2019 Genesis GV80
Envisioned in the early 2000s while Hyundai was developing the first-generation Genesis sedan, the Genesis brand was officially established as a standalone marque in November 2015. And since then, things progressed incredibly fast. The flagship G90 was launched in late 2015, followed by the slightly smaller G80 in early 2016. In 2017, Genesis launched its third vehicle, the G70, which is smaller than the G80 and aimed at the compact premium market. 2017 also brought the GV80, a concept that previews the company’s first SUV. The hauler is set to arrive in 2019, but I already created a speculative review of what it will bring to the table, alongside with a rendering of what the production model might look like.
The GV80 may be Genesis’ first SUV, but it won’t be its last. Now that it has launched three sedans, the South Korean firm wants to expand in the crossover market with at least two vehicles. What’s particularly interesting here is that unlike other brands, Genesis jumps on the SUV bandwagon with a full-size vehicle. Specifically, the GV80 will go against the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the upcoming BMW X7, the latter to become Munich’s flagship hauler. Obviously, the big question is whether Genesis will be able to give its competitors a run for the money. I won’t be able to provide an accurate answer until it hits showrooms, but let’s take a closer look at what we already know about this SUV.
Continue reading to learn more about the Genesis GV80.
An Unlikely Concept Debut From An Unlikely Company Will Be On Display In Tokyo
The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show is going to be very eventful this year with many showcase pieces expected to be in attendance. There is one vehicle though that’s going to get a lot of attention, and all because it comes from a company that’s not necessarily known for building cars, let alone one of the concept variety. Yes, folks; Yamaha’s at it again. Two years after introducing the Sports Ride Concept in the same event, the noted motorcycle company is bringing another “automobile” to Tokyo.
The concept vehicle will be one of six world premieres that Yamaha is expected to unveil. All the others are typical scooters, motorcycles, an e-bike, and a futuristic motorcycle prototype that’s right up Yamaha’s alley. Now, I spent a good deal of time on the motorcycle scene here at TopSpeed, so I am curious about what Yamaha’s two-wheeled debuts are going to be. But, I will admit that I’m more curious about what Yamaha’s “automobile design concept” is going to be. Details are still scarce at this point, but it’s hard to look into what Yamaha unveiled two years ago and not think that there’s a possible connection between the Sports Ride prototype and whatever it is that the company is preparing to unveil at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Remember that lightweight piece of automotive goodness? Not only did it look like a proper concept car, but it actually had roots to the iStream design concept that was popularized by none other than Gordon Murray. I don’t know if this new concept will have similar roots, but you can be sure that I’m excited to find out.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Need a Six-Door Electric SUV? Here’s Some Green4U
You may have heard of Panoz, a Georgia, U.S.-based automaker that builds custom road cars and their racing counterparts like the AIV Roadster and Esperante. You might even know the Panoz name from Don Panoz, the founder of the American Le Mans Series. But, it’s likely you’ve never heard of Green4U, the new parent company of Panoz. Though it sounds like a smoothie option at the local mall or landscaping company, Green4U is focused on building electric vehicles for taxi fleets, municipalities, the military, and the general public. The company has barely made it off the ground, having been founded in September 2016, but has several vehicles in the works. Two of them are six-door SUVs with all-electric drivetrains.
What’s more, Green4U claims they’ll both have a 230-mile electric range.
The SUV seen here is the MTU-6. It’s a Land Rover Defender-esque SUV that rides on an aluminum chassis and is built in-house in Green4U’s Georgia facility. The other SUV is the Enova. It also rides on the same aluminum chassis, but its body is tailored more towards the limousine and taxi service rather than the rugged outdoorsman with lots of friends. Green4U hasn’t divulged many details about either of its SUVs beyond the claimed 230-mile range. But, by the look of things, we’d bet 4WD will be included in the mix.
