News Roundup: Tacoma Hybrid, Diesel AT4X, New Wrangler, More

Last Week the news circuit turned to New York. The city's international auto show was the home to debuts from Subaru and Genesis which we've already covered. But there was plenty more going on.

By Evan Williams Wheels.ca

Apr 11, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated 2 months ago

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AI Hitch Assist

Ford's new Pro Trailer Hitch Assist function uses AI and machine learning to help back the truck to the trailer for you. The system is offered on all F-Series trucks including the Super Duty pickups and Lightning EV. It uses the truck's rear sensors and cameras to "see" where your trailer hitch ball and connector are. Then the AI backs up the truck, controlling speed and steering, to stop you in just the perfect place. We know that you don't need it, but it's nice to know it's there. Just in case.

Atlas Peak

VW Atlas Peak

This is peak Volkswagen Atlas. Sorry, no, that's the Volkswagen Atlas Peak. VW's new rugged trimline is one of the latest to climb on the latest trend bandwagon. The Atlas' rugged edition joins the rest of the refreshed for 2024 Atlas lineup. It will get a dark lower fascia and a black-out grill to help make it look tough. Plus the 18-inch alloys wear all-terrain tires, and the plastic side sills are larger. Of course, the wheel arch trim is also blacked out. Inside, Atlas Peak has black faux leather with orange stitching. You know, outdoorsy stuff. The VW Atlas Peak arrives this summer.

AT4X getting diesel option

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X Diesel

GMC is adding the Duramax diesel engine to the 2024 Sierra AT4X trim. That's the Sierra with a lifted suspension and Multimatic DSSC dampers, making it the one that can go almost anywhere. The updated 3.0L Duramax diesel inline-six makes 305 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque and it will come with a 10-speed automatic transmission. GMC says around 1 in 5 Sierra 1500s come with the diesel and it expects this to help boost that figure. Other 2024 Sierra changes include power-retracting steps on top trims and an available active exhaust.

Wrangler refresh

New Jeep Wrangler

Jeep is giving the Wrangler two of its biggest updates ever for 2024. Top trims including High Altitude and the new Rubicon X get power seats! Plus the Rubicon trim gets a full-float Dana rear axle that boosts both towing and off-road capability. The power seats are a first for Wrangler, and they are designed and tested to be just fine with water fording. The new rear axle is a Dana 44 HD that uses bearings to suspend the axle shafts instead of putting the load on them. All rear tire loads and Jeep weight go on the axle tube instead, so it is stronger. The change boosts towing capacity up to 5,000 lbs. It also means the Wrangler can fit taller tires. The upgrade is one customers were often doing themselves after purchase. Also for 2024, the Wrangler gets a tweaked new grille and a new entry-level 4xe PHEV model trim.

Tacoma teasers

Toyota Tacoma Hybrid

Toyota teased the new Tacoma once again. This time the last remaining full-line auto brand showed off the tailgate of the next Tacoma in TRD Pro guise. What's extra new? It is wearing an iForce Max tailgate badge. That's what Toyota is calling the more powerful versions of its hybrid models, telling us very clearly that the next Taco will be a hybrid. We're expecting to see the whole truck next month, and it's a big deal.

Mercedes updates full-size GLS-Class

2023 Mercedes GLS

Mercedes-Benz is freshening the GLS-Class for 2024. Benz, AMG, and Maybach models all get the same basic changes that include a light facelift and the latest version of the company's MBUX infotainment software. The cosmetic changes are most noticeable on the Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 and 580, where the grille gets four very prominent horizontal bars. Maybach 600 models have vertical bars but fewer than last year. MBUX gets updated voice commands with some no longer needing a "Hey Mercedes" cue. The GLS gets a new steering wheel, too, with new gadgets and controls, bringing it inline with the other latest Mercs.




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