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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.
Along the same vein as the Fisker Karma, the plug-in hybrid Pininfarina Cambiano concept may receive the “go-ahead” for low-volume production.
According to Pininfarina CEO Sergio Angori, “We are evaluating the potential for companies and private buyers interested in a high-performance, low-emission luxury model such as the Cambiano.”
The Pininfarina Cambiano concept was first unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, sporting four electric motors that deliver 60kW each and could potentially peak at 150kW for short moments. Combined, the battery is capable of providing 500kW, equating to 680-hp.
Pininfarina expects the concept to reach a little over 200km in full-electric mode and have a combined range of 800km. Performance-wise, Pininfarina claims the Cambiano can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 4.2 seconds.
Sergio Angori said that if Pininfarina were to build 10 units, then each Cambiano will be priced at approximately 1 million euros each. However, if production were to reach 75 units, the per-unit cost would fall to 400,000 euros.
A diesel-powered internal combustion engine will be the more realistic offering for production and will likely replace the diesel turbine found within the concept. It will take a minimum of two years of development before production of the Cambiano will commence. We hope this means the Cambiano will not be plagued with the same reliability concerns as the Fisker Karma.
[Source: Auto News]
The Si trim moniker for various Honda models throughout its history has always symbolized increased performance. Short for “sport injected”, fans of the Civic body will remember generations of Si models as being the funnest to own and drive.
Which is why it’s such a shame that the Honda Jazz Si that the Japanese automaker recently debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, only packs the European-spec 1.4L, four-cylinder with a whopping 98-hp. Sure the Jazz (known as the Fit in the U.S.) is meant to be an economy car, but so was the Civic.
So what makes this special edition Jazz Si special? Well it features a new body kit on the exterior, no doubt giving it a sportier appearance, further improved by the 16-inch wheels. Handling has also been enhanced with a larger front sway bar and the electronic power steering system has been tweaked for improved feel and response.
On the inside, Honda outfits the Jazz Si with black and silver supportive seats and a sporty leather-trimmed steering wheel.
But alas, with just 98-hp and 94 lb-ft of torque, this Jazz Si is hardly fit to sport the Si badge. In Honda’s defense however, the Si badge doesn’t have the same prestige in Europe as it does in America. If Honda plans on bringing a Fit Si to the U.S. however, it better live up to its “sport injected” name.
The 2012 Jazz Si is currently available for order in Europe and will arrive in showrooms at the end of August. No pricing was announced.
GALLERY: 2012 Honda Jazz Si
Despite the tragic demise of the Saab brand, former Saab CEO Victor Muller isn’t going to quit just yet.
Victor Muller elaborated upon the proclamation and revealed details to keep Spyker Cars, the Dutch hand-made supercar marque that put him on the automotive map. “I’m excited to get back into this business,” said Muller, adding that he has already put most of the liabilities incurred during the Saab fiasco behind him. Cash and finances will now be dedicated to restoring Spyker.
What’s more, Russian business partner Vladimir Antonov invested a significant amount into Saab and Spyker during its most turbulent period. Now, Muller is happy to say that Antonov is “out of the picture” entirely, suggesting more freedom for Muller to run his business. He ambitiously suggests the expansion of the Spyker line-up as well, which had never produced more than 100 vehicles a year.
Letting out a sigh at the mention of Saab, Muller hinted that Saab isn’t through with all nine of its lives. Some reports have indicated the possibility of several potential investors that could revive the Swedish brand. Unfortunately, the speed bump is dealing with intellectual properties from GM that are found within the 9-5 and 9-4X models. In any case, Saab is no longer Muller’s problem.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
It may seem that Rolls-Royce only cared about its Phantom Series II debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but the British luxury automaker had a bespoke, two-tone Ghost well hidden in their exclusive on-stand guest lounge.
It was one of the first examples of a two-tone Rolls-Royce Ghost, a bespoke option that will be offered for the first time this year thanks to the popularity of two-tone Phantoms. The two-tone Ghost that was in Geneva was finished in Infinity Black and Cassiopeia Silver upper two-tone. Inside is seashell headlining and black leather with black-stained ash veneer, further accented by steel pinstripes. For floor mats, Rolls-Royce only offers the most luxurious lambswool mat.
The Ghost pictured above has been commissioned by a client in the Middle East, featuring a Baynunah Brown with Arizona Sun two-tone. A gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy with double coach-line in gold finish off the bespoke design.
