Paris Show 2012 Highlights: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept

Porsche has provided the clearest hint yet that its long held plans to expand the Panamera line-up to include a sporting estate have already progressed past the crucial decision-making stage and into the realms of new model development, with the unveiling of this production realistic concept car, the Panamera Sport Turismo

The up-market five-door, which showcases a development of the existing Porsche petrol-electric hybrid system complete with plug-in capability for the first time, is one of at least three new Panamera-based models Zuffenhausen bosses have been mulling over since the introduction of today’s liftback model to the line-up back in 2009. Visual changes over today’s liftback include an extended roofline, longer glasshouse and angled tailgate that opens at bumper height.

The unveiling of the Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake rival in concept car form at the Paris motor show is set to proceed an official announcement from Porsche boss, Mathias Muller, confirming the new style-led estate will form part of the second-generation Panamera line-up, whose platform structure will be shared with future Bentley models as part of closer engineering ties being forged between the two Volkswagen Group-owned companies.

“The body concept of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow,” says Porsche, without providing any official time line for the introduction of the production version. However, sources close to the German car maker say the new estate will make its market debut in 2016, with production set to take place alongside a successor to the liftback at Porsche’s increasingly active Leipzig-based factory, which also turns out the Cayenne and is also set to handle production of the upcoming Macan as well.

Porsche investigated spinning an estate off the current Panamera design but the high cost of re-engineering its rear body structure, including vital changes to the bulkhead to allow through loading, ultimately proved prohibitive. As such, the new model has been integrated into the development process of second-generation Panamera line-up from the start, ensuring its production can be amortised with other models. “In terms of the overall concept, the estate is not too far removed from the liftback. Both use a large tailgate, with the structure engineered appropriately to suit both,” Autocar was told.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar has confirmed full details of the stunning new Jaguar F-type sports car on the eve of its debut at the Paris motor show. The long-awaited E-type successor will reach UK showrooms as a convertible by next May, with a coupe to follow around 18 months later.

At 4470mm in length, the F-type is sized between the Porsche Boxster and 911. The car will be priced from £58,500, rising to £79,950 for the V8 model. So confident is Jaguar of the F-type’s unique positioning, it believes it has carved out a new niche in the sports car segment.

In describing his latest creation, Jaguar design director Ian Callum deals with the inevitable E-type comparisons first. “I was very aware of Jaguar’s history when I designed this car,” he said. “I am acutely aware of every detail of the E-type, and I love it. It is Jaguar’s rightful place, building a two-seat sports car, and that history gave me a great deal of confidence going into this project.

“If people want to compare this design to the E-type’s that’s fine, but that wasn’t the goal and it wasn’t on my mind. I hope this car will be considered for its own place in the record books. This is a Jaguar F-type.”
Global brand director, Adrian Hallmark said: "This is the car to take the brand from successful niche player to successful global player. In fact, this is the most important car for jaguar for 50 years. This is the essence of the Jaguar driving experience.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Ford Fiesta

Ford has added the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost engine to the Ford Fiesta, Britain's biggest-selling car, as part of a series of mid-life changes.

Also new to the Fiesta, launched at the Paris motor show, is a refreshed exterior look, a new 1.5-litre diesel engine and the addition of Ford’s new Sync multimedia system to a lengthier options list.

The 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine will be available with 99bhp and 118bhp power outputs, with Ford expecting best-in-class fuel economy. Sub-100g/km CO2 emissions are expected, as is combined economy around the 70mpg mark. A lower-powered version of the three-cylinder engine is expected some time after launch.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine from the Ford B-Max will be offered with 74bhp from launch. Eventually, this engine is expected to be offered with a wide range of power outputs and will replace the current 1.4 and 1.6 diesels in Ford’s line-up.

Four other petrol engines will also be available from launch for the standard model. A 1.0-litre unit producing 79bhp, a 104bhp 1.6 and two variants of 1.25-litre engine producing 59bhp and 81bhp will be offered. Diesel choices are limited to a 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi with power outputs of 94bhp and 148lb ft of torque.

The other major powertrain addition to the revised Fiesta line-up is the 177bhp 1.6-litre Ecoboost unit for the new ST. The Fiesta ST is the only version to undergo any chassis changes; the standard Fiestas will carry over unchanged from before.

The ST, revealed at the Geneva motor show last March, previewed much of the styling changes the standard Fiesta range has now received.

Martin Smith, Ford of Europe’s design chief, describes the latest Fiesta as having a more sophisticated look, but one that stills looks fresh and sporty.

Styling changes are most prominent at the front, where there is a larger trapezoidal grille, more dramatically shaped headlights with LED daytime running lights, and a ‘power dome’ bonnet.

Interior styling changes are less prominent, with the biggest difference being revised switchgear for the centre console.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: BMW Active Tourer Concept

BMW has abandoned its illustrious tradition of longitudinally mounted engines and rear-wheel drive with this new Concept Active Tourer, a forerunner to the long-mooted range of front-drive entry-level BMWs.

The five-door hatchback, revealed at the Paris motor show, is a plug-in hybrid with four-wheel drive. A transversely mounted engine drives the front wheels – an acknowledgment that entry-level BMWs from the new small car line-up will come with front-wheel drive – and the rear wheels are powered by an electric motor.

The platform is known as UKL1 and will be used in two wheelbase lengths both for the next-generation Mini line-up and the new range of entry-level BMWs to join the 1-series line-up from late 2013.

This range, designed to boost BMW’s annual sales volumes to two million by 2020, will include a new MPV previewed by the Concept Active Tourer to rival the Mercedes B-class and Volkswagen Golf Plus.

The Concept Active Tourer showcases BMW’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder direct injection petrol engine that will be a staple of the small BMW and Mini line-ups. Codenamed B38, it will also be used in the i8 sports car where it is installed longitudinally.

The twin-scroll turbocharged engine is from a new modular family that will eventually support three, four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel powerplants boasting up to 60 per cent component commonality for more flexible production than today’s engines.

In the concept, the engine is supported by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the floor and drive is channeled to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Combined power is put at 188bhp. In all-electric mode, the concept is rear-drive.

BMW claims 0-62mph in “less than 8.0sec”, a top speed “around 120mph” along with combined economy of “more than 113mpg”, a CO2 rating of “under 60g/km” and electric only range of up to 18 miles. No weight figures have been announced.

The UKL1 platform is engineered for both front- and all-wheel drive layouts. UKL1 is derived from the German words ‘unter klasse’, meaning sub class or entry level.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Nissan 370Z

A refreshed Nissan 370Z has made its debut at the Paris motor show. It will go on sale in the UK in November, in both coupé and roadster guises.

Featuring the same styling details as the US version unveiled at the Chicago motor show in February, the facelift consists of new front and rear bumpers, the addition of LED daytime running lights and red brake calipers, which sit behind new 18 and 19-inch alloy wheel options.

