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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Jeep Wrangler To Arrive In Showrooms In April 2019

jeep wrangler (3)

The new Jeep Wrangler will hit dealers’ showrooms in April 2019, that’s the only piece of information we got from the four-hour-long conference that Fiat-Chrysler dealers had last week. The production for the pickup will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, so it makes sense that availability in showrooms will only start April next year.

What we are waiting for, though, is a look at the bedded Jeep minus the camouflage that we have seen it is wrapped in less than eight weeks ago. There are rumors, and we’re pretty sure there’s a bit of truth to this, that the official introduction will happen at the LA Auto Show this November to December. If previous timelines are to be the basis, this makes sense since the standard Wrangler only broke cover a year ago (by November).

Though we’re anticipating for the November introduction, we don’t know exactly what to expect. We don’t even know under what name this new pickup will be released. Jeep has kept everything under wraps. But based on all the spy shots and leaks we have heard and seen, the Jeep will be a four-door Unlimited with a short bed. Though there are rumors that it will be a two-door Wrangler pickup, these remain mere speculations up to now.

The powertrain options might be the same as the others in the lineup: a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that can deliver 268 horses, a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 285 horsepower, and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 442 pound-feet of torque.

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat-Chrysler’s CEO, expects 100,000 Wrangler pickups to be sold each year starting April 2019. If reached, that would mean a 56-percent increase in Wrangler’s current US and European volume.

The last Wrangler pickup was the 1986 CJ-8 Scrambler but in April 2019, the Wrangler will join the likes of Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, and the new Ford Ranger. The Wrangler, however, will still be the only one to offer a convertible top.

Here are the latest spy shots of the upcoming Jeep Wrangler from Autoblog:

Toyota Yaris Will Get Name Change And 3 New Trim Levels

toyota yaris

Toyota first inherited the Yaris sedan from its defunct youth-oriented sub-brand Scion. It renamed it from the Scion iA to the Yaris iA and that name stuck until the 2018 model year. But all that is about to change as Toyota said it would change the subcompact sedan’s name from Yaris iA to simply Yaris.

For the 2019 model year, there will also be three new trim levels for the Toyota Yaris. This was something that was not available for customers when the subcompact sedan was first introduced in 2015. The three trim levels will be L, LE, and the premium XLE. There are no details yet about each of the trim level, but Toyota did say in a statement released on Monday that the premium XLE trim model will have leatherette-trimmed front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, and an automatic climate control.

Aside from the changes indoors, there are a couple of interesting updates on the exterior, too. According to Toyota, the new Yaris will enjoy an upgraded front grille, a pair of fog lights, and a lip spoiler that will come standard with the LE and XLE trim levels.

The decision to introduce three new trim levels is a step to the right direction for the Japanese automaker. The mono spec idea does not work for many of its customers even in these times of SUVs and crossovers. Folks still want to be given great choices and options in every segment. A wider market is certainly an understandable reason why Toyota turned to this route.

The 2019 Yaris, and all of its trim levels, will go on sale in the fall. Customers can choose between a standard six-speed manual transmission (39 mpg highway) or the optional six-speed automatic (40 mpg highway). Toyota did not release pricing information, though it’s only a matter of time before more details come out.

 

A Four-Door Coupe Is In The Works For Next EV From Bentley

bentley

The plan of Bentley to produce a vehicle under Porsche Mission E’s J1 platform could be in the form of a four-door coupe. This was after Bentley decided to scratch immediate future plans for an all-electric SUV. The news came from Bentley’s Design Director, Stefan Sielaff.

The reason is because Sielaff wants the next EV to be sleek, elegant, and sporty at the same time. That could not be achieved with a vehicle that is raised high like an SUV. Sielaff himself said that the next EV using the Porsche platform should have a “certain coupe style or sportivity” that is not something the SUV could deliver.

As you well know, there have been suggestions for an all-electric Bentley based on the J1 architecture for many months now. In November last year, there were actually reports that Bentley wants to build a more luxurious variant of the Mission E. The potential name was Barnato. No actual plans came out of these rumors, though.

The news and plans of the next EV being a coupe first came out last September 2017 when Bentley confirmed it wants to build an electric sports car instead of a smaller SUV. This was done to compliment the Bentayga. Bentley also showed the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept back at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. This might and might not be a preview of an electric sports car from the luxury brand.

