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Top 4 Expectations from the Fourth-Generation Audi A3 Sportback

audi a3 sportback (1)

The fourth-generation model of the Audi A3 Sportback is making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The compact car is geared to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA, as well as the BMW 2 Series.

Details about the A3 Sportback are still under wraps since we’re still a few days away before the big unveiling in Geneva. However, thanks to teasers and sources within the automaker’s ranks, we already have an idea of the things to expect from the auto.

Better Design

Based on the teasers of Audi, the A3 Sportback will get a larger and more aggressive-looking front grille. The bumpers are sportier too while both the headlamps and taillights of the vehicle appear to be sleeker than the outgoing model. Moreover, the body lines of the car seem to be more detailed and sharper than the current version.

Eco-Friendly Interior

The latest teaser from Audi reveals that the upholstery and carpet of the A3 will be utilizing recycled materials. Each car has recycled materials coming from approximately 100 plastic bottles.

The eco-friendly material will be offered in a variety of colors to cater to the varying preferences of buyers. Among the offerings include car covers in Torsion steel gray complete with yellow stitching, and then another comes in Puls two-tone black and silver with Rock Gray threads. The company is also planning to include a black and red-themed version of the interior in the future.

Performance

Information about the engine of the A3 Sportback is still scarce but its maker boasts that the car will have improved driving dynamics that include a new damper technology and adaptive suspension. Furthermore, the auto will be offered in an all-wheel-drive system.

Not US-Bound

Unfortunately, the Audi A3 Sportback will not be sold in the U.S. soil. Only the sedan variant of the car will be offered in the country.

What Does Audi has in Store for the MEB Platform?

audi aime

In 2019, Audi announced that its MEB platform will be used for its small electric vehicles. Fast-forward this year, we are still waiting for the spy shots of vehicles that will be utilizing it.

According to the company’s product marketing boss Fermín Soneira Santos in his interview with Auto Express, they are yet to develop vehicles that will be riding on the MEB platform or Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten in German.

“It is on our horizon, yes. It’s not yet designed, but yes, we have a chance to have cars on MEB, maybe tomorrow on MEB Entry, then also the E-Tron GT. We have so many different platforms to choose from and where we can have input into,” the Audi exec told the source.

From Santos’ statement, the fate of the more affordable tiny electric cars from Audi is hanging. However, it should be noted that the expected deadline for the said EVs is still in 2023, so that’s still a long way to go.

The Audi AI:Me concept introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show in 2019 gives us a preview of what the four rings marque has in store for the MEB platform. The electric hatchback is equipped with an electric motor positioned at the rear axle. The unit produces 170 hp or 127 kW. No official figures were released about the electric range of the vehicle from its 65 kWh battery but its 2023 production version is groomed to offer at least 124-mile electric range at full charge.

Sadly, the MEB platform-based EV will unlikely be sold in the US whose market has low demand for small cars. The limited range of the electric car provides another reason why American customers may stay away from it.

5 Important Things You Need to Know About the New Honda Jazz

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The production of the fourth-generation Honda Jazz (or Honda Fit in the US) is underway. Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the popular hatchback is sporting a lot of changes in and out plus it is debuting a crossover version.

The key specifications of the 2020 Honda Jazz are still under wraps but here are the things we have uncovered about it so far:

1. Hybrid Powertrain

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In compliance with the electrification reforms in Europe’s transportation sector, the Jazz is adopting Honda’s e:HEV two-motor hybrid system as a standard feature. It is rumored that the company is also going in the same direction for its new Accord model.

Currently, the Jazz is equipped with either a 1.3-liter engine with 100 hp and a 1.5-liter power unit with 128 hp. The latter is the only engine type available in the US market. It is not clear yet whether the Japanese automaker will keep the two engines within the new hybrid Jazz.

2. New Version

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Recognizing the strong demand for crossovers, Honda is offering a new variant of the Jazz called the Crosstar. Quoting Honda, the Jazz Crosstar is “designed to appeal to those seeking a more crossover-style design.”

Aside from the higher ground clearance compared with the standard Jazz, the Crosstar will be sporting a different front grille styling, roof rails, and for some reason, a water-resistant upholstery in its interior.

