2020 Mercedes X-Class AMG
First confirmed in 2015, the X-Class was unveiled in 2017 as a production model and became the company’s first mass-produced pickup truck. Produced by Nissan Motor Iberica, the X-Class isn’t an original Mercedes-Benz design, as it borrowed its chassis and many body panels from the Nissan Navara. However, it employs many Mercedes-specific styling cues on the outside and new technologies inside the cabin. In addition, it features a more premium interior, at least in the more expensive trim. Similarly, most engines available come from Nissan, but the range-topping model uses Mercedes’ V-6 diesel mill. With the X-Class on its way to showrooms, is the German company finally planning to roll out an AMG model?
So far, there aren’t any signs that Stuttgart wants such a model. What’s more, Tobias Moers, the man in charge of AMG, said that there are no plans for a beefed-up X-Class, adding that he doesn’t see a market for it. This was in late 2016. In 2017, the AMG was again dismissed by Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Volker Mornhinweg, who said that the truck "is not right for a V-8." However, the AMG-badged X-Class is still "something that we will listen and look carefully," so there is still hope of a production model. Actually, I’m positive that Mercedes-Benz will eventually make one, as both the Middle East and the U.S. markets will be more than happy to get it. We’ve already made a rendering of the truck, and we’re going to discuss what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG X63.
2020 BMW i8
Launched in 2014, the i8 was on BMW’s drawing boards since the mid-2000s. First unveiled as the Vision Efficient Dynamics in 2009, it was updated to the i8 Concept in 2011, before being showcased as a production-ready prototype in 2013. In 2012, BMW also revealed a Spyder concept car. More than three years have passed since its official debut, and the i8 is already a big hit with hybrid sports car enthusiasts. Despite this, BMW has yet to offer a mid-cycle update like it did with the i3, but it’s planning to launch a drop-top, Spyder version at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Whether more oomph is on the table for the current i8 is still a mystery, but there’s a lot of buzz about a significantly more powerful next-generation model flying around for quite some time.
Given BMW’s current strategy, a brand-new i8 isn’t likely to arrive sooner than 2020, so information about the upcoming sports car is scant, to say the least. However, there have been claims that the new i8 will go fully electric and the I Vision Dynamics concept that was unveiled in 2017 likely previews the sports car’s new design. I gathered all the information available in the speculative review below, while our designer created a rendering of what the second-generation i8 might look like. Keep reading to find out all the details we have so far and stay tuned for updates on this car.
Continue reading to learn more about the second-generation BMW i8.
2021 Porsche Mission E GTS
In case you hadn’t heard, let me be the first to tell you – Porsche is building a four-door all-electric sports sedan, and it’s called the Mission E. Don’t worry, it’ll have all the go-fast characteristics you’d expect, just without the internal combustion to make it go. In fact, it should draw a good deal of its tech from the hybrid goodness developed for the Panamera and 918 Spyder, so that’s a plus. But, as we all know, Porsche isn’t satisfied to make just a single version of any one model. Multiple variants are required to fill every niche possible, so what about an even-faster Mission E? We’re calling it the Mission E GTS, and we decided to draw up a rendering and put together a speculative review to boot. Upgrades over the standard Mission E should include more aggressive exterior styling, lots of black trim pieces, more performance gear inside, a bigger battery, extra horsepower, and standard performance suspension.
The EV performance market is looking to balloon pretty rapidly over the next few years, and you can bet your lithium-ion battery pack Porsche will be there to take advantage of that growth. Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2021 Porsche Mission E GTS.
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.
2018 BMW X2
Rumors have been stirring about BMW building an X2 crossover since 2011, but it took some four years to see it in the metal for the first time. The small SUV first hit the streets in October 2015 and resurfaced again in January 2016, heavily camouflaged on both occasions. Later on, a concept car was showcased at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, making the company’s intentions about expanding the X lineup clear as daylight. Come 2017 and the X2 broke cover as the company’s sixth crossover. Essentially a sleeker, coupe-like version of the X1, the X2 competes against the likes of the Audi Q2, which was launched in 2016. It also completes BMW’s lineup of so-called coupe-style crossovers, which already includes the X6 and the X4.
The new compact SUV shares underpinnings with the second-generation X1, which rides on the same UKL platform found in the Mini Cooper and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. As a result, the X2 is front-wheel driven in the absence of xDrive AWD and also borrows the X1’s powertrains, meaning it will cross the pond to the U.S. in similar configurations. Launched in Europe in November 2017, the X2 made its North American debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and will arrive in U.S. dealerships this spring.
Continue reading to learn out more about the 2018 BMW X2.
2020 Honda Ridgeline Type R
Honda waited years before bringing the Civic Type R to the U.S., but now that it’s here, our lusting and longing for performance variants of Hondas is left lonely. That got us thinking what else Honda could “Type R-ify.” Considering high-performance pickups are all the rage these days (though more for the off-road set), we figured the Ridgeline is a perfect candidate for a hotter engine, upgraded suspension, and some heavily bolstered racing seats. Why not?
