The Witness - Wheels - - AUTO SHOWS -

MANY of the mod­els dis­played at this week’s Detroit Auto Show are all elec­tric, de­spite the ex­ec­u­tives of car mak­ers telling a sur­vey they think the elec­tric-ve­hi­cle mar­ket will even­tu­ally be leapfrogged by fuel-cell ve­hi­cles, due to the in­fra­struc­ture chal­lenges of both low­er­rate pub­lic charg­ing and DC fastcharg­ing for long-dis­tance travel.

Au­dit­ing firm KPMG sur­veyed 953 se­nior ex­ec­u­tives, and the com­pany said their re­port based on data col­lected paints an in­ter­est­ing pic­ture of fu­ture au­to­mo­tive trends us­ing hy­dro­gen to recharge the bat­ter­ies of elec­tric cars.

Six in ten au­tomak­ers and sup­pli­ers are don’t see bat­ter­ies cathc­ing up with the en­ergy den­si­ties of fos­sil fu­els any time soon, but half of ex­ec­u­tives none­the­less be­lieve that clean air laws will make bat­tery elec­tric ve­hi­cles a trend into 2025. Three fos­sil-fuel cars that we can mean­while ex­pect on SA shores comes from BMW, Fiat and Ford.

BMW X2: A sporty com­pan­ion to BMW’s X1 and X3 com­pact crossovers, the new X2 ar­rives in U.S. show­rooms in March.

Hyundai Veloster: Hyundai Mo­tor Co’s sporty Veloster gets a new sil­hou­ette, while main­tain­ing its trade­mark three-doors-plus-hatch­back con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Jeep Chero­kee: Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles has facelifted the mid­size Chero­kee for model year 2019. Mercedes G-Class: The lon­grun­ning Ge­landewa­gen gets “the big­gest makeover in its his­tory,” ac­cord­ing to Daim­ler AG’s Mercedes­Benz, but keeps its rugged boxy shape.

Ford Ranger: Ford Mo­tor Co is re­viv­ing the Ranger mid­size pickup truck in North Amer­ica in early 2019, aim­ing to re­claim mar­ket share from ri­val Gen­eral Mo­tors, which has scored a hit with its com­pet­ing Chevro­let Colorado and GMC Canyon mid­size pick­ups.

Ford said a new tur­bocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylin­der en­gine will use direct in­jec­tion and a twin-scroll tur­bocharger and a 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.


BE­LOW: The new Ford Ranger.


To mark the in­tro­duc­tion of the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Mercedes-Benz G-Class as a 2019 model at the Detroit auto show, Merc en­cased a 1979 G-Class wagon in­side a 49-ton block of syn­thetic resin. The 2018 G-Class still has a live rear axle, per­ma­nent...

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