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Updated: 52 min 38 sec ago

Current BMW i3, i8 May be the Last

1 hour 37 min ago

BMW may have ushered in a new era of electrification with the i3 and i8, but that doesn’t necessarily mean these vehicles will stick around for another generation. Speaking with Autocar, executives from the BMW i brand are still undecided on the long-term fate of the two cars it launched with.

“With new i3 and i8, I don’t know; for now, we don’t think about it,” said BMW i design boss Domagoj Dukec. “For i, there won’t always be an i3, then an i3 after–i is not a parallel universe of BMW.”

Dukec also compared the i8 to the short-lived M1 supercar. “The i8 could be the M1–it doesn’t have to always be a name at BMW. We always give an answer to what people and customers are requiring at that moment in time,” he said.

BMW i boss Robert Irlinger confirmed this approach. “We’re still deciding [about] the i8,” said the i boss. “We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it’s called, or if it’s a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion.”

Future i cars will showcase technologies that the brand will introduce into its standard models. Similarly, these vehicles have also served a bigger purpose in the past. The i3 demonstrated BMW’s capability to produce a modern electric vehicle, and the i8 proved electric power can increase a vehicle’s performance.

To this end, BMW won’t offer an entire family of i cars spanning every segment. At a given time, the brand could have one or just a few i vehicles that reflect current demand.

BMW will launch the iX3 in 2020. This SUV is based on the standard X3 and will be the first of 11 new BMW electric vehicles to arrive by 2025. A production version of the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept is likely to come to life, possibly with the i5 badge.

In the future, BMW will use two platforms for its vehicles. Each will accommodate a regular internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrid setup, or fully electric powertrain. The automaker will also offer four sizes of electric motors with outputs of around 134, 255, 335, and 402 hp.

Source: Autocar

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Cars Under $35,000 at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

1 hour 57 min ago

Although trucks dominated the 2018 Detroit auto show, affordable vehicles of all types filled the auto show floor. From the near-production prototypes and a compact crossover concept to new midsize trucks and funky hatchbacks, a number of cars and crossovers provided great variety to this year’s show.

Keep reading to learn about 2018 Detroit auto show debuts that will start below $35,000.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen’s bread and butter model, the Jetta sedan now offers cool features including a digital instrument cluster, an updated multimedia system with full smartphone integration, heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and standard full LED headlights. Most models will come with a 1.4-liter turbo-four paired to a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Expect a performance-focused Jetta GLI later in the year to cater to those who want a sportier daily-driver. Pricing will start below $20,000.

2019 Kia Forte

The 2019 Kia Forte is looking sexier and more aggressive than ever. Featuring a more coupe-like fastback silhouette, the 2019 Forte has more interior and trunk space than its predecessor. Its interior now has a minimalistic appearance and features an 8.0-inch touchscreen as standard. The 2019 Forte will be the first Kia to use the brand’s new CVT and with the 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4, is expected to get 35 mpg combined. Expect a hatch to follow suit and return with an available 201-hp turbo-four option along with a sportier suspension setup.

2019 Hyundai Veloster

The quirky Hyundai Veloster returns for a second generation, and this time all models receive independent suspension on all four corners. For now, the most potent version is the Veloster Turbo with its updated 1.6-liter turbo-four that now has an overboost function, 24-mm front and 19-mm rear stabilizer bars, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer performance tires (on the manual-transmission model). Should that not be enough, an even more potent N Performance model will be available with the same powertrain and chassis as the European market i30 N Performance, and with 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

2019 Honda Insight Prototype

Honda is hitting the reset button with the third-generation Insight, ditching the hatchback body style in favor of a traditional sedan. Powering the new Honda Insight will be a version of the two-motor hybrid system coupled to a 1.5-liter I-4 running on the Atkinson cycle. Expect the 2019 Insight to top 50 mpg combined and rival the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq when it comes to fuel economy. The production version of the Honda Insight Prototype should start at around $25,000 when it goes on sale later this year.

2019 Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger nameplate returns to North America ready to take on the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Under the 2019 Ranger’s hood is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo-four paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which should make the Ranger competitive with its peers. Want to take your Ranger off-road? An FX4 Off-Road package adds a skid plate, off-road tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, the Terrain Management system, and the Trail Control system to help you crawl over obstacles.

2019 Jeep Cherokee

No longer sporting the controversial Nissan Juke-like front fascia, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee gets a more conventional look. Under that more mainstream appearance is a host of new updates like the latest version of FCA’s UConnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a new 2.0-liter turbo-four option with 270 hp and 295 lb-ft. As with every Jeep, you’ll be able to get a trail-rated model in the form of the Cherokee Trailhawk, which should offer the best performance when the pavement ends.

2019 Mini Hardtop/Convertible

If you don’t look at its rear end, the refreshed 2019 Mini Hardtop and its sibling, the Convertible are nearly indistinguishable from the pre-refresh model. Like every other Mini model, the Hardtop and Convertible are highly customizable. The engine choices carry over, so you can pick between a 134-hp 1.5-liter turbo-three or a 2.0-liter turbo-four in two flavors paired to a standard six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

2019 Ford Edge

The 2019 Ford Edge gets a new look and a new ST model that replaces the Sport model. Powered by a 335-hp 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Edge ST also adds a sport-tuned suspension to help you handle the corners and highly bolstered sport seats. All Edge models also get an available suite of active safety tech including evasive steering assist, lane centering, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and pedestrian detection.

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

Before the current-generation Passat gets redesigned, Volkswagen will offer the spicy Passat GT, which features sportier suspension tuning, lower ride height, and a sport exhaust. Under the hood is a 280-hp 3.6-liter V-6 coupled to a six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission putting power down via the front wheels. The 2018 Passat GT is visually distinguished by its black roof, black side mirror covers, two-tone 19-inch alloy wheels, and red brake calipers. If you want one, you better act quickly because production of the Passat GT is limited.

