2018 New York International Auto Show

  • 2019 Cadillac XT4 – brand’s first compact SUV debuts

    Cadillac has introduced a new addition to its SUV line-up with the new 2019 XT4, which recently celebrated its world premiere at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The compact SUV joins existing models like the XT5 as well as the big ol’ Escalade.

    The XT4 may be smaller than the XT5, but it is a lot youthful in appearance – not surprising considering the target market for the model. At the front, you’ll find the wide Cadillac grille flanked by sharp headlamps that are integrated with the corner air inlets, which are isolated on the XT5.

    From the side, the XT4 shares quite a lot in common with the XT5, including steeply-raked C-pillars, but does without a number of chrome accents. It’s a different story at the back, with the XT4’s L-shaped taillights swept upwards towards the roof spoiler compared to the smaller units on the XT5. A pair of rectangular-shaped exhaust outlets are another shared design cue shared between the models.

    Dimension-wise, the XT4 measures 4,599 mm long, 1,881 mm wide, 1,627 mm tall and has a 2,779 mm wheelbase. The five-seat compact SUV also comes with a ground clearance of 171 mm.

    As for the interior, the XT4 is again the more fashionable sibling, as exhibited by the modern-looking 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, controls for the climate system and sporty steering wheel. Elsewhere, you’ll find the top air-con vents neatly tucked into the dashboard, with supplementary vents located near the door handles.

    The American carmaker promises up to 1,004 mm of legroom for rear passengers and 1,385 litres of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down. Other practical features include 15-watt wireless smartphone charging, NFC pairing, four standard USB ports and three 12-volt power outlets.

    Three variants will be offered when the model goes on sale in fall 2018, starting with the base Luxury as well as the Premium Luxury and Sport. Depending on the chosen variant, the equipment list will include different designs for the 18-inch alloy wheels (optional 20-inch units), LED headlamps, premium trim, sunroof, Bose audio system and suite of safety and driver assistance systems.

    Regardless of variant choice, only one engine is being offered for now – a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 237 hp at 5,000 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. The mill is paired with a Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic transmission with drive going to the front wheels, but a twin-clutch, decoupling all-wheel-drive system will also be available.

    The Sport variant adds on Active Sport Suspension with Continuous Damping Control, which uses electronic sensors to monitor the road in real time and making damping adjustments every two milliseconds. All XT4s employ front struts and five-link rear suspension as standard.

    “The first-ever 2019 Cadillac XT4 expands our successful SUV lineup to a segment where Cadillac has never been before. And it sets off a dramatic expansion and elevation of the product range, that will see a new Cadillac virtually once every six months through 2021,” said Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen.

  • Lincoln Aviator previewed in New York – three-row SUV with plug-in hybrid option, production next year

    Crossovers, especially large ones with at least seven seats, are big business in America – which is why Ford’s luxury division Lincoln is giving the public a preview of its upcoming Aviator at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Slotting beneath the truck-based Navigator, it’s a unibody three-row SUV that will come with a plug-in hybrid option for the first time in the brand’s history.

    The design of the Aviator is characterised by a character line that falls gently towards the rear, which Lincoln says emphasises the car’s rear-wheel drive architecture and is inspired by a plane wing – hence the Aviator name. The blacked-out A- and D-pillars provide a wraparound windscreen look that is again tied into the aeronautical theme. The large grille is finished in gloss black with chrome accents.

    Inside, the horizontal lines minimise clutter and give a spacious, airy feel to the cabin. The two-tone cabin with Shearling Beige and Lunar Grey hues is inspired by Lincoln’s more upscale Black Label models, while machined aluminium appliqués are brushed in small circles to replicate the shape of early aircraft instruments. The leather upholstery has also been minimally processed to retain its natural texture.

    The steering wheel is said to be “thoughtfully designed” with only subtle finger motions needed to access its functions. Available features include wireless charging and a so-called media bin in front, plus multiple power outlets and a standard-fit WiFi hotspot. There are also Perfect Position seats with 30-way power adjustment and a massage function, along with a sliding and reclining second row providing access to the third row.

    The production model will debut Lincoln’s Phone as a Key technology which, as the name suggests, will allow a smartphone to be used to unlock and start the car as well as to open the boot, all without a key fob. The car can be accessed through a passcode on the standard exterior keypad if the phone battery is flat, and the system can be easily deleted if the phone is lost or stolen.

