speculative

speculative

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

The Mazda MX-5 Miata came to life in the late 1980s and made its debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show . Conceived as a small, lightweight roadster with minimal mechanical complexity, the Miata is often regarded as an evolution of classic British roadsters such as the Lotus Elan , the Triumph Spitfire or the MG MGB. Not surprising, it didn’t take long for the MX-5 to become the best-selling roadster in the world. The first-gen MX-5 was produced for no less than ten years, being replaced by a redesigned version in 1999. The second-gen model lasted for seven years before the current, NC-generation arrived. It’s been five years since the third-gen Miata debuted, and Mazda is about to launch a brand-new model on September 3rd. Just as the new roadster is getting ready to lose its veils, rumors about a coupe version of the Miata have started to emerge.

The idea is not exactly new, as customers have been demanding a coupe ever since the first-gen model became popular, but Mazda has yet to sacrifice the Miata’s long-standing heritage just to make a few buyers happy. That could change in less than two years, according to Auto News, who claims the Japanese have a fastback-like coupe in the pipeline.

Updated 09/05/2014: Now that we have seen the official pictures on the new generation MX-5 it was time to create a new rendering for the future coupe version, rumored to arrive one year after the roadster. Check it out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Coupe.

The current Mitsubishi Outlander is on its last leg, which explains why Mitsubishi is giving it a fresh look before an entirely new model arrives in 2017. There’s still little information about this ‘new model’ but as it turns out, Mitsubishi is giving us a little preview at the Paris Motor Show with the debut of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S.

It’s unlikely that the successor will be called the Outlander because that would go against the premise of the new model taking the Outlander’s place in Mitsubishi’s lineup. Instead, Mitsubishi is promoting the Outlander PHEV Concept-S as a preview of the Outlander PHEV production model, complete with refined design aesthetics that combines the technology of the company’s twin-motor PHEV system with the spirit of a tried and true 4x4 SUV .

We’ll know more about the Outlander PHEV Concept-S at the Paris Motor Show in October. For now, indulge yourselves with these two teaser photos that Mitsubishi graciously sent to our inbox.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S.

Audi has been testing quite a lot of cars at the Nürburgring track this year, including the TT coupe and its beefed-up iterations, the TTS and the TT-RS . Only the TT Roadster has been missing from the pack, but that ends now as the Germans have begun hooning the drop-top around the "Green Hell" as well. And we have solid proof thanks to our skilled paparazzi, who sent yet another batch of spy shots our way. The bad news is the TT Roadster is hidden underneath a thick layer of swirly camouflage, but at least now we know the vehicle’s development has reached the chassis and engine tuning stage.

Although the third-generation TT coupe was revealed earlier in 2014 and it’s already on sale in Europe, it will take a while longer until the Roadster breaks cover and reaches dealerships. It will likely debut in early 2015, but don’t expect to see it in North America before 2016, when the coupe version is set to cross the Pond. Be that as it may, we’re anxious to see that the fourth member of the TT family is already stretching its legs on the ’Ring.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi TT Roadster.

Introduced in 2000, the first-generation Kia Optima was essentially a rebadged Hyundai Sonata. Only minor exterior styling details and equipment packages set it apart from its Hyundai sibling. The sedan arrived in U.S. dealerships for the 2001 model year with a V-6 engine under the hood. A redesigned, second-gen model was launched in 2005. The new Optima differed further from the Hyundai Hyundai Sonata it was based on. The vehicle was slightly larger and received a wide range of four-cylinder and V-6 engines. The Kia Optima Kia Optima was revamped yet again for the 2011 model year. Now sharing its underpinnings with the Hyundai i40 Hyundai i40 , the third-gen Optima saw the introduction of Kia’s new design language, which included the already familiar "tiger nose" front grille and "ice cube" LED headlamps. A huge success for Kia, the third-gen Optima will retire after the 2015 model year to make way for a redesigned sedan.

A fourth-generation Optima is already being tested in Germany, according to our spy photographers, who have supplied us with a preliminary set of photos. Naturally, the mid-size sedan is camouflaged to the teeth, leaving very few details for us to ogle at. Read on to find out what we know so far.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Kia Optima.

