Spy photographers have captured these images of Honda?s next-generation Civic hatchback, revealing its interior in undisguised form for the first time.
The new pictures all but confirm that the European-spec hatchback will get the same dash design as the US-spec saloon, with a clutter-free design and compact infotainment screen housed in the centre console.
Like the Geneva concept by which it is heavily influenced, the Mk10 Civic is expected to be longer, wider and lower than the current hatch, giving it more cabin and storage space. The concept is 30mm wider, 20mm lower and 130mm longer than the current car, making it 140mm longer than a Ford Focus and 245mm longer than a Volkswagen Golf.
Unlike the hot hatch-like concept, today's development car and earlier patent images show what regular models will look like. Although the overall shape is the same, the regular car gets simpler, less aggressive bodywork and smaller wheels. It also appears to have a hidden tailpipe as opposed to the sportier concept's centrally mounted twin-pipe set-up.
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We first caught a glimpse of the 2017 Civic?s design when development mules of the saloon version were spotted testing last year. Now we've had a glimpse of a test mule, it looks like the hatch and saloon are likely to be based on the same wheelbase.
Nothing has been confirmed, but we also expect a Tourer estate to join the line-up, with a hot Type R arriving last as the range-topping model.
The Civic will be launched with three engines, including two new turbocharged VTECs ? a 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder. Details are yet to be confirmed, but we expect the 1.5-litre engine to produce about 174bhp and the 1.0-litre to offer about 100bhp while emitting less than 100g/km of CO2.
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The final engine at launch will be a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel, which will be carried over from the current car and should be good for close to 80mpg combined.
The most potent model, the Civic Type R, should feature a more powerful version of the current car?s 306bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC unit.
We expect the 2017 Honda Civic to be officially unveiled in the autumn.
Volkswagen?s latest batch of apprentices has created a 394bhp version of the Golf GTI called the Heartbeat, which is on show at the Wörthersee meeting in Austria this week.
The one-off model, created by a team of 12 apprentices aged between 20 and 26 years old, has taken nine months to create and features a heavily reworked version of the GTI Performance?s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. After mechanical and software upgrades, peak power has grown by a substantial 167bhp, dwarfing the output of VW?s latest fastest production Golf, the 306bhp GTI Clubsport S.
The car also sits on lowered suspension and features aluminium BBS 20in wheels. It has aggressive-looking bodywork and is finished in two-tone grey, and features a 1360-watt sound system in the back.
It?s not the first time we?ve seen a Golf with close to 400bhp. The R400 concept of 2014 was destined for production after its Beijing motor show debut, but despite hope that it would make production, the model has now been shelved.
Golf R Variant Performance 35
Alongside the Heartbeat at Wörthersee is another modified Golf, but this one is based on the estate all-wheel-drive Golf R and is called the Variant Performance 35. It was created by a different team of apprentices from Volkswagen?s Sachsen plant (where the Golf estate is exclusively produced), and has had its 2.0-litre engine uprated to produce 345bhp.
Although this is a lower power output than the other car, the Variant Performance 35?s key feature is its multi-layer exterior paintjob, which has been applied entirely by hand. The exterior pattern continues into the cabin where there are also on LED stars in the headliner.
Like the other one-off Golf, the Variant Performance 35 has a powerful sound system inside, but this one has 12 speakers capable of outputting 2500 watts.
Volkswagen has also demonstrated its new record-breaking Golf GTI Clubsport S to the world at Wörthersee, just hours after Autocar broke the news that it had stolen the front-wheel drive lap record from Honda at the Nürburgring.
You can read more about the car and its ?Ring lap here, and meet its driver here.
The third generation BMW X3 has been spotted testing once again ahead of its planned unveiling in 2017, with spy photos revealing its interior.
The new X3, known internally by the codename G01, will get an upgraded cabin with a bigger infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. This is expected to come with the latest version of BMW?s iDrive system.
Previous spy pictures confirmed the X3 will retain the same basic shape as the second generation model, but also suggest the car will come with a more extensive package of optional M Performance parts, including larger wheels, a roof spoiler and a quad exhaust set-up.
The third generation prototype also has longer rear doors and a modified glass house with longer rear quarter windows. This suggests it will have a slightly longer wheelbase than the 2810mm of its predecessor.
While BMW officials say that no decision has yet been made to produce a full-blown X3 M model, a high-performance version of the car could receive up to 425bhp from the same turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine as the latest M3. Such a car would allow BMW to compete against the Porsche Macan Turbo and upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLC63.
Read our review of the BMW X3 as we put it through its paces
This test mule also has a less heavily raked rear window ? a development that suggests BMW may be trying to give the X3 more luggage capacity over its rival, the Audi Q5.
