While there was a curious lack of rally cars on the show floor of the 2019 New York International Auto Show, there were still a few race cars to drool over.
Every year at the New York International Auto Show, the Saratoga Automobile Museum sets up a display of some of the finest classic cars. This year, the theme was “Italian” – and while there was no Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale do drool over, the collection did not disappoint.
2019 is a curious year for the New York International Auto Show – at first look, there are some automakers that are notably absent – BMW, MINI, Volvo, and Mitsubishi skipped the show this year. In automotive parlance, the show is leaner, or more “muscular”. However the space on the show floor was taken up by some fresh new faces, most prominently with Rivian, the U.S.-based company producing electric adventure vehicles with a 400-mile range.
There were some significant launches; among them, Hyundai showed up with the 2020 Venue, a new SUV, as well as a sleek new Sonata with a digital key. Lincoln thankfully dropped the confusing letter-number naming convention with the Corsair, a compact luxury crossover that can seat five people. Toyota’s new offerings include the new revamped Highlander as well as a cute Yaris hatchback. Subaru showed off their sixth-gen 2020 Outback in the middle of a rather nice-smelling booth highlighting national forests.
Concept cars were super slick, creatively named, and largely electric – Kia revealed their HabaNiro concept with 300-mile all electric range. The Genesis Mint luxury electric concept was hard to even get close to after an off-site reveal the night before. VW showed up with not one but three concepts: the ID. Buggy, the compact Tarok Pickup Concept, and the Basecamp (the latter two have combustion engines). Another company new to NYIAS, Mullen, revealed the modular, aluminum and carbon fiber Qiantu K50 electric sportscar.
In the “If You Have to Ask You Can’t Afford It” supercar section of the show, Swedish maker Koenigsegg introduced their road-legal Jesko to North America, and Sleepy Hollow, New York’s Glickenhaus drove his 700-hp SCG 003S to the show. Dubbed the world’s most expensive SUV, the oddly angular and very very large Karlmann King will set you back about $2.3 million – perhaps more if you choose the armored option.
And then there were the special editions – so many fancy badges! Nissan was celebrating the 5oth Anniversary of the GT-R with some beautiful classics joining the 50thAnniversary Edition. Tangentially, there is another larger independent booth display of classic of Z’s downstairs. (Not to be outdone, Toyota is displaying some classic Supras – JDM fans, this show’s for you). Dodge’s Challengers and Chargers will now be available in the Stars & Stripes Edition, and Alfa Romeo created a limited-edition 019 Quadrifoglio NRING (Nürburgring) for both the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Giulia. Last but not least – Ford celebrated Mustang Day with the Ford Mustang Performance Package and hot dogs.
The New York International Auto Show in the Jacob Javits Center is open until April 28, 2019.
For the first time at the New York International Auto Show, a NASCAR Cup Series team has set up a booth. StarCom Racing [SCR] is based in Salisbury, North Carolina with driver Landon Cassill. At the age of 18, Cassill was signed to Hendrick Motorsports as a test driver for Jimmie Johnson for five years, and has driven for other teams since in the Xfinity (Rookie of the Year 2008), K&N Pro Series, and Arco Re/Max Series since. The team’s parent company, StarCom Fiber, is a New Jersey based regional telecommunications that runs fiber throughout the region, so setting up a presence at NYIAS made sense not just to build a fan base and get their name out there, but to network and attract more sponsor partnerships. “We feel like this is a tremendous platform being that there’s going to be a million people walking through this building,” said Cassill in the Thursday press conference. “We feel like we have to stand out in a little bit different way than other race teams… NASCAR teams don’t really come to the NY Auto Show, and for the place where we’re at and the size that we have, there’s no reason not to be here.”
Led by team manager and 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrick Cope, the chartered team will race the full 2019 season with Cassill driving the number 00 Camaro. “…our northeast race fans are some of the most passionate and well educated race fans about NASCAR that we see all over the country. Tracks in Pocono, Dover, New Hampshire, Watkins Glen are the racetracks where I sign the most hero cards, the most letters and trading cards, these are fans that really pay attention to what we have going on.”
