Believe it or Not, Elon Musk is a Gamer - His Favorites Might Surprise You
Elon Musk has a seemingly never-ending stream of problems to fix between running Tesla and SpaceX, but he apparently doesn’t ignore a favorite pastime of his: gaming. Yes, that’s right, and he actually has quite specific and interesting taste in games too.
The 2019 Crosstrek is Subaru’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle, and it’s set to go on sale in 2019. Like all PHEVs, it has some all-electric range, and it can even cruise close to highway speeds on electricity alone. And, when its gasoline engine and electrification work in tandem, it can result in excellent fuel economy figures. Unlike many plug-in versions of regular models, the Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t really shout about what it is. There are some details that give it away, though and if one passes by in full EV mode, the lack of engine sound will also give it away. Inside it’s quite simple and minimalist, and far less extravagant to look a than any modern plug-in Toyota and Honda model. But, it does have a decent infotainment screen and the build quality does make up for its lack of design flair to a degree.
The True Inner Working’s of Honda’s Awesome VTEC System: Video
In the engineering world, Honda is most famous for its creation of VTEC, a system that allows engines to excel at delivering good fuel economy, as well as high-performance all without forced induction. VTEC is really clever, but as the widespread adoption of turbocharging has changed the industry, it is not as important as it used to be - even Honda itself is only using it on the exhaust camshaft of its turbocharged cars these days.
Why is the Range Rover Evoque the only convertible SUV on sale now?
Range Rover is the only manufacturer to offer a drop top high riding vehicle that comes with a posh electric retractable hardtop and, while you may not immediately feel like you want one, the formula isn’t without appeal. That’s why it’s surprising to me that there is just one model that you can buy if you are in the market for such a vehicle. At least until the smaller Volkswagen T-Roc Cabrio hits the market, anyway.
The Rolls Royce Cullinan Really Can Go Off-Road
Few if any Rolls Royce Cullinan owners will realistically take their new high-riding Rolls off-road since they are like all other SUV buyers who just enjoy the raised driving position and the extra feeling of safety that a vehicle like this conveys. Besides, Rolls is marketing the car as a practical, family proposition - something it has never done with any previous model.
2018 Mazda2 (Mazda Demio) - Driven
If cars were judged based on how cute their face is, then the 2018 Mazda2 (also known as the Mazda Demio in its native market, Japan and some other markets) would be among the best cars in the world. However, it’s obviously not just about looks, since cars nowadays, even small city cars, need to be fully featured, well-rounded vehicles that you can even drive on the highway without it feeling daunting.
Thankfully, the pint-sized Mazda2 proved to be thoroughly competent in all those areas and more - it even surprised me on a few occasions. But returning to looks for a second, the Mazda2 is certainly one of the most daring vehicles in its class, only really matched for visual impact by the Peugeot 208 - in the trinket-laden Peugeot’s presence, the 2 can almost be described as sculptural.
Its interior is equally daring, and even if it can’t match the best in class for fit and finish quality, it’s still pleasant to spend time in it. But what many owners and possible future buyers of the Mazda2 may not know (and never find out if they drive slowly and sedately) is the fact that the little 2 is a hoot to throw around - it has fun but predictable handling, and it really puts a smile on the spirited driver’s face much more so than most rivals.
If you live in North America, you can actually buy a sedan version of the Mazda2, however, it wears a Toyota badge and is called the Toyota Yaris sedan; previously it was known as the Scion iA.
Audi is in the final stages of testing and refining its upcoming A3 hatchback, as well as the hot S3 version of it. It’s not clear when the new S3 may debut, but it will probably be at a major motor show sometime in 2019 - we’ve heard rumors that Audi is ditching the three-door model and will only sell its hatch as either a five-door or sedan.
The model, in true Audi fashion, looks like an evolution of the current model, and the only real giveaway that the vehicle spotted by our spies is the spiced up S3 is the fact that it has those quad exhausts in the back; it also looks as if its fenders are wider than what we saw in previous spy shots of the regular A3, but we can’t say for sure due to the use of psychedelic camo.
Power for the next S3 will most likely come from a development of the same four-cylinder turbo that motivates the current model which may get a modest horsepower increase. Electrification of some kind is not out of the question either, as Audi has announced its commitment to bringing it more models - maybe even performance models.
First journos get their hands on 2019 BMW Z4: Videos
BMW is currently inviting automotive journos over to Portugal where it has organized a launch event for its all-new Z4 roadster and, if you’re like us, you’re edging in your seat to know what it’s like to drive. Those who took part in the launch venue got to drive the car both on Portugal’s famed Estoril track, as well as some of the country’s twisty mountain roads with extremely smooth tarmac.
BMW’s 3-Series Gran Turismo is the other practical variant in the 3-Series lineup for those who don’t want to buy the wagon. It actually has more carrying capacity than the load lugger, and unmatched passenger room, as well as a hatchback design, so you can load big items into the back fairly easily.
It’s really the amount of interior space that impresses in the 3 GT, a car that is nowhere near as popular as it should be because, from my experience with it, there’s actually a lot to like, and it has a bit of a lovable character. Comfort levels are very high, especially if you avoid the harder suspension of the M sport pack (which apparently ruins the ride quality), and opt for the standard setup with adaptive dampers - it is the most comfortable 3-Series you can buy by quite some margin.
Design and styling may not be to everybody’s taste, certainly, but the fact that it has a bit of extra ground clearance over a regular 3-Series and the fact that it’s slightly taller overall, doesn’t negatively affect the way it looks. I think that for a halfway model whose aim is to convince you not to buy an actual crossover or SUV, it looks more than adequate and for some reason better in person than the 6-Series Gran Turismo - its larger and more expensive 5-Series-based brother.
In the 330i xDrive Luxury spec I tested, it was motivated by a turbocharged four-cylinder which is easily powerful enough for lively acceleration and not terrible on fuel. I wouldn’t call it explicitly sporty, but it is miles better to throw around a twisty road than, say, the BMW X3, which just feels tall and cumbersome by comparison.
