Car News

Our spy photographers have again caught Porsche testing the upcoming 911 Convertible , though this time things look a little more production-ready. As evidenced by the lack of major camouflaging, this test mule may actually be closer to a pre-production unit. What’s more, it’s painted a grey metallic color rather than Porsche’s always-black early test beds.

The lack of heavy camo and a lighter paint color affords us our best look yet at the new 911 . Reshaped door handles, a more throwback style on the engine cover, and the conformation of air ducts aft of the rear tires are the three biggest fresh updates. These changes join other reshapings we’ve already seen, including a new front bumper with its active air ducts, new parking lights, and new LED taillights.

Since this is likely a few steps away from being production ready, we wouldn’t be surprised to find the new Porsche parked at the LA Auto Show come November. In that case, the new 911 will likely be slotted for release in the 2016 model year.

Also unconfirmed but harder to prove is the theory Porsche will use turbocharging on all its Boxer engines across the board. This would help the German automaker reduce emissions and while still making appropriate power. Also likely is a smaller, six-cylinder, turbo engine for the 911, along with a four-cylinder turbo for the Boxster and Cayman cars coming in the near future.

Lastly, rumors suggest Porsche will codename this 2016 911 the 992 rather than 991.2, as previously thought by some. Rumors are rumors though, so we’ll have to wait for Porsche to make an official move before we know anything solid.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Convertible

Aston Martin may have a savior knocking on its door, as Daimler is considering purchasing the flailing British automaker. Though it already owns a five percent stake in Aston Martin, reports suggest a 50/50 probability Daimler may purchase the remaining percentage of Aston Martin.

Aston Martin would be yet another feather in Daimler’s hat, joining Mercedes-Benz , Smart , Maybach , Freightliner , and Thomas Built Buses. The two automakers are currently in a partnership that gives Aston Martin some needed engineering help and technological innovations for its upcoming products. Since that partnership is just a year old, little Daimler influence is seen in Aston’s current vehicle lineup. However, that’s all going to change with both automakers’ next generation of cars.

If the deal goes through, we can expect to see plenty of Mercedes and AMG tech infiltrate Aston’s product portfolio, such as replacements for the aging VH platform, and the outdated V-8 and V-12 engines. It’s unlikely that the two automakers’ design departments will share notes, so we can expect Mercedes and Aston Martin to keep their looks to themselves.

Daimler is also in deliberating on purchasing a controlling share of the Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta . This comes on the heels of Audi buying up the famed motorcycle brand Ducati , which had previously worked with AMG. The new acquisition of MV Agusta would put Daimler back on track to compete more squarely with Audi in that respect.

Neither one of Daimler’s deals are official yet, but things are looking pretty good. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any developing information.

Click past the jump to read more about the Daimler-Aston Martin partnership

It’s no secret we’re fans of the Lamborghini Huracán here at TopSpeed. It’s hard not to be with its screaming, 5.2-liter V-10 kicking out 610 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission does the shifting in split seconds and a permanent all-wheel-drive system puts all that power to the pavement. It only takes the Huracán 3.2 seconds to hit 62 mph. Give it 10 seconds and it’s blazing at 125 mph.

So when this video popped up online of the 2015 Huracán going for a top-speed run, we had to pause and watch. Pop some popcorn, folks, this video is good.

The Lambo’s straight-line performance is also on full display here, as evidenced by the beautiful digital gauge cluster. After adding about 4,500 revs to the V-10, the brake is released and the Huracán just shoots forward, hitting 60 mph just past second gear, the engine continues to scream as the speedometer climbs like a millisecond stopwatch. Things get a little concerning when a temperature warning light comes on for the all-wheel-drive system, however. We don’t know how many runs the car had done before this one, so perhaps the driver simply didn’t allow for a proper cool-down period.

Despite the warning light, the driver pushes on to reach a tremendously fast 211 mph, hitting that speed in only 40 seconds. Amazing Besides the nerve racking warning light, the video is a thrilling example of what Lamborghini’s newest supercar is capable of. And if you’re keeping score at home, Lamborghini lists the Huracan’s top speed at greater than 202 mph. We guess Lambo listed it this way to avoid encroaching on the Aventador’s 217-mph top speed.

Audi has announced it will be adopting a 48-volt electrical system in its vehicles starting in the near future. The new high-power electrical system is said to give engineers the ability to make sportier, more efficient, and more convenient cars.

“We are using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive principles strategy,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenbert, a Member of the Board of Management for Technical Devel Devel opment at Audi. “Running part of the vehicle electrical system at 48 volts plays a central role in this. It enables us to make more energy available.”