2019 Toyota Avalon

Longer, wider, and lower than the car it replaces, the 2019 Toyota Avalon has been split into two distinctive variants, the comfort mind XLE and Limited, and the sporty XSE and Touring. Featuring a new iteration of Toyota’s Entune multimedia system, the 2019 Avalon is the first Toyota to feature Apple CarPlay integration and Alexa capability (though not Android Auto). Under the hood is an updated 3.5-liter V-6 paired to an eight-speed automatic or a fuel efficient hybrid system featuring Toyota’s new 2.5-liter I-4, an electric motor, and a compact battery positioned under the rear seats.

2019 Ram 1500

Although it is larger than the truck it replaces, the 2019 Ram 1500 is lighter and more aerodynamic. Perhaps the biggest news is the addition of a mild hybrid system with both the standard 3.6-liter V-6 and optional 5.7-liter V-8 that adds a smidge more horsepower and a generous serving of electrified torque. Inside, there’s an optional 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system and a massive 12.0-inch touchscreen for the latest version of FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. Like its predecessor, the 2019 Ram 1500 will also be offered in high-end luxury variants and the off-road-oriented Rebel.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Sporting a fresh exterior that’s aggressive in certain trims, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is lighter than the truck it replaces and will be offered with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel I-6, in addition to the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 gas engines. The truck is up to 450 pounds lighter and will offer six engine and transmission combos. There will be eight models to choose from including the utilitarian WT model, the off-road-oriented Trail Boss, and the more luxurious High Country.

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2019 Infiniti QX50 Starts at $37,545

5 hours 37 min ago

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 midsize crossover will start at $37,545 when it goes on sale this spring.

The model sits on a new platform and features a pioneering VC-Turbo engine that adjusts compression ratio to optimize efficiency and performance. This 2.0-liter turbo-four unit makes 268 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Also look for available ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous technology, which helps drivers steer, accelerate, and brake in a single lane in highway traffic. It also includes Direct Adaptive Steering, a steer-by-wire system that’s a first for a front-wheel-drive Infiniti.

With these updates, the starting price of the QX50 has gone up $1,900 compared to the previous model. After the base Pure model, Infiniti also offers Luxe and Essential trims, with the latter starting at $44,345. Opting for all-wheel drive adds $1,800 to any trim.

In addition to pricing information, Infiniti has announced a reservation rewards program for the QX50. Those who pre-order a QX50 will redeem gifts related to audio, home, and tech in three stages. The first tier of rewards became available when Infiniti received 4,000 reservations, and the second and third tiers will unlock at 8,000 and 12,000 reservations respectively. Customers are eligible to receive goodies if they reserve a QX50 by February 28 and buy or lease it by May 31.

Source: Infiniti

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2019 Jeep Cherokee First Look: Still on Comeback Trail

14 hours 36 min ago

The Jeep name can be a license to print money, and the Cherokee midsize SUV is in the largest SUV segment that shows no signs of sales slowing anytime soon. But FCA still has some work to do, which is why the 2019 Jeep Cherokee—which makes its debut at the 2018 Detroit auto show—gets a major update.

The Cherokee debuted in 2013, replacing the Jeep Liberty that had only 3.5 percent market share. The renamed Cherokee had work to do it if Jeep wanted to regain its position in the segment. The SUV underwent a dramatic design change and was rewarded with a tripling of its market share.

There is still more catching up to do. U.S. Cherokee sales of almost 170,000 last year were down 15 percent from 2016, so it falls to the refreshed 2019 model making its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show to rebuild demand. Built at the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant, the 2019 Cherokee goes on sale this quarter.

“It is the most modern look for Jeep to date,” said FCA design chief Ralph Gilles, citing the new signature lighting and less body cladding. “It will feel like a new car.”

Being a refresh, the 2019 Cherokee’s wheelbase and chassis are the same but it now shares the new family look already on the refreshed Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 2019 Cherokee gets a new face with a more vertical hood made of aluminum, new headlights that incorporate the daytime running lights into a single unit, as well as a new front clip and fascia. There is a new dual-pane sunroof, five new wheel designs, new colors, updated taillights, rear fascia, and dual exhaust. All halogen lights have been replaced by LEDs, even on base models. The new composite liftgate saves 18 pounds by ditching the old aluminum one and is now hands-free; open it with a swift kick of a leg under the sensor.

A new 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine gets 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and has start-stop for better fuel economy, although figures were not given. The engine, also in the new 2018 Wrangler, becomes the new premium engine for the 2019 Cherokee.

Carryover engines include the 180-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 170 lb-ft of torque and the 3.2-liter V-6 that gets 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. Both have been tweaked to improve fuel economy. All are paired to the nine-speed automatic transmission.

Three all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive systems are available, and all have been enhanced. Active Drive I is fully automatic; Active Drive II has a two-speed power transfer unit with torque management and low range. You can lock 4-low mode and there is an extra inch of ride height. Active Drive Lock adds a locking rear differential for gnarlier off-road conditions. It is standard on the Cherokee Trailhawk. All offer a terrain traction control system with auto snow, sport, sand/mud and rock modes.

The aluminum hood, composite liftgate, lighter LEDs, new engine cradle and new suspension geometry contribute to a 200–pound weight loss.

The Cherokee comes in Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk trim levels.

Trailhawk is almost a separate model within the Jeep family, and on the 2019 Cherokee, that model sits higher with wide fender flares, new wheels and dedicated 17-inch off-road tires. and the 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk has standard red tow hooks and there is a forged tow/recovery hook in the back.

It was the job of Winnie Cheung, chief interior designer, to add a more premium feel and there are two new interior colors: Storm Blue (available on Latitude and Latitude Plus) and a Dark Sienna earthy tone available on the Overland trim. The Latitude gets a gold interior with higher-end materials for seats and door insets, nicer bezels and a stereo upgrade. The Overland has a softer instrument panel, satin chrome accents and matte piano black surfaces.

