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The News for January 5th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian January 5, 2018 The News! 22 Comments

Welcome to the Hooniverse 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 announces Niro EV Concept debut for CES next week

  • Infiniti shows off more of their future design language with upcoming concept

  • Ford reportedly cancels Fusion’s 2020 redesign, future even more unclear

  • What’s your automotive news?

Kia Niro EV Concept

When Kia debuted the Niro back in 2016, it was a hybrid right from the get go and built from the ground up with efficient powertrains in mind. It only seemed logical that at some point it would evolve a bit and run with an all-electric powertrain as an option. Well that point is only a few days away as Kia plans to unveil an EV Niro concept at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

So far we have a few dark images and no real hard data to go off of here, but MotorAuthority points out that it very well could run a slightly updated version of the EV powertrain in the Hyundai Ioniq Electric. The Ioniq has a 28kWh battery and a 124 mile range, so expect something similar with the Niro.

The Niro EV isn’t the only thing they’re showing off either. Kia will also be displaying a new interface system, the world’s first 5G connectivity in a car, advanced driver aids, and one of those “visions for mobility” that everyone’s coming up with these days because their marketing team said so.

[Source: Kia via MotorAuthority]

Infiniti teases new design language

Infiniti has dropped another teaser for an upcoming concept car due at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It’s a more complete picture of the Q Inspiration Concept compared to what we got last time, but with it we got confirmation that it alludes to a new design language for the various sedans they produce.

Karim Habib, Infiniti Executive Design Director, says they aimed to “take traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution” with an “alternative” form. Future powertrains that are more compact (hybrids and EVs, basically) allow them to shrink the bonnet and create an “unusually long and balanced cabin” so drivers/passengers get more space for themselves.

We’ll see the concept in full on January 15th when the covers are pulled at Detroit, or maybe a few days earlier when they decide to just release everything about it online.

[Source: Infiniti]

Ford Fusion Redesign Cancelled, Future Even More Unclear

Weeks after we learned that Ford is mysteriously shifting production for the Fusion and Mondeo in such a way that makes it seem like some sort of cancellation is imminent, we get another bombshell from The Detroit News that Ford has cancelled plans for the Fusion’s 2020 model year redesign as the suits reevaluate its future.

Like last time, this revelation came from a letter that Ford sent to their suppliers which was obtained by The Detroit News. Another unnamed source with knowledge of the plan told them the Fusion and Mondeo would remain a part of Ford’s lineup for at least three more years, but after that who knows. A Ford spokesperson added that the “Fusion remains an important part of the Ford lineup for years to come with even more new fresh features on the way. We will have more news to share in the future”.

Ford could be trying to determine if it’s worth keeping the Fusion alive at all past then or if it’ll be reborn as another soulless crossover that more people will buy. We may very well see a redesigned Fusion sedan after all, but it’s starting to look a little less likely.

[Source: The Detroit News via Autoweek]

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 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Zentropy

    About time, Infiniti. Your current design language is a train wreck.

    • Fred

      I dare Infiniti to come out with a hatch and no door handles.

      • outback_ute

        Are you sure it’s a hatch? Could just be the world’s smallest trunk lid

        • Vairship

          Even if it were a hatch, it would have a very high lift-over height, given that the lid ends above the tail lights.

        • Fred

          That’s what I’m afraid of.

    • Sjalabais

      Karim Habib, Infiniti Executive Design Director, says they aimed to “take traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution” with an “alternative” form. Future powertrains that are more compact (hybrids and EVs, basically) allow them to shrink the bonnet and create an “unusually long and balanced cabin” so drivers/passengers get more space for themselves.

      I ran that through the de-bullshittizer and what came out the other end was:

      “We saw a Tesla S on the way to work and figured, ‘we can do that'”.

  • Maymar

    http://consumerguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/97804011990406.jpg
    Has Infiniti started mining their heritage? Is a grilless vehicle with a belt buckle logo up front next?

