speculative

speculative

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

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.

Last time our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley SUV roaming the streets of Britain, the mule was cleverly disguised as an Audi Q7 . Not exactly surprising considering the two will share the same platform, but obviously disappointing for those anxious to see the looks of the new luxury SUV , us included. Less than a month has passed since then, and we can finally see some of the details adorning the company’s first ever SUV, as the Audi -like mule just turned into a proper Bentley prototype wearing a heap of familiar details.

As expected, the overall styling goes back to the EXP 9 F concept that previewed the production model. However, the large family ride is set to receive a host of cues already present on other Bentley models.

Essentially a beefier Flying Spur with a wagon -like rear end, the SUV shares the sedan’s massive mesh grille and headlamps. What sets this SUV apart are the large intakes flanking the grille, a more pronounced hood, and a more angular front end. However, the latter might be just an effect that could disappear as soon as the camo is taken away. Either way, the front fascia is imposing enough for a luxury SUV of this stature.

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

Nissan has been building midsize trucks since 1985, with models stretching all across the globe. Here in U.S., the Hardbody and then Frontier have filled the slot, but overseas in nearly every other country, it’s been the Navara. Now for 2015, the Navara moves into its twelfth generation with the NP300 Navara.

While we were expecting Nissan to announce the U.S.-spec Frontier sometime soon, the automaker has been quiet on the details. We do suspect many if not most of the Navara’s details will transfer over to the Frontier, but we cannot be certain. That’s especially true when considering the powertrain options.

As for the new NP300, the updates are more evolutionary than revolutionary. A more ridged high-strength frame holds still the independent, coil-over suspension up front with a leaf spring suspension out back. Power comes from two — so far — improved engines: a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, gasoline mill and a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, turbo-diesel. Both engines are more efficient and powerful, helping the truck do more with less fuel. A seven-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission are offered with both engines.

An electric, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is available and is assisted by Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system, Hill Start Assist, Hill Decent Control, and Active Brake Limited Slip. That last feature uses the brakes to apply force to a spinning wheel in low-traction situations on both the front and rear axles. The mechanical differential then sends power to the opposite wheel.

These nitty-gritty features all work together to get make the Navara look like a solid contender for Nissan in the upcoming years. As far as the U.S. version, it appears we’ll have to wait a bit longer for any news. But when it comes, rest assured that TopSpeed will have it covered.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara.

Nissan is again turning to Internet crowdsourcing for help in building another one-off vehicle with the help of some 80,000 friends on Facebook. You might recall Nissan’s first crowdsourcing foray with the 370Z Project back in 2012, but this time, the automaker is getting down and dirty with a trail-ready truck that started life as a stock Nissan Titan.

Nissan has teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project in building a capable off-road rig ready to tackle the rugged Alaskan wilderness with two WWP Alumni veterans in the cab. David Guzman and Kevin McMahon will set out on a week-long journey across Alaska with a little bit of mountain climbing, towing, and hauling along the way.

Like the 370Z Project before it, Nissan fans will get to vote on what equipment is fitted to the vehicle. A suspension lift, wheels, tires, and other modifications are among the listed items up for vote. Once the tallies are in and the truck is finished, the two vets will set out through Alaska followed by a camera crew. The end result will be several feature videos appearing on Nissan’s YouTube page in September.

If you want to get involved, jump on over to Nissan’s Facebook page to cast your vote. Then keep an eye out for the video series debuting on Nissan’s YouTube channel starting sometime in September.

Updated 08/08/2014: Nissan unveiled the first video in which explains the development process of its new "Project Titan" The video explains how Nissan fitted the Titan with hardcore tires and a high articulation suspension system.

Click past the jump for more Titan info and speculation of Nissan’s future plans

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

There are few cars that are as important to the world stage, and the development of the American sports car than the Chevrolet Corvette . Of the thousands of people who have worked to create this iconic nameplate, arguably none have been more important than Zora Arkus-Duntov. With the news that Chevrolet has just trademarked the name “Zora,” my mind has been running away with what this may mean.

