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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.
General Motors announced today that it will work with French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen to develop a new generation of small engines.
10. Lexus LF-CC Concept
The list of impressive new models at this year’s Paris Motor Show is a long one, but we’ve narrowed down the ten most interesting, exciting and important vehicles, starting with the Lexus LF-CC Concept.
A look ahead at the future of the brand, this concept previews the first ever Lexus IS coupe. With dramatic styling including an even wilder version of the spindle grille, Lexus is also prepping an all-new hybrid 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine for the rear-drive luxury two-door.
10.Honda Civic Hatchback
We might have some fancy cars over here in the USA, but there are quite a few vehicles overseas that we can’t help but think are desperately missing from our shores. More than a few are niche market models perfect for auto-enthusiasts, while others are more stylish or practical than what’s currently available in the US. And some are both.
RM Auctions will have a 2007 Peugeot 908 Le Mans race car up for auction on May 12 with an estimated selling price between $1.9 million and $2.4 million.
Powered by a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine, the legitimate race car has over 700-hp mated to a six-speed sequential manual paddle-shift gearbox. The chassis consists of a closed carbon fiber cockpit and this particular race car was actually the first 908 to win a race at Monza. The team also managed a second place finish at the Nürburgring in Germany.
The race car would go on to win twice more, once at Silverstone and once at Interlagos. It is the first 908 ever to pass into private hands and is sold directly from PSA. The company agreed to provide the buyer with the required technical assistance for a period of three years, with the service provided at the current rate charged for Peugeot Sport technical assistance.
It is indeed a rare opportunity to own any race car, nevermind this number-2 Peugeot 908 Le Mans competitor. Whoever the lucky bidder is not only gets a great machine, but an important part of racing history.
GALLERY: 2007 Peugeot 908 Le Mans Race Car
Last month General Motors and Peugeot finalized an alliance that will see the two companies share research, vehicle platforms and production. Now the alliance will help bring some new vehicles to the market as well.
The two companies will begin by sharing large vehicles, transmissions and a small car for emerging markets. A new plan also revealed by Peugeot is to co-operate on some other projects including minivans, crossovers and small cars. What this means is that we can expect some new vehicles to be born from this alliance, hopefully sometime in the not so distant future.
GM’s experience with larger vehicles and crossovers will certainly come in handy for Peugeot, who’s main market segment is generally small cars.
Additionally the companies will study low-emission vehicles, including hybrids and regular internal combustion engines.
[Source: Automotive News]
If the deal is to go through, it will include a standstill agreement in which GM would not be able to take a greater holding of Peugeot without permission. Peugeot however may offer additional shares through a rights issue as part of the transaction.
A person familiar to the matter told sources that a GM-Peugeot alliance would involve co-developing engines and building vehicles together in the region. This all makes sense for GM, as the world’s largest car maker continues building alliances worldwide. More importantly however, this will assist in turning around the Opel brand to hopefully be a profitable one.
According to sources however, no final agreement has been reached and the size of the stake could change. Reuters is reporting that a separate source said GM would likely purchase a stake of less than 5-percent. Either way, it appears that GM and Paris-based Peugeot are going to be getting in business with one another rather shortly.
[Source: Automotive News]
Peugeot will be bringing a pair of 208 concepts to the upcoming 2012 Geneva Motor Show, with the GTi Concept marking the return of an icon for the French automaker.
The GTi Concept pays tribute to the legendary 205 GTi, featuring double-chromed exhaust tips, lower aerodynamic spoilers, lower side skirt extensions, and brushed aluminum GTi Concept logos on the rear quarter panels. A checkered-flag motif adorns the metal mesh of the front grille while the bottom bar of the grille features the French “Le Tricolour” flag or the Union Jack when it’s out in the United Kingdom.
The interior is packed with sporty accessories, including a leather-stitched steering wheel, gear shifter and double-stitching on the seats. LED backlighting can be seen in the surrounds of the instrument cluster while the sporty seats are upholstered in Nappa leather with cloth in the center featuring an embossed tartan motif and a leather head restraint.
