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New BMW X5 To Feature The Latest iDrive Infotainment System

bmw x5 (1)

BMW has confirmed that a new model under its X series will become available by the end of this year. The BMW X5 will also be the best platform for the German brand to feature its latest iDrive infotainment system.

The new fourth-generation BMW X5 will be revealed most likely at the Paris Motor Show in September, and might become available in dealerships around the end of 2018. This information was confirmed by BMW head Harald Kruger during BMW’s 98th annual general meeting. This will be the fourth X model to arrive this year, after the X2, the new X3, and the X4.

This new SUV will be the first vehicle to feature BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment technology, which is called the BMW Operating System 7.0. The same system will also be featured in the upcoming 3 Series saloon and the flagship X7.

The spy shots revealed a lot about the evolutionary design language that BMW has used for the X5. As a rival to the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne, the photos showed the company’s latest hexagonal lighting signature even when it is completely covered in camouflage.

CLAR Platform

The current X5, which was introduced in 2013, is still using the same platform as the second-generation X5 from 2006. The biggest challenge then is finding a suitable platform for the new X5, and this could be the CLAR platform, which has already transitioned from the saloon to the SUV in the latest X3. On the latter, the platform has already shed off 55kg off the kerbweight. The larger X5 will have more saving in terms of weight and fuel efficiency.

The new X5 will follow the 5 Series’ four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

SUV sales for BMW grew rapidly in the past decade as this segment continues to be the main focus of customers. The company hopes to build on that success when the X5 is revealed later this year.

BMW X8 Flagship SUV Focuses On Rear-Seat Comfort

BMW X8 render. (Photo Source: BMW Blog)

BMW X8 render. (Photo Source: BMWBlog)

New details about BMW’s flagship SUV, to be called the X8, are emerging. Reports suggested that the BMW X8 will focus on giving rear-seat passengers a comfortable experience.

By all appearances before, the X8 didn’t look like it would go the coupe-SUV route. What was understood before was that BMW would focus on maximizing the rear seats for the comfort of the passengers, especially the Chinese consumers which the X8 will be targeting.

But an Autocar report published on Friday said that the X8 will feature a sloping roofline and a more coupe-like design like the smaller X4 and X6. The BMW is planning to position the X8 flagship as a rival to the Range Rover and to the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan if the X8 will tick off every box on the options list.

Now, in addition to the rear passengers’ extra space, the X8 will still feature a sloping coupe-like roofline that for most cars won’t be able to accommodate the needed extra space in the rear side. The X8, however, will be employing modern architectural and engineering technology to make this possible even with a slanted roofline.

The platform to be used will prove to be difficult for the German automaker, though reports indicated that the engineers will likely take elements from BMW’s CLAR modular platform and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan’s aluminum architecture.

This means that the 2020 BMW X8 will only be a four- or five-seater to achieve a comfortable experience for rear passengers. The upcoming BMW X7, which the X7 iPerformance concept previewed, will boast three rows of seats for a total of seven seats.

BMW will trademark the X8 to numerous markets around the world, including in Asia and most particularly in China. A final decision on how the X8 will look like will be made later this year before the SUV is released in 2020.

 

Hyundai Kona N Crossover With 247HP Is Looking For Approval

2018 hyundai kona

Hyundai’s N Performance sub-brand is awaiting approval from the top tier of the South Korean automaker to make over the Kona, the brand’s new compact crossover. Once it has the approval, the Hyundai Kona N Crossover will get 247 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbo engine used in the i30 N.

Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s N performance boss, already instructed his engineers to develop a test mule version of the Kona. This test mule version would be the consideration for the production of the Kona by the end of the decade. Biermann had no assurances about the Kona getting approval, but he reiterated that the Kona needs to use the powertrain in the i30 N.

To differentiate it from the standard version, the Hyundai engineers would need to develop a different suspension and steering specs for the performance version.

The i30 N is based on the i30, an overseas version of the Elantra GT seeing as the i30 N was never offered to the American market. It was offered in three body styles—a hatchback, a wagon, and a fastback sedan. Fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, the i30 N has two engine options: the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and another version producing 271 horsepower. The latter version will power the Veloster N, which will be available in the US.

The Kona’s standard version will have two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, or a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that can do 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Other features of the N version of the Kona could possibly be a large grille, red-trimmed undercarriage, a special badge, and interior trim and suspension upgrades that will include a rear diffuser, small roof spoiler, and exposed rear tailpipes.

Since going on sale last February, the Kona had already sold 5,874 units. It also has plans to develop an all-electric version for 2019 and an entry-level Kona Electric will be available in Europe.

 

2019 Subaru Crosstek PHEV Is Company’s First Plug-In Hybrid

subaru crosstrek

Subaru’s third best-selling car, the Crosstek, will be the company’s first-ever plug-in hybrid. It’s quite telling, actually, that the automaker chose the Subaru Crosstek to be its first plug-in hybrid version seeing as it was the first conventional hybrid introduced for the 2014 model year.

Since the Crosstek is the company’s fast-selling vehicle, it makes sense that it would like to experiment on it as people are more open to shelling out their money for something they would choose to go with, in the first place. Subaru has yet to reveal photos of the plug-in hybrid variant, so we’re left to wonder how this would look like.

The Crosstek PHEV will be similar to the Subaru BRZ since both of them will benefit from Toyota technology—the hybrid system, that is. It will still be paired to a flat-four and will be capable of driving in full EV mode and in conventional hybrid mode. We have yet to receive information on what the range of the Crosstek PHEV will be.

What Subaru did reveal is that the Crosstek PHEV will be coming soon, even as early as the end of 2018. We might be seeing this in dealerships before the year comes to a close. Of course, while we’re on the subject of release dates and arrival in dealerships, this also signals that more information and details are bound to come in droves.

There aren’t many plug-in hybrid compact crossovers in the market, but there are a few and they are quite interesting. The closest competition of the upcoming Subaru Crosstek PHEV would be the Kia Niro PHEV, which claimed to have a range of 26 miles on a single charge and a solid 46 mpg when running with the gas engine. The Kia Niro PHEV has a starting price of $28,840, so we’re thinking the Crosstek PHEV might play near this number.

Another competitor is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with 22 miles of range and 25 mpg on gas. The Outlander has more cargo, but it has a higher base price of $35,915.

3 Things That Make The 2018 Lexus RX Crafted Stand Out

Photo Source: CarAdvice

Photo Source: CarAdvice

Lexus has come up with the RX Crafted. The Lexus RX Crafted sits right between the Luxury and the F Sport trims, giving customers who want more features but don’t want to pay the price of the F Sport trim a new alternative. It’s only available in Australia for now, but we’re hoping we’ll see it this side of the globe, too.

Exterior

The update did not alter the exterior of the RX completely, though it now stands out because of the black accents to the front grille and the fog lamp bezels. The mirror caps are also now wrapped in black for a sportier look and the standard wheels have been replaced with 20-inch alloy units.

The rear is unchanged, but the bumper insert has been painted black and the chrome trim in the center and around the tailpipes have been removed. This gives the RX Crafted a sportier stance. The exterior is finished off with a standard moonroof.

Interior

Think about all the equipment you would want in a car and that’s what you’re going to find inside the RX Crafted interior. The Luxury trim used an eight-inch infotainment display. The Crafted has updated this to a 12.3-inch screen at no additional cost. It also has the heads-up display and the premium 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with Clari-Fi technology. These are the features that are reserved for the more expensive models.

Powertrain

Most special-edition models only have one powertrain, but Lexus is giving us more with the RX Crafted. It comes available with all the powertrains offered with the standard RX. There’s the RX 300, which uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It can produce 235 horses. Next, there’s the RX 350, which uses a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 296 ponies. Finally, the RX 450h hybrid is rated to have 308 horsepower.

Photo Source: CarAdvice

Photo Source: CarAdvice

Did We Just See The Tesla Model Y?

tesla model y

When Tesla released a hype video to show us what they have in store in the future, we are not prepared to actually see any cloaked or uncloaked version of the Tesla Model Y, an SUV crossover that’s to come in 2020. The video is pleasant enough to watch and there are a lot of exciting things that we can watch out for, but come the 0:15 mark, there’s something that might surprise everyone.

Observers noted that the video teased a new vehicle. Is the Model Y crossover? The vehicle is Tesla’s next step towards joining the market for mass car production and officially turning away from being a manufacturer of luxury or performance EVs.

So, why did we think that what we saw was a cloaked version of the Model Y? It looks to have the same sill and door profiles as the Model 3 on which the Model Y is based. The rear door shutline pairing with the rear wheel also looks identical to the compact sedan. Aside from that, we haven’t seen much to give us anything to talk about the new Model Y.

Tesla is working on different variants of the Model 3, including a dual-motor variant, but that’s only when weekly production of Model 3 reaches 5,000 cars per week. It’s entirely possible, of course, that the tease is just that… a tease… and that what’s under the cloak is simply another Model 3.

After all, the Model Y isn’t expected until 2020, based on the latest comment from Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself. He also said that the production of the Model Y will require a new facility as the company’s Fremont, California production site is “jammed to the gills” and “crazy packed” with vehicle production.

Musk has always been media savvy and quite an expert on generating buzz about his genius productions. So, maybe we just fell into another one of his tricks, huh?

Watch the video below and pause it within the 15-second mark to see it yourself:

Land Rover Announced Updates For The Range Rover Velar

range rover velar

Land Rover is updating its Range Rover Velar for 2018 with a fresh six-cylinder diesel engine and a slew of enhanced driver assistance and safety features.

The new D275 will bring a 3.0-liter V6 diesel option for customers producing 271 horsepower and 625Nm of torque. Those who will opt for the engine will also get to carry the D275 badge. No performance figures or fuel rating has been revealed, but Land Rover claims that the new engine will be capable of delivering 42.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 175g/km.

Aside from the new engine, all other petrol and diesel units will be fitted with new particulate filters. The P250 and the P300 models are both going to have a larger, 83-liter fuel tank.

The Velar is already fitted with a number of driver assistance technology, but even this has been updated with the Steering Assist and Lane Centring, allowing the vehicle to maintain a steady path when driving in a single lane. This Steering Assist feature works at speeds of up to 111mph.

In the new models, all will come standard with a rear camera, front and rear parking aids, driver condition monitor, emergency braking and lane keep assist. Also updated is the forward collision detection system, which can now work between 6pmh and 99mph to alert the driver to potential hazards. It will also be able to apply the brakes automatically during a critical situation.

All Velar models will be fitted with coil springs as standard. Four-corner air suspension will be an option on V6-powered models, as well as in the four-cylinder D240 and P300 cars. Other features to be expected are adaptive dynamic damping, scanning wheel and body movement.

The Kvadrat-made Premium Textile interior is available across the Velar range, not reserved anymore for top-end models. The D275 is on sale now for $67,293.

 

Rolls-Royce Cullinan To Debut On May 10

2018 rolls royce cullinan

The Rolls Cullinan, Rolls-Royce’s very first foray into the SUV land, will make its debut on May 10. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is said to be the most luxurious SUV in the world once it makes its debut.

The announcement from the luxury carmaker did not include details about the SUV, but we’ve already speculated largely about the SUV ever since we saw leaked test vehicles and prototypes for the model. We don’t expect a revolutionary design for the Cullinan. Remember that this is Rolls-Royce we’re talking about. They live for the elegance of the classics.

Design-wise, the Cullinan will likely resemble the company’s latest limousine, including the prominent grille, the rectangular headlamps, and the vertical taillights. It will also have a tall beltline and rear-hinged rear doors. The Cullinan, based on test photos, has a long roof and boxy rear section, making it seem that the Rolls-Royce is taking the old school route by fitting the SUV with a massive trunk.

The Cullinan’s cabin is almost identical to the new Phantom VIII. Expect the same massive dashboard with the big infotainment display in the middle, a wide and tall center console, and big A/C vents atop the controls in the center stack. It’s safe to say that the Cullinan’s cabin will be the most luxurious on the market, and it will compete with the Bentayga in terms of features, technology, and appointments.

All over the Cullinan’s interior, you’ll be treated like royalty, thanks to the premium leather upholstery and genuine wood trim. All of these colors and features will be customizable and Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division will enable owners to configure the SUV to their specifications that they like.

Power will come from a twin-turbo, 6.75-liter V-12 from the Phantom, producing more than 550 horsepower. The engine is paired with automatic transmission.

Expect the price to be somewhere in the range of £200,000 ($271,886) and up.

Prices Revealed For The 2019 Mazda CX-3 Small Crossover

mazda cx-3 (7)

The pricing for the 2019 Mazda CX-3 crossover has been released. The subcompact SUV will have a starting price of $21,365 when it arrives in dealerships later this month. That’s a $280 increase from the current model, including a $975 destination and handling fee.

Fuel Efficiency

Aside from the pricing, the company just released the EPA rating. The front-wheel-drive version gets 29 miles per gallon in the city and 34 on the highway for a combined 31 mpg. The all-wheel-drive version is rated at 27 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway and 29 combined. These are the exact ratings for the outgoing model. And here we are wondering about Mazda’s promised improved fuel economy.

Performance

During the New York Auto Show, we saw a glimpse of what’s to come in the 2019 Mazda CX-3 crossover. It would carry the same 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder that produces 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. It will be mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift and sport modes.

The new model also gets Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control driving technology, as well as a sportier and retuned suspension and improvements, making the driving experience quieter and more refined. There’s also an electronic parking brake, a redesigned center console and armrest, additional storage space, and redesigned front seats and additional rear armrest with built-in cupholders.

Standard features include a new direct tire-pressure monitoring system and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, two USB ports, a rearview camera, hands-free Bluetooth calling and audio pairing capability, and the 7-inch Mazda Connect full-color infotainment and diagnostic display, controllable via voice command or control knob.

For an extra $1,100, you may also get the new Sport i-ACTIVSENSE Package composed of safety technologies such as smart city braking support with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, radar cruise control with stop-and-go function, LED headlights and LED combination tail lights.

The Touring trim level adds 18-inch wheels and keyless entry while the top-level Grand Touring starts at $26,720 and $28,120 for front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, respectively.

Photos by: Road Show

Smoother Design Shown By 2020 Ford Escape Spy Shots

2020 ford escape (5)

The new generation Ford Escape or Kuga (if you’re from Europe) is in the early stages of testing as shown from the prototype that was spotted for the first time. The prototype shows a smoother, more fluid-like design for the latest Focus.

The test mule has a lengthened tail section and wider hood (which some may see as Ford’s way to hide the mechanicals), which probably indicated that the new Escape will be longer and wider than the previous generation.

This decision for an increased size makes sense since Ford has recently introduced the subcompact Ecosport and a new mini off-roader. The longer Escape will also make it a good competition with the Nissan Rogue and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Recently, Ford introduced a new platform for compact cars. This debuted in the new Focus and would probably be the same platform that would be used on the new generation Escape.

There are no details yet about the powertrains, but we can expect the new Escape’s standard powertrain to be a turbocharged inline-4 paired to an 8-speed automatic and front-wheel drive for the US market. All-wheel drive systems will also be available.

If you’re on the lookout for the Escape Hybrid, you may be in luck because it might be making a return. This time, we’re hoping it would have a plug-in hybrid powertrain option. Ford has plans to launch 24 hybrid and plug-in hybrids over the next five years. That includes the F-150 and Mustang hybrids.

The new-generation Escape is expected to be launched later this year, which would make it a 2020 model. The current Escape is being manufactured in Ford’s plant in Louisville, Kentucky. This would be the same location where the new generation Escape is going to be produced.

The only other compact model from Ford would be the Focus Active soft-roader.

Photos

Check out the spy shots of the 2020 Ford Escape from Car and Driver in the gallery below:

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