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Archive for the ‘luxury cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV

The 2018 Detroit Auto Show is now officially hitting its stride, and amid a flurry of high-riding utility vehicle debuts, Acura is joining the fray with its brand-new third-generation RDX compact luxury SUV. The Japanese automaker is calling it the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” unveiling the five-passenger in “prototype” form, even though this thing looks pretty much good to go in terms of production status. Overall, the updates cater to American buyers in a big way, adding in extra inches for the size, as well as new technology like a True Touchpad Interface, and new styling to boot. Inspiration comes from Acura’s latest Precision Concepts in terms of exterior aesthetics and interior layout, which is sure to get the attention of stateside buyers, and Acura boasts the 2019 model year is the “quickest, best-handling RDX ever.” The updated RDX will hit dealers by mid-2018, but until then, read on for more info.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

What Does It Look Like?


Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV - image 758573
“The new RDX offers much more of that classic SUV character thanks to its bigger, bolder features, especially in the fascia”

With the continued growth and popularity of the SUV and crossover segment here in the States, it’s no surprise Acura has gone to such great lengths to keep the RDX feeling fresh, especially when you consider the solid sales numbers the nameplate has posted over the last five years or so.

So what makes the 2019 RDX standout in the segment? For starters, the styling just got a major improvement. This is the first model to “fully embody Acura’s new design language as envisioned in the Acura Precision Concept,” and overall, we think it offers much more of that classic SUV character thanks to its bigger, bolder features, especially in the fascia. Up front, we also find Acura’s Jewel Eye LED headlights and a diamond pentagon grille insert.

On the subject of looks, Acura is offering customers a new A-Spec trim level, and although it doesn’t actually affect, you know, performance, it does give the SUV extra regression in the styling department. Going forward, Acura says each of its core models will come with the option for A-Spec gear.

What’s Under The Skin?


Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV - image 758575
“The 2019 RDX comes packing with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which features a mono-scroll turbocharger, double overhead cams, and a VTEC variable valve system”

Behind the restyled grille, the 2019 RDX comes packing with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which features a mono-scroll turbocharger, double overhead cams, and a VTEC variable valve system. The ’four replaces the outgoing model’s SOHC 3.5-liter V-6, and despite its smaller displacement, it manages to create roughly 40 percent more low-end twist.

Once again, FWD is standard, while AWD is optional. Go for the extra grip, and you’ll also get a handling-enhancing torque vectoring system, complete with a new rear diff with a big upgrade in torque capacity. The gearbox is also new, with Acura replacing the older six-speed unit with a segment-first 10-speed automatic.

Complementing the oily bits is a lighter, stiffer body. The exterior dimensions have grown as well, measuring in with an extra 1.2 inches overall, 2.5 inches more wheelbase, and a shorter front overhang. Managing it all is a new, optional adaptive suspension system that takes cues from the Acura NSX with multiple drive modes, including several sport modes.

What’s It Like In The Cabin?


Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV - image 758705
“The big news inside the cabin is a fresh infotainment system Acura calls the True Touchpad Interface”

The big news inside the cabin is a fresh infotainment system Acura calls the True Touchpad Interface. Basically, this system mates touchscreen and remote interface elements into a single unit via a 10.2-inch high-definition display, a new operating system, sharper graphics, and a new voice recognition system as well. Look for the system to eventually find its way into the rest of the Acura stable.

More broadly speaking, the RDX’s interior was redesigned to reflect the Acura Precision Cockpit concept seen previously, and best characterized by the large, vertically oriented center console controls.

Up top, there’s a huge panoramic sliding moonroof as standard across the line, which Acura boasts as the biggest in its class. There’s also more space inside thanks to the longer wheelbase, while front-seated passengers get to enjoy heated and ventilated front seats and 16-way power adjustment. Finally, a host of premium materials solidify the RDX’s claims to opulence, and include Napa leather, brushed aluminum, and open-pore Olive Ash wood.

Clearly Aimed At The States


Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV - image 758579

With the popularity of the SUV and crossover segment continuing unabated here in the U.S., this extensive update for the 2019 RDX makes a lot of sense. Indeed, the automaker says it was “designed, developed and manufactured in America,” and it shows, touching each of the areas U.S. consumers care about the most.

All told, we’re predicting a good amount of success with this one.

References

Acura RDX


Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV - image 758577

Read our full review on the 2019 Acura RDX.


2017 Acura Precision Concept - image 686110

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura Precision Concept.


2016 Acura RDX - image 616649

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura RDX.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe Hits Detroit as the Most Powerful Two-Door E-Class Yet

Mercedes-Benz used the 2018 Detroit Auto Show to introduce a new line of AMG-badges cars. The new series is dubbed E53 and its main feat is that it has a hybrid engine, which makes it the first electrified production model line from Affalterbach. The new E53 lineup includes three model for now, one of which is the E-Class Coupe. It’s called the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe and in the absence of a full-blown E63 version, it’s the most potent E-Class Coupe to date!


Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe Hits Detroit as the Most Powerful Two-Door E-Class Yet - image 758564
“While it's nowhere near as aggressive as the E63, it stands out in the lineup thanks to a few unique features”

Debuted alongside identical variants of the CLS and E-Class Cabriolet, the AMG E53 Coupe bridges the gap between the already familiar E43 and E63 designs. While it’s nowhere near as aggressive as the E63, it stands out in the lineup thanks to a few unique features. Up front, the diamond radiator grille with individual pins was replaced by a twin-blade design finished in silver chrome and a black lattice mesh in the background. The outer air intakes and the side skirts have also been revised, together with rear apron and the tailpipe trim, now finished in high-gloss chrome. There’s a new trunklid spoiler too, available either in body color or exposed carbon-fiber.

The interior features the big 12.3-inch display for the infotainment and instrument cluster as standard and all the fancy tech seen in the regular E-Class Coupe, but the AMG badge adds a few extras, starting with the AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather. The two-door also employs sports seats, AMG-specific upholstery design, red seatbelts, and trim elements in either carbon-fiber, glass fiber, or matte silver. The steering wheel can be optioned up with wood inserts in piano lacquer or Dinamica microfiber grip areas. New upholstery options are also available, including combinations in black/saddle brown, black/white, black/classic red, designo titian red/macchiato beige and designo titanium grey/black.


Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe Hits Detroit as the Most Powerful Two-Door E-Class Yet - image 758551
“The AMG badge adds a few extras, starting with the AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather”

Motivation is provided by a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine with an EQ Boost starter-alternator. The latter not only increases fuel economy, but it also boosts engine output. The configuration is not new, having been launched on the CLS four-door coupe in 2017, but it’s the first time it’s being offered on another model. The six-cylinder engine cranks out 435 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, significantly more than the most potent E-Class Coupe version available right now, the E400. The latter delivers “only” 328 horses and 350 pound-feet. The EQ Boost provides an additional 22 horses and 184 pound-feet, taking total output to an impressive 457 horsepower and 568 pound-feet.


Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe Hits Detroit as the Most Powerful Two-Door E-Class Yet - image 758561
“The EQ Boost provides an additional 22 horses and 184 pound-feet, taking total output to an impressive 457 horsepower and 568 pound-feet.”

A nine-speed AMG Speedshift transmission and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system routes the power to the wheels, enabling the E53 Coupe to hit 62 mph from a standing start in 4.4 seconds, more than a half-second quicker than the E400 4Matic, to go with a top speed of 155 mph. Other features include five Dynamic Select drive modes, independent AMG Ride Control+ suspension, AMG speed-sensitive steering, and compound braking system.

Stick around for a full debut on this car.

References

Mercedes E-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe - image 698223

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz CLS


Mercedes Debuts New AMG Series with CLS53 Model - image 758355

Mercedes Debuts New AMG Series with CLS53 Model


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!

Mercedes-Benz has finally debuted the all-new G-Class SUV at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. While Mercedes had already released the official information on the G-Class just prior to the show, this is our first time getting a hands-on look at the new icon.

The new G-Class is longer, wider, and of course, more luxurious than the outgoing model. The interior borrows some of the design and high-tech features from the E-Class and S-Class sedans, meaning the G will finally be worth its €107,040.50 ($131,470) asking price. Outside, the G-Class wears a familiar aesthetic that keeps the vehicle grounded in its heritage. It’s like the Jeep Wrangler – the designers couldn’t change it beyond recognition.

The G-Class also retains is amazing off-road capability. In fact, Mercedes even increased the G’s performance. A new “G-Mode” is like a silver bullet button that puts the SUV’s systems into the right settings for tackling treacherous terrain. The front, center, and rear locking differentials, combined with different settings for the traction control, throttle response, and ABS are all included.