    Although powertrain details have yet to have been released, it has been confirmed that the Aviator will come with a twin-turbocharged petrol engine, which as mentioned can be paired to a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Lincoln says that the petrol-electric combination will make the Aviator “mightier than many supercars on the road today,” which sure is a mighty claim.

    Meanwhile, the Suspension Preview Technology uses a forward-facing camera to scan the road ahead and adjust the suspension for upcoming road conditions. Elsewhere, the Aviator receives a standard 12-inch digital instrument display, Lincoln Drive Modes, Reverse Brake Assist and the Lincoln Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assists that include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping system, a reverse camera and auto high-beam lighting.

  • Classic Mini Electric – retro EV debuts in New York

    As teased earlier, an all-electric MINI model did make its debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, but it isn’t what you might expect. What you’re looking at here is the Classic Mini Electric – which combines the historic look of a well-known icon with a modern, zero-emission powertrain.

    The show car is based on a carefully restored 1988 example of the classic Mini Cooper, with plenty of revisions to accommodate the electric powertrain. According to Autocar UK, there’s a 38 hp electric motor linked to the same running gears from the regular car. The motor is linked to a lithium-iron phosphate battery pack, which are installed behind the front seats and takes four hours to charge fully when plugged into a 220-volt household outlet. All in all, the system allows for a maximum speed of 121 km/h and range of 105 km.

    Design-wise, the exterior is painted red with a white roof for contrast and bonnet strips. Cues associated with the electric bits include the yellow MINI Electric logo on the bonnet as well as the wheel hubs, plus additional logos on other parts of the bodywork.

    As good as it looks, this is purely a one-off model that will not make its way to consumers. If you do want a MINI EV, you’ll have to wait for the brand to unveil its first all-electric model in 2019 – just in time for the 60th anniversary of the classic Mini.

    The upcoming model was first previewed by the MINI Electric Concept at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and will be based on the MINI 3 Door. Production is set to begin at the company’s plant in Oxford next year. For those who can’t wait to own an electrified model from the British brand, the F60 MINI Cooper S E Countryman All4 is set to arrive in Malaysia soon, which is its first plug-in hybrid car.

  • Maserati Levante Trofeo revealed with 590 hp V8 power

    Given that Maserati is still very much seen as a sports car brand, you may be surprised to find that the company has so far only seen fit to offer its Levante SUV with V6 power. That changes now, as the Trident has finally unveiled the new Maserati Levante Trofeo packing a serious eight-cylinder punch.

    That punch comes from a Ferrari-built 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the Quattroporte GTS, breathed on with new turbos, redesigned cylinder heads with unique cams and valves and new pistons and connecting rods to go with the revised engine mapping. There’s also a new crankcase design, crankshaft assembly, oil pump, auxiliary belt and wiring layout to accommodate the Q4 all-wheel drive system.

    The result is 590 hp at 6,250 rpm and a whopping 730 Nm of torque from 2,250 to 5,000 rpm. Equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Trofeo blitzes the zero-to-100 km/h benchmark in just 3.9 seconds before topping out at over 300 km/h.

    Under the skin sits double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension with air springs and Skyhook adaptive damping, plus “Orione” 22-inch forged alloy wheels – the largest ever fitted to a Maserati – shod with wider tyres. Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) is equipped for the first time on a Levante, improving performance by more effectively preventing vehicle instability compared to a regular stability control system.

    There’s also a new Corsa drive mode that improves engine response, opens up the exhaust valves under acceleration, quickens the gearchanges, lowers the ride height, stiffens the damping, optimises the all-wheel drive system and adjusts the traction and stability control for a sportier drive.

    Paired to the increased performance is a meaner, more aggressive design. At the front, there’s a new grille with black double vertical bars, as well as a new vented bonnet and larger air intakes framed by carbon fibre blades. Carbon fibre also adorns the lower front splitter and side skirts.

    Moving towards the rear, the Trofeo comes with a carbon fibre diffuser with a body-coloured insert and dark oval quad exhausts, along with unique “Saetta” logos on the C-pillars. A choice of red, blue, black, silver and yellow brake callipers complete the look.

    Inside, you’ll find sports seats furnished in full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather in either black, red or tan, with contrast stitching and the Trofeo logo embroidered on the headrests. There are also matte carbon fibre trim and padle shifters, redesigned instrument cluster graphics, floor mats with metal Trofeo badges and a unique dial for the analogue clock. Standard equipment includes matrix LED headlights and a 1,280-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system.

  • Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak – MQB-based pick-up truck

    Aside from a sporty-looking SUV, Volkswagen also rolled out a pick-up truck concept at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Called the Atlas Tanoak, it is the first truck to be underpinned by the brand’s MQB platform, and is named after a species of tree that is native to the Pacific Coast.

    According to official figures, the Tanoak is 5,438 mm long, 2,030 mm wide and 1,844 mm tall, which places it in the mid-size pick-up category in the United States. The concept features a dual cab design with a rear cargo box that measures 1,627 mm in length, 1,450 in width and 530 mm in height.

    Like the Atlas Cross Sport concept, the Tanoak’s headlamps are framed by LED daytime running lights that link up over two crossbars. Even the side inlets feature a lit outer ring, with large ‘Atlas’ lettering between them.

    The rugged theme continues with a raised bonnet, front skid plate, chunky tyres and a dedicated front winch within the bumper. The dual exhaust outlets at the back may appear very odd for a pick-up truck, while more LEDs frame the width of the truck bed.

    The cabin appears to be a heavily revised version of the one in the Atlas SUV, but still retains things like the digital display instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system. Additional items like the lengthy ambient lighting strip aren’t characteristic of pick-ups but help create a more luxurious interior.

    Motivation comes in the form of a 3.6 litre V6 FSI engine that serves up 280 PS and 350 Nm of torque. Drive goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

    Volkswagen says the Tanoak concept is just for show, and there’s no clear production plan behind it yet – the Amarok isn’t sold in the U.S. In a report by Roadshow, Volkswagen’s North American CEO, Hinrich J. Woebcken, said, “our intention is to demonstrate that we very seriously look into the American needs. Volkswagen wants to be part of this market much more seriously than in the past.”

    “It all depends now if this market will appreciate more unibody pickup tucks,” Woebcken said. “The C segment is a very high commercial use segment. Almost 70% of those vehicles are used in a commercial environment,” he added.

  • Mazda CX-3 facelift bows in NY with subtle changes

    The Mazda CX-3 has been a rather successful product for Hiroshima, and as promised early in the year, a facelift has been introduced at the ongoing New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) to keep the B-segment crossover at the sharp end of the field. Rather than rewriting the rulebook, the updates are small but numerous and are intended to provide tangible benefits to consumers.

    On the outside, the tweaks are subtle – given that the outgoing model was already a handsome car to begin with – and are meant to add a feeling of quality and elegance. The six-point grille gains double chrome slats, while chrome accents on the front corners and side skirts are said to help create a feeling of forward motion.

    Moving to the rear, the tail lights have been redesigned with a more cylindrical, machined look, as well as light guides inspired by the CX-5. The new 18-inch wheels, meanwhile, receive a multifaceted five-double-spoke design with a metallic sheen. Gloss black window pillars and fog light surrounds, as well as a new Soul Red Crystal paint option from the CX-5, complete the exterior revamp.

    There are greater changes on the inside, where you’ll find a mildly revised dashboard that ditches the current full-width air vent design. But the biggest change can be found lower down – the manual handbrake lever has been replaced by an electronic parking brake that not only frees up storage space but also finally allows for the inclusion of a proper padded armrest, something that will surely go down well with customers over here.

    Elsewhere, the front seats are wider and feature high-density, vibration-absorbing urethane foam that is said to provide greater support while still being supple enough to be comfortable on long journeys. At the rear, passengers are treated to a new centre armrest with built-in cupholders. Thicker door panels, tailgate glass and headliner as well as upgraded door seals make for a quieter, more refined cabin.

    Mazda has also updated the materials, with suede-like trim from the new Mazda 6 gracing the dashboard and door panels. For the first time in the United States, top-spec models get full leather upholstery, incorporating glossy pleated red piping that complement the new red air vent accents. Colours have also been simplified, with a grey base colour complemented by black or white seats on higher-end variants.

    Power comes from a revised 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, retuned to increase torque across the entire rev range, improve fuel efficiency and reduce internal friction. This enables the engine to respond much quicker to the driver’s intentions while at the same time improving refinement. In the US, outputs are rated at 148 hp and 201 Nm of torque.

    The usual six-speed automatic and manual transmissions and front- and all-wheel drive options will be retained, along with the G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system introduced last year – which tweaks engine timing to control the car’s dynamic behaviour. Under the skin, the suspension and steering have been retuned to optimize dampening characteristics and enhance responsiveness, while the 18-inch wheel option features new tyres that better absorb shocks from road surfaces and reduce braking distances.

