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Archive for the ‘TopSpeed Renderings’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Genesis Sports Car

Less than three years old as of 2018, Genesis Motors is already making headlines. Split from the Hyundai Genesis nameplate, the Korean luxury division already offers three sedans, and it’s working on a couple of SUVs too. More recently though, we got confirmation that Genesis also wants to build a sports car. The two-door coupe could be based on the Essentia concept car.

Word of Genesis’ plans to develop a sports car got out in January 2018, when Hyundai design vice president Luc Donkerwolke told Wheels Magazine that “we are definitely doing it. We are not going autonomous for all of our cars.” In addition, the brand’s head of R&D, Woong-chul Yang, confirmed that Genesis wants a sports car and that its development will be handled by Hyundai’s N performance division. Not much is known about it at this point, but we created a rendering of the car, and we will discuss what we already know about this project in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about Genesis’ upcoming sports car.

PostHeaderIcon Genesis Sports Car

Less than three years old as of 2018, Genesis Motors is already making headlines. Split from the Hyundai Genesis nameplate, the Korean luxury division already offers three sedans, and it’s working on a couple of SUVs too. More recently though, we got confirmation that Genesis also wants to build a sports car. The two-door coupe could be based on the Essentia concept car.

Word of Genesis’ plans to develop a sports car got out in January 2018, when Hyundai design vice president Luc Donkerwolke told Wheels Magazine that “we are definitely doing it. We are not going autonomous for all of our cars.” In addition, the brand’s head of R&D, Woong-chul Yang, confirmed that Genesis wants a sports car and that its development will be handled by Hyundai’s N performance division. Not much is known about it at this point, but we created a rendering of the car, and we will discuss what we already know about this project in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about Genesis’ upcoming sports car.

PostHeaderIcon BMW X2 – Updated

Micro Hexagon fabric

Rumors have been stirring about BMW building an X2 crossover since 2011, but it took some four years to see it in the metal for the first time. The small SUV first hit the streets in October 2015 and resurfaced again in January 2016, heavily camouflaged on both occasions. Later on, a concept car was showcased at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, making the company’s intentions about expanding the X lineup clear as daylight. Come 2017 and the X2 broke cover as the company’s sixth crossover. Essentially a sleeker, coupe-like version of the X1, the X2 competes against the likes of the Audi Q2, which was launched in 2016. It also completes BMW’s lineup of so-called coupe-style crossovers, which already includes the X6 and the X4.

The new compact SUV shares underpinnings with the second-generation X1, which rides on the same UKL platform found in the Mini Cooper and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. As a result, the X2 is front-wheel driven in the absence of xDrive AWD and also borrows the X1’s powertrains, meaning it will cross the pond to the U.S. in similar configurations. Launched in Europe in November 2017, the X2 made its North American debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and will arrive in U.S. dealerships this spring.

Update 7-6-2018: The BMW X2 M35i was caught testing on the Nurburgring Check out the video in our special section below!

PostHeaderIcon BMW X2 – Updated

Micro Hexagon fabric

Rumors have been stirring about BMW building an X2 crossover since 2011, but it took some four years to see it in the metal for the first time. The small SUV first hit the streets in October 2015 and resurfaced again in January 2016, heavily camouflaged on both occasions. Later on, a concept car was showcased at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, making the company’s intentions about expanding the X lineup clear as daylight. Come 2017 and the X2 broke cover as the company’s sixth crossover. Essentially a sleeker, coupe-like version of the X1, the X2 competes against the likes of the Audi Q2, which was launched in 2016. It also completes BMW’s lineup of so-called coupe-style crossovers, which already includes the X6 and the X4.

The new compact SUV shares underpinnings with the second-generation X1, which rides on the same UKL platform found in the Mini Cooper and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. As a result, the X2 is front-wheel driven in the absence of xDrive AWD and also borrows the X1’s powertrains, meaning it will cross the pond to the U.S. in similar configurations. Launched in Europe in November 2017, the X2 made its North American debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and will arrive in U.S. dealerships this spring.

Update 7-6-2018: The BMW X2 M35i was caught testing on the Nurburgring Check out the video in our special section below!

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo 8C

The Alfa Romeo 8c is returning after an eight-year absence, and it’s going to look and perform a lot differently than its limited-run predecessor. Early plans inside Alfa Romeo indicate that the new 8C is being packaged as a 700-horsepower supercar that will be able to compete against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini. There’s no timetable yet on when the new 8C will arrive, but it should make its way into our lives before 2022, at least if it ends up happening.

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo 8C

The Alfa Romeo 8c is returning after an eight-year absence, and it’s going to look and perform a lot differently than its limited-run predecessor. Early plans inside Alfa Romeo indicate that the new 8C is being packaged as a 700-horsepower supercar that will be able to compete against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini. There’s no timetable yet on when the new 8C will arrive, but it should make its way into our lives before 2022, at least if it ends up happening.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Mid-Engined Supercar

Aston Martin has yet to bring the Valkyrie hypercar into showrooms, but the Brits are already pondering a second supercar for their lineup. According to company CEO, Andy Palmer, the mid-engined supercar is also co-developed with Red Bull Racing, and 130 engineers and designers are already working on the project. The new vehicle will be aimed at the Ferrari 488 GTB.

The unnamed supercar will ride on a bespoke platform developed specifically for this model. Instead of the Valkyrie’s race-spec chassis or the Vantage’s bonded-aluminum platform, it will get its very own underpinnings that will feature a new carbon-fiber monocoque with aluminum sub-frames. There’s no specific word as to when it might arrive, but rumor has it sales will commence around 2020.

Continue reading to learn more about Aston Martin’s upcoming supercar.

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo Large SUV

Alfa Romeo is looking to expand its hauler lineup with an even bigger vehicle that will seat seven and have an electrified drivetrain, so we put together a rendering of what it could look like.

The upcoming SUV is part of a bigger plan that also includes a new range of performance hybrid models. There’s no specific information on any car, but an announcement is expected to be made in June 2018 by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The SUV is considered a vital model for the company’s ambitions on the U.S. market, but word has it Alfa Romeo is still waiting to see how the Stelvio does on the market before it greenlights a larger SUV. We’ll just have to wait a little longer but, until then, check out our speculative review below.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Rumors of Porsche working on a competitor for the BMW X6 surface a few years ago, right before the Germans launched the mid-cycle upgrade for the second-generation Cayenne. Although original reports claimed a 2015 launch, Porsche’s competitor for the BMW X6 failed to show up. In the meantime, Mercedes-Benz came up with its very own proposition, the GLE Coupe. Hopes of seeing a Cayenne coupe based on the second-generation model were almost lost after that, but 2016 brought us the first prototype of Porsche’s X6 fighter. However, instead of a redesigned Cayenne body with a sleeker roofline, our paparazzi spotted an awkward test mule that looks like a Panamera on stilts.

But while this isn’t 100-percent solid proof that Porsche is testing the Cayenne Coupe, we’re definitely looking at an SUV prototype. Since there aren’t any known plans for a new crossover, this mule can only be an early version of the Cayenne Coupe. With the third-gen Cayenne already in showrooms since 2017, a sleek, coupe version could arrive by the end of 2018. Not much is known about it at this point, but it’s expected to use the same underpinnings as the standard Cayenne, as well as the same drivetrains. The name is not yet official so you should take the “Cayenne Coupe” with a grain of salt, but this badge is very likely given that the sleek crossover will be part of the same family. We’re still waiting for Porsche to confirm the new SUV, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the upcoming vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what it may bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Cayenne Coupe.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI may still be the most popular hot-hatchback out there, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth after more than four years on the market. With Ford already working on a new-generation Focus ST, which will be significantly more powerful than the current Golf GTI, Volkswagen needs to roll out a new hatchback really soon. Fortunately, the Germans are already testing the next-generation Golf GTI, which is rumored to break cover sometime in 2019.

Not much is known about the upcoming performance hatchback, but it should borrow many design features seen on recently introduced Volkswagen models, including the sporty Arteon sedan. The company also promises a revolution inside the cabin, including a “total digital environment,” according to design chief Klaus Bischoff. Set to use a revised version of the company’s MQB platform, it will also a new engine with power ratings of up to 250 horsepower. Let’s find out more about that in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Volkswagen Golf GTI.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the German automaker’s tip of the spear when it comes to luxury and opulence, offering the very latest in technology, styling, and interior features. With a history that dates back to the early ‘70s, the latest sixth generation for the flagship sedan model (also known as the W222) was introduced back in 2013, which means it’s time for a ground-up redesign. With that in mind, we pulled out the TopSpeed crystal ball, drew up the above-pictured rendering, and wrote up a speculative review on what exactly the next S-Class could be bringing to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

PostHeaderIcon BMW M8

When BMW introduced the 8 Series back in 1989, it reshaped the full-size luxury segment with a car that was gorgeous, unique, and loaded with innovative features. However, the global crisis and high fuel prices of the early 1990s prevented it from becoming a strong seller, with a little over 30,000 units delivered until 1999, when it was discontinued. Almost two decades later and the 8 Series is set to return. Following the unveiling of a concept car in May 2017, BMW also released a bunch of photos confirming that an M8 is also underway in 2018.

The M8’s arrival will mark a premiere for the nameplate, which didn’t receive the M treatment in the 1990s. Although BMW did make a prototype, it eventually decided that there’s no market for the M8 and the project was scrapped. Times have obviously changed now, and with Mercedes already offering AMG versions of the S-Class Coupe and with Bentley producing the Continental GT Speed for quite a few years now, BMW needs an 8 Series and an M8 to keep up with the competition. Find out what we already know about this grand tourer in my speculative review below.

Updated 03/15/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW M8 Coupe out playing in the snow.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8.

Spy Shots

March 15, 2018 – BMW M8 caught playing in the snow


2019 BMW M8 - image 773860

2019 BMW M8 - image 773867

Exterior

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right
“The first thing that comes to mind when looking at the camouflaged M8 is that the production model won't look as exotic as the 8 Series concept.”

The first thing that comes to mind when looking at the camouflaged M8 is that the production model won’t look as exotic as the 8 Series concept. This confirms that BMW will give the series coupe a softer stance and that it will remove the big vents behind the front fenders, the massive intakes under the headlamps, and the aggressive engine hood.

The front grille also sports a less angry design that’s more in line with BMW current styling cues. This isn’t a bad thing though, as the vertical slats are pretty thin and sharp and the kidneys are wide enough to produce a wide stance. The headlamps are obviously thicker than the concept’s, but thinner than anything else you get right now save for the i8. Down below, the bumper appears to be standard BMW M stuff, with large outlets toward the sides and longer vents with a mesh grille in the middle. This section will be unique to the M8, while the 8 Series will sport a less aggressive element.

Onto the sides, the large scoop behind the front fenders is missing, while the roof sits slightly higher. This isn’t surprising, as concept cars are usually sleeker than their production counterparts. However, the good news is that the rear haunches, one of the most stylish features on the 8 Series concept if you ask me, appear to be very similar. Moving over to M-specific additions, we have beefier side skirts and a set of juicy twin-five spoke rims in dark grey. Behind them we can see the obligatory blue brake calipers.

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right
“Around back, the M8 has very little in common with the concept car. The production taillights are quite mundane and don't extend that much into the fenders.”

Around back, the M8 has very little in common with the concept car. For starters, the production taillights are quite mundane and don’t extend that much into the fenders. The trunklid also seems to have a different shape, but it still carries a sizable spoiler. Granted, it’s not as massive as seen on the concept, but it should give the coupe a sleek look. Most of the fascia is camouflaged and the taillights aren’t visible all the way, but they should reach pretty far into the trunklid. The license plate is placed below, just like on the concept, but the bumper lacks the massive creases toward the sides. Below, there’s a quad exhaust pipe configuration as seen on every other M car around.

