The shifting trends towards ‘high-riding’ vehicles saw every manufacturer going back to the drawing boards to work on new SUVs or update their current products to be on the top of the game. Our spy sleuths keep a keen eye on all the developments and we spotted many SUVs in the works the previous month. Here are the top international SUVs spotted testing in the month of July.
The next-generation Porsche Cayenne is expected to come out later this year probably at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The test mule was spotted with new styling including the LED-strip connecting the two taillights similar to the 911 prototype. It will be based on the new underpinning shared with Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. The interior will be revamped as well. The 2018 Cayenne is expected to get a plug-in hybrid system.
The all-new X2 will also sport the crossover-coupe design cues. Some design elements such as the headlights, new air dams and the cladding located just beneath the grille will be retained from the concept. It will be based on the new UKL platform. The engine options will be similar to the current X1. The Bavarian crossover is expected to debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Rolls Royce continues to test the Cullinan ahead of its next year debut. This time, the ‘high-riding’ Cullinan was spotted on Nurburgring. Similar to the newly launched Phantom, the Cullinan will be based on the bespoke platform developed solely for all the upcoming cars from the Good-wood based carmaker. The Cullinan will be powered by a V12 but there’s also some talk about a plug-in hybrid variant sometime in the future.
The Silverado in the test mule guise is carrying the dual cabin pickup truck body with reworked facial tweaks and restyled rear under the cladding. The new Silverado is allegedly based on a new platform with an aluminium-intensive chassis to save weight. Powered by a 4.3-litre V6 diesel engine, mated to new 10-speed auto transmission, the truck is expected to debut in the later half of 2018.
Chevrolet’s mysterious CUV
Chevy has five SUVs already, but a new mule was spotted testing hinting at a resurrection of Blazer moniker. The prototype seemed similar in size to the Equinox and Traverse, and hence, it may be based on the same C1XX platform. The resurrection of the Blazer nameplate could mean that it would fit between the compact Equinox and the full-size Traverse.
A slightly updated Raptor was spotted in Dearborn in a completely undisguised avatar. The truck has received a refreshed tailgate, but that’s where the changes appear to end. Ford hasn’t made changes to the front-end or the taillights. We expect the F-150 to soldier on into 2018 with the 3.5 Ecoboost motor. The new model of the highest-selling pickup was launched earlier this year.
BMW X5 M
The next generation X5 M already seem to be in works. The sporty SUV is heavily cladded but the aggressive front and rear bumpers are hard to miss. The mule is wearing a wider rear tyre and a beefy drilled brake rotors as a part of the ‘M’ badge. The new X5 M is expected to be unveiled early next year.
The new gen Wrangler has been spotted on multiple occasions, but the new images reveal some parts of the prototype’s rear section. It gets new LED tail lights, while the rear wind screen has hinges at the top. Reports claim that the Wrangler will be launched with a 3.6-litre V6 and a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. It is speculated to debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show on 1 December.
Lincoln MKC was spotted hiding a new fascia for the first time since its introduction. It gets the new grille from the Continental replacing the ‘butterfly’ one, while the lights are tweaked as well. The wheels are borrowed from Lincoln Navigator Concept. Expect new features in safety and on the entertainment front as well.
The new QX50 was spied undergoing high-altitude testing and it also gave us our first glimpse of its interior. The concept inspired interior suggests that the production version seems to be nearing its reveal. It will ride on a new front-drive platform, with the new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine making its production debut. The new QX50 should debut later this year.