3. Better Driving Experience

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Honda improves the road visibility for its driver by making the A-pillar of the Jazz thinner. Basically, this has been cut in half to reduce the blind spot of the driver.

4. More User-Friendly

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The interior of the new Jazz looks clean. The alignment of the buttons, knobs, and air vents appear organized. There’s also the simplified design of its multi-function steering wheel. It is interesting to note too that the infotainment system of the vehicle is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, it has a new tablet-style LCD touchscreen on the central console.

5. Arrival

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The new Honda Jazz is expected to come out in the European market by mid-2020. The pricing of the unit is yet to be announced.

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Adds Another Manual Gearbox

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring

Honda is adding a manual transmission option for its 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring trim. The manual transmission was offered only for the Sport trim before. If you’re a fan of a manual gearbox, you’re in for luck because this also means that the option will be priced much less than the CVT.

The six-speed manual transmission will be an option along with a CVT. It costs $800 less than the automatic transmission option. Aside from that, the Sport Touring trim also gets better LED headlights that throw longer and wider beams. It also now has the HomeLink Wireless Control System that can activate devices such as garage doors, RF-controlled lighting, gates, and locks.

Remote start and keyless entry will come standard even on the CVT on the Sport Touring and Sport trim. On the Sport model, the infotainment system added a seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The number of speakers has also been doubled from four to eight on the current models.

The Civic Hatchback received upgrades for the 2020 model year. it adopted the same features as the sedan and the coupe, which received some upgrades last year. However, the new model has sharper bumpers and body-colored crossbars on the front and rear end. It has revised fog light surrounds, black headlight trim, and new wheels in either dark gray or black.

The cabin’s instrument panels look different depending on the trim levels. The LX and EX have a painted pattern. The Sport has geometric shapes. The EX-L and Sport Touring went with brushed black surfacing. The EX has an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat standard equipment and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. All models have better noise-quelling features.

Prices went slightly up. The LX is now priced at $22,580 (up by $200) for the CVT while the Sport costs $23,680 for the 6MT and $24,480 for the CVT. The EX is priced at $25,080 for the CVT and the EX-L is for $26,280 for the CVT. The Sport Touring will cost $28,980 for the 6MT and $29,780 for the CVT.

3 Things To Know About The 2019 Audi A1 citycarver

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The 2019 Audi A1 citycarver (yes, no capital letters) is a more rugged version of the beloved A1. It was made to appeal to more rugged drivers who want a better suspension for their A1s. It is directly based on the A1, so it is still classified as an A1 hatchback albeit it looks like a crossover.

The A1 citycarver will go on sale in Europe this month, but there are no pricing details yet. There is also no word if it will be available in the US.

Exterior

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The citycarver shares similar dimensions with the 2019 Audi A1 Sportback. Like the Sportback, the citycarver measures 4.04 meters in length. But with an additional 35 mm, it is a tad taller than the Sportback ride height. That’s largely thanks to a tweak in suspension. The citycarver is also available with larger wheels—ranging from 16 inches to 18 inches.

Overall, although there’s isn’t much change aesthetically, the citycarver looks far more aggressive than the Sportback. Its off-road capabilities can be seen from the stainless steel-painted underbody cladding below the front and rear bumpers.

Interior

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The dashboard and the seating remain the same as with the Sportback. Audi just decided to throw in a slew of trim options for the citycarver, probably to differentiate it from the Sportback. You can change the trim décor of the air vents, center tunnel console, and the door cards. The colors available are Mint, Copper, Orange, or Silver Gray.

There’s also the S-Line trim, which will come with either cloth/synthetic leather or Alcantara/synthetic leather.

The citycarver will have 12.5 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats. Once the rear seats are folded, that goes up to 40 cubic feet of storage capacity.

Drivetrain

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Audi didn’t announce the engine lineup for the citycarver yet, but we expect it to have the same engines fitted in the Sportback. That means there will be likely four options: 1.0-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder paired with six-speed manual or S-Tronic dual-clutch that makes 94 horsepower, 1.0-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder paired with six-speed manual or S-Tronic dual-clutch that generates 114 horsepower, 1.5-liter, four-cylinder paired with six-speed manual or S-Tronic dual-clutch that creates 148 horsepower, and 2.0-liter, four-cylinder paired with S-Tronic dual-clutch that cranks up 197 horsepower.

