Renault’s Alpine performance brand is going all-electric, will co-develop new sports car with Lotus – Roadshow

alpine

Alpine is working on three new electric models.

Alpine

As part of its Renaulution plan to restructure its brands and become a leader in electrification by 2025, Renault announced today that it's turning the Alpine brand into a fully electric performance brand. Renault's Sport Cars division (which produces Renaultsport versions of cars like the Mégane and Clio) and the Sport Racing division (which heads up the Formula 1 team) will both be absorbed into the Alpine brand as part of the restructuring.

Three new models are coming as part of the new plan, and all of them should be awesome. The first is a Ford Fiesta-size hot hatchback, which looks to have a boxy silhouette, a short front end and quad square headlights. The second model will be a compact crossover riding on the same CMF-EV platform that underpins the new Nissan Ariya

It's the third one that we're most excited about, though. A fully electric replacement to the A110 sports car is on the way, and it's being co-developed by Lotus. Yes, that Lotus. From the small amount that we can see in the teaser, it looks very similar to the existing A110, which is fine by us -- the A110 is gorgeous. There's no word on what platform the A110 EV will use, but it's likely to be bespoke. The two companies say that the project will draw from Alpine's motorsport experience and Lotus' engineering expertise, with teams in both England and France working on the car.

Alpine A110

The current Alpine A110.

Alpine

This won't be Lotus' first foray into electric cars. The company is currently finishing development on the electric Evija hypercar, which is set to reach customer hands at some point this year. That stunner boasts nearly 2,000 horsepower, a light (for an EV) curb weight of around 3,700 pounds, a top speed of over 200 mph and a range of 215 miles on the WLTP cycle. Obviously the A110 EV won't have performance as insane, but the Evija bodes well for the engineering know-how that Lotus will bring to the project.

No exact timeline is given for the three new Alpine models, but they will all enter production by 2025. It also seems like future Renault performance models will gain Alpine badging instead of (or in addition to) Renaultsport badges -- a hot version of the new Renault 5, for instance. None of the new Alpine models is likely to be sold in the United States, but we're going to keep our fingers crossed anyway.

This news comes after the Renault Formula 1 team was rebranded as Alpine F1 for the upcoming 2021 season. Renault says it aims for the Alpine brand to become profitable by 2025, including its investments into motorsport, and the announcement seems to hint that the Alpine brand could re-enter the rally racing scene. At the very least, all future Alpine models will be majorly influenced by the experience of the F1 team.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

The Renault 5 hatchback (aka the Le Car) is back as a retro-styled EV – Roadshow

Look at this little cutie!

Renault

The Renault 5 is back, and mon dieu does it look good. Renault announced its new Renaulution turnaround plan today, in which the French brand is set to become profitable and reinvent itself as a leader in electrification, introducing a number of hybrids and seven new EVs by 2025. To get people really excited about the news Renault unveiled this 5 Prototype, which it promises will go into production.

The new 5 takes inspiration both from the first-gen R5 of the 1970s and early '80s, which was sold as the Le Car (and the Lectric Leopard EV) in the United States, and the second-gen Supercinq model that was produced from 1984 to 1996. The retro 5 Prototype is immediately recognizable as a 5 without being too kitschy, and nothing about the design seems too concept-y or far-fetched to make it to production.

The new 5 is retro without being kitschy.

Renault

It's got a distinctive face with rectangular headlights, square LED running lights in the front bumper, and a mostly closed-off front end with minimal vents and a large lit-up "Renault." In profile the new 5 looks nearly identical to the original cars with short overhangs, a floating roof design and a raked rear end with high-mounted taillights. It's a four-door hatchback, with flush handles for the front doors and hidden units for the rear doors. The back end is pretty minimal, getting another lit-up Renault logo in the textured diffuser and a light bar connecting the taillights.

Like with many French cars, it's the details that really set this design apart. The charging port is mounted on the hood where the original car had an intake, there are a bunch of subtle "5" badges and diagonally straked surfaces, and the side mirrors have subtle French flags on them. Even the diamond-shaped Renault badge has a new look with an '80s vibe. My favorite design cue is the boxed fender flares, which are reminiscent of the epic mid-engine 5 Turbo rally car and echo that model's venting at the rear lights. 

