Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

Geneva motor show: Aston Martin CC100 confirmed

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 05:00 AM PST

Aston Martin will build a pair of two-seat, open-top sports cars as part of its centenary celebrations

Aston Martin will premiere a V12 Vantage-based two-seat open sports car at the Nürburgring 24-hour race in May. Just two examples of the Aston Martin CC100 will be built.

Speaking to Autocar at the Geneva motor show, Aston boss Ulrich Bez said the car would feature modern styling, but would be influenced by the DBR1 race car. It will have no doors or roof and an entirely exposed cabin.

Aston Martin says one CC100 will be built to celebrate the firm's centenary, while the other commemorates Stirling Moss's legendary win in the 1959 Nürburgring 1000km at the wheel of a DBR1. 

This year's 24-hour race will see Moss reunited with a DBR1 on a parade lap alongside Bez in a CC100.

No pricing has been revealed, but Bez suggested it would slot between the £330,000 V12 Zagato and the £1.4m One-77.

This year's Nürburgring 24 Hours will also see a 500bhp hydrogen hybrid Aston Martin Rapide competing, and attempting to set the "first-ever race-pace zero emissions lap". The bi-fuel car can be powered by petrol or hydrogen and will run on gas for around 20 per cent of the race.

Bez said Aston Martin is aiming to create demand for the fuel in road cars. "I believe this hydrogen hybrid technology is the way to zero emissions in 20, 30 or 40 years' time", he said.

Later this year, at Pebble Beach, Aston Martin intends to reveal two more concept cars that will be due for launch before the end of 2013.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Renault Captur

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 04:45 AM PST

Clio-based crossover promises to bring unprecedented customisation and efficiency to the segment

Renault has unveiled its Captur small crossover at the Geneva motor show. Personalisation appears to be a prominent theme with the Captur, and Renault is also making proud claims about efficiency.

Two-tone paintwork will be offered on the Captur, along with external graphic packs and interior decor options. Eight Zip Collection seat covers will be available, and there are six interior accent colours to choose from.

Elsewhere in the cabin, the Captur features a rear bench that can slide 160mm to allow boot capacity or rear legroom to increase. The former ranges from 377 to 455 litres with the seats raised. Renault is also introducing its Easy Life glovebox to the Captur, capable of holding 11 litres and easily accessible by the driver. It won't be offered on right-hand drive models, models, however.

Laruens van den Acker, Renault's design chief, said "Renault hasn't always been about being first, but it has been about being the first to bring products to the mainstream. We can do that with the Captur, which puts us at the heart of the B sized crossover market. For once there are no lies - it's a good-looking car that also has impressive interior space. There is room for personalisation, to make it trendy, but also a side of it that appeals to common sense.

"We are seeing almost 60 per cent of Clio sales are personalised in some ways - not always in a major way, but with a few stickers or something small - and we expect that to grow with the Captur.".

Standard equipment on every Renault Captur includes Bluetooth, USB connectivity and a removable boot floor. The Renault R-Link infotainment system, recently introduced on the Clio, will also be an option.

The Captur will be initially offered with three engine choices. A 1.2-litre TCe petrol is available with either 89 or 118bhp, the latter with a dual-clutch EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission only. The 88bhp diesel emits 95g/km of CO2 when equipped with a manual.

Underpinned by the latest Clio platform with wider tracks and a longer wheelbase, Renault promises 'responsive handling... amongst the very best in the class' for the Captur.

As you would expect from Renault, the Captur features a wealth of safety kit. The usual complement of airbags and Isofix seat mountings is joined by anti-whiplash head restraints and impact detection pressure sensors. Driver aids include Electronic Stability Control with Roll Movement Intervention.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Renault Clio GT 120

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 04:45 AM PST

New Clio mimics Renaultsport 200 flagship with smaller 1.2-litre turbo

A GT version of the new Renault Clio has been revealed at the Geneva motor show. The GT-line TCe 120 EDC takes styling cues from the upcoming Clio 200 flagship to offer a sporty model lower down the Clio range.

To that end, the Clio GT features more aggressive spoilers and bumpers, 17in alloy wheels, twin chromed exhaust pipes and GT badging. The interior is also overhauled to include aluminium pedal facings, new instruments and sports seats.

The Clio GT is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine mated exclusively to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. With 118bhp, expect the GT to crack 60mph in around nine seconds. The Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) transmission also contributes to 54mpg combined and 120g/km of CO2.

The Renault R-Link infotainment system will be available on the Clio GT. Moreover, a 'Renaultsport Drive' button offers normal and sport modes, the latter sharpening throttle response, quickening shift times and adding weight to the steering.

The R-Link system will also work in conjunction with the second generation of the Renaultsport Monitor, billed as the most comprehensive on-board telemetry system for a production car.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Volkswagen aims for 95g/km of CO2 by 2020

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 04:24 AM PST

Volkswagen has announced an ambitious set of emissions targets, prior to the Geneva motor show.

Volkswagen has announced an ambitious set of emissions targets, prior to the Geneva motor show.

The company says its wants to lower the output of its European new car fleet to 95g/km of CO2 by 2020. Chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn says that corresponds to an average fuel consumption figure of 70.6mpg across all segments and vehicle classes

"This is a Herculean task calling for the best efforts of all our 40,000 developers. We can do it," he said. 

Winterkorn also said that Volkswagen is set to meet its self-imposed target of reducing CO2 in its European new vehicle fleet to less than 120g/km of CO2 by 2015.

He said "Now is the time to initiate innovations so that efficient technologies and alternative powertrains can be widely used, faster. I am convinced this is in the best interests of customers, the environment and Europe as an industrial location."

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Darren Moss

Geneva motor show: Spyker B6 Venator

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 04:15 AM PST

Spyker pulls the wraps of its new Porsche 911 rival at the Geneva motor show

Dutch sports car maker Spyker is targeting the Porsche 911 with this new concept car at the Geneva motor show.

Although the B6 Venator is billed as a concept car for now, former Saab owner Spyker has said the model will make it into production in early 2014. It will be sold in key global markets, including Europe, for an estimated £100,000.

The B6 Venator is a mid-rear-engined sports car with two doors and two seats. Power comes from a V6 engine with more than 375bhp, with power sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed auto 'box.

The monocoque chassis is made from aluminium and the bodywork is fashioned entirely from carbonfibre. The car weighs less than 1400kg; a PDK-equipped 911 Carrera S with 394bhp weighs 1415kg.

The B6 Venator is 4347mm long and 1882mm wide, with a 2500mm wheelbase. That's 144mm shorter but 74mm wider than a 911, while the Spyker's wheelbase is 50mm longer than the Porsche's.

The distinctive look of the B6 is full of references to Spyker's early-20th century past as a maker of coachbuilt road and race cars, particularly in terms of the large mesh front grille. There are also nods to Spyker's past as an aircraft manufacturer: the glass canopy of the cabin and design of the dashboard are both said to have been inspired by aircraft.

Company CEO Victor Muller, who will use the car to spearhead a renaissance for the low-volume maker, has designed the B6 Venator.

Last year, Chinese firm Youngman, which was close to agreeing a deal with Spyker to save Saab, bought into Spyker itself. Spyker retained the rights to Saab's stillborn Phoenix platform when the Swedish manufacturer collapsed, and Spyker and Youngman together plan to volume-produce a range of both front-drive and all-wheel-drive premium models based on the platform.

In a separate deal between Spyker and Youngman, the two firms plan to put Spyker's £160,000 luxury D8 SUV concept into production.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Pininfarina Sergio

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 04:00 AM PST

The striking barchetta concept car is based on the Ferrari 458 Spider and is a tribute to late company boss Sergio Pininfarina

The Pininfarina Sergio, revealed at the Geneva motor show today, is a conceptual tribute to the leader of the famed styling house, who died last year.

The mid-engined, two-seat barchetta concept car is underpinned by Ferrari 458 Spider mechanicals, overlaid with a new carbonfibre body that incorporates a mix of classic Pininfarina design cues and futuristic touches.

The most striking feature is the lack of a windscreen. Instead the Sergio cleverly deflects the airflow over the car's bonnet to create a 'virtual windscreen' that channels air over the heads of the passengers and protects them from turbulence.

A wing inserted in the front bumper compensates for the aerodynamic load on the front axle that is lost by the elimination of the windscreen.

Access to the car is via half-doors that rotate upwards through 45-degrees. The lack of a windscreen makes it necessary for the Sergio's occupants to wear crash helmets, which are stowed in a compartment near the doors.

The rearview mirror has an aerodynamic shape that also helps to divert air from the heads of the passengers, while the rollbar behind the seats is designed as a wing and also has a downforce effect.

The Sergio is fitted with 21-inch alloy one-stud wheels, LED tail-lights and headlamps incorporated into the bumpers. The interior is similar to that found in the 458 Spider, but has a new dashboard top and modified seats. The engine cover, which features the round holes seen on other Pininfarina concepts, wraps around the rear part of the seats.

The Sergio's bodyshell is stiffer than that of the 458 Spider, and contributes to an overall weight reduction of 150kg, putting the Pininfarina concept at about 1280kg. This allows good handling and a further improvement of acceleration, estimated at below 3.4sec for the 0-62mph sprint.

The barchetta's minimalist carbonfibre body contributes to a kerb weight of 1280kg. Pininfarina has conceived the Sergio as a car that could reach limited-series production.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.


Geneva motor show: New Mercedes S-class due in May

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:58 AM PST

The next generation Mercedes S-class will be revealed in Hamburg on 15 May, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche has revealed.

The next generation Mercedes-Benz S-class will be revealed in Hamburg on 15 May, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche has revealed.

"The S-class is the most important car of all to us," said Zetsche. "Its success makes us stronger going forward."

Extra importance has been placed on the S-class following the failure of Maybach. Zetsche said that Mercedes would "broaden the portfolio of the S-class" to make more luxurious versions aimed at the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Zetsche believes that the S-class should have more success in the super-luxury market than the Maybach as it is a brand with "a stronger foundation".

"We can sell more cars at better prices with the S-class," he said. "Pushing the S-class upmarket will also further strengthen and balance the Mercedes brand at the top end just as we are going smaller with the A-class range of cars."

He also confirmed the next generation C-class would be revealed next year. The new model, along with the recently revised E-class, are crucial for Mercedes in China if it is to close the gap on Audi and BMW, according to Zetsche.

