The Truth About Cars » Future Vehicles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Future Vehicles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/future-vehicles/ 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Set for November Reveal in Los Angeles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/2017-fiat-124-spider-set-november-reveal-los-angeles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/2017-fiat-124-spider-set-november-reveal-los-angeles/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:03:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157914 Those really keen on the Mazda MX-5, but undeterred by reliability and resale issues are in luck. The reborn Fiat 124 Spider, built upon the fourth-generation MX-5, will be revealed in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show as expected, reports The Detroit Bureau. Citing a source within the company, the reborn 124 Spider nameplate will […]

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124 Spider_010

Those really keen on the Mazda MX-5, but undeterred by reliability and resale issues are in luck. The reborn Fiat 124 Spider, built upon the fourth-generation MX-5, will be revealed in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show as expected, reports The Detroit Bureau.

Citing a source within the company, the reborn 124 Spider nameplate will be the home of two flavors — normal and Abarth — with the latter receiving the same 1.75-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine as the Alfa Romeo 4C.

While Sergio Marchionne is openly courting General Motors, the Fiat 124 Spider project with Mazda is about to bear fruit.

The “normal” Spider is expected to be powered by the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine found in the Fiat 500 Turbo and Abarth, 500L, 500X and Jeep Renegade. However, it’s the Abarth version that’s far more interesting.

“Abarth is all about performance, and so I’ve told my team to stop working on colors and trims. Any new version of an Abarth car should deliver some sort of a performance enhancement, otherwise it is useless,” said Fiat COO Alfredo Altavilla.

That performance is expected to come from the aforementioned 4C mill mated to a dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

With the Abarth model, Fiat could beat Mazda to the punch. Rumors of a Mazdaspeed version of the newest Miata have been weak at best.

The Fiat 124 Spider will be the first model from the company to wear the nameplate since production and marketing of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider was assumed by Pininfarina in 1983.

The addition to Fiat’s North American lineup is expected to hit dealer lots sometime during the sunny months next year.

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What If Jeep’s Mid-size Pickup Was a Ram Instead? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/jeeps-mid-size-pickup-ram-instead/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/jeeps-mid-size-pickup-ram-instead/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:16:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157666 Like an NFL expansion team in Los Angeles, music in the hallways during passing periods, “welfare queens” and the full-time McRib, Jeep’s mid-sized Wrangler-based pickup might be the only thing we ever talk about. Guess which one may happen now? According to Automotive News, the Wrangler-based pickup may make an appearance in 2018-ish, after the […]

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Jeep Wrangler Eliminator

Like an NFL expansion team in Los Angeles, music in the hallways during passing periods, “welfare queens” and the full-time McRib, Jeep’s mid-sized Wrangler-based pickup might be the only thing we ever talk about. Guess which one may happen now?

According to Automotive News, the Wrangler-based pickup may make an appearance in 2018-ish, after the iconic Jeep platform gets is overdue overhaul, moves to an 8-speed automatic (maybe diesel, too) and incorporates more aluminum into its structure.

The General Motors twins prove there’s room in the segment for something not called a Tacoma or Frontier, so a mid-size makes sense — but a seven-slot grille up front may not.

According to the 2014 long-range plan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ram doesn’t have a mid-size on its radar until beyond 2018, at least, to replace its defunct Dakota. And Ram doesn’t have what it needs right now to make it happen — officially, at least.

“The formula hasn’t changed. The (North American) customer expects four elements in a compact or midsize pickup truck: the right size, right capability, right fuel efficiency and right price. We have yet to find a way to build a truck that meets all four of those criteria,” a Ram spokesman told us.

(Fiat will have a new mid-size pickup in 2016, but we’re more likely to get Elvis back from the dead than that car.)

The minute you start talking about a Wrangler-based pickup, Grandad’s fishing truck comes to mind; an upright-grille, standard cab and probably two-tone red and white paint with flannel-colored interiors. In other words: nothing like what mid-size pickups need to be today to satisfy fuel economy standards and expectations.

Ram has more flexibility with its design language to sculpt a body that makes more sense than a Jeep pickup ever would. Ram is also the caretaker of FCA’s trucks last I checked.

And in the words of Jack Baruth, “You really don’t want a Jeep pickup, you pansy.”

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Report: Toledo Plant Gains a Jeep Pickup, Loses a Cherokee http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/report-toledo-plant-gains-jeep-pickup-loses-cherokee/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/report-toledo-plant-gains-jeep-pickup-loses-cherokee/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157850 Automotive News is reporting that Jeep will produce a Wrangler-based pickup at its Toledo, Ohio plant and shift production of its Cherokee to another site. The details were reported by the outlet as part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ ongoing negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. Officials from FCA didn’t comment on the report.  According […]

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Jeep Wranglers Coming Down The Line In Toledo

Automotive News is reporting that Jeep will produce a Wrangler-based pickup at its Toledo, Ohio plant and shift production of its Cherokee to another site.

