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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.
 |  Oct 02 2010, 6:46 AM

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After debuting the IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) G Coupe at Pebble Beach, Nissan’s luxury arm has unveiled the IPL G Convertible at the Paris Auto Show. Those eager to get their hands on this more attractive G Coupe will have to wait, however, as it’s technically a concept car. But don’t let the name fool you, Infiniti will most certainly bring this car to market – likely with an announcement just before orders can be placed for the Spring.

Like its coupe counterpart, the IPL G Convertible makes 348-hp from a 3.7-liter V6 and gets a solid list of performance and aesthetic enhancements. Included in that list is a retuned suspension, 19-inch wheels with sport brakes, a performance exhaust and a limited slip differential. Plus there’s a unique aero kit, special IPL badging, an IPL engine cover and unique interior treatments including red leather.

GALLERY: IPL G Convertible Concept Debut in Paris

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GALLERY IPL G Convertible Concept

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 |  Oct 02 2010, 6:31 AM

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Volvo is adding even more style and a touch more performance to its new S60 and V60 models thanks to an optional R-Design package. Officially unveiled at the Paris Auto Show, the R-Spec package is available with any engine choice (in Europe anyway).

R-Design models are easily distinguishable by their new front-end, as well as an aggressive rear diffuser with twin exhaust pipes. Plus, there are special 18-inch five-spoke rims. Handling is then optimized thanks to a front strut brace, rear monotube shocks and lowering springs that drop the height of the sedan or wagon by 15mm.

Inside, there’s a more sport-oriented interior with new sport seats, an R-Design steering wheel, gear shifter, sport pedals and floor mats.

R-Design packages should be available at Volvo dealers in the U.S. shortly – although don’t plan on picking up a V60 R-Design as Volvo has yet to confirm the wagon for North America.

GALLERY: Volvo S60 R-Design

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GALLERY: Volvo V60 R-Design

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 02 2010, 6:27 AM

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Infiniti still doesn’t have much of a presence in Europe, but the brand it looking to continue to grow thanks to a strong lineup of sport-oriented luxury models on one side, and an expanding hybrid and EV initiative on the other. The latest addition to the Infiniti lineup, the M35h, has plenty of potential with a strong combination of luxury, performance and fuel economy.

On display at the Paris Auto Show, the M35h uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine to produce 302-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and is joined by an electric motor that adds 67-hp more. The system uses a lithium-ion battery pack that Infiniti says allows for more driving to be done under electric power. Infiniti also boasts an industry-first clutch setup that has been installed between the gasoline engine and electric motor.

What really maters, however, are the numbers, with Infiniti making some impressive claims. The car is touted to get 38.6 mpg, while also being able to hit 60-mph in just 5.9 seconds. What isn’t clear is if those mpg numbers are based on the more generous European test cycle.

GALLERY: Infiniti M35h

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 |  Oct 01 2010, 1:50 PM

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Citroen’s Survolt electric car is pretty single-minded. While the Tesla Roadster is an electric sports car for the road, the Survolt is meant to be an outright race car.

With two electric motors making 300 horsepower, the Survolt has muscle, and can hit over 160 miles per hour. 0-60 comes in just under 5 seconds, and the best part is the 124 miles means that you can put a fair number of laps in before it needs more juice. Inside, full bucket seats and a roll cage keep you safe, while the rest of the interior matches the funky styling.

Gallery: Citroen Survolt

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 |  Oct 01 2010, 11:21 AM

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Most of you are familiar with the Chevrolet Orlando, the minivan touted by Chevrolet as a game-changer that was canned at the last minute for the United States.

We were lucky enough to get our first glimpse of the Orlando during its unveiling here in Paris, and it’s actually a bit larger than expected.

The Orlando gets a choice of 4-cylinder engines, ranging in displacement from a 1.8L four-cylinder to a pair of 2.0L diesels, with a max output of 163 horsepower. Inside, the Orlando is pretty similar to its Cruze stablemate, but with a couple extra seats. Ford’s C-Max, which is going to be sold over here, is the more interesting American minivan if you ask us.

Check out the press release after the jump

Gallery: Chevrolet Orlando

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Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 01 2010, 10:16 AM

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Looking nearly identical to the production model, Chevy has unveiled the hatchback version of the Cruze compact car at the Paris Auto Show. We say nearly identical because Chevy refers to this as a “show car”; more commonly called a concept.

