Let’s be perfectly clear: The 380-horsepower Jaguar F-PACE S has always been a fast SUV. Its supercharged V6 roars to life and will make the uninitiated’s hair stand on end. On this point, there is little argument.
The trouble is, performance SUVs like the BMW X5 M, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo redefined what shoppers can expect from a high-riding crossover, and Jaguar, a company with a long history in performance and racing, simply couldn’t compete with those rocket ships.
Don’t Wake the Neighbors
Luckily, in a true Cinderella story, Jaguar’s supercharged V8 is a perfect fit for the F-PACE’s engine bay. It’s with this engine that the F-PACE evolves from a fast, premium luxury crossover and heads toward supercar territory.
The 2019 Jaguar F-PACE SVR isn’t necessarily the best choice for early risers living in quiet suburban hamlets. Sure, our test car’s Ultra Blue paint would look spectacular against a green, manicured lawn. But depress the brake and punch the ignition, and the birds will almost certainly leave their nest and your peaceful neighbors will likely be writing strongly worded letters to the homeowner’s association.
The F-PACE SVR is loud—loud is kind of Jaguar’s thing these days. But it also comes with a little party trick for those who can’t get enough of blasting through tunnels and revving in parking garages. On the center console between the driver and passenger seats, Jaguar has installed a button that opens a set of baffles in the exhaust tailpipe. Hit this button, and the SVR’s engine note grows from a subtle (but noticeable) growl to an outright bark. The residents of your bucolic neighborhood might not appreciate the noise, but you likely will.
Watch Out for That Speed Limit
Once you’re off and running, the party’s just begun. The SVR’s 5.0-liter V8 engine puts out 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, distributed to all four wheels and managed by a quick 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s not quite as quick as some competitors—namely the Porsche Macan Turbo—but with Pirelli Scorpion all-season tires, it raced away from stoplights and tore through corners. Despite the car’s 4,395 pounds, it never felt top-heavy.
Certainly, the SVR benefits from a few additional upgrades—at nearly $90,000, one would hope it comes with more than just a big engine. 22-inch wheels handle the wide tires, and the massive brakes house Jaguar’s electronic active differential, which helps the vehicle carve corners by applying light braking to the inside wheel during turns. Unfortunately, like a true supercar, it also chugged gas. Over 250 miles, we averaged 16.3 miles per gallon of painfully expensive premium fuel.
Stop for Groceries
What truly makes the F-PACE special, however, is not its sound or its speed or its handling chops. It’s that it provides all of these supercar elements while still being up to the task of day-to-day life.
Typically, you’ll hear critics praise the Porsche 911 or the Audi R8 as “everyday supercars,” because they’re relatively comfortable and easy to drive, while also providing top-tier performance. But next to an F-PACE SVR, those cars are garage-queen exotics.
The F-PACE gives you all-wheel drive. It gives you ground clearance. It gives you 63.5 cubic feet of total cargo space. It just so happens to also give you face-melting acceleration and cellular-disrupting braking. Packaged in gorgeously designed sheet metal and complete with advanced safety and technology features, the F-PACE SVR is the new daily-driving supercar.
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Photos by Elliot Haney.
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We’re coming to the end of another year. But with 2020 right around the corner, we’ve got plenty to look forward to. We ask our editors what they’re excited to see in the coming year. Feel free to add your own thoughts here or on our Facebook page.
Megan Hennessey, CarGurus US Editor
Next year, I predict we’ll see even bigger screens in our cars. Tech-focused companies, like Byton, have tested this idea in their prototypes; Byton has showcased a 49-inch screen in its M-Byte. Next year may be the year we finally see these massive screens in production-level vehicles. Cadillac kicked off this trend with a massive 38-inch screen in its 2021 Escalade. These bigger screens will likely mean the death of buttons and knobs, which several of our reviewers will certainly miss.
The other big prediction I have for 2020 is seeing more technology integrated into our driving experience. You can already use your phone as a key with Ford and Hyundai, for example. And Kia lets you sync schedules with other drivers, which you can see through a car’s infotainment system. I predict items like GM Marketplace will become more common across automakers. Soon, you may be able to shop, watch movies, and order dinner from the driver’s seat. Just make sure your data is secure!
Chris Knapman, CarGurus UK Editor
I’ve decided to go big for my 2020 preview—so let’s put to one side what will no doubt be a huge number of electric and hybrid cars for the (relative) masses, and focus instead on two top-tier contenders.