The details were reported by the outlet as part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ ongoing negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

Officials from FCA didn’t comment on the report. 

According to the story, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed the plan in vague details.

“We found a solution that accommodates a variety of other interests to us because of the way in which we can move some product around,” Marchionne told Automotive News. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (to know) that the only way I can move around the Wrangler is to move it into the other Toledo plant.”

Union officials said they would have liked to have kept Cherokee production in Ohio, however the plant’s unique supply structure, production requirements and Wrangler sales required Cherokee to move, according to the report.

Production of the Wrangler and its associated pickup could reach up to 350,000 units per year.

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You Can Pay $2.5 Million For a Volkswagen Now http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-pay-2-5-million-volkswagen-now/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-pay-2-5-million-volkswagen-now/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:30:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157306 Bugatti’s successor to the Veyron, the Chiron (are those pronounced similarly?) will reportedly cost $2.5 million, according to Car. The hyper car, which was shown to prospective owners in France, will be a quad turbo, W-16 that produces more than 1,400 horsepower. According to the report, the car will make its debut in Geneva next […]

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Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang

Bugatti’s successor to the Veyron, the Chiron (are those pronounced similarly?) will reportedly cost $2.5 million, according to Car.

The hyper car, which was shown to prospective owners in France, will be a quad turbo, W-16 that produces more than 1,400 horsepower. According to the report, the car will make its debut in Geneva next year.

The price hike is roughly $200,000 over the Veyron, which started at $1.7 million and eventually ballooned to $2.3 million by the end of its production. While the price difference is enough for your own personal fleet of Volkswagen GTIs, how big does your yacht need to be anyway?

Car says that more than a few prospective buyers have raised their hands for the new car — somewhere between 10 and 99 (Double-digit isn’t a very descriptive modifier, Car) and that they expect the Chiron’s top speed to approach 300 mph.

Bugatti has said the plan is to build 500 cars — 1 Chiron for $2.5 million and 499 Special Editions that will cost much, much more.

A few prototypes have been spotted around Los Angeles International Airport and other locales, but it’s unclear how Bugatti will spit in the face of physics this time around.

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Terrorists Could Make Autonomous Cars A Security Nightmare http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/terrorists-make-autonomous-cars-security-nightmare/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/terrorists-make-autonomous-cars-security-nightmare/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:30:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157026 Self-driving cars could usher in a new form of terrorism, an investment analyst writes (via SlashDot). Alex Rubalcava, who is an investment advisor in California, says that autonomous cars would be “the greatest force multiplier to emerge in decades for criminals and terrorists. “A future Timothy McVeigh will not need to drive a truck full of […]

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Google Autonomous Vehicle Prototype Circa December 2014

Self-driving cars could usher in a new form of terrorism, an investment analyst writes (via SlashDot).

Alex Rubalcava, who is an investment advisor in California, says that autonomous cars would be “the greatest force multiplier to emerge in decades for criminals and terrorists.

“A future Timothy McVeigh will not need to drive a truck full of fertilizer to the place he intends to detonate it. A burner email account, a prepaid debit card purchased with cash, and an account, tied to that burner email, with an AV car service will get him a long way to being able to place explosives near crowds, without ever being there himself.”

Criminals in Denver have already used burners, pre-paid cards and fake names to rent Car2go cars for drive-by shootings.

Rubalcava’s discussion of the risk that autonomous cars may bring to international security is a short few paragraphs in a much longer market analysis on those cars and their potential investors.

Included in his assessment is that dense urban centers may spread out (suburban sprawl all over again) if self-driving cars can shuttle us back and forth to work without their drivers actually being awake. Rubalcava also speculates that an average autonomous car could travel twice as far as a normal car, up to 50,000 miles per year if the driver doesn’t have to actually drive, and that the cost per mile for an autonomous car will be significantly lower than an average car, which would increase consumption.

(And he correctly points out that very few companies that develop technologies make it long enough to mass produce them, i.e. 1990s dot-coms.)

Even though much of his analysis is dedicated toward financial issues and scaling autonomous cars for a global market, Rubalcava says that investors should be wary of initial government intervention to mitigate security risks that a self-driving bomb car could pose. Beyond that, autonomous cars will be hugely profitable — maybe before we’re all dead.

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Attention Californians: Here’s Your 2016 Toyota Prius http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/attention-californians-heres-your-2016-toyota-prius/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/attention-californians-heres-your-2016-toyota-prius/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:21:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1156298 The next-generation Toyota Prius, set to be revealed on September 8 in Las Vegas, has been caught without camouflage as it sits in what looks to be an aircraft hold. The undisputed hybrid sales leader picks up numerous design cues from the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, including its swept-back headlights and triangular fog light […]

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2016-toyota-prius-spotted-in-the-metal-camouflage-is-gone-we-see-many-mirai-features_1

The next-generation Toyota Prius, set to be revealed on September 8 in Las Vegas, has been caught without camouflage as it sits in what looks to be an aircraft hold.

