2019 Fiat 500X
Fiat has revealed its revised 500X crossover which has been nipped and tucked for the first time since its 2014 European debut (in the US for the 2016 model year it was launched). It comes with a refreshed exterior with new front and rear light clusters, more tech, and improved engines.
Update 12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review with images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in our gallery below!
2019 Kia Niro EV
The Kia Niro EV is the all-electric version of the Niro subcompact crossover that the Korean automaker launched for the 2017 model year. Unveiled in Autumn 2018 as the e-Niro for the European market, the Niro EV is the U.S.-spec model and broke cover at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Virtually identical to its European sibling, the Niro EV and e-Niro share the same features and specification, save for the less powerful base model. Kia chose to bring only the more powerful version to the U.S., where it will compete against its platform sibling, the Hyundai Kona Electric (or EV on this side of the pond). The Niro EV is Kia’s first all-electric crossover and among the first battery-powered SUVs for the non-premium market.
2019 Genovation GXE Electric Chevy Corvette
Genovation GXE is an electric vehicle based on the C7-Gen Chevy Corvette with plenty of power as well as visual treatment to let onlookers know it’s something a bit special. Wraps officially came off the limited production version at the 2018 LA motor show, where we were informed of its strict 75-unit production cap as well as the fact that the company expects to deliver the first ones in mid-2019.
Now while Genovation rips out the Corvette’s V-8 and replaces it with two electric motors, the company leaves the stock transmission inside, and you can even choose whether it’s a manual or automatic. Exact performance numbers aren’t mentioned, but we are informed of the vehicle’s sub-3-second zero to sixty time.
Visually, the GXE does stand out among Corvettes, with its unique bumpers, rims, and LED strips that highlight some of its design features. You will definitely know something is up when one of these drives by, not only due to the extra exterior lighting but also because of its almost complete lack of noise as it moves along.
Its only slight problem is the fact that you are asked to part with $750,000 in exchange for one. And, while the sheer novelty of having a usable, more luxurious, custom, and fully electric Corvette it is going to be out of the reach of most enthusiasts, it’s important to remember that you can buy no fewer than six Corvette ZR1s for the same money. You know, just to put things into perspective.
2020 Kia Soul
It ain’t easy standing out in the overly-saturated subcompact crossover segment, but the Kia Soul does exactly that with its mix of unique and attractive styling, equipment, and overall value. Now the Soul enters its third generation for the 2020 model year with a debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and its bringing a fresh take on the boxy goodness of the outgoing model, plus loads of gear, fun features, and a stout turbo engine option, plus available AWD.
2020 Porsche Macan S
The company’s smallest crossover yet, the Porsche Macan arrived in 2014 and slotted under the highly popular Cayenne. After four years on the market, the compact SUV was updated to mid-cycle specifications. The Macan S is very similar to the base model we saw hit the spotlight earlier in 2018 on the outside. It’s identical inside the cabin as well save for the trim-specific features. However, it’s a different story under the hood, as the "S" badge comes in tow with a larger, 3.0-liter V-6. What’s more, while the four-banger lost a few horses with the facelift, the V-6 delivers a bit more power and torque.
2019 Triumph Speed Twin
Triumph expanded its “Modern Classics” lineup ahead of MY2019 with the new-for-’19 Speed Twin as a tribute piece that pays visual homage with all the modern yummy-goodness you’d expect tucked away under the hood and out of sight. The result; a clean-looking classic with gobs of retro appeal, and that’s an important detail because the newest generation of riders has shown themselves to have an interest in the old-school looks, much to their credit. So let’s take a closer look at Trumpet’s newest Speed Twin; not the first of its name.
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!
2019 Hyundai Nexo
Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been making headlines in the auto industry for a few decades now, with many claiming it’s the future of the fossil-free automobile. However, unlike the electric car market, the hydrogen segment has evolved rather slow, with most automakers opting to stay away from the big development costs and the expensive carbon-fiber fuel tanks. Until Toyota debuted the Mirai, Hyundai was the only company that actually launched a production model. The ix35 FCEV, also known as the Tuscon FCEV in some markets, was introduced in 2013. After several tests, full-scale production began in 2015 and examples were delivered in more than 20 countries worldwide. Come 2018 and Hyundai wants to take things up a notch with a brand-new model, called the Nexo.
Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show, the event where automakers launch their high-tech products for a few years now, the Nexo will replace the ix35/Tucson FCEV. And the new hydrogen-powered EV is a significant departure from its predecessor. Not only riding on a new platform, it also features a unique design, a brand-new interior, and bespoke technology. And unlike many vehicles we usually see at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Nexo is ready to go into production and will become available in select markets later in 2018. Let’s find out more about Hyundai’s next-generation FCEV in the review below.
Update 12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review of images of the 2019 Hyundai Nexo taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out int he gallery below!
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!
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 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 McLaren 720S Spider
Introduced in December 2018, right between the auto shows in Los Angeles and Detroit, the 720S Spider replaces the 650S Spider in the lineup and enables McLaren to compete with the 488 Spider and Huracan Spyder. It’s the third member of the family, joining the coupe and the race-spec 720S GT3. The 720S Spider shares all exterior and interior features, as well as the drivetrain centered around the 4.0-liter V-8 engine, with the coupe model. Although it’s 108 pounds heavier than the coupe, the 720S Spider remains the lightest in its class with a dry weight of 2,937 pounds.
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.
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!?
