2018 Antiyita International Motor Show

dammit i shouldn’t have looked at Porsche photos while making this car!

1 Like

I wouldn’t worry too much, remember that my entry looks like a boring mix of late 90s Galant, mid 00s Passat and Rover 75 Tourer…no, I am NOT satisfied! :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

haha i’ll have to participate in the next motor show now that i fixed most problems with that car, i made it go from 4 seconds to 2.6 and made it 7 gears now lmao, also reduced the price

1 Like

Today, well start with our BQX-4.This is the first gen BQX-4. This trim were showing you right now

Is the LS Trim, the mid range model of the BQX-4
There is a
S (base)

177HP 1.8L Inline 4 with an 9-speed automatic giving you 36MPG combined. FWD, 0-60 in 8.7 seconds, ok for a 3500 pound SUV.

Premium Model

The one we have right here. 3.0L I6 Putting out 287HP and 288lb-ft torque. Also mated to a 9-Speed Automatic Giving you 27MPG and 0-60 in 7.1 Seconds. Interior Has 10-Way Folding Seats, Analog Instrument Cluster, 11 Inch INfotainment And a Sunroof.

Type-HS Model

This one has 380HP. THis is the same engine from the HK5 trova. Still mated to a 9-speed, weighs 4000LBS, 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and 26MPG. Sporty Interior Diffrent COlor Stitching and More.

BQX-4 Premium on Hilltop

MSRP: $25581 (S Trim)
Test Drives Are Available, PM For more Info


The Shark EX and El Verano ST are ready for test drives. Contact a Westward representative to set up an appointment. (That is, send a PM)

The Shark EX is a limited edition (750 units only) hypercar. It is a mid-engine AWD vehicle with an amazing 6.5L twin-turbo engine capable of a staggering 1,115 hp. The transmission is a 7-gear dual clutch, with a top speed of 226 mph. MSRP $71,396.

The El Verano ST is a 4-door, 5-seat sedan with a FF drivetrain. The 3.0L SmartPower engine delivers 183 hp while getting 30 mpg (US). A computer-assisted 6-gear automatic transmission is standard, as is Westward’s MediaLinq infotainment system. MSRP $18,485. WRT Offroad conversion available.

1 Like

AL Autos Booth @ Antiyita International Motor Show 2018 (Press Day 2/2)


Hello one and all! Welcome to the AL Autos Booth here at the 2018 Antiyita International Motor Show! We here at AL Autos are continuing the release of our brand new lineup!

Continuing from our last press day, here is the release of the brand new AL Autos Actio!

The 2018 AL Autos Actio (Trims Shown: RGR, RGR2, and RGR3

Video Presentation

Performance Stats

AL Autos’ Draconis Tuning Division will soon lay their hands upon this beauty!

That’s all for now! Thank you for joining us here at the AL Autos booth here at the 2018 Antiyita International Motor Show! Next place you will see us is at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance! Our release schedule can be found here!

1 Like

For a whole bunch of reasons, I entered late the third press day of four, and I could not do any test drives this day. Anyway, it’s getting a bit thin now news-wise. Haapala is showing its roots in a nation that loves motorsports and have raised many stars by showing both street and rally trim, with the street trim not being much tamer. HOLTS revealed their BQX4-SUV, which I think is missing something when it comes to looks, it’s just a bit bland and incomplete, but of course, only a test drive can speak about the rest. WESTWARD is showing their Shark EX spots car and the El Verano ST sedan that we probably will take for a spin too. AL revealed another supercar again, the Actio, the looks are not far from those of the Erucae but being a step further upmarket with starting at 774 hp, after the highest trims of the Erucae. Not a day with much happening really, thank god it was like this today…


The new Atlas Carbon, track ready performance without breaking the bank. Pick your level of fun with 3 available trims.

The Carbon is always prepared to go all in, are you?

Atlas automotive™(Atlas Zeta & Omega SUV revealed), uncompromising performance.

Test drives available for press. Vehicles available 3 carbon S, 5 Carbon V250, and 2 Carbon V300.


