Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Summer Product Unveils (Part 2)

Alexander Carabitses

Just because there are no auto shows in the summer, it does not means that automakers sit still for four months without showcasing any new products.  Quite the opposite really, as many automakers use the 'off time" to their advantage in order to garner media attention.  Then of course there are many outdoor car shows like the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June and the Pebble Beach Concourse de-elegance in August.  The following list covers pretty much every new product launch that has taken place in recent weeks, and while many of these products are for European markets, some are destined to hit our shores.  So sit back, relax, and have fun immersing yourself in sheer automotive goodness.

BMW Hommage 2002 Concept:  Based on the 2-series coupe, this concept is meant to pay homage to the 2002 Turbo Coupe.  It's a damn shame that this car will never become a reality.
(Image credited to BMW)

Mini JCW Challenge: Take a John Cooper Works Mini, leave the engine as is, make the ride, handling, and steering even better than they already are.  Finally, offer some slight visual enhancements and optional aero add-ons, and piss off a bunch of enthusiasts by limiting the car's availability to the UK.
(Image credited to Mini)

Mini Vision Next 100 Concept/Rolls Royce 103EX Concept: The main mission of these recently announced concepts is to showcase what the autonomous car of tomorrow might look like.  The Rolls Royce is by far the most radically designed of the two cars, but it is still downright beautiful inside and out.  Also note that the Mini still features a steering wheel which is good news for us enthusiasts.
(Image credited to Mini)
(Image credited to Rolls Royce)

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid: Fuel economy has been increased by four percent, horsepower is up by eight percent (212 HP), and the price has increased by $300.  Besides that, the new Accord Hybrid features the same bells and whistles as the refreshed Accord sedan and coupe that were unveiled last year.
(Image credited to Honda)

Renault Twingo GT: The Twingo GT is basically a low key hot hatch.  It makes 110 horsepower, which actually isn't bad for an A-segment city car.  The handling has also been sharpened to make this car somewhat more pleasant to drive.
(Image credited to Renault)

Renault Clio: A new diesel engine, some new colors, and some slight exterior tweaks complete the modest facelift on this four year old subcompact city car.
(Image credited to Renault)

2017 Renault Grand Scenic:  After unveiling the redesigned Scenic MPV in Geneva, Renault recently showcased the new Grand Scenic.  I believe that the main difference between the Scenic and the Grand Scenic is that the latter seats seven while the former seats five passengers comfortably.
(Image credited to Renault)

2017 Renault Alaskan pickup:  The new Alaskan midsize pickup looks predictable, mostly because it debuted as a concept at Frankfurt last year.  The truck is based on the Nissan Navara (i.e. the next Frontier) and Mercedes-Benz's new pickup truck and will be sold in many global markets (except for the US, naturally).
(Image credited to Renault)

2017 Audi A3: This is nothing more than a mild refresh really.  The sheetmetal is a little different (although most people won't even notice) and the Virtual Cockpit infotainment system has been added.  Beyond that, everything else is the same; so far the facelifted A3 has only been confirmed from Europe, but it's a safe bet that this car will reach our shores soon.
(Image credited to Audi)
(Image credited to Audi)
(Image credited to Audi)
(Image credited to Audi)

2017 Volkswagen UP: A few minor exterior updates have been made, while the interior has been slightly tweaked, as well.  There have also been some powertrain updates, but the GTI variant that most people had been expecting is nowhere in sight.
(Image credited to Volkswagen)

2018 Citroen C3: Citroen has given its subcompact hatchback, the C3, a complete overhaul for the 2018 model year.  It looks pretty much identical to the C4 Cactus on the outside, which to my eyes isn't a bad thing, as I really do like the brand's new styling direction.  A nice new interior, updated engines, and engaging technology round out the package.
(Image credited to Citroen)

2017 Peugeot 3008:  Peugeot took a dreadful car and managed to inject a large dose of life into it, all while making it look easy.  How did they do it? They set out to design a compact crossover that wasn't a piece of crap like their current offering in the segment, and low and behold, the 2018 3008 arrived with new engines, technology, as well as an updated interior and exterior that almost allows us to forget about how bad its predecessor was.  There is also a sportier GT variant.
(Image credited to Peugeot)
(Image credited to Peugeot)

Peugeot L500 R Hybrid Concept:  This futuristic race car concept exists with the sole purpose of paying homage to the brand's racing pedigree. It is low, light, and pretty damn fast.
(Image credited to Peugeot)

