Friday, August 4, 2017

2017 Summer Product Reveals: Part 8

Alexander Carabitses

I'm back!  Naturally, during my two-week absence, I still tried to keep track of any major news that was taking place in the automotive industry.  I plan to share my opinions on some of the biggest industry stories in my weekly column, which should be out on Tuesday.  For now, let's take a look at the two previous week's worth of product unveilings.

2018 Mercedes V-Class Rise: There really isn't too much to say about this one.  It's a new value oriented trim level of the European spec version of the Metris midsize cargo van (in passenger form). It will officially debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month, along with half a dozen other models.
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport:  Another Frankfurt debut that was revealed ahead of time, this hot-hatch version of Suzuki's b-segment entry is powered by a 1.4-liter Boosterjet engine that makes 138 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque; the car also features a 6-speed manual and weighs less than two thousand pounds.
(Image credited to Suzuki) 

Mitsubishi Nest Generation MPV:  Seeing as how this model is both irrelevant to the US market and irrevocably ugly, I won't delve into too many details.  All you need to know is that it's a seven passenger MPV, it's powered by a 1.5-liter engine, and that it doesn't officially have a name yet, but it should be called the Expander when it officially debuts.
(Image credited to Mitsubishi)

Mercedes-Benz E-CLass All Terrain 4X4:  Created by a lone Daimler engineer who apparently had nothing better to do, this one-off model has been fitted with portal axles to raise the ride height by 16-inches, while 31-inch wheels widen the track by 8-inches. A 3.5-liter turbocharges V6 that produces 328 horsepower can be found under the hood. Note that the car doesn't have locking differentials or a low range gear box.  One UK publication has stated that if the overall reception towards this vehicle is positive, a limited production run is possible.  I wouldn't hold my breath.
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)

2018 BMW 7-Series Edition 40 Jahre: Expected to be one of BMW's many Frankfurt premieres, this vehicle commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the 7-Series.  The car features unique trim, paint, and will be made available in October.
(Image credited to BMW)

2018 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Galen Edition and Timeless Series:  With a new generation of Continental GT right around the corner, Bentley has created more special edition send-off models that will only see 30 copies produced worldwide and will undoubtedly be instantly forgettable.  Inspired by yacht designs, this car basically gets special trim, leather, and stitching inside, while the exterior features Glacier White paint and Sequin Blue details. TheTimeless series also features inure exterior paint and interior trim and is meant to commemorate the fourteen year anniversary of this vehicle's launch.
(Image credited to Bentley)
(Image credited to Bentley)

2018 Buick Regal GS: Revealed only hours before I boarded my flight two weeks ago (and months before I thought it would), the new Regal GS is powered by GM's direct-injected 3.6 liter V6 that and produces 310 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, with power being sent to all four wheels..  Because of the times, this car features cylinder deactivation and a nine-speed automatic, while the engine, as a whole, produces less power than it does in other models (a point that has pissed off a lot of enthusiasts).  The car also features adjustable dampers, new wheels, more aggressive front and rear fascias, and some unique interior appointments.  The car goes on sale this fall for $39,990.
(Image credited to Buick)

2018 Jaguar XJ/XJR575:  Despite being presumed dead at the New York Auto Show, Jaguar launched the yearly model changes for this vehicle.  By far the most exciting and the most important piece of news surrounding this vehicle is the addition o the XJR575, a 575 PS (567 horsepower) version of the XJ, which also features 516 lb-ft of torque, a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph from JLR's supercharged, 5.0-liter V8.  Unique exterior and interior modifications adore this model as well.  Look for prices for the mainline XJ to start off at $77,969.
(Image credited to Jaguar)

2018 Tesla Model 3:  Undoubtedly the most important debut of the year (some may also say the most important car of the decade thus far), Tesla's new entry level model is available with two batteries.  The standard model will get 220 miles of driving range and comes priced at $35,000.  This version also features more than adequate performance (0-60 in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph) and 130 miles of range after a thirty-minute charge through the Supercharger network (30 miles per hour with a standard household socket).  The Long Range battery will get a whopping 310 miles of range for a base price of $44,000.  Performance is up by 10 mph for the car's top speed, while 0-60 sprint happens five tenths of a second quicker than in the standard model.  When charging this battery at home, expect to get 37 miles of range per hour.  If charging the battery with a Supercharger, expect to get 170 miles of range after a thirty-minute charge.  Performance aside, this car is offered with Autopilot as a $5,000 option, features the same anonymous exterior as last year's concept, and also features the same ridiculous flat-screen touchpad inside. With the first thirty cars delivered, expect production to steadily increase in the coming months, albeit not to the extent that Elon Musk had talked about earlier in the year.
(Image credited to Tesla)

2019 Rolls Royce Phantom:  While Tesla's debut is the most important of the year, we need not forget that the Rolls Royce Phantom was launched in 2003, so a new generation is a big deal in its own right.  The design is evolutionary, but still completely new, with some of the smaller details being the most exquisite. One fun fact is that the stainless steel around the windows and the C-Pillar is the largest piece found on any car in the world.  The interior is equally grandiose, with the seats designed to be even more comfortable than before, and feature wood paneling across the back that hides the rear seat picnic tables and infotainment screens. Speaking of wood, the interior is highly customizable with any type of wood and color of leather that a person can think of.  The new Phantom is also the quietest car in the world (featuring 286-pounds of sound installation) and has been engineered to deliver a soft ride for its occupants, even though the platform is 30 percent stiffer.  The car is still quick, with its 6.75-liter V12 engine producing 563 horsepower and 663 lb-ft of torque, which is coupled to an 8-speed automatic that uses satellite technology to ensure that it's in the right gear.  Expect any remaining details to be announced at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.
(Image credited to Rolls-Royce)

That's all for now.  Be sure to look out for my weekly column on Tuesday and have a great weekend!

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