Patent filings are sometimes the bane of secretive automaker’s existence. They try to sneak up and surprise the buyer by holding their cards close to their chest and not letting any information out about a new car. Well, the problem is that they need to patent these ideas to prevent other manufacturers from catching wind of their designs and stealing them. Then, you have savvy media folk that scour patent filings and dig up dirt on them, a la the Chevy SS, Cadillac ELR, Buick Electra, and so on.
We caught a glimpse of the 2014 Acura RLX concept car and its glorious beak in April and we were somewhat underwhelmed by it. Well, the savvy folk at Car and Driver recently dug up a patent from Europe showing what they are claiming to be the official production model 2014 RLX. Surprisingly, Acura’s production patent, or so it’s claimed to be, looks very much like the concept car. It appears that the only things that are different are the front lip design and the way the exhaust integrates into the bumper, which was far and away the coolest feature on the Concept RLX.
Unfortunately, the production RLX looks like it will retain the goofy looking “Jewel Eye” headlights, which are the two stacks of five LED lights making up the front headlights. On first glance, the “Jewel Eye” headlights did look a little neat, but it was definitely more of a novelty deal, as they now just look odd.
For those in favor of the ginormic Acura schnoz, don’t fear, as it appears to be in the same massive form as it was in at the NY International Auto Show.
Again, the true question is whether these actually are production images or just Acura patenting the basic RLX concept. Only time will tell, as we expect to see the real deal 2014 RLX in L.A. in November.
To audiophiles, 18,900 watts of power in a sound system is music to their ears, but to us normal folk, it seems like ear drum torture. Regardless, Nissan decided to team up with the Ministry of Sound to create a Nissan Juke with a monstrous sound system in it and released it for public viewing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans festivities.
On the outside, this flat-black Nissan Juke looks wild enough, with its unorthodox paint job and various black matte decals affixed to its body. On the inside, however, this Nissan Juke takes a turn toward the extreme, in the form of an 18,900-watt mobile DJ booth.
With the hatch closed the two speaker boxes, which each house an 18-inch subwoofer and several mid- and high-range speakers, feed through a perfectly tuned box to provide 150 dB of bone-rattling audio through the compact crossover. When the hatch is opened, the massive speaker boxes go with it, turning this Juke into a rolling PA system.
Complete with a DJ station and ambient lighting, there is no need to go to the club; you are rolling the club around with you. The tunes are piped in through the head unit via Ministry of Sounds digital radio app, so there’s no CDs to change or logging songs onto an iPod or flash drive.
This type of system requires extreme electrical power and the puny 12 volts from the Juke’s system just isn’t enough. This system includes its own power source, which Ministry of Defense does not identify. We can only assume that it is a series of deep cycle batteries, or it runs at a limited capacity when running off of the Juke’s electrical system and can be cranked to full power only when its power supply is plugged into a standard household electrical outlet.
I am not a huge fan of rolling boom boxes, but even I have to say this thing is pretty bad ass!
UPDATE 08/20/12: Nissan has announced a multitude of updates on the Nissan Juke Box, beginning with it’s UK price of ₤17,895 ($28,000), a new batch of photos, and a new video of the crossover hitting the road! Plenty to check up on with the Juke Box.
We have already heard from Renault about its intentions of having a “big surprise” in store for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which we all anticipate being as exciting as the final production model of the Alpine or as boring as the redesigned Clio. Now Bentley is getting in on this surprise-car theme by bringing its own new unnamed model to Goodwood.
There is very little information on this upcoming model, Actually it is a lot closer to no information than little, as the only word that we have is the luxury coach builder stating that the new model combines “stunning performance with exquisite luxury in the Bentley tradition.” By the description, it sounds almost like the Continental GT Speed that is already set to run at the Goodwood FOS, but it would seem odd to outright compete with its own sport coupe.
This could point to an even sportier car than the Continental GT gracing the "Flying B." Would we even dare to mention the term "sports car" in the same sentence as "Bentley?" If the description that Bentley gave of this car is true, then we very well may see a sleeker and sportier car bowing in at Goodwood.
We know that Bentley has broken its own mold in producing the EXP 9 F SUV concept, which will also be shown at Goodwood. This points toward Bentley’s openness to change, but is it open enough to bang out a super luxurious sports car? We’ll just have to see.
We will keep a close eye on what’s going on with Bentley and we will update you if anything else pops up. Given how tight-lipped Bentley has been so far, we will likely not know anything until the Goodwood FOS opens up on June 28th.
