美國專利商標局(USPTO) 在聖誕夜公開了Toyota所申請的汽車清洗判定系統(car wash judgement system)的專利申請書，光聽名稱會讓人困惑，這是要判定車子洗的有沒有乾淨嗎？其實這專利是用在自動駕駛的共享車上，讓車子能知道自己何時需要清洗，該清洗時得開去哪個洗車廠清洗。有了這項專利後，能確保每個用戶所租到的車子都是乾淨的。
美國Evo Car共享車 Toyota Prius c 圖片來源：維基百科
這項專利將來是用在美國共享的自動駕駛車上，與一般市售車無緣。Toyota與美國電商龍頭亞馬遜的子公司亞馬遜網路服務（Amazon Web Services，AWS）於2020年8月展開合作，未來Toyota將建立一套移動服務平台(Mobility Services Platform，MSP)，來處理和分析可用於汽車研發的數據，這其中包含了乘用車、共享汽車與維護通知等。
講到山寨車，第一個總會聯想到中國。不過這一款車，並非來自中國，卻有著與 Toyota RAV4 極為相似的車頭設計，有著極為明顯的致敬意味，這是來自俄羅斯 AvtoVAZ 的 Lada Niva Travel。
AvtoVAZ 的 Lada Niva Travel，車頭與 Toyota RAV4 就是極為相似。
俄羅斯的 AvtoVAZ，曾經與美國 GM 有著合作關係，GM 持有 AvtoVAZ 多達 50% 股份，隨著 GM 退出，AvtoVAZ 也正式獨立進行開發。旗下 Lada 的最新作品 Lada Niva Travel，以越野休旅車設計為出發點，車頭設計讓人聯想到第五代 RAV4，在車尾有外露備胎，車頂也有行李架規劃，不過整體與目前主流休旅而言，彷彿像是前一兩代的設計風格。
近期 Lada Niva Travel 剛舉辦發表會，不久就會開賣。
以越野休旅為訴求，因此 Lada Niva Travel 搭配四輪驅動系統，不過動力卻有些悲劇，1.7 升汽油引擎，最大馬力僅 80 匹，最大扭矩 127Nm，配備 5 速手排變速箱。需花費 19 秒才能完成時速 0-100 公里加速，最高極速也只有時速 140 公里。
目前售價尚未公佈，以前一代的售價來看，入門車型為 9600 美元（約 27.2 萬元台幣），新款上市的售價預計也不會相差太大。
With a number of cars leaving the US market this year, many people might be disappointed to see some of their favorite vehicles ride off into the sunset. The silver lining is that there will be plenty of new ones to look forward to in the next 12 months, but it still begs the question: which cars being discontinued for 2021 will you miss the most?
This list is in no particular order, but of the many cars leaving the market, the following are what we think are eight of the most notable ones.
1. Mercedes-AMG GT R
Read: Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Costs As Much As Two AMG GT Rs
The AMG GT R, whose demise was confirmed a few days ago, was one of the best sports cars on the market. With its raucous 4.0-liter biturbo V8, the top-of-the-line AMG was a blast to drive, but also livable if you were willing to put up with its track-focused suspension. However, we can’t be too disappointed with its discontinuation, as Mercedes also has the Black Series and plans to fill the GT R-shaped void in their lineup by buffing up the other GT models a bit.
2. Chevrolet Impala
See: GM Builds The Last Chevrolet Impala, Exits The Large Sedan Segment In North America
While certainly not the most exciting car on this list, the Chevy Impala undoubtedly has the longest history, stretching back 62 years and only taking a break from production twice, between 1985 and 1994, and 1996 to 2000. Having earned its reputation as an everyman’s large sedan, the Impala has fallen victim to the ever-growing crossover and SUV craze. Despite the nameplate’s history, in a market with such a proclivity for these high-riding vehicles, large sedans are making increasingly less sense. As a result, Chevy is discontinuing the Impala for 2021.
3. Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 / GT350R
Watch: Which Ford Mustang Shelby Is Better At Autocross: The GT350R Or GT500?
