future cars

future cars

  Future cars in the making. Should they be an innocent drawing, a fine computer rendering or real driving concept, they always preview the cars of the future in some aspects.

The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.

The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.

Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.

Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.

BMW and Toyota are already working on a joint-venture hybrid supercar that’s rumored to be more powerful and faster than the already legendary Lexus LF-A . That’s plenty of news to get excited about, but it appears the collaboration is about to spawn yet another enticing product. According to CAR, the said companies are planning to develop a range of mid-engined sports cars to go against the Porsche 911 . Talk about big ambitions.

Codenamed Silk Road 2, the project includes a mid-engined two-seater for both brands that will reportedly hit the market as the BMW Z7 and the Lexus ZC/ZR in late 2018 or early 2019. Both sports cars will be developed at BMW BMW ’s headquarters in Munich and have 3.0-liter, inline-six engines fitted behind their seats. Aided by a pair of turbochargers, the mill is said to deliver between 400 and 500 horsepower. That’s right between the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the 911 Turbo .

Since sports cars are also about lightness, BMW will focus on reducing weight too. Word has it the aim is for the vehicle to tip the scales at around 3,637 pounds. Not bad considering other BMW or Toyota Toyota products, but certainly not enough against the 911. Both the 911 Carrera S and the 911 Turbo are lighter at 3,040 pounds and 3,538 pounds respectively. This will likely slow things down in the performance department, but four to five years are long way to go and many changes can occur.

Once they are ready to hit the market, the BMW Z7 and the Lexus ZC/ZR will retail for around €90,000 ($121,960 as of 6/12/2014), the report adds, which makes them cheaper than the Porsches they’re designed to challenge.

Also included in the project is a hybrid powertrain that will include a still unknown twin-turbo engine and an electric motor rated at around 150 horsepower. The drivetrain will also include a quick seven-speed, dual-clutch, high-performance batteries, composite brakes and active aerodynamics.

Click past the jump to read more about Toyota and BMW’s future "Project Silk Road 2."

Source: CAR

Things at Jaguar Land Rover have just gotten more interesting. The British car company has just announced its own skunk works department, called Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. The new division is charged with making high performance and ultra luxury editions of standard production Jaguar and Land Rover products on a bespoke, individual level.

Much like BMW Individual, Special Operations will build vehicles to specifications outside the normal assembly line ordering guide. Customers can order their choice of colors, interior amenities, trim packages, and add-on accessories. The shop will also handle the company’s limited-edition collectables that run with small production numbers.

Even more, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will work on vehicle restorations and servicing with parts gathered through salvage or recreation of specialized historic parts. The Heritage Team already has their first major project lined up. You may recall the six lightweight E-Types we reported Jaguar is building from parts left over from the 1960s.

The operation will be led by John Edwards and overseen by Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive. Paul Newsome, formerly of Williams Advanced Engineering, is heading up the team of designers and engineers under Edwards. In the media statement after the jump, Speth says the new Special Operations division was created in an effort to “reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover in building exciting and desirable products.”

The Special Operations division will be located in the company’s new Technical Center, located in the West Midlands area of the UK, just outside the corporate headquarters and will employ some 150 team members.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations Division.

The Porsche Cayenne arrived in America for the 2003 model year in the S and Turbo trims, and the base V-6 model and the Turbo S followed them up in 2004 and 2006, respectively. In 2010, the second-gen Cayenne made its way to the market with a lower nose and a more raked D-pillar, giving is a smaller appearance. Despite the smaller look, it was actually slightly larger than the first generation — it also weighed 400 pounds less. As the years went on a hybrid model joined the team in 2011 and a diesel model in 2013. Rumors in June 2014 point toward the third-generation Cayenne hitting the streets in 2017, which will make it a 2018 model year in the U. S. of A.

According to the reports, which we translated from German, the third-generation Cayenne will not undergo a huge makeover, but it will receive some minor visual changes, some new colors on the inside and out, new wheel options, a new steering wheel, a more 918-like cabin, and an extra 20 horsepower for the GTS trim, taking it to 440 ponies.

One of the biggest changes will be the adoption of a new, high-floor Audi chassis that is called the MLBevo — it is essentially an enhanced version of the existing MLB chassis. This new underpinning will change the positioning of the engine, thus changing the weight distribution — hopefully not for the worse — axle-to-firewall distance, seat positioning and suspension kinematics. Unfortunately Autobild did not give us specifics as to what we can expect from these changes.

