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MotorTrend June 2021

MotorTrend is the world's automotive authority. Every issue of MotorTrend informs and entertains with features on the testing of both domestic and import cars, car care, motor sports coverage, sneak peeks at future vehicles, and auto-industry news.

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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
rear view

50 JUN 1971 PRICE: $0.50 For MotorTrend’s first 20 years or so, it was uncommon to see a foreign car on the front of the book. The gorgeous 1972 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL V-8 on our June 1971 cover was one of the rare cars from overseas to earn the honor. We lauded the Benz for its focus on both safety and driving purity—in an era when U.S. automakers insisted consumers could only get one or the other. 30 JUN 1991 PRICE: $2.95 If the neon colors and questionable words were any indication, we weren’t quite done with the ’80s just yet. The cars in our June ’91 issue were thankfully contemporary, including convertibles like the C4 Corvette, Ford Mustang, and the mighty Geo Metro. 10 JUN 2011 PRICE: $4.99 With national gas prices once again easily exceeding $3.00…

1 min
reader on location

This month’s Reader on Location is Brian Houts of Maple Grove, Minnesota, who brought us along on a cross-country ski trip. He says: “One of the few things you can do during a pandemic is be outside. I’ve been a cross-country skier for many years now and just completed my 15th American Birkebeiner in Cable/Hayward, Wisconsin. The ‘Birkie’ is the largest cross-country ski race in North America, with more than 8,000 skiers competing each year in both ‘skate’ and ‘classic’ techniques. It was a different experience this year as many skied ‘virtually’ from their own locations. But with a group of friends, we still went to the Birkie and completed the race on site, 45 kilometers through the woods and over challenging hills. It’s an amazing experience and should be…

11 min
the next normal

Elon Musk’s approach to running a company is anything but conventional. But whatever you might think of him or his strategies, there’s little doubt of his indelible impact across multiple industries, including aerospace, personal technology, and, yes, automotive. His vision is a central reason Tesla has come to dominate today’s EV market despite—or perhaps because of—its relative lack of history or legacy. Yet in just 18 years, the electric car manufacturer has gone from producing small-volume baubles like the original Roadster to pumping out hundreds of thousands of mainstream crossovers and sedans like the Model Y and Model 3. Of course, Tesla’s vehicles are only part of the story. The history books are likely to give Musk and his firm just as much credit for getting the general public geeked about…

9 min
evs are here to stay. it’s time we all learn how they work.

When was the last time you stopped to think about how electric cars actually work? We superfans of the car biz have mostly developed a reasonable understanding of how combustion powertrains work. Most of us can visualize fuel and air entering a combustion chamber, exploding, pushing a piston down, and rotating a crankshaft that ultimately turns the wheels. We generally understand the differences between inline, flat, V-shaped, and maybe even Wankel rotary combustion engines. Mechanical engineering concepts like these are comparatively easy to comprehend. But it’s probably a fair bet to wager that only a minority of folks reading this can explain on a bar napkin exactly how invisible electrons turn a car’s wheels or how a permanent-magnet motor differs from an AC induction one. Electrical engineering can seem like black…

6 min
electric companies

BMW Although its initial EVs were either compliance cars (i3, Mini EV) or wacky science projects (i8), BMW is now serious about electrification. Coming are the i4 fastback and 2022 BMW iX midsize crossover EVs, as the automaker wants electrified vehicles to account for a quarter of its U.S. sales by 2025 and half of global sales by 2030. Kia Kia’s lineup alone calls for 11 electrified models by 2026, including seven dedicated EVs on the E-GMP architecture. The goal is to sell 1.6 million electrified vehicles (880,000 pure electric) a year by 2030, accounting for 40 percent of its total sales. The first dedicated EV, the EV6, launches later this year to join the Niro EV already on sale. Daimler/Mercedes-Benz Mercedes created the EQ subbrand solely for electric vehicles, with global launches of the…

2 min
2023 canoo pickup

Some shapes are intoxicatingly cool. They inspire irrational behavior like signing up to buy, lease, or “subscribe to” a vehicle you have no legitimate need for. This all-electric 2023 Canoo Pickup will be that vehicle for fans of the pickup variants of vintage forward-control vans like the Chevy Corvair Greenbriar (Rampside), Dodge A100, Ford Econoline, Jeep FC, and VW Transporter. It’s not quite Dodge Deora cool, but it’s close. Those vintage vehicles placed their front seats on top of the front axle, placing ankles out in the crush zone and rendering them deathtraps in a frontal wreck. Rest assured that—like VW’s ID Buzz riff on the microbus—the Canoo “Lifestyle Vehicle” van and Pickup aren’t really forward-control vehicles. Front seats are positioned safely behind the front axle, but the vehicle designs sell…