AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Leave it to Germany’s largest and most popular Volkswagen tuner to take something as cool as the brand new Golf R and make it even better! With VW’s 4MOTON all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder the Golf R is already seriously badass, but ABT has tuned the 2.0 TFSI engine to 310-hp, allowing for a 0-62 mph time of just 5.2 seconds.
ABT has also launched a new front bumper for the car and the company offers either 18 or 19-inch wheels.
We’re certain ABT will deliver even more goodies for the most hard core Golf yet, but until then, feel free to browse through the gallery below and say a prayer that the Golf R might make its way to the U.S. some day.
GALLERY: ABT Sportsline Golf R
Official release after the jump:
Aston Martin introduced a new limited edition run of 40 cars celebrating Chief Executive Ulrich Bez’s tenth anniversary heading the luxury car manufacturer.
The DBS UB-2010 edition includes a run of 20 Coupes and 20 Volantes, each personally specified by Bez with a new Azurite Black paint finish with metallic bronze leather with woven seat inserts and Cryptic Titan facia finish. Each limited edition model features a UB-2010 sill plaque signed by Bez.
Gallery: Aston Martin DBS UB-2010 edition Volante
Normally one of the quietest automakers when it comes to announcements and new products, Lotus has plenty to say these days and of the four vehicles on display at the Geneva Auto Show, all of them are new. Along with the restyled 2011 Elise, the Evora 414E Hybrid and Evora Cup Car, Lotus is also displaying the Evora Carbon Concept.
Taking the light-weight Lotus philosophy to new heights, the Evora Carbon Concept has a reduced overall weight (although we don’t know by how much) thanks to a structural carbon fiber roof as well as a carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser. A set of forged 19-inch wheels also help to keep weight to a minimum, while the interior is a carbon fiber and Alcantara oasis, with carbon door trim and even a carbon fiber steering wheel.
If we’re lucky, perhaps this concept car is a look ahead at a higher-performance Evora, or a new line of light-weight options for the Lotus flagship sports car.
GALLERY: Lotus Evora Carbon Concept
Official release after the jump:
Tata unveiled a new electric version of its Nano at the Geneva Auto Show. The Nano EV joins the Indica Vista EV in Tata’s electric line-up.
The Nano EV will use the same super polymer lithium-ion battery as the Indica Vista EV. The electric version of the world’s least expensive automobile has a range of 99.4 miles, short of the Indica Vista EV’s 124-mile range, which is unusual considering the Indica Vista is a larger vehicle.
The Tata Nano EV will make its way to European markets in 2010 with expansion to other markets coming later.
Gallery: Tata Nano EV
When Maserati announced it would debut another special edition model at the Geneva Auto Show we hardly even managed enough excitement to yawn. The new Quattroporte Sport GT S “Awards Edition,” is, however, worthy of a very intense look.
Sure its just another of probably a half-dozen limited edition QPs, but in person is a prime example of fine Italian coachwork. The Quarzo Fuso paint scheme is stunningly elegant, as is the car’s interior, with special Poltrona Frau leather seats, piano black wood trim and plenty Alcantara – including for the headliner. Other additions to this special edition include deep black 20-inch Multi Trident wheels and polished brake calipers.
Under the hood, the very excellent 430-hp, 4.7-liter V8 remains untouched.
As for the story behind the “Awards Edition,” Maserati has built the car to celebrate the 56 awards it has received since its inception. No doubt, this also signals the near end of the original QP as Maserati readies a second generation platform.
GALLERY: Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S “Awards Edition”
Official release after the jump:
German Ferrari-tuner Novitec Rosso chose the Geneva Auto Show as the venue to debut its most powerful car ever – an 848-hp Ferrari 599 GTB. With matte-white and matte-gray paint, this car is just one of three 848-hp special edition models, aptly named “848 Race.”
Thanks to some new turbine blades on the superchargers, some modified piping and a retuned ECU, the twin-supercharged V12 engine has been bumped from the last 808-hp tuning phase up to 848-hp. Novitec claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 214 mph.
