Automotive News - May 2018

Audi teaser image shows front end of new Q8

This may the last teaser image we get of the new Audi Q8 SUV – or not. The model is set to get its official reveal next month in Shanghai, and this time around we get a rendering of the vehicle’s bold-looking front end. The wait is almost over for Audi’s new flagship SUV.

Might Chrysler Disappear this Friday?

Scheduled to speak at a meeting of investors in Italy this coming Friday, June 1, FCA head Sergio Marchionne could well announce the end of the Chrysler brand, if rumours are to be believed. Fiat could for its part be pulled from the American and Chinese markets.

Canadian Pricing and Details for the 2019 Kia Sedona!

Kia Canada today announced pricing for the redesigned new 2019 Kia Sedona minivan, and its starting price of under $29,000 will please Canadian consumers with family-transportation needs. We’ve got details on the changes for the 2019 edition.

Old Mazda6 Models Beset by Subframe Rust Problems

A number of complaints have reached the NHTSA regarding problems relating to subframe corrosion in 2009-2010 Mazda 6 models, which could lead to failure of certain steering and suspension components. The board has decided to open an investigation.

Review of the 2018 Lexus NX 300

We review the 2018 Lexus NX 300 SUV, a product competing in a hotly contested market segment populated by freshly renewed luxury vehicles from top automakers. Its qualities are many and undeniable, but can the NX compete? Here’s our review.

BMW: First Automaker to Introduce Wireless Charging for Cars

BMW will soon be offering inductive charging technology for its 530e model, and so become the first manufacturer to make wireless charging technology commercially available. BMW will then expand its use to other models. And other automakers are set to follow; Mercedes-Benz is developing the technology for its S-Class.

Nissan to Reduce North American Production by 20%

After seven years of strong growth in North America, a difficult beginning to 2018 has forced Nissan to revise its strategy. The Japanese automaker will focus on maximizing profitability over accelerated growth in sales volume. It means production might be reduced by up to 20% in the coming months.

FCA Group Won’t Be at Paris Auto Show

The FCA Group is following the lead of several other manufacturers and has cancelled its participation in the next Paris auto show this coming fall. The company did explain that the decision is not reversible and that its presence at each future auto show will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Ford Releases Image of New Mustang GT500

Ford is gradually revealing new details about the next-generation Shelby GT500, an ultra-high-performance version of the Ford Mustang. It has now released a first full-body image of the new pony, one trim of which will offer more than 700 hp, placing it on a par with its great rival, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

Review of the 2018 Toyota Tacoma

The 2018 Toyota Tacoma is a compact pickup that once upon a time ruled over its category, but is now forced to fight to regain lost terrain. Can its undeniable off-road capabilities make up for a middling on-road driving experience? Read on…

Honda Transforms a Civic Type R Into a Pickup

A group of engineers at Honda’s special projects team in Swindon, England have designed a prototype pickup version of the Honda Civic Type R. The goal of this unique project is to set a new speed record on the famed Nürburgring track in England.

Return of the Dodge Viper?

The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Group seemed to have abandoned the Dodge Viper for good after grounding the model last year. But it appears the company is working on reviving its resident super car. The new version could debut as early as next January at Detroit’s auto show.

Two Hybrid Variants of the Next 911 Possibly in the Works

Porsche has already announced that a plug-in hybrid version of its 911 would be introduced when the model gets its refresh next year. It appears however that the manufacturer is looking at the possibility of adding a second electrified version to the model’s roster.

Nissan LEAF Open Car Concept Debuts in Tokyo

Meet the Nissan LEAF Open Car convertible! Sadly not intended for production anytime soon, the modified concept version of the 2018 Nissan LEAF was presented to mark 100,000 sales of the electric car since it debuted in 2010.

Top 10 SUVs for RVing in 2018

While many like the greater versatility offered by SUVs for pulling their trailers and RVs, it’s worth keeping in mind that even the biggest utility models have less towing capacities than pickups. That said, here are our Top 10 SUVs for RVing in 2018!

2017 Ford GT: Mecum Auction Nets $1.8M

A 2017 Ford GT with only 7 miles on its odometer sold for a final bid of $1.65 million USD at a Mecum auction this past weekend. According to Ford, the sale was illegal and should not have taken place, due to a clause in the original sale contract that prevents buyers from re-selling the vehicle within 24 months.

