2019 Honda Insight
Introduced in late 1999, the Honda Insight was the first production to feature the company’s then-new Integrated Motor Assist system. It was also the first hybrid launched in North America, arriving in showrooms seven months before the Toyota Prius. Production ended in 2006, after only 17,020 units built, with plans to roll out a replacement in 2009. The second-gen model arrived on time, but this time as a five-door hatchback. The Insight was discontinued for the second time in 2014, mostly due to slow sales. Come 2018 and Honda wants to revive the nameplate with a modern design and drivetrain, and a pre-production prototype is set to break cover at the Detroit Auto Show.
"The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume," said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice resident of American Honda. The redesigned Insight will join four other electrified Hondas, including the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel Cell, and the Fit EV. Most specs are still being kept under wraps, but Honda did unveil a few details about the car’s design and technology. Let’s find out more about it in the review below. And remember to stay tuned for an update from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Insight.
Dorna and the FIM makes airbag suits compulsory for all GP riders
It has been over a couple of months that the world witnessed the end of the 2017 MotoGP championship. But for many like me, excitement levels are even higher now with the teams busy putting the 2018 MotoGP bikes through their paces and testing their readiness for the opening race of the MotoGP in Qatar.
Taking safety into top priority, the MotoGP organizers Dorna and the FIM made a new call to make it compulsory for riders to wear a suit under the riding jacket that would expand with air upon impact. Just like the airbags in your car.
Pops’ Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts
Another day, another carrot. I just dropped by to tell you that I love karma. Nope, not the Fisker Karma. That karma. The principle that Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. It’s the concept that keeps all life in a perfect balance. And the same concept made Elon Musk look pretty dumb after Hyundai launched the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV at the Consumer Electronics Show. Yup, gotta love karma!
We Already Know What it Looks Like, But Mercedes is Teasing the Next-Gen G-Class SUV Anyway
Give Mercedes-Benz credit for this: no amount of leaked images will spoil it by teasing the upcoming Mercedes G-Class. We’ve already seen the all-weather SUV running roughshod in a snowy landscape. Now, it’s taking its marauding madness to the sand dunes with a new teaser photo that shows next-to-nothing except for a peek at the front section of the SUV.
The lack of identifiable body bits doesn’t really matter anymore because the aforementioned leaked photos gave the jig up. We know that the new G-Class will keep its iconic look. With the exception of a few bits and pieces, the new G-Class will remain identifiable to anybody who sees it. That’s not to say that the SUV will be completely the same. Looks aside, this is a new model that’s packing plenty of new tech features and the latest in state-of-the-art technology. The interior, in particular, boasts a reconfigured layout and a new digital instrument cluster, among other niceties.
We’ll leave the technical details for Mercedes to reveal, but the new G-Class is shaping up to be another German masterclass in robust off-roading. The SUV is scheduled to make its debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next week. Before that, a third and final teaser will be unveiled on January 14. It doesn’t matter now since we already know what the G-Class looks like, but in keeping with the theme of the first two teaser photos, we’re guessing that this one takes place in a jungle. Perhaps even outer space? No, that’d be too much.
2018 Lotus Evora GT410
Read the Latest on the 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 or get up to speed on the 2017 Lotus Evoa Sport 410 Want to Know More?Lotus Evora
Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus Evora 400.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora 410.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora GT430.
2019 Kia Forte
Introduced in 2008 as a brand-new nameplate, the Forte has already made a name for itself in the affordable compact car market. And while it might not be as popular as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the Forte was Kia’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in recent years and of only 15 cars to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018. Not bad for an automobile that had nothing to brag about a decade ago. Almost six years old as of early 2018, the second-generation Forte is living its final months on the market, with a redesigned model set to break cover at the Detroit Auto Show. Details are still under wraps, but Kia released a bunch of design sketches to keep us busy until the event kicks off next week.
Based on these renderings, the Kia Forte will gain a massive makeover. As is always the case with design sketches, the sedan might not be aggressive in real life, but even if we ignore the exaggerated styling cues, the third-gen Forte is one sexy compact. The interior looks promising too thanks to its clean design and near-premium class features. There’s still a lot left to discover about the car that’s trying to give the all-popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic a run for their money, but until we can find out more at the Detroit Auto Show, let’s have a closer look at Kia’s design sketches below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Forte Sedan.
2014 - 2018 Royal Enfield Continental GT
India-based Royal Enfield has been busy expanding its footprint as of late. The newly-minted U.S. dealerships will be scampering for a piece of the action with a bike that is sure to appeal to the increasingly-important Millennial buyers— the cafe’-tastic Continental GT. Built with an unmistakeable retro flavor and powered by a 535 cc, 29.1-horsepower engine, the GT brings a relatively authentic cafe’ experience to the table. Maybe even a little too authentic in some ways, perhaps? We’ll find out. The factory established a foothold on U.S. soil just a few years ago and it has introduced its very first engine to be designed in-house, but the GT is more of a reflection of the company’s deep roots than a product of its more progressive agenda.