Mitsubishi Plans To Revive Its Iconic Lancer Evo Brand

mitsubishi lancer evolution

Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi is planning to revive its iconic Lancer Evolution brand and it won’t even be a crossover despite the huge demand from the segment. Instead, what would be the 11th generation Evo will either be a four-door sedan or, for the first time ever, as a four-door hatchback.

The new Evo might use the platform born out of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. This is the same platform used for cars such as the Infiniti QX50 and the Renault Megane. The Evo XI will most likely share the powertrain with the next-generation Renault Megane RS. This is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four paired with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

That engine will be paired with a Mitsubishi-developed all-wheel-drive system. This might also mean that the next-gen Evo can add a hybrid in its lineup. The most that the current Megane RS can produce is 300 horsepower. With a hybrid engine in tow, the next Evo can make up to 350 horsepower.

The Last Evo

We saw the last Evo sold back in 2016. The standard Lancer lived a bit more in the US and is somehow still available in other markets. The report about the resurrection of the Evo made no mention of a new regular Lancer. It’s high time for Mitsubishi to make one, though, as there’s a gaping hole for a compact sedan in their lineup.

There is no news when the new Evo might come out, but maybe we can expect to see at least a concept at the 2019 Tokyo auto show this October. It’s still a long way to go for the production car, but we should be welcoming it a few years down the road.

Talks of an Evo SUV have been going on for quite some time now and we believe there’s still a slim chance this could happen. Mitsubishi has been ready with several concepts of a possible Evo crossover, so we might just have to wait and see.

The All-New Kia XCeed Is The Ceed’s Better-Looking Crossover Brother

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The Ceed family has just added another one on its lineup. Called the XCeed, it’s a slightly more off-road capable and taller version of the Ceed hatchback. This is the fourth model to arrive in the Ceed family after the regular hatchback, the Ceed Sportswagon, and the ProCeed shooting brake model.

The all-new Kia XCeed is more than just a raised version of the compact hatchback. Although it looks related to the Ceed family, Kia’s engineers and designers have made sure that the XCeed will stand out from the rest of the lineup.

There are 12 available paint finishes for the XCeed. Out of that number, 11 are shared with the other Ceed models, but the Quantum Yellow (the same color used in the official photos) is unique to the XCeed.

If there’s one thing that the XCeed shares with the rest of the Ceed family, it’s the wheelbase. At 2,650 millimeters (104.3 inches), it is longer compared to the hatchback. It is worth noting that the front overhang is 25 millimeters longer and the rear overhang is 60 millimeters longer. It’s an inch wider than the hatch and has 1.6 inches more ground clearance.

Inside the cabin, the XCeed’s interior is completely similar to the rest of the Ceed family. That’s not a bad thing, of course, since the Ceed already has a pretty good interior. The clean design and layout give way to highlight the floating infotainment screen.

Standard to the XCeed is the eight-inch screen that can be enlarged to a 10.25-inch at an extra cost. There’s a new feature which will become the brand’s first fully-digital gauge cluster. It displays a 12.3-inch screen with a display resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels.

The hood houses three direct-injection T-GDi engines: a one-liter engine that makes 118 horsepower and 172 Nm of torque, a 1.4-liter with 138 horsepower and 242 Nm, and a 1.6-liter that makes 201 horsepower and 265 Nm of torque.

New 2019 Renault ZOE Has Longer Range, More Tech

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The 2019 Renault ZOE looks similar to the current one in the market. Externally speaking, that is. The latest version of Europe’s best-selling electric car can now get to 242 miles on a single charge, thanks largely to its massive 52kWh battery.

Under the hood, Renault used denser cells to prolong the battery’s capacity. That raised the car’s capacity from 41kWh to 52kWh. All this was done without having to increase the battery’s physical size. With this, the Renault ZOE can go 242 miles from 186 miles on a single charge.

Renault said the car’s battery will take about nine hours and 25 minutes to fully charged when plugged in a standard 7kW wall box charger. That additional 50kW DC fast charging will give you about 90 additional miles in just 30 minutes.