Cassill will be in the booth signing autographs Tuesday, April 23, 4-6 pm and Wednesday, April 24, 11 am-1 pm, and Derrike Cope will also sign autographs Saturday, April 20, 2-4 pm.
We seldom stop to consider what a dizzying variety of options one has when it comes to picking out a new car today, especially when you consider how mind bogglingly simple it was once only a few decades ago. If you had a family and you needed to carry them and their belongings around, you would choose either a small, medium, or large sedan or station wagon. That was it. There were no minivans, there were no crossovers, and it was out of the ordinary for a family to buy an SUV for an everyday family car. Ford stunned the industry when it announced it was essentially going to let all of its sedans die off in North America. GM is killing off their large front wheel drive sedans. People are still buying large sedans, and as key players fall by the wayside, the companies still in the market will gladly take up the demand. But for what is such an old concept-the large sedan-how does it remain relevant in 2019?
The Avalon has been Toyota’s flagship sedan since 1994. For 2019, the Avalon is all-new, and now entering its fifth generation. While many consider the Avalon simply a larger Camry-which was once the case-the Avalon rides on its own platform that is shared with the Lexus ES. The Avalon is a large sedan, but its proportions are just right. Early Avalons were dismissed as Toyota’s idea of a Buick. A study also revealed that in North America, Toyota attracted the oldest buyers. A middle age or younger car buyer hears that Toyota’s are favored by old people can be enough to be a deal breaker. So in response to that, I do not find it surprising that contemporary Toyota’s are now looking edgier. Looking at the Avalon from the front or front 3/4 view, there is just no getting around that front fascia. To say it is overwrought is an understatement. Enormous front ‘grills’ seem to be a thing these days, and I predict this look is destined to not age well. Look at the rear of the car, its pleasant enough but entirely forgettable. There is just nothing to suggest this is Toyota’s premium sedan. Which is shocking, because when you take the Avalon in from its side profile, there is no question this is the most expensive four door Toyota offers. As a whole, the Avalon’s appearance is alright, but incoherent. You feel differently about this car depending on what angle you are viewing it from.
Inside, the Avalon is a grand slam homerun. There is simply no mistaking you’re sitting in the most luxurious car that wears a Toyota badge. Quality of materials and fit and finish are exemplary. The quilted leather and real wood accents confirm this is not a car that aspires to be luxurious, it simply is a luxury car, without question. Controls are intuitive and easy to use. The seats offer exceptional comfort, and as expected, the Avalon provides a very roomy and airy cabin. With all the quiet and comfort you could want, the Avalon is a perfect setting for long, relaxing drives. The Avalon is Toyota’s first car to come with Apple’s CarPlay (sorry Android users, your phone cannot connect). It is worth mentioning that in cars that were sold in regular and hybrid versions, hybrid owners had to be wiling to make a considerable sacrifice-trunk space. I have seen full size hybrid sedans have a trunk that might hold enough luggage for a weekend getaway but little else. Not so with the Avalon. With the batteries underneath the rear seat, you are able to enjoy the large amount of trunk space buyers expect in a car of this size.
The Avalon Hybrid is powered by a 2.5L four cylinder along with two electric motors to make a combined 215hp with a CVT transmission. While the numbers suggest that is not much horsepower to move a car of this size, in reality the Avalon keeps up with highway traffic with no problem at all, and never seems strained. Yes, there are buyers who will only accept the sound of a silky V-6 under the hood, and the regular Avalon delivers just that experience. But consider this-the Avalon Hybrid costs about $1,000 more, but delivers 70% better fuel economy. In the long run, the Hybrid makes more sense. Our perception of the luxury car experience is also evolving; exceptional fuel economy is also an accepted qualifier for luxury today. The typical Avalon buyer isn’t going to be doing any stoplight drag racing to begin with, and with such an unobtrusive drivetrain, you don’t feel like you’ve given up anything in the name of saving gas, The EPA gives the Avalon Hybrid 43 MPG, but my test car was telling me I was getting 37 MPG in mixed driving. That is a remarkable number for a full size luxury car.
