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  1. As stricter fuel economy and emission regulations come into play, automakers are scrambling to figure out solutions that meet the regulations while retaining power. Porsche believes the solution is a plug-in hybrid system for the iconic 911. Car and Driver spoke with Erhard Mössle, engineering boss for the 911 Turbo, Carrera 4, and Targa revealed that Porsche is working on a plug-in hybrid system for the next-generation 911. “We are working on different solutions. We are developing a pure-electric car like the Mission E, and of course we are discussing plug-in solutions as well for the 911,” said Mössle. But trying to fit a hybrid system in the 911 is a difficult task. “I think that takes some time to bring to market, with the packaging problems of the car. There are a lot of problems to solve before [then].” One problem is where to put the batteries for the hybrid system. Do you put them up front? In the floor? Mössle admits this is one of the big issues that is facing the engineering team. This is why the plug-in hybrid model will be with next-generation 911 - due out in 2020. It gives them a clean slate to figure out a solution. Source: Car and Driver
  2. With the XC90 enjoying success and the S90 making its way onto the production line, what's next for Volvo? Motor Trend says that will be the S60. In styling, the S60 will borrow a fair amount from the S90 including the LED 'Thor's Hammer' and the Final Cut” side-window shape. A long-wheelbase version of the S60 will be coming as well. Unlike the current S60 long-wheelbase which is sold in low-volumes, the next one will be sold in the same volume as the short-wheelbase model. Inside, a 9.3-inch screen with Volvo's Sensus infotainment system will be available on higher trims. Powertrains will include a turbocharged 2.0L with 250 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid producing 300-plus horsepower. One item still up for discussion on the next S60 is whether or not it will feature autonomous technology. The S90 will be the big test as it will offer a suite of standard semi-autonomous tech known as Pilot Assist. This suite allows the S90 to speed up, slow down, and steer under certain conditions (up to speeds of 80 MPH). “We know [from] our research that our customer is very open for the technology,” said Volvo's U.S. president, Lex Kerssemakers. If the system gets approval from customers, the system will trickle down to other models. Motor Trend says the S60 could be arriving as early as 2017 or 2018. Source: Motor Trend
  3. Now for something completely out of left field. A report from Motoring.com.au says the next-generation Subaru WRX STI could go hybrid. A source tells the Australian website that the Japanese automaker has two hybrid systems under development as a way to increase performance while improving fuel economy and emission levels. The first system pairs a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four with an electric motor and six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Total output of this stands at 321 horsepower, about 20 horsepower more than the current STI. The other system is a plug-in hybrid that would have the turbocharged engine powering the front wheels, while the back wheels will be solely powered by an electric motor on the rear axle. The report says we could be seeing the hybrid STI next year, followed by the plug-in a year later. Source: Motoring.com.au
  4. Land Rover will be saying good-bye to the current Defender at the end of January due to stricter crash and emission regulations. But they are the first to admit that reinventing an icon such as the Defender won't be easy. "It is tough. Any replacement for an iconic vehicle is tough because the enthusiasts are certainly very vocal. They have an opinion on how to do it, but it's a huge opportunity at the same time," said Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. While iconic, the Defender only appealed to a small, hardcore audience. Land Rover needs the next Defender to be a success, even if that means the next model loses some of its hardcore edge, "A lot of people love the idea of [the previous De-fender], but they never buy one. While I'm a designer, and I love designing, I'm also a businessman. We need to build a critical mass in order to sustain ourselves in the long term and reinvest," said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's design director. The next Defender - expected to arrive in 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle - will come in five different body styles: two two-door models, long-wheelbase four-door, and pickup variants with two and four doors. The design of the new Defender will not look like the concepts we have seen in past years. "When this vehicle comes out, people will know it's a Defender, it's a modern Defender," said McGovern. "But it will bear no resemblance to those Defender concepts." No word on powertrains, but expect a range of gas and diesel engines. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. Kia revealed a few renderings of the next-generation Cadenza, which is expected to go on sale sometime next year. The renderings reveal Kia making their full-size sedan a bit more aggressive with an angular front grille, a sculpted front bumper, rakish windshield, and a sloping roofline. The interior looks similar to the current model. But there are some changes that include a new steering wheel and a larger touchscreen. No information was provided on what would power the sedan. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 Kia Motors previews next-generation Cadenza The all-new Kia Cadenza will set new benchmarks for cutting-edge design, interior quality and contemporary luxury when it goes on sale in overseas markets in 2016. Previewed for the first time in new images released today, the next-generation Cadenza maintains the progressive, contemporary image of the current model, while introducing higher levels of luxury and refinement to the large sedan segment. The all-new Cadenza offers a bold reinterpretation of the current model's popular design, featuring an elongated bonnet, a wider, lower stance and sharper styling lines, with a thoroughly modern execution of signature Kia design cues ensuring the new Cadenza is instantly recognizable. The cabin of the all-new Cadenza has been designed anew, boasting a fresh, luxurious appearance and layout that offers a sense of width and spaciousness. With a premium new design and higher-quality materials than ever before – two elements inspired by European tastes – the Cadenza's new cabin will set a new standard for luxury and refinement in its class. The all-new Kia Cadenza will go on sale in overseas markets in 2016.