Initially, power comes from a 4.0-liter V-8 making 422 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque from 2,000 to 4,750 rpm. More engines are expected in the future. A nine-speed automatic comes standard. Mercedes says the 2019 G-Class will achieve 21.2 mpg combined. And as mentioned, the price starts around $131,470 here in the U.S. and will go on sale starting in June in Europe with North America to follow.

For more on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, check out our coverage below.

References

Mercedes-Benz G-Class


2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit! - image 758356

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes G-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 755440

Mercedes-Benz Previews New G-Class With Off-Road Specs


Mercedes-Benz Unveils 2019 G-Class Interior - image 752609

Mercedes-Benz Unveils 2019 G-Class Interior


Happy Thursday: Next-Gen Mercedes G-Class Leaks with No Camo - image 755524

Happy Thursday: Next-Gen Mercedes G-Class Leaks With No Camo


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683654

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Speculation


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Debuts New AMG Series with CLS53 Model

Mercedes-Benz is making big waves with the brand-new G-Class at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, but the German firm also launched a new AMG series at the U.S. event. The new AMG line wears the 53 designation and debuts on three cars, one of which is the CLS four-door coupe. Introduced a couple of month back, the third-generation CLS was expected to gain a traditional AMG CLS63 version, but it seems we will have to wait a while longer for that model. Instead, we now get to have a look at the CLS53. As you might have already guessed, the CLS53 will slot between the regular CLS and the upcoming beefed-up CLS63.

Unlike the usual 63-badged Mercs, the CLS53 sports a rather subdued look, with only a handful of details setting it apart from the regular model. Up front, the twin-blade radiator grille in silver chrome, previous a V-8 version feature, is the only tell-tale sign. The grille behind also features a black lattice pattern instead of the familiar diamond layout. The profile is highlighted by slightly more dynamic side skirts and new wheels in 19- or 20-inch designs, while the rear fascia gains a revised apron, twin tailpipes in high-gloss chrome, and a spoiler available in carbon-fiber. The 4Matic models gets a few extras, like additional side air curtains, mirrors positioned on the doors (like on AMG GT models).

Exclusive Appointments and up to 457 Horsepower


Mercedes Debuts New AMG Series with CLS53 Model - image 758308
“Inside the cabin, you'll find exclusive appointments and materials and an extended list of options”

Inside the cabin, you’ll find exclusive appointments and materials and an extended list of options. Highlights include a AMG Performance steering wheel, sports seats with red safety belts, AMG badges, and trim elements in carbon-fiber, glass fiber, or matte silver. Options include Artico leather and Dinamica microfiber, Nappa leather, or Designo upholstery in Macchiato Beige/Magma Grey, Black/Bengal Red, or Espresso Brown/Magma Grey.

The AMG CLS53 gets its juice from a beefed-up version of the standard model’s twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine. This means it also gets the EQ Boost features, which turns it into a mild hybrid. The mill is rated at 435 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, a 73-horsepower and 15-pound-foot increase over the regular model. EQ boost adds an extra 22 horses and 184 pound-feet for a total of 457 horsepower and a whopping 568 pound-feet. That’s only 106 horses less than what the upcoming CLS63 is expected to get. And an extra 15 pound-feet of twist. Awesome!


Mercedes Debuts New AMG Series with CLS53 Model - image 758309
“Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes only 4.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at the usual 155 mph.”

All that oomph travels to the wheels through a nine-speed, AMG Speedshift transmission and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes only 4.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at the usual 155 mph.

Stay tuned for a full review of the new CLS53 model.

References

Mercedes-Benz CLS


2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS - image 748196

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS.


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile

Tesla has found itself in the middle of a new controversy, though the issue has nothing to do with its autonomous driving technology going awry. The issue at hand revolves around the Model 3’s headliner and the material that’s being used on it. Apparently, some owners who have taken delivery of their Model 3’s were surprised to see that the headliner in their cars was covered by weaved textile as opposed to Alcantara.

The issue is cosmetic in nature, but it still left a handful of new Premium Model 3 owners fuming over what they believe to be a bait-and-switch tactic that Tesla is using to sell its new model. While the electric car maker didn’t explicitly say that the Model 3’s headliner would be covered in Alcantara, glam photos of the car’s interior reveal what looks like Alcantara headliner. Unless somebody in the company’s marketing department made a mistake with these photos, it does look like Tesla made the switch in purpose, possibly due to a shortage in Alcantara.

The company came out with a statement on this issue, except that it didn’t address the issue directly. Instead, it admitted that “all Model 3 vehicles are being made with the same premium textile headliner” found in the Model S and Model X, and that this material “has always been planned at this stage of production.”

That’s true in some aspects because base Model 3s use textile as a standard finish. The problem is that the base Model 3 is not yet available. The variant that’s in the market is the Premium Model 3, which is being advertised as having “premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs.” There’s also something to be said for showing images of the car with an Alcantara headliner and then pivoting to the less-premium textile headliner in the actual car.

It’s hard enough for customers to buy or put reservations on a Model 3 without actually seeing one in the flesh, It doesn’t help that they’re getting unexpected changes to what they think they’re buying, even if it’s something as trivial as the headliner material. Tesla needs to make this right.

References

Tesla Model 3


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727971

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.


maker logos - image 746180

Read more Tesla news.

PostHeaderIcon X-Tomi’s Rendering of a Three-Door Urus Proves Lamborghini Should Make One

We’re still coming to grips with the long-awaited arrival of the Lamborghini Urus, but that hasn’t stopped artist X-Tomi Design from making us crave once again for a Urus model that may not even come. Just as soon as Lamborghini unveiled the four-door Urus, the rendering genius decided to create a different version of the super SUV, one that has two doors instead of four. This is what a two-door Lamborghini Urus looks like, and it looks incredible.


X-Tomi's Rendering of a Three-Door Urus Proves Lamborghini Should Make One
- image 757973
“The coupe-SUV look of the two-door Urus actually fits more with Lamborghini’s own personality”

Before anybody gets their hopes up, a point of order is in order. Lamborghini has made no plans of developing a two-door version of the Urus. It’s not in the cards, at least as far as we know. But that doesn’t mean we can’t wish for one, especially after seeing X-Tomi Design’s rendering. The coupe-SUV look of the two-door Urus actually fits more with Lamborghini’s own personality. That’s not to say that the current four-door Urus looks bland and upright — it’s sexy in its own way — but the two-door version looks sleeker and sexier. In other words, it looks like a proper Lamborghini.

That said, going the route of a two-door setup does have its disadvantages, specifically when it comes to space. Part of what makes the current Urus special is that it has a luxurious interior that goes well with the aggressive exterior. A two-door version could still produce that luxury element, but it’s going to come at the cost of less space in the cabin, particularly in the rear section the high point of luxury is more prominently shown. Lamborghini would have to give up that aspect of the current Urus’ offering if it goes in the direction of a two-door version.


2013 Land Rover Evoque Black Design Pack - image 494974

Note: Land Rover Evoque Two-Doors pictured here.

In the event it does offer a two-door Urus in the future, it’s going to enter a market that isn’t as populated as the four-door segment. By and large, companies that have launched two-door SUVs have seen their models crash and burn. The two-door version of the Range Rover Evoque has managed to remain relevant, but the list of crossovers and SUVs that had a similar configuration reads like the obituary section of the Sunday newspaper. Very few models lasted the test of time because customers didn’t want them. A two-door Urus can be an exception because it’s a Lamborghini. Its reputation as a performance car brand allows it to circumvent the usual advantages associated with four-door SUVs, including cabin and cargo space. No one’s going to mistake the Urus for a people-carrier because it really isn’t one in the first place. It’s a high-riding supercar that’s packaged as a four-door SUV.

Know what could potentially be better than that? Get rid of the two rear doors and unleash the Urus as the 650-horsepower super SUV that it really is.

References

Lamborghini Urus


2019 Lamborghini Urus - image 749811

Read our full review on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.


2012 Lamborghini Urus - image 451044

Read our full review on the Lamborghini Urus Concept.


1986 - 1993 Lamborghini LM002 - image 737272

Read our full review on the 1986-1993 Lamborghini LM002.


maker logos - image 744261

Read more Lamborghini news.

PostHeaderIcon Bentley Adds More Flavor To Its Lineup With A V-8 Bentayga

Lovers of the opulent, over-the-top Bentley Bentayga have reason to get excited, as the British automaker just announced it would expand the nameplate’s offerings with a new V-8 model. While slightly down on power compared to the previous 12-cylinder variant, the new Bentayga V8 still comes brimming with luxury, technology, and impressive speed.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


“The V-8 also manages up to 25 combined mpg thanks to start/stop tech and cylinder deactivation that turns the 'eight into a four-banger, a vast improvement compared to the W-12 model's 15 mpg combined.”

