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Archive for the ‘Spy Shots and Renderings’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin DB11 S

Introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the iconic DB9, the Aston Martin DB11 brought the British carmaker into a new era, one that finally sees the old VH platform retire. Now using lighter underpinnings engineered with help from Mercedes-AMG, the grand tourer is more than capable of competing against its more modern rivals. However, the DB11 is still a long way from becoming a proper vehicle lineup, with the V-8 and other iterations still under development. But this may end by the end of 2017, as Aston Martin is already testing a higher performance version of the coupe.

Spotted on public roads for the very first time, the beefed-up DB11 uses a new aerodynamic package that includes a reworked bumper, new side skirts, and a race-inspired diffuser at the back. Although Aston Martin has yet to confirm it is working on a new version and there aren’t many hints out there, I believe that this is a more powerful variant of the DB11. Several reports suggest that it could wear an “S” badge, just like the upgraded version of the Vanquish. Nothing’s official yet, but this test car is definitely not the upcoming V-8 model that will slow below the V-12.

Expect this new model to break cover by the end of the year, probably before the BD11 Volante will be unveiled in early 2018. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the DB11 S in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin DB11 S.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Turbo

The 991.2-generation Porsche 911 may be just a year old, but the German company is already working on the next iteration of the iconic sports car. Likely to be called the 992, the upcoming 911 is already being tested on public roads according to our paparazzi, who just sent us the first pictures with the coupe.

Although the 992-gen 911 looks identical to the current model, that’s not to say that the upcoming sports car will carry over unchanged on the outside. The reason for the similar looks is that the 992 is still in its early stages of development, and thus Porsche uses the body of the current model, albeit with some modifications.

We don’t know much about the next-generation 911, but Porsche is working on a brand-new platform and new version of the existing engines. Alongside the standard model, Porsche will also launch a new Turbo variant, which will be sportier and will use a more powerful drivetrain. There’s no official word as to when it will arrive, but I expect it to break cover sometime in 2018. However, we should see an update model with the new styling features on the road by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, find out what we already know about the upcoming 911 Turbo in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Macan

When Porsche decided to step into the SUV segment with the Cayenne, Porsche purists we’re all that happy, expecting the brand to soldier on with different 911 variants until times end. But, the Cayenne turned out to be a huge success, and the German brand decided to come out with a compact model named the Macan. Originally codenamed Cajun, the Macan hit the market in the spring of 2014 and became an immediate success, being one of Porsche’s most sold models. Be that as it may, the compact luxury segment is intense, so Porsche needs to keep things fresh until the next-gen model comes to be at the turn of the decade.

Now, we’re getting a first look at the facelifted model thanks to a new round of spy shots. There won’t be a whole lot of change on the table, but the headlights and taillights should get a new layout, and it looks like there’s a bigger chin spoiler up front. The interior is set for some minor nips and tucks as well, and the available engines could get some minor retuning to help keep things interesting.

With that said, we know Porsche’s facelifts aren’t typically that in-depth, so there won’t be a lot of significant change, but the subtle things will make all the difference. We expect the facelifted Macan to debut sometime in the next few months and should be sold as a 2018 model, so let’s take a closer look before Porsche spills the beans.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti QX50

It’s no secret the QX50 hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations that Infiniti set for it, ultimately prompting an intensive update for the 2016 model year. Come 2017, and we were staring the Infiniti QX50 concept in the face at the Detroit Auto Show. Only a couple months have passed since then, and now we’re looking at spy shots of the first prototype of the next-gen QX50 putting in work on public roads. While it’s heavily covered in camo and padding, we can still make out some styling cues, and as luck would have it, it looks like it will get at least some of the design DNA we saw in the QX50 concept. Of course, it won’t have those cool electronic door poppers and the overall styling will be toned down a bit, but it should be a huge departure from the current model and could very well give the SUV a chance at survival in an overcrowded market.

Now, before we go too far into it, the new QX50 will be based on a couple of different models. See, the next-gen QX50 is based on the QX50 Concept, which happens to be based on the QX Sport Inspiration Concept that was showcased at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. So, as you can see, the next-gen QX50 will have some pretty significant DNA heritage when it finally disrobes. There’s no official timetable, so we can’t say for sure when it will make its official debut, but the Frankfurt Auto Show in September isn’t out of the question, with customer deliveries kicking off sometime in the first half of 2018. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and see what we can spot through all over the camo on this prototype.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Infiniti QX50.

PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Aventador Performante

It’s been just a few 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.

Granted, it might not make much sense with the SV already around, but given that the Huracan Aventador is quicker and better at the track than any other Aventador to date, it makes a lot of sense to have a more track-prepped version of the company’s flagship supercar.

It also seems a bit awkward to have something placed above the SV, especially since the Murcielago didn’t get a more aggressive version, but it wouldn’t be a first for the range-topping model. Back in the 1990s, Lambo offered the SE30 Jota and GT as more powerful iterations of the iconic Diablo. Needless to say, the Italian carmaker wants to do it again with the Aventador, but under a different name.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Aventador Performante.

PostHeaderIcon Is This The Long Rumored Ferrari Dino We've All Been Waiting For?

Back in the late 1960s, Ferrari decided it wanted to create an “affordable” lineup of vehicles, ones that would be able to take on vehicles like the Porsche 911, and the Dino name – which honored Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari – was born. The idea was that the Dino name would be used on non-V-12-powered vehicles, while the V-12 models would continue under the Ferrari name. Between 1968 and 1976, Ferrari launched a few different “Dino” models, including the Dino 206 GT, Dino 246 GT and GTS, and the Dino 308 GT4 2+2. In 1976, the Dino name was discontinued in favor of the Ferrari name. More recently rumors have been flying that the Dino would make a return, and in mid-2015, Sergio Marchionne even stated that Ferrari would bring back the nameplate – it wasn’t a question of if, but when. It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve seen what looked to be a 458-mule testing back in late 2015, but since then the trail has gone cold. Until this morning, that is, when we received a new set of spy shots that could very well be the V-6 powered Dino the world has been waiting for.

Like the mule we saw in late 2015, this mule is also based on the 458, but it’s sporting a cue or two that hint at this being the real McCoy. As such, the pictures you see here could very well be the proof we’ve been waiting for. Is the Dino program back on track after going cold more than a year ago? Well, keep reading to learn more about it.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus

The Ford Focus was first launched in the European marking in 1998 but came to North America for the 2000 model year as a replacement for the Ford Escort and its cousin, the Mercury Tracer. Despite being a “cheaper” model with goofy, bubbly headlights and a somewhat lackluster interior, the Focus was a big hit. The first generation model ran until 2004 and won more than 60 awards during its lifespan. It even found itself on Car and Driver’s Ten Best List. Ford has continued to improve on the looks and overall function of the Focus, and it is currently in its third generation, with a facelift taking place for the 2015 model year.

With the current generation being six years old, it’s not all that shocking that our spy photographers have caught what we believe to be the next-generation Focus out doing some cold weather testing. Oddly, it isn’t under any camo, and it looks quite similar to the facelifted Focus that debuted in 2015. Be that as it may, there are still some significant changes to mention – some that might be hinting that this mule is sporting an old, modified body as a decoy.

While the body may very well be a decoy, we can still make some predictions about the next-gen Focus. Take a little walk with me as I talk about what we see in the photos, and what we can expect when the next-gen Focus is unveiled sometime in the future.

Update 3/15/2017: We have received a second round of spy shots that show the next-gen Focus playing in the snow and on the ice. This time around, however, it’s sporting what appears to be the official body with lots of camo and padding to throw us off. Check out the exterior section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Ford Focus.

PostHeaderIcon Is This Mysterious Chevrolet Camaro the Next Z/28?

It’s been just a week since Chevrolet launched the incredibly fast and aerodynamic ZL1 1LE, described as the “ultimate track-day Camaro,” and it seems that GM is already testing a new performance version of the muscle car. Our paparazzi just stumbled across a heavily camouflaged prototype and there’s a big chance we’re looking at the next-generation Camaro Z/28.

Chevy is really mysterious about this test car and was very quick to cover the vehicle according to our spy photographers, who only had a few seconds to shoot it. The photos reveal what appears to be a current-generation Camaro with rather awkward camouflage attached to its front fascia. The nose is significantly different than a standard Camaro, but it’s difficult to tell whether the swirly wrap hides a redesigned shell or some extra bits of camo added to hide actual modifications of the grille and engine hood. And while the bumper seems pretty aggressive, the rear end and the sides are very similar to a standard Camaro SS.

So why do I think this is the new Z/28?

Well, it’s pretty simple. With both the ZL1 and ZL1 1LE already launched, there’s isn’t much Chevy could be working on right now. Granted, GM is probably already pondering changes for the mid-cycle facelift, but it’s way too early to have this car on public roads given that it won’t break cover until 2019. This pretty much leaves the Z/28 as the only logical option.

