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.

Maserati Alfieri

Anybody who got hyped for the Maserati Alfieri Concept — the car we named the sexiest at Geneva during out first-ever podcast — at Geneva this week has more reason to be excited now, as the sports car could hit production sooner than later. Although it seemed more like a formality than anything else, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s comments to Reuters pretty much cemented what everyone who salivated over the Alfieri Concept has been hoping to hear. In the event that Maserati green lights production of the Alfieri, as we expect it to do, Marchionne already has a production timeline in mind.

"The platforms and motors are there," Marchionne said. "Technically, production could start in 24-28 months."

That’s two years from now, giving a lot of us enough time to fill up those piggy banks in anticipation for that time. But for those who can’t wait the two years, Maserati has an alternative and equally attractive model with a shorter timeline: the Levante SUV.

According to Marchionne, production of the Levante is set to commence next year at the company’s Mirafiori plant in northern Italy, meaning that it’s likely that the Levante will arrive in dealerships sooner than the production version of the Alfieri Concept.

It does stand to reason that Maserati’s aggressive lineup expansion is more than just lip service. The company is shoving all its chips on the table and for all of us, that’s a beautiful thing.

Click past the jump to read more about the Maserati Alfieri Concept.

Source: Reuters

We’ve known this for quite some time now through rumors and industry rumblings, but it was never confirmed until now; Land Rover will create a new sub-brand called the "Discovery" and launch the new lineup to fill this sub-brand starting in 2015. To put this into perspective, this is precisely what the maker has done with its Range Rover lineup: Range Rover Evoque , Range Rover Sport and Range Rover .

We didn’t receive any real details on what’s in store for the new Discovery lineup, as Land Rover only confirmed its plans. Figuring out part of the plans, however, is not too hard. The Discovery lineup is going to be the more laid-back of the Land Rover lines, and will include the baby Land Rover that we’ve caught testing before — the likely replacement for the LR2 — a replacement for the larger LR4 , and finally an Evoque-sized or smaller compact crossover .

The new Discovery lineup will ride on the Range Rover’s aluminum chassis that is resized to fit each model.

So, this means that we will soon have the Range Rover luxury line and the Discovery leisure lineup, but that leaves a big gap in the utility segment. Don’t fret though, because we hear that Land Rover is planning to use the Defender name for the utility-style models in its revised lineup.

This not only simplifies the Land Rover lineup for buyers, as they can now pick a Land Rover that precisely suits their needs, but it also puts all of the other luxury SUV makers on notice that Land Rover has the guns locked and loaded, and it’s coming for blood this time...

My only fear is that Land Rover may dilute its brand a little too much by releasing too many models, but by breaking things up into smaller sub-brands, it may be able to avoid the confusion caused when automakers release too many of one type of vehicle.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for updates on this Land Rover shuffling.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Land Rover Baby Discovery.

Audi Q7

Ever since the upper-management shakeup at Audi last year, details have been murky on when the new A4 sedan and Q7 SUV would make their debuts. Well, as Car & Driver reports, the two popular vehicles have been redirected back into development.

The A4 was originally on track for a debut later this year with its menacing new look, but Audi’s head of R&D, Wolfgang Dürheimer, was unexpectedly “moved to another position within the Volkswagen Volkswagen Group” for apparently ruffling too many feathers in the short 10 months he occupied the position. Now Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen ’s R&D former front man, fills the role. Hackenberg made the call to postpone the A4’s launch in order to rework its styling and fine tune its suspension and assistance systems to ensure everything meets Audi’s ever-increasing expectations. It appears the A4 is rescheduled for the summer of 2015 with a hybrid version coming as well.

An oddly similar story surrounds the Q7. Another Audi executive named Wolfgang — this time Wolfgang Egger, Audi’s chief designer — was canned and replaced by yet another Volkswagen employee, Marc Lichte. Now both new in their positions, Hackenberg and Lichte are reworking the Q7 at the design level. Car & Driver’s insider reports the new design will be softer and less aggressive than Egger’s original plans. This is the Q7’s second delay attributed to its exterior design. There’s no real word on when the Q7 will eventually see production, but at this rate, we’re expecting it to fly and cure cancer.

Click past the jump to read more about the next Audi A4 and Audi Q7.

Source: Car & Driver
Alfa Romeo Spider

We’ve already reported that Alfa Romeo is building a Spider version of its hotly-anticipated 4C Coupe , but the current rumblings in the rumor mill is the car will be powered by the Chrysler /Fiat 1.4-liter in-line four-cylinder currently used in the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500 Abarth .