Is there going to be a special-edition Corvette? Is this going to be an entirely new model line? Is Chevrolet just trying to give me an aneurysm by making my mind run wild with anticipation?

Whatever the reason, I have compiled a collection of what I think it could mean. From the likely candidate like name protection, to the outlandish like an entirely new lineup of cars, there is lots for you to see and think about. When you get finished, make sure to hit the comments and let me know what you guys think.

It’s been about three months since the 2015 Porsche Cayenne revealed its facelifted front end, and we are finally able to have a closer, all-around look at the updated SUV , as our skilled spy photographers caught a pair of test vehicles wandering about somewhere in Germany.

As we’ve previously noted, the Cayenne ’s new face is distinguished by a more rectangular grille and slightly smaller side air inlets. The turn signals are now placed upward into the bumper, being mounted right above the air intakes, while the fog lamps gained reshaped surrounds. The headlamps have also been subjected to a redesign, but the new units aren’t too different when compared to the old ones.

Around back, the only noticeable novelties are the reworked bumper, the enlarged exhaust pipes and a new pair of taillights. The latter are still hidden behind semitransparent plastic wraps, but it appears that they are slightly slimmer as far as shape goes.

Our paparazzi weren’t able to zoom their lenses into the cabin, but it’s not like they missed anything. We don’t expect major improvements in the facelifted Cayenne aside from a reconfigured steering wheel and additional trimming options.

More important changes are likely to occur under the hood of the Cayenne S, where a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 engine rated around 420 horsepower is set to replace the current 4.8-liter V-8. Naturally, both the entry-level diesel and the range-topping Turbo models are in for power output updates, while the hybrid version will borrow the gasoline-electric drivetrain available in the Panamera S E-Hybrid .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Porsche Cayenne.

Posted on by Collin Woodard  

It wasn’t long ago that Mitsubishi was known for producing some of the most desirable performance vehicles in the U.S. Lately, however, Mitsubishi has let that performance mantle slip, mostly selling not-that-bad crossover SUV s and a less-than-inspiring economy car . There’s been the promise of a next generation Evo for a while, but at least for now, it would seem then that Mitsubishi has lost its way, and the prevailing opinion seems to be that it’s only a matter of time before they fade away into obscurity.

While the fate of Mitsubishi may be uncertain, gamers may be getting a peek into the future with the Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo, a car available exclusively in Vision Gran Turismo. Instead of just being a visual exercise though, Mitsubishi claims that this car was developed for the game by their actual design teams just like they would design a real life vehicle.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo Concept.

Nissan has just dropped a massive teaser for its upcoming 2015 Frontier midsize pickup truck . Seen on the automaker’s Instagram feed, the image shows what looks to be a crew-cab, short-bed truck with Nissan’s familiar grille perched between headlights and LED daytime running lights. The social media site also reveals the truck’s debut date of June 11th.

This is big news for midsize truck fans, as the current Frontier as been around, basically unchanged, since 2004. The new truck will also likely usher in a newly redesigned Xterra SUV, which it shares much of its architecture.

Other noticeable changes include a pronounced roof rack, bold ridges along the edges of the hood leading from the headlights to the A-pillars, chrome-surrounded lower fog lights, and a front bumper featuring moderately high approach angle. The truck will likely continue using a body-on-frame design in order to compete with General Motors’ upcoming Colorado and Canyon twins.

What’s more, Nissan may further compete with the 2016 version of the GM trucks when they debut the first diesel-powered, U.S.-spec midsize truck in recent history. Back at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan showcased a 2.8-liter, inline four-cylinder, Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Nissan even admitted back then the concept truck was created to gauge the public’s response and interest in future truck products. I know we sure sang its praises.

Diesel engine or not, an updated — if not all-new — Nissan Frontier is a welcomed sight. With General Motors and now Nissan joining the midsize truck category for 2015, we’re greatly anticipating other manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon. Toyota, Ram, and Ford have been put on notice.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Nissan pickup truck.

Source: Nissan

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