First up is the Ferrari Roma, pictured above, which is interesting not so much for its powertrain as the fact its styling represents such a break from tradition for the Italian firm. For in the Roma, there are generous swoops and curves that give it a softer, more elegant aesthetic than you’ll see in other modern Ferraris. Some have questioned if the Roma, as a result, looks a bit too much like an Aston Martin—but for me, it’s a gloriously individual piece of design that also happens to be home to a wonderful, sculpted interior and a 612bhp 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8. Sounds like a good recipe…
If the Ferrari is special, then the Mercedes-AMG One promises to be quite simply off the chart. What we have here is a Mercedes Formula One drivetrain reimagined to work in a road car. So that’s a 1.6-liter V6 with four electric motors that together make more than 1,000 bhp. There’s also an 8-speed paddle-shift gearbox, pushrod suspension, ceramic brake discs, and a steering wheel that looks like something Lewis Hamilton might use at the weekends. So, yes, it’s going to be a pretty serious bit of kit.
Production is limited to 275 units with the price for each running into the millions. But ownership isn’t what makes cars like this interesting. No, what’s fascinating is seeing just how far (and how fast) the humble motor car can be taken.
Matt Smith, CarGurus US Editor
Prediction: We’re going to get dirty in 2020.
First, the Land Rover Defender is returning to the United States. This might not be cause for celebration for our UK Editor, Chris, but on this side of the pond, it’s been over 20 years since Land Rover delivered a properly boxy off-roader.
The new 2020 Defender’s looks may be polarizing, to say the least, but it’s safe to expect this British bulldog will be a genuine mountain goat off-road. For the first time since 1997, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited may finally have some genuine competition. Maybe it’s time for a little CarGurus US vs CarGurus UK rivalry?
Of course, the new Defender can’t steal all the muddy spotlight. We fully expect Ford to pull the cover off the long-awaited and much-anticipated 2021 Bronco this year. It’s been a while since O.J. Simpson sent the last iteration of the Bronco to an early death, and off-roaders and soft-roaders alike have been hankering for a genuine SUV from the blue oval.
While The Juice’s Bronco was a full-size SUV based on the F-Series truck platform, this new one will be a bit smaller, and likely a bit more nimble, as it’s being built on the same platform as the Ranger pickup—sounds perfect for our favorite off-road course.
Steve Halloran, CarGurus US Editor
As one of my colleagues already mentioned, next year will no doubt feature a huge number of announcements regarding electric vehicles (EVs). Automakers have thus far brought more enthusiasm to the electric-car game than the average American driver, but car companies finally seem to be trying to figure out ways to market and build electric vehicles that should appeal not only to tech first adopters and “greenies,” but also to folks who like to drive.
Ford’s debut of the Mustang Mach-E, including prominent mention of its Porsche-beating 0-to-60 times, may mark a relatively new chapter in EV marketing outside the Tesla bubble. Porsche definitely called attention to its 918’s top-notch performance, but that car’s price put it in even rarer air than Tesla’s original Roadster and Model S. The Mach-E, expected to start at less than $45K, should appeal to a considerably more diverse pool of car shoppers than either of Tesla’s original models, and it will no doubt have company in its price range by the end of 2021.
Another relatively new development in the marketing of vehicles capable of running on electricity recently comes from Toyota, which has decided to make the plug-in hybrid version of its massively popular crossover, the RAV4 Prime, the most capable, and most exciting, version of that vehicle available to American buyers. Noting its sub-6-second 0-to-60 time and 302 horsepower in advertisements, Toyota hopes to make up for declining Prius sales with a wide range of hybrids, including sedan models that will face a narrowing pool of American competitors as Ford and GM execute their plans to focus more carefully on crossovers and SUVs in the future.
Whether vehicles running on electricity will ever be able to generate the excitement and sales that gasoline-powered automobiles have enjoyed in their first century remains to be seen, but we look forward to seeing new ads and approaches, as well as more exciting vehicles, next year.
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It’s no secret that trucks have gotten uncomfortably expensive. While the memory of $30- and even $20,000 pickups remains fresh in their minds, most modern pickup-truck shoppers will be greeted at the dealership by bona fide luxe trucks. The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 that CarGurus recently reviewed cost more than $66,000, and a new Ford F-150 can crest $70,000 before you add a single option. With that in mind, we drove a 2019 Ford Ranger across four of New England’s six states to determine just how much value a midsize pickup can provide.