  6. It might look the same, but there are big changes coming for the next-generation GMC Acadia Car and Driver got their hands on a set of spy shots showing off the next-generation GMC Acadia crossover. This is an important model for GMC as it currently is the third best-selling model in the lineup with more than 80,000 Acadias sold in the past couple of years. So what do the pictures reveal? It seems GMC isn't changing the basic design of the Acadia's exterior. But the interior shows some drastic changes. The dashboard looks similar to the one used on the Canyon with a compressed centerstack and a large screen with GMC's Intellilink. The new Acadia along with its sister models, the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, will use a new GM platform called C1XX or “Chi” platform. This platform will incorporate a number of weight-saving features, hopefully solving one of the biggest problems with GM's large crossovers; being a bit too heavy. Power will come from a newer version of the 3.6L V6 with over 300 horsepower. There is also talk of a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Transmissions will include a six and an eight-speed automatic. Source: Car and Driver
  7. When the Volkswagen Eos ends production in a few months time, that will leave Volkswagen with only one convertible in their lineup - the Beetle Cabriolet. But Car and Driver says a replacement is on the way. According to a source at Volkswagen, the company is planning on sending the next-generation Golf Cabriolet. No timeframe was given as to when we'll see it, but expect it not to look that much different from the current model sold elsewhere. Now it should be noted that the Golf Cabriolet wasn't the only option on the table for the U.S. The source said there was a cabriolet using the Passat platform as an option, but that idea was canned. Source: Car and Driver
  8. A new report from Automobile says the next-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom will be debuting modular architecture made out of aluminum. This new platform will underpin the next-generation of Rolls-Royce vehicles such as the upcoming SUV and next-generation Ghost lineup. No information was provided as to how much weight the move to aluminum would cut. As for the next-generation Phantom, the report says we could be seeing it next year. The Phantom will be offered in a short and long-wheelbase sedan. The coupe and drophead - Rolls speak for roadster - will be dropped due to lack of demand. Looks are said to be more imposing. A V12 engine from BMW will be the sole engine. Source: Automobile
  9. Someone at Honda is going to be yelled at. An eagle-eyed member of the CivicX forum caught the next-generation Civic parked outside of a building in Ann Arbor, MI. Compared to the Civic Coupe concept shown at New York, the production sedan retains a number of details such as the fastback shape and bold front end treatment. We have to admit that the Civic is quite the looker. We'll have more information and pictures when Honda officially introduces the next-generation Civic on Wednesday. Source: CivicX.com Image Credit: Mark at CivicX.com
  10. The next-generation Opel Insignia has been caught for the first time as it ventures out into the real world. We only tell so much from the spy shots since Opel has done a decent job of fitting a fair amount of camouflage to the vehicle. But there is one element we can pull out of the shots. It seems Opel has taken a liking to the Audi A7's styling that they are copying the distinctive roofline for the Insignia. Along with the A7 inspired roofline, Opel is adding around four inches to the overall length to better compete with the Skoda Superb - a Volkswagen Passat sized model. Now this brings up an interesting question for the U.S. market. Buick sells the Insignia as the Regal. As Autoblog reports, the next Opel Insignia will only be sold as a five-door and wagon in Europe. Now will this mean Buick will get the five-door or is Opel working a sedan variant? We can't say. Source: Autoblog
  11. Hyundai has released a teaser drawing of the next Elantra and it looks nothing like the current model. The drawing shows a model that is heavily influenced by the current Genesis. Such details as a large grille, slim headlights, bold character line, and sloping roofline are apparent here. "The All-new Elantra captures the car’s unique design characteristics that really place this model in a class of its own. The subtle and innovative appearance enhancements reflect Hyundai Motor’s vision for design. Furthermore, this car indicates a move from traditional to modern styling by communicating the new model’s comfort, fashion and sporty feel,” said Hyundai President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer. Now Hyundai says the Elantra will debut in November at the L.A. Auto Show. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 Sleek All-New Elantra Reveals its Dynamic Impression Style of All-new Elantra places Hyundai Motor compact sedan in a class of its own Appealing active character lines and creatively designed wheel arches August 19, 2015 – Hyundai Motor is excited to provide customers a glimpse of the forthcoming All-new Elantra’s modern looks and unique design ahead of the car’s launch just around the corner. The new model’s dynamic and sleek style received the approval of a recent consumer study, where the Elantra’s striking appearance saw it ranked ahead of key rivals. Designers of the All-new Elantra identified a series of innovative design aspects that give the car an unrivalled status and unique presence. Clever use of active character lines evoke a dynamic, stylish and confident appearance, building on the global popularity of the model. Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer at Hyundai Motor Company said: “The All-new Elantra captures the car’s unique design characteristics that really place this model in a class of its own. The subtle and innovative appearance enhancements reflect Hyundai Motor’s vision for design. Furthermore, this car indicates a move from traditional to modern styling by communicating the new model’s comfort, fashion and sporty feel.” In the newly released exterior rendering, the car’s innovative design points become clear. Noticeably, the large hexagonal grille is paired with slim and sporty headlights for a feeling of energy, while clean and refined surfaces build on the active stance of the All-new Elantra. Additionally, wheel arches with a goal of expressing the car’s dynamic road presence, help to set the new model apart from other compact sedans.
  12. One model that Volvo's executive team and dealers in the U.S. have been asking for will be coming within the next few years. Speaking with Dutch publication AutoVisie, Volvo's marketing chief Alain Visser revealed that the next-generation V40 hatchback would be coming to the U.S. in the next few years. This is part of change at the company to stop developing region-specific models as they are too small for this. "For all the new models is that they are global players and each model has their own way relevant to a particular market," said Visser. The next-generation V40 will use a new modular platform that is being jointly worked on by Volvo and Geely. This new platform will also underpin a new compact crossover named XC40. Source: AutoVisie
  13. With the Nissan IDx not heading into production, the next-generation Z could possibly take up the mantle of being an affordable, rear-drive vehicle. Nissan Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura told Autoblog that one of ideas under consideration for the next Z is move the model downmarket in the spirit of the original 240Z. "We are studying a couple of different concepts. Because the sports car market is becoming smaller globally. We would like to do something, I personally think, is more [in the] original concept of Z, which is ... more practical and appealing to younger customers." The original 1969 240Z, sold under the Datsun nameplate, became an icon thanks to a combination of attractive styling, reasonable performance, and affordable price," said Nakamura. Now if Nissan does go down this route, don't expect to be a clone of Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ or Mazda MX-5 Miata. "We may not necessarily go into the same category. Personally I see other options that are very interesting. We want to do something the same as this, unique," said Nakamura, pointing to a picture of the GTR-LM. Source: Autoblog
  14. Honda has a big product offensive coming soon and one of those key products is the new Ridgeline. Unlike the old model which had some clever ideas, but never made it on the sales chart, Honda is making more of an effort to make the next Ridgeline more 'truck'. A new set of spy shots show us how more 'truck' the Ridgeline will become. The Ridgeline looks be adapting conventionally shaped crew cab rather than the oddly shaped one from the previous model. The front end looks to have same front end styling as the new Pilot. The Pilot will share its underpinnings with the Ridgeline as well, meaning it will get the 3.5L V6 and all-wheel drive system. A six-speed automatic will be standard transmission, but a nine-speed automatic is in the cards. The Ridgeline is expected to be shown sometime this year, with sales beginning sometime next year. Source: Left Lane News
  15. Mitsubishi hasn't had the best of luck of trying to find a partner. Back in February, we learned that talks between it and Renault had fallen apart for a new midsize sedan. Mitsubishi shelved those plans and reportedly began talks with Nissan. We also learned that Mitsubishi moved up the replacement for the Lancer. Now Mitsubishi has begun working on the Lancer replacement in-house while it still looks for a partner. “We are talking with a potential partner at this time, (but) at the same time we’re doing an internal design of the vehicle. We’re running parallel because we cannot wait any longer to see if a partnership will work out. If it falls through then we’re another year behind,” said Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America to Wards Auto. Swearingen confirmed that Mitsubishi is still in talks with an automaker - many believe to be Nissan. Even if a deal is reached, Swearingen says the model is still 18 to 2 years out. Additionally, Swearingen confirmed the a midsize sedan from Mitsubishi isn't happening. “We’ve made the decision that D-segment will not work for us in the U.S. When you do the financial analysis and you look at the amount of money (needed) for advertising (and the amount) most of our competitors are spending on incentives, it doesn’t pencil out to do a partnership.” Source: Wards Auto