Like the 808-hp version the 848 RACE also gets Novitec’s special wind-tunnel-tested aero kit, 20 and 21-inch wheels (staggered fitment), a massive brake upgrade and a height adjustable suspension.
GALLERY: Novitec Rosso 848 RACE
Get all the details on the Novitec Rosso 848 RACE after the jump:
We knew exotic car tuner Mansory was set to debut a fabulously hideous blue and gold Rolls-Royce Ghost at the Geneva Auto Show, but what surprised us was its equally outrageous co-stars. Sitting next to the Ghost, there’s also a widebody Porsche Panamera (which doesn’t look all that bad), the Cyrus carbon widebody Aston Martin DB9 and another carbon fiber clad beast, a Mercedes G Class.
The Rolls is still the main attraction, however, with gaudy gold wheels and detailing (including the grille). We particularly detest the gold fender vents sitting right next to the gold Rolls-Royce emblems.
What we do like is what Mansory has done under the massive hood, taking the twin-turbo V12 to 720-hp thanks to some larger turbos and other upgrades. Torque is rated at 750 lbs and Mansory estimates the car’s new top speed to be 193 mph. Ugly has never been so fast.
Be sure to check out the gallery below, for more pics of the Mansory Ghost and of the other Mansory-tuned cars at the Geneva Auto Show.
GALLERY: Mansory Rolls-Royce Ghost
With Mitsubishi set to bring back the Colt to North America in the near future, we really hope a Ralliart model is also in the plans. While at the Geneva Auto Show we stumbled across such a car and just had to share it.
For starters, it just looks cool, with a big EVO-styled front end that really stands out against the pristine white paint. We even like the decals.
As a front-drive sub-compact, it looks to be plenty of fun thanks to a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 178-hp. (That’s 180 ps in Europe, hence the Ralliart 180 badges). Other parts involved in making it a Ralliart trim include a stylishly-subtle aero kit, a rear roof spoiler, as well as a set of 16-inch wheels and 205/45/16 tires.
Mitsubishi’s initial plans in bringing the Colt back to the U.S. are to expand its lineup and increase the volume of its sales, helping to grow the company back to what it was just a few years ago. If that plan goes well (which it may not considering how competitive the sub-compact market has become recently with additions like the Fiesa and upcoming Mazda2) perhaps a Colt Ralliart could be offered.
GALLERY: Mitubishi Colt Ralliart
Hanging out near Ferrari and Maserati we found Fiat’s performance brand – Abarth. With several standard Fiat models set to arrive in North America in the next few months, we can only hope they will be followed shortly thereafter by their modified Abarth cousins.
Up first is the Abarth tuned version of the Fiat 500C (convertible). The car isn’t technically a convertible, however, but rather features a retractable cloth top and retains the roof rails. Power comes from Fiat’s turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with 140-hp, allowing for a 0-62 mph time of 7.9 seconds. Also included are upgraded wheels, brakes, a new suspension setup, aero kit and stylish two-tone paint scheme. There’s no official word, but we’re likely to see this model join Fiat’s lineup in North America in the next several years – after the standard 500 and 500C are introduced.
Next up, Abarth is also displaying its version of the Fiat Punto Evo. Looking like a hot-hatch we’d love to have in our garage, this model gets the same 1.4-liter turbocharged Multiair engine but tuned to 165-hp. (A 178-hp Esse-Esse model will also be available). It gets the usual list of wheel, brake and suspension upgrades as well as a typically-sporty aero kit and paint scheme.
We still can’t find our way to liking the style of the Fiat 500, but we’d be likely to overlook it in an Abarth version. Better yet, give us the Punto Evo (Esse-Esse) please. And in fact we may just get what we’re asking for… sort of, as rumors suggest a Dodge branded version of a future Punto Evo model is in the works for our shores. Design-wise, we like the Punto Evo just the way it is and hope to get a similar looking vehicle in North America soon.
