2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
It’s no secret Mercedes is preparing its next generation of G-Class – the go-anywhere luxury SUV that started life nearly 40 years ago as a military truck. Spy shots and rumors have surfaced regarding the upcoming Geländewagen, or G-Wagen, but no news has surfaced about Mercedes’ sportier version built under the AMG badge. That has changed thanks to our skilled spy photographer who captured a camouflaged test mule running around with minimal camouflage.
The new generation of G-Wagen, even sans-AMG badge, is visibly larger than the outgoing model. Its track is wider, its wheelbase is slightly longer, and the overall height seems to be slightly increased. All this in the name of interior comfort and on-road driving dynamics, rumors suggest. The current G-Wagen is notorious for its cramped, outdated interior. Mercedes is definitely fixing that, as seen in the latest round of spy shots. The cabin takes after the swanky E-Class sedan, which is a very good thing. Expect much more in-dash technology and creature comforts. Concerning the AMG version seen here, it’s wearing a taller bumper with larger air scoops, AMG-specific wheels, and wider fenders that accommodate the wider tires. We’ve compiled all the rumored into a speculative review, so keep reading for the all the info.
Updated 09/04/2017: The upcoming Mercedes-AMG G63 was caught testing once again. The prototype is still wearing lots of camouflage, but we expect it to get the new Panamericana grille that all the AMG models are getting right now.
Continue reading for the full review.
Labor Day Is Almost Here, Bring On The Deals
With the summer coming to a close and autumn closing in, Labor Day is just about here, giving us all an opportunity to kick back and relax, fire up the BBQ one last time, and bid farewell to the warm weather. Not only that, but Labor Day is also traditionally a great time to find a good deal on a new car. Deliveries of the new stock are just over the horizon, which means the older models must go, and dealers are ramping up the incentives to make room on the lot. Whether you’re looking for an SUV, sedan, or truck, this weekend looks like a great time to save some money. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some of the best deals out there right now to help you find what you need at a price you want.
If you’re looking for a little more information and a few tips when it comes to buying a new car, check out our quick Labor Day buying guide here, where we list some of the pros and cons of taking the plunge this time of the year. So then, without further ado, read on for the deals of 2017.
Continue reading to learn more about 2017 Labor Day car deals.
2018 Porsche Cayenne
Porsche has ushered in a third generation of the Porsche Cayenne, but before you get too excited, you should be aware of the fact that it looks quite a bit lot its predecessor. Now, this isn’t because Porsche was lazy. No. This is because the Cayenne went through an extensive update just back in 2015, so after three years it was time to make some changes while leaving the relatively fresh body intact with just little extras here and there. As such Porsche focused its energy on what happens beneath the skin bringing updated or new technology that includes rear axle steering as standard equipment, a three-chamber suspension, 48-volt electronic roll stabilization, and two new engines that offer up more power and better economy. At the skin level, we see a revised interior and exterior that is really more of a honing to the previous layout than an update, but it’s exactly what the Cayenne needed to take its respective segment by storm in 2018.
For now, there are only two trim levels available – the base level Cayenne and the Cayenne S. Like the second-gen model, it will likely take a couple of years, but Porsche should fill the lineup with a diesel and a plug-in hybrid variant at some point. There’s also the potential for an all-electric model at some point in this generation if Porsche really gets froggy, but we’ll leave that speculation for another time. For now, let’s take a good look and the new Cayenne and talk about all of the exciting changes that will carry it into the next decade.
The Porsche Cayenne: A Leap of Faith Becomes a Complete Success
14 years isn’t a long time in the industry, but it does feel like it with the Porsche Cayenne. I know it’s only just gotten to its third-generation, but for a car that made a polarizing debut in 2003, it sure seems like it’s been around a lot longer than that. Most of you probably know that the third-gen Cayenne was just unveiled during a spectacular launch in Stuttgart, Germany, and as far as new model unveilings are concerned, this is as big as it’s going to get. More than any other model, the Cayenne is considered the model that really ushered in premium SUVs in the market. It was the first SUV from a regarded premium automaker to make that plunge into the SUV market, and while it had its ups and downs in the early years, it’s ended up arguably being Porsche’s most important model.