Rendering


2019 BMW M8 - image 718202

As usual, we asked our rendering artist to create a digital image of the upcoming M8. The rendering is based on the spy shots released by BMW, but also includes some toned-down features seen on the 8 Series Concept. In case you’re wondering why we’re using a convertible for this article, I think that BMW will also do a drop-top version to compete against the Cabriolet variants of the Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65. You can check out that article here.

Interior


2019 BMW 8 Series - image 718005
“Although clean and uncluttered on the passenger side, the dashboard is highlighted by premium red stitching on the upper side and around the center stack area.”

BMW had very little to say about the M8’s exterior features and production schedule, but shared no information about the interior or the technology inside. On the other hand, we have the 8 Series concept for hints as to what we may find in the M8.

As you’d expect, the show car’s interior is a fancier rendition of BMW’s current styling language. It sports an appealing blend of clean surfaces and vertical lines, a sleek center console, all-digital instrument clusters, and a new steering wheel design.

Although clean and uncluttered on the passenger side, the dashboard is highlighted by premium red stitching on the upper side and around the center stack area. It also has vertically oriented, almost triangular A/C vents at each corner. These features are likely to find their way in the production 8 Series and to some extent in the M8 too.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 718014
“Unlike some Bimmers that have the infotainment system placed atop the dash, the 8 Series concept has it integrated in the center stack.”

Unlike some Bimmers that have the infotainment system placed atop the dash, the 8 Series concept has it integrated in the center stack, albeit still above all controls. This is a feature that will definitely make it on the production model, as will the brand-new buttons underneath. The area between the A/C controls and gear lever is made rom carbon-fiber, which gives the center console a sporty look and makes a lot of sense in a future M8. While customers might not get this lightweight composite in the 8 Series, it will definitely adorn the M8’s center stack.

The instrument cluster appears to be quite spartan for modern standards, but what we see in the concept might be just one of the settings available. Of course, the M8 will have a more complex display with digital gauges and a number of M-specific features. The steering wheel is one feature I don;’t expect to see in the M8 in this form. Although it will keep its sporty stance and flat bottom, it will have a simpler design.

The 8 Series concept is also quite luxurious when it comes to materials, using Merino leather in Dark Brown and Fjord White, as well as hand-polished aluminum. The M8 should get similar treatment, although the base package will probably include black upholstery only. As always, look for several “M” emblems on various elements inside the cabin.

Drivetrain


2019 BMW M8 - image 718321
“Considering what we can get in other range-topping M models, it's safe to assume that the M8 will get its juice from a twin-turbo V-8 or V-12.”

This is arguably the most important part of the upcoming M8, especially since we’re expecting a very potent grand tourer. With both Mercedes-Benz and Bentley offering outputs in excess of 600 horsepower in the AMG S65 and Continental GT Speed, respectively, BMW is pretty much constrained to drop a lot of oomph in the M8.

Considering what we can get in other range-topping M models, it’s safe to assume that the M8 will get its juice from a twin-turbo V-8 or V-12. Actually, there’s a big chance that BMW will offer both, just like Mercedes-Benz does with the AMG S63 and AMG S65.


2017 BMW M760Li xDrive - image 665340
M760Li engine shown here.
“The V-12 engine could be sourced from the M760Li, which uses a twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V-12.”

The V-8 will likely come in the form of a twin-turbo 4.4-liter unit similar to that offered in the new BMW M5. Output should sit close to the 600-horsepower mark to counter the 577 horses delivered by the Mercedes-AMG S63. xDrive AWD is likely to be standard, at least here in the United States. The V-12 engine could be sourced from the M760Li, which uses a twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V-12. This unit cranks out 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of twist in the range-topping 7 Series and should be capable of more oomph in the M8. Given that the Mercedes-AMG S65 is good for 621 horses, it wouldn’t be surprising to see BMW push output toward the 650-horsepower mark.

The V-12-powered M8 is also likely to come with AWD, which would give it an advantage over the RWD-only Merc. This would be most visible in the acceleration department, with the M8 likely to hit 60 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. As with most Bimmers here in the U.S., the M8 should come with an automatic transmission only.

BMW M760Li xDrive
Engine Config/No of cyls/valves V/12/4
Engine technology M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology: two mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, Double-VANOS variable camshaft control
Effective capacity cc 6,592
Output 600 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 590 LB-FT @ 1,500 RPM
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 3.92 seconds
Maximum speed 250 KM/H (155 MPH)

Prices


2019 BMW M8 - image 718289

It’s a bit early to talk about prices here, but it’s pretty clear that the M8 won’t come cheap. My bet is that the grand tourer will fetch more than the M760i xDrive, which retails from $156,700. Expect a price tag of almost $170,000 for the V-8 model and a sticker of at least $200,000 for the V-12 variant.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG S63 / AMG S65


2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 - image 713977

You might not be able to buy the M8 untl 2018, but Mercedes already offers a performance grand tourer. Essentially a two-door version of the large S-Class, this coupe is already an iconic presence on the market, having managed to steal some attention from the much more established Bentley Continental GT. This AMG-prepped tourer comes in two flavors. The “base” model is the S63, which just received a new twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 instead of the old 5.5-liter unit. This powerplant cranks out 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, paired with all-wheel-drive for a tremendous 0-to-60 sprint in under four seconds. Next up is the S65, motivated by a larger twin-turbo, 6.0-liter V-12 with 621 horsepower and a whopping 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. But despite being more powerful, the S65 is actually slower than the S63 due to being a RWD-only model. Pricing for the Mercedes-AMG S63 starts from $164,750, while the S65 retails from $236,250.

Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG S63 here.

Bentley Continental GT Speed


2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed - image 617632

Revised for the 2016 model year, the Continental GT Speed, gained a few exterior tweaks, but remained the muscular and elegant we all know. Showcasing an imposing exterior look with added sporty features, the GT Speed is complemented by a luxurious interior packed with Bentley’s latest technology and a ton of options from the Mulliner division. Powered by a 6.0-liter W-12 mill, the GT Speed hits the streets 626 horsepower and 607 pound-feet of twist, which places it above the Mercedes-AMG in terms of horsepower, but below as far as torque is concerned. Using an eight-speed ZF transmission, the Bentley hits 60 mph in four seconds, slower than its rivals. On the other hand, its top speed is rated at a mind-boggling 206 mph. Pricing starts from $203,500 in the United States, making it cheaper than the AMG S65 and the upcoming M8 with the V-12 engine.

Learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed here.

Conclusion


2019 BMW M8 - image 718313

Arguaby the most anticipated return in BMW history, the 8 Series is about to make a comeback for the 2018 model year. The M8 is obviously the bigger news here. Not only because it will be the first 8 Series with an M badge, but also because BMW is in dire need of a performance-oriented grand tourer. The M6 has been a rather dull competitor for the AMG E63 and more recently the AMG S63 and S65, and an M8 seems to be the only vehicle that can change the balance of power in this tight, but extremely demanding niche.

  • Leave it
    • * Not as fancy as the concept
    • * Tough competition from Bentley and Mercedes-AMG
    • * Likely very expensive

References

BMW 8 Series


BMW Teases The Upcoming 8 Series With Images And Video - image 763009

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

BMW M8


2019 BMW M8 - image 718203

Read our full speculative review on the BMW M8.

BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe


2019 BMW 8 Series - image 717999

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


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW M8

The BMW 8 Series returned in 2018 after almost 20 years. Developed to replace the 6 Series, the 8 Series is sportier, more modern, and enables BMW to compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. For the first time ever, the 8 Series will be upgraded to M8 specifications by the company’s high-performance division. The M8 will brake cover sometime in 2019.

When BMW introduced the 8 Series back in 1989, it reshaped the full-size luxury segment with a car that was gorgeous, unique, and loaded with innovative features. Discontinued in 1999, the 8 Series returned almost two decades later in 2018. The M8’s arrival will mark a premiere for the nameplate, which didn’t receive the M treatment in the 1990s. Although BMW did make a prototype, it eventually decided that there’s no market for the M8 and the project was scrapped. Times have obviously changed now, and with Mercedes already offering AMG versions of the S-Class Coupe and with Bentley producing the Continental GT Speed for quite a few years now, BMW needs the M8 to keep up with the competition. Find out what we already know about this grand tourer in my speculative review below.

Update 12-7-2018: We’ve updated this speculative review with new leaked images and new information. Check out the Exterior section below for all the new M8 goodness!

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

AMG might be responsible for Mercedes’ most-powerful and appealing models, but the high-performance brand has yet to use its full potential as a car manufacturer. Sure, the Affalterbach-based division brought us the awesome SLS AMG, and more recently, the AMG GT, but it hasn’t developed more than one stand-alone vehicle at a time. Until 2018, when Mercedes-AMG launched the GT 4-Door, a four-door, four-seat version of the AMG GT sports car. Unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, it’s the brand’s highly anticipated competitor for the Porsche Panamera, and it includes the most powerful GT-badged model ever.

The company’s plans to develop a high-performance four-door became more than obvious at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show, where Mercedes-Benz unveiled the AMG GT concept. The show car also confirmed that the sedan will be based on the AMG GT in terms of design, but still feature some of the more traditional Mercedes cues seen on the regular sedans. The concept was pretty much a mash-up between the AMG GT sports car and the CLS four-door coupe, attributes that also made it on the production model. Let’s find out what Merc’s new performance sedan is all about in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe.

Exterior

  • Aggressive AMG GT front end
  • AMG GT R grille and bumper
  • CLS styling feature
  • Sporty roofline
  • Rear wing
  • Race-inspired diffuser
  • Lightweight wheels

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772237
“The front end merges elements from both the AMG GT and the recently unveiled CLS”

While most spy shots and drawing suggested an actual four-door version of the AMG GT sports car, the GT 4-Door is actually notably different than its coupe sibling. The front fascia is indeed aggressive and shares many features with the AMG GT, but the bigger headlamps and the revised bumper sets it apart and gives it a somewhat elegant look. I guess we could say that the front end merges elements from both the AMG GT and the recently unveiled CLS. But unlike the CLS, the GT 4-Door sports the race-style “Panamericana” grille of the AMG GT and an Airpanel in front of the center cooling vent for improved aerodynamic efficiency. The latter is borrowed from the hardcore AMG GT R.


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772220

Onto the sides, the GT 4-Door is actually very similar to the CLS. Features that set it apart include new vents on the front fenders, beefed-up rear haunches, actual quarter windows behind the rear doors, and a more aggressive roofline. The frameless side windows contribute to the sedan’s coupe-style look. Around back, the main features link the sedan to the AMG GT coupe. The taillights are slim and long, while a tailgate replaces the conventional trunklid of the CLS.


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772215
“The diffuser becomes more aggressive on the V-8 models, as does the front bumper”

The decklid is also shorter and sports a wing for increased downforce. Down below, a big diffuser hints that the AMG GT 4-Door is a true sports sedan. The diffuser becomes more aggressive on the V-8 models, as does the front bumper, which gain three horizontal louvers in the side air intakes.

All told, the AMG GT 4-Door has a sporty and imposing exterior, but it’s far from impressive. It looks a bit too much like the CLS from certain angles and those sexy AMG GT cues are already pretty familiar. I’m not saying that it’s mild and boring, but it brings together design cues we’ve already seen.

Interior

  • CLS and E-Class interior
  • AMG GT-inspired center console
  • Illuminated A/C vents
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Unique steering wheel features
  • All the luxury you need
  • Massive displays
  • Seating for four
  • State-of-the-art infotainment
  • AMG Track Pace app

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772232
“Instead of modifying the AMG GT’s cockpit with a four-seat configuration, Mercedes took everything from the CLS”

The interior of the AMG GT 4-Door also looks very familiar. But this is because it’s almost identical to the CLS. Yup, instead of modifying the AMG GT’s cockpit with a four-seat configuration, Mercedes took everything from the CLS, which in turn is heavily based on the current-generation E-Class.

