Regarding compact SUVs, it’s often difficult to find that sweet spot between utility and style, fuel economy and performance. Yet, the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan seems to have found a comfortable niche in the market. As the SUV market in Canada continues to grow, consumers are spoiled for choice. But where does the Tiguan fit in?
The Tiguan rests under VW’s larger Atlas model, boasting European elegance, agile handling, and a thoughtful design. While it may not be a speed demon, the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion All Wheel Drive ensure an efficient and confidence-inspiring ride. The interior balances function with understated style, and for those who need extra seating, a third row is available, albeit with limited legroom.
Interior and Cargo
The Tiguan is one of the few compact SUVs that offers an optional third row of seating. Note this feature is best reserved for people with smaller bodies. With the third row folded, expect about 33 cubic feet (roughly 935 litres) of cargo space, placing it in the middle of the pack against competitors.
The Tiguan’s Place in the Market
With its performance, feature set, and balanced demeanour, the Tiguan makes a compelling case for its strong position among compact SUVs in Canada. It maintains a highly competitive position when compared to the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-50, with a starting price of $34,495 CAD MSRP.
Here is some more context on where the Tiguan fits into the overall Compact SUV Market
Under the hood, a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine offers 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. This power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission with standard 4Motion All-Wheel drive. Although the 0-100 km/h time is a modest 9.1 seconds, the vehicle excels in everyday drivability, particularly in city and winter driving conditions.
Regarding fuel efficiency, the Tiguan delivers 24 mpg (around 9.8 litres per 100 km) in city driving and 31 mpg (roughly 7.6 litres per 100 km) on the highway. The combined Transport Canada rating is 8 litres per 100 kilometers. When you consider the standard all-wheel-drive system, these fuel consumption numbers are good.
Infotainment and Connectivity
While its infotainment system may not be universally praised, standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base S trim gets a 6.5-inch screen, whereas higher trims have an 8.0-inch display. An 8.0- or 10.3-inch digital gauge display is standard on all trims.
What’s New for 2024?
New this year is VW’s IQ.DRIVE driver-assistance suite, which is standard even on the base S trim. Enhancements include lane-centering and adaptive cruise control, along with rain-sensing wipers, a faux-leather steering wheel, wireless charging, and an infotainment upgrade.
Safety gets a boost in 2024 with the standard inclusion of the IQ.DRIVE adaptive cruise control system. This comes on top of pre-existing features like a forward-collision alert with automatic braking and a blind-spot warning system. Four-wheel disc brakes, with anti-locking technology, are also standard equipment.
The 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan makes a compelling case for Canadian consumers searching for a balanced compact SUV. Although it doesn’t dominate in any area, its synthesis of features, comfort, and driving dynamics place it as a worthy contender. If you seek versatility and refinement, consider putting the Tiguan on your shortlist.
Seven years have passed since Lexus introduced its fourth-generation RX, and while a dramatic departure stylistically than the more conservative model it replaced, time always takes its toll. The RX’…
Seven years have passed since Lexus introduced its fourth-generation RX, and while a dramatic departure stylistically than the more conservative model it replaced, time always takes its toll.
The RX’ continued success (it’s long been its mid-size luxury crossover SUV segment’s number-one seller, in both in Canada and the U.S.) means than even what once seemed daring and different can start to look commonplace and dated, but a fresh new RX will soon remedy any softening in the sales department.
Evolution of outgoing RX design makes for a fresh new look
First off, Lexus’ distinctive spindle grille is gone, but not entirely. As RX Project Chief Designer Jota Kusakari explains in a video (see below), it’s now a “spindle body,” encompassing the entire SUV.
This can clearly be seen up front, where the bulging hood forms into a body-colour nose-cap that melds almost seamlessly into the blackened grille opening below, much like Lexus’ new RZ electric. The spindle shape continues to flair outward as it reaches the lower valance, similarly to the previous RX, while it’s accentuated further via corner vents to each side.
Spindle grille gives way to new “spindle body-concept”
As dramatic as the frontal redesign, the spindle body-concept enhances the new RX’ rear design even more than the outgoing version, where an angled crease, parallel to the rear clip cutline, slices upwards from the aft portion of each rear wheel cut-out, overtop an identically angled rear corner vent, before ending where a singular taillight element forms into its centre section, which, much like that on the smaller UX, features a light bar lamp that appears stretched between two sharply angled outer lenses.
This design increases the visual tension started by the previous RX, almost as if the new model’s sides have been pinched together slightly at centre. There are plenty of other details worth noting too, some being quite creative, yet while nothing remains the same from old to new, no one will mistake this fifth-generation RX for anything other than a mid-size Lexus.
All-new RX sits on Toyota GA-K platform architecture
The new RX is built upon Toyota’s well-proven GA-K platform, even though it might appear as if it was formed off the back of the outgoing model’s Toyota K architecture. The latter is due to some carryover design elements like the lower half of the just-noted grille opening, the sharply angled LED headlamps with checkmark-style LED driving lights, forward-canted vertical corner vents with circular LED fog lamps, sweptback roofline with floating D pillars, and sharply angled wraparound LED taillights.
Even the rear reflectors, which make way for sportier vertical vents, are at the same angle in more or less the same place, while F Sport models receive much larger vents next to new rear reflectors on the bumper cap, providing a much more aggressive appearance.
Lighter and stiffer makes for better handling
The GA-K platform is is up to 90 kg lighter in the RX than the outgoing model, thanks to new materials in the main framework, while torsional rigidity has increased as well. Along with this is a lower centre of gravity and better weight distribution, while an all-new multi-link rear suspension design, attached to a stiff high-torsion rear body frame, “facilitates more consistent suspension input/travel during acceleration, deceleration and steering moments,” says Lexus.
It should all result in optimized performance, while the new model’s 60-mm longer wheelbase should improve ride quality too. Additionally, a 60-mm shorter rear overhang should also aid handling as well as providing a more athletic looking stance. Lexus managed to maintain an identical overall length to the previous RX too, so those trading up should feel right at home when parking.
More rear passenger and cargo room is always welcome in the mid-size class
The new GA-K platform increases the “front/rear couple distance” too, which provides greater rear legroom, while cargo space is reportedly improved too, as is access to the load floor thanks to a lowered liftgate sill that decreases the lift-over height.
The GA-K platform, incidentally, also underpins the new Lexus NX, the luxury brand’s latest ES, plus plenty of others from the namesake mainstream volume brand’s lineup, such as the Toyota Camry, Avalon, RAV4, Venza, Highlander, and Sienna, thus it will once again be ideal for the automaker’s range of hybrid powertrains.
