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.

Note: Current SL63 AMG shown here.

This week has seen some shake-ups with the SL-Class lineup from Mercedes. The German automaker’s latest announcement centers on the mighty SL63 roadster. In an apparent move to streamline the lineup, Mercedes is cutting the Performance Package option, but adding even more horsepower to the standard car.

With the current Performance Package, the 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 got a 27 horsepower bump in output over the standard SL63’s 529 horsepower. But all 2015 SL63s will come with 577 horsepower standard. Adding to that, a new mechanical locking differential will help put power to the ground more effectively.

It’s likely Mercedes is stirring the SL pot in hopes of drumming up sales. Though it’s only two years old, the latest generation of SL-Class hasn’t seen a major update since its release. The car has historically been a slow seller, focusing mainly on quality over quantity for those well off enough for those who can afford a $100,000, two-seat convertible. For 2013, Mercedes sold just over 7,000 units — considerably more than the 4,899 units it sold in 2012.

This news comes directly after Mercedes announced the axing of the Euro-spec SL350 in favor of the new SL400 powered by a smaller, yet more powerful 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6. Luckily, the U.S. will also be getting the new SL400, adding to the SL550, SL63 AMG, and SL65 AMG models already available here.

We’ll bring you more details on the SL63 AMG once Mercedes reveals them all, so stay tuned.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG.

Source: AutoCar

Details about a possible M2 model surfaced at the end of May 2011 when BMW confirmed that the coupe and cabrio version of the 1-Series would be sold as the 2-Series . Now, thanks to the British magazine, AutoExpress, more details are available on this new sports car.

The new BMW M2 will be built on the company’s F21 platform that will also be used for the next 2-Series model. It will be an entry-level sports car featuring a front-mounted engine mated to all-new DCT semi-automatic transmission. As of right now, the likely engine is the 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo delivering about 400 horses. One of the most innovative features of the upcoming M2 will be the intense use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics first used in theM3 CRT and also announced for the upcoming BMW i8 .

In an interview with the British magazine, the M Division’s new managing director, Dr Friedrich Nitschke said: "In the 1M Coupe , we have a starter car for the M Division, and we are continuing to develop this project. Such models must be sporty, and offer extraordinarily low fuel consumption. This is something we could achieve with the M2. I think the 1M Coupe proves there is room for an M2, a coupe."

Although BMW feels there is room for an M2 model, don’t expect it to arrive until late 2015. At that point, models like the Porsche Cayman and the Audi TT RS may need a little jump-start to deal with the added competition.

Updated 04/07/2014: LeftLaneNews reports that the next BMW M2 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged variant of the 3.0-liter straight-six found under the hood of the M235i, and with the output increased to about 380 to 400 horsepower — 60 to 80 horsepower more than the M235i. This will allow the M2 to go from 0 to 60 mph in a little over four seconds. The M2 should be put on sale in 2016 at a price of about $55k.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M2.

Source: AutoExpress

ATS Autosport’s purchase of the DeTomaso name last November has given rise to speculation that the company is planning to bring back the DeTomaso brand. Well, according to Autocar, ATS has bigger plans that apparently also include the development of two other sports cars .

The 1960s Italian automaker has set its sights on returning to sports-car manufacturing and a pair of sports cars are already being discussed. One is the ATS Sport — the two-seat, track-focused road car we first saw back in October 2012. With the building blocks already in place to revive this project, the £45,000 Sport is likely the easier one to build.

Meanwhile, the other model is billed as the ATS Leggera, a more retro-looking sports car that evokes memories of classic Italian supercars . The Leggera is expected to weigh just 650 kg (1,433 pounds) to go with a GM-sourced, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that could develop anywhere between 210 and 300 horsepower.

In addition to the two planned models, ATS is also looking at a potential relaunch of the DeTomaso brand with an eye towards possibly building a new Pantera sports car that would be based on the company’s existing ATS 2500 GT .

The DeTomaso relaunch probably won’t happen anytime soon, given the amount of work the company is planning to invest on developing its existing line. But never say never with that DeTomaso relaunch; after all, ATS didn’t buy those rights just for the heck of it, right?

Click past the jump to read more about the De Tomaso Pantera.

Source: AutoCar

The demise of the Mitsubishi EVO as we currently know it could have been the death knell that pushed Mitsubishi over the edge. But the company is determined not to let the circumstance of the EVO’s fate dictate its own. That’s probably why a lot of people are getting excited with recent reports that a resurrected — and hybrid — 3000GT could replace the current EVO.

