Say Hello to the Leaked 2017 Kia Sportage!

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This new Sportage, which is expected to reach showrooms next year, as a 2017 model, sports a distinct look that should distinguish it in the marketplace from its more conservatively-styled corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. The design of the interior is also impressive with its soft-touch materials and metal accents.

We don’t have all the details yet but it’s likely the new Sportage will pack a downsized turbocharged engine—probably the Tucson’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder—as well as a dual-clutch transmission and such active safety technologies as blind-spot detection and lane-change assist. The German show gets underway September 15.

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Next-Gen Nissan R36 GT-R Arriving in 2018

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There’s been a lot of talk about Nissan’s plans for its next-generation GT-R, the R36, with senior execs recently confirming a hybrid powertrain for the car and Nissan also giving us a taste of some new design themes with its stunning Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo. Now the automaker’s top designer, Shiro Nakamura, has revealed when we might see the R36 GT-R.

Speaking with Top Gear, Nakamura said the car’s arrival won’t be until 2018… at the earliest. This means we’re unlikely to see the car on sale until the 2019 model year, giving the current R35 GT-R a 10-year lifespan.

Nakamura explained that sales of the current GT-R remain healthy and that more updates are coming. In fact, we’ve already seen spy shots of an updated model, which we’re expecting to be introduced for the 2016 model year.

The GT-R is still unmatched when it comes to performance per dollar, with the $150k GT-R NISMO model capable of lapping the ‘Ring in just 7:08.679, which is slower only than the times set by million-dollar supercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. Incredibly, Nakamura said the engineering team believes it can extract even more performance from the current setup.

Finally, Nakamura promised that the R36 GT-R would remain a front-engined coupe with 2+2 seating. As for its styling, he said some elements from the front and rear of the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo may be borrowed.

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BMW Unveils the All New X6 2015!

BMW has unveiled the all-new X6 for 2015. It’s essentially an X5 with a sloping roofline.

Mechanically, the X6 will be available with two different engine options and three different trims: sDrive35i, xDrive35i and xDrive50i.

The first two boast a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six pushing out 300 horsepower and 406 Nm of torque, with power transferred to the rear wheels in the sDrive35i and all four wheels in the xDrive35i.

Moving up, the xDrive50i uses a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 pumping out 445 horsepower and 650 Nm of torque. All X6 models are fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Google reveals its self-driving car!

Google first announced its plans in 2010 to make a self-driving car that, well, drives itself around and the passengers just have to sit and enjoy the ride without worrying about driving the vehicle. After years in development, Google has revealed an early version of its prototype vehicle.

The car, other than its self-driving ability is not much. It’s a cute little hatchback with just two seats inside and a screen to show the route. It doesn’t have any creature comforts on the inside and that is on purpose as this one is more for testing and demonstration purposes.

The Google car has no steering, pedals or gear shift. It drives itself around using an array or sensors that can reportedly see as far as two football fields in every direction. You just have to press a button and tell the car where you have to go and it will do the rest for you. The speed on the current car is capped at 25 mph (40kmph).

Google will be building 100 prototype of this car and later this summer it will test early versions of this car with manual controls. If everything goes according to plans, the company plans on doing a small pilot program in the next couple of years in California and will eventually work with partners to bring the technology on to the road.

Mitsubishi to cease production of Lancer Evolution X!

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced plans to wind down production of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution performance sedan.

The According to Japan’s (Automotive News Daily), Mitsubishi will cease production of the Lancer Evolution X by the end of the year with no plans for a successor. Sales since the model’s 1992 debut have totaled 92,000 domestically and 154,000 worldwide.

The Lancer Evolution was created when engineers shoehorned the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel-drive system from the rally-inspired Galant VR-4 into its compact Lancer model (sold in the US as the fourth-generation Mirage). With performance befitting of sports cars costing tens of thousands more, the “Evo,” as it came to be known, instantly garnered a dedicated enthusiast following at home.

Mitsubishi never intended it for export, but tales of its sport sedan bonafides soon spread beyond Japan’s borders, feeding a booming gray market in the UK and Australia by the mid-1990s. From 1996-99, the Lancer Evolution won a then-unprecedented four consecutive World Rally Championship titles, further cementing its performance credentials. By the time the Lancer Evolution VIII was finally offered for sale in the US in 2003, it had already developed a rabid fan base.

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The automaker acknowledged the model’s role as an image leader for the brand when performance was a key component of its marketing plans. However, in the face poor sales in recent years Mitsubishi has decided to refocus its branding to that of an eco-friendly car company. As such, it intends to concentrate its resources towards developing vehicles that fall in line that vision.

It has been reported that a future Mitsubishi flagship might utilize a hybrid-electric drivetrain. However, it will likely not be based on the Renault Megane platform that will underpin the next-generation Lancer, and thus the Evolution name may be dropped altogether. In any case, it is believed that such a car would be at least two years away from production.