RX powertrain options expand from two to four
Electrifying in mind, the entry-level RX 350 (more on that in a moment) will now be complemented by three different hybrid alternatives, including a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder version dubbed RX 350h that should be quite popular due to an expected lower price point and improved fuel economy than today’s RX 450h, with Lexus estimating a very thrifty 7.1 L/100km combined city/highway.
It should be more than capable of hauling a fully-laden mid-size crossover SUV too, being that it’s sourced from the aforementioned Venza and Sienna, which are now dedicated hybrids, plus Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid. It makes a net 246 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque, which is good for 7.6 seconds from zero to 100 km/h (just 0.2 seconds off of the base non-hybrid variant), plus comes mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) plus all-wheel drive.
Lexus adds plug-in and high-performance hybrid options to RX lineup
Additionally, there will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) using a similar name to the current V6-powered RX 450h, albeit named 450h+, but it’ll arrive later and therefore Toyota hasn’t provided any additional info. Due to the name, we should expect a bit more performance than the new RX 350, plus, of course, greater and more utile EV range.
Lastly, the pinnacle of RX performance will now be the all-new 500h F Sport Performance, which promises to be quite the mid-size family hauler, with the emphasis on hauling arse. This model combines the more potent 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the base RX 350 with a different six-speed automatic, an inverter, and all-wheel drive via Lexus’ eAxle unit boasting a stronger high output electric motor, inverter and reduction gearbox.
New 500h F Sport Performance puts RX in the mix with turbo-six Europeans
This results in a soul-stirring 367 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, which is similar to what we can find under the hood of twin-turbo six-cylinder-powered competitors like the Genesis GV80 3.5T and Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 hybrid, and considerably more than what BMW’s X5 provides from its 3.0-litre turbo-six. The benchmark here is Volvo’s XC90 Recharge, with 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged, supercharged and plug-in hybridized 2.0-litre four, but there will likely be a sizeable price difference between this new Lexus and the Swedish brand’s flagship SUV.
Where the XC90 Recharge can sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, the top-tier RX 500h F Sport Performance can do so in a respectable 6.1 seconds, whereas the two competitors’ city/highway combined fuel economy is rated at 8.8 L/100km for the Swede and a very similar 9.0 L/100km for the Japanese. Incidentally, the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz hybrid SUV scoots from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds while achieving a claimed city/highway rating of 10.4 L/100km at the pump, while the non-hybrid X5 xDrive40i matches the Mercedes’ fuel economy while providing a sprint time of 5.5 seconds. Strangely, BMW has a pricier plug-in hybridized X5 dubbed xDrive45e that uses more fuel than the regular version, at 11.5 L/100km combined, and takes 0.1 seconds longer to hit 100 km/h.
Lexus introduces Direct4 all-wheel drive for new RX 500h F Sport Performance
Gripping pavement under the RX 500h F Sport Performance is a new Direct4 all-wheel drive system that Lexus is touting as its “highest technology all-wheel drive” system with “maximum grip, traction and acceleration in all situations.” Unfortunately, that’s all we know about it thus far, so we’ll just have to wait until more info comes out in order to learn what makes it better than Lexus’ regular AWD.
Overall, Lexus claims its RX 500h F Sport Performance provides “a sportier, more performance-driven look and feel,” thanks to its straight-line performance, of course, plus that all-wheel drive system and opposed six-piston brake calipers to enhance stopping power. These are framed in a set of 21-inch aluminum wheels “that exude a wide, confident stance,” and upgraded 235/50R21 rubber for enhanced traction.
Additional RX 500h F Sport Performance details include a unique mesh grille, plus special front and rear bumpers, while the cabin gets a whole host of F Sport upgrades such as a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel rim, paddle shifters, aluminum foot pedals, additional aluminum trim, leather upholstery, microsuede-trimmed interior door panels, F Sport branded scuff plates, and more.
New RX 350 base model promises strong performance and better efficiency
Back to the basics, the entry-level and sole non-hybrid RX 350 drops the current model’s 3.5-litre V6 for a much thriftier 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that’s capable of 9.8 L/100km combined. It makes a solid 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, and while this might seem like a downgrade of 20 horsepower compared to the outgoing model’s 295, it’s also an upgrade of 50 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a net positive. It also comes mated to a sporty yet efficient eight-speed automatic transmission with standard all-wheel drive, so therefore, once factoring in pricing, which has yet to be released, this will likely be Lexus’ best-selling RX trim level in Canada.
The RX 350, and all RX trim lines, come standard with a generous supply of advanced safety and convenience technologies that the luxury firm dubs Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. This suite of features includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Intersection Support and new Motorcycle Detection; as well as All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with new Curve Speed Management (DRCC); Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA); and Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS).
On the high-tech options list is Advanced Park that helps out when parallel parking, or when wanting assistance for back-up parking, forward-facing parking, or forward-facing and back-up exiting.
Seven grades mean standard and optional equipment will be plentiful
As for additional standard features, the new 2023 RX will get 19-inch alloy wheels, Lexus’ e-Latch proximity sensing access, and Lexus Interface, these details garnered from the Canadian press release, whereas the few options specifically mentioned include multi-coloured illumination accents, “tasteful” door trims, a head-up display (HUD), a 14-inch Multimedia Touchscreen Display, navigation, and a panoramic glass sunroof. Of course, there will be plenty more available in the 2023 RX’ seven grades, which will include Premium, Luxury, Ultra-Luxury, Executive, F SPORT 1, F SPORT 2 and F SPORT 3, but we’ll need to wait until closer to launch before knowing details.
A total of 10 exterior colour choices will be available too, depending on the chosen grade, including Caviar, Copper Crest (a Lexus-first), Eminent White Pearl, Grecian Water, Iridium, Matador Red Mica, Nebula Gray Pearl, Nightfall Mica, Nori Green Pearl, and Ultra White, while inside there’s a choice of four grade-dependant “ornamentation styles” including Ash Bamboo, Black Cascade, Black Open Pore, and Dark Graphite Aluminum, as well as six cabin colours including Black, Birch, Macadamia, Palomino, Peppercorn and Rioja Red.
Lexus expects the new 2023 RX to go on sale at the end of 2022, so it’s probably a good idea to claim your spot in line if you want to be first.
