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From GRIPZ Concept to Jaguar F-PACE

By Corey Conley

Just in time for Oktoberfest, Germany’s largest auto show just wrapped, revealing the latest in European luxury cars and their competitors. We pick our favorite new debuts and concepts.

Nissan Gripz Concept

The Nissan Juke has ample power, great handling, and decent mileage - but polarizing styling keeps the Juke out of many a driveway. That’s why we’re hoping the next Juke looks more like Nissan’s Gripz concept. The concept draws inspiration not from the Juke’s froggy look, but from a 1970s 240z rally car and, well, racing bicycles. Go figure. Thankfully, the red and black rally paint style goes well with the vehicle’s high, muscular take on Nissan’s “V-motion” (don’t ask) design language. Underneath the hood the concept pairs another odd couple: the Nissan Leaf’s electric motor and a conventional gas engine. Nissan is staying mum on whether this part 240z, part bike, part Leaf portends a replacement for the Juke, a styling exercise, or a new model entirely.
Nissan Gripz

Toyota C-HR Concept

While we may not know if Nissan will ever come to Gripz as their Juke replacement, we can be certain Toyota hopes to replace a lot of Jukes with the production version of their C-HR crossover. The model will, of course, look far tamer than the concept (though likely retain its Cheshire Cat grin), and rumors swirl around this being the long-promised Scion crossover. Either way it’s a tardy entry into the piping hot mini-SUV craze - though with Toyota’s marketing might, it could still be a major player.
Toyota C-HR

Jaguar F-Pace

Speaking of tardy entries, Jaguar is prepping its first ever SUV, joining Lamborghini in the all-too-late realization that it’s easier to coax money from car buyers with a high-riding SUV than a comparable sedan. The storied British nameplate will have to compete with similar performance crossovers from Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche, and it’s brought the goods. This includes powerful engines, surprisingly nimble handling, and styling lifted from Jag’s gorgeous F-Type sport coupe.  In the unlikely event an owner ever takes their F-Pace muddin’, they’ll have a host of off-road technology to help keep them out of the sticky stuff. Prices start at a “not as bad as I thought” $41,985.
Jaguar F-Pace

Porsche Mission E Concept

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi probably wasn’t giving advice to electric automaker Tesla, but it’s clear the competition has taken notice of Tesla’s headline grabbing successes, and have shifted into fight mode. Porsche’s first shot across Tesla’s bow is the Mission E Concept. Porsche claims the Mission E foreshadows a car with performance near that of the Tesla Model S, but with far faster recharging from an 800 volt quick charger (Tesla maxes out at 480 volts). The charger, like the performance figures, are still theoretical, but at the very least expect the Mission E’s slinky styling to migrate to some of Porsche’s other models, such as the Panamera sedan.
Porsche Mission E

2017 Infiniti Q30

The conventional wisdom says we Yanks love our SUVs and crossovers, but most wouldn’t be caught dead in a hatchback or wagon. Infiniti is boldly testing this old saw with its sleek Infiniti Q30 five door. Beneath the Mazda-like skin (and we mean that as a compliment), the Q30 shares underpinnings with small Mercedes Benz vehicles, although the sumptuous interior will pull exclusively from Infiniti’s asymmetric design language. The luxury hatchback will face its truest test from Infiniti’s own QX30, a higher-riding crossover version of the Q30, to determine whether America’s automotive tastes are ready for a change.
2017 Infiniti Q30

2016 Honda Civic

After making a lime-green splash with the Honda Coupe concept earlier this year, Honda finally pulled back the curtain on their production Honda Civic sedan. The bread-and-butter sedan is the first of several new iterations of the Civic, and the first time we’ve seen the concept’s wild lines on a tame sedan. The look mostly works, with sharp creases and a rear window which gently ramps into the trunklid. Up front is an aggressive new fascia that shows the world how seriously the Honda now takes life. Once again, Honda claims the aggressive face is backed by the sportiest Civic ever. What is certain is the tidy power boost offered by Honda’s new line of engines. Two engines will be offered in the sedan and at 158 and 174 horsepower they are a much needed upgrade over the outgoing 143 horsepower engine. Expect a parade of new models to follow the sedan, including a five-door hatchback, coupe, sporty Si, and sportier Type-R.
2016 Honda Civic / Issue 174 - September 2018
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