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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.
 |  Mar 06 2012, 8:15 AM


Images of a new concept car by Italdesign for the Geneva Motor Show have been released. Christened Italdesign Brivido, which means “thrill” in Italian, we have to agree that the Brivido is quite thrilling indeed.

Featuring classic kamm-tail GT sportscar proportions,  blade-like LED headlamps,  as well as a signature Italdesign “birdcage” cockpit treatment, the carbon-fiber extensive Brivido is sure to be one of the stars at Geneva. With a complex glass element, we’re not sure if the Brivido comes with functional windows but seeing that it is a radical sports car with gull-wing doors, we are quick to forgive its lack of practicality.

Supposedly, the Brivido will be powered by a front-mounted 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor. Combined, the Brivido is expected to produce 360-hp, accelerate to 60 mph in under 6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 170 mph. The numbers are quite impressive, considering its combined fuel economy is rated at 36 mpg.

Interior shots have yet to be released but look for more details on the Italdesign Brivido Concept as we continue our coverage on the Geneva Motor Show.

GALLERY: Italdesign Brivido Concept


 |  May 03 2011, 12:27 PM

According to Daimler AG’s technical chief, Thomas Webber, the next generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class will possibly include an all-electric version.

In addition, the new car will likely share no cabin architecture with the current model and will also be offered in hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms, as well as conventional gas and diesel engined versions. In fact, the gas engines are rumored to be the new MoVe V-6 and V-8 motors, while oil burning options are said to include the 201 hp 2.2-liter diesel four, which would be the the smallest engine ever installed in a S-Class.

Other features are said to include a greater emphasis on interior technology, including driver-oriented  visual aids and heads-up display features. As to what the car will look like, the F800 Style Research vehicle, first seen at Geneva back in March, should help provide some visual cues.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Mar 04 2011, 9:43 PM

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Known for debuts of high-performance and exotic cars, the 2011 Geneva Auto Show did not disappoint with the world premieres of both the Ferrari FF and Lamborghini Aventador.

While impressive, those two flagship models represent only a small fraction of the overall talent on display in Geneva. Other major debuts included the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, Audi A3 Sedan Concept, Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition, MINI Rocketman Concept, Nissan ESFLOW, Infiniti Etherea, Mazda Minagi and let’s not forget the Toyota FT-86 II Concept.

See AutoGuide’s video coverage of all these models from the 2011 Geneva Auto Show after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 02 2011, 6:49 PM

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Roughly a foot shorter in length than the current A4, the A3 sedan concept foreshadows a possible smaller 4-door for the Audi range. While other automakers are targeting younger buyers with coupes and hatchbacks, this concept is poised to bring to market a proven sports sedan package that does away with much of the size and weight (not to mention the price) that have made increasingly large models both unattractive to the Gen X and Gen Y crowd.

Making it as enticing as possible, Audi has built this show car as more of an RS3 sedan, featuring bold styling, 20-inch wheels (made of carbon fiber no less) and a seriously potent engine.

Under the hood is Audi’s turbocharged 5-cylinder powerplant making 408-hp and delivering a 0-62 mph time of 4.1 seconds.

Helping to deliver that time is a low 3,400 lb curb weight, thanks to a body made of carbon composite. More than just a fancy detail on a concept car, the use of carbon fiber in this way can be seen as a statement by Audi that it is seriously looking at incorporating the high-tech material into future production models – and not just outrageously expensive ones like the R8.

Look for Audi to push ahead with this concept, a particularly enticing vehicle for the North American marketplace where Audi is eager to bolster surging sales.

GALLERY: Audi A3 Sedan Concept


 |  Mar 02 2011, 2:51 PM

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Whether you love or hate the way the Nissan Juke looks, it’s hard to argue that it’s anything but a blast to drive. Renault seems to be taking a few things from corporate partner Nissan, and emulating the Juke with their Captur, a concept that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show.

Powered by a 158-hp 1.6-liter dCi diesel engine, the Captur also uses a dual-clutch gearbox rather than a CVT like the Juke, with a very uncanny torque-vectoring AWD system like its Nissan counterpart. No details were given as to the likelihood of production, but we’d be surprised if the Captur ended up not making it to the streets.

GALLERY: Renault Captur

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 |  Mar 02 2011, 12:15 PM

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Maserati convertibles are for the kind of guys who like to wear their shirts open way past their neck and put their arm on the windowsill so everyone can see their rose gold Hublot Big Bang.

