Saturday, November 10, 2018
Celebrating my 30 years covering the Los Angeles Auto Show will again bring you executive interviews, photos and details of the many new vehicle debuts to SaxtonOnCars.com. My first LA Auto Show coverage was in 1989 for Financial News Network's Auto Trends program (above) then on KWHY-TV as one of very few television journalists interviewing car executives, a far cry from today's throng of video-crazed smartphone bloggers. My coverage was then heard on KFWB980 NewsRadio, Bloomberg radio, read on Edmunds.com and for the past 10 years seen, heard and read on SaxtonOnCars.com and KNX1070 NewsRadio.
BMW 8 series convertible, BMW M340i, BMW X7 Sport Activity Vehicle, Hyundai Palisade 8-passenger SUV, all-new Mazda 3, all-new Nissan Maxima (left) and the Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition. Also, the 2019 Toyota Pruis hybrid, Lincoln Aviator, Lexus LX Inspiration Series plus new surprises from Hyundai, Kia, Jeep, Subaru and Volvo will debut.
Manufacturers you may not have heard of, like Chinese electric vehicle company BYTON will display their K-Byte and M-BYTE concepts. Minnesota-based Polaris Industries will show off four of their Slingshot® three-wheeled motorcycle models which they make clear are not an automobiles as they don't have airbags and don't meet automotive safety standards.
1,000 new vehicles to be on display at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show - open to the public from Friday, November 30th to Sunday, December 9th.
The all-new 2019 Genesis G70, is powered by either a 365 horsepower 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged gasoline direct-injected V6 engine or a 252 horsepower (255 HP with manual transmission) 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct-injected 4-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with rev-matching technology and gear-holding technology for tight corners. A 6-speed manual transmission is available as an option on the 2.0L T 4-cylinder engines equipped with RWD. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Driver Attention Warning are on board the G70. Available on the G70 is a 15-speaker, 660-watt Lexicon audio system with QuantumLogic multi-dimensional sound and Clari-Fi music restoration technology. Advanced telematics include technology like Destination Search powered by Voice, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. With Advanced to Sport trim levels coming in either RWD or AWD, pricing starts at $35,895 (including $995 freight charge). The G70 comes with three years/36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled G70 maintenance and a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
The first-ever four-seat BMW M850i xDrive Convertible, powered by a 523 horsepower 4.4L 8-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, has a fully-electric fabric top roof that can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The 0-60 mph time is 3.8 seconds to a limited top speed of 155 mph. Active steering moves the rear wheels up to 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds up to 45 mph. The Driving Experience Control switch enables SPORT and SPORT+ modes for maximum handling along with comfort-oriented ECO Pro and COMFORT modes. The BMW Head-Up Display comes as standard in the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible and projects relevant driving information onto the windscreen in the form of graphics. The standard Harman Kardon audio system comprises twelve speakers and a digital amplifier, with an optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. There's an optional M Carbon Exterior Package, consisting of air intake bars, exterior mirror caps and a rear diffuser insert, all made from CFRP. The BMW 8 Series Convertible is equipped with standard Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, the latest version of which alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. Depending on the situation, the system can bring the vehicle to a halt to either avoid a collision or minimize its consequences. The BMW M850i xDrive Convertible arrives in March 2019 with an MSRP of $122,395 (including $995 destination charge).
Monday, October 22, 2018
GMC Communications' Fred Ligouri (left) and General Motors Global Chief Engineer Tim Herrick for full-size trucks (right) describe the trim levels, engine choices and attributes of the premium luxury 2019 GMC Sierra pick-up truck. Click here to watch video.
Friday, October 19, 2018
The first-ever BMW X7, with three rows of seats, comes in the BMW X7 xDrive50i with a 456 horsepower 4.4-liter V8 engine starting at $93,595 (including $995 destination charge) or a BMW X7 xDrive40i with a 335 horsepower 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine starting at $74,895, both mated to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. The all-new 2019 BMW X7 will offer a choice of six colors at launch, including non-metallic Alpine White and metallic paints in Carbon Black with M Sport Package, Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Arctic Grey and Vermont Bronze. Three more colors will be introduced as of April 2019 production, including Jet Black, Dark Graphite, and Phytonic Blue. The New BMW X7 arrives in March 2019.
