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2018 Detroit auto show round-up

Detroit, MI – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit truly kicks off the year's auto festivities. There's so much history, pride and production that has taken place in the 'Motor City' over the years, that it's one of the shows not to miss.

For 2018, a few off-site reveals lightened the media days of the show, but there was still plenty to see, and most of the buzz came down to American-made trucks. The big American three showed off plenty of muscle with major pickup reveals and that was complemented by a plethora of various production SUVs and sedans that will be hitting the market at some point this year.

Here's a small glimpse of what was shown off at this year's auto show in Detroit.

Pickup trucks

We start at pickups as they are the true volume sellers for Chevrolet, Ford and Ram, and neither of the big three were holding back in Detroit.

Chevrolet and Ram came to the show with all-new full-size pickups in the Silverado and Ram 1500. Ford on the other hand, talked a bit about an upcoming hybrid powertrain and addition of a diesel to its top-selling F-150, but re-entered the mid-size space at the show with the North American rebirth of the Ranger.

Let's start with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. It comes with six different engine/transmission combinations featuring a new 5.3-litre and 6.2-litre V8 engines that come with an industry-first Dynamic Fuel Management system that shuts off a certain amount of cylinders for better fuel efficiency. In addition, a new inline-six turbo-diesel enters the fray paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The fuel-efficient message was clear in the new Silverado highlighted by the loss of 450 lbs. from its outgoing model.

As for the 2019 Ram 1500, it too takes on a fuel-efficient tone with its 3.7-litre Pentastar V6 and 5.7-litre Hemi V8, both utilizing a 48-volt eTorque mild-hybrid system with stop-start technology. Having that hybrid system in place boost torque numbers to 90 lb-ft more in the V6 and 130 in the V8.

The 2019 Ford Ranger was teased at last year's NAIAS, so it was only fitting to come back for its production reveal. The new version gets upsized in order to compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. It's now re-entering a segment with slight growth and an opportunity for Ford to capitalize. Powering the new Ranger is a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbo-four matched to a class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission with full numbers to be released shortly.


For the most part, the crossover/SUV reveals were dominated by the luxury automakers.

Starting off with Acura, the luxury wing of Honda showed off one of its core vehicles, the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype. No longer does it resemble its mainstream brand with an exclusive all-new platform that takes on many stylings from the Precision Concept and Precision Cockpit shown off at previous auto shows. Its exterior is more bold and daring with cutting edge lines and a tight, more sleek grille. On the inside, a floating 10.2-inch display sets a clean and tech-centred tone that includes a new touchpad interface and operating system. It's powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder matched to a class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission.

Other big reveals were the 2018 BMW X2, 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept. Starting off with the BMW X2, the compact crossover will fill the only gap in BMW's X-division when it comes out in the spring. The G-Class gets fully re-done for the first time, even though it slightly resembles the same boxy, military-inspired look we've always loved with a lighter and tech-driven feel featuring a dual 12.3-inch widescreen display and driver safety assist systems. Rounding out the trio is the one crossover concept from Lexus. The LF-1 Limitless is one of the more beautiful vehicles at the show displaying the futuristic design language of the brand with a new take on its large spindle grille complemented by thin and sleek LED lights. In addition, fully autonomous features in 'Chauffeur Mode' allow the crossover to take over control of the vehicle.


There was a time when sedans would kick this list off, but times are changing. The biggest splash came from a muscle car in the Ford Mustang GT. But it wasn't any GT, it was the limited edition 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt, inspired by the 1968 classic movie starring Steve McQueen that came out 50 years ago. The Dark Highland Green colour featured in the movie was on display (it also comes in Shadow Black) and it can only be had with a six-speed manual gearbox with a white cue-ball shifter. Other features include a big dual exhaust, black five spokes and a Bullitt gas cap instead of any Ford badging. Under the hood is a 5.0-litre V8 that ups power to 475 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.

The other more practical sedan choices were the 2019 Kia Forte and 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. The Forte and Jetta both increase in size and add some necessary design flair that had been lacking in both. The Forte takes on more of a coupe-like finish; while the Jetta, now in its seventh-generation, adopts more pronounced, sharper cues for that sportier touch.

