A Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is a type of passenger vehicle which combines the load-hauling and passenger-carrying capacity of a large station wagon or minivan with features designed for off-road driving. They have been the hot car to own for the past 10 years, but lately they are regarded as gas guzzler and substantially dangerous because of high potential to roll over.
People have been talking about a possible BMW X4 for quite some time now and now that the concept version has been officially unveiled, those rumors have been officially confirmed. To add a little extra fuel to the X4 fire, there are now rumors about a possible X4M version. Not a big surprise though, considering that almost each model in BMW’s lineup also has an M version.
The upcoming BMW X4M comes as a direct competitor to high-performance variants of the upcoming Porsche Macan and will go on sale in 2015. The X4M is dubbed internally as "an M3 on stilts" and will be powered by the same M3 in-line six-cylinder engine that is derived from an extensively reworked N55. The engine will be mated to an M-engineered torque-sensing differential, which will drive all four wheels. BMW will also offer an advanced electronically controlled torque vectoring system, and X4M-specific springs, bushes and damping rates.
From the M3 the future X4M will be also adopting the BMW M’s Electro-mechanical steering and a revised M-DCT transmission. On the exterior the X4M will use typical M design elements, including a more current M-Type kidney grille, exterior mirrors, subtle rear boot lid spoiler, traditional quad exhausts and a full carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic roof - a first for an X-Series M model.
Updated 04/15/2013: With the prototype X4 images in hand, we were able to bring you a revised rendering of the upcoming X4M. You can see the image above and have a look at the old rendering in the gallery. You can see a comparison of our two renderings after the jump Enjoy!
After a small facelift that we saw at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, General Motors has already started to work on the next generation Opel Antara amd Chevrolet Captiva. Our spy photographers have caught the first mule out for a testing session, and even though the company tried to hide it under this chopped up Chevrolet Orlando, it is clear that it’s something completely different.
The new-generation Antara/Captiva will be built on a new platform, called D2XX, which will also be used for the new Chevrolet Cruze that will arrive in 2014.
Ok, so what makes us believe this is not a real Orlando? First, this prototype is offered with a four-wheel-drive system, which is not available on the Orlando, and there are also twin exhaust pipes. The wheelbase is slightly shorter than the standard Orlando and the front end is also chopped up to make room for the new engine and cooling system.
Of course, when it comes to exterior design, the next-generation SUVs will have nothing in common with the Orlando seen here. Rumors suggest it will borrow something from the recently announced Opel Mokka.
Expect the new Antara/Captiva to be unveiled sometime in 2015.
Click past the jump to read more about the Antara and Captiva
This is the second time that Mercedes has taken its baby performance SUV out for a testing session. Instead of hitting the cold weather with the GLA 45 AMG, like the first time we caught it, Mercedes took it for an extreme test at Nürburgring in Germany.
The next GLA 45 AMG will be based on the same platform as the new-generation A-Class and will be offered with the same engine as the CLA 45 AMG and A 45 AMG: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 360 horsepower and a peak torque of 331 pound-feet.
Unlike the standard GLA-Class, the AMG version will feature a more aggressive look with dual exhaust pipes, bigger wheels and cross-drilled brakes – pretty standard stuff for the AMG lineup.
The standard GLA-Class is expected to be unveiled in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, with the AMG version to follow few months after.
Today must have been national test day for electric cars. Shortly after catching the R8 E-tron testing in the cold, our spy photographers caught a very interesting model testing. At a first look it appears you are looking at a standard BMW X1, but you are actually looking at an all-electric X1.
As you can see from the spy shots the prototype features no exhaust pipes and there are also some Hybrid stickers – an obvious attempt at subterfuge. Our spy photographers lurked around long enough to confirm that this is an EV, as when it finally took off, there was not a peep from a gasoline engine.
We are not too sure if this means that the company is developing an electric version of the X1 or if it is simply testing the technology for other models. Still, considering that BMW and Toyota have recently signed an agreement and that Toyota already offers an electric version of the RAV4, you shouldn’t be too surprised to see something similar from BMW.
The Shanghai Auto Show is the next auto event that a lot of people are already looking forward to. Scheduled to open in a few weeks, Shanghai is expected to be a largely attended event, particularly from the Asian automaker contingent.
Japanese brand, Acura, is one of the companies scheduled to go to Shanghai and its already gearing up for it with a new teaser of a concept that it’s scheduled to debut at the event.
Details surrounding the concept have not yet been revealed except for this teaser that shows the SUV’s side profile. Judging from what we’re looking at, the concept appears to be a completely new model that will complement the redesigned 2014 MDX. It’s got an aggressive headlight design that looks similar to the shape of the Toyota GT 86 with the rear end featuring a spoiler and an equally aggressive taillight setup that resembles what you can find in the Asian version of the new Honda CR-V.
Production is expected to commence after the concept’s unveiling and, for now, the only market that’s been confirmed to receive the model is the China, which explains why Acura decided to pull the concept’s covers off at Shanghai.
We’ll provide more details surrounding this concept when information becomes available.