“Whether Ghost or Phantom, any Rolls-Royce is a work of art, taking its place in our clients’ luxury collections alongside yachts, helicopters and fine jewellery,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “So I am delighted that we are now able to offer two-tone options for Ghost as well as for Phantom, features that once again extend the palette upon which a Rolls-Royce masterpiece can be painted.”
GALLERY: Two-Tone Rolls-Royce Ghost
Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg makes really cool cars, there isn’t any arguing about it. The company uses so much carbon fiber in its cars that even the wheels, which are hollow, are made of the stuff on the higher-end Agera R model.
Both the Agera and Agera R got a refresh and debuted Tuesday at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. These cars have a simply scary power-to-weight ratio, 2.63:1 pounds to horsepower. Running on E85, the car makes 1140 hp and has a top speed of 273 mph.
Cars like this impress on paper, but few people actually experience the thrills such machines can provide. Thankfully, Koenigsegg’s cars are a true joy to behold. Sure, spending time gawking is no substitute for driving, but it’s still a sight to remember.
We spent a little time snapping detailed photos so you could do the same vicariously through us.
GALLERY: 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R
For us North Americans, the Peugeot 205 GTi has little or no significance, especially since it was never sold here and the last Pug we could get our hands on was the 405 Mi16 back in 1992.
In Europe however, the 205 GTi, produced from 1984-94 is revered; a sharp handling overachiever of a hot hatch that was inexpensive to own and tremendous fun to drive. Following its demise, Peugeot tried to capture the car’s quintessential spirit with the 206 and 207 GTi models, though these cars never achieved the same cult status as the original.
With the new 208, that replaces the 207 for the 2012 model year and the 30th anniversary of the 205 GTi not far off, perhaps now is as good a time as any to introduce a true successor to the original, much like VW has done with its own hot hatch. The Peugeot 208 GTi concept, revealed at Geneva, plays heavily on the old 205 theme, not only in the side glass window treatment, but also the brushed aluminum appliqué on each rear quarter panel.
Other distinguishing exterior features on the 208 GTi concept include a special front fascia, rocker panel extensions, rear deck spoiler and dual chrome exhaust tips. Inside, sport bucket seats upholstered in Nappa leather with tartan inserts, plus a dash trimmed in Alcantara, along with a black headliner, leather wrapped steering wheel and aluminum pedals, help convey the sporty theme.
Under the hood is a RCZ 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine cranking out 200 horsepower, teamed with a six-speed manual gearbox, while a wide track, big alloy wheels and low profile performance tires round things off. Finished in attention grabbing red paint the 208 GTi concept was definitely one of the highlights of the Geneva show and there’s little doubt a production version will materialize, though it would be cool if it debuts as a 2014 model, to coincide with the 205 GTi’s 30th birthday.
As for North American sales, don’t get your hopes up, though if this new Peugeot-GM alliance thing really gets going, there’s a chance we might again see cars with Lion badges sitting in stateside showrooms. If that day comes, we hope there’s a little GTi hatchback among them.
GALLERY: Peugeot 208 GTI
BMW‘s 1M coupe was a hot shot of a car, but the company didn’t keep it up. Now we’re left looking forward to the hot hatch that may replace it — the M 135i.
Bavaria’s own tiny tire-burner-to-be is based on the 135i and it’s formidable 3.0-liter inline six cylinder guilty of giving more than 300 hp to the lightweight German car. That’s plenty to speed with before you let the boys in BMW’s M Division get in and poke around.
We don’t know much about the car yet, but it’s safe to assume it will come with six-speed manual transmission, bigger brakes and sportier interior seats — probably a stiffer suspension too.
Even if the car misses out on major mechanical modification, the engine is easily tunable and such a light chassis with a potent engine and stiffer suspension would be a real blast — think of a Mazda MX-5 Miata with cojones.
GALLERY: BMW M 135i concept
10. Bentley EXP 9 F SUV Concept
Rather than a Continental GT styled swoopy looking crossover, Bentley’s SUV concept is big, bold and brutish, taking styling from the brand’s flagship Mulsanne, including a massive flat-fronted prow and some of the largest fog lights ever fitted to a vehicle.
Still, there’s little doubt that it’s excellently crafted and by all accounts appears near to production. Regardless of what it looks like, it’s what it is that makes the EXP so important. If Bentley is to grow as a brand, especially in emerging markets, an SUV is what it needs.