  • 2019 Subaru Forester unveiled – more space, more technology, new 2.5 litre direct-injected boxer engine

    The Subaru Forester has been a staple of the Subaru lineup for more than 20 years alongside the Impreza and Legacy, and for the 2019 model year the Pleiades brand is introducing the all-new fifth-generation model at the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). The company claims that the latest version is the roomiest, most versatile and most spacious yet.

    An evolution of its predecessor from the outside, the new Forester incorporates Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” design language, with standard LED headlights and sharp C-shaped daytime running lights flanking a six-sided grille. Along the side, the more expressive shoulder lines flow up into the D-pillars to accentuate the car’s height and strength, while the rear features C-shaped tail lights.

    The new Sport trim level adds LED fog lights, a black grille, black 18-inch alloy wheels and a black rear spoiler, along with orange exterior highlights. Inside, there’s dark grey upholstery with orange stitching and accents, along with a cargo tray and LED interior lighting. It also gets PIN code access and the All-Weather Package that adds heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a wiper de-icer.

    The cabin is very similar to the latest Impreza and XV, with a new dashboard design featuring slim vertical air vents flanking a centre infotainment display. Subaru says that the pillars have been strategically designed to improve visibility together with the expansive glass area, and all models come with a reverse camera.

    Interior space has been increased with the redesign, thanks to a wheelbase that has grown by 30 mm to 2,670 mm. Rear legroom has grown by 35 mm to a whole 1,000 mm, while head-, hip- and shoulder room have also seen increases, improving the feeling of spaciousness within the cabin. Wider rear door openings and a steeper C-pillar allow for easier entry and egress and also makes installing a child seat easier.

    Up front, the new seats are said to be more comfortable on long journeys, and an electric parking brake frees up console space. Moving to the boot, cargo space now measures a massive 2,155 litres with the 60:40-split rear seats folded – an increased of 40 litres – and the maximum width of the tailgate opening is now 135 mm wider at 1,300 mm. This allows a golf bag to be slotted in without having to tilt it.

    The textured material on the boot floor, sides and tailgate is dirt- and scratch-resistant and is easier to clean, and the same can be said of the PVC material used on the bottom of the front seat backs. The front seat pockets have also been divided to better segregate items such as magazines and gadgets. A powered tailgate is offered as standard on the Limited and Touring models (optional on the Premium and Sport).

    All models get automatic climate control – with dual-zone control on Limited and Touring variants – and the optional front seat heating comes with three instead of two settings. Meanwhile, the Touring model also gets rear seat heating for the first time, along with a heated steering wheel and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (eight-way for the passenger) with a memory function for the driver’s seat and door mirrors.

    Moving to the rest of the equipment list, Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring models also receive a panoramic sunroof, while the Sport, Limited and Touring receive keyless entry and push-button start as standard – a feature that is optional on the Premium model. In conjunction with Subaru Starlink Connected Services, this adds remote engine start via the MySubaru app, which can also setup the climate control.

    As standard, the Forester comes with the Starlink Multimedia system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, Aha, Pandora and Starlink app integration. The Multimedia Plus system adds an eight-inch screen, while the Multimedia Navigation system gets TomTom voice-activated navigation. There’s also WiFi connectivity available as well as a host of concierge and emergency services.

    Power comes from a new 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four engine with direct injection, a higher compression ratio and an active valve control system (AVCS) on the exhaust side. It now delivers 182 hp and 239 Nm of torque, and is mated with a standard Lineartronic CVT to provide an estimated 7.1 litres per 100 km fuel consumption. Sport and Touring models get a seven-speed manual mode with paddle shifters.

    Of course, Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system comes as standard, paired to the WRX and WRX STI‘s Active Torque Vectoring system. Also standard is the SI-Drive system, which features Intelligent and Sport (Sport Sharp on the Forester Sport) drive modes tuned for either efficiency or performance.

    Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring models receive the driver-selectable X-Mode system with Hill Descent Control, which optimises engine, transmission, AWD system and Vehicle Dynamics Control for maximum traction on slippery conditions. A new dual-mode version with Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes is fitted on Sport, Limited and Touring variants.

