(Sundiata Post) – This year, high-tech vehicles that depict the accelerating technological transformation and changing consumer tastes and demands, will be rolled out in commercial quantity across the world.
A report by the S&P Global Ratings in its ‘2018 Global Auto Industry’ hints that already on the world’s roads are vehicles that directly consume no petroleum-based fuel; vehicles that can navigate even busy city streets with no human intervention; vehicles that aim more at serving not just a single owner but hundreds or thousands of ride-sharers.
“Supporting those transformations are entirely new and disruptive companies, from automakers such as Tesla to platform and software providers such as Uber to established technology giants looking to further transform the auto industry into a high-tech showplace, such as Google, Apple and Intel.”
Many new luxury cars will dominate the auto space this year were unveiled last year at international auto shows. Nigeria is fast joining the rest of the world in this area with some auto firms taking the delivery of new vehicles weeks/months before their model year.
There is a long list of new luxury rides that will rule the 2018 sales year, notwithstanding the decision by some auto analysts to categorise 2018 as the year of the sport utility vehicles.
Some of the 2018 luxury models expected to dominate discussions among auto enthusiasts and reviewers are Porsche 911, Toyota Camry, Mercedes Benz E-Class and Lexus LS.
An online auto reviewer, cars.usnews.com, also lists BMW X3, Audi Q5, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford EcoSport and Land Rover Range Rover Velar as vehicles that will light up the showrooms of auto dealerships this year.
The automaker, which hints that the car will arrive early in the year, describes it as the most dramatic of the Lexus models ever produced.
It says the LS 500 is built on the platform of the high-performance LC coupe, featuring the brand’s first-ever twin-turbocharged engine and offers meticulous craftsmanship like three premium wood trim designs so unique they can take up to four months and 32 steps to complete.
Another auto analyst, Car and Driver, says the LS 500 is at the top of its class, adding that Lexus is making this fifth-generation luxury sedan larger, more powerful, and more stylish than ever before. It says, “The front end, with its prominent spindle grille and sharply angled front headlights, is mostly in keeping with Lexus’s current design language. But beyond that, the designers have taken a few more liberties with the car’s profile, introducing a flowing character line along the side and softer, more rounded forms around the rear fenders; they’re refreshing changes from the sharper, creased aesthetic found across the rest of the Lexus lineup.
It also notes that the is breaking tradition from its typically upright, conventional three-box shape with more rakish rear glass and a D-pillar that curves dramatically downward, both of which suggest that Lexus is keen to draw comparisons with cars such as the Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera.
Since its debut in 1963, the celebrated Porsche 911 has consistently pushed against the boundaries of the sports-car universe, says Car and Driver. This, it says, is despite the fact that the car’s shape, rear-engine arrangement, and styling have evolved and advanced very deliberately through the years. Instead of dramatically altering the car’s styling, Porsche engineers have spent the past few decades perfecting every detail, making the 911 one of the most highly engineered road vehicles available.
On what is new for 2018 model, the auto analyst says a number of upgrades are in store for the legendary 911 this year, especially the introduction of the Carrera T model. This is based on the base Carrera coupe, and, according to Porsche, the T stands for Touring. It has been lowered, lightened, and simplified for a purer driving experience, and although it lacks some of the luxuries of the other Carrera models, it still provides the same thrills.
An optional 3.0 S Powerkit is now available on Carrera S and 4S models; it pushes horsepower up by 30 to 450.
All 911 models are expected to come with a better, carbon-based cabin filter, and the instrument cluster now has a readout that displays air circulation.
A new colour-called Chalk-joins the palette, and the roll hoop on Targa models can be ordered in black, as can the tailpipes of the optional sport exhaust system.
A number of two-tone seat styling themes are now available-including a classy brown and beige motif-and two new interior packages offer more customisation with contrasting stitching. Even more customization is offered through Porsche’s Exclusive programme.
The eighth-generation Camry is said to be the result of Toyota’s total evolution, thanks to its much-talked about new-found performance and style.
A statement from the manufacturer’s communication team says the Toyota team is thrilled by the success of the Camry over the years, including the current model, which informed the decision to reward its fans with something novel and trendy.
Specifically, the all-new Camry utilises the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), which represents a completely new strategy in the way the company designs, engineers and packages its vehicles.
The TNGA, it says, “retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.”
Toyota says the 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model, with aggressive character lines.
The design team, according to the firm, has been able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by approximately one inch from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space.
This is achieved by lowering the hip points of the occupants (0.8-inches in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions.
The Toyota Senior Vice-President, Automotive Operations, Mr. Bill Fay, says, “With an exhilarating design, refined interior, stirring driving performance, cutting-edge safety and technology, and class-leading fuel efficiency, the all-new Camry retains its excellent value while raising its level of fun and excitement to new heights. It is simply the best Camry ever and the benchmark in the mid-size sedan segment.”
The car features Toyota’s latest in-vehicle information technology whose next-generation displays offer a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction.
The TNGA is considered the joker in the all-new Camry as the automaker notes that the development of the car has been advanced by this technology.
Toyota says the TNGA is much more than an approach to designing a vehicle’s platform; it is a new strategy that strengthens the development of its vehicles going forward.
“The all-new Camry’s TNGA-based body/platform has created a new dimension of design freedom that includes an extended wheelbase and a wider vehicle stance, realising a stylish and sporty new design aesthetic,” it says.
Mercedes Benz E-Class
The E-class is one of the most technologically sophisticated automobiles in the world today, says the representative of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria, Weststar Associates Limited.
“With the E-class, the future arrives before your very eyes. Its intelligent drive technology and advanced safety features make it one of the most distinguished midsize luxury sedans for the year,” Weststar notes in a statement.
For the 2018 model, Mercedes Benz says it has expanded the E-Class lineup with the addition new advanced safety features, new engines, as well as new wagon, coupe, and cabriolet models.
A more powerful AMG E63 S will be available in sedan and wagon body styles, it adds.
Giving some detailed features of the luxury car, MotorTrend, in its review, says the base E300 (rear-wheel-drive) and E300 4Matic (all-wheel-drive) are powered by a 241-hp, 273-lb-ft of torque 2.0-litre turbo I-4 engine.
A 329-hp 354-lb-ft 3.0-litre twin-turbo V-6 powers the E400/E400 4Matic Cabriolet, the E400 4Matic Wagon, and E400/E400 4Matic Coupe. The AMG E43 Sedan (4Matic) uses a more powerful version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V-6 that is tuned to deliver 396 hp and 384 lb-ft.
The AMG-handcrafted 4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8 produces a whopping 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque and comes equipped in the new Mercedes-AMG E63 S Sedan and Wagon (both with 4Matic all-wheel drive). All engines are paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission; the AMG E63 models use a beefier AMG Speedshift nine-speed unit.
The 2018 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet come standard an impressive 12.3-inch high-resolution display with navigation, ambient lighting with 64 colours to choose from, Dynamic Select driving modes, panorama roof on the coupe, and power-adjustable front seats with lumbar adjustability and memory.
The E-Class offers some of the most advanced active safety features currently on the market. The Pre-Safe Impulse Side feature rapidly inflates the front driver or passenger seat’s side bolster, moving the passenger 2.75 inches away from the impact zone once the system detects a side collision. (Punch)