Category: Industry News

Mid Engine Chevrolet Corvette C8 Spy Shots

From: https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1096198_2020-chevrolet-corvette-c8-spy-shots-and-video

Looking at the new shots and video of prototypes, we see can see that the C8 will be similar in size to the C7 but with a lower, wider stance. It won’t get vertical-lifting doors of many exotics, though it looks like there will be a short front overhang. Flanking the engine bay is a pair of chunky buttresses and we’re told designers will add a sheet of glass in the center to show off the engine (it’s concealed here). One of the biggest challenges is thought to be heat management. We can also see a rear-facing camera that feeds images to a digital rearview mirror inside (there’s also a digital instrument cluster) and what also looks to be dual-caliper brakes at the rear.

The new Corvette won’t be a pricey limited edition supercar like the modern Ford GT. We hear the basis for the car’s mid-engine platform is the C7’s aluminum spaceframe structure rather than a completely new design. As for powertrains, the base model shown here should come with the C7 Corvette Stingray’s 6.2-liter V-8 delivering about 500 horsepower. Later, a 5.5-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crank and DOHC design is expected to be dropped in, complete with about 600 hp. Then, a twin-turbocharging option for this engine could surface, seeing output rise to 800 hp.

But wait, there’s more. At the top of the heap is expected to sit a hybrid—yes, a hybrid Corvette—powertrain adding an electric motor to the front axle and utilizing the twin-turbo V-8 for the rear axle to generate a hypercar-rivaling 1,000 hp.

By now you’re probably wondering why GM would rock the boat with such a dramatic change to the Corvette formula. Apparently the front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is reaching its limits. Also, the Alpha-based Camaro is already snapping at the heels of its big brother.

There’s also a bit of mid-engine Corvette history. Corvette father Zora Arkus-Duntov was a huge fan of the layout, especially for motorsports. He helped GM build a number of mid-engine concepts for testing purposes, the original being the first CERV (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle) concept rolled out in 1960. Don’t be surprised if a Corvette ZR1 successor is named after him, since we know GM has a trademark for Zora.

Going mid-engine won’t be the only major change for the C8: another will be price. While the base C7 starts close to $60,000, the new price of entry is thought to be rising to approximately $80,000. The higher price can be justified by the more exotic layout, plus it provides a nice buffer with the Camaro. The change will also help the C8 become a semi-exotic halo model for Chevrolet worldwide, similar to what the GT-R is for Nissan and the NSX is to Acura and Honda. It will also make the C8 a better performer on the racetrack.

Production will take place at the Corvette’s home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. GM has spent over $700 million in upgrades to the plant in preparation for the new car.

Unfortunately, the news of the mid-engine Corvette means the C7 was the nameplate’s last with a front-mounted engine. The final C7, a black Z06, was sold for $2.7 million at a charity auction in June.

2020 Buick Encore Preview In China

From: https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1122400_2020-buick-encore-revealed-at-2019-shanghai-auto-show

Buick on Tuesday unveiled a redesigned Encore subcompact crossover SUV and a new Encore GX compact crossover at Auto Shanghai 2019.

Confusingly, the larger Encore GX is likely to be the model we see in the United States as the redesigned 2020 Encore, as this is the version spotted testing on local roads.

It’s also because the subcompact Encore shown in Shanghai is based on General Motors’ GEM platform designed for emerging markets. The platform is an evolution of the Gamma II design found in the outgoing Encore and so far has only been used in models sold in China.

The compact Encore GX meanwhile is thought to ride on GM’s next-generation modular design for unibody crossovers, known as VSS-S. The VSS-S is one of four modular platforms or “vehicle strategy sets” GM plans to use by 2025. The others include VSS-F for front-wheel-drive cars, VSS-R for rear-wheel-drive cars, and VSS-T for body-on-frame vehicles.

All Buick is willing to say is that the vehicles boast enhanced connectivity and efficiency than the outgoing Encore. A 9-speed automatic and continuously variable transmission have also been confirmed.

We should know more soon as Buick will introduce the U.S.-spec 2020 Encore later this year.

2020 Kia Sportage Changes

From: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/refreshed-2020-kia-sportage

2020 Kia Sportage Will Arrive With Aggressive Styling, Updated Features, and a New Trim

The Kia Sportage doesn’t sell nearly as well as most of its rivals, despite offering plenty of value due to its extensive feature set, luxury-grade cabin, high predicted reliability rating, and industry-leading warranty. Kia is making some notable changes for the 2020 model year in an effort to boost the compact crossover’s appeal.

Kia completely redesigned the Sportage for the 2017 model year, and the current generation has proven itself as a vast improvement over previous generations. The 2020 Sportage gets a new S trim and an augmented list of safety and convenience features, which includes a standard 8-inch touch screen with the latest smartphone app integration.

Trims

The 2020 Kia Sportage will be available in four trims: LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. We know that the S is a new midrange trim level, though Kia hasn’t provided many details about the variant, aside from specifying that it will offer unique exterior and interior design features. All Sportage trims are available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

Exterior Design

According to Kia, the Sportage has always employed distinctive European styling. It’s meant to be outwardly curvaceous, while remaining bold and aggressive. The 2020 model builds upon this design philosophy with several subtle revisions, including a new front bumper, grille, air intake, and skid plate. At the rear, Kia redesigned the bumper, skid plate, tail light trim, and exhaust tips. Also, the headlights, fog lights, turn signals, and wheels are all new. Wheels are available in 17-, 18-, and 19-inch diameters. Exterior color choices remain the same as those available on the outgoing Sportage, though Kia is adding a new metallic Steel Grey option.

Interior Design and Seats

The 2020 Sportage gets an upgraded interior with a newly designed steering wheel and reshaped vent bezels. In addition, SOFINO synthetic leather seat surfaces are available.

The Sportage seats five passengers in two rows. Based on our review of the comparable 2019 Sportage, the seats are some of the most supportive in the segment, and there’s plenty of space for adult passengers in both rows.

Cargo Space

Kia doesn’t mention any changes to the size or interior dimensions of the Sportage, so it’s likely that it will offer the same cargo volume as the outgoing model. You get nearly 31 cubic feet with all the seats in use and a little more than 60 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded down. This is below-average for the class.

Interior Technology

The refreshed Sportage gets an 8-inch touch-screen interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. In the 2019 model, these niceties are optional. Navigation and wireless smartphone charging will also be available for the 2020 model year.

Powertrain and Fuel Economy

The 2020 Sportage will arrive with the same two powertrain options as the current model: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbo-four, which only comes in the SX Turbo trim level. The base engine makes 181 horsepower, while the turbo churns out 240. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

According to the EPA, the naturally aspirated engine returns 23 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway. The turbocharged four-cylinder gets 20 and 28, respectively.

Safety Features

The 2020 Sportage comes standard with a rearview camera, just like the outgoing model. However, several new advanced driver assistance technologies are available, including high beam assist, driver attention monitoring, lane keep assist, forward collision assist, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control with start and stop functionality.

Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane change assist, and automatic pre-collision braking are available as well.