But like the Aveo that morphed from concept to reality with little changed, the same is expected for the Cruze hatch. About the only adjustments will be the removal of items like LED daytime running lights.

The Cruze hatch is expected to use the same engines as found in the sedan and cargo room is rated at 14.1 cubic feet.

A hatchback version of the Cruze is no surprise for the European market as hatchbacks are a favorite there. “Hatchbacks play a critical role in many markets,” says Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe. “The total compact segment in Europe represents around 4.8 million units which is over a quarter of the total market, with hatchbacks representing around 65% of that volume. We therefore expect to see increased business in a number of regions, while sending out a signal that Chevrolet is now a serious mainstream player in Europe.”

It’s not yet known what other markets will get the Cruze hatch and while it would seem more likely that North America would get a coupe model, we can’t rule the hatchback out yet – especially as Ford will deliver a 5-door version of the new Focus here shortly.

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: Chev Cruze Hatchback Concept

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 |  Oct 01 2010, 9:53 AM

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After rotting on the vine of General Motors for a few too many seasons, the Chevy Aveo has just been replaced with a new generation model sporting the same subcompact’s badge. Unveiled at the Paris Auto Show, the new small car retains many of the features from the Aveo RS Concept car, including the large front grille, oversized headlights and rear door handles that are hidden into the C-pillar to give the 5-door a sporty 3-door look. And while the design is nice, the taller dimensions of the Aveo do make it look more functional than fun. That’s not always a bad thing, however, as the Aveo looks to have significantly more cargo room than the Ford Fiesta – although no official cargo numbers have been released.

Inside there’s an improved interior although it’s not thrilling. Then again, it might change when it makes it to North America as in Europe Chevy is GM’s entry-level brand, below Opel. Of note is the  “motorcycle-inspired” instrument cluster with an analogue tachometer and digital speedometer. Chevy says the new Aveo will get a modern audio system with compatibility for USB and Bluetooth.

Also promised is “involved handling” while all models will get electric power steering, stability control and ABS brakes.

As for what’s under the hood, Chevy will offer both a 70-hp and 86-hp 1.2-liter engine, a 100-hp 1.4-liter and a 115-hp 1.6-liter in Europe. (Sorry, no 1.4T…. not yet anyway). Both of the larger engines will, however, be available with a 6-speed automatic, while a 6-speed manual is standard. Also available (in Europe) are two 1.3-liter diesels making 75-hp and 95-hp respectively.

Chevy has not yet announced how soon the new Aveo will go on sale in North America.

GALLERY: 2011 Chevy Aveo

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 |  Oct 01 2010, 8:06 AM

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News doesn’t necessarily have to be new. Sure, that goes against the age old rules of journalism… but it’s true. Case in point: the Porsche GT2 RS.

Unveiled at the Moscow Auto Show, it’s still worth covering here at the Paris Motor Show – although part of the reason is that we never covered the Moscow show because like almost every other automotive publication we value our lives. It’s also really far away.

With a total of 620-hp from its twin-turbo flat-six engine, the GT2 RS is the most powerful street legal Porsche ever. It’s also incredibly light thanks to a reduction in weight of 154 lbs. Looking at the car it’s easy to see where the weight went, with carbon fiber body panels and exterior trim items, carbon fiber seats, carbon ceramic brakes and light-weight forged RS Spyder wheels with center locks.

In fact, Porsche went to such extremes to save weight that the hood logo is actually just a sticker.

Along with a host of other upgrades, the proof comes with a Nürburgring lap time that’s well beyond any of the competition, besting the Viper ACR’s best time by 4 seconds with a 7:18.

Just 500 GT2 RS models are being built at a price of $245,000.

GALLERY: Porsche GT2 RS

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 01 2010, 7:20 AM

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Announced just a few weeks ago, Bentley chose the Paris Auto Show to debut “the new” Continental GT. We say “new” because it’s got the same chassis and engine, along with most everything else. And for the most party the body looks identical.

But wait… the minor changes made to the volume Bentley model wind up making a real difference, with the new Conti GT now being infused with more of the regal design cues of its forebearers. Plus, this particular model came coated in a particularly high-gloss (yet subtle) paint.

