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Mercedes-Benz is looking at releasing four electric vehicles by the end of the year 2020. Sources said the company will be producing two sedans and two SUVs to comprise the first tranche of electronically powered vehicles Merc is looking at developing.
Each electric vehicle model will share the basic elements of models already part of Merc’s current lineup, but the company also promised that the models will have distinct designs to set them apart from their conventionally powered counterparts.
This move came on the heels of the German government’s announcement of sales subsidies for all EVs priced at less than €60,000, or $67,150 based on current exchange rate.
This German government policy is part of the bigger scheme to attract would-be buyers to consider EVs instead of gasoline- or diesel-powered engines.
Of course, such a decision from Merc can also be seen as the company’s attempt to keep up with the fast-rising EV market, something other automakers have taken advantage of in the past months. Tesla Model 3’s 370,000 orders certainly made an impact.
Merc has reportedly taken a €500 million expansion of their existing battery production facilities in Germany to prepare for their EV plans.
Although not a surprise, Merc’s move is still a welcome development. There are no details released regarding this new direction the company is taking, but R&D chief Thomas Weber hinted that the current C-Class and S-Class models, as well as the GLA and GLC SUVs, will be the templates for the four EVs planned.
In particular, the GLA-based SUV model will tap the reworked version of the MFA platform that Merc is already using on its B-Class Electric Drive, which is technically Mercedes’ first EV. The other three models, on the other hand, will probably use the evolved version of the MRA, which was developed particularly for electronic vehicles.
We are now seeing the new 2016 Peugeot 3008 ahead of the September 2016 Paris Auto Show, where it is scheduled to have its world debut. For this year’s 3008, the French automaker decided to drop the minivan body style and embrace the SUV bandwagon. So, say a long and sad goodbye to the 3008 minivan because we will be seeing the last of its production run.
The second-generation 3008 looks like a better compact crossover SUV than most of the models we now see in the market. The exterior design in the spy shots appears to be based on Peugeot’s Quartz concept that was unveiled in 2014. On the other hand, its interior is probably derived from the same EMP2 platform used in the French auto’s 308 compact hatchback.
The interior is going to be upgraded as proven by the new spy shots revealed of the 3008. It will be getting a new digital instrument cluster in front of the new steering wheel, which is similar to the Peugeot 308.
The reason for the more elegant interior is Peugeot’s aim to be recognized apart from its rivals.
Reportedly, the new 3008 will have a couple of powertrain options. There’s a range of turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. In particular, the 2017 model will have the 1.2-liter three-cylinder petrol that features in the 308 SW.
However, the new 3008 will not carry the diesel hybrid, which was recently dropped from the current 3008 range. What it would probably have is the petrol plug-in hybrid.
You can opt to pair these engines with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Combine these engines and transmission choices to either a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, then you’ve got yourself quite a good crossover SUV.
Peugeot will start delivering the new 3008 in early 2017 in markets where the French brand is available.
Peugeot is looking to rival Ford Motor Company’s Kuga (sold as the Escape in the United States), the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Subaru Forester made a name for itself in the past years, especially with the completely revised 2014 version. For next year, Forester is getting a few updates for a mere $200 on top of the current prices according to a report.
It’s a bargain from Subaru considering that the 2017 Forester is getting these slew of new features: a revised front grille, bumper, and new headlights.
Also upgraded is the EyeSight system. It now includes a Lane Keep Assist while Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Reverse Automatic Braking have become standard.
In particular, the Forester 2.0XT Touring offers an available Active Torque Vectoring system.
Basically, we can expect everything in the 2014 Forester being carried over, except it’s so much better. The engines and transmissions remain unchanged, too.
Base models still get the 2.5-liter flat-four mated to a six-speed manual transmission, which is good for 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. CVT is optional.
There’s the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine too that is capable of 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. If you want the turbo, you have to choose the CVT option.
Trim levels still include 2.5i, Premium, Limited, and Touring for the 2.5-liter while the more-upscale 2.0-liter turbo is adorned with the Premium and Touring trims.
In all, the new Forester is a kill in terms of performance, although you have to look pass the very generic exterior.
There are a few changes on the front end—grille, lower fascia, and the headlights with LED accents main beams. The taillights also have that C-shaped LED element to tie it together with the headlights.
On certain trim levels, there are new alloy wheel designs that contribute to the Forester’s more mature and sculpted look.
Both wheel designs have a high-contrast black and machined finish look. The 2.5i Premium models get the 17-inch wheels while the 2.0XT receives the 18-inch rollers.
The base model 2.5i starts at $22,595 while the 2.0XT Touring begins at $33,295, both including an $850 destination charge.
Choosing the CVT in either the 2.5i or 2.5i Premium costs $1,000 or $500 more, respectively. Otherwise, the CVT’s cost is included in the other 2.5i trim packages.
Spy shots revealed that Land Rover is currently working to update its Range Rover Sport for a 2018 launch. This was proven when photos were taken of the new Range Rover Sport roaming in camouflaged prototypes in Europe.
This is an upgrade car experts have been talking about for months as rumors fly around the industry of a new Range Rover Sport getting ready to wow us all. It will likely be the second-generation model’s mid-cycle update, so the changes will be minimal.
As revealed in the prototype, the model has a new bumper design and a new shape for air intakes and license plate support.
The spy shots also revealed revised grille surround and a more likely new hood, one that would probably fit the revised grille in terms of design.
So, how did we know the prototype we just saw is for the 2018 model year? The second-generation Range Rover Sport was released back in 2014. The original model had a lifespan of eight years. Assuming the second-gen model has the same lifespan, this prototype—an updated model—is just in time for a 2018 model year.
Of course, we should also take note that a 2016 Range Rover Sport was just announced, and it received a number of updates such as a new diesel-powered HSE Td6 variant and some new technologies for the cabin.
The same updates you’re currently seeing here are set to be the same ones that are going to be installed in the flagship Range Rover SUV, the current generation of which was launched a year before the second-generation Range Rover Sport.
Speaking of that, the high-performance Range Rover Sport SVR was also spotted in updated form.
More details are bound to come out as developments continue, and as Land Rover tests more of these prototypes on the road.
Source: Motor Authority
It’s that time of the year again when Audi starts churning out reports on deliveries—said to be 1.8 million cars in 2015 and 620,100 in the first quarter of this year)—as well as big investment plans for the future. Prospective plans will start at €3billion in property and technology in 2016.
Then, of course, there’s also news of a new car. Audi revealed it will begin launching a new EV every year starting 2018. The initial plan is to launch a sporty SUV that claims to have a range of more than 500 kilometers (310.69 miles). That’s more than what the Tesla Model S, which currently stands at a highway range of 303.2 miles, can do. That is according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
But this isn’t much of a surprise since Audi announced at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show the arrival of the E-ton Quattro Concept, which will be in production in a few months’ time. What’s even better is that the production car will be patterned perfectly after the concept, which will have two electric motors—one for each axle with a combined 503bhp.
Audi also claims it would have 4.6 secs to 62 mph, 131 mph and that 310-mile range.
Although this isn’t a surprising development, it’s still nice to see Audi keeping its word.
Audi hinted of a new A8 too, which would be one of the 20 “new or upgraded” Audis to come out this year. The A8 is going to be the first car in the brand’s history capable of “piloted driving.”
Details are not exactly out there yet, but it looks like the A8 will be able to drive itself temporarily on motorways at speeds of up to 37 mph—a technology already available in the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It remains to be seen how Audi is going to utilize this same technology on its cars.
Supercars cannot simply stay as they are. Customers are requiring much more in terms of performance, reliability and technology. Brands such as Porsche, Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini have all answered the call for a sporty SUV. Now, Jaguar has also heard the need for it and recently unveiled plans for the F-Pace SUV.
But rumor has it that there’s a new player in town—a V8-powered called the SVR. This is a quick turnaround for Jaguar considering it has just started production of the SUV.
If it becomes a real thing, we should see the SVR being unveiled as early as next year’s Geneva International Motor Show.
Outside, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR is expected to be more muscular than the existing crossover SUV. The front bumper would have larger intakes with a chrome accent along the lower center grille and a glossy black insert.
Although the LED-equipped headlights would remain the same, the hood would get black vents. The tail-side of the front fenders would also have vents in all-black. Other features would include a front splitter, side skirt extensions and rear diffuser.
Inside, the sporty SVR would expectedly have a luxury-laden cabin that uses high-end materials and high-tech amenities. The infotainment system would include the InControl system—navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and smartphone app support.
To control it, you would have to use the large touchscreen on the center console. There are also some buttons on the three-spoke steering wheel. Options would include new upholstery colors, plus driver’s aides like automatic braking, lane-keep assist, parking assist, and carbon fiber trim.
The current F-Pace has three options, but the SVR would naturally require more in the tune of two additional supercharged cylinders in Jaguar’s tried-and-true 5.0-liter V-8. The output levels should match the Range Rover at 542 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque.
Expect the SVR to hit 60 mph in the low four-second range with a top speed of 160 mph.
The regular F-Pace starts at $40,990 and goes up to $56,700. The SVR would most likely add $20,000 on the base model.
Toyota has just confirmed it will end the production of the retro-inspired FJ Cruiser this August. This is a sad news for the handful of markets that still manage to get their claws on the two-door SUV.
If you can remember, the FJ Cruiser was first introduced at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show as an off-roader inspired by Toyota’s cult classic FJ40 Land Cruiser.
Toyota has already pulled out the FJ Cruiser from North American markets about two years ago. But its sales have continued in markets that favor rugged-type SUVs such as Japan, China, Australia and the Middle East, among others.
In the United States and Canada, Toyota decided to focus on its four-door 4Runner, which has surprisingly been popular among North American consumers. The current 4Runner was launched in 2009, but it was updated for the 2014 model.
Both models, the FJ Cruiser and the 4Runner, share most of the designs and performance features—running gear and their body on-frame construction. However, they are assembled in different plants.
In most markets, the two models are priced very close to each other. But in the US, the 4Runner is generally a bit more expensive than the FJ Cruiser.
Usually, when Toyota stops a production for a car model, it first creates a special edition—kind of like a souvenir for that particular model’s fans. In particular, it did that for the high-feature Ultimate Edition offered to American consumers in 2014 before the SUV closed its market.
For the FJ Cruiser, the company has yet to announce any such plans. Of course, how ironic was it that car enthusiasts are mourning the end of the FJ’s production when it didn’t receive that much love when it was first launched.
Remember, we used to think it was a bit on the unsightly side until Toyota made some improvements on it designs?
The all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio was photographed while on a road test around the Nürburgring.
The new SUV came at just the right time when Alfa Romeo promised to launch eight fresh models by 2018. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is expected to compete against the likes of 2017 Audi Q5, 2017 BMW X3, and 2015 Lexus NX.
The models will apparently offer a range of drivetrains from fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel versions to high-performance haulers.
Technically, Alfa Romeo has yet to launch a production SUV. But every time it does, the Kamal Concept presented at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show is being tapped.
But Alfa has a new design concept for the Stelvio, seen on both the 4C and the Giulia. Up front, we can see Alfa Romeo’s design language on the nose and the lower area of the fascia. Then, there is more padding on the sides while the roof slopes down a little to the rear.
Inside, there’s an expectation that the SUV will borrow the design features of the Giulia. The dashboard includes a center console, the instruments cluster, the center stack and the infotainment display.
It would also probably come with premium features such as leather upholstery, soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door panels, contrast stitching, and aluminum inserts. The high-end variant will most likely include carbon fiber trim.
Under the hood, there will be a range of gasoline and diesel engines. For the gasoline, the SUV will have a 2.0-liter, supercharged, four-cylinder that delivers 197 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque on an eight-speed, rear-wheel-drive transmission.
As for the diesel variant, you will get a 2.2-liter four-cylinder with two different configurations. One offers 177 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque while the other offers 148 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
There’s going to be a high end variant with a 2.9-liter, biturbo, V-6 engine.
Prices are not yet available for this SUV, but the entry level should start at $42,000 while the high end would cost $50,000.
It looks like French automaker Renault will have a new replacement for the compact Koleos crossover, and it will be a seven-seater flagship SUV ready to compete with the likes of Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Honda.
Renault confirmed it will carry the Koleos name, and that it be launched at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. The company also unveiled the first official photo of the Koleos.
On the outside, what we can confirm is that the Koleos will be 5 meters longer than the current model, which has a length of 4.5 meters. With that size, it will be the biggest Renault passenger vehicle in production.
Aesthetically speaking, it will receive the same treatment as the Renault Talisman and Mega ne. It has a rectangular shape headlights and a LED running lights underneath that is hook-like in shape.
The design will be built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Family, a partnership formed in 1999. The platform is also currently used for the Nissan Qashqai, Nissan X-Trail, Renault Espace and Renault Kadjar.
Inside, the cabin has that extra third row to fit seven people. This is a pretty major adjustment for the Renault. The head, hip and leg room are all pretty spectacular given the size of the SUV. But if you’re worried about compartment, don’t be. The one-touch folding rear seats will make sure to provide that.
The Koleos will inherit the Nissan X-Trail various drivetrain options, which include a gas-powered 2.0-liter inline-four that can produce 143 horsepower, a gas-powered 2.5-liter inline-four with 170 horsepower, and a diesel-powered 1.6-liter inline-four with 130 horsepower.
Transmission choices will include a six-speed manual and a six-speed EDC automatic with FWD as standard and AWD as optional.
Prices of the current Koleos are varied in markets, and the successor will might follow suit. In Australia, it starts at $28,490.
Two years ago, Volkswagen confirmed that it has plans to build a new three-row crossover SUV at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Now, merely months after the production started, spy shots of the prototype have come out.
According to a report, the new Volkswagen 3-Row SUV was first seen in early 2013 by the CrossBlue concept. No one knew if the concept would be carried over to the actual production design, but the spy shots now confirmed that the production version will resemble the 2013 concept. Of course, we couldn’t see it in its entirety so the finer elements are still a mystery.
This new SUV is Volkswagen’s challenge to the ever popular and family-oriented three-row SUVs such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Motor Company Explorer and Toyota Highlander.
It will be based on the stretched version of VW’s flexible MQB platform, enabling the SUV to be offered at a lower cost. That platform was the same one used in the smaller Golf and the North American-spec Passat currently being produced at the Chattanooga plant.
Those who seek for a plusher ride can wait for the new generation Touareg that’ll come out next year.
There is no information yet on what drivetrain would be used on the SUV, although it is expected to come out with a 4- and 6-cylinder option. The CrossBlue concept had a hybrid powertrain that pairs the 4-cylinder diesel engine with an electric motor.
But since there are current issues on VW’s use of diesel engine, then perhaps a gasoline-electric hybrid setup will be offered in the production version. Volkswagen’s 2017 3-Row SUV would most likely debut later this year or early next year.
VW also has other SUVs in the pipeline, including the new Tiguan and Touareg, as well as the production versions of the T-Roc and T-Cross Breeze concepts. There would also be coupe-like versions of the Tiguan and this new three-row SUV from VW.