Continue reading for my review of the Royal Enfield Continental GT.
2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
The Fat Boy has been around, at least as a concept, since 1988, but it really showed up on everyone’s radar and earned a place in American pop culture when old Arney rode one in Terminator 2. Since it’s such an iconic bike, it’s hardly surprising that it survived the Great Purge of 2017 that saw so many models eliminated from the Softail and Dyna lineups as the former absorbed the latter. The FLSTF joins the rest of the all-new-for-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame and a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark these Fat Boys as members of the New Guard.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.
Video of the Day: Watch Hennessey Turn a Stock 2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 into the Exorcist!
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Exorcist came into our lives in April 2017. It packed ungodly amounts of power under its hood, allowing it to hit speeds that the devil himself would be proud of. The sinful beast comes to us by way of Hennessey. To give us an idea of how it came to life, the American tuner has released a time-lapse video chronicling the creation of the Exorcist from its not-so-humble Camaro ZL1 roots.
To be clear, the Camaro ZL1 is potent in it of itself. It comes with a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine that pumps out 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a tick over three seconds before hitting a top speed of 186 mph. Impressive, right?
Apparently, Hennessey shrugged its shoulders at the Camaro ZL1’s capabilities. Knowing it had something better to offer, the tuner decided to swap in a bigger supercharger compared to the stock unit. On top of that, Hennessey also installed a new camshaft, added long-tube headers, freed up the flow of air through the engine, and recalibrate the engine with some fancy computer work. The result is a car that saw its output increase to a demented 1,000 horsepower.
Turning a Camaro ZL1 into the Exorcist obviously takes time. That doesn’t appear to be the case in the time-lapse video, but judging by how many people came in and out of the shot and how many times the car was lifted, brought back to the ground, lifted again, and brought back down again, it’s safe to assume that the engineers over at Hennessey had their work cut out for them.
It all ends well, though, because the Camaro ZL1 Exorcist is madness personified.
After Yamaha, Kawasaki is high on three wheels
We saw Yamaha’s fancy new Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW) launched at the 45th Tokyo International Motor show last year. A stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken which is based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform.
Crazy as it might sound, it looks like the Niken is slowly feeling the heat of the competition. And it is coming from none other than its green nemesis, Kawasaki with a new electric-powered concept.
Coming hot on the heels of Yamaha acquiring leaning front-end technology from the Norway-based Brudeli Tech Holding AS this week, Kawasaki has teased the J concept motorcycle/three-wheeler in all seriousness. And it comes with an “Attack mode.”
Leaked: 2019 Ram 1500 in All its Glory
Much has been speculated about the upcoming, all-new 2019 Ram 1500. It’s a huge player in the half-ton pickup segment and a big moneymaker for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Thankfully, the speculation can end, at least concerning the truck’s front-end appearance. This photo was leaked on Reddit. It clearly shows the 2019 Ram 1500 in all its glory as it just rolled off the assembly line.
While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Ram’s face, this is by far the clearest shot we’ve seen. The new grille style, the intricate headlights, and the new bumper design are all plainly visible. We’ve also seen spy shots of the Ram’s side badges’ new location on the hood, but again, this is the first time we’re seeing how the truck looks as a whole. The photo also reveals the trim level badge will remain on the door.
Ram’s tilting towing mirrors are present on this particular truck, suggesting it is optioned for heavier towing. The smallish wheels support that theory. We fully expect Ram to keep the 1500’s multi-link coil spring rear suspension, however. The setup has become an endearing trademark of the truck thanks to its softer, less truck-like ride. Ram seems to have no problem letting Ford and GM fight for bragging rights in the half-ton towing battle. It knows the average 1500-series consumer will appreciate the ride more than towing capability.
This unprecedented early glimpse at the 2019 Ram 1500 won’t be important for long. Ram is set to officially debut the truck at next week’s 2018 Detroit Auto Show. At that point, Ram will announce details on the interior, powertrain, and the slew of other updates we’re expecting will be included.
You won’t want to miss the debut, so stick around to TopSpeed.com for that and all the other breaking Detroit Auto Show news and debuts.
2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time
The Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans are not long for this world, and will permanently bite the dust as soon as they reach the end of their production cycle in the next year and a half or so. As such, a fresh four-door replacement dubbed the CT5 is undergoing real-world testing as we speak, as evidenced by this new batch of spy shots.
Continue reading for the full story.