The dashboard, the door panels, the infotainment layout, and the instrument cluster are identical to the CLS save for minor changes in the displays. It even has the same illuminated turbine-look A/C vents and the same flat-bottom steering wheel. However, the AMG Performance Steering Wheel can be equipped with several innovative features such as a round controller with an integral display beneath the right-hand spoke, plus two vertically positioned color display buttons beneath the left-hand spoke.


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772228
“Unlike the AMG GT, the GT 4-Door offers seating for four”

The two high-resolution displays, each measuring 12.3 inches, placed under the same hood was also carried over from the CLS. Not only they dominate the dashboard, but it also looks as if the car has a really wide screen from the behind the steering wheel toward the passenger side. This feature is standard on all AMG GT 4-Door models in the U.S. One element that’s different is the center console, which is similar to the AMG GT sports car, which mimics the configuration of a V-8 engine. There a few changes to the buttons on the sides, and it also includes display buttons and capacitive switches. Other highlights include soft-touch upholstery all over the place and carbon-fiber trim, including on the steering wheel (on the range-topping GT63 S model).


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772229
“Unlike the AMG GT, the GT 4-Door offers seating for four.”

Unlike the AMG GT, the GT 4-Door offers seating for four. There are two configurations available, starting with two carbon-fiber-backed seats. These offer optimum support under spirited driving, but they cannot be folded for access to the trunk. The second layout is the Executive Rear Seat package, which has a more comfortable layout and a 40-20-40 split configuration. In this setup, rear passengers can control a number of features via a touchpad screen integrated into the console between the seats. The features range from using data via the AMG menu to controlling the ambient lighting or the climate control and seat heating.

As a cool feature, the GT 4-Door is the first AMG model that has its own fragrance, described by the company as a “sporty scent to match the spirit of the performance brand.”

Just like the coupe, the four-door comes with AMG Track Pace, an app that enables drivers to capture and analyze in detail over 80 vehicle-specific data as well as lap times on the racetrack.

Drivetrain

  • GT53 model with EQ Boost hybrid tech
  • GT63 S pack more power than any other AMG GT
  • Up to 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet
  • 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds
  • Highest top speed at 195 mph
  • Nine-speed AMG transmission
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Rear-wheel steering

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772202
“The base GT53 uses the same six-cylinder and EQ Boost drivetrain as the CLS 53”

Although the AMG GT 4-Door is theoretically a four-door version of the company’s sports car, the two don’t share all that much under the skin. Contrary to what the name might suggest, the AMG GT 4-Door isn’t built on a stretched platform of the AMG GT. Instead, AMG used the underpinnings of the E-Class, which also provide the base for the CLS. However, the GT 4-Door did get the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from the AMG GT coupe. It also gained the 3.0-liter six-cylinder unit with EQ Boost from the CLS.

The latter comes in the same configuration as in the AMG CLS53, meaning that it cranks out 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The EQ Boost system, which makes the drivetrain a mild hybrid, adds up to 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of twist. Total system power can hit up to 450 horses and 568 pound-feet, almost as much as the base AMG GT sports car. This version can hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, to go with a top speed of 174 horsepower.


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772200
“The range-topping GT63 S packs 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque”

Next up is the GT63, powered by the familiar 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 577 horsepower and 553 pound-feet. This output is on par with the hardcore AMG GT R, but with 33 pound-feet of twist on top. Pretty cool huh? Hitting 60 mph from a standing start takes only 3.3 seconds, while top speed goes up to 193 mph. The European version of this model gets even more torque, being rated at 800 Nm, or 590 pound-feet.

Finally, there’s the range-topping GT63 S model, which comes with a whopping 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet, more than any version of the AMG GT two-door sports car. In this configuration, 60 mph comes in only 3.1 seconds, while top speed increases to 195 mph. Again, the Euro specs are slightly different for this model too, with the torque figure placed at 900 Nm, or 664 pound-feet.


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772193
“Both V-8 variants come with active rear-wheel steering as standard”

Both V-8 models feature cylinder deactivation for enhanced fuel economy and use the new AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic as standard. Tuned specifically for this engine, it handles extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts. A wet clutch reduces weight and inertia, while the Race Start function provides optimum acceleration.

The six-cylinder engine in the GT53 model mates to a slightly different AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission. which works in conjunction with the torque converter. All AMG GT 4-Door models are fitted with the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. A rear-axle limited-slip differential is added to the GT63 S model, while both V-8 variants come with active rear-wheel steering. The latter is not available for the six-cylinder model.

Prices


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772210

It’s way too early to talk about pricing, but the GT 4-Door should start from around $140,000 in the United States. For reference, the Mercedes-AMG GT S fetches $129,000 before options.

Competition

Porsche Panamera


2018 Porsche Panamera - image 681054

Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the Porsche Panamera is now sportier than ever, and its design incorporates even more 911 styling features. The cabin is loaded with state-of-the-art tech, and the driver is connected to the car via two seven-inch displays in the instrument cluster and a massive 12.3-inch touchscreen on the center stack. Drivetrain options are as varied as they get. The base model has a 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 325 horsepower and 332 pound-feet, while the Panamera 4S comes with 434 horses and 406 pound-feet on tap. The Turbo model uses a 4.0-liter V-8 with 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet. The new Panamera also comes with a diesel engine and two hybrid drivetrains. The range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid cranks out a massive 671 horsepower and 627 pound-feet that Mercedes-Benz will have a difficult time competing with. Pricing starts from $85,000 and goes up to $150,000 before options for the Turbo models.

Learn more about the 2018 Porsche Panamera.

Aston Martin Rapide


2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S - image 563390

Launched in 2009 as a spiritual successor to the Aston Martin Lagonda and the company’s first sedan in 20 years, the Rapide is based on the DB9 and shares the same VH platform. Power comes from Aston’s ubiquitous 5.9-liter V-12 engine, tuned to deliver 552 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Although it’s the most powerful of the bunch, the Rapide S won’t be quicker than the AMG GT4 in its current specification. Its 203-mph top speed, on the other hand, places it above everything else in this niche. Inside, the Rapide S comes with Aston’s finest in terms of luxury and technology, although some might find its cabin design rather dated compared to the GT 4-Door’s. The British sedan isn’t cheap either, as it starts from $198,250 in the U.S. It’s safe to assume that Aston Martin will offer a new-generation Rapide soon, so AMG will get a lighter, faster, and more luxurious competitor.

Find out more about the Aston Martin Rapide.

Conclusion


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 772209

Given the similarities with the recently unveiled CLS, the GT 4-Door doesn’t seem to be that much of a stand-alone model at first glance. However, things change when you look under the hood. While the CLS range stops at the 53 model, the GT 4-Door lineup takes over from there and takes the output to unprecedented levels for the “AMG GT” badge. Simply put, while the CLS goes against lower-trim version of the Panamera, the GT 4-Door joins the market as a more hardcore version aimed at the beefed-up Porsches. All told, this four-door was developed for a different audience, one that needs the seating layout and roomy trunk of the sedan during the week and the performance and dynamics of a sports car for fun weekends at the track.

  • Leave it
    • * Looks too similar to CLS sedan
    • * Panamera hybrid is hard to beat

References

Mercedes-AMG GT concept.


2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Concept - image 710494

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG GT concept.

Spy Shots

February 20, 2018 – Mercedes-AMG GT4 caught wearing a matte black with yellow flames camouflage


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 769724

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 769717

December 29, 2017 – Playing in the Snow


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 754890

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 754896

We’ve been over these shots with a fine-toothed comb, and nothing has really changed since the GT4’s last outing. The only real noticeable difference is that this prototype is wearing round exhaust outlets as opposed to the square units seen previously. This indicates that this specific prototype is powered by a smaller drivetrain setup that is likely a combination of an electric motor, battery, and six-cylinder engine. That means that Mercedes is likely done testing the V-8 models and is now looking to fine tune its entry-level version prior to the car’s big debut. We’re expecting to see a debut sometime in 2018.

September 25, 2017 – Mercedes-AMG GT4 reveals its interior


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 733629

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 733623

August 22, 2017 – Mercedes AMG GT4 starts dropping camouflage


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 727778

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 727785

May 8, 2017 – Mercedes AMG GT4 begins testing session


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 715582

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 715587

2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 730879

Read more Mercedes news.

Rendering


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe - image 715152

If you’re working why the two renderings we made are so different, the explanation is very simple. We created the first image as soon as the AMG GT was out and the first rumors about a sedan surfaced, so it looks very similar to the sports car. And to be honest, an AMG GT with a longer wheelbase and four doors is as sexy as they get. But when the AMG GT Concept was unveiled in 2017, it became pretty clear that Mercedes-Benz is gunning for a more elegant, less aggressive look. The rendering on the left pictures just that, being heavily based on the latest concept car.

Update History

Update 12/29/2017: The Mercedes-AMG GT4 was caught doing some cold weather testing and playing in the snow. Check out the spy shots section below to get a fresh look at the upcoming sports sedan.

Updated 09/25/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming AMG GT4 out for a new testing session and this time we can also take a look at the inside of the car.

Updated 08/22/2017: The upcoming Mercedes AMG GT4 was caught testing again, this time with more camouflage removed and revealing its fastback rear.

Updated 05/08/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Mercedes AMG GT4 out for a first testing session. The car is expected to debut later this year or at the beginning of 2018.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan IMx

Having launched the Leaf back in 2010, Nissan is one of the pioneers of the all-electric industry. While not as efficient as the recently launched
Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the Leaf remains the best-selling EV ever build as of early 2018. However, Nissan has yet to expand its all-electric lineup beyond this hatchback, and it is now falling behind the competition. This could change by the end of 2018, with Nissan likely to debut a battery-powered crossover based on the IMx concept.

Introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the IMx is described as “an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600 km.” Nissan also says that the vehicle provides “a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society.” The IMx also previews the company’s new design language, so it could change quite a few things for the Japanese automaker. If put into production, it could go against the Tesla Model X, currently the quickest, most efficient, and most popular electric crossover out there.

While Nissan didn’t officially confirm a production version of the IMx, an all-electric crossover is the next logical step now that the second-generation Leaf is on its way to dealerships. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan IMx.

Exterior

  • IMx concept-inspired design
  • V-shaped grille
  • Modern features
  • “Floating” roof
  • Familiar Leaf styling cues

2017 Nissan IMx - image 740404

Note: Nissan IMx concept pictured here.

“We rendered a production version of the concept using the IMx's new design language”

While the Leaf Nismo concept presented in 2017 looked ready to go into production, the IMx is a bit too outlandish for dealerships. Sure, Nissan could build it as is, but it would no longer be an affordable vehicle. As a result, we rendered a production version of the concept using the IMx’s new design language and some of the familiar styling cues seen on the company’s recent products.

Up front, we kept the V-shaped grille and the vertical vents at the corners but both we trimmed down to a more production-friendly form. For the grille, we used the new Leaf as inspiration, so don’t be surprised that the element has no mesh and sports the same blue background. The black trim surrounding the grille is also taken from the Leaf, while the headlamps, albeit slimmer, features the same hockey stick-shaped LED layout. Down below, we removed the concept car’s organic vents and went with a more traditional look with a wide intake in the middle and daytime running lights at the corners. The V-shaped hood and the tall fender extensions remained in place as this features are likely to be part of Nissan’s design language for future cars.


2018 Nissan Leaf - image 729749

Note: 2018 Nissan Leaf pictured here.

“Nissan likely wants the electric crossover to have a familiar look”

The fact that most of the front fascia is similar to the Leaf’s is no coincidence. Nissan likely wants the electric crossover to have a familiar look and placing it in the same design territory as the Leaf is the best thing to do.

We altered the car’s profile too, starting with the side skirts, which now have a more traditional form. It’s not as sporty obviously, but it’s more practical for an affordable crossover. The production model also gained conventional doors, door handles, side mirrors, and less expensive wheels. It also has production-friendly pillars for the roof. Toward the back, we can see the same black C-pillar and raised rear fenders, but this feature is far from new, having already seen it on the latest Leaf.


2017 Nissan IMx - image 740399

Note: Nissan IMx concept pictured here.

