Monthly Archives: December 2016

Kia Unveils New GT Concept Teaser Video

Kia has big things planned for its upcoming GT Concept, and has released a new video that sheds new light on its upcoming sport sedan entry.

The new video dubbed “The Silhouette” was shot in darkness, and teases the outline of the car from various angles. While it has just about as much detail as Kia’s first video, there are still several new hints that leap their way to the surface.

For instance the walkaround reveals elements that steal a page or two from the Ford Mustang playbook especially with its hood sculpting and intergrated rear spoiler. A glimpse of the wheels round out the package, and they look very stylish though time will tell if they will make the jump to production or not.

Like last time, the interior was not revealed, but look for it to be a sportier departure from Kia’s more tech oriented theme especially in terms of the basic design for the gauge cluster, as well as sportier seats and splashes of performance inspired trim. This will allow the car to standout from rivals like BMW, and also give it a leg up over the Dodge Charger especially in regards to interior dedign and fit and finish.

Kia is expected to formally unveil its new sport sedan at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in a few weeks. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for further updates as well as our live coverage of the unveiling.

 

Honda Teases 2018 Odyssey With New Sketch

With Chevrolet’s recent announcement regarding the arrival of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, Honda has followed suit, and announced plans to debut the 2018 Odyssey minivan ahead of NAIAS.

In addition to its official announcement, Honda also released a teaser sketch that provides a glimpse at the new minivan. While some of the wilder elements such as the oversized rims will not make production, it does show that an evolutionary update is in store with the previous generation’s trademark “lightning bolt” window line and D-pillar making the transistion.

It also appears that the 2018 Odyssey will have a more sculpted body than before and benefit from a renewed focus on lines and curves. This would allow it to stand out against the blander Toyota Sienna, while also being on par with the strong selling Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

Honda elected to not release any photos of the interior, but expect the evolutionary theme to continue with a revised center stack. tweaked gauge cluster, as well as a new suite of convinence and safety features for all occupants.

Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our live coverage of the 2017 North American International Auto Show as well as the official debut of the 2018 Honda Odyssey on January 9th.

Chevrolet Teases 2018 Traverse Ahead of NAIAS

With the current generation Chevrolet Traverse starting to show its age, the bowtie brand has revealed a shadowy teaser image of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse ahead of its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The current Traverse is roughly the size of the last generation GMC Acadia, but it looks like the 2018 iteration will be bigger than the current generation Acadia which debuted on a smaller wheelbase. Chevrolet claims that the bigger size will help the crossover offer best in class legroom for third row passengers as well as “maximum cargo space” though Chevrolet chose to wait until NAIAS to release formal figures.

Look for this big footprint to also allow the Traverse to haul eight passengers which should please families looking for maximum room and capability out of their CUV purchase. Performance hardware is currently unknown at this point, but expect the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse to come equipped with a base turbocharged four cylinder and a tweaked version of its familiar 3.6 liter naturally aspirated V6. We suspect that the Traverse will not join the Equinox in embracing a diesel option due to the low take rate, as well as its bigger size.

Chevrolet will be formally unveiling the CUV online in a few weeks, before rolling it under the lights of Cobo Center. It will then make its way to dealer lots a few months later, with full pricing and other specifications being released closer to its formal launch.

Mercedes Benz Unveils 2018 E-Class Coupe

Following on the heels of the debut of the E-Class sedan last year, Mercedes Benz has come full circle with the unveiling of the 2018 E-Class coupe ahead of its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in January.

 

 

The coupe shares its underpinnings with the E-Class sedan which has allowed the 2018 model to be longer, wider, and taller than its predecessor with the wheelbase increasing by 4.8 inches. Underneath this potent platform is an all new body that is softer than before, and shares its inspiration with the range topping S-Class coupe as well as the smaller C-Class coupe. This is an improvement over the last generation coupe, and the rear fascia in particular serves as a compelling visual element for the 2018 E-Class coupe. The one thing that has not changed is the exclusion of a formal B-pillar, which helps transform the E-Class coupe into a true hardtop design. Buyers looking to spice things up can opt for the optional Sport package that brings aggressively styled front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and bolder wheels to the sleek two door.

 

 

the 2018 E-Class coupe’s larger dimensions will certainly be noticed and felt in the interior especially for rear seat passengers, with the company claiming that passengers back there will enjoy greater amounts of head, leg, and shoulder room than before which is not a bad thing. Sharing the sedan’s interior design is also not a bad thing with the coupe retaining the basic elements that helped make the E-Class four door stand out in its segment. The key difference is the air vent design with Mercedes claiming that they were largely inspired by jet turbines.

The coupe also gets the sedan’s standard 12.3 inch infotainment display, and can be equipped with an optional version that merges with the 12.3 inch display used in the instrument cluster to create a seamless focal point in the otherwise attractive cabin. In addition. the system also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as the newly minted Mbrace Concierge Service.