Jeep offers a choice between 7.0-inch and 8.4-inch infotainment screens, and the fourth-generation Uconnect system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A welcome touch is the addition of  more room for a phone near the charger and the addition of a rear USB port. Rear compartments were also redesigned for more storage—the rear cargo area is three inches wider now. Better utilization of interior space provides four more usable cubic feet.

Park assist is available and safety features range from forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and electric roll mitigation to adaptive cruise control that can slow the SUV to a complete stop.

The post 2019 Jeep Cherokee First Look: Still on Comeback Trail appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Confirmed for 2019

18 hours 54 min ago

Last month, we reported that thanks to evidence posted in a fan forum, the 2019 Ford Mustang GT500 was all but confirmed. Then, a few days after Christmas, a poster from that same fan forum found what looked like official wiring diagrams of the GT500’s engine.

Considering how much evidence we’d seen that the new Mustang GT500 was happening, we had a feeling it might be officially revealed at this year’s Detroit auto show. That didn’t actually happen, but Ford did officially confirm it’s coming for 2019.

Details are scarce at the moment, but Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s head of global operations, did say it would be the most powerful production car that Ford had ever sold. Plus, he promises it will be street legal.

Based on the teaser video you can see below, we now know that the Mustang GT500 will be supercharged and make more than 700 hp. For comparison, the 2013 Mustang GT500 made 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. The current Shelby GT350R, meanwhile, makes 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.

Source: Ford

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Hyundai Veloster N is Not a Numbers Car, Testing Chief Says

19 hours 7 min ago

We knew Hyundai would unveil a new Veloster at the Detroit auto show, but little did we expect the N-badged version to also make an appearance. Making its debut particularly special, this vehicle will be the first N car to arrive on U.S. shores. At the show, Hyundai revealed how it went about creating the Veloster N and testing it on the Nürburgring.

The Veloster N was presented by Albert Biermann, head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development and former chief engineer at BMW M. When asked for specifics about how much larger the Veloster N’s turbo is, or how its peak boost compares with other applications, Biermann would say only that this was not designed to be a “numbers car.” Rather, a premium was placed on responsiveness­ and agility. The intake and exhaust systems are unique and, along with the new turbo, account for the added power and torque.

This car is very closely related to the i30 N that has been on sale in Europe for a little while. Both were heavily developed on the Nürburgring, and tests included 10,000-kilometer durability cycles on the ‘Ring. The i30 N underwent two such cycles­, in part because daily tire changes resulted in fatigue to the wheel lug nuts. They were redesigned and another cycle was undertaken. The Veloster N has survived one such cycle.

The aero tweaks at both ends of the car are designed to result in roughly zero lift and downforce, because Hyundai’s goal is to make the car feel planted and stable on the fastest stretches of the Nürburgring. The N’s fascia also incorporates cooling ducts for the front brakes. Relative to the i30 N, the Veloster is slightly lighter and its frontal area is slightly smaller, which should make it quicker and could result in a higher top speed if both weren’t limited to 155 mph.

Introducing the N brand opens many new possibilities for Hyundai, including a chance to potentially tap the speed-parts and aftermarket sales opportunities currently being offered in Europe for the i30 N. These include track-compound brake pads, adjustable anti-roll bars, lighter wheels, and slick-tread tires for track use only.

The car will be built in Ulsan, South Korea, while the i30 N is built in Nošovice, Czech Republic. The Veloster N will go on sale in the fourth quarter, probably in November, with pricing that is extremely competitive with segment competitors from Ford, Volkswagen, and others.

The post Hyundai Veloster N is Not a Numbers Car, Testing Chief Says appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Video Details the 2019 Ford Ranger Inside and Out

19 hours 37 min ago

The North American market has been Ranger-less for far too long, allowing the Toyota Tacoma and GM Colorado/Canyon twins to rule the midsize truck segment. Returning for the 2019 model year, the Ford Ranger gets a fresh start in the U.S., and below we have Detroit editor Alisa Priddle giving you all the highlights in this exclusive video.

In the video, Priddle explains how the 2019 Ford Ranger rides on the same platform as the global Ford Ranger–but uses different sheetmetal–and sports a steel body, not an aluminum body like the F-150’s. At its launch, the Ranger will be powered by an EcoBoost 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4 engine backed by a 10-speed automatic. No manual transmission option will be offered. Engine output has yet to be released but we expect a similar rating to the 2.3-liter EcoBoost found in the Ford Explorer that makes 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Ford is keeping a tight lid on future powertrains, but don’t be surprised to see a turbodiesel alternative and a hybrid powertrain down the line.

The Ranger will come in three trims, XL, XLT, and Lariat, all with unique grilles and optional LED headlights. Body styles include supercab and supercrew cab with four full-size doors.

A terrain management system, a similar system found in the Raptor, includes four drive modes: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, and Sand. A new Trail Control feature acts like a low-speed, off-road cruise control that can be set to 1 mph during very challenging parts of the trail. The FX4 off-road package has upgraded tires, a steel front bash plate, off-road-tuned suspension, reinforced skidplates, and Trail Control and Hill Descent Control. A two-speed transfer case and electronic locking rear differential are optional.

Driver assist safety features include blind-spot detection with trailer coverage, collision warning, lane keep assist and warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. Sync 3 will be available with an 8.0-inch touchscreen.

Pricing should start below $25,000 and will be announced soon before the truck goes on sales in early 2019.

Click the video below to learn more about the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger.

 

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Acura Plans Return of Type S Badge

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 23:30

At its Detroit auto show press conference, Acura announced it is bringing back Type S performance models a decade after the last one was discontinued and is working on a new turbocharged engine to put under the hood.

