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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.
 |  Apr 29 2014, 8:54 AM

2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Things are heating up in the premium-EV segment. The folks at Mercedes-Benz are poised to introduce their new B-Class Electric Drive. Pricing for this small people-hauler was just announced.

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 |  Jul 25 2012, 7:31 AM

Kia has released a selection of teaser images of an all-new MPV model ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show this fall.

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 |  Jul 01 2011, 4:30 PM

Well, there’s good indication that it will at least be heading for ‘South’ America, where automotive tastes tend to run more closely to those across the Atlantic.

The B-Max adopts much of the current Fiesta’s styling, albeit in a taller package. It’s also the first to receive Ford‘s new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. And with Ford recently announcing the EcoBoost 3 will be offered in North America, it’s not hard to speculate that this is the package it could come wrapped in.

Both engine and B-Max will be assembled at Ford’s plant in Craiova, Romania, though with Ford expected to wind down Fiesta production at its Brazilian plant in Cuantitalan (relying instead on models built in Mexico for that market), there’s a good chance B-Max production might be added there. That would make the idea of a B-Max ending up in our showrooms more feasible.

Further indications that this pint-size MPV could make it here, include the fact that Ford has trademarked the B-Max name with the U.S. Patent Office, along with ‘Easy Access Door System,’ marketing speak for a sliding door setup which, incidentily, was previewed on the B-MAX concept at the Geneva Motor Show back in March. All we can say for now is, watch this space.

[Source: Ford Inside News]

 |  Jun 06 2011, 1:55 PM

Ford has officially confirmed that its new ultra-efficient smallest ever engine, a 1.0-liter three-cylinder Ecoboost unit will be placed in the new B-Max MPV.

Ford claims that its new 3 cylinder engine, ”delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions”.

The three cylinder engine was developed by engineers at Ford’s Technical Centre in Essex and will likely be used in Ford’s small cars such as the Ka and Fiesta.

“No one has ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this.It’s one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines we’ve ever designed,” Joe Bakaj, Ford’s global powertrain engineering chief said. “The new engine introduces many new technologies that could be part of the DNA of future Ford engines.”

Engineers “focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, especially during warm-up”, according to Ford, and the three-cylinder powerplant “introduces many new technologies that could be part of the DNA of future Ford engines”.

Along with Ford’s impressive new engine, the American automakers has confirmed it will begin production later in the year of a new electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT). This transmission will be designed specifically to be used in its hybrid vehicles.

[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Aug 23 2010, 4:31 PM

Chevrolet‘s Orlando compact van was spotted in China nearly uncovered, and looking very similar to the concept that debuted at the 2008 Paris Auto Show.

The Orlando doesn’t exactly break new ground in the looks department but its a sharp looking vehicle outside and the interior looks to be carried over from the Cruze compact.

While the Orlando won’t be sold in the United States, it’s expected to be a big player in world markets, where compact MPVs are a family vehicle of choice. Interestingly, the Orlando will be sold in Canada, where vehicles like the Mazda 5 and Kia Rondo do well, in light of Canadian car buyers’ affinity for small, fuel-efficient vehicles.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 |  Jun 10 2010, 8:18 AM

The MPV segment is growing quickly and it appears as though Dodge it getting set to join in. In Fiat’s larger plan for the Chrysler Group, company CEO Sergio Marchionne included a seven-seat multi-purpose-vehicle (MPV) destined for U.S. showrooms in 2012.

Based on the upcoming Fiat compact car platform this new model would compete against the Mazda5, Kia Rondo and the upcoming Ford Grand C-Max. (Oddly, GM has decided not to introduce its Orlando MPV into the U.S. market).

The team at Motor Trend makes the case that the new MPV would best be branded as a Dodge, targeting young families and more focused on the fun youth market. This makes sense as Mazda markets the 5 to exactly those same customers.

Power would likely come from the new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder World Engine, which gets Fiat’s variable valve Multiair technology to produce 190-hp and 175 ft-lbs of torque.

Hit the link below to see Motor Trend’s full rendering of what the Dodge MPV could look like. Or, click here to see an earlier rendering of a Fiat Multipla, rendered by the same artist.

[Source: MotorTrend]

 |  Jun 01 2010, 11:41 AM

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Volkswagen‘s compact Touran Minivan (not to be confused with the Routan sold here in North America) has just been launched in its newest incarnation, and the range is being led by a 1.6L BlueMotion diesel that makes 105 horsepower returns a very impressive 51.3 miles per gallon. Also interesting is the tiny 1.2L 4-cylinder gas engine that puts out a respectable 102 horsepower thanks to Volkswagen’s direct injection system, and a small supercharger attached to the engine.

The Touran is based on the Golf, making it a bit small for North American tastes, but perfect for Europe and Asia, where high fuel prices and tight spaces mean that a car like a Dodge Caravan is totally unsuitable, and a smaller footprint is required (Honda even sells a completely different Odyssey in other markets for this reason). If the Ford Focus C-Max is a hit in North America, the Touran might make it over to our shores, but with Chevrolet recently killing the Orlando for the United States (but not Canada), don’t count on it.