BMW is probably not going to make a follow-up model for this 3 GT, due to its low appeal in these crossover crazed times. That means a few years down the line it will be even less of a common sight so as time progresses people may start looking for these as a rare, slightly oddball model, but one with excellent daily driver credentials.
2020 Aston Martin DBX
Meet the first ever Aston Martin SUV, the DBX, which is set to make its market debut in the fourth quarter of 2019 - it’s exactly one year away. It will be built in a new facility located St Athan, in South Wales, a plant which Aston Martin aims to make its “home of electrification.”
Since there’s already a fully working pre-production prototype, it means work on the Aston DBX is quite advanced and, from under the camo, we can see what it’s going to end up looking like. It’s obviously going to be quite a departure for the brand, but since the Aston Martin badge is one of the most prestigious and desirable in the world, it will undeniably prove popular among luxury SUV buyers.
Aston Martin announced its intention to make a high rider with the DBX concept it showed back in 2015, but the production incarnation looks nothing like the sleek two-door concept. The production Aston Martin DBX is a more conventional five-door design, since it not only needs to look good but also cater for practical needs as well.
Toyota Brightens Its 2020 Lineup with a Redesigned Corolla That’s More Powerful and Safer Than Ever
This is the all-new Toyota Corolla sedan that is set to reach no fewer than 150 different markets as of next year. It looks better than before, drives better than before, and packs plenty of new tech features lacked by its predecessor - it is expected to reach showrooms around the world as of Spring 2019.
Hyundai is working on a more upmarket and larger three-row crossover to sit above its Santa Fe, a model that it’s going to call Palisade. The automaker has already confirmed the name, and the model will negate the need for and ultimately replace the still new Santa Fe XL, which is a stretched three-row version of the regular Santa Fe.
The Palisade is also going to be a more luxurious vehicle that, in the current (SUV crazy) market context, will end up being the flagship model sitting at the very top of Hyundai’s range. It’s not the first time Hyundai has pushed an SUV to the top of its range, as it first did that with the not very successful Veracruz.
That’s probably why it ditched the Veracruz nameplate, as some of the people who still remember it (it was discontinued in 2012) will associate it with its poor market performance. The new Palisade will take on the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot, and it’s set to be unveiled to the public at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show which takes place at the end of November.
The Nikola Tre Is a Europe-Bound Semi Powered by Hydrogen
Nikola was founded in early 2016 and announced plans to make a production version of the big rig concept they showed at the time, one which they planned to make and sell for North America. Two years later and the company has come out with this futuristic looking concept for a truck destined to exclusively operate in Europe, although it uses the same hydrogen-electric setup as the original concept.
10 Fun Cars with 200 Horsepower or Less
Power, as they say, is nothing without control, and it is that control as well as the enjoyment derived from having it that is the criteria for this list. Having fun in a car with lots of horsepower is far easier than doing it with, say, no more than 200 ponies; engineers have their work cut out for them when making these cars fast since they don’t have the luxury of neck-snapping horsepower and acceleration as wow factor.
But such fun, low-horsepower cars do exist. The kind of cars which may not be super impressive in a straight line, but make up for that by being superbly rounded in the handling department. Where the drive from the wheels goes is also not important here, as the list posted after the jump contains cars whose power goes to the front, the rear, and to all four wheels as well.
These cars will put a smile on your face; they’ve got character, and they also allow you to drive them close to their limit and revel in the entire breadth of their performance. And, even if you exceed their limits and plant them in a ditch, the repair costs will also be noticeably lower than those associated with really serious performance machines.
There Are So Many Variations of the Porsche 911, Even Porsche Had to Make a Video to Explain Them
Porsche sells a wide array of different versions of their 911 sports car, and the sheer variety may seem daunting for somebody not intimately acquainted with their naming strategy. But the automaker has stepped in to address this by putting out an informative video detailing the way they name their cars and how to more easily understand what 911 you’re looking at based on what is written on the back of it.
Fuel efficiency may not be the prime concern when looking to purchase a sports car, but these days the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Long gone are the days when you had to sacrifice pretty much everything in order to drive a fun car that put a smile on your face - these days you can have your sporty cake and also eat it, and these are the cars you can do it in. All models below blend twisty road enjoyment with some manner of fuel-sipping tech on top of their improved practicality and day-to-day usability compared to equivalent models of decades past.decades past.
11 New Retro-Styled Cars Available Today
Retro styling done right in the automotive world can result in a car that buyers instantly feel drawn to because they remember the original from their childhood. Granted, if done wrong, it can look really hideous and out of place, but you won’t find any of those here.
When mainstream manufacturers do it, they spend a lot of time and money to get it just right, and it really shows. Many of these retro-styled cars are bought first and foremost for the way they look, but they are actually just good cars overall. I’ve assembled the ones you can buy new right now, in the list after the jump.
7 Striking Zagato-Designed cars from the past two decades
Zagato is the modern equivalent of a coachbuilder and is based in Milan, Italy. It’s been in business since 1919, and over the years it has established itself as a creator of very dramatic looking cars. It has its own design center, and all its creations have a certain Zagato look that you can start to recognize once you’ve seen a wider selection of their cars.
This look has been continued and refined over the decades, and you can spot the visual links between their very latest creations and ones from half a century ago. They have made so many different cars, that it wouldn’t do them justice to try to pick the most notable ones from their nearly 100-year history, so in order to keep things fairly concise for the purpose of this article, I’ll be trying to pick the most striking and interesting ones from the past 20 years.
Mercedes GLE vs Audi Q7
Midsize SUVs and crossovers are hugely desirable these days, even more so if they wear a premium badge like Mercedes’ all-new GLE does. But being so desirable also means that all manufacturers want as big a slice of the market to themselves as possible, and these models have become increasingly talented in recent years, so it’s a hugely competitive segment.
The GLE is all-new for 2019, so the engineers and designers behind it have had time to study the previous model and models already on sale, learn from them, and try to improve. Once such very talented rival is the Audi Q7 which, in its current generation (introduced in 2016,) is arguably one of the best vehicles in its class, even if it’s by no means a flamboyant effort.
Despite being direct rivals, the two adopt very different styles both inside and out, offering visually different solutions to the problem of creating a modern midsize SUV.