Sunday, October 14, 2018
The 2019 Hyundai NEXO Blue model second-generation fuel cell SUV, with 161 peak horsepower, has an estimated driving range of 380 miles, 115 more than its predecessor, for estimated MPGe of 65 city, 58 highway and 61 combined, The NEXO Limited trim has an estimated range of 354 miles for an estimated MPGe of 59 city, 54 highway, and 57 combined. NEXO refueling time can be achieved in as little as five minutes. NEXO will be available in California before the end of 2018.
The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger, powered by a 270 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine paired with a 10-speed transmission, provides 1,860 pounds of maximum payload and can tow 7,500 pounds when equipped with the tow package and a trailer brake controller. Production begins later this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
2019 Hyundai Kona (left), powered by either a standard 147 horsepower 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder engine with 6-speed automatic transmission or available 175 horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine with 7-speed DCT, starts at $20,970 for the SE model (including freight charge of $980). Now standard on all trim levels is Hyundai SmartSense safety technologies that include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Attention Warning and all trims get an additional front USB charging port and soft touch front door armrests and inserts. The 2019 Kona is on sale now.
The redesigned 2019 Acura ILX, arriving in dealerships now, powered by a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC™ engine mated to an 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, starts at $26,895 (including $995 destination and handling), a $2,200 reduction from the outgoing model. The 2019 ILX is equipped with an available refreshed dual-screen On Demand Multi-Use Display™ interface with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration that's approximately 30 percent faster. An enhanced 7-inch touchscreen. For 2019, every ILX comes standard with the AcuraWatch™ suite of active safety and driver-assistive technology, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning. AcuraWatch™ technologies are now standard equipment across the entire Acura lineup.
The seventh generation 2019 BMW 330i, 2.9 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller than its predecessor and powered by a 255 horsepower 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder with the 8-speed Sport Steptronic transmission, arrives in March 2019 with a starting price of $41,245 (including $995 destination) and the 330i xDrive sedan will start at $43,245. The BMW M340i and M340i xDrive Sedans, powered by a 382 horsepower straight-six engine, will arrive in the Spring of 2019. The new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes standard with the Active Guard Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, the latest version of which also alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. The optional Driving Assistant includes Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Detection systems.
The new 2019 BMW i3 is powered by a 170 horsepower electric motor, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, while the BMW i3s with 181 horsepower sprints to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The new generation of high-voltage batteries enables the BMW i3 120 Ah and the BMW i3s 120Ah to achieve a range of up to 153 miles, nearly a 30% improvement from the 94 Ah model and almost double its original range as battery capacity has increased to 42.2kWh. The optional Technology and Driving Assistance Package includes LED headlights with cornering lights, Active Driving Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, and Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information. ConnectedDrive Services and front/rear Park Distance Control are now standard equipment. Parking Assistance is a standalone options for the i3 (not available on the i3s).
The 2019 Nissan Altima, lower, longer and wider than the previous generation and now on sale, comes in S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels and is powered by a 188 horsepower 2.5-liter engine available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive or a 248 horsepower 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine (front-wheel drive only). Pricing starts at $24,645 (includes $895 destination and handling) for Altima S 2.5 front-wheel drive and $25,995 for Altima S 2.5 all-wheel drive and includes Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat, 8.0-inch color display with multi-touch control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Rear Door Alert. Offered is Nissan Safety Shield 360 that includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, radar-based Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Moab Edition, the first limited-edition model based on the all-new Jeep Wrangler, is based on the Wrangler Sahara model and features Rubicon hood and steel bumpers with removable end caps, 32-inch mud-terrain tires, LED headlights and tail lights, a Moab decal on the hood and 17-inch Rubicon wheels painted in Low-Gloss Black. Standard features include Selec-Trac full-time two-speed transfer case, Passive Keyless Entry, Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential, 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with navigation, a nine-speaker premium Alpine sound system and all-weather slush mats. The Jeep® Wrangler offers a 285 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and an all-new 270 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine matched to either a six-speed manual transmission or available eight-speed automatic.
The 2019 Subaru BRZ sport coupe is powered by a 205 horsepower 2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine mated to a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The BRZ Premium rear wheel drive sports car begins at just $200 more than last model year at $26,680 (including $885 destination and delivery charge). The 2019 Subaru BRZ will be offered in Premium, Limited and new Series.Gray trim levels when it arrives at retailers this Fall.