While Renault didn't release any photos of the interior, there's a glimpse of the instrument cluster that appears to be a HUD-style glass panel sitting atop the dashboard. In addition to the typical gauges you'd expect, it says "Hello" to passersby and indicates charge status. We can also see bucket seats with square cushion quilting and interesting lit-up headrest surrounds.

The boxed fender flares are just like those on the original Turbo rally car.

Renault

No powertrain details were released either, but it's a sure bet that the production 5 will ride on Renault-Nissan's new CMF-EV platform, which made its debut on the Nissan Ariya crossover. That platform allows for front-wheel drive with a single motor or dual-motor all-wheel drive. Back in October Renault unveiled the Mégane eVision SUV concept on the same platform, which boasted a 60-kWh battery pack and a 280-mile range on the WLTP cycle. 

There's probably no chance that the new Renault 5 will make its way to the US, but given that the original did -- and was sold as an EV to boot -- we're not giving up hope. And with the news that the Alpine performance brand is going all-electric, we're keeping our fingers crossed that there will be a performance version of the new 5 that harks back to the original Turbo model. Because hey, if Porsche can use the word Turbo on its Taycan EV, why can't Renault?

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

The Renault 5 hatchback (aka the Le Car) is back as a retro-styled EV – Roadshow

Look at this little cutie!

Renault

The Renault 5 is back, and mon dieu does it look good. Renault announced its new Renaulution turnaround plan today, in which the French brand is set to become profitable and reinvent itself as a leader in electrification, introducing a number of hybrids and seven new EVs by 2025. To get people really excited about the news Renault unveiled this 5 Prototype, which it promises will go into production.

The new 5 takes inspiration both from the first-gen R5 of the 1970s and early '80s, which was sold as the Le Car (and the Lectric Leopard EV) in the United States, and the second-gen Supercinq model that was produced from 1984 to 1996. The retro 5 Prototype is immediately recognizable as a 5 without being too kitschy, and nothing about the design seems too concept-y or far-fetched to make it to production.

The new 5 is retro without being kitschy.

Renault

It's got a distinctive face with rectangular headlights, square LED running lights in the front bumper, and a mostly closed-off front end with minimal vents and a large lit-up "Renault." In profile the new 5 looks nearly identical to the original cars with short overhangs, a floating roof design and a raked rear end with high-mounted taillights. It's a four-door hatchback, with flush handles for the front doors and hidden units for the rear doors. The back end is pretty minimal, getting another lit-up Renault logo in the textured diffuser and a light bar connecting the taillights.

Like with many French cars, it's the details that really set this design apart. The charging port is mounted on the hood where the original car had an intake, there are a bunch of subtle "5" badges and diagonally straked surfaces, and the side mirrors have subtle French flags on them. Even the diamond-shaped Renault badge has a new look with an '80s vibe. My favorite design cue is the boxed fender flares, which are reminiscent of the epic mid-engine 5 Turbo rally car and echo that model's venting at the rear lights. 

While Renault didn't release any photos of the interior, there's a glimpse of the instrument cluster that appears to be a HUD-style glass panel sitting atop the dashboard. In addition to the typical gauges you'd expect, it says "Hello" to passersby and indicates charge status. We can also see bucket seats with square cushion quilting and interesting lit-up headrest surrounds.

The boxed fender flares are just like those on the original Turbo rally car.

Renault

No powertrain details were released either, but it's a sure bet that the production 5 will ride on Renault-Nissan's new CMF-EV platform, which made its debut on the Nissan Ariya crossover. That platform allows for front-wheel drive with a single motor or dual-motor all-wheel drive. Back in October Renault unveiled the Mégane eVision SUV concept on the same platform, which boasted a 60-kWh battery pack and a 280-mile range on the WLTP cycle. 

There's probably no chance that the new Renault 5 will make its way to the US, but given that the original did -- and was sold as an EV to boot -- we're not giving up hope. And with the news that the Alpine performance brand is going all-electric, we're keeping our fingers crossed that there will be a performance version of the new 5 that harks back to the original Turbo model. Because hey, if Porsche can use the word Turbo on its Taycan EV, why can't Renault?

