- WORLD NEWS
- AUTO NEWS
Updated: 6 hours 58 min ago
Contrary to popular belief, it seems that Mini's growth plans do have a limit both in size and number of models. During the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, it unveiled the six-door Clubman concept (pictured above) that was 4.4-inches longer and about two-inches wider than even the current Countryman crossover. Mini design chief Anders Warming says that this is the new size limit for its models, and the BMW subsidiary isn't building a larger, seven-passenger vehicle above the current Countryman.
"We won't build anything bigger than the Countryman, not at this moment. You should be able to park a Mini in a city, so a Countryman or this new Clubman is as big as it should be," said Warming to Auto Express in Geneva. Rumors going back to last November, pegged the Mini as developing an even larger vehicle to take on mainstream CUVs.
While Warming is ruling out a bigger Minis for now, a smaller one like the Rocketman concept still might be in the cards. He said that the project has been warmly received but still had to be investigated because "it's a numbers game." So if bigger Minis aren't coming, there still might be a slim chance for a smaller one.
Mini nixes plans for 7-seater, Countryman to stay largest model originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Mar 2014 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
When you see a golden bowtie, you know you're looking at a Chevrolet. And that's completely by design. First introduced way back in 1913, the famed Bowtie has gone through several permutations, but it's never quite been modified like it has for the new Chevy Camaro Z/28. Instead of a solid bow, as we've become accustomed to seeing, the Z/28's Bowtie is hollow.
According to Chevy's press release, which can be found below, Powertrain Cooling Development engineer Richard Quinn noticed during wind-tunnel testing that the Z/28's Bowtie-emblazoned grille was pushing air away instead of allowing it to hit the radiator. The solution was to cut out the center of the emblem, leaving a chrome outline that lets air through.
GM's engineers have named the new Bowtie-shaped emblem the Flowtie. Clever, boys. An additional three cubic meters of air is let into the engine bay per minute, lowering coolant and oil temperatures by 2°F. Scroll down below for more information from Chevy about its so-called Flowtie and to watch a video.
2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 is so slick it gets a Flowtie originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We are used to seeing full vehicles being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, or at least concepts that presage a future model, but the German engineering group EDAG stripped things down even further to imagine a future car cockpit. Really, it's a way for the company to show off its next-generation manufacturing technology that allows it to make parts in a single production process.
The company says that a turtle's skeleton inspired the cockpit's design (which is a bit morbid), and that it features a protective shell on the outside to support the fragile parts inside. It's made using a technique called fused deposition modeling, which is similar to the process used in 3D printing but on a much bigger scale. In the case of the Genesis, robots laid down layer after layer of thermoplastic to produce the complex shape. EDAG says that it could also be done with carbon fiber as well to offer strength and lightness.
The company admits that this technology is still in its infancy, and we are still far away from large-scale industrial production of components like this. However, it is technically possible. It believes that fused deposition modeling could revolutionize the auto industry by allowing new, stronger designs. The Genesis isn't a car today, but it previews how they may be built tomorrow. Have a slightly more dynamic look at the concept in the video, below.
The EDAG Genesis Cockpit Concept highlights the future of auto production [video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Mar 2014 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
I've been attending the Geneva Motor Show for the better part of a decade, and it's become my favorite stop on the entire show circuit, in large part because of all the exotic automakers, coachbuilders and green startups. I also love the Palexpo's consistently mind-bending displays of tuners, who typically work exclusively on six-figure automobiles. Some offer subtle improvements and personalization programs, but most seem hellbent on being more outlandish and bizarre than the next, a room full of millionaire class clowns. More often than not, I spy something and think to myself "What kind of Nimrod would do that to a perfectly good ____ ?" This year, that rhetorical question is in fact a self-answering one.
The jokes, they write themselves.
But seriously, if you're wondering who would take a perfectly lovely Ferrari 458 Italia or a Lamborghini Aventador and affix a wild body kit of dubious aerodynamic and aesthetic merit at great extra cost (both to the car's MSRP and to its assuredly grenaded resale value), the answer could very well be Nimrod Elite Tuning, a newer high-end restyling house out of Slovakia. That last locational tidbit might also explain the company's unusual name, which is likely a nod to a mighty Biblical hunter (descendant of Ham and a king of Shinar, Nimrod is mentioned in Genesis and Chronicles) and not meant to be taken as a synonym for "idiot" or "moron."
