2015

2015

Posted on by Tushar  
Tesla Model S

If electric car makers are to flourish in this highly competitive industry, then the cost of ownership needs to come down. Although, the electric car won’t replace conventionally powered cars any time soon, the high pace of the developments in electric car technology could one day allow automakers, like Tesla , to offer products at more affordable prices.

Tesla is now looking to spread its business into more mainstream cars for the masses, and this includes a midsize sedan that will be priced below the current Tesla Model S .

The new sedan, dubbed the Model, E will be revealed at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show with deliveries scheduled for early 2016. Chief designer, Franz von Holzhauzen, has told AutoBild that the midsized 3 Series competitor should be out in a years time. The new electric sedan is expected to be priced in the $30,000 to $40,000 bracket.

We are still awaiting more details about the upcoming Model E sedan. That said, we expect it to feature familiar Tesla styling with a wide oval grille and clean lines. The exterior and interior design would in all likelihood be influenced by the Model S which has now been widely accepted in the market.

Underneath, the new Model E could use a similar powertrain as the Model S. Batteries will be stowed away in the floor, and electric motors will drive the rear wheels. Tesla will almost certainly lower the output of the electric motor to help increase the overall range and lower the price.

Also helping lower the price, the Model E will likely have a few less interior features as the Models S.

We’ll keep an eye out for more information on the upcoming Model E, and bring you more information as it becomes available.

Click past the jump to read a brief overview of Tesla’s history.

(*Image Note: The above image is of the Model S, not the Model E.

Source: AutoBild
Mercedes S-Class Coupe

We’re all extremely excited to see what Mercedes is hiding under all of the camo on the upcoming S-Class Coupe. For now, however, we will just have to sit around and look at random spy shots that come in. Here we go again, as our spy photographers have caught the S-Class Coupe out playing around.

This time around, however, the S-Class was caught playing in cold, white stuff, also known as “snow,” in Northern Sweden. Unfortunately, these images don’t show us anything that we haven’t seen before, since the S-Class is still heavily camouflaged.

The fact that the S-Class is frolicking around in the snow leads us to believe that this particular model is putting the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system to the test. We’re pretty sure it handled the snow and ice admirably.

We are still awaiting official details on the 2015 S-Class Coupe, but we’ll bring you more spy shots and information as soon as we get our hands on them.

Honda FCX Clarity

Since 2009, Honda has had hydrogen fuel cell vehicles running around in Europe and in 2011, Honda joined the Clean Energy Partnership in Europe to help bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the forefront. Now Honda is set to expand its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle production in a huge way by replacing the existing FCX Clarity with an all-new fuel cell vehicle in 2015. What’s more is that this car will be marketed in Japan and the U.S., as well as Europe.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to create electricity and the electricity is used to power the car. This means that there is literally no non-renewable fuel used and the only emissions created are water vapor. The details are still pretty sketchy on the entire project and Honda has pretty much only let us in on a little bit of information. In a statement, Honda stated that this new fuel cell vehicle will “showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.”

The latter statement is thanks to a new manufacturing process that Honda will adopt that allows it to produce its cars at the same time around the world, as opposed to staggering the production around the globe. Per Honda’s research, and general consensus agreement, this will reduce the cost of producing all Hondas, not just FCVs.

The biggest issue that Honda will run into in the U.S. is the hydrogen-delivery infrastructure. You can’t really head on down to your local BP station and top off your hydrogen tanks at will. It definitely takes a little planning and we are interested to see what Honda has up its sleeves for this. Don’t be shocked to start seeing Honda offering up filling stations at local dealerships that sell these cars.

We’ll keep you up to date on the production and details on this upcoming Honda FCV.

Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is one of those cars that import tuners – regardless of their make preference – would give just about anything to get their hands on. We knew that Honda was working on an all-new Civic type R, thanks to a few savvy spy photographers, but the details were still rather sketchy on when and where it would be released.

Well, with a news release that Honda sent out today, we have found out that the Civic Type R is a certainty and that this beast will hit the market in 2015. Unfortunately, this model will remain a fabled unicorn for the U.S. market, as Honda also announced that the Type R will be developed specifically for the European market – what a bummer.

