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Archive for the ‘future cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG A40

Mercedes is on a mission to replace its models every six years or so. So, with the current generation A-Class turning five years old as of 2017, it was no surprise to us when we saw the next-gen prototype putting in some work somewhere in Europe. Alongside the redesigned hatchback, Mercedes-Benz is also testing a new version of the AMG A45. More importantly, it seems that the German company wants to introduce a new model into the lineup. It’s reportedly called the AMG A40 and will slot below the familiar AMG A45.

As of June 2017, the prototype is still wrapped in lots of camo and padding, but that isn’t to say that we can’t identify some of the changes we can expect when the model does shed its prototype skin. It’s rather obvious that the next-gen A-Class will bring some evolutionary changes, all of which will find their way on the performance-oriented versions. The biggest news here is this new A40 trim, which will most likely be sold as an answer to the Audi S3 and BMW M140i. Until we get some official information, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about this hot hatch.

Update 10/4/2017: We’re finally getting a second look at the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A40 and this time around there are some serious changes taking place that brings the little hatch much closer to its goal of being production ready in 2018. Check out our special update section below to see what the changes are and learn more about them.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG A40.

Spy Shots

October 4, 2017 – Droping some padding and getting a new face


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 736303

2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 736302

This time around, the A40 hasn’t exactly shed any camo, but it has shed a lot of padding. The most noticeable change to us is that the hood is now a production hood, while the headlights also follow suit. Instead of those annoying projection-like units on the last mule, we’ve got the official LED units with the top-positioned LED strip. The lights are sleeker, sit a little higher in the body, and are slanted downward toward the nose to provide extra character. With that in mind, the other major factor here is that we’re getting a look at a completely different fascia and a different grille. Now, it’s not likely that the A40 will end up with a grille that looks anything like what you see here, as it will likely feature AMG’s current grille design, but there could be something more in the looks. It is sporting a big, fat Mercedes emblem that was cleverly wrapped tight enough so you could see its camel toe peeking through.

“The most noticeable change to us is that the hood is now a production hood, while the headlights also follow suit”

As you can see, the lower fascia isn’t exactly production ready as of yet, but it is on its way and clearly under development. The passenger side is rocking out a number of drilled holes while the passenger side is rocking just a few in place of the traditional corner intakes. To put it simply, Mercedes is trying to figure out just how fake those corner intakes need to be for the best aerodynamics, performance, and efficiency. Oddly, the front in now features a smaller, or shorter, air dam that features curved edges without any of the fancy stuff on the sides. A small louver crosses the air dam at the tip, which could indicate a strange front-end styling here or just a cheap and easy way for Mercedes to mount that front plate for testing purpose. Only time will tell for that one.

To the sides, nothing has really changed thus far, but we can now see that the A40 will have smaller side mirrors that is predecessor and the mule we saw a few months ago. This time around our photographers didn’t get as good of a shot of the rear, however, we can see that some of the camo has been removed from the taillights, At this point, it’s hard to tell if these are production units or not, but given the fit an finish I would guess that the production model will at least sport the same style of lights, most likely with a larger number of LEDs present.

What do you guys think so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

October 6, 2016 – First testing session


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719231

2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719233

Exterior


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719231
“Since there’s so much camo and padding, the number of enhancements that we can spot to the new AMG A40 are pretty slim.”

Since there’s so much camo and padding, the number of enhancements that we can spot to the new AMG A40 are pretty slim. If the front fascia is truly representative of change, then it looks like the A40 could get circular running lights up front, with smaller air intakes on the corners. The air dam will likely grow a bit, but the radiator grille should remain roughly the same size and shape. It looks like the headlights will be much smaller on the A40, but it’s really hard to tell. There does appear to be an aggressive body line on each corner of the fascia, which could indicate that the A40 could be void of corner intakes at all. The hood is heavily padded, leading us to believe that it will change dramatically by the time the car hits dealers. Expect to see muscular lines on each side, just like on the current A45.


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719230
“The A-pillars on this model looked to be angled a bit more aggressively, and the roof may sit just a little lower.”

Moving over to the sides, the biggest thing we’ve spotted is the shape of the windows. The A-pillars on this model looked to be angled a bit more aggressively, and the roof may sit just a little lower. This leads to shorter windows overall, especially in the back. As you can see, the rear doors are now a little bit longer than before, and the upper curve of the rear doors curve downward farther back. This makes for a larger stationary window and wider primary glass in the rear door. Notice how the rear side of the door actually follows the contour of the rear wheel well on this prototype? It also looks like the fuel filler door will be square on the A40.


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719236

2015 Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC - image 635510
Future Mercedes-AMG A40 Current Mercedes-AMG A45
“All told, the A40 should be a bit more aggressive than the standard model, but not as sporty as the range-topping A45.”

Farther back, the pillar between the back doors and the rear hatch is now a little bit wider. Sure, there’s a lot of padding on the rear hatch that helps to throw us off a little, but if you look closely, you can spot the extra length. The more you look at it, the more it becomes clear that the extra length on the new A40 will be found in the rear. To go along with the wider rear pillars, the rear fascia is now at least twice as long as before. In reality, it makes this car look more like a small wagon that a hatchback.

Around back, the biggest difference is that the rear hatch is actually a little bit wider, and comes to a very sharp point where it jukes inward around the taillights. It also looks like the rear hatch will also get its own taillight lens, but those reflectors could just be there to throw us off.

All told, the A40 should be a bit more aggressive than the standard model, but not as sporty as the range-topping A45.

Interior


2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
- image 492687

Note: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG interior shown here.

“It's safe to assume that it will have the same features as the redesigned A-Class plus a number of unique items.”

Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten a good look inside the future A40, but it’s safe to assume that it will have the same features as the redesigned A-Class plus a number of unique items. From the outside, we can spot the hump over the instrument cluster as seen in the current model, and it’s safe to assume the floating infotainment display will also carry over, albeit with some improvements and maybe a slightly larger screen. Expect to see the traditional circular HVAC vents, but the audio control panel in the center stack should be toned down quite a bit. The center console will evolve a bit, but nothing too extreme. There will naturally be race-inspired sport seats (likely optional though), and there will be little doses of color accenting here and there.

Drivetrain


2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
- image 492587

Note: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG drivetrain pictured here.

“Expect the AMG A40 to arrive with at least 300 horsepower, but no more than 320 horses.”

We’re expecting the A-Class to debut with some updated engines, while other engines will be replaced altogether. Considering the A-Class will use an updated version of Mercedes’ MFA platform -– dubbed MFA2 -– Merc will have the chance to offer more drivetrains than ever before across the entire range. The platform is also lighter, and obviously longer, so it has that going for it as well.

The current A45 uses a 2.0-liter that delivers some 381 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to push the A45 to 62 mph in a matter of 4.2 seconds on the way to an electronically limited 155 mph. With output of the new AMG A45 likely to increase to a bit over 400 horsepower and maybe 380 pound-feet of torque, the AMG A40 will bridge the gap between the range-topping model and the A250 trim. All told, expect it to arrive with at least 300 horsepower, but no more than 320 horses.

Ultimately, the A40 should be quicker than any other A-Class but slower than the A45. Look for 4.5-second sprints from 0 to 62 mph and the same top speed limited at 155 mph
As is the case with the current A45, shifting duties should be handled by an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed sports transmission.

Pricing


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719223

As of June 2017, U.K. pricing for the A-Class starts from £20,715 (around $26,700), while the range topping 250 AMG retails from £30,225 to £36,200 (about $38,970 to $46,680), depending on specs. The AMG A45, on the other hand, starts from £41,875 (around $54,000). It’s safe to assume that the A40 will split the difference between the 250 AMG and A45, meaning it should start from around £36,000 (some $46,420). Unfortunately, unless Mercedes-Benz suddenly decides to bring the A-Class range to the U.S., the AMG A40 won’t be available on this side of the pond.

Competition

BMW M140i


2017 BMW M140i - image 705769

2017 BMW M140i - image 719218

Unfortunately, BMW has yet to produce a successor for the BMW M1, so the closest we can get to it is its newest little hatch, the BMW M140i. While it’s not a full-fledged M car, it replaces the M135i and comes with a little extra juice on tap. Unlike the Mercedes-AMG A40, the M140i uses a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. It delivers 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, which is an increase of 10 horsepower over the M135i and 46-horsepower less that the current Mercedes-AMG A45. The M140i can hit 62 mph in about 4.6 seconds when equipped with an eight-speed automatic or 4.8 seconds with the standard, six-speed manual. When equipped with xDrive all-wheel drive, the M140i hits the same benchmark in just 4.4 seconds. Pricing for the M140i starts from £32,650 (around $42,070) for the three-door version and from £33,180 (around $42,750) for the five-door version. Just like the A-Class, the BMW 1 Series isn’t available in the United States.

Read our full review on the BMW M140i.

Audi S3


2017 Audi S3 - image 671902

2017 Audi S3 - image 671900

The Audi S3 is yet another reason why Mercedes needs an AMG A40. Slotted between the A3 2.0 TFSI and the bonkers RS3, the S3 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that cranks out 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Fitted with an S-Tronic transmission, the German hatch needs 4.6 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. Styling-wise, it has a sportier exterior and fancied-up interior compared to the regular A3, but it’s not as menacing to look at as the RS3. Pricing starts from £33,505 (around $43,170) for the two-door S3 and from £34,125 (about $43,970) for the five-door S3 Sportback version.

Read our full review on the Audi S3.

Conclusion


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719233

Mercedes isn’t playing around with that hand-built 2.0-liter engine. We’re talking about a small-ish four-cylinder that’s delivering a lot of power. It would be nice if the new A40 came with a little extra compared to its rivals, but I really don’t see this model sporting more oomph than the BMW M140i. The hot-hatch market is pretty strong these days, and in theory, a model like the AMG A40 could also be competing with cars like the Focus RS and the Civic Type-R under the right circumstances. Sure, those cars aren’t German, and some don’t exactly approach 400 horses like the AMG A45 and the RS3 Sportback, but they are big hitters in the hatch market. Now, if only we could convince Mercedes to bring the A40 to the U.S., I’d be a happy camper.

  • Leave it
    • Probably not U.S. bound
    • It is a little pricey

References

Mercedes A-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class - image 720850

Read our full review on the next generation 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.


2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
- image 492695

Read our full review on the previous Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.

PostHeaderIcon Audi Q8

After five years of rumors that began when Audi trademarked the Q8 name in 2012, the German company finally unveiled its proposition against the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Actually, the crossover introduced at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is just a concept for now, but a production model is scheduled to follow soon.

When BMW introduced the X6 in 2009, a new segment was born. But although the crossover BMW describes as a Sports Activity Coupe proved somewhat popular with SUV enthusiasts, the trend didn’t catch on with other automakers until 2013. That’s when Mercedes-Benz revealed plans to develop a coupe-like crossover based on the M-Class. Shortly after, rumors of a Cayenne Coupe emerged, signaling that Germany’s finest automakers finally pay more attention to this niche. Although the details are still under wraps as of May 2017, a test car has already been spotted on public roads, a sign that the production Q8 isn’t far. Join me in my speculative review to find out what we already know about the sporty crossover.

Updated 10/04/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi Q8 out for a new testing session, and this time we have more clear images of the interior.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Q8.

Spy Shots

October 4, 2017 – Audi Q8 reveals its interior


2018 Audi Q8 - image 736280

2018 Audi Q8 - image 736278

May 29, 2017 – Audi Q8 caught testing at Nurbugring once again


2018 Audi Q8 - image 718371

2018 Audi Q8 - image 718372

April 7, 2017 – Audi Q8 caught testing at Nurburgring


2018 Audi Q8 - image 712279

2018 Audi Q8 - image 712284

July 13, 2016 – Audi Q7 based mule caught testing


2018 Audi Q8 - image 682290

2018 Audi Q8 - image 682289

Exterior


2018 Audi Q8 - image 705596

Essentially developed as a more emotional and sporty version of the Q7, the Q8 will borrow many of its styling cues from the Q8 concept. Granted, it won’t be as wild as the latter, but the camouflaged test cars appear to sport similar features. For instance, the “singleframe” grille is only slight smaller than the concept, which gives the crossover a sporty stance. Likewise, the headlamps are almost identical as far as shape and size go, although they use a different LED layout. Bigger differences can be spotted below, where the side air vents are smaller and lack the aluminum surround the make the Q8 concept stand out. Also, the lower intake is narrower, while the splitter seen on the concept is missing. Still, the Q8 definitely looks sportier than the Q7 up front.

It’s difficult to tell what Audi changed on the sides due to the swirly camo pattern, but it’s pretty obvious that the side mirrors are larger, while the wheel arches are not as pronounced as the concept’s. Likewise, Audi scrapped the concept’s beefed-up rear fenders. Not surprising really, but not such a big deal given the sporty design.


