If my calculations are correct as this item goes to press, (that’s the old term), 117 days must evolve before they drop the ball before thousands of frozen solid New Yorkers in Times Square and welcome in the year 2017.
But once again, that is not the case if you build cars and trucks. For them 2017 is already here. And my bet is that while people are still skiing at Vail and Aspen, auto makers will be raving about their 2018 models.
Be all that as it may, here is an entirely arbitrary list of some interesting 2017’s to start the post Labor Day week.
Buick’s full-size sedan gets a complete redesign for 2017 sporting “the new face of Buick” that will be seen in other upcoming models. While “longer, lower and wider” than the previous model, the 2017 is 300 pounds lighter. It will be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 310 horsepower with 282 lb-ft of torque matched to an 8-speed automatic. One feature that will grow on you is the massaging seats. If you have never driven a car with this feature, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
This subcompact is likely to be one of the most talked about 2017 cars with its all electric drive and estimated 200 mile range on a full charge. Despite some reports to the contrary, GM insists that the Bolt will go into production at the Orion Assembly Plant near Detroit “by the end of 2016.” At 164 inches, it will be three inches shorter than the Chevy Trax. The interior will sport a 10.2 color touch screen display with a “widget-based flip-board style” of operation and there will be room for four adults. Chevy said the Bolt will be priced in the low $30,000 range, and that of course, is sans any tax breaks that come with electrics. In case you were wondering, the best charging system will give the driver 90 miles of cruising in about 30 minutes. But will charged up potential customers be confused by a showroom with both a Volt and a Bolt?
Ford F-150 Raptor
Right up front let me say this is the most fun one can have in a full sized traditional pickup. Lots of power, lots of off road capability, all in a mean styled pickup. Now don’t be turned off by the addition of a V6 power plant. This one should deliver 375 horsepower with a hefty 470 lb-ft of torque with a ten-speed automatic. Interested parties can choose from a SuperCab or SuperCrew body in a truck that will be 500 pounds lighter than the previous offering. Ford announced that sticker prices will begin at $49,520.
The totally new Acadia went on a diet to end all diets. It will be 700 pounds lighter and 7.2 shorter in the 2017 model year. Enough so that GM can offer a 2.4-liter four as the standard engine good for 194 horsepower with 190 lb-ft of torque. Optional will be a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 310 horsepower for the midsized SUV. Despite that size reduction GMC said three row seating will still be offered along with a new All Terrain model offering “enhanced off-road capability.” A standard rear seat alert can remind the driver when an item, or child, has been left in the second or third row seats. It sounds like the Acadia will be a solid offering in one of the hottest sectors of the market these days.
A bit late to the show but sporting a slick design is Jaguar’s entry into the “medium luxury SUV” market. Not really designed for those seeking off road experiences, this one is highway cruiser that can be had with a Supercharged 380 horsepower V6 that Jaguar said can give drivers a most responsive 0-60 of 5.1 seconds. The “Touch Pro” infotainment system features a 10.2 inch touch screen and there is a 12.3 inch HD instrument cluster with full screen navi display, and a laser head-up display as well. All wheel drive, of course. Pricing starts at $42,390.
Probably the hottest selling brand on the market right now, Subaru for 2017 gave the Impreza a new platform, and a Sport Version with 18-inch wheels, Sport suspension and Active Torque Vectoring. As always, All-Wheel drive is standard on Premium, Sport and Limited trim lines. The 2.0-liter four gains four more horsepower for a total of 152. It will be linked to a CVT tranny with a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddles. Added in the safety department is Reverse Automatic Braking that can apply the brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing course. The Limited’s leather trimmed interior features a 6-way power driver’s seat that is the first of its kind in the Impreza. It is expected that Suby’s record of reliability and long life will continue with the new model.
You have talked about it several times around the old dinner table, and the last thing you want is a crossover or an SUV, one or more that can be found in every neighborhood driveway. Enter Volvo’s brave move into the station wagon market with the very upscale V90 based on the S90 sedan. Among the features is “Pilot Assist” a semi-autonomous drive technology, along with “large animal detection” and run-off the road mitigation. Buyers can select a 2.0 liter turbo four at 250 horsepower, while a supercharger ups things to 316 horsepower with 295 lb-ft of torque. Both come with an eight-speed automatic. The interior is positively luxurious (see the picture) with a 9-inch touchscreen, lots of wood and leather. Early reviewers have said the V90 just might revive a dead segment in the U.S. Look for it in showrooms next year.