I saw what the third-gen Cayenne looks like and it looks positively tasty. Hard to imagine that it looks the way it does now when the first-gen model, at least with the benefit of hindsight, wasn’t all that attractive. It did pack a punch though, and a pretty potent one that. Taking the good with the bad, Porsche nevertheless deserves a ton of credit for investing heavily on the Cayenne when the first impulse back then was to gag at the thought of a Porsche SUV. 14 years and three generations later, the Porsche Cayenne is still standing at the top of the premium SUV market. It’s come a long way, that’s for sure.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
The Aston Martin DBX Just Took A Major Step Towards Becoming Reality
Aston Martin’s plan to launch the DBX crossover in 2019 took a major step to meeting its schedule after the British automaker confirmed that the design of the production version of the vehicle has been completed and given the green light by company executives.
News of the development comes by way of Autocar, which quoted Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, confirming the progress and admitting that the finished production design will adapt many of the important design elements found on the concept version that we first saw at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. That said, Palmer also admitted that the production version will be a far departure from the concept’s overall styling, not the least of which is the confirmed fact that the production model will indeed feature four standard doors as opposed to the two-door setup of the concept. Essentially, the production version of the DBX will look a lot like the concept, and nothing like it all at the same time. In other words, it’ll just be like every other production model that came before it that traced its roots to a concept vehicle. Still, there’s enough reason to be excited about the DBX crossover, especially if it ends up being as groundbreaking of a crossover as Aston Martin is making it out to be.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2020 Subaru Crosstrek XTI
As an older WRX fan, I lament the loss of the WRX hatch. More than that, I’m downright crestfallen over the loss of the WRX wagon. Once considered a bastion of speed and practicality, Subaru’s most famous performance machine is now no more than a be-winged four-door, downgraded from the glory of “yes please, more junk in the trunk” to “I’m not sure if it’ll fit.” However, if cargo room is what you’re after, then the Crosstrek looks like a decent solution, albeit a boring one. If we had our way, we wouldn’t have to choose – strap on a turbo, drop the CVT, and suddenly you’ve got the best of both worlds. Say hello to the Crosstrek XTI.
The name draws from the 2008 Forester XTI concept, which appeared at SEMA with the same 2.5-liter turbo boxer engine as the WRX STI, plus a six-speed manual transmission, 18-inch S204 wheels, high-performance Yokohama rubber, coilover suspension, big Brembo brakes, leather and Alcantara in the cabin, and a new cabin layout. Output clocked in at 315 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Sounds tasty, but unlikely, no? Not so fast. Subaru has already offered a more aggressive design study for the Crosstrek called the Subaru XV Sport Concept, introduced at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2013, bearing new styling, upgraded suspension, LED lights, STI tower bar, new aero enhancements, STI muffler, 17-inch Enkei wheels, Recaro seats, and Brembo brakes. So what if Subaru went whole hog on the performance crossover thing?
Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Crosstrek XTI.
The Third-Gen Porsche Cayenne Makes a Symphonious Debut in Stuttgart
A huge symphony projected onto a massive display, and a large number of dancers in white robes set the mood for the third-gen Porsche Cayenne to roll onto the stage for its first official outing at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. When you think of a new-gen model making its debut, you expect to see something quite different, but with the Cayenne, it was more about honing perfection instead of trying to reinvent the model. And, while some may have their reservations about it (perhaps even me included,) beauty runs much deeper than the skin on this baby. First off, the body is now all aluminum from front to rear (minus a few pieces of plastic cladding, of course) which contributed to a weight loss of around 65 kilo or 143.3 pounds. That’s the weight of a small human, and when you add in the fact that it gets more power, there’s no doubt about it, the new Cayenne has all that sports car DNA Porsche was aiming for. How did it make this possible? Well, I’m glad you asked.
