Mercedes-AMG Drops More Details About the Project One Hypercar
The Mercedes-AMG Project One is the right kind of spicy for hypercar-starved fans the world over. But as much as we know about it already, we really don’t know a lot about it from Mercedes-AMG’s perspective. Good thing then that AMG boss Tobias Moers revealed some interesting information about the Project One, including its weight, power estimate, and the amount of downforce it will generate. None of these numbers are official, but if it comes from the man making all the decisions, we’ll take it as the closest thing to gospel.
Polestar 2 to Launch in 2020, Not to Kill Tesla, but to Compete with it
Polestar’s status as a standalone brand may still be fresh in a lot of people’s eyes, but that hasn’t stopped the company from already making big plans for the future. According to reports, that “future” will now include a pair of new models, including the Tesla Model 3-rivaling Polestar 2 saloon and the Polestar 3 SUV. Both models are expected to debut in the coming years, though the Polestar 2 will arrive sooner in 2020 than the Polestar 3, which is set for a 2022 debut.
Porsche is Set to Invest More than 6 Billion Euro; Double What Was Previously Expected
Porsche is doubling down on its investments in hybrid and electric technology after announcing plans to increase its investment in electromobility to “more than” €6 billion. That’s more than double the amount it previously intended to spend. The news comes as the German automaker is making final preparations for the launch of its first all-electric vehicle, the Mission E. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume made the announcements, saying that the decision to ramp up its investments was done to set “an important course for the future.”
2020 RAM Ramcharger
Many in the industry basically begged Dodge to build a three-row SUV based on the then-new 1994 Ram 1500 pickup. Those requests went ignored for three generations of pickups, even as the Ram Trucks brand spun off onto its own from Dodge. But it seems the stars have aligned yet again; Ram has an all-new 1500-series pickup for 2019, SUVs are enjoying a healthy uptick in popularity, fuel are holding steady at a reasonable price, and Fiat Chrysler is basically abandoning domestic sedan productions to make room for more crossovers and SUVs.
So, that begs the question – will Ram build a competitor to the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and Ford Expedition?
Sadly, we haven’t heard any official rumors or seen any appropriately shaped and camouflaged test mules running around Detroit, so it’s almost impossible to speculate with any certainty. However, the timing has never seemed more right. As such, we decided to compile what we imagined a new Ram SUV might look like. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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2020 BMW X2 Convertible
Introduced in 2017 as a follow up to a concept vehicle launched in 2016, the X2 is BMW’s sixth crossover and the smallest of its kind alongside the X1. Although the even number in the badge suggests that this crossover is actually a smaller version of the X4, the X2 is far from being a coupe. Somewhat similar to the X1 in terms of shape and size, the X2 does have a few unique features that help it stand out. Already available in Europe and soon to be offered in the U.S. as well, the X2 could get a convertible version in the future. According to recent reports, BMW is already studying a business case for a competitor to the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.
Not yet approved for production, the X2 Convertible is reportedly under serious consideration, with BMW having already conducted a study found that a significant number of drivers would buy such a model. A decision will be made later this year, but the X2 Convertible appears to be a solid proposition if BMW wants to further expand in the crossover segment. Should it get the green light, it will become the company’s eighth crossover, given that it will arrive after the flagship X7. Until BMW confirms it, let’s find out more about what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.
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Four Years will Yield Two Lotus Sports Cars and One SUV
Lotus is pushing forward with its expansion plans in the coming years. The first two items on the menu are a pair of new sports cars that are scheduled to debut in 2020. From there, the British automaker is setting its sights on building its first-ever SUV, which will arrive around two years after the new sports cars hit the road. Its been nine years since Lotus launched a new model — the Evora in 2009 — so these upcoming sports cars are being met with a lot of excitement. It’s a new era in Lotus as the company seeks to bring back the luster it has lost in recent years.
Anonymous Report: 400+ HP Ford Explorer ST in the Pipeline
An anonymous source within Ford in conjunction with confirmed speculation suggests the next-generation Ford Explorer will return to a rear-wheel-drive architecture and come with four new engine options, one of which will offer more than 400 horsepower in a sporterized ST variant.
