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The Los Angeles Auto Show was a great start to December. There were so many great vehicles and concepts, we can only cover a few to give our readers enough info to chew on. Moreover, with all the information for the long awaited 2018 Jeep Wrangler, we had to split the articles up into two parts. Here are a couple of vehicles that got some new looks and new tech, and not just in terms of infotainment.
Aside from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, like the modified Colorado truck Chevrolet gave to the army, we might not see any other kind of alternative fuel pop up for awhile. There are automakers making use of the alternative fuel systems we have now though, such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs). The first to show up at theLA Auto show is the 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid. With the success of the original 2018 Kia Niro hybrid crossover, a PHEV is the next logical step for Kia Motors, following the same pattern of their Kia Optima hybrid sedan. Powered by an 8.9 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and an electric motor, the all-electric range of the Kia Niro PHEV is 26 miles. Combined with the internal combustion engine, the estimated mile-per-gallon-equivalent rating is 105 MPGe for the Kia Niro PHEV.
There’s not a whole lot of information on it just yet, but the 2018 Jeep Wrangler will also see a PHEV variant in its future. Whether this is due to its new eTorque hybrid system that adds adds regeneration, stop-start, and electric power assist, or the challenge Bollinger Motors brought to the table, who really knows. And yes, Bollinger Motors all-electric off-road truck did show up at the LA Auto Show too.
The 2019 Kia Sorento took to the hammer and chisel to give itself a more refined style in 2019, but nothing too different following its 2016 remodeling. The grille and headlights have been redesigned and updated with LED lighting available on the upper-level Sorento SX and SXL trims. In the rear, the bumper design has also been revised with new fog lamps, sleeker taillamps, and a new liftgate. Inside the cabin, consumers will also find some changes, such as a new steering wheel, new shifter knob, altered air vents, a new center console design, and available Mahogany and Terracotta Nappa leather upholstery for the interior of high-end trims.
Upgraded technology will also be coming to the 2019 Kia Sorento, including an updated navigation system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A wireless charging tray for charging smartphones and other handheld devices is being added, and an available 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system debuted with the new model. The system features surround sound and Clari-Fi digital music clean-up tech.
Speaking of new tech for upcoming models, the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross surprised us all with its infotainment system. When we saw the technology in the Eclipse Cross, we wondered if Mitsubishi finally did gets its own infotainment system, and it did. Check out Mitsubishi Connect, a connected vehicle services program for Mitsubishi. Like Kia Motors UVO eServices that safeguard the vehicle and offer remote services, this is just the beginning for Mitsubishi Connect. Able to be paired to Amazon Alexa, Google Home, eligible iPhones and Android phones, Mitsubishi Connect is designed to seamlessly connect and communicate with outside services such as reserving a charging spot for upcoming PHEVs and electric vehicles, operate home appliances, buy movie tickets, and more, all while on the road. Those would probably be safer in an autonomous car, though.
We also saw the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 in its convertible variant. This type of Corvette hasn’t been around for over 30 years, so for it to return in 2017 was quite the surprise. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that can produce 766 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, drivers will definitely feel the wind with the top down on this convertible.
There is so much more going on at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and we still have a few days for new vehicles to debut and new technology to surface. Be sure to follow along with us as we cover more and check out our piece on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. We’ll take the discussion to our NowCar Facebook Page this week.