A-Spec variants will also be expanded to include all core Acura models in the future, said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president & CEO of American Honda Motor, at the North American International Auto Show where the 2019 RDX prototype made its global debut.

The last Type S was the 2008 TL. The next one is still a few years out and Acura officials are not saying which vehicle will get the first performance boost.

The high-performance engine in development is also a few years out. It will be a turbocharged V-6 exclusive to future Acura vehicles, which helps differentiate the luxury brand from Honda. It builds on the direction set forth by the twin-turbocharged V-6-powered NSX supercar, the automaker says.

The new engine will be used in a number of future Acuras and will be paired with the latest generation of Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive which will returns on the 2019 RDX.

“Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand’s rightful place as the performance division of Honda,” said Mikoshiba.

In continued efforts to raise Acura’s performance pedigree, A-Spec sports variants will be offered with all core models in the future. This latest A-Spec wave started with the TLX last year and the new RDX will launch with an A-Spec as well.

“We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products,” said Mikoshiba.

 

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BMW Extends Range of Tesla Model 3-Rivaling iNext EV

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 22:45

During remarks today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, BMW announced its iNext EV will have a range of up to 435 miles when it goes on sale in 2021.

The iNext was announced last May at BMW’s annual shareholders meeting. At that time, the pure electric vehicle’s range was estimated at “over 300 miles.” BMW did not elaborate then or now what standard the range was estimated under, be it European, American, or internal projections.

2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics concept

The iNext concept previews a future midsize luxury crossover for BMW’s nascent i brand, which emphasizes electrified powertrains and self-driving technology. The iNext will boast SAE Level 3 autonomous capability when it goes on sale, allowing the vehicle to drive itself in most situations. Level 3 requires the driver to be ready to take over at any moment, however. As soon as a year later, BMW will upgrade it to Level 4 autonomy, which will allow drivers to safely take their eyes off the road as well as their hands off the wheel. BMW is also promising a “Boost” mode that will project performance driving tips on the windshield.

The iNext will directly compete with the planned Tesla Model Y, a Model 3-based crossover that has been announced but not revealed yet. The new range announcement tentatively makes the iNext among the longest-range EVs on the horizon, though new pronouncements are coming every day. Were the iNext on sale now, it would easily best the Tesla Model 3’s long-range battery, which goes 310 miles, and offer greater autonomous driving capability. Tesla has promised increased autonomous capability in the future, but it’s unclear when Level 3 and 4 capability will become available.

BMW also used its 2018 Detroit auto show press conference to debut the 2019 BMW i8 Coupe. The automaker revealed the i8 Roadster in L.A. late last year, and at the same time gave us all the details on the updated i8 Coupe. But we hadn’t seen the fixed-roof version of the refreshed i8 in the sheetmetal until now. The i8 Coupe continues to use a 2+2 seating configuration, unlike the Roadster which is strictly a two-seater. Just like the convertible variant, the i8 Coupe gets a boost in output to 369 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. All-electric range is also improved thanks to a larger 11.6-kilwatt-hour battery pack, allowing for 18 miles instead of 15 with the old lithium-ion unit. The coupe is estimated to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado: 9 Silverado Surprises and Delights

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 22:22

Intros are all about flash and video friendly graphics. Our mornings-after closer inspection of Chevy’s newest money-maker, the 2019 Silverado 1500, revealed some pretty cool content.

Wide Box

How’d Chevy hog out almost 7 inches of extra bed width without widening the bodywork? (Fun fact—trucks over 80.0 inches wide need clearance lights like the Raptor’s, so that’s how wide most of them are.) By changing the construction method. Old Silverados stamped the inner walls and floor as one big U-shaped piece, and there was a limit to how deep the steel could be drawn without tearing (mostly around the wheelwells). Now the walls and floor panel are three different stampings, so they can go way deeper. Fear not, there’s still plenty of air between the inner and outer panel, so pointy cargo flying around in the box shouldn’t dimple the exterior. Oh, and the 110-volt outlet back there can handle 400 watts (think circular saw).

Smart step

Chevy’s signature corner bumper steps are now tall enough to accommodate a work boot and long enough to allow a better reach further forward into the bed. They also incorporate the side blind-zone radar sensors. Keeping these sensors out of the taillights (where Ford locates them) makes them WAY less expensive, and gives the stylists more latitude in sculpting the truck’s light signature.

Memorial Gurney Flap

The new Silverado’s drag coefficient is said to be improved by 7 percent, and one way of achieving this is this subtle (but rugged, to support oversized lumber that might rest on it) wickerbill or lip spoiler. This device is generally named for racing legend Dan Gurney, who proved its usefulness at improving aerodynamics in the early 1970s.

CHoiler

What’s a CHoiler? In Chevy Silveradospeak it’s a center high-mount stop light (CHMSL) that incorporates a spoiler. Rather than stamping the rear of the cab roof in sheet metal, this CHoiler is a molded plastic part so that the designers were free to sculpt difficult-to-stamp shapes into it. This design “talks” to the tailgate Gurney flap, managing airflow over the truck and contributing to the 7-percent drag-coefficient improvement.

Air Dam and Curtains

As on our long-term Colorado, the front air dam can be removed for off-roading, but customers may not find themselves doing so very often. Moving the front wheels 2 inches forward and trimming front overhang by that same amount greatly improves the truck’s approach angle even with it in place. Note that the front-end aero tricks include air curtains to smoothly route air across the spinning front wheels and tires.

1 Will Get You 3

The 4 inches of additional wheelbase obtained by pushing the axles toward the ends of the truck are apportioned like this: 2 inches in the engine compartment, 1 in the cab, and 1 in the bed. That extra inch inside becomes 3 inches of added rear legroom, thanks to some clever packaging. Raising the roof allowed the front seats to move up and forward without skimping on front legroom. Then a new, slimmer rear seat design lets it package much closer to the rear wall of the cab. Voila—ample knee room for all, even with the front seats slid fully rearward.

