Automotive News - July 2018

Daimler Restructuring with Autonomous Vehicles in Mind

The Daimler group will be restructuring itself and create three separate corporate entities, including one wholly devoted to autonomous mobility, technologies and vehicles. The company says that the move is necessary to ensure it is well-positioned to face the upheavals sure to hit the industry in the coming years.

The Taycan: A Logistical Challenge for Porsche?

Porsche’s future Taycan model, the first all-electric car to be produced by the manufacturer, is generating strong interest. That is certainly good news for the German automaker, but the project represents quite a logistical puzzle to solve if and when the model goes into production.

Canadian Pricing, Details Announced for the 2019 Mazda MX-5

Mazda Canada has announced pricing and details for the various versions of the new 2019 Mazda MX-5 and MX-5 RF, which should be available at dealerships as of September. Highlights include increased power, more standard equipment… and a lower starting price.

Review of the 2018 BMW M5

The 2018 M5 unsurprisingly offers exceptional power and an exalting driving experience. That said, nostalgia for its very early editions never really goes away. Here's our review of a car that's at once virtually perfect and startlingly imperfect.

A Compact Pickup on the Way from Ford?

While the mid-size truck segment has returned in force in the past few years, most observers agree there remains a relative vacuum in the small pickup category. Ford may be working to rectify that by producing a compact pickup truck, smaller than the Ranger.

Who sells the most plug-in hybrids in the U.S.?

U.S. vehicle sales figures for the month of June show that a big chunk of the market for plug-in electric vehicles is in the grasp of one automaker, which has just set a record for its largest market share ever in the segment.

The Buick Regal Avenir, Coming in 2019

The catalogue of GM products being offered for car fleets reveals that the Buick Regal will get a new variant for 2019. The luxury-oriented Avenir is replete with standard advanced safety systems and is decked in a more refined appearance.

Get off the road! Top 10 Best 4X4s on the Market

We present the Top 10 Best 4X4 off-road models for summer 2018, because who doesn’t like playing in the mud and the dirt, especially when you’re comfortable in the driver’s seat! So go ahead, get off the road!!

Audi to Start Taking Orders in U.S. on e-tron EV

First unveiled in concept form in Geneva this past March, Audi’s new all-electric e-tron will make its official world debut in San Francisco on September 17, and as of that same date Audi will start taking orders on the small SUV from American buyers. We await confirmation for the Canadian market…

Raptor V6 Engine to Power the 2019 Ford F-150 Limited

For 2019, the Ford-150 Limited version will be getting the engine formerly used exclusively in the Raptor variant of the popular model. Delivering 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, this V6 engine boosts output by 20% in comparison with the version it replaces.

2019 RAM 1500 Sport Review

FCA starts off the coming automotive season with two editions of the RAM: the one that carries on from last year’s model, now re-baptised the Classic, and the all-new version of the RAM available in several finishes, each more luxurious than the next. One of these is the Sport, for 2019 a Canadian-exclusive edition.

J.D. Power APEAL Study for 2018: Genesis Already on Top

Hyundai’s luxury division and now stand-alone brand Genesis has come out on top of J.D. Power’s latest APEAL survey. The firm also reported that overall, manufacturers are offering better-quality products to their customers year after year.

New Audi Q3 Gets Official Reveal… Online

Audi has released photos and details of its upcoming second-generation Q3 SUV online ahead of its public debut, scheduled for the next Paris auto show taking place this fall. The model has been tweaked to make it more thoroughly modern, inside and out.

2019 Honda HR-V: Honda confirms esthetic, equipment changes

The Honda HR-V is getting a mid-life revision for 2019, starting with the jettisoning of the manual transmission. Front and back ends are getting esthetic adjustments, and the roster of equipment included and available for the popular subcompact crossover has grown.

Dodge Journey and Grand Caravan: Nearing the End of the Line?

When it announced its five-year plans earlier this year, the FCA Group as conspicuously silent regarding the Dodge and Chrysler brands. Things have become clearer since then as important decisions regarding the future of the brand are made. For the Dodge Journey and the Grand Caravan, that future might be shaky.

2019 Volvo XC40 R-Design Review: Poised for Success

We put to the test the 2019 Volvo R-Design, dressed – and built – for success in a very competitive luxury SUV segment, and proof that a utility model can generate thrills. Here’s our review of a utility model that delivers on its high expectations.

Le Fil Rouge comes to North America

First unveiled to universal wows at the Geneva auto show this past March, Hyundai’s sleek Le Fil Rouge concept is making its debut North American appearance this weekend at the 40th edition of the Concours d’Elegance of America in Michigan.

