rumors

rumors

  Automotive industry rumors and gossip

The news about Toyota and BMW building cars together isn’t new, as the two companies finalized the partnership in January of 2013, but thanks to the Nikkei Asian Review, we’ve got some rumors as to what the two companies have been working on. Those plans revolve around the next-generation BMW Z4 and a revival of the famed Toyota Supra .

The Nikkei reports the two cars will share the same platform, manufacturing processes, and parts procurements. The two sports cars , however, won’t be sharing the same body style and will be sold under their respective brands. What’s more, these two cars could debut as early as 2017.

The report speculates whether Toyota would be able to adopt the same carbon-fiber-extensive construction style BMW has recently adopted, citing cost as the limiting factor. However, with the falling cost of carbon fiber and its exploding popularity, the material might be within Toyota’s reach. This is especially true for such a specialized sports car as the Supra.

The Nikkei report lacks further juicy details about the partnership or its planed products, but news seems rather certain. The 2017 date is still tentative, but the possibility still remains.

As far as powertrains, it’s anybody’s guess as to what will be found under hood. Perhaps BMW will provide a TwinPower, inline six-cylinder or maybe each automaker will supply its own powerplants. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, with BMW and Toyota partnered together, the future looks bright with the addition of two exciting sports cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Supra and the current Z4

It’s been less than a month since Porsche introduced the Cayman GTS at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show in China, and word has it the Germans are working on yet another version of the sports car. Created to narrow the gap between the Cayman and the 911 even further, the GTS will lose its range-topping status in a couple of years if we’re to believe a recent report from Motor Trend.

Specifically, Porsche is supposedly working on a more powerful Cayman that’s likely to be launched under the GT4 moniker. The source claims the sports car is in for a hybrid powertrain, but whether the conventional engine will pump power using four or six cylinder depends on Porsche’s success with the 919 race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this summer.

If the 919 gets on its feet by June (the new vehicle struggled in the first two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championships) then the Cayman GT4 will receive a turbo four-cylinder plug-in hybrid drivetrain similar to that fitted into the race car. If the 919 continues to struggle and fails to make a positive impression at Le Mans, Porsche is likely to opt for a flat-six unit, but without giving up on hybrid assist.

Obviously, there’s no word on how many horses might come out of each powerplant, but it’s safe to assume the Cayman GT4 will have around 400 horsepower at its disposal. Power will be transferred to the wheels via a transmission based on the PDK unit offered in the 911 GT3 , Motor Trend adds, without providing further details.

How much will this baby cost? Well, it appears pricing could stand around $125,000, nearly $50,000 more than the 2015 Cayman GTS and only $5,000 less when compared to the 911 GT3. Quite expensive if you ask us, but make sure you take all the details with a grain of salt until further info surfaces.

Updated 07/03/2014: British magazine CARreports that the future Cayman GT4 will deliver as much as 450 horsepower from its heavily tuned 3.8-liter, twin-turbo, boxer-six engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Cayman GT4.

Source: MotorTrend

From when the iconic Willys MB went off to fight WWII until 2014’s Wrangler JK , good gas mileage hasn’t exactly been the Jeep’s strong suit. Even with modern advancements of electronic fuel injection, five and six speed gearboxes, and emission controls, the current Wrangler only manages 17 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway. Then again, that’s not bad when considering it’s got two solid axles turning short ring gears, knobby tires, and a flat windshield. When the 2018 Wranglers roll out, we may be in for a lot more mpgs, given a recent report from Edmunds is true.

But more is always better, right? Well things appear to be headed that way. Jeep boss Mike Manley said in a recent press conference that the next generation of Jeep Wrangler would focus heavily on weight reduction and fuel savings without compromising its legendary off-road performance.

"We must be innovative in terms of what we do for the next Wrangler because clearly we have to make sure that vehicle survives into the future," Manley said. "It is vital for the brand." Of course, the dark cloud of CAFÉ standards and growing customer expectations are the two confronting factors. Also looming on the horizon is a future Wrangler competitor from Land Rover , Manley mentioned.