Press Days 3 & 4

Antiyita 2018 is just hours away from being open to the public, meaning my work here is almost done. Farox’s Aerio has certainly been getting a fair bit of attention despite its lack-of-interesting-features issue, while MotorNation also picked up on its poor suspension setup. Still, they certainly got the sentiment of the car. After quite the night with the Trafikjournalen town, I managed to clear my hang over enough to get this written…

Ceder’s 4th gen Mirri city car has had a facelift, with a clear focus on overcomplication at the front end. It lacks flow in my mind, while the rear is a little more composed. The promise of 70+ UK MPG from a petrol car, however, is damn temping, courtesy of the company’s newest OpenSky engines. Worth a look if budget is what you care most about in a run-about.

TSR’s ‘Big, Massive’ XCRoss is very big and massive, especially when it comes to inefficiency. I’m sorry but for a Japanese make, is 23.6 US MPG on your upper-mid trim option really acceptable these days? Especially when its a 3.6l unit producing 300 hp. The styling is also off putting, looking more like a discarded model used in some Gerry Anderson supermarination TV show and taking on strong fish characteristics, and not in a good way.

Bonham’s charming flagship compact SUV, the Orwell, has seen an update for the 2019MY. Now sporting the company’s distinctive bottom grille design and some extra edgy lighting, it certainly goes some way towards being “the first crossover you could actually want to buy”, but the snobbery of the Bonham badge does a lot to work against that. I remain unconvinced (though that C pillar looks very nice).

As if luck would have it, a same-class rival from Shromet was revealed shortling after. The new version of the Parvus is still pretty obtuse in the flesh, and that chrome at the front still looks ugly, but just look at that 2.0l i6 option. THAT is what I am talking about. I still don’t want to buy a crossover hwoever.

Haapala pulled the covers off their factory-ready rally racer, the WRC18. You can see my full dissection below.

Another compact crossover! This time the Holts BQX-4. The name puts me in mind of a cheap Android phone, while the styling is still utterly bewildering, and simply doesn’t compare to the Bonham or the Shromet. The option of ‘different coloured stitching’ also wasn’t particularly tempting.

The covers were also pulled off of the new Atlas Carbon sports coupe, which seems to be targeted at the track-day market. It looks okay, but feels outdated, save for the rear, which is positively hideous. The entry level sports car lacks the composer of rivals from Maesima and Conte, to name a few.

Road test time! Click to expand and see my full thoughts.

2018 Haapala WRC18 - ”A rally experience day on steroids

Review: 2018 Haapala WRC18

”A rally experience day on steroids”

2018 AL Erucae RGS2 - ”Unnecessarily expensive and overdone

Review: 2018 AL Erucae RGS2

”Unnecessarily expensive and overdone”

And with that, Antiyita’s press events are done. The public get to see all of this tomorrow, meanwhile I’m spending the weekend as one should do in the Far East by sampling local cuisine, entertainment and seeing the sites. A proper middle class tourist experience is what I’m aiming for.

Until next time, goodbye.

- Gavin Anderson


Watch out for the local cuisine…


And Mr Garcia’s affinity to drinking too much beer…


Oops…um, the LMC Nessus Concept cars will be revealed at Paris later this year :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Arrowhead Motors Corp
UE4 New Model Line Up

Vyil: Sport Car (S-Segment)

Xelar: Executive Class (E-Segment)


The last days at the show was quite hectic, flooded with test drives, and now when I’m soon heading back to Sweden, I finally have the time to put them up on the web. The first two test drives that will be up is for the Monolith Jupiter 525D and the Montes X90 4.5 430 Luxury.


First of all…
Yes, this car has a decent sound system. Not great but decent. And my song of choice was Raubtiers “Achtung Panzer”. You will realize why in a moment.

Next, do you have a drivers license that is taken after 1996? If so, then forget driving this in Sweden, unless you have a heavy truck license. The GVW over 5 tonnes breaks the 3.5 tonne limit by far. As long as it is registered as a passenger car. We guess that most of those will be registered as trucks with a dividing wall behind the rear seats. Then a heavy truck license is a must how old your drivers license even is.

And by just looking at this huge beast, one can really see why. This ain’t going to be Joe Averages commuter car to work in Sweden, or anywhere in the world. The engine is something as odd as a 5.3 litre (almost) diesel V12, yes you read that right, and it is of course a torque monster, 385 Nm at idle and a peak of 627 Nm at 2100 RPM, and a maximum power of 369 hp, this vehicle is close to a heavy truck in more than just the registration. For being a huge diesel, the throttle response is fantastic though, and it also is smooth like few diesels are. Following the Monolith tradition, it is probably bomb proof too.

