At Auto Shanghai 2019, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz made a concept debut to the public. The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB is being marketed as a “spacious and robust” compact SUV. So… this may make some people wonder, why so many Benz SUVs? Well, the GLB is part of a long chain of high-quality German engineering by Benz to capture the SUV market. Prior to the GLB, Mercedes has sold 6 million SUVs to customers worldwide.
In 2018 alone, SUVs were the strongest segment of the manufacturer with 820,000 units sold. So, Mercedes is simply following a trend of popularity with their SUVs.
Turbo Four-Cylinder Engine with 221 Horsepower
Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB – Side – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift
Under the hood, the Concept GLB sports a 4-cylinder turbo engine. This motor boasts 221 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. For the size of this car, this is a reasonable amount of power. Especially, since there will most likely be an AMG version. But that is likely a year or 2 down the road. The amount of torque backs up the vehicle’s off-road style and vision.
Just as the GLA, this car will most likely have a speed and price aimed at the entry SUV market. But, it’ll probably be a bit more pricey than the GLA, and include enough seating space for 7 occupants. Furthermore, it should be cheaper than the GLC. Lastly, don’t forget about the larger GLE or GLS. Phew! Thinking about it, that’s a lot of dang SUVs!
The Mercedes Concept GLB is a pretty awesome vehicle. To top off its SUV body styling, this vehicle also contains high quality Benz technology. Firstly, there are the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps on the frontend, giving it a very modern fascia. Next, there is the MBUX entertainment system, which is also called Mercedes-Benz User Experience. There’s also hints of off-road styling inside to complement the vehicle itself. Overall, the GLB seems like it will sell well on the worldwide market… it’s compact but serves a multi-purpose.
Volvo XC40 T5 Plug-In Hybrid SUV – Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift
During the 4th quarter of 2019, Volvo is expected to announce a major electric vehicle. The Volvo XC40 fully electric SUV will most likely be the star of this unveil. With the manufacturer’s goal to reach 50% of sales in the EV market by the mid-2020s, this will be a grand start for the company. Volvo is aiming to sell the Polestar 2 beginning in 2020. So, this car may go alongside it, or slightly after it… only time will tell. Currently, a plug-in hybrid version of the XC40 is already in production. But, to take it to the next level, a fully electric version is in the works.
Specs of the Plug-In Hybrid Version
Volvo XC40 T5 Plug-In Hybrid SUV – Side – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift
So, before diving into the fully electric version, let’s take a look at the Volvo XC40 Plug-In Hybrid model. This version sports a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower. Furthermore, there is an electric motor boasting 82 horsepower. In combo, the hybrid sports 262 horsepower. But the electric motors are known for torque, leading to 313 lb.-ft.! Wow! For the torque to touch the ground, there is a 7-speed auto transmission. To back up this setup, there is a 9.7-kWh lithium-ion battery to store power. This version of the car can reach 60 mph in only 7.3 seconds. Lastly, on battery alone, this car can cover around 34 miles.
The 2019 Volvo XC40 Is the Coolest Volvo in Decades – Doug DeMuro – YouTube
By 2025, Volvo is hoping to have 50% of its sales in the EV Market. That is quite a goal, and a smart goal at that. The Volvo XC40 fully electric SUV will have zero emissions and be purely electric. It will use the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) as the Polestar 2. For those that don’t know, Volvo’s parent company is Geely. Geely also owns Lotus and Lynk & Co. Hence, some of these subsidiary companies share architecture and parts. With the XC40 being the 2019 European Car of the Year, this car has a great opportunity to allow Volvo to enter the EV market smoothly.
With the 2019 Geneva Motor Show approaching, Bentley is ready to go. The manufacturer will debut the new 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed. Without diving into too much detail just yet, this car has a slightly higher top speed than the Lamborghini Urus! But, be sure to read below as it isn’t much of a gap. Visually, the exterior has some minor changes and enhancements. Firstly, the front and rear lights have a dark tint, with darkening certain components such as the splitter. Furthermore, there is a new tailgate spoiler, 22” wheels, and badging.
The 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed surely doesn’t slack on providing a powerhouse. Under the hood, the Speed sports a 6.0-liter W12 engine. This motor produces 626 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. In combo with a 8-speed auto transmission, this engine propels the Speed to 62 mph in only 3.9 seconds. Wow! Now, let’s discuss the top speed. The Bentayga Speed SUV can reach a whopping 190 mph. This is faster than a Urus, but only by 0.5 mph… so, technically, the Urus can possibly defeat this given the opportunity. It’s time for the Urus to hit the salt flats! The Urus has 641-HP, so anything is possible… or not!
