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The Genesis Essentia is a Stunningly Gorgeous Electric Concept

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 21:20

If you want a luxury sedan that offers great value for your money, the midsize Genesis G80 and the larger G90 should absolutely be on your radar. And when the compact G70 finally goes on sale, we expect it to give Lexus and Infiniti dealers a serious headache. But while owners might come to appreciate Genesis’ conservative styling, nothing in the lineup stands out as especially good looking. Take one look at the Genesis Essentia concept, however, and it’s obvious you’re looking at something completely different. This thing is gorgeous.

Built to be an all-electric grand tourer, the two-door Essentia shows what Genesis designers can do when they’re allowed to really let loose. The headlights remind us of the ones we saw on the GV80 concept at last year’s New York Auto Show, and the grille is still generally shaped like the one on the G70, but if it weren’t for the Genesis name on the back, we doubt anyone would know they’re looking at a Genesis. From the sleek curves of the sheetmetal to the butterfly doors and even the copper wheels, the futuristic Essentia appears to have been designed almost entirely from scratch.

Inside, the cabin is dominated by a steering wheel and digital screen that runs the entire width of the car. Brown and blue leather cover almost every surface, with carbon fiber and aluminum used sparingly as accents. Like a lot of concepts, the interior looks futuristic, but the uncluttered design also gives it a spacious, airy feel.

Even though it offers an open, comfortable cabin and seating for four, Genesis says the electric powertrain allowed it to keep the Essentia’s hood and roofline exceptionally low. Overall height is only 50 inches. And while we don’t know any details about the motors or battery pack, Genesis estimates the Essentia could hit 60 mph in 3 seconds flat.

As young as the Genesis brand is, we don’t expect to see the Essentia go into production anytime soon, especially with a supercar-rivaling electric powertrain. But we wouldn’t be surprised if this concept previews Genesis’ design language going forward. An Essentia-inspired Genesis coupe may also hit the streets in a few years. Given how stunning this concept is, we can only hope.

Source: Genesis

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2019 Subaru Forester First Look: Ready for the CR-V and RAV4

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 19:00

The fourth-generation Forester won our SUV of the Year award when it arrived for the 2014 model year. But since then, the small crossover has started to feel a little older than competitors when it comes to technology and interior accoutrements. In a bid to take the top spot once again, the 2019 Subaru Forester receives thoughtful new features and rides on a new platform.

We recently tested a Forester with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine making 250 hp, and we were impressed with its exceptional acceleration. The speedy crossover hit 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds from a standstill. Sadly, Subaru drops this engine for the 2019 model year. The only remaining power source in the lineup is a 2.5-liter boxer-four that features direct fuel injection, higher compression, and an active valve control system on the exhaust side to delivers 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, up 12 hp and 2 lb-ft from the old version. Say goodbye to the six-speed manual, because Subaru is only offering a CVT on this Forester.

Subaru says to expect quicker acceleration from the new engine, so it’ll likely improve from a 2.5-liter model we tested hitting 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. Although official EPA numbers haven’t been released, Subaru estimates it will achieve up to 33 mpg on the highway. If that number holds up, the crossover will perform slightly better than the 2018 Forester with a 2.5-liter and a CVT, rated 32 mpg on the highway.

The 2019 Subaru Forester sits on the new Subaru Global Platform. We’ll have to test it for ourselves, but Subaru promises the new platform will improve the Forester’s ride comfort, quietness, and agility. The crossover looks about the same size as before, but its wheelbase has increased 1.2 inches. Subaru promises slightly more legroom on the new model, as well as gains in headroom, shoulder room, hip room, and cargo room. Subaru has also increased the width of the rear gate opening by 5.3 inches.

Inside the cabin, the Forester receives new front seats, a new electronic parking brake, and newly standard automatic climate control. Heated front seats are available, and now they feature three-stage control (instead of the previous model’s two settings). Touring models add heated rear seats. Other new available features include Wi-Fi and Concierge services and remote engine start with the MySubaru smartphone app. Oh yeah, and all 2019 Foresters have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment.

