2021 Genesis GV80
The Genesis GV80 is the luxury brand’s first-ever SUV. The hauler is scheduled to break cover in 2019 and we’ve already seen it being tested on public roads. The crossover will share design cues with the G80 sedan and borrow much of its underpinnings from existing Genesis products.
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. 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 BMW X7. 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.
Updated 10/27/2019: Genesis is preparing to launch the GV80 next month at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Before that the car has been taken to one final testing session around Nurburgring.
The Chevy Traverse had an identity complex during its first 8 years of life, with the first-gen model being a weird blend of crossover and minivan with GM’s old, not-so-attractive styling inside and out. Fortunately, the 2018 model year became the host of the second-gen Traverse, and it came with a true SUV appearance that doesn’t require the hardcore (and heavy) full-size truck DNA under the metal. As the roomiest three-row SUV on the market without those full-size truck underpinnings, we’ve been wondering how the second-gen Traverse really holds up against competitors like the Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9. Finally, after two years on the market, we finally got the chance to get behind the wheel to find out for ourselves. This is our experience with the 2020 Chevy Traverse.
2022 BMW i4
Back in 2014, BMW took a very confident step into the world of the EV, officially launching its “Project i” sub-brand with the i3. Following hot on its heels was the remarkable i8 hybrid coupe, which garnered the German brand oodles of green cred for its futuristic aesthetic and advanced powertrain. These days, BMW says it has big plans for its electrified lineup, with a total of 12 battery-electrics planned by 2025, plus 13 hybrids as well. One of the most exciting prospects is dubbed to i4, which promises four-door practicality, high-end luxury, extraterrestrial styling, and next-generation technology.
Updated 10/21/2019: The BMW i4 has been spotted testing again, this time with more production-ready parts than before. Check out our latest batch of images in the “Spy Shots” section below.
2021 Ford Bronco II aka "Baby Bronco"
In March 2018, Ford unveiled its plans for the next two years, which includes many new models and a shift toward crossovers in the U.S. The bigger news includes dropping most cars in favor of SUVs, a hybrid version of the F-150 truck, and a revival of the iconic Bronco. The latter will be joined by a smaller sibling with similar boxy cues. A baby Bronco!
Described as a vehicle "designed to win a growing number of people who love getting away and spending time outdoors with their families and friends," the compact SUV was partially revealed in a teaser photo. In November 2018, photos of the actual vehicle leaked onto the web following a Ford dealer meeting. And based on what we can see, it’s aimed directly at Jeep. Specifically, while the new-generation Bronco will go against the all-popular Wrangler, the smaller crossover will take on the Renegade. There’s no official name for it yet, and details remain a mystery, but it could roll out by 2020.
Update 09/26/2019: Our spy photographers finally caught a real-life look at the all-new Ford Baby Bronco – possibly known as the Bronco II, if Ford decides to revive that name – so check out the special “Spy Shots” section below to see the new shots and learn more about it.
BMW Introduced the seventh-generation G20 3 Series for the 2019 model year and with it came a new design language, update engines, and some features from models like the 5 Series and X5, among others. To top all this off, it’s also just a bit larger and more aggressive than the seven-year-old F30 3 Series that it replaced. We didn’t get a chance to run the new 3 Series prototype around the track on the original pre-release test days, so we’ve been itching to see just how much better new the 3 Series is and whether or not all that new technology and new driving dynamics live up to the hype. So, we started reaching out in hopes of getting our hands on a new 3 Series tester, and BMW delivered. In fact, it delivered so well, that we got to spend a week with none other than the new 2020 BMW M340i – the best model you can get without going full-on M.
So, is the M340i really a poor man’s M3? Does it really compete against the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 or the Audi S5 Sportback? Does the M340i really deserve its time in the limelight? Well, after a week of a weird, love-hate affair with the 2020 BMW M340i, we have answers to all these questions and more. Here’s our experience….
2019 Ford Mustang GT
The Ford Mustang has a rich history that dates all the way back to the 1962 Ford Mustang I two-seater concept. It wasn’t until mid-1964 that it was introduced in production form (just two weeks after Plymouth introduced the first Barracuda) and has been in production ever since, with the sixth-generation model, the model you see here, being introduced in 2015. For one reason or another, we haven’t had a chance to get our hands on a sixth-gen model, but all that has changed now, and we happened to be graced with the 2019 Ford Mustang GT Convertible. With the bright green pony car sitting in our parking lot, we couldn’t wait to drive it. And, despite the fact that we had a whole week to get acquainted, we got right to putting the GT Convertible, and its 5.0-liter V-8 to the test.