GALLERY: Abarth 500C
GALLERY: Abarth Punto Evo
Along with the first officially showing of the new 5 Series, BMW is also displaying a new hybrid 5 Series concept at the Geneva Auto Show. Following closely after the ActiveHybrid 7 Series and ActiveHybrid X6, the Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid is powered by a 300-hp inline-six mated to a twin-scroll turbocharger – the same unit found in the 535i. This is then combined with a powerful 40kW electric motor (the motor in the 7 Series hybrid is just 15 kW) enabling this version to operate as a full two-mode hybrid. As a result, the Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid can operate on electric power, gasoline power or a combination of both. The transmission used is an eight-speed automatic.
BMW says the electric battery is located in the trunk, although it has not specified if the battery is a more advanced lithium-ion unit (like in the 7 Series) or an old school nickel metal hydride unit like the in X6.
No fuel economy numbers have yet been released, but BMW is claiming an improvement in fuel economy by roughly 10 percent. That doesn’t at first seem all that great, but we should remind you that as a hybrid BMW, the 5er ActiveHybrid is likely to also have a performance advantage over the 535i, using the electric power under normal motoring to increase acceleration.
GALLERY: BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid
Mazda unveiled a limited edition MX-5 at the Geneva Auto Show, celebrating the car’s 20th anniversary.
Only 2,000 units have been announced, each equipped with a uniquely-numbered scruff plate. Unfortunately for us in North America, those 2,000 models are exclusive to Europe.
The 20th Anniversary Edition MX-5 will be available in three colors, the new Aurora Blue as well as the classic Crystal White and True Red (the blue model in the photos is the 20th Anniversary edition, the red one in the gallery below is the first generation MX-5). The Anniversary edition model also gets a special styling package featuring a chrome grille and headlight facia, chrome handles and silver-look fog lamp fascia. Other touches include an alloy pedal set and 17-inch aluminum rims with a special finish.
Gallery: 20th Anniversary Mazda MX-5
With the launch of the all-new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, we’re not sure if we should talk about how unexcited we are about another special edition Bentley that looks like all the rest, or if we should just slam the snooty British automaker’s color choice. With the debut of this new model, Bentley has introduced six new colors to choose from: Magenta, White Satin, Kingfisher, Orange Flame, St James Red Pearl and the color above, Citric. Yuck!
Instead we’ll do neither (or is it too late), and just tell you that like the coupe version this drop top is powered by Bentley’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12, which makes 621-hp and 590 ft-lbs of torque, allowing for a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph. It will also run on E85, which is a lame attempt on Bentley’s part to feign interest in even remotely caring about the environment.
Unlike its coupe counterpart, the soft-top convertible retains the rear seats, meaning it’s not quite as light-weight. The decision does make sense, however, as the rear has to look luxurious and polished because it will be seen out in the open. And despite the fact that Bentley managed to cut out 198-lbs as compared to the GTC Speed, the Supersports should still weigh in at around 5,300 lbs.
Pricing hasn’t been released yet, but with the coupe priced around the $270,000 mark, expect something close to $300,000.
Gallery: Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible
Complete details of the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible after the jump:
Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg has launched its latest version of the CCX at the Geneva Auto Show to celebrate the brand’s 15 years and the vehicle’s timeless design. Koenigsegg refers to it not as a special edition, however, but a a whole new mode, called the Agera. The name “Agera” has two meanings, the first being from the Swedish verb “to act,” while the second is derived from the Greek “Ageratos, which means “ageless.” Both origins seem incredibly appropriate.
Helping the Agera to act is a more powerful version of the 4.7-liter twin-supercharged V8 which now makes 910-hp and 811 ft-lbs of torque. Koenigsegg claims a 0-62 mph time of just 3.1 seconds and a top speed of over 245 mph.
Other highlights include the trademark Koenigsegg doors, a new traction control system, LED lighting, blue hood stripes that continue on through the cockpit of the car and a custom interior with a new “Ghost light” lighting system, where blue light emanates from invisible light tubes from between the billet interior.