2018 Audi Q8 - image 705594

2018 Audi Q8 - image 705595

2018 Audi Q8 - image 705599

2018 Audi Q8 - image 705597
“Essentially developed as a more emotional and sporty version of the Q7, the Q8 will borrow many of its styling cues from the Q8 concept.”

More changes are in store around back, and the biggest of them is in the taillight department. While the concept SUV has Porsche-style lights that run across the entire width of the rear fascia, the test car appears to sport Audi-specific units on each side. Also, the bumper is less aggressive and lacks the sporty diffuser seen on the concept. Other features that set the production model apart include a simpler roof spoiler, narrower D-pillars, and different wheels.

The sporty SUV rides on Volkswagen’s second-generation MLB platform, also shared by the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, Bentley Bentayga, and the upcoming Lamborghini Urus.

Interior


2018 Audi Q8 - image 718282

While the Q7 and Q8 will be a bit different as far as exterior design goes, the two will share the same technology on the inside. I wouldn’t bet on the Q8 borrowing too many features from the concept car, but a clean dashboard design and sporty seats are definitely on the table.


2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept - image 700412

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 - image 705600

Note: Q8 concept pictured on the left, Q7 concept pictured on the right.

“Naturally, the Q8’s cabin will be packed with the finest materials we can expect from an automaker such as Audi.”

The spy shots confirm that it will get the same continuous air vent strip seen in current Audis, and the clean center stack and digital instrument cluster seen in the Q7. There’s an infotainment screen atop the dashboard, and another display in the center stack, just above the gear lever area. The latter seems to provide access to the air conditioning system, among other functions, and its lower aluminum section includes the engine start button.

Naturally, the Q8’s cabin will be packed with the finest materials we can expect from an automaker such as Audi. The seats will be wrapped in leather and Alcantara in several color options and complemented by a host of aluminum and wood trims, including Beaufort walnut. The crossover will also benefit from a new MMI system featuring intelligent suggestions for different tasks, including searching for specific song titles or navigation destinations. As far as entertainment goes, the Q8 will probably come with one or optionally two 10.1-inch tablets as rear seat monitors.

Drivetrain


2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 - image 610941

Note: Audi Q7 engine pictured here.

Much like the Q7, the Q8 will receive a range of four-cylinder and V-6 engines.

In the Q7, the 2.0-liter four-banger cranks out 252 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. Next in line is a 3.0-liter V-6 making 333 ponies and 325 pound-feet of torque, which is the most powerful gasoline unit now that Audi has dropped the 4.2-liter V-8 for the SUV.

Moving over to diesels, the familiar 3.0-liter TDI churns 272 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, while a second version of the turbo-diesel V-6 generates 218 horses and 369 pound-feet of twist.

“Much like the Q7, the Q8 will receive a range of four-cylinder and V-6 engines.”

A high-performance RS Q8 is also in the books according to reports, but it remains to be seen what specific engine it will use.

A Q8 e-tron version is also likely. This model will pair a 3.0-liter TDI and an electric motor built into the eight-speed automatic transmission. The combo develops 373 horses and 516 pound-feet of torque in the Q7 and provides a 34.8-miles of range on electric power only.

Expect these figures to change for the Q8, as most of the drivetrains above will receive an update before the crossover arrives in dealerships. Or so it should.

Prices


2018 Audi Q8 - image 705381

Audi has yet to announce a specific timetable for the Q8’s arrival, but word has it the SUV will arrive in time for the 2018 model year. According to Autocar, the Q8 will retail from £50,000 in the UK, with the range-topping RS Q8 version priced from around £90,000. These figures convert to $66.200 and $119,000, respectively, as of July 2016.

Competition

BMW X6


2015 BMW X6 - image 555202

2015 BMW X6 - image 555203

The first true coupe-like SUV available on the market received an extensive update for the 2015 model year. Highlights include a narrower front grille, a more aggressive front bumper, and revised taillights and exhaust pipes around back. The crossover is also 20 pounds lighter than its predecessor, a noteworthy improvement given its slightly longer and wider body shell. Under the hood, the second-gen X6 carried on with the same engine choices, including the 3.0-liter inline-six and the 4.4-liter V-8. While the former carried over unchanged, making the same 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, the latter got its output increased from 400 ponies to 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Pricing starts from $60,600 for the 2016 model year.

Read our full review on the BMW X6.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe


2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe - image 585186

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe - image 585182

Launched for the 2016 model year, the GLE Coupe is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW X6. Sporting a similar stance, but with Mercedes-specific cues, the GLE Coupe is available with an array of gasoline and diesel engines. In the U.S., it is sold in its sportiest iteration, namely the GLE 450 AMG 4Matic, which uses a bi-turbo, 3.0-liter, V-6 engine rated at 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. In other markets, Mercedes offers two more engines. A diesel powerplant that cranks out 258 ponies and 457 pound-feet in the base GLE 350d 4Matic model, while the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 mounted in the AMG sport version pumps 333 horses and 354 pound-feet in the GLE 400 4Matic. U.S. pricing starts from $65,100.

Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

Conclusion


2018 Audi Q8 - image 705386

It’s way too early to draw a conclusion, but it’s exciting to see Audi expanding into a new market. The BMW X6 is no longer solo in its segment, and it appears all the major German companies are working on a competitor. With the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe already in showrooms and the Porsche Cayenne Coupe likely already underway, we’re about to witness a new battle of the titans.

  • Leave it
    • No official details yet
    • Release date unknown
    • Yet another useless, X6-like crossover

References

Audi Q7


2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 - image 585697

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi Q7.

Audi Q8


2017 Audi Q8 Sport Concept - image 711670

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi Q8 Sport Concept.


2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept - image 700403

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept.

Update History

Updated 05/29/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi Q8 out for a new testing session at the famous Nurbugring race track.

PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Aventador Performante

It’s been around six months since Lamborghini upgraded the flagship Aventador to S specs, thus introducing the facelifted model, and the Italian firm is already testing a new iteration of the supercar. With the mid-cycle facelift and the high-performance SuperVeloce (SV) already on the road it might seem out of place for Lambo to test a new version of the current generation model, but the prototype our paparazzi caught testing on public roads doesn’t appear to be a next-gen car. Instead, it looks like Lamborghini is actually preparing yet another high-performance model.

There’s no official confirmation from the automaker as of this writing, but the general consensus is that Lamborghini will launch a Performante version of the Aventador soon. As you may remember, the Performante is a more extreme version of the Huracan that uses a more powerful engine and race-inspired aerodynamics. Oh, and it’s the fourth quickest car around the Nurburgring as well as the fastest Lambo on the German race track. Yup, it’s quicker than the Aventador SV, which is why a Performante version of the flagship supercar is actually a really good idea. Let’s find out more about it below.

Updated 10/04/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Lamborghini Aventador Performante out for a new testing session, and this time it reveals its both coupe and roadster versions.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Aventador Performante.

Spy Shots

October 4, 2017 – Lamborghini Aventador Performante caught testing in both coupe and roadster version


2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 736234

2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 736229

Exterior


2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 736225
“The two additional exhaust pipes in the rear fascia suggest that this is indeed the upcoming Aventador Performante”

While the prototype seems to be nearly identical to the existing S model, launched for the 2018 model year, there are a few clues that indicate this isn’t a standard model. Arguably the most important of them all is visible around back, where the supercar sports two additional exhaust pipes. The outlets are mounted higher into the body, where the license plate should be, which is very similar to the positioning seen on the Huracan Performante.

The standard exhaust placed in the diffuser is still there, but it seems that it’s no longer in use and will most definitely disappear as the supercar moves closer to production. What’s more, the intakes below the taillights are also larger, yet another feature seen on the Huracan Performante.


2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 736232
“The aero bits seen on the Huracan Performante should find their way on the Aventador as testing evolves”

The front isn’t very different, but the bumper seems incomplete and there’s still a bit of tape here and there. This means that Lamborghini is working on a more aggressive aerodynamic package that will include additional bumper elements such as winglets and maybe even a revised splitter. Granted, there’s no sign of the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system that Lambo created for the Huracan Performante, but these aero bits should find their way on the Aventador as testing evolves.

The package should include numerous carbon-fiber parts, a large rear wing, a redesigned diffuser, and reshaped vents in the front and rear.

Interior


2017 Lamborghini Huracan Perfomante - image 707995

Note: Huracan Perfomante interior pictured here.

There’s no hint as to what we may find inside in addition to what the standard Aventador features, but it’s safe to assume that the Performante will benefit from all the upgrades that the supercar received in 2017. Novelties include a new digital instrument cluster, the Ego mode, and Apple CarPlay connectivity. In addition to that, it should get some of the new features seen in the Huracan Performante.

“Many elements will be replaced by the company's "forged composite" alloy, made from chopped carbon fiber and resin.”

For starters, many elements will be replaced by the company’s “forged composite” alloy, made from chopped carbon fiber and resin. Lambo used this material for the A/C vents, gear paddles, door handles, and center console in the Huracan, so it’s safe to assume we should see similar bits in the Aventador Performante.

Much like any track-prepped supercar, nearly every surface will come wrapped in black Alcantara. However, contrast stitching and the optional “Y” graphics for the seats will add a splash of color. On the tech side, the digital display will be updated to include information from the ALA system, in which Lambo’s telemetry function will be included in the standard package.

Drivetrain


2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 709991
“I expect the Aventador Performante to crank out around 765 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of twist.”

With the Performante nameplate having added extra horsepower and torque to the Huracan, it’s safe to assume that it will do the same for the Aventador. However, the Aventador Performante needs to be not only more powerful than the standard model, but also sit above the SuperVeloce in terms of output.

Based on the increase seen on the Huracan Performante, I expect the Aventador Performante to crank out around 765 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of twist. This would translate into a 35-horsepower and 21-pound-foot increase over the Aventador S and a 25-horsepower increase over the SV model.

It might not seem like a lot more oomph, but the revised 6.5-liter V-12 engine will be backed by a range of weight-saving features that will reduce the car’s curb weight by around 100 pounds. As a result, it should be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 2.7 seconds, two tenths quicker than the standard model. At the same time, the Performante will be a tenth-second quicker than the SuperVeloce.

“All these enhancements should also enable the Aventador Performante to lap the Nurburgring track quicker than the SuperVeloce.”

The extra power should also make use of a new chassis setup, a revised suspension system with stiffer everything, and ventilated cross-drilled carbon-ceramic brakes.

All these enhancements should also enable the Aventador Performante to lap the Nurburgring track quicker than the SuperVeloce, which needed 6:59.73 minutes. Actually, the Aventador should also be quicker than the Huracan Performante, which just set a new production car record with a 6:52.01-minute lap. Will the Aventador Performante become the first street-legal production model to lap the “Green Hell” in less than six minutes and 50 seconds? Chances are it will, but all we can do right now is wait and see.

Prices


2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 709984

Pricing information is obviously still a mystery, but it’s safe to assume that the Performante will be the most expensive Aventador ever. With the Aventador S priced from $421,350, the Performante could cost around $480,000 before options.

Competition

Ferrari 812 Superfast


2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast - image 705875

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast - image 705881

Granted, the 812 Superfast isn’t as track-focused at the Aventador Performante, but until Ferrari updates the F12tdf to 812 specifications, you’ll have to settle for this car if you’re hooked on Maranello-built vehicles. Launched as a mid-cycle upgrade for the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast was redesigned significantly on the outside, gaining a more aggressive stance and more modern features. The Superfast gets its juice from a new, 6.5-liter V-12 rated at 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. That’s 59 extra horsepower compared to the F12berlinetta, to go with 20 additional pound-feet of twist. The 812 Superfast is also more potent than the limited-edition F12tdf, boasting an extra 20 horsepower and 11 pound-feet, which makes it the most powerful Ferrari in the company’s history. Not surprisingly, the 812 Superfast is quicker than the F12berlinetta from 0 to 60 mph, needing 2.9 ticks to complete the benchmark. Pricing is not yet available, but it should fetch around $340,000 before options.

Learn more about the Ferrari 812 Superfast here.

Posche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658137

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658138

The 911 Turbo S isn’t exactly a supercar in terms of out and it’s definitely not the kind of vehicle that Lambo and Ferrari buyers would consider, but it’s amazingly fast. Its exterior design is arguably more iconic than those of its competitors, while the cabin has plenty of premium features and tech to brag about. The 2017-model-year update brought a revised twin-turbo, 3.8-liter flat-six engine that cranks out 580 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and it’s this specific feature that makes the 911 Turbo S a menacing car. While not as powerful as the Aventador or Superfast, the Turbo S has more torque at its disposal and when equipped with the Sport Chrono package, it becomes incredibly quick, needing only 2.8 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Another thing that makes the 911 Turbo S an appealing choice is the $188,100 sticker.

