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.

Although it hasn’t received many updates for the 2015 model year, the Lexus RX 350 remains a strong competitor in the crossover market mainly due to its luxurious cabin and smooth ride. However, the vehicle lacks the power of its main rivals and, more importantly, it doesn’t come with the third-row seat featured in the Acura MDX for instance.

Lexus is obviously aware of the latter, especially with many customer complaints reaching its headquarters via dealers, and, according to brand chief Jeff Bracken, the company is planning on resolving this issue by rolling out a seven-seat crossover under the TX nameplate.

"Third-row seating is the No. 1 issue we hear from dealers. We feel like we’re missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We’re working hard to rectify that," Bracken told Automotive News, without going into specifics.

Despite the lack of details, it appears that the vehicle is likely to be a car-based crossover underpinned by either the platform used for the Toyota Highlander /Camry (FWD) or the architecture found under the Lexus IS and GS sedans (RWD). Specifically, the seven-seat crossover will be similar in size to the RX, with a slightly longer body to provide additional third-row space inside the cabin. "We won’t be bothered if it steps on RX. We want it," Bracken was quoted saying.

A little more than a clean sheet of paper at the time of this writing, the vehicle won’t arrive until "2016 or 2017" and there’s no word as to what engines might be offered. The TX name remains unconfirmed for the time being, but the aforementioned source reports that Toyota has already applied for a trademark.

Note: The recently unveiled Lexus RX pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Lexus TX.

Although Mercedes-Benz has yet to confirm whether or not the upcoming AMG GT sports car will get a roadster version, it would be plain silly for the Germans to skip on a drop-top. I mean, why take the Porsche 911 Turbo by the horns and completely ignore the Turbo Convertible? It would be right given the competitiveness of today’s sports car market.

That said, an AMG GT Roadster launch is likely to occur sometime next year, a few months after the Coupe version goes on sale. Testing will probably commence later this year, but not before the Stuttgart crew rounds off the hard-top version, which was already spotted on both public roads and at the Nurburgring track on several occasions .

Since the coupe and roadster will share the same underpinnings, development of the latter will have a more smoother path, with engineers needing only to take care of additional structural reinforcing - a standard procedure for just about any convertible.

No changes will occur under the hood, where the same turbocharged, 4.0-liter, V-8 engine will gurgle with at least 500 horsepower at its disposal while sending it to the wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. A minor decrease in top speed is likely though, with a few mph chopped off the coupe’s estimated 190 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes AMG GT Roadster.

Introduced for the 2014 model year, the Chevrolet SS performance sedan is likely to pass into the 2015 model year with only a handful of updates. It is safe to assume that GM will add some of its latest in-car technology, such as high-speed OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, but there are rumors abound that the sedan’s about to receive some under-the-skin changes. The biggest of these changes is the inclusion of a manual transmission — something muscle car enthusiasts have been screaming for since the SS made its debut. That’s the word from Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman, who broke the big news via his Twitter account, adding that the manual SS will make its U.S. debut at the Woodward Dream Cruise in August.

Of course, nothing’s official until Chevy comes out with some sort of confirmation, but it would be crazy for the company to ignore all those enthusiasts crying for a manual for one more year. Although Lieberman didn’t say what kind of gearbox the SS will be getting, our bet is on the six-speed manual available on the Camaro SS .

The other news concerning the 2015 SS is that the sedan is also getting GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension, a piece of technology currently offered on the 2014 Corvette , Camaro ZL1 and a range of Cadillacs .

Note: 2014 model year pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet SS.

Source: Twitter

Koenigsegg isn’t just content with being an exclusive brand for the rich and super rich; it also wants to cater to people who can’t afford their supercars . So the company is thinking of adding an entry-level model in its mix, although by its definition of "entry-level", it’s talking about a car that costs just $600,000. The company’s dictionary sure is a lot different from the rest of us.

Speaking to Motoring Australia at the New York Auto Show , Christian Von Koenigsegg expressed his plan to add a little diversity to the Koenigsegg lineup. Instead of just offering hypercars that come with seven-digit price tags, Von Koenigsegg is looking to add a new model that will only cost six digits, or to be more specific only twice as expensive as a Lamborghini Aventador .

