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Mercedes Expected to End EQ Branding on Electric Models by 2024

By the end of next year, Mercedes' new EVs will no longer use the EQ prefix, according to German newspaper .

Mercedes Expected to End EQ Branding on Electric Models by 2024. By the end of next year, Mercedes's new EVs will no longer use the EQ prefix, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The paper cites unnamed sources at Mercedes who claim the branding will become redundant with the switch to electric-only models.

It's currently pretty easy to identify an all-electric Mercedes-Benz model from a gasoline-burning one. Not only does the former feature aerodynamically optimized, albeit blob-like, bodywork, but it also bears a badge with the prefix EQ. By the end of next year, that will no longer be the case for Mercedes' new EVs, according to a report today by the German daily newspaper Handelsblatt.

BY Eric Stafford

The 2024 Nissan GT-R Sees Styling Updates

Nissan’s long-running sports coupe gets some new bodywork and adds the T-Spec to the lineup.

The 2024 Nissan GT-R gets new front and rear fascias to increase downforce.

The GT-R Nismo adds a limited-slip front differential for the first time.

The 2024 GT-R is set to hit dealers this spring, but GT-R Nismo models will follow in the summer.

Nissan’s made its public debut during George W. Bush’s second term in office. Showing its face at the , the next-generation GT-R presented a logical evolution of Nissan’s legendary nameplate. Though, since its debut in 2007, Nissan has managed to keep the GT-R fundamentally unchanged, which is genuinely impressive. After missing the 2022 production run, Nissan is gearing up the GT-R for 2024 with some minor styling updates.

BY Wesley Wren

1964 Fuji Go-Devil Is Our Bring a Trailer Pick of the Day

Forget the trailer, this minibike folds up into its own carrying bag.

• Here's a clever 1960s solution to last-mile mobility, a fizzy little 53cc motorbike that folds up into its own carrying case for portability.

• Often mistakenly thought to be part of Subaru's history, this scooter has roots in early Nissan heritage and Hitachi aircraft.

• This Bring a Trailer auction ends January 15.

There's a childlike wonder to folding mobility, be it Honda's Motocompo scooter, the WWII British paratrooper Welbike, or even Mazda's ill-fated suitcase car. Up for auction this week on Bring a Trailer—which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos—is a combination barstool and minibike, straight out of the 1960s with some pint-sized two-stroke fun that packs up into its own carrying case.

BY Brendan McAleer

Prices Eased in December, but Buying a New Car Isn’t Getting Easier

Meanwhile, automakers in 2022 found value in lower sales volumes at higher prices.

Despite positive signs in December, the average transaction price of a new vehicle was $49,507 by the end of last year, up 5% over 2021.

Cox Automotive says the average new car loan has a $785 monthly payment, up 29%, while the average lease payment is $661 per month, up 33% from March 2020 levels.

Toyota’s Jack Hollis (above) is optimistic, forecasting US new vehicle sales this year of 15 million units.

New car and truck prices fell 0.1% in December versus November, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive quarterly hikes in base interest rates can make your second most-expensive purchase as hard to achieve as buying a house.

The Consumer Price Index for new vehicles increased 5.9% annually, a better number than the 6.5% CPI for all consumer goods and services measured by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, and an indication the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate increases are starting to do their job (November’s CPI was 7.1%).

BY Todd Lassa

These Tesla Price Cuts Will Surprise You

This third round of price reductions comes after months of price increases.

Just three weeks after a $7500 discount announcement, Tesla is back with more price cuts across its entire fleet, on a global scale.

Ranging from a reduction of 6% to more than $20,000 off the sticker price, the discounts may be intended to shore up Tesla's falling stock price.

The price cuts could allow the Model Y to receive a $7500 EV tax credit while other price reductions set up Tesla's aging lineup to better compete with a growing EV market.

Tesla's future is up in the air after it lost more than $700 in market valuation in 2022 and as its volatile stock value slowly stabilizes. In an effort to recoup some of these losses, the company implemented two separate model discounts last year, with the most recent put in place . Now, Tesla has gone one step further by offering a third set of discounts at a significant rate.

After temporarily dropping its Model 3 and Model Y with respective MSRPs of $40,690 and $59,690, Tesla has now dropped the prices on both models at varying percentage rates. For the base Model Y crossover, the price was reduced by $6700, setting the starting price at $52,990. That's an 11% reduction from just three weeks ago. These new price reductions are applicable to , not just current inventory models.

BY Emmet White

NTSB Head Calls Out Heavy EVs as a Safety Risk

Jennifer Homendy raises issues posed by heavier passenger trucks and SUVs in the EV age.

NTSB head Jennifer Homendy addresses issues of curb weight increases as a risk factor to other road users, just as automakers begin to roll out heavier SUVs and trucks, some of which are electric.

With the debuts of several electric pickup trucks and SUVs, especially those with brisk acceleration, the NTSB chair has cited possible safety issues could arise for much smaller cars on the road in the near future as EVs gain popularity.

Homendy made the comments as part of a keynote address at the Transportation Research Board's 2023 annual meeting, though the NTSB does not have the power to regulate the auto industry in this way.

BY Jay Ramey

The Mazda MX-30 R-EV Revives the Rotary

The e-Skyactiv rotary engine acts as a range extender under the hood of this battery-electric crossover.

Mazda’s MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV uses a single rotor, 830-cc rotary engine to generate electricity.

The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is a series hybrid, which means the range-extender does not provide mechanical assistance to the wheels.

Mazda says this plug-in hybrid will hit UK dealers this summer. It’s unclear if this MX-30 variant is coming to the United States.

The beloved rotary engine helped Mazda take home an , and now it’s helping extend the range of its battery-electric vehicle. While the rotary engine has laid dormant, the powers that be at saw an opportunity to turn its into—arguably—the most unique plug-in hybrid on the road. The MX-30 hybrid does sacrifice some battery size but makes up the difference with its onboard generator.

The star of this plug-in hybrid’s show is obviously the rotary range extender. The 830-cc engine sports a single rotor and is set up as a series hybrid. That means this range extender won’t power the wheels directly but only turn gasoline into electricity. This hybrid powertrain should make the MX-30 more viable as a daily driving machine.

The hybrid’s 17.8-kWh battery is nearly half of the standard MX-30’s 32-kWh battery pack, which slices the battery-only range to 53 miles per the . Adding to that battery size is a 13.2-gallon fuel tank that feeds the rotary engine. While Mazda has yet to give details about the MX-30 hybrid’s total range, count on it to best the standard battery-electric MX-30.

BY Wesley Wren