2022 Maverick Hybrid sells out, Maybach’s all-out off-road concept, Elantra is Hyundai’s cheapest N model

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Ford Maverick Hybrid sells out, orders closed until summer 2022

Intake: If there were any doubt that a compact pickup could excite truck buyers, the Maverick is erasing it. The trucklet, revealed in June, cleared 100,000 reservations in mid-August. As of October, Ford estimated that all 2022 Hybrid models would be spoken for as of early November. As spokesperson rep Dawn Mackenzie confirms, this prediction was fairly accurate: Due to demand, Ford has now closed order books for the base Maverick Hybrid until summer of 2022. Customers craving the most efficient and affordable Maverick—42 mpg city, 37 combined, and at $21,490 the cheapest Ford model on sale—must wait for the 2023 model year.

Exhaust: Over 40 percent of Maverick orders are for the base hybrid version, Ford says. Many buyers of this brilliant little truck are buying their first-ever vehicle, if not their first-ever pickup. According to Ford, this contingent comprises one of the youngest, most diverse groups to be interested in a truck from the Blue Oval. And regardless of age, who among us doesn’t appreciate a genuinely affordable, practical vehicle like this? Cheers to Ford for remembering the little guys.

2022 Carbon Edition Mazda 3 is grey, red, and Bose all over

2022 Mazda3 2.5 S Carbon Edition Sedan
Mazda

Intake: Following the 3’s 2021 powertrain overhaul, which expanded engine options from one to three, Mazda is playing things conservative with its compact sedan and hatch this go-around. For the 2022 model year, the 3 gains both a paint color (Platinum Quartz Metallic) and a trim level (Carbon Edition) already present on other models in the Mazda family. We’ll focus on the Carbon Edition, a FWD-only trim available on the 186-hp 2.5 S sedan and hatchback that slots between the existing Preferred and Premium trims. Carbon Edition 3s gain a 12-speaker Bose sound system, which was previously unavailable on any 3 lower than a 2.5 S Premium, a set of black 18-inch alloy wheels, and gloss black heated door mirrors, all for $950 less than the comparable FWD Premium model. The catch? There’s only a single color combo, Polymetal Gray over red leather.

Exhaust: The 2.5 S hatchback remains the only way to get a manual on a Mazda 3, but for those who are willing to sacrifice the six-speed and color palette choices, the Carbon Edition is a sweet deal. We’re willing to bet that black wheels and a bumpin’ sound system is a particularly attractive combo among Mazda’s younger clientele.

Maybach concept looks amazing anywhere thanks to Virgil Abloh

Intake: Mercedes-Benz has paid tribute to the designer Virgil Abloh, who passed away this week, by revealing a truly fabulous concept car co-lab with its Maybach brand. Project MAYBACH went on show at Art Basel, Miami, and is an exceptional expedition vehicle for two to enjoy the great outdoors in the height of luxury. The battery-electric Grand Tourer is almost 19-feet long, sits on giant off-road tires and features an elongated transparent hood with solar cells to extend its range. The interior is elegantly sparse, with ingenious stowage and sculpted seats that fold down into beds.

Exhaust: Mercedes-Benz describes Project MAYBACH as “a humble contribution to Virgil’s vast legacy” that “exemplifies the possibilities of future design and is the result of an on-going co-operation with the polymath artist, architect, creative director, fashion designer and philanthropist.” We’d go with “retrotastic exercise in off-road excess designed to make the Instagram crowd slaver.” We dare Mercedes to make this concept reality—and all jokes aside, a break from V-12-powered, four-door tradition may be exactly what Maybach needs to lure younger buyers. 

Elantra N is the most affordable pony in Hyundai’s performance stable

Intake: Money, it’s a gas. Hyundai just announced the pricing for two of its upcoming performance-oriented N-badged vehicles. The Elantra N will start at $32,925 (including a $1025 destination charge), making it the most affordable Hyundai in the N-badged triumvirate available stateside (Veloster, Elantra, Kona—we don’t get the i30 N). The sporty sedan, featuring a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that pumps out 276 horses, will come standard with a six-speed manual. For a couple grand more ($34,425), Hyundai is offering an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. This news comes a day after the Kona N pricing announcement. Hyundai’s compact sport utility, and the first SUV to receive the full-bore N treatment (there is a “mild-performance” versions of the Tuscon dubbed “N-Line”), will start at $35,425 (including a $1225 destination charge).

Exhaust: While $32K doesn’t strike us as a Cyber Monday–worthy bargain for the Elantra N, considering the more-established GLI costs nearly the same ($800 if you spec VW’s eight-speed auto), this no doubt will be a lot of car for the price. Though Hyundai’s high-performance N-line is riding the sugar high of the highly touted Veloster N, it appears as though the pricing is still modest. In terms of sport-oriented subbrands, the “big N” is still in its infancy, so it’s tough to discern whether the label will be distilled, overused, and up-charged like many rival marque’s nomenclatures or if the brand will remain a signature for Hyundai’s most venerable vehicles at a humble price. Time will tell. Until then, shine on, you crazy capital N.

Missed the most important motorcycle show of 2021? We got you covered

Intake: Automotive enthusiasts mark the L.A., Frankfurt, and Geneva shows on their calendars; motorcyclists look forward to EICMA (translated from the Italian, the Milan Motorcycle Show). The 2022 event brought a host of concepts, new product debuts, and special editions. We’ll hit the high points here.

To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Royal Enfield unveiled exclusive versions of the INT650 and Continental GT 650 to celebrate the brand’s 120th anniversary. Featuring black-and-chrome tanks along with handmade badges and exclusive graphics, only 480 of each will be available. Benelli, who also can boast over 100 years of motorcycle-building experience, poured its know-how into a new 750cc parallel twin engine that can be found in four new 2022 models: the street-focused TRK 800, street-scrambler Leoncino 800, off-road capable Leoncino 800 Trial, and 750S, which is a slight carryover from a 2019 prototype and can best be billed as an entry-level Leoncino. Speaking of concepts announced in 2019 that went into hiding, Bimoto brought the KB4 back to EICMA—and this time, it’s not a prototype. The chassis is packaged unlike that of a standard four-cylinder streetbike—say, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX from which the KB4 sources its powerplant—and allows a wheelbase nearly as short as an entry-level sportbike’s. How? Bimoto hid the radiator underneath the tail section, rather than out front, where the cooling system can compromise clearance and ideal front-end geometry.

Exhaust: Retro bikes are as hot as ever, and more brands continue to chase the adventure and scrambler segments as well. Across the spectrum, Euro 5 emissions compliance drives engine selection and tuning for showroom-ready models. The motorcycle market is more diverse in style and capability than ever before, and we consumers are the winners.

Next-gen electric BMW 7 Series might have a sensible schnoz

BMW 7-series electric winter testing
BMW

Intake: BMW’s upcoming i7 is now undergoing final testing in the frozen north of Sweden. Pictures released by BMW show the camouflaged electric sedan in the sub-zero environment of Arjeplog where its drivetrain and suspension setups are being finalized before the car is launched in 2022. As well as testing battery performance in cold conditions the icy roads are ideal for fine-tuning the car’s dynamic stability control and the balance between friction brakes and the regenerative braking systems. BMW hasn’t yet revealed the i7’s specifications but it’ll have to at least match, if not better, the Mercedes-Benz EQS which has a claimed range of up to 484 miles.

Exhaust: While the i7 is still under wraps, it’s hard to make many judgements about the styling, but from what we can see it looks fairly conventional, which will probably suit the car’s market. The front end is particularly well-disguised, mind, and we all know what BMW has been up to of late …

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