The news comes from The Truth About Cars, which speculated about the rear-drive platform some time ago. TTACs insider source then revealed details about the next-generation Explorer’s powertrain options, along with the new ST trim. This follows Ford’s recent release of the Edge ST – a two-row crossover gussied up by Ford Performance with 335 horsepower and a stiff suspension. The same is expected with the Explorer ST, but with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 currently used in the Lincoln Continental and MKZ. In the Lincolns, the engine makes an even 400 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. The insider source says power will likely increase since the V-6 will be longitudinally mounted in the new rear-drive Explorer.
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2020 Hyundai Veloster Cabrio
The second-generation Hyundai Veloster made its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. As expected, the Korean automaker put in a lot of work to differentiate the punchy hatchback from its predecessor. The new Veloster’s design still jumps out of the page, but it’s not as funky as the first-gen model that had all sorts of curves and weird edges on it. The tamer-looking second-gen Veloster is more appealing to look at. That car has already been well-received by the public, and the same thing should happen once the new Veloster hits dealerships.
But as good as the new Veloster looks like, can you imagine what a drop-top version could look like if Hyundai decided to build one? It’s unlikely that the company will go that route, but if it did, who’d be excited to see a Veloster Cabrio? Is it something you’d want to be seen driving in? If you can’t picture what that kind of car will look like, let this new rendering from master artist X Tomi Design guide your senses and perception. Convinced yet? I know I am.
2020 Lincoln Aviator
It seems Ford is busy developing new vehicles these days. We’ve seen spy shots of a refreshed Explorer, a new Focus hatchback, and this, which is a long-wheelbase SUV that is much larger than the Explorer yet smaller than the Expedition. Upon closer inspection, this test mule rides on reused Lincoln Navigator wheels, has a large vertical pillar in the center of its grille, and has taillights that somewhat recall the shape of the current Navigator’s rear lights. Could it be that Lincoln is preparing a second-generation Aviator? It seems to be happening.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the Aviator name getting a reprise. Several articles suggest Lincoln is working on the mid-size SUV. Looking holistically at Lincoln’s lineup, the Aviator would fit perfectly between the larger Navigator and smaller (and recently renamed from MKX) Nautilus. That means Lincoln would have three crossovers with seating for five in the Nautilus, seven in the Aviator, and seven in the Navigator. Of course, the Navigator would remain the flagship SUV with the Aviator targeting luxury-minded yet slightly more budget-conscious families needing three rows of seating. The two-row Nautilus would target small families and empty nesters.
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Word Has it That there’s a V6-Powered, Alfa Romeo 6C in the Works!
Alfa Romeo isn’t messing around. On the heels of launching the Giulia sedan and the Stelvio SUV, the Italian automaker is reportedly at work developing a new model that will slot above the 4C. The model is set to be called the 6C, a nod to the number of cylinders it has in its engine. Alfa is eyeing a 2020 launch for the 6C so expect the coupé to make its debut sometime before that.
2020 Subaru WRX
Ever since its introduction in 1992, the Subaru WRX has promised enthusiasts a thick slice of the high-flying, sideways-sliding, gravel-spraying antics that made the six-star brand famous in the World Rally Championship. Thanks to its turbocharged flat-four engine, stout suspension set-up, speed-oriented interior, and wing-heavy exterior styling, the WRX has cemented its reputation as a machine capable of competition-style performance, but at a price that keeps all your internal organs inside you, rather than going to the highest bidder. Over the years, we’ve seen four generations of the ’Rex, with U.S.-based consumers getting their first taste in the early 2000’s with the second-gen “bug eye” iteration. These days, though, the WRX is considered a bit long in the tooth. While still a solid performance buy, the alternatives are plentiful, while the WRX’s updates mostly just spin the tires. In truth, enthusiasts are clamoring for an updated next-generation WRX capable of besting much fresher offerings from the likes of Ford and Honda.
Luckily, it appears as though Subaru is working on exactly that, as previewed by concepts like the Viziv Performance sedan that dropped at the Tokyo Motor Show back in 2017. But we’re impatient, so we decided to create a rendering, put on our thinking caps, and write up a speculative review on what we think the next-gen WRX could bring to the table. Read on for the details.