Find out more about the Porsche 911 Turbo S here.

Conclusion


2019 Lamborghini Aventador Performante - image 709988

The rumor about Lambo building a Performante version of the Aventador took me by surprise. Sure, the Italians could use a different name and leave the Performante badge for the Huracan only, but it’s still big news given that the Murcielago never made it past the “SV” version. This means that Lambo is set out to defeat the competition in just about any department in what appears to be a very aggressive campaign against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren. If the Huracan manages to retain its record a while longer and the Aventador hits the market with its very own benchmark, Lambo will become the first manufacturer to rule ’Ring with two cars at the same time.

  • Leave it
    • Not much is known about it right now
    • Awfully expensive

References

Lamborghini Aventador


2018 Lamborghini Aventador S - image 698832

Read our full review on the 2018 Lamborghini Aventador S.


2015 Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce - image 619702

Read our full review on the 2015 Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce.

Lamborghini Huracan Performante


2017 Lamborghini Huracan Perfomante - image 710700

Read our full review on the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan Performante.

PostHeaderIcon The World’s First All-Electric, Off-Road, SUV Already Has 10,000 Reservations

Ever heard of the name Bollinger? If you have, you’re probably familiar with its offering, the B1 SUV, and its status as the first all-electric, all-wheel drive, off-road sports utility vehicle. It’s a distinction that the company proudly wears like a badge. Now it appears that it has unlocked another new achievement, at least according to CEO Robert Bollinger. As it turns out, Bollinger is saying that it has secured a little over 10,000 reservations for the B1 SUV, a remarkable achievement for a car that was only unveiled in July 2017.

Bollinger didn’t divulge specific details on how the company was able to secure that many reservations in a span of two months, only saying that, among other things, it has received “thousands of emails from fans” about the all-electric SUV. If the total number of reservations is accurate, it paints Bollinger and the B1 very positive lights, something that the company should definitely be proud of. Then again, having that many reservations isn’t a guarantee that everyone who reserved a slot for the B1 will end up following through on their reservations. For one, the B1 reportedly costs around $60,000, which isn’t cheap any means. Then there’s the issue of timetable since according to Bollinger, deliveries of the all-electric SUV is scheduled to being sometime in the early part of 2019. There’s no guarantee that all those people who reserved one will be patient enough to wait for their models to arrive. Then again, it’s impossible not to give credit where it’s due, especially if Bollinger’s estimates are accurate. Securing 10,000 reservations for a car that’s still well over a year from getting released is impressive enough in its own right. Now let’s see if Bollinger can retain all those reservations when more details of the all-electric B1 SUV are revealed.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Good for Bollinger, but now the hard work begins


2019 Bollinger B1 - image 725123
“Securing 10,000 reservations for a car that’s still well over a year from getting released is impressive enough in its own right”

I don’t know if there’s complete and legitimate truth to Bollinger’s claim that it’s already secured 10,000 reservations for the all-electric SUV. I will take Robert Bollinger’s word for it, though, because I want to see his company succeed. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve gone on record countless times on this site saying that I’m rooting for each and every automotive startup to be successful in this business. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but I’m still of the belief that the business is better off by having upstarts like Bollinger thrive in it. It creates a healthy competition between these small ventures and their more established counterparts. Look at Tesla for example. There once was a time when nobody thought anything of Tesla. But now? It’s arguably one of the most prominent automakers in the world, in large part because it has led the electric revolution that a company like Bollinger is hitching its own wagon onto.


2019 Bollinger B1 - image 725130
“It’s a good amount of power that can help the SUV accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 127 mph.”

By all accounts, Bollinger also seems to have a product that’s worth looking into. The all-electric B1 isn’t the prettiest off-road SUV in the world – I don’t like it’s look, to be honest – but it does have capabilities that very few of its kind can boast of. One of these capabilities is its range of 200 miles, which is owed to the 100 kWh battery it’s carrying. The company is also throwing a lower-scale option on the table – a 60kWh battery with a 120-mile range – so this early, Bollinger already knows that variety is king in the business. That’s good for the company. It’s also done well for itself by offering the B1 with an electric motor that has 372 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque available to it. It’s a good amount of power that can help the SUV accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 127 mph.

A lot of the numbers are encouraging, but if there is one thing I’m a little concerned about, it’s that Bollinger is reportedly going to be priced at around $60,000. It’s not really about the price actually because a $60,000 all-electric SUV is just about right. It’s that it’s coming from a company that has yet to prove itself in this business. Maybe over time it can charge that much when it already has a name and a reputation to tout, but not at this point. Right now, the company has to establish itself and, if it’s successful, everything else will follow suit. I wish them luck in getting to where they want to go, but rest assured, they’re going to have to work really hard to get there.

References


2019 Bollinger B1 - image 725127

Read our full review on the 2019 Bollinger B1.


2020 BMW i3 M - image 733434

Read more electric cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Audi RS4 Sedan

First introduced in 2000, the RS4 has evolved into one of Audi’s most iconic nameplates, despite being available for short periods of time with each generation. First offered between 2000 and 2001, it returned for 2006-2008, and then again for 2012-2015. Each time as a station wagon, but Audi made an exception and offered a sedan between 2006 and 2008. Come 2018 and the Audi RS4 returns for the third time, again in the Avant body styles. But this time around word has it that Audi is also planning to revive the short-lived four-door sedan, which may also return to the United States. While the German firm is mum on the matter, I put together a speculative review with what it may bring to the table.

The fact that the RS4 sedan didn’t return after 2008 is a bit shocking if you ask me. Audi is super competitive in just about every niche and it’s even trying to create its own, but for some reason it doesn’t really want a piece of the action where BMW and Mercedes-Benz are making the big headlines. The decision to offer the RS4 as a wagon only seems strange to say the least with Audi’s latest competitor for the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 dates all the way back to 2008. But apparently Audi is finally coming to its senses and a new RS4 sedan might be just around the corner.

Updated 10/02/2017:
We updated the speculative review with a new rendering and new information. Check it out below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi RS4 Sedan.

Exterior


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730947
“Just take the more aggressive cues of the RS4 Avant and slap them on the A4 sedan and you get the real deal”

The RS4 sedan may seem like a mystery just now, but it really isn’t. Just take the more aggressive cues of the RS4 Avant and slap them on the A4 sedan and you get the real deal. And it’s exactly what this rendering provided by X-Tomi Design is all about.

Up front, we can see the RS-style honeycomb grille, as well as the “quattro” lettering underneath the license plate and the “RS4” badge on the mesh. Below, there’s a sportier bumper with larger air vents, both of which have the same honeycomb grille. The thin intake just below the main grille is finished in black, with the lower element designed to look like a splitter. The rendering also includes the the Matrix LED headlamps with tinted bezels, which are optional on the RS4 Avant and should be offered on the sedan too.


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730953
“Onto the sides, we can see more of the features that debuted on the RS4 Avant”

Moving onto the sides, we can see more of the features that debuted on the RS4 Avant. Specifically, the sedan has slightly beefier fenders, which should be 1.2 inches wider in production form, RS-style mirror caps finished in black, and larger wheels. New-design 19-inch, forged aluminum wheels should be standard, with 20-inch rollers available on the options list. The sportier side skirts and the lowered ride height also contribute to the sedan’s slightly more menacing profile.


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730952
“It's around back where the sedan will be different compared to the already familiar RS4 Avant”

It’s around back where the sedan will be different compared to the already familiar RS4 Avant. But aside from the three-box design with an actual decklid, look for similar performance features. A big spoiler should highlight the trunk lid, while the bumper should include a sporty diffuser with large, oval exhaust pipes. The “RS4” badge on the tailgate will round off the rear fascia.

Audi also introduced a new paint option for the wagon. It’s called Nogaro Blue, it features a pearl effect, and its a throw-back to the first-generation Avant from 1999. We think that this Audi Exclusive option will also be offered on the sedan, so it’s why our rendering is finished in the same hue.

Interior


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730959
“As seen in the Avant, the front seats are Audi's latest RS Sport units with aggressive side bolstering for proper support”

The interior of the RS4 sedan should be identical to that of the Avant model from the dashboard toward the second-row seat. As usual, almost everything but the seat, which can ordered in various colors, will be finished in black. That’s because Audi seems to think that black “underscores the sporty character” of an RS can better than any other color, but I’m not a big fan to be honest. Audi should at least offer an option to to have the dashboard, door panels, and center console in a more livery color. Not necessarily a flashy shade of blue or red, but at least brown or even gray.

Speaking of features that you can have in a different colors, there’s light-colored leather for the seats and door armrests, and grey carbon trim for the dashboard and center console. As seen in the Avant, the front seats are Audi’s latest RS Sport units with aggressive side bolstering for proper support during spirited driving. The optional honeycomb pattern introduced on the Avant should be offered on the sedan as well.


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730962
“Expect the sedan to benefit from the same options as the station wagon”

The flat-bottomed, RS-style steering wheel will also be wrapped in leather and complemented by white stitching and the usual “RS” badge. The latter will also adorn the shift gate and the illuminated door sills that should come standard with the car. There should also be an RS-specific display in the instrument cluster that indicates g-forces, tire pressure, and torque on top of the usual information you get in the more mundane A4 sedan.

Expect the sedan to benefit from the same options as the station wagon, including the styling packages that add carbon-fiber with aluminum or black accents. The Audi Exclusive program will handle any other special request for customers willing to invest a bit more in their RS4.

Of course, all of the above will come with a significantly smaller trunk due to the sedan body styles, but less luggage room will mean better dynamics and performance.

Drivetrain


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730943
“The twin-turbocharged unit generates 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque”

If there’s one big change to talk about, it’s the engine. The RS4 Avant ditched the previous 4.2-liter V-8 for a newer, 2.9-liter V-6 and this is the same mill you will find under the hood of the RS4 sedan. The twin-turbocharged unit generates 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, which is the same as the V-8 in terms of horsepower, but with an extra 126 pound-feet of torque.

The added torque and the fact that the new RS4 Avant is 176 pounds lighter that it’s predecessor, give the wagon a 0-to-62 mph sprint of only 4.1 seconds. I guess it’s safe to say that the sedan will be a tad quicker and hit the benchmark in four seconds flat or maybe even 3.9 clicks, which is more or less on par with competitors like the BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63, and the Cadillac ATS-V. Top speed should remain locked at the usual 155 mph, but the optional RS Dynamic package will lift the limit to 174 mph.


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730965
“Just like in the wagon, the engine should mate to a Quattro AWD system and an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission”

Just like in the wagon, the engine should mate to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, both with significant upgrades compared to the outgoing model. Optionally, Audi will offer a rear sport differential. The options list will also include an RS Sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, ceramic brakes, and RS dynamic steering.

Average fuel consumption is rated at 8.8 liters per 100 km and it should remains about the same in the sedan. This converts to 26.7 U.S. mpg, but the official EPA ratings should be different. Either way, expect the sedan to boast an efficiency gain of around 17 percent over the outgoing RS4 Avant model.

Prices

When it hits dealerships, the RS4 will become the most expensive version of the A4 sedan. A lot more expensive than the base model actually, just like the RS4 Avant comes with a €46,100 premium compared to the entry-level A4 Avant. That’s €79,800 in Germany. Given the 136.8 percent premium and the base A4’s €31,850 sticker, it’s safe to assume that the RS4 sedan should start from around €75,400. Should it come to the U.S., expect it to cost somewhere between $65,000 and $70,000 before options.

Competition

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554283

2015 BMW M3 - image 554287

Arguably the most celebrated compact performance sedan, the BMW M3 is the car to beat in this niche. Although it’s already four years old as of 2017, the M3 is far from dated, unless you’re really picky about the company’s current interiors, which aren’t quite as fresh as Audi’s or Mercedes’. The German sedan’s exterior is downright sporty and it’s enhanced by a drivetrain that delivers solid performance on both the road on the track. The turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six unit is rated at 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet, figures that aren’t as spectacular as the RS4’s. However, you shouldn’t let that fool you, because the M3 is quite fast from a standing start. While models equipped with the manual transmission hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, sedan fitted with teh dual-clutch automatic need on 3.9 ticks to hit the benchmark. And of course, unlike the RS4, the M3 can be had with a stick and three pedals, although this isn’t possible in the United States. Top speed is capped at the usual 155 mph. German pricing for the M3 starts at €77,500, but the sedan is also available in the U.S. from $65,500.

Read our full review of the BMW M3.