Bentley Bentayga Speed revealed – meet the world’s fastest SUV – Auto Express – YouTube
The 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed is quite an amazing SUV. From the power to the design, this SUV is surely able to compete with the crème of the crop. Taking it even further, the Speed withholds the company’s most powerful brake system to date. This vehicle will have the largest and strongest ceramic brakes by Bentley, period. With a max braking torque of 4,425 lb.-ft., these will surely do the job. This system also weighs 44 lbs. less than a typical setup and can handle temps up to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, the Bentayga Speed is an attempt by Bentley to rule the SUV market.
In recent years, supercar brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have decided to venture into the SUV market. This has been a surprise for many, unlike when Bentley or Rolls-Royce jumped ship. Regardless, even Aston Martin and Lotus are planning SUV models for the market. But, one major supercar company is saying no. McLaren intends to avoid the SUV market, unlike the competition. So, there will be no McLaren SUV arriving in the future. Honestly, avoiding the SUV market is a reasonable option, especially with the pure competition going on between the other companies now.
CEO Mike Flewitt’s Interview with Automotive News
Representation of Interview In Progress – Broadcasting Room – Pixabay – EuroDrift
Recently, McLaren’s CEO Mike Flewitt spoke with Automotive News about this exact topic. From the conversation, a McLaren SUV seems completely off the table.
”I’m not against SUVs… They are just not what McLaren does.” – Statement by McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt
This statement makes it clear that McLaren does not vision itself as a SUV company. Within reasonable observance, this statement is true. McLaren succeeds largely at creating vehicles in the supercar realm. Hence, staying within that will allow McLaren to spend more resources on what matters, the newest models to its fleet.
”When we decide to do a product there are three simple tests: It has to be right for the brand and right for the customer base, we’ve got to have the technology to do the best car in class, and we’ve got to make money… An SUV starts to reduce the purity of the brand as a supercar driver’s brand. Secondly, we don’t have the technology. Can you imagine from a standing start if we wanted to go out and do a better car than a Range Rover, or a Cayenne – the billions we’d have to invest? Third, therefore, is we wouldn’t make any money. So, it doesn’t tick any box.” – Statement by McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt
Obviously, from these remarks, CEO Mike Flewitt doesn’t see a McLaren SUV as a reasonable investment. Firstly, the car is not right for their brand or clientele. Secondly, McLaren feels it will degrade their supercar basis. Thirdly, McLaren doesn’t have or want the technology needed to build a SUV from scratch. Avoiding billions in investment isn’t a bad thing, as this will allow McLaren to invest otherwise. Regardless, there will be plenty of other supercar or ultra-luxury SUVs to choose from.
Unlike never owning a McLaren SUV, it will be possible to own a McLaren EV in the future. Not surprisingly, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt is for EVs. But, McLaren will need a lot of preparation work in the battery creation realm.
”A McLaren EV has got to be usable… It shouldn’t be that we offer a powertrain solution that compromises. It won’t just be lower emissions, it’ll be a better sports car. We’ve set ourselves half an hour full-on track use. You need to be able to do that without recharge, and when you come in and recharge it needs to recharge in 30 minutes.” – Statement by McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt
McLaren aims to bring an EV to market, but first, it must be reliable on the track. Not only will they offer lower emissions but aim to build a better car. The goal is to allow a driver 30 minutes of track intensive driving before having to charge for 30 minutes. So, downtime may be a bit longer than simply filling a tank, but electrical wise, this is a very high expectation. Building a battery like this will take high investment, research and development, and more. It most likely will not happen, but companies such as Tesla seem to have a hold on this, so maybe reaching out for some co-operative work isn’t a bad idea… or maybe it is?
No to McLaren SUV, Yes to McLaren EV
We Build Sports Cars, Not SUVs: McLaren CEO – Bloomberg – YouTube
Overall, the decision to avoid a McLaren SUV is reasonable, without a doubt. On the other hand, entering the EV market is a must. An EV will allow McLaren to retain full supercar status while offering a modern take on technology. By avoiding an SUV, McLaren saves billions in investment funding as well as headaches. First generation SUVs tend to arrive with problems, such as the Cayenne 10 years ago. Regardless of this decision, plenty of SUV options will be readily available by Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and even Lotus. In conclusion, McLaren’s decision to avoid SUVs wasn’t really a surprise anyway.
Below, a picture of the Lamborghini Urus is shown as a representation of the supercar SUVs currently on market.
Lamborghini Urus – Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift
For the 2020 model year, Aston Martin plans to bring a 4-door crossover SUV to the market, the DBX. The 2020 Aston Martin DBX will be Aston’s attempt to join the luxury SUV market. Recently, many luxury brands have built their own style of SUVs. This includes manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and even Rolls-Royce. With this vehicle, Aston hopes to increase its sales above 4,000 globally per year. But, this will heavily depend on the market reaction upon an official debut. By impressing everyone, Aston may be able to stand out in the luxury SUV market.