The undisputed hybrid sales leader picks up numerous design cues from the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, including its swept-back headlights and triangular fog light pods.

Details on the new Prius are unknown at this point, but expect a more-refined interior, increased battery capacity for up to 35 miles of all-electric driving, and increased efficiency from the drivetrain. Inductive charging remains a possibility. The Prius will also be built atop the Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA).

Last updated in 2011 with a mild refresh, sales of the Toyota Prius have fallen since 2007 and 2008 amidst lower gas prices.

2016-toyota-prius-spotted-in-the-metal-camouflage-is-gone-we-see-many-mirai-features_2

2016-toyota-prius-spotted-in-the-metal-camouflage-is-gone-we-see-many-mirai-features_1

[Source: Prius Club Malaysia]

 

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Can Ford Control Ford GT Ownership Through Applications? Lexus Did http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-ford-control-ford-gt-ownership-applications-lexus/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-ford-control-ford-gt-ownership-applications-lexus/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1155385 If Ford wants to control sales of its extremely small production of Ford GT and vet its owners, it only needs to look at the Lexus playbook from 2010 to see how. On Thursday, Ford’s Group Vice President for Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair told a group of last-gen Ford GT […]

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Ford-GT-1

If Ford wants to control sales of its extremely small production of Ford GT and vet its owners, it only needs to look at the Lexus playbook from 2010 to see how.

On Thursday, Ford’s Group Vice President for Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair told a group of last-gen Ford GT owners that it would ask potential owners to submit an application through the automaker to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the supercar. Official pricing for the car hasn’t been announced, nor has the criteria for ownership been made public.

Ford said it would only make available 250 cars each year worldwide. There are more than 3,200 dealerships in America alone and more than 7,500 worldwide.

If all this sounds familiar (as in, 500 Lexus LF-A cars at $400,000 for thousands of Toyota dealers) you might be right.

In 2010, Autoblog detailed the extraordinary process that potential LF-A buyers had to go through to qualify to buy the car.

Included was a “lease” option with $60,000 in deposits required before getting the car, $297,000 due upon receipt of the car, and a $93,000 option to buy the car after the 24-month lease expired. The “lease” amount was $12,398.44 per month.

Ford hasn’t announced how much it will sell the Ford GT for, or how it would collect that money, but it appears that every part of the buying process for the supercar will be unique to the Ford GT alone.

In 2005, when the last generation of Ford GTs were sold in America, the first cars were going nearly $100,000 over the MSRP price, as chronicled by the defunct FordGTPrices.com. As production ramped up on that car in 2006, prices eventually normalized to MSRP, but as the former site’s administrator Paul Allen told us, the 4,000+ volume of the last generation car and the 250-per-year production of this car makes it a whole different animal.

In its bulletin to dealers, Ford said it would make available to dealership owners a separate number of cars — available by application as well — for them to buy. Those cars would still come from the 250 produced each year, but a Ford spokesman declined to say how many would be allocated to dealer owners.

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Durango SRT Could Be The Best Damn Family Wagon Ever http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/durango-srt-best-damn-family-wagon-ever/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/durango-srt-best-damn-family-wagon-ever/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 20:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154217 Dodge may drop a 6.4-liter V-8 into a Durango before the current generation model goes away, executives told dealers in Las Vegas this week, several media sources are reporting. The Durango was last redesigned in 2011, so a SRT version could be a victory lap for the three-row SUV. Jeep may take over three-row crossover duty […]

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Dodge Durango Sex Panther Edition

Dodge may drop a 6.4-liter V-8 into a Durango before the current generation model goes away, executives told dealers in Las Vegas this week, several media sources are reporting.

The Durango was last redesigned in 2011, so a SRT version could be a victory lap for the three-row SUV. Jeep may take over three-row crossover duty with its Grand Wagoneer.

If you’re pressed between a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or a Durango SRT — there is a third option, this Kia Sorento with an LS engine swap.

Let’s ponder the possibilities for a moment on the last one.

According to the hero man who stuffed a 2009 LSX engine into his wife’s 2007 Sorento, it was a family operation. Autoevolution said the man’s 7-year-old son was amazed at the size of the Kia’s engine bay — we’re amazed at everything:

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Kia Shows Off New Sportage Ahead of Frankfurt Reveal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/kia-shows-off-new-sportage-ahead-frankfurt-reveal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/kia-shows-off-new-sportage-ahead-frankfurt-reveal/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154081 Kia released pictures Thursday of its 2017 Sportage ahead of the car’s public debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month. The all-new Sportage sports a new face with dramatically redesigned headlight and fog light clusters and a swept windshield. The headlights don’t connect to the grille anymore, but rather sweep further back above the front wheel arches. (The […]

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2017 Kia Sportage

Kia released pictures Thursday of its 2017 Sportage ahead of the car’s public debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.