This larger battery is paired with a 135bhp electric motor, although a lesser 110bhp motor is also available.

The ZOE has been on sale for seven years, but this one is the largest change we have seen in the electric car. It has the same size as before, with the only change seen on the new front bumper, C-shaped LED headlamps, and additional chrome detailing.

The ZOE’s charging port is hidden behind its badge on the nose. The charging port now supports DC fast charging up to 50kW.

Inside the cabin, the update grows a little stronger. The center console has been completely redesigned. It now has a 9.3-inch touchscreen display. This comes as standard on every model. There’s also a new electronic gear level, parking brake, and wireless charging pad for smartphones.

There’s a new infotainment system called the Easy connect. The setup allows drivers to control and operate many of the car’s functions as long as the accompanying app is also installed in their smartphones. Drivers can set the destination on the navigation system, set the car’s climate, look up public charging stations, and check the car’s battery health.

BMW 1 Series Is Now More Practical Due To Customer Feedback

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BMW has finally heeded their customers’ feedback on the 1 Series. They wanted a more practical entry-level car and they got it with the re-engineered 2019 BMW 1 Series that can now compete with the Volkswagen Golf. On sale now for £24,430 ($31,074.96), this year’s 1 Series has undergone a complete overhaul to look exactly like the compact car of your dreams.

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The hatchback is larger and uses a front-wheel-drive configuration for the first time since it was launched in 2004. With the 1 Series hatch getting more practical, BMW decided that its three-door 2 Series coupe will also be transformed into a five-door Gran Coupe.

The front-wheel setup is the same architecture that the MINI uses for its range of ultra-cute compact cars. This change will come with another upgrade on the platform. Jochen Schmalholz, BMW’s 1 Series product manager, told Auto Express that the upgraded platform will highlight the salability of the 1 Series—a sporty design and strong driving dynamics.

The car is more compact, although it is larger than its predecessor. The 1 Series now stands with a height of 1,434mm (+13mm), 4,319mm long (-5mm), and 1,799mm wide (+34mm). The wheelbase is also longer at 2,670mm. That’s 20mm more than the previous generation.

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This allows the driver and the passengers to be more comfortable inside. There’s an extra 33mm of leg space and 19mm of headroom. While it may not sound much, that’s the same space you’ll find inside the Golf.

Drivers and passengers would love to know that the cabin has been upgraded, too, to the latest system and tech that was usually found inside the larger 3 Series. Even entry-level cars are getting 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster but a 9.2-inch head-up display and upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment screen can be options, too.

The 1 Series is currently on sale and we’ll start to see them on the roads by September.

Why The US Won’t Get A 2019 Ford Focus ST

ford focus st

The Ford Focus ST hot hatch is scheduled for a reveal very soon and Ford engineers have been testing the car round the clock. Motor Authority managed to get some snaps of the new car and we can only say that it will be a refreshing improvement from the current model, which is already one of the best cars in the segment.

Back in April, Ford unveiled a new generation of its ever-popular Focus. The US should’ve gotten at least one variant of the compact car, a soft-roader called the Focus Active that will be manufactured in China. But thanks to new tariffs imposed on Chinese-made vehicles, Ford dropped the plans and we’re left wondering if we’ll ever see the new Focus variants.

Ford decided to forego the plan for another reason: the shift toward SUVs, pickup trucks, and commercial vans in North America is permanent. The Mustang will be the only “sedan” that will be on sale in the US beyond 2020.

Ford will use its next-generation front-wheel-drive platform for the new Focus. The torsional rigidity of the new cars will be up by 20 percent compared to the outgoing model, which means that the new ST variant will provide a better ride and handling for its drivers.

In the cabin, the all-new Focus will get a colored touchscreen at the top of the dash and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of electronic driver aids. There will be some extra special features for the ST such as the Recaro front seats, ST badging, and additional performance options for the driving modes selector.

The rumor is that the Focus ST will come with a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4, the same one that is found in the outgoing Focus RS. That engine can be tuned to produce 370 horsepower. In the new ST, that will be downgraded to 252 horses since the engine will be paired with a front-wheel-drive system. The transmission is expected to be a six-speed manual.

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