speculative

speculative

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

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.

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.

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.


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