Two new colours are also available: Magma Red and Midnight Blue.

Inside, the cabin has benefitted from minor trim upgrades to improve perceived quality.

There have been no changes made to the suspension or engine, with the 324bhp 3.7-litre V6 remaining.
Prices have yet to be confirmed, but are likely to be unchanged from the current model, with the entry level coupé starting at £29,975.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Peugeot 301

This is the new Peugeot 301, a compact four-door saloon aimed at emerging markets. It also ushers in a new naming strategy for future Peugeot cars.

The 4440mm-long Peugeot 301 will not be sold in the UK, but is still expected to become one of its best-selling cars worldwide after the car's debut at the Paris motor show.

The French firm hopes to achieve this by competing in the budget segment with one of the most stylish cars available, which also offers a class-leading 506 litres of boot capacity and cabin space, thanks to its 2650mm wheelbase. An extensive list of safety equipment is also offered, including ESP, ABS, four airbags and an emergency brake-assist system.

Peugeot claims the car has undergone extensive development in a number of countries and climates around the world to ensure it can have a comfortable ride quality on the likely broken surfaces of the roads of countries it’s set to be sold in.

A modern engine line-up also features in the Peugeot 301. The 301 will be the second car after the 208 to get Peugeot’s new three-cylinder 1.2-litre VTi petrol engine. In the 301, it is offered with 70bhp and can be equipped to either a manual or automated manual gearbox.

Two 1.6-litre engines complete the line-up, a 1.6 HDi diesel with 91bhp and a 1.6 VTi petrol with 114bhp. The diesel’s sole transmission choice is a manual; the petrol comes with either a manual or an automatic.

Despite being a budget car, a series of more premium features will be offered for the interior. MP3, Bluetooth and USB connections are all offered alongside automatic air-con, a hands-free phone kit, automatic boot opening and rear parking assistance systems.

The new 301 will be built at Peugeot’s Vigo manufacturing plant in Spain. It will go on sale on 1 November initially in Turkey, before sales start in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Mazda 6 Wagon

The Mazda 6 estate has been revealed at the Paris motor show. The move comes a month after the saloon variant premiered at the Moscow show.

At launch, the Mazda 6 estate will be available with a 2.2-litre SkyActive-D diesel engine, developing 148g/km. The engine, which will also be installed in the saloon, could deliver emissions as low as 105g/km. The design remains close to the Takeri concept, a fact that Mazda CEO Takeo Yamanouchi says is very deliberate because the company "knows that styling is a number one priority to Mazda customers, with efficiency and safety as the other important elements."

A SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre petrol engine, which promises torque levels in excess of what’s usually expected of a naturally aspirated unit, will feature in the line-up. Both engines are Euro 6 compliant.
Like the Mazda 6 saloon, the estate has been influenced by the brand’s Kodo design language and employ’s the full range of SkyActiv technologies including i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, in an effort to drive up efficiency.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: Peugeot Onyx Concept

This minimalist supercar concept is easily the most striking model in Peugeot’s Paris motor show display. Named Peugeot Onyx, it has been created by the French marque's designers in conjunction with Peugeot Sport and the R&D department of PSA Peugeot-Citroën.

The mid-engined, rear-drive car is mainly constructed from unprocessed raw materials and is underpinned by technology from the firm’s Le Mans prototype.

The Onyx’s wings and doors are made from copper sheet, fashioned by hand. Other panels are carbonfibre and the windows and roof are made of a lightweight acrylic alternative to glass.

Sandeep Bhambra, principle designer of the Onyx, says the car is "a one-off" but "will influence all future Peugeot design." He adds: "It shows a passion for individualisation and hand crafting - an attention to detail all Peugeots should have. It has the Le Mans car powertrain. Although it is a one-off concept it is a runner - the first test we did 180kph, so it is not a normal concept, it is very capable."

The car, which weighs 1100kg, is built around a central carbon structure on to which the 3.7-litre V8 hybrid HDI FAP engine and suspension are bolted. The engine produces 600bhp and is driven through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

The Onyx also has a kinetic energy recovery system, which channels braking energy into lithium ion batteries and then automatically discharges the power on acceleration, boosting the output by an additional 80bhp.
The concept is 4650mm long, 2200mm wide and 1130mm high and has a drag coefficient of 0.30.

The passenger compartment is made of compressed felt and is formed as a one-piece pod, with no stitching or joins. The dashboard is made of wood produced from recycled newspapers.

It seems unlikely that Onyx will reach production.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: Peugeot RCZ R Concept

Peugeot is plotting a motorsport-inspired performance variant of the RCZ that will be its most powerful production model yet. The uprated version of the sports coupé — named Peugeot RCZ R – will go on sale next year and is previewed by this concept, which has appeared at the Paris motor show.

The RCZ R has been developed in collaboration with Peugeot Sport, the French manufacturer’s motorsport division. It is powered by the 1.6-litre petrol engine that is also installed in performance Minis and Citroëns. However, Peugeot Sport has tuned the unit to produce 260bhp, which gives the car a specific power output of 160bhp per litre. 
CO2 emissions are estimated to be 155g/km.

To offer more sporting driving characteristics, the suspension has been tweaked and a Torsen limited-slip differential fitted. The 
RCZ R also gets different wheels compared with the standard version, in addition to bespoke exterior and interior styling.

A facelifted version of the standard RCZ will also be displayed at the Paris motor show. It features a revised front end with a new grille, revised LED lights, reworked headlamps and new chrome bars on the central air intake, which has been lowered and extended.

New body colours and wheel choices and enhanced levels of interior equipment are also part of the car’s mid-life revamp. The engine line-up remains unchanged: a 1.6-litre petrol unit in 154bhp and 197bhp states of tune and a 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel. An automatic gearbox will be optional with the lower-powered petrol engine.

The revised RCZ will go on sale during the first quarter of next year, with the hot R version following at the end of the year.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: Suzuki S-Cross Concept

Suzuki boss Kenichi Ayukawa has lifted the lid on the new S-cross compact crossover at the first press conference of the 2012 Paris motor show.

He said the production model could be expected late next year, and would offer “one of the largest luggage areas in its class,” combined with “four-wheel drive performance and [a] sporty format.” It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the 'S-cross' name will be used, however.

The show car's exterior design is said to be very close to production spec, with its tapered roofline and flat lower door sections part of an increased focus on aerodynamics. The S-cross aims to tempts buyers from C-segment hatch and MPV buyers using a combination of handsome crossover styling, low emissions and  practicality at a value-for-money price.

The production car will sit on a new platform that could yield an SUV model later. With a length of 4310mm, the S-cross is just 20mm shorter than Nissan's Qashqai but 60mm wider at 1840mm and 15mm lower at 1600mm.