It might feel a bit over the top with a 9 speed automatic to such a strong engine, but of course, fuel economy is one of the reasons, and for its size one must say that the mileage is great, every 100 km driven means a loss of 8.5 litres in the tank and that’s really not a disaster. A top speed of 226 km/h is more than enough for the vehicle type (especially when they will be equipped with the obligatory 90 km/h speed limiter in Sweden) and 0-100 is done in 8.23 seconds, sports car performance just some decades ago. AWD and a viscous differential is there to help when the conditions get slippery, but honestly, don’t expect an offroader in this car at all. Of course, it can cope with really rough, almost non-existant roads, but nothing more than that. The long wheelbase, relatively small ground clearance and street-friendly tyre thread is effectively reducing offroad performance. But very few of them will probably leave the tarmac anyway.
Handling is about what you can expect from a vehicle of this type, it’s like driving a supertanker, but it is stable for what it is. The high driveability almost is tricking one into believing that this is a much smaller and lighter car than it is. When braking it becomes appearant what a tank this is though. 41 meters from 100 is not really the most impressive result today and there is some fading problems. Not even the giant pizzas behind the 20 inch alloy wheels are up to the task of stopping this huge barge stable and secure all the times.
Should it go wrong, however, you are safe inside tonnes of high strength steel. Probably that’s more than you can say about what/who comes into your way. Our guess is that anything smaller or less sturdy than a mountain will be crushed. Safety equipment includes about everything you could ask for, of course including ESC.
Inside, it’s less well appointed than some of its competitors. It’s almost like if Monolith is trying to get some kind of workhorse image by leaving out the fully leather interior and head restraints with integrated screens, while focusing on more important stuff, you won’t be missing anything though, it’s just nothing impressive either. The comfort is, to be honest, adequate. Average, but adequate. It becomes appearant that cars like this one are compromises, not really being great at anything more than being big. Rugged construction and heavy duty springs compromises comfort for utility, which in its turn is not a very strong side either compared to vehicles more specialized on the task of moving goods.

It’s good at being big, and it’s good if you love being seen. And we guess that the (all grey import) market in Sweden of some cars per year will be exactly there. Among people that likes being seen.

And that has $47324 too much in their wallet.

MONTES X90 4.5 430 Luxury

Finally having a look at the Montes, I am still convinced that this is an AWD station wagon, not a SUV. Reports also say that it’s about as good off road as a Farox Aerio which should give some clues too. I start to wonder if the word “station wagon” is something the automobile manufacturers are ashamed of? Please, don’t be that! The station wagon has been a great concept for ages, and it will continue to be in the future. Just let it live, it will survive all the trends that are coming and going.
With that said, what first meets the eye is a nice car. Discrete without being anonymous, modern but yet timeless, good fit and finish overall. Glued aluminium construction with aluminium outer panels means lower weight (though on this car one can question it) and no rust issues, but can mean very expensive repairs should a collision happen.

Stepping inside, there is soft, comfortable leather wherever you watch, nice thick carpeting on the floor, a dashboard that’s more a piece of art than a piece of wood veneer and molded PVC. 4 zone electronic climate control, a state of the art infotainment system with HUD, whatever you mention, chances are that this vehicle will have it, including a full list of safety equipment.
Propelling the heavy (2.2 tonnes) vehicle forward is a 5 litre 429 hp twin turbo magnesium V8. It’s tremendously smooth, the turbo lag is hardly noticeable and the throttle response is great. At idle you only hear a quiet whisper, and not even when pushed hard it will give much of a noise, just hints of the familiar V8 growl. Behind it is an 8 speed automatic that, for some reason, felt a little bit thin. It’s not a bad gearbox, but it was like if something was not really calibrated to the rest of the car with the gearing. The AWD is biased slightly to the rear and has an electric LSD to help in slippery conditions. Top speed is (limited to) 250 km/h and 0-100 is done in 5.82 seconds, one has to say that performance wise it’s doing well. 0.85 litres per 100 km is also acceptable, considering what kind of car this is.