The Avalon Hybrid is available in three trim levels; our test car was the luxury oriented Limited. Standard equipment included 18″ alloy wheels, LED headlights, moonroof, premium JBL audio, navigation, head up display, power heated steering wheel, leather power heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seat, Qi wireless phone charging, pre-collision system, lane departure alert with assist, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control. Our test car had the optional Advanced Safety Package, which added intelligent clearance sonar, bird’s eye view camera with perimeter scan and rear cross traffic alert with braking. Including destination, our Avalon Hybrid had a window sticker of $45,118USD. Remember when I mentioned the Avalon shares the same platform and drivetrain as the Lexus ES? A Lexus ES Hybrid equipped similar to our Avalon would set you back an extra $9,000. With that in mind, the Avalon represents a solid value for a luxury hybrid sedan.
While the notion of a full size sedan is a decades old proposition, the Avalon Hybrid points to the future of the genre. It is tough to argue the pros of a luxury car boasting the latest in technology and luxury features that boasts fuel economy figures you’d be happy to be getting in a basic, no frills Corolla. This combination is the new definition of luxury. While I question that front-end styling, the Avalon Hybrid is a full size sedan that is completely relevant in today’s automotive marketplace. Ford and GM may have thrown up their hands and walked away, but Toyota has proven this is a breed of car worth building.
In the summer of 1989, my friend’s mom had driven a group of us to Riverside Amusement Park in Massachusetts. After the end of a fun day, I was asked if I, who had a newly minted driver’s license, would like to drive home. Would I?!? I gladly got behind the wheel of the Funaro family hauler-a Buick Electra Estate Wagon-and floated on down the highway. As I drove us all back to Connecticut, what was not going through my 16 year old mind was “What kind of car would we all be driving when we’re all grown up and have kids?” Fast forward thirty years to the present. I post a pic of this Toyota Highlander on social media, and my old friend Nancee proudly proclaims “That’s my car!” And here we are. My generation has largely ignored the station wagon, and there are those of us who wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan. If Generation X wasn’t rushing to buy a Camry wagon, and a true SUV was too harsh, what does Toyota do? Take that Camry platform, and build us a crossover.
The first Highlander arrived in 2001, making it one of the earlier crossovers. Now in its third generation, today’s Highlander has been around now since 2014, so it’s hardly new. In 2017, Toyota gave the Highlander a facelift, but apart from some other minor tweaking, Toyota has pretty much left it alone. Buyers are certainly not complaining-in fact, 2018 was the Highlander’s best sales year ever, with over 244,000 Americans taking home a Highlander.
Buyers like crossovers for their practicality-they need to comfortably hold passengers, and their belongings, so stylists have to work around those parameters. The Highlander is certainly contemporary, but what I found interesting was just how aggressive the front-end styling was. Parked near my neighbor’s older 4Runner, a very capable off-roader, I was taken aback at just how angry the family friendly Highlander looked in comparison. Out in the wild though, the popular Highlander tends to get lost in the crowd. I’d see another Highlander, or at least I thought I did, so I found myself always making a double take to be sure. On its own merit, the Highlander is a handsome car, it’s just a little forgettable from any angle except the nose and is easily lost in a crowd.
Of course, what matters most in any crossover is its cabin. The Highlander is a pretty substantial vehicle, so it should come as no surprise there is plenty of room inside. Back to my friend Nancee, who, when asked why she picked a Highlander, explained her teenage son is already over 6′ tall, so a roomy rear seat was a must, and in this regard, the Highlander delivers. The three-row Highlander can seat up to eight, but it’s worth noting the third row will not hold an adult. Seating falls to seven if you choose second row captains chairs. The interior of the Highlander is a very pleasant place to spend time. I appreciated the soft touch materials. There is storage space galore and multiple USB ports. Gauges and controls are easy to understand. While I appreciate having knobs for various adjustments, the buttons flanking Toyota’s aging but still excellent infotainment system lacked tactile feel. Our top of the line Highlander had nearly every feature most buyers could want-nearly-the absence of Apple CarPlay was a little disappointing. Overall, the Highlander was very comfortable, and with industry leading build quality and high grade materials, the impression I get is this is a car that is intended to hold up for a very long time.
