speculative

speculative

  Speculative article about vehicles with no official information available but strongly believed to be release in the near future.

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

Introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model, the Ford Edge became an important player for Ford in the midsize crossover SUV category. Based on the CD3 platform shared with a number of other Blue Oval products, the Edge became a good seller, rolling over 130,000 units off dealer lots its first year alone. A refresh came for the Edge in 2011 with a reworked exterior that kept up with Ford’s then-current design language, as well as a refreshed interior. The basic bones of the CUV hadn’t really changed since 2007, but all that changes for 2015.

Meet the all-new 2015 Ford Edge. Ford says the new crossover is an evolution of the Edge design idea with the new model pushing the envelope in packaging with more equipment and features that customers are looking for these days. A slew of new techno-features like a standard EcoBoost engine, an available 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine, an adaptive steering system, active grille shutters for increased aero efficiency, and a laundry list of innovative safety equipment help push the 2015 Edge ahead of its current competition. It seems Ford’s not-so-little crossover is well positioned for the last half of the decade.

There’s a ton more information below the jump, so head on down for our full rundown of Ford’s newest vehicle.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Edge.

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

Generally speaking, off-road performance and track performance are not realms that can exist together within one vehicle. But somehow, Land Rover has been breaking the laws of physics with its Range Rover Sport since its debut in 2005. Now it seems Land Rover has decided to abolish all traces of such forces that keep large SUVs from handling well around corners. Meet the upcoming Range Rover Sport RS.

Yep, RS. Land Rover is taking the already sporty Sport and turning up the juice for a more engaging, on-road experience thanks to a few key improvements, not the least of which is a more powerful engine. It’s highly likely the standard Sport’s 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8 will remain, but with the same 40-horsepower bump the Jaguar XFR-S enjoys. That brings the Range Rover’s normal 510-horsepower mill up to 550 ponies. Expect Jaguar’s extra 41 pound-feet of torque to transfer over as well, bringing that total to 502 pound-feet.

Click past the jump for more speculation on the Range Rover Sport RS

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

Things seem to be coming together for smart with the development of its all-new forfour subcompact four-seater. The last we saw of the little city car, it was trudging through the snow in a video actually released by smart. This time, the images come by way of our spy photographers. They have caught detailed images of the forfour, along with its revised interior.

You may recall that smart is developing the forfour in conjunction with Renault. The French automaker’s version will share the same basic design and functionality, but will serve as the company’s third-generation Twingo. Both the Twingo and forfour will have a rear-mounted engine and transaxle that powers the rear wheels.

While the exterior is still tightly wrapped in swirly camo, many of the exterior details are still visible. It’s plainly a four-door car with a small hood and even smaller boot. Though storage space is at a premium, the interior will likely be a decent place to travel about in town in relative comfort.

To read about the Smart ForFour’s spied interior, click past the jump.

The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.

The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.

Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.

Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.

Things at Jaguar Land Rover have just gotten more interesting. The British car company has just announced its own skunk works department, called Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. The new division is charged with making high performance and ultra luxury editions of standard production Jaguar and Land Rover products on a bespoke, individual level.

Much like BMW Individual, Special Operations will build vehicles to specifications outside the normal assembly line ordering guide. Customers can order their choice of colors, interior amenities, trim packages, and add-on accessories. The shop will also handle the company’s limited-edition collectables that run with small production numbers.

Even more, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will work on vehicle restorations and servicing with parts gathered through salvage or recreation of specialized historic parts. The Heritage Team already has their first major project lined up. You may recall the six lightweight E-Types we reported Jaguar is building from parts left over from the 1960s.

The operation will be led by John Edwards and overseen by Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive. Paul Newsome, formerly of Williams Advanced Engineering, is heading up the team of designers and engineers under Edwards. In the media statement after the jump, Speth says the new Special Operations division was created in an effort to “reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover in building exciting and desirable products.”

The Special Operations division will be located in the company’s new Technical Center, located in the West Midlands area of the UK, just outside the corporate headquarters and will employ some 150 team members.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations Division.


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