Alright, we know – Elon Musk has a better chance of landing a Tesla-branded rover on Mars than we have of convincing Honda to build a Type R version of the Ridgeline. Honda purists would shout sacrilege at a Ridgeline Type R and haters of Honda’s pickup would laugh even harder at this “non-pickup.” That doesn’t matter, though; we’d still love to see a high-performance version of the second-generation Ridgeline. Perhaps it could even reignite the sport truck niche, twisting Ford’s arm to bring back the F-150 Lightning, Chevy the Silverado SS, and GMC the Syclone. How cool would that be? So what might a Honda Ridgeline Type R include? Read on for the speculation.
Continue reading for more information.
2019 BMW 3 Series
BMW’s next-generation 3 Series sedan was just caught on camera romping through the snow during a cold-weather testing session, giving rise to speculation about what’s in store for the up-and-coming luxury four-door. The new sedan is expected to arrive sometime in 2017 and replace the current F30 model, which was launched in 2011.
All things considered, that’s still quite a long time from now, and details are scarce, but we aren’t completely in the dark when it comes to putting together a few expectations. At this point, it’s safe to say that updated styling, lower weight, larger dimensions, more power, new autonomous drive features, and M-style performance will all make an appearance.
We also know that the upcoming model is designated as the “G20” behind closed doors.
Once the standard-bearer for compact luxury sedans, the 3 Series is facing rather stiff competition from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Jaguar XE these days, and BMW needs to bring the heat with this next-gen car. As is, the Bavarian bestseller is under heavy fire on all fronts, so what will it take to regain its past dominance? Read on to find out.
Updated 10/17/2017: We just got our hands on a fresh batch of spy shots! Check them out after the jump…
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW 3 Series.
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.
2018 Maserati Levante GTS
Maserati’s full-size luxury performance SUV was first unveiled as the Kubang concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011. The production model was then officially unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show in March. When it finally broke cover, the details were impressive – the exterior was pure Italian premium goodness, the cabin was opulent and well appointed, and a good dose of adrenaline was waiting under the hood. However, it’s looking like an even more exciting Levante is just over the horizon, and we think it’ll have a meaner look, more driver’s goodies inside, and two additional turbocharged cylinders.
So where would we get a crazy idea like that? Well, back in April, Autoblog asked Maserati if it could fit its top-spec 523-horsepower twin-turbo V-8, the same powerplant it shoehorned into the Quattroporte GTS, into its first-ever SUV. The answer was an unequivocal “yes.” What’s more, Davide Danesin, the head of Maserati vehicle programs, reported that the Trident already had a prototype of the combo in hand, leading high-performance SUV enthusiasts everywhere to begin salivating uncontrollably. And while it’s still possible Maserati will axe the project outright, odds are a Levante GTS will become a thing sooner or later.
In anticipation of that day, we created the following rendering and speculative review.
Updated 10/06/2017: The upcoming Maserati Levante GTS was caught testing for the first time in the sunny and hot parts of Europe.
Continue reading to learn more about the Maserati Levante GTS.
2019 McLaren BP23
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
2018 Audi Q8
After five years of rumors that began when Audi trademarked the Q8 name in 2012, the German company finally unveiled its proposition against the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Actually, the crossover introduced at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is just a concept for now, but a production model is scheduled to follow soon.
When BMW introduced the X6 in 2009, a new segment was born. But although the crossover BMW describes as a Sports Activity Coupe proved somewhat popular with SUV enthusiasts, the trend didn’t catch on with other automakers until 2013. That’s when Mercedes-Benz revealed plans to develop a coupe-like crossover based on the M-Class. Shortly after, rumors of a Cayenne Coupe emerged, signaling that Germany’s finest automakers finally pay more attention to this niche. Although the details are still under wraps as of May 2017, a test car has already been spotted on public roads, a sign that the production Q8 isn’t far. Join me in my speculative review to find out what we already know about the sporty crossover.
Updated 10/04/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi Q8 out for a new testing session, and this time we have more clear images of the interior.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Q8.
2020 BMW i3 M
BMW launched the i3 electric errand-runner in 2014, and recently introduced a new iteration called the i3s at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This latest “s” version is sportier than the standard model, gaining more power and extra handling capabilities, which got us thinking – where would this sort of evolution eventually lead? Would (could?) BMW turn the i3 into a bona-fide sports machine, rather than just an eco model with 15 extra ponies and a lower stance? If so, what would something like that look like? To answer those questions, we gazed into our crystal call, drew up a rendering, and did a little speculation. The end result is this – the BMW i3 M, a true motorsport performance box with specs to back the badge. Try 0-to-60 mph in less than five seconds and tail-happy handling dynamics, all with that i-branded eco friendliness when you’re ready to dial back the aggression.
So yeah, it’s just a rendering for now, but why not? After all, BMW is no stranger to the world of high-speed hybrids – just look at the i8, the success of which most likely prompted further discussion on the topic amongst BMW’s top brass. Add in copious rumors that such a thing is indeed under development, plus the fact that actually producing this thing wouldn’t be terribly difficult for the brand, and we’d say odds are split 50/50 yay to nay. Read on for our speculative take.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 M.