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Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV Gets Chinese-Inspired Interior

Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV, a concept high-end luxury SUV, was unveiled at the 2018 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. It got that sleek, cherry red finish aimed at the Chinese market because red in China means happiness, luck, and joy.

But we’re here about the elegant, luxurious, and spacious interior of this concept SUV. The design is a mix of Western and Far Eastern influences, incorporating Chinese design elements like ebony, the known “Magic Wood” used in Chinese furniture. The highlight of the SUV’s interior is the tea set hidden in the center console that extends to the rear. The heated tea set, that includes teapots and teacups, is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony. It can be electrically retracted into the console at the push of a button. Talk about fancy, huh?

Aside from the hidden heated tea set, there are other exciting features in the SUV. This includes the seat with SUV-like position, sitting higher than in a sedan. They are wrapped in fine Nappa leather with a diamond quilt design. The front section is finished off by a Rose Gold trim, Pearly Grey detailing, and brushed aluminum elements.

The rear section gets even more comfortable. It is very spacious and has lots of legroom in front of the two seats. The seats have lateral support and leather-wrapped pillows, perfect for long and tedious drives.

The simple but elegant center console houses double 12.3-inch displays for the driver, a touchscreen and touchpad on the center console, and touch control buttons on the steering wheel. There is voice recognition capability that could adjust to the user’s voice and adapt to new words being used.

If Mercedes pushes through with the production of this concept vehicle, it will be a class of its own. And maybe, Mercedes will finally have something to compete with Rolls Royce.

Elon Musk To Push Through With Tesla Model Y

tesla model y

Elon Musk’s Tesla is making the ambitious plan to commence production of its Model Y in November 2019. Reports from Reuters said that Musk is accepting preliminary bids for supplier contracts of the Tesla Model Y, which will be a more affordable version of the Model X.

The Model Y was first teased at Tesla’s Annual Shareholder meeting in 2017. That time, Musk said that the Model Y will be built on an entirely new platform. But the Tesla CEO recently admitted that feat was ambitious and the Model Y will instead be using the same architecture as the Model 3, Tesla’s latest production car.

If the production of the Model Y will continue, that will be in November 2019 at the Fremont factory in California. Two years after, the production will move to China.

This may sound all too exciting, but remember that Tesla is under fire now for its issues with the production of Model 3. What’s up with that, anyway? The sedan had 500,000 initial orders in refundable deposits in July last year. The company, however, failed to deliver the cars on time. There was an initial promise for these to be ready by November 2017, but that did not come into fruition.

Earlier this month, Tesla tried to convince investors and the general public that the production was getting better, doubling during the first quarter of 2018 and increasing to 5000 units per week in the second quarter.

As for the Tesla Model Y, the “ultimatum” is November 2019, which means that the company might skip the pre-production phase at all. We’re hoping these reports are false because safety is very important in these electric vehicles. A Model X crashed because of the Autopilot feature’s failure, so it makes no sense for Tesla to escalate the production of the Model Y when there are still clear issues with its previous model.

What We Can Derive From New BMW X5 Spy Shots


Engineers at the BMW plant in Munich have been very busy these past weeks. Spy photographers have been capturing photos of new models such as the upcoming BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible, the BMW X7, and finally, the BMW X5. For the last one, we’ve got spy photos both of the exterior and the interior.

Based on the spy shots of  AutoBlog, the BMW X5 looks like a shorter version of the X7. That should not come as a surprise since this is essentially what the German automaker planned for the X5 because it is being marketed for an audience that would love the X7 but with shorter wheelbase. Then again, the X5 is not even the shortest wheelbase the BMW is using as a platform. The smaller BMW X3 is taking after the same design and style as the X7 and the X5.

Basically, what we’re going to see on the BMW X5 is about the same thing as what we saw on the X7. They have the same headlights, the same taillights, and the same bucktooth grille that has even avid fans walking away from the SUV.

The overall design was already previewed on the concept unveiled by the German automaker in various motor shows. It was recently seen on the X3, so there’s little mystery on what the X5 will probably look like. This is an evolution of the same basic design that BMW has been using for more than a decade.

