Monthly Archives: July 2016
Finally, Infiniti has announced pricing for its two-door 2017 Q60 sport coupe. The starting price is $39,855, though this can rise to about $42,000, depending on the powertrains and trim levels.
According to a report, the two-door sport coupe will be offered with either a rear- or an all-wheel drive in three trim levels the moment it goes on sale this September. Next year, we’ll get to see the 400-horsepower Red Sport 400 with the pricing to come later before the launch.
The lineup for the Infiniti Q60 includes the 2.0t, 2.0t Premium, and 3.0t Premium models when the cars are released to the market in September. The 2.0t will have a starting price of $39,855 while its AWD version will go on sale for $41,855. The 2.0t Premium has more equipment, which means an increase to $42,205. Its AWD version will sell for $44,205.
All the 2.0t models will come with the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that can produce 208 horsepower. Aside from this engine, some other standard features for the 2.0t include the 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, 8-way adjustable front seats, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connectivity, and a rearview camera.
On the other hand, the Q60 2.0t Premium will enjoy a sunroof and a 13-speaker Bose audio system.
The 3.0t Premium will have a starting price of $45,205 while owning the 3.0t Premium AWD will cost you $47,205. Both of these 3.0t models have the VR-series twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that can churn out 300 horsepower.
The Red Sport 400 model will enjoy the same features as the 3.0t models, but with a 400-horsepower version of the engine.
All these prices will include a $905 delivery charge, according to Infiniti.
Those who want to get their hands on the Q60 sports coupe can place their order through the Reservation Program. Early bird registrants will also get a chance to have a gift from Infiniti. They can choose from: a GoPro Hero4 Silver camera, Rosewood Hotel one-night accommodation, a Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III Wireless Music System, Tumi Tegra-Lite carry-on luggage, and a specially curated culinary experience.
It looks like the current Porsche Cayenne is nearing the end of its production life since a new one has been spotted out and about being tested in prototype form. Although the new SUV was covered in camouflage, we can still make out the general shape of this third-generation Porsche Cayenne.
By the looks of it in the spy shots, this model has a sleeker look with a longer and flatter roof. The styling was based on Porsche’s Panamera Sport Turismo concept from 2012, as well as the Macan SUV. The new Cayenne will also adopt Macan’s clamshell hood, wraparound tail-lights, and the Panamera Sport Turismo concept’s C-shaped fender vent and front air intakes.
Inside, it should have the same styling as the current Cayenne, though with less physical buttons because of an improved touchscreen interface. We should also expect this new model to have improved infotainment and connectivity options, as well as electronic driver aids with semi-autonomous features.
In terms of dynamics, fuel efficiency and performance, the new model is based on Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo platform, which made its debut with the 2017 Audi Q7 and appeared in the 2017 Bentley Bentayga. We expect it to see in the next VW Touareg and the Lamborghini Urus SUV.
The platform will make the new Cayenne lighter in weight but with improved rigidity, thanks to its combination of high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber. The 2018 Cayenne will weigh 220 pounds less than the current model, which is at 4,500 pounds.
As for powertrains, the new Cayenne will have the same engine as the current model, meaning a naturally-aspirated V-6 for the base model, a turbocharged V-6 for the mid-range Cayenne S, a plug-in hybrid for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and a twin-turbocharged V-8 for the Cayenne Turbo.
It is still not clear if the new Cayenne will offer a diesel option in the United States, especially after the VW Group’s diesel emissions scandal that affected the Cayenne Diesel.
Six months after the Land Rover Defender rolled off at the company’s Solihull plant, it looked like it will be making a comeback, thanks to investments from billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
The billionaire businessman, who is a chemical tycoon, is reportedly in talks with Jaguar Land Rover in hopes of resurrecting the model. It is still not clear if Ratcliffe is interested in buying the intellectual property of the model or parts of the production line.
According to The Sunday Times, the billionaire’s dream is to build the Defender in the United Kingdom. There are no details from the two sides about the negotiations.
Ratcliffe, the founder of Ineos, a £3.2-billion company, might move into producing vehicles as evidenced by his interest on the Defender. Talks with Land Rover only proved earlier reports that Ratcliffe is looking to venture outside the chemical industry, where he made most of his fortune.
It can be remembered that Land Rover stopped the production of the 66-year-old Defender earlier this year because of increasing stringent emissions requirements, as well as modern day crash regulations and low volume sales.
The next-generation model of the Defender is reportedly due in 2018 and 2019. Apparently, it will have two wheelbases and several bodystyles.
Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover said the opening of its new £20-million Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) Technical Center will allow for the development and production of SVR models. The company plans to make the center the birthplace of SVR models from now until 2020.
Currently, the division has three models—the Range Rover Sport SVR, the Range Rover SVAutobiography, and the Jaguar F-Type SVR. It is planning a fourth model, a Land Rover model, which will be due before this year ends.
According to Land Rover Managing Director John Edwards, the facility was inspired by a Formula 1 engineering center.
The XF was Jaguar’s most-awarded car after it was introduced at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Eight years later, Jaguar decided that the sporty luxury sedan needs a change, introducing it at the 2015 New York Auto Show.