2019 BMW Z4 M Coupe Could Look Like This
BMW recently lifted the veil off its all-new 2019 Z4 roadster, the sixth-generation Z model (or third-gen Z4) and the most visually striking one yet. However, unlike with the first-gen Z4, this one will get neither a hardtop coupe version nor a hot Z4 M variant.
Marchettino Drives a Modern Legend - the 2018 Lancia Stratos: Video
2018 Volkswagen Tarok Concept
Volkswagen wants to start selling a pickup smaller than the Amarok which it plans to call Tarok and which is previewed by this very close to production concept it revealed at 2018 Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil.
The vehicle revealed in Sao Paulo is nearly identical to the production model it previews, and we really expect VW to only operate major changes to the front fascia in its transition from study to series production.
Judging by the fact that its interior is identical to that of the VW Tharu, a China-only SUV related to the Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca, it’s pretty clear the project is already in the advanced stages of development - there is nothing even remotely concept car-like about the way it looks inside.
The plan is to reportedly just sell it in Brazil, where it would sit below the Amarok in the company’s pickup hierarchy. On the local market, it’d rival models from Fiat and Renault; no plans have been announced to sell it outside Brazil yet, but it seems unlikely VW won’t try to push it in other markets as well.
Check Out This Hot New Duke Dynamics Bodykit for the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is one of the craziest Prancing Horses of recent years and most of that craziness is derived from its 6.3-liter V12 engine which makes 730 horsepower and is able to send it to 100 km/h or 62 mph in 3.1 seconds. But for some, its mad performance isn’t done justice by the car’s styling. so they use kits like this one by Vancouver, Canada-based Duke Dynamics, in order to help their F12 achieve the look they think it deserves.
Lincoln Aviator Uses Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music As Warning Tones
Some cars’ warning tones for leaving a door ajar, the headlights on, or low fuel can be downright annoying and sometimes startling. I know the low fuel warning in my mid-2000’s Ford gives me chills when I’m not expecting to hear it, and it’s a problem shared with newer Fords whose chimes can be quite annoying. But for its premium Lincoln brand, the Blue Oval has chosen to record actual musicians playing actual instruments and the result is a much better and more soothing one.
2020 Audi A1 Allroad
Audi looks set to increase the number of Allroad models it sells with its smallest offering, the A1 Allroad, which was caught testing under camouflage around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The car in the photos is definitely an A1, but it has a raised ground clearance and what looks like plastic cladding around the lower part of its body.
It will be based on the second generation A1 which debuted this year at the Paris motor show and if we look at what Audi has chosen to hide with camo are a different front grille and bumper, as well as the rear bumper.
How usable is the back seat of small luxury coupes?
All sub-$50,000 luxury grand touring coupes these days have a seating capacity of four, which means they can theoretically carry two additional people in the rear. The manufacturers usually show a smiling young couple blasting through the countryside in the press photos, and rarely, if ever, four people having a blast. In fact, you wouldn’t even know there were people in the back of most of the cars on the list below.
There are five names on it: the names of the five most important models in the segment and the purpose is to compare their ability to cosset rear occupants... or not, as the case may be. Spoiler alert, none of them are particularly apt at doing it, even though they do have actual full-sized back seats, but if you were to pick yours based on this alone, this is how they stack up - I’ve arranged them in order from least to most spacious.
2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Honda’s first electrified crossover for the European market is the new CR-V hybrid which it introduced at the 2018 Paris motor show. It is the second powertrain option that Honda offers on the Old Continent, after the 1.5-liter turbo shown at the Geneva motor show, and it promises decent performance with excellent economy thanks to its combination of a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and two electric motors - it also does away with a conventional gearbox.
Instead, it uses a single fixed-gear ratio that sounds quite similar to what the Koenigsegg Regera uses, albeit in a less fancy package - one gear and plenty of electric boost at lower speeds before the engine starts to pick up. Honda offers the CR-V hybrid in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations with the latter only incurring a minimal fuel efficiency penalty.
The North American version of the vehicle will be nearly identical in terms of specs and look to the one revealed in Paris.
The definitive list of new cars with taillight bars
Bar-style rear light clusters are definitely not a new automotive design trend and, while they are cool, the vehicles they were featured on in the past really weren’t - just think of the not very pretty second-gen Ford Scorpio sedan, and you can understand why the trend didn’t take off until now.
In recent years, though, manufacturers have really adopted the trend of having a horizontal light bar running across the back of a car connecting the two rear light clusters, and now the coolest such light bars are on some higher end luxury cars. The proliferation of LED technology was definitely key to this dramatic popularity upswing, as now most taillight bars are animated in some way, and they can usually put on some sort of light show.
On top of just looking really striking and often quite pretty, this kind of setup has safety benefits as well - it makes the car even more visible from behind, so there is less chance of a rear-end collision.
More and more cars are bound to feature them in years to come, and it could become a staple design choice for more luxurious and expensive cars, although there are plenty of more affordable mainstream options that have light bars. As things stand, this is a list of the twenty cars with the biggest and boldest light bars available now - they all look so cool that it was hard to narrow it down to just ten.
Our spies have spotted what appears to be the new BMW X7 testing almost completely covered in camo around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. It is believed this is the hot Alpina XD7 version of the X7 which is going to get a power boost and some styling differences inside and out in the familiar Alpina style.
You may have spotted that it has a “D” in its model designation, so it’s going to be a diesel, definitely based on the most powerful oil burner BMW makes, the M50d unit that kept pinning me to my seat during my road test of the M550d - it’s a torque monster with plenty of top end too.
The engine will be breathed upon by Alpina to make more power, and the suspension will be altered as well - it will be lowered and stiffened for improved handling and grip will be improved through the use of higher performance tires.
Help your Tesla Model 3 stand out with RevoZport widebody kit
RevoZport already provides kits to fit the Tesla Model S and Model X, but now they’ve launched one for the smaller Tesla Model 3 too. They call it the R-Zentric Model 3R Aerokit, and it is essentially a widebody aero kit for Tesla’s smallest offering, one that completely transforms how the EV sedan is perceived.