The all-new Sportage sports a new face with dramatically redesigned headlight and fog light clusters and a swept windshield. The headlights don’t connect to the grille anymore, but rather sweep further back above the front wheel arches. (The new Sportage’s grille also borrows heavily from the last-generation Optima, in my opinion.)

According to Kia, the new Sportage will have longer front overhangs, shorter rear overhangs and longer wheelbase than the current model.

Kia says the new Sportage’s rear end borrows heavily from its Provo concept, which it showed off in Geneva in 2013.

Kia Provo

I’ll let you be the judge.

2017 Kia Sportage

The automaker says the new Kia was developed primarily in Europe, with Korean and U.S.-based design studio help.

The Frankfurt Auto Show begins Sept. 15.

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Honda CR-Z Gets New Face, Will Live Beyond 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/honda-cr-z-gets-new-face-will-live-beyond-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/honda-cr-z-gets-new-face-will-live-beyond-2015/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:30:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153953 Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year. The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will […]

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2016 Honda CR-Z

Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year.

The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will power the car, mated to either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Despite its critical reception as a relatively slow sportscar, engineers increased the size of the CR-Z’s brakes 10 millimeters.

Honda hasn’t officially confirmed that the updated Japanese design would make it to North America (the car is only sold in Japan, Canada and the United States anymore) but said that the 2016 CR-Z would gain “updated exterior and interior styling.”

Automotive News is reporting the updated CR-Z would go on sale in the U.S. in November. Honda hasn’t confirmed that date.

So far this year, Honda has sold 1,562 CR-Z models in the U.S.

(Photos courtesy Honda Motor Co.)

2016 Honda CR-Z 2016 Honda CR-Z 2016 Honda CR-Z 2016 Honda CR-Z

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TVR “Sells Out” of 2017 Cars in Six Weeks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/tvr-sells-2017-cars-six-weeks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/tvr-sells-2017-cars-six-weeks/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153905 The reborn sportscar maker TVR says it has “sold out” of its first model since shuttering in 2006, Autocar is reporting. Reportedly, none of the prospective owners, who have deposited £5,000 ($7,700 USD), have seen pictures of the new car. The new model will be a V8-powered sportscar designed by Gordon Murray, with engine development from Cosworth and production by […]

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tvr-sagaris-wallpaper-1

The reborn sportscar maker TVR says it has “sold out” of its first model since shuttering in 2006, Autocar is reporting. Reportedly, none of the prospective owners, who have deposited £5,000 ($7,700 USD), have seen pictures of the new car.

The new model will be a V8-powered sportscar designed by Gordon Murray, with engine development from Cosworth and production by humans, rather than unicorns. The company said it took 250 deposits six weeks after it began accepting them in July.

The company is helmed by Les Edgar who took over for Nikolai Smolensky in 2013.

“This a heart-warming situation we find ourselves in. We are mindful that we have taken deposits from customers who have not even yet seen official pictures of the car. We look forward to revealing more details soon, and to all our customers who have shown their faith I can promise that the new car will exceed expectations in every way,” Edgar said according to Autocar.

The company doesn’t have a home for production, but it says the new car will be built in the U.K. According to the report, all of TVR’s planned cars will have a V-8 up front and power sent to the rear through a 6-speed manual transmission.

Autocar is reporting that the new car will be available as either a coupe or convertible and would likely cost around £60,000 to £80,000 ($92,000 to $123,000) when it goes on sale. TVR hasn’t announced plans to sell cars in North America.

If it doesn’t go on sale — as we’ve heard from TVR before — there will be hell to pay.

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Fiat Chrysler Reportedly Showing Dealers Impossibly Fun Cars That We May Never See http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/fiat-chrysler-reportedly-showing-dealers-impossibly-fun-cars-may-never-see/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/fiat-chrysler-reportedly-showing-dealers-impossibly-fun-cars-may-never-see/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153129 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be showing off a Dodge Barracuda convertible, a next-generation Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Grand Wagoneer — they probably put root beer in the fountains too — according to multiple media reports. At the dealer meeting in Las Vegas, FCA executives outlined the future for the brands (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, […]

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-014

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be showing off a Dodge Barracuda convertible, a next-generation Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a Grand Wagoneer — they probably put root beer in the fountains too — according to multiple media reports.

At the dealer meeting in Las Vegas, FCA executives outlined the future for the brands (Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Fiat) that may include up to 30 new or refreshed products within two years.