Click past the jump to read Bentley’s press release.
Volkswagen has a long history of doing things the right way, especially when it comes to the maker’s storied past. One of the key moments in VW’s recent history was the release of the New Beetle back in the late-1990s. In this instance, Volkswagen made sure to build a car that was new, but still paid tribute to its historic predecessors. When Vee-Dub redesigned the New Beetle in 2011, dropping the “New” in the process, it hit a homerun in terms of making it look even more retro, yet remaining modern.
Volkswagen is now in for yet another change for the Beetle and it is again paying direct tribute to its past. This new change is the upcoming convertible models, which will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. According to a Car and Driver report, VW is making three special edition Beetle convertibles that pay homage to its past generations, one for the 1950s, one for the 1960s, and one for the 1970s.
There is no mention of what each decade’s special edition will come with, but we do know that they will include: unique color schemes, custom upholstery and white-wall – yes, white-wall – tires. From what we can tell, these three launches will not gobble up every Beetle convertible, so there should be plenty of normal convertible Beetles available for those that don’t want a special edition.
We all have to stand and applaud VW for not being afraid of paying homage to its very humble roots as the “People’s Car” and a car that was not the most popular amongst hot rodders of the day. As soon as we know more details on these special dedicatory Bugs we will let you know. One thing we hope for are a nice set of dog dish rims that came on the Bug through its early years.
Top Gear is beloved by nearly every automotive buff and we all have a great respect for the oft-controversial Jeremy Clarkson. Not only is his automotive knowledge about as in-tune as you can get, but he is also a royal ass sometimes, which we enjoy, most of the time. Well apparently folks in West Mickley in the U.K., he is even respected as a traffic cop.
A young man got tired of seeing drivers flying through his small village well in excess of the village’s 30 mph posted speed limit. Instead of calling the police or lobbying to have other speed control devices (i.e. rumble strips or speed humps) installed, he built a police officer scarecrow, which we will be the first to dub it a “scareslow,” and set it up on the side of the road as you enter the village.
This scareslow is decked out with a toy police officer hat – you know, the funny little plastic domed hats – and a bright yellow high-visibility vest. In the scareslow’s left hand is a small hair drier that is used to simulate a radar gun. Topping off the entire garb is the face of none other than U.K. automotive super celebrity, Jeremy Clarkson! The young man that made this getup decided that a printed face of Clarkson glued to this scareslow was the ultimate finishing touch.
The BBC report says that they are not too sure what exactly makes traffic slow down when seeing this contraption. It is either the sheer realism of it – rather doubtful – or people simply gawking this creation allows them to realize that this is a village with a 30 mph speed limit. The latter is the most likely of scenarios, but it is an innovative way to self-regulate traffic.
Hats off to this man for using his noggin in finding a way to effectively slow down traffic through his village.
There are two things that are a part of nearly every auto show: sexy cars and equally appealing women. With the latter often comes clothing that leaves very little to the imagination. Well apparently, the Capital Ethics Development Office of China – the morality police, per se – decided that it wanted none of it, as they reprimanded the Beijing Auto Show officials for such scantily clad women, per a report from Bloomberg.
From what we saw of the Beijing Auto Show, the number of skin-flaunting women wasn’t nearly as high as we are used to, so we are left wondering what exactly the Chinese government wants. There were, of course, the obligatory more-skin-than-clothes models, but for the most part the women were dressed pretty moderately for an auto show, and the video from Bloomberg (above) shows them.
We totally understand that the Chinese government is more reserved than most, but c’mon, it’s an auto show. Who is mostly drawn to auto shows? The answer is, primarily men in their 30s and 40s. What do most men in their 30s and 40s like just about as much as cars? Well, we think you can figure it out…
We guess we’ll just have to see what happens next year at the Beijing Auto Show. We certainly hope the women aren’t prancing around in pant suits – eek. If so, we will all use a lot less space on our digital cameras.
We haven’t seen a new Peugeot sold in the U.S. since the company pulled out of our market in 1991, and we will likely never see one again, despite their loose ties to Chrysler. This doesn’t mean that they don’t produce some cool cars, which they most certainly do. Another cool thing they do is take risks when it comes to marketing. This can lead to an absolute win or a complete loss.
This leads us to the all-new Peugeot 208, which is the European super-mini car that the automaker released as the XY Concept in Geneva. This isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill super-mini, however, as it features an impressively modern design that takes the super-mini class to a whole new level. But we are not here to talk about the 208 and its deceptively large cabin, and ultra-low emissions diesel engines. Nope, we are here to talk about only one thing… Dancing!