In any case, not much information is available on these two Nimrods, but the white and red-trimmed 458 is the Katyusha, and it appears to be an homage to the ultra-rare Ferrari FXX track car. The Aventador-based model, dubbed Avanti Rosso, channels a bit of Lamborghini's own Sesto Elemento. Sadly, there were no Nimrod representatives on hand who were able to offer further details, and the company's official website descriptions are of little help. We've got an inquiry in and will let you know if/when we learn more. In the meantime, check out our galleries and let us know what you think of these aftermarket specials in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Volkswagen dug into its commercial vehicle fleet for its latest Geneva Motor Show concept, blending the versatile body of the T5 MultiVan with a luxuriously appointed interior, 4Motion all-wheel drive and a thrifty diesel powertrain.
That 177-horsepower diesel engine routes its power to the AWD system through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Based on that alone, we'd expect the Multivan Alltrack's behind-the-wheel experience to be somewhat familiar. That all-wheel-drive system and van body contribute to the 21-degree approach and 15-degree departure angles of this soft-roading MultiVan.
What wouldn't be familiar is its exquisite cabin. Volkswagen opted for a nautical theme for the concept's interior, featuring grey-blue leather seats from Poltrona Frau and a floor finished in real wood. The dark wood trim can also be found throughout the interior, running below the windows and on the dash.
The exterior, meanwhile, is more or less a T5 MultiVan body with unique front and rear bumpers that are finished in shade of grey that contrasts nicely with the Moonstone Mother of Pearl paint. 19-inch alloys also add a bit of flair to the traditionally utilitarian body of the MultiVan.
We've got a crop of live images above as well as the studio shots and the press release from VW, available below.
Volkswagen Multivan Alltrack Concept takes the luxury van life off road originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Mar 2014 13:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
You're looking at the third leg of Volvo's award-winning concept trilogy, the Concept Estate. Despite its banal name, this sweeping longroof showcar has our attention like few other cars at the Geneva Motor Show.
It's not just that we have a weakness for shooting brakes or Volvo's take on the genre in particular (we can see some P1800ES in this design). We just think this car is exceptionally well surfaced, with a fantastic stance and the sort of clean lines that are singularly appropriate of a Scandinavian design. We also appreciate the details that are expected to inform future production models, including the T-shaped headlamps, strong rear shoulders and floating grille mount. In fact, the vast majority of the Concept Estate's design idiom is expected to make it to showrooms in future models, starting with the long-overdue, second-generation XC90 crossover.
We hope - but don't expect - that attitude carries over to the interior, which has stunning, white leather, floating clamshell seats backed in plaid. If there's one cabin feature that's expected to make it to production, it's a derivative of the car's new infotainment system, which features a massive touchscreen with tablet-like gesture controls.
Volvo isn't saying what - if anything - powers the Concept Estate, but any production model would likely sprout a pair of extra doors (adopting a more traditional station wagon form) and turbocharged, four-cylinder power.
What are you waiting for? Soak up our gallery of live photos, then scroll down to view a trio of official videos.
Volvo Concept Estate hauls in great expectations [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Mar 2014 06:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Let's get this out of the way right now: Volkswagen is going to build something like this T-Roc Concept. With its flexible new MQB architecture and a diverse family of suitable powertrains that include gas, diesel, compressed natural gas, plug-in hybrid and pure electric models, the idea of another Golf-sized crossover to slot in under the Tiguan is simply too good to pass up.
Having said that, we strongly suspect that if and when such a vehicle comes to market, it probably won't get the three-door bodystyle shown here. We inquired with Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of VW Group powertrain development at the Geneva Motor Show during a media roundtable, and he quickly acknowledged the heightened viability of a five-door model:
"We are just checking the style, the design. It's a more progressive design - a more dynamic design. With a very masculine design proportion. For that we decided for the showcar, now, the three-door version, but we are also thinking about a five-door version. That's clear. Because If you look at overall markets, there's a strong need to have five doors."More proof of the T-Roc's production intent can be seen in its decidedly ordinary-for-a-showcar powertrain: a 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque matched with VW's seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Unlike some crossovers, the T-Roc also plays at having a bit of off-road capability thanks to its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with multiple modes (Street, Off-Road and Snow) along with features like Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assit.
