For 2018, Volkswagen is introducing a new Passat GT model. The GT introduces some sporty touches to the Passat line. The Passat has mostly been about sensible family transportation until now, excluding the 2003-2004 Passat W8 perhaps. It would have been very easy for Volkswagen to come up with a sporty version of the Passat but they instead have gone for more luxurious models. It looks like Volkswagen is finally dipping their toes into the sports sedan waters to judge the public’s reaction with the Passat GT.
2018 Volkswagen Golf R
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf was introduced in 2012 in Europe, but it didn’t make it to U.S. soil until 2014, when it was launched for the 2015 model year. Slightly larger and sportier than its predecessor, the Mk7 also gained a revamped interior, new convenience and safety features, and a wide range of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. The new-generation Golf also spawned a new GTi model, but a more powerful R version was also launched for 2015. With the regular model having received a facelift in 2016, an updated version of the Golf R followed for 2017.
As it is the case with most Volkswagen facelifts, the mid-cycle update doesn’t bring too many features. However, the Golf R is a bit sportier on the outside and benefits from the many technological improvements made to the lineup. The turbocharged engine was also uprated, but while the Golf R is now slightly more powerful than the Honda Civic Type R, it’s nowhere near as brawny as the impressiveFord Focus RS. How does it compare to the competition? Let’s find out in the review below.
12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review with new images of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R taken at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery below!
Here’s Why It’s Important to Have Four, Matching Winter Tires
If you think that you only really need winter tires on the driven axle of your vehicle, since it does all the pulling or pushing, then think again. Doing something like that can pose a serious safety hazard. Different grip levels for the front and rear can result in a very unsafe handling experience on snow, and the vehicle can go into a snap oversteer maneuver, careening into oncoming traffic.
2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
Although Hyundai didn’t offer an SUV until the Terracan was introduced in 2001 (the 1991 Galloper doesn’t really count since it was a rebadged Mitsubishi), the Korean firm now has four different crossovers on offer. The latest to join the family is the Kona, and it’s the company’s first subcompact offering. But more importantly, it’s the first subcompact SUV to get an all-electric version. Unveiled in February 2018, the Kona Electric is the first of its kind on the European market and crosses the pond to the U.S. for 2019.
Much like any other EV or hybrid based on a conventional vehicle, the Kona Electric is very similar to the gasoline-powered Kona. The styling carries over with a few changes inside and out, while the equipment lines remain pretty much the same. It’s the drivetrain that makes a big difference, as the Kona Electric doesn’t use dinosaur juice. What’s more, the Kona Electric comes with impressive performance and range of a crossover that will cost significantly less than the expensive Tesla Model X. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Update 12/12/2018 We’ve updated this review with fresh images of the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric take at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show. Check them out in the gallery below!
2019 BMW 3-Series Review Roundup: Does it Get the Class Crown?
Journalists have tried out the all-new, seventh-gen, 2019 BMW 3-Series G20 at its official launch event in Portugal, and first impressions of the car are really good. You’d expect BMW to want to pull out all the stops in order to get its smallest and most popular sedan right and, apparently, it did.
2020 Lincoln Aviator
First introduced for the 2003 model year, the Lincoln Aviator was initially offered as a luxury sport utility vehicle for the mid-size segment. After failing to meet sales expectations, Lincoln axed the nameplate in 2005 after just a few years in production. Now, however, as nationwide SUV sales continue onwards into the stratosphere, the Aviator makes its triumphant second-generation return for the 2020 model year, slotting in between the Nautilus and the standard wheelbase Navigator in Lincoln’s lineup. The latest model offers elegant styling, a top-notch interior layout, oodles of comfort, the latest tech, and a super torquey hybrid engine option.
2020 Porsche Macan S: New Engine, More Power, Same Sexy Appearance
The Porsche Macan often gets overshadowed by its bigger and more accomplished brother, the Porsche Cayenne. But, that’s about to change because the new Macan S breaks the crossover out of its shell. Not only is the 2019 Macan S sexier, but it also packs a new engine that produces more power than its predecessor. Those three elements are the biggest highlights of the new Macan S, underscoring what we’ve all been waiting for from the model since it first arrived in 2014. Put together; the new Macan S sheds its rough-around-the-edges label in favor of a more balanced ride. Don’t look now, but it appears that Porsche’s entry-level crossover is ready for the big leagues. The new Porsche Macan S starts at $58,600.
You Won’t Believe How Fast This Tuned Mercedes GLC 63 is!
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe is one of the fastest, most powerful SUVs in Mercedes’ repertoire right now. But German tuner GAD Motors is ready to offer an insane version with almost twice the power over twice the torque. The bundle of insanity that comes out of GAD’s workshop is capable of eating miles down the Autobahn at over 186 mph seemingly effortless.
