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Automotive News - October 2018

SEMA 2018: Mopar introduces the 1000-hp Hellephant

At the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Mopar revealed its all-new 1,000-hp engine, the Hellaphant, and more. The Hellaphant made its debut under the hood of a reworked 1968 Dodge Super Charger, created to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic model.

SEMA 2018: Kia Presents Forte GT edition

Kia has debuted the GT performance edition of its Forte at the SEMA show currently on in Las Vegas. The Forte becomes the second of the brand’s models to get the GT treatment, after the Stinger; the GT will debut with the 2020 model-year.

Volkswagen working on new crossover smaller than Tiguan

Volkswagen is working on another small crossover that it will offer the North American market, this one of sub-compact size. It will compete directly with the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona, and it will be distinct from the T-Roc and T-Cross that VW sells in Europe.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review

We spend a week driving the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt in and around Montreal pretending it’s San Francisco! Check out our review of a car that’s both a tribute and an instant classic.

SEMA 2018: Nissan debuts 400-hp 370Z Project Clubsport 23

The 2018 edition of SEMA, the world's foremost automotive specialty products trade show, is currently on in Las Vegas, and Nissan is there with, among other goodies, the special-edition track-only 370Z Project Clubsport 23. Here are details and photos.

2018 Nissan Kicks Review and photo gallery

Conceived to attract a young, urban clientele in search of a fun, practical and affordable ride, the 2018 Nissan Kicks delivers quite a punch. We put it to the test and have a review and photo gallery of this cute ‘ute.

2019 Hyundai Tucson: Redesigned and More Tech-Savvy

Hyundai has released details for its redesigned 2019 Hyundai Tucson (and U.S. pricing, but we’ll wait for the Canadian announcement for details on that). And while it’s not getting the major makeover that its fellow Hyundai SUV the Santa Fe is this year, it is benefiting from a number of upgrades.

Hyundai’s IONIQ Electric to get bigger battery, boosted range

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric should get a longer range for the 2020 model-year. The current edition has a range of 200 km, but Hyundai says a new, larger battery pack is on the way that will increase that – though it won’t match the 415-km range of the new Kona Electric.

Comparison: 2019 Kia Sorento vs 2019 Mazda CX-9

The 2019 Mazda CX-9 and the 2019 Kia Sorento are two three-row SUVs that have some major differences to go with the many similarities. We compare the midsize CX-9 with the officially compact Sorento to determine which we’d recommend the most.

McLaren Gives New Speedtail Full Public Reveal

McLaren has finally lifted the veil fully on its new limited-run Speedtail, the company’s first “hyper-GT”. The 106 units being produced are selling for $2.93M CAD each, though don’t bother reaching for your chequebook – all have been reserved.

2019 Honda Civic Si: Details and Photos Released

Honda is tweaking its Civic Si for 2019, headlined by a streamlining of the multimedia system’s functions. The company has heeded widespread criticism and reincorporated physical buttons for several functions. Two new colour options have been added as well. Here are details and a photo gallery.

Busy BMW to Roll Out Four New Models at LA Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show is fast approaching, and while it is being shunned by some manufacturers this year, other carmakers are using the opportunity to grab the available spotlight. BMW for example will be rolling out four new vehicles at the event: one SUV, two cars and a concept.

Cadillac marks 15 years of V models with Pedestal editions

Cadillac will mark the 15th year of existence of its V division by producing two special editions of the ATS-V and CTS-V cars. The company will build only 300 Pedestal Editions of each of the models, which will be sold in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East.

2019 Mazda CX-9 Review: Mid-sized bigness!

The 2019 CX-9 from Mazda has what it takes to meet the needs of families today. We review a three-row mid-sized SUV can easily accommodate 7 occupants, and is one of the finalists for a 2019 Auto123.com Award!

New look, more power for the 2019 Audi R8

The Audi R8 offered to consumers in 2019 will deliver even more power from its 5.2L V8 engine. Audi is also promising more-responsive steering, shorter stopping distance and a more engaged driving experience overall.