The concept was a convertible, and Porsche already confirmed that using the J1 platform for the EXP 12 Speed 6e will support additional body styles, including a convertible.

This upcoming electric car will be a flagship mode. Sielaff said that they want to make sure the new vehicle will stand out on its own, and will not be a simple reiteration of the other models in the lineup. What he did reveal is that there will be more than two seats. That rules out the EXP 12 Speed 6e as the new EV because that one is a two-seater vehicle.

 

Ford And Mahindra To Come Out With New Crossover And EV

ford and mahindra

Something is finally coming out of the partnership between Ford and Mahindra that was inked way back in September 2017.

According to reports, the two brands are partnering to come up with a crossover and an electric vehicle. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the planned crossover has anything to do with Ford’s plans in the same segment. Simply put, Ford wants to put its mark in the Indian auto market.

What we now understand about the agreement on the SUV is that Ford will be doing majority of the work using Mahindra’s equipment, which interestingly included the platform on which the SUV will be built on. This means that Mahindra, even as a partner to Ford, will stay out of the plans in producing the 2020 Bronco.

Aside from the SUV crossover, the two companies are also producing an electric vehicle to compete with the likes of Tesla. Although details are still unknown, this could be a huge stepping stone for Mahindra to finally sink its teeth on the US market, either under its own name or the sub-brand Pininfarina. Mahindra already has headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, so the first step has already been casted.

Mahinda previously reiterated its plan to make its presence known in the US market. An EV made in collaboration with a beloved American company, Ford, could be the linchpin that will make that happen.

Ford and Mahindra are working on a lot more than a crossover and EV. Those two are just part of the grand scheme of things, which include developing new initiatives and technologies that could open the door for future projects in the US and in India.

Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president and president of Global Markets, said that his company’s aim is to offer the best vehicles that will fit the lifestyles of the Indian market.

 

 

BMW And Mercedes-Benz Pull Out Of Detroit Auto Show

bmw and mercedes

Six weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz announced that it won’t be a part of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. BMW is following suit with an announcement mirroring Mercedes’ sentiments.

The pullout of Europe’s top car brands is pushing the Detroit Auto Dealers Association to contemplate moving the annual January fair to October starting in 2020. The association also wants to recast it as a less expensive show centered primarily on products and technology.

Luxury brands and supercars maker Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, and Volvo also did not attend the Detroit show this year. Mazda and Mitsubishi skipped it as well. Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bentley, and Porsche have no display on the show, but have vehicles at The Gallery. Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, and Dodge all have displays, but did not hold press conferences. Lamborghini revealed the Urus there while Cadillac brought nothing new because its focus is on the New York auto show.

BMW released a statement, explaining why it would skip the trade show next year. “This decision was made as BMW Group is constantly examining our presence at trade-shows and other engagements, while, at the same time, also exploring alternative platforms and formats. The overall goal is to communicate our ideas and plans regarding future mobility in the best way and achieve the greatest possible visibility for our products, technologies and innovations.”

The DADA is looking at moving the event to fall when the weather is more comfortable in Detroit. It also believes that reducing operational costs could lead these major car companies back. The DADA wants to revamp the show by trying to pattern it after the Geneva motor show, where the focus is vehicles and technology. The group will vote about this proposal in mid-April.

When it joined the Detroit show in January, BMW released no new updates on its Rolls Royces, its Minis, and even its motorcycles. This is a good indicator of its plan to backdown from the show in 2019, seeing as it had traditionally showed off its luxurious models.

2018 Jeep Sandstorm Will Set Your Racing Hearts Ablaze

jeep sandstorm (1)

Jeep is looking at introducing seven new concept cars, one of which is the Jeep Sandstorm. It drew inspiration from the Baja racing trucks, and this is most noticeable with the V-8 under the hood and the upgraded suspension.

Exterior

jeep sandstorm (3)

The designers gave the Sandstorm an appearance that is no doubt influenced and inspired by the Baja racers. It has a carbon fiber for a hood with square intakes and several rows of vents. The flared-out fenders out front feature more vents while the top sees an additional matte black roll cage and rear lay-down spare tire carrier. The body panels are finished in bright orange paint.

