Sunbeam: Suzuki, Mercury: A new generation of SUVs
The new generation SUV will be a big part of Sunbeam’s strategy in the U.S. The company is looking to get more consumers into SUVs as the cost of gasoline continues to rise and the industry continues to adapt.
That is where the Sunbeam Xtreme comes in.
Sunbeam says it is the first brand to offer a true hybrid vehicle that combines the best features of a gas-powered SUV and a hybrid sedan.
The new Xtrend SUV will come in two versions: the Xtension Xtron, which will come with a 3.6-liter turbocharged V-6, and the XT3, which gets a 2.5-liter engine and a 6-speed manual transmission.
Both the XTs are powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 and a six-speed automatic transmission.
It’s a powerful combination, and that’s why Sunbeam has been aggressively courting hybrid automakers in recent years.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring a new generation to the market, and I think we’re at the beginning of the best year we’ve ever had in the SUV segment,” said Jim Gagnon, executive vice president of Sunbess SUV, a subsidiary of SunPower.
The Xtenders will hit the road in the second half of 2017, with the first batch expected to arrive in 2019.
The SUV will have more performance than the previous model, but it will be more affordable.
The premium model will cost $50,000 and the base model will set you back $50 and up.
The first model will also come with Sunbeam-specific paint schemes and options like a high-performance heated front air dam, front-axle heated steering wheel, and LED daytime running lights.
The next model, which is expected to be announced at the Detroit Auto Show in April, will be similar to the Xtra-X, but will cost more.
The base Xtender will come equipped with a 1.8-liter EcoBoost V-12 and a 4-speed dual-clutch transmission, with a $1,500 sticker price.
The model with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and 6-speaker audio system will cost a whopping $2,000, with an extra $1 for a rear spoiler and $5 for a front diffuser.
The final Xtend will be priced at $35,000.
The cars will be built in Michigan, which makes sense for the Sunbesses’ new brand.
Sunbesson is a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. The companies partnered in 2015 to build a new SUV called the XTra, which went on sale in 2020.
The brand has now expanded to include SUVs, but the XTS will be the first SUV to combine the best of both the Xtran and Xtra vehicles.
The Sunbeam brand has been gaining traction in recent weeks as the automaker has unveiled its latest models in the luxury segment, including the $35k SUV, the $40k Xtragon, and its new all-electric model, the Xmax.
The $25,000 SUV has a base price of $57,000 that includes options and a host of extras, and it has a top speed of 155 mph.
The vehicle has a seven-speed automated transmission, and a $2.4k destination charge for driving from Detroit to San Francisco.
The current Xtra is priced at a more modest $52,000 but is available with the optional 7-speed Automatic, which adds a six or eight-speed transmission.
SunPower is a subsidiary company of General Motors, and has been investing in the brand in recent months.
The automaker unveiled a new, premium SUV, called the $36,500 Xtra X, at the end of March.
It was made in Japan and features a 3-liter, 4-valve turbocharged engine and is available only with a six, eight, or nine-speed gearbox.
The car is priced starting at $38,500, and can be upgraded with a five-speed all-wheel drive system or an all-terrain transmission.
The price of the XTR will go up to $57-57,500 in 2020 and then to $66,500 the following year.