    The new Subaru Global Platform is said to provide greater handling capability, agility, ride comfort and crash protection. The new architecture is said to be inherently resistant to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), and while road noise has been significantly reduced with the new Forester, the company has also worked to tune out certain frequencies to make conversation or listening to music at highway speeds more comfortable.

    In terms of safety, all Foresters in the United States come with the EyeSight driver assistance system. This adds Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lead Vehicle Start Alert. Also available are Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

    High Beam Assist is offered on the Sport, Limited and Touring models, with the last two also getting adaptive headlights. New for the 2019 is Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and standard-fit Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), while the Touring receives the new DriverFocus system that uses facial recognition to recognise driver fatigue or distraction.

  • 2019 Nissan Altima – new Teana debuts with variable compression turbo engine, semi-autonomous driving

    Here to challenge the latest Toyota Camry and Honda Accord is the new 2019 Nissan Altima, which Nissan says will shake up the midsize sedan segment when it goes on sale in the United States in autumn. Like the previous model, it will be offered globally as well, likely retaining the Teana name in some markets.

    Previewed by the Vmotion 2.0 Concept in Detroit earlier this year, the Altima boasts a far sportier and more dynamic design even compared to its sleek predecessor. A bold full-height V-motion grille dominates the front end, accompanied by slim arrow-shaped headlights optionally available with LED technology. Lower-profile engines enabled the designers to push for a lower bonnet and cowl.

    The bodyside features a prominent shoulder line that spans from the headlights to the tail lights, as well as a twisting shoulder and sharp character lines lower down. The floating roof design provided by the black C-pillars add to the more coupé-like look, while the rear features boomerang-shaped tail lights and plenty of horizontal lines to provide an impression of width. Wheel sizes range up to a massive 19 inches in diameter.

    Compared to the previous Altima, the new car is 25 mm longer, 23 mm wider and 28 mm lower, while the wheelbase has grown by a massive 48 mm – this makes for a shorter front overhang and allows for the rear wheels to be pushed further into the corners.

    The interior features a more horizontal “gliding wing” dashboard design, along with high-contrast colours and trim materials that Nissan says provides a near-premium feel. The Zero Gravity seats from the outgoing model have been enhanced with dual-density foam and extra bolstering for improved support and are available with perforated leather upholstery and eight-way power adjustment.

    As standard, the new Altima features the NissanConnectSM infotainment system with an eight-inch multi-touch display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri and Google Assistant voice recognition as well as compatibility with the Amazon Alexa personal assistant.

    NissanConnect Navigation and Services incorporating over-the-air updates, door-to-door navigation and real-time traffic is available as an option, as is Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatch functionality through the NissanConnect Services app. The latter provides features such as remote engine start and remote lock valet alert, among others.

    Other options include remote engine start with Intelligent Climate Control, a moonroof, a Bose Premium Audio system with eight speakers and noise cancellation. A seven-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display in the instrument cluster is fitted as standard.

    Under the bonnet lies the world’s first variable compression engine – the 2.0 litre VC Turbo direct-injected four-cylinder that first made its debut on the Infiniti QX50. Replacing the old 3.5 litre naturally-aspirated V6, the new engine uses an electrically-powered actuator arm to switch between a 8:1 compression ratio for high performance and an 14:1 ratio for better fuel economy.

    The result is 248 hp and 370 Nm of torque, along with a significant expected improvement in fuel consumption, emissions and noise, vibration and harshness. The standard 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-pot has also been improved with direct injection, electronic variable valve timing (e-VTC) and cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to produce 188 hp and 244 Nm.

    An Xtronic CVT with expanded lock-up is fitted as standard and is available with paddle shifters. New for this year is an optional part-time Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system that sends up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels. The improved chassis features new monotube rear dampers, added suspension reinforcements, retuned suspension geometry, dual-pinion electric power steering and a new Integrated Dynamics Module (IDM) incorporating Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control.

    Safety-wise, the Altima is now available with ProPILOT Assist single-lane semi-autonomous highway driving that assists in acceleration, braking and steering, along with Traffic Sign Recognition. Automatic Emergency Braking, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW) and Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA) is offered as standard across the range, while an Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM) is optional.

    Also available is the new Nissan Safety Shield 360 package that features the new Rear Automatic Braking (RR-AB), along with Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and High Beam Assist (HBA).

  • Jaguar F-Pace SVR revealed with 550 PS and 680 Nm

    It appears customers demand something more exciting than the Jaguar F-Pace S, and for good reason. The 3.0 litre supercharged V6 in the model makes “just” 380 PS and 450 Nm of torque, which translates to a “disappointing” 0-100 km/h time of 5.5 seconds.

