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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Honda Introduces Everus Concept At Beijing Auto Show

honda everus (10)

Those of you who think that Honda is simply dwindling their thumbs while everyone is jumping on the electrification bandwagon will soon be proven wrong. At the 2018 Beijing International Motor Show, the Japanese automaker unveiled the Everus concept, a HR-V-looking electric vehicle that signals Honda’s entrance into a market dominated by the likes of Tesla.

Even though it is still a concept, the Everus looks like it’s ready to roll out of the production line. Details are still scant and we barely know any information about the Everus, but looking at the photos showed the same size and proportions as the Honda HR-V. It even has the weird rear door handles that are placed at the C-pillar.

If this is how Honda’s new EV will look like, it will definitely draw a lot of praise from enthusiasts and Honda fans. Unlike other concept cars that are too far off from the actual production unit, the Everus has a promising future to look like the concept. We can probably surmise that development of the EV is underway and near to being finalized since the Japanese carmaker claims it will start manufacturing the Everus later this year.

Of course, we can look at it from the business angle: Honda has just partnered with Chinese automaker GAC, so it’s entirely plausible that the Japanese company is rushing the development of the first model of its EV line.

Considering the competitions we have in the EV market, it’s not surprising that Honda is working fast to get the Everus out there. Not only will this be available to the Chinese market, Honda also plans to roll out the model through a car-sharing service offered by Reachstar, a Chinese company that specializes in providing car share services.

What we’re sure is that this will welcome a new generation for Honda; a generation that will tap into the endless possibilities of a more electrified auto industry.

Hybrid Kinetic Introduces K350 SUV And H500 Concepts In China

Hybrid Kinetic (9)

Hybrid Kinetic, an electric car startup company in China, partnered with Pininfarina to utilize new technologies for its cars. The Chinese company aims to come up with a full lineup of electric cars powered by an extended-range electric powertrain that uses a microturbine as range extender.

Pininfarina, the Italian design house, is tasked to pen each of the models. In the past, we have already seen four concepts that would define Hybrid Kinetic’s future lineup—the H600 sedan, the K550 and K750 SUVs, and the GT coupe. All of these concepts feature a similar look, which is close to the company’s planned production models.

During the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, Hybrid Kinetic presented to more sedan concepts—a small SUV called the K350 and a small sports sedan called the H500. The official shots revealed by the brand showed handsome exteriors and elegant, modern interiors for both vehicles.

Aside from the two vehicles, the concept also featured a common powertrain that has an electric motor at each exle that can produce a combined power of 800 horses. The motors will draw their energy from a battery that can be charged through a plug. It can also draw power from running using a compact microturbine that weighs less than 200 pounds.

The microturbine can deliver a continuous 80 horsepower, enough to charge the battery. It can also run using a variety of fuels such as diesel, gasoline, and hydrogen. The total reach could possibly be 620 miles. That’s a lot of miles for a car running on battery!

The company’s first production model could be a possible sedan arriving sometime in 2020. The automotive division of Hybrid Kinetic is not just focused on producing vehicles. Instead, it is part of a larger group that includes businesses on finance, battery production, and electric buses. Another thing that the company is focusing on is the graphene, a lighter and stronger material than carbon fiber that has the ability for faster charging time.

3 Things To Know About The Jeep Grand Commander

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The 2018 Beijing Auto Show has on full display the Jeep Grand Commander, a massive three-row, seven-seater, full-sized SUV. The Grand Commander is the newest Jeep model available to the Chinese market. The others are Compass, Renegade, and Cherokee.

The Grand Commander sits on a long wheelbase, making it a full-sized SUV. Although Jeep has yet to release info on dimensions, one look at the Grand Commander and you’ll this is one classic SUV (definitely not a crossover).

1. Design

When it comes to design, the Grand Commander is not that far off from Grand Cherokee, though the latter is sportier because of its more aggressive front bumper. The Commander is statelier with its rectangular headlights, compact front grille, and a business-like bumper, fog lamps, and chrome trim.