When Bentley initially announced its intentions to create its very first SUV, it hoped to do it right by offering customers the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive SUV in the world. The end result is a luxury box on wheels with a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 engine, 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, an eight-speed automatic transmission, AWD, advanced air suspension, a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 187 mph. Pricing starts at over $200,000.

All told, Bentley frames the Bentayga as “the ultimate Grand Touring experience unrestricted by landscape or conditions.” Impressive stuff, no doubt about it, but obviously any time you create the “ultimate” of anything, you leave the door open for the creation of something, well, slightly less ultimate.

Enter the V-8 model, which arrives with a VW-sourced 4.0-liter V-8 powerplant, once again packing in the air thanks to two turbochargers. Standout features include 32 valves and a hot-vee placement for the twin-scroll turbos. Peak output is rated at 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, while the top speed clocks in at 180 mph and the 0-to-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds. The V-8 also manages up to 25 combined mpg thanks to start/stop tech and cylinder deactivation that turns the ’eight into a four-banger, a vast improvement compared to the W-12 model’s 15 mpg combined.


Bentley Adds More Flavor To Its Lineup With A V-8 Bentayga - image 757866
“Peak output is rated at 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, while the top speed clocks in at 180 mph and the 0-to-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds.”

Bentley claims that this new V-8 model assumes the nameplate’s “most sporting guise to date,” but considering the numbers in play here, we can’t help but question that statement. After all, the V-8 isn’t as powerful and the model isn’t nearly as fast as the ’12, while the rest of the equipment looks more or less unchanged.

Drivetrain Specifications

Bentley Bentayga V-8 Bentley Bentayga W-12
Type 4.0-litre, 32-valve, twin-turbocharged V8 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI
Max Power 542 HP @ 6,000 RPM 600 HP @ 5,250-6,000 RPM
Max Torque 568 LB-FT @ 1,960-4,500 RPM 664 LB-FT @ 1,250-4,500 RPM
Transmission ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive with 40:60 front to rear torque split ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox
Top speed 180 mph / 290 km/h 187 mph / 301 km/h
0-60 mph 4.4 secs 4.0 secs
0-100 km/h 4.5 secs 4.1 secs

But maybe Bentley is referring to the brakes, as the V-8 Bentayga also comes with the option for carbon ceramic stoppers. This motorsport-inspired system is a first for the model, and Bentley brags its the largest front brake system available on any production car on the market, measuring in with
enormous 440 mm (17.3-inch) diameter discs and 10-pot calipers. Meanwhile, the rear gets 370 mm (14.6-inch) diameter brake discs.

Keeping it shiny side up is a multi-mode suspension system, with Bentley Drive Dynamics offering a variety of settings that adjust the SUV’s attitude to better suit either comfort or sportiness. The V-8 Bentayga also continues with standard off-roading settings for the Drive Dynamics system, and includes a variety of variable for the ride height.


Bentley Adds More Flavor To Its Lineup With A V-8 Bentayga - image 757870
“Bentley brags the optional carbon brakes are the largest front brakea available on any production car on the market, measuring in with enormous 440 mm (17.3-inch) diameter discs and 10-pot calipers.”

In terms of aesthetics, the V-8 Bentayga offers buyers 11 individual wheel design options, including a new 22-inch five-spoke design painted in polished black. Overall though, the V-8 model looks quite similar to the older W-12 model, with only minor visual cues added as indication of the new engine under the hood. That includes a black chrome grille up front and twin-quad exhaust tips in back.

Inside, the V-8 Bentayga continues the theme of superlative luxury, and now gets new wood trim and hide on the steering wheel, plus a new carbon fiber panel in high-gloss finish for extra sporting cred. A high-end stereo is also on the options list, offering 1,950 watts of power routed through 18 speakers. An 8-inch touchscreen takes its place in front, and there’s a removable 10.2-inch Android tablet in back, plus onboard WiFi support. Rounding out the tech suite is a variety of driver assists, such as adaptive cruise control, traffic assist, park assist, night vision, traffic sign recognition, and the like.


Bentley Adds More Flavor To Its Lineup With A V-8 Bentayga - image 757864
“Pricing for the V-8 Bentayga has not yet been announced, but we expect it to be well below that of the W-12 model.”

Pricing for the V-8 Bentayga has not yet been announced, but we expect it to be well below that of the W-12 model.

For reference, the new Bentayga will go up against competitors like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged.

The Merc is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 making around 415 horsepower and comes packing with some very impressive off-roading chops, and the whole package is expected to see a solid upgrade with the up-and-coming 2019 model year. Pricing starts at $123,600.

Meanwhile, the Range Rover gets 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque thanks to a blown 5.0-liter V-8, and while it’s definitely designed primary for paved-road duty, it’s got the goods for a jaunt in the rough stuff as well. Pricing starts at $104,890.

References

Bentley Bentayga


2017 Bentley Bentayga - image 645139

Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley Bentayga.


maker logos - image 744307

Read more Bentley news.

PostHeaderIcon We Already Know What it Looks Like, But Mercedes is Teasing the Next-Gen G-Class SUV Anyway

Give Mercedes-Benz credit for this: no amount of leaked images will spoil it by teasing the upcoming Mercedes G-Class. We’ve already seen the all-weather SUV running roughshod in a snowy landscape. Now, it’s taking its marauding madness to the sand dunes with a new teaser photo that shows next-to-nothing except for a peek at the front section of the SUV.

The lack of identifiable body bits doesn’t really matter anymore because the aforementioned leaked photos gave the jig up. We know that the new G-Class will keep its iconic look. With the exception of a few bits and pieces, the new G-Class will remain identifiable to anybody who sees it. That’s not to say that the SUV will be completely the same. Looks aside, this is a new model that’s packing plenty of new tech features and the latest in state-of-the-art technology. The interior, in particular, boasts a reconfigured layout and a new digital instrument cluster, among other niceties.

We’ll leave the technical details for Mercedes to reveal, but the new G-Class is shaping up to be another German masterclass in robust off-roading. The SUV is scheduled to make its debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next week. Before that, a third and final teaser will be unveiled on January 14. It doesn’t matter now since we already know what the G-Class looks like, but in keeping with the theme of the first two teaser photos, we’re guessing that this one takes place in a jungle. Perhaps even outer space? No, that’d be too much.

References

Mercedes-Benz G-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683653

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
- image 722915

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63.


2013 Mercedes G-Class - image 448949

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


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time

The Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans are not long for this world, and will permanently bite the dust as soon as they reach the end of their production cycle in the next year and a half or so. As such, a fresh four-door replacement dubbed the CT5 is undergoing real-world testing as we speak, as evidenced by this new batch of spy shots.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time - image 757696

Back in July, General Motors announced that Cadillac would ditch the ATS and CTS lines in favor of a single model, namely the up-and-coming CT5, ushering in a new era for Caddy’s luxury-stuffed four-doors. Now, we have our hands on the first batch of spy shots to reveal the 2020 Cadillac CT5, showing it in camo’d form out and about on wet, leaf-strewn streets in preparation for a launch sometime next year.

Of course, GM is playing this one rather close to the chest, outfitting the test mule with somebody components intended to throw us off the scent, including a bolstered bodywork in the flanks and a sizable hood scoop to boot. It’s the sort of components that, at first glance, are meant to suggest the this isn’t a Caddy, but rather some kind of upcoming Dodge Charger. However, GM ain’t pulling a fast one this time. We’re on to your game!


2016 Cadillac Escala - image 685454
“The new Cadillac CT5 should take its styling cues from the Cadillac Escala Concept that dropped in 2016, pictured above.”

The new CT5 is reportedly codenamed the A2LL, and will take its styling cues from the Cadillac Escala concept that debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2016.

Features include a coupe-like roofline, which falls into the shortened rear end to create some subtle cab-back proportions along with the extended hoodline. And obviously, it’s impossible to tell exactly what’s going on under all that body wrap and faux padding, but we can still pick out a few details here and there. The nose appears to employ a large, crest-like grille for the central intake, as well as a slimmer lower intake and side intakes as well. The headlights appear quite slim in shape, and look to include LED lighting elements in horizontal lines with outer main projectors. There’s also a pair of side markers just ahead of the front wheels along the inner fender lines.


2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time - image 757695
“We expect the CT5 to get the next-generation Alpha platform from General Motors, or more specifically, the long wheelbase iteration”

Under the skin, we expect the CT5 to get the next-generation Alpha platform from General Motors, or more specifically, the long wheelbase iteration. As for the powertrain lineup, the CT5 will use all the familiar engines we’ve seen from Caddy in the past. These will include a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V-6, and of course, GM’s party piece, a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 for the hot-to-trot V-Series trim line. We’re also expecting a plug-in hybrid version of the 2.0-liter four to drop shortly after the CT5 launches.