The new car will be manufactured in Hungary in both two- and four-wheel drive form. Petrol and diesel power will be available, with diesel engines provided via Suzuki's relationship with Fiat.

Ayukawa said the car will form part of Suzuki’s plans to reinvigorate sales in Europe (which dropped four per cent in 2011) to match the 300,000-unit volume the company achieved here before the financial crisis.

The global picture is more positive, with Suzuki trading in the black during each of the last three years. Including the S-cross, Suzuki aims to launch a new or updated model in Europe every year for the next 3-4 years.

Suzuki says the S-cross is an all-new model rather than a replacement for the SX4 or otherwise. The six-year old SX4, which currently offers two- and four-wheel drive 1.6 petrol models and a four-wheel drive 2.0-litre diesel, is currently built alongside the Fiat Sedici, but a Jeep tie-up with Fiat may end that co-operation.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Mini Paceman

Prices for the Mini Paceman, officially revealed in these pictures for the first time, will start from £18,970 when the three-door coupé goes on sale in the UK next March. It has made its debut at the Paris motor show.

Mini will offer seven Paceman variants, although a spicier John Cooper Works Paceman is planned at a later date.

The base-level Cooper is driven by an 119bhp, 118lb ft version of the turbocharged 1.6-litre, four-pot petrol motor. The more powerful Cooper S has 181bhp, 177lb ft and can sprint from 0-62mph in 7.5sec. It is available as either front-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive ‘ALL4’ variant, as are both the oilburners on offer, although the all-paw option will cost you an extra £1100.

The cheapest diesel option is the front-wheel drive Cooper D, which boasts 110bhp and 199lb ft and costs £20,210. It is also the most frugal car on offer in the range, returning a claimed combined consumption of 64.2mpg when mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The Cooper SD produces 141bhp and 225lb ft, but is the most expensive version at £23,070 in two-wheel-drive form.

The Paceman aims to deliver a sportier drive than the Countryman while providing more space than the standard Mini hatch. The springs and shock absorbers have been retuned to offer more direct handling.

Lowered suspension is part of the Paceman’s standard specification, but the car can be ordered with regular suspension and ride height as a no-cost option.

It sits on the same floor structure as the Countryman and shares the five-door’s wheelbase and track. The four-seater’s roof is 40mm lower at 1518mm, but headroom is only reduced by 10mm, in part because it also rides 10cm closer to the ground than its bigger brother.

Boot space is 330 litres – about 20 litres down on the Countryman – increasing to 1080 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: Citroen DS3 Electrum Concept

Citroen has unveiled an electric DS3 concept at the Paris motor show. The Citroën DS3 Electrum is a full-electric supermini, which promises "performance consistent with the current DS3".

The estimated range of the new DS3 Electrum is 75 miles. The Citroën is powered by a 17.5kWh lithium ion battery. It feeds two 65kW motors located on the front axle.

Citroën claims the Electrum can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes from a quick-charging docking station.

This configuration doesn’t compromise cabin or boot space, and makes it possible to electrify existing models without the need for significant re-engineering.

Last month it emerged that production of Citroën's other electric car, the C-Zero had been temporarily halted. Mitsubishi produces the car for PSA, and one of its spokesmen told Autonews Europe that "our production total is lower than what we had originally hoped for".

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Peugeot 208 GTi Limited Edition

A special launch edition of the Peugeot 208 GTi will be limited to just 54 units worldwide – 29 of which are destined for the UK.

The Peugeot GTI Limited Edition, on show at this week’s Paris motor show, will be available alongside the standard car at its late May 2013 launch, priced from £20,495. The standard car is tipped to cost around £19,000.

The 29 units for the UK mark one for each year since the original 205 GTi launched in 1984, a car Peugeot is aiming to conjure memories of with its latest hot hatch.

Each of the special editions will come with a higher specification rather than any more power or chassis upgrades over the standard 208 GTI.

The cars will be individually numbered, and come with sat-nav and DAB digital radio, a Peugeot first. Each will be painted in pearlescent white, be fitted with 17in Carbon Onyx Black alloy wheels and have a Union Jack painted on the lower grille.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid has been unveiled at the Paris motor show. It is the first in a series of vehicles that the Japanese manufacturer is planning as part of a major electric and hybrid vehicle offensive over the next three years.

Mitsubishi refers to the Outlander PHEV as having 'no-compromise EV-specific architecture'.
It has three power sources - a 2.0-litre petrol engine, plus 60kW electric motors on the front and rear axles - and can run in three modes. As a pure EV, it has a maximum range of approximately 35 miles and a top speed of 75mph.

It can also run as a series hybrid, where the petrol engine kicks in to act as a generator, providing extra power to the electric motors and recharging the battery at the same time. This drive mode is used when battery power is low or when rapid acceleration is required.

The Outlander PHEV can also act as a parallel hybrid, where the petrol engine drives the front wheels with support from the twin electric motors.

As well as the variable drive modes, the Outlander PHEV can be switched between manually selectable 'Eco' and 'Normal' settings, with the former putting a great emphasis on fuel economy. The driver can also activate a 'Battery Charge Mode' which forces the engine to kick in to generate charge for the battery. The 4x4 also has a kinetic energy recovery system where the electric motors act as generators under braking.
The battery pack can be fully charged from an electric socket in four hours, or can be quick-charged in 30 minutes.

Mitsubishi claims the Outlander PHEV can offer a range of more than 540 miles in addition to CO2 emissions as low as 49g/km (depending on which drive mode is engaged) and fuel consumption of more than 172mpg.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Skoda Rapid

Skoda has unveiled the Rapid at the Paris motor show – a family hatch aimed at the VW Golf and Ford Focus and starting with a budget price of £12,900 at launch on 12 November this year.

The Skoda Rapid introduces the brand's new design language, initiated by the Vision D concept and characterised by a four-lamp headlight, trapezoidal fog lights and monochrome Skoda badge mounted on the bonnet.

Included in the model's engine line-up are seven units. From launch there will be four petrol engines, ranging in power output from 74 to 121bhp. Initially, only a 104bhp 1.6-litre diesel will be available, although this will be joined by an 88bhp variant after a year. Skoda's usual three trim levels (S, SE and Elegance) will be applied to the new car.

The Rapid’s long wheelbase and torsion beam rear axle are said to create cabin and boot space larger than the Octavia, as the latter is expected to move further upmarket in its next generation.

Production of the Rapid began last month at the Skoda's Czech Republic plant. Pricing starts from £12,900 for the 74bhp 1.2-litre model in base S trim, ranging to £17,850 for the Rapid 1.6 TDI CR in Elegance trim.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo

A subtly revised Lamborghini Gallardo has been revealed at the Paris motor show.

