• Lotus crossover will have 3-Eleven styling, be Macan-sized

    August 2, 2015

    Details regarding the upcoming Lotus crossover have begun to emerge, and the latest come from company CEO Jean-Marc Gales himself.

    Speaking to Car Magazine, Gales noted that Lotus’s first crossover will take styling cues from the ultra-lightweight 3-Eleven recently unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The two will apparently share a family resemblance in the front, while “hints” of the 1974 Lotus Elite and other heritage models will round out the rest. Gales described the look as “stunning.”

    Size-wise, the yet unnamed crossover will match the Porsche Macan, but will have a lower and wider stance. Capitalizing on Lotus’s trademark lightness, it is also expected to weigh an astounding 440 to 660 pounds less than the Macan.

    Engine choices will include four-cylinder options in base trim, while performance versions will offer a V6. A hybrid version is reportedly probable as well.

    Production will be taken care of by Chinese auto manufacturer Goldstar, who will assemble the Lotus SUV for its home market. It will be sold only in China initially, but Gales promised that “if the car is a runaway success, we will export it.”

    Live Images by Ben Hsu.

  • 600hp Nissan Juke-R 2.0 headed to production

    August 2, 2015

    Nissan will put its outrageous Juke-R 2.0 concept into production, says a report coming out of Italy.

    Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the subcompact crossover powered by the 600hp heart of Mecha-Godzilla has been green-lit for production, says Omni Auto. Stretched over the shortened chassis and drivetrain of a Nissan GT-R NISMO, the hand-built Bullet Bills will see just examples hit the streets, though the final count will depend on how many actual customers are insane enough to order one.

    The last Juke-R, version 1.0 released in 2012, rang in at a price of approximately 500,000 euros (US $550,000). Now, with drive components from the GT-R NISMO — which costs $50,000 above the sticker of a “regular” GT-R — hiding beneath its bullfrog skin, the 2.0 will likely surpass the $600,000 mark.

    Produced exclusively by NISMO, each Juke-R 2.0 will take a donor GT-R NISMO drivetrain and pull a heavily modified Juke body and interior over it. Heavily flared fenders and a menacing aero kit are used to compensate for the 600hp and 481 lb-ft of torque that lies beneath. Like its predecessor, you can order it any color you want, as long as it’s matte black.

    Live Images by Ben Hsu.

  • Lexus introduces Europe-bound 2015 RC 200t

    August 2, 2015

    In a bid to take on the BMW 428i, Lexus’ European division has introduced a more efficient and cheaper version of the RC coupe dubbed 200t.

    Like its name suggests, the 200t is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that uses a beefy twin-scroll turbocharger to generate 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 lb-ft. of torque from 1,650 to 4,400 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles. All-wheel drive is not available.

    Also found under the hood of the NX, the IS and the RX, the turbo four propels the RC 200t from zero to 62 mph in about 7.5 seconds – roughly two seconds slower than the 240-horsepower 428i – and on to a top speed of 142 mph. Fuel economy checks in at approximately 31 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

    An available F Sport package adds a more aggressive-looking front fascia, a more upscale interior, a Torsen limited-slip differential and Lexus’ Adaptable Variable Suspension.

    The 2015 Lexus RC 200t is scheduled to go on sale across the Old Continent next month, but pricing information has not been published yet. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine will likely be added to the RC lineup in the United States before the end of the year.

  • Startech unveils limited-edition Defender-based Sixty8

    August 2, 2015
    German tuner Startech is bidding farewell to the Land Rover Defender with a limited-edition model called Sixty8.

    Visually, the Sixty8 stands out from a regular Defender thanks to a retro-inspired grille whose design harks back to the Land Rover Series III, vintage-looking alloy wheels, LED lights, skid plates on both ends, a two-tone metallic gray and black paint job and a sprinkling of model-specific emblems.

    The interior has been spruced up with brown leather upholstery on the dashboard, the door panels and the seats, a Startech-built shift knob, metal pedal caps and a new three-spoke steering wheel upholstered in black leather with brown contrast stitching. Inside and out, the Sixty8 is much closer to the ultra-opulent Mercedes-Benz G-Class than to the utilitarian Defender.

    The story is a little different under the hood. Startech has not made any mechanical modifications, meaning the Sixty8 packs a Defender-sourced 2.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 120 horsepower and 360 lb-ft. of torque. The oil-burner is bolted to a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to all four wheels.

    Limited to – you guessed it – 68 examples, the Startech Sixty8 is on sale now across Europe. In Germany the five seater model starts at €67,990 (nearly $75,000), while the seven-seater version carries a base price of €69,900 (about $77,000).