Jack Perkowski, Green4U Technologies CEO and co-founder, said, “Our engineers designed a lightweight and strong aluminum chassis and are optimizing electric drivetrains and systems to deliver the range and performance that fleet operators need. “We’re focusing on fleet operators because they understand how EVs can greatly lower their operating costs. A company that has fleet vehicles traveling 50,000 miles a year can save thousands of dollars through lower fuel and maintenance costs.” Green4U says pricing and detailed specs will be released “in the near future” and the MTU-6 and Enova will be available to customers by the summer of 2018.
Continue reading for more information.
2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations
“Subtlety” is not one of the first words you think of when talking about the SEMA Auto Show. Proving as much is Ford, which is headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas with a series of specially modified Focus hot hatches. We’ve already seen the Blue Oval’s collaborations with Bloody Type Racing, VMP Performance, and a triple-team effort from Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. Now, it’s Rally Innovations’ turn in the spotlight, and the rally racing tuner is bringing with it a heavily tuned Ford Focus RS that now looks like its ready to throw down in Baja or Dakar.
The project car officially goes by the name “Ford Focus RS Rally Revival,” and if there’s one thing that passes the proverbial eye test, it’s that this hot hatch looks ready to go flying in some sand dunes. It’s arguably the Focus hatch that underwent the heaviest and most significant of modifications among the four that are headed to SEMA. Given the new purpose it was given as a full-fledged rally marauder, it’s not far-fetched to think that the Focus RS Rally Revival can go throw down with the best rally cars. That’s the depth of Rally Innovations’ program for the Focus RS. It may sit at SEMA looking all peaceful and contained, but rest assured, there’s a beast lying underneath that modified body, and it’s one that’s itching to get uncaged.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations
2018 Rinspeed Snap Mobility Concept
From the maker of some of the most bizarre vehicular creations in recent automotive history, Rinspeed is back at it with another, well, futuristic offering. It’s called the Snap Mobility Concept, and its name doesn’t do enough justice to what exactly it’s capable of doing. No, there’s no garden growing inside of it like the Oasis Concept from 2016, but it does have a chassis that can connect to different cabins, or “pods," as Rinspeed likes to call them.
The whole concept isn’t at all different from how trucks can carry different trailers, but the Snap Mobility Concept takes that approach on an entirely different level because an entire cabin can be removed and replaced with another, resulting in a concept that’s not at all too different from the Surus platform concept that General Motors unveiled earlier this week. Rinspeed’s whole objective with the concept is to reduce congestion and pollution in crowded cities, so it’s no surprise that the Snap Mobility Concept is completely autonomous and runs on a fully electric powertrain. The actual details and figures are still being withheld though rest assured, there’s a lot more to this concept than meets the eye. Keep an eye out for it when it makes its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2018.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Rinspeed Snap Mobility Concept
An Incredible Limited-Run Supercar is Available for $3.6 Million
Just in case Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer’s proclamation that one-off Aston Martins start at $3 million isn’t expensive enough for some of you, might I suggest this fresh alternative. It’s one of only 24 Aston Martin Vulcans - chassis number 14, to be exact - in existence, and it can be yours for a bargain price of £2.7 million. If you’re wondering, that’s around $3.6 million based on current exchange rates.
It’s a staggering price, but with that amount, you get one of the most remarkable track-day missiles you’ll ever get to see. It’s even dressed up in a stunning Special Verde Ithaca green paint finish, a pearlescent shade that’s as mesmerizing to look at in photos as it probably is in person. If that isn’t enough to soothe your vanity, consider what the Vulcan is capable of when you unleash it on a track. Mind you, that’s a 7.0-liter, V-12 engine that spits out a beastly 800 horsepower. It’s not quite on the level of the Valkyrie hypercar, but with the ability to hit 60 mph from a standstill position in less than three seconds and a top speed that’s comfortably north of 200 mph, are we really splitting hairs just because it only has 800 ponies to play with? Having said all of that, here’s the real kicker about this pristine Vulcan: it has less than 200 miles on it. I guess the usage is a matter of perspective, but traditionally speaking, this Vulcan is as good as new, hence the the reason why it costs so much.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Ford Says 2011-2017 Explorers Are Safe, But Will Fix Them Anyway
The Ford Explorer recently made headlines due to exhaust fumes entering the cabin and making people nauseous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 2,400 reports on the issue, with at least 41 citing injuries and three reporting crashes due to the ill effects of the carbon monoxide fumes on the 2011 through 2017 Explorer. However, investigations by the NHTSA and Ford turned up no significant changes in CO levels in the cabin. Well, except for Police Interceptor models. Ford says the issue stems from aftermarket up-fit companies leaving unsealed holes from the installation of police equipment. Still, Ford says it will fix any of the 1.3 million affected Explorers at the owner’s request, despite Ford calling the vehicles safe.
