This year’s car innovations confirm that the workshops are working at full speed.
Due to the canceled car show in Paris, many manufacturers decided to present their new models online. Modern means of communication have thus revealed what is happening in the automotive industry. In general, operational efficiency, which includes topics such as electric cars, hybrid vehicles, finding ways to use more efficient rechargeable batteries, and introducing safety technologies, remain the topics number one in order to reduce the fatal consequences of accidents. Time will tell how the battle between hybrid drives, electric drives, fuel cells, or hydrogen drives will turn out. So let’s walk through a kind of “new” virtual car show.
The Audi portfolio includes a new compact plug-in hybrid Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe2. The hybrid drive consists of a 1.4 TFSI petrol engine (110 kW/150 hp; 250 Nm) and an electric motor (80 kW/109 hp; 330 Nm), both supplying a system output of 150 kW (204 hp). Fuel consumption is 1.5 to 1.4 l/100 km (NEFZ) (34 to 30 g CO2/km). The torque is transported to the front wheels by a 6-speed S Tronic transmission. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 13.0 kWh, which is 48% more than its predecessor. The range for purely electric propulsion has also increased – according to the NEFZ standard, it reaches 78 km and according to the WLTP it is 67 km, which is almost 20 km more than its predecessor.
BMW predicts that in ten years (2030), seven million fully electric or plug-in hybrid cars will travel the world. The first “swallow” in the BMW Sports Activity Vehicle class is the purely electric BMW iX3. An electric motor with a maximum output of 210 kW (286 hp) and a torque of 400 Nm drives the rear wheels, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.8 s. The maximum speed is limited to 180 km/h. The vehicle should have a range of up to 460 km and electricity consumption from 18.5 kWh/100 km.
Another novelty in the Bavarian brand’s portfolio is the BMW 4 Series Convertible, which, according to the manufacturer, is to offer driving pleasure in an exclusive form. The drive is provided by four- and six-cylinder engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and mild-hybrid technology. An 8-speed Steptronic transmission will be standard, and an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission will be fitted to BMW M models. The four-seater Cabrio has a new classic canvas folding roof, which has saved 40% of its weight compared to the previously fixed roof. It can be opened/closed up to a speed of 50 km/h and this process takes 18 seconds. The maximum volume of the luggage compartment with the roof closed is up to 385 l. This premium also offers various equipment elements, numerous assistance systems, and digital services.
Sports enthusiasts (including Slovak ones) will be delighted with the following news. In the second half of 2021, our market will be enriched by the latest sequel to the sports icon: Corvette. The number eight generation is called the Corvette C8 Stingray, powered by a 6.2 V8 engine in the middle with a maximum output of 369 kW (502 hp) and a torque of 637 Nm. An adaptive Magnetic Ride Control chassis will be available too. The standard package includes the Z51 package with 2LT equipment. Of course, the model will have a European specification, there will be a choice of Coupé and Convertible versions.
At the end of September, the fresh Cupra began producing its first Formentor SUV. This car has all the prerequisites to become successful. Whether it is eye-catching style or modern technology. It will gradually offer seven engines, including two plug-in hybrid drives. The regular will be the 1.5 TSI engine (110 kW/150 hp), the most powerful will be the 2.0 TSI (228 kW / 310 hp).
The Portofino vehicle has been operating on the market for some time, now, the charismatic brand with a prancing horse is adding the letter M (modificata) to its designation. There are several changes behind it. The attentive eye will notice the retouching of the body lines. The interventions in the 3.9 V8 unit increased the maximum power to 456 kW (620 hp), the dual-clutch transmission added one extra gear and is now 8-speed. Owners will enjoy the richer sound coming from the modified exhaust pipe. The Portofino M has a retractable hardtop, and although it is a pure sports car, it carries numerous elements of comfort and several electronic assistants on board.
The facelifted Hyundai Kona model also enters the new 2021 edition year, in this case, it is a radical change of image. The N Line, coming soon, will bring customers the most powerful version with a 1.6 T-GDI engine (145 kW/197 hp), a 7DCT dual-clutch transmission, and front or all-wheel drive. In 2021, a version of the Kona Hybrid with a 1.6 GDI petrol engine and an electric motor (32 kW/44 hp) will be added. The maximum system power will be 104 kW (141 hp).
As it is common for Hyundai, also in the case of the new Tucson model, it has boldly embarked on an innovative modern design. The light units are embedded into the conspicuous mask so that they “descreetly” hide them when the lights are switched off. The vehicle’s dynamic styling is a magnet for the eyes, whether you look at the vehicle from the front, side, or rear. The interior features materials of high quality, the minimization of controls is obvious – the operation takes place via a touch screen with a diagonal of 10.25 inches in the center of the dashboard. The drive will be provided by three combustion engines and three units combined with 48V mild-hybrid technology.
In order to separate Hyundai Motor Company’s activities in the field of electromobility, they decided to establish a new brand called IONIQ. As part of these activities, three new electric vehicles are to be introduced over the next four years. It is also interesting to label individual segments of electric cars – limousines will be marked with even numbers and SUVs will receive odd ones. At the beginning of 2021, a mid-size SUV with the designation IONIQ 5 is to be introduced, its styling will be based on the 45 Concept. A year later (2022), the IONIQ 6 sports sedan will enter the game (based on the Hyundai Prophecy) and the third electric car will be the large IONIQ 7 SUV in 2024.