Does it compete well with the Chevy Camaro Convertible? What about, on the other end of the spectrum, the BMW 4 Series Cabriolet? Well, this is our experience and what we thought about it. Strap in folks, this is going to be one long ride.
2019 Peugeot 508 Allure 2.0 BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT8 Driven
It was 2010 when the rules changed after two Peugeot models were killed off: the 607, which was almost completely based on the 605 model from 1989, and the 407, which seemed like it was roaming between segments in an attempt to get into the wallets of two social strata. It wasn’t like Peugeot roamed around wearing blindfolds, though. This was more of an attempt at creating a global trend founded on personal identity; however, Peugeot couldn’t find its ground when it came to cars whose length was more than 4,5 meters (177 inches).
Mind you, Peugeot wasn’t the only one, as similar strategies were employed by Volvo, Renault, and even Ford. And then they were back with another attempt – one car that would be interesting to those in need of a spacious family car, but also those who were in search for a business saloon or the second best thing at least. As the wheelbase for the 607 was 2.800 mm (110.23 in), and 2.725 mm (107.28 in) for the 407, Peugeot found itself in uncharted territories in 2010 given that its 508 (albeit shorter than the 607), had a wheelbase of 2.817 mm.
So, the two generations of the 508 model found its way to more than 400,000 buyers in Europe alone. Despite steadily declining sales figures, Peugeot wasn’t ready to euthanize the model. Instead, the company decided to cut the administrative costs, and adequately entice its designers and engineers. They came up with a new product and Peugeot revealed it in March 2018 at the Geneva International Auto Show as the new 508.
Next-Gen Nissan Juke NISMO has its work cut out?
Nissan has only just pulled the veil away from its all-new second-generation Juke crossover and we’re already wondering what the hot Juke NISMO variant might be like. The automaker will probably go quite crazy with it if it does get made, but until we get official confirmation of the production model, this rendering is all we have to go by.
2019 McLaren 750LT
After only three years on the market, the first-generation McLaren Super Series, mostly known for its 650S core model, was replaced in 2017. The second-gen supercar now has the 720S at its core, but more versions are set to follow. Arguably the most anticipated variant is McLaren’s successor to the 675LT. This supercar has yet to be officially confirmed, but an unveiling is expected to happen in the first half of 2018, most likely at the Geneva Motor Show. We just created a rendering of the Super Series’ upcoming, range-topping model and put together a speculative review about what it may bring to the table.
If the 675LT is any indication, the recipe for the new LT model should be somewhat straightforward. McLaren will probably take the 720S and give it a more comprehensive aerodynamic package, as well as use a lot more carbon-fiber in order to make it lighter. The car will be further enhanced by a more powerful engine, and there’s a great chance the next LT will be quicker and more powerful than the McLaren P1 (if we ignore the latter’s electric motor that is!). But, how will it compare to the competition? Find out in my speculative article below.
Updated 08/30/2019: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming McLaren 750LT out for a first testing session. Check the "Exterior" section to see how it differs when compared to the 720S.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 750LT.
The Fiat 500 L is classified as a Compact MPV – Minivan, as we know the term here in the United States – but it’s really more of a compact SUV or large hatchback. It’s been on the global market since 2012, but Fiat didn’t bring it to the states until the 2014 model year. It’s been on the market ever since, and was updated in 2018, but the truth of the matter is that the 500 L is still nearly eight years old. With this in mind, we’re kind of curious if the city car on steroids – remember, it’s based on the 500 city car – is still a viable choice in today’s market.
So, we spoke with our press fleet coordinator and managed to get our hands on a 2019 Fiat 500 L. A couple of weeks later, a 2019 Fiat 500 L Trekking showed up at Top Speed headquarters. This trim level sits above the entry-level Pop trim, but below the upper-class Urbana and Lounge trim levels with a starting price of $23,575. It is certainly positioned right in the middle of the affordable price bracket, but how does it drive? Is the aging 500 L comfortable and up to par with the competition? Does it provide the same thrills and entertaining experience as the smaller 500 that it’s based on? Well, after spending a week with the 2019 Fiat 500 L, we have answers to these questions and more – this is our story.
A New EV-Only Fiat 500 Is on the Way, But What Will It Look Like?
Fiat has been selling the current 500 city runabout for over ten years, mostly unchanged, and it will have to replace it with an all-new model fairly soon. Back in 2007, when it was first revealed, it was a response to the success that BMW was having with the MINI Cooper and VW with its revived Beetle, both of which were unashamedly retro-inspired.