The All-New 2023 Lexus RX – World Premier (9:50):
Introducing the All-New RX | Lexus (2:51):
The Lexus RX | Lexus (8:35):
2022 Lexus Product Showcase | Lexus (24:40):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Lexus
Everyone who follows the auto industry knew that Tesla’s Model S would eventually get knocked from its first-place sales pedestal in the mid-size electric luxury sedan segment (which is actually a thing…
Everyone who follows the auto industry knew that Tesla’s Model S would eventually get knocked from its first-place sales pedestal in the mid-size electric luxury sedan segment (which is actually a thing now), but some might’ve expected the upstart EV replacing it at the top to be from some all-new brand like Lucid. As we all now know it was Porsche’s Taycan that took best-selling honours in this category last year, let alone every month since.
To be fair to Tesla, its flagship four-door has been with us mostly unchanged for a decade, which is a surprisingly long stint for any car and certainly testament to how advanced the original was when it came on the market in 2012. Then again, one glance at the Taycan and the Model S looks downright frumpy, which was no doubt part of Porsche’s plan when penning the now three-year old BEV.
Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition commemorates 90 years of famed racetrack
So, how should Porsche celebrate this monumental occasion? Once again breaking the track record at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife might be a good idea, especially since the only car to do so was a preproduction Taycan Turbo back in 2019 that, while achieving a pretty impressive lap time of 7:42.34 minutes and therefore making Tesla’s four-year old 8:50-minute lap of a Model S P85D look as if it was merely cruising along in “chill” mode, got walloped by an updated 2021 Model S that ran the ring in just 7:35.579 last fall, no doubt in Plaid track mode.
Thus far Porsche hasn’t taken the bait, but they’ve nevertheless conjured up a new special edition that pays tribute to 90 years of motorsport on Germany’s second-most famous race course, the Hockenheimring, and while only available in Europe and therefore somewhat useless information for any Canadian that doesn’t also own a hunting cabin in the Black Forest or ski lodge in Chamonix, it’s a worthy racetrack to commemorate and a nicely dressed up Taycan to boot.
Hockenheimring has a long history of notable winners
The Hockenheimring, located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, hosted Formula 1 as recently as 2019, but was a regular haunt of motorsport’s supreme series from 1977 to 2006, except for 1985 when the German Grand Prix was held at a reconfigured Nürburgring circuit, which had lost F1 in 1976 due to safety concerns.
The great Michael Schumacher achieved four Formula 1 victories at the Hockenheimring, while plenty of other racing greats have competed in DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), a.k.a. the German Touring Car championship, World RX (rallycross), EuroNASCAR, and the World Endurance (Sportscar) Championship, in which Porsche has run away with many class victories and championships.
Stunning Stone Grey beige earth-tone joined by beautiful Bronzite highlights
No doubt the new 2022 Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition’s most eye-catching feature is its Stone Grey exterior paint, which we dare you to call beige. As if a car that can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds could ever be considered beige, let alone one that looks as dramatic as any Taycan, but it’s also a bit browner than grey, so we’ll have to accept that Porsche used some creative license when positioning this hue within their “Heritage” colour palette’s nomenclature and leave it there.
It’s part of Porsche’s Paint to Sample program, as is Bronzite that gets used for the five twinned spokes of this unique Taycan’s 21-inch Mission E Design alloy wheels, the rims painted in Stone Grey to match the car’s bodywork. Bronzite also adorns the car’s side skirts, rear diffuser, and Taycan badges.
Island Green highlights combine with Paldao hardwood inside
The Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition’s cabin is slightly more subtle in execution than its sheet metal, much due to black leather being used throughout, except for a thin strip of Island Green leather found atop the steering wheel as a centre marking. Island Green stitching gets used in all the right places too, while Paldao hardwood inlays dress up key areas and yet more Bronzite can be found where satin-silver might otherwise be, including the steering wheel spokes, gear lever and surrounding area, HVAC vent slats, and even the rim around each cupholder.
Additionally, the Hockenheimring Edition’s carpeted floor mats get yet more Island Green highlights, while a Hockenheimring track map and special logo get embossed into the leather-clad centre armrest, as does the key fob, illuminated door sills, and projector LEDs that light up the ground below the doors. Capping this special model off, Porsche fixed a special badge with the same logo and track layout to the outer B pillars.
New Hockenheimring Edition built on ultra-quick Taycan GTS underpinnings
The new Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition, which is only available as a sedan, makes 590 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, which means that along with its aforementioned 3.7-second run from standstill to 100 km/h, it can manage a terminal velocity of 250 km/h, while GTS trim also provides the longest WLTP-estimated range of any other Taycan trim, at 504 km.
Taycan GTS Hockenheimring Edition. Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur (1:36) (Note: this video is in German):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Acura is smartly bringing back one of its most revered nameplates for 2023, and simultaneously ditching a three-letter moniker that never managed to garner as much devoted loyalty. The ILX has long been…
e compact sedan capable of running alongside the smallest offerings from Europe’s, Asia’s and the U.S.’ biggest luxury players, thanks to a combination of the previous ninth-generation (2012–2015) Honda Civic Si underpinnings and 2.4-litre engine with a much more sophisticated eight-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox. Certainly, the compact four-door has needed a redesign for years, so therefore sales have waned, but along with a significant update for 2023, Acura has blessed it with a much more endearing name.
Along with the new designation, a much-needed restyling, and a host of other improvements, the new 2023 Integra receives a base price of $34,350 (plus freight and PDI) that’s closer to upper trims of the outgoing ILX, which currently ranges from $31,400 to $36,800.
Integra roots go back 37 years
The ILX has already been with us for a decade, although it was given two facelifts in 2016 and 2019, the first one upgrading the drivetrain to its current iteration, and last one being a more dramatic visual departure, in that it received the brand’s latest “Diamond Pentagon” grille. Plenty of additional upgrades were made to each iteration as well, including the model’s sportiest A-Spec trim added to the latter.
Before the ILX, Canadians wanting an entry-level Acura had the option of the 2006–2011 CSX, which was exclusive to our market, albeit with styling shared with the Honda’s domestic-market Civic, while once again it shared plenty of parts with Honda’s Civic Si, albeit only in Type-S trim (beginning in 2007).
The CLX replaced the Canadian-exclusive 1997–2005 EL, which was more of a gussied up Civic in that it offered no performance option, yet nevertheless managed to accumulate 51-percent of Acura Canada’s sales in its first year and remain the Canadian division’s best-selling model from 1997 to 2003.
Up until 1996 the point of entry into the Acura brand was this article’s subject namesake Integra, or at least the inspiration for the name, which started life in 1986 and therefore joined the mid-size Accord-based Legend as one of the Japanese luxury brand’s initial two launch models.
