Car News



More Rumors On FCA’s Straight-Six; This Time It’s Diesel!

Could a turbodiesel inline-six be on the horizon?

Rumors are circulating that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is investigating the use of inline six-cylinder engines for future use. The FCA-dedicated yet independent new site Allpar reported earlier this week FCA is working on a gasoline-powered I-6. Now Allpar is reporting its sources within FCA a turbodiesel version is also under consideration.

Unlike the gasoline I-6 that’s said to be based on FCA’s Global Medium Engine family, the six-cylinder diesel is a member of the FPT, or Fiat Powertrain Technologies line of four-cylinder diesels. These FPT engines are already widely used, even in the U.S., within vehicles like the Ram ProMaster.

The current FPT engine displaces 3.0 liters and generates 174 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Adding two cylinders to block would push displacement to 4.0 liters while increasing power. The engine could potentially generate 261 horsepower and an impressive 442 pound-feet of torque – that is, if the power increases at the same percentage as the cylinder count.

But what would FCA power with this engine? There are several possibilities.

For one, the Ram 1500 could see its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 turbodiesel get swapped for this. The ProMaster van might use the 4.0-liter I-6 as its range-topping engine, barring any issues with its transverse packaging. Even Jeep could use the turbodiesel, both in the Wrangler and other vehicles like the Grand Cherokee and upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

Even more interesting, Allpar speculates the engine, (perhaps called the 4.0-liter EcoDiesel I-6) might be used as an entry-level turbodiesel in the Ram Heavy Duty trucks. The smaller EcoDiesel would surely undercut the cost of the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel. Then again, Ram isn’t likely to jeopardize its relationship with the famed diesel engine manufacturer.

These rumors could shed light on a new era in FCA engine building and America’s true adoption of turbodiesel engines as a viable power source. On the flip side, these rumors could prove to be complete off base. FCA could even scrap the inline-six idea altogether if the market changes. Only time will tell, but the possibilities seem open.

Continue reading for more information.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan By Italdesign

More wings than an airport

Lambo introduced us to its Huracan hurricane in 2014 as a replacement for the seemingly endlessly popular Lamborghini Gallardo. With the Gallardo’s successful past looming large, the Huracan had some mighty big shoes to fill, tasked with becoming the Italian automaker’s best-selling model in the lineup. So far, the Huracan has done well in that regard, thanks in no small part to a surprising number of special edition models and limited runs. Now, joining the list is this new special edition from Italdesign, an engineering and design company based out of Moncalieri that decided the Raging Bull just wasn’t angry enough from the factory. As such, Italdesign gave the Huracan this wild-looking all-composite exterior treatment, transforming the Lambo into something that looks like it was plucked from an arcade racing game frequented by Ritalin-toting ADD cases. Only five will be produced, with production slated to stop by the end of the year.

Coinciding with the release of the limited-run Huracan, Italdesign, which has worked closely with Lambo in the past, is also introducing the Italdesign Automobili Speciali brand, so it’s likely we’ll see similar treatments sometime in the near future.

Italdesign says its upgraded Huracan is “intended for collectors and visionary enthusiasts, [and] it combines racing car features and performance alongside type-approval for use on normal roads.”

Sure thing, Italdesign. Because after all, who wouldn’t wanna drive a race-ready Lambo down to the shops for a quart of milk?

This customized Lambo will make its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show alongside an exclusive Excalibur Spider timepiece from watchmaker Roger Dubuis, signaling a collaborative partnership between the two companies. No price has been announced for the car, but rest assured it’s firmly in the “if you have to ask” category. As reference, the “normal” Lamborghini Huracan retails for about $230,000, give or take.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Huracan By Italdesign.

Mercedes-Benz Teases E-Class Cabrio; Confirms New AMG Concept For Geneva

German brand to display no fewer than 34 vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has just announced its lineup for the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, which will bring two brand-new vehicles into the spotlight. First on the list is the E-Class Cabriolet, of which Mercedes release a teaser photo alongside other members of the nameplate, including the sedan, coupe, wagon, and the All-Terrain. Unlike its predecessor, which was derived from the C-Class, the new E-Class Cabriolet was developed on its own and shares underpinnings with its midsize coupe sibling.

The second global debut is an AMG concept car. The brand refrained from revealing actual details, but did say that the show car is part of AMG’s 50th anniversary and described it as "stunning" and a "glimpse of an alternative drive concept." Most likely we will see a futuristic, autonomous vehicle.

The Mercedes-Benz booth in Geneva will include another 32 models. The display will include the updated GLA crossover, which will make its European debut, and the new Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet. The German company will also showcase the Concept X-Class pickup truck, the Smart ForTwo Cabrio Brabus Edition #2, and the ForFour Crosstown Edition.

