New Ford Escape (Kuga) Debuts in LA

Ford's newest sport utility vehicle unveiled as the Ford Escape in Los Angeles today, is destined for the US and Europe next year. Its European equivalent, the Ford Kuga, will be shown in Geneva in March and will offer unique powertrains and features.

Ford says “We call our all-new Ford Escape the ‘Smarter Utility Vehicle’ because it offers the strengths that customers today really value – fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving and living with the vehicle easier and more fun – all wrapped in a sleek, more modern design,”

In addition to more cargo volume behind the first and second rows than today’s vehicle, the new Escape delivers Clever technologies including a hands-free power liftgate that allows quick and easy access to cargo with the kick of a foot, better fuel economy, better and more engaging drive dynamics and a new Ford Intelligent 4WD system that provides better traction off-road.

A Sleek new design features better interior materials and finishing touches which may prove the new Escape… sorry, Kuga to be a popular choice when launched in 2012.

Range Rover Showcase Evoque Bike

Range Rover unveiled a Road Bike today... yes a pedal powered two wheel mode of transport.  Unless they are moving from one extreme to the other, Range Rover haven't just commissioned the usual set of luggage and travel accessories, they think that a nice white 'Evoque' pedal bike would look better strapped to the boot.

I'm kidding of course, they will probably still do the luggage set and the bike is merely conceptual made from 'Karbona carbon fibre monocoque'.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover design director, a keen cyclist himself, said: "I wanted to create the ultimate accessory for the Range Rover Evoque – and what could be more perfect than an utterly contemporary, beautifully designed, bespoke Evoque bike. Like the Range Rover Evoque, the bike not only looks fantastic but is precision engineered for ultimate performance."

Lamborghini and the 700bhp Concept

Presenting the Aventador LP 700-4, a concept that shows the difference between supercar, and hypercar...

The Aventador, named after the Spanish Bull, is Lambo's latest concept, hosting an all new technology package and a new 12 cylinder engine, with 700BHP - posting a 0-62mph time of just 2.9secs... Oh and the doors open upwards :)

Rolls-Royce get Arnold Schwarzenegger to Talk to us About Electric RR Cars

Okay, it's not actually Arnold Schwarzenegger,  it's actually the CEO but he sounds like him...


Jaguar Celebrates With Cocktails on the Beach

Entering the sub-exotic market Jaguar have today announced the XKR-S, a new performance Flagship for the Brand.  Here's a quick overview - 

- The most powerful and fastest series production sports car Jaguar has ever built with a top speed of 300kph (186mph).

- Heads the XK range with an expected on-the-road price of £97,000 when ordering opens in September.

- The ultimate expression of Jaguar’s sports car strategy; offering intelligent performance with everyday driveability.

- Uprated supercharged AJ-V8 Gen III R direct-injection engine produces 550PS (542BHP) and 680Nm of torque.

- 0-60mph reached in just 4.2 seconds.

- The only car in its class to emit less than 300g/km of CO2.

- Active sports exhaust delivers an authentic, race-car inspired soundtrack.

- Exploits the XK’s strong, lightweight advanced aluminium body architecture to maximise performance, agility and economy.

- Bespoke suspension changes front and rear for ultimate precision, control and driver appeal.

- Unique styling changes incorporate Computational Fluid Dynamics calculations in order to reduce lift and maximise aerodynamic stability.

- Revised interior features 16-way adjustable memory sports seats with carbon-fibre effect leather.

- Reprogrammed Adaptive Dynamics allow the enthusiastic driver to explore the outer edges of the handling envelope.

- Jaguar’s performance flagship competes in the sub-exotic segment, new territory for the company.


Most importantly, it looks incredible!

Saab PhoeniX Concept

Saab's host for their infotainment system comes in the form of the new PhoeniX Concept, inspired by aviation heritage Saab are back on track with their designs. The PhoeniX is the perfect representation of the rise from the ashes which Saab are making a spectacular show to watch.

