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.
Kia‘s heart-stoppingly cool GT concept was was powered by a 3.3L turbo V6 packing 400 horsepower – but the production version might not get such an exotic powertrain.
Speaking with Auto Express, Kia styling boss Peter Schreyer said that “I think done in the right way, with a smaller engine or hybrid technology, it would work,” he said. “It would still be fast, but return good fuel economy, too.”
Screyer said that the GT is aiming for the German coupe set, which we can assume as being the BMW 3-Series and Audi A5. Schreyer also described the GT as Kia’s “halo car”.
As if that wasn’t enough to stir the press, Nissan’s global communications chief Andy Palmer informed the media of an upcoming Infiniti mid-engine electric sports car as well. The car will use many of the technologies found in the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC, which was on display at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Elements in the Leaf Nismo RC that may be applied include a full carbon fiber tub and a rear-wheel drive layout.
As far as powertrain is concerned, the concept coupe is likely to use a range extender application where although the wheels will be driven by electric motors, a hyper-compact petrol engine will be a source of energy generation (similar to the Chevrolet Volt).
Last but not least, Red Bull Racing, the Formula 1 team sponsored by Infiniti, will likely lend its experience with KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) for the concept’s development as well.
Expect to first see the Infiniti electric sports car concept at the next Geneva Auto Show. The production car is aimed for 2014, released alongside of the upcoming Infiniti electric sedan.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Ford‘s designs have come a long way over the last decade, with practically their entire lineup looking sharp and attractive – but the Ford Evos Concept has just managed to move the bar substantially higher.
Revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Evos looks like something that would have a V12 under the hood, but it actually packs the same 4-cylinder/plug-in hybrid powertrain as the C-Max minivan. Ford says that the powertrain can be hooked into “cloud computing” technologies that can tell the electric motor system when to increase or decrease energy flow based on changing conditions – a novel idea sure to give privacy advocates a good fright.
The Evos may never see production, but we’re happy that this is supposedly a sign of things to come for Ford’s styling. If only we could throw the Focus ST motor and drivetrain in there.
Gallery: Ford Evos Concept
Fiat may shift planned production of Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs from the Turin plant to an American facility. If this is successful, Fiat will have space to produce a small car at the Italian plant. One insider said that the compact car may be built at the Mirafiori plant, and Fiat’s strategic SUV move is based on America’s ongoing demand for trucks, although Fiat has yet to make a final decision.
Less than a year ago, Fiat invested $1.44 billion in the Turin plant in order to produce Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs for late 2012, but since then, the Euro has increased nearly nine percent against the american dollar. This economic shift makes the possiblity of manufacturing Jeep vehicles aborad, then shipping them back to the U.S, a less profitable venture. Fiat will likely build the trucks stateside, allowing Jeep to remain domestic and providing Alfa Romeo with momentum to relaunch in America.
[Source: Detroit News]
Volkswagen‘s NILS Concept won’t ever qualify for the HOV lane, since the single seat concept was designed as VW’s vision of a future commuter that’s a bit like the proverbial “table for one”.
Sporting a single seat – and a curb weight of just under 1000 lbs – the NILS has a 40 mile range from its 34 horsepower electric motor and and scoot to 60 mph in 11 seconds. Although it looks like a goofy kids toy, some neat futures, like gullwing doors, make it cooler than a Smart Fortwo, even though the gullwing setup is horribly inefficient for tight parking spaces that are prominent in urban environments.
Volkswagen’s research says that 90 percent of German drivers travel to work alone, and 74 percent only cover 30 miles or less per day. Something like the NILS is right up their alley, and may even fly in a place like New York City. Let’s see if it makes it to production at all.
Two weeks ago, Kia officially confirmed that it would unveil a rear-wheel drive four-door sports sedan at this month’s Frankfurt auto show.
Today, sources have revealed that Kia may call the sporty sedan, the Veredus. Kia has filed for a trademark on the Veredus name, and sources have also explained that the concept is the only vehicle in the company’s short-term product plan without a name.
The concept has sleek and muscular proportions, and will likely slide in between the Hyundai Genesis and Equus in terms of size. Kia’s future product plans also include an electric vehicle and a sedan based off the forthcoming Hyundai Azera.
GALLERY: Kia Veredus
[Source: Car and Driver]
Volkswagen is set to unveil a single seat electric car at a special event in Berlin next month, as the company explores the future of mobility and personal transportation.
A VW spokesman confirmed that the vehicle would be shown at an event in Berlin on September 8th. VW said that the new car would surpass the previous XL1 concept unveiled in January. Volkswagen is hoping for battery-powered cars to make up 3 percent of sales by 2018.
[Source: Automotive News]
Kia has officially confirmed that it will be debuting a rear-wheel drive four-door sports sedan at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The concept has sleek and muscular proportions, and will likely slide in between the Hyundai Genesis and Equus in terms of size.
“I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: We are ready to fast forward to an all-new chapter,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Chief Officer.
Looking through the photos at the sheer size and shape of the vehicle, it becomes clear that Kia is interested in running this car against the big boys like the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS. ”No matter from which perspective you look at it – this concept car is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Schreyer. ”I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter.”
Gallery: Kia Sports Sedan
Chevrolet is very excited about the futuristic Miray sports car to say the least. The Miray was first unveiled at the Seoul Motor Show in May this year, and the futuristic looking Chevy merges a jet-inspired exterior with advanced hybrid powertrain technology. The Miray will get its first European unveiling at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Outside, the Miray has an aerodynamic fuselage reminiscent of the modern fighter jet. The front and rear fenders evoke Chevrolet Corvettes of the past and express the concept’s sports car spirit. Carbon fiber spoilers at the corners help control downforce and airflow. The Miray has 20-inch front rims and 21-inch rear wheels made of aluminum carbon-fiber composites.
On the interior, the car features an assortment of brushed aluminum, natural leather, white fabric and liquid metal surfaces. The wrap around twin cockpit has drawn inspiration from the iconic Corvette. An interesting detail is the centrally located start button that when pressed, the column mounted retractable meter cluster rises like the canopy of a single seater plane.
The Miray’s “mid-electric” propulsion system, located behind and beneath the driver, has been engineered to maximize performance and fuel efficiency. The two front mounted 15-kW electric motors are powered by a 1.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that is charged through regenerative braking energy. Interestingly, power can be switched from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive. The hybrid system is also powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine positioned behind the cockpit. The powertrain is mated to a dual-clutch transmission, that has been tuned for improved top speed in performance mode.
Gallery: Chevrolet Miray Concept
Subaru announced today that it will exhibit the all-new XV model at the 64th Frankfurt Auto Show this September. The vehicle will be unveiled at the Subaru press conference, scheduled at 9:30 on September 13th.
The crossover will go on sale in Europe later this year, however there has been no confirmation as to whether the XV, currently known as the Impreza Outback in the U.S., will come stateside. In fact, the Euro-XV maybe the basis for the next Impreza Outback wagon, or or it could be an entirely different model. Stay tuned for more details coming out of Frankfurt.
Ferrari has just announced that the Eternità concept is the winning entrant for their International Design Contest. The contest challenged students to develop the Ferrari hypercar of the future with the latest generation technologies and materials, while preserving the iconic performance and elegance associated with the legendary Italian automaker.
The Eternità was created by students of South Korea’s Hongik Univeristy, with a futuristic roadster with aerodynamic styling, a wraparound windscreeen and aggressive side skirts. Fifty prestigious international design schools entered the competition and the Eternità beat out the Xezri and Cavallo Biaco concepts from students of IED Turin and RCA London. Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo said, ”I saw at first hand the many genuinely innovative ideas that these talented youngsters sent us and could feel the enormous passion and commitment that had gone into them. I am certain that some of these suggestions will come to light in the Ferraris of the future.” The winner was awarded the grand prize of an internship at Ferrari in Maranello, Italy as well as a cash prize.
Important dates for the release of the Volkswagen Up! models have been leaked. The highly anticipated city vehicle will have its world premiere on August 22 in Paris. Following the premiere, the Up! vehicle will be present at the Frankfurt auto show in September 2011, and the official release for the 3-door hatchback is scheduled for the end of 2011. The bigger 5-door hatchback will be released at the end of 2012, and the first MPV Up! and electric-powered models will be available in early 2013.
The three-door five-seater will feature a 1.0-liter gasoline engine and a 1.2-liter diesel engine, with an all-electric version to follow. The Up! will be half the size of a Volkswagen Golf and will cost around $10,000. The Up! variants will compete against the Toyota iQ and other very small compact cars.
[Source: VW Up! Blogspot]
In an interview with WhatCar, BMW sales chief Ian Roberston commented that, “The Rocketman was a concept and we have no plans to take it further, but features of it will appear on future Minis.”
Chances are then that the clever doors and lightweight carbon fiber technologies will likely appear on future models. A £500 million investment was approved to produce the third generation MINI at the Oxford factory in 2013. The new models produced out of the Oxford plant will be built on a new platform named UKL and front-wheel drive BMW hatches may also be produced at the factory.
In other news, the MINI Coupe is due to arrive later this year, with a Roadster version hitting dealerships in 2012. MINI has also promised to build a Coupe version of the Countryman crossover.
[Source: What Car?]
General Motors may be testing the EN-V mobility concept vehicles in its Detroit hometown. GM North America President Mark Ruess said that Detroit would be a “perfect” area to test the futuristic machines.
EN-V, known as the Electric Networked Vehicle, is GM’s answer to changing transportation in traffic choked cities such as Tokyo. The vehicle is a battery-powered with two-wheels and seats two. The EN-V can reach speeds of 25 mph and can drive itself and communicate wirelessly with other EN-Vs to avoid crashes. The vehicle debuted in 2010 at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Ruess said the timing is right because the infrastructure for the vehicle could be installed alongside a light-rail line and a possible high-speed rail connection, proposed for Detroit.
There may also be a possibility of of testing the vehicles on military bases and senior-living communities, according to Chris Borroni-Bird, director of GM’s EN-V program. However, Ruess made it clear that GM does not have official plans to test the vehicles in Detroit. If plans become official, GM would enlist corporate and government help.
He said: “It would take unprecedented effort with unheard-of levels of cooperation between business and government.”
[Source: Car Tech blog]
Nissan has announced that its Leaf Nismo RC Concept race car concept will be making two demonstration runs at the Le Mans Vers Le Futur, in celebration of the 79th anniversary of the event (June 11-12).
The 24 Hour of Le Mans is the world’s most renowned endurance race and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, 120 miles west of Paris. It is considered the toughest, most grueling endurance race in the world. Nissan believes its Leaf racer will provide a glimpse into the future at Le Mans when put in action for the first time outside of Japan. The Nissan Leaf NISMO RC made its debut at the New York Auto Show earlier this year and has been praised for bringing new meaning to the term ‘Racing Green’.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is a car solely built for racing based on the first all-electric production vehicle in the world, and was the first-ever zero emission racing spec production vehicle.
“The 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours has provided us with a great opportunity to show the world that Nissan is at the forefront of automotive innovation,” commented Darren Cox, Chief Marketing Manager (Crossover and Sports Cars), Nissan Europe.
There will be two demonstration runs performed by the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC. The first will take place at 9:15PM on Thursday, June 9th, and the second at 12:10PM on Saturday, June 11th local time.
The BMW 328 Hommage made its world debut at the Villa d’Este COncorso d’Eleganza this past weekend. This car was designed to echo the automaker’s 1930s racing car on its 75th anniversary. The 328 Hommage weighs just over 1,700 lbs thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber.
While the look of the car is undoubtedly futuristic, design cues like the lack of doors and ultra-light wheels are meant to evoke the pre-WWII era BMW 328 sports car. One of the more interesting modern touches is the addition of two Apple iPhones in place of the instrument cluster, and can also be used as GPS units in addition to stopwatches for timing laps and other endeavors. The 328 will get its official debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Check out the video after the jump!
The Lotus Elan has been put on hold indefinitely, reportedly due to the rather obvious fact that the concept was too close to the brand’s current Evora model. Previously, rumors had indicated Lotus was taking a close look at both the Esprit and Elite models, which share many of the same components and have similar style, in order to further separate two two vehicles.
But before the Esprit or Elite are put into production, Lotus will be updating the Evora with some aesthetic changes and new trim levels to align it with the rest of the “Lotus New Era” range. Updates will also be done on the Elise and Exige to make them more user friendly. The production Exige will reportedly be revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
GALLERY: Lotus Elan Concept
[Source: Top Speed]
Audi has entered the Audi Quattro concept in the Concept Cars and Prototypes category at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The event is being held at Lake Como from May 20-22,2011 and the concepts will be showcased beside historic vehicles from around the globe. The Quattro Concept features a 408-hp five cylinder turbocharged engine, a lightweight body and the latest in Audi’s permanent all-wheel drive.
“The Audi Quattro concept reinterprets the sports car in which Audi introduced all-wheel drive more than 30 years ago. It combines an homage to our history with groundbreaking design, making the Quattro concept the perfect car for the Concorso d’Eleganza. For more than 80 years, this competition has celebrated not just the history of the automobile, but also its future,” says Wolfgang Egger, Head of Design for the Audi Group. Egger is also the person responsible for the design of the Audi Quattro concept.
54 classic vehicles will be competing in eight vehicle classes. The cars will be judged by a five-member panel based on the design, state of preservation and originality.
GALLERY: Audi Quattro Concept
Here’s a concept that carries some junk in its trunk. OK, so it’s not junk – it’s actually a three-wheeled scooter, and the McCar packs it away in its trunk to give you even more motoring mobility.
Unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show, Geely (the Chinese manufacturer and owner of Volvo) introduced this unique concept to the world. The McCar (no, you won’t find it on the menu at McDonalds) is a cool and compact hybrid that comes with a folding three-wheeled electric scooter in the rear. With enough seating for four, the two-door Geely McCar charges its electric scooter while its packed away in the trunk.
Available with either battery or hybrid power, the McCar offers enough juice to get you to your destination at a reasonable pace. If you go with the 12kWh battery, it has range of 93 miles, a top speed of 52 mph and it takes six hours to recharge. When it comes to the 8kWh plug-in hybrid, the McCar can go 31 miles on electric power and 373 miles on gas and battery, with a top speed of 80 mph and a recharge time of two hours. When it’s time to pull out the scooter, you can clock speeds of up to 18 mph (it has a range of 18 miles and it takes two hours to charge). If you don’t want the scooter, feel free to swap it for a standard fold-up wheelchair.
Even though it’s still a concept, there’s a good chance that the McCar might actually go into production, as Geely has plans to mass produce electric and hybrid cars by the end of next year.
If you like Italian exotics and rare concept cars, we’re guessing you’ll like this. It is a 1980 concept car, built by the styling studio Bertone for Lamborghini. It’s called the Athon and it will soon be going on the auction block at the Villa d’Este concourse event.
Handled by RM Auctions house, this one of a kind Lamborghini is a fully functioning vehicle. It features a 3.0-liter, V8 engine (as found in the Silhouette from that era) which produces 260 hp. Power is sent to the rear-wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
RM Auctions predicts this model to fetch around $300,000. That is a paltry sum given its rarity factor. The car will hit the auction block on May 21.
[Source: DuPont Registry]
Lincoln may show an updated version of its Concept C small car at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, as automakers of all stripes begin rolling out their new smaller, fuel efficient cars that feature much of the same equipment as more upscale models.
The first Concept C, which debuted in 2009, was attractive but had very little chance of making it to production in its existing form. While the 1.6L Ecoboost powertrain is a shoo-in for a premium, fuel-efficient compact, with its 180 horsepower and 180 lb-ft, but the pseudo-hatchback body style will likely undergo substantial revisions for its Los Angeles deubt, not to mention any sort of production run. Fortunately, the Focus underpinnings used for any future Concept C will afford Lincoln a wide berth to engineer a desirable compact that will also have superb driving dynamics and build quality.
Lincoln has previously stated that a compact luxury car will appear within three years, and with Mercedes, BMW and Audi all preparing (or selling, in Audi’s case) a compact model, the timing is just right for an American competitor.
[Source: Automotive News]
Volvo is not a company that is typically associated with bold designs, but in recent years, they have been showing a wilder, more creative side.
Continuing with their creative trend, Chinese owned Volvo has just unveiled a new concept car at the Shanghai Auto Show, called the Concept Universe.
This new take on a boxy Volvo might look like a cross between some Lincoln and Ford concept cars from the last few years, but there is a good reason for that. Volvo’s vice-president of design Peter Horbury did once run Ford’s design studios so hence the lines are quite similar. Horbury had worked for Volvo in the past also, when the company was owned by Ford. He was the man behind the original C70 coupe and convertible.
According to Volvo’s CEO Stafan Jacoby, the Concept Universe is; “a sneak preview of what people can expect from our next top-of-the-line sedan.” Could this be the replacement for the now aging S80 sedan? Only time will tell.
GALLERY: Volvo Concept Universe
Lexus will debut their LF-Gh Hybrid concept at the New York Auto Show, a car that will preview the next generation Lexus GS. The teaser photos don’t show much, but the car does look like a pretty radical departure from the previous designs, which were understated to say the least.
The concept is supposed to highlight the next move for Lexus’ “L-Finesse” design language, but we’ll reserve judgement until we see the final product.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Hyundai began showing a new hydrogen fuel-cell concept car today at the Seoul Motor Show. Called the Blue2, its name is a merging of Blue Drive, Hyundai’s environmentally conscious sub brand, and H2, which is the symbol for hydrogen.
Also code named the HDN-6, it is a luxury car featuring around 121 horsepower, and delivering 82 MPG of hydrogen consumption. The car shows Hyundai’s desire to gain a competitive edge, and continued commitment to this technology that allows hydrogen energy to turn an electric drive system.
The Blue2 also utilizes low rolling resistance tires and lightweight alloy wheels, and features “future concept” styling merging sporty lines with efficiency.
Among the gadgets on the Blue2 are a system to recognize and welcome the driver by opening a self-opening door. Drivers are further coddled by wider-than-usual seats for easier ingress and egress.
The Blue2 has no rear-view mirrors, relying instead on cameras displaying images on a screen. The car displays info on an LED monitor using “Transparent Organic” technology, said to be more vivid.
Climate control includes an ionizing system to clean air as it circulates through the interior.