rumors

rumors

  Automotive industry rumors and gossip

“Wait, didn’t that headline read ‘Bentley’?” Yes, it sure did. At first glance, this is just an Audi Q7 mule out for testing somewhere in England. Look closer though, and a few things start to look suspicious. First up are those UK plates. Audi is German, but Bentley hails from the land of tea and crumpets. Those fenders are also looking quite wide compared to a standard Q7. Perhaps this is just a clever disguise by the Volkswagen Group to hide Bentley’s first-ever SUV .

Diving into the details of the pictures reveals larger air intakes below the headlights. Also expanded are those fenders that cover a larger and wider wheel and tire package. Why have larger air intakes and wheels? At the mule-testing stage, it isn’t a design feature but a mechanical one. A premium Bentley will require the biggest and best brakes to slow the roll from a massive engine not normally found in the Q7’s engine bay.

This isn’t the first time we’ve suggested VW Group might be putting the 6.0-liter, W-12 engine into the Bentley off-roader. Remember, that engine is twin-turbocharged, and large intercoolers will be needed to keep temperatures in check.

However, this is basically an educated guess as to what Audi/Bentley/VW Group is up to. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any further developments.

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

The news surrounding the BMW i8 is relentless these days with information flowing in left and right. But sadly, the latest bit of news doesn’t hold much promise for those looking forward to a sportier version of the i8 or a replacement for the M1 coming from the i8 platform.

Our German friends over at Autovisie sat down with Carsten Pries, BMW’s head of Product Management M, for a recent interview. His issue lies with creating competition for its own i8 by flooding the already-small segment with low sales volumes. Not to mention the need to develop more powerful hybrid technology and a larger engine sized properly for an i8-like car. What’s more, the i8 was developed from the ground up to be an electric hybrid with only a small gasoline engine.

The lack of an outright M model based on the i8 doesn’t completely spell disaster. Friedrich Nitschke, the CEO of BMW M, says the fuel-saving technology from the i8 might wind up in future M models while the sportier aspects of the M Division might find its way onto future i models.

While these words came from BMW corporate heads, Pries and Nitschke may be bluffing about the existence of a high-performance hybrid supercar. Only time will tell, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking information.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

Source: telegraaf.nl

Once BMW confirmed that the coupe and convertible versions of the 1 Series would be marketed as the 2 Series , it was clear as daylight that a high performance M2 version is underway.

We’ve already rendered the successor to the cool 1M and strolled through plenty of details about the upcoming coupe, but the time has come to have a look at the real deal, as our skilled paparazzi have caught a prototype version of the M2 stretching its wheels somewhere in Germany .

Far from being a production-ready vehicle, this mule wears front and rear fascias similar to those seen on the M235i Coupe , but it appears to be fitted with wider fenders. Other details that highlight the vehicle’s ankle-biting nature are the M-style wheels wrapped in Michelin tires and the cross-drilled rotors paired with blue brake calipers.

As development continues, we’re expecting to see a more aggressive front bumper, a more pronounced rear diffuser, and quad exhaust pipes.

Naturally, the M2 will be the most powerful model in the 2-Series range, with its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six to deliver around 400 horsepower. That’s about 80 horses more than the M235i, just enough to turn the M2 into a heck of a coupe.

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

With Toyota still mum on details, the much rumored Scion FR-S Sedan is still a mystery, but with plenty of speculation floating around it. The only thing we’re sure of is that the FR-S platform has been designed to support a sedan body style , as Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada revealed last year.

Up until now it was believed that the four-door would be powered by the same 2.0-liter boxer engine - good for 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, found in the coupe. Today, however, a report from Motor Trend quoted inside sources claiming the sedan will actually be sold with two different powertrains.

One of them will be a Subaru -sourced turbocharged, 2.0-liter unit found in the current-generation Legacy that’s tuned to deliver at least 300 horsepower and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The second model will reportedly gain a hybrid drivetrain, but actual details are unknown except for the fact that Toyota is working on a system "that’s compatible to Subaru’s boxer engine."

The conventional FR-S Sedan is expected to hit showrooms by mid-2016 with the hybrid variant featuring all-wheel-drive to arrive several months later. Compared to the FR-S coupe, the sedan will be 20 inches longer and 4 inches taller for improved interior room.

Click past the jump for more info on the Scion FR-S Coupe

Source: Motor Trend

Rumors about an SRT -prepped Dodge Dart have been floating around ever since the compact sedan was unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show . But hopes of a successor for the Neon SRT-4 – phased out in 2005 – were somewhat crushed when SRT CEO Ralph Gilles said at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show that the brand has yet to find the right powertrain for the car.