But take heart, Jeep fans. Manley continues saying, “There will be no compromises.” So we can apparently expect a Wrangler just as capable off the beaten path as the 2014 JK, but with better gas mileage. Okay, so how is Jeep to increase the Wrangler’s fuel efficiency while not killing its off-road prowess?

Though Manley didn’t go into specifics, we’ve been hearing rumors of a fully independent suspension system and perhaps intensive uses of lightweight materials like aluminum and possibly a diesel powerplant. One thing’s for sure; we can look forward to a future Wrangler that doesn’t strangle our wallets at the pump.

Note: Current Jeep Wrangler pictured here.

Click past the jump for some more speculation

Source: Edmunds

Audi has apparently been working on an innovative way to harness lost energy in the form of heat within conventional shock absorbers. The news comes by way of a conversation AutoExpress had with Audi’s Research and Development chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. This means by replacing the standard shock absorber units with generator systems, the car will generate electricity as it bumps down the road.

“When working hard over a bumpy road, the dampers are perhaps 100 to 125 degrees.,” Hackenberg tells AutoExpress. “This energy is wasted as heat into the atmosphere.” Though specific details of the technology are still unknown, capturing that energy is likely to happen with a rotating generator unit inside the suspension dampers. When the suspension is compressed, the generator produces electricity.

That power can then be sent into a hybrid car ’s battery systems for powering the vehicle. Conversely, the power could be used more immediately to power ancillary systems like electronics and HVAC controls.

What’s more, Hackenberg hinted at the system’s implementation into performance cars as well. “Because we can send energy back into the damper, you will have an independently variable suspension.” This will be able to counter act body roll through tight corners.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s power-generating suspension system.

Source: AutoExpress

Update: Ram is set to kick off the live stream at 11:00 a.m. ET, so grab some popcorn and find out what this new product will be!

When Fiat Chrysler executives were spilling the beans last May about the big-picture-plans concerning nearly every single product under the corporate umbrella, Ram Trucks CEO Reid Bigland got his turn to divulge future product plans for Ram. Well, it seems we’re only a week away from that first debut.

Ram Trucks released an invitation to a livestream event scheduled for Thursday, June 26th at 11 a.m. EDT. The invitation simply says it’s a “new product announcement.” What exactly Ram is announcing, we can’t be completely sure. However, we have a pretty strong suspicion.

Within last month’s Fiat Chrysler five-year plan layout, Ram was listed as giving a mid-cycle refresh to the Ram 1500 for the 2015 model year. Though we haven’t seen any camouflaged 1500s roaming the streets, we’re sure this will be topic on the 26th.

Like always, the heavy-duty lineup gets its refresh the following year — and Fiat Chrysler’s plan follows that pattern. The Ram 1500’s refresh for 2015 will serve to keep the truck selling big numbers until its next scheduled generation change in 2017. Then the HD cycle starts over again with new 2500 and 3500 trucks rolling out in 2018.

As always, stay tuned to TopSpeed for the update next week as Ram pulls the covers off its latest truck.

Click past the jump for more info on the current 2014 Ram 1500

Looks like Tesla is gearing up for production of its highly anticipated Model X crossover in the early parts of 2015, according to a forum post on Tesla’s own website. Though the new crossovers were promised by 2014, the company has experienced delays and setbacks with moving its second large-scale vehicle into production.

The information doesn’t come from a fancy press release or a news conference from Elon Musk, but rather an email directed to reservation holders of the Model X. At 7:30 a.m. on June 16, a reservation holder received an email from Tesla revealing plenty of details about the Model X’s confirmed features and its eventual production dates. You can read the email after the jump.

As far as the SUV itself, the email confirms the inclusion of the Falcon wing doors, standard all-wheel-drive, an optional third row, and a folding second and third row for increased storage. The Model X will also be able to take full advantage of Tesla’s growing Supercharger network for recharging on the go — an obvious good idea on Tesla’s part.

The email continues in saying the Model X will be built Fremont, California, within Tesla’s expanded facilities and production lines. Initial builds will start in the early months of 2015 with full production ramping up by the fall.

