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.

Porsche was quite the busy bee in 2014. The brand-new Macan crossover was launched in the second quarter of the year, while a facelifted Cayenne surfaced a few months later. Additionally, Porsche is testing several updated sports cars , including the Boxster/Cayman duo, the 911 convertible and the upcoming GT3 RS . More recently, Porsche also brought the Cayenne GTS to the Nurburgring , signaling that its facelifted SUV lineup will soon include another member.

While the Germans unveiled the revamped Cayenne in July 2014, there was no word on the mid-level GTS and the range-topping Turbo S. The latter is still a well-guarded secret as of August 2014 — though we know we’ll get one at some point — but it seems development of the former is well underway with a prototype spotted trotting around the Nurburgring.

Details are slim as of this writing, but the video reveals Porsche has slapped a new set of bumpers on the GTS, along with the revised headlamps and taillights already seen on the 2015 Cayenne. A new exhaust system is present on the prototype as well, but the big news lies under the SUV’s hood. By the sound of it, the GTS is no longer motivated by the naturally aspirated, 4.8-liter V-8 that we all know and love. The Cayenne S has already ditched the large unit in favor of a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6, and it appears the GTS did the same thing.

The unit delivers 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque in the Cayenne S, so it’s only natural to expect some extra oomph from the GTS-spec V-6. As usual, the SUV will include a tweaked suspension and interior upgrades.

We already know everything there is to know about the second-generation BMW X6 , which was recently launched for the 2015 model year, but its high-performance version, the X6 M, is still somewhat of a mystery. What we do know about it, though, is that the Germans have been testing prototypes since early 2014. Now that yet another test vehicle has surfaced, this time around on the Nurburgring track, we know for a fact that development is well underway.

How do we know we’re looking at the upcoming X6 M? Well, that’s very simple, despite the fact that the SUV is still wearing a serious amount of camouflage. The first hint lies in the front bumper, where a couple of large air intakes can be spotted. Then there’s the rear diffuser, which isn’t available on the standard X6, and the redesigned, more aggressive side skirts. If you still have doubts, then the hostile exhaust note coming with the video above should convince you.

Speaking of which, the X6 M will retain the turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 currently residing under its hood. The unit is now rated at 547 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque, but it’s unlike for BMW to let those numbers untouched. Expect output to increase to around 560 ponies to keep up with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S .

Alongside an upgraded engine, the second-generation X6 M is also in for a revised aerodynamic body kit, the updated headlamps and taillights of the 2015 X6, and a revised interior with updated technology and new trims. The unveiling is expected to take place by the end of 2014.

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

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

This partnership between Azfal Kahn and Ant Anstead just might be on to something. The collaboration between these two industry savants has paved the way for the creation of two new models, one of which is the Ant-Kahn Flying Huntsman. Unlike the Evanta Barchetta , the Flying Huntsman is based on an actual vehicle that Kahn Design knows a great deal about: the Land Rover Defender . But this isn’t just a simple tuning project for the Defender. The Flying Huntsman is being prepared as a completely new model that will have a more aesthetically pleasing identity than the utilitarian looks of the Defender.

The Flying Huntsman will carry a "long-nose" front section, which essentially means that it’s going to be a little longer than the standard Defender, thanks to the extra 400 mm (15.7 inches) of bodywork attached into the nose. That makes the Flying Huntsman look more sophisticated and dare I say, more aesthetically balanced than anything we’ve seen from the Defender.

Under its hood, the Flying Huntsman is powered by a GM -sourced, 6.2-liter, V-8, LS3 engine that produces 550 horsepower — far and away more powerful than anything a standard Defender was capable of.

The Ant-Kahn Flying Huntsman is still in its development stages so there should be more details about this vehicle once the first prototype is completed. The early information, though, has been pretty impressive.

Updated 8/27/2014: Ant-Kahn has released another image of the upcoming Flying Huntsman, this time wearing a more traditional paint job. Check it out above.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ant-Kahn Flying Huntsman.

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

The Volvo XC90 is one of the best-selling and most critically well-received models from the Swedish brand. Since its inception in 2002 the XC90 has been praised for its incredible build quality and its family-friendly design. Despite its many great features, very little has changed for the XC90 in the last 12 years, and the car is starting to show its age. The refresh in 2007 and the updates over the last few years have been merely stop gaps for this; the all-new second-generation Volvo XC90 . The SUV was just redesigned for the 2015 model year and the Swedes updated it in every department. Brand-new styling, a completely reworked interior and state-of-the art convenience and safety features are here to help the XC90 give its competitors a run for their money.

The platform is also all-new and brings a hybrid drivetrain with it. A first for the XC90, which enters a new era that focuses on fuel economy more than anything else. Gone are the 4.4-liter V-8 and the 3.2-liter inline-six. This SUV is now a four-cylinder exclusive machine. Don’t worry though, power is still up there and the amount of technology is greater than ever before.

So let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Updated 8/27/2014: Following a series of leaks, Volvo released the majority of the information on the 2015 XC90.

Continue reading to find out about the all-new Volvo XC90.

The upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC has been spotted doing hot laps around the famed Nürburgring wearing its swirly camouflage. Mercedes engineers appear to be pushing the BMW X6 -fighter pretty hard around the track, as those low-profile tires scream in protest around every turn. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Mercedes testing the fastback SUV , but it is the first time seeing it perform on the track.

While we don’t have official word of what lies under the MLC’s hood, but the engine powering this example let off plenty of cracks and snarls at it accelerated away. This may very well be an AMG model, though we suspect the bodywork for AMG-specific MLCs would be more aggressive. It does seem to keep up with the Porsche Cayenne at the video’s one-minute mark.

Mercedes will likely have the MLC production ready for the 2016 model year. Since it’s a direct competitor to the BMW X6, we can expect it to carry a price tag of $60,000 to $70,000 depending upon trim levels.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any more developing spy shots and news regarding the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC.

The Subaru Impreza was introduced in early 1993 as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback . A two-door coupe was launched two years later. Initial engine choices included 1.6-, 1.8- and 2.0-liter flat-four engines, but Subaru later added 2.2- and 2.5-liter units as well. As the first-gen Impreza soon made a huge name for itself in rally racing, the technology made it onto the road under the WRX moniker. The iconic WRX STI model was born in 1994. The second-gen model arrived in 2000, boasting major design and technology changes, and it arrived int he U.S. for the 2002 model year. Redesigned yet again in 2007, the WRX’s engine remained largely unchanged internally, while output increased to 227 horsepower. The fourth-gen WRX (second-gen in the U.S.) was unveiled for the 2015 model year with a more aggressive design, and a 2.0-liter engine rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. As we move toward 2015, Subaru is introducing a brand-new iteration of the WRX to slot between the standard version and range-topping STI.

Dubbed WRX S4, the new sports sedan is essentially an upgrade to the standard WRX with a hefty power increase for the 2.0-liter flat-four. Developed during Subaru’s racing program for the 24 Hours of Nurburgring , the new mill is not only more powerful, but boasts improved fuel efficiency as well. Rounding up the package is a slightly revised skin and a unique interior along with upgraded steering and additional safety features. Read on to find out what makes the WRX S4 a truly unique machine.

Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru WRX S4.


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