Months have passed since we’ve heard anything about the Dart SRT, but it appears Dodge finally came to its senses and started working on a high performance compact. The good news came straight from the Fiat Chrysler alliance, who has just unveiled its massive five-year production plan.

With the SRT brand now back under Dodge , a host of new models will be built by 2018, with a high performance version of the Dart among them. Although the company has yet to confirm whether the compact will roll out with a SRT4 badge, it did say the vehicle will arrive in late 2016, right after the current-generation Dart gets its mid-cycle refresh.

The big news is that the brawny version of the sedan will be motivated by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, just like the Caliber SRT4 and the Neon SRT4, and sold with an all-wheel-drive configuration. Specific details aren’t available at the time of this writing, but expect for the Dart SRT to get a beefed-up 2.4-liter Tigershark engine tuned to deliver at least 260 horsepower.

Naturally, the sportier version of the Dart will also arrive with a host of visual upgrades (check out our rendering here ), including a pair aggressive bumpers, a larger apron intake, a rear diffuser, and probably a hood scoop. Under-the-skin improvements are likely to include a stiffer, performance-tuned suspension and additional driving modes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Dodge Dart SRT.

Is it possible that we could be seeing a lot more Ferrari models in dealerships in the near future? And by a lot more, we’re not just talking about the usual four or five models that Maranello has at any given point in time. Apparently, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne seems to think that more Ferrari models out on the streets would be an ideal scenario, or at least that’s what he told Autoblog recently.

According to Fiat-Chrysler’s main man, the Italian automaker is planning to launch a new car every year between now and 2018. Do the math and that’s five entirely new models that will be launched in the next five years. Marchionne didn’t dive into the specifics of what models are being prepared, but don’t be surprised if somewhere along the way, a successor to the 458 Italia is one of them.

Looking at the company’s current lineup, the 458, believe it or not, is now the elder statesman of the group. The FF , the F12berlinetta , and the just-launched California T are still relatively new compared to the 458. Once you add the LaFerrari to the mix, that’s five unique models Ferrari currently has in its portfolio.

Now, Marchionne also mentioned that these future models will have a four-year lifecycle and from there, "M" versions will be built, of which another four years will be tacked on to them. What these models are, we still don’t know, but we’re certainly curious as to how Ferrari can pull it off given that it has no plans of exceeding the 7,000-unit cap it has for its models in a given year. There’s talk that the company plans to ramp that up to 10,000 units, but such discussions aren’t expected to be taken seriously for a few more years.

All this, of course, leaves us with a mix of excitement and anxiety regarding Ferrari’s future. Introducing one new model a year is the exciting part, but not knowing what these models are is making us really anxious.

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

Source: Autoblog

If you’ve been drooling at the sight of the Maserati Alfieri since its introduction at the Geneva Motor Show in March, then the latest news coming from Italy should make you very happy: both the Coupe and the Cabrio versions will make it into production.

The good news arrives via Fiat ’s five-year masterplan for all of its brands, with Maserati set to launch five all-new vehicles by 2018. The Alfieri Coupe will hit the market two years from now - sooner than initially anticipated - with the roadster to follow in 2017.

The Italians have also released an "engine grid" for their current and upcoming models and, surprisingly enough, the Alfieri won’t get the proven 4.7-liter V-8 under hood. Both the Coupe and Cabrio will be powered by V-6 engines offered with different outputs.

The rear-wheel drive versions will benefit from 410 horsepower, while the all-while drive models will have 450 horsepower and 520 horsepower at their disposal. There’s no word whether the Alfieri will borrow the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo unit from the Ghibli , but it appears the range-topping sedan will have the same output as the base AWD Alfieri.

Additional details are still under wraps, but expect for the Coupe model to be unveiled in production guise sometime next year.

Click past the jump to read more about Maserati Alfieri.

Source: WCF

Jeep has finally confirmed that the highly-anticipated Grand Wagoneer nameplate will return to its lineup. Unfortunately, that won’t happen until 2018, according to the Chrysler five-year plan that was unveiled today by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

There are very few details we can cling on right now, but we do know that the Grand Wagoneer will offer seating for seven and will climb atop the Jeep lineup in both size and premium features. It is currently unknown whether or not the SUV will share underpinnings with the Dodge Durango , which is scheduled to receive a mid-cycle refresh in 2017.