Click past the jump for more info and to read the email from Tesla

Source: CarAndDriver

There has been a lot of talk about McLaren ’s known plan to launch a new model each year by 2019, but very few details have oozed from Woking, England until now. We do know there’s a track-speed P1 GTR and a more affordable P13 in the pipeline, and that a new supercar is scheduled to hit the streets in 2016 . The rest of the McLaren lineup was still a mystery until today, as Automobile managed to dig up even more details surrounding the company’s upcoming expansion.

According to the magazine, McLaren’s drawing board is already full. Besides the P13 and P1 GTR set to arrive within the next couple of years, the Brits are developing a near-supercar, likely to slot between the 650S and the P1 , as well as a replacement for the 650S. The two are reportedly scheduled to break cover between 2017 and 2019, with a brand-new sports car with a 2+2 seating configuration to follow in 2020.

Sounds like the Brits are elbows deep into their new strategy to conquer the sports car and supercar markets.

Click past the jump to read more about McLaren’s future plans.

The Wankel engine appears to have a bright future ahead as Mazda spills the beans about a revival of the rotary in an upcoming replacement for the sporty RX-8. U.K.-based AutoExpress says the automaker is eschewing the idea of turbocharging its rotary in favor of its trendy and efficient ‘SkyActiv’ engineering methods. Though no solid details have been confirmed, Mazda seems to have conveyed a few "understandings" to AE in regards to the car’s structure and engine performance targets.

Besides the high-revving rotary, the upcoming car is said to be based on a stretched version of the soon-to-be-unveiled, next-gen MX-5 Miata. It’s likely the chassis will have to undergo some strengthening in order to deal with the larger amounts of horsepower. Though it will be beefed up, Mazda will surely work hard to keep the new vehicle under the old RX-8’s 2,888-pound curb weight.

The RX-8 replacement is expected to hit showrooms for the 2017 model year after it makes its world debut in 2016.

Click past the jump to read Mazda’s powertrain performance targets.

Source: AutoExpress

It appears things are stirring amid the design studios and development laboratories at Aston Martin these days. Reports have surfaced of Aston’s plans to completely reinvent itself, starting with a series of revamped products. An all-new DB9 is set to be the brand’s first product, destined to hit showrooms for the 2017 model year.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement of Aston Martin’s deal with Mercedes -AMG to source powertrains for upcoming models. What’s more, Mercedes may supply Aston with electronic equipment, such as in-dash infotainment systems, electronic safety aids, and of course, the engine management software.

Though AMG will supply the go-fast bits, Aston is relying on a revised version of the architectural platform the automaker developed while under ownership of Ford Motor Company from 1994 through 2007. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the platform was developed with help from Lotus Engineering, so it will likely be a competent performer.

The platform is said to be largely constructed of Aluminum and will have the ability to take on multiple widths and wheelbases, alleviating the one-look model lineup that Aston currently suffers from.

Click past the jump for the full rumor-rundown of Aston Martin’s future

Source: AutoCar

Our recent crowning of Nissan as the most enthusiast-focused brand continues to hold true as the automaker just released this teaser image of what’s likely to be the Vision Gran Turismo concept — a vehicle that is slated to bridge the gap between the virtual world of Gran Turismo and reality. Nissan says it will “reveal the next chapter in its story” in the press release below, and we can’t think of a better place than the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Backing up that notion is a Tweet from Nissan Vice President Andy Palmer saying, “Think it’s worth coming to Goodwood????” with a link directing followers to a cloth-covered vehicle perched atop a date that reads June 10, 2014. Well, today is that day and Nissan has released the impressive image above accompanied by a press release giving yet another date, this time June 16th.

Also included in the press release is a statement about Nissan revealing the car to “an audience that has always shared our passion for performance.” Perhaps the lucky group of performance-minded folks will include pro gamers from the Nissan GT Academy.

As for the car itself, we could be looking at an early version of the next generation GT-R. Its mean looks and angular design, along with a large rear wing means this car is ready for business. But it looks like we’ll have to wait till the 16th to get the full run-down on the twice-teased car.

Click past the jump for more info on the next generation GT-R


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