Summer is here and with warmer temperatures, manufacturers have now begun to push the testing of their cars in the direction of high performance. One of the most obvious signs of this change is the shift of test vehicles from the mountains to the long straights and double chicanes of the mighty Nurburgring in Germany. The common ground for all vehicles of performance, it has become a practice for most major manufacturers to bring their models to the ‘Green Hell’ to improve or smoothen out handling of their vehicles. The start of this summer has given our spy photographer a large repertoire of vehicles to shoot and here is a collection of the top nine vehicles spotted testing at the ‘Ring in May.
BMW’s mid-size SUV will undergo a major update in the form of a new generation within the next few years. Here then is a mid-stage test car doing laps around the ‘Ring and by the look of things, the X5 will retain the current car’s crossover silhouette but change its overall appearance. Expect a large number of changes under the car including a new platform.
Next generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class
A regular fixture in our spy stories, the next generation is expected to take over from the current A-Class sometime in 2018 as this highly successful second generation model has already been running for five years. It will get a revised design and probably pick up much of its underpinnings from the German automaker’s collaboration with Nissan.
The SUV craze is going picking up heat everywhere and it now looks like one of the last bastions of pure performance, the Lamborghini, too will be coming over to the high riding side. It will introduce the Urus SUV to the world in production form in 2019 and this SUV will be offered with the Italian automaker’s massive V12 mill which powers their flagship hypercar, the Aventador.
BMW M2 CS
This one is a high performance version of a performance car. Yes, and that´s quite normal for BMW which has a long history of converting their race cars into rockets for the road. The car in this photograph will get an aggressive setup for the front bumper, a large turbo-charged petrol engine belting out over 400 horses, and of course, the M badging to emphasise that this car is upper class all the way.
One of BMW’s most renown performance sedans since the last four decades, the M5 that you see in these photos is all new and adopts the design language of the current car, that was launched in mid-2016. Loud, extremely fast around corners and hiding a mountain of performance underneath, this new M5 is expected to be revealed sometime in July.
BMW i8 Spyder
Clearly, BMW seems to be taking the mantra of ´make hay while the sun shines´ very seriously as this convertible i8 is the fourth car from the Bavarian automaker’s new fleet to be spotted. It stays pretty true to the concept car and will go into production in 2018. One can expect similar levels of hybrid geekiness from the i8 Spyder, with the added satisfaction of helping save the planet.
Aston Martin DB11 Volante
Aston Martin has been going through a revival and now has a bigger range. Sitting at the top of their food chain is the DB11. It is big, brutish, loud and will now get a drop-top sibling in the form of the Volante. Stickers on the side indicate a 2018 unveiling and probably deliveries later in the year. And if we know our luck, at least half the initial production has already been accounted for.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
The largest and most powerful Chevrolet Corvette will get an upgrade this year in the form of new ZR-1. It is expected to be derived from all the race tech developed by Chevrolet and sports aero bits like a large wing at the rear. Powering this beast will be Chevy’s famous 700bhp supercharged V8 and a 10 speed gearbox.