Mercedes-AMG C63


2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 - image 569746

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 - image 569752

Launched for the 2015 model year, the AMG C63 bring a balanced mix of aggressiveness and elegance to the table. While it looks like a shrunken S-Class, borrowing some of the big sedan’s elegance, the AMG-specific parts add a significant dose of sportiness front and rear. The AMG C63 also looks a bit more organic by design, which makes a slightly more exotic proposition than the M3. The Merc shines on the inside too, thanks to its S-Class-inspired cabin with the wide, shiny center console and the multi-layered dashboard. All of this, of course, on top of the premium materials and acres of leather on the seats and door panels. Thing are equally interesting under the hood, where the German sedan hides, unlike it’s competitors, a V-8 engine. The twin-turbo, 4.0-liter mill is available in two flavors, starting with the base model that cranks out a solid 476 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of twist. Get the C63 S and output jumps to 503 horses and 516 pound-feet of torque, more than any other competitor in this market. The sprint to 60 mph takes four seconds with the former and 3.9 clicks with the latter. Pricing begins from $66,100 and $73,700 in the U.S., respectively. In Germany, prices come in at €76,398 and €84,668, respectively.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-AMG C63.

Cadillac ATS-V


2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan - image 579666

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan - image 579664

Not only newer than the M3 and AMG C63, having been launched for the 2016 model year, the ATS-V is also the only American competitor for Germany’s finest compact sedan. The ATS itself is a new nameplate and Cadillac smallest vehicle yet, and was designed specifically to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4. The ATS-V obviously goes against the M3, AMG C63, and RS4, and it has everything it takes to give them a run for their money, except brand prestige of course. The American sedan is also a breath of fresh air design wise, using loads of angular lines and some features inspired by the larger CTS model. The interior is a nice place to spend time in, being just as comfortable and well-equipped as the competition. Of course, the CTS-V comes with the mandatory sport seats, carbon-fiber trim, and the latest technology. Motivation is provided by a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6 that cranks out 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. This enables the sedan to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 185 mph. The latter is a best-in-class figure. The ATS-V Sedan is priced from $60,695, making it the most affordable vehicle in this comparison.

Read our full review of the Cadillac ATS-V.

Conclusion


2018 Audi RS4 Sedan - image 635834

The fact that the RS4 Sedan may make a comeback is incredible news on its own. Not only Audi needs a proper competitor for the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63, but the RS4 Sedan is very important vehicle that’s missing from both the A4 and the RS lineups. And judging by all the information we know about the new RS4 Avant, the sedan should be at least as good as the competition. The rumor that it may return to the United States makes everything that much better.

  • Leave it
    • No more V-8
    • Will be priced higher than ATS-V and M3
    • Not yet confirmed for the U.S. market

References

Audi RS4 Avant


2018 Audi RS4 Avant - image 730950

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi RS4 Avant.

Audi A4 Wagon


2016 - 2018 Audi A4 - image 635402

Read our full review on the Audi A4 Wagon.


2018 Audi RS4 And RS5 Carbon Editions - image 734775

Read more Audi news.

PostHeaderIcon Upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor Might Go Diesel

Rumors of Ford’s upcoming mid-size Ranger pickup are compiling. That’s especially true for the highly anticipated Ranger Raptor, the hard-core version built to hang with the Ford F-150 Raptor in high-speed off-roading. But of the rumors and insider information about the Ranger Raptor, none have seemed to nail down what will power this baby beast – until now. Australian automotive outlet The Motor Report is citing “sources familiar with the new model’s development” that Ford is developing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with at least as much power in the Ranger’s current 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel. The new 2.0-liter will be a member of Ford’s new EcoBlue turbodiesel family and will generate no less than 236 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque while getting better fuel economy and producing fewer emissions.

The EcoBlue engine family debuted in 2016 and is rolling out in markets across the world in the Transit van. Here in the U.S., the Ranger Raptor will likely be our first taste of the EcoBlue. Ford says durability is improved 20 percent over the EcoBlue’s predecessor, the 2.2-liter TDCi. It features a low-inertia turbocharger with cutting-edge alloy materials for better resistance against high temperatures, a new high-pressure fuel injection system that’s quieter and more responsive, and an offset crankshaft within the iron block that’s said to reduce side-load pressure on pistons against the cylinder walls. Interestingly, rather than a chain drive for the overhead camshafts and oil pump, the new EcoBlue uses a belt-in-oil design that’s engineered to be a maintenance-free item.

Continue reading for more on the Ranger Raptor’s rumored engine.

Ranger Raptor EcoBlue?


2019 Ford Ranger Raptor - image 730024

We’ve become spoiled with power thanks to the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor’s 3.5-liter HO EcoBoost V-6 making 450 horses and 510 pound-feet of torque. Those specs are definitely handy when bombing down a desert road in the full-size F-150. But with the Ranger being a smaller truck, its powerplant doesn’t need to be as powerful. The rumored 236 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque should be more than enough to get the baby Raptor moving at blinding speeds.

“The rumored 236 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque should be more than enough to get the baby Raptor moving at blinding speeds”

The Ranger Raptor EcoBlue’s main competition will be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 with its 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel. By comparison, the Chevy seems underpowered in the horsepower department. It makes 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Granted, the Duramax has a bit more torque than the rumored EcoBlue, but the difference shouldn’t be substantially noticeable on the trail. Our bet is Ford will shoot to outgun the Duramax in both horsepower and torque measurements.

As of yet, there is no other word on what engine Ford might use in the Ranger Raptor. We’re still fairly sure a gasoline-drinking EcoBoost will be available, too. Still, there’s no sure answer at this point, so we’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think? Is the EcoBlue the right choice for the Ranger Raptor? Should Ford offer a gasoline engine as well? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ford Ranger


2018 Ford Ranger - image 679140

Read our full speculative review on the upcoming 2018 Ford Ranger.


2019 Ford Ranger Raptor - image 722440

Read our full speculative review on the upcoming 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor.

PostHeaderIcon McLaren Just Built a Three-Seat 720S to Preview its Successor to the P1

While the McLaren P1 was a fantastic supercar in just about any department, many die-hard fans felt that it missed an essential feature: the three-seat layout of the iconic F1. McLaren apparently took note of this complaint and confirmed that its next hypercar will have three seats and the driver will sit in the middle, just like in a Formula One car. Described as a hyper GT and often referred to as the BP23 or the P15, McLaren’s new flagship is still a mystery as far as design and drivetrain go. But the Brits just unveiled an early version of its cockpit in a modified version of the 720S.

Earlier today McLaren posted a photo on Facebook showing a 720S supercar wrapped in swirly, black and white camouflage. Nothing out of the ordinary if you ignore the wrap, but things become a bit unusual when you look at the windscreen and notice the driver and the steering wheel placed in the middle of the cockpit. Another image, this time from the inside, shows the mule being driven on a race track, once again with the driver sitting in the rather unusual position for a road-legal vehicle. Although McLaren didn’t have much to say about it, it’s pretty obvious that we’re being given a sneak peek of the upcoming supercar’s interior.

Continue reading for the full story.

The F1 Finally Makes a Comeback


1993 McLaren F1 - image 674545
“The three-seat cockpit that drove every supercar enthusiast mad is finally returning to a production model”

Granted, the F1 will remain unique, and no modern supercar will be able to replace it, but the spectacular three-seat cockpit that drove every supercar enthusiast mad is finally returning to a production model.

The chopped-up 720S looks completely different from the inside. The dashboard appears to have come from a full-fledged race car, with the steering wheel flanked by rectangular elements that hold loads of buttons and switches. It looks as if random parts have been put together and the flat instrument cluster atop the dash doesn’t do much to change that feeling but, this is a prototype after all, and it should be treated just like that.


McLaren Just Built a Three-Seat 720S to Preview its Successor to the P1 - image 734785
“As in the F1, there are two more seats placed on each side of the driver”

Of course, the most spectacular feature is the center-mounted driver seat. As in the F1, there are two more seats placed on each side of the driver, which turns this awkward 720S into a three-seat. Also, like in the F1, the passenger seats are mounted further back and are significantly smaller. Another thing to notice is the two large displays hanging from the ceiling at each corner of the windshield. Whether these are actual production parts or just a system design for track testing is still a mystery, but they look pretty cool.

Nothing else can be extracted from these photos, but we now know for a fact that development of the upcoming McLaren supercar is going well and it might not be long until we see the P15 testing on public roads.

References

McLaren P15


2019 McLaren P15 - image 725713

Read our speculative review on the 2020 McLaren P15.

McLaren 720S


2018 McLaren 720S - image 708692

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

McLaren F1


1993 McLaren F1 - image 674548

Read our full review on the 1993 McLaren F1.

PostHeaderIcon Is This The next Jeep Wrangler Two-Door?

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler is nearing its debut date and the anticipation is nearing pandemonium. But before its unveiling expected at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show in late November, the sleuths at JLWranglerForums have rendered what they think the two-door Wrangler will look like. Codenamed JL, the 2018 Wrangler won’t be a dramatic departure from the current, 2007-2017 Wrangler JK, but rather an evolution of the iconic design that dates back to the 1941 Willys MB general purpose military vehicle. Nevertheless, the new Jeep will be brimming with updated technology, new powertrains, and tons of user-friendly features.

The Wrangler JL two-door rendering matches up quite well with the camouflaged test mules seen slogging around in different parts of the country. The short-wheelbase Jeep uses all the same design elements as its four-door brother, but with no rear doors. The two-door sill can seat five, though three across in the rear bench is a pinch and getting back there isn’t as easy without dedicated doors. But the plus side: the two-door Wrangler will be the off-roading champ of the JL lineup thanks to its shorter wheelbase (and therefore better break-over angle) and slightly lighter weight. Speaking of weight, a few of the Wrangler’s body panels are expected to be aluminum, though most of the body will be stamped from steel. And of course, the Wrangler will continue to use solid axles at each end, ride on coil springs, and have a body-on-frame construction – just as God intended.

The 2018 Wrangler JL does have a few exterior features worth mentioning. First, the front bumper has a new, more functional design. It might be limited to upper trim levels, but hopefully not. The daytime running lights and turn signals are incorporated into the front fenders. While it looks cool, the aftermarket will have to overcome this when designing stubby fenders for large-diameter tires. The engine bay vent is expected here, as well, nestled neatly behind the front fenders. A strong character line below the windows helps divide the Wrangler’s top and bottom halves. Last but not least, the rear bumper now holds the license plate – a big departure from the body-mounted plate on the CJs and Wranglers that have come before. And of course, those taillights are designed to look like Jerry Cans, a design feature Jeep first incorporated into the Renegade.

So, what do you think of this rendering of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL two-door? Will it be a big success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 669920

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the current 2017 Jeep Wrangler.


2018 Jeep Scrambler - image 672704

Read more Jeep news.

PostHeaderIcon An Autonomous Lamborghini? Forget About It!

The concept of zigging when everyone else is zagging is nothing new in the auto industry. Trends are always a big pull in the business, after all, but there are times when not buckling to them is in the best interest of a particular automaker. Take Lamborghini for example. While most of the industry is moving along into adopting different forms of autonomous driving technology, the Raging Bull isn’t joining the party. Not now. Not anytime soon.

Speaking with Digital Trends, Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s head of research and development, said that the Italian automaker has no plans of introducing autonomous driving to any of its cars in the future. It’s worth noting that Lamborghini also took the same line of thinking when discussing electric cars a few months back. Part of the reason for resisting the urge to go autonomous or electric is that by doing so, the company would effectively rob its customers of the same core principles of driving that it has stood for since, well, it began offering cars. At its roots, Lamborghini is a company that prides itself on giving its customers the most visceral of driving experiences. An autonomous driving Lambo not only removes that experience away from the driver, but it also cuts off the legs of the very principles that it has prided itself on showcasing each and every time a new model comes into the picture. None of this is surprising. There are companies that can embrace autonomous driving and there are those that can’t, or won’t. Lamborghini falls into the latter category, where it should be in the first place.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Lamborghini has made an about-face before with the Urus so why should we believe it now?


2018 Lamborghini Urus - image 658211

First of all, an SUV is far different from an autonomous driving car, for all the reasons that you and I can think of. It’s true that Lamborghini previously said that it wouldn’t build an SUV at any cost because it would run counter to its performance car identity. But automakers like Porsche, Audi, and Bentley proved that just because it’s an SUV, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be dripping in power, performance, and luxury.

“Even with a price tag approaching $200,000, the Lamborghini Urus is expected to be a hot ticket item”

If anything, Lamborghini was smart to jump in on the SUV craze because of how popular the market is right now. Even with a price tag approaching $200,000, the Lamborghini Urus is expected to be a hot ticket item, possibly even becoming the most popular Lamborghini ever in terms of sales volume. From a business perspective, it made enough sense that Lambo didn’t have to justify itself when it announced that it was indeed launching an SUV.

An autonomous driving vehicle is different though because its core principle runs directly opposed to Lamborghinis. What’s the point of having a car with that much power and performance capabilities when a computer is driving it? The thrill of speed may still be there, but it’s not the kind of speed that’s generated by having a foot on the pedal. Mauricio Reggiani said it best in his conversation with Digital Trends. “If you buy a Lamborghini, you buy it to have fun and enjoy the driving,” he said.

