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Archive for the ‘auto shows’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition

Subaru is celebrating its 50th anniversary of selling vehicles in America by offering a special 50th Anniversary Edition on all its models, including the 2018 WRX. There are no mechanical updates, so don’t expect any horsepower or handling improvements. This special edition is for appearances only. However, Subaru is only building 600 WRX 50th Anniversary Editions, so rarity is a big attraction factor.

The 50th Anniversary Edition is based on the WRX’s highest trim, the Limited, as to include all the desirable features. Items include the StarLink infotainment system, keyless access and push-button starting, LED steering responsive headlights, 10-way power driver’s seat, and the EyeSight safety system.

As for what sets the 50th Anniversary Edition apart, the details are all listed below.

Continue reading for more information.

What Makes the 2018 Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition Special


2018 Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition - image 767896
“The most noticeable change is the bright blue paint Subaru calls Heritage Blue.”

The most noticeable change is the bright blue paint Subaru calls Heritage Blue. Unlike most other 50th Anniversary Edition models, the WRX doesn’t receive the Satin Chrome side mirrors. Rather, the 18-inch double-spoke wheels are Satin Chrome while the mirror caps are Heritage Blue. The overall look is pretty striking. Subaru does include the special 50th Anniversary Edition badge on the WRX’s door, just like the other 50th models.

On the inside, the WRX still gets its Recaro racing seats with leather bolsters and suede inserts, but the 50th Anniversary logo is embroidered into the seatback, while the contrast stitching and seatbelts are silver. The seatbelts look especially good since the WRX’s interior is mostly black, including the headliner.


2018 Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition - image 767918
“On the inside, the WRX still gets its Recaro racing seats with leather bolsters and suede inserts”

As for Subaru’s EyeSight system, the active safety technology includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and sway warning, pre-collision braking, and pre-collision throttle management. Blind-spot monitoring is also available, as is Subaru’s StarLink emergency services connectivity.

Under the hood, the WRX remains unchanged. That’s fine though, as the car features a turbocharged 2.0-liter Boxer flat-four engine making 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard and is the proper enthusiasts’ choice. For those who don’t like to row their own, Subaru does offer a Continuously Variable Transmission. Naturally, the Symmetrical AWD system is standard and includes active torque vectoring and an optional variable torque distribution system.


2018 Subaru WRX 50th Anniversary Edition - image 767893
“Subaru is only making 600 of the 2018 WRX 50th Anniversary Editions, so they won’t last long.”

Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 21 mpg city and 27mpg highway with the manual gearbox and 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with the CVT. (Talk about a big incentive to not pay extra for a CVT!)

As mentioned, Subaru is only making 600 of the 2018 WRX 50th Anniversary Editions, so they won’t last long. Pricing starts at $36,355, including the destination fee. Subaru dealerships already have 50th Anniversary Editions in showrooms.

Model Trim Production MSRP* MSRP* + DD
WRX Limited 600 $35,495 $36,355

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX - image 700160

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX.


2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 702499

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 741040

Read more Subaru news.

PostHeaderIcon Audi A6

Audi first introduced the A6 nameplate in 1994 as a replacement for the outgoing Audi 100. Since then, the German automaker has ushered in a total of four generations for the model, with the current-gen dropping in 2011. Of course, seven years is a long time for just about any vehicle generation, and as such, it looks as though a fifth-generation A6 will soon break cover. The rumors spring from several spy shots which seem to show test mules for the updated A6 out an about on public roads, and by all accounts, Audi will soon drop the camo and spill the beans on what the 2019 model year has to offer customers. We’re still waiting for the full spec to materialize, but in the meantime, we did a little speculation. Based on the spy shots we received, the latest rumors, and the logical next step for the A6, we’re expecting the 2019 model year to get sleek new styling updates, LED lighting, an interior laden with the latest digital technology, and even a powertrain selection that includes the option for a mild hybrid set-up.

Framed as an upscale mid-size platform, the A6 enjoys numerous body styles and configurations, so this generational shift will undoubtedly trickle down to several corners of Audi’s product portfolio. We’ll update all the info here when we get it during the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, but until then, read on for our speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Audi A6.

Audi A6 Exterior

  • Larger Singleframe grille
  • LED lighting
  • Slimmer headlight housings
  • New hood
  • Relocated mirrors
  • Up to 20-inch wheels
  • Possible LED strip in rear
  • Wagon and sedan body styles

2019 Audi A6 - image 769691
“The four-door will once again offer up a wide, low stance for customers, continuing the tradition of adding a hint of refined sportiness to the classy exterior styling.”

While we have yet to receive any official pictures or specs on the upcoming 2019 Audi A6, we do know a few of the basics. For example, the four-door will once again offer up a wide, low stance for customers, continuing the tradition of adding a hint of refined sportiness to the classy exterior styling. Furthermore, below that black and white camo, but we see a few stylistic updates that are sure to appear when the facade is dropped in Geneva.

Let’s start in front, where we find the characteristic Audi Singleframe grille. This time around, the expansive intake is even bigger than that of the outgoing model, and it’s wider as well – indeed, it looks like there’s no turning back the clock when it comes to this staple of the Audi aesthetic. On either side of the grille, we find reshaped headlight housings, and although the camo tries to hide the details, they appear to be thinner this time around. Expect LED lighting elements to be the choice du jour when it comes to illumination. What’s more, the hood looks as though it gets a reshape as well, now sporting new lines that add even more visual beefiness to the front end.

Moving the the sides of the car, we find the side mirrors are now relocated, moving downwards along the body and towards the tail end of it. In the corners, we expect a wide range of wheel designs, all of which should be available in a variety sizes up to a maximum 20 inches in diameter.


2019 Audi A6 - image 769701
“Moving around the the rear of the machine, we find taillights that remind us of the housings used in the new Audi A7 Sportback”

Moving around the the rear of the machine, we find taillights that remind us of the housings used in the new Audi A7 Sportback, with a thin horizontal line offset by numerous blocks underneath. We also wouldn’t be surprised to find the 2019 Audi A6 get an LED light strip added between the taillights, much like the current Audi A8. Finally, we’re thinking those lower trapezoidal dual exhaust tips are just for show, with the real exhaust bits terminating underneath the body.

It should be noted that the A6 will be offered in both a four-door sedan body style and a five-door wagon body style, with the latter of the two dubbed the “Avant.” Here in the states, the wagon will get a taller suspension, tough lower body cladding, and a name tag that reads “Allroad.” The rest of the line will utilize copious polished metal trim and surrounds front to back.

Audi A6 Interior

  • Inspired by the A7
  • New steering wheel
  • Dual touchscreens
  • Optional Virtual Cockpit
  • Latest technology

2019 Audi A7 - image 739579

Note: Audi A7 pictured here.

“The Audi A6 should get the very latest tech that the German automaker has to offer, including digital instrumentation with the optional Virtual Cockpit.”

While we don’t have any shots of the 2019 Audi A6’s interior space, we do think it’ll draw heavily from the latest A7 model. That means it’ll be spacious, both for front-seated passengers and those in the rear, with loads of horizontal design elements and premium materials at every turn.

In front of the driver, we expect a slightly tweaked steering wheel design, with three spokes and a variety of multi-function buttons to operate the plethora of onboard technology systems. Options should include high-grade leather upholstery, as well as MMI navigation for the electronic bits.

Speaking of technology, the Audi A6 should get the very latest that the German automaker has to offer, including digital instrumentation. That means an optional Virtual Cockpit, which will replace the analogue gauges behind the wheel with a 12.3-inch digital screen that can be configured to show a number of different data and readouts depending on your chosen focus. In the dash, we also expect the see the Audi A7’s dual-touchscreen infotainment readout, which will include a 10.1-inch screen higher up for the
infotainment stuff (song selection, travel info, and the like). Below the 10-inch screen will be a complementary 8.6-inch screen for the HVAC functions (climate control, etc.) and text input. Finally, a heads-up display will project further driver info onto the dash (navigation directions, etc.). Also look for a variety of sound system options, ranging from basic, to audiophile-approved quality.

Rounding it out will be Audi’s updated suite of safety and convenience features, which we expect to include standouts such as a Parking Pilot, Remote Garage Pilot, automatic high beams, active lane assist, and several others.

Audi A6 Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter turbo w\ 252 horsepower
  • 3.0-liter turbo w\ 340 horses
  • FWD or AWD
  • Diesel Engine offered overseas
  • Seven-speed and eight-speed gearboxes
  • Possible hybrid system
  • MLB Evo platform
  • More aluminum less weight

2016 - 2018 Audi A6 - image 770323

Note: previous model A6 pictured here.

“We're not expecting a whole lot of updates to the existing A6 powertrain lineup – maybe a few extra ponies here, a few extra mpg there”

We’re not expecting a whole lot of updates to the existing A6 powertrain lineup – maybe a few extra ponies here, a few extra mpg there. The base model should come equipped with the usual 2.0-liter turbo TFSI four-cylinder, which in its current form produces 252 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm. Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and FWD system, the 0-to-60 mph run is completed in about 6.7 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 130 mph. Combined fuel returns come to around 28 mpg.

If you need more muscle, you can also opt into a 3.0-liter turbo TFSI six-cylinder, which in its current form makes 340 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque at 2,950 rpm. With an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission swapping cogs and the quattro AWD system making more grip, this setup yields a run to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Top speed continues to be limited at 130 mph, while fuel returns drop to 23 mpg combined.


2019 Audi A7 - image 739591

Note: Audi A7 drivetrain pictured here.

“yourtextehere”

Elsewhere (that is, in Europe), the Audi A6 is offered with a 3.0-liter diesel powerplant as well.

All pretty basic stuff. However, the big news is the possible addition of the A7’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and 48-volt mild-hybrid system. All told, this set-up provides upwards of 340 horsepower and a whopping 369 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 44 pound-feet. The newfound low-end twist will surely make the A6 feel a whole lot quicker, all without hurting the ’six’s already ho-hum fuel return figures. In fact, we’d expect an uptick to the mpg with the mild hybrid system under the hood.

Speaking of upticks, don’t forget that the new sedan will provide the basis for a variety of pumped-up go-faster iterations down the line, including standouts like the S6 and RS6.

Under the skin, the 2019 Audi A6 is expected to utilize Volkswagen’s MLB Evo platform, and, per tradition, it should also lose a few pounds thanks to additional aluminum in its construction.

Audi A6 Prices


2019 Audi A6 - image 769673

We have yet to get final confirmation on official prices for the new 2019 Audi A6, but it shouldn’t deviate much from the current generation. The base model will slot in at the $50,000 mark, while the V-6 and AWD and hybrid will pad the bottom line by up to $10,000 more on top of that.

Audi A6 Competition

BMW 5 Series


2017 BMW 5 Series - image 703219

First up in our list of competitors is the latest BMW 5 Series, which just got a renewed seventh generation for the 2017 model year. Highlights include a lower curb weight thanks to the inclusion of Bimmer’s carbon fiber-reinforced plastic technology, which certainly helps elevate the sedan’s claims to sporting fun. The weight loss also helps the car be more efficient, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder on the list of powertrain options. There’s even a hybrid, if that’s your kinda thing. Both RWD and AWD are offered, with an eight-speed automatic gearbox on call for the transmission duties. The interior is also quite nice, and comes equipped with the latest technology features, including gesture control and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen on the dash. Pricing starts at $52,650 for the base model 530i.

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 5 Series.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class


2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class - image 661154

As goes BMW and Audi, so goes Mercedes. The Merc option in this mid-size premium four-door shootout is called the E-Class, which also just saw a generational changeover for the 2017 model year. We think it looks good in that classic Mercedes kind of way, while the interior is a rather nice place to be thanks to a gorgeous-looking layout and a host of S-Class-inspired features. Behind the flat-bottom steering wheel is a 12.3-inch digital screen, while a choice of 64 different colors can be had for the LED ambient lighting. Upwards of 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque is created by the base model’s turbocharged 2.0-liter ’four, which hits the rear wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission. An AWD iteration is also offered.

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Conclusion


2019 Audi A6 - image 769702

The Audi A6 has always been a very solid choice in the segment. While not quite as sporty as the Bimmer or as elegant as the Mercedes, the A6 frames itself as the smartest choice of the three, a factor it should double underline if it does indeed receive the mild hybrid system from the A7. We’re digging the interior of the new A7, so that should be another welcomed upgrade, while the exterior aesthetic is right in line with what we’d expect from the brand.

Look for complete details when Audi drops the 2019 A6 sedan at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show next month.

  • Leave it
    • * Not as sporty as the 5 Series
    • * Not as elegant as the E-Class
    • * Likely to receive a small price increase

References

Audi A6


2016 - 2018 Audi A6 - image 567003

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A8.


maker logos - image 744956

Read more Audi news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Someone Spotted Renault’s Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly!

Renault is set to debut a new shared mobility concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and the weird, out-of-place pod on wheels you see here is said to be it.


Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly! - image 770302

Renault, nor the alliance, has released any details pertaining to this new concept, but as you can see it’s certainly something that’s right out of the future. I’m not sure if it came from some alternate universe in Blade Runner or if it is a Terminator’s personal vehicle, but it looks to be more of a shell than a finished concept.


Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly! - image 770301

Closer inspection shows that the vehicle is unmanned in the traditional sense (controlled by a remote control) and it looks like it was designed to take a beating more than it was to offer up luxurious transportation. Of course, when you think about cheap, public transportation, this design really does fit. We’ve certainly never taken a 50-cent ride on a local public bus that was luxurious by any means.


Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly! - image 770303

The images we have hear were posted on the Cochespias web forum, and word has it that the concept is Renault’s “vision for shared, urban mobility.” Either way, it’s quite ugly and certainly takes a different approach from models like the Volkswagen Sedric, for instance.

The RNM Alliance is planning a $1.2 billion investment in EV, autonomous, and robo-vehicles, and if this will be the fruits of that investment, you can expect to see these things all over the place in the very near future – they certainly can’t cost too much to manufacture if this is the finish project, but what do you think?

References


maker logos - image 746858

Read more Renault news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Tata 45X Sedan

Tata Motors, a prominent Indian automaker and parent company to Jaguar Land Rover, is set to debut a sedan concept based on its 45X Hatchback Concept launched at India’s 2018 Auto Expo. The new model will supposedly be called the 45X Sedan. Its debut will happen at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, which kicks off March 6.

The 45X Sedan will share the same underpinnings as the 45X Hatchback – Tata’s futuristic AMP platform. The architecture is designed to accommodate both left- and right-hand driving position, along with complying with future crash testing regulations.

Tata is expected to release production versions of both the 45X Hatchback and Sedan, with both targeting the premium side of their respective markets. The hatch is due first with an expected on-sale date of 2019 in India. Tata will likely announce its plans for the 45X Sedan at the Geneva show.

Continue reading for more information.

Tata 45X Sedan Exterior

“Though the photo doesn’t show much, we do expect the 45X Sedan to have a somewhat similar appearance to the 45X Hatchback”

At this point, all Tata has released is a single teaser photos showing a headlight and fog light shining brightly against a darkened background as a faint light highlights the curves and sharp character lines in the 45X’s hood and front quarter panel.