Changes to the Gallardo LP 560-4 – the best-selling model in Lamborghini’s history - include tweaked front and rear styling, new matt black 19in alloy wheels and larger air intakes in front of the front wheels.

The supercar can also be specified with a new Style Package, which sees the underside of the front spoiler, front and rear grilles and parts of the rear trim painted to gloss black. Further customisation is available through Lamborghini’s ‘Ad Personam’ programme.

Also new to the Gallardo range is a new Edizione Tecnica specification for the high-performance LP 570-4 Superleggera and Spyder Performante models

These models get a new fixed rear wing, carbon ceramic brakes and a new look with three different colour combinations.

The revised LP 560-4 and new Edizione Tecnica models will be in showrooms from November. The Gallardo LP 550-2 coupé and Spyder models continue unchanged.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Kia Procee'd

Kia has fully revealed its new Kia Procee'd at the Paris motor show.

The new three-door line-up will spawn a performance version with around 200bhp; this will reach the UK in June next year. This model is the next stage in Kia's desire to become a brand with the performance credentials to back up its design flair.

Cee'd product manager, Vladislav Alexiev told Autocar the firm was "ready for the next step" should the warm Procee'd be well received by markets. More performance and niche, style-led models such as a production version of the acclaimed Kia GT concept are on the cards.

Standard versions of the new Procee'd will launch in the UK in the spring. Initial engine options will include 1.6 petrol and diesel units taken from the Cee'd five-door line-up.

The warm hatch will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6 petrol, which is predicted to have strong low-end torque as well as headline power of around 200bhp.

The performance model will have bespoke chassis settings, and a unique look inside and out, which will include 18in alloy wheels. Testing on UK roads has taken place.

The Procee'd sits 10mm lower than the standard Cee'd five-door and is the same width and length, and shares the same wheelbase. The rear suspension is a multi-link design.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Kia Carens

The new Kia Carens has been revealed at the Paris motor show.

Details of the new MPV are currently limited, but Autocar understands the new Carens will replace both the current model and the larger Sedona, which went out of production last year.

It is again set to be offered with both five- and seven-seat options, but the UK is only likely to take the latter.

The model is understood to be based on the new Cee'd platform and is likely to share its engine range with that model as a result. Its new design is most striking, the Carens being the only 'old' Kia still on sale from before Peter Schreyer's design revolution.

“This marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction, said Hyoung-Keun Lee, Kia CEO.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: Ssangyong e-XIV Concept

SsangYong has unveiled its e-XIV electric car concept at the Paris motor show.

The B-segment crossover concept adopts a range-extender drivetrain, combining a small petrol engine with 16kWh lithium-ion batteries and a 107bhp electric motor. The concept’s glass roof incorporates solar cell panels, used to provide additional energy for interior systems rather than the car’s drivetrain.

The range-extending petrol engine is a two cylinder, normally aspirated 1000cc unit (developed in-house), supplying a 27bhp generator. The electric drivetrain is capable of an 80km range from a four-hour full charge, or 60km from a 20-minute quick-charge cycle. Electric motor technology has been supplied by Reva (who brought  us the G-Wiz), which, like SsangYong, is owned by Mahindra.

Total range is cited as 600km, with emissions of 45g/km of CO2  when the engine is in use.
The new design study is the latest variant of SsangYong’s XIV series of concepts and appears broadly similar to the XIV-2 concept displayed earlier this year at the Geneva motor show.

Inside, there are four bucket seats, carbon fibre touches and mobile communications technology also seen in the XIV1 and XIV2 concepts.

The e-XIV name stands for Electric Exciting user-Interface Vehicle. A production model is planned, which would sit below the Korando SUV in the company’s line-up. A 2014 launch is likely for the production model, which will share its new SsangYong-designed platform with Mahindra. A development of the range-extended electric powertrain is planned for the production car, alongside new 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines currently being designed by SsangYong.

Left-hand-drive only will be available from launch, with a right-hand-drive version arriving around six months later.

Thanks to: Autocar

Paris Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP

Mini has unveiled its fastest-ever production car, the Mini John Cooper Works GP, at the Mini United festival in France today. It will be seen next at the Paris motor show.

With the third-generation Mini already in development, the Mini John Cooper Works GP is a limited-run version of BMW’s second-generation hatchback.

Although Mini has yet to reveal specific performance details for the race-bred, two-seat machine, it has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 8min 23sec during its development.

That’s 18sec quicker than the best lap time achieved by the BMW-owned brand’s next-fastest model, the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, which lapped the gruelling German circuit in 8m 41s.

The old car – which is the spiritual predecessor to the Mini John Cooper Works GP – had 210bhp and 180lb ft and was fitted with a limited-slip differential. Although the power hike was modest compared to the base car, the JCW GP was around 40kg lighter than the standard version.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP should produce in the region of 220-230bhp. It's fitted with adjustable race suspension and a competition-spec braking system with six-pot callipers at the front. The ECU has been race tuned.

The car has redeveloped aerodynamics, with a reprofiled nose for less drag, and a sealed underside and rear diffuser.

 It also gets an aggressive appearance and features large front and rear aprons, side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler.

It runs on high-performance tyres that have been specially developed for the car – the car in the official pictures issued by Mini is fitted with Kumho Ecsta V700 rubber and runs on 17in rims.

Thanks to: Autocar

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake

Another surprise, but quiet world premiere is Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake. Yeah, this is the first public appearance of this wagon-coupe.

This shooting brake has the same exterior design with CLS sedan 4-door. In the front, we'll see the exact same design. This station wagon looks so luxurious. From side, Mercedes' designer gives coupe-like body lines in the C- and D-pillar. In the rear, the rear lamps of sedan version blend with estate design.

The engine, it brings V6 3.5 liter produces 306 hp and matches with 7G-TRONIC transmission.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Kia Sorento

With Oppa Gangnam Style opening, Kia introduced the latest Sorento for Indonesia market. This is not the latest generation of mid-SUV. It's just a facelift. Now wonder its look is like the previous generation that we can always find on the street.

The designer give a little bit change in the exterior sector. Front, Sorento has redesign headlamps with LED lamps on it. And then there are modified front bumper and fog lamps that now is placed vertically. With these changes, Sorento looks tough. In the side, now Sorento comes with 19-inch chrome wheels that make this SUV more luxurious. Total redesign can be found in the rear side. Here, we'll see the completely new rear lamps with LED. Meanwhile, rear fog lamps or reflector lamps that's placed vertically make Sorento looks tough.

Inside, Sorento's interior is offered with 2 choices color, black and beige. And the cabin coating is offered with 2 choices, fabric and leather. Kia offers panoramic roof for consumer who wants to buy this SUV. 7-inch LCD screen is ready helping you to show route map and multimedia feature. Center console with a new design.