Kia has brought a bold modified example of its yet to be launched, all-new K900 to the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The look of the vehicle has been transformed by DUB, a famous name on the aftermarket scene, specializing in big rims and other accessories. However, it seems somebody over at dub is stuck in the year 2002 because the way the car is modified could only be described as droll and old-fashioned by late-2018 standards. Sure, it stands out, but it may not necessarily attract the right kind of attention.
Nothing to See Here; Just a Giant Industrial Spool Causes Commotion on Houston highway
Out of all the things you expect to encounter while commuting on the highway, a giant industrial spool rolling towards you is probably close to the bottom of the possibilities list. But even so, that’s exactly what drivers out on Interstate 10 near Houston ran into last Thursday and had to avoid.
Lamborghini Urus convoy looks spectacular in Iceland
Some people criticized Lamborghini for making a high-riding SUV type vehicle, claiming it wasn’t in the spirit of its decades-long history and that it diluted the brand. However, it is hard to deny the fact that they pulled it off pretty well, and the resulting Lambo Urus is now one of the most desirable SUVs money can buy.
Volkswagen Could Share its EV Platform with Ford
Last week Bloomberg published a report that the Volkswagen Group and the Ford Motor company are looking to collaborate to create self-driving vehicles in order to reduce development costs on both sides. It was definitely a change as the two companies’ initial tie-up announcement was only supposed to involve commercial vehicles - now it could be expanded with electric vehicle platform sharing too.
It may not be immediately apparent, but the Honda Open Air Vehicle Concept is actually a Ridgeline-based study that looks like an oversized buggy. Honda doesn’t intend to put it into production, but it does want us to picture ourselves ripping across sand dunes in one of these, and we’re more than happy to oblige because it’s actually a pretty awesome idea.
Ringbrothers is a company “with an affinity for muscle cars,” as they say on the official website, which usually specializes in low, ground-hugging vehicles designed to go around corners very well. At this year’s edition of the SEMA show, however, they brought out their first off-roader, a tastefully restomodded Chevy K5 Blazer, based on the full-size model built from the early 1970s to the early 1990s; the Blazer they used is from 1971, and boy did they deliver...
The company sells many components they make themselves, and it seems this modded K5 got as many of them as they could fit on it. What resulted is probably one of the best looking modded off-roaders I’ve ever seen, which blends decent off-road capability with a head-turning look, strong performance courtesy of an LS3 swap, and some modern gadgets too.
If this is the Ringbrothers’ idea of an off-roader, then we ask them to make more of these, or start selling them as scale models, because I want one to put on my office desk.
2019 Lexus UX 250h Custom
Hyundai is Reconsidering a Pickup Based on the Santa Cruz Concept, But We’re Skeptical
Hyundai showed off a very promising Santa Cruz compact pickup concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, but it never materialized into a production vehicle. Well, that could be about to change according to a recent report that says the concept could shift into production after all.
Chevrolet is previewing the COPO Camaro 50th Anniversary Special Edition package that it will offer from 2019 with an extreme racing version of it at the 2018 SEMA show. The 2019 COPO Camaro race car it revealed today marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the original COPO Camaro, which Jim Campbell, GM U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said is “one of the most enduring legacies in drag racing, with a powerful past and fast future.”
2019 Series 1 Ford Mustang RTR
Ford has brought the Series 1 Mustang RTR Powered by Ford Performance to the 2018 SEMA show, but unlike most other special Mustangs on display, it’s actually going to sell 500 examples come early 2019. Its creation is the collaborative effort of Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles, the company owned by world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. and is a mix of elements from both.
Lynk & Co is a Chinese mobility company owned by Geely (the same parent company to Volvo), and the simply named 01 is its first production vehicle. It’s a high-riding crossover that shares its platform and drivetrain with the Volvo XC40 - they both use the Swedish manufacturer’s modular CMA chassis architecture.
The 01 has been on sale in China for over a year now, and the company’s initial plan was to start selling it in Europe as of next year. But European automotive journos have had a chance to drive the 01 in production form, and first impressions were very positive.
It looks interesting and distinctive in person, according to first impressions from those who’ve driven it, and the level of fit and finish quality is also high. The driving experience is also rated as good, showing its link to the excellent XC40.
Its designer is actually the same person who penned some of the newest Volvo models, Peter Horbury, and his team. The 01 is definitely a bit strange to behold for European and American tastes, but still familiar enough to not be considered ugly. In other words, its design is much more in tune with Chinese tastes in automotive design, than it is with what Europeans or Americans want, but we wouldn’t call it ugly.
However, the really unique part of the Lynk & Co proposal is the subscription-based way you will be able to get behind the wheel. They will not sell you the car, but instead, present you with a choice of cars in different specs that’ll you’ll subscribe to from month to month. According to the company, this is said to eliminate the stress associated with car ownership (maintenance, servicing and insurance) all of which will be taken care of by Lynk & Co.
The system is currently being tested in China, and if it proves successful, it will be adopted once Lynk & Co hits Europe. You will be able to buy one outright, but the company expects that 70 percent of its customers will opt for the subscription, arguing that people will appreciate the flexibility of being able to return the car at the end of the month, instead of when a conventional lease is concluded.
The plan is to introduce it in Europe in 2019, but there are no guarantees that they will be able to stick to it.
The Arctic Trucks BMW X7 Isn’t Real but We Want One
Arctic Trucks is a world-renowned off-road specialist based out of Reykjavik, Iceland whose trucks are specially designed to cross vast frozen wastelands. Their creations have a unique look, with bulging fender flares and big, oversized tires, but that look doesn’t only work on pickup trucks from Toyota, Isuzu or Nissan - it works on any high-riding vehicle, so why not the brand new BMW X7?
Porsche is officially going to have several versions of its Taycan all-electric model, one of which will be an estate or wagon model that will most likely be called Sport Turismo. The Taycan Sport Turismo is exactly the same as the sedan model, but with a bigger trunk and more practicality.
It’s actually going to be the first mass-market, purpose-designed, all-electric wagon ever, and no, the handful of coach-built Tesla Model S wagons don’t count.
