Honda Will Launch New Global Platform, Heavily Slash Trim Variants

Honda will launch new global platform, heavily slash trim variants

Along with Honda's announcement of the Honda E electric city car's production name, CEO Takahiro Hachigo today revealed a smattering of other initiatives and plans for Honda's future. Perhaps the most intriguing is a new vehicle platform to be announced next year with a "global model." It will be called Honda Architecture, and Honda says it's going to increase development efficiency and expand parts-sharing between models built on the platform. What Honda didn't tell us was what model we'll see on the platform first. Since the vehicle will be introduced next year, we expect it to be for the 2021 model year. It's tough to say which vehicle will be getting this platform first, as Honda has many global models: Civic, Accord, CR-V, Fit and HR-V.

The Accord and CR-V are both already loosely based on the Civic's platform, so where that car goes, the others will follow and vice-versa. The HR-V is a Fit-based crossover, but the new Fit was announced to be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall — this means it can't be the car using the new platform, since Honda says the "Honda Architecture" is coming to a model announced in 2020. Honda also said this new Fit will be getting a next-generation version of its i-MMD hybrid system. We expect absolutely stellar fuel economy from a hybridized Fit — you can check out the next-gen Fit in spy photos here.

Toyota C-hr Gets New Base Trim That's About $1,400 Cheaper

Toyota C-HR gets new base trim that's about $1,400 cheaper

Toyota has announced pricing and trim levels for the 2019 C-HR crossover. A rather substantial price drop for the cheapest C-HR is at hand: while the 2018 C-HR started at $23,410 for the XLE trim, the new base C-HR, the LE starts from $20,995 excluding destination fees, or $22,090 with them.

Earlier, Toyota only offered the C-HR with two trim levels, the XLE and XLE Premium, but the latter has now been removed, and there are three versions. The LE's introduction means a touch of de-contenting, as the base model is offered with 17-inch steel wheels and a plastic steering wheel. While there are LED DRLs, the headlights are halogen. Still, even the LE gets the 8-inch touchscreen that is Apple CarPlay compatible, and dynamic radar cruise control. As well as the DRCC, all models get Toyota's Safety Sense suite that includes collision avoidance systems such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection and steering-assisting lane keeper.

2019 Nissan Leaf E+ Loses Range In Upper Trim Levels

2019 Nissan Leaf e+ loses range in upper trim levels

Nissan revealed the Leaf e+ at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month. A range of 226 miles was, and still is, touted as the main selling point over the normal Leaf. It appears the base level S trim is the only Leaf with that much range, though. Ponying up for the SV and SL trims will end up netting you an EPA-estimated 215 miles each. That's an 11 mile drop, one Nissan said is "mostly due to weight differences" when we asked.

How much weight you ask? Here are the trims, weights and ranges laid out for you:

Lexus Es Revealed With New F Sport Trim

Lexus ES revealed with new F Sport trim

Lexus gave us a good preview of the new ES luxury sedan ahead of its Beijing reveal, and now we get to see the real thing. Visually, it's pretty typical Lexus fare. It has the ever-controversial "spindle" grille up front with either form-following slats on standard models, or a sportier mesh on the new F Sport trim, a first for the model. It's about 2 inches, give or take a few tenths, longer both in overall length and wheel base and wider than the previous model. The F Sport also adds a rear spoiler, 19-inch wheels, a unique rear valence and an available blue metallic shown above. The headlights are perhaps the most crisp and clean of any modern Lexus, incorporating a bit of edgy design without becoming overly curvy and complex. The same goes for the rest of the car, which has clean, muscular curves, a hint of a fastback roof, and sharp taillights, all of which have a Lexus feel, but toned down and more elegant. The ES also looks reasonably distinct from the Camry and Avalon with which it shares a TNGA platform, particularly in the roofline.

The inside is an even bigger departure from those Toyotas, and an evolution from the old ES. The instruments are housed in a trapezoidal cowl that looks to have come straight from an LS or LC, and comes complete with the little switch cylinders on either side. The instruments themselves also feature the multifunction display similar to those high-dollar Lexus models. The dash is fairly swoopy, but it also appears to be less busy than the outgoing model. It will come with either a standard 8-inch infotainment screen or an optional 12.3-inch screen, both of which are controlled with the Lexus touchpad. You'll also be able to use Apple CarPlay, making the ES the first Lexus with the feature. The F Sport also brings new features such as aluminum trim with waves inspired by Japanese swords, and switchgear for the new Sport+ mode.

2019 Toyota Yaris Gets New Name, Grille, 3 Trim Levels

2019 Toyota Yaris gets new name, grille, 3 trim levels

Toyota is dropping the iA moniker from the Yaris for 2019, giving its dominating front grille a honeycomb insert, adding some piano black accents and chrome trim, and making its entry-level sedan available in three trim levels for the first time.

Formerly known as the Scion iA and then the Yaris iA and derived from Mazda, the 2019 Yaris will come in three grades when it goes on sale this fall: the L, LE and premium XLE. The Yaris iA previously came with a single spec with the only choice being between a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Alpine A110 Looks Lovely With New Colors, Wheels, Trim Levels

Alpine A110 looks lovely with new colors, wheels, trim levels

We were heartbroken to learn that Alpine wouldn't be offering any A110s in the United States, left as we are lusting for the blue sports coupe from a afar. Now we can lust for it in multiple colors and variants. Alpine has announced that the A110 will now be available in two trim levels, in a (small) selection of colors, and with multiple wheel types.

The two trim levels include Pure, which doesn't come with any special extras and is equipped similarly to the first run of 1,955 Premiere Edition models, and Légende, which adds some comfort and convenience features. Among the equipment included on Légende models are leather-upholstered six-way adjustable seats and carbon fiber interior trim.

Lexus Has A Approved A Convertible Version Of The Lc, And Is Close To Green-lighting A High-performance Lc F Trim

Lexus has a approved a convertible version of the LC, and is close to green-lighting a high-performance LC F trimAuto Express reports that Lexus has a approved a convertible version of the LC, and is close to green-lighting a high-performance LC F trim. The Detroit Bureau reported that the same two models were in development one year ago, citing Lexus sources at the Detroit Auto Show who told the outlet "a number of additional variants" would follow the coupe's launch. The timeline's been stretched a bit between then and now; instead of getting the convertible this year, Auto Express says the "done deal" droptop should arrive in 18 months to two years.

Toyota Hilux Gets Tougher-looking Trim Lines

Toyota Hilux gets tougher-looking trim lines

Though Toyota's midsize truck reputation in North America is built on the Tacoma, in the rest of the world, it comes from the Hilux. That truck has been roaming the world for decades, and Toyota will be unleashing some particularly aggressive-looking versions soon. The company's Australia division announced the introduction of the Rugged X, Rugged and Rogue versions.

The toughest of the bunch are the Rugged variants. The Rugged X, shown in orange, adds a black grille and a beefy off-road bumper up front with an integrated LED off-road light bar and room for a winch. Below that is a skid plate and rock rails for undercarriage protection. Up on top are a snorkel and a sports bar, not to mention graphics and badging. The regular Rugged, shown in white, has a different off-road bumper with brush guard hoops for additional protection from flora and fauna. Toyota also notes that the bumper doesn't affect crash protection or air bag activation either. The regular Rugged appears to do without the skid plates, but still has rock rails.