On The Shore On The shore — 06 October 2017
Seven cars worth the wait, and a test drive

Jaquar E-Pace

The Takeaway: The new vehicle, to retail at an estimated $38,600, will be sold in two different 2.0-liter turbocharged versions, with engine options producing up to 296 horsepower, the company says. The fastest models will be capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and hitting a top speed of 155 mph.

Detail: Not to be confused with the company’s proposed battery-electric I-Pace, the new five-passenger SUV will be configured as an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

— Charles Fleming

Honda Accord

The Takeaway: Hoping to attract a younger buyer to its sensible but staid Accord, and persuade car shoppers to consider a sedan over an SUV, Honda has given its bestselling mid-sized car a sporty, sexy makeover. In practical terms, that means the new car weighs less, has a slightly longer wheelbase, slightly wider body and lower seating position than its predecessor.

Detail: The 2018 Accord will feature the first 10-speed automatic transmission for a front-drive car and a new generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid technology.

— Charles Fleming

Audi Q5

2.0T Quattro

The Takeaway: The re-engineered 2018 Audi Q5 (and its high-performance SQ5 variant) are simplified and slightly larger. They have redeveloped engines, a roomier back seat and cargo area, more standard safety features and hand-me-down styling from the larger Q7 with a wave shoulder line and pronounced wheel arches.

Detail: The new quattro all-wheel drive system uses Audi’s so-called “ultra” technology, calling it the most radical evolution of quattro since its introduction in the early 1980s on the Audi Quattro Coupe.

Mark Maynard

Subaru WRX

The Takeaway: The WRX and its more virile alter-ego the WRX STI (which got a turbo boost of fame in this summer’s car-chase crazy Baby Driver) will receive a few updates for 2018. Among them is a new front-end design with a larger lower grille opening, new front and rear suspension tuning, a smoother shifting six-speed manual, more cabin soundproofing and a fat, new performance package.

Detail: The WRX, with standard all-wheel drive, has starting prices that range from $27,855-$33,655. The WRX STI ($36,995) is more of an outlaw with a bigger engine – 305-hp, 2.5-liter flat four.

— Mark Maynard

Lexus LS

The Takeaway: The new-generation 2018 Lexus LS will showcase the brand’s latest, greatest automated safety technology. But the brand won’t call it self-driving.

Detail: The Lexus LS will have a shutdown system to safely guide the car to a stop when the driver is incapacitated or just lulled into complacency behind the wheel. The process begins if the driver doesn’t
respond to alerts.

Hans Greimel

Ford Mustang GT

The Takeaway: The 2018 pony car will be powered by Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder-engine as well as the burlier 5.0-liter V8.

Detail: The sports coupe will be mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission — with paddle shifters — that features quicker shift times and delivers more power to the wheels. Both engines will also be available with manual transmissions.

Charles Fleming

Audi A8 

The Takeaway: The dashboard has been simplified to reduce the number of buttons. The profile of the new car, which is expected to go on sale next spring or summer, is more like a four-door coupe than a sedan, Audi says.

Detail: The car can drive autonomously at speeds up to 37 mph in a setting Audi calls Traffic Jam Pilot. Audi will embed the technology when the customer orders the car with the optional automated driving package, but the technology will not be activated until legal and regulatory frameworks have  been approved. Once that has happened, drivers will likely have to return to the dealer to activate the technology.

Nick Gibbs

Charles Fleming, Mark Maynard, Nick Gibbs and Hans Greimel write about cars at our sister publications the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune


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