The rest of the package remains unchanged, so it’s only going to be sold with an all-electric powertrain (don’t be fooled by the fake exhausts on the back of the camouflaged prototype in these photos provided by our spies) which will provide great performance, as well as a large lithium-ion battery pack for decent range.
Design-wise, expect a slightly more toned down version of the Mission-E Sport Turismo concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show this March. Porsche is apparently also going to make a higher-riding crossover-style version of this wagon, but it will be the sedan and wagon that will be the two main models.
But even if Tesla doesn’t make a production wagon variant of its Model S, that model is going to be the Taycan and Taycan estate’s main rival because it is already quite well established in its segment.
BMW could be testing a hardcore CS version of the hot M5 sedan, and we have the spy photos to prove it. The white prototype caught testing on the Nurburgring Nordschleife is believed to be it since we can spot several things it has over a regular M5.
It is probably based on the enhanced M5 Competition that’s already on sale but is believed to be even more extreme than that. We think this is the CS because its modifications resembled those BMW made for the M3 and M4 CS.
It could even offer a small power hike over the M5 Competition, on top of the other performance enhancing modifications.
Did We Nail This Rendering of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63?
Mercedes was caught testing restyled E-Class prototypes that look like they’re hiding new front and rear fascias. It also appears that most of the work will be done on the front end, which is covered by the heaviest camouflage, although there are other details hidden as well.
The current E-Class, the fifth generation of the nameplate, was launched in 2016 and it is due for a refresh next year. Most changes will be done to the styling, to better reflect Mercedes’ new design language that was originally showcased on the new A-Class and CLS. The updated E-Class is expected to experience an extra infusion of tech as well.
No changes will likely be made to the engine range since the Mercedes started selling the E-Class with its new generation of four-cylinder and straight-six diesel engines, both of which make up the bulk of sales in major markets such as Europe.
It’s been over three years since Audi revealed its second generation Q7 at the 2015 Detroit auto show, so a facelift or refresh is definitely in order. A camouflaged Q7 prototype was spotted by our spies with many parts of its body hidden, but it does serve as proof that Audi is testing an updated version of the model.
Camouflage obscures the entire font, rear, and lower end of the prototype, and there’s also a cover on the dashboard too. It may look pretty much the same as the current Q7, but there are subtle detail changes and, in fact, this particular prototype may not have all the changes planned for the Q7 refresh.
If BMW Aims to Take on the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 with an X7 M This is What It Will Look Like
Lynk & Co is a new car brand created by Volvo owners Geely, and the Lynk & Co 03 sedan is the first production model. In order to promote the car and attract attention, Lynk & Co has enlisted the help of Cyan Racing to create this purposeful-looking touring car that will actually take part in the 2019 TCR racing series.
Cyan Racing has worked with Volvo to prepare their race cars since 1996, but now it’s working on the Lynk & Co sedan to have it ready for next year. The vehicle you see in the photos is a concept that looks like the racer, but it isn’t really ready yet - it is a study.
It is based on the same underpinnings as a Volvo XC40, but looks nothing like a Volvo either outside, or inside (although the latter won’t matter as much because this racer has a completely stripped out interior).
Lynk & Co 03 TCR car is also being worked on by the newly formed Geely Group Motorsport, which as its name suggests is the motorsport arm of the Chinese automotive giant. Development work on the racing car actually started in early 2018, and Lync & Co is expected to take delivery of the first cars in 2019, before the start of the FIA WTCR championship.
Price for one is €130.000 or $149,090.
Porsche is set to launch a crossover-styled version of the Taycan. It will be based on the Mission E Cross Turismo, will be more off-road-worthy, and will be the third official model in the Taycan range.
It won’t differ too much from the concept, featuring mainly detail changes, but the same overall body and design. Some details, like the mirrors, the roof, and the rear light cluster will be different, as we’ve seen on Taycan sedan prototypes that are currently undergoing testing.
The Taycan sedan will be revealed sometime in 2019 and hit the market in 2020, so the Taycan crossover should debut sometime after the turn of the decade.
Fiat has revealed its revised 500X crossover which has been nipped and tucked for the first time since its 2014 European debut (in the US for the 2016 model year it was launched). It comes with a refreshed exterior with new front and rear light clusters, more tech, and improved engines.
BMW is Killing the BMW 3 Series GT but We Refuse to Let it Go With a New Rendering
BMW is reportedly going to kill off the 3-Series Gran Turismo, the more practical, slightly taller, longer, and roomier hatchback version of BMW’s bread and butter sedan. Apparently, there is no longer a justification to make a new one as its slot in the range will be filled by new SUV models.
BMW raised a few eyebrows when it debuted its front-wheel drive-biased 2-Series Active Tourer model, and people quickly called it “not a BMW,” it was a model which dilutes the brand, and just plain ugly. However, after spending a few days with the top-of-the-range plug-in hybrid version of the 2 AT, the 225xe iPerformance, its many qualities did start to shine through, in spite of my initial hesitation to like it.
And I did like it in the end, even if not for the usual reasons one traditionally appreciates a BMW. I found it very spacious to sit in, with surprisingly comfortable seats, I liked its excellent fit and finish, and even the one-box design started to grow on me.
The driving experience is also pretty good, but again, not very BMW-like. It drives like one of the larger models in the MINI lineup, and that’s no accident because they all use a shared (modular) architecture.
My tester was also made even more likable thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain which works very smoothly and seamlessly, allowing it to change its character from silent side street cruiser to a hissing, turbocharged all-wheel-drive people carrier with hot hatch performance.
Photography by Andrei Nedelea
The 2020 BMW X8 is Coming and This is What it May Look Like
US Legislation change to finally allow advanced headlight technology
Headlights have been getting increasingly complex and advanced in the way they work, especially since it became feasible to use LED technology which made self-dimming adaptive beams a reality. But not in the United States where the law has not permitted the use of such advanced lighting techniques on public roads.
Mercedes is ready to revise its most potent version of the GLC SUV, the GLC63 AMG, along with the rest of the range. Camouflaged prototypes have been spotted testing on the Nurburgring, hiding some new bumpers, as well as new lights too.
