2020 Kia Sportage
Proudly sitting as the main attraction at Kia’s 2019 Chicago Auto Show stand, the new 2020 Kia Sportage introduced us to a number of novelties, most important of which is its amazing standard safety pack. The subtle facelift touched the 2020 Kia Sportage’s front and back end and gifted low-end models with even more tech. While this is basically all that’s important on the newest Sportage, it seems that this compact SUV really doesn’t need more improvement. It is a value-centered compact SUV, and it does all it should really well. After all, it does have some legacy to defend. Believe it or not, the Sportage was the first car with a knee airbag back in 1998. Heck, it is even the first vehicle to complete the Paris-Dakar rally and the Baja 1000. It did it in 1993 and 1995, respectively. While Kia is not really big on promoting these facts, I can tell you that the new Sportage really does epitomize the safety proves and the sporty character of its predecessors.
2020 Aston Martin Project 003
The Aston Martin Project 003 is a concept that the British firm will unveil at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle will become a production model in 2021, as well as the company’s third hypercar. The new vehicle follows the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro, formerly known as Project 001 and Project 002, respectively.
There isn’t much information to run by as of this writing, but Aston Martin did say that Project 003 will be a bit different than the Valkyrie. Not only it will have a hybrid system, but it will also include luggage space. Production will also be bigger, with 500 units set to roll out of Aston Martin’s factory. That’s a big jump from the Valkyrie’s 175-unit production run, 25 of which are AMR Pro versions. Stay tuned for more info about this car from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
2019 Skoda Kamiq
The Skoda Kamiq is the company’s third crossover and its smallest SUV yet. Designed for the subcompact market, the Kamiq was created and built in China by the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture. Unveiled at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show and launched on the Chinese market in June 2018, the Kamiq is finally coming to Europe. The crossover will break cover at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. As the company’s third SUV since 2016, the Kamiq joins the midsize Kodiaq and the compact Karoq on the European market. The Kamiq replaces the Yeti, which was discontinued back in 2017, and shares underpinnings with the Volkswagen T-Roc and the Seat Arona, among other Volkswagen vehicles. It will compete with the successful Nissan Juke and its upcoming successor. Until the crossover debuts in Geneva, here’s what we already know about it.
BMW to Go All PHEV at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show
BMW, like any major automaker, will deploy a whole bunch of electric cars at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. This isn’t surprising us at all, but what’s interesting is that the Bavarian brand chooses to concentrate on its hybrid and electric offerings, like the highly-anticipated 330e, the 745e, and the X5 xDrive45e that will share the drivetrain with the facelifted PHEV 7er.
Is the writing on the wall for gas-powered cars? The answer may still be no, but it’s clear that every big player in the automotive world wants to prove to its customers, as well as its peers and the environmental agencies, that hybrid models and all-out electric cars represent an increasing share of its offering. BMW is a leading example, not only with its i family of electric cars but also with its growing variety of hybrids. However, for those who aren’t excited about electric motors and the like, BMW will also display the tasteful M850i Individual Night Sky model under the limelight at Geneva.
2020 Pininfarina PF0 Battista
Pininfarina, the company best well known for its association with Ferrari, wants to break free from under the shade of the Prancing Horse and make a name for itself as the builder of the fastest car to come out of Italy. The name of this car? Battista, like the name of the company’s founder. The numbers that should firmly plant this car on the map? 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet, a 0 to 62 mph sprint in less than two seconds, and a top speed of about 250 mph. All done by an EV powertrain that’s capable of running over 300 miles between charges.
Reading those numbers it’s easy to dismiss the Pininfarina Battista as just another ludicrous car that will never actually become reality. Something like the Devel Sixteen, the Arabian hypercar that packs a V-16 engine that’s capable of 5,000 horsepower. That one was supposedly slated to start final testing this month. Or the equally insane Vector WX-8, Jerry Wiegert’s project that should’ve brought his once proud company back from the dead. He said 12 years ago that a 10-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 will power the car and that it will crank out 1,850 horsepower. More recently, Wiegert sold his two WX-3 prototypes to fund the project.
But the Battista is a more serious offering than both those elusive creations. First off, Pininfarina was bought by Mahindra four years ago for $190.6 million and, as we know, Mahindra has the financial power to throw cash at a project like this if so desires. With Pininfarina aiming to build just 150 of these, 50 dedicated to each of its three markets: Europe, America, and the Middle-East, we can expect people to actually come forth with pre-orders once it gets revealed at Geneva in a couple of weeks.
