rumors

rumors

  Automotive industry rumors and gossip

2015 BMW i8 pictured above
We already know that BMW has trademarked an entire range of nomenclatures for its "i " range, but up until now, the only models that we know of that will carry the names are the i3 , the i8 , and the rumored i5 . Now, it appears that another model will be added to the i range and according to Auto Motor und Sport, and other sources. Word has it the new car is a four-door futuristic sports car that will be called the "i9."

This is interesting because it follows in BMW’s plan to create an entirely new segment of vehicles that will address the company’s commitment to future mobility and sustainability. The i3 and the i8 got the ball rolling on that end, presenting customers with two different models that share the same principles of combining BMW’s renowned engineering prowess with a fresh approach towards functionality and efficiency.The rumored i5 midsized MPV is also expected to follow in that blueprint, all while bridging the gap between the i3 and the i8.

All this eventually leads us to the i9, a model that a lot of people know little about but has instantly become a hot subject just by word of its impending arrival. Given its name and BMW’s standard way of badging vehicles, we can assume that the i9 is going to be slotted above the i8, if you can even imagine that given how ridiculously awesome the i8 already is.

Our best guess about the i9 is that it’s going to be a more exclusive version of the i8, one that will come with a similar carbon fiber body and all of the car’s latest technological features. More importantly, we see the i9 as something of an evolution of sorts from the i8, especially when it comes to improvements BMW will make on its hybrid technology to increase performance and efficiency at the same time.

All this is, of course, is speculation on our part. What we do know is that the i9 is going to be sick, kind of the way BMW blew us away with the introduction of the i8.

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

Source: BMW Blog

The LaFerrari is proof that Ferrari can work with hybrid technology, but assuming that it’s going to wake up one day and start dropping the technology on all future Ferraris is taking it a little too far. Ferrari knows that hybrid engines have a future in its company; it’s just that we shouldn’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa spoke with Auto Motor und Sport and admitted as much, telling the German paper that while a hybrid successor to the 458 Italia is an "interesting idea," the company still doesn’t see it as a feasible idea unless there’s a "leap forward in battery technology."

Apparently, the biggest concern with using hybrid technology on Ferraris is the cost that comes with it. Felisa pointed out that the LaFerrari’s electrical engineering already costs €60,000 ($82,970 based on current exchange rates), and that doesn’t even count the "technical and financial effort" needed to compensate for the weight added by a hybrid system.

Ferrari can get away using hybrid technology on the LaFerrari because the exclusivity of the supercar , coupled with its astronomical price tag, was enough to justify using it. But "mass produced" supercars like the 458 Italia are a different story. For one, Ferrari can’t risk adding any more weight to the cars and the sheer volume of production is just too expensive to handle. It could probably still work, but the cost of doing so would be to make the cars more expensive to buyers - an option that Ferrari isn’t too keen on taking.

But the technology is there, and Ferrari knows now that using it can dramatically improve the performance of its sports cars. That’s the good news. It’s just not feasible to do at this point in time.

For now, Ferrari’s plan is to continue pushing forward with developing new technology that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its vehicles. A combination of mild hybrid technology and turbocharged engines could be used on that end. But as far as the kind of hybrid tech the LaFerrari has, don’t expect Ferrari to start using it on its other models just yet.

Click past the jump to read more about the LaFerrari

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV has soldiered on largely unchanged since its introduction in 1979 with only few cosmetic pieces, more elegant interior accommodations, and newer engine options separating the 30-year span. However, a report coming from AutoCar suggests the Germans will be changing more than just a few bits and pieces on the upcoming G-Wagen facelift.

Although it will retain its iconic boxy looks, the 2017 G-Wagen will have its width increased by around 100 mm (nearly 4 inches). The widening will allow the body to accommodate a redesigned front suspension with a three- or four-link setup and to improve stability and increase cabin space, the report adds.

Furthermore, the SUV is scheduled to get a modern electro-mechanical steering system and a redesigned structure that will include more aluminum parts. Consequently, the SUV could get rid of at least 440 pounds (200 kg) of the G350’s current 5,665-pound curb weight.

