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Daily Archives: April 1, 2019

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible To Drop The Hardtop

If there’s one thing we noticed about the recent spy shots of the 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible being tested, it’s the ditching of the hardtop. As BMW sets to launch an all-new 4 Series sometime this year or next year, the German automaker also revealed that the new model is going to sport a traditional soft top option, which was last used on the E46 model discontinued in 2016.

BMW said that the G23 coupe version will not feature any dramatic changes but the G22 droptop obviously will. Though the spy shots were covered with heavy camouflage, that didn’t stop us from noticing the canvas top used, as well as the longer hood and rear decklid.

Exterior

bmw 4-series convertible (3)

The spy shots showed that the proportions might be different from the current model but it’s still too early to tell whether BMW will stick to this size for its 4 Series. The front and rear fascias are obviously going to be more aggressive compared to what the 3 Series has. The front grille will also be inspired by the 2020 BMW Z4.

Interior

bmw 4-series convertible (17)

The good thing about seeing these spy shots (aside from the reveal of the soft top option) is the fact that we were finally able to glimpse the car’s interior. It looks like the BMW engineers completely lazed out from designing a new and separate cabin for the 4 Series because it looks exactly what the current 3 Series has. We can expect a very similar layout to the X3 and X4 models. The 3-Series and the 4-Series will most probably sport the same center console buttons and controls, the dials, infotainment, and the steering wheel.

Drivetrain

bmw 4-series convertible (2)

The 4-Series convertible, coupe, and four-door sedan will have gasoline, diesel, and electrified powertrains. This is the same lineup we can expect to see from the 3-Series, which also uses the same CLAR architecture. It is possible the 4-Series will ditch the base engine, though a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine cannot be excluded.

Mazda 6 Bids Goodbye To Manual Transmission

mazda 6 (1)

Mazda just ended the manual transmission’s life from its 2019 Mazda 6 mid-size sedan. This move leaves the new Mazda 3 (hatchback) and the MX-5 Miata as the only models that the Japanese brand is offering with a manual gearbox.

Mazda’s move to eliminate the manual transmission variant for the Mazda 6 pushed the starting price to $24,720, marking an increase of $1,875. Before Mazda’s decision to ax the manual transmission option, the Mazda 6 Sport trim could be bought for just $22,845. It’s safe to say that new safety features also pulled up the model’s base trim price.

The safety features were all optional equipment in the previous model of the Mazda 6. Taking those now standard equipment into account, the base price only increased by $200 from a manual transmission to an automatic transmission. On the 2018 models, the automatic transmission cost an additional $1,025 and Mazda’s suite of active safety equipment is another $625. Also standard are the rain-sensing wipers and Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus handling system.

For those who want the manual transmission in a mid-size sedan though, you can still get the Honda Accord instead. Honda still offers a six-speed manual transmission for its Accord. Another option is a 10-speed automatic or CVT.

Fret not, though, because the manual gearbox may not exactly be gone for good in Mazda’s plans for the future. According to a report from Motor Authority, Mazda spokesperson Tim Olson said the manual transmission could return so long as buyers voice out their opinions about it.

“We will continue to listen to our fans and if their desires should change in the future we will respond accordingly,” he said.

Olson explained that the demand for manual transmission has fallen since the Japanese brand introduced more luxurious trim levels such as the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature.

 

Fourth-Generation Honda Fit To Get New Design

honda fit (1)

Known as a Jazz in some markets, particularly in Asia, the 2020 Honda Fit is about to be redesigned and restyled. Since its unveiling back in the late 2000s, this subcompact hatchback has been the Japanese brand’s best-selling compact sedan.

New spy shots of the prototype have been spotted while the vehicle was being driven around in Germany. The hatchback was heavily camouflaged but the spy images give a sneak peek of what the hatchback will bring to the table. The 2020 model will have a rounder and more streamlined shape for the new subcompact hatch.

The prototype also gave a glimpse of the Fit’s new interior design, which looks to be ready to sport a large infotainment screen in the center of the dashboard.

The new Fit will be based on the all-new platform that can house both an internal combustion (petrol and diesel engines) and a hybrid or fully electric powertrain. This supports the argument that Honda is planning a hybrid powertrain as the sole option for the new Honda Fit.

The latest Insight is a good indication of what engines (or combination of engines) will be used for the Fit. The Insight houses a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle inline-4 that’s paired with two electric motors that replace the transmission. The Insight generates 151 horsepower but this may be lowered for the Fit since the current model just makes 128 horsepower from the 1.5-liter inline-4 engine.

There’s also a possibility that the Honda Fit may add an electric powertrain in the new model. This works best for the international markets that will miss out on the Japanese brand’s upcoming electric car based on the 2017’s Urban EV concept. The United States will miss out on that concept. It will also give Honda the opportunity to price the Fit more aggressively.

The engines will most likely be the 1.2-liter Petrol engine and a 1.5-liter diesel engine, though the engine will be reworked to meet the BSVI emission norms.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Is Priced At $36,840

volkswagen arteon (1)

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon starts its price tag at $36,840 and though that’s strangely higher than most of its competitions, which are less than $10,000, the more upscale styling and feature content and powerful engine more than make up for the cost.