  16. The next-generation Mazda2 won't be arriving on our shores anytime soon. Automotive News reports that cheap gas prices and tight supply of vehicles coming from Mazda's new factory in Salamanca, Mexico has caused Mazda's North American arm to pass on the 2 for the time being. "We could have had it, but we would have had a number that didn't make much sense with 600 dealers and with the marketing it takes to launch a new car. I wanted to allocate resources to those products that make us and our dealers considerably more profit than a Mazda2 does," said Robert Davis, senior vice president of U.S. operations at Mazda. The current Mazda2 was never a big seller for the brand. Last year, the brand moved 13,615 units, an increase of 14 percent. For the time being, the Scion iA sedan will be only way you can get into a Mazda2 in the U.S. But Davis does say that if anything changes, they'll be ready to sell the Mazda2. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  17. Previously, we heard that the next-generation Jeep Wrangler would have an all-aluminum body. But that doesn't appear to be the case anymore. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters yesterday that the Wrangler would shed the aluminum body, but would have certain parts made from aluminum. “There will be a large portion of that vehicle that will be aluminum. It will not be all aluminum. We've run the numbers and we've simulated mileage and the impact. Because of the difference in cost -- not just of the material but the actual assembly process -- I think we can do almost as well without doing it all-aluminum. I think we can get very close,” said Marchionne. The move to aluminum would help out in fuel economy with a lighter curb weight. But it would also mean a possible move from the Toledo factory where the Wrangler is currently built. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  18. The Mazda CX-5 is now the oldest crossover in their lineup. But Mazda has some big plans for the next-generation model. A spy photographer caught a CX-5 mule filling up at a California gas station. The mule was heavily camouflaged, but we're able to pull some key details about the design. The first is that the CX-5 will be taking some design ideas from the larger CX-9. For example, the front end features narrower headlights and a more pronounced grille surround. The back of the roof also appears to have a sharper slant. We wouldn't be surprised if Mazda brings some premium materials and design to the CX-5's interior, along with more advanced driver assistance systems. One item up in the air is what will power the CX-5? Will they carry over the 2.0 and 2.5L four-cylinder engines? We would expect front-wheel and all-wheel drive to be on offer. Mazda could show the next-generation CX-5 later this year at the LA Auto Show/ Source: Left Lane News, Motor1.com
  19. Rumors of Buick doing a wagon variant of the Regal have been floating around a for few years and it has either fallen into one of two categories: GM is considering it or they have passed on it. A new rumor has the Regal Wagon coming. Automotive News reports that a recent national dealer meeting, Buick revealed images of the next-generation Regal. According to people that attending the meeting, the images included the next-generation Regal GS and a wagon. Unfortunately, the people didn't give any specific details on what the wagon looked like. Buick possibly doing a wagon seems like an odd decision. Data from IHS Automotive shows wagons only make up one percent of the total U.S. market. Buyers prefer crossovers and SUVs. But Buick has a mostly successful track record with entering segments where there isn't much competition. A key example is the Encore subcompact crossover which beat a number of competitors to market and has become the brand's volume model. Another example is the Cascada convertible which has done very well in sales. Not all of them have been hits. The Verano which was Buick's entrant the premium compact class will be leaving the lineup this fall due to faltering sales. The big question aside if Buick will go forward with a wagon variant is will it be a standard wagon or something akin to the Subaru Outback/Audi A4 Allroad. As we reported back in December, GM trademarked 'Tourx' and 'Regal Tourx'. This lead some to believe that Buick could be doing a Regal wagon, but we took it in another direction by saying it could be a light off-road variant of the wagon. Automotive News says the Regal wagon could arrive in 2018. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  20. Within the next year and a half, a new BMW 3-Series will be revealed. There will be gas, diesel, hybrid, and the possibility of an all-electric version. Auto Express reports the German automaker is working on a 3-Series electric that will take on the upcoming Tesla Model 3. The next 3-Series will use BMW's CLAR (Cluster Architecture) which not only brings forth carbon fiber for certain parts of the vehicle, but it was designed with electric vehicles in mind. Auto Express says the model will use a 90 kWh battery capable of delivering a range of 300 miles. Expect to see the 3-Series EV sometime in 2020. Source: Auto Express
