the reason why it’s so hard to buy a PS5 and why my RTX 3080 graphics card nearly tripled in value a month after I bought it. But automotive brands are especially struggling with this and have even had to cut production or shp cars without certain features because of it. So I can imagine that as Tesla is trying to develop and produce two brand new cars, which would certainly rely heavily on chips, as they’re also building an entirely new plant in Texas to build the Cybertruck, this global shortage would hit them especially hard.
But still, if you dropped at least $50k on a Roadster back in 2017 and are now told to wait another two years, that would sting. That’s assuming of course $50k matters to those kinds of people. Cybertruck buyers at least only had to throw $100. But it’s still frustrating to deal with delays like this. But hey, there are plenty of other EVs on the market now that aren’t perpetually delayed. Some of them are even good!
Big things are ahead for Lotus
Since Lotus was bought by Geely, a super rich Chinese investor group, there have been talks about greatly expanding the presence of the legendary brand into new markets. No longer can Lotus rely just on selling niche sports cars. So not only are they adding different models, but they’re full steam ahead on electrification. Basically, Lotus is about to do things they never would have been able to do without a metric shit load of money from Geely.
They released this teaser image with five cars, one of which we’ve already seen and fell in love with – the Evija hypercar. As for the others, one will be a more normal sports car (so like an Evora or Elise type of deal), a sedan (which better be called the Carlton), and two SUVs because they want to print money like all the other big brands. The two SUVs and the sedan will be built on their own fancy new modular platform which can support batteries up to 120 kWh and support 800-volt fast charging.
Because Lotus is so heavily supported by Chinese money, a good portion of their cars will be built there too. The SUVs and sedan will be built in a new facility under construction in Wuhan, China, which I hear is a lovely place that absolutely no one has ever heard of before. The legendary Hethel facility will still be responsible for the sports cars. Meanwhile, a fancy new Lotus Technology headquarters is also in the works in Wuhan. It just broke ground last month, so I guess it’s actually happening.
I always figured Lotus would be the very last brand to go electric, let alone build a cash grab SUV. But it’s hard to not be excited about what the brand can do when they have money to spend.
[Source: Lotus via Jalopnik]
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.