Now you’re probably going to say that it’s not as aggressive as a Z/28 should be, missing a rear wing and beefed-up arches and side skirt, and you’d be right to point that out. But, it’s important to note that this is probably an early prototype that has yet to receive its aero kit. We should see some of it in a few months. For now, all we know is the Z/28 is rumored to arrive sometime in 2018 with a high-revving, naturally aspirated engine good for at least 700 horsepower.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes S-Class Coupe

Mercedes brought back the S-Class Coupe for the 2015 model year and with it came the best design, technology, and luxury features the German automaker had to offer at the time. It was heavily based on the S-Class Coupe Concept that debuted in Frankfurt back in 2014 and came with one of two engines: a 3.0-liter V-6 with 367 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque or a 4.7-liter V-8 with 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It’s only been a couple of years since the new S-Class entered the market, and Mercedes is now busy preparing the car’s first facelift – a venture that should manifest itself for the 2018 model year. Little is known about the facelift at this point but considering it’s Mercedes that we’re talking about, there isn’t going to be much. Expect to see new exterior light units, new front and rear fascias, and a few minor changes inside – maybe even a new instrument cluster or steering wheel.

With that said, we’ve already seen shots of the sedan test mule putting in work, and now we’re finally laying our eyes on its Coupe sibling. It’s not wearing any camo, but it does sport an unfinished front fascia and a little bit of tape over the rear lights. It’s time of debut has yet to be announced, but considering this facelift will be of the minimalist nature, and it’s slated for the 2018 model year, sometime in the third quarter of this year sounds like a good prediction. So, let’s dive on in and see what the updated S-Class Coupe is working with.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes S-Class Coupe.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 Spyder

When BMW first showed off the i-brand concepts, we had no idea we would see production models so fast. In what seemed like just a few seconds in the grand scheme of things, we were looking at production models of the BMW i3 and BMW i8. With the i8 Spyder Concept debuting in 2012, and the production version of the i8 hitting dealers for the 2015 model year, Bimmer fans everywhere have been itching for a production version of the i8 Spyder. So much, in fact, that the rumor mill has been working overtime and there have even been a few false sightings of the unicorn. But, either hell has frozen over or pigs have sprouted wings (or, maybe it’s both) because someone finally caught an official i8 Spyder prototype cruising in the middle of nowhere. They aren’t the best photos we’ve ever received, but the top is clearly down, and it appears to be every bit legitimate thanks to that “hybrid test vehicle” sticker prominently displayed on the rear fascia.

And, while we’ve all been waiting somewhat impatiently for the i8 Spyder, the fact that we’re finally seeing a prototype isn’t all that surprising. Just a few months ago, BMW CEO Harald Krueger not only confirmed the car was in the works, but that it had a production target of 2018! That means that we should see it in production form sometime toward the end of 2017. It’s doubtful that this is the i8 Spyder’s first venture onto public roads, so props to BMW for managing to keep it out of the public eye for so long. But, with that said, let’s talk a little more about what we can see from these few spy shots in my speculative review below.

Updated 02/28/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming i8 Spyder during winter testing in Sweden.

Click past the jump to read in detail about the 2018 BMW i8 Spyder

PostHeaderIcon Bentley Continental GTC

Although the Bentley Continental GT has being sold in its second-generation specification since 2011, the British grand tourer is actually 13 years old as of 2016. That’s not to say that the Continental GT is a dated vehicle, but it definitely needs an overhaul in order to keep up with the competition. That’s expected to happen in 2017, when Bentley is rumored to roll out the third-generation Conti GT in both coupe and convertible body styles.

Having already discussed the coupe when the first prototypes were spotted in the wild back in February 2016, we will now take a closer look at the drop-top GTC model, which also hit the streets in pre-production form. Much like all test cars wrapped in camouflage, this prototype does a great job hiding the more important exterior bits, but it also provides a few hints as to what we may see in dealerships for the 2018 model year.

I also know that Bentley used the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept as inspiration and that the new Continental GT will ride on a new platform shared with the second-generation Porsche Panamera. The MSB platform provides further hints as to what will motivate the upcoming grand tourer, but more about that in my speculative review below.

Updated 02/15/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GTC out for a new testing session.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Bentley Continental GTC.

PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Urus

Rumored for many years, the upcoming Lamborghini Urus, the company’s first-ever SUV, was finally spotted in production form on public roads. Although camouflaged almost entirely, the test vehicle reveals essential details about what Lambo promises to be the world’s fastest and most dynamic SUV.

With Porsche having introduced an SUV in 2003, it was only a matter of time before the other premium sports car and supercar manufacturers joined in the fun. After years of rumors, whispers, and planning, Lamborghini is the next to cross over into the high-performance soccer mom world, a.k.a. the SUV realm, with the oddly named Urus. The name first surfaced in 2008, when Lamborghini trademarked it before the introduction of the Estoque. In 2012, the Urus concept was showcased at the Beijing Auto Show and it didn’t take long before Lamborghini confirmed that a production version is set to follow.

Though the name sounds odd, it is very appropriate for the model. The Urus, also called the Aurochs, is an ancient ancestor of the modern day cow, which went extinct in 1627. These things were massive, ranging from 61 to 71 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing in at 1,500 pounds – phew, that’s a lot of quarter pounders. This makes the urus one of the largest bulls ever recorded, which is appropriate, considering the Lamborghini Urus is almost certainly going to end up being the largest to boast the raging bull emblem.

Now that we have turned off Animal Planet, we can continue with the Lamborghini Urus and not the extinct cow relative. There is some debate as to whether Lamborghini can actually support an SUV, especially after the LM002, the original Lambo SUV, fizzled out in 1993 with only 328 models ever produced.

So, can Lambo actually have a successful SUV this time around, and how does it stack up against the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Bentayga? Continue reading to find out more about that.

Continue reading to find out more about Lamborghini Urus.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911

It hasn’t been long since the 991-generation 911 received its mid-cycle facelift, and it appears that Porsche is already working on the next-generation sports car. Our paparazzi spotted a 911 prototype being tested on public roads, and even though the model looks similar to the current-gen 911, we’re quite sure the Germans are actually testing underpinnings for the upcoming model, due to arrive sometime in 2018.

Very little is known about the next-generation 911, but word has it that the biggest changes will occur under the skin. Besides the all-turbo lineup — the Carrera gained forced induction with the 991.2 facelift — the 911 is also set to receive a hybrid drivetrain for the very first time. Although this rumor has yet to be confirmed by Stuttgart, a hybridization is a natural step for the 911 — given Porsche is already offering hybrid version of the Panamera and Cayenne, as well as the 918 supercar and the 919, Le Mans-winning race car. Of course, the gasoline powerplants will get their fair share of updates as well.

The 911 will also gain a new modular platform with more flexibility as far as drivetrains go. Word has it the new architecture will also be used in the next-generation 718 Boxster and Cayman, as well as in the next-gen Audi R8 and upcoming Lamborghini models. Keep reading to find out more about the next-generation 911 and stay tuned for more updates.

Updated 03/14/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche 911 out for a new testing session. This time the car was caught with the spoiler down giving us the chance to have a good look at the 911´s classic profile in its new modern interpretation.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Porsche 911.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Sonata

The current-gen Sonata hit the market in 2015 with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, which resulted in a more conservative look to help generate interest in Hyundai’s home market, South Korea. The new generation featured a large amount of DNA from the HCD-14 concept but also got some cues from the Hyundai Genesis. Whether or not the new design was successful in South Korea remains to be seen, as figures aren’t readily available, but here in the U.S. and over in Canada, sales actually dropped in 2015 compared to 2014. Currently three years into its life cycle, Hyundai is planning a mid-cycle facelift for its resident mid-size that should bring some slight tweaking to the grille, exterior lamps, and fascias, while the interior should get some fresh materials and, at the very least, an upgrade to the infotainment system as well. I wouldn’t expect any changes under the hood as a result of this update, but that’s not why you’re interested in the Sonata anyway, so no big deal there.

We’re getting our first early look at the updated Sonata, which was caught playing in the snow and well covered with camo and padding to help conceal the changes that lie underneath. That means we don’t have a whole lot to go by, but there are a few things that we can make out on this tester. And, it’s set to make its official debut later on in 2017, so let’s hurry up and talk more about it before Hyundai beats us to the punch and spills the beans.

Expect a debut during the latter half of 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the facelift Hyundai Sonata.

PostHeaderIcon What Is Volvo Testing Here?

