Latest car news: Porsche 911, BMW X5, new Aston Martin DBS and more

Best cars in India in 2019: From Porsche 911 to Audi AI:ME, here's a list of the new cars.

BMW X5: BMW has launched the new, 4th-generation model of the X5 SUV in India. One of the 12 new cars BMW will launch in the country this year, the new BMW X5 made its global debut last year and the changes and updates over the outgoing model are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. 

In terms of styling, the new BMW X5 retains the car’s recognisable silhouette, while the large kidney grille in the front, headlamps, fog lights, and the tail lights are all new. The BMW X5 has also grown in size, making the latest generation the biggest X5 yet. The new X5 is 35mm longer, 32mm wider and 11mm taller over the last generation car. The wheelbase is also longer, gaining an extra 42mm. While the boot space remains the same, the extra space has been given to the rear seat passengers. 

The new BMW X5 will go on sale with a diesel engine to begin with. The X5 xDrive30d is powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 265hp. The German automaker is likely to introduce more engine options down the line, with a petrol version being the first of them.

Porsche 911 Speedster: Porsche finally revealed the production-ready variant of the 911 Speedster at the 2019 New York Auto Show. A fitting farewell to the 991-generation of the Porsche 911, the Speedster was showcased as a concept last year to celebrate the German automaker’s 70th anniversary of producing iconic sports cars. 

Porsche has managed to keep the production variant almost unchanged from the prototype, except for a few minor design elements like the retro-styled door mirrors, making it one of the most exciting limited-production special models Porsche has created in recent times. 

The Porsche 911 Speedster’s body shell is based on the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet with its hood and fenders made of carbon fibre, while the chassis has been taken from the GT3 RS. The cabriolet has a manually-operated roof with an electronic latch, along with shortened window frames, a steeply-raked windscreen, a carbon fibre double-bubble rear deck and carbon front wings. 

Powering the Speedster is the same naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six found in the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS, which produces 502hp and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Porsche says the rear-wheel-drive Speedster can do 0-97 kmph in 3.8 seconds and will reach a top speed of 309kmph.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante: Aston Martin has taken the wraps off the convertible version of the DBS Superleggera, almost a year after the coupé version made its debut. The 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante, as one would expect, is identical to the coupé except for the foldable fabric roof. Which means the styling of the Volante remains unchanged and gets the same aggressive yet extremely good looking design. The fabric top is an eight-layer cloth item that takes 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close and can be operated remotely using the car key. To compensate for the lack of roof, the Volante has a newly designed Aeroblade system that produces about 177kg of downforce. The DBS Superleggera Volante is the fastest convertible that Aston Martin has ever made: Powering the drop-top Volante is the same 715hp twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12 found in the coupé, which is mated to a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Despite the added weight of the roof mechanism and bracing, the performance of the convertible version is also near identical to the coupé. Aston says the Volante can do the zero to 100kmph sprint in just 3.5 seconds, 0.1 seconds slower than the coupé, while capable of hitting a top speed of about 340kmph, which is the same for both the coupé as well as the cabriolet.

Aston Martin Rapide E: Aston Martin finally debuted the production variant of the Tesla Model S-rivalling Rapide E at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. The car looks identical to the standard Aston Martin Rapide, except for some visual elements that indicate towards the electric powertrain under the bonnet. It includes electric blue accents in the headlights, on the brake calliper and the front bumper, and special rims. Inside the cabin, it is equipped with a 10-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and an 8-inch display mounted on top of the centre of the dashboard. Powering the Aston Martin Rapide E is an 800-volt, 65kWh battery system which promises a range of over “320km" on a single charge. The battery feeds power to two rear-mounted electric motors that make a combined output of just over 610hp. Aston claims a sub-4 second 0-100kmph and a top speed of 250kmph 

Audi AI:ME: Audi’s latest concept study demonstrating the German automaker’s vision for the future of urban mobility recently debuted at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. Named Audi AI:ME, the concept car uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for its autonomous driving capability. Audi claims that the hatchback is capable of Level-4 autonomous driving, which needs very little input from the driver. Designed for the megacities of the future, the AI:ME has been designed in a way to maximise the space inside the cabin while keeping the layout completely customisable. For utmost comfort,  the front seats are inspired by lounge chairs, while the rear can either be used as big stowage space or fit seats for two passengers. The car also uses smart tech like eye-tracking and gesture controls instead of physical buttons on the centre console or the dash. For in-car entertainment, it uses VR goggles to give occupants a fully-immersive experience. The car’s cabin also has real plants built into its interior to provide fresh air to the passengers and also make them feel at one with nature.

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