Jaguar has unleashed its first electric vehicle – the Jaguar I-PACE – onto the streets of London for the first time.

Driving on the streets of London’s famous Olympic Park, the electric performance SUV concept previews the Jaguar brand’s first electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE, which will be revealed in late 2017 and will be on sale in the second half of 2018.

Jaguar I-Pace 01

“The feedback on the I-PACE Concept has been fantastic,” said Jaguar Director of Design, Ian Callum. “With the I-PACE Concept we’ve torn up the rule book to create a vehicle with supercar inspired aesthetics, sports car performance and SUV space, in one electric package. It has surprised people and the enthusiasm for our first electric vehicle has been beyond all my expectations.

“Driving the concept on the streets is really important for the design team. It’s very special to put the car outside and in the real-world. You can see the true value of the I-PACE’s dramatic silhouette and powerful proportions when you see it on the road, against other cars.”

The Jaguar design boss says the future of motoring has arrived in the shape of the I-PACE Concept.

Powered by a 90kWh lithium-ion battery, the I-PACE will be able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in around 4 seconds, with a targeted range of approximately 355 kms. Charging is easy and quick; an 80 percent charge can be achieved in 90 minutes and 100 percent charge achieved in just over two hours using 50kW DC fast charging.

Compact, lightweight electric motors at the front and rear axles generate a combined output of 400HP and 516-lb ft of all-wheel drive torque, putting power down and maintaining traction on a variety of surfaces and weather conditions.

keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

The new Infiniti Q50 premium sports sedan made its global debut and Mercedes revealed an eye-catching sports car at the Geneva International Motor Show.

The Hong Kong-based company says its new Q50 features “innovative technologies that empower and support the driver, taking a holistic approach to performance.”

Showcar Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
Showcar Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
Infiniti Q50 01

As the company’s core brand-building model and best-selling vehicle worldwide, Infiniti has already introduced several world-first innovations with the existing Q50.

One of the available driver assistance technologies included in the new Q50 is second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering – a steer-by-wire system that supports the driver by providing smooth operation, more direct steering responses and easy maneuverability. Direct Adaptive Steering is a precursor to future steering systems that will form a key building block to achieving fully-autonomous driving.

The Q50 is powered by the award-winning 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine from the new and exclusive ‘VR’ powertrain family, which was recently named on the prestigious 2017 Ward’s ’10 Best Engines’ list.

It also features a refreshed exterior and interior design – bringing the car in line with the brand’s ‘designed to perform’ ethos.

Over at the Mercedes display, there were gasps when, as part of the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG, the covers were ripped off the stunning GT Concept show car.

This four-door coupe heralds a further extension of the AMG GT family, following the legacy of the SLS AMG and AMG GT, which were completely developed at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach. The designation and fundamental design elements on the front and rear end denote the family affiliation to the AMG GT. The “EQ Power+” badging on the mirror camera indicates the increased performance that can be expected from hybridization at AMG.

The AMG GT Concept uses a combination of an ultra-modern V8 gasoline engine and a high-performance electric motor, both intelligently networked with an extremely powerful yet lightweight battery concept. This performance hybrid powertrain offers an impressive electric range and the opportunity to generate a system output of up to 805 horsepower in its last level of development, and covers the sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds.

keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“You could be forgiven for thinking that Crossover Utility Vehicles, or cute utes as they are affectionately known, are a 21st century invention but they’re not.”

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Pull up to any jobsite with the “Mercedes-Benz Metris MasterSolutions Toolbox Van” and get the job done.

That’s the boast of the Mercedes folks, who launched a concept version at the recent Chicago Auto Show.

Open up the side of the Metris van and the ultimate toolbox on wheels is revealed. It’s equipped with a wide variety of Ranger Design® and Sortimo by Knapheide® shelves, racks and removable cases. The Toobox van has enough storage, utility and capability to power through long hours on the job. A durable tile flooring system has been installed, which ensures grip for work boots and is easily removable for thorough cleaning.

A clear, plastic partition from Ranger Design® keeps the driver safely divided from the cargo area while also allowing for easy monitoring of the van’s payload. Unique wheels, finished in bright blue and silver, realistic toolbox latches and a handle on the roof compliment the special exterior wrap created for the Toolbox Van.

Built by RENNtech, it is based on the Metris WORKER Cargo Van and can carry a payload of more than 1,130 kgs and has a towing capacity of twice that amount.

The standard 2.0- litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, boasting 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, allowing the Metris to accelerate to 100 km/h in about nine seconds. Power is sent to the Metris’ rear wheels for maximum towing capability and cargo hauling.

Mounted to the steering wheel are shift paddles—standard fitment on all Metris Cargo and Passenger vans—which allow the driver to manually change gears, whether in anticipation of a steep hill or to maximize their driving experience on a twisty road.

The Metris Cargo Van achieves 11.2/9.8L//100kms(city/hwy), thanks partly to the efficient

7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission.

keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

The Canadian International Auto Show media preview featured 41 “New to Canada” vehicle premieres and for the first time ever a “World Premiere”, which was video cast globally, of the 2018 Hyundai Accent.”

