2018 Ford EcoSport Big Adventures by Tucci Designs
The Ford EcoSport’s standing as the Blue Oval’s smallest crossover isn’t stopping it from making a statement at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show. With assistance from aftermarket tuner, Tucci Designs, the EcoSport is showing off a more rugged “Big Adventures” personality that’s built for the outdoors. Bucci Design’s Ford EcoSport Big Adventures is one of five Ford crossovers and SUVs that’s appearing at SEMA when the world’s biggest aftermarket auto show opens its doors next month.
BMW raised a few eyebrows when it debuted its front-wheel drive-biased 2-Series Active Tourer model, and people quickly called it “not a BMW,” it was a model which dilutes the brand, and just plain ugly. However, after spending a few days with the top-of-the-range plug-in hybrid version of the 2 AT, the 225xe iPerformance, its many qualities did start to shine through, in spite of my initial hesitation to like it.
And I did like it in the end, even if not for the usual reasons one traditionally appreciates a BMW. I found it very spacious to sit in, with surprisingly comfortable seats, I liked its excellent fit and finish, and even the one-box design started to grow on me.
The driving experience is also pretty good, but again, not very BMW-like. It drives like one of the larger models in the MINI lineup, and that’s no accident because they all use a shared (modular) architecture.
My tester was also made even more likable thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain which works very smoothly and seamlessly, allowing it to change its character from silent side street cruiser to a hissing, turbocharged all-wheel-drive people carrier with hot hatch performance.
2019 Triumph Street Twin
Triumph Motorcycles reprises its Street Twin model ahead of MY2019 in a bid to maintain the momentum it garnered in ’18 with updated looks and performance to match. This is Trumpet’s most popular unit within its modern-classic lineup, so the pressure is on to give everyone more of what they want. New, first-in-class technology works under the hood to make your rides safer, and improvements to the engine boost the fun-factor by something in the neighborhood of 18-percent for a difference that will definitely register on the old heinie-dyno. I’m curious to see how it hold up to closer scrutiny as well as how it holds up against a likely opponent, so let’s get to it.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Twin.
2019 Porsche Panamera GTS
The 2019 Porsche Panamera and the Panamera Sports Turismo get some extra pizzazz with both being offered with a GTS badge. This is not the first time Porsche has used the GTS moniker on its cars; the second-generation Panamera and the Panamera Sport Turismo have gotten the same treatment and have been quite successful. The GTS versions have always been a good bang for the buck, as you get performance specs and features that are optional on other models, without actually costing a bomb.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybird
Toyota RAV4 has been around for almost 25 years now. It has been one of the most stable products for the Japanese giant, raking in sales numbers consistently since its launch. At a time when sedans’ sales were booming, Toyota offered customers with a car that could be taken on any terrain, had the looks of an SUV, and could be handled like a hatch. While this sounds like a success formula now, it was quite a big risk two decades back.
The automaker showcased the fifth-generation RAV4 Hybrid, at the Paris Motor Show this year. Toyota has used a new underpinning, called the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. With increased body rigidity, The RAV4 now boasts a low center of gravity and better handling when compared to the previous iterations. As for the dimensions, the SUV is 4,600 mm long - shorter by 5 mm compared to the previous gen, but the wheelbase is 30 mm longer. This is because there is reduction of 35 mm in the bonnet and boot overhangs. It is 10 mm wider, and 10 mm shorter.
2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition
For the last three-and-a-half decades, the Toyota 4Runner has been one of the go-to models for practical body-on-frame SUV adventure and outdoor cred. Now, the Japanese automaker is offering a new upgrade for the top Limited trim level. It’s dubbed the Nightshade Special Edition, and it adds a fresh coat of aesthetic appeal to the mid-size utility vehicle.
2019 Audi R8 V10 Plus Coupe Competition Package
It’s time for another Audi R8 Special Edition. The new SE, called the R8 V10 Plus Competition Package, receives a bundle of parts from the Audi Sports bin, included in part to help the supercar shed weight and improve its aerodynamic performance. Production is limited to just ten units, all of which are earmarked specifically for the U.S. market. Each unit of the R8 V10 Plus Competition Package costs $237,350. The special edition R8 arrives in dealerships in November 2018.
2019 BMW X7
The BMW X7 is the company’s newest and largest SUV yet. First confirmed in 2014, the X7 arrived in 2018 as BMW’s flagship hauler. It slots above the popular X5 and competes against the Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Cadillac Escalade, and the Land Rover Range Rover. The X7 joins six other SUVs to complete a crossover lineup that ranges from subcompact to full-size models.
When BMW joined the SUV market with the X5 back in 1999, little did we know that the German manufacturer will become such an important player in this segment. But in a little more than a decade, the Bavarian brand has launched no fewer than four different crossovers. Come 2018, and a flagship X7 joins the market to allow BMW to enter the full-size market. The X7 is the fifth BMW to be produced in the company’s U.S. facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, joining the X3, X4, X5, and X6.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW X7.
2019 Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo
First introduced for the 2010 model year, the Porsche Panamera is now well-established as Stuttgart’s go-to four-door ‘Bahn burner. Following the introduction of a second generation in 2016, Porsche is now broadening the range with a fresh new mid-grade model, bridging the gap between the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo. As before, the latest Panamera GTS looks to combine a sporty attitude with the luxury and utility of a four-door body style, offering both weekend thrills and daily-driving comfort. As such, the 2019 model year brings with it a more powerful turbocharged engine, fresh interior tech, and new standard features.