Subaru Takes Stand in Favour of the Traditional Car

Though it has not failed to absorb the changing realities of the automotive industry as consumers’ preferences migrate from cars to sport utility models, Subaru is declaring publicly that sedans and coupes still have their place on its roster.

Canadian Consumers Will Get a 4-Cylinder Kia Stinger

Part of the buzz generated by the Kia Stinger since its debut can be attributed to the V6 that propels it. Now, Canadian consumers will soon have the opportunity to discover the model’s base version. The 4-cylinder turbo-equipped Stinger should hit dealerships by the end of summer 2018.

400+ Horses for the New 4-Cylinder AMG 45 Models

The next generation of 45 models from AMG will get a big boost in power thanks to an improved version of their current 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engines. Expect well over 400 hp of output when the models hit the market.

Review of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

We review the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI, a mature and fuel-economical sport compact that plasters a smile on the face of its driver without inflicting the big-ticket exotic-car sticker price.

BMW X8 SUV Taking (Big) Shape

While BMW is confirming nothing at this point, sources close to the project are saying that it’s only a matter of time before the green light is given to the development of the new X8 flagship SUV. Might we get it by 2020?

Mercedes-Benz Readying a Rival to the Model 3

Acutely aware of the strong consumer interest in Tesla’s Model 3, Mercedes-Benz aims to produce a direct rival, and is investing 500 million euros in the modernization of its assembly plant in Hambach, France to accommodate its new model.

2019 Hyundai Veloster First Drive

Renewed for 2019, the Veloster arrives with new base mechanics, more powerful than before, and with a turbo version transformed to the point of being a reference in the segment. Here are our first-drive impressions.

Review of the 2018 Jaguar F-Pace 25t

A Jaguar through and through despite its vocation as a performance SUV, The F-PACE is in our view one of the best-handling, most-refined and most-sought-after premium mid-sized SUVs on the market today. Whichever engine option you go with, its qualities are many and impressive. Here's our review.

Spotlight on Citroën at the Next Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach

At the next Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, a prestigious event that takes place every year in August on the 18th hole of the area’s famed golf course, the showcased banner will be iconic and iconoclastic French brand Citroën. A wonderful opportunity to see some of that company’s, and other French automakers’, beautiful creations…

First drive of the 2018 Ford EcoSport

Ford Motor Company has sure made a lot of headlines since announcing that it was dropping virtually all of its cars from its North American lineup. This week, Ford Canada brought a few members of the automotive press to the eastern tip of the country to discover up close its new 2018 EcoSport crossover.

Volkswagen Will Be Absent From Paris Auto Show

At the next Paris auto show, taking place in September 2018, visitors will not be seeing any Volkswagen-branded vehicles. The German automaker has decided to skip the event. It says as well that its participation in all future auto shows will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

A Beefed-Up Kona N? Hyundai is Mulling the Idea

The Kona has barely even seen the light of day, but already Hyundai is mulling the possibility of creating a souped-up variant of its brand-new crossover. An eventual Kona N would benefit from a 250-hp 4-cylinder engine.

Production starts on the 2019 Honda Insight

After two unsuccessful attempts, Honda shows its perseverance by re-introducing a third incarnation of the Insight. Production for the hybrid model, set to debut at dealers this summer, got underway this week at the Honda plant in Greensburg, Indiana.

Canadian Pricing, Details Announced for 2019 Mazda CX-3!

After getting its official reveal at the 2018 New York International Auto Show in late March, the new 2019 Mazda CX-3 small crossover will be available at Canadian dealerships this month, and we now know the pricing and details for each of its trims.

First Sketch of BMW’s iNext EV Released

BMW today presented a first sketch hinting at the design of its future iNext all-electric crossover, set for production by 2021. The company plans to introduce an actual concept, what it terms a Vision Vehicle, later this year.

Hyundai Wants to Integrate Holograms in its Cars

Always looking for ways to lead the industry pack in terms of innovation, Korean automaker Hyundai is studying the possibility of one day integrating technologies related to holograms into its future vehicle models.

Ford F-150: Production to Resume as of Friday

Forced to halt production of its F-150 pickup truck due to a major fire at the factory of an important supplier of components, Ford announced on Wednesday that its assembly line in Michigan would start up again as of Friday, with the company’s Kentucky plant to follow suit on Monday.

