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2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

A Raging Bull with some space for stuff

The SUV assault continues, filtering into every niche of every market imaginable. With so much demand out there, just about every automaker on the planet is getting in on the action, including some with a history that deviates quite a bit from the SUV norm. That includes Lamborghini, which just unveiled the Urus, a follow-up to the cult classic LM002. This time around, Lambo is doing it right, giving the Urus super car-esque agility, speed, and performance, all with a sharp (yet jacked-up) body style crammed with luxury and even a little off-road worthiness. Lambo is calling it the first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, but makes like Porsche and Bentley might have a few words to say about that.

Either way, this is a breakthrough moment for the Raging Bull. While the LM002 was arguably the brand’s first “real” SUV, you can’t really compare it to the hyperspeed Urus. While the old Ramboghini got square styling and somewhat plodding performance, the Urus looks and acts like a Lambo should. It’s also got the first-ever turbocharged engine in a Lambo. All told, Lamborghini claims this thing has a “dual personality” and is “multi-dimensional” in what it can do. But the question is this – where does it land amongst the bevy of fast luxury SUVs already on the market?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.

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2019 McLaren BP23

2019 McLaren BP23

McLaren’s spiritual successor to the iconic F1 could debut in 2018

As a successful race car builder since the 1960s, McLaren’s decision to launch its first road-legal car in the early 1990s made a huge impact on the British firm. Although the F1 was its sole vehicle for many years, and the SLR and then the MP4-12C stood as McLaren’s only offerings during their tenure, 2013 brought both the 650S and the P1. For the very first time, the Brits had two cars in dealerships. A couple of years later and the Super Series expanded to include more versions, while the more affordable Sports Series arrived to complete a trio of nameplates. Come 2017 and McLaren launched the Senna, a successor to the P1. But contrary to spy shots and rumors, the Senna doesn’t have a three-seat layout like the F1, which means that McLaren may be working on another flagship vehicle as we speak.

Okay, it may sound a bit confusing, so let me explain. When word got out of a successor to the P1, reports talked about a car codenamed the P15. It was supposed to be a more radical version of the P1 with a more powerful hybrid drivetrain. Later on, reports started talking about the BP23, also known as the Hyper-GT, a supercar with a three-seat layout with the driver in the middle, just like the F1. With no confirmation that McLaren was actually working on two different cars, the successor to the P1 was eventually believed to be the BP23. Now that the Senna is official, it’s pretty obvious that McLaren had different plans and will launch a new supercar soon. Whether it will hit the market alongside the Senna or go into production after the current model is discontinued remains unclear, but it will most definitely have the three-seat layout and a hybrid drivetrain.

The latter is more likely now that the Senna arrived as a gasoline-only model. McLaren said that half of its models will go hybrid by 2022 and the project should include the flagship models as the Sports Series line needs to remain affordable, thus use V-8 power only. But let’s find out more about the BP23 in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren P15

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2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car

2016 Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car

We knew Mercedes was working on an electric car but this is ridiculous

If you’re a golfer or someone who lives in a senior suburban community, you’re well aware that golf carts, for the most part, have carried on practically unchanged for years. Sure, they have gained radios and more advanced electric drivetrains, but the general design and capabilities have been unaltered. All that could very well change in the near future and, if so, it will happen at the hands of none other than Mercedes-Benz and Garia. That’s right, the luxury manufacturer has gone out of its way to design a “golf car” prototype that will move into series production should it garner enough interest from the market and general public.

For those of you who don’t know, Garia is actually a well-known golf cart manufacturer, and will actually be in charge of production. The company is building two prototypes of this “golf car” now and will be responsible for the for the series production in the future. The golf car that you see here was penned by MB designers, Daimler’s Think & Act Tank Business Innovation, and Garia itself. It all started back in 2013 when MB asked the public to submit their own designs for a Mercedes-Benz golf cart. It took a few years for MB to come up with its own design, but here we are.

Dr. Jens Thiemer, the Vice President of Marketing for Mercedes Cars, said, “With the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car we are offering a high-end golf cart which is absolutely unique and was specifically developed for sporting golfers and the sport they enjoy."

With that said, let’s take a good look at what could be the next evolutionary stage of the golf cart and see just what Mercedes has in mind.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car.

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Nikola Motor Company Nikola One

Nikola Motor Company Nikola One

Battery-powered semi can tow 80,000 pounds, travels 1,200 miles between stops

Perhaps now Nikola Tesla has finally realized his posthumous revenge on Thomas Edison. Years after Elon Musk founded Tesla, a new start-up has snagged the scientist’s first name. Nikola Motor Company, like Tesla Motors, is focusing on all-electric propulsion. It recently announced two projects aimed at very different industry segments but both focused on high-performance, high-efficiency vehicles.

The first, the Nikola Zero, is an all-electric ATV slotted to compete against the Polaris RZR. The second is far more practical. The Nikola One is a long-haul semi-truck with a 1,200-mile range and the ability to pull the standard 80,000-pound load. The Nikola One uses electric motors at each of the six wheels, giving it AWD and torque vectoring capabilities. What’s more, the truck features the first fully independent suspension system on a semi, giving it a much smoother ride than conventional semi trucks.

Thanks to the lack of traditional drivetrain components and a cabin formed from carbon fiber, the truck weighs thousands of pounds less, furthering its handling characteristics and battery charge. Recharging is done via a “fuel agnostic” turbine engine that can run on gasoline, diesel, or natural gas.

What’s more, the Nikola One is designed to accept fully autonomous control systems in the future, giving owner/operators the ability to run multiple trucks with one driver watching live video feeds back at headquarters, according to Nikola. The trucks can accomplish this thanks to a system Nikola calls “Virtual Hitch,” which allows the driver to remotely hitch the semi to a trailer, all while sitting in a control station states away.

While this technology is years away from realization, Nikola is striving to lead the way. In fact, the company is already taking orders and deposits for the Nikola One. Reservations only cost $1,500. The company’s website states the truck costs $5,000 a month, including the lease payment with unlimited miles, maintenance, and unlimited fuel from one of its 50+ planned CNG throughout North America.

The plan seems rather daring and ambitious, but hey, Tesla Motors has dared greatly and seemingly succeeded in the face of overwhelming odds. We’ve detailed out the Nikola One below, so continue reading for the full scoop.

Continue reading for the full review

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2015 Renault Alaskan Concept

2015 Renault Alaskan Concept

Renault, of all automakers, has just released a new midsize pickup truck concept called the Alaskan. This marks the first time Renault has targeted the upmarket scene with a pickup and is slated to preview a production pickup that will be a global player. What’s more, this could very well be the first real glimpse of what the 2020 Mercedes-Benz new global pickup could look like.

Wait, Mercedes? Yep Mercedes. Don’t forget Renault and Nissan have their global alliance together and Mercedes has already announced it will build its first pickup in conjunction with Nissan. What makes this rumor even more plausible is just how similar the Alaskan Concept looks to the first Mercedes rendering of its pickup. The speculation is a stretch, for sure, but the possibility is there nonetheless. (Be sure to check out the photo comparison below.)

Regardless of the Mercedes tie-in, Renault’s newest concept shows off a more luxurious side to the brand’s bustling commercial truck lineup. The automaker stresses its new pickup is for “business and leisure use, plus everyday motoring.” This is a big departure from Renault’s more utilitarian workhorses that populate its commercial fleet.

The Alaskan concept is only a concept, but Renault says the Alaskan is a direct foretaste of a production-ready pickup. The yet-unnamed pickup will fight for sales in nearly every global market save for North America – that is, unless its underpinnings cross the pond via Mercedes or as the next-generation Nissan Frontier.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Alaskan Concept.

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2017 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

2017 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

The U.S. Military has just awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, called the L-ATV as a replacement for the aging Humvee. The L-ATV, or Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle, will be slowly deployed over the next eight years, with approximately 17,000 units slated for production.

The $6.7 billion contract covers both variants of the L-ATV – a two seat base platform and a four-seater that comes as either the general purpose vehicle or the Close Combat Weapons Carrier. A companion trailer is also included.

The L-ATV is powered by General Motors’ 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 and is backed by an Allison six-speed automatic transmission. Though the powertrain is outsourced, the L-ATV rides on Oshkosh’s proprietary TAK-4i independent suspension system that is said to provide 20 inches of wheel travel with generous cargo capacity and unmatched off-road abilities. In fact, an early version became the first military vehicle to complete the Baja 1000, competing in the 2010 races.

Oshkosh beat out big names like AM General and Lockheed Martin in winning the contract. Not only will Oshkosh supply the L-ATV, but it will continue to supply parts and services for decades to come.

While the L-ATV nearly twice the size of the current Humvee, it still fits in a Lockheed C-130 airplane, along with other military transport vehicles. Air-lift hooks protruding from its hood and rear bumper allow for helicopter transport, despite its 14,000-pound curb weight.

Oshkosh will begin delivering L-ATVs in roughly 10 month’s time.

Continue reading for more info on the Oshkosh JLTV.

