Auto Notes - March 2018
Volvo again. Just after winning the 2018 Japan Car of the Year award (see our February edition), the all-new Volvo XC60 garnered top honors at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), when it was named the 2018 North American Utility of the Year.
The 2018 luxury compact SUV features Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform with highly detailed exterior styling. The refined interior uses the latest technologies throughout the cabin, including a nine-inch tablet-like touch screen that projects navigation and other extensive driver data.
Available in a wide range of powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid model, the XC60 is one of the safest vehicles ever produced with its new Steer Assist system.
The 2018 Honda Accord was named the North American Car of the Year, and the Lincoln took the honors as the North American Truck if the Year.
Yes, indeed. It was beyond hot, and featured as the star (along with Steve McQueen) in the 1968 film “Bullitt.” Now it’s coming back with a limited-edition 2019 Mustang BULLITT. It will be powered by a 475 HP 5.0-L Coyote V-8 engine and will be available in Shadow Black and Dark Highland Green (its trademark color in the movie).
Modeled after the 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT fastback driven by McQueen’s character, Frank Bullitt, the 2019 version will debut this summer to mark the 50th anniversary of the film. The new pony car will feature a performance package that includes Bremco brakes, a Torsen limited-slip differential, a larger rear anti-roll bar, and more. It is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
While Ford will likely have a MSRP of about $43,000 on the 2019 model, the first Bullitt (VIN 001) was sold Jan. 21, at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction for $300,000. All the proceeds of that sale went to the Boys Republic school in California for at-risk kids. McQueen was a 1946 graduate of the school.
GM news. The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV has earned yet another award, this time winning a 2018 Wards 10 Best Engines Award. The Bolt EV has an EPA-estimated 238-mile range on a full charge. When equipped with an optional DC Fast Charger, it can get up to a 90-mile charge in about 30 minutes.
For the third year in a row, IHS Markit has recognized GM as the automaker with the highest overall customer loyalty. The awards are presented annually by IHS Market based on brands that demonstrate the ability to retain owners over repeat buying cycles. Buick received an award for the most improved loyalty.
Cars.com named the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 the 2018 Best Pickup Truck based on power, capability, and value.
GM set several records in 2017, including the Chevrolet and GMC brands earning more than 75 percent of the market for large SUVs for the fourth consecutive year. The brands also led the industry in full-size pickup truck sales for the fourth year with a three-truck strategy (mid-size, light-duty, and heavy-duty models).
Chevrolet sold a record number of electrics in 2017, including more than 43,600 Bolt EV and Volt models.
Special Range Rover. Land Rover announced in late January that it will debut a limited-edition Range Rover SV Coupe at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. With only 999 units to be produced, the coupe design pays homage to the original Range Rover during the brand’s 70th anniversary year.
“The Range Rover SV Coupe has a highly compelling design with peerless refinement and uncompromised sophistication, from its breathtaking exterior proportions to its sumptuous, beautifully-appointed interior,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover chief design officer.
New Ranger. After 10 years away from the market, Ford has introduced the all-new 2019 Ranger pickup with a fully boxed frame formed from high-strength steel. It also features a double-wishbone independent design and class-exclusive parabolic springs.
The Ranger has the all-new Ford Trail Control technology that operates like cruise control but on low speed, low traction, rugged terrain. And the FX4 Off-Road Package offers sport-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, skid plates, and a heavy-gauge front bash plate, among other features.
Made in the U.S., three trim levels of the new mid-size Ranger will compete with the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, and Honda Ridgeline.