Meet the Speedtail: McLaren reveals name of new Hyper-GT

The car McLaren was developing as its next limited-edition Ultimate Series car, previously codenamed BP23, now has a real live name: Meet the McLaren Speedtail, with a top speed of over 390 km/h and an asking price of $2.76 million CAD. All 106 units to be produced have already found takers.

Sergio Marchionne, longtime FCA head, has died at 66 years of age

The former head of the FCA Group, Sergio Marchionne, died this morning in a Swiss hospital at the age of 66. The long-time exec had undergone shoulder surgery last month, but doctors discovered a serious health issue during his recovery period. On Saturday, Marchionne’s health deteriorated quickly and he fell into a coma. Today the automotive industry mourns the loss of a legend in the domain.

World premiere of the new Porsche Macan SUV in Shanghai

Porsche’s “sports car masquerading as a compact SUV” got its world premiere today. The automaker unveiled the updated new 2019 Porsche Macan, which has gotten a midlife refresh and comes with a tweaked exterior design and upgraded interior.

Ford to establish new autonomous vehicles division

With an eye to staking out its territory in the promising landscape of autonomous driving-related technologies, Ford has announced it is creating a division devoted entirely to developing these technologies. The venture will be backed by a $4 billion investment, including $1 billion put into Argo AI.

Hyundai and its Kona Iron Man

Looking to partner with the winner that is the Iron Man movie franchise, Hyundai is collaborating with Marvel to produce a special Iron Man edition of its Kona crossover, which should be available in 2019. The model will sport numerous references to the films, will be produced in limited numbers.

Detroit auto show moving to June

Confirming a long-standing rumour, organizers of Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) have confirmed the show will move on the calendar from early January to June, starting in 2020. The change is part of a bid to refocus the event on consumers instead of the media and manufacturers, several of whom are skipping the next NAIAS.

First Drive of the 2019 Miata MX-5: The Reward

The new 2019 Mazda Miata MX-5, the brand-new edition of the classic roadster, is freshly arrived, having set foot on Canadian soil only a few days prior. We got the chance to carry out a bunch of test drives of classic versions of the model that helped us place in context the highly evolved state of the new 2019 Mazda Miata MX-5, which we then took on a sublime drive along country roads.

Interest in Porsche’s New Taycan EV has been “Fantastic”

Fantastic. This is how Porsche is describing interest among potential buyers for its Taycan EV since the company started taking down names for reservations of the model, which is still in its concept stage by the way. The all-electric sports car, derived from the Mission E concept, should be presented in production form next year.

Nips and Tucks for the 2019 Acura MDX

The Acura MDX, entering its sixth year in its current form, will get improvements to help it remain viable versus its competition in 2019. Equipment packages, trims and colours are getting updated, and a new appearance-altering A-SPEC variant is on the menu as well.

2019 Infiniti QX50 Gets Canadian Debut Presentation

For 2019, INFINITI has completely reimagined its QX50 family utility vehicle to better meet the needs of families. We had the opportunity to attend the Canadian debut presentation of the model, and here’s what we learned from our close-up encounter.

FCA names replacement for seriously ill CEO Sergio Marchionne

Complications from a surgical procedure on FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s shoulder last month have forced the automotive giant to replace him prematurely ahead of his scheduled retirement. This Saturday the 69-year-old Marchionne’s condition worsened dramatically, and he is said to be in a coma. FCA has named Mike Manley as his replacement.

2018 Ford Explorer Review: One of the best in its class reviews the 2018 Ford Explorer, a member in good standing of Ford’s SUV family, and one that ably combines comfort, power and technology - plus it’s quite a looker! But you’ll need to decide how high up the price ladder you’re willing to climb.

Volkswagen to Build Two Electric Models in the US of A

When VW’s I.D. Buzz and I.D. Crozz electric concepts make it to the production phase, it is very possible they will be built in the United States. Though the company won’t confirm it, reports are that it intends to build two electric models in American plants.

2018 Mini Cooper 3-Door Review

The entry model into the MINI universe isn’t the automaker’s most powerful car, but it offers its owner a distinctive driving experience, one marked by pleasure. Here’s our review…

Review of the 2018 Acura RDX : A glimpse into the future

Dead-set on upending the established order in a segment dominated by the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3, the 2019 Acura RDX features up-to-date technologies, upgraded safety features, striking design both inside and out, and a few surprises to boot. Here’s our review.

Visiting a Hyundai Dealership… on Amazon

With consumers changing the way they shop for cars, companies are getting increasingly creative in their approach and strategies in an attempt to reach as many potential customers as possible. Today Hyundai launched a digital showroom concept on the Amazon Vehicles platform.