And while the twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 remains under the hood, power is up with 567-hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque. In addition, Bentley will also offer a 4.0-liter V8 that will cut emissions by 40 percent. A new “Quickshift” 6-speed automatic transmission sends 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels for a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 198-mph.

Also new is an improved infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and Google Maps.

Expect a drop-top in about a year’s time, with high-performance SPEED models and limited editions to follow.

GALLERY: 2011 Bentley Continental GT

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 |  Oct 01 2010, 5:29 AM

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Yesterday Lotus Cars began what the storied British automaker is calling a “New Era” launching an entire lineup of vehicles at one auto show. A total of five new models graced the Lotus stand, including the new Esprit, a second-generation Elise, the flagship Elite and even a 4-door model called Eterne. Details were scarce, but Kevin Smith, head of publications for Lotus Cars USA has shed some light on each of the five models.

Smith says the automaker is confident it will bring all five models to market, based on the same versatile vehicle architecture used for the current Evora and with a funding commitment from Lotus parent company Proton.

First to market will be the Esprit, with an on-sale date set for the Spring of 2013. With a body made entirely of carbon fiber it will be a true exotic, using a supercharged version of the Lexus 5.0-liter V8 making 542-hp in standard trim and a whopping 612-hp in R-spec trim. As Lotus Cars CEO Dany Bahar said at the introduction of the Esprit concept, “The icon is back.”

Following the Esprit will be the Elan, launching in the Fall of 2013 as a coupe, with a convertible model set to follow. As a competitor to the Porsche 911, Smith guarantees it will be a true rival. Using a 4.0-liter version of the Toyota-sourced V6 found in the Evora, the Elan will be 200-lbs lighter. An R-Spec model will also be offered, boasting 450-hp. Both it, and the Elise, will use a combination of aluminum and composite materials to keep weight to a minimum. In addition, Lotus will offer both the Esprit and the Elan as a hybird.

The flagship for the new Lotus will follow six months later in the Spring of 2014, with a standard trim making 612-hp. A hybrid option will be offered and this grand touring exotic comes exclusively with a retractable hardtop.

Spring of 2015 will see the launch of the second-generation Lotus Elise. Gaining size and weight over the current car the new Elise will come in at between 2,300 and 2,400 lbs and Smith promises will be easier to get into than even the new Evora model. Power will come from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with forced induction (either a turbocharger or supercharger), making a total of 316-hp. That should be enough to deliver a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds. Plus, those in search of a fuel efficient sports car will be able to get it with the new Elise as Lotus also plans to offer a hybrid option. Unlike the rest of the hybrids in the Lotus lineup, the Elise will be a mild hybrid (like the Honda system) and feature start-stop technology. And while Lotus looks to expand and grow as an automaker, it also wants to retain its core customers with the next gen Elise, with Bahar commenting at the Lotus press conference that it would retain its, “cheaky charm.”

Completing the new Lotus lineup is the Eterne 4-door sports sedan. Again, based on the same architecture, its designed as a rival to the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte, but wont hit the market until the Fall of 2015.

In addition to these, Lotus is also considering a city car, but that is very much up-in-the-air at this point says Smith. The goal with the five concepts shown is to expand Lotus production and sell between 7,500 and 8,000 vehicles annually.

Often production models don’t live up to the hype of the concepts, but Smith reassured us that the models on display in Paris are 90 to 95 percent representative of the planned road cars.

 |  Oct 01 2010, 4:29 AM

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Matching the Ferrari 599 in output, Lotus has just officially debuted its first supercar, the Elite, at the Paris Auto Show. With a total of 612-hp and 531 ft-lbs of torque from a custom 5.0-liter V8 engine, there’s far more to the Elite than just a name and some numbers.

This stunning grand touring exotic is based on a version of the Lotus Evora platform and features a retractable hardtop and will be able to be ordered with an optional KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that can store energy from braking and translate it into added boost

“Make no mistake, there’s a definite market requirement for the Elite,” said Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, “it’s the ultimate sports car feel with comfort and space. There will always be those who believe that Lotus should stick to small sports cars but we didn’t take the decision to design something like the Elite lightly, it’s based on months of careful research and planning. It’s worth noting this sector has been very successful for us in the past and now the Elite raises the benchmark higher still.”

