motorshow

Honda Fit EV Makes World Debut at LA Auto Show

The new Honda ‘Fit’ (it’s not that fit) has been unveiled the Los Angeles Auto Show. Honda announced plans to begin leasing the 123 city-mile per charge (76 mile range combined adjusted city/highway) battery electric commuter vehicle in the U.S in summer 2012.

The Fit EV is based on the popular Fit (named Jazz in Europe) and is a part of the company’s diverse portfolio of alternative fuel vehicles that includes petrol-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell-electric and natural gas-powered models.

Volkswagen Beetle R Concept Joins the Jet Set in LA

The interesting Beetle R Concept has made its American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show following its unveiling in Frankfurt earlier this year. It’s no wonder that this attention-grabbing (seeking?) machine has crossed the Atlantic to try and steal Los Angeles limelight. The US was the biggest market for the previous New Beetle and that’s likely to remain the same this time around, we can imagine an whole new generation of ‘Mean Girls with surf boards’ making this the car of “sweet sixteen” parties everywhere… However on a design level, while the familiar outline of the latest Beetle is still clear, the R Concept adds the kind of muscled enhancements that seem entirely appropriate in California, so much so we expect it may be the choice of A&F models everywhere…

As for the engine… the Beetle R’s production siblings, the Golf R and Scirocco R, use a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit providing 270 PS and 265 PS respectively, can we expect the same?

For fans of the old ‘new beetle’ the new ‘new beetle’ concept is certainly something to be excited about and we can see its popularity making waves… surfs up, dudes.

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.

Jaguar XKR-S Gets it's Top Off in LA

The pinnacle of the Jaguar sporting range – the XKR-S – is now joined by a convertible which offers the same enticing blend of abilities, while offering driver and passenger a heightened connection with their surroundings.

The XKR-S Convertible is the most powerful and fastest open-topped GT Jaguar has ever built, it features a Supercharged AJ-V8 GENIII petrol engine boasts an impressive top speed of 186mph and reaches 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds.

With the convertible hood stowed away, the interior of the XKR-S will be subject to as many envious glances as the exterior, with both highlighting the car’s high performance intent.

Pricing estimated to start at £103,000. 

Subaru BRZ Concept to Premiere at LA Show

 

Subaru has announced that the BRZ Concept will make its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto show. The BRZ Concept is a pre-cursor to the eagerly awaited Subaru BRZ which makes it full production debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in December.

Built around Subaru’s core technologies, the BRZ will use a new 2.0 litre Subaru Boxer engine developed specifically for the model and with the latest direct injection technology to improve combustion and efficiency.

The Subaru engineered chassis is built with front engine and rear wheel drive configuration, allowing the engine to sit low and rearward to ensure lowest possible centre of gravity and to maximise the BRZ’s handling prowess.

The new compact coupe has been developed as part of an on-going joint project with Toyota Motor Corporation. All cars will be built at Subaru’s Gunma plant in Japan when production starts in spring 2012.

In a Frendzy

No motorshow would be complete without a number of quirky concepts from Renault.  This year’s Frankfurt is no exception with the debut of Frendzy, a half van/half car creation and the work of Renault design director Laurens van den Acker, and exterior designer, Deyan Denkov.

The interchangeable interior of Frendzy really needs to be seen to be believed.  Think of a car split between driver and passenger sides, one work focused, the other family, and you’ll start to get the picture.

This fully electric, asymmetrically bodied vehicle is kitted out with features such as a BlackBerry® Playbook™ which controls a 37-inch digital screen on a sliding rear door along with some rather ‘alternative’ features such as: a fabric roof which adapts to shape of bulky objects, magnetic fixings to allow loads to be secured to floor, a slate board in rear cabin for children to sketch on, and two colour ambient lighting settings to differentiate family (orange lighting) and work time (green)! 

The Frendzy is powered by a 59bhp, 167lb ft electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack concentrating on zero-emissions in line with the brand’s focus within the ZE range. The concept is truly confused, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing it coming out the Renault closet any time soon.

Citroen DS5 - It's Finally Here...

The DS3 was exciting, the DS4 was stylish and now Frankfurt brings the all new Citroen DS5, possibly the a combination of excitement, style and absolute cool.