The GLC-Class is a compact luxury SUV; the jacked up brother of the C-Class sedan. It was launched back in 2015, and the most powerful variant is the AMG-tuned GLC 63 S. It comes with an aggressive aerodynamic package with extended bumpers, side skirts, and huge 20-inch wheels. There’s room for more, though, and GAD Motors is doing just that, exploring the limits of the coupe-bodied SUV to the point that it reaches 62 mph faster than a McLaren 675LT, a Porsche 991 911 GT3 or a Ferrari 488.
Is This the New 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK8?
With the impending introduction to the all-new 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8, we are in for numerous teasers, spy photos and, evidently, spy videos of the thing. Volkswagen already confirmed that it will start with the production of the all-new Golf Mk8 in June next year, and this means that we will see it long before then. Only days ago, a Facebook user “Tuned Automotive Magazine” published a video with a title - “Is This The Golf Mk8?” In there, one can see a wonderful dark red Golf with massive GTI wheels on the highway. While no one is certain of the authenticity of the video, one thing is certain - the video stirred some blood in the car community.
The 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 will be unveiled for Europe next year. Heck, people there will be able to buy it in the second half of 2019. If I am to deduce about its U.S. debut, I’d have to say that the Golf will reach our shores and showrooms a year later - just as it was with the previous generation.
10 of the Boxiest Cars and SUVs On the Market
Most cars you can buy nowadays are designed to look like wedges that seem as if they’re on the move when standing still. However, there are still those models that buck the trend, adopting a boxier and generally more upright look.
Some do it for functionality, others for pure style, but what’s certain is these boxy models don’t really constitute the norm, and you have to really do a thorough search to find them. This list doesn’t include Japanese Kei cars or JDM models in general (since we’d fill the list quite quickly), but I have included one Kei entry just to show a style of small car that is most popular in Japan.
You really won’t find them outside Japan, so elsewhere you have to look harder to get your boxy car and/or SUV kicks. From 2009 until 2014, Nissan sold the asymmetrical Cube people carrier outside Japan and that car would have made a great poster vehicle for this article, but now it’s been relegated to JDM-only status so that won’t work...
But, thankfully, such models do exist, if we concentrate on the sort of vehicles you can buy in North America and Europe. Here’s our list of the ten boxiest cars available in these regions, plus one super-boxy Kei car to represent Japan.
If You Want a New BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, You Better Order One Now!
Unlike Prince Akeem, the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is not coming to America. That’s the word from BMW itself after a spokesperson from BMW North America confirmed that the next-generation 3 Series Sports Wagon is not headed to the U.S. market. Simmer’s decision to skip on selling the 3 Series Sports Wagon in the U.S. ends the model’s 20-year run in America. BMW has sold the 3er wagon in the U.S. since the E46 generation, which lasted from 1998 to 2006 before making way for the E90 and F30 generations of the popular nameplate. But now that BMW has switched over to the all-new, G20 generation, the list of models available here in the U.S. will miss one staple. You can still buy a 3 Series Sport Wagon, but you’ll have to settle for the current-generation F30 model.
Here’s Your First Teaser of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK8 - WIll it Be More of the Same?
At the recent Volkswagen Brand Annual Session 2018, an event held for the employees and inventors of the company, Volkswagen released a sketch of the brand-new 2020 Golf Mk8. This is a big deal for the company who, more or less, built its riches on the success of the Golf’s seven previous generations. Volkswagen, is nowadays hatching ever so appealing hatches. Recently, the company released the Skoda Scala - a hatchback - that is set to take some Golf buyers. This fact alone reveals the truth about the new Golf - it will go upmarket. New tech, plusher looks, better materials inside, and more powerful engines are all coming to the Wolfsburg pride. In total, the Volkswagen Group produces four important hatchbacks - the Skoda Scala, the Audi A3, the Seat Leon, and the Volkswagen Golf.
While the sketch released at the event is quite vague, I managed to dig out so much more information on the new Golf Mk8, it’s like I can already imagine it in my head. Let’s go.
How Much is the Audi E-Tron GT Concept Going to Change as it Shifts Into Production?
We were all stunned by the looks of Audi’s E-Tron GT Concept that the German Automaker unexpectedly unveiled at the L.A. Autoshow. The electric four-door coupe is slated to become the benchmark performance model in the E-Tron range and is co-developed with Audi’s competition arm, Audi Sport. What is more, the outlandish design is set to remain vastly unchanged when the car enters production in 2020, if we are to believe Audi’s design boss, Marc Lichte.