The Ranger Offers Ruggedness and Value
First and foremost, despite a $24,110 base price, the Ranger won’t always come cheap. Our test car rang in at $41,595. But that price bought us striking Lightning Blue paint, the FX4 off-road package, and a range of safety systems, including lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
That said, the Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4×4 we drove didn’t feel overly modern, either. Shoppers who want their truck to feel rugged and ready for work will love the new Ranger, but shoppers who prioritize comfort will tire of its enthusiastic but unpolished ride. After leaving the truck outdoors overnight in some of Maine’s famous single-digit weather, we woke to discover that the Ranger’s sliding rear window (part of the $2,800 Equipment Group 302A) rattled incessantly when the car was cold. It took roughly an hour of driving before the brittle-sounding frame holding the window warmed up enough to quiet down the ruckus.
The 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine delivered great power: 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque. The selectable 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system handled snow marvelously, and the Ranger felt as capable cruising along the highway as it did while trudging through rutted dirt roads. The 4-cylinder constantly roared under gentle acceleration, and it returned a mild 21.4 mpg across 653 (mostly) highway miles. That sort of performance didn’t wow us when we got to the gas pump, but it wasn’t too far off the EPA’s estimate of 20 mpg city, 24 highway, and 22 combined.
But an Even Better Option Is on the Way
Midsize pickups like the 2019 Ford Ranger and its primary competitors, the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma, have become incredibly appealing for young, often urban-living, weekend warriors. They’re small enough to drive through a city but capable enough to load up with skis or bikes and take to the woods. Unfortunately, this segment has aged rapidly. The Colorado (and its corporate cousin, the GMC Canyon) debuted in 2015. The Tacoma was last updated in 2016. Even the Ranger, which arrived in the United States in 2019, has been on sale internationally since 2011 and was last refreshed in 2015.
Five years is a long time in the auto world, and that age shows, particularly inside these midsize pickups. The best-feeling option is likely the Honda Ridgeline, which can’t come close to the starting price of the better-selling Chevy, Ford, and Toyota.
Nissan is expected to reveal a refreshed Frontier in 2021 (the Frontier hasn’t been meaningfully updated for a whopping 15 years). Thankfully, competition breeds excellence, and we doubt Ford, Chevy, or Toyota will let Nissan run away with the segment. For now, the Ranger and the rest of the midsize pickup segment offer genuine usability and attractive prices. But if it were our decision, we’d hold out and see what the future brings.
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Few could argue that 2019 has been a fascinating year in the world of motoring – but what are your automotive highlights of 2019? We’d love for you to tell us in the comments section below this article, or via the CarGurus Facebook page. To get you started, below our writers have put forward their own automotive highlights of 2019, from pickups to Porsches.
Chris Knapman, Editor, CarGurus UK
Will time show that 2019 was the year the electric car broke through? There’s certainly been no shortage of new products using battery power, from the Porsche Taycan and latest Nissan Leaf to the impossible-to-ignore Tesla Cybertruck.
Combine these new cars with an improving charging infrastructure and you’d expect the tide of public opinion might start showing signs of softening towards EVs. That was certainly the case according to our own research, which revealed that the number of consumers who consider themselves as likely to own an EV in the next five years jumped to 26% in 2019, up from 15% in 2018. This is most likely just the start, too: Who would bet against that number having grown significantly by this time next year?
Back in the world of internal combustion, my honorable mention for 2019 must go to the latest generation of Porsche 911, the 992. Not only does it masterfully update the legendary 911 format for this hi-tech age with its fabulous interior and ultra-sleek exterior, but in terms of performance, the 992 moves even the basic, non-GT or Turbo models firmly into supercar territory. In fact, if I had to narrow down my automotive highlights of 2019 into just one, fleeting moment, it’d be the surreal three-point-something seconds it took our four-wheel drive, PDK-equipped 911 test car to fire from 0-62 mph.
Electric vehicles might be coming, but internal combustion is still more than capable of taking your breath away.
Megan Hennessey, Editor, CarGurus US
I’m struck by the number of performance wagons and SUVs we saw introduced in 2019. Fans of the Audi S4 Avant rejoiced when the German automaker revealed it was bringing its RS 6 Avant to North America. It packs a 4.0-liter V8 that makes 591 hp and 590 lb-ft, hits 60 mph in about 3 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 189 mph.
Just as exciting was the introduction of the RS Q8, a performance SUV packing the same power as the RS 6 Avant. We had a chance to take a closer look at the 2020 RS Q8 at the 2019 LA Auto Show, and it adds plenty of features aside from the engine, like 23-inch wheels and an RS-specific gloss-black grille.