As for the rest of the drivetrain, a 10-speed automatic will be used across the board, with performance enthusiasts grabbing the six-speed manual in the V-Series. Both AWD and RWD will be offered (RWD as standard and AWD as an option), while the V-Series will be exclusively RWD.

Production will kick off in Q2 or Q3 of 2019. The CT5 will be built at GM’s plant in Lansing Grand River.

References


2016 Cadillac Escala - image 685455

Read our full review on the 2016 Cadillac Escala Concept.


maker logos - image 749325

Read more Cadillac news.

PostHeaderIcon The Fisker eMotion Has a Beautiful Interior

There are three screens up front for the driver

The Fisker eMotion’s debut at the Consumer Electronics Show caught a few people by surprise. The debut itself was expected, but the features in the car were more than what most people thought they’d be. The eMotion’s interior is a good example of that. In a word, it’s beautiful. That doesn’t come as a shock to those who know Henrik Fisker’s work, but in some ways, the legendary auto designer seems to have outdone himself this time.


The Fisker eMotion Has a Beautiful Interior - image 756600
“A majority of the eMotion’s interior is covered in ultra-soft premium leather”

I’ll start with the interior color, which shows itself in heavy doses of Caramel and Midnight Black. These are solid color choices to complement the Sapphire Red exterior. A majority of the eMotion’s interior is covered in ultra-soft premium leather. You can see it by how many wrinkles the leather surfaces already have. Some folks may not like the sight of wrinkled leather, but it’s also a sign that the material is authentic. If leather isn’t your thing, Fisker is also offering a vegan option, a first in the auto industry.

The eMotion comes with four individual, electric adjustable first-class seats. There is an option, though, to remove the two rear seats and replace it with a rear bench-style seat. The cabin also has inductive charging ports and special holders for as many as four smartphones. The leather-covered dashboard makes space for a carbon fiber center console and extra storage space that can house tablets and other accessories. All these design elements seamlessly combine premium materials with modern design touches. Put them all together, and they make for a sublime interior package.


The Fisker eMotion Has a Beautiful Interior - image 756595
“There are three driver-oriented screens, including a center curved screen”

Just as important, the eMotion’s interior isn’t lacking in technology. There are three driver-oriented screens, including a center curved screen. The automaker is also offering a 27-inch curved rear screen in case those sitting at a back would want one of their own. This screen is included in the “Chauffer Edition” of the electric car. Then there’s the four-zone electric adjustable tinted roof. It’s made from Electrochromic Glass that Fisker developed in collaboration with Lipik, a company best known for developing state-of-the-art glasses for the auto industry.

References

Fisker Emotion


2019 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


2019 Fisker EMotion - image 756604

Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus GS 200t F Sport – Driven

The Lexus GS has been around since 1991, and its latest generation raises the bar for Lexus’ mid-size luxury sedan. The fifth-generation GS debuted for the 2013 model year and underwent a refresh in 2015 as it gained the highly recognizable and polarizing Spindle grille. The refresh also brought the 200t variant and its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. When matched with the available F Sport package, which brings a sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive aesthetics, the GS truly shoulders the role of a proper sports sedan.

I just spent a week behind the wheel of a 2017 GS 200t F Sport covering some 200 miles of mixed driving over familiar Central Florida roads. From the grocery store parking lot to the high-speed Autobahn/demolition derby known as I-4, I put the Lexus through it all. Even the parent pick-up line at the kiddo’s elementary school saw some F Sport action. Here’s how things played out.

Continue reading for my driven review of the 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport.

Exterior

  • F Sport package adds aggressive exterior
  • 19-inch wheels with summer tires
  • Adaptive dampers matched with drive modes
  • Passive entry
  • Optional power-lift trunk
  • Optional orange brake calipers

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755920
“The current Lexus GS is a calm, subtle sedan with a somewhat large grille and the personality of a no-nonsense accountant who only makes practical decisions”

The current Lexus GS is a calm, subtle sedan with a somewhat large grille and the personality of a no-nonsense accountant who only makes practical decisions. The F Sport version, however, is like putting that accountant on a protein, carbs, and Red Bull regimen and sending him to the gym six days a week. The sedan’s entire theme moves from calm to confrontational.

The enlarged F Sport grille and side air intakes dominate the car’s face. The more aggressive appearance continues onto the side with sportier-looking 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer performance rubber and big brakes poking from behind the thin spokes.

Around back, the truck gets a deck lid spoiler and the dual exhaust tips are enhanced with chrome trim. A faux diffuser resides between the exhaust, finishing off the GS F Sport’s more menacing styling. For those who want even more, Lexus will happily point you to the V-8-powered GS F.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755919
“Besides its appearance, the GS offers plenty of functionality, too.”

Besides its appearance, the GS offers plenty of functionality, too. The side mirrors are large and easily dispel blind spots. The Blind Spot Monitoring system helps with that, as well. The large, wide windshield and tall side windows make the cabin feel airy. For those times when the sun is too bright, the rear window has a power-operated shade.

An optional power-operated trunk lid is available and a button on the key fob opens it, as does the button just above the license plate. One complaint, though: the release button is too small and placed far to the right rather than being centered under the Lexus badge. It’s just a poor design that Lexus should have fixed years ago. Thankfully, the touch-sensitive door locks are incredibly easy to use. The doors unlock quickly by reaching behind the handle, even before you have time to start pulling. Locking the doors happens just as quick with a light touch near the front of the handle. It makes getting into and out of the GS very simple.

My GS tester came with the $300 orange brake caliper upgrade. It might not be for everybody, but I really like the splash of color. It also helps accentuate the F Spot’s intended nature.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755922

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 112.2 in.
Overall Length 192.1 in.
Overall Width 72.4 in. (mirrors folded)
Overall Height (unloaded) 57.3 in. (AWD 57.9 in.)
Tread Width – Front/Rear 62.0/62.6 in.

Interior

  • F Sport package brings deeper front bucket seats
  • Heated & vented front seats
  • Entune Infotainment system with joystick controller
  • 12.3-inch screen
  • Head-Up display

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755902
“The dash layout is familiar and easy to find controls”

The GS’ interior is typical Lexus – but that’s mostly a good thing. The dash layout is familiar and easy to find controls. The fit and finish is good, too, with the leather feeling soft and the plastics of decent quality. The F Sport package also brings deeper bucket seats with both heating and ventilation. The steering wheel also gets nifty F Sport badge to officially announce the car’s sportiness to the driver.

The back seats are remain the same between the F Sport and conventional GS, but provide a comfy spot to pass the miles. A folding center armrest makes elbows happy, but the fold-up cup holders seem a bit flimsy. Why Lexus chose a coin tray rather than cup holders is beyond me. Another disappointment are the non-folding seatbacks. There is a small pass-through behind the armrest, though.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755935
“The 12.3-inch screen is pretty and the ability to have a split screen is nice with some menu functions.”

Continuing with the negatives, I’m not too fond of the Entune infotainment system. Its joystick controller works, but isn’t the most user-friendly method of selecting items on the screen. The menus are a bit convoluted, too. It isn’t all bad, though. The 12.3-inch screen is pretty and the ability to have a split screen is nice with some menu functions. You can read more of my thoughts on the Entune system here.

From behind the wheel, the GS proved very comfortable thanks to the vast adjustability of the seat, the power-adjustable steering column, and the placement of the controls and buttons. The interior is also whisper quiet from both wind and road noise. The view outside is pretty good, as well. The large windshield and tall side windows offer good visibility and the blind spot monitoring system helps keep an eye out. The same is true with the lane departure warning and lane keep assist features.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755903

Interior Dimensions

Headroom – Front/Rear 38.0/37.8 in.
Legroom – Front/Rear 42.3/36.8 in.
Shoulder room – Front/Rear 57.3/55.7 in.
Hip room – Front/Rear 54.5/54.1 in.
EPA Cargo Volume 18.4 cu. ft.

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • 241 horsepower & 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 0 – 60 mph in 6.6 seconds
  • F Sport adds larger brakes, adaptive dampers

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755910
“The engine makes a respectable 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm”

The Lexus GS has four powertrains to choose from, including the mighty 5.0-liter V-8 in the GS F, the 3.5-liter V-6 in the GS 350, and the V-6 combined with a mild hybrid system in the GS 450h.

Here in the GS 200t – the standard powertrain configurations – power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine makes a respectable 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm. The engine’s torque curve stays mostly flat through the rev range, offering a healthy dose of turbo-induced twist up to the peak horsepower.

