Guessing which vehicles will take home the annual North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards is easier some years than others, but most industry experts had 2020’s crop of winners chosen…
Guessing which vehicles will take home the annual North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards is easier some years than others, but most industry experts had 2020’s crop of winners chosen long before this week’s announcement.
The actual name of the award is the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) despite now having three categories covering passenger cars, a sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
Just 50 automotive journalists make up the NACTOY jury, from print, online, radio and broadcast media in both the United States and Canada, with the finalists presented in the fall and eventual winners awarded each year at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, although this year’s presentation was changed to a separate event at Detroit’s TCF Center (formerly known as Cobo Hall/Cobo Center) due to the 2020 NAIAS moving its dates forward to June 7-20 this year. The NACTOY awards were first presented in 1994, with the Utility Vehicle category added in 2017.
Of note, nomination requirements include completely new vehicles, total redesigns, or significant refreshes. In other words, the nominated vehicle needs to be something most consumers would consider new to the market or substantially different from a model’s predecessor. Also important, the finalists earned their top-three placement by judging their segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for money.
The selection process started in June last year, with the vehicle eligibility determined after three rounds of voting. NACTOY used the independent accounting firm Deloitte LLP to tally the votes and kept them secret until the envelopes were unsealed on stage by the organization’s President, Lauren Fix, Vice President, Chris Paukert, and Secretary-Treasurer, Kirk Bell.
The finalists in the “Car” category included the Chevrolet Corvette, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Supra, with the final winner being the new seventh-generation mid-engine Corvette, a total game changer for the model and sports car category. Interestingly, it’s been six years since a sports car won the passenger car category, so kudos to Chevy for creating something so spectacular it couldn’t be ignored, while Toyota and Hyundai should also be commended for their excellent entries.
“A mid-engine Corvette was a huge risk for Chevy’s muscle-car icon. They nailed it. Stunning styling, interior, and performance for one-third of the cost of comparable European exotics,” said Henry Payne, auto critic for The Detroit News.
The “Utility Vehicle” finalists included the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride and Lincoln Aviator, with most industry insiders believing one of the two South Korean entries (which are basically the same vehicle under the skin, a la Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia) would take home the prize, and lo and behold the Kia Telluride earned top marks.
“The Telluride’s interior layout and design would meet luxury SUV standards, while its refined drivetrain, confident driving dynamics and advanced technology maintain the premium experience,” said Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher at Cox Automotive. “Traditional SUV brands take note: there’s a new star player on the field.”
“What’s not to like about a pickup truck with not only a soft-top removable roof but even removable doors? If you want massive cargo-hauling capability or the ability to tow 10,000 pounds, buy something else,” said longtime automotive journalist John Voelcker. “The eagerly awaited Gladiator is a one-of-a-kind truck, every bit the Jeep its Wrangler sibling is … but with a pickup bed. How could you possibly get more American than that?”
Of note, NACTOY is an independent, non-profit organization, with elected officers and funding by dues-paying journalist members.
Find out more about the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, 2020 Kia Telluride and 2020 Jeep Gladiator at CarCostCanada, where you can get trim, package and individual option pricing, plus rebate info and even dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. While the Corvette is not yet available, you can get up to $1,000 in additional incentives on the new Telluride, and factory leasing and financing rates from 4.09 percent for the new Gladiator. Make sure to check CarCostCanada for more.
Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury division, just revealed new images of an all-new premium crossover SUV designed to go up against the Lexus RX, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and other mid-size luxury utilities,…
Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury division, just revealed new images of an all-new premium crossover SUV designed to go up against the Lexus RX, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and other mid-size luxury utilities, and by first glance it certainly looks up to the task.
The GV80, as it will be called when it goes on sale globally later this year, wears a bigger, bolder modified version of Genesis’ new five-sided grille introduced to a production model on the brand’s redesigned 2020 G90 flagship sedan, plus it carries a number of other styling cues from that full-size four-door including horizontal LED-enhanced Quad Lamp headlights and wraparound tail lamps, as well as side vents on the front fenders. The basic design was formed from the GV80 Concept that launched at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, but we have to say it looks much better in production trim than prototype.
“GV80 allows us to expand our definition of Athletic Elegance design language to a new typology, while retaining sublime proportionality and sophistication of form,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President, Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
Genesis calls its design language Athletic Elegance, and while this descriptor comes off as a bit generic the SUV’s overall presence is anything but. Its grille is reminiscent of Cadillac, however, only lacking a big crested-wreath shield in the middle, which might put it at odds with the General and American patriots that feel an allegiance to their domestic luxury marque. Genesis even unabashedly names the GV80’s foremost feature the “Crest Grille” and claims it as a “signature Genesis design element,” but in fairness a lot of brands have tried to put their own spin on this type of pentagonal grille design in the past, including Acura and Honda. No one should argue against any other GV80 design element or its overall look, and to that end Genesis would probably rather have us focusing on its trademark headlamps.