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Ford Teases Mach 1 Electric… SUV?
Ford is on a quest to have 40 electrified vehicles by 2022 to meet the demand for fuel efficiency and receded local emissions. One of these vehicles will be a crossover with a fully electric drivetrain. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. This crossover will be “Mustang inspired” and be named the Mach 1.
As you should know, the Mach 1 name dates back to 1969 as a performance package on the Mustang. The Mach 1 package added an upgraded suspension, several appearance upgrades, and several V-8 engine options. The package continued through 1978 until Ford resurrected the name in 2003 and 2004 as a send-off for the fourth-generation Mustang. But regardless of year or body style, the Mach 1 name was synonymous with performance.
As for the “Mustang Inspired” thing, Ford hasn’t divulged what this inspiration will look like. The crossover could have a similar face or taillight cues as the Mustang, or maybe even a similar dashboard design.
One thing is for sure; the Mach 1 will be built on a separate platform from the Mustang due to its electric drivetrain and battery pack. That confirmation comes from Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair in a conversation with Jalopnik.
But regardless of how Mustang-inspired this crossover is, it will still be a high-riding wagon with five doors. Why Ford thinks it’s a smart idea to brand an all-new electric crossover with such an iconic name rich with muscle car heritage is beyond me. It would be like Chevrolet making a Camaro-inspired electric crossover and calling it the Z/28 or Dodge building one inspired by the Viper and naming it the SRT-10.
Names mean things; they carry weight and history. More importantly, vehicle names are engrained into customers’ psyche and elicit connotations of worth, performance, capability, and cultural significance. I’m all for Ford building an electric crossover. It would probably sell extremely well. But, Ford should reconsider slapping such an iconic nameplate onto an unrelated vehicle that doesn’t even hail from the same vehicle category.
2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time
The Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans are not long for this world, and will permanently bite the dust as soon as they reach the end of their production cycle in the next year and a half or so. As such, a fresh four-door replacement dubbed the CT5 is undergoing real-world testing as we speak, as evidenced by this new batch of spy shots.
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2020 Nissan IMx
Having launched the Leaf back in 2010, Nissan is one of the pioneers of the all-electric industry. While not as efficient as the recently launched Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the Leaf remains the best-selling EV ever build as of early 2018. However, Nissan has yet to expand its all-electric lineup beyond this hatchback, and it is now falling behind the competition. This could change by the end of 2018, with Nissan likely to debut a battery-powered crossover based on the IMx concept.
Introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the IMx is described as "an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600 km." Nissan also says that the vehicle provides "a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society." The IMx also previews the company’s new design language, so it could change quite a few things for the Japanese automaker. If put into production, it could go against the Tesla Model X, currently the quickest, most efficient, and most popular electric crossover out there.
While Nissan didn’t officially confirm a production version of the IMx, an all-electric crossover is the next logical step now that the second-generation Leaf is on its way to dealerships. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.
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Video: Design Details of the Mercedes-AMG Project One
When you’re building a car as unique as the Mercedes-AMG Project One, it’s not enough for you to go through the usual design and engineering process behind building a traditional car. The hypercar is specialized in ways that go beyond the standards of typical auto engineering. It ventures into the territory of Formula One where every piece of the car is developed with the goal of enhancing its aerodynamics and performance capabilities. That’s the kind of work Mercedes-AMG put into developing the Project One. We see that on full display in this video presented by the automaker where some of the project’s most influential voices described the intricacies that went behind creating one of the most technologically advanced cars in the world today.
The SUV Invasion Continues: Alfa Romeo Plots a new Flagship SUV with Electrified Drivetrain
Alfa Romeo has slowly rebirthed itself into the automaker it once was, or maybe even a better automaker than it once was. And now, joining the 4C, Giulia, and Stelvio will be another SUV – one that will sit at the top of the lineup and serve as the ultimate people hauler. On top of this news, is news that it will also be the first of three new models planned and the first Alfa to feature an electrified drivetrain.