The engine is a sweet piece of engineering and it doesn’t suffer from the grating noise that often plagues four-cylinders. Its only problem is some slight turbo lag that is exacerbated by the eight-speed automatic transmission’s lackadaisical downshifts on initial acceleration. Thankfully, selecting Sport or Sport+ with the drive mode knob makes things slightly better.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755915
“The F Sport package adds larger brakes to each corner, with the front getting 14.4-inch, two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers”

The GS 200t isn’t a slouch, though. It will sprint to 60 mph in roughly 6.6 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds at 95 mph – not bad for a 241-horsepower sedan that weighs nearly 3,900 pounds.

And thanks to the F Sport package, the GS 200t is very good at stopping. The F Sport package adds larger brakes to each corner, with the front getting 14.4-inch, two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers. Pay $300 and Lexus will paint the calipers orange.

The F Sport package also adds adaptive dampers. These shocks cater the ride to the drive modes, offering a smooth ride in Eco and Normal modes, while Sport and Sport+ have sharpened handling. Summer performance tires are included, too.

Fuel economy isn’t generally a big selling point on a $50,000+ luxury sedan, but the 2017 GS 200t doesn’t disappoint. The EPA estimates it gets 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Premium fuel is recommended. In my hotshoe driving and idling for photos and in the parent pickup line a the kiddo’s school, I averaged 22.4 mpg over 200 miles.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755913

Drivetrain Specifications

Type, Materials In-line 4-cylinder aluminum block and cylinder heads
Designation 8AR-FTS
Valvetrain DOHC 16-valve with Dual VVT-iW
Displacement 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbocharged with intercooler (1,998 cc; 120.2 cu. in.)
Bore x Stroke 3.39 in x 3.39 in
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Horsepower (SAE) 241 HP @ 5,800 RPM
Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1,650-4,400 RPM
0-60 mph Acceleration 6.6 seconds
Top Speed 143 mph
Estimated Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined mpg) 22/33/26

Pricing


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755917

The GS 200t is the entry point in to the Lexus GS family. It carries a price of $46,310 for the rear-drive model. Adding the F Sport package pushes the price to $53,980. My tester came with a few á la carte options like a color head-up display for $900, the one-touch power trunk for $400, orange brake calipers for $300, Intuitive Park Assist for $500, illuminated door sills for $425, and a bundled cargo package that includes a trunk mat, cargo net, and wheel locks for $225.

Add in the $975 destination fee, and my tester stickers at $57,735.

The Competition

Cadillac CTS 2.0T


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Hailing from America, the Cadillac CTS
has been fighting the Germans and Japanese hard since the current version debuted for 2014. Its sleek “art and science” design gives it a unique flair not seen in its rivals. Its low-slung hood and crisp lines still look fresh four years later. The CTS is offered in several trim levels with four engine options. The Caddy’s interior is plush, though not on the Lexus GS’ level. Many complain about the CUE infotainment system’s slider controls for HVAC and radio settings, too. Still, the CTS is a bonafide luxury sedan.

While the CTS-V with its supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 is the most exciting, the most comparable engine to the GS 200t is the Caddy’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine is surprisingly closely matched to the Lexus, offering 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque backed by an eight-speed automatic that powers the rear wheels. AWD is available with the 2.0T, unlike the Lexus, which requires the V-6 to spin all four wheels.

The 2018 Cadillac CTS starts at $47,490 and comes standard with the 2.0-liter. Adding AWD adds $2,000. The mid-level Luxury trim starts at $55,190 and adds several welcomed features like heated and vented leather seating, navigation, a 13-speaker sound system, the UltraView sunroof, ambient interior lighting, and a handful of active safety systems. The Premium Luxury trim starts at $60,690 and adds Magnetic Ride Control, a head-up display, a 360 camera system, and tri-zone air conditioning.

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS 2.0T.

2018 BMW 530i


2017 BMW 5 Series - image 703469

The BMW 5 Series comes in several flavors, including the hybrid 530e iPerformance, the inline-six 540i, the impressive M550i with its twin-turbo V-8, and the mighty M5. For this comparison, though, the 530i with its 2.0-liter turbo-four makes the most sense. Three trim levels are offered, with prices starting at $52,650 – a few grand more than the competition. There is the Sport Line Design, the Luxury Design, and the M Sport Design, the latter of which competes well with the GS’ F Sport package. That pushes the price to $58,000 – only $265 more than my Lexus GS 200t F Sport tester. For even more handling performance, BMW offers the $1,650 Dynamic Handling Package. It includes active dampers, M Sport brakes, and four-wheel steering.

As for that 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the engine makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, though BMW’s xDrive AWD system is available.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 5 Series.

Conclusion


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755925

The 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport might not be the newest or most technologically advanced in its class, but it remains highly competitive and a solid performer. It combination of smooth luxury and aggressive appearance match the four-cylinder’s peppy nature and the F Sport suspension’s ability to handle twisty roads. The only letdowns include some turbo lag, a transmission that takes a second to downshift for acceleration, and an infotainment system that isn’t the most user-friendly and isn’t filled with the latest tech like Apple CarPlay or a 360-degree camera system.

Still, the GS 200t (now called the GS 300 for 2018) makes a fantastic, mild-mannered performance luxury sedan. For those wanting more power, the V-6 offers 311 horsepower and the V-8 brings 467, while the GS 450h combines the V-6 with a hybrid system for slightly better fuel economy at 29 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway.

  • Leave it
    • * Infotainment system needs improvment
    • * Slight turbo lag

References

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS.


2016 Lexus GS F - image 608999

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755908

Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?


2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven - image 755935

The Lexus GS 200t’s Infotainment System is its Weak Point


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 756363

How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F


Driven Opinion: How the Lexus GS 200t Compares to the Competition - image 756643

Driven Opinion: How the Lexus GS 200t Compares to the Competition

PostHeaderIcon Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability

That Means the eMotion...

The Fisker eMotion has officially spread its wings at the Consumer Electronics Show. Henrik Fisker’s latest pièce de résistance is every bit the car we expected it to be. It’s sharp as a tack, has aero bits for days, and carries what can only be described as one of the funkiest door configurations of any car we’ve seen in recent memory. If you thought the Tesla Model X’s falcon doors were treats for the senses, prepare yourselves for what the eMotion has to offer.


Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability - image 756603
“The new electric car is provocative to look at, but the doors are the real highlight of the exterior.”

The Fisker eMotion is a tremendous return to form for Henrik Fisker. Aesthetically, it looks like a proper sports car. It measures five meters (16.4 feet) long and 1.48 meters (4.8 feet) high. That makes it slightly longer and taller than the Porsche 911 Turbo, which comes in at 4.5 meters long (14.7 feet) and 1.29 meters (4.25 feet) high.

Carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum were used in building the car’s body panels. The panels themselves make up a significant part of the car’s aerodynamic features. The front spoiler, side rocker panels, and rear diffuser are all prominently seen in the design of the eMotion. The new electric car is provocative to look at, but the doors are the real highlight of the exterior. We’ve seen two-door models use butterfly doors before, but we’ve never seen a four-door model use a similar configuration. Fisker takes it to that level by giving the eMotion two butterfly doors in the front and two falcon doors in the back. Throw in the set of 24-inch low-rolling resistant Pirelli tires, and you’re looking at a car whose design can only come from the mind of Henrik Fisker.


Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability - image 756608
“On the performance end, the Fisker eMotion is tipped to have a top speed of 161 mph to go with an EV range of “more than” 400 miles”

On the performance end, the Fisker eMotion is tipped to have a top speed of 161 mph to go with an EV range of “more than” 400 miles. No details were given on the car’s EV powertrain, but Fisker did say that the eMotion will feature five Integrated Quanergy LIDARs that has the capability to achieve Level 4 autonomous driving. This system is made up of S3 solid-state LiDar Sensors that are integrated into different sections of the car, including one integrated behind the front wheel and another hidden in the lower rear rocker panel.

References

Fisker Emotion


2019 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Breaking: BMW 8 Series Leaks With an Ugly Rear End

We’ve seen too many spy shots of the upcoming 8 Series for its exterior design to be a mystery, but some important details were still hidden under wraps. And needless to say, the concept car looked way to aggressive for a production model. The flagship coupe is still a few months away from going public, but we can already have a look at its design thanks to a batch of photos that just surfaced the Interwebz. The 8 Series shown in Bimmer Post’s leak is white, camo-free, and confirms that the new coupe will be just a slightly fancied-up 6 Series.


Breaking: BMW 8 Series Leaks With an Ugly Rear End - image 756772
“The rear end is indeed unique thanks to its long and slim headlamps, the massive license plate recess in the bumper, and the black trim around the diffuser-like element”

Its front fascia is far from surprising. We’re looking at the same design cues seen on most current Bimmers, especially the slim, angular headlamps and the three-piece intake in the bumper. The grille is the only feature that’s slightly different, being wider and having sharp outer edges, but we’ve seen that too on some of the brand’s concept cars. The long hood and the roof seem similar to the outgoing 6 Series in terms of shape size, so the 8 Series is far from being a full-sized competitor for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.