Chevrolet looking at hybrid scenarios for the Camaro

Chevrolet has been surveying customers and fans about possible hybrid systems for the Camaro. News of a questionnaire being sent out by the company has added meaning given that Ford will be introducing a hybrid version of the Mustang. Does Chevrolet have any choice but to follow suit?

The Top 10 most affordable new cars in Canada in 2018

Fortunately for Canada’s bargain-hunting car buyers, there are still, in 2018, new cars to be had at very affordable prices. You’ll need to be ready to compromise in a few areas, but if you do you’ll be able to drive a quality product for a truly eye-opening price. Here’s our Top 10 ranking for 2018.

Production underway for the Ford Ranger

Production got underway for the 2019 Ford Ranger this week at Ford’s assembly plant in Michigan. The automaker’s drop in sales this year will get a much-needed boost with the much-anticipated return to the North American market of the pickup.

EPA determines 377-km range for the Jaguar I-Pace

Courtesy the EPA, we now know the precise (or precise-ish) range of Jaguar’s new I-Pace electric SUV. Testing has determined it can go 234 miles (around 377 km) on a full charge, placing it roughly on a par with the Tesla Model X 75D.

2019 Volvo S60 and V60 First Drive

For 2019, the Volvo S60/V60 twins have been re-engineered from the ground up; they now ride on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture platform, making them the last models in Volvo’s portfolio to do so. We take for a first drive and ask, will this be time we’re finally disappointed in a new Volvo?

Volkswagen building plant that will make only electric vehicles

Volkswagen made the announcement this past week that it has begun construction on the first plant to be used exclusively for the manufacture of electric vehicles based on the company’s MEB platform. Located near Shanghai, China, the plant will be able to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year.

2019 Jaguar F-Type P300 Convertible Review

Despite the presence of a 4-cylinder engine under its hood, the F-Type has no reason to blush in the face of competition. Here's our Auto123.com review perhaps the most beautiful car in the automotive industry.

Mazda promises revolutionary engine for its new Mazda3

The upcoming next-generation Mazda3 will make its first public appearance late next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The highly anticipated model will sit on the newest SKYACTIV architecture developed by Mazda, and it will also house an engine that promises to get a lot of people talking.

Now you can find charging stations using Google Maps

Starting this week, motorists can use Google Maps on their smartphones to locate nearby charging stations when their electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle is in need of a boost. Already, Google Maps lists over 1,000 locations in Canada, with more to come.

Volvo unveils first car subscription service in Canada

This week Volvo Canada officially launched the CARE BY VOLVO program in Canada, a new membership service unique in this country. Members who sign up for the service benefit from use of a Volvo vehicle for two years with all maintenance and tire changes taken care, and a concierge service.

BMW Presents Big, Buff X7 ahead of LA Auto Show

BMW has presented its new X7 SUV ahead of the model’s official debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The biggest BMW produced to date uses a well-known mechanical setup and offers the level of luxury you would expect from the brand’s flagship product.

2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO: Five Letters too Many?

Nissan’s Z is a legendarily fun car to drive and it’s even moderately practical in daily use. But its NISMO performance variant is simply too extreme for our roads, and it’s downright unpleasant to use on a daily basis. Sometimes, moderation really does taste better.

Porsche: The Taycan is just the beginning

Porsche is planning to electrify in a big way and aims for electric vehicles to make up half of its sales by 2025. The upcoming Taycan would be joined in 2022 by an electric-powertrain Macan, then by similarly transformed Panamera and Cayenne versions.

Mercedes-Benz GLE, the first plug-in hybrid with a 100+ km range?

Mercedes-Benz is promising that the plug-in hybrid version of its next-generation GLE SUV will have an electric range of more than 100 km. It will be the first of type to pass the century mark for range, but it will be followed in rapid succession by others, the Polestar 1 from Volvo chief among them.

GM Upgrades Base Warranty… But It Will Cost Extra

GM now offers an longer-period extended new-vehicle warranty for all models sold under its banners, but the optional add-on will cost extra. The manufacturer is promising a simplified claims process for both dealers and customers.