Friday, September 21, 2018
The 2019 Nissan LEAF, in its second-generation, has a 150-mile driving range at a starting price of $30,885 for the LEAF S (including $895 destination and handling charge), with pricing for all three trim levels unchanged from 2018. For 2019, Nissan LEAF adds standard Rear Door Alert, as described in previous articles on Nissan vehicles. Available technology includes standard e-Pedal, Automatic Emergency Braking, automatic on/off headlights, Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Start and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. Every 2019 Nissan LEAF is offered with a limited warranty covering defects in materials or workmanship for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, for the lithium-ion battery pack.
The 2019 Genesis G70 now on sale in six trim levels with either a 252 horsepower 2.0T inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine or a 365 horsepower 3.3T V-6 twin-turbocharged engine with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters & rev match, starts at $35,895 (including $995 destination charge).
The BMW iNEXT, a new technology flagship, is slated to begin production in 2021 to set the stage for the BMW Group to offer 25 models with electrified drive systems, 12 of which will be pure-electric by 2025. BMW Vision iNEXT, taking in the possibilities of autonomous mobility, will allow future drivers to choose to either drive themselves (in “Boost” mode) or be driven (“Ease” mode). “Boost” mode uses the electric drive system to deliver a highly dynamic and virtually silent driving experience with zero emissions. In “Ease” mode, the vehicle offers the driver and passengers a space in which to engage in a wide range of activities.
The 2019 Nissan Versa Note hatchback in S, SV and SR. Versa Note SR trim levels, is powered by a 109 horsepower1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, matched with a next-generation Nissan Xtronic transmission, helping achieve up to 39 miles per gallon highway fuel economy. A late 2018 model year update saw the addition of standard RearView Monitor and 7.0-inch color audio system touchscreen display. The Versa Note starts at $16,545 (including $895 destination and handling charge) now at Nissan dealers nationwide.
The all-new 2019 BMW Z4 M40i First Edition Roadster, 3.3 inches longer, 2.9 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller over its predecessor, is powered by a 382 horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line engine while the BMW Z4 sDrive30i has a 255 horsepower 2.0 liter four-cylinder TwinPower Turbocharged motor, both equipped with a standard eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The seventh generation of the iDrive comprises a high-resolution digital 12.3” instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 10.25” center display diagonally across. The 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Roadster will arrive in March of 2019, and the 2020 BMW Z4 M40i Roadster will follow.
The Audi e-tron five-seater, all-wheel drive electric mid-sized premium SUV is Audi's first fully electric production model and measures 193 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 65.5 inches high. Two electric motors accelerate the e-tron from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds to a top speed of 124 mph. When equipped with the tow package, the Audi e-tron has a maximum tow rating of 4000 lbs. The e-tron debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, this capability can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes. For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a fresh charge overnight. The Audi e-tron is being will arrive in the US during the 2nd quarter of 2019 starting at $75,795 (including $995 destination and delivery charge). Customers are now able to configure their e-tron and reserve their vehicle with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder seven-passenger SUV, powered by a 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with Direct Injection Gasoline™ system and Xtronic transmission os offered in 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive and a choice of S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels and starts at $32,225 (including $995 destination and handling). All 2019 Pathfinder models have a Rear Sonar System, Automatic Emergency Braking and Rear Door Alert system, which can help remind customers of items that may be forgotten in the rear seat.
The 2019 Nissan Armada full-size, 8-passenger SUV, starting at $48,185 (including $1,395 destination and handling charge), is powered by a 390 horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 engine mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds for both 4WD and 2WD models (when properly equipped). All 2019 Armada models now feature Standard Rear Door Alert designed to help remind customers of items that may be forgotten in the rear seat like pets, valuables, dry cleaning, groceries and more. If the system detects that a rear door is opened prior to driving, and the customer does not open a rear door again at the end of the trip, the system can remind customers that something might be left in the rear seat. Also on the 2019 model is Standard Automatic Emergency Braking and Standard Intelligent Forward Collision Warning. The 2019 Armada is available SV, SL Platinum and Platinum Reserve grade levels and is on sale now.