Mercedes Benz unveils EQ sport SUV EV concept with production likely by 2020 - w.videos

Mercedes Benz took the wraps off of its EQ "sport SUV" recently at the Paris Motor Show. EQ is the name given to Merc's new sub-brand of electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, the first model (a regular production version of the concept shown here) will be built at MB's Bremen factory for the 2020 model year. They should try to get it out here sooner, as the good-looking "sport coupe/SUV" should sell well with its approximate 300-mile range and all-wheel drive (an electric motor on each axle). The all-new EQ EV platform is not shared with internal-combustion-powered models and will underpin a host of EQ models including sedans, convertibles, SUVs, etc. Remember that as this is written, the Tesla Model S was the top-selling large luxury sedan in the US period. Yeah, I was surprised too. I do see a lot of them here in LA, so a full line of EVs from Mercedes makes lots of sense. More info will be made available later, but for now enjoy the fairly informative press releases (2) and videos (2) after the "read more" jump. I do question all of the electronic "flash" with the special interior and exterior lighting and such. What effect would they have on battery charge, but it is LED so...

Source: Mercedes Benz - Press releases after the "read more" jump.

Honda upgrades important all-new CR-V for 2017

Whenever a car, crossover, or truck is one of your biggest sellers, any updates and redesigns are very important to your corporate "bottom line." Such is the case with Honda's CR-V compact crossover. As it did with the redesign of the Pilot, the CR-V gains size, updated styling, new features, and more safety tech. A new 1.5-liter turbo four is the new "base" engine that puts out 190 hp and the carryover 2.4-liter four is standard in LX (and above) versions. A continuously-variable automatic (CVT) is standard with or without the optional all-wheel drive system. The new styling is nice (even with the somewhat exaggerated padonkadonk) and stands out in the compact crossover crowd. The interior is more spacious and updated with better materials in all trim levels and Honda's full suite of safety equipment and features are available or standard (see spec charts after the jump.) As long as Honda doesn't go crazy with the MSRP, the all-new 2017 CR-V should be a big seller. Although I must say that when you shell out $30-$40 k for a new vehicle, you deserve better than a CVT "rubber band" transmission. That might be a deal breaker for me. You? Come on Honda, you have several multi-gear regular and dual-clutch automatic transmissions in your arsenal. How about a little "trickle down"...

Source: Honda - Press release and specification/features chart after the "read more" jump.

Volkswagen shows its I.D. in Paris - w/video

Volkswagen took the wraps off of its I.D. concept car at the Paris Motor Show recently. I.D. is based on VW's new Mobil Elrectric Drive platform that should underpin a Volkswagen EV by 2020. The I.D. utilizes an electric motor that generates about 170 hp with batteries that should provide anywhere from about 250 to 375 miles of range on a full charge. Since EVs don't require engine venting, the traditional grille is ditched and VW's EV blue accents are added (some even light up). The I.D. is a few inches shorter than a current VW Golf but with a longer wheelbase giving the I.D.'s body a lean and lithe profile and it still looks like a Volkswagen, especially from the rear. The interior is spacious and open like the current BMW i3 with LED and electronic gauges in use including a head-up display. Near future tech on board consists of I.D. Pilot mode (autonomous drive mode), key access by smartphone, package delivery directly to your trunk (this one's a ways off I think), and more. Overall this is a good-looking concept and I can't wait to see the production version that should arrive in a few years. VW wants to be a major EV "player", so... For more info, check out the three press releases and video after the jump. Future looks bright...

Source: Volkswagen - Press releases and video after the "read more" jump,-.

BMW shows new X2 Concept in Paris - w/video

I'm always amused when carmakers release "concepts" that look like they're ready for the open road like BMW's new X2 Concept. Yup, the X2 looks ready to go with a few small changes. Firstly, you'll need door handles unless BMW is going electronic with the door opening systems. The wheels are 21-inchers on the concept which might see production as an option, but expect smaller wheels on "base" models. The design is a homerun with an aggressive look that says "performance" and "drive me please." The X2 probably has a better than average chance of seeing production fitting into the BMW sport-activity-vehicle line-up just above the new X1 (like the X6 is the sportier version of the X5 and so on). I can bearly make out the rear door openings and cutlines, so I assume that this is a four-door (five-door?) crossover. The X2 is more than likely based on the X1 which also shares its platform with the new Mini Clubman and upcoming all-new Countryman. The lower flare BMW kidney grilles are nice as are the aggressive front air openings with grilles (to keep out the big stuff and fill the chasms I guess). I don't care for the silver accents on the flanks and would prefer black moldings/accents. The headlights are a kick with the internal trapezoids, but again will they make it to production? The press release is design specific so no mechanical info is available but go check out the X1 and you should have most of the info. With the current plethora of sporty compact crossovers, BMW would be silly not to make this one. Oh yeah, and it's good looking too. Check out the X2 footage video after the jump.

Source: BMW - Press release after the "read more" jump.