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2019 Skoda Octavia Dynamic +

2019 Skoda Octavia Dynamic +

Skoda Octavia Dynamic+ Package Takes RS and Monte Carlo Styling Cues To Shape Them In A More Palatable Way

Think about the Skoda Octavia Dynamic+ package the same way as you’d think about the Hyundai Elantra GT N-line. The new styling package revealed for the aging Skoda Octavia brings a few RS-inspired design cues for the hatchback and wagon versions of the Octavia. Counting last moments among the living, the latest Skoda Octavia is expected to be replaced by an all-new model at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show this year. Freshly revealed with the Dynamic+ Package, the Czech brand managed to introduce a bit of pizzazz to a car that is widely criticized for the shape of its headlights. Now, the Dynamic+ Package is a swan song for the popular compact sedan.

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Lamborghini's First Hybrid will Debut in Frankfurt as - You Guessed It - a Special Edition Model

Lamborghini’s First Hybrid will Debut in Frankfurt as - You Guessed It - a Special Edition Model

It’s limited to just 63 units as a nod to 1963, the year Lamborghini first entered our lives

The wait for Lamborghini’s first hybrid supercar will come to an end at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The yet-to-be-named hybrid monster is a touchpoint for the Italian automaker as it lays the foundation for its own hybrid plans for the future. For now, the hybrid supercar goes by the name “LB48H.” Details are still scarce at this point, but Lamborghini is expected to take styling cues from the Terzo Millenio EV Concept it unveiled last year and graft them onto the hybrid supercar. This model also holds the distinction for being the rarest among all hybrid exotics that have been released in recent years. Lamborghini’s building only 63 units — the 63-car volume is a nod to 1963, the year Lamborghini was born — and, unfortunately for all of us, all 63 units are already accounted for.

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The 2020 Land Rover Defender's Interior Leaks Online, Showing a Huge Leap Forward in Design

The 2020 Land Rover Defender’s Interior Leaks Online, Showing a Huge Leap Forward in Design

The shroud of secrecy around the new Defender is beginning to lift

Land Rover has been very secretive about its ground-up new 2020 Defender (in the works for over five years now) that will probably make its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Now, for the first time, we’ve found a photo of the 2020 Defender’s interior, and we’re pretty sure Land Rover is not too keen on it having been shared.

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The 2020 Land Rover Defender Could Be Revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Could Be Revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show

Less than a year to go before we finally see the completely redesigned Defender

Land Rover has been working on the Defender project for over five years now, and from an exterior perspective, it seems like a long time for a vehicle to be developed and for that development to not be completed. But the all-new Defender is now in the final stretch, which is why we’ve been teased with a shot of a camouflaged prototype for the first time.

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BMW to Cut its Display at the Frankfurt Motor Show by 75% to just 3,000 Square Meters

BMW to Cut its Display at the Frankfurt Motor Show by 75% to just 3,000 Square Meters

Funding for auto shows also gets slashed by 80%

BMW has become the latest automaker to announce plans of scaling back its auto show expenses. According to a report from Handelsblatt, BMW is slashing its funding for trade fair appearances to around €5 to €6 million, a significant drop from its usual auto show funds of €25 million. The move is seen as an attempt to veer away from the traditional auto show setup and focus more on rising trade fairs in China, as well as dedicated technology fairs like CES and the Mobile World Congress.

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2018 Suzuki Swift Sport

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport

A worthy competitor for the Polo GTI and Fiesta ST?

Introduced in 2000 as the Suzuki Ignis, the Swift was redesigned in 2004 and again in 2010 when the third-generation model was launched. In 2017, Suzuki brought the fourth-generation into the spotlight with the company’s brand-new design language, which debuted on the slightly bigger Baleno. Unveiled for the European market at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the new Swift received its higher-performance Sport version a few months later, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Developed as a higher performance version aimed at similar offerings from Volkswagen and Ford, the Swift Sport has been around since 2005. The recipe was pretty much simple and revolved mostly around a slightly more powerful engine and a few chassis tweaks. Unlike hot-hatches like the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST, the Swift Sport didn’t really stand out in the lineup styling-wise. But this changes with the new hatchback, which gained a more individual appearance and even a range of unique features. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Suzuki Swift Sport.

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2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

The all-electric Mercedes A-Class from the future

Although it has been toying with electric drivetrains for decades, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled more concept cars than production models up until now. The SLS AMG Electric Drive was its first important statement in the world of EVs, followed by the B-Class Electric Drive in 2014. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz announced its first family of battery-powered vehicles, called EQ, and a couple of new concept cars followed. One of them is the EQA, a compact hatchback that looks like an A-Class from the future.

Mercedes’ first EV in the compact segment, the Concept EQA joins Concept EQC, a small SUV that’s scheduled to move into production in 2019. There’s no word as to when the EQA will become a production model, but we do know that the German automaker intends to launch 10 EQ models by 2022. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the EQA will be one of the first to enter the market and could arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at the concept car in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA.

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2017 Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept

2017 Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept

The bold C-HR gets more chutzpah!

Launched in 2016, the C-HR is Toyota’s answer to the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. Only 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) long, the C-HR is the company’s smallest crossover to date and slots under the already iconic RAV4. The small SUV has received many positive reviews in its first year on the market, mostly being praised for its well-equipped interior, comfortable ride, and sporty interior. But nothing stands out more than its bold and rather unusual styling. Arguably the most exciting small crossover on the market in terms of exterior design, the C-HR became even more striking at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show thanks to a special package by ED2, Toyota’s European design studio. It’s called the C-HR HyPower, and it’s just a concept for now.

