Volkswagen Showcases Four New Concepts at SOWO in Georgia
Volkswagen has a bit of a reputation for providing some pretty boring concepts, but the four new concepts it brought to SOWO this hear are cool as hell. Volkswagen says they represent the tastes of Volkswagen enthusiasts, which isn’t exactly a good explanation of why there’s so much bright yellow. What we have here is a modified Golf R, Jetta R-Line, Tiguan R-Line, and an Arteon R-Line, all with their own special way of standing out that is quite intriguing and refreshing at the same time.
2018 Porsche 911 Speedster
Introduced in 2011, the 991-generation Porsche 911 is slowly moving closer to retirement. The 991.2 facelift is already three years old, and the next-generation 911 was spotted testing on public roads in many versions, so the 992 will probably go into the history books in 2019. But Porsche is not yet done with the current model. Recent spy shots suggest that the final batch of sports cars will include a Speedster model.
The convertible was caught testing in Southern Europe alongside a few 911 GT3s and word has it that an official debut is planned at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Rumors also claim that power will be provided by the same 4.0-liter flat-six engine in the 911 GT3 so it will be among the most powerful variants of the outgoing 991. Production will be limited to a few hundred cars. The 911 Speedster returns to the market after a seven-year hiatus. The previous Speedster, based on the 997-generation 911, was launched in 2011.
Updated 05/18/2018: The upcoming Porsche 911 Speedster was caught testing in the Spanish Mountains.
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2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec
Without a doubt, the SUV and crossover market is still running strong, prompting every automaker under the sun to fill their lineups to capacity with fresh tall-riding hatches in a bid to satisfy the public’s seemingly never-ending demand. Nissan is no different, offering U.S buyers no less than six different models in the segment, including the Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. Unfortunately, lovers of the funky and fun Juke won’t see the compact on the roster for much longer, as rumor has it Nissan is showing it the door in 2018. However, in its stead, Nissan will offer something fresh – enter the Kicks. The Kicks is Nissan’s very first new nameplate in 8 years, arriving as a new entry-level model in the Japanese automaker’s lineup with more room and a lower price tag than the Juke. It’s also got some nice technology, both for entertainment and for safety purposes.
The Kicks is already on sale in South America, but arrives stateside more or less unchanged in the hopes of enticing urban consumers, or as Nissan puts it, “singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.” So – how does it stack up?
Updated 05/08/2018: Nissan announced prices for the 2018 Kicks. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
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2018 Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury
Revived in 1997 after more than 50 years of absence, the Maybach brand didn’t make much of an impact on the luxury market, with its S-Class-based models failing to impress against the Rolls-Royces and the Bentleys. As a result, Mercedes-Benz discontinued the name in 2012. The brand returned as Mercedes-Maybach in 2015, and although it still delivers revised S-Class sedans with longer wheelbases and more luxury features, it aims to offer other Mercedes vehicles too. Unlike its predecessor, Mercedes-Maybach also produced concept cars, with a pair of Vision 6 two-door models showcasing spectacular designs. Come 2018 and Maybach unveiled its third concept car, this time around design to preview an upcoming SUV.
Called the Vision Ultimate Luxury, this new concept vehicle is said to preview the Maybach version of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. However, the concept itself isn’t exactly an SUV, but a hybrid design that combines the features of a utility vehicle with the rear end of a notchback sedan. Inside the cabin, the Ultimate Luxury is actually more production friendly than the Vision 6 coupe, while its all-electric drivetrain is identical with the other two Maybach concept cars. It definitely won’t make it into production in this form, but it previews a few interesting design cues and technologies. Let’s find out more in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury
BMW has eased into the electric future, starting with the BMW X5 I Performance – it’s first plug-in hybrid – back in 2015. Fast forward a few years and here we are looking at the BMW iX3 Concept, an X3-based, all-electric SUV (or SAV as BMW likes to call it) that features the brand’s fifth-gen electric drive system, modular batteries, and some i-specific design cues that we’ll surely see when the iX3 goes into production. As a concept that’s practically ready to roll off the production line, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it.
The iX3 Concept Previews BMW’s EV Technology of the Future
BMW has been promising to expand its electric car lineup for quite a few years now, but the Germans are still offering just one model, the i3. But things will change in 2018 when BMW introduces the iX3, its first all-electric SUV. Based on the X3, the EV was unveiled as a concept car at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show and will go into production under the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture in Shenyang, China.
It’s Not The Audi Q8, But the Q5 L Is Really Stretchy
Audi did surprise us. We all thought that Audi was going to finally unveil the Q8 SUV at the Beijing Auto Show. It turns out; we were only half-right. The German automaker is unveiling an SUV in Beijing; it’s just not the Q8. Instead, we’re being treated to the world debut of the new Q5L, a longer version of the Q5 that’s aimed specifically at the Chinese market. There are lots to talk about with regards to the Q5L, but the most important thing is its size. The Q5L, among other things, is the first-ever Audi SUV to be offered in an “L” version.
Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Comes with a Teapot, Quirky Design
Mercedes’ highly-anticipated Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept just made its debut ahead of the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, and it looks, well... weird. Believed to preview the Maybach version of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Ultimate Luxury concept combines the styling features of an SUV with those of a notchback sedan. Mercedes says that it combines the most successful body styles in China, but it’s definitely not the best design exercise out there.