“The thrill of speed may still be there, but it’s not the kind of speed that’s generated by having a foot on the pedal”

That’s precisely the line of thinking that has turned the Italian automaker into one of the most famous performance car brands in the world. Going against that because the entire industry is embracing autonomous driving technology as the future wouldn’t be in the best interest of the automaker now, or you know, ever.

References

Lamborghini Urus


2018 Lamborghini Urus - image 705226

Read our speculative review on the 2018 Lamborghini Urus.


2018 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo - image 733341

Read more Lamborghini news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i3 M

BMW launched the i3 electric errand-runner in 2014, and recently introduced a new iteration called the i3s at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This latest “s” version is sportier than the standard model, gaining more power and extra handling capabilities, which got us thinking – where would this sort of evolution eventually lead? Would (could?) BMW turn the i3 into a bona-fide sports machine, rather than just an eco model with 15 extra ponies and a lower stance? If so, what would something like that look like? To answer those questions, we gazed into our crystal call, drew up a rendering, and did a little speculation. The end result is this – the BMW i3 M, a true motorsport performance box with specs to back the badge. Try 0-to-60 mph in less than five seconds and tail-happy handling dynamics, all with that i-branded eco friendliness when you’re ready to dial back the aggression.

So yeah, it’s just a rendering for now, but why not? After all, BMW is no stranger to the world of high-speed hybrids – just look at the i8, the success of which most likely prompted further discussion on the topic amongst BMW’s top brass. Add in copious rumors that such a thing is indeed under development, plus the fact that actually producing this thing wouldn’t be terribly difficult for the brand, and we’d say odds are split 50/50 yay to nay. Read on for our speculative take.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 M.

Exterior


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734375

Overall, the BMW i3 M gets the same bubbly exterior styling as its non-M’d counterpart. The look is angular and chunky, with tons of little details offset in contrasting colors.

The colors we picked for the rendering are black and white, which makes it easy to visually pick out individual exterior features. Starting in front, we find a revised fascia, which ditches the rounded frumpiness of the old i3 in favor of a longer lower bumper and hard edges. There are three intakes here, with triangular-shaped intakes in the sides and a larger intake underneath, all of which get a black mesh covering. A lower splitter element helps add a little front-end downforce and directs the air to where it needs to be. Above the bumper is the traditional kidney grille, which utilizes a blue and chrome surround to denote the car’s eco friendliness, plus the requisite “M” badge as a nod to its sporting intentions. The kidney is bookended by the usual aggressive headlight units, which get U-shaped daytime running lights around the perimeter of the housings. The hood is finished in a glossy black, the shape of which pulls the eye rearwards towards the A-pillars.


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734374
“Above the bumper is the traditional kidney grille, which utilizes a blue and chrome surround to denote the car’s eco friendliness, plus the requisite “M” badge as a nod to its sporting intentions.”

Moving into the flanks, we find modest fender flares, once again in a glossy black color. The front fenders also get a V-shaped vent, similar to other M models seen before. The top half of the vehicle continues the black coloring, which gives it a sort of “floating” appearance, which is similar to the standard model. The side skirts continue with a black strake, which enhances a visual sense of forward lean to it, plus a bit of blue embellishment that adds a nice splash of color, similar to the i8. The side view mirrors were also reshaped to offer a more aggressive look.

In back, we find a modest trailing edge roof spoiler, once again in black. We would expect the i3 M’s hatch to be finished in black, with the taillights offering a similar shape as the headlight housings.

We think it’s a solid combination of cues, pulling heavily from both the BMW i8 and existing M products. Check it out –


2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

2015 BMW M3 - image 554283

Note: BMW i3 (standard model) pictured on the left, BMW M3 pictured on the right.

Overall, we think the updates add a good deal of much-needed aggression to the i3, which becomes even more important when framing it as a performance vehicle.

We’d also expect BMW to offer the i3 M with a large collection of optional aero enhancements and carbon fiber exterior pieces. Stuff like carbon fiber side view mirror covers, a carbon fiber rear wing, carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber wheel arch extensions, and maybe even a graphics package for a heavier-hitting visual impact should make the list.

Finally, Bimmer would most likely equip LEDs for the lighting front to back, while large 19-inch wheels (the option for 20-inch wheels will be offered) fill the corners.

Interior


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728630

Note: standard BMW i3 pictured here.

Getting in and out of the BMW i3 M will be the same procedure as the standard model. The doors will split down the middle, with the front doors opening forward and the rear doors opening towards the tail, providing a good amount of space to settle into the front seats or crawl onto the back bench. This ease of ingress and egress will be upped thanks to the lack of a B-pillar, which is a testament to the i3’s impressive chassis rigidity.

Once you situate yourself in the cabin, you’ll be met with a fun and funky layout. First and foremost will be an upgraded steering wheel, which will get a flat-bottom and multi-function design, plus the requisite M badging in the right spots and handy grips at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. The dash will incorporate copious horizontal design schemes, and mount a digital display in a tall, central position. The central tunnel will get additional buttons and toggle switches, plus a rotary knob to control the infotainment system. The seats will gain additional lateral support, and come with the option for even sportier sitters if desired.

“First and foremost will be an upgraded steering wheel, which will get a flat-bottom and multi-function design, plus the requisite M badging in the right spots and handy grips at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions.”

While not quite as spacey and futuristic as the i8, the i3 M should still be a pretty nice place to be. Also expect copious amounts of M components inside, both optional and standard. That means additional M branding (door sill plates, etc.), and faux carbon fiber for the trim (dash, door panels, etc.). High-end contrast stitching and Alcantara upholstery will be included as well.

Of course, being an i model, there should be the option for sustainable interior materials as well. Packages for green stuff like recycled materials and renewables will help the i3 M keep its eco cred, if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for.

“Of course, being an i model, there should be the option for sustainable interior materials as well.”

In terms of technology, the i3 M will also get the very latest tech BMW has on offer. These include stuff like parking assist, front collision warning, active lane keep assist, active cruise control, and the like, not to mention gesture control inside the cabin. Apple CarPlay will be there to support your smartphone, while the display mounted high on the dash will measure in at 10.25 inches.

Drivetrain


2017 BMW i3 94 AH - image 674522

Note: standard i3 drivetrain and powertrain pictured here.

The current standard i3 model comes equipped with a variety of different powertrain options. The first is the i3 60 Ah, which gets a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, while the i3 94 Ah gets a 33-kWh lithium-ion battery. All that juice makes its way to a single electric motor in the rear, which drives the rear axle with as much as 125 kW (or 168 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque). Properly applied, it’s enough to do the 0-to-60 mph run in 7.2 seconds, while top speed clocks in at 93 mph. The recently unveiled i3s is tuned for a bit more output, bumping it up to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, shaving a little time off the acceleration figure in the process. Finally, the i3 can be had with the option for a two-cylinder gas-powered internal combustion engine. Displacement for the ICE is rated at 647 cc’s, which adds substantially to the car’s range

So what about the i3 M?

For starters, we’re thinking the powertrain will pull heavily from the BMW i8, ditching the two-cylinder range extender in favor of a three-cylinder ICE as standard. That’s right – go with the M, and you’re hybrid no matter what.

“We’re thinking the powertrain will pull heavily from the BMW i8, ditching the two-cylinder range extender in favor of a three-cylinder ICE as standard. About 230 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque would fit well with a car that’s this lightweight”

This inline three-cylinder will once again get mounted in the rear, with the displacement coming in at roughly 1.5 liters. Power will also see a substantial increase, and we’re thinking as much as 230 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque would fit well with a car this lightweight. That much muscle would propel the BMW i3 M from 0-to-60 mph in less than 5 seconds, while the top speed would look something like 130 mph, which is far above the sub-100 mph top speed of the current i3.

Despite the increased power and faster acceleration, the BMW i3 M should also offer some half-decent all-electric range, with about 90 miles of local emissions-free motoring possible, if desired.

What’s more, the powertrain will offer that classic electrified instant torque, which will make it an absolute pleasure to drive. Just stamp the long pedal, and the little speed cube will squat and go, no fuss involved whatsoever.

Chassis And Handling


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734372

While it’s true that M division cars have been getting a bit soft around the edges over the last few years, I’d argue the Bavarian skunk works still has the know-how to make the BMW i3 a stellar handler.

While the current model tips the scales at a few hundred pounds under the 3,000-pound mark, we’d wager the larger ICE and more powerful electric motor would inevitably bump the i3 M up to at least 3,000 pounds. Of course, the i3 M would retain the same carbon fiber tub as the non-M variants, utilizing the identical carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) material wherever possible.

“Utilizing the identical carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) material wherever possible, the weight would mostly get centered over the rear, but approach that magical 50:50 front/back weight distribution that’s so desirable amongst sporty vehicles.”

The weight would mostly get centered over the rear, but approach that magical 50:50 front/back weight distribution that’s so desirable amongst sporty vehicles. Of course, with a RWD, rear-engine configuration, that’s to be expected, and with the proper suspension set-up, the i3 M could be magnificent in the corners. Furthermore, the battery will be stashed underneath the floor of the vehicle, keeping a lot of the pounds low enough to maintain relatively low amounts of body roll.

Regardless, we’d expect the BMW i3 M to come equipped with much wider tires, as the standard i3 gets super skinny eco rubber. By contrast, the M version will get a wider track and tons more grip. The stance will also be lower over the large wheels, and there’s likely to be multiple driving modes to sharpen the throttle, tighten the steering, and other such sporting features. Finally, we’d also expect the option for a sport suspension package, plus bigger brakes.

Prices


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734373

The current BMW i3 starts at $42,400, and can range as high as $48,300 when adding in the range-extender internal combustion engine. If BMW was to go about offering an M version, we’d suspect that number would rise substantially – up to $60,000, give or take, which would represent a $20,000 rise over the current entry-level model. Throw in a few pricey options (M exterior package, sportier suspension package, etc.), and that number could go even higher.

Competition

Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Hybrid


2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 - image 693245

2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 - image 693246

Small, quirky, and chic – these are the things that make the Countryman hybrid special. This is really an ideal competitor for the i3 M, as it’s not only relatively similar in terms of body shape and size, but it’s got the same BMW gloss as well (BMW owns Mini, in case you were unaware). Not only that, but this small hatch also rocks the same 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder as the i8. The run to 62 mph takes 7.6 seconds thanks to 221 horsepower, while upwards of 26 miles of all electric range helps it get around without gasoline.

Read our full review on the Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Hybrid.

Tesla Model 3


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 671345

2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 671349

Yes, we’re well aware that the Model 3 is all electric, all the time, and not a hybrid, but this segment isn’t exactly overflowing with options when it comes to competition. Not only that, but the Model 3 has pretty much established itself as the go-to affordable compact when it comes to green-intentioned driving. Thanks to its large lithium-ion battery pack, this thing can go upwards of 310 miles per charge, and hit the 60 mph benchmark in as little as 5.1 seconds. It’s cheaper too, priced at $35,000 before incentives. Of course, you need to factor in the convenience factor as well, given new orders take as long as 18 months to reach customers, plus the fact that charging the batteries takes hours to reach 100-percent capacity.

Read our full review on the Tesla Model 3.

Conclusion


2020 BMW i3 M - image 733434

While a BMW i3 M might seem like a long shot now, that could definitely change in the not-too-distant future. You see, BMW is doubling down on its electric and hybrid investments, and while that might seem a bit disturbing to those customers accustomed to the “Ultimate Driving Machine,” it’s highly doubtful the Bavarians will completely disregard their performance past in the name of eco friendliness. Sure, efficiency will get a bump and engines will get electrified, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun along the way.

“BMW is doubling down on its electric and hybrid investments, but it’s highly doubtful the Bavarians will completely disregard their performance past in the name of eco friendliness.”

We think a BMW i3 M is a great example of that balance. A car like this would be a mix of efficiency and power, offering sharp handling and comfort, all without burning too much petrol along the way. Yes, it’s expensive, but hey – it’s a Bimmer. That should be expected. Will customers feel the same way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Faster options available
    • In the customer interest there?

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728638

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554284

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.

BMW i8


2015 BMW i8 - image 522684

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i8.


2017 Tesla Model S - image 672439

Read more electric car news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: I Told You the BMW 8 Series Won’t Be That Exciting!

Remember how you were all excited by the upcoming BMW 8 Series and M8? Do you also remember my rant about why this big revival won’t be as exciting as BMW wants us to believe? Well, it turns out I was right. Yeah, yeah, I’m well aware that both the 8 Series and M8 are still under wraps, but BMW just unveiled the M8 GTE race car, which basically means that the Germans showcased more than 50-percent of the production model. And look, it’s pretty much a redesigned M6!

