Car News In the Rearview: It’s SUV Season
Welcome back to In the Rearview, your weekly roundup of some of the top car news of the past week that I have caught, prepared, and served with a nice sauce for you here. This weekly banquet has a decidedly apparent theme this time, as the continuation of Auto Show season has brought a slew of new production and concept SUVs to the limelight.
First course this week is the new Genesis GV80, a new concept SUV from the new luxury brand. Apart from the interesting styling and camera-stalk side mirrors, the GV80 also has the odd distinction of being a fuel-cell vehicle, something that Genesis’ parent company Hyundai has been working on for a while.
Second course is a bit of fancy, but heavy fare in the new Lincoln Navigator, this time as a production model and not a concept. As such, it has lost some of its more audacious trimmings like gull-wing doors and a three-step entry for a more practical and effective design.
Third course is a heaping plate of AMERICA with a generous helping of horsepower, with the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, or what happens when you cram a Hellcat engine into a Grand Cherokee.
Fourth course, then, is a bit of a palate cleanser, as Volkswagen unveils another squeaky clean electric vehicle concept for its ID sub-brand. This time, the vehicle is an SUV-ish coupe-crossover.
Fifth course is an even larger mound of AMERICA, as Dodge finally unveiled its much-hyped and much-teased Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a vehicle that is says is so good, it’s banned by the NHRA from competing. I found out later it’s just because Dodge doesn’t include a roll bar standard in the thing, though.
Then, we have an abrupt flavor change for course six, in that Hyundai has unveiled a new vehicle that–get this–isn’t a crossover or SUV. It’s the new Sonata. Weird, right?
Anyway, the final course this week gets a bit complicated, but it’s something has been served up by news sites near-constantly of late, because it’s about Donald Trump and the EPA. Yes, again. It seems that a new budget document circulating proposes that the government would slash funding to the EPA’s vehicle testing division by $48 million dollars–that’s 99% of all of their funding. To offset this, the document proposes that the government lay off about half of the staff in vehicle testing and make automakers pay more for certification. It seems to me that this is a way to attack regulations that the current administration opposes without having to touch the regulations themselves, but also seems to me to be the administration shooting itself in the foot by eliminating its own policing power.