We're not sure that the T-Roc's liftout ceiling panels will make it to production, but there seems to be a new trend toward more flexible roof arrangements with these smaller lifestyle vehicles (as most recently evidenced by the new Jeep Renegade and its three different roof configurations), so we wouldn't rule out Volkswagen letting a little sun shine in.
Volkswagen T-Roc Concept likely to spawn five-door production model originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Mar 2014 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Nissan Juke is one of the most polarizing vehicles on the road today, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been a sales success, especially in Europe. Nissan is giving the the CUV its first styling refresh at the Geneva Motor Show. While the design changes will almost certainly be universal, the mechanical changes are still somewhat of a mystery for the US market. Nissan makes it clear in its press release below that it covers only the European model, and details about the North American model are coming later.
The exterior changes put a focus on making the Juke look a bit more angular and sporty. The lights on the fenders are now formed into a jagged point and somewhat echo the boomerang-shaped taillights. It also features Nissan's new, thicker V-shaped chrome grille. The door mirrors receive LED turn signals, and the lower portion of the rear receives a simulated mesh grille to look more aggressive. Other than some new color schemes, the interior is basically unchanged. However, the luggage area has been reshaped to increase storage capacity by 40 percent to 12.5 cubic feet (354 liters).
European buyers are getting a new 1.2-liter DIG-T turbocharged engine with 113 horsepower (115PS) and 140 pound-feet of torque (190Nm), and the 1.6 DIG-T also gets an increased compression ratio to produce 188 hp and is offered with either a six-speed manual or Nissan's Xtronic CVT. The all-wheel-drive system has also been upgraded with a torque vectoring system.
The revised Juke will be on sale in Europe later this summer, but at the moment there is no official release date in North America. Stay tuned.Permalink | Email this | Comments
What's life like on an authentic Texas ranch? We honestly have no idea, having never lived on such a ranch, but we imagine it requires lots of hard work, grit and determination to keep all 825,000 acres - that's larger than the state of Rhode Island - of the King Ranch in Texas under control. Indeed, a total of 350 vehicles, all of which come from Ford, we're told, are currently in use by the ranch. No wonder, then, that the collaboration between Ford and King Ranch has lasted for 15 successful years.
For 2015, in celebration of that 15th anniversary, Ford is debuting three new King Ranch models today at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The most significant is the 2015 F-150 King Ranch, which, naturally, will add unique interior and exterior bits and pieces to the new aluminum-intensive F-Series pickup. Color choices will consist of Caribou, Bronze Fire, Guard and Ruby Red Metallic Clearcoat, with a range of two-tones to go along with a monochromatic scheme in Caribou. Inside, a bespoke King Ranch interior will be swathed in Premium Mesa Brown leather.
Joining the F-150 King Ranch on dealership floors later this year will be 2015 King Ranch editions of the Super Duty pickup and Expedition fullsize SUV, all of which will offer similar levels of content. Scroll down for more details and two videos from Ford, and be sure to check out the high-res image gallery above, which was shot by the official State Photographer of Texas, Wyman Meinzer.
Ford F-150 King Ranch celebrates 'history and authenticity' for 2015 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Subaru seems mighty invested in its Viziv crossover. It first showed its original concept at the Geneva Motor Show last year, then it presented an updated version, Viziv Evolution, at the Tokyo Motor Show, and now it's back with a newer and more production-look concept dubbed Viziv 2. Despite its name, the Viziv 2 in fact has two more doors than its antecedents, and in sprouting those extra apertures, the softroader would appear to take a giant leap into the realm of production friendliness (though we'd expect a serial model to carry front-hinged rear doors).
That air of plausibility continues with the Viziv 2's new look, which includes production-ready headlamps (as opposed to the Evolution's blacked-out units) and prominent new round driving lamps that "serve to emphasize the image of an active crossover." We think it looks pretty handsome sitting on its 20-inch wheels.
Powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged boxer-four with through-the-road all-wheel drive provided by a plug-in three-motor hybrid system (one in the front, two in the back), the Viziv offers a new take on Subaru's renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, one that allows "fine-tuned control" of each independent wheel. And it's not just the drivetrain that's sophisticated - Subaru has fitted the car with an undisclosed measure of autonomous driving technology.