Of course, that electrified drivetrain isn’t exactly a coincidence or a choice of pleasure for the brand. On the contrary, it’s actually a requirement. See, this new SUV will be the largest ever created by Alfa, and with emissions regulations running rampant, a mild hybrid will be a necessity if it will maintain Alfa Romeo’s typical, performance-oriented DNA and still hit emissions regulation targets. According to AutoExpress it could even deliver some 400 horsepower.
Roberto Fedeli, the Chief Technical Officer for Alfa Romeo, said, "The Stelvio for sure is an example of Alfa DNA, why don’t we translate that in a car which is a little bit bigger? We have to marry the new car with the right level of electrification. A plug-in hybrid could be a problem for the Alfa DNA point of view, but for instance, a 48-volt mild hybrid solution is something that we can do without losing anything."
Of course, there’s more to this story, so keep reading to find out what’s coming next…
2020 Nissan Silvia S16
Between the 370Z and the GT-R, you could make the argument that Nissan already has a pretty solid lineup of sports cars. However, the more discerning enthusiasts out there will be quick to point out just how much more could be done. After all, the current Z car is practically ancient by modern standards given its introduction dates all the back to 2009, and at six figures, the current GT-R is just way too expensive for the average speed lover. That said, there’s one nameplate that desperately needs to be brought back into the discussion – the Silvia. The last time we saw this two-door beauty was in 2002 with the S15, and we think the time is right for a follow-up S16 generation to round out the Japanese automaker’s performance offerings. We know we’re certainly not alone in that respect, and indeed, the next-gen Silvia was expected to show in concept form at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Alas, such a creation never surfaced, but fear not, because we did a little chin scratching, drew up the above-featured rendering, and wrote up the following speculative review to help bridge the gap.
It’s been over 15 years since the S15 bit the dust, so any follow-up has a bit of catching up to do. However, we think Nissan has the right stuff to make it work. Read on for our take on it.
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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake
After six years on the market with minor changes, the Mercedes-Benz CLS was redesigned and launched in its third-gen configuration in late 2017. Now sporting a more aggressive design with features borrowed from the AMG GT sports car, the four-door coupe boasts a more upscale interior borrowed from the E-Class and introduced a brand-new engine for Mercedes-Benz. A high-performance AMG CLS63 version is sure to follow, but word has it that the German firm may not launch a new Shooting Brake model now that station wagons are no longer popular. But until Mercedes says a firm no I’m hoping that the German shooting brake will make a comeback by the end of 2018.
The CLS Shooting Brake is much newer than the four-door coupe it is based on. While the CLS broke cover back in 2004, the Shooting Brake didn’t arrive until 2012, one year after Mercedes introduced the second-generation model. So if Merc decided to axe the nameplate, the CLS Shooting Brake will die after only five years on the market. It would be a shame to lose one of the only two affordable shooting brakes (the other being the CLA) and one of the very few premium wagons still available. You can see why I’m still hoping that the second-gen CLS isn’t the end of the road for this model. We should find out more about the wagon’s future in 2018 but until that happens, let’s find out what it may bring to the market if it survives.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake.
2020 Lamborghini Urus Performante
Lamborghini took the world by surprise back in 2012 when it unveiled the Urus Concept at Pebble Beach. It was the company’s first utility since the LM002 pickup truck and signaled a new direction for the brand. However, the Urus didn’t become a production model until five years later. Launched in late 2017, it became the fastest and most powerful SUV in the world, boasting performance similar to high-profile sports cars. With the Urus now set to hit public roads in 2018, we’re wondering what other versions are planned for the future. A hybrid model is almost a certainty, but is Lambo also considering a higher performance models? I think it does, and it could be very similar to the Huracan Performante.
Likely to wear the same "Performante" badge, the beefed-up SUV would take the Urus into previously uncharted territory in this segment. With more power, a lighter curb weight, and a chassis tuned for racing, the Urus Performante will be the most extreme production SUV I can think of right now. But will it become more than just a rendering? There’s no official confirmation yet, but I don’t see why Lambo would say no to it. There’s plenty of demand for extreme crossovers right now, as well as plenty of rich folks ready to pay in excess of $200,000 for one. Let’s find out what this SUV might bring to the table in my speculative review below.
