2018 Porsche Macan
When Porsche decided to step into the SUV segment with the Cayenne, Porsche purists we’re all that happy, expecting the brand to soldier on with different 911 variants until times end. But, the Cayenne turned out to be a huge success, and the German brand decided to come out with a compact model named the Macan. Originally codenamed Cajun, the Macan hit the market in the spring of 2014 and became an immediate success, being one of Porsche’s most sold models. Be that as it may, the compact luxury segment is intense, so Porsche needs to keep things fresh until the next-gen model comes to be at the turn of the decade.
Now, we’re getting a first look at the facelifted model thanks to a new round of spy shots. There won’t be a whole lot of change on the table, but the headlights and taillights should get a new layout, and it looks like there’s a bigger chin spoiler up front. The interior is set for some minor nips and tucks as well, and the available engines could get some minor retuning to help keep things interesting.
With that said, we know Porsche’s facelifts aren’t typically that in-depth, so there won’t be a lot of significant change, but the subtle things will make all the difference. We expect the facelifted Macan to debut sometime in the next few months and should be sold as a 2018 model, so let’s take a closer look before Porsche spills the beans.
Update 1-4-2018: The Porsche Macan was caught playing again, this time in the snow. Check out the latest images below.
2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
Introduced in 2011, the current-generation 911 is entering its seventh year on the market in 2018. It may sound like a lot given that most carmakers redesign their models every six to seven years, but the 2015 facelift (called 991.2) managed to keep things fresh. However, the 991-gen 911 is indeed getting a bit long in the tooth, and a brand-new model is under development for the 2019 model year. The German firm has been testing the 992-generation 911 since late 2016, and the sports car’s design moved closer to its production form in the final months of 2017. Come January 2018 and Porsche began testing the convertible version.
Spotted on public roads with the top down, the upcoming 911 Cabriolet sports the same design features as the coupe. Not surprisingly, the visual upgrades are rather mild, with the 992 exterior being heavily based on the outgoing model. The interior is still a mystery as of this writing, but more changes are in store under the skin. The fact that every version of the 911 will be turbocharged is a known fact, but word has it that the next-gen 911 will also get a hybrid variant and maybe even an all-electric model. There’s a big chance that the 992 will be a radical departure from the traditional 911 and the convertible model will follow suit.
An official unveiling is likely to happen in 2018, but I expect more test cars to hit the road over the next six months. So stay tuned for updates and check out the speculative review below for more info on the next-gen 911 Cabriolet.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
2019 BMW 1 Series
We didn’t get a chance to enjoy the second-generation 1 Series here in the States, but with the introduction of the third-gen model, BMW has decided we are worthy yet again. So far, very little is known about the new 1 Series, but one big factor could be rather detrimental to its success: it’s shifting from a RWD architecture to a FWD architecture. It’s a move that’s surely ruffling some feathers in the Bimmer community. This switch is made possible by UKL platform that debuted in the 2014 Mini Cooper and now underpins the new 1 Series Sedan, 2 Series Active Tourer, and the X1. Outside of this, the new 1 Series will shed its homely exterior design in favor of a more aggressive look with a slightly longer wheelbase than previous models. Rumor also has it BMW is dropping the three-door model, leaving just the five-door hatch to fight against models like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, among others.
More importantly, however, is the fact that the UKL platform will translate to more space inside for rear seat passengers and cargo. Compared to the Mini Cooper, the new 1 Series will be a bit longer and is even said to be coming back to the U.S. And, to add even more fuel to the fire, the BMW 1M could come back with as much as 360 horsepower on tap – just enough to put the Focus RS and Golf R in their place. But, before we get too far into all of that, let’s take a short walk down memory lane before diving into hints offered by the first round of spy shots.
Updated 12/27/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW 1 Series out for a new testing session, this time during its first winter testing.
2017 BMW X7
When BMW joined the SUV market with the X5 back in 1999, little did we know that the German manufacturer will become such an important player in this segment. But in a little more than a decade, the Bavarian brand has launched no fewer than four different crossovers. At least two more are underway as of 2017, with the X7 to join the family as a range topper, above the popular X5 and the sportier X6. The SUV was already spotted on public roads and we have just enough info to speculate as to what it may bring to the table.
The Bavarian brand made an announcement about the X7 in 2014, when it revealed that it will be built at the company’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which also produces the X3, X5, X5 M, X6, and X6 M models. Although production was initially planned to start in 2016, it appears that the X7 will hit the assembly line later, most likely in 2018. There’s no word as to when the X7 will make its public debut, but I expect it to break cover in the second half of 2017, meaning it could go on sale for the 2019 model year. When it arrives in showrooms, it will become BMW’s largest offering yet and will enable the German manufacturer to compete against SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover, and even the Cadillac Escalade.
Updated 12/18/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW X7 out for a new testing session, and it is pretty obvious that the prototype started to drop some of the camouflage.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW X7.
Mercedes GLS-Class Caught Testing in Traffic
The new Mercedes GLS-Class isn’t scheduled to arrive in dealerships until 2019, but as early as now, we’re already seeing the luxurious people-mover making public rounds, albeit covered in heavy layers of camouflage. Just recently, YouTube channel walkoART captured the GLS-Class driving around the streets of Germany (the road signs are in German). The footage itself doesn’t reveal too much about the SUV, but we do get a good look at some important bits, including the LED headlights peaking from underneath the camo wraps.
2019 Mercedes-AMG GLE63
Although it received a new name for the 2016 model year, switching from M- to GLE-Class, Mercedes’ current midsize SUV is far from new. Sure, the facelift brought many updates inside and out, but the truth is that the GLE is already six years old as of 2017 and a bit long in the tooth. But this will change soon, as Mercedes-Benz is already testing prototypes of the next-generation model on public roads. The high-performance AMG GLE63 is the latest version to make contact with our paparazzi, on the iconic Nurburgring track.
The new GLE is set to gain numerous and important updates, most coming from the E-Class sedan, on which it is based on. The AMG version will get similar upgrades, including an almost identical drivetrain to the AMG E63 four-door. There will be a big tech update, as well as significant gains in the performance department, due to a lighter curb weight and a more powerful drivetrain. Details are still under wraps as of this writing, but the upcoming GLE63 isn’t much of a mystery since we already know everything about the AMG E63 sedan. Join me in my speculative review to find out more about this high-performance SUV.
Updated 12/06/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLE62 out for a new testing session, this time around the famous Nurburgring track.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GLE63.
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.
2018 Bentley Continental GTC
Introduced in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT has become a big hit for the British firm and its German parent company, Volkswagen AG, and the 2011 redesign made it even more popular. However, the update wasn’t as extensive as you’d expect from such a high-profile car, and the second-gen Conti became a bit long in the tooth after years. This is why Bentley launched a completely overhauled version for the 2018 model year. With the new Continental GT almost in dealerships, a convertible model is just around the corner.
Spotted testing on public roads since mid-2016, the new Continental GTC has yet to show itself without camouflage. However, that’s not to say we’re dealing with a mystery since most convertible are identical to the their coupe counterparts below the waist. Expect the new GTC to feel as modern as the recently unveiled Continental GT and boasts the same luxurious cabin with state-of-the-art technology. All of this will be complemented by the infinite headroom that comes with every cabriolet out there.
Updated 05/16/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC out for a new testing session, this time around the famous Nurburgring race track.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Bentley Continental GTC.
2020 Tesla Roadster
Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.
While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.
Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Tesla Roadster.
2020 Lotus SUV
The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus CEO Jean-Mark Gales has already revealed that the automaker is developing a compact crossover, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web recently provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a new rendering of the vehicle.
So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. "The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else. We’re working on it. The new board needs to pass it, but the future is very bright," Giles told Autocar in October 2017.
Continue reading to learn more about Lotus’ future SUV.
2019 Aston Martin Vanquish
Launched in 2016, the DB11 brought Aston Martin into a new era, one that sees a brand-new platform replacing the Vertical\Horizontal underpinnings that entered production in 2004. With the DB11 having replaced the iconic DB9 and a new-generation Vantage almost ready for a public debut, Aston Martin is now working on a new version of the Vanquish, and a prototype was just spotted on the Nurburgring track.
Not much is known about the upcoming Vanquish, but the spy shots suggest a DB11-inspired design. This is far from surprising though, as the DB11 was used to introduce the company’s latest styling language. So much like the DB9, which inspired the rest of the Aston Martin lineup back in the day, the DB11 will lend many of its features to the new Vantage and Vanquish. Of course, the Vanquish will be most aggressive of the trio in terms of styling, but also as far as performance goes.
There’s no word as to when the new Vanquish will arrive, but given that the second-gen model is five years old as of 2017, I don’t think we’ll see it sooner than late 2018 in showrooms. But, until that happens, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about the British grand tourer.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Aston Martin Vanquish.
What in the World is Mercedes doing with this SLS AMG Electric Drive? Is an Electric AMG GT in the Works?
So, remember that failed electric sports car that Mercedes tried to make happen back in 2013? You know; the one that started out as the SLS AMG E-Cell in 2011 and became a “production” model with the name SLS AMG Electric Drive. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know what it was, considering not even 100 examples were sold when it went on sale. That was back just a few years ago when the four-motor car was good for all of about 160 miles on a full charge – not even enough to have a full day at the track or a nice Sunday drive. So why was Mercedes just caught testing one on public roads again? It was even caked with all kinds of testing equipment. Clearly, Mercedes has something new in the works. The question is: What?
Well, we have a feeling that Mercedes-AMG could be planning to bring an all-electric AMG GT to market before it signs the death warrant on the current generation. The current model is set to run to at least 2020, and if Mercedes plays its cards right, it could have an electric model on the market yet again by 2019. Whether or not it would perform any better sales-wise is a completely different story, but when you take into considering the fact that electric cars are more common now, battery technology is better, and new material can make cars lighter than before, a 250-mile all-electric GT is entirely feasible.
If this is actually the case, Mercedes could have retrofit an advanced, lightweight battery and lighter, more powerful motors into one of its old prototypes and is actually putting it through the paces to see if the technology can hold up to a beating. After all, a car like the AMG GT is meant to be driven, and hard, so if a second run at having an electric sports car is going to work, Mercedes needs to deliver something that can overshadow the best it’s got at this point in the GT lineup. The real question is whether or not an electric GT can actually be successful. After all, less than 100 of the SLS AMG Electric Drive were sold, so perhaps the truth is that we don’t want electric sports cars and maybe Mercedes should quit trying to make it a thing.