Though the photo doesn’t show much, we do expect the 45X Sedan to have a somewhat similar appearance to the 45X Hatchback. The two will share Tata’s Impact 2.0 design language seen on the H5X SUV – another model that debuted at the 2018 Auto Expo.

The 45X Sedan will likely be longer than the 45X Hatch’s 167-inch length and have a longer wheelbase than the Hatch’s short 103-inch wheelbase. On the other hand, Tata could keep everything the same for the sake of cost and production, while simply modifying the roofline and rear end design.

Tata 45X Sedan Interior


2018 Tata 45X Sedan - image 770300
“The all-glass cockpit features a wide, uninterrupted screen used for both the gauge cluster and infotainment system with almost no distinction between the two”

Nothing is officially known about the 45X Sedan’s interior, however, we’re betting it will look very similar to the 45X Hatchback’s – at least in the dashboard.

The all-glass cockpit features a wide, uninterrupted screen used for both the gauge cluster and infotainment system with almost no distinction between the two. The HVAC controls are even housed on a touchscreen, separately located where the center console normally resides. And since there is no engine ahead of the front occupants, the firewall is pushed very far forward to create a large, open area for legroom.

Being a sedan, we expect seating for four or five people, depending on how Tata arranges the interior. Our guess is a production model will have room for five.

Tata 45X Sedan Drivetrain

Tata has not announced powertrain information for the 45X Sedan, though the car is expected to be fully electric. The range could be between 150 and 300 miles and charge times take less than four hours when connected to a 240-volt charge point. Being a sedan, the car will likely be front-wheel drive, though with the AMP architecture, it’s possible Tata could offer all-wheel drive as an option.

Tata could announce specifics at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, but we don’t expect to hear anything concrete until a production model arrives.

Tata 45X Sedan Competition

Honda City


2009 Honda City - image 266995

The City is a sedan version on the popular Honda Jazz hatchback. In other words, it’s the perfect competitor to the Tata 45X sedan, which is based on the 45X hatchback. The world can sometimes be a magical place. Anyway, the Honda City offers that sub-Civic small-car feel that’s perfect for tight urban roads and those on a budget. Interior room is surprisingly good for such a small car and trunk space is also reasonable.

Power comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 118 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. it mates to a manual transmission or an optional Continuously Variable Transmission. Naturally, only the front wheels receive power.

Most impressively, the 2018 Honda City starts at only $15,990 in its base trim and with the manual gearbox. The range-topping model with the CVT starts around $21,590. There’s no wonder why the Honda City was the highest selling compact sedan in India in 2017.

Read our full review on the Honda City.

Volkswagen Ameo


2016 Volkswagen Ameo - image 664150

Like the Tata 45X sedan and Honda City, the Volkswagen Ameo is a sedan version of its hatchback cousin, in this case, the Volkswagen Polo. As such, the Ameo is nearly identical to the Polo ahead of its C-pillars. From the dash to the drivetrain, the two cars are basically one in the same. That’s just fine considering the interior is typical Volkswagen and looks modern and minimalistic.

The drivetrain comes standard with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder making 74 horsepower and a 1.5-liter TDI with 108 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard, as is a manual transmission. An optional seven-speed DSG is available.

Price wise, the Ameo starts at $8,400 U.S. dollars at current conversion rates, making a pretty solid bargain as far as new vehicles go. With all the option boxes checked, the Ameo will cost upwards of $16,000.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Ameo

Conclusion

Tata’s movement into the upper luxury levels of the Indian automotive market could likely be attributed to its ownership and huge success with Jaguar Land Rover. While the 45X Hatchback and Sedan won’t be some ostentatious Tata dressed as a Jag, but both could offer a high-tech option for customers needing something on the small end of the size scale.

We should know more about the Tata 45X Sedan as information becomes available at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com as news breaks.

  • Leave it
    • * Only a concept at this point
    • * Exclusive to Indian market?

References


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 770304

Read more Tata news.

PostHeaderIcon Cupra Ibiza

The Ibiza nameplate has been around since 1984, when Spanish automaker SEAT introduced it as a replacement for the outgoing Fura. Framed as an affordable and fun B-segment supermini, the Ibiza has seen five generations over the years, the most recent of which dropped in 2017 at the Geneva International Motor Show. A variety of body styles have been used as well, including a five-door hatchback, a sedan, a coupe, and a wagon, but the most interesting of the lot is the hot-to-trot Cupra model. These high-performance iterations (“Cupra” is an amalgamation of “cup” and “racing”) are aimed squarely at the enthusiast market, bringing more power, aggressive styling, stiff suspension, big brakes, and an interior-spec upgrade to match. These days, Cupra fancies itself a standalone brand, much in the same way Polestar detached itself from Volvo. And while the first effort for the sub-brand-turned-automaker is the 300-horsepower Ateca SUV, you can bet a freshly Cupra-tized Ibiza is on the way too. That much was revealed in a slew of images posted to social media prior to an expected debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. In response to the leak, Cupra dropped a selection of official pics, given us a clearer view of the pumped-up five-door.

While Cupra is saying the Ibiza isn’t considered an official part of the range just yet (this latest model is
designated as no more than a design exercise), we think it’s highly likely the hot hatch is production-ready. The brand will show the new Ateca in Geneva, which is all well and good, but in all honesty, the Ibiza is the the one we really want. Read on to find out why.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Cupra Ibiza.

Cupra Ibiza Exterior

  • Copper-colored details
  • New badge
  • Geometric patters
  • Carbon fiber aero bits
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Triangular headlight and taillight graphics

2018 Cupra Ibiza - image 770180
“The Ibiza stands out thanks to its sporty body kit, which is replete with sharp angles and copious bulging muscle lines. The copper-colored details also look great.”

From the off, you’re likely to notice the Ibiza’s new Cupra badge, which, in our opinion looks a bit like the Decepticon logo from the Transformers franchise. That’s meant as a complement, by the way. The badge is finished in a rich bronze color, which is the same hue first seen on the Leon Cupra R, and it’s continued elsewhere on the car to help individualize the Cupra brand.

Also helping the Ibiza stand out is its sporty body kit, which is replete with sharp angles and copious bulging muscle lines. In front, we find an updated front bumper, which is framed by triangular headlights and C-shaped fog light housings. Further triangular shapes are seen in the intakes, with both the upper and lower sections getting their own unique geometric inserts, plus a bronze surround on certain models, as seen in the leaked images. The hood gets a number of extra sinews as well. There are also the requisite carbon fiber aero elements, including a composite front lip spoiler that juts out far from the body in defiance of all those speed bumps and steeply angled driveways out in the wild.

Moving around to the side of the car, the Cupra Ibiza gets a forward-leaning profile, enhanced thanks to a raked window line that pushes the proportions rearwards. The window line is heavily slanted, and is complemented by lower character lines that enhance the hatchback’s natural wedge-like shape. Dark finishes are used for the surrounds and the side-view mirrors, while the leaked images show that some of the models will get the mirror caps in bronze. Further bronze touches are found in the corners, where the 2018 Cupra Ibiza receives large alloy wheels measured at 18 inches in diameter and come complete with copper accents on the spokes. Carbon fiber embellishments were added to the side skirts as well.

Further composites are used with the carbon fiber spoiler, which we find perched out back on the roof’s trailing edge. There’s also a carbon fiber diffuser below that houses a pair of polished exhaust pipes tucked off to one side. Finally, there are angular taillights with triangular graphics that match the daytime running lights seen in front.

Cupra Ibiza Interior

  • Loads of carbon fiber tirm
  • Alcantara upholstery for the steering wheel
  • Digital instrumentation measures at 10 inches
  • Cupra logo embroidered into the sport seats

2018 Cupra Ibiza - image 770182
“The first thing you'll notice about the interior of the 2018 Cupra Ibiza is that it gets a lot of carbon fiber trim. The material is usually a go-to in the world of enthusiast-focused models, and its inclusion isn't all that surprising here.”

The first thing you’ll notice about the interior of the 2018 Cupra Ibiza is that it gets a lot of carbon fiber trim. The material is usually a go-to in the world of enthusiast-focused models, and its inclusion isn’t all that surprising here. The material is used everywhere, covering the dash, the center section of the steering wheel, and even the side bolsters in the seats.

We see lots of that copper coloring from the exterior inside the cabin as well, including in the stitching for the upholstery, the shifter surround, the door panels, and more. Alcantara covers the rim of the steering wheel and the hand brake lever to finish.

The steering wheel gets a flat-bottom design and multi-function controls at thumb’s length for the infotainment system and various convenience features. The front seats get a buckety, sporty kinda feel, as well as stitching along the lower section that shows off that new Cupra logo. A quartet of square air vents are seen along the dash. Further angular designs are added along the doors for the grab handle and door lever, once again matching the theme started on the exterior. Polished pedals are in the foot wells.

The center console uses the middle section for HVAC purposes, above which sits a big infotainment touchscreen with a familiar smartphone-esque tile-style layout. Behind the wheel is a digital instrument cluster measuring in at an impressive 10 inches. No word on exact infotainment features yet, but we’re guessing the usual smartphone support, Bluetooth, voice control, and the like.

Cupra Ibiza Drivetrain

  • Powertrain from the VW Polo GTI
  • 197 horsepower, 236 pound-feet of torque
  • DSG six-speed automatic
  • Six-speed manual also quite likely
  • 0 to 62 mph in 6.7 seconds
  • Top speed of 147 mph
  • Michelin performance tires
  • Drilled brake rotors in front

2018 Cupra Ibiza - image 769782
“Properly motivated, this set-up will propel the Cupra Ibiza to 62 mph in approximately 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 147 mph – both of which are figures that match the VW Polo GTI.”

While we have yet to get the full rundown on what’s happening under the hood of the 2018 Cupra Ibiza, it’s more than likely the hatchback will use the same oily bits as its Volkswagen Auto Group sibling, the Polo GTI. That means we’re expecting the same turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which produces upwards of 197 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 236 pound-feet at 1,500 rpm.

Sending all that muscle to the front axle will be DSG six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, as confirmed by the shifter seen in the interior shots featured above. While the automatic is an obvious choice, it’s also possible the Cupra Ibiza will offer a manual version, most likely some time after the initial model makes its debut.

Properly motivated, this set-up will propel the Cupra Ibiza to 62 mph in approximately 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 147 mph – both of which are figures that match the VW Polo GTI.

To compliment the stout engine package, the Ibiza will also come with a solid performance suspension setup that’s tuned for cornering rather than comfort. And that’s a very good thing. Given the fact the Ibiza shares the same platform as the Volkswagen Polo GTI, we can look to that model for expectations here – for example, it’ll get a lowered ride height and a rather firm ride. In the corners, it also looks like there are Michelin performance tires wrapping the alloy wheels, plus drilled performance brakes complete with “Cupra” branded calipers in front.

Cupra Ibiza Prices


2018 Cupra Ibiza - image 770234

Exact pricing for the 2018 Cupra Ibiza is still on the way, but we expect it to slot in at roughly the same spot as the current model. And while we won’t get it here in the U.S., buyers in the U.K. should expect to pony up around £18,500 to get into one of these. Optional equipment (for example, a performance package) will add a few grand to the bottom line.

Cupra Ibiza Competition

Ford Fiesta ST


2018 Ford Fiesta ST - image 706946

Ford’s answer to the fun little hatchback formula is the Fiesta, which is offered in a wide variety of configurations and trim levels to suit the buyer’s needs, but the one you wanna get is the go-faster ST model. Carrying a price tag under the £20,000 mark, this Blue Oval challenges the Ibiza thanks to a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine making a Cupra-matching 197 horsepower. It’ll also do the 0-to-62 mph shimmy in 6.7 seconds, which is exactly what we’re predicting for the Ibiza. A new Liquid Blue paint option and 18-inch alloy wheels help it look sporty, while an 8.0-inch touchscreen and flat-bottom steering wheel round out the interior spec.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST.

Volkswagen Polo GTI


2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI - image 731370

If you prefer your hot hatch with an extra dash of German refinement, the Polo GTI is right there in the running. It’s essentially the same car as the Cupra Ibiza, albeit with new badges and interior equipment. The engine and platform and transmission, however, are all likely to match the Spanish five-door. Making the difference is the sleek, more involved styling seen outside, while the interior gets different trim bits. Pricing is the same as well, starting at just under the £20,000 mark. Going for this one over the Ibiza is more or less an aesthetics choice, although we wouldn’t be surprised if the suspension tuning was a little different between the two.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

Conclusion


2018 Cupra Ibiza - image 770181

There’s a lot to like about the Cupra Ibiza. It’s sporty, it’s fun, and with five doors and a big hatch, it’s surprisingly practical for such a small vehicle. We’re also digging the unique touches Cupra added to help it standout as a non-SEAT vehicle, especially the copper-colored bits.

Of course, we have to ask – is it too similar to the VW Polo GTI? While we’re still waiting on confirmation of details for the Ibiza’s engine and drivetrain, it certainly looks quite similar, and accusations of badge engineering on Volkswagen’s part aren’t totally unfounded.

Stay tuned, as we’ll post details when they drop in Geneva.

  • Leave it
    • * Basically a VW Polo GTI under the skin
    • * Suspension likely quite rough
    • * Plenty of alternatives out there already

References


2017 Seat Ibiza - image 735182

Read our full review on the 2017 Seat Ibiza.


maker logos - image 764380

Read more Seat news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Morgan Aero GT

Introduced in 2001, the Aero 8 marked the beginning of a new era for Morgan. Not only was it the first new design since 1948, the Aero 8 was also the company’s first vehicle to use an aluminum chassis and frame instead of its traditional wooden body tun and steel chassis combo. It was kept in production until 2010, when Morgan launched the AeroMax coupe and the SuperSports Targa, and revived in 2015 with mild updates. Come 2018, and the Aero 8 is getting the axe again, but this time around production will end with a more extreme iteration that’s called the Aero GT. The big unveiling will take place at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, but Morgan has already released some of the details.

The Aero GT is described as a “gloves off” model, and Morgan says it was developed using the lessons learned from the company’s GT3 racing victories. All told, it’s Morgan’s most extreme road-going model to date. The Aero GT is far from new though, as it was conceived during the development of the 2015 Morgan Aero 8. Morgan doesn’t say whether it wanted to shelve the project or not at first, but the Aero GT never saw the light of day until now. With production of the Aero 8 slated to come to an end this year, Morgan will close the production line with eight examples of the Aero GT. Let’s see what this new sports car has to offer in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aero GT.

Morgan Aero GT Exterior

  • Le Mans-inspired features
  • Louvered front fenders
  • Aggressive rear diffuser
  • “GT” badges
  • Custom features


“The most striking new feature is the louvered top of the rounded front fenders, a first for a road-going Aero model”

Although the teaser images and video don’t reveal much of the car, we can see a few new details onto the sides. The most striking feature is the louvered top of the rounded front fenders, a first for a road-going Aero model. The features is borrowed from the race-spec Aero 8 cars that Morgan raced at Le Mans in the 2000s, but they’re slightly smaller. The sides of the fenders were also reshaped in order to include an extra vents, yet another design cue takes on the Le Mans cars.