Much like most concepts, the HyPower includes features that you can’t normally buy with the regular C-HR. There’s a wild finish for the roof, a special body paint, and orange accents on the outside, while the interior boasts quilted seats and a bright contrast. As the name suggests, this concept car is more powerful than the usual C-HR hybrid. Not much is known at this point, but Toyota did confirm that the show car previews some sort of higher performance drivetrain that will be revealed in early 2018. Let’s have a closer look at the concept in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR HyPower concept.

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2017 Audi Elaine

2017 Audi Elaine

Is this the future of electric sports cars?

With Audi introducing cars like the Audi Aicon, it’s pretty easy to assume that in the near future we’ll find ourselves without even having the option to take the wheel and drive on our own. Then again, with the sheer number of traffic-related fatalities each year, one could really question if we should be allowed to the freedom to drive anyway, but we’ll leave that conversation for another time. Instead, let’s look at the future of sports cars, better known as the Audi Elaine – an all-electric sports car that can drive itself but also has a wheel and pedals for guys like me who like to really get into those corners from time to time. What we’re talking about here is a muscular “SUV Coupe” that sits somewhere close to the Audi A7 in the lineup and features an all-electric drive that’s good for a 4.5-second sprint to 62 mph, a range of at least 300 miles, and it even features autonomous technology with cutting-edge processing power and comfort.

When you combine this vehicle’s capabilities along with Audi Ai, and Audi Ai Zone, you get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to drive yourself when you wish, let the AI take over on a whim, and even get door-to-door service thanks to the car’s ability to find a parking garage or place on the street to park itself. Audi envisions a time when the car will be able to drive itself to an advanced parking garage where it can charge itself, pick up packages, and even get a good washing before finding a place to rest. At 5 O’clock when it’s time to get out of work, you’ll walk out the doors and find your Elaine waiting to take you home. Suddenly, the future doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well, let’s take a better look at the Elaine and see what the car is all about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Elaine.

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2017 Audi Aicon

2017 Audi Aicon

The car of the future... probably

With the internal combustion engine living on borrowed time and fully autonomous cars on the horizon, we’re starting to see more and more futuristic concept cars that focus more on what cars of the future will be like than what we can expect to see in the next five or six years. Audi has really jumped on that wagon, and at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it debuted the Audi Aicon – a vehicle that looks to the days of self-driving electric mobility with absolutely no compromises. As a 2+2 sedan, the Aicon has an attractive silhouette and a roomy interior. Comfort is of the utmost importance, and you’ll find that the interior is void of the usual necessities like a steering wheel or pedals and buttons. As an all-electric vehicle, it boasts four electric motors and a battery pack that should be good for nearly 500 miles of non-stop driving. And, not that it matters in a car that you can’t drive, but system output is rated at nearly 350 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Not bad.

With this in mind, and as attractive as this concept is, we’re still a long way out from Level 5 autonomy. The world just isn’t ready for a car of this nature quite yet (look at all the idiots that abused the functionality of Tesla’s AutoPilot in the early years) so don’t expect to see this thing shift into production anytime soon. It may someday, but I wouldn’t expect to see it before 2025 or 2030 at that earliest. Be that as it may, this concept is a very cool design study and a look at the future of the automotive industry, so let’s take a good look at it and see what all we can expect in our not-so-distant future.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Aicon.

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2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance

2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance

A glimpse at BMW’s upcoming three-row luxury crossover

No one can claim BMW’s lineup lacks enough models. The German automaker has split more hairs when it comes to niche segments than any other brand. But one thing BMW lacks is a three-row SUV. That will change when the X7 Sport Activity Vehicle begins production for the 2019 model year. In the mean time, BMW has teased the X7 with this concept version. It’s (hopefully) a heavily stylized and futuristic interpretation of what the X7 will be, and comes packed with high-tech features and overstated design elements.

The X7 will ride on BMW’s CLAR platform, which is currently used in the 7 Series sedan. Powertrain specifications haven’t been detailed, but BMW says the X7 will offer electric propulsion, which BMW calls eDrive, paired with a TwinPower Turbo engine. Obviously, this is where the iPerformance designation comes in. The gasoline-electric hybrid system will be of the plug-in variety and can run in full EV mode with zero local emissions. We expect BMW’s inline-six and V-8 engines will be available, too, with rear-wheel driving coming as standard and all-wheel drive being optional, perhaps depending on the powertrain. So, until BMW debuts the production version of the X7, this concept remains the best guess at what we can expect. Let’s just hope the overstyled exterior gets heavily toned down before the X7 hits showrooms in late 2018.

Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s presentation at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.

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2017 MINI Electric Concept

2017 MINI Electric Concept

Previews a production model that will arrive in 2019

The modern Mini Cooper was launched in 2001, some 42 years after the British firm launched the original model. This time build under BMW Group ownership, the Mini became more of a fashion statement rather than an affordable, people’s car, but this is exactly what turned it into a big hit. Redesigned in 2006 and 2013, the Cooper grew larger and larger and gained more technology with each generation. In 2017, Mini introduced its first hybrid model, the S E Countryman All4, and it’s now looking to launch its first-ever electric car. And it just unveiled the Mini Electric Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designed as a preview for a production model that will be introduced in 2019, the Mini Electric Concept arrives almost ten year since Mini built its first EV, the Mini E. More of a demonstration vehicle rather than a production car, the Mini E was produced between 2009 and 2010 in the form of a three-door Cooper. More than 600 cars were deployed in several countries for on-road testing in a project that eventually led to a couple of BMW trial cars and finally the i3. A modern reinterpretation of the Mini E, the Electric Concept moves Mini one step closer to joining the EV market. It’s a bit late to the party, but as they say, better late than never.

Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Electric Concept.

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