BMW’s M5 is rumored to get a healthy boost in power while the rest of the 5-Series lineup gets some additional features both inside and out. That’s according to the German website Autobild, which reports the changes will come with the next generation of BMW’s full-size sedans .

Leading the headlines is a rumored 626-horsepower M5 that will feature all-wheel-drive. Not much is know on how BMW plans on producing that power, but it’s a possibility the automaker will still use the same twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8. Currently that engine produces 560 horsepower, so adding an extra 66 horsepower shouldn’t be an impossible task.

The next-gen 5 Series lineup is said to also roughly 100 pounds lighter, thanks to extensive use of aluminum in place of steel. Despite the added lightness, the Bimmer will feature more premium interior materials. The iDrive controller will be revised to use smaller turn/push knob and its voice recognition software will be easier to use. The car’s automated driving features are also set for an extensive update, making fully automated driving a closer reality.

A plug-in hybrid is also set for release. Its 109-horsepower electric motor will work in conjunction with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, itself producing 240 horsepower. The hybrid is also rumored to have inductive charging abilities.

The remainder of the BMW 5 Series lineup will get power updates as well. The top version of the 3.0-liter I-6 will produce 354 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque; the diesel will produce 324 horsepower with a respectable 486 pound-feet of torque; and the M550xd will kick out 402 horses and 553 pound-feet of torque.

We can expect the new 5 Series to hit German roads for the 2016 model year.

Click past the jump to read about the current BMW M5

Hyundai appears to be considering entering the luxury crossover market to compete with the Lexus RX , Audi Q5 , and Cadillac SRX . That’s according to an interview Edmunds.com had recently with Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski.

However, Zuchowski says the main problem with creating a luxury SUV would be having a place to sell it. “We made a conscious decision on our premium products not to establish a secondary distribution channel,” he says. “And that decision, and we absolutely think it is the right decision, has some flow-through impact on products.”

So in other words, Hyundai doesn’t think a premium SUV or crossover would sell well within conventional Hyundai dealerships. The Korean automaker is already traveling down this bumpy road with its classy Genesis and Equus sedans, products that far exceed the Hyundai brand perception held by the general public. Hyundai does have that "dealership within a dealership" concept in use where the premium products are separated from the non-premium vehicles, but apparently the concept isn’t working well enough for it to add an SUV to the Genesis and Equus side of the showroom.

Regardless of the selling method, the SUV itself would likely be based on the seven-passenger Santa Fe . It would likely keep the same underpinnings and powertrain, but have completely unique styling and an interior that matched the luxuriousness of the all-new 2015 Genesis sedan.

Zuchowski and Hyundai appear to be stuck behind their decision to remain a singular brand and not create a secondary luxury label like Toyota’s Lexus or Nissan’s Infiniti . Zuchowski uses the example of Toyota and Lexus in selling mechanically similar products with different levels of refinement. "The RX is basically the Toyota Highlander and they can charge a premium for that vehicle because they are sold in different showrooms," Zuchowski says.

For now, Hyundai’s plans for rolling out a Lexus RX competitor are on hold, with Zuchowski implying that once a sales method has been reached, the automaker could move forward.

Note: Photo is of the Hyundai Intrado Concept

Click past the jump to read about the Hyundai Intrado Concept

Source: Edmunds

Bentley has been working on its upcoming SUV in increasingly public places, and this time, our spy photographers have captured the beast nearly void of heavy camouflage. Sure, the cladding this still there, but we certainly have a better idea of what to expect.

The Bentley SUV was caught in Southern Europe apparently hot-weather testing under fully loaded conditions. Check out how low the SUV sits sunken down. Perhaps Bentley engineers are testing its brakes and cooling capabilities on that twisty European road. Or maybe the SUV is tucking those large rims, thanks to an air suspension system designed to make the top-heavy truck perform like a Continental GT .

While Bentley has announced it’s bringing an SUV to market, its name has yet made its debut. Most speculation centers on the name “Falcon,” but other possibilities exist. We do know the Bentley SUV will share its platform with the Audi Q7 , the new Volkswagen Touareg , and the next-generation Porsche Cayenne . Also for sure is Bentley’s goal of a 200-plus mph SUV.