Up with Arms

Increasing the wheelbase by 4 inches should have increased the turning circle radius, further complicating the task of parking a Silverado. But redesigning the front suspension prevented this. The old upper control arm packaged down within the wheel area, and limited the amount the front wheels could turn. Lifting that control arm to above the wheel allows for greater steering angles (even on 4WD models) and hence smaller turn circles.

Rear Stowage

Surprise and delight: there’s room to store small items in the outboard rear seatbacks. The compartments aren’t very deep, but the seatback comfort doesn’t suffer either. Lift the rear seat cushions, and there’s a nice walled off area that can corral your rifle or collapsed fishing column. Need to carry a big bulky item on the floor instead? No worries—the front and side walls of this cubby remove.

Liberty and Rear A/C for All

Even the meanest, cheapest Silverado work trucks with a back seat will feature rear air conditioning ducts in the center console. This top-spec model also demonstrates the dual-format USB charging/content delivery options of normal and Type C connectors that are coming soon.

Read our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 First Look here.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT (and LTZ): 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss:

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Report: Kia Telluride Concept Heading to Production

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 21:30

The Kia Telluride Concept will be heading to production according to a new report from Australia’s Motoring. During a round table discussion with Australian media at the 2018 Detroit auto show, Kia design boss Peter Schreyer confirmed that the massive crossover is going into production.

“For sure, we are working on that car,” Schreyer told Australian media. However, it isn’t confirmed whether all global markets will receive the large crossover because it isn’t likely that it will come in right-hand drive. Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said that his team would look at bringing the car to Australia. Meredith also believes that a strong lineup of crossovers is better for the brand as it gives Kia more compelling products for the consumer.

Schreyer also made it clear that there will be more crossovers and SUVs coming to the Kia lineup in the future. “SUVs are still unstoppable and this is why we are working on a lot of SUV theory, concepts, and variations,” he reportedly saidKia European design chief Gregory Guillaume, who was also at the round table with Australian media, said that he believes consumers want more choices and vehicle variants.

Originally unveiled at the 2016 Detroit auto show, the Kia Telluride Concept gave a glimpse at the automaker’s idea of a premium crossover with seating for seven passengers. It was powered by a hybrid powertrain that combined a 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor for a total output of 400 hp. It featured second-row captain’s chairs and sensors in the first two rows that can tell you information about your health.

Source: Motoring

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado: A Tale of Four Tailgates

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 20:45

It’s not unusual for a pickup truck to feature a dozen or more grille and wheel designs, but four different tailgate lowering systems is rare. Yet that’s what we find on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. There’s an el-cheapo one that just plunges down like they all did on pickups of yore. Two feature torsion bars that damp the lowering and assist lift; one of these features power release (like on the new Ram). The coolest one replaces that torsion bar with an electric motor and gear reduction in the bottom of the tailgate and a pair of power-assist closure latches like the ones that pull the Corvette doors closed once you gently latch them.

Touch the electronic latch on the tailgate or double-tap the tailgate button on the key fob and the latches release, then the motor spins to slow the descent of the lightweight aluminum gate. To close it, use the remote, find the switch, or just manually lift the tailgate part and the motor brings the gate up until the latches catch and pull the door closed. There are force switches that reverse the motor if any resistance (like from fingers) is felt, and obviously it won’t close if something is resting on it.

And yes, it IS still possible to remove the tailgate. Just unplug the power and camera connection near the middle of the base of the tailgate, then undo a retaining bolt at the right-side pivot (the motor reacts against this solid mount when raising and lowering the gate). The left side is a free rotating pivot. The change to aluminum for the tailgate saves way more weight than the motor and power latches add back in, so you’ll have an easier time manhandling this gate off and on. Loads on the tailgate are carried by the same cable straps you find on any pickup.

The full power tailgate will be standard on High Country models and optional on LTZ models. Pricing has not been released yet.

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2018 BMW X2 Makes Auto Show Debut in Detroit

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 20:00

With the C-pillar mounted BMW Roundel gleaming in the spotlights, the all-new 2018 BMW X2 made its global debut in Detroit. The latest crossover to join the automaker’s X lineup, the X2 precedes the upcoming X7 flagship model. The X2 is the sportier version of the X1 but does not have the fastback design of the X4 and X6 models.

The X2 is priced higher than the X1 and shares the same wheelbase but is 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches lower. Inside, the cabin looks much like the X1’s interior but the X1 offers more cargo room and slightly more passenger room than the X2.

The BMW X2 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine that produces 228 hp from 5,000-6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque between a low 1,450 rpm and 4,500 rpm. BMW claims a quick 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds thanks to the standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed automatic transmission.

The X2 xDrive28i starts at $39,395 and can be ordered in Convenience or Premium tiers (not trims) which add more features. The sport-infused M Sport X Design starts at $44,045 and is offered in the Premium tier only. Both models can be ordered with the Driving Assistance and Dynamic Handling packages.

Options include a wireless phone charger, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, Apple CarPlay connectivity, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control with the Active Driving Assistant. The M Sport X Design can be optioned with an M rear spoiler and M Sport suspension. The standard 6.5-inch center display can be upgraded to an 8.8-inch touchscreen and the standard 18-inch wheels are upgradable to 19- or 20-inch wheels.

Expect to see the 2018 BMW X2 compete against rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, and Audi Q3 when the crossover hits showroom floors this spring.

Source: BMW

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2019 Ram 1500 Videos Show Off Interior, Chassis

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:15

Ram has succeeded in increasing its share in the full-size truck market in the last several years, and now it’s rolling out a new 1500 to improve its competitiveness further. The 2019 Ram 1500 debuted at the Detroit auto show with a shiny new exterior and a mild hybrid system headlining the changes. But it also made equally significant updates to the chassis and interior, two areas which Ram explores in the videos below.

