AD #2087 – Genesis Shows First SUV Concept, Hyundai Puts Style Back Into Sonata, Clarity EV Could Be a Let Down
April 13th, 2017 at 11:47am
To watch this episode on YouTube click here.
- Subaru Ascent SUV Concept
- Genesis GV80 SUV Concept
- Hyundai Updates Sonata for 2018
- Honda Reveals Clarity Plug-in & EV
- F1 Driver to Fulfill Indy 500 Dream
- Toyota FT-4X Compact SUV Concept
On today’s show… Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand reveals a fuel cell SUV concept, F1’s Fernando Alonso is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to race at this year’s Indy 500 and Toyota creates a wild off-road concept aimed at millennials. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
SUBARU ASCENDS THE SUV LADDER
The New York Auto Show is still underway and we’ve got more new vehicles to look at. Subaru took the wraps off its upcoming three-row SUV called the Ascent. And while this is a concept it sure looks production ready now. Both this version and the production model feature an all-new turbocharged direct injection BOXER engine, but details about its specs were not revealed. The production version will be based on a modified version of the company’s global architecture and be built in Indiana. The Ascent will only be sold in North America and it will hit dealerships starting next year.
GENESIS SHOWS FIRST SUV CONCEPT
The freshly minted Genesis brand just showed off its first SUV concept, called GV80. It’s clearly a concept, but I think we can look past the mesh pattern on the wheels and B- and C-pillars to see what a production version might look like. The silhouette is that of a sporty, luxury SUV with a long hood and tapered roof line. Keep the grille too and add some door handles as well and I think you’ve Genesis’ new SUV. Some variation of the display screen and instrument cluster could carry over as well. A large 22-inch curved OLED screen flows into a large digital instrument cluster. Both are something we’re starting to see more of. We could also see a wide choice of powertrains. The GV80 Concept is shown with plug-in hydrogen fuel cell, but you can bet that wouldn’t be the only option.
HYUNDAI PUTS STYLE BACK INTO SONATA
When Hyundai introduced the current Sonata a few years back, it’s styling was criticized for being blander than the version it replaced. But now the new version, which was just unveiled in New York, features a bolder design. The vehicle was created at the company’s California design studio with American tastes in mind. In addition to the updated design, the 2018 Sonata also features a reworked chassis and suspension to improve ride and handling. It’s top of the line, 2.0L turbocharged engine is now mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. And it’s available with more safety equipment.
Still to come… Honda shows off the full Clarity line-up.
CLARITY EV COULD BE A LET DOWN
We got our first look at the plug-in and pure electric versions of the Honda Clarity. The plug-in is impressive, while I think the EV will be a bit of a let down. Here’s why. The plug-in will have an estimated electric range of 42 miles from a 17 kWh battery pack, which would suit a lot of people’s needs. Combined with a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine, the Clarity PHEV will be able to drive over 330 miles. The range of the plug-in will be its main selling point, but I think it will be the downfall of the EV. Honda has not released the range yet, but I think we can make an educated guess. It has a 25.5 kWh battery pack. That’s smaller than the LEAF, eGolf, Focus Electric and only slightly bigger than the Fiat 500e. All of those vehicles, which are significantly smaller than the Clarity have about 120 miles of range. So, it’s likely that the Clarity EV will struggle to hit 100 miles. That’s just not acceptable this day and age. But the one thing it will have over those other EVs is a comfortable amount of room for 4-5 adults. Both the Clarity plug-in and EV go on sale later this year. The plug-in will be available nationwide, while the EV can be leased in California and Oregon.
F1 DRIVER TO FULFILL INDY DREAM
And in other Honda news, the company announced that F1 driver Fernando Alonso will race in this year’s Indy 500 for the Andretti Autosport team. While it’s not that unusual to see drivers from other series compete in this race, this year’s 500 falls on the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix, meaning Alonso is skipping that race. While he is disappointed to miss that race, he’s already won it twice and Alonso says it’s always been a dream of his to race at Indy. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch how he does since he’s never driven in an IndyCar before.
And don’t forget to tune into Autoline After Hours later today. John and Gary are in New York speaking to executives from Toyota, Infiniti and Lincoln about their new reveals. And they’ll share what they think are the highlights of the show. That’s this afternoon on our website, Autoline.tv.
Coming up next, a look at Toyota’s wild new off-road concept.
TOYOTA’S SUV CONCEPT FOR MILLENNIALS
Toyota says the busyness of city-based work life builds an urge to “get away.” So, it created the Future Toyota 4-Wheel Drive Crossover or FT-4X for short that’s aimed right at city-based millennials. Toyota calls it a four-wheel drive toolbox with rugged charm. You’ll notice cues tying it to the FJ Cruiser and a vertical rear window that’s similar to what can be found on past Toyota’s as well. The design team actually started the styling processes from rear of the concept rather than the front, which they normally do. They did this because they felt like millennials tend to hang around the back of the vehicle when they go camping and on other trips. And you can see a lot of emphasis was put on the rear tailgate. This is where Toyota employs what it calls mechanical satisfaction.
But to learn what that’s all about, check out John’s interview with Kevin Hunter, the President of Toyota’s CALTY research center. Interestingly he says that this isn’t too far off from being production ready. To find out why, you can watch that and John’s other New York show interviews, on our website, Autoline.tv. Just look for the Autoline On The Road section. Or you can find them on our YouTube channel.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com