And in the EV space, electric trucks took center stage: Bollinger brought us a production-ready version of its B2 electric truck, Tesla unveiled its unique Cybertruck, and Rivian gets closer to its production-ready model of the R1T. But are truck shoppers willing to make the switch from gas-powered to electric? It’s hard to say. In our yearly Truck Sentiment Survey, we found that 70% of shoppers were willing to switch brands, which is good news for these startup truckmakers. However, their high prices may keep shoppers away.
Steve Halloran, Editor, CarGurus US
With one colleague celebrating electric vehicles and another performance wagons and SUVs, I feel obliged to mention one 2019 highlight they didn’t: Ford’s live-streamed debut of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E just before the LA Auto Show. Ford’s decision to put the name and badge of its mighty Mustang on an electric crossover generated controversy, of course, but a pony-equipped vehicle with up to 300 miles of range, usable seating for 5, almost 60 cubic feet of cargo room, and a 0-to-60 time of less than 4 seconds sounds great to me.
But my 2019 highlights came from two automakers CarGurus has found compelling for years, Mazda and Subaru, in the form of strong new versions of proven models. The redesigned 2019 Mazda3 earned rave reviews from almost everyone who drove it, including George Kennedy, and the updated 2019 CX-5, which we sampled in the snow at the end of last year, also earned praise from a wide variety of reviewers.
A new version of our favorite Subaru model also arrived in 2019. We got a chance to drive the 2020 Subaru Outback back in September and enjoyed it quite a bit. The new edition of this wagon/crossover finally offers a turbocharged engine under its hood, which drivers living at high altitudes should particularly appreciate. Our recently published review of the 2020 Outback found it strong from functionality and cost-effectiveness standpoints, which we consider hallmarks of the Subaru brand.
Matt Smith, Editor, CarGurus US
This time of year, everyone’s talking about electrification and progress and the hot new thing. But as anyone with their eyes open can clearly see, 2019 was the year of the throwback.
First, Chevy resurrected the Blazer as a stylish, sharp, and sexy crossover complete with nearly $1,400 worth of 21-inch tires. Sure, the new 2019 Blazer had its detractors, namely those bemoaning its lack of off-road performance, but I, for one, welcome our new crossover overlords.
And it’s not as if 2019 didn’t bring us plenty of rugged capability, either. Carrying on with the throwback theme, both Ford and Jeep returned legendary truck nameplates to the market, with the 2019 Ranger and 2020 Gladiator.
Finally, the highlight of the year for this writer was the long-awaited return of the Toyota Supra. Partnering with BMW gave the new coupe a brilliant Bavarian heart and soul (or engine and chassis, for our more literal readers) to pair with its stunning exterior styling. Sure, the 2020 GR Supra’s interior might feel a bit familiar, and the lack of a manual transmission will cut it off some enthusiasts’ shopping lists, but it’s safe to say that no other car on CarGurus’ 2019 test-drive review roster received as much attention at gas stations, grocery stores, race tracks, or anywhere else we drove it.
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It’s easier than ever for an automaker to stand out from the crowd. Before the proliferation of touchscreen infotainment systems and advanced safety features, luxury automakers relied on a car’s high-quality interior materials, high-end stereos, and exceptional performance characteristics to differentiate it from the competition.
Those elements are what helped give legacy stalwarts like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class a stronghold on the luxury compact sedan market. For better or worse, those cars benefit from a long history of success, and to their credit, both BMW and Mercedes have built impressive safety and technology offerings to weather the competition from automakers like Lexus, Infiniti, Volvo, and Audi.
But there’s an even more recent threat to the luxury-market leaders. Genesis, born from Hyundai’s flagship sedan lineup, arrived with the 2017 G90. Two years later, the company’s 3 Series fighter, the G70, debuted.
We had a chance to drive that 2019 G70 and found it to be startlingly great. With some recent experience in a 2020 G70, we’re left wondering if it’s truly better than the segment’s best, and if so, why? How?
Sport Mode Keeps the G70 Competitive—To a Point
First of all, the 2020 Genesis G70 is not as impressive a performer as a similarly equipped 3 Series. Despite being built upon the Kia Stinger’s platform (or perhaps because of it) and featuring a tweaked suspension, the G70 never truly feels like a dedicated sports sedan. Our car was equipped with the 3.3-liter turbocharged V6, and it absolutely ripped. While the Kia K900 coaxes comfortable, confident acceleration out of that mill, the Genesis approach seems to be more along the lines of dropping a sledgehammer out a window. Point the nose, punch the gas, and before you know it, you’re there. Thanks to the Brembo brakes that come standard on V6 G70s, you’re likely to stop quickly, too.