Kia Sorento will go on sale on January 2013 for Indonesia market.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Daihatsu Ayla

So, this is the twin of Toyota Agya, called Daihatsu Ayla. Yeah, Daihatsu and Toyota has got collaborated again to develop low price car. Unlike, Avanza and Xenia which has identical exterior, between Agya and Ayla has different exterior design.

If Toyota Agya comes with sporty design, Daihatsu Ayla gets elegant look. It has nice and neat design. In the front, it has circular headlamps and fog lamps, along with  trapezoidal grille. Compared with its sibling, Ayla has sleek and clean design from front to rear. In the rear side, we'll find rear lamps that reminds to Daihatsu Mira e:S which is sold in Japan.

For cabin, this mini-hatchback received nice interior design. Its cabin has the same interior design like Agya. Same 3-spoke steering wheel, same color on seats, and center cockpit.

For the engine, Ayla has 1.0 liter 3-cylinder which produces 65 hp at 6,000 rpm and torque 87 Nm at 3,600 rpm. For the transmission you can choose manual 5-speed or automatic 4-speed.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: Daihatsu UFC Concept

In Indonesia, MPV is the most popular car. Daihatsu Xenia and Toyota Avanza are the king of MPV here. And in IIMS 2012, Daihatsu introduced a new concept car with MPV form called UFC. It stands for Ultra Functional Compact. This concept car could be the next generation family car for Indonesia market.

Like other concept cars, UFC comes with futuristic exterior. But Daihatsu's designer added some attractive and elegant taste to its design. In the front, UFC has nice oval headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights. The trapezoidal grille makes this MPV concept look attractive. For the rear-end, UFC has unique design. Its rear lamps come with thin lines and black color as its background. Big lettering 'UFC' is placed right under the 'D' Daihatsu logo.

For the access to get in and out of the car is so easy. UFC doesn't have B-pillar. So, rear passenger can get in and out of the car easily. If you wanted to sit in the third row, you just push the button. And then seats in the second row will move forward electrically.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: Daihatsu D-R Concept

Many people want to see the low price car from Daihatsu, called Ayla. But actually they have 2 other vehicles that just made world premiere at IIMS 2012. First is Daihatsu D-R Concept which is shown alongside with D-X Concept.

Like D-X, D-R comes with convertible form. But it has different styling. If D-X has sporty and tough look, D-R is given elegant and stylish by Daihatsu's designer. In the front-end, it has aggressive 'face' due to the headlamps design which look like triangle and grille with trapezoidal form.

Its exterior look catchy with yellow body color and its wheels have silver combined with yellow. For the rear, D-R has a unique design. D-R comes with vertical brake lamps combined with horizontal sign and reverse lamps. This convertible looks sporty due to the use rear-spoiler, twin exhaust with chrome accent, and rear diffuser.

For the interior, we'll see brown color is very dominant. Daihatsu shows the elegant interior design with high quality material. Interior detail is seen by mold seams that we can see on the dashboard and steering wheel. Behind the 3-spoke steering wheel, Daihatsu adds instrument cluster with big screen and digital form. In the center cockpit, there's LCD screen that will show up navigation system, multimedia feature, and other features.

Daihatsu D-R Concept has 2-cylinder turbo direct injection engine.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Toyota Agya

Indonesian government has a plan to release Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) regulation for car makers. And in IIMS 2012 Toyota just announced their first affordable price car to the public, called Agya. Toyota wants to build a car with low price, but has complete feature. When it goes on sale in around March 2013, its price starts around $ 8,000 for Indonesia market.

Even though it has cheap price, it doesn't mean has bad quality and design. It has good exterior design. Toyota's designer gives sporty look. It has neat and nice headlamps combine with a horizontal chrome line that make this car looks luxurious. The aggressive and dynamic design is radiated from fog lamps which comes with triangle form.

From the side this mini-hatchback has good body line design. The luxurious look is shown from door handles and a horizontal line with chrome accent. At the rear, Agya has simple design. If you choose TRD-S variant, you'll get front skirt, side skirt, rear skirt, and rear spoiler that makes your Agya sportier. And if you buy Agya E you will get 13-inch steel wheel. Meanwhile for G type and TRD-S type you will get 14-inch alloy wheel.

Inside, you'll be surprised that Agya received good cabin design. At least for low price car segment. Seats have black color which is combined with white. And so is the steering wheel. At the center cockpit you can find button to operate some car's feature. For G type and TRD-S type have 2-DIN head unit with USB and aux input.

For the engine, Agya has 1.0 liter 3-cylinder which produces 65 hp at 6,000 rpm and torque 87 Nm at3,600 rpm. For the transmission you can choose manual 5-speed or automatic 4-speed.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2014 Chevrolet Spin

Chevrolet keep its promise to introduce the latest MPV, Spin, at IIMS 2012. This compact-MPV is prepared to compete with Daihatsu Xenia and Toyota Avanza which is so popular in Indonesia.

Compared with Avanza and Xenia, Spin has more stylish exterior design. It has headlamps with good design and two grilles that's identical with Chevy line-up. From side, we can see the boxy body line and sculpture lines for more stylish look. For the rear, Chevrolet's designer gives conventional rear lamps.

For the cabin, Spin has good interior design. Its dashboard comes with 2 colors, white and grey. Interior elements that reminiscences us to Chevy Aveo and Spark are here, too. Like, 3-spoke steering wheel, tachometer with conventional look and digital speedometer. Fuel and transmission indicator, mileage, and clock are also in digital form.

For accommodation, Spin is offered in 2 types, 5- and 7-seat. For the luggage capacity, Spin with 5-seat has 710 liter and Spin with 7-seat has 168 liter. Both of them can reach 1.668 liter if passenger seats are folded.

How about the engine? This MPV has Econo Flex engine with 1.8 liter produces 106 hp. That engine matches with manual transmission with 5-speed or you can choose automatic transmission with 6-pseed.

Chevrolet plans to release Spin in Indonesia by next year.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Honda CR-Z

Surprise! That word came out from my mouth when Honda unveiled facelift of CR-Z at IIMS 2012. No one expected to see this car at this annual event. Because Honda had announced that new CR-Z will make its debut or world premiere at Paris Motor Show 2012. So, here is the facelift CR-Z made its debut at IIMS 2012.

There's no major change on this CR-Z. In the front, Honda's designer adds LED Daytime Running Lights right under the redesign headlamps. The grille with horizontal lines is replaced by honeycomb grille for more sporty look.

From the side, the only changes is wheel with new design and gets chrome accent. Meanwhile for back side, there's no any change. All the things look same with previous generation. It's still has LED rear lamp and sporty look.

For the interior Honda offers some changes. First, seats with new colors (black and red). And then tachometer now emits 3 different colors (blue, red, and green) depends on mode that driver use while driving (Normal, Sport, and Econ).

