Michael J. Moody

2022 Nissan Pathfinder takes on a rugged look, 9-speed auto

Nissan is in the process of updating or redesigning almost every vehicle in its lineup. The latest to arrive are redesigned versions of the Frontier and Pathfinder, which Nissan unveiled on Thursday. Both go on sale this summer as 2022 models.

The 2022 Pathfinder follows a familiar path but has ditched the current model’s soft looks for a more rugged design you normally find on body-on-frame SUVs. The Pathfinder sticks to car-like unibody construction, however.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

The other big news is the replacement of the current model’s lackluster continuously variable transmission in favor of a 9-speed automatic in the 2022 model. Mated to a standard 3.5-liter V-6 with 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, the transmission is said to deliver smooth performance and the ability to tow up to 6,000 pounds (when the vehicle is equipped with a tow hitch and

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A startup with a modular EV platform plans to go public via SPAC deal

The wave of electric-vehicle startups going public via so-called reverse mergers shows no signs of slowing, with Israel’s REE Automotive the latest to join the party.

A reverse merger is where a private company is able to go public by being taken over by a company that’s already publicly listed, thus avoiding the complexity of launching an initial public offering. The reverse mergers are typically done with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that is set up solely for this purpose, and this is the case with REE which on Wednesday announced it has teamed up with a SPAC known as 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the first half of 2021, with the merged company to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “REE.” REE is expected to receive $500 million out of the deal which already lists some

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Recalled touchscreens were meant to only last 5-6 years

Tesla told regulators that the recalled touchscreens in nearly 135,000 Model S and Model X electric cars were only expected to last five to six years—much less than the average lifespan of cars on United States roads today.

Following a formal recall request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker issued a recall this week of 134,951 cars, including the 2012-2018 Tesla Model S and 2016-2018 Tesla Model X over the potential for touchscreen failure.

Both vehicles use a 17-inch touchscreen (also known as the media control unit) not only for infotainment functions, but also for what the NHTSA considers safety-critical features, such as the window defroster/defogger and turn-signal chimes. The NHTSA also noted that screen failure could affect the Autopilot driver-assist system. It may also affect the federally-mandated rearview-camera display.

The government agency identified the source of the problem as the touchscreen’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor

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SpeedKore stuffed a Hellephant V-8 into a 1970 Dodge Charger for Kevin Hart

Let’s try this again. After comedian Kevin Hart was involved in a 2019 accident as a passenger in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda modified by SpeedKore Performance Group, the Wisconsin shop has built another Mopar muscle car for Hart. This time it’s a 1970 Dodge Charger called “Hellraiser,” and it features Mopar’s “Hellephant” engine.

The 7.0-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 was unveiled at the 2018 SEMA show, and went on sale as a crate motor in 2019 (the initial production run quickly sold out). Based on the Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, it makes 1,000 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque. The name combines the “hell” from Hellcat with “elephant,” the nickname of the original 426 Hemi, which just so happens to make the displacement of the new engine.

SpeedKore built a custom exhaust system for the Hellephant engine, connected the monster motor to a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon-spec ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic

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