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan won’t have a front grille – Roadshow

mercedes-eqs-teaser

Here's hoping that grille panel lights up.

Mercedes-Benz

If it seems like just yesterday that Mercedes-Benz last released a teaser of its upcoming EQS electric sedan, you'd basically be right, because the German luxury brand announced more production details this past Monday. But the teaser train isn't stopping any time soon, as Friday Mercedes released yet another teaser of the EQS. This one is especially interesting, though, because it shows the production version of the flagship model without any camouflage.

Sure, the photo in question is from a high angle and most of the details are fairly obscured, but it's still our best look yet at the EQS' front end. Most notably (and like the concept from a few years ago), the EQS won't have a real grille. That's not exactly a surprise given that it's an EV, but it still lends the EQS a look unlike any other Mercedes. The large three-pointed star is prominently placed in the center of a smooth hexagonal panel, which could be illuminated with digital graphics like that of the concept.

mercedes-benz-eqs-prototype-100

The EQS concept (left) next to a prototype of the production car.

Mercedes-Benz

There's also a light bar running across the width of the front end, and triangular headlights flanking the "grille" that have small LED elements like that of the new S-Class. It does seem like the lower bumper will have actual air intakes, similar in design to those on the S-Class as well. We can also see that the EQS has regular side-view mirrors, not digital units -- at least, not yet.

In addition to the new teaser, Mercedes announced that the EQS will have an optional HEPA air-filtration system, something that we're starting to see pop up in a lot of new cars. (Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it's not a surprise.) Mercedes says this HEPA filter makes the EQS' interior as clean as an operating room.

The EQS will be unveiled in the first half of 2021 before going on sale by the end of the year. It will be followed by a smaller EQE sedan also in 2021, and then SUV versions of the EQE and EQS in 2022.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

$6.7M Pagani Huayra Tricolore hypercar is a tribute to the Italian Air Force – Roadshow

pagani-huayra-tricolore-hypercar-113
Pagani

Of the many special editions of the Zonda that Pagani released over the hypercar's long production run, one of the rarest and most sought-after is the Tricolore, which was unveiled in 2010. The Zonda Tricolore was a tribute to the Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team, and it was finished in blue-tinted carbon fiber with Italian flag accents. It was faster and much more expensive than a standard Zonda, and only three were built. Now that the current Huayra's production run is also winding down, Pagani has unveiled a Tricolore version of the Huayra that's even wilder than its Zonda predecessor.

Inspiration was yet again drawn from the Italian Air Force's aerobatic team, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary next year. Pagani specifically looked to the Aermacchi MB-339A PAN jets used by the team, stunning planes that can hit speeds of over 550 mph above sea level and perform jaw-dropping stunts. The Tricolore was designed with extreme lightness in mind, achieved through the extensive use of composite materials and aviation tech.

As with all other Huayras, the Tricolore uses a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, but the Tricolore gets a big power bump. It makes 829 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque, increases of 38 hp and 37 lb-ft over the already extremely powerful Huayra BC Roadster. No performance specs are provided, but given that Pagani says the Huayra Tricolore weighs just 2,800 pounds dry, it should be monstrously fast. The chassis has been upgraded, too, with increased rigidity thanks to its composite construction.

Pagani thoroughly worked over the Huayra's styling to ensure the best possible aerodynamics. There's a redesigned front bumper with a more complex splitter, new wheels with a design inspired by propellers, and a larger rear diffuser. The large rear wing is seamlessly integrated into the rear deck, with mounts that echo the shape of the plane's, and Pagani says it perfectly compensates for the increased front-end downforce. I'm always a sucker for a roof scoop, so my favorite new part is the gorgeous central intake that sits between the roll hoops and feeds cold air directly to the engine.

pagani-huayra-tricolore-hypercar-111

That looks like fun.