Subaru's continuing development of the Viziv suggests that it believes there are more ways to skin a small crossover than what it currently offers. Considering that the Japanese independent's seeming perpetual sales growth has been powered by similar models like the Forester and the XV Crosstrek, we can hardly blame them for investigating the idea.
Subaru makes a step toward production with Viziv 2 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
After generations of Passat sedans designed more to European tastes and needs, Volkswagen finally let loose in 2011 with a larger and less costly model engineered specifically with the North American market's tastes in mind. The Chattanooga, TN-built four door launched well on the strength of a couple of awards and serendipitous supply problems for VW's Japanese rivals, but it has since lost some of its sales momentum as a number of newer and fresher-faced competitors have emerged on the scene.
"We are quite aware that we have to do something to keep the car fresh in the market."VW is keen to recapture some of the Passat's initial momentum, and officials believe it's going to have to dig a little bit deeper than its traditionally minimal midlife retouches in order to put the model on more consumers' shopping lists. We sat down at a roundtable with Michael Horn, VW Group of America CEO and Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of VW Group powertrain development at the Geneva Motor Show today, and the executives confirmed that a "big facelift" is coming for the 2016 model year. "We are quite aware that we have to do something to keep the car fresh in the market," said Horn, who notes that the redesigned model will incorporate "a lot of new features, drivers' assistance systems and so forth."
No powertrain alterations were disclosed, but at the very least, there could be some significant visual changes in store. In fact, more significant mid-cycle changes could become the norm for VW, which traditionally has limited its alterations to things like modestly new light fixtures, wheel patterns and paint finishes. VW sees larger changes as a growing necessity, believing that it needs to shift the longer lifecycle philosophy it has had success with in Europe and in China. The expectations of US customers are "a little bit different," argues Dr. Neußer, "...they need a little bit shorter reworks of the car. Perhaps not so deep within the technical side, but more oriented to a fresh outside, to fresh designs. We are actually changing our philosophy on this."
The current Passat's crisply tailored looks have aged well, but they've also been dinged for being too restrained and derivative of the smaller and less expensive North American Jetta. Noting that some competitors have recently been taking bigger aesthetic chances in the historically conservative family sedan segment, Neußer acknowledged, "We are a little more conservative, but very precise. But we will move a little bit more into the direction [of progressive design] ... but not a u-turn, a correction."
VW Passat to get deeper-than-normal refresh for 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's only been on the market since 2010, but such is the hectic pace of the family sedan world that the Hyundai Sonata finds itself as the elder statesmen of the midsize segment. The current, sixth-generation sedan put the Korean automaker in the hunt with its audacious Fluidic Sculpture styling and bold powertrain choices (it was the first to eschew a six-cylinder option), but time has brought with it tough new competitors from the likes of Ford, Honda, Mazda and others, so it's time for a new model.
Previewed here in this official teaser rendering is an all-new, seventh-generation model, and at first blush, it looks markedly more conservative and refined than its predecessor, with more restrained surfacing and a more traditional six-sided grille. Scheduled for a world premiere in Korea later this month, the Sonata is expected to make its first show circuit appearance at the New York Auto Show in April.
Built atop a platform with significantly more advanced high-strength steel (51 percent vs. 21 percent) and increased use of structural adhesives, the Sonata's bones promise to be both more rigid (by 40 percent) and lighter. Cloaked in Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 bodywork, so far Hyundai isn't saying much about powertrain updates, but it is trumpeting a redesigned interior with a new infotainment interface and redesigned seats.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Apple unveiled its new CarPlay touchscreen infotainment system earlier today, and Volvo has just released a video showing the system in action. The Cupertino tech giant is expected to announce partnerships with Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz to license CarPlay, as well, at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and will be working with even more manufacturers in the future.
The system pairs the driver's iPhone with the car's infotainment system and seamlessly allows them use the smart phone's functions and, at least in Volvo's demonstration, the car's climate control and seat heating systems. According to the video, the new system will be available "in the coming generation Volvo cars," which likely means the upcoming, next-generation Volvo XC90.
However, the system will not work universally. Apple will add functionality through an update to iOS 7 in the future for the iPhone 5, 5C and 5S. At launch other devices won't be supported. Scroll down to watch CarPlay work. We are expecting more details to emerge on the new infotainment system when the Swiss show opens tomorrow.
