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BMW M strays further from its heritage with X3 M and X4 M crossovers

BMW’s M division has built some of the greatest performance cars of all time, from the E30 M3 to the V10-powered E60 M5. M division cars used to be memorable and distinctive, but now BMW seems more focused on quantity over quality. Like rival Mercedes-Benz and its AMG division, BMW is trying to fill every niche with an M car. The latest vehicles to get the M treatment are the X3 and X4 crossovers.

Normally, automakers try to hide their camouflaged prototypes, but BMW rolled out its X3 M and X4 M for all the world to see during a race at Germany’s Nürburgring. The two performance crossovers will lose their disguises and get a full public unveiling at a later date.

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BMW has offered M performance versions of the larger X5 and X6 for a while, so it was only a matter of time before the X3 and X4 got the same treatment. For those unfamiliar with BMW’s labyrinthine lineup, the X3 is a traditional small crossover competing with models like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5. The X4 is a “coupe” version of the X3, with a lower roofline that’s meant to give it a sportier, more stylish look. Whether the X4 succeeds in that mission is unclear.

Technical details are scarce, but BMW did say that the X3 M and X4 M will use a turbocharged inline-six engine. This will likely be based on the 3.0-liter engine used in current M40i versions of the X3 and X4. Both models will get standard all-wheel drive, incorporating lessons learned from the latest M5, according to BMW. Sportier suspension and BMW’s Active M rear differential will be part of the package as well.

The X3 M and X4 M probably won’t do BMW any favors with enthusiasts, but given the public’s insatiable demand for utility vehicles, they’ll probably sell like hotcakes. BMW certainly sees a future in utility vehicles, as it’s adding more variants to its lineup. In addition to the two new M variants, the German automaker recently announced the X2 M235i xDrive and X5 xDrive 45e iPerformance plug-in hybrid.

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GMC poured all of its truck-making expertise into the Sierra EV pickup
A 2024 GMC Sierra EV towing an Airstream trailer.

The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks are twins, and that will continue to be the case when they go electric.
Chevy unveiled its Silverado EV at CES 2022, and now it’s GMC’s turn. The 2024 GMC Sierra EV borrows some key features from its Chevy sibling, as well GMC’s first electric truck — the Hummer EV. Some of those features were actually pioneered by General Motors two decades ago on non-electric trucks, and are now making a comeback.
You can reserve a Sierra EV now, but deliveries aren’t scheduled to start until early calendar-year 2024. Production starts with a high-end Denali Edition 1 model, with other versions arriving for the 2025 model year.

The Sierra EV updates the design language of the internal-combustion GMC Sierra for the electric age. A big grille is no longer needed for cooling, but it’s still an important styling element that designers didn’t want to break away from, Sharon Gauci, GMC executive director of global design, explained to Digital Trends and other media in an online briefing ahead of the truck’s reveal. The grille shape is now outlined in lights, with an illuminated GMC logo.
Like the Hummer EV and Silverado EV, the Sierra EV uses GM’s Ultium modular battery architecture which, among other things, means the battery pack is an integral part of the structure. So unlike most other trucks — including the rival Ford F-150 Lightning — the Sierra EV doesn’t have a separate frame. The cab and bed are one piece as well, all of which helps increase structural rigidity.
The Sierra EV also borrows the Midgate setup from the Silverado EV. First seen on the Chevy Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT in the early 2000s, it allows the bulkhead and glass behind the cab to be removed, effectively extending the bed. Combined with the fold-out MultiPro tailgate from the internal-combustion Sierra, it can expand the default 5.0-foot, 11-inch bed length to 10 feet, 10 inches. A frunk (GMC calls it the “eTrunk”) provides covered storage space as well.
Because it’s pitched as a premium vehicle, the Sierra EV gets upscale interior materials like open-pore wood trim and stainless steel speaker grilles for its Bose audio system. But the design itself, with a freestanding portrait touchscreen and rectangular instrument cluster, looks suspiciously similar to the Ford Mustang Mach-E cabin. The touchscreen even has the same big volume knob as the Ford. We hope GMC’s lawyers are ready.

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Check out Spectre, Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric car
Rolls-Royce's Spectre, its first all-electric vehicle.

Rolls-Royce Introduces Spectre: The World's First Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupé

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has taken the wraps off the Spectre, its first all-electric vehicle.

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2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV preview: The EV lineup grows again
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

As Mercedes-Benz has steadily expanded its EQ range of electric cars, the lineup has become a bit like the late stages of a Tetris game. It’s mostly complete, but with a few gaps still left. And the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is the piece that perfectly fits one of them.
Mercedes recently launched two other electric SUVs at opposite ends of the price spectrum. The EQS SUV is positioned as the lineup’s flagship, while the EQB is the entry-level model. The EQE SUV slots between those two in size and, presumably, price. The latter hasn’t been confirmed yet, and likely won’t be until the EQE SUV’s planned March 2023 on-sale date.

As the name says, the EQE SUV is a utility-vehicle version of the EQE sedan, which will likely beat it to showrooms by a few months. Mercedes did the same thing with the EQS, which is available in both SUV and sedan body styles.
With its tall, upright profile, the EQE SUV definitely looks like a proper SUV compared to the low-slung EQE sedan. Park it next to an EQS SUV, though, and you’ll have to get out a measuring tape to spot the differences.
The EQE SUV is 0.6 inch narrower and 1.2 inches lower than the EQS SUV, but the most significant difference is in length. The EQE SUV is 10.3 inches shorter than the EQS SUV, with a 2.1-inch shorter wheelbase. And while the EQS SUV has three-row seating, the EQE SUV has two rows. Based on our experience with the EQS SUV’s third row, that’s not a big loss.
The interior design theme carries over from other Mercedes EQ models, with an expansive sloping dashboard designed to accommodate many screens, and multicolor ambient lighting that should look pretty dramatic at night. However, leatherette upholstery is standard, rather than real leather, which Mercedes is now spinning as a vegan option.

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