Mercedes Took the C-Class, Gave it a Face Lift, and Calls it the A-Class L in China
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the Chinese-specific A-Class L has a serious resemblance to the current-gen C-Class. It’s so similar, in fact, that it looks like a facelifted version of the C-Class inside and out, albeit with some upper-trim-level standard features and a slightly (and I do mean slightly) smaller presence. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but it’s far from what you would call a compact, despite the fact that Mercedes is boasting it as the first and only long-wheelbase compact car in the Chinese market. Sorry folks, but this is just a C-Class with smaller overhangs. Let’s look at things a little closer.
The Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV Is So Ugly It Actually Hurts
We’ve seen some pretty slick-looking concepts from Mercedes-Maybach in the past - the Vision 6 and Vision 6 Cabriolet certainly come to mind quite easily. However, this latest creation, dubbed the Ultimate Luxury concept and leaked prior to a full debut at the Beijing Motor Show, is making our collective stomachs churn.
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It’s Official: The new BMW M2 Competition is Here With a Mission to Lay Waste to the Porsche Cayman GTS
The much-rumored BMW M2 Competition was finally unveiled following a leak on the company’s Australian website earlier this month. The newest member of the M family is just as we expected: it’s mean, powerful, exclusive, and ready to take on the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS on both the road and the track. Heck, it’s so good that it might even pose a threat to the BMW M4.
2018 Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Jaguar introduced the F-Pace compact luxury crossover back in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, eventually bringing it stateside in May of 2016. Lauded by critics as both beautiful and opulent (and when equipped with a supercharged V-6, pretty quick too), the F-Pace is the right machine for a segment overflowing with demand. Now, Jag’s first-ever SUV gets the go-faster treatment courtesy of JLR’s performance and customization division, Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). Making its debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the F-Pace SVR is framed as a combination of sports car performance and practical SUV design, adding two cylinders, loads of extra power, a fresh aesthetic, and a whole lot more over the standard model.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
Pray to the Heavens That The Lamborghini L595 Roadster Becomes Reality
Four years ago, Italian coach builder Zagato unveiled the Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato, a one-off creation that spawned into a limited edition series because deep-pocketed customers couldn’t get enough of it. Fast forward to 2018, and we could be in for a case of déjà vu. Sitting on Zagato’s website for all the world to see is a rendering of the Lamborghini L595 Zagato, a droptop version of the 5-95 Zagato that we saw in 2014. It’s unclear if Zagato has plans to build this version, but the image was accompanied by “2018,” a sign that we could see this car come to life sometime this year.
The BMW M2 Competition Has Leaked and It’s Got M4-Like Performance
The BMW M2 has only been alive for a couple of years now, but the smaller M4 has received quite the following in that short time. With a couple of years under its belt, it’s about time for the M2 Competition to make its debut and thanks to an “accidental” leak by BMW’s Australian portal we get to have an early look at what we can expect of the M2 Competition when it debuts later this month at the Beijing Auto Show. And, the best part is that it’s not just images—there are some specs too.
2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo
Introduced in 2017, the Levante is Maserati’s first-ever SUV and the company’s big bet on becoming a much more profitable brand within FCA. Stylish yet sporty, the Levante successfully blends the aggressive lines of the iconic GranTurismo and the elegant cues of the Quattroporte sedan, all with a modern twist. Available with both gasoline and diesel V-6 engines, the Levante was a big success in its first year on the market. But, something was missing from the lineup from the very beginning: a beefed-up version that would compete against high-performance SUVs from BMW M, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche. Fortunately, Maserati had it covered all along and launched the Levante Trofeo, a V-8 model with more than 500 horsepower.
Powered by the same Ferrari-built engine that motivates the Quattroporte GTS, but with revised internals and significantly more oomph, the Trofeo is Italy’s answer to the BMW X5 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and the Mercedes-AMG GLE63. The Lamborghini Urus doesn’t count here since it’s awfully expensive by comparison. The new engine is backed by a more aggressive exterior with unique features, as well as a bespoke interior with added luxury and carbon-fiber trim. The Levante Trofeo is indeed ready to hit the track, as its name suggests, and it seems that the Germans have yet another reason to worry about.
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2019 Subaru Forester
First hitting the scene in 1997, the Subaru Forester has seen a total of four generations come and go over the years. Now, there’s a new fifth generation for the compact crossover SUV making its big debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Framed as the “roomiest, most capable and most versatile Forester ever made,” this latest five-door brings all the right stuff for those weekend getaways, not to mention fresh styling, loads and loads of space, a bit more power, and a fresh suite of safety tech to boot.
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2019 Cadillac XT4
A few years ago, Cadillac finally admitted that it’s way behind its competitors in the premium market and hired Johan de Nysschen, who devised a new strategy for America’s iconic luxury brand. The new plans includes a host of new models, of which the range-topping CT6 sedan and the XT5 crossover have already been launched. Come 2018 and Cadillac launched the XT4, an even smaller crossover that competes against the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Spotted testing on public roads since early 2017, the XT4 made its public debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.
Cadillac’s smallest crossover to date, the XT4 rides on a new platform and uses a brand-new, small-displacement engine. While the larger XT5 is a replacement for the dated SRX and aims at the midsize luxury crossover market, the XT4 is actually a brand-new entry. And it’s not surprising that Cadillac wants a piece of the compact market, as this is where a lot of car makers are making huge profits. Having missed out on sales for so many years, Caddy is finally trying to catch up. The question is, will the XT4 be good enough to give the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 a run for their money? Let’s find out in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac XT4.