Volvo seems to be up to something interesting. Spotted in the wilds of some urban parking lot is this mutant of an XC90 test mule. Hoisted above its rear cargo area with a one-off support system is a steel pedestal presumably holding extra weight. But that’s not the biggest change. No, this experimental vehicle has a lengthened wheelbase. Its rear axle has been pushed rearward, requiring Volvo engineers to cut a larger wheel well into the XC90’s body. This begs the question: what is Volvo testing here?

We’ve heard nothing of Volvo testing some new type of SUV or even pickup truck, but that’s exactly what our minds conjure up. One theory is Volvo is making a long wheelbase version of the XC90 for China. That easily explains the rearward axle placement on this tester, but what about the weights on top? Perhaps Volvo is planning to offer an armored version of its XC90. Rather than installing armor into a test mule, Volvo engineers simply constructed a massive weight to increase the XC90’s center of gravity. Volvo wouldn’t be the first automaker to offer an armored version of a production vehicle. Mercedes and Audi both offer factory armament up-fits.

Another possibility – and one what pickup truck fans might like – is an XC90-based mid-size pickup. Close examination of the high-mounted load put its exactly between the rear doors and ahead of the rear axle. That’s right here heavy loads should go in a pickup. The XC90’s standard wheelbase measures 117.5 inches, but this long-wheelbase version likely has another 10 inches atop that. A 126.5-inch wheelbase would put it directly in line with other mid-size pickups, including the Honda Ridgeline at 125.3 inches, the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab at 125.9 inches, the global T6 Ford Ranger at 127 inches, and the Chevy Colorado Crew Cab Short Box at 128.3 inches.

Will Volvo enter the mid-size truck segment? Keep reading for more speculation.

Continue reading for the full information.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger

When Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia came to the U.S., they were fighting an uphill battle against American, Japanese, and German cars that were often regarded as having nicer materials and better build quality, among other things. Fast forward to today, and Hyundai has spawned its own performance/luxury brand called Genesis and Kia has finally jumped on the bandwagon with a premium and performance-based fastback that is derived from the GT Concept. Going by the name Stinger, it’s set to bring some insanely stiff competition to German rivals like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, among others. At Launch, it will be available with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with some 365 ponies on tap. But, that’s not all. It’s extremely spacious with a longer wheelbase than that of other competitors like the Lexus GS, and even the Infinity Q50 while the chassis itself is composed of 55 percent high-strength steel for superior stiffness and excellent ride handling. Inside, it offers high levels of comfort and an absolutely striking design with technology that rivals that of high-end models way outside the Stingers expected price range.

Those two engines I just mentioned, well there’s already word of a diesel powertrain being available for European customers. And, while it hasn’t been officially planned or confirmed, interviews with Albert Beirmann – the Executive VP of Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development for Kia – has said that there have been talks of electrification, a move that could pit the Stinger against the likes of the Tesla Model 3 or even the Model S, depending on how much electric muscle Kia can come up with. Beyond that, the Stinger is said to be able to handle much more power than that offered by that Biturbo 3.3-liter, so an even brighter future could be on the horizon for Kia’s new halo car.

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself as we already have a lot to talk about, and the Stinger isn’t scheduled to hit showrooms until later on in 2017. So, grab a beverage and join me farther down the page to see what the Stinger will offer when the order books officially open.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia GT.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry

Initially launched as a four-door version of the Celica in 1979, the Camry became a stand-alone nameplate in 1982. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most reliable and popular sedans on the market, especially in the U.S., where Toyota has delivered more than 200,000 units a year since 1988 and in excess of 350,000 examples since 1996. Currently the best-selling passenger car in North America, the Camry drove into a new generation for the 2018 model year.

Spotted testing on public roads since early 2016, the eighth-generation sedan was redesigned from the ground up. Of course, this isn’t surprising as all new-generation vehicles get redesigns both inside and out, but the new Camry is a massive departure from its predecessor. Not only given a new look, it’s also sleeker, sportier, and more stylish than its predecessor. It looks as if the new Camry was created to bridge the gap between the dull Toyota cars and the premium Lexus offerings.

And that’s not a bad idea.

As usual, the redesigned exterior is jointed by a revamped interior with new styling and updated technology. Toyota also took care of the drivetrain department by introducing three new engines, including a hybrid.

“The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.”

Those are mighty big words coming from Mr. Carter, so you’re probably asking yourselves “is the new Camry that good or is Toyota riding high on PR talk?” Well, let’s find out the answer to this big question in the review below.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Toyota Camry.