Come on, did you really believe that BMW was planning to revive the 8 Series nameplate for something completely new like it happened when it was first introduced in the late 1980s? Wasn’t the fact that BMW discontinued the 6 Series before the announcement a big enough hint? How can you be so naive? Well, if you’re still expecting the 8 Series to be a unique model in the lineup and not just a reheated 6 Series soup, keep reading to find out why you should stop being the world’s most optimistic BMW fanboy.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Styling Isn’t All that Great


BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model - image 731266
“The next-generation 6 Series would have looked the same”

What, were you under the impression that you’ll get that sleek concept car on the road? Nope! All you’re getting is a very toned down version of the M8 GTE race car. And that’s the M8 we’re talking about. The 8 Series will be even more boring. And just look at it. Haven’t you seen those headlamps and taillights somewhere else? Sure, the grille is big and juicy, but there’s really nothing new to see there. The new 6 Series Gran Coupe has a similar kidney grille, the only reason why the GTE’s looks so menacing is because there are no vertical slats.

Shape? Same thing. It’s a two-door coupe. It’s just as sleek as any other coupe out there. Okay, so maybe the rear glass is flatter and the quarter windows are a tad more aggressive, but I bet the next-generation 6 Series would have looked the same.

Same Size


BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model - image 731261
“What's the point of competing with the S-Class if you're not making a slightly bigger coupe?”

The M8 GTE is 4,980 mm long and 2,046 mm wide. That’s only 86 mm longer and 152 mm wider than the outgoing 6 Series. Not a lot bigger for a flagship luxury coupe. And given that the GTE has a few extra aero bits that alter its dimensions, there’s a good chance that the production model will be a tad smaller and basically identical to the old 6 Series.

Now, a well-informed BMW fan would tell that the first-gen 8 Series wasn’t bigger than the first-gen 6 Series it replaced in 1989. And I would agree, the numbers speak for themselves. But you see, we can’t compare 1989 with 2018. Supposedly BMW is reviving the 8 Series in order to save its ass in the big luxury coupe segment. Read that as in “it desperately needs a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.” And guess what, the Merc is a tad longer. So what’s the point of competing with the S-Class if you’re not making a slightly bigger, which could mean more comfortable, coupe?

Again, I’m not saying the 8 Series is a bad idea. I’m just saying that Munich could have easily redesigned the 6 Series into a better competitor for the S-Class Coupe. Marketing money is money well spent, but we need great cars and a bit less hype.

We might as well put a 2002 badge on the 1 Series and call it a day…

References

BMW M8 GTE


BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model - image 731266

Read our full review on the BMW M8 GTE.

BMW 8 Series


2019 BMW 8 Series - image 688342

Read our full speculative review on the next BMW 8 Series.

BMW M8


2019 BMW M8 - image 718202

Read our full speculative review on the next BMW M8.

PostHeaderIcon Souped-up Kia Stinger GT to Get V-8 Engine

Rumors of a more powerful version of the awesome Kia Stinger GT have been flying around ever since the Korean brand launched the sedan – and we have a rendering and speculative review for it – but the Asian carmaker has yet to confirm such plans exist. However, the company’s Australian communications manager just hinted that a higher performance version could come to the U.S. soon. What’s more, it appears that instead of a beefed-up V-6, Kia may use a V-8 powerplant for the range-topping four-door.

Speaking to CarAdvice, Kevin Hepworth, the brand’s communications manager in Australia, said, “I believe they’re developing one” when asked about a V-8-powered Kia Stinger. And while he pointed out that such a model won’t make it Down Under, he added that “there may be a possibility the U.S. could pick it up.” There’s no word as to when it could arrive, but as we mentioned in our speculative review, a 2018 launch for the 2019 model year seems very likely. What specific engine will it use and how much power will it send to the wheels? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.

What’s Under the Hood?


2018 Kia Stinger - image 700364
“With the M3 rated at 425 horsepower and the AMG C63 good for 469 horses, it would a safe bet for Kia to release a 450-horsepower Stinger GT”

Given Kia’s current drivetrain strategy, it’s very unlikely to see a brand-new V-8 design under the hood. Instead, it will probably use the 5.0-liter V-8, Tau GDi powerplant in the Genesis G80. The unit generates up to 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel and Hyundai should be able to upgrade it for more oomph.

Currently, the most powerful engine offered in the Stinger is the twin-turbo, 3.3-liter Lambda V-6, which sends 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of twist to the wheels. An output identical to the Genesis G80 would be enough to make the range-topping version stand out, but Kia could push for more in order to compete with German sports sedans like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the M3 rated at 425 horsepower and the AMG C63 good for 469 horses, it would a safe bet for Kia to release a 450-horsepower Stinger GT.


2015 BMW M3 - image 554284

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 - image 569741

The extra oomph would make it a more competitive choice in terms of performance, too, as the quickest Stinger available yet needs 5.1 seconds to hit 60 mph. A 450-horsepower version will likely need a little more than four seconds for the same benchmark, which would be closer to the M3 and AMG C63.

What About Styling?


2018 Kia Stinger - image 700359

Well, it’s pretty obvious that a more powerful Stinger GT will need new aerodynamics. As seen in our rendering, we expect it to feature a large lip spoiler, larger bumper intakes with race-inspired canards, and a vented engine hood. The aero package should be rounded off by larger side skirts, a proper diffuser, and a wing atop the trunk lid.

References

Kia Stinger GT


2018 Kia Stinger - image 700361

Read our full review on the Kia Stinger GT

Kia Stinger GT Plus


2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus - image 702823

Read our full speculative review on the Kia Stinger GT Plus


2017 Kia Proceed Concept - image 731388

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Can Lamborghini Get Even More Extreme With Its Models?

There are some things in the auto industry that are completely indisputable, one of which is Lamborghini’s reputation for being the creator of some of the most extreme supercars in the world. In the past few years alone, we’ve seen Sant’Agata come up with the Aventador J, Veneno Roadster, and most recently, the Centenario. But what if I told you that Lamborghini can go even deeper into its maniacal side and come up with future cars that border on being complete lunacy? It could actually happen now that the company has announced a closer working relationship between its road car division and the Squadra Corse racing team.

News of this development arrived on the heels of the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo’s launch, a car that could just as well serve as a preview of what we can expect from the tighter relationship between the two Lambo divisions. No less than the automaker’s motorsport aftersales boss, Silvestro D’Amico, hinted to Autocar the possibilities of what this kind of partnership could create for the brand. “We are still new to motorsport compared to other companies in this field, but already we are having our design department working more closely with the racing side,” he said. “There will be more exchanges of information and technologies.” Think of what these exchanges of information and technologies can do when they’re applied to road-going cars. This kind of thing has been happening in the industry a lot these days, most recently between Mercedes-AMG and the Mercedes Formula One team. We all know what came out of that, so is it possible that Lamborghini will eventually follow the same road?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Who’s excited for this development?


2018 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo - image 733341

I’m well aware that Lamborghini has shunned the thought of building a hypercar because “it’s a leader, not a follower.” Okay, sure, Lamborghini. I will take you on your word, but I do need to say too that the winds in the auto industry change instantaneously almost all of the time. I’ll take you on your word, one one hand, but I’ll also have a grain of salt on the other.

“Lamborghini can go even deeper into its maniacal side and come up with future cars that border on being complete lunacy”

I’m especially convinced now that there’s something afoot within the company after hearing about this “closer” relationship between the automaker’s racing and road car divisions. We saw how the Huracán Super Trofeo Evo turned out so don’t think for one second that Lamborghini isn’t already thinking of something that it can do to showcase the strengths of its two divisions and present it in one package. Remember, it was only a few days ago when the automaker’s own director of research and development, Maurizio Reggiani, fessed up and admitted that Lamborghini is already developing its latest one-off (translation: limited edition in Lambo speak) to follow in the burnt tires left behind by the Centenario supercar.


2018 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo - image 733363

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo - image 733364

What this closer relationship tells me is that the pieces are falling into place for something potentially special to come out of Lamborghini. I don’t know what it’s going to be at the moment. It could be a new supercar, a hypercar, a one-off something, or a combination of all three. There’s no telling what Lamborghini is capable of, but when you add the element of a race car division into the mix, the definition of “what’s possible” suddenly becomes something that we can all get excited about.

That’s where I’m at now. I’m intrigued, excited, and properly curious about what Lamborghini is cooking up, now that the puzzle pieces are starting to make some sense.

References

Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo


2018 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo - image 733348

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo.

Lamborghini Aventador J


2012 Lamborghini Aventador J - image 440998

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Aventador J.

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster


2015 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster - image 529184

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster.

Lamborghini Centenario


2016 Lamborghini Centenario - image 667622

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Centenario.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Odyssey Type R

There’s no harder transition in the world than for a car guy to move away from his prized bachelor car to daily drive a mom-mobile, aka the dreaded minivan. So, what happens when you want the best of both worlds? Well, you convince Honda to build you a Honda Odyssey Type R. Is it crazy? Sure. But are you going to tell me you would pass up an Odyssey Type R to drive a Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, or a Mercedes Metris? I doubt it, and you know why? Because this thing is intense in all the right ways. You get all of the Type R goodies, including things like the Championship White paint, Type R wheels and body kit, and even the classic Type R red accents inside. But, what will power a beast like this? Well, we’ll discuss that in a bit.

So here we are, talking about something as crazy as an Odyssey Type R. All the goodness of the ultimate people hauler paired with the aggressiveness, style, and clout of the Type R badge, plus more than enough power to keep you from sacrificing your manhood on days when you have to tote the family around. So with that said, let’s dive in and speculate a bit about the Honda Odyssey Type R and why Honda should greenlight a project like this. You know it will appeal to the tuner and gearhead in all of us.

Exterior


2020 Honda Odyssey Type R - image 733296

I was at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show when Honda pulled the covers off of the Honda Odyssey. It was literally a show stopper. Across the way was the new Chevy Traverse. It was a beautiful ride, and as a photographer, I had to get good shots of it. Of course, there was so much excitement around the Traverse that I had to circle around a few times before I got my chance to pull the trigger on my Camera. A few hours later, it was just about time for Honda to kick off the show and, while I expected it to be a busy debut, I didn’t expect it to be so outrageously popular. If I didn’t know better, I would say everyone at the show had to come over and check out the new Odyssey.

“Naturally, the Type R Odyssey has to rock out the same styling as the Civic Type R, and we’ve got it all”

Naturally, I did what I could to take pictures, but hours passed and I couldn’t even get close – even playing my usual photographer tricks to get up in there ahead of the crowd. Eventually, the day was over, and security was set to drag me out. So, I had to return to the show the next day to check out what all the hype was about. Well, I was nice and early, so I finally got a good look and man was I impressed. I knew right then that we needed to render up a Type R Odyssey, and here we are.


2020 Honda Odyssey Type R - image 733294

Naturally, the Type R Odyssey has to rock out the same styling as the Civic Type R, and we’ve got it all. We’ve got the gloss black grille up front, the red Honda emblem, the Type R emblem and those big vents in the corners that also serve as home to the big fog lamps because this is still a family car, right? To round off the front end, we threw in a scoop on the hood and the spoiler up front, complete with the red pinstripe. Moving to the sides, we’ve swapped out the standard mirrors for gloss black units to go along with the window trim. The fender vent is another nice touch that really stands out above those Type R wheels. New side skirts with a red stripe and black door handles round out the exterior package.

“The rear fascia gets a diffuser element that wraps around the edges to tie the sides to the rear, and twin, and a triple exhaust outlet screams Type R music on take off.”

Around back is where it really gets interesting, though. See, we’ve managed to modify the Civic Type R’s spoiler so that it can mount to the rear hatch, and it looks pretty mean. The rear fascia gets a diffuser element that wraps around the edges to tie the sides to the rear together and a triple exhaust outlet screams Type R music on take-off. Finally, we blacked out all of the rear windows and the moonroof to give it that midnight look, which somehow looks really good against that Champion White finish. And, don’t forget about the red calipers down below – you’ve got to have the red calipers!

Interior


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 708056
“On the inside, you know Honda would blend the perfect balance of family functionality and Type R goodness”

On the inside, you know Honda would blend the perfect balance of family functionality and Type R goodness. The first things to get swapped out are the front seats, the instrument cluster, and the infotainment display. All three from the Civic Type R carry right over, with some minor modification to the dash to support the different electronics. A new center console is thrown into place to allow for the six-speed gear shifter – that’s right, it’s not a Type R without a six-speed. The dash is adorned with black leather and Red piping, while the Type R steering wheel gets the traditional red emblem to go with the red inserts in the bottom half. Aluminum pedals are added to the floor – yes all three – and the Type R racing seats replace the standard seats up front. Thanks to Honda’s engineering genius, all of that family functionality carries over, including the rear cabin monitor, reverse camera, and DVD player. Type R floor mats round out the front of the cabin.