Despite criticism, don’t look for major changes to a production model. We overheard Bentley reps surveying numerous VIP guests about the car and all responded that they’d buy one right away.
One of the most iconic sports car brands in the world has to be AC cars. After all, it was their Ace model that a young Texan by the name of Carroll Shelby took a liking to back in the early 1960′s, added more power (and bulges) to it, and hence gave birth to the Cobra.
Since then, AC has had its fair share of ups and downs, with the company going into receivership in 1996. Thankfully the new owner of the company decided to not only service existing cars, but also put the Cobra back into production. With the popularity of this iconic sports car only growing with time, the company has been able to sustain itself while many other British cars firms have disappeared.
However, even if the continuation series Cobra MK II and MK IV models are doing well, AC cannot move forward by just making a model from its past. To move forward, they needed a new model, and what they came up with has just been unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show.
It’s called the AC 378 GT Zagato, and it is the first all-new model the company has presented in over a decade. If the design looks familiar, it’s because this car was first shown back in 2009 as the Perana Z-One concept by Zagato.
While Perana seems to have vanished, Zagato offered the design to AC, who have thankfully taken on the project which has culminated to the car you see here today.
The AC 378 GT Zagato has its own chassis and body (both of which are put together in South Africa, by the same people who build the Noble sports car), but motive power comes from a very American source. Under that long hood is the same 6.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V8, that you would find in the base Chevrolet Corvette C6. According to AC, this engine produces 434-hp and that is good enough to propel this 3223-lbs car from 0-60 mph in under four-seconds and onto a top speed of 185-mph.
So not only is it pretty, it is also quite fast. At this point we are sure you’re tempted to park one on your drive way, but there are a few issues with that. Initially, AC will only offer this model for sale in U.K. and Germany, and currently there are no plans to bring this model for sale in the U.S.A. Even if it was available, you’d have to come up with $141,800 to have one. That makes it three-times more expensive than the car it shares its drive-train with.
After their initial run, AC will be taking the brand to global markets. After all, a car this pretty that comes from a well-established brand has the potential to do well in emerging economies.
While America got to enjoy the global premiere of the new Acura NSX at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the rest of the world will know it as the Honda NSX and the concept just made its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
The Honda NSX Concept is essentially the same vehicle we saw at Detroit, except now it’s sporting the Honda “H” badge on its hood and trunk, rather than the American Acura “A”. Europeans were able to get a closer look at the upcoming supercar that will feature a Sport Hybrid V6 SH-AWD powertrain with all-wheel drive.
It will be interesting to see how well-received the Honda NSX Concept is in Europe, considering that it not only sports a hybrid powertrain, but that it’ll be produced in America rather than Japan.
GALLERY: Honda NSX Concept
GALLERY: Honda NSX Concept
See below for video of the Acura-branded NSX from its reveal at the Detroit Auto Show
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week, the SL63 AMG gets a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 and makes 537 hp, or an even more shocking 590 hp with an AMG Performance Package. For more details and an up close look at the 2013 SL63 watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes SL63
Normally a leader when it comes to creating new segments in the auto business, BMW might just be last to the coupe-styled luxury sedan group, revealing the new 6 Series Gran Coupe at the Geneva Motor Show.
Designed to take on the likes of the Mercedes CLS and Audi A7, this 6 Series iteration slots in between the 5 and 7, though it costs more like the latter. Styling isn’t as provocative as its rivals, but judge for yourself thanks to AutoGuide’s first look video from Geneva below.
GALLERY: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
An international auto show is a great opportunity for an automaker to introduce an all-new product to the public in order to gauge approval and reception.
Oftentimes, these concept vehicles are near 70 percent of the finished product that the public should expect once it reaches the market. However, there are rare occasions where the public’s reception to a concept car is less than enthusiastic.
After some lukewarm feedback from its Geneva unveiling, Bentley has announced that it is already working on a redesigned version of the new EXP 9 F luxury SUV concept.
During the Geneva Motor Show, a Bentley spokesperson admitted that the EXP 9 F’s styling is “a little heavy handed” and that a sharper, more refined design is underway. The source added that the EXP 9 F will be treated with “more traditional SUV proportions and less retro surfacing.” An instantly recognizable Bentley fascia will remain, complete will grill, large round headlights and fog lights. The headlights in the revised version will be slightly smaller and set farther inward.