The new C-class and S-class are new Mercedes not included in Mercedes' plan to launch 13 new models without a predecessor by 2020, but three of the five models - CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA SUV - to be spun off the A-class platform were.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Smaller than A-class Mercedes "a pending issue" says Daimler boss

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:47 AM PST

Mercedes-Benz could manufacturer a new car, smaller than the A-class, to expand its range

The prospect of a range of Mercedes smaller than the A-class is "a pending issue" that will be addressed, according to Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche.

Speaking to Autocar at the Geneva motor show, Zetsche said launching smaller models would provide a volume boost to Mercedes, but it "would be a tough challenge to make it profitable.

"This is a pending issue not yet decided, we're looking at a full expansion of the range and some time from now we will look at this open question," said Zetsche.

Zetsche also confirmed the next generation Smart line-up would include a four-seat successor to the Forfour.

Whether Smart would expand the Fortwo and Forfour in the line-up is "not decided and depends on the success" of the standard two cars, Zetsche added.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.  

Geneva motor show: Touring Superleggera Disco Volante

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:45 AM PST

Production version of Touring Superleggera's Disco Volante makes its debut in Geneva

Italian coachbuilder Touring Superleggera has created the Disco Volante, a stunning new model based on the Alfa Romeo 8C.

The production car for the Geneva motor show follows a concept of the same name at Geneva last year. The Disco Volante will be built to order at a price available on application only. Each one will take 4000 man-hours to make over the course of about six months.

The Alfa C52 Disco Volante of 1952 inspires the design of the 2013 Disco Volante. The brief for the 2013 car was to blend 'innovation, emotion and aerodynamic properties into a timeless and essential shape'.

The Alfa 8C's chassis, 444bhp 4.7-litre V8 and major hard points have carried over unchanged, with Touring Superleggera's main work centring on producing striking new bodywork, which is prodominantly aluminium.

The interior is luxuriously appointed and fully customisable, featuring high-quality leather and Alcantara. The Disco Volante can crack 0-62mph in 4.2sec and reach a 181mph top speed.

Milan-based Touring Superleggera has been designing and creating hand-built cars since 1926.

"With the production model we have gone back to our tradition of producing exciting shapes for the best-performing chassis. Touring Superleggera has been a coachbuilder since 1926. Coachbuilding today is a response to a growing demand for personalisation and for bespoke cars," said a spokesman.

"It obviously implies beautiful design, but it now requires engineering and technical skills at the highest level. This is what we are doing to revive the coachbuilding industry in the 21st century.

"Bespoke cars explore the future of design in a feasible way. Unlike concept cars from major manufacturers, our cars are visible today and made to be driven now.

"In less than one year we have developed the production model from the style model. The Disco Volante is now ready to be enjoyed by those who appreciate its unique combination of craftsmanship, quality, innovative design and a good deal of automotive history.

"During development the car had to preserve the design essence of the original style model in spite of the technical constraints. We solved the technical problems immediately without compromising the design.

"We changed many elements during this process. Maybe one single piece of the car is the same as the design that we showed last year, but what is important is that we retained the original proportions and I believe the final design is even more impressive."

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

LaFerrari vs McLaren P1 –- full performance figures

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:45 AM PST

Both McLaren and Ferrari have announced performance figures for their respective hypercars, but how do they compare?

The LaFerrari has been officially revealed at the Geneva motor show, setting up the most eagerly anticipated showdown of recent history as it battles for supremacy and sales among the super-rich with the McLaren P1.

LaFerrari -– or 'The Ferrari' –- is the successor to the Ferrari Enzo hypercar and it is already clear that while McLaren has set out to build what it calls the 'ultimate driver's car', Ferrari has set out to build the fastest, most extreme car ever made.

Consequently, every performance figure Ferrari has quoted exceeds those of McLaren. That may be no coincidence, as Ferrari released details a week later than its rival, giving the opportunity to ensure it came out on top by revealing only what it wanted to.

What''s clear, though, is this battle will continue to run. While LaFerrari will inevitably capture all the main headlines from the Geneva motor show, the ultimate verdict can only be delivered when the two cars leave the motor show stands and are driven in anger.

To read more about the new LaFerrari, click here. For more on the McLaren P1, click here.

Head here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Ssangyong Rodius

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:30 AM PST

Second generation of utilitarian people carrier features 4WD option and diesel-only power

Ssangyong has revealed the second generation of its Rodius MPV at the Geneva motor show. The Korean firm boasts of significant advancements in dynamics and interior flexibility for its new people carrier following a $165 million development budget.

From the outside, the Rodius receives new headlights and bumpers to distinguish it from the previous car. Ssangyong claims the new bodywork combines 'strength and fluidity' whilst giving the car a bold stance.

A 3000mm wheelbase should offer decent interior room for the three rows of seats. The rear two can be removed, and the middle row of seats are collapsible to create picnic tables. No figures for boot capacity have been released.

Just one engine will be offered, with two transmission options. The e-XDI2000 diesel produces 153bhp and 265lb ft. The gearbox choices are a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic.

Unusually for the MPV class, the Rodius is rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive set to be optional. The latter comes equipped with a low-ratio setting also. The use of a multi-link rear axle should offer improved body control.

Standard equipment for the new Rodius includes leather upholstery with heated front seats, Bluetooth and a USB auxiliary port for the stereo. Furthermore, every Rodius comes with an electronic stability program (ESP), Anti Roll over Protection (ARP) and Brake Assist System (BAS).

Exact UK prices and specifications of the latest Rodius will be announced by Ssangyong later in 2013.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Ssangyong SIV-1

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:30 AM PST

Crossover concept previews Ssangyong's future design themes

Ostensibly a styling concept, the Ssangyong SIV-1 is a crossover similar to Kia's Sportage and the Nissan Qashqai. Its premiere at the Geneva motor show represents the next iteration of the XIV concept first seen at Frankfurt 2011.

The SIV-1 intends to encapsulate Ssangyong's new design language of 'Nature Born 3 Motion'. The key theme for the SIV-1 was to create a sense of dynamism, hence the bold strikes in the body, narrow glasshouse and aggressive front grille/bumper.

The interior of the SIV-1 appears minimalist, with a large central screen the prominent feature. The screen controls the Mobile Auto System, a feature that allows content from a smartphone or tablet to be used through the car. There are four individual bucket seats also, said to 'engender the sporty yet safe spirit of driving you would expect from a sports coupe.'

Despite its concept status, Ssangyong has released technical data on two engines for the SIV-1. The petrol variant is a 1.6-litre turbo with 202bhp and 206lb ft, whilst the diesel is also a 1.6 with 148bhp and 265lb ft. Both are listed as available with a six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Bugatti Veyron art cars

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 03:17 AM PST

Bugatti reveals three unique art cars in Geneva

Bugatti has showcased a new art car at the Geneva motor show. 

The company invited French artist Bernar Venet to create a work of art celebrating its Veyron Grand Sport. Shown at the VW Group evening in Geneva this week, Bugatti says the finished product is a "conbenial synthesis of artistic concept and technical possibilities."

Some features of the finished artwork include the addition of power figures on the car itself, plus artistic nods to the speed of the car. Venet says his works are usually self-referential, so he found the idea of putting engineering equations onto the car appealing.

"A Bugatti is already a work of art in itself," he said "one that transports both its beholder and its driver into new dimensions of reality. I realised how I could translate my passion for mathematical equations and scientific treatises into three-dimensional form."

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Venet project is just one of three unique Bugatti roadsters on show in Geneva. Two Grand Sport Vitesse models, featuring carbon bodies and two-tone colour schemes, complete the showcase. As well as the bodywork, the interiors and wheels of the cars are also in a two-tone finish.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Darren Moss

Geneva motor show: LaFerrari

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 02:28 AM PST

Maranello takes the fight to McLaren with the £1m LaFerrari, with a 6.3-litre V12, two electric motors offering 0-186mph in 15.5sec and F1-derived aero tech

Ferrari has effectively opened a second front in its war with McLaren, its deadliest racing rival, in revealing the £1 million replacement for its 10-year-old Enzo supercar, the exotically named LaFerrari, at the Geneva motor show today.

Just one week ago the British company revealed the similarly potent and costly McLaren P1 hypercar, targeting exactly the same customers as the Ferrari.

The significance of the LaFerrari name, says Maranello, is that the new model is intended to be 'the Ferrari', a car that packs every traditional Ferrari virtue into an ultra-modern envelope. 

The similarities between the P1 and LaFerrari - codenamed F150 - are many: both are petrol-electric hybrids with total outputs in excess of 900bhp. Both claim an intimate relationship with Formula 1 design, based on a carbonfibre 'tub' chassis, though in a surreptitious swipe at the advanced carbonfibre structure of its rival, Ferrari bosses say they "want to make the best car, not the best carbonfibre tub".

Both cars aim squarely at the title of the 'best driver's car in the world', but whereas the McLaren costs £866,000, Ferrari — which claims to already have buyers for most of its LaFerraris — is charging €1.3 million per copy in Europe, or £1,040,000. 

In another major point of difference, the Ferrari has a normally aspirated 6.3-litre V12 engine (a developed version of its F12 unit), whereas the McLaren has a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8.

The pair's performance is closely matched, with 0-60mph times of around 3.0sec. However, Ferrari claims a 0-300km/h (186mph) time of 15.5sec, a cool 1.5sec faster than the "around 17.0sec" claimed for the McLaren. On the other hand, Ferrari fails to quote a top speed, "because it doesn't matter", whereas McLaren is quite specific about its car's 218mph top end. 

Ferrari claims a simulated Nürburgring lap time of less than seven minutes and says F1 driver Fernando Alonso has lapped Fiorano in 1min 19sec on Pirelli P Zero road tyres, whereas the 599XX could do 1min 16sec on slicks. On those tyres, LaFerrari is expected to be faster still.

The Ferrari is around 110mm longer than the McLaren at 4702mm, and about 50mm wider at 1992mm, but a surprising 54mm lower at 1116mm. It also claims a relatively radical 59 per cent rearward weight bias, which engineers label "just about ideal" for a car like this. Ferrari also talks about a "compact" wheelbase of 2650mm and claims that careful packaging of major masses between the wheels allows the centre of gravity to be an impressive 35mm lower than an Enzo's. 

The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultations with Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa. The chassis tub is to be made in the autoclaves of Ferrari's racing department, using four different types of hand-laminated carbonfibre and incorporating components such as seat bases and battery compartment into the main structure, whose torsional rigidity and beam strength is up 27 per cent and 22 per cent respectively against an Enzo.