“The Quad Lamp, our design signature, introduces an unmistakable visual impression completely unique to Genesis,” said Sang Yup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Genesis Design. They feature a “G-Matrix pattern” that was “inspired by beautiful orchids seen when diamonds are illuminated by light,” said the brand in a press release, mentioning the wheel design was similarly inspired.
Most everyone who’s entered a new Genesis product has been impressed by its quality of workmanship, and the GV80 should be no exception. The brand says its new SUV “focuses on the beauty of open space, characteristic of the elegant South Korean architectural aesthetic,” and we’re just glad the brand’s designers weren’t inspired by K-Pop fashion. In all seriousness the new GV80 does provide a beautiful interior design, once again reminiscent of the elegant, well-built 2020 G90 cabin, although its instrument panel more traditional with an arcing gauge cluster hood and more conventional fixed tablet-style infotainment display atop the centre dash, although the horizontal theme continues with strong, steady lines made from a slim set of air vents ahead of the front passenger, a well sorted touchscreen climate control interface atop a gently sloping centre console, and more. A “jewel-like” rotating dial appears to be the modus operandi for selecting gears, making for a cleaner, more sophisticated look, while rich hardwoods, leathers and aluminized metals appear at least on par with its competition.
The GV80 rides on an all-new rear-wheel drive chassis and will be available with either rear- or optional all-wheel drivetrains in the U.S., although it will likely only come with AWD in the Canadian market. If the new SUV drives similarly to other Genesis products, it should be a formidable performer as well as a commendable luxury ride, balancing sport and comfort similarly to Mercedes and Audi.
The GV80 is a mid-size model capable of seating seven occupants in three rows, although it will also be offered as a two-row five-seat SUV. True to the “V” in its name, which stands for “versatility”, we should expect competitive passenger space and a roomy cargo area.
The Hyundai Motor Group made a bold move to enter a completely new brand into an already full luxury marketplace back in late 2016, and it hasn’t exactly been easy going. Its initial two car lineup, made up of the G80 mid-size sedan (previously the Hyundai Genesis Sedan) and G90 full-size sedan (Hyundai Equus), since augmented with the G70 compact luxury sedan in 2018, has made impressive headway on the sales charts yet still lags well behind luxury leaders. This was no doubt planned for, as were initially slower sales due to its passenger car lineup, which means the brand has a lot riding on its first SUV. The GV80 could potentially outsell all other Genesis models combined if the histories of rival brands are repeated, which could point the upstart Korean luxury marque on the road to success.
Porsche introduced its exciting new 718 T trim line to the European market last year, and now it’s time for Canadian sports car enthusiasts to benefit from these lighter weight, better handling new…
Porsche introduced its exciting new 718 T trim line to the European market last year, and now it’s time for Canadian sports car enthusiasts to benefit from these lighter weight, better handling new models.
Starting at $74,400 for the 718 Cayman T and $76,800 for the 718 Boxster T, which is an increase of $10,700 over their respective base models, the new entries slot in just above the base models and below the 718 Cayman S and 718 Boxster S. The well-rounded 718 lineup also includes even sportier GTS trim, while the Cayman can be had in track-ready GT4 form, and the Boxster can be upgraded to the sensational Spyder.
While not as powerful as some of the other trims, Porsche is promising less of what you don’t want and more of what you do, or in other words those looking for more performance features in a car that costs less than a GTS will probably like what the Stuttgart-based premium brand has in store.
Powered solely by the base 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine, which puts out a strong 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, the T designation adds a short-throw shifter, a mechanically locking differential, and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) to six-speed manual cars, or alternatively the Sport Chrono Package comes standard with seven-speed dual-clutch automated PDK models, the latter resulting in a 0.2-second whack to the backside off the line from a car that’s already 0.2 seconds quicker than the DIY gearbox.
The Sport Chrono Package also includes Launch Control and a “push-to-pass” style Sport Response button in the centre of the steering wheel-mounted driving mode switch, making this transmission the best option for those purely focused on performance.
Porsche created the 718 T for “driving pleasure in its purest form” as stated in its January 7, 2020 press release, however, adding that “T stands for ‘Touring’ in Porsche models” and therefore “the 718 T will be most at home on winding country roads,” so therefore you may want to satisfy your soul with the traditional six-speed manual even if it’s not quite as quick off the line.
The new 2020 718 Cayman T and 718 Boxster T pull off the same straight-line acceleration times as the already quick entry-level Boxster and Cayman siblings, with standstill to 100 km/h arriving at just 5.1 seconds apiece, while PDK-equipped cars manage the feat in just 4.9 to 4.7 seconds, just like the base 718 models. Likewise, both T cars’ top track speeds are identical to their base counterparts at 275 km/h.
Bigger changes to 718 T models affect handling and control, thanks to standard Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts (PADM) that incorporate dynamic hard and soft gearbox mounts for reduced vibration and improved performance, plus a sport exhaust system, special high-gloss titanium grey-painted 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, and lastly a first for the base turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) electronic damping system that, depending on the Normal, Sport, Sport Plus or Individual driving mode selected, instantly adjusts for road surface conditions and changes to driving style. Everything just listed sits on a 20-millimetre lower ride height, resulting in a reduced centre of gravity and thus better control all around.