This is is not a major revision of the model, at least not from the outside, and interior changes won’t be excessive either. Regarding its powertrain, since this is a mid-life cycle refresh, we don’t expect it to get any more power or any extra performance.
The big news with this is the new front end which has been reshaped to resemble that of the new Mercedes corporate face you’ve already seen on the CLS or the new A-Class.
Check Out This Modern Plymouth Barracuda Rendering Based on the Dodge Challenger
Plymouth was killed off as a brand in 2001 by parent company Chrysler; a move met with dismay by many fans of the brand whose roots could be traced back to 1928. But if Plymouth were still around today, it would most likely have offered a modern, reimagined version of its Barracuda pony car that it sold from 1964 to 1974.
Tuner squeezes extra power and torque from BMW M550d xDrive
When driving the latest BMW M550d xDrive you don’t really feel that what it needs is extra power and torque, but that has never stopped tuners from turning things up to eleven. German tuner mcchip-dkr has unlocked more of everything from the quad-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six, and it now offers two stages of power.
Former Corvette Engineers Look at Why It Took So Long for GM to Build a Mid-Engine Vette
BMW Loves Diesel, so Don’t Expect to see an All-Electric Lineup Anytime Soon
BMW makes and sells many diesel engines in Europe and other parts of the world that are not North America, and it doesn’t plan on stopping anytime in the near future. This point was confirmed on the sidelines of the Paris motor show by a high-ranking company official who also believes that generally speaking “the discussion about electro-mobility is a little bit irrational” in the current context.
Raised Ford GT is another kind of Raptor
Supercars are designed and built to accelerate and go around corners quickly on smooth tarmac, but what if you have one with raised suspension, body cladding, and beefy off-road rims and tires? It’d probably look somewhere along the lines of this digitally manipulated previous-generation Ford GT and would even be decent off-road, but nowhere near as good as it originally was on-road.
Porsche Aims at Tesla Again with an Electric SUV, Taycan Targa and Possible Boxster EV
Porsche has outlined its plan to expand its lineup of electric vehicles with several new battery-powered models set to make their debut over the next decade. The information comes courtesy of Lutz Meschke, who is the company’s financial director and a member of its board of directors.
Volkswagen is testing its upcoming T-Roc Convertible, and this is the very first set of shots showing a camouflaged prototype of the drop top. The vehicle will replace the VW Golf Convertible in the range, and like that car, it will feature a soft top and frameless and pillarless doors.
It is going to be a four-seater vehicle with decent room in the back for passengers, powered by a range of mostly gasoline and probably diesel engines and at the moment it has no real crossover rivals in the same size and price bracket.
The soft top it uses looks like it’s very similar in shape to that of the current Golf Cabriolet, and it will pretty much offer the same experience as that car but will sit slightly higher off the ground and better off-road capability. But make no mistake, it is designed to spend most of its time on the road, and we doubt anybody will want to do serious off-roading in one of these.
Superformance Has Crammed EcoBoost into a Ford GT40 MK1 for the SEMA Auto Show
Supercar shapes from the sixties don’t get much more recognizable than the classic Ford GT40 which was a ridiculously fast car back in the day - now one example is being substantially modified and upgraded with a brand new twin-turbo engine and other go-faster parts.
Being Vietnam’s first automaker, VinFast has no track record and not a single series car produced yet. But if the two very convincing models it showed at the Paris motor show are any indication, the fledgling automaker has high ambitions and its sights set on the premium segment.
One of the two vehicles it unveiled in Paris is the SA2.0 SUV, a high-riding model almost the same size as a BMW X5, with sleek styling and a rather luxurious appearance. It has been said that the model makes use of a BMW-derived platform and, from the side, it really does look a bit like the aforementioned X5 (the previous generation), especially in the lower part of the body.
VinFast wants its vehicles to evoke the beauty of the land where they were made, which is why it employed Italdesign Giugiaro to come up with the design and then had Pininfarina further refine it before going public. The resulting design is actually quite successful, even if it looks a bit too Mazda Kodo-esque from some angles - definitely not a bad look.
It comes with one turbocharged engine choice, standard rear- but optional all-wheel drive and a modern seven-seater interior complete with massive portrait-style infotainment screen and hints of BMW.
2021 BMW M2 CS/CSL
BMW is reportedly readying an even hotter version of its M2 to sit above the M2 Competition - they are the M2 CS and M2 CSL, and our spies believe that’s what they captured in these photos. Some older reports from before the Competition model was launched, called it the M2 GTS. The white prototype features several changes over the M2 Competition and, as a Whole, it looks like a more aggressive, track-focused machine.
It has been suggested that the M2 CS would be a North America-only limited model available from 2020 and that the CSL would be even more extreme and sold on other markets from 2021, but right now it’s too early to make these predictions. Both will clearly be lighter, more powerful and better around a track than the Competition which in turn is one step up from the base M2.
Mitsuoka Rock Star: Classic Corvette body over a new Mazda MX-5
You may remember Japanese manufacturer Mitsuoka used to offer a Morgan-like vehicle based on an older Mazda MX-5 - its replacement ditches the Morgan theme for a classic Corvette Stingray theme and applies it to the latest Miata (which is also the best one in the series).
The 758-Horsepower Hennessey F-150 Heritage Edition is like the Ford GT of the Truck World - Video
Hennessey has revealed a new Heritage model based on a Ford, the F-150 Heritage Edition, after previously showing off the Mustang GT. It features a similar vintage livery, similar to that of the Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition, but it’s 758-horsepower engine under the hood that’s most notable.
Maxing a Bugatti Veyron on Volkswagen’s special test track is one thing, but doing so on a public road is another. Thankfully it is perfectly legal to try it on unrestricted parts of the German autobahn, which is what this Veyron owner from the Czech Republic did.
VinFast is a new manufacturer from Vietnam that brands itself as “the first volume automotive manufacturer” in the nation, as well as the first to ever take part in a major motoring venue such as the 2018 Paris motor show. It used the event to reveal its first two models in production trim, theLUX A2.0 sedan and the LUX SA2.0 SUV, models whose planned production is set to kick off in mid-2019 out of a brand new plant built in the north of the country.
