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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Four Things To Expect From The Maserati Alfieri

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It was recently announced that the launch of the Maserati Alfieri will be pushed back to 2020. This is an unwelcome development for those who want to see the Italian brand’s new flagship, but it’s good news for those craving for a worthy successor of the Maserati GranTurismo because the company is reportedly delaying the Alfieri to create a new generation GranTurismo and GranCabrio.

But for now, here are four expectations we have about the Maserati Alfieri:

There is a New Lightweight Platform

Little is known about the Alfieri that will come out in 2020, but engineer Davide Danesin earlier announced that Maserati is developing a new platform that will allow the vehicle to be made out of lightweight material like aluminum. Both the Alfieri and the next-generation GranTurismo is expected to ride on a platform with a “more sporty architecture” than the Ghibli, Levante and Quattroporte.

It is Going to Come Close to the Ghibli

The platform that’s going to be used with the Alfieri won’t be all new. It will share bits and pieces, “some common basis,” with the Ghibli sedan. This move will likely reduce costs, as well as development time, reports suggest.

It Will Have a Rear-wheel Drive Layout

Originally, an all-wheel drive was being considered for the Alfieri, but Danesin clarified that this seems to be improbable. The next best thing is to create the Alfieri with an exclusive rear-wheel drive layout.

The Engine Will Likely Be a V6

Engine options for the Maserati Alfieri remains to be unconfirmed, although we are expecting it to be powered by a V6 engine that can produce 410, 450, and 520 horsepower, depending on the variant.

The Alfieri concept was first introduced at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, where it wowed the audience. Its production version was supposed to be released as early as 2016, but this was pushed back to 2018 according to a report. Now, it seems fans have to wait until the end of the decade to see the concept come to life.

3 Awesome Stuff About the Mercedes-Benz Concept X-Class Pickup

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October 25, 2016 marked the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Concept X-Class in Stockholm, Sweden. The concept Mercedes pickup truck is a preview of the X-Class production model due next year.

1. Mercedes-Benz Design Language

While the concept X-Class carries with it the platform of the Nissan Navara, it makes itself stand out from the Navara’s shadow by incorporating the artsy signature design language of Mercedes-Benz.

2. Comes in Two Flavors

Mercedes unveiled two concept models of its pickup truck in Stockholm, namely the “stylish explorer” and the “powerful adventurer.”

The first variant embodies the mix of luxury and the practical features of a pickup truck. The vehicle is painted pearly white, giving it an opulent look. The snout of the X-Class is somehow similar to the styling of the current Mercedes SUVs, particularly the GLC.

The second variant has the same elements but it further elevates itself from the other by its more muscular form. The auto is finished in pea-green color and its features are jacked up by its 1.9-meter ride height, tires measuring 35 x 11.5, twin louvre grills, and extended carbon wheel arches. Moreover, it is fitted with an electric winch with metal hook in front.

3. V6-Powered

Mercedes revealed that the X-Class will have a V6 power unit. The engine is matched to a 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. When it comes to hauling things, the pickup can tow up to 3.5 tons and carry around 1.1 ton.

Mercedes-Benz Concept X-Class Official Photos

Check out the photos of the Mercedes-Benz Concept X-Class concept in all its glory in the gallery below:

Other Features

So far, Mercedes is silent about the technology that the X-Class pickup truck will have. However, it is safe to assume that it will most probably mirror the ones found in the latest C-Class, SUVs and vans in its market release.

Three Things To Watch Out For In The Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is due to be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, so it comes as a no surprise that we’re seeing prototypes being tested in broad daylight with less and less camouflage.

The latest spy shots of the car still haven’t revealed much detail about the Stelvio, but it did give us a glimpse of what to watch out for.

Stevlio’s Front Reveals New Grille, hood

The spy shots released earlier did not reveal the headlights. Unfortunately, the same holds true for these series of shots. The headlights are disguised by heavy tape, though it appears to be identical with the ones found on the Giulia sedan. As for the grille, a new v-shaped grille is found at the front with two rectangular ones placed on the bottom of the front fascia. The hood, on the other hand, has three odd-shaped ridges, although some see these ridges as more because of the camouflage than the actual creases on the Stelvio.

Profile is Similar to Porsche Macan

Earlier spy shots revealed that the Stelvio will mimic some of the most intricate and obvious designs of the Porsche Macan. In this regard, the spy shots were not wrong. This series also proved that the rear end of the SUV won’t change as much—the taillights are still taped off and appears to be very similar to the Giulia. What’s new, though, are the massive exhaust tips, which would be more perfect on a sports car.

