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Audi has revealed its last “sphere” concept, the Activesphere and this one looks to combine attributes from its sleek Sportback and high-riding Allroad models with a bit of pickup truck DNA thrown in for fun.

Audi Activesphere concept
Static photo, Colour: Arctic Teal

In its standard form, the Activesphere concept looks like a coupe-like crossover, but if you slide the top up to and flip the rear down, you get a useful cargo space that’s similar to a truck. With the push of a button the roof moves and the rear flips down, while a a divider rises up behind the rear seats to keep passengers away from any dirt or crappy weather.

On the outside the Activesphere is about the same size as the Audi A7 and its air suspension can raise or lower the ground clearance between 8.2 and 9.8 inches. Inside there’s a minimalistic design and in autonomous mode the steering wheel and dashboard retract. Augmented reality is a huge highlight here. With the use of special glasses information can be displayed to the driver and front passenger.

Under the skin the Activesphere concept is based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform, which was co-developed by Audi and Porsche. Thanks to its 100 kWh battery, it has a driving range up to 373 miles. The 800-volt architecture enables charging speeds up to 270 kW. The two electric motors generate a combined 436 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.

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Subaru has announced that it will reveal the 2024 Crosstrek at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show next month. The good news is that we’ve already seen the Crosstrek that’s on sale in Japan, which should be close to what we get here.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

The styling of the 2024 Crosstrek is not a dramatic departure from the current model. It will also be based on a modified version of the same platform that’s used by the WRX. What we don’t know yet is what will power the new Crosstrek.

The Japanese version is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s mated to an e-Boxer electric motor.. We don’t know if Subaru is going to bring that electrified powertrain to the US or if it will continue to be offered with the existing 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines. We also are waiting to hear if a plug-in hybrid version will be offered again.

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This year Porsche is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The first Porsche, the 356, arrived on June 8, 1948 and now Porsche is paying tribute to that iconic model with the Vision 357 concept.

Porsche Vision 357 concept

As a tribute to the 356, the Vision 357 concept features a similar form as its forebear. You’ll also notice that there aren’t traditional mirrors, since cameras let you know what’s behind you and the door handles are tucked in the rear side glass.

We created a very special birthday present in the form of the Porsche Vision 357, one which uses the 356 as a basis to underscore the significance of our design DNA,” said Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche. “The concept car is an attempt to combine the past, present and future with coherency, featuring proportions that are reminiscent of its historical archetype and details that visualize the outlook for the future.”

The concept is based on the same technology platform as the 718 Cayman GT4 RS with its naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six that generates 493 hp.

The concept will be the highlight of the special exhibition “75 Years of Porsche sports cars” at the Volkswagen Group’s Drive Forum in Berlin, which opens to the public on January 27. It will be displayed until mid-February.

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The 2024 Acura Integra Type S is slated to arrive this summer, but Acura is going to give the public an early look at it with the debut of a Integra Type S prototype at at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

The Integra Type S prototype is wrapped in special “Type S” camouflage and will be displayed in the paddock of Florida’s Daytona International Speedway throughout the race weekend and will serve as lead vehicle at the start of the race.

Acura has released a few teaser photos of the Integra Type S, but we don’t have a lot of details yet. Acura has confirmed that it will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with over 300 horsepower, which confirms that it will have the same powertrain as the Honda Civic Type R. It will also have a six-speed manual and a limited slip differential.

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Honda recently launched the 2023 Accord and Pilot models and now it’s giving us a preview of what else it has planned for this year and in 2024.

On the Honda side of the business, the 2024 Ridgeline and Passport are going to get some changes this year, with the Ridgeline also getting the more rugged TrailSport trim. The Civic hybrid is also coming in 2024 and it will be available as both a sedan and hatchback. Deliveries of the Prologue EV are slated to start in early 2024, with pre-sales starting sometime this year.

2024 Acura ZDX Prototype
2024 Acura ZDX Prototype

This summer we’ll get the 2024 Integra Type S, which is expected to borrow lots of DNA from the Civic Type R. The TLX is also getting some updates this year and pre-sales of the ZDX EV will also begin this year. The ZDX will be available in a Type S version as well when it arrives in early 2024.

2024 Acura Integra Type S
2024 Acura Integra Type S

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It looks like General Motors is getting ready to introduce a new version of the Envision crossover, since it recently trademarked the Buick Envision GX name.