2019 Skoda Vision iV Concept
The Skoda Vision iV is a concept car that previews the company’s entry on the electric car market with a vehicle built on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform. Although it’s aggressive and futuristic exterior looks familiar, drawing cues from previous Skoda concepts, the interior is unique and innovative for the Czech brand. Set to be unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Vision iV is part of Skoda’s recently announced plans to invest around €2 billion in electrification and launch 10 EV and hybrid vehicles by 2022. The Vision iV won’t make it into production as is, but it provides hints as to how future Skoda cars will look inside and out. The concept has yet to break cover, but we have a few sketches and some information to look at until the Geneva Motor Show kicks off.
Koenigsegg Exclusivity Will Drop as the Brand Aims to Taken on Ferrari in the Next Decade
The days of Koenigsegg holding court as one of the most exclusive automakers in the world could come to an end soon. A report from Bloomberg revealed that the Swedish automaker plans to boost its output of performance cars to hundreds of models per year by 2022. Making up most of this increased output is a new “entry-level” supercar that Koenigsegg promises will feature an engine that has better acceleration and efficiency. This yet-to-be-identified model will command a price of $1 million per unit. The goal, according to company boss Christian von Koenigsegg, is to put the company in equal footing with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini.
2019 Peugeot 508 Sport Engineering Concept
Peugeot will bring a high performance electrified version of the 508 sedan to the 2019 Geneva motor show, although, sadly, like other previous bonkers fast electrified Peugeot concepts, it probably won’t see the production line. And, that’s a pity, because the 508 looks like it goes much faster than it actually does and this injection of extra go is just what it needs.
If you are a true car enthusiast, you need to own an Alfa Romeo at least once in your lifetime. Driving the Stelvio Quadrifoglio really proves that the Alfa Romeo experience is still there. But, most importantly, the Stelvio feels special, and that really sets it apart from everything else. We spent a few days with the Stelvio and could not get enough, and that was just driving around town. If there was a race track around, we probably would not stop until there was no fuel or tires left. The Stelvio, at least in the Quadrifloglio configuration, is just a beautifully crafted machine that begs to be driven.
2020 Nissan Rogue Sport
When seen from a bird’s eye view, Nissan is actually managing its crossover portfolio quite well. At the entry-level, the Japanese automaker has the Kicks and, at the top, it has the Nissan Rogue. Nissan had the Juke to fill the gap in between, but the model was discontinued a couple of years back. Although it looked like the Kicks will have to manage two duties, Nissan quickly came up with a much better replacement for the Juke in the form of the Nissan Rogue Sport. The Rogue Sport was specially designed for the U.S. market and is not being sold anywhere else.
2020 Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen is approaching the end of the development phase of the new Volkswagen Golf 8 - the most connected Golf of all time. But before I proceed with bombarding you with all the incredible things I’ve learned about it, let me just give you a glimpse of its importance through my experience.
It was 2004, my finishing year of elementary school when Volkswagen revealed the Golf MkV GTI. I remember that day vividly because that was the day I was directly exposed to the culture of the Volkswagen Golf aficionados that I subconsciously wanted to avoid. That day, during recess, one kid came running in the schoolyard carrying a ProAuto car magazine in his hands and basically yelling, “New GTI, New GTI.” He did not buy lunch out of his pocket money, but a car magazine with a GTI on its cover. Every single kid that had heard him charged at him to see what kind of a Golf the new GTIwill be. I ran too. I was struggling to see what the new Golf looks like and we all jostled each other to get a glimpse of the car.
That moment alone changed my perception of Golf for a lifetime. And, believe it or not, that car magazine I was telling you about - I started working there some years later.
Now, exactly 15 years after I saw the Golf MkV GTI for the first time, I have the opportunity to witness the reveal of the Golf 8 (and I believe the GTI). 15 years ago, Volkswagen proudly chanted in its press release “It is [Golf GTI] stronger, better and more sought after than ever.” The Golf MkVIII will be exactly that - stronger, better and more sought after than ever. But also, more connected than ever.
Audi Traffic Light Information System Will Tell you How Fast to Go to Catch a Green Light
Audi has offered a system called Traffic Light Information (TLI) on some of its models since 2015 (in cities where vehicle-to-vehicle V2I infrastructure was implemented), and now it is adding a new supporting system to it called Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA). It is available on post-2017 model year A4 and Q7 models and, on paper, it sounds really useful as it recommends what speed you should travel at in order to catch “the green wave.”
2019 Zero FXS
Zero Motorcycles brushed up its supermoto-tastic FXS model ahead of MY2019 with a new look and improved electronics. That’s right, Zero’s trickster bike reprises its role in the lineup with a youthful exuberance that is impossible to ignore along with more power storage and performance, but don’t look to this machine to be your next commuter, not unless you have a very short commute. That’s OK, ’cause it is good for what it’s good for, so let’s get about the business of dissecting this fun little ride.