ProPILOT Assist System Will Be Added to Qashqai for 2019

During Nissan’s statement on fiscal year 2017 financial results, the Japanese automaker announced that it will extend ProPILOT Assist system of semi-autonomous driving technologies to other models in its lineup, including the Qashqai model so popular here in Canada.

Review of the 2018 Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid

The 2018 Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid represents an alliance between grand luxury and technological innovation with its long wheelbase, vast and luxurious interior and hybrid powertrain that makes it all go. Here’s our review of the Swede that’s not really a Swede…

The LQ, a New Full-Size SUV Coming Our Way From Lexus?

Lexus, owner of two aging large SUVs in its lineup, the LX and the GX, is believed to be working on a new full-size luxury utility model. Last week, parent company Toyota registered the LQ name, which could well end up designating that new flagship luxury SUV.

Audi reveals first image of new Q8 SUV

This coming June, Audi will be officially introducing its new flagship SUV, the Q8. The German automaker has released a first teaser image that provides a good look of the back end of the new luxury utility model.

7,000+ smart Cars recalled in Canada

A problem linked to an insulation mat has led to a recall on 7,000 smart ForTwo models registered in Canada. Located in the engine compartment, the mat can deteriorate over time, which could result in some of its parts entering into contact with the engine or the exhaust system, possibly leading to a fire.

Review of the 2018 Nissan Qashqai Crossover

We review the 2018 Nissan Qashqai, slightly smaller sibling to the ever-popular Rogue, and whose strong position in the category is being challenged by new entrants like the EcoSport and Kona but also by within its own lineup, by the new, smaller Kicks. Will it maintain its momentum?

Audi Latest Manufacturer to Pass on Detroit Auto Show

First, Mercedes-Benz and BMW announced they would be skipping the next Detroit International Auto Show. Now Audi joins its German rivals in confirming that it will pass on the American automotive showcase, and specifies that it will evaluate each coming show on its own merits.

Review of the 2018 Subaru Legacy

The 2018 Subaru Legacy gives you what you expect and love in a Subaru: all-wheel drive, good driveability, user-friendly dashboard/infotainment. It also gives you what you expect and maybe don’t love in a Subaru: soporific styling, ‘meh’ interior, middling performance capabilities. Here’s our review.

Aston Martin to Present Electric SUV in 2021

Aston Martin’s luxury division Lagonda is working on an electric SUV with a 2021 timetable. The new model will, the company claims, have a range of 600 km thanks to the use of next-generation solid-state batteries. If the finished product approaches the company’s ambitions, the new SUV will be something to behold.

A More Sinister Front End for the 2019 Dodge Charger Hellcat

The Dodge Charger is getting some design tweaks for 2019, and this week the automaker gave us an early taste of what’s to come with a teaser image showing part of the new grille the SRT Hellcat version will sport. Looks like the beefy model is getting… beefier.

VW Golf GTI TCR Concept Unveiled

Unveiled today in Austria, the new 286-hp GTI TCR concept will be the fastest GTI on offer from Volkswagen. The company hopes to begin production of the model by the end of the year, but there are no current plans to introduce it in North America.

Cadillac ATS in 2019: the Sedan Goes, the Coupe Stays

The pending arrival of the XT4 SUV has led Cadillac to rejig its production schedule and facilities, and the first victim of the changes is the ATS sedan, which will disappear after this year. The coupe version will survive, but other changes are likely afoot for 2020.

Production Paralysis for the Ford F-150?

Following an early-May fire at a supplier’s factory, Ford is being forced to stop production of the F-150 pickup at its assembly plant in Kansas City. One source says that the plant in Dearborn, Michigan will soon be similarly affected.

2018 Ford F-150 Diesel First Drive: all about the haul

Our first drive of the 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel reveals a kinder, gentler diesel that provides fuel economy while ably doing what it needs to: haul, tow, climb, etc. The new diesel engine is also a quieter beast as fitted under the hood in the new 2018 edition. Here’s our first-drive review.

Ford Puts Ranger Through Testing Pain in New Video

A new video just released by Ford shows the harsh testing the revived 2019 Ford Ranger pickup is being put through in Michigan, Arizona and the Australian outback. The pickup relaunches in 2019 on the North American market. Check out the video here!

One in Five Motorists Say They Want an Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicles may make up just one percent of all vehicles currently sold in North America, but a lot of motorists are considering getting one next time around. One in five respondents in a new AAA study said they wanted their next vehicle to be electric.