Making the new models stand out visually, Porsche adds a grey side striping package with “718 Cayman T” or “718 Boxster T” script, while the mirror caps are painted Agate grey to match the just-noted wheels, and twin black chrome tailpipes poke out from the back.
Moving to the inside, the new 718 T models include a GT sport steering wheel, scripted “Cayman T” or “Boxster T” logos highlighting the black instrument dials, gloss black instrument panel inlays and centre console trim, red paint for the gear shift pattern atop the shift knob, two-way powered seats, seat upholstery featuring black Sport-Tex centre sections, embroidered “718” logos on the headrests, plus the most identifiable addition of all, black mesh fabric door pulls in place of the usual inner door handles, which can be changed for optional coloured pulls as shown in the photos.
When you’re checking over those photos you may also notice something missing from both cars’ instrument panels, their Porsche Communication Management (PCM) touchscreens that were removed to reduce weight, and replaced by a large storage compartment. When your 718 T arrives this summer you it won’t have this glaring omission due to a regulation that made reverse cameras mandatory as of May 2018, so expect the same high-resolution infotainment display and full assortment of leading-edge features as found in the current 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster.
The two new T models will be available in a variety of colours to allow for plenty of personalization, including Black, Guards Red, Racing Yellow, and White exterior base coatings, optional Carrara White, Jet Black and GT Silver metallic paints, and finally Lava Orange and Miami Blue special colours.
To learn more or order one for yourself, contact your local Porsche retailer.
Also, be sure to watch the videos below to witness the new 2020 718 Cayman T and 718 Boxster T in action:
The new Porsche 718 Boxster T and 718 Cayman T. Welcome to life. (1:17):
The new Porsche 718 Boxster T and 718 Cayman T. First Driving Footage. (1:49):
JP Performance Test Drive: The Porsche 718 T Models. (1:08):
Porsche has been an automotive innovator since inception, and continues to show plenty of creativity with each passing year. After decades of four- and six-cylinder, horizontally opposed, rear-engine…
Porsche has been an automotive innovator since inception, and continues to show plenty of creativity with each passing year.
After decades of four- and six-cylinder, horizontally opposed, rear-engine sports cars, plus front-engine, rear-drive, inline-four- and V8-powered GTs, Porsche became the first dedicated sports car maker to introduce a volume production sport utility in 2003, with that wholly successful Cayenne followed up by the smaller Macan in 2014.
The Macan has become Porsche’s global sales leader with 86,031 units delivered last year compared to the Cayenne’s 71,458 deliveries, these two models making up the bulk of the Stuttgart, Germany automaker’s best-ever 256,255 worldwide sales (next in line was the Panamera with 38,443 sales after ultra-strong 38-percent year-over-year growth, while 911 deliveries grew to 35,573 units sold. The remaining 24,750 unit sales came from Porsche’s entry-level mid-engine 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster sports cars, while the new all-electric Taycan four-door coupe, plus a completely redesigned range of 911 models and the new Macan should help boost sales for calendar year 2020.
Porsche’s new 2019 Macan went into production in August of 2018 and became available in base and S trims toward the end of that year, the entry model sporting 248 horsepower and the S making 100 horsepower more for a total of 348 (see Refreshed 2019 Porsche Macan S to receive new 348-hp single-turbo V6). Just as the carryover 2020 Macan was hitting dealer showrooms this fall a new 440-horsepower 2020 Macan Turbo was introduced (see New 440 hp 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo faster than ever), this model slated to arrive early next year (2020). Of course, anyone who follows things Porsche will know which trim comes next, and so, just like clockwork, the Macan is now available to order as a 2021 GTS (check out CarCostCanada for up-to-date 2019 and 2020 Macan trim, package and option prices, plus manufacturing rebate info, factory financing deals, and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands).
For $77,100 (plus freight and fees), which is exactly $4,000 more than the last GTS sold for back in model year 2017, the new 2021 Macan GTS slots in between mid-range S and top-tier Turbo trims, albeit with its own even sportier flavour. Engine output is up by 15 horsepower over the previous model, and its new 261-km/h top speed is commensurately 5 km/h faster.
A 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 makes an energetic 375 horsepower plus 383 lb-ft of torque, ahead of sending it to all four wheels via a seven-speed automated dual-clutch transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles. Zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.9 seconds, or 4.7 seconds with the available Sport Chrono package, which makes it 0.3 seconds quicker than the previous Macan GTS was off the line. Standard sport exhaust reportedly makes the Macan GTS sound just as good as it drives.
Just like the original GTS, the new version has been lowered by 15 millimetres to improve handling, while its standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping control system was specially tuned for heightened performance all around. High-speed control can be further improved by opting for an adaptive air suspension that drops the GTS by an additional 10 mm.
Standard red brake calipers bite into 360 by 36 mm front and 330 by 22 mm rear cast iron rotors, but braking performance can be improved yet further with the Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) upgrade that features a tungsten carbide coating, while the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) option is also available.
