Ford Evos Concept heralds future design language

August 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After plenty of speculation, Ford has shown the special concept it will debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Named the Evos Concept, Ford has released images and details on this fastback coupe.

At this stage the Evos Concept is a design study but shows the aesthetic influences that Ford will take into its next-generation of products. Expect to see Ford’s headlights go smaller and more discreet, the grille become more vertical and body shapes to be even more raked back and sleek. The concept uses four gull wing doors to get access to the four-seat cabin.

“We wanted the Ford Evos Concept to give a clear message about where Ford design is heading – shaping vehicles that are fun to drive, have a strong premium visual appeal, and above all, are stunningly beautiful,” said J Mays, group vice president, Design and chief creative officer.

Inside, the concept there are hints at Ford’s upcoming interior design with a driver-oriented instrument panel and an inverted ‘L’ climate system. It’s more of a cockpit feel than previous Ford vehicles with touch-screen displays and individually adjustable sports seats. Continue reading “Ford Evos Concept heralds future design language” »

Peugeot HX1 crossover concept revealed before Frankfurt debut

August 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Peugeot has revealed the striking lines of its latest concept car – the HX1 before it officially debuts at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Peugeot claims the concept marks the future of crossover vehicles and can seat up to six adults.

The HX1 is certainly low-slung, it measures 4.95 metres long, 1.99 high and has a height of just 1.37 metres. Coefficient drag is a very low 0.28, making the HX1 very advanced in terms of aerodynamics. Achieving this figure is helped by clever tech in the side skirting and spoilers and also wheel blades that open up to form a flat surface.

Other tricks include five rear-hinged half-scissor doors and trick seating which can create a centre row by a set of pull out buckets integrated into the front seats.

Powering the HX1 is an all-wheel drive diesel-electric motor with a 2.2 litre HDI unit for a combined output of 220kW. The HX1 can travel up to 30km in full electric mode and has an economy rating of just 3.2-litres/100km. Continue reading “Peugeot HX1 crossover concept revealed before Frankfurt debut” »

Audi drops images of Urban Sportback and Spyder concept cars

August 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

In what begun as just a few sketches, Audi is now showing off a load computer generated images of its two-seat Urban Sportback and Spyder concept models. The extreme concept machines will make their world premiere at the upcoming 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

Little is known about the concepts so far but Audi says they are pure-electric powered and are not descended from any previous Audi model. The development of the concepts is based on the principles of lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction.

The tiny concepts are certainly striking with their exposed 21-inch wheel wheels and a body size of just 3,200mm long, 1,700mm wide and a mere 1,200mm tall. In terms of power, motivation comes from two e-tron electric motors that draw energy from a lithium-ion battery. The body is made from a lightweight mix of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer and aluminum to construct the two models. Continue reading “Audi drops images of Urban Sportback and Spyder concept cars” »

2012 Porsche 911 gets officially revealed

August 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After plenty of rumours, spy shots and leaked photos, Porsche has officially unveiled it’s 2012 911 (991) model.

While it may look very similar the new 911 has grown, with a wheelbase 100 mm longer than it’s predecessor. It also has a wider track at the front and a body made of aluminum-steel for reduced weight and greater rigidity. Standard wheel fittment is 20-inch rims and the side mirrors have moved to the top of the doors.

In the cockpit the reworked interior combines elements of the Porsche Panamera with the outgoing 997 model. The major changes here include a more pronounced, downward sloping centre console and entirely new switchgear.

The official word on power figures pegs the 3.4 litre boxer engine in the entry-level Carerra at 257kW. The higher-spec Carrera S uses a 3.8-litre motor that’s good for 294kW. Torque figures haven’t been released. Continue reading “2012 Porsche 911 gets officially revealed” »

Subaru names new RWD coupe – the BRZ

August 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When it was first revealed that Toyota and Subaru would collaborate in developing a low-cost, RWD sports coupe, fans of both brands were suitably excited. Since then it’s been all about the Toyota FT-86 with Subaru keeping much more quiet about the development of its version. Toyota has already unveiled several preview concepts of the FT-86 and all Subaru has given loyal fans is some images of the vehicles frame. But now that’s set to change.

The Frankfurt Motor Show is on in a couple of weeks and will be the scene for Subaru to reveal a ‘technology concept’ of its take on the sports coupe. While announcing its plans, Subaru announced the name of its new creation – BRZ.

What does it mean? BRZ stands for Boxer Rear-drive Zenith and will be used firstly on the concept called the BRZ Prologue. While it’s unknown exactly what a technology concept really is, expect at least some of the questions surrounding the BRZ to be answered at the Frankfurt show.

Until then, enjoy the name BRZ, feel free to say it out loud and use it to impress friends with your knowledge of future Subaru products. Or click here to go to Subaru’s BRZ teaser website.

Mercedes-Benz drops covers on 2012 SLK 55 AMG

August 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes has dropped the covers off its most powerful small hardtop roadster ever – the 2012 SLK 55 AMG. Due for a world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September photos and specification details have just been released.

In terms of styling the new model is distinguished by a reworked front aesthetic, new side skirts and LED daytime running lights. There’s also a larger set of alloy wheels finished in Black. In the cabin there’s leather surfaces everywhere and deeply bolstered sports seats.

Under the bonnet, power for the roadster comes from a new naturally-aspirated AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine. Power is rated at 310kW and there’s 540Nm of torque on tap. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a 7-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission featuring three modes (sport, manual and efficiency). Additionally, the aluminum V8 engine also features the AMG Cylinder Management system that can shut off four-cylinders from 800 to 3,600 rpm to improve fuel efficiency. With the engine start/stop system engaged the SLK 55 AMG can apparently return economy of 8.5l/10okm. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz drops covers on 2012 SLK 55 AMG” »

Kia pushes ahead with RWD sports sedan concept

August 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

There has been rumours floating around for a long time about a mysterious Kia rear-wheel drive sports sedan. Back in July things heated up with reports that this concept may debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Now it’s clear that not only is there a Kia sports sedan concept, but it looks suitably staunch as well. Kia’s latest concept has been announced for a Frankfurt debut and the fist images of the four-door coupe have been released.

The swooping design borrows heavily from the Optima sedan with a high belt line and lengthy chrome strip. The fastback design features four seats in a 2+2 configuration.

“I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: We are ready to fast forward to an all-new chapter,” says the automaker’s design chief, Peter Schreyer. Continue reading “Kia pushes ahead with RWD sports sedan concept” »

Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut

August 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Eco-warriors rejoice, the production version of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will make its world debut at next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s a huge launch for Toyota and the Japanese carmaker is claiming that the Prius Plug-in is the next “major milestone” in its 40-year quest for sustainable mobility. The production plug-in hybrid sedan has a freshly designed, compact lithium-ion battery that allows this latest Prius to reach a new low in minimal fuel consumption, sipping just 2.2 litres per 100 kilometers with CO2 emissions of just 49 grams per km.

The plug-in Prius isn’t a successor to the current model and Toyota will continue to focus on hybrid vehicles without a plug,. But Toyota says the Plug-in Prius is its new flagship that showcases the latest developments in hybrid-drive technology. It also says that the car’s value and incredible fuel consumption combine to make it the ultimate eco car. Continue reading “Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut” »