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2018 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) A-To-Z Debuts

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 07:51 PM PST

The first major auto show of the New Year is upon us and this is your complete guide to all the new cars and concepts making their world and North American debuts in Detroit.

The 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which is just as often called the Detroit Auto Show, takes place in downtown Detroit at the Cobo Center. International press days are held on January 14 to 16 with public access running from January 20 through 28.

While, admittedly, the number of premieres hosted in Detroit has declined over the years, as the Los Angeles and New York auto shows gain more and more traction with carmakers in America, the NAIAS remains one of the most important automotive events on the continent.

This year, we'll see a parade of notable concept and production car debuts ranging from the renewed VW Jetta and Toyota Avalon sedans to the BMW i8 Roadster and the Infiniti Sedan and Lexus Flagship SUV studies.
Naturally, it wouldn't be 2018 without trucks and SUVs, with debutants including the first new generation of the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class in three decades and the next Chevrolet Silverado.

There are also a handful of lust-worthy debuts that have been rumored, but not yet confirmed, such as the elusive mid-engine Corvette C8 and the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and Bullitt duo.

We've compiled a preliminary list of the definite as well as whispered 2018 NAIAS premieres in alphabetical order below, which we'll keep updating on a daily basis as the show approaches and news becomes available.

Note: F/L = Facelifted, NC= Not Confirmed




Ferrari SUV Rendering Looks Hideously Wrong

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:15 PM PST

If a Ferrari 812 Superfast and an Alfa Romeo Stelvio could have a baby, it would probably look something this.

The internet oddity is the work of KleberSilva, and while some would immediately compare it to Lamborghini's Urus, it's in fact smaller, and it might be just us, but uglier as well.

Nevertheless, as strange as a Ferrari-badged SUV sounds, rumors about the Italian car marque considering expanding their lineup have persisted for years. Such a vehicle would help them produce more than 10,000 units annually, bringing in extra cash for the exotic Italian brand.

Inevitably, having Lamborghini and Ferrari chase after the booming SUV segments throws the ball into McLaren's yard, and a completely different set of renderings, posted by JoseRodriguezNebreda, reveals how a Woking-made high-riding vehicle would look like, inspired by the P1 hybrid hypercar.

It doesn't exactly do justice to the McLaren name, but the automaker continues to dismiss working on an SUV, adding that they'll continue to focus their attention on sports cars and supercars.


Faraday Future Founder Defies Beijing’s Return Order To China, Remains In U.S.

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 05:36 PM PST

The founder of LeEco and Faraday Future Jia Yueting has defied a recent order from China's regulators to return to the country by the end of 2017, saying his presence was required in the United States as FF's fundraising was making progress.

Jia released a statement on his official WeChat account which said that he asked his brother, Jia Yuemin, to meet with the regulator and provide a report.

"I am deeply sorry and blame myself for the negative impact of LeEco's debt crisis," he said. "The fundraising for Faraday Future in the United States is making significant progress and there are many tasks I need to push forward in order to ensure the production and timely delivery of the FF91."

LeEco is currently struggling to pay its debts, following a rapid expansion that caused a cash crunch, leading to the company owing creditors 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) at its peak, Reuters reports.

Jia claimed in a Faraday Future that the EV startup company has managed to raise more than $1 billion, without announcing the name of its investors, while a Chinese court seized his assets in the country.


Tap Into Your Inner Hipster With A Restomod 1959 Mercedes-Benz O 319

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 04:55 PM PST

Talk about classic people carriers and the name Volkswagen will definitely come into discussion, as their Microbus continues to write history.

However, not many know that Mercedes-Benz had an alternative to the VW Microbus, introduced in 1955 alongside the medium-duty L 319 truck, and called 0 319, as part of their vehicle expansion plan.

And if you happen to be looking for one, then you have come to the right place, because RMSothebys have this gorgeous example listed for their Arizona sale, which takes place in Phoenix, on January 18-19.

Expected to fetch $175,000-$200,000, the 1959 Mercedes-Benz O 319 features a modern direct-injected engine from the German brand, married to an automatic transmission, and air-ride suspension adapted to the stock dual rear-wheel setup.

All work, which included bringing the exterior back to its former glory and painting it in the factory colors, alongside transforming the interior into a camper van, was made by its previous owner, a computer engineer, who spent 15 years working on it.

