New small off-roader will lead an ‘onslaught’ of Ford SUVs

Ford small off-road SUV teaser

SUVs are more popular than ever, and Ford is betting that they will stay that way. The Blue Oval will launch what it calls an “onslaught” of new SUVs over the next few years, including a new small off-road-capable model, redesigned versions of the Escape and Explorer, and the much-discussed Bronco.

The new small off-roader, which doesn’t have a name yet, will sit below the Bronco in Ford’s lineup. Ford announced the return of the Bronco at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show to great fanfare, and plans to launch it in 2020. While the vast majority of SUVs on sale today have little or no off-road capability, Ford believes there is still a large market for this one.

Ford recently redesigned the gargantuan Expedition and began selling the tiny EcoSport in the United States, but the two models in between — the Escape and Explorer — are getting long in the tooth. New versions are on the way, Ford says, and both will get hybrid powertrain options. Ford offered a hybrid version of the Escape almost a decade ago, but has never built an Explorer hybrid before. Ford will also offer a sporty Explorer ST model, complementing the recently unveiled Edge ST.

Last year, Ford announced plans for an all-electric SUV, and that model is still on schedule for 2020. The automaker previously said the SUV will have at least 300 miles of range, making it Ford’s first serious attempt to take on Tesla. Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, made that point explicit at a press conference on the company’s product plans.

“I’ll make a prediction … we’re not going to have to shoot it into space to make it famous,” Farley said. He claimed the electric SUV will have the “rebel soul of a Mustang,” but offered no details on performance or range. The SUV will be the first of six all-electric models Ford plans to launch by 2022.

Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand is going all-in on SUVs, too. It will launch two new utility vehicles by 2020, with the first set to be unveiled at the 2018 New York Auto Show. Two more models will arrive at some point after 2020.

While SUVs are clearly getting the most attention, all Ford models will get some tech upgrades. The automaker plans to equip all of its new vehicles with 4G LTE connectivity by 2019, and expand over-the-air software updates beyond infotainment functions by 2020. Ford is also adding a suite of driver-assist features called Co-Pilot 360 to most new models. The suite includes autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, a rearview camera, and automatic high beams.

Product Review

Grins come standard: Mazda's 2019 MX-5 Miata will plaster a smile on your face

We take Mazda’s updated 2019 MX-5 Miata on a road trip from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco to experience the updates. With a revised engine and more power, the already awesome Miata gets even better.
Home Theater

Images found in a beta of iOS 12 reveal the next-generation AirPods 2

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Cars

Bugatti’s new Divo will be light, nimble, and sharp as a scalpel

Bugatti doesn't introduce a new model very often. When it does, the whole industry sits up and takes notice. Named Divo, the firm's next car will arrive in August as a light, nimble model inspired by race cars built in the 1920s.
Cars

Sporty electrified Infiniti Prototype 10 concept headed to Pebble Beach

Infiniti will unveil a new concept car at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The Nissan luxury brand won't say much, but promises an electrified powertrain and an emphasis on performance.
Cars

Can BMW’s rebooted 3 Series regain gold standard for sport sedans?

The BMW 3 Series lost its way in 2012; once the gold standard in the sport sedan segment, it disappointed by not living up to BMW's promise of delivering the ultimate driving machine. Can the new model right those wrongs?
Cars

How to watch Formula 1 online

There are plenty of Formula 1 races every year, many of which take place in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. Check out our brief guide on how to watch Formula 1 online, if you're looking to keep up on the action.
Smart Home

Kroger supermarket chain tests driverless grocery deliveries in Arizona

Kroger and autonomous delivery innovator Nuro began a pilot program in Scottdale, Arizona, for grocery home deliveries with Prius cars to test the self-driving concept. The first tests do not use the purpose-built Nuro vehicle.
Cars

Whistleblower says a drug-peddling Mexican cartel thrives in Tesla’s Gigafactory

A former Tesla employee says the firm covered up links between some of its workers and a Mexican drug cartel, spied on its employees by wiretapping their phones, and failed to report a $37 million theft. Tesla denies the claims.
Cars

Redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester crossover starts at $25K, hits showrooms in fall

The 2019 Subaru Forester hits showrooms this fall with more tech than ever, including a system that uses facial recognition to detect driver fatigue. Pricing starts at $25,270, but goes up to $34,295 for the top Touring model.
Cars

Lack of domestic battery production could short German automakers’ EV plans

As automakers ramp up efforts to produce more electric and hybrid vehicles, this has increased the demand for battery production. However, analysts fear some companies could struggle with this demand, specifically German car companies.
Cars

Diesel isn't evil! The best diesel cars on the market do it right

When done right, a diesel engine remains an excellent option for buyers who want to save gas. Modern diesel engines are smoother, peppier, and more efficient than ever before. Here are our current favorites.
Cars

Nvidia ‘more than happy to help’ if Tesla’s self-driving chip doesn’t pan out

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the intention to use an in-house Autopilot chip, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang responded to an analyst's question, saying that if the Tesla chip doesn't work out, he'd be more than happy to help.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

A bit of patchwork can have you back on the road

Flat tires often come at the worst possible time. Whether you're fixing a flat tire or replacing it, our step-by-step how-to guide will help you get your car back on the road with time to spare.