The split engine hood has new quick-release pins at the bottom and a “GT” badge at the top, toward the A-pillar. The wheels also appear to be new. The design includes a multi-spoke and five-lug layout, while the tires seem to be very thin and likely developed for increased track performance. Morgan says that updates also include an aggressive rear diffuser, but there’s no sight of it in these photos. The front bumper should also sport a few updates, like extra vents and a revised shape.

All these changes, which are supposed to reduce drag while increasing downforce, were made by hand from new aluminum panels. Yeah, the Aero GT was developed and build the old-fashioned way, which is pretty cool now that most sports cars are made by robots and CNC machines.

Morgan Aero GT Interior

  • Vintage interior
  • Leather appointments
  • Possible carbon-fiber trim
  • Race-inspired features
  • Highly customizable

2015 Morgan Aero 8 - image 619840

Note: Morgan Aero 8 interior pictured here.

“The dashboard will still have the classy design with conventional instrument gauges and several buttons and switches on the center stack”

No teaser for the interior yet, but I’m not expecting the Aero 8’s layout to change very much for the GT. The dashboard will still have the classy design with conventional instrument gauges and several buttons and switches on the center stack, and even the wood trim on the top of the dash and door panels. The center console is also covered in wood on the standard model, but it remains to be seen if Morgan will keep this features on the GT. Wood usually become pretty heavy in large quantities, so Morgan might opt to replace it with aluminum or even carbon-fiber.

The seats and the door panels come wrapped in fine leather on the regular model, but we might see the hyde replaced by Alcantara for a more race-inspired look. Other changes should include race-spec, heavily bolstered seats, new shifter and brake lever, and a bespoke instrument cluster. I’m actually curious to see if Morgan ditches the analog clocks for a digital instrument cluster. It would make sense on a race-inspired car, but the British could opt to keep things vintage. Also look for special badges and references to the Aero’s racing career.

Morgan Aero GT Drivetrain

  • 4.8-liter V-8 engine
  • 367 horsepower
  • 370 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed at 170 mph

2019 Morgan Aero GT - image 770204
“The Aero GT will draw its juice from the same 4.8-liter V-8 engine that Morgan has been using in the Aero since day one”

The Aero GT will draw its juice from the same 4.8-liter V-8 engine that Morgan has been using in the Aero since day one. The unit in question is actually BMW’s N62 mill, which was introduced in 2001. The final 4.8-liter iteration, called the N62B48, was first launched in 2003 and used in models such as the BMW X5, 5 Series, 6 Series, and the Wiesmann GT MF4. BMW stopped using it in 2010, which makes Morgan the last carmaker to still use. Likewise, the Aero GT will be last production car to get its oomph from this unit.

Speaking of oomph, the V-8 carries over unchanged from the standard Aero 8, producing the same 367 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 62 mph takes 4.5 seconds, which makes it just as quick as the standard model. Top speed is also identical at 170 mph, as are the fuel economy ratings of 16 mpg city and 32 mpg highway (on the British cycle). The engine mates to the same six-speed manual transmission, also borrowed from BMW.

Granted, it’s a bit disappointing that there are no performance gains with the GT badge, but it’s understandable that Morgan doesn’t want to alter the engine for a very limited-edition run.

Morgan Aero GT Prices

No work on pricing yet, but with the Aero 8 priced at more than £100,000, the Aero GT should fetch in excess of £150,000 before options. It does matter that much anyway, as all eight Aero GT models are already accounted for by existing Morgan customers. Each example will be individually tailored to each owner and will each leave the factory with bespoke customer-requested additions.

Morgan Aero GT Competition

David Brown Automotive Speedback GT


2015 David Brown Automotive Speedback GT - image 600122

When it comes to modern cars with retro styling and V-8 power, there aren’t many choices to consider. Many automakers stay away from retro styling for performance cars, while others have downsized their engines and use mostly V-6 or four-cylinder powerplants. An exception from this rule is David Brown Automotive, a company founded in 2013 by David Brown, a British businessman that has nothing to do with Sir David Brown, the former owner of Aston Martin. The brand’s first model, the Speedback GT, was developed in a similar way to the Morgan Aero, blending a retro-inspired design with modern underpinnings. Built on the Jaguar XK’s alloy platform, it takes cues from both the Jaguar XKR and Aston Martin DB5, and it’s fitted with luxury features and a supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8. The mill is rated at 503 ponies and 461 pound-feet of torque and mates to a six-speed automatic transmission, enabling the coupe to hit 62 mph from a standing start in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph. The whole car is built by hand while the aluminum panels are hand-rolled on an English wheel, so it’s as authentic as they get. The only drawback here is that the Speedback GT costs a whopping £495,000 before taxes and options.

Read our full story on the 2015 David Brown Automotive Speedback GT.

Conclusion


2019 Morgan Aero GT - image 769608

Needless to say, the Morgan Aero 8 isn’t your typical sports car. The “love it or hate it” design and the very limited production run keep it in a niche of its own, while the expensive sticker turns it into more of an occasional toy than a daily driver. The Aero GT model add a race-inspired twist to all of the above to mark the end of the nameplate. The unique character of this car makes it a bit sad to see it go away, but I must admit that it looks a bit dated now that it’s already 18 years old. At the same time, it’s a bit ironic that Morgan is discontinuing its more recent model, but a new-generation Aero should be just around the corner. I will be back to update this piece as soon as the Aero GT breaks cover at the Geneva Motor Show.

  • Leave it
    • * Already sold out
    • * A bit dated
    • * The end of the Aero model

References


2015 Morgan Aero 8 - image 619839

Read our full review on the 2015 Morgan Aero 8.


maker logos - image 770205

Read more Morgan news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Cupra Ateca

Fresh from the bowels of the SEAT – Cupra split comes the Cupra Ateca, a rebadged model with the typical tuner enhancements. Highlights include a considerable horsepower increase, mild revisions to the exterior, plenty of Alcantara inside, and a swath of standard features suited for what would have been the range-topping model of the SEAT Ateca range. Of Course, there’s a lot of ground for the Cupra Ateca to cover when you consider the sheer size of the compact SUV Market. Sure, there aren’t a lot of performance compacts out there, but the Cupra Ateca will be fighting for dominance against vehicles like the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and Jaguar F-Pace, all heavy hitters that could make things for the new kid on the block a little more difficult. So, let’s see what the new Ateca brings to the table and just how well it stacks up against the competition.

2019 Cupra Ateca Exterior


2019 Cupra Ateca - image 770168
“The Cupra Ateca is clearly a rebadged model, but Cupra has managed to walk a fine line between doing too much and too little with its first model.”

The Cupra Ateca is clearly a rebadged model, but Cupra has managed to walk a fine line between doing too much and too little with its first model. To put it simply, exterior enhancements are found in all the right spots. Compared to the model it is based on, you’ll recognize that nose, and the Cupra even features the same grille mesh, but that mesh is carried over in the corner intakes. Those, of course, look a little larger not because of the redesign but because the Cupra Ateca lacks the fog lamps found on the SEAT models. The low lip has also been revised, featuring a sportier air dam with secondary air intakes in the corners. The side profile doesn’t change at all, but you should take note of those exclusive 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. Around back, most of the usual SEAT DNA remains, but there is an all-new diffuser to offer up a fresh look along with those rather strange openings between the rear deflectors. By the way, the Cupra Ateca also gets twin, dual exhaust outlets – a hint at the extra power made possible by the engine stashed under the hood, but we’ll talk more about that later.

2019 Cupra Ateca Interior


2019 Cupra Ateca - image 770172
“The seats and door panels get healthy doses of Alcantara, while the steering wheel is wrapped in perforated leather.”

You wouldn’t be judged if you looked at the inside and said: “that’s just a SEAT Ateca.” In fact, we did the same, but when you actually look, there’s a lot of fresh going on here. For instance, the seats and door panels get healthy doses of Alcantara, while the steering wheel is wrapped in perforated leather. The seats, trim panels, gear shifter, and steering wheel are all held together by grey contrast stitching to add a little extra pizzazz to the interior. Of course, you’ll find Cupra branding here and there, including on the steering wheel, floor mats, and infotainment display. The door sills even get an illuminated Cupra logo to remind those who enter just what they are getting into.

The eight-inch infotainment screen carries over from the SEAT Ateca, but it gets custom software that includes a Cupra logo upon entering the vehicle, and there’s a performance page as well. The instrument cluster is all digital, featuring a central tachometer and digital speedometer. All other relevant data shows up on either side of the display. Things like keyless entry and keyless start round out the interior package.

2019 Cupra Ateca Performance


2019 Cupra Ateca - image 770186
“According to Cupra, it can hit the 62-mph sprint in all of 5.4 seconds and will top out at 152 mph if you keep on it.”

Under the hood of the Cupra Ateca lurks the EA888 2.0-liter mill straight from the Volkswagen Group. This powertrain is a turbocharged unit that delivers 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, a hair more than the torque delivered by the SEAT Leon Cupra 300. Power is delivered to all four wheels via a refined, seven-speed DSG gearbox a SEAT’s 4Drive system. This system, provides a number of selectable drive modes, with the most important being “CUPRA” mode, which, of course, opens up engine response and revises the adaptive suspension for sportier handling. Unfortunately, there are no plan for the Ateca to receive a manual transmission, and the 4Drive system is biased to the front with torque being sent to the rear only when needed. According to Cupra, it can hit the 62-mph sprint in all of 5.4 seconds and will top out at 152 mph if you keep on it.

The adaptive suspension is top notch and is actually a bit lower than that found on the SEAT model, but not by much – just 20 mm. The spring rates, however, have been considerably revised and the suspension is firmer overall. The adaptive suspension is standard equipment, while the electronic sound synthesizer that’s typically offered on MQB-based models has been dropped. The standard brake setup comes with 17-inches on all corners, but if you go for the performance pack option, you can get Brembo calipers and 18-inch discs for extra stopping power.

2019 Cupra Ateca Prices


2019 Cupra Ateca - image 770169

There is no word on pricing for the Cupra Ateca, but you can expect it to start out around the $50,000 to $55,000 range. This would put it somewhere around $8,000 higher than the range-topping SEAT Xcellence, a fair price when you consider the 90+ horsepower upgrade and extra niceties inside.

2019 Cupra Ateca Competition

As luck would have it, there isn’t really a lot the Cupra Ateca will compete directly with, so we really have to look in slightly unconventional places. With its level of performance and the goodies it sports inside, it can easily compete with models like the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and Jaguar F-Pace, at least on one front or another.

With things like an Alcantara-trimmed interior, backlit logos, and the digital instrument cluster, there’s no denying that the Ateca has what it takes to compete inside. And, it’s not exactly an ugly duckling on the outside either. We don’t have specific interior and exterior specs, so we need to focus on price point and performance for an accurate comparison. With that said, we’ll start out with the Jaguar F-Pace.

Cupra Ateca vs Jaguar F-Pace


2017 Jaguar F-Pace - image 645923

In base form, the F-Pace doesn’t stand a chance against the Ateca. From Base to R-Sport trim, the F-pace delivers just 247 ponies from its 2.0-liter four-banger. The R-Sport is the best looker, so it’s the one that would go against the Ateca. With subpar horsepower and a $54,175 price point, the F-Pace R-Sport doesn’t really tickle our ribs as the one to go with. If you really want to compete, you have to go with the more luxurious and more powerful Portfolio trim. Coming in at a stout $62,000 – at least $4,000 more than the Ateca base price – you will get the same amount of horsepower, 296 ponies, and 295 pound-feet of torque. Not a bad choice but slightly more expensive. And, in a race, it’s going to lose as it takes the F-Pace Portfolio 5.7 seconds to get to 60 mph and it tops out at 145 mph. In this case, the Cupra Ateca may be the way to go – plus, you get in on an all-new model, so there’s that.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

Cupra Ateca vs Porsche Macan


2015 - 2017 Porsche Macan - image 533189

While the base model Macan really isn’t available here in the states, there is a lesser model available in other markets, and it’s right on par when you look at luxury. Outside of that, you might find yourself swaying more and more toward the Cupra. For instance, the Porsche Macan, in base form, comes in at $64,118 (based on exchange rates against £45,915 at the time of this writing) and only delivers an inferior 252 horsepower. That’s enough for a 6.7-second sprint to 62.1 mph and a top speed of just 142 mph. Of course, going with the Cupra will leave you on the sidelines when it comes to awesome Porsche design. If you’re a loyal Porsche customer, you couldn’t be blamed for sticking to your brand, but you should give the Cupra a test drive to see what you think.

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche Macan.

Cupra Ateca vs BMW X3


2018 BMW X3 - image 721390

The BMW X3 is the only model of the three discussed here that really makes sense in terms of favoritism. It’s available in the states in just two forms – one with 248 horsepower and one with 355 ponies. The base model, the xDrive30i, doesn’t offer as much power but it also comes in at just $42,650 – a significantly lower price. It may not have matching Alcantara inside or all of those M-specific goodies, but it’s still a better deal than the Cupra if you don’t need anything extra nice or more power. You could, of course, go for the X3 M40i, which will net you a twin-turbo inline-six that’s good for 355 horsepower. It has a price tag of $54,000 – a figure that’s right in the range the Cupra Ateca should fall in. By the way, that M40i will get you to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 155 mph. All told, unless you really want a rebadged SEAT with a Cupra badge and loads of Alcantara, you may want to go with that X3 M40i, but we’ll let you do the test drives and figure it out for yourself.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X3.

Conlcusion


2019 Cupra Ateca - image 770171

While we normally don’t go for all of the rebadged, performance brand makeovers, this one actually seems to hit all the right keys. It’s got the luxury features to put it ahead of its class, it’s got enough power to stand up to the big boys, and it’s got the looks too. With the price point still unknown, however, it’s really hard to place a definite answer on how well it will really be taken on the market – after all, if Cupra positions it too high, it will be quite easy to turn eyes to another big brand with as much power and a lower price. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see but, so far, things are looking good for the new Cupra brand.

  • Leave it
    • * Could be too pricy
    • * FWD biased
    • * No Manual transmission

References

Seat Ateca


2016 Seat Ateca - image 665655

Read our full review on the standard 2017 Seat Ateca.


2016 Seat Ateca X-Perience - image 689090

Read our full review on the 2016 Ateca X-Perience Concept.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 764380

Read more Seat news.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus UX

Lexus will debut its production-spec UX compact crossover at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show on March 6. This new, highly stylized, five-seat crossover will slot under the NX crossover, meaning it will be the most affordable and most dimensionally tidy vehicle in Lexus’ lineup.

The UX will accompany Lexus’ new three-row version of the RX, the RX L, along with the new two-row and less expensive version of the LX 570. Sitting atop Lexus’ range of crossovers and SUVs is the LF-1 Limitless – a concept crossover that will soon be Lexus’s flagship vehicle.