Both vehicles are meant to evoke the beauty of their land of origin, and both vehicles are modern and pleasant to look at. But it’s the A2.0 sedan that looks like the classier design of the two, featuring a clean overall design with striking front and rear fascias and an interior that looks a lot like what Volvo is doing with its latest models.
VinFast apparently asked the local public to vote on the car’s design, and a reported 60,000 people cast their vote and choose out of a total 20 possible models designed by Italdesign Giugiaro, Pininfarina, Torino Design and Zagato. Most popular designs for the sedan and SUV were two by Italdesign Giugiaro, but they were further refined by Pininfarina with which VinFast collaborated to create the two cars that debuted in Paris.
2019 Kia e-Niro
After unveiling the Niro EV at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in South Korea, Kia has also revealed the European version, dubbed e-Niro, at this year’s Paris Motor Show. It comes with two battery pack options, a range of up to 301 miles (or 485 km) on one charge, and it even comes with a system called Coasting Guide Control which informs the driver of the best times to coast calculated based on a planned route.
You may also have noticed that its name sounds like the surname of Robert DeNiro and Kia has gone ahead and embraced this and featured the movie star in its TV, digital and print adverts.
Isuzu D-Max is one of the toughest and most off-road-capable old-school pickups for any amount of money. It is definitely not the most luxurious feeling pickup, though, but that’s not what the D-Max is about.
More recent models have gained some premium features that older model years lacked, like leather seats, a reversing camera and smartphone pairing tech, but the main reason why you’d want to buy one is to really use it either doing serious off-roading or for towing as it does a great job at both.
Its noisy and not very refined 2.5-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel was replaced along with the truck’s recent refresh by a slightly less noisy 1.9-liter which makes the same power as the old unit, but slightly less torque.
There’s also plenty of flexibility in terms of body and drive alternatives - Isuzu offers the D-Max with either 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains, as well as several cab variants too. And there is quite a bit of visual differentiation between utilitarian examples just meant to work, and more luxurious trimmed ones used more as family cars - the basic, single-cab model comes with a non-painted front bumper, steel wheels with no hubcaps and a spartan interior completely devoid of toys.
Blade top trim level adds nice alloys, leather seats, a touchscreen infotainment system, a decent six-speed automatic transmission, and climate control. The most capable D-Max on sale now is the D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35, a specialist-modified model with upgraded suspension, wheels complete with flared wheel arch extensions.
2020 BMW X6 M
BMW is going to launch an all-new generation of its larger coupe-styled X6 SUV (which it calls SAC, short for Sport Activity Coupe) and, as with the current model, it will also be available as a hot X6M with the full Motorsport treatment.
That means it will be powered by a development of the current 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 that powers the M5, although it’s been suggested it may get more power, while from a visual standpoint, expect it to look like an X6 on steroids, with bold flared wheel arches, aggressive bumpers, side skirts and rims, as well as the trademark exhausts in the back.
Top 5 Tech Innovations Seen at the 2018 Paris Motor Show
There is plenty of new tech on display at the 2018 Paris motor show, as it is one more means for manufacturers to try to outdo one another. These motor shows are slowly turning into tech expos simply because of how many cool new gadgets are integrated into new cars - concepts go even more crazy, previewing the tech that will be available on the market in the near and not so near future.
This year’s edition of the venue was packed with electric and electrified vehicles, cool concepts, and plenty of cool tech demonstrations. Narrowing it down to the most impressive pieces of tech from Paris, we made this list of our top five picks:
2018 Paris Motor Show - Best In Show
The 2018 Paris motor show, officially called the “Mondial de l’Auto,” always provides cool car premieres and this year was no exception, in spite of the many notable absences. But even without manufacturers like Ford, Mazda, Volkswagen, Volvo or even Bentley among others, it provided plenty of new metal for us to examine.
PSA managed to shine on home territory, thanks to the lovely Peugeot e-Legend concept and 508 SW, as well as the new DS3 Crossback, but BMW also took center stage with three production car premieres. Mercedes showed off several new models too, including the EQC all-electric SUV and Skoda launched its first RS-badged SUV alongside the bold Vision RS concept.
Out of all the debuts from the show, I’ve tried to narrow it down to just five cars; here are the five most notable premieres.
Bollinger shows off B2 all-electric pickup truck
2018 Isuzu DMAX Arctic Trucks AT35
Isuzu sells the rugged D-Max pickup in a wide range of body styles and four different applications, but the version that sits at the top of the range is the most impressive, and it’s called Arctic Trucks AT35. It’s built in collaboration with renowned off-road specialist Arctic Trucks from Iceland.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series is here but these 2020 Jaguar XE Spy Shots Promise it Won’t Go Unopposed
Jaguar is preparing its smallest sedan offering, the XE, for a refresh and these spy photos show some of the changes that will be made to it. The car is quite heavily camouflaged, with camo covering most of its lower body but we can spot the redesigned front fascia and possible new rear light cluster design.
2018 BMW M550d xDrive - Driven
Europeans have enjoyed plenty of fast diesel cars over the last decade, and even in the wake of Dieselgate, manufacturers are still offering fast oil burners which don’t get much faster than the BMW M550d xDrive. The most unique thing about it is its power plant which uses no fewer than four turbochargers on its three-liter straight-six diesel to achieve some remarkable performance numbers.
Being a BMW, it drives with great precision too and even if it’s a bit on the heavy side, agility around bends is not an issue. It has plenty of tech on board to ensure fast driving is not only possible, but also enjoyable and surprisingly frisky - unlike other lesser-powered all-wheel drive diesel BMWs, the M550d’s tail will step out when you stab the throttle on corner exit.
It also stands out alongside lesser 5-Series models, thanks to the standard-fit M Performance aero pack, trunk lid spoiler and massive M brakes with blue calipers; the only other 5-Series which could attract more attention is the mighty M5.
Only available in Europe, the M550d is not the most powerful diesel in the world, but it is by far for its engine displacement. Being a diesel, it’s also considerably more efficient than a gasoline burning performance car with the same output and if you can refrain from driving it like a hooligan (which it kind of edges you to) its large fuel tank means you can cover quite a lot of ground without having to stop.
