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2020 Porsche Macan GT3 RS

2020 Porsche Macan GT3 RS

Stuttgart’s baby SUV hits the gym and takes all the supplements

“GT3 RS” is a unique series letters that carries a whole lotta weight when it comes to the Stuttgart faithful. This is the label used for Porsche’s homologation efforts, harkening back to 911’s of old where speed potential and track readiness were maximized for the ultimate in mean-machine German street offerings. Less weight through extensive use of composite materials and plastic windows, bigger, purposeful aerodynamic enhancements, wider, grippier tires, and of course, an extra splash of power are all expected when those five little letters are in play. Whether it’s prowling the highways or attacking the Karussell at the Nurburgring, the GT3 RS is not to be trifled with. Which makes it a strange thing to see when it’s plastered on a tall-bodied SUV, no? How could such a thing exist without diluting the nameplate for future hardcore models?

That’s a difficult question to answer, but Porsche certainly isn’t afraid to ask it. After all, this is the same company that brought us the Cayenne, considered to be one of the first in a wave of performance SUVs to hit the U.S. in the past decade and a half. What’s more, the competition has caught scent as well. Consider such outrageous creations as the Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes-AMG GLE63, and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. In company like this, why not make a hell-bent, track-ready, monster Macan?

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Macan GT3 RS.

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2020 Subaru Crosstrek XTI

2020 Subaru Crosstrek XTI

Big turbo power, crossover style

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.

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2018 Jeep Scrambler

2018 Jeep Scrambler

Our Predictions for the Wrangler-based pickup

The Jeep Wrangler Pickup has been confirmed for some time now, but Jeep has been quiet on the details. Between spy shots and insider information, we know the pickup will use the upcoming 2018 Wrangler JL’s frame, front styling, cab, interior, and powertrains. The mystery still remains as to what the cargo bed looks like and the materials its constructional from. What’s more, Jeep has yet to define the exact target audience for the Wrangler pickup, otherwise known as the JT. Will it offer class-leading payload and towing or will it be more focused on off-road performance? While we can’t say for sure, we’ve got some strong indications of Jeep’s intentions with its 2019-model-year pickup.

The Wrangler Pickup will ride on a lengthened version of the Wrangler Unlimited JL’s frame to accommodate the extra length needed for the bed. This means a longer, more stable Wrangler for on-road driving and trailer towing, but a slightly less maneuverable and (dare I say) capable Wrangler for off-roading adventures. It’s the break-over angle that will suffer the most, making the Wrangler pickup more vulnerable to high centering. Still, expect the JT to come standard with 4WD and Jeep’s Trail Rated rating.

Update 08/22/2017: A report from JeepScramblerForum.com shows confirmation the Jeep Wrangler pickup will be called the Jeep Scrambler, a name already associated with Jeep pickups of the 1980s. What’s more, CAD drawings show the extended frame and upgraded Dana axles. Also confirmed is the pickup’s use of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6.

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2019 BMW M8 Convertible

2019 BMW M8 Convertible

The high-performance luxury convertible BMW needs to build ASAP!

Rumored for many, many years, the iconic BMW 8 Series is set to return to the market, with a concept car already unveiled in 2017. But, unlike the first-generation model, produced from 1989 to 1999, the new 8 Series will also spawn a high-performance M8 model. And this is more than just silly rumor, as BMW has already released a few photos with a heavily camouflaged car. Since we enjoy speculating on future models, we created a rendering of the M8 Convertible, a vehicle that has yet to be confirmed, but was spotted testing on public roads. So it’s safe to assume that BMW is indeed working on a competitor for the AMG-prepped Mercedes S63 and S65.

Not only would an M8 Convertible arrive as a premiere for the nameplate, it would also be a first for the 8 Series. Although it was produced for a full decade, the first-gen 8 Series remained a coupe only. The German firm did develop a cabrio and built a prototype, but it later decided that it was unlikely to recover its development cost and scrapped. The same happened with the original M8, which was axed in favor of the less powerful, but still M-developed 850CSi. Some two decades later and both ideas are set to merge into a production model for the very first time.

Updated 08/22/2017: BMW took the topless version of the M8 out for a test drive.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8 Convertible.

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2019 BMW 8 Series

2019 BMW 8 Series

Confirmed for production! Here’s what you need to know about it

Built between 1989 and 1999, the BMW 8 Series is now regarded as one of the most daring and intriguing Bimmers ever built. It’s also among the most desirable BMWs built in the 1990s, alongside the iconic M3. Requested again and again by fans ever since it was discontinued, the 8 Series is finally making a comeback to the market. BMW unveiled an 8 Series concept car at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, in May 2017 and confirmed that a production model will follow in 2018, alongside a beefed-up M8 model. Now that’s what I call good news!