Following Acura tradition by riding on affordable Honda Civic underpinnings
Like that original Integra, the renewed 2023 version is based on Honda’s ultra-popular Civic, although back in the mid ‘80s Acura had a Civic Coupe (and hatchback) to utilize for two-door hard-points, whereas the most recent 11th-generation Civic is only available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles.
Understandably, fans of the original Integra were disappointed when the new 2023 model showed up as a five-door hatchback in prototype form and once again in production trim, despite early first-, second- and third-generation Integras being sold as four-door sedans (plus four-door pillared hardtops) and five-door liftbacks, not only as three-door liftbacks, often referred to coupes (the fourth-gen Integra, which only came in three-door liftback form, was known as the RSX here).
Five-door Integra makes sense in today’s market
Old Integras are most collectable in sportier looking three-door form, which, by the hubbub of controversy surrounding the new Integra’s initial announcement, must have been how many fans initially imagined the majorly-hyped new version before it came out. Looking across the auto mall at Ford, disgruntled Acura enthusiasts might just want to be grateful the new Integra isn’t a crossover SUV (looking at your Mustang Mach-E).
With no three-door model in the Civic lineup, and the need to base the Integra on an existing body style, it makes sense Acura chose the liftback option to pay tribute to the luxury brand’s past. Doing so also results in the sportiest of its two Civic donor platforms, plus better access to the cargo area than the outgoing ILX’ trunk.
High-revving Honda Si engine making way for more efficient 1.5-litre turbo-four
Those who love the high-revving 2.4-litre ILX engine might be disappointed that its replacement loses 900 cubic centimetres, but take heart because the new Civic-sourced 1.5-litre unit is much more efficient (which matters these days) and utilizes a turbo to produce more output overall at 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, compared to 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft for the ILX.
Where the outgoing engine has been both lauded and criticized for its quick-spinning, peaky performance, with serious enthusiasts loving its mechanical audio track and intense accelerative VTEC forces in the upper rev-range, it was always a bit too sporting for some. After all, the current ILX, and soon this new Integra, need to serve as Acura’s entry-level product for all.
Therefore, the new model’s more subdued engine note and broader, more automatic-friendly torque band, which ranges from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm, should make it much more enjoyable with the eight-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox, not to mention easier to drive casually around town, while max power can still be found at a lofty 6,000 rpm, or 800 rpm lower than the ILX, meaning that those wanting to rev the engine out will still have an adrenaline inducing, VTEC-enhanced soundtrack to draw upon. That this engine is also used in today’s Civic Si is just another nod to both the ILX’ past and previous Integra’s, et al.
Acura incorporates fabulous six-speed manual transmission from Civic Si
Where the outgoing ILX was not available with a manual transmission (odd considering the Civic Si that donated its 2.4-litre four only was offered with a six-speed manual), the new Integra can now be had with a six-speed DIY gearbox in top-line Elite A-Spec trim at no extra charge, with both the manual and automatic models starting at $42,550, while positioned between base and Elite A-Spec trims is the regular A-Spec at $37,050. According to Acura, the six-speed manual is a “segment-exclusive” feature (sad, but true), which could cause plenty of traditional performance enthusiasts to flock to this front-wheel drive model, despite rear-wheel drive normally being the configuration of choice for the go-fast crowd.
Then again, Honda’s Civic is quite possibly the best-handling front-driver ever created, in 306-horsepower 10th-generation Type R trim at least (the new one is expected later this year as a 2023 model, incidentally), so the automaker knows a thing or two about maximizing handling prowess in this less-than-optimal layout.
Making the most of its dynamic chassis design is a standard sport-tuned suspension, plus the Elite A-Spec adds an Adaptive Damper System that provides even more control of the road below. Likewise, the Elite A-Spec model features a customizable Individual mode for its Integrated Dynamics System, with the rest of the Integra’s trim lines coming standard with the usual Comfort, Normal, and Sport driving modes.
Impressive top-level technologies included
So far, no Tech trim (currently top-of-the-line with the ILX) will be offered, which kind of makes sense being that all 2023 Integras will feature a standard configurable 10.2-inch digital driver’s display, dubbed Acura Precision Cockpit. Then again, a head-up display unit is optional with the Elite A-Spec package, as is a higher-end 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The just-noted wireless capability of its smartphone integration will once again make this package’s Qi-compatible wireless charging pad something useful (it isn’t when forced to plug-in for smartphone integration), while this top-tier upgrade also includes a 16-speaker ELS STUDIO 3D audio system.
Back to standard kit, the Integra’s advanced safety features include a special set of driver and passenger airbags that were “designed to control head rotation in a crash,” says Acura, while rear seat airbags are also included. What’s more, a new single-camera AcuraWatch system boasts enhanced Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR). Lastly, a one-year free trial of AcuraLink services will also be included across the line, also incorporating the brand’s Security and Remote packages at no extra cost.
All Integra trims come standard with best-in-class roominess
According to Acura, the Integra also promises class-leading rear legroom and cargo volume (the latter partially due to its convenient hatchback design), which are two bonuses the ILX couldn’t boast of.
After all is said and done, it’s difficult to criticize Acura for making a much better ILX and then rebranding it with a legendary name. Calling this five-door model an Integra brought it much more press than merely making it the second-generation ILX, while badging it with a memorable moniker also pulls on the heartstrings while making it easier to bring up in conversation with friends. Just ask anyone not seriously into cars what an ILX is, and you’ll get a stunned look. Do the same for the new Integra, and while you might get a quizzical, doe-eyed gaze, you’re also more likely to receive a curious response. A name like Integra is more easily embedded in one’s memory too, aiding Acura’s marketing efforts, while reducing its spend. Overall, it just makes sense.
Introducing the Next-Gen Integra (0:30):
Next Generation 2023 Acura Integra Debut Featuring Pierre Gasly (1:02):
2023 Acura Integra Production Model Walkaround (6:02):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Acura
Land Rover has just pulled the wraps off its third-generation Range Rover Sport (compare it to the current Range Rover Sport here), and while its styling is purely evolutionary to the point that nobody…
Land Rover has just pulled the wraps off its third-generation Range Rover Sport (compare it to the current Range Rover Sport here), and while its styling is purely evolutionary to the point that nobody could possibly mistake it for anything other than a more aerodynamically refined Range Rover, it certainly looks good, while exterior improvements, including flush glazing and powered pop-out door handles, a hidden waist rail finisher, and a laser-welded roof, help deliver a slick drag coefficient of just 0.29.