Yes, times are indeed changing as Toyota’s luxury brand revamps itself from a sedan-heavy automaker to one that specialized in cushy crossovers. We’ll know more about the 2019 Lexus UX come March 6 at the Geneva Motor Show, but until then, check out what we know below.

Continue reading for more information on the 2019 Lexus UX.

Lexus UX Exterior


Lexus released a single teaser photo ahead of the 2018 Geneva Motor show, and in true teaser fashion, it only shows the fewest of details. Still, we can see the vehicle features a stylized LED taillight feature that juts upward from the rear fenders, likely in some effort to improve aerodynamics while simultaneously looking cool. The roof clearly features a shark fin antenna and roof rails. We can see the center high-mount stoplight perched under the spoiler that sits above the rear window.

However, a little work in Photoshop easily brings more features to light.


2019 Lexus UX - image 769787

Lexus will clearly use its familiar naming scheme with the UX. The model seen here is the UX 250h, meaning it will have a gasoline hybrid powertrain that likely uses Lexus’ 2.5-liter four-cylinder found in the NX 300h. The other noticeable feature is the Lexus badge featured between the taillights. It almost looks like a license plate in the photo, but it’s hard to tell for sure.

Also visible are fender flares (likely black plastic) and a stylized lower apron on the rear bumper. Street-biased tires are mounted toward the corners of the crossover, helping maximize interior space while assisting in on-road stability.

Lexus UX Interior


2016 Lexus UX Concept - image 690261
“Lexus has not teased the UX’s production-spec interior and we don’t see it looking anything like the UX Concept from 2016”

Lexus has not teased the UX’s production-spec interior and we don’t see it looking anything like the UX Concept from 2016. One thing we are hoping for is an improved infotainment system with a more user-friendly input system. Lexus’ current mouse and trackpad methods are too clunky and hard to use quickly. Perhaps a touchscreen will finally be added, making selections much simpler.

As mentioned, the UX will seat five people, though two across in the back seat will be far more comfortable. Expect heated and vented seats to be options buried deep inside some expensive package, just like on other Lexus models. A Mark Levinson sound system will also be optional. We’re betting features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot won’t be included.

Cargo room is expected to be class-average for compact luxury crossovers, so plan on no more than a weekend’s worth of luggage for four people. Folding the seats flat will generate more cargo space, of course.

Lexus UX Drivetrain


2015 Lexus NX - First Drive - image 562529
“While we can’t say for sure what lurks under the UX’s hook, we’re betting it’s the familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found across the Lexus lineup”

While we can’t say for sure what lurks under the UX’s hook, we’re betting it’s the familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found across the Lexus lineup. In the NX crossover, this engine makes 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and FWD will likely be standard in the UX’s base configuration.

As for the UX 250h, we’re guessing the NX’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder will be used. It that application, it makes 194 total system horsepower and is mated to an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and Continuously Variable Transmission. The NX 300h comes standard with AWD and uses the engine to turn the front wheels and a separate electric motor to turn the rear wheels.

Only time will tell if Lexus uses this same powertrain configuration in the 2019 UX 250h. We should know for sure come March 6 at 10 a.m. local time in Geneva.

Lexus UX Prices

Lexus has not announced pricing for the 2019 UX crossover, but we expect it to start well under the 2018 NX’s base price of $35,985. Lexus could start pricing around $29,000 to attract younger, less affluent buyers. On the other hand, if Lexus set prices at $30,000, the price would make the UX seem more “luxury” and might help preserve Lexus image as a premium brand. It just depends on how Lexus wants to be perceived.

Lexus UX Competition

Audi Q3


2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688433

The current Q3 might not be around much longer as Audi works to move the 2019 model onto its popular and versatile MQB platform that underpins seemingly everything under the Volkswagen wheelhouse. As such, the next-generation Q3 will have access to a slew of new technology and drivetrain options, including advanced active safety systems and hybrid powertrains. The compact crossover has already proved its value to Audi thanks to the explosion in popularity of the crossover craze.

Currently, the 2018 Audi Q3 offers room for five, 16.7 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row, and comes powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 200 horsepower, 207 pound-feet of torque, and getting up to 28 mpg on the highway. Every Q3 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro AWD.

Prices for 2018 start at $32,900 for the “base” Premium model and $35,800 for the Premium Plus.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi Q3.

BMW X1


2016 BMW X1 - image 632475

The X1 is BMW’s answer to the compact crossover craze and an expansion of its lineup of SUVs that originated with the X5 back in 1999. Unlike the mid-size X5, the X1 is far more of a crossover due to is FWD-based architecture an on-road bias. It does have the option of BMW’s xDrive AWD system, but it’s geared toward all-weather applications. As for interior accommodations, there is room for five (four comfortably) and an impressive 27.1 cubic feet behind the second row.

A single engine is offered – a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which is almost a dead ringer for the Lexus NX’s 2.0-liter turbo-four’s output. An eight-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels unless xDrive is ordered, in which case, all four wheels are powered.

Pricing starts at $33,900 for the 2018 28i model. Opting for the xDrive 28i pushed the base price to $35,900.

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW X1.

Conclusion


2019 Lexus UX - image 769787

The upcoming 2019 Lexus UX will be an important vehicle for Lexus. While it won’t carry the clout as the LF-1 Limitless, it will offer an entry-level luxury experience at an entry-level luxury price for those who are just getting starting in their climb up the corporate ladder. As the age-old sales theory goes; customers start at the bottom and trade up over the years, eventually retiring with the most luxurious and most expensive model offered. Lexus’ progression will soon include the UX, NX, RX, LX, and LF-1. A college grad who just landed a fantastic job buys the UX. The newlyweds buy the NX. The new family buys the RX or RX L. The empty nesters buy the LX. Those with a large enough nest egg buy the LF-1. It’s all very clever marking.

We’ll have more information on the 2019 Lexus UX as it becomes available on March 6, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com.

  • Leave it
    • * Cargo room likely compromized
    • * Luxury options likely locked in expensive packages

References


2016 Lexus UX Concept - image 690252

Read our full review on the 2016 Lexus UX Concept.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 746643

Read more Lexus news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Teases the K900 Sedan Before it Debuts at the New York Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image of its upcoming K900 flagship sedan. The redesigned model is due to hit dealerships and showrooms sometime this year as a 2019 model. Despite only being introduced in 2015 in the U.S., the need for an update became important after the model went through a rocky 2017 that saw only 455 units find new owners for the whole year. The new K900 is expected to debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show in late March.


2015 - 2016 Kia K900 - image 657651
“The previous Kia K900 actually wasn’t that bad”

The previous Kia K900 actually wasn’t that bad. The Korean automaker wanted to make a splash in the luxury segment with the model, and in some ways, it did. The K900 was lauded for having a cavernous interior that was dripping with gadgets and gizmos aplenty. Its design didn’t take your breath away, but it also didn’t lead you to convulsions. The problem with the K900 was that it was a new model that came from a company that was largely untested in the luxury market. The sedan felt like someone who attended an opera for the first time. It dressed well, acted appropriately, but was still a little out of its element. It showed too in the car’s sales. Only 455 units were sold in 2017, and even in its best sales year in 2015, only 2,524 owners tried their luck on the sedan.

This brings us to the updated K900, a car that Kia is hoping will do better in the U.S. than its predecessor. We know very little about the redesigned K900, but based on this teaser and earlier spy shots of test mules on the road, Kia put in a lot of work in designing a longer and sleeker K900. It gives a clear vision that it will more be more competitive with models like the Mercedes S-Class and theBMW 7 Series. The side profile shown by the teaser exudes a more regal and stately silhouette. The hood looks much longer, and the high shoulder line presents itself well. If the

On the performance side, the new K900 should come with similar powertrain options as the Genesis G90. That would include a base 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that has 365 horsepower on tap and a bigger 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 420 horsepower. The previous K900 already used the latter of these two engines so there shouldn’t be any surprises when the new model once again brings it to the party.


2015 - 2016 Kia K900 - image 533411

Note: Current Kia K900 pictured here.

The look and numbers paint one picture of our expectations for the new K900. But what the sedan really needs to improve on is its handling. The soft suspension is a given for a luxury sedan, but the K900 was plagued with issues of uneven handling and steering. It looked like a luxury sedan in every which way. It just didn’t handle like one.

That’s the biggest room for improvement that Kia needs to address with the new K900. If it succeeds in doing that, the sedan could earn more fans — and customers — on its side. If it doesn’t, well, it tried its best. Either way, we’re going to find out soon enough that Kia’s new luxury flagship has to offer.

References

Kia K900


2015 - 2016 Kia K900 - image 657647

Read our full review on the current 2017 Kia K900.


maker logos - image 769406

Read more New York Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 745757

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo V60

After several years with slow sales and dated products, Volvo began to revive its vehicle lineup with a new architecture and a fresh design language. It started things off with the XC90 in 2014, but several models followed suit until 2017. The V60 remained the oldest car in the lineup to still feature the old design, but this just changed ahead of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, as Volvo unveiled a new compact station wagon. After struggling to compete against similar offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi for nearly eight years, the V60 finally has what it takes to climb higher in the compact premium segment.

Essentially a shrunken V90 on the outside, the V60 boasts the same tech and safety packages as the larger Volvo models. This makes it the most advanced vehicle in its class, despite both the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon still being relatively new. It also gained most of the V90’s drivetrain lineup, which includes both gasoline and diesel mills, as well as a hybrid. But unlike the V90, the V60 gets a second, less powerful hybrid drivetrain for customers looking for a more affordable electrified vehicle. But let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V60.

Volvo V60 Exterior

  • V90-based design
  • Thor’s hammer headlamps
  • Sporty bumpers
  • Longer wheelbase
  • Modern design overall
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“The new V60 looks as sexy as they get with the new, V90-based design language”

At first glance, the V60 is pretty much a downsized V90. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The styling cues seen on the S90 and V90 models will eventually trickle down into all Volvo cars and it makes sense for all wagons to mimic the V90. It’s the usual “same sausage, different lengths” strategy used by most automakers.

But that’s not a bad thing. The new V60 looks as sexy as they get with the new design language and it’s definitely fresh when compared to other premium compact wagons out there, including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A4 Avant.

The front fascia is a close copy of the V90, using the same “Thor’s hammer” headlamps and the big, rectangular grille. The front bumper seems a bit different though, with smaller black inserts in the side intakes. On the other hand, the three-piece outlet configuration is pretty much the same and includes the large trapezoidal cutout in the middle.

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“The front fascia is a close copy of the V90, using the same "Thor’s hammer" headlamps and the big grille”

The profile is very similar, down to the identical beltline and lower character line and the overall shape of the greenhouse. However, the C-pillar is slightly different, as is the third window, which is a tad shorter. The rear overhang is shorter too, while the tailgate isn’t as sleek as the V90’s.

I can see minor differences around back too. For starters, the tailgate spoiler seems a bit more aggressive. The tailgate has a smaller window, typical for compact wagons, and it’s shaped differently above the license plate recess. The taillights and bumper are similar to the V90’s, but the former sport a different LED layout. And I like the V60’s more to be honest.

All told, there aren’t any surprises to talk about. I don’t know about you, but I was expecting this compact wagon to look like a shrunken V90.

Volvo V60 Interior

  • Also based on the V90
  • Vertical infotainment display
  • Clean center stack
  • Wide center console
  • Leather and cloth
  • Good fit and finish
  • Premium look
  • Loads of new tech

2019 Volvo V60 - image 769994
“Interestingly enough, the dash seems a bit taller in this car, almost similar to what we usually find in a crossover”

Much like the exterior, the interior is heavily based on the S90 and V90 models. There are a few notable differences, but all the familiar details from the larger models are there, including the boxy dashboard, the vertically-oriented infotainment screen, and the wide center console.

Interestingly enough, the dash seems a bit taller in this car, almost similar to what we usually find in a crossover. The chrome trim is also different, now descending at the corners to run below the slightly larger A/C vents. The steering wheel is a bit different too, as are the door panels, with revised trim and armrests, and with the door handle placed just under the window.


2019 Volvo V60 - image 769984
“The Sensus infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G”

Both the center stack and console layouts are identical, and this is a good thing, as the S90 and V90 have one of the cleanest configurations I’ve seen in a modern car. Controls outside the infotainment system are limited to a thin stripe below the display and a start button near the gear shifter.

Volvo didn’t provide too many details yet, but the model pictured here seems to have cloth and leather upholstery. The seating surfaces and the door panels have a unique black and white design that gives the car a vintage, yet premium vibe. Definitely a breath of fresh air compared to what you get from the competition.

No word on tech either, but Volvo did say that the state-of-the-art Sensus infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G. The system is controlled via an intuitive tablet-style touch screen that combines car functions, navigation, connected services, and entertainment apps. Yup, it’s exactly what you get in the larger S90 and V90, which is very cool.

Volvo V60 Drivetrain

  • T5 and T6 gasoline engines
  • D3 and D4 diesel units
  • Two hybrid drivetrains
  • Up to 390 horsepower
  • Eight-speed automatic
  • All-wheel drive

2019 Volvo V60 - image 769979
“Since it sits on the same underpinnings as the V90, the V60 gets the same engines”

Since it sits on the same underpinnings as the V90, the V60 gets the same engines. Well, not all of them, and it actually gets a unit that the V90 doesn’t have, but you get the point. The big wagon can be had with three gasoline engines, three diesels, and a hybrid drivetrain, all of them built around 2.0-liter four-cylinder units. Volvo ditched both six-cylinder and V-8 engines recently and doesn’t plan on offering something similar ever again.

For the V90 and other recently launched models, the gasoline range includes the turbocharged T4 with 190 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged T5, which generates 254 horses and 295 pound-feet. Finally, the range-topping T6, which is both turbocharged and supercharged, cranks out 360 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of twist. Volvo says that the V60 will arrive with the T5 and T6, but no word on the T4 yet. This might be the case for the U.S. market, but the T4 will definitely become available in Europe at some point.


2019 Volvo V60 - image 770018
“The V60 benefits from a new T6 hybrid drivetrain with less output than the T8”

The diesel lineup consists of the D3, rated at 150 horsepower and 240 pound-feet, the D4 with 190 horses and 300 pound-feet, and the D5 with a solid 235 horsepower and an impressive 350 pound-feet. While the D3 and D4 are available with either FWD or AWD, the D5 is an all-wheel-drive model only. Again, there’s a slight difference compared to the V90 here, as the D5 unit isn’t included on the V60’s list. It could become part of the lineup later this year or in 2019 though.

Finally, there’s the hybrid drivetrain, and here’s where the big news lies. While the V90 gets the T8, which pairs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged and supercharged four-banger and a 60-kW (80-horsepower) electric motor, the V60 also benefits from a new T6 hybrid with less output. Both work on the same principle and share the same components, but while the T8 cranks out up to 390 horsepower, the T6 generates up to 340 horses. The T6 hybrid is actually a good idea, as it will give customers access to a slightly more affordable hybrid, as well as a choice of two gasoline-electric combos, which the competition doesn’t have.

