Been away from your computer this week and missed all the automotive news? We’ve gathered a few of the top stories of the past week for your convenience.
Call it an unholy alliance, strange bedfellows, whatever you like, but BMW and Toyota announced that they will cooperate on a number of future technologies and models. The two already agreed to co-develop lithium-ion battery packs and share diesel engines in Europe, but will now work on hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains, a future lightweight sports car, and other lightweight and electric technologies. It would appear the world is safe from a BMW 3.0-liter inline-six-powered Toyota Avalon, however.
Jaguar's XJ and XF will get some interesting powertrain upgrades for the 2013 model year: the XJ and XF will both get the company's new supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine (making 335 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque), and the XF will have an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine. That engine, which also powers the Range Rover Evoque, is essentially the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost model that powers many Ford models like the Explorer and Fusion.
The new Range Rover is on its way--and so is the Range Rover Sport--but it's possible that more models could join the fray. The success of the Evoque has led some people at Land Rover to pitch a long-wheelbase version that's better to lug more cargo and kids around, and engineers have had the same thought with the Range Rover. It's possible that, in a few years, we'll see a lineup of Range Rover, Range Rover LWB, Range Rover Sport, Evoque, Evoque LWB, LR2, and seven-seat LR2 LWB. The fate of the LR4, meanwhile, is anyone's guess.
The McLaren MP4-12C is already fast, expensive, and moderately exotic, but McLaren announced a new version that is also topless: the MP4-12C Spider. That model, which will be formally unveiled next week, will likely have a three-piece convertible hardtop that folds behind the front seats and preserves the coupe's swoopy roofline.
Pour a little bit of premium gasoline out for the fallen: Mazda reportedly made its last Renesis rotary engine this week, which will probably go under the hood of the 2000-unit RX-8 Spirit R special edition. That car commemorates the end of the line for the Mazda rotary-powered sports cars; its demise is thanks mostly to the Renesis' legendary low fuel economy and emissions that don’t meet European Union regulations.
Say it isn't so: the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been postponed as a result of wildfires that are now blazing through parts of Colorado. Pikes Peak chairman of the board Tom Osborne did, however, announce that the Hill Climb will be rescheduled for later this summer, saying "[it] will be run."
Mazda might be mourning the end of the RX-8, but it's certainly not wasting any time doing it: the company continues to release special edition MX-5 Miata models, some of which may make it to production, and some of which probably won't. The GT edition adds some power to the naturally aspirated engine and, while the Kuro is primarily a series of visual and interior upgrades. The Kuro will go into production and will be limited to 600 units, although for European consumption only.
Ford's F-150 Raptor continues for another year of service with even more performance enhancers than before: the truck now has available beadlock wheels that will make blasting through sand dunes easier, and some interior upgrades like available MyFord Touch infotainment. The F-150 Limited, meanwhile, gets standard MyFord Touch with navigation, as well as front heated and cooled power leather seats, and a Sony premium sound system.
What We Drove This Week:
2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS: The everyman's Cayenne Turbo.
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: A faster--but not necessarily better driving--version of the funky Veloster hatchback.
2013 Taurus 2.0 EcoBoost: A lighter, more balanced Taurus with good power and better fuel economy.