Edmonton Motorshow: New cars to look out for

A world of automotive choice will unfold for visitors to the Edmonton Motorshow, ranging from fuel-sipping economy cars to high-performance rides.

The Mitsubishi Mirage and Nissan Micra will wring the most kilometres possible from a litre of gasoline while the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger Shaker will revive memories of the muscle-car era.

After a 20-year absence, the Micra returns to Canada. The mini car will fit in at the bottom of the Nissan Lineup, slipping in below the Versa. And Nissan says it will have the lowest price in its category, beating out the $11,945 Chevrolet Spark.

Mitsubishi will exhibit the 2014 Mirage G4 sedan and 2014 Mirage hatchback. The Mirage starts a little higher up the price scale at $12,498.

In addition, it will display its electric car — the i-MiEV Evolution II. While the i-MiEV will save on fuel, the initial purchase price of $32,998 will deter some buyers.

At the small end of the scale, another car worth checking out is the 2015 Honda Fit. This is a hatchback that offers a good combination of utility and fuel economy.

While the 2015 Mustang is available in a variety of flavours ranging from mild to high performance, the Challenger Shaker is all about re-igniting memories of the muscle-car era.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the presence of a shaker hood scoop was an indication of serious horsepower. The shaker-style hood scoop tops a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine.

In 2013, Chrysler Canada, for the first time in its 89-year history, was the top-selling automaker in Alberta, according to market research firm R.L. Polk Canada. One in every five vehicles sold was one of Chrysler’s six brands.

Chrysler grew its retail market share by 0.6 per cent in 2013 to finish the year with 20.6 per cent of the market.

“I’m very proud of our achievements in Alberta in 2013,” said Bob Devlin, head of Chrysler Canada Western Business Centre. “We saw impressive growth in the compact car segment with the Dodge Dart.”

The all-new Chrysler 200 is the first Chrysler brand product to be built on the compact U.S.-wide platform which has its roots in the Alfa Romero Giuletta. Power comes from a 2.4-litre four cylinder or a 3.6-litre V6.

The 200 comes with a nine-speed automatic and available all-wheel-drive which automatically disconnects from the rear axle when not needed to save fuel. The question will be whether the 200 can gain market share against competitors.

The 2015 Mustang will appear at the show as the marque approaches the 50th anniversary of its introduction in April 1964. The sixth-generation Mustang is lower and wider than previous models, a change that translates into more interior and trunk room. Available engines include a 5.0-litre V8, a 3.7-litre V6 and a turbocharged 2.3-litre, four-cylinder Ecoboost.

The manufacturer’s exhibits will feature a variety of small cars differentiated by both performance and styling, ranging from the 2014 Honda Civic Si to the Volkswagen Golf. In addition to the regular Golf, VW will also bring the GTI and wagon versions to the show.

Other small cars include the Mazda2, the new Mazda3, the Kia Soul and Kia Forte, Mini Cooper hatch, several versions of the Subaru Impreza, the Volkswagen EOS hardtop convertible and VW Beetle.

In the Mazda booth, look for the Mazda5, the Mazda6 and the Mazda MX-5, previously known as the Miata.

The WRX has built a performance reputation for Subaru and it will be showing off the latest models — the 2015 WRX Sport package CVT and 2015 WRX STI Sport-Tech package. The 2014 BRZ Sport-Tech package will also be in the Subaru booth.

The Scion FR-S will provide the focus in the Toyota exhibit.

In addition to the Golf, VW will display the Jetta Turbocharged Hybrid, Jetta GLI 30th anniversary, Jetta TDI clean diesel, Passat clean diesel, CC, Eos, Beetle coupe.

Volvo says that visitors to its booth at the Motorshow will witness “the most significant refresh in the company’s history.” The highlight of the Volvo display will be the all-new V60 Sportwagon which was recently added to the North American lineup.

“While the V60 follows the rich heritage of safety and utility that Volvo wagons have always stood for, it also marks a bold departure,” Volvo says. “It features a sleek design, intuitive technology, stirring performance, dynamic handling and a luxurious interior that offers a true premium experience.”

In addition to styling and handling, Volvo recently unveiled new high-performance engines that offer improved fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions without affecting drivability or performance.

Mated to an eight-speed transmission, the Drive-E range of smaller engines uses supercharging and turbocharging to provide power that gives exciting drivability when compared to engines with more cylinders.

Volvo now is owned by Geely Holding Group of China. There now are three Volvo assembly plants in China.

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