We don’t need to look far for examples of powerful SUVs that use powerful power units. There are several charismatic sports brands in the portfolio of this brand. If we look north to England, we will find an interesting form of cooperation there. Specialists from the Lister Motor Company “pimped” the Jaguar F-PACE SVR and created a real gem in the SUV class. According to the designers, the Lister Stealth became the most powerful and fastest SUV on English grounds. A supercharged 5.0 V8 engine provides the drive, its maximum output is 490 kW (666 hp) and torque is 881 Nm. In a rapid 3.6 s, after starting from the 0, you move at a speed of 60 mph (96 km/h), the maximum speed is 314 km/h. It should be reminded that it is not a mass-produced car, the starting price is 109,950 pounds. However, this novelty will delight only a hundred enthusiasts and collectors.
The famous Italian brand with a trident in the logo comes with a new Maserati MC20, which will become the successor to the MC12. When designing the body shapes, the designers did not only follow aerodynamic requirements but also added the opportunity to breathe in its proper sporty elegance. They managed to fulfill both intentions, under a decent “hood” the 3.0 V6 unit works, which received double overfilling and double combustion. Its maximum power reaches 463 kW (629 hp) and torque 729 Nm. Traction power is transmitted to the wheels by an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, MC20 can start in 2.9, reaching a maximum speed of 323 km/h. The novelty will come on the market next year, later they will add (the plan is in two years) also electric drive, in this case, the range of the vehicle should reach the limit of 320 km.
The Japanese brand Nissan also wants to get involved in electromobility. The new Ariya is built on the alliance platform, combining multiple technologies that include front and all-wheel drive, two battery capacities (65 kWh and 90 kWh), and five levels of electric motor power (160 kW, 178 kW, 205 kW, 225 kW, and 290 kW). The new SUV/crossover has modern lines, first, it is ready to address customers in the domestic market (mid-2021). This will be followed by other world markets.
At the beginning of 2021, customers will receive an innovative Opel Crossland model, which has lost the letter X in the designation. The new looks include Opel Vizor for the front, which should become a common feature of this rüsselsheim brand. Development engineers have also devoted their work to adjust the suspension and damping, the vehicle has gained driving comfort and new IntelliGrip traction control. There is also a new GS Line + sports line with 17-inch wheels and several sports equipment elements. Comfortable travel is guaranteed by ergonomic AGR seats, rear seats divided in a ratio of 60:40 can be moved horizontally by up to 150 mm, luggage space has a volume of 419 to 520 l. Elements increasing the driving comfort and safety will be a matter of course. The offer of three-cylinder petrol engines will remain the same, and a 1.5 CDTI diesel unit will also be available.
We can’t miss the facelifted Peugeot 3008 in the news show, which got a more dynamic look of the front part, the headlights feature Full LED technology. Orders for this novelty could be placed from October and the date of its arrival is set for the end of this year. After some adjustments in the interior, there is a 10-inch touch screen, in front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital cockpit. GT and GT Packs are available, complemented by the optional Black Pack edition. The drive chain includes three-cylinder petrol units, four-cylinder petrol, and diesel units, as well as plug-in hybrid technology in two alternatives.
This year’s new Porsche 911 Targa was also presented at the virtual world premiere. This vehicle is entering its eighth generation and offers alternatives to the Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Porsche 911 Targa 4S. The power unit is a 3-liter six-cylinder boxer with a pair of turbochargers. Maximum power in the Targa 4 reaches 283 kW (385 hp) and with the optional Sport Chrono package, the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. The maximum speed reaches 289 km/h. The unit in the Porsche 911 Targa 4S model has a maximum output of 331 kW (450 hp) and reaches the limit of 100 km/h from rest in just 3.6 s, the maximum speed is reached at 304 km/h.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost, which has become the most successful model in the entire history of the brand, represents a symbol of luxury and top comfort. In 2020, it is time for its significantly reworked successor. The classically designed body is made of aluminum and high-strength steel, which has grown intergenerationally to 5546 mm (+89 mm) and added +30 mm (1978 mm) in width. A majestic 6.75 V12 double-turbocharged power unit operates under the front hood, producing a maximum output of 420 kW (563 hp) and 850 Nm of torque. Traction power is distributed to all four wheels, the rear axle wheels turn along. The air-suspended chassis is extremely comfortable. We could extensively talk about the quality of the materials used, top driving comfort, and safety technological gadgets.
At the beginning of next year, the Mladá Boleslav carmaker will offer Slovak customers a fully electric novelty, the Škoda Enyaq iV. This is the first series of the ŠKODA AUTO brand based on the Group’s modular electromobility kit marked MEB (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten). The vehicle will alternate two types of drives (rear or 4×4), will offer two capacities of rechargeable batteries and four power levels (132 kW/180 hp to 225 kW/306 hp). Because we are in the 125th year since the brand was founded, a limited Founders Edition will also be created with a symbolic number of 1895 pieces reminding of the year of the brand’s launch. The manufacturer states that the version with a more powerful rechargeable battery, the range according to the WLTP standard should reach up to 510 km.
If we look at the exhibition of novelties with two “Vees”, we discover new models Tiguan, Arteon, and Arteon Shooting Brake. The latter is offered as a completely new alternative, which strengthens the existence of the Arteon coupe fastback model. The elegant station wagon started its journey with a 1.5 TSI petrol engine (110 kW/150 hp) and a 2.0 TDI diesel engine (110 kW/150 hp). In the fall, the designers have added a 2.0 TDI diesel powertrain (147 kW/200 hp) and a plug-in hybrid vehicle (eHybrid) with a 1.4 TSI engine and electric motor (system power 160 kW/218 hp). The arrival of version 2.0 of TSI 4MOTION (208 kW/280 hp) is still planned for 2021.
Text: Peter Stano Photo: Audi, BMW, Corvette, Cupra, Ferrari, Hyundai, IONIQ, Lister, Maserati, newspress.co.uk, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, ŠKODA AUTO, Volkswagen