Powertrains are Going to be the Same as with the Giulia

There aren’t any exhaustive details about the powertrains that the Stelvio will come packing. According to reports, it would be the same gasoline and diesel powertrains as being offered by the Giulia. But because of the massive exhaust tips found on the prototype, there are also rumors that the SUV might be getting the 2.9-liter V6 engine from Giulia Quadrifoglio.

3 Important Features Of The 2018 Ford Mustang

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The first spy photos of the prototype for the facelifted 2018 Ford Mustang have just arrived, and did they arrive in style. Though only a facelift, so it’s expected that changes will be minimal, Ford engineers still went to great effort to mask the tweaks done.

Here are the top 3 important features of the upcoming Ford Mustang that we found out so far based on spy shots and rumors:

Front bumper receives “dramatic” change

The front end seems to be receiving a lot of attention, based on the prototype just uncovered. The most “dramatic” change comes with the new design for the lower section of the front bumper. Apparently, this will have an A-wing shape for the front splitter. Aside from the front bumper, there will also be tweaks on the headlights, specifically on the internal graphics. The shape of the enclosure won’t likely be changed.

New engine option for high-end models

What fans will be clamoring for in the coming months is the mechanical changes made on the 2018 Ford Mustang. There will be a new 10-speed automatic developed by Ford and General Motors that is going to be available as an option for high-end models. The current 6-speed automatic will be retained for the lower-spec variants. This 10-speed option is already being utilized by the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Reportedly, it shifts faster than Porsche’s dual-clutch transmission. Good news, though, the 6-speed manual will remain for most models.

As for the speed, the current portfolio should be retained, though there will be changes in terms of power and gas mileage. The Mustang V-6 enjoys 300 horsepower while the Mustang EcoBoost has 310 horsepower and the Mustang GT produces a whopping 435 horsepower. The Shelby GT350 and GT350R models, on the other hand, can power up to 526 horsepower.

Arriving as a 2018 model

The facelifted Mustang, which will be introduced in 2017, will come out as a 2018 model. But also arriving for the same model-year is the Mustang Shelby GT500.

9 Spy Shots Show Bentley Flying Spur Prototype Testing

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The Porsche Panamera Turbo is utilized as a test mule for the next-generation Bentley Flying Spur.

Spy shots of a Bentley Flying Spur prototype recently emerged online. The photos show the car being tested on wet conditions.

But how come the pictures here show a black Porsche Panamera Turbo?

While the photos indeed show a blacked-out Panamera, Autoblog claimed that the car is merely serving as a test mule for the Flying Spur. It makes sense that Bentley would use the Panamera to test the prototype of the Flying Spur because the two share the same platform. The new Panamera uses the MSB platform.

Another indication that we are looking at a test mule for the Flying Spur is the license plate of the Panamera. According to the photographer who captured the spy shots, the plate number of the auto is registered as a Bentley under UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Since the Flying Spur is the four-door variant of the Bentley Continental GT, expect the next-generation of the car to get many of the styling elements presented in the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept that was unveiled last year at the Geneva Motor Show.

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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

The source said the upcoming Flying Spur might keep the same powertrains available in the Panamera as the two share the same platform anyway. Therefore, expect the inclusion of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engines in the selection.

The Flying Spur concept is rumored to make its world premiere next year. The production model of the car will probably come out the following year.

Bentley Flying Spur Prototype Testing Spy Shots

Check out the images below showing the spy photos of the Porsche Panamera Turbo being used as a test mule for the new Bentley Flying Spur:

3 Things to Expect in the Volkswagen Golf

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The Volkswagen Golf will have a mid-cycle update this year. The new Golf will come out next month.

Based from the information we gathered from sources, here are the three things we expect from the new VW Golf:

1. Exterior Updates

The updates in the exterior of the upcoming Golf will only be minor. Look forward to its new headlights, taillights, LED running lights, and bumpers.

2. Volkswagen Digital Cockpit

The interior of the new Golf will have plenty of upgrades though. The most notable change within the VW Golf will come from its new system called the “Volkswagen Digital Cockpit,” based on an insider source.

The system is VW’s version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. The system will have either a 9.5-inch or 12.5-inch display plus a new infotainment system. Expect the Digital Cockpit to carry many new elements featured in the touchscreen display of the Volkswagen Golf R Touch Concept that was showcased at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.