Getting such a vehicle up to 200 mph will require plenty of grunt, meaning either a twin-turbocharged V-8 or a massive W-12 engine. It’s likely both will be offered, with the V-8 being the standard mill and the W-12 the costlier engine upgrade.

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

The Lagonda name, previously used by Aston Martin for a hand-built, ultra-expensive sedan built between 1976 - 1990, returned under the spotlight about five years ago when the Brits introduced the Lagonda Concept .

Oddly enough, that concept had nothing to do with the four-door grand tourer, but rather a sporty SUV proclaimed to be a more luxurious alternative to the popular Porsche Cayenne . Rumors about a production version went back and forth with no relevant outcome, although the consensus was the vehicle might arrive in 2016.

But now we have to put the Lagonda SUV behind us, because it appears Aston Martin is actually planning to revive the iconic nameplate for a brand new sedan. Such a vehicle was spotted testing in the United Kingdom covered in camouflage. Our friends over at Autoblog think the Brits will slap a Lagonda badge on its trunk.

Details are scarce right now, but it’s safe to assume the four-door will be based on the Rapide S and ride on a stretched version of its wheelbase. Power is likely to come from the same 6.0-liter V-12 engine that delivers 558 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. More details should become available later this year, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for all the updates.

Updated 07/25/2014: Aston Martin officially confirmed a bespoke product program for a new super sedan that will revive the Lagonda nameplate. The model will be put into production in 2015 and will be built in a strictly limited series, like the the One-77 hypercar and the V12 Zagato.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin Lagonda Sedan.

Source: Autoblog

Meet the Troller T4, a rough-and-tumble SUV Ford is building in Brazil. We hope it’s not love at first sight though, as this puppy isn’t destined for the States anytime soon. The story starts back with Ford’s 2007 purchase of the South American automaker Troller. The T4 was already in development at the time of acquisition, and Ford let the project continue. News of the T4 first broke in June of 2014, and from what Troller has revealed, the T4 will be a competent competitor to vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler , Land Rover Defender , and even perhaps the Mercedes G-Wagen — though not offering the level of posh or refinement as the Benz.

So why is this not the next Ford Bronco? Well, that’s thanks largely to the T4 not being developed by Ford for use in the States. That means it wouldn’t pass the U.S.’ rigorous crash tests. The T4 would, however, likely pass the U.S.’ emissions tests as it’s powered by the same 3.2-liter, I-5, Power Stroke turbodiesel that is offered in the 2015 Ford Transit Van.

The T4 is also fully equipped to handle the challenges found off road. Four-wheel drive; front D-Ring shackle points; high approach, break-over, and departure angles; and an interior that’s said to have easy-to-clean surfaces all aide the Troller Troller in tackling Mother Nature. Even the engine’s air filter is mounted high and to the side, ready for an aftermarket snorkel kit.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford Troller T4.

Source: Uncrate

It appears General Motors may be considering a Ford Raptor competitor in the near future, though not with the Silverado or Sierra . Reports from GM Authority suggest The General will use the upcoming midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon as the truck of choice.

It seems GM has chosen the smaller trucks mostly due to their compact size and lighter weight, giving them more agility and potentially better handling. Along with being more agile, the smaller trucks will fit into tighter trails, like the famous Rubicon Trail in California — a trail the Raptor is simply too large to navigate.

There are really no solid details to go on, so speculation will have to suffice. It’s likely the new Raptor fighter will come with the largest engine offering, meaning the 3.6-liter V-6. Perhaps GM will allow the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel to power the off-roader as well. Beefy springs and shocks will be a must, along with larger off-road tires. Expect to see the Eaton G80 locking rear differential come standard along with a high-capacity cooling system for the engine and transmission. Generous underbody skid plating will also come included.

As far as naming the new GM truck, we could see a revival of the ZR2 nomenclature last used in regular production on the long-dead Chevy S-10. The name had a recent comeback on a Chevrolet Silverado concept truck back in 2011, but never gained any traction. We already know GM was pondering a “ZR2 package” back when the new Colorado/Canyon twins were revealed in 2013, so the likelihood is rather high the ZR2 will happen. Whether it’s a true Raptor fighter has yet to be seen. Stay tuned for further details.

Note: Chevrolet Colorado Rally Concept pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about GM’s future Ford Raptor competitor.

Source: GM Authority

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