All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission in other models and this shouldn’t change for the V60. In the U.S., only the gasoline and hybrid setups will be offered. At least at first.

Volvo V60 Safety


2019 Volvo V60 - image 769969

Volvo says that the V60’s safety package is identical to the V90, so it includes active systems like Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Run-off Road Mitigation, Run-off Road Protection, and the City Safety package, all of which should be standard. The latter is able to detect vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals and it’s always active above 4 km/h (2.5 mph).

Options should include Blind Spot Information, Rear Collision Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, Distance Alert, Park Assist Pilot and a 360-degree camera.

Just like the V90, the V60 will be a semi-autonomous vehicle thanks to Volvo’s new Pilot Assist feature. When activated, the system controls acceleration, braking, and steering in order to help the driver follow the traffic flow within the current lane. It also reduces driver strain in tedious situations and increases safety, while also delivering enhanced speed and distance keeping in the lane.

Volvo V60 Prices


2019 Volvo V60 - image 770006

Although the upcoming V60 is already listed on Volvo’s U.S. website (with a cover on obviously), there’s no pricing information available as of February 2018. The old model retails from $38,250 and the redesign could add a premium to that sticker. I’d say that the base model will start from between $39,000 to $40,000. With the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and the Audi A4 Allroad priced from a little over $44,000 each, Volvo has enough room to put a premium over the old V60, but still keep it more affordable than the competition.

In the U.K., however, the new V60 starts from £31,810, with full pricing and specification details to be announced later. Deliveries are expected to begin in the third quarter of the year.

Like the rest of the company’s new models, the V60 can be accessed via Volvo’s new premium subscription service, Care by Volvo, which offers car access via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than ownership. Care by Volvo makes having a car “as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a mobile phone,” according to the Swedish automaker.

Volvo V60 Competition

BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon


2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon - image 629437

The 3 Series Sports Wagon is essentially the only full-fledged competitor to the V60 that you can get in the U.S., where the station wagon market is extremely poor. The Bimmer is a bit though, as it’s been around since 2012. And a new-generation model won’t become available until at least 2019. But the design is still somewhat fresh,
The good news is that the Sports Wagon is available with a couple of drivetrain in North America. There’s the familiar 330i xDrive model with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and the 328d xDrive, a diesel that comes with 188 horsepower and 295 pound-feet on tap. Pricing for the former starts from $44,650, while the latter retails from $46,150.

Read our full story of the 2017 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

Audi A4 Allroad


2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro - image 661339

In the absence of the regular Audi A4 Avant and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon here in the U.S., the A4 Allroad remains the only option besides the 3 Series Sports Wagon. Unlike the 3 Series Sports Wagon, the A4 Allroad is only a couple of years old, being based on the latest A4, unveiled in 2015. The redesign brought a sportier exterior styling with sharper lines, a design language we first saw on the latest Q7 SUV. The interior boasts the new continuous air-vent strip that stretches the entire width of the dashboard, updated materials, and the company’s latest tech and safety features. The A4 Allroad is available in three trims in the U.S., but all use the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Of course, thanks to the crossover-like ride height, the A4 Allroad is more capable in rough terrain than its rivals. Pricing starts from $44,500.

Read our full review of the Audi A4 Allroad.

Conclusion


2019 Volvo V60 - image 770027

Despite not looking as sexy as its German counterparts, the previous-generation V60 had many attributes. It was comfortable, safe, and efficient. On the flip side, it was rather cramped inside the cabin and the trunk wasn’t very impressive either. The new V60 seems to fix these issues, while the new design turns the pleasant-to-look-at wagon into an actually beautiful grocery getter. The new tech, the Care by Volvo program, and the advanced safety features only make things that much better and place the V60 ahead of the competition, at least until BMW rolls out a redesigned 3 Series. But even then the V60 might still remain the most exciting compact wagon on the premium market.

  • Leave it
    • * Volvo badge still not very powerful
    • * New BMW 3 Series wagon underway

References

Volvo V60


2015 Volvo V60 - image 540430

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo V60.


maker logos - image 745634

Read more Volvo news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Pininfarina HK GT

The gearheads out there will likely recognize the first part of that title. Pininfarina is best known for its hot-blooded sports car designs, which include hits like the ’67 275 GTB/4, ’72 Dino 246 GTS, and the modern Sergio, as well as a slew of models for Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and Maserati. If you’re still drawing a blank, I’ll just sum it up with this – Pininfarina is a legendary design house in Italy, one which has produced truly head-turning work since 1930. It’s latest effort is this new concept GT car, but it’s not exactly what you’re thinking. You see, while Pininfarina is on tap the sketch the sexy bits outside, a Hong Kong-based technology firm known as Hybrid Kinetic Group tackled the technical bits under the skin. The result of this partnership is called the Pininfarina HK GT, a title which is a little matter-of-fact for our taste, but that’s beyond the point. The point is this thing is headed for a reveal at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, and it promises a tech-heavy and eco-friendly take on the ’ole sporty Italian gran tourer formula.

Teased a month prior to the show with a pair of shadowy images, we’re still waiting for the full rundown on this thing. That said, the Pininfarina HK GT looks to be somewhat of a break from nearly 90 years of Pininfarina tradition. In a post to its Facebook page, the Italian design house states that “Time has come for a new Pininfarina masterpiece combining stylistic research with environmental sustainability.” The HK GT is the fourth such collaborative effort we’ve seen from Pininfarina and the Hybrid Kinetic group, with the other three examples being the H600 from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, as well as the five-seater K550 SUV and seven-seater K750 that showed in Shanghai last year. With four of these types of reveals in just two years’ time, it’s looking like a new chapter at Pininfarina.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Pininfarina HK GT.

Pininfarina HK GT Exterior

  • Looks to include traditional grand tourer styling
  • Long hood line
  • This headlights and taillights
  • Rear-facing cameras instead of side-view mirrors
  • Should be sleek and aero-efficient
  • Large doors (two of them)
  • Probably includes LED lighting front and back

2018 Pininfarina HK GT - image 769611
“The Pininfarina HK GT will have a classical Italian grand tourer body style, something characterized by a long hood line, cab-back proportions, a broad rear end, and a low, wide stance.”

So far, we’re limited to just a single exterior image of the new Pininfarina HK GT, which, as you can see, shows only the top half of the car from the rear three-quarters angle, all of which is obscured in shadow. However, even with the apparent lack of detail, there are a few things we can pick out.

For starters, the Pininfarina HK GT will have a classical Italian grand tourer body style, something that takes cues from such greats as the Ferrari 275 GTB/4. Characterized by a long hood line, cab-back proportions, a broad rear end, and a low, wide stance, this is the sort of shape that just oozes speed and presence. Look for sleek panels and gentle curves. We’re also expecting thin headlights to match the taillight strips seen in this teaser, plus a few brushed and polished metal bits to add a little extra spice.

Look closely, and you’ll also see vents placed just behind the front wheels, as well as some rather unconventional side-view mirrors. It appears as though the Pininfarina HK GT uses rear-facing cameras rather than actual mirrors, feeding the interior with a live digital view, as relayed to one of the onboard displays. This not only ups the tech coolness, but it also helps to increase the aero efficiency of the machine, which is really what you want in an EV.

Indeed, the whole thing should be sleek and highly aero-efficient to help it cut through the atmosphere with as little resistance as possible, maximizing the miles-per-charge figure. Downforce probably isn’t a concern here. We also see what appears to be extremely large doors, possibly opening in an unconventional manner with hinges in back (“suicide” doors) or up top (“gull wing” doors). The size should also help aid ingress and egress for the +2 seating in the rear (more on that in the next section). Finally, look for LED headlights and carbon fiber body panels, all of which look to be draped in a dark paint color.

Pininfarina HK GT Interior

  • Possible 2+2 seating configuration
  • Rear-seating entertainment?
  • High-end materials throughout
  • Quilted upholstery
  • Brushed metal trim
  • Touch-sensitive panels on the doors
  • Possible autonomous technology

2018 Pininfarina HK GT - image 769612
“What's more, a 2+2 layout would most likely also use loads of autonomous systems to help tick off the miles and keep it safe as well”

Much like the exterior teaser, Pininfarina released just one image of the interior for the new HK GT concept. To our eyes, it appears to offer a 2+2 seating arrangement, with the image showing off the extra sitters in the rear. Indeed, the +2 seats appear as though they were carved out of the rear bulkhead, but it’s still got some nice features to go along with it, including brushed metal detailing and quilted upholstery. Its even got a slim center console that stretches back along the center spine of the vehicle, which suggests some sort of rear-seated entertainment features. Along the door we see what appears to be touch-sensitive panels for further infotainment features, or possibly the onboard autonomous systems (more on those in a bit).

In front, we expect to see a large infotainment screen, further high-end materials, and seats that are sporty, yet supportive. Brushed aluminum, leather, and Alcantara will be added everywhere.

To be completely honest, a 2+2 layout for this thing is a little surprising. It makes us wonder what the powertrain configuration looks like, given the larger cabin space required to seat four passengers.

What’s more, a 2+2 layout would most likely also use loads of autonomous systems to help tick off the miles and keep it safe as well. Is Pininfarina really diving into self-driving capability? Well, we’ve certainly heard grumblings that the design house was toying with the idea, and the door panels seen in the teaser image look as though they contain readouts for social sharing and other digital entertainment, suggesting this thing will whisk you to and fro while you focus on something else. Hopefully it’ll retain the ability for manual driving as well.

Pininfarina HK GT Drivetrain

  • Should be very powerful
  • Hybrid powertrain with range extender
  • Four motors and AWD
  • Upwards of 700 horsepower and 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds
  • 600 miles of range
  • Aluminum and carbon fiber for the construction
  • Low center of gravity

2017 Pininfarina H600 - image 706882

Note: Pininfarina H600 pictured here.

“The primary motivation will likely be derived from a sophisticated AWD system made up of four permanent magnet motors. Also look for some kind of range extender.”

To be honest, when we think about Pininfarina’s vehicles, our first inclination is to crack open the throttle on a Colombo V-12 under the hood. Of course, that’s not what you’re gonna get with this forward-thinking concept, because this time around, its got a hybrid powertrain to make the go.

While we don’t have a ton of info on what’s going on in the powertrain department of the HK GT, we can look to previous concepts like H600 for some clues. Granted the H600 is a sedan, not a grand tourer, but don’t let the four doors fool you – this thing definitely still has the heart of a performance machine.

The primary motivation will likely be derived from a sophisticated AWD system made up of four permanent magnet motors, all of which derive their electrons from a large battery pack. Also look for the HK GT to include some kind of range extender, as the H600 had a mini turbine engine to add the extra miles. We’d love to see something like that again this time around in the HK GT.

As for output, something around 700 horsepower would fit the bill just fine, but the grand tourer could very well go for much more. This is just a concept, after all, and wild horsepower levels are pretty much the norm. A top speed of 175 mph and a 0-to-60 mph time under the 3-second range would fit nicely, with just 2.5 seconds to the 60-mph mark feeling about perfect. And why not? The four-door H600 did the same test in 2.9 seconds, and this two-door GT car should be quite a bit quicker we think.

Under the body panels, we’re thinking an aluminum construction with loads of carbon fiber bits to keep it as light as possible. It should also boast solid weight distribution to make sure it handles properly, with all the really heavy bits mounted down low to keep it from feeling like it’s falling over on itself when slinging through a corner. A max range of 600 miles with the range extender fully juiced isn’t out of line for this concept, either.

Conclusion


2018 Pininfarina HK GT - image 769611

At the end of the day, if all our predictions come true, the Pininfarina HK GT is gonna be very futuristic and out there. It should also be quite beautiful, and prove that despite the changing technological landscape, good-looking Italian GT cars are not just a thing of the past.

Indeed, it’s even possible the HK GT could be put into production, at least in one form or another. After all, rumor has it the H600 will get the green light for public sale some time in the next few years, and if its successful, a follow-up grand tourer would certainly not be totally out of the question. However, the real question is – would you buy it?

  • Leave it
    • * Just a concept for now
    • * No V-12 soundtrack
    • * Is all that tech really feasible?

References


2017 Pininfarina H600 - image 708841

Read our full review on the 2017 Pininfarina H600 Concept.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca

Cupra’s first model, the Cupra Ateca, comes to the market with 296 horsepower, a new seven-speed DSG transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and it even has an Otto Particulate Filter System to combat those pesky emissions. This is the first model from the Cupra brand now that it has split away from SEAT, and it will be followed by models like the Cupra Arona, Cupra TCR race car, and the Cupra Ibiza.

What is the Difference in Performance Between the Cupra Ateca and the SEAT Ateca?


Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca - image 770170
“The Cupra Ateca can hit 100 kph (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds and tops out at 245 kph (152 mph).”

The Cupra Ateca comes to the market with 296 Horsepower compared to the maximum 187 horsepower offered by the same engine in the SEAT model. Both use TSI direct injection and a DSG seven-speed transmission, however, Cupra is said to have revised the gearbox for smoother, faster shifts, and more precise gear changes. Both the Cupra and SEAT models have 4Drive AWD and, while both benefit from multiple drive modes like “normal,” “sport,” “snow,” and “offroad,” the Cupra Ateca gets a special “CUPRA” mode that unlocks better engine response, engine sound, and adjusts the adaptive suspension for sportier handling. The Cupra Ateca can hit 100 kph (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds and tops out at 245 kph (152 mph).

Does the Cupra Ateca Look Different Than the SEAT Ateca?

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For the most part, the Cupra Ateca and SEAT Ateca are nearly identical outside. Both models even have the same grille styling and mesh. The Cupra Model gets the same mesh inside the corner vents of the front fascia (as opposed to fog lamps) while the lower lip of the Cupra model has been revised to include the Cupra logo and an extra intake in either corner. The side mirrors are finished black as opposed to the SEAT model’s body coloring. In the rear, the two models are differentiated by a revised rear fascia. The Cupra Ateca gets a diffuser-like element with twin, dual exhaust outlets.

Does the Cupra Ateca have a Different Interior Design?


Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca - image 770172

The base interior design of the Cupra Ateca is carried over from the SEAT model, however, it’s the little things that separate the two design-wise. The Cupra Ateca is upholstered primarily in Alcantara, with the seats and door trim panels being the primary recipients. The door sills of the Cupra Ateca also feature an illuminated logo while the steering wheel is wrapped in leather and perforated. The steering wheels, gear shifter, and seats all get grey contrast stitching. There are also aluminum pedals and aluminum frames around the air vents and A/C controls, while the infotainment system features updated software with a Cupra logo and performance page as seen in the image above.

What are the Standard Features of the Cupra Ateca?


Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca - image 770168
“The Cupra Ateca is focused around merging technology and safety”

The Cupra Ateca is focused around merging technology and safety. As such, it receives a keyless entry and start system, eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a digital instrument cluster. Other features, generally left as optional equipment on the SEAT model, include a wireless charger, GSM Signal booster, 360-degree top-view camera, adaptive suspension, and park assist.