If said customer opts for the new Maserati Gran Cabrio, pedestrians may not be able to get a glimpse of the driver’s status symbols, since horsepower is up by 11 to 444, while an improved Skyhook suspension should help drivers negotiate their sweeping driveways a little better.

Most of the other changes, like blacked-out headlights and some color-matched bodywork bits, are cosmetic but apparently the brakes are “upgraded”. Whatever, as long as it looks cool.

GALLERY: Maserati Gran Cabrio Sport

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 |  Mar 02 2011, 11:02 AM

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We’re all familiar with the Smart ForTwo, which is a polarizing vehicle to say the least, but initial impressions of their newest concept, the Forspeed EV Roadster, which debuted at the Geneva Auto Show, are all lining up in one direction, and it’s not exactly positive.

Sure, the chopped roof and windshield are kind of cool, but the front end treatment looks like two Lifesaver candies and a sheet of chickenwire, and the three-spoke wheels look to be inspired by mid-1990′s MOMOs you could have purchased from TireRack. The electric powertrain puts out around 40 horsepower, with a 7 horsepower “overboost” function and a top speed of 75 mph. We’ll stick with the standard ForTwo. If we must.

GALLERY: Smart Forspeed EV Roadster

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 |  Feb 28 2011, 6:54 PM

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Mazda has yet to confirm any details on its new Minagi SportCross concept and that’s because you’re not supposed to see it until tomorrow.

Captured on display inside the Geneva Auto Show ahead of its world premiere, the Minagi shares the stage with the Japanese automaker’s new Shinari Concept, which is undeniably the design inspiration for this compact crossover.

Rumored to eventually come to market at the CX-5, slotting in under the CX-7 in Mazda’s current lineup, power could come from the same 2.0-liter direct-injection SkyActiv 4-cylinder engine found under the hood of the 2012 Mazda3. Set to get as much as 40-mpg in the Mazda3 compact, the CX-5 sport cross should deliver nearly as much with a solid 163-hp under the hood.

We’ll wait official word from Mazda, with the reveal set to take place tomorrow (Tuesday, March 1st) at the Geneva Auto Show.

GALLERY: Mazda Minagi Concept

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 |  Feb 28 2011, 5:43 PM

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Described by Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelman as “a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology,” the new Aventador LP700-4 has now officially been revealed as the successor to the famed Murcielago.

Rising from the level of an exotic to a true supercar, the LP makes 700-hp from a V12 engine, powering a machine built almost entirely of carbon fiber, while using a racecar-style pushrod suspension, the company’s impressive AWD system, as well as a compact and emotional ISR single-clutch gearbox.

The monstrously large machine is now 6-inches longer than the car it replaces while being just fractions of an inch less wide. Yet for all its amazing attributes, the carbon fiber monocoque chassis is perhaps the most astounding, allowing the Aventador to weigh just under 3,500 lbs in its dry weight form.

While the chassis is revolutionary, the design itself is somewhat evolutionary, a development of the fighter-jet looks we first saw with the Reventon. The Aventador takes cues from that car as well as from the Estoque sedan concept, and retains the scissor doors that Lambos have become famous for. Another stylistic item, that’s also very functional, is the exterior vents on the car that open and close depending on when (and how much) cooling is needed.

As mentioned, power comes from a 6.5-liter V12 engine, with a total of 700-hp on tap, as well as 509 lb-ft, and when combined with AWD propels the new Lambo flagship to 62-mph in a mere 2.9 seconds.

Part of that speed it also attributable to what Lambo calls its Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) transmission, which can swap gears in just 50 ms in a special Corsa mode, delivering a more impressive shift feel than a double-clutch unit while also weighing significantly less.

Inside it’s pure luxury with a new TFT-LCD screen for the dash instead of analog instruments. It even features what Lamborghini terms a “Drive Select Mode System” that allows the driver to adjust vehicle settings (including engine, transmission, differential, steering and stability control) to one of three pre-determined setups: Strada, Sport and Corsa.

With the first deliveries set to occur late this Summer, the Aventador has an understandably exotic price tag: $379,700.

Check back for live photos of the Aventador LP700-4 Tuesday, March 1st and see all of AutoGuide’s 2011 Geneva Auto Show coverage here.

