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The News for September 14th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian September 14, 2018 The News! 17 Comments

Welcome to the Redusernab News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Kia uses NY Fashion Week to tease 2020 Telluride

  • VW confirms Final Edition Beetle as production is set to end in 2019

  • Lexus will be the first to produce and sell digital side view mirrors

  • BMW is pulling all diesels from North American lineup by end of the year

  • What’s your automotive news?

Kia Previews 2020 Telluride

Kia has no shortage of crossovers and SUVs – just like literally everyone else – but they’ve not had a large SUV in the lineup for several years. With buyers trending towards these things again because they “like to sit higher”, Kia has been preparing to reenter that market with something totally new. A few years after first teasing it as a concept, they’ve given us a sample of things to come with a near production-ready model.

Though it’s a one-off model that was inspired by a runway collection for fashion designer Brandon Maxwell (it debuted during New York Fashion Week), it’s still close enough to what we can expect in showrooms early next year. It will be officially revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January, but here’s what we know so far.

The Telluride is a large eight-passenger SUV with some kind of V6 (probably their largest 3.8-liter unit) that will be built in West Point, GA along with the Sorento and Optima. And uh, that’s it. It’s pretty much all that needs to be known about a new SUV though.

As for this one-off, it’s influenced by Maxwell’s Texas-inspired summer line so it has natural wood trim, saddle-like leather, deep green paint, and appropriate off-road hardware. They also… put leather… on the door mirror caps. The underlying body should be exactly as what’s found on the production model and it’s easy to see how it’s going to look without all the off-road cladding on it. The best thing that’s come out of this partnership though is the “substantial funding” Kia is providing to the public school system of Marfa, Texas, the community where Maxwell designed his new line.

And with that, I hope I never have to type out the words New York Fashion Week again.

[Source: Kia]

Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition

Welp, it’s happening. It’s been reported many times before but Volkswagen has just formally announced the Beetle is nearing the end of its road. Production will cease in July of 2019 after three generations and nearly seven decades. Not even Volkswagen of America’s President and CEO could rule out a future revival under the electrified I.D. line (see: I.D. Buzz), but it’s gone for the foreseeable future after the 2019 models.

To help send it off, two special edition Beetles will be offered for its final year of production (alongside normal ones of course). Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL models will include exclusive equipment and unique decor stuff inspired by the 2003 Última Edición, the last edition of the first-generation models produced in Mexico.

Two new colors are added – those being Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue – but it’s also available in Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, and Platinum Grey. Convertible Final Edition SEL models in every exterior color except Safari Uni are available with a unique brown soft top as well.

All Final Edition Beetles get standard chrome treatment, body-color side mirrors, heated washer nozzles, a sunroof where applicable, and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design. Final Edition SEL models add Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED tail lights, fog lights, and 18-inch white aluminum-alloy wheels in a disc design reminiscent of the Última Edición’s body-colored steel wheels.

Interior features include standard keyless access with push-button start, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, stainless steel pedal caps, automatic climate control, gloss black center console, a unique Safari Uni color dashpad with the “Beetle bin”, and three-color ambient lighting. Final Edition SE models feature cloth and leatherette rhombus-pattern seats, while SEL models offer standard diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces. They also get your typical infotainment features and driver assistance tech.

Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models. The convertible’s Final Edition pricing starts at $27,295 for SE models and $29,995 for SEL models.

All 2019 Beetles will drive off into the sunset with a 2.0 liter TSI four-cylinder producing 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque that’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. And they’ll get an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined while doing so.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Lexus To Produce Digital Side-View Mirrors

The idea of replacing “traditional” side mirrors with cameras and monitors is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but thus far nobody has actually introduced that into a production car. Lexus is going to be the first.

When the new Lexus ES goes on sale in Japan next month, buyers will be able to opt for the Digital Side-View Mirrors. No word on if/when this will be introduced to other markets yet. The cameras are mounted where the mirrors would typically be and project HD images into the cabin through two five-inch screens located inside the cabin at the base of the A-pillars. Drivers will be able to make adjustments to the view they get through them and they’ll automatically enhance vision when signaling left/right or reversing. The camera pods are shaped to resist water and snow accumulation as well.

Lexus believes the benefits are a clearer picture of the areas around the car improved visibility out past the A-pillars where the larger mirror pods would normally be. Situational awareness should also be greater as they’ll be able to physically bring that view closer to the driver. Another positive side effect is reduced wind noise.

Expect to see more of this in the future.

[Source: Lexus]

BMW Is Pulling Diesels from US

Another nail in the coffin for diesel sales in the US came courtesy of BMW, who confirmed to  that all diesel engines will be pulled from North America by the end of this year. BMW, like many others, is increasing focus on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as those sales continue to increase.

