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Spy Shots and Rendering

Spy Shots and Rendering

  Dreams cars computer rendering and spyshots of cars you will more likely see at your local dealer 2 or 3 years from now.

BMW has been busy testing upcoming models in the harsh winter currently provided by Mother Nature, and the new 2015 BMW X6 M looks to be among the group.

Despite slow sales, the X6 is getting a second generation complete with the M version . The X5 , on which the X6 is based, got a healthy refresh for 2014 with new driveline options and updated powertrains. 2014 will be the first time the CUV is available in a rear-wheel-drive-only setup with AWD still remaining an option. If this carries over to the X6, it could significantly reduce the CUV’s base MSRP, and open up the vehicle to a new group of buyers. Selecting the RWD setup in the X5 saves customers $2,300 over the AWD version.

All-wheel-drive will probably remain a fixture in the X6 M, however, due to the high output of the turbocharged V-8 and its track-ready attitude. That power is likely to come from the M5 sedan’s 4.4-liter TwinPower V-8 that lays down 560 horsepower between 6,000 and 7,000 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque between a low 1,500 and impressive 5,750 rpm.

The X6 still retains its coupe-like crossover appearance with it’s sloping roofline in its second generation. The M version seen here gets larger grille openings and signature quad exhaust outlets. Not present on this tester is a vented or power-bulged hood that will probably be on the production X6 M.

Pricing for the current-generation X6 M starts at $93,900 and grows quickly to over $100k with options. It’s likely pricing won’t move too far away from the current numbers, but if they do, they’ll be headed north.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW X6 M.

BMW M4 Convertible

While the BMW M3 and M4 models are out, BMW is still testing other models in the 3 and 4 Series lineup, like this M4 hardtop convertible caught testing in the chilly winds of Scandinavia.

Looking past the camo, not much has changed with the M4’s bodywork. The aggressive front fascia, hood and side vents are still present, as well as the rear aero work and quad exhaust. The rear deck lid does seem flatter than the coupe’s, as it meets the folding rear glass at a more forward location. That rear glass is respectably large, making rearward visibility very good and blind spots a nonexistent feature.

We can expect the M4 drop top to share the same underpinnings and powertrain options as the standard M4 — namely its 3.0-liter, TwinPower in-line six that makes a ridiculous 430 horsepower and the choice of a traditional six-speed manual transmission or a swanky seven-speed dual-clutch unit.

Added weight is always a huge consideration when chopping the top, and BMW is likely to have something up its sleeve to keep the weight close to the 3,300-pound M4 coupe. Heavy use of carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced plastics will likely find their way into the construction of that mechanical hardtop, while structural rigidity will probably benefit from the same as well.

Expect the standard M4 and M3 to find themselves in dealers beginning this June with the M4 convertible not arriving till later in the year. Pricing, of course, is still up in the air, but we’d guess an $8,000 to $10,000 price hike over the standard M4.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M4 Convertible.

You might be wondering why Chevrolet would be developing the next generation of its popular Spark so soon. After all, 2013 was the Spark’s first year in the U.S. While the likeable little subcompact was new to us last year, the overall design has been in production since 2009 and sold in countries around the world as the Chevrolet Beat.

The aging Beat (Spark) is due for a refresh and the General looks to be making a clean sweep.

Not much is know about the prototype seen here as it scurries about during cold-weather testing near the Arctic Circle. The redesign will likely be more evolutionary in nature, and will feature a heavily updated grille as evidenced by the thick camouflaging.

The Spark has sold well in the U.S. over its first year, selling 26,869 units — 35 percent beyond what Chevy had originally forecasted. Worldwide sales total 720,000 units since the model’s 2009 introduction.

An all-electricSpark EV came to market for 2014 and has sold over 400 examples in the EV’s limited markets of California and Oregon. The EV has a range of 82 miles on a single charge (7 more than the Nissan Leaf ), and is powered by an electric motor that produces 140 horsepower and an impressive 400 pound-feet of torque.