I’m a fan of the E-Tron GT Concept, and I’m not a fan of too many new cars. That’s why I wrote in my previous pieces on the subject of this car that I hope it will remain intact - from a visual standpoint - when it hits showrooms in less than two year’s time. Now, we hear that Marc Lichte confirmed to the media at a roundtable organized during the L.A. Auto Show that most of the sheet metal we see on the concept will be carried over to the production car. You can imagine some alterations will be made, mostly in the name of safety, but that should be it.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe
Get ready for yet another coupe-like SUV, this time from a fledgling manufacturer that has yet to establish itself: Lynk & Co. This time the vehicle in question currently doesn’t yet have a name, but we do know it is the more rakish and slightly less practical version of the high-riding 01 model.
The vehicle was recently spotted by our spies under thick camouflage, but we are able to make out its BMW X6-inspired rear end design, as well as the same front end as on the 01 - the car in the photos looks like it’s the same until the B-pillar, but from there on its roofline dips in fastback style.
Its interior and engine range will be the same, although the coupe variant of the SUV may come with sportier suspension tuning and slightly less emphasis on comfort - this is also what other manufacturers that have such vehicles do to give these models more than just a visual differentiation.
And in the not too distant future, we may start to see lots of Lynk & Co vehicles not only in Europe but also the States. Geely, the Chinese automotive giant that owns Lynk & Co (as well as Volvo), is examining possibilities to open manufacturing facilities in Gent, Belgiu as well as in North Carolina.
2019 Audi RS7 Sportback
Audi first introduced the A7 in 2010 at the Paris Motor Sow as a sporty, yet practical iteration of the A6. U.S. models arrived for the 2012 model year, while the hot-to-trot RS7 was released in 2013 with more power, complimentary suspension and chassis upgrades, and sharper looks. Now, following the release of the second-gen A7 in October of 2017, Audi is cooking up a second generation for the RS7 as well, and it could get as much as 700 hybridized horsepower under the hood.
Updated 12/10/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi RS7 Sportback in its production form during cold weather testing flaunting its big oval exhaust pipes.
Volkswagen won’t abandon combustion engines but will focus on EVs beyond 2026
Volkswagen’s plans with the I.D. family are undoubtedly grand, and the German manufacturer is going to great lengths to make sure their upcoming EVs will be best-sellers from the word go, but internal combustion engines won’t be killed off by the end of 2026 as previously reported.
Remember VW’s plans to build 1,000,000 EVs a year by 2025? Well, the car maker from Wolfsburg is now aiming to roll out 15,000,000 cars based on the new MEB platform in the first wave. That calls for a continuous flow of money that will see Volkswagen cut costs by eliminating some of the ICE models from its lineup and curtail redundancies in various administrative departments.
2018 BMW M5 Touring F11 By Carbonfiber Dynamics
I’ve wondered for long - what the heck is a sleeper? Can any of the modern performance-laden cars be sleepers? I think it’s possible, but only if you inject it with a proper amount of power. This time I am referring to a rather unusual entry in the world of modified cars - the Carbonfiber Dynamics BMW M5 Estate - an Estate with a power greater than that of a Porsche 918 Spyder. Yup, this BMW M5 Estate has an engine under its bonnet with 900 horsepower.
The Germans! What can I say!?
Rumors of a 2020 BMW X8 Swirl Yet Again, Could Be An Ultra-Luxurious SUV
BMW just introduced the new 8 Series earlier this year, and in doing so, resurrected the 8 Series nameplate after roughly two decades on the shelf. Fans already adore the new luxury-laden grand tourer, but now it’s looking like BMW might apply some of its 8’er gloss to its SUV line as well.
Ford is reportedly working on a replacement model for the Courier pickup sold in Brazil, and there’s a good chance this new model could make it to North America. Unlike the Courier, which is positively tiny by American pickup standards because it is based on the Fiesta city car (and also it went out of production in 2013 and never got a direct replacement), this new Ranchero would use the slightly largerFocus platform.
This means it’d grow in length quite considerably and also move from a single cab design to a crew cab. If it makes it to the States, it would probably get a name change as well, so instead of Courier, it will probably be called Ranchero, recalling an older model name. The old Ranchero was built between 1957 and 1979 as a unibody, car-based pickup. It was Ford’s answer to the Chevy El Camino.
So, it would be quite natural for Ford to use the Ranchero name for this newly proposed pickup, although nothing has been officially confirmed yet (or denied, for that matter). What’s clear is that this new Ranchero could be here by 2022, when it will share the showroom floor with the likes of the new Ranger, Bronco, and maybe a boxy-looking Focus platform-based crossover (aka “baby Bronco”).
Ford Won’t Use the Mach 1 Name On An SUV - It’ll Use the Newly Patented Mach-E
The crossover craze continues unabated, and rumor has it Ford is getting in on the action with a new electrified model that could carry some DNA over from the Mustang, including a name derived from the iconic Mach 1. However, diehards will be pleased to know the fresh utility vehicle most likely will receive a new nameplate all its own - “Mach-E.”