The interior features a three-row seating layout that can accommodate up to seven people. The front section looks like an upgraded Grand Cherokee, thanks to wood trims on a few spots and on the steering wheel.

2. Powertrains

There’s no available information about the powertrains options for the Grand Commander. We can surmise, based on the company’s Chinese website, that one of the options would be a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is similar to the one found in the new Wrangler. That unit can produce 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque on the Wrangler. If that unit will be fitted on the Grand Commander, expect it to produce around 350 horsepower.

3. Sales Increase

The Grand Commander should further boost Jeep’s market in China. It already has a pretty impressive lineup of vehicles for the Chinese market, but the Grand Commander will be the pinnacle of the available models. Last year, Jeep sold 200,000 units in China, a massive increase from the sales numbers in 2016.

And though there has been a drop in sales in the first quarter of 2018, the arrival of the Grand Commander should remedy that soon.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class L Extended Wheelbase Gets Bigger And Better Cabin

2019 mercedes-benz c-class l (1)Mercedes-Benz is truly making an impact in the Chinese market, or at least, trying to infiltrate the biggest auto market in the world. At the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, Asia’s largest car expo, the luxury brand introduced the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept SUV and the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class L sedan.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Extended Wheelbase is the newest model under the German brand to get enhanced legroom, keeping in mind China’s affinity for rear seat legroom. The 2019 C-Class L will sit under the E-Class L in China. It will also be sold exclusively for the Chinese market.

Luxury car buyers in China place great importance on rear seat legroom. After all, these rich Chinese mostly have drivers that allow them to stay on the rear side of the vehicle, enjoying whatever amenities Mercedes can throw at their feet. The extended wheelbase will give this car a significant edge over its competition.

2019 mercedes-benz c-class l (2)The styling details of the C-Class L Extended Wheelbase will remain the same as the European model, but the wheelbase (which is why the Extended Wheelbase name) has been stretched by 80 mm or 31 inches for added legroom in the rear seats. China, being a left-hand drive market, will receive a different layout for the C-Class L than the European version. The rear-right seat passenger can electronically adjust the front passenger seat by sliding it forward.

Other features of this Chinese-market-directed sedan are the LED headlights and the optional Multibeam LED headlights. Inside, there are fully digital driver’s display, a wider infotainment screen, multi-contour seat package with a massaging function, 64 LED ambient colours, and a new multi-function steering wheel. The German automaker also introduced the Energizing comfort control system, the same one in the S-Class last year.

Originally launched in 2014, the C-Class L will also get the new 48v electric architecture mild system that comes with petrol engines to boost performance and efficiency.

Next-Gen Audi S8 To Be Available This Year

2018 audi s8

Reports are suggesting that the next-generation Audi S8 will become available later this year. Based on the information currently available, it looks like the new S8 will be using a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, the same one found under the hood of the Porsche Panamera Turbo.

The newest Audi S8, however, will not get to enjoy the same power that V8 is bringing to the Panamera Turbo. Instead, it will make 535 horses, seven fewer horsepower that the same engine makes in the Porsche. On the upside, it does have 22 horsepower more than the last standard S8.

This information from Autoblog revealed and might have confirmed one thing: Audi is effectively ditching the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that it designed together with Bentley and used in the current D4 S8. The present S8 can produce 597 horses, making the possible 535 horsepower such a plummeting dive for Audi. Why then would it decide to go this route?

Just to remind you, this new-generation S8 is a standard S8. The current one in the market is the S8 Plus. This sounds awfully like mobile phones right now, huh? The S8 Plus was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the then-current engine—a 513-horsepower-churning machine. It looks like this next-generation S8, which will probably come off as a 2020 model, is going to be measured against that first car.

A separate report, however, indicated that there will be another version of the S8 Plus. The Panamera was created to exist alongside Audi’s A8, as well as the S series. The models agreed to share parts. And since the Panamera has a hybrid powertrain in the form of the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, experts believe that this would also be present in the upcoming Audi S8.

Instead of wearing the S8 Plus badge again, it will be more than likely that the new vehicle will carry the name of S8 E-Tron. Presumably, it will be able to produce 621 horses, down 49 horsepower from the Panamera counterpart.

