The winter would be here soon. Ahead of that, the manufacturers want to make the most out of the sunny skies and warm temperature and test all their upcoming prototypes before the roads are cladded with snow and they head out to Lapland for winter testing. Here are few of the international cars spotted testing last month.
Mahindra US Postal Service prototype
Indian carmaker Mahindra was one of the six manufacturers shortlisted by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to commission their Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) prototype. We exclusively spotted Mahindra’s USPS prototype in the wild for the first time. Seems Mahindra is the first one to deliver as the prototype is looking good enough to take on the duties. Mahindra’s proposal for NGDV prototypes for the USPS is led by south-east Michigan-based Mahindra North American Technical Center (MNATC).
A revised 2019 Ford Edge was seen testing on the streets of Dearborn. The Edge will get some revised styling and new features. Changes are expected to be in the form of new lights and a redesigned front and rear. Revisions are set to be more significant under the skin. A nine-speed automatic will replace the six-speed unit which would help in an improved fuel economy. Engine options would be the same 2.0-litre and 2.7-litre Ecoboost apart from a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is set to be publicly shown in January next year. The prototype is redesigned with new headlights as seen under the camouflage. The Jetta doesn't have the Arteon's clamshell hood design, but it borrows the Golf's snazzy mirrors and wheels. It would adopt the versatile MQB platform with same engine options as before. However, the Jetta GLI will not make it to European shores.
The Ford Focus in the hatchback guise will get a total redo for 2019. Styling-wise, the new LED accent lights and the grille looks similar to the outgoing model. The interior might also get an upgrade in quality. A 1.5-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost is likely to be the volume engine, with a turbo and a dual-clutch transmission. The new Focus hatch is expected to be revealed early next year.
A fleet of the current generation Chevrolet Malibu was spotted alongside the 2019 model year update of the mid-size executive sedan on the scenic mountains of southern Spain. The test mules are heavily cladded given that the carmaker is testing a mid-life update of the ninth-generation sedan. Overall, the new Malibu will appear a lot more updated than the newly launched Opel Insignia. Under the skin, things will remain unchanged. The new and updated Malibu will be revealed next year.
Ram Power Wagon
The HD-based Power Wagon will get another facelift before it moves to the new platform introduced by the upcoming 1500. The crosshair grille can be seen with new light treatments and new bodywork akin to the new Ram. Inside, we expect updates to the UConnect infotainment system and upgrades to some of the materials. The Power Wagon is a heavy duty pick-up truck sold in the US. It competes against the likes of the Ford F150 and GMC Sierra.
Hyundai fuel-cell crossover
Hyundai previewed its next-gen fuel-cell vehicle at an event in Seoul in August. The new crossover is Hyundai’s second commercially produced hydrogen model and uses the company’s fourth generation of hydrogen fuel-cell technology after the Tuscon. The second-gen model targets a range of about 580km. The range of the current Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle is up to 410km. Hyundai is going to introduce its second-gen FCEV at CES 2018, which will be held in Las Vegas in January.