That’s right, Peugeot it pulling out all the stops in advertising the new 208 with the release of the “Let your Body Drive” ad campaign. It features Marquese “Nonstop” Scott – a dancer who gained fame from a viral video – performing some sweet moves around a parking lot.
Little homage is paid to the 208, as the video centers around Scott’s dancing. It’s kind of similar to those blue jeans commercials that have more to do with a scantily clad person than the jeans themselves. The commercial is just there to get your attention and make you remember it. Ah, isn’t marketing cool!
So kick back and crank up your speakers, then watch the above video of something that would likely injure most of us. We think this one is an absolute win for Peugeot. Have a look at the car too; it’s really pretty cool… for a super-mini.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show is arguably the best looking car to come out of Alfa’s headquarters for years. It combines these good looks – which were only enhanced by the stunning matte red the first concept was revealed in – with the promise of high performance, yet affordable and very efficient driving. There is even the possibility of an Abarth model spicing things up even more.
Very little has been confirmed about the car until now, as Maserati recently confirmed that it will produce the 4C at its main production facility in Modena, Italy where it also builds the GranTurismo. It hasn’t yet been confirmed how this agreement between the two Italian firms was reached, but as Maserati is lending its services and facilities for the car, some financial benefit has to come out of the deal, and we suspect a Maserati variant of the 4C may be possible in the future.
Production is expected to start sometime next year, where Maserati aims to construct 2,500 units annually, and if all goes well, this figure is likely to rise. Pricing has yet to be released for the car, but early reports suggested the 4C could start at the fairly hefty price of $45,000, but with the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S being released in the months after the 4C was, we suspect Alfa may drop this price to compete with these two cars in the U.S. market.
That being said, the Alfa promises to be even more exotic than the comparable Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S as the concept car was constructed out of carbon fiber and weighed less than 1,900 pounds, although the use of carbon fiber in the production car is expected to be reduced significantly.
Either way, the 4C is shaping up to be a truly unique sports car, and it may even pave the way for a new segment in the sports car market.
When Volkswagen rid its lineup of the aging New Beetle in 2010 and released the all-new and more stylish Beetle in 2012, the convertible option was left out. V-Dub-Ya gave no real explanation to the lacking of a ragtop, but we all assumed it would eventually become a part of the lineup; much like it took VW five years to put a drop-top on the New Beetle.
It appears that the Beetle won’t have nearly as long of a waiting period before allowing its new-found male buyers to lower the top and let the whole world know they aren’t afraid to drive a “chick’s" car. At the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition – Auto China 2012 for short – Volkswagen plans to unveil a new convertible model.
Now hold your horses before you head out to your local “People’s Car” dealership to reserve your ragtop Bug, as the revealed drop- top Bug is not going to be a production model. It will actually be a convertible version of the E-Bugster, VW’s concept electric Bug.
Regardless of the ragtop being on the top of the concept Bug, just teasing the possibility of a convertible Bug is enough to make Bug lovers happy. VW has yet to even hint about a release date for any convertible models, and we have a sneaking suspicion that it will be a late-2012 or early-2013 addition to the lineup, given the fact they are not displaying a production model.
Keep an eye out, as the Auto China 2012 is coming up soon – it opens to us media folk on April 23rd – and we will let you know the second we get a glimpse at it and any information on a potential release date. Let’s also keep our fingers crossed that VW adds a drop-top option to its sweet 200-horsepower Beetle Turbo model.
About a week ago, we teased you with a review on the upcoming 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel and its incredible 7.2-second 0-to-60 time. That was just the very tip of the iceberg, as now it is time to get into what makes this SUV a Porsche, the GTS model.
The GTS is slated to be the middle ground between the S model and the Turbo model, but remains based on the S model. However, don’t start thinking you are just getting a glorified Cayenne S when you buy the GTS, as it has some significant performance upgrades over the Cayenne S model. These upgrades include minor tweaks to the engine to squeeze out some more power and suspension modifications.
In addition to performance mods, the Cayenne GTS also features some visual and interior upgrades to make it well worth the extra money it will run.
As we said, there is only a little bit of information to release at this time, but we will definitely keep you up to date on any addition information that Porsche releases at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show and in the days leading up to the show, which starts on April 24th.
Updated 04/27/2012: Porsche has unveiled a new promo video for their latest Cayenne GTS presenting the new SUV in action. Enjoy!