It’s a Go for Production of the 2019 Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent officially went into production yesterday at the automaker’s American plant in Indiana; the large SUV figures to be a central component of the company’s plan to finish 2018 with a 10th consecutive year of growth in the USA.

Upcoming Plug-In Hybrid from Subaru Could Get Evoltis Name

The name Evoltis has been registered by Subaru, according to a report by Car and Driver. Perhaps not coincidentally, the company is planning to introduce a new plug-in hybrid model next year. The new model will borrow technologies already vetted in the Prius Prime from Toyota, a close partner of Subaru.

Kia Reveals First Images of the Niro EV

Kia used the occasion of the Jeju electric car show to present the electric version of its new Niro VUS. The Niro EV will debut this fall in South Korea and in the subsequent weeks and months in other markets.

Review of the 2018 INFINITI Q50: The $4,700 Question

We review the Sport and Red Sport editions of the 2018 INFINITI Q50, an able sport sedan that may not quite rival the Germans but has its own exceptional qualities. But how many horses to choose? There’s the $4,700 question…

May 7: The coming week on!

Check us out this coming week on We’ve got the latest news and unveilings, first drives and reviews of the latest models and much more. This week, reviews of the INFINITI Q50, a Subaru sedan and the F-150 Diesel, an electric Niro and top 10 pickups for towing.

8 New 2019 RAM Trucks Stolen from Warren, MI Plant

Already beset by production delays, the new 2019 RAM seems ill-fated form the start: 8 of its units were stolen directly from the secure, fenced-off parking lot at the FCA plant in Warren, Michigan, where the truck is assembled.

Volkswagen Presents First Thermal Imaging Camera

With the new Touarag that it will offer on the European market, Volkswagen is introducing for the first time a brand-new system that uses a thermal imaging camera able to identify people or animals at a distance of up to 130 metres (426 ft) away at night.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Images Show 60s Muscle Car Influence

Dodge continues to add variants and new features to its Challenger model. One thing we know the 2019 SRT Hellcat variant will get for 2019 is a hood with dual openings that harkens back to the golden age of muscle cars. These functional air ducts will have a direct influence on the engine’s performance.

Focus Active Not Coming to Canada After All

Canada, a natural crossover market no more? Ford Canada has confirmed that the upcoming Ford Active, one of only two car models that Ford will continue to offer in the U.S., will not be sold on the Canadian market.

17 U.S. States Suing EPA, Trump Administration

17 U.S. states, including California, the largest automotive market in the country, are joining to file a lawsuit against the EPA and the Trump administration, after they announced their intention to do away with Obama-era vehicle emissions standards.

A Coupe Version of the Volkswagen Tiguan Next Year?

Volkswagen is currently working on a sportier coupe version of its Tiguan SUV for next year, according to French website Automobile. The new model may inherit a number of traits found in the CrossBlue Coupe that debuted five years ago in Shanghai.

Backup cameras in cars now mandatory in Canada

Following the official announcements made in the U.S. and Canada in 2014 and 2016, respectively, the backup camera is now a required piece of equipment in all new light vehicles (under 4,536 kg) sold in North America.

Review of the 2018 Volkswagen Passat TSI R-Line

In your family, the 2018 Volkswagen Passat TSI R-Line is the cool uncle who’s got style but knows enough not to try to dress like today’s kids, and can pull off retro without appearing to dwell in the past. Here’s our review of a smart, adult sedan that will have to fight for its life in a shrinking market segment.

Land Rover Marks 70 Years of Existence with Web broadcast

To help mark its 70th birthday, the official date of which was yesterday, April 30, Land Rover aired a web broadcast in which it revisited some of its storied past and introduced some of the passionate people that exemplify the Land Rover spirit.

Hyundai Canada Announces Pricing for 2018 Accent

Hyundai Canada has announced pricing for its 2018 Accent. Recognizing the important position the hatchback version occupies on our market, Hyundai will continue to offer this version here, at the same price as a similarly equipped Accent sedan.

Volkswagen Sticking with Sedans in North America

Ford may be aligning itself with the prevailing industry winds when it comes to producing (or not) cars in North America, but Volkswagen is tacking hard the opposite way and has reiterated its commitment to producing sedans on this side of the Atlantic.

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