Asian, European debuts hit auto show runway
LF-1 Limitless Concept
Based on a more car-like platform, the LF-1 delivers a more comfortable on-road driving experience but also has the higher seating and all-weather capabilities of a “ute.” The low roofline and massive 22-inch wheels create an athletic look. The face features the now-familiar Lexus spindle grille, though it adopts a more three-dimensional appearance. One of the more distinctive details comes with the use of LED lighting, rather than chrome, to frame the grille. The LF-1 has a virtually all-glass roof.
Inside, the Lexus LF-1 marries traditional luxury features, such as two-tone Cocoa Bean and Chiffon White leather, with more modern technology, including indirect LED lighting that can be adjusted to the driver’s color preference. There’s also what Lexus calls a “four-dimensional” navigation system that is meant to “anticipate the needs of the driver and occupants.” It not only adjusts for traffic and road conditions, but even suggests fuel stops, rest breaks and can make hotel reservations during a longer trip.
BMW X2 and i8
The rambunctious X2 is the newest new member of BMW’s growing SUV family.
The X2 comes with a sportier, coupe-like wardrobe and new, Pentagon-shaped version of Bimmer’s signature kidney grille. The turbocharged 4-cylinder X2 feature a front-wheel-drive-based, transverse engine-mounted architecture.
The X2, first seen as a concept at last year’s show, is outfitted to look more athletic than the X1. The X2 wears a narrower greenhouse and is 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches lower than X1. The new grille also helps give the wee ute a wider-looking stance.
The mid-engine i8 hybrid coupe, with its dramatic scissor doors, has been a crowd favorite at the Detroit show since it was shown as a concept in 2012. Its updates are minor, with a small increase in battery-only range. The i8 is joined by a roadster first seen in Los Angeles last year.
Toyota’s all-new Avalon sedan will be powered by either a 3.5-liter V-6 or a Toyota hybrid system that features a 2.5-liter-four-cylinder- and 650-volt engine paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission.
The sleek Avalon is joined at the North American International Auto Show by the brand’s full vehicle lineup of cars, trucks and SUVs, including future mobility vehicles and NASCAR Camry designs in a 38,971-square-foot display.
Kia has given the third-generation Forte a more enticing look; the sedan borrows some of the cues found on the new Stinger fastback.
The sedan features a more aggressive version of Kia’s familiar “tiger nose” grille, framed by new, Stinger-style headlights and a more muscular front fascia. There are also new intakes that feed the air curtains that curb turbulence around the front wheels, improving overall aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. The rear bumper gets a similar sporty treatment that includes new LED taillights and details reminiscent of the latest Kia Sportage crossover-utility vehicle.
The roofline also shows the Stinger’s influence, opting for a more fastback approach. And, with the overall length of the 2019 model stretched 3.2 inches — to 182.7 inches — Kia engineers were able to improve the small car’s interior space, especially in the rear seat. Cargo capacity also grew to 15.1 cubic feet, making it one of the roomiest cars in its segment.
Kia designers opted for a flowing, horizontal interior layout to give a greater sense of space to an otherwise small car. The look is generally uncluttered, an eight-inch touchscreen topping the center console and taking over the operation of numerous traditional controls.
The Korean automaker unveiled its first-ever Veloster N high performance model, boasting 275 horsepower and 760 pounds-feet of torque.
The three-door hatchback has a more muscular appearance after a redesign, with squared-off fenders and more defined wheel arches giving the car a more planted stance. It will also have a turbo option, powered by a 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 195 pound-feet of torque.
The grille of the vehicle how is also a little edgier, ditching Hyundai’s cascade grille shape for a stronger three-dimensional design.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder banger delivering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s coupled with a six-speed transmission, available in automatic or manual. Three driver-selectable modes include Normal, Sport and Smart.
And the Veloster is more than muscle. It’s also more tech-infused than ever. Equipped with a seven-inch LCD infotainment screen, the Veloster boasts a full suite of connectivity features, including standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
A heads-up display system also projects speed, navigation instructions, cruise control, lane departure warning and audio information.
The all-new RDX compact SUV for the first time brings together Acura’s new design direction on an all-new platform.
The show car is labeled “RDX Prototype,” but expect little to change to the production vehicle, set to launch this spring. The debut trim will be a sport-trimmed A-Spec model, showing Acura’s commitment to returning to its performance roots.
The RDX ditches the Honda-like gills on the front and rear fascias for a more singular look derived from the hybrid NSX supercar. The dash-to-axle ratio has been increased, pushing the wheels to the corners of the chassis so that the dramatic fascia flows comfortably into the RDX’s sculpted flanks.
Under the hood, a new, 2.0-liter VTEC turbo brings 40 percent more torque and is mated to a quick-shifting 10-speed transmission.