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VW’s New Off-Road EVs Will Bear the Scout Nameplate | Car Deals

Volkswagen will produce a pair of off-road-focused electric vehicles by 2026.
VW will create a new Scout sub-brand to sell the adventure truck and SUV.

Two years ago, Volkswagen acquired the rights to the Scout name, which previously served as the moniker of an off-road SUV produced by International Harvester until 1980. Now we know why VW was so interested in the nameplate. VW is the latest manufacturer looking to cash in on the EV truck craze (kick-started by the likes of the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning) and is resurrecting the dormant badge to launch a new sub-brand that will focus exclusively on the production of electric trucks and SUVs. We now have our first look at the kind of Scouts that VW plans to make.
Don’t expect to see an electric Scout anytime soon
The first vehicles produced under the Scout sub-brand will be an off-road-oriented truck and SUV. Indeed, the illustration that Volkswagen provided alongside the announcement showed a pair of vehicles with knobby tires and overall designs not dissimilar from the Rivian R1T pickup and R1S SUV.
Even though the electric truck/SUV segment will see new vehicles like the F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV and SUV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevy Blazer EV and more over the next few years, the current landscape doesn’t seem overly crowded with choices. However, there’s a long time between now and 2026, when VW predicts the first Scout models will launch. That might seem to put Volkswagen at a disadvantage, but the automaker has plenty of products and issues to keep them busy in the interim. The ID.4 is essentially sold out through the end of 2022 and the release of the ID. Buzz minivan has been pushed back to 2024. It might not be such a bad idea, then, that Volkswagen spends a little time sorting out its own EV plan before launching a new brand.
It makes sense to start fresh
Volkswagen already makes the Amarok body-on-frame truck and commercial vehicles in other parts of the world, but the automaker isn’t known for its workhorses in the U.S. Thus, bringing a VW-branded offroad truck to our shores was always going to be a tough proposition. But the Scout nameplate gives the new sub-brand the opportunity to make a good first impression, unburdened by the weight of the Volkswagen badge and with a decent amount of name recognition among off-road enthusiasts.
Car Deals says
Volkswagen is playing it smart by resurrecting the Scout nameplate for a new line of off-road-focused electric pickups and SUVs.

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You Can No Longer Order a 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor | Car Deals

The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor will be a hot commodity.
Ford is no longer accepting custom 2022 Bronco Raptor orders.
You’ll have to try to buy one off a dealer lot, or wait until 2023 order books open.

Are you one of the many people looking at the new Bronco Raptor and thinking whether or not to buy one? Perhaps you’re trying to figure out if it’s the right vehicle for you, how to justify the purchase to your spouse/accountant or waiting for our expert review from behind the wheel? Maybe you’re simply indecisive?
To quote Billy Wordsworth, “You snooze, you lose, bucko.” A new disclaimer on Ford’s Bronco Raptor information page reads, “Due to high demand, the current model year is no longer available for retail order. Limited inventory may be available at selected dealers. Contact your dealer for more information.”
We emailed Ford to confirm our suspicions: that customer orders of the 2022 Bronco Raptor are completely sold-out. While a representative told us that the 2022 run was only for existing reservation holders, the original press release states, “A majority of the 2022 model year Bronco Raptor allocation will go to existing reservation holders based upon their original reservation timestamp.” Now we know from Ford’s website that customers can no longer place orders for the 2022 Bronco Raptor. And nobody outside Ford has even driven one yet.
You might have to try again next year
Ford has a lot of hot new vehicles for which demand far exceeds supply. The automaker had to shut the order books for the 2022 Maverick hybrid last December, the gas-only Maverick in January, standard Bronco models in March, and the F-150 Lightning electric truck in April.
Reservations for the Bronco Raptor began in early March, a few days after the order books for standard Broncos closed. It seems that prospective buyers had about two months to reserve their vehicle before the entire run of 2022 Bronco Raptor production earmarked for customer orders sold out.
If you want a 2022 Bronco Raptor but haven’t submitted an order yet, you’re not totally out of luck. You can still try to buy a Bronco Raptor straight off a dealer lot, though you might have to settle for a vehicle that isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. You could also try your hand later this year, when Ford is likely to open the order books again for the 2023 Bronco Raptor.
Car Deals says
Ford has just closed the order books on the 2022 Bronco Raptor. If you want a Raptor but haven’t locked in an order, you can try buying one off a dealer lot or wait until orders open for the 2023 model.