What Optional Features are Available for the Cupra Ateca?


Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca - image 770171

The Cupra Ateca can be equipped with the “Performance Pack,” a package that includes 18-inch Brembo brakes with a black finish. There’s also a “Carbon Fiber” pack for the exterior that includes a carbon fiber spoiler and mirror caps. Finally, the Carbon Fiber Interior Pack will give you a carbon fiber dashboard with leather seats. Cupra bucket seats will be available sometime in mid-2019.

How Much Does the Cupra Ateca Cost?


Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca - image 770169

Pricing has yet to be announced as of February 2018, but with the SEAT Ateca XCellence topping out at around $44,000 at current exchange rates (2-22-2018,) the Cupra Ateca will likely carry a base price somewhere in the $50,000 to $55,000 range.

Should I Buy a Cupra Ateca instead of a SEAT Ateca?


Entering Stage Left: The 296 Horsepower Cupra Ateca - image 770167

You should buy a Cupra Ateca if you’re in the market for a compact crossover with decent performance. If you’re not looking from the benefit of having 296 horsepower and slightly more aggressive looks, or aren’t worried about having leather and Alcantara inside, then you’re probably better off going with a SEAT-branded model.

References

Seat Ateca


2016 Seat Ateca - image 665655

Read our full review on the standard 2017 Seat Ateca.


2016 Seat Ateca X-Perience - image 689090

Read our full review on the 2016 Ateca X-Perience Concept.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 764380

Read more Seat news.

PostHeaderIcon Smart ForTwo EQ

Mercedes-Benz’s eye toward the future boldly saw a fully electric, fully autonomous concept car debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. Hailing from its Smart division, the concept took cues from the production Smart ForTwo and injected predictions of what the future might hold. Less than a year later, the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show will be the launch pad for a production version of the car. It’s called the Smart ForTwo EQ and its ramifications to big city car sharing could be felt for centuries to come.

Smart is set to debut the car on March 6 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. We’ll know much more when the time comes, but until then, let’s look at what we can expect.

Continue reading for more information.

Smart ForTwo EQ Exterior


2018 Smart ForTwo EQ - image 728946
“We can expect the production version of the Smart ForTwo EQ to be a bit more… production appropriate”

We can expect the production version of the Smart ForTwo EQ to be a bit more… production appropriate. The glass doors, the futuristic headlights, the LED signage on the grille – all will likely be replaced with more conventional parts.

Still, don’t think the ForTwo EQ will be boring. Smart would be wise to keep the futuristic and high-tech appearance as an advertisement for the car’s actual futuristic and high-tech performance. It supposedly can drive itself without passengers, after all.

Smart ForTwo EQ Interior


2018 Smart ForTwo EQ - image 728954
“The interior’s design and equipment really depends on how autonomous the ForTwo EQ truly is”

The interior’s design and equipment really depends on how autonomous the ForTwo EQ truly is. If the two-seater city car will actually operate itself without human input (beyond inputting a destination), then a steering wheel and pedals won’t be needed.

Our bet is these conventional driving fixtures will be present – at least in the first generation model – as government agencies relax laws on self-driving vehicles and people grow more accustomed to them.

If Smart actually pulls it off, the ForTwo EQ will have generous amounts of room relative to any two-seater city car in the past. Even the current Smart ForTwo can’t compete with the openness of the EQ’s airy cockpit.

Driverless technology or not, count on large screens that control every onboard creature comfort and display vehicle parameters. Analog gauges are so 2000s, anyway.

Smart ForTwo EQ Drivetrain


2018 Smart ForTwo EQ - image 728951
“The Vision EQ ForTwo Concept’s electric drivetrain consists of a 30-kWh lithium-ion battery.”

The Vision EQ ForTwo Concept’s electric drivetrain consists of a 30-kWh lithium-ion battery. Smart didn’t go into detail about the concept version’s details, but we can expect more on the model that debuts at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

By comparison, the 2018 Smart ForTwo Electric drive – Smart’s all-electric replacement for its gas-powered ForTwo – has a measly 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery that’s good for 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. Its range is limited to 70 and 80 miles, depending on usage. If Smart keeps or even exceeds that 30-kWh battery size, power and range will improve.

Then again with a city car designed to be shared, driving range won’t be a concern. Smart’s fleet of shared cars will always have a fully charged unit ready for dispatching to your location. After your use (and potentially several others), the car will navigate itself to a charging location and connect itself, likely with wireless inductive charging. End consumers needn’t worry about driving range.

Smart ForTwo EQ Prices


2018 Smart ForTwo EQ - image 728981

It’s far too early to accurate guesstimate pricing for the Smart ForTwo EQ. Smart might not even sell them publically, but rather operate a fleet in each metropolis area and make money from rides, much like Uber, but with no driver to pay.

On the other hand, Smart could sell to individuals who desired a more traditional vehicle user experience. In that case, we’d expect pricing to come at a premium. After all, Smart could likely make far more money sharing the cars than selling them outright. Either way, expect them to cost at least $30,000. By comparison, the 2018 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive starts at $28,750.

Smart ForTwo EQ Competition

Chevrolet Bolt


2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV - image 660931

Chevrolet has turned theory into reality with the Bolt. The Bolt is an all-electric city car with a usable range of 238 miles on a single change of its 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Better yet, the car can carry five people and their stuff thanks to its hatchback design. A glass cockpit has a handsome 10.2-inch infotainment system and a 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster as standard equipment. Techie features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Of course, the Bolt does not drive itself and takes up more real estate to park. Smart should be commended for shooting for the stars, but the Chevy Bolt is certainly respectable for actually delivering an affordable city car with a descent range. The Bolts actual downfall is its charge times. On a standard 110-volt outlet, the car needs upwards of 30 hours! A Level 2 charger with 240 volts drops the time to 10 hours. General Motors is building a nationwide charging network much like Tesla’s Supercharger system.

As for price, the 2018 Chevy Bolt starts at $37,495 for the LT trim, while the up-level Premier starts at $42,780 – both before any tax incentives or rebates. That’s a comparable price to the new Tesla Model 3, though Bolts are far easier to find and purchase at this point.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

BMW i3


2018 BMW i3 - image 729138

As practical as the Chevy Bolt is, the BMW i3 is a bit more fanciful and whimsical with a dash of new-age automotive technology sprinkled in. The car is built using carbon fiber and high-strength steel to keep weight down, it used rather skinny tires (that are slightly wider for 2018) and is small enough to park anywhere a Chevy Bolt could fit. The interior is a swanky place with a Zen-inspired feel. Wood and metal accents counter the interior’s base black color.

The i3 comes in two versions: the fully electric i3 and the range extender with the gasoline three-cylinder. Technically speaking, the range extender gives the car an limited range with typical stops at a gas station, but the all-electric i3 is both cheaper and more in line with the Bolt and Smart ForTwo EQ. It offers 114 miles of range on a charge and only takes 30 minutes to recharge up to 80 percent on a Level 3 DC 50-kW charger. On a Level 2 charger, the i3 will recharge roughly 26 miles per every hour its plugged in. The standard 110-volt outlet will charge it three to four miles every hour.

Pricing for the 2018 BMW i3 starts at $44,450. Opting for the range extender model
pushed the base price to $48,300. BMW also offs an i3s model with a bit more power. It starts at $47,650 and $51,500 for the range extender.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

Conclusion


2018 Smart ForTwo EQ - image 728971

The Smart ForTwo EQ has the potential to greatly change the landscape of automotive usage and ownership. Of course, that’s a hard nut to crack, so only time will tell if Smart is able to pull off the impossible. We should know more as the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show begins March 6, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for that. We’ll have tons more coverage on the ForTwo EQ and so much more.

  • Leave it
    • * So many unansered questions
    • * Only usable in metro areas
    • * Room for only two

References


2018 Smart ForTwo EQ - image 728969

Read our full review on the 2017 Smart Vision EQ Fortwo Concept.


2015 Smart Fortwo - image 560220

Read our full review on the 2017 Smart ForTwo.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition

If you enjoy wearing a cap, leather jacket, and driving gloves to break the brisk English air whilst on an open-air drive to afternoon tea at the local Lord’s manor, then perhaps a Morgan is the proper automobile for you.

Steeped in British automotive history, Morgan is a holdout to the legacy days of automobiles. Its Plus 8 model features a hand-built body that harks back to designs of the 1930s while its aluminum chassis and 4.8-liter BMW V-8 add modern reliability and performance. But the days of this naturally aspirated V-8 are coming to a close at Morgan. To celebrate the free-breathing engine’s last hurrah, Morgan is building 50 special edition models of the Plus 8, appropriately called the Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition.

Morgan is set to debut the Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show on March 6. In anticipation of the debut, the British automaker released a teaser video showing only a few dimly lit details.

Continue reading for more information.

Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition Teaser Video


Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition Exterior


2018 Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition - image 769762
“Going back into Morgan history, the blue color is very similar to Morgan’s first Plus 8 built in 1968 known as the MMC11.”

There isn’t much to see in the teaser video, but what is visible tells a big story. The car is clearly the Morgan Plus 8 in all its iconic glory. The curvy fenders, the laid-back grille, the old-school flat gauges – it’s all there. The biggest visual difference is its blue lacquered paint color with yellow accents.

Going back into Morgan history, the blue color is very similar to Morgan’s first Plus 8 built in 1968 known as the MMC11. The 50th Anniversary Edition’s hand-painted yellow accents give the car an appearance reminiscent of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron.

In addition to the blue and yellow paint scheme, a white 8 is seen on the wire-mesh grille, capped by gloss black vertical slats. There is also a tow point marker painted in the yellow accent color.

Steve Morris, Managing Director of Morgan Motor Company, said, “This 50th Anniversary Edition is a fitting illustration of the Plus 8’s beauty and finesse, coupled with raw exhilaration and capability. Performance has underpinned every one of the Plus 8s that have driven out of our factory gates for 50 years and we’re excited to reveal the car in full in Geneva.”

As Morris said, we’ll know more as the Geneva Motor Show gets started on March 6, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more information as it becomes available.

Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition Interior


2012 Morgan Plus 8 - image 550296

Note: Standard Morgan Plus 8 pictured here.

The Morgan Plus 8 has a uniquely spartan yet leather-lined cabin built for the sole enjoyment of driving. The minimalist approach means there are no extraneous gadgets or large screens to distract from driving or the roadster’s iconic appearance.

We don’t know what Morgan has planned for the 50h Anniversary Edition, but we wouldn’t be surprised by special leather upholstery with detailed stitching or exclusive colors. And since there will only be 50 examples built, expect a commemorative plaque specifically number for each car.

Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition Drivetrain


2018 Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition - image 769761
“Like the Morgan Plus 8s built since 2012, the 50th Anniversary Edition will come powered by a 4.8-liter BMW V-8”

Like the Morgan Plus 8s built since 2012, the 50th Anniversary Edition will come powered by a 4.8-liter BMW V-8 likely making the same 367 brake horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. While that’s not incredibly powerful, the car only weighs 2,689 pounds, so its performance is impressively good. The sprint to 60 mph will take only 4.5 seconds and its top speed will be 155 mph.

Customers can choose the standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional ZF six-speed automatic transmission. Like any good roadster, the Morgan Plus 8 is rear-wheel drive.

Conclusion


2018 Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition - image 769763

The Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition should prove to be a popular attraction at the 2018 Geneva show. It should also prove to be extremely popular with collectors, too. Morgan has not announced when the order books open, but we’re guessing it won’t take long to fulfill all 50 orders.

Price is also a mystery for this special edition. Considering the standard Plus 8 starts around £70,000 ($97,800 U.S. dollars) before options or customization, we’d bet the 50th Anniversary model will be rather expensive.

Of course, we’ll know more come March 6, so stick around for that.

  • Leave it
    • * Expensive
    • * Too dated?

PostHeaderIcon Italdesign Zerouno Roadster

Founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1968 in Turin, Italy, Italdesign is a creative powerhouse with a long history of beautiful creations. Standouts include a variety of notable performance machines like the Maserati MC12, the BMW M1, and the Lotus Esprit, but the house also has several more commonplace vehicles to its name, such as the Audi Q2 and VW Golf, plus oddities like the DeLorean DMC-12. Italdesign’s latest creation is the Zerouno Coupe, which we first saw at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and later again at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Limited at just five units total, Italdesign managed to move all five examples of this high-dollar (that is, seven-figure) supercar in just a matter of months, a testament to its unique styling and performance potential (not to mention the insanely hot modern supercar market). Now, it appears as though Italdesign is prepping a new drop-top iteration, as revealed by a single shadowy teaser image. Once again, the Italians will showcase their latest wares at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, and they’re saving the details for the big sheet drop. However, before they blow the roof off the coupe in Switzerland, we’ve got the details on it right here. That’s right – we fully expect the Roadster iteration to mirror much of what you get in the coupe, so we put together the following speculative review to whet your appetite. Expect V-10 power, a top speed over 200 mph, lots of carbon fiber, and more wings than an air show.

Offered as part of Italdesign’s 50th Anniversary this year, which officially begins March 6th with an event at the Geneva Motor Show, the Zerouno Roadster enjoys unquestionable status as a mid-engine supercar. It offers tons of customization opportunities, it’s highly exclusive, and it’s very, very expensive, which is perfectly befitting of a low-production model from Italdesign Automobili Speciali. Thing is, Volkswagen bought Italdesign back in 2010, and the Zerouno is made mostly of Lambo-sourced parts. Which begs the question – is it worth the extra outlay over a Huracan or R8?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Ialdesign Zerouno Roadster.

Italdesign Zerouno Roadster Exterior

  • Looks similar to the Zerouno Coupe
  • Very spacey and aggressive in its design
  • Elements of the Egoista and Veneno
  • All carbon exterior panels
  • Very aggressive aerodynamics
  • Promises to be functional as well
  • Roghly the same size as the Aventador
  • LED lighting
  • 20-inch wheels

2018 Italdesign Zerouno Roadster - image 768772
“While we're excited to see what new styling details Italdesign is introducing on the Roadster model, the basics should be the same. We think it'll look like a cyborg great white shark sent from the future to murder the dolphin equivalent of John Connor.”

Although Italdesign didn’t give us anything more than the above-pictured teaser image to go on, it’s more than obvious that what we’ve got on our hands here won’t deviate a whole lot from the Coupe iteration. This thing is still gonna be an absolute spaceship, with wild curves and sharp elements that make it bristle with performance promises from front to back.

To give you an idea what we’re on about, here’s a shot of the Italdesign Zerouno Coupe, as captured at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance –


2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727671

While we’re excited to see what new styling details Italdesign is introducing on the Roadster model, the basics are the same – low, wide, and geometric, with vents and wings and intakes at every turn. And there are a lot of turns in this car, with angles and bends and curves galore. It’s like a cyborg great white shark sent from the future to murder the dolphin equivalent of John Connor. We see elements of the Lamborghini Egoista and the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster in there, plus a dash of sci-fi awesomeness all its own.