Under the engine hood we can find i-VTEC 1.5 liter which produces 120 hp for manual transmissin and 118 dk for CVT transmission. There's also IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) which has 20 hp output.

New Honda CR-Z will be sold for Indonesia market in February 2013.

Indonesia Show 2012 Highlights: 2012 Nissan Juke RX Red Edition

At Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) 2012, Nissan debuts the special edition of Juke, called Juke RX Red Edition. This crossover is made for those who wants to look different, dynamics, and young. There's no significant change between Red Edition and regular Juke. Nissan just re-color its grille with gun metallic. Nissan adds rear spoiler on the roof for sporty look.

In the interior, we can see some changes. First, the red color on the center console and door trim. Moreover, Nissan coats the seats with leather and adds arm rest for comfort feel.

For the engine, Juke Red Edition has the same engine with regular Juke. It has 1.5 liter 4-cylinder produces 114 hp at 6000 rpm. It matches with CVT transmission.

New Car: 2013 Dacia Sandero

This is the new Dacia Sandero, a sub-£7000 Ford Fiesta rival that parent firm Renault bills as one of the UK’s most affordable new cars.

The new Sandero is seen here officially for the first time ahead of its public debut at next week’s Paris motor show. It will arrive in UK showrooms alongside the £8995 Duster crossover next January, when Renault’s budget brand is officially launched in the UK.

Underpinning the new Sandero is the same B0 platform used for Dacia’s entire product line-up. Using the same platform across five model lines helps Dacia to achieve the economies of scale that result in low list prices.

But despite the familiar underpinnings, the new five-door Sandero gets a much more distinctive look than its conservative predecessor.

The styling is chunky and characterful and the front end’s look is taken from the Duster.

The interior design and quality are also a big leap from the current Sandero and appear to have more in common with Renault models than its budget siblings.

Dacia says the Sandero’s cabin will be among the most spacious in its class. Boot space, at 320 litres with the seats up and 1200 litres with them down, eclipses that of the five-door Fiesta by 25 litres and 221 litres respectively.

Full pricing and spec details — including the engine line-up — will be announced next month.

The standard Sandero will be joined at the Paris motor show by a rugged Stepway version. It is expected to account for about half of all Sandero sales and is due to reach the UK in the spring.

It rides 40mm higher than the standard car and gets a revised front end look, front and rear skid plates, flared wheel arches, 16-inch wheels, roof rails and an Azurite blue paint finish.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Dacia Logan

This new Dacia Logan will join the new Dacia Sandero at the Paris motor show.

The Logan, a four-door notchback that kick started Dacia’s rapid growth in the last decade under Renault ownership, is not destined for UK sales when the brand is launched here in January 2013. The Sandero and Duster will be the initial models in the Dacia UK line-up.

The front-end styling of the new Logan is shared with the Sandero, and is inspired by the larger Duster. Dacia has tried to highlight the Logan’s robustness with a sculpted waistline and more prominent wheel arches. The result is a chunkier, more characterful look.

The interior of the new Sandero is largely mirrored in the new Logan; quality and design have both been improved.

Underpinning the Logan is the same B0 platform as the rest of the Dacia range. Full details of the engine line-up will be confirmed at the Paris motor show.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Honda Civic Ti

Honda has announced a new limited edition Civic Ti, priced from £16,995 on the road.

Limited to 1,000 examples, the Ti is based on the five-door 1.8 SE, but comes with over £1,000 worth of extra equipment, including Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a leather clad steering wheel and gear knob. This is on top of a generous standard specification which includes USB and iPod connections, as well as climate control and steering wheel-mounted audio buttons.

External modifications include colour coded wheel-arches and 17-inch ‘Le Mans’ alloy wheels from Honda’s BTTC partner Team Dynamics.

Customers will be able to choose from three paint finishes: Milano Red, White Orchid Pearl and Alabaster Silver Metallic.

The new Honda Civic Ti is available to order now.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Mazda CX-9

By now we’ve seen Mazda’s Kodo styling on the 2013 CX-5 and 2014 Mazda6,and it appears the new design language will trickle down to the automaker’s three-row people hauler. Set to debut at next month’s Australian International Motor Show is the revised and face-lifted 2013 Mazda CX-9 crossover.

The 2013 Mazda CX-9’s Kodo transformation is most noticeable up front where its front fascia is less smiley and more aggressive compared to the current U.S.-spec 2012 model. The refreshed crossover sports a chromed grille design that mimics what we’ve seen on the CX-5 and Mazda6. The lower bumper has more aggressive lines and the headlights have been sharpened. The side profile doesn’t appear to be tweaked, though Mazda says the rear has been restyled (pictures of the back weren’t provided).

Other changes include enhanced interior styling and materials (again, no pictures) and new active-safety features including an advanced high beam headlight system, lane departure warning system, and a “Forward Obstruction” warning system. If incorporated into a U.S.-spec CX-9, some of those features could keep Mazda competitive with crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot. The 2011 calendar year was the CX-9’s best year, with 34,421 units sold. Through the first eight months of 2012, 15,339 CX-9s have been sold.

Earlier this year, rumors suggested that an all-new CX-9 could debut by late 2013. It’s unclear if that’s still the case, but considering that the CX-9 was our 2008 sport/utility of the year, the crossover could use some serious updates. Though the CX-9 was starting to appear a bit dated in our most recent three-row crossover comparison, the Mazda still managed to place first.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied Up Date: 2014 Mercedes CLA

What It Is: A four-door compact sedan based on the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-class, previously previewed by the Concept Style Coupé. This example is a CLA250 Sport, an AMG-tuned version that’s identified by a “diamond” grille, unique side skirts, and the gaping holes in the front fascia. The CLA will be Benz's entry-level model in the U.S. market, positioned below the C-class.

Why It Matters: The CLA is an attempt to make the brand more accessible while emphasizing sportiness. Judging from our experience with the A-class, the CLA's claim to sportiness will be entirely justified; the CLA250 Sport seen here, in particular, should deliver on the steering, chassis, and powertrain fronts.

Platform: The CLA will be based on Daimler's MFA platform, underpinning not only the A-class, the B-class, and the CLA, but also a crossover SUV and "at least one other model," according to Daimler. That fifth model is nearly certain to be a wagon version of the CLA, but it’s likely there will be more to come. A convertible is possible, for example, and it may even be a roadster. The CLA will be closer to the A-class than to any other variation of the MFA platform, sharing front architecture and many styling elements.