Refreshments all around for the 2019 Honda Pilot

The current generation in its present form has been on the market for three years. For 2019, Honda refreshes its Pilot SUV to keep it relevant in its hard-fought segment. There are style updates, but the changes go beyond the esthetic. The Honda Sensing suite is now offered as standard equipment on all trims.

Review of the 2018 McLaren 570S Spider

Test driving the 2018 McLaren 570S Spider means getting the opportunity to enjoy an ideal day of fun under the sun. But if you can afford it, this incredible convertible sports car could be your ticket to a sublime everyday ride!

Lexus’ F performance models: electricity in their future?

The future of Lexus’ performance divisions F, will likely include several different kinds of powertrains, including hybrid ones. This is according to Lexus president Yoshihiro Sawa, as he made an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

More power, longer range for the 2019 Nissan LEAF

Nissan is finally going to give its LEAF a larger battery that will provide the car with more power and extend its range. The second-generation LEAF that launched last year got a positive reception, but with one recurrent caveat: its 241-km range was mediocre - or at least not as good as it could be.

The Chevrolet City Express is Done after 2018

Weak sales in North America have led Chevrolet to end production of its City Express van. Conceived as a potential rival to Ford’s Transi Connect, the Chevy product failed, fully and completely. The 2018 model will thus be the last we see of the City Express.

Bentley Celebrates Centenary with Special Edition Mulsanne

British brand Bentley will be celebrating 100 years of existence in style, by producing several limited-edition models that pay tribute to its illustrious past over the next 12 months. First up will be a Mulsanne produced by the Mulliner company. This limited edition will sport visual cues harkening back to the last Bentley designed by the company’s founder, Walter Owen Bentley.

Volkswagen T-Cross: Too Small, Too Expensive for North America

Volkswagen has in recent years presented a dizzying number of SUV prototypes that it intends to add to its lineup. So many in fact that it’s been clear that not all of those would or could make it to the North American market. We’ve already learned that the T-Roc won’t make it to market here, and now VW has confirmed the upcoming T-Cross will also be confined to overseas markets.

Review of the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

For fans of American-built vehicles, the Durango SRT is nothing less than a modern-day muscle car with room for 6, quite unlike just about any other vehicle you’ll find on the market! Here's our review...

Top 10 Perfect Vehicles for Canadian Families on Vacation

School’s out, the temperatures are sky-high and the festivals are underway. Also, Canadians are getting ready to hit the road during their summer vacations. Here’s our Top 10 of the vehicles perfectly suited for road trips with the family or with friends.

A V8-equipped Aston Martin Cygnet wows the Goodwood Festival

The Goodwood Festival of Speed on now in England is always good for its share of surprises, and this year that took the form of an Aston Martin Cygnet equipped with a V8 engine. The tiny one-off model, created because why not, delivers a terrifying 430 hp and can do the 0-100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds.

2019 Dodge Durango: Small Revisions, But the Big Overhaul Still Awaits

The Dodge Durango will be getting improvements for 2019, the automaker has announced. These were overdue to say the least, the model having remained largely unchanged since 2011. Dodge has managed to tweak its SUV enough to keep it in the game in recent years, but the company will have to take more drastic action, sooner rather than later.

2018 BMW X3 3.0i Review: Cute…with a twist

BMW has made significant changes to its X3 for 2018. In addition to a new style, a lot of amenities are added to the model and in terms of driving, the one that is often cited in reference in its segment continues on its path to perfection.

Tata Nano: The $2,500 car will disappear in 2020

With sales having not just shrunk but virtually disappeared, the Nano is being put out of its misery. Indian automaker Tata has announced it will be stopping production of the super-low-priced car in 2020. The Nano was first introduced in 2008 carrying a price tag of… $2,500 USD.

Review of the 2018 Porsche Macan GTS

Porsche pulls a fast one: the 2018 Porsche Macan GTS is a wolfish sports car dressed in the robes of an SUV. Its practicality and interior space makes it an authentic utility model, while its driving dynamics are simply a cut above. Check out our review.

First Sketches of the Future All-Electric MINI

The first all-electric MINI is coming in 2019, and on the occasion of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England the British automaker has published two sketches providing a first glimpse of its future model.

Made-in-China BMW iX3 will be sold globally

The BMW iX3, essentially an electric variant of the regular X3 model, will debut in 2020, and its co-creators BMW and Chinese firm Brilliance have announced that it will be sold around the world.

