Seeing how German automakers are printing money with less-practical but arguably more stylish crossover "coupes," Japanese luxury brand is getting in on the action, too. The company announced it will introduce a fastback crossover named QX55. And while the company hasn't revealed the actual vehicle yet, it did release the above conceptual sketch. As you can see, it doesn't reveal much except that the QX55 will have a low, curvy shape. It will probably have four doors like its competitors. Infiniti says the roofline is meant to evoke the company's first crossover, the FX. We disagree on that detail, because while the FX did have a stylish, low-slung roof compared with its contemporaries, it still had a fairly conventional and upright hatch (see below). Judging by the name, the QX55 will probably be based on the platform and powertrain of the QX50. That means it should have a version of that crossover's variable-compression ratio turbocharged four-cylinder, along with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Infiniti says the QX55 will go on sale in the summer of 2020, so expect a full reveal during the coming auto show season.
It seems like we've been writing "the Toyota Sienna enters yet another year without a full redesign" forever at this point. The current generation dates back to 2011 and is continuing into year 10 as we detail in our 2020 Toyota Sienna review. Now, there was a substantial overhaul of its interior and structure for 2015, while the powertrain was replaced two years later, and other important updates to its feature content made thereafter. In the meantime, though, the Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey were completely redesigned and the Chrysler Pacifica became a thing. The Nissan Quest was reborn and died again. Nobody seemed to notice. Anyway, the Toyota Sienna is extremely long in the tooth, but these fresh spy photos would indicate it's finally going to see the dentist. That's how that metaphor works, right? Though covered in copious black plastic, this is most definitely not yet another warmed over version of the current van. Note the door mirrors migrating to the doors and the little quarter window above it now residing adjacent to the main front side window rather than within the A pillar. The rear quarter also appears quite different, possibly indicating some sort of rising element not unlike the Lexus RX. Of course, that bit of camouflage could also be a leftover from an old RX test vehicle being used to throw us off, but it seems likely that Toyota would try to make that area more interesting given its recent over-the-top styling as well as what was done with the past two Honda Odysseys. The big wheels, lower grille mesh and flared rocker panels suggest that this particular next-generation Sienna is an SE, the "sportier" trim level that boasts tighter suspension and steering tuning (current version shown above). Much like it did with the recently redesign Camry and Avalon, it seems reasonable to assume that the dynamic gap between the Sienna's LE and SE trim levels would narrow given the handling improvements inherent to Toyota's TNG platform that assuredly underpins its new minivan. Despite the new platform, we expect the current powertrain to carry over mostly unchanged apart from perhaps a minor power bump. We also wouldn't be surprised to see a new Sienna Hybrid, as most TNG cars are available as hybrids. Would it be a plug-in as the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid is? That's questionable. Given how comprehensively wrapped this test vehicle is, it seems like the next-generation Sienna is awfully close to completion. We wouldn't be surprised to see it shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November or even earlier. Sales probably wouldn't be too long after. That would certainly help explain why the 2020 Sienna was announced so early.
Here's our first look at what we think is the next-gen Nissan Rogue, and it looks like Nissan is shaking it up this time. The swoopy and swept-back design on the current Rogue's front end is nowhere to be found, as it's replaced by a blocky, straight up and down look. If not for the semi-visible V-Motion grille seen through the wrappings, it would be rather difficult to I.D. this car.
Much of that is due to the rather generic crossover shape seen through the camouflage. The closest thing to a Rogue-like concept car we've seen from Nissan as of late is the Xmotion, and this doesn't exactly take much inspiration from the wild concept. That particular car is much more rugged in appearance, while this one remains a staid crossover, making sure it doesn't rock the boat. One specific design element we can pick out is a separate headlight/driving light setup. Similar to cars like the Hyundai Santa Fe or Chevrolet Blazer, the Rogue appears to be splitting up the DRL from the main headlight. The size of the gap between the two visible headlight fixtures is just too large for it all to be one massive headlight unit. With headlights getting smaller all the time, and this design trend starting to take off, it's no big surprise to see it here.
A new Toyota Tundra is around the corner, and our spy shooters think they caught a hybrid model out testing. We previously wrote about a rumor that the truck would get a hybrid powertrain, but there was no evidence of it at that point. Now, we feel a bit more confident that Toyota is at least testing the Tundra with a hybrid powertrain.
The photographers say they heard the hum of the electrics, followed by the noise of an engine kicking on around 25-30 mph on multiple occasions while tailing the truck seen here. Our previous story speculated that Toyota could use a hybridized version of the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 we saw make its debut in the Lexus LS500. Another possible powertrain option could also be borrowed from the LS500h. That one uses a naturally aspirated V6 and an electric motor for a total system output of 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. If it's the former, we'll expect significantly more power, with the powertrain likely being considered for a flagship version of the truck. Our guess would put a hybridized version of the twin-turbo V6 at about 450-500 horsepower.
Kia just launched the new three-row Telluride into the world, but that doesn't mean its original seven-passenger model is going away. Far from it. The camouflaged vehicle you see here is the next-generation Sorento caught testing in the Alps while undergoing some strenuous trials. One of those happened to be towing a BMW X5, as seen in the photos.
Due to the heavy amount of cladding and wrappings, it's difficult to pick out specific styling elements. However, we imagine the front fascia is going through a massive change up. It's tough to say what direction they're heading, but the openings do mimic what we see on the vehicle today. The current Sorento doesn't have an upright, tough appearance, and the prototype we see here doesn't appear to be a massive change in the status quo. Kia made the Telluride its big, butch crossover, so differentiation with that SUV is most likely necessary.