2018 Honda Odyssey - image 718504
Honda Odyssey – second row shot

Around back, all of the trim is replaced with higher quality materials so that this funky minivan carries the Type R legacy correctly. When the doors open automatically, a bright red ambient light illuminates the ground while displaying a Honda emblem and the Type R logo. The outboard seats in the second row look almost identical to the seats up front, including the excessive bolster support and holes for the five-point racing harnesses – that’s right, you can take the whole family down the strip in this bad boy. The center seat remains and is easily removable just as it is in the standard version. It carries over unchanged in design but gets the same red and black layout with Type R embroidery for consistency.


2018 Honda Odyssey - image 702281
Honda Odyssey – third row shot
“When the doors open automatically, a bright red ambient light illuminates the ground while displaying a Honda emblem and the Type R logo”

The third row carries over unchanged and features the same amount of support as seen in the standard model, but in this case, they are also wrapped in red and black and feature that Type R logo. The entertainment center in the rear has been replaced with a slightly larger screen that also has Type R graphics as expected and the trim panels by the third row get backlit Type R logos (red of course) from front to rear. A large Type R floor mat is placed ahead of the second and third rows while a special Type R cargo mat can be found in the rear cargo area. When the rear hatch opens, a red Honda logo is projected above the Type R lettering to complete the interior package. Tell me you wouldn’t feel at home in this thing. Go ahead; I’ll wait.

Drivetrain


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719407

Now, this is where things really get interesting. If you know Honda, you’re probably thinking that this is where it will drop in that 2.0-liter from the Type R, right? 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque would be an improvement over the standard 3.5-liter V-6 with 280 ponies and 262 pound-feet, but it’s not quite good enough for a vehicle this heavy. After all, if it’s wearing that Type R badge, it needs to live up to a legacy and rewrite the definition of quick. As such, that 2.0-liter stays where it belongs in the smaller car, and instead, Honda is going to tap into its luxury arm, and take advantage of that 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 from the Acura NSX. Of course, it won’t deliver the full 500 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, but it will be detuned to deliver 445 horsepower and 373 pound-feet of twist – and the Odyssey Type R comes to life.

“Honda is going to tap into its luxury arm, and take advantage of that 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 from the Acura NSX”

Of course, this is a different setup, so it doesn’t get the AWD hybrid system, but a simple adapter plate allows for that six-speed trans to bolt right up, and with the right modification of the chassis the engine can be positioned far enough to one side so that it will fit under the hood – it’s just a very tight fit. But, hey, that’s okay when you’ve got a 445-horsepower Odyssey, right? Finally, the dual air intakes have been repositioned to suck air directly from the vents in the corners of the front fascia for a true, CAI system. The end result is a minivan that can make the 60-mph sprint in a matter of 4.1 seconds, while top speed sits at an insane 186 mph.


2020 Honda Odyssey Type R - image 733295

As far as suspension goes, the Odyssey Type R will get a standard MacPherson setup up front and a double-wishbone system out back with double lower control arms for better stability at high speeds. The suspension itself is dropped by just over an inch to provide better aerodynamics. Active traction control keeps the wheels from breaking loose on take-off while electromechanical brakes handle braking duties. Sounds pretty wild for a minivan huh? Well, here’s the cool part. Honda knows your wife doesn’t need to be doing a 180 mph to get little Tommy to his football practice or Molly to her band recital, so “Dad’s” key unlocks the Odyssey’s full potential, while ”Mom’s” key limits output to just 280 horsepower.

Pricing


2020 Honda Odyssey Type R - image 733293

As you’re well aware, that Type R badge comes at a price, and we’re not talking about a few extra bones here, either. The standard range-topping model. The “Elite” commands $46,670, so you can expect the Odyssey Type R to set you back by at least $56,000, but hey that’s okay – we’re talking about the most powerful type R in existence as of the time of this writing. Good luck getting the wife to approve, but we are talking about a family car here, so sweet talk her a little, will ya?

Competition

At this point, there’s nothing that would really compete with an Odyssey Type R, so it would sit in a niche all its own and would likely inspire a whole swath of high-performance minivans to come to light. Until then, your only option would be to go with the range-topping version of the Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, or Kia Sedona, none of which offer up anywhere near as cool a setup as the Odyssey with Type R treatment. But, let’s look anyway…

Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat


2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat - image 668902

Of course, we once speculated that Chrysler would put together a Pacifica Hellcat, so that’s most definitely the No. 1 competitor for the Odyssey Type R. Featuring a more aggressive look on the outside it will also get the Hellcat independent rear suspension, and will, in fact, be all-wheel drive. This, of course, requires the removal of the stow-n-go seating to make way for the transmission tunnel, but hey, that’s a pretty fair trade-off, right? All seats will get Nappa leather and Alcantara trimmings to go with Hellcat embroidery, and you can bet it’ll come complete with the special crate in the rear as well.

Under the hood will sit the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 and is actually positioned in a front-mid-ship location to allow for an all-wheel-drive up front. All told, it will deliver 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet like a true Hellcat but will be able to hit 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Yikes – I guess that will top the Odyssey Type R, huh? Of course, it’ll also start out a bit higher at around $70,000, so you’ll be paying a little extra for the AWD and V-8 lineup.

Read our full speculative review on the Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat.

Toyota Sienna Limited


2018 Toyota Sienna - image 711005

2018 Toyota Sienna - image 711006

This is the range-topping trim of the Toyota Sienna. The Sienna doesn’t even compete in looks really as it’s got a fairly boring exterior look, but it does offer seating for eight, LED running lights, Blue Ray infotainment system, a JBL audio system with integrated navigation and app access, leather seating, and a smart key system. Under the hood, you find a 3.5-liter that’s good for 296 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, nowhere near what you get with an Odyssey Type R but not bad for your normal back and forth driving. An eight-speed auto controls shifting duties while AWD with active torque control makes driving in rough weather even easier. The range-topping model in this lineup, the Limited Premium AWD, starts out at $47,310, really putting it close to the theoretical price of the Odyssey Type R.

Read our full review on the Toyota Sienna Limited

Kia Sedona SXL


2015 Kia Sedona - image 548816

2015 Kia Sedona - image 548819

The Sedona is the only one of the three competing models that offers a truly similar look to the Odyssey, as it has that zig-zag waistline, too. The model you would need to shoot for to compete with an Odyssey Type R is the SXL trim, which resides at the top of the lineup. The cool thing about the SXL is that it rides separately in the looks department, thanks to a sportier front and rear fascia as well as sleeker fog lights too. It also stands out by means of larger and sportier wheels.

Inside it gets an eight-inch infotainment system with phone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to go with an eight-speaker audio system that features an external amp and eight-inch subwoofer – we’ll just call this the 888 package. Essentially a fully loaded model, the SXL includes all of Kia’s advanced safety systems, and can even be options with Nappa leather upholstery and first-class seating.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 3.3-liter V-6 that’s good for 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque and efficient enough to offer up 19 mpg combined. Pricing starts out at $41,900 but easily climbs closer to $50,000 with all the right options.

Read our full review on the Kia Sedona SXL.

Conclusion


2020 Honda Odyssey Type R - image 732980

Let’s be honest, the chances of Honda actually coming out with an Odyssey are pretty damn slim, let alone one that totes around the NSX’s twin-turbo engine. Even if Honda moved forward with a Type R version of the Odyssey, it would get that same 2.0-liter found in the Civic Type R, but hey, this was about speculating and having fun, so I went all out. And, you have to admit that it would be awesome minivan to drive around if you had to drive a minivan right?

On a side note, we once speculated that Chrysler would come up with a Hellcat version of the Pacifica, and of course, that was shot down a long time ago. But, if Honda came out with a Type R, Chrysler wouldn’t have much of a choice, now would they? So, at the end of the day, we need to convince one brand to take a leap of faith so that the other will. Just imagine a time where you and the wife both daily drive minivans with extreme looks and power – now that would be kind of fun, don’t you think?

So, tell me what you think about the Odyssey Type R. How would you want Honda to configure it? More power, less power, or just as I’ve described? Would you want a true-to-life six-speed or would you prefer the dual-clutch automatic transmission with shift paddles from the NSX? Let us know in the comments section below!

  • Leave it
    • Will probably never happen
    • Chrysler would kill it with the Hellcat Pacifica
    • Even if it did happen, it would never get a true manual transmission

References

Honda Odyssey


2018 Honda Odyssey - image 718512

Read our full review on the Honda Odyssey.

Honda Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719420

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

Honda Accord Type R


2019 Honda Accord Type R - image 728542

Read our full speculative review on the Honda Accord Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler Douses Water On Hellcat 300 Rumors

It seemed too good to be true when we first heard about it. A Chrysler 300 packing Hellcat power? But Automotive News reported as much, saying that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was working on launching a Chrysler 300 that will use a supercharged Hemi Hellcat V-8 engine under its hood. The mere thought of it was perplexing, but stranger things have happened within FCA, so the thought of a Hellcat-powered 300 sedan, as improbable as it was, didn’t seem too far-fetched for FCA. Well, consider the bubble burst because a spokesman from FCA has spoken, needle in hand. There won’t be a 707-horsepower Chrysler 300 Hellcat.

Word comes from Motor Authority, which learned that there no plans for a supercharged Hemi Hellcat-powered 300 sedan. All those who thought that it would be an ideal send-off for the aging 300 will have to settle for something else because it just isn’t happening. On the one hand, it is disappointing here because a 707-horsepower Chrysler 300 is the exactly the kind of variant that would give the current-generation 300 a newsworthy send-off. The appeal is definitely there and the 300 has, at least in the past, housed a V-8 rig under its hood. On the other hand, it’s also a sigh of relief that Chrysler isn’t going in this direction. It can’t just rely on the Hellcat engine as a lifeline of sorts to jolt interest back in a model that’s clearly on its way out. FCA is better than that and to its credit, the automaker seems to understand that rationale too.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The temptation is there, but it wouldn’t have mattered


2013 Chrysler 300 - image 517545

For the record, I’m not opposed to a Chrysler 300 getting the full-on Hellcat treatment. There’s even a part of me that was really curious to see who that would’ve turned out. It’s not often that a company has an engine like the Hellcat that it can use on a variety of models and instantly turn that model into a force to be reckoned with. Heck, FCA did it on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and it worked!

“The thought of a Hellcat-powered 300 sedan, as improbable as it was, didn’t seem too far-fetched for FCA”

My issue with the Chrysler 300 getting a Hellcat engine is the timing behind it. I would’ve been more excited if the Hellcat was being considered for the next-generation model of the 300 or at least an updated version, but not the existing one. Doing it now would’ve been a waste as the 300 is on track for a big update next year, so if Chrysler really wants to make a statement, it would’ve considered the Hellcat engine on that model. Doing that would’ve at least generated some buzz for the sedan, something that it desperately needs as it continues to age past the point of being too dated.

I know some people are against the thought of a Hellcat engine on a 300 for other reasons, not the least of which is related to the sedan’s image. It’s become clear that the automaker wants the 300 to be defined most for its luxury capabilities and amenities. That’s a big reason why it has focused its attention on Dodge and Jeep models as far as which ones will get the Hellcat engine, leaving Chrysler to turn the 300 into a full-fledged luxury vehicle that has a better chance of competing against its rivals in the segment. A 707-horsepower 300 would’ve sent a message, that’s for sure. I’m just not sure if it’s the right message.

“FCA might actually do something when the next-gen 300 arrives, whenever that’s going to be”

Who knows, FCA might actually do something when the next-gen 300 arrives, whenever that’s going to be. But for now, it just doesn’t make sense for the current model to get such a major engine overhaul this late in its life. It would’ve turned into a waste of a statement, so it’s good that FCA shot down this rumor as quickly as it did.

References

Chrysler 300


2013 Chrysler 300 - image 517546

Read our full review on the Chrysler 300


2017 Chrysler Portal Concept - image 702666

Read more Chrysler news.

PostHeaderIcon Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150’s Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6

Ford made big waves in the half-ton pickup segment when it announced the 2018 F-150 would be available with a V-6 turbodiesel. Details about the new 3.0-liter have been scarce, with Ford only divulging it was designed, engineered, and tested in-house and that it will wear the Power Stroke name. Fortunately for us, Ford’s corporate ties to Jaguar Land Rover give telling clues about the new Power Stroke.