Buick Envision Plus

Motor Authority discovered that GM filed the trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 10, 2023. The trademark application says that the name will be used for “motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks and vans.”

We already know that the GX name means that it’s likely a bigger version of the Envision, much like how the Encore GX is a larger Encore. We don’t have any official information yet, but the Encore GX could be the US version of the three-row Envision Plus that’s sold in China. Buick unveiled the Envision Plus, which you see here, in 2021.

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Right now there are a few electric pickup trucks hitting the market, like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T. For now all of the electric trucks released have been full size trucks, but that may soon change since it’s being reported that some automakers are considering smaller electric pickup trucks. Nissan is one of them that is reportedly thinking about introducing a smaller pickup truck than the Frontier, that will be fully electric.

Nissan Surf-Out concept

Automotive News is reporting that Nissan is mulling an electric pickup truck, especially with the upcoming demise of the larger Titan. The publication is reporting that Tyler Slade, chairman of the Nissan Dealer Advisory Board, revealed that dealers want Nissan to build a midsize electric truck.

We’re not sure when Nissan will make the decision, but it did show off the Surf-Out concept in 2021, which was a small electric pickup truck that you see here. Nissan has already announced plans to introduce 15 new EV vehicles by 2030, so we’ll have to wait and see if a small electric truck is on that list.

Nissan Surf-Out concept

Nissan isn’t the only automaker looking at a small truck, since it’s been reported that Ford and General Motors are also looking at the idea.

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Infiniti has unveiled a new limited version of the 2023 Q50, called the Q50 Black Opal Edition. The special Q50 is painted in a new Black Opal Metallic paint that shifts between blue, green and purple hues depending on lighting and viewing angle.

2023 Infiniti Q50 Black Opal Edition

The unique paint appears to change colors. You can see in some of these photos how the color changes. The Black Opal Edition also gets satin black exterior logos and badges and a rear spoiler with an exposed carbon fiber finish. inside the black leather seats feature red stitching and diamond quilted sections.

Under the hood the Q50 Red Sport 400 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The Black Opal Edition package costs $2,200, but Infiniti has not announced how many it plans to build.

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BMW continues to unveil high performance versions of the M3 and M4 models. We’ve already received the M4 CSL and now BMW has unveiled the 2024 M3 CS. The “CS” stands for Competition Sport, which also means that the M3 CS packs more power and performance than the M3 Competition.

2024 BMW M3 CS

The M3 CS is powered by the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine, which now has 543 horsepower, which is 40 more than the M3 Competition. To squeeze out the extra horsepower, BMW increased the boost pressure from 24.7 psi to 30.5 psi. The torque rating remains the same at 479 pound-feet. The M3 CS is only available with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 188 mph.

If you really want to only send power to the rear wheels, the all-wheel drive system has a 2WD-only mode with the stability control off.

Other upgrades include uniquely designed engine mounts that provide a more rigid connection between the M3 and the engine. This means that it will respond even faster when you mash the throttle to the floor. The suspension has also been tweaked thanks to updated electronically controlled dampers and anti-roll bars.The M3 CS also features special wheel camber settings and kinematics tuning. The steering has also been retuned.

The M3 CS is available with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires, which wrap 19-inch wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the rear. Ceramic brakes are available.

On the outside the M3 CS stands out with its specific model badging, yellow daytime running lights and exposed carbon fiber reinforced plastic that’s used for the hood, front splitter, air intakes, mirror caps, roof, rear spoiler and rear apron. Inside it comes with M Carbon bucket seats. The M3 CS comes in at 75 pounds lighter than the M3 Competition with xDrive, thanks to the special front seats and a titanium muffler.

2024 BMW M3 CS

Pricing for the 2024 M3 CS starts at $119,695. Production is slated to begin in March, but BMW has not announced how many units it will build and instead just says that it will be “built in limited numbers.”

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We’ve been waiting to hear what Toyota has planned for the Tacoma ever since the new Tundra arrived. Now we have our first look at the 2024 Toyota Tacoma thanks to design patent photos from Brazil.

2024 Toyota Tacoma Patent Images

We don’t know if the 2024 Tacoma will look the same in the United States as Brazil but it probably will. We can see some design similarities between the Tacoma and the Tundra, especially at the front and rear.

It’s been reported that the Tacoma will be available with two four-cylinder engine options. The standard engine will be a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, while the second is a hybrid with a turbocharged 2.4-liter turbo. The new Tacoma will also be based on the same TNGA-F platform as the Tundra.

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