The Agera will join the CCX and CCXR in Koenigsegg’s lineup. It is currently undergoing final testing and will begin production this summer.
GALLERY: Koenigsegg Agera
Debuting for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show is a line line of OEM accessories from Mercedes-Benz. Titled, MercedesSport, the individualization program includes parts and accessories, both aesthetic and performance-oriented. With Mercedes already offering AMG packages for many models, this expands a new line of parts to more models and allows Benz owners to shop a la carte, rather than have to purchase the whole, pricey AMG package.
Available for the new E-Class sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible are a line of MercedesSport products, including aero kits, spoilers and 18-inch wheels (offered in gloss black or chrome). In addition, some performance enhancing options are also available, like upgraded brakes and suspension components. Special trim items will also be offered. After the launch of the new line of products for the E-Class, Mercedes plans to offer MercedesSport packages for other models in the near future.
GALLERY: MercedesSport Equipped E-Class Sedan
Read more on the MercedesSport individualization line after the jump:
Announced just before the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, we expected to catch up with the latest special edition Merc there, but it took a trip to Switzerland for the Geneva Auto Show before we were able to gaze on this black beauty.
The latest in a string of limited edition Mercedes-Benz SL models, the SL550 Nigh Edition is clearly distinguished by it’s sinister matte-black “designo magno black ” paint scheme. Additional exterior highlights include special 19-inch AMG wheels as well as dark-tinted headlights and taillights. Inside, the cockpit of the SL Night Edition gets dark black leather contrasted with plenty of chrome. Newly designed seats are also a art of the package and feature arrow-shaped seams with silver contrasted features.
No modifications have been made to the 5.5-liter V8 engine, which continues to deliver a robust 382-hp.
Just 100 SL550 Night Edition models will be offered in the U.S. starting in early 2010.
GALLERY: Mercedes SL500 Night Edition
The E300 BlueTEC Hybrid is set to be Europe’s first diesel hybrid when it goes on sale at the end of next year as a 2011. Powered by the E250 CDI’s 2.2-liter diesel with 204-hp, it gets an additional 15 kW (20-hp) electric motor and lithium-ion battery that assist in powering the car, charging up through a regenerative braking process. As a full-hybrid, the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid can also operate on just electric power for short distances at speeds of up to 35 km/h (22 mph). The diesel engine also shuts off when slowing down at speeds below 80 km/h (50 mph) to reduce consumption.
Total output for the hybrid powertrain is rated at 224-hp and 428 ft-lbs of torque.
Mercedes will bring both a sedan and wagon (estate) version of the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid to market late in 2011.
GALLERY: Mercedes E300 BlueTEC Hybrid
For more on the E300 BlueTEC Hyrbid see the full press release after the jump:
Mazda unveiled the second generation Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
The Mazda5 gets a slight facelift with elements Mazda’s “Nagare Flow” design. The new Mazda5 might even look especially happier and smilier than usual.
Under the hood is a 2.0L direct injection gasoline engine with Mazda’s i-Stop system. According to Mazda, the new engine has 15% lower CO2 emissions than the previous 2.0L powerplant. The Mazda5 will also be available with a 1.8L gasoline engine with six speed manual transmission.
Hyundai unveiled its i-Flow concept vehicle, calling it a preview for a future D-Segment contender. According to Hyundai, we may see the i-Flow’s styling and technology in a 2011 production model. Would it be too much to expect it in the 2011 Euro-spec Sonata?
The seventh of a series of concepts from the Russelsheim design studio, the i-Flow extends upon Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” philosophy. The outside offers a futuristic look while inside, the i-Flow has an alien, Hyundai calls it “bionic”, feel.
Under the futuristic shell, the i-Flow is Hyundai’s first diesel hybrid powertrain. At the i-Flow’s heart is the U2 1.7L two-stage turbo engine combined with a lithium-ion powered motor. No horsepower or torque figures were provided, but Hyundai says the i-Flow gets 78.4 mpg.
