Formula E Reportedly Mulling ‘Extreme E’ Off-Road Racing Series

Formula E is developing a new series called "Extreme E" that would see electric SUVs race on difficult terrain in places like the Arctic and the Himalayas, reports Motorsport.com. The series is reportedly in the early stages of development, but is expected to launch in 2020, the website said.

"Extreme E--all I can say is that it's a new project that will be operated by Formula E," Alejandro Agag, the series' CEO, told Motorsport.com. Agag confirmed that 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and recently-appointed McLaren Formula 1 sporting director Gil de Ferran will lead the project.

Extreme E will reportedly use a spec chassis, but automakers will be allowed to use different bodies styled to look like production SUVs. That would make Extreme E a bit like NASCAR, where strict technical regulations are enforced but automakers clothe their race cars in distinct bodywork. Limited leeway for technical development is already the case in Formula E, where teams use a spec chassis and are only allowed to alter certain components of the powertrain.

Formula E is already popular with automakers, but an SUV-centric series would be especially relevant right now. Reigining Formula E Constructor's Champion Audi is about to launch its e-tron electric SUV. Mercedes-Benz, which is set to join Formula E next season, is prepping its EQC electric SUV, and the Jaguar I-Pace is already on sale. The latter will be used in a one-make race series supporting Formula E races.

Formula E organizers seem keen on expanding electric racing beyond single seaters. In addition to Extreme E, Formula E is expected to host Roborace events using electric cars with autonomous technology during its own race weekends. Roborace has conducted some demonstrations at Formula E events, but it's unclear when the series will get underway.

Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Friday Practice: Ferrari Leads, Perez Shines, Ericsson Flies

Rain may have fallen on the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza during the first practice session for this year's Italian Grand Prix, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the rambunctious Tifosi in attendance.

Free Practice One, the only on-track session forecasted to be rainy this weekend—was led by Force India's Sergio Perez by more than a half second over his closest rival in the downpour, Kimi Räikkönen. As rain setup knowledge has minimal value during a race weekend expected to be dry, few cars ran more than a handful of laps. Even McLaren junior Lando Norris (who borrowed Stoffel Vandoorne's car) enjoyed relatively little of the session, with his running limited to nine laps.

Scarcely two minutes and one lap into the Free Practice Two, Marcus Ericsson endured a colossal crash at the end of the pit straight, which saw his car unexpectedly spearing left into the wall under braking before tumbling end over end.

Ericsson extricated himself from the car and was taken to the medical center while the session red-flagged, although drivers weren't done having off-track sojourns for the day. Forty minutes after practice resumed, Sebastian Vettel made a detour of his own, spinning from the Parabolica across the gravel and almost into the tire wall. He was able to recover his Ferrari under its own power.

A full list of each driver's best practice time can be found below.

  1. Sebastian Vettel/Ferrari - 1:21.105, -16.762 from FP1
  2. Kimi Räukkönen/Ferrari - 1:21.375, -13.175 from FP1
  3. Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes - 1:21.392, -15.154 from FP1
  4. Valtteri Bottas/Mercedes - 1:21.803, -14.435 from FP1
  5. Max Verstappen/Red Bull - 1:22.154, -13.511 from FP1
  6. Daniel Ricciardo/Red Bull - 1:22.296, -12.911 from FP1
  7. Esteban Ocon/Force India - 1:22.930, -11.663 from FP1
  8. Sergio Perez/Force India - 1:22.942, -11.058 from FP1
  9. Charles Leclerc/Alfa Romeo Sauber - 1:22.965, -13.683 from FP1
  10. Nico Hülkenberg/Renault - 1:23.063, -13.044 from FP1
  11. Romain Grosjean/Haas - 1:23.077, -14.606 from FP1
  12. Carlos Sainz Jr./Renault - 1:23.193, -12.802 from FP1
  13. Kevin Magnussen/Haas - 1:23.233, -13.833 from FP1
  14. Pierre Gasly/Toro Rosso-Honda - 1:23.402, -12.036 from FP1
  15. Sergey Sirotkin/Williams - 1:23.514, -14.415 from FP1
  16. Brendon Hartley/Toro Rosso-Honda - 1:23.531, -11.493 from FP1
  17. Lance Stroll/Williams - 1:23.566, -14.687 from FP1
  18. Fernando Alonso/McLaren - 1:23.741, -13.685 from FP1
  19. Stoffel Vandoorne/McLaren - 1:24.084 (No FP1 Time)
  20. Marcus Ericsson/Alfa Romeo Sauber - 1:37.790 (No FP2 Time)
  21. Lando Norris/McLaren - 1:38.282 (No FP2 Time)