LaFerrari's styling — penned by Ferrari's own design team under Flavio Manzoni, with no hint of input from the Pininfarina design house that has produced the majority of Ferrari shapes — is more angular than the swoopy P1 but is dominated by the dictates of the wind tunnel. The front splitter appears to hang from a single front pylon — a nod to F1 — and the air intakes are huge. However, Ferrari says there is still room to acknowledge the "gloriously exuberant" Ferrari sports car shapes of the past via the low bonnet and muscular arches. 

The cabin, believed to be more race-orientated than luxurious, has an F1-style steering wheel whose driving mode manettino offers five different driving modes instead of the usual four. 

The car uses sophisticated aerodynamics that deploy automatically according to speed and attitude. There are moveable diffusers and a guide vane underneath the car, plus more moveable components on the rear wing. Ferrari's aero experts say their brief was to deliver "the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car", a claim likely to cause lively debate in Woking, where the P1 has been built to generate a maximum of eight times the downforce of the existing MP4-12C supercar.     

LaFerrari pips the P1 on kerb weight. Ferrari quotes 1255kg for its car, although this is a 'dry' weight without oils or fluids added. The HY-KERS system contributes 140kg to LaFerrari's total mass, 62kg of which is down to its centrally mounted battery pack. The remaining mass consists of control systems, wiring and a pair of electric motors, one mounted on the back of the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to contribute drive to the car, the other to drive ancillaries instead of powering them directly from the engine. 

The battery is charged via regenerative braking and whenever the engine produces excess torque, and its smart ancillaries work the same way. The P1, by contrast, has a single electric motor that mates so closely with its petrol turbo V8 that the crankcase casting is specially shaped to accommodate it, but it lacks regenerative braking. 

On the other hand, Ferrari's HY-KERS does not have the McLaren's electric-only drive mode for zero-emissions traffic zones, which leaves it with an official CO2 figure of 330g/km that compares poorly with the McLaren's. However, Ferrari says an electric-only mode can be engineered into the car for customers who really want it.

The Ferrari has a mid-mounted normally aspirated 6262cc V12, closely related to the F12's engine but with new internals. It produces 789bhp, with a redline of 9250rpm. Add 161bhp for the electric motor and the driver has total command of 950bhp, along with peak torque of 715lb ft. Both outputs exceed the P1's figures by about 10 per cent, an advantage hardly reflected in the comparative performance until the cars are above 150mph.

Ferrari has announced a price and revealed that 499 cars will be built, but it has yet to announce a date for first deliveries, although autumn is tipped. This is a two-year programme, Maranello says, and while the majority of cars already have owners, some are still available.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Infiniti Q50 diesel

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 02:15 AM PST

Infiniti's BMW 3-series rivalling Q50 has been revealed with a diesel engine for the first time

Renault-Nissan's tie-up with Daimler has spawned a crucial Mercedes-supplied four-cylinder diesel engine for the new Infiniti Q50 saloon, revaled today at the Geneva motor show.

The new BMW 3-series-rivalling Q50 replaces the G37 saloon. The G37 was hampered by only ever being offered with a thirsty V6 petrol engine, but the Mercedes-sourced diesel in the Q50 should make it a much more competitive offering.

The 2143cc turbodiesel engine is familiar from a wide range of Mercedes models, including the C-class and E-class. In the Q50, the direct-injection oil-burner produces 168bhp and 295lb ft of torque. It sends power to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox, both also Mercedes-sourced.

Final figures are yet to be confirmed, but the Q50 2.2d is expected to crack 0-62mph in less than nine seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph. Combined economy of 64mpg is expected, as are CO2 emissions of less than 115g/km.

When European sales of the Q50 begin in the autumn, a hybrid version will also be offered. It will mate a V6 petrol engine to an electric motor for a combined 359bhp. This set-up will be offered in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive forms.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Next Audi Q7 to premiere new design language

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 02:14 AM PST

The Audi Q7 will be the first model to showcase Audi's new design language according to the firm's design boss

The next-generation Audi Q7 will be the first Audi to sport the firm's new design language, design chief Wolfgang Egger has revealed at the Geneva motor show.

Speaking to Autocar, Egger said the look previewed on the Crosslane Coupé concept at last year's Paris motor show, and that it would appear first on the Q7 but did not put a date on when the big new SUV would launch. "The Q7 will be the first new car, it is coming soon," he said.

The leap in design for Audi comes with a new 3D-effect grille in place of the current single frame grille, as previewed on the Crosslane Coupé. "The grille becomes 3D next," said Egger, "with lots of nice detailing and high-quality materials used at the front like aluminium and carbonfibre."

Egger said that no detailing would be added to the look of new Audis unnecessarily, and future designs would "clean up". "We're not putting stuff on, we're taking away," he said.

Further differentiation in Audi's designs would come from the positioning of its standard, S and RS models. Egger said that the gaps between these three pillars of Audi models would grow wider.

Larger, more premium cars would also get more distinctive designs. "The big challenge is to make the high class very different," Egger said.

A closer link between road and race programmes would also be a hallmark of Audi's future designs, Egger revealed. "Audi has been in Le Mans for many years and there is now a movement to take the race car to the street," he said.

Small saloons to make big comeback

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 02:12 AM PST

Audi believes small saloons will become increasingly popular, aims to launch a new A3 saloon in due course

Smaller saloon cars will make a big comeback over the next few years, according to Audi design chief Wolfgang Egger.

Audi itself is set to launch an A3 saloon, possibly as soon as at the Shanghai motor show next month. BMW is also set to launch a saloon variant of its 1-series, while Mercedes has recently unveiled the compact A-class-based CLA saloon.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Egger said "Saloons are coming back, and it's a trend you'll see from us soon. I personally love saloons and think they are due a renaissance."

He believes that saloon cars have become too conservative in recent years, and drifted away from what originally made them so popular.

"The image of saloons has become too conservative," he said. "Saloons used to be small, fun, compact, dynamic. We've lost that in the last 15 years."

Egger said there is "now an opportunity" to make a "very modern car" in a saloon bodystyle with "compact dimensions".

"You can take what's become a conservative design with the saloon and turn it into something very modern," Egger added.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

The fight starts now for Infiniti

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 02:00 AM PST

After a couple of false starts, Infiniti seems to have the product - and intent - to make it a success in Europe

It's put-up-or-shut-up time for Infiniti in Europe. And after what even they'd describe as the slowest of slow starts over the last three years, Nissan's premium arm finally seems to be having a decent crack at putting up.

The Japanese luxury car brand is using this Geneva motor show to introduce its new rival for the BMW 3-series: the Q50. Unlike the G37 before it, this car is right-sized for its class. And having seen it close up at a preview event last night, I can confirm that it's an appealing car.

A bit fussy-looking here and there, but still much more striking than any of the brand's current saloons, and better proportioned.

More important still, it's going to launch this summer with the same 168bhp 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine you'll find in a Mercedes A- and B-class, emitting a competitive 115g/km. It's the lack of a decent four-pot diesel, more than anything, that's held the Infiniti brand back in Europe. The Merc one isn't the best on the market, but it's competent. And after what they did with Renault's 3.0-litre V6 diesel for the FX, EX and M models, the firm has already proved that it can put manners on any powerplant.

There will also be a 359bhp, 145g/km petrol-electric hybrid offered.

The press material makes a great deal of the Q50's long wheelbase and roominess. It's got good legroom; plenty of headroom in the front, not quite as much in the second row. Overall, I'd say a BMW 3-series is a more spacious car – but only just. And from where Infiniti was on packaging - with the likes of the EX and M way behind the class standard on practicality - it's a bit of a result. Material richness and cabin quality both seem particularly lavish.

The Q50's all-electric steer-by-wire system is its technological highlight. It adds little by way of fuel-efficiency compared with a simpler electromechanical power steering system; the benefits are all about configurability and ease of use.

There's no bump-steer, they say: you can drive the car at speed over ruts and big cobblestones and feel no disturbance at all through the rim. You steer straight, the car goes straight: that's it. Directional response is improved. You can also adjust the pace and weight of the rack to your heart's content. But will it feel trustworthy; 'real'? We'll find out when we drive the car in June.

Meantime, there's another new Infiniti to consider further off. The firm's premium compact hatchback – answer to the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series – has already been confirmed for production at Nissan Sunderland. The design is complete, and dynamic development is well advanced.

"It's a much more emotional design than the segment has currently," said Infiniti design supremo Shiro Nakamura. "It could have as much visual impact as the Juke. It's based on Daimler's platform (A-, B-class). It will be five-door only, and it has the same wheelbase as the A-class, I think. But it's lower, leaner than the Mercedes: something very special. Not so much like the (Etherea) concept, actually. I'm truly excited about it."

Apparently it could be called 'Q30'; it could be called 'QS30'. Whatever it's called, it sounds like very good news, both for Infiniti and for the British car industry.

Geneva motor show: Koenigsegg Agera S Hundra details

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 12:55 AM PST

Four thousand man hours have gone into building the Koenigsegg Agera S for the Geneva show

Koenigsegg is in its familiar place amongst Geneva's hypercar makers, and this year is showing off a very special example of its 2014-model-year Agera S: the 'Hundra'.

This is the Swedish firm's hundredth chassis built since the company set up shop in 2002. Headed for Hong Kong, it's been built at a cost of 1.6m US dollars – plus local taxes – and is covered in naked carbonfibre and gold leaf. Four-thousand man hours have gone in to hand-building it; Koenigsegg's usual measure is just under three-thousand.

The Agera S is the latest of Koenigsegg's Agera-series models. Adapted to run on 98-ron unleaded rather than E85 bioethanol, its got 1016bhp and 811lb ft of torque, and weighs 1400kg at the kerb with fluids onboard. Though not quite as quick as the firm's Agera R, it's capable of 0-62mph in 2.8sec, and 0-186mph-0 in a staggering 22.5sec.

Koenigsegg's philosophy on designing and fabricating its own components runs throughout. The 5.0-litre V8 engine's pistons are ceramic-coated, and have uniquely shaped piston domes that encourage effective flame propagation, combat irregular combustion and allow the engine to run 1.4 bar of supercharger boost pressure and a compression ratio of 9.0:1 – factors that make for the exceptionally high specific output.

It also has a new ECU, Koenigsegg's own, with dual wideband lambda sensing. The brake callipers are new too, and of Koenigsegg's own design; each one is asymmetrical and can therefore only be fitted to one specific corner of the car.

Speaking exclusively to Autocar, company founder Christian von Koenigsegg was unthreatened by the profusion of brand new hypercars around the Geneva motor show stands. "Our clients are collectors," he explained. "They'll probably order the Ferrari, the McLaren and one of our cars while they're here. It's true that there will be a lot million-dollar exotics coming onto the market in a short space of time, but it's the likes of Ferrari and McLaren that will have to manage that; our business won't be affected."