Jaguar all in on electric by 2030… maybe

A new report out of the UK says that Jaguar has developed a tentative plan to go entirely electric with its model lineup by 2030. No final decision has been made, but it would allow Jaguar-Land Rover to more easily hit CO2 targets, and parent company Tata likes the idea.

Toyota’s 2019 TRD Pro Models: True (Voodoo) Blue

For 2019, Toyota has updated its Tacoma TRD Pro mid-size truck and its 4Runner TRD Pro SUV, and brought back the Tundra’s TRD Pro version after a sabbatical in 2018. We put them to the test in a beautiful corner of Ontario!

2019 Kia Forte First Drive

We take a first drive in the next-generation 2019 Kia Forte sedan, still a close cousin of the Hyundai Elantra but sporting a more distinctive robe. The new edition keeps the same engine, but the chassis and suspension are stiffer, and initial quality seems really solid.

German Automakers Strike Notes of Caution Regarding EVs

Two separate reports this week highlight the inevitable growing pains that come with transitioning from combustion-engine powertrains to electric and hybrid vehicles. The comments by executives at VW and BMW can be seen as notes of caution for the automotive industry going forward.

Jeep Renegade Will be Produced as a Plug-In Hybrid

The Renegade will follow the Wrangler out of the gate as Jeep models equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, likely as soon as 2020. There’s no real indication whether the Renegade PHEV will make it to the North American market, but if FCA wants to hit its ambitious target for electrified models on this continent, we’d say the odds are good.

The Best Winter Tires for Cars in Canada for 2018-2019

In some parts of Canada the snow is already with us – and in the other parts, it’s on the way! Auto123.com presents our buying guide to winter tires for cars for the 2018-2019 season. Learn which winter tires are recommended on snow and ice!

2019 Mazda CX-5 details released for Japan: Big Power Boost

Mazda has announced details regarding updates for the 2019 Mazda CX-5 that will be presented on the Japanese market. The big news is the addition of a 2.5L inline-4 turbo engine, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine. We expect that specific information for North America will be announced soon.

2020 Ford Bronco: Manual transmission likely

It appears likely that the new Ford Bronco SUV will come with a manual transmission option when it returns to active duty for 2020. At this point it’s also fairly certain the model will come only in four-door format, but with a removable roof.

2019 Toyota Tacoma: Details and pricing for Canada

We’ve learned details about the new 2019 Toyota Tacoma truck, including updates and upgrades for the TRD Pro versions and packages. Starting price for the base-model Tacoma is up slightly for 2019, by $435. Stay tuned for our First Drive review coming in the next few days!

Top 10 midsize SUVs in Canada in 2018

As much as the big and small ends of the SUV spectrum have made waves in the industry in recent years, the midsize SUV segment remains a leading choice for consumers here as elsewhere. Here’s our ranking of the best models the category has to offer in 2018.

First Drive of the 2019 Ford Edge ST

The Ford Edge Sport is no more; for 2019 it’s lost the middle three letters of its name and is now just called “ST”, recalling recent Fast Fords such as the Focus ST and Fiesta ST hatches. We were dispatched to one of the homes of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games to see what this most athletic of Edges is all about.

2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Review

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is fuel-efficient, its performance is reassuring albeit unexciting, and it’s comfortable. Despite a few irritants, if you’re interested in a hybrid car, it should be near the top of your shopping list.

The next BMW 2 Series will keep rear-wheel drive

The next-generation BMW 2 Series, which was to have gotten the 1 Series’ new FWD architecture, will hold on to a rear-wheel drive system after all. For Klaus Frohlich, head of product development at BMW, it was a question of recalling that the 2 Series is above all a driver’s car.

2018 Ford Mustang GT Review: The right stuff

Taking advantage of subtle improvements in 2018, the GT version of the Ford Mustang is better and more civilized than ever. In fact, the recipe is magical and is based on some ingredients that are constantly being refined at Ford.