GALLERY: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

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See after the jump for video of the Aventador unveiling:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 28 2011, 10:51 AM

Subaru Sports Car Boxer Architecture 04.JPG

Subaru has given us a first glimpse at its version of the FT-86/Toyobaru with one major surprise – the proclaimed rear-drive sports car is actually all-wheel drive.

Sharing a chassis with Toyota’s FT-86, the car was repeatedly rumored to use only a rear-drive system; strange indeed considering it has been adapted from the AWD Legacy.

On display at the Geneva Auto Show a day ahead of it’s official debut, we were disappointed that the architecture was not filled out with some stunning sheetmetal, but this revelation is far more important and certain to appease Suby fans around the globe.

As though the driveshaft weren’t enough, on a display plaque next to a scale model of the architecture it goes so far as to call the vehicle a “rear-wheel drive sports car” and then in the very next sentence states that it features “Subaru’s signature Symmetrical AWD system.” No wonder we were confused.

UPDATE: Upon inspection the vehicle, it most certainly does not have front driveshafts and is a RWD platform, leaving only the question as to why Subaru’s plaque says it does. Sorry to get your hopes up, you fans of Symmetrical AWD.

GALLERY: Subaru Boxer Sports Car Architecture

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 |  Feb 28 2011, 9:59 AM

Ferrari FF 06.JPG

Ferrari has already shown its new FF model, releasing press photos, some incredible video, and more recently debuting the car at a private event in Maranello. Set to make it’s more public world premiere tomorrow at the Geneva Auto Show, we’ve managed to gather a few teaser snap shots of the Prancing Horse’s first-ever AWD car on the show floor.

Complete details are not yet available, but we do know the important bits, like the 6.3-liter V12 engine that makes 651-hp and 504 ft lbs of torque. Combined with Ferrari’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and that new AWD system, the FF can hit 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

The FF also get’s Ferrari’s HELE (High Emotion, Low Emission) setup, which is designed to cut emissions and includes a start-stop system for the big V12 engine.

Look for more details and plenty more photos from the reveal Tuesday, March 1st.

GALLERY: Ferrari FF Teased

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 |  Feb 28 2011, 9:41 AM

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Caught on display a day ahead of its official reveal at the Geneva Auto Show, you might need to take a second look to realize this is in fact an all-new Aston Martin. Called the Virage, it’s remarkable similar to the DB9 and DBS, which comes as little surprise as it sits between the two models.

In person, the styling remains just as familiar, but the proportions are different with (if you can believe it) a nose that seems to protrude even further than those found on its siblings.

Likely target at Bentley Continental GT owners, the Virage makes a sound business case for the brand as it helps expand the lineup without adding much in the way of R&D costs. While there’s obvious savings in the design department, the car rides on the same VH architecture as the rest of the Aston lineup while power comes from (what else?) a familiar 6.0-liter V12. Output is rated at 490-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, hitting the ground through a 6-speed automatic gearbox, helping the Virage hit 60-mph in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is 186-mph.

All models will get Aston’s Adaptive Damping System (ADS), while 20-inch wheels sit at each corner wrapped around carbon ceramic brakes.

Shown here in Coupe form, Aston Martin will also offer a convertible, or Volante, as they say at Aston.

GALLERY: 2012 Aston Martin Virage

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 |  Feb 28 2011, 6:54 AM


Volkswagen‘s funky SEAT brand looks to be getting into the crossover segment, with several renderings of a new 3-door model leaking ahead of a planned debut at the Geneva Auto Show this week.

According to Autoblog Spanish, the IBX Concept will compete in the same space as the Volkswagen Tiguan, and while one could assume as much, it’s not yet clear if it shares the same platform or engine choices.

Most SEAT models are simply rebadged Volkswagens, although perhaps VW has decided to give its Spanish brand some much-needed originality, especially if it’s going to compete in the small crossover segment, increasingly occupied by some more original vehicles.

Look for more on the SEAT IBX with AutoGuide’s 2011 Geneva Auto Show coverage starting March 1st.



 |  Feb 28 2011, 6:24 AM


Ferrari will debut more than one world premiere at the Geneva Auto Show this week, with the new FF model reportedly being joined on stage by a greener version of the 458 Italia.