One could believe that with rear biased AWD, double wishbone front suspension and multilink rear, it would be a real driving machine, but the fact is that it is quite boring when it comes to handling. The understeering is heavy already at slow speeds even if the car is said ro be a decent performer on the skidpad. The brakes could bite though, 37.7 metres to stop from 100 is a value that is fully acceptable even if some cars have managed to brake better. That without using much of any advanced technology either, just well balanced and sane brakes. When it comes to comfort, it’s better though. Hydropneumatic suspensions are a rare sight nowadays with even the french avoiding them, But it’s not only helping offroad performance, it’s giving a lovely comfort too, it’s really like riding on clouds.

It will never be an everymans car though. Complicated construction with service costs following that, and a price of $57883, it puts it out of perspective for most buyers.
But even with a few flaws, it IS a great car. When looking at it from the right perspective. As a wagon. Not a SUV, not a crossover. W-A-G-O-N!


Thank you everyone for your participation in this auto show. We hope you enjoyed taking part.

The next event will be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed; a page will be opened early next month.

Please do not unveil any more cars.


@Knugcab Thanks for the feedback!

We will try to solve the handling issues!


Thanks for the review Gavin! I will take your constructive criticism in mind when improving it for the next model year!

Since I promised you more test drives, here is three more cars I had a deeper look into at the show.


The T60 is using a construction similar to the X90. Glued aluminium chassis, aluminium panels, and a double wishbone/multilink suspension setup. And the first impression you get when looking at the car is stunning. It really looks like an impressive driving machine. On the other hand, that also means that the car has to fulfill really high expectations to not be a disappointment, so let’s find out what it’s good for.

Under the bonnet we find a magnesium V10 with 607 hp. In a time of turbocharging it’s a surprise that it is naturally aspirated, and despite a high output per litre for a N/A engine, the torque curve is almost flat. Throttle response is impressive, as is the roar the unit gives when the accelerator is floored. However, it requires expensive 98 octane fuel to run, but we doubt that this will be a problem for the buyer in this price class.

Driveline wise it is old school manual RWD goodness with an electrical LSD to keep the wheelspin down, also surprising and at the same time wonderful when AWD is taking over in powerful cars like this one more and more. Maybe a closer ratio gearbox would be preferrable though. The speed limiter is set at 330 km/h ant the car only keeps accelerating and accelerating until that. 100 km/h is done in 4.4 seconds but it has of course very much to give after that.

When seated in the deeply contoured bucket seat, I’m looking out over one of the best cockpits I’ve ever seen in a long while, if you could combine a bank vault with a touring car, it would probably look like this. Except for one thing, the infotainment system is better than in both of them, even if there is better ones available on the market. But with a roaring V10 like this, who cares anyway?

Of course, the driving experience is even better, but surprisingly enough even this Montes model is a bit on the understeering side. A more neutral behaviour would have been preferrable, even if it of course corners great. More impressive is the ceramic brakes. 32.1 metres to stop from 100 means that the face is almost planted in the windshield when the pedal is pressed. With the suspension being set this firm, it means that rough roads will be a bit bumpy, and it’s a price you often have to pay in cars like this. That by no means is the same as the T60 being uncomfortable to ride in though.

So it won’t break your back. It won’t break apart either, with the Montes build quality being on top. So what will it break? Your bank account. A fuel consumtion of 10.2 litres per 100 km, astronomical servicing costs and a price of $55111 means that it remains a car for the chosen few.

But do they get a driving machine that is up to what the outside suggests? Despite some minor flaws, I would say yes!

We somehow doubted that there would be anything interesting in the TSR monter this year, the Taikan tested earlier was not anything impressive even if it had its points, and now it’s time to test the XCross, which is a crossover as the name suggests. That makes the construction of the body and chassis a bit weird, aluminium semi space frame with a partial aluminium body is really overkill on a car like this, especially since the rest of the car is very conventional. McPherson struts up front, multilink in the rear, and a transversely mounted 300 hp turbo V6 with a displacement of 3.7 litres.

When looking at the car, I wonder if buyers will find it very attractive. On the chubby body, there is something that looks like a try to make a front end inspired by a low and sleek sports car, and to be honest it doesn’t work at all. The headlights are old-fashioned sealed beam types hidden inside DRL LED strips forming a strange triangular shape. The low grille would have been hot stuff 25 years ago but looks out of date today, and all of the sharp edges doesn’t match the rounded shape of the body lines at all. But I must say that the fighter jet shaped side indicators is a lovely touch that shows that TSR at least allows their designers to have fun at work. Going to the back of the car, we once again find busy lines that are a bit mismatching with the overall body shape. Of course, taste is always different, but to be fair, I think that the odd styling of the XCross will scare away some buyers.