See Volvo's integration of Apple CarPlay in action originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
After being uncharacteristically flat-footed in reacting to the auto industry's seemingly unquenchable demand for new crossovers, the Volkswagen brand is investigating a raft of new softroader models to build out its portfolio. At present, VW only offers its premium-minded Touareg and aging Tiguan, but more product is in the pipeline: the long-expected three-row CUV based on the CrossBlue Concept is expected to get a production home shortly, and the German automaker seems intent on marketing its Taigun subcompact in developing markets. If early language from Wolfsburg authorities is to be believed, we'll shortly be able to add this new T-Roc Concept to the company's slate of likelies, as well.
At its VW Group Night event in Switzerland ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, the people's automaker rolled out its rakish T-Roc on its new MQB modular transverse matrix platform, underpinnings this showcar shares with the seventh-generation Golf. The blue, three-door concept, said to be a "step down" from the Tiguan, is powered by 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder generating 182 horsepower and a useful 280 pound-feet of torque, with power routed through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. However, in its presentation, VW was quick to note that the T-Roc could take advantage of any of the various powertrain configurations found in the Golf family, so theoretically that means gas, plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions are also possibilities.
Looking something like the VW version of Audi's recent Allroad Shooting Brake showcar from the Detroit Auto Show, the T-Roc includes unique features like removable roof halves that store in the trunk along with cornering LED spotlights that help the front- and rear-mounted cameras cut through the darkness for night-time off-road maneuvers.
VW officials at the vehicle's unveiling were remarkably candid about their hopes for the vehicle, saying, "We would like to build the T-Roc," as it's the "logical consequence of the Golf format." While we're not 100-percent sold on the 'logic' of coming to market with a three-door crossover, after looking over this one in person, we'd like to see the T-Roc get its shot at production.
Volkswagen T-Roc Concept unveiled with an eye toward production originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The official images Mazda Hazumi concept, which previews the next-generation Mazda2, have leaked out from Chinese website Auto.sohu.com ahead of its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The subcompact, four-door hatchback shows off Mazda's Kodo design language in its smallest size yet. Hazumi means "bound" or "spring up" in Japanese, and it is meant to look like it is packed with energy. It is a very attractive little concept and hopefully points to a more stylish face for the next-generation Mazda2.
Mazda has not unveiled the full details about the concept yet, but in a previous release, it said for the car is using a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. While Mazda has not officially said that the Hazumi shows the next Mazda2, it did say in its earlier release that it "points the way to the future" for the brand's small cars. Reading between the lines isn't too difficult, then.
Click through the 42-image gallery to get the early scoop on Mazda's hot, little hatch.
Mazda Hazumi concept gets punchy, comes out of its corner early originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you watched the latest episode of Top Gear, you'll have seen Jeremy Clarkson driving a red version of Touring's Disco Volante around Italy, then showing off a silver-finished one in the studio back in the UK. But when the doors open at the Palexo for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show this week, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera will have another version to show off.
Pictured here, this version of the Disco Volante has been done up in dark green with gold accents for a treatment that looks decidedly less Italian and more British - something Colin Chapman (not to mention Green Bay football fans) would appreciate. We're not sure it's our favorite treatment of one of the most stylish cars money can buy (particularly with the rosso corsa grille and tailpipe inserts), but then we're not the one buying it. This example was likely produced for a specific customer.
The Disco Volante, for those unacquainted, is essentially an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione - already a looker in our books - that's been rebodied by reborn Milanese coachbuilder Touring. The carrozzeria was established back in 1926, went under in 1966 and was reborn in 2006, adopting the Superleggera moniker that its forebear coined when pioneering lightweight monocoque construction techniques. Since its revival it has worked its magic on Maseratis, Bentleys, Gumperts and more. The Disco Volante is made to order at what you can bet is a not unsubstantial price.
Touring dresses its Alfa Disco Volante in green and gold for Geneva [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 02 Mar 2014 17:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Newport Convertible Engineering, the Southern California company that can't keep its top on, has revealed on its website that it is now producing three different droptop versions of the Nissan GT-R Convertible. It's just another page in its work with high-end offerings like the new Range Rover and the Jaguar XJ. NCE owner Al Zadeh tells Autoblog that the superfast speedster came about during a trip to Abu Dhabi, when clients of his that collectively owned ten GT-Rs said they wanted him to engineer a convertible. They didn't want to see pictures, though, "They wanted to touch it and see it," he said.