Those interested in owning the new Lotus supercar will have to be patient, however, as Lotus promises it won’t be for sale until the Spring of 2014.

Alongside the Elite, Lotus also unveiled four additional models that are set to create a new era for the iconic sports car maker. Included in the list are new Esprit, the Elan, a 4-door model named the Eterne and finally the second-generation Lotus Elise that’s set to debut in 2014.

Gallery: Lotus Elite

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 1:34 PM

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The original Lotus Elan was an icon, a two-seat, four-cylinder roadster that weighed 1,400 pounds and was the inspiration for the Mazda Miata. The new one couldn’t be more different.

Styled in the same vein as the new Esprit, the supercharged 4.0L V6 makes 450 horsepower and an optional hybrid system help rocket the Elan to a 193 mph top speed and a mid-3 second 0-60 time.

The 2+2 configuration suggests that this car might replace the Evora, which seats 4, although the $118,500 price tag is quite a bit more than the current Evora’s sticker.

Gallery: Lotus Elan

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 10:19 AM

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Some may say it looks a little like a Corvette Convertible, regardless, there’s no denying the Ferrari 599 SA Aperta is classically beautiful. With just 80 models being built, the SA Aperta is ultra-exclusive (they made five times as many Enzos) and celebrates 80 years of Pininfarina design. The name itself honors the design house – in particular Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina.

Incredibly despite the chop-top roof, Ferrari claims the weight gain is “negligible,” retaining the 599 coupe’s incredible driving dynamics and chassis rigidity. But there’s more than just a drop-top to this Ferrari, with a windscreen that’s been chopped, a lowered suspension and the rollbars that seem to flow out of the design of the seats.

Power comes from the same engine found in the 599 GTO, with 670-hp on tap from Ferrari’s incredible 6.0-liter V12 engine.

Put your bib on and prepare to drool through the Gallery below.

GALLERY: Ferrari 599 SA Aperta

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 10:02 AM

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Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC series cars, as well as the Italian automaker’s GT4 race cars, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale brings much of the former two models’ racing capability to the street.

With an extra 10-hp over the GranTurismo S model, the 4.7-liter V8 makes 450-hp and 376 ft-lbs of torque, allowing for an even quicker 0-62 mph blast of just 4.6 seconds. However, it’s not the added power that makes the biggest difference, but the reduced curb weight of 243 lbs for a more reasonable total of 3,902 lbs. Some of that weight reduction is the result of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, removed rear seats and carbon fiber racing seats (in some markets).

Yet another contributing factor to the car’s speed is an upgraded transmission with shift times that have been reduced to just 60 milliseconds.

While a street car, this lighter and faster GranTurismo is also perfect for the track with a special Race mode that reduces the stability control program’s interference, increases the exhaust note and activates the fastest shift times. Activating Race model will cause the car to automatically downshift two gears, while holding the paddle down during aggressive driving will also allow for a dual down-shift. Plus, regardless of whether the driver chooses Race, Normal or Sport, the Stradale’s throttle sensitivity is increased over the standard car.

The GranTurismo MC Stradale is the first Maserati to have just two seats since the MC12 and is also the first Maserati road car to exceed 300 km/h (186-mph) with a top speed of 301 km/h. It will go on sale in the first quarter of 2011.

GALLERY: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 30 2010, 8:53 AM

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Sure there are lots of high-powered V8, V10 and even V12s at the Paris Auto Show, but as you likely know most Europeans put around in tiny displacement engines. Well, Fiat is hoping its home market will be receptive to a further down-sizing with the release of the new 500 TwinAir. The “twin” in the name indicated the number of cylinders; that’s right, just two.

Using Fiat’s multiair injection system and a turbocharger output is an impressive 85-hp and 107 ft-lbs of torque for the 900cc engine, with a not-terrible 0-60 mph time of around 10 seconds. No official fuel economy numbers are yet available, but some early tests have shown 57-mpg, while Fiat refers to the car as the “most ecological” engine in the world.

It’s believed Fiat will release a less powerful and more powerful version of the engine, while a hybrid model could hit 100-mpg.

On display at the Paris Auto Show, Fiat presented several models, including a special edition model in matte-black. Some other models just also happened to be on hand.