2018 Renault EZ-Ultimo
The Renault EZ-Ultimo is a futuristic concept car that the French firm unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. A fully autonomous car, the EZ-Ultimo rounds out Renault’s trilogy of concept robo-vehicles designed for shared mobility. It joins the EZ-Go and the EZ-Pro, also unveiled in 2018.
Described as a "robo-vehicle for a premium mobility experience," the EZ-Ultimo was developed for increasingly congested city traffic and to meet new urban trends in which more and more people drop personal cars in favor of shared car services. Powered by an all-electric drivetrain, the concept car is intended to be offered as a service for "a single trip, a circuit or a day booking" provided by premium travel companies and resorts. One of Renault’s most luxurious vehicles ever, the EZ-Ultimo previews a production car that might become available over the next decade.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault EZ-Ultimo concept.
Mercedes is ready to revise its most potent version of the GLC SUV, the GLC63 AMG, along with the rest of the range. Camouflaged prototypes have been spotted testing on the Nurburgring, hiding some new bumpers, as well as new lights too.
This is is not a major revision of the model, at least not from the outside, and interior changes won’t be excessive either. Regarding its powertrain, since this is a mid-life cycle refresh, we don’t expect it to get any more power or any extra performance.
The big news with this is the new front end which has been reshaped to resemble that of the new Mercedes corporate face you’ve already seen on the CLS or the new A-Class.
2018 Audi RS5 By ABT Sportsline
ABT Sportsline is dialing up its aftermarket upgrade for theAudi RS5 by offering an engine upgrade program that was previously exclusive only to the limited edition RS5-R package. The new power upgrade is part of a comprehensive tuning kit that also includes changes to the RS5’s aesthetics and suspension. The result is a high-performance coupé rocking carbon fiber bits with a new 2.9-liter bi-turbo V-6 engine that now produces 510 horsepower and an improved suspension that paves the way for optimized driving dynamics.
2019 Acura MDX
When shopping for an SUV, there is usually a checklist involved before making a purchase. Is it spacious? Check. Does it have good power? Check. Is it well-built with quality materials? Check. Does it handle well? Check. Is it reliable? Check. Is there room for the in-laws? Check. The 2019 Acura MDX checks all those boxes and more all while providing subtle hints to let you know that you are in Honda’s premium brand.
2018 Mitsuoka Rockstar
Japanese coach builder Mitsuoka has launched a new project build called the Rock Star. The Corvette Stingray-bodied Rock Star is a Mazda MX-5 underneath a classic Americanized body. The nod towards one of the most iconic pieces of American car history is a fresh approach from a coach-building company best known for building what is arguably the world’s ugliest sports car. Compared to the positively ghastly Orochi sports car, the Rock Star is, well, a rock star that should have no problem establishing fans and groupies alike.
2019 BMW 3 Series
Unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the G20 is the seventh generation of the iconic BMW 3 Series. It replaces the seven-year-old F30 model and introduces a new design language, state-of-the-art technology, and updated engines.
Borrowing features seen on recently introduced models like the 5 Series sedan and the X5 SUV, the 3 Series looks sportier than ever and it’s finally on par with its competitors in the technology department. It continues to feature four- and six-cylinder engines, but for the time being there aren’t any diesels to pick from. However, BMW confirmed that both oil burners and hybrids are underway. The Germans claim that "no single model has embodied the concept of the Ultimate Driving Machine better than the latest BMW 3 Series." Let’s find out if it’s true or not in the review below.
Volkswagen is testing its upcoming T-Roc Convertible, and this is the very first set of shots showing a camouflaged prototype of the drop top. The vehicle will replace the VW Golf Convertible in the range, and like that car, it will feature a soft top and frameless and pillarless doors.
It is going to be a four-seater vehicle with decent room in the back for passengers, powered by a range of mostly gasoline and probably diesel engines and at the moment it has no real crossover rivals in the same size and price bracket.
The soft top it uses looks like it’s very similar in shape to that of the current Golf Cabriolet, and it will pretty much offer the same experience as that car but will sit slightly higher off the ground and better off-road capability. But make no mistake, it is designed to spend most of its time on the road, and we doubt anybody will want to do serious off-roading in one of these.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS Shock
The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro was just updated for the 2019 model year, now sporting a brand-new face that makes it more aggressive than ever. As it is always the case, Chevy began rolling out various upgrades and accessories for its popular coupe. With the 2018 SEMA Show just around the corner, Chevrolet created the Camaro Shock, an SS-based pony car that showcases a new exterior color and various accessories and concept parts.
Finished in Shock Yellow, hence the Camaro Shock name, this production-ready concept is packed with accessories and performance parts created by the same designers and engineers responsible for the Camaro itself, for seamless integration. While some are already available, other parts will hit the market later this year and in 2019. As usual, you can shop online for the parts on Chevrolet’s website and choose to have them delivered either at home or at a dealer delivery. You can also choose to install them yourself or have them fitted by professionals at a Chevy dealership. Let’s see what’s new.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro SS Shock.
2018 Ford Mustang GT by CGS Motorsports
As part of the SEMA show this year, Ford introduced a quartet of amazing, modified Mustangs, one of which is actually a car crafted by the CGS Motorsports. Every year, Ford gifts us with four or five fantastic tuned Mustangs and gives us a unique opportunity to see just how differently tuners approach the tuning of these cars. California-based CGS Motorsports focused on power and performance upgrades and simplistic interior mods. While we are still waiting for the interior shots, the sketch of the exterior shows admirable modifications and transformation of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT fastback into a proper street racer.