Finally, visitors will also have a closer look at recently unveiled cars like the AMG E 63 S Wagon, AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50, AMG C 63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition, and AMG Performance Studio Package-equipped C43 Coupe, known as the Night Edition in Europe.

Stay tuned for updates and photos of these cars from the Geneva Motor Show next month.

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Unveiled

Adds a big battery for more of the fast

Porsche just unveiled the new head honcho of the Panamera stable, and it just so happens to be a hybrid, marking the very first time an electrified model has lead a Porsche line.

It’s called the Turbo S E-Hybrid, and it uses hybrid technology for moar power. As such, the new Panamera Hybrid replaces the old Panamera hybrid’s six-cylinder with the same boosted V-8 as the Panamera Turbo, yielding 4.0-liters of displacement, plus an electric motor. That means 550 horsepower from the dino juice, plus an extra 136 horsepower from the electric motor. And that means when you put your foot down you’ll enjoy a whopping 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, figures only bested by the mighty 918 Spyder when it comes to production vehicles with a Porsche badge.

Not only that, but it also can go a full 50 km (31.1 miles) on battery power alone. Porsche adds that EPA estimates on fuel returns will be posted closer to market launch. But who cares?

Routing the output towards the blacktop is an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, as well as a high-performance AWD system. Performance figures include a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, while top speed is rated at 192 mph. Standard spec includes ceramic brakes, dynamic chassis control, 21-inch wheels, and the Sport Chrono Package.

Inside is a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay support, and the latest iteration of the Porsche Communication Management system, plus there’s an app that’ll let you remotely control the battery charging and set the cabin temperature settings. There’s also a long-wheelbase Executive iteration planned, if you’re feeling saucy.

The 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will debut in the metal at the Geneva International Motor Show next month. Pricing starts at $184,400 for the standard model, while the Executive will start at $194,800.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman by TechArt

German automaker’s newest Cayman variant gets the attention of a famous Porsche tuner

My colleague, Jonathan Lopez, made a compelling argument on why the Geneva Motor Show is the best annual auto show in the world. I wholeheartedly concur. At the very least, it’s without question the biggest and most attended auto show as automakers from all over the world showcase their latest wares, and in many cases, preview what’s to come. Aftermarket tuners are also heavily involved in Geneva with their new tuning programs and this year’s Geneva is no different with the likes of TechArt bringing with it a new tuning kit for the Porsche 718 Cayman.

As one of the industry’s leading tuners with anything related to Stuttgart’s finest, TechArt’s portfolio of Porsche tuning programs is as good as it gets. It’s worked on just about every iteration and variant of the 911. It also has experience working with the Panamera and Porsche’s two SUVs, the Cayenne and the Macan. Now, the German tuner is setting its sights on the newest member of the Cayman family with an extensive aftermarket upgrade program that tackles all important aspects of the sports car. Exterior upgrades? Check. Interior appointments? Check. Engine update? Check. Chassis and wheels? Check and check.

The result is what you’d expect from a tuner who knows its business like TechArt. Not only was it successful in dramatically altering the 718 Cayman’s appearance, but it also managed to bring more life to the sports car that only a tuner that knows what it’s doing can do.

The 718 Cayman tuning package is all set to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. From there, expect the program to become available to eager-beaver owners of the sports coupe who are in the market for some aftermarket loving’ for their brand new Caymans.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Porsche 718 Cayman by TechArt.

2018 Ford GT Competition Series

Loses luxury features, gains more carbon-fiber for increased track performance

After intense speculation based on features discovered in the Ford GT’s owner’s manual, FoMoCo unveiled a lightweight version of its new supercar. Called the Competition Series, it shaves weight by dropping luxury items to shift the center of gravity closer to the track for even better road-holding and to maximize output.

Unveiled at the Daytona race track, the site of the GT’s win at the Rolex 24 Hours in January 2017, the supercar adopted a few new and innovative features, as well as extra standard features and carbon-fiber components.

“The Ford GT has racing in its blood,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s executive vice president and chief technical officer. “The Competition Series was developed with the most hardcore track enthusiasts in mind, providing a tailored set of lightweight features and unique livery to match.”

The Competition Series will go on sale by the end of the year, but pricing and availability information has yet to be announced. Expect the lightweight GT to be produced in even fewer units than the standard model and cost significantly more.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford GT Competition Series.

Hey folks, another week has passed and it’s time to watch a brand-new teaser for the upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Dubbed "Third Law," the 20-second clip showcases the car’s suspension system and ends with a photo of the Demon doing a massive burnout at the drag strip. You guessed it, this thing is going to post some amazing quarter-mile times and dominate just about any amateur drag race across the U.S.

