The Autoweek Dispatch: Maserati Launches a New Supercar
Maserati’s new supercar, the MC20, is expected in 2021 and should be priced around $200,000. Here’s what else is happening in the car world:
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
A couple weeks ago you might have caught Hyundai announcing that the Ioniq name is no longer going to be on just one vehicle, but a global brand made up of a series of dedicated EVs on a new and dedicated platform. The platform is called Electric Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP, and the plan is to introduce three Ioniq EVs in the next few years: a midsize crossover called the Ioniq 5 in fall 2021, the Ioniq 6 in 2022 and the Ioniq 7 in early 2024. Ioniq is offering no hybrids, no plug-in hybrids and there is certainly no shortage of ambition at Hyundai.
To find out more I reached out to the company’s director of product strategy, Yuval Steiman.
He said that while these dedicated EVs will visually represent Ioniq initially, “it’s really bigger than that. It really is meant to symbolize the company’s global goals toward expanding electrification,” he told Autoweek. “It’s a symbol of where the company is going moving forward, long term.”
Steiman said the Ioniq line will be competitively priced and sold in the same showrooms as the other Hyundai products. “It’s more of dedicated line under the Hyundai brand, so they’ll be separate in the sense that they’ll be on a unique platform and they’re 100% EV.”
Walking us through the lineup Steiman said all the Ioniqs are being designed and engineered as EVs from the ground up. Ioniq 5 will be “roughly the size of our Tucson” and have “styling cues” from Hyundai’s 45 concept shown at last year’s Frankfurt show. He said the Ioniq 6 is going to be a “very sporty EV sedan with styling cues from a concept we had earlier this year called the Prophecy.” (Personally, I think the Prophecy is stunning!) Ioniq 7 will be a larger SUV. “No styling indication of that yet,” he told us.
Steiman said it’s too early to say in how many states the 5 will be available when it comes out the gate next year. “It’s going to be a global product and we’re going to get our fair share, and we’ll distribute it to where we see the most demand.”
He said the company hopes for coverage in all 50 states, but as he put it, “certain pockets of the country have a bigger EV market,” so Hyundai will initially focus there. “Longer term our hope is to have our EVs across the country. EVs will fit a certain segment of the population and ultimately we think that segment is going to grow. But only time will tell how much of the mix is going to be EV versus internal combustion engines. Ultimately we have to meet the needs of our customers, long term.”
Hyundai Motor Group has said its goal—including Kia—is to sell a million EVs by 2025. “This is just the beginning,” Steiman said. “The company is in it for the long haul in terms of electrification and alternative vehicle strategy. This is really just the start.”
There’s certainly a lot more to learn between now and when the first Ioniq drops next year, and we’ll be watching closely.
CAR NEWS AND NOTES
In Quick Spin No. 8, Patrick Carone slides behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio to put it through its road trip paces. Carone gives insights about the Stelvio’s on-road performance while driving the car, then elaborates on these thoughts in the studio with Wesley Wren. The guys also get to the essence of the Stelvio and discuss what separates it from the fleet of other high-end crossovers. Tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever podcasts are played.
Maserati’s audacious midengine MC20 made some serious waves this week—from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 621 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque powering the car to the eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Maserati says 0-62 mph takes 2.9 seconds and 0-124 mph just 8.8 seconds. Yikes! A convertible version comes next year and an EV in 2022. Maserati didn’t give a price, but we’re thinking around $200,000 to start.
Speaking of EVs, Lucid Motors unveiled its first production car, the Dream Edition of the Lucid Air EV. It offers a combined 1,080 hp from two compact electric motors and a range as high as 503 miles. The Dream Edition gets to 60 in 2.5 seconds and does the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds. Price is a cool $162K to start. The cars are being built in Lucid’s production facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Jimmie Johnson in IndyCar? Believe it! Seven-time NASCAR champ Johnson has signed a two-year deal to race in the NTT IndyCar Series for Chip Ganassi Racing. Johnson, 44, is in his final full-time NASCAR season. He completed an IndyCar test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course with Ganassi and plans to race at least 15 races per season. That includes the full road and street schedule, although Johnson says he’d consider the Indianapolis 500 as well.
Six-time Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton is also casting his net wider, so to speak, forming a team to compete in the electric off-road Extreme E series set to begin in 2021. It’s a chance, Hamilton says, to combine two of his passions: racing and saving the planet. He doesn’t plan to drive in the series (dang!) with his new team—X44. X44 pays homage to Hamilton’s car number for Mercedes in Formula 1. Extreme E CEO and Founder Alejandro Agag also founded the Formula E series. The new series is designed to help raise awareness of EVs, as well as climate issues.
WHAT WE’RE DRIVING
After spending seat time in the GMC Sierra, Jake Lingeman thinks it’s the better looking of General Motors’ two big pickups, especially the AT4 off-road version. Lingeman reports the AT4 package adds a 2-inch factory suspension lift, standard 4WD with two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho monotube shocks and a whole lot more. He also says the multifunction tailgate is the truck’s biggest star.
MOSTLY ODDS, SOME ENDS
Check out longtime colleague Al Pearce’s feature on our pal Tom Cotter. If it rolls Cotter loves it: New cars. Old cars. Racing cars. Touring cars. Restored cars. Need-to-be restored cars … you get the idea, everything from the stock Pinto Cotter drove on his honeymoon 44 years ago to an iconic Cunningham C-3 and the 1964 Corvette he races just for fun. Cotter and Pearce are two of the world’s nice guys, and as is usual with Pearce, this is a terrific read you won’t want to miss.
This week the Autoweek Podcast, No. 125, is a Pikes Peak Spectacular. Kicking off the show Mark Vaughn talks with this year’s quickest man up the hill, Clint Vahsholtz, about the car that carried Vasholtz up the hill quicker than anyone else. Later in the show Robin Warner talks with two-time Autoweek Podcast guest Robb Holland about his adventure competing in the hill climb. Tune in here, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever podcasts are played.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“It is always difficult to find great drivers, but for them to be great guys too makes it even that much more challenging. To pair Jimmie with the likes of Scott Dixon is quite an opportunity. They are truly in rarified air, and I think everyone knows by now that I like winners.”
—Chip Ganassi on his hiring multi-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson. A very interesting move, we’d say. That Ganassi, always thinkin’.
That’s all for this week. As always we’re on the case all weekend, monitoring and reporting on automakers’ and sanctioning bodies’ latest happenings. We’ll continually update the site, of course—you’ll know what’s happening when we do. Check back often!
Thanks for reading Autoweek and please stay safe.
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