Under the hood, the Highlander gives buyers two choices. Base cars receive a 2.7L four cylinder paired to a six-speed automatic. You can only have front wheel drive, and with only 185hp pushing a car this large, this sounds like a tall order. Our Highlander had the 3.5L V-6 paired to an 8-speed automatic. With 295hp and available all-wheel drive, this is far more suitable to the Highlander’s character. The EPA gives fuel economy ratings 20/26 MPG city/highway, but the trip computer in my car never budged its average above 18 MPG. It’s worth mentioning here that if fuel economy is that important to you, there is a Highlander Hybrid available. Power is perfectly adequate around town and for highway cruising. At highway speeds the Highlander is extremely quiet and composed. I appreciated the weight that gradually builds up in the steering as your speed increases. For a car designed to haul your family around in comfort, the Highlander more than meets expectations.
The Highlander is available in six different trims, with the base Highlander starting in the low $30’s. Our test car was the top of the line Limited Platinum. Standard equipment was leather seats, front heated and ventilated seats, power seats, second row sunshades, premium JBL audio, an 8″ touchscreen with navigation and SiriusXM radio, 19″ wheels, panoramic moonroof, second row heated seats, heated steering wheel, rear power ligtgate, rain sensing wipers, front parking sonar, Lane Departure Alert, Pre-Collision System, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control. Out the door, our Highlander had a window sticker of $48,319USD. That is not inexpensive, but you are getting a high level of equipment, and a Highlander outfitted such as this one is essentially a luxury car. With so many trim options available, I suspect most buyers will gravitate to the mid-level XLE, as my friend did.
So yes, thirty years after the question I didn’t ask myself, the crossover is the choice my generation has made to haul themselves and their families. Over the years, the Highlander has evolved from a sort of tall station wagon to something that looks how you might expect an SUV to appear. And although the Highlander is no longer a new design, buyers continue to open their wallets. The true luxury of the Highlander goes far beyond any of its available features. For buyers, the true luxury of the Highlander is how seamlessly it fits in to their busy lives, and knowing they can ask nearly anything the car was meant to do, and the Toyota will happily go about its work without the slightest protest, Trips to amusement parks included.
It’s no small secret that Americans and Europeans have their differences, and one needn’t look any further to illustrate that point than to look at what kind of cars we like to drive. The 1970’s fuel crisis made a great argument for the hatchback-the idea being to get the maximum amount of room possible for people and cargo on a relatively small footprint. VW’s Golf was a raging success and proved the formula worked, and it was what a lot of people wanted. Well, almost everyone. For whatever reason, Americans looked at hatchbacks and decided they looked kind of cheap. And those new car buyers didn’t want to be seen driving something they perceived as being cheap looking. So, in 1980, VW had the brilliant idea to take the Golf, put on a trunk on it, and call it a Jetta.
Thirty nine years and seven generations later, that formula has been sales gold for VW. With Audi’s and BMW’s commanding premium prices, the Jetta was the only game in town if you wanted a German sedan on a budget most people could afford. And while the people who bought their Jettas loved them, VW looked around and saw their competition enjoying greater sales numbers. The problem, as I believe VW saw it, was the Jetta cost a little more, and VW engineers were obsessing over things the average American buyer didn’t really care about. The solution was the Jetta would be built with the American buyer in mind.
The purists were less than thrilled at the realignment. But the Jetta experiment continues to evolve, and for 2019 an all new, seventh generation has arrived. First impression is the Jetta appears a bit larger than Jettas of yore. And you would be right-today’s Jetta is around the same size as a Passat was twenty years ago. While the Jetta has grown to America specific proportions, the styling definitely has a German accent. It is no nonsense, not flashy nor trendy. The smart, creased styling gives the Jetta an upscale look. Our test car, finished in Platinum Grey Metallic with contemporary LED head and tail lights and a ‘just right’ amount of chrome looked serious enough for any junior executive to own without apology. Our SEL model let the car down in one area worth mentioning: the 16″ alloys look comically small on the car and betray the otherwise high end appearance. In fact, during my week with the Jetta, the only criticism I received about the car’s looks were that the wheels were too small.