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The New 2023 Nissan Z: Faster and Better in Almost Every Way | Car Deals

New Z model replaces the previous 370Z
Turbocharged V6 is good for 400 horsepower
Long list of standard and optional tech features
Manual transmission is still available
Launches the seventh-generation Nissan Z

What is the Z?
Oolander. Godilla. The Lost City of. All movie titles immeasurably helped with the addition of the letter Z, but this character’s importance isn’t limited to the realm of films. Nissan’s newest interpretation of its two-seat sports car is thankfully keeping the letter, but it does lose the numerical designation that typically accompanies it. No 400Z nomenclature here — the seventh-generation coupe is simply known as the 2023 Nissan Z.
The new Z is the latest, and perhaps last, gasoline-powered generation of the company’s well-known two-seat sports car. It follows the last-generation 370Z after a three-year hiatus. This new Z isn’t entirely new — it shares its underlying body structure with its predecessor — but Nissan has revised just about everything. There’s a more powerful engine, improved handling and braking feel and capability, an updated cabin, and new technology features. With its starting price in the low $40,000s, the 2023 Z primarily competes against the BMW 2 Series, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Toyota GR Supra.
What’s under the Z’s hood?
The Nissan Z is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that develops 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque — a healthy increase from the 370Z’s maximum of 350 hp and 276 lb-ft. We’ve already sampled this engine in the Infiniti Q50 coupe and Q60 Red Sport 400 sedan and, quite frankly, the powertrain is the best part of those vehicles.
Purists will rejoice at the rear-wheel-drive layout and the return of a six-speed manual transmission. Manual-equipped Performance models come with a rev-matching feature so you’ll always hit the right mark when downshifting. It also comes with launch control if you opt for the upper Performance trim. Launch control comes on all Zs equipped with the available nine-speed automatic.
On the base Sport trim, you get 18-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport tires. Opt for the Performance grade and Nissan replaces them with lightweight forged 19-inch wheels courtesy of Rays. These are shod in Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires.
How does the Z drive?
We traveled to Las Vegas for our initial drive in the new Nissan Z. We started at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on an shortened dragstrip to safely evaluate its acceleration. It feels strong and pulls hard in the lower gears. We made a few acceleration runs in the Performance model with the nine-speed automatic transmission, as well as the base Sport model with a six-speed manual. The Performance model benefits from launch control, which automatically adjusts the car’s throttle and traction settings to achieve optimum acceleration for maximum performance. The Sport model with the manual transmission is trickier to get off the line as quickly since it doesn’t have launch control or a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, which optimizes traction.
Nissan hadn’t released any estimates regarding the Z’s acceleration at the time of our review. The Infiniti Red Sports we tested previously managed to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 5 seconds flat, and so it stands to reason that the lighter Z will be quicker still. Nissan says a manual-equipped Z weighs in at around 3,500 pounds, which is about 100 pounds more than a six-cylinder-equipped Toyota GR Supra.
Next up was a modified 1.8-mile road course to explore the Z’s handling limits. The Performance model with the manual transmission is certainly the choice for drivers seeking maximum engagement. The manual’s gear ratios are well spaced to keep the engine speed revved high and the Z itself is well balanced for track driving. Downshifts are helped by automatic rev matching, which “blips” the throttle between gears for the smoothest transition. More traditional drivers prefer to blip the throttle themselves, and we’re pleased to report that with automatic rev matching disabled, the new Z allows you to execute a classic heel-toe downshift as well as any other stick-shift car. This was something that was difficult with the older 370Z.
At racetrack speeds, the Z instills confidence and allows the driver to gradually increase aggression. It’s easy to induce some rear wheelspin with a little provocation of the throttle, and when those tires release their grip and the rear end begins to drift, it’s progressive, gentle and easy to control. The upgraded Performance trim brakes exhibit no loss of performance over several laps and are similarly easy to control.
