Posts Tagged ‘crossover’

Audi to Release a Q2

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Audi is getting their feet planted very well into the SUV market. This year, they plan to bring another new model to the lineup, the Q2 which falls into the compact crossover segment. Specs for the new Q2 is sparse at this time, but based on it’s small sizing direct competition in that space will be limited. The Q2 is one of many cars Audi will bring to market as it aggressively aims to hit 60 new models over the next 4 years.

The aim of Audi is to provide a vehicle in almost every car segment to satisfy all walks of customers. With an ever expanding demand for SUVs in North America, it really is a sure thing for automakers like Audi to continue to beef up model options in this space.


Ford Ecosport Crossover to Come to North America

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There are many vehicles that are sold globally to international markets which we typically never see on North American soil. Take for example, in Europe, many of the smaller vehicles sold there work for the European market but just have no place in the North American car lineup. However, Ford’s EcoSport crossover, a subcompact SUV, may be an exception. With a strong performing SUV market in North America, Ford is contemplating bringing their subcompact SUV to our shores.

Ford is riding its success wave coming off of 2015 where their Escape and F-Series truck sold in record numbers. Other cars such as the Edge and the Explorer fared very well posting significant sales gains as well in 2015. The EcoSport crossover will give consumers another option in the Ford lineup and hopefully further strengthen Ford’s sales numbers going forward.

Look for the EcoSport crossover to hit North American showrooms in 2018.


New Mazda CX-9 Lighter, Roomier, Less Thirsty

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Last year at the LA Auto Show, Mazda unveiled their new baby-ute, the CX-3 and also gave the larger CX-5 and Mazda6 design refreshes and now for the 2015 edition of the LA Auto Show they complete their crossover makeover by giving the CX-9 the overdue refresh with their KODO design. When I saw the CX-9 with the updated KODO design language for the first time, all I see is skeptical dog (google it if you don’t know). I guess the design doesn’t translate well into a full sized, three-row crossover. The CX-3 and CX-5 both look great, but I’m undecided on the CX-9.

This update wasn’t limited to just bringing over the new design language to the CX-9, Mazda made quite a few changes. For starters, the new CX-9 is just over an inch shorter than the outgoing model, but the wheelbase has been extended by over 2 inches resulting in much more room in the rear. The tapered fenders and shorter overhangs both in the front (2.3 inches) and in the back (1 inch) give the appearance of a wider more aggressively looking vehicle. The paintjob you see in our pictures, Machine Grey, is the newest color choice available for the CX-9.

Under the hood, Mazda has done what every manufacturer has done in recent memory and have chosen to go with a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder instead of a V6. What’s new however is what Mazda calls a “Dynamic Pressure Turbo”, the world’s first turbocharger with the ability to vary the degree of exhaust pulsation depending on engine RPM. At low RPMs exhaust gases are routed through a smaller outlet allowing the turbo to spool quicker creating instant boost up to 17.4 psi. At higher RPMs, exhaust gases are routed through larger valves allowing more exhaust gas to pass through the turbo. Just think of a garden hose when you put your finger over the end. The end result? 310 lb-ft of torque at just 2000 RPM and 227 horsepower at 5000 RPM on 87 octane fuel. Fill up with 93 octane premium and that figure jumps to 250 horsepower.

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Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

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I love car shows for a variety of reasons. Concepts aren’t usually one of those reasons. I don’t care what your creative team dreamt up. I don’t care how zany or powerful or exotic you can make your concept. I care about what I’m going to see on the road, what I’m going to have the opportunity to buy. Every now and then we’ll get concepts like the FT-1 or NSX where you can’t help but be excited, no matter how hard you resist. The Hyundai Santa Cruz Utility Concept is one of those. We all saw it under wraps but had no idea what it could be. Hyundai had been clever and added fake paneling to the back to make it look like a crossover or CUV, so when all the masks had been removed, you got what could have been the most genuinely shocked reaction I’ve ever seen at a car show. There were smiles, there were dropped jaws and there were “what the fuck”s. I don’t even remember who was on stage or what they were saying. I was too busy taking pictures and trying to wrap my head around what I was looking at. Hyundai calls it “convention-shattering” in their own press release, and they’re not wrong.