Inside, the Jetta overall is a pleasant place to spend time. Utterly contemporary, the satin chrome accents and door handles, piano black surfaces and dark grey faux wood trim work in concert to provide an aesthetically pleasing environment. The controls are intuitive, displays crystal clear, and I appreciated the driver-focused infotainment screen. At night, you and your passengers will be entertained being bathed in soft ambient LED lighting-there are ten hues to choose from to set the right mood. The only letdown were the hard plastics found on the door caps and center console, which serve as reminders you’re sitting in the cheapest VW sold on these shores.
During my time with the Jetta, I took a 400 mile round trip from my native Connecticut to a wintry retreat to Atlantic City, and it was here I was able to appreciate the Jetta’s cabin and features. The seats provided plenty of comfort, and I loved how the steering wheel felt in my hands. Music is a must for any road trip, and the Beats audio did not disappoint. The trip really provided an excellent opportunity to use Apple CarPlay, which allowed me to use Google Maps for navigation, access Pandora radio, and send and receive text messages. It was a great companion, and very simple to use. Even after slugging through New York Friday rush hour traffic, I arrived feeling fresh and relaxed.
All Jettas are motivated by a 1.4L turbocharged four cylinder rated at 147hp. This proved to be perfectly adequate for merging onto highways and passing-the Jetta never felt out of breath. Fuel economy is excellent, with a rating of 30MPG city, 40MPG highway. After cruising at a pretty good clip for hours, I was impressed that I was still able to average 40MPG. You can get a six-speed manual in a Jetta-but you are forced to settle for the base model, as all other Jettas come standard with an 8-speed automatic. Left on its own, the automatic will rush to the highest possible gear for max efficiency, which is fine, but you find yourself constantly lumbering around at about 1,000 rpm where there is no boost on immediate tap. A friend and former Jetta owner found it an affront, and ignorant of longtime buyers that VW will not offer a manual across the line, and I agree.
In this Volkswagen tuned for American drivers, I set my expectations pretty low for ride and handling. I was pleasantly surprised. The Jetta feels well controlled and buttoned down. Ride was about as stiff as I would have hoped for a non-GLI Jetta. While the handling felt just right, the super light steering felt out of place, as if the handling people and steering people never once met to decide what the Jetta driving experience, as a whole, should be.
The Jetta is available in five trim levels-base S, SE, sporty R-Line, SEL, and SEL Premium. Our SEL test car came standard with LED head and tail lights, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, leatherette seating, dual zone auto climate control, push button start, auto dimming rear view mirror, 8 speaker Beats audio with Sirius XM satellite radio, 8″ infotainment touchscreen, VW’s 10.25″ Digital Cockpit gauge cluster, rearview camera, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane assist. Including delivery, our test car stickers at $25,590USD, which represents a solid value for the features you get in return.
After seven generations, it’s only natural the Jetta has evolved from Golf with a trunk to a car with a personality all its own. Yes, the Jetta we see now is tailored specifically to the North American car buyer, but in this iteration, VW has smartly, if only slightly, moved the needle closer to it German ancestry. When asked ‘who is this car for?’, I would have to say the Jetta would be perfectly suitable for the small family who want out of the crossover craze, or anyone looking for an easy to live with highway commuter with a just right amount of amenities and style for a weekend date night.
TORONTO, Ont. (February 14, 2019) – Today, the Kia Stinger was announced as the 2019 Canadian Car of the Year and the Jaguar I-Paceas the 2019 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, as selected by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). The Jaguar I-Pace has the distinction of being the first fully electric vehicle ever to be chosen for an overall award by AJAC member journalists.)
