Wheel Love 2022 – OutSmart Magazine

JThe auto industry and consumers will remember 2021 as the year of the pandemic, critical shortages of semiconductor chips, empty lots at dealerships, and outrageous prices for new and used cars. As we look to the future with optimism, 2022 will continue to see limited inventory, limited choice, and continuing rising prices for the automotive industry. Electric and hybrid vehicle choices will continue to expand, which should offer some light at the end of the tunnel. The battery revolution, while baffling to traditional car enthusiasts, will offer buyers both innovative technology and the promise of a cleaner, healthier planet.

Here are four automotive highlights for 2022 that should intrigue OutSmart readers looking for style and value.

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota has resisted change regarding its proven success story known as the Toyota 4Runner. This current generation of body-on-frame SUV was introduced in 2009 as a solidly built, off-road capable SUV with unrivaled reliability. For 2022, Toyota offers the 4Runner in eight different models, from the base SR5 at $37,305 to the TRD Pro, which costs $52,120.

All 4Runners are powered by a 4.0-liter V6 gasoline engine producing 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, LED headlights, LED taillights, pre-collision warning, lane change and even a sliding glass tailgate. EPA estimated mileage ranges from 16 mpg city to 19 mpg highway. Toyota will no doubt offer a redesigned 4Runner in the near future to update its very iconic success story. I hope they listen to buyer feedback and continue to build on a great legacy.

Volkswagen ID Buzz

The iconic Volkswagen Microbus went into production on March 8, 1950, and became a favorite of the hippie generation and a mainstay of America’s counterculture movement. Welcome to 2022 as Volkswagen introduces the seventh-generation all-electric ID Buzz. It’s packed with technology, seats seven adults, and is a lot of fun. It will go into production this year for European markets, and a three-row minivan is expected to arrive in the United States in 2023.

The ID Buzz concept would have 369hp electric motors on each axle and a 111kWh battery in the floor, offering all-wheel drive with nearly 300 miles of estimated range. The price should start around $40,000.

Nissan Z

It’s official: Nissan has introduced the next generation of its favorite sports car known as the Nissan Z. It was originally launched in 1969 for the 1970 model year as the 240 Z, a modern sports coupe that immediately became very popular with car enthusiasts. The redesigned 2023 Nissan Z retains the long-hood fastback we’re used to, while promising to be faster and more fun.

This latest Z is powered by a 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 350 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices are a 9-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual with a high-performance clutch. It will be offered in two models: the base model known as Sport and the upgradeable model known as Performance.

lucid look

Lucid Motors describes its vision as a relentless focus on innovation, luxury, and producing something great while doing the right thing. Yes, we’re talking about Motor Trend’s 2022 Car of the Year, the stunning Lucid Air. The aircraft-influenced profile is one of the most aerodynamic cars in the world, producing a drag coefficient of 0.21. Lucid is an all-electric luxury vehicle designed in California and offers four unique models with a range of luxury upgrades.

Single- and dual-motor configurations are available, with a maximum of 1,111 horsepower. Prices range from $77,400 for the Air Pure to $169,000 for the Air Dream Edition.

This article appears in the March 2022 issue of OutSmart magazine.

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