Auto Notes - June 2017
World Car awards. “The Road to World Car” journey ended with a double win for Jaguar F-Pace as it was honored with the 2017 World Car Design of the Year award, as well as the overall 2017 World Car of the Year honors in New York.
The process for winning the prestigious awards began in Paris, Sept. 29, followed by juror test drives in Los Angeles, and finally in Geneva where the Top Three in the World were announced. Six Road to the World Car awards were made at the New York International Auto Show, voted on by a jury of 75 automotive journalists from 23 countries.
“The F-Pace was designed and engineered as a performance SUV with exceptional dynamics, everyday usability, and a bold design,” said Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.
Other winners included the Toyota Prius Prime, the 2017 World Green Car of the Year, a second consecutive win for Toyota as it won the 2016 green award with the Mirai; the Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman models, World Performance Car, a fifth win in that category for Porsche; the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, World Luxury Car, a third luxury car win for the automaker; and the BWW i3 (94Ah) won the inaugural World Urban Car award.
The Jetsons revisited. While Moulton Taylor of Longview, Wash., built the Aerocar (also called the Taylor Aerocar) in 1949, the car/airplane never went into production, though six examples of the flying car were built. Now, AeroMobil in Slovakia has reinvented a sophisticated flying car that had its world premier, April 20, at the supercar show Top Marques Monaco.
AeroMobil is a FWD hybrid road-driving vehicle that can also fly. For automotive use there are twin E-motors in conjunction with a 2.0-L turbocharged boxer ICE. Driving range is about 435 miles with a top speed of 100 MPH. In three minutes time, AeroMobil can be transformed into an airplane that has a flying range of about 460 miles with a top speed of 223 MPH. While it would seem an ideal vehicle for road congestion —just zoom over the stalled traffic — it requires take-off from an approved airport and operators must have valid driving and pilot licenses. AeroMobil has been certified in Europe, but in the U.S. the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet allowed certification of the flying machine.
New diesel. The Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D 2.2 is expected to hit showrooms in late fall. It is reported that this new offering could provide segment-leading fuel economy and performance. It’s the first diesel model from Mazda for the North American market.
Power for the new Mazda crossover comes from a four-cylinder sequentially turbocharged 2.2-L diesel engine that is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Oh, performance. If 710 HP and the thrill of 0-60 MPH in about 2.8 seconds is appealing, then the 2018 McLaren 720S is the car of choice. The 720S has a 4.0-L twin-turbo V-8 that produces 568 lb.-ft. of torque and can reach a top speed of 212 MPH, preferably not in a school zone.
A Proactive Chassis Control II suspension system on the carbon fiber car uses what McLaren calls “Optimal Control Theory, an algorithm that calculates the optimal vehicle responses to driver inputs.” It’s based on a double-wishbone system with adaptive dampers and has 21 sensors that tune ride and handling based on selected drive mode.
The new, often called “radical,” design the 720S is quite different than the company’s 650S. While the stats say it’s a performance car, the exterior states clearly that it is a supercar.
Pricing is estimated at $285,000 for the coupe, which features top-hinged doors and fine leathers and machined aluminum aspects on the interior.
Best seller. The Ford Mustang, the top-selling sports car in the U.S. over the past 50 years, became the best-selling sports car in the world in 2016, according to Ford’s analysis of IHS Markit’s global data of registrations.
Once only available in North America, the Mustang is now sold in 140 countries. More than 98,000 Mustangs were shipped to customers outside the U.S. since 2015. Global sales were up 6 percent in 2016 and are expected to be even higher in 2017.