Hit the jump to read the press release

Gallery: Volkswagen Touran

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[Source: The Truth About Cars]

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 |  Sep 15 2009, 10:49 AM

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Kia pulled the covers off the Venga, its new B-segment MPV at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Based on the No. 3 concept shown at the Geneva show earlier this year, the Venga will be sold across Europe with Kia’s seven-year drive train / five-year whole car / 150,000 km warranty, as well as a ten-year corrosion warranty.

“Venga will certainly deliver all the practicality and versatility that a European family could require. It will also provide them with the most stylish transport this segment has ever seen,” says Benny Oeyen, Director Marketing & Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe. “On the road, its performance and agility will surpass the class norm. Venga will ensure that rewarding, fun-to-drive motoring is now available to drivers whose lifestyles demand an MPV.”

The Venga has a 103-inch wheelbase, longer than most cars in its class. Kia says the interior will also be  roomier than its competitors with space typical of a larger class vehicle. For comparison sake, it has a footprint roughly the size of a sub-compact Ford Fiesta, but interior room closer to the compact Focus.

The sliding 60/40 rear seat folds flat into the floor for larger cargo space while some models will have a tilt-&-slide all-glass panoramic roof.

The Venga will be powered by 1.4 and 1.6 gas and diesel engines, producing between 74 hp and 113 hp. All models will feature Kia’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) technology.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Kia Venga will make it to North America.

Gallery: Kia Venga

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Frankfurt Preview: Ford Grand C-Max to Debut Alongside Smaller Sibling

Grand C-Max a possible Mazda5 competitor for North American market

 |  Sep 14 2009, 10:53 AM

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Last week we brought you a story about Ford’s upcoming C-Max that is scheduled to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show tomorrow (September 15th). We suggested that the multi-activity vehicle could eventually find its way to U.S. shores. Today, we’d like to revise our suggestion as Ford has released images of the Grand C-Max – a more likely candidate for North American shores.

Like the standard C-Max, the Grand C-Max is based on the same global architecture that is found in the upcoming next-generation Ford Focus and will be powered by an turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

Compared to the standard, the Grand C-Max gets a longer wheelbase with three rows of seats. There is room for 7 thanks to a three-person middle row with two captain’s chairs joined by a removable third seat. The MAV also gets sliding side doors much like a conventional minivan or the Mazda5.

As we suggested in our last story, with Ford selling off much of its stake in Mazda and the Mazda5 being a dominant vehicle in an emerging market segment in North America, we could definitely see Ford bring a version of the Grand C-Max to this side of the Atlantic to take back a segment it once owned (literally and figuratively).

GALLERY: Ford Grand C-Max

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 |  Sep 14 2009, 6:01 AM

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Kia is unveiling its new MPV, the Venga, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Based on the No. 3 concept model Kia displayed at the Geneva show, the Venga has a 103-inch wheelbase, longer than most cars in its class. Kia says the interior will also be  roomier than its competitors with space typical of a larger class vehicle. For comparison sake, it has a footprint roughly the size of a sub-compact Ford Fiesta, but interior room closer to the compact Focus.

The sliding 60/40 rear seat folds flat into the floor for larger cargo space while some models will have a tilt-&-slide all-glass panoramic roof.

The Venga will be powered by 1.4 and 1.6 gas and diesel engines, producing between 74 hp and 113 hp. All models will feature Kia’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) technology.

The Kia Venga will be available across Europe later this year. There was no mention as to whether the Venga will make it over to North America and considering the existence of the Rio and Rio5, we don’t expect it.

GALLERY: Kia Venga

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[Source: Autocar]

 |  Apr 21 2009, 11:36 AM

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It’s a well-known fact that the Buick is a dominant force (and growing) in the Chinese marketplace, so it’s no surprise that the traditionally traditional brand used the Shanghai Auto Show to debut an important new concept. The real surprise is that this crossover is anything but traditional.

The Buick Business MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) Concept was developed in China by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is a joint project between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

The Business incorporates much of Buick’s new design philosophy, taking much of what we first saw in the Riviera concept car and using it in a boxy crossover vehicle.

GM hasn’t confirmed the underpinnings of the Business MPV Concept but it’s likely the architecture is the same that forms the basis of the Chevrolet Orlando concept, which first debuted at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, was confirmed for production at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and has since been delayed.

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Outside, the Business MPV Concept sits on 20-inch wheels, LED lights and features plenty of glass. Inside, the cockpit is elegant and sophisticated. One unique feature are the second row chairs that can swivel 225 degrees.

Another surprise lies under the hood of the crossover, as the Business is powered by GM’s next-generation hybrid system, with lithium-ion batteries that allow these new hybrids to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the previous hybrid systems. Such fuel-savings are also helped by several other innovative features in the new hybrid system, including regenerative braking and a start/stop system which shuts off the gasoline engine at idle.

“Developing and launching the Business Concept Vehicle in China underscores the diversity, strength and depth of GM’s global design network,” said Ed Welburn, VP of Global Design a General Motors. “It also reflects PATAC’s growing role within the GM design family and China’s significance as the world’s largest Buick market.”

GALLERY: Buick Business MPV Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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