For starters, a new rear axle steering system is standard equipment for better maneuverability while a three-chamber suspension system keeps the ride on point. What’s more important, however, is the power upgrades that contribute to better performance. The base model gets a 3.0-liter that’s good for 340 horsepower, a 40-pony improvement, and 331 pound-feet of torque. The Cayenne S, which gets the 2.9-liter V-6, will deliver a tasty 440 horsepower (20 extra ponies) and 405 pound-feet of twist. They can hit 62 mph in 6.2 and 5.2 seconds, respectively. If you opt for the Sport Chrono package, those figures drop to 5.9 and 4.9 seconds. Maximum speed for both models is pegged at 164 mph. As for the interior, there are some nice changes in play as well, including better digitization of the instrument cluster (all but the central analog gauge) and a large, 12.3-inch touchscreen display in the center stack. New HVAC vents help to provide a fresh look while the typical support handles on the doors and console have been moved forward a bit. Cargo capacity has increased to 27.19 cubic-feet, an improvement of 3.53 cubic-feet over the outgoing model. This can be attributed to its slightly longer stance, which was increased by nearly 2.5 inches. Finally, and arguably most important for the interior, is the new button panel on the center console. Where there were once analog buttons clustered together now sits a glass touch screen with lots of digital buttons. It’s a nice touch, to say the least.
And there you have it. There are of course other little details to talk about, but we’ll cover that in our full review, which will be updated in the next 24 hours. For now, you can rest your mind knowing that the third-gen Cayenne starts out in Germany from €74,828 while the Cayenne S goes for €91,964, both including VAT. Those figures convert to $85,590 and $110,106, respectively. The third-gen Cayenne isn’t available for the U.S. quite yet, but if you’re over there in Germany, you can stop by your local dealer and place your order now.
Land Rover Puts the Discovery Sport Against a Dog Sled in New "Horsepower vs Dog Power" Promo Ad
I’m one of those people who loves a good promotional video when I see one. I embrace them, take my time watching them, and in some cases, watch them repeatedly. It’s safe to say, though, that Land Rover’s new promotional ad for the Discovery Sport isn’t going to be one of those times. I do get the urge to create and develop one, so I’m not going to criticize Land Rover for the thought and purpose of the ad itself. The content of the video, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.
First, let’s set up. The ad is basically a promotional stunt for the Discovery Sport, which took to an underground snow tunnel in Finland to compete against a Finnish mid-distance dog sled champion Laura Kääriäinen and her team of six beautiful huskies. The objective, it seems, is to have the Discovery Sport, with JLR principal engineer Karl Richards driving it, race against Kääriäinen in the snow-covered tunnel. The usual song-and-dance number of whoever crosses the finish line first wins it. Great, right? It probably would’ve been if the whole execution of the video made it feel completely fabricated from start to finish.
Sure, certain elements of it looked cool, including seeing the Discovery Sport putting in some good power slides on the snow. The huskies were cool too, as were the visuals. But, if Land Rover really wanted to make it a more compelling race, it probably shouldn’t have resorted to using a dog sled champion to do it and then hiding behind what I will admit is a catchy “horsepower vs dog power” tag line. Catchiness aside, it’s also unrealistic to think that a 286-horsepower SUV can lose to a dog sled team, “obstacles” notwithstanding. And, the Discovery Sport only won the race by "a nose?"
Check it Out: The Third-Gen Porsche Cayenne Leaks Before its Official Debut!!!
Introduced to the U.S. for the 2003 model year, the Porsche Cayenne has been through two generations and is set to make another generational shift on August 29, but before that happens, someone – most likely Porsche trying to generate hype – has leaked a whole handful of images that show off the next-gen (if that’s what you would call it) SUV. It’s becoming pretty commonplace for luxury automakers to be quite lazy with visual changes when it comes to generational updates, and the Porsche Cayenne is no exception. In fact, to an untrained eye, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that this was a 2017 Cayenne. Very few changes can be spotted, but include a slightly larger center grille with slightly larger corner air inlets. It does feature invisible mesh hidden behind three chrome plated louvers and the fog light area has also changed, to allow for rectangular units. The air dam is just a bit wider, and the hood gets a couple of extra body lines. The biggest change up front is limited to the new headlight units, that are now single light units. If you recall, the second-gen model had the same LED headlights but also featured a projector to the inside corner. That is no longer the case, and the main LEDs should provide variable brightness depending on whether you have your dims or brights engaged.