The 458 Italia will feature Ferrari’s HELE (High Emotion, Low Emission) system, which as the name suggests cuts emissions and improved fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

Debuting in the California, the HELE system cuts emissions by as much as 23 percent in that model thanks to a start-stop system, adaptive transmission controls that allow for limited access to power in certain driving conditions, plus a more efficient fuel pump, engine fan and a variable electronic air conditioning compressor that can cut the amount of power used by the system by 35 percent. It’s not clear yet what aspects of this system will be incorporated into the 458 or how much ‘greener’ it will be.

Look for live photos of Ferrari’s debuts March 1st with AutoGuide’s complete coverage of the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.

GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia


 |  Feb 28 2011, 5:34 AM


It may look long and sleek like a full sized luxury saloon, but that is just a part of this concept car’s appeal. Stretching no further than the length of a BMW 3 Series, the Jaguar B99 Concept by design-house Bertone is believed to be a glimpse at what Jaguar is planning as a successor to the failed X-Type.

These renderings of the car have been leaked ahead of its official debut March 1st at the Geneva Auto Show, giving a hint at how Jaguar intends to style its new entry-level luxury sports sedan.

According to recent reports, however, this new model won’t be the first new Jag to debut, with a rumored XE compact sports car planned for next year.

Look for live photos of the B99 Concept March 1st with AutoGuide’s complete coverage of the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.

GALLERY: Jaguar B99 by Bertone


 |  Feb 28 2011, 4:48 AM


The Geneva Motor Show is shaping up to be one hell of a car show. And now adding to the already impressive list of debuts is Koenigsegg’s Agera R, featuring a 5.0L twin-turbo V8 that puts out an astonishing 1,115-hp with 885 ft-lbs of torque. That’s four digits fellas, but there is a catch – that’s on E85. Assuming that if you could afford the Agera R, buying E85 by the gallon won’t be an issue, but if you’re in a bind and stuck with 95 octane, the Agera R still pushes out 940-hp with 811 ft-lbs of torque.

Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the Agera R features a carbon fiber monocoque chassis that is so rigid, a roof is optional. And the owner that commissioned this particular Agera R to be built, he opted to replace the roof with a custom carbon fiber ski box designed in conjunction with Thule. The professional skier will be able to swap out the roof at anytime, storing the other away in the cargo compartment. (We’re just waiting for the day this Agera R shows up at a public ski resort).

Worth highlighting as well is Koenigsegg’s use of Vortex Generating Rim (VGR) wheels that apparently have spokes acting as turbine vanes, helping maximize downforce. Sounds a little over-the-top fancy for us, but when you’re carrying 1,115-hp, you’re allowed to have whatever you want.

GALLERY: Koenigsegg Agera R

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 |  Feb 26 2011, 9:28 PM


As part of MINI‘s 2011 Cooper lineup and debuts at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, an announcement has been made that a John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will be available for the MINI Cooper S, MINI Cooper S Clubman and MINI Cooper S Convertible. The tuning kit will raise horsepower to 200-hp and torque to 186 ft-lbs, with an overboost function that increases torque even more to 199 ft-lbs.

The John Cooper Works factory tuning kit includes an optimized engine management (reprogrammed ECU) and a new air filter system. Both these simple modifications are the reasons for the horsepower upgrade. The tuning kit boosts 0-62 mph acceleration to 6.8 seconds while raising top speed to 145-mph.

In addition, enthusiasts will also be able to purchase a new muffler with stainless steel exhaust tips, and 18-inch Cross Spoke Red Stripe wheels.

No pricing for the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit or other accessories has been announced yet.

MINI will debut the new tuning kit in Geneva alongside the new Cooper SD lineup as well as the Rocketman concept. Check back March 1st for full coverage here.

GALLERY: 2011 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works Tuning Kit

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Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 25 2011, 8:36 AM


There wouldn’t be much of a Geneva Motor Show if AC Schnitzer didn’t have a thing or two up its sleeves to announce. For this year’s show, we now know they’ll at least be debuting a new ACS 5 Sport S and 99d vehicles, based on the BMW 550i and Z4 respectively. With both priced at the same amount, approximately $205,785, it probably comes down to if you want a nice sports car or a sedan.

Not exactly falling in the category of cheap, let’s take a look at what you get for your money from AC Schnitzer. The ACS5 Sport S, based on the BMW 550i, has its performance enhanced to 540-hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. A limited slip differential upgrade also comes with the engine modifications. No more details are given on the ACS5 Sport S, but clearly AC Schnitzer will also outfit the vehicle’s exterior with its traditional body kit, trunk and roof spoiler, suspension modifications and a set of fashionable AC Schnitzer fashionable wheels.