Hosting Saab's all new Android™ infotainment system 'IQon', The PhoeniX showcases Saab's new direction not only for technology but also for design, claiming it to be 'Aeromotional' (another way to describe, totally cool and kinetic design - inspired by planes)

The rear hosts a jet black panel for the tail-lights to pierce through and the front is sloped and beautiful yet aggressive.  Finish this all off with what seem to be some very eccentric wing mirrors and you have yourself the future of Saab automotive (or should that be Aeromotive?)

Saab Announce New IQon Infotainment System

In a truely beautiful Concept Saab are housing their secret weapon...

An all new interface and infotainment system making the Swedish manufacturer look at their interfaces in a whole new light.

“With Saab IQon, there are no limits to the potential for innovation,” says Johan Formgren, Head of Saab Aftersales and commercial project leader for IQon. “We will be inviting the global Android™ developer community to use their imagination and ingenuity.”

Saab's new infotainment system is based totally on an Android™ platform, opening up to a whole new user experience, featuring in all next generation Saab models.  This means updates to things like sat-nav and music applications, an after-sales experience so personal that you could contact your nearest dealer wherever you are, or even do the shopping while sitting in traffic!  (These things aren't in the press release but I am just suggesting what I think could happen as Mr Formgren has told me to use my imagination haha)

The only close competition to this that we have seen would be Audi's MMI that integrates Google and Wikipedia.  But what Audi don't include is application downloads, which I can only imagine is going to be a selling feature to any Saab customer.

Renault Confirm New Twizy

We saw this little dune buggy at Paris2010 and Renault have confirmed pricing will start from just €6,900 making it affordable and cute, though I still can't see any side windows, the Twizy does feature a windscreen wiper, so Renault are you suggesting we all just wear waterproofs?


Being part of Renault's Z.E. (Zero Emissions) range, the Twizy will need a battery and recharging, which is worked out on a lease agreement.  In total the running costs of the new Renault work out cheaper than running a three wheeled scooter (UK pricing to be announced at a later date).

Charging takes just 3 and a half hours and on a full charge the average milage out of the micro city car is around 60 miles.  So come Autumn 2011 while you're 'Think[ing] Bike' don't forget to 'Think Twizy' too.

Audi Gives A3 a Boot.

I'm not saying they've all crowded round and kicked the alloys but Audi have designed an all new A3 saloon(claiming it's a concept but it's too true to form for it not to be made), one imagines to compete with the likes of the 1 series coupé - but Audi have kept it as a 4-door as opposed to the BMW's 3-door body, fundamentally making it a small A4.

Last year was an exciting time for Audi, and it looks like this year's going to be much the same... (the way things are going it'll probably have a convertible, 4x4 'Q' derivative and a coupe version within the next week)

Toyota Have Lots to Shout About

Concepts Concepts Concepts, I'm getting RSI from typing this word over and over!  However there are some very exciting ones cropping up throughout Geneva this year.  From out and out sportscars to EV's as silent as a mouse - Toyota are making a noise, hopefully not just to create a diversion from another recall?

First up we have the FT-86 II Concept, a true sportscar that sees us reminiscing about the Celica, although this seems to be a sexier, more powerful sporting coupé

Set for launch in 2012 the FT is the closest indication of the joint venture between Toyota working heavily with Subraru to achieve a boxer petrol engined, rear wheel driven sportscar.

Kia and the new Rio

The second in the new car unveils for the Korean car manufacturer is the all new Rio.  A sure contender against the competition, definitely when it comes to looks if nothing else.

The Rio sees a redesigned interior and a general overhaul in substance as well as style.  The Rio also features 4 new engines ranging from a mere 70ps (69bhp) to 109ps (107bhp), which is unfortunate, as it would be nice to see some poke coming out of Kia's cars.  Looks don't get you everywhere and what's more is that the Auto option available with the 1.4 petrol (107bhp) is only a four speed.

Regardless of this of course, the new Rio comes equipped similar to that of the new Picanto.  The 'Big Car Comforts' in Rio include - Bluetooth handsfree, AUX and iPod compatibility and LED running lights to complete the look.

Bigger and better, the new Rio will be cruising the streets from September as its 5 door guise, with the 3 door model launching early 2012.