Without detailing out all the 2019 Macan styling changes that were covered in a previous story (see Porsche refreshes its best-selling Macan for 2019), some highlights including standard LED headlamps as well as Porsche’s now trademark LED light bar-infused three-dimensional taillights, the new Macan GTS incorporates darkened lenses front and back, plus adds an exterior Sport Design package that includes a revised front fascia with new grille inserts, and a completely redesigned lower front section, while changes moving rearward include special body-coloured side sill extensions below thick matte-grey/black side trim sections featuring “GTS” script. Porsche adds more body-colour paint to the lower rear bumper, while high-gloss black accents are added elsewhere from nose to tail. Lastly, satin-gloss black-painted 20-inch RS Spyder Design alloy rims frame the sporty red brake calipers noted a moment ago.
Porsche continues the GTS’ sporty red theme inside where the primary gauge cluster includes a red facing for its centre-mounted tachometer, totally setting it apart from any other Macan model and anything within the compact luxury SUV segment, while Carmine Red or Chalk stitching can be added to spice up the dash, door panels and seats.
Those eight-way adjustable sport seats are upholstered with leather bolsters and grippy suede-like Alcantara inserts, all four of embroidered with GTS logos on their headrests. Alcantara covers the door panel inserts too, as well as the side and centre armrests, not to mention the roofliner and pillars, while genuine brushed aluminum accents brighten up key areas around the interior, the exclusive GTS steering wheel a particularly good example of metal craftsmanship.
The 2021 Macan GTS is now available to order from your local Porsche retailer, with deliveries expected to arrive during the summer of 2020.
Until we see get to test one for ourselves or even see this impressive new Macan on the street, enjoy this video provided by Porsche:
The new Macan GTS. More of what you love. (1:34):
We’ve long known Aston Martin would eventually provide ultra-luxury SUV buyers with something to step up to, and thankfully the production-ready 2021 DBX simultaneously introduced at the Los Angeles…
We’ve long known Aston Martin would eventually provide ultra-luxury SUV buyers with something to step up to, and thankfully the production-ready 2021 DBX simultaneously introduced at the Los Angeles and Guangzhou International auto shows last week (after a special private VIP preview during the 2019 U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas earlier this month) is much better looking than the storied British luxury marque’s Lagonda Concept from the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
To be fair, Dr. Ulrich Bez and his team were way ahead of their time with that early concept, and in retrospect its blocky frontal styling and angular LED headlamps would’ve aged reasonably well, although the ‘30s-era Lagonda de Ville Saloon-inspired narrow, near-vertical rear window and curved notchback trunklet would’ve remained controversial to this day, whereas current CEO Andy Palmer and his crew (with Bez still looking over his shoulder as nonexecutive chairman) made sure the new DBX looks appealing from front to back.
In fact, the DBX’ rear three-quarter view is quite possibly its best angle, while the front design might actually incorporate more classic Aston Martin styling cues than any other current model, or at least more than the avant garde Vantage and outrageous Valkyrie supercar. Ironically it’s the body-wide Vantage-like LED taillight treatment that helps highlight the DBX’ shapely backside, whereas the frontal design is more reminiscent of today’s DB11. Most importantly, the majority of premium crossover SUV shoppers should find the new DBX enticing.
Aston Martin spent five long years developing the crossover you’re looking at, but so far the time well spent has not resulted in electrification. An “E” version, along the lines of the Rapide E, is likely in the works, and was the claimed power source for the original 2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept coupe as well as the 2019 Lagonda All-Terrain Concept that wowed Geneva motor show goers back in March of this year (which was heavily inspired by the Lagonda Vision Concept introduced one year prior), the former an elevated, bulked up two-door coupe that looked nothing like today’s production version, and the latter an ultra-sleek crossover that makes us wonder if Aston is considering making Lagonda its dedicated electric brand in similar fashion to how Volvo is positioning its new Polestar division, but nonetheless we’re treated to a more potent version of the AMG-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that’s found in the aforementioned Vantage and the larger 2+2 DB11.
In DBX form the V8 puts out a substantive 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which is 39 more horsepower and 11 lb-ft of additional torque over both sports cars, yet its greater size and mass make it a tad slower off the line at 4.5 seconds from standstill to 100km/h, compared to 3.6 and 4.2 seconds respectively for the Vantage and DB11, while its top speed is 291 km/h (181 mph) compared 314 km/h (195 mph) and 322 km/h (200 mph), which is still mighty respectable for an SUV.
Aston uses a nine-speed automatic for the DBX, up one gear from both Vantage and DB11 models, while its standard Pirelli P Zeros (or optional Pirelli Scorpion Zeros or Scorpion Winters) grip tarmac (or gravel, sand, mud and snow) via standard all-wheel drive that apportions torque through electronically controlled centre and rear differentials defaulting from a 47/53 torque-split to nearly 100 percent powering the rear wheels. The rear differential joins brake-based torque vectoring to improve high-speed handling, while hill descent control aids with steep inclines, and 16-inch rotors bound by six-piston front calipers provide stopping power, important for this 2,241-kg (4,940-pound) utility.