A new 8 Series has been rumored for quite a few years, but for some weird reason BMW refused to bring it back until now. And I say "weird" because the German brand is in dire need of a luxury coupe above the 6 Series. With Mercedes-Benz already selling a two-door S-Class and Audi working on the A9, the 8 Series is pretty much mandatory if BMW wants to keep up with the competition. And needless to say, the S-Class was already far ahead of the 7 Series long before it gained coupe and convertible variants. But what’s it going be all about? Find out in my speculative review below.

Update 8/18/2017: So far, we’ve seen the 8 Series Concept and spy shots of the BMW M8 testing in the wild. Today, we finally get a look at the standard 8 Series rocking that traditional pre-debut camo. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about, but there are a few things to point out, so check out the Spy Shots section below to find out more about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW 8 Series.

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2017 BMW X7

2017 BMW X7

The company’s largest SUV yet is just around the corner

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 15 years, 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 its 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 2017. 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 08/10/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming X7 wearing its head lights and the rear lights for the first time. The car is expected to be unveiled as a concept at the Frankfurt Car Show in September.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming BMW X7.

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2019 Alpine SUV

2019 Alpine SUV

Alpine’s second modern vehicle is aimed at the Porsche Macan

Shut down in 1995, Renault’s Alpine brand made a comeback 22 years later with a modern interpretation of its iconic A110 sports car. Developed on a bespoke platform and using a design that’s both modern and linked to the original car, the A110 is Renault’s long-awaited response to the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C. But Alpine isn’t planning to stop here. Word has it that a convertible version of the A110 is also in the works, and the French firm also wants to jump on the SUV bandwagon. Why? Because everyone is doing it nowadays. But what’s this SUV going to be bring to the table?

I’m going to provide an answer to that question in the speculative review below, which includes not only the latest information and rumors but also a detailed rendering of the Alpine-badged hauler. A release date is not yet available, but given that we have yet to see any prototypes on the road, it’s safe to assume that it won’t happen sooner than late 2018. All told, this SUV won’t be available until the 2019 model year. That’s a long wait, but we already have a few juicy details about what’s coming.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2019 Toyota Supra

2019 Toyota Supra

Japan’s iconic sports car set to return after nearly two decades

If there is a car that is included on almost every list of “greatest enthusiasts car” it’s the Toyota Supra. The little two-door sports car was originally bolted together as a response to the Z cars coming from competitor Datsun, but it eventually grew into a special machine with a cult-like following. Now after years of rumor, speculation and dreaming, it looks like the new Toyota Supra is all but official. With Toyota having launched the FT-1 concept in 2014 and with sporty prototypes spotted on the road since 2016, it looks as if the next-generation Supra isn’t far from becoming reality.

The story of the Supra may start in 1978, but it was in 1987 with the introduction of the first turbocharged model that it began to truly build its performance legacy. This third-generation Supra was fitted with more than a powerful engine. It featured adjustable suspension and brake systems that helped make it great around a racetrack as well. It became a cult icon in the auto enthusiast world, and everyone has been clamoring for a new model since the old one was pulled from U.S. showrooms in the late 1990s.

With more info and rumors coming out on a regular basis about the next-gen Toyota Supra, it was only a matter of time before the first prototypes hit the streets. This finally happened in September 2016, basically giving confirmation that the new Supra will arrive in dealerships pretty soon. Based on the spy shots, we created a rendering of the upcoming sports car, to go with our speculative review Read on to see our thoughts on the matter and stay tuned for updates.

Update 08/09/2017: The Toyota Supra has been hidden away for some time, with its last appearance occurring some five months ago. Now, it has been caught out on public roads again. Not much has changed, but there is one exciting change to share. Check out our spy shots section below to see what it is.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Toyota Supra.

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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Coupe

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Coupe

Alfa Romeo’s answer to the M4 and AMG C63 Coupe?

Once considered one of the greatest sports car manufacturers in the world, Alfa Romeo struggled to survive in the 1990s and 2000s with subpar, mostly Fiat-based products. Fortunately, the 4C arrived in 2013 to prove that Alfa Romeo can still develop potent, lightweight sports cars and signaled a revival that seems very far away. Having also returned to the U.S., Alfa made two more important steps toward a better future with the Giulia sedan and the Stelvio crossover. The former is aimed at the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but the Italian firm also rolled out an impressive alternative to the M3 and AMG C63, dubbed Quadrifoglio. And it seems like the next logical step is for Alfa Romeo to launch a coupe version, aimed at the 4 Series/M4 and C-Class Coupe/AMG C63 Coupe.