The standard gasoline model isn’t quite as powerful, as its 1.2-liter I-4 puts out a scant 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. But at only 2,269 pounds, the Spark doesn’t need much more for its inner-city intended purpose. Both a manual and CVT are available in the gasoline-powered Spark.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Spark.

Hybrids and plug-ins are becoming big business these days and even the generally performance-oriented big dogs are getting in on the action. Spy photographers just recently snapped these photos of a modified 3 Series during some cold-weather testing.

If the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the driver’s door didn’t spell it out well enough, the hint of an electric charging port door just aft of the left, front tire should provide a hint to what BMW ’s working on. BMW’s iconic 3 Series is going electric. At least just partially.

Not much is know about the powertrain of this test mule, but we’d suspect it’s a similar set up to what BMW was testing with in the X5 eDrive . It featured a turbocharged four-cylinder paired to a 95-horsepower electric motor and advanced Li-ion batter back. The combo was good for a 0-60 time of less than seven seconds and an all-electric range of roughly 20 miles. Fuel consumption is said to average 62 mpg when both systems work simultaneously.

That gas engine, electric motor-combination would likely result in more impressive performance numbers in the lighter, smaller 3 Series. Pure speculation through educated guessing have us figuring the BMW 3 eDrive could achieve closer to 25 miles of all-electric driving and an increased overall fuel efficiency of 65 mpg. The X5’s all-electric top speed is 75 mph, but with less wind resistance, the 3 would likely reach closer to 80 or 90 mph.

Only time will tell as BMW develops this and it i-line vehicles, like the upcoming i3 and smokin’ hot i8.

Click pas the jump for info on the standard BMW 3 Series sedans

Posted on by Simona  

BMW announced today that its venerable X3 SUV is getting a much-needed upgrade. BMW is blowing open the new 2015 BMW X3 SUV by offering it with multiple U.S.-market firsts. Most notably, you can now get the X3 with diesel power, and there is now a model without all-wheel drive.

The availability of the rear-wheel-drive model helps bring the price of the X3 down into a new market, and the diesel engine option provides a level of fuel economy that far exceeds any of the previous X3 models.

As expected with any major update, the designs of the interior and exterior have been updated and overall equipment levels have increased.

Is the new 2015 BMW X3 the best luxury SUV money can buy, or does BMW need to make more substantial changes to make the model worth looking at?

Continue reading to find out all the details on this new machine.

Posted on by Simona  
Volvo XC90

We have been following the development of the all-new Volvo XC90 for quite some time. Last year we brought spy shots of the 2015 Volvo XC90 mule, and now we have a true pre-production model.

It may be covered in heavy camouflage but one look at the rear lights and it’s immediately obvious this is a Volvo . This prototype looks to be sized similarly to the previous car, and will include room for seven passengers.

The 2015 XC90 will be built on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture platform. The SPA platform has been designed to be extremely safe and employs a massive amount of ultra-high-strength steel in the main safety shell of the vehicle. The 2015 XC90 will be the first model to utilize the new platform, but it will become the core of every product Volvo sells from the S60 up.

Thanks to the SPA construction, Volvo expects the 2015 XC90 to be the safest SUV ever sold to the public.

Volvo is expected to drop all the engines in the current-gen XC90 in favor of more fuel-efficient, four-cylinder powertrains. All the engines will be turbocharged, and Volvo is developing both gasoline and diesel engines. No word on if the oil-burner will hit U.S. shores.

We are not entirely sure if American buyers will responsive to a three-row SUV without at least a six-cylinder engine, but only time will tell.

Expect the new Volvo XC90 to be put on sale in early 2015.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

If there is a car that is included on almost every list of “greatest enthusiasts car” it’s the Toyota Supra. The little two-door sports car was originally bolted together as a response to the Z cars coming from competitor Datsun, but it eventually grew into a special machine with a cult-like following.