We’ve already seen two examples of Audi vehicles with the 48-volt system; the RS5 TDI and A6 TDI concepts. Both cars are fitted with an electrically powered compressor that gives extra boost to the engine, helping eliminate turbo lag. The compressor is a separate system than the engine, so there is no parasitic loss.

Boosting power won’t be the only benefit. Audi says the upgraded electrical system will help boost advancements in dynamic chassis control systems.

The 48-volt system will even work while the main engine is powered off. A small bank of lithium-ion batteries will supply the juice. A DC/DC converter then integrates the standard, 12-volt electrical system. What’s more, the battery pack also works in conjunction with a new efficiency-optimized alternator, basically turning the vehicle into a mild hybrid system.

Audi says the new system can save owners 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, or roughly 0.105 gallons over 62 miles.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 TDI Concept

It is no secret that car enthusiasts often buy strange things just because they are related to their favorite cars. I, for one, went through my phases of buying old ignition keys, hubcaps and emblems in my younger years, and I know many of my gearhead friends went through equally weird buying phases. This item, however, seems excessive even to me.

Up for sale on eBay today is a BMW i8 , and the bid is currently at only $19,100, but the reserve is not yet met as of 8/26/2014. Sounds like this may be the bargain of the century, right? Well, you may want to chill out a bit and put your itchy bidding finger away. This is merely a display-only shell of the i8 that a dealership bought from Bimmer to show off on its showroom floor. Yeah, talk about a buzz kill, right?

According to the seller, this shell is made from fiberglass and measures about 15.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide by 5.5 feet tall, which is almost the exact size of the actual i8 — only the height is off by about a foot from the real deal, but that could be a typo in the ad. There is no engine, no transmission, no interior, the doors do not open and it rolls on casters.

I could think of about 1,000 other things I could spend $19,000 on, but some people may find this display car as the perfect addition to their auto collection. If you happen to be one of those people, you had better hurry, as the bidding ends on August 29th, 2014 at 11:32 PDT.

And if you are about to bid on this, you may want to contact me first, as I have a bridge to sell that you may be interested in...

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8

Source: eBay

The U.S. auto industry have given us some of the most incredible automobiles over the last 100 hundred years. Starting with the Ford Model T , the first vehicle mass-produced on moving assembly lines, and ending with the aluminum-bodied, 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, America has made a name for itself as one of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. Before the Great Depression, the U.S. produced over 90 percent of the vehicles sold globally, and after World War II it was responsible for 75 percent of the world’s production. That’s no longer the case in 2014, when China manufactures nearly 20 million vehicle a year, more than both the U.S. and Japan.

Sure, these numbers don’t mean U.S. manufacturers have lost their touch. Just look at the new Mustang and Corvette Z06 , and you’ll notice the brilliant engineering and the passion are still there. However, it’s common knowledge that global production works on different standards which restrict the availability of certain models in certain markets. It works both ways. Europe, for instance, can’t have many of the vehicles sold in the U.S., while Americans can’t buy cars made by a variety of European brands. Ironically, North American manufacturers have launched a bevy of nameplates that can’t be had in the U.S. And while most of them wouldn’t stir any interest on these shores, some vehicles have caused great frustration to the American enthusiast.

I’m going to talk about the latter. The cool cars we can’t buy and drive over various production or import issues, or even the manufacturer’s lack of interest in the U.S. market. Take a look at my choices below and tell me what you guys think. I narrowed the list down to 10 vehicles, so feel free to let me know which ones you think I should have included in the comments box.

Click past the jump to read more about the cool cars we can’t buy in the U.S.

The turbocharged California T came as a big surprise in early 2014, but it appears Ferrari aims to add forced induction to all of its V-8-powered sports cars . Concerned about both fuel economy and safe ways to increase output, the Italians are testing a turbocharged version of the Ferrari 458 as we speak. While rumors about a force-fed 458 surfaced in early 2014 when a white mule was spotted playing in the snow, a new batch of spy shots featuring a camouflaged sports car comes to confirm the turbo 458 is well underway.

