Do These Renderings Represent the Bentley of the Future?
If Bentley and coachbuilding were people like you and me, they would be inseparable best friends. Take the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar or the Continental GT Convertible Equestrian, for example – they are overly luxurious and highly custom thanks to Bentley’s Mulliner division. These examples show just how far Bentley will go to tailor its vehicles to customer desire, and with the whole automotive world shifting like never before, what does the future hold for a company like Bentley? Well, modular coachbuilding could become the next big thing, and automotive designer Joseph Robinson drew up a project to represent just that.
This Five-Car Mashup Rendering Is the Epitome of Unfulfilled Desire
Renderings often serve as a fun expression of what we expect from new cars or the evolution of current cars. Sometimes, people create fun, unique renderings that look back on iconic cars from the past with a modern twist of what they would look like today. Every now and then, however, something truly amazing comes to digital life, and that’s the case with the rendering we’re about to discuss here. In short, someone took styling cues from a handful of cars that are iconic in their own right and created an all new car that has never existed and never will exist. Is this what it would look like if some of the greatest car companies in the world came together to build a truly unique supercar?
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.
Update 2/27/2020: The BMW i4 Prototype with a RWD configuration was caught playing in the snow just a week before the i4 Concept is set to make its debut.
2021 Fiat 500
The 2021 Fiat 500 is the second-generation version of the modern 500. The 2021 model will replace a car that has been around since 2007, so it’s already 13 years old as of 2020. With the 500 discontinued in the United States and on its way out in Europe, a new-generation models will arrive in 2020.
Fiat has already confirmed that a new 500 is underway, but details remain scarce. We also know that on top of the usual hatchback and convertible models, Fiat will launch a five-door wagon that will revive the Giardiniera name. Let’s find out more about the upcoming 2021 Fiat 500 in the speculative review below.
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.
Updated 12/30/2019: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf MK8 GTI was caught doing some cold-weather testing with next to no camo and zero padding. Check out the new images and the latest details in our spy shots section below!
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.
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.
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?
Would the Striking New 2020 Hyundai Sonata Look Better as a Two-Door Coupe?
For me, one of the big revelations of the 2019 New York Auto Show was the 2020 Hyundai Sonata coupe-like sedan, which we finally got to see in detail. I love everything about the design, including the crazy daytime running lights that go halfway up the hood, the car’s sleek side profile, and the tapered back too, but there’s one thought that keeps nagging me when I look at this new three-box Hyundai - this would make such a good coupe, with only small alterations to the formula (and the removal of the two rear doors, obviously).
Mazda is Cooking up a Hot Hatch And It Could Take On Some of the Biggest Players in the Game
Mazda doesn’t do hot versions of any of its cars anymore, even though the likes of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 MPS (or MazdaSpeed in some markets) were exceptional cars in their respective categories before they were phased out. But now, with the new Mazda3 hatch making its debut and being received quite well, it seems the Japanese automaker is again considering making a hot hatch version, and it on that could arrive before the year 2021.
2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the German automaker’s tip of the spear when it comes to luxury and opulence, offering the very latest in technology, styling, and interior features. With a history that dates back to the early ‘70s, the latest sixth generation for the flagship sedan model (also known as the W222) was introduced back in 2013, which means it’s time for a ground-up redesign. With that in mind, we pulled out the TopSpeed crystal ball, drew up the above-pictured rendering, and wrote up a speculative review on what exactly the next S-Class could be bringing to the table.
Update 04/08/2019: The 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class was caught doing some spring testing and this time around it has dropped a lot of the fake plastic that was protecting its true appearance. Check out our latest update in the spy shots section below
Get ready for the next Peugeot 208 GTi hot hatch
Peugeot just pulled the veil off its all-new and quite dashing 208, a stylish city car specifically designed to be parked opposite your favorite coffee shop. However, the mind of the enthusiast never rests, not even to admire the many pretty shapes and details of the new 208, and that’s why we’re already wondering what the hot GTi version might be like. As such, we decided to put together a rendering that we think accurately predicts the 2020 Peugeot 208 GTi.
