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: Jeep previews their electric future with three new models, Toyota announces reasonable pricing on GR Corolla and manual Supra 3.0s, and Chevrolet unveils the Equinox EV with a near 30k MSRP.
Jeep reveals plans for more 4XE models
For reasons that are obvious, Jeep has turned their attention towards electric vehicles and have unveiled some new models that are already on their way. While we can debate the merits of an EV sports car that can move the soul or how practical EV towing can be, one thing that’s already well known is how capable EVs can be off road. Jeep is looking to capitalize on the potential with four zero-emission vehicles destined for North America and/or Europe by 2025. Electrified vehicles (hybrid options at a minimum) will be available on all US models, but the three they detailed this week are pure battery-electric.
The first is the Jeep Recon (top), an all-new vehicle built from the ground up to be “100% Jeep 4×4 and 100% zero emission”. It’s designed to cross the Rubicon Trail out of the box (though maybe with some factory options thrown in to make life easier). If “Trail Rated” still means anything anymore, this one will have that in spades with Jeep Selec-Terrain traction management, e-lockers, underbody protection, tow hooks, and aggressive off-road tires. Open air freedom similar to what you’d find in a Wrangler is built in as well with a one-touch power top plus removable doors and glass. Meanwhile, the Uconnect infotainment system comes preloaded with detailed travel guides for the most notable off-road trails. The Recon will debut next year in person and go on sale in 2024.
For those who want something more luxurious, the Wagoneer-S is being developed as their first all-electric premium SUV offering. A sleek and more sophisticated design will aim to be more of a family hauler that can still manage some mild terrain off paved roads. 4×4 is standard as is its all-terrain management system. The targeted driving range on a full charge is 400 miles. Whatever it lacks in off road performance compared to the Recon it gains 600 horsepower and a 3.5-second 0-60 time. The Wagoneer-S is on the same timeline as the Recon – debuts in public next year, goes on sale in 2024.
This next one is for Europe only, likely because of its size. Jeep is borrowing the Avenger name from its sibling for this new compact electric SUV which slots below the already small Jeep Renegade. They don’t specifically mention 4-wheel drive here but it’s implied. Maybe. This one offers compact dimensions with good ground clearance, breakover and approach angles, and range for its size (targeted 400-kilometer range). The size certainly seems right for Europe as does its nice design, which screams “I’m built for urban dwellers who think that maybe one day they’ll go into the woods”. In fairness, I do think it looks much better than their current compact SUV offerings. The timeline for this one is much quicker with a Paris Motor Show debut next month, reservations opening same day, and showroom arrival in early 2023.
Prices on each of these models has not been disclosed. In a future where manufacturers have to play by new rules, it’s nice to see Jeep is finding a way to still be Jeep. Boxy, rugged, and capable off-road vehicles with plenty of marketing bullshit around “Trail Rated”. Yep, that’s the Jeep we know and love.
Toyota GR Corolla and Supra 3.0 MT priced
It’s still such a weird feeling to be talking about Toyota in a way that praises them for having so many sports cars for the enthusiasts. It’s as if their reputation for boring and bland is finally behind them. The news out of the fun-having division of Toyota this week pricing on two of their most highly-anticipated models – the wicked GR Corolla and the Supra 3.0 with the manual transmission everyone has been asking for.
The GR Corolla, the all-wheel-drive, 300-horsepower, rally-inspired hatchback starts at a very reasonable $38,090 including destination for the Core Edition. Optional extras include a performance package for $1,100 which adds a Torsen LSD on both axles and upgraded brakes, a technology package for $770, and cold weather package for $500. If you want something more exclusive, the Circuit Edition and Morizo Edition go on sale next year. The one-year-only Circuit Edition commands $45,090 including destination while the limited-edition Morizon Edition is priced at $52,090.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Supra 3.0 is finally launching with a six-speed manual transmission for the millions of people who begged for one, of which maybe a dozen have actual plans to buy one. The 6MT, which they say isn’t just borrowed from BMW, is available on the Supra 3.0 and 3.0 Premium. This appears to be a no cost option for both models. I’d use their configurator to confirm, but it’s decided it was going to be a stupid pile of shit instead. But from what I can tell, the $52,500 MSRP for the 3.0 MT they quoted in the press release is identical to the automatic-equipped 3.0 on Toyota’s website. I’d assume the same is true for the $55,650 3.0 Premium.
It goes without saying though that these prices are pretty much meaningless in today’s car buying market. So good luck. If you can manage to snag either of these, you’ll be treated to a wonderful car.
Chevrolet Equinox EV revealed with preliminary pricing
I began writing about this Equinox EV thinking that it was just an updated story on what we already knew from months ago. Turns out, that was the Blazer EV and not the Equinox EV. Off to a great start.
Chevrolet revealed the all-electric Equinox EV this week which slots below the Blazer EV shown a few months prior. They’re aiming for a $30,000 MSRP when it goes on sale next fall. At that price, you get the base 1LT with a single electric motor powering the front wheels with 210 horsepower and 242 lb.-ft. of torque with a driving range of around 250 miles.
The Equinox EV, like other new GM EV products, is built on the Ultium platform and includes an 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty. Other trims available at launch besides the 1LT include the better-equipped 2LT, 3LT (pictured), 2RS, or 3RS. Other than interior equipment and features, the main difference between the budget-friendly 1LT and the rest is the battery pack. The smaller and therefore cheaper battery pack resides in the 1LT while the other models come standard with a larger battery which enables a roughly 300-mile range for FWD and a 280-mile range for AWD models. While AWD models don’t have quite the same range, they do get 290 horsepower and 346 lb.-ft. of torque instead.
Besides that, there’s not much else I really need to say about it. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a big touch screen. It has a filled-in front grille and thin LED lights that span across the entire width of the car which someone decided was a required feature on all EVs. It has good cabin storage space. It looks like a futuristic blob. It’s just like everything else. But if they can deliver a practical EV for “around” $30k and have it not be a trash heap, then it’s a huge milestone for the transition to EVs and will have automatically earned a spot on every buyer’s radar. We can’t expect to force everyone to buy a new car to maybe have a shot at saving the planet. But as EVs become cheaper, it can only help.
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.