In the first video, Ram describes how the use of advanced high-strength steel increases performance on the new truck. This material makes up 54 percent of the body structures and a whopping 98 percent of the frame. Thanks to the change, the Ram 1500 weighs about 225 pounds less overall than its predecessor. It’s also ductile, which helps to form parts when you’re stamping.

Some of the biggest updates to the Ram 1500’s interior involve technology and storage. An available 12-inch touchscreen boasts a split-screen functionality, allowing users to designate the top half of the screen for HVAC controls and the bottom half for navigation, as an example. The center console box was also designed to give users a choice on the ways they want to arrange items for storage. Ram also redesigned the shifter, center stack, and glove box.

Check out the videos below to learn more about the Ram 1500’s chassis and interior. For complete information on the 2019 Ram 1500, check out our First Look here.

Source: FCA

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2019 Hyundai Veloster N Makes Surprise Debut in Detroit

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 18:40

Hyundai brought a nice little surprise to the 2018 Detroit auto show in the form of the 2019 Veloster N, the first N-badged vehicle for the U.S. and the second following the European-spec i30 N.

Key design cues that differentiate the Veloster N from the standard car and the Veloster Turbo include lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels shod in Michelin Pilot SuperSport summer tires. Also available are 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped with 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summer tires that are made specifically for Hyundai N vehicles. The grille is unique to the Veloster N, which has its own dedicated front air ducts for improved cooling for the brakes. Out back, the car features a rear spoiler, and an integrated diffuser with a high-flow dual exhaust.

Inside, the car comes with cloth sport seats, a special instrument cluster with a shift indicator, N-badged sill plates, a unique steering wheel, shift knob, and blue interior accents.

Under the hood is a beefed up 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque that’s paired to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission with downshift rev-matching capability. Changes to the engine include an intercooler that’s been isolated from the condenser and radiator to improve charge cooling. The transmission features carbon-coated synchro rings and reinforced gears for smoother operation. A double-layer facing clutch disc is used for additional robustness. Like the i30 N, the Veloster N’s exhausts have a variable exhaust actuator, and in N mode, produce distinctive pops and crackles.

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N features a unique suspension tuning dubbed N Power Sense Axle design. It features a zero-scrub radius for better steering precision and on-center feel, increased linearity, and quicker response. Roll angles have also been decreased to improve grip while the motor-driven power steering system is now mounted on the rack and secured at three locations for less flex and more direct handling feel during enthusiastic driving. Body rigidity has been increased via a rear strut brace reinforcing the mounting points of the rear suspension.

An electronically controlled suspension comes standard on the 2019 Veloster N and it features an N mode that minimizes body roll and dive during braking. An electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential (N Corner-Carving Limited-Slip Differential in Hyundai speak) comes standard for reduced slip, improved launch performance, and increased max cornering speeds thanks to its torque vectoring capability.

Like the European-market i30 N, the Veloster N features a drive mode selector called the “N Grin Control System (ok), and features Normal, Sport, N, Eco and N Custom modes. The latter allows you to customize everything from suspension and engine to the exhaust and rev-matching function. For stopping power, the 2019 Veloster N will come standard with 13.0-inch front and 11.8-inch rear performance brakes. Optionally, you can specify larger 13.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear brakes.

When it goes on sale later this year, the 2019 Veloster N will be available in five colors, including Ultra Black, Chalk White, Racing Red, and Performance Blue, which is available only on the N model.

Source: Hyundai

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2019 Hyundai Veloster First Look: Halo Kiddy

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:05

Hyundai refers to its quirky one-plus-two-door Veloster coupe as a “reverse halo vehicle,” meaning it’s intended to draw young buyers in and get them hooked so that as they age, start families, and get promoted they’ll buy ever fancier Hyundai cars and utes. In Korea they even sell it under a “Premium Youth Lab” subbrand. Well, it’s hard to keep the kids interested year after year, and this new-for-2012 sporty car is arguably overdue for a do-over. One might expect a more radical redo in a market so fashion-conscious, but the new 2019 Hyundai Veloster certainly won’t be mistaken for anything else.

The continuous sweep of the roof into the backlite, the third half door on the passenger side, and the center exhaust outlet are all faithfully retained in this reimagining of Hyundai’s “city rally car,” but there’s a new wider sunroof, the A-pillars and cowl are moved back to visually extend the length of the hood, and aerodynamic air curtains are fitted to the front and (less expectedly) rear wheels. Up front, LED headlights and daytime running lights flank the new “pouring steel” cascade grille, and at the rear there are new LED taillights, dual centrally positioned exhaust outlets, and a more aggressive diffuser. Overall length increases by 0.8 inch (it’s all in the extended front overhang), and it’s wider by 0.4 inch.

Meanwhile most of what you don’t see has been substantially upgraded. The wheelbase is retained but the chassis shares more Elantra/Kona platform architecture, including the standard multilink rear suspension. The base naturally aspirated engine upgrades from 1.6 to 2.0 liters, gaining Atkinson-cycle efficiency plus 15 more horsepower and 12 additional lb-ft. That adds up to peak ratings of 147 hp at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. A choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions is offered.

The up-level engine is still a 201-hp, 195-lb-ft 1.6-liter turbo, though it’s retuned so that peak torque arrives earlier (1,500 rpm versus 1,750) mated to a six-speed manual or a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic that gets sportier programming to hold lower gears when cornering. And augmenting the sport-tuned intake and exhaust sounds made by these engines will be Active Sound Design noises delivered via the sound system and tailored to the drive modes, which now include normal, sport, and smart.

Chassis-wise, 17-inch aluminum wheels are standard with 18s optional. Four different wheel designs are offered. Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires are available on Turbo models. The steering ratio is also quicker by 10 percent for more agile feeling dynamics.