Some of the details that should make the purchase even more interesting are the centralized circuit-breaker panel and lighting for every cubby and compartment upon opening, propane and water tanks installed underneath the body, and meticulous plumbing and electric work.

This makes it ready for its next outdoor adventure, but would you rather have a classic Mercedes or a similar Volkswagen Microbus?


The Mercedes G63 6x6 Isn't Unstoppable After All

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 04:13 PM PST

The Mercedes-AMG G63 6x6 is an insane off-roader which packs plenty of performance and luxury features. While it's hard to imagine anything could stop a vehicle like this, one owner found out snow can.

In an Instagram post, Gregb.23 revealed he got his G63 6x6 stuck while playing in the snow covered surrounding of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

While the clip doesn't show the model getting stuck, an earlier video revealed he was driving relatively cautiously and the G-Class didn't have much trouble tackling mountains of snow which reached as high as the hood.

This didn't matter as the G-Class eventually got trapped with snow reaching to the top of its 37-inch tires. A Snowcat was called into pull the G63 6x6 from its wintery grave but the tracked vehicle still had trouble freeing the snow-bound Mercedes.

Gregb.23 was eventually able to free the six-wheeled behemoth as he posted a follow-up saying "Back out in the wild! The #GreenPanzer learning how to work around the snow in #Cortina."

The G63 6x6 might have found its match in this case, but the model has portal axles, five differential locks, and 460 mm (18.1 inches) of ground clearance. It also features impressive approach and departure angles as well as a tire pressure control system which inflate the tires from 0.5 bar (7.2 psi) to 1.8 bar (26.1 psi) in just 20 seconds.

H/T to Road & Track


A post shared by Greg B. ⚫️🔵 (@gregb.23) on

1,350 HP Audi S2 Turbo Is Faster Than A Twin-Turbo Aventador

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 03:38 PM PST

While one would expect an old Audi to go by unnoticed, this heavily-modded Audi S2 Coupe will certainly make heads turn.

For starters, you can tell it means business from the lowered ride height, the body kit, dual-tone exterior and, of course, the sound coming from its tuned R32 engine.

In a straight line, it's capable of hitting 328 km/h (204 mph) from a standstill in just 14.8 seconds, and it will go from 200 km/h (124 mph) to 250 km/h (155 mph) in an incredible 1.6 seconds.

The problem is that it might struggle for grip before it gets up to speed. During this recent 1/2 mile (0.8 km) run, it managed to cover the distance in 15.1 seconds at 317 km/h (197 mph). However, it didn't exactly get off to a good start.

Even so, it was quicker than this twin turbo Lamborghini Aventador packing 1,300 HP. For the sake of comparison, a stock supercar like a Ferrari 488 GTB, needs almost 18 seconds in order to do the half mile run.


Aptiv And Lyft To Bring Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service To CES

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 03:04 PM PST

Aptiv and Lyft have joined forces to launch a "first-of-its-kind fully automated point-to-point ride-hailing experience" for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Dubbed the Aptiv-Lyft Automated Experience, the service will allow CES attendees to request an autonomous ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center's Gold Lot. A car will then pick up riders and transport them to one of the more than 20 destinations programmed throughout the city.

All of the vehicles will have a safety driver as well as "in-car host" who will apparently highlight the car's technology. Of course, one of the most notable features about Aptiv's autonomous driving technology is the fact that their sensors are integrated into the vehicle's design and this eliminates the unsightly sensor arrangements which are common on other autonomous vehicles.

While the Automated Experience is simply a demonstration, Aptiv says the technology will be ready for production by 2019.

According to Aptiv CEO Kevin Clark, "This partnership represents a real-life application of scalable, automated driving technology that will have a significant impact on improving safety, emissions and urban congestion challenges." He added, "Aptiv's automated driving platform is the most advanced automated system available and, combined with Lyft's intuitive user app, [this] will allow CES attendees to have a true point-to-point self-driving experience. It is an exciting demonstration of the future of mobility at work."

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U.S. Vehicles Sales Expected To Drop As Interest Rates Climb

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 02:32 PM PST

Automakers are still finalizing their sales figures for 2017 and many analysts believe it will the first year since 2009 that sales dropped in the United States.

