NHTSA opens probe into 115,000 Tesla vehicles over suspension issue

WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Friday said it had opened an investigation into about 115,0000 Tesla vehicles over front suspension safety issues.

The agency said it was opening a preliminary evaluation into 2015-2017 Model S and 2016-2017 Model X vehicles after receiving 43 complaints alleging failure of the left or right front suspension fore links.

Tesla in February 2017 issued a service bulletin describing a manufacturing condition that may result in front suspension fore link failures, NHTSA said.

The Enel-X JuiceBox EV Charger Ultimate Review

After using the Enel-X JuiceBox EV charger for about 8 months now, we put it to the test in this video review, including comparisons and of course, our exclusive charger deep freeze test.

The Enel-X JuiceBox is available in 32, 40 & 48-amp versions, and other than the power rating, the units are identical. We chose to review the 40-amp version, which we believe will be the most popular one, based on its features, cost, and power output.

Enel JuiceBox
Enel JuiceBox

The New JuiceBox has a completely new look with an integrated connector holster and cable management loop. 

The unit we reviewed is actually the second-generation of JuiceBox chargers and is a completely new unit that Enel-X began selling in early 2020. We liked the original JuiceBox EVSE a lot and reviewed it back in 2015. The new JuiceBox has all of the smart-charging features of the original JuiceBox, plus more, and it has an integrated connector holster and cable management loop.

The new, more stylish look of the JuiceBox included an LED bar across the bottom of the main unit that changes color depending on whether the car is currently charging, finished charging, or idle between charging events.

enel-x Juicebox

We explain how the JuiceBox’s mounting bracket works.

The JuiceBox is easy to install and only requires you to secure a long mounting bracket onto the wall. The JuiceBox then slides into the groves in the bracket which hole it into place. You then have the option of locking it in place and removing the key if needed. That won’t be necessary for most home garage installations, but for those mounting the JuiceBox outside their home, or in a garage that other residents have access to, having the ability to lock the unit to the wall is a very important option.

This also allows the JuiceBox to be removed quickly if needed. Other chargers that need to be securely attached to the wall cannot be quickly removed, because you need to open the unit up to remove the mounting screws that are inside the enclosure. Enel solved that issue with the locking mounting bracket, enabling the JuiceBox to be both easily removable and safely secured. 

enel-x Juicebox

enel-x Juicebox connector compared to the connectors used by ChargePoint and ClipperCreek

We also like to take a close look at the connectors used on the chargers and compare them to competing brands. The JuiceBox uses a connector made by ITT. It’s a popular choice among EVSE, and it’s a durable connector that can withstand abuse. While we don’t dislike the ITT connector, we do like the connectors used by ChargePoint and ClipperCreek a little more, because they have a softer rubberized grip, and feel a little more premium than the ITT connector does. 

One of the things we do here that nobody else does when reviewing EV chargers is what we call our cable deep freeze test. We place the chargers in a commercial freezer overnight to replicate having the charger mounted outdoors in extremely cold winter conditions. After about 12 hours in the freezer, we take the charger out and see how easy the cable is to bend and manipulate. In the case of the JuiceBox, the cable was extremely stiff and unmanageable. 

enel-x Juicebox

enel-x Juicebox undergoes our cable deep freeze test

The JuiceBox’s cable actually performed the worst of all of the cables we’ve tested so far in the deep freeze test. For that reason, we can’t recommend the JuiceBox for outdoor installations in areas where the temperatures frequently drop below freezing. We think it would be a good idea for Enel-X to offer a cold weather cable as an option in the future. 

The smart charging features of the JuiceBox is really where the unit excels. It has more of these features than any other charger available today. The JuiceBox’s app lets you adjust the power the charger delivers, so you can use it on a circuit that is less than the 50-amp circuit required to deliver the full 40-amps the unit can supply to the vehicle. It also is Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatible and can participate in utility demand response programs. 

The JuiceBox also has a feature that few other chargers do, and that’s the ability to power share between more than one JuiceBox. This allows the user to share more than one JuiceBox on a single circuit. The JuiceBoxes will communicate with each other and ensure that they won’t overload the circuit. This makes charging two EVs at home more convenient and the chargers less expensive to install. 

ChargerRater Enel - X JuiceBox 40

You can also schedule the JuiceBox to charge your EV at a set time to coincide with time-of-use utility rates, which can save a lot of money. We should mention that most EVs today already have that feature built into the car, but you then have to disable it when you’re using a public charger and can forget to reset the TOU schedule once you get home. If your home charger has the ability to schedule charging, you don’t need to fumble with in-car scheduling, and possibly forget to set it back later. 

Enel-X JuiceBox review

We’ll be reviewing all of the popular EV home chargers so we’ve created a point-based system called the ChargerRater. The ChargerRater five categories and in each category the EVSE starts out with 15 points. Points are then added or subtracted for features and performance. The total is then converted into a 5-Star score.

We then offer our own opinion of the equipment, also on a 5-star scale, and average the two scores. The Enel-X JuiceBox 40 received an excellent score of 89 points on our ChargerRater scoring system which equals 4.45 stars and finished up with a combined rating of 4.6 stars when averaged with our personal 5-star rating. 

Check out the video review and let us know your thoughts on the Enel-X JuiceBox, as well as our rating system. As always, use the comment section below to let us know what you think. 