3. Powertrain

The new Golf will likely get new fuel-efficient powertrains. The most frugal unit will be fitted with a 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder engine. It should be reminded that the power unit used to be in the Up! and Polo models.

The performance variant Golf GTI will possibly retain its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder unit. However, it might get a bump in the output from its standard 217 bhp and 227 bhp.

The report said VW might not proceed with the 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol and diesel-powered trims of the car anymore. This decision was influenced by the aftermath of the company’s diesel emissions scandal.

The bad news is that the improved powertrains will most probably be offered in Europe only. Customers in the United States will have to settle for the existing powertrains of Golf. One could only hope that VW will consider tuning the powertrains of the new Golf when it comes out in the US in order to enhance its fuel economy and reduce its carbon dioxide emission.

Top 15 Rumors About the Apple iCar

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There have been rumors since early last year that Apple is developing its own car, which is either an electric vehicle or a self-driving unit. Although the Cupertino-based multinational company remains secretive about it, there have been hints from inside sources and sightings confirming that the giant tech firm is indeed working on its own vehicle. The mass media currently refers to the auto as the Apple iCar.

Here are the top 15 rumors about the iCar that Macworld gathered:

1. Codename

According to Wall Street Journal, the iCar project is codenamed as “Titan.” It also claimed that several hundred employees are working on it.

2. McLaren Negotiations

Financial Times stated that Apple is negotiating to buy McLaren. It is not clear though if Apple is only considering it as an investment, but it is most likely that Apple is looking to utilize the supercar technology available in McLaren for its iCar.

3. Issues

Apple is reconsidering its strategy in development of self-driving cars. It was reported that the company laid off a number of its staff working on the project.

4. Marketing Strategy

The tech firm is planning on an aggressive marketing strategy for its iCar. It is targeting sales of half a million units annually.

5. Battery

The iCar battery will be sourced from a major Sourth Korean battery developer according to Neil Cybart, founder of analyst firm Above Avalon. The source said the anonymous Korean company just signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Apple.

6. Unveiling

Appleinsider said the completion of the iCar is tentatively set in 2021 due to major setbacks.

7. Development Cost

Apple spent $10 billion in research and development as of late. Previously, the company only allotted $3 billion for that. The sudden bubble in R&D costs indicates that it is working on something more than smartphones, tablets or computing devices.

8. Commitment

Tim Cook appears to be committed to it. Despite not confirming the project, he left hints in his interviews that they are into something bigger outside the products they have now.

Wall Street Journal revealed too that Bob Mansfield is overseeing the electric vehicle division of the company. Mansfield is a former senior vice president of Technologies at Apple. He reportedly extended his tenure from a planned retirement from the company in 2012 to lead the special project.

9. Noise in Apple Facility

Residents in Sunnyvale, California said that engine noises could heard in an Apple campus at 11PM based on Appleinsider.

10. Domain Names

MacRumors found out that Apple bought domain names related to cars in December 2015. However, it is also possible that the domains will be used for the in-car system of Apple called CarPlay.

11. Apple Covering Its Tracks

Reports surfaced that the car manufacturer Faraday Future might be a front of Apple for the development of its iCar. This is to divert the attention of the public from the iCar and keep the project away from the prying eyes of the media.

12. Digital License Plates

Among the cool technologies equipped in the iCar will be digital license plates.

13. Big Car and Tech Firms Sense a New Player in the EV Scene

Elon Musk revealed Apple has been offering Tesla engineers to jumpship with $250,000 signing bonus and 60 percent increase in salary. Korea Times claimed Apple is luring Samsung tech experts into their yard too.

14. Apple is Testing Cars Rigged with Sensors

Cars registered with Apple were seen in the roads fitted with a lot of sensors. The tech firm ruled out the development of autonomous car though by saying that the cars are only being used to test their mapping technology.

15. Apple’s Acquisition of Johann Jungwirth

The best evidence pointing to the possible development of the iCar is the hiring of Johann Jungwirth in Apple. Jungwirth is the former head of R&D at Mercedes-Benz. He is rumored to be spearheading the development of the iCar.

3 Things We Learned From the Mercedes-Benz GLT Pickup Truck Teaser

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Mercedes-Benz just released the teaser of its upcoming pickup truck called the “GLT.” Although the video only gives us a glimpse of the Mercedes-Benz GLT, it already shows us a lot of hints about the specs of the auto.