According to Auto Express, a hybrid 2+2 coupe that will take its cues from the 3000GT could be in the cards for Mitsubishi. This future model, should it get green lit by Mitsubishi execs, could potential use a modified version of the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid technology that’s currently being used by the Outlander PHEV .

Adding further credence to this rumor are talks that the next hybrid will be offered as a hybrid, something Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors UK, alluded to when he told Auto Express that while no specific plans have been laid about the next EVO, there’s "interest and willingness within [Mitsubishi] to produce one", albeit one that will carry a hybrid powertrain.

"There is demand for a car which performs well and makes problem feel good for themselves in terms of its efficiency," Bradley added. "If we can do an SUV which emits just 44g/km of CO2 then we can do the same with a performance car.”

That’s likely where talks of bringing back the 3000GT, which we haven’t seen since 1999, comes into the picture. Back in its heyday, the 3000GT was Mitsbushi’s resident 2+2 sports car that matched wits with the likes of the Mazda RX-7 and the Nissan 300ZX .

Times are changing with more and more companies turning their attention to hybrid technology for their sports cars. The way things are shaping up over at Mitsubishi, it does look like the company is the next to follow in that direction.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI.

Source: AutoExpress

Much has being made about the BMW Concept X5 eDrive following its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Shortly after its debut, a prototype was seen testing out on the road. Now, a refreshed version of the concept is headed to the 2014 New York Auto Show .

Whether this is a production model labeled as a concept or simply another prototype is a question that only BMW can answer. For the most part, there have been a few changes from the first concept we saw back in September last year.

What we do know is that there appears to be a future for the Concept X5 eDrive at some point. It may not be in the coming months, but years down the line, we expect this vehicle to be out on the road. The hybrid, luxury SUV market is still growing, and its only a matter of time before BMW jumps into the picture and announces its plans to be a strong competitor in it.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW Concept X5 eDrive.

Things are already shaping up for the new 2016 Audi Q5 SUV set to debut in the U.S. in 2017, including a plug-in hybrid version. AutoExpress is reporting the new SUV will feature a much more angular style, departing from the rounded, almost curvy style of the current ‘utes. This plays into the styling Audi has already brought to market with the new TT.

The styling of the new SUV is said to include new horizontally-arranged grille spokes with the Audi rings predominantly displayed at top-dead center. The all-LED MatrixBeam headlights will be much smaller and have a more angular look as well. Down low, large air intakes help cool the powertrain and brakes while providing visual mass down low.

Also speculated by AutoExpress is Audi’s continuation of its virtual cockpit design first seen in the TT. The design allows for a minimal use of physical buttons, all replaced by a large TFT display.

It’s said the new Q5 will be based on the MLB platform also underpinning the upcoming next-generation A4 sedan along with the Q5’s big brother, the Q7. High-strength steels and aluminum materials help reduce weight while providing a more ridged structure than the current SUVs roll on. Both handling and fuel economy will obviously benefit from the added lightness.

The report further speculates about the Q5’s powerplants. Both a four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines will be offered, along with a diesel powerplant. More importantly, Audi’s e-tron hybrid system is slated for inclusion, however it will be modified for use with all-wheel-drive and will be called e-quattro.

*Note: Current Audi Q5 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Audi Q5.

Source: AutoExpress

If you’ve been a fan of the retractable hardtop on the Mercedes SL and, prepare yourself for some bad news. Apparently, the next-generation SL will be available only as soft-top models. The SLK, which will share its underpinnings with the SL in the next generation, will carry on with its hard top.

The changes are still significant enough that it could alter the look of the SL. But that’s the gamble Mercedes in trying to reduce the car’s weight. In some ways, that could be a boon for fans of the luxury roadster, as less weight means it will use its power more effectively.

Speaking of power, the next-gen SL and SLK models are also expected to be offered with new engines, including four- and six-cylinders for the SLK, and a new 3.0-liter, inline-six for the SL. Performance numbers haven’t been announced just yet, but the four-cylinder in the SLK is likely able to produce around 240 horsepower, with the six-cylinder ticked significantly higher at around 335 horsepower to 435 horsepower. As for the SL’s new inline-six, that baby could have 365 ponies on tap.

With all these changes in tow, don’t expect these changes to happen soon, as a next-gen SL isn’t expected until 2021.

Note: Current Mercedes SLK pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Mercedes SLK.

Source: Autobild

Part of Daimler AG’s new ownership stake in Aston Martin appears to be ajoint partnership between the two companies to develop a slate of sport-utility vehicles. Don’t look now, but the future of the long-awaited Lagonda SUV might just have gotten a lot clearer.