“Around back, I expect some of the concept's extreme features to be deleted before production”

Around back, I expect some of the concept’s extreme features to be deleted before production. The aggressively raked rear window will be replaced by a more conventional unit and the same will happen with the spoiler on the roof. I wouldn’t be surprised for those taillights to go into production, but the rest of the fascia and the lower bumper will be redesigned into a more familiar shape. Don’t get your hopes up for that flashy “Nissan” badge with LED lights.

All told, the IMx will be a Leaf on stilts, but Nissan will make things a bit more exciting with a few exclusive design features. It won’t be as fancy as the Tesla Model X, but it will stand out among other Nissans.

Interior

  • Leaf-inspired cabin
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • New infotainment system
  • Navigation with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Premium features
  • ProPilot Assist
  • e-Pedal system

2018 Nissan Leaf - image 729735

Note: 2018 Nissan Leaf pictured here.

“My best guess is that the IMx will be in line with the latest Nissan models, maybe even similar to the Leaf”

The interior of the IMx concept is a work of art. I love its simplicity and ergonomic design and it’s exactly what I want to find in a modern vehicle. Unfortunately, it’s way too futuristic for a Nissan and a tad too outlandish even when compared to the best luxury brands out there.

Not only it doesn’t have a center stack and center tunnel — left out to increase space — but the concept also comes with only four individual seats. This layout doesn’t make much sense in a production Nissan so things will change radically for production. The fancy seats will be dropped in favor of more conventional units and the big wood grain pattern on the dashboard will be replaced by soft-touch plastic.

“The IMx could also get ProPilot Assist, a single-lane driving assistance technology”

You can also forget about the panoramic OLED screen that spreads on the entire length of the dash and display a view of the outer environment in the background. The same goes for the artificial intelligence technology that enables the driver to control the instrument panel with eye movements and hand gestures. It sounds really cool, but it’s not something that Nissan will put into production anytime soon. The autonomous mode is a bit more likely to find its way into production, but we won’t get it in the IMx if this vehicle is launched in 2018. Autonomous drive isn’t yet regulated around the world and we won’t see a production model on public roads for a few more years.

So now we know that at least 95 percent of the concept’s interior won’t make it into production, but what will we get in this crossover? My best guess is that the IMx will be in line with the latest Nissan models, maybe even similar to the Leaf. Nothing too fancy but a bit on the premium side. Nissan has upped the ante in that direction in its most recent vehicles, including the Leaf, and the IMx should follow the same path. Actually, I’m expecting the crossover to take things up a notch.


2018 Nissan Leaf - image 729745

Note: 2018 Nissan Leaf pictured here.

“Another feature introduced with the Leaf and likely to make it into the IMx is e-Pedal”

While the general layout is still a mystery, the technology package should be similar to the leaf. It should have a big digital screen in the instrument cluster area and a big display for the infotainment system in the center stack. The leather steering wheel and the contrast stitching should come standard, along with chrome and piano black inserts. It should also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a navigation system (probably not standard in lower trims), and the company’s new Intelligent Integration platform, which includes NissanConnect, through which the driver can search for continuously updated information such as the location and operating hours of free charging stations and charging station availability.

The IMx could also get ProPilot Assist, a single-lane driving assistance technology that automatically controls the distance to the vehicle in front between speeds of 18 mph to 62 mph. In the Leaf, it can also help the driver steer and keep the car centered in its lane. If the car in front stops, the system automatically applies the brakes. After coming to a full stop, it keeps the car stationary even if the driver’s foot is off the brake. When traffic restarts, the car resumes driving when the driver touches the switch again or lightly presses the accelerator.

Another feature introduced with the Leaf and likely to make it into the IMx is e-Pedal, a system that enables the driver to control the car with one pedal only. You still have two pedals, but when this function is activated, the car able to determine what to do based on your input of the accelerator pedal, and will be able to stop, stay in position, and resume driving without moving your foot from one pedal to the next.

Drivetrain

  • New drivetrain with 429 horsepower
  • 372 miles of range
  • New, larger battery
  • Solid performance
“A Nissan with more than 350 miles of range would be tremendous for the current SUV market and a big blow for Tesla”

As with most concepts, the IMx previews a new electric drivetrain that sounds very promising. The crossover is reportedly powered by two “high-output” motors, one for each axle, that produce a solid 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque combined. The concept also boasts a high-capacity battery that’s supposed to return a driving range of more than 372 miles per charge. That’s at least 77 miles more than the most efficient Tesla Model X available right now and mighty impressive when compared to the Nissan Leaf. While the autonomous drive system might not be ready for production just yet, this electric drivetrain could become a thing by the end of the year. Assuming that development is already close to its final stages.

A 400+ horsepower Nissan with more than 350 miles of range would be tremendous for the current SUV market and a big blow for Tesla, the current segment leader with the awesome Model X.


2018 Nissan Leaf - image 729720

Note: 2018 Nissan Leaf pictured here.

“If Nissan doesn't develop this drivetrain in time for the IMx, it may be stuck with the one in the Leaf”

On the flipside, if Nissan doesn’t develop this drivetrain in time for the IMx, it may be stuck with the one in the Leaf. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the Leaf isn’t as powerful and doesn’t return as much mileage as the competition. Specifically, the new Leaf comes with 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque on tap, 40 horses and 49 pound-feet more than the outgoing model. The battery is also new, now having a 40-kWh capacity. That’s 10 kWh more than the previous model, but below the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s 60 kWh and the Tesla Model 3’s 50 or optional 75 kWh capacity. The range was increased from 107 to 150 miles. While it’s nothing to sneeze at, it’s significantly inferior to the Bolt’s 238 miles and the Model 3’s 220 miles.

Of course, the crossover doesn’t have to get the exact same drivetrain. Nissan did say that a more powerful version is under development, so I guess an IMx with at least 200 miles is doable. But again, if Nissan moves that 429-horsepower and 372-mile drivetrain into production, the IMx could become the hottest electric crossover on the market. Sure, it won’t be as quick as the Tesla Model X, but I’d sacrifice supercar-like performance for almost 400 miles of range per charge.

Prices

It’s difficult to predict how much will Nissan ask for the production version of the IMx, mainly because the Japanese firm hasn’t offered an all-electric crossover up until now. But based on the Leaf’s place on the market, it’s safe to assume that the IMx will be a bit more affordable than the competition. I’d venture to say that pricing will start from around $40,000 before incentives. That’s around $32,500 if you’re eligible for government rebates.

Competition

Tesla Model X


2016 Tesla Model X - image 678035

Introduced in 2015, the Tesla Model X is basically the only mass-produced, all-electric SUV on the market. Developed on the same platform as the popular Model S, the Model X shares many styling cues with the sedan and stands out thanks to its butterfly-style, “falcon” rear doors. Available with seating for up to seven adults, the Model X offers a somewhat premium environment with the best technology Tesla can offer. The SUV is packed with sensors and cameras and even uses a semi-autonomous driving system called Autopilot. Three drivetrain options are available, starting with the 75D model. Powered by a 75 kWh battery, it returns 237 miles per charge, hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 130 mph. Next up is 100D, powered by a 100 kWh battery with all-wheel-drive. Range increases to 295 miles, while the 0-to-60 mph sprint drops to 4.7 clicks. Top speed is estimated at 155 mph. The range-topping P100D model also uses a 100 kWh battery but comes with an upgraded all-wheel-drive system. While mileage drops to 289 miles compared to the 100D, sprinting to 60 mph takes an amazing 2.9 seconds. Pricing for the base model is set at $85,500 before incentives, making it significantly more expensive than what the IMx is expected to cost. The 100D trim retails from $102,000, while the P100D model comes in at a whopping $140,000.

Read our full story on the 2016 Tesla Model X.

Conclusion


2020 Nissan IMx - image 747362

I’ve been a fan of Nissan vehicles and the company’s marketing strategy for quite a few years now. The Japanese firm is well covered in most segments, but it does have a couple of issues in the performance and EV departments. Both the GT-R and 370Z are a bit too long in the tooth, while the new Leaf still doesn’t offer as much range as the competition. But the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that Nissan has yet to expand its EV lineup. Not only the Leaf needs a higher performance version, but Nissan also needs an all-electric crossover in dealerships. The IMx seems to be answer to this problem, especially if it comes with the drivetrain showcased in the concept car. If this happens, it will also be a big blow for Tesla, which is currently struggling roll out new products while the Model X is way too expensive for the average Joe. With a sub-$40,000 sticker and a 300-mile range, the IMx could become the leader of the electric crossover market and could spawn a revolution in this very small segment. Fingers crossed that this concept is more than just a fancy show car.

  • Leave it
    • * Not yet confirmed for production
    • * Leaf drivetrain wouldn’t be enough

References


2017 Nissan IMx - image 740398

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan IMx Concept.


2013 Nissan IDx Nismo - image 532944

Read our full review on the 2013 Nissan IDx Nismo.


2014 Nissan IDx Freeflow - image 532996

Read our full review on the 2013 Nissan IDx Freeflow.


2018 Nissan Leaf - image 729755

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Leaf.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-7

After many years of rumors, Mazda has finally confirmed that the beloved RX-7 will get a successor by the end of the decade. The confirmation came at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where the Japanese brand unveiled the RX-VISION, a front-engined, RWD concept that sports an aggressive interpretation of Mazda’s KODO design language. What’s more, the company also confirmed it will have a new-generation rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda didn’t say when the production car will arrive in showrooms, but it seems that the next-gen RX-7’s development depends on how fast the engineers can come up with a reliable and fuel-efficient Wankel powerplant. More details should become available in 2016, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the production vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what the next-gen RX-7 might bring to the table.

Update 12/07/2017: Mazda has been caught testing the next-gen Wankel engine. Unfortunately, it was being testing in an older RX-8 shell instead of a full-body prototype of the next-gen RX-7, but it’ll do for now. The good news is that it is practically confirmation that a next-gen RX is, indeed, on the way. Check out our spy shots section below to see the RX-8 prototype with the next-gen Wankel and to hear what we know.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Mazda RX-7.

Wankel Testing Session – 12/7/2017


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751672

2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751675

As you can see from the images here, this prototype is all Mazda RX-8 but what lurks under the metal is where things really get interesting. Word has it that the engine lurking under that hood is a 1.6-liter, two-rotor, turbocharged engine that will deliver at least 400 horsepower. Let me say that again… 400 HORSEPOWER!!! There are also rumors that an electric motor could be thrown into the works, making the next-gen RX-7 a mild hybrid that’s good for some 450 horsepower – the kind of numbers that will have Porsche Cayman owners crying like little girls when they get beat by a Mazda. The weight of the next-gen RX-7 is expected to peg around 1,300 pounds or about 2,900 pounds, a figure that should make for a very agile and quick ride.

Expect the next-gen RX-7, which could very well be called the RX-9, to make its debut sometime closer to 2020. Even though we still have some time to wait, we’re willing to bet the Mazda has something special planned for 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wankel Engine’s first debut by Felix Wankel and the 50th anniversary of the engines true job – powering the Mazda Cosmo II. So, expect there to be a concept or, at the very least, a full-body prototype of the RX-7 running around by then. Mazda won’t let that year go by unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Exterior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

As with most concept cars, the RX-VISION will go through some changes before it becomes a production vehicle. Our rendering depicts a slightly toned down version of the Tokyo study, equipped with several production-friendly features.

“Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn't likely to make it on the production car”

Our artist started off by giving the RX-VISION a taller roof. Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn’t likely to make it on the production car, as it would impact both head and shoulder room. Fortunately, the concept doesn’t seem to lose much of its sexy proportions with a taller roof, a less raked front windscreen, a visible B-pillar, and chrome window surrounds. Other changes to the car’s profile include production door handles, a slightly larger grille on the front fender, and new, multi-spoke wheels.