“The exceptional New Range Rover Sport sets new standards as the ultimate sporting luxury SUV, building on seventeen years of unique customer appeal,” said Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover. “It is the latest embodiment of our vision to create the world’s most desirable modern luxury vehicles, effortlessly blending new levels of sustainability with the signature qualities that have made Range Rover Sport so popular.”
New mixed-metal platform architecture makes body structure 35 percent stiffer
Under the Sport’s sleek skin is an all-new rear-wheel drive-biased MLA-Flex mixed-metal platform architecture that provides up to 35 percent more torsional rigidity than the previous model.
“Land Rover’s pioneering flexible MLA architecture and the latest chassis systems come together to deliver the highest levels of dynamism we’ve ever seen on Range Rover Sport,” said Nick Collins, Executive Director Vehicle Programmes, Jaguar Land Rover. “Integrated Chassis Control governs the comprehensive suite of innovations, co-ordinating everything from the latest switchable-volume air suspension system to our Dynamic Response Pro electronic active roll control. The result is the most engaging and thrilling Range Rover Sport ever.”
Upgraded air suspension joins all-wheel steering for best-ever handling
The new platform aids cornering capability, high-speed stability and overall handling feel, plus all trims feature Dynamic Response Pro, which minimizes roll thanks to a 48-volt electronic active roll control system that’s capable of applying up to 1,400 Nm of torque across each axle, whereas the standard Dynamic Air Suspension system, with switchable volume air springs, provides twin-valve active dampers for “ultimate agility, control and composure,” says Land Rover in their press release.
What’s more, a Stormer Handling Pack combines Dynamic Response Pro, All-Wheel Steering, and an Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking and Configurable Programs. Thanks to as much as 7.3 degrees of rear-wheel steering, the all-wheel steering system promises a compact car-like turning circle as well as the type of on-road agility normally found in a much smaller vehicle.
No shortage of conventional and hybrid power units available globally
Such agility and stability will be important considering all the power available in top-tier trims, but Land Rover has yet to announce exactly which powertrains will be available to the Canadian market.
Globally, the Sport will be offered with a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder Ingenium engine in four states of tune. Both entry-level versions, dubbed P360 and P400, boast 48-volt mild-hybrid designs, and while we can’t be sure if either will make it across the Atlantic to our port of entry, we can be certain that all three mild-hybrid six-cylinder diesel engines, named D250, D300 and D350, won’t be sold here.
Two plug-in hybrid drivetrains provide up to 113 km of EV range
A more likely base engine in our market is the P440e, which incorporates an electric motor powered by a 38.2-kWh battery for a total of 434 net horsepower and a claimed zero to 100 km/h acceleration time of 5.8 seconds. Alternatively, or possibly offered as an option, a higher output version of the same engine gets the P510e moniker due to its larger 105kW electric motor, which along with the same 38.2-kWh battery provides net output of 503 horsepower and a standstill to 100 km/h sprint time of 5.4 seconds.
Both full-hybrid power units provide up to 113 kilometres (70 miles) of zero local emissions EV range in optimal conditions, or an expected real-world range of 88 km (54 miles), which, says Land Rover, is “enough for most owners to complete up to 75 percent of journeys on electric power.” Additionally, the two plug-in hybrid power units allow for up to 740 km (460 miles) of combined gasoline and electric range, making long uninterrupted road trips easier, plus you’ll be doing less damage to the environment than the previous model (and many competitors) thanks to CO2 emissions rated at just 18g per km.
Ultimate performance is still available by opting for a twin-turbo V8 or upcoming EV
If you like your Range Rover Sport with unadulterated V8 power, rest assured the redesigned gen-3 version won’t disappoint. This said the current model’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 will not be available any longer, instead replaced by a new 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged mill that promises even stronger performance in non-SVR trim.
As it is, Land Rover’s press release gave no mention of the Sport’s SVR upgrade package, so it will most likely be a late arrival. Instead, the only V8 mentioned makes 523 horsepower, which is up 5 hp from the current blown V8’s 518 ponies, and capable of a spirited 4.3-second dash from standstill to 100 km/h when launch control is engaged.
Of course, these output and performance numbers are still shy of the SVR’s 575-horsepower engine, so only time will tell if a more potent version of the twin-turbo V8 makes the cut for the top-line SVR variant, or possibly if the all-electric model, set to arrive for model-year 2024, receives the revered designation.
Range Rover Sport’s off-road capability second to none
All powertrains come standard with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive featuring Land Rover’s award-winning Terrain Response, the latter now incorporating a road-focused Dynamic Mode alongside an updated Configurable Terrain Response system designed to tackle all types of off-road conditions, plus an innovative new Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control system designed to improve off-road capability while reducing driver fatigue when on the trail.
“New Range Rover Sport’s advanced chassis dynamics feed into its immense capability away from the tarmac, utilizing its hardware and software to full effect,” said Rory O’Murchu, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover. “It is the first vehicle to feature our new Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control, which has been engineered to help drivers focus on steering the vehicle by providing consistent and comfortable progress across rough terrain.”
New Range Rover Sport to improve interior beyond the current model
While some might find it hard to fathom a higher quality, more refined mid-size luxury utility than today’s Range Rover Sport, Land Rover promises improvements at every level.
While materials are said to upgraded, the focus has been more toward environmental friendliness than perceived quality. Its sustainable alternatives to leather, for instance, are dubbed Ultrafabrics and made from recycled polyurethane, plus finished in new Duo Tone colourways. Land Rover also makes available a unique textile trim option, which extends to the dashboard and door detailing. This said, Premium grained Windsor or even more supple Semi-Aniline leathers will still be on the menu, as will hardwoods, aluminum accents and more, but special Moonlight Chrome interior trim is new.
Land Rover goes big with digital displays
Ahead of the driver is a very sizeable 13.7-inch digital driver’s display, while the similarly large and curved Pivi Pro infotainment system incorporates standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a 3D surround overhead camera. Both systems also come with standard Software Over The Air updates, while Alexa is now part of the standard setup in all Land Rover vehicles.
“Living with the New Range Rover Sport couldn’t be easier thanks to its suite of connected technologies,” said Alex Heslop, Director of Electrical Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover. “Our award-winning Pivi Pro infotainment is at the heart of the experience and its haptic, curved floating touchscreen provides intuitive control of the vehicle systems. To help drivers maintain their focus, embedded Amazon Alexa voice AI is on hand, so customers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while doing anything from setting the navigation and placing calls to selecting media sources.”
Additional standard Range Rover Sport features include a new set of high-performance Digital LED Headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting for seeing around corners, while new Low Speed Manoeuvring Lights improve visibility in parking lots and other closed, confined areas.