Reportedly dubbed M458-T , the new iteration of the company’s entry-level sports car is expected to see significant gains in terms of horsepower. Specifically, the turbocharger attached to the new V-8 unit is likely to push output to around 670 ponies, a 74-horsepower addition to the 596 ponies available with the 458 Speciale. Of course, more power means an updated cooling system and revised aerodynamics as well, with minor design changes to further mark the introduction of the first turbocharged 458.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari 458 M

Every one of us here at TopSpeed is foaming at the mouth to see the Q50 Eau Rouge take production form, but there may be a handful of roadblocks ahead. On January 8th, Infiniti filed a trademark application for the super-sedan’s "Eau Rouge" name, and the patent office has yet to approve it. It is almost a certainty that the patent office will approve it, but it will then go up for contention, and this is where the issues may pop up.

You see, the Eau Rouge name is actually inspired the famous uphill bend on the Spa-Francorchamps course owned by the Wallonian government. Though there is no American trademark on the name, the track does have the "L’Eau Rouge" name registered with the European Union’s trademark office. This would give the track and its owners legal grounds to contest the name, which could spell trouble for Infiniti.

Contention would ultimately give Infiniti two options. Option 1: change the name altogether. Option 2: pay Spa-Francorchaps a sum for each vehicle sold, much like GM did to SCCA for using the Trans Am name.

It is doubtful that the racetrack’s owners would turn down an offer to make a couple bucks with each vehicle sold just to use the nickname. Race tracks are notoriously expensive to run and go bankrupt regularly, so the extra cash flow for simply signing off on Infiniti using the name would likely be welcome.

We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you as soon as the trademark issue is addressed.

Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

Source: Bloomberg
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Land Rover has always been on the forefront of off-road technology . It’s a company that prides itself on pushing the bar upward with each new model. For instance, the new Range Rover is quite possibly the best, most advance off-roading production vehicle on the market today, with its all-aluminum body and frame, it has anti-roll bars that disconnect electronically and it can even come with a sonar system that allows you to monitor wading depth. All Land Rovers are highly advanced vehicles, and Land Rover seems to be teasing some new tech for the upcoming Discovery Sport .

The video seems to be tying the history and future of Land Rover with that of the space program, showing numerous Evolution Of Man-style aeronautic images. At the end of the video it even references the partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, the space program branch of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire.

The first bit of interior tech Land Rover teases, is the satellite-image-style navigation system, which could offer an incredibly accurate way of tracking yourself while off-road in dangerous and desolate places, or allow fantastic exploration abilities. The second bit is the set of seven rear seats that seem to have a high range of maneuverability. The last piece of tech Land Rover teases is a large, panoramic moonroof that seems to stretch almost the entire length and width of the roof.

Land Rover doesn’t tease too much, but it is hinting that this new Discovery is on the cutting edge of technology. The Discovery Sport is rumored to use space-grade techniques, borrowed from its Virgin Galactic partner, such as "see-through" view of the road ahead, helping you avoid dangerous terrain while tackling tough terrain, as well as gesture control, which will allow the driver to operate various parts of the vehicle with hand gestures. These are all just rumors, of course, and we’ll see how high-tech the Discovery Sport really is when it debuts September 3rd, 2014. For now we can only speculate as to what kind of tech the Discovery will really have, and hope that a zero-gravity key-fob is one of them.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Imagine this, you’re driving down a twisty, winding road, in a convertible BMW with the top down, wind in your hair and in your ears, and the sound of…nothing because you’re driving a hybrid. Sounds pretty awful, right? Well don’t worry because BMW isn’t making a hybrid convertible, at least until the i8 goes topless. BMW has officially stated that six, inline cylinders will drive the upcoming Z4 replacement. This is good news. The Bavarians have always made wonderful I-6 engines; with smooth, buttery powerbands and lovely, growling exhaust notes.

The engine in question, code named B58, will be a 3.0-liter, turbocharged I-6 that will put out around 335 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. Combine that with an estimated curb weight of around 3,084 pounds, and you’ve got one hell of a convertible sports car. Rumor also has it that this car will be developed together with Toyota and its upcoming Supra replacement. Based on the success of the Toyobaru twins and all of the success BMW’s had developing sports cars, I cannot see this car being anything other than fantastic.

This is a whole new line of engines from BMW. It’s in the same “Efficient Dynamics” engine family that its newly released, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder and 2.0-liter. four-cylinder engines are from. This engine is also rumored to debut in the upcoming 7 Series replacement, and should trickle down into the 3 Series and 5 Series cars shortly after. It’s also good to see Bimmer sticking with six-cylinder engines. Many automakers have been ditching sixes for turbo-fed fours, and while the turbo fours pack quite a punch, they lack in emotion and excitement compared to sixes. So while the Z4 might eventually get the familiar 2.0-liter turbo four as well, it’s refreshing to see BMW also offer an I-6.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 successor.

Source: Motoring

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