The rear side has a cleaner and more streamlined appearance, thanks to the removal of the door handles, the swing gate, and the aft doors. Other race-truck-inspired additions are the tube bumpers in front and back, the beefed-up rock rails, the racing-style fuel filler, and the KC Carbon series for the auxiliary lights and chase light.

The Sandstorm is mounted on 17-inch wheels in copper-colored inner framework. These are wrapped in 39.5-inch Krawler rubber from BG Goodrich.

Interior

2019 INFINITI QX80 LIMITED (15)

The front seats are wrapped in leather upholstery while the rear has low-back racing buckets. Tech instruments include a racing-spec gauge cluster, a seven-inch off-road GPS, and an onboard air compressor. There are also independent rocker switches for the electronics, the axle lockers, and the air compressor.

Drivetrain

jeep sandstorm (6)

The Sandstorm is being powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 engine with heavy-duty components such as the Dynatrac 60 axles and a 5.68 gear ratio. Jeep did not say what the outputs were for the engine, but it’s likely to be 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, making the off-road journey nore enjoyable.

The 2018 Jeep Sandstorm is perfect not just for the off-road or the race truck experience, but for everyday activities, too.

Limited Models For Infiniti QX60 And QX80 Released

Nissan’s premium brand is giving a fancy retouch to its aging Infiniti QX60 and the QX80. The Limited models will bring a host of features that include revamp of the exterior and some new tech for the cabin. This only proves that Infiniti is purely invested in carving a niche in the SUV department, seeing as it just released its new 2019 QX50 crossover.

QX60 Limited

2019 INFINITI QX60 LIMITED (9)

Those who want to get their hands on a QX60 better wait for the Limited model. This new model boasts of its dark chrome grille, door moldings, and fog-lamp surrounds. The overall look is darker, thanks largely to the darkened roof rails, the new gloss-black paint on the lower bumper, and the all-new 20-inch dark-finished aluminum wheels.

Inside, it’s as classy as ever with a few changes here and there. It’s a mix and match of black and gray, which is headed by the quilted and perforated gray semi-aniline leather seats on all three rows and the all-black dashboard. There’s dark stitching and piping on the seats, as well as on the door panels that creates a contrast with the dark silver wood trim and floor mats with contrast piping and metal logos.

QX80 Limited

2019 INFINITI QX80 LIMITED (1)

The dark theme continues in the QX80 Limited. The front and rear lower bumpers have been upgraded and the fenders house the 22-inch dark machine-finished wheels. Satin chrome polishes the exterior trim, roof rails, and stainless-steel running boards. The Infiniti logo shines through the welcome lighting displays. There’s also an added Anthracite Gray option for the exterior color.

Inside, the same theme in the QX60 Limited has been applied. There’s a two-tone semi-aniline leather and faux suede with contrast stitching and piping in a quilted pattern. Smooth leather wraps the steering wheel, shift knob, and grab handles. The center stack and center console use matte-silver open-pore ash wood. The headliner and pillars are made of black microfiber suede. Other features include the illuminated kick plates, Limited branding on the shifter surround, and floor mats with metal logo.

The QX60 Limited and the QX80 Limited will be available later this spring. Prices are expected to be announced anytime soon.

More Photos of the Infiniti QX60 and QX80

2019 Nissan Altima Will Have Semi-Autonomous Driving Option

2019 Nissan Altima (2)

The 2019 Nissan Altima midsize family sedan is slated to be revealed soon at the New York Auto Show. Though we don’t have a full idea of how it will look like, seeing as we only saw it in spy shots and early sketches, it’s still nice to know a little more details about it.

Reports said that the new Altima will have a ProPilot Assist option. It’s a semi-autonomous driving system, just in case you forgot what a ProPilot is. The system can provide steering, acceleration, and braking assistance on highways. It has the ability to bring the car to a complete stop and resume accelerating up to speed. It can also recognize other cars, adjusts speed, and keeps the car in its lane.

It is semi-autonomous because it requires the driver to continue paying attention to the road and to keep his hands on the steering wheel in case he needs to take control of the car. The system can manage some corners on highways, but it all depends on how tight the turn is. Certain turns cannot be managed.

