Honestly speaking, the past five years spent with the 9th generation Civic Si have been some of the longest years for Honda fans as one competitor after another surpassed it in terms of speed and handling. And this comes from someone that was a part of the development team.
After a year hiatus, the 2017 Honda Civic Si embraces the fresh new world of sport compacts with turbocharged engines and advanced chassis electronics but in doing so leaves behind the famed high-revving mechanical madness of VTEC. The latest Si is undeniably impressive and provides a great value but does it satisfy the Si faithful?
Coming into the 2018 model year, a new trim level of the TLX called A-Spec brings an enhanced level of sport for the brand’s mid-size sedan. In addition to the styling and technological updates applied to the rest of the TLX lineup, the A-Spec gets more aggressive styling and performance orientated interior appointments emphasizing the focused direction of Acura.
Do they add up to a cohesive message? Let’s break down the car with an engineering review.
It’s been eight years since VW first introduced the Tiguan in the US market and just when the name finally has some familiarity to it, VW has completely turned the car that it’s tied to on its head. Looks like we’re going back to school.
The modern Audi has always been seen as the progressive alternative to its fellow countrymen, BMW and Mercedes. Making its own way, whether going full out in Group B rally racing – giving the Quattro name its legendary status, or leading the industry with an all-aluminum chassis, Audi represents a brand willing to press the envelope for design and engineering.
The 2019 Audi A8 is no exception. It brings the first vehicle prepared for Level 3 autonomous driving (no driver interaction) and demonstrates a new found freedom for design within the Audi group – more explanation on that in a bit.
Not long after Volvo announced that products introduced from 2019 onwards would feature electrified powertrains, a new joint-venture was established to enhance intellectual property sharing with its Chinese parent company, Geely Holdings, and ultimately Geely Auto and LYNK & CO (all of which Geely Holdings is a significant stakeholder).
The Honda Accord has been a standout among the midsize sedan segment, always bringing a refreshing dose of sport to the sedan segment. Once responsible for handling the day-to-day duties of the American family, this role has been largely taken over by crossovers and smaller cars. Honda has proved that it can still hit home-runs with the Civic and the CR-V but it will take a bit more to ensure the Accord is considered a success.
After two generations of interior mis-steps and relatively conservative exterior designs, the all-new Accord has been injected with some much needed premium appeal and upped the ante on what defines sport within this segment. Is it enough to keep it at the top of its class?
Volvo has announced that from 2019, all new model releases will feature an electrified powertrain, meaning that it will either be a mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full EV. The brand will continue to sell cars solely powered by combustion engines until about 2023, depending on new model development timing.
While this is a big industry news, as no other traditional brands have committed to electrifying their entire lineup, it may not be considered as significant by the time 2019 and especially 2023 come around. Consider this as more of a brand direction announcement, rather than a major technological advancement.
We like to point to F1 for some substantial technological advances, but it’s largely the commercial side of the auto industry that serves as technology’s real-world test bed; being able to verify and put a value behind the durability, serviceability, and life-cycle costs. At this year’s annual World Truck Show, Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram all made announcements regarding different areas the customer experience such as, branding, virtual customization, and OEM approved aftermarket companies that convert fossil-fueled trucks into hybrid and full-on electric vehicles.