By John Stewart and Douglas McColloch
New Vehicle Models Debut at 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show
Automakers at the Los Angeles Auto Show offered a wide variety of compact SUV concepts intended to illustrate potential for urban, off-road and lifestyle variants.
A number of new models and concepts were unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, revealing ’20 model-year vehicles and concepts intended to signal the directions automakers are considering for the future. The L.A. Show, the first major show of the new-car season, tends to focus on electric-vehicle (EV) technology and clean-energy vehicles and has added programs intended to be a catalyst for industry progress. Of the 65 vehicles that made their debuts on media days, 25 were from global brands, and more than 1,000 new models were on display on the show floor when the event opened for consumers.
Automakers offered a wide variety of compact SUV concepts intended to illustrate potential for urban, off-road and lifestyle variants. The compact SUV segment was recently identified in the “SEMA Accessory Opportunity Report” as one to watch for future sales acceleration and accessorization opportunities as the segment diversifies. Shown here are a few offerings that could be relevant to SEMA-member companies in 2020 and beyond.
The Audi RS Q8 is powered by a biturbo 4.0L V8 engine that is said to deliver an estimated 600 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of torque.
All-New Audi RS Q8 Makes Global Debut
The all-new Audi RS Q8 made its global debut at the auto show, combining the practicality of an SUV and the performance of an RS.
The RS is powered by a biturbo 4.0L V8 engine that is said to deliver an estimated 600 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of torque, with a 0–60-mph time in the 3.8-sec. range and a claimed top speed of 189.5 mph when equipped with ceramic brakes. All-wheel drive is actuated through a standard eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, and the RS’s rear differential splits torque between the rear wheels as required when cornering to improve stability and handling dynamics.
The RS rides on an adaptive air suspension with RS-specific tuning, and drivers can further customize their experience using the standard Audi Drive Select system with seven different profiles, each of which recalibrates the car’s throttle response, transmission shift points, steering and braking input, lateral torque distribution and other performance parameters to best suit road conditions.
The RS Q8 will be available in the United States in early 2020.
The Vision T is the seventh in a series of Hyundai Design Center concepts expressing Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” global design language. The SUV concept hints at future Hyundai product offerings aimed at eco-conscious buyers.
Hyundai Reveals Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV Concept
Hyundai debuted its Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV concept. The Vision T is the seventh in a series of Hyundai Design Center concepts expressing Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” global design language. The SUV concept hints at future Hyundai product offerings aimed at eco-conscious buyers.
The Vision T’s charging port is located on the passenger-side rear quarter-panel and features a sliding cover. A “Blue Drive” display is illuminated to indicate that the system is actively charging. The state of charge is also indicated externally in a circular light cluster, creating a complete circle appearance when fully charged. When driven at higher speeds, the Parametric Air Shutter Grille opens and closes to optimize aerodynamics.
The side-window design features frameless openings and satin-chrome trim. The oversize satin-chrome alloy wheels feature ample void areas within the split-five-spoke design. From above, a special glass pattern is embossed within the roof glass. These dynamic effects carry into the dark-chrome logo design; when illuminated, it radiates bright green and deep-red hues.
The Mazda CX-30 is equipped with Mazda’s new off-road traction assist feature, helpful to drivers when adventuring on uneven terrain.
Mazda CX-30: Versatile Crossover SUV
The affordable Mazda CX-30 is a maneuverable compact SUV with state-of-the-art information, connectivity and entertainment features. There are four separate trim levels; all CX-30s are equipped with four-cylinder Skyactiv-G 2.5 engines paired with quick-shifting Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmissions. The engine provides 186 hp and is rated to deliver up to 186 lb.-ft. of torque.
The compact crossover is equipped with Mazda’s new off-road traction assist feature, which can potentially help the driver when adventuring on uneven terrain. When diagonal wheels lose traction, off-road traction assist will stop reducing engine torque and increase brake force on the wheels without traction. That transfers power to the wheels still on the ground to help allow the vehicle to regain traction and continue the drive. G-Vectoring Control Plus and front-wheel drive are standard, while Mazda’s predictive i-Activ all-wheel drive is available on all
The rear-drive Hyundai RM19 is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged, direct-injected gas I-4 engine with an output of 390 hp.
Hyundai Introduces All-New RM19 Mid-Engine Sports Car Prototype
Hyundai Motor Co. introduced the RM19 Sports Car. The RM prototype model’s “Racing Midship” mid-engine body configuration is the culmination of a project begun in 2012 to develop and connect new high-performance motorsports technologies with future Hyundai production models.
The rear-drive RM19 is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged, direct-injected gas I-4 engine with an output of 390 hp, giving the vehicle an estimated 0–60-mph time of 4 seconds. The engine is backed by a six-speed sequential transmission and rides on a MacPherson front and double-wishbone rear suspension featuring adjustable geometry. The wheel package is 20x8.5J in front and 20x11J in the rear, and the Bosch ABS system utilizes six-piston calipers up front and four-piston units at the rear.
While the 2.0L gas engine is the only powerplant at present, Hyundai has hinted that it plans to eventually use the RM series as a test bed for a variety of future high-performance HEV, PHEV and FCEV technologies.
The Land Rover Defender will be available in three models: a three-door Defender 90 First Edition, long-wheelbase Defender 110 and Defender 110 First Edition, with pricing for the base-model D110 starting at $49,900.
New Land Rover Defender Makes North American Debut
The Land Rover Defender returned to the United States for the first time in 22 years, making its North American debut. The Defender will be available in three models: a three-door Defender 90 First Edition, a long-wheelbase Defender 110, and a Defender 110 First Edition, with pricing for the base-model D110 starting at $49,900.