Up front, we expect the RX-7 to gain a revised grille and bumper and a new pair of headlamps. Although the overall shape and size of the production grille should remain similar, the unit will most likely receive a chrome surround and the horizontal slats seen on all current Mazdas. Below, the bumper side intakes are a bit larger in our rendering, while the splitter and the center section remained unchanged. The headlamps should get the most changes, as the concept’s slim units are far too exotic for a production vehicle. But, even though the lower section will most likely be based on Mazda’s current headlamp design, the upper, curved LED strip could find its way on the production car. Finally, we rounded out the production rendering with a standard hood and a Mazda emblem on the nose, while also removing the one in the grille.

Since the rear of the RX-VISION isn’t exactly wild, Mazda will probably retain most of the features on the production coupe. The RX-7, however, could get a revised tailgate, mildly redesigned taillights without the “floating” spoiler, and a different diffuser.

Interior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653162

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior that could go into production today. However, Mazda will most likely change a few things here and there, such as the instrument cluster, the door panels, and the center console. The latter is likely to receive the most revisions, as the RX-7 will receive a standard center stack with various buttons and knobs. An infotainment system and a large display should also be added, but it remains to be seen whether the screen will be mounted atop the dashboard — like seen in many modern Mazda vehicles — or incorporated into the center stack. Also look for a multi-function steering wheel and a more comprehensive instrument cluster behind it.

As far as the large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts seen in the concept go, expect them to be available on higher trims. Much like the MX-5, the RX-7 needs to be a bit more affordable than its competitors, which means that the entry-level model will feature less or no leather at all. Still, the cabin should look sporty and come in two-tone combos on the base version as well.

Drivetrain


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653165

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

“Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.”

The drivetrain is the RX-7’s biggest mystery so far, as Mazda has nothing to say about the engine aside from the fact that it will be a Wankel and called the SkyActiv-R. A company representative, however, hinted that it might use turbocharging and that the sports car will be aimed at the Porsche Cayman. Given the German coupe comes with at least 275 horsepower in base trim, the RX-7, which will be lighter than the Cayman at around 2,700 pounds, would need at least 250 horses to make an impact in this niche. Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.

Word has it Mazda is busy developing the new-generation rotary, aiming to achieve fuel economy and CO2 emission figures “at the same level for an equivalent standard petrol engine,” according to head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara via Top Gear.

Prices

It’s definitely too early to talk about prices, but it’s safe to assume that the RX-7 will become Mazda’s most expensive product in the current lineup. The final sticker depends on many factors, but the sports car will most likely cost more than $35,000 in base trim.

The much anticipated debut is rumored to take place in May 2017, when the Mazda Cosmo — the company’s first rotary-powered vehicle — celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Competition

Toyota Supra


2019 Toyota Supra - image 710703

That battle between the Mazda RX-7 and the Toyota Supra is as iconic as Chevy vs. Ford. Both were low-slung, take-no-shit, rear-wheel-drive monsters that begged to be tuned to the max. At first, it seemed like the new RX-7 would go unopposed by its Toyota-bred rival, but the Supra is about ready to make its debut once Toyota (and BMW, since it was built in partnership between the two brands,) finalize the specs. We expect to see the new Supra debut within the next year boasting a range of engine options that include four-cylinder engines offered up by BMW – a realistic expectation considering the shared platform. However, the rumor mill also has it that a six-cylinder hybrid drivetrain is also on the books, and if that’s the case, it’s a good thing considering the RX-7 is looking at 400 to 450 ponies depending on hybridization. Pricing for the new Supra is still way up in the air, but expect it to run somewhere around $40,000 in base form as more than $50,000 in higher-performance trims. Either way, it could still prove to be more expensive than its Mazda rival.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185

The Porsche Cayman would never have been considered a competitor with the old RX-7, considering there was such a huge difference in power (the old RX-7 rocket out just 255 horsepower in 1995.) However, the new RX-7 (or maybe RX-9) is slated to have anywhere between 400 and 450 horsepower from that new Wankel engine. That puts it well above the base 718 Cayman, and even higher than the Cayman S and Cayman GTS. The base model comes with 300 horsepower on tap and can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.9 seconds. The Cayman S pushes 350 ponies, enough to drop that sprint time down to 4.4 seconds. Move up to the GTS that goes on sale for the 2018 model year, and you’re looking at 365 ponies from a 2.5-liter flat-four. Zilch to 60 mph comes in 3.9 seconds with this baby, which is right around the 3.8 – 4.0-second sprint we’re expecting from the new RX-7 in base form. There’s no word on the RX-7’s price yet, for obvious reasons, but you can step into a new base Cayman for $55,300 or a Cayman S for $67,000. The GTS, which will more accurately compete with the new RX-7? It comes in at $79,800, well above the base price we’re expecting for the new RX-7. Take that Porsche fanboys!

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654566

It’s obviously way too early to draw a proper conclusion here, as we know nothing about the drivetrain, performance, pricing, and design of the upcoming RX-7. Judging by how important this nameplate is to Mazda, and looking at the concept car that previews its revival, the next-gen sports car is exciting to say the least. Granted, the big news here is that the new RX-7 will get a rotary engine, but this could go either way. Development will likely take more than a year, and I have a feeling that the RX-7 will see at least one delay because of that. Also, with Wankel powerplants not exactly successful in the past, drivers will probably be a bit skeptical at first, at least until the new unit proves to be reliable and efficient.

  • Leave it
    • Not yet confirmed for production
    • Launch date unknown
    • Rotary engine still under development

References

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 340913

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

History


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 340899

The Mazda RX-7 was introduced in 1978 as replacement for the Savanna RX-7. The sports car joined the company’s lineup as the second vehicle to feature a Wankel rotary engine, being sold alongside the Cosmo luxury coupe. Initially powered by a 1.1-liter unit, the first-generation RX-7 received a larger, 1.3-liter engine rated at 133 horsepower later in its life. In 1983, two years before the second-gen model was introduced, a turbo version of the 1.1-liter delivered as much as 163 ponies. A redesigned model followed in 1986. The 1.1-liter engine was dropped, while the 1.3-liter version received a turbocharger of its own. Power ranged between 146 and 202 horsepower, although the latter was only offered between 1989 and 1991. 1992 marked the introduction of the third-generation model and a hefty update to the already proven 13B rotary engine. Output now began from 252 horsepower and went up to 276 in the third-generation’s final years. The RX-7 was axed in 2002, as Mazda was working on the RX-8.

Launched in 2003, the RX-8 was motivated by the same 1.3-liter, Wankel rotary engine as its predecessor. In the first-generation model, output ranged from 189 to 247 horsepower, and the engine mated to either a six-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic depending on the market. Designed as a rear-wheel-drive, four-door coupe, the RX-8 became famous due to its rear-hinged, freestyle rear door.

The second-generation model was introduced in 2009 with mild updates. The revised iteration lasted on the market only until 2012, when Mazda put an end to the RX legacy. Although the RX-8 had a remarkable platform underneath its body, the coupe’s engine suffered from excessive oil consumption and poor mileage. Hopefully, that will change with Mazda’s next-generation of rotary units.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-7

After many years of rumors, Mazda has finally confirmed that the beloved RX-7 will get a successor by the end of the decade. The confirmation came at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where the Japanese brand unveiled the RX-VISION, a front-engined, RWD concept that sports an aggressive interpretation of Mazda’s KODO design language. What’s more, the company also confirmed it will have a new-generation rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda didn’t say when the production car will arrive in showrooms, but it seems that the next-gen RX-7’s development depends on how fast the engineers can come up with a reliable and fuel-efficient Wankel powerplant. More details should become available in 2016, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the production vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what the next-gen RX-7 might bring to the table.

Update 12/07/2017: Mazda has been caught testing the next-gen Wankel engine. Unfortunately, it was being testing in an older RX-8 shell instead of a full-body prototype of the next-gen RX-7, but it’ll do for now. The good news is that it is practically confirmation that a next-gen RX is, indeed, on the way. Check out our spy shots section below to see the RX-8 prototype with the next-gen Wankel and to hear what we know.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Mazda RX-7.

Wankel Testing Session – 12/7/2017


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751672

2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751675

As you can see from the images here, this prototype is all Mazda RX-8 but what lurks under the metal is where things really get interesting. Word has it that the engine lurking under that hood is a 1.6-liter, two-rotor, turbocharged engine that will deliver at least 400 horsepower. Let me say that again… 400 HORSEPOWER!!! There are also rumors that an electric motor could be thrown into the works, making the next-gen RX-7 a mild hybrid that’s good for some 450 horsepower – the kind of numbers that will have Porsche Cayman owners crying like little girls when they get beat by a Mazda. The weight of the next-gen RX-7 is expected to peg around 1,300 pounds or about 2,900 pounds, a figure that should make for a very agile and quick ride.

Expect the next-gen RX-7, which could very well be called the RX-9, to make its debut sometime closer to 2020. Even though we still have some time to wait, we’re willing to bet the Mazda has something special planned for 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wankel Engine’s first debut by Felix Wankel and the 50th anniversary of the engines true job – powering the Mazda Cosmo II. So, expect there to be a concept or, at the very least, a full-body prototype of the RX-7 running around by then. Mazda won’t let that year go by unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Exterior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

As with most concept cars, the RX-VISION will go through some changes before it becomes a production vehicle. Our rendering depicts a slightly toned down version of the Tokyo study, equipped with several production-friendly features.

“Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn't likely to make it on the production car”

Our artist started off by giving the RX-VISION a taller roof. Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn’t likely to make it on the production car, as it would impact both head and shoulder room. Fortunately, the concept doesn’t seem to lose much of its sexy proportions with a taller roof, a less raked front windscreen, a visible B-pillar, and chrome window surrounds. Other changes to the car’s profile include production door handles, a slightly larger grille on the front fender, and new, multi-spoke wheels.

Up front, we expect the RX-7 to gain a revised grille and bumper and a new pair of headlamps. Although the overall shape and size of the production grille should remain similar, the unit will most likely receive a chrome surround and the horizontal slats seen on all current Mazdas. Below, the bumper side intakes are a bit larger in our rendering, while the splitter and the center section remained unchanged. The headlamps should get the most changes, as the concept’s slim units are far too exotic for a production vehicle. But, even though the lower section will most likely be based on Mazda’s current headlamp design, the upper, curved LED strip could find its way on the production car. Finally, we rounded out the production rendering with a standard hood and a Mazda emblem on the nose, while also removing the one in the grille.

Since the rear of the RX-VISION isn’t exactly wild, Mazda will probably retain most of the features on the production coupe. The RX-7, however, could get a revised tailgate, mildly redesigned taillights without the “floating” spoiler, and a different diffuser.

Interior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653162

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior that could go into production today. However, Mazda will most likely change a few things here and there, such as the instrument cluster, the door panels, and the center console. The latter is likely to receive the most revisions, as the RX-7 will receive a standard center stack with various buttons and knobs. An infotainment system and a large display should also be added, but it remains to be seen whether the screen will be mounted atop the dashboard — like seen in many modern Mazda vehicles — or incorporated into the center stack. Also look for a multi-function steering wheel and a more comprehensive instrument cluster behind it.

As far as the large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts seen in the concept go, expect them to be available on higher trims. Much like the MX-5, the RX-7 needs to be a bit more affordable than its competitors, which means that the entry-level model will feature less or no leather at all. Still, the cabin should look sporty and come in two-tone combos on the base version as well.

Drivetrain


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653165

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

“Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.”

The drivetrain is the RX-7’s biggest mystery so far, as Mazda has nothing to say about the engine aside from the fact that it will be a Wankel and called the SkyActiv-R. A company representative, however, hinted that it might use turbocharging and that the sports car will be aimed at the Porsche Cayman. Given the German coupe comes with at least 275 horsepower in base trim, the RX-7, which will be lighter than the Cayman at around 2,700 pounds, would need at least 250 horses to make an impact in this niche. Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.

Word has it Mazda is busy developing the new-generation rotary, aiming to achieve fuel economy and CO2 emission figures “at the same level for an equivalent standard petrol engine,” according to head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara via Top Gear.