Currently, the ProPilot Assist system is available on the Nissan Rogue crossover SUV, as well as the new Leaf EV. The Altima, then, is the third Nissan-badged vehicle that will get this innovative technology. Based on the Rogue and the Leaf EV, the ProPilot Assist system is simple and reliable. It is handy for long and boring highway drive since it will virtually allow you to rest during long drives.

This is a tempting new feature on a family sedan since who wouldn’t want to mingle and chat with the family while driving? There is no word yet on whether the ProPilot Assist will be available across all variants of the Altima. Expect to shell around $28,000 for it.

Spy Shots of the 2019 Nissan Altima

Here are some spy shots of the 2019 Nissan Altima from Carscoops:

6 Revelations About The 2018 Volkswagen Touareg

During a special ceremony in Beijing on Friday, Volkswagen released a redesigned Touareg, marking the very special relationship the European company has with China, which it considers its second home.

1. New Flagship Of The VW Brand

This third-generation Touareg is being put in the upmarket level seeing as it recently became the new flagship of the VW brand. Previously, that role was with the Phaeton but the full-size sedan was already discontinued in 2016. An electric successor is being planned, but that won’t come into fruition until the next decade.

2. Wider And More Dynamic Look

Compared to its predecessor, the outgoing model, the new Touareg has a wider look and it’s also bigger. It’s three inches longer than before, now standing at 192 inches. It’s also 1.7 inches wider at 78 inches and 0.3 inches shorter at only 67 inches.

3. MLB Platform

The curb weight has been reduced by as much as 233 pounds in some variants, thanks to VW’s version of the MLB platform, which features multi-material construction and used by Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne. The main benefits are air suspension, roll stabilization, and rear-wheel steering.

4. Plush Interior

The cabin of the new Touareg is as luxurious as others in the game. It has a digital dash with a 12.0-inch screen that is now the instrument cluster. There’s also a 15-inch infotainment hub. For safety features, there’s the automatic emergency braking, driver fatigue warning, and a night vision camera. Overall, VW calls the cabin design “Innovision Cockpit.”

5. Drivetrain Options

The Touareg will go on sale this summer in Europe. Depending on the market, there will be choices of two 3.0-liter V-6 diesels, producing 228 and 282 horsepower, respectively, and a 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline delivering 335 horsepower. There will also be a plug-in hybrid setup with 362 horsepower for the Chinese market. There are also news that a 4.0-liter V-8 diesel producing 415 horsepower will come as another option.

Standard to these engines are an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive with a center differential lock. Some extras are available, care of a special off-road pack that adds extra driving modes, a larger fuel tank, and under body protection.

6. Release Dates And Locations

The new Touareg won’t be coming to the United States. The local division of VW in the US dropped the model at the end of the 2017 model year because of low sales and the decision to focus on the Atlas.

3 Things To Know About The New Toyota Corolla Hatchback

toyota hatchback

There were huge expectations on the coming of a new Toyota iM, and though this is closely related to that, the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback still sits on its own little niche. According to the guys over at Toyota, this new hatchback is designed to be a “driver’s car,” and is set to make a huge impression.

Powertrain

The new Toyota Auris came with only one non-hybrid drivetrain—a 1.2-liter engine. The Toyota Hatch, on the other hand, will come with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine that has some “decent power on demand,” reports speculate. There are no details yet regarding the horsepower and the torque, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be at least decent.

Exterior And Platform

There’s a big improvement in terms of the overall size of the hatchback. According to reports, the hatchback has been lowered by one inch, stretched out by 1.5 inches, and widened by 1.2 inches. It has a longer wheelbase compared to the Corolla iM, and there are wider tracks in the front and rear. There are two options for the wheels—a 16-incher and an 18-incher. You can also have it either in manual transmission or in CVT but with 10 simulated gears, a launch gear, and a paddle shifter.

Toyota will use its TNGA platform for this hatch. They also added a host of safety features such as AEB with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, lane tracking assist, and radar cruise control. There will likely be additional features when the hatchback is released, but these are cool enough for a start.

The upcoming Toyota hatchback is being set up for a summer release as a 2019 model. There’s no word yet on how much this will cost, but we’re sure we’ll find out in a couple of months, so better ready those wallets.

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