Study Claims Air Pollution Can Ultimately Lead to Lower Intelligence: Report

A recent study performed in China finds that air pollution leads to a substantial drop in intelligence and that people living in areas with significant air pollution have seen reduced language and arithmetic test scores equivalent to losing a year of education, according to The Guardian.

Various sources claim that air pollution kills more than a million people in China each year, which has led to a government-backed embrace of electric and low emission vehicles. In fact, China as a whole bought nearly three times more electric vehicles than Americans did last year.

The new air pollution study analyzed language and arithmetic tests on 32,000 people across China between 2010 and 2014, and compared the results to local records of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter. All three contaminants are found in vehicle emissions. Because the study followed the same individuals for several years, causal factors such as genetic differences were negated. The scientists also accounted for age-related cognition changes.

Pollution in China.

Vehicle emissions are the largest single source of air pollution in the United States. In China and other parts of the developing world, heavy use of coal is the main source of pollution, though vehicle emissions also play a big part. China has aggressively supported its electric vehicle manufacturers to combat the smog plaguing its large urban areas. Other nations, such as France, the UK, and Germany are also moving to limit vehicles seen as contributing to pollution and climate change.

“Polluted air can cause everyone to reduce their level of education by one year,” said Xi Chen, one of the study's three authors. "The effect is worse for the elderly, especially those over 64, and for men."

The research found that the longer people were exposed to polluted air, the bigger the drop in intelligence. "High air pollution can potentially be associated with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration of humans,” Derrick Ho, a researcher at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told The Guardian.

The research was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Watch This Texas Hero Save an Elderly Wrong-Way Driver on the Highway

Thomas Prado doesn't want you call him a hero. But it's hard to think of a better word for this brave Texan after he put his life on the line to chase down and stop an elderly woman who was driving the wrong way down the highway, preventing a potentially disastrous head-on collision—and the whole episode was caught on video.

Prado wrote in his now-viral Facebook post that he's seen a lot of "wild things on the road" while crisscrossing Texas as a glass delivery driver every day, but the sight of a white Chevrolet Impala heading the wrong way down US-227 in the middle of the state last week caused his heart to drop. Seconds after swerving out of the way to avoid a crash, Prado decided he couldn't wait for authorities to respond. He needed to do something, fast.

"I felt someone was in danger, or didn’t know the potential danger that they could be in," Prado told WFAA News. "[I just felt] like it was the right thing to do."

He was right. Behind the wheel of the Impala was an unidentified 94-year-old woman who clearly had no idea anything was amiss. Prado turned around as soon as he could and started following her in the correct lane of travel, trying to get her attention and recording the scene on his phone. The videos he uploaded show him speeding ahead and unsuccessfully trying to stop her from an emergency vehicle turnaround; eventually, he dives across the grassy median and physically blocks her car with his van. It's only then that she finally comes to a stop.

They're not out of danger yet, though. Straddling the shoulder line in the left lane, the two are still facing oncoming high-speed traffic, and all it would take is one driver looking down at the wrong time for disaster to strike. Still recording, Prado risks his own safety even further by walking up to the woman's door and helping her out of the vehicle. She looks frail and confused. Two more Good Samaritans from a local power company then stopped to block traffic with their trucks until police arrived, who took the woman home to her family.

Prado admitted that the methods he used "probably [weren't] the safest nor smartest," but it's clear that his actions helped prevent a true catastrophe for the woman, her family, and anyone else on the road who might have been in the wrong place at the exact wrong time.

"Moral of this all is something I've said in my post before: look after your elderly family, friends, or neighbor," he wrote on Facebook. "I'm no hero, I'm a sinner and mistake maker like you, but I saw the right thing to do and so can you."

Tesla’s Upcoming ‘Track Mode’ Only Available With Mandatory $5,000 Performance Upgrade

Tesla is taking another hit from Model 3 Performance buyers this morning, as current and potential clients took their displeasure to social media when they found out that their vehicles will not be receiving Tesla's upcoming "track mode" feature unless they're equipped with the additional $5,000 Performance Upgrade Package (PUP).

According to Tesla, the upcoming Track Mode will enable owners to squeeze a little bit more juice out of their Model 3 Performance by tweaking certain environmental variables of the car to tighten up the suspension and change overall power delivery of the car. Apparently, Track Mode was believed by many to be included with the pricier Performance variant of the Model 3.

Many individuals report that they were sold the Model 3 Performance, which is one-second faster from zero-to-60 than the Long Range All-Wheel-Drive model, by being told that track mode would be part of the vehicle's default package options. However, given the information sent via Twitter from Tesla, this appears to not be the case. At the time of writing, nearly all of the comments on the thread are slamming the automaker for the decision.

Upgrading from the all-wheel-drive model to the Performance variant raises the cost of the vehicle an additional $10,000, and purchasing the PUP is an additional $5,000. The PUP is only available when purchasing the Performance trim and, per Tesla's site, includes an increased top speed from 145mph to 155mph, 20-inch wheels, performance brakes, lowered suspension, a carbon fiber spoiler, and aluminum alloy pedals. Presumably, since Track Mode is not yet released, it has not been listed as a PUP-only upgrade.

A contrasting consideration for Tesla's reasoning could be the brakes offered alongside the Performance Upgrade Package versus the brakes which are standard among the other variants in the lineup. Though the assistance of regenerative braking can slow down the Model 3 and offset the workload required by the braking system, the larger Brembo units may be more appropriate for a play-day on the track.

Tesla may also be requiring the upgraded brakes to ensure customers have the ability to control their cars a bit better while track mode is active, thus protecting the image of its brand. The electric automaker has a history of being innovative and deploying features that other automakers have not, such as Autopilot. This has resulted in Tesla being the center of much more press coverage focusing on accidents or other negative aspects caused by the new technology.

Tesla is typically very receptive to its customer's feedback, especially on Twitter, so only time will tell how the details will play out. At the time of writing, Tesla has not responded to The Drive's request for comment.

Lockheed Pitching U.S. Air Force On F-22-F-35 Hybrid Fighter Intended For Japan

Lockheed Martin is reportedly pitching the idea of a new fighter jet that would combine features from its F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the U.S. Air Force. It is also continuing to offer a similar proposal to the Japanese government and is now reportedly willing to let companies in Japan handle a significant portion of the research and development and production of the aircraft.

Defense One’s Marcus Weisgerber got the scoop that the Maryland-headquartered defense giant was looking to sell the U.S. Air Force on the idea of hybrid design that blends elements of its two previous stealth fighter offerings. Earlier in August 2018, the Nikkei Asian Review had also revealed new details of Lockheed Martin’s ongoing discussions with Japan about a very similar-sounding aircraft, which Japanese officials hope could be ready for service by 2030.

“There’s a lot of potential in this idea [of a hybrid F-22-F-35],” David Deptula, a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General, present Dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and long-time F-35 cheerleader, told Defense One. “I’m not suggesting that we jump right into it and embrace it, but from the Japanese perspective when they are looking at and willing to invest in this kind of an alternative as opposed to trying to build an indigenous aircraft that’s not going to get close to what an F-22 can already deliver. It’s a smart move on their behalf.”

Lockheed Martin’s concept would reportedly marry the F-35’s core features, such as its advanced mission computer and extensive, inter-linked sensor suite, with an airframe design derived from that of the F-22. The company would also be able to incorporate lessons learned in stealth coatings and other complex manufacturing processes required for stealthy and other advanced aircraft that it has learned from the F-35 into the design and production of the new aircraft.

An F-35A in Japanese Air Self Defense Force markings at an official rollout ceremony in 2016.

Not only could this positively impact production cost and overall capability, but it could also significantly lower the cost per flight hour when compared to the F-22. The Raptor's radar-absorbent skin is notoriously demanding on maintainers and negatively impacts the availability and cost of operating the jet. The F-35 introduced a new, lower maintenance concept that supposedly solves many of these issues.

The firm’s Skunk Works specialized design bureau has been doing pioneering work in both rapid prototyping and manufacturing science that could apply to the project. Between the F-22, F-35, and other advanced projects, the company has gained an extensive knowledge base to draw from to potentially help keep costs down and speed up the development process of a hybrid fighter jet. Totally new stealth fighter programs have become notoriously lengthyand expensive endeavors.

The War Zone has long supported Japan's desire to procure F-22s and has proposed this exact aircraft and arrangement in the past. As we described before, if the U.S. Air Force acts even as a minor stakeholder in a project that its Japanese counterparts were leading, it could help significantly in spreading out the development cost burden. Now it seems very likely that Lockheed Martin itself is presenting this exact reality to both parties.

The company has reportedly been proposing an arrangement under which it or its subcontractors would initially build the main fuselage, engines, and mission systems in the United States, but using a steadily increasing percentage of Japanese parts, according to Nikkei. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan would build the wings to start with, which will reportedly be larger and stronger than those on the existing F-22 to hold bigger fuel tanks in order to give the new fighter an unrefueled combat radius of nearly 700 miles without the need for drop tanks that would negate its stealthy characteristics.

An F-22 with a pair of drop tanks.

But the basic design would specifically allow for the eventual substitution of both Mitsubishi Electric-supplied mission system components and IHI's XF9-1 engine. If Lockheed Martin and Japan could agree on how to implement those options, Japanese companies might find themselves responsible for more than 60 percent of the production work, Nikkei explained. Even without this more extensive involvement in the aircraft’s development and construction, the fighter jet project could offer the government in Tokyo an important opportunity for technology transfers and to get contracts for domestic firms to supply a number of smaller components.

Perhaps most importantly, the resulting aircraft would likely be both Japanese enough and distinct enough from the F-22 to avoid a number of export complications. Japan famously attempted on multiple occasions to buy Raptors, but got rebuffed by the U.S. government on each occasion. The fact that it would also feature many elements already found on the F-35 also helps with export concerns since the country is now part of that program.

A shared U.S.-Japanese stealth fighter program would offer both countries the benefits of lower unit costs. Nikkei reported that Lockheed Martin had estimated that each F-22-F-35 hybrid would cost around $216 million if the total order was for 70 aircraft. This would drop to less than $190 million if the order were to double.

This is more than twice the unit cost of a new F-35A variant at present, but is less than the estimated per-aircraft price if the U.S. Air Force decided to restart the F-22 production line on its own and agreed to buy 194 aircraft, by the service’s own calculations. Under an ideal cooperative deal, the U.S. may be able to pay for very little of the aircraft's development and other non-recurring costs, basically buying the airframes for the unit cost alone.

To put the F-22 back into production, the USAF figured these costs would amount to roughly $10B. While that notional effort would incorporate some modernized elements into the aircraft, it would not be nearly as elaborate as an upgrade as what Lockheed is supposedly pitching now and what Japan seems to be interested in.

A row of US Air Force F-22s.

Such an arrangement also presents a way for the U.S. Air Force to finally bolster the size of its F-22 fleet without having to invest heavily in a major new development program that could face opposition from senior officials or members of Congress for fear of taking money away from the F-35. It has become more and more widely accepted that the U.S. government’s decision to buy less than 200 F-22s has proven to be a poor decision in the long term and has limited the ability of those jets to fulfill the missions the Air Force intended for them. A recent Government Accountability Office review reinforced the view that the service should find ways to maximize the existing force’s potential if it cannot simply buy new Raptors.

At the same time, the Air Force is already considering acquiring vastly improved F-15Xs from Boeing to fill various roles, which you can read about in more detail here. This plan offers a low-risk way of acquiring additional aircraft with unique capabilities that would be complementary to the F-35 while also not highly disruptive to the F-35’s share of the budget.

Still, cost will almost certainly continue to be a major factor for any such project, whether the U.S. and Japan decide to work together on it or not. The Japanese government has allocated more than $50 billion in total for both development and production of the planes, which is already $10 billion more than it had suggested a domestic fifth-generation fighter jet program might cost in 2016.

Japan is also likely eager to avoid a repeat of the F-2 fighter jet, which it developed with significant help from Lockheed Martin. Though derived from the F-16, the jets were much more expensive than their American counterparts, in no small part due to the small number produced but also due to the aircraft's then cutting-edge AESA radar. Additionally, the project failed to lead to many of the expected industrial offsets.

Lockheed Martin worked together with Japan on its last

Of course, U.S. President Donald Trump has also formed a very close relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and has advocated for increased promotion of U.S. weapons abroad. Japan has already announced plans to buy a wide array of new and advanced American military equipment.

It is possible that the Trump Administration, or the president himself, might intervene to try and finagle a better deal for Japan in order to get it “the very best” fighters and funnel another major contract to Lockheed Martin – another Trump favorite. Nikkei’s report also noted that Lockheed Martin’s plan to let Japanese companies do most of the production domestically could then require the export of significant amounts advanced equipment and other components to support that work, which could have a positive impact on America’s trade deficit, something that has been a hot-button issue for Trump personally, despite his policies that have exacerbated the issue.

The potential benefits of a shared U.S.-Japanese program to develop an F-22-F-35 hybrid have already been clear, as were the advantages of Japan leading the effort and putting up a significant amount of the funding. Now, as predicted, the Air Force appears to be at least entertaining the idea of turning this idea into a reality.

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

Listen to a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Scream Like a Banshee While Doing Donuts

A video of a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk doing donuts on a wet field is the perfect reminder of just how awesome superchargers are, especially when paired to a 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine with 707-horsepower.

This footage recently uploaded to YouTube isn't the most in-depth or interesting you'll ever see on the mighty Trackhawk, but it certainly makes up for it in auditory pleasure. The combination of a rain-soaked field, all-wheel drive, and 645 pound-feet of torque simply proved to be too tempting for the hoonigan behind the wheel, who simply let her rip and had a bit of fun at the expense of some fresh grass.

Despite being baptized as a Jeep the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk isn't exactly designed for off-roading, but that doesn't mean it can't enjoy itself off the road, obviously. After all, it's clever all-wheel-drive system would be more than capable of tackling some trails, but its high-performance street tires and calibration settings make sure it delivers brutal acceleration, instead. How brutal? Jeep claims a zero to 60 time of 3.5 seconds. Of course, that's before it receives the new Redeye treatment.

If a Jeep doing donuts isn't your thing, you can always see it do something even more unconventional, like drag race a McLaren 570S.

Chula Vista Police Holds off on Patrolling Streets With Drones Due to Public Perception

The Chula Vista Police Department has worked alongside Cape under the UAS Integration Pilot Program since May, building on the department’s drone program launched in 2015, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. It recently began using drones outside of training exercises and has deployed UAVs in official warrant sweeps.

We first learned about Cape’s service in June, when the Ensenada police department in Mexico announced a stunning 10 percent decrease in crime attributed to the mere addition of one drone and Cape’s aerial telepresence platform. Earlier this month, the company joined the San Diego Fire Department in deploying the first public UAS Integration Pilot Program drone in the city’s history.

In terms of Cape’s aerial telepresence platform, it essentially allows autonomous drones to aerially patrol as police officers on the ground access the camera feeds’ live streams, and thereby do their jobs more efficiently with more information at their disposal. For Ensenada, Mexico, Cape’s services have reportedly led to over 500 arrests and a 10 percent reduction in overall crime since last October. CEO Chris Rittler, of course, is excited at seeing his work play out in the real world.

“Chula Vista is really setting the benchmark for the whole of the U.S., which is really just super impressive,” he said.

While an increasing number of public safety offices across the country are gravitating toward standardized drone implementation, the Chula Vista PD is treading softly, citing public perception of drones in law enforcement as the primary reason to take things slow.

“In most things, we try to be in the cutting edge,” said Capt. Vern Sallee, who manages the Chula PD’s drone program. “In this one, we purposefully tried not to. We didn’t want to be the agency out there making the mistakes.”

Sallee is aware of the prevalent dystopian image, and the warranted fears on behalf of the public regarding the modern, aerial panopticon that is law enforcement with drone fleets at its disposal. In that sense, Sallee has presumably opted to allow the collective thinking surrounding drone use by police to change slowly, in order to give people enough time to acclimate.

“We realize…that’s the biggest concern our community has,” he said. “They don’t want a police surveillance state. They don’t like the idea of the Police Department essentially having free aerial reign to look into their backyards.”

To his point, there is a sizable backlash against drones in law enforcement, as evidenced by various chapters of the ACLU demanding police departments commit to their publicly stated appeasements in writing or comments at town halls in places like Wichita and Austin. Fairfax, Virginia and Denver, Colorado have delayed and shelved their drone programs for good due to public concerns. As such, Sallee is simply observing how various communities have reacted to drone use by police departments, and arguably, wisely so.

In order to sway public perception in its favor, the Chula Vista Police Department has met with residents and fostered a relationship with the ACLU. In the future, the department plans to launch an informative website that provides visitors with flight pattern information of any and all police drones, with deployment justification and reasoning explained.

“I would’ve thought we would’ve had more resistance, said Lt. Chris Kelley. “The signals I get is that they want this technology used to find grandpa when he wanders off.”

Currently, we as a society are at an extremely important fulcrum point, where federal, state, and local legislation is drafted seemingly every other week. As drones are merely a tool that can either be used for productive or destructive reasons, so they are as tools of the police. It is simply up to us to ensure that in the hands of power, those tools are used for the former, instead of the latter.

Hyundai Elantra GT Will Get N-Line Version but Not the Full N: Report

According to a recent report, the North American Elantra GT, which is essentially a rebadged Hyundai i30, won't be getting the full N high-performance treatment. Instead, it will be offered in a slightly warmed-up N-Line guise.

When Hyundai rolled out its N performance brand the first car to wear the exclusive badge was the i30 N hot hatch, which sadly isn't sold in North America. But according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing dug up by Jalopnik, a car known as the "Elantra GT N Line" can be seen in a Hyundai VIN decoding guide for the 2019 model year.

N-Line Hyundais feature sportier trimmings inside and out as well as hardware that's slightly tuned for more spirited driving, but are ultimately a step below from the full-beans N. Think Audi's S Line, BMW M Performance, or F Sport from Lexus.

According to the document, the new N-Line hatchback won't get a new engine but it will utilize to the powerplants found in the regular Elantra GT: a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 161 and 201 horsepower, respectively.

In Europe, Hyundai already sells the i30 in N-Line trim which includes more aggressive front and rear fascias, dual exhaust tips, bolstered seats, aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and of course, a good amount of N-Line badging throughout. Performance-wise, it receives bigger front brakes surrounded by a set of sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber as well as a sportier tune for its engine and suspension.

We've reached out to Hyundai for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

2019 Lexus RC: Borrowing Heavily From Its Fancier Siblings

Year, Make, Model: 2019 Lexus RC

Topline: The luxury coupe enters its fifth year of production after having been initially introduced in 2015. The new design tweaks aim to emulate its sexier and more expensive sibling, the LC, but the RC will remain nearly identical until a replacement arrives in the near future.

What's New: The RC benefits from new headlights that eliminate the previous concave-shaped housings and it also receives separate daytime running lights. A new front bumper incorporates an updated spindle grille while the rear bumper now has functional vents that sit directly below the new taillights. The F Sport trim changes up the spindle grille's mesh pattern and adds 19-inch alloy wheels. Blue Vortex Metallic, pictured below, is a new color option. Lastly, new bushings and shock absorbers have been installed and throttle and steering response have also been sharpened.

Quotable: "The fresh new styling of the 2019 RC retains all the virtues of the previous model yet further refines the design language first established by the flagship LC coupe. Inside the cabin, everything from the high- quality materials to the design of controls and gauges were reevaluated to maximize driving pleasure," Lexus said in a press release.

What You Need to Know: In North America, the RC will retain its two powertrains: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 241 horsepower and a 3.5-liter V-6 with 311 horsepower.

The automaker didn't confirm when the new model will reach dealerships or if customers should expect an increase in price (the 2018 RC starts at $40,640). Lexus told The Drive that "pricing and availability will be announced closer to the official unveil at the 2018 Paris Motor Show in early October." The 2019 Lexus RC will debut in the French capital in the first week of October.