Photography by Andrei Nedelea
2020 BMW 3 Series Touring Rendered
BMW has only just taken the wraps off its all-new G30 3-Series sedan at the Paris Motor Show, but what I want to know is what the estate or wagon version of it is going to look like. So in order to not have to wait until next year when BMW will probably reveal the 3 load lugger, I’ve made my own digital version of it.
2018 Renault K-ZE
Renault is previewing its future mini electric crossover with the K-ZE concept revealed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Taking a closer look at the K-ZE, it becomes immediately apparent that it is, in fact, just a dressed up Kwid (which Renault already sells in emerging markets) which has had its internal combustion powertrain swapped out for a full-electric one.
The future electric crossover will look much closer to this concept, than it will to the current Kwid, although it will maintain its basic body shape. What will set it apart visually more significantly are the new, redesigned front and rear fascias, as well as various details around the exterior. It also promises to offer “class leading” range for a vehicle in its size-bracket.
The Hyundai Santa Fe Cabrio Is Real, But Not for Production
New Hyperloop Pod Unveiled, Could Go Into Service Next Year
Meet the world’s first full-scale hyperloop capsule, called Quintero One (quintero in Spanish means “fifth”), a 32-meter/105-foot plane without wings or windows, for lack of a better comparison. It’s expected to be “optimized and ready for passengers” in 2019, and its makers are touting it as possibly the safest form of transportation in the world.
2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid Announces It’s Ready for Europe at 2018 Paris Motor Show
Toyota hasn’t offered the Camry sedan in Europe for well over 10 years, relying on the Avensis as its top three-box car for the Old Continent. However, at this year’s edition of the Paris motor show, Toyota brought the new eighth-generation model, which it intends on selling here again in the near future.
Next Mercedes-AMG A45 Coming With Drift Mode and Over 400 Horsepower
Mercedes is working on an all-new A45 AMG model to sit at the top of its A-Class lineup, and even though it’s set to debut sometime next year, we’re already learning new details about it - exciting details regarding how it will be very different from (and just plain better than) the outgoing A45 AMG.
Halo Superfan Builds Himself a Life-Size Warthog: Video
Fans of the Halo action video game series will instantly know what this vehicle is, but for those who don’t, here’s the short version: it’s called the M12 Force Application Vehicle, affectionately known as the Warthog, and it was a vehicle exclusively relegated to the virtual world, until a fan decided to make one in real life.
Check Out the Self-Aligning Wheel Caps on the 2019 BMW 3 Series
BMW’s all-new 3-Series is causing quite a stir at the Paris Motor Show. The model is bigger, more advanced, and more luxurious, and it even has big luxury car details, too. For instance, it features self-righting (or self-centering) wheel center caps, just like you get in a Rolls-Royce (and literally no other car brand).
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Proves Efficiency Can Look Good at the Paris Motor Show
The 2018 SEAT Tarraco SUV Shows up in Paris with Eyes for the 2019 Skoda Kodiaq and 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
SHMEE Gives Us the Full Walkaround for the 2019 BMW 330i M Sport
Renault Shows Off a Baby Electric SUV that Goes by the Name K-ZE and Displays Some Future Technology
Renault has unveiled the K-ZE Concept at the Paris motor show, a small all-electric crossover study that previews a future production model. It is part of Renault’s plan to electrify its core range by 2020, which includes plug-in versions of the Megane and Captur and a hybrid version of the Clio.
The 2019 Mercedes B-Class Might not be Pretty, but it has Some Awesome Technology and Drivetrain Options
Mercedes has unveiled an all-new B-Class practical family car, and no, this new model isn’t very pretty either, continuing in its predecessors’ tracks, but there are plenty of other reasons you may want to buy one. I’m pretty sure it was never really bought based on styling, so that takes a back seat to the features it does offer its occupants.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series Comes With Revised Engines, Updated Chassis, and a New Six-Speed Manual
Whenever BMW launches an all-new 3-Series, the entire automotive world stops and turns its attention to it. This all-new generation, bearing the G20 internal code name, has officially bowed at the 2018 Paris motor show with fresh styling, an all-new interior, a larger wheelbase and the promise of improved driving dynamics.
Forza Horizon 4 Review Roundup
Nissan has made the Japan-only Note e-Power Nismo even faster than before, with the new Note e-Power Nismo S. That “S” entails it has some extra power thanks to a boost in its electric output.
The Note e-Power Nismo, as its name suggests, is a Nismo-tuned version of the already existing Note e-Power and the Nismo S is one additional tier above. It features not only a power boost over the regular Note e-Power, but also gets a reinforced chassis as well as a much sportier suspension setup to transform its driving experience.
This extra performance is also mirrored in the way it looks, with new red-accented bumpers and side skirts and obligatory Nismo S badges front and rear - on the sides; the e-Power badge is displayed instead. According to Nissan, the car should provide “exhilarating acceleration,” while at the same time also being quiet and is touted as a new kind of Nismo experience.
In order to avoid confusion - Nissan also sells non-electrified Nismo and Nismo S versions of the Note, alongside the electrified ones. This new model detailed here is the e-Power Nismo S, which is a range extender hybrid.
Leaked Configurator Images of the 2019 3 Series Show Off the Finer Design Points
Without further ado, here is the all-new 2019 BMW 3-Series G20, without any camouflage or obscured in any way. These configurator photos show the car from all angles, in various trims and give a detailed view of its completely redesigned interior complete with digital gauge cluster and new infotainment.
2021 Honda Jazz
Honda is testing an all-new Jazz subcompact hatchback, also known as the Fit in some markets. It’s the fourth generation for the nameplate and it looks like it will retain the wedge-nosed one-box design of its predecessors, albeit with a slightly sportier design twist.
The camouflaged prototype spotted by our spies reveals quite a lot about the car, which is slated for a reveal no earlier than 2020, since the refreshed version of the current model only came out last year. Aside from the completely new and slightly more rakish-looking body, changes will be made to its powerplant lineup and interior. The hybrid version may share its powertrain with the new Insight.