Changes are set to continue in the cabin with wider front and rear seats and a number of C-Class -inspired features. Of course, the Germans are looking to make the rugged SUV more comfortable and luxurious.

Engine-wise, the new 3.0-liter, inline-six gasoline and diesel mills currently developed by Mercedes-Benz for the 2016 E-Class will find their way into the G-Class with around 365 horsepower and 304 horsepower respectively. Both will be offered with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission as standard.

Note: Current Mercedes G-Wagen pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mercedes G-Wagen.

Source: AutoCar

With Mercedes-Benz already testing the production version of its brand-new Concept Coupe SUV , we were wondering which automaker will jump on the coupe-like crossover bandwagon next. Well, it appears that the BMW X6 ’s second competitor will also spawn from Stuttgart, the city that’s home to the headquarters of both Mercedes and Porsche .

The latter company, who has reached great automotive heights since it launched the Cayenne , is reportedly planning on expanding that model’s lineup by adding a sportier, coupe -like SUV . The vehicle will carry the Cayenne Coupe moniker and will look identical to its full-size cousin, save for a fast, sloping roof line, Autocar reports.

Naturally, the interior will also be shared with the regular Cayenne, as will the V-6 and V-8 engines, but it’s too early to speculate on any of those matters as the Coupe won’t arrive until the third-generation Cayenne is launched sometime in 2017. The Coupe is rumored for a 2018 introduction, allowing the Germans to expand production capacity at their Leipzig facility, without which the new SUV couldn’t be built alongside the best-selling Cayenne.

"We have been considering launching a more sporting derivative of the Cayenne for some time now. The problem has been the production capacity at our Leipzig factory and the strong sales of the regular Cayenne," an unnamed senior Porsche official told Autocar, adding that the Cayenne Coupe has yet to receive the green light.

When it arrives, the brand-new sports utility coupe is likely to be priced around 15 to 20 percent higher than the current Cayenne, which fetches at least $49,600.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Cayenne.

Source: AutoCar

Rumored since 2012 and officially confirmed last year, the convertible version of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has finally come out to play on public roads in the form of camouflaged prototype.

Although there are no actual details for us to ogle at, the vehicle hidden under wraps is far from being a mystery. Styling-wise, the S-Class Convertible will be identical to the Coupe version we’ve seen in detail earlier this year, save for the retractable roof that will make sunny days more pleasant behind the steering wheel.

These spy shots suggests that the Germans are trying really hard to create the impression that the two-door will feature a hard-top, but we do know that Mercedes-Benz will go for a soft-top just like it did with the E-Class . Using a fabric top makes a lot of sense considering that a hard-top would eat up too much trunk space, a feature the S-Class can proudly brag about.

Engine-wise, the Convertible will also borrow all of its V-8 and V-12 mills from the Coupe model. Thus, the range will begin with the S500 and go all the way up to S65 AMG into 600-horsepower territory.

There’s no information as to when the S-Class Convertible will be unveiled, but expect for this stylish drop-top to lose its covers at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show . Until then, make sure you stay tuned to TopSpeed for new details and spy shots that will most certainly occur soon enough.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes S-Class Convertible.

Since Ferrari admitted that there was a race-prepped version of the LaFerrari on the way — as if you couldn’t already toss "The Ferrari" on the track as is — the details have started rolling out a little more regularly. Now we have a new juicy bit that comes from the folks over at Top Gear. And this tidbit of info happens to deal with the LaFerrari XX featuring half the cylinders of the road-going version.

This makes perfect sense to us, because in December 2013, we dug up a video of a LaFerrari out testing with what was obviously an F1-derived, turbocharged V-6. Check out the video for yourself and listen to that exhaust note. If you close your eyes while listening, you would think you were hearing a new F1 racer out testing.

