Sedan sales aren’t what they used to be — heck, they’re in a free-fall — but that doesn’t mean there is no longer a market for them. At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota Motors unveiled the all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon, which it hopes will standout in an automotive landscape increasingly dominated by crossovers.
Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which also underpins the Camry and Prius, the fifth generation Avalon is longer, wider and lower than before, adopting a new design philosophy that Toyota calls “Technical Beauty.” It’s bold, different and, with that gaping whopper of a grille, not for everyone.
The interior is what you would expect from a car described as a ‘mid-premium’ sedan, offering just about every luxury amenity you could want and featuring more soft-touch materials than in the previous Avalon. The design is clean, sophisticated and elegant and centers around a 9.0-inch infotainment system (supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Android Alexa) and a 7.0-inch central display on the instrument cluster. Higher trim levels get a massive 10-inch head-up display that presents vehicle and engine speeds, navigation information, audio settings and other data.
The new Avalon is the first Toyota-badged model to be available with adaptive variable suspension for improved ride quality and handling.
Power comes from a choice of either a 3.5L V6 or a hybrid system that utilizes a 2.5L four-cylinder engine, two electric motors and its Nickel-Metal battery situated under the rear seat. The former is mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid system makes due with a CVT.
Toyota likely hopes the Avalon’s bold new styling, new technology and refinement will appeal to more buyers after sales in 2017 tumbled by 32 percent in the United States, it largest and most important market. Sales begin in late spring 2018.
Subaru WRX STI S209 Is The Most Powerful Subaru Ever
The long-rumored, limited edition Subaru WRX STI S209 is here, and it’s the most powerful car ever built by Subaru.
Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto SHow, the S209 transcends the standard WRX STI in power, aerodynamics, and handling. Engineers reworked Subaru’s 2.5-liter boxer engine, giving it a larger HKS turbocharger that increases boost pressure from 16.2 psi to 18.0 psi and stronger yet lighter pistons and connecting rods.
The result? A significant boost in power from 300 horsepower to 341 horsepower, while midrange torque jumps by 10 percent at 3,600 rpm. All that power is sent to the four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
Inspired by the the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge racecar, the WRX STI S209 looks the part with wider fenders, front canards and a large rear wing. Handling benefits from a revised chassis and suspension, a flexible strut tower bar and tensioned draw stiffeners, along with 19×9-inch forged BBS alloy wheels covered in sticky Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires.
The Subaru WRX STI S209 will be available exclusively in the US market, and only 200 units will be manufactured. You will be able to choose from two color combinations: WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels and Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels.
New Lexus RC F Track Edition Joins 2020 RC F Lineup With Less Weight, More Performance
A track-focused version joins the updated RC F for 2020.
The new Supra was Toyota’s big debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but luxury subsidiary Lexus tagged along to remind everybody that it already has a performance coupe, one with a V8 to play with.
The RC F has received some upgrades for 2020 model year, and to make it more compelling for sports car enthusiasts, Lexus has added a new Track Edition to the lineup for 2020. The so-called RC F Track Edition is a stripped-down, track-only spec model that benefits from more aggressive aerodynamic elements and a weight-reduction regime.
Like the regular RC coupe, all Lexus RC F models get new headlights, a restyled grille and new taillights. The 5.0L V8 has been caressed to squeeze out an extra five horsepower and 6 lb-ft. of torque, bringing the total to 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft. The eight-speed automatic transmission carries over but now has a higher final drive ratio (3.13 vs 2.93).
With the RC F Track Edition, major panels like the roof and hood are carbon fiber, and the standard RC F’s rear seats have been replaced by a carbon fiber partition.
Engineers also equipped 19-inch BBS forged-alloy wheels, Brembo with lightweight carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and a titanium muffler and tail pipes. These lighter pieces come together to reduce the Track Edition’s weight by 176 pounds from the RC F, and Lexus estimates that using the standard launch control system propels it to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just under 4.0 seconds (3.96 seconds, to be exact).
Standard on even the stock RC F, the new electronic launch control automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. All the driver has to do is press and hold the brake pedal, engage the system, floor the accelerator to bring up the engine speed, and release the brake.
To help the RC F Track Edition stand out, designers gave it a red leather interior with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. Only two exterior colors are available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray.
Production of the updated Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition begin in the second half of 2019. Pricing notwithstanding, do you feel compelled to buy one?
Kia’s New Telluride SUV Is Big Enough For Your Whole Family
Kia’s biggest-ever SUV has enough room to accommodate eight occupants in relative comfort.
The Kia Telluride has finally seen the light of day, giving Kia a spacious modern SUV for the whole family.
Designed in California specifically for the North American market, particularly the United States, the Telluride stands out with a boxy shape, a blunt hood, and a wide grille flanked by a pair of blunt vertical headlights. It’s distinctive, attractive and should turn some heads in the rather soft and puffy-looking full-size SUV segment.
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Power is provided by a 3.8L V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, good enough for a 5,000-pound tow rating. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives the wheels.
The Telluride also features four-wheel independent suspension with an optional self-leveling system and all-wheel drive. ‘Comfort’ and ‘snow’ odes distribute just 20 percent of torque to the rear wheels, while ‘sport’ has a 65-35 front-back split and ‘lock’ divides power equally between all corners.
Inside, the clean, BMW-esque dashboard is fitted with a 10.25-inch touchscreen that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibile, while a 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman Kardon sound system makes it easy to blast you favorite tunes throughout the cavernous interior. There’s also a wireless charging pad and a total of six USB charging ports.
Buyers looking for a more premium look and feel can splurge on a number of luxury interior appointments, ranging from quilted Nappa leather to matte-finish wood.
On the safety front, Kia’s big SUV is available with tons of safety tech, including forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, a blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and a head-up display.
The all-new, 2020 Kia Telluride goes on sale in the second half of 2019 in LX, EX, S, and SX trims. Would you consider it as your next family-hauler?
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