Okay, all one really needs to do is watch the videos. Feel free to paw through the images, I could not help but be a bit demented/sentimental about the selection. At this year’s Geneva Auto Show, Land Rover showed the videos below and said that “Discovery will become a family of vehicles from 2015.”
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Land Rover say that they will be trying to diversify their lineup into three segments, which they have mostly already done with the Range Rover, Evoque and the Discovery as three reasonably separate categories: Luxury, Dual Purpose, and Leisure. Joining the Disco is the latest variant of the LR2/Freelander in the Leisure segment. It is really tricky to say what they will come up with next as there have not been too many specific hints.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Jaguar says the XK is “So alive, it’s the sting in your tail,” but it will not be alive for much longer as the automaker is shutting down sales of the car after eight years. The eight cylinder powered coupe and convertible are living in a shrinking GT car market, and are making jabs at their half siblings, the F-Types. Ian Callum, lead designer of the car, did quite well with the design, as did the folks working on everything underneath. Through a transition time at Jaguar and through the great recession, the XK sold a not so inconsiderable 54,000 units worldwide.
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For a while though one will still be able to shell out anywhere from $79,000 for the Touring Coupe to $174,000 for the XKR-S GT, though the former might be a bit tricky to find unsold. Even if it’s the standard direct-injected 385 bhp V8 powered XK, it will be quite sad to see it go. Though the F-Type is not a direct equivalent to the XKR, it will likely be quite some time until we see a replacement with this designation, but do feel free to drown your sorrows in the roar of the GT’s 550 bhp V8 in the video below.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Jaguar has indicated at the Geneva Auto Show that they will be offering a shrunken XF sedan in the not-too-distant future. Equipped with a new range of efficient and suitably powerful Ingenium 2 liter inline four cylinder engines, the Jaguar XE sedan will serve as the British alternative to the BMW 3 and 4 series, the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class. This is not the first time that the Brits have tried this out; launched in late 2001, Jaguar proffered a entry level luxury car called the X-type. This car was all too closely based on the Ford Mondeo, sold poorly, ran somewhat poorly and was no match for the German and Japanese competition.
The XE shows promise for the company, not just because Jag is hinting at a near 200 mph top speed, but because it demonstrates that Jag is willing to spend some R&D money on an entirely new range of powerplants, which is something that they have not done recently. The above photos give us a taste of the extensive use of aluminum and Jag’s continued devotion to an exoskeleton approach to building cars. Jaguar-Land Rover promises that they will be revealing the full specs of the new range of compact luxury models sometime this year and that the cars will go on sale in mid-2015. For more information, check out the brief press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that automakers other than Lotus were producing lightweight sportscars capable of carrying the driver, the engine, a very small candy bar and one companion. With the release of Audi’s sub 3,000-lb TT and the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Concept, it seems that the automotive industry is no longer in a sugary coma of 65 airbags, massive engines, 400-lb heated and cooled seats, and voice-activated FaceTube access. Sure, there have been fits and starts of better behavior like the Lotus Elise/Exige, Toyobaru BRZ/FT-86/FR-S, ill-fated Toyota MR2, and niche automakers like Morgan offering small, quick cars designed for fun rather than statistics, but overall the sports car world has, until now taken a different approach.
Alfa may not introduce many copies of the 4C to the North American markets or any other, as they have only planned to send 1,000 copies of the coupe over here, but this cloth top cabrio should do well to bring traffic to a standstill wherever it goes. Unlike Alfas of old, the new model will likely only cause rubbernecking from its looks, and not from steam or smoke pouring out from under the hood. Specifications of the new Spider are pretty slim, but Alfa say that it only gains 130 lbs over the fixed-head coupe. This happens to be the same weight as the monocoque from the coupe. This makes for a 2,103 lb Italian sports car with 240 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque coming from a 1750-cc turbo four. Not that it matters, but the coupe version does get 41.5 mpg on Europe’s combined cycle.
12-inch 4-pot Brembos stop the car up front, 0-60 happens in 4.5 seconds in the fixed-head with a top speed of 160mph, the torque curve is flat between 2,200 and 4250 rpm and the coupe pulls 1.1g on the skidpad. What more could a guy or gal ask for?
For more details on a car that will make you want to sell your plasma, a kidney, and anything else, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
AutoCar over in the UK recently learned through Bentley’s sales and marketing director, Kevin Rose, who said that the Flying Wing marque is consdiering a bottom-entry model.
Specifics weren’t shared, but Rose told the publication that the possibility of a model is entirely dependent on market demand. Though it’ shard to imagine what market there is below the Continental GT’s base price of $177,000 large. Does this mean Bentley could be interested in dipping their toes in the same market as the high-end executive sedans from Germany?