We can make light of Koenigsegg’s relative idea of "entry-level", but we can’t deny that such a car sounds no less interesting than its current models. He indicated that this model will still retain a high degree of exclusivity that should bode well for those wanting a Koenigsegg but can’t afford the $1.3 million price tag of the Agera . There are people with that kind of money, especially in the Chinese and U.S. markets replete with car-loving individuals that have the deep pockets to match their thirst for speed and exclusivity.

Koenigsegg didn’t divulge a whole lot of details about this "entry-level" supercar, but you have to wonder what the timetable is for this car’s arrival.

Here’s to hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Koenigsegg Agera R.

Source: Motoring

The Volkswagen Passat may be one of the company’s most popular offerings in America, but, despite being slightly larger and cheaper than its rivals, the midsize sedan is far behind the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in terms of sales.

Aware that in order to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018 they have to be more than just a niche player in the U.S., the Germans are struggling to up the ante with new or refreshed products such as the 2015 Jetta . Vehicles aside, they’ve also appointed Michael Horn as the new CEO for Volkswagen of America.

As it usually happens, a change in leadership is set to cause some strategy adjustments, but it’s a bit too early to draw any conclusions. However, when Mr. Horn sat down for a chat with the folks over at Motor Trend in New York last week, he revealed that the Volkswagen Passat is in for a major refresh for the 2016 model year.

The executive, who has already seen some of the facelift’s developments, claims the 2016 Passat will represent "a big step" in the sedan’s recent history. Specifically, while referring to the newly-unveiled Jetta, he stressed that VW’s design team is taking things up a notch for a "very strong" end result.

Well, I do hope Mr. Horn knows what he’s talking about, because the Passat has been America’s boring midsize sedan for quite some time now. Maybe not exactly as dull as the Toyota Camry, but the Japanese came up with a much more attractive design for 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volkswagen Passat.

Source: MotorTrend

Although the Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 got a brand-new design for the 2014 model year, when the third-generation model arrived on U.S. shores, the brawnier IS-F version carried into the new year unchanged, with its much-deserved update to show up in 2015. Naturally, Lexus ’ decision to keep the IS-F the same poured more gas on the already heated up rumor mill, with everyone trying to guess the way the company will bend the new design into an aggressive high-performance sedan .

Spanish website Autonocion is the latest to stir the IS-F waters and did so by posting a photo of an IS wearing a black roof, a fancier rear bumper and a small spoiler placed atop the trunk, while the vehicles badges are covered by... duct tape.

The source doesn’t say anything about the photo’s origin, it does ask whether the Lexus depicted above is the next IS-F or not. What’s more, the picture quickly made it onto Lexus Spain’s Facebook page, becoming viral among brand enthusiasts and fueling the rumor even more.

Well, no need to panic folks, this is NOT the next-generation IS-F, but only a new IS 350 fitted with a fancy TRD body kit that adds all of the rear features mentioned above. Moreover, as a Facebook user pointed out on Lexus Spain’s post, the vehicle was photographed at the Circuit of Jarama, where the owner was probably testing his aerodynamically improved car. Not to mention that the exhaust pipe configuration is far off the expected IS-F setup, which will resemble the staggered setup on the RC-F .

Click past the jump to read more about the future Lexus IS-F.

Thanks to our tipster Luis for the image.

Source: Autonocion

Ferrari’s LaFerrari XX project has barely commenced, but it appears the Italians are already charging toward setting a new Nurburgring lap record for track-only vehicles.

Word has it the Maranello stable has already managed to run the famous course in 6:35, with an official announcement in the coming months. If the rumor proves to be true, the LaFerrari XX will become the fastest production-based, track-exclusive car around the `Ring, surpassing the Pagani Zonda R and its 6:47.50 lap.

Although the LaFerrari XX won’t be able to challenge the production car record, due to its track-only purpose, the track-only supercar will also be faster than the Porsche 918 Spyder , which clocked a 6:57 lap last September. The company has yet to announce a Nurburgring lap for the road-legal LaFerrari .

Additionally, the new racer will smash the records set by the Ferrari 599XX and the 312T, the Prancing Horse’s only race cars to have lapped the track in less than seven minutes. The former achievement was record in 2010, while the latter dates back to the 1975 Formula One season.

Click past the jump to read more about the LaFerrari XX.

Source: Autoguide

Just when it seemed like the Middle East couldn’t get any cooler from an auto industry standpoint, news of a new track-focused sports car has come out. This is the Dubai Roadster, a sports car project that reportedly is the brainchild of an Emirati racer.

Judging by its looks, the Dubai Roadster looks every bit as aggressive as its name indicates. Not much has been released as far as details are concerned, but the Roadster does have all the physical attributes to be treated as a bonafide track racer. The aggressive front bumper is pretty evident and the swooping, vented hood gives the physical look of a car that’s born for racing. LED-infused headlights are also part of the treatment, while out back, a large rear wing and roll bars can be clearly seen. The overall shape screams of a track car that’s aerodynamically suited to be be quick and agile, two attributes that cars like the Roadster should be.

In terms of power, the Dubai Roadster will reportedly come with a transversely mounted, V-8 engine that can produce as much as 400 horsepower, all while weighing 1,653 pounds. The numbers certainly speak for themselves, and its origin points to a car that has some significant financial backing.

It’s still unclear how far along the Dubai Roadster is in its developmental phase, but if everything goes according to schedule, as we expect it should be, the Roadster could be ready in time for the Dubai Motor Show next year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dubai Roadster.

Image Note: The above image is an artistic rendering, not the actual Dubai Roadster.

Source: WCF

Audi’s latest remake of the TT Coupe and Roadster could potentially pave the way for an entire family of TT-based cars, including the Offroad concept seen at the Beijing Motor Show.

In an interview with Autocar, Audi boss man Rupert Stadler mentioned some fairly revealing information regarding the idea. “The TT can be a family,” Stadler said. “This concept shows that we can do it as long as the genetic code is kept.” This sort of ‘genetic code’ of sorts is what makes the TT unique, including the wheels arches, unique side windows, the exterior lighting, and the interior themes.

What this means for Audi, and more specifically for the TT, is a series of cars all based on the same platform, but with different seating configurations, number of doors, and possibly several powertrain options. It seems the sky is the limit for the TT except for the one design direction that Stadler specifically shot down: a bigger sedan. “The TT should be an icon and that icon has to be respected and that means a compact car that sporty to drive.

Still, that leaves options like a three-door hatch, a two-door shooting brake, the Offroad concept (pictured above), or a smaller four-door compact sedan like the one Audi Technical Chief Ulrich Hackenberg hinted at last month. This sort of sedan would compete nicely with the hot-selling Mercedes CLA and BMW M235i. However, it does seem this sort of compact sedan might cannibalize Audi sales elsewhere in its lineup, namely the A3. Perhaps Audi will include enough differentiation to separate the cars in terms of performance, intended function, and targeted audience to make production of both make sense.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TT Offroad.

Source: AutoCar

With the long-wheelbase version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class already underway, it appears that Daimler is set to revive the Maybach nameplate for an even longer version of the luxury -packed limousine.

According to Reuters, the Maybach-branded Mercedes will be quite a land yacht, sporting a wheelbase that’s 20 cm (7.9 inches) longer than that of the extended version of the S-Class .

The added length and luxury amenities, such as "soft-touch leather and bespoke materials", will also reflect in the vehicle’s price tag, which is expected to be "more than double the €165,000 ($228,000) asking price" of the current Mercedes-Benz S600.

However, don’t expect for the Maybach to fetch more than $400,000 before options in the U.S., as the aforementioned price applies to the European-spec version — it will be lower Stateside. Nonetheless, the limousine will sit between the Bentley Mulsanne and the Rolls-Royce Phantom price-wise.

If you’re thinking that this all sounds familiar, it should, because the Maybach will likely be closely related to the Pullman that we’ve caught testing. The Pullman, according to the source, is actually even longer yet at nearly 260 inches, and will be aimed at heads of state and oligarchs, especially in its nearly $1 million armor-plated version.

We will find out more about the Pullman later this year, as the vehicle is scheduled to be showcased during both the Los Angeles and the Guangzhou auto shows this fall.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman.

Source: Reuters

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