Truth be told, the look is a little controversial among enthusiasts. Some love the out-there appearances, while others deride it as messy and ugly. The polarizing aesthetic is no doubt partly due to the departure of founder Giorgetto Giugiaro, who left the firm in 2015 and subsequently drained some of Italdesign’s credibility.

Luckily, there are no body panels shared between the Italdesign roadster and either of the Volkswagen products it’s based on. Nor should there be, considering the price.

What we do see, however, is a lot of lovely, well-sculpted carbon-fiber components from tip to tail. The composite bits are more than just a showcase of design – they’re also quite functional, just like the Zerouno Coupe. Beyond looking good, downforce and cooling are the primary motivators here, with the advanced aero comprised of an intricate front splitter, louvers along the front and rear wheel arches to reduce pressure, side fins for greater lateral stability, a large rear racing spoiler for extra grip, and an underbody diffuser to help the whole thing suck itself into the pavement.


Italdesign's Zerouno Supercar Is A Home Run Of A Debut Offering - image 708877
“Beyond looking good, downforce and cooling are the primary motivators here, with advanced aero like an underbody diffuser to help the whole thing suck itself into the pavement.”

The Zerouno Roadster should get similar exterior dimensions as the Coupe iteration, which is roughly equivalent to the Lamborghini Huracan. Overall length should be around 4,847 mm (190.8 inches), width should be around 1,970 mm (77.6 inches), and height should be around 1,204 mm (47.4 inches). That said, it might a bit shorter without the roof.

Final touches include an array of LEDs for the forward lighting, and some carbon-adorned wheels as well. Sizing for the rollers should be set at around 20 inches in diameter, if we were to guess. Buyers will also be able to choose theirs in any color they please, or even get it in naked carbon fiber, if desired.

Italdesign Zerouno Roadster Interior

  • Will likely have the same interior spec at the Coupe
  • Carbon fiber everywhere
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Bolstered bucket seats
  • Some similarities to the Lambo and Audi

Italdesign's Zerouno Supercar Is A Home Run Of A Debut Offering - image 708864

Note: Italdesign Zerouno Coupe pictured here.

“Customization options should be plentiful here. Expect an array of top-shelf materials and several different color schemes to choose from.”

While we have yet to get our hands on any images that show what’s going on inside the Italdesign Zerouno Roadster, we can still look to the Zerouno Coupe model for clues. As such, expect loads of carbon fiber, a fighter jet-like control scheme, a flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in soft-touch upholstery, and a set of highly bolstered bucket seats. Passengers sit low in the cockpit, while instrumentation is all digital.

Customization options should be plentiful here. Expect an array of top-shelf materials to choose from, including leather, Alcantara, and more. There should also be several different color schemes to choose from, or you could go with the stark carbon fiber in its raw, unpainted form if that’s more your thing. Personally, we think the sporty theme works well with bare composites.

There are also some broad similarities you could draw with the Lamborghini and Audi models upon which the Zerouno is based. For example, the gauge pod looks like it was plucked straight out of the R8, while the geometric shape for the vents is reminiscent of the Huracan. One could see this as both good and bad, though. It’s good because not only does it look great, with a functional and streamlined approach, but it should also offer a wide variety of proven customization options for the buyer. On the other hand, buyers may want something completely bespoke for the money paid, and any similarities to mass-produced products will ding the desirability factor a bit. Of course, that’s just nit-picking at this point, but take a gander at the Prices section, and you’ll see why we think it’s a justifiable critique.

Italdesign Zerouno Roadster Drivetrain

  • Naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10
  • Seven-speed transmission and AWD
  • 610 horsepower
  • 413 pound-feet of torque
  • 3.2 seconds 0-to-62 mph
  • 205 mph top speed
  • Custom exhaust

Italdesign's Zerouno Supercar Is A Home Run Of A Debut Offering - image 708872

Note: Italdesign Zerouno Coupe pictured here.

“The main party piece is an all-atmosphere 5.2-liter V-10 gas-gulper, which produces upwards of 610 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm.”

As you can probably imagine, there are currently no official specs on the Zerouno Roadster’s mid-mounted motivator as of this writing, but it’s highly likely it’ll carry over unchanged from the Coupe model. That means it’ll once again employ the same engine and drivetrain previously seen in the Lamborghini Huracan and Audi R8.

The main party piece is an all-atmosphere 5.2-liter V-10 gas-gulper, which produces upwards of 610 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. Routed to the ground by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Audi-sourced AWD system, the 0-to-62 mph sprint should be done in about 3.2 seconds, with top speed clocked at 205 mph.

Compared to the Lambo and Audi, those figures are more or less identical. It’s also possible the Roadster could add a tenth or so to the 0-to-60 mph time due to an incremental weight gain (topless usually means more bracing underneath, and that usually results in a few extra pounds).

Regardless, we also fully expect the Zerouno Roadster to sound different, given Italdesign’s penchant for custom exhaust systems. An exotic combustion note to go with the exotic styling? Makes sense to us.

Italdesign Zerouno Roadster Chassis And Handling

  • Low weight is key
  • Carbon fiber and aluminum are used throughout
  • Same bones as the Huracan and R8
  • Large carbon ceramic brakes
  • 8-pot calipers in front, 6-pot rears

2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727679
“Note: Italdesign Zerouno Coupe pictured here.”

Once again, look for the Zerouno Roadster to adopt the same architecture as the Lambo and Audi, with a modular spaceframe chassis composed of carbon fiber and aluminum throughout. Lightweight design is the key here, and we’ll have to see if Italdesign managed to shed a few pounds compared to its more mainstream siblings.

The Roadster will also probably use the same brakes as the Coupe, with large carbon ceramic discs pinched by 8-pot calipers in front and 6-pot calipers in the rear. Wrapping the large wheels will be Pirelli P-Zero tires, which are pretty much a guarantee for a car like this. We could also see that neat sidewall lettering that adds an extra racing-inspired flair to the exterior.

Italdesign Zerouno Roadster Prices


2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727675

Note: Italdesign Zerouno Coupe pictured here.

In just a few short months after the debut of the Italdesign Zerouno Coupe, all five examples were sold out, each bringing in a tidy sum of around $1.9 million (if not more). We expect the same thing to happen with the Roadster, but pricing will likely see an uptick to around $2.4 million, which, in case you’re keeping track at home, is a $500,000 increase for 100 percent less roof.

And keep in mind the $2.4 million is just for the basics. If you want optional equipment, or a unique look, or new trim in the cabin, or extra performance, Italdesign will do it – for a price. Anything is possible if you’ve got enough scratch. Once again, we won’t know for sure until it drops in Geneva, but for now, we’re thinking the Zerouno Roadster will see production limited at just five units total.

Conclusion


2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727672

Note: Italdesign Zerouno Coupe pictured here.

“It's essentially a road-legal spaceship, with supercar levels of performance and an enormous price tag befitting of the rarefied badge on the nose.”

Italdesign plans on offering a new model every year, and the Zerouno Roadster is looking like the one for 2018. It’s essentially a road-legal spaceship, with supercar levels of performance and an enormous price tag befitting of the rarefied badge on the nose.

That said, some of you out there will undoubtedly think the Zerouno is a ludicrous vehicle. After all, if you break it down, the Zerouno Roadster is basically an R8 Spyder with a wild body kit and new interior. Does that mean it’s worth the extra $2.2 million?

No question – for some people, the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Look for further specs and details next month from Geneva.

  • Leave it
    • * Basically an Audi under the skin
    • * Probably won’t offer any new engine or performance specs
    • * Ridiculously expensive

References


2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727669

Read our full review on the 2017 Italdesign Zerouno Coupe.


2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 - image 536427

Read our full review on the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan.


2017 - 2018 Audi R8 - image 618886

Read our full review on the Audi R8.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus Will Debut the all-new Lexus UX at the Geneva Auto Show

Lexus is all set to introduce the UX crossover at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The arrival of the small crossover bolsters what is already an impressive lineup of Lexus crossovers and SUVs. The UX is being seen as the company’s answer to models like the BMW X2, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and the Jaguar F-Pace. There’s no timetable for the crossover’s launch, but details should be made available as soon as the UX introduces itself to the world in Geneva.


If you’re familiar with the name “UX” from Lexus, it’s because the automaker used it on a concept that introduced at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Some of you might remember that model for its bulging sci-fi-like design. Don’t expect the production model to be as in-your-face with its design. A teaser video accompanying Lexus’ announcement even reveals a more toned down full-width taillight panel compared to what the concept version showcased in Paris back in 2016.

It is worth mentioning that the UX’s arrival comes two years after Lexus trademarked the model names UX 200, UX 250, and UX 250h with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This tells you that the crossover has been in Lexus’ pipeline for some time now. It’s unclear what kind of powertrains the crossover will receive, but considering its proximity to the NX crossover, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the UX use the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s currently found under the hood of the NX. The engine should have a different state of tune compared to the NX to create a little differentiation between the two models. A hybrid version should be in the cards if Lexus uses the UX 250h name on the crossover. Similarly, there are already whispers of a UX F Sport version that will sit as the range-topping trim of the model.


2016 Lexus UX Concept - image 690253
“It is worth mentioning that the UX’s arrival comes two years after Lexus trademarked the model names UX 200, UX 250, and UX 250h with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office”

Obviously, there are more questions than answers at this point about the UX crossover. We’ll know soon enough what Lexus has on its plate with the UX. In the meantime, expect more speculation about the model’s looks and capabilities. The teaser video doesn’t help a lot in this regard, but we’ll take what we can get from Lexus. Here’s to hoping the UX crossover lives up to the hype it’s starting to generate.

References


2016 Lexus UX Concept - image 690252

Read our full review on the 2016 Lexus UX Concept.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 746643

Read more Lexus news.

PostHeaderIcon SSangyong e-SIV Concept

Ssangyong is returning to the Geneva Motor Show this year with another SUV concept in tow. This time, we’re going to see the e-SIV – a concept that looks suspiciously familiar to the XAVL concept that the brand showcased at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Right now, we don’t have a lot to go on aside from a few teaser shots and a few tidbits of information, so it’s not really fair to pass judgment quite yet. So, with that in mind, will Ssangyong make the same play it has in the past and present itself at the show with another rehashed concept from years past or will it show up with something that’s at least somewhat new to look at? Let’s find out…

SSangyong e-SIV Exterior


2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept - image 769756
“he most recognizable Ssangyong feature is that headlight configuration that includes two thin, slanted headlights integrated into a lightbar that traverses the full width of the front end”

As a brand that’s known for rehashing its previous concepts (while bring very little new design to market,) you might expect a concept called the “e-SIV” to carry a lot of design showcased in the SIV-1 concept from 2013. This isn’t the case, however, as a lot of this front end looks reminiscent of the XAVL. Or, to be more specific, it looks like the brand gave the XAVL a facelift with a new front end and beefier hood. The most recognizable Ssangyong feature is that headlight configuration that includes two thin, slanted headlights integrated into a lightbar that traverses the full width of the front end. The grill below is huge (a nice change from previous concepts) and there looks to be a mouth-shaped air dam just a little lower. The bumper itself looks quite lively through the noise and shadows, while the hood reminds us of something you might see on a muscle car or, at the very least, a vehicle like the Dodge Durango SRT, for example.

The side profile is as equally mysterious but still oddly reminiscent. The body lines that we can see scream XAVL while the only difference in the belt line is the smaller upward cover at the corner of the rear door’s glass. The C-pillar is identical as is the overall design of the rear quarters and lower doors. Even the roof is familiar like the smell of mom’s cooking on Sunday morning. Around back, the brand finally changed things up a bit, apparently trying to keep up with current design trends. The rear hatch has a fastback-like slant to it and, unlike the last concept, the rear glass doesn’t wrap around to the sides. The taillights are essentially one wide but thin unit with the only thing separating the left from the right being Ssangyong’s emblem. There’s nothing to really make out of the rear, but it looks to be way too extreme for anything that could go mainstream. There are huge recesses in the corners and what appears to be an Audi-like rear diffuser. It’s certainly interesting and familiar in all the wrong ways, but it’s also kind of fresh in a weird kind of way.

SSangyong e-SIV Exterior Specs

Length 4,460 mm
Width 1,870 mm
Height 1,630 mm
Wheelbase 2,675 mm

SSangyong e-SIV Interior


SsangYong's Never-Ending Run Of Concept SUVs Needs To Stop - image 708688
“Ssangyong has said that this vehicle will demonstrate the brand’s approach to connected mobility and autonomous driving.”

The inside of the e-SIV remains to be seen, and the brand has yet to elaborate on the details. On previous models, like the XAVL, the interior was actually quite feasible and was on par with brands like Audi and BMW in terms of design. So, with that in mind, expect to see stout trim lines with accent lighting throughout. The previous concepts had rather large infotainment screens and there was even a large digital instrument cluster that, from a glance, looked a lot like the display found in the Tesla Model S. There probably won’t be a lot of change from the XAVL in comparison to this concept, but Ssangyong has said that this vehicle will demonstrate the brand’s approach to connected mobility and autonomous driving. It’s a lot of PR talk, really, and none of the brand’s models currently on sale come close to anything like this, but I guess we all have dreams, right?

SSangyong e-SIV Drivetrain


2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept - image 769758
“It is said to have a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph) and a range of 450 km, or about 279 miles”

Under the hood… wait, there’s really nothing going on under the hood because this baby is electric. According to Ssangyong, the e-SIV, which stands for “Electronic Smart Interface Vehicle,” by the way, features a 187 horsepower – not a lot for a C-segment SUV, huh? – electric motor. There’s no word on the battery pack, but it can supposedly take an 80-percent charge in all of 50 minutes. It is said to have a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph) and a range of 450 km, or about 279 miles. They aren’t groundbreaking figures by any means, especially when you consider this is the brands fifth EV concept, following models like the KEV1, KEV2, e-XIV, and Tivoli EV-R. For now, that’s all we have to go on, and chances are none of it really matters has Ssangyong has a long history of showing off concepts that go nowhere. We will, however, be updating this section with full specs when they become available – you never know, we just might be in for a surprise.

Conclusion


2018 SSangyong e-SIV Concept - image 769759

At this point, I feel like I’m watching a third-world country trying to develop its own space agency. The brand continuously brings concept after concept to show after show, yet very little ever makes its way into production. To be honest, a lot of its concepts don’t look bad, but half of them are rehashed. And, in this case, a C-segment SUV with so little power – regardless of how good it looks inside and out – would never stand up in the market as we know it today. My hat is off to the brand for its continual push toward EV technology and design development but at what point is the brand going to present something feasible that can actually see production. Seeing SUV concept after SUV concept is starting to get tiring.

All in all, these teaser images to show off some interesting qualities but also remind us that Ssangyong yang is more interested in designing cool concepts than actually bringing something fresh and commanding to the market. Until this brand focuses on fresh priorities and operating like a major automaker, it will continue to sit on the sidelines instead of competing with the big boys. Until then, brace yourself for more concepts for the Korean brand that just can’t quite get over the ledge. Check back with us after the Geneva Motor Show kicks off for all of the details on SsangYong’s latest concept.

