Cars and Trucks

This Week in Cars: An EV Muscle Car, the Last Gas-Powered Lotus, and Full Self Driving?

Car and Driver—that’s us—named the Ford Mustang Mach-E the winner of our inaugural EV of the Year award. The Mach-E faced off against 11 competitors, which represented every on-sale EV we could get our hands on. Over the course of three weeks of testing and evaluating—including a 1000-mile road trip­—the Mach-E offered a rewarding driving experience and usable range at a competitive price. Plus, it looks great. Read our coverage so you can be informed when you tell us why we’re wrong.

This Week in Sheetmetal

Toyota released interior photos of the TRD Pro edition of the next-generation Tundra pickup. The pictures show a large center infotainments screen and a few TRD-specific features including a red-trimmed steering wheel and a light bar mounted in the grille. We’ll see the whole truck, including non-TRD models, before the end of the year.

Polestar showed a hopped-up prototype of its Polestar 2 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. The prototype has 475 horsepower, 68 hp more than the production 2, and borrows its tires and front brakes from the much pricier Polestar 1. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some elements from the show car trickle down to the for-sale 2.


Lotus has unveiled its last gasoline-powered car, the Emira. It’s a Boxster fighter inspired by Lotus’s electric Evija supercar and will come with either a 360-hp AMG-sourced four-cylinder or a 400-hp Toyota V-6. You probably won’t see many on the road, but they’ll be out there starting early next year.

Bentley is marching forward with its plan to be fully electric by 2030 with the introduction of the Flying Spur plug-in hybrid. The new Spur will have a Bentley-appropriate 536 hp plus 25 miles of EV range. We don’t know how much this version of Bentley’s sedan will cost, but for reference, the non-plug-in Flying Spur tops out at $219,425.

Three’s Company

Stellantis hosted a virtual EV Day this week in which it announced plans to electrify each of its 14 global brands. The big news for Americans was the word that Dodge will build an electric muscle car, which it says will be the first of its kind (as long as no one else beats them to it—Dodge’s EV won’t arrive until 2024). Meanwhile, Ram announced that it too will build a full-size electric pickup, following the internet-breaking launch of the Ford F-150 Lightning and a light-on-details acknowledgment from Chevy that it is working on an EV Silverado. Ram says its EV 1500 will offer a currently unheard-of 500 miles of driving range when it hits the market in 2024. The announcement video showed two other truck-shaped objects covered with drapes, perhaps a hint that Ram is planning to expand its pickup lineup.


Not to be overshadowed, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that his company’s Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta 9 software will be available for download in California starting at midnight on Friday, though only for Tesla drivers who are already using the previous version of the test software. Musk’s announcement warned drivers to keep in mind that the software is still in beta, which is to say, not a final product, though he says that if all goes well the release could enter its final, public phase within a month.

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Tesla says the FSD software can navigate most driving tasks, including intersections. CJ Moore, who directs Tesla’s Autopilot software program, told officials with the California Department of Motor Vehicles this spring that some of Musk’s claims about fully autonomous Teslas “[do] not match engineering reality.” Decide for yourself whether the eccentric billionaire or the engineer is more reliable.

Further Reading

The Polestar 2 prototype wasn’t the only thing for show at Goodwood this year. One EV concept would filter particulate matter out of the air as it drives, making it carbon negative. Take a look at the exceptionally odd China-bound Airo.

If you’re dreading an eventual return to your pre-pandemic commute, here’s some advice from Bloomberg that’s either overly earnest or sneakily satirical.

Read in the New York Times about Volkswagen’s decision to sell a 55 percent stake in Bugatti to exotic EV maker Rimac.

Or, also in the Times, about the fatal Autopilot-involved crashes that make some people nervous about Tesla’s driver -assistance systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said last month that it will now require automakers to report crashes that involve a car using their advanced driver assistance or self-driving features.

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