speculative

speculative

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

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

Looks like we’ve got some up-close and personal spy shots of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class , thanks to an emboldened shooter in Stuttgart, Germany. The pair of videos show some rather telling details of the coupe-like SUV as the videographer encircles the vehicle.

Up front, we see a huge Mercedes star with large chrome bars emanating sideways toward the nearly covered LED headlights. A rather aggressive front bumper indicates the MLC’s sporty nature. Rising up from those headlights is a striking beltline that curves dramatically upward to meet the high rear end and low roofline contour. The side windows are smaller than a traditional SUVs’ as the roof is very rounded. Down low, flat side steps run between the wheel wells for ease of entry and exit.

On the back, the rear window seems nearly flat as it leads from the roof down to the trunk lid. Three-dimensional taillights can be seen, despite Mercedes’ best attempts with swirly camo. The right-hand-side fuel-filler door can also be seen. Twin chrome exhausts tips are just barely visible along the rear bumper’s lower fascia.

And speaking of those exhaust tips, at about 20 seconds into the 50-second video, you can hear what almost sounds like a turbo four-cylinder as the MLC accelerates off. Sadly, there are too many other ambient noises around to get a clear sound of what powers the upcoming Mercedes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes MLC.

Ford Motor Company is reportedly pondering a factory GT program that will see the Detroit-based manufacturer return to the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race after a very long absence. The comeback is scheduled for 2016, SportsCar365 reports citing industry sources, when Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Ford, who is currently providing EcoBoost engines to a prototype program with Riley Technologies in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is said to be evaluating a factory GT project. If the program comes to fruition, the Blue Oval will join the iconic Le Mans event in the GTE category for production-based cars. Set to receive new regulations for 2016, the GTE class is currently disputed by companies such as Ferrari , Porsche , Chevrolet , and Aston Martin .

While this is great news for every motorsport enthusiasts, our advice is to take this report with a pinch of salt. For Ford to be able to join the famed race in 2016, a vehicle should already be in development, and not just a pending approval. Unless the said race car is a well-guarded secret, chances are slim for Ford to make a comeback to Le Mans as soon as 2016.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford at Le Mans.

Source: sportscar365

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

Get out your salt shakers friends, we have a big bowl of rumor soup that needs some seasoning. Autocar is reporting that Porsche is readying a mid-engined coupe, codenamed 988, with a flat-eight engine as a direct competitor to the Ferrari 458 and Lamborghini Huracan . Autocar is claiming that with the power output of the current flat-six reaching its theoretical maximum, Porsche needs to look to more cylinders to keep pushing performance. With Porsche already using eight cylinders to power its new range topping 918, there is some credence to this claim.

The move makes a certain level of sense. With the 918 being a limited production model that is more a science experiment than a viable long-term model, Porsche will be looking to fill the gap with something that is cheaper to produce. This new model is expected to birth an entirely new era at Porsche with an all-new platform and a new engine architecture that will expand to every mid- and rear-engine car the company makes.

If the claims about this new super Porsche hold true, the world of sports cars is about to get a lot better.

Updated 07/08/2014: We have created a very cool rendering for the future Porsche 988. We hope you like it!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Porsche 988.

Source: Autocar

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

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