The rear end is indeed unique thanks to its long and slim headlamps, the massive license plate recess in the bumper, and the black trim around the diffuser-like element. But it’s still ugly. Okay, it’s not as ugly as the Bangle-era 6 Series, but that massive recess makes the rear fascia look unfinished. Seriously now, maybe BMW forgot to add something in that area?

The 8 Series will probably make its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show so make sure you stick around for updates.

References

BMW 8 Series


2019 BMW M8 - image 718202

Read our full speculative re view on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 717998

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 8 Series Concept.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon The Fisker EMotion Is A Four-Door Lamborghini with Butterfly Doors

It’s been around seven years since the Fisker Karma was a still a thing, and Henrik Fisker appears to be back in business with another company. With Fisker Automotive bankrupt since 2013 and the Fisker Karma revived by a Chinese company under a different name, Henrik founded Fisker Inc. in 2016 and set out to develop an all-electric sports car. Less than two years have passed since then, and Fisker unveiled his first automobile in years. It’s called the EMotion, it’s gorgeous to look at, and it has the coolest set of four doors ever created.


The Fisker EMotion Is A Four-Door Lamborghini with Butterfly Doors - image 755946
“We've seen Lambos and McLarens with butterfly doors and Teslas with falcon doors, but the EMotion is probably the first four-door to bring together both designs”

We’ve seen Lambos and McLarens with butterfly doors and Teslas with falcon doors, but the EMotion is probably the first four-door to bring together both designs. It’s also the first production four-door to have unconventional doors (the Model X has regular doors up front). It’s like Fisker took the front half of a Lamborghini and welded it to the rear half of a Model X, and then redesigned the body until it came up with the hottest four-door coupe I’ve seen in years.

Butterfly doors go a long way back. While the Lamborghini Countach is probably the most iconic classic car to sport vertical doors, they were actually used for the first time by Alfa Romeo on the 33 Stradale, launched in 1967. Tesla’s falcon doors aren’t very original either. Mercedes first used them on a production model, the 300 SL “Gullwing,” in 1954 and since then we’ve seen them on a handful of cars, including the Bricklin SV-1 and the DeLorean DMC-12. What I’m trying to say is that Fisker Inc. took two classic design cues and gave them a modern twist on a four-door car. Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly revolutionary, but it’s the hottest thing since the Lambo Countach. Actually, it’s that four-door Lamborghini we’ve been dreaming of since forever.

Fisker Emotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F

Lexus might be best known for its cushy cars and that unforgettable Spindle grille, but the company has a long list of high-performance vehicles that include the iconic LF-A and a handful of F Performance models. The F stands for Fuji Speedway where the vehicles are developed, but it might was well stand for fun. These models have performance-oriented suspensions, larger brakes, a powerful engine, and more aggressive styling. A perfect example of this is the Lexus GS F. It’s a full-size sedan with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, rear-wheel drive, massive Brembo brakes, and looks to kill.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Lexus GS 200t – the same sedan but powered by a 241-horsepower turbo-four. While the cars couldn’t be more different, Lexus offers something in the middle: the F Sport package. This adds 19-inch wheels, larger brakes with high-friction pads, an adaptive suspension system, variable ratio steering, and a body kit that closely resembles the GS F’s.

This week happens to have a 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport in my driveway, and I wanted to explore the differences between it and the all-out GS F, especially haven driven both.

Continue reading for the quick comparison.

Exterior

left
right
“It might take a Lexus expert to spot the differences between the GS F Sport and the GS F when seen separately, but when put together, the differences become noticeable”

It might take a Lexus expert to spot the differences between the GS F Sport and the GS F when seen separately, but when put together, the differences become noticeable. Up front, the GS F has larger air intakes below the headlights. The Spindle grilles are actually pretty similar, though the GS F uses some carbon fiber trim along the bottom.

Around the sides, the front fenders have a massive vent slotted right behind the front wheels. This functional piece helps evacuate air from within the wheel well, put there by the brake ducts designed to keep the big Brembos cool. A more pronounced rocker panel skirt follows the vented fender, giving the GS F a more planted look.

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“Around back, the GS F uses stacked, quad exhaust pipes and a carbon fiber deck lid spoiler to denote its high-performance nature”

Around back, the GS F uses stacked, quad exhaust pipes and a carbon fiber deck lid spoiler to denote its high-performance nature. A smaller details are the gray mirror caps that stand apart from the seven available body colors – well, except for Smoky Granite Mica color.

The most noticeable different, however, are the wheels. The GS F comes with 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels, while the GS F Sport comes with 19-inch five-spoke wheels with thicker, less intricate spokes.

As for things the GS F Sport doesn’t have, well, its basically the opposite the GS F. It has smaller openings below the headlights, standard GS front fenders, less pronounced rocker panels, body-colored side mirrors, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and integrated oval dual exhaust tips.

Interior

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“The GS F comes with carbon fiber trim; suede inserts on the center console, dash and door panels; and deep bucket seats with uniquely stitched leather.”

Like the exterior, the GS 200t F Sport and GS F share the same basic interior layout. The differences are in the details. The GS F comes with carbon fiber trim; suede inserts on the center console, dash and door panels; and deep bucket seats with uniquely stitched leather. The GS F also boasts a gauge cluster much like the LF-A supercar. It has a small speedometer on the right, a large tachometer in the center, and an information screen on the left. The standard GS and GS F Sport’s gauges look similar, but replace the speedometer for fuel level and coolant temperature, which in all honesty, is a much better use of space. Both cars have digital speed readouts inside the tach and a head-up display with a digital speedometer is optional.

As for the GS 200t F Sport, it comes with comfort-oriented seats, aluminum-style trim, and leather covering all the spots where suede would be on the GS F. And beyond the gauge cluster, the rest of the interior is basically identical, including the large, 12.3-inch infotainment system and odd joystick controller.

Drivetrain


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755912
“The GS 200t comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm.”

Of course, the biggest differences between the GS 200t F Sport and GS F are the drivetrains. The GS 200t comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm. Conversely, the GS F comes with Lexus’ familiar 5.0-liter making substantially more power at 467 horses at 7,100 rpm and 389 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. And though the GS F trails its super sedan competition like the Cadillac CTS-V and BMW M5, its naturally aspirated engine loves to rev and sounds good doing it.

Both the GS 200t and GS F use an eight-speed automatic transmission and pump power to the rear wheels.


2016 Lexus GS F – Driven - image 681152
“The GS F comes with Lexus’ familiar 5.0-liter making substantially more power at 467 horses at 7,100 rpm and 389 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm”

As for performance the GS F sprints to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 113 mph and onto a top speed of 168 mph. The GS 200t F Sport needs 6.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 14.9 seconds to complete the quarter-mile at 95 mph. Its top speed is governed at 143 mph.

Last but not least, the GS F uses a sophisticated electronic rear differential with torque vectoring to help in cornering. The GS 200t F Sport gets an open differential, though by graduating to the GS 350 F Sport opens up the optional Torsen limited-slip differential ($500) and the Dynamic Handling System with rear-wheel steering ($1,700). The GS F isn’t even available with the rear-wheel steering.

Suspension and Brakes


2016 Lexus GS F – Driven - image 681144
“The GS F rides on "F-Adaptive Variable Suspension" that’s tuned for a sharper ride and better cornering”

The GS F is clearly designed to handle track time and high-speed cruising. It rides on “F-Adaptive Variable Suspension” that’s tuned for a sharper ride and better cornering. It uses forged aluminum control arms and steering knuckles up front and massive, six-piston Brembo brakes clamping 14.9-inch slotted and vented rotors. Out back, four-piston Bembos clamp on 13.5-inch slotted and vented rotors. The GS F also rides on wider, sticker summer performance tires measuring 255/35R19 up front and 275/35R19 in back.

The GS 200t F Sport might not be that quick in a straight line, but its F Sport package does wonders for its handling prowess compared to the standard GS sedan. Of course, it can’t match the GS F’s road-holding abilities. The GS 200t F Sport uses a similar Adaptive Variable Suspension system that get the “F Sport tune” rather than the “F tune.” Lexus doesn’t dive into the specific calibration differences. The GS 200t F Sport uses 14.0-inch, two-piece brake rotors up front with four-piston calipers. The rear brakes measure 12.2 inches in diameter and come with single-piston sliding calipers. The F Sport still comes with summer performance tires, but they are narrower at 235/40R19 in front and 265/35R19 in back. Both cars share the same electronic power steering system with 2.8 turns to lock.


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755915
“The GS 200t F Sport uses a similar Adaptive Variable Suspension system that get the “F Sport tune” rather than the “F tune.””