    • wunno sev

      has this just become an Infiniti Favorites thread? (the J30 is a secret favorite of mine.)

      http://claveyscorner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2003-Infiniti-M45-intro-1140×599.jpg

      • kogashiwa
        • wunno sev

          ooh, very handsome. still got that car?

          Infiniti has – or at least had, at some point – something special over its competitors, which was that the cars looked much more JDM than the equivalent Lexus or what-have-you. your Q45 exemplifies this – something about it is just super Japanese, in a way an LS400 has scrubbed carefully out. i think Lexus used to put in money to design things for the US market, and Infiniti used to put nicer leather and Infiniti badges on some cars with goofy names.

          the M45, i think, is the last Infiniti that felt properly JDM; after that we were firmly in the era of the world car, where everything is designed for America anyway. here’s another, not very JDM-looking Infiniti, the second-gen G20t. another guilty pleasure of mine – pleasant styling, if bland, fine chassis, SR20. a first-gen TSX would be a better car, but who wouldn’t see that coming?

          http://4-photos5.motorcar.com/used-2001-infiniti-g20-g20ttouringsedan-1186-7007882-1-800.jpg

          • Zentropy

            I don’t recall seeing the G20 on the road, but then looking at it now, I probably wouldn’t. It looks very Nissan vanilla.

          • Sjalabais

            I had one of these as a wagon. Great to drive, very tossable. But the sheetmetal was soda can thin, everything was the cheapest possible solution. One thing I really miss was the wiper adjustment: A free turning wheel, with stageless adjustment. This was heaven for a control freak like me! I basically gave it away after it didn’t pass tech inspection.
            https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/960w/2013/10/vertical-3/27/7/448/450/57_220690319.jpg
            Just checked the official car registry, it seems the Primera died in 11-2016.

          • kogashiwa

            I think you have a good point there. The ’03-’04 M45 is on my wish list for sure and that’s a large part of the reason. Nissan designed the Cima for the Japanese market, sold it only there for a while, then realized “oh huh Infiniti needs something smaller than the Q45 probably”, fired up the badge machine and knocked off for a few Asahi Super Dry.

            At least that’s my understanding of how it worked.

            I think the narrower body is at least partly what gives that “JDM” look. The Y33 Q45 (like mine was … no, don’t have it any more, it was a fount of troubles, sold it very cheap) is quite a bit narrower than a current Accord. Lower, too. But longer.

  • That Kia will have autonomous tech.
    Robot The Niro.
    (Please allow me to be the last person to make that joke)

  • I’m off this Thursday to Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale. Any Hooniverse folks going to be there? FormaCars is going to be an exhibitor, showing 3 cars, all Factory Five models. We’ll have a Mark IV (Cobra), Type 65 Coupe and an 818. Look for us next to Factory Five .

    • Fred

      Give me a call if you see a good deal on a old British sport car.

  • Zentropy

    This isn’t really news, but I just felt I needed to put it out there. Black wheels/trim look terrible on blue cars. I wish manufacturers/owners would stop applying this combination. It works on white, black, grey, and silver. Sometimes red. That’s it.

    • Greg Kachadurian

      I feel mostly the same way, but I actually like it on darker blues like this Mustang I configured for the hell of it a week ago… which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bcd3874ae74ba19a04ed92c8eeb450051a472725e9f5efd206f539d7211efcbe.png

      • Zentropy

        To each his/her own, for certain, but I have to disagree. The combination looks better with lighter blues, but I don’t think light blue cars are very attractive to begin with. Black and blue is best reserved for bruises.

  • Rudy™

    >> A Ford spokesperson added that the “Fusion remains an important part of the Ford lineup for years to come with even more new fresh features on the way. We will have more news to share in the future”. <<

    So they'll let the Fusion/Mondeo sales sink as the vehicle ages beyond being stale, then claim that sales are disappointing as they kill it off for good (or, yes, give it a rebirth as another "me too" crossover).