Powertrains: The CLA will be powered by 1.8- and 2.1-liter diesel engines, as well as 1.6- and 2.0-liter gasoline fours—both of which will be turbocharged. Topping the lineup will be the CLA45 AMG, with a 2.0-liter turbo four that will produce around 350 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. On U.S. soil, expect to see the 2.0-liter four, the AMG-ified 2.0-liter, and maybe even the 2.1-liter diesel. It’s conceivable that the CLA will be offered with a Renault-sourced 1.5-liter turbo-diesel, just like in the A-class. An all-wheel-drive system will be initially offered only in the CLA45 before cracking the rest of the lineup some time after launch. Mercedes has no plans for plug-in hybrid or electrified variants.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Aston Martin DB9

Although Aston Martin’s supercars are widely regarded as rolling pieces of art, the consensus is that they all look the same. As the lineup turns over, however, the cars look like a new version of same. Two years ago, Aston rolled out the One-77 supercar, and the intervening time has seen its visual language applied first to the Virage and then to the new-for-2013 Vanquish. Now it’s the DB9’s turn.

With European sports-car manufacturers seemingly having just one high-level response to updating their offerings—add more power—Aston went to work under the DB9’s hood. The previous-gen DB9 churned out 470 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque from its 5.9-liter V-12. The AM11 engine now adds dual variable valve timing, larger throttle bodies, and a new fuel pump, and also gets a revised block, machined cylinders, and a new intake manifold. The result is 510 hp and 457 lb-ft from the same displacement, all fed to a rear-mounted six-speed automatic transaxle via a torque-tube-encased carbon-fiber driveshaft. A limited-slip differential is standard. Sixty-two mph is said to be achieved in 4.6 seconds, and top speed is listed at 183 mph.

The V-12’s output now equals that of the outgoing DBS, a car that was replaced this year by the Vanquish. The so-called “Gen 4” VH architecture was developed for the Vanquish, and the DB9 benefits not only from its attendant engine upgrades, but also the latest iteration of Aston’s adaptive-damping system. The suspension can be set to Normal, Sport, and Track modes, varying stiffness and response. Aston’s latest GT also adds standard carbon-ceramic Brembo brake discs—15.7 inchers in the front, 14.2’s in the rear—that the company claims weigh about 28 pounds less versus the previous steel units; this should help steering response and feel. The calipers (also supplied by Brembo) actuate via six pistons up front and four in the back. You’re probably thinking that the boosted output and improved chassis components make the Virage superfluous; Aston Martin clearly agrees, as it has ceased production of that model “with immediate effect.”
Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Concept Car: McLaren P1

Is the McLaren MP4-12C too restrained for your Lambo-nurtured design tastes? McLaren’s upcoming range topper, the P1 supercar, looks like a cyborg Gaboon viper, and it will debut at this year’s Paris auto show.

For now, this P1 is just a “design study,” with details subject to change between now and the start of sales in about a year. The roof-mounted intake inspired by the sanctified F1 and the McLaren logo–shaped headlights are likely to stay, and the mid-mounted V-8 engine is a certainty.

“WHAT,” an aghast reader asks, “is with the V-8 in a car meant to rival 12-cylinder Ferraris and Lamborghinis?” McLaren’s V-8 engine was developed entirely in-house, and uses its own block and architecture. Earlier this year, the company’s head of vehicle development Geoff Grose told us the V-8 is meant to be the centerpiece of more than just one car. Don’t worry about power; the MP4-12C’s version of this twin-turbocharged engine already makes 618 hp. (By the way, anyone remember how much power the F1 made? 618 on the nose.)

Other details we’ve gleaned from McLaren about the P1: Unlike the F1, the new P1 will seat two people, not three, and in conventional side-by-side positions. Doors will be of the crowd-stunner variety, lifting up and out like on the MP4-12C. McLaren has a carbon-fiber factory on site, so expect the lightweight material to be used everywhere on the P1, and for everything.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Toyota Yaris Trend

Toyota has announced a special edition Yaris, which it says is targeted at a younger audience.

The Toyota Yaris Trend features black B- and C-pillars to create a floating roof effect, chrome foglamp surrounds, two-tone 16-inch alloy wheels and a roof spoiler with LED lamp clusters.

Inside, the Yaris Trend has a black and white colour scheme with ochre accents. The seats are upholstered in a “leather look” material. Toyota has changed the geometry of the centre console and the upper dashboard panels are finished in white.

The gear shift has a shorter throw and features a larger gear knob.

Deco line graphics are featured along the front wings, doors, dashboard and headrests.

The Toyota Yaris Trend will go on sale next year, with prices to be announced nearer launch.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Citroen C3 Picasso

The facelifted 2013 Citroën C3 Picasso will premiere at the Paris motor show later this month.

The new model features a revised front bumper, a new chevron grille treatment and LED daytime running lights. New body colours and interior trim options are offered as part of the mid-life revisions.

Citroën's eMyWay navigation system will be offered, which incorporates additional audio inputs and Bluetooth connectivity. The system integrates with the car’s optional rear parking camera.

No powertrain details have been announced, but it is expected to carry over the existing range of engines, which includes two petrol and two diesel units. Petrol engines will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, while diesels gain a sixth gear. Citroën's robotised manual EGS gearbox will be offered.

The new C3 Picasso is slated for a UK launch in early 2013.

Thanks to: Autocar

Recall Up Date: 2012 Ford Edge

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is issuing a recall on 2012 Ford Edge models equipped with the EcoBoost 2.0-liter engine for a defective fuel line pulse damper housing. The metal housing may crack as the result of a manufacturing defect, the faulty housing could cause fuel leakage under the hood, resulting in a telltale gasoline odor, and could result in an engine fire. This follows several recalls on the 2013 Ford Escape equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. So far, no recalls have been issued for Escape models equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is a $995 option on Edge SE, SEL and Limited models.

The Problem: The fuel line pulse damper housing could crack due to an improper manufacturing process. The cracked damper could result in fuel leakage, fuel odor, and could result in an engine compartment fire.

The Fix: Owners will be notified, and dealers will replace the defective part free of charge. The recall campaign will begin on September 24, 2012. 2012 Edge owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332, or NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotlline at 888-327-4236.

Number of Units Affected: 5499 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost models manufactured from September 2, 2010 through October 31, 2011.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive

Don’t look for any cargo area deficiencies on the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive concept — the automaker says the car will have the same interior space as the regular B-Class cars. The electric Benz concept will debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month, wearing the company’s new model designation for all-electric vehicles: “Electric Drive.”

The Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive concept is powered by a 100 kW electric motor with 229 lb-ft of torque. Overall range is estimated to be about 124 miles and, at least in Europe, 230 and 400 V charging options will be available. Since Daimler owns a small stake in Tesla, reports have suggested the B-Class EV’s motor and battery packs will be provided by Tesla.