Prices

It’s definitely too early to talk about prices, but it’s safe to assume that the RX-7 will become Mazda’s most expensive product in the current lineup. The final sticker depends on many factors, but the sports car will most likely cost more than $35,000 in base trim.

The much anticipated debut is rumored to take place in May 2017, when the Mazda Cosmo — the company’s first rotary-powered vehicle — celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Competition

Toyota Supra


2019 Toyota Supra - image 710703

That battle between the Mazda RX-7 and the Toyota Supra is as iconic as Chevy vs. Ford. Both were low-slung, take-no-shit, rear-wheel-drive monsters that begged to be tuned to the max. At first, it seemed like the new RX-7 would go unopposed by its Toyota-bred rival, but the Supra is about ready to make its debut once Toyota (and BMW, since it was built in partnership between the two brands,) finalize the specs. We expect to see the new Supra debut within the next year boasting a range of engine options that include four-cylinder engines offered up by BMW – a realistic expectation considering the shared platform. However, the rumor mill also has it that a six-cylinder hybrid drivetrain is also on the books, and if that’s the case, it’s a good thing considering the RX-7 is looking at 400 to 450 ponies depending on hybridization. Pricing for the new Supra is still way up in the air, but expect it to run somewhere around $40,000 in base form as more than $50,000 in higher-performance trims. Either way, it could still prove to be more expensive than its Mazda rival.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185

The Porsche Cayman would never have been considered a competitor with the old RX-7, considering there was such a huge difference in power (the old RX-7 rocket out just 255 horsepower in 1995.) However, the new RX-7 (or maybe RX-9) is slated to have anywhere between 400 and 450 horsepower from that new Wankel engine. That puts it well above the base 718 Cayman, and even higher than the Cayman S and Cayman GTS. The base model comes with 300 horsepower on tap and can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.9 seconds. The Cayman S pushes 350 ponies, enough to drop that sprint time down to 4.4 seconds. Move up to the GTS that goes on sale for the 2018 model year, and you’re looking at 365 ponies from a 2.5-liter flat-four. Zilch to 60 mph comes in 3.9 seconds with this baby, which is right around the 3.8 – 4.0-second sprint we’re expecting from the new RX-7 in base form. There’s no word on the RX-7’s price yet, for obvious reasons, but you can step into a new base Cayman for $55,300 or a Cayman S for $67,000. The GTS, which will more accurately compete with the new RX-7? It comes in at $79,800, well above the base price we’re expecting for the new RX-7. Take that Porsche fanboys!

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654566

It’s obviously way too early to draw a proper conclusion here, as we know nothing about the drivetrain, performance, pricing, and design of the upcoming RX-7. Judging by how important this nameplate is to Mazda, and looking at the concept car that previews its revival, the next-gen sports car is exciting to say the least. Granted, the big news here is that the new RX-7 will get a rotary engine, but this could go either way. Development will likely take more than a year, and I have a feeling that the RX-7 will see at least one delay because of that. Also, with Wankel powerplants not exactly successful in the past, drivers will probably be a bit skeptical at first, at least until the new unit proves to be reliable and efficient.

  • Leave it
    • Not yet confirmed for production
    • Launch date unknown
    • Rotary engine still under development

References

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 340913

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

History


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 340899

The Mazda RX-7 was introduced in 1978 as replacement for the Savanna RX-7. The sports car joined the company’s lineup as the second vehicle to feature a Wankel rotary engine, being sold alongside the Cosmo luxury coupe. Initially powered by a 1.1-liter unit, the first-generation RX-7 received a larger, 1.3-liter engine rated at 133 horsepower later in its life. In 1983, two years before the second-gen model was introduced, a turbo version of the 1.1-liter delivered as much as 163 ponies. A redesigned model followed in 1986. The 1.1-liter engine was dropped, while the 1.3-liter version received a turbocharger of its own. Power ranged between 146 and 202 horsepower, although the latter was only offered between 1989 and 1991. 1992 marked the introduction of the third-generation model and a hefty update to the already proven 13B rotary engine. Output now began from 252 horsepower and went up to 276 in the third-generation’s final years. The RX-7 was axed in 2002, as Mazda was working on the RX-8.

Launched in 2003, the RX-8 was motivated by the same 1.3-liter, Wankel rotary engine as its predecessor. In the first-generation model, output ranged from 189 to 247 horsepower, and the engine mated to either a six-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic depending on the market. Designed as a rear-wheel-drive, four-door coupe, the RX-8 became famous due to its rear-hinged, freestyle rear door.

The second-generation model was introduced in 2009 with mild updates. The revised iteration lasted on the market only until 2012, when Mazda put an end to the RX legacy. Although the RX-8 had a remarkable platform underneath its body, the coupe’s engine suffered from excessive oil consumption and poor mileage. Hopefully, that will change with Mazda’s next-generation of rotary units.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RX-7

After many years of rumors, Mazda has finally confirmed that the beloved RX-7 will get a successor by the end of the decade. The confirmation came at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where the Japanese brand unveiled the RX-VISION, a front-engined, RWD concept that sports an aggressive interpretation of Mazda’s KODO design language. What’s more, the company also confirmed it will have a new-generation rotary engine under the hood.

Mazda didn’t say when the production car will arrive in showrooms, but it seems that the next-gen RX-7’s development depends on how fast the engineers can come up with a reliable and fuel-efficient Wankel powerplant. More details should become available in 2016, but until that happens, we created a rendering of the production vehicle, as well as a speculative review about what the next-gen RX-7 might bring to the table.

Update 12/07/2017: Mazda has been caught testing the next-gen Wankel engine. Unfortunately, it was being testing in an older RX-8 shell instead of a full-body prototype of the next-gen RX-7, but it’ll do for now. The good news is that it is practically confirmation that a next-gen RX is, indeed, on the way. Check out our spy shots section below to see the RX-8 prototype with the next-gen Wankel and to hear what we know.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Mazda RX-7.

Wankel Testing Session – 12/7/2017


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751672

2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 751675

As you can see from the images here, this prototype is all Mazda RX-8 but what lurks under the metal is where things really get interesting. Word has it that the engine lurking under that hood is a 1.6-liter, two-rotor, turbocharged engine that will deliver at least 400 horsepower. Let me say that again… 400 HORSEPOWER!!! There are also rumors that an electric motor could be thrown into the works, making the next-gen RX-7 a mild hybrid that’s good for some 450 horsepower – the kind of numbers that will have Porsche Cayman owners crying like little girls when they get beat by a Mazda. The weight of the next-gen RX-7 is expected to peg around 1,300 pounds or about 2,900 pounds, a figure that should make for a very agile and quick ride.

Expect the next-gen RX-7, which could very well be called the RX-9, to make its debut sometime closer to 2020. Even though we still have some time to wait, we’re willing to bet the Mazda has something special planned for 2019 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wankel Engine’s first debut by Felix Wankel and the 50th anniversary of the engines true job – powering the Mazda Cosmo II. So, expect there to be a concept or, at the very least, a full-body prototype of the RX-7 running around by then. Mazda won’t let that year go by unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Exterior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

As with most concept cars, the RX-VISION will go through some changes before it becomes a production vehicle. Our rendering depicts a slightly toned down version of the Tokyo study, equipped with several production-friendly features.

“Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn't likely to make it on the production car”

Our artist started off by giving the RX-VISION a taller roof. Although the concept is aggressive with its low roofline, the feature isn’t likely to make it on the production car, as it would impact both head and shoulder room. Fortunately, the concept doesn’t seem to lose much of its sexy proportions with a taller roof, a less raked front windscreen, a visible B-pillar, and chrome window surrounds. Other changes to the car’s profile include production door handles, a slightly larger grille on the front fender, and new, multi-spoke wheels.

Up front, we expect the RX-7 to gain a revised grille and bumper and a new pair of headlamps. Although the overall shape and size of the production grille should remain similar, the unit will most likely receive a chrome surround and the horizontal slats seen on all current Mazdas. Below, the bumper side intakes are a bit larger in our rendering, while the splitter and the center section remained unchanged. The headlamps should get the most changes, as the concept’s slim units are far too exotic for a production vehicle. But, even though the lower section will most likely be based on Mazda’s current headlamp design, the upper, curved LED strip could find its way on the production car. Finally, we rounded out the production rendering with a standard hood and a Mazda emblem on the nose, while also removing the one in the grille.

Since the rear of the RX-VISION isn’t exactly wild, Mazda will probably retain most of the features on the production coupe. The RX-7, however, could get a revised tailgate, mildly redesigned taillights without the “floating” spoiler, and a different diffuser.

Interior


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653162

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

Unlike many concept cars, the RX-VISION received a clean and simple interior that could go into production today. However, Mazda will most likely change a few things here and there, such as the instrument cluster, the door panels, and the center console. The latter is likely to receive the most revisions, as the RX-7 will receive a standard center stack with various buttons and knobs. An infotainment system and a large display should also be added, but it remains to be seen whether the screen will be mounted atop the dashboard — like seen in many modern Mazda vehicles — or incorporated into the center stack. Also look for a multi-function steering wheel and a more comprehensive instrument cluster behind it.

As far as the large amounts of leather and aluminum inserts seen in the concept go, expect them to be available on higher trims. Much like the MX-5, the RX-7 needs to be a bit more affordable than its competitors, which means that the entry-level model will feature less or no leather at all. Still, the cabin should look sporty and come in two-tone combos on the base version as well.

Drivetrain


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653165

Note: Mazda RX-Vision pictured here.

“Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.”

The drivetrain is the RX-7’s biggest mystery so far, as Mazda has nothing to say about the engine aside from the fact that it will be a Wankel and called the SkyActiv-R. A company representative, however, hinted that it might use turbocharging and that the sports car will be aimed at the Porsche Cayman. Given the German coupe comes with at least 275 horsepower in base trim, the RX-7, which will be lighter than the Cayman at around 2,700 pounds, would need at least 250 horses to make an impact in this niche. Expect a 0-to-60 mph sprint of around five seconds and a top speed of at least 150 mph.

Word has it Mazda is busy developing the new-generation rotary, aiming to achieve fuel economy and CO2 emission figures “at the same level for an equivalent standard petrol engine,” according to head of R&D Kiyoshi Fujiwara via Top Gear.

Prices

It’s definitely too early to talk about prices, but it’s safe to assume that the RX-7 will become Mazda’s most expensive product in the current lineup. The final sticker depends on many factors, but the sports car will most likely cost more than $35,000 in base trim.

The much anticipated debut is rumored to take place in May 2017, when the Mazda Cosmo — the company’s first rotary-powered vehicle — celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Competition

Toyota Supra


2019 Toyota Supra - image 710703

That battle between the Mazda RX-7 and the Toyota Supra is as iconic as Chevy vs. Ford. Both were low-slung, take-no-shit, rear-wheel-drive monsters that begged to be tuned to the max. At first, it seemed like the new RX-7 would go unopposed by its Toyota-bred rival, but the Supra is about ready to make its debut once Toyota (and BMW, since it was built in partnership between the two brands,) finalize the specs. We expect to see the new Supra debut within the next year boasting a range of engine options that include four-cylinder engines offered up by BMW – a realistic expectation considering the shared platform. However, the rumor mill also has it that a six-cylinder hybrid drivetrain is also on the books, and if that’s the case, it’s a good thing considering the RX-7 is looking at 400 to 450 ponies depending on hybridization. Pricing for the new Supra is still way up in the air, but expect it to run somewhere around $40,000 in base form as more than $50,000 in higher-performance trims. Either way, it could still prove to be more expensive than its Mazda rival.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

Porsche 718 Cayman


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185

The Porsche Cayman would never have been considered a competitor with the old RX-7, considering there was such a huge difference in power (the old RX-7 rocket out just 255 horsepower in 1995.) However, the new RX-7 (or maybe RX-9) is slated to have anywhere between 400 and 450 horsepower from that new Wankel engine. That puts it well above the base 718 Cayman, and even higher than the Cayman S and Cayman GTS. The base model comes with 300 horsepower on tap and can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.9 seconds. The Cayman S pushes 350 ponies, enough to drop that sprint time down to 4.4 seconds. Move up to the GTS that goes on sale for the 2018 model year, and you’re looking at 365 ponies from a 2.5-liter flat-four. Zilch to 60 mph comes in 3.9 seconds with this baby, which is right around the 3.8 – 4.0-second sprint we’re expecting from the new RX-7 in base form. There’s no word on the RX-7’s price yet, for obvious reasons, but you can step into a new base Cayman for $55,300 or a Cayman S for $67,000. The GTS, which will more accurately compete with the new RX-7? It comes in at $79,800, well above the base price we’re expecting for the new RX-7. Take that Porsche fanboys!