 

 

Unlike the sedan which comes in a myriad of trims, the 2018 E-Class coupe simplifies things and will only be available in two trim levels: the base E400 rear-wheel drive E400 and the all-wheel drive E400 4-MATIC. Both variants get their performance from a twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that is good for 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque and is meshed with a 9-speed automatic transmission. While these figures match the previous generation model, minor tweaks to the engine allow the peak torque to start and end slightly higher in the rev range. The coupe will also offer two different suspension options and come with either standard springs and shocks or an optional air suspension.

Mercedes chose to not reveal any pricing information in its unveiling, but the company did reveal availability figures with the 2018 E-Class coupe expected to arrive in Mercedes dealerships in the summer of 2017 following its debut in January. While the company stopped short of announcing any future coupe variants, it would not be too surprising to see a convertible as well as an AMG version enter the lineup in the near future to help give the two door much needed flexibility. As far as the AMG goes, it could either be a milder E43 version with a slightly upgraded V6, or it could go all in and arrive in E63 guise with the car shoehorning the AMG GT’s twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 into its elegantly sculpted hood.

Lexus To Debut Next Generation LS Sedan At NAIAS

When Lexus first unleashed the LS flagship sedan at the North American International Auto Show back in 1989, it was a big gamble for a young brand that was making its debut in the luxury automobile market. However, its combination of technology, performance, and style helped it and the Lexus brand as a whole grow into a successful powerhouse in the segment. 28 years later, Lexus is aiming to recreate this success with the unveiling of the 2017 Lexus LS sedan in the very venue that started it all.

Lexus claims that this iteration will be a true world class flagship offering, and will debut an all new styling theme that is said to boast a coupe-like sillhouette. This has us excited, especially since the more conventional current gen LS looks awkward, and has fallen behind stylish entries from BMW and Mercedes. It will be interesting to see what the full extent of the design is, but expect a renewed emphasis on sport and elegance.

Look for the revamped interior to also follow this mantra, and take a few pages out of the LC 500’s playbook especially with its dash and gauge layout. The platform (dubbed GA-L) is an extended version of the LC’s, and is expected to bring new levels of vigor and sharpness to the car’s handling manners.

Expect more details and teaser images to gradually be revealed over the next few weeks before its debut at NAIAS and stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our live look at the 2017 Lexus LS in all of its glory.

Dodge Shakes Up Pony Car War With All-Wheel Drive Challenger GT

Dodge and its Challenger coupe have always held onto a firm third posistion in the muscle car wars, with the bulk of the attention focused on its rivals the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. However, Dodge aims to shakeup this established order, and has raised the stakes with the 2017 Challenger GT.

The highlight feature here is the all-wheel drive system that will be making its debut on the Challenger GT. No other muscle car has ever offered such an option, and its apperance here on the GT could be a gamechanger.

The system is borrowed from its platform mate the Charger, and can only be paired with the base Pentastar V6 engine. Speaking of the engine, it is good for a healthy 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque which is on par with its domestic rivals.

An eight speed automatic transmission is the sole choice avalible, and helps the GT achieve 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the freeway. Unlike its rear wheel drive sibling, Dodge will not be offering a manual or V8 engines on the Challenger GT presumably due to the limits of its all-wheel drive system.

The eight speed makes up for it by offering paddle shifters as well as a Sport mode to spice up the car’s shifting behavior. Seperate performance pages help drivers monitor vital information, and the exterior styling features a hood bulge, LED head and taillights, and a rear spoiler.

The interior of the Challenger GT retains much of the basic design and layout, but GT models can be equipped with a $995 interior package that adds Alcantara suede seats, Nappa leather accents, a nine speaker Alpine audio system, and a performance inspired steering wheel. This should please Challenger fans, and also help lure new customers into the Dodge brand.

The aggressive pricing strategy also highlights the bold plans Dodge has for this model with base Challenger GTs starting at $34,490. This pricing is fairly reasonable, and while its unlikely that it will topple the top ranked Mustang in sales, it could be in a prime posistion to steal second place away from Chevrolet in 2017, which would upend a pecking order that has been in place for over a decade.

Kia Teases Production GT Concept Car [Video]

With the clock ticking ever closer to its official debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Kia has launched a new micro site to promote the debut of its all new sport sedan which is based on the GT Concept car.

According to the site, the car is scheduled to make its formal debut on January 8th which is one day before the kickoff of the North American International Auto Show. Kia also provided a brief teaser video which debuted in conjunction with the site.

In the video we see a car being pushed through its paces at the famed Nurburgring Racetrack in Germany. While no lap time was released (a change of pace,) the brief clip does show that the car is built for performance with the speedometer going past 150 mph at one point.

The vehicle in the video is most likely the production car, and will share styling cues with the GT concept as well as a mystery car that was unfortunatley leaked to the internet a few days ago. A key element of the new sport sedan is its sloping roofline which will give the four door a coupe like profile, and allow it to capitalize on the recent success of other four door coupes.

The formal name of the car is also a mystery at this point. In Korea the sedan will most likely be called the K8 which is reflective of the alphanumeric naming scheme Kia has in its home market. As for the U.S. the sleek four door could adopt the Stinger nameplate which first made its apperance on the GT4 Stinger concept car a few years back.

