It’s no secret that the Dodge Durango will be offered with an 8-speed automatic transmission for the 2014 model year, but in addition to the new transmission and improved MPG, the Durango will undergo a facelift and will be sporting new front and rear fascias, and a updated grille (clearly shown in these photos). more
Wrapped in camouflage head-to-toe, we photographed the 2013 Toyota Rav4 earlier today. But even covered, these photos show the next RAV4 is going to change quite a bit from its current form and move closer to the crossover mainstream.
When the Toyota RAV4 first went on sale in 1996 (read: History of the Crossover), it was a quirky little SUV powered by a tiny four-cylinder engine. Each successive generation of the RAV4, however, has grown larger and heavier. Today, even a third row of seats is available. The next iteration of the crossover, however, will need to compete with the new Ford Kuga, the Mazda CX-5, as well as the venerable, updated-for-2012 Honda CR-V. That means it will need to retain a roomy cabin and deliver the fuel economy buyers expect.
Based on these spy photos, don’t be surprised if the new RAV4 arrives on a modified version of the current model’s platform. That’s because in addition to some drastic stylistic changes, it looks like a size increase may be in store for the 2013 as well. Although most of the car in the photos is covered up, the sweeping roofline and fast windshield make it clear that the new RAV4 will abandon its off-road pretensions and embrace its crossover roots. more
At its launch in late 2009 Lexus confirmed that its over-the-top supercar, the two-seat, V10-powered LFA, would be limited to just 500 units in total and that the cars would be painstakingly assembled at the rate of just 20 per month. At that rate, production of the LFA is slated to end in December of this year.
While Lexus has never mentioned that it was planning any more versions of the LFA beyond the regular model and track-focused Nürburgring edition, it being one of the automaker’s greatest achievements means it deserves a proper send out. That farewell may just come in the form of an extreme ‘Final Edition’ model.
A mysterious Lexus prototype sporting manufacturer plates has been spotted racing around the Nürburgring. On initial glance it looks just like the previous Nürburgring Edition but a closer inspection reveals some new elements that suggest this is an even wilder version. more
Even in heavy camouflage, it’s obvious this is the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado, due for the 2014 model year. We didn’t get a peek under the hood, but sources tell us to expect a small-block V8 with improved fuel economy and greater horsepower. Just at a glance, the revised 2014 Chevrolet Silverado appears to have an even roomier interior. More details as they come in.
Economically priced under $20,000—yet with hints of luxury and premium features—the Chrysler 100 will be a bit less sporty, while more refined than its Dodge Dart cousin. And apparently the non-compete clause requires the 2014 Chrysler 100 to be equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, with no manual offered.
We’ve seen the concept, but here are the very first photos of an Acura RLX prototype on the road! Actually, this went right from an enclosed transporter into a secure garage—but we managed to snap a couple of distant photos before the RLX was tucked away for the night. Its testing partner this week happens to be a BMW 535i.
Acura’s soon-to-be newest flagship debuted in “concept” form at this year’s New York Auto Show, and will likely reach dealerships in early 2013 as a 2014 model.
This prototype is sporting Acura’s “Jewel Eye” LED dual-stacked high-intensity headlamps, which will surely become the RLX’s signature.
Although car companies don’t usually talk about future products—even when concepts are introduced—the Acura RLX press release tends to spill the beans regarding powerplants: A 3.5-liter direct-injected VTEC V6 and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission to produce over 370 horsepower and offer 30 mpg city and highway (in the concept model), but Acura also mentions a 310-horsepower front-wheel drive version.
Read more in the Acura RLX intro press release below. In the meantime, we’ll be staking out the garage!
Jeep has been out testing the all-new Liberty this week, and we caught these two prototypes nearly 2000 miles apart. Sporting a Jeep-type grille, a crossover/SUV ride height and riding on Yokahama Geolander AT-S all-terrain tires, there’s no mistaking this for anything but a Jeep!
Codenamed UJ, the new Liberty replacement will come standard in front-wheel drive, with an all-wheel drive option available. more
Aston Martin will reportedly launch six new models over the coming six years, with most being evolutionary successors to existing models in the Aston line-up. Some though are all new, and—the most important of these new models—the successor to the DB9, will reportedly arrive in 2013.
As our exclusive spy photos show, styling will to be traditional Aston, with elements of the Rapide to appear also: the new headlights and the bumper-mounted number plate, for example.