According to Honda, the Civic Type R will apply technologies developed while preparing for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Given its WTCC roots, Honda has huge expectations of its 2015 or 2016 Civic Type R, as it also announced that it is aiming to make the Civic Type R the fastest front-wheel-drive car to ever lap the mighty Nürburgring .

That 2-year-old record is currently held by the Renault Megane RS Trophy and the time to beat would be 8:07.97, which is about 54 seconds slower than the Porsche 918 Spyder popped off the other day . Rather lofty goals indeed, Honda, as the Megane RS Trophy is no slouch, pumping out 256 horsepower, 360 Nm (265 pound-feet) of torque.

Reports are showing that the Civic Type R will arrive with between 220 and 230 horsepower, putting it far short of the Renault Renault . Plus, if Honda is planning to use its aging i-VTEC technology, there is simply no way the Civic Type R can produce the torque required to navigate the `Ring fast enough to beat the Renault’s time. The only way that Honda can expect to pull off this feat is to add a little boost to its VTEC engine to pump up the bottom-end torque and top-end horsepower, or simply create the most ridiculous power-to-weight ratio by deleting half of the body panels…

We’ll keep an eye out for more.

The 2010 Paris Auto Show brought us many concepts, but while the Lotus five-year plan has since fizzled to nothing and the Renault Dezir is only planned to be chopped up and used for inspirational parts, Audi is pushing forward with a production version of the Quattro concept . That’s right, the Quattro has been given the green light for limited production which should be ready for the 2015 model year.

The production Quattro will be based on Audi’s latest aluminum spaceframe chassis with a body built in carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. It will weigh in at about 660 lbs less than the RS5 as seen on the prototypes already testing. It will also feature a wheelbase that has been reduced by 150 mm and an interior featuring seats made from forged composites.

We don’t know exactly what will be used under the hood of the sports car, but the concept version is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder attached to a classic six-speed gearbox. The engine delivers a total of 402 HP and 354 pound-feet of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in just 3.9 seconds, while top speed is of course limited to 155 mph. Hopefully we will see either this configuration or something a bit more powerful on the production Quattro.

UPDATE 08/24/2012: Sources have told AutoBild that the future Audi Quattro Coupe (internally known as the Q35) will only feature small bits of inspiration from the Quattro Concept displayed at the 2011 Paris Auto Show. Other than that, the four-seater, two door sports car will have short overhangs, a flat roof, LED headlights and taillights, 20" wheels, and some hood-mounted air vents inspired by the original Quattro. In terms of power, the Quattro will feature a supercharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine mated to a dual clutch S-tronic transmission. This engine will produce 380 HP and send the Quattro from 0-62 mph in a little over four seconds.

AutoBild is predicting that the Audi Quattro will debut in March 2013 to coincide with the original Quattro’s 35th anniversary, hence the internal Q35 designation. It will be priced somewhere between the Audi TT and the Audi R8, which will fill in the gap nicely with the $38,650 and $114,200 price tags of the aforementioned models.

Source: AutoCar

We have all already learned about the upcoming SLS E-Cell , and that Mercedes is planning on releasing a limited amount of the electric supercar in 2013. What we haven’t learned about are any possible variants on the upcoming gull0wing coupe.

Well, that was until now... De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper, has confirmed that Mercedes is currently investigating the possibility of an SLS E-Cell Roadster. The SLS E-Cell will work as the testing gauge for the potential roadster variant. If it does well, Mercedes-Benz will officially announce the Roadster, but if it falls on its face, Mercedes will take its lumps on the base SLS E-Cell and make no other mention of the Roadster variant.

This SLS Roadster is anticipated to feature the same drivetrain as the SLS E-Cell. This drivetrain includes four electric motors, one for each wheel, that pump out a grand total of 525 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque. This all translates out to a 4-second sprint to 60 mph in the fixed-head variant, which would likely equal out to a 4.1- to 4.2-second sprint in a slightly heavier roadster model.

The official announcement is still a little ways away, so we won’t know for sure when and if the roadster will see showrooms, but we do expect the SLS E-Cell to sell well, meaning the Roadster would be almost certain to follow as a late-2014 or early-2015 model.

We’ll keep you updated on this front.

UPDATE 08/02/2012: Check out our rendering of the Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell Roadster!