Unfortunately, that trend is expected to continue as Bloomberg reports a number of analysts are skeptical that automakers will be able to sell 17 million vehicles in the United States this year. A number of different factors are in play but one of the biggest is interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates three times this year and these increases will raise the cost of borrowing for everything from credit cards to home loans. As Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke told the publication, "The monthly payment matters" and "When rates rise, many consumers do not have an option to pay more." Smoke went on to say Cox believes higher interest rates have already begun pushing consumers towards used vehicles instead of new models.

The rate increases remain to be seen but Edmunds senior analyst Ivan Drury says a quarter-point increase in interest rates typically adds between $8 and $20 to the monthly payment of a new vehicle. This might not be enough to stop consumers from purchasing new vehicles but it could push them towards more affordable models with less options.

If the analysts are correct, customers will purchase around 16.7 million vehicles in the United States this year and that will be a drop of around 500,000 units from last year.

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Toyota Says Next-Generation Tundra Is A Top Priority, Hints At FT-AC Production Model

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:51 PM PST

The pickup wars are heating up as Chevrolet and Ram will unveil new versions of their full-size trucks at the North American International Auto Show later this month.

These models will compete with the Toyota Tundra and company's North American group vice president and general manager recently told Autoguide "I don't think there's [a] much higher priority than" than launching the next-generation Tundra. Jack Hollis went on to say the current model has "been out for plenty of time so we're looking at what the new one would look like."

There's no word on when the truck will be introduced but the Tundra has been a moderate sales success as the company routinely sells about 117,000 units annually. This is significantly less than rivals such as the Ford F-150 but its good enough to outpace sales of the Nissan Titan.

Besides talking about the Tundra, Hollis said Toyota is eyeing a handful of improvements for the Tacoma which is the best-selling mid-size pickup in the United States. Hollis declined to say what to expect but he confirmed the updated model won't be introduced this year.

Hollis went on to suggest the FT-AC concept, which recently debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, could eventually go into production. As he explained, the FJ Cruiser was previewed by a concept and it went into production two years later following strong customer feedback. He then hinted, "I would put FT-AC in a similar boat."

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Byton Continues To Tease Its First Crossover Ahead Of CES

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 01:31 PM PST

Byton has released new details about its upcoming crossover.

Set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 7th, the model is described as a "smart intuitive vehicle" which has been designed for the "coming era of truly shared, smart mobility and autonomous driving."

The teaser images don't reveal much but the company says the crossover will have LED lighting units and an intuitive access system which uses facial recognition technology to identify the driver and unlock the doors.

Speaking of technology, the model have a massive "Shared Experience Display" which spans the width of the dashboard. The display can be divided into multiple different sections and can show everything from directions to people in your contact list.

Byton also says the crossover will have voice recognition technology, touch controls, and biometric identification. There will also be "Air Touch" sensors which enable passengers to control the Shared Experience Display with hand gestures.

The crossover will have an electric powertrain and reports suggest the model will have a range of approximately 310 miles (500 km).

The crossover will be built in Nanjing, China and it is scheduled to go on sale in the country in 2019. One year later, the model will be offered in Europe and the United States.

Following the launch of the crossover, Byton has plans to offer a sedan and an MPV. Both will be based on the same platform that underpins the crossover.

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1,400 Cars Destroyed In Massive Parking Garage Fire On New Year's Eve

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:51 PM PST

Approximately 1,400 vehicles were destroyed on New Year's Eve when a massive parking garage caught on fire in the United Kingdom.

The fire occurred in a parking garage near the Echo Arena in Liverpool and The Guardian reports that only a handful of vehicles on the top level and corners of the building survived the inferno.

Merseyside fire chief Dan Stephens told the publication the fire apparently started in the engine compartment of Land Rover Discovery which was parked on the second level. The blaze quickly spread to adjacent vehicles and Stephens said the lack of sprinklers played a major role as they could have "suppressed the fire and might even have extinguished the fire."

The massive blaze required a significant response and the publication reports the fire was battled by 12 fire engines, three aerial units, and 85 firefighters. Thankfully no one was killed in the blaze but three people were hurt. Two were treated for smoke inhalation, while another person injured her hand while trying to escape the fire.

The parking garage was packed by visitors attending the Liverpool International Horse Show which was eventually cancelled as a result of the blaze.


Fire at Kings Dock, Liverpool

Here is some footage taken by our crews at the scene of the fire at Kings Dock, Liverpool which shows the scale of the fire they were faced with.