The X5’s interior is almost an exact copy of what we recently saw on the X7. It’s quite different from the cabin designs that BMW has fitted most of its models, but since we haven’t seen it in person yet, we’ll reserve our comments on that. What we can see is that there’s a new shifter design and majority of the buttons, including the push-button start, have been moved from the dashboard to the console.

The reveal will probably be sometime later this year.

6 Important Things To Know About The 2018 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Jaguar’s first SUV is getting a special treatment from JLR’s performance and customization division, the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). The Jaguar F-Pace SVR debuted at the New York International Auto Show last week and showed tremendous potential as a sports car performance in a practical SUV design.

1. Exterior

The F-Pace grabbed both the World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards in 2017, which proved that Ian Callum is the “king” in SUV design. Callum is the same person behind the designs of the Aston Martin Vanquish, Jaguar C-X75, and the Jaguar F-Type.

The SVR model adds aggression and power to its looks, thanks to an aero package, a unique bumper, a new hood, larger fender vents, and a unique set of lightweight forged alloy wheels measuring 21 inches.

2. Interior

The F-Pace SVR has a sleek but simple interior. It starts with a quilted upholstery with the embossed SVR logo on the heavily bolstered sport seats. Top-shelf materials are used in every inch of the cabin, including the new pistol-style shifter knob, an SVR-specific steering wheel with soft-touch upholstery wrappings and aluminum paddle shifters.

3. Drivetrain

The F-Pace SVR received a huge power boost because of its supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that can now produce 550 ponies and 502 pound-feet of torque. It has an active and lightweight exhaust system that helps power the car to 176 mph top speed. It can go 0 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. The F-Pace SVR is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

4. Chassis And Handling

The F-Pace SVR used the same iQ-Al modular platform as the regular F-Pace. This is the same one used on the Jaguar XE, the second-generation Jaguar XF, and the next-generation Jaguar XJ, not to mention the Range Robert Velar SUV. Thanks to this platform, the F-Pace SVR has a lightweight aluminum body that makes it easier for driver to handle it.

5. Prices

The SVR variant will start at $79,990 and orders will start this summer.

6. Competition

The main competitor of the F-Pace SVR is the Porsche Macan Turbo, which is rocking a twin-turbo V-6 that produces a whopping 400 horsepower after it has been paired with a 7-speed transmission and high-performance AWD system. The price for the Porsche starts at $77,200.

Ford And Mahindra To Come Out With New Crossover And EV

ford and mahindra

Something is finally coming out of the partnership between Ford and Mahindra that was inked way back in September 2017.

According to reports, the two brands are partnering to come up with a crossover and an electric vehicle. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the planned crossover has anything to do with Ford’s plans in the same segment. Simply put, Ford wants to put its mark in the Indian auto market.

What we now understand about the agreement on the SUV is that Ford will be doing majority of the work using Mahindra’s equipment, which interestingly included the platform on which the SUV will be built on. This means that Mahindra, even as a partner to Ford, will stay out of the plans in producing the 2020 Bronco.

Aside from the SUV crossover, the two companies are also producing an electric vehicle to compete with the likes of Tesla. Although details are still unknown, this could be a huge stepping stone for Mahindra to finally sink its teeth on the US market, either under its own name or the sub-brand Pininfarina. Mahindra already has headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, so the first step has already been casted.

Mahinda previously reiterated its plan to make its presence known in the US market. An EV made in collaboration with a beloved American company, Ford, could be the linchpin that will make that happen.

Ford and Mahindra are working on a lot more than a crossover and EV. Those two are just part of the grand scheme of things, which include developing new initiatives and technologies that could open the door for future projects in the US and in India.

Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president and president of Global Markets, said that his company’s aim is to offer the best vehicles that will fit the lifestyles of the Indian market.

 

 

Limited Models For Infiniti QX60 And QX80 Released

Nissan’s premium brand is giving a fancy retouch to its aging Infiniti QX60 and the QX80. The Limited models will bring a host of features that include revamp of the exterior and some new tech for the cabin. This only proves that Infiniti is purely invested in carving a niche in the SUV department, seeing as it just released its new 2019 QX50 crossover.