"We service the business as it comes to us," he went on. "When we set up in 2002, the idea was to make the Porsche 911 of hypercars: one that would go through a process of continuous improvement for many decades. I think we're achieving that. Some years we make twelve cars; others we've made as many as seventeen. Right now, our order book is about a year long, and that's normal for us." 

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Volkswagen blows the competition away

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 12:01 AM PST

A pre-Geneva show bash was astounding tour de force from the VW group

Last night, the Volkswagen Group held its traditional pre-Geneva motor show bash. It was a 90-minute tour de force of new models and concepts that no other automotive maker could hope to match. 

There was triple-level security at the hall in central Geneva, not just because the VW top brass were in attendance, but because the night's proceedings took place under the benign gaze of supervisory board boss Ferdinand Piech, who has spent the last two decades steering VW Group to what it is today.

With the media stacked up on both sides of the 'catwalk', all VW's brands rolled in new models: Skoda's Octavia Wagon, Seat's Leon three-door SC, the new Golf estate, and the Audi A3 plug-in hybrid. VW's commercial arm even showed a stylish concept urban deliver van. 

Lamborghini - not be left out at a show which sees the new flagship Ferrari and McLaren hypercars - showed the bonkers Veneno and Bentley the distinguished and surprisingly angular Flying Spur.

But the evening began with the unveiling of the extraordinary Volkswagen XL1, probably the world's most economical car. The project started at the end of the last century when then VW brand boss Piech decided he wanted to build a viable production car capable of travelling 100km on 1-litre of petrol (282mpg). The tandem-seated L1 concept (which had a single cylinder engine and weighed 290kg empty) was shown in 2002. 

11 years later, the production XL1 was unveiled as Piech and his wife (also a member of the VW supervisory board) looked on from centre stage. The evening ended with the European Car of The Year award being presented to VW bosses for the Golf 7. 

It's 21 years since the Golf - in Mk3 guise - last won the ECoTY. It was a high point in a dire time for VW. When Piech took over the VW Group in 1993, it was said to be just months from going broke. After nine years in charge - and a raft of audacious brand purchases - Piech left to become the head of the VW supervisory board. But he kept a very firm hand on the tiller.

Last night was Piech's victory parade. His multi-brand strategy has been a near complete success (only Seat is struggling to become sustainably profitable) and the MQB platform and factory combination is being rolled out across the world, giving the company a huge competitive advantage. VW shifted 9.3m vehicles in 2012, is net profits in 2012 were up 40 percent and it is also on track to become the world's largest carmaker.

It was bookended by the remarkable XL1 - a swaggering technology showcase - and the Golf 7 retaking its definitive 'all the car you need' title by a massive majority in the ECoTY voting. Rivals such as GM Europe, Ford Europe and Peugeot-Citroen are losing billions. The VW juggernaut looks unstoppable. Ferdinand Piech, meanwhile, has cemented his place as one of the all-time great automotive industrialists and engineers.

Geneva motor show: sub-£8000 Dacia Logan estate unveiled

Posted: 05 Mar 2013 12:00 AM PST

New load-lugging Dacia can carry 573 litres of luggage with five passengers on board

The Dacia Logan MCV (maximum capacity vehicle) will be the third Dacia to launch in the UK after the Duster and Sandero. It is expected to cost less than £8000 when it goes on sale in the summer.

The new 4490mm long-family estate, revealed at the Geneva motor show, has a 573-litre boot space with the rear seats up rising to 1518 with the 60/40 split seats down.

The design is largely familiar from the Sandero. The five-seat Logan MCV is 430mm longer than the Sandero, the two cars sharing the same adaptable platform as all the other Dacias in the range.

Inside, the spacious Logan MCV has 16 different storage compartments.

Engines are shared with the Sandero, meaning a 74bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is the base car, with a turbocharged 89bhp 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol and a 89bhp 1.5-litre turbodiesel offered further up the range.

Dacia has also launched a special edition version of the Duster at the Geneva motor show. The Dacia Duster Adventure, which gets kit such as roof bar-mounted spotlights, red towing eyes and added body cladding. Unfortunately, it will not be sold in the UK, though.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

What is it about Geneva?

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:56 PM PST

What makes the Geneva motor show so special?

It's weird how your heart rate drops as soon as you get into the first big European motor show of the year, Geneva. As you'll see on the site already, there's a rare density of new models, so varied that it's close to impossible to divine a simple theme. 

And as a reporter, you start to wonder how you'll ever manage to see it all.

But two excellent things happened today. First, with several of the Autocar team we managed to get into the show 45min before the official time of 7.30am. We found the one official in Switzerland who didn't understand that his job, officially speaking, was to keep us standing outside in the cold (0deg) for another three quarters of an hour.

Second, there's a reassuring organisation about Geneva, with its wide aisles, its lack of high walls and loud music. People say this show, one of a very few held annually (most alternate with another) is popular because it is 'neutral'. I reckon it's because Geneva is more understandable than most - and long may it stay that way.

Geneva motor show: Mitsubishi GR-HEV

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:16 PM PST

New concept combines diesel power with electric motor to make a more efficient commercial vehicle

The second of the Mitsubishi electric vehicle concepts at the Geneva motor show is the GR-HEV. A pick-up with a one-tonne payload, it aims to show the new applications hybrid technology can be used for.

The GR-HEV is powered by a 2.5-litre Mitsubishi Clean Diesel and a front-mounted electric motor, delivering power through an automatic gearbox. No power outputs have yet been released, but Mitsubishi is promising CO2 emissions of 'below 149g/km' for the GR-HEV, no doubt aided by its ability to run in electric-only mode for a limited time.

The manufacturer says this puts the concept's emissions approximately 50g/km below the current best-performing pick-up on the market.

The four-wheel drive GR-HEV features Mitsubishi's Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) which controls power distribution to each corner to boost traction.

The 5.42m-long GR-HEV reputedly continues a styling theme first seen on the current L200, where the load bed appears a seamless continuation of the passenger cabin. The concept also features LED tail lights in a 'scattered diamond' design', and lightweight wheels inspired by Mitsubishi's Three Diamond Logo.

Speaking at the unveiling of the GR-HEV concept, Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko said: "We have learned a lot from the i-MIEV electric car and the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid, so now is the time to apply those lessons to other market segments. The GR-HEV is designed to appeal to customers in both mature and developing markets, and for purposes of fun or work."

Mitsubishi has also unveiled its CA-MiEV crossover concept at the show.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Mitsubishi CA-MiEV crossover concept

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:16 PM PST

New supermini-sized EV boasts unprecedented range

As part of a goal to make 20 per cent of its model range EV (electric vehicle)-based by 2020, Mitsubishi has unveiled the CA-MiEV at the Geneva motor show. It follows the i-MiEV city car and aims to tackle the feedback received about that car in the past three years of customer trials.

The CA-MiEV is billed as the 'suburban EV' and is similar in size to most superminis at 4050mm long, 1775mm wide and 1550mm high. Its arrow-like shape has largely been dictated by the need for good aerodynamics to boost efficiency. Replacing the wing mirrors with camera, making the underside completely flat, reducing air intakes and adding a rear diffuser has contributed to a drag co-efficient of 0.26cd.

A compact pack of high-density lithium-ion batteries powers the CA-MiEV. Total power output is 107bhp, comparable to a Nissan Leaf

Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko said the technology on the concept would inform the company's future model range: "CA-MiEV is a four-metre-long family car that can seat five people and showcases various technologies that Mitsubishi will look to introduce in the future.

"It has wireless battery charging, high-efficiency system and regenerative braking systems and high energy density lithium-ion batteries.

"Together these technologies combine to give CA-MiEV a driving range of approximately 300 kilometres (about 185 miles), which equates to a week of pure electric driving for the average European motorist."

Technology for the cabin includes automatic phone and email in the case of theft or emergency, and remote pre-heating.

Mitsubishi has also unveiled the GR-HEV pick-up at the show.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Lexus IS

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:00 PM PST

European debut for the BMW 3-series rival; Lexus places its faith in hybrids ahead of diesel power

The third generation Lexus IS saloon has made its European debut at the Geneva motor show. It is unique in the compact executive market as no diesel engine will be offered.

Buyers will have the choice of either the IS 250 or IS 300h. The former is powered by a 2.5-litre V6 producing 204bhp and 214lb ft of torque. Lexus claims this is sufficient for a 0-62mph time of 8.1sec and a top speed of 139mph. The sole transmission choice is a six-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) automatic.

The IS 300h hybrid uses a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with 178bhp and an electric motor rated at 141bhp. The combined power output is 220bhp, enough for a 124mph top speed. The 0-62mph time is 8.3sec.

The hybrid features an E-CVT transmission with six 'speeds' to deliver a driving experience similar to a manual. Lexus has also equipped the IS 300h with 'Active Sound Control', part of the audio system that transmits an engine sound into the cabin even when the engine is off.

Lexus Chief Engineer Junichi Furuyama cites improved fuel consumption, lower emissions, added performance and a more enjoyable driving experience as the main reasons for choosing a hybrid drivetrain over a diesel.

Lexus claims significant gains have been made with the driving dynamics of the new IS. A lighter yet more rigid bodyshell, revised front suspension and an all-new rear suspension set-up aim to deliver more rewarding handling without compromising refinement. Electric power steering is standard on all models, as is Drive Mode Select that offers four different presets (five on the hybrid) that alter the car's dynamic behaviour.

On the range-topping F Sport model, Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is an option, which gives the driver a choice of 'Normal' or 'Sport S+' mode for the dampers.

For this third generation IS, Lexus has also ensured the F Sport models look significantly more aggressive than the rest of the range. To that end, the IS F Sport receives a larger mesh front grille with chrome accents, aerodynamic detailing to aid brake cooling and unique 18in wheels. Two colours unavailable on other IS models (Ultrasonic Blue and White Nova) also feature on the F Sport.

The new IS is larger than its predecessor, making it more spacious inside. A 70mm longer wheelbase increases rear legroom by 50mm and the boot by 20mm, and rear kneeroom grows by 85mm also.

Infotainment is catered for through the Lexus Display Audio (LDA) and Electro Multi Vision Navigation. These operate through a seven-inch multimedia screen with full iPod integration. An 835w Mark Levinson stereo upgrade with fifteen speakers is also available.

Safety equipment on-board the IS includes a Pre-Crash system, Automatic High Beam and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

When it reaches Britain this summer, the Lexus IS range will start at £26,495 for the IS 250 SE. Flagship F Sport models cost from £30,495 and the IS 300h hybrid kicks off at £29,495.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Ford Tourneo Courier

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:00 PM PST

Ford offers first public view of the Tourneo Courier and Grand Courier at the Geneva motor show

Ford has revealed the most family-orientated model in the Transit family line-up as the covers were removed from the Ford Tourneo Courier today. The Geneva motor show reveal marks the first time the entire Tourneo range has been presented.

The Tourneo Courier is based on Ford's Global B platform, which also underpins the Fiesta and B-Max. The new model will be offered in a five-seat configuration, and a Grand seven-seat version, which sees its wheelbase stretched by 400mm. It sits below the Tourneo Connect and Tourneo Custom in the range.

The standard model is 4.45m long, while the Grand Tourneo Courier measures 4.82mm. Ford describes the Tourneo Courier as "spacious", and says it is aimed at families looking for additional space at a low price. A range of equipment more commonly fitted to passenger cars, such as an active grille shutter will be offered.

Ford's 1.6-litre TDCI engine will be offered in three power outputs: 74bhp, 94bhp and 114bhp. A 99bhp version of the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost engine will join the range alongside a 123bhp 1.6-litre Ecoboost.

Six-speed manual gearboxes are supplied with all engine options, apart from the 1.6-litre Ecoboost, which receives a six-speed Powershift automatic.

Ford is considering making the Tourneo range and passenger car-orientated Transit models available in its car dealer sites to build sales to private motorists. Tourneo and Transit family models are currently sold exclusively through its commercial dealer operations.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:00 PM PST

Compact sports-utility vehicle gets Honda's new-generation 1.6- i-DTEC diesel powerplant, which emits 119g/km of CO2

A Honda CR-V fitted with the Japanese manufacturer's latest 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine has been revealed at the Geneva motor show.

The compact SUV is the latest model in Honda's range to receive the new 1596cc oil burner, which provides the CR-V with 118bhp at 4000rpm, 221lb ft at 2000rpm and CO2 emissions of 119g/km.

The engine is the first in a series of efficient units Honda will roll out under the Earth Dreams Technology banner, and has already been fitted to the Honda Civic.

The unit is the lightest diesel engine in its class and weighs 47kg less than Honda's 2.2-litre i-DTEC powerplant.

Reducing mechanical friction of the engine was a key objective of Honda's development team, and at 1500rpm the 1.6 i-DTEC has around 40 per cent less mechanical friction than the 2.2.

Honda's engineers also worked to improve the volumetric efficiency of the cylinders, employing a high intake flow and a high-swirl head port that precisely controls the combustion process to reduce hot spots that create unwanted emissions. The engine air flow is managed by using an exhaust gas recirculation system that operates at high and low pressure to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.

The CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC goes on sale in the autumn and will be built at Honda's Swindon plant.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Honda Civic estate concept

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:00 PM PST

Load-lugging variant of the Civic previewed as a concept ahead of a production car set to launch in September

This new Honda Civic Tourer Concept has been revealed at the Geneva motor show.

The Civic concept previews a new production car that will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Honda has kept back key details on the concept such as its load capacity, with the concept instead intended to showcase the design of the new British-built estate.

But in its Geneva release, Honda noted that its previous estates have all offered best-in-class loading space, so it's likely the firm is targeting something similar in turning the already incredibly spacious five-door hatchback into an estate.

The Civic's fuel tank is mounted under the front seats, which dramatically increases the space in the rear. Even more rear space comes from the fact the Civic uses a beam axle at the rear rather than a more space-hungry multi-link set-up.

While the standard Civic's design looks a bit awkward on a five-door hatchback, it transfers much better onto a longer estate to create what Honda describes as a "clean, dynamics and elegant look".

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Range Rover Evoque Black Pack

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:00 PM PST

The Range Rover Evoque is to be offered with a Black Pack from April 2013

Land Rover has showcased a new styling pack for its Range Rover Evoque at the Geneva motor show today. 

The Black Design Pack, available on Dynamic models, sees the brightwork replaced with black detailing. The car's tailpipes, rear bumper, sump guard, and 20in alloy wheels – specific to this model – are finished in black.

It also carries darkened headlights and tinted rear lights. The Range Rover badging at the rear is also black.

It will be available to order on Dynamic models from April 2013.

Geneva motor show: Toyota RAV4

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 10:52 PM PST

Two new versions of the Toyota RAV4 have had their European debut at the Geneva motor show.

Two versions of the Toyota RAV4 have made their European debuts at the Geneva motor show.

The RAV4 Premium has a new lighting package plus a chrome-finished spoiler at the front while chrome inserts and brushed aluminium skid plates give the back end a more up market feel.

Inside new leather, seating materials and stitching are also added.

Toyota says the RAV4 Premium has been designed to give the new model more sophistication.

Debuting alongside the RAV4 Premium is the RAV4 Adventure, which Toyota says has been designed to show off the off-road abilities of the car. Aesthetic changes like extended wheel arches to accommodate the 20-inch alloy wheels help to give the RAV4 a more muscular stance. 

Both bumpers have been redesigned and finished with matt paint, while the front bumper also now integrates a new under-run.

Darren Moss

Geneva motor show: Mercedes SLS to be replaced "very soon"

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 03:17 PM PST

Mercedes has revealed its intention to replace the SLS supercar with a Porsche 911 rival

Mercedes will preview its intention to replace the SLS AMG "very soon" with a new concept car, according to a senior company official speaking ahead of the Geneva motor show.

The new concept is likely to pave the way for the new 'SLC AMG', as the hotly tipped SLS replacement has become known.

Rather than replace the SLS with a like-for-like replacement, the new model is set to be smaller and compete more directly with the Porsche 911.

A much wider range of variants, however, should allow the front-engined, rear-drive coupe and cabriolet models to compete with myriad rival performance cars between the mooted £80,000-£120,000 bracket.

Our source indicated that the SLS AMG still had several years left on sale yet, but its replacement was shaping up to be an "iconic" design for the Mercedes brand.

Before the new sports coupe is shown, Mercedes is gearing up to show replacements for its current S-class and C-class ranges. The S-class will be shown first in the next few months, with the C-class to follow early next year.

The look of the new S-class is said to pave the way directly for the C-class with what's described as a "sporty and elegant" look for the new BMW 3-series rival.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: AMG plans 30 model expansion

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 03:06 PM PST

Mercedes' AMG division aims to grow sales by 50 per cent by 2017

AMG boss Ola Kallenius has revealed that there will be 30 Mercedes AMG models on sale by 2017.

Kallenius, who was speaking at the Geneva motor show unveil of the Mercedes A45 AMG, said that Mercedes' performance offshoot would have the 30 models on sale by the time AMG celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017.

The model expansion will see AMG's annual sales lift from 20,000 units at present to 30,000 units by 2017, a 50 per cent increase.

The A45 AMG is the first model to be launched under the expansion, and Kallenius, who brought along American R&B singer Usher to unveil the new model in Geneva, described the car as "a vehicle to open a complete new gateway to the AMG world at an attractive entry price that will make an AMG attainable for new target groups".

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Dacia to help Renault end discount culture

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 02:31 PM PST

New boss of Renault UK says the launch of the new Dacia budget brand could not have been better timed

The new boss of Renault UK, Ken Ramirez, says the successful launch of the new Dacia budget brand can play a critical role in helping Renault end its policy of selling its products at significantly discounted prices.

Speaking on the eve of the Geneva motor show, Ramirez, who joined Renault UK in February, said: "We have some clear internal goals for Renault, which centre around making our new products striking, appealing, desirable and trustworthy.

"Those qualities apply to the new Renault Clio, and they will apply to all our new vehicles. The problem we have is that, today, we're assumed to be a brand that discounts. That can't continue. The transaction prices are too low, and while that may be possible with aged products, it certainly isn't possible with all-new products.

"But that's where the Dacia brand can help. The Sandero and Duster are great budget cars, we won't discount them at all, but they remain aspirational for used car buyers, or people who would traditionally buy a discounted Renault.

"Every new Renault should be a car that people aspire to buy new - and are willing to pay a non-discounted price for. If you want a quality, low price car, then buy a Dacia. If you want a mainstream quality offering, then buy a Renault."

Ramirez also said that Renault would push harder in future to get the message of its transformation from discount to quality brand heard by among consumers.

"We have strong messages on design, technology, reliability - all things that car buyers want but perhaps haven't heard from Renault in recent years," he said. "We've got great new product coming over the next 18 months, and this is our opportunity to change."

Geneva motor show gallery

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 02:16 PM PST

This week's Geneva motor show is playing host to some of 2013's most incredible new models

The Geneva motor show marks the start of the motoring year for European motorists. It's the first big show to give a glimpse of dozens of new models heading for UK roads over the coming months.

And after several years of car makers driving down emissions and fuel consumption, the performance car is back.

Aside from the show-stopping McLaren P1 and Lamborghini Veneno, there's the long awaited Ferrari Enzo replacement, the LaFerrari. Each offers rarity, massive performance and price tags ranging from £866,000 to more than £2.6m. They are the new breed of performance car poster boys.

Perhaps more importantly, Geneva is playing host to the latest generation of hot hatchbacks. Certainly the Mercedes A45 AMG is the focus of attention, with a barely-believably 335bhp from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. But the Kia Cee'd and Procee'd GT models are no less important. The 201bhp models might not beat the Merc in a drag race, but with a price tag around £23,000, they are more relevant than ever.

Autocar's team of journalists and photographers will be capturing the best of the show as it happens, so check back for the latest.

Click the image above to launch the exclusive motor show gallery.

Geneva motor show: ItalDesign Giugiaro Parcour

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 01:00 PM PST

ItalDesign Giugiaro's Parcour design study uses Lamborghini running gear

Volkswagen-owned styling house ItalDesign Giugiaro has created a compact sports car/SUV crossover based on Lamborghini running gear for the Geneva motor show.

The concept is called Parcour and has been developed as both a coupé and a roadster. It uses a mid/rear-mounted 542bhp 5.2-litre V10 and an all-wheel drive system from Lamborghini. Italdesign says the concept blends elements from SUVs, crossovers, sports cars and GTs and is designed to offer supercar performance on any road surface. 

At 4530mm long, 2070mm wide and 1335mm high, it is roughly the same length and width as a Range Rover Evoque but is considerably lower. It weighs 1550kg and can crack 0-62mph in 3.6sec, with a 199mph top speed.