Crews fought the fire valiantly and we are incredibly proud of their efforts. Thanks to all partner agencies who worked closely with firefighters at the scene.

Further updates on the incident will be posted later on today.

Posted by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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Can Potholes Deploy Curtain Airbags On Your Car?

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 12:35 PM PST

If you're worried that driving over large potholes can damage your car to the point where something really bad is going to happen, then good, you should be.

In an attempt to see if potholes can actually deploy airbags, Warped Perception took a W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon to one of the harshest streets in Chicago, where the asphalt is definitely not what you'd call "car friendly".

These tests were executed multiple times, as the driver realized that driving at high speeds can actually make the impact less harsh as long as the pothole isn't too large in size.

On the 3rd run, which was done at 40 mph (62 km/h), is when the curtain airbags deployed. By the looks of it, it happened just as the upper ball joint on the front left wheel rebounded up towards the chassis.

According to the driver/host, the airbag deployment occurred with the impact sensors still intact. He was also surprised by the fact that it was the passenger side airbags that went off, and not those on the driver's side.


Which Land Rover Should Get The SVX Treatment Next?

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 12:00 PM PST

The hardcore version of the Discovery, which was unveiled by Land Rover at Frankfurt this past September, wasn't the first SVX model it's done – and it won't be the last.

The question is, which of the British sport-ute manufacturer's products should be the next to get the SVX treatment? Well, here are a few ideas.

Rendering artist Nikita Aksyonov recently gave us a speculative preview of what the flagship Range Rover would look like in SVX spec, and has now followed up with more.

In the gallery below, you'll see similar takes on the Defender, Freelander, Evoque, Evoque Convertible, and Velar, along with the aforementioned Range Rover as well, all done up with similar equipment to the Discovery SVX.

Now some of them seem more likely than others. The Velar? Maybe. The Evoque? Probably not. The Evoque Convertible? Even less so. The Freelander won't happen since it's already been phased out, replaced as it has by the new Discovery Sport, but the latter could make a good basis.

As for the Defender, well that's already spawned an SVX version - or, more accurately, two: the first back in 2008 (which was 10 years ago now, if you can believe it), and those jacked-up, roped-off Defender 110 short-bed, double-cab pickups in Spectre that were crafted jointly by JLR Special Vehicle Operations and the company's longtime off-road racing partner Bowler.

Making another one, then, would hardly seem like much of a stretch. As always, we'll keep an eye for it, so you might want to watch this space.

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Shelby SuperCars Plots A Comeback With Evolved Tuatara Hypercar

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 11:30 AM PST

It's been a while since we've heard anything about SCC, but it looks to be plotting a comeback.

Short for Shelby SuperCars, the Richland, Washington-based company brought us the SSC Aero, a crude but supremely fast supercar that, in Ultimate spec, held the record for the fastest production car in the world for several years, until Bugatti beat it with the Veyron Super Sport.

In 2011, SSC previewed its plans for the future in the form of the Tuatara. Penned by former Pininfarina/Bertone designer Jason Castriota, the SSC Tuatara wrapped dramatic, cutting-edge styling around a 6.9-liter twin-turbo V8 said to be good for 1,350 horsepower.

Unfortunately, the hypercar never entered production, but a short while ago the company updated its long-dormant website and social media feeds with this teaser image. Obscured as it is, the image ostensibly makes the tacit promise that the Tuatara will, in the end, make it to the street, albeit probably in some evolved form.

We'll have to wait to find out more, but the promise of a new American hypercar to challenge the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera RS and Hennessey's forthcoming Venom F5 is enough to get our saliva glands going.

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2018 Ford F-150 Makes A Strong Case For Continuous Segment Domination

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 11:01 AM PST

Even though full-size pickup truck buyers have plenty of competent alternatives to choose from, the Ford F-150 has consistently led its segment when it comes to overall sales.

During this in-depth review, Kelley Blue Book's Micah Muzio attempts to explain why the 2018 F-150 is worthy of its financial status and also why you should definitely consider it if you're in the market for a large workhorse.

For starters, it has a spacious and highly functional cabin, boasting supportive and overall comfortable seats. Furthermore, there are plenty of storage spaces within the doors and the center console.