See, Jaguar Land Rover’s 3.0-liter V-6 Td6 turbodiesel is actually a Ford engine – a byproduct of Ford’s past ownership of both Jaguar and Land Rover. The engine is even found in Peugeot and Citroën cars, too, as part of the Lion engine series. Introduced in the U.S. for the 2016 model year, the 3.0 Td6 plays a staring role in Land Rover’s new Discovery, the Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport. To show off the Td6’s abilities, Land Rover recently hitched a diesel Discovery to a 121-ton road train in Australia. The 328-foot-long semi truck included seven trailers – three more than what’s typically legal to tow across the open roads of the Outback. The Discovery’s turbodiesel and full-time 4WD system seemingly had no problem moving the 242,000-pound behemoth 10 miles across a flat stretch of closed highway. That’s an impressive feat given the engine’s output of 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. While Ford hasn’t disclosed its 3.0-liter Power Stroke’s specs, we can bet big money it won’t make less power than its Land Rover twin. So what does that mean for the mid-2018 F-150? Keep reading to see what we think.

Continue reading for more information.

Land Rover Gives A Good Glimpse At The F-150’s Diesel Future


2016 Land Rover Range Rover Td6 - image 610485

It’s hard to predict the future, but having giant clues sure makes things easier. It’s thanks to Jaguar Land Rover that we have an idea about how the F-150’s new turbodiesel will perform.

“The 3.0-liter V-6 Td6’s main block is constructed from Compacted Graphite Iron”

The 3.0-liter V-6 Td6’s main block is constructed from Compacted Graphite Iron, just like Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 and the EcoBoost V-6s available in the F-150. The material is said to have a higher tensile strength than standard gray cast iron, offer better fatigue strength over aluminum, and weigh less than standard gray cast iron. The block also features a deep skirt with cross-bolted main bearings for added strength. A one-piece aluminum oil pan actually adds structural rigidity, too, while helping cut noise levels during operation.

The Td6 uses dual-overhead camshafts to control four valves over each cylinder. A single turbocharger forces air into the engine and a high-pressure fuel system squirts fuel directly into the combustion chambers. Keeping emissions in check is a low-pressure EGR system and a diesel exhaust fluid system. Interestingly, the low-pressure EGR system pulls air further down stream in the exhaust system – past the DEF filter – in an effort to get cooler air. This air is then routed into the turbocharger, then through an intercooler. The result is relatively cool (and therefore more dense) pressurized air being forced into the combustion chambers. Though this system passes the EPA’s strict emission requirements, there’s a good chance Ford will modify its operation for use in the F-150.

“The Land Rover Discovery Td6 with its eight-speed automatic transmission, full-time 4WD system, and its 5,500-pound curb weight get and EPA-estimated 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined”

As for fuel efficiency, the Land Rover Discovery Td6 with its eight-speed automatic transmission, full-time 4WD system, and its 5,500-pound curb weight get and EPA-estimated 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. The Td6 does even better in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, earning an EPA-estimated 22/28/24, respectively.

Td6 Turned Power Stroke


Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150's Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6 - image 733174

The next few paragraphs will be speculation, of course, since Ford has yet to disclose much information on its new baby Power Stroke. But as mentioned before, we’re positive Land Rover’s Td6 gives a good idea about what to expect.

“On paper, the Td6 is surprisingly on-point for use in the F-150”

On paper, the Td6 is surprisingly on-point for use in the F-150. It sizes up rather well against its main competitor, the Ram 1500’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. That engine generates 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and affords the Ram 1500 an impressive 20 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway. In Ram’s fuel-sipping trim, the 1500 HFE, the EcoDiesel squeezes out 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway without any reduction in power. (Ram uses taller gearing in the rear axle and a few other tricks on a base-model, quad-cab truck with almost zero luxury features.) The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can also pull up to 9,200 pounds on its hitch, only 1,200 pounds shy of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The EcoBoost HFE is limited to 7,920 pounds of towing.


Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150's Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6 - image 733176

Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150's Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6 - image 733175

You can bet Ford will attempt to match, if not exceed, the Ram EcoDiesel’s numbers. In its Td6 form, the engine already out-powers the EcoDiesel with 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. We’d figure on the Power Stroke version to make at least 260 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. Round numbers are better for marketing purposes, after all.

Ford did confirm the F-150 Power Stroke will utilize Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. The two extra gears give engineers a better shot at hitting that magical 30-mpg highway. That’s certainly a possibility given the F-150’s aluminum body and curb weight that ranges between 4,050 and 4,900 pounds, depending on cab, bed, engine, and drivetrain configuration. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Crew Cab with 4WD and the mid-grade Big Horn trim package tested by Car & Driver reportedly weighted 5,688 pounds. Though the Power Stroke V-6 will likely add between 150 to 300 pounds to the F-150’s total weight, the F-150 should still be lighter than the Ram when all variables are comparatively matched.

“The Land Rover Discovery Td6 can pull 7,716 pounds on its hitch”

As for towing, the Land Rover Discovery Td6 can pull 7,716 pounds on its hitch. That’s impressive for a unibody SUV with an independent rear suspension tuned for on-road comfort and off-road flexibility. The F-150 Power Stroke will undoubtedly have a more impressive rating, especially given how competitive the truck segment has become over this metric. We’d bet on a 9,000-pound tow rating and a payload capacity around 2,000 pounds.

Conclusion


Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150's Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6 - image 733173

Ford is taking a bold step in offering a V-6 turbodiesel in its F-150. While Ram was the first, Ford arguably has more at stake. The F-150 represents a massive portion of Ford’s sales and there is simply no room for mistakes or tarnished perceptions. The F-150, along with the Super Duty that make up the F-Series lineup, sold more than 820,000 vehicles in 2016, making it the best-selling vehicle in America by far. Adding a turbodiesel should help satisfy customers who have been clamoring for one for decades, while helping the F-150 hit that all-important CAFÉ requirement with improved fuel economy.

Once Ford released the 3.0-liter Power Stroke’s figures, we’ll bring that information to you. In the mean time, we’re left wondering if General Motors is dusting off that 4.5-liter V-8 Duramax it had almost finished before the recession.

References

2018 Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700455

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

Land Rover Discovery


2017 Land Rover Discovery - image 732912

Read our full review on the Land Rover Discovery.

PostHeaderIcon Rimac Is Coming For Seconds With Infusion Of Investment Money

Of all the ambitious start-ups that promised machines of mayhem, few have actually been able to step up and keep up with the rest of business. One of those companies is Rimac, the creator of the Concept One electric supercar that made headlines recently when The Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond crashed one in Switzerland. It was an ignominious end to one of only eight road-going Concept One models, but all’s not lost in the world of Rimac after the company announced a new $36 million investment that would allow it to finally expand its lineup beyond the vaunted Concept One.

The infusion of money came from Camel Group, a Shanghai-based company that’s regarded as the largest manufacturer of batteries in all of Asia. The specific details of the deal were not mentioned by either company, but the deal is termed as a subscription agreement, which essentially means that Rimac likely agreed to sell a certain number of shares to Camel Group in exchange for a specific amount ($36 million as it turns out) that the Chinese company has agreed to pay. Of that amount, Rimac is expected to gain a majority of the funds, but not all of it. Roughly $3.6 million of the amount will be sent over to Greyp electric bicycle company. As far as what Rimac plans to do with the new funds, no less than Mate Rimac, the founder of both Rimac and Greyp, made the company’s plans clear: build a new electric supercar to succeed the Concept One.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

I’m excited for this one


2011 Rimac Concept One - image 450687

You have to appreciate what Rimac has been able to do in the face of all the pressure that comes with building a car company from the ground up. A lot of companies have tried to follow the same blueprint and very few have been able to actually rise up to the occasion. Rimac has been able to do it, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of excitement surrounding this news.

“Rimac announced a new $36 million investment that would allow it to finally expand its lineup beyond the vaunted Concept One.”

The partnership with Camel Group is a smart one, especially if Rimac is able to leverage the Chinese battery maker’s expertise in its field and apply it into its next electric supercar. That seems to be the direction this partnership is going because Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac has already said that the follow-up car to the Concept One will be electric, so it’s going to use some kind of battery as part of its powertrain.


2011 Rimac Concept One - image 450677

Speaking of the yet-to-be-named machine, Rimac hasn’t said what kind of power it’s going to carry, but it did hint that it’s going to be more powerful than its predecessor. Remember, the Concept One already packs a whopping 1,073 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, good enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds before peaking at a reported top speed of 221 mph. If the next model is going to be more powerful than the Concept One, we could be looking at an output that will reach at least 1,200 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of twist.

“The Concept One already packs a whopping 1,073 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, good enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds”

I don’t know how Rimac will be able to do that, but I’m well past the point of being skeptical of what the company is capable of doing. The Concept One showed me as much, and if its other plan of introducing a more powerful version of the Concept One – called the Concept One S – ever comes to fruition, well then, consider me excited to see what the company can come up with now that it has the funds to make it happen.

References

Rimac Concept One


2011 Rimac Concept One - image 450689

Read our full review on the Rimac Concept One.


2016 Rimac Concept S - image 668669

Read more Rimac news.

PostHeaderIcon Chevy Rumored To Revive Blazer name on 2019 Crossover

Our friends over at Truck Trend say Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size, two-row crossover to compete against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano for the 2019 model year. What will Chevy call it? Industry rumors say Blazer. Adding fuel to the (dumpster) fire are spy photos of such a vehicle trolling around public roads while covered in heavy camouflage. Naturally, the news comes as a huge disappointment – not because Chevy is developing a new crossover, but because it will carry the iconic Blazer name.

The resurrection of bygone vehicle names is in heavy swing these days. Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup to the U.S. and dusting off the Bronco name for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s almost common knowledge Ford’s upcoming Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger pickup platform and use a ladder frame and a solid rear axle. It’s expected to offer an excellent compromise between on-road civility and off-road capability while honoring its nameplate that traces its roots to the 1960s when Ford needed an SUV to compete with the Jeep CJ. Yet here we are, with Chevy about to slap the equally iconic Blazer name onto an assumably forgettable family hauler that couldn’t wheel its way over a parking stop. Why, Chevy? Of course, we should take these rumors with a huge grain of salt. No sources were listed and not even the vehicle in the spy photos show any discernable Chevy characteristics. Still, it’s hard not to criticize GM for not directly competing against the Bronco with a Colorado-based SUV wearing a Blazer badge. Chevy already has such an SUV in markets around the world. It’s even called the Trailblazer.
Why not fight Ford at its own game? After all, SUV and pickup sales are booming thanks to cheap fuel and a growing economy.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Chevy Rumored To Revive Blazer name on 2019 Crossover

Our friends over at Truck Trend say Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size, two-row crossover to compete against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano for the 2019 model year. What will Chevy call it? Industry rumors say Blazer. Adding fuel to the (dumpster) fire are spy photos of such a vehicle trolling around public roads while covered in heavy camouflage. Naturally, the news comes as a huge disappointment – not because Chevy is developing a new crossover, but because it will carry the iconic Blazer name.

The resurrection of bygone vehicle names is in heavy swing these days. Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup to the U.S. and dusting off the Bronco name for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s almost common knowledge Ford’s upcoming Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger pickup platform and use a ladder frame and a solid rear axle. It’s expected to offer an excellent compromise between on-road civility and off-road capability while honoring its nameplate that traces its roots to the 1960s when Ford needed an SUV to compete with the Jeep CJ. Yet here we are, with Chevy about to slap the equally iconic Blazer name onto an assumably forgettable family hauler that couldn’t wheel its way over a parking stop. Why, Chevy? Of course, we should take these rumors with a huge grain of salt. No sources were listed and not even the vehicle in the spy photos show any discernable Chevy characteristics. Still, it’s hard not to criticize GM for not directly competing against the Bronco with a Colorado-based SUV wearing a Blazer badge. Chevy already has such an SUV in markets around the world. It’s even called the Trailblazer.
Why not fight Ford at its own game? After all, SUV and pickup sales are booming thanks to cheap fuel and a growing economy.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Is Nissan Opening The Door Again On A Possible Production IDx?

The curious tale of the two Nissan IDx concepts that made their debuts at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show has taken another turn. Long thought to have been scrapped as production options, the IDx concepts are now back in the Nissan headlines after the Japanese automaker recently filed a trademark for the name “Nissan IMX.” Now, this doesn’t automatically guarantee the marque is hinting at the two concepts from four years ago, but the filing revealed intriguing items about what the IMX trademark that can be connected to the IDx.

According to AutoGuide, the trademark was filed for a production car that could take in numerous forms, including as an “electric vehicle,” “sports car,” or a combination of the two. Nissan didn’t specify what kind of production model it’s planning for the IMX, but the close proximity of the trademarked name to the one used on the two concepts back in 2013 has caused renewed speculation on the fate of the retrofitted prototypes we saw in Tokyo. Then again, speculation is all that we have to cling on to at the moment. For now, the IDx concepts will remain just that; Nissan itself has said that it’s not planning to build a new sports car until after the current 370Z ends its lifecycle. Seeing as we just saw Nissan release an updated version of the sports car, all talks of sports cars will probably amount to nothing more than speculation. Still, the IMX trademark is intriguing for what it could turn into in the future.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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