According to reports, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne also addressed reports that the automaker was seeking a merger with another automaker, and any potential deal would be “to strengthen the competitive position of the companies involved,” he said according to Automotive News.

According to reports, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was shown with all-wheel drive and FCA’s 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat engine. It was unclear if the super SUV would be all-wheel or just rear-wheel drive.

According to reports, a next-generation Wrangler was shown, but not in truck form.

Future products for the Chrysler brand weren’t immediately clear. Aside from a new Town & Country minivan, Chrysler may not have much on its horizon aside from a redesigned 300, which could be based on the new rear-wheel drive Giulia/Charger/Challenger framework.

We reached out to an FCA spokesperson who predictably said that the automaker wouldn’t comment on confidential news from its dealer meeting.

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Add Bronco To Today’s Ranger Return Rumor http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/add-bronco-todays-ranger-return-rumor/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/add-bronco-todays-ranger-return-rumor/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153329 Ford may bring back the Bronco name as a Ranger-based SUV if production returns to the U.S. in 2018, Bloomberg is reporting. The Bronco would be based on a mid-sized pickup frame, unlike the current Explorer. A Bronco could be targeted at Jeep, either Grand Cherokee — or Wrangler. Ford ended production of its Bronco in 1996. […]

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Classic 1966 Bronco Body Shell Available Soon

Ford may bring back the Bronco name as a Ranger-based SUV if production returns to the U.S. in 2018, Bloomberg is reporting.

The Bronco would be based on a mid-sized pickup frame, unlike the current Explorer. A Bronco could be targeted at Jeep, either Grand Cherokee — or Wrangler.

Ford ended production of its Bronco in 1996.

According to the Bloomberg report, both Ranger and Bronco could be built at Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan, which will lose production of the C-Max and Focus to Mexico in 2018. Adding the production of those trucks to that plant would replace production to appease the United Auto Workers during contract negotiations.

It’s unclear how the addition of a Bronco would fit into the Ford lineup, but I’m guessing Mark Stevenson has a good idea.

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Ford May Bring Ranger Back To US in 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-bring-ranger-back-us-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-bring-ranger-back-us-2018/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152977 Ford is reportedly discussing bringing back the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup to America and Canada in its bargaining negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the Detroit News is reporting. Ford may be assembling the truck, which could be brought back as early as 2018, at its Wayne, Michigan plant. The truck would replace the outgoing C-Max and Focus […]

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Ford is reportedly discussing bringing back the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup to America and Canada in its bargaining negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the Detroit News is reporting.

Ford may be assembling the truck, which could be brought back as early as 2018, at its Wayne, Michigan plant. The truck would replace the outgoing C-Max and Focus at the plant. Ford announced production of those two products would move to Mexico in 2018.

The last U.S.-spec Ranger was most recently produced at Ford’s St. Paul, Minnesota plant, which shuttered in 2011.

According to sources, the formal decision would need to be ratified by Ford executives and the union’s board.

According to the report, Ford was enticed by the small, but growing, mid-size pickup segment. Although the segment only accounted for 227,000 sales in 2013, it is expected to grow in coming years. Toyota’s Tacoma dominates the segment, accounting for more than half of the segment’s sales, but General Motors’ Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon could slowly gain a higher market share.

Ford produces the Ranger in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for 180 global markets including Mexico. Recently, Ford announced it would produce the Ranger in Nigeria.

It’s unlikely that Ford would would bring the global Ranger to America without significant modifications for safety and fuel economy. The Ranger’s size and classification places it firmly in the CAFE “dead zone,” which could make it difficult for Ford to find a suitable (read: efficient) powertrain.

The Ranger was last redesigned in 2011 and facelifted in 2015. A redesign for the Ranger would align with the 2018 production start date in Wayne. The C-Max and Focus are scheduled to leave that plant in 2018 as well.

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Nissan’s Next Z Vehicle Could Be a Death Star http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/nissans-next-z-vehicle-death-star/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/nissans-next-z-vehicle-death-star/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152625 Nissan’s next Z could be a crossover because the world needs another crossover, Autocar is reporting. The next-generation Z may appear in Frankfurt as a concept to gauge the new direction for the model, according to the report. The car could be a two- or four-door crossover, powered by a gasoline or hybrid powerplant — […]

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2016 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Nissan’s next Z could be a crossover because the world needs another crossover, Autocar is reporting.

The next-generation Z may appear in Frankfurt as a concept to gauge the new direction for the model, according to the report. The car could be a two- or four-door crossover, powered by a gasoline or hybrid powerplant — or it could be a sub-orbital military base with the power to destroy planets. (We just don’t know!)

A crossover Z could be a logical step for the company to appeal to more buyers, or it could cannibalize sales from the Juke. At least we know the next-generation Z won’t be the IDx.

