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Last week at NowCar, we looked at some of our award-winning brands and the models that stood out. To continue the 2017 year-end wrap-up, let’s take a look at what some of these brands did that changed their lineups, and possibly the industry, forever.
Kia Motors didn’t just change the kind of cars they’re known for - some are saying they changed the entire auto industry with the release of their long awaited 2018 Kia Stinger. Having gained many awards, some of which we mentioned last week, we also got a chance to test drive it and wrote a little piece for a 2018 Kia Stinger First-Drive review. It was the best car we drove in 2017, and 2018 is already looking bright with the 2018 Kia Stonic on the horizon, and another concept, the Kia Telluride, a futuristic hybrid SUV.
Dodge really shook things up back in April with the debut of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. With the first of orders being produced in September, consumers are aching for their delivery to pop up at the dealer of their choice, and not all 3,000 units have been sold just yet. There’s still some out there. If you miss your chance, Dodge also came out with a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody to match the aggressive and fierce look of the Challenger SRT Demon. Dodge also made something for SUV fans, the Dodge Durango SRT. The new Dodge Durango SRT boasts a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that delivers 475 horsepower and can complete a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds.
Mitsubishi Motors definitely surprised us this year - constantly. When all seemed lost prior to the Mitsubishi-Nissan-Renault alliance, Mitsubishi Motors came back swinging, immediately debuting their all in-house crossover, the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Although this will be the last in-house vehicle by Mitsubishi, aside from their FUSO eCanter commercial truck, some hybrid SUVs and artificially-intelligent autonomous vehicles are also in the mix, one by Mitsubishi Motors’ auto faction, the Mitsubishi e-Evolution, and the other from their electric faction, the Mitsubishi Emirai. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also finally made it to American shores, so if curious about how well Mitsubishi can make a plug-in hybrid, now’s the chance to find out.
Chrysler really shook the auto industry last year with the release of the Chrysler Pacifica, a minivan with all of the latest tech, and it’s heralded as the best family minivan by many publications. Chrysler wasn’t done yet though - they released the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid soon after, making it the world’s first hybrid minivan. The hybrid variant does so well, that Chrysler and Google partnered up to create an all-new autonomous self-driving testing fleet for the Google Waymo, made up of more than 500 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vehicles. The race for self-driving vehicles is definitely on, and we’re waiting to see who will win.
Chevrolet has been killing it with awards for all of their models this year, and the future looks very bright. Celebrating 100 years building Chevy trucks, they released special edition trucks for the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and Chevrolet Silverado. Chevy also released the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV this year, a strong competitor for Tesla, and it’s currently leading their autonomous self-driving vehicle fleet. Chevrolet, Kia, and GM are all also working on building hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, some of which are currently available. A modified fuel cell Chevrolet Colorado was actually donated to the army for rigorous testing, and so far so good.
Jeep is currently the brand everyone is talking about after the reveal of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Built with an eTorque system, Jeep is already testing the ability to make a capable off-road electric vehicle, or at least a hybrid with their name on it. Once the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL ends up on dealer showroom floors, all eyes will turn to the long-awaited return of the Jeep Wrangler Pickup Truck. At the moment though, the only news available is Jeep Wrangler Pickup rumors. And don’t forget about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, having debuted alongside the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon last year.
Ram trucks also did things a little differently this year, pandering to their consumers with special editions for varying niches. They came out with the 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten Edition for those who need a little luxury in their life. To honor and aid the farmers of America, the 2018 Ram Harvest Edition soon followed, and just in time for the autumn harvest, too! The Ram 1500 got a third special edition, the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport. Set for 2019, the Ram 1500 will also, for the first-time ever, receive the option to get a Mega Cab for seating and cargo space.
2017 was some year for the auto industry. We can only guess what will happen next, but whatever happens, it’s gonna be glorious! Chat with us about it on the NowCar Facebook page, or shop for a new car online by searching with us.