Now, the question would be if Audi would sell both versions or simply replace the standard version with the E-Tron? Let’s wait and see.

 

Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV Gets Chinese-Inspired Interior

Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV, a concept high-end luxury SUV, was unveiled at the 2018 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. It got that sleek, cherry red finish aimed at the Chinese market because red in China means happiness, luck, and joy.

But we’re here about the elegant, luxurious, and spacious interior of this concept SUV. The design is a mix of Western and Far Eastern influences, incorporating Chinese design elements like ebony, the known “Magic Wood” used in Chinese furniture. The highlight of the SUV’s interior is the tea set hidden in the center console that extends to the rear. The heated tea set, that includes teapots and teacups, is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony. It can be electrically retracted into the console at the push of a button. Talk about fancy, huh?

Aside from the hidden heated tea set, there are other exciting features in the SUV. This includes the seat with SUV-like position, sitting higher than in a sedan. They are wrapped in fine Nappa leather with a diamond quilt design. The front section is finished off by a Rose Gold trim, Pearly Grey detailing, and brushed aluminum elements.

The rear section gets even more comfortable. It is very spacious and has lots of legroom in front of the two seats. The seats have lateral support and leather-wrapped pillows, perfect for long and tedious drives.

The simple but elegant center console houses double 12.3-inch displays for the driver, a touchscreen and touchpad on the center console, and touch control buttons on the steering wheel. There is voice recognition capability that could adjust to the user’s voice and adapt to new words being used.

If Mercedes pushes through with the production of this concept vehicle, it will be a class of its own. And maybe, Mercedes will finally have something to compete with Rolls Royce.

4 Things To Know About The Interior Of The 2019 Toyota Avalon

toyota avalon

To say that the 2019 Toyota Avalon is cool is an understatement. In luxury cars such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, you will have to pay a premium price for the kind of snazzy, comfortable, and elegant interior we saw in the Avalon. But Toyota is best when it comes to this: providing a sophisticated interior without breaking your bank.

The fifth-generation Avalon brings to the table a premium approach for its interiors. Here are the four things we need to know about the snazzy new look of the Avalon’s cabin.

1. Elegant Center Console

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The first thing you will notice about the Avalon’s interior is the flowing center console that arcs upward from the central tunnel in a singular and flowing bend. It looks clean, cohesive, and very, very elegant, almost like you needed to pay thousands of dollars just to get that look.

2. Quilted Upholstery

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Forget about plastic. Forget about leather, either. The Avalon’s door panels are wrapped in quilted upholstery, keeping the interior aesthetics clean and pristine. The dashboard and the seats and the door panels are now wrapped in that same elegant upholstery that adds to the sophistication of the interior’s overall look and design. The three-spoke steering wheel is also wrapped in high-end material.

3. Different Color Options Available

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The Avalon’s interior design comes in a combination of different colors such as cognac, gray, beige, and black, all depending on the trim level selected. There are a lot of other materials that make the interior look too good—there’s aluminum accents, Ultrasuede and leather upholstery, piano black surrounds, and satin chrome material.

4. Plenty Of Space

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There’s plenty of space in the Avalon. Rear-seated passengers will have a shoulder room of 57.1 inches, a legroom of 40.3 inches, and a headroom of 37.5 inches. These seats are quite comfortable, thanks largely to the mix of backside-coddling and support in the right proportions.

What To Know About The 2020 Audi S8 Based On Spy Shots

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Audi showrooms will soon feature a new generation of Audi A8 and with it comes a new S8 as well. There’s no exact date on when the S8 will debut, although we’re looking at the possibility of it being introduced to the market later this year or early next. There is a higher likelihood that we will be seeing it in showrooms next year though as a 2020 model.

Based on the spy shots from Motor1, S8 prototypes are still being dressed like the A8 but the quad-tip exhaust and uprated brakes give it away. So, what we’re seeing in the photos is the sportier S version. The final design will most possibly have a new styling in front and in the rear. There might also be a revised grille, if reports are to be believed.