Like the Blue Will concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the i-Flow recycles exhaust heat, capturing the energy and using it to power auxiliary systems.
The i-Flow also uses a thermal engine encapsulation technology which helps the engine reach optimum operating temperature quicker by retaining heat when the engine is idle. According to Hyundai, the i-Flow’s engine will stay above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 14 hours, much longer than a non-insulated engine’s time of three hours. Hyundai estimates this will cut 5% of emissions in the summer and up to 9% in the winter.
Gallery: Hyundai i-Flow concept
Volvo unveiled its new S60 at the Geneva Auto Show, trumpeting one of its biggest features: a pedestrian detection system.
An evolution of Volvo’s automatic braking technology, pedestrian detection system uses radar and camera technology to sense when a pedestrian is about to step in front of the vehicle. If the S60 is traveling at less than 35 km/h (21.7 mph) when it senses a pedestrian ahead, the system lights a signal to alert the driver. If the driver does not see the signal fast enough, the system will apply the brakes and bring the car to a halt. At speeds over 35 km/h, the automatic brakes will still kick in, slowing the S60 down to reduce the speed of impact.
Automatic braking isn’t the Volvo S60′s only impressive bit of technology. Under the hood, the S60 comes with two gasoline engine configurations: a 304 hp turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine or a four-cylinder turbo engine rated at 203 hp. The S60 also has two turbo diesel engine options, a 205 hp five-cylinder engine and a 163 hp three-cylinder.
Volvo is targeting car enthusiasts with the S60, calling it and the XC60 Volvo’s sportiest vehicles. Volvo also says a sportswagon S60 will be introduced later this year.
Gallery: Volvo S60
Debuting alongside its Polo counterpart, Volkswagen has unveiled the CrossGolf at the Geneva Auto Show. The sixth model to be based on the Golf platform, the CrossGolf is infused with the style of a crossover. The specific CrossGolf model is based on the GolfPlus, but it gets a rugged exterior with new front and rear bumpers, side skirts, roof rails, fender flares and special 17-inch wheels. The car’s ground ground clearance has also been raised by 20mm to help in any off-road adventures. Volkswagen claims the car is a mix of SUV and MPV styling – although it’s really just a 5-door hatch with a higher center of gravity.
As for engines, the usual array of VW powerplants are available, including TSI and TDI. TDI engines include a 104-hp 1.6-liter and a 138-hp 2.0-liter with 236 ft-lbs and a rating of 44.4 mpg. Gasoline engines include 104-hp and 120-hp TSI mills as well as VW’s impressive 160-hp 1.4-liter TSI Twincharger with both a supercharger and turbocharger. The base gasoline engine comes with a six-speed manual, while all other engines but the Twincharger get a 7-speed DSG transmission. The Twincharger gets a more robust 6-speed DSG box. Fuel economy for the Twincharger is rated at 35 mpg.
And yet as sporty as that engine sounds, most folks are likely to opt for a diesel and care more about the car’s functionality – like cargo room. In that area the CrossGolf certainly delivers with a sliding rear bench that enables anywhere from 14 cubic feet to 19 cubic feet, or a total of 51.2 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded flat.
Set to launch in Europe, it’s highly unlikely that this model will ever be offered in North America. U.S. customers aren’t likely to miss it either, but that Twincharger engine would be a great addition to the VW lineup on this side of the Atlantic.
GALLERY: Volkswagen CrossGolf
Audi really went all out to promote its new A1 at the Geneva Auto Show. Newly-signed brand ambassador Justin Timberlake gave Audi’s press conference star power, drawing one of the largest crowds on media day.
Unfortunately the pop star’s appearance was a little underwhelming in this reporter’s opinion.
Lesson #1: If you’re going to have one of the biggest stars on the planet promoting your brand, don’t stick him in a hole in the wall and out of sight of at least a third of the crowd. Just take a look in the gallery below. JT’s on the big screen, but if you look a bit to the left and squint, you can just about make out his hand holding the microphone.