As for the rest of the outside, there isn’t much to write home about. The side profile is pretty much unchanged from the current model while the overhang on the rear hatch no gets longer wings on the sides. The taillights are now thinner units with a flat bottom, connected together by a reflector unit that traverses the width of the hatch. The rear fascia is less eventful but does feature a sharp body line running from left to right. Finally, the lower portion of the rear fascia gets larger cladding with rectangular exhaust outlets. It’s not bad, but this is worthier of being called a facelift than a generational shift. But, what about the interior? Keep reading to find out.
2017 Hyundai Next-Gen Fuel Cell SUV
Some automakers are dead set on battery-powered cars being the way of the future, but others – like Hyundai – are leaning more toward hydrogen powered cars like the Next-Gen Fuel Cell SUV you see here. It’s not Hyundai’s first foray into the very limited hydrogen niche, but it will serve as the brand’s second hydrogen-powered model next to the Tucson Fuel Cell (known as ix35 in markets outside the U.S.) Dubbed as a preview for a production model, it is said to be a huge improvement over the current Tucson Fuel Cell, offering up more power, more reliability, more efficiency, and more range for every fill- up. As a near-production-ready concept, this SUV delivers 160 horsepower, an improvement of 26 ponies over the Tucson, and even offers better cold-start ability with reliable starting occurring in temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 C) and it does all of this while boasting a unique look in comparison to the rest of Hyundai’s SUV lineup.
That’s right, the upcoming FCEV SUV isn’t based directly on the Tucson or the Santa Fe, so it’s a true-to-life standalone model. Well, unless Hyundai wants to get lazy and use it as the basis for either of those models down the line. It does sport some cues from the new Hyundai Sonata and Elantra on the outside, but under the metal, it’s busting at the seams with updated hydrogen technology. The biggest problem is the lack of hydrogen infrastructure in most areas, which is why the Tucson FCEV is limited to areas like California where there are some filling stations. But, the upcoming production FCEV is shooting for a range of about 800 km or nearly 500 miles – that should be more than enough to ease the pain associated with anxiety over the availability of hydrogen.
With that said, let’s dive on in a take a good look at this concept and talk about what we can expect from the upcoming production model.
2017 Ford Explorer – Driven
Okay, mom and dad – you need a vehicle that can carry six or seven people, but isn’t a minivan. What left on the menu? Three-row crossovers and SUVs, of course. And which SUV has been SUVing longer than most? Yep, the Ford Explorer. It debuted back in 1991 and has evolved from a utilitarian two-row brute to a plush, luxury-lined, power-everything family hauler. The current generation has been around since 2011 and received a mid-cycle refresh for 2016, which brought the high-end Platinum trim with Lincoln-like levels of refinement and the 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost.
Nothing changes for 2017, but that didn’t stop me from spending a week with Ford’s grandest mid-size SUV. The Explorer is sandwiched between the smaller Ford Edge and the body-on-frame, F-150-based Ford Expedition. The Platinum trim comes equipped with nearly every major option as standard, only leaving customers to choose from the $695 second-row bucket seats, the accompanying $150 center console, and the $1,995 rear-seat entertainment package. Fitted with all but the rear TVs, my Ruby Red tester stickered at $55,420. That’s a sizable price for a family hauler, but few SUVs come packed with such utility mixed with luxury backed by a name with heritage.
Continue reading for the full driven review.
2017 Genesis GV80 Concept
Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand entered the market with two impressive sedans — the G90 and G80 — and the company’s latest concept car from the 2017 New York Auto Show is here to confirm that the Korean company is set to keep its promise and release four more vehicles by 2020. Dubbed GV80, Genesis’ new concept is the first SUV to wear the badge and previews a competitor for the BMW X5.
Described as a vehicle that "strikes a perfect balance between elegance and versatility," the GV80 is a rather sporty proposition and represents a significant departure from Genesis’ current design language. “The GV80 Concept is an SUV that alludes to the confidence and evolution of the Genesis brand – its design is timeless, with an understated yet dynamic overall surface complexity,” said Head of Genesis design, Luc Donckerwolke.
Alongside the exquisite exterior design, the concept car also features an innovative infotainment display, as well as a hydrogen propulsion system. The latter remains a mystery, unfortunately, but it’s a sign that Hyundai’s alternative drivetrain tech will soon find its way into Genesis products.
Updated 08/23/2017: We added a series of images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
Continue reading to learn more about the Genesis GV80 concept.