  21. Jeep is walking a very fine line with the next-generation Wrangler. On one hand, they want to bring the model into the 21st century. But they also want to retain the details that make it an icon of the brand. CEO Mike Manley is well aware of this and has a clear mission statement: Don't screw it up. One of the key items that make the Wrangler so iconic is the shape. The boxy shape has mostly remained the same since the first Willys MB was sent off to war. Automotive News says new spy shots reveal the next-generation Wrangler featuring a more aerodynamic shape - the front grille and windshield feature a steeper rake. But as Manley tells AN, the boxiness will still be there. "You have to be very careful with the aero of Wrangler, because at the end of the day, it needs to be recognizable as a Wrangler. To some extent that restricts you on some of the aero that you can do. But with weight and a number of the changes that we've made, you're going to see that we've really pushed that vehicle forward in terms of its fuel economy," said Manley. That last sentence tells us Jeep has been working on a weight-loss program for the Wrangler. Automotive News says the next-generation model will feature a new frame that will not only be stronger, but lighter. Various body panels will be made out of aluminum to cut weight even further. There will be new engines, including a new turbo-four capable of producing 300 horsepower and a new eight-speed automatic. What won't be changing is the Wrangler's body-on-frame construction and solid axles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. As much anyone will tell you there is no such thing as too much power, there is a point where power will just overwhelm the tires and you'll be sitting there, doing a burnout. This is why you're seeing more manufacturers adding all-wheel drive to their vehicles to actually get the power down to the wheels. The latest one is Mercedes-AMG. Speaking with Top Gear, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers says the next-generation model will be available with all-wheel drive. The reason comes down to people preferring the current model with the all-wheel drive model. “But we are going to introduce a completely new four-wheel drive system, one which we’ve never had in the company. That’s going to be the biggest step we ever did with a generation. In Germany we had the choice of 4x4 and 4x2, and 90-plus per cent bought the 4x4. People in that segment are looking for four-wheel drive,” said Moers. It should be noted when Mercedes introduced the refreshed E63 for the U.S. in 2014, you could only get it with all-wheel drive. Elsewhere, you had the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Moers also dropped that the next E63 would use the same biturbo V8 as the C63 and AMG GT. For the E63, the engine will get a number of changes including new cylinder heads and a different arrangement of the turbos. The plan is to produce around 600 horsepower. “I’m more focused on the overall package. Maybe not in the past, but we’ve moved to that, to a certain extent. Power should be in line with the overall capabilities of the chassis. It’s more important to have a precise throttle response than all that power. You need a certain level and in that segment, it’s around 600bhp.” It is expected that the E63 will debut this fall at the Paris Motor Show in September. Source: Top Gear
  23. The current Nissan Leaf offers a max range of 107 miles. But that will pale in comparison with the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 which will offer a range of 200 miles. Nissan is aware of this and will be addressing this with the next-generation Leaf. Speaking with Autoblog, Nissan's global director of EV and HEV engineering Kazuo Yajima said the next-generation Leaf will feature a 60-kWh battery that should give it an overall range of between 210 to 220 miles. The current Leaf either comes with either a 24 or 30-kWh battery. Yajima wouldn't say when the next-generation Leaf would be introduced, although some believe it will be shown in 2018. Source: Autoblog
  24. Back in April, we reported that the current Dodge Journey would soldier on for another two years due to a change in strategy in FCA's passenger car lineup - outsourcing production of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. This caused plans for the next-generation Journey - due sometime this year - to be pushed back. Now, a possible new plan for the Journey has come to light. Automotive News has learned from supplier sources that FCA will shift Journey production from Mexico to Italy when the crossover is redesigned for the 2019 model year. Why Italy? Sources explain that the Journey will share the platform underpinning the Alfa Romeo Giulia, meaning a transition from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive. With production moving to Italy, this would free up production capacity at FCA's North American plants where more trucks and SUVs can be produced. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  25. The Dodge Charger is getting up there in age, not in looks but its platform. The 300 and Charger's LX platform uses suspension bits from older Mercedes-Benz models (W211 E-Class and W220 S-Class). According to Automotive News, there is a new Charger coming. But the bad news is that it will not be till after 2020. According to sources, the Charger will switch over to an extended version of the platform that underpins the Giulia - known as Giorgio. Overall length will remain around 198 inches, but weight is expected to drop about 500 pounds. There is talk about the turbocharged 2.0L four - codenamed Hurricane - being one of the engines on offer for the next-gen Charger. But why is FCA waiting till after 2020 to introduce the next Charger? The report doesn't say, but our guess would either be money or the number of delays for the Giulia have pushed back the timeline for other models using the platform. Either way, a source says the Charger will have a minor refresh in 2019. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

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