The Parcour sits on 22-inch alloy wheels and its ride height can be hydraulically adjusted in a range from 210mm to 330mm. Four different modes for this are offered: comfort, off-road, winter and track.

Italdesign claims a new type of suspension system for the Parcour. It is a pushrod-style set-up, but the pushrods are replaced by eight coil-overs, two at each corner. This is said to better blend on-road and off-road performance.

The idea behind the two-seater is inspired by the sport parkour, where you adapt your body to cross obstacles in any given environment.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

More new jobs at Jaguar Land Rover

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 12:58 PM PST

More investment and 700 new jobs promised at new engine facility in Wolverhampton

At a pre-Geneva motor show press conference, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralph Speth announced that the company is to create an additional 700 jobs at its still-unopened engine facility in Wolverhampton.

Jaguar Land Rover had previously committed £350m and 750 jobs to the new plant, which is still being constructed on the i54 business park on the border between Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire.

Today's announcement will see those numbers rise to £500m invested and almost 1500 employees by the time the factory comes on stream, most likely in 2015. The news comes just two months after JLR announced it would create an extra 800 jobs at its Solihull plant.

The new i54 plant will make engines of "up to four cylinders" and will play significant part in shedding Jaguar Land Rover's dependence on the Ford-sourced engines it uses today.

Jaguar Land Rover's Director of Group Sales, Phil Popham, told Autocar that the company wants "strategic control" of its powerplants, and that a new generation of petrol and diesel engines is currently being developed.

The news comes as Jaguar Land Rover enjoys a period of sustained growth. With one month remaining before the end of its financial year it has already broken its previous annual sales record, selling over 360,000 vehicles during 2012. 

Thanks in no small part to the Range Rover Evoque, its sales were up 71 per cent year on year in China, 19 per cent in the UK and 33 per cent throughout the rest of the EU.

Speth confirmed that eight new or revised models will join the model line-ups during 2013, including a diesel-electric hybrid variant of the new Range Rover.

Geneva motor show: Lamborghini Veneno

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:45 AM PST

Lamborghini has pulled the wraps off its €3.12m Aventador-based Veneno road-going racer

Lamborghini has celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Geneva motor show with the Lamborghini Veneno, a 740bhp, 221mph road-going racer based on the Aventador.

The Veneno is a production reality, but Lamborghini has said that all three units it will make have already sold for €3 million each plus taxes (around £3.12 million). The Geneva model is a Lamborghini prototype that it will continue to test on road and track.

The fundamental design is based on the Aventador, but there are several key changes to create what Lamborghini calls a "street-legal racing car".

Its body, like the monocoque chassis, is fashioned entirely from carbonfibre-reinforced polymer. The bodywork is optimised for aerodynamic efficiency, creating downforce, reducing drag and cooling the 6.5-litre V12, which has had a 50bhp hike from its 690bhp state of tune in the Aventador.

The front end works as one large aerodynamic wing. The front wings are separated from the body, as on sports prototype racers.

The car's underbody is smooth and channels air into a large diffuser, which houses four integrated exhaust pipes. Other features include an adjustable rear wing. The flared wheel arches house 20-inch alloy wheels at the front and 21-inch alloys at the rear.

The carbonfibre tub and aluminium subframes from the Aventador are carried over to the Veneno but adapted for its more extreme performance.

The engine benefits from enlarged air intakes, a higher rev limit and an exhaust system with a lower back pressure. The seven-speed automated manual gearbox, all-wheel drive system and pushrod suspension are also adapted from the Aventador.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Porsche 911 GT3

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 11:30 AM PST

The new Porsche 911 GT3 will feature a host of new tech, but will do without a manual gearbox for the first time

Porsche has heralded the 50th anniversary of the 911 with a new 468bhp race-bred GT3 at the Geneva motor show.

The new GT3 has been co-developed by Porsche¹s road and race engineers. It includes key innovations such as a new electronically controlled four-wheel steer system but does without a manual gearbox option for the first time.

The GT3 is distinguished from the standard Porsche 911 by a new aerodynamic body that includes a deeper front bumper, extra air intakes and fixed carbonfibre rear wing.

At 1430kg, it weighs more than its second-generation predecessor, something largely put down to it being 85mm longer and 44mm wider.

Power comes from a newly developed 468bhp, 324lb ft version of the 3.8-litre, direct-injection flat six engine found in the latest Carrera S.

As well as being 39bhp more powerful than the previous GT3, its rev limit is up by 500rpm to 9000rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters feature, and launch control is integrated into the gearbox. 

The 0-62mph time is a claimed 3.5sec and the top speed is 196mph.

The suspension has been overhauled to reduce unsprung mass by 7kg compared with the 911 Carreras on which the GT3 is based. A variable damping system (PASM) is standard, as is torque vectoring (PTV Plus), which includes a locking differential.

The four-wheel steer system points the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds of up to 31mph for faster corner entry speeds. At speeds above 50mph, the rear wheels steer in parallel to improve stability.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Hot hatches star in Geneva

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 10:20 AM PST

Ferrari and McLaren might be grabbing headlines, but hot hatches are the real performance stars in Geneva

Hot hatches are everywhere at the Geneva motor show, but two are of particular note. While you can probably guess what to expect from the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Audi S3 Sportback, new territory is being explored with the Mercedes A45 AMG and Kia Cee'd GT.

With the A45, Mercedes' AMG offshoot is making its smallest car ever. Best known for super-saloons and coupes like the C63 and E63, AMG has diversified before, with mixed results. The R-class AMG is one of those diversifications best consigned to the history books.

But in making the Mercedes A45 AMG, there's no whiff of it being made just to have 'an AMG version of everything' in the Mercedes range. AMG has gone out and created the world's hottest hot hatch (if you ignore post-production line fettled models such as the Subaru Impreza Cosworth), powered by the most powerful regular production 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine in existence.

The idea is to get younger buyers into AMG models with smaller and more affordable cars, but still cars with the full AMG engineering package behind them.

But with the A45 at the core of plans to double sales over the next few years, will AMG be able to maintain its exclusivity? The performance offshoot is famed for things such as putting hand-signed plaques on its engines as part of its one engine, one engineer policy, but whether exclusive touches like this that appeal so greatly to the allure of AMG remain with the radically increased volumes will be a test.

Exclusivity, for very different reasons, is a word that comes to mind with the Kia Cee'd GT at the other end of the performance scale.

The model is Kia's first performance offering and, alongside the new Provo concept, is one of the first models designed for Kia to break free of its staple traits of being a rationale, good value purchase. For Kia to become a bit more exclusive, in other words.

Can it achieve it? Appealing to the enthusiast buyer with a well respected and credible performance offering is a different kind of ask to cracking the mass market, but no less of a challenge.

But, with Kia's recent track record and where they look to be taking the GT with a focus on chassis tuning rather than outright power, it might not be a wise move to bet against them.

Geneva motor show: Rolls-Royce Wraith

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 10:00 AM PST

New £215,000 Wraith will be the most powerful and fastest Rolls-Royce in the company's history

The new Rolls-Royce Wraith is the most powerful car ever built by the iconic British manufacturer.

Powered by a 624bhp V12 generating 590lb ft of torque, it can accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.4sec. Rolls-Royce also claims the Ghost-based coupé is its most dynamic car ever, with company boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös describing the Wraith as "having a hint of menace in the design that is new to the brand, but with the driving experience and performance to live up to that promise".

Consequently, the Wraith is 183mm shorter in wheelbase than the Ghost, 130mm shorter in overall length, 40mm wider in rear track and 43mm lower in height. The suspension has also been stiffened to minimise body roll and ensure the driver gets a better sense of feedback when cornering. The steering weight is also heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds to encourage spirited driving.

However, Müller-Ötvös emphasised that the Wraith should not be considered an outright sporting GT: "While the Wraith does push the brand in a new direction, evolving it in a way that we hope will attract new, perhaps younger customers, it is still a Rolls-Royce, and the 'bed of air' ride our customers expect is still uppermost in the car's DNA."

Sales are expected to come predominantly from the US, Europe and Middle East. Two-door, driver-focused cars don¹t sell well in the otherwise booming Chinese market.

Technical innovations to complement the car¹s dynamics include a satellite-aided transmission, which uses GPS mapping data and driving style measurements to ensure the correct gear is pre-selected for the road ahead by the eight-speed ZF ¹box. Company insiders have hinted that the technology is expected to be used in future top-spec BMWs at a later date.

Giles Taylor, head of exterior design, revealed he was told to create a car that expressed speed, power and agility. Design highlights include a deeply recessed front grille, wide rear track, strong tension lines in the panels and a raked rear screen. Rolls-Royce will also encourage buyers to order two-tone colour schemes, such as the one pictured here.

Inside, the Wraith features Phantom-grade leathers and new wood panelling, inspired by modern boating materials, which stretches across the coach doors through to the rear of the car. A starlight headliner is also available in a model other than the Phantom for the first time, working via 1340 tiny lamps hand-woven into the roof lining.

The firm also claims the Wraith features a best-ever voice command system that allows the occupants to set sat-nav destinations and perform other functions, and a touchpad controller that uses smartphone-style pinch-and-pull functionality.

The Rolls-Royce Wraith will cost around £215,000, with deliveries beginning this autumn.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Land Rover plots entry-level model

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 08:54 AM PST

New small SUV planned to help Land Rover push in to new markets

Land Rover has started work on a new entry-level SUV, according to recent reports on Indian TV. CNBC-TV said that the new model would be aimed primarily at 'emerging markets' such as India and China.

Although the engineering work is taking place in the UK, a number of Tata engineers are said to be involved in the project. The car was described as the 'smallest' SUV yet from the company, and that it would have an engine of 'around a 2.0-litre' capacity.

This project may well be the "white space product"described earlier this year by Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern. He told Autocar that the vehicle would help push Land Rover into new markets. There's no news on how it might look, but the DC100 concept could provide inspiration.

This future model may also be built in India and use components which are substantially sourced from India. Reports in the UK press today quote a source as saying JLR is 'actively exploring the possibility of building cars from scratch in India'.

It would make sense that a new entry-level model, designed primarily to break into emerging markets, would be made locally. Indeed, JLR is thought to be planning to build a copy of its new Wolverhampton engine factory in India.

The model could also be the basis of a three-way co-operation with owners Tata and Chinese partners Chery. The same basic platform and running gear could be used to underpin cheaper Tata and Chery SUVs, while the Land Rover version could be plusher and more upmarket.