Features & Specifications
Initially, the Aston Martin DBX was on display as a 2-door concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. From exterior to interior, this car should please most auto enthusiasts. Firstly, there will be a reworked component set of the DB11 coupe, mostly of aluminum. Secondly, the production version in 2020 should feature a Mercedes V8 engine. But, Aston does intend to release a fully electric SUV within a few years later. Thirdly, as per production, this vehicle is on track to be built in Wales. Unfortunately, for 2-door SUV enthusiasts, Aston doesn’t plan to build an AMC Spirit.
“To Be, Or Not To Be? That is the Question.”
FIRST LOOK: Aston Martin DBX Concept – Geneva 2015 – Shmee150 – YouTube
This famous quote by William Shakespeare in Hamlet, Act III, Scene I relates to this vehicle. But, with every new luxury SUV, this question falls present. Aston Martin does not want to embarrass itself with another failure such as the Lagonda SUV (not saloon). The Aston Martin Lagonda SUV was on display at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. As per the 2020 Aston Martin DBX, this vehicle will have decent competition. These vehicles include the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and the Tesla Model X. As per price point, the DBX is expected to cost around $225,000. This is decently more than the Model X but definitely cheaper than a Cullinan. In conclusion, time will only tell if the DBX will be successful… or not.
Aston Martin DBX 2-Door Concept – Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift
Note: The pictures for this article are of the 2-door concept DBX. The release DBX will be a 4-door variant. Aston Martin has not released official pictures yet for the rendition.
In 2016, Alfa Romeo introduced the world to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has been in production since 2016 with it’s first model year set to 2018. The assembly of the Stelvio occurs at the FCA Cassino Plant in Cassino, Frostinone, Italy. This SUV is a compact luxury crossover with a 5-door layout and the Giorgio platform. Lastly, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV is one of the fastest SUVs in the world.
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV sports an all-aluminum 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. This motor produces 505 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque. The Stelvio’s governor restricts the car to 176 mph. From 0 to 60 mph, the Stelvio takes only 3.9 seconds. This car has also obtained the reputation for fastest SUV in the world with a Nürburgring lap time of 7:15.7 as seen in the video below.
On the interior, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV has Alcantara sport seats with a leather steering wheel. To increase sportiness, there is also a red push-start button as well as aluminum paddle-shifters. Complementing this even further, the Stelvio has carbon fiber trim. For technology, there is an 8.8” widescreen color display. On the audio end, there is a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.
On the exterior, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV has 20” wheels and other premium features. To complement the wheels, there are carbon ceramic Brembo brakes. On the front, there is a Scudetto grille design. This SUV has a nice ride height which allows for comfort as well as sporty handling. Lastly, the Stelvio displays LED headlamps and tail lights.
50/50 Weight Distribution Ratio & Torque Vectoring
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV makes use of a Q4 AWD system. For the suspension, the Stelvio has a double wishbone front suspension system. On top of this, the Stelvio sports a nearly 50/50 weight distribution ratio as well as torque vectoring. For the braking system, there is an integrated braking setup. Lastly, the Stelvio arrives with the Alfa DNA Pro Drive Mode Selector including the infamous race mode.
MSRP of $81,590 Including Delivery Charge
For a MSRP of $81,590, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV can be yours! This is $38,600 more than the entry-level Stelvio model. But, keep in mind, this cost does include the delivery charge. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is an amazing feat of engineering in the SUV realm that beat out the Cayenne, Levante, and other well-known SUVs. The Lamborghini Urus presents a threat to the Stelvio’s Nürburgring record, but for the price, this is one hell of a sports SUV. In conclusion, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio was the world’s fastest SUV record holder which makes this a legendary vehicle.
At end of 2016, Maserati introduced the Levante to the world and entered the SUV market. Now, Maserati will be releasing a second SUV by 2020. Automotive News reports that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne stated this recently. The new SUV will be a size smaller than the Levante on the Giorgio platform. This means the new Maserati SUV will share the platform with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. As you’d expect, this new SUV will sport its own power train.
Maserati Aims to Sell 70,000 to 80,000 Vehicles per Year
With 2 SUVs, Marchionne believes Maserati will be able to sell 70,000 to 80,000 vehicles per year. Three quarters into 2017, Maserati has sold around 36,000 vehicles. This is impressive as the previous years value was 24,000 vehicles at the same time in 2016. This is an increase of 12,000 vehicles which can be due to the Levante’s entrance to market. Unfortunately for Maserati, the Quattroporte sales are down from previous years, probably due to the other vehicles being sold in the lineup.
Maserati Demand is Lower than Expected in China
In China, Maserati Levante demand has been lower than calculated so the Levante production is turned down. Regardless, the Levante has made sales worldwide in the last year. Due to this, Maserati hopes a second SUV with a lower MSRP would increase overall sales. The Levante has a “cheap” Chrysler switchgear layout and electronic shifter but has proven itself in other areas. In off-road and touring capabilities, the Levante exceeds any expectations. Not to mention that it feels and handles like a true sports SUV.
