Thursday, February 6, 2014

Small Car Highlights From the 2014 Portland International Auto Show

BMW i3 front side
2015 BMW i3
The 2014 Portland International Auto Show will be held February 6–10 at the Oregon Convention Center. Subcompact Culture attended the press day on February 5 to get a preview of some of the latest rides. And while there were exotics, sports cars, SUVs, pickups, and just about everything else there, we attended for the small cars ... of course.

2015 BMW i3 

BMW i3 interior
One of the most notable and exciting small cars at the show is the 2015 BMW i3, which is an EV with an optional inline two-cylinder 650cc range-extending gas engine. The vehicle makes 170 hp and 184 lbs./ft. of torque and will weigh in at about 2,700 lbs. It's estimated the small front-drive BMW (a first for the brand) will get 125 eMPG. By the way, yes, it's got 20" wheels wearing 165/65/20 tires. That's a new one. The interior is simply stunning, to be frank. There's futuristic yet simple design throughout, including a gorgeous wood dash area in front of the passenger, and suicide doors. Made with scads of carbon fiber, the i3 will start out at $42,275.

BMW i3 rear

2015 Subaru  WRX STI

2015 Subaru WRX STI front

Another highly anticipated vehicle at the Auto Show is the 2015 Subaru WRX STI. The standard '15 WRX isn't slated to go on sale until April, but Oregon is Subaru country, and Subaru was able to bring the hot- rodded WRX STI, which won't go on sale until June, to the Portland show for all to see. Making 305 horsepower out of its 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder mill and delivering power too all four wheels, the new STI will likely be a beast despite the somewhat toned-down sheet metal. However, the big wing and gold wheels are back, and are likely to appeal to the rally car crowd. Can't wait to drive this one.

2015 Subaru WRX STI rear

2015 Volkswagen Golf

2015 VW Golf front
Another popular car here in the Pacific Northwest is the Volkswagen Golf, and this is the new MkVII model. Complete with revised sheet metal, the new Golf also gets a new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine standard (vs. the past 2.5-liter five cylinder), as well as a revised TDI turbochraged diesel. The gas engine will make 170 hp and 184 lbs./ft. of torque. The new TDI makes 150 hp and a whopping 236 lbs./ft. of torque. Expect TDI mileage to be in the low 40s when it's released. By the way, 52% of all VWs sold in Portland, OR are TDIs—far more than any other market in the U.S.

Rear shot of 2015 VW Golf

2015 Ford Fiesta ST

Molten Orange 2014 Ford Focus ST front shot

Ford's sporty Fiesta ST has been out a few months now, but this was the first I'd seen one in the flesh. wearing stunning Molten Orange Metallic paint, the ST is truly a hot hatch. A turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine making 197 hp and 202 lbs./ft. of torque, a six-speed manual gearbox, unique alloy wheels, and different front and rear fascias make this the Fiesta to get if you're looking for a pocket rocket. This one had the optional and awesome Recaro seats, too. Love this thing, and can't wait to drive one. 

Molten Orange Ford Fiesta ST

In addition to the above vehicles, there are a host of other new small car—and other cool bits—to check out at the auto show:

Fiat 500 Gucci
Fiat 500 Gucci
Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Fiat 500L Trekking
Fiat 500L Trekking
Buick Encore
Buick Encore
Folding Paper Scion xB
Folding paper Scion xB
Nissan Versa Note
Nissan Versa Note
Nameless Performance Subaru BRZ
Will Orders' twin-turbo Toyota GT86 rally car
Classic custom VW Bug
Classic Volkswagen Bug
Custom Honda CRX from the Portland International Auto Show
Custom Honda CRX
Smart Brazuca ForTwo
Brazuka Smart ForTwo
Smart EV Bike
New Smart EV Bike

1 comment:

rvinyl said...

I honestly though the FIat 500L was a Kia at first...is this me going blind or is there something to it?