Does The World Need The 612 HP Alpina XB7 Super SUV? Spoiler Alert: Hell Yeah!

Alpina has been tuning BMWs for a very, very long time now, and one of their latest projects is based on the X7. It’s named the XB7 and, since BMW won’t build an X7 M, this is pretty much the next best thing.

Like every other Alpina car out there, the flagship SUV sports the typical makeover inside and out, with a discreet body kit, stainless steel exhaust system, bespoke branding and the classic 20-spoke alloy wheels. The illuminated door sills, special steering wheel, exclusive upholstery and trim, iDrive controller, gear selector and a few other touches further set it apart from the stock X7.

Watch Also: BMW X7 Declared The World’s Best 3-Row Luxury SUV Bar None

However, it is what lies under the hood that makes it truly impressive. The twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 develops 612 HP (621 PS / 457 kW) at 5,500-6,600 rpm and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF that’s been modified by Alpina. The tuner has also tweaked other parts as well, including the xDrive all-wheel drive system, suspension and brakes.

In terms of straight-line performance, you are looking at 4.0 seconds for the zero to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprint and a 180 mph (290 km/h) top speed. Moreover, the tuned SUV will run the quarter-mile in as little as 12.6 seconds.

Now, it is faster and more refined than the regular X7, but does it actually justify its $142,295 starting price in the U.S.? You’ll have to watch the following video review to find out.

Next Ram 1500 Built To Serve trucks take a maritime land force-inspired tack

Next Ram 1500 Built To Serve trucks take a maritime land force-inspired tack

Ram is launching another round of its Built To Service Edition military-inspired pickup trucks. Arriving at dealerships in the first quarter of 2021, the fourth batch of these limited-edition Ram 1500 pickups adds two new colors—Tank and Flame Red.

Built To Serve Editions are meant to represent the five United States armed forces. In a press release, Ram said the new exterior colors have a “maritime land force” theme, but didn’t elaborate beyond that.

Production of the latest Built To Serve Edition trucks is limited to 2,000 units—evenly split between the Tank and Flame Red exterior colors. The trucks also get black interiors with Medium Graystone accent stitching, as well as 20-inch aluminum wheels, body-color fender flares, U.S. flag badges, and a “Built To Serve” decal on each of the rear quarter panels.

2021 Ram 1500 Built To Serve Edition

2021 Ram 1500 Built To Serve Edition

Other styling features include an all-black grille and surrounds, and black bumpers, side steps, and exhaust tips. Previous Built To Serve Editions were available in any Ram 1500 cab, bed, and powertrain configuration, and that will likely also be the case with the latest versions.

Built To Serve Editions also get the 4×4 Off-Road Group package, adding all-terrain tires, an electronic-locking rear axle, hill-descent control, tow hooks, off-road shocks, and skid plates for the front suspension, steering gear, fuel tank, and transfer case.

Orders for the 2021 Ram 1500 Built To Serve Edition open in December, with production scheduled to start in early 2021 at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, located just north of Detroit. Ram said it is now launching a new Built To Serve Edition 1500 approximately every three months.

2021 Genesis G70

What kind of car is the 2021 Genesis G70? What does it compare to?

With the 2021 G70, Genesis has a legitimate luxury sedan rival for compact cars such as the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class.

Is the 2021 Genesis G70 a good car?

Review continues below

It’s very good, bordering on great. We give it a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10—and that’s before the NHTSA has even finished scoring its crash protection. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2021 Genesis G70?

A few of the variants have been pruned from the lineup. The G70 2.0T no longer comes in Sport trim; the 3.3T base and Elite models have been dropped, too.

All of the G70’s great looks and visual hooks carry forward into 2021. It’s a pretty car that manages to look slightly menacing—and vice versa. The long hood and low stance telegraph “sport sedan” in all the right ways, while a few well-placed bits of chrome don’t detract from its sporty résumé. Neither does the quiet and elegant interior, which amps up its luxury quotient with quilted leather and wood—but could use a few more cubic feet for the cramped rear seat and the not especially useful 10.7-cubic-foot trunk.

Not much of those foibles and downfalls matter when the G70’s start button begins to glow. Even the base 252-horsepower turbo-4 has the power to light up a grin—and the rear tires, when power’s not split among all four. Manual-transmission fans have this one last model year to order the G70 with a 6-speed stick—or relent and take the excellent 8-speed automatic. The G70 gets riot-inciting power in its turbo-6 form, but that 365 hp comes with a very stiff ride in the top Sport model. In almost all other forms the G70 does a great impression of a midrange German sport sedan—better than some of those actual German sedans do today.

Crash-test scores are good but incomplete, and the G70 has standard automatic emergency braking, along with a raft of other active safety technology. 

How much does the 2021 Genesis G70 cost?

The $37,025 2.0T Standard gets just about any driver where they need to go, with its 18-inch wheels and 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. We’d choose a $45,025 G70 2.0T Prestige for its leather upholstery, navigation, cooled and heated front seats, and premium audio. Keep going and the G70 3.3T costs more than $50,000 and comes with a surround-view camera system, wireless smartphone charging, and an adaptive suspension. 

Where is the 2021 Genesis G70 made?

In South Korea.