The same probably goes with the 99d, based off of BMW’s Z4. For its performance, AC Schnitzer sent the unconventional route and based it off of BMW’s 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition powerplant. The result is 190-hp with 310 ft-lbs of torque. The aesthetics feature much flashier graphics than the 5-Series counterpart does and we’re better ACS has an announcement to make about having your sports car and being green.

Set to debut in Geneva, we’ll be on hand to bring you more on these cars with show coverage starting March 1st.

GALLERY: AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S and 99d

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 |  Feb 24 2011, 12:33 PM

Come its official debut at the Geneva Auto Show next week, there won’t be anything left unseen of Lambo‘s latest supercar, thanks to a second leaked photo.

The first pic came from Evo Magazine Croatia, and this second pic is via Jalopnik, which doesn’t name a source.

Taking design inspiration from the Reventon, with a rear end inspired from the Estoque sedan, the successor to the Murcielago is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 rated at roughly 690-hp. It will be 18 percent more powerful than the Murcielago, while also emitting 20 percent fewer emissions. As for the transmission, Lamborghini will make use of its new ISR 7-speed transmission – the first use of a 7-speed with a V12 in the industry. With five gear settings, (auto strada, auto sport, strada, sport and corsa) the innovative transmission will be able to deliver shift times of just 50 ms in Corsa – which is almost as quick as a Formula 1 car.

Weight is kept to a minimum thanks to a carbon fiber chassis and the LP700-4 will get a pushrod suspension setup, similar to those found on race cars.

As for the rest of the car, it will be more ergonomic than even the Gallardo, with space for larger drivers. The dash will feature a new TFT instrument cluster, meaning that it won’t have traditional physical gauges, but that all instrumentation will be displayed on a screen.

The Aventador is set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Until then, see AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show Preview here.

GALLERY: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

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 |  Feb 24 2011, 8:36 AM

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Ahead of its official public debut at the Geneva Auto Show next week, Ferrari has previewed its new FF grand touring exotic in Maranello.

Few new details were provided and most that were are somewhat irrelevant as the important parts remain unchanged, with the M Coupe-styled luxury Ferrari powered by a direct-injection 6.3-liter V12 engine with 651-hp and 504 ft lbs of torque, enabling a 0-62 mph time of just 3.7 seconds thanks in part to the automaker’s first ever AWD system.

In addition, Ferrari promises significantly improved fuel economy over the 612 Scaglietti it replaces thanks to the company’s HELE (High Emotion Low Emission) system that cut emissions by 23 percent in the California HELE Concept. While Ferrari still hasn’t release full details on the extent of the system in the FF, in the California it includes a start-stop setup, electronic air conditioning, as well as different transmission controls.

Look for even more photos next week from the car’s unveiling in Geneva. Until then, see AutoGuide’s 2011 Geneva Auto Show Preview here.


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 |  Feb 23 2011, 6:57 PM

Fresh from the clutches of its GM masters, Saab is celebrating its independence (to Spyker, anyway) with another special edition of the aging 9-3 convertible, shown ahead of its formal announcement at the Geneva Auto Show.

With just 366 editions available, you can bet somebody will be paying top dollar for one in 20 years. And to justify its value beyond mere rarity, the Independence Edition gets the 2.0-liter turbocharged four from the bigger 9-5, giving it 220 horsepower. Visually, the 9-3 convertible gets a snazzy new red-orange color called Sunset Red and 18-inch wheels, while the interior features light parchment leather seats with orange stitching and a stripe down the middle. A new steering wheel and an orange needle for the turbo boost gauge round out the theme nicely.

Click the jump for a picture of the interior with the orange-striped seats.

[Source: Saabs United]

 |  Feb 23 2011, 9:07 AM


A show renowned for debuts of high-priced exotics, Lexus aims to show the folks from Maranello to Stuttgart just how it’s done over in Japan, debuting the LFA Nurburgring Edition at the Geneva Auto Show. And as luck would have it, Toyota’s luxury arm is previewing the supercar in an extensive new photo gallery – of which you’ll want to click through every pic.

In addition, Lexus has announced complete details on the Nurburgring Edition kit, with a large front splitter, cannards and a massive rear spoiler.