GALLERY: Fiat 500 TwinAir

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Get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com

 |  Sep 30 2010, 8:00 AM

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Smart had already teased us with the eScooter concept ahead of its Paris Auto Show debut, but with MINI also announcing a similar concept, Smart decided to take its green initiative to a new level – bicycles.

The eScooter can seat both a driver and a passenger thanks to a secondary seat that folds out, as well as footrest pegs that slide out from the body. With a range of 100 km (60 miles) it can be recharged in anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. The production possibility for this model is likely, especially with Smart announcing it could potentially target the scooter at those who don’t yet have a driver’s license. This would certainly help parent company Daimler’s ability to grow its customer loyalty from a very young age.

As for Smart’s second two-wheeled emissions-free mobility solution, the eBike, well, its a hybrid of sorts. It uses an electric motor, yes, but instead of a gasoline engine it uses your muscles. The electric “booster” of 250 watts stores energy in a lithium-ion battery pack with 36 volts of power. Drivers can choose from four levels of electric boost, allowing for a range of 30, 50, 70 or 90 kilometers. Gear ratios change with the boost level and at no time can the Smart eBike exceed 25 km/h (roughly 15 mph), meaning that (at least in Europe) no license of any kind is required to charge it.

Recharging the battery pack takes from 2 to 3 hours in a conventional household outlet.

Both the eBike and eScooter also feature a hook-up point for a smart phone.

GALLERY: SMART eScooter

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GALLERY: SMART eBike

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 30 2010, 7:36 AM

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Mercedes-Benz has just officially unveiled the second-generation CLS, that, like its predecessor, will shape a generation of Mercedes products. With a longer hood and overhangs that end more abruptly, the second-gen CLS has an even more coupe-like profile. Unveiled in a matte-beige, the CLS also sports a more unique interior with a more sporting feel but also added luxury. Of note one of of the display cars was matte-finished wood trim.

Unveiled with a range of fuel efficient diesel engines, the CLS will initially be offered in North American with as the CLS550 with a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 402-hp and 443 ft-lbs of torque from just 1600 rpm. It’s expected that Mercedes will later deliver a CLS63 model with a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 and around 530-hp and 590 ft-lbs of torque.

No official fuel economy numbers are yet available, but Mercedes claims that due to its switch to smaller, turbocharged engines, mileage should be improved by as much as 20 percent.

GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 5:57 AM

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6 speeds. 5 cylinders. 4 wheels putting power to the ground. The Audi Quattro Concept is everything we could ever want from the 4-ringed brand, but unfortunately, it’s still a concept car at this stage.

The Quattro concept weighs in at around 3,000 lbs is moved by a 5-cylinder turbo motor, producing 408 horsepower and 354 lb-ft through a 6-speed manual gearbox and a quattro all-wheel-drive system. Inside, Sparco seats and an MMI system with a built-in rally computer help keep the driver planted.

The car is said to pay homage to the Ur-Quattro of the 1980s, that dominated rally stages across the globe. We think it’s a fitting tribute, and can’t wait to see it for sale.

GALLERY: Audi Quattro Concept

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 30 2010, 5:43 AM

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Land Rover has been pushing its new Range Rover Evoque model as a new direction for the storied British SUV builder. In fact, the Evoque isn’t an SUV at all, but rather a crossover, using a lighter platform that allows for significantly improved fuel economy.

Based on it’s two-door coupe design, comparisons might be made to the BMW X6 or Acura ZDX, but the Evoque is (surprisingly) much smaller than those two. Touted as being significantly more efficient that the rest of the Land Rover lineup, that boast is much easier to believe in person, with the Evoque’s dimensions downright diminutive and the roof sitting at shoulder height.

In other markets it will be powered by a 2.2-liter turbodiesel, while North American models will get a version of Ford’s Ecoboost 2.0-liter, making 240-hp. No fuel economy numbers are yet available, but the Evoque should post drastically improved EPA estimates from current Land Rover products.

The Evoque will go on sale next year as a 2012 model.

GALLERY: Range Rover Evoque

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 30 2010, 5:12 AM

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For years under Ford, Jaguar had to play second fiddle to Aston Martin, both in terms of performance and style. With new ownership, Jag has expanded its performance capabilities in recent years with a new line of 5.0-liter V8 engines that make over 500-hp in certain applications. Now, Jag is looking to ramp-up the style of its models. Sure the XF and new XJ are a significant departure from Jaguar’s past, but they have nothing on the breathtaking style of the C-X75 Concept.