    Well, Jaguar has listened, and delivered with the new F-Pace SVR, which is making its debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The new model takes its place at the top of the F-Pace range, and as the other SVR models in the Jaguar Land Rover line-up (e.g. F-Type and Range Rover Sport) suggests, has some serious performance.

    Headline figures include 550 PS and 680 Nm, which comes courtesy of a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 engine under the bonnet. Drive goes to the ground via an eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission as well as an all-wheel drive system, which helps get the new SVR model from a rest to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds and to a top speed of 283 km/h.

    You’ll also get to hear the V8 a lot better, as the F-Pace SVR features Jaguar’s Variable Valve Active Exhaust System that not only allows for increased gas flow, but is 6.6 kg lighter than the standard F-Pace exhaust.

    Effort has also been made to match some agility with the new-found brawn, including stiffer springs (30% front and 10% rear), a new anti-roll bar for 5% less body roll and a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD).

    The car rides on lightweight forged 21-, or optional 22-inch alloy wheels that are wider at the rear by 25 mm compared to the front. There’s also uprated 395 mm front and 396 mm rear brake discs. All other systems – Quickshift transmission, electric power assisted steering, Adaptive Dynamics suspension, Torque Vectoring, Dynamic Stability Control and all-wheel drive – have bespoke calibrations as well.

    Visually, the F-Pace SVR is fitted with an aerodynamic package that includes larger air intakes at the front and side fender vents. More prominent wheel arch extensions and lower body mouldings help contribute to the crossover’s muscular new look as well.

    Other enhancements include a new bonnet with vents to better cool the V8, a unique rear spoiler, quad tailpipes and a new rear bumper with strakes to smoothen airflow away from the rear of the vehicle.

    As for the interior, the front seats feature “lozenge quilting” and sport an embossed SVR logo. You’ll also find a conventional gear lever, an SVR-branded steering wheel, aluminium paddle shifters, Touch Pro infotainment system with 10-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital display instrument cluster.

    Buyers will get to choose from four interior colours – Red with Jet, Light Oyster with Jet, Siena Tan with Jet and Jet with Light Oyster stitching. Jaguar is quick to remind us that the mental performance offered by the F-Pace SVR comes at no compromise to its practicality, as you’ll still get 650 litres of cargo space (with rear seats up).

    Should you be interested, and live in the United Kingdom, the F-Pace SVR will be available for order from summer 2018, with prices starting from 74,835 British pounds.(RM409,460).

  • First-ever Audi RS5 Sportback debuts at NYIAS 2018

    Audi RS5 Sportback Front

    There must be good demand for high-performance sedans as Audi has for the first time ever introduced the RS5 with a Sportback body. The go-faster five-door “coupé” makes its world debut today at the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

    Compared to the regular Sportback, Audi has given the RS5 Sportback a wider look, thanks to wheel housings that bulge out by a further 15 mm. Other RS-specific visual changes include a wide, flat singleframe grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure, a front spoiler with matte aluminum quattro lettering, gloss black trim elements, an RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip.

    Of course, what gives the RS5 its 3.9 second zero-to-100 km/h acceleration time is the 2.9 litre TFSI V6 engine under the bonnet, producing 450 hp thanks to its twin turbochargers producing up to 1.5 bars of pressure. Peak torque is 600 Nm produced over a wide band of 1,900 to 5,000 rpm.

    Audi RS5 Sportback Rear

    Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a centre differential. In normal driving, torque delivery is split 40:60 front-to-rear for more dynamic handling, but the system can send up to 85% of torque to the front axle and 70% to the rear if it senses slip. There’s also an optional sport differential that provides rear torque vectoring.

    The RS5’s suspension is seven millimetres lower than the S5 Sportback’s. Optional is an RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is fitted as standard.

    You can bring four of your friends along for the ride, as the RS5 is a five-seater; it also has a 480 litre boot that can be expanded to 1,300 litres with the 40:20:40-split rear seats folded. You can specify the interior in any colour you want, as long as it’s black – although you can get optional honeycomb quilted Nappa leather as well as an RS design package with red stitching, Alcantara knee pads and red seat belts.

    Which would you choose, RS5 Sportback or Coupe? Let us know in the comments.


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Last Updated 23 Mar 2023