The 2019 Veloster’s interior design aesthetic was apparently inspired by café racer motorcycles, and it echoes the exterior’s asymmetry. A 7.0-inch display audio system is standard with an optional 8.0-inch display that offers performance gauges for turbo boost, engine torque, and lateral/longitudinal g forces. Qi wireless charging and an Infinity premium audio system are available, as is a wide, full-color pop-up reconfigurable head-up display that can depict speed limit, navigation instructions, adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist icons, and several more warnings along with the more traditional speedometer and tachometer.

New safety features include forward collision avoidance assist, lane keep assist, blind-spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, high-beam assist, and driver attention alert (which analyzes driving behavior, looking for increased lateral movement in lane, sudden increase of steering pattern, or insufficient lane guidance).

For 2019, five trim grades will be offered: 2.0, 2.0 Premium (automatic only), a lighter, more basic Turbo R-Spec with manual transmission, a middle Turbo offering with the seven-speed twin-clutch, and a fully loaded Turbo Ultimate variant that can be had with either transmission. Color choices include black, white, orange, red, and three shades of silver/gray with Turbo Ultimate models getting a black roof. Cloth is standard on 2.0 and Turbo R-Spec, a cloth-leather combo comes with 2.0 Premium or Turbo, and Ultimates get full leather with two-tone black and Sand Storm gray. All get colorful anodized dash accents in different colors.

The 2019 Veloster might look and feel a bit more grown up, but don’t expect its price to leap beyond the reach of the youthful clientele Hyundai expects it to lure into the Hyundai brand.

Read our 2017 Hyundai Veloster Turbo First Test review right here.

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2019 Kia Forte First Look: More Stylish and Efficient Compact Now Offers a CVT

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:35

The 2019 Kia Forte sedan makes its debut with a sleeker, more coupelike exterior at the 2018 Detroit auto show. Kia says that its compact sedan takes design cues from the Stinger to give it a more aggressive appearance. With its updated powertrain and an all-new CVT option, the 2019 Forte aims to be stylish and fuel efficient.

Unlike most compact sedans, the 2019 Kia Forte adopts a cab rearward exterior, giving it a fastback silhouette and a short trunklid. Designers moved the cowl back 5 inches to achieve this look while giving the car a more planted appearance on the road. Out back, the 2019 Forte has a trim piece connecting both of its taillights, similar to the Sportage crossover. The car has also been stretched by 3.2 inches, making it 182.7 inches long and allowing for more legroom and a larger trunk that now measures 15.1 cubic feet. It also grows slightly in width by 0.7 inch to 70.8 inches and is a half-inch taller at 56.7 inches, improving headroom.

The last-generation Kia Forte sedan won a Big Test comparison test in 2013. Read about it here.

Compared to the outgoing model, the 2019 Kia Forte features a stronger body made of 54 percent advanced high-strength steel and expects the car to receive top crash test scores from the IIHS. The seat frames are also stronger yet lighter, and the body-in-white is 16 percent stiffer. According to Kia, the 2019 model’s new motor-driven power steering system should minimize the artificial feel and friction while the revised suspension geometry improves handling. Throttle and braking feel have also been reworked to smooth out tip-in response and achieve better stopping performance.

Under the hood is a carryover 2.0-liter I-4 running on the Atkinson cycle and is estimated to make 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. It can be couple to either a standard six-speed manual or Kia’s first CVT, dubbed Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The automaker worked to ensure its first gearless transmission didn’t have a rubber band feel, which resulted in the addition of a “shifting” logic to make it feel like a conventional automatic. It also features a chain-type belt to help reduce the rubber band effect. Kia wrapped the transmission case in a sound-insulating cover to improve NVH and to ensure that the CVT doesn’t get noisy. The Korean automaker is expecting the new powertrain combination to get 35 mpg in the combined cycle.

Inside, the 2019 Forte comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which is the centerpiece of its minimalistic cabin. The updated infotainment system comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all models and can now read text messages on phones linked via Bluetooth. Additional features include full LED headlights, a 320-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system, and a wireless phone charger. A full suite of active safety tech will be offered on the 2019 Kia Forte including blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which bundles together automatic emergency braking and forward collision braking.

Look for the 2019 Kia Forte to go on sale later this year. A hatchback variant should follow sometime after the sedan, possibly with a 201-hp turbo-four engine option.

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2019 Acura RDX Prototype First Look: Larger, Stiffer, More Powerful

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:20

Acura might be calling its unveil of the third-generation RDX crossover a prototype, but the five-passenger luxury SUV making its global debut at North American International Auto Show is production-ready.

It goes on sale this summer, and there also will be an A-Spec variant available at launch—the first sporty addition for an Acura SUV. In the future, all core Acura vehicles will get the A-spec treatment.

Acura is calling it an all-new, exclusive platform—but the RDX started with the Honda CR-V architecture and modified the chassis and upgraded the powertrain. Obviously, the sheetmetal is much different, too.

The only engine under the hood at launch is the new 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine that is shared with the Honda Civic Type R and Accord. The direct-injection engine—which generates 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in the Type R and 252 hp and 273 lb-ft in the Accord—has 40 percent more low-end grunt than that of the outgoing RDX and is mapped to deliver more low-end thrust than the revvy Type R. We also expect a hybrid variant in the future.

The RDX’s 10-speed automatic transmission is shared with the Odyssey and Accord, but this is its first all-wheel-drive application.

The 2019 RDX is the same height as the outgoing RDX but is longer and wider with a wheelbase lengthened by 2.5 inches and a 1.2-inch wider track, said engineer Steve Hansen. It also has a shorter overhang and long wheel-to-dash for more dramatic proportions, fronted by the signature diamond pentagon grille and next-gen LED headlights. In back is a “dragon tail” with LED lamps.

