Posts from ‘Future Cars’

Sep
11
2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

The 2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Concept may hint at what the brand’s coming flagship sedan will look like.

by Kirk Bell

Any luxury brand worth its salt should have a “halo” car. It should either be a performance car that sets new standards for power and handling or a luxury flagship with creature comforts you’d be embarrassed to have in your house. Cadillac has hinted at building a halo car several times in the new century with such concept cars as the Cadillac Sixteen of 2003, the convertible Ciel Concept of 2011, and the Elmiraj Concept introduced at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours. It’s that last car that gives us hope for the future.

Jun
19
Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 2.44.09 PM

First seen at the Beijing Auto Show in 2012, the Honda Concept C may give us a feel for what the next U.S.-market Accord will look like.

By Jim Gorzelany

Honda’s top-selling vehicle, the Honda Accord, should receive a complete redesign for the 2018 model year, but we don’t anticipate the automaker will veer far from what’s been a successful direction for this midsize sedan and coupe combo. We expect the next-generation Accord will continue to offer a winning combination of commuter-friendly performance, a comfortable and spacious interior, good fuel economy and sufficient–though perhaps not class-leading–features, all at competitive pricing. A fuel-saving Accord Hybrid, and an even more frugal plug-in Accord Hybrid sedan will likely continue in the lineup. The question is whether Honda will be satisfied playing the perennial number two to the top-selling car in the U.S., the Toyota Camry, or will it pull out all the proverbial stops to gain segment supremacy?

Apr
14
BMW_Z3_1.9L_1998

Expect the 2016 BMW Z2 to be close in size, and similar in spirit, to the Z3, which was available to American drivers from 1996 through 2002.

By Chris Poole

A snappy roadster headlines redesigned fleets of BMW compact cars with front-wheel drive—a first for this brand. The Z2 will be smaller, more economical and more affordable than the Z4, but no less fun to drive. In fact, it may drive a lot like a Mini Cooper.

Mar
04

jaguar-geneva-concept-970x0

GENEVA — The following is excerpted from a press release issued today in conjunction with the Geneva Auto Show.

(MAHWAH, N.J.) – March 4, 2014 – Today, Jaguar confirmed details of the brand’s all-new compact sport sedan, the Jaguar XE which will launch globally in 2015 and comes to the United States in 2016. The Jaguar XE will be the first product built on the new advanced aluminum architecture which was showcased in the C-X17 concept car in 2013. This aluminum intensive structure provides the benefits of lightness and strength for exceptional handling, performance, refinement and efficiency.

Feb
03
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Why drive when you can play Scrabble? Seems we’re closing in on building viable driverless vehicles, but is the buying public ready to let computers do the driving?

The auto industry has thrust a great deal on the buying public in the last decade or so. After about a century of fairly predictable motoring progress, car builders rather suddenly began throwing once-unheard-of options at consumers.

Jan
22
Maserati-Kubang-Concept-i001

The Kubang Concept, unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, hints at where Maserati may take the Levante stylistically.

A famed Italian brand issues its first SUV to challenge the likes of Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport. The premium-midsize Levante is a distant cousin of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but promises to uphold Maserati’s reputation for style, performance, and luxury.

Nov
01
The 2015 Lamborghini Cabrera is unlikely to stray far from the maker's chiseled, angular design template.

The 2015 Lamborghini Cabrera is unlikely to stray far from the maker’s chiseled, angular design template.

By Chris Poole

An evergreen supercar favorite is redesigned with more power, less weight, and—says the rumor mill—very edgy new styling. Like the Gallardo it replaces, the “entry-level” Cabrera should be offered in all manner of special editions with rear- and all-wheel drive.

What It Is

The 2015 Lamborghini Cabrera is the renamed, redesigned replacement for the decade-old Gallardo, the all-time best-selling model for the famed Italian supercar brand. Lamborghini celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013, and a thinly veiled Cabrera concept is expected at the autumn Frankfurt Auto Show as part of the celebrations. The production model, codenamed LP724, is slated to start sale in calendar 2014, perhaps toward the end of the year, so the Cabrera will almost certainly be a 2015-model U.S. debut. The new “entry-level” Lambo will launch with a lone coupe model, followed by a soft-top Spyder convertible. Special editions of both are sure to be added later on to keep sales afloat once the early novelty value wears thin.

Aug
08

Look for crisper styling on Volkswagen’s next-generation compact wagon

By Chris Poole

The U.S. market’s last mainstream-brand station wagon is redesigned with crisper styling, a new gasoline engine, less weight, and a bit more room. No longer a Jetta, the compact SportWagen is based on VW’s latest Golf hatchback and should be even more appealing.

What It Is

The 2015 Volkswagen SportWagen is the redesigned version of the last traditional, mainstream-brand station wagon on the American market. Replacing the compact 2009-2014 Jetta SportWagen, it will likely start U.S. sale toward the end of calendar 2014, several months after the seventh-generation 2015 Golf/GTI hatchbacks that use the same basic design. The new model is already rolling out in Europe, where it’s called Golf Variant or Golf Estate, depending on market. U.S. pricing probably won’t be announced until shortly on-sale time, but VW may drop a hint at an upcoming major auto show, perhaps as early as the November 2013 Los Angeles expo.

Like the departing Jetta wagon, the U.S.-market 2015 Volkswagen SportWagen will be sourced from VW’s Puebla, Mexico complex that also supplies Jetta compact sedans and sporty/performance Beetle coupes and convertibles for NAFTA-zone sale. VW has also assigned Puebla to build Golf/GTI hatchbacks for the NAFTA region in a bid for greater price competitiveness and as a hedge against currency fluctuations versus selling imported units from high-cost Germany.

Aug
06

BMW’s flagship 7-Series sedan will be redesign for 2016. A 2013 model is shown here.

By Jim Gorzelany

2016 BMW 7 Series Review and Prices

The full-size BMW 7 Series luxury sedan is expected to receive a major redesign for the 2016 model year. Likely to continue in standard- and extended-wheelbase models, the automaker’s flagships sedan will reportedly leverage carbon reinforced plastics and aluminum materials for the sake of what could be significant weight reduction, which should translate into improvements in ride and handling qualities, acceleration and fuel economy. The engine lineup will likely consist of a turbocharged six-cylinder, one or more V8s, and perhaps even a turbocharged four-cylinder as a price and fuel-economy leader. It’s uncertain whether the next-generation would offer a V12 engine, though a first-ever high-performance M Performance version and a plug-in hybrid model are possibilities. Expect the car to offer a full range of cutting-edge chassis control, safety, convenience, and connectivity features. The next-generation 7 Series should be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015 and go on sale by year’s end as a 2016 model.

What It Is

Jul
30

By Jim Gorzelany

2015 Cadillac Escalade Review and Prices

The large and luxurious Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV, along with its stretched equivalent, the Escalade ESV, are expected to undergo their first major revision in eight years for release in spring 2014 for the 2015 model year. Both will continue to be based on the full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, as will its less-posh equivalents, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The previous gas-electric Hybrid version and the pickup-like Escalade EXT were discontinued from the lineup for 2014 and should not return with the redesign. We expect the standard-length Escalade will come powered by a new 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a stronger 6.2-liter V-8 optional there and likely to be standard on the extended Escalade ESV for heavier duty use; both should come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with pavement-friendly all-wheel-drive optional. Styling changes should be more evolutionary than revolutionary – this will likely remain a large and boxy chrome bedecked vehicle in the old-school tradition. Expect the vehicle’s leather-clad interior to receive a total makeover with extensive use of wood and chrome trim to distinguish the Escalade from its lesser relations at Chevy and GMC.

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