The two vehicles were awarded with Canada’s highest automotive accolades at the opening ceremonies of the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. This followed months of testing and evaluation on roads and conditions from coast to coast by nearly 70 of the country’s most-esteemed automotive journalists. The decision followed two rounds of voting scored anonymously on many different factors, including performance, features, technology, design, fuel consumption and value.
These winners were selected from across 55 entries, including last year’s category winners and this year’s next-generation or significantly updated vehicles. Voting data was collected anonymously from more than 1,500 ballots.
“It gives us great pride to declare the Kia Stinger to be the Canadian Car of the Year, and the Jaguar I-Pace to be the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, for 2019,” said AJAC President Mark Richardson. “AJAC journalists are among the most objective and discerning automotive professionals in the country, and the fact that these two vehicles have risen to the top of our vigorous testing and voting protocol means that they’re truly among the best available to Canadian buyers.”
BEST VEHICLES IN CANADA FOR 2019 ANNOUNCED ACROSS 12 CATEGORIES
BY AUTOMOBILE JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year
category winners revealed at Montreal International Auto Show
MONTREAL, QUE. – The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announced today the vehicles its members selected as the best in Canada for 2019 in each of 12 categories spanning segments that include cars, utility vehicles, and pick-up trucks.
This announcement moves nine vehicle manufacturers one step closer to winning the ultimate accolades of 2019 Canadian Car of the Year and 2019 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. With three wins, Mazda takes homes more trophies than any other automaker in 2019, followed by Kia, which swept the mainstream car categories to score a pair of victories.
These winners were selected from across 55 entries, including last year’s category winners and this year’s next-generation or significantly updated vehicles. Voting data was collected anonymously from more than 1,500 ballots submitted by nearly 70 AJAC journalist members, who collectively comprise the most esteemed group of professional automotive media in Canada. AJAC journalists, based across the country from Vancouver to Halifax, drove the vehicles over more than six months on the very same roads and in the same conditions experienced daily by Canadian drivers from coast to coast.
“Our journalist members are among the most discerning and objective automotive reviewers anywhere, and not one of them takes the duty of selecting these award winners lightly,” said Mark Richardson, President of AJAC. “Canadians can look to this list with confidence, knowing that each vehicle has been chosen as being a standout in its segment by experts who understand the unique challenges of daily driving in this country.”
All 12 of these vehicles now qualify to be named 2019 Canadian Car of the Year or 2019 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. These awards will be presented as part of the opening ceremonies for the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto on February 14, 2019.
The 2019 Canadian Green Car of the Year and 2019 Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year awards, bestowed upon those deemed to be the best among fuel-efficient or electrified vehicles available in Canada, will be presented at the Vancouver International Auto Show on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
2019 Canadian Car of the Year and 2019 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year Category Winners:
Best Small Car in Canada for 2019:
Best Large Car in Canada for 2019:
Best Mid-Size Premium Car in Canada for 2019:
Mercedes-Benz E 400 4MATIC
Best Large Premium Car in Canada for 2019:
Volvo V90 R-Design
Best Sports-Performance Car in Canada for 2019:
Best Small Utility in Canada for 2019:
Best Mid-Size Utility in Canada for 2019:
Best Large Utility in Canada for 2019:
Best Mid-Size Premium Utility in Canada for 2019:
Best Pick-up Truck in Canada for 2019:
Ford F150 Diesel
Best EV in Canada for 2019:
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Best Premium EV in Canada for 2019:
PORSCHE YOUNG PROFESSIONAL DRIVER DENNIS OLSEN AND NURBURGRING LAP-RECORD
HOLDER LARS KERN JOIN HARGROVE/ROBICHON AT DAYTONA 24 HOURS
TORONTO, December 13, 2018 // Hot on the heels of announcing a move to the IMSA WeatherTech
SportsCar Championship in 2019, Pfaff Motorsports today announced that driver Scott Hargrove
has been named a Porsche Selected Driver, and that it will contest the full 2019 WeatherTech
season in the GTD class, including all endurance races.
