Kia Teaser Is New Flagship Model

February 17th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

A set of teaser photos from Kia Motors provides a tantalising glimpse of the all-new flagship model from the Korean company.

The sketches reveal a sleek and gracious four-door sedan that is expected to establish new standards for design flair in this segment.

The car, codenamed KH, is Kia’s first ever rear-wheel drive sedan and combines innovative design with high-tech features, as Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer takes styling cues from the Optima and moves it to a whole new level. KH is among the company’s most eagerly anticipated new models and will be launched in Kia’s domestic market in the first half of 2012.

Kia describes the design concept behind KH as ”distinctive, modern and classic”, which is expressed through sophisticated, technically-advanced elements combined with Kia’s existing dynamic design language aimed at creating vehicles that truly stand out from competitors.

The new model features a bold front-end design that hints at the performance of the car, as well as hallmarking its luxury status. It incorporates Kia’s charismatic family-look radiator grille, flanked by streamlined headlamps that reinforce the brand’s innovative challenger image and the proportions of the unique bonnet design give KH a classic car-like feel.

KH’s profile, which was a key focus for Schreyer and his design team during development, features a simple side character line to give a feeling of spaciousness, while emphasising the new model’s bold and dynamic image – the epitome of Schreyer’s philosophy about the “power of a straight line”. The high-tech, rear combination lamp clusters, plus the luxurious, bold chrome accent give KH a sophisticated and stable rear view.

Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, says KH will provide more proof of the dedication to striking design that has become a feature of all Kia vehicles in recent times.

“There aren’t many cars you can describe as beautiful, but from the teaser photos you have to say that KH will be a superb head-turner when it is eventually unveiled – I can’t wait,” he adds.

Kia says plans to release the striking newcomer to overseas markets are still to be finalised, but a company spokesperson confirms this all-new, rear-wheel drive large sedan will “definitely become the leading model of our line-up around the world, showcasing the best of the best of Kia”.

Mitsubishi taking new Mirage and electric concept to Tokyo

November 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Tokyo Motor Show is rapidly approaching and the latest automaker to show its hand is Mitsubishi. The Tri-Diamond automaker will display two brand new machines one a production model and the other a concept.

The production model will be the next-generation of the familiar Mirage hatchback. The new Mirage is a basic five-door hatch that will come sporting an economy-focused 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with stop/start technology and a CVT Transmission. Expect it to be a frugal little number when it launches in the Thai market first, in March 2012.

Mitsubishi’s more daring concept vehicle will be theplug-in hybrid Concept PX-MiEV II which represents Mitsubishi’s vision for a mid-size SUV of the future. This concept is also chasing down extreme fuel economy with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors. The advanced drivetrain will push all four wheels through Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) traction control system. Apparently its performance is comparable with that of a 3.0-litre V6. Continue reading “Mitsubishi taking new Mirage and electric concept to Tokyo” »

Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show

November 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Tokyo Motor Show has become well known for having its share of wacky futuristic concepts and Nissan are making sure this reputation is upheld.

Nissan is taking its PIVO concept to the 2011 show in its third concept form. The first PIVO 1 was unveiled in 2005, the PIVO 2 in 2007 and now the PIVO 3.

The PIVO 3 is sticking to the same three-seat layout and central driving position as its predecessors but its styling has moved towards a more production-ready concept.

Francois Bancon, Nissan deputy divisional GM for product strategy, has said that Nissan is considering pushing ahead with the PIVO. “There is no decision to do this. We are now considering the next step of the EV after LEAF and Infiniti EV and an LCV EV. We are going to have many ways to propose to the market what seems radically different, it must be an EV signature [model], if you will.” Continue reading “Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show” »

Ford reveals five-door Fiesta ST concept

November 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford first previewed its upcoming Fiesta ST in concept form at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show with a three-door version of the hatch.

Now, Ford has a more production-ready model for the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, it’s a hatchback-variant and will give Ford fans a better taste of the hot hatch.

