Hyundai goes stargazing, new details arise regarding the Cruise AV crash, Porsche plans a third SUV. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Hyundai Gazes The Stars
Aw hell yeah, it’s van time. Hyundai’s been absolutely killing it with some dope vans lately, from the Blade Runner-esque Staria to the incredibly handsome Custo. After rolling out these larger products, Hyundai’s dusted off its shrink ray to create a cassette-futurist van for the entry-level market. Meet the Stargazer, Hyundai’s competitor to the Mitsubishi Xpander and Toyota Avanza. While not slated for sale in America, you’ll really wish it was once you read more about it.
I mean come on, would you just look at that? The one-box silhouette, the chunky wheel arches pushed out to the extreme corners of the vehicle, the wild giant H tail light treatment, it all works to produce a chunky, funky little van. While the silhouette may be a touch bulbous, it’s all for the sake of interior room.
A standard 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts 115 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque down to the front tires through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. While that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of power, the Stargazer isn’t a whole lot of metal to move. The whole MPV’s just 4,460 mm (175.5 inches) long, or 35 mm (1.5 inches) shorter than a Nissan Versa. Despite the Stargazer’s short silhouette, it still has room for six or seven passengers. Nice.
Speaking of nice, the interior really doesn’t look bad. High-spec models get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, airplane-style seatback trays for second row passengers, wireless charging, and a digital gauge cluster. It may use old-school segmented LCDs for speed and rpm, but I feel like that’s almost cooler than a modern display. So, lots of kit, lots of practicality, but what’s the price? Well, a fully-loaded Stargazer stickers for 307,100,000 Indonesian Rupiahs, or around $20,500. That’s an absolute bargain. So, what’s the fly in the ointment here? There must be some big cost cut to get pricing that low, right? Indeed, despite the Stargazer name, this nifty little MPV isn’t available with a moonroof.
Illinois Is Fed Up With Carvana
Hey, remember when Illinois suspended Carvana’s license to sell cars due to delayed title issuing? Well, it’s happened again. According to financial news outlet Barron’s, Carvana lost its license once again on Monday, when the Illinois Secretary of State’s enforcement division pulled the plug.
Despite having almost two months’ reinstatement, Carvana failed to clean up its act. According to state spokesperson Henry Haupt, “Carvana continued to conduct business in a manner that violates Illinois state law.” Alright, so what sort of manner are we talking about here? Well, Carvana allegedly failed to transfer vehicle titles within the allotted 20-day window, plus the company’s alleged to have sometimes issued out-of-state temporary plates multiple times per vehicle. Both seem like crappy moves that would really hang buyers out to dry, from receiving undriveable vehicles to having weird stuff show up on a vehicle history report should they sell.
That Cruise AV Crash Seems To Have Been A Little Harder Than Initially Reported
Hey, remember that San Francisco crash involving a Cruise autonomous car last month? Well, more details have come to light regarding passenger count and injury status, and it’s not fantastic news. According to Automotive News, the San Francisco Police Department has released some information on the incident:
The Cruise vehicle carried three adult passengers in its rear seats, police said. Paramedics transported one of those passengers to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the June 3 collision, according to police.
Two occupants in the Toyota Prius, a male driver and female passenger seated in the rear, were treated for injuries at the scene and released. A Cruise official had written in a June 10 report that occupants of both vehicles were treated for “allegedly minor injuries.”
Are “non-life threatening injuries” the same as “allegedly minor injuries”? Perhaps, although there’s a big difference between injuries treatable on scene and injuries treatable in hospital. Honestly, slowly peeling back the layers on this incident feels like it could be a painful reality check for autonomous vehicles. The promise of Level 5 autonomy feels like the promise of virtual reality – a few proofs of concept exist, but widespread capability that doesn’t suck has always been five years away.
Porsche Has Another SUV On The Way
Well, it looks like people simply won’t stop buying SUVs. Not only are mass-market crossovers soaring to new heights, the market for luxury SUVs has never felt bigger. Mercedes G-Wagens are subject to big markups, the Rivian R1S is the new hotness, and I swear I see a Lamborghini Urus every other time I step outside my apartment. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that Porsche is considering a third SUV, this time a bit of a mashup of existing concepts. In an investor relations statement published Monday, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume announced some plans for this new vehicle.
“We plan to add a new luxury, all-electric SUV model to our attractive portfolio, which will roll off the production line in Leipzig. This will further expand our position in the luxury automotive segment. We are targeting the higher margin segments in particular and aim to tap into new sales opportunities in this way.”
So, a bit of a mashup between a Taycan and a Cayenne, then. According to Automotive News Europe, this new SUV will start production mid-decade and carries the codename K1. This piece of news regarding a high-end luxury SUV is pretty crucial considering what Porsche does, other high-end manufacturers often copy. In addition to this new high-end SUV, the upcoming electric Macan has been pushed back by a year to 2024 due to software delays. Hey, it is what it is.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Tuesday, everyone! You made it through Monday, that’s excellent. To celebrate, let’s play a little bit of a game of extremes. Our hypothetical unlimited money genie is back and has some new conditions this time. You can buy any two cars you want, so long as one has more than eight cylinders in its engine and the other has fewer than four cylinders in its engine. What two cars are you buying?
Lead photo credit: Hyundai
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