Weekly News Roundup: Hyundai at Home, Super Cruise Sierra, Stick Shift Cadillacs, East Coast Chargers, More
This week in the news, Hyundai will bring test drives to you, the GMC Sierra is going hands-free soon, the Maritimes are getting 99 more electric vehicle chargers, Mazda prices the MX-5, and Cadillac is bringing back stick shifts. And for more on some of last week's biggest reveals like the Acura MDX and Nissan Kicks, check out our wrap up of those models here.
The GMC Sierra is the latest model from General Motors to be tagged for the Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance tech, and it’ll come to the Denali versions of the Sierra 1500 starting in late model-year 2022. Able to drive hands-free (but eyes on the road) on more than 320,000 km of compatible highways in the U.S. and Canada thanks to LiDAR, cameras, and GPS. The latest update to the system will give the Sierra the ability to go hands-free while towing a trailer, the first to offer that trick. The photo from GMC also shows an all-new all-digital gauge cluster as well as our first (small) look at the Sierra’s new interior as you can just catch a glimpse of what looks to be a volume knob on the right-hand side. Expect the refreshed cabin to follow what GMC has done with the latest Yukon.
Hyundai Canada has launched a new at-home test drive service with 199 participating dealers to start, the brand calls it the first nationally available feature of its kind. Recognising that many Canadians are unable or uncomfortable going to a showroom during the pandemic, this lets customers book a date and time for an at-home drive and the local dealer will drop off and pick up the buyer’s chosen Hyundai. At-dealer appointments are also available to be made online. Hyundai dealers will follow the brand’s Safe and Sound program that’s designed to help them do business safely during the pandemic including sanitising vehicles before and after drives and encouraging showroom appointments to avoid crowding.
While the Maritime provinces have done well to install Level 3 fast-chargers along key highway corridors, travel to or around the more rural parts of the area in an EV still lead to finding one of the rare Level 2 charging stations, with often just one plug in a county seat, at the arena or town hall. Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan announced last week a $495,000 investment out of a total cost of $1.1 million with Saint John Energy to build 99 EV Level 2 fast-chargers around the Maritimes. Locations for the chargers will include Edmundston, Perth-Andover, Mahone Bay, Antigonish, Summerside, and more. The funding, provided through the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, is expected to help boost EV adoption in this part of Canada. The Fall Economic Statment also contained $150 million for ZEV infrastructure starting in 2021-2022 and $287 million in vehicle purchase incentives to make ZEVs more affordable.
Both the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing models will offer a six-speed manual when they arrive, Cadillac says, thanks to 3D printing techniques that let the automaker make stick-specific parts like HVAC ducts and an electric harness bracket more affordably and with less waste. In addition to the six-speed stick (a class-exclusive for CT4-V Blackwing), a 10-speed automatic will be optional. Interestingly, in a recent poll done for the brand, 66 per cent of American adults said they could drive a manual and close to half of those who couldn’t were interested in learning. The interest is highest in those with higher incomes and in younger drivers, suggesting the clutch pedal may not yet be dead.
Mazda has announced pricing for the 2021 MX-5 roadster and MX-5 RF, and it’s up just $100 this year to a base of $33,200. Changes for 2020 include a new blue colour on GT models as well as the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay to that spec. The 181 hp 2.0-litre four is unchanged. GT models can be had with a new white Nappa leather interior, while the model, set to hit dealers in February, is also offered with a limited-quantity 100th Anniversary edition finished in Snowflake White with Garnet Red Nappa leather seats and a Dark Cherry soft top with 100th AE logos spread inside and out.
More vehicle news and reveals available here: Reveal Roundup