Auto Notes - June 2019
World Car awards. It was a triple win at the New York International Auto Show for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as the Jaguar I-Pace won the 2019 World Car Design Car of the Year, World Car Green Car, and the overall World Car of the Year awards.
It was the first time in the 15-year history of World Car Awards that one car achieved wins across three categories. While it’s the first time JLR has won the Green Car award, it has won the Design award for three consecutive years and five times overall, the latest in 2018 for the Range Rover Velar.
Other 2019 World Car Awards winners include the 2019 McLaren 720S, World Performance Car; 2019 Audi A7, World Luxury Car; 2019 Suzuki Jimny (not available in U.S.), World Urban Car. The late Sergio Marchionne, head of FCA, was named the World Car Person of the Year earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show.
Judging for World Car Awards began in Paris last October with six days of testing by 48 journalists in Los Angeles in November. In total, 86 automotive journalists from 24 countries entered secret ballots to determine the winners. World Car Awards have been ranked the top awards program in the world for the sixth consecutive year based on Prime Research’s 2018 media report.
Diesel news. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature Diesel, debuted at the New York International Auto Show, joins some 50 diesel-powered choices for U.S. consumers, according to the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF). Those choices range from light- to heavy-duty pickups, sedans to SUVs.
While the DTF stated 75 percent of all commercial trucks in the U.S. are now diesel-powered (97 percent of Class 8 rigs), the growth of lighter duty vehicles increased by 9 percent in 2018 with sales of more than 500,000 units.
“If every mid-sized SUV was diesel-powered, the U.S. would save 370 million gallons of fuel annually,” a Forum report stated, while adding that diesel-powered SUVs offer consumer superior fuel economy and driving range.
It’s coming. The first Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Continuation car is getting closer to fruition. Part of the Aston Martin DBZ Centenary Collection, the meticulous construction process is under way at the brand’s Heritage Division headquarters in Buckinghamshire, UK.
Originally built to race against Ferarri sportsters in the 1960s, the DB4 GT Zagato was what Aston Martin calls “a thoroughbred machine.” Just 19 units were built for motor racing and just 19 of the Continuation machines are being constructed using a combination of hand-craftmanship and modern engineering.
New York debuts. Plenty of fun and practical vehicles debuted at the New York International Auto Show, including the 2020 Hyundai Venue, a small SUV that offers eight cleverly named exterior colors, including green apple, denim, and intense blue. Smaller than the Hyundai Kona, the compact crossover has a 1.6-L four-cylinder engine and is expected to deliver about 33 MPG overall. It will be on sale late this year.
The 2020 Toyota Highlander, a sleeker three-row crossover, was introduced in the Big Apple. Both gas and hybrid models are available with improved fuel ratings and vastly upgraded tech features. This three-row is a great vacation vehicle with its generous passenger and cargo space.
Another urban pleaser for city dwellers may well be the tiny Genesis Mint concept introduced in New York. The EV has an all-electric powertrain with an estimated range of 200 miles. Rear “doors” or hatches flip up from both sides to expose the cargo area.
Other debuts included the 2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Lincoln Corsair, 2020 Ford Escape, 2020 Cadillac CT5, 2020 Nissan Versa, Porsche 911 Speedster, and offerings from another dozen auto makers.