Unfortunately, the car becomes much more sedate—almost boring—when you switch out of Sport mode. And before you think, “Just keep it in Sport, problem solved,” heed these words: Sport mode turned aggravating as soon as we hit traffic, and our combined fuel-economy number of 15.1 mpg in testing (drinking premium fuel) had us looking to save gas at any opportunity.
The 2020 G70 Has a Price to Beat
Inside, the design is busier than the typically spartan German setups, but it’s incredibly well-appointed. And this, more than anything, is how the Genesis G70 stands out amongst the crowd. On its infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. The seats of our test car featured quilted stitching, which drew oohs and ahs from nearly every passenger. The backseat is tight on space, but the front passenger seat features adjustment buttons easily accessed by the rear passenger, like in the K900.
There’s a lot to love about the 2020 Genesis G70. The car’s silhouette draws plenty of attention, and its LED head- and taillights look great, particularly at night. The optional 3.3-liter engine kicks like a horse, even if the chassis doesn’t carve corners like butter. But in today’s market, performance might not be necessary to win over fans. The brilliant interior design makes a statement, and the G70 is no slouch when it comes to safety or infotainment technology. And, at the end of the day, the G70’s attractive price—which starts at $34,900 and consistently lives nearly $8,000 less than a comparatively equipped 3 Series—may be all a conflicted shopper needs to make the decision.
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The Kia K900 debuted for the 2015 model year as a genuine competitor to established full-size luxury sedans like the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Or, at least, that was the plan.
Despite an impressive spec sheet, Kia’s big cruiser failed to gain real traction in the luxury segment. With a total redesign for 2019, Kia is giving the K900 another go. To start, the V8 has been replaced by a more modern twin-turbo V6. The infotainment system pairs a euro-style rotary controller with a touch-sensitive screen. And all-wheel drive now comes on every K900. This all qualifies as what the auto industry likes to call “a good start.”
To see if the new K900 is truly a luxury competitor, we slogged through nearly an hour of Boston traffic before enjoying nearly 200 uninterrupted miles of highway on our way to Burlington, Vermont. After all, what better way to gauge a full-size luxury sedan than a road trip?
This Sure Doesn’t Feel Like a Kia
The first thing you’ll notice when entering the K900 is how it doesn’t feel like a run-of-the-mill Kia. Brown Nappa leather covers nearly every inch of the cabin, and the 20-way adjustable driver seat means anyone behind the wheel will be able to find a comfortable position. The backseat, in particular, fills the primary requirement of a luxury sedan: Sitting in the second row will make you feel like the most important person in the car, not like you’ve been relegated there because the front seat was taken.
The K900 feels smaller than it is, too. Don’t be surprised if passengers suggest it’s a midsize sedan, rather than a full-size. With the help of Kia’s surround-view camera, it’s as easy to park and maneuver as a smaller car, too.
That said, the second thing you’re likely to notice is the K900’s rapidly dropping fuel-gauge needle. Driving through traffic, the K900 was quiet and powerful, although surprisingly different than a Kia Stinger or Genesis G70, both of which use the K900’s engine. Rather than sprinting from stoplights like those two sports-oriented machines, the K900 swept us away with very little drama. All of that sweeping, however, takes a toll on fuel economy. Even with two fewer cylinders than the previous-generation K900, don’t expect this one to be a gas sipper.
Granted, things got better once we hit the highway. Silence is possibly the K900’s most noteworthy attribute. Smooth power delivery and a peaceful ride are requirements of any luxury car, and the K900 offers both. Combined with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, I finished a 3.5-hour drive to Lake Champlain astonishingly refreshed. Something as abstract as “quiet” is tough to notice when driving, but once you do, you’ll continually appreciate it. By keeping me alert and refreshed, the lack of droning road noise is practically a safety feature.
Safety Comes Standard
On the topic of safety, cameras and sensors are almost compulsory in a sedan as big as the K900. Kia’s suite of advanced safety features does make driving much easier, and the unique blind-spot cameras are particularly helpful. When the driver hits a turn signal, the K900’s instrument panel will replace either the left or right gauge with a digital video feed from a camera mounted under the corresponding wing mirror. The picture is predictably grainy during night-time driving, but still provides a clearer view of the K900’s blind spots than its wing mirrors do.