All Range Rover Sports also include deployable door handles with proximity sensing, soft door close and the ability to unlock when approaching, while Automated Walkaway Lock is also part of the standard package.
Plenty of features set the Range Rover Sport apart from competitors
Back inside, unique Range Rover Sport highlights include a Cabin Air Purification Pro system to clean the cabin environment, featuring PM2.5 filtration and nanoe X technology that goes so far as to reduce odours, bacteria and allergens, even airborne viruses as small as SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a separate nanoe X unit gets fitted to the second row to provide more consistent air quality in both seating areas. An advanced CO2 Management function lets occupants purify the cabin ahead of a journey too, or alternatively while on the way.
The new Range Rover Sport’s Meridian Signature Sound System, on the other hand, incorporates the latest in Active Noise Cancellation technologies, plus up to 29 integrated audio speakers provide superb sound quality, some of which are hidden behind the textile of the rear doors and four others cloaked within the headrests to allow for “personal sound zones,” says Land Rover. The system incorporates a new subwoofer too, powered by a 1,430-watt amp.
Advanced driver safety also includes off-roading features
Standard advanced driver safety and convenience features include automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, a driver-attention monitor and adaptive cruise control, while front and rear parking sensors are also included. Unique to Land Rover, a special Wade Sensing feature helps when fording rivers, plus ClearSight Ground View and Manoeuvring Lights further enhance the Range Rover Sport’s off-road experience.
On the options list are 22-way power-adjustable, heatable and ventilated memory seats up front, featuring massage function and winged headrests. These flagship seats also provide a 31-mm increase in legroom and 20 mm of extra knee clearance, improving comfort and support whether on the road or trail.
Later this year, Land Rover will start producing the new 2023 Range Rover Sport at its Solihull manufacturing plant in the UK. By that time, or shortly before, we can expect an announcement about Canadian-market features, trims and pricing information, plus the ability to pre-order.
Globally, the new Range Rover Sport will be available in S, SE, HSE and Autobiography trims, plus a First Edition trim will be offered through its first year of production, boasting a “specially curated specification,” said Land Rover.
New Range Rover Sport Revealed (0:59):
New Range Rover Sport (15:14):
New Range Rover Sport Challenge with Jessica Hawkins (1:57):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Land Rover
When the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq arrives this fall, it will be price below $70k, including destination fees, which will make it a serious competitor to other mid-size premium electric crossover SUVs, particularly…
In fact, there will only be a $10k or so spread between Hyundai’ new Ioniq 5 (that also gets creative with the “q”) and Kia’s even fresher EV6 when either of the two Korean’s are fully loaded, which could cause some to move upmarket to a more luxuriously appointed alternative, although Hyundai’s Genesis brand appears to have that covered with its soon-to-arrive GV60, despite these Asian models being shorter and narrower than their European and American counterparts.
Lyriq to undercut most competitors when it arrives this fall
Of course, there are some additional all-electric mid-size SUVs either currently for sale or shortly on the way, supply chain bottlenecks and battery components permitting. Those already selling up a storm include Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and Tesla’s Model X, albeit the latter has seen deliveries wane somewhat after the smaller and much more affordable Model Y debuted, whereas Jaguar’s I-Pace suffers from the same difficult-to-understand malady all Jaguars do, lack of interest. The more compact SUV’s $99,800 base price might have something to do with the tepid market response it’s received, however, especially challenging when factoring in the $81,700 base price of the aforementioned Model Y.
Size matters to families looking for the most accommodating luxury SUV
How much larger is the Lyriq than its competitors? From the outside it measures 4,996 mm (196.7 in) long with a 3,094-mm (121.8-in) wheelbase, while its width spans 1,976 mm (77.8 in) and its height reaches 1,623 mm (63.9 in). This makes it 95 mm (3.7 in) longer than the E-Tron, albeit with a 166-mm (6.5-in) greater wheelbase, plus it’s 41 mm (1.6 in) wider and 7 mm (0.3 in) taller.
Similarly, the Lyriq is 43 mm (1.7 in) longer than BMW’s iX, with a 97-mm (3.8-in) longer wheelbase, plus it’s 9 mm (0.4 in) wider and 73 mm (2.9 in) shorter, whereas the as-noted I-Pace is dwarfed by Cadillac’s new offering, due to 314 mm (12.4 in) less length and a 104-mm (4.1-in) shorter wheelbase, plus 81 fewer mm (-3.2 in) of width, and 58 mm (2.3 in) less height. The upcoming GV60 will be smaller than the I-Pace and Ioniq 5/EV6, incidentally, so probably no direct competition to families looking for the most accommodating luxury EV.
Of course, usable space matters more, with the Lyriq providing up to 2,973 litres (105.0 cu ft) of total passenger volume in the cabin, along with 793 litres (28.0 cu ft) of dedicated cargo space behind its second row, plus 1,722 litres (60.8 cu ft) when the split-folding rear compartment is stowed away. When compared to the E-Tron, the Lyriq’s exterior size appears to benefit with 85 litres (3.0 cu ft) more passenger volume and 122 litres (4.3 cu ft) more total cargo space, but the electrified Audi does beat the Caddy EV in dedicated luggage capacity behind the rear seats, albeit just by 14 litres (0.5 cu ft).
Cadillac’s low roof height looks sleek yet cuts into interior space
As for BMW’s iX, its greater height provides 198 litres (7.0 cu ft) of added passenger volume, while the Bavarian model’s dedicated cargo space increases by 212 litres (7.5 cu ft) and maximum gear-toting capability goes up by 484 litres (17.1 cu ft), or about the size of a compact car’s trunk.
Comparatively, the I-Pace does pretty well for its exterior dimensions with 716 litres (25.3 cu ft) of cargo space behind the second-row seats and 1,444 litres (51 cu ft) with its rear seats folded, while Genesis had yet to publish interior specifications for its GV60 at the time of writing, but being that its 2,900-mm (114.2-in) wheelbase is 100 mm (3.9 in) shorter than the Ioniq 5’s, we shouldn’t expect the same level of interior roominess either.
Still, the Ioniq 5 provides 42.5 litres (1.5 cu ft) more passenger volume than the Lyriq, plus only 22.5 litres (0.8 cu ft) less dedicated cargo space and just 42.5 litres (1.5 cu ft) less luggage capacity with its rear seats folded, so the GV60 could measure up fairly well.
Of course, the Genesis SUV destined to ride on the back of Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq 7 will be much larger, so let’s wait and see how this luxury crossover EV sector grows out in the near future before judging.