Ford’s voluntary service is free to Explorer owners regardless of the warranty status or vehicle mileage. The fix includes reprogramming the air conditioner, replacing the liftgate drain valves, and inspecting the sealing of the rear of the vehicle. Ford dealerships will begin offering this service starting November 1, 2017, and will continue through December 31, 2018. Of the Explorers built in that 2011 through 2017 timeframe, roughly 1.3 million are in the U.S., 84,000 are in Canada, and 24,000 are in Mexico.
Continue reading for more information.
The Smoking Tire Takes A Modified Datsun 510 Wagon Out To The Canyons: Video
To many car enthusiasts, the Datsun 510 is the quintessence of old-school cool. Produced between 1967 and 1973, the box-tastic 510 is a fantastic platform for creating any number of customized dream cars, from polished, chrome-trimmed cruisers, to stripped-down, lightweight speed machines. The owner of this particular ’72 wagon would agree. His focus was on performance, adding a roll bar and some serious suspension upgrades to help the plucky compact bring the goods at autocross events and track days. Under the hood is a 2.1-liter inline four-cylinder engine making around 130 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque, which is actually sufficient for a car that weighs just 2,000 pounds. Best of all, the majority of the work was done at home in the owner’s garage. All that and more is explained in this new One Take video from our friends over at The Smoking Tire.
Watching the video, you get a definite sense that this 510 is a labor of love, a work in progress that’s always improving, always changing, and always presenting new challenges. Matt Farah is a fan, calling it “responsive” and “lively,” especially praising the feel of slotting through the shifter. Overall, he even thinks it beats the venerated BMW E30 3 Series in several respects. The brakes seem a little sketchy though, requiring a “double-pump” action to actually get it to slow down. Then of course there’s the ever-present tear in the headliner seen towards the top of the interior camera angle… but hey, this is a project car. We call those things “character builders.”
Fast and Furious Just Can’t Stay Away From The Drama
If there was ever a contest to determine the movie franchise that has claimed the mantle for most off-set drama, Fast and Furious is leaving everybody in the dust. Actually, there’s really no contest if you think about it. DC could make a run for it, but it still would fall short of all the happenings in the F&F universe. Remember the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that made global headlines last year? Well, that appears to be a thing of the past now because another bald-headed beefcake feud is heating up between Johnson and Tyrese Gibson.