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700
Yamaha’s Ténéré line expands down into the mid-range with the all-new Ténéré 700 (XTZ700). The “700” brings solid dual-sport capability to the adventure-touring range with an off-road bent that definitely favors soft terrain. Yammy’s CP2 engine delivers the goods with a transmission and chassis tuned specifically for trips off the beaten path, much more so than its bigger brothers in the Super Ténéré family. After a race to the top, this model marks a new front in the battle for market supremacy as the factory seeks to fill in under the 1,200 cc units, so let’s see where the balance between price and value lies on this newest and smallest Ténéré.
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”).
2018 Dodge Redeye Express
By his own admission, the start of 2018 wasn’t a good time for Santa Claus. He had just finished his 2017 holiday delivery schedule and found himself more exhausted than he usually was. His back was screaming, his knees hurt, and he was, in his own words, growing a “bowl of jelly” in his stomach. Six months passed and Santa was still stuck in a rut. He knew he needed to work out. He just wasn’t inspired to do it. Then, in one fateful night in June, Santa visited his favorite auto website — we think it’s Topspeed — and saw the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. The very next day, Santa called up his local Dodge dealer in the North Pole and asked to test drive the 797-horsepower monster.
We jump to the present day, and Santa’s a completely different man. His “bowl of jelly” is gone, replaced by muscles that sat on top of muscles. He credits his physical makeover to the test-drive he had back in June, saying that it transformed his outlook in life. That same test drive also inspired him to transform his old ride to match his new “shredded bod.” And so, the Dodge Redeye Express was born.
2019 BMW M8
The BMW 8 Series returned in 2018 after almost 20 years. Developed to replace the 6 Series, the 8 Series is sportier, more modern, and enables BMW to compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. For the first time ever, the 8 Series will be upgraded to M8 specifications by the company’s high-performance division. The M8 will brake cover sometime in 2019.
When BMW introduced the 8 Series back in 1989, it reshaped the full-size luxury segment with a car that was gorgeous, unique, and loaded with innovative features. Discontinued in 1999, the 8 Series returned almost two decades later in 2018. The M8’s arrival will mark a premiere for the nameplate, which didn’t receive the M treatment in the 1990s. Although BMW did make a prototype, it eventually decided that there’s no market for the M8 and the project was scrapped. Times have obviously changed now, and with Mercedes already offering AMG versions of the S-Class Coupe and with Bentley producing the Continental GT Speed for quite a few years now, BMW needs the M8 to keep up with the competition. Find out what we already know about this grand tourer in my speculative review below.
Update 12-7-2018: We’ve updated this speculative review with new leaked images and new information. Check out the Exterior section below for all the new M8 goodness!
2019 Mazda 3
The fourth-generation Mazda3 made its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The hatchback replaces a six-year-old third-gen model that has been highly successful and established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. The new Mazda3 is heavily based on the Kai concept on the outside and features a more upscale interior plus an innovative engine.
Part of Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term strategy, the new Mazda3 debuts the company’s most recent interpretation of the Kodo design language. It also pushed the hatchback higher on the premium ladder and a five-engine lineup. On top of the usual gasoline and diesel SkyActiv units, the Mazda3 debuts the new SkyActiv-X, the first commercial gasoline engine with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition technology. The hatchback also features an all-wheel-drive system for the first time.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota just introduced a brand-new generation for the Corolla this year, with both a head-turning hatchback and a smart sedan making the body style lineup. Now, Toyota is adding yet another model with a new hybrid variant, ushering in an even-greener option for the compact four-door segment. Standout features for the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid include a comfortable ride, loads of technology and features, and as an added bonus, upwards of 52 mpg combined thanks to the drivetrain that’s borrowed from the Toyota Prius.
Kia will soon launch an all-new high-riding crossover model based on its Ceed hatchback and, thanks to the first batch of spy photos showing a camouflaged prototype, we can start to tell you what it’s going to be like. The plan for this model is to slot in between the Stonic and Sportage in the Kia range, although judging by its overall shape it looks like a more hatchback-like crossover (like the Stonic) and not a more SUV-like model such as the larger Sportage. There’s definitely a new Kia Ceed look about this as of yet unnamed model, although it does look quite a bit higher than the regular hatch model. The automaker really wanted us not to see the details, so it covered the front and rear fascias with especially heavy camouflage that doesn’t really allow us to see anything.
We can, however, spot that it will have a similar face to the Ceed (the latest Kia family face), complete with headlights and grille that look similar to those of the hatch.
This model will go up against models such as the Ford Focus Active or Subaru Crosstrek (also known as the XV), some of which have all-wheel drive, others not - in this example, for instance, the Subaru has it as standard, while the Ford doesn’t get it at all and the big question with this Ceed crossover is whether or not it will be offered as an option; it definitely won’t have standard all-wheel drive like the Subaru, that’s for sure.
2017 Genesis G80
Hyundai has finally announced all the details about the G80 and boy has it turned out to be winning combination of power, luxury, and safety. Available with a V-6 or V-8 powertrain and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the car is offered with 311 or 420 horsepower and a long list of safety features that tops anything offered as standard equipment on entry-level competitor models – it even beats out the Volvo S90 for standard safety equipment.
Unfortunately, the G80 isn’t anywhere near as stylish or aggressive as the Genesis New York concept that we saw back in March, but it’s still an appealing car with all the right technology and safety features to go with a sporty exterior design. To put it mildly, things have changed a lot since Hyundai first entered the U.S. market, and the Genesis premium brand just goes to show what is possible when you pay attention to your customer base and give them exactly what they want.
With that said, let’s take a good look at the new G80 and what it brings to the table. It’s definitely something you’ll want to consider next time you’re looking to grab yourself a premium sedan.
Update 12/6/2018: We’ve updated this review with a new gallery of images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.