All New Kia Picanto - The Small Car, Grown Up.

Kia are making their presence known with the all new Picanto.  'The Small Car, Grown Up' is their marketing spin on the baby Kia, and based on previous models I can only agree.  Always having been a fan of the Picanto as a small budget car, the new generation looks like you'll be getting a lot more car for your money, which is exactly the idea behind it.

When the Picanto is released the little A-segment vehicle will be given both 3 and 5 door derivatives (a first for Kia) and produce just a smidgin of CO2 at 90g/km.  Many of the 'Big Car' elements are Automatic Air-con, Folding door mirrors - with indicators, retractable cup holders and Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Controls.

Running lights and some beautiful lines throughout the model make the new Picanto definitely one to watch when it's released later this year.

- - - -

“Our new Picanto is now a small car, grown-up,” comments Soon-Nam Lee, Director of Overseas Marketing, Kia Motors Corporation.  “It is such a complete car, such a high quality package, offering numerous premium features and multiple trim choices, that it will raise the fundamental perception of A-segment models to a higher level.

“We anticipate that global demand for A-segment cars will be in the region of 2.4-million units annually over the next six years and we are confident that new Picanto will enable us to capture a larger share of this market,” adds Mr Lee.

“The first generation Picanto marked our debut in the A-segment in 2004 and went on to achieve more than 1.1 million sales globally over the following seven years, with sales in the UK totalling 77,810.  I am sure that this new small Kia will become even more popular than the current vehicle,” concludes Mr Lee.

VW showcase all new 'Bulli' MicroBus Concept...

Yup, after revealing a rather questionable Taxi concept earlier this year, the German brand has this for us...

The Bulli is a 3+3 (6 seater) bus, create as a design evolution to represent the iconic Camper we all know and love from VW.  Last week they announced the Golf Cabrio, could we see another re-make of an updated Campervan?

I wasn't too excited when they brought the Golf convertible back, as there was no thought about what could've featured in a remake of another VW icon (the Golf Clipper), so if they do end up with a new Campervan, then I'm just hoping it has some essence of the original - and isn't just another cash-in for VW.

But the Bulli is quite attractive when you actually take a look at it, after the sudden gasp of disgust upon first impressions. Featuring elements like a removable iPad centre console and an electric engine (although can accommodate a petrol/diesel) the next evolution for this concept will be something to look out for.

Seat's All New IBX Concept at Geneva

Seat have unveiled the IBX Concept at Geneva, showing us that they too will one day reach a mass market with a car in every sector - like it's brothers Audi and VW seem to be achieving.

But with the help of Gallardo designer Luc Donckerwolke at their disposal, their concepts are looking much prettier and stylish.

So last year at Paris saw the IBE (Scirocco lookalike) and Geneva today sees the IBX (Tiguan rival).  Featuring the same style of flush lights and some beautiful lines, the IBX will slip into the Compact SUV market seamlessly.

‘The IBX was created from the gene pool of our next vehicle generation.  This design DNA will have a profound impact on every one of our models,’   Said Donkerwolke

‘With this urban sports utility vehicle we are proving that with our design, our sporty pedigree and our youthful character, we can also create a vehicle concept that is unique among SUVs.’

The Golf Cabrio is Back!

Volswagen has just announced the brand new Golf Cabrio!  This has me very excited, after being such a massive fan of the original Clipper I can't wait to be driving this already.

Pretty much looks like a Golf, with a soft top.  So it's basically an A3 Cab, with a VW badge...

Regardless, summer is on it's way and it looks like a good game of topless golf is on the menu.



MINI Rocketman - I don't get it...

Okay, so MINI's new concept talks about maximising space and urban mobility.  How they have managed to change the interior space of a standard MINI and make more room, without making the occupants sit on those little square plastic stools puzzles me somewhat.

After seeing the Crossover concept at Paris a couple of years ago however and thinking that was laughable, I actually like the Countryman.  So for that reason, I'm sticking with indifference to MINI's possible attempt at a compact MPV?, I like the lights.