Based on the VW Group’s Touarag, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne platform, the new Bentley SUV will receive a W12 gasoline engine good for 600-hp. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer expects a production version ready for sale by 2015.
GALLERY: Bentley EXP 9 F Concept
Easily one of the top chick cars of all time, the Volkswagen GTI Cabriolet is back.
Not offered in the VW lineup for several generations, the latest cabrio has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Keeping much of the GTI spirit but with significantly less testosterone, find out more about the car in AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: 2013 VW GTI Cabriolet
Using a matte-blue Virage Volante model with custom treatments for everything from the wheels to the interior, Q allows Aston clients to personalize their vehicle to a level not previously offered.
For more on Q and this particular Virage model, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: Aston Martin Virage Volante by Q
The signing of 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to Lotus Renault GP for the 2012 season is generating quite a stir in Grand Prix circles and so far in testing, the team’s new car, the E20 has shown a lot of promise.
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Lotus Cars had further news to announce, namely the hot new Lotus F1 Team Evora GTE and the Exige S Roadster. The former pays homage to Lotus Formula 1 history, sporting an unpainted carbonfiber body with copper accents that simulates the traditional F1 livery. There’s also specially trimmed bucket seats with gold piping and exclusive Lotus F1 Team Special Edition appliqués.
Other features include weight savings of some 100 kg and a 3.5-liter mid-mounted V6 that’s been tuned to deliver 444 horsepower, giving it one of the best power to weight ratios of any street going performance car. Lotus has said the F1 Team Evora GTE will be available in Europe by early summer.
As for the Exige S Roadster, it essentially combines all the attributes of its hard top counterpart; supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, lightweight chassis and optimally tuned suspension. Lotus says it will dash from 0-100 mph in just 8.5 seconds and is the first Exige model to be fitted with a lightweight removable soft top roof. Two transmissions will be offered, a proper six-speed manual and a Serial Precision Shift automated manual for those that want the convenience of shiftless driving in town but full gear selection control when they need it.
Kimi Raikkonen, who attended the Geneva Press conference said, in regards to the Lotus F1 Evora GTE, “I would love to have this as my company car.” For a man whose used to driving at serious triple digit speeds, that’s a serious compliment.
GALLERY: Lotus F1 Evora GTE and Exige S
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ flagship model, the Phantom has been around since 2003, which in car years is almost an eternity.
Although Rolls is a company that prefers steady, progressive improvements rather than flash in the plan redesigns or updates (it just wouldn’t be proper you know), Goodwood has decided that the imposing Phantom could receive a few enhancements for its second decade on the market.
As a result, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, an updated Phantom Series II made its world premiere. Changes included a revised front end with new front bumpers and full LED headlamp assemblies, plus the adoption of a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and revised rear differential, said to improve fuel economy on the monster 6.75-liter V12 by around 10 percent.
Inside, a new, larger 8.8-inch touch screen is incorporated in the center stack, while an updated navigation system and improved multi-media controller, deliver better usability for the car’s info/entertainment and ventilation systems. In addition, front, overhead and rear view cameras provide better peripheral visibility when maneuvering this magnificent beast of a car; just as well for the thought of scratching or scraping one of these things is enough to make you cringe.
GALLERY: 2013 Rolls-Royce Phanton Series II
Long considered an objet de lust of wannabe Lewis Hamiltons and Damon Hills across Europe, hot hatch derivatives of Ford‘s Fiesta were notoriously known as peppy, scrappy handling little cars, that offered a decent amount of driving fun for not much money (until the time came to ensure them).
Yet like anything that’s been around for 30 years, eventually there’s a need to grow up. And so it is with the hot 2013 Fiesta ST, unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show as a car that while still paying homage to its boy racer roots, also adopts a more mature personality. With environmental sustainability at the forefront of many minds today, the ST, while sporting a turbocharged motor, weighs in with Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost, that cranks out some 180 metric horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, yet delivers better fuel economy and reportedly a 20 percent reduction in emissions compared with its 2008 predecessor.
Featuring specific chassis tuning and a lowered, tighter suspension, plus Ford’s Torque Vectoring Control System and no fewer than three different stability control modes, the new Fiesta ST was flogged mercilessly around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife, during its development testing phase, with the idea of achieving a healthy blend of sharp handling and good directional stability.