All Foresters come standard with EyeSight, which includes automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, adaptive cruise control, and other features. lane keep assist, and a feature that alerts the driver when the vehicle ahead has moved up in traffic after a stop. Subaru is also offering DriverFocus, an available feature that uses facial recognition software to tell if a driver is tired or distracted.

Five trim levels are available on the new Forester including base, Premium, Limited, Touring, and Sport. On the new Sport trim, look for a special grille with gloss black finished accents on the frame, black-finished 18-inch wheels and rear roof spoiler as well as and orange accents on the black underguards and roof rail mounts. Inside, gray upholstery mixes with orange stitching. Mid- to higher trim models receive standard modes for both Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud. The Forester also has “Intelligent” and “Sport” driving modes, but the Sport trim replaces the latter with “Sport Sharp.” Both Sport and Touring variants have a CVT with a seven-speed manual mode controlled by paddle shifters.

The 2019 Forester’s exterior features active grille shutters inside the grille to improve aerodynamics. Subaru also says the new model’s wider rear door openings will make it easier to put in a child seat. New colors for 2019 include Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl, and Crimson Red Pearl.

The 2019 Subaru Forester goes on sale later this year.

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2019 Kia K900 First Look: Tasteful Minimalism

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 18:15

The second-generation 2019 Kia K900 made its global debut at the 2018 New York auto show, and it sports a less coupe-like exterior design and an interior that’s restrained yet tasteful.

Designed as a collaborative effort between Kia’s Korean and U.S. design studios, the 2019 K900 is longer than its predecessor and features unique design cues such as a tiger nose grille featuring 176 jewel-like cells that create a ripple effect. Its headlights and taillights sport a new duplex pattern to give it more presence and to show off its wide stance. Chrome trim around the exhaust tips, windows, grille, and above the side skirts complement the standard 19-inch alloy wheels, which are also finished in a bright chrome look.

Inside the 2019 K900 features a minimalist cabin with a large floating 12.3-inch touchscreen as its centerpiece. Leather upholstery comes standard and you can upgrade to higher quality Nappa leather. Available interior colors include black, beige, Espresso Brown, and two-tone Sienna Brown, and they’re complemented with one of four types of open pore matte wood trim. Heated and ventilated front seats come standard with the driver’s side featuring 20-way adjustability while the passenger has 12. You can also option for heated and ventilated rear seats with 12- and 14-way adjustability for the driver and passenger’s side respectively. Additionally, the 2019 K900 is also available with multi-zone climate controls that allow rear passengers to set their own temperature.

Kia’s UVO infotainment system comes standard with navigation and a new UVO Luxe app specific to the 2019 K900 that allows owners to remotely start, change the temperature, and locate their car from a mobile device. Instead of a traditional gauge cluster, the K900 comes with a customizable 12.3-inch instrument cluster display and can be paired with the optional 9.7-inch head-up display. A 17-speaker Harman Kardon/Lexicon audio system will also be available and it features selectable modes including Stereo, On Stage, and Audience. The 2019 K900 will also feature an ambient lighting system that has a choice of 64 colors with seven special ones made in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute.

A full suite of active driver assistance features will be offered on the 2019 Kia K900 including lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and driver attention warning. Rear automatic emergency braking, lane follow assist, and safe exit assist are new additions to Kia’s advanced driver assistance suite. The car’s blind spot warning system has been enhanced with blind spot view monitor that shows you what’s in your left or right blind spot. A 360-degree camera system will also be available.

Powering the 2019 K900 is a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque paired to a second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive with torque vectoring comes standard on the K900 and can send up to 50 percent of torque to the front wheels in Normal model. In Sport mode, the system is rear-biased and sends 80 percent of torque to the rear wheels. The 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 and rear-wheel drive will no longer be offered on the K900.