Despite a glorious flat-plane crank V8 and great handling, the GT350 and GT350R are being discontinued to make room for the upcoming Mach 1. The latter was met with a less-than-perfect reception upon its reveal, with many saying it’s not a true Mach 1 and that it doesn’t differentiate itself enough from the GT. While we’re sad to see the GT350/R go, Ford has not stopped trying to reassure us that the Mach 1 will be a suitable replacement.
4. Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Read More: Alfa Romeo Sends Off 4C Spider In The US With Limited 33 Stradale Tributo Edition
With the 4C Coupe having been discontinued in 2018, the convertible now follows suit. The 4C has always excelled in the “simplify, then add lightness” philosophy of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and while it’s no Lotus, the 4C Spider definitely embodies that philosophy, going so far as to not even include power steering. The car only produced 237 hp from its 1.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but it also only weighed 2,487 lbs. This not only allowed it to handle very well, but also be pretty quick in a straight line, all thanks to that low power-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, it seems most people found the $67,150 price tag to be a little too steep for the featherweight Alfa and it will be discontinued for 2021.
5. BMW i8
See Also: Alpina Explains Why Its 462 HP BMW i8 Four-Cylinder Project Never Became A Reality
With its futuristic styling, the i8 stood out not just from every other BMW, but most other cars on the road. While we will miss its unique looks and all the attention they garnered, we can understand why it is being discontinued, as it didn’t really have the walk to back up the talk. Its hybrid powertrain made only 369 hp and didn’t quite deliver the performance to match the i8’s exotic appearance, leaving many potential buyers wondering why they shouldn’t just buy something that performs better for the same price.
6. Honda Civic Coupe
Read: The Death Of The Honda Civic Coupe Marks The End Of An Era
While the sedan and hatchback remain, the coupe variant of the Civic will be gone for the next generation. Being a staple of the cheap, fun performance car world, the Civic coupe and its Si variant remain fondly in the memories of many. Cheap enough to be a first car, and fun enough to be a fourth, the Civic coupe’s appeal has spread across many demographics over its lifetime. That being said, we can understand why a front-wheel-drive coupe such as the Civic is being discontinued as the segment is no longer popular.
7. Lexus GS
Driven: 2018 Lexus GS F Is Proof That Power Isn’t Everything
While the Lexus GS wasn’t too exciting, it did a very good job at what it was designed to do: be a comfortable, spacious luxury car. However, what we will really miss is the GS’ performance version, the GS F. The last of what many consider to be a traditional sport sedan, the GS F held on to its naturally aspirated V8 while its competitors turned to forced induction. Even though it made less power than its German rivals, Lexus dared to do something different from the norm. They understood that it’s not always about outright performance; sometimes it’s about the overall experience of driving the car, and in that, the GS shone. Axed to make room for the smaller and better-selling ES, the GS will likely be missed by many, and definitely by those who had the pleasure of sampling the F model.
8. Honda Fit
More: All-New Honda Fit Goes On Sale In Japan With Two Powertrains, Optional AWD
The Honda Fit was actually quite the little car. Very practical and spacious for its size, the Fit often surprised people, even its owners, about what could fit (no pun intended) inside the small hatchback. In addition, while not often talked about, it was actually a spritely little car, being able to handle pretty well due its low curb weight of about 2600 lbs. Despite everything good about it, the Fit will be discontinued for 2021 due to slow sales, and we’re sad to see it go.
What other models have been discontinued?
In addition to these eight, as listed by J.D. Power, there are many other cars being discontinued for 2021 in the United States. These include the Acura RLX, Aston Martin Rapide, Bentley Mulsanne, BMW M8, Buick Regal, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Sonic, Dodge Grand Caravan and Journey, Fiat 124 and 500L, Ferrari GTC4Lusso, Ford F-150 Raptor and Fusion, Honda Civic Si, Hyundai Elantra GT, Jaguar XF Sportbrake and XE, Kia Optima, Lincoln Continental and MKZ, Mercedes-Benz SL and SLC, and the Toyota Yaris.
It should also be noted that some of these aforementioned vehicles are being discontinued only because a successor is on the cards. Such is the case with the Ford Raptor, Honda Civic Si, Kia Optima (albeit under a different name), and Mercedes-Benz SL.
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