The Arteon competes nicely with other premium hatchbacks such as the Kia Stinger (starting at $33,495) and Buick Regal Sportback (which starts at $25,995 but rises to the mid-$30,000s when similarly equipped).

All variants of the 2019 Arteons use a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 268 horsepower by sending it through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard to all Arteons is the front-wheel drive though buyers have the option of purchasing the 4Motion all-wheel drive costing $1,800 extra on the SE and SEL trim levels and coming standard on the top-of-the-line SEL Premium.

You may also opt for the R-Line sport appearance package that adds a different look to the car’s aesthetics. The package includes a different front fascia, either 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, a black rear spoiler, metal-look interior trim, contrast stitching inside, and R-Line badges. The R-Line sport package is available for all of the trim levels for $1,265 with the 19-inch wheels and $1,765 with the 20-inch wheels.

Volkswagen said that Arteon’s build-your-own tool will soon launch on the website. It will show more information about the exterior and interior colors.

The SE trim level, costing $36,840, comes standard with these equipment: adaptive dampers system proximity-key entry, three-zone automatic climate control, forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and heated power front seats.

The SEL trim level, which can be purchased for $40,990, adds a panoramic sunroof, remote start, Nappa leather upholstery, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, adaptive cruise control.

The SEL Premium, which starts at $45,940, will have heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, cooled front seats and heated rear seats, massaging driver’s seat, power liftgate, premium audio system, and 19-inch wheels.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Has $35,040 Starting Price

jeep gladiator rubicon

Jeep announced today that its Gladiator, which is due in dealerships later this year, will have a starting price tag of $35,040. It has a higher starting price tag compared to its rivals but the Gladiator more than makes up for it in terms of technology and fuel efficiency.

Standard to all variants is a V-6 engine and four-wheel-drive setup. The Sport S trim received a few more goodies than the base model. It goes on sale for $38,240.

Move one level up and you’ll find the Overland model, which is priced at $41,890. For that price tag, you’ll get power door locks, two-piece fender flares with body color insert, auto headlamps, side steps, upgraded tires, and other features.

The Rubicon models are the most expensive at $45,040 but that has beefy 33-inch tires, upgraded cloth seats, and a Rock-Trac 4×4 system with heavy-duty axles and locking differentials.

The Gladiator comes with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that can make a whopping 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Jeep also released the latest EPA ratings for the Gladiator. When paired with the standard six-speed manual, the 2020 Gladiator has an EPA rating of 16/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined. Paired with the eight-speed automatic, it has a slightly more edge than the other units; it gets 17/22/19.

Thankfully, though the Gladiator is priced higher than most of its segments, its fuel economy numbers can beat their rivals. The 2019 Toyota Tacoma gets an 18/22/20 mpg rating when partnered with a V-6 engine, four-wheel drive, and an automatic transmission. The Chevrolet Colorado gets 17/24/19 mpg in V-6 automatic and 4WD trim.

The 2019 Ford Ranger will only be made available with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Its fuel economy is higher at 20/24/22 mpg with four-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic.

Next year, the Gladiator is expected to carry a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine that can make 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.

3 Things We’re Expecting From The 2020 Lincoln Corsair

2020 lincoln corsair (3)

The Lincoln Corsair, which is a revival of the Corsair nameplate that Ford used in 1958 for the Edsel brand, is an upcoming compact crossover that will be introduced at the New York Auto Show this April. It is set to replace the MKC.

Reportedly, the Corsair will be based on the Ford Escape, which is also expected to debut a new generation this year at the same auto show.

Exterior

2020 lincoln corsair (2)

Based on the teasers, the Corsair will retain the MKC’s shape and proportions, though the front fascia might be taller with the nose no longer angled. The wheelbase is longer, allowing for extra legroom space for the passengers at the rear. The roofline is also similar to the MKC though the roof spoiler is bigger and has a small decklid. There’s nothing special about how the Corsair might look like but we’re still holding our breaths and imagining the compact crossover to have a more aggressive bumper, a bigger grille, and sleeker headlamps.

Interior

Lincoln didn’t provide any photos of the Corsair’s cabin so we’re left with our imagination. It’s expected that the Corsair’s interior will mimic the cabin of the Aviator. This means a narrow dashboard with a floating infotainment display and rectangular air-conditioning vents. The seats and some portions of the dashboard should be wrapped in leather though the more expensive variants could feature brushed aluminum trim or even carbon-fiber. The Black Label trim, which is the top of the line, might offer two-tone upholstery options and higher quality materials.

Drivetrain

The biggest tidbit we can gather about the Corsair is the fact that it might carry a hybrid variant. Engine-wise, the Corsair should continue with the revised versions of the MKC’s 2.0- and 2.-3-liter EcoBoost engines. Lincoln’s 2.-0 liter 4-cylinder engine will make 245 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque while the 2.3-liter EcoBoost packs more power with 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque.

Lincoln will also probably pair an electric motor to one of the EcoBoost engines, though it won’t be the same as the Aviator’s V-6 hybrid that generates 400 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.

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