Available engines will be the base 2.0L turbocharged I-4 producing 296 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 3.0L MEHV I-6 producing 395 hp and 406 lb.-ft. Gearing duties for the full-time four-wheel drive are handled by a ZF eight-speed automatic and a two-speed transfer case, and the electronic air suspension can be driver-adjusted via a new Configurable Terrain Response system. The 18-, 19- and 20-in. wheels are available, depending on trim level, and top-line HSE models get 14-way-adjustable heated and cooled power memory front seats.
The Defender 90 First Edition will be available in spring of 2020, while the longer-wheelbase 110s will be available the following summer.
Ford Debuts ’21 Mustang Mach-E
For the first time in 55 years, Ford is expanding the Mustang lineup, unveiling the ’21 Mustang Mach-E, all-electric SUV, at a media event, at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles ahead of the 2020 Los Angeles International Auto Show.
The Mustang Mach-E will be available with standard and extended-range battery options with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive powered by permanent magnet motors. Equipped with an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive, the Mach-E has a targeted EPA-estimated range of at least 300 mi. In extended-range all-wheel-drive configurations, Mach-E’s estimated power output is 332 hp and 417 lb.-ft. of torque.
Two special performance versions will also be available: the GT and GT Performance editions, which will produce an estimated 459 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. The Mach-E will also feature a brand-new all-wheel-drive system as well as a MagneRide adaptive suspension. The Mach-E is slated to go on sale in late 2020 with a base price of $44,995.
Volkswagen to Return to Baja 1000 for 2020
Volkswagen will return to the prestigious SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race in 2020, entering an Atlas Cross Sport R race truck in Class 7 Open Production Unlimited. The prototype race truck offered a first look at the vehicle that will compete in the Baja competition next November.
Developed in conjunction with VW driver Tanner Foust and Baja race veteran Rhys Millen, the Atlas Cross Sport R will be the first four-wheel-drive vehicle to enter Baja Class 7 competition. Power will be distributed to the wheels from a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, first developed by Volkswagen Motorsport for use in its WRC and Rallycross programs. Capable of running up to 600 hp—or 300 hp per liter—the engine will be detuned to roughly 480 hp for an optimized balance of performance and reliability. Currently in concept form, the vehicle is being tested for further development and finalization before the 2020 race.
The MOPAR-modified ’20 Jeep Gladiator Gravity concept is intended to illustrate the open-air potential of the Gladiator.
Jeep Gladiator Gravity
The MOPAR-modified ’20 Jeep Gladiator Gravity concept is intended to illustrate the open-air potential of the Gladiator. The doors have been replaced with Jeep Performance Parts round steel-tube doors, and a bed storage system offers lockable cargo space that does not compromise the bed area. The Gladiator needs only a 2-in. lift to fit 17-in. wheels shod with 35-in. tires.
Functional upgrades include an auxiliary switch bank, a trailer brake kit, heavy-gauge steel Jeep Performance Parts rock rails, and two separate auxiliary lighting systems. All-weather floor mats have a unique “plug” system that allows for direct draining of water and debris.
The MOPAR-modified ’20 Jeep Gladiator Gravity concept is intended to illustrate the open-air potential of the Gladiator.
’20 Dodge Challenger Widebody 50th Anniversary Edition
Dodge unveiled a limited-production ’20 Challenger package to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Challenger. The package is to be offered on four Challenger models, including the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody shown on p. 29. The Challenger Widebody edition will be offered in seven colors; production will be limited to 70 units per color for a total of 490 units.
The Widebody package on the Challenger R/T Scat Pack adds 3.5 in. of overall width, and it rides on sticky 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires mounted to 20x11-in. wheels. It also includes an SRT-tuned chassis featuring stiffer front springs, retuned shock absorbers and larger sway bars in both front and rear, and SRT-tuned high-
performance adaptive damping suspension.
According to the manufacturer, the R/T Scat Pack Widebody delivers its best on-road and on-track performance ever, with an improvement of close to 2 sec. per lap or 12 car lengths compared with the R/T Scat Pack. In a quarter-mile comparison, the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody gained 0.2 sec., running a 12.1-sec. E.T. at 112 mph.
Moments after unveiling the all-new ’21 Seltos SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia Motors America let two exciting Seltos concepts off their leashes: the X-Line Trail Attack and the X-Line Urban Concept, shown here.
Kia Peaks Into the Future With ’21 Seltos Concepts
Moments after unveiling the all-new ’21 Seltos SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia Motors America let two exciting Seltos concepts off their leashes: the X-Line Trail Attack and the X-Line Urban Concept, shown above.
Inspired by the imposing glass and steel skyscrapers of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Urban Concept’s custom slate-gray paint scheme is highlighted by a gloss-black roof panel for a splash of stark modernity. The concept features a custom 2-in. lift, which helps to raise the seating position and offer a better vantage point for maneuvering around
Electronically controlled AWD with torque vectoring puts power through the 17x8-in. alloy wheels where it’s needed most: to the tire with optimum traction. Resting below the custom hood, complete with integrated intake, is the same powerplant found in the Trail Attack Concept, offering authoritative acceleration away from stoplights.
Up top, four high-powered Hella auxiliary lights cut through low-hanging city fog, and the custom-fabricated roof rack will hold all the extra stuff any apartment dweller can amass. The interior features include a 10.25-in. touchscreen, navigation system and backup camera.