That engine produces a decent 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque in the Dart, and 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet in the 500 Abarth. Speculating that the Alfa Spider will want more gusto, count on a modest bump on both output numbers. Thankfully, that 1.4-liter will be mounted longitudinally for rear-drive duty and has a high probability of being mated to a manual transmission.

The rumors come way of Car & Driver, who report Alfa Romeo has partnered with Mazda in constructing the new convertible. It will likely keep much of its 4C roots, but will share many parts with its Japanese counterpart. It’s also said nearly all suspension components will be aluminum. Other weight-saving materials and techniques will be used to make the most of the four-banger.

What’s more, Alfa is said to be bringing the new Spider to the Geneva Motor Show going on March 4th and 5th with its body featuring a few cosmetic changes compared to the 4C. New, less alien-like headlights and new wheel designs are two of the prominent changes. Check back with TopSpeed for all the details.

Click past the jump to read more about the next Alfa Romeo Spider.

Source: CarAndDriver
Lotus Esprit

Lotus ’ on-again, off-again stance on the production of the since stalled Esprit V8 supercar has seen its fair share of fence-jumping.

But recently, a high-ranking Lotus executive brought new life to the Esprit V8, even if he stopped short of confirming that the company was going to build it.

Speaking to Motoring Australia during the recent launch of the 2014 Exige S Roadster, Lotus brand manager for Australia and New Zealand, Alastair Manihera, hinted that the company hasn’t completely abandoned the Esprit V8, or at least not to the extent that has been reported in the past.

"Contrary to popular belief the factory is keeping its options open," Manihera said, before adding that no timetable has been set on when or where the super car is going to be built.

While that’s far from a confirmation, Manihera did leave out the possibility of Lotus eventually building the supercar and that’s more than you can ask for given the spate of ever-changing directions the company has been having in the past few years.

What we do know is that there’s interest, both within Lotus and fans of the Esprit to see the supercar return for the first time since 2004. It’s no secret that the Esprit, specifically the concept version that was shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, has a future in the industry as a car that could be a nice alternative to more high-priced models out there.

So even if there’s still no commitment coming from Lotus regarding the fate of the Esprite V8, the mere fact that one executive is still optimistic about its chances is good enough for us to keep hoping and praying that the concept that wowed us in Paris back in 2010 will finally get to strut its stuff on the road.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lotus Esprit Supercar.

Source: Motoring

Volvo has made a lot of promises recently about concepts that will blow us away. The first two versions have done exactly that, and now, ahead of the third one’s debut at the Geneva Motor Show , we’re getting a few hints at what’s in store for concept number three.

The concept has been billed as the Concept Estate and follows in the work of the Swedish company’s first two concept offerings, the Concept Coupe and the Concept XC Coupe . Not much in the way of details yet except for a handful of teaser photos unveiled by a Swedish company called Stutterheim.

If you’re not familiar with the brand, Stutterheim is actually a Swedish raincoat maker that’s been tasked by Volvo to develop the car cover the Concept Estate will be, shall we say, hiding from before it makes its worldwide debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Seems to explain why these photos were first seen in the website of Stutterheim; after all, the company is also probably showing off its new Estate Svart car cover, a design that was co-created by Volvo’s design time that makes use of "hand-stitched seams on a rubberized cotton fabric in the best quality."

As far as the Concept Estate is concerned, there are a few details peaking out from under that Estate Svart car cover, including the same prominent grille we first saw from the other two concepts. There also appears to be a tailgate-mounted spoiler, a dual exhaust system ,and five-spoke alloy wheels, which are all hardly surprising given the efforts Volvo put to show the world that it’s ready to come out and fight for attention.

More details of the Concept Estate are expected to drop when Geneva opens its doors.

Update 02/26/2014: The leaky faucet over at Volvo has officially turned on, and images of the Volvo Concept Estate have made their way online, thanks to the folks over at Jalopnik. You can see the images after the jump.

Click past the jump to read about the Volvo Concept Coupe and the Volvo Concept XC Coupe

Source: Stutterheim

We’re quite aware that the Geneva Motor Show is going to be a busy time in the industry. With so many debuts that are scheduled during the show, it’s easy to see a lot of models get lost in the shuffle.

That’s the nature of an event like Geneva, but one car we know is going to get its well-deserved shine is the Renault Clio RS Monaco GP.

The special edition model is going to make its debut in Geneva and while we do admire the look of the Clio RS’ standard guise, we’re a little disappointed that the Clio RS Monaco GP didn’t carry a little more modifications to it.

From what this single photo of the Clio RS Monaco GP is showing us, the car is sporting an exclusive White Frost Pearl exterior paint finish with some nice glossy touches on the front grille, mirror casings, window surrounds and the lower section of the front bumper. Those are some pretty slick details and further highlighted by a new set of 18-inch five-spoke alloys.