A Second Maserati SUV Should Increase Demand & Profits
Overall, the Levante is a beautiful car and a younger brother should increase Maserati’s market reach. With Maserati’s new cheaper models, the sales have increased leading to higher profitability for the company. As you’d expect, this led Maserati to the decision to create a second SUV by 2020. Even though it’ll share the Giorgio platform with the Stelvio, it should be an amazing vehicle. In the end, we will just have to wait until 2020 to see what Maserati has planned for the future.
In the second half of 2018, Jaguar will introduce an all-electric SUV into the auto market. Currently labeled the “I-Pace Concept”, this vehicle is the ultimate electric performance SUV. Back in early 2016, Jaguar filed trademarks for the “I-Pace” and “I-Type” designations. In the fall of 2016, the 2018 Jaguar I-PACE Concept was revealed to the public. This comes after Jaguar’s vision to move forward into the upcoming electric auto era.
400 Horsepower & 516 Lb.-Ft. of Torque
The Jaguar I-PACE Concept is a preview of the upcoming production of an I-Type series within the company. As Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, it has specifications that won’t disappoint. Jaguar states that the car will have around 400 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of instant torque. This will allow the electric SUV to hit 60 mph in only roughly 4 seconds. That is pretty quick, even faster than a handful of V8s currently on the market by other manufacturers.
Within the Jaguar I-Type, there will be next-generation technology. Jaguar’s intention with technology is to make a vehicle that is intuitively connected. This will allow drivers to keep attention on the road while handling other tasks. There will also be four screens within the car. This includes two center console infotainment touchscreens and a screen behind the steering wheel. The last screen is considered a full-color heads up display that reveals key information to the driver via the windshield.
Zero Vehicle Emissions
On top of this next-generation technology, there will also be zero vehicle emissions from this SUV. Yes, a powerful SUV that can outrun a V8 and produce no emissions. The only constraint is that the I-Type will need a recharge after about 220 miles. This isn’t a terrible amount for a usual daily commute, but on a road trip it may be a hassle. Regardless, Jaguar makes a sprint into the next realm with this SUV.
Buy the Jaguar I-Type in the Second Half of 2018
Overall, the Jaguar I-PACE Concept is a look into the future of the upcoming I-Type. In the second half of 2018, Jaguar enthusiasts will be able to own this modern feat of technology. With a 0-60 of 4 seconds and 400 horsepower, this SUV doesn’t hold back. The instant torque is sure to throw you back in your seat while full out accelerating. In the end, this is just the beginning of Jaguar’s foothold in the electric auto market.
On display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit was the Alfa Romeo Stelvio while the Philadelphia Auto Show displayed the Maserati Levante, the two new Italian stallion SUVs. On the exterior, the two Italian cars share similarities, but under the hood and inside the cabin, they differ quite a bit.
A Quick Look Under the Hood
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio has two different engine options. The smaller version is an all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine which delivers 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque. Its counterpart, the more powerful twin-turbo V6, delivers 505 horsepower and can go 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
Currently, the Maserati Levante features a 3.0-liter V6 engine with either 345 horsepower on the base model or 424 horsepower on the S model. At its best, the Levante takes about 5.0 seconds to go from 0-60 mph. However, a 560 horsepower V8 is scheduled for availability on the Levante in 2018.
Both cars are all-wheel drive, but the Maserati is being built for going off-road. By switching the Levante into its “off-road” mode, drivers enjoy better handling in winter weather or harsh conditions.
Instead of an “off-road” mode, The Stelvio Quadrifoglio has a “race” mode. This feature disables the ESC and activates the overboost function. It also adjusts steering and overall engine performance.
Inside the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Maserati Levante
Inside, the two cars have almost nothing in common. The Levante is all about luxury. If the standard leather seats aren’t opulent enough, the Luxury Zegna package features leather and silk seats. The cabin has accents of aluminum as well as a sleek, clean design. The Maserati has Touch Control, a touchscreen display, as well as a customizable gauge cluster.
The Stelvio, in contrast, is less about luxury and more about fun. The Quadrifoglio has sport leather seats which are heavily bolstered for comfort. A wide screen infotainment system takes up most of the dashboard. Dramatic detailing draws the eye and screams “Hey, look at me.” Overall, the interior design of the Stelvio is bolder than the Levante.
How They Compare in Price
The Levante and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio are similar in price at around $70,000+ while the base Stelvio is estimated to be ~$50,000.. Whether you prefer the Levante or the Stelvio depends solely on your lifestyle. If you want an off-road adventure, the Maserati is for you. However, if speed is your thing, go for the Stelvio. In the end, both cars live up to their hype and offer quite a bit of bang for the buck.