Development of the second generation 2019 Kia K900 was done under the direction of Albert Biermann, president of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development for the entire Hyundai Motor Group. Biermann says the aim for the 2019 K900 was to achieve what he calls “confident comfort,” which is to focus on a comfortable ride while preserving drivability and steering precision. Compared to its predecessor, the 2019 K900 has a strengthened chassis with improved rigidity and superior front and rear lateral stiffness thanks to 676 feet of structural adhesives, up from to 279 feet in the outgoing model. Torsional stiffness has been improved by 33 percent, which should make the 2019 K900 feel more planted and solid on the road.

Kia improved aerodynamics on the K900 by using full underbody panels, air curtains on the wheel wells, and an active air flap to smooth out air flow, resulting in a 0.27 drag coefficient. Additional sound deadening material and an acoustic film on the windshield and front side mirrors help improve NVH. For improved handling, the suspension has been redesigned with a new front geometry to tighten the K900’s turn-ins and improve stability.

An electronically controlled suspension system will be available in the 2019 K900 and it helps reduce chassis movement and wheel load variations. Wheel acceleration sensors help detect imperfections and can modulate the car’s suspension according to the road surface. Brake Control and Brake Fade Compensation will automatically increase hydraulic pressure in the braking system as rotor temperatures increase so that the pedal feel stays consistent. A brake drying feature has also been added to prevent water build up on the braking system by periodically applying the brakes; however, the driver should not be able to detect when this occurs.

Kia will build the 2019 K900 alongside the Stinger in its Sohari manufacturing facility in Korea. The car will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018.

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2019 Kia Sedona Gets an Updated Look, New Transmission

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 18:15

After winning our 2015 minivan Big Test, the redesigned Kia Sedona intrigued us enough to earn a spot in our long-term fleet. Fourteen months later, we came away impressed by the Korean minivan’s combination of versatility, comfort, and durability. But as crossovers continue growing in popularity, it’s getting even more difficult to convince minivan buyers to consider something other than a Chrysler Pacifica or Toyota Sienna. To stay competitive, Kia has revealed an updated Sedona for 2019.

Both the front and the rear have been restyled to give the Sedona a more modern, aggressive look. Kia also added new wheel options and a power sliding door button for added convenience on EX, SX, and SX-L models. Inside, the instrument cluster and center console both get a new look, the floor console gets a wireless charger and a sunglasses holder, and top trims get an electronic parking brake. To keep rear passengers occupied, the entertainment system has been updated, now offering two 10.1-inch touchscreens with smartphone-mirroring capabilities.

On the safety front, Kia expects the Sedona to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick + designation. That’s thanks to the addition of several driver assistance features such as forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Under the hood, the Sedona has dropped its six-speed automatic transmission in favor of an eight-speed unit. Kia says it’s smoother and more fuel efficient than the outgoing transmission, but it’s not clear how much of an improvement you’ll actually see. The EPA rates the 2019 Sedona at 18/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined, but the 2018 Sedona SX is rated slightly better at 18/25/21 mpg.

Expect more information closer to the 2019 Kia Sedona’s on-sale date.

Source: Kia

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2019 Kia Optima Adds Even More Standard Safety Features

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 18:15

The current Kia Optima might not be as much of a game changer as the 2011 Optima was, but with a long warranty and an impressive list of features, it’s still a solid value. Unfortunately, due to declining sedan sales and stronger competition from Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, the Optima has struggled to compete. In an attempt to correct that, Kia updated the Optima for 2019, tweaking the design and adding even more safety features.

As you can see, Kia hasn’t done too much with the Optima’s appearance. Base models get new LED running lights, a slightly different grille, and new 16-inch wheels, while higher trims add similar lighting, wheel, and other exterior updates. EX, SX, and SX-L models now get standard adaptive cruise control and some minor interior upgrades. The SX can also now be ordered with optional red and black leather sports seats. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still standard.

The biggest upgrade for 2019, however, is to the list of standard safety features. A driver assistance package is now included on every Optima, offering a driver attention monitor, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. The lane keep assist sounds fairly basic, so don’t expect it to keep the car centered in its lane on the highway, but for a package of standard safety features, it’s still impressive.

Kia hasn’t said when the 2019 Optima will go on sale or how pricing will change, but expect that to be announced soon.

Source: Kia

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