Yesterday we brought you the first spy shots of the revised Porsche Cayenne. While Porsche is trying to update the performance SUV’s look, some guy asked our friends over in Russia, TopCar, to develop a tuning kit that makes the SUV look, shall we say, “interesting.”
While we may not particularly care for the Red Dragin motif, you still have to admire the perfection that TopCar consistently delivers.
As it name suggests, the new Cayenne Red Dragon combines a white exterior paint with numerous red accents on the wheels and body panels. The aerodynamic kit is made in carbon fiber and includes a new bonnet, new front fender extensions, new front spoiler bumper, new side skirts and a new rear spoiler.
For the interior, the model uses the same theme as the exterior with red and black diamond-tufted seats, red accents on the door panels, a red steering wheel, a red dashboard and a red center console. To complete the dragon part of the name, TopCar added an embroidered dragon on the seats.
We’re sure whoever commissioned TopCar was happy to pay big bucks for this custom work.
Click past the jump to read more about the Cayenne
The Bowler EXR S is one of these very special vehicles. A road-biased handling package, safety features, and a finished interior are the key additions that separate it from the pure Motorsport EXR.
The spec sheet for the road-going EXR S variant is to die for. Researching the details of its construction, it’s as though the Derbyshire-based Bowler team simply doesn’t compromise. Every bolt and brace is simply the best and strongest possible, period. Better ingredients. Better pizza. Or something to that effect.
Click past the jump for the full review, details on ordering a Bowler, and high-resolution images of the exquisite interior and rolling roll-cage chassis.
BMW has been twiddling around with the BMW X4 since 2008 when the idea of a sportier version of the X3 was looking like a profitable venture. Back then, the German automaker was calling it a Sport Activity Sedan (SAS) and had thought they might be able to crank it out in 2010. Obviously that didn’t pan out, but plans for the X6’s smaller brother are still in the works, with a possible debut in 2013.
As you can see from the leaked prototype image provided above, the BMW X4 will get many of its exterior components from the X3, including the use of the X3’s platform. Rumors suggest that the future vehicle will be produced at the company’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, which would be fitting considering the passion we, as Americans, have for SUVs.
Do we need another sporty off-roader to cram into our parking spaces and guzzle up more gas? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that the future BMW X4 won’t zoom right out of dealerships when it finally goes on sale.
UPDATE 04/05/2013: BMW has officially lifted the veil from the X4 Concept to confirm that the leaked concept images are, in fact, a reality. Also released were three videos of the new X4 concept (above). BMW went rather deep into the design of the X4 Concept, but left any details regarding the drivetrain out. See the details after the jump and you can find the images in the gallery.
UPDATE 04/17/2013: BMW has dropped a set of new images for the X4 Concept car. Find them in the picture gallery!
Like all the other models in Porsche’s lineup, the Cayenne is also about to receive a redesign for 2015. Some of you may believe this is a strange move, considering the second-generation Cayenne was just unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, but it looks like the company decided a refresh was needed order to keep the model fresh for the next couple of years.
As you can see, the prototypes caught testing are camouflaged just in the parts that Porsche is updating. This means that the revised Cayenne will receive an updated front bumper and headlamps up front. On the backside the Cayenne will receive new slimmer looking rear lights and a redesigned bumper. Porsche is also offering new wheel designs and small interior changes. It is also rumored that the redesigned Porsche will also be a little bit lighter and will feature revisions under the hood.
Expect the revised Porsche Cayenne to be unveiled sometime in 2014 as a 2015 model year.
Updated 04/05/2013: Today we have created a very cool rendering for the revised Cayenne that has been caught testing the other day. As you probably would have expected, the revised Cayenne will feature design elements we have already seen in the second-generation Panamera, including: redesigned air intakes, new LEDs and headlights.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2015 Porsche Cayenne.
The latest installment of Kia’s superhero lineup was finally unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
This time, DC’s Wonder Woman was the recipient of the Korean automaker’s superhero-themed vehicles.
The Sportage Wonder Woman is actually the seventh of an eight-vehicle partnership between Kia and DC and for what it’s worth, it’s one of the better ones we’ve seen come out of the unique collaboration.
The exterior of the Sportage features a truly unique aerodynamic look with a red and blue exterior scheme that comes accented with the same stars Wonder Woman has in her get-up. Notice also the gold trim found throughout the vehicle; that’s a nod toward the heroine’s golden lasso. On the front, Wonder Woman’s famous eagle chest plate is prominently featured and integrated into the Sportage’s grille with matching blue headlight beams representing her eyes.
Rounding out the exterior modifications is Wonder Woman’s tiara, which is clearly visible on top of the Sportage’s windshield. The chrome side panels on the vehicle that serve as graphical interpretations of her invisible jet and the five-spoke wheel design complete the wonderful work done on the exterior to pay homage to DC’s resident super heroine.
Moving inside, Kia continued the Wonder Woman-inspired theme with red upholstery and dash pieces, as well as blue LED lighting to match the exterior treatment. There are also custom seats bearing Wonder Woman’s costume with embroidered logo prominently featured. Last but not least is the cargo area of the Sportage, which has a see-through panel displaying Wonder Woman’s full list of crime fighting accessories, including her tiara, bracelets and a glowing Lasso of Truth.