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654566

It’s obviously way too early to draw a proper conclusion here, as we know nothing about the drivetrain, performance, pricing, and design of the upcoming RX-7. Judging by how important this nameplate is to Mazda, and looking at the concept car that previews its revival, the next-gen sports car is exciting to say the least. Granted, the big news here is that the new RX-7 will get a rotary engine, but this could go either way. Development will likely take more than a year, and I have a feeling that the RX-7 will see at least one delay because of that. Also, with Wankel powerplants not exactly successful in the past, drivers will probably be a bit skeptical at first, at least until the new unit proves to be reliable and efficient.

  • Leave it
    • Not yet confirmed for production
    • Launch date unknown
    • Rotary engine still under development

References

Mazda RX-8


2010 - 2011 Mazda RX-8 - image 340913

Read our full review on the 2011 Mazda RX-8


2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

History


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 340899

The Mazda RX-7 was introduced in 1978 as replacement for the Savanna RX-7. The sports car joined the company’s lineup as the second vehicle to feature a Wankel rotary engine, being sold alongside the Cosmo luxury coupe. Initially powered by a 1.1-liter unit, the first-generation RX-7 received a larger, 1.3-liter engine rated at 133 horsepower later in its life. In 1983, two years before the second-gen model was introduced, a turbo version of the 1.1-liter delivered as much as 163 ponies. A redesigned model followed in 1986. The 1.1-liter engine was dropped, while the 1.3-liter version received a turbocharger of its own. Power ranged between 146 and 202 horsepower, although the latter was only offered between 1989 and 1991. 1992 marked the introduction of the third-generation model and a hefty update to the already proven 13B rotary engine. Output now began from 252 horsepower and went up to 276 in the third-generation’s final years. The RX-7 was axed in 2002, as Mazda was working on the RX-8.

Launched in 2003, the RX-8 was motivated by the same 1.3-liter, Wankel rotary engine as its predecessor. In the first-generation model, output ranged from 189 to 247 horsepower, and the engine mated to either a six-speed manual, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic depending on the market. Designed as a rear-wheel-drive, four-door coupe, the RX-8 became famous due to its rear-hinged, freestyle rear door.

The second-generation model was introduced in 2009 with mild updates. The revised iteration lasted on the market only until 2012, when Mazda put an end to the RX legacy. Although the RX-8 had a remarkable platform underneath its body, the coupe’s engine suffered from excessive oil consumption and poor mileage. Hopefully, that will change with Mazda’s next-generation of rotary units.

PostHeaderIcon Bentley Continental GTC

Introduced in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT has become a big hit for the British firm and its German parent company, Volkswagen AG, and the 2011 redesign made it even more popular. However, the update wasn’t as extensive as you’d expect from such a high-profile car, and the second-gen Conti became a bit long in the tooth after years. This is why Bentley launched a completely overhauled version for the 2018 model year. With the new Continental GT almost in dealerships, a convertible model is just around the corner.

Spotted testing on public roads since mid-2016, the new Continental GTC has yet to show itself without camouflage. However, that’s not to say we’re dealing with a mystery since most convertible are identical to the their coupe counterparts below the waist. Expect the new GTC to feel as modern as the recently unveiled Continental GT and boasts the same luxurious cabin with state-of-the-art technology. All of this will be complemented by the infinite headroom that comes with every cabriolet out there.

Update 11/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC out for a new testing session, but this time during cold winter conditions.

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

Spy Shots

November 11/24/2017 – Upcoming Bentley Continental GTC caught testing in cold weather


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 747165

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 747160

February 15, 2017 – Bentley Continental GTC caught testing once again


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 705686

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 705692

October 26, 2016 – Continental GTC caught testing on the roads around the Nürburgring


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 693195

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 693196

July 6, 2016 – First testing session


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 681739

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 681741

Exterior


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 681739
“Unlike the second-gen Continental GT, the third-generation coupe is a bit more exciting to look at, as the redesigned exterior feels sportier, more modern, and actually pretty gorgeous”

Unlike the second-gen Continental GT, the third-generation coupe is a bit more exciting to look at, as the redesigned exterior feels sportier, more modern, and actually pretty gorgeous. Sure, it’s not as extreme as the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, which had a supercarish stance, but it’s great to see something completely fresh on this grand tourer after almost 15 years. And the good news is that every single cool design feature of the Continental GT will find its way on the GTC model.

Look for the front fascia to include the same EXP 10-inspire grille, which is significantly wider and sits lower, the quad headlamps with the tiny units toward the corners, and the three-piece intake section in the bumper. The LEX Matrix lights with the unique design inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses should be there too.

The longer and lower stance of the Conti GT’s profile will also carry over to the GTC, likely enhanced when the roof is wrapped in the trunk. With the soft-top up, the GTC should sport a similar profile, although the roof shape won’t be as sexy as on the coupe. The taillights shaped into ellipses, the similar exhaust pipes, the wider trunk lid and the beefier rear bumper should round off the new look.

Interior


2018 Bentley Continental GT - image 728810

Note: Bentley Continental GT interior pictured here.

“Having already seen the GT, it's safe to assume that the GTC will feel like a road yacht when the soft-top is folded flat”

The cabin of the new Continental GT provides every hint we need to unlock the features of the GTC. Remove the fancy talk and this means that the cabriolet will be identical to the coupe on inside. Except that it won’t have a metal roof obviously.

Having already seen the GT, it’s safe to assume that the GTC will feel like a road yacht when the soft-top is folded flat. Just look at that massive slab of wood that extends from the dashboard onto the door panels, the huge display, the modern controls, and the high-sheen center console. Speaking of which, customers will have access to loads of new veneers, including Koa, a wood that’s rarely used in cars, and a dual-veneer option.

Of course, almost every inch of the cabin is wrapped in fine leather highlighted by contrast stitching, and new quilt technique called “diamond in diamond.” Other fancy features will include 20-way adjustable seats with heating, cooling, and massage function, a big instrument cluster with 3D LED lights, and a 10-speaker, 650-watt sound system. The latter is just the standard unit, as options include a 16-speaker, 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen system and an 18-speaker, 2,000-watt system by Naim.


2018 Bentley Continental GT - image 728816

Note: Bentley Continental GT interior pictured here.

“Of course, almost every inch of the cabin is wrapped in fine leather highlighted by contrast stitching”

But Arguably the most interesting feature of the upcoming Continental GTC will be Bentley’s new infotainment display. Called the Bentley Rotating Display and introduced with the Continental GT, the 12.3-inch touchscreen is housed in a three-sided unit that revolves in the center stack. When the ignition is off, the screen is hidden in the dashboard, with the wood veneer flowing uninterrupted from the passenger side to the instrument cluster. When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the center stack glides forward and rotates to reveal the big screen. The third side of the Rotating Display reveals three analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass, and chronometer. Opting for the latter gives you an elegant, old school-style dash that works great with the massive wood veneer.

Of course, another interesting feature will be the possibility to drive with an open top, which provides access not only to unlimited headroom, but also to a summer’s warm breeze, and the engine high-displacement roar.

Drivetrain


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 747165
“The third-generation Continental GT remained faithful to Bentley's already traditional 6.0-liter W-12 engine”

The third-generation Continental GT remained faithful to Bentley’s already traditional 6.0-liter W-12 engine. However, the British firm is now using a brand-new twin-turbo unit, which was developed before the Bentayga SUV was introduced.

The powerplant, which is shared with some Audi models, generates a massive 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That’s an extra 44-horsepower and 133-pound-feet compared to the previous model. The significant extra oomph is also aided by the lighter architecture that shaves around 200 pounds lighter off the previous model. The transmission is a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic.

“The powerplant generates a massive 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque”

Performance-wise, the Conti GT needs 3.6 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, a half-second quicker than the outgoing model. As it the case with most convertibles, the GTC will probably be a tenth-second slower, but a 3.7-second sprint is pretty impressive given the size and weight of this car. Top speed should increase, but don’t expect the GTC to be as fast as the coupe, which is good for 207 mph. However, it’s safe to assume that the drop-top will do at least 200 mph.

A new all-wheel-drive system will transfer the power to all four wheels. While the previous unit had a 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels, the new AWD system varies the front-to-rear torque split based on driving conditions. But the Bentley Continental GTC will be mostly a rear-wheel-drive cars during normal driving.

Prices

With pricing information for the new Continental GT not yet available, estimating a precise sticker for the GTC model is almost impossible right now. However, with the third-generation coupe likely to retail from around $220,000, the Continental GTC could cost around $240,000 before options. A more affordable alternative could become available in 2018, when Bentley plans to roll out V-8 versions of the Continental GT. Assuming that the GTC will also get one, pricing should sit at just under $200,000.

Competition

Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante - image 703676

When it comes to fast and luxurious British grand tourers, you can’t go wrong with the Vanquish Volante. Introduced in 2013, one year after Aston Martin revived the Vanquish name from its five-year hiatus, the Vanquish Volante sports a significantly more aggressive design and a powerful V-12 engine under its long hood. The mild 2018 update, likely the last of the current-generation car, added a new aerodynamic package including many carbon-fiber parts, new graphics on the outside and new materials and finishes on the inside. The output of the 5.9-liter V-12 engine was increased to 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which enables the drop-top to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is rated at 197 mph. Pricing starts from $312,950, which makes it significantly more expensive than the Bentley Continental GTC.

Read our full review of the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet


2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet - image 729446

The first convertible to wear the “S-Class” badge and Mercedes’ first open-top luxury four-seater since the early 1970s, the S-Class Cabriolet is one of the very few vehicles that can give the Continental GTC a run for its money. Sporty but elegant and fitted with Mercedes’ latest technology, it also comes with semi-autonomous drive and a powerful V-8 engine under the hood. The twin-turbo, 4.0-liter cranks out 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of twist, enabling the massive drop-top to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. For those looking for an alternative to the W-12 GTC, Mercedes offers the AMG S63, which uses a more powerful V-8 rated at 612 horses. This version hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, which should be quicker than the upcoming W-12 GTC. Finally, the AMG S65 Cabriolet comes with a 6.0-liter V-12 that delivers 630 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. However, this model is RWD only and needs 4.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. Pricing is also on the Merc’s side. The standard model retails from $131,400, while the AMG fetches $176,400 before options. On the other hand, the AMG S65 costs a whopping $247,900.

Read our full reviews of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65 Cabriolet.

Conclusion


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 735044

Arguably one of the most impressive luxury convertibles available on the market, the Continental GTC is about to get even better with the third-generation model. The new platform will solve the Continental’s weight problems, while access to hybrid drivetrains will enable Bentley to offer a more fuel-efficient model and improve the nameplate’s carbon footprint. The EXP 10 Speed 6-inspired design will also give the GTC a sportier stance that’s closer to the Vanquish, leaving the Continental Flying Spur sedan to parade as the more elegant proposition in the lineup.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive compared to the S-Class
    • Likely still slower than competition

References

Bentley Continental GT


2018 Bentley Continental GT - image 728800

Read more Bentley Continental GT news.


2013 Bentley Continental GTC V8 - image 438817

Read our full review on the previous generation 2017 Bentley Continental GTC.