Lesson #2: If you’re going to have a band set up on stage and you’re bringing in a pop star like JT, people will want to see him sing. They don’t want to see him introduce an alternative rock band from Sweden. Nothing wrong with Torpedo’s performance; they acquitted themselves quite well in fact. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be asked to perform when I’m the second most popular musical act on the stage.
Thankfully, the A1 put in a better performance than its co-star. Audi’s new sub-compact has MINI firmly in its sights. The small car (155.5-inches in length, 97.2-inch wheelbase, 68.5-inches wider and 56-inches tall) comes with four engine options.
Diesel options include two 1.6-liter versions with either 90-hp and 169 ft-lbs of torque or 105-hp and 184 ft-lbs of torque. Gasoline models get either a tiny 1.2-liter TFSI 4-cylinder with 86-hp and 118 ft-lbs of torque or a 1.4-liter TFSI with 122-hp and 147 ft-lbs of torque. Five and six-speed manual transmissions come standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available.
But how does it perform? Let’s ask our man JT:
“It’s … fast. And, um … still an Audi.”
Lesson #3: Don’t let JT ad lib.
Gallery: Audi A1
Sitting next to the sporty Polo GTI model at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show is a crossover-styled CrossPolo. With new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and fender flares, all in a black plastic, the sporty hatch gets a rugged off-road look. To complete the look it also gets some roof rails, as well as some 17-inch wheels.
A total of six engines will be offered (three gasoline and diesel each), combined with a six-speed or 7-speed DSG transmission. Gasoline powerplants include 1.2-and 1.4-liter 4-cylinders as well as a 1.2-liter TSI engine with direct-injection and a turbo that makes 104-hp and can accelerate the car to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds while achieving 42.7 mpg on average. As for the diesels, all three engines offered are 1.6-liter units with power levels ranging from 74-hp to 89-hp to 104-hp, with all achieving 55-mpg on average.
Inside, the CrossPolo gets some unique and rugged trim items, while total cargo space is listed at 37 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.
With Volkswagen still yet to make a move on bringing the Polo to North America, it’s highly unlikely that the CrossPolo would ever see our shores. Even if the Polo does jump the pond, a standard and GTI model are likely the only versions we’ll see – which is really just fine by us. (We really do wish they’d hurry up and bring the Polo here).
GALLERY: Volkswagen CrossPolo
Official release after the jump:
Hot on the tailpipes of the new A8 comes Audi’s A8 Hybrid, which has just made its world debut at the Geneva Auto Show. Rated at 38-mpg (average) using the European test cycle, it should be slightly lower with the less-generous U.S. cycle. Audi claims a fuel economy improvement of 20 percent in city driving.
Power comes from (what else), Audi’s incredible 2.0 TFSI engine, combined with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack for a total of 245-hp and 354 ft-lbs of torque. This enables not only impressive fuel economy, but also reasonably good performance (for a hybrid) with a 0-62 mpg time of 7.6 seconds.
The system is a full two-mode hybrid capable of running on gasoline, electric power or a combination of both. It can operate on pure electric power for over 1.5 miles at seeds up to 40 mph.
GALLERY: Audi A8 Hybrid
Official release after the jump:
World premiere of new Nissan small car, slated for sale in the U.S. soon
Nissan introduced the fourth generation of its Micra small car at the Geneva Auto Show, with hopes the compact car will help the company branch out into emerging markets.
The compact car is built on Nissan’s new V-Platform (V as in “versatile”), which provides Nissan with a base to adapt the Micra to the 160 different countries where it will be sold. The Micra will be manufactured in four locations: Thailand, India, Mexico and China.
Nissan will offer different engines for the Micra, depending on the market. In Europe, the Micra will have two options, a 1.2L three-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 79 hp, and a supercharged 1.2L direct injection engine with a start-stop system. Both engines come with the option of a five-speed manual transmission or Nissan’s continuously variable transmission system.
Gallery: Nissan Micra
GALLERY: Nissan Micra Official Photos
Official release after the jump: