Americans have spent their weeks of quarantine one of two ways: Some binged Tiger King and spent the next month telling everyone about it, while others took on projects, like learning to bake bread or creating highway-capable Little Tikes Cozy Coupes. In the spirit of the latter, one Reddit user replaced the door chime in his wife's Subaru Impreza with something altogether more entertaining—Toto's Africa.
"She saw the original video, said she liked it, so I made her one," explained tenbits.
But as documented in a long build thread hosted on Imgur, it turned out to be simpler to use chips pre-loaded with MP3 audio files than to go eight-bit, so tenbits wound up using the original Toto track instead. He showcased his work in a shot-for-shot homage to the video that inspired his build, which ends on a surprising note: His modified door chime can also play his wife's other favorite songs, such as Dolly Parton's 9 to 5.
We've messaged tenbits to find out what other songs he has loaded up for his wife—one hopes that Rick Astley wasn't left out of the final rotation.
For general lubrication purposes, it’s hard to beat the versatility of lithium grease. It’s temperature and weather resistant. It also stays put wherever it’s sprayed or spread, thanks to the fact that it goes on wet and retains its lubrication properties after it dries. It lasts a long time, and it’s a great choice for everything from garage doors to boats — remember, this stuff doesn’t wash off! It’s especially useful for lubricating points of metal on metal contact, such as bike chains and car door hinges. It’s also useful for lubricating things like brake and clutch cables. And best of all, it won’t harm plastic, metal, or rubber. If you’re not using lithium grease, you should start. Whether you’re a home hobbyist or a trade professional, you need a quality can of lithium grease in your tool cabinet. We’ve assembled a list of the five best brands on sale right now.
If you just want a great general use lithium grease for household tasks, WD40 Specialist White Lithium Grease Spray is right for you. When it comes to general purpose lubrication, WD40 is a brand that needs no introduction. This is part of their “specialist” line, which are specialized lubricants, but without the premium price you might expect. Like most other WD40 products, this one includes an ergonomic sprayer with an integrated straw that you won’t lose. Just about everyone has a can of WD40 out in their garage or tool shed. It’s high time you add a can of WD40 white lithium grease to the tool cabinet alongside the good old brown stuff in the blue can.
If you’re looking for precision control and application, then you need Permatex White Lithium Grease. Almost all of the other brands on this list are of the aerosol spray variety. This grease is packaged in a small squeeze tube, similar to many of Permatex’s other excellent gasket-maker and thread-locker products. Most folks will find that the medium 1.5-ounce tube will last a long time, but it doesn’t hurt to pick up two tubes. After all, white lithium grease doesn’t really ever go bad. In fact, that staying power is one of the things that has made it so useful! Lithium grease is inexpensive, so stock up and save yourself a trip to the store later.
If you’re looking to save a buck here and there, CRC White Lithium Grease is likely your best option. If you use white lithium grease a lot for work, you’ll want to save money where you can. Every dollar counts, and this CRC product gets the job done just as well as the others while saving you (or your boss) money. So what are you giving up at this price? Not much. The can of CRC uses a more traditional aerosol sprayer, with an equally traditional red straw taped to the can. As far as what’s inside the can, you’ll find the same high-quality lithium grease that’s great for door hinges, bicycle chains, and anything else you need to lubricate.
If you just want a specialized lubricant for your garage door, try 3-In-One Professional Garage Door Lubricant. This lubricant is specially engineered to lube all the parts of your garage door – track, hinges, chains, pulleys, and latches – with a quick-drying lithium grease formula that doesn’t attract much dust. This product also includes the aptly-named Smart Straw attachment. The straw is included in the ergonomic nozzle, and folds out of the way when not in use. If you press the nozzle with the straw folded down, it’s just like spraying a regular can with no straw. For precision application or wide coverage on all garage door parts, this product simply has no equal.
Lucas Oil White Lithium Grease is simply the highest-performing grease of its kind available. It’s NLGI-2 rated for uniform temperature resistance and consistency. This grease is packaged in a toothpaste-style squeeze tube for precision application for automotive, marine, or powersports applications. If it’s tough enough for those conditions, you’ll be pleased with its performance around the house, too. We especially like this grease for protecting trailer hitch balls from corrosion, as it’s rated for extreme pressure as well as being waterproof. It’s also great for sliding windows and doors. Given enough time, we’re sure that you will find many more household uses for it.
Golf carts are useful when you’re driving around the green, but they’re also incredibly handy in many other ways. Whether you rely on your golf cart to get around your neighborhood, use it around a school or corporate campus, or roll around campgrounds, golf carts are smaller, easier to drive, and more efficient than getting behind the wheel of your car. And because golf carts rely on battery power to run, they can be cheaper transportation alternatives. However, you’ll need to buy golf car batteries in order to power your model. Golf cart batteries come in many different styles, voltages and amps, and even quality levels. From the charging time to the mileage of a single charge to the battery’s longevity, there are a lot of different factors to consider when purchasing a new power solution for your golf cart. And trying to determine which batteries are the best of the many options available isn’t easy. We’ve rounded up the best golf cart batteries that are worth your investment right here.
The Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Battery is a solid, all-around quality golf cart battery. Featuring 12 volts of power and 100 amp-hours of charge, this battery can power your golf cart efficiently on every charge. You can mount this rechargeable battery in any position needed for your golf cart, and its shock and vibration resistance won’t affect your ability to drive or ride comfortably. It’s also spill-proof and maintenance-free, which means you’ll never need to add water or acid. It measures 12.17 inches by 6.61 inches by 9.16 inches and weighs 63.93 pounds. For easy installation, this battery can use your existing cables and other battery hardware. Backed by a one-year warranty, you’ll be able to give this golf cart battery many, many tries with confidence.
The UPG Sealed Lead Acid Battery is a great value in a deep cycle battery with enough power for any golf cart’s needs. It features 12 volts and 35 amp hours, and its small size makes it perfectly portable. This battery is lightweight and measures 10.25 inches by 10 inches by 6.5 inches. When connected and in use, you can expect to get about 2 1/2 hours of run time on a single charge. Users love its charging capacity, which offers great value and power for the size, charge time, and price point. Don’t need to replace your golf cart battery just yet? You can actually carry this UPG Sealed Lead Acid Battery as a backup power source if you’d like. It’s a great alternative to have on hand if you find yourself needing power in a pinch.
If you’re looking for a battery that can perform when necessary, the Weize 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle Battery is a great pick. With 12 volts and 100 amp hours of charge, this battery can easily be installed with your own harness or mounting tools. It weighs 60 pounds, measures 12.09 inches by 6.65 inches by 9.17 inches, and delivers a number of great benefits. This battery is built for high performance, and it’s a deep cycle battery, which means it offers a long service life and deep discharge recovery. Maintenance-free and rechargeable, you won’t have any worries when you use this battery for months and years to come. It’s the perfect high-performance level for electric vehicles like golf carts. Backed by a 30-day refund policy and a one-year warranty, this golf cart battery is powerful and trustworthy.
The Odyssey PC680 Battery is a fantastic choice for anyone who’s looking for a speedy recharging time. This golf cart battery features a 70 percent longer cycle life compared to conventional deep cycle batteries, and it delivers up to 400 cycles at a high-stable voltage for longer periods of time. And it also recharges faster once the battery’s been depleted. You’ll enjoy the highest recharge efficiency available today, and the battery will reach a full 100 percent charge in just four to six hours. Once you’re ready to take your golf cart back out and onto the road or course, you’ll love the sturdiness and limited vibrations of this battery. It features a vibration-resistant design to protect against high-impact shocks once it’s been mounted. You’ll be confident with this battery powering your golf cart on any kind of terrain.
To maximize the possibilities of what your golf cart battery can power, you need the HOMELYLIFE DC/DC Voltage Converter. You can use this converter to enhance your golf cart — it’s perfect for adding lighting around the cart’s roof or even underneath its seating. This excellent accessory features an input voltage of 36 volts, with a range of 30 to 50 volts. It includes a 12v output with synchronous rectification technology, which improves the conversion efficiency of the converter itself. This converter is easy to assemble, featuring smart chip technology and over-current, overload, low-load, short-circuit, and overheat protection. Built inside a compact aluminum shell that’s waterproof, dust-proof, and includes anti-shock protection, you can use this great golf cart battery accessory in a number of different ways. You won’t have to worry about the power you’re supplying from your battery to other items on your golf cart, whether it’s a fan, lighting, or other cool tools.
The U.S. military's top command for operations in Africa says that Russia has sent at least 14 combat jets to Libya and that Russian military pilots are flying them. It has also released additional satellite imagery shot last week showing two MiG-29 Fulcrums at Al Jufrah Air Base in the center of that country. This comes a day after it first revealed evidence that the Kremlin had sent the aircraft to bolster forces fighting on behalf of strongman Khalifa Haftar against Libya's U.N.-recognized government.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Tweeted out the new imagery and information on May 27, 2020. The satellite images are dated May 20, a day before the first reports began to emerge that Russian MiG-29s, as well as Su-24 Fencers, had touched down in Libya.
"Over multiple days in May, Russian MiG 29s and SU-24 fighters departed Russia. At that time, all the aircraft have Russian Federation Air Force markings," one of the Tweets reads. "After they land at Khmeimin Air Base in Syria, the MiG 29s are repainted and emerge with no national markings."
"They are flown by Russian military members & escorted by Russian fighters based in Syria to Libya, landing in Eastern Libya near Tobruk for fuel," another Tweet continues. "At least 14 newly unmarked Russian aircraft are then delivered to Al Jufra Air Base in Libya."
The satellite images show various supporting equipment, including at least one APA-5 generator truck, used for starting aircraft engines on the ground, also in place at Al Jufrah. Some of this equipment is seen clustered around one of the hardened aircraft shelters at the southern end of the base. The War Zone had previously noted that MiG-29s and any other Russian aircraft were likely concealed in those structures for their protection, especially given the threat of strikes from armed Turkish drones.
Further satellite imagery from private intelligence firm ImageSat International that was shot on May 23 shows other developments at Al Jufrah that appears linked to the MiG-29 deployment. This includes the construction of a small motor pool near the hardened aircraft shelters that the Fulcrums are using and the erection of a new radar, which could help with basic air traffic control tasks, as well as improve general situational awareness of the skies in the vicinity, as operations at the base increase.
AFRICOM's description of the pilots as "Russian military members" is interesting given that U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, the command's top officer, had described them as "Russian mercenary pilots flying Russian-supplied aircraft to bomb Libyans" in an official press release on May 26. This further points to Russia utilizing what we at The War Zone are calling "Little Green Planes" with, at best, semi-sheep-dipped pilots and support personnel in Libya.
The new detail that the Russian combat jets made stops in Tobruk before continuing on to other locations in Libya also fills in an important gap in the previously available information. It is around 1,300 miles from Russia's Khmeimim Air Base in Syria to Al Jufrah in Libya, which is largely beyond the maximum range for many MiG-29 variants. It was not previously clear how the aircraft would have been able to make the hop without the benefit of aerial refueling or landing and refueling somewhere.
Tobruk, in the far northeastern corner of Libya, situated less than 80 miles from the Egyptian border, is around 725 miles from Khmeimim, a much more manageable trip for the MiG-29s. From Tobruk, it's around 510 more miles to Al Jufrah. It's less than 165 miles from Tobruk to Al Khadim Air Base, where other satellite imagery suggests at least some of the Su-24s have deployed.
A map showing a straight line between Khmeimim Air Base in Syria, at far right, and Al Jufrah Air Base in Libya, at far left, with Tobruk in between. Al Khadim Air Base, situated to the west of Tobruk, is also shown. This also highlights how it is a relatively straight shot from Khmeimim to Tobruk to Al Jufrah.
All told, Russia seems to have intervened in Libya in a new and big way that will have significant ramifications for the conflict going forward. The Kremlin's immediate impetus seems to have been to stabilize the position of Haftar, a strongman friendly to Moscow, just as it did in Syria on behalf of Bashar Al Assad in 2015, which also started with a major infusion of combat aircraft. The LNA has suffered a number of serious defeats and other setbacks against Turkish-backed GNA-aligned forces in recent weeks.
In the past few days, there have been indications that LNA forces, including Wagner mercenaries, have been evacuating from the city of Bani Walid, situated some 90 miles southeast of Tripoli, and moving further southeast toward the greater Al Jufrah district. This would make good sense as it would put them closer to the added protective air cover that the Russian jets can now provide from while operating from the air base in that region.
However, it seems unlikely that Haftar, who rejected a Russian-Turkish brokered ceasefire deal in January, has given up his designs on taking over the country. Last week, the LNA also promised to launch an unprecedented air campaign against the GNA and allies, including Turkish forces in Libya.
With Russian airpower behind Haftar's aims, the conflict is likely to escalate even more now. What that might mean if Turkey's troops, or ships offshore, were to come under fire remains to be seen, but a flare-up in Syria earlier this year shows that officials in Ankara are unlikely to back down in pursuit of their own geopolitical aims. NATO member Turkey's response to Haftar gaining substantial aerial might be in the form of Russian tactical jets may be to insert its own high-performance fighter aircraft into the conflict, which would set the stage for one remarkably complex and volatile proxy war right on NATO's doorstep.
The 2021 Ford F-150 will have loads of tech that's far from common for the average workhorse. Big screens? Yup. Hybrid power? Looks like it. But according to a recent report from Muscle Cars and Trucks, it'll have at least one piece of equipment that's decisively utilitarian: an onboard generator meant for use at the job- or camp-site.
With a power inverter generator system, the list of possible use cases is near-endless. Essentially, it provides a rolling power grid for users to plug into when working or camping remotely. If you need to use an electric skill saw or simply blow up a $50 air mattress, this is the tool you want.
Said power would likely be accessible from the truck's bed, though there won't be a clunky unit taking up space in the box. Instead, think of AC and USB outlets that are flush-mounted and virtually invisible when not in use. Not only will it offer a heap of utility, but it'll also save you space while maximizing efficiency.
Ford has actually commissioned several SEMA builds in the past that boasted generator setups of their own, so it's possible the Blue Oval has been prototyping the equipment for quite some time.
MC&T reports that this feature will be available on both gas-only and hybrid 2021 F-150s, though no mention of the Powerstroke diesel variant has been made.
If Ford does indeed offer a power inverter generator on the next-gen F-150, it'll nicely complement the truck's anticipated work and play features. As we touched on earlier, the pickup's cab is expected to be packed with larger screens than before, supposedly with more accessible toggles via Ford's upcoming SYNC4 infotainment system. Likewise, spy photos show a unique stowable shifter that's mounted in between the front seats, which will be useful for…something. Oh, and there's also the plethora of drive modes that'll help the truck traverse different terrains with ease.
Most houses have trouble with air circulation, whether or not they are well built. Although the heat of the summer months often bring this problem to the forefront, a little supplemental air circulation could benefit your home all year long. By moving the air around the home with a cooling fan you can create a milder temperature in your home — one that makes it more comfortable regardless of outside temperatures, While built-in ceiling fans are great for most living rooms, they aren’t always practical for every room. That’s where cooling fans really shine. Cooling fans come in all different shapes, sizes, and designs. Most are affordable to run all hours of the day or night, and can be placed in any room and even easily moved around to better accommodate your air circulation needs. We looked over some of the best designs, from traditional box and oscillating fans to modern tower and bladeless fans, and compiled a list of the best cooling fans on the market to help you find the right one for you.
Honeywell has been a trusted source for quality heating and cooling products for decades so it is no surprise it makes the best overall cooling fan on the market. The Honeywell HYF290B Quietset Whole-Room Tower Fan is a tower fan that is small enough to fit anywhere yet powerful enough to rid any room of stuffiness. It comes with a remote control so you do not have to keep getting up to adjust the settings. Eight speed settings allow the user full control over the circulation, while Quiet Set Technology reduces noise. It also has an oscillating feature which is especially useful for a larger room. This is an all-around excellent fan that has all of the features you need.
Best Cooling Fan For Fresher Air
Lasko Products Portable Electric 42" Oscillating Tower Fan with Fresh Air Ionizer
By increasing indoor circulation, a cooling fan naturally increases indoor air quality. But by adding an ionizer to the mix Lasko has created the best cooling fan for fresher air. The Lasko Products Portable Electric 42" Oscillating Tower Fan with Fresh Air Ionizer is 42 inches of osculating, ionizing, stale air-busting power. This state-of-the-art cooling fan not only creates more circulation but also reduces the amount of positively charged ions in the air, essentially ridding inside air of dust, pollen, bacteria, and other allergens. The small footprint is only 13 inches square, assuring every room has the space for fresh, circulated comfort. It has three quiet speed settings, features a built-in timer, and comes with a remote.
The Taotronics 36” Oscillating Tower Fan has topped our list as the best bladeless cooling fan. This fan is the perfect fan for people with small children or curious pets. It features a wide 65 degree angle osculation and a 20 feet per second velocity for the ultimate wide and smooth circulation. The oversized, ultra-clear LED display makes it easy to control the three speeds, three modes, and the 12-hour timer. The included remote control ensures comfort is always at your fingertips. The 36 inch tall bladeless fan is the perfect size and can easily be stored in a corner or carried from room to room. It is the perfect solution for poor circulation in the living room, kitchen, or bedroom.
The Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan is the best bladed cooling fan. Even though it has blades similar to a more traditional fan, its circulation pattern — which can only be described as a perfect mix between a tornado and a vortex, hence the name — is anything but traditional. This fan utilizes deeply pitched blades paired with an inlet guide cone, to move air as far as 100 feet. It is also equipped with a chrome glide bar so you can direct the airflow exactly where you need it to go. The controls are simple to understand and allow for four different speed settings. While this fan is probably not the choice if you’re looking for a fan that moves a little bit of air in all directions, it is more than powerful enough to provide you with enough circulation directed at a single location.
For personal use in an office or at home, it’s hard to beat the Trustech Air Circulator Fan. It is equipped with high and low cooling modes to provide you with maximum comfort and quiet operation. The tilting feature allows you to direct the flow of air to where it is needed the most. Although it is a rather powerful fan, its compact size makes it easy to carry and position without taking up too much space. It can even be placed on a desktop or end table. The cooling features of this fan are on par with some of the fans twice its size. But what really sets this fan apart is its two heating modes. It also features automatic overheat and tip-over switch safety systems.
A strong odor can be absolutely overwhelming. When you encounter a not-so-pleasant odor, like days-old sweaty laundry, pet messes and accidents, or a foul food scent in your trash can, it can make you feel physically sick. And unfortunately, it’s not easy to get rid of disgusting odors that are that strongly scented. You can’t always open a window and eliminate the unpleasant smell with some fresh air. Sometimes, odors can even develop in surprising areas, like the fabric of your car’s seats, on floor mats, and in the air of enclosed spaces. There is a way to eliminate odors of all kinds: you just need an effective, quality odor eliminating spray. A good odor eliminator can actually work to dissolve what’s creating a foul, unpleasant smell. From room sprays to small space sprays to powerfully formulated sprays, there’s a whole host of products that can work as odor eliminators. But you need to choose the right one in order to achieve effective relief from the odors you can’t stand. Check out the following best choices for odor eliminator sprays.
Best Overall Odor Eliminator Spray
Citrus Magic Natural Odor Eliminating Air Freshener
If you’re looking for an odor eliminator spray that really works on all different kinds of foul scents, you need to try Citrus Magic Natural Odor Eliminating Air Freshener. It doesn’t mask bad odors — this odor eliminator spray actually removes them. Featuring a bright citrus-y scent, this spray can destroy odors as soon as it’s sprayed into the air or onto fabrics. It’s made from 100 percent active ingredients that include pure and natural citrus oils, and it won’t fill the air with ineffective items like water, gas, or perfume. This spray lasts up to four times longer than conventional aerosol sprays, which means it gets to work and sticks around until odors are truly gone. You’ll immediately notice the difference with Citrus Magic, as it will leave your space smelling fresh and clean instantly.
If you’re searching for an odor eliminator spray that’s all-natural but still effective against powerfully strong odors, check out Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 Odor Destroyer. This odor eliminating spray is available in scented or unscented varieties, and every bottle features 24 ounces of triple-action formula. That special formula works to eliminate all airborne, fabric, and hard surface odors with every spray. It can instantly break down odors, and it won’t mask foul smells with an overbearing fragrance. When used, Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 will actually destroy whatever is causing your odors on contact using a bio-enzymatic formula. This spray can eliminate pet odors, carpet odors, tough airborne odors, and even odors that can linger on surfaces like tile. And it’s perfectly safe to use on carpet, cloth, clothing, and even pet products.
Room sprays and fragrances commonly used to cover up odors can trigger those with allergies, but the Zero Odor Multi-Purpose Odor Eliminator won’t cause any problems for those with breathing woes. This US-made odor eliminator spray is made with non-toxic ingredients that are biodegradable and non-allergenic. When sprayed, this product will permanently eliminate odors in any room or location, from the kitchen to the bathroom to the interior of your vehicle. It’s so effective it can actually get rid of strong skunk odor. Additionally, Zero Odor’s spray won’t cover up or mask odors. It actually eliminates them, leaving no scents or smells behind. It’s as strong and effective as industrial-strength air fresheners, but it won’t cause you to struggle with powerful fake fragrances or allergy-triggering chemicals.
Often, products with natural ingredients can be less effective — but that isn’t the case with Fresh Wave Odor Eliminator Spray. This all-natural odor eliminator spray actually gets the job done, removing odors even without powerful chemicals. Each eight-ounce bottle contains no harsh chemicals, no masking fragrances, and no harmful ingredients. It’s perfectly safe to spray and use frequently, in any kind of space. The spray earned a “Safer Choice” label from the EPA, which certifies that it’s non-toxic, non-GMO, and non-hazardous to people, pets, and the planet. This is a powerful natural air freshener and odor eliminator, and it can work on pet smells, smoke, trash cans, mildew, sweat laundry, and bathrooms. It’ll deodorize shoes, clothes, closets, furniture, and all kinds of upholstery. And it works fast, too. Fresh Wave can eliminate and deodorize anything in just seconds.
If you’re dealing with severe, strong odors that are just unbearable, you need to try FunkAway Aerospray Extreme Odor Eliminator. This 13.5-ounce odor eliminator spray is strong, powerful, and incredibly effective. And it’s designed specifically for extreme odors. The spray is made with a powerful, heavy-duty formula that includes an exclusive OM complex, which eliminates even the toughest odors. You can use this spray on shoes, clothing, sports gear, upholstery, and so much more. It’s highly effective at eliminating smells that come from athletes’ gear and clothing, sweat scents from workout clothing, camping equipment, and even gross furniture or fabric smells. It truly gets rid of the “funk” that’s living in your air, no matter the cause of the smell. Even more importantly, this spray is non-toxic and safe for pets.
Automakers have been playing a huge role in keeping the community safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. From manufacturing personal protective equipment to life-saving ventilators, the supply chain and production line aspect have proven to be crucial to fulfill America's needs during this trying time. Now, Ford is using the lessons it has learned over the past several months to help improve its vehicles for first responders, including an all-new update to its Police Interceptor Utility vehicles to bake away viruses in the cabin.
In late March, Ford engineers came up with an idea to help sanitize and neutralize the spread of COVID-19 inside of its vehicles by way of heat. The team of engineers then worked with Ohio State University to determine the optimal temperature which is needed to reduce the viral concentration inside of the cabin and designed a process to easily complete the task.
After exiting the vehicle and ensuring that it's clear of occupants, the officer can initiate an "Interior Cabin Heat Soak." For vehicles model year 2016 and newer, the sanitization process is triggered after an officer presses the cruise control buttons in a specific sequence. Older Police Interceptors will need to utilize an external tool that connects to the vehicle's OBDII port.
Once initiated, the process displays a notification on the dashboard and flashes the vehicle's lights in a pre-set pattern to notify those nearby that the sanitation process has begun. The vehicle then revs its engine and pumps hot coolant into its heater core, eventually overheating the interior to a staggering 133 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Once that's finished, the vehicle then initiates a cool-down process and flashes its lights one last time to indicate completion. Ford says that using this method, officers are able to neutralize 99 percent of viral contaminates in crevices and hard-to-reach areas without using additional chemical treatments.
After working with six police departments across the nation to pilot the solution, including the New York City and Los Angeles police departments, Ford has officially released the new sanitation process as a software update available to all 2013-2019 Police Interceptor Utility customers in the U.S., Canada, and other customers around the globe. Large fleet customers can install the update using their own diagnostic tools, while smaller departments can work with local Ford dealers to complete the update.
This approach is certainly different than Honda's measures for its Odyssey, which utilizes pressure zones in the cabin to keep the driver and front-seat passenger safe. However, it's reassuring to know that other automakers are working to keep front line responders safe.
Just like its archrival over at Mercedes-Benz, the BMW 5 Series is getting a facelift for 2021. Keen Bimmer fans will easily spot this new model's sharper, more chiseled look but there are a couple of enhancements that go beyond just cosmetics.
For those who don't spend all their free time looking at BMWs on the internet, this revised 5 Series gets a bigger kidney grille and sleeker adaptive LED headlights that reminds us of its big 7 Series brother. Its reworked taillights get some black mascara and "three-dimensional lenses." The current 5 Series was in no way a bad-looking car but we think this new one is a marked improvement, not something that can be said of all mid-cycle refreshes. Also somewhat unexpected is the fact that the 2021 5 Series has grown 1.2 inches in length, despite it not sporting a new platform.
Just like before, BMW's mid-level sedan will be available in four levels of intensity: the 248-horsepower 530i, 288-hp 530e plug-in hybrid, 335-hp 540i, or the 523-hp M550i xDrive. All-wheel drive is optional on all but the M550i, where it's the only drivetrain choice, as the car's name suggests.
New for 2021, however, is a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for the 540i which can aid fuel economy by recuperating energy lost during deceleration, smoothing out auto stop-start, and completely turning the gas engine off during steady coasting up to 99 mph in Eco Pro or Comfort mode. It'll even be able to add another 11 hp's worth of grunt when driving briskly between the lights.
What's more, the plug-in 530e's 288 horses represent a 40 total system hp bump over the previous version thanks to a 181-hp 2.0-liter, a 107-hp electric motor, and a new Sport mode-only XtraBoost function that pumps out the extra ponies for up to 10 seconds at wide-open throttle.
Climbing inside, the 2021 5er's screens have grown to match the ones in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class exactly, with a digital instrument cluster and center infotainment touchscreen that both measure 12.3 inches. (Last year's center stack was just 10.25 inches.) It'll run iDrive 7 and, naturally, come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and BMW's own voice-activated personal assistant.
Prices start at $55,195 for a base 2021 BMW 530i and go all the way to $77,795 and beyond for the M550i xDrive. Orders open sometime this month with deliveries scheduled for July. While nothing official's been announced just yet, expect this refreshed 5 Series' look to make its way to the high-performance M5 soon.
In a wrap-up of new sports cars expected to launch by the end of 2021, Japan's Best Car reports that the GR Yaris's launch later this year will be followed up by the reveal of a model called the Corolla Sport GRMN—not the GR Corolla as we've speculatively called it. Their report corroborates rumors that the caliente Corolla will be powered by the same 1.6-liter turbo-three found in the GR Yaris, in a state of tune producing up to 268 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Toyota reportedly won't limit the shared parts to the GR Yaris's engine, either; the Corolla Sport GRMN will reportedly mirror its smaller sibling by also offering a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive.
If you're interested in such a drivetrain but for some reason don't want to be seen behind the wheel of a Corolla Hatchback, rumors suggest in February that the GR Yaris' drivetrain will resurface in at least one other model. That model, however, is reportedly expected to be the next generation C-HR, which will reportedly launch by the end of 2021, and whose GR variant is expected in 2022. That was before COVID-19 rocked the automotive industry, though, so don't be too surprised if Toyota delays all its forthcoming GR products by a few months.
We're just happy to finally get a rally-inspired Toyota hatch—it's been a long time coming.