Its design is largely based on the previous model, though the XF received a much more comprehensive upgrade since it’s now lighter and quicker according to a report.
Up front, there are narrower full-LED headlights, larger central air intake and more pronounced lower intakes. The taillights also received upgrades with longer and thinner units that emphasize the car’s width.
The XF is considerably lighter, thanks to Jaguar’s new architecture. This means the vehicles are now made of 75 percent aluminum, resulting to weight savings of about 132 pounds on the RWD model and 265 pounds on the AWD model. The new XF is 176 pounds lighter than its competitions.
Inside, the XF has larger legroom, knee room and headroom because of the wheelbase that now extends to 116.5 inches. At least for this segment, Jaguar bragged that it has the best rear seat and cabin space.
There are a number of infotainment gadgets—InControl Touch system that features a vehicle-optimized app suite, smartphone remote control, and the 8-inch touchscreen or the optional 10.2-inch touchscreen that comes with a quad-core processor, Ethernet connection, smooth graphics, and improved responsiveness.
It also comes with Dual View technology, meaning the passenger can watch DVD while the driver uses the display screen for navigation.
Other interior features include the laser heads-up display and the 825-watt digital surround sound stereo with no less than 17 speakers.
Drivetrains are now more varied than ever. Choices are: an Ingenium 2.0-liter four-cylinder oil burner, a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 diesel, two supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engines, and the rumored V-8 engine.
The Ingenium offers two power levels—160 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, or 177 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque—while the twin turbo diesel can go for 296 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
On the other hand, the two supercharged V-6 produces 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.
The 2016 Jaguary XF will have a starting price of $51,900 for the 3.0L Supercharged V6, 340hp and $62,700 for the 3.0L Supercharged V6, 380hp.
Alibaba just started as an e-commerce business, but expanded to other areas which included launching its own electronic payment system, as well as the “world’s first smartcar.”
Essentially, the Alibaba smartcar features an integrated operating system that identifies the vehicle and allows it to pay for gas, parking and toll fees. It can even recommend drive settings and destinations for each occupant.
The smartcar was introduced by Alibaba last Wednesday. According to a source, will be available in China starting this August with a starting price of RMB148,800 or about $22,300 in current exchange rates.
Based on the Roewe RX5 compact SUV, Alibaba’s smartcar was built by state-owned Chinese automaker SAIC. It is running on Alibaba’s operating system, YunOS. Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said his company aims to inject “human wisdom” to machines in the coming decades.
Smartphones have become smarter, thanks to operating systems, he added. The same can be done for the smartcars. YunOS can make them an indispensable part of human life in the years to come.
The operating system will allow the smartcar to automatically pay for toll charges, parking and fuel refills. The car itself can also access booking, navigation and entertainment via online. The YunOS will be able to recognize individuals through unique IDs, allowing it to recommend music, air temperature and nearby restaurants based on the occupant’s preference and past trips.
YunOS is open to third-party developers, so expect more apps to be compatible with the smartcar in the coming months. That means more features, functionality, etc.
Alibaba said it hopes the launching of the smartcar will start the development of connected transportation and infrastructure, where everything can be connected through the Internet of Things, or IoT, a concept where everyday objects are connected to a network that allow them to send and receive data.
Google and Apple are currently developing their own versions of a smartcar.
Honda is altogether stopping the production of the compact CR-Z hybrid, a slow-selling, sporty car that was not able to live up to expectations.
Production of the Japanese-made car will stop by the end of this year, Honda’s spokeswoman Nao Uzawa said. Sales, in fact, have ended in the American market since Honda already started to focus its green technology on the re-engineered Accord Hybrid with its upgraded drivetrain.
The CR-Z was first introduced in 2010, receiving rave reviews at first because of its inspired styling and the innovation of applying an environmentally friendly gasoline-electric system in a sporty vehicle.
The CR-Z hit the market in 2010 to rave reviews for its inspired styling and the novelty of applying an environmentally friendly gasoline-electric system in a sporty ride. The package promised to be a modern spiritual incarnation of the tuner-classic CR-X, blending the best of Honda’s latest eco-friendly technology with its heritage for spirited driving.
Last year, sales of the CR-Z in the US went down by 14 percent to only 3,073 vehicles. Until June this year, the number fell by another 6.7 percent to only 1,025 vehicles.
But even though the CR-Z was made for fuel economy, it never really scored high in fuel efficiency or even in sporty performance. Since then, Honda began working on sportier hybrids such as the three motor systems in the Acura RLX and the NSX sports car.
In Japan, Honda is commemorating the CR-Z with a special edition called the “Final Label.” The Japanese automaker has bigger plans for the re-engineered 2017 Accord Hybrid, which was released to the market this year.
For that vehicle, the annual US deliveries are expected to exceed 30,000 units.
The current version of the Accord Hybrid will be produced at Honda’s Sayama plant, north of Tokyo. It has been making the Accord Hybrid also in the US, but Honda stopped the output last summer to boost factory utilization rates in Japan.