Powering the GTi Concept is a potent 1.6L THP engine with 197-hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. The RCZ THP 200 powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual transmission for a true, sporty drive. Braking, suspension, and aerodynamic tweaks are also on the GTi Concept to set it apart from the standard 208.
In addition to the GTi Concept, Peugeot will be bringing its XY Concept to the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, geared towards “city dwellers who love distinction and refinement.” The XY Concept features a 1.6L e-HDi engine with 115-hp and a six-speed manual transmission. Those attending the show will be able to check out its special “Pulsion” paintwork that Peugeot claims that it “appears to constantly change, depending on the distance and the position from which it is viewed.”
GALLERY: Peugeot GTi Concept
GALLERY: Peugeot XY Concept
When there’s blood in the water, sharks start to bite. If the automotive industry does nothing else, it fosters ruthless competition and a winner-takes-all mentality akin to professional sports.
Outside scheduled announcements, Marchionne told the Detroit News that ”there’s a willingness on the part of Fiat-Chrysler to listen,” going on to say that ”this is an industry that is in evolution.”
Despite his affirmation that Fiat would be willing to consider the idea, there doesn’t seem to be any plan being cooked up. GM vice chairman Steve Girsky said he and Marchionne had dinner last Sunday and that Marchionne wasn’t interested in Opel.
“Opel is not for sale,” Girsky said. “We’re going to make Opel work.” GM is “committed to returning our European business to sustained profitability. There’s a lot of work to do.”
For better or worse, the business world is sensitive to such discussions. The notion that something like that might happen drove speculation that Fiat might also be eyeing Peugeot. Once again, it seems the rumor mill is churning out little more than hot air, though Marchionne maintains that he is open to opportunities.
For now it seems the dinner discussions that spurred these questions were little more than meals, though we’ll stick to Marchionne’s philosophy and refuse to rule anything out, especially considering his original plan after buying Chrysler was, in fact, to take Opel as well.
[Source: Detroit News]
Writing about cars all the time can do some funky things to your taste in wheels, invariably automotive journalists flock to the best of the best. The funny part is that those parameters get warped pretty easily, leaving one writers idea of an ideal car miles away from another.
The same thing goes for enthusiasts, which is why there’s a little storm brewing right now on VWVortex, an enthusiast forum for all things Volkswagen. Interestingly enough, that tempest isn’t about a Volkswagen at all, it’s a 1992 Peugeot 205 GTi. It’s OK if you’re not sure what that is, they aren’t legal in the U.S. and can rarely be found as an import in the wintry Canadian north.
That being said, a member on VWVortex posted a link to someone selling one in Ontario, Canada asking if the seven grand asking price was reasonable marked down from a previous $8000.
Here’s the skinny on these cars: they look an awful lot like the VW GTI, in fact you might not know the difference if one went speeding by, but they can be crazy fun on the road. They have super-nimble handling that lets you toss them into corners like Dan Marino throwing touchdown passes, it’s tight.
They get a 5-speed manual with a 1.9-liter inline four under the hood, good for 120 horses. Sure, you’re not going to show up any Mustangs or Camaros, but damn it if they aren’t a hoot to drive.
Upkeep is their biggest enemy and it’s pretty close to impossible in North America for a couple reasons. First, they were never sold here, so you’re in for a tough time finding parts. Second, these things are sure to break. The 205 was Peugeot’s first small car. They built them for 15 years with the last unit rolling off the line in 1998.
The early models came with the same engine as the Peugeot 104, but later models got either the XU and TU-series engines— which as one forum member eloquently wrote, are “crap.”
Realistically, a 205 GTi is more of a collector’s piece than anything considering their poor reliability and scarcity. You’re not going to find too many girls swooning over them, but they have a well-deserved place in car culture for those who appreciate them.