Now after years of rumor, speculation and dreaming, it looks like the new Toyota Supra is all but official. Toyota’s newest concept car, the FT-1 likely previews the new shape and design of the upcoming Supra replacement.

The story of the Supra may start in 1978, but it was in 1987 with the introduction of the first turbocharged Supra, that it began to truly build its performance legacy. This third-generation Supra was fitted with more than a powerful engine, it featured adjustable suspension and brake systems that helped make it great around a racetrack as well.

It became a cult icon in the auto enthusiast world, and everyone has been clamoring for a new model since the old one was pulled form U.S. showrooms in the late ’90s.

With more info and rumors coming out every day about the 2015 Toyota Supra it’s only a matter of time before we find out what Toyota really plans to do. Read on to see our thoughts on the matter.

Updated 2/3/2014: We have just created several new renderings of the anticipated Supra. You can see one image above and the rest after the jump.

Hit the jump to see why.

Posted on by Simona  

Suzuki unveiled the IV-4 — a concept car that previews a new crossover that will replace the Grand Vitara — at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. And now our spy photographers caught a prototype of the production version is out testing.

As you can see, the prototype is heavily camouflaged, so it’s pretty difficult to know what is hiding beneath. Still, considering an SX4 was testing next to it, and that it was wearing the typical Suzuki camo, it pretty evident that this is s Suzuki crossover of some sort, likely the next-gen Grand Vitara.

This new Grand Vitara will use Suzuki’s latest ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system, but it will also come in your basic front-wheel-drive setup.

Suzuki promised that this new crossover will lightest model in its class, with lowest fuel consumption and the lowest CO2 emissions.

Though we are not 100-percent certain that this new crossover will carry the Grand Vitara name, we are pretty sure that we’ll see it in 2015. Sorry U.S. buyers, Suzuki does not plan to sell it, or any other model, in the U.S. any time soon...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Posted on by Simona  

Mercedes unveiled the current-generation CLS-Class at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, and since it’s remained the same. So, it’s about time for Mercedes to roll out some updates, and our spy photographers managed to spot the revised CLS out for a little test run. For the first time, we get a look at both the exterior and the interior of the upcoming CLS , so we can really see what Benz is up to.

Of course, do not expect this revision to bring any huge changes, but I suspect that tp see some elements inspired by other recently launched Mercedes models. The prototype caught testing wears almost no camouflage, revealing that only the front and the rear bumpers will be updated, while the grille will feature one bar instead of two.

The coolest updates are the new LED headlights with "Active Multibeam." This system ensures that the lights are checked 100 times every second in order to give the maximum of light for the surroundings.

On the inside, the revised CLS will get a larger Command screen, a new button layout in the center console and a new steering wheel.

I expect Mercedes to retain the engine lineup. but Mercedes will likely do some light revisions to increase fuel economy.

Expect the revised Mercedes CLS to be unveiled by the end of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes CLS-Class.

Posted on by Simona  

Mini has already announced big plans for the future, including new models, an expanded lineup and new engines as just a few of the targets set by the company. As proof that Mini engineers were hard at work to make the next-gen Cooper as great as it could be, our spy photographers caught the new Cooper out and about testing on many occasions. With all of the testing in the book, the new Mini Cooper has finally made its official debut today.

At a first glance, it appears that the new Cooper is very similar to the previous generation, but it received a more aggressive design language, a more sharply steeped A-pillar and a wider grille, along with other changes. Mini built it on BMW’s all-new UKL platform that it will also share with the next-generation 1 Series .

As for the engine lineup, Mini will offer a new family of three-cylinder engines, along with the conventional four-cylinder engines. These three-cylinder engines will also see use in the new BMW 3 Series model, known as the 316i.

Updated 11/18/2013: This review was updated with the official details, images and specs.

Updated 01/30/2014: Mini USA revealed today prices for the new generation Cooper set to go on sale in the spring. Prices will start from $19,950 for the base Cooper model and from $23,600 for the Cooper S.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mini Cooper.


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