According to Autocar, the crossover Z could be based on the future shared global CMF B platform and theoretically home a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill.

We may have to wait until the Frankfurt Auto Show next month to see what Nissan’s up to, but any concept would likely be a far first step in some kind of product planning.

Car rumors are fun.

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Apple Hiring All The Robot Car Experts Now http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/apple-hiring-all-the-robot-car-experts-now/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/apple-hiring-all-the-robot-car-experts-now/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2015 15:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150825 Expert marketing company, and sometimes computer-maker, Apple has poached an automated car engineer from Tesla to join its growing roster of robot car builders, Reuters is reporting. According to Jamie Carlson’s LinkedIn profile, the former Tesla engineer has joined Apple in “Special Projects.” Carlson is the seventh high-profile hire for the Cupertino-based company who has […]

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Apple Logo Circa 2005

Expert marketing company, and sometimes computer-maker, Apple has poached an automated car engineer from Tesla to join its growing roster of robot car builders, Reuters is reporting.

According to Jamie Carlson’s LinkedIn profile, the former Tesla engineer has joined Apple in “Special Projects.” Carlson is the seventh high-profile hire for the Cupertino-based company who has specific automotive experience. Carlson joins a former Volkswagen engineer, a Chrysler VP and the former deputy director of autonomous systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, among others, at Apple.

Maybe they’re all working in the cafeteria?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has address the fact that a few of his employees have left Tesla to work at Apple. In May, Musk said he welcomed whatever “special project” Apple would be working on and said that he had poached employees from Apple at a rate of about 5-to-1.

“I actually hope Apple gets into the car business, that would be great,” Musk said.

Reportedly, Apple has dubbed their secret car program “Titan,” although many insiders believe that is the name for the company’s mapping program. Whatever it’s called, they’re hiring a lot of people who know a lot about cars to do — something.

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F-150 Raptor Runs Off Road, Ford Offers Pictures to Prove It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-f-150-raptor-runs-off-road-ford-offers-pictures-prove/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-f-150-raptor-runs-off-road-ford-offers-pictures-prove/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1149633 Ford released photos and video Friday of its newest Raptor off-road testing in Northern Michigan. The truck, which will go on sale next fall, has better ground clearance than the outgoing Raptor, although Ford isn’t giving us official specs yet. We know the last generation’s fording depth was officially 30 inches up to 4 mph and […]

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Raptor Prototype Testing

Ford released photos and video Friday of its newest Raptor off-road testing in Northern Michigan.

The truck, which will go on sale next fall, has better ground clearance than the outgoing Raptor, although Ford isn’t giving us official specs yet. We know the last generation’s fording depth was officially 30 inches up to 4 mph and that capability likely won’t decrease — but we don’t know if it’ll go up.

“The all-new Ford Raptor will be more capable than the previous Raptor, including improved wheel travel and ground clearance,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine told us.

Ford said today that the newest-generation Raptor will have new Fox racing shocks with internal bypass to adjust and stiffen suspension off road, and an all-new four-wheel-drive transfer case in the back.

In other words: Specs for the official truck are slowly coming out. We’ll stay tuned for official horsepower figures from the twin-turbo V-6 under the hood.

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Ford May Offer 10-speed Mustang, Maybe With Mach 1 Name http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-offer-10-speed-mustang-maybe-mach-1-name/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-may-offer-10-speed-mustang-maybe-mach-1-name/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 21:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148945 Ford’s plans for the Mustang may include their 10-speed automatic transmission, jointly developed with General Motors, and a Mach 1 version, according to Automotive News (via Motor Authority). The amazingly engineered 10-speed, which will make an appearance on the new Ford F-150 Raptor, may be mated to Ford’s four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Mustang in the U.S. — […]

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2015 ford mustang ecoboost front side

Ford’s plans for the Mustang may include their 10-speed automatic transmission, jointly developed with General Motors, and a Mach 1 version, according to Automotive News (via Motor Authority).

The amazingly engineered 10-speed, which will make an appearance on the new Ford F-150 Raptor, may be mated to Ford’s four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Mustang in the U.S. — and only in the Mustang — which feels weird.

But Mach 1(!)

The report is fairly sketchy on whether Ford will revive the nameplate from the 1970s (and early 2000s, I guess) for this generation. According to the story, the Mach 1 may not arrive until 2018, which would be one to two years before the Mustang would be due for a major update.

It’s unclear what engine Ford may stuff into the future Mach 1. Every version up until now has included a V-8 strapped under the hood, but Ford’s upcoming GT hypercar will have a twin-turbocharged V-6, so things have clearly changed.

Any mention of the Mach 1 probably brings up more memories of this than this, so it could be a good move to help move more Mustangs toward the end of its lifecycle. But for now, I guess we’ll just have to deal with our flat-plane V-8 noises from the GT350.

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Report: Buick Will Import Most of its New Cars by 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-buick-will-import-new-cars-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-buick-will-import-new-cars-2016/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148865 Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan. Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come […]

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Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan.

Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come from Europe and China respectively. Production of the Verano would shift from Michigan to China, the next-generation Regal would come from Germany instead of Canada, and the Encore would continue to be assembled in Korea, but would eventually shift to China, Reuters reported from an unidentified source.

If true, executives would deliver a sizable blow to contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. Already, General Motors has announced substantial investments in North American plants during negotiations.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for Buick declined to comment on the report. A spokeswoman for the UAW said Buick would be unwise to import cars “after the sacrifices by U.S. taxpayers.”

Buick is expected to launch the China-built Envision in North America later this year.

Buick sells four times as many cars in China as they do in North America. 

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Aston Martin CEO Throws Rocks at Glass House, From Glass House http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/aston-martin-ceo-throws-rocks-glass-house-glass-house/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/aston-martin-ceo-throws-rocks-glass-house-glass-house/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148665 Gearing up to sell its own four-door, all-electric sedan in a couple years, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told well-heeled listeners in Monterey, California that Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed” was plain ol’ dumb, Automotive News reported. “We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” Palmer said. (But selling a variation of a four-door Aston Martin […]

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Gearing up to sell its own four-door, all-electric sedan in a couple years, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told well-heeled listeners in Monterey, California that Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed” was plain ol’ dumb, Automotive News reported.

“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” Palmer said.

(But selling a variation of a four-door Aston Martin that’s been on sale for 6 years with a 200-mile range for $200,000 to $250,000? That’s genius.)

Palmer also described Aston Martin’s upcoming DBX, an all-wheel drive crossover four-door that could go on sale as early as 2019. That car could be offered as a plug-in hybrid, an all-gasoline model and eventually as an all-electric vehicle, according to the report.

Few details about the all-electric Rapide were made available, however. The four-door sedan could boast around 800 horsepower and a 200-mile range.

Aston Martin currently sells the gasoline Rapide for just over $200,000 in the U.S. Tesla’s Model S P85D with Ludicrous Speed update costs $118,000 before incentives.

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2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe Officially Official http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2017-mercedes-amg-c63-coupe-officially-official/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2017-mercedes-amg-c63-coupe-officially-official/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148289 Mercedes-AMG took the wrapper off its dual-flavored C63 AMG Coupe on Wednesday — and to quote the great Denny Green: “They are who we thought they were.” The Affalterbach duo was shown online after weeks of teases and official photo “leaks” two days ago. The only surprise left were the official specs of the coupes, […]

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Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015

Mercedes-AMG took the wrapper off its dual-flavored C63 AMG Coupe on Wednesday — and to quote the great Denny Green: “They are who we thought they were.”

The Affalterbach duo was shown online after weeks of teases and official photo “leaks” two days ago. The only surprise left were the official specs of the coupes, which were close to what many people predicted.

The C63 “normal” will boast 476 horsepower and 479 pounds-feet of torque, while the C63 S will bump up to 510 hp and 516 pounds-feet of twist. Earlier estimates, based on the C63 sedan, were pegged 6 and 7 horsepower fewer, respectively. And curb weight, provided you’re a 150-pound human, with 15 pounds of cargo and nearly a full tank of fuel (I love how specific Mercedes can be) is 3,968 pounds for the C63 and 3,935 for the C63 S. (Unladen, the C63 and C63 S is 3,802 pounds and 3,769 pounds, respectively.)According to Mercedes-AMG, the C63 will run up to 62 mph [or 100 km/h!!! -Mark] in 4 seconds (C63 S is 3.9 seconds), which is nearly identical to the BMW M4, despite the two cars being separated by roughly 50 horsepower and 200 pounds. But unlike the M4, the C63 only comes with one (not manual) 7-speed transmission choice.

The hood of the C63 is 2.3 inches longer than a regular C-Class coupe, and the performance coupe will be shod with 255 millimeter tires up front, and impossibly wide 285s in back.

Mercedes-AMG says the C63 will manage 26 mpg in combined fuel economy and will be available for purchase in March 2016. The car will be shown to the public next month at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé (C 205) 2015

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Report: Jeep Renegade Trackhawk Confirmed for Production, Why? (Or, Why Not?) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-jeep-renegade-trackhawk-confirmed-production-not/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-jeep-renegade-trackhawk-confirmed-production-not/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145969 Jeep will build a performance version of its Renegade for 2018, complete with boosted four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, MotorAuthority is reporting (via AutoGuide). The busy 2.4-liter four could produce more than 300 horsepower, according to the report, but it’s not clear what transmission the Renegade Trackhawk could see. Jeep offers its Renegade with a six-speed […]

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Jeep will build a performance version of its Renegade for 2018, complete with boosted four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, MotorAuthority is reporting (via AutoGuide).

The busy 2.4-liter four could produce more than 300 horsepower, according to the report, but it’s not clear what transmission the Renegade Trackhawk could see. Jeep offers its Renegade with a six-speed manual for the smaller 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, but that mill only cranks half of the estimated final horsepower for the Trackhawk.

That leaves us with one question: why?

Even cloudier is the future for the Fiat 500X Abarth, which could share many parts with the Renegade Trackhawk. The Fiat family hauler was reportedly considered for performance improvements last year.

“The 500X is a good body for Abarth,” Roberto Giolito told CarAdvice Australia last year in Paris. “I can say today this is a good item. It’s absolutely perfect in terms of drivability, control. The driving seat is perfectly measured to control the car. So the Abarth would be perfect.”

Both the Renegade and 500X are built in Fiat’s plant in Melfi, Italy for North American sales.

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New Prius Will Be Shown Next Month in Las Vegas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/new-prius-will-shown-next-month-las-vegas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/new-prius-will-shown-next-month-las-vegas/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145889 Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which will be the first use of the automaker’s new global platform, will be shown to media in Las Vegas next month, Bloomberg is reporting (via Autoblog). The report doesn’t specify when the automaker would build the next-gen Prius, or why it chose southern Nevada in the summertime for its reveal (Tesla speculation […]

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2016 Toyota Prius Getting Gas At Vons

Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which will be the first use of the automaker’s new global platform, will be shown to media in Las Vegas next month, Bloomberg is reporting (via Autoblog).

The report doesn’t specify when the automaker would build the next-gen Prius, or why it chose southern Nevada in the summertime for its reveal (Tesla speculation starts now).

Sales of the Prius have declined since 2007 and 2008 when average gas prices in the U.S. hovered around $4 per gallon. Toyota hasn’t fully updated the Prius since 2009, with a mild refresh gracing the hybrid in 2011.

Bloomberg notes that the eco-friendly Prius may have lost sales to all-electric cars — Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and others — in the time it’s taken Toyota to update it.

The automaker began taking reservations in California last month for its hydrogen-powered Mirai.

According to our own Bark Maruth, we should expect glowing coverage of the Prius from reporters from carsaregoodandfun.net sometime next month.

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Hyundai Teases New Elantra Design Because Future Needs No Doors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-teases-new-elantra-design-future-needs-no-doors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-teases-new-elantra-design-future-needs-no-doors/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145825 Hyundai released Wednesday a new concept sketch of the coming Elantra, which shows that the new model will sport a large hexagonal grille, sleeker and lower headlights, and a steeper dropping C-pillar. The Elantra is scheduled for a redesign for 2017 and outlets are reporting the new sedan will debut at the Los Angeles Auto […]

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2017 hyundai elantra

Hyundai released Wednesday a new concept sketch of the coming Elantra, which shows that the new model will sport a large hexagonal grille, sleeker and lower headlights, and a steeper dropping C-pillar.

The Elantra is scheduled for a redesign for 2017 and outlets are reporting the new sedan will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It’s not clear what engines may power the new Elantra.

Hyundai released few details about the coming Elantra. According to Automotive News, the new Elantra will share a modified platform with Hyundai’s dedicated hybrid and Kia’s Forte. The Korean automaker is expected to release four hybrids, two plug-in hybrids and one electric car in the U.S. between 2016 and 2018.

Peter Shreyer

Peter Shreyer

However, the concept sports a red signature of identified origins. TTAC’s handwriting recognition investigators suspect it could be Hyundai’s chief of design Peter Schreyer who penned the sketch, as the compact signature sports all the hallmarks of horn-rimmed glasses.

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Audi’s First All-electric Car Will Be a Model X Fighter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-first-electric-car-will-model-x-fighter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/audis-first-electric-car-will-model-x-fighter/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145761 Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday. Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. […]

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Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday.

Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. According to Audi, the crossover, which is called the “e-tron quattro concept,” would slot between the company’s 182.6-inch Q5 and 200.3-inch Q7. Tesla’s Model X is 197 inches long.

The crossover’s lithium-ion battery would give the car a range more than 300 miles.

The crossover will make its first appearance at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.

According to Audi, the SUV would be incredibly slippery. Its 0.25 coefficient of drag would be the same as a Toyota Prius. The car would use moveable aerodynamic elements in front, on its sides and at the rear of the car. In addition to moveable aero, the crossover will have a completely flat underside.

Audi e-tron quattro concept – Exterior Sketch – Rear Audi e-tron quattro concept – Cockpit Sketch Audi e-tron quattro concept – OLED-based operating and display Audi e-tron quattro concept – Headlight with e-tron light sign A157360_large

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