Electric SUVs will duke it out in the Arctic in new racing series

2019 Jaguar I-Pace First DriveThe organizers of Formula E are in the early stages of launching a unique series that injects a dose of tourism into electric car racing. Called Extreme E, it will place battery-powered SUVs and crossovers head-to-head on purpose-built off-road tracks located in some of the world’s most scenic areas.

“Extreme E — all I can say is that it’s a new project that will be operated by Formula E. Formula E will take over the operation of that new project,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag told Motorsport. He added the project is at the embryonic stage of development as of August but promised to release more details soon.

Racing quiet, emissions-free electric cars gives the organizers more freedom to compete in unexpected places. Inside sources told Motorsport that Extreme E will take racers to locations not usually associated with any type of racing, like the Arctic and the Himalayas. It’s not difficult to imagine electric SUVs drifting around a frozen lake north of the Arctic Circle. Racing in cold temperatures promises to put battery packs to the test, too, which adds another dimension to the race.

Although technical details remain vague, it sounds like the manufacturers who join the series will need to follow a strict set of guidelines. Regulations will detail the kind of chassis they can build cars on, for example, though they will be allowed to tweak parts like the electric motors. The race cars’ bodies will be shaped like regular-production models but the similarities will be largely skin-deep.

The organizers have started the process of recruiting participants. The first Extreme E race is tentatively scheduled for 2020. This gives manufacturers enough time to prepare for the series. It’s too early to tell who will show up on the starting grid but the electric SUV and crossover segment will expand exponentially in the coming years, and racing in high-profile locations could help publicize the models. Tesla’s futuristic Model X now faces competition from the sporty, segment-bending Jaguar I-Pace (pictured). Audi’s E-Tron Quattro will make its debut before the end of 2018. It will be joined by the Mercedes-Benz EQ C and an electric variant of the BMW X3 called iX3. Tesla’s own Model Y, a model poised to become the firm’s best-seller, is tentatively scheduled to make its debut in March 2019.

“SUV is the name of the game — that’s where the big manufacturers are going and that’s where I think this will be,” Agag said.


Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.

Is Amazon sold out of AirPods? Here’s where to buy Apple’s wireless earbuds

With Valentine's Day only a few days away, online storefronts like Amazon have already completely sold out of AirPods. Here are the best places you can still pick up a pair without too much hassle.

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.