The Italian company has yet to officially confirm such a vehicle, but word has it that Alfa Romeo already has one on the drawing board. And to be honest, a two-door version of the Giulia is more than necessary if Alfa wants to compete with the big German three. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz are offering coupe versions of the 3 Series and C-Class, while Audi is trying to keep up with the A5.Rumors also claim that the two-door Alfa Romeo will be called the Giulia Sprint, a moniker that goes back to the mid-1950s, but until we get some confirmation about that, we will dub this car the Giulia Coupe. And, until our paparazzi stumble across any test cars, we’ve created a rendering of what should be a very sexy two-door.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Coupe.

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2020 Toyota MR2

2020 Toyota MR2

Hey mister! Hey mister!

Originally produced between 1984 and 2007, the Toyota MR2 is a legendary little sports car, boasting a cult-like following and all the right stuff to make any auto enthusiast’s mouth water. Throughout the MR2’s 23-year career, Toyota ushered in three individual generations, consisting of the W10 between 1984 and 1989, the W20 between 1990 and 1999, and the W30 between 2000 and 2007. The name is a reference to the drivetrain layout (mid-engine, rear-wheel drive), while the “2” denotes the number of seats in the cabin. The original formula goes something like this – transverse mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, sharp, responsive handling, very little weight, small exterior dimensions, and an affordable sticker. All told, the Toyota MR2 is a true-blue classic, a pure driver’s ride, like a compact Japanese Ferrari without the exotic price tag. And now it’s looking like Toyota might bring it out of retirement.

The speculation stems from a recent statement made by Gazoo Racing head Tetsuya Tada, who told Evo at the 2017 Geneva Show that he hopes to have “The Three Brothers” back in the Toyota lineup “as soon as possible.” In case you were wondering, those “brothers” include the Supra, the Celica, and the MR2, Toyota’s iconic ’90s-era performance machine trio. Word has it we’re inching closer to a reveal of the new Supra, and the current GT86 is a decent replacement for the Celica, but what about a new Mister Two? We got curious, so we drew up a rendering and put together a few theories.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fourth-Generation Toyota MR2.

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2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

GM reportedly working on mid-engined Vette with turbo power

Since Zora Arkus Duntov joined the Corvette team and crammed a V-8 into America’s sports car in 1955, the Belgian-born engineer chased ever more interesting and dynamic ways of making the little two-door go faster than anything else on the road. Zora was obsessed with speed and performance. Aside from setting a production car record up Pikes Peak in a Corvette, taking a standing-mile record at Daytona and starting the Grand Sport racing program, Zora consistently worked on mid-engined prototypes of Corvettes during his career. Despite having a mid-engined prototype of some form for almost every generation of the Corvette, there has never been a production car wearing the legendary Crossed Flags and carrying the engine behind the driver. That all looks to change soon with the rumored Corvette Zora ZR1.

This new car is rumored to use the Zora name to make it a separate model from the current Corvette family, and when it debuts, it will be unveiled as an eighth-generation (C8) car. To create this new and exciting performance machine, Corvette engineers are expected to modify the current C7’s aluminum chassis for mid-ship duty, and then they should fit the car with an uprated version of the supercharged V-8 found in the new Corvette Z06. The new Zora is expected to carry a price of more than $150k, horsepower ratings in excess of 700 ponies and a top speed well above 200 mph. General Motors is no longer building a bargain performance monster. The new Zora will be a purebred supercar; full stop. Ferrari and Lamborghini, you have been put on notice.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Corvette Zora.

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2019 Audi RS9 Coupe

2019 Audi RS9 Coupe

Audi’s answer to the upcoming BMW M8

While it currently competes with BMW and Mercedes-Benz for supremacy on the premium market, Audi was nowhere near as fancy as a brand some three decades ago. But the Ingolstadt-based firm evolved quite dramatically in the 1990s and 2000s, and it’s now selling a handful of highly appreciated premium vehicles, including the A4, A6, A8, and Q7. However, while Audi joined several new niches in recent years, it still doesn’t have a competitor for the relatively new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. But this will change soon, as Audi is already working on the A9, a two-door version of the new A8 and its largest, most luxurious coupe yet. Alongisde the A9, Audi is also rumored to have an RS9 model in the works. The latter will compete against the Mercedes-AMG S63 and the recently confirmed BMW M8.

There’s no official word as to when the A9 will arrive, but it will be heavily based on the Prologue Concept that Audi launched back in 2014. The show car has already inspired the design of the new A8, but its coupe configuration might make it into production with very few changes. As with all RS-badged models, the RS9 will be a beefed-up version of the A9, with revised aerodynamics, bespoke features inside, and a more powerful engine under the hood. The RS9 will enable Audi to compete in the still fresh performance, luxury coupe market that will soon include both Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Ingolstadt’s most important rivals. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi RS9.

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