However, if Land Rover is pushing for serious volume growth, it could also re-export the car to Europe, where the market for entry-level SUVs is booming. Certainly, Land Rover and its dealers would benefit from a compact model priced against upper-end versions of the Mk3 Mini, whose line up is expected to include a proper SUV.

Geneva motor show: Innovative Colibri

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 07:49 AM PST

Innovative Mobility to reveal Colibri electric microcar at Geneva

Innovative Mobility, a German automotive manufacturer, will reveal its electric Colibri microcar at the Geneva motor show.

Designed to appeal to inner-city commuters and businesses, the Colibri has a range of 68 miles, one seat and a small 180-litre boot.

A 24kW electric motor propels the 440kg Colibri from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds, and its top speed is a claimed 75mph.

The battery pack can be charged to 80 per cent in 20 minutes, according to Innovative Mobility, on a public charger.

Notable features include gullwing doors, a hybrid spaceframe chassis and a modern central touchscreen. 

Innovative Mobility says that it plans to put the Colibri into production in late 2014.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

European Car of the Year winner is no surprise

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 07:10 AM PST

The quality in this year's ECOTY award was, as ever, impressive. But it's no surprise the Golf won

The victory of the Volkswagen Golf in 2013 car of the year doesn't surprise anyone. The acceptance speech by Ulrich Hackenberg at the announcement press conference before the Geneva motor show was also notably short and low key.

What is more, by the time a third of the votes had been counted, the VW voting had doubled that of the laudable second runner, the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ.

Still, this was a vote entirely in line with the award's precepts - the Golf is excellent, it shows the future (especially in some of its more frugal versions) and it attacks things like weight loss and right-sizing, while introducing a new form of 'family' manufacture many will envy

For me it was second to the Toyobaru, only because it's more than 20 years since someone built a pure driver's car. The last was the Mazda MX-5 and that was far less practical.

Glad to see the Volvo V40 and Ford B-Max do okay, but sorry for Peugeot, whose hopes were high for its 208. But it's a good decision

Geneva motor show: Mitsubishi CA-MiEV and GR-HEV concept revealed

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 06:55 AM PST

Pair of advanced Mitsubishi concepts to be unveiled at Geneva

Leaked pictures from a Russian website claim to reveal Mitsubishi's CA-MiEV and GR-HEV concepts, which are due to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show tomorrow.

Unofficial sources say that the CA-MiEV concept is an all-electric vehicle, like Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, which features a high-efficiency drivetrain.

It's said to use an all-new electric motor and that the Mitsubishi supports both regenerative braking and wireless charging.

Aided by an aerodynamic body, lightweight design and high-capacity batteries, the CA-MiEV is likely to have a range of around 180 miles. 

The larger GR-HEV is a pick-up truck that reputedly features a diesel-electric hybrid system. Four-wheel drive is standard and a range of advanced systems will work to boost traction when needed.

Despite its size, the GR-HEV is claimed to have emissions of less than 149g/km of CO2.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show 2013 preview

Posted: 04 Mar 2013 04:09 AM PST

One of the most significant exhibitions of the year for car manufacturers, the Geneva show opens this week. Here's our pick of the best new cars

As always, this year's Geneva motor show will feature a myriad of exciting new cars. Though the much-anticipated debuts of both the McLaren P1 and Ferrari F150 will garner huge crowds, there are many other significant cars to look for. These include the BMW 3-series GT, Rolls-Royce Wraith and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Here's our guide to everything you need to see at the 2013 Geneva motor show.

Alfa Romeo

Likely to be one of the show's highlights, the mid-engined Alfa Romeo 4C coupé makes its world debut at Geneva. It's aimed squarely at the Porsche Cayman, with its lower power output of 237bhp compensated by a 900kg kerbweight.

The Alfa Romeo Gloria concept will also be on show, albeit at the European Design Institute stand.  A collaboration between Alfa's style centre and a group of design students, it represents their vision of a large Alfa Romeo saloon.


As expected, Alpina has been quick in turning its attention to the F30 BMW 3-series saloon. The latest generation of B3 Bi-Turbo will be exhibited at Geneva, boasting a power output of 404bhp. The saloon and Touring arrive in Britain this summer. Expect models based on the upcoming 4-series when it is launched also.

Aston Martin

Following slow sales, Aston Martin has subjected its Rapide saloon to a thorough overhaul and will be on display at Geneva. Now called the Rapide S, power has been upped to 550bhp and a new front grille gives it greater visual presence.


The first Audi RS model to be SUV-based will be exhibited at the Geneva motor show. The RS Q3 is powered by a detuned version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo previously found in the RS3 and TT RS. With 307bhp, it should be capable of 0-62mph in 5.5sec. Expect a UK price of around £48,000.

The Audi S3 Sportback is another significant new car for Ingolstadt, following the debut of the three-door S3 at Paris. The Sportback makes the same 296bhp and 280lb ft as the standard S3, and is due in Britain this September.

A potential rival to the small premium hybrid dominance of the Lexus CT200h, the A3 etron also features on a packed Audi stand. It combines a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 201bhp. Thanks to plug-in capability, it delivers CO2 emissions of 35g/km and 188mpg.

A second RS product debut at Geneva suggests Audi still considers performance a priority along with efficiency. The new RS6 Avant can hit 190mph thanks to a twin-turbo four-litre V8, with 62mph coming in less than four seconds. Expect a price tag of around £77,000 in Britain.


Last year's tweaks to the Continental GT and GTC have now made their way to the Flying Spur saloon. Bentley will eventually introduce the V8 to the Spur, but for now it remains powered by the 616bhp 6.0-litre W12. Prices will remain similar to the outgoing model, in the region of £135,000.

Bentley will also be exhibiting a range of more luxurious options packages for its Mulsanne flagship. As well as the addition of a Comfort and Entertainment Specification, three new paint colours will be offered. The new features can be ordered from April.


Having already caused quite a stir, the Bertone Jet 2+2 will be officially unveiled at Geneva. A shooting brake concept based on the Aston Martin Rapide, the Jet 2+2 was specially commissioned by a collector with Aston Martin's blessing.

Bertone will also be showcasing an updated version of its Jet 2 concept from 2004. Based on the original Vanquish, it now features styling based on the new Vanquish and more luxurious cabin materials.


The third variant in the F30 3-series range, BMW is promising much with the new 3-series GT. It aims to deliver the style of a coupé with the practicality of an estate and the dynamics of a saloon. It will carry a £1500 premium over the equivalent 3-series Touring.


The Corvette Stingray convertible will hope to be as popular at Geneva as the coupé was at the Detroit show. With the C7 generation of Corvette designed from the outset with a convertible in mind, there should be no rigidity issues.

Captiva facelift will also feature on Chevrolet's Geneva stand. A cosmetic revamp, the family-orientated SUV gets new LED tail lights and refreshed bumpers. Optional equipment now also includes keyless start, heated seats and dual-zone climate control.


Citroën will be displaying its Technospace at Geneva, previewing the look of the next C4 Picasso. The Technospace is shorter than the current Picasso but longer in wheelbase. Based on the new Efficient Modular Platform 2, the new C4 Picasso will be lighter than the current car when it arrives next spring.

Citroen is also introducing a mid-life facelift to its C3 supermini at the Geneva motor show. The major changes include new and more efficient three-cylinder petrol engines from the Peugeot 208. The revamp also includes new bumpers and lights front and rear.

Hybrid Air, the PSA group's new hybrid system using compressed air, will be another feature on the Citroën stand. By using an air-powered hydraulic motor to run the car when performance needs are low, CO2 emissions could be as low as 69g/km.


Replacing the Enzo would always be challenging, but now Ferrari believes it has made that car in the shape of the F150. Set to rival the McLaren P1 for hypercar supremacy, the F150 is powered by a V12 with extra power from an electric motor. Expect a total output of around 900bhp and a £1 million price.


Ford will hope to secure some of the compact crossover market currently dominated by the Nissan Juke and Skoda Yeti with its EcoSport. Based on the Fiesta, it includes new equipment such as SYNC applink, which enables synchronisation with the driver's smartphone. Expect it in Britain later this year.


Ferrari and McLaren aren't the only manufacturers launching 200mph-plus supercars in Switzerland. Spanish firm GTA will be taking the wraps off its Spano, which boasts 900bhp from a supercharged 8.3-litre V10. Just 99 will be made.


A production version of the Civic estate will feature on the Honda stand at the Geneva motor show. Previewed at Paris last year, expect this concept to include more details around engines and specifications. The Civic range has been without an estate since the Aerodeck models of the late 1990s.

Honda's new 1.6-litre diesel, recently introduced in the Civic, will make its debut in the CR-V at Geneva. The 118bhp unit should deliver CO2 emissions of around 100g/km in the SUV.

The latest incarnation of the next Honda NSX will be shown at the Geneva motor show. It will give Europeans their first look at the car's interior. However, a production version of the hybrid V6 supercar is still at least two years away.


As its name suggests, the Grand Santa Fe is a larger version of Hyundai's popular SUV. Increased length, width and height boosts space for luggage and up to seven occupants. It will not be sold in the UK.


After its global debut at January's Detroit show, Infiniti will mark the Q50's European premiere with two new four-cylinder engines. Both turbocharged, the petrol and diesel units are related to Mercedes powerplants. The Q50 replaces the G37 in Infiniti's range.


Hot hatchbacks will no longer be the preserve of the Europeans and Japanese after Kia unveils its Procee'd GT at the Geneva motor show. A 1.6-litre turbocharged engine gives 197bhp and 0-60mph time of 7.9 seconds. It arrives in Britain this spring.

The Cee'd GT is the five-door version of the Procee'd GT. Expect a small weight and price penalty for the Cee'd, but the drivetrains are identical.

Kia will also unveil the Provo at Geneva. It is an 'urban racer' concept aimed at the Mini.


A one-off Agera R Hundra S edition will be revealed by Koenigsegg at the Geneva motor show. The only confirmed detail for the special edition is that its carbonfibre exterior is inlaid with gold leaf. The Hundra S will be powered by an 898bhp 4.7-litre V8.

Land Rover

The Range Rover Evoque will be the first regular production car to be equipped with a nine-speed gearbox. The new ZF transmission promises reduced emissions and fuel consumption, as well as improved acceleration.


The new IS range will feature prominently on the Lexus stand at the Geneva motor show. When it arrives in Britain, the IS will be offered without a diesel. Buyers will choose from the IS250 or IS300h hybrid, the latter boasting CO2 emissions of 99g/km.


A four-seat version of the GranTurismo MC Stradale will be the star attraction at the Maserati stand. Following two years after the original two-seat car, it uses the same 454bhp 4.7-litre V8 and six-speed automated MC Race manual transmission.


