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Updated Toyota Yaris Sedan Gets New Name, More Safety Tech

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2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan

Toyota has updated the Yaris four-door sub-compact for its 2019 model year, changing its name from Yaris iA to Yaris sedan, giving it more standard safety tech and introducing a new trim.

Three trims are available — L, LE, and a new premium XLE trim that makes the Yaris look and feel a bit more luxurious by adding leatherette-trimmed front seats, steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, as well as Automatic Climate Control, automatic LED headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.

For styling, the updated Yaris’ front end gets a revised grille with a honeycomb insert design and standard fog lights on LE and XLE trim levels. Piano black accents and chrome trim also add more flavor to the exterior, while the LE and XLE trim get a sprinkling of sportiness with a new rear lip spoiler. Seven colors choices — Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, Pulse and the new Icicle — are available.

The 2019 Yaris sedan is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. It delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed automatic and a slightly less efficient 30 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway with the manual.

Safety has been enhanced with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System that come standard on all models.

The Toyota Yaris might received a new name and some new tech, but it’s still a Mazda2.

BMW

2019 BMW M2 Competition Is An M2 With An M3 Heart, Makes 405HP

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New, 2019 BMW M2 Competition

The ultimate M2 and, thus, 2-Series has arrived. A more track-ready, tire burning sports car, the 2019 BMW M2 Competition is powered by the S55 twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine from the BMW M3 and M4.

The M2 Competition’s turbo six has been tuned to pump out 405 hp between 5,230 and 7,000 rpm and 406 lb-ft. of torque between 2,350 rpm and 5,230 rpm, which is an extra 40 horsepower and 63 lb-ft. over the standard M2. It can be paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, allowing the M2 Competition reach 60 mph (96 k/h) from a standstill in 4.2 – and 4.0 seconds, respectively.

Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (249.50 km/h), though it can be raised to 174 mph (280 km/h) with the optional M Driver’s Package.

Other performance goodies include a dual exhaust system with electronic flap control that helps deliver the distinctive M sound, the BMW M3 and M4’s CFRP high-precision strut, and larger disc brakes. The electromechanical power steering, Active M Differential, and Dynamic Steering and Stability Control systems have all been enhanced.

Inside, the BMW M2 Competition comes equipped with new M Sport seats with a very supportive, bucket-style shape that borrows heavily from motorsport, while the headrests are integrated into the seat back rest. The backrest features an illuminated M2 logo, and the black leather upholstery boasts design perforations (available in either blue or orange) in the seat and backrest.

The center console houses selector switches that allow instant control of settings for the engine, steering and Drivelogic functions. The driver can combine the various configurations in whichever way he prefers and stored for easy access using the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.

The BMW M2 Competition goes on sale in summer 2018.

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Audi

New, 2019 Audi A6 Avant Proves Wagons Can Be Sexy

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New, 2019 Audi A6-Avant (Wagon)

Following the introduction of the brand-new Audi A6 sedan at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Audi wasted no time to the take the wraps off the Avant (wagon) version, and it looks great.

Like the sedan, the A6 Avant receives an evolutionary design with a wider grille. It looks more dynamic thanks to designers giving it more prominent wheel arches, a sportier roof line, and restyled taillights connected by a trim piece. It’s a simple and clean look that manages to ooze class.

The interior benefits form the most significant changes and borrows technology from the A7 and Audi’s flagship, the A8. The dashboard and the user interface are nearly identical to the A7’s, featuring two driver-oriented screens that run the infotainment system and a third screen for the digital instrument cluster. As with the A6, the top screen goes black to blend into the rest of the dashboard when the car turns off and turns on automatically when it detects a door open.

Geared more towards buyers that need extra space, the new A6 Avant boasts 20 cubic feet cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 59.3 cubic feet with them down. Audi claims class-leading front and rear elbow room, as well as knee room for rear seat passengers.

In Europe, the 2019 Avant will be offered with a turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 with 340 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque and a 3.0-liter TDI (diesel) V6 rated at 286 horsepower and 457 pound-feet. The former is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the latter shifts through an eight-speed automatic. Both spin the four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system and benefit from a standard 48-volt mild hybrid system that enhances fuel efficiency.

While its unlikely that the new, 2019 Audi A6 Avant will be offered in North America, there’s is a chance that an A6 Allroad could be offered to rival the Volvo V90 Cross Country.

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New Cars

All-New, 2019 Nissan Altima Gets AWD, New Turbo Four – No More V6

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New, 2019 Nissan Altima family sedan

The Nissan Altima has entered its sixth-generation, bringing with it a bolder exterior styling, a classier interior, all-wheel drive and a new turbo engine.

Unveiled at the 2018 New York Auto Show, the new Altima is bigger and looks more expressive than its predecessor, borrowing many styling cues from its bigger brother, the Maxima. Design highlights include a V-motion grille flanked by boomerang lights, a lower hood, shorter front overhang, a floating roof, and rear wheels that have been pushed out further to deliver a more athletic stance.

The redesigned Altima is also longer and wider, meaning more interior room for passengers. The cockpit features what Nissan calls a “gliding wing” instrument panel with an 8-inch infotainment system, complete with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

The biggest news? Power is provided by a new 2.0-liter, variable-compression four-cylinder turbo-four (it debuted in the Infiniti QX50 crossover), which replaces the previous V6. In fact, the sixth-generation Altima marks the first time in over 15 years that the Altima will not be offered with a V6.

Nissan claims the turbo four, which produces 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, delivers “V6-level” performance with four-cylinder fuel economy, something we’ve heard time and time again. Lower trim levels come standard with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine.

Also noteworthy is an available all-wheel-drive system, the first time that the Altima has had such a feature. The Japanese automaker expect AWD models to account for a “significant” portion of the midsizer’s sales in North America.

Under the hood the 2019 Altima will offer two engine options, the base 2.5L four-cylinder and the new 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine that debuted in the Infiniti QX50. The 2.5L is available with all-wheel drive.

While overall interest in the midsize sedan segment continues wane, Nissan feels that the new, 2019 Nissan Altima, which goes on sale in fall 2018, will be able to reinvigorate interest in midsize sedans. From what you see and know about it, do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.

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