Regardless of which moniker it will ultimately assume, the new sport sedan will share its platform with the upcoming Genesis G70 which is expected to arrive with standard rear wheel drive. All wheel drive could make its way to the slick Kia later in its production cycle, which should please potential buyers out in the snowbelt.

Performance will most likely come from a suite of V6 engines including the 3.3 liter turbocharged V6 used in the Genesis lineup. A turbocharged four cylinder could also make an apperance in the base model, but we’ll have to wait until it is formally unveiled to know if it is indeed the case.

Kia is already promoting its next teaser video so stay tuned for more information as it becomes avalible. In the mean time you can check out the forementioned video below.

 

Toyota Teases 2018 Camry Ahead of Detroit Debut

The Toyota Camry has always been known for two key attributes its ability to bring strong sales to the Japanese auto giant’s coffers, and its equally bland styling elements. However if a lone teaser image is to be believed, 2017 will bring big changes to the venerable four door.

While a lone shot of the tailight may not be too revealing at first glance, a closer look reveals that a substantial redesign is in store for the 2018 Camry. The LED taillight design is quite handsome, but what has our attention is the vent that runs from the bumper into the tailight. While it is most likely non-functional, it adds a dash of boldness and, intergrates nicely into the design.

Lastly the intresting crease in the C-pillar has us wondering how the trunk and rear window will mesh since it resembles a five door hatchback-esque layout versus the traditional four door sedan approach. The one aspect we aren’t fans of is the obvious traits that it borrows from rivals especially the Ford Fusion and the Kia Optima.

This is a minor complaint of course, and we look forward to seeing what else is in store for the 2018 Toyota Camry when it maked its debut in Detroit. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest on the 2018 Toyota Camry, as well as our live coverage from the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

Rolls Royce Announces Key Step For Upcoming SUV

With all the buzz surrounding the Bentley Bentayga SUV, it is easy to forget that Rolls Royce also has an SUV entry in the works. Information has been pretty tight lipped, but the British luxury brand has revealed new details about the upcoming model as well as a pair of teaser images.

These images are the first time that its Project Cullinan SUV has been seen in its final p90244158_lowres_project-cullinan-takproduction body. While Rolls Royce engineers did their best to hide things with loads of swirly camoflauge, key details still make themselves apparent. The front fascia falls in line with typical Rolls Royce cues, and is centered around the bold slatted grille as well as its elegantly styled hood.

Meanwhile the rear fascia adopts a formal wagon profile, but the camoflauge hides key styling elements, so we’ll have to wait until its formal unveiling to issue our verdict. The mirrors are also textbook Rolls, and borrow their basic inspiration from the Phantom and Ghost sedans.

Performance hardware is still a mystery, but Rolls Royce did reveal that Project Cullinan will begin cold weather testing in the Arctic Circle sometime after Christmas before flying to the Middle East (its key market) for hot weather testing late next year. We suspect that it will initially debut with a twelve cylinder engine before adding a V8 later in its production run. Like the Bentayga, an automatic will be the sole transmission choice avalible.

With this current testing schedule, Project Cullinan could make its formal debut either at the end of next year, or the beginning of the following year. When it does, it will compete with not only the forementioned Bentayga, but also the upcoming Lamborghini Uruus and the Aston Martin DBX.

Nikola Motors Teases Hydrogen – Electric Semi Truck

It’s not too often that we get the opprotunity to talk about semi trucks here at Autoinfoquest, but the folks at Nikola Motor Company have big things in store for their entry in the commercial truck segment, and have released a lone teaser image of its new rig ahead of its formal debut later this evening.

 

Dubbed the Nikola One, this new model is a class 8 semi that Nikola claims will be ready for production by 2020. While the lone image does not give an all round look of its styling, it does reveal the production front end which boasts plenty of LED lighting accents, as well as a slight resemblance to the Audi R8 when you ignore its big center mounted grille and focuse on its headlight assemblies.

The lighting also forms a calling card for the Nikola with a thin strip forming a sleek border that encircles the headlights as well as the lower front air intakes. Thankfully the front fascia largely resembles prior renderings that the company released, albeit with minor tweaks for the sake of feasability. The renderings also showcased its aerodynamically focused profile, though expect changes here too in its transistion from the drawing board to production big rig.

Either way, it should be a nice change of pace versus current gasoline offerings from rivals such as Mack and Peterbilt which favor brawny themes, and typically stay away from the more elegant suit of clothes wielded by the Nikola One.

The highlight feature however is its zero emissions powertrain. Potentially the first production semi truck to offer such an option, the Nikola One gets its energy from both electric batteries as well as a hydrogen fuel cell. The company did not release formal performance figures, but did reveal that the combination allows the truck to have a driving range between 800 to 1200 miles.

To help make fueling and upkeep more affordable, Nikola will have a 72 month lease program that goes between $5,000 and $7,000 and allows owners to fill up at a network of fueling stations which will be announced by Nikola this evening. Maintenance will be covered by Ryder, with the firm also providing sales and warranty services for Nikola.

The company claims that it already has secured $3 billion in pre-orders which is an impressive feat. However like Tesla and its upcoming Model 3 sedan, it will be interesting to see if Nikola will have enough production capacity to meet all this demand.