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2020 Porsche Mission E
While considered laughable just a decade or two ago, the idea of a high-performance electric vehicle is now widely accepted in even the most traditional of speed circles. As the list of battery-motivated monster machines continues to grow, Porsche is getting in on the action with its up-and-coming Mission E. As a follow-up to hybrid superstars like the 918 Spyder and the Panamera, the Mission E is slated to become Stuttgart’s very first all-electric vehicle. Porsche teased the new model with a concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and now, we’re getting our very first shots of the production iteration in the wild. Captured out and about doing some real-world testing just outside Porsche’s factory in Weissach, the spy shots reveal just how close the Mission E is to becoming a reality on public roads. Expect specs that either match or beat the Tesla Model S, with several hundred miles of range and a blistering 0-to-60 mph time, not to mention a luxurious cabin space and Nurburgring-tested handling.
While full details are still forthcoming, there’s plenty of info floating around out there to go on in terms of speculation. Regardless, it’s sure to be top-shelf and quite fast, but the question remains – will it be enough to take out the Tesla? Is this finally the Model S killer we’ve been waiting for? We’re still a few years away from the release of the Mission E, so we’ll have to wait, but in the meantime, check out our speculative review.
Updated 12/06/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche Mission E out for a new testing session, this time during cold, winter conditions somewhere in Sweden.
Toyota Breeding All-New Subcompact Crossover
Just days after showing off the FT-AC Concept, Toyota has confirmed that it will soon release another small SUV that will slot below the RAV4. This is where the C-HR is positioned now, but the new SUV, which is unnamed at the moment, will actually come a bit cheaper in price. And, like the FT-AC, FT-4X and TJ Cruiser concepts, it will be near-endlessly customizable and urbanely styled with a focus on “lifestyle.” It will also serve as a basis for the next-gen Toyota RAV4 and Toyota 4Runner as well. Want to know more? Keep reading to learn about possible production schedules and a few more specifics…
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket to Launch for the First Time in December; Could Carry Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Into Space
Back in July, we announced the new that Elon Musk might shoot off SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket for the first time before the turn of the year. Come December 1st and Musk has tweeted that the rocket will, indeed, launch soon, but it won’t be until next month, or as of the date of that post, sometime in January of 2018. That goes beyond the “this year” timeframe but is quite exciting considering the number of times that Falcon Heavy has been delayed in the past. According to Musk, it will have double the thrust of the next largest rocket and the launch is “guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another.” Not long after that, Musk tweeted what seems to be a joke, saying “Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars Orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
The Jeep Wrangler JL to go Hybrid in 2020
Amid the excitement at Jeep’s debut of its all-new 2018 Wrangler, Jeep boss Mike Manley announced the SUV will come with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in 2020. That’s huge news for the Wrangler – both because of the departure from rugged simplicity and the expected fuel economy improvements possible with PHEV powertrains. This could make the Wrangler actually economical to drive.
Manley and the Jeep team have been tight-lipped about details, so there’s no official estimated fuel economy numbers, price, or even what engine the hybrid components would be paired with. However, one possibility is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and plug-in equipment used in the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Considering how FCA loves sharing components across its brands, this is a legitimate rumor. The Pacifica Hybrid boasts an impressive 84 MPGe combined fuel economy despite its 4,900-pound curb weight. The 2018 Wrangler could see even higher MPGe figures since it weighs several hundred pounds less. Jeep will likely work hard to eliminate parasitic losses in the 4WD drivetrain, as well.
Packaging of the hybrid battery pack will be the biggest challenge though. The Wrangler has very little extra space, so a smaller battery might be necessary. Jeep might have to constrict the PHEV model to the four-door Unlimited for this reason. Hopefully not, since a PHEV two-door Wrangler could achieve even better efficiency.
For those not wanting a plug-in hybrid Wrangler but like the idea of good fuel economy, Jeep will be launching the 2019 Wrangler Unlimited with the long-awaited 3.0-liter, EcoDiesel V-6. The revised engine now boasts 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque and is expected to get 30 mpg highway.