All said, there’s always more to purchasing within the premium sector than mere practicalities, and nothing about the Lyriq’s interior dimensions should turn off would-be buyers.
Performance should live up to Cadillac’s “V” legacy
Blisteringly quick off-the-line acceleration will be nothing new to EV buyers, but the all-wheel drive-equipped Lyriq’s 500-horsepower total output might even cause a few V8-powered Caddy diehards to requestion their dedication to high-octane gasoline power.
The AWD model will receive a dual-motor setup with one driving the front wheels and the other powering the rears, nothing new here, but more importantly this power unit puts the crested-wreath brand in the same ballpark as competitors like Ford’s 480-horsepower Mach-E GT and BMW’s 516-horsepower iX xDrive50. While no torque numbers have surfaced for AWD trim, it should be more than the 340-hp two-wheel drive Lyriq’s twist, which puts 325 lb-ft down to the rear wheels, while the four-wheel drive model will reportedly be capable of up to 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg) of towing capacity.
EV range capable of matching and beating industry leaders
LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen ft. Chef Jordan Kahn & Niki Nakayama | Cadillac (6:18):
Chef Jordan Kahn shares inspiration for the LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen | Cadillac (1:00):
Chef Niki Nakayama shares inspiration for LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen | Cadillac LYRIQ (1:00):
Introducing the All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Cadillac estimated 300+ Mile Range | Cadillac (0:15):
The All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Lighting the Way | Cadillac (0:30):
The All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Lighting the Way | Cadillac (1:00):
Reserve the All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | Cadillac (0:15):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Cadillac
With the world’s automotive sector quickly transitioning from internal combustion engines and interim hybrid-electric models to fully-electric battery-powered vehicles, some of the automotive industry’s…
With the world’s automotive sector quickly transitioning from internal combustion engines and interim hybrid-electric models to fully-electric battery-powered vehicles, some of the automotive industry’s most cherished styling elements have not only become redundant, but in fact detrimental to an electric vehicle’s efficiency.
First and foremost is the front grille, which was previously necessary to cool the engine, yet now impedes aerodynamics. Certainly, some cooling is needed, particularly for the battery, but battery-builders and automakers are resolving such issues with every new generation, which means frontal openings are now only needed for cabin airflow and possibly brake cooling on performance models.
Balancing aerodynamics with design character
The issue for designers comes down to character. If automakers simply removed their cars’ grilles to enhance aerodynamic efficiencies, every new car would look faceless, like a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. Like others in the industry, such as Volvo and its Recharge EV models, new Genesis X Speedium Coupe Concept deals with this challenge by creating a frontal grille outline filled a body panel, but the creative way it extends its unique signature “Two Lines” headlamp/side marker lighting elements around that grille in a “V” shape, similar to the equally gorgeous Genesis X Coupe Concept that came before, is innovative.
Anyone guessing whether the new Speedium is destined to be a personal luxury coupe or something with serious performance credentials only needs to look at the aggressive fender flairs and windswept Kamm tail that juts up out of the rear deck lid as if it came straight off a Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe. Yellow/green-painted brake calipers further hint at the Speedium’s go-fast personality, not to mention the massive rims and wafer-thin rubber surrounding them.
Could a four-door coupe be in the cards?
Back to personal luxury, an unusual greenhouse design shows this coupe is at the very least a 2+2, but more likely as accommodating inside as today’s four-door luxury coupes, and could very much receive rear doors, like Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s E-Tron RS, and others before it heads to production, but it’s nice to believe a two-door variant might get the nod as well, so it could offer a potent BEV alternative to Mercedes’ S-Class Coupe, BMW’s 8 Series Coupe, Lexus’ LC, or, a bit further down the pecking order, Infiniti’s Q60.
The side profile and rear design pays a great deal of respect to the aforementioned X Concept, and being that Genesis hasn’t shown any interior images of the new Speedium, some shots of its predecessor were added to the gallery for your perusal. It’s a stunning interior, which places a visual priority on the driver via camel brown-tanned hides and equally earthy composites, compared to stark anthracite grey elsewhere. Photos of the previous concept have been included in the gallery as well, as well as videos below, just so you can see the transitional differences and similarities.
Genesis has yet to announce a production version of either the Concept X or X Speedium Coupe Concept, but we expect something bold from the Korean brand in this segment soon.
The Genesis X Concept Reveal | Genesis (1:43):
The Genesis X Concept Reveal Event in LA | X Concept | Future Vehicles | Genesis USA (17:31):
The Genesis X California Film | X Concept | Future Vehicles | Genesis USA (1:31):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Genesis
After the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s PSA Group morphed into Stellantis last year, all 16 brands were promised enough funding to prove their viability as money-making…
After the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s PSA Group morphed into Stellantis last year, all 16 brands were promised enough funding to prove their viability as money-making enterprises. This, at a time when many industry critics were predicting some of the less profitable brands’ demise, such as Lancia in Europe and Chrysler in North America, should allow the creation of some significant contenders.
Where the second-generation 300 is now almost a dozen years old, making it geriatric in automotive lifecycles (as much as we still like it), the minivan threesome came to market in 2016, and therefore has six years under its collective belt. Therefore, Chrysler’s freshest product is already beyond its due date, while the brand’s overall image is so weak that it felt the need to “reintroduce” itself in the “2022 Chrysler Airflow | Our First Battery-Electric Vehicle” video below.
Airflow concept points Chrysler in a new crossover EV-based direction
All said, Chrysler has a long, storied history worthy of delving into, if not preserving in the modern day. The brand has long been a leader in automotive electrification as well, thanks to the world’s first plug-in hybrid minivan, so segueing into a full EV seems natural for Chrysler, and the realization of something like the new Airflow concept would not only deliver such a clean, green alternative, but also give the winged brand the crossover SUV it’s long needed.
Other than a short three model-year stint with a more upscale version of the Dodge Durango dubbed Aspen (MY 2007–2009), we need to look way back to the original Pacifica (MY 2004–2008) for a Chrysler-badged crossover, that near-luxury model somewhat ahead of its time, albeit short-sightedly short-lived as well. The automaker, which had its once-full coffers run dry by Mercedes during the DaimlerChrysler era, has been limping away on life support over the past decade, possibly making this new Airflow, which is likely close to the production model, a make-it-or-break it scenario.
Airflow concept points Chrysler in a new crossover EV-based direction
The Airflow concept was introduced last January at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s sized similarly to Ford’s very popular Mustang Mach-E crossover, which itself was designed to go head-to-head with entry-level versions of Tesla’s mid-size Model X. Whether eventually dubbed Airflow or not, Stellantis has promised a new mid-size Chrysler crossover EV for 2024 as a 2025 model.