For those who need a refresher, Gibson made news a month ago when he publicly called out Johnson, begging him to hold off on the Luke Hobbs spinoff project, at least until the completion of Fast 9. Apparently, neither Johnson nor Universal threw much chalk on Gibson’s pleading, announcing last week that Fast 9 would be pushed back to a 2020 release - it was initially scheduled for a 2019 release - in order to make room for the aforementioned spin-off that will star Johnson and fellow “Fast” alum Jason Statham. Predictably, Tyrese didn’t take too kindly to the schedule reshuffling, venting his frustrations on Instagram and directing most of it to the Rock. And, as fate would have it, another member of the so-called #FastFamily chimed in, except that he actually defended Johnson from all the vitriol Gibson was spewing. That man? None other than Diesel himself. So, Gibson is pissed at the Rock, who appears to not care, and Diesel is siding with his one-time nemesis. Really, we couldn’t make all of this stuff up even if we wanted to.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Mazda Releases “Decision Tree” For Miata Owners Asked To Lend Their Car
We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s a buddy whose daily is in the shop for repairs. Maybe it’s a younger sibling who wants to impress a member of the opposite sex. Maybe it’s a significant other who just wants to see what the fuss is all about. Whoever happens to be asking it, it’s a question that can send a cold chill down the spine of any and all automotive enthusiasts: “Can I borrow your car?” Normal folks won’t get it, but if you frequent this website, you’ll understand. This shouldn’t be some off-hand, casual request, like asking for a stick of butter or to borrow your neighbor’s lawn mower. This is your car, the four-wheeled light of your life, the thing you daydream about, the hobby that eats up all your spare time and money, the machine that speaks to you in a language of squealing tires and popping upshifts. Luckily, Mazda gets it, as evidenced by this handy flowchart. Designed as a handy reference guide for Miata owners, we’d argue it’s applicable for anyone wise enough not to denigrate their ride by seeing it as merely some sort of transportation appliance.
Of course, we wanna know – would you be comfortable loaning your car out? Under what conditions would you be willing to give up the keys? What car-lending fails (or wins) have you experienced in the past? Let us know in the comments!
Ring in 2018 Already: 10 Models We’re Dying To See When The Calendar Flips A Page
With just a little over two months left before we say adieu to 2017, the wait for all 2018 model releases is hitting fever pitch. We can’t promise to make time move faster than it does, but what we can do is at least prepare everyone for what’s to come when the new year arrives. That said, let me be the first to say that 2018 is going to be a wild year for the auto industry, as old guards are retired, existing nameplates get their redesigns, and most importantly, all-new models are unleashed into the world.
Who knows, 2018 might even be the year when we take a big leap in electric and autonomous technology. A lot of things are at play when the new year rolls around so to keep the anticipation building, do check out this list of some of the hottest and most highly anticipated models to hit the streets next year. We can’t say that we like one of these models better over the other, but at least we’re giving you a good preview of what’s to come. Prepare those checkbooks, ladies and gentlemen, because some of these cars won’t come cheap.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
How The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Proves Simple Is Better
This week I’m driving the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SE – one trim up from the base model. It’s a no-frills sedan that doesn’t skimp on most modern “necessities” like power windows, keyless entry, and push-button start. There’s even a 6.3-inch touch screen with satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. But one thing it’s missing is fancy controls for its HVAC system. Rather, this single-zone system has the three old-school knobs, three buttons, and nothing more. But you know what? It just works.
To understand my amazement of these simplistic controls, you’ve got to look at the Cadillac CTS-V I was driving last week. While I love that 640-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V-8, Cadillac’s CUE system spoiled my warm fuzzy feelings. Ask anyone and they’ll same the same – the CUE system is hard to use and requires taking eyes off the road and concentration in order to operate. Even the adjusting the HVAC’s temperature or fan speed settings is hard. The touch-sensitive, piano black surface of CUE sometimes didn’t respond to inputs and fingerprints were always visible.
Three minutes behind the Jetta’s leather-wrapped steering wheel, and I can operate the HVAC system without even looking. The knobs satisfyingly click as they rotate, making super simple to gauge how far you’ve turned them. What’s more, the direction and defrost knob allows for fine tuning between settings. For example, I can turn the knob one or two clicks towards the “feet” setting and still have the majority of air blowing at my face while my toes receive a slight breeze. It’s amazing.
So, here’s the thing. Automakers have a tendency to overcomplicate the little things. While this sometimes works in adding convenience, other times it only adds complexity and user frustration. I’d consider the Jetta’s HVAC controls more “luxurious” than the Cadillac’s CUE controls. Why? Simplicity wins out. Thankfully, Volkswagen’s upgraded HVAC controls with an automatic mode and dual-zone temperatures is just as simple to use, though it does lose out of the awesome adjustability between vent locations.
What do you think? Do you like simplicity over “high-tech,” yet complex controls? Do you consider simplicity a luxury? Let me know in the comments below.