Jaguar C-X17 Concept
The tidy dividing line between Jaguar being the "car" brand and Land Rover being the "SUV" brand has been officially breached with the introduction of the C-X17. True, it's still just a "concept," and Jaguar representatives insist on continuing to use the "C" word; but with production-looking door handles, wheels, and some other details, it's clear this is not just some one-off styling exercise.
As noted in the introduction, expect the production version of the C-X17 in showrooms sometime in 2016. It will be part of a new family of vehicles from Jaguar, including a long-awaited rear-drive 3 Series-fighter to replace the Ford Mondeo-based X-Type, among other variants. Whether the crossover or the small sedan will be first to market, we don't know for sure, but you can be sure that Jaguar has ambitions of being a top-notch global luxury brand in sales volume and product variety.
Land Rover Range Rover LWB
When only the best will do, Land Rover offers the most opulent and indulgent of Range Rovers, the long-wheelbase Autobiography Black. Only 100 of these will be sold in the U.S. priced at an equally exclusive $185,000 for the Black, and a staggering $199,500 for the Valloire White model. Just getting into the "entry-level" LWB puts you into six-figure territory, with the Range Rover V8 S/C LWB going for $100,995.
Among the features offered by these luxo-liners are rear power seats with memory, dual rear-seat entertainment screens that look like iPads (but sadly, are not removable and portable), electrically deployable rear tray tables on the Autobiography black, as well as a calf-rest. If an Escalade just isn't ballin' enough for you, this is the ultimate luxury SUV statement, at least until Bentley introduces its new SUV.
Some of you may look at the Lincoln MKC and say, "Great, just what the world needs, another crossover." But for Lincoln, the MKC is a hugely significant and symbolic vehicle. Based on the best-selling Ford Escape, the MKC shares precious few details inside or out that betray its blue-collar roots. Giving the MKC a very unique look and detail is the tailgate that wraps completely around the taillights, so the lights and gate lift as a single unit. This is a unique, upscale detail that Lincoln didn't have to go to the trouble to do, but shows the seriousness of their commitment to differentiating the MKC as a premium product.
Likewise, the MKC's front end is much cleaner and more elegant than the Escape, which we consider a handsome compact crossover. Genuine wood interior trim and Bridge of Weir Scottish leather further differentiate the MKC. For the time being, the MKC also has an exclusive engine option of the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 producing 275 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.
This engine will eventually find its way under the hood of the 2015 Mustang, as well as the next-generation Ford Focus RS, which we may or may not see in the U.S. For Lincoln's sake, the MKC needs to sell in big numbers. We have a feeling it will become the brand's best-selling model in short order.
We had a chance to ride in and experience the Macan last spring and were impressed by our seat-of-the-pants shotgun impression. The Macan's performance stats speak for themselves: 340 to 400 hp, and a 0-60 time from 5.2 to a scorching 4.4 seconds. Sharing its basic platform with the Audi Q5, the Macan is a completely unique animal from the Audi in almost every conceivable way, with completely bespoke engines and transmissions, and distinctly Porsche styling.
Porsche is targeting global sales of 50,000 units for the Macan, which we think is entirely conceivable. The only shocker revealed at the show was the starting price for the 400-hp Turbo model at $72,300. The S starts at a more rational and reasonable $49,900. The Turbo definitely has an edge in seat-of-the-pants power, but we're not sure if 60 hp is worth a $22,400 premium. That difference would pay for a pretty clean used Boxster.