Although we know little about the new Airflow concept’s details, Chrysler made clear that its powertrain consists of front and rear electric motors that make 201 horsepower apiece, and while Chrysler has yet to provide specific output numbers, the new prototype boasts all-wheel drive along with a large battery pack mounted below the floor.
Scroll through the press images in the gallery and you’ll see one that suggests a 118.0-kWh battery, plus a range of 400 miles (644 km). During the launch, Chrysler added that the range will be between 350 and 400 miles (217 and 644 km), which could be translated to mean that two or more output levels will be offered, the lesser capability for a base model. This said, being that Stellantis is an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based corporation, we can’t be certain this estimate corresponds to the U.S. EPA cycle or not, but at least the latter number appears to be within acceptable EV market expectations.
Airflow combines Chrysler’s penchant for elegant luxury with loads of new-edge tech
Inside, the Airflow appears roomy enough for four adults to stretch out comfortably, the second-row seats divided into individual floating buckets with a large floating console in between (the production model may see a rear bench in lower trims), while the crossover’s overall design layout lends to an even greater air of spaciousness, thanks to a wide, horizontal dash layout that visually extends into dark grey door uppers to encircle the cabin. This is dramatically offset by the concept’s white and bright metal interior colour scheme, enhanced further by an extremely long front windshield and open, airy glass roof overhead.
The details of that wide dash design are even more notable, being that the entire surface appears to be a combination of inky black glass/composite and touch-sensitive digital interfaces, one even ahead of the front passenger. The large driver’s display is fully digital too, of course, and extends outwards to the left of what is normally the main gauge cluster with controls for interior temperatures plus driver’s seat heating and cooling, whereas the large centre screen is complemented by an additional display further down the centre stack, this showing navigation mapping and seat controls in the supplied images.
Chrysler claims the Airflow’s driver display and infotainment touchscreens incorporate a completely new system dubbed STLA cockpit and STLA Brain respectively, and all feature over-the-air update capability. No doubt the latest backend technology will make these systems quick and responsive, while Chrysler’s older demographic will insist on a user-friendly digital environment, so therefore the choice to mirror a smartphone/tablet experience with simple touchscreens makes more sense than complicated knobs and buttons, or even more complex touchpads.
Elegant Airflow interior appears practical too
Rear passengers haven’t been left out of the infotainment loop either, thanks to large horizontal touchscreens filled with entertainment prompts on the backsides of each front seat, while a handy pull-out cargo shelf provides easy loading and unloading of the spacious luggage compartment.
Back up front, Chrysler’s usual rotating gear selector is perched atop the lower centre console. It features a start/stop ignition button on top and beautifully faceted crystal sides, while the fact that it’s connected to an electric powertrain means it only needs to be turned clockwise for Drive or counter-clockwise for Reverse, plus likely pushed in the centre when parked.
Also important for this class of car, the upcoming Chrysler crossover will feature Level 3 autonomous driving capability, the feature named STLA AutoDrive. Such will allow it to compete directly with the Tesla Model X, new Cadillac Lyriq, and others that are touting similarly advanced autonomy.
Styling is key to the Chrysler EV’s success
Of course, if buyers don’t like what they see from the outside they probably won’t ever step inside, so getting the upcoming Chrysler crossover’s exterior styling right is critical for success. For this reason, we’ve included every available image of this concept in the photo gallery above, plus included two videos below, so you can judge their efforts for yourself.
While arguably a bit generic from the front end, at least when compared to something as bold as the 300 sedan, the Airflow’s uncluttered, minimalist design represents a clear departure for the Auburn Hills-based brand. It’s obviously not trying to flex any pseudo macho muscle, like so many other wannabe off-roaders that are merely less convenient minivans under the skin, so something along the lines of the Airflow should appeal to those looking for a classy, upscale, near-luxury alternative to pricier crossover EVs like the aforementioned Tesla and Caddy, as well as Jaguar’s I-Pace, the latter sharing a similar roofline.
Pricing in mind, the Airflow will probably need to undercut Ford’s more performance-oriented Mach E in order to lure in new buyers, but such is the effect of relegating the Chrysler brand to “minivan company” status.
Classy crossover features sporty alloy wheels and beautifully complex lighting elements
Back to the Airflow at hand, its twinned six-spoke wheels are massive at 22 inches, and quite aggressively styled when compared to the rest of the vehicle, while the frontal lighting elements include narrow eye-like LEDs up top and triple-stacked sets of LED fogs at each corner down below. At the other end, the single-piece taillight cluster encompasses the entire width of the body, and while infused with attractive LED lighting elements at each corner, houses unique white “AIRFLOW” lettering at centre. Remove that name, however, and the entire SUV might be mistaken for Porsche’s Cayenne Coupe from behind, but at least its design team kept the Airflow in good company.
All said, there’s once again nothing distinctively “Chrysler” about this new crossover, so, while undeniably good looking, the Airflow could easily get lost in a barrage of new crossover EVs slated to hit the market over the next few years.
Entire Chrysler lineup to be fully electric within six years
Looking into the future, Chrysler will most likely continue forward with its various minivans, as this trio fills a market niche only otherwise serviced by handful of Asian brands. The Grand Caravan and Pacifica models remain quite popular too, so EV variants of both will need to surface in order to meet Chrysler’s goal of being fully electric by 2028.
After that, future Chrysler models are only known to Stellantis’ inner circle, and as noted earlier, the success of the new Airflow will determine which market segments, if any, get the nod. Both smaller compact and larger three-row Chrysler crossovers are likely bets, but competing directly in these highly competitive categories is a daunting prospect.
The sheer volume of buyers choosing these segments make them impossible to ignore, but Chrysler may choose to boldly break the mold with something altogether different, just like the brand once did in years past with innovative models the 2005–present 300 sedan and the similarly ground-breaking cab-forward LH-based 300M (and Concorde) that came before, plus the previous Sebring/200 Convertible that filled an open-top niche, the shockingly successful (at least initially) PT Cruiser that completely rewrote the book on affordable compact conveyances, and of course the original 1934–1937 Airflow that helped change the way the world looked at automotive aerodynamics.
Until some more concepts arrive, however, the upcoming Airflow EV is Chrysler’s “Hail Mary pass”, a vehicle that absolutely must succeed for the beleaguered brand to continue. As enthusiasts, we’ve got our fingers crossed.
2022 Chrysler Airflow | Our First Battery-Electric Vehicle (3:16):