While that might sound like a lot of weight for an Aston Martin, it’s certainly not much for a mid-size five-passenger luxury crossover SUV, the Gaydon, UK-based automaker choosing to use its extensive experience with alloys to create a wholly new bonded aluminum platform architecture. An adaptive air suspension supported by a 48-volt anti-roll system makes sure the DBX stays flat during hard charging, enhanced by six driving modes including Sport and Sport+ settings, while its standard 198 millimetres (7.8 inches) of ground clearance can be raised by 46 mm (1.8 inches) for clearing obstacles when off-road, this improved upon via Terrain and Terrain+ modes. Speaking of heading off-pavement, the new DBX is also capable of wading through 500 mm (19.7 inches) of water.
Alternatively the suspension can be lowered by about two inches to allow for an easier lift height to its 631-litre (22.3 cubic-foot) dedicated cargo hold, which can be extended via optimally divided 40/20/40 rear seatbacks to accommodate up to 1,529 litres (54 cubic feet) of life’s gear, making the DBX by far the most practical model the brand has ever produced.
While practical, it’s hardly short on luxury. The exquisite Bridge of Weir leather is painstakingly stitched together and looks the part, requiring a total of 200 hours per car. Aston chose its DB11 for front seat inspiration, carving out their backsides for more second-row knee space, and while the brand’s marketing team included a shot of the front seatbacks as seen from the rear compartment (see this image and every other photo Aston Martin provided in our comprehensive photo gallery above) it’s unfathomable to comprehend how they forgot to shoot a single photo or any video footage of the rear seating area, although from photos in Aston’s online Lifestyle Store and Accessories catalogue we were able to learn the rear seat is a three-person bench. If this wasn’t bad enough, an even a bigger oversight for a production SUV is the lack of cargo compartment photography or video, at least without dogs and/or bespoke luggage blocking the view.
The branded bags and puppy peripherals are joined by plenty of other upscale items, including small accessories like a leather key pouch, a leather umbrella strap, and a leather centre console organizer, plus bigger “Halo” upgrades like event seating (that adds a rear-facing third row for tailgate parties), a leather upholstered hamper, or a similarly finished field sports cabinet.
The DBX accessories list also includes less pricey items such as customized saddle bags that attach to the folding second-row centre armrest, rear outboard “comfort” leather headrest pads, a black leather child safety seat (that may be available in tan leather too), a heated ski boot bag, adjustable roof rail cross-members, lockable roof-mounted storage, top-mounted and rear-mounted bike racks, a leather and fabric flip-out rear bumper protector (designed so dogs won’t scratch up the rear bumper while jumping onboard), a dog partition, a dog washer (complete with a hose), and a roll-up leather and grey cloth doggy bed for two, albeit thus far no puppies are being offered.
Some standard features include 22-inch alloy wheels, frameless windows, separate armrests for front occupants, ambient interior lighting with the choice of 64 different colours, and a large panoramic glass sunroof that adds an airy ambience overhead, while if you’re concerned Aston’s beautiful handiwork might fade from too much overhead light, a sunshade can be powered forward to darken the mood, this available in Alcantara to match an equally suede-like optional headliner.
High-grade leathers and Alcantara are hardly unusual finds in an ultra-premium vehicle, let alone many lesser brands’ products, but Aston provides plenty of unique alternative interior options that just might appeal even more, such as an unusual 20-percent synthetic and 80-percent Australian lambs wool upholstery material, which Aston calls a “luxurious felt-like fabric.”
Other options include leather upholstery brogue detailing, quilting, perforations and colour splits, plus plenty of available veneers. If you want something even more bespoke, Aston’s “Q” customizing shop will fit you up just like 007 (the DBX will reportedly make an appearance as James’ — Daniel Craig — family car in the 25th Bond film, “No Time To Die”).
Back to features that will likely matter more to most, the DBX will come standard with a 12.3-inch high-definition TFT digital instrument cluster, while the centre infotainment display is an equally bright and clear 10.25-inch screen, Aston choosing to fit it within the centre stack rather than standing upright on top as so many rivals do. It only includes standard Apple CarPlay, however, which means the majority of smartphone users that use Android devices will need to rely on the system’s standard interface, while a 360-degree surround parking camera will improve safety, as will adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and more.
All of this ultra-luxe goodness doesn’t come cheap, the DBX available in Canada from $218,400 plus freight and fees, which puts it right where it needs to be from a pricing standpoint (out of reach from the masses yet right in the midst of its strongest competitors). The Aston’s price entry point is probably closest to the $240,569 Lamborghini Urus, an SUV that’s similarly sized too, but the Italian’s standard 641-horsepower V12 means that zero to 100 km/h takes just 3.6 seconds while its terminal velocity is a staggering (for an SUV) 305 km/h (190 mph).
The V8-powered Bentley Bentayga, on the other hand, which can be had for only $176,800, will hit 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, just like the DBX, and tops out just a single kilometre per hour shy of the Aston’s 291 km/h (181 mph) terminal velocity, plus it seats two more occupants in its third row and can manage considerably larger loads. What’s more, the Bentayga also comes in 600-horsepower 12-cylinder form, this $241,900 utility managing naught to 100 km/h in a scant 4.1 seconds before attaining a 301-km/h (187-mph) top speed.