The team’s driver lineup features Hargrove, who was 2018 Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint
champion and 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada champion, Zacharie Robichon, 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup
Canada champion. Lars Kern, a Porsche engineer and current holder of the production-car lap
record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR, will join the team for all
endurance races, and Porsche Young Professional driver Dennis Olsen will contest the 24 Hours of
Daytona with the team.
“I am excited to expand our IMSA effort beyond the originally planned sprint championship to
include the North American Endurance Cup events,” said Steve Bortolotti, Pfaff Motorsports
manager. “The challenge for our team will be immense, but the Porsche customer racing model is
second-to-none, and their support means we’ll be as prepared as possible for our first endurance
races. I’m also happy Scott is becoming a Porsche Selected Driver. He is an incredible talent behind
the wheel, and a true professional off-track. We are all proud of the role Pfaff has played in his
development, and hope this leads to more opportunities in the future with the Porsche brand.”
“We introduced our Porsche Selected Driver program last year with the expressed purpose of
placing deserving drivers with equally deserving customer programs,” explained Daniel
Armbruster, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America. “Scott Hargrove is a perfect
representative of a Porsche Selected Driver. He is fast, intelligent and has a honed racing savvy in
and out of the cockpit. Scott has worked his way up through the Porsche racing ranks, including a
seat at the 2014 Porsche Young Driver Academy, which makes it that much more satisfying for us
at Porsche Motorsport to name him a 2019 Porsche Selected Driver. We are looking forward to a
strong year for Scott and Pfaff Motorsports in the full IMSA WeatherTech Championship next
“2019 is shaping up to be a massively exciting season,” said Scott Hargrove. “Racing with Pfaff
Motorsports in GTD for the full season showcases the drive this team has on- and off-track. They
are always looking for more. It is an honour to be a part of the effort, and I can’t wait to hit the track
with my new teammates in Daytona.”
Zach Robichon added, “expanding our program to the complete IMSA WeatherTech championship
shows Pfaff’s commitment. When the right opportunity presented itself, we all jumped at the
chance, and we’re looking to get the season started on the right foot at Daytona. We have a huge
challenge ahead of us, but the team has consistently proven they can be successful at new
challenges. The Roar is only a few weeks away, and we’re looking forward to getting our new
Porsche 911 GT3 R on track.”
“Starting the season in January at the world centre of racing, Daytona, is just great,” said Lars Kern.
“And being there with the Pfaff Team and such a superb driver lineup is stunning. I followed closely
what Pfaff and Scott have done this year in PWC. Winning a championship title in their first year
running a GT3-class car in PWC is a sign of what this team is capable of.”
Porsche Young Professional driver Dennis Olsen concluded, “I’m really looking forward to get
started together with Pfaff, and also excited to see how the new Porsche 911 GT3 R will perform at
Daytona! I think we will have a good chance for the win – so we have to stay focused, and make no
mistakes. Consistency is going to be the key!”
The addition of the endurance races to the team’s calendar makes for a much busier year. The team
will add the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona January 24-27, the 12 Hours of Sebring March 13-16, the Six
hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen June 27-30, and Petit Le Mans October 12, to their already-packed
Sprint championship calendar.
Over its 50-plus-year history, the Pfaff organization has been synonymous with developing up-and-
coming Canadian driving talent. In 2017, president and CEO Chris Pfaff was inducted into the
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame for the pivotal role he played in the development of a long list of
Canadian racers including Richard Spenard, Scott Goodyear, Ron Fellows, and many others.
Pfaff has provided driving and talent development opportunities in karting through the Pfaff Pole
awards in the Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship, the Pfaff Driver of the Day awards in the
Champion Ron Fellows Karting Championship, and title sponsorship of the national-level Pfaff
Kartsport Cup. In 2017, Pfaff also launched a national online racing championship in partnership
with Cineplex and WorldGaming to bridge the divide between the real and virtual racing worlds.
Follow @PfaffMotorsports and @PfaffAuto on Instagram for more announcements and behind-the-
scenes content before the start of the season.