On a side note, a hint was given by Rose indicating the possibility of a range-topping model that sits above the $299,000 Mulsanne. Such a model would most likely go head-to-head with the $475,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom. And even then, Rolls has the Drophead and the Phantom Coupe. That could also trigger Bentley to come out with similar competitors.
But nothing is set in stone. Either way, only time will tell.
Since the 60s, Alpina has been offering upgrades to BMWs, initially for racing and now, largely for the consumer market; their latest offering making its debut at Geneva is not inexpensive, but it’s not slow either. Starting at $118,225 including a $925 destination fee, the ‘B6 offers up a stonking good 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and 198 mph is possible too thanks to 540 bhp and 540 ft-lbs of torque coming from a twin turbo 4.4 liter V8 mated to BMW’s 8-speed auto ‘box.
The scope of the upgrades is not limited to the powertrain though. Paint options are different for this car as well as the inclusion of Alpina’s Lavalina leather trim. They aren’t kidding when it comes to the brakes either, 14.7 inch rotors come as standard up front with 13.6 inch rotors for the rear. 21 inch Alpina Classic wheels come standard, so don’t expect the ride quality or the pothole surfing ability to be sublime. It’s delicious though, so take a look at the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
After its official North American preview at the New York International Auto Show, the 2015 BMW X4 will start being produced down in BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant. Slotting in just above the X3, the X4 will come with the option of the N20 2 liter turbo four chucking out 240 horsepower mated to an eight speed automatic with BMW’s xDrive all wheel drive system. The headline is of course the N55 3 liter turbo six putting out about 300 horsepower, responsible for the reasonably short trip to 60mph. Though the car is mechanically identical to the BMW X3, the Munich-based automaker wants to make it clear that this is not an X3, but a shrunken X6, capable of dishing out plenty of punishment to the likes of the Porsche Macan.
Starting at just over $45,000, the X4 xDrive2.8i is aimed squarely at those interested in making a styling statement that somehow doesn’t involve the X3, 3er GranTurismo, 4er GranCoupe or the 3er wagon. The 3 liter model, dubbed the 3.5i seems to be more about having a point and squirt ski trip car. As is the usual with BMW’s line of SUVs, BMW says that it has “all road capability” and that it’s not a Sports Activity Vehicle, but a Sports Activity Coupe. They BMW is also keen to point out that the roofline is highest above the driver and that the front seats have been lowered by 20 millimeters compared to the X3 seats to give the car some sporting pretensions. For more information, feel free to check out the press release after the jump.
By: Sawyer Sutton
According to a report, Jeep is mulling the idea of ” simplifying” Wrangler ownership by relieving it of one of its redeeming features: the manually operated roof. Currently available with a fixed hard top or rag top, Jeep might be considering removing the car’s proclivity to removing one’s fingers.
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Though Jeep has been using a manually operated top for all of its natural existence, this mostly seems like a pandora’s box of poor industrial design, added weight, and poor durability. Cheap, lightweight, and reliable, are all adjectives that describe electronically folding metal roofs, but generally only two of those adjectives can be used. It will be interesting to see if Jeep does go the automatic route and how well the systems last. Up for discussion too, evidently, is the fate of the folding front windshield and tailgate mounted spare tire. Let’s hope these are all just rumors. On the bright side, it would appear that Jeep is looking to smooth out the ride but retain the solid axles.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: Road and Track
For Geneva, Porsche has daylighted their newest racecars: the 911 RSR for the LeMans GT class and the 919 Hybrid Prototype. The fettled 911 features a 4 liter flat six chucking out 470 bhp and remains largely unchanged from the previous version. I think it is fair to say that the bulk of the upgrades made to the RSR are in aerodynamics and weight distribution, specifically lowering the car’s center of gravity compared to the previous variant. Service access to the car has been significantly revised, including quick release features for the nose, lid and front apron. For the driver, the biggest ergonomic and safety changes will likely be upgrades to the cornering lights fitted to the car and a redistribution of the controls.
The 919 is a fully functional science experiment, which looks as well as it goes. Conventional power comes from a two liter turbocharged gasoline engine that revs up to 9,000 rpm. Designed for the Premier class, this prototype uses an 8 megajoule energy recovery and boost system. Energy used in braking can be applied to the front wheels to provide additional power as it becomes available to the driver. This emerging hybrid function in racing is technology that is based off one of Porsche’s street legal cars, the 918 Spider. For more information, be sure to check out both press releases below.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Amidst all of the international media attention flowing through the channels of the Interwebs, Hyundai released a quick rendering and teaser that previews the next-generation Sonata sedan. And by simply judging the teaser, the Sonata takes on a far more elegant design that gets us really excited.
Not much information was shared, other than the new Sonata will be launched for the first time in April at the New York International Auto Show.
Check out the brief release after the jump.