Here’s Your First Look at the Aston Martin Project 003
The 2019 Geneva Motor Show is only two weeks away, and automakers are already rolling out teasers of vehicles they will showcase in Switzerland. Among them, there’s the Aston Martin Project 003, a new hypercar that the British firm is looking to launch in 2021. We only have a teaser shot and little info right now, but Project 003 looks and sounds exciting, to say the least.
Clash of the Track-Focused Giants: Ferrari 488 Pista vs McLaren 600LT vs Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche are three automakers renowned for making many superb track-honed models over the years, and the latest names to keep that flame going are 488 Pista, 600LT and 911 GT3 RS. All these cars are roughly in the same price bracket and are comparable in terms of performance. Yet, the way they achieve (and deliver) said performance is quite different from car to car.
2020 Mercedes-Benz SL Grand Edition
The Mercedes-Benz SL Grand Edition is a special-edition version of the company’s familiar and fairly old SL roadster. Based on the sixth-generation SL, upgraded most recently for the 2017 model year, the Grand Edition is probably the last hurrah for the dated roadster, which should be replaced by 2021. Described as an "especially exclusive" Mercedes-Benz, the Grand Edition is indeed a more bespoke version of the SL, but upgrades are limited to special color and trim on the outside and a new leather upholstery inside the cabin. The Grand Edition also rides on a sportier suspension, but it features the same engines as the standard model. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
2020 GMC Acadia
GMC has unveiled the facelifted Acadia. Although we all expected just a few tweaks to the body and the cabin, GMC actually packed the Acadia with more than that. The 2020 GMC Acadia is now available with a new turbocharged engine, new technology, and a host of other features. Hell, the company has even launched a new trim level for the 2020 model year. Is GMC giving the Acadia a major push to capture a bigger market share from one of the fiercest segments?
The 2021 Lexus IS Could Inherit the 2020 Toyota Supra’s BMW-Sourced Inline-Six
Is it possible that Toyota’s existing partnership with BMW could extend into a Lexus? That’s what a report from Japan’s Best Car magazine is saying. According to the report, the next-generation Lexus IS sports sedan will be powered by the same 335-horsepower, 3.0-liter, turbocharged, straight-six that you can find under the hood of a recently released Toyota sports car that’s been dominating the news lately. If the reports are true, the next-generation IS could share the same engine with the Toyota Supra and, by extension, the BMW Z4. Whether using that engine is enough to elevate the IS’ standing in the premium compact luxury market remains to be seen. It would definitely be interesting to see it compete against BMW and the almighty 3 Series with an engine that comes from, well, BMW.
2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP
Mini is a company that should be taken seriously when it sets about building a performance car. That’s why we stood up and listened when, late last year, we heard that the Mini Cooper JCW GP was coming back in 2020 after what will be a seven-year hiatus. Now, we’re seeing the first spy shots and, as you’d expect, it’s the Cooper JCW dialed up to 11 with some cues ported straight from the devilishly cool 2017 Cooper Works GP Concept. We want it now, together with its +300 horsepower!
Traditionally, the GP version of the Cooper Works is the ultimate performance model. In the past, John Cooper Works, which is long for JCW, built two GP models based on the previous two generations of the Mini. Of the last GP, which bowed out in 2014, only 2,000 examples exist, and just 500 were sold in the U.S., so expect the new model to also be a rare bird. Talking about birds, the GP will once again mark the swansong of the third-generation Mini Hatch with a new one coming soon.
Volkswagen Presents Lego T2 Camper Van And We’re Already Dreaming Of A Life-Sized Lego World
The Volkswagen Type 2 is one of the German automaker’s most enduring designs and was even kept in production in Brazil until 2013. Volkswagen sold countless numbers around the world and, while the T2 generation isn’t as cute as the original T1, it has its place in history. At the F.re.e Leisure and Travel Fair in Munich, Germany, the T2 made an unexpected appearance in Lego form, proving that making full-scale recreations of cars out of thousands of Lego bricks is now a thing.
The second generation of Volkswagen’s world-renown compact multi-purpose van debuted in the Summer of 1967 and was kept in production until 1979 for the American and European markets. The Argentinian market enjoyed the T2 as late as 1986 while over in Mexico you could buy a new T2 up until 1994. However, the T2 was most popular in Brazil where Volkswagen built it at the São Bernardo do Campo plant until 2013 when the production officially ended with a run of 600 Last Edition vehicles.