A Good Value… Today
Unfortunately, the K900’s appointments, performance, and safety can’t help it clear its current hurdle. Nor can the car’s 12.3-inch touchscreen or 17-speaker Lexicon sound system, as impressive as they are. On the surface, the K900 appears to be a great deal. Its sub-$65,000 price certainly makes it a financially pragmatic approach to luxury; this car offers 90% of what you can get from a BMW 7 Series at 70% of the price.
But developing a car takes a long time—years, at least. So, when Kia was designing the K900 for a 2015 model-year launch, a big V8 engine and rear-wheel drive fit the bill. But Kia quickly found itself behind the times with that formula, as shoppers showed greater interest in fuel economy and all-wheel drive. The resale values of those early K900s support this; take a look around, and you’ll find plenty of low-mileage first-generation cars priced well below $30,000.
Similarly, the 2019 Kia K900 has been developed to suit those 2018 desires, but the world of luxury is now pivoting hard toward hybrid and all-electric powertrains. As a result, the Porsche Taycan and Tesla’s Model S, Model X, and Model 3 look like the future of luxury, and even the more conventional 7 Series now offers a hybrid variant. Today, the K900 looks and feels amazing. But I can’t help but wonder if, tomorrow, it will have aged the way many older full-size sedans have: classically cool at best, outmoded and inefficient at worst.
All photos by CarGurus contributor George Kennedy.
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This year at the LA Auto Show, electric vehicles took center stage. We round up vehicles for every type of lifestyle that we saw at the 2019 LA Auto Show.
The 2020 Audi RS Q8 made quite an entrance with its massive grille and striking lime green exterior. It’s got good looks and plenty of power, thanks to its 4.0-liter V8, which also sits under the hood of the RS 6 Avant. It can get from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds and up to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. You can also check out the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Series.White, which makes 310 horsepower and is available only with a 6-speed manual. It stands out with 19-inch matte bronze wheels and silver brake calipers.
The 2021 Kia Seltos debuted at the LA Auto Show, making it the latest crossover to join the company’s growing family. It offers 7.2 inches of ground clearance along with a rugged design that echoes its slightly older sibling, the Telluride. Even better? According to Kia, the Seltos will have a starting MSRP of under $22,000. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime also debuted, showcasing a new plug-in hybrid powertrain that packs 302 horsepower. You can expect 39 miles of all-electric range and 90 MPGe.
We saw plenty of EVs at the LA Auto Show that offer a combination of performance, range, and technology. The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E features a 15-inch touchscreen and an EPA-estimated 300-mile range. If you opt for the GT Performance Edition, a 98.8-kilowatt-hour battery makes 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. The 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S also caught our eye. It’s got a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and packs up to 562 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque if you opt for overboost with launch control. Inside, you’ve got up to four screens, with the 16.9-inch driver cluster, a 10.9-inch infotainment screen for the driver and another for the passenger, and an 8.4-inch screen in the console.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 convertible offers a number of luxe features, including the Lexus Climate Concierge, which tweaks the car’s heated seats, neck warmers, and heated steering wheel to the ideal temperature. BMW introduced a new version of the M2 with the 2020 M2 CS Coupe. It gets a 39-hp power increase to 444 hp and a 6-speed manual standard. Inside, it features Alcantara-and-leather seats and a Harman Kardon sound system.
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It seems that when it comes to EVs, electric trucks are the last frontier. While Ford and Chevrolet have introduced one-off models or prototypes of electric pickups, a few newer automakers have beaten them to the punch with production-ready—or near-ready—models. We take a closer look at the entrants in the startup truck wars.
The Electric Truck Contenders
Three startup automakers are looking to win the hearts and wallets of consumers: Bollinger Motors, a Detroit-based company showing its B2; Rivian, which created a buzz last year with a prototype of its R1T; and Tesla, which will debut its Cybertruck on November 21.
Bollinger’s B2 is likely to be the most exclusive of the bunch. Only 1,500 will be made in the first year with a price tag of $125,000. It’s got an all-aluminum body and electric powertrain that can deliver 614 horsepower and 668 pound-feet of torque. Bollinger says this engine can tow 7,500 pounds and has a payload of 5,000 pounds—but several outlets have noted that its primary use will be for off-roading, so its speed is capped at 100 mph and range is limited to 200 miles.
One cool feature is a pass-through that extends from the front grille through the cabin into the bed. But look inside and you’ll notice it lacks an infotainment system, which many shoppers have come to expect in new cars.
