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3 Things Got Us Hyped About the Toyota Subcompact Urban Crossover

toyota ft-ac concept (3)

We’ve heard it again and again: Toyota, the Japanese carmaker, is planning on adding a small urban crossover SUV to its line. At the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, we saw the third preview of the vehicle in the form of the FT-AC Concept.

There is no coincidence in this after the Japanese automaker confirmed that it will bring something new to the market in the next years. Toyota Motor North America General Manager Jack Hollis said that the Japanese carmaker plans to have more than one vehicle in each segment, especially if they differ enough in features.

1. Subcompact Lineup Teases With Third Preview Of New Concept

The FT-AC Concept is the third time Toyota teased us with the concept for a new subcompact urban crossover. Currently, the Japanese automaker has a slew of subcompacts such as the C-HR, the compact RAV4, the midsize 4Runner, the full-size Highlander and Sequioa, and of course, the Land Cruiser. All of these are worlds apart in features, performance, and driving experience. The Land Cruiser remains at the top of the range.

2. Toyota Is Testing The Water With New Concepts

The FT-AC Concept may be the third one we have seen, but the earlier two concepts can hold a candle on their own. The FT-4X Concept and the TJ Cruiser Concept, as well as the third concept, the FT-AC, all have distinct characters and attitudes. Hollis said that this was specifically done to “test the waters in the market” and see the feedback from Toyota’s loyal followers.

3. New Concepts Will Have A New Platform

Many of the features of the three new concepts are different, but they will most probably share the same platform—the TNGA platform. This means that the new urban subcompact crossover will be a unibody vehicle instead of a hardcore body-on-frame vehicle. The size would be similar to the C-HR and powered by an inline-4. It will have a front-wheel-drive system, but it will also offer an option for an all-wheel drive.

2018 Techrules Ren: Diesel-Electric Hybrid with Over 1,000 HP

techrules ren (5)

We couldn’t help but get impressed when the Mercedes-AMG Project One concept was finally unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Mainly, it was because of the hybrid hypercar’s more than 1,000 hp output. However, another hybrid supercar called the Techrules Ren seems to be poising to challenge it.

Actually the Ren was introduced ahead of the Project One. It came out during this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It was developed by the Chinese-based startup Techrules. It has a very wild design, unusual hybrid setup and more than a thousand horsepower output.

Design

The Techrules Ren follows the modern shape of the present hypercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder, but with a mix of a futuristic touch into it. According to TopSpeed, Fabrizio Giugario, the car’s designer, said that the auto is defined by its fighter jet-style canopy and unique modular three-cockpit design.

From the photos provided by the source, the driver’s seat of the car is flanked by the two passengers’ seats. Then, the upper enclosure of the car slides rearward similar to the canopy of a jet. Techrules describes it as a “one door body style”.

In front, the Ren’s nose is highlighted by its long hood and massive air intakes. Behind it is a fin in the center, wide diffuser, tail lip, and huge air exhausts that resemble an aircraft’s turbine.

Powertrain

Techrules revealed that the car runs on its innovative Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) powertrain. The turbines are powered by diesel fuel. It produces electricity that juices the battery pack of the auto, which then drives the power rear wheels.

The automaker plans to offer two-, four-, and six-motor configurations for the car. The range-topping model of the vehicle promises to deliver up to 1,287 hp and 1,725 lb-ft of torque. The figures are enough to propel the supercar from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. Its top speed is about 200 mph.

Techrules said that the electric range of the Ren will be 124 miles. On the other hand, its fuel consumption is around 31 mpg.

Delivery

Techrules stated that the deliveries of the Ren will start next year. Orders for it are already open for interested buyers.

3 Best Features of the Mercedes-AMG Project One

After much hype, the Mercedes-AMG Project One was introduced at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The hypercar concept aims to bring Formula One technology into our roads.

1. Design

The Mercedes-AMG Project One concept borrowed many design elements from the hypercars of our generation. Its styling is reminiscent of the Pagani Huayra, but with a few cosmetic updates and aerodynamic upgrades.

The mid-engined hypercar integrates the Sensual Purity design philosophy of Mercedes. Compared to the Huayra, the Project One has smoother surfaces that give it a luxurious appeal, which is the signature of Mercedes cars, while retaining its very strong sporty presence.

The interior design of the Project One is a notch up from the sporty cabin of the Mercedes-AMG GT. The hypercar has a two-seating capacity. Its seats were made to resemble the sloping styling of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Silver Arrow F1 car’s seat. It has two screen displays too. The most noticeable element inside the car though is its steering wheel, which is heavily inspired by the one installed in the current Mercedes F1 racecar.

2. Power

The Project One is defined by its overwhelming output. According to Mercedes-Benz, it produces more than 1,000 hp, thanks to its hybrid setup. It is powered by a petrol-fed 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine and four electric motors. The electric motors are located in the turbocharger, engine, and one each on the front wheels. An automated 8-speed manual transmission governs the power of the car.

The engine of the vehicle has a rev that can reach up to 11,000 rpm. On the other hand, its electric motors on the front axle give it an additional 50,000 rpm and the shaft is capable of 100,000 rpm.

3. Performance

Mercedes claims that the setup of the Project One completely eliminates the dreaded turbo lag in cars. The resulting acceleration of the auto from zero to 200 km/h is only six seconds. Its top speed can go up to a whopping 350 km/h.

Photos

Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept Is The Ideal Car For Millennials

toyota c-hr hypower (13)

Since it was launched in 2016, the Toyota C-HR became one of the company’s most popular crossover because of its affordability, its size, and its fuel-efficient engines. It doesn’t have a cult following like Honda’s CRV, but C-HR continues to stand out because of its stylish and youthful design.

Now, a team of designers from ED2, Toyota’s European design studio, came up with the Hy-Power Concept that added features both inside and out and updated the hybrid to a more powerful drivetrain.

The Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept was unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The moment you set eyes on it, you’ll know why it is a big deal if it sees production. Basically, the concept is like a personalized C-HR and the design is actually doable and possible and not at all out of this world compared to other concepts.

Exterior

The first thing the design team did is to fit the C-HR with a new paint called Dark Carbon. The purpose of this is to enhance the interplay between the muscular surfaces and the sharp lines. Dark Carbon is essentially a silver hue in a matte finish. It is then paired with a gloss black front lip spoiler, nose grille, and wheel arch trim, all of which contribute to a more aggressive appearance.

More, the concept features dark chrome in the headlamps, 20-inch alloy wheels, and Burning Orange highlights in the lower grille, side mirror caps, A-pillars, and roof.

Interior

The C-HR HyPower concept is definitely sportier inside compared to the current generation. There’s a dark versus orange theme going on in the cabin that features black seats with orange headrests and bolsters. The seats have an asymmetrical quilting pattern on the seatbacks, cushions, and door panels in bright Burning Orange yarn.

Drivetrain

All details are still under wraps for the new drivetrain under this concept’s hood. What we know now is that the concept will be equipped with a hybrid powertrain that can produce 122 horsepower .

4 Things To Know About The Honda Urban EV Concept Retro Design

honda urvan concept (1)

The Honda City garnered a cult following because it was cute and functional. Can we fault Honda for wanting to maximize the potential of the City? At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Honda unveiled a new concept called the Honda Urban EV. It is basically a City, but fitted with a retro design that we all adore.

1. City with Retro Touches

Think of the City, but with more compact dimensions, round headlights, rectangular grille, and a hood decal reminiscent of City’s previous generations. To complete the look, there’s also an upright tail with square taillights. Overall, the car looks every bit the compact sedan Honda has been updating every year, but with funkier exteriors and interiors.

The suicide doors all the more emphasize the concept’s retro design. The driver and passengers will enter through it and sit on a pair of benches. At their front is perhaps one of the largest displays ever to be fitted on a car. They should be able to view conventional information that shows infotainment details and everything related to the car’s all-electric powertrain.

2. Power Manager to Take Care of the Drivetrain

There is no word yet on the powertrain, but Honda has been vocal about the Power Manager, which debuted alongside the Urban EV concept. The new technology will be able to transfer energy between a vehicle, a home, and the broader energy grid. If you are familiar with Tesla’s Power Wall, wherein owners can store renewable energy and upload it to the grid, the Power Manager sounds a lot like it.

3. Modern Touches Can Be Found Too

Sure, the retro design will make the Urban EV Concept stand out, but there are modern touches, too. There’s a blue backlighting in the Honda grille badge, a programmable display screen between the headlights, and a display screen between the taillights that shows the charge status. Aside from those, there’s also the huge multi-spoke wheels.

4. Concept to Go Into Production

The Honda Urban EV Concept will not remain a concept. It will go into production for European markets in 2019. There is no word yet if this will cross the shore to the United States, but let’s hope that it will since the retro design is too cute for words.

Photo Source: CarBuzz

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ A Teased Ahead of Frankfurt Show

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

Can you still remember the Generation EQ concept by Mercedes-Benz that made its debut at last year’s Paris auto show? That signaled the German automaker’s commitment to finally introduce a fully electric lineup. It was set to preview on the new crossover model called the EQ C.

Mercedes’ latest EV concept, the EQ A, is going to the Frankfurt Auto Show. Surprisingly, though, the German brand has given us a taste of what’s to come.

The EQ A looks very similar to the Generation EQ concept shown last year. It has the same basic architecture—long hood, gaping front grille, and flared fenders. We can’t be sure about that front grille, though, since the teaser photos have been darkened to keep features secret until the motor show.

What we can derive from the darkened photos is that the new concept will have sharper headlights divided from the rest of the car’s grille and a standard hexagonal Mercedes-Benz family grille design language. The Generation EQ is being powered by an electric motor on each axle with a lithium-ion battery that has a range of 310 miles. Will we see the same one on the EQ A? We’ll have to wait for the motor show for that.

The German auto brand plans to use the EQ concept for its range of electronic vehicle lineup. Before 2020, Mercedes-Benz promised to come up with at least four electric-powered vehicles. It will also be fitted in the hybrid setups of Mercedes’ lineup of vehicles, the first one being the Formula 1-derived Project One. But don’t expect the hybrid cars for the Formula 1 Project One and the EQ to have any shared components because of the former’s race history.

The Mercedes-Benz EQ A will make its debut during the Frankfurt Auto Show, so stay tuned for more details.

 

3 Things We’re Expecting From The 2017 BMW Concept Z4

bmw concept z4 (17)

The BMW Z4, which was introduced back in 2003, was a compact, two-seater that can be had as a soft-top convertible or a coupe. It has a sporty exterior and naturally-aspirated engines until the second generation started the turbo engine trend. The Z4 never looked back and now offers turbocharged engines.

1. Exterior

The Concept Z4 is a lot of things, including aggressive, sporty, and hell-bent on being noticed. The highlights of its exterior include the wide kidney grilles, the chrome inside the headlight lenses and the side view mirrors, and the nose that overhangs the lower portion of the front fascia.

The hood is probably the most significant of its look, thanks to those long, recessed vents that also highlights the two dominating lines on the side profile that continue from the fender area to the door. This provides a sense of depth and aggression to the overall body style.

The windshield has a frameless look to it with only the dark tint around the edges to separate it from the rest of the body frame.

2. Interior

The interior of the Concept Z4 is bold and unique, thanks to the two-tone nature of the cabin. The passenger side is covered in orange Alcantara while the driver’s side used black leather and some black Alcantara. The focus of the Concept Z4’s interior is the driver, and that can be clearly seen by the way the controls are aligned and positioned close to the driver’s seat.

At the front of the four-spoke (technically) steering wheel is the all-digital instrument cluster with two primary gauges—the tachometer and the speedometer. The gauges on the lower portion are for the fuel and engine temperature. The interior has a very futuristic design and concept, but we’re hoping to see it once the production model is ready.

3. Drivetrain

The rumor mill says that the Concept Z4 will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter inline-six. The 2.0-liter will be the one offered in most entry-level BMWs. It would be able to produce 258 horsepower. But since this is a third-generation Z4 already, the German automaker needs it to stand out with probably something close to 270 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque.

Photos

Check out the photos of the 2017 BMW Z4 from Top Speed in the gallery below:

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet Will Make Your Hearts Go Faster

mercedes-maybach 6 cabriolet

If there was any one reason to visit the prestigious and exclusive Monterey Car Week in California, this was it—the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet.

When you first look at it, you’ll probably think about a shorter version of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach revealed during the Pebble Beach Show last year. And yet, for the life of us, we know there is so much more about this year’s version. And we were not wrong.

On the outside, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet looks like a Riva speedboat, thanks to its angular rear end that seems to just end without so much as a peepshow of a trunk. Some said it even looks like a pen; a very exclusive and expensive one at that. What’s bothering us is the fact that the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is 5.7 meters in length and 2.1 meters in width and yet, somehow, Mercedes just find enough time to put in two seats there. That’s a lot of excess space, if you ask us, but there is a method to this madness, of course.

Whatever space it might have for more passengers, it has to give up for the massive center-locking 24-inch wheels and four electric motors that are powered by an underfloor battery pack. It can power up to 740bhp with its four-wheel drive system. The electric motors are powerful enough to go from 0 to 62 mph in sub-four, and the battery pack is good for a range of 310 miles.

Maybe you’re excited about the headlights or the grille, but the true luxury astounds you once the white fabric roof with interwoven rose gold threads reveal what’s inside: crystal white nappa leather, a full-width digital display, and illuminated buttons stitched into the seats. The center tunnel looks like it’s floating and transparent (blue fiber optic lights show the car’s energy flow).

This is a concept, or a vision, for now, but we do hope Mercedes engineers would put its heads together and just turn this into a production car.

BMW Electric Crossover To Feature Level 3 Autonomy

bmw electric crossover

We don’t know what BMW’s upcoming electric crossover will be called, but what we do know is that it will arrive with a level 3 autonomy. So, whether or not it’s called the i5, iNext, or something else, the BMW electric crossover has the ability to bring the level 3 autonomy to fruition, which will revolutionize the auto industry.

The SAE International defines level 3 autonomy as “conditional automation.” Basically, it means the car can take over the whole driving mechanics and functions as long as the driver is in the car and ready to take command of the vehicle once required. Unlike level 1 or level 2 autonomy, the human driver can take his eyes off the road under level 3, as well as relax a bit because he doesn’t have to handle the steering wheel either.

The driver would be able to text, make a call, or even read a book under this level 3 autonomy. However, he will be alerted if he needs to intervene and take over the car. It will be the system’s responsibility to decide if it cannot function under the current conditions.

Kevin Marcotte, BMWi’s national manager in Canada, told InsideEVs that the German automaker’s use of level 3 autonomy in its electric crossover is the “next big thing for us in terms of leapfrogging the industry.”  It will be a “major leap” for the autonomous driving technology.

For years, there have been rumors that the German automaker is working on a new electric vehicle—a crossover, some said. The reports about BMW’s use of level 3 autonomy means that any doubts can be put to rest. There is indeed an electric crossover from BMW and although we aren’t sure yet what it’s going to be called, we have a little tidbit in the form of level 3 autonomy.

BMW recently announced its shift to electronic vehicles, including that it’s calling the iNext that will introduce a number of new technologies. Apparently, that will be released in 2021 while the i8 roadster will debut next year. A Mini BEV is reportedly going to be launched in 2019 and the all-electric XBMW X3 will be unveiled in 2020.

 

Hybrid Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade Concept Car Unveiled

volkswagen gti concept (1)

A hybrid model of the Volkswagen Golf GTI was just unveiled during the brand’s fan meet at the Lake Worthersee in Austria. The concept car was made by a group of young VW apprentices.

According to Autoblog, the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade was created to commemorate the 10 years of Worthersee show builds commissioned by VW. Peter Christ, Head of Automotive Technology Training in Wolfsburg, said that the goal of the project is for the apprentices of the company to learn the complexities of automobile production and to let them gain further experience through the use of digital technologies, application of system technology and electro-mobility.

Power Units

Rechristened as the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade, the vehicle packs a petrol-fueled engine. The unit is capable of producing a whopping 410 hp. All that power is directed to the front wheels of the car.

Next to that is a 48-volt electric motor. The unit gives the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade another 16 hp at the rear wheels. There are no details yet about the range of the car’s twin battery at full charge using the all-electric drive system, but the company says it is handy at short distances or in stop-and-go traffic. The regenerative braking technology of the auto provides it an improved energy efficiency.

Combining the petrol and electric motors of the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade allows it to optimize its performance with an all-wheel drive system.

Design

The Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade is finished in five-tone matte paintwork. The striking Atlantic Blue color in its exterior with decorative strips and contrasting Satin Ocean Shimmer foil paint, blacked out radiator grille, rear spoiler and set of 20-inch alloy wheels make the car very hard to miss on the road.

The interior design of the car features handcrafted black nappa and Alcantara surfaces with blue trim. Basically, every element found in the Volkswagen Golf GTI has been retained, except that the developers of the concept car removed the rear passenger seats to make way for a massive 11-speaker, 1,690-watt sound system.

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