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New Cars in Washington DC Help Keep Auto Shows Going

The Washington D.C. Auto Show provided a venue for an industry showcase of new models despite pandemic challenges.

Dan Carney

January 31, 2022

4 Min Read
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Karma, Toyota, McLaren

The Washington Auto Show is traditionally a venue for automakers to roll out new green technology, but for the 2022 show, it was a good opportunity for car companies to show off a variety of vehicles.

Toyota led the way with the bZ4X, a crossover battery-electric model that represents the inauguration of Toyota’s planned “bZ” family of EVs. That lineup with include 15 models worldwide by 2025, according to the company, as part of the company’s line of 70 vehicles with some degree of electrification.

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The bZ4X’s 71.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack will power the vehicle to as much as 250 miles of driving range per charge. The front-wheel drive edition will employ a single 150 kilowatt (201 horsepower) front motor, while the all-wheel-drive version will have dual 80 kW (107-hp) motors for a total of 160 kW (214 hp).

Cool technical details include the use of non-conductive liquid for safer battery cooling and a combination of cameras and millimeter-wave radar advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) sensing that includes low-light cyclist detection, motorcyclist detection, and guardrail detection.

Toyota says the bZ4X will reach U.S. dealers mid-year.

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McLaren was on hand to fly the supercar flag with its slinking new Artura high-performance hybrid-electric. The 577-hp sports car boasts 431 lb.-ft. torque against a weight of only 3,306 lbs. This includes the 194-lb. 7.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 34-lb. electric motor. The car delivers the expected performance, with 0-60 mph acceleration of just 3.0 seconds and a 205-mph top speed. The Electric-only driving range is 19 miles.

Related:The Best of the 2021 New York International Auto Show That Wasn't

“From the very beginning of the project, designing and engineering the Artura has been all about challenging ourselves to innovate, pushing and pushing to achieve everything we knew a next-generation, High-Performance Hybrid McLaren supercar had to be,” explained Geoff Grose, chief engineer for Artura. “As a result, the Artura is all-new; the carbon fiber monocoque, electrical architecture, and the body and interior are new. So too is the V6 engine, the transmission – which also integrates a new type of electric motor for the industry – as well as the rear suspension concept and our first-ever electronic differential.”

Artura employs an unorthodox 120-degree V6 combustion engine fitted with twin turbochargers. The layout permits a stronger crankshaft, which in turn enables a lofty 8,500-rpm redline. The engine is 110 lbs. lighter than a McLaren V8, helping recover some of the weight added by the electric components.

The car’s starting price is $225,000.

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Start-up Karma showcased the GS-6 extended-range hybrid-electric luxury sedan. The GS-6’s drivetrain incorporates a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides an electric-only driving range of 80 miles. For longer drives between charges, it features a 1.5-liter turbocharged combustion engine to power a generator that delivers power to the electric drive motor. This configuration is similar to that of the original Chevrolet Volt.

The system delivers 536 hp and 550 lb.-ft. to the road for spirited performance. Pricing starts at $83,900, which could seem confusing in Washington, D.C., where "GS-6" refers to an entry-level government service pay grade that wouldn't likely permit the purchase of such a car!

“We’re proud that we have been designing, engineering, producing, selling, and servicing luxury EV vehicles for years now, which is something other EV startups can’t say,” said Joost de Vries, Karma’s VP of Global Sales and Customer Experience. “The GS-6 with its more attainable price point, combined with a long list of standard and available convenience features and luxurious design, will appeal to a much larger audience.”

The auto show also saw an announcement by U.S. News & World Report of its annual list of Best Cars for the Money. These awards covered 11 categories with two of them highlighting EV models. Here are the winners of their respective classes: 

            2022 Hyundai Santa Fe                  

 Best 2-Row SUV for the Money

            2022 Kia Telluride                            

 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money

            2022 Honda Civic                             

 Best Compact Car for the Money

            2022 Hyundai Tucson                       

 Best Company SUV for the Money

            2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid            

 Best Hybrid & Electric Car for the Money

            2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid            

 Best Hybrid & Electric SUV for the Money

            2022 Toyota Avalon                           

 Best Large Car for the Money

            2022 Honda Accord                           

 Best Midsize Car for the Money

            2022 Honda Odyssey                         

 Best Minivan for the Money

            2022 Nissan Versa                             

 Best Subcompact Car for the Money

            2022 Hyundai Kona                            

 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money

The time will come when the familiar huge auto shows return to the calendar, but until then, we benefit from some of the smaller shows keeping the industry moving along.

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