Output from the 4.8-liter V10 engine has been upped just 10-hp to 570-hp total, helping the carbon monocoque machine hit 62-mph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 202-mph (slightly lower than the standard model due to the massive downforce generated by the rear spoiler).

Additional upgrades include quicker shift times, a returned suspension, a lowered suspension (10mm) and special wheels and tires.

Available in Matte Black, Black, White or Orange, the interior can be had in Black and Red, Black and Pur­ple or all Black. Plus, all Nurburgring editions get added carbon  fiber interior bits, plus carbon racing seats.

Those lucky enough to afford this most exotic of Japanese cars will get to experience its potential on the Nurburgring with training from the track’s top instructors.

Check out the gallery below and look for more photos from the car’s world premier at the Geneva Auto Show March 1st.

GALLERY: Lexus LFA Nurburgring


 |  Feb 23 2011, 8:34 AM


Jaguar will debut its most powerful production car yet, the XKR-S, at the Geneva Auto Show next week. The electric blue beast packs a 550-horsepower version of the company’s supercharged V8, delivering 40 more horses than the regular XKR.

The XKR-S name was previously used for the outgoing XK8 model, but that amounted to little more than a suspension upgrade and an engineering prototype Jaguar chickened out on producing. This current XKR-S takes the now-aging XK series out with style, giving it a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, hitting 100-mph in 8.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 186 miles per hour.

Jaguar engineers gave it an overhauled suspension supporting lightweight wheels and tires, revising the Adaptive Dynamics electronic systems, and—most notably—gave it a new, comprehensive aero package. It now has more vents and gills, a large wing on the back, and a rear diffuser gracing four exhaust pipes.

Look for plenty more photos of this stylish beast with coverage of the Geneva Auto Show starting March 1st.



 |  Feb 22 2011, 7:01 PM


When the new MINI Cooper debuted back in 2001, it was impossible not to note how much larger the car was than its classic predecessor. The less-than-mini size of the vehicle is even more obvious in Europe, where the majority of cars on the road share roughly the same dimensions. It comes as little surprise then that the brand famous for thinking small is preparing to unveil a new more-mini MINI at the Geneva Auto Show next week.

Called the Rocketman concept, this isn’t a production car and it’s easy to see why, with a state-of-the-art carbon fiber spaceframe that allows it to be incredibly light – although oddly enough, MINI isn’t listing any figures relating to its weight.

Powered by what is rumored to be a turbocharged diesel 3-cylinder, the Rocketman is capable of 94-mpg. That’s imperial mpg’s however, with a U.S. number closer to the 78-mpg mark.

Size wise, its 11-feet 3-inches long, which just over a foot shorter in length than the current Cooper hardtop. For added perspective, the Smart fortwo is nearly 9-feet in length.

Inside there’s seating for 3+1 (similar to Toyota’s iQ) with three seats for adults and an occasional use seat for a child. Getting into and out of the car is made easy thanks to innovative doors that have double hinges, allowing them to open extra wide when there’s room or to almost slide open when in tighter spots. Improved ease of access is also possible as when the doors open there is no sidesill to step over. Instead the bottom of the car moves with the door, as the carbon frame means rocker panels no longer have to be structural elements.

In terms of styling, it’s always hard to tell how close a MINI concept is to production. Most automakers get pretty wild with their concepts, but MINI’s designers are too concerned with crafting the car to look like a MINI to be overly creative. There are, however, a few unique elements, like the 18-inch carbon fiber wheels designed with aerodynamics in mid. And let’s not forget the glass Union Jack roof.

Inside, it’s typical MINI too, with a large center speedo (oh how we loathe you) that has a 3D display, and a futuristic look at MINI Connected with a joystick on the center console and steering wheel mounted controls to help you stay more connected.

MINI says the Rocketman concept is a look at a possible future model, taking into account the brand’s core values, which include premium trim, a creative use of space and a dynamic driving experience.

Will MINI bring the Rocketman to market? Possibly, however, it’s not likely to make it across the Atlantic. In a recent interview with AutoGuide, MINI U.S.A. boss Jim McDowell said he didn’t foresee any smaller or larger MINIs in North America.

Expect news on the production possibility when the car debuts next week at the Geneva Auto Show. Until then, see all the previewed cars for Geneva here.

GALLERY: MINI Rocketman Concept


Get more on the Rocketman Concept with the official release after the jump:

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