KBB goes as far as to call the F-150's cabin a "great place to live and work," and recommends you go for the Super Crew version if you priority is to carry people.

On the road, the F150 rides well, offering a solid braking feel, good visibility in all directions and even decent fuel economy - as long as you go for the 325 HP 2.7-liter EcoBoost version.

If you're interested in looking elsewhere for your full-size pickup truck needs, know that rivals from Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet, GMC and RAM are also exceptionally good at their job.


VW Boss Admits Polo GTI Could Gain Higher-Performance Version

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 10:33 AM PST

The idea of a Volkswagen Polo R isn't exactly new, but it appears to be finally materializing.

Citing the brand's chassis development chief, Karsten Schebsdat, Autocar says that a more performance-optimized version of the 200-horsepower Polo GTI could happen, without specifically referring to the 'R' badge, though.

"The car is so stable even in high-speed corners that there is definitely much more capacity [for a more focused version]", Schebsdat said, adding that the "chassis can give more".

Schebsdat's affirmation appears to be on par with a previous report claiming that the German brand has several Polo R prototypes out, built for evaluation purposes. If this is indeed the car hinted by the VW official, then expect a version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine of the Golf R to be resting under the hood.

However, as such a model of the Volkswagen Polo would outrun both the Golf GTI and Golf R, it's likely that the powertrain will be detuned. However, instead of the current Polo GTI's FWD layout, the 'R' supermini might also benefit from the four-wheel drive system of its larger sibling.

Nothing else is known about a Volkswagen Polo R so far, but if it materializes, then it's not completely excluded for Seat to offer similar variants of the Ibiza with the Cupra moniker.

Note: New Volkswagen Polo GTI pictured


Want A Bugatti Chiron? This One's Coming Up For Auction In Florida

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 10:05 AM PST

It's been less than ten months since the first examples of the Bugatti Chiron started rolling out of the factory in Molsheim. In that time, Bugatti has produced 70 examples for eagerly awaiting customers.

That's an average of... carry the two, divide by the square root of Pi... seven per month. And the waiting list is even longer. So unless your build slot is coming up soon, chances are you'd have to wait a long time to have one delivered from the factory.

So what's a prospective buyer to do if he (or she) is late to the game, and wants one right now? Buy one second hand, that's what. The trouble is that, with so few made, they don't come available all that often. But there's one about to hit the auction block – right here in America, no less.

The Chiron you see here – decked out in black and blue with just 249 "delivery miles" on the clock – isn't being handled by RM Sotheby's, Gooding, Bonhams, or Artcurial – auction houses that are typically entrusted with handling such high-value automobiles. This one's being offered by Mecum Auctions, which tends to specialize more in classic American muscle.

That will make the Chiron an undoubted (if unusual) highlight of the upcoming sale in Kissimmee, Florida, where it will cross the block on Saturday, January 13. But then there'll also be a yellow LaFerrari being auctioned at the same event – Mecum having notably sold another at Pebble Beach in August 2016 for over $5 million.

Short of gazing into a crystal ball, we couldn't tell you how much it will sell for, but you can be sure it'll be somewhere in the seven-figure range – and not at the low end of it, either.

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Reviewed: A True Alfa Or Just Another SUV?

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 09:39 AM PST

Customers have been abandoning traditional choices, such as mid-size sedans, and flocking to SUVs of all sizes for quite some time now, and automakers are more than happy to accommodate them.

Most of them, anyway, as Alfa Romeo was remarkable by its absence in that segment, despite having displayed an SUV concept, the Kamal, as early as 2003 at the Geneva Auto Show.

Well, the powers that be at FCA probably got their priorities wrong, which explains why Lancia was, practically, killed off, Fiat ending up relying mostly on the 500 and its offsprings and Alfa… Well, Alfa didn't even have a full range to begin with, as the MiTo and Giulietta simply weren't enough, and the much lauded 4C was a low-volume sports car that wouldn't yield significant profits.

After a considerable amount of time, due to CEO Sergio Marchionne changing his mind quite often, it finally rolled out the Giulia, its first rear-wheel drive saloon since the 75. The thing is, the gestation period was simply too long, and by the time it hit the market SUVs were all the rage.