So he built a convertible with a traditional, unadorned soft tonneau cover (the white one in our gallery) and another with hard tonneau cover fitted with roll hoops and a low-rise dual cowl (the blue one). When the clients saw it, "They said they wanted something more glamorous," Zadeh said. So he came up with the black version above with a hard tonneau cover and can't-miss-it cowling that, frankly, looks pretty good to us in that color and with those wheels.
Clients satisfied, the order books have opened for other GT-R owners around the world. The most restrained version runs $29,500 to build, the other two retail for $49,000, and all of them require a donor GT-R and eight weeks to finish. With facilities in SoCal, Europe and the Middle East, you won't even have to send your Godzilla too far away if this is the look you've decided it just has to have.
Nissan GT-R convertible offered in three flavors from NCE originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Feb 2014 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Rumbling into the slot between the Lexus RC 350 Sport Coupe and the RC F is this, the RC 350 F Sport. Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show next week, the intergalactic malevolence of that spindle grille is given further aggression with a mesh treatment and 19-inch F Sport mesh wheels in dark metallic. Traditionally, F Sport models have also brandished unique fascias, but the standard RC is so visually aggressive to begin with, it still ought to throw quite a scare into rivals like the BMW 4 Series M Sport.
Bigger identifiers come in the cabin and under the skin, foremost being the redrum-reminiscent Rioja Red leather treatment and Silver Performance trim, perforated leather wrapped 'round the steering wheel and a moving center ring in the dash cluster inspired by the LFA. When the coupe is put into Sport+ mode, the included adaptive damping will kick in, and buyers can optionally order the four-wheel steering system when the car goes on sale in the US this fall.
There's a press release with info and specs below, a high-res gallery above and a bright lights, big city introduction on March 4 in Geneva.
Lexus RC 350 F Sport ready to take on Europe's coupes originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Feb 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Cadillac ATS makes for a pretty svelte little coupe, and General Motors appears to know it, because multiple, completely undisguised prototype sedans have been spotted testing wearing what look like many of the forthcoming coupe's body parts.
Not only does it wear at least the outline of the brand's new, broader crest, it has the same front air dam with continuous chrome strip found on the coupe. The only real difference is that it has the somewhat taller side view mirrors from the sedan, rather than the narrower, longer ones from the coupe. Around back, the changes are harder to spot because the test car is outfitted with an unpainted lower bumper. However, it seems to lack the chrome strip that offsets the lower portion of the coupe from the sedan.
The ATS sedan is already a looker, but it is good to see Cadillac is taking a second pass using what it learned on the coupe. There's no word yet on when this revised sedan is going to hit the streets - let alone what changes will take place beneath the skin - but we're thinking it looks about right for 2015.
Facelifted Cadillac ATS spied completely uncovered originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The night before Porsche handed me the keys to its 2015 Macan to drive on both road and track, the company threw together a great dinner for the assembled media in Leipzig. Hosted in Porsche's spaceship-shaped customer delivery center in the eastern German town, I'll admit that I spent the bulk of my night grabbing hors d'oeuvres from passing waiters (they do a nice tuna sashimi), milling around a collection of historic and interesting vehicles on the top floor and gulping down Warsteiner.
In an era of mega car companies, the story of how the 918 came to be was really refreshing.Before the evening was over, however, Porsche design chief Michael Mauer stopped by my table to exchange pleasantries and thank us all for coming out to drive the Macan. My fellow diners and I passed a pleasant half-hour or more picking the brain of the forthcoming Mauer, and somehow or another, the topic turned to Porsche's newest supercar, the 918 Spyder. In an era of mega car companies (the Volkswagen Group included) and massive development teams, the story of how the 918 came to be is really refreshing.
Porsche has a series of mandates around nearly every concept car that it builds - constraints that other, larger companies might rarely have to deal with. Mauer told me that concepts out of his department must be fairly close to production-readiness (no "flights of fancy" with nothing under the hood), and must be executed by small teams on tight time budgets.
All of that was true and in play for Geneva 2010, when Porsche first showed the 918 Spyder concept car that, frankly, blew all of us away. Little did we realize, the car was the product of just a five-man design team. What's more, the same five people were also responsible for the final design of the actual production vehicle.
Porsche's Mauer recalls the history of the 918 Spyder, hints about next-gen 911 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments