Best cars of 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
Audi, Porsche and Mazda brought out some big guns to this year’s sunny city show.
Audi, Porsche and Mazda brought out some big guns to this year’s sunny city show.
With over 200 million cars on the road in China, it is represents the largest auto market in the world. Unsurprisingly as a result, greenhouse gas emissions are a major issue. At the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, vehicle manufacturers tried to offer up solutions in the form of fresh hybrid and electric options. We take a look at three of them in today’s blog post.
Recently, BMW has really ramped up its plug-in portfolio, offering models like the 330e, 530e, X5 Xdrive40e and, of course, the i3 and i8. In China, the company announced its first zero-emissions SUV: the Concept iX3, which introduces the fifth generation of eDrive technology. The 270-horsepower electric motor, transmission and electronics are all bundled in a separate compartment to optimize weight, performance and space.
The crossover wears a reinterpreted and sealed kidney grille, and unlike other concepts, looks remarkably road ready. A high-voltage battery yields an estimated driving range of more than 400 kilometres.
Looking a little like an HR-V from another world, this concept teases the first mass-production EV by Honda for Chinese consumption. No specs have been released, but the car is expected to land in dealerships before the end of the year. The automaker has also revealed car-sharing plans for the Everus through a partnership with China-based business Reachstar.
Toyota Corolla PHEV
A plug-in version of the Corolla is bound for the PRC in the near future, part of Toyota’s bid to have 10 new electrified on sale there before 2021 — the Prius, Corolla Hybrid and six other hybrid Lexus vehicles are currently already available. The PHEV sedan can travel approximately 50 kilometres off the battery alone, and is rumoured to utilize a 1.8-litre gasoline engine for additional assistance.
Even though the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) takes place at the tail end of the show circuit, it is nevertheless a must-see event for any consumer slash car enthusiast. Established in 1900, the more than a century-old spectacle now takes over four floors in the beautiful downtown Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre with nearly 1,000 cars and trucks on display this year. Read on for three particularly interesting reveals from NYIAS 2018.
People got a taste of what could be a future Genesis high-performance battery electric vehicle when the upscale brand revealed the Essentia Concept, a zero-emissions gran-touring coupe. This EV is guaranteed to turn heads with its low-slung carbon fibre body, flashy butterfly doors and Genesis Quad Lights, which are razor thin, flush mounted laser optical head and tail lamps. A high-density battery pack and multiple electric motors help the Essentia get from 0 to 100 km/h in a flat 3.0 seconds.
The best-selling vehicle in Toyota’s lineup receives a complete overhaul for the upcoming model year. Wearing the latest signature face revolving around a bold hexagonal grille, the once diminutive SUV is no longer gaining 30 millimetres in wheelbase length, 10 millimetres in width and an extra half-inch in ground clearance.
The RAV4 will be sold in two 2.5-litre four-cylinder flavours, both utilizing new Dynamic Force Engine tuning. One runs on pure gasoline, mated to an eight-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission, and the other is a hybrid driven by a continuously variable transmission. The Japanese automaker is also debuting an available Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel drive system on the platform significantly improving traction in different environments.
The BMW Group had one of the most fun world premieres at NYIAS: a fully electric powerplant stuffed into a classic MINI shell. The unique amalgamation is a way of celebrating a commitment to preserving its heritage, and to set the scene for the MINI 3 Door EV due out next year, coinciding with the nameplate’s 60th anniversary. The one-off restoration features dazzling red paint, a contrast white top and yellow MINI Electric badging similar to those on the plug-in Countryman.
This year marked the 98th edition of the Vancouver International Auto Show (VIAS), and as a testament to its growing popularity the event took over the entire Vancouver Convention Centre West for the first time adding 30,000 square-feet of exhibition space. In this post, we’ve rounded up some of the top vehicle debuts that happened at VIAS 2018. Read on.
A proper hatchback version of the best-selling Corolla finally returns to the Toyota lineup. Built on the Toyota New Global Architecture that also underpins the Prius and CH-R, the hatch on display looked stunning painted in a vibrant blue colour. Performance specs have yet to be released but we know it will sport a 2.0-litre Dynamic Force Engine mated to a choice of a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.
Showgoers got to check out the production version of the third generation Honda Insight, a hybrid model originally introduced back in 1999. Formerly a coupe, the electrified vehicle has been reborn as a premium sedan and shares the same platform as the 10th-generation Civic. The Insight combines a 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle engine and an electric propulsion motor together generating 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of torque, and a fully independent suspension setup ensures the car is as nimble as it is efficient.
The second generation BMW X4 made its initial North American appearance at VIAS, bigger and more refined than the outgoing model. The crossover has grown 81 millimetres in length and 37 millimetres in width while dropping three millimetres in overall height resulting in a solid, planted appearance. The signature kidney grille now has a 3-D quality to it, and the thin, horizontal foglamps integrated with the lower air intakes replace the previous round units. A new option for the X4, customers can get an M performance M40i variant putting down 355 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque via an inline six mill.
One of the more extravagant auto shows to make the annual rounds, the 88th Geneva Motor Show did not disappoint this year with huge unveils from the likes of Toyota, BMW, Audi and others. Read on.
It seems like people have been talking about a replacement for Toyota’s legendary sports car for ages now, and the Japanese automaker adds fuel to the fire with the debut of the GR Supra Racing Concept. Created by Toyota Gazoo Racing, this two-door, front-engine rear-wheel drive concept is constructed almost entirely out of lightweight composite material. Performance parts by BBS, Brembo and OMP can be found sprinkled throughout the vehicle. The number “90” on the doors is a reference to the “A90” codename for the upcoming fifth-generation version.
The latest VW I.D. concept to come out of Wolfsburg is the Vizzion, an autonomous electric vehicle demonstrating what transportation could be like in the year 2030. It’s the first Volkswagen to be built without a steering wheel or pedals — the EV utilizes a “digital chauffeur” that navigates, steers and even automatically sets the climate controls by learning individual occupant preferences. Front and rear electric motors provide all-wheel drive and a combined output of 302 horsepower.
Showing what is possible with a new BMW lineup flagship model, the company says the “M” in M8 stands for “more,” as in more of everything. The opulent four-door features several design flourishes like gold-coloured kidney grille trim, an aggressive front apron, severely flared fender arches, duckbill-style spoiler and a quad exhaust system. The entire body is sprayed in a Salève Vert colour that changes from green to greyish-blue depending on the light.
After a long seven years since the last redesign, Audi’s executive A6 sedan is about to enter generation five. Sporting sharp, defined body lines indicative of the new styling language also seen on bigger brother the A8, the car will launch in Europe as a 2019 with both a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 and a diesel utilizing mild-hybrid technology. A turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder will also be available at a later date.
The 2018 Canadian International Auto Show is in full swing right now at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and this year it’s all about the concepts. Here are a trio of big ones from three different manufacturers.
Not even a year after MINI released its first production plug-in hybrid, the Countryman PHEV, the brand has introduced a fully electric concept. Looking like a futuristic Cooper, much of the grille has been smoothed over to reflect to reflect the removal of the internal combustion component. The body sports special aerodynamic pieces, unique badging and “Striking Yellow” paint accents for differentiation. A production version is scheduled for 2019.
A collaborative project between Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula One Team — a partnership that has existed since 2016 — Project Black S is a racy reimagination of the Q60 Coupe. Finished in a menacing matte grey, the designers have blacked out all the chrome found on the standard Q60, such as on the front bumper and door pillar surrounds, and utilized healthy amounts of carbon fibre in fabricating the exterior parts. Under the sheet metal, an Energy Recovery System recoups unspent electricity to boost power and torque output.
This environmentally friendly compact EV is the product of Toyota Motors Europe and affiliate ED² design studio based in Nice, France. Intended for those living in a so-called SMESTO (small to medium-sized town), the one-plus-two seater uses Active Lean Technology, which allows the front wheels to lean to one side during cornering similar to a motorcycle, while the rear pair stays perpendicular to the road. This allows a super tight turning radius with no physical discomfort to the passengers. The i-TRIL can travel more than 200 kilometres on a single charge and is operable in manual or autonomous modes.
The largest auto show in North America is underway right now in the Windy City. The 2018 year marks the Chicago Auto Show’s 110th anniversary, and here is what’s in store for visitors this time around.
The next-generation 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra Pro were revealed at CAS as 2019 models. The trio have been given new suspension featuring Fox aluminum Internal Bypass Shocks that resist bottoming out regardless of the driving environment, from pothole-ridden roads to off-road rock crawling. The 4Runner and Taco are each lifted one-inch higher on the front than before, the Tacoma two inches, to give additional clearance for more accessible adventuring.
The refreshed 2018 electrified Sonata siblings made their debut looking quite a bit more refined than the previous version. The LED headlight housings are reshaped, flanking a curvier front grille and more prominent corner air intakes. Under the skin, the suspension is slightly stiffer and, combined with retuned steering assistance, provide better road feel. The standard hybrid features a net 193 horsepower and 1046 kilometres of total driving range, while the plug-in has a total 202 horsepower and a range of 950 kilometres.
People first got a glimpse of this premium mid-size sedan in Geneva back in March, and the Arteon now makes its North American introduction. The full spec sheet is out, and things are looking good: 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, generated by VW’s famous 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine; available 4Motion all-wheel drive; optional Digital Cockpit; and a standard Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system that is capable of managing each corner individually, to respond to changing road conditions and offer the most dynamic ride possible.
Salon International de l’Auto de Montréal 2018 is held at Palais des congrès de Montréal, running from Jan. 19 to 28.
Hot off the heels of the big show down south in Detroit, the 75th edition of the Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS) kicked things off for Canada on Friday. The theme for 2018 is Enter the Revolution, and fitting right in with that is Toyota announcing the Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle will be made available for Canadians starting with a Quebec launch. Keep reading for more on this ground breaking car and two other exciting manufacturer unveils.
Initially shown to the public in 2014 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the hydrogen-powered Mirai has so far been put for sale in Japan, the United States, Europe and United Arab Emirates, and as of later this year, Canada. For those who have never heard about the model, how the vehicle works is actually quite simple. Its main source of energy is hydrogen, which is stored in a fuel tank. When combined with oxygen in the fuel cell stack, electricity is produced (and water, as a by-product, exiting out the tailpipe), good for delivering a peak 151 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Other notable attributes include a 500 kilometre maximum range, five minute refuelling time and a resistance to cold temperatures.
Quebec was chosen as the starting point for a number of reasons, such as being an EV-forward province and also the successful trial site for the Toyota Prius Prime, resulting in the plug-in hybrid’s impending nation-wide release.
The R8 Spyder V10 plus joins the Coupé version, representing the fastest series-production convertible ever produced by the German automaker. To throw some numbers out there: 5.2 litre displacement, 610 horsepower, 413 lb-ft of torque, 0 to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, 328 km/h top speed. The mid-engine sports car — equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive — utilizes many different lightweight materials throughout the car, from aluminum and carbon fibre-reinforced polymer in the frame to magnesium and aluminum in the fabric top’s substructure. And it’s sprayed in an ultra-cool “micrommata” green colour.
Built on an all-new platform, the next QX50 is, “the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for — beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance,” according to Christian Meunier, VP of Infiniti Global Division. The premium mid-size SUV will feature the first mass-produced variable compression ratio engine, combining the power (260 horsepower) of a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor with the torque (280 lb-ft) and efficiency (7.8 L/100 combined) of a four-cylinder diesel says the company. In addition, the Q50 will offer another innovation: ProPILOT Assist, an autonomous driving aide that can take over steering, accelerating and braking duties on a single-lane road.
There is nothing quite like auto show season. One of the industry’s biggest spectacles, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, starts up this week and manufacturers made headlines revealing some complete redesigns of staple models.
VW announced the arrival of the anticipated seventh-generation Jetta, built on the company’s proven Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform shared with products such as the current Golf, Tiguan and Atlas. Like the new Tiguan, the Mk7 Jetta is all grown up, literally, now longer, wider and taller than the outgoing car. Everything from the front fascia to interior looks and feels more premium than before, and all trim levels include Driver Personalization remembering up to four user settings for seat memory, radio presets and ambient lighting colour. Power is provided by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged TSI engine and buyers have a choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota’s full-size flagship sedan undergoes a well-deserved makeover, and going against the common theme of growing larger, has actually slimmed down some in size. The North American-built vehicle is 25 millimetres lower in height with a 50 millimetre shorter wheelbase, although width increases slightly, by 20 millimetres, to give a planted, performance-oriented appearance. Two grades will be offered: the sporty XSE boasting a piano black mesh grille, 19-inch gloss black wheels and black side mirror housings; and a luxurious Limited wearing a chrome-trimmed grille, silver LED headlight bezels and a chrome-tipped dual exit exhaust system. A newly designed efficient 3.5-litre V6 Atkinson-cycle powerplant can be found beneath the hood, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The result of a partnership between Hyundai main headquarters and the U.S. design center in Irvine, California, the Veloster goes version 2.0 later this year. The quirky five-passenger hatch returns with an asymmetrical two-plus-one door configuration and shows off a bold 3-D interpretation of the Hyundai cascading grille, similar to the one seen on the 2018 Sonata. The A-pillar has been pushed further back, the roofline lowered and 18-inch alloy wheels made standard to emphasize an aggressive, coupe-like silhouette. The regular Veloster gets a 147-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine while the top-of-the-line Turbo receives a boosted 201-horsepower 1.6-litre mill.
Visitors looking for go-fast vehicles at this year’s LA Auto Show did not leave disappointed. Photos by Benjamin Yong/Porsche Canada.
Taking place in the Golden State where some of the best driving roads anywhere are found, this might be why so many new sports cars make their first appearances at the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS). Porsche is one manufacturer in particular that loves to drop a few high horsepower surprises at the event — which just wrapped up the second week of December — as we discuss below.
Nope, the T doesn’t stand for turbo, as you might think. Try Touring, as in a lightweight 911 perfect for long-distance driving, say, down the Pacific Coast Highway. Porsche has been on a nostalgic kick lately, first with the 718 series and now the 911 T echoing a special model from 1968. It’s based on the standard Carrera but boasts a 20-millimetre-lower ride height, shorter shift lever, rear axle steering system, slightly revised body aero and different colour options.
The weight loss program consists of thinner door and rear window glass, less sound deadening, deleted back seats as well removal of the Porsche Communication Management (the last two may be reinstalled if requested for no extra charge). Altogether, the modifications help the car shed approximately 20 kilograms. Propulsion is provided via a twin-turbo flat six pumping out 370 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque.
Called “the most versatile sports car in the Porsche line-up,” or also known as the vehicle with the longest name, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo produces a vast net 680 horses by combining a boosted 4.0-litre V8 engine and a 100-kilowatt electric motor. The sedan has a fuel-free range of approximately 50 kilometres, a top speed of 310 km/h and an average fuel consumption of just 3.0 L/100 km.
As if the i8 wasn’t already cool enough, BMW premiered a roof-less version in the Roadster. Only 60 kilograms heavier than the Coupe thanks to smart engineering like a carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic windshield frame. The soft-top can be raised or lowered while the car is traveling up to 50 km/h and can completely open or close in 15 seconds. Internals have been upgraded so pure electric driving range is upped to 53 kilometres.