2019 Honda HR-V: Goodbye, Manual Gearbox

Starting in 2019, consumers will no longer be able to order a manual gearbox to go with their new Honda HR-V. Sad news for some driving fans, but not a surprise, especially as in the case of this particular model the manual option has only been available in the front-wheel-drive base model.

Nissan, Italdesign Could Produce 50 units of the GT-R50

The GT-R50 developed conjointly by Nissan and the Italdesign firm will debut this week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. If the response is as positive as anticipated, the two companies will go head with a plan to produce 50 units of the special edition, each of which will command an astronomical price tag.

Mystery Cadillac Concept Surfaces via Patent Images

Mysterious sketches showing a Cadillac coupe concept have surfaced on the Web. No information about the model is available, but the fact that the images in question were intended for patent registration tells us that we will probably get a look at it in the coming months.

Toyota Supra Will Race in NASCAR

The Toyota Supra will join the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang in NASCAR's Xfinity Series, which is a proving ground for the bigger Monster Energy Cup Series. The model’s appearance represents a great marketing move for the launch of this reborn race car.

Tesla Will Build Assembly Plant in China

It was announced today that Tesla has concluded a preliminary agreement with the Shanghai government to build an assembly plant in China. The new factory will complement its current sole plant, located in California.

The Next Generation of the Lexus IS Will Debut in 2020

A few weeks ago, Toyota was reported to be considering the possibility of removing the IS from the market at the end of the current production cycle. New information suggests that the company is preparing its replacement, which would arrive in July 2020 as a 2021 model.

Review of the 2018 Mazda3 GT Sedan

We spend an excellent week aboard the 2018 Mazda3 GT (for Grand Touring), the top trim in the Mazda3 lineup and a car that continues to provide its owners with a higher level of fun and streamlined good looks. Good design needn’t be complicated, in fact it shouldn’t be. The 2018 Mazda3 GT is a perfect example.

The Kona Electrifies Montreal Jazz Fest

Montreal’s renowned International Jazz Festival was the setting last week for the presentation of two highly popular new models from Hyundai, including the all-electric version of its Kona small crossover. We were there for the exclusive special event!

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Pricing and Details!

We now know the pricing and details for the new 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, set to make its debut at Canadian dealerships this month. Good news, the car’s starting price remains unchanged…

Review of the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Operating in a largely competition-free zone in Canada as a reasonably-priced drop-top, the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is possibly on its last go-round before VW officially pulls the plug on the model. It may not be the most practical primary car, but a second car it’s pretty appealing.

Volkswagen Gives a Glimpse of its T-Cross

Volkswagen unveiled a sketch showing the rear of its T-Cross, a sub-compact SUV that the group intends to market first in Europe, China and South America. It's arrival here is still uncertain, but bet that because of the popularity of SUVs here, it is unlikely to be ruled out.

Vehicle Sales: Trucks Outselling Cars 2:1

The trend has been observed for a few years now and the 2 to 1 ratio has already been reached in the past, but it should be noted that in 2018, this trend has stabilized to the point where it is now a daily reality; the industry sells twice as many trucks and SUVs than cars in North America.

A TRD Version of the Toyota 86 for 2019

Toyota 86 will be offered with a TRD performance package in 2019. This model will add performance enhancing features, but will not change it's power. For that, we will have to wait for the model's redesign.

Chevy Will Increase Bolt Production By 20%

Due to stronger demand around the world since the beginning of the year, Chevrolet has announced that it is to increase the production rate of its Bolt electric car. The news comes at the same time that Tesla celebrates reaching it's desired production rate of 5000 units per week of its Model 3.

A RWD Stelvio Coming in 2019

Alfa Romeo will offer a RWD version of its Stelvio SUV in 2019. More affordable, it will be offered with a new drivetrain. For the moment, however, we do not know if this version will be given the green light to be sold in Canada.

The Volkswagen Beetle Could Re-Emerge, as an Electric

The Volkswagen Beetle, whose origins date back to the era of the Nazi regime, is nearing the end of its production cycle and the company has already announced that it will not be replaced. However, the company is studying the possibility of reviving it in electrical form in a few years.

Hyundai-FCA Merger Rumours: True or False?

Last week, there were persistent rumours of Hyundai developing a takeover strategy for the FCA group. Yesterday, a representative of the Korean firm claimed that these rumours were unfounded. The problem is that since September 2017, the topic keeps coming up.

2018 GMC Canyon Diesel 2018 : Life-size, not mid-size

Our test of the 2018 GMC Canyon Diesel made us realize that buyers who opt for this type of product, as expensive as a full-size pickup truck, did not do it so much to get the most of what a pickup truck can to extract what is essential to them.

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