Times are changing now, and the focus is more on how green cars are these days, as well as their level of perceived quality - how “premium” they feel. Fiat is reportedly working on the next-gen 500 and it is apparently not only going to be slightly bigger than the current car, but also fully-electric and considerably more luxurious.
2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette ZR1
The 2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette ZR1 is an upcoming high-performance version of the eighth-generation Corvette. Likely to debut toward the end of 2020, the Corvette ZR1 should become the range-topping version of the C8 Corvette lineup and sit above the upcoming Corvette Z06. Details are slim as of 2019, but the 2021 Corvette ZR1 should feature a more aggressive and more aerodynamic body, extra carbon-fiber, a V-8 with forced induction (it could even be a hybrid), and a beefed-up chassis packed with race-bred components.
Original rumors claimed that the ZR1 might feature a "Zora" badge in honor of former GM engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, also known as the "father of the Corvette" and the man who experimented with mid-engined Corvette designs back in the day. It seems that this rumor might not become a reality, but the C8 ZR1 could be a massive departure from its predecessor thanks to a hybrid layout and all-wheel drive. Of course, this has yet to be confirmed, but Chevy did admit that the C8 Corvette was developed with electrification in mind. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
What Would the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray Look Like if it Was a Front-Engined Car?
Chevrolet really got people talking with the location of the engine in the new C8 Corvette Stingray. The fact that the car is mid-engined made headlines, as did the slew of advantages this new configuration brings. There are plenty of upsides to a mid-mounted engine, but in spite of all that, some people aren’t thrilled by the new Corvette and they say they would have preferred if Chevrolet had kept it front-engined, in-keeping with tradition.
It seems that the people who share this view all agree that the Corvette nameplate is synonymous with the FR layout. Some go on to argue that the C7 was already mid-engined (well, front-mid-engined, anyway) and that there was no need to radically change the formula, just find ways to improve upon what was there.
Chevy, on the other hand, says it had just about reached the upper limit of what it could do with the front-engined Corvette, on top of the fact that there had been talks about shifting the Corvette to a mid-engined layout for decades. The automaker is adamant it made the right decision and that the mid-engined C8 is a better car than a front-engined C8 could ever have been.
And, it still looks distinctly Corvette-esque, even though its proportions might seem off due to the new layout. This essentially means that the C8 will probably still appeal to most existing Corvette fans, but at the same time, attract new buyers that may have been looking to buy something similar but far more exclusive and expensive. Is this the Corvette that will put a dent in Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren’s sales? Probably not, but it will definitely affect the AMG GT, Porsche Cayman, 911, BMW Motorsport, and Audi RS and R8 sales, though, as well as the second-hand supercar market too.
Only time will tell just how big its impact will be, but while we wait, we can still imagine what a front-engined C8 Corvette Stingray may have looked like.
2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI may still be the most popular hot-hatchback out there, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth after more than four years on the market. With Ford already working on a new-generation Focus ST, which will be significantly more powerful than the current Golf GTI, Volkswagen needs to roll out a new hatchback really soon. Fortunately, the Germans are already testing the next-generation Golf GTI, which is rumored to break cover sometime in 2019.
Not much is known about the upcoming performance hatchback, but it should borrow many design features seen on recently introduced Volkswagen models, including the sporty Arteon sedan. The company also promises a revolution inside the cabin, including a "total digital environment," according to design chief Klaus Bischoff. Set to use a revised version of the company’s MQB platform, it will also a new engine with power ratings of up to 250 horsepower. Let’s find out more about that in the speculative review below.
Update 070/8/2019: Our spy photographers caught the 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK. 8 doing some testing on public roads near the company’s headquarters in Germany. Check out the latest spy shots and what we know in the Spy Shots section below.
Would a Mercedes GLB pickup sell in America?
Pickup trucks are all the rage in the U.S. and have been at the peak of buyers’ preferences for decades. However, such vehicles are only really made by mainstream manufacturers, with few (if any) of the premium automakers in on this highly lucrative segment. But what if Mercedes made a pickup version of its new GLB small SUV? Would anybody actually buy such a thing?
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 revealed that it’s developing a compact crossover in 2017, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a 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," former Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar in October 2017. Lotus began testing the crossover in 2019, but the prototype is just an old Lynk & Co 01 model. As a reminder, Lynk & Co is owned by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Lotus (and Volvo for that matter).
Updated 06/24/2019: Our spy photographers caught the very first mules for the upcoming Lotus SUV out for the first testing session.