Carrying the DS brand the new DS5 will preview at Frankfurt Motorshow, bringing a lot of focus to the French manufacturer - not only for the fact they have an all new car, but more importantly the technology that comes with it.

The DS5 is the first in the Citroen range to feature full HYbrid4 technology giving efficiency figures and the added benefit of a diesel engine, coinciding just nicely with Peugeot's announcement of the latest 508 diesel hybrid.  Of course we will see the signature DS styling and performance with handling to match, twinned with more recent advances, like lane depature warning system, auto high beam assist and a reverse parking camera.

To top it all off however, our French friends have already put the DS5 through it's paces, achieving a 5-star EuroNCAP rating and 97% in the 'Safety Assist' category.

Other than that, the latest in DS4 and DS3 versions will be displayed including the DS3 WRC.

Peugeot HX1 Concept

When given the brief to design a car that is able to accommodate 6 people but still has to achieve a sporty exterior and remain efficient sounds difficult to begin with, I think we'd all expect a traditional people carrier with some tech gimmicks and sweeping lines.  However Peugeot's determination to become the ultimate style marque means that their new concept is something of pure luxury.

Sleek, sweeping and svelt dont begin to describe this land yacht.  The prominent bonnet hosting Peugeot's new lion insignia is the perfect canvas for the sharp lines and flowing grooves that lead into sculpted design of the body.  Peugeot have acheived a six seater people carrier that looks elegant and still focuses on the brands direction toward efficiency and Hybrid technology.

Here are some photo's and no doubt we'll be seeing this at Franfurt soon.

The SLK Goes From One Extreme to Another

Mercedes are heading to Frankfurt this year with two new variations on the all-new SLK roadster.  The extreme out and out performance focused SLK 55 AMG and the frugal yet fun SLK 250CDi - the first time the product has seen a deisel engine.

The SLK 55 AMG focuses it's energies on style and the strength of promoting the AMG sporting technologies and performance.  The 5.5litre engine takes this little pocket rocket to an extreme most supercars are boasting, reaching 0-62mph in a mere 4.6seconds and yet still gaining kudos for doing above 33 miles to the gallon.  Twin this power with the very familiar stylings from the AMG camp and you have a sculpted beauty that looks like it means business.

Kicking out 422hp means the new SLK 55 AMG beats it's direct competitors hands down, while still retuning an impressive 195g/km of CO2  emissions. I want one.

 

Moving from one extreme to another, Merc have also released details of the first ever SLK Diesel - the SLK 250CDi.  Returning over 56mpg and coming equipped as standard with a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox, the new SLK deisel is a very exciting car for Merc.

Not only is this an excersice to boast impressive fuel consumption, but also an example that not all economical cars need to be sluggish or boring.  Not only do you get the great feeling of driving one of the most iconic two-seater hard-top roadsters, but you won't lose out on any of the performance because you've chosen the economic route as the SLK 250CDi professes 204hp taking you from 0-62mph in just 6.7seconds.  Lovely.

Volkswagen up! An Alternative Perspective

Volkswagen are known very well for their build quality and more 'revserved' (boring) interiors and style - But one thing you can always count on is that you will be happy driving a VW and although your average VW (GTI and 'R' range excluded) won't be that exciting, it won't dissapoint you either.

Possibly that's about to change with this rather interesting looking city car.  The VW up!

 

A little bigger in dimentions than you'd normally find a city car to be, the up! boasts the ethos of maximum space, on a minimal footprint.  Focusing on their amazing bluemotion technologies the up! will feature small petrol engines that put out a maximum of around 70hp.

The interior is a step away from the VW grey standard, being colourful and rather (dare I say) more exciting to look at, but then that's definately needed within the citycar market.  Hopefully it drives like the bigger siblings within the brand, as that's where VW can really take some sales from the likes of smart and Peugeot - but until it's slowing you down around town we have these pictures and a focus on the little motor at Frankfurt to look forward to.

Kia Rio - Stylish as You Would Expect by Now

So ahead of Frankfurt sees all the manufacturers laying their cards on the table and trying to win the ultimate prize of attention from the various press and public.