At long last, Alfa did reveal its first-ever SUV, the Stelvio, which shared many components with the Giulia, to the point that one could say that, essentially, it is a Giulia on stilts. Given the praise that the latter has received, though, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The 505HP Quadrifoglio was released first and, naturally, received plenty of praise in reviews. Carfection, though, got hold of a Stelvio powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that puts out 280PS and, let's face it, will account for a large number of the sales, as the QV is acting as a halo car for the rest of the range.

Now, the question both the reviewer and ourselves are asking is whether the Stelvio remains true to Alfa's sporty DNA or if it's just another SUV devoid of any true Italian flair. After driving it in the Alps, they delivered their verdict, which you can watch in the following video.


Driver Captures Dramatic Car Pile Up On Snow-Covered Highway

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:51 PM PST

A 40-vehicle pile up occurred late last week in Muskegon, Michigan along southbound U.S. 31.

While dozens of vehicles were involved in the massive accident, nobody was seriously harmed. According to MLive, three people had to be taken to the hospital, to treat minor injuries.

The man who shot this video, one Jim Perreault who gave us the "play-by-play", says that even though he managed to avoid hitting anybody, his car was hit three times by other drivers attempting to brake - one of them even rolled his window down to apologize.

Muskegon Township Police chief David Wypa reported that the pile up happened right after another accident took place on the freeway shoulder, between a stationary tow truck and an out-of-control vehicle.

Unfortunately, we couldn't help but notice how people tend to exit their vehicles in situations such as these. The best course of action is always to stay put and attempt to inch forward (out of the way) as much as possible, unless your car is already stuck.

Note: Mind the explicit language


2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Goes Winter Testing In New Teaser

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 08:39 AM PST

It took Mercedes-Benz over four years to come up with a new generation A-Class, which will debut in full at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

However, until we see it in full, the Germans have started the teasing game, with the latest video showing a prototype of the premium small hatchback completing what the company calls "its last extensive test drives in wintry Sweden".

In between facing blizzards and pushing its tail out every now and then, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class was also taken to the climate tunnel, where it had to face extreme temperatures, before being treated to a proper wash.

Mercedes-Benz previews the cabin of the car for a few seconds, but we already know what it will look like, from previous scoops and teasers, with the dashboard dominated by a modern dual-screen layout, available in different sizes, depending on the selected model.

Finally, the German automaker promises "new engines" in the video's description, and it's expected to benefit from as many as 7 gasoline and 4 diesel units, including the 1.3-liter powertrain co-developed with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and the French brand's 1.5-liter dCi diesel.

And that's not all, because the new generation AMG A45 will sit at the top of the range, above the AMG A35, with at least 400hp.

More importantly, Mercedes-Benz is also believed to launch plug-in hybrid and electric versions of the 2019 A-Class.


New 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 To Hit 200 MPH

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 07:59 AM PST

Just a few days after official drawings emerged online depicting the engine of the upcoming Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, The Truth About Cars has discovered that the pony car will reach the fabled 200 mph (320 km/h) mark.

Details from leaked information about the speedometer verification procedure reveal that the car's speedometer will climb all the way to 214 mph (344 km/h), giving the new GT500 a significant leg up on its rivals.

Beyond the GT500's mammoth top speed, further leaked documents tell us that the car will gain a number of driving modes to improve its performance. In fact, there will be a dedicated 'Drag Strip' setting and a Launch Control function.

Interestingly, the Track and Snow/Wet modes found on other Mustangs won't make an appearance in the GT500, indicating that the car manufacturer will prioritize straight-line performance over handling.

Ford's updated VIN decoder has also revealed that the addition of the new 5.2-liter supercharged V8 of the GT500 will come at the cost of the flat-plane crank, naturally-aspirated mill of the current GT350. The remaining two engines available for the Mustang will be the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and the GT's 5.0-liter V8.

Power and torque figures for the car remain unconfirmed but it's possible that in excess of 750 hp is on the cards.


Ford Focus RS vs Audi SQ7: Is There A Real-Life Lesson Somewhere In There?

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 10:31 AM PST

Suppose you're driving your new Ford Focus RS when an Audi SQ7 pulls up next to you on the traffic lights. This is going to be interesting.

Sure the two cars are not by any measure comparable but still it's interesting to see which one is the fastest. Will it be the big diesel-powered SUV or is the grade-A hot hatch too tough for the traffic light grand prix?