Mercedes will officially unveil the A45 AMG at Geneva. With 355bhp from a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, the A45 is capable of 0-62mph in under five seconds. Expect the first AMG hatchback to cost around £36,000 in Britain.

The C63 AMG Edition 507 will also be premiered by Mercedes at the Swiss show. Available in all three C-class bodystyles, the Edition 507 boasts 500bhp and a 174mph top speed. Prices and UK availability will be announced at the show.


The McLaren P1 will be the star of the Geneva show for many. A more powerful version of the 12C's 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 combined with an electric motor produces 903bhp in total. Only 375 P1s will be built by McLaren, each costing £866,000.Mini

Mini will add to its long list of London-themed special editions when it unveils the Clubman Bond Street at the Geneva motor show. Midnight Black paint and champagne-coloured detailing mark the Bond Street out. Mini will offer the Bond Street on the Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper D and Cooper SD Clubman models.


The CA-MiEV is a small crossover developed from customer trials of the i-MiEV city car. The new concept boosts that car's range through lower weight, improved aerodynamics and more efficient batteries.

Mitsubishi's GR-HEV is a pick-up that combines diesel and electric power to create a commercial hybrid. An emissions figure of under 149g/km is promised, and the GR-HEV is also equipped with Mitsubishi's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) 4WD for optimum traction.


A facelifted Nissan Leaf will feature at Geneva. Perhaps most importantly, the Leaf's range has been extended from 109 miles to 124. The revamped car goes on sale in June, with prices starting at uder £20,000 thanks to an entry-level Visia model and the Government grant.

The new Nissan Note is aimed squarely at the Ford Fiesta, eschewing the mini-MPV billing of its predecessor. Built in Sunderland and inspired by the Invitation concept, the second-gen Note will be offered with two petrol engines and one diesel.


Peugeot will take aim at the highly competitive compact crossover market with the 2008. It features styling themes from the 208 supermini but borrows the Grip Control traction management system from the 3008. The 2008 goes on sale in Britain this summer.

Produced in collaboration with Total, the Peugeot 208 FE demonstrates the performance and efficiency benefits of low mass. The FE stands for Fun and Efficiency, owing to its 8.0sec 0-62mph time and 49g/km of CO2. This comes in part from the FE weighing 200kg less than a regular 208.

The Geneva show will see another outing for the PSA Group's HybridAir technology, this time with the 2008 HybrdiAir. As with the previous Citroën C3 installation, compressed air is used to provide energy to a hydraulic motor which can power the car in urban environments.


Legendary coachbuilders/styling house Pininfarina will exhibit a concept celebrating Sergio Pininfarina, one of its most influential designers and chairman for over 40 years before his death last year.


Every Porsche 911 GT3 is eagerly anticipated by enthusiasts, and it's no different for the current 991 generation. Set to produce 450bhp from a 3.8-litre direct-injection engine, the GT3 is also expected to be around 40kg lighter than its 997 predecessor.


The entire Qoros brand is being launched at the Geneva motor show, and is thus a huge occasion for the Chinese firm. The 3 saloon is aimed directly at the Volkswagen Jetta and uses a range of three- and four-cylinder engines ranging from 124bhp to 156bhp.

Qoros will also have a 3 estate at Geneva. It has a boot capacity 50 litres greater than the saloon (500 v 450) and retains that car's rear lights and bumper. The interior features a smartphone dock and eight-inch touchscreen.

The Cross Hybrid concept is an SUV powered by one of the three-cylinder engines with a 67bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels. The battery pack for the motor is charged using a starter/generator on the petrol engine. Qoros claims a 0-62mph time of less than seven seconds and 56.5mpg.


Rinspeed will use its home motor show to showcase the Micromax concept. Developed with significant input from Hardon, the Micromax aims to be the ultimate commuter vehicle by linking all users to a cloud network. It could sell for less then €10,000.


A fastback version of the Ghost saloon, the Rolls-Royce Wraith is certain to draw the crowds at Geneva. Resurrecting a name first used by Rolls-Royce in 1938, the Wraith will have a shorter wheelbase and more power than the Ghost. An output as high as 600bhp has been mooted.


For the first time in three generations, the Leon will be offered with a three-door option. The Seat Leon SC (sports coupé) is brand new from the A-pillars back and features a 35mm shorter wheelbase than the five-door Leon. A Cupra flagship of all variants is expected soon also.


The third generation of the Skoda Octavia estate will debut at the Geneva show. Thanks to an increase in size over the previous Octavia estate, the new car boasts a seats-up boot capacity of 610 litres. With the seats folded, this rises to 1740 litres. Expect it in the UK this June.

Also on the Skoda stand, the Octavia hatch will make its European debut. Built on VW's modular MQB platform, the new Octavia is 90mm longer than its predecessor. Three petrol and three diesel engines will be offered from launch, with a vRS flagship expected soon also.


A 'creative exchange' between Danish design house BoDesign and Smart, the ForTwo BoConcept will be exhibited at Geneva. A luxuriously appointed interior and visual makeover including new paint and wheels distinguish the BoConcept. It will also be shown with a 'Smartville' furniture range.


Spyker will mark its return at the Geneva motor show with the new B6 Venator. Set to cost from around £100,000, the Venator will be powered by a 375bhp V6. Spyker boss Victor Muller has also promised an aluminium chassis and a carbonfibre body.


The second generation of Ssangyong's Rodius MPV will be on show at Geneva. The result of a $175 million development, the new Rodius features a 153bhp diesel engine and four-wheel-drive as an option.

Ssangyong's SIV-1 is an evolution of the styling themes presented in the 2011 XIV concept. A crossover similar in size to the Kia Sportage, the SIV-1 will influence future Ssangyong design.


The VIZIV is a crossover concept that previews Subaru's future design language, and will be unveiled at Geneva. Subaru also claims the VIZIV incorporates new technology to improve the appeal of the brand.Suzuki

Suzuki will take the wraps off a new crossover inspired by last year's S-Cross concept at the Geneva motor show. The as-yet-unnamed model will use Fiat engines and offer four-wheel drive when it arrives in Britain later this year.

Touring Superleggera

The first rolling version of the Touring Superleggera Disco Volante concept will be unveiled at Geneva. The Disco Volante is based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.


Toyota's FT-86 Open concept previews a convertible version of the GT86 coupé. It is likely to feature the same 197bhp, 151lb ft 2.0-litre boxer engine as the hard top, and is expected to go on sale next year.

The i-Road concept is Toyota's vision of an urban commuter vehicle. Suitable for two people, the i-Road measures 2350mm long and it is powered by a lithium-ion battery, with a range of 30 miles.

The Auris Touring Sports is the estate version of Toyota's family hatch. The hybrid variant will be the only petrol-electric C-segment estate. Other engines mirror the Auris hatch range, and load capacity is up to 1658 litres.


The Geneva show will host the global unveiling of Vauxhall's new Cascada cabriolet. A hard-top cabriolet aimed at the Audi A5, the Cascada features Astra and Insignia underpinnings. Priced from £25,000, the Cascada is due in Britain later this month.

Further expansion of Vauxhall's Adam range will be on show at Geneva with the Adam Rocks concept. Wider and higher than the regular Adam, the Rocks also features a retractable roof. Vauxhall says the new concept's purpose is to highlight the myriad personalisation options available on the Adam.


After a prolonged development period, a production version of the VW XL1 concept will be on show at Geneva. The 314mpg, 795kg XL1 is going into limited production this year. Its plug-in hybrid drivetrain comprises a 47bhp 800cc diesel and 27bhp electric motor.

The Golf R cabriolet is the most powerful roofless Golf ever produced by VW. A 261bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine powers the Golf R to 60mph in six seconds and a 155mph top speed. Based on the Mk6 Golf, the R cabriolet will cost from £38,770 in Britain.

VW will unveil a Golf Mk7 GTD at Geneva. It offers 181bhp and 280lb ft from a new 2.0-litre EA288 diesel engine. Thanks to a kerb weight of 1302kg, the Golf GTD sprints to 62mph in 7.5 sec and hits a top speed of 143mph. Fuel economy is rated at 67.3mpg.

Though not destined for the UK, the VW Golf 4Motion is likely to be popular in markets with harsher climates. Its four-wheel drive works through an electronically controlled multi-plate Haldex clutch.

A Golf Mk7 Bluemotion will be on show at VW's Geneva motor show stand. It promises 88.3mpg and 85mpg from a 1.6-litre, 108bhp diesel. The Bluemotion is due in Britain this summer.

Further expansion of the VW Golf range will also include a Golf estate. Details are currently scarce, but expect the engine line-up to mirror the hatchback's.

This year's Geneva motor show marks the return of the VW Golf GTI. The Mk7 car will be offered in two variants, the GTI and GTI Performance. The latter features another ten bhp (217v227) and bigger brakes over the standard car. British sales start in June.

The VW Golf Hybrid is expected on sale next year. Its headline figures are 188mpg and 35g/km, thanks to a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 100bhp electric motor. The Hybrid as an all-electric range of 31 miles.

Away from the myriad of Golfs on show, VW will also be unveiling a Cross Up concept at Geneva. Its ride height is raised over a standard Up, with the off-roader image boosted by black plastic cladding. The Cross Up is not yet confirmed for British sale.


The S60 saloon receives the most thorough facelift of the Volvo range; six models have been changed, and all are on display at the Geneva show. As well as the visual revamp, it is now offered with new interior materials and the option of sports suspension on non-R Design variants.

Volvo's cosmetic range refresh extends to the V60 estate and Plug-In Hybrid. Styling is inspired by 2011's Concept You with a visually widened front end and slimmer and headlights.

Volvo's long-standing V70 estate has also been subjected to "the most extensive development of existing models" in Volvo's history. Emissions have fallen to 112g/km in the 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine. The TFT instrument panel from the V40 now features on other Volvo models including the V70.

The revised Volvo S80 will go on sale in Britain with the other facelifted models this May. All models receive an updated interior multimedia called Sensus Connected Touch, which allows internet access through the driver's smartphone and is controlled through a seven-inch touchscreen.

The rugged XC70 estate has been updated by Volvo and will be showcased at the Geneva motor show. It benefits from all the cosmetic and interior upgrades found on the other five models, and now features CO2 emissions from 139g/km.

The sixth Volvo model to undergo a revamp is the XC60. The land Rover Freelander rival has been stripped of all its external black trim for a "more urban look", and torque vectoring is now standard.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

No comments:

Post a Comment