Porsche will also send the Cayenne to fat camp, where it will live on a steady diet of aluminum, dropping its curb weight by about 660 pounds.

Under the hood, the Cayenne will carry a 4.0-liter V-8 and 3.6-liter V-8, but Porsche will re-tune the latter to deliver more power and efficiency than the current version. You can also expect a fuel-sipping, 2.9-liter V-6 with a pair of turbos, and V-8 and V-6 diesel powerplants — I suspect the V-8 will be a Europe-only engine.

Speaking of fuel efficiency, the rumors also point toward a pair of plug-in hybrid drivetrains, one with a world-traveling 3.0-liter and one with a Europe -only diesel V-6. These will likely come a year after the debut of the third-generation Cayenne.

For now, these are all just rumors but they do come from a pretty reliable source. Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more details.

Note: 2015 Porsche Cayenne pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Porsche Cayenne.

Source: Autobild

Last time our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley SUV roaming the streets of Britain, the mule was cleverly disguised as an Audi Q7 . Not exactly surprising considering the two will share the same platform, but obviously disappointing for those anxious to see the looks of the new luxury SUV , us included. Less than a month has passed since then, and we can finally see some of the details adorning the company’s first ever SUV, as the Audi -like mule just turned into a proper Bentley prototype wearing a heap of familiar details.

As expected, the overall styling goes back to the EXP 9 F concept that previewed the production model. However, the large family ride is set to receive a host of cues already present on other Bentley models.

Essentially a beefier Flying Spur with a wagon -like rear end, the SUV shares the sedan’s massive mesh grille and headlamps. What sets this SUV apart are the large intakes flanking the grille, a more pronounced hood, and a more angular front end. However, the latter might be just an effect that could disappear as soon as the camo is taken away. Either way, the front fascia is imposing enough for a luxury SUV of this stature.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Bentley SUV.

The Renault -Caterham joint venture has officially been dissolved. It was a nice plan at first, but like a lot of nice plans, this one sputtered and died before anything great could come from it. The two sides decided on an amicable split two years after joining forces on what was initially planned as the rebirth of the Alpine brand. The companies were so dedicated at one point, they went so far as to co-found Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham with the intention of launching a pair of similarly styled sports cars by 2016.

But somewhere along the way, the relationship between the two companies disintegrated. It even came to a point where disagreements on the development of the sports cars caused significant delays. So instead of soldiering on and squashing the tensions between the two sides, both companies chose to drop the project entirely and go their separate ways.

Renault has since acquired full ownership of Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham and dropped "Caterham" from the official company name. Both companies are moving forward in building new sports cars but will do so independently.

A lot of people, including us, are understandably disappointed that the Renault-Caterham marriage didn’t work. It really had so much promise at the beginning. The thought of a shared sports car that incorporated the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept had a lot of people in the industry at attention, wondering what these companies could create together.

Surprisingly, there are no hard feelings, as the two brands still plan to work together through "other forms of cooperation," but it doesn’t sound as exciting as building a sports car together.

Oh, well. So much for that.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault-Caterham’s joint venture.

Nissan has been building midsize trucks since 1985, with models stretching all across the globe. Here in U.S., the Hardbody and then Frontier have filled the slot, but overseas in nearly every other country, it’s been the Navara. Now for 2015, the Navara moves into its twelfth generation with the NP300 Navara.

While we were expecting Nissan to announce the U.S.-spec Frontier sometime soon, the automaker has been quiet on the details. We do suspect many if not most of the Navara’s details will transfer over to the Frontier, but we cannot be certain. That’s especially true when considering the powertrain options.

As for the new NP300, the updates are more evolutionary than revolutionary. A more ridged high-strength frame holds still the independent, coil-over suspension up front with a leaf spring suspension out back. Power comes from two — so far — improved engines: a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, gasoline mill and a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, turbo-diesel. Both engines are more efficient and powerful, helping the truck do more with less fuel. A seven-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission are offered with both engines.

An electric, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is available and is assisted by Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system, Hill Start Assist, Hill Decent Control, and Active Brake Limited Slip. That last feature uses the brakes to apply force to a spinning wheel in low-traction situations on both the front and rear axles. The mechanical differential then sends power to the opposite wheel.