Pagani

The Huayra Tricolore's body is made completely from blue carbon fiber, and there's a prominent red, green and white tricolor stripe across the sides, matching that of the planes. The Tricolori's logo, which is made of three three-pointed stars in the colors of the Italian flag, is found on the Huayra's nose. Components like the front splitter, aero flaps and side mirrors are black carbon, while bits like the headlight pods and side-scoop garnishes are blue anodized aluminum.

On the inside the Tricolore gets white and blue leather seats with Italian flag stripes, and the Tricolori logo is embroidered into the headrests and found on the four-point racing harnesses. All of the super-light aluminum is anodized blue to match the exterior parts, and the gear shifter is milled from a single block of aluminum and carbon fiber and then hand-polished with a transparent finish. Even the floor mats are made from composites. Weirdly, Pagani didn't release any photos of the interior, so we'll just have to take its word for how interesting it is.

pagani-huayra-tricolore-hypercar-116

Because of course you need an air speed gauge.

Pagani

But the coolest (and strangest) feature is something we've not seen on any other production car. Mounted on the nose of the car is a Pitot tube, a metal measuring device that's typically uses on planes to measure air speed. And it does the same thing here, with a dedicated gauge on the center console displaying air speed to the occupants. It's pretty useless but very cool, and isn't that what hypercars are all about?

As with the Zonda, only three Huayra Tricolores will be built, with an immense starting price of $6,745,000 before Europe's taxes. Each of the three gets a unique number painted on the wing and front end that matches the Tricolori's three formation leaders: No. 0, the commander who directs the show from the ground, No. 1, the head of formation who leads the group, and No. 10, the soloist who does the craziest stunts. If you've got a spare $7 million lying around and want one, it's probably too late, as the Huayra Tricolore is likely already sold out.

Now playing: Watch this: Pagani Huayra Roadster: Roofless V12 elegance

3:35

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Lamborghini SC20 one-off has no windows, roof or windshield – Roadshow

Discuss: Lamborghini SC20 one-off has no windows, roof or windshield

Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Roofless SC20 supercar is Lamborghini’s craziest one-off yet – Roadshow

lamborghini-sc20-supercar-110

The SC20 looks out of this world.

Lamborghini

Roofless (and sometimes windshield-less) supercars are all the rage these days, as evidenced by the Aston Martin V12 Speedster, Bentley Bacalar, McLaren Elva and Ferrari SP Monza cars. But Lamborghini was one of the first to explore the concept in the modern era, first with the Gallardo-based Concept S in 2005 and then the one-off Aventador J built for a customer in 2012. Lamborghini is bringing itself back into the fold with the new SC20, an extreme one-off creation that has no roof, windshield or side windows.

Like the recently unveiled, track-only SCV12 the SC20 has been engineered by Lamborghini's Squadra Corse racing division (hence the SC in the name), while the design was penned by the Centro Stile department. Lamborghini says the customer that commissioned the SC20 was fully involved in the design process from the moment the first sketches were created, so the final product looks exactly as they wanted it to. While the SC20 might just be a one-off, it's a sure bet that many of its design elements will be found on future production Lamborghinis, such as the successor to the Aventador.

Honestly I can't say that the SC20 is pretty or even that good looking. But it's cool, and that's what really matters -- Lamborghini has always been all about extreme visual impact. I do appreciate the SC20's Bianco Fu white paint, which is a relatively subtle color choice for a car like this, and it's nicely set off by the bright Blu Cephus and exposed carbon-fiber accents. The fully bespoke carbon-fiber body was designed with optimum aerodynamics in mind, and it mixes design cues from recent Lambo models like the Sian and the one-off SC18 Alston.

As you'd expect from a Lamborghini there are tons of angles, scoops, vents, strakes and wings. That giant carbon-fiber rear wing is manually adjustable to three different positions, and Lamborghini says elements like the front splitter and hood air intakes are inspired by the Huracan GT3 Evo race car. The rear is the simplest part of the car, with hexagonal LED taillights, two large exhaust tips and a massive diffuser. Aft of the seats are two large roll hoop fairings with integrated vents that sit above the engine.

lamborghini-sc20-supercar-115

If Batman wasn't so attached to black cars, he'd drive this.