On the outside, more aggressive body parts, including a new front fascia, rocker panels and rear roof spoiler are incorporated, while inside, standard Recaro bucket seats and high-contrast upholstery help set this car apart from its more sensible siblings.
Although Ford has green lit Fiesta ST production for Europe (indicated by the three-door version on display at Geneva), favorable response from the five-door concepts shown at LA and Detroit, along with the Blue Oval’s stance that it “remains open to introducing [the car] to other regions,” means it’s probably only a matter of time before it shows up stateside. We can’t wait!
GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST
Ultra cheap cars are often a tough proposition, as Tata knows only too well following the original Nano, which failed to meet expectations. Nonetheless, the Indian conglomerate is pushing forward with plans for the future, which could include another tiny city car, inspired by this, the Megapixel concept.
It might not come equipped with a digital Camera, but the MegaPixel does boast some interesting technological features, including easy access sliding doors, a lithium ion battery pack and four electric motors (one for each wheel), supplemented by a small 325 cc on-board gasoline generator that extends range beyond 54 miles.
The electric motors not only help deliver 369 lb-ft of torque, they also help the Megapixel achieve a very tight turning radius (nine feet), a valuable asset for a city car aimed at buyers in large urban centers. Whether some of the technologies employed on this pint size concept make it to production remains to be seen, especially on car pitched at very low price.
Nonetheless, given the advancement of automotive engineering and Tata’s ambitious plans (after all it’s pumping a lot of effort into Jaguar and Land Rover), there’s every indication that when it finally does arrive, the next generation of the company’s entry-level car will likely be far better than the last.
GALLERY: 2013 Tata Megapixel
The car is available with four engine options: a 3.0L TFSI with 310-hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and three variants of the TDI powerplant produce 204-hp, 245-hp and 313-hp. The torque ratings are 332 lb-ft, 428 lb-ft and 479 lb-ft of torque, respectively.
Despite that power, fuel each car is about 20 percent less thirsty than the previous model. The new generation is also about 20 percent lighter. While the correlation between the two exists, the improved fuel numbers probably have more to do with better engine technology than the 154-lb weight loss.
Drivers will also find they can adjust the c aar’s suspension to allow for greater ground clearance or a lowering effect at the push of a button.
Wheels come standard at 18 inches wide though 19- and 20-inch wheels are available as options.
GALLERY: 2013 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro
Despite some of the lineup having off-road capability, Volkswagens in North America rarely sport off-road tires.
The same isn’t true in Europe where the German automaker sells its Amarok pickup truck which has serious off-road prowess. VW chose the 2012 Geneva Auto Show to debut its Amarok Canyon concept, which is a beefed up version of the pickup.
It sits on Mickey Thompson all-terrain tires and a 1.6-inch lifted suspension that give the truck a total 3.4 inches of extra ground clearance over the standard model. Tough-looking 18-inch wheels painted “Adamantium Dark” add further to the truck’s muscular appearance.
Other accenting features add more to that theme, like the tubular roll bar that runs along the bed and over the cab.
Unlike American pickups, the Amarok drivetrain is influenced by European sensibility with a 180-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo-diesel instead of the large engines most North American trucks of similar size have.
The bed is small but functional, with lots of tie-down handles available for securing goods. Realistically, the Amarok Canyon isn’t meant for the same construction site work horse life of an F-150 or the like. It’s crew cab setup and shorter-than-average short box are more designed for ferrying passengers between kayaking trips, which is probably why the concept shown above had that equipment in the bed.
In keeping with the European mentality, the Amarok is available with a six speed manual. That might throw most American truck buyers a curve ball, but it doesn’t matter because this truck isn’t meant for the U.S. market. The Amarok Canyon is still a concept but a more practically oriented version may be available as early as this summer to Europeans.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Amarok Canyon concept
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then we’d probably run out the dictionary on the extensive galleries below, showcasing the latest models from German luxury tuner Mansory. And if that’s not entirely true, we’d at least run out of adjectives trying to describe them.
Somehow always able to one-up themselves, the team at Mansory has revealed a chrome orange McLaren MP4-12C and chrome red Lamborghini Aventador, both with wild aerodynamic tweaks and plenty of exposed carbon fiber.
Take a closer look below. Plus, we’ve tossed in an exposed carbon fiber Mercedes CLS just for fun!