Underneath, the new X3 is earmarked to receive a revised high strength steel platform along with a modified double wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension. BMW sources also say the new SUV will gain a new electrical system that will ?open up new directions in safety systems and connectivity options?.
The same underpinnings and electrical system will also underpin the second generation X4, which is set to appear in 2019.
The engine line-up for the new X3 is set to include a range of updated four-cylinder and all-new six-cylinder direct-injection petrol and common-rail diesel units. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard with selected four-cylinder engines, while a new ZF-produced nine-speed automatic with the latest fuel-saving technology is likely to be mated to all other powerplants.
BMW is also planning to offer selected four-cylinder models with rear-wheel drive; these will be sDrive models. However, the majority of the new X3 line-up will continue to be standard four-wheel drive xDrive models.
Autocar has been told the most frugal new X3, a six-speed manual successor to today?s sDrive18d running a revised common rail injection system among other developments, will achieve combined fuel economy of more than 56.5mpg.
According to insiders close to BMW?s M performance car division, the highlight of the new line-up will be a new X3 xDriveM40i M Performance model. It is earmarked to run a tuned version of BMW?s new 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine, which features in the new 7 Series.
For Europe, there will also be a diesel variant running a detuned version of BMW?s punchy 376bhp triple turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, as used by the X5 M50d.
One model BMW insiders say is likely to form part of the new X3 line-up is a frugal X3 xDrive35e. Baby brother to the new X5 xDrive40e, the new plug-in petrol-electric hybrid has been conceived around the same driveline hardware as the 330e that is set to appear early next year.
The new X3 will continue to be produced alongside the X4, X5, X6 and upcoming X7 at BMW?s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina, USA.
Greg Kable and Sam Sheehan
Tesla will add a 75D specification to its Model S range, which will sit between the 70D and 90D specs.
Although UK prices haven't yet been announced, US customers can opt for the improved powertrain at a cost of $3000 (around £2068). Customers who have recently bought a Model S can also opt to upgrade to 75D, although only very recent purchases will be considered, and a Tesla spokesperson could not confirm whether this will be for free or if the $3000 charge will be applied.
A clue about the 75D's planned introduction was first revealed when the California Environmental Protection Agency published a list of cars approved to carry a single occupant carpool lane sticker, on which the 75D was listed, despite there being no such option on the Model S yet.
The battery pack will add 19 miles to the range over the Model S 70D, bringing it up to 259 miles, although these figures are American Environmental Protection Agency figures. European-tested range is yet to be confirmed. The Tesla spokesperson could not confirm any more details about the 75D, or if it would appear on the Model 3 or Model X in the near future.
Tesla recently facelifted the Model S for 2016, giving its all-electric fastback an updated front grille and two new interior decor choices.
The facelifted car?s nose now features a slimmer black section and restyled headlights in order to create a face that?s more closely aligned with that of the Model X. The changes are illustrated in the comparison picture above.
Inside, buyers can now choose from Figured Ash Wood or Dark Ash Wood trim.
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The Model S has also inherited the air filtration system of the Model X, which Tesla says is 100 times more effective than other premium systems. The brand claims the HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of particulate exhaust pollution and almost all allergens, bacteria and contaminants.
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The Model S?s electric drivetrain options remain unchanged, but the car?s standard charger has been upgraded from 40A to 48A, enabling faster charging when connected to higher-amperage charging sources.
Sources have suggested a more potent P100D model will join the range at a later date, sitting above the P85D and P90D, but Tesla is yet to officially confirm this.
The starting price for the new Model S in entry 70D spec is £58,300, but buyers can knock £4500 off that figure once the UK government's green car grant is added. Tesla says sales and production for the facelifted Model S have started today.
Audi is taking renewed aim at the BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes-Benz GLC with an all-new second-generation Q5 - and these are the latest pictures of the model, revealing its new grille and interior details for the first time.
Although heavily disguised, a similar front-end treatment to the Q7 is visible, with more angular headlights and a thick grille surround, finished in chrome. The shape is different to that seen on Audis of late, suggesting the new model could introduce a slightly different design language. More rakish lights also feature on the rear of the car, while the chunky profile of the Q5 is maintained.
The new pictures also reveal one of the next-gen Q5's interior door cards for the first time. There are clear similarities with the design of the Q7, suggesting the rest of the cabin could take influence too.
Earlier pictures of the car testing at the Nürburgring (below) show it in hot SQ5 guise. This is confirmed by the fitment of larger wheels and the car's use of more aggressively styled bumpers.
When launched, the Q5 will have a contemporary new look and a high-quality interior featuring the latest in-car connectivity functions. The model line-up will include a frugal plug-in hybrid and, later on, a performance-orientated RS Q5.
Closely related to the latest A4, the new Q5 has been engineered from scratch in a move that officials suggest has resulted in it shedding more than 100kg compared with the first-generation model that has been on sale in the UK since 2008. Nothing is official, but Autocar understands that the lightest of the new line-up, a price-leading rear-wheel-drive entry-level model, tips the scales close to 1620kg.
Key to the weight loss is the adoption of the latest evolution of Audi?s MLB platform already used by the new Q7 and A4. It uses a greater percentage of hot-formed high-strength steel and cast aluminium elements than the initial MLB structure, providing the new Q5 with not only much lighter but also more rigid underpinnings than its seven-year-old predecessor.
While the prototypes spied here are comprehensively disguised, the new SUV remains close to the existing model in size with a length of around 4700mm, a width of 1950mm and a height of 1650mm.
A moderate increase in the wheelbase, which currently stretches to 2810mm, promises to provide added levels of accommodation, most notably in the rear, where officials suggest the model benefits from additional leg and shoulder room. Boot capacity is also said to have increased beyond the nominal 540 litres of today?s Q5.
Audi design boss Marc Lichte has given the Q5 a more rugged look than that of the recently introduced Q7. Seen here, elements such as prominent wheel arch flares and large wheelhouses are evident underneath the camouflage of these latest test mules. Like the original model, it also appears to feature a clamshell-style one-piece tailgate with integrated tail-lights.
As with the new A4, buyers will get to choose between standard bi-Xenon headlights, with LED and LED-based Matrix units set to be made available as an option, according to highly placed Ingolstadt insiders.
Inside, there is a highly contemporary dashboard similar in look to that first unveiled on the third-generation TT and continued with mild changes on the latest Q7 and, most recently, the new A4.
Buyers will get to choose between three different control systems: the standard and base MMI arrangements operate in combination with a 7.0in free-standing monitor and rotary dial, while the top-of-the-line MMI Plus system combines with a larger 8.3in monitor, rotary dial and touch pad.
As with the A4, the Q5 will also feature up to two separate Nvidia Tegra 30 chipsets ? one for the free-standing monitor and the other for an optional active instrument display, each capable of supporting the latest Google Earth 7.0-based navigation in combination with MMI Plus. Audi is also working closely with driver assistance system specialist Mobile Eye to provide the Q5 with the latest in 3D camera technology for a variety of driver aids.
The new Q5 will be sold with a range of four-cylinder and V6 petrol and diesel engines from the outset. In combination with efforts that are claimed to have reduced aerodynamic drag to less than 0.30 and brought about a significant lowering in mechanical drag, they are said to provide fuel economy savings of up to 15% compared with the first-generation model.
The four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and standard V6 diesel units are set to be carried over from the latest A4 without significant changes, while the V6 petrol engines form part of a new generation of powerplants being developed in a joint engineering project between Audi and Porsche under the codename KoVoMo.
Also planned is a new plug-in hybrid driveline option. It uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in combination with two electric motors, with one mounted within the gearbox and the other within the rear axle. Already highlighted on the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept revealed at the 2014 Detroit motor show, the new system is said to provide the new Q5 with an electric range of up to 31 miles.
Moves are also afoot to provide the Q5 with a wider range of performance engine options. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine used in the existing SQ5 is rumoured to receive a moderate increase in output, taking it from 306bhp to around 325bhp. Also planned is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6-powered range-topping RS Q5 model developing in the region of 500bhp.
Alongside traditional quattro four-wheel drive, the new mid-sized Audi SUV will also offer rear-wheel drive in combination with the least powerful four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Gearbox choices will include either a six-speed manual gearbox, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic or eight-speed torque converter-equipped automatic depending on the engine that is chosen.
The new Q5 will be underpinned by a new five-link front and rear suspension system with steel springs and adjustable dampers, a set-up Audi engineers confirm is borrowed largely from the latest A4.
Unlike its more on-road-focused sibling, though, the new SUV is planned to be offered with an optional air suspension offering an automatic self-levelling feature as part of efforts to provide it with an improved ride and enhanced towing qualities.
To free up production capacity at its main Ingolstadt manufacturing facility in Germany, the second-generation Q5 is planned to be produced in a new Audi factory in San José Chiapa in Mexico. Further assembly will take place in Changchun, China and Aurangabad, India.
The model is set to go on sale toward the end of this year.
Read our extensive review of the Audi SQ5
Greg Kable and Sam Sheehan