Hyundai used the 2018 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the refreshed, 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid.
Both models benefit from an updated design that’s similar to the regular Sonata, featuring a bolder front fascia, a more modern rear end and new wheel designs.
Interior upgrades include a new instrument panel center stack, upgraded infotainment system with an available audio/video navigation system, wireless phone charging, and USB charging ports.
Safety has been beefed up with automatic emergency braking, lane change assist and standard blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert.
The 2018 Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that works together with a 38 kW electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. The gas engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque, while the electric motor adds an additional 51 horsepower and 151 lb. ft. for a combined total of 193 horsepower.
In the United Sates, the Sonata Hybrid is rated at 39 mpg in city driving, 45 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined.
The 2018 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid utilizes much the same powertrain as the Sonata Hybrid but is equipped with a larger 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that’s more than five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, helping give it an all-electric range up to 27 miles.
Hyundai says the steering system, anti-roll bar and rear suspension on both models have been modified for more responsive handling without sacrificing ride comfort.
The updated, 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018, while the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid arrives in the second quarter .
Fiat 500 Lineup Goes All Turbo For 2018
Fiat used the 2018 Chicago Auto Show to announce that every version of the North American-spec. Fiat 500 lineup will now be powered by a turbocharged engine.
The 2018 Fiat 500 Pop and Lounge models are now powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque — 34 more standard horsepower than the previous model year — while the performance-tuned 500 Abarth makes dues with a funner 1.4-liter turbocharged engine rated at 160 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Pop and Lounge models also get standard 16-inch aluminum wheels, performance braking system, sport suspension and a rear backup camera. Relatively unchanged, the Abarth adds 16-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels wraped in Pirelli tires, red brake calipers, and a “double-tip” dual-exhaust system.
Fiat’s designers revised the exterior of all three models, giving them updated front and rear fascias, side-sill ground effects, a new spoiler, fog lamps, and “Turbo” badging on the liftgate. as well as three new colors (Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl and Vesuvio Black Pearl).
These changes should help breathe a little life into the Fiat 500 lineup, which has been struggling to find buyers. However, considering the 500 is now over eight years old (13 years in some global markets), what Fiat really needs is an all-new model.
What do you think about the changes?
New, 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Gets RS Treatment, Turbo Engine
The Chevrolet Traverse lineup has received a sportier touch in the form of the new Traverse RS.
Unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the Traverse RS is the first Traverse to get a turbocharged engine, one that makes 257 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that helps the three-row, seven-passenger crossover deliver an expected EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway.
The RS treatment appears to be more of an appearance and comfort package than it is a performance-focused one, adding blacked-out exterior trim and such standard equipment as HID headlamps, active shutters, an eight-inch infotainment system, heated seats, Bose audio, and unique 20-inch dark wheels. It doesn’t come with all-wheel drive, nor does it have it as an option.
The Chevrolet Traverse RS is currently available in the United States with a $43,095 MSRP (including freight).
Volkswagen Arteon Comes To America, Replaces CC As Flagship VW
Having made its world debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the Volkswagen Arteon has finally crossed the Atlantic and landed at the Chicago Auto Show, treating American and Canadians alike to the best the Volkswagen brand has to offer.
The new Arteon replaces the VW CC — called Passat CC when it first launched — at the top of the Volkswagen range. It rides on the German automaker’s modular MQB platform, which underpins a growing number of models including the latest Jetta and Tiguan and the seven-seater Atlas, giving it an extra five inches in length over its predecessor as a result.
Power is provided by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, sent to the front-wheels all four wheels by an an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system comes as an option.
Hinrich Woebcken, the head of Volkswagen’s North American division, stated:
“The Arteon is Volkswagen’s brand-shaper. This car is the spiritual successor to the CC but it is bolder and faster. It has the style and performance of a luxury gran turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan.”
The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon goes on sale in the third quarter of 2018. What do you think about it?