Mazda refreshes Miata with trick cornering tech, electric Sierra Denali looms, Polestar 2’s EPA rating
All Miatas gain trick cornering tech for 2022, Club and Sport drop automatic
Intake: Everyone’s favorite two-seat roadster is getting a few updates for the 2022 model year that focus even more intently on those seeking modernized driving nirvana. The 2022 Mazda Miata will drop the automatic transmission option for the base Sport and the Goldilocks Club models, offering a delightful six-speed manual transmission exclusively. A new cornering tech, called Kinematic Posture Control (KPC), will lightly clamp the inside rear brake on a high-g turn to help the car rotate more stably and feel more linear in cornering effort. All Miatas will get KPC in 2022. A new-to-the-Miata paint color, Platinum Quartz Metallic, will be offered on the base Sport. The Miata Club will now offer wireless Apple CarPlay. The top-trim Miata Grand Touring will offer a new interior seat color, called Terracotta Napa Leather, as a $300 upgrade. Expect a (blessedly low) price increase of about $500 across all trims.
For those who want the nitty gritty details, base prices for the 2022 Miata lineup are as follows (all prices include $1015 destination fee): Miata Sport, $28,315; Miata Club, $31,815; Miata Club with BBS/Recaro Package, $36,315 for the soft top, $39,215 for the RF; Miata Grand Touring with automatic, $33,315 for the soft top and $36,015 for the RF; Miata Grand Touring with manual, $33,815 for the soft top and $36,565 for the RF.
Exhaust: While it’s hard to call any Miata a bargain anymore, the driving experience this roadster offers feels worth the money, especially given that there are no direct competitors for this sort of droptop bliss. Kinematic Posture Control is a neat piece of tech that should elevate an already transcendent driving experience. Our recommendation is still the Miata Club with the BBS/Recaro package; it’s the ideal Miata in every way.
Jimmie Johnson commits to full 2022 IndyCar season with Chip Ganassi
Intake: NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson announced yesterday that he will compete full-time in the NTT IndyCar Series for Chip Ganassi Racing, come 2022. Johnson will follow up his freshman year in IndyCar, which was a part-time (12-race) affair on road and street courses, with Ganassi in the #48 open-wheel racer. 46-year-old Johnson, who spent a large part of 20 years in NASCAR simply dominating his competition (he racked up seven championships and 84 race wins), could only muster a season-best 17th-place finish. Johnson’s announcement to go full-time, of course, means that he will compete in Indy’s oval track events, namely the crown-jewel Indianapolis 500. Look for the blue and yellow Carvana colors, as Johnson will be sponsored by the online auto retailer for 16 out of the 17 races during the 2022 season.
Exhaust: Prior to the 2021 Indy season, Johnson had demonstrated his ability to be competitive in multiple divisions throughout his long career, from off-road trucks to stock cars to sports-car road racing. The Indy races, however, revealed that the Superman driver was indeed human. While Johnson did show speed in first year in the series, much of his season was spent acclimating to his Honda-powered Dallara. Many competitors applauded Johnson for taking the risky jump, and if anything, his results (or lack thereof) demonstrated the amount of skill it takes to compete for top 10s, let alone wins, in North America’s premier open-wheel division. Given the champ’s familiarity with turning left and his return to certain tracks for a second time, we expect big things for Johnson in his sophomore season in IndyCar.
GMC teases all-electric Sierra Denali, sets 2022 reveal date
Intake: There aren’t a lot of details in the 18-second video apart from a glimpse of the upcoming Sierra Denali’s grille-less fascia. Expect the upscale, battery-powered Sierra to borrow the GM-developed Ultium architecture undergirding Chevrolet’s electric Silverado, which is due to roll off Hamtramck’s Factory ZERO assembly line in early 2023. Don’t be surprised if the GMC also cribs the Silverado’s trick four-wheel steering, too.
Exhaust: With news of an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado in the pipeline, it was safe to assume that a GMC Sierra wouldn’t be too far behind. A significant portion of Sierra sales is made up of high-end Denali models, so it would make sense to lead the, ah, charge with the most luxurious, profitable model.
David Beckham kindly reminds you to personalize your Maserati
Intake: Most high-end luxury automakers have in-house customization teams dedicated to realizing the most specific color-scheme dreams of well-heeled clients. Ferrari has Atelier, Lamborghini has Centro Stile, Porsche has the recently resurrected Sonderwunsch, Mercedes has Manufaktur. Maserati has Fuoriserie, and the program’s latest creation is a first in the life of the trident’s most recent model: An MC20 customized to the rather high standards of one David Beckham. The car’s black-with-a-sprinkle-of-pink palette pays homage to the color’s of Beckham’s Miami-based football soccer club. Fuoriserie projects aren’t always one-offs: A run of 175 Ghiblis inspired by Japanese street culture—specifically, by Hiroshi Fujiwara—appeared this past summer.
Exhaust: Like Land Rover, Maserati is one of those unusual brands whose products have cultivated a truly diverse global clientele. It may be easy for enthusiasts to sideline pure fashion statements such as Beckham’s MC20, but surely this form of self-expression is only a more collaborative and better-funded version of the aesthetic tweaks we make to our own daily drivers. Mr. Beckham wasn’t going to be satisfied with an air freshener and few bumper stickers, was he?
Polestar announces 270-mile EPA range and upgrades for Polestar 2
Intake: The 2022 Polestar 2 long-range single-motor has received an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles just as the company announced that it will deliver over-the-air updates that improve Advanced Driving Assistance Systems and allow for charging sessions to be scheduled to minimize cost.
“We are pleased to announce the longest range of any Polestar yet,” said Gregor Hembrough, the head of Polestar in North America. “Alongside continual range improvements, we continue to offer new conveniences for our customers free of charge via OTA software downloads.”
In addition to the free updates, which will also cover 2021 models, owners of the Polestar 2 long-range dual motor will soon be able to purchase performance software that raises output to 476 hp, about a 67-hp upgrade.
Exhaust: We were impressed with the Polestar 2 long-range single-motor when we drove it earlier this year. A 275-mile range coupled with fast charging makes it a compelling option. Polestar offering free software upgrades to early brand adopters sends a good message to customers, we just hope that the performance upgrades don’t come at too much of a premium.