  • Published in News

Toyota sets the bar high for new Camry


Detroit, MI - The Toyota Camry is on a roll, as the best-selling passenger car in the United States and the best-selling mid-size sedan in Canada. At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the upcoming 2018 got a whole lot better.

The new version was highly anticipated thanks to Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA) that will transform not only the Camry, but many of its other vehicles with a new dynamic, athletic and wide stance – a refreshing change away from its more conservative styling. The new construction increases the wheelbase by two-inches, as well as over an inch in the hood and roofline.

In developing the next-generation Toyota Camry, we were able to start with a clean slate, which allowed us to create a true driver’s car,” said Masato Katsumata, the Chief Engineer of the new Toyota Camry.

Under the hood will be three options: a new 2.5-litre inline-four, a retuned 3.5-litre V-6 and a hybrid version that will utilize that 2.5-litre unit along with its own electrification system. The two gas versions will be matched to a new eight-speed automatic transmission; while the hybrid will be connected to a continuously variable transmission that has a Sport Mode for quicker gear shifting when needed. Numbers haven't been released yet for the powertrains, but Toyota claims that the new engine will have higher torque, power and reduced fuel economy. In addition, the chassis will possess increased handling skills that can even be found on the hybrid, as the battery pack has moved from the trunk to below the rear seat.

As far as looks go, the Camry features a two-piece grille that works well with its lowered hood design. The whole package comes off as sleek throughout with sharp lines in the body to add to its character.

On the inside, the Camry will have Toyota's Human Machine Interface with the latest technologies added. Three interlinked displays will show off the upgraded look with a 10-inch colour Head-Up Display, a 7-inch multi-information display that's capped off by an 8-inch infotainment screen.

Not lost on the Camry is Toyota's Safety Sense P that comes standard. This suite of safety technologies enhances the value of the mid-size sedan that includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Automatic High Beams. Other optional features include Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The 2018 aggressively-styled Toyota Camry is expected to arrive in showrooms in late 2017.




Nissan Qashqai to arrive in Canada in the spring

Windsor, ON – The Nissan Qashqai compact crossover was revealed as the latest addition to the Nissan roster in an exclusive unveiling at the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association in Windsor, Ontario. The reveal occurred a day before the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and Nissan Canada couldn't have been happier to finally let the cat out of the bag. 

“We're convinced it [The Qashqai] will be a game changer in the compact segment,” explains Christian Meunier, Senior Vice President, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America and Chairman of Nissan Canada. 

Meunier was on-hand with the current Nissan Canada president Joni Paiva to tell the journey of the Qashqai finally being approved for both the Canadian and American markets. In the United States, the Qashqai will be known as the Rogue Sport, but will essentially be the same vehicle slotting in-between the Juke and Rogue crossovers. 

The Qashqai may be new to North America, but it has been around since 2007 where it quickly has risen to be one of Europe's best-selling SUV/crossover vehicles. Now, with the compact crossover segment being the fastest growing in sales, it only makes sense for Nissan Canada to add another vehicle for consumers, and as its president Paiva explains, “fill the void in the market.”

Compared to the Rogue, the Qashqai sits 2.3-inches shorter in wheelbase and 12.1-inches shorter in overall length. It has similar stylings to the rest of the Nissan crossover/SUV lineup featuring the signature V-shaped grille, swept-back headlights and boomerang-shaped taillights. 

In the second row, versatility and functionality becomes apparent with a maximum cargo capacity of 1,730 litres when the second row is folded fully flat. Those seats can also be configured to hold one passenger in the back and drop only one side in a 60/40 split. Trunk cargo space sits at 648 litres, more than enough to fit luggage for a family vacation. 


Under the hood is only one offering: a 2.0-litre inline-four that produces 141 hp and 147 lb.-ft. of torque matched to either a six-speed manual transmission (only available in the base S trim) or the Xtronic continuously variable transmission. All-wheel-drive is available with front-wheel-drive being standard. 

For Canada, there are a couple of unique features that include the aforementioned manual tranny that won't be found south of the border. In addition, heated front seats are standard, while a heated steering wheel and remote control start functions are available.

The 2017 Nissan Qashqai is expected to be released in Spring 2017 and will immediately compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trax, Hyundai Tucson and Subaru Crosstrek.


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