SUVs Roll On
The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show left little to doubt that automakers will continue to feed the appetite for SUVs and trucks, with new models rolling out in L.A. spanning the spectrum from practical to luxurious, including hybrid and fully-electric models. Two new trucks include a pickup version of an iconic SUV, and an all-new high-performance fully-electric model. Take a quick click through the SUVs and trucks that debuted this year at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The production version of the BMW X7 made its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, following the X7 Concept that was shown at last year’s show. The largest BMW Sports Activity Vehicle, the all-new X7 offers standard three-row seating for seven occupants with optional second-row captain’s chairs for a six-person configuration. BMW X7 will be offered in two versions, the X7 xDrive40i starting at $73,900 and the X7 xDrive50i starting at $92,600 — plus a $995 destination charge.
The X7 xDrive40i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, while the xDrive50i receives a new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine producing 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a new 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission that can adapt shift strategy to the route and driving conditions by analyzing data from the optional Adaptive Cruise Control radar sensor. Standard equipment includes air suspension, 21-inch alloy wheels and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.
Fiat introduced the revised 2019 Fiat 500X for the U.S. market at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new 500X derives power from an all-new turbocharged 1.3-liter direct-injection engine producing 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick manual shift mode. All-wheel drive is standard and includes a disengaging rear axle to improve fuel economy. Exterior styling gets updated with a new front fascia, standard LED daytime running lights, LED taillights and available full LED headlights.
Scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2019, the Fiat 500X will be offered in three trim levels: Pop, Trekking and Trekking Plus, with a starting MSRP of $25,785 including destination charge. Three new wheel options are offered: 17-inch silver aluminum (Trekking), 17-inch matte black machined (Trekking Plus) and 18-inch matte anthracite machined aluminum (Trekking and Trekking Plus). Inside, the 2019 Fiat 500X features new seat fabrics, a new steering wheel and redesigned gauges. Uconnect 4 with a 7-inch touchscreen is standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and available with navigation, Bluetooth hands-free calling, voice command, streaming audio and SiriusXM Radio. Adaptive cruise control and front park assist are both available.
Honda recycles a familiar name adding another SUV to its lineup between the compact CR-V and the three-row Pilot with the world debut of the all-new 5-seat Honda Passport. Scheduled to go on sale early in 2019, the Passport is powered by a 3.5-liter Honda i-VTEC V6 engine producing 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, combined with Honda’s newest 9-speed automatic transmission. The available Intelligent Variable Torque Management torque-vectoring all-wheel drive and Intelligent Traction Management system optimize performance for varying surface conditions, improving performance in varying conditions and providing off-road capability.
The all-new Honda Passport was designed and developed by Honda North America R&D teams in Torrance, California and Raymond, Ohio, featuring a rugged exterior design with a matte-black grille, aggressive wheel arches, a floating roof design, increased ride height and standard 20-inch wheels. Passport will be offered in four trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring and Elite. All-wheel drive is standard for Passport Elite and optional for other trim levels. The Passport instrument cluster uses a 7-inch TFT screen with a wide range of information and a multi-information display with customizable features. Passport EX-L, Touring and Elite trims feature Honda’s 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
The new pinnacle of Hyundai’s SUV model lineup, the 2020 Palisade offers standard 8-occupant seating with available second-row individual captain’s chairs. The Palisade is 3.0 inches longer and 3.6 inches wider than Santa Fe XL, bolstering and besting the Korean automaker’s midsize models. Palisade provides 18 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third row and 45.8 cubic feet with the second row folded. The Hyundai Palisade features a bold, wide cascading grille flanked by separated composite headlights and a vertically-connected lighting signature with available LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED turn-signal mirrors. At the rear, vertical LED taillights evoke a sophisticated tone.
Inside, the 2020 Palisade features a 12.3-inch fully-digital TFT center instrument cluster with a choice of display views, different illumination based on drive mode and available head-up display. Shift-by-wire transmission controls free up center console space, and the console bridge design offers storage space underneath with access from both driver and passenger sides. The standard seating for eight includes a One-Touch second-row seat for easy access to the third row, and the third row offers power-folding and reclining rear seats. Optional leather seats feature premium quilted Nappa leather with smooth woodgrain interior trim. The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine producing an estimated 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission with a multi-plate torque converter. Palisade is offered in both 2-wheel drive and with Hyundai’s HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive with new Snow mode. The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in summer 2019.