PostHeaderIcon BMW M4 CS

Introduced in 2013, the 4 Series is one of the company’s newest nameplates and marked the end of the 3 Series Coupe, which it replaced in the brand’s catalog. The renamed two-door also adopted a new, evolutionary design inside and out, and received a lineup of brand-new and revised engines. The high-performance version was also rebadged from the M3 Coupe to the M4 and ditched the naturally aspirated V-8 engine for a turbocharged, inline-six powerplant. The M4 also brought the GTS badge back into showrooms in the form of a more powerful, track-focused, limited edition model. In 2017, the German brand is planning to launch yet another limited-edition, high-performance variant.

Rumors of a new beefed-up version of the M4 began to rise in 2016, as soon as the GTS model was sold out. The new coupe would slot between the standard model and the track-ready M4 GTS and carry a CS emblem. This denomination dates back to the late 1960s, when it was used for a more powerful version of the then-new BMW E9. At first called the 2000 CS, it later evolved into the 2800 CS, 3.0 CS, and 2.5 CS. The 3.0 CS spawned the iconic 3.0 CSL, a lighter, homologation special that went on to become BMW’s most iconic race car.

The CSL name returned in 2004 for the M3 Coupe and it was once again brought back into the spotlight in 2015 with the 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car. Although the M4 CSL name has also been rumored recently, BMW will reportedly drop the L (which stands for Lightweight) from the badge since it won’t be significantly lighter than the standard M4 (a feature reserved for the GTS).

So when’s the M4 CS set to hit the market? BMW has been mum on details, but since the coupe is already being tested on public roads, it’s safe to assume that it should be unveiled in the first half of 2017. However, the CS won’t arrive in showrooms before the facelifed M4 goes into production in July. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Updated 01/12/2017: The upcoming BMW M4 CS was caught testing once again, this time during cold weather conditions in Sweden.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M4 CS.

PostHeaderIcon Seat Arona

Seat hasn’t been doing too well in recent years, and as such has decided to start revamping its lineup. Come 2016, and Seat finally jumped on the SUV/crossover bandwagon by pulling the sheet off of its first-ever production SUV call the Ateca. Now we’re getting our first glimpse at its next offering in the segment, but this time it’s a baby SUV known as the Arona that will compete against models like the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, among others. It will be based on the next-generation Ibiza that is set to debut in the first quarter of 2017. It’s DNA will make it a mutt of sorts, with some cues from the Ibiza and some from the larger Ateca that debuted in 2016. What will power the new Arona is still a big mystery, but it should get the same powertrain options available in the upcoming Ibiza, as well as a similar looking interior.

For its first venture into the wild, the new Arona got to experience what cold weather and fresh snow is really like. While we don’t know a lot about it – powertrain options, interior specs, and options are all still a mystery – it does look like it’s able to handle inclement weather quite well, so that should work in Seat’s favor as it digs deeper into the ever-popular SUV/crossover market. It’s the second of at least three SUV’s to be introduced, with the next model expected to ride on the same platform as the Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. But, until that happens, let’s take a look at the new Arona and see if there’s anything important we can make out through all of that annoying padding and camo.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

The third-generation C-Class came to be for the 2015 model year with an all-new modular platform that helped drop as much as 220 pounds over the previous generation. The current model is only a couple of years old at the time of this writing, but we’ve already seen facelifted versions of the sedan and wagon testing on public roads. Now, just a few weeks after seeing the four-door models, we’re getting to lay our eyes on the facelifted two-door coupe. On the docket of changes, you’ll find things like a revised radiator grille, new headlights and taillights, revised front and rear fascias, and some minor updates to the interior. Those update should include some new interior color options as well as a revised infotainment system and a revised instrument cluster. To put it simply, the facelifted, 2018 C-Class will bring enough refinement to make everything right for the third-gen model. It will also keep the compact car fresh until after the turn of the decade when Mercedes should be planning the next-generation model for 2021 or 2022.

While we are looking at a facelifted prototype here, don’t expect to see everything in one go. If you happen to remember what Mercedes did with the S-Class, you’ll know that Merc is using a one-part-at-a-time strategy as opposed to testing with all facelifted components at one time. This allows the brand to help keep some of the mystery while making sure that everything is kosher. As we move closer to the launch date, we should see all three models – sedan, wagon, and coupe – testing with all facelifted modifications, but until then, we’ll only see bits and pieces.

We should lay eyes on the next round of testers in the next few months, but for now, let’s dive on in and check out what’s going on with the C-Class Coupe.

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