Given the fact that Ferrari will not confirm what engine the XX model will use, this can only mean that the engine is still in development or that Ferrari is still testing a few different setups. And according to a "high up" official in Ferrari, the V-6 engine is very much in the running as the powerplant of choice. This engine becomes even more logical when you consider that the XX program is all about lightening the car and making it more precise, rather than raw power and speed, and swapping a small-displacement V-6 in place of that hulking V-12 would likely shed some serious weight.

For now, this all remains speculation and hearsay, but it remains a novel concept that may well become a reality.

Stay tuned for more.

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

Source: Top Gear

Fisker Automotive had a pretty bad 2013 and saying that feels like a massive understatement. But from the ashes of bankruptcy, the company has been brought back to life by the deep pockets of Chinese auto-parts company Wanxiang. Things are definitely looking much better now for Fisker, or whatever it’s new name is going to be if, as is being reported, the new bosses at the company decide to completely build under a new company name.

Speaking to the OC Register, newly appointed Fisker interim president Roger Brown, a managing partner at Nashville-based Summit Strategic Investments who has worked with Wanxiang for years, has been coy on whether the company will be rebranded under a different name. Brown points out that whatever name it goes by moving forward, the cars have been and will always be the "rock stars."

On that end, Brown expressed confidence that the Karma luxury hybrid will be relaunched in 2015 without the multitude of problems that plagued its previous incarnation and ultimately led to the company’s bankruptcy. In addition to the Karma, Wanxiang is also looking at jump-starting the development of two other cars - the Surf wagon and the entry-level Atlantic - in the future with an eye towards launching the former in 2016 and the latter in 2017.

All this is tremendous news for people who actually had some good things to say about the Karma. That includes us . It’s just unfortunate the old regime didn’t have the right financial structure to address all the problems that came with developing its cars. None of us knew it at that time, but Fisker was a sinking ship and it was already too late to call for help.

But now that the brand is under new management and is owned by a Chinese company that apparently paid cash to buy Fisker, things are finally looking up for the once proud Fisker brand. It’s also comforting to know that, according to Brown, Wanxiang brought Fisker because it wants "to build a great car company."

But the biggest difference, and the most important one, is that Wanxiang has money. Lots of it. And from the looks of it, the company is not afraid to spend to realize its vision of turning Fisker into that great car company.

Click past the jump to read more about the Fisker Karma.

Source: ocregister

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

Preparations are underway for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show , one of the largest auto shows in the U.S., as automakers fill the McCormick Place complex with their latest cars, trucks and SUVs. There seems to be a slight problem, however: NAIAS stole the show last month.

The crop of new vehicles set to be debuted is rather thin for Chicago. We know of a mere handful compared to the new releases that happened at Detroit. Show goers can take heart though as the healthy smorgasbord of vehicles from NAIAS will be paying a visit to the Windy City as well.

Among the reappearing are the Corvette Z06 , BMW M3 sedan and M4 Coupe , Cadillac ATS coupe , Chrysler 200 , Ford F-150 , Ford Mustang , Hyundai Genesis , Lexus RC F , and Toyota’s FT-1 Concept .

What’s more, the lack of new competition might play well for the automakers bringing all-new products to Chicago as the media’s coverage will likely be focused them.

Click past the jump for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show Preview

We often see spy shots of upcoming vehicles still wrapped in camouflage months before their official debut, but we rarely get a preview of upcoming infotainment software destined for their dashboards. Then again, no other infotainment software makes quite the splash as Apple ’s iOS in the Car.

Several screen shots of Apple’s iOS in the Car were posted on developer Steven Troughton-Smith’s twitter page, giving us an idea of what the current beta model looks like. As reported by 9To5Mac, iOS in the Car allows users to plug their iOS device into their car’s built-in center console display, giving them access to Apple Maps, text messaging, phone service and iTunes – furthering Apple’s in-dash integration past the current Siri Eyes Free and iPod Out.

This is not the first we’ve seen of iOS in the Car. Apple showed a preview of the software at their World Wide Developers’ Conference last year, but previewed only a few screen images. These images leaked by the developer show a more detailed view of what the system is expected to look like.

Click past the jump for a closer look at Apple’s iOS in the Car

Source: 9to5Mac

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