The R1T, with its rounded corners, elongated headlights, and futuristic tech, is a stylistic polar opposite of the B2. Rivian says the R1T will be able to make 754 horsepower and travel 400 miles. Its storage cubby—found behind the cabin—is best for snowboards or skis. Inside, it features a digital dashboard behind the steering wheel and a large, horizontal infotainment screen.
The R1T is set to go on sale in 2021. Its starting price will be just over half the price of a B2, at $69,000.
Details are sparse right now about Tesla’s electric truck. Musk has said the truck will have 400-500 miles of range, can seat six, and will start at $49,000. If Tesla is able to accomplish this, the Cybertruck will be the most affordable option for an electric pickup.
These startups face big challenges in getting their vehicles in front of consumers: Tesla has previously had problems sticking with deadlines, and neither Bollinger nor Rivian have established dealer networks.
Established Automakers Make EV Truck Plans
It’s not just startups that are developing electric trucks. Earlier this year, Ford debuted an all-electric pickup that can tow 1,000,000 pounds. While the automaker admits the production version of this vehicle won’t have that capability, it showcases how Ford is thinking about electric trucks. We could see an electric version of the F-150 as soon as 2021.
And recently at SEMA, Chevrolet introduced the all-electric E-10. The company’s press release suggests it can make 450 horsepower. And unlike the newcomers, the E-10 uses the entire bed for the truck’s battery. It also offers a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. However, it’s worth noting that we may never see a production-ready model of this vehicle.
For more news from the LA Auto Show, check out these articles:
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With the 2019 LA Auto Show just a week away, now’s the perfect time to take a quick look at some of the new models set to be unveiled in the LA Convention Center. Below we’ve listed a half-dozen of our favorites, plus be sure to visit the CarGurus Facebook page and CarGurus YouTube channel during the LA Show press days on November 20th and 21st for updates.
Without further ado, here are six cars that have already piqued our interest.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Two things tell you all you need to know about the faith Ford has in its all-new and all-electric SUV. First, there’s the name—because you don’t call something a Mustang without also inviting intense scrutiny about its heritage, positioning, and performance. Mustang it is, though, albeit with an added “Mach-E” for good measure.
Second is the fact that Ford’s opening press surrounding the car hasn’t detailed its drivetrain or performance, but simply informed customers that it’ll be taking pre-orders (via a deposit) the moment the official unveil ends on November 18. Now that’s confidence.
Among the options for those pre-ordering a car will be to go for a lavish First Edition model, although Ford stresses that “timing will be critical” for anybody looking to secure a vehicle in this spec. Whatever Mustang Mach-E takes your fancy, it’s hard not to think that with the right styling and performance, this could be one of the hottest cars to go on sale in 2020.
Audi RS Q8
It is unlikely anybody could come away from a drive in Audi’s Q8 and think that what it really needs is more power. However, the imminent arrival of the RS Q8 will provide precisely that, courtesy of Audi Sport’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. With what is likely to be around 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, the RS Q8 is expected to get from 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds and has already lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:42:2. That—because we know you’re wondering—is a record for a production SUV.
The RS Q8 will be joined in LA by Audi’s latest RS 6 Avant, which is making its debut on US soil along with its five-door coupe sibling, the RS 7. Powered by the same V8 as the RS Q8, the RS 6 can get from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Having never been offered in the US before, it’ll be interesting to see if Audi’s muscular estate is as well-received here as it has been with European buyers.
Porsche 911 Manual
The debut of an old-fashioned manual transmission in a car that’s already been for sale for almost a year would not be normally deemed newsworthy. But when the car in question is a Porsche 911, things are a little different. To a non-car person the surprise would grow further upon learning that by gaining a manual, the latest 992-generation 911 becomes slower rather than faster; for that, thank the fact that Porsche’s dual-clutch automatics now change gear so quickly it’s simply not possible to match them when you throw human limbs into the equation. As a guide, Porsche is quoting a 0-60 time of around 4.0 seconds for the 992 Carrera S manual versus 3.3 for the PDK automatic.
However, speed is not everything in a performance car. What some buyers also crave is the tactile interaction that a manual offers, whether it’s the weighty feel of the clutch pedal, the precise throw of the shifter, or the joy of a perfectly executed heel-toe downshift. And these are precisely the people Porsche is targeting with the installation of its 7-speed manual in the Carrera S and Carrera 4S versions of the 992. Rumour is these cars—and that gearbox—will be on the stand in LA. Watch this space.