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“The Hyundai folks gritted their teeth as the snowflakes swirled but they were smiling by the time the event wound down.”

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The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas that will hit dealerships this Spring was designed to let people live a life as big as their imaginations, says the manufacturer. 

At the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen demonstrated how it can be enhanced with smart accessories in a new concept, the Atlas Weekend Edition.

Volkswagen hopes enthusiasts may appreciate the throwback to the ‘Weekender’ packages offered on the classic Vanagon and Eurovan pop-up camper models. The Atlas Weekend Edition integrates several available accessories that enhance the Chattanooga-built SUV’s versatility with innovative cargo solutions.  

The concept is based on an SEL Premium model, equipped with a 3.6-litre VR6 engine making 276 hp and an eight-speed transmission, paired with Volkswagen’s advanced 4Motion all-wheel drive with Drive Mode Select.

Riding on 18-inch Prisma wheels finished in a custom anthracite gray, the special edition features a modern variation of the pop-up roof—the Urban Loader cargo box. When empty, the Urban Loader offers a sleek, minimized appearance; when needed for hauling, it can expand to a 17.7 cubic-foot container. In addition, the Weekend Edition features base carrier bars for attaching accessories for skis, snowboards, kayaks or bikes. Reaching the extra roof storage or helping small children into the vehicle is easy with practical side steps.

Inside, a robust cargo divider provides a safe, pet-friendly barrier behind the second row, so that pets can ride in comfort. The second row also features an innovative universal tablet mount that allows passengers to bring any popular variety of touchscreen tablet along for a getaway. The design provides easy access to the home button on the most common models, and the tablets can use the available Media Control feature using Wi-Fi technology for Android and iOS tablets and smartphones.

Other Volkswagen accessories built into the concept include window and hood deflectors, a heavy-duty trunk liner with seat-back coverage, a privacy cargo cover, all-weather rubber mats, splashguards, and wheel locks. Many of these accessories will be available from Volkswagen dealers when the Atlas goes on sale in Spring 2017.

Just weeks into 2017, Ford has introduced its all-new 2018 Expedition, loaded with tech.

“When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Today’s families want even more smart technology to help them cover more ground safely, more efficiently and more comfortably – all while staying connected to friends and family.”

The all-new Ford Expedition is the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever, the ultimate full-size SUV to carry families through life’s adventures.
The all-new Ford Expedition is the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever, the ultimate full-size SUV to carry families through life’s adventures.
An available advanced cargo manager makes efficient use of space in the rear cargo area. An adjustable shelf lets customers create a storage space that best suits the size and shape of the items they’re hauling.
An available advanced cargo manager makes efficient use of space in the rear cargo area. An adjustable shelf lets customers create a storage space that best suits the size and shape of the items they’re hauling.

The all-new Expedition offers more driver-assist technology than any other full-size SUV with more than 40 features.

These include class-exclusive enhanced active park assist to easily pull in and out of parking spots, as well as available 360-degree camera technology to help customers see more around their vehicle for easier parking.

In addition, Expedition offers available new connectivity technologies and convenience features, including:

*Wireless charging; Expedition is Ford’s first vehicle to feature this system, which allows customers to place compatible mobile devices on an integrated charging pad conveniently located in the front center console

*Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once, up to 50 feet away from the vehicle

*Dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides a next-generation video experience that allows passengers to view their home cable programming on either of two video screens or hand-held devices

*SYNC® 3, with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capability, allows drivers to stay connected on the move

*SYNC Connect lets owners connect with the vehicle remotely using FordPass® to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from anywhere, while also allowing access to important vehicle diagnostic information

*Power for passengers in every row, with four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers and a 110-volt power outlet that lets passengers stay charged and connected

*12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system perfected by acoustic engineers for a sound experience even audiophiles will appreciate

*Advanced cargo manager with an adjustable shelf behind the third row lets owners create a storage space customized to whatever they’re hauling; even when parked on a hill, cargo won’t roll out the back of Expedition when the liftgate is opened

Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine with standard Auto Start-Stop plus a class-exclusive new 10-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Expedition is the most powerful Expedition ever. A newly available electronic limited-slip differential on models with Intelligent 4WD enables improved off-road capability by sending power where it’s needed.

The Expedition seats up to eight people and their gear. It is the first full-size utility to feature a sliding second-row seat with tip-and-slide functionality, providing easy access to the third row without the need to first remove a child safety seat.

Expedition’s second- and third-row seats can be quickly folded flat with the push of a button to open up a cargo area wide enough to handle 4×8-foot sheets of plywood and other gear, depending on cargo weight and load distribution, even with the liftgate closed.

The all-new Expedition arrives this fall.

keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“The launch of the Q50 family sedan in 2013 opened many eyes and subsequent additions like the Q60 have widened them.”

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The real world slippery conditions gave us the perfect opportunity to put sedan and hatch versions through their paces and they passed with flying colours.
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