According to Bloomberg, the two brands are in the middle of talks on sharing the underpinnings of a new full-size SUV with Aston Martin, something the British marquee has planned for a long time but has yet to materialize.

But the recent alliance with Daimler opens up a whole slate of possibilities for Aston Martin , now that it has a technology partner that can provide it with the right blueprint to see to completion a project that has been in the works for a long time now.

Part of the discussion appears to be Daimler helping Aston Martin in shaping up the Lagonda SUV. The two have already announced another part of their deal that calls for Mercedes’ AMG division to help develop new V-8 engines that will be used on future Aston Martin models. So this latest news that the two companies are now working on the Lagonda can be construed as another significant step toward what’s shaping up to be a fruitful alliance between the two companies.

Daimler may not get anything out of it at the moment, but should Aston’s next wave of models, the Lagonda included, be sales hits, Daimler’s five percent stake in Aston Martin could very well prove to be very useful.

Click past the jump to read more about the long-rumored Lagonda SUV.

Source: Bloomberg

The hotly anticipated launch of the Jaguar XQ-Type isn’t expected until 2016, but as early as now, Jaguar is already started development of the "sports crossover" ahead of that timeframe. With its impending arrival, the folks over at Jaguar aren’t wasting any time in building the XQ, not when its expected rival, the Porsche Macan , is drawing closer and closer to its own launch date.

Fortunately for Jaguar, it won’t have to start from scratch in building the XQ as the SUV ’s basic aluminum architecture is set to be borrowed from the XE compact sedan. It’s no secret that Jaguar is targeting the younger buyers that have active lifestyles and it’s preparing the XQ to fit that bill. According to Jaguar’s global marketing director, Steven de Ploey, the XQ could also be prepared to cater to "women buyers and more customers with young families," a good indication that the market for the sports crossover will be different from the people the British company targets with its luxury sedans.

The XQ is still a Jaguar at heart, but its characteristics will be markedly different from cars like the XF and the XJ . Like with Porsche’s plan for the Macan, Jaguar is trying to establish a new segment of customers to complement the well-off adults that are already in its books.

“It is a Jaguar, but in a completely different form," chief designer Ian Callum explained when the C-X17 Concept was first show at the Los Angeles Auto Show late last year.

By all intents and purposes, the XQ could be the vehicle that gives Jaguar a more diverse client base. That’s what the company’s aiming for, and we’ll know whether the plan pays off or not when the crossover arrives in 2016.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar SUV.

Source: AutoCar

Oh there are some really, really savvy spy photographers out and about these days and this time they caught the mother of all shots. The Barracuda has been an on-and-off venture for Chrysler for some time now, but we now have proof — via these exclusive spy shots — that it will debut this year at the New York International Auto Show in April. What’s more, it’s nothing like any of us imagined it would be...

We so happen to have a little "birdie" that works in the printing department at a large monthly automotive publication, and he noticed that the "boss man" was making sure only a select few saw the inside of this magazine. When he happened across a stray copy, he was as shocked as we are to see that the Barracuda will return not as a muscle car , but as a rebadged Dodge Dart .... sigh.... Our dreams are now crushed.

He managed to whip out his cell and snap off a few quick pictures, and this was the clearest one he could get, as he worried his boss could come around the corner at any second. We cleaned it up a bit by changing it to black and white, as the colors were a little messy from the poor lighting.

According to our source, the Barracuda features the same Fiat Compact platform as the Dart and Chrysler 200, but with some extra performance goodies. On top of the images, he scanned the page for as much information as he could absorb, and managed to catch that it will feature turbocharged four-cylinder with somewhere in the 250-horsepower and 260-pound-feet range, and that it will debut in New York this year. Unfortunately, that is all the information he could grab in the short amount of time he had alone with the stray mag.

Though the image is blurry, he described it as "a Dodge Dart with SRT aero mods and rims, and a dark grille." He couldn’t tell if it was an SRT model or a Plymouth , but the chances of Chrysler bringing back Plymouth for just this one model are slim to none.

So there you have it folks; Fiat has struck again by releasing another Chrysler icon from the muscle car years as a front-driven sedan, a la the Dodge Dart. We’ll go bury our heads in the sand until the NYIAS is over...

Update 4/1/2014: In case you haven’t figured it out just yet, this is a figment of our crazy imaginations here at the TopSpeed offices. Our rendering artist extraordinaire put a modified Dodge Dart on the pages of some random magazine, blurred the text a little and pasted in a Barracuda emblem and even a swimming barracuda in the background for the added "cheesy" effect. Thanks for playing along, we’ll be here all night; make sure to tip you waiters and waitresses...


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