According to Car & Driver, the GS F manages an impressive 0.93 g on their 300-foot road-holding skidpad, while the GS 200t F Sport manages a slightly milder 0.86 g in the same test. Interestingly, there is a big difference in curb weights between the two cars, as well. The GS 200t F Sport C&D tested weighted 3,869 pounds while the GS F weighted a porky 4,128 pounds. Lexus claims the GS F only weights 4,034 pounds.

Pricing


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755913
“The GS F starts at $84,350 – a full $30,370 more expensive than the GS 200t F Sport”

While the 2017 GS 200t starts at $46,310, adding the F Sport package pushes the price to $53,980. The GS F, on the other hand, starts at $84,350 – a full $30,370 more expensive than the GS 200t F Sport. That’s a hefty jump, though it’s undeniable the vastness of the performance jump between the cars, too.

For someone who wants a serious sports sedan but isn’t keen on Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche, the Lexus GS F proves to a solid choice. For those who would rather carve corners than drag race or do long drifts around some bendy autocross circuit, the GS 200t F Sport is the better choice. For those in the middle, Lexus has the GS 350 F Sport with its 3.5-liter V-6 making 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. For those wanting to be green, Lexus also has an F Sport package for the GS 450h and its hybrid drivetrain.

Behind the Wheel

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So far, we’ve covered all the objective facts between the two GS models. Now it’s time for sliding behind the wheel and getting a feel for them.

Both cars feel incredibly similar thanks to the shared dashboard design, infotainment system, and related gauge clusters. Even the steering system are the same, offering the same number of turns from lock to lock and connected feel doing down the road. There is zero on-center vagueness and both cars start dancing at the slightest turn of their leather-wrapped wheels.

The first big noticeable difference is the seats. The GS F has thickly bolstered front bucket seats while the GS 200t F Sport has cushier padding and less contrast stitching. Once moving the power level quickly becomes apparent. The GS F will rocket away, accelerating very rapidly to extra-legal speeds. The 241-horsepower GS 200t takes a bit more time. Between the somewhat slow-shifting transmission and slight turbo lag, the GS 200t takes few milliseconds to get moving, even with the throttle jabbed quickly to the floor. The naturally aspirated, 487-horsepower GS F doesn’t have that problem.

The differences in braking and road-holding are nominal on the street and would need a racetrack in order to illuminate the GS F’s advantages. Just tooling around the streets will never explore the GS 200t F Sport’s brakes full capabilities, let alone the GS F’s big Brembos.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more on the 2017 GS 200t F Sport and check below for our previous coverage.

References

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS.


2016 Lexus GS F - image 608999

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755909

2016 Lexus GS F – Driven - image 681138

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Lexus GS F.

Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755935

The Lexus GS 200t’s Infotainment System is its Weak Point

PostHeaderIcon Roller Skates and Movies: Tesla Supercharger Locations Could End Up as Drive-In Theaters

Elon Musk is thinking of building a retro drive-in restaurant and theater at a new Tesla Supercharger in Los Angeles. It’s the latest in a series of “ideas” that Musk has proposed in recent years. While it’s not exactly as bold as inhabiting Mars or sending a Tesla Roadster to space, it does come at a time when Tesla is pushing to have more amenities at its Supercharger stations.




Roller Skates and Movies: Tesla Supercharger Locations Could End Up as Drive-In Theaters
- image 756290
“It follows the same “super gas station” concept that now includes restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, and, in some cases, actual retail stores”

Musk’s plan to turn Tesla’s Supercharger stations into a piece of a bigger retail establishment is a good idea. It follows the same “super gas station” concept that now includes restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, and, in some cases, actual retail stores. We’ve seen them along on the side of highways and freeways all over the country. We’ve even seen them in other countries too.

A Supercharger station that businesses and amenities like these could be a good thing for Tesla owners because charging their cars often take longer than filling up a traditional car with fuel. So while passing the time, they can either get a bite, do some activities, or if Musk has his way, watch a movie in a drive-by theater. The man’s even taking suggestions on Twitter, including the possibility of putting in a menu that can pop up from the Tesla’s digital display as soon as the driver enters the Supercharger station.


Roller Skates and Movies: Tesla Supercharger Locations Could End Up as Drive-In Theaters
- image 756291
“One of these stations, located in Kettleman City, already has a lounge with a cafe for owners”

There are so many possibilities that Tesla can look into in this sphere. To its credit, it has already started expanding some of its Supercharger stations to include these amenities. One of these stations, located in Kettleman City, already has a lounge with a cafe for owners. There are also plans to reserve a section of the area to allow food trucks to come into the station.

This is one of those plans by Musk that I’m fully onboard with. I wouldn’t even be against adding a car wash service at these Supercharger stations, something that Tesla was actually working on. In the end, the more variety these stations have is going to better in improving customer experience in these charging stations.

References


maker logos - image 746180

Read more Tesla news.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon The Lexus GS 200t’s Infotainment System is its Weak Point

This week has a 2017 Lexus GS 200t in my driveway, and while there are many admirable qualities about this full-size luxury sedan, its infotainment system isn’t one of them. It’s called the Lexus Enform system, and it’s been around for a while. It relies on a joystick-like controller to scroll and click through menus. The system helps guide the joystick to menu buttons and selectable options like the planchette on an Ouija board.

Making the situation worse is the menu layout within the infotainment system due to a cluttered-looking screen with fonts of varying sizes. But the worst grievance by far is imputing addresses into the navigation system. It just takes too much patience and time. Thankfully, voice commands are able to help. On the other hand, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nowhere to be found.

Continue reading for more information.

There Is Still Plenty To Like


The Lexus GS 200t's Infotainment System is its Weak Point - image 755984
“The Lexus Enform system works, but it’s not the most intuitive infotainment system on the market, or the most capable”

Admittedly, I’ve gotten pretty good at using the Enform system and its controller over the years thanks to the numerous Lexus vehicles I’ve tested, but its learning curve is rather steep. While familiarity makes for an easier time, car shoppers might be detracted by its initial complexity, and new owners might have to break out the owner’s manual before fully understanding its functions.

The Enform system does have some redeeming traits, though. Its large, 12.3-inch display is handsome, and the split-screen view within some menu pages is a nice touch. Navigation maps view full screen is also pretty attractive. I’m also happy Lexus didn’t bury the HVAC controls within Enform. Rather, the most used functions get their own buttons on the dash.


The Lexus GS 200t's Infotainment System is its Weak Point - image 755979
“Lexus also did a great job at making the joystick feel nice in your hand”

Lexus also did a great job at making the joystick feel nice in your hand. The leather-wrapped palm pad is curved just right, and the joystick falls nicely at the fingertips.

One helpful trick that makes using the joystick more tolerable is adjusting the force-feedback function. It’s basically turning down the “planchette’s pull” and making it not so strong when gravitating to different menu buttons. The adjustment is made in the settings menu and is one of the first changes I make in every Lexus tester.

Here’s the thing: the Lexus Enform system works, but it’s not the most intuitive infotainment system on the market, or the most capable. Lexus has some ground to make up in this department, though the rest of the GS is rather impressive.

I’ll be writing more on the 2017 Lexus GS 200t in the coming week, so stick around to TopSpeed.com for more.

References

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS.


2016 Lexus GS F - image 608999

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.


Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car? - image 755909

Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?

PostHeaderIcon Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging

When it comes to automotive technology and the Consumer Electronics Show, anything and all things battery related is obviously quite the hot topic. This year is no different, and Fisker is looking to make a splash thanks to its new solid-state battery and fast charging on the soon-to-be-revealed eMotion sedan, as teased in a series of Tweets from the man himself, Mr. Henrik Fisker.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging - image 755946
“Stylistically, the eMotion is classic Fisker, combining elements of his work at Aston, Tesla, and of course, the Karma into a single package”

For those of you who may be unaware, Henrik Fisker is a Danish-born auto designer with a long, impressive resume. After getting his start at BMW, where he helped to pen the E1 electric concept, the Z07 concept (which later became the Z8), and the X5 SUV, Fisker made the move Aston Martin. There, he helped create such stunning beauties as the V8 Vantage. Later, he helped get the ball rolling on the original Tesla Model S.

In 2007, Fisker launched his own car company, creating the Fisker Karma hybrid sports car under the eponymous Fisker Automotive. While unquestionably good-looking and technologically impressive, the Karma ended up bankrupting the fledgling car company, with a variety of recalls issued concerning the battery’s tendency to spontaneously ignite.

Fast forward to 2016, and Fisker is back in the saddle, offering a new luxury sports hybrid dubbed the eMotion. Stylistically, the eMotion is classic Fisker, combining elements of his work at Aston, Tesla, and of course, the Karma into a single package. There are short overhangs (especially in back), cab-back proportions, high fender flares, large wheels, and wild-looking upward-flared doors.


Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging - image 755945
“Full details are expected during the eMotion's reveal, but we're expecting huge range potential (upwards of 400 miles when topped off, with the possibility for 500 miles), and charge times equivalent to that of a normal gasoline fill-up.”

While nice to look at, the eMotion secures its spot in the limelight at CES thanks to what’s going on underneath the skin, namely a solid-state battery pack and quick-charge feature. Full details are expected during the four-door’s reveal, but we’re expecting huge range potential (upwards of 400 miles when topped off, with the possibility for 500 miles), and charge times equivalent to that of a normal gasoline fill-up. If true, the new tech would address two of the biggest hurdles to widespread EV adoption.

But there’s more. Rather than using a liquid lithium-ion substance like traditional EV battery packs, Fisker’s new solid-state batteries are made from graphene, an ultra-thin honeycomb lattice that currently only exists in laboratory settings. As such, the batteries would also be lighter than lithium-ion equivalents, have a higher energy density, be less prone to thermal runaway, and incredibly, be cheaper to manufacture as well.

“Here’s to a “Solid” 2018, the year we decide when our solid state Battery technology goes into mass production,” Fisker tweeted out on December 31st.


Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging - image 755944
“In addition, it looks like the technology may be made more accessible some time in the foreseeable future.”

In addition, it looks like the technology may be made more accessible some time in the foreseeable future. In response to one of Fisker’s recent tweets, another Twitter user asked, “You will impress me when you make a 400 EV range for everyday people. We outnumber those that can afford your luxury model. Your revolution can only be carried out by the masses,” to which Fisker responded with, “That’s next on my agenda!”, suggesting a more affordable eMotion may already be in the works.

In addition to the new battery tech, Fisker will also show off the eMotion’s lidar system, which is presumably used to help it achieve high levels of autonomy.

Look for the full reveal of the Fikser eMotion on January 9th. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the latest.




References

Fisker Emotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?

There are a few features shoppers tend to expect come standard when buying a luxury sedan. Power window, power locks, leather seats, push-button starting – these have turned from extra-cost options to basic necessities in a vehicle billed as luxury. Apparently, Lexus didn’t get the memo with the GS sedan as heated and vented seats are bundled in the $1,400 Premium Package, along with the power rear sunshade and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

But there’s a logical reason Lexus does this.

The Premium Package is technically only available on the GS 200t and GS 350. It comes as standard equipment on the GS 200t F Sport, GS 350 F Sport, GS 450h, and GS 450h F Sport. In other words, only the base trims come without the Premium Package and its heated and vented seats. That brings up Lexus’ reasoning. Without the added cost of those features, Lexus is able to price the 2017 GS 200t at $47,305, which is well beneath the starting prices of the GS’ main competitors, the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF, and Audi A6. The base GS with no options provides that luxury car look and feel, but at a more affordable price and without many of the gadgets some folks might not want. It’s all about packages and the base price.

Continue reading for more information.

Here’s What’s Included with my 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport Tester


Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car? - image 755908
“Heated and vented seats are bundled in the $1,400 Premium Package, along with the power rear sunshade and rain-sensing windshield wipers.”

Selecting the F Sport package on the GS 200t sedan adds roughly $7,600 to the price. Though a hefty option, the F Sport makes several options come as standard equipment, including the aforementioned Premium Package. It also adds several go-fast bits to the suspension and brakes, along with a more aggressive exterior appearance and interior adornments. My tester also includes the $1,730 Navigation Package with turn-by-turn directions.

Beyond those packages, the GS 200t F Sport offers several á la carte options like a color head-up display for $900, the one-touch power trunk for $400, orange brake calipers for $300, Intuitive Park Assist for $500, illuminated door sills for $425, and a bundled cargo package that includes a trunk mat, cargo net, and wheel locks for $225.

All told, my tester stickers at $57,735, which includes the $975 destination fee.

References

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS.


2016 Lexus GS F - image 608999

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.

PostHeaderIcon Rolls-Royce Is Putting Serious Thought Into Electric Vehicles

Seven years ago, Rolls-Royce rolled out the Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Then things turned quiet in Crewe. Outside of CEO Torsten Muller hinting at the possibility of an EV Rolls in 2015, we haven’t heard a peep about the company’s electric car plans since the 102EX broke cover. That changed recently when a high-ranking BMW board member admitted that the Spirit of Ecstasy could go electric real soon.


2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX - image 395030
“Owners of Rolls-Royce models have become more open to the possibility of an EV Rolls, with some even asking about the company’s plans for the growing segment.”

BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer is the man who dropped the bombshell. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Schwarzenbauer said that “there’s no doubt in my mind you will see an electric Rolls-Royce.” That’s as close to a commitment as you can get from someone who actually has a hand in deciding these things. Apparently, owners of Rolls-Royce models have become more open to the possibility of an EV Rolls, with some even asking about the company’s plans for the growing segment.

Schwarzenbauer refused to identify a specific timetable, but he did say that an all-electric Rolls-Royce isn’t going to arrive overnight. There are some issues that need to be addressed, not the least of which is developing a different platform that can accommodate an electric powertrain. As it is, Rolls’ existing aluminum space frame platform isn’t configured to fit an EV powertrain. Schwarzenbauer did say that the company doesn’t have to develop an all-new platform specifically for its electric cars. Instead, it could make “a major adaptation” to its current platform.


2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII - image 740375
“An all-electric Rolls-Royce still sounds weird when you think about the company’s stature as a top-shelf marque”

Should Rolls-Royce decide to make the leap into the world EVs, it at least has the aforementioned Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX to look back on. The concept was developed in 2011 as a test vehicle for the brand to gather as much relevant data as possible with the hopes of determining whether jumping through the electric car world was worth the trouble. It’s taken seven years to get to this point, but Schwarzenbauer’s comments should get a lot of people excited. On that end, it looks like the 102 EX could still play a big role in guiding the company if it decides to walk down the EV aisle.

For those who don’t remember, the Phantom Experimental 102 EX carried the largest car battery pack in the world when it debuted in Geneva seven years ago. Its pack was made up of five modules of lithium cells that weighed 1,411 pounds (640 kg). Power came from two electric motors that were mounted on the rear sub-frame, and together, the motors combined to produce an output of 375 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers helped the 102 EX sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under eight seconds.

An all-electric Rolls-Royce still sounds weird when you think about the company’s stature as a top-shelf marque. But just as it did when it decided to develop the Cullinan SUV, it appears that Rolls-Royce is once again steering into the wind as opposed to against it.

References


Rolls-Royce Is Putting Serious Thought Into Electric Vehicles - image 394965

Read our full review on the 2011 Rolls Royce Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX Concept.


maker logos - image 745435

Read more Rolls Royce news.

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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 1LZ S/C HUD REAR CAM 4K MILES #613401 Texas Direct Auto
$68,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 9:20:31 PST
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 2LT AUTO NAV HUD 4K MI #112474 Texas Direct
$32,300.00 (41 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 10:15:00 PST
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2017 Ford F-150 2017 FORD F150 XLT CREW 4X4 5.0 LIFTED LEATHER 35'S 14K #A48652 Texas Direct
$10,100.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $39,480.00
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 5K #521566 Texas Direct
$53,730.00
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:30:00 PST
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2015 Ford F-150 LARIAT Ford Crew Cab Lariat 4X4 Ecoboost Custom New Lift Wheels Tires Grill Leather Nav
$30,100.00 (12 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:06:49 PST
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2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F150 LTD CREW 4X4 ECOBOOST PANO NAV 22'S 9K #D31861 Texas Direct Auto
$1,025.00 (11 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 7:56:10 PST
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2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2011 CHEVY CORVETTE Z16 GRAND SPORT 3LT Z51 HUD 31K MI #101903 Texas Direct Auto
$20,100.00 (9 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $34,357.00
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2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY SUPER SNAKE 800-HP ONLY 544 MI #227961 Texas Direct
$84,980.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:00:00 PST
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2017 Ford Mustang GT 2017 Ford Mustang GT - Performance Pack + ROUSH SUPERCHARGED 670hp!!
$37,855.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 9:23:58 PST
Buy It Now for only: $46,812.00
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ S/C 7SPD LEATHER NAV HUD 8K #602574 Texas Direct
$65,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 13:00:00 PST
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2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F-150 XL REGULAR CAB SPORT BED LINER 13K MI #E41814 Texas Direct Auto
$22,230.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:00:00 PST
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2016 BMW M4 Base Coupe 2-Door 2016 BMW M4 EXECUTIVE 6-SPEED CARBON ROOF NAV HUD 22K #338388 Texas Direct Auto
$3,050.00 (20 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $56,230.00
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