As it has done in most recent teasers, Dodge compares the Demon to the Hellcat yet again. This time around, the brand argues that while the Hellcat’s supercharged engine produces all the power required to run quicker and faster quarter-mile sprints, the car was tuned for the perfect balance between "drag strip brute force, road course competence and street car civility." By contrast, the Demon was designed to perform best in Drag Mode, which in combination with its all-new suspension system maximizes weight transfer and traction and control for mind-boggling quarter-mile runs.

"The “old school” solution was pretty simple – get the quickest reacting springs up front, the softest rebound front shocks that wouldn’t restrict the springs’ reaction, remove any restrictions (sway bar) and increase the compression of the rear shocks," Dodge explained. "This combination resulted in extremely efficient weight transfer, but provided minimal lateral stability in the event that directional corrections were required. Demon combines the best of both mechanical and electronic tuning to deliver maximum launch force while still maintaining precision directional control."

Dodge also claims that the SRT Demon is the first-ever factory production car with mechanical/electronic drag-race-specific suspension tuning. The system includes 35-percent lower rate front springs, 28-percent lower rate rear springs, 75-percent lower rate hollow front sway bar, 44-percent lower rate rear sway bar, and drag-tuned Bilstein adaptive damping shocks.

Unfortunately, there’s no word as to how quick the Demon will be on the drag strip, but we should find out closer to launch. The Drag Mode is also set to be showcased in the "coming weeks," so make sure you stay tuned for updates.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Plug-In Hybrid

Minor updates accompany new hybrid powertrain

Land Rover is tested a new version of its venerable and well-loved Range Rover. Spotted in the wintery hillsides of Europe, the standard wheelbase Range Rover wore swirly camouflage to mask its changes. However, our spy photographer seems certain this is the new Range Rover Plug-in Hybrid.

Land Rover has been rather hushed about its Plug-in hybrid powertrain, so we’ve got nothing but speculation to share in that department. We suspect the same 3.0-liter turbodiesel and hybrid powertrain will carry other, though likely with some improvements in efficiency. The Range Rover’s camouflaged bodywork, however, does show a few telltale details that differ from the standard 2017 model.

The Range Rover last underwent changes for the 2016 model year, getting a slightly refreshed nose. Before that, the Range Rover first saw light in the 2013 model year. Marked by the move into its fourth generation, the current Range Rover rides on a unibody platform constructed mostly from aluminum. The Range Rover’s Terrain Response system controls its full-time 4WD system, along with its locking differentials, air suspension, and traction management software. To say the Range Rover is capable off the beaten path is a vast understatement.

So without further ado, let’s have a close look at Range Rover’s plug-in hybrid test mule.

Continue reading for more information.

2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN

The high-performance Yaris you’ve been waiting for is finally here!

Introduced for the 2015 model year, the current-generation Toyota Yaris is one of the most popular hatchbacks in its class and is already considered one of the most reliable and cost-friendly options on the market. However, Toyota has received a lot of heat for not offering a higher-performance version to go against the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTi. Well, it seems that the Japanese automaker listened, as it announced a sportier, more powerful Yaris for the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Called the Yaris GRMN, it’s inspired and influenced by Toyota’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2017 with the Yaris WRC and it’s described as "unique in the hot-hatch market." Granted, it’s difficult to imagine a Toyota being unique, but the company is actually referring to the drivetrain, as the Yaris GRMN will get its juice from a supercharged engine. This is indeed unique, as all high-performance offerings in this niche rely on turbocharged units for motivation.

As exciting as it may sound, there isn’t much information to run by right now, as Toyota is keeping all the data in the vault until the Geneva Motor Show. It may also have something to do with the fact that the GRMN will debut alongside the revised Yaris lineup, but a bit of mystery helps with the hype that Toyota wants to create until then.

I will be back with news as soon as I have it, but meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about this car in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Yaris GRMN.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New SUV slots between Evoque and Sport models

Range Rover is preparing to debut and all-new model. Called the Velar, this four-door, two-row SUV will fill the space between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. This will give Range Rover a stable with four vehicles, each appealing to a specific niche of the market.

Details about the Velar are scarce, but Range Rover has confirmed the Velar’s specifics and photos will be released March 1, 2017, followed by its in-person debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, a single photo shows the Velar’s rear end, huge panoramic moonroof, and a narrow view of the dashboard.

Official information might not confirm it, but the Range Rover Velar is expected to be Range Rover’s version of the Jaguar F-Pace. We suspect it will utilize a similar roofline and wheelbase, while sharing things like interior design elements and powertrain options.

Land Rover’s chief design officer, Gerry McGovern had this to say. “We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”

While we suspect the Velar will hardly “change everything,” it will help boost Range Rover sales. SUVs and crossovers continue to grow in market share, steeling ground from sedans, coupes, and wagons. Prices correctly, the Velar could be a hot seller for Range Rover.

Continue reading to learn more about the Land Rover Range Rover Velar.

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