But until that happens, Jeep has numerous goals to achieve, like expanding its lineup from five models built in one country to 6 nameplates assembled in six countries. Specific details haven’t been released, but the brand is expected to start building vehicles in Asia and South America as well. So far, we only know that the 2015 Renegade will be built in Italy, alongside the Fiat 500X .

Aside from that, Jeep is also looking to increase global dealerships from 4,706 to 6,023, with the largest expansion to come from South America and Asia to help double its sales by 2018.

As far as new models are concerned, a yet unnamed C-segment SUV will arrive in 2016, the year that marks the iconic brand’s 75th anniversary. Details are slim to say the least, but the new SUV is likely to replace the Compass and the Patriot , both scheduled to retire the same year. Also in 2016, the Cherokee is scheduled to get its first facelift since being revived.

The larger Grand Cherokee will also get a refresh, but that will happen in 2015, two years before a brand-new generation will be unveiled. 2017 will also see the introduction of an all-new Wrangler to replace the current JK. And if previous reports are correct, the new iteration will arrive with a redesigned frame, a power-retractable top, and a fixed windshield.

As you might have noticed, there’s no word in regard to a future Grand Cherokee SRT . With the SRT performance brand axed and its entire lineup handled over to Dodge , the Grand Cherokee might have to do with upgrades provided by Mopar.

More details after the jump.

With news pouring in about Chrysler Group ’s five-year production plan that includes new brand strategies , new launches and axing of long-standing models, the Detroit-based manufacturer has also filed to trademark the "Rebel" moniker

The patent filing, which has been submitted with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office nearly a month ago, according to Ignitionist, states that the trademark is to be used on "motor vehicles (...) and structural parts therefor," suggesting we might see anything from an automobile to an SUV wearing a "Rebel" badge in the near future.

There’s no info as to what sort of Rebel will hit the streets over the next few years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate a bit.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this nameplate is the AMC Rebel, a midsize built by American Motors from 1967 through 1970. It’s true that Chrysler is somewhat entitled to use the name it purchased in 1987 along with the AMC brand, but that’s not likely to happen. With the Challenger and Charger filling in the muscle car and sedan spots, we see no reason for Chrysler to push the envelope in that direction.

On the other hand, the "Rebel" moniker may very well be used to name a replacement for the Dodge Avenger , a slightly smaller sedan that’s scheduled to go out of production by the end of 2014. However, with no actual details in sight aside from the fact that it could be underpinned by an Alfa Romeo rear-wheel drive platform, it might be years until we find out.

Lastly, there’s a chance the newly-filed "Rebel" name is set to be used to more utilitarian purposes, like christening an upcoming Jeep crossover or even a special edition pickup truck based on the Ram 1500 . Of course, we could go as far as to dream about a Jeep-badged truck (remember the Gladiator ?), but that’s far-fetched on too many levels.

Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the matter and bring you an update as soon as more info surfaces. Meanwhile, don’t be shy about sharing your own opinion on the "Rebel" conundrum with us via the comments section.

Click past the jump to read more about the Rebel nameplate.

Source: Ignitionist

The Alfa Romeo 4C still hasn’t arrived in the U.S. and yet, company executives are already thinking of building more performance-oriented versions of the low-volume sports car. Company CEO Harald Wester made the proclamation, telling Automotive News that while the 4C already has the makings of an impressive sports car , there’s still plenty of room for improvement, especially if it wants to be as big of a hit in the U.S. market as it is in Europe.

This rationale looks to confirm Alfa’s previous announcement that it plans to make annual updates of the 4C in the next four or five years, including the possibility of even building a more performance-oriented version that could appeal to a U.S. market that prefers sports cars that also have the added luxury appeal.

One of the first things Wester brought up was the potential for the 4C’s chassis to handle more power while also tinkering with the car’s turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. "We are only at 134 horsepower per liter, so there is space," Wester told Automotive News.

As for the U.S.-spec 4Cs, Alfa remains cognizant in its belief that offering a European-spec 4C to a U.S. market is a bad business move. That’s why it’s building a different spec 4C that has better equipment to go along with its own share of technical changes. That includes putting in place a different monocoque, reinforcing the suspension, and adding new and improved headlights that we all first saw on the 4C Spider .

Or in the words of Wester, "a significant overhaul."

With all these changes expected for the U.S.-spec Alfa Romeo 4C, you can be sure that the cars are going to command a steep price. Alfa has yet to announce the price, but reportedly the base 4C will retail for about $55,000 with a top-of-the-line, fully-loaded model fetching close to $70,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the Alfa Romeo 4C.


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