Overall, the new Z is a fun, balanced and approachable car to drive to its handling limit. It’s easier to find and live on that limit with the Z than a V8-powered Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. Those cars might be capable of quicker lap times around a track, but if you’re looking for all-around driving satisfaction, this is a worthy track car.
How comfortable is the Z?
Our initial Z drive included some public roads to assess how it drives under normal conditions. The ride quality is pleasant for a sports car, with moderate and large bumps smoothed over by its suspension that seems more compliant than its predecessor. The small coupe feels well anchored to the pavement without any unnecessary harshness.
Our drive routes didn’t allow for long-distance stints, so we can’t judge how the seats will feel on a road trip, but they are supportive when you’re having fun on a curvy road. The seat controls take some searching for, however, and the seats themselves appear to be slightly reworked from the last generation.
The new Z’s cabin is also quieter than before in many ways. The old mechanical gear whine from behind the seats has been silenced, but road noise remains prominent enough for us to think it may be a problem for drivers who are less willing to sacrifice performance for comfort.
More impressively, the Z is much easier to drive smoothly. With the manual transmission, it takes little effort to acclimate to the clutch in order to execute smooth getaways, and some of the heaviness in the steering has been lightened. Altogether, it’s a better day-to-day commuter than before.
How’s the Z’s interior?
The new Z gets a thorough refreshening on the inside, though some old elements remain. The new dash features a large infotainment touchscreen that runs more modern software. There’s also a slick new digital instrument panel that does a good job of relaying critical information at a quick glance. Below the central display are three climate control dials similar to those in the 370Z. It’s an old-school design, but their ease of use is refreshing compared to some newer and more complicated on-screen climate controls. Other carryovers include most other switches and buttons as well as the interior door handles.
The cabin is on the snug side for average-size adults, which means taller and larger drivers might be at the limit for space. Materials quality is improved in some spots, particularly on the dashboard, but the hard plastics used on the center console are rather disappointing since it’s a surface that gets regular contact. Considering the $40,000 starting price, it’s perhaps a little less disappointing, but we expected better from the more expensive Performance trim.
How’s the Z’s tech?
This isn’t the car to buy if you’re looking for a full slate of advanced driver-assist features or cutting-edge tech. But you do get the typical items found in most vehicles today, such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.
Upgrade to the Z Performance and you’ll get a larger 9-inch touchscreen (an inch larger than the Sport model’s screen) plus wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay. The Performance model also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, onboard navigation and an eight-speaker Bose audio system.
How’s the Z’s storage?
Cargo capacity has some hits and misses, which is understandable since it looks identical to the last-generation Z. Published capacity is a paltry 6.9 cubic feet, but the space isn’t as restrictive as that number suggests. The rear hatch opens wide, but the space is shallow if you opt for the available cargo cover. Without the cover, larger objects should fit under the glass of the closed hatch, but they will obstruct your rearward view. The cargo floor is also interrupted by two large plastic suspension component covers, further limiting what you might want to haul.
In the cabin, you have some small cupholders, door pockets and a center armrest bin. There’s also a rubberized tray to keep your phone secured and a pair of shallow bins behind the seats. For a two-seat sports car, this is appropriate, but many other cars provide better storage and cargo space.
Car Deals says
The 2023 Nissan Z may not be all-new, but it is very much improved. It’s entertaining to drive on a track or winding road and is easier to drive than before. Performance is also much stronger, though not as strong as its primary rivals for the money. It’s a worthy send-off to the era of gasoline-powered Z sports cars and has us hoping to see an electrified version in the future.