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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:

Hybrid Kinetic Introduces K350 SUV And H500 Concepts In China

Hybrid Kinetic (9)

Hybrid Kinetic, an electric car startup company in China, partnered with Pininfarina to utilize new technologies for its cars. The Chinese company aims to come up with a full lineup of electric cars powered by an extended-range electric powertrain that uses a microturbine as range extender.

Pininfarina, the Italian design house, is tasked to pen each of the models. In the past, we have already seen four concepts that would define Hybrid Kinetic’s future lineup—the H600 sedan, the K550 and K750 SUVs, and the GT coupe. All of these concepts feature a similar look, which is close to the company’s planned production models.

During the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, Hybrid Kinetic presented to more sedan concepts—a small SUV called the K350 and a small sports sedan called the H500. The official shots revealed by the brand showed handsome exteriors and elegant, modern interiors for both vehicles.

Aside from the two vehicles, the concept also featured a common powertrain that has an electric motor at each exle that can produce a combined power of 800 horses. The motors will draw their energy from a battery that can be charged through a plug. It can also draw power from running using a compact microturbine that weighs less than 200 pounds.

The microturbine can deliver a continuous 80 horsepower, enough to charge the battery. It can also run using a variety of fuels such as diesel, gasoline, and hydrogen. The total reach could possibly be 620 miles. That’s a lot of miles for a car running on battery!

The company’s first production model could be a possible sedan arriving sometime in 2020. The automotive division of Hybrid Kinetic is not just focused on producing vehicles. Instead, it is part of a larger group that includes businesses on finance, battery production, and electric buses. Another thing that the company is focusing on is the graphene, a lighter and stronger material than carbon fiber that has the ability for faster charging time.

3 Things To Know About The Jeep Grand Commander

jeep commander (1)

The 2018 Beijing Auto Show has on full display the Jeep Grand Commander, a massive three-row, seven-seater, full-sized SUV. The Grand Commander is the newest Jeep model available to the Chinese market. The others are Compass, Renegade, and Cherokee.

The Grand Commander sits on a long wheelbase, making it a full-sized SUV. Although Jeep has yet to release info on dimensions, one look at the Grand Commander and you’ll this is one classic SUV (definitely not a crossover).

1. Design

When it comes to design, the Grand Commander is not that far off from Grand Cherokee, though the latter is sportier because of its more aggressive front bumper. The Commander is statelier with its rectangular headlights, compact front grille, and a business-like bumper, fog lamps, and chrome trim.

The interior features a three-row seating layout that can accommodate up to seven people. The front section looks like an upgraded Grand Cherokee, thanks to wood trims on a few spots and on the steering wheel.

2. Powertrains

There’s no available information about the powertrains options for the Grand Commander. We can surmise, based on the company’s Chinese website, that one of the options would be a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is similar to the one found in the new Wrangler. That unit can produce 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque on the Wrangler. If that unit will be fitted on the Grand Commander, expect it to produce around 350 horsepower.

3. Sales Increase

The Grand Commander should further boost Jeep’s market in China. It already has a pretty impressive lineup of vehicles for the Chinese market, but the Grand Commander will be the pinnacle of the available models. Last year, Jeep sold 200,000 units in China, a massive increase from the sales numbers in 2016.

And though there has been a drop in sales in the first quarter of 2018, the arrival of the Grand Commander should remedy that soon.

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.

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