References


SsangYong's Never-Ending Run Of Concept SUVs Needs To Stop - image 708676

Read more about the
2017 SSangyong XAVL concept


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda6 Tourer

Mazda introduced the 6 nameplate in 2002 as a replacement for the highly successful Mazda 626. Offered as a near-premium mid-size four-door model, the 6 is now considered Mazda’s flagship model. Three generations have arrived since the 6 first hit the scene, the latest of which showed in 2012. Back in November, Mazda brought out a refreshed iteration at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS), dropping cover on a tweaked exterior style, a newly updated interior, fresh technology and equipment, and even a new turbocharged engine package. Suffice to say, we thought the whole thing looked great, so much so that we gave it a spot on our Best In Show list for the 2017 LAAS. Given the extensive updates seen for the 2018 model year, you could consider this latest iteration as the 3.5-gen vehicle. Now, the 6’s more practical Tourer wagon body style looks set to receive the same good stuff when it arrives in Switzerland with a debut at the 88th Annual Geneva International Motor Show.

All told, the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer should look and feel more premium than before, just like the latest sedan version that appeared in Southern California. Full details are still forthcoming, but for now, read on for the lowdown on what we know, plus a splash of speculation along the way.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer.

Mazda6 Tourer Exterior

  • Latest Kodo design language
  • Mazda Kai and Mazda Coupe concepts used for inspiration
  • LED lighting
  • Larger grille with metal mesh insert
  • Massively flared front fenders
  • Should offer standard 17-inch wheels, optional 19’s
  • More aerodynamic than before

Mazda6 Tourer - image 765687
“The Tourer once again employs Mazda's Kodo design language to great effect, refining the old model's styling bits without overdoing it.”

When it comes to the aesthetics, the Mazda6 is one good-looking car. Based on concepts like the Mazda Coupe and Mazda Kai, both of which will head to Geneva alongside the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, this wagon once again employs Mazda’s Kodo design language to great effect. The 2018 model year refines the old model’s styling bits, and although the overall look doesn’t change a whole lot, we aren’t complaining – we think it looks great, and we think there’s a definite upscale vibe to it. Thankfully, it’s also not nearly as stuffy as the numerous European sedans found elsewhere on the Geneva show floor. Rather, its got its own curvaceous Japanese styling to it, and that’s a big plus in our book.

Let’s check out the details, starting in front where we once again find impressively flared wheel arches that add a ton of visual beefiness to the front end. The new model also comes with a larger front grille, which is set in an elliptical shape and fitted with a metal mesh insert. Despite its size, we think the grille looks quite good, and its definitely an improvement on the old model’s horizontal slats. The headlights also look longer and leaner than before, pulled back into fenders in a taut, slim shape. LEDs are used for the lighting element, while chrome detailing adds icing on the cake.


2018 Mazda6 - image 749686
“The headlights also look longer and leaner than before, pulled back into fenders in a taut, slim shape”

The long, flared fenders in front lead into a profile that’s punctuated by a variety of angles and character lines, both above and below. The window line dives down towards the front end, adding a bit of visual rake and enhancing the visual weight of the plus-sized rear end. In terms of wheel sizing, we
expect Mazda to offer 19-inch wheels like on the U.S.-spec sedan, while standard sizing will be set at 17 inches. A few new paint options would also be nice.

In back, expect slimmer taillights and further shiny trim detailing. Dual exhaust tips would also be a nice complement to the elegant, yet sporty aesthetic.

Further more, Mazda says the new look is now more aero-efficient than before, although the automaker declines to go into detail. Look for official specs next month.

Mazda6 Tourer Interior

  • New interior layout focuses on horizontal lines
  • Lots of premium touches throughout
  • Fresh safety and driver assist tech
  • Nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear bench folded
  • Fingers crossed for optional Japanese Sen wood trim

Mazda6 Tourer - image 765686
“The look is characterized by broad horizontal surfaces and long unbroken shapes. New switch gear was added to the center console, and there's an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash.”

Step inside the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, and you’ll find a cabin look and layout that’s identical to the sedan (plus a good deal more cargo room in the rear, of course). Mazda says that the sedan gets an “all-new” interior where “only the steering wheel and small trim pieces [are] carried over from its predecessor,” and that looks to be the case in the Tourer model as well.

The look is characterized by broad horizontal surfaces and long unbroken shapes. New switch gear was added to the center console, with a slick, simplified button layout for the climate control system, above which you’ll find an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash. An optional 7.0-inch TFT screen can be had for the gauge cluster. The soft touch materials look great, and continue from the dash into the door panels. We’re expecting Nappa leather for the upholstery and optional Japanese Sen wood for the dash. There’s also new seats in front, which Mazda says are more supportive and more comfortable this time around.


2018 Mazda6 - image 749662
“New switch gear was added to the center console, with a slick, simplified button layout for the climate control system, above which you'll find an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash”

As a complement to the upscale layout and top-shelf materials, Mazda says the new 6 gets reduced levels of NVH (or noise, vibration, and harshness) inside the cabin, which is obviously critical to attaining that upscale vibe Mazda is shooting for. Further complements include a broader range of i-Activsense safety features, such as 360-degree monitor with a top-down view, and intelligent speed assist.

Finally, the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer looks to keep its decent rear cargo room, which is currently rated at 522 liters (18.4 cubic feet) with the rear bench up, and expands out to 1,664 liters (58.8 cubic feet) with the bench folded down.

Mazda6 Tourer Drivetrain

Engine lineup likely to include 2.2-liter diesel and 2.0-liter gas

Six-speed automatic and six-speed manual on the table

FWD as standard, AWD optional


2018 Mazda6 - image 748257
“Mazda has yet to divulge a whole lot in terms of the powertrain spec for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, but we expect the brand to offer a slight refresh on the 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas options”

Mazda has yet to divulge a whole lot in terms of the powertrain spec for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, but we expect the brand to offer a slight refresh on the 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas options. Current output levels vary between the trim levels, with the diesel making either 150 horsepower or 175 horsepower. Meanwhile, the gas engine makes 165 horsepower. A few extra ponies and mpg at the pump should do well to keep it sprightly for 2018.

It’s possible Mazda will also include the new 2.5-liter turbo ’four that we just got in the 6 sedan here in the States, which offers up 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. However, if we’re honest, it’s not likely. Sorry, speed lovers. But here’s to hoping.

Unfortunately, the 6 definitely won’t get Mazda’s next-generation Skyactiv-X compression ignition petrol engine technology either, but the Zoom-Zoom brand will bring it to display in Geneva all the same. Mazda calls it Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, or SCCI, and it’s a world-first for a passenger car. Basically, the compression ignition design works similarly to a diesel, but it burns gasoline. It also manages to combine the benefits of both gas and diesel powerplants, with features like solid high-end power, a sharp throttle response, cleaner emissions, and high fuel efficiency. It’s innovative and pretty cool too, especially when you consider most of the industry is heading towards smaller engine sizing and forced induction to find the extra efficiency. Look for the Skyactiv-X compression ignition tech on the forthcoming 2019 Mazda3.

Moving on, we expect the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer to once again offer customers either a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic, depending on the trim level and engine picked. Once again, we have to applaud Mazda for sticking to its guns, as rather than adopting a rubber-banding continuously variable transmission like most other makes, it’s going with a more traditional gearbox. Front-wheel drive will come as standard, while AWD will be an available option.

Mazda6 Tourer Chassis And Handling

  • More refined and more responsive too
  • Tweaked suspension geometry
  • Definitely one of the most fun-to-drive in segment

2018 Mazda6 - image 749685

Note: 2018 Mazda6 Sedan (U.S.-spec) pictured here.

Heading into the 2018 model year, the Mazda6 Tourer looks to receive “enhanced driving dynamics,” with fresh suspension tuning that simultaneously finds greater handling benefits when attacking a corner, and more comfort when cruising.

To that end, we expect the Tourer to once again get the same updates as the U.S.-spec sedan. For example, the reduced noise, vibration, and harshness will no doubt come courtesy of the 6’s stiffer chassis and body, while the handling and ride refinements will be partly thanks to a new steering rack mounting and tweaked suspension geometry. Finally, G-Vectoring Control will once again be used for greater grip levels coming off a corner.

Mazda6 Tourer Pricing


2018 Mazda6 - image 749683

Note: 2018 Mazda6 Sedan (U.S.-spec) pictured here.

While exact pricing for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer has yet to be released, we fully expect the bottom line to stay close to current figures. For reference, the 2017 Mazda6 Tourer starts at £23,795 in the U.K.

Look for more updated details right here in this review when the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer makes its appearance at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show in March, where it’ll strut its stuff alongside the Euro-spec Mazda6 Saloon, the Mazda Coupe concept, and the Mazda Kai concept.

Mazda6 Tourer Competition

Volkswagen Passat Estate


2015 Volkswagen Passat - image 558767

If you like the idea of a sleek, spacious, and well-appointed wagon model, but care less about the performance side of things, then the Volkswagen Passat Estate might be just the right fit. Outside, you get the eternally refined styling VW is known for across its lineup, while the interior comes equipped with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a digital screen in the gauge pod (full digital gauges are optional), and a 6.5-inch screen in the dash. Materials include some top-tier picks in the higher trims, while rear cargo room is rated at a Mazda-beating 650 liters (23 cubic feet) with the rear bench up. Engine options include a range of diesel and gas options. Although we expect the Mazda to be far more interesting to drive, the VW makes a sensible case for itself all the same.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat.

Ford Mondeo Estate


2013 Ford Mondeo - image 471732

Another solid choice in this segment comes from the Blue Oval with the Ford Mondeo Estate. Although it appears to be a bit more brutish, the styling works well all the same, and it’s very much in line with the rest of Ford’s lineup and styling cues. Inside, there’s a decent amount of cargo room, rated at 500 liters (17.7 cubic feet) with the seats up, while optional AWD helps it grip in less than ideal conditions. Engine options include a 1.5-liter diesel, a 2.0-liter diesel, and a 2.0-liter gas engine as well. It’s a nice middle-of-the-road choice, if that’s what you’re after.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Mondeo.

Conclusion


Mazda6 Tourer - image 765687

Given the fact you’re reading these words on TopSpeed, it should come as no surprise that we like this quick-and-fun little wagon. While some competitors offer a less expensive proposition, and still others offer a more luxurious interior, the Mazda6 also manages to mix in a good deal of driver engagement and fun, and to us, that matters a lot.

We’re still waiting for all the details to drop, so make sure to check back here next month when they do. Until then, all we gotta say is – we sure do wish Mazda sold the Tourer here in the U.S.!

  • Leave it
    • * More comfortable and more luxurious alternatives out there
    • * New engine tech still a year or more away
    • * No wagons for the U.S.!

References

Mazda 6


2018 Mazda6 - image 748259

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.


2017 Mazda Kai - image 740971

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda Kai.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Faraday Future Teases a New Model, the FF81, at a Supplier Meeting in California

Faraday Future took a bold step last week when it reportedly gave a preview of its second model, called the FF81. The reveal occurred at a supplier’s meeting the company hosted in its California headquarters. Not much is known about the car, but it is expected to be a smaller SUV compared to the FF91. The concept is being lined up to make its debut this year, and signs point to it taking place at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show in China this April.

You have to give credit where it’s due. Despite being engulfed in one issue after another, Faraday Future is pushing on with its business endeavors. At the very least, the supplier meeting that reportedly included over 100 suppliers, including Bosch, LG Chem, and Ricardo, is a positive sign that the company is still working to achieve its goals, outside noise notwithstanding. According to reports, the meeting also included discussions about the production timetable of the FF91, as well as talks about the company’s global strategy and future production plans.

If there’s one startup automaker that’s had the wildest roller coaster ride since its launch, it has to be Faraday Future. We’ve already documented the many ups and downs the company has been on in recent years, but it appears that it again has solid financial footing after receiving a series of investments in recent months, including a $1.5 billion investment from an investor based in Hong Kong.

“For now, the main concern is to kickstart production of the FF91, which the company is working on with the refurbishing of its facility in California.”

It remains to be seen if Faraday Future can get back on course with its production timetable. For now, the main concern is to kickstart production of the FF91, which the company is working on with the refurbishing of its facility in California.

It’s great news if Faraday really is out of the rut it’s been in the last year or so. The automaker made headlines last year when it unveiled the FF91 at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. It’s been tough sledding since then, but with these new investments and new product plans, brighter days may be on the horizon for the company. Let’s all hope Faraday sees the sunrise before another thunderstorm develops.

References


2018 Faraday Future FF 91 - image 700035

Read our full review on the 2018 Faraday Future FF 91.

PostHeaderIcon Italdesign Zerouno Roadster Will Cost you $2.4 Million

The Italdesign Zerouno Roadster will cost $2.4 million, $500,000 more than its coupe counterpart. That’s how much you’ll have to pay for the limited-run supercar, though, considering how fast the coupe version sold out with a $1.9 million price tag, Italdesign shouldn’t have any problems moving inventory once the Zerouno Roadster makes its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.


2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727669
“Powering the Zerouno Roadster will be the same Audi-sourced 5.2-item V-10 unit that can be found on the coupé.”

While we still don’t know the full scope of details about the Italdesign Zerouno Roadster, a recent teaser from the Italdesign house gave us an early bird look at what the car will look like when it bows in Geneva next month. The limited-run supercar looks about as sexy as you’d expect. It’ll also have dialed up power and performance figures. Powering the Zerouno Roadster will be the same Audi-sourced 5.2-item V-10 unit that can be found on the coupé. It’s good for 610 horsepower and 412 pound-feet of torque, numbers that allowed the coupé to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 205 mph. By virtue of it being slightly heavier, expect the Zerouno Roadster to be a 0.1 seconds slower than its coupé sibling to 60 mph. Top speed should still be 205 mph, though.

The Zerouno Roadster’s debut in Geneva is a particularly big deal for Italdesign Giugiaro. For those who don’t know the Italian coachbuilder is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It may not be the most famous marquee to come out of Italy, but Italdesign’s reputation as an auto design company and limited edition builder is without stain. The company was responsible for penning a number of memorable cars, including the first-generation Golf, Scirocco, and Passat back in the 1970s. More recently, Italdesign has ventured into building super rare exotics. That list includes the Zerouno, Brivido, Parcour, and GTZERO.

For now, the Zerouno Roadster will be the car that everyone’s going to start talking about. It’s coming to the Geneva Motor Show with a $2.4 million price tag attached to it. Better pony up if you want to be the first in line to score one.

References


Italdesign's Zerouno Supercar Is A Home Run Of A Debut Offering - image 708861

Read our full review on the 2017 Italdesign Zerouno.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

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End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 16:00:10 PST
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End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 15:42:15 PST
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1972 Chevrolet Other Pickups Custom 1972 Chevrolet Pickup Truck
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2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS AUTO SUNROOF NAV HUD 20'S 30K #306963 Texas Direct Auto
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End Date: Tuesday Feb-27-2018 19:04:20 PST
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