For what’s under the hood, we’re pretty sure we’ll see the same unit in the current model. It’s going to be a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 mounted up front and paired with four-wheel drive through an 8-speed automatic transmission. It should be able to produce north of 520 horsepower, which is the current output of the outgoing S8 model.

There are plans for a new S8 Plus model, though it may not even go by that name. Some reports are throwing the name S8 e-tron instead. The “S8 Plus” (we’ll call it by that name for now) will have the plug-in hybrid powertrain seen in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid (the reason behind the e-tron name). That powertrain will supposedly deliver more than the 605 horsepower being produced by the outgoing S8 Plus.

The fourth-generation A8 will remain to be Audi’s flagship sedan. The whole fleet is designed using Volkswagen Group’s latest MLB platform, which will allow for weight savings and advanced electronic driver assistance technologies, including self-driving capabilities. Expect the A8, the S8, and the S8 Plus to be introduced soon.

Take A Look At The Tesla Model 3 EV’s Debut In Beijing

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Tesla is giving Beijing a taste of its Model 3 as the latest EV vehicle from Elon Musk’s company made its debut at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show. This came ahead of the official launch of the Tesla Model 3 in China and also before the company receives full authority to produce the vehicle in the market.

This is not the first Tesla Model 3 in the country, of course. Rich private citizens have already started importing the vehicle from the US, which is not recommended given the many different specifications in terms of wattage and outputs in the vehicle. We do know that US and China do not share the same power capacities and even format.

Still, the vehicle debuting at the Beijing Auto Show is the first one that Tesla itself brought to the Asian giant. But while Tesla is already introducing the vehicle to the Chinese market, it won’t be seen in dealerships until next year, when it will have its official launch.

Reportedly, Tesla Model 3 will be available as an import from the US first much like the Model S and Model X. Tesla is working on domestically manufacturing the vehicles to save on cost and reduce the final price of the vehicle. Practically, this is a good move both for Tesla and the Chinese market. Logistic costs and import fees could double the cost of a vehicle that is essential in helping Chinese commuters reduce their carbon footprint.

Currently, Tesla’s import duties is at 25%. This effectively limits the company’s demand in the world’s largest automotive market, though reports pointed out that Tesla’s presence has grown significantly. To keep growing (it has the lead in foreign electric car sales in China), Tesla has to somehow convince the Chinese government to allow it to produce the vehicle domestically.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan Version Debuts At Beijing Motor Show

Mercedes-Benz Cars am Vortag der Auto China 2018: Die neue A-Klasse L Limousine feiert Weltpremiere in Peking

Mercedes-Benz wants a bigger chunk of the premium car market. The automaker is breathing new life to the lower rungs of its lineup by launching newer versions of the compact Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The sedan version of the A-Class has made its way to the 2018 Beijing Auto Show after the hatchback version aimed primarily at the European market made its debut at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show in March.

Mercedes showed the A-Class L version of the sedan in the show. “L” stands for long wheelbase, which is common in the auto market of China. We’re sure that a US-spec A-Class will soon arrive in the United States.

The A-Class L has been stretched by 6 centimeters or 2.3 inches. It will be sold exclusively in China. A soon-to-come standard wheelbase will most likely be available for the US market as the new entry-level Mercedes. The CLA-Class, the current entry-level Mercedes, will move by a level.

The A-Class sedan stands similar to the hatchback model in Geneva, sans the presence of a trunk in the longer wheelbase model. Even the MBUX infotainment system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) was the same as it features a screen setup closer to the larger Mercedes models. There’s also a sophisticated voice-recognition system.

In China, this model will be launched with a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 163 horsepower. There will also be a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 187 horses later. Both these engines will be paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and it will use a front-wheel drive platform. Mercedes, however, may also offer as an option an all-wheel drive system.

The powertrain lineup for the US models will be revealed at a later date, and there will also be new details on high-performance AMG models. Aside from the A-Class L model, Mercedes will also be launching the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury electric SUV concept in Beijing.

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