The concept has what Mercedes calls “Energy Space,” placing the lithium-ion battery in the floor in front of the rear axle, allowing the electric to have the same interior space as the regular B-Class cars. A production-car version of this electric B-Class is scheduled to go on sale before the end of 2014, and the U.S. market may actually be part of its international rollout. The compact B-Class Electric Drive isn’t the only EV Mercedes will be showing in Paris; the production-spec SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive and Smart Brabus Electric Drive cars will take a bow, as well.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Lexus LF-CC

Never mind the cryptograph name or the Dark Knight interior: This Lexus concept previews the company’s next IS. A compact, rear-wheel-drive sedan and coupe should be the perfect vehicle to demonstrate CEO Akio Toyoda’s promise to build more engaging, sporty products. That ethos is evident even in the big GS and Lexus’s glorified Camry, the ES, and applied to a proper sports sedan, Lexus finally could be cooking with gasoline—and batteries.

Lexus’s chief of design, Takeshi Tanabe, says that the LF-CC represents a “new era” of Lexus design and products. (The name stands for Lexus Future Coupe Concept.) The styling still is in the family of the L-Finesse design language that molded the GS, the ES, and the refreshed LS, but we’re seeing an evolution with this car. Tanabe-san told us that the LF-CC is meant to show major contrasts: The grille—in now-signature spindle shape—is enormous and bold, as are air intakes big enough to swallow seagulls. But the headlights are uncovered slivers of LEDs and integrated door handles look like delicate slices of chrome. Tanabe-san is especially proud of the rising line on the car’s sides, shaping rear-wheel air intakes and traveling up the rear fender to wispy red taillights.

There are loads of slick details, too. Many aren’t suitable for production cars, making them a sort of self-abuse for designers, to borrow a Victorian euphemism. The triangular side mirrors are gorgeous, while packing the CHMSL into the shark antenna on the roof is just plain cool. Crystal spheres amplify the LED headlights—these actually appear, under covers, on the refreshed LS—instead of parabolic mirrors. Like the cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, who hid his daughter’s initials in every sketch, Lexus’s designers scattered the L logo in the LF-CC’s taillights and nearly every curve and kink.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2013 Renaultsport Clio

The 2013 Renault Clio Renaultsport has been spied testing on the streets around the Nürburgring.

Although no official announcement has been made, it is expected the Clio RS will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, producing more than 200bhp. This means an end to the high-revving 2.0-litre motor fitted to the current Clio Renaultsport 200.

The engine is expected to be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a dual-clutch automatic.

Unlike the previous hot Clios, the new Renaultsport will be offered as a five-door model only, mirroring the single configuration of the standard car. Renault design boss, Laurens van den Acker promised the car will have the look of a three door. Our largely undisguised spy shots show the door handles hidden in the C-pillars.

Renault has remained tight-lipped on performance, revealing only that it will offer more power than the outgoing car.

The Clio Renaultsport will be joined by a warm variant, likely to be badged Clio GT. It is expected to be powered by the same 133bhp 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine as the Twingo Renaultsport. A 1.5 dCi diesel unit could also be offered. The styling is likely to closely mirror that of the Renaultsport.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: 2013 Honda CR-Z

The European-spec 2013 Honda CR-Z will benefit from a more powerful engine and electric motor without a negative impact on emissions or fuel economy, Honda confirmed today. In advance of its Paris Motor Show debut, the 2013 Honda CR-Z has been teased with the image shown here.

While some of the European CR-Z’s visual and powertrain changes may not appear on the U.S.-market model, we already know the 2013 Honda CR-Z headed for our showrooms will receive “interior and exterior styling changes” and get a standard backup camera. When it goes on sale this fall, we’d be surprised if it doesn’t offer the LED daytime running lights shown in the Paris teaser here.

The European-spec 2013 Honda CR-Z appears to sport a revised front fascia we may get in the U.S., along with a grille that no longer includes three horizontal trim bars. The yen-U.S. dollar exchange rate may prevent our market from ever seeing a CR-Z Si, though we wouldn’t mind minor changes to the car’s power or efficiency. In a six-car comparison of inexpensive sporty front-drive cars, the Honda CR-Z placed second.

“…The little hybrid attacked the corners with gusto. Even the hybrid drivetrain had defenders, as it delivered both exceptionally smooth power and best-in-test fuel economy,” we wrote in the comparison. “Despite a surprising amount of zip from the electrically enhanced motor, we want more power from this car.”

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Smart ForStars

The drive-in theater is something of a rarity in this day and age, but the new Smart Forstars concept — which debuts later this month at the 2012 Paris Motor Show — can create one anywhere it goes.

The Forstars is described by Daimler’s microcar brand as a sport utility coupe, or a SUC. An unfortunate acronym, but not necessarily inaccurate – the large wheels and tall stance scream crossover, while the glass fastback roof almost appears as if it was cribbed from the short-lived Smart Roadster Coupe.

If the overall form seems familiar, it should – much of the Forstars’ exterior is simply a mild evolution from the For-Us pickup concept Smart showcased at this year’s Detroit auto show. The protruding fascia and stretched Tridon safety cell are virtually identical to the For-Us, and the powertrain – a 60-kW electric motor cribbed from the production Smart ED model – is also carried over.

That said, the Forstars does pack a few unique cues into the mix. Headlamp eyebrows lend the front clip an angrier look, while taillights open up to reveal both a charging port and – of all things – a beverage holder. The weirdest feature? A DLP video projector, integrated into what first appears to be a hood scoop. Smart claims it’s a “witty idea” that “enables the work of film stars to be spontaneously shared with friends at any time.” We thought smart phones and YouTube had that task down pat, but the feature could prove entertaining, especially when stuck behind a semi trailer in gridlock traffic.

Exactly how much of this concept is production bound? It’s really hard to tell at this point in time, but given the Forstars shares much of its elongated look with the previous For-Us concept, we’d imagine it’s a loose hint at what a revived Forfour model could look like. According to Automotive News, such a vehicle is due by 2015, and – much like the new Fortwo due in 2014 — will ride on a platform co-developed with Renault.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2013 Toyota Auris Wagon

A wagon version of the new Toyota Auris will be officially unveiled by the Japanese manufacturer at the Paris motor show later this month.

The Auris Touring Sports – seen here in a disguised teaser image that Autocar has enhanced to reveal extra rear detail – adds a wagon body to Toyota's new C-segment challenger, which will take on the likes of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra estates.

The wagon will be revealed alongside the five-door Auris, which you can read more about here.

It is the first time the Auris has been offered as an estate, and Toyota is promising versatility, a dynamic design and clever packaging to maximise load space.

What really sets the Auris Touring Sports apart is that it is the first estate in the segment to be offered with a full hybrid powertrain alongside conventional petrol and diesel engine options.

The hybrid drivetrain is expected to be a development of the 1.8-litre petrol engine/electric motor and nickel-metal hydride battery set-up used in the current five-door Auris.

More details will be revealed at the Paris motor show on 27 September.

Thanks to: Autocar

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