Having teased us with conceptual sketches, Kia have unveiled the all-new Rio and following suit it's a massive improvement design-wise.  Four engines from launch and boasting the lowest emissions and highest economy in the UK market, the Rio has already got a headstart against the competiton and it's not even on the roads yet!

Starting at £10,595 the Rio is definately competition and one to watch...

 

 

 

...and here's a video for you to do just that!

 

 

Eterniti... a storm is brewing...

Simply put, there is a new luxury brand coming to market, and they've only announced they are called Eterniti Motors London.  

After a little digging I have found out that when talking 'luxury', Eterniti are looking at the plus £100k price-bracket and in the follow up to Frankfurt we will be hearing from them a few more times just to tease us

Nothing more released apart from this little teaser of a website and a little sketch of what we can expect from the newest brand in the motoring industry.

www.eternitimotors.com

 

Mazda to unveal CX-5 concept at Frankfurt

 

A Facelifted Mazda 3 will feature on Mazda's agenda for Frankfurt, however the real gossip is the all new CX-5 concept!

Based on the Minagi Concept featured at previous shows, Mazda will be unveiling the all new CX-5 Concept vehicle at Frankfurt Motorshow.  A small crossover, it's only natural progression for the sports brand to be competing against the likes of Q5 and X3 markets, especially with such a strong product carrying the CX name.

The CX7 is such a stylish MPV and after spending two weeks on the road in America in the incredible daddy CX-9, I can only imagine how cute and funky the CX-5 will be, not only to look at, but to drive too.

Citroen Showcase DS5 at Shanghai

Citroen have revealed the stunning DS5 and have made an even more beautiful sports beast to add to the DS line-up.

Body style is somewhat like that of Audi's 'Sportback' styles however Citroen class this body style as 'the DS5', yup, no specific style, just it's very own.  Personally I think it's very reminiscent of the Bentley concept Fastback.  Regardless of name, what's important is that it is one sexual looking machine, both inside and out.

Oversized air intakes, raised angles and typical DS styling brings the DS5 neatly inline with the 3 and 4 models, offering a choice in size and comfort to the customer when buying their DS.  19" alloys underneath muscular blown arches give the DS5 an added kerb appeal, finished off with chrome highlights throughout and a new signature LED headlamp design.

Inside the DS5 is very true to an individual form that the DS brand is known for.  Driving position is very coupé orientated with a driver focused cockpit design.  Leathers and moulded door sills bring a quality finish and house the integrated sat-nav, button panels and gear lever and with an array of technologies including a colour HUD (heads-up display) the DS5 is definitely one to watch.

 

 

Peugeot get SxC at Shanghai

Shanghai Motorshow sees Peugeot announce their new concept the SxC, and it seems they aren't wrong in naming the new crossover, as it certainly turns heads.

The SxC features design cues such as a floating grille, a piercing gaze and proudly placed atop the grooved bonnet is the new Peugeot lion, poised and ready for a chase down the freeway.  The rear is sculpted and carries the high waistline that is nicely highlighted by the tail lights in their 'boomerang' look.  Sat on some 22" alloys, the SxC is dominant and wont go unnoticed.

The roof-rails tail off at the rear, in an original design that promotes the cars fluid design and kinetic energy - a subtle hint that could suggest how fierce this lion really can be.

Inside hosts the usual concept components - lots of blue strip lighting and angles that never normally make it to the production stage.  What is most interesting however is that this beast of a crossover is only a four seater, which immediately suggests that it's the French manufacturers answer to the latest trend in SUV coupés.  Suicide doors only serve to back this theory up too, however another popular concept element that is rarely seen to make production.

Finally the SxC features the HYbrid4 technology that Peugeot have championed, introducing batteries into a diesel engine.

Citroen to unveil DS5 at Shanghai

After the success of the DS3 and the DS4 winning the most beautiful car of the year, it seems only right that Citroen apply the same beautiful sports line to the C5 range.

Announced at Shanghai Motorshow 2011 on the 18th April, it's great to see Citroen really embracing the DS range within their models, and if the DS3 and 4 are anything to go by, the new DS5 will be a beautiful beast that brings some real fight against the competition.