QX60 Limited

2019 INFINITI QX60 LIMITED (9)

Those who want to get their hands on a QX60 better wait for the Limited model. This new model boasts of its dark chrome grille, door moldings, and fog-lamp surrounds. The overall look is darker, thanks largely to the darkened roof rails, the new gloss-black paint on the lower bumper, and the all-new 20-inch dark-finished aluminum wheels.

Inside, it’s as classy as ever with a few changes here and there. It’s a mix and match of black and gray, which is headed by the quilted and perforated gray semi-aniline leather seats on all three rows and the all-black dashboard. There’s dark stitching and piping on the seats, as well as on the door panels that creates a contrast with the dark silver wood trim and floor mats with contrast piping and metal logos.

QX80 Limited

2019 INFINITI QX80 LIMITED (1)

The dark theme continues in the QX80 Limited. The front and rear lower bumpers have been upgraded and the fenders house the 22-inch dark machine-finished wheels. Satin chrome polishes the exterior trim, roof rails, and stainless-steel running boards. The Infiniti logo shines through the welcome lighting displays. There’s also an added Anthracite Gray option for the exterior color.

Inside, the same theme in the QX60 Limited has been applied. There’s a two-tone semi-aniline leather and faux suede with contrast stitching and piping in a quilted pattern. Smooth leather wraps the steering wheel, shift knob, and grab handles. The center stack and center console use matte-silver open-pore ash wood. The headliner and pillars are made of black microfiber suede. Other features include the illuminated kick plates, Limited branding on the shifter surround, and floor mats with metal logo.

The QX60 Limited and the QX80 Limited will be available later this spring. Prices are expected to be announced anytime soon.

More Photos of the Infiniti QX60 and QX80

6 Revelations About The 2018 Volkswagen Touareg

During a special ceremony in Beijing on Friday, Volkswagen released a redesigned Touareg, marking the very special relationship the European company has with China, which it considers its second home.

1. New Flagship Of The VW Brand

This third-generation Touareg is being put in the upmarket level seeing as it recently became the new flagship of the VW brand. Previously, that role was with the Phaeton but the full-size sedan was already discontinued in 2016. An electric successor is being planned, but that won’t come into fruition until the next decade.

2. Wider And More Dynamic Look

Compared to its predecessor, the outgoing model, the new Touareg has a wider look and it’s also bigger. It’s three inches longer than before, now standing at 192 inches. It’s also 1.7 inches wider at 78 inches and 0.3 inches shorter at only 67 inches.

3. MLB Platform

The curb weight has been reduced by as much as 233 pounds in some variants, thanks to VW’s version of the MLB platform, which features multi-material construction and used by Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne. The main benefits are air suspension, roll stabilization, and rear-wheel steering.

4. Plush Interior

The cabin of the new Touareg is as luxurious as others in the game. It has a digital dash with a 12.0-inch screen that is now the instrument cluster. There’s also a 15-inch infotainment hub. For safety features, there’s the automatic emergency braking, driver fatigue warning, and a night vision camera. Overall, VW calls the cabin design “Innovision Cockpit.”

5. Drivetrain Options

The Touareg will go on sale this summer in Europe. Depending on the market, there will be choices of two 3.0-liter V-6 diesels, producing 228 and 282 horsepower, respectively, and a 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline delivering 335 horsepower. There will also be a plug-in hybrid setup with 362 horsepower for the Chinese market. There are also news that a 4.0-liter V-8 diesel producing 415 horsepower will come as another option.

Standard to these engines are an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive with a center differential lock. Some extras are available, care of a special off-road pack that adds extra driving modes, a larger fuel tank, and under body protection.

6. Release Dates And Locations

The new Touareg won’t be coming to the United States. The local division of VW in the US dropped the model at the end of the 2017 model year because of low sales and the decision to focus on the Atlas.

Jeep Adds $750 To The Price of The 2018 Wrangler JL

jeep wrangler jl

Like a thief in the night, Jeep quietly raised the price for its all-new 2018 Wrangler JL by $750. The news came out just after Jeep released its February sales report, which showed a 17 percent increase on the sale of the Wrangler compared to the same period last year.