For those curious about the new $370,500 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, its 563 horsepower V12 is slower than all of the above to 100 km/h, but 5.2 seconds is still respectable considering all the weight its hauling, while its terminal speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
At the other end of the ultra-premium spectrum lies the somewhat less prestigious Maserati Levante at only $95,500, but the $138,500, 550-horsepower V8 GTS variant aligns most agreeably with the DBX in both size and performance, thanks to a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of just 4.2 seconds and a near identical top speed of 292 km/h (181 mph), while Maserati also makes a GTS Trofeo version that starts at $187,500 and pulls off the same two feats in only 3.9 seconds and 304 km/h (189 mph) respectively.
Of course, there are much less expensive and less prestigious crossover SUVs that can match the DBX in straight-line performance and possibly through the curves too, but as already detailed out in this preview there’s much more than performance making this new Aston Martin special.
Even better, the first 500 DBX customers will receive a special “1913 Package” commemorating 106 years of Aston Martin heritage, complete with unique front fender badging outside, sill plates on the way over the threshold, and an inspection plaque inside summarizing the early adopter SUV’s limited-build run, while each of these models will be personally inspected and endorsed by the company’s aforementioned CEO, Mr. Palmer. Additionally, an exclusive build book will be signed by Palmer and the DBX’ Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, with all of these extras getting topped off by an invitation to a celebratory cocktail party at the Waldorf Astoria, London, attended by a member of the Aston Martin Lagonda executive team.
The 2021 DBX will be built two and a half hours southwest of Aston Martin’s Gaydon, England headquarters at a new facility in Saint Athan, Wales, with deliveries arriving in the latter half of 2020. While you’re waiting for yours to arrive, make sure to peruse the complete photo gallery above, which includes images of all the preceding concepts from newest to oldest, plus enjoy the full array of Aston Martin supplied videos below:
Aston Martin DBX: Behind The Scenes – Daisy Zhou (0:59):
Aston Martin DBX: Launch (9:01):
Aston Martin DBX Chapter 6: In Motion (0:45):
Aston Martin DBX Chapter 5: Adventure (0:55):
Aston Martin DBX Chapter 4: Indulgence (0:51):
Aston Martin DBX Chapter 3: The Engine (0:21):
Aston Martin DBX Chapter 2: The Grille (0:41):
Aston Martin DBX Chapter 1: Testing (0:37):
Aston Martin DBX SUV testing in Sweden (0:39):
2019 DBX – Aston Martin’s first SUV (0:38):
Gold on black has long been a much-loved colour combination in motorsport, with the JPS liveried Lotus 56B probably most revered, as much for its dominance as its much-loved pilot Emerson Fittipaldi.…
Gold on black has long been a much-loved colour combination in motorsport, with the JPS liveried Lotus 56B probably most revered, as much for its dominance as its much-loved pilot Emerson Fittipaldi. It was followed by the great Jody Scheckter’s Wolf WR1, much later by Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus E20, and most recently by Haas F1 team’s VF-19, all combining a dark menacing spirit with the rich glitter of gold.
After decades of white gold and platinum adorning the majority of things glimmering, including our wristwatches, jewellery and other trinkets, gold has also been brightening up premium smartphones and tablets over the past half decade, not to mention plenty of premium and exotic car wraps. Now Porsche, a carmaker that’s hardly oblivious to tasteful trends, is adorning its 10th anniversary edition Panamera in the classy colour scheme, and we like what we see.
Yes, it’s now been 10 long years since the Panamera went into production as a 2010 model, having its first complete redesign in 2016 for the 2017 model year. The current second-generation made big gains in styling, refinement, technology and performance, with each year since improving, especially when it comes to hybrid electric performance, plus for 2018 an entirely new Sport Turismo body style.
While some markets will offer a Sport Turismo version of the new Panamera 10 Years Edition, Porsche Canada will only make the attractive new package available with its regular four-door coupe body style, specifically for its base Panamera, all-wheel drive Panamera 4, and electrified Panamera 4 E-Hybrid models, although Porsche is only showing pricing for the latter two trims so far, the Panamera 4 10 Years Edition starting at $122,000, for a $17,400 increase over the regular Panamera 4, and the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 10 Years Edition starting at $132,700, resulting in a $14,900 increase over the regular base hybrid.
Some of the Panamera 10 Years Edition gold highlights including a unique set of 21-inch Panamera Sport Design alloy wheels painted in satin-gloss White Gold Metallic and special White Gold Metallic “Panamera10” logos painted onto the front doors, while the cabin gets the same logo stamped into the metal doorsills and inlayed within the instrument panel ahead of the front passenger. The interior theme is black with contrasting White Gold thread stitched in all the right places.
While all that lovely gold might look best next to black, the 10 Years Edition offers up an exterior colour palette as wide and varied as any other Panamera trim line, while the cabin is customizable to personal tastes as well, with additional standard colourways and plenty of options. Likewise, all available trims and options are available too. Make sure to check pricing and other details at CarCostCanada, where you can also learn about available rebates and otherwise hard to find dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands.