No interior photos have been released, but word has it that the Clip RS Monaco GP will be sporting a white dashboard and door panels to go with Renault’s RS Monitor that lets drivers record lap times and carry other performance data.

Power comes by way of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Taken into consideration the Clip RS Monaco GP can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds to go with a top speed of 143 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Renault Clio RS

Posted on by Simona  

The Ford Focus RS is one of the most impressive sports hatchback in the European market. And if you were impressed by the current generation, wait until Ford unveils the new generation Focus RS in 2015. According to the British magazine TopGear, the soon-to-be-launched Focus RS is fixing to go down as the most impressive RS ever, delivering a total output of 320 horsepower — a 20-horsepower increase over the current 300-horsepower model.

The current Focus RS is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder, but for the next generation Ford will replace it with a new 2.3-liter four, with turbo, direct injection and balance shafts. Incidentally, this is the same engine that will be used for the Mustang starting in 2014, although for the RS, it will be updated to deliver more power.

The next RS will also be equipped with a RevoKnuckle front suspension and big brakes, but most importantly it will be a five-door model and not a three-door version like the one currently in the market. About the only potential downside is that Ford will not offer a 4WD system because this will add too much weight for an RS.

Updated 02/24/2014: Swedish magazine Auto Motor Sport reports that the new generation Focus RS will be powered by an updated version of the new 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the Mustang, with the output increased to about 330 horsepower - which represents a 30 horsepower increase over the previous generation.

Source: TopGear
Audi RS4 Avant

Europe’s stringent emission laws have forced some shuffling deep within some of the continent’s biggest automakers, a lot of whom have had to make sacrifices on killing off their eight-cylinder engines in favor of settling for the six-cylinder variety. BMW and Mercedes are two such companies that have already taken to downgrading the powertrain for their performance vehicles and now, it appears that Audi is following suit.

Word from Car and Driver seems to indicate that the German company will be using turbocharged V-6 engines on its RS-branded lines, including the RS4 . No longer will the company’s sports line hitting production V-8, instead the focus will now center on those turbo V-6s, smaller in displacement but no less powerful once you add those turbochargers into the mix.

That’s looking like Audi’s plan for the RS4, which really is as much a return to its previous form than it is a downgrade of sorts. After all, as recent as 2001, the RS4 Avant packed a 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6 under its hood, so it’s not like Quattro GmbH is venturing into unchartered territory when it comes to marrying the two sides together.

The important thing for the RS4 is to not cheapen its value relative to the new BMW M4 and the redesigned M3 . It wouldn’t look too good for Audi if it cut power from its prized sports wagon, so you can still expect the vehicle to generate more than 400 horsepower.

Anything less would spell trouble for Audi given that its predecessor already had 450 ponies and other manufacturers have seemingly integrated those turbocharged V-6s into producing stout levels of output.

Only time will tell what Audi has in store for the RS4, but if those twin-turbo V-6s carry their weight, nobody’s going to be crying a river over the loss of those V-8s.

Note: Current Audi RS4 Avant pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi RS4.

Source: CarAndDriver

Any self-titled crazed car nut such as myself will tell you, there’s more to cars than just rubber and metal. No, it’s far deeper than that. It involves a certain level of passion and fanaticism not appreciated by the casual onlooker. No, some folks just have gasoline running through their veins and 5W-30 oil in their heads. It’s a disease, really.

Chrysler ’s SRT division seems to have hit the nail on the head with its latest commercial. It’s all about the brand being more than a brand; it’s about being a legend, making a statement, and having a certain attitude. It embodies the essence of being a car junkie and stirs the souls of gear heads everywhere.

Besides a well-made commercial featuring some of our favorite vehicles, the commercial indicates Chrysler’s intentions of heavily promoting SRT as its own brand or division. It all started with the Viper ’s rebirth in 2013. Moving from under the Dodge branch, the Viper seemingly created its own niche label. Conveniently, the Viper immediately had similarly-badged SRT friends ready to join the party. Although they still sport their own badging, the group of SRT vehicles includes the Dodge Charger and Challenger , the Chrysler 300 , and the famous Jeep Grand Cherokee – all with monstrous V-8s thundering underhood.

With SRT’s growth and increasing recognition, it wouldn’t be unlikely for the division to grow its lineup. Perhaps a slew of SRT4 models would be appropriate — ya know, sporting turbos with crazy boost numbers, manual transmissions and rear-wheel-drive. We already know SRT’s CEO Ralph Gilles has been hearing the SRT fan base screaming for an answer to the Subaru BRZ /Scion FR-S twins. Perhaps commercials like this are our first indication Gilles has something up his gasoline-soaked sleeve.


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