See the ad out for yourself here.
GALLERY: 1992 Peugeot 205 GTi
[Source: VWVortex forum]
As part of a $1.1 billion cost-cutting effort, PSA, the parent company of both Peugeot and Citroen, will shed 6,000 jobs in Europe, with 2,500 white collar jobs, 2,500 contract worker jobs and 1,000 blue collar jobs expected to be cut in 2012.
PSA claimed that their car-making operations would barely turn a profit in the coming year and that the company’s cash flow would be negative. ”The competitive environment has become more challenging due to pricing pressure, which has intensified in Europe since September, and the unfavorable impact on the country mix of the falloff in demand in southern Europe,” the company said in a statement released to Automotive News.
One bright spot for PSA was that sales outside of Europe have risen 41 percent, with China in particular acting as a bright spot for the company.
[Source: Automotive News]
The only Japanese manufacturer to ever win the prestigious 24-Hours of Le Mans so far has been Mazda with its 787B. Toyota has been wanting to change that for nearly two decades now. Their last effort in the LMP1 class failed, but next year they’ll be back with a vengeance, using a hybrid racer.
Not that the French will make it any easier on the Japanese, as Peugeot has just put some testing miles on their new race car, the 908 HYbrid4. First shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March, this new race car just completed its first test at the Estoril circuit in Portugal on October 11th. The car went through 300 km of testing in the hands of Nicolas Minassian, Stephane Sarrazin and former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz.
Peugeot Sports technical director Bruno Famin said, “Our aim wasn’t to put a lot of kilometres on the clock, but to verify that all the chief functions performed.” He added, “It was important to analyse the data of each run to be sure we understood the results before moving on to the next step. The system functioned well and responded as predicted, which was very satisfying. At the same time, we started to make a few adjustments to the car’s basic set-up. It worked well, so that’s very positive.”
Peugeot has been working on the 908 HYbrid since 2008 and the car is only now coming close to becoming a reality. However, Peugeot is not the only European car company trying to compete with a hybrid racer, as Porsche is also aiming to enter with not only their 911 GT3 R Hybrid, but also the 918 Hybrid race car.
In recent years, sales of Mitsubishi vehicles have been on a global decline. Some feared that this Japanese automaker could one day be forced to close its doors for good, if demand does not increase.
In recent years, Mitsubishi has been given a lifeline by the PSA group, which owns Peugeot and Citroen. Both of these French companies have made their own versions of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Outlander SUV.
Now is the turn of the Outlander Sport to put on some new clothes. For 2012, buyers in Europe will be able to pick up a Peugeot 4008 (pictured) or a Citroen C4 Aircross. Both these French models are identical to the Mitsubishi under the skin, but the skin is radically different, and also quite attractive.
Hopefully this continued partnership with the French will keep Mitsubishi afloat for a long time, so it can work on bringing us the next Evo model.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Gallery: Mitsubishi Outlander
It’s that time of the year again as Car of the Year begins the laborious task of whittling down new Car of the Year contenders for 2012.
A total of 59 journalists, representing automotive authorities across 23 European countries, have been recruited for the task of choosing top car. The number of journalists to represent each country is based on the relative size of the said country’s car market. Countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain have a well established market, and each will be represented by six journalists.
As for cars, only completely redesigned new models that have launched within the twelve months before the contest are counted. Each car must be available in at least five European countries and must have an expected sales volume no less than 5,000.
Categories considered include design, safety, performance, and price. This year, says the judging committee, technical innovation and value will be especially influential. What also makes Car of the Year unique is the absence of separate genres for its candidates. Rather than selecting the best of the compacts or the best trucks, vehicles with all sorts of engine size and body types will be vying for the same allotment of points.
Comparison testing of the vehicles will be performed in Sweden.