2017 Ford Kuga Vignale: Europe doesn't have Lincoln.  Instead, that continent gets Vignale, Ford's upscale luxury trim that would more than likely be familiar to us as the Platinum trim level that's available on several of the brand's models here.  This time the Ford Kuga (Escape as we know it) has received this treatment.
(Image credited to Ford)

2017 Mazda Miata Icon Edition: The Icon Edition features red exterior accents, black leather seats, and some revamped equipment.
(Image credited to Mazda)

2017 Volvo S90/V90 R Design:  Volvo's new flagship sedan and wagon has received the R-Design treatment, meaning that they get sportier trim inside and out.  However, there are no real mechanical upgrades.
(Image credited to Volvo)

2017 Fiat 500S: As things stand now, if you want the S trim on your Fiat 500, it's currently only available on the refreshed European model that was revealed a nearly a year ago.  The main difference between this and any other Fiat 500 is "sporty" trim, but that's about it.
(Image credited to Fiat)

2017 Fiat Fiorino:  Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a subcompact cargo van, and the refreshed Fiorino is a perfect example of one.  New front and rear fascias, along with new wheels are the only major changes.  I believe that the powertrains have also been tweaked a little.
(Image credited to Fiat Professional)

2017 Dodge Viper: It's the end of an era...again.  That's because after 25 years, Dodge will once again send off the Viper in a blaze of glory after the 2017 model years, due to slow sales.  The send off involves several special edition Vipers that will be produced for this final model year; the Viper's death is both unfortunate but not surprising in the least.
(Image credited to Dodge)

2017 Mopar Ram Rebel: In its annual attempt to grab a few headlines, Mopar has just released its new specialty vehicle fir the upcoming model year, this time based on the Ram Rebel. All this model does is offer tacky badges and accessories from the Mopar parts catalog that can already be purchased individually.
(Image credited to Mopar and Ram Trucks)

2017 Maserati Quattroporte: The only updates are the new front bumper and a tweaked interior.  Beyond that, powertrains (and pretty much everything else) are the same as before.
(Image credited to Maserati)

2017 Cadillac CTS:  The main changes include some new colors and wheels that are also available on the 2017 ATS.  Beyond that, the same rearview mirror/camera from some of Cadillac's other recent products has made its way to the CTS.  The grille is also new (although it isn't obvious) and the rear fascia has been updated, featuring vertically integrated exhaust.
(Image credited to Cadillac)

2018 Porsche Panamera/Panamera Turbo: Those who hated the first generation Panamera can finally shut up because the second generation model is here and it looks more like a four door 911 than the previous model.  I personally loved the first generation model, and I am quite pleased with what I'm seeing.  The interior is also stunning, clean, and contemporary, as it features touch sensitive surfaces instead of physical buttons.  Engines are also new, but as long as they're smooth and offer  more than acceptable power (spoiler alert: they do!) that is all that matters.  European deliveries qick off in November, but we will have to wait until 2017 here in the US.
(Image credited to Porsche)
(Image credited to Porsche)

2017 Mercedes AMG GT R: Set to go on sale in November, the AMG GT R is coined as AMG's flagship sports car.  It features a 577 HP/516 lb-ft V8 engine, handling that is tuned for track use, and a killer exhaust note. The exterior features many functional aerodynamic add ons, while interior features a nice pair of sporty racing buckets.  This car is -to put it in everyday terms- a beast.
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz AMG)

2017 Aston Martin GT12 Roadster:  I personally want to congratulate the customer who commissioned and received this one off roadster that Aston Martin recently revealed in Goodwood. This is basically identical to the coupe variant of this car with the only difference obviously being the roof.  However, it is pretty nice to see that a customer was able to commission and purchase this truly one of a kind convertible through the brand's "Q by Aston Martin" program.
(Image credited to Aston Martin)

2018 McLaren 570S Sprint: What we have here is a non-road legal version of the 570S.  It features a bunch of aero upgrades, an FIA approved roll cage, and other track goodies.  Performance numbers have yet to be announced.
(Image credited to McLaren)

2017 Lamborghini Aventador Miura Homage:  Believe it or not, the Lamborghini Miura turns 50 this year.  For this reason, the brand trotted out this one off Aventador that features special badging, along with wheels and a paint job that mimic that of the original Miura.
(Image credited to Lamborghini)

2017 Ford GT '66 Heritage Edition: This special edition GT is meant to pay tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of Ford's Le Mans victory in 1966.  It features special badges, graphics, and wheels, as well as some unique colors.
(Image credited to Ford)
Well, that completes this product update post.  Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more summer reveals!

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