Stepping inside, the first thing I notice is that the car is a 4-seater which is a bit odd considering that the car doesn’t really have any sporty ambitions. This vehicle type is supposed to be practical and the XCross are falling short there with such a strange decision. Otherwise, the interior is not a bad place to be in, albeit a bit bland, looking like most cars in the price class, nice materials, a fair level of equipment without being extravagant and a good infotainment system with a built in GPS.

When letting the V6 come alive, the overall impression is that it is a good unit. It runs quite smooth, it has a nice amount of torque (maybe because of its HUGE stroke of 111.6 mm!), there is some turbo lag but at least it’s kept at an acceptable level, and it runs on cheap regular fuel. However, the fuel consumtion is on the higher side, breaking the 10 litre/100 km barrier, which is far from acceptable today. It gives lively performance with a 0-100 time of 7 seconds and a top speed limited to 250 km/h, but is that really the right priority? You don’t buy a crossover to drive fast and we think that giving practicality and economy a higher priority would have been more in the favour of the buyers.

For a crossover, it ain’t bad on the skidpad and it’s easy to handle, but it is heavily understeering, safe for Joe Average, but making the focus on performance even more strange. Also, an almost 40 metre braking distance from 100, showing slight tendencies of fading is maybe not completely up to the cars performance. In case something is about to go wrong, there is of course ESC and ABS, and if it still goes horribly wrong, you will be surrounded by air bags popping out from absolutely every corner of the passenger compartment.

The car has an active suspension focused on comfort, and that recipe is working, the ride is fully acceptable. And considering that the car is sporting a very low ground clearance for its class and has a strange choice of tyres with a rubber compound and thread focused on sportiness rather than threadwear and offroad grip, the rough road capabilities are good. Of course, AWD and a viscous differential is part of the success there. The gearbox is a very advanced 9 speed computer controlled automatic, shifting smooth and being very suited to the engine, but with such an advanced choice of transmission, the lack of fuel economy is even less acceptable.

Speaking of economy, a price of $25164 might not look to expensive and the service costs are on a sane level. The question is the second hand value, I have a fear that this will not be too attractive on the second hand market which means that the value will drop quickly.

So is the XCross a good buy for that money then? I would say no. It’s a combination of a lot of strange engineering decisions, a second hand value that might be falling quicker than you think and an unreasonable thirst of fuel. Bad cars hardly exist today, and that also applies to the XCross, it is not horrible in any way but there is so many cars in the class doing everything so much better, and the good performance can’t justify the flaws that became all too appearant even during our short test drive.

If IP was conservative with the Lifestyler, I start to think that the El Verano have beaten it. If it weren’t for the crystal clear headlights, the front end would look like it was straight out of 1990, and nothing else makes it obvious that we are looking at a brand new car either. It’s 90s blandness about everywhere, and it’s safe to say that nobody will buy this car based on its styling. Even inside, it is conservative, the grey fabric upholstery and acres of equally grey rock hard plastic inside the test car wasn’t really impressive, and the tinny sound of the infotainment system makes one think that Westward was shopping at Biltema when it came to installing the speakers. Conservative is also the power output, 183 hp from a 3 litre 5 valve engine is not really impressive considering many 2 valve engines of the same size did the same thing in the 80s. Despite its large volyme, it only has 4 cylinders, which makes the whole feeling of the engine more than only a bit agricultural. A nice and flat torque curve up to 4500 RPM is a strong point though, after that it’s falling quickly. The engine in the front wheel drive car is mated to a 6 speed computer controlled automatic transmission, that is actually working very well, in a time when competitors are putting out 7, 8 and even 9 speed autos, showing that number of gears ain’t everything. And something that many buyers in snowy Sweden will like is probably the standard mounted torsen differential, a nice surprise! The performance is adequate for what it is, 219 km/h top speed and 0-100 in slightly under 9.1 seconds won’t disappoint the buyer looking for a car like this.