Lexus needs to infuse its image with some extra sportiness because even though it does make good, credible sporty cars, it is still perceived as a brand addressed toward SUV loving soccer moms and your elderly aunt who decides to spend most of her life savings on a new luxury car to treat herself. One such vehicle could be a spiced up version of the UX crossover, the newest and smallest crossover to join the Lexus range.
If Lexus made a UX F, it would be the closest thing it could ever make to a hot hatch. The UX is already a low-to-the-ground vehicle with excellent cornering capability, so making it lower, harder, and more powerful in order to make it faster sounds like a good plan. Plus, it could also benefit from a sporty exterior makeover to go with its unusual, swooping shapes (which are not bad, just different and take a bit of getting used to).
If Lexus challenged some hot crossovers and hot hatchbacks with its spruced up UX F, then it could dramatically shift the perception of the brand and genuinely attract new types of buyers that, before this vehicle, may not ever have considered buying a Lexus.
The 2020 Hyundai i20 Will Hit the Market to Take on the Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Clio RS
Hyundai is slowly but surely shifting its image from what it used to be a decade ago to one of a manufacturer that is on par with more established rivals. This is being achieved not only by making better everyday cars but making sportier cars too. The next one in line is the 2020 Hyundai i20 N - a model that’s slated to take on the Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Clio RS.
Is There Be Room in the VW Range for an Even Hotter 2020 Volkswagen Jetta R?
Volkswagen has launched a new 2020 Jetta GLI that borrows a lot of Golf GTI visual cues, as well as its powertrain and more advanced suspension. But the new GLI is only so extreme and, in fact, in China and other markets, you can actually get an even more powerful version of it that isn’t branded as anything special. The GLI is only the most powerful Jetta you can buy in North America.
A Hot Lexus UX F Crossover Could Be in the Works - Here’s What it Will Look Like
Lexus does make some nice sporty cars, but it’s not really perceived as such because most of its sales volume consists of cushy sedans and high-riders, most of which are also electrified. Having an electric motor on board to boost performance and economy certainly doesn’t hinder sportiness, though, so don’t be surprised if Lexus starts churning out hot F-badged electrified models, the first of which could be its new UX baby crossover.
Here’s What The 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk. 8 WIll Look Like
Volkswagen is renowned for playing it really safe with the design of most of its cars, and there’s no better example for that than its lineage of Golf models. It may have grown in size quite a bit over the years, but if you line all generations of the model side by side, you will undoubtedly be struck by just how little it has evolved from one generation to the other. You can certainly see progress if you skip a couple of generations or more, but not as much as you see from other long-running nameplates out there.
2020 Skoda Karoq RS
Introduced in 2017 to replace the Yeti, the Karoq is Skoda’s first authentic foray into the compact crossover market. Already available in variety of trims, including the rugged Scout and the sportier Sportline, the Karoq is about to enter the performance market with an RS badge.
Set to break cover in 2019, the Karoq RS will most likely share underpinnings with the hot Cupra Ateca, built by Seat’s recently founded performance division. This means that unlike the Kodiaq RS, which features a diesel engine, the Karoq RS will deliver solid performance. Expect it to boast a more aggressive exterior and unique features inside the cabin. Until the actual SUV breaks cover, we created a rendering that previews its exterior design.
The 2020 Mercedes CLA Will Become More Practical in the Future as it Morphs into a New Shape
Mercedes-Benz is already parading camouflaged prototypes of its upcoming CLA wagon, the second generation of the load-lugging four-door coupe that is based on the A-Class. This time the model is all the more unique since there is no bigger CLS shooting brake anymore, so buyers looking for this type of sporty looking wagon within the Mercedes range will have to settle for the new CLA.