Source: De Telegraaf
MG Icon Concept

When MG released the Icon concept car in Beijing, we were all a little shocked, as it had been ages since we had heard from the U.K.-based, Chinese-owned automaker. We also were impressed and disgusted with the concept all at the same time, as its overall styling was pretty sleek, but the Mini-like appearance and strange protruding fog lights killed it for us.

At the time, we knew that the Icon would make it to production, though the dates were a little fuzzy still, but we didn’t realize that this compact crossover may spawn the resurrection of a legend. Well, now we do know that the Icon will also be the basis that a new MG Roadster will be based on.

It sounds a little awkward when you think about it, but this Roadster will be a 4-seater crossover convertible. Calling it a Roadster is a pretty big stretch of the term, as a roadster typically has only two doors and two seats (see: Mazda Miata , BMW Z4 and Toyota MR2 ).

Regardless of the stretching of its name, the new MG Roadster will likely be a blast to drive, given its compact size and roughly 130 horsepower. We also don’t have to wait too awful long to see a production model, as reports are pointing to a 2015 release of the Roadster. The Roadster also earns brownie points for being relatively affordable at a reported ₤14,000 ($21,800 at the current rates).

We’ll keep a very close eye on this developing story and update you with more concrete information, as it becomes available.

Source: Auto Express

Back in May, we were teased by a relative unknown in the automotive world - Spanish automaker, Aspid - as it was set to unveil a new and secretive sports car. Up until that point, the only car that Aspid manufactured was the SS, which is a semi-open-wheel two seater more known for its agility than anything else.

Well, now Aspid is prepared to expose this all-new sports car to the world, and it has sent us a few PR images and a ton of info via email. Doing what we do best, we will critique this car and find out if it is really up to the task of competing with the Porsches and other sports cars of the world.

While this car looks very awkward and a little bit like something out of a Sci-Fi flick, it is actually rather conventional when sat next to its sibling, the Super Sport. In terms of performance, this new Aspid certainly talks a really big talk, but does it really have the bite to match up with its bark?

Click past the jump to find out if this Aspid GT-21 is up to the task of taking on the big boys in the industry.

Nissan 370Z

When the Nissan Z-car returned in the 2003 model year, Z enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced at the potential of this stylish machine. Even though it was not as powerful or as fast as they had expected, it was still loaded with potential. Well, over the years, enthusiasts became tired of the Z and this resulted in a mild sales fizzle when the 370Z came about. As of the 2012 model year, that fizzle has turned into lackluster sales.

Rumors are pointing to the fact that the Z-car is heading back to its roots. For those that remember, the Z-car was not a powerful machine in its infancy. It was more known for being a lightweight car that had an optimal power-to-weight ratio and precision handling. The current 370Z is anything but like the original, and according to Nissan design boss, Shiro Nakamura, the new Z-car will better reflect the past Z-cars and live up to its legend. We should even be seeing a concept car for this redesigned Z-car soon.

So, how will this car actually stack up? With the little bit of information we have and some speculation, we can give you at least a good idea on what to expect.

Click past the jump to read our full, and constantly growing, review on the upcoming Z-car.

All images are of the current generation Nissan 370Z.

Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S have been tearing up in sales lately, becoming the No. 1 and No. 2 selling cars, respectively. This comes as quite a surprise, considering they both were met with some minor grumbling over the fact that neither had any plans for a turbocharged model any time soon.

That phrase “any time soon” really only applies to the BRZ , as Subaru and Toyota both have made it clear that customers looking to buy a Scion FR-S will not be likely to ante up the extra dough needed for forced induction, so they effectively eliminated the FR-S from the boost talks. The BRZ, on the other hand, is marketed to the higher-end customer that just might pony up some extra Benjamins for some spoolage. However, that term “any time soon” rears up again, and we are stuck wondering what Subaru’s idea of “soon” really is.

With the recent announcement from Subaru about the addition of a turbocharger onto the FA-20 engine – the engine that the FR-S and BRZ come with – and its use in the upcoming Legacy sedan and wagon, we are starting to think the any time soon period has officially ended. We anticipate seeing a BRZ with a turbocharger hitting showrooms in the 2015 model year, at the latest, but the paltry 296 horsepower that the current boosted FA-20 produces won’t hold a candle to the version that the BRZ will see.

Click past the jump to read our thoughts and ideas on what this 2015 Subaru BRZ will have to offer.


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