2019 Hyundai Kona Details and Pricing for Canada

The 2019 Hyundai Kona enters its second year on the market in Canada as a top choice in its category. The attractive subcompact crossover is getting a bigger offering of standard safety, but perhaps the most exciting news is the pending arrival in Canada of the Kona Electric.

2019 Subaru BRZ: Details and pricing for Canada

Subaru has released details and pricing info for Canada for its 2019 BRZ. While the starting price stays the same as last year, the model does get some updates aimed at improving aerodynamics and upgrading the infotainment system’s technologies.

BMW closes door on producing pickup

BMW’s head of product development, Klaus Frohlich, has confirmed that BMW will not be going ahead with any plan to develop a luxury pickup truck. This leaves Mercedes-Benz all by its lonesome in the category with its year-old X-Class truck.

Paris 2018: BMW confirms i4 will debut in 2021

In the midst of presenting several new models at the 2018 Paris Motor Show this week, German automaker BMW also confirmed that it would welcome a new rookie to its i electric division in 2021. The all-electric, high-performance i4 will have an astounding range of 700 km, according to the carmaker.

Nearly 100 Electric Vehicles on the Market by 2022

Electrification: From what we know of the market and the current plans of the manufacturers, we can expect that consumers will be able to choose from close to 100 electrified vehicle models within the next four or five years. By 2022, the market should include a Dalmatians’ litter worth of all-electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid models.

Mazda to revive rotary engine, thanks to… electrification

The rotary engine lives again. Mazda has confirmed that it will be bringing the technology back into use in the coming few years. Of course, we’re not talking here about a rotary-engine sports car in the mould of the defunct RX-8, but rather as a range-extending technology to be used with electric cars.

2018 Nokian tires put to the test: a beautiful journey

As part of an effort to increase its visibility in Canada, Nokian invited members of the automotive press to a special event spanning two days, during which we were given the opportunity to test out several different vehicles fitted with the company’s tires. It was the first such event put on by the manufacturer on Canadian soil, and I’m guessing it won’t be the last.

Paris 2018: 2020 BMW 3 Series Makes Official Debut

The 7th-generation 2020 BMW 3 Series has made its official debut at the Paris Motor Show. It’s expected at dealers by spring 2019. The more-evolved but still very recognizable BMW sedan will be at dealerships starting in spring 2019.

2019 Jeep Renegade gets new turbo, ditches manual transmission

We now know more about the North American edition of the 2019 Jeep Renegade, after details were published earlier regarding the European edition of the smallest Jeep around. Say hello to a new turbo engine with more horses, and goodbye to the manual transmission.

No performance division planned at Kia

While Hyundai revs up its N performance division, the Korean automaking giant’s sister company Kia is heading in a different direction. The company that recently produced the Kia Stinger sport sedan will not create a sub-brand of performance models – but you can expect to see more GT-branded versions of Kia models.

Toyota working on flying car… for real

Dick Van Dyke, watch out. Toyota’s interest in the possibility of building a flying car was already known, but now the automaker has actually filed a patent request for a project it is working on. The request shows diagrams for the flying car currently in the early conception phase at the manufacturer, which has allocated a 30-person team to the project.

A mid-engined Subaru sports car? Speculation is rife

Where there’s smoke…. For the second time in three years, rumours are floating regarding a project at Subaru to develop a mid-engine car. Very little is actually known at the moment, but talk is of a hybrid vehicle with, of course, an all-wheel-drive system. In all likelihood, the enthusiasm of American consumers will be the determining factor for whether the plan is green-lit or not.

2019 BMW i3 to have longer range

German automaker BMW has confirmed that its 2019 i3 model, production of which will get underway in November, will offer owners a longer range in electric mode thanks to increased battery capacity, from 33 kWh to 44.2 kWh.

2018 BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe Review

At the wheel of this BMW, we discovered a car that represents an interesting alternative to large SUVs. In fact, the BMW 430i xDrive offers all the benefits of the SUV and the car with far superior driveability.

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