Bollinger B1 and B2
Slab-sided and right-angle rich, Bollinger’s built-in-Detroit, all-electric, all-aluminum, all-black LA Auto Show debuts look less sleek than any other vehicles expected to hit the show floor. The B1 “sport utility truck” promises all-wheel drive, 10 inches of wheel travel, 15 inches of ground clearance, and a 200-mile range despite its 5,000-pound curb weight. With 614 horsepower, 668 pound-feet of torque, and a list of removable parts and off-roading angles reminiscent of the Jeep Wrangler’s, we can’t help but be intrigued.
The longer B2 electric pickup truck shares the B1’s powertrain, weight, range, and most of its removable parts, not to mention its full-length central pass-through, which in the B2’s case will accommodate cargo up to 16 feet long. Each of these trucks features air conditioning and 10 110-volt outlets (we can’t help but wonder how those will impact range). At $125,000 each, these vehicles aren’t intended for the masses, which is probably fine for now, as Bollinger hasn’t found a production partner yet.
MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP and SE
Featuring enough airflow-managing scoops and bulges to shame Ford’s buttressed GT in addition to a huge rear wing/spoiler, the third-generation MINI John Cooper Works GP aims to whet appetites for a limited-edition 3,000-unit high-performance 2020 model. The GP concept and its 301-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder recently lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 8 minutes, making it the fastest MINI model ever produced. It should reach US showrooms in mid-2020 at a price of $45,750, including an $850 destination fee.
MINI’s stand will also feature the new MINI Cooper SE, an all-new EV based on the MINI Hardtop 2-door launched in 2014. The SE’s electric motor supplies 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft to the front wheels, getting the car from 0 to 60 in 6.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 93 mph. A full charge will be possible in as little as 4 hours at home, and charging to 80% can happen as quickly as 35 minutes at a public charging station. The SE should reach dealers in March 2020 at an MSRP of $30,750, including a similar $850 destination fee.
Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion Concept
Volkswagen’s fleet of ID. concept cars will welcome its seventh member at the Petersen Auto Museum November 19th with the world debut of the ID. Space Vizzion crossover concept. VW describes this new vehicle as combining the aerodynamics of a gran turismo with the spaciousness of an SUV in a zero-emissions car with a range of up to 300 miles.
Looking like a very long, low, streamlined station wagon, the ID. Space Vizzion, unlike the earlier ID. Vizzion, features a steering wheel and a very large but horizontal digital control panel on the dashboard. Using sustainable interior materials, the cabin features AppleSkin, a vegan alternative to leather that’s made with leftovers from apple-juice production. Volkswagen plans to release a production version in late 2021, with different versions available in North America, Europe, and China.
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The 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is just around the corner. It promises dozens of debuts, many of which are electric vehicles. With more EVs available to consumers, we wanted to see how they feel about purchasing and owning one. We queried 1,702 vehicle owners and compared the results to our 2018 survey.
Interest in EV Ownership Increases, But Price Still Proves an Obstacle
In 2018 when we asked respondents how likely they were to own an EV, just 15% said they would probably or definitely own one in the next five years. For 2019, that number jumped to 26%. While respondents were not asked why they are more likely to consider an EV, it’s likely that this increase may be in part due to the larger number of EVs available. Since last year’s survey, Audi, Mercedes, and Jaguar have all introduced new EVs. And there’s no sign of automakers slowing down. Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Toyota have all announced plans to introduce several EVs by the mid-2020s.
However, of those surveyed, 67% said that cost has been one of the biggest obstacles to their purchasing an EV, a finding that was consistent with last year’s survey. Despite the number of EVs available, many have higher starting prices than gas-powered vehicles. Some automakers still qualify for federal incentives, which can help make electric vehicles more affordable—but some, like Tesla, have already passed the 200,000-unit mark, making them ineligible for those tax credits.
Shoppers Need More EV Infrastructure
Similar to last year, respondents cited the lack of infrastructure and charging stations as an obstacle to purchasing an EV. Automakers are actively working to remedy this. Some, like Tesla, are creating their own network of charging stations while others, like Volkswagen, are partnering with large companies like Wal-Mart to provide them across the US.
The Next Frontier: Electric Trucks
Shoppers have multiple options for an electric sedan or SUV. But the next frontier that many automakers are racing toward is that of the electric truck. Automotive startups like Rivian and Bollinger have already introduced prototypes and production-level models of their EV trucks. Ford and Chevy have also showcased one-off models with the electric F-150 and E-10, respectively. And Tesla will debut its Cybertruck on Thursday, November 21, in a separate event from the LA Auto Show.
Read more about this year’s survey here.
For more EV and auto show content, check out these articles:
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