In Ford’s official press release it states that “The five-door Fiesta ST Concept shows the promise for a globally available performance model.”and goes on to say, “The Fiesta ST Concept shows in the most dramatic way possible that the qualities that define an ST are not limited to one model [the Focus ST]. The potential for delivering the ST experience to an even wider audience is laid bare by this exciting new concept,” he added.

Despite these near-assurances Ford hasn’t officially confirmed production for the Fiesta ST.

Like it’s three-door stablemate the five-door concept gets the same styling treatment with a bespoke front end, aerodynamic bodykit, lowered suspension and flared wheel arches with 17-inch alloy wheels. Continue reading “Ford reveals five-door Fiesta ST concept” »

Subaru reveals BRZ STI Concept Coupe

November 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Performance car fans have been waiting to see it for months and finally the first images of the Subaru BRZ Concept have been released before its world premiere at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16.

In STI-badged concept form these images show a concept vehicle which has much of the styling predicted for the upcoming BRZ coupe. Both the BRZ and its development brother the Toyota FT-86 will be shown in production form at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

Subaru isn’t saying much about specifications but has stated that the BRZ will have a very low centre of gravity and be a “pure handling delight.” The naturally aspirated 2.0-litre flat-four engine is expected to produce over 150kW and be linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, and possibly, a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. Continue reading “Subaru reveals BRZ STI Concept Coupe” »

Mazda Takeri concept revealed as preview to next Mazda6

October 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has released the first images of its Takeri concept which is widely regarded as the precursor to the new Mazda6.

The Takeri will be officially revealed at the upcoming 42nd Tokyo Motor Show in November. Much of the striking mid-size sedan’s styling should be carried over to the next-gen Mazda6 which is expected to go on sale in the first half of 2013,

Like all recent Mazda models, the sleek Takeri adopts the company’s new “KODO – Soul of Motion” design language.

The Takeri has a very attractive design, with many styling cues borrowed directly from the earlier Shinari sports sedan study. One of the key differences is the roof with the Takeri concept receiving a longer more practical coupe-like roof line. The face has also been softened with a new grille, bonnet and larger headlights.

Little is known about the Takeri’s powerplant but Mazda says it will use a Skyactive D diesel engine with stop/start technology and Mazda’s first kinetic energy recovery system. Continue reading “Mazda Takeri concept revealed as preview to next Mazda6” »

Nissan unveils completed Juke-R concept

October 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan has pulled a shock unveiling of its hardcore Juke-R concept car at a media launch in Malaga, Spain. This is the first time the finished project has been seen in the flesh.

Nissan will build two examples of the Juke-R one in left-hand drive and one in right-hand drive. The two concept machines will be used for testing purposes from next month and may lead to a slightly tamer production version in the future.

The concepts come equipped with the GT-R’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre 390kW V6 engine and advanced four-wheel drive system. It also features a widened body painted in a matte black finish, aerodynamic tweaking and large GT-R-style black alloy wheels wrapped in low profile tyres. The Juke-R interior has also been given an extensive refit with a 4WD controller, GT-R touch screen and engine control system all installed. Continue reading “Nissan unveils completed Juke-R concept” »

Nissan GT-R engine + Juke Crossover = Super Juke

September 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Taking the powertrain from a high-performance vehicle and dropping it into something totally different can be a great idea. But not always, and the latest carmaker to try its hand is Nissan Europe which has confirmed that a special one-off high-powered Juke crossover is being developed.

So which of Nissan’s hard core engines will make it into the Juke? None other than the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 mill that powers the current Nissan GT-R. This will turn the Juke into a 390kW machine and has seen the concept dubbed ‘Super Juke’. With the larger engine the Super Juke should accelerate from standing to 100km/h in under four seconds and on to a top speed of dangerous proportions.

Rally-inspired sports styling is also expected with the concept so prepare for enlarged wheel arches, a deep front splitter, bonnet vents, two-story rear wing and stripped-out interior for reduced weight. Continue reading “Nissan GT-R engine + Juke Crossover = Super Juke” »

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