Lamborghini

Unlike the Aventador J, the SC20 doesn't even have a rear-view mirror. It's still got side mirrors, at least, and visibility out the back and sides does seem better than other Lamborghinis. The interior is very similar to the Centenario's, with a large central touchscreen and lots of angular and hexagonal design details. There's tons of Nero Cosmus (black) Alcantara covering nearly every surface that isn't visible carbon fiber, along with lots of Bianco Leda (white) and bright blue accents to tie it together with the exterior. The door handles were machined from solid aluminum, and the air vents were 3D printed.

Lamborghini is keeping technical details fairly close to its proverbial chest, but the company says the SC20 uses a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 making 759 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, the same engine found in the Aventador SVJ on which the SC20 is based. The SC20 also uses the same seven-speed automated manual and all-wheel-drive system as the Aventador, and it uses 20-inch wheels up front and 21s in the rear. No performance numbers are provided, but with the SC20's likely lower weight, it should best the Aventador SVJ's 2.9-second 0-60-mph time.

A pricetag for the SC20 wasn't announced, but it's gotta be in the millions. Despite the SC20's focus on racetrack performance, Lamborghini says the SC20 is actually legal for road use -- though without a windshield it won't be legal in the US, so the owner must live in a different country. 

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR gets racier looks and a higher top speed – Roadshow

2021-jaguar-f-pace-svr-110

Every performance SUV should be orange.

Jaguar

The facelifted 2021 Jaguar F-Pace was unveiled a couple months ago, so it's been high time for the very loud, very fast F-Pace SVR performance version to get some updates too. And wouldn't you know it, here it is! Jaguar isn't messing around with the SVR, improving the crossover where it was necessary and leaving alone the stuff that was already fantastic.

Like before, the SVR is powered by Jaguar Land Rover's tried-and-true (and extremely awesome) supercharged 5.0-liter V8. It makes the same 550 horsepower as last year's model, but torque has increased by 14 pound-feet to a total of 516 lb-ft. An 8-speed automatic is still the transmission of choice, but Jaguar says the powertrain gains the better torque converter from the XE SV Project 8. The 2021 SVR will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, which is 0.3 second quicker than before, and it'll top out at 178 mph, a 2-mph increase.

A new feature called Dynamic Launch "uses driveline inertia" to optimize torque getting sent to the wheels during gear changes, which helps with acceleration. Jaguar also tweaked the transmission and drive mode tuning, there's a new electronic power steering system that's quicker and should provide better feedback, the adaptive dampers have been refined, and the huge disc brakes get a new power booster for better performance and feel.

Exterior changes are fairly minimal, but that's okay, because the F-Pace remains one of the best looking crossovers in its class. There's a new front bumper with a bigger grille larger intakes that Jaguar says is inspired by motorsports, and it actually provides better performance. Jaguar says the new SVR has a lower coefficient of drag, better engine and brake cooling, and a 35 percent reduction in life. The fully LED headlights and taillights get sharper graphics, and there are new wheel designs.

2021-jaguar-f-pace-svr-119

That huge curved touchscreen is new.

Jaguar

The interior receives more meaningful updates. Following in the footsteps of other updated Jags, the 2021 F-Pace SVR has a new Pivi Pro infotainment system that uses an 11.4-inch curved touchscreen. The new screen is 48% larger and three times brighter than the old one, and the system has over-the-air software update capability. Also onboard is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, dual-sim tech and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.

Still available are fabulous racing-inspired front bucket seats, which have hexagonal stitching at the shoulders and special perforation on the backrests. A new, chunkier gear selector replaces the old electronic knob, and the redesigned steering wheel gets zinc-alloy paddles. And as you'd expect the SVR gets some new color and trim options.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2021 F-Pace SVR should stick close to the outgoing model's $81,750 base price when it goes on sale at some point next year.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR looks better than ever – Roadshow

Discuss: 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR looks better than ever

Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2022 Infiniti QX55 is the only Japanese crossover-coupe – Roadshow

Discuss: 2022 Infiniti QX55 is the only Japanese crossover-coupe

Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More
Page 1 of 41234»