Engineers made the body and chassis stiffer and gave the 2019 model a multilink rear suspension with a new adaptive damper system. Drive modes are similar to the NSX’s, which defaults to Sport but can be switched to Comfort, Snow, or Sport Plus. It has variable gear steering.

The 2019 model gets the second generation of Acura’s torque vectoring Super-Handling All Wheel Drive or SH-AWD. About 60 percent of current buyers opt for AWD.

It was at the 2016 NAIAS that Acura showed the Precision concept that would shape the design direction for the brand going forward. Some cues made it into the NSX, but the RDX is the first Acura to fully implement the look the Precision telegraphed, says Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda.

The interior takes cues from the Precision’s cockpit. There are real metals—not faux-look plastics—including brushed aluminum as well as open-pore olive ash wood. The floating console creates space underneath, and the adjustable armrest is nice and necessary around the fixed location of the infotainment interface.

The 16-way adjustable sport front seats are heated and cooled, covered in Nappa leather, and offer lumbar support. Four of the 16 speakers in the updated sound system are located in the roof instead of the door, for better sound and clarity. Also standard are a sport steering wheel and ultra-wide panoramic roof.

The infotainment system features a touchpad interface and a 10.2-inch screen. The new interface will be in future Acuras. The RDX also has new natural language speech recognition. There is 4G LTE Wi-Fi and over-the-air updates for telematics and infotainment.

The RDX made its debut for the 2007 model year and helped create the compact luxury crossover as we know it. With a consistent string of sales increases, the RDX has been the No. 1 or No. 2 seller in the segment for the past five years.

This is the first RDX to be developed in the U.S., tapping the Ohio engineering team and California design studio. The crossover will continue to be built in Ohio at the East Liberty plant, and the engine is assembled in the Anna, Ohio, facility that also makes the twin-turbo engine for the NSX.

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PHOTOS! Cars of the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:16

The 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has begun, and Detroit has already delivered some remarkable sheetmetal. From the highly anticipated reveal of the U.S.-spec Ford Ranger to the surprise debut of the Ford Mustang Bullitt, the show is shaping up to be an exciting one. But with so many big premieres happening in such a short span of time, it can be tough to keep track of them all. That’s why we’ve collected photos of all the most important 2018 Detroit auto show debuts in one post.

Keep checking back throughout the show for more updates.

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel  2019 Ram 1500 Limited 2018 BMW X2 Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt 2019 Volkswagen Jetta 2019 Ford Edge ST 2019 Ford Ranger 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT (and LTZ) 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss

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Nissan Xmotion Concept Previews Design Direction for Brand’s CUVs

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:00

At the 2018 Detroit auto show, Nissan introduced the Xmotion Concept, a small crossover that previews the future design direction of the automaker’s crossovers. It also features an assortment of advanced driver assistance tech and a trick multimedia system with a personal assistant feature. Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan, says that the wedge-shaped Xmotion Concept draws inspiration from Japanese aesthetics and heritage to give utility vehicles a more unique look and blend it with modern technology. It features key autonomous and semi-autonomous driving tech like Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system.

Exterior design cues include what Nissan calls a “protective armor” on the front and rear lower bumpers and side sills. Nissan styling cues are found throughout the Xmotion Concept’s exterior and include a new version of the automaker’s V-Motion grille that’s wider and deeper than in current production vehicles. Horizontal bars, which Nissan says are inspired by Japanese architecture and appear in a blade-like lattice pattern, featuring a high-gloss finish. Continuing with the sharp edges theme, the boomerang-style headlights return and are meant to evoke forged steel blades. The lamps integrate low beams, high beams, turn signals, and positioning lights all into a single cluster. The Xmotion Concept’s rear end features a unique taillight design that Nissan says is inspired by kumiko woodwork and puzzles, and features an optical illusion made via a hologram.

The Nissan Xmotion Concept has a striking stance thanks to its 21-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain tires. Its alloy wheels also feature a design effect that make it look like the wheels and tires are one, which in turn makes the rims look bigger than they actually are. At 180.7 inches long, 76.4 inches wide, and 66.9 inches tall, the Xmotion Concept is about the same size as the Nissan Rogue, putting it squarely at the heart of the compact crossover class in terms of dimensions.

Inside, the Nissan Xmotion Concept features an interior inspired by Japanese landscape with a floor that’s supposed to represent a river and a center console mimicking a bridge. Nissan says that the three-row Xmotion Concept features a 4+2 layout thanks to six individual seats instead of the normal three-row layout, which usually includes a bench in the second row. Albaisa says that the automaker is envisioning this concept as a practical crossover that’s usable every single day. It also features a retractable rooftop box for additional storage and was designed to ensure that it fit enough equipment while still remaining aerodynamic. Other key design cues include genuine wood trim taken from a single Japanese cedar tree from Yamagata Prefecture in Japan.

Even the interior colors are inspired by Japanese culture with red and white representing the Japanese flag and black accents representing technology. Printed and laser-embossed suede is used throughout the cabin and are accented by Nishijin-weave carbon fiber. The color patterns in the cabin are inspired by utsuroi or “gradual transitions” with the three main colors, red, black and white, blending together harmoniously.

There are a total of seven screens in the Nissan Xmotion Concept with three main displays plus left and right end displays that span the width of the car’s instrument panel. It can be controlled via gestures, eye movements, and voice to allow the driver to focus on driving while giving them the ability to safely access the infotainment system. One of the key features of the Xmotion Concept’s infotainment system is the so-called “Floating Koi,” a virtual personal assistant that takes the form of a koi fish that pops up on the main screen. Once a smartphone is linked to the car, the navigation system can automatically recognize destinations and even pull up useful information such as the weather and music. The virtual assistant can also pull up points of interest on your route and browse for information while you’re on the road even when the car is driving autonomously.

Source: Nissan

 

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