The list of standard Panamera 10 Years Edition features not yet mentioned includes LED matrix headlights, ParkAssist with Surround View, Lane Change Assist with Lane Keep Assist (LKA), 14-way comfort seats with a Porsche crest on the headrests, soft-close doors, and a Bose surround audio system, while standard performance features include Porsche’s adaptive three-chamber air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Power Steering Plus. Those upgrading to the hybrid benefit from the more capable 7.2-kW on-board charger instead of the usual base 3.6-kW charge system.
Like all Panamera 4 models, the Panamera 4 10 Years Edition comes standard with Porsche’s turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine good for 330 horsepower, while the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 10 Years Edition combines the automaker’s twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 with an electric motor for a maximum of 457 horsepower.
Panamera 10 Years Edition deliveries are expected to begin during Q1 of 2020, so make sure to talk to your local Porsche dealer to get your name on one.
Porsche introduced two production versions of its fabulous Taycan EV last month, but some would-be buyers might have found the $173,900 and $213,900 prices of the respective Turbo and Turbo S prohibitively…
Porsche introduced two production versions of its fabulous Taycan EV last month, but some would-be buyers might have found the $173,900 and $213,900 prices of the respective Turbo and Turbo S prohibitively out of reach. Fortunately there’s a more affordable version of the much celebrated new Porsche on the way, with a base price that’s much closer to the $108,990 needed for an entry-level Tesla Model S, the Taycan 4S shown here merely costing $119,400 plus destination.
The new 4S gets the Taycan’s stylish four-door coupe design and appears to provide the same high-end interior, the reason for its near $100k discount from the top-line Taycan Turbo S being performance. Instead of a maximum of 750 horsepower, 774 lb-ft of torque, and a launch control-assisted 2.8-second sprint from standstill to 100 km/h for the Turbo S, or the still incredible 671 horsepower, 627 lb-ft of torque, and 3.2-second run to 100 km/h for the Turbo, the new Taycan 4S uses a 522 horsepower motor/battery combination with 472 lb-ft of torque to reach 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds flat.
What’s more, an available Performance Battery Plus package boosts output to 562 horsepower and torque to 479 lb-ft for a fractionally faster zero to 100 km/h time, but Porsche only shows how this upgrade improves the Taycan 4S’ standing start to 160 km/h, upping an already impressive 8.7-second run to 8.5 seconds. Top speed of both variants is limited to 250 km/h, 30 km/h down on Turbo and Turbo S terminal velocities.
Embedded within the floor of new Taycan 4S is a 79.2-kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery with enough stored energy for 407 km (253 miles) of range on the European WLTP rating system, whereas the upgraded 93.4-kWh Performance Plus battery allows for 463 km (288 miles) of estimated range. This compares well with the Taycan Turbo’s claimed 388 to 412 km (241 to 256 mile) range and the Turbo S model’s estimated 388 to 412 km (241 to 256 mile) range.
All Taycan trims use an industry-first 800-volt electrical architecture that makes recharging faster, thanks to a charge rate of 225 kW for the Performance Battery or 270 kW for the Performance Battery Plus, which makes it possible to refill from five to 80 percent in only 22.5 minutes no matter the trim. Standard 400-volt high-speed DC charging occurs at 50 kW, while an available booster increases the charge rate to 150 kW. You can use the standard AC charger for topping the Taycan up at any J1772 compatible charge station, or simply plug it in at home, but you’ll be waiting a very long time to accomplish the task.
Porsche makes charging even easier with the Taycan’s new Charging Planner, which can plot a given course by factoring in the best places to recharge along the way. For instance, it can choose a faster 270-kW charge station that can save you time over a regular 50-kW DC charger, even if the quicker charger requires a slight detour from the otherwise shortest route. Additionally, the Charging Planner preconditions the battery to 20°C, optimal for faster charging.
The Taycan 4S utilizes the same all-wheel drive layout as its more potent trim lines, including front and rear axle-mounted permanently excited synchronous motors and a two-speed transmission in back, while Porsche’s centrally-networked 4D Chassis Control system provides real-time analysis and synchronization for the Taycan’s standard electronic damper control Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) enhanced three-chamber adaptive air suspension, which promises superb handling.
Porsche also hopes to achieve better reliability than its main rival Tesla, by incorporating a special hairpin winding technique to the stators’ copper solenoid coils, thus providing a copper fill factor of 70 percent compared to 45 percent when wound the traditional way, all resulting in improved performance and cooler running.
You can keep tabs on its mechanical status via a fully digital primary gauge cluster packed full of colourful high-definition graphics yet housed in a free-standing, curved design that pulls plenty of stylistic cues from Porsche’s storied 911 past, while the Taycan 4S’ 10.9-inch standard capacitive touchscreen, integrated within the top portion of the centre stack, is at the cutting edge of in-car infotainment. Most buyers will likely ante up for the available front passenger display that continues the digital experience right across the instrument panel, this feature first shown when the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S debuted.