Only a handful of models still had diesel options in the US and those sales have been decreasing steadily, especially since the diesel emissions scandal from a few years back. As a result, you only have a few months left to snag a new diesel BMW in the US. Of course, BMW “continues to monitor customer preferences and is prepared to adjust the product portfolio accordingly”, but it’s very unlikely we’ll ever see their diesels over here again. Not until they finally build a heavy duty pickup of course. With the M version.

[Source: ]

What’s your automotive news?

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

[Image © 2018 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Fred

    Kia needs to clean up and simplify their interior. Too many buttons!

  • GTXcellent

    Mounted a Racor Heavylift to the garage ceiling and put a Topsy lift kit on the Jeep – it works awesome!

    Now the only problem – well, it didn’t rain all summer long. Nothing. Everything was brown and dead because it was 80 degrees and sunny from Labor Day until last weekend. Guess what our weather is doing now. Thankfully nothing like the Carolina shore – hope everyone makes it out ok.

    • Jeff Glucker

      Oh that’s fancy!

    • outback_ute

      Best wishes to all in the path of Florence!

  • onrails

    I’m actually a little sad to see the Beetle go. It may have had it’s problems (oh man… the problems) but it was at least different. For a few years in the early 00’s we had a painfully trendy garage with a manual Beetle for my wife sitting next to my manual Mini Cooper S. I sold the Mini with 200k miles and still sometimes miss it. We got rid of the Beetle at 60k miles. If I’m honest, that was about 30k miles too late. Don’t miss the car, but at least it was unique.

  • Sjalabais

    Going down one of the rabbit holes that collectively make up the internet, I realised last week that the Soviet’s biggest heavy truck manufacturer, MAZ, is still building trucks. As a matter of fact, , now as a state-run truck manufacturer in Belarus, the biggest industrial enterprise of the country. Known for making intercontinental ballistic missile carriers and stuff like the МАЗ-7907, they even have a now. A much viewed video from 2013 also makes it clear that “cars of Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) are stylish, smart and strong”:

  • Zentropy

    I think KIA needs to ditch the mundane crossover platform for the Telluride and jump into the legitimate off-roader game. Jeep has the market nearly to itself, Toyota and its 4Runners have a loyal following, and Ford is just dipping its toes in the water again (I’m not convinced until I actually see the new Bronco). A trail-capable Soul-like KIA would be kinda cool.

    • outback_ute

      I will be astonished if the Bronco is not IFS, so not a full Wrangler rival

      • Zentropy

        Oh, I think you’re absolutely right on that one. However, Ford is the company that kept a solid rear axle in the Mustang until 2015…

  • Jeff Glucker

    Sprayed some 3M spray on the rear headliner in the Benz. Shit works really well, I wish I was more patient and went more slowly and tucked it all in neatly. At least its not hanging down or flapping in the wind now…

    Also, I am going to write this up next week – but that Dr. Colorchip stuff is LEGIT.

  • dr zero

    New car: bought a Mazda 3 hatch, 6 sp manual. Old Focus needed a chunk of work, with rego coming up I pulled the pin on the new one. Seems pretty typical to drive for a new car, a lot more power assistance for steering, brakes, clutch than the 10 year old Focus. I’ll finally have a chance to have a proper drive tomorrow.

    • Sjalabais

      New like in new-new? Congrats and know it didn’t happen without photos.

    • Smaglik

      Save the manuals!

  • Smaglik

    My x3 is getting a couple recalls taken care of this weekend, pcv valve heater and passenger seat airbag mat. They’ve been outstanding for the better part of a year. I could have gotten a long term rental for the former, as there are rare instances of it causing a fire. I didn’t take it, as I’d rather park the car away from my house than drive the cheapest thing Enterprise had to offer (service advisor words). Of course, financially, the rental would have been the better choice, but, it is what it is.

    • Fred

      Both my Audi and Acura they give me their brands as loaners. One time with the Audi they gave me an Accord because they were out of A4s and they wouldn’t let me have the A7.

      • Smaglik

        Was it for 6 months? Regardless, over the years I’ve spent a whopping $45 at this dealership at the parts counter; all my vehicles I’ve bought used (no sales tax in AZ on private party auto purchases), and I do my own work mostly, and if I can’t do it myself, I use an indy (closest dealer is 2+hr drive from me). So, I honestly can’t blame them one bit for what they offered me. I’m far from one of their best customers.

  • Manic_King

    That A5 CEL/OBD2 saga I’ve been documenting here lately….bought nearest off the shelf cheap Chinese BT reader, downloaded free app and it showed the damn P0401, restricted airflow at EGR valve -code. Which opens of course up whole new list of possible solutions: clean it/ blank it off/ buy new/ disable in ECU and other systems in a flap-closed mode. Last one would be easiest but I think replacing it with a new one (from 70 euros +job) is my choice, after looking at pics in the ‘net of awfully clogged valves and reading opinions that removing it will bring lower mileage and possibly other problems.