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2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory

2015 Rolls Royce March 2 Glory

Not everyone knows this, but Rolls-Royce built an all-electric race car, putting it to the test on the slippery and treacherous tarmac of the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Dubbed the “March 2 Glory,” the EV was designed and created (with a little help from Rolls-Royce) by a team of aspiring nine- through 11-year-old engineers and designers from The March Church of England Primary School, which is located only a few hundred feet from the Rolls-Royce headquarters on the western edge of the Goodwood Estate.

Competing in the Green Power IET Formula Goblin racing series, the M2G managed to build on success attained last year, wherein the previous March Team also partnered with Rolls to gain experience in the fundamentals of manufacturing, engineering and teamwork.

This year’s car is even better than the last, exhibiting every detail of a true Rolls performance vehicle, from the exterior styling to the premium interior. The young engineers and designers who helped create it drew inspiration from England’s racing past and Rolls-Royce’s line of bespoke street vehicles. The result, as you can plainly see, looks ready to tackle even the trickiest stretch of pavement.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2015 Freightliner Inspiration Truck

2015 Freightliner Inspiration Truck

Daimler Trucks has just announced the U.S.’ first autonomous truck, the Freightliner Inspiration. The truck has been granted a license for road use in Nevada, allowing Daimler to further test the truck’s systems and abilities to self-drive along the highway.

This isn’t Daimler’s first autonomous truck, however. 2014 Saw the automaker demonstrate the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 as it drove along the A14 autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany. It’s technology from that truck that has crossed the Atlantic – and through some rigorous recalibration for U.S. roads – and into the Freightliner Inspiration. It’s called Highway Pilot.

Daimler says the autonomous truck is designed to help ease the stress on long-haul drivers, as well as reduce traffic congestion and improve the truck’s overall fuel efficiency thanks to the computer-controlled driving. The company makes it clear the truck isn’t a replacement for drivers, saying the self-driving aspect is relegated to highway use and the driver is needed for rural and urban roads.

In fact, Daimler sees the driver’s roll actually becoming more important. During highway sprints, drivers can attend to other tasks, or even become “transport managers” – making the trucking career more attractive.

So how does the Freightliner Inspiration work? Continue reading for all the details.

Continue reading for the whole story.

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2015 Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake

2015 Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake was launched in 2012, two years after the second-generation CLS Coupe arrived in dealerships. The wagon was released in a bevy of trim levels and engines, ranging from small-displacement diesels to turbocharged V-8s. Naturally, Mercedes also offered an AMG-prepped model in the shape of the CLS63 AMG. However, the CLS Shooting Brake was never on sale in the United States, although its coupe brother made it Stateside from the very beginning.

That’s not likely to change for the 2015 model year, when the facelifted Shooting Brake is scheduled to show up in dealerships around Europe and Asia. The refreshed wagon comes with slightly revised front and rear fascias, an updated interior and two brand-new engines. Although the exact same units are also offered in the 2015 CLS Coupe, which is available in the United States, don’t expect the diesels to cross the Pond anytime soon.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake

The first CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake was released 2012, and for 2015, Mercedes Benz has already released a new and updated version of this pavement devouring wagon. The Shooting Brake is a wagon based on the CLS, and the 63 AMG signifies that this version has been fettled by Mercedes in-house skunk works division. It boasts more than 500 horsepower courtesy of a force-fed V-8, making it one of the most powerful five-door cars on sale in the world.

Coming into 2015, the car sees increased luxury and technology features, and AMG also found a lot more power hiding in that 5.5-liter V-8 to make this thing even faster. Some of the upgrades include a nine-speed transmission and Multibeam LED lighting.

The CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake was already a dramatic and exciting wagon, but with the upgrades to the 2015 model, Mercedes-Benz is making sure that no other wagon in the world can compete with what the CLS offers. Audi and Cadillac, you have just been put on notice.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake.

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2014 Volkswagen Golf VII by Caractere

2014 Volkswagen Golf VII by Caractere

The Volkswagen Golf doesn’t carry nearly the same amount of cache as more powerful hatchbacks do, but when it comes to sports hatchbacks, you’ll find it difficult to name another one that’s as beloved by aftermarket company’s than the Golf.

As it is, the Golf’s reputation as a sports car trapped in a hatchback body has made it a tuning favorite, and the latest one to profess its admiration for the VW is Caractere, which is no stranger to working on Volkswagens.

The program is made up of both aesthetic and mechanical upgrades with Caractere working really hard to build a new aero kit that gives the Golf a more dynamic look and feel. The kit includes a new front lip spoiler, revised side skirts, a rear diffuser, a stainless-steel sports exhaust system and a new set of 18- or 19-inch CW1 light alloys. These five new elements play equally important roles on improving the Golf’s look, while also addressing the need for more performance balance brought about by the comprehensive engine tune the company gave it.