All else about the Aston Martin DB9 replacement is unknown. It is believed to be in development under the codename Project VH500, but it remains to be seen whether it will continue with the DB9 name, or jump up to DB10 or DB11.
Here are the first images of the real 2014 Porsche Macan, an all-new SUV from the German automaker, which has been described as having sporty valences and a coupe-like body style.
Porsche is moving ahead at blistering speed with development of the 2014 Macan, and it appears they’re right on schedule.
The Porsche Macan is riding on a platform shared with the Audi Q5 and upcoming Audi Q6—a fact that is clearly demonstrated by the very Audi-like wheels on this test vehicle. The differences will obviously come in the luxury department, and in the fact that the Macan will offer a sportier ride than the Q5.
The headlights, taillights and that fake chrome strip towards the rear of the doors are actually stickers—Porsche’s clever camouflage.
Besides the size—as compared to the Cayenne—the Porsche Macan stands out with a larger center grille, no creases on the hood, a sloped back and longer overhangs.
The 2014 Porsche Macan will also reportedly be powered by the first Porsche four-cylinder engine since the 968 was phased out in 1995.
The newest MINI Cooper was spied in Munich earlier today wearing less camouflage than ever before—giving us the first look at the MINI’s new flat front and huge new headlamps.
Our spy photos show that the revamped MINI Cooper also appears slightly longer and wider than the current model and is supporting a smaller grille, a longer hood, and slimmer A-pillars.
While the exterior shape is instantly recognizable, big changes will also occur inside the cabin. Our shooters were able to notice the absence of the center-mounted speedometer for a more traditional instrument cluster.
Engine options remain a bit of a mystery, but we can expect a variety of fuel-efficient powertrains. Nothing is official, but we wouldn’t be surprised if entry-level models are equipped with the new three-cylinder TwinPower engines. For the MINI Cooper S, however, a new turbocharged 1.6-liter with 180 horsepower is likely, while the John Cooper Works (JCW) edition gets a similar unit with 220 hp.
Nearly a year ago we spied what almost seemed more like a publicity stunt than car- testing—a near clone to the BMW i8 Frankfurt Motor Show Concept: Vision EfficientDynamics, playing in the snow in northern Sweden.
Stunning, but more “concept” than production.
Now, for the first time ever, we’ve got close up to the real thing! We caught a pre-production BMW i8 driving on a secret test track, and we were still able to snap a few photos before it went into a spy-proof garage.
In the words of our shooter in Europe:
“The machine you see will be the reigning monarch of the Bavarian automaker's new sub-brand i once it debuts.
“Based on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept that starred at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the vehicle is said to pack 2+2 seating and a 0-100 km/h time in the 4.8- second range, along with a supercar price tag. Look to fork around 150,000 Euros when this beastie touches down.
“There's been some indication that BMW will forgo the thrifty diesel engine of the concept in favor of a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline unit to work in coordination with a hybrid system. While that's bad news for diesel fans, the fact that BMW is gearing the platform toward gasoline means that this vehicle will more than likely be very powerful. With its lightweight structure and the plug-in hybrid, it will, nonetheless, remain a very fuel-efficient car.”
No “concept” or prototype here—this is the real thing. After years of rumors, concept introductions and even so-called prototypes spotted, we spied Brammo’s Empulse R electric motorcycle while it was part of a video shoot over the weekend.
Brammo’s new motorcycle is expected to top off at 100 mph, with a 121 mile-per-charge range. There are lots of specs on the Brammo website, but it’s not clear if the specs they publically offer are only for the concept and prototypes—or if they’ll carry over to this somewhat different-looking production model.
Official launch of the Brammo Empulse R Electric is May 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm. For now, however, this is the first and only preview of the “real” Empulse R.
Photo Credit: Eugene Sergienko for Brenda Priddy & Company
Mercedes-Benz hasn't been shy about discussing the new A-Class AMG, but we haven't seen much of the model—until now. Caught thinly camouflaged, the prototype is distinguished by high-performance brakes, AMG wheels and a sporty dual exhaust system.
More interestingly, the car is being benchmarked against the Volkswagen Golf R, so AMG appears to be taking things pretty seriously. Power will likely be provided by a turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine with 320-350 horsepower. The engine is expected to be paired to a dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.