Check out the three things we are expecting from the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLT pickup truck:

1. Design

The start of the teaser reveals that the snout of the GLT is very sporty in appearance. The slope of the roofline also gives it an aggressive shape. Then everything is accentuated by the signature body lines of Mercedes-Benz. The front of the auto certainly shares many elements with the SUVs of the three-pointed star brand.

It should be noted though that the unit shown in the video is the “Vision” or concept form of the Mercedes pickup truck. So the production model might have some tweaks in its exterior that are different from it. Nevertheless, the production unit will definitely get many elements from its concept model.

2. Capacity

The GLT shares the same platform with the Nissan Navara. Therefore, expect the two to have almost the same hauling capabilities and both should have the same passenger seating capacity.

Like the Navara, the GLT is designed for off-roading and in carrying around heavy cargo. However, similar to the Navara, the GLT carries the design language that defines its brand.

3. Unveiling

The end of the trailer indicates the live world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz GLT. According to the video, the pickup truck will be unveiled on October 25, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Speculations

We are yet to discover the engine trims available in the GLT. However, it is most likely that it will have the same inline-four and V6 engines offered by Mercedes SUV units.

Teaser of the Mercedes-Benz GLT

Watch the official teaser of the Mercedes-Benz GLT below:

3 Cool Features of Dime Racing Package for Mercedes-AMG GT

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California-based Dime Racing tuning firm just unveiled its new package for the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT. The upgraded car costs $150,200, and only 100 units of it will be sold in select Mercedes-AMG dealers in the US.

Is it worth that amount?

Here are the 3 amazing features of the new package of Dime Racing for the Mercedes-AMG GT to help you decide if it is worth every dollar in its $150,200 price tag:

1. Engine

Dime Racing retained the handcrafted 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine of the Mercedes-AMG GT. However, the tuner installed new turbochargers in the car. Then, it tuned its ECU and gave it a better cooling system. The resulting output from all that work is a total bump of 745 hp and 731 lb-ft of torque.

The tuner hadn’t released any information about the zero to 100 km/h acceleration of the auto yet. But looking at the Mercedes-AMG GT R with 585 hp that is capable of sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in only 3.6 seconds, expect the AMG GT with the Dime Racing package to go quicker than that.

2. Exterior

Dime Racing only gave minor updates in the exterior of the AMG GT. Among the upgrades include some aerodynamic elements. After that, the tuner improved the suspension of the auto and fitted it with new wheels.

3. Freebies and

The tuning specialist is throwing away free car cover plus a Växjö watch from Stefan Johansson, a former Formula One driver and 1999 winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Each unit will also get its own Dime Racing-specific VIN as a proof of its authenticity and a badge of its collectibility. Lastly, the company is providing a bumper-to-bumper warranty for the car.

Photos of the Dime Racing Mercedes-AMG GT

Check out the images of the Mercedes-AMG GT with all the goodies offered by the Dime Racing package in the gallery below:

Tesla Will Equip All Its Cars With Self-Driving Tech

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Electric vehicle maker Tesla announced on October 19 that all the cars it will produce—including Model 3—will be equipped with technology that will allow them to go on auto-pilot.

Last year, the company co-founded by Elon Musk introduced the Autopilot system. Although it is far from offering fully-autonomous driving to its cars, the technology already has the elements that will pave way for that goal.

So far, the system allows auto-braking. It will also offer several features that will heighten the safety levels of the car, which is far more than the capability of a human driver.

To achieve such, Tesla equipped its cars with twelve updated ultrasonic sensors. The sensors double the capability of the old system in detecting hard and soft objects within the vicinity of the vehicle. The tech increases the awareness of the driver on the road too especially during heavy rain, dust, fog and in detecting incoming cars using its forward-oriented radar with enhanced processing.

Tesla said the new onboard computer in its cars provides 40 more computing capacity than the previous generation. The upgrade gives Tesla cars a new neural net enhancing their vision, sonar and radar. With that, every direction is seen by system simultaneously, which is far more than what the human senses are capable of.

Tesla reminded that customers will not have to wait for the mentioned technology anymore. The Tesla Model S and Model X have it already. The vehicles are being sold now.

For the meantime, Tesla stated that it will have to conduct more tests with their new system. The calibration would require millions of miles in real-world driving to ensure optimum safety and convenience. As a result, some features of the Autopilot will have to be disabled for the moment like the emergency braking, collision warning, lane assist and active cruise control. Over the air updates will be released to enable the blocked features once Tesla is confident in their new system.

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