The Audi SQ7 is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 TDI engine that makes use of an electric-powered compressor in order to eliminate the traditional turbo lag. Despite the big footprint, the fastest of the Q7s is capable of a 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds which sounds competitive enough for the Focus RS.

The Ford Focus RS is powered by a smaller 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 345hp channeled also to all four wheels. Ford says it'll do a 0-62mph sprint in 4.7 seconds, making things more intriguing.

Top Gear magazine brought the two together in their latest drag race video, so let's see if the manual hot hatch will beat the big automatic diesel SUV. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.


Audi Allegedly Developing Long-Wheelbase Q2 EV

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 07:01 AM PST

Audi is allegedly developing an all-electric variant of a forthcoming Audi Q2 long-wheelbase model.

Indian Autos Blog claims that the vehicle is being developed under the codename 'Audi X55 BEV' and will be underpinned by the carmaker's MQB platform. Few details about its electric powertrain are known but it is claimed that a range of roughly 500 km (310 miles) could be on the cards.

Before this all-electric Q2 hits the market, Audi will launch the Q2 L (long-wheelbase) in China later this year. This model will reportedly be available with a 116 PS 1.0-liter TFSI engine, a 150 PS 1.4-liter TFSI, and a 190 PS 2.0-liter TFSI petrol. Both a six-speed manual and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission will be offered to customers.

An all-electric Audi Q2 L is an enticing prospect and if priced correctly, could act as the perfect premium alternative to the upcoming Tesla Model Y.

As good as this all sounds, we're taking the reports with a grain of salt and recommend you do the same. We've contacted Audi to seek clarification.


2019 Porsche 911 Cabrio Takes Its Top Off For The First Time

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 09:05 AM PST

While Porsche's next-gen 911 Cabriolet might be high on body cladding, this marks the first time we've gotten to see it with its top down.

This prototype was spotted in relatively cold weather (just a few degrees), while continuing to hide its true appearance from us with the help of some light yet effective camouflage.

Visually, we're seeing the same things all over again when it comes to these prototypes. The Mission E-inspired taillights, the new bonnet, which appears to run all the way to the front of the bumper, and the "flap-type" door handles, which we haven't seen on a 911 ever since the 997.

Since this prototype is a convertible, we should mention that its "rear hunch" is somewhat similar to that of previous models, although the body panels are different. It's also possible that the edge of the rear-end light strip won't reach as far forward towards the fender as it did on the 991 - but we'll need the camouflage to come off in order to confirm this theory.

Compared to the current-generation 991 model, the new car (rumored to be dubbed 992) is believed to have a longer wheelbase and wider tracks, although overall length will remain unchanged.

Inside, we can expect certain tech and design traits to be brought over from the second-generation Panamera (such as the new high-res displays, touch-sensitive commands, sharper sound system etc), while the engine range should feature slightly updated versions of the automaker's turbo flat-six units.

The all-new 2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, along with its Coupe sibling, is expected to make its debut later this year, followed by the Targa version at a later date.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops


2018 Citroen C4 Cactus Goes On Sale In UK Featuring New Hydraulic Suspension

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Citroen has updated the popular C4 Cactus but instead of just doing the usual nip and tuck, they decided to premiere their new comfort-based hydraulic suspension in Europe with it.

The French company calls the new suspension "Progressive Hydraulic Cushions" and is offered as standard on Feel and Flair models, claiming it offers a "magic carpet ride effect".

The new suspension is combined with Citroen's also new Advanced Comfort Seats that come with adjustable lumbar support and are filled with high-density foam, as well as better soundproofing.

The exterior was restyled with new bumpers and new lights, while the characteristic AirBumps are now smaller and positioned lower, just above the sills. Citroen says the new C4 Aircross now offers 31 different combinations to choose from.

Customers in the UK are offered a choice between two versions of the 1.2-liter three-cylinder PureTech petrol engine -110PS and 130PS- and the 100PS 1.6-liter HDi diesel unit. A naturally aspirated 82PS version of the 1.2-liter petrol will be added to the range from May.

The range of driver assistance technologies includes 12 systems, like Active City Brake, Speed Limit Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Coffee Break Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Park Assist, Grip Control and more. A seven-inch touchscreen display serves not only as the infotainment system but also houses the controls for the air conditioning and comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink.

Prices for the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus in the UK start at £17,965 for the 110PS petrol Feel version, with the first cars expected to be delivered at the beginning of April.