The following 35 candidates selected for the 2012 Car of the Year award include:
When it comes to bizarre concept cars, the Tokyo Auto Show might be the traditional winner, but when it comes to production time, often things end up looking like a Camry. Not so for those baguette-loving Frenchmen (and women). From Citroen, to Renault, to Peugeot, their production cars are plenty strange and the concepts that inspire them look straight out of science fiction.
Just back from the Frankfurt Auto Show, we’ve assembled a gallery of snap shots of some of the strange and very strange production and concept cars on display by French automakers there. Enjoy the originality, scratch your head or just have a good chuckle at the pictures below.
GALLERY: French Cars of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show
OK, so they don’t sell it here, nor are they ever going to, but you have to admit the Peugeot RCZ is a pretty cool ride … for a French car. For 2012 Peugeot will be hosting its own one-make racing series, allowing teams to field their own race-prepped Peugeot RCZ car.
Just what the car will look like is no longer a mystery with Peugeot finally released photos of the RCZ. Starting with the standard RCZ, Peugeot has gutted the interior and outfits it only with lightweight racing seats and a roll cage, saving around 550-lbs from the factory model. Upgraded suspension dampers and AP Racing brakes ensures the RCZ is meant to perform the way it should on the track.
Under the hood, Peugeot teamed up with Magneti Marelli to tune the car’s 1.6L THP engine from 200-hp to 250-hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. The 1.6L will be paired up with a six-speed paddle-shift sequential transmission.
Teams interested in campaigning in Peugeot’s RCZ Racing Cup Series will have to cover around $77,500 in costs for one of the race cars in order to participate in the seven races scheduled for the 2012 inaugural season.
GALLERY: Peugeot RCZ Race Car
Toyota seems to be getting more and more serious about electric vehicles. Recently it announced that it will start producing an electric version of the Rav4 in Canada, and now comes news that it wants to conquer the Nurburgring electric car lap record.
Currently this record belongs to Peugeot and its EX1 prototype vehicle. It managed to go around in 9:01.338 seconds. Toyota plans to not only beat it, but demolish the old record with a car based on the Radical SRF.
In testing, this vehicle has achieved a top speed of 162 mph and can sprint from 0-60 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds.
With green-energy getting more and more popular, the future for electric racing cars is getting closer and Toyota hopes to be at the cutting edge of such technology.
Will Toyota capture the Nurburgring lap record for electric cars? We’ll find out on August 29th.
When Peugeot first unveiled the EX1 to the world, we all knew it would be one awesome electric car. Its sleek and futuristic design clearly screams race-inspired and now Peugeot has put it on the track just to prove how awesome it is.
Living up to expectations the EX1 has set the record lap time for an electric car on the Nurburgring with a time of 9 minutes and 1.338 seconds. The vehicle averaged an impressive 85.9-mph on the 12 mile course.
To put it all into perspective, the EX1 shattered the former electric car record by over 50 seconds. Its time also puts it on par with a Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo and slightly quicker than a Ford Focus RS. There’s no doubting how rigorous of a test the Nurburgring is on a car and for Peugeot’s EX1 to turn in such an impressive time proves that future electric cars may not be as boring as we all think.
GALLERY: Peugeot EX1 Electric Car Concept
Peugeot has come a long way since their first scooter they launched in 1996. Meet the battery-powered e-Vivacity, the perfect people mover in an urban environment.
Since the 1996 Scoot’elec, the folks at Peugeot have been working hard to come up with a green machine that made to take on the mean city streets – and they’ve accomplished that with the e-Vivacity. The French motor company outfitted the e-Vivacity with an advanced lithium-ion pack (made by Saft) that only takes four hours to power up (using a standard European 230-volt plug). And if you’re in a hurry, you can also choose to go with the fast two hour charge that gives it an 80% full battery.
This little scooter can reach speeds of around at 28mph within a 60 mile range before it needs a recharge (that’s about the same as the conventional 50cc gasoline-fueled scooter). No word on a price just yet, but with gas prices rising the way they are, the e-Vivacity is a viable option if you’re looking to cut your transportation costs.