Last month, Renault gave a sneak peek of its new Clio RS16 concept car, and we were mightily impressed by the performance engine it came with. We expected Renault to soon introduce the production version, and this week was apparently the right time for us to see the latest in Renault’s series of Clio RS hatchbacks.
The RS in the RS16 stands for Renault Sport, the French automaker’s official performance arm. It includes both the road car division Renault Sports Cars and the motorsport division Renault Sport Racing, which makes up Renault’s Formula One team.
The Clio RS16 is born out of a collaboration between these two divisions. Based on the fourth generation of the compact Clio, the new RS16 is available in two options—a standard model with 200 horsepower and the sportier Clio RS Trophy with 220 horsepower.
Both of these versions come packed with a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with front wheel drive and six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
But what’s unique to this particular segment is the choice of three chassis setups—Sport, Cup and Trophy settings. The Trophy setup is the most powerful one with the ride height getting lowered by 20 millimeters at the front and 10 millimeters at the rear. It gets finished with 18-inch wheels, which would come as standard.
According to Renault, the new Clio RS16 can go 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. Top speed is believed to be 146 mph, though the automaker also claims that there is a 14.5-second elapsed time for the quarter mile.
All of these Clio RS16 models will get a body kit with front splitter, side sills, roof-mounted spoiler and rear diffuser. The models also have the R.S. Vision, a checkered flag pattern for the LED fog lights.
Once you go inside, you’ll find the shift paddles for transmission, launch control function, RS infotainment system, and drive modes selector—Normal, Sport and Race settings.
The Toyota 86 was launched as a sports car in 2012, and is sold globally with a Subaru-developed, 2.0-liter boxer engine with either a manual or automatic transmission.
As a collaboration between Japanese automakers Toyota and Subaru, the Toyota 86 was launched together with the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S, though the latter was discontinued this year.
The 86 finally received an update for the 2017 model year according to a report. It got revised exterior elements, a number of interior upgrades, chassis tweaks, and a mild power bump for models with the manual gearbox.
Six months after, Toyota’s performance and motorsport division, Toyota Racing Development (TRD), launched its own package for the coupe. It consisted of a race-inspired body kit and some chassis options.
This new TRD package Toyota 86 fits for those who want to turn their 86 into a race car.
Be careful, though, as this package arrives with two drawbacks—there is no addition of a more powerful engine, and the package is not available for those living outside of Japan.
Toyota, of course, will most likely make it accessible to other markets but until that time comes, we’ll first just ogle at what the Japanese market can enjoy.
The package has a larger and sportier spoiler that extends under the grille. Instead of the standard body color, the splitter comes in all black and extends toward the sides for that racier look.
In addition, there are some LED daytime running lights, as well as black inserts with tiny winglets below the turning signals.
The sides are half-finished in black–the front fender inserts, the upper section of the doors, the lower section of the quarter window, and the lower side mirror. Also coming in black paint for a sportier look are the side skirts, rear wheel arch black trim, and five-spoke 18-inch, forged aluminum wheels finished in a light gold tint.
There are two additional wheel designs, both in 17-inch size, that TRD offers.
On the rear, the TRD package adds the race-inspired diffuser with larger, quad exhaust pipes and a slightly revised bumper with a more angular shape. The spoiler on top of the trunk lid comes in the body color, but you may opt for the carbon-fiber wing as well.
Drivetrain remains unchanged, though the TRD has adjustable coilovers and a new front tower brace as options.
Toyota has not revealed pricing details for the 2017 Toyota 86 TRF, so stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks.
Come 2018, you’ll get to know the new Rolls Royce Phantom, which is the eight generation of the luxury kingpin. But for now, here’s your first look at it.
Rolls Royce has just released images of the aluminum steel that will compose the 2018 Phantom. The company wants to make sure customers know the Phantom is making “excellent progress.”
Rolls Royce didn’t give details about this new aluminum steel, though we do know it will be the foundation not only of the next-generation Phantom but also of RR’s upcoming SUV, currently codenamed “Cullinan.” This will also be used for future Rolls Royces.
The new architecture of the automaker will have access to BMW’s myriad of next-generation driving technology, so there’s much to expect from this new Phantom. But why is this news important again? Rolls Royce announced earlier this year that the production of the current, seventh-generation Phantom, introduced in 2013, will be coming to an end.
Of course, before that happens, Rolls Royce will build a series of special edition Zenith models to commemorate the old Phantom.
Fortunately for Rolls Royce, the demand for the would-be Phantom predecessor hasn’t slowed even for a bit. In fact, Rolls Royce boss Torsten Muller-Otvos said that the announcement of the discontinuation of the production upped the demand even more. People are suddenly interested in the Phantom VII.
This clearly demonstrates that Rolls Royce’s customers remain to be those who prefer luxury and exclusiveness over purchasing mass-luxury brands.
The Phantom was launched more than a dozen of years ago, but the models have undergone basic updates over the years. These updates included a refresh for the 2013 model, and there have been a number of bespoke special edition models too.
Production for the current Phantom will end on December 31, although there are still units available until “well into” 2017.