The next nice surprise is the handling, the car is not only very easy to control, it holds on well in the sharp corners and you really have a good feeling of what you are doing. Sticky rubber, sofisticated DW/Multilink suspension and adaptive dampers and sway bars are a huge contribution to this, and not what you expect to find in this price class. It means that you don’t have to sacrifice ride comfort either. Also, the brakes are good except for showing a bit of fade, and that really makes one wonder why Westward didn’t put ventilated discs up front, but strangely, in the rear? ESC is standard equipment, and Westward says that they are aiming for a 4 star Euro-NCAP safety rating. It’s missing some of the equipment to gain the fifth and last star.

Fuel economy might not be the greatest at 7.7 litres per 100 km, a bit high for a car like this by todays standards, but the service costs are amazingly low, and a price of $16805 is something you can say the same thing about. It’s something of a bargain for getting a good and honest family car, with great handling and some surprising standard features. That is, if you can stand that it feels a bit old fashioned, bland and agricultural in some ways.

But as an alternative to an used family car, we suggest you to at least have a look at the El Verano. It’s one of the best overall packages we’ve seen among budget cars for a while and there’s a great chance you will be positively surprised.



For the price of almost four El Veranos, Westward can sell you a Shark instead. Or to be honest, they probably can’t. Considering that only 750 of them will be built, most of them are probably sold by now. And if the El Verano was anonymous, the Shark is far from that. However, the question is if that is something positive or not. Personally, I think that some of the styling cues, like the strange exhaust arrangement in the back, are a bit tacky. And the wheels maybe would have been of impressive dimensions on a supercar 20 years ago, or on a family estate, but they do look a bit tame on a supercar like this.

Inside, you have kind of a surprise. You won’t find a spartan, race car inspired interior, but a plush, carpeted, leather clad living room on wheels, with loads of gizmos to play with. There even is a very advanced infotainment system with heads up display. A benefit in the eyes of some buyers, blasphemy according to others. But nobody can deny that for having a long trip, few supercars can beat this one. Even the ride is unexpectedly soft, but that also shows when it comes to cornering. 1.10 G is of course not a bad result, but since cars like the IP Lifestyler are able to beat it, it’s maybe on the lower side for a supercar.

The V12 under the bonnet is a beast at 1115 hp and 1253 Nm. Beastly when it comes to weight too, why is quite self-explanatory on a 6.5 litre all-iron V12. But with a mid engine, it at least doesn’t affect the weight distribution so much. Weight on the rest of the car is kept down by using carbon fibre panels, the space frame is conventional steel though, and because of that, it’s probably a good thing that most Sharks will be garaged most of the time, because unlike a living shark, this one will not survive a wet environment very well.

Thanks to the AWD system and electric LSD, it puts the power down to the ground well, and it’s easy to drive for what it is, with its well-proportioned brakes, 7 speed dual clutch transmission, ESC and electric variable power steering. The old truth that a supercar will need an experienced driver can be questioned nowadays, but of course, having 5-10 times the power of a regular family car is something that always should be treated with respect. The top speed is not limited and because of that, the acceleration doesn’t stop until it has reached 364 km/h. If you’re satisfied with driving just 100, you reach that speed from zero in 2.7 seconds. The quarter mile is done in just above 10 seconds. Even if the Antiyitan roads didn’t allow for that type of driving, I can tell you it’s seriously fast!

For some reason, I think that if someone wants a streetable hypercar, this is about as good as it gets. Easy to drive for what it is and actually quite comfortable. Sure, 32.6 litres per 100 km is almost amazingly bad, servicing costs are almost reaching outer space and the price is…well, as high as four El Veranos. And you can’t buy it because the whole series will be sold when you’re reading this. Yes. But apart from those small flaws…

And I must say that I am impressed by Westward. Managing to pull off both a budget family sedan and a V12 hypercar this good, filling niches that other manufacturers seems to have forgotten and that are much needed, one can wonder why they are such a minor player in the automotive world. Maybe some sharper pencils at the styling department is what would spice up sales a bit.

If that happens, other manufacturers have to watch out.


And now, time for the two last cars I tested at the press days.

The Atlas Carbon S is said to be an affordable sports car, and at $23524, the price is absolutely not unreasonable. What first meets the eye is something that looks very much like a…generic…sports car. Clean lines, absolutely not ugly, fresh and timeless but a bit anonymous, like it’s lacking some soul. But the shimrin gold paint on our test example have a stunning finish even when compared to much more expensive cars, and the panel gaps and fit of the parts is just as good as the paintjob.