Update History

Updated 09/28/2017:
We added a new rendering of the Continental GTC, as well as updated information. Check it out below.

Updated 10/26/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GTC out for a new testing session, this time on the roads around the Nürburgring.

Updated 07/19/2016: Based on the recent spy shots and speculations, we created a rendering for the upcoming Continental GTC. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes X-Class AMG

2020 Mercedes-AMG X-Class

First confirmed in 2015, the X-Class was unveiled in 2017 as a production model and became the company’s first mass-produced pickup truck. Produced by Nissan Motor Iberica, the X-Class isn’t an original Mercedes-Benz design, as it borrowed its chassis and many body panels from the Nissan Navara. However, it employs many Mercedes-specific styling cues on the outside and new technologies inside the cabin. In addition, it features a more premium interior, at least in the more expensive trim. Similarly, most engines available come from Nissan, but the range-topping model uses Mercedes’ V-6 diesel mill. With the X-Class on its way to showrooms, is the German company finally planning to roll out an AMG model?

So far, there aren’t any signs that Stuttgart wants such a model. What’s more, Tobias Moers, the man in charge of AMG, said that there are no plans for a beefed-up X-Class, adding that he doesn’t see a market for it. This was in late 2016. In 2017, the AMG was again dismissed by Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Volker Mornhinweg, who said that the truck “is not right for a V-8.” However, the AMG-badged X-Class is still “something that we will listen and look carefully,” so there is still hope of a production model. Actually, I’m positive that Mercedes-Benz will eventually make one, as both the Middle East and the U.S. markets will be more than happy to get it. We’ve already made a rendering of the truck, and we’re going to discuss what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG X63.

Exterior

  • AMG-specific features
  • Aggressive front bumper
  • Unique wheels
  • Performance tires
  • Tinted lights
  • Matte black detailing

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class - image 723972

Note: Standard Mercedes X-Class pictured here.

“Don't expect it to be as aggressive as the sedans or coupes”

The design of the X-Class shouldn’t change much with the AMG package. While it will receive many of the unique features that come with other AMG vehicles, don’t expect it to be as aggressive as the sedans or coupes. Up front, it should stand out by means of a new bumper. The massive, black-painted plastic piece will be replaced by an AMG bumper grille with honeycomb mesh. As a result, the vents will grow larger, which will improve drivetrain and brake cooling. This new feature will also give the truck a sportier look. The main grille will also get thinner horizontal slats, while the chrome around the Mercedes star will turn black. The same will happen to headlamps for a more menacing look.

Onto the sides, we should find black mirror caps (maybe with a carbon-fiber option), revised side steps, and multi-spoke, AMG wheels wrapped in performance tires. Being a truck, the X-Class could also get a rock climbing version with off-road tires. The rear section shouldn’t change much either. Highlights could include a matte black bumper, a large skid plate, tinted taillights, and an AMG badge. Large AMG graphics on the tailgate would be cool too! Mercedes could also introduce a couple of extra paints for the AMG version.

Interior

  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Exclusive instrument cluster
  • Unique start-up screen
  • Extra standard features

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class - image 723977

Note: Standard Mercedes X-Class pictured here.

“Upgrades should be similar to those seen in the Mercedes-AMG GLE63”

The amount of new features we will find inside the cabin depends on how far Mercedes-Benz wants to go with this truck. If it’s planning to launch a full-fledged AMG model, like an X63, upgrades should be similar to those seen in the Mercedes-AMG GLE63. They should include a leather-wrapped dashboard, aluminum trim, and a flat-bottom steering wheels as standard. The regular seats should be replaced by bolstered units with perforated Nappa leather.

Also look for a slightly revised instrument cluster with sportier dials, carbon-fiber inserts, and AMG-specific lettering. The 8.4-inch infotainment screen, which is optional in the base X-Class, should be standard in the AMG model. And it should also get a distinctive design for the start-up screen. Some carbon-fiber trim on the dash would be nice too, but the clean and simple design of the X-Class’ interior doesn’t leave much room for that. However, the A/C bezels, the lower dashboard area, and the center console look like they could use a bit of carbon, at least through the options list.

In case Mercedes decides to keep the X-Class on the milder side of the AMG pond, an X43 model won’t include as many features as the 63-spec vehicles. The flat-bottom steering wheel should remain in place, but don’t look for any carbon-fiber trim. You shouldn’t get your hopes up on the heavily bolstered seats either, while the Nappa leather upgrade will be gone too. But it will still have a few extra niceties, so expect it to have a sportier, more premium feel when compared to the non-AMG version.

Drivetrain

  • 4.0-liter V-8 engine
  • Or 3.0-liter V-6
  • More than 400 horsepower with the V-8
  • Quick-shifting transmission
  • Retuned AWD system
  • No manual gearbox

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class - image 724005

Note: Standard Mercedes X-Class pictured here.

“The X63 wouldn't be overly powerful at 469 horsepower”

If you look closely at our rendering, you’ll notice the “biturbo V8” badge on the front fender. It’s there because we designed the truck as an AMG X63 version with the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood.

The standard X-Class already benefits from three drivetrains, but there’s only one gasoline options, a turbo four-cylinder that cranks out 164 horsepower. The other two options are diesels. There’s the Nissan-sourced 2.3-liter four-pot rated at either 161 horsepower and 297 pound-feet or 188 horses and 332 pound-feet. Finally, Merc’s 3.0-liter V-6 turbo diesel delivers a solid 255 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of twist. So Mercedes has no choice but to use a different engine in the AMG model, be it a V-8-powered X63 or a V-6-motivated X43.


2020 Mercedes X-Class AMG - image 746647
“Expect the X43 version to use a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 rated at more than 300 horsepower”

Atlhough Volker Mornhinweg said that the truck is not right for a V-8 engine, AMG shouldn’t find it very hard to modify the front section for the 4.0-liter. The twin-turbo unit is already a familiar presence in AMG cars. First introduced with the AMG GT sports car in 2014, it also found its way into AMG versions of the C-Class, E-Class, and GLC, just to name a few. The engine is usually offered in two versions. The 63 models usually get 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet, while the 63 S variants come with 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet on tap. An S version seems unlikely, but the X63 wouldn’t be overly powerful at 469 horses. Of course, there’s also the possibility that AMG detuned the V-8 to a little less than 400 horsepower.

Should Mercedes decided that an X43 version is enough for performance truck fains, expect it to use the 3.0-liter V-6 that motivates the C43 sedan and the GLC43 crossover. Also twin-turbocharged, this unit cranks out 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough to make the X-Class the most powerful truck in its segment.

AMG will also meddle with the transmission and the four-wheel-drive system. Both will be modified to handle the extra performance. The automatic transmission will shift quicker for enhanced 0-to-60 mph sprints. Don’t expect to get a manual gearbox with the AMG-prepped truck.

Prices


2020 Mercedes X-Class AMG - image 746646

Pricing for this truck will depend on what model Mercedes will decide to make. Obviously, the X63 will be more expensive than the X43. The base model retails from €37,000 (around $43,350 as of November 2017) and this means that the X63 could cost in excess of €60,000 (about $70,300). On the other hand, if AMG goes with the X43 model, it should retail from around €48,000 (around $56,240).

U.S. pricing for the X-Class is not yet available and we still don’t know whether Mercedes is planning to bring it to the U.S.. But I will update this section as soon as we get more information.

Competition

Setting up a competitor section of this truck is somewhat tricky. For starters, none of its European rivals, like the Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok, and Ford Ranger, don’t come with performance packages. The Chevrolet Colorado gets pretty close in Z71 trim (and ZR2 upgrade), but this truck is only available in the United States. So unless it comes to the U.S., this AMG-tuned pickup will compete in a segment of its own until some proper competition is offered.

Chevrolet Colorado


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695947

Unlike Mercedes-Benz, Chevy has been making pickup trucks for decades. The Colorado is its smallest offering, and it has been around since 2003, when it replaced the iconic S-10. The Colorado was discontinued in the U.S. in 2012, becoming an Asia and South America vechile, but returned to North America for the 2015 model year. It’s most potent engine, the 3.6-liter V-6, was upgraded for 2017, now being capable of 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Granted, that’s nowhere near as powerful as the AMG, but it’s the closest you can get in the United States. This engine comes standard with the top-of-the-line Z71 trim, which adds off-road suspension, an automatic locking rear differential, and unique 17-inch wheels (among others) to the LT model. You can further upgrade the truck with the ZR2 bundle, which makes the Colorado even more capable on the unbeaten path on top of making it seem more aggressive design-wise. It also increases ground clearance and track width, so even though it’s not as powerful as an AMG truck, it can climb rocks with ease. The Z71 trim with the ZR2 package will set you back $41,355 before options, but you’d still save a lot of dough compared to what an AMG X-Class would retail for in the U.S.

Read our full review of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.

Ford Ranger Raptor


2019 Ford Ranger Raptor - image 722439

The Ranger Raptor is just speculation as of November 2017, and the Ranger has yet to return to the U.S. Just like the Colorado, the U.S.-spec Ranger was discontinued in 2011, when American customers lost interest in compact trucks. The Ranger is now being sold in other markets, including Europe, but Ford said it’s planning to bring it back to the U.S. for the 2019 model year. With the truck now set to make a comeback, word has it that a high-performance version is also in the works. Likely to wear the “Raptor” badge, it should sport upgrades similar to the infamous F-150 Raptor. Design-wise, it will be decidedly more aggressive than the X-Class AMG, but the cabin could be just as fancy, with sports seats combined with plenty of leather, carbon-fiber, and Ford’s latest technology. Under the hood, it should get a version of the company’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, rated at some 450 horsepower. The output would trump the AMG X43, but it will also be able to compete against a more powerful AMG X63. Finally, if the F-150 Raport is any indication, the Ranger Raptor should be a better truck for off-roading and desert running. Pricing-wise, the Ranger Raptor should cost significantly less than the F-150 Raptor, so expect a sticker of around $42,000 before options.

Read our full story on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

Conclusion


2020 Mercedes X-Class AMG - image 725086

Many enthusiasts were disappointed by the X-Class being just a slightly revised Nissan Navara, even though Mercedes wants to position its truck higher in the market with a more premium interior and better tech. It remains to be seen whether this will help the X-Class’ case or not, but an AMG version would be the smart thing to do. An AMG badge and a powerful V-8 would make the X-Class unique on the market in Europe and Asia and would give Mercedes a solid competitor for the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and the Ford Raptor Ranger in the United States. A V-6-powered X43 version wouldn’t hurt either, especially if it comes with more than 300 horsepower on tap. On the flipside, the AMG will be significantly more expensive than the competition, and that’s not good for business, even if your name is Mercedes-Benz.

  • Leave it
    • Likely very expensive
    • Not as off-road capable as the Colorado ZR2

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1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 camaro rs hardtop coupe project car hot rod resto mod big block 4 speed
$5,600.00 (8 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jan-28-2019 8:48:12 PST
Buy It Now for only: $11,500.00
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1958 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1958 GMC PICK UP TRUCK
$1,550.00 (20 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-23-2019 18:00:00 PST
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1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 350 4-speed Convertible
$20,100.00 (58 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-24-2019 18:36:03 PST
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT Texas Direct Auto 2017 3LT Used 6.2L V8 16V Automatic RWD Convertible Bose
$29,200.00 (48 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-23-2019 10:01:46 PST
Buy It Now for only: $45,680.00
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1967 Ford Mustang Coupe 1967 For Mustang Coupe with A/C
$13,500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-24-2019 13:25:23 PST
Buy It Now for only: $15,500.00
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1986 Chevrolet C-10 base runs great straight body with a little rust
$2,600.00
End Date: Friday Jan-25-2019 13:04:26 PST
Buy It Now for only: $2,600.00
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1957 Chevrolet Other Pickups DELUXE 1957 CHEVROLET 4X4 PICKUP
$15,000.00
End Date: Friday Jan-25-2019 11:29:14 PST
Buy It Now for only: $15,000.00
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