Even now, I don’t know how to describe it. You have to look and see for yourself. It’s got the size and cabin styling of a GLA – it seats five – but the hatch is replaced with a small box. To combat that small box, they’ve fitted it with an extension system which they claim will grow to the same length as a mid-size pickup, but only when you want it to. The only engine option they mentioned was a 190 hp, 300 ft/lb 2.0L turbo powerplant, which sounds about right for a vehicle of this class and size.

Honestly, I have no idea if they’re going to put this into production. If they do, I have no idea what they’d change. Lastly, I have no idea who would buy it. But it’s cool as hell and I hope that’s enough.

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2015 VW Golf Alltrack. 2014 Paris Motor show-from the rear only

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Looks like VW is taking a page out of Audi’s book and is releasing an Alltrack version of the Golf. Much like the Allroads that have come before it, the Golf Alltrack is basically a lifted Golf wagon with black plastic cladding around the wheel arches. It is the same formula that Subaru uses for its Outback trim level.

The Alltrack is being released with 4 engines in Europe. Three diesels and one gas. The 1.8L TSI engine makes around 180 hp and is mated to a DSG transmission. No word on whether this car is coming to North America.

The most interesting part of the vehicle is the drive train. A Haldex-5 coupling makes up the 4Motion AWD system that can push 100% of the power to the rear wheels. It is mated to EDS and XDS which are just fancy acronyms for brake controlled anti-spin differentials and torque vectoring. Hill decent control makes an appearance. I guess VW is expecting people to actually take this off-road. 20mm of additional height isn’t really enough to make this an SUV.

It looks great to me. Enjoy the picture gallery below.

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2015 Subaru Outback NYIAS


20 years ago, Subaru announced the original Outback here in New York.  They did an interesting reveal today to highlight the versatility of the Outback suggesting that you could go from the Mountains in the morning, to dinner and a show in the evening.  Subaru is trying to move the Outback upmarket. Standard are many features that you only see on higher end luxury vehicles.  It has dual color Eyesight cameras that mark the road and help keep you in your lane.  Rear radar for lane assist and cross traffic when backing out in a parking lot.

The newest model isn’t any larger than the outgoing one, but luxury features abound.  Air Conditioning and heated seats for rear passengers are now available.  A Logic 7 stereo should be pleasing to your ears.

Engines carry over from it’s Legacy brother and the front grill features active shutters.

Subaru is pinning it’s hopes on the Outback to help it increase overall sales and it targeting 460,000 units in the US alone.  Subaru sells over half of its worldwide production in the US.  People seem to love the versitility and practicality of the vehicles they sell.

From an aesthetic point of view, this Outback is probably one of the best looking.  The usual plastic cladding has been minimized.  It is lifted and looks more SUV like than the wagon it is based on.  This might be due to the fact that Subaru no longer sells the Legacy wagon in North America and is trying to fill the void.

The Outback should be released later this summer and pricing should be in line with the current model.

Pics after the jump.


Shanghai Preview: Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept

Mercedes-Benz continues to churn out vehicles based on their new FWD compact platform, and up next for the German company is the GLA compact crossover. While it is set to be unveiled later this week at the Shanghai Auto Show (Auto China), some pictures have been leaked.

From the same platform that powers the A, B and the new CLA class, the GLA crossover will be bigger and taller than its relatives, measuring 172.4 inches long, 77.6 inches wide and 61.8 inches tall. The wheelbase remains unchanged. Powering the GLA250 will be the 2.0L 208hp 4-cylinder coupled to the 7 speed dual-clutch gearbox. Shortly after the arrival of the GLA250, the GLA45 AMG will be introduced, with the same drool worthy 355hp drivetrain that powers the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG.

Click through for a gallery of the GLA Concept