Standard Taycan 4S features include White or Black exterior paint, a unique front fascia, black painted side skirts and rear diffuser, LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus), 19-inch five-spoke Taycan S Aero alloy wheels, red-painted six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers (instead of the yellow ones used for the Turbo and Turbo S) clamping down on 360-mm front and 358-mm rear rotors, regenerative brakes (with a maximum regenerative force of 0.39 g and recuperation of up to 265 kWh), proximity-sensing keyless access, ambient interior lighting, partial leather upholstery, front comfort seats with eight-way powered adjustment and driver’s memory, plus more, but take note this base car won’t be produced until June of 2020. Until then, the $1,690 panoramic glass sunroof replaces the standard aluminum roof. The Porsche Mobile Charger Plus option won’t be available initially either, leaving the standard Porsche Mobile Charger Connect system for early adopters.
Taycan 4S options include a host of $910 metallic colours (including the Frozen Blue launch colour shown in the photos, plus vibrant Mamba Green and stunning Gentian Blue) and one $3,590 special colour (Carmine Red), plus two sets of 20-inch alloy wheels and three 21-inch rims ranging from $2,710 to $10,010, while its black partial leather cabin can be upgraded to $4,710 black or multiple $5,360 two-tone leather interiors, $7,490 solid or $8,150 two-tone Club leather motifs, or alternatively a Porsche-first $4,710 solid or $5,360 two-tone leather-free Race-Tex interior upgrade, that latter duo including innovative recycled materials for less environmental impact.
The new Taycan should be whispery quiet on the highway thanks to a 0.22 coefficient of drag, while its slippery aerodynamics should minimize high-speed energy use as well.
Those wishing Porsche had created a taller more crossover-styled model instead of the low-slung four-door coupe they actually built will be happy to learn the SUV coupe-styled Cross Turismo is scheduled to arrive next year. It’s designed to go head to head with the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and any others that dare compete, so stay tuned.
Back to the here and now, the new 2020 Taycan 4S can currently be ordered through your local Porsche retailer, with its Canadian arrival date set for the summer of 2020.
Porsche gave its Macan compact luxury utility such an extensive update last year that most in the industry consider it a completely new generation. The Stuttgart brand even went so far as to rejig its…
Porsche gave its Macan compact luxury utility such an extensive update last year that most in the industry consider it a completely new generation. The Stuttgart brand even went so far as to rejig its suspension, along with doing the normal upgrades like refreshing its front and rear clips with new styling, including standard LED headlights and tail lamps, those in back circling all the way around the SUV’s rear quarters, not unlike other vehicles in the lineup such as the 718 Cayman and Boxster, Panamera, Cayenne, 911, and all-new Taycan. Its cabin has also been improved significantly, with a new high-definition 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) centre touchscreen display as standard equipment.
This revised Macan Turbo follows the new base 2020 Macan and upgraded Macan S that showed up earlier this year, with a price of $94,200, compared to $56,100 for the entry-level Macan and $63,600 for the Macan S.
The former features a 2.0-litre turbo-four good for 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, which hightails it from standstill to 100km/h in just 6.7 seconds, or 6.5 seconds with its available Sport Chrono Package, while its terminal velocity is much more than any Canadian road allows at 227 km/h.
All Macan trims come with an advanced seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated transmission featuring paddle shifters on the steering wheel, plus standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive that includes an electronically- and map-controlled multi-plate clutch, as well as an automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR).
The mid-range Macan S gets a major bump in engine output thanks to a completely different mill under the hood, its 3.0-litre V6 turbo capable of 348 horsepower and 352 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a zero to 100km/h time of only 5.3 seconds, or 5.1 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, plus a new top speed of 254 km/h.
The just-noted Macan S performance figures are improved for 2020, so it made sense for Porsche to upgrade its newest Turbo trim too, but adding a whopping 34 horsepower was probably unexpected by those outside of Porsche’s inner circle. The modified 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 now puts out a highly potent 434 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, which lops 0.3 seconds off of its acceleration time, resulting in 4.5 seconds from zero to 100km/h, or 4.3 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, while its top speed gains 5 km/h at 270 km/h.
Some standard Macan Turbo performance items include a one-inch larger set of 20-inch Macan Turbo alloy wheels, Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) that stop quicker than the model’s outgoing standard brakes, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers, a sport exhaust, plus more, while some available performance options include a height-adjustable air suspension with rolling pistons and new shock absorber hydraulics, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV +), and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB).
As with last year’s Macan Turbo, the new 2020 version also adds to its standard equipment list inside, with luxurious suede-like Alcantara roof pillars and headliner, 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats with memory, 665 watts of Bose Surround Sound audio featuring 14 speakers, and more.
Convenience and luxury options are numerous, and include a multifunction GT Sport steering wheel, a wireless charging pad that comes together with a Smartphone Compartment, semi-autonomous parking and traffic assistance systems, etcetera.
The 2020 Macan Turbo can now be ordered through your local Porsche retailer, and will arrive in Canada toward the end of 2019. As for the new 2020 Macan and Macan S, they’re already available for test drives.