A highly-anticipated addition to the Jeep lineup, the Gladiator pickup is based on the all-new Wrangler and will bring a strong competitor to the growing midsize truck market offering capability and utility. All trims of the new Gladiator pickup will be initially equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine producing 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, combined with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox or an optional 8-speed automatic transmission. Given that the Gladiator is based on the Wrangler, the new truck will be a proper off-roader. Depending on the trim level, the Gladiator should be able to tackle just about any terrain with a choice of Command-Trac or Rock-Trac 4WD systems, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, a Trac-Lok limited-slip differential, electronic sway-bar disconnect and 33-inch off-road tires.
Up front, Gladiator keeps the iconic 7-slot grille found on the Wrangler, flanked by Jeep’s classic round headlights. All Gladiators will be 4-door crew cabs with a 5-foot bed steel bed and an aluminum tailgate that is damped for easy lifting and lowering. Roof options include a Sunrider soft-top that provides an easy way to enjoy open-air driving, allowing for partial and full open top positions. The Gladiator is also available with a 3-piece hardtop with quick-release latches and a standard sliding rear window. For Gladiator owners who want to enjoy the outdoors to the utmost, the roof and doors can be removed, and the windshield can be folded down. Gladiator will be available in four trim levels: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. The new Jeep is expected to arrive in showrooms next spring, with pricing released closer to the on-sale date.
Lincoln’s all-new three-row midsize premium utility vehicle, the Aviator debuted at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Starting with a familiar mesh Lincoln grille, the flowing lines of the Aviator are said to be inspired by flight. “The connotations of flight are intrinsic in the lines of the vehicle,” said David Woodhouse, design director at The Lincoln Motor Company. “You have the stature and presence of the grille at the front, then the body and tail taper off — creating a distinct aerofoil analogy.” Aviator debuts new technology including using a smartphone as the vehicle key, lowering the vehicle to greet the driver and scanning the road to adjust the suspension for uneven pavement.
Aviator will also introduce advanced hybrid technology via the Aviator Grand Touring, powered by a hybrid drivetrain that combines a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with electrified technology expected to produce a combined 450 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. The standard twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine is projected to produce 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Aviator offers available all-wheel drive, and Lincoln Drive Modes allow the driver to adjust vehicle performance with five settings: Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep. Aviator Grand Touring also offers the choice of Pure EV or Preserve EV.
Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept
Mitsubishi debuted the all-electric, high-performance e-Evolution Concept in Los Angeles, combining all-wheel control, an electric powertrain and a bold crossover design to outline what to expect from future Mitsubishi vehicles. The e-Evolution Concept is powered by three electric motors, one powering the front wheels and two motors powering the rear wheels, connected through a Dual Motor Active Yaw Control system with electronically-controlled torque vectoring that distributes torque from side to side. The Active Yaw Control uses individual brakes with electric calipers that replace traditional hydraulic calipers.
Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept
The e-Evolution Concept offers a new version of the Mitsubishi front-end design with a black grille under glass and large air intakes to cool the electric brakes. The profile reveals a sharply-slanted windshield, high ground clearance, short overhangs and strong shoulders. Inside, the e-Evolution Concept features an instrument panel that floats in front of the driver, and the dashboard includes a large flat screen for outside conditions, navigation and coaching information with a smaller screen on each side to project images from front and rear cameras.
The revised 2019 Murano crossover features updated exterior styling, interior refinements and available Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology. Murano first joined the Nissan lineup in 2003, early in America’s trend-setting switch from family sedans to crossover-utility vehicles. Snapping into step with other recent Nissan automotive designs, the 2019 Nissan Murano adds a larger, more prominent V-Motion grille flanked by redesigned LED headlights and new LED fog lights. The taillights are also a new design, and new 18- and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels are offered. The 2019 Nissan Murano will be offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. The only options offered are the SV Premium Package and the SL Technology Package.
Inside, the 2019 Nissan Murano receives new semi-aniline leather seats for the Platinum trim level with diamond-quilted inserts and contrasting piping for the seats, door armrests and center console lid. Murano Platinum also adds new Dark Wood-Tone interior trim while the S, SV and SL trims offer the choice of Light Wood-Tone or Metallic interior trim. The new Murano can be equipped with Nissan Safety Shield 360, a package of six active safety and assistance technologies to provide active driver assist, crash avoidance and pedestrian detection. The exclusive engine for 2019 Murano is a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 powerplant combined with an Xtronic continuously-variable transmission. Murano is offered in front-wheel drive or with an available intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The 2019 Nissan Murano is scheduled to go on sale in December 2018.
Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer founded by RJ Scaringe, debuted the Rivian R1T in Los Angeles at the Griffith Observatory on November 26 — the day before the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show media preview. A 5-passenger electric pickup truck described by the company as the world’s first electric adventure vehicle, R1T is driven by a powerful quad-motor system that delivers precise torque to each wheel. According to Rivian stats, the R1T will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds and from zero to 100 mph in less than 7 seconds, with towing capacity rated at 11,000 pounds. The Rivian R1T is built on a skateboard platform that packages all the batteries, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system below the height of the wheels for a low center of gravity and creative use of space for passengers and cargo.
The R1T’s exterior design features smooth lines; the lower body line below the doors sweeps up to wrap around the rear of the cab to accentuate the rear fender lines. The Rivian R1T features signature vertical headlights and a full-width daytime running light. A lockable gear tunnel behind the cab and below the pickup bed extends from one side of the truck to the other; the R1T also has lockable storage under the hood. Inside, the Rivian R1T uses color and materials to create a premium feel, including sustainably sourced wood with a natural finish that spans the width of the dashboard to connect the instrument cluster and the main center display. The suspension features dynamic ride control, adaptive dampers and ride-height adjustable air suspension. Deliveries of the Rivian R1T are expected to begin in late 2020.
Rivian also debuted the Rivian R1S at the Los Angeles Auto Show — a 7-occupant SUV built on the same skateboard platform as the R1T pickup. The R1S shares the front-end design and overall appearance with the R1T including the vertical headlights and the horizontal daytime running lights, but at the rear the R1S design creates room for passengers and cargo. The R1S has a liftgate and a small tailgate providing a place to sit, and the second and third row seats fold flat. Rivian has developed a rack system that telescopes and will attach to the roof of the R1S or the R1T.
Powered by the same quad-motor system as the R1T, Rivian claims the same performance numbers: the R1S will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds and from zero to 100 mph in less than 7 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. Rivian will offer a choice of three battery packs and estimates a range of 230 miles with the 105kWh battery pack, 300+ miles with the 135 kWh battery pack and 400+ miles with the 190 kWh battery pack. The batteries are designed for fast charging and approximately 200 miles of driving range can be added in 30 minutes. Deliveries of the R1S are scheduled to begin in early 2021.
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Subaru unveiled a new plug-in hybrid version of its popular small crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show — the first-ever plug-in hybrid from Subaru. The most fuel-efficient version of the Crosstrek ever, the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid features Subaru StarDrive Technology that combines two electric motors a 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer engine, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a new Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. One of the electric motors works as the engine starter motor and can be powered by the engine to function as a generator for the hybrid battery. The second electric motor powers the Crosstrek Hybrid for hybrid and electric driving modes and charges the battery during regenerative braking.
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid can travel in electric mode at up to 65 mph with a range of 17 miles on electric power alone, and has a total range of 480 miles using gasoline and electric power. The Crosstrek Hybrid is 1 second faster zero to 60 mph than the standard Crosstrek and can achieve up to 90 MPGe. A new exterior color, Lagoon Blue Pearl, is exclusive to this hybrid, which is distinguished from the standard model by blue headlight projector rings; a silver metallic finish on the grille, a lower front bumper and body cladding; and fog light accents. The roof rails and spoiler are finished in black, and the unique 18-inch wheels are black with a machine finish. Inside, Crosstrek Hybrid offers Gray and Navy Blue leather seats, door panels and armrests, with blue stitching and other blue accents in the interior.
Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ CARGO Concept
A fully-electric cargo van, the Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept made its auto show debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The I.D. BUZZ CARGO was originally shown earlier this year in Hanover, Germany, and for the Los Angeles Auto Show it is configured as a support vehicle for the I.D. R Pikes Peak record holder race car with a livery that follows the I.D. R’s colors and includes a map of the race course. Powered by a 201- horsepower (150kW) electric motor, employing a single-speed transmission and rear-wheel drive, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO can achieve up to 340 miles on a single charge when equipped with a 111 kWh battery.
Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ CARGO Concept
Unique features of I.D. BUZZ CARGO Concept include a digital cargo system, a 230V socket to power work tools, and a solar roof that can extend the daily driving range by up to 9.3 miles. I.D. Pilot mode allows fully autonomous driving, which is activated by the driver pushing on the steering wheel for a few seconds; the wheel retracts into the instrument panel. To optimize productivity, instead of two single front seats, I.D. BUZZ CARGO has a driver seat with a two-person passenger seat to the right, but the center seat can be folded down to create workspace where the driver can use an integrated laptop. Volkswagen said a production version of I.D. BUZZ CARGO could be launched as early as 2022.