Looking to Jaguar’s future, the C-X75 is a concept car that’s set to inspire future Jaguar productions models – like the next XK. It also looks at Jaguar’s past, with a distinct look reminiscent of the XJ220.

Along with being achingly beautiful, the C-X75 is also a range-extended electric and has a propulsion system similar to that found in the Chevy Volt, using electric power to drive the wheels, while additional “micro gas turbines” can recharge the lithium-ion battery packs to add extended range. The C-x75 is touted to be capable of 68 miles of range before the two 96-hp gas turbines kick in to give a total range of 560 miles. It also makes an incredible 780-hp from the four 195-hp electric motors, while 1,187 ft-lbs of torque enables a 0-62 mph time of just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 205-mph.

The goal, says Jaguar, “was to produce not only the most innovative but also one of the most beautiful Jaguars ever; one which hints at an exciting evolution of the marque’s award-winning design language while paying homage to some of its most admired cars of years gone by.” Goal, achieved.

With the C-X75 set to inspire future Jaguar models, we can’t wait to get a look at the upcoming next-gen XK.

GALLERY: Jaguar C-X75 Concept

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 4:56 AM

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Lexus has just officially debuted the production version of the CT200h hybrid hatchback at the Paris Auto Show. And while Lexus does hope to significantly expand the premium compact segment in the United States, it expects huge growth in Europe with the CT projected to double the Toyota luxury brand’s sales.

The CT is the first “sport oriented” Lexus hybrid, with a focus on dynamic handling rather than outright acceleration. In fact, using a version of the Toyota Prius’s Hybrid Synergy Drive engine, it makes 134-hp and accelerates to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds. What it can also do, however, is get a combined average of 42-mpg. For the record, that’s 8-mpg better than its closest competitor here in North America.

Along with a functional hatchback design, the CT features a more youthful appeal with more exciting design cues. Inside, it’s pure Lexus luxury.

To put the focus on driving dynamics, the car features a four-mode control system that allows the driver to switch from modes labeled: EV, Normal, Eco and Sport. In sport mode, the car not only gets a more sensitive throttle and more powerful from the electric motor, but it also features tighter steering to help aid in the driving experience.

Look for AutoGuide’s First Drive of the CT200h on October 12th.

GALLERY: Lexus CT200h Paris Auto Show Debut

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GALLERY: Lexus CT200h

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 4:30 AM

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In the long line of hot hatchbacks we wont get comes another enticing product, the Audi A1 1.4TFSI. Based on the more accesible Volkswgaen Polo GTI, the A1 gets the same 1.4TFSI twincharged engine and DSG gearbox, in a much more upscale package.

An S-Line bodykit and bigger wheels help set it apart from lesser A1s, and the car’s estimated $31,000 puts it in the rareified world of more expensive sports cars, making it unlikely that we’ll ever see it on our shores. But boy, does it ever look good.

Gallery: Audi A1 1.4TFSI

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 4:20 AM

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Audi‘s E-Tron Spyder debuted at the Paris Auto Show today, and surprised observers by departing from the purely electric setup seen in previous E-Tron concepts.

The Spyder will use a 3.0L TDI V6 and a DSG transmission to power the rear wheels, while the fronts get a pair of twin electric motors. An aluminum space frame chassis helps keep weight low, as does carbon-fiber re-enforced plastic bodywork. With the E-Tron coupe set to go on sale in 2012, it’s possible that it could be joined by the Spyder shown here.

Gallery: Audi E-Tron Spyder

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 |  Sep 30 2010, 4:00 AM

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Audi‘s R8 GT, the most hardcore version of its R8 sports car, got its first public premiere at the Paris Auto Show. Sporting a 40 horsepower bump from its 5.2L V10 engine (up to 560 horsepower) and a host of weight reductions thanks to the use of carbon fiber, polycarbonate windows and thinner glass, the R8 GT should satisfy the most hardcore sports car addicts.

Only 333 examples will be made, and if you haven’t already been invited to buy one, you probably will never have the chance to own one. That and the $256,000 price tag.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

Gallery: Audi R8 GT

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