The report said that Jeep was able to sell 15,936 units of the off-road-oriented midsize SUV for the month of February. This boosted, of course, the moral of Jeep to actually increase the price of the Wrangler JL. There will be a $500 add-on to the price of every Wrangler model with the $250 being charged as the SUV’s destination fee.

Because of this, the cheapest Wrangler JL that customers can get their hands on will be priced $28,940. If you want a Jeep Wrangler, but don’t exactly want to shell out for the prices of the current generation, you can still get your hands on the 2018 Wrangler JL’s predecessor. Jeep is still selling the Wrangler JK at $25,440 after Jeep, same with the JL, added a $250 destination charge.

Even before Jeep decided to cash in on the rising popularity of the Wrangler JL, people already found the model too pricey for their liking. Still, that didn’t stop fans and enthusiasts of the model to dip into their pockets and place their money for GMC to swipe.

You can’t really blame GMC to wanting to rise the prices for the JL. Both Mercedes-Benz and Toyota are selling similar off-road vehicles for more than double the price of the Wrangler JL. Does that mean the JL has cheaper specs and materials? Definitely, no. But, it does show you just how much these vehicles really cost. The luxury vehicles, G-Class and Land Cruiser, are both doing well in sales, so the $750 price increase may not affect Wrangler’s sales, after all.

Europe’s New Honda CR-V Will Get Third Row Seats

honda cr-v (1)

The European version of Honda’s latest iteration of its popular CR-V will have the option of third-row seating, the Japanese automaker announced days before the Geneva Motor Show. The American version, with its turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, has been available in the US for months. This version, though, offers no option for third-row seating.

This is the very first time that Honda is offering its most popular compact SUV with third-row seats, considering the past few years have seen the automaker’s contemporaries going into this route. The move will place Honda on the run again as the best in its segment, competing well with the long-wheelbase VW Tiguan and the Nissan X-Trail (known in the use as Rogue). Both have available third rows.

The third-row seating option for the new European CR-V will only be available on the gas-powered variant, so we can expect that it will soon arrive in US shores. However, Honda refused to give any details if and when will that happen. All these are purely speculations and we hope we’re right thinking a third-row CR-V is in the worls for American showrooms, too.

Hybrid CR-V Powertrain

Honda also took the time to announce that there’s another new CR-V option—a hybrid powertrain. Honda just announced that it will go on sale in Europe in early 2019. Since last year’s Shanghai Auto Show, the Japanese maker has been hinting a hybrid version of the CR-V.

We’re not sure if this will be available in the United States, though reports point out that it will be. The hybrid version of the CR-V uses Accord Hybrid’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, an engine that has already passed US regulations for emissions. In the US, it could very well compete with the Nissan Rogue Hybrid, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

A Look at the Major Changes in the 2020 Hyundai Tucson

hyundai tucson (1)

Spy shots of the prototype of the 2020 Hyundai Tucson revealed major changes are in the works for this next-generation compact SUV from the South Korean brand. The prototype showed that there are a number of updates on the exterior and the cabin of the popular SUV.

The changes are quite significant, according to a report on Motor Authority, as there will be new lights and a new grille even. Based on the hints we’re getting, we won’t be surprised if we get a Tucson that follows some of the details and changes on the new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. We all know there was a huge positive reception to the Santa Fe, so what’s stopping the South Korean automaker from making similar changes to the Tucson?

Inside the cabin, the center stack was completely redesigned by foregoing the integrated infotainment screen on the current Tucson and replacing it with a tacked-on screen. This is a design that Hyundai has been introducing on its latest models.

There’s no word yet on whether there will be upgrades on the powertrains but what’s on the current Tucson model might be carried over to the 2020 model. They’re all pretty okay, so far. This means that buyers will have the option to choose between a 2.0 liter inline-4 that can produce 164 horsepower or a 1.6-liter turbo inline-4 with 174 horsepower on tap.

Admittedly, there are still a lot of missing information here. But hopefully, we get more details as the plans for Tucson emerge. It is, after all, due for a release next year as a 2020 model.

Like many automakers, Hyundai is heavily investing on its line of SUVs and compact SUVs. The Kona was recently launched and the new Santa Fe will soon be available in showrooms. Another update from Hyundai is that it’s currently working on a three-row SUV.

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