Speaking of the performance upgrades, Caractere offers a comprehensive program list that covers the full breadth of Golf trim models, beginning with the 1.6 TDI, which saw its output jump from 90 horsepower to 110 horsepower all the way to the most powerful Golf in the fold — the 2.0 TFSI — which increased its output from 270 horsepower all the way up to 310 horsepower.

It’s not the most mind-blowing Golf project we’ve seen, but in terms of overall likeness and authenticity, Caractere’s program for Volkswagen’s resident sports hatch gets high marks from us.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf VII

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2014 Gray Design Nouvair Concept

2014 Gray Design Nouvair Concept

From the people that brought us the the Sigma, Gold Rush, and Magnate concepts by way of its new Zeus Twelve automotive division comes a new concept that follows in the outlandish footsteps of its other concept offerings.

Gray Design is back, and as part of its lauded return to the headlines, the company announced plans to build a new concept, aptly called the Nouvair, which is being touted as carrying a huge design influence from the Art Nouveau movement.

Nothing is imminent as far as official details are concerned, but Gray Design did release a handful of design studies on what it wants the Nouvair Concept to look like. And just like it’s past creations, there are definitely a lot of curves on its streamlined, retro-looking body. The large rear wheel arches and the arrow-like rear evokes a classic aura to the concept that matches well with the modern-looking vented hood and muscular front profile. The grille needs some work, though, as does the mustache-looking intakes below it.

No word on performance numbers, either, but we expect it to carry a powertrain akin to the 2.0-liter, Caterham Duratec in-line-four engine the Zeus Twelve Sigma had under its hood. This four pot is capable of producing 335 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and is good enough to hit a top speed of 180 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the Zeus Twelve Concept

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Bentley Mulsanne Convertible Gets the Boot

When Bentley introduced the Mulsanne Vision Concept at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it did so believing that the car would garner significant attention that would inevitably lead to the company green-lighting a production version sooner than later.

Well, it appears that even the best laid plans sometimes go up in smoke after Bentley CEO, Wolfgang Schreiber, officially confirmed that the a production Mulsanne convertible isn’t in the cards anymore.

Speaking to Car & Driver, Schreiber stated that Bentley will not do the Mulsanne Convertible anymore because the demand for the car isn’t strong enough to justify the time and resources the company would have to put into it. "The demand for a Mulsanne convertible is just regional," Schreiber explained before saying that only a handful of markets like the U.S. would welcome a convertible model of the company’s flagship luxury sedan.

It’s also worth pointing out that the sedan version of the Mulsanne didn’t exactly burn the sales charts when it went on sale — last year’s 1,169 units sold barely crossed the 1,200 mark — so the decision to ax the convertible model isn’t exactly surprising, especially in light of the company’s renewed attempts at building a new crossover.

Make no mistake, the British marquee still has plans of expanding its lineup in the near future. It’s just that the Mulsanne Convertible won’t be a part of it anymore.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Bentley Mulsanne Vision Concept

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2013 Toyota TR 86

2013 Toyota TR 86

A few weeks ago, word came out of the Goodwood Festival of Speed that Toyota was considering setting up a one-make race car series for the GT 86.

What it probably didn’t know was that the car already has one, or at least, is set to have one.

Over in New Zealand, the Toyota TR 86, a racecar built using the online-only 86 RC model as its basis, was first introduced to the public at last weekend’s CRC Speedshow in Auckland.

More than just being a show car, the TR 86 is actually a turn-key competition race car that was designed and developed for use in a variety of racing competitions, including its on one-make racing series in New Zealand as granted by MotorSport New Zealand, the country’s FIA-appointed national sanctioning body.

As for the TR 86 itself, the car was built with the idea of using it as a tried-and-true race car. That entailed stripping it of all its amenities and fitting the full breadth of racing equipment, including: Sparco competition seats and race harnesses; an FIA-approved roll cage installed by Neil Allport Motorsports; racing brake rotors and calipers; and a set of 18-inch Speedline alloy wheels.

It’ll also use Motec’s new C125 color data screen and logger, a data system that provides access to a wide range of information about the car’s performance in any given practice, qualifying or race session.

Similarly, work was also done on the car’s engine using the standard Toyota management system with its proprietary software package. The racecar’s sump was also strengthened to ensure that no oil spills occur and it doesn’t surge under high cornering forces. No specific performance numbers were given but using the 86 Griffon Concept as a peg, we expect the TR 86 to have close to 300 horsepower under its hood, a number that is more than enough, considering that the TR 86, even with a full fuel load, only weighs 1,195 kg (2,634 pounds).

Click past the jump to read about the TR 86’s one-make racing series in New Zealand

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