I step into the drivers seat, and the interior is as generic looking, simple fabric trim on bucket seats that ain’t as supportive as one would want in a sports car, the fake leather on the steering wheel ain’t fooling anyone, it’s so obvious that it is polymer based, and colors and material choices are just bland. The stereo system has support for USB and bluetooth as well as a CD player, but the sound is thin and it doesn’t have much in the way of functions.

Under the bonnet we find a 20 valve 1.8 litre four cylinder turbo. Power output at 7500 RPM is 204 hp and peak torque at 4900 RPM 261.2 Nm, but the torque curve is pointy. The throttle response is lively though, and it tends to be a bit noisy when revved, but in a sports car, who cares anyway? It doesn’t get the 1238 kg car up to much more than 221 km/h but the acceleration time of 5.82 seconds is fast, it was the territory of the exotics just a couple of decades ago. The six speed sequential gearbox is a joy to shift and is very well suited to the engine gearing-wise. In these AWD times we actually find some good old RWD goodness here, but thanks to the electric LSD, not all of the 204 horsepowers are disappearing in clouds of smoke.

With a stiff AHS monocoque, double wishbone front suspension and pushrod in the rear, one could expect a real driving machine, but the handling is in fact not really impressive. It loses grip quicker than many of the competitors, and is on the understeering side, but it’s still very much fun to drive. Maybe the quite tame tyre dimensions are playing a part here, but on the other hand, even the tyres should be affordable on an affordable sports car. The brakes are satisfying though with a short 34.8 metre distance to stop from 100 and just small tendencies to fading when driven very hard. Overall, it’s not the easiest car to live with, a bit stubborn at times, stiff suspension, a bit thirsty on fuel and an overall low comfort. This is rather a good old school style sports car for people actually looking for a sports car and not just a sporty coupe, while not having to break the bank to get one.
I think that Atlas is on the right course with this one actually. A fun to drive simple RWD sports car, with an engine that’s powerful without being extravagant, and saving money on unnecessary gadgets rather than what counts. Even if not gigantic, we know that cars like this one has a market, and we wish Atlas good luck!

The BQX4 is following a SUV/Crossover concept we have seen many times before. The main platform is actually a bit advanced though, with an all aluminium body on a light monocoque of high strength steel, double wishbone suspension up front and multilink in the rear. The outside may not be stunning, but the styling probably won’t scare any buyers away either. Holts have played on the safe side here. And even inside they are on the safe side. It feels like we could have been in almost any car in the class, nice material and colour choices, a high level of equipment, no major flaws but nothing exciting either. And speaking of safe, the complete safety equipment will do its best to protect the occupant if a crash should happen.
Offroad capacity is actually good for a SUV on street tyres with moderate ground clearance, probably the electric diff is a great helper there. The AWD system has a bias (54%) to the front, and there is a 9 speed computer controlled automatic behind a quite advanced 3.1 litre inline six. Power output is 287 hp and maximal torque 390 Nm. The engine is running smooth, without much of a turbo lag, and is capable to send the car up to 210 km/h, and to reach 100 in 7.51 seconds, which is more than adequate for the car type. Handling wise it is neutral to the point of being scary, you don’t really get a warning when it’s going too fast through a corner. The vague feeling of the electric power steering ain’t much help there either, but at least there is ESC in case you should be over-estimating yourself. The brakes are satisfying, 280 metres to stop from 100 and, from what we could see, no tendencies of fading. Also, ride comfort is good, with an active suspension tuned with a smooth ride in mind.

A price of $36016 is maybe not ultra cheap, the service costs are sane though and fuel economy fair. Since the engine is running on 86 octanes RON according to Holts, one question is if the engine could have been more optimized for the fuel of today, and saving fuel at the same time?

As stated earlier, we have seen the concept before, and that’s the feeling that this car gives during the whole test drive. But the Holts is one of the better cars in the class and there is no major flaws to report. So in case you’re in the market for a SUV like this, I recommend a test drive of the Holts, it’s a model that it’s hard to look away from in this segment.

I will thank all the manufacturers for lending their cars, and even if not all of them could reach the top, it becomes more and more obvious that bad cars are a thing long gone by now. And I had some pleasant surprises, mainly the El Verano and the Kasai Calibri, even if completely different cars, they both showed that the car you want may be more affordable than you ever will think.

See you next year!

Mats Hansen