These nitty-gritty features all work together to get make the Navara look like a solid contender for Nissan in the upcoming years. As far as the U.S. version, it appears we’ll have to wait a bit longer for any news. But when it comes, rest assured that TopSpeed will have it covered.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara.

Lincoln has been struggling to get back on track and catch up to Cadillac for more than a decade now. But despite the company’s efforts to reinvents itself, things aren’t going as they should. And that’s why we’re not at all surprised to hear the luxury marque is planning yet another overhaul and a new batch of models.

The big news though is that Lincoln finally admitted it could borrow the brand-new platform underpinning the 2015 Mustang to add a sportier model to its lineup. Rumors about a Mustang -based Lincoln have been floating around since 2013, especially in regard to the next-generation MKS sedan .

"We know that we need to get into other segments with other vehicles," Lincoln head of marketing, sales and service Matt VanDyke told Edmunds, adding that the company "won’t rule out" a vehicle developed on the rear-wheel-drive platform sitting underneath the 2015 Mustang.

The representative didn’t go into specifics, but such a decision is likely to come as a result of the new "One Ford" strategy that advocates the sharing of platform and drivetrains within Ford Motor Co. All told, all Ford vehicle platforms are being considered to develop additional Lincoln automobiles.

Click past the jump to read more about Lincoln’s future Mustang-based model.

Source: Edmunds

The Lexus LF-LC Concept made quite an impact at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show . The coupe debuted with stunning looks and a rear-wheel-drive configuration motivated by a hybrid powertrain, making everyone fantasize about a more powerful and advanced successor to the almighty LF-A .

More than two yeas have passed and that scenario has yet to materialize, but rumors about the LF-LC’s purpose keep pouring in. A recent report coming from Japan, for instance, says the concept car won’t spawn a replacement for the LF-A, but a grand tourer that will bring the SC nameplate back to the Lexus range. The initial SC was discontinued in 2010 after only two generations.

If the report proves to be correct, the new SC will most likely benefit from the LF-LC’s carbon-fiber and aluminum construction, which means it will sit above the RC-F coupe in terms of performance. As far as styling goes, we expect the third-generation SC to blend cues from both the LF-LC Concept and the RC-F for a modern and aggressive result.

The production model will likely keep the aerodynamic and muscular shape of the concept car, but ditch the futuristic headlamps in favor of RC-like units. Slightly reshaped taillights and rear bumper are also imaginable, but expect the same spindle grille to dominate the coupe’s front end.

Engine-wise, Lexus is reportedly readying two distinct powertrains. A hybrid drivertrain combining gasoline and electric power will generate nearly 500 ponies, while the conventional 5.0-liter V-8 borrowed from the RC-F will send 475 horsepower to the rear wheels through Lexus’ 10-speed automatic transmission. Don’t get too excited though, the SC won’t show itself to the world before 2017.

Note: 2012 Lexus LF-LC pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Lexus SC.

Source: CarsGuide

A hybrid version of the Toyota GT86 isn’t part of Toyota’s future plans, putting to rest rumors that the company could use the technology to offer a different, higher-performing version of the GT86. The decision to set aside a hybrid GT86 was reportedly made because it didn’t make sense from a business perspective.

Toyota marketing director Fabio Capano told Autocar that the Japanese automaker has no plans of building a hybrid GT86 despite company engineers admitting that the technology is already at an advanced stage of development. If there were a business case to be made for the vehicle, Toyota would think long and hard about green lighting it. But like most companies, Toyota wants to prioritize its time and money in pursuing other projects and a hybrid GT86 isn’t on top of its "to-do" list. So why even bother, right?

If demand for a hybrid Toyota GT86 doesn’t justify the time and effort, then why would Toyota build it in the first place? Additionally, The GT86 prides itself on being an affordable sports car with adequate power behind it. Launching a hybrid version of the model could end up